Archive for November, 2007

Pure Green Poison

Posted in Get Meta!, Inspiration, Journals, Life, People, Realtionships, Writing on November 26, 2007 by blakejohnson

I’ve been obsessing over a certain actress recently in my life whom I’ve never met, hardly seen, since she’s not huge, and doesn’t desire to be, something I admire about her.  But the temptation to simply look at her face, to see the smile and feel the gaze, to daydream about the companionship she might bring if ever we were to meet is intoxicating.  Poison slipping and oozing down my throat, its green and gooey texture filling up my lungs until I can’t breather without her face before me; it coats my veins until I feel I can’t live without feeling her fake digital gaze on too my face, and into my eyes, filling with the cold, dark green of the poison she envelops me with.  It spreads throughout my body like a cancerous growth, but unseen and untouchable, simply there, asphyxiating in its uncontrollable and un-understandable power.  And it finally comes upon my heart, and hardens around my strongest muscle, my life source, and turns a cold, hard, black color that clenches tighter and tighter, every moment away from her digital face force its grasp to hold tighter and tighter to the only warm thing in my body, the only thing trying desperately to reach my brain with its pure bloody thoughts of life beyond her life-saturating face.  Only to become mixed and overcome by the poison of the obsession before it even reaches the outside of the heart from which it comes.  The cold dark green obsession with someone I’ve never met, in some place I’ve never been, in a field of work I’ve never felt comfortable in, and in a state of mind I know I’m not in.  She sits atop a throne while I cower at the base, not even daring to look up, to gather the resources around me to fly up and finally see the surroundings of her childhood, her upbringing and the country that she calls home.  Nothing do I want more than to escape the wretched cocoon of my room where I retreat each day, all day, to call my infinite palace of knowledge and growth, my social life extends into the vastness of the world, but only through the tentacles of a digital age’s capabilities.

My social interactions are limited, and mostly with my family.  The cold room where I sit, day after day after day after day, contemplating my life and how much I would adore soaring away from this cold, dark place.  I can’t bear to be here any longer.  I feel only unsatisfied with every moment, every second passes through me a dark and wintry second as if they were snowflakes passing through my veins, and the poison had frozen them up so cold that the snowflakes didn’t even melt through their journeys.

Something whispers to me in the night, and I perk my ears up to listen, only to find that it’s the simple longing for something new, for someone new, for some warmth that is not familiar, some strange loving care that caresses my shoulders, my head, my legs, my whole body and wraps me up, embracing me for a full twenty minutes with no selfishness at all, and nothing to tear it away.  Simply loving me.  Simply caring enough to exude the warmth of the sun a thousand times over with nothing held back, no otherworldly goals, no shadows in which to hide its secrets.  The only thing that whispers to me in the night is the lack of that warmth, day in and day out, again, and again, and again.

And so I wake up the following morning, retreating to me screen and my keyboard like someone out of the Matrix in their control room, ready to take on the world, only I am already full of the realization that the world has no knowledge of me, that I matter not to the way it functions, to the way it turns and spins.  If I simply disappeared it would not lose its course in the universe.  If I simply disappeared people would not fly to the streets with signs and banter about the right cause of the life and the necessity of the unity of man.  My leaving would cause no such fuss.  My leaving would simply be that: me leaving.  And I think that, day in and day out, that my leaving may simply be the best thing I could do in the world, for the world, for myself.  Maybe some time in some distant land that I know nothing about would be my savior, would find me that warmth, would bring me closer to the sun and to the cure for this poison that rots my insides as if they were already dead.

I’m wrapped up in my own private world.  Nobody sees it, nobody knows it, and yet I tell people almost every day what parts of life are like.  What parts of my life are like.  Hopelessness, the other poison, must be the fermented version of this green gooey obsession, this sadness that fills my being.  The inescapable torture that it brings with it, the desire for difference, for life, for something warm and something new.  The rotting insides of my cold, hardened body all completely unseen by any innocent bystanders.  The daily ritual is suicidal, and the urge for random, eclectic travel seems out of my reach, and so where do I possibly go to for a source of life but the digital fakeness of imagery and audio that is simply replication of the beauty I see in the digital versions of something that must in real life be utterly incomprehensibly gorgeous.  I’ve been told not to get too obsessed, not to let it get under my skin, to seek help if things get “out of hand.”  Life is already out of my hands.

I don’t want to fight this poison here, on my own ground, I want to fly away, soar through the clouds as high as possible, as close to the sun as I can reach, and to touch its rays with my hands, my face, my shoulders, my legs, as if it were holding me itself, as if I were simply a cloud on my own, floating around through the sky, oblivious to life and sorrow, obsession and poison, hardship and suffering.  As if they didn’t even exist.  I would much rather make a stand on foreign soil against this beast of green obsession than remain here in quiet isolation, joyless, friendless, loveless aside from what the typical family can give.  That almost doesn’t seem to matter.  I know it’s there, and I know I’ll at some time come out of this haze of infection and back into the world of reality, and I know they’ll only have noticed quietly, waiting for a word or a desire for help to be uttered from me, the quiet and isolated member of the family.  Only I won’t.  And so they won’t.  And I will move on into some other chapter of my life, into some new place of my life and hope that the poison will not envelop me again.  And I will strive for work or play in some foreign land where the sun always shines and the weather is always warm and the love simply flows from all people, smiles and friendliness are never surprising to find and the common sit-down coffee-shop really is the beginning of a long and blissful relationship, no matter who with, but someone who provides something of that warmth of heart, the beginning of the cure to the cold, hard heart that I’d acquired through strict obsession with the digital face of something rare and remarkable.

But until then, I suppose I just wait out the days and do my best with what I can.  Even if at times it seems that may be nothing.  I just travel on through the tunnel of life with the occasional beam of light bouncing off my now hardened and reflective surface, long enough for me to gaze in wonder and glory at the sight of someone else’s fortune, and then it’ll disappear, forcing my mind to race with methodical and spontaneous courses of action to achieve my own glory, to cast my own beam of light, and perhaps warm the hearts of others, less fortunate, who feel as I do now: loveless, lost, alone, cold, and empty.

Advertisements

Good Magazine

Posted in Film, Get Meta!, Inspiration, Life, People, Video, Web, YouTube on November 20, 2007 by blakejohnson

I recently was watching an episode of the Daily Reel‘s video podcast and Good Magazine was featured in the episode, prompting this email to my dad:

This is actually called “Good Magazine” and it took over the YouTube site the other day apparently bring green-themed videos to the front page all day long.  There’s one good video about some company or group shipping $120 bikes (including shipping and after having been specially manufactured with a rear section extended 2.5′ so it could carry two huge bags of coffee or three kids, etc.) to the farms in foreign countries that said they needed them.  The site for the magazine is here (http://www.goodmagazine.com/) and I thought it was interesting and something you might like, since your on a tirade for green and similar things recently.  Enjoy.  Oh, and if you subscribe I think either a large amount or all of the proceeds to go a charity of your choice, but I’m sure it says that somewhere on the site.

Another thing mentioned in the podcast episode was Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.  Dove’s been working for at least a year now, but probably longer, at using non-Hollywood or supermodel looks to advertise their products, and using more of the “average woman of the US” to show that beauty comes in everything, not just supermodel looks and Hollywood hair.  A video that was featured in the podcast on the Daily Reel was especially powerful, in my mind anyway, as a message to parents, young girls, and people in general about the media and the socially acceptable means of advertising beauty and self-image.  It’s a powerfully-cut-together video on the subject and worthy of praise, if not just viewing and reacting.

However, someone on the Daily Reel’s website pointed this out about the video:

 “It’s just as effective a message as the Dove Evolution short, but the fact of the matter is that this is a marketing campaign, not a public service announcement. It’s a very well-intentioned marketing campaign, but would the Dove brand be so heavily associated with these messages if it were purely altruistic? No. I’m glad that the folks at the Unilever Corporation are thinking outside the box when comes to their advertising. But it doesn’t make me more likely to buy their skin tightening cream.”

I’m glad they brought it up as a two-sided thing, since it is often misread as a “purely altruistic” attempt to get people to pay attention to the media and their kids, because I think that needs to happen more these days.  But I also am glad that it’s got that attitude about it, of “altruistic-ness” and a sort of “goodwill toward all people mentality,” as opposed to a n exclusive “goodwill toward our customers” mentality.   It’s an important message that gets pointed out in today’s society but I think it’s mostly just either glazed over, or not taken seriously enough by people, whether it’s the actors pointing it out, the parents or the kids themselves who are affected and surrounded by the media’s badgering imagery all the time.  I think it’s one of those age-old issues that deserves a call-to-arms of sorts that really gets under people’s skin.  I typically think people who aren’t the Hollywood or supermodel standard are more beautiful anyway, it just makes them seem more real, less like a special effect or an airbrushed life-size cutout of themselves who just happens to walk and talk and interact.

Mac OS X Leopard

Posted in Computers, Inspiration, News, Reviews on November 18, 2007 by blakejohnson

Alright, check this out.  This video is the coolest software tour I’ve ever seen.  Time Machine is the best idea I’ve seen on a computer since digital video.  This is freaking sweet.  I’m looking seriously into replacing my current desktop (not the new one I just put together for video, the other one) with an Intel-based MacBook, which would come with Leopard installed.  I was browsing through the Apple site, just looking around, when I found this.  I watched it and am so excited to get Leopard on any Apple machine I think I’ll go insane with joy whenever I finally do.  Yea.  That sweet.  I’m not saying Macs are better at all than Windows, just having a portable laptop that’s this quick, easy and efficient at organizing and managing a high-activity life is going to be an enormous blessing when I’m finally out in Vancouver.  This is sweet… I can’t wait.

Link: http://www.apple.com/macosx/guidedtour/large.html

Google's Brilliant

Posted in Articles, Coding, Computers, Life, News, People, Web on November 18, 2007 by blakejohnson

I know I’ve made a post about this before, but I decided to do it again based on this post I’d found on the Google blog earlier tonight.  Not only does Google provide the most efficient and effective free Email, search engine and tons of other services, it’s now going seemingly out of its way to accommodate whole countries!  It’s begun with Australia and their upcoming election on November 24, 2007 by posting on Google Maps the country’s candidates (in their area of candidacy), information about them, and links to their YouTube channels, blogs, websites, party sites, news stories, videos, you name it.  This was the most philanthropic and generously useful thing I’ve seen Google do since they begun their search engine campaign.

In other Google news, I found this post on the Google blog recently as well, advocating for a widespread and universal use of the the same API structure (correct me if I’m wrong in the terminology of this stuff, I’m no expert) for social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) so that developers can develop applications that not only run on the main sites or sites with similar structures to them, but they can write one app, and have it run on all social networking sites giving them more users for their app, and the users more apps for their enjoyment.  Yet another brilliantly simple idea brought to you from the folks at from Google.  I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a pattern here… they’re just thinking simpler… maybe it’s time for me to go back to Legos and cookies and milk…

Google’s Brilliant

Posted in Articles, Coding, Computers, Life, News, People, Web on November 18, 2007 by blakejohnson

I know I’ve made a post about this before, but I decided to do it again based on this post I’d found on the Google blog earlier tonight.  Not only does Google provide the most efficient and effective free Email, search engine and tons of other services, it’s now going seemingly out of its way to accommodate whole countries!  It’s begun with Australia and their upcoming election on November 24, 2007 by posting on Google Maps the country’s candidates (in their area of candidacy), information about them, and links to their YouTube channels, blogs, websites, party sites, news stories, videos, you name it.  This was the most philanthropic and generously useful thing I’ve seen Google do since they begun their search engine campaign.

In other Google news, I found this post on the Google blog recently as well, advocating for a widespread and universal use of the the same API structure (correct me if I’m wrong in the terminology of this stuff, I’m no expert) for social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, etc.) so that developers can develop applications that not only run on the main sites or sites with similar structures to them, but they can write one app, and have it run on all social networking sites giving them more users for their app, and the users more apps for their enjoyment.  Yet another brilliantly simple idea brought to you from the folks at from Google.  I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a pattern here… they’re just thinking simpler… maybe it’s time for me to go back to Legos and cookies and milk…

Meaning of (my) Life Pt. 2

Posted in DIY, Film, Friends, Get Meta!, Inspiration, Journals, Life, People, Realtionships, Web on November 13, 2007 by blakejohnson

It seems like there’s so much time and
talent going to waste when all these super talented people all over the
place that always seem to catch my attention, but never the attention
of people who have the power to make a difference in the field they’re
in.  I like to think that if I ever got to a powerful position like
that, I’d do my best to get people from the online mass into studios
and the like as much as possible, even if only for a trial run on me
(and hey, if I had the money, what’s the loss?  It’s helping someone
with their dream, which is always nice to do).  I like to think I’d
always scour YouTube and sites like it, daily, for new talents to call
my friends in recording and film studios and other places so the
talents could get to work on the things they loved and make a
difference.  That could revitalize the field so much, just constantly
adding brand new talents to the works.  I like to think I would even
use the same actors in different films, nor the same musicians, unless
I had a super close relationship with them or they really fit better
than anyone else.  But I like to think I’d continuously look all over
the world for talent that can sustain my projects so I don’t have to
depend on the constantly-recognizable faces of most Hollywood actors
and actresses.  Watching a movie with good actors I’ve never heard of
makes it that much better for me as a viewer, because I forget they’re
acting and it seems all the more real to me.  When it’s Nicholas Cage
or John Travolta, I can always tell who it is, and I always know, and
sometimes they pull off roles well, and sometimes they don’t.  It
depends, but I like to think I’d make my films all the more real and
well-done because they’d have no big stars in them, and so people
wouldn’t be worried about veteran’s performances or obsessing over
their favorite stars… they’d go to see a good movie for what it was,
a good movie, which is supposed to be what filmmaking is about in the
first place, isn’t it?  I guess what I want is in a way what happens
whenever you get into this field, since it’s just a wide range of
contacts that can be called upon to help out on projects in the
future.  And when you’re in this business, you meet a heck of a lot of
people, and most of those will probably be hungry to come back for
more, especially if they’re on the low-budget end, which is what I’ve
become more and more interested in being in lately.  It doesn’t have
the Hollywood glitz and glamor, and though it doesn’t have the same
distribution outlets, those can be well-found elsewhere with plenty of
audience to boot.  But also, what it lacks in Hollywood rep, it makes
up for with ferocious talent and just pure love for the work and the
medium and the storytelling of a movie.  It’s the telling of a story
through visuals and sounds, music, emotion, that make this such a
lucrative and engaging, passionate field for me to want to get into. 
That’s why I want to make films, and only finding this attitude in the
lower-budget films so far, that’s why I want to stick with the indie
community of making them.  After all, who doesn’t want to work on what
they love with people they love to work with?  That’s essentially the
goal, to do that for myself and then provide the opportunities for it
to as many other people as possible, as often as possible.  It would be
a wonderful thing to be able to make that many people’s dreams come
true.  I would love to do that, and make movies, for the rest of my
life.  🙂

Meaning of (my) Life

Posted in DIY, Film, Friends, Get Meta!, Inspiration, Journals, Life, People, Realtionships, Video, Web, Work, YouTube on November 12, 2007 by blakejohnson

I’ve noticed myself shifting focus from pure filmmaking and obsessively following that career to an idea of a business or cooperative that consists of all the talented people I’ve met that essentially creates projects by ourselves and others’ and is a hub of creativity that only ever grows, with the addition of new contacts.  I’ve been thinking more and more recently of bringing together all of the people I’ve met, from filmmakers near the West Coast to singers in Australia and Vermont, to work on projects together, and all form a creative team of people working toward creating one solid piece of work that really doesn’t depend on money or star power because of its content and the quality of work that goes into it.  I find myself thinking more and more about creating a production company, somewhere down the line, that brings together all sorts of talented people that I’ve met over my life from singers and musicians to actors and dancers even, writers, directors, technical equipment and computer operators to pure business minds for successfully navigating the power-hungry world we live in to show the world that bringing truly talented people together with very little money but a hell of a lot of spirit is really possible, and that it happens all the time now, due to the bridging of the physical distance gap by internet technologies.  I love meeting new people online, making new contacts and fostering new relationships with people all around the world that may some day become just a friend, or help bring a project to fruition.  It’s inspiring in itself, the fact that people can and do come together on the internet and create as great a piece of work as any small-time filmmaking crew can when they’re all in the same place.  I think it’s wonderful that we can collaborate like I did on the “Friend In Need, Friend Indeed” project with filmmaker Ryan Nord all the way out in Ohio.  Maybe it’s my modern idea of an originally hippie theory of community, but it’s a wonderful thing when people don’t even have to care anymore about the distance between themselves and someone else and they just do stuff.  Of course, I would love them all to be in the same place, in a form of town all our own, full of creative types that always, always, were making something new.  But the distance is often desired.  And I’d love it.

I guess I feel the most proud of having met so many extremely talented people, from Ryan, to the crew over at Stick To What You Know, to ElizaAnne, to Cliff Burns, to Alejandro Lugo, and tons of others.  I’m proud to know so many talented and knowledgeable people that know their stuff and can get things done.  It’s the spirit of doing things and loving what you’re doing that can really get things done and that I love to find in people.  I guess the production compnay title AnimiVirtus (meaning “courage of the heart”) is very appropriate for this.  We would not only bridge physical gaps but age gaps, utilizing musicians and actors from all over the world, of all ages, through such publicity venues as Myspace, YouTube, and other such sites.  Whenever I need music, I’d look through YouTube and Myspace at the unsigned amateur artists, as both a way to get some great music, and give the musician(s) some publicity for their talents.  I love the independent, small-time, do-it-yourself spirit that seems to constantly permeate myself and now the internet filmmaker community.  It’s a wonderful thing to see people just go “Wait, screw the system, I love this project enough to get it done no matter what, and I’m not stopping until my story is told,” and then they go out and do it.  It’s the perfect age for a company like that to come around I think.  And I love thinking of the potential that we could tap into if we approached a project like that.  Alejandro Lugo said it great in a recent email to me when he said “You have to love what you’re doing… if not, find another job.”  And the greatest thing is that so far, out of all the people I’ve met that I mentioned here, they totally love what they do.  And it shows in the work.