The Revolution Will Be Televised
I live in San Francisco. I'm an artist, an activist, an anarchist and an archivist; this is my videoblog.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Crooks and Liars recently dished out this particularly fascinating Bushism. First Condi calls Bush her husband, then Bush writes a letter declaring no more public scatalogy with Miers, and now a truly Oedipal malapropism from the president itself. Just what sort of debauchery is going on in the Bush house? Sure, Clinton got a blowjob... but with all these shenanigans Bush really does one up Bill on the kink factor. More Kink, More Kill. Put that bumpersticker on your Hummer, Arnie. TAG: Bushism
Military Recruiters Return to SFSU
Last year recruiters from the Air Force OTC and the Army Corps of Engineers decided to attend a career fair held on the campus of San Francisco State. Dozens of students turned out to protest the recruiters presence on campus and I had the chance to film the protest which resulted in the school filing disciplinary action against numerous student groups and individual organizers.
Yesterday, the Marines showed up to the career fair, and faced with threats of disciplinary action, the students at SAW came up with an interesting approach to protest the recruiters and ensure that no students would join at the fair.
During the entire duration of the career fair from 11AM-3PM, student activists waited in line to speak with the recruiters. Most students chose to focus their discussions with the recruiters around military policy which discriminates against gays and lesbians and conflicts directly with the school's anti-discrimination policies. Other students focused on the alarming incidence of sexual assault amongst females in the military and still others focused on the death toll in Iraq and attempted to remind the recruiters of the potential consequences of their actions.
Police presence at the career fair was especially heavy, with over a half-dozen officers monitoring the student activists. While the conversations with the recruiters did focus on sensitive issues, both the students and Marines acted in a polite and restrained manner and the cops did not intervene at any point.
Although a few students appeared to actually be interested in signing up for Marines, they were forced to wait in a very long line to talk to the recruiters and were exposed to the issues SAW sought to address while they waited.
In what seems like the administrations ongoing attempts to curtail free speech, students entering the career fair were not only required to show their student identification, they were also required to surrender their ID during their visit to the career fair. When asked about this unconventional policy, a worker at the fair told me it was for "security." After a follow-up question, she told me that there were protestors at the fair and the school needed to know exactly who was at the fair. Not only is this policy intimidating and contributes to a lack of privacy, but also threatens to create a chilling effect on free speech and should not continue.
I shot some video footage with my digital camera, but the sound is terrible. I might edit something together over the weekend, then again, I might not...
TAGS: SFSU, collegenotcombat, sanfrancisco, SF, counterrecruitment, protest
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
This mashup video was the intro sequence for another episode of my public access show citiZine that I put together sometime last year. The video is cut to a track by the Church of Euthanasia called, Save The Planet, Kill Yourself. The video features clips from various GNN videos including Eminem's White America, as well as The Simpsons, a Leonardo DiCaprio film about global warming, and some local stuff that myself and others shot for the show.
Friday, October 21, 2005
San Francisco Anti-War March S24
I finally got around to editing the footage from the anti-war rally on September 24th. I shot most of the footage, but my friend Holland also managed to get some really great shots from the event that I included as well. The piece utilizes entirely native sound, so hopefully it evokes the feeling of actually be there.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
An Open Letter to Al Gore
Dear Vice-President Gore,
My name is Josh Wolf; in the Current Studio, I post as Insurgent, and I'm the organizer for the San Francisco Current TV Meet-up group. I really enjoyed reading your speech at the We Media conference and was fortunate enough to find the video on Andy Carvin's blog. I couldn't agree more with your perceptions on the state of American democracy, and I too have been feeling like the country has entered an alternate universe for quite some time. Of course, living in San Francisco, we live in an almost alternate-alternate universe. A place where things just seem to make more sense. People in this city seem to think a little bit more, or maybe they just think more like me. Either way, it seems to me that San Francisco lives in a unique ecosystem in which people really are exposed to a more egalitarian plate of information. Between the independent weeklies, and our net-obsession, mainstream media really does take a back-seat. I think FOX news is watched more for entertainment than it is used as a means to actually stay informed.
I agree with everything you stated in your speech, but, at the same time, I'm disheartened by how Current TV isn't living up to the ideologies that you've embraced in your address. Like you, I agree that the marketplace of ideas has closed shop, and, done ethically, Current TV has an opportunity to play a vital role in restoring an egalitarian means for the dissemination of information. Thus far, Current has not really worked towards achieving this goal, and I think this has brought much frustration to many people amongst the community of independent producers; Jeff Jarvis' recent sentiments on Buzz Machine reflect this. In order to become a true success, it's crucial that Current stop looking at the community as potential assets and embrace us as the integral part of this movement we are. In the words of Alice Walker, "We are the people we've been waiting for." It is counter-intuitive to approach the goals you've proposed without solidarity and compassion.
When INdTV decided to abandon the Digital Correspondent position, your company had a moral duty to come clean with the 2,000 applicants that poured so much of their time and energy into becoming part of such a transformative network. Instead, a cryptic e-mail was sent out days before Thanksgiving, and no one at the company has ever publicly stated that Current's model underwent a dramatic change and eliminated the position. Did you owe it to the community to hire the 50 DCs INdTV originally intended? Of course not, but, I do feel that INdTV's response was somewhat deceptive. This incident was the first of several which have left me feeling like Current is in need of maturation before it can begin to truly address its mission.
As you stated in your speech,
The three most important characteristics of this marketplace of ideas were:
1) It was open to every individual, with no barriers to entry, save the necessity of literacy. This access, it is crucial to add, applied not only to the receipt of information but also to the ability to contribute information directly into the flow of ideas that was available to all;
2) The fate of ideas contributed by individuals depended, for the most part, on an emergent Meritocracy of Ideas. Those judged by the market to be good rose to the top, regardless of the wealth or class of the individual responsible for them;
3) The accepted rules of discourse presumed that the participants were all governed by an unspoken duty to search for general agreement. That is what a "Conversation of Democracy" is all about."
1) Current TV is open to an elite group of individuals in that participation mandates the possession of both a fairly-recent computer and video camera. Unless Current TV were to establish a partnership with public access stations across the country, or developed its own brick-and-mortar media centers then only people of a certain economic standard that can afford the equipment, can really contribute to the marketplace. Furthermore, as almost all of the pieces green-lit seem to be from producers with either significant professional or academic experience, to have a piece screened on Current TV one needs a significant level of expertise within the craft which is not to any real extent being facilitated by Current.
2) Within the Current Studio, those judged to be the best by the Studio members are only considered for air, and the actual criterion necessary to achieve entrance into the marketplace is vague at best and quite nebulous. While the ten pods with the most green-lights have mostly been chosen for air, a cursory glance at their stats clearly indicates that they have received a disproportionate exposure, and as one would expect, have more green-lights than other films that have been viewed a fraction of the time. Unless there is an objective and transparent criterion set forth for a video to get on air, and unless that process is directly affected by community input, then Current TV is not working towards democratizing TV so much as playing one on TV. Furthermore, as Current has elected to seek much of their content from outside the Studio community, Current has a duty to provide compensation which, if not equal to the costs associated with this other material, is at least equitable.
To offer a first-time VC contributor $250 for exclusive rights to his video, and then acquire other pods produced by a commercial entity at market rate is exploitation and effectively paints the studio community as second-class producers. The rate doesn't need to be equal, but it either needs to be equitable, or Current needs to pursue a non-exclusive license instead. The way the system works right now, Current's success could potentially threaten the advances that truly independent media is making through the internet right now. Literally thousands of people are putting their media on to the internet every day, and many of these people are doing it for free through sites like ourmedia.org.
And people really are tuning in, videoblogs are being watched by a niche group, but it's a growing segment of the population, and with the release of the video iPod its success is almost guaranteed. One vlog, Rocketboom has over 10,000 visitors daily. What you say is true, "as exciting as the Internet is, it still lacks the single most powerful characteristic of the television medium... it does not support the real-time mass distribution of full-motion video," but there is a growing community, the early adopters, who really do consume most of their video via the internet. You can't possibly argue that these people aren't contributing to the marketplace of ideas in a real and profound way, and yet Current TV forces them to choose whether to independently publish their media or to allow Current to be its sole home.
3) Honestly, I'm not entirely sure what the third tenant embodies, but something tells me that the implication of a wiki within Current TV could further this goal.
I'm very excited about the potential Current TV has to make a difference, and your words at We Media were empowering. It was my initial experiences with INdTV that helped inspire me to help establish the Rise Up Network (RUN), a non-profit organization providing the tools and resources necessary to facilitate the democratization of the media with a focus on video production and online distribution. I'm curious to know whether you feel my concerns have merit, and would appreciate the opportunity to converse with you and to help make Current the network its waiting to become. "We are the people we've been waiting for." Let's make Current a network the community can truly call its own.
Thank you for your time.
The Revolution Will Be Televised
Tags: TAGS: wemedia, currenttv, algore
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
The Bay Area is Talking
Just dropping a little note that I'll be guestblogging at The Bay Area is Taliking. If you get a chance stop by and say "hi;" The Bay Area is Talking, but the real question is, who's listening?
Friday, October 14, 2005
Frank Chu: Words of Wisdom
Frak Chu, a well known character in San Francisco who actually has a nightclub on Mission St. named after him, speaks with me for a couple minutes at the September 24th protest against the war.
I've spent a while over the past year interviewing Frank Chu, and the more I listen to him, the more he actually starts to make sound somewhat sensible. And he sticks to talking points better than Ken Mehlman. Say it with me now, "George Bush should be tried for war crimes..."
About a year ago I took a Digital Video class at San Francisco State. This video was my final project for the class. The Phoenix is comprised of two of my short films sandwiched adjacent to each other.
The first film is titled Cause for Concern and was shot on a 16mm bolex camera and edited on film. The film stars Pooja Jain and Ben Salisbury and features music by AFI and Jeffries Fan Club
The second film was created as a title sequence for my public access show citiZine a while back and is a video mash-up cut to Rage Against the Machine.
This film is actually quite personal. Both in regards to my departure from majoring in film at school and shooting in 16mm, but both segments in the film represent two very different stages in my life. If you get the opportunity, please do let me know what you think. Thanks!
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Mos Def Katrina Klap Video
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
A Very Good Idea From the Onion
Perhaps the Bush Administration should take a cue from the latest issue of the Onion.
"As your president, it is my duty to see this nation through any crisis, no matter how severe. And as your president, I pledge to you that I will find a man capable of doing just that," Bush said. "I will not—I repeat, I will not—let you down."
While many Beltway insiders have named senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ) as likely candidates, White House sources revealed that Bush may be leaning toward a stalwart loyalist. The list reportedly includes fellow Yale graduates, Midland, TX business associates, and various GOP fundraisers with connections to the Bush family.
"Despite their inexperience in government, they've clearly passed the Bush character test," said a White House staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "I think the president is looking for someone he's comfortable with and can trust, above all else. A [former FEMA director] Michael Brown type, or maybe even Brown himself."
Between The Daily Show's fake news and the Onion, the country is in all likelihood portrayed far more realistic than the mainstream media...
Supreme Court Rant
A couple days ago, I received an e-mail from Free Speech TV asking me if I could contribute something for an upcoming episode of their original program Source Code. The episode focuses on the judicial system and wont be aired for about three weeks. They wanted something immediately, this is what I sent them...
I didn't have much time, and I'm holding a camera in front of my own face still feels quite forced. It's just not my style, but I didn't really have much time to create anything else on the topic of the Supreme Court.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
"No more public scatology" -George Bush
In 1997, Miers sent Bush a belated birthday card featuring a sad-looking dog and the note: "Dear Governor GWB, You are the best Governor ever -- deserving of great respect!" She added, "At least for thirty days -- you are not younger than me."Huh? According to Dictionary.com scatology can be defined as "An obsession with excrement or excretory functions."
Bush's birthdate is July 6, 1946; Miers' is August 10, 1945.
Bush wrote back to wish Miers a happy 52nd birthday, telling her that he appreciated her friendship and to "never hold back your sage advice." He ended with a postscript: "No more public scatology."
What exactly did Bush and Mier's relationship entail... public scatology? That's so kinky... Is John Gannon part of this somehow seems like he would've wanted in on the action.
On a *slightly* related note, 24 Hours on Craigslistis playing through the 17th of this month at the Red Vic on Haight St.
Friday, October 07, 2005
When C-SPAN Leaves You Speechless...
You know the country is a mess.
Just stumbled onto this video from Crooks And Liars, I don't believe it happens very often that the House of Representatives chant's "Shame," it almost felt like a mass arrest at an SF protest.
But yeah, check out this video from C-SPAN it's actually quite captivating and rather disturbing when you stop to think about it. Maybe we need the post-election revision of the video for Eminem's Mosh.
as we set our aside our differences and assemble our own army, to disarm this weapon of mass destruction that we call president, for the present. And mosh for the future of our next generation. To speak and be heard. Mr. President. Mr. Senator. Can you guys, hear us?
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Go Fuck Yourself Mr. Cheney Music Video
Dr. Ben Marble made headlines last month when he told Dick Cheney, "Go Fuck Yourself." The incident was captured on national television, and I recently came across Ben's site and found the video Ben's friend shot of Katrina's wreckage that day and the now famous outburst. At the end of the 34:00 minute is a music video that Ben's band, Dr. O put together.
Click on the picture to see the Dr. O video.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Mashups in the Middle
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Coming Up: An Ad for... me?
I recently had the opportunity to speak on the Using the Internet to Kick the Man's Ass panel at Webzine 2005.
Rene, who helped organize this year's webzine created the Meet The Zinester's space up in the attic where people could talk about their site and what brought them to webzine. She recently finished posting the clips in segments up on her site. Well, I took my little segment, and dropped some music behind it in an attempt to cover-up the distracting audio and here it is... an ad for me...
Watching this thing, I'm reminded of video dating and involuntarily cringe, but for some reason I'm still posting it...
Oh yeah, and when I say, "we've built a system" it's been built in my mind, but we haven't actually built it in webspace yet. Want to help us bring RUN into existence?"
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Los Angeles is Burning
Photos: LA Times, NowPublic
Lyrics: Bad Religion
This is not a test
of the emergency broadcast system
When Malibu fires and radio towers
Conspire to dance again
And I cannot believe the Media Mecca
They're only trying to peddle Reality
Catch it on Prime time
Story at nine
The whole world is going insane
When the hills of Los Angeles are burning
Palm trees are candles in the murder wind
So many lives are on the breeze
Even the stars are ill at ease
And Los Angeles is Burning
A placard reads "the end of days"
Jacaranda boughs are bending in the haze
More a question than a curse
How could hell be any worse
The flames are stunning
The cameras running
So take warning!