Blank Book

Mr. Andrews’s Apology

It’s not uncommon for an apology to be publicized; for example, Harry Shearer makes a point of archiving apologies on his weekly radio program “Le Show:”

Here is an apology that appeared last month. I can relate:!/2012/08/im-sorry.html

I think I have a soulmate.

Viv Lives!

“Open through summer 2013”

Integrity in Music Videos

Ansel Adams addressed the problem of images and text combined, and how difficult it is for one not to dominate the other; Garry Winogrand referred to the similar challenge of balancing form and content in a picture. We’ve all seen so many music videos, some of which are favorites–we memorize them, as we do with works that we find striking in all media–and some that are clearly inconsequential stinkers. Recently I was talking with my friend Paul, who was in the pit orchestra for a local production of “The King And I,” about Sonny Rollins’ excellent recording of “We Kiss In A Shadow,” with Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones; later that night I searched for it on youtube so I could send him a link. I found a stinker. Oviously, the person who did the posting mostly wanted to get the music up, and then complemented it with a piece of nouvelle vague cinema. I watched for the first time through, then averted my eyes during subsequent hearings.

Several days later I was directed to this new music video: a piece by Randy Newman which is so integrated that I cannot imagine hearing it without watching, and vice versa:

See if you agree.

Q. o’ th’ D. (x 5 or so): Philip Perkis

“I’m really interested in the fact that looking can be magic. If my pictures convey that at all, then I’m really successful. My process is so incredibly simple. I really do almost nothing. I just put a camera between me and what I’m looking at and I click it. There’s no technology involved in what I’m doing at all. The magic is in looking. Looking really is a miracle.”

Surveillance of Surveillance

“Any and all things are photographable.” -Garry Winogrand, 1974.

W. o’ W.: Luc Sante

Regarding “the foundational paradox of street photography:”

“Its practitioner is right there in the middle of the scene, ostensibly a biped like any other, subject to the same conditions of weather and traffic, and yet the photographer’s eye is of necessity detached. The photographer’s job is to part the veil of pretext–the business or pageantry or camaraderie or regimentation that ostensibly determines the meaning of the tableau–and isolate the specifics, which may well reveal a completely different and perhaps violently contrasting truth. This work separates the photographer from the other actors on the scene even if he or she shares their beliefs. Maybe at length it will chip away at those beliefs. Maybe the discipline imposed by the task will cause the photographer to question the bases of whatever presents itself to his or her eye, and not just the camera’s lens. Maybe the eye and the lens will become so interchangeable that the photographer will in a sense be perpetually working. It’s a lonely job.”

The rest of this essay, and these images, are in Simpson Kalisher’s recent book (his third in fifty years), “The Alienated Photographer.” Get this book.

Found, on page 16 of a 27-page public document

Short statements to the press do not (and, in many instances, cannot) address the carefully-reasoned finer distinctions in a complex situation. The NYT was succinct in its explanation, but everyone who can click to this blawwg is capable of digesting the contents of the source material, rather than leave it to others to interpret for us.

Here is one of many worthy nuggets, (typos intact):

            “Sections 66.0506, 118.245, 111.70(1)(f), 111.70 (3g), 111.70 (4) (mb) and 111.70 (4)(d)3 single out and encumber the rights of those employees who choose union membership and representation  solely because of that association and therefore infringe upon the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by both the Wisconsin and the United States Constitutions.

           These are fundamental rights and the infringement having been shown, the burden shifts to the defendants to establish that the harm done to the constitutional right is outweighed by the evil it seeks to prevent. Because defendants contend there is no infringement of the rights of speech and association, they offer no evidence of the evil the government seeks to prevent by the infringing provisions. Without any evidence or argument that the infringement serves to prevent an evil in the operation of the bargaining system created by the statutes, the court must find the infringement to be excessive and to violate the constitutional rights of free speech and association.”

BTW, this is not the author of the document:

…nor does this image accurately represent the writer:

Sorry, I have to leaven. I will, however, warn those who share the Proofreading Disease with moi that there are causes to cringe (pp. 2 & 17, for instances).

W. o’ W.: James Luckett

“I quit every other day and the other days I don’t even bother. I should’ve been a poet or a painter, or even smarter, taken those automotive repair classes in high school or got a good job at the shipyard like everyone else. Maybe I should’ve went to a vocational cooking school, or better pestered my mother into buying me an electric guitar when I was twelve so I could’ve run away at fifteen to a southern California suburb to star in an angry punk rock band. Instead what I’ve got are cameras, film, a darkroom I can’t afford, chemicals and paper. Yet even with these riches I scarcely manage to fit any one thing worth your whiles to the confines of the material, never mind the unending erosion, for better or worse, of my very own wiles. It’s a feeble medium and it’s not keen to forgive. On my best days I think to tell the world important things, but let’s be honest, I cannot. It doesn’t work that way. It’s the cameras that do the telling and the most they ever tell me is what I’m in need of knowing. I scratch out the bits and pieces I remember and do what I can to smuggle them out to you. I try my best. I try to guess where you’ll be. I try to pronounce the languages you might speak. I try to carry on the mannerisms that might make your mind. I don’t know. The cameras don’t care what they do. The cameras don’t need to be used. There are long lonely days when I think the cameras are just fine by themselves as if maybe I should’ve been somebody else. Like what I should’ve been is a clerk, a conductor, an electrician. Some kind of catalyst. Pure and invisible.”


My LF Wish List

1. A larger dark cloth (have you seen me fight with mine?).

2. A slightly taller stepstool (this is not a joke).

3. An assistant! Brilliant!

4. A documentary videographer (not so essential).