Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Bard Speaks - I Have Sex Video

This Bard being the students of Bard College. This video was created in support of Planned Parenthood.

You don't have to be a young person to use the services of Planned Parenthood. There are middle aged and older people having unprotected sex. You have to know that sexually transmitted diseases do no respect age or how much hair dye you use.

Planned Parenthood is a resource you can use to get tested for STDs at any age. Let folks know that this is more than about abortion services. It is about access to sexual and reproductive health care.

In other words, sex isn't just for the young folk and if your retirement fund is a little skimpy you might want to have a reproductive health back-up plan.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Citizen Journalism Discussion at Pasadena Library

The term citizen journalism is often used as a pejorative by mainstream media unless those same citizens make it easier for mainstream and corporate journalist folks to whip up a quick story.

Just got an e-mail that Andrea Coleman of the Pasadena Weekly will be having a discussion about citizen on March 29, 2011 in the Donald R. Wright Auditorium at the Pasadena Central Library. 285 E. Walnut St., in Pasadena starting at 6:00pm.

I happen to think the term is more expansive than the professionals give credit and most times they don't or they are dressed up in carpet bagging clothing. Yes, I have biases and opinions which is not the same as reporting and journalism.

I am a blogger, not a journalist but I have friends all over the joint. If I can find my camcorder and find a way to get home back I'll try to make it but no promises.

I've been burned before by these type of events. I hope it is really is a discussion and not folks betting up on bloggers, non-corporate reporters and independent story tellers.

I'll need 24 more hours to improve my mood anyway.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Poetry In Plain Sight - Gina Bove

The next poem up on deck is from Gina Bove who is also in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, Issue #49.

Don't forget folks, April is National Poetry Month and there will be all kinds of doings in unexpected places.

Poetry In Plain Sight - Nick Barrett

Yes, I've been a little slow on the uploading. I'm sorry. This is my way of making amends. First up is Nicholas Barrett and his poem is called Mercy Tree.

For more info check out http://sgvpq.blogspot.com

It is the life/time thing again. I almost bought an iTouch 4th Generation this weekend. I could record and edit via iMovie on the bus and upload as soon as I walked in the door. I couldn't bring myself to do it. $299 and I still would have had to buy a protective case, a mount to steady the iTouch4G and $5 for the iMovie app.

Every time I watch stuff from Majek Pictures it makes me crazy. They have a web series shot on an iPhone4G and have begun editing the video via the iPad2. Sigh.

I almost talked myself into doing it but I just knew that I'd step on it or break it. It is so small. The good news is that I found out from Tom Merritt at TWIT.tv that the older Wi-Fi model is selling for $349. You have to dig for it at the Apple site but that would make more sense.

Except it doesn't make sense.

The Stripper Bookstores and the License to Read

I don't want to misled anyone. This is not about strippers running bookstores. This is memory about an old bookstore and news vendor practice. On my other blog, Create Video Notebook, I was explaining about being willing to learn when you know nothing about a topic.

As a teen I really wanted to know about photography but outside of looking at Life Magazine there wasn't the information explosion that is occurring now. There were photography books at the library.

Most of those books talked about chemicals, processing charts or lighting concepts. I didn't understand a word or the multiple charts that were in those books. There were art books about photographers. Karsh, Diane Arbus, the photographers on the WPA project. It did not matter I went through those books like a house on fire.

I wanted to do what they did but I couldn't make the connection between their work and the technical photography guides. It was a secret closed language.

I don't know about the rest of the country but on the east coast there were bookstores and magazine stands. A lot of them. They did good business but not everything sold.

What the newspaper and bookstore vendors were supposed to do with unsold items was to strip off the top portion of the cover of a magazine or the full cover of a book and send it back to the distributor or publisher. This would indicate that this item was unsold and disposed of.

I guess there was some kind of credit in place, I don't know.

The reality was that instead of throwing perfectly ok materials in the trash there was usually a back room or pile where you could pick up said items for 25 cents to $1. Being a broke person who generally only had 50 cents to a $1 at a time this was a win-win situation for me.

I could buy the photography magazines. I could buy Harlan Ellison and fall in love with his rants and some of his fiction. I picked up cooking magazines art and design books, Philip K. Dick and whatever else I could put my hot little hands on.

I had to decide between Dirty Duck and Pudge, Girl Blimp. It was stressful because if you didn't pick it up on Friday afternoon it might not be there when you got back to the store on Monday. I had to go with Pudge, that girl was whacked.

Now as long as one or two of them where doing it on the down low there wasn't much of a fuss. When people were opening full scale stripped bookstores is when it got out of hand.

It was understandably from an author and publisher point of view a nightmare. The publisher sells 10 magazines to the bookstore, sells six and loses money on four of them only to have the bookstore make hand over fist money at 25 cents per book or magazine.

I'm not condoning theft. Nope. It was hurtful in the short term view of things.

Except I and many other people were able to sample a variety of content that we might not have risked money on. Because in time I did pay full price for Harlan Ellison's books, photography magazines and other types of reading materials.

This goes back to the HarperCollins 26 e-book lock down being proposed. A library has the ability to expose readers to new content. Placing a license lock on that content restricts access to those who might want to read it.

Maybe that is the point. I don't know. But books and information can't really be sold like a pack of Ding Dongs.

I think the old newspaper and bookstore folks were on to something. It wasn't just the old discounted stuff that sold. Some people bought new books and magazines as well as the discounted items.

Unrestricted access does produce paying readers.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Betty Wright - Clean Up Medley on the Freakout Extra

Oh my goodness. This was so much fun to watch I might turn around and watch it again. Way back in the day Betty Wright had a hit called Clean Up Woman; a very instructional song about love, attention and opportunistic people willing to recycle your discarded loved one.

Time passes and Betty, who really is a talented woman, re-creates her hit woven with with musical imitations of Patti LaBelle, Tina Turner, Barbara Mason, the O'Jays and Al Green.

I'm petitioning for folks to remember Betty Wright for Women's History Month; the musicians and performers who knew how to command a stage and left you feeling better than when you walked in the door.

No special effects, no gimmicks, just a master making magic on the stage.

Be My Valentine on the Finally Friday Freakout

Normally I would hesitate to have any reference of that long delinquent love archer on the blog but I am making an exception. First the introductions; the musician is Johnny Blu who is a man with a very pleasing voice.

So why the video? Well, because I like the video and it was shot on a iPhone4. It also has a filter on the video by the 8MM Vintage Camera app (application to the old schoolers).

Can a woman be seduced by technology? This one can. Johnny is right nice looking, don't get me wrong, but I was really was looking at how the app performed. Then I started listening to his voice and it was a win-win kind of thing.

You never know where your passions are going to lead you.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ellen Snortland Video and Taking A Risk

Ellen Snortland is a well known columnist at the Pasadena Weekly. She writes about being able to defend yourself, reproductive issues and the concerns of a being a woman in these times.

This video has none of that. Ellen took a comedy class and this is the graduation performance.

I'm posting it because I am about to cross another age marker known as a birthday. I need mentors. I need women my age saying they want to get laid. Let it be known that here is joy to be found in the larger Padumpadumps region of the mature body.

I'm really posting this because she is taking a chance. Going beyond the comfort zone. Age does not exempt you from living or exploring. That is the most important reminder of all.

Go for it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Understandable Explanation About Fukushima Reactor

Professor Martyn Poliakoff is at the University of Nottingham does a great job of explaining science topics to N00bs like me.

I've been watching the Periodic Table videos for a long time. This is a video of what is going on with the reactor, the problems about using salt water to cool things down and what is the deal with iodine tablets.

The professor does a really good job of explaining what is going on with the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan. I don't know about you but every other thought is about that reactor.

When I'm not succeeding about thinking about something else I also am getting mental reminders about the 1954 Sci-Fi classic movie Them!

There may be an ad in front of the trailer. Those of you not into surfer chicks you can skip it in 4 seconds. Those of you that are into surfer chick hold on for about 4 seconds and then enjoy.

The rest of us, do what you can where you can.

Ship of Fools on the Finally Friday Freakout

It is my weekend. I haven't seen the complete movie Ship of Fools in years. I don't even remember this scene. Looking at it now I can tell you Oskar is hot.

I like it even better that he is hot for Simone. That woman was radiant. You would be took if you had Oskar looking at you like that.

Sorry, I've used up all the intellect I had allocated for the day. Just a cinematic memory of when men were courtly even when they wanted to jump your bones.

Even if those bones had padding.

That is all.

Update on the PBS and NPR Funding

Most of you know that I am a Contributing Editor at BlogHer. It is a challenge when I have to fit in writing, research and the day job. All this and poetry videos too. In January I wrote a post about do we still need the Public Broadcasting System. So much has happened regarding attacks on PBS and governmental jockeying of resources.

Back in the day our favorite sweater dude, Fred Rogers made a heart felt plea to Congress to fund public television.

Watch the full episode. See more Mister Rogers.

No lie, I miss this dude. I miss what he represented as an adult male public figure. I can't think of a reasonable contemporary successor. There is one but I can't place him at the moment.

Hell, off track again. I do not question the importance of funding public television and National Public Radio. I have benefited and had my world expanded by the programs on both services.

I do wonder if constantly having to go back to a partisan knock down drag out fight each and every year just to ensure survival is the way to go. One of the things that crossed my mind is to perhaps make it similar to the United States Post Office in that it is taken out of the congressional budget, given a dedicated line of funding and allow it to find ways to generate income.

Just a thought.

Those in favor of funding:
Those in favor of cutting funding:
It is up to us. I don't have too much faith in a nation that worships coke-a-holics and jewel thieves and rewards them with adulation.

Maybe the world will end in May.*

But if not, what are we going to do?

*Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. There is a religious group that believes that the end time is actually May 2011. Some folks have left their jobs, homes and everything because they anticipating the mothership, chariot or the heavenly night train to make a pick-up around that time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Poetry In Plain Sight - Eleanor Higgins

About two weeks ago Eleanor and I were sitting on the library bench talking about stuff. We were outside appreciating the beautiful weather. Eleanor was at Cal State Northridge University during the Northridge quake.

The Internet was just still in the GOPHER space, e-mail was king and if you had 56k you were doing pretty good. After the Northridge quake Eleanor told me about folks teaching in their cars and communicating via e-mail. Buildings were destroyed. Everything changed.

We joked about that old erroneous meme about warm weather and earthquakes. Intellectually we know it is not true. Fear and the need for an answer kinda trumps facts. It should not be so but look at America the past two years.

We done gone plum stupid; in my opinion. This poem, however, is not stupid. It is kinda cool.

This is Eleanor's poem about not wanting to be a grown up tonight. It is a fun poem and it is ok to have a bit of fun when your emotional knees are knocking.

One way for people up and down the Pacific Coast can do to help with that emotional knee knocking is re-stocking your Emergency Supply Kit. Batteries, radios, top-up cards for the cell phones, money and the essentials.

Yes, that is a grown-up thing to but in transactional analysis there is the child, the teen and the parent all contained in one body. Let the kid play as the other two of you get busy and stock up on what you need to survive for a couple of days.

To Get You Started:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Metropolis (1927) on the Finally Friday Freakout

I'm branching out the Freakout to include movies I want to view, remember or are inspired by the craft of film making. I still haven't seen this movie, shame on me.

This is a restored and enhanced version of the great 1927 silent movie distributed by Kino.

This is what I call future-casting. Lemme see, wealthy upper class folks enjoying life and culture? Yep. Labor class works and is drained of individuality? Yep.

Mass revolt, destruction and creation of new world view? Sounds about right. I've got to make some time to learn about Fritz Lang. I make no connection to what is going on in the U.S. on the state level.

Y'all can go back to 1911 if you want to: Me? I like the future just fine. We don't have to worry about the end of the world. I'm just trying to make it to the end of each week.

The British Film Institute page on his work is a starting point.

Metropolis1927.com is dedicated to the film, scroll down the page for links and commentary about the film, production and how it took 83 years for the film to be seen as it was originally intended.

Er...I'm in study mode, dig you later.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Poetry In Plain Sight - Ajarae

It is the last few hours of International Women's Day. I didn't make it to a bridge. It was all I could do not to sneeze. There are some power winds blowing.

These are not my beloved Santa Ana winds. There is no warmth in the wind blowing outside, just forces of nature. Sometimes the forces gang up on you.

You need reinforcements. You might have to reach for a book of poems to brace yourself up. These are two short inspirational poems from Ajarea to help stoke the inner light.

For more information on the doing of the San Gabriel poetry community skedaddle on over to the Saturday Afternoon Poetry blog.

In local poetry news:

Don Kingfisher Campbell has a new poetry mp3 up on Amazon.

Also The Inner Four has a couple of sonnets and whatnots available for purchase.

If you live in Whittier, CA and are a poet you still have time to enter the poetry contest run by The Writers Club of Whittier. They are looking for poems 30 lines or less. For more info check out the Keep A Poem in Your Pocket on Facebook.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Another View About HarperCollins e-Book License

I'm not sure we are gonna make it to 2012. This year is frisky enough as it is. Mercy! The latest thing to get me all twisty is the HarperCollins e-book flap. In a nutshell, HarperCollins wants to change the buying terms for e-books for libraries. Instead of one book, one reader one purchase they want to change to a license model.

For example, if a library has an e-book that they lend to library users they can only do that 26 times per book. After that time the library would have to pony up for another license for the next 26 readers.

So let's say the e-book in question is To Kill A Mockingbird. The first 26 people get to read the book. The library looks at the purchasing budget already slashed to hell by city and local governments. They don't have the money to get another license. To Kill A Mockingbird is no longer available at that library.

No sweat you say, what about e-book inter-library loan?

You don't think for a moment that the publisher is going to stand for any form of inter-library loan of an e-book, do you? I doubt if they would even consider inter-branch acceptable. Let's not forget about the license fee, the library would pay one way or the other.

The choice is to either not purchase the e-book or repeatedly pay for the right to distribute the e-book to library users.

Wait a minute you say. There is another choice, just plunk down $7.99 for a paperback copy. And you would be right. The library could do that, so long as there is a physical copy to be obtained.

But time changes things. Mimeo paper use to be common. It isn't any more. There may be a time when a physical book is no longer published.

What if the publisher only had e-book copies of certain books? What if the library e-book is in low but steady demand? Does the library still buy the book at $26 a pop when you might loan only three copies a year for five years?

This is getting messy. Would a library invest in one poet e-book or an anthology? Would the library even buy poetry books, essays, philosophy books or political analysis of historical events?

Does the library stock historical cookbooks, wood crafting books or automotive manuals? Does a non-music contain practice books and musical scores? Will the decision be made to have only one physical or electronic copy of a book?

Do you really want to put commercial book publishers in a position of deciding the amount of times a library book can be read? Because that can become content control. That control could be taken away from librarians and libraries.

I'm asking folks to really think about the implications of that question.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Do You Want to Gather Bridge on March 8th?

March 8, 2011 is International Day of the Women. I can tell you this year has been kinda rough on women and girls and we are only in month 3. Various state and federal proposals to remove pre-school, funding for Planned Parenthood, de-funding PBS and NPR, criminalizing women who have miscarriages and on and on and on.

And that is trivial, so trivial when compared to unarmed women being shot while protesting in the Ivory Coast.

Yes, it is bad when unarmed men get shot too. Here is a thought; y'all can keep the guns and we melt down the bullets. You still can kill but you have to put some effort into it.

Anyway, this is a video about making a symbolic global meet up on a bridge in solidarity with women around the world. Google has a page about the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day Join Women on the Bridge.

I have a bridge near me. I'd be worried I would be the only one on it. Tuesday is a work day. If I do this I might have to develop instant influenza. Then again, that fear of heights thing is kicking in.

Hey, I'm not perfect. I am an earth based being that looks to the stars but is connected to the ground. A better solution might be to hang out at a bridge after work or something. I could find a land bridge. I'll add that to today's mission list.

I know somebody must be working on meeting a virtual bridge. Still, you gotta make time do stuff in the real world.

We are not cyborgs yet.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Johnny Guitar - The Film I Missed That I Shouldn't Have

This is a school of my own making by the way. Citizen Kane, Forbidden Planet Pressburger and Powell movies and just about anybody's film noir. I may have heard about the movie Johnny Guitar but if I knew that Joan Crawford was in it I would have passed it by.

Independent of her reported personal life I just don't cotton to her as a film star. She is the rough rider. Crawford is either bullet tough or spooky.

Not seeing this movie was a big mistake. Huge. This is one quirky kick-ass movie. It is not a woman's film. This is a film that has women in the lead and the men are in a subordinate character position. And yeah this is a shoot `em up western.

This is a segment of the film where the characters are introducing themselves to the audience. Check it out:

I gotta tell you this is a full flavor western. These women are playing for land, power and control. It is about the railroad, cattle ranchers and the new blood coming into the community.

Cattle ranchers don't like farmers or city folk. They don't want change. They don't want a railroad depot. What would you do to preserve in amber your way of life?

New kid in town sees the future and is getting ready for it. Nobody is going to get in her way. The railroad is the symbol of change, of money and opportunity. It is a way to obtain power and control.

The two lead actresses are fierce. Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge ain't sleep walking through this one. Each one is pitch perfect in their roles.

When you are not focusing on the story the eye notices the beautiful colors, the intensity of colors in the interior and exterior shots. The land is a bright dirt red. The sky a vibrant blue. I'm going to have to watch it again with the sound off just looking at the composition of the shots and the colors.

When we think about the 1950s and films it is brought up as the time of the happy housewife. The time when the men have the adventure and the women stay home waiting tending home and hearth. The movies of that time reflected that attitude.

Not this one. Yes, there is a love object. Sterling Hayden is a fine actor. Subtle. Sometimes he is there in the moment and sometimes he is the focal point of the scene.

I've been mulling this movie over and over again trying to understand the historical place in time, the one in the western and 1954. Much to think about and contemplate.

Anyway this is as good a start as any to Women's History Month.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Poetry in Plain Sight - Angel Uriel Perales

You learn something every day. If you are open to it. I learned that I should not open my big mouth when I am riled up. I need space to figure out is it me or is it the situation. Most times it is me.


I keep failing the lesson and it is repeated. Just like the month of January. All the things I wanted to do in the prior year are hoovering like a specter going "Gotcha" before they fade into this years mission. January is the mark of the end and the beginning.

This is a poem by Angel Uriel Perales called January Dawn.

When I looked up Angel's name to find a web site or blog about him I got all kinds of stuff. If you would like to read more of his work you can check out his page at Poetry Diversity.

But learning about his name gets deeper. Apparently there is an anime character who is the Angel of Death. The series called Angel Sanctuary. The images from the video I've seen looks like a goth person with wings to me.

Not to be confused with the Archangel Uriel aka Fire of God, Flame of God or Sun of God. Special shout out to any and all persons, vessels, conduits and channels for entities so named on the other side of the vapors.

Today was a January day in March for me. Listing to the poem again did not make me feel better. But at least there is a realm of understanding.

Gotta start somewhere.