a node at the edge  

August 11, 2002
Body Parts Campaign

One week it was teeth the next it's lips. I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's time for Rageboy to give equal time to other body parts. So, I'm starting an email campaign and am asking for your help.

To participate, copy and send the following in an email to RageBoy, replacing it with the body part of your choice:

    Dear Mr. RageBoy:

    I'm emailing you today to protest your discrimination against body parts other than those associated with the mouth. Though I appreciate the interesting teeth and the ruby red lips, I think it's past time for you to provide equal representation of other body parts.

    For instance, my personal preference is __________________. And the reason why I think you should feature _________________ is _________________________.

    And while you're at it, I wouldn't mind a word or two to go with the image. Just so we know you're still breathing and that you have a synapse or two left to spare.

    Thank you. I will name my ____________________________ after you as a gesture of gratitude.


    (Your name)

Don't hesitate. Send those emails in now, and encourage your readers to do the same.

Those who've joined the campaign:

Jeneane Sessum -- middle finger
Burningbird -- neck
Frank Paynter -- tits
Gary Turner -- septum
Elaine -- elbow
The One True b!x -- guiche (They pierce these you know)
Steve Himmer -- coccyx
Banana Bob -- cubitus
Dave Winer -- feet and ears (Dave gets two body parts because he, like RageBoy, is one of my BlogTree parents)
Howard Greenstein -- humorous...urh, sorry that's humerus
Fishrush -- 1980 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Passenger Side Headlamp Assembly
Ryan -- the big toe ('...this toe goes to the market...')
Tom Matrullo is disappointed that his favorite body part was taken already.
Denise Howell -- ankle

(This is a pretty escoteric crowd I'm finding.)

Posted by Bb at 07:01 PM
War Shit

Tom writes today that he's bowing out of war blogging:

    I think I've finally got the Iraq blogging out of my system. I wish I hadn't allowed myself to get sucked into it. It's not what people read my blog for. Readership seems to have evaporated. Emails and quotes have been conspicuously absent. I should have known better.

I can identify with Tom, because writing about politics, 'debating' with the warbloggers, and being a peaceblogger aren't necessarily the focus of this weblog, either. My focus is on people connecting with other people, technology, philosophy, the environment, photography and writing. And sensuality, can't forget sensuality.

And I have found that sensuality and war don't mix. Sensuality and politics don't mix. Sensuality and warbloggers don't mix.

(There's a pattern emerging here.)

So why do I do it? Why do I get into the debates, comment on the politics? The timing of Tom's posting is serendepitous, because the posting I pulled earlier today touched on this. I salvaged a bit of it to repeat here:

    Someone once asked me in an email if I think webloggers are journalists. I told her that webloggers aren't journalists, we're conduits; we don't originate stories, we provide pipelines to new sources of information, ones that may be escoteric or obscure or unknown to the average person on the street. And these sources of information provide the news we don't get from the mainstream press.

    If the information is interesting our readers may discuss it with their family and at work, and this news finds its way, slowly, haltingly, gradually into the non-Net world. If there are enough pipelines joining the flow, it causes ripples and eventually even the mainstream press might take a reluctant interest.

    Every once in a while I divert from my regularly scheduled programming to discuss a political topic, or to take on the warbloggers, as I've done this last week. I don't do this because I really enjoy beating my head against a wall ('it feels so good when I stop'), or because I expect to win the debate or to convince the warbloggers to see the error of their ways.

    I do it because I'm laying a pipe.

I do it because I'm laying a pipe.

Posted by Bb at 06:37 PM
Pulled posts

Sorry for the pulled post earlier. I'm having a bad post day.

Time to take my hands off the keyboard and back away slowly. Go for a drive. Stop cluttering up weblogs.com with unfulfilled pings.

Does that make me a ping tease?

Posted by Bb at 10:31 AM
Shades of Gray

I signed up for a class on B & W photography and darkroom development at the local community college, starting in October. Ever since, I've become obsessed with B & W photography. Today I checked out several books from the library that contain photos, and have also spent a little time exploring photos online.

As I look at the photos, I'm finding that there are very few styles I would be comfortable trying. With color photos, I'll try anything at least once, and be quite happy experimenting around with others' techniques. But there's a quality of B & W photography that is very personal. Something about stripping away the color and reducing your palette to shades of gray, the photography becomes a fingerprint, no two styles the same.

Among the books I checked out was Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a book that's been making the rounds of webloggers lately. The copy I got from the library was old, battered, with the cover fallling off, pages barely in place; perfect ambiance for the photos and the writing contained within it.

I looked carefully through all the Walker Evans photos and have appreciated them, though for some reason they make me feel uncomfortable. I tried to determine why each photo was special--what I liked or disliked about each--but I have no skill with deconstructing a photo. My analysis is limited to "looks good", "looks better", "wow", "not sure", and "no, don't like". This is not an auspicious start.

To gain perspective, I looked at some of Noah Grey's photos. If Evans was midday reality (Don't you feel the heat? Can't you taste the dust?) Noah is twilight dreamy--cool, soft, smooth. Lovely, but a bit safe? Is that right? They feel safe? Is this a step up from "looks good", "looks better"?

I also explored Art Zone a web site dedicated to B & W photography. I particularly liked a photo of a sax player, but I'm not sure why. I thought at first it was because of the smoke, but I think it's because of the shadow. And I was impacted by this photo by Andreas Andriopoulos, though I don't necessarily 'like it'. The subject feels alienated in the photo. Is that right? Alienated? Is this a step up from "looks good", "looks better"?

Regardless of like or dislike, I realized as I explored the different works that trying to copy any of these artists styles is repugnant--it would be like wearing someone else's skin. I am left with the lowering realization that I haven't the foggiest idea of what kind of picture to take. And when I have B & W film in the camera, it suddenly feels awkward in my hands, and the scenes seem flat. Remarkably flat. Nothing looks like it would be a good photo.

I guess I'll have to stumble about taking awful picture after awful picture until I find something that works.

It's an unusually hot night tonight, even with the air conditioner, and I can't sleep. So I'll lay in bed and look at the photos until I fall asleep and maybe my style will come to me in the night in a dream. I don't know though--I dreamed about King Kong last week so I'm not holding out hope.

Posted by Bb at 12:55 AM