Tuesday, June 06, 2006
The first name that came to mind was Keith Adams. His photojournal had a couple of different names and finally settled on Keithlife. A tall, slender Brit with a high level tech job that required a fair amount of travel and allowed him an extremely nice lifestyle in San Francisco, Keith wrote about his travels, friends, the arts, his family back in England, and his desire to get into making films in addition to rather interesting details of his daily life. Keithlife was spiced not a little by the fact that Keith liked to show off his sinewy, gym-toned body, preferably wet. While reading his account of the performance of a Mahler Symphony, you could scroll through a slide show of Keith becoming progressively less and less clothed--in various, always beautifully lit scenarios.
As the years passed, Keith finally realized his goal to make short films to scripts he wrote himself. Best of all, when he least expected it, a dinner date blossomed into the romance of his dreams. He closed down the blog when he moved to LA to be with his man and devote himself completely to the relationship. But not before giving me a consistently well-written, varied and engaging example of how to use the on-line journal format--I'm not sure there were any (or at least many) actual blogs when he started--to communicate with others like himself. When I began to blog, to develop my own style and gather a small (but choice!) circle of readers, I wished I had his email address to thank him for showing me the way.
I then went back a "generation" to one of the real pioneers. Long before "The Truman Show" dealt with the subject of having one’s life telecast to the world, Sean Patrick Williams was visible 24 hours a day via webcam. He lived in D.C. and ate, slept, cleaned, worked, cooked, entertained, watched TV and occasionally had sex on cam (although he was far more restrained in the latter regard than many other web cammers). As someone who had always been a very private person, I was fascinated by the openness of it all.
In 1998, The Advocate did a small article on Sean Patrick who shortly thereafter succumbed to the pressure of living every minute in public and shut the cam down. I didn't think to ask him at that time if he'd been influenced by some of Andy Warhol's movies, such as "Sleep", which seems like a logical progression. What I admired about his cam site was how powerful and courageous a statement it was for a gay man to take the ultimate "out" position of living a gay life on line for the whole world to see. Visuals were the dominant feature of Sean Patrick (the camsite's official title), but as time went on, he became more and more verbal about everything from his health, having been shot down by a particular date, or his thoughts on the superiority of polyurethane condoms over latex. He did it naturally and without grandstanding, and somehow it became compelling. One cared, and missed him when he was gone.
Now, of course, it's very common to be completely out on the web. I wonder if the openness aroused the current, almost universal voyeurism in American life, or if the voyeurism created and fueled the webcam/blog culture. As with so many other things, perhaps the two are inextricably entwined.
Question: Does anyone know what's happened to Jim (Persian Guy)'s blog "Way Beyond the Pale"? When I click my link or the link to him from other blogs, I get the blog of Sarah King--not the same thing at all. Any information will be gratefully received, thanks.
While I ate and cleaned up the kitchen this morning, Matt Lauer on the Today Show was interviewing Ann Coulter. She was almost enough to take away my appetite. So far in my life I haven't used the "c" word about any woman, but I was practically screaming it at the screen this morning. The rabidly right wing lawyer/commentator's got another one of her poisonous books published and Matt was doing an admirable job of taking her apart limb from limb.
She wanted to push the book but he insisted on calling her on some of her published statements maintaining the brilliance, courage, rightness and enlightenment--in effect the sanctity--of the Bush administration. He even had tape to roll of her pontificating on Bush's successes, all of which have subsequently turned to ashes. She usually has some acid tongued come-back, but Matt finally rendered her speechless and stammering "I don't know" when he demanded her current evaluation of his policies. She finally countered that it all doesn't mean anything anyway since Bush isn't running again, which Matt immediately blew out of the water by pointing out the continuing slaughter of Americans and Iraqi civilians.
She finally insisted on the book--but he was ready for her. He read, among other passages, one in which she commented on the widows of men killed in the 9/11 attacks. There may be a slight paraphrase here but the gist was, "I've never seen a bunch of widows so happy about their husbands' deaths in my life!" Remember, these are women who will have seen television shots of men and women plummeting to a mercifully quick death out of the Trade Center buildings rather than suffer an agonizingly slow one burning to death. Some of those men may have been their husbands.
When challenged, she claimed that instead of withdrawing into their homes and grieving in private, these widows were expressing political opinions IN PUBLIC! Criticizing the President! [How dare they?] Clearly they didn't love these men, she claims, because they were discussing and exploiting their deaths in the media instead of realizing that 9/11 was an attack on all America and not on their insignificant selves and families.
It is to hate-mongering scum like this that George Bush and his gang have delivered us.
I found this on Chad Fox's blog and was really deflated at the outcome. The final sentence tries to cheer me up, but it's obvious I just don't rate on the Evilometer:
|You Are 34% Evil|
A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.
i think jim (aka persian guy) is taking a bit of a break due to some family-related issues that he had mentioned in some recent posts.
Great stuff. I miss him. Look at the monster he created, too!