author: Jerry Stahl
average rating: 4.62
book published: 2015
read at: 2015/07/31
date added: 2015/07/31
shelves: children, fun, spirit-self, memoir, own-it
For a lot of this book, I would reluctantly have to categorize Stahl's writing as basically "trying too hard." Occasionally he has a moment of real cleverness, or of real profundity. But too often he edges past those points and over the cliff of ham-fisted awkwardness.
I think if I wasn't myself a parent, and for that matter a quasi-OG Dad myself, I would only give this book 3, or even 2, stars. But there's enough stuff that resonates and is a smart take on things I've been living too, for it to be worth wading past the dumb bits. I think maybe Stahl's been in the Hollywood TV writing world for too long, or something. His writing here often feels like Groucho Marx trying to be Charles Bukowski - or maybe vice versa. I have felt for years like I would like to someday read his celebrated memoir "Permanent Midnight", but if it's the same level of craft as this, I might not get around to that.
Still, there are some great gems. He adequately conveys some of the experience of being a creative, "edgy", but aging, guy who finds himself, amazingly, a new father. If you don't care about the aging part, I think Neal Pollack's "Alternadad" is a better read. But Jerry Stahl has clearly been through the shit and come out the other side.
A single-channel version of a piece designed to be a 2-screen performance work. Conceived of as a study or stepping stone in a larger project concerning urban redevelopment and gentrification.
This emergency meta rendition created for "Avant AZ", an evening of video art at Exploded View microcinema in Tucson, AZ, May 9, 2015.
(Produced in collaboration with Allison Leigh Holt; Contains video material generated by Holt using her Glass System videoscultpure, by projecting and re-filming through the sculptures time-lapse footage of my guest house being built. Holt also provided integral script and concept feedback. more info about the sculptures here: oillyoowen.com/work/the-glass-system/ )
I don't usually do the year-end retrospective thing. But I've been meaning for a couple of months to write about my recent past as a freelance videographer
The end of this calendar year prods me into actually doing it.
Since getting back full-time into other ways of making a living, I'm spending much less time out in the world with my camera, and I sometimes feel wistful about that. However, the fact is that if I can get myself to look at the bright side, I can look back and feel a sense of real satisfaction and pride in the number and variety of film/video projects I've been involved in over the last 18 months or so (I choose that period for 2 reasons: 1) just to buck the trend of looking back at the arbitrary unit of one year that is the habit for this season, and 2) because when I open the Raw Footage directory on my newest hard drive, the shoots I've been on stretch back about that far).
It's especially heartwarming to see, as I look back, how much of this work has been for non-profits and other good causes.
Here's a list of highlight clients and/or projects:
- promotional film for Coaltion for Sonoran Desert Protection
- documentation of Chico MacMurtrie's show at MOCA Tucson of Amorphic Robot Works' "Chrysalis" piece, a giant semi-intelligent kinetic sculpture.
- documenting events for Living Streets Alliance, most notably Cyclovia Tucson
- A promotional film about South Tucson made with Creatista for Primavera Foundation
- A documentary about homelessness.
- footage for some short videos about coffee, kefir, and other food things for Edible Baja Arizona magazine.
- Two lectures from the Institute for Applied Meditation
- An educational video series about immigration called "Radical Hospitality" for the Mennonite USA church.
- documenting the SAAF Moda Provacateur fashion show
- a wedding.
- some bands that wanted me to film them playing live
- PSAs for Child and Family Resources
- helping a friend with a documentary about Diamond Mountain's 3-year meditation retreat.
- Documenting the Toward a Science of Consciousness Conference at the U of Arizona
- instructional videos on meditation at a retreat center in Cochise Stronghold
- fundraising videos with Creatistia for Literacy Connects
- documenting the Mayor's Council on Poverty
- various promotional footage for the Downtown Tucson Partnership (with Creatista)
- and finally, one of the last projects that I'm still involved with is videography for a documentary film in progress by Eva Lewis called No Man's Land, about the organizing against the Arivaca Border Patrol checkpoint.
I was just down in Arivaca yesterday shooting stuff for the last item, so I guess I can also celebrate that I'm still doing some of this stuff. Just not trying to pay all of the bills with it.
Performed live at the Global Justice Center in South Tucson on November 13, 2014 for the beginning of an event to help kick off the Connected Walls project. Source material is border-related footage produced by members of Pan Left Productions.
Music by Los Macuanos, Systema Solar, Vorpal, Chicha Libre, and Small Rocks.