Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Well, this is how we started wasn't it? For free. On blogspot. Web 1.0. I owe a lot to the internet. I won my first March Madness pool as a kid reading The Sporting News for free online. I saw a photoshopped naked Daisy Fuentes in an AOL Chat Room thanks to the internet. And I bought my first plane ticket to New York using the internet... But this week, I'm leaving. By 6pm Friday, I'll be living in Venice. I've been really fucking angry about leaving for a few weeks now but I woke up today and finally realized why... I got an email from Kim's Video announcing a closing sale. For those that live in the city and run around downtown, you know that Kim's is one of the last remaining landmarks of the East Village. It is the CBGB's of video stores. The Mecca of Clerks. The Sultan of Cult. When I came to the city 109 months ago, I had no idea what Glenn O'Brien's TV Party or High School by Frederick Wiseman were, but Kim's put me on. I browsed the aisles, talked to the people, and got put on to sub culture I never knew existed. Most of my life, I'd been seeing things that the matrix allowed me to see. The things that studios had the money to put in front of a kid growing up in Orlando, Florida. Kim's was the antithesis and stood for every thing democracy should be but isn't. At Kim's every film was represented. If you wanted Michael Bay films, they had a section, but so did Frederick Wiseman, Werner Herzog, and Maya Deren. There were signs pointing to employee favorites, cult films, German Cinema, East Asian Cinema, every thing screaming at you to get weird and give it a chance. I imagined each of these directors like neighborhoods being subsidized by Kim's. In the outside world, none of them had a chance in today's globalized capitalism, but at Kim's with the right curation, affirmative action, and cultural welfare they got the attention they deserved. I walked in as a kid that got lost after buying a hetzi-hetzi (half and half falafel/shwarma) at Mahmoun's down the street with no idea what I was walking into, but democracy in the form of Kim's worked. Every employee had a different opinion, they lobbied for different films, but inevitably with the wealth of information and guidance I made my own informed decisions. After much deliberation, the first film I ever bought at Kim's was Black Orientations starring Avena Lee and Nautica Thorn. Clearly, this choice was evidence that the education gap between Orlando and the East Village was a chasm one visit to Kim's couldn't cross. But eventually, with a lot of hard work and several visits to Kim's a bridge was built. I actually listened to the clerks and paid attention to the signs and symbols. I resisted going past the red curtain and started buying films intended for viewing without a sock on your penis. The movies were just the beginning because a lot of the cultures and scenes depicted were right here in the city. As I walked around, I recognized certain landmarks, stores, restaurants, streets, and even people. The films opened up worlds to me that I dove into further and further until I forgot how I even got there. 9 years later, I look back and realize that Kim's was this portal into New York City I never came back from. Every thing in my life, I can somehow attribute to finding Kim's, but the saddest part is that this portal is closing. I know that as one portal closes, another one opens and that the weirdos in the matrix will constantly create new rabbit holes, but we have to remember the things that got us here. I'm sure there are thousands of kids like me that stumbled into Kim's and never came back. That can't even remember who they were before encountering that store and the things that it represented. Whether it was Kim's or Amoeba or Burkina, these stores changed people's lives because they provided the first moments where things felt real. We saw works that were raw, irreverent, and untouched by the matrix. They were stores that dedicated themselves to representing the cultures forgotten by capitalism because most stores understand it's easier to sell you the high fructose nutrient vortex bull shit you already want. They preach to the choir and don't make it their job to educate you. They feed you the best marketed soma at the lowest possible price until it fucking kills you and every thing you care about. #Poison What's most upsetting about leaving the city is that I won't be around to defend it. When you love something as much as I love the city, you want to be there when it needs you. And frankly the city needs all of us right now. (The only reason I agreed to leave is because hopefully I can do something by being on the other side debating the dominant culture that put us in this predicament, but I don't want to talk about my project. This post is all about the city.) It's constantly under attack and none of our blocks look the same day to day. Every where I look, scaffoldings stare at me like the plague descending on the city that made me who I am. I've thought about this a long time and there are three things that I believe we can do. 1) SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS - fuck internet business. I've been guilty of this as well and I have gone to Kim's, looked at videos, and bought them cheaper on the internet but I stopped years ago. You have to pay respects to the businesses that put you on and serve as ambassadors of culture and the neighborhood. Pay the extra couple bucks because once we give our neighborhoods up to the internet, we'll never get them back. Slowly, the internet has turned the entire world into one giant Walmart that sacrifices every thing for falling prices. Conscious consumption is one of our last tools because god knows $ spent at the right place counts more than a vote these days. Nothing is free and if you like something pay for it cause other wise it'll be gone. 2) BUILD YOUR OWN PORTALS - if you don't like the shit businesses in your neighborhood, do something about it. Represent for your culture through commerce. There is a difference between commodifying or appropriating a culture and making it viable. Being viable in the market place allows your culture to survive in 2014. You can absolutely make your voice valuable without compromising it. That's one of the biggest problems with counter culture is this belief that getting big is selling out. It's not. You can absolutely grow with the ideals you came with if you fight the vultures every single day. It's harder, but its necessary. 3) STOP BEING IRONIC NIHILISTS - If you walk around with your eyes open, there's a lot to be upset about, but we can't be nihilists about it forever. Yes, I feel like we are powerless at times and left with the proverbial bag here, but it's not over. THE JEDI WILL RETURN MOTHER FUCKERS. But it starts with us and it sounds cheesy but if you see wack mother fuckers supporting Walmart, AMC, or McDonald's say something. Support the independent theatres, shows, and venues. It's not fucking funny to eat McRibs even though I post it on my IG when it returns, I don't actually eat it but I promise this year to not ironically promote the return of the McRib because genetically engineered water added rib meat is going to kill all of us. Don't cry for me Argentina. Just consider this my White Men Can't Jump moment where the city lent Rosie Perez to Venice. JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE UR BOY WILL COME BACK LIKE THE 18TH LETTER... BAOHAUS LIVES
Monday, December 2, 2013
I STARTED THIS LINE MONICA MONROE FEATURING VERSATILE FABRICS FOR SAVAGE MEN TRYIN TO SPREAD BENIGN HPV. MY INSPIRATION FOR THE LINE IS THAT PEOPLE ARE SO INDISCRIMINATE WHEN TALKING ABOUT HPV. THEY SO RECKLESS LIKE "HPV CAUSES CANCER". NO IT DOESN'T. MY PARTICULAR BRAND OF HPV IS ETHEREAL LIKE ROSE WATER. SO I DESIGNED A LOT OF CLOTHES THAT I WOULD WEAR ON DATES WITH WOMEN I FEEL ARE CONNOISSEURS OF HPV LIKE PEG BUNDY, FRAN DRESCHER, SUZANNE SOMMERS FROM STEP BY STEP, MONICA LEWINSKY, MARILYN MONROE, AND ROBIN GIVENS, UNIVERSALLY KNOWN AS THE FOREMOST EXPERT ON BENIGN HPV STRAINS. SHE LIKE THE WINE SPECTATOR OF BENIGN HPV... YEA, YEA, THAT'S 99 POINTS RIGHT 'CHERE. I SEEN HER WALK OUTTA THE FOREST AT A BBQ ONCE AND WAS LIKE "I DETECT HICKORY, DICKORY, DOCK. THAT HPV WAS SLAMMIN." RIGHT NOW WE ARE TRYING TO GET THESE VERSATILE FABRICS INTO ROSS, BUT THEY BE HATIN CAUSE TOO MANY TAIWANESE PEOPLE MAKE CLOTHES RIGHT NOW. THEY SAID I SHOULD HOLLER AT TJ MAX, BUT I WAS LIKE, YO, HOV DEADED TJ MAX WITH 3 KINGS. HOPEFULLY IF ENOUGH OF YOU NINJAS ASK FOR MONICA MONROE AT ROSS, MY DREAMS WILL COME TRUE. I'M JUST A SQUIRREL IN THIS WORLD TRYNA DESIGN CLOTHES FOR IDEAL MEN LIKE AL BUNDY, FLAMA BLANCA, THE DUDE, AND GRIMACE FROM MCDONALD'S. I WOULD LOVE TO DRESS GRIMACE FROM MCDONALD'S. HIS SKIN TONE IS PERFECT FOR 3-WAY STRETCH SPANDEX SNAKESKIN. EGGPLANT IS THE NEW BLACK MOTHER FUCKERS. WITHOUT ANY FURTHER ADO ABOUT MY DREAMS AND AMBITIONS. HERE IS THE MONICA MONROE SPRING 2014 LOOKBOOK FEATURING FAT JEW, MIKAELA WILLIE, ZEREN LONDAH, AND JR ALBA. IT WAS SHOT BY THE GORGEOUS JON SNYDER. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND JON SNYDER PHOTOGRAPHY. HE HAS CHANGED MY ENTIRE OPINION OF PHOTOGRAPHY, FASHION, WHITE PEOPLE, AND PORTLAND. NOT PORTLAND, OREGON, BUT PORTLAND, MAINE. IT'S DEFINITELY THE BETTER PORTLAND.
Monday, November 25, 2013
I have neglected this blog for a minute, but sometimes it's the right place at the right time.
There's a lot of things I want to address on Fresh Off the Boat, but because it's a short format video, the issues we take on leak over sometimes. We did our best this episode and I'm happy, but I wanted to hit on a few things in case they don't come clear. I mean, it's thanksgiving, make sure the juice runs clear.
When we were in Russia, I couldn't hear what the guests were saying on the side when I was eating hot dogs, drinking vodka, or hanging with Philochko. People will smile to your face, play along, and put on a show when cameras are out. That's what we try not to show you. We would never waste your time on an act. Yet, we almost got caught this time. The "actors" in part 1 of Moscow were really good, but the GOD Christopher Velona had the audio rolling and it opened our eyes.
It was one of the first times we got back in the edit, saw footage and then had fundamental changes in how we viewed the trip. When I heard what they were saying on the hot mic, I couldn't let it go. The shit they were saying about Philochko was that insidious racism that you hear at house parties, "amongst friends", or in locker rooms. That bullshit that people think is OK, but it's not. We usually are very courteous to guests and make sure to represent their views unadulterated and as they see it. We are there to capture their perspective, but this time it didn't match up. The things they told us about themselves and their country could not be reconciled with the things they said to each other when they were off camera and I chose not to protect them. That ignorance doesn't deserve protection because because it shouldn't fucking exist.
But, I wanted to be responsible. I met a lot of people who didn't smile in Russia, but I met a lot of people who did. I met people who were racist towards African-Americans and derogatory towards gays, but there were people who weren't. Moscow is like any other place and we can't let the bad apples give us a skewed picture. Was it at times a sad place? Absolutely. But there were really good fucking people and I wanted to make sure that a clandestine conversation caught on a hot mic didn't disproportionately represent the city.
Yet, we have to show it. We don't enjoy it, we don't indulge in it, and I really don't address it in the summation because it's not a complex issue. It's wrong. There's nothing else to it. There is no way to shashlik that shit besides understanding its wrong. Now, Philochko was a victim of racism on the show and in Russia. People say sideways shit about him all day, but I wanted to also address how he's part of the problem. American racism is a unique brand, ebonics is in many ways a regional dialect, and you can't just transport the African-American experience like it's stoli and tell people to mix it with soda. This shit is MUCH deeper than rap and it's something I know I'll never fully understand because I did not live it. But I know enough to say that you shouldn't enable people to use the n-word and appropriate ebonics for comedic purposes. It's a huge tangled web and people have addressed the n-word in crucibles much hotter than Fresh Off the Boat. We didn't go to Moscow looking to address it, but it found us and we did. Sometimes a story finds you and you do the best you can. Happy thanksgiving mother fuckers.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I have never, ever, ever in my entire life cheered for Reggie Miller, enjoyed an Incubus song, or agreed with Justice Antonin Scalia. Reading cases as a Cardozo student at the Innocence Project, I frequently thought about sewing Scalia's bunghole closed and then feeding him copies of the Bush v. Gore decision until he pooped recycled paper through his nose. Son is constantly justifying decisions by looking at his stupid WWFFD (What Would Founding Fathers Do) friendship bracelet, but fuck my life sideways in the ear with Monsanto Corn because I finally agree with him today regarding Maryland v. King...
This is a CRIMINAL PROCEDURE case weighing the public benefit of solving cold cases vs. your constitutional 4th amendment rights guarding against search and seizure. We all want cold cases solved, but at what cost to society and your individual rights? This isn't just swabbing your cheek. This decision is saying that without a warrant, without a conviction, and merely probable cause for a felony arrest that the government can take my genetic blueprint and put it in a database. Justice Kennedy kept talking about how a DNA swab is like finger printing, how it can be used to identify the person in question at the station, and without even addressing how ridiculous that notion is considering that it takes months to upload DNA evidence to a database; let's address another one of his "notions" i.e. the practicalities of law enforcement today.
Doggy, I'ma tell you about the PRACTICALITIES OF OUR GOVERNMENT. Over the weekend, someone stole the letter grade off the door of Baohaus. So, Evan went down to the DOH to get another letter grade to post. You know what they told us after waiting for 3 hours? "We looked all over but we can't find the box with the letter grades right now." THESE MOTHER FUCKERS CAN'T PROPERLY LABEL AND STORE LETTER GRADES FOR RESTAURANTS! We're supposed to trust them with our DNA? FUCK OUTTA HERE!!! My DNA is gonna end up on World Star and not because I threw a milkshake on the screen watching TWERK FAILS but because of GOVERNMENT FAIL.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
We can only trust ourselves because all these representatives are for sale. Yet, that sentiment leaves us with fear. We don't want the responsibility because duty without a way out makes you feel powerless. The tax code in 2011 had 72,000+ pages. HOW DO YOU GRAPPLE WITH THAT? You kind of can't, but I want people to know... Despite the mountain of fucking wizardry these assholes have cast over our political system, we can make a difference. We've seen it with kickstarter, reddit, wikileaks, digital gravel, baohaus, and any other grassroots movement that used their platform to do something about the way our world is headed.
We are the future and we got to get this shit right. I can't sit here and crack jokes about roors and bang bus like shit is sweet. If our country keeps heading the way it is, there may not be a bang bus and I'm just not ready for that life. Am I really just a narcissist, cause I wake up to vids of Ava's tits?
(if hyperlink doesn't work above here it is from FORBES)
(This is link for video from ABC Nightline)
Friday, March 22, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
JADA, WE MADE IT.
(apologies to every one for Chef Creole's Swag Shirt and constant use of "baby" but trust he a good dude despite the axe body spray vibrations)
1 season, 5 episodes, 15 parts... THANK YOU BASED FOBs FA YO SUPPORT.
It means a lot that yall rode for a show that didn't rely on food porn, voice over, celebrity guests, and the constant proliferation of dominant cultural beliefs. You watched a man slaughter a rabbit. You watched sex workers. You watched betel nut girls. You watched a short, fat, chinaman feed himself until he looked like a jeremy scott bao.
And all the while, you debated in the youtube comments about the issues. A lot of you just wanted to call people chiggers, but those people aside there was a lot of real conversation and it means the world that you mofuckers engaged the show. I hope you guys continue to engage this show and every thing else you see as well. The conversation is what we did it for.
I can tell a lot of you were receptive to flipping things like porn stars, stinky tofu, and food television on its head to see what the other side had to say. A lot of times we don't get the full picture from today's media but the internet is enabling us to actually tell the stories ourselves. To anyone who doesn't fuck with mainstream media and the news, you have no excuse. Get a camera, get your Pretty Indian Producer, get your Italian-Cuban Camera Crew, throw your boy from Santa Barbara into a 10 square foot ply wood edit suite, and tell the story yourself. We have the power to tell stories ourselves. Vice obviously paid for this show, but you can literally report on the things in your neighborhoods with one digital camera and a laptop. You have a duty to tell the world what's going on in your hood and counter the poison they're filling our brains with. No one is going to change the world for you. Do it for yourself.
Once again, thank you for your support, cop the book, and we'll see you for Season 2... Play my music bitch!