radical departure

I’m in Brussels for the week, practicing my French at very opportunity. Walking down the street a gentleman stoped me and asked me in French if he was headed in the right direction for the—

My brain froze. What is that word he said? Is it train? But the train station is a taxi cab ride away. I must have it wrong. I apologized for not being able to help him and walked a quarter a block further when my brain sorted it out. The metro.

I sprinted back to tell him, in my native tongue, he was on the correct trajectory. He welcomed the directions and the opportunity to speak English. He learned it in an immersive course in Syria. The whole interaction was a bright spot on the trip.

The inability to discern TV and movie dialogue in these contemporary times is not an age thing—as I feared. It’s a technology thing.

Edward Vega presents a wonderfully in depth video explaining the reasons why we’re all switching on the subtitles.

New project in the works. A collection of interviews with amazing people from the photo and film worlds.

This started as request to write new edition of a book about the industry I wrote in 2007. But the creative space has changed so significantly in the last fifteen years I felt like a new edition is kind of bullshit. New World is more like it.

Another consideration: The first book was written based on my experiences in the trenches. I haven't been in those trenches for awhile. Talking with Jana, my Number 1, we decided my efforts would be best directed talking to people I know and the people they know to get a broad and diverse perspective of the landscape. My job this time 'round is to distill all the stories and information into an approachable publication that will give people a huge leg up starting in this mad industry.

We started this week in Los Angeles with our first interview and a partnership with a prestigious art school. Stay tuned, this is gonna be fun.

The current blogging renaissance is fascinating to watch because it’s fueled by a desire for editorial freedom. The exact same desire that ignited blogging into existence twenty-five years ago. Back then it was the writer’s versus the periodicals, today, it’s the writer’s versus the platforms.

There’s a lot that Silicon Valley doesn’t understand about the creative space. Building a gorgeous platform for writers to write does not give you license over their work, it just allows you to associate with the talent. Start associating with assholes as well, the cool kids are gonna bail. This is currently getting played out over at Substack as some of their high profile authors exodus to other blog/newsletter services less inclined to make money on Nazi publications.

All this techtonic (you see what I did there) shifting is gonna be a boon for places like Ghost, and Write.as—where this blog is hosted. Both platforms are excellent and are dedicated to a better web through true editorial freedom.

At the height of my photography career, when most of my social interactions were with people in the fashion and entertainment industries, I'd get calls about three times a year that started with the phrase, “I've quit drinking, we need to talk.”

It was an honor to be included in such a personal journey, but it was also mildly confusing. These calls weren't coming from close friends, they were from acquaintances I barely knew. Nevertheless, I made their atonement list, so I settled in and listened to their confession.

One person, I'll call him Reed, apologized for letting a year go by without sending a check he promised for an urgent headshot I photographed that he needed for a TV audition. Reed, in a new found state of total honesty, told me I wasn’t getting that check anytime soon because his extra cash was going to recovery.

Another person, I'll call him Chuck, apologized for not covering his portion of a hefty West Hollywood bar tab two years ago. Chuck darted outside to “take a call” just as the check arrived, and never came back. I figured an emergency came up, and it would all work out the next time we got together.

I thanked Chuck for remembering and told him he could treat me to breakfast. We could catch up over coffee and pancakes. He responded saying that all his extra cash was going to his recovery, and his extra time nowadays was spent at a strip mall church somewhere on La Cienega Boulevard. He wished me and my heathen lifestyle well.

As these calls of contrition came my way I thought it best to emulate the demeanor of the Catholic priests from my parochial school upbringing who sat the other side of the confessional screen: Listen silently and nod every once in a while (even though the conversations were by phone).

The transgressions never struck me as particularly criminal. All the instances had been long forgotten by me. But to the person on the path to sobriety, atonements are important steps to move forward. I respected them. That is until I got a call from an ex-girlfriend.

It started the same: “Hi there. I've stopped drinking, we need to talk.”

We had broken up ten years earlier after only nine months together. The biggest challenge was living 200 miles from each other. So it was love, but not one that could endure a three hour commute. During the past decade we had probably seen each other in person twice and maybe talked once every other year on the phone.

I lauded her decision to stop drinking and settled in to listen. She proceeded to tell me that while we were dating–but apart in our respective cities–she would get drunk at a her local bar and make out with other men.

I could have gone my whole life never knowing that.

The conversation left me preoccupied for months: was I exceedingly naïve or ridiculously blind. She called me a year later wondering if we could get together for lunch. I told her my extra cash was going to therapy and I was considering joining a strip mall church on La Cienega Boulevard.

I am actually breathless over the flawless simplicity of time.fyi.

My life is spent in multiple timezones. This is the first representation that makes perfect sense to me and is incredibly easy to use. Pro Tip: Use the Copy View URL feature in the upper right of the window to preserve your times zones as well as send to your people who need to see the same info.

Casey Lewis, the doyen of what’s in has declared blogging a thing again.

Brilliant!

I’ve been looking for a sign (excuse) to write online again.

Lewis told Puck’s incomparable fashion writer, Lauren Sherman, the following:

I love newsletters as much as the next person, but I think many of us (even newsletter writers!) are experiencing newsletter fatigue.

Personally, I don’t think it’s just newletters. Society is in a state of information overconsumption. I just wonder what it gets us in the end. Can you know too much? I suspect the answer is no—life is a journey of constant learning, and all that. Maybe it’s a matter of what one spends time reading. There are only so many hours in a lifetime.

For my part of the new, old trend, this blog is my flag in the ground.