hal tweets ·11:28 AM

Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Back in Action in 2009: Hal's new Macy's wardrobe, Adventures in Translation and JohnTV :comments

Posted by Hal
Tags: production, Video sharing, Voyeurism

Okay I’m back and I’m blogging. I spent the holidays with W. and E. in the suburbs of Maryland. There are a lot of stores there. A lot of them. A good place to visit if anyone wants to ponder just how it is possible that people get sucked into spending so much more than they actually have. Speaking of which, we bought a whole bunch of new clothes. Macy’s was having a sale. Hey, a man’s gotta look good, right?

The visit was pretty decent. My mom watched the kid a lot which let me do what I like to do best: sleep in. When I wasn’t sleeping I was doing something else I’m partial to: drinking beer. Also went to a hockey game (Capitals versus Leafs, Caps won of course, go Caps!), saw two movies - Slum Dog Millionaire and The Reader - both at this giant movie theatre on the edge of a fake lake built beside a weird fake town made up entirely of stores and restaurants (condos surround but do not intrude). Anyway, you get the idea.

So, while I was gone two articles popped up that mention my work - both in different languages. One appeared in La Presse (a Quebec paper) and one appeared in a Mexican newspaper. I posted the link to the La Presse article on Facebook and requested a translation of the article and promptly got two sent to me. I posted them to my FB page, so if you want to see them friend me. Today I posted the piece in Spanish, so hopefully someone either here or on FB will translate that one for me too! 

Pic on JohnTV with the caption:
“This could be you. Would it be worth it?”

So the piece in French by Mario Roy is about pride and its spill over into pseudo-nonconformity ie. the idea that we are trying to be different just so we can proudly proclaim that we are different. It got me thinking about the roots of Peep Culture. Is it pride or insecurity that causes us to reveal so much about ourselves? It’s probably a little of both.

While in DC I watched a bit too much cable on Dad’s giant - and I do mean giant - recently acquired HD big screen tv. One of the shows consisted of Shocking Videos. They featured the work of Brian Bates, “Oklahoma’s Video Vigilante” who takes great pride in videoing prostitutes and johns in the act and posting the ensuing footage to his website Johntv.com.

Obviously the fact that he does this, and that his videos are all over cable as well, is indicative of the rise of Peep - in which we derive entertainment from other people’s ‘real’ lives. But there’s something else here, the zeal with which Bates pursues his subjects, and the pride he takes when he is featured on TV. You can argue that the videos posted to YouTube via his website serve to advance his stated aim of battling prostitution in Oklahoma City, but when they are put on TV, they become entertainment, and the only thing they advance is his pride. (I should add here that at least one of the videos posted to YouTube from Johntv.com come with advertisments from YouTube that say: “Hookup With Sexy Asians.”)

Here’s a sample of the work of Brian Bates.


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The Bloggist

Hey, I’m Hal Niedzviecki. I’m a writer/thinker who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. Up till now I’ve always considered myself a private person. But at the same time I’m fascinated by people who effortlessly open themselves up to the whole world. So I’ve… more...



Ghostbuster zines from the Canzine Hollywood Piracy Zine Challenge are now online! http://t.co/RoAMEQTU

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·11:28AM

EXPOZINE 2011, Montreal’s 10th Annual Small Press, Comic and Zine Fair—http://t.co/3ISW3Ovx http://t.co/FlLfB6hk

Hal Niedzviecki :: ·20:02PM


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