Craigslistin’ it

Google screen grab.

I’m in the middle of an apartment search and can’t help but pay attention to all the evil Craigslist news out there.

We already know it’s helping kill off newspapers, but what about people in general. Does Craigslist help kill people? Or lead them to lives of sexual servitude? If you’ve been keeping up with the body count on L.I., you might think so. I personally have nothing against Craig Newmark. Get that money. But his site has created a new way for predators to catch their prey. Answering random Craigslist ads, or inquiries is the digital equivalent to hitchhiking on a dark California freeway. You never what kind of wacko you’re going to get involved with.

Other than the really suspect apartment I lived in off York Ave. in Eagle Rock, I’ve only found good things off Craigslist.

It’s where I found my very first Canon point and shoot, bought off a young lady who met up with me in the Coffee Bean parking lot off Sunset oh-so-many years ago. It’s also where I listed, and soon after found a good renter, for my last bedroom. Harlem landlady had too many rules for living in that brownstone. Craiglist has been a useful tool for finding stuff. So, why does it also have this dark side?

Screen grab (click to enlarge)

I assume it’s because Craigslist is free that it attracts so much weirdness. Or maybe it’s that it balances this line between proletariat resource and social playground. It’s meant to be this digital public market place. But with all things digital we tend to get desires of the flesh involved. Which is cool. Personally, I haven’t scored a date online since Friendster  (which did NOT look like this back in the day).

As I continue my apartment search, I’m leery of anyone with an apartment that’s too cheap, or anyone asking me for my social. I just hope none of these potential landlords want to use me or my girl as sex slaves, or worse.

It’s a terrible thing that people use such a great (free) resource like Craigslist to take advantage of desperate people in some of the worse ways. And it’s not cool that I lost my job probably because the former paper I worked at couldn’t beat CL’s ad prices. Either way, the site should go on, and we just need to always stay aware that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. And if you’re selling yourself online, then you’re entering a dangerous world from the gate. So, be careful, and watch your back. On all planes of reality.

Mastering the science with lucha libre, ese

luchalibrenyc.com

To check out Lucha Libre NYC, go to http://www.luchalibrenyc.com

It all started in L.A. I was driving back to the Hollywood area, up along La Brea, North of the hood when I saw a sign written on a piece of box cardboard and pinned to a light pole: “Lucha Libre los Domingos”. Or something like that.

I was an archive librarian at the L.A. Times and all I wanted to do at that point was get my words up in them pages. Besides my moms (HI, MOM!), I’d been inspired and prodded by Samantha Bonar,  Daniel Hernandez and Chris Lee, folks I’ve worked with who have been hyper successful with the written word.

At the time, “Nacho Libre,” the Jack Black movie based on an actual wrestling priest had just come out and I knew I could sell a pitch based on the idea of lucha libre in the city.  The lucha libre event in an old warehouse in South Central Los Angeles was a regular venue in 2006. I walked in, flashed my press creds and took a seat near a small family who had bought a bunch of pig skins, beer and hotdogs.

I don’t remember every particular match. I remember there was a gay wrestler, a fat wrestler and someone with a costume on, either a panda or a pig or something strange. What I do remember is Mil Mascaras. The legend, the O.G. of a thousand masks. He was there. We spoke. I was a little skeptical, wondering if the guy under the mask was the legend. I looked at this arms, they were the wrinkled, aged arms of a man in his 60s. I glanced up at this chest. It had that barrel shape you only get from decades of pumping iron, his arms had the same sinewy look to them. The dude was old, but he was probably rock solid. I didn’t bother touching him. A Japanese looking man, who didn’t speak English thrust a mask in Mascaras’ face as he left the ring, “Please sign.” The legend obliged. I was shocked that this Japanese dude came all the way down to the hood just to fulfill his fandom.

As it goes the Japanese love professional wrestling. Outside of Mexico, Japan must be the biggest non-U.S. market for American wrestlers, and their Mexican lucha libre counterparts. I’m not a wrestling fiend, but I enjoy the choreographed ballet that ensues when two athletes get into a ring and do choreographed stuntage to the glee of kids and grandmas. It’s still a spectacle that in some parts of the country is less expensive than a night at a cineplex. And more enjoyable in my opinion.

I used my appreciation for wrestling to graduate journalism school. I haven’t graduated yet, but my Master’s Project got some good notice and that’s a major part of getting your Master of Science degree here at the “journalism school of eternal excellence,” a.k.a the House that Pulitzer built.

At a celebration in September, where all of New York City’s Mexican population gathered for the bicentennial of the countries independence I saw a postcard advertisement on the ground. Lucha libre it said in the style of promotion similar to what I saw in Mexico City when I was there. A full card, about 8 bouts. This had to be new stuff here in NYC. I’d never heard of such a thing.

How new it was, I’m still now sure. People other than Lucha Va Voom have tried before to stake a claim in NYC even if it was for a show that was passing through. My aim was to tell the story of a guy who was trying to get this off the ground and the wrestlers he was bringing along for the ride. I think I succeeded in getting this noticed by a few folks around the world, but the project luchalibrenyc.com is still a work in progress. My L.A. homie @thebrianpark is a huge part of this project and I couldn’t have done it without him. His fearless shooting style and dedication to helping to round out this story really produced some solid work, with more to come. So, if you’re a fan of lucha libre, or just like to see shirtless men through each other around, come back often because I’ll be updated luchalibrenyc.com and posting link on this blog.

It’s SLR, not XLR…

Above, the trailer for Rubber. The news of this film, directed by a French DJ, is like summer 2010 old, but I saw this trailer the other day and haven’t heard of  the movie showing in the states in any theaters, yet.  It’s a movie that really bends the mind when it comes to the concept of character. Can a tire be a character? At the J-School, they’d say no (well, depends…).

Experimental French electro (this time by Mr. Oizo, who directed the movie, and one half of Justice, Gaspard Augé) isn’t my passion, but definitely the music I most like to work to. Thinking about it, from the looks of my work, maybe I need to change soundtracks?

Rubber has some music attached to it that’s definitely worth a listen. It touches on the zeitgeist of electro/industrial/computer noise music that’s been getting mainstream love as of late. Flying Lotus even remixed the lead song on the soundtrack, adding his Lotus-ness to the noise. You can listen to choice cuts from the soundtrack by following this link and scrolling to the bottom of the post. My favorite cut is Tricylce Express, if only because it sounds like a Justice song with that sinister build-up and Daft Punk-like refrain at the top. [Link via http://www.bad-fotography.co.uk ].

Mr. Oizo, who you can read about here, has had his share of mainstream love too. Flat Beat, (I know you remember that sock puppet) put him on the map for us non-electro heads. That song was always on The Box and MTV.

Right now, he’s helped to pioneer the digital filmmaking age by doing his latest feature all using a Canon 5D. I’d be fronting if I said I was a camera expert. I started taking the photo life seriously just last year and have years to go. Studying digital media I came to find out that the Canon and other video SLR cameras like it are necessary tools in the future of journalism. With video a main part of the news cycle the digital SLR cameras not only take the high-quality photos you publish, but also the video narratives you publish on a news site.

In this blog post Mr. Oizo, at a performance last month in New York, geeks out on the benefit of shooting a movie with a Canon 5D Mark II (I have no idea what it means after “Canon”).

There was a time when wanting to make a movie required at the minimum a video camera that could cost you a couple thousand dollars. Now, well…Canons and lenses can still be expensive as hell, but you can buy a lower-end SLR and still do something magical.

The site Newsvideographer.com looks at a few cameras and the results of their video capabilities in telling stories. Roger Ebert was stanning hard on this short video about a snowstorm that was filmed on an SLR. The man compared it with a Russian classic.

Moms connected

 

The city, covered in white pillows, can’t match the ‘burb’s when they bristle with snow crystals.  I don’t see the suburbs that much.  When the snow was already pretty much melted all away I found myself in the Bronx. What you’re about to see is for the children. Made by children, me and Semi, breaking day at the edit bay.

Always get your Bronx news from my City News Room class site: Bronxink.org

 

 

Snow photo from: Makinglifefit.com

You Will Be Assimilated

I hope my Star Trek nerds get the headline to this post.

Not too long ago, I reached out to T.A.N and he wrote me back. I was sitting at work, wishing and hoping for greener pastures. The idea of writing for a living–just writing–was a concept I didn’t think possible. Although I’m making the right moves right now, I still have yet to prove I can sustain a 401k on checks from my writing prowess alone.

Patrice Evans, who blogs as The Assimilated Negro told me in his reply that not only was living off words possible, but if you really tried hard enough, it could be a reality. This coming from a guy who made it seem like his only entry into writing was his curiosity about life. Later he tells me he was an aspiring rapper. Blame hip-hop.

On the cusp of publishing his first book, this spoken word, blogging hero of mine is rolling through the halls of the academy to break down what makes an opinionated blogger rise to the top. I know a lot of people want a piece of that knowledge. Stay tuned.

**Flier by @angELLEnise

 

**update:

I think we’re going to change this flier because T.A.N tells me there’s a new book design. These things are fluid in the publishing industry. Holler.

For Sale, No Scratches

If you’re a DJ or you write for a blog or other media outlet, then you’re familiar with promo CDs.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling on Tuesday that an eBay seller has the right to sell promotional CDs marked with the “Not for Sale” tag. Universal Music Group brought the suit against Troy Augosto, he won in 2008, so this recent ruling just locks it in: go ahead and sell those good promos, you know, the one’s with the hole-punch in the back, or the bar code scratched out. It’s legal.

For CD buyback spots check the back of your local indie weekly or this site. For typical prices paid CDs, check out Amoeba’s rates.

[via]

Photo from Amoeba Music, S.F. from theobelisk.net

Drinking More Tron-Aid

Okay. I’ll admit it, my stanism for Tron:Legacy is right out of the 3rd grade. But it’ll probably subside when I get around to the proper IMAX treatment. Besides, most movies I see more than once never hold up to the second viewing. And I can’t stop listening to this soundtrack. I don’t belong to the Daft Punk cult or anything like that, I just think this is a really clean score (listen to it, along with the extras in one long stream below) and the techno bits really lend well to the overall futuraristic light speed essence of it all.

I swear I don’t work for Disney.

Mickey photo via greatwhiteshark.com

Chirrete y Stinkfish

Sin pérdida

Shortly after I got to Mexico City, just two years ago, besides hip-hop heads I was looking to connect with Colombians. Not for that. But just to connect with some good folk on the transnational paisano tip. For reasons artistic, political, economic and illegal there are lots of Colombians living in Mexico.

It wasn’t before long that  I was invited to a cruddy apartment on the edges of the usually fancy La Condesa neighborhood. Inside the apartment was the toxic smell of fresh spray paint. It was the home of graffiti crew APC (ANIMAL POWER CREW), a bunch of Colombians and several Mexicans who travelled around doing art, street art. Above, an animated short by one of the crew members I got to know best, Chirrete Golden. The piece is called “Sin pérdida” (without loss). Pure poetry, in words and visually. On his blog he details how he made it using Final Cut Pro and After Effects.  Check out this video of APC at an art show they did over the summer in D.F. The turnout, as I remember was bananas.

One of the more recognized members of the crew, because of praises he’s won on hipster  blogs and magazines is another Colombiano called stinkfish. Here’s his blog. Below, cuts from his flickr stream.

*/////////////////////////////*Q*Technicolor*3D*

Stanning on TRON: Legacy

I was checking out the list of this year’s Alfred I. duPont Award winners (the annual prize for the best broadcast pieces on radio or TV) and the thought occurred, what if that award transformed into something?

Now I don’t generally shill for Hollywood flicks, but I just saw Tron: Legacy the other day and man is that my new favorite reboot of an ’80s movie. I’m not saying it’s some cinematic masterpiece. When I was a kid and saw the original Tron, I was too young to really get into it. I still find it a little slow, a little boring. This year’s Tron wasn’t that much better on the story side, but visually, it was crack. And the Daft Punk soundtrack, as mellow as it was, really had me engaged throughout the entire joint. So, what’s the connection to the duPont award? A silvery scroll-looking thing? Well, I thought, what if that joint transformed into a grid vehicle? Like a light jet, or a light cycle? I was super impressed with how those scenes of vehicular homicide rendered in 3-D. It wasn’t so much about the eye-popping, in-your-face effect, but this beautiful depth of field.

I don’t know how long this will last, but somebody put up a bit that compares the two light cycle races, first from 1982 and then from 2010. I like both.

Continue reading “Stanning on TRON: Legacy”

Anatomy of Catching an L

Marion Jones photo via http://bit.ly/fx456f

I’m sharing here my pain at catching an L. A loss. We’re running out of semester over here at the Uptown Vatican of journalism. I’ve fought to survive, but it hasn’t been without one or several defeats along the way. I’m learning to respect these deadlines more. Break them when I can, but nonetheless grind until my fingers bleed and my eyes go blurry from too much screen staring. It’s rough, it’s a way of life. It’s called a “calling”. Whatever that means. All I know is that it’s not funded so well.

For this class on catching an L in digital media, a/k/a This is NOT how we Duy take a look at exhibit A and B of an assignment I’ve been trying to get right for almost a month. The job: produce a video about a high school that was listed to close. Outcome: questionable.

A. My second attempt. Okay. No excuses son. This is pure sewage in the sense of professional work. I’m playing the student card through all three-and-a-half minutes. I want to come back to this in less than a year and laugh, because I’ll be so dope by then. Let’s pray. Then watch.

Continue reading “Anatomy of Catching an L”