Monday, March 31, 2003

The lady and I had a party last nite, for all the people like us wanting to escape the bad shit in the world. A resounding success! Be sure to watch the truly inspiring party invite, featuring music by 80's glam cartoon sensation JEM. (Turn your audio down a little.)

Here are a few pics with much more here and here.

Friday, March 28, 2003


Minneapolis Protest Video
March 20, 2003 (5 MB QuickTime)

Thursday, March 27, 2003

If you have, you might get detained for being suspicious.

IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME: Saddam Hussein's blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

If you aren't tired of the Michael Moore brouhaha yet, the debate rages on at Space Waitress.
PATRIOTIC POSTERS! [courtesy jeff B.]

  • Lenny Kravitz recorded an anti-war song with Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir called 'We Want Peace'
  • John Perry Barlow contemplates war in the land of peace
  • Webloggers signing on as war correspondents (obviously!)
  • Tuesday, March 25, 2003

    Yes, here is the Lileks we all know and love. He just finished the DVD of Autofocus, about the murder of Bob Crane (aka Hogan of Hogan's Heroes). Lileks observes:

    When your TV show has been canceled, you’re doing dinner theater, your wife is about to leave you and you find yourself in the basement watching grainy B&W pornos while wanking with your best friend, and he looks just like Willem Dafoe, something’s not right in your life. Check the map. You may have taken a wrong turn back at the intersection of Groin and Life.

    Sage advice. The DVD is full of goodies: 3 commentary tracks, a documentary called "Murder in Scottsdale" , 5 deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette. Nothing compares to the Rosemary's Baby making-of featurette: all freewheeling grainy 16mm film, Mia Farrow painting flowers on her trailer, overflowing with trippy-dippy love and whatever narcotics The Chairman of the Board snagged for her.

    Monday, March 24, 2003

    Listening to BBC radio on the way home, I thought I recognized the voice of journalism's International Man of Mystery: Richard Quest. Not sure if it was him or not, but I see he has attracted a few blogfans. Leggo My Ego described him thusly: Richard is all about motion. He shouts out the news with a braying enthusiasm. He tends to point his fingers or spread his hand along the anchor desk like it's a keyboard while interviewing guests. He brings dull subjects ... to life with his inimitable style. Better still is Quest Quips which does what I've always wanted to do - track and document his every slobbery mouthy explosion. In this interview Quest was asked if there is anything unusual he travels with? Yes, I always have Sleepy, a stuffed toy bought by a loved one, in my briefcase. Once flying back from the U.S., I put my favorite stuffed toy (Cap’n Crunch) in a spare first-class seat. Much amusement was had all around. Awww.

    DEATH TO THE BEEB. ALL HAIL THE BEEB! Seems there's a lot of hullabaloo of late about the BBC's anti-war bias, particularly by Lileks and Andrew Sullivan who dubs it "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation". Well, it all depends on whether you've been polarized to the left or the right, doesn't it? I heard the Beeb mention the massive protests in San Francisco, only to get perspective from a reporter in some small northern California town full of Republicans. "Even in liberal California, there is quite a lot of support for the war." This really had me scratching my head. I can only assume they had already reported on all the arrests at the SanFran protest, and filed this report to make sure Beeb consumers realize California hasn't been overrun by crazy puking protestors. Not yet, at least.

    I'm sure the BBC has its bias just like EVERY media outlet has some bias, just like science is flawed at the level of observation by our perceptions and experiences. That doesn't prevent it from working and helping us. Thank God for the BBC and CBC covering American politics and wars without any obligation to wave the American flag. We've got FOX news for that, and warbloggers. In these polarizing times, can you point to any single news source and say, "There. That's it. The perfectly unbiased, rational news source that I can pass no judgement upon." (You know, besides my blog.) You can't, because it doesn't exist, and even if there was such a perfect messenger we'd attack it for delivering news we didn't agree with. That's what's so great about blogs -- they're not pretending to be objective in the first place. You know up front what palette your bloggy pundit is using to paint that picture. Breathe a sigh of relief because you can probably trust them, and decide for yourself if what they say is gospel or a stinking pile of crap.

    Sunday, March 23, 2003

  • Mad props to Michael Moore for ruffling Hollywood feathers with his Academy Awards anti-war comments, while accepting the Best Documentary Feature award. Here's a video interview with Michael Moore.
  • The latest Get Your War On installment
  • Weblogs and diaries from embedded journalists
  • This is very sad and sickening. Al-Jazeera shows video of captured U.S. soldiers. Includes some gruesome pictures. Rumsfeld says this violates the Geneva convention and told the media not to broadcast it. I can understand reasons for that, but shouldn't we be allowed to see the consequences of this war?

    My Titanium is back with almost fully recovered data, but now i can't connect to the Internet. Grr... so, no protest video yet.
  • Friday, March 21, 2003

    The Village Voice Pazz & Jop 2002 poll hasn't been out very long, so maybe I can still mention my fave music of last year. No fancy lists, just:

    || BADLY DRAWN BOY - have you fed the fish today?
    || SUPER FURRY ANIMALS - rings around the world
    || SOUNDTRACK OF OUR LIVES - behind the music

    Also: White Stripes, Spoon, Low, Sigur Ros, Flaming Lips, The Streets, Beck, 12 Rods, Cornershop, Polyphonic Spree, Wondermints, Apples in Stereo, The Hives, Thievery Corporation. Plenty of stuff I heard a little of but don't have the album: Paul Westerberg, Mum, Wilco, Royksopp. The best thing ever, I'm certain, in JUNIOR SENIOR. (My friend Bill gave me his list to post but I don't have it handy. I know he likes the Bruce Springsteen a lot, though.)

    Thursday, March 20, 2003

    What a crowd! Around 3,000 protested in front of the Minneapolis Federal Building today, marching down to Loring Park and through downtown. It was very peaceful and I ran into lots of friendly familiar faces. I captured an hour of video and interviewed a couple of folks. I'm on work deadline tonight but will post something by this weekend (my Titanium is finally fixed, yay!). Until then, visit or your local indymedia for protest info, pics and video. I plan to cover the Indymedia organization in Blogumentary, since they're essentially a community blog harnessed for political activism. Do you know anyone using their personal blog for political activism? Drop me a line or comment.

    CRITICISM: I keep hearing the protest issue framed like this: "How dare these protesters waste our police resources at a time like this? We're at war and prone to attack. Our police should be protecting us not babysitting protesters. Plus, it's a waste of money." I'm sorry, but that is BULLSHIT. We have the fundamental right to peaceably gather and protest. Granted, we should not abuse this right and I condemn (sortof) those who vandalize property, etc. and make peaceful protesters look bad. This Minneapolis protest was very peaceful, no arrests that I know of. I'll guess there were 20 cops escorting. The police are there for safety and to make sure nobody gets crazy. They do the same thing for a parade, or pretty much any large gathering of people. If we start saying we'll only do that for certain kinds of gatherings -- i.e. certain kinds of speech -- you may as well put your swim trunks on and slide down the slippery slope now. As with all things, there has to be balance. If there's so much civil unrest that municipal safety is endangered because of constant protests, things get more complicated. Of course, if there's that much civil unrest, then there are probably deeper issues that need to be addressed. (See: 1968)

    In other news: The Mirror Project needs your help.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    Where Is Raed? is, as far as anyone knows, written by a tech-savvy Iraqi under the pseudonym "Salam Pax " based in Baghdad (more). He says he hears distant explosions in Baghdad but not much else yet. Here are more excerpts: No one inside Iraq is for war (note I said war not a change of regime), no human being in his right mind will ask you to give him the beating of his life... how could “support democracy in Iraq” become to mean “bomb the hell out of Iraq”? why did it end up that democracy won’t happen unless we go thru war? Nobody minded an un-democratic Iraq for a very long time, now people have decided to bomb us to democracy? Well, thank you! how thoughtful.
    The 48 hours is up tonight. More waiting waiting weighting.

    General: U.S. Forces Ready To Roll: The U.S. will launch a "horrendous air campaign" led by cruise missiles and Tomahawks aimed at taking out Iraq's heavy air defenses. Naval and Air Force aviators will follow. "It's going to be hell of a lot worse than the Iraqis thought," General Joe Ralston says.

    Iraq's Oil Makes It A Grand Prize: "You're talking about developing billions of barrels of reserves in a country... that's certainly not going to have any money after a war," says Kingston. "Where's that money going to come from?" It's going to come from the western oil giants, of course.

    The Pope is pissed! "President Bush will have to answer to God for his decision to invade Iraq and oust Saddam Hussein. " Reuter's Raw Video offers nonstop free war video footage. [ via Jeff Jarvis' War Blog ]

    Al Gore joins the board of Apple Computer. Somehow this makes me very happy. Al Gore digs OS X and edits his own video using Final Cut. Perhaps California should secede from the Union, governed by Al Gore and Apple Computer. Everyone can be naked artists and make cool videos, and outsource defense. And live happily every after.
    Here it is for those interested. Working on SXSW film reviews...

    Tuesday, March 18, 2003

    For some reason I suspect Dave Grohl gets inspiration from the 70's Swedish rocker look. [ via BoingBoing ]

    Meanwhile, Norwegian death metal band MAYHEM is being sued. Seems their singer "Blasphemer" was carving up a sheep onstange and the sheep's head flew off and nailed a guy. Whoopsie! Heh-heh, I bet he wanted to save that for a hearty traditional stew. Mayhem is apparently one of the bigger bands on the Scandinavian Black Metal scene which gets its kicks from church burnings, suicide, and murder. Weeeeeee! Mommy, why does Satan make me kill when I listen to Cradle of Filth?

    Nonsensical Japan-o-Flash #1 and #2
    Daily Kos has been at the California Democratic Party conference, and of all the Democratic prez candidates, Howard Dean pulls ahead of the pack. The place went nuts when he ended his speech with these fiery words: I want my country back! I don't want to listen to fundamentalist preachers anymore! Plus, not only is his campaign site a blog but he now has a call-to-action blog. Also on the short list of politician's with blogs - Minnesota state representative Ray Cox. Here's a RealPlayer link to a segment on Cox and political blogs from NPR's Future Tense. [ via Iguano ]

    SXSW 2003 VIDZ available here. I was usually taping interviews instead of attending keynotes and things, so I'm very happy to see this. STAN BRAKHAGE DIED. Awhile ago, but just found out. My thoughts.

    Monday, March 17, 2003

    I love love love Austin, Texas. Granted, Austin is a freakish outpost of culture and creativity - probably not much like the rest of Texas. But we met folks from Houston, San Antonio, and all over, and damn if they weren't the nicest people. What about all those assholes in big trucks on the drive down? What about the fact that I saw more Republic of Texas flags than U.S. flags? Where are they? Just when I was about to retire my little stereotype of a big state I ran into this guy on a Harley. He said "Texas doesn't need the rest of the United States." Sweet! We got oil, George W., mountains, deserts.... Naturally I had to ask him about Iraq. He thinks the United Nations is a waste of time. We don't need to wait for the U.N. or "Frenchie" to take Saddam out. Wonderful wonderful wonderful - this is the right-wing Texas stereotype I wanted. But wait. It doesn't quite add up. Look at everything this guy says, this proud ex-military Harley Texan from a military family. Should we go into Iraq? Hmmm... he pauses. I'm about 75% sure. What? Look at the rest of the puzzle - you'd think this guy would be 1000% in favor of going into Iraq, but even this guy is only 75% sure. Shouldn't that tell us something?

    I'm kicking myself for not asking him why. I just rolled tape and let him talk. Let me say I have nothing against this guy. He was extremely likable and charismatic and I'd sure have a beer with him anytime. That's the mojo of Texas for you.

    One Texan's views on Iraq (QuickTime)

    Meanwhile, Kevin Sites is a CNN war correspondent in Iraq, and this is his blog. [ via Rebecca's Pocket ] Blogs could have another watershed moment in this war, given the Pentagon's propensity to even more extreme censorship than the last Gulf War. Newsweek contributing editor Deborah Branscom has more on that in her blog.

    If you missed it, I posted a link to Bush's speech below. Howard Zinn, author of "A People's History of the United States", had some strong words on Newshour afterward. Roughly paraphrased: This is a shameful moment in our history, attacking a nation that has not attacked us or anyone else. Many around the world feel President Bush is a greater threat to peace than Saddam Hussein. We want revenge for terrorism, but WAR IS TERRORISM. We are going to devastate the people of Iraq, that is certain. Morally you can't go along with this... people in our armed forces will die because Bush has grandiose ambitions for power in the world -- for oil, for the U.S. desire to expand its power -- those are not good reasons to die.

    Bush issues ultimatum (RealVideo)
  •  CNN article
  •  Bush Clings To Dubious Allegations About Iraq (Washington Post)
  • PIX! Nikolai Nolan, wunderkind behind the Bloggies, has a nice collection of photos from SXSW 2003. Our fine philosophical friend Matt has some nice pix up on photomatt's photoblog. Here's one of John Hacylon Styn, Richard Stallman (legendary creator of the open-source free software movement), Cori and myself. Here's another group photo.

    I think I've finally recovered from the 24 drive home from SXSW, and have been enjoying the finer things in life which don't involve computers. My Titanium is still in the shop, and Lori's ancient iMac doesn't have firewire, so I still can't post any video from SXSW. But just you wait... I have a guy on a Harley telling me why Texas doesn't need the rest of the United States, or the U.N. or "Frenchie" for that matter. And random people on the street guessing at what a blog is, including a guy in Cat Power saying it's what he left in the toilet that morning.

    Friday, March 14, 2003

    Holy shit!!!! Last nite was possibly one of the greatest nites of music of my life, all thanks to JUNIOR SENIOR. And I got it all on tape yo. And I think my life has been changed by documentaries, namely "The Journey." For more random mobile pix go here. See y'all soon.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2003

    Yesterday I had long, ocassionally deep interviews with Dan Gilmore and David Weinberger. Shot in crappy flourescent lights in ugly locations, but great stuff about journalism and the interconnectedness of all things. I realized this morning that an idea Nora Paul (U of MN New Media Institute) and I had really needs to happen: All this footage - currently heading toward 20 hours - needs to be in a searchable video database. Want to see clips about Blogs And: Love | Journalism | Politics | Humor | Mobile Technology | Human Evolution ? You got it. Every mention of Kottke and Lileks? Sure. Then comes the next stage: edit together your own Blogumentary. Who wants to give me some money for this, hey?

    The biggest frustration of this trip, and this is a good frustration to have: too many interviews, not enough time. I constantly run into people I want to interview, sometimes they come up to me. But it's been so difficult to schedule and they've been going so long that I can't get everyone I want. I just chatted with Heather Champ at the free breakfast cafe, and I'm hoping to talk to her and Derek Powazek after today's "Future of the Blog" panel. Rebecca Blood at 3PM, and the ever-elusive Ev Williams. Ahh, but I have his cell#! Still hopeful: John Hacylon Styn, Rannie the Photojunkie, Ernie of little. yellow. different. Cori has been kind enough to interview Anil Dash and help me get some B-roll.

    Oh! I saw the Bob Odenkirk-directed flick "Melvin Goes to Dinner" last nite, and Bob O was there! A few crappy screen shots here. He said "So it looks like Iraq's terror alert level is now at triple black diamond... they're totally fucked, don't bother saving any water or anything, just drink it... not us though, I think we're on code light blue." Funny guy, him. Movie started out bad but I ended up liking it a lot. Jack Black has a HILARIOUS cameo. Small cameos by David Cross and Fred Arnisen as well. A wonderful soundtrack by Michael Penn, also at the screening. The other highlight of yesterday: Ev wearing a Blogumentary hat. I can die happy now, my work is done here. Go ahead and shoot my genitals off, whatever - my body is just a vessel for the blogosphere now. I'm just, so far beyond.

    Here's a pic of me taken by Matt Howie Haughey.

    (Christine pointed out that I've been spelling Matt Haughey's name wrong. Guilty! My excuse: Matt's MetaFilter name "mathowie" infiltrated my psyche so deeply that synapses were reconfigured. Blog identity superceded reality. We may never be the same.)

    Monday, March 10, 2003

    I know, I know. No pix? No vid clips? Wha--? Soon, soon. Back in Minne-soh-tah.
    This was a day of insanity. I woke up re-realizing that I had no SXSW pass. Crap. I somehow convinced a very, very tired Cori to tape the "Journalism: Old vs. New" panel in my stead. **UPDATE!** Our fine young philosophical friend Photo Matt found my pass in his backseat. All is well. **END UPDATE**

    Yargh, much more to say but the net connection, and all other technology in the bermuda Triangle that is our hotel room, has been extremely flakey. Dan Gilmore and I are interviewing each other, and Google just gave me a thumbs up to interview Ev. Stay tuned!

    Saturday, March 08, 2003

    I Hugged Ev. But lost my SXSW pass.
    wow, what a day. too tired to post much. taped great opening comments by dave weinberger, 2 cam with cori. a fantastic 2 hour interview with dave ( and his blogger gf natalie. opening nite party whoa! yeah, starstruck by evan williams. hugged him, for some reason. i hugged the steve jobs of the blog world. ran into molly steenson wright, rebecca blood, john halcyon styn, anil dash, well everybody. much partying, good eating 'n drinking ensued. but lost my pass!!! big trouble. and I hope my kittie indie is ok. --chuckolsen

    Friday, March 07, 2003

    Well, the hiplog page doesn't seem to be loading so I'll post a few pix here. The first two are driving thru iowa, the other two are at the IHOP outside of dallas, utterly wiped:

    Here's my honey Lori, counting the days till I return! (At least, I like to think so...)
    WE'RE HERE!!! Probably from the 2 free Fosters at the "Platinum Reception." And it was hot on the patio. I'm hooked up with my Film + Interactive pass and, after some legal negotiations with the SXSW press folks, 2 videographer badges so Cori and I can do 2 camera shoots. The whole rights issue with SXSW and the speakers is not something I can wrap my head around at the moment, being exhausted/tipsy/starving. Anyway, I tried posting blog entried from my mobile unit but they didn't work -- instead, keep up with me over here. Time for a nap, and a little food, then a "Breaking Bread with Brad" blogger BBQ gathering at some joint that Loretta Lynn is playing at later on. Cool! I'm also hope-hope-hoping to get into a Crunchy Frog records showcase that blows my mind... The Mopeds, Junior Senior, oh my! And also, Bob Odenkirk's movie on Monday. Until next time, I am,

    Blogged and Buggered in Texas

    Wednesday, March 05, 2003

    Our Komedy Koven singin-and-dancin pal Maggie recently threw a little dinner party for us, and it was fabulous. Here are a few lousy pictures. There are even kitty photos. God, this is why I hate blogs.

    I've had my first major equipment calamity, and I haven't even left yet. My Titanium laptop hard drive crashed after making lots of loud, robotic insect noises. Crap. Fortunately it's under warranty, but I may not be posting any video. However, I'm lucky enough to have Cori travelling with me and helping out, and she has an iBook, so all is not lost.

    In mid-March, 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats migrate to Austin, Texas and hang out under a bridge. Around sundown, they swoop into the sky for the evening's hunt in a spectacular display, feasting on the unsuspecting tourists sweet flesh.
    Hey homies and homettes. Long time since I've rapped at ya. I've been busy, you see. Preparing for my grandmaster asskicker of all trips, to SXSW, in the name of all that is Blogumentary. I've acquired an unholy quantity of production equipment... scrim scrams, bling jammers, you name it I got it, thanks to the generosity of my pallies. Tonight I tried to simulate the hotel room interview environment, taping up some black cloth and shining a bright light on my honey while she was folding laundry. Yes, not only the bright light of my love - which is blinding - but light others can see. Light that is white and hot and pure, and melts the plastic diffusion I rigged up. Oops. I'm getting there.

    I hope I'm not biting off too much. I worry. Yet I know I perform well under stress like this. I will be taping the Bloggies and other blog panels. Here's who I've contacted for interviews - hopefully most of them will work out: Bloggy-founder Nikolai Nolan, fray storyweaver Derek Powazek, expressive photowebber Heather Champ, Metafilter kingpin Matthew Haughey and the self-explanatory Rannie the Photojunkie. RECENTLY ADDED: Blog authority and author Rebecca Blood, digital renaissance man and seeker of the good digital life John Halycon Styn. Ernie from little. yellow. different. Home page legend Justin Hall. And "Small Pieces, Loosely Joined" author David Weinberger - visionary and a heckuva nice guy.

    We saw Lost in La Mancha last weekend, about Terry Gilliam's failed attempt to capture the legend of Don Quixote - and himself - on film. "A compelling study of how, even with an abundance of the best will and passion, the artistic endeavor can remain an impossible dream. " I have to say it was a rather disheartening film for me to see before embarking on the biggest production of my life. Unlike a Terry Gilliam film, if Blogumentary goes awry I can only point the finger at myself. Well, and God and the chaos of the universe I suppose. But fortunately I have a lot of experience taking ricidulous footage and turning it into something, so this will turn into a film no matter what. You really gotta have balls (or ovaries) and believe in yourself and your film no matter what, because nobody else is going to do that for you. (Right Matt?) But if you're lucky, as I am, you have friends that support you, lend you stuff and advice, and even drive you down to Texas. I hope I can return the favor one day. Need a hot young actor for your next amateur porn? I'm there for you. Need to score some smack fast but afraid of the 'hood? I'm your man. Need a liver transplant? Here brother-man, have three.