Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Blue

I rent a row house in the eclectic Stations North neighborhood in Baltimore. The neighborhood homeowners voted to erect a blue light on my corner to eliminate nearby transvestite prostitution.

Dear Homeowners, you're pissing on a hornet's nest. You conceded the territory as soon as you put up that light. Sure, up the street and down the way there were prostitutes but not on this corner. So yeah, sometimes at 4AM someone walked and yelled down the street in dramatic fashion. But you put up a light, everyone knows that corner is for sale and now you got manifest destiny. Every pusher, thug and junkie knows there’s action nearby. Good citizens passing through ain’t stopping here, ain’t buying here, ain’t renting here. All you’ve done is lower your property's value. You have to think like a criminal. You’re thinking like a man who has something to lose. 

I’m not saying I’m a thief or drug addict, but I’m not saint. And I know that there’s a difference in a man that does and doesn’t consider breaking the law every day. You wake up, breaking the law doesn’t even cross your mind. Sure, maybe you run a yellow light but when you’re at the grocery store you’re not considering stealing, starting an argument, raising any attention to yourself. You just want everyone to smile back at you so you can return home safely. Someone that has it bad, right and wrong is relevant. A means to an ends is nothing to sweat. They see a fence, they jump it. They see a window, they break it. And so what if they do. They’ve been beat up and broken down and made to feel worthless. Society tells the criminal, “Fuck you." Why should they care about war or the economy? Or you? They don’t care about yesterday or tomorrow. They care about now. And putting up a blue light is tapping them on the shoulder and giving them the finger. Now you’ve challenged them. You made a game of it. Given them a platform to say “Fuck you” back.

It used to be the prostitutes rarely showed their faces around here. Now they stand on the corner opposite the blue light for fun. Fuck you. Don’t forget the thrill of the heist. There is a reason you misbehaved when you were young. It’s fun. The risk of getting caught only makes it more exciting. Those are the times you remember. This blue light is making crime more exciting. The longer they go without getting caught the more bold they get. You only feed their egos with that light. Now my friends witness sex in cars parked under that light on a regular basis. And drug dealers are making themselves known at all hours of the day.

If blue lights were kryptonite, they wouldn't still need one three blocks away next to the police department three years later. A predator’s only predator is himself. You don’t stand a chance. Better not to provoke him. That’s pre-emptive shit, like in the middle east. Don’t try and scare them unless you’re prepared to go all the way, and beat them at their game. You don’t strike me as that kind of gangster. Your playing a different game with different rules. This isn’t a courthouse. You don’t bring a firm handshake to a gun fight.

Anything Less Would Be Uncivilized

I fight HIV in Africa from a desk in Baltimore. A major thorn in the prevention of HIV is rape. Mass rape in the Congo, Nigerian Militants raping pregnant women, and over one million annual virgin and infant rapes in South Africa are enough to disgust even those with little social conscience. This sort of cultural behavior is viewed as unique to the third world where human rights, social values and education are antiquated at best, barbaric at worst. There is no way we would allow such horrors here in the U.S. No way we'd abandon women, children and turn our cheeks when the most hanus crimes are evident in our own backyard. Aside from a television in every home, maybe we're not as first world as we believe we are.

Recently, a wave of gross disappointment has hit Baltimore that probes the question, just who can we trust? According to several reports, we cannot trust MTA OfficersSecurity Guards, or Baltimore City Police. A friend of mine involved in one of these cases says this is the tip of the iceberg. Other reports suggest hospital staff also neglect to test and treat women reporting rape. All of this on top of Baltimore City Police having to defend themselves in response to a recent report claiming that Baltimore has the nations highest rate of unfounded rape cases.

This suggests that the U.S. and African countries both perpetuate the problem thanks to shared deep-rooted denial and corroboration with perpetrators. But this sort of news rarely makes the front page so I hope major media follows these cases to the end. It's pretty rare that you hear about rape in Africa. It's a downer; acknowledging and discussing the rape epidemic in Africa might call too much attention to our own insecurities. Regardless of what comes of these local rape cases, I'm sure the results will only make the back page. Our only other option would be to confront the problem. Maybe after after elections... until then, women and children live at their own risk.

Call For Entries

Give us your desperate, your jilted, your lonely masturbating masses … your scorned and repulsive rejects yearning for acceptance!
EMP Collective is hitting the nation’s capital with a heaping dose of heartache, alienation, and good ol’ fashioned cardiac stompings this February 2011 with (…and you’re just not good enough).
EMP unites artists from across the country, blurring the divides between film, theatre, music, dance, and the visual arts. (…and you’re just not good enough) is a collaborative, multimedia art show where artists are invited to tear apart our deep-seated need for acceptance and uncover what it means to have your guts ripped out of your torso, thrown on the ground, and left for feral cats to gnaw on.
Previously devised works, developing works, and new proposals for this show are being accepted through November 15, 2010.
EMP Collective is passionate about artist collaboration, transforming local spaces, and bringing new, diverse art to new and diverse audiences. We’ve previously collaborated with writers, poets, musicians, actors, dancers, clowns, filmmakers, photographers, installation artists, and painters to create provocative, entertaining, and social art events and want to do so with YOU.
Want to get in on the action on another level? EMP is also looking to collaborate with local directors, designers, and production geeks.
And remember — EMP LOVES YOU.
Kiss and tell,
EMP Collective

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I'd like to learn more flash so I could potentially make the blog a visual experience up front like the site for the White Stripes
White Stripes

Objects on the page are also animated when hovered over. Looking forward to Adobe growing pains.


I see navigation as part of the design, part of the graphics. Expanding on more examples of preferred navigation styles I'd like to use a tab or image/tab type setup similar to. &

Criterion also has a blog-like page for News but I prefer the Explore page. It could easily be adapted to Written, Visual, and Film. The NPR page is busier so I don't anticipating needing that much variance until my growth warrants it.


No idea.

I'm not too interested in posting/publishing new work via my blog. Video entries, written rants, or any sort of promotional material for upcoming performances seems more likely. Might consider prior written/visual/film projects as an interactive resume.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 5 - los terribles

While searching for good blogs all I could find was crud. While searching for terrible blogs all I could find was decent or boring. I'm not sure if these blogs are terrible but I'm including them in this post b/c they're difficult to read. And they hurt my face.
Deborah Horton - RED!
Patrick Dorazio - Visual Overload

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 4 - I'd like to do something like...

I'd like a clean design that utilizes images. Something in between You, The Living and Harp & Altar - the navigation links on both sites are friendly to use and every page is smooth.
Old man drags a dog, slowly - You, The Living

Not that clutter/collage can't be appealing...
Exile on Main St. - Rolling Stones

Week 1 Assignment, part 3 - Hypertext Narrative

The Brain of Katherine Mansfield offers a sarcastic approach to bad narrative decisions. Any time you are lame and end up closing the book, you receive a tongue lashing, "Fool! Miserable worm! Prepare to pay the price of your despicable need for security. You enter the house to find the bloody bodies of your parents on the floor. Also your puppy, Shane. Even now an escaped axe murderer lies in wait for you behind the bathroom door. The adventure on which you refused to embark is already over." Moral of the story: party-poopers and scaredy-cats need not apply.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 2 - Excellent Online Lit Journal

Harp & Altar is a smooth ride. It's light, clean, and simple. You can hop around quickly with little change in structure and layout. Super friendly.

Like Harp & Altar, Glitter Pony and Conduit use simple designs but they spice up their pages with color. Conduit tries a little too hard with their animated pop-out window but it remains easy to surf.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Week 1 Assignment, part 1 - Self Promotion Blog(s) I Approve of...

How a Poem Happens uses a simple layout that fills the page edges with a blurred photo, adding some color without distracting from the blog. There are "non-threatening" links in the right side bar but the page is free from clutter, ads, and spam. As of today, I've found myself using a similar template. And I can't be wrong, right?
Kim or Lisa also uses a simple layout with side wall paper and a clean vertical bar running up/down the links bar.

They also barrow quality photos from which doesn't hurt. Overall, both of these templates are clean and the authors have avoided vandalizing them thus far.