Monthly Archives: December 2008

Back in the saddle

Oh I try and I try to keep up with this blog. I feel a sense of responsibility to this project because I have no real responsibility to it. By choice I share all the useless but awesome stories I hear and see. So I’M BACK (again and again). I was watching Jon Stewart last night. After a sorrowful moment in memorium of all the material Bush has given Jon over the years and the realization that this show will have to actually start working for satire once Bush retires, Arianna Huffington was the guest. She is the creator and editor of the Huffington Post. The website pulls links from all news sources and blogs into this tidy site, like a “best of” of the day’s headlines and features. After there is caffiene running through my veins in the morning, I log onto the site to get my fill of headlines instead of having to click from CNN to NY Times to the Tribune to Jezebel. So there is my plug. The editors and bloggers on the site just published a book about blogging. Arianna and her sexy Greek accent made blogging seem like the most passionate hobby a person can have. “Blogging is not about perfectionism. Blogging is about intimacy, transparency, and sharing your thoughts the way you share them with a friend.” My first thought: I want one! Thought #2: Oh yea….I have one! That line reminded me why I have this blog. Primarily so I can pass on all the pop culture nuances to my friends without wasting their anytime minutes, and also with the slight hope in the back of my heart that I can turn a career out of my mining for absured realizations about this cultural haven we live in.

So to begin again I have one word. Obama. It is amazing to really understand and feel what it means to be proud to be an American. It is a term I used to be too young to understand, followed by too ashamed to feel. But being meer miles away from Grant Park the night Obama was declared our 44th president, being able to hear the eruption of cheers from my window, seeing people smile when they talk about a politican, scrolling through my friends’ facebook statuses reminding people to vote, to change. Finally it feels like there is a person to symbolize our country that actually encompasses the values and ideas that Americans want projected onto the world. Change is good.
Next, a topic I would be stupid not to write about. On Tuesday I heard Annie Leibovitz speak at the Chicago Public Library downtown about her new book Annie Leibovitz at Work. Photography is an art that can steal my attention for hours. It’s almost meditative for me to follow the clean focused lines, calming to see the monocrom black and white, reassuring that the world can still appear so beautiful. To me, the quality of Annie’s photos that sets her appart from other photographers is the surrealism that glitters through the realistic nature of her photos. When I met Annie at the book signing after her talk, I told her that her photos make Hollywood still look glamorous. The lighting, the sharp quality, the glow. Her Vanity Fair portraits makes me believe that somewhere there are ladies and gentlemen that still walk around in diamond incrusted gowns and drap themselves in family jewels. That there are still sassy and sophisticated pin up girls in martini bars somewhere. That rock stars are still invincible. That fairy tales can come true. At the same time, her photos of average Americans show natural beauty in their eyes, their wrinkles, their shape, their stature, their clothes, their story.
Every one of her photos have a story that adds another layer to the photo and the subject. She talked about countless backstories to her photos, about different subjects and genres. She is not a good public speaker. She would try to start talking about a photo then relieve herself back into the pages of the book, reading passages about the photos. I found that very comforting, knowing that she was not at easy in front of the crowd. I think people that thrive being on stage, in the spotlight, eyes burning into them to be very unnatural, very forced. Words that you type out and write down, think about, plan, compare, can be easier to trust than split seconds words that come out of your mouth, that you can’t delete. It is a more thoughtful and confident form of communicating your voice. Actually, Annie as a photographer has an even better form of communicating her voice through her art. Visual art can evoke emotions within the viewer that go beyond words, written or spoken. On some level I am jealous that I’m not talented enough to bring forth those emotions in my audience. Yet.
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