Sticking it to those snowflakes

I would like to personally breathe some fresh air into my snark-soaked Twitter feed and maybe even yours by coming out as a guy with some normal, middle of the road opinions of today's politics. The world tells us that we either have to be hard left or hard right, but that just isn't the case.  I believe that there are many people out there that agree. (but maybe I'm totally wrong) 

If you didn't know, our president-elect had a press conference this week, and it was pretty...um...nuts.

I'm not going to lie, I got some pleasure out of this. If this administration is going to be anything, it'll be great television.  That said, after getting some laughs out of it, I snapped out of it, and realized that he's our next president.

There's a reason for that: Obama created such a thirst for change because he, himself is a super arrogant liberal who wanted to put down the right any chance he could get. The right responded with a super arrogant...something (definitely not a conservative) as a way to strike back at the past 8 years of bad leadership. 

My mom told me recently something that I can't get out of my head, and I believe was something extremely wise: As humans, we always tend to over-correct.

Trump is 100% an over-correction.

Conservatives have had a rough 8 years, and it's fostered a great anger.  Instead of voting for someone a little more lukewarm and level-headed, we vote for the candidate that satisfies our primal desires and says what we've all been thinking (whether or not he means them).  As a conservative, I completely understand why someone would vote for Trump. Obama has been president since I was 16 years old, so all these socialist, liberal ideas are all I've heard my adult life. The housing crash in '08 happened, ISIS was formed, and freedoms have been taken away during this administration.  It's been rough.

At this point, however, I have more of a beef with Republicans than anything else. Republicans have begun stooping to the same sorts of tactics that Democrats have been using for the past few years. I've always had distain for liberal preachy-ness: if I sense that you've shared some pretentious Medium article about how I'm racist or how Trump-supporters are a bunch of dumb rednecks, my eyes just roll uncontrollably.

That said, the right hasn't been much better.

It's videos like the one above that makes me cringe, because there's a huge chunk of people cheering him on. (To be fair, if I was slanderously accused of golden-showering on prostitutes I would go all "Game of Thrones" on everyone's asses) There's a sort of abrasiveness that the mainstream right possesses that loves this kind of treatment of the left.  I've seen the term "snowflake" when referring to whiny liberals, which is painful.  Trump isn't setting any sort of example that is going to diminish that sort of thinking, either.

Tomi Lahren for example, has been in the news alot lately. Unfortunately, in many liberals' minds, she is the definition of what all conservatives are.  

She is grossly abrasive and arrogant, but she's really sticking it to those snowflakes.  (What's funny is that I don't know a single liberal that watches The Blaze, so she's only really talking to people that agree with her, which makes it more painful)  What happened to catching flies with honey? There are conservatives and liberals who are cordial to each other somewhere, but the only ones we're gonna see on the internet or on tv are the ones that are like Tomi Lahren. And you wonder why we are so divided as a nation?

This sort of name-calling and belittlement was the problem with the left, but since now both sides are belittling and name-calling, it's only going to get worse. 

What happens when the inevitable over-correction to Trump gets elected? How is that going to work?

I watch Trump and the generally snarky attitude of the right (which i have been guilty of myself) and I see sore winners. I'm an adult with no kids, but I think about my niece who's going to grow up watching Donald Trump be president and wonder how she'll be shaped by that. I wonder how many parents, this past week, had to explain to their kids what "golden-showers" are?  Trump is the result of the crudeness, bitterness, and lack of civility of the left and the right.  Do you think after Trump, who will now set the tone for our nation as our leader, we will respond by going back to middle-of-the-road suits? I would doubt that highly.

We reap what we sow. If we are going to keep sowing the types of seeds where we call the other side "snowflakes" and cheer on immature responses to the press and those who disagree, then strap in, people. This rollercoaster only goes down.

That's ultimately why I could never get on the "Trump-train". I'm not looking for a president to be a pastor or anything, but I definitely don't want a president that furthers and allows mob-like treatment of those who disagree. There's certainly some satisfaction I get from Trump sticking it to the media, but I know deep down that sort of reaction doesn't make things better for anyone. As someone who has a history of responding inappropriately, I can tell you that it's not until you "kill with kindness" that things get better.  

   

SNOW IN THE SOUTH 3

I made a couple vlogs titled "Snow in the South" a year ago (I've realized that I've already made a Snow in the South 3: Flurry Road, but let's just pretend that it's not canon). They were stupid but they all commented on the same thing: the white death that falls upon the southeast United States.

I'll probably keep milking this inside joke for a while, at least until we actually get some good snow.  Anyway, this movie took me a total of 40 minutes to shoot and edit so it's kind of just one of those "I had free time things"

But seriously, stay warm, people.

2017 already feels...different.

I've started 2017 with no 365, no set plan on where I head next. A sign of stagnation or a sign of something different?

My first photo of 2017

My first photo of 2017

I guess this post is technically the first thing I've made this year. Then maybe, just maybe, I can have some time to take some new photos. (I also released a new episode of The 365 podcast this week) 

I threw some top ten lists on Facebook for those who are my REAL friends just to get that out of my system, but I'm uninterested in looking back at last year anymore.  I want to move forward, which is why I'm a little nervous that not doing anything akin to a 365 is resting on my haunches.  Half of me feels like ditching the 365 was a growth move, but it was such a habit that it is difficult to shake especially at the turn of the year.  

My mom and I went to a sushi restaurant a few days ago and talked about our goals for the year. We decided that a year from that day, we should meet back at that sushi place and bring what we've done in 2017.  She had some ideas of what her goals were, but I couldn't really answer the question. I have a lot of things I want to be better at, it's hard to focus on just one thing.

Maybe get in better shape? (no one has had that goal before) Maybe learn to paint? Write more?

Really the only thing I can think of is just do keep doing what I'm doing. Focus on Anna, work, and then take good photos and videos along the way.  I don't want to force something new, I just want to get as good as I can at the things I have already before me. So, I guess that's it.

My goal for 2017 is to keep on keepin' on.

When I'm eating a sushi a year from now, I'll show my mom how well I kept on, I guess. 

*UPDATE* 

rewatchselfie.jpg

While I was writing this, I came up with an idea for a Youtube series will take a huge amount of work to get done.  There's a lot to and I will probably releasing episodes sporadically. I don't want to talk about too much yet, because I'm sure the project will morph as I work on it.

For now, go subscribe to my podcast, and follow me on Instagram.  

 

You, Me, and Carol 2016: Pet Appeal

It's that time of year! Here it is, our second annual Christmas podcast, You, Me, and Carol! This time around, we watched Scrooged, (which is on Netflix) talked about who is 2016's Scrooge, and Anna talks about her idea for a Christmas Carol story set in the Wild West. Also, just as warning, Anna kind of spoiled Westworld a little.

Probably one of my favorite parts of making this podcast once a year is making a new set of portraits with each episode. It's weird to see how much has changed and see how we can one-up what we did last year. You, Me, and Carol will definitely be going on for a while, because Anna and I really look forward to this now.   

You can subscribe to the podcast here, on iTunes.  

In the feed so far there are 4 episodes: The introduction episode which is about 2 minutes long, The 365 podcast episode where Anna and I talk about Christmas and come up with the idea for You, Me, and Carol. Then, You, Me, and Carol 2015 and You, Me, and Carol 2016. 

Have a Merry Christmas and stay safe, everyone. Enjoy the show!

AFAIK #1: Subject to change

I'm going to be writing weekly now (see explainer post). Why is this called AFAIK? To come up with a catchy name for this series I looked up a pdf of internet acronyms (like a n00b), and one of the first on the list was AFAIK: As Far As I Know. It's 100% not an acronym anyone on this planet has used ever, so obvi it's perfect for my purposes.  I'm a 20-something, so all of these loud mouth blog posts can all be prefaced with "as far as I know".  Kinda dumb, but that's kind of my brand by now, right?

If you’ve ever met me in person, you know I have a lot of things to talk about at any given time. You can probably imagine, then, how difficult it is to come up with a weekly post about a single thing. Probably a good discipline for me to learn. Let us begin!

a picture of...uh...me looking back

a picture of...uh...me looking back

I could apply a similar strategy to this website that I apply to my Twitter: Rant and rave about things I know next to nothing about. Instead, maybe I can begin to rebuild this blog by posting some insightful (ha) and more substantive writings that 140 characters will allow.

Instead of maybe going into political opinions, I’ll stick to something I know something about for the time being (Until such a case will appear that needs a healthy dose of my non-expertise). 

Let’s talk photography for a moment.

Why now? “It’s a week before the election, let’s talk about that instead.” 

“No!” *slaps own face* “Quiet, you!”

Speaking of Twitter, I was scrolling through Twitter and landed on a tweet that started a whole domino effect of thoughts on photography, life, and how no one and nothing is safe.

For reference, Jeremy Cowart is a pretty big photographer these days. You’ve probably seen his work before; he’s shot photos of Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, etc. Anyway, he’s great. Has an incredible artistic eye, and is just a regular family man.  For the past few months, Jeremy has been promoting his next project: a hotel. I still have to splash water on my face when I hear that because it sounds insane: a photographer building a hotel. 

Go look it up, it’s a cool idea and it will probably work out well for him. His concept behind his hotel is golden and works perfectly in this cultural moment we are in.

Here’s the part I want to hone in on: He’s backing off from photography a bit. 

He’s not the first big photographer to shift their focus (no pun intended): Chase Jarvis did this a little while with his company Creative Live, an online workshop company. It’s a genius idea: take all of those photography and new-creative wannabes and get them to pay you to teach them how to make stuff. So perfect for today since everyone wants to be an artist of some kind.

As someone who works in the photography/videography/art industry, I’ve seen other successful photographers also taking this step back.  

The photography world is evolving, like most worlds right now. No one is safe.

Back in, I don’t know, 2011 maybe, someone asked me what I was going to do after college. I said, “I’m gonna be a photographer, people will always need pictures.” I, like a lot of people for some reason right now, saw photography as an emerging market. One that will always exist, and one that has a chance of making me any money whatsoever. 

I would say the one sector of photography that will probably last a little while longer as a career is wedding photography, but I’m already seeing iPhone 7 Portrait mode becoming a threat to that. Why pay $2000 for a person with a DSLR when your dad has one in his pocket?

That’s of course a little crazy, obviously dads aren’t going to suddenly weed photographers out of the job by jumping in with their iPhones.  It’s, rather, what iPhone 7 portrait mode stand for. Before, you needed to spend $400+ to buy a camera to play the game. Soon, you won’t need to drop extra money for a ticket to ride the photography train, you’ll already be paying AT&T monthly and you’re good to go.

It’s all changed super fast as it is. I remember the day in 2007 when Steve Jobs announced an iPod, an internet device, and a new phone. SPOILER: it was just one device. Apps didn’t exist yet, and the camera on the device was a foggy mess.  Now, it’s 2016 and an iPhone can almost completely simulate a DSLR. How much longer until the iPhone (or a competitor) comes out with a phone that IS a DSLR? 

Who would have thought the taxi industry would be under fire from technological innovation with Uber and Lyft? 

Who would have thought America would be voting between an egotistical orange and a criminal for president?

Everything is subject to change.

What we’re seeing now is photographers evolving their photography skills into tools for bigger and greater things. With so many photographers out there, it’s become grunt work, something almost anyone can do.  Technology has made it easy, so of course, a lot of people are getting into it. A career that doesn’t seem to take much work? Great, sign me up.

“People will always need pictures” They just may not be paying for you to take them. 

While living in the present we must be looking ahead. We don’t have time to look back.

Bloggin Fridays

Posting every day has lead me towards the unfortunately all too common habit of oversharing. Every time I have a feeling or bowel movement, I could impulsively share it because that's the name of the game.  

Thought my sister's Halloween costume was cool

Thought my sister's Halloween costume was cool

I want to take time and pull back from constantly yelling and filling the internet with my garbage. 

That's why I'm going to do something new.

I'm going to fill the internet with my garbage once a week.

This will give me a chance tweak a post all week long instead of 15 minutes when I'm raging about something. Maybe I can make something worthwhile and readable for once. 

I'm planning on posting something every Friday. I'll take the week to come up with a catchy name for this segment.

Also, Happy Halloween!

Disappointments, Surprises, Stuff I wasn't into, and The Best

2016 is a bad year for politics, the future of America, and movies.

I believe I've concentrated on politics enough so let's talk movies (and tv, because let's be honest, tv is better than most movies these days)

And yes, there are still two months to go, but there's really nothing big left other than Doctor Strange, Star Wars, and that sexy space movie with Chris Pratt (which I'm sure will be great). I can amend these lists at the end of year, but there's already so much to put in here I'm starting now.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first:

Biggest Disappointments (aka stuff I was really looking forward to and they were bad):

Batman v. Superman - why? why did this have to be bad? Ben Affleck as Batman was so cool but then Superman comes in and takes a steaming bummer crap on every scene. ugh.

Jason Bourne - expected an intelligent film like the last 3 and got the dumbest and most condescending-to-the-audience film we could have gotten. 

Ghostbusters - it was a bad movie. Just really bad.

Independence Day - Now, I knew this wouldn't be a good movie, I thought at the very least it would be fun.  This movie needed Will Smith.

Luke Cage - The acting and the writing was awkward and the pacing was weird. Like all the other Marvel shows it should have been 8 episodes long. I just couldn't get into it, and I really wanted to.

Black Mirror Season 3 - Ok so I still have 2 episodes left, but I've watched all of the ones that people raved about and I just wasn't into it. Nothing grabbed me like the previous seasons.  "Nosedive" was just a commentary on a boring, tired conversation about self-worth and the internet. "Playtest" is probably the only really good episode I've seen so far.  That 80s episode was meh to me, but I think ultimately because I'm over this year's fascination with re-hashing the 80s (which I will get to later)

Based on the next few weeks, I may be adding Westworld to this list, we'll see.

Biggest Surprises (aka stuff I didn't know or care about and ended up being really great) 

Swiss Army Man - One of my favorite movies I've seen. It's so weird and out there and totally un-ashamed of it. I can't recommend it to anyone because of how weird it is, but I assure you, it's great.

Hell or High Water - Didn't know anything about this movie until the week I saw it. It's a modern western (which I'm a sucker for), it's beautifully shot, and just a clean storyline. My favorite movie this year.

Weiner - Why would I have expected a documentary about Anthony Weiner to be good? Well it was great and I highly recommend it. Can't stop thinking about this one.

Westworld - A scifi western with Anthony Hopkins in it. There's even a Hemsworth in here! So far, each episode has been stunning and well-paced. Kind of getting a Lost-y vibe from it which scares me. This show could end up amazing or like Lost. We'll have to see.

Atlanta - I wasn't surprised that this show was good tbh because Donald Glover was at the helm. It's tonally unlike anything I've ever watched; the overall vibe of the show did surprise me.  It's so funny, kind of dark, and just out-there. I love everything Donald Glover makes, so again, I was hooked before I even saw it.

Stuff I Just Wasn't Into:

Stranger Things - I get why people like it, it's a fine show. It didn't stick with me, I didn't think the acting was that great, and I was tired of being constantly slapped in the face by the 80s. I thought the ending was "meh" and I really wish there wasn't going to be another season. Should have been an anthology show.

Bloodline - Liked how it's basically dark Parenthood, but the second season just didn't grab me like the first. It was fine.

All shows about New York hipsters

 

The best stuff: 

Game of Thrones: obvi

Better Call Saul - Bummed that no one talks about this show. It's delightful, fun, and part of the Breaking Bad universe. I feel like only my mom and I watch this show. It keeps getting renewed so whatever I guess. If you've seen Breaking Bad, watch this show.

Halt and Catch Fire - Ok ok, it's an 80s period piece. The first season is "meh" but everything that follows it is a masterpiece. The show is set in the 80s but doesn't feel the need to remind you that constantly. The final season comes out next year.

Captain America: Civil War - I'm a sucker for Avengers movies and this was the best one yet. No surprise there

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping - It's like Spinal Tap in 2016. It's hilarious. Literally no one saw this movie and that's kinda sad, because it was a glimmer of light in the dark summer movie season.

So I realized after making this list how it appears that I watch stuff every second of the day. What's funny is that I watched significantly less this year than ever.  This list is probably 95% of what I've watched this year, and most of it just happened over the past few months. Oh well, I'm ok with being seen as a nerd with no life. I can handle your insults. Come at me. 

 

#tbt: 365 IV

I took portraits every day for a year. 

Probably my hardest challenge at the time, and I'm actually really proud of this series. It took a lot of work and I feel like I really found a niche in photography I truly enjoyed. Probably my favorite project I've done yet.