BurnDiary

 

Candace Owens, Outer Banks artist/photographer, stopped by just now to get me to sign her copy of the June issue of NatGeo with my OBX story in it. I am right now so crazed busy, but how could I say no?

The mother of two of the cutest kids I have ever seen, Candace and her husband Randy are also part of my upcoming American Family series. So you will someday meet the whole family. One of Candy’s paintings (a mermaid) graces my wall. She also shoots weddings and family pictures for local photographer Brooke Mayo.

As you probably know I shoot all the time. Mostly casual snapshots like this. After all, lucky me, photography is very much my hobby. Occasionally I post here, but it always seems awkward. It interrupts the flow of the emerging photographers essays. So I mostly put my stuff on Instagram and share right along with everyone else waiting to see if I have any “likes”. Funny. Essay  in NatGeo, new book out, but looking for “likes” on Instagram. Well honestly I love to see how everyone shoots on a daily basis. What is happening now. I shoot these with my iPhone just to be totally amateurish in nature.

Fact is we all love to do this, so I have a new idea. BurnDiary.

Burn’s own Haik Mesropian has created now for us a new page where we can do this on Burn. Your Instagrams can come here. On a separate Burn “bulletin board” so we can interact for real with new pictures shot with any camera. Only one picture per person per day (yes, you too Panos). Let’s see how it works. Should be fun and it will keep our front page here clean only for essays OR for the the shot that YOU just took that we decide to bring to the front. So sharpen your eye, shoot what is around you in an interesting way, and fire it off to BurnDiary. Details coming soonest on how you will do this.

Thanks for stopping by Candace. Thanks for letting me take a picture of you as well. You are a model mom. My door is open to you and the family any time.

 

457 Responses to “BurnDiary”


  • In an unrelated matter, I can’t believe that come tomorrow I’ll have been working in this dump for 25 years. I think this shows a tremendous lack of ambition and/or imagination on my part. Twenty-five years…God, I am getting old.

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Keep reporting…go BURNIANS ..
    Love spread the love….
    Come on, where is the party? Where is my cake

    We are All family…and you are LOOKing freaking
    Amazing!!!

    May the spirits be with all of Us…

    What not to Love…ouzo has been delivered;)

  • Paul..

    I got as far as to rule #2, there they already lost me…

  • Hey Paul, interesting stuff. Not all of it pertains to photo essays though. We don’t usually work so much with fictional characters. A lot of it, with a little re-write, does, however. The themes are universal: work, work, more work, flexibility, ruthlessness in editing, experimentation, exercise, to thine own self be true. I pulled them out below. Would be interesting to fill in the blanks with those things unique to photo essays.

    #2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

    #3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

    #5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

    #7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

    #8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

    #9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

    #10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

    #11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

    #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

    #14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

    17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

    #18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

    #20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

    #21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

    #22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

  • And speaking of story, I admit I am a bit disappointed with the EPF finalists. Not that any single one of them isn’t worthy. I think they are each fantastic in their own right. Of the years I’ve been watching, I think these are the strongest individually. But taken as a whole they are too similar. It seems the judges are saying that the only type of photography that matters is to travel to the ends of the earth and document the most horrible thing you can find in a very earnest manner. I have the greatest respect for that kind of work, and perhaps it is the most worthy of widespread recognition, but again, that’s not all there is. And it’s a bit surprising because so many NatGeo people and the Webbs are involved, all of whom take a significantly different, I would posit more sophisticated story-telling, approach. David’s Nairobi work is the best example I know of for photographing third world nightmares (sad, I count much of the U.S. as third world these days as is well documented in a couple of the essays). If I were to add a rule for photo essays to round out the Pixar rules above, I think I’d add, #3: also show who benefits from the misery. And #4: Ask yourself: Is there no joy in this world? If there is something in this story besides unmitigated misery, show that too, at least a little bit.

  • Probably better to separate the EPF stuff from the Pixar rules discussion. Each essay is excellent and nuanced in its own way. Perhaps a problem with the putting them all together in a video with Nina Simone vocals is that it creates a separate work of art that invites us to see it all as a whole. And cumulatively, it’s pretty damn depressing. In the context of the Pixar rules, I think each separate essay was created consistently with those rules, but when we see the video as a whole, a lot of that nuance is lost. That’s not a knock against the video, since it is not intended to be a work of art separate from its parts. It’s just hard not to see it that way.

  • Antoine d’Agata – Anticorps

  • Thank you Eva!!!!

    Antoine is out of this world…
    and as we speak he is doing some new “amazing crazy” new work “somewhere” in northern Europe..
    Stay tuned;)

  • a civilian-mass audience

    Can I sing now? Can I? …you don’t want me to dance…

    Come on BURNIANS … Where is the party? I want to partyyyyy…till tomorrow…
    Bring it on
    What not to love…
    We are a big love family …I know, I know JIMMY… :))))))))))

    Viva …let’s shake our brains…is that right WENDY

  • Eva…

    And then David creates “Based on a true story” and you can turn it round around and give it fifty different versions or meanings and has doesn’t have much to do with Pixar’s advice…

  • Paul..

    With rules in mind, (BOATS) would not exist in the form it exists today. Rules might make for a safe life and a tranquil state of mind, but rules and creativity (of any form) are, to me, an oxymoron..

  • Regarding Pixar rules and Based on a True Story, I think quite the contrary. Rules, of course, is a bad term, but great stories all come out of the same pool. Nothing in the Pixar rules is about sequencing or allowing for different interpretations. Most of them are about conception, creative construction, editing, or tension. Thinking long, hard, and deeply about the story and how it works. Although I’m willing to bet big money that David didn’t consult some rule book while working on BOATS, the finished product and the way it was produced is a good example of how following a lot of those rules can result in great work. They are definitely worth contemplating.

  • Before getting down to rules and Pixar lists, I realize the hardest thing I find is discovering a hook which holds a visual narrative together. Especially when one is a single image photographer.

  • Paul, yea, those kinds of storytelling rules don’t apply much to a single image. I’d hazard that the single most important element of a single image is tension. The great ones are not simply images of a subject; they are images of a subject in relation to something else, something that introduces an element of tension. Salgado’s photos have a spiritual tension (ecological of late), Harvey’s a sexual tension, Gene Smith innocence, Cartier-Bresson social… I could go on, but the point is that there is usually something working against the subject. Of course being a visual medium capable of going beyond the possibility of words, tensions can exist between colors, shapes or other compositional elements. I suspect most of the best photos have both those kinds of tensions; narrative and compositional.

  • MW…

    My obstacle is finding the hook or idea to put several or many of my single photos together and create an essay . I need an “excuse” a narrative which runs through all of them which makes a coherent story and something common to all them. I suppose there are two ways of doing it…
    Think up an idea or story and shoot images according to the narrative.
    Or compile a load of photos which having something similar between them and find a story within which is valid .

  • Paul, do you ever do any simple photojournalism? Like covering some kind of an event? A carnival, circus, or sporting event? Or like a lifestyle piece documenting a scenic park, cemetery or some other place? I do stuff like that all the time when I don’t have any big ideas I’m working on. Telling simple, obvious stories is good exercise and sometimes you find a bigger picture within them. Just finishing something, however unexceptional, and moving on is good for the soul and typically leads to better things.

  • “The preoccupation with rules does not sit well upon the creative mind.” Len Deighton, Funeral in Berlin

  • MW…

    That’s a good idea and something I haven’t done in ages, in fact since I studied photography at college. Thanks!!
    I’ll do it.

  • The thing of it is, of course, that if you’d told me in 1987 that I would still be working in this dump in 2012 I would have laughed my ass off and then told you, in a completely impolite tone of voice, that you were out of your damn mind. Yes sir, that’s what I would have done. None of that civil service baloney for me, are you nuts, no way, Jose! Of course, this being twenty-five years later and here I am, still toiling away in the egregious mold pit like some proletarian drudge out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, well, that’s more than a little embarrassing, I have to say. Laughing in someone’s face when they’re right and you’re wrong is always discomfiting in retrospect. Even in currentspect, which I’m fairly certain isn’t even a word, it’s discomfiting.

    Actually, I’m still wondering how I’ve managed to hang onto this job, given my absolute lack of qualifications for it. I have a degree in the basic subject matter, but I got it back in the early 1990’s when all the information was in books and it was just a matter of finding the right bit of information in the right book. But at about the same time I was getting my masters degree Tim Berners-Lee was inventing the World Wide Web, thereby rendering everything I’d learned obsolete. This is annoying in and of itself, you know, because no matter how you look at it, the time and money I spent getting that damn degree is now time and money flushed down the rat hole. And all I learned in graduate school was theory, and while in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice theory is a waste of everyone’s time and energy. Nothing I learned in graduate school prepared me for how to deal with exploding toilets, leaky roofs, crazy people defecating in the main room, adults aggrieved that they have to obey our rules, horny teenagers going at it amidst the flower pots, kids setting off fire alarms, oil burners glowing in the dark, and the dead guy in the men’s room. I don’t remember any of that coming up at all in school, not even once. I wonder why I’m still here sometimes. I think it’s just a lack of imagination on my part, but I could be wrong about that.

  • Akaky…

    That’s a good quote and sort of reminds of something out of Cormac McCarthy’s “City of the plain”…

    “The best horses are the ones been around kids. Or maybe even just a wild horse in off the range that’s never seen a man. He’s got nothin’ to unlearn.
    You ever break a wild horse?
    Yeah. You hardly ever train one though.
    Why not?
    People don’t want em trained. They just want them broke. You got to train the owner.
    Akaky Why do I have the funny feeling you’re not a fan of Cormac McCarthy :)?

  • Akaky…

    “It is not down in any map; true places never are.
    Herman Melville

  • I broke a wild horse once. The Lakota folks who owned it said they needed it broke, but really, they were just giving me, a young Mormon missionary from California, a test, to see if I could do it. I didn’t know what I was doing, spent three days with that horse, got bucked off again and again and literally got the hell knocked out of me but at the end, I was able to ride that horse and have it go where I wanted it to go.

    Then I went back to where we stayed and spent the next three days mostly flat on my back, convalescing. The owners of the horse set it back out to feed on the open range and nobody ever rode it again.

  • Back to NYC. Fantastic Time at Look3. Burn is really a familly and  such a good friends, thank you guys!!! I adore you!

  • OK One last go at a shameless plug.
    last one got snowed under a shower of instagraspam.
    no big deal its only a blog.
    http://johngladdy.wordpress.com/

  • John – I’m following your lead. As everyone comes back from Look3 – here is my project again in Kickstarter – it’s called Poverty Now. I’m documenting the change in US poverty. There are only a few days to pledge support. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonhouge/poverty-now

    After then, I’m hunting for more grants. Does anyone have a good list of grants that would help cover my film, travel, and misc expenses?

    P.s. Panos, how are you embedding YouTube videos on here?

  • Frostfrog, what a great story.

  • I broke a porcelain pig once; I had to pay for it. Not nearly as interesting as Frosty’s story but you have to work with what you’ve got. And you’re welcome, Audrey

  • still a bit dizzy..
    savoring the love and passion…..
    J’ADORE…….
    great imagery everywhere..
    fish in the trees….
    millers
    and
    laughs…
    house
    and
    family….
    photos
    and
    LOVE……
    x0x
    **********

  • DAH check your Facebook messages and let me know if you have any questions – it’s small scale but I think you would be a great addition.

  • I’ve been watching the EPF winner video quite a bit, but haven’t changed much from my initial reactions. I think each essay is very good on its own merits, but when viewed as a whole it strikes me as horribly depressing and I’d like to see a little more variety. Apparently I’m not the only one with that general feeling.

    I’m guessing David will say that they just pick the best essays without regard to genre and that past years demonstrate that there is no particular bias towards any particular type of photography. To that I say, yep, history demonstrates the truth of that. Fair enough.

    And I really do think each and every essay is worthy. Oh, of course I could quibble here and there. But first and foremost I think the right one won. That’s truly excellent work and it works on many levels. Were I in the mood to quibble more, I’d worry that most of the rest are just too damned earnest. They are about what they are about and there’s not really a lot of room for interpretation. With the notable exception of the Iraqi essay, which I would have probably voted runner-up.

    But I know David values nothing more than great photography. Story and all else — great, but secondary to the photographs themselves. So where I’m a little uncomfortable with the “Monia” because it’s a bit of a cliche, or at least has been done a gazillion times, but some of the individual photos are of such a high quality that I can forgive the old, worn story. Actually, I thought the quality of the photography elevated it to where I would have voted it third. And as for putting the individual photo before the story, again I say to that, fair enough. We know who we’re dealing with. Nobody’s getting conned.

    And there are a lot of really good individual photos in these essays. Each one contains several that I strongly identify with and would love to have hanging on my wall. My favorite, of course, is Danny Wilcox’s horse picture. My quibble with that is that it’s horrendously out of place in an essay about poverty. Cause if that’s representative of what it’s like to be poor, then sign me up. I regularly dream a pretty much identical image. I think a lot of us do. Jung wrote extensively about it. But as far as I know, no one ever associated it with poverty. But hey, Jesus died for somebody’s sins…

    Anyway, that’s my long-winded way of once again congratulating the finalists, winners, judges, burn folk and anyone else involved. Good stuff. Makes you think. And it’s something to talk about.

    As for the music, I really like it. Nina Simone channeling George Harrison? Great stuff. OF course it gets old pretty quickly on multiple viewings/listenings. I’ve really been into Neil Young’s latest offering, “Americana.” So far my favorite accompaniment is “High Flyin Bird.” You might consider giving it a try.

  • MW – does the feeling you get from the work change if you mute the music or play some other music? I think music adds a layer or dynamic to the work and give an additional meaning that may not be intended by the artist….

    Since the general feeling is sad and depressing – does that possibly show that there is a lack of hope in these photographs? Why do these people push through and continue to live another day if their lives look so wretched? There must be something!

    I don’t necessarily think more variety is the answer, because that would make it very difficult on the judges. Out of a 1000 that submitted, these were the chosen photographers. The judges decided to work together and narrow it down to a common theme. A theme based around the subject matter – the unkempt fringe of our existence…

    What the photographers presented were wild, dramatic, bleak, and bizarre visuals, and what they neglected to share was hope, dignity, and compassion. Almost all of the images also seem to represent moments of reflection, resignation, solitude, stress, or grief. With maybe three exceptions. One being from the Serbian project, the image is of a family gathered around the table listening to music from a concertina/accordion… The other two being from Yesterday’s War, Today’s Iraq the second image – the family is looking skyward, but at what? are they smiling or grimacing? And the last is #4 in that project, an image of men watching a 3D movie. They are joyous yes, but something is obviously missing. This same thing is often hidden from view in their society: the women. When they are visible – they are heavily covered, a mark of oppression…

    Perhaps this is the next step in their journey as photographers – to come to grips with this phenomena their work exhibits and find a way to incorporate some hope back into their work.

  • how are you embedding YouTube videos on here?
    ————————————————

    copy link from youtube and paste here…

    ALL, sorry just returned…tons of things to do, books to package, ship blah blah etc….
    Lots to say and report but i need to do laundry first etc….plus VISSARIA is here so i need to pay attention to family etc….etc…stay tuned!!!!!!

  • MW:

    the MORE photographers pay attention to awards/accolades, the more their work looks like award-winning stories/photographs, etc….the more photographers emulate one another and engage their lifes and manner of life in the same network of folk/mentors/festivals/visual tropes, the more it all looks the same…a collective jamboree for the initiated, nothing more…now that’s a general comment about the state of things…as they gather to worry over all this nonsense…my take on all this is much simpler than an overbreathed analysis…as a former epf finalist, i’d simply say it was fun to enter the original contest and make work specifically for it, to make it as different and conflicted as david was used to seeing, later worked it a longer project and exhibited it in an exhibition, i have nothing but found memories of the process…i never expected nor cared to be chosen and quite shocked when i was was, but at that point there was both a lot less money and a lot less eyes lazer-beamed on BURN…shit, burn hadn’t even existed when it was originally announced…what matters is not the award or the name or any of that….but the process of honing one’s life…to the life around and trying to make sense of that….it is hard both as a photographer/writer and a supporter of this outfit to criticize anything, as I feeling nothing toward it but love and affection…i would say also that involved myself here in mentoring/helping young photographers (in toronto) and talking about their work in public, i do find a wondeful difference…the stories here are more intimate, smaller-scaled and more challenging…it would have nice if the photographer world generally was helmed by folk who inspired people to work their own lives photographically, rather than the world writ large…i struggle more and more with colonization of the photographic world…what i want to see more are stories about places done by photograpehrs who come from those places and not westerners feeding us stories about other parts of the world….and so to get that now, i tend to focus my limit time on work like that, looking for work like that….Moriyama and Araki and Fukase and company made sense and senselessness out of japan as an example….all the stories were strong and powerful and well imagined visually and narratively…though almost none of them took great visual or narrative or conceptual risks…and THAT is what i lament and find so often now among young photographers (in the genre of ‘traditional’ narrative/documentary work)…with the exception of thinspiration (which increasingly troubles me for some of the reasons i spelled out and for other reasons, though seemed initially to be the most brave visually and narratively through its repetition/horror/voyeurism etc) but that essay comes crippled by its lack of context (is this autobiographical or is it a Methamphetamined, junked up view from a documentary photographer trying to examine the life of these young women?)….

    i didn’t have any problem with the ‘world-wearied’ nature of the pics (that’s what young people breathe, and the hope is that they’ll transcend that eventually), and neither should we….our expectations should NOT be about what is produced under that rubric (epf award winners) but what gets done in the entirety of the photoworld….what matters is not a story…but the life’s work…seeing it like this, for me, i just enjoyed seeing a lot of good picture making by some friends and some people i respect and by some young photographers i didn’t know either…and enjoyed that….

    the rest of the deep analysis, is just dross…

    find the stories that matter to you, and fly them…

    cheers
    bob

  • AKAKY IRL: So?
    AKAKY: So what?
    AKAKY IRL: Are you going to tell me what’s going on or what?
    AKAKY: Nothing’s going on.
    AKAKY IRL: Says you.
    AKAKY: You’re losing me, dude. If you want to talk in Pinteresque non sequitirs all day long that’s fine—I guess someone has to do it—but if you want to carry on a conversation you’re going to have to start making sense pretty soon or I’m going to make myself a ham sandwich.
    AKAKY IRL: So nothing’s going on?
    AKAKY: Nothing’s going on.
    [Pause]
    [Longer pause]
    [Longest pause]
    AKAKY: You’re overdoing the effect, dude. Get on with it.
    AKAKY IRL: Sorry, it’s been a while. I’m a little out of practice. So, nothing’s going on?
    AKAKY: No, nothing’s going on.
    [Pause]
    [Longer pause]
    AKAKY: Dude—
    AKAKY IRL: That’s not what I heard.
    AKAKY: That’s not what you heard about what?
    AKAKY IRL: I heard something was going on.
    AKAKY: You heard wrong.
    AKAKY IRL: So, I don’t have anything to be worried about?
    AKAKY: Not a thing.
    AKAKY IRL: Everything’s fine?
    AKAKY: Everything’s fine, except for the usual medical stuff, you know how that is.
    AKAKY IRL: Yeah, I know how that goes, but besides that, everything’s okay?
    AKAKY: Yeah, why wouldn’t it be?
    AKAKY IRL: No reason. So, everything’s okay?
    AKAKY: Yes it is.
    [AKAKY IRL stares at AKAKY]
    [AKAKY IRL continues to stare at AKAKY]
    [Ditto, except for longer]
    AKAKY: You’re overdoing the dramatic effect thing again.
    AKAKY IRL: Tough.
    AKAKY: So, why are you doing it in the first place, if you don’t mind my asking?
    AKAKY IRL: I’m wondering just how frigging stupid you think I am.
    AKAKY: I’ve never actually tried to figure that out. There didn’t seem to be any point to the exercise. I’ve always assumed it was somewhere between a two by four and a box of rocks.
    AKAKY IRL: Do you think I’d be asking you all of these questions if I didn’t already know the answers?
    AKAKY: If you already know the answers to the questions, then why are you bothering to ask? What kind of dumbass asks questions he already knows the answers to?
    AKAKY IRL: Don’t go all philosophical on me, smart guy. I know you went down to the city the Sunday before last. Didn’t think I was going to find out about that, did you?
    AKAKY: Oh, bugfuck.
    AKAKY IRL: Bugfuck, my eye. I got calls from at least a dozen people who saw you on the train coming up from the city. They all want to congratulate you on your remarkable recovery.
    AKAKY: That was nice of them.
    AKAKY IRL: Nice, my ass. They didn’t see you sucking down Vicodins like they were going out of style and trying to get out of bed Monday morning with ankles the size of basketballs. What the hell were you thinking?
    AKAKY: My ankles were not that big. Stop exaggerating.
    AKAKY IRL: Exaggerating? Exaggerating? Have you finally gone out of your damn mind, going down to the city in your condition? What the hell did you go down there for?
    AKAKY: I just wanted to see the sights.
    AKAKY IRL: You’re shitting me, right? You already know what the damn sights look like—you have enough pictures of them, for chrissakes—so don’t try to pull that one on me. What’s going on?
    AKAKY: I went to see some people.
    AKAKY IRL: What people?
    AKAKY: Just some people.
    [Long pause]
    AKAKY: Jesus, not again.
    AKAKY IRL: Wait for it, bubba, wait for it…
    [Longer pause]
    AKAKY IRL: Jesus H. Christ…you went to see those blog people, didn’t you?
    AKAKY: I wonder why the blog people sounds like the title of a cheesy Fifties horror flick. And The Blog People there could be sequels like the Revenge of the Blog People or Son of the Blog People or I married a Blog People communist.
    AKAKY IRL: Stop trying to change the subject, dumbass. That’s it, isn’t it?
    AKAKY: Look, you’re making this sound a lot more dramatic than it was. I went down to the city, I met Laura and Audrey, and we went to a gallery and the library and Rockefeller Center. And I ate a hamburger. That’s about it, dude. Nothing out of the ordinary.
    AKAKY IRL: Where’d you get the hamburger?
    AKAKY: At T.G.I.F.
    AKAKY IRL: Did you tip the waiter?
    AKAKY: What?
    AKAKY IRL: Did you tip the waiter?
    AKAKY: Yes, I tipped the waiter.
    AKAKY IRL: How much?
    AKAKY: What?
    AKAKY IRL: Are you going deaf too, stupid? How much did you tip the waiter?
    AKAKY: Three bucks.
    AKAKY IRL: You cheap bastard.
    AKAKY: I am not cheap.
    AKAKY IRL: The hell you ain’t, bubba. Three bucks, that’s just embarrassing.
    AKAKY: It’s TGIF’s, for crying out loud.
    AKAKY IRL: It’s TGIF in the city, guy, where the minimum wage is half a million dollars a year. If I were that waiter, I would have hit you over the head with a bottle of ketchup, just on general principles.
    AKAKY: The ketchup bottles are plastic nowadays, dude.
    AKAKY IRL: I would have bashed your head in anyway. There’s a principle to uphold here.
    AKAKY: If you say so.
    AKAKY IRL: I do say so. You didn’t bore them out of their minds, did you? You didn’t just sit there like a bump on a log like you usually do and say nothing? It’s going to be very difficult to maintain your international man of mystery schtick now that actual live people have seen what a clod you are. You didn’t embarrass us, did you? Please say you didn’t embarrass us, even if you don’t mean it.
    AKAKY: I didn’t embarrass us.
    AKAKY IRL: Oh my God, it’s that bad? I’ll never be able to hold my head up in public again.
    AKAKY: Hey, I didn’t embarrass us. Really. It went well, I thought. I did my best to keep the conversation going and Audrey was a gamer; she kept at it even if she doesn’t speak much English; and Laura was right there to cover the difficult spots. We talked about Weegee and photography and that Jefferson Davis wasn’t really captured in a woman’s dress and some French game called petanque. Everything went fine, or at least I think so.
    AKAKY IRL: Humiliated in front of foreigners…how do you even get us into these situations, that’s what I want to know. I’ll have to go away, I’ll have to hide, maybe even change my name or go into the witness protection program or something like that, just to get away from the shame of it all.
    AKAKY: I’m all for that.
    AKAKY IRL: You would be, you putz. Why did you go to the library?
    AKAKY: They wanted to see the library.
    AKAKY IRL: Did you go up to the reading room?
    AKAKY: No.
    AKAKY IRL: Why not?
    AKAKY: It didn’t occur to me.
    AKAKY IRL: What’s the point of going to the library if you don’t see the main reading room? You really are a dumbass. Did you at least point out the lions?
    AKAKY: Of course I did.
    AKAKY IRL: What’s with the of course? Someone dumb enough to miss the main reading room is dumb enough to miss Patience and Fortitude. You did get their names right, didn’t you?
    AKAKY: Yeah.
    AKAKY IRL: Well, that’s a plus. And then what?
    AKAKY: We went to Rockefeller Center and they went to the Top of the Rock.
    AKAKY IRL: And you didn’t. I don’t even have to ask about that.
    AKAKY: I could’ve gone up, but it was getting late. I had to get home.
    AKAKY IRL: Late my ass. A guy so afraid of heights he won’t go more than two steps on a goddam ladder is not going to the Top of the Rock without a lot of Prozac to ease the way into the elevator. I know you, bubba. And then you came home and told me that cock and bull story about being in Wal-Mart all day long. You should have come up with something better than that, guy. I knew that excuse was bullshit the minute it came out of your mouth. Even Wal-Mart isn’t that fascinating during the daylight hours.
    AKAKY: I’ll think of something better next time.
    AKAKY IRL: Not going to be a next time, dummy. You try this stunt again, I’ll break your legs to make sure you stay where you’re supposed to be.
    AKAKY: You’re a very angry individual.
    AKAKY IRL: So you keep telling me.

  • And after the Blog People. Must learn to proofread, dammit!

  • Akaky,

    A very sincere thank you for meeting us in NYC and writing about this perfect day… My first time in USA, I didn’t speak english, my second, a little, maybe my third time, I will be a chatterbox who know ;-))) Seriously, It was my first time that I took “good” pictures with someone, I always need to be alone for that… so for me, it is a big compliment… inspiring AKAKY!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    A message to the ACADEMIANS:

    Thank you for your posts…they better be good
    Because it will take me a week to read them
    BUT
    As our AUDREY says…j’adore you ALL…!!!
    oime
    What not to adore!!!

    Go GREECE…go BURN…viva!!!

  • a civilian-mass audience

    I am extremely busy with my chickens…BUT I am watching you…

    Yeap,I am the mass audience…we are everywhere…ok
    I will be back…

  • Thank you Thomas Bregulla, David Bowen, and Justin Smith for supporting my project! Only 3 days left and I can use all the help I can get – still 80% away from goal. I’m documenting the widespread and growing poverty in the US. This is a personal topic in my homeland. However, the US is a big country and it costs a lot to travel it. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonhouge/poverty-now

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