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July 23, 2006

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As we slip from present awareness into the luxury of a shared dream (the movie experience), so too does my camera suffer a small fall (like the one that doomed Ivan Ilyich), causing damage to some crucial circuit of optical recognition. It's OK, I'll get over it. Or probably replace it. But for now I'm really pleased with this less than verisimilitudinous effect. Movies, TV, photography, websites--it's all a dream, so why try to psych yourself out by trying to make it appear "real"? Bukowski's definition of fiction comes to mind: "An improvement on life."

Summer Film School has been a sweet experience. I really don't want to leave. It's Arcadia, Utopia, Atlantis--an ideal place where people engage in mutual external meditation and then gather in groups to sip elixirs and discuss matters of art, spirit, and justice. Or maybe just shoot the shit.

What makes the atmosphere here so special?
Unlike in America, adults here are not treated
like children. Even the children are not treated
like children, insofar as they are shown respect
and expected to practice good judgment. In the
US it is more or less assumed everyone suffers
from bad intent and/or is a bumbling idiot. (If
over time this has come to be more and more true
it's only the result of self-fulfilling prophecy and
negative feedback loops.) The American system
provides every citizen with two phantom parents:
the overprotective mommy and the ultrastrict daddy.
Mommy is liability insurance and a barricade with
blinking lights set up around any potential hazard.
Daddy is tough laws governing every possible action
backed up by intimidation and merciless enforcement.

Since Mommy and Daddy couldn't make it to SFS, people were free to have a good time in a relaxed atmosphere. It was possible to camp out under tall old trees, despite the remote chance of getting hit by a falling branch. Daddy would have been shocked to see grown-ups walking the streets with cups of beer and no one checking IDs! Surely this would result in anarchy. Instead of burly meathead bouncers at every gate, security was handled by polite (and often petite) teenagers, who made up in numbers what they lacked in muscle. After all, why intimidate your paying customers?

If you see Mommy and Daddy, please tell them I am dead.