September 2006

Money&Personal22 Sep 2006 08:36 pm

Punk Justice

After discovering the photo references made in the New Yorker’s American Hardcore collage (see story below), I emailed The New Yorker bring it to their attention. A reply and apology came surprisingly fast from the Art Director of the piece, and a reasonable offer of compensation. John Ritter, the illustrator also emailed and apologized for a mixup of images during a tight deadline. Everything has been cleared up in a professional and ethical manner, and there are no hard feelings at this end.

Media&Personal21 Sep 2006 08:58 pm

Collage in The New Yorker using two of my photos

I have a problem about blowing my own horn, but in this case you will hear a Mile’s Davis plays Jack Johnson virtuoso blow out. Not that it’s any big deal, but I’m casually thumbing through the Sept. 25 copy of The New Yorker, and all of a sudden I see one of my photographs on page 48. Fragments of two of my photographs as I focus a bit more carefully. The central figure is from one of my favorite shots of a crazed slam dancing punk.

Angry Punk Dance of the 80s

The other image used is a guy with a buzz cut who got knocked on the floor.

Protrating Punk of the 80s

He looks like he is prostrating to a more powerful punk, and so I collaged him into a Beefheart message for his song Ashtray Heart, accusing 80s punks of using him.

Beefheart: Case Of The Punks

In today’s interconnected Internet world there is much media to be found. This often works in my favor, as Google and other web crawlers sniff me out. Some of these rock photos have been found by book, audio CD publishers, television programs and ad campaigns and they respectfully write and request permission to use and we negotiate. My policy is to make a fair deal, so that the photo gets published and the publisher is not over charged.

A recent example is a biography on Michael Stipe by Rob Jovanovic. He made a request, we negotiated terms including a very nice copy of the book, and everybody is happy. Worked the same way on an earlier project about R.E.M. publishing my 1982 photos in Adventures in Hi-fi.

Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, R.E.M. 1981

These are some great images, and I can understand why somebody might want to steal them. I was fortunate to be on the scene, have my act together shooting the film and processing it myself, and enjoy publishing the images on my Media Spin web site.

People on Myspace began linking them for their home pages over a year ago. It’s sort of a punkish thing to do, and non-commercial.

In the case of John Ritter’s collage image in The New Yorker, he most likely received compensation and credit for “his” work. The problem is, this is a collaboration and Mr. Ritter did not acknowledge it. I enjoy being published in The New Yorker, and due credit and compensation would make it feel right.

P.S. After making this blog entry I contacted The New Yorker by email and received a very quick response from the Art Director who handled the American Hardcore collage piece.  I’m happy that the situation has been properly remedied.  The artist, John Ritter also contacted me and was very kind about making amends over the incident.  Things happen under quick deadlines.  All’s well that ends well.


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Media&Money&Movie TV DVD Review16 Sep 2006 08:00 am

Here is a list published by Box Office Mojo of the top 20 box office leading feature films released over the past 365 days. PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST took the number 1 spot with it’s box office total gross income of over $417 million.

At least half of the top 20 films are heavily CG animated or visual effects movies, including THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE (2), HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (3), CARS (4), X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (5) and KING KONG (6).

SCARY MOVIE 4Also well represented in the top 20 are comedies such as TALLADEGA NIGHTS (11), CLICK (12), THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (15) and SCARY MOVIE 4 (19).

It’s interesting to note the profit margins. Computer animated CHICKEN LITTLE (13) reportedly took $150 Million to make and grossed $135 Million, so it actually lost money. The horror comedy SCARY MOVIE 4 was made for only $45 Million and captured $90 Million. Doubling your investment and having fun while doing it sounds like a good thing to me.

American History&Media&Personal10 Sep 2006 03:00 pm

Lakota Chief Sitting BullA couple of days ago I got on the BART and sat down next to a big guy who was reading the paper. All of a sudden he says loudly in my direction, “Remember what?!”

He seemed a little angry, and I looked at the speaker. He appeared to be a middle aged native American Indian, wearing a red bandana headband over his long hair. He had a kind of tough, beaten up face with a little bit of mustache and beard. He wore a jacket that had various tribal patches and emblems on it.

“Remember what?” I repeated back to him.

“9-11… what was that?” He said, obviously playing games with my head. His newspaper had a big story about never forgetting 9-11.

I mumbled something like, “Yeah, that’s what they’re writing about this week, you know.”

I went back to my reading as he spoke about his people migrating here over the Bering Strait, losing their land and ending up in jail. He mentioned being in jail himself and doing sweat lodges with Archie Fire Lame Deer.

“Look at all the disease and death in Africa these days,” I offered to the red man. “It seems like most of the world’s problems are due to overpopulation. Do you really think the tribal native American lifestyle could have lasted?”

That didn’t seem to cheer him, and he sat quietly brooding. He got up for his stop and as he exited the train, he called out to the passengers, “All you foreigners have a nice day!”

I guess you might say he’s been anti-immigration for a long time.

Media&Politics04 Sep 2006 08:23 pm

Senator McConnell Leads a Parade in Baghdad

Okay, it’s time to get nationally nervous folks. As early as August 29th, Rush Limbaugh whined, as only Rush can mew, Democrats and “drive-by media” celebrating the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at the dear, dear cost of ignoring the happenings of 9-11-2001.

This is where I say, there is just too much media, far too many battling blow hards.

And yet guilty of being a sorry piece of media, I continue, in the face of the persistent big media companies.

The cover of Saturday’s Investor’s Business Daily included a special banner reminder of “9.11.2006” with a solemn President Bush quote. Their headline:

Firms Hike Security, Move Staff, Assets In Response To 9-11

IBD’s sidebar explains:

America Attacked: Five Years Later. IBD begins a weeklong series examining where America stands in the war on terror…

The San Francisco Chronicle puts a different face on its review of 9-11:

One in an occasional series of articles related to the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Of course much of this hooplah feeds into the Republican’s flailing efforts to justify the misguided Iraq occupation. As pressure builds to develop a new strategy and withdraw from Iraq, you gotta love the hutzpah of politician mouthpieces such as Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., defending Donald Rumsfeld by claiming Democrats want to “wave the white flag” in Iraq.

I invite Mr. Tough Talk McConnell to go to Baghdad right away, and parade down the streets waving whatever flag that makes him feel good and free.


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