Talking out loud to the net

I saw Twit­ter from near­ly the begin­ning — and cyn­i­cal­ly ignored it.* In the begin­ning, I may have had good rea­sons. At the time, I was com­plete­ly offline, amass­ing mil­lions of words in man­u­script.

Even­tu­al­ly I got on @michaelstutz, but retained my ambiva­lence.

Some­thing has recent­ly changed all that — a sure, sub­tle change in the air, that you can feel, that means this is a time for being and cre­at­ing online and shar­ing ideas. And the way Twitter’s evolved in recent years, espe­cial­ly with longer char­ac­ter counts and the addi­tion of threads, it brings new & excit­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties for writ­ing. Orig­i­nal Twit­ter, or “Old Twit­ter,” is almost entire­ly a long bor­ing stream of ‘sta­tus updates.’ Not any­more. There’s no doubt that the whole thing’s sud­den­ly com­pelling.

And now it took me no time at all to get blocked by my favorite sto­ry-thread­ing Inter­net kook — who crossed the line of dece­ny by doxxing inno­cents as part of one of his rants.

* Well, not entire­ly true. I’ve run a sta­ble of char­ac­ters, as an exper­i­ment in online fic­tion, since the begin­ning.

Looking at Florida with a Leica

Took a new dig­i­tal Leica (Huawei Mate) to Flori­da for dri­ve­bys & still shots.

It’s a smart­phone, and smart­phones are now the only kind of dig­i­tal cam­era I use — the oth­er is an old iPhone, which I use with Hip­sta­mat­ic.

The phone’s dual lens cam­era with all-man­u­al set­tings had much promise. And these images do, admit­ted­ly, get the “Leica look.” It’s also there to get shots I’d nor­mal­ly miss, because I keep the phone with me all the time.

How­ev­er, there’s still some­thing unsat­is­fy­ing to me about most dig­i­tal imagery. Look­ing at the results after­ward, I real­ize that I still pre­fer film over this. And Hip­sta­mat­ic on an old iPhone is just about the only dig­i­tal cam­era tech that can do it for me …

Instant Writing

Obsessed about a new kind of writ­ing, some­thing more inter­est­ing, and imme­di­ate, than what’s hap­pen­ing in social media or any­where else, cer­tain­ly books—and it was seen in the thrim and shim­mer of the ligh­trays and lush at a dis­co loft par­ty last night. There for a sec­ond, a mir­rored moment alone, when my ancient idea of “instant writ­ing” was haunt­ing me hard, some of it came out quick­ly in great nat­ur­al clarity—it was strong, ver­nal, and maybe the only way out that was rea­son­ably pos­si­ble.

Because look: I’ve cre­at­ed a moun­tain range of backed-up work in jour­nals and files and piles of pock­et note­books all to tran­scribe, and there’s sim­ply no way to gath­er it en masse togeth­er and orga­nize it with­out stop­ping, and time, and mean­while more—the ideas keep gush­ing forth in their fast-flow­ing froth and I know that the most like­ly way of fin­ish­ing these big leg­ends and books is maybe to write them all out in real­time just as they hap­pen, and instant­ly with fast strokes & brushthought life is trans­mut­ed to word.

Treasure Island Redux

Trea­sure Island, Flori­da and its envi­rons is one of the best hotbeds of mid-cen­tu­ry mod­ern archi­tec­ture in America—right on the Gulf of Mex­i­co, about a mile from Jack Kerouac’s last home, was an exam­ple of every major archi­tec­tur­al style and trend from America’s high point.

In an effort to bring aware­ness to what they had, years ago I got Trea­sure Island on the front page of The New York Times. They didn’t get it then, even as the nation­al spot­light was thrown upon them.

I’ve been mak­ing some trips down there to doc­u­ment what’s left, and I’ve become hap­pi­ly sur­prised by some­thing else: there’s new inter­est and hope in his­toric preser­va­tion. Now that mid-cen­tu­ry mod­ern is so hot, this might be a very good year for the city.

Tropic Terrace

The Sands