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

Silenced.

Con­trol the medi­um and you con­trol what’s pos­si­ble on it. Lan­guage is the medi­um of thought. So the way to cur­tail thought is to take away the tools that make it pos­si­ble — ban words and phras­es, change their mean­ings, out­law cer­tain expres­sions … and sud­den­ly whole ideas are for­bid­den, if not impos­si­ble.

Today the so-called “lit­er­ary” press is among the worst of the polit­i­cal­ly-cor­rect con­trollers. That’s why con­tem­po­rary lit­er­a­ture is so weak and use­less — it has no cul­tur­al cachet, the nov­el and poet­ry have almost no pres­ence or pow­er in pub­lic life. “Lit­er­ary” is a syn­onym for weak-mind­ed, aca­d­e­m­ic PC junk that isn’t worth your time.

I won’t sup­port them, and in return they won’t sup­port me, either — Cir­cuits of the Wind isn’t sim­plis­tic enough for them, they hate a lot of words and ideas in the book, and they sure don’t like white males — dead or alive.

So I was hon­ored to be a part of Loren Feldman’s doc­u­men­tary film Silenced: Our War on Free Speech, pro­duced by Mike Cer­novich. It’s exact­ly about that. And a lot of us aren’t shut­ting up about it any­more.

Watch Silenced on Vimeo.

Silenced: Our War on Free Speech