Tuesday, January 31, 2006
A note from blues singer Candye Kane showed up in my inbox saying:
It's not the first time my breasts have been censored even when they weren't exposed. Newspapers have refused to run the cover photo of my sixth CD, Whole Lotta Love, in a couple of narrow-minded cities. Some papers and magazines have even refused PAID ads by my record company if they used the cover photo.
One reviewer liked my CD but remarked that the cover photo is obscene and in bad taste. (Hey, I'm sorry my God given body offends you!) And now, the poster for my upcoming show (Feb. 7th) in Arcata at Mazzotti’s, apparently was too hot for this restaurant.
They hung up the poster in front with a large bar across my cleavage, in an apparent attempt to cover up my 44 GG bounty. I am always amazed as to what constitutes obscenity in this country. Why is a fat girls cleavage more offensive than a thin girls cleavage? Cher, Madonna, Brittany Spears, Liz Hurley, Halle Berry and countless others have all worn dresses cut so low that another inch would show their navel, pubic hair or lack thereof. They parade around on prime time awards programs and are never censored. It isn't even considered unusual. But if a fat girl does it, suddenly we have crossed the line of decency. I can't help it that I have more flesh than thin people. Clothes just look different on me. There is more of me to cover, and more of me that shows, when I am in the same styles that skinny women are wearing. Why is cleavage any more offensive than a belly shirt or a pierced naval? I happen to think it's all beautiful but that cleavage is especially luscious. And in a day and age when women are paying thousands to buy larger breasts, why on earth would we want to cover them up?
I am not surprised that the folks at Mazzotti's gave into the pressure. Apparently a woman with a child came in and said she didn't want her child seeing such a vulgar picture so the management followed suit and covered me up. It is just a shame that one uptight person can cause an uproar that forces others to react in such a puritanical way. Did the management really think my poster was obscene? Or did the loud mouth woman bully them into submission because she hates her own breasts and doesn't want to see mine?
Whatever the case, it makes me sad that people are so threatened by a woman with large breasts who is fully clothed. Yes, my boobs are huge and so is my ass. But that won't stop me from taking pictures and wearing the clothes that are made for me, even if they happen to offend someone else. Yes, I will continue to wear a bathing suit at the beach, low cut dresses on stage and in photographs and no amount of scorn, censorship or NO FAT CHICKS stickers will make me shut up and disappear.
Ironically, my newest CD White Trash Girl has a cartoon caricature of me showing just as much cleavage as the photo in question. No one has ever censored the cartoon version of me or mentioned it, yet. Color me puzzled - and stacked.
Monday, January 30, 2006
When I arrived Hank was discussing the Humboldt Blogs story with DJ Mike Dronkers. If you look at a larger version of the photo you can see he has the Buhne Tribune screed about Humboldt Blogs on his computer screen.
Mike was wondering how he might find my MySpace page since he had tried and failed. I gave him the URL; he said he'd invite me to be his friend later. (He still hasn't.)
I don't use MySpace much, so I don't actually have many MySpacey type friends. For that reason I was surprised on Saturday to find e-mail invitations to become M-Space friends from two girls whose names I did not recognize: Jeanette and Joelle. Who could they be? Ladies who saw my page in the paper and figured out how to find my page, even when Mike could not? I'm not one to turn down friendship so I agreed to the invite, which showed me that Jeanette is in fact my niece who lives in Washington. Joelle, my other new friend is her new daughter, my grand niece.
The next day, Sunday, I picked up the morning paper to find a MySpace scandal story: The Times Standard was up in arms about a missing high school homecoming queen whose parents were sure had run off with some "man from Fremont" she'd met through MySpace. When she did not come home Friday night they called the cops who put out an all points bulletin here and in Fremont looking for her alleged abductor, with grave warnings about the dangers of predators lurking in cyberspace. Of course the parents knew nothing about the guy from Fremont and as far as what was reported, no one had any reason to believe that she was "abducted" and did not merely decide to meet her Space friend face to face. Monday's followup story reported that she was home again safely after being located in Eureka with "the boy," who was no longer deemed a "man." The mom was quoted saying "We wanted to press charges, but were told we couldn't." Why not? She "was unable to say." Can I offer a guess? Maybe because it's not a crime for a teenage boy to go off with a teenage girl, even if she did meet him on MySpace. Am I the only one that finds this whole hub bub just a bit ridiculous?
On Jan 30, 2006, at 11:25 AM, gretchen wrote:
> Was interested to read the Blogging edition of NCJ. I'm a
> Humboldter who's part of the raging next wave: Vlogging. video
> blogging took off last year. With iPods now carrying video
> capacity as well as cell phones, we will be seeing the expansion
> continue. I heard that a film created by cell phone just won a
> Sundance award! This isn't a letter to be published, it's just a
> letter to you in case you ever do an issue of the NCJ on vlogging
> -- get in touch with me then.
> If you'd care to check out my site, there's very good footage of
> the Eureka waterfront during the new year's storm. I gave copies
> to channel three but they never aired it.
> I'm at MagdaKettlestorm.blogspot.com
> There's a world map of the vloggosphere at http://www.vlogmap.org
Good to hear from you. I knew a little bit about vlogging, but was
not aware there were any vloggers locally. The subject actually came
up when I attended a benefit for the Humboldt International Film
Festival Saturday night. I was talking with Donald Forrest, a
longtime Dell'Arte actor who is now studying filmmaking at HSU. He
told me he had brought up vlogs with Sid, the editor of the EcoNews.
Sid told him, "There's no such word." But Sid's old school, still
uses a pencil.
You say this is not a letter for publication; is it okay if I blog
it? I want to keep the local discussion about the many uses of blogs
rolling. If you would rather this not be that public let me know and
I'll pull the post.
yours - Bob the Humblogger
p.s. I'd love to learn more about the nuts and bolts of vlogging -- I
have a movie function on my new Canon and have ben shooting short
clips for a few months now. How do I post them to a Blogger page?
Sunday, January 29, 2006
This note came via e-mail from my son, Spencer, a music aficionado/musican who follows the goings on in the hip hop world via various newsgroups and bulletin boards.
Interesting story. (Humboldt Blogs) Some discussion of the negative aspects would have been nice, like the whole aspect of "blogging something into existence" that we talked about briefly. Entire new sub-genres of rap have been labeled and categorized thanks to blogging music journalists (whose authority, thanks to the universal access of blogging, is undoubtedly questionable).
Take for example the new rap sub genre of "snap music"/"intimate club", whose roots and specific origins are being discussed on the blogosphere this very moment. "Snap music" does not exist as a genre to rap consumers who aren't in the blog-reading set, let alone the artists that are actually making it.
It’s bad enough that second-rate journalism majors at shoddy internet music publications like Pitchfork Media are able to conjure up nonsensical categories like "freak-folk" and have the record buying public adhere to them (much to the chagrin of the actual artists involved), but now anyone with a DSL connection and Soulseek has this power in some sense. Everyone can think they are a music critic, and this is very very bad. The gap between the reviewer and the artist is distanced even further as actual interaction with music scenes is even further obscured, which can be both a good and bad thing.
Enough for now...
oh, check this
(and the blogging bloggers who blog them)
Got an e-mail yesterday morning from Bob Morse, of Morse Media, who among other things, runs Humguide and provides hosting services for the Journal. He had read the Humboldt Blogs piece and wrote to say, “Dang!” – because he didn’t know about it beforehand – and he has a tech-oriented blog we could and perhaps should have mentioned -- had we known about it. We (I) didn’t.
Earlier this week I heard from Steven Vander Meer, the rubber stamp guy, again it was, hey, I have a blog too. In that case I actually knew about (and had forgotten) his blog: He even once blogged a photo of me in his stamp factory after I interviewed him a piece last year on StewArt Studios, home of his business and work spaces for several other artists.
Meanwhile the local blogosphere went into conniption fits over Hank’s “Humboldt Politiblogs” portion of the Humboldt Blogs piece. Cap’n Buhne responded in satirical rhyme to the fact that Hank deemed Fred the Libertarian King of local bloggers. Spirited debate on the merits of the story took place in the comments sections of various blogs, mostly with comments blogger to blogger, complaining about the lack of due respect for their blog, others stung by Hank’s snide barbs.
Snollygoster, of the Half Sheet (what’s wrong with local print publications) blog took serious offense, first threatening to leave the blogosphere forever, then lashing back with an involved post that included a PhotoShop illustration showing Hank in superhero costume pissing off a mountain onto a “Urinal” logo, a none-too-clever epithet borrowed from another local blogger, The Plazoid. Hank responded in the comments section with the fearsome wrath of a maligned superhero.
Incidentally The Plazoid was another who complained, but he (or she) at least had the common sense to realize that merely being mentioned in print would help pull in readership for the Plazoid blog.
p.s. Sorry, I have yet to learn the html code required to linkify my posts, but I will eventually.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
She says, as he’s heading out onto the front porch to smoke, “You’re not going to leave that door open are you?”
As I cross the room to close the door, she tells me, “He always likes to leave the door open so he can hear the music.”
He sees me as I approach the door and says, ”You’re not going to close that door are you?”
I just laugh.
He adds, “I like to leave it open so I can hear the music…”
I laugh again.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I added a link to your blog to my mine to help you get some hits. I'm averaging 50 to 60 hits a day as of late.
Bob notes: [wait 'til your picture is in the paper along with your url -- see what that does to your count]
Fred: I've been wanting to start a special links section just for humboldt related blogs but I'm not sure of how exactly to do it. I'm worred about screwing up my template. I'll have to see how other people are doing it.
Don't know if you have a hit counter on your site, as I don't see one but I know some people have them set to not be seen.
The one I use, http://www.sitemeter.com/
can tell you all kinds of interesting things like what other web sites sent visitors to your blog. It doesn't tell all of them as most come back as Unknown. I suspect that might be from people using firewalls. But, mine show people coming from other blogs and humguide, etc., among other places.
Neat thing about the sitemeter counters is you don't have to mess with where to insert the html code for the counter. I'm not real hip to html. All you do is insert the url of your blog and sitemeter inserts the counter for you.
Bob concludes: I am totally in the dark as far as code goes. My friend Carroll says it's easy -- you just view some page you like in source mode and see what's what. I've tried but it's all gibberish to me. I should try to find some dummy's guide on the Web -- I'm sure it's there.
On Jan 25, 2006, at 9:19 AM, Fred wrote:
> Hmmm...you actually managed to do a post via e-mail. I've never
> been able to get that to work for me.
It was pretty easy, even for a newcomer. You just go to your Blogger
dashboard, click on settings, and make up an e-mail mail address by
adding a word into the template. It's a bummer that the jpegs didn't
show up. I also noticed they have set it up so you can blog from your
cell phone using text messaging and even post phone cam pix. Just
what we need, people blogging while they're driving their cars (too
fast) down the freeway.
> Yeah, I did that blog value tool myself and mine was worth just
> less than $3000, if memory serves me correct.
Did the jpeg come through? It shows that humboldtlib has grown in
value to $5,645.40.
How much do you figure that is per hour of labor?
> Somewhere back in my archives there's a post where I mention my
> blog value and the value of a few of the other blogs I frequent.
> Don't really know what to make of all that, though.
It's meaningless. I'm beginning to see that blogging is an art form,
a means of self-expression that puts the tools to create an easily
absorbed message into the hands of the masses. (That last phrase is
almost straight from the end of the Blog Humboldt story, and I have
to credit Hank with helping conclude the thing.) Like any artform —
music, painting, photography, writing, whatever — people are going to
do it to please themselves, because of the basic urge to communicate,
or maybe because of some more basic urge: to mark their territory.
Fortunately you can't smell blogs. :)
> I'm surprised at how quickly it comes up with a value. You'd think
> it would take at least a few seconds to find the blog and analyze
> all the links?
It's instantaneous. You know you can find out at any moment in time
which web addresses have links pointing to yours. It's the same basic
data-trolling system used to create Google rankings. This applet
simply retrieves that data, multiplies it by an arbitrary number, and
spits out a value. It's simply the monetary equivalent of your Google
ranking. It assumes (or satirizes) an unproven concept: That blogs
can be bought and sold as a commodity. Again, as I mentioned before,
my blog is valued at $0 because no other blog or webpage has a link
to it. As you know (and Bill K. points out in his part of Blog
Humboldt) trading links is key to pulling in more readers.
It will be interesting to see what effect having a picture of HumBlog
(and it's address) on the cover of 22,000 copies of the Journal will
have on traffic to the site.
On Jan 25, 2006, at 7:15 AM, Fred wrote:
> So the blog story is going to be in the Journal this Thursday?
> Posted by Fred to HumBlog at 1/25/2006 07:05:53 AM
Yes, in the Thursday edition, which actually hits the street today
(some streets anyway).
And you (and your blog) play something of a starring role, at least
in Hank's portion.
On another somewhat related topic: I was websurfing last night and
came across a little box thingy based on the recent spate of
discussion on the value of blogs in light of some dude (Tristan
Louis) selling his, or offering his for sale, or whatever it was he did.
It's a little routine that counts the number of links to your blog
and calculates a price based on the per link formula that
blogsalesman used. I'm attaching the results in jpeg form.
The page is here: http://www.business-opportunities.biz/projects/how-
As you will see, it shows that my blog is worthless, a piece of crap
waste of time that no one reads, much like the vast majority of the
ever increasing number of blogs that are rapidly clogging the
blogosphere... But wait, maybe there's a flaw in the formula. It
judges only on linkage. What if I could get some bloggers to link to
my site? Perhaps then it would be deemed worthwhile. If only I knew
p.s. I'm also using this e-mail as an experiment in posting via e-
mail. I'm curious to see how it works and if the jpegs are included
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Anyway, his mom was touched by the fact that the musicians shown seem to be in need of funding for things like tours and recording, so she wants to raise $ for indie rockers through some sort of nonprofit. She asked if I would be willing to serve on the board for such an organization. I said, Yes.
At the beginning of our conversation I told her I had shot some photos of Robb; I dug them out and printed a couple that I sent to his memorial with my friend Jada -- she had flown out from the East Coast for the occasion. It turns out the photo shown here is framed on Nancy's desk, to keep him in her memory. I told her I'd search my files for other pix -- the result of that search is a Flickr page linked to the photo here.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Saturday, January 14, 2006
As someone who spends an inordinate amount of time surfing the web, both for business and pleasure, I come across a fair number of blogs. I have a folder on my bookmarks bar for blogs in general, a sub-folder for local blogs, another for photoblogs, a couple of others for MP3 blogs. But I have never been a blogger -- until now.
I don't count the Myspace page I set up ages ago when I was invited to be a Myspace friend of DMBQ. Who could turn down an offer to be friends with an amazing (and friendly) Japanese band? I found that cruising the world of Myspace is much easier as a registered user -- it's pretty much mandatory -- but all I ever did on space was create a half-assed profile and post a photo of Bob the Subgenius in place of a self-portrait. I never even figured out the art of inviting Myspace friends and maintaining friendships, which I'm sure is pretty easy.
I was talking with Carroll the other night at a show; he's a mostly online friend who maintains www.humcity.com, a bloggish webpage that used to serve as an omnibus of links to upcoming local music events. More recently he has begun exploring the art of podcasting, and his shows links have become less comprehensive since he began using the page more as a place to post his semi-weekly pod-projects. "Why don't you, of all people, have a blog?" he asked me. I told him I've thought about it, but hadn't yet found the time to get into it. In retrospect, that's not entirely true -- I spend a fair amount of time surfing aimlessly, exploring other people's blogs -- sometimes I will use the "next blog" button built into the Blogger template to jump from one random blog to another, getting glimpses inside the lives of strangers around the world. I could probably expend a little of that idle lurking time posing my thoughts on this or that. But, as I told Carroll, I already have an avenue for my writing via my weekly music column and now a food column -- and I don't know that I need another self-imposed deadline.
So what am I doing here? I'm working on a story about local bloggers, so I figured I'd go through the motions and set one up. It may lay idle like the vast majority of blogs, then again, maybe I will become part of the ever-expanding blogosphere. Who knows.
(A quick aside: When I ran the built-in Blogger.com spellcheck on what I've typed so far, the spellcheck dictionary, which apparently does not include any words associated with blogging, showed that "blog" was not a word and offered a suggestion to replace it with "bloc.")