Friday, November 23, 2007

Tell Me You Love Me

Hang on, let me wipe away the tears of joy, elation, tension release, and sheer awe.

Ok, we're cool.

I just finished watching the first season of HBO's new series, "Tell Me You Love Me." What started as nothing but curiosity about a show that was being talked about heavily due to its virtually pornographic nature snowballed and evolved into a passion for what might just be my new favorite show (once again on HBO... although Twin Peaks wasn't on HBO, but then again I started watching it long after it was on the air...).

Tell Me You Love Me tracks the lives of four different couples that are subtly interwoven by random connections and do little more than breeze past each other (excepting one very angry exchange of words between two of the male protagonists), as they try to figure out who they are, and what their relationships are all about.

What struck me about the show was it's frank portrayal of relationships. Many movies and television shows that portray relationships seem to do so in a somewhat contrived manner. Movies do it because they only get a 72 or so minute block to cover the peaks and valleys and they need ticket sales. Television doesn't do it because there are boundaries that censors don't let them cross, or because they're much more concerned with the "drama" to get viewers.

This show is unique and stellar. Yes, the sexuality in the show is very up-front, but it is often so in a very unself-conscious way. For instance, while the stars are certainly fairly attractive, they are not so in the traditional way in some cases. One scene of note that had me grinning ear to ear was a very honest sex scene between the silver-haired therapist/counselor and her equally-aged husband. It wasn't the fact that I was calling it "old-people sex" in my head that made me grin like an idiot, though. It was the fact that someone had decided (and someone else had agreed) that this was good, nay, important to show.

Sex is a tough thing in real life, and it's equally tough when you have to show it to someone else. Porn has spent years carving niche after niche to cater to people's pure sexual id, and it does a good job of showing people something that gets them off. Movies do so more tastefully and, dare I say, artfully. Or at least theatrically. But this show has taken sex and, instead of shooting it on crappy video, or dolling it up in make-up and lighting it for a few grand, finds the in-between. It shoots it beautifully, but doesn't doll it up in more than a single bright bulb. For that, it deserves accolade.

I'm speaking in metaphor, of course, because this show's production values are at HBO's standards and no less.

What I want to say in summation is this: Tell Me You Love Me does a painfully good job of showing what sex does in a relationship - the good things and the bad things. The performances are almost always astoundingly believable, the pain and faces seem utterly recognizable from one's own real life, and the show is, basically, brilliant. It is bold, smart, and beautiful. And for that it has my undivided attention.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007


May I confide in you? OK, thanks.

Ever since I read "Blindness" by Jose Saramago, I've wanted to make it into a film. Well, maybe not immediately after I read it, but for quite some time now I've wanted to do that, and it remains to this date the only book I've ever read that I've wanted to make into a film. So, you can understand my being a bit upset being informed that it is now being made into a film to be released in less than a year.

Here's the part I'm worried about: The main aspect of the book is that almost all of the main characters for the majority of the book are blind. They can't see anything but a milky whiteness. So my approach to the film was that it would consist of a great deal of WHITE SCREEN, with the sound design describing the scene to the audience rather than images. It certainly wouldn't be an hour or something of white, but minutes upon minutes at least. So my main concern is that this, the crux of MY version, will be lost. Also, of course, since I loved the book, there is the fear that, in general, it will be ruined, either in the truncating process or the performances, the use of recognizable actors, etc.

However, there is one saving grace, upon which I rest all of my hopes: it is directed by Fernando Meirelles, who is the director of "City of God" and "The Constant Gardener."

Please, oh please, let this be a good movie. Julianne Moore, I'm talking to you. Don't fuck this up.

Thanks for listening.


Onions, Electrolytes, and Apples: UPDATE!!

The fella who brought you free grocery store charging for your iPod has a website:

Check-check it. Way cool stuff that will surprise and delight anyone.

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I'm not the only one with the opinion that torture tactics should be removed from interrogation rooms around the world, and CERTAINLY in those run by the United States of America.

Amnesty International has begun making a film of vignettes for theatrical release that demonstrates first-hand the perils of torture - by subjecting the "actors" to actual torture, voluntarily. I put "actors" in quotes because, as the Amnesty page says, there is no "acting" involved here. These people have simply volunteered to be tortured. Their pain is real.

Watch this, read about it, send it to friends and let's all Unsubscribe from torture.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007


This famed and fabled holiday is rather elusive in its origins. Millions of children around the country celebrate a holiday that, deep down, really is the celebration of the murders of countless. Who is to blame? Why is this a holiday? What really happened at Plymouth Rock? This should clarify everything, history books be damned!

The Real Story of Thanksgiving from Alex Escobar on Vimeo.

This video is brought to you by Alex Escobar. Alex Escobar is a character created by my friend Jordan, and is featured in several videos, one of which I shot (Grillin' and Chillin'). Enjoy all four below in the order in which they were created:

Summer Spices with Alex Escobar: Summer Salad from Alex Escobar on Vimeo.

Summer Spices with Alex Escobar: Sushi from Alex Escobar on Vimeo.

Summer Spices with Alex Escobar: Grillin' N Chillin' from Alex Escobar on Vimeo.

Summer Spices with Alex Escobar: Halloweener from Alex Escobar on Vimeo.

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Onions, Electrolytes, and Apple

These are three things most households have: an onion, electrolytes, and an Apple iPod.

What do the three have in common? Well, it turns out that the three can work in harmony to give the iPod a battery charge!!! Don't believe me? Watch this (while the narration is boring, what you will witness will more than make up for it):

No more being on the road and realizing, "Shit! I forgot my iPod charger!" Now you can get an iPod charger at any supermarket around the world for only a couple of bucks, and when you're done with it you can cook with it!

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Every now and again I've got something on the internet of my own that I'll promote for a little exposure, either through the ImoCopter or The Dead Chinchilla. This is one of those times. I edited the following two clips, and also shot the second one. They are specs conceived of by my good friend Jordan Breindel for Verizon and It was fun, good practice, and In My Opinion they came out pretty dang good! Enjoy. Share.

a day in the woods from Jordan on Vimeo.

Work from Jordan on Vimeo.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Morning things

I have to go get ready for things, but I wanted to do a quick post.

1) Snappy retort to JK Rowling who is suing someone over his writing of a Harry Potter reference book, entitled, "Harry Potter Lexicon." It includes perhaps the funniest line I've read in a while: "JK... Can I call you JK?" Ok, maybe it's not that funny, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

2) This is SO AWESOME. A group called "One Laptop Per Child" has manufactured small, cheap laptops (with free - meaning open - coding) to be distributed en masse to the children of the third world. Only until November 26th, you can buy one for yourself to see how neat they are (and how cheap) - under the condition that you buy one for a child who needs it.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Volunteer Opportunities

In My Opinion, it can be important to do volunteer work... it forces one to find real value in work rather than economic value, and it can expose someone to a certain element that one might not otherwise be exposed to. Lastly, it is a good opportunity for those who are unsure about the future to be doing something new with their time and feel productive while figuring out their plans.

That said, I'd like to present two very different volunteer opportunities.

The first is an opportunity that I took advantage of here in New York City. 826NYC is a non-profit with locations in San Francisco, LA, Chicago, and NYC that strives to keep kids succeeding in school, particularly to encourage their writing skills. It fosters growth as a creative writer, and allows one to forge relationships with children who really appreciate the help and companionship.

The second is an opportunity I've only just discovered. Cross-Cultural Solutions is a way to see the world and positively affect people's lives for as short as a week or as long as almost two months. I may consider it for the future.

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How We Met

OMG. So love this video.


Monday, November 12, 2007


Well, it's a big day for the 'copter, as it is for America. Big for the Imocopter because this marks the third post of the day, making it the busiest day of posting in... well, a while.

Big for America because another blow has been struck against that evil word: PRIVACY. That's right, finally someone's just cut right to the source. Instead of beating around the bush, Donald Kerr, the US Principal Deputy Director of Intelligence, has decided to simply redefine the word altogether. The result? If you want more privacy, you've got it! It's just that "more privacy" now means "less privacy." See? Everybody wins with diplomacy!!,,-7068964,00.html

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Eat a Dollar, save a Country

Here's a very interesting, fun, and exciting prospect on how to save the American economy/dollar by consciously removing dollars from circulation (BY EATING THEM!):

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For a long time, I've had a big problem with the pharmaceutical industry in general... but particularly, I've HATED the commercial for Requip and it's introduction of "Restless Leg Syndrome" (RLS) into our society. Granted, this is a real condition, but as you'll discover by clicking the link below, it is only a condition that ACTUALLY affects about 3% of our society. So understandably it is crazy-making when people all of a sudden say, "Oh yeah, I've got that!"

Anyway, apologies for not embedding the video itself, but there's no embed code on it. Plus, you may as well read the article as well if you have the time. If not, the video will suffice:

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sub Pop is Above Par

Sub Pop has just announced it's download program, whereby you can download some great Sub Pop tunes straight from the horse's mouth! I've yet to look into how much of the money is going to the artists, but Sub Pop has a record of doing good by its clients. And what's best of all:

"You can download the files you've purchased from your account page at any time and multiple times-- if we update the download in any way (think bitrate or bonus tracks or whatever), you can just log in, go to your download page, and get the new version of the file."

Link to the relevant Pitchfork article:

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Sunday, November 04, 2007


According to a study done in Canada, there is a positive correlation between the amount of P2P sharing done by a person (Canadian, anyway) and the amount of CDs that that person buys. This is according to:

In my opinion, this is an exceptionally important find, the results of which strike a firm blow against the music industry. This proves that FREE p2p sharing can actually have a POSITIVE influence on a revenue-driven market, thus serving to legitimize p2p as something good. It proves a level of responsibility on the part of consumers.

In short, it means that free is not necessarily bad. It's a good thing to look further into as a possible solution to end the Piracy War.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Police, Civil Liberties

It's been a long time since I posted about anything truly meaningful. A recent e-mail from two close friends inspired a very long response, and so the complete interaction is here:

alas, this is far from "news."

it's not a happy time we live in. these are only a few on the long list, and i thought i had more at my fingertips. for a long time now i've been concerned about the way police interact with citizens, and the problems with the way in which citizens interact BACK.

first off, it is important for you to understand your rights. for instance, a police officer cannot legally arrest you for being in a public place and exercising your right to free speech. some college campuses (not to mention places in which the President of the United States of America speaks or appears) have adopted the concept of the "free speech zone," and people who have protested it have run into various levels of resistance ( while this is a hairy area because college campuses are SORT OF private property, never forget that it is your right to speak your mind on public turf. if you witness a police officer overstepping his or her bounds and breaking the law by harassing or physically battering a citizen (while battery is defined in the dictionary as " an unlawful attack upon another person by beating or wounding, or by touching in an offensive manner," it has been legally referred to also as the simple physical contact with another human being who does not want you to touch him or her), it is important for you to document this activity. cellphone cameras are a wonderful and rampantly-available tool for this, as youtube has proven ( and remember: police are REQUIRED to give their badge number upon request by a citizen. if they're there and they're doing something they shouldn't, get their badge number. you are a WITNESS TO A CRIME.

another point i'd like to make is this... we live in a place where a significant amount of legislation (the most infamous being the Patriot Act) has been passed in the past seven years that give the government and police more control than they deserve to have. a compounded problem of this has been the convincing of the public that it is STANDARD for some of their rights to be withheld. for instance, people are convinced it is STANDARD to not be able to take photos of public places such as train depots and airports. on top of this, people are being told, for instance, in the new york city subways that they are required to submit to any random bag checks. this is not true. and if a police officer asks you to show the contents of your bag to him or her, you have the right (nay, the PRIVILEGE) to deny his or her request and leave the train. did you know that you are not even required to show a store clerk your receipt and your bag contents when you leave a store, such as best buy? when you open your bag to show them, you are CONSENTING. this is because you have paid for the contents of that bag and the bag itself, and therefore they are your personal property.

while in the case of "best buy," maybe it is pointless to exercise this right because all they are really trying to prevent is theft, it is CRUCIAL that you exercise your rights with police officers. if and when the time comes that more of your civil liberties are taken away, it is police officers to whom you will have to answer. so it is crucial that you (WE) not simply allow our liberties to be revoked by simple consent, if it is not legally required. and when you hear that George Bush Jr. (or any government official) is attempting to revoke some of your civil liberties, it is absolutely PERTINENT that you do everything in your power to stop this. good websites for you to consult on this matter, if your personal freedoms are something that interest you, are: (ok, personal plug. this one's really a waste of your time in comparison)

i wish i could be of more help (or annoyance, if you've made it this far and are livid), but i want to leave you with this:

the final, crucial step to exercising your rights is calmness, self-assuredness, and decency. it is a distinct showing when any person tries to tell you what you cannot do, and, in knowing that they are wrong, you are calm and non-violent. Ghandi understood the value of this, and his followers were on some occasions physically abused in horrific ways. but they never fought back. Civil Disobedience ( is an unbearably powerful tool. you must be more than civil; you must be compassionate for your other human beings, whether they are suffering or doing what they believe to be their jobs.

and remember; there is no shame in being arrested because you are exercising your rights and your freedoms. it is a privilege, and it would earn not only my respect, but the respect of countless others.


Sam Friedman
- Hide quoted text -

On 10/31/07, Michael Belcher < > wrote:

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