I have decided to post another video, this one of a day playing with our new scooter.
It’s difficult to decide whether or not to end this silly blog, or to try to reframe it in some way that someone may find relevant.
Here is a video that we made.. trying to find a place for a little kid to ride a scooter can be difficult in a big city like Istanbul.
After some great deliberation, I’ve come to the point and made an agreement with myself that I now need to organize my thoughts to form a solution for what ails me. What ails me is most likely what ails you and so many others: a vague and sneaky malaise that whispers hints to you that all is not well between bites of sweets or what other distractions you may give to yourself to thwart existential grief and the experience of being.
The solution, I have decided, is humor and love, as well as a kind and generous regard for others (regardless of what horrifying stupidity we may expect from them), each in the right measure and in the right places, applied generously wherever and whatever and blah blah blah. I wish you fuzzy feelings, and I feel very fuzzy in return.
To spread butter, one needs a knife, but because a knife is not suited to spreading warm, fuzzy feelings, I’ll need something bigger, with more reach and a less threatening appearance. For lack of a better idea, I’m going to have to resort to the written word and short moving pictures, until there comes a day when I can afford to send free massage coupons to thousands of people or when I am permitted to touch them directly.
The solution for this uneasy condition which is only too common is direct creative action for its own sake and the likely dismay of any of those unlucky enough to witness it.
This is the mission that I give to myself, for surely no one would ever give it to me nor even grant me permission if it were theirs to withhold.
I must end here now, Dear Zissy. Edmund is painting our walls with a material that he believes will enhance the intelligence of anyone who enters the house. It looks like a toxic black pudding, and the fumes from the stuff has us feeling sleepy and seeing spots. I am taking Horace to a hotel.
I have been unable to understand the joy and frequency with which young Horace inserts fried potato wedges into his nostrils, but I fear they may become stretched one day, able to accomodate entire potatoes, much as Edmund has described his unfortunate uncle, who fell victim to a similar childhood curiosity for inserting objects into his nose. His case resulted in nostrils that were so stretched and thin that they hung over his lip and occassionally caught on his fork.
I hope that you are well, as I haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Please don’t be concerned about Horace or his nostrils, as he is still quite handsome and could endure any amount of self-inflicted defacement and still win hearts.
Edmund sends his love. He is still not talking with me, but he has thrown a crumpled note at my head with a message to that effect.
I am writing to you with sore feet and a bruised ego, for today I learned that in spite of my often depreciating view of myself, I am further depreciated by age and a growth of hair between my eyes. Lost on the Anatolian side of Istanbul, I met my first evidence of discrimination in this country when I found myself unable to obtain directions because of my appearance.
With my smattering of Turkish and English speaking persons unwilling to engage me in conversation, I found one individual who glared cruelly at me and stabbed angrily at her own head with her pointer finger until her nail opened a small wound exactly between her eyes. I turned from her, frightened, only to meet another woman who clicked her tongue and stared darkly into my face.
It was then that a helpful gentleman with a goat took my jacket and pulled me into an alley and began assaulting my face with shears. It was an agonizing few seconds under the knife of a man who can shave 100 pound animals faster than a normal person can tie shoes, but instead focused on just a square centimeter of my face.
Without a word he stood up, leaving me in a heap on the dirty floor.My patch of unsightly hair had been replaced by a patch of chafed skin that bled slightly. The kind faces that met me thereafter made me happy for my injury, and I was able to get fast, accurate directions to a place where I could meet the correct bus to take me home.
I shall stop writing now, it is getting quite late and I need to take Edmund to the hospital after trying to recound to him exactly how I got my injury.
Here is another speed drawing video that I made using Artflow and a screen capture program. It’s New Year’s Eve, and I feel that it is important to get another video out. I’ve been exploring the idea of a regular vlog, but talking into a camera feels too unnatural. The drawing idea seems to want to stick, but I also want to play with filming.
I never thought of myself as a film maker, but I suppose that is what I’m doing. I don’t care about writing a script and delivering a skit. I just want to be skillful. I want it to look good. There are some things about my videos that need serious work – I am usually at the end of my skill level, or the end of the time I am allotted to work on YouTube videos, which don’t pay for themselves.
With bad equipment and no audience, this is the perfect time for me to learn how to make videos. Lance Armstrong said not to blame the bike, so I never will.
That reminds me. It’s snowing and my bike is outside.
With nearly 22 subscribers and an uncanny ability for locating lost battery chargers, Screaming Turkey (also known as J. Ozawa), is set to turn Istanbul and the internets into his personal petting zoo. As his name implies, this filmmaker’s voice is much to loud to ignore.
How can we approach this new phenomena, this force of nature? With reverence and patience, of course. And bus fare.
His filmmaking arsenal is nothing to scoff at. Of his five SD cards, only one of them contains corrupt files that cannot be erased or retrieved.
“I’m really lucky to have this camera,” says J. appreciatively of his Samsung SMX-C10 Memory Camcorder, “I got it for Christmas in 2006. It’s practically an antique. Plus, it’s really pretty.”
Other equipment includes and iPhone 4 and two Nikon COOLPIX cameras, one of which actually belongs to his 3-year-old son:
“Callen is very generous with his camera and lets me use it almost whenever I want,” says Ozawa, “In kindergarten, he’s learning to share.”
He also uses two mini tripods that he found at a discount shop, one of which is “bendy and cool”.
Usually, the videos begin with a stunningly rendered 7 or 8 second intro and outro segment, normally backed by free YouTube music. Sometimes he uses a few seconds of footage of Istanbul street cats, cars, or random garbage.
“I really don’t care about what I put there,” says Ozawa. “Seriously. I don’t.”
Most of the actual videos are of Ozawa’s speed drawing a horrible looking cartoon face. The more horrible, the better, he says. Sometimes he draws to relax, and the idea to create videos of his drawings occurred to him when he noticed people creepily looking over his shoulder while he doodled. That way, he says, people can watch him draw and he won’t have to hear their disgusting nose whistle breathing next to his ear.
Other videos, the ones that he prefers to spend more time on, are of him and his son going to the park and riding skateboards or bicycles around their home on Istanbul’s Asian side.
“One time we made a video of us eating hamburgers. It got no views. Not even my own mother would watch something that dull,” says Ozawa, “It was awesome because my son actually finished his food.”
The Creative Side
Ozawa uses the YouTube editor for most of his work, although he sometimes uses the iMovie software on his iPad.
“I bounce the videos back and forth because of the limited functionality of both editors. Sometimes I use the YouTube editor for making a timelapse, then upload the film onto my iTunes account to add music. I got permission from some good people to use their music, but for the sake of expediency, I usually use the YouTube music or no music at all. Once though, I made a whole video culled from creative commons clips on YouTube and free music. I thought it would make me the next Pewdipie.”
While it’s probaby tempting to want to move to Istanbul to steal his style and be just like him, it’s not a good idea.
“You’d go hungry. You’d just be very sad and hungry.”
Although he typically spends an hour for every five minutes of film that he puts on the internet, his YouTube earnings wouldn’t even be enough to buy the electricity to watch one of his videos.
“I can’t believe how much time I waste on this. My wife is really mad at me,” says Ozawa.
In recent weeks, we’d been afraid to leave our home for fear that it would be demolished behind us. Construction crews and demolition crews in Istanbul are nearly on top of each other, running neck and neck in their race to make this city look more horrible and likely to fall over in the next earthquake.
Little Horace has begun knawing on the wood and leather objects around the house due to lack of sunlight, so today I resolved to detach myself from this little place emotionally and let the crews have it if they want it.
It is still standing today, but tomorrow and the next day, I shall do the same, and each day after, until one day I come home to a pile of rubble.
My new attitude is quite freeing, and Horace and I had a lovely day in the sun.