July 21, 2013

The Prophet

R.Crumb, Despair

I only bother to look once in a great while. So it happened only this evening that I noticed the "whybother.com" domain next door had fallen into the hands of some breed of Adventists, evidently the kind of Christians convinced that atheists are doomed to plunge into the depths of despair, their lives meaningless, teeth-gritting bouts with emptiness, anguish and enui, until they hit bottom -- Praise the Lord! -- and click on FindGod.com. Yes, such is name of the tediously god-infested site to which poor whybother.com is now undignified portal, and such is the design of the apparatus, the page layout of the lure. I'm not going to dignify either with link. If you want to look, you'll have to do it yourself.

rri

August 2, 2000

Baja, San Quintin

Baja, San Quintin To the left is VANITY...
And her name is MARGARITA.

She's the reason I have very few pictures from a recent camping trip to Baja California, to San Quintin, except that she's in them. I planned to photograph the place, the people, the wildlife, the incredible Baja sea and landscape. But every time I went for the camera, there she was. She pleaded. She insisted. She demanded. She jumped up and ran to get in the way. She stamped her feet and got very, very angry. It's just that, from her perspective, any use of film other than on herself seemed an outrageous waste of time, money, and opportunity--her time, her money, her opportunity. She's working on a set of photo albums for when she's 80. So she can't stand the idea of missing a chance, any chance, to see then what she looked like right now, and right now, and right now, and right now. Beauty fades with each passing minute....

Margarita is my wife, so I'm in no position to argue. Besides, there's no arguing with Russian women once they're set. "No" is meaningless, just an empty sign of some vast, vague and entirely irrelevant male conspiracy against all things that really matter, especially personal vanity, its endless accoutrements and attendant privileges. And since she's also my venture capitalist, supporting me in whybother.org and other web adventures, who am I to say she can't have a page or two of flattering photos of herself? Believe me, just starting to post these photos is already making my life much easier.

Three of us took a week off and drove down to San Quintin on a whim...Margarita's whim, needless to say. Our friend Lucio (more recently "One must imagine Sisyphus happy" at My12Steps.com) had been traveling back and forth to Baja for some time, staying in various places and basically enjoying solitude, meditation, his books, and his writing. But as he was about to start another hermit stint, he made the mistake of hinting that Margarita might want to come along. She leapt for it, or maybe it was her hint in the first place. In any event, it would be a chance to realize her favorite English phrase since arriving in America nine years ago. "Let's go... let's go... let's go." Somehow I suspect that's her favorite phrase in any language.

Baja, San Quintin

Of course, there were complications. Lucio confessed he had second thoughts, half-wishing he hadn't offered to take Margarita, assuming he ever really did. There was simply no way that going down to Baja with Ms. Letsgo was going to be either simple or peaceful. But there was no backing out. And so I had to go, too, for full measure and to serve as a buffer between Lucio's dream of solitude and Margarita's urge to go on and on and on. Nice solution all around, but before we came up with it we made the mistake of trying to talk her out of going, telling her there'd be absolutely nothing to do where we were going, that Lucio just wanted to play hermit, that she'd be bored. Of course, she didn't believe any of it and got furious and hurt and furious again.

Continue reading Baja, San Quintin
rri

August 15, 2010

3 Beach Monkeys, 1997

Dredged up this ancient thing from the bottom of the sea.
File date September 15, 1997.

A 15fps Super Wide Production
3 Beach Monkeys
Starring Laurel, Troy & Brighton

We had walked along Garnet from Zanzibar to the pier, then headed south along the boardwalk for a way, to a bit south of Grand as I recall. Not much further. I sat on the crest of the beach, shielding the camera on its squat mini tripod, and just let it roll.

I was into weird video aspect ratios in those heady days, serving up composite still and video web page backgrounds, so this one got cropped down to its "action" rather quickly, the next day. 512x128 The bare essentials of sand, surf and sky; silly mortals playing in between.

Continue reading 3 Beach Monkeys, 1997
rri

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