Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I came home late from work the other night and found a credenza. I dragged it scraping down the sidewalk waking neighbours. The next day you could still see the scrape marks on sidewalk. Two club kids came along and helped me get it into the apartment. It cleaned up pretty good.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Soundtrack On Trailer

We added a soundtrack to the trailer for MAKING SEX. I am producing a compilation dvd which will include at least four of my short films and some other cool swag. I'm planning on having a dvd release party in Chicago, Toronto and London, Ontario (maybe?) and London England.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Two Paintings At My Friends House

 These are two old paintings at my friend Martina's house. The top one is from 2006. The bottom framed one s from...2000? Or 1998? Ish. One of the rare times I've framed something. Didn't John Cage said a frame is the enemy of art?

Stagg and Keith Haring

Stagg met Keith Haring when Haring was doing a huge mural in Chicago (where Millennium Park is now). He gave haring a drawing he did of him.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Heroic Choices

Sacrifice. Love. Heroic choices. I began crying within the first couple of minutes of CITIZENFOUR. And I cried on and off for the entire film. Sometimes, when we are lucky we get offered an opportunity to do the right thing. How many of us can say we are living in a way in which we can recognize those opportunities and act upon them? Edward Snowden is the very embodiment of science fiction ethos, of the heroic narrative, of life for the healing, alternative cultures that arose in the mid-sixties and has survived within punk music, gaming culture, hip hop, science fiction, dystopian movies, social capital, peer to peer, bartering and meditation culture. I admire him beyond words. I've read as many interviews with him as I could in the past couple years and to see this movie chronicling the meeting and introduction of his stunning whistle-blowing gripped me to the core. The movie triggered a lot of things for me. My love of sic-fi. My love of a good oldfashioned adventure story. And Snowdon's absolute commitment to humanism, with the savvy of a gamer and defender of the internet. The movie triggered the force of living when one lives with making sacrifices. I am a person who has made a lot of sacrifices, happily, blissfully, but with some pain in order to live with my core morals intact. I think seeing Snowden in this film, contrasted with him last year on NBC interview, which is after he was in official exile was very touching. During most of the documentary filmed in June 2013 Snowdon looks, fresh, still unaware of what and where he will be living a year later. We are so very lucky that people have designed encryption models, and airgapped machines...and the filmmaker and journalists who risked their lives and work that allowed us to find out what Edward Snowden knows. Right at the closing scenes of the movie Nine Inch Nails music comes up....and I lost it one more time. The encapsulation of a secret, connected community of people who see a social capital, principals of solidarity, resisting greed and corruption as a potential way to live recognized by the action of Edward Snowdon was really really beautiful. It's a secret unspoken community I am so proud to have lived in most of my life.

Monday, February 23, 2015

That Little Prick The Ego

"Look, who am I kidding, it's great t be here." Michael Keaton.

"Tonight, I am wearing the real Michael Keaton tighty whities. This is crazy: talking about that little prick called ego. Ego loves competition because for someone to win, someone has to lose, but the paradox is that true art, and true individual expression as all the work of these incredible fellow film makers is, can’t be compared or labelled or defeated because they exist, and our work will only be judged by time."
Alejandro González Iñárritu

Every social challenge and human rights issue arises from the ego. One of the things I have found very interesting over the years of practicing meditation...is how little people seem aware of the term (and it's varieties) of the ego. The main usage of ego in north america is "conceit". Or pride. However, ego within mindfulness practice has many more applications. Sometimes meditation communities avoid overt dialogue about the ego. The narrative within meditation culture has varieties and sometimes.... I suspect, because challenging our ideas about ego is not sexy and loses or threatens a touchy feely need to increase congregation size. To introduce a study of the ego...may often be to introduce collapse into ones' entire worldview. It can be frightening and insulting to many people. To see the structure of BIRDMAN building layers of metaphor about the ego was totally exhilarating, both as a writer and a lifelong meditation practitioner. The stages, the dressing rooms, the decor, the clothes, the dialogue were all layers and representations of ego. Seeing how very important BIRDMAN is as a movie really depends on how much one understands the narrative and study of ego. The actual sets were metaphors for ego and identity. I found an article that describes some of the brilliant set direction and design. When I watched the movie I thought of Gaston Bachelard and the poetics of space. Until humans deal with the oppression of ego in their personal lives social issues will not resolve.

Here is a nice article about the set design in BIRDMAN

The Ego Unmasked
Why is the ego so hard to explain or describe?  The ego is difficult to define because the ego isn’t one specific thing.  It is actually made up of many different beliefs that a person acquires over their life. Those beliefs can be diverse and even contradictory.  To further complicate it, each person’s ego is different.  If someone were to clearly identify and describe all the parts of their ego and what it drives them to do, you might not get a good description of what yours looked like.  The challenge of becoming aware of what your personal ego looks like becomes more difficult because our culture doesn’t reward us for directing our attention inward and noticing such things.
How to Spot the Ego
The ego is difficult to see, because it hides behind opinions that appear true – our attachment to descriptions of our identity – and because we haven’t practiced looking.  You can get a glimpse by noticing certain thoughts, similar to those listed above.  The easier way to spot the ego is by the trail of emotional reactions it leaves behind: Anger at a loved one, a need to be right, a feeling of insecurity in certain situations, feelings of jealousy that are unexplained, the need to impress someone, and so on.  These emotions can be attributed to the false beliefs that comprise the ego.  In the beginning it is easier to see the symptoms of resulting emotions and drama, rather than the ego that caused it.

From this blog post