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Hi! I’m all like…uh…socially awkward!

subnormal

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

letter from the editor

I went to the famous rock club The Whisky a Go Go recently for one of my clients that I booked there, and I got talking to someone that really made me think about something important. This person stated to me, and I quote, “I’m sorry. I’m very–uh, socially awkward!” Wow! Now, I admit, when I was a teenager, I may have been a bit socially awkward too, by getting nervous around other kids that really impressed me. But, I would never tell them that I was socially awkward. Now, I suppose I could respect the fact that this person was at least self realizing enough to recognize this, and even brave enough to admit it. However, I have also learned over the years, that what we put our attention on, is usually what we get. If you go around telling everyone that you are socially awkward, well then, chances are, you probably will be. And even if you are not, and people are informed that you are, well then they will probably tend to think you are. The words we say and hear have power. Choose your words wisely. Speak of that which you wish to be. I’m not saying to go around lying and introducing yourself as a billionaire or superstar if you are not, but certainly don’t demean yourself to others, or to yourself.

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While modern technology has brought us many great things, it has also sadly eroded the intelligence of the average person. Note that I state average. I am not talking about the un-average, I am talking about the normal, usual, average person. Also notice that I didn’t just state the young person or today’s teenager. I don’t think its fair to single out an entire generation with generalities. I hated when people did that when I was a teenager, and I don’t believe in that now. There are some exceptional, un-average teenagers that do not fit into any statistical attempts at defining their generation. And there are people of every generation whose intelligence or learning growth has been eroded– not just teenagers– due to new technology.

Take driving for example. A large number of people text and drive, or at least talk on their cell and drive. This alone has caused more traffic accidents and fatalities throughout the world. This is stupid. Yet, like drunk driving, it still keeps happening. So called smart phones in general, have taken what was already a major distraction when at home–the internet on home computers, and turned it into a non stop distraction at home, school, work, at play, literally anywhere and everywhere.

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So called social media, which should actually be called anti-social media, has further eroded social development by addicting the masses to a digital, artificial reality of so called friends. People get upset when their so called FaceBook friends don’t ‘like’ their comments quick enough, or forbid, not at all. Going outside and actually engaging with real human beings face to face has become the exception, not the norm.

At parties, concerts, and other social or public events, places where people used to meet, mingle, and make friends has largely become places where room fulls of socially inept loners nervously fidget with their phones, pretending to stay busy. Apps for engaging with someone live with their faces on streaming video, has removed the need for some, the desire to even see a person face to face in real life, cutting down the three dimensional reality of a live human being in the flesh and blood before someone, to a mere video capture of them that can of course, always be manipulated, or hacked for the world to see.

Concert photography, once limited to valid, professional photographers, has denigrated to bands and most venues letting everyone take pictures of the artist at any time during the shows, which has resulted in the destruction of a natural crowd in the moment, enjoying the scene, to a crowd of wanna-be photographers and wanna be videographers destroying the vibe with their arms raised in the air, and bright cell lights illuminating what should be a dark concert hall, just waiting to get home and upload it to share with their other so called friends.

News stations and newspapers, who used to fact check and have journalistic standards, now simply copy verbatim, stories published on amateur blog sites written by people with no experience, and pass it off as news. When the mainstream, supposed respectable news sources don’t completely duplicate lies and posit its legitimacy, they get so scholarly as to tell us, ‘This story has not been verified for authenticity,’  yet report it anyway.

People, reading and watching news online, often consider it infallible. If its online, it must be true, some think. On the contrary, if it is online, it might ‘not’ be true, and one should find out as to whether it is real or not, by scholarly fact checking, themselves. And yet, only some of the college educated, properly taught how to do professional research, know how to find out the truth of something, based on scientific research. Thus, masses of people getting some, most or even all of their news from the internet are deluded into not knowing what is real, and having a false sense of truth and reality.

Laws against slander and libel, which used to be enforced in hard copy press, have no bearing in the digital domain, where anonymous hacks can call persons rapists, murderers, or criminals, whether true or not, and get away with it under the guise of freedom of speech. Criminal run blogs can extort money from attacked victims on their libel sites, and the government, busy committing their own crimes, does nothing.

Privacy violations, made publicly aware with the NSA computer spying, (popularized by rebels including Bradley Manning and Julianne Assange), which have always existed since computers existed, reminded us all that there largely is no privacy any more. Department stores, shopping centers, convenient marts, stop signs, traffic lights, and street corners often have cameras, recording our every move. Companies such as Google are simply like another branch of the government, used to monitor, and modify public opinion. Companies including FaceBook conducts social experiments to control what information gets posted in users ‘timelines,’ to control their mood, and monitor and sway their buying habbits.

Lastly, live social interaction has not only become more ‘awkward’ for multiple generations of internet addicted victims, it has declined. “People don’t go out more,” one hipster told me not long ago. “I can’t get my friends to leave the house,” another said, “They’re too lazy. They’d rather stay home and be on the internet.” All of this inactivity, has turned a generation of ‘couch potatoes,’ that at least used to get up once in a while, in to cross generational internet junkies, that don’t even need to leave home to go shopping. Countless record stores and book stores have shuttered their doors, going out of business, as movies and music are hacked or downloaded online, and new generations of children get fatter and fatter, not only becoming a social disgrace to be mocked and laughed at by the kids lucky enough to not get fat, but even worse, becoming a health casualty getting major diseases due to poor diet and inactivity.  Presidents’ wives take on America’s ‘fat epidemic,’ yet meanwhile, the same administration pushes to get computers in every home and school; as the arts, sports, and science classes get cut from educational programs nationwide, and cursive is dreadfully eliminated.

The failure to communicate with people in person has further– resulted in a fear of people, leading to increased anxiety, stress, paranoia, and ultimately, violence.  Idiots that have been dumbed down by TV, video games, and worse, chat rooms or social media, get in ‘flame wars,’ or simply begin engaging in ‘cyber bullying,’ leading to suicide among adolescents and teens.

Becoming bored, depressed, tense, or uneasy, tweaked out internet junkies get diagnosed by quack psychiatrists with the next new label, and doped up on the latest psychiatric pill peddled by Big Pharma. This of course, leads to more depression, violence, suicide, homicide, and those ever popular school shootings.

So while technology certainly has its good points, its points of abuse are not difficult to find. The moments when people introduced themselves with lines like, “I’m sorry, I’m uh, really socially awkward,” should be relegated to comedic films, not real life. Clearly, things need to change. So readers, I dare you, if you don’t already, pick a day, perhaps a Sunday or any other day you can, and avoid the cell phone. Avoid the internet. Stay off the computer. Stay away even from any other phone or T.V. and video games. Get outside. Meet people face to face. Demand they look at you instead of their phone. Make them listen. Listen to them. Shake some hands. Give a hug. Go climb a mountain. Swim in the Ocean. Take a walk in a park. Touch some trees. Enjoy nature. And leave– if for not longer– at least for one day, your phone and internet connection at home. And who knows, maybe one of these days, I just might un-plug things myself for longer than a few hours (after making the next issue here you must NOT miss) and join you.

– Bruce Edwin

This content is un-copyright, 2016, and may be duplicated in full only, for no profit, with hyperlink back to this site with full credit by the author.

subnormal magazine, 2016

 

 

 

 

Making It in Hollywood

HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD

Suffragette, hollywood sentinel

Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and also a film producer. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article series, a precursor to his upcoming book, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with free education- that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty- cannot not be found anywhere else. Free.

I have stated many of these items before, but I constantly experience these same mistakes being made by artists over and over again. And so until I no longer have artists doing them, I will keep repeating them, as it is vitally important to know.

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1, Don’t send material that is unsolicited. That means, e-mail or call first and ask if it is OK to send the material. If I get material that is unsolicited, that is not quality work, it gets added to the spam folder, with no future chance with us ever again.

2, Ask, don’t tell. Ask people to hear, read, or see your work. Don’t order them to. If we get an ‘order’ to do something, again, unless it is really mind blowing, it goes to spam. Be polite. Ask for what you want, don’t give orders to someone you are not the boss of.

3, Don’t use people or screw people over, it will come back to haunt you, and it is no way to do business.

4, Don’t ask people to invest more time in to your career than you invest in yourself. If you want someone to work very hard for you, you had better be already working 10 times that hard for yourself.

5, Personalize all query letters. If I get an email asking me to read or look at something, that does not have my name on it, unless it is really amazing, it gets deleted or again, marked spam. Spell check and check all grammar before sending something out.

REIKI WITH JACLYN- HOLLYWOOD SENTINEL

6, Stop smoking. Many people these days, including myself, hate cigarette smoke. As a former smoker, even the smell of the smoke on someone’s clothes disgusts me. Smoking is a sign of failure to control ones life, mind, and body. Smoking is a sign of weakness and being a loser over ones willpower. Being a smoker tells people, “I’m an addict, and a willing victim of a billion dollar industry that knowingly kills people.” Quit.

7, Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and work out regularly. When you work out, in whatever form, it feeds your body, mind and spirit and actually gives you more energy and ambition to do even more.

8, Surround yourself with people more successful than you are, and emulate what they are doing right, applying it to yourself, in your own unique way. Don’t hang around losers, failures, complainers, and whiners. You will become like the company you keep.

9, Get a great agent or manager. If you get rejected, don’t take it personally. Ask them what you would need to do or have for them to be willing to sign you. If it is something you want to and can do, do it.

10, Be a professional. Be on time, and do what you say you are going to do. Have accuracy and integrity with your word. A great book on this topic I recommend is titled ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz.

I hope this has helped many of you. As always, if you have any questions, you are invited to contact me at the front page of this site.

This content is © 2016, The Hollywood Sentinel, Bruce Edwin, all rights reserved.

 

Kenneth Anger Rocks Art Los Angeles Contemporary Show

Art Los Angeles Contemporary
January 30, 2016

Kenneth Anger at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, 2016. Photo credit: Bruce Edwin

The Art Los Angeles Contemporary Show was held here at the Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Avenue, in Santa Monica, California, starting Thursday and going until Sunday the 31st. Santa Monica, to those who are not aware, is an amazing beach city on the West Side of Los Angeles noted for its great food, upscale shopping, hipsters, chill environment, beautiful hotels and beaches, film festivals including AFM, and art galleries including the great Bergamot Station which is a large cluster of over 30 art galleries.

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Barker Hangar itself has evolved into an upscale show space right adjacent to the Santa Monica Airport, hosting many upscale VIP and celebrity events. This week, it was transformed into Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC), an art show of nearly 70 galleries of contemporary art from around the world.

While I don’t know how many sales took place on this particular Saturday, if they were plentiful, it was certainly thanks due to the show itself, for the show was buzzing, elbow to elbow with affluent people of all ages, and plenty of young money. One area here includes art and indie literature, a nice outdoor sitting and smoking area for those smokers, and another nice outdoor patio dining area with food and drinks.

The art here ranged from works by what is known as the ‘emerging artist,’ to ‘outsider art.’ Most art seen here today was very safe and functional, and a good place to shop for the early collector. Around 10% of the art here was an exception to the norm, with some artists’ unique approaches pushing the edges conceptually, and with some very refined painterly techniques such as that by ‘Liam Everett’ at ‘Altman Siegel’ Gallery, who creates excellent work.

KENNETH ANGER

The main reason I was here was for none other than the legendary Kenneth Anger. One of the most influential filmmakers in the world, Kenneth Anger, remarkably today in great shape at a ripe young magical age of ‘88,’ has reportedly influenced all from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch among countless more. Actually painting right on the film frames he shot themselves, Anger has produced some of the most mystical, and magnificent images on film ever seen.

With a history rooted in America’s rich tradition of rebellion, counter-culture, and the occult, Anger’s work has featured members of the Rolling Stones, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, and former Charles Manson buddy Bobby Beausoleil, among more. Openly promoting his religious path as a Thelemite, Anger has for decades, been a proud proponent of famed occultist Aleister Crowley, who later headed the magical group; The Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O). While many call Anger a Satanist, due to his frequent use of the word and homage to ‘Lucifer’ in his work, along with his interesting cast of characters in his films and his life, which often imitate each other, he has reportedly called himself merely a Pagan, and a Thelemite, not a Satanist.

The O.T.O, incorporating a series of magical grades, similar to the Masonic Order, adheres to Crowley’s writings as their religious body of texts. Crowley, once called ‘The Wickedest Man that Ever Lived,’ popularized the slogan which became so prevalent with the Beat generation and later the hippies; “Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law!” Along with the pagan precept; “An it Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt!”

As a film major at an avant garde film school in Chicago, and as a decades long student of counter-cultural movements, rebels, and misfits as a punk rocker, I was of course raised on Kenneth Anger since I was a teenager, yet had never before met him–until today.

The fact that The Art Los Angeles Contemporary show hosted Kenneth Anger, speaks volumes as to the great significance, intelligence, and power of this show. Only former MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch was, as far as I know, wise, daring, and hip enough to book Kenneth Anger any time recently in L.A. This fact alone puts ALAC over the top in terms of relevance as a cultural and arts institution.

The Alex Theater here at the Barker Hangar rapidly filled up to over capacity, with staff having to tell the young guests to stand up, not block the door, squeeze closer, etc. The theater was packed, and tension was mounting by the minute. Over a half hour before the start, no seat was empty. The crowd’s energy swelled from waves of nervous conversations in synchronicity, to a dulled silence, then conversation began again. A sinister looking model type lad glared at me against the wall, then smiled. A male staff walked by and looked like he was going to plow into me, bumping my leg.

Finally, a tall man with glasses walked to the front, telling us that Kenneth Anger had now entered the building! It was 3:45, and he was 15 minutes late. Some of the crowd clapped. A few minutes later, a distinguished looking man with long hair entered the side door–Brian Butler, Kenneth Anger’s confidant’ collaborator extraordinaire. Kenneth appeared next to him, and walked on to the stage. The crowd excitedly clapped.

Kenneth Anger is a cordial, polite man. He said he was sorry at least twice for making a minor error in a date or technicality of a name. He answered every question posed to him by the audience. He spoke of Crowley, and he called Lucifer his guardian angel. He mentioned that the thing he was most obsessed with and upset about these days was the destruction of art, and what he called, the ‘murder of art,’ in the Middle East, by idiots destroying beautiful, ancient civilization landmarks, artifacts, art, and temples there, including what was the original Temple of Baal. He mentioned how he is making film again, yet stated how it takes time with his process, as he paints on each frame. He stated how he liked Santa Monica, how he was born here, and considers it his home town.

After a little over a half an hour, Kenneth Anger left the stage, said thank you, and walked to the show booth where around a half a dozen of his collections’ works were displayed. He there sat at a table in front of his prized art works by Aleister Crowley, Marjorie Cameron, Rosaleen Norton, and Bobby Beausoleil, and signed autographs for the hundred plus crowd that followed him. I took a final photo, and departed.

I walked outside, and the sun was blazing behind some clouds, about ready to go down. A fire red bi-plane flew over, its engine blaring, soaring into the sun. The same color as Kenneth wore. The Solar Fire.
b.e

(Interview questions by subnormal along with a portion of the lecture will be published in a future issue of subnormal. visit back here to listen to that later this month).

This content is copyright, 2016, Bruce Edwin, The Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved. subnormal magazine