Friday, September 21, 2007

Dedicated To Illinois Times' 2007 Best Blog

YouTube: Photography In The Age Of Digital Deception
Why We Blog
Some Blog to Shine A Light
Some Blog to Hide In Plain Sight
Some Blog to Expose The Ugly
Some Blog to Tell Lies
Make Money

*Kimberly Smoot Photo - A Perfect Plastic Child?.

My Impression

Dave of The11thhour has an interesting, but short post on the announcement of the winner of the Illinois Times Most Popular Blog of the Year (2007). Actually it's the comments which I found more interesting.

I checked the winning blog out for the first time today.

There certainly are many images of pretty high school girls on the site, but I was left wondering where the blog was. I kept searching for a link to a blog, but only found vanity photos. I was left with the impression that there's no blog there.

Jan Van Ravesteyn - Dutch Merchant Immortality Via Portraiture

All very pretty indeed.

Vanity Art isn't new. It's been around for a very long time. Everyone wants something to be remembered by, and that's where vanity art comes in. It really is art, and not so much photography that we see on Kimberly Smoot's "blog".

While visiting Smoot's blog I couldn't help but to notice how heavily she depends upon photo editing software. Such software was once prohibitively expensive, but what was once available only to magazine, and advertising shops is now available for anyone.

From the YouTube videos we see that it does take effort, and skill to edit a photograph, but mostly it takes time, patience, and experience. I certainly can't fault Kimberly Smoot for employing photo editing software. No one wants to shell out three, four, or five thousand dollars for a few photographs which will forever display a blemish that would have disappeared a week after the photo shoot.

Mirror Mirror - Say I'm Perfect!
Yet I believe it is important that we look at the degree to which people will go to show others that they are something they are not. In many of Ms. Smoot's photos the degree of digital makeover is so great that one can hardly see the real person under the processing. The child pictured above looks more like a plastic doll, or an android than a human being. Years from now when this child's grandchildren are looking at photos of Nanna are they going to ask "Nanna, what happened to your face?".

Still we can't blame Ms. Kimberly Smoot as she's simply serving up what people demand - a false image of their physical perfection. Smoot is simply doing digitally what women have been trying to do with makeup for a very long time, and she does a fine job too.

However, I still find it disturbing. I've seen it before - this surreal slip - and I immediately recall where I've seen it. During the renaissance Dutch Merchants were wealthy enough to commission portraits, and of course they ended up with fantasy portrait art which stroked their egos.

I'd much rather see the real person - warts and all, but that's not what people pay for. They pay for images which stroke their ego which they can display to others years later. They show off these photos and they say "This is how physically perfect I was". Even though it's a lie.

*Kimberly Smoot Photo Used Without Permission As Part of Critique & Therefore Protected By Free Use CopyRight Rules.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My Internet Adventure

I have just returned from a place which isn't really a place at all but some aspect of the Internet which I had never seen presented in just this way before.

Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I just installed this program that opens another means of presenting Internet content.

Sure we've seen videos, and heard audio, and read text, and even seen graphical content on the Internet before.

I'm not saying anything has changed in this way.

In fact I found myself wanting more, more, and more bandwidth.

Because I've have always felt I knew where the Internet was headed, and the people who have made this bridge to this means of presenting content they are oh so close to making it happen - to bringing the future of the Internet to us all.

It just takes more, more, more, bandwidth.

And we'll have to wait for Internet III for that.

Still I like what I saw, and heard - and I'm going back now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kerry Questioner Arrested - Funny Sad Pathetic

YouTube: John Kerry Conspiracy Questioner Throws Tantrum

Tuesday morning I was listening to radio talk show host Jim Leach review this video on air (while he played it over and over again). I just had to check it out. It's funny, sad, and pathetic all at the same time.

It starts as a college student questions Senator John Kerry at a meeting at the University of Florida. The questions sounded more like an inquisition, or might I say an accusation, that Senator Kerry is involved in a massive conspiracy, and that in fact Senator Kerry actually won the 2004 election. That John Kerry is in league with secret powers who actually run the nation.

Well, maybe.

In any case isn't that what blogs are for?

More Revealing Angle Why Student Was Arrested

Rubber Necking Alert!

O.K. so the lady cop blew it, and none of her cop pals were in the position to know, or would ever even think to ask what started the incident once she had already crossed the line. The student had already turned to leave, but the lady cop wanting to prove her masculinity put her meat hooks on the student to show she was in control. She was going to lead this trouble maker single handedly right out of the building, maybe even threaten to arrest him on some trumped up charges because - well, he was asking questions.

NOTICE: The Local Police will be in control of question and answer time at the upcoming John Kerry visit to Campus. The student activities union forgot to put that in the Campus Activity Fliers.

Not sure why there were so many cops standing right next to the microphones? Who in the hell thought that one up? I've watched hundreds, and hundreds of hours of CSPAN, and even attended a few local public events with local, state, and even national elites in attendance and I never saw that many cops next to microphones.

I recall attending a visit from George McGovern who was just as much a "has been" as John Kerry, and I don't believe even one cop was there - at all. This was down at SIU-Carbondale in the AGE BEFORE RAMPANT TERRORIST ATTACKS which plague the United States on a daily basis. So maybe things have changed? Maybe we need cops stationed at microphones to stop the terrorist from asking Senator Kerry stupid questions?

Folks, this is why local municipal police should not be used for policing university campuses. Sadly, campuses across the nation have eliminated their own campus police. Which means we see cops with no understanding or appreciation of the sense of intellectual freedom which should be fostered on campuses arresting people for even looking like they want to hold up a protest sign. Locally we saw how an outspoken professor was arrested for doing so at UIS not too long ago.

Sadly, this student appeared to be so paranoid about being taken away to the gulag by the not so secret police that he over responded -or does he? Maybe he's just an immature kid at college asking a couple of good questions, and showing bravery for doing so?

O.K. so he's an immature idiot, there's no doubt about it - but for goodness sakes it's college - most of his buddies are out guzzling down the brew and wouldn't consider attending a Kerry speech. Maybe he is a weirdo - for god's sake he reads books too!

I doubt you planned for this to happen Mr. Inciter of a Riot, but next time go with a plan.

Ask your question, pull out a set of handcuffs, and some duct tape. Put the duct tape on your mouth. Put on your handcuffs and lay on the floor.

Under those circumstances it would be obvious that you were being arrested for just asking questions - but you blew it by resisting your arrest. That's right. You were arrested because you resisted being arrested for being arrested.

Police Arrest University of Florida Student For Revealing Government Conspiracy!

Not really.

Some Comments By The MySpace Community
Having read a few MySpace reviews it looks like 75% of those youngsters commenting on the Myspace version of this video are questioning, in not so nice terms, the tolerance of freedom, and democracy in the U.S.

Kids, this isn't Abbie Hoffman they're carting off, but it is heartening to see that MySpace isn't just for love sick poetry, and heavy metal song applets anymore.

Anyway this kid will soon be a YouTube sensation.

Man, imagine a MILLION HITS in just a few days!

Let's see my blog hit count will catch up in about FORTY YEARS!

In the mean time the lady cop is headed back to Abu Ghraib where she's studied under head mistress Olga for the last few years.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Al Gore - A Tireless Environmentalist

Al Gore - Environmentalist

"The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action". -Al Gore-

Al Gore has been my "Guest Prophet" here on JeromeProphet for several months now. I could say many things about Al that are political, but I won't. I'll just say that I believe future generations will look back upon Mr. Gore with respect. That's not always the rule with former elected representatives.

Former Vice President Al Gore

From the way Al Gore stepped down from the brewing controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election to the way he chose to reenter public life as an advocate for responsible public policy regarding global warming - I could only be impressed.

To me, Al Gore is like a shining light piercing the darkness. He is a modern David fighting against the Oil and Coal Goliath. The stakes are incredibly important. Allow the fossil fuel industry to continue their death grip on the people of the Industrialized world, changing the world climate in the process, or move away from fossil fuels toward a sustainable, and ecologically healthier approach? That's the question which this generation is presented, and it's Al Gore who keeps asking the question.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Great Nevada Deserts

Not sure how many of you have noticed, but my posting has gone down of late.
Just where have I been? Nevada. Well actually I'm still right here in Central Illinois, but I've been spending all my free time virtually gliding over the deserts of Nevada in search of lost aviator Steve Fossett.

If anyone had asked me about my thoughts on the desert areas in the western United States I wouldn't have really had anything to say until now.

Using Google Earth for days on end to glide over the desert has been a real lesson in frustration.

I've chosen several different altitudes to glide at. I like 3000 feet for a fast glide to pick a general location, and then come down to around 1500 feet to snoop for any possible downed aircraft. I'll then go down lower to around 300 feet or lower inspecting a suspected area from every angle.

My MTurk hit count is laughably low, as I have spent far more time using Google Earth.

I find MTurk too confining. The hunter in me likes Google Earth much better. I've placemarked several suspected objects which might be downed aircraft.

One thing that gliding at 1500 feet, or even four times that altitude will give you is an incredible sense of scale. The deserts of Nevada are vast. They are also quite diverse, and beautiful. There are whole ranges of desert where sand, and ground are colored pinkish. There are vast areas of salty flats where ancient lakes dried up. There are long sloping barren rock hills.

There are desert roads which are little more than long streaks across the desert.

And then there's the vast uninhabited areas where there are no living things except plants. Where there are no roads, no human beings of any kind. The scale of these areas is incredible. Huge barren lands with nothing but sand, and hills, and desert brush with no signs of human beings except a rarely used desert road.

These places are not touched by rain. Marks in the sands are there for decades untouched by time.

Steve Fossett should have known better to fly into the desert without a flight plan. He of all people should have known of all those who have simply vanished into the wide vast barren deadly space which is Nevada.

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