It was just a few days ago that I was talking to a friend I’d bumped into about Michael Jackson. We discussed his upcoming concerts, his weirdness and ended with a round of praise to his being able to release one ground-breaking album after another. He was truly an incredible artist.
The next day, at the same exact time, his death was announced through Twitter.
Think what you want, the man was a musical genius. He guided the music industry for decades, created the top selling album of all time and reigned supreme in the pop world as well as the music video industry. No one could make a music video like Michael Jackson. Each video told a story and going beyond 10 minutes for a video was totally acceptable.
One of the most famous ones comes from his best selling album, Thriller.
[flv:MJ_Thriller.flv 640 480]
Michael Jackson died and the world exploded. We had not seen a reaction like this to the election of Barack Obama, the Iran election and subsequent protests or the deaths of Ed McMahon and Farah Fawcet (who died just hours before Jackson). In fact, the effect on cellphone towers and the Internet is said to be greater than even September 11, 2001.
No site was safe. I tweeted at the time that I couldn’t access any news sites with merely a mention of Michael Jackson was inaccessible. No site was safe, not CNN, not Yahoo!, not even Google! All reported outages. AT&T said more text messages were sent that day than any other day in the history of text messaging on their networks.
Twitter, once again the source for breaking news, was completely overwhelmed. Remarkably, the site was at around 90% stable, more than I’d ever expect out of the infamous fail whale. A search for Michael Jackson on Twitter’s search page loaded hundreds of new tweets ever few seconds.
You could actually decipher what was going on simply by reading the Twitter Trends.
MTV, Michael Jackon, MJ, Cardiac Arrest, MJ RIP, Hospital, etc
MTV was reporting live and showing tribute videos of Michael Jackson as he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, with reports of a grim outlook.
Today, a day later, iTunes was a fantastic sample of the impact Jackson’s death had on the world. His albums, singles and music videos dominated the iTunes Music Store charts, absolutely.
Dominating Music Sales
Dominating Music Video Sales
But it wasn’t all positive. Perez Hilton continued to disgust with this post on his site, which I will not link to. Click the picture to open it up a bit bigger so you can read all that Perez Hilton wrote.
This is what Perez originally wrote about Michael Jackson.
Huge thanks to the twitter user than originally posted this image. I’d love to attribute it to him but TwitPic seems to have messed up, the user that actually posted it is not listed as that person today. Apparently over half a million hits and thousands of comments on a single picture in a single day outdid their servers.
In the end, we’ve lost a legend and for that I am sad. But perhaps he’s somewhere better, where he doesn’t have to worry so much about his appearance. A place where his pain isn’t so great. We know he was a troubled man. Here’s to hoping that is all lifted. Let’s put our thoughts on his friends and family, especially his three young children.
My photo professor had a guest lecturer in today. His name is Justin and he is a graduate student at Yale University studying photography. He’s a really great guy, awesome photographer and just super nice.
He told us about his journey from a trade school graduate hopping from job to job and with no desire to be college graduate much less a graduate student to a teaching assistant at Yale. It was sort of a pictorial display of time but non-documentary.
Justin uses a 4×5 film camera for most of his shots, well he did originally. Now he uses a Hasselblad type medium format film camera. These 4×5 cameras allow for tilt/rise/fall/slide etc etc. If you don’t know what these things are, you’re probably normal. But for us photo geeks, it means capturing pictures with great, GREAT accessibility… Not the word I’m looking for.
Think of it this way. When you take a picture of a building, looking up, it gets smaller at the top. By tilting/shifting/raising the lens you can keep the building perfectly square. It’s what Ansel Adams used. It’s what architectural and fashion photographers use quite often, if not exclusively. They are the old looking, accordian style cameras you probably thought were pieces of crap. Not so! I really want one and am trying to figure out how I can find the money for the camera and the film and the lenses… All in time.
After the great lecture, I got to talking to Justin (weird to type that name and not be in third person) and my professor as well as another professor about going to graduate school for a masters in fine art.
All three of these guys studied at Yale University. It is arguably the best MFA program in the country, as far as photography goes. And the price isn’t too terrible at around $25,000 a year.
My professor seems to think I could get in to Yale, Stanford or UCSF with my current portfolio as well as some new and better things. Wow, I sure didn’t think so. I still have a long way to go, both in time to apply and time to take more and better pics but still… Stanford and UCSF, according to the two professors, are or can be free. No tuition for MFA students. Weird right? Apparently a little known true story, or widely known and not talked about haha.
So. I get excited at this prospect. While I’d kill to go to Yale where my idols teach, Sally Mann, Gregory Crewdson… etc etc. UCSF and Stanford are in the very area that Ryan and I want to move. And possibly free. Awesome right?
I call my parents to share this news and get their opinions.
They don’t seem too excited, positive or supportive of the idea. My dad says, “Well it’s something to think about”. I guess I was expecting, “Wow Justin, what an awesome opportunitiy, tell us more!”
Not so. So now I’m bummed. It seems only my friends are optimistic about my photography. I don’t get much encouragement anymore from family and even Ryan doesn’t seem very excited about this passion of mine. I understand people can’t be 100% into everything I am in, but this is just about my greatest creative love.
Hmph. I’m pretty down about the whole thing now. A few hours ago I was all-a-glow and now I’m in the dumps.
I’ll leave you with a few old pictures I took but never put on the internets. They were all taken before I ever had a photography class, not sure the importance of that but… whatev.
Yeah. Feel free to comment on what you think I should do. I’m torn now. Graduate and get to work taking over my grandmother’s advertising company, go to graduate school, work for a photo studio or start my own studio and teach photography on the side.
I just wrote a post that was so long, my hands now ache. It covered all the things that had happened to me in the past year that I had not blogged about so far. It was hard to write. It was personal. It was impossibly well linked. It had pictures and trackbacks. It told a story I have never told anyone. It was emotional. It was real.
Now it’s gone and I am so pissed off. This hasn’t happened to me in years. Not since WordPress Autosaved.
Yeah, well it didn’t this time. I hit publish and it brought me to the login page. I even tried to quickly copy the entire post just in case, didn’t work.
I am so so so so so mad. This stuff shouldn’t happen.
I cannot type anymore, I’m nearly in tears and my hands hurt too much. Christ. The past hour and a half was a waste. Getting emotion out only to have it thrown away like trash doesn’t have the theraputic effect actually publishing does. WordPress is dead to me right now.
Let’s get a solid back story here before I continue with the current situation.
I moved back to Columbia and brainstormed with Jim this great idea that we could move in together in this three bedroom apartment off campus with his boyfriend David. I didn’t really know David but he seemed like a nice enough guy, plus he was from Texas so I liked him that much more
Things worked out just fine for a good while. I mean, I had to do most if not all of the cleaning and every once in a while David would drink too much and be a little annoying. Nothing really bothered me too much except that I never got to hang out with Jim.
When I first moved in, I was super busy with work, I had about 40 hours a week over at Starbucks on top of class work. When my eyes got fucked up, again, I had to cut my hours to around 12-20 per week and then further when I got sick from the other stuff.
At one point I was pretty damn sick, I even had to take a cab to the emergency room. This was followed by three surgeries and some annoying preparatory and recovery procedures. Throughout all of this I never asked for a ride or anything special, except one time I did ask Jim if he could bring me to the hospital for my surgery, unfortunately he had class and couldn’t, that’s fine, I understood completely and never asked again.
Right before David moved out to finish his graduate requirements in Houston, he had this big drunken fit. He called me an asshole and many other mean and untrue things. It seemed then that he thought I didn’t want him to be with Jim and that I wanted to be with Jim.
Oh yeah, Jim and I dated years ago, for a few months. It never progressed to anything as serious as Jim’s last two relationships and we had both moved on completely, absolutely completely.
Jim and David moved out completely last… Saturday. Jim had asked if I could get the cable box to Mediacom that Friday or Thursday if he didn’t make it in time. I let him know that I would try but my last two days, Monday and Tuesday, in Columbia were already packed with work during Mediacom’s hours of operation and errands I had to run to get my shit together with my new apartment, work and planning for the rest of the summer. On Tuesday I literally had every hours planned out with appointments, ask Kevin, Geoff, Curtis, Chadd, my family…
Furthermore, I had told Jim that he could take it back whenever he wanted as all of my television watching was now done with my AppleTV. I only watched regular television in my bedroom or otherwise basic cable broadcast, I didn’t use the cable box function, at all.
Tuesday night I got out of work at 12:30am (which is actually Wednesday morning of course) and Geoff was kind enough to pick me up at Columbia Autobody about 10 miles north of town around 1:00am and bring me home. I finished laundry, packed my stuff up and at 4:30 a bus picked me up to bring me to the Saint Louis Airport.
On Monday or perhaps early Tuesday, I told Jim that I might not be able to make it to Mediacom until I got back into town, which would be a Sunday, the 17th, Mediacom opens the next day, Monday. I won’t have my car until the afternoon on Monday and I work in the afternoon Monday so who knows when I will actually be able to pick up my car, probably Tuesday.
David sent me a text message tonight because he was mad that I didn’t make it to Mediacom.
I was immediately floored. No one likes to get messages like that, especially when you feel that you are totally innocent of any wrongdoing. Jim understood that I would try, but just as he had run out of time, I did not have the time. I was stressed out about getting just my stuff done. With a co-worker’s baby on the way, I had been given extra shifts, working as much as 14 hours a day on top of moving to my new place, planning and organizing trips to Austin, Houston, Indianapolis, Chicago, San Francisco and Santa Rosa, New York, Washington DC, Nashville and South Carolina. Plus trying to figure out how I would pay for these trips and still afford to finish off my apartment.
Despite what some people think, I’m not rich and I don’t get everything I want from my parents. If I can’t afford something right away, I save up my paychecks and wait until I can. I’m very good at saving the money before products come out so I can get them as they arrive, such as the AppleTV and Airport Extreme and my iPods and such.
I called Jim to apologize if I had upset him and let him know that I would get it returned as soon as I could. I also told him that David had sent me that really mean, unwarranted text message. The phone service out here in the hill country isn’t so great and we got cut off twice, through kind words. He apologized for David which isn’t something he should have done or had to do. Jim had written me earlier saying if I could just get it done when I get back, OK.
Then I got another message from David.
It just never ends. I’m not sure what to do. Micheal told me to just ignore David and not respond to him, save the friendship I have with Jim and forget that David and I had ever had this one sided conversation.
I have never responded to David’s accusations, his quips and whips. I have never voiced my opinions of David to Jim and have never actively done anything to David. He has used my computer to log into his email on Gmail. He has printed from my printer or at least taken ALL of the paper out of my printer four times, the last time being their last day in Columbia. Nothing like pulling an all-nighter to find your printer out of paper right before you have to run to class and turn in your report.
This summer I have been really enjoying work. I have been hanging out with great old friends and making new ones. I have made more new friends this semester than I ever expected; Ryan, Beau, Scott, Chadd, Justin, Nick, Carrie, John, Justin, Justin, Michelle, Jessica2, Scott…
I’m going to be in Washington DC for some eleven days visiting Landon and experiencing the Fourth of July at our Capital. I really hope to hang out with Jim while I’m there and to spend some time exploring the city with Geoff when he arrives later in the week. I am going to have a blast hanging out with Landon and his friends and expect to share those experiences with Jim. We have been great friends through so much for so long. We have helped each other through heartbreak, through depression and through some soul searching. We have shared so many wonderful experiences and have grown up together into completely different people than the ones we were when we first met in 2003.
I love you Jim.I don’t think I’m a loser. I think I’m a really nice guy with a winner personality and lots of wonderful friends like many of you reading my blog right now. I don’t think I would have you as friends if I were a “fucking prick” a “loser” an “asshole”.
Now that that is out of the way, I’m going to get some sleep. I have a busy day ahead of myself.