11:23 AM, Wednesday, September 12th, 2012:
Wait, is that title about to mean something? Now? After all this time? How did all this happen?
So last week I get contacted by a documentary filmmaker that wants to interview me for her film on video bloggers. Ironically, she works at CBS here in LA at Television City. Which meant I got to have a meeting at my old stomping grounds...
So cool. She found me on wikipedia and I said she definitely needed to see my own documentary. That should help her piece my portion together. Her thesis for the film is pretty dead-on. There are now YouTube stars that are vlogging to millions and millions per week. So much so that they get more views than network shows, have their own agents and managers and won't even TALK to this filmmaker. They get paid off the ads and are turning DOWN networks because it doesn't help them at all. Jenna Marbles gets 10-15 million views per week. It's crazy. So her thesis is simply how the hell all this happened and since I'm the first, I'm the starting point. And I'm also that old "pushing-40" guy who started way too early (6 years BEFORE YouTube) and who watched the youngins adopt the new, easier technology and fly past him. As well, no one seems to actually document their life as much as just make funny videos. Documenting your life honestly... well, it's scary, it's hard - and it's not a lot of fun sometimes. It also isn't a lot of fun to follow to be perfectly honest. So it's easy to see how people were far more popular and more power to 'em. Jenna Marbles is funny as shit and should be on TV now. There's some great talent (amongst a lot of mediocrity) that deserves every one of those views.
Anyway, the meeting at TV City was great fun, I just love being in the building and Ana also has a great energy about the project. She and her crew will be interviewing me on the 18th and of course it has in turn made me excited about talking about "The Journey" again. You forget sometimes that it is really cool, there are a lot of fascinating aspects of it (being the guniea pig of sharing information publically ala facebook) and there's just a lot of great stories housed within the video blog...
...which leads to Laura Adler calling me about a pitch she's doing that she wants me to be a part of. A TV show about blogs/bloggers, with me being the pilot episode. Uhm, okay. What? LOL. Suddenly being the first and longest running videoblogger is actually a helpful thing.... but wait, there's more?
Linda Blake contacts me about pitching my story (as she did in 2009 to NPR) to the Wall Street Journal. She's a multimedia producer at The Wall Street Journal (yes you still have to pitch everything even when you're a producer-lol). Her pitch is awesome, as usual, and a little different than the '09 NPR pitch:
"It would focus on the broader notion of the Facebook generation getting older. It's one thing for potential employers to troll social media sites, but what about your kids viewing your antics from college as documented on fbook. In your case (which is a fascinating and more extreme example) I ask; What if your kid had free and open access to your life story - he/she could view your wedding day(s), drunken rages, lost loves, innocent glories, career failures? How would you handle this / explain it to them? Is this a positive thing? Any thoughts on this angle? You must have given some thought about how Vienna will react when she grows up."
Exactly what I talked about a couple years ago. I even wanted to do some college lectures on the dangers of FB and what people are sharing. Not just information that could get you in trouble with future employers, but how your mind holds onto memories differently when you document them. Linda throws in the kid angle - and it's a really interesting story. And as longtime readers know, I have struggled with what will happen when kids get older and have access to it. I've come to realize that the sheer volume of entries helps. There is safety in numbers, but of course there's embarrassing things up there... however, that's been the entire point: DANCE with your skeletons. Don't hide them. Your skeletons are your TRUTH. The truth DOES set you free. I'm not ashamed of anything online because it's the truth. When my kid reads that stuff, there will certainly be questions... but that's good! The difficulty comes in how the outside world treats my loved ones because of me. It's a subject I broached last year in Entry #1146 - Sins of the Father:
"What happens when I have children? And they go to school, and kids google their name? How's that for a nightmare? So my kid has to take shit for whatever an 8 year old deems is worthy to pick out of my past and throw in his/her face? Jesus, how the hell do real celebrities do it? Do Eddie Murphy's kids deal with tranny jokes? Are sins of the father that painful?"
At the time we were dealing with the drama-twins who decided to use "The Journey" against me and Talya and created absolute chaos where there was none to be had. I say in the entry about "The Journey":
"It is a wide open gateway to havoc if in the hands of someone who wants to hurt you. And as long as it stays public? It always will be. That's a pretty heavy price to pay. Especially considering the only people that would ever go back that far? Are usually looking for something. And I'm happy to make it colorful and easy to skim. (sigh). Does this ever end?"
I contend that in the very end? Truth wins and I'm glad it's out there. In the drama-twins case it put a light on who they were immediately and we no longer have to deal with that drama. The short-term however is incredibly painful. It invites drama because it is sooooooo honest. I have no problem with my wife, my family or my children knowing my deepest darkest secrets, nor do I even mind strangers knowing, but what those strangers will do TO my loved ones breaks my heart. I went on to say (this was before I had even proposed to Talya):
"I don't really know what to do. If I'm to spend the rest of my life with someone, they will now have to answer for me, because I've chosen to air my dirty laundry. That breaks my heart. It is a burden. It is a lot to ask, and if it can come this strongly from friends? What about enemies? I can't sit and watch Talya cry too much longer before I'm in an incredibly tough place. And goddamnit you want to know what she cried about drama queens? You made fun of someone she loves. You were mean to someone she cares about. You talked about us badly behind our backs at the same time we were driving home smiling that we took the time to get out of bed to come to your party or show support by going to your show. We felt like we were being good friends and building bonds, and never once did either of you (still) pick up a phone. You posted back and forth jokes about my attire on your pages, and she gently cried about it. Seriously, fuck you for that. I want to think that we'll both be stronger in the future, but if not for The Journey (which had been read incessantly by them from the moment we met), we wouldn't have to be. I feel responsible..."
Lots to chew on for sure. And video blogging and "The Journey" gets a bigger spotlight in the end. Pretty awesome. Here's to 3 avenues that weren't here in August. ;-)
I sure love the "embers".