Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Extinction of America






I don't think anything sums up the vanishing America better than the idea of the Barber Shop. Symbolically the old world small town local businesses replaced by corporate chains. I remember when our little corner Dairy Store was put out of business by the bigger grocery stores and mini-marts moving in. One might say, yes that too is The American way, cut throat capitalism.

Many of us know that free enterprise doesn't have to mean the freedom for corporations to crush small businesses. Private owners to be run out of business by local pestering of taxes, permits and regulations designed to chase people to Chapter 11.

Sigh.

Here is a humorous look at a great American. Fritz, an 88 year old Barber in 1988 in Highwood Illinois. You can smell the hair tonic can't you?



















Please relate stories in the blog of the America you used to know. How have things changed for the worse?
Tell any story...

2 comments:

  1. Seriously I make lots of jokes…as a storyteller…I know much of humor comes out of character first and situation second…to simply make a joke…farcical with no character or situation attached-- makes for a short souless joke…

    Airplane movies are full of jokes like that…strung together for two hours we laugh at the absurd sillyness for two hours but we feel nothing for the characters in Airplane…but a story that gives us unique characters in unique situations is what allows us to be swept away with the emotion…when that character reacts a certain way in a certain situation we laugh because we know that character by then…and can almost guess what he or she will say or do and when it does we are satisfied by it…or surprised...

    I have been putting myself in this performance art piece for 50 years…when technology gave us video cameras I recognized immediately that every single one of us have a really interesting story…
    we are all unique characters…we have interesting families and friends and jobs and experiences…

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  2. Any single one of us can do what I do as an artist…use real moments captured by video in space and time and cut it together to tell a story…or when I write think about a real person for a fictional character to give that character a reality based feeling…

    I videotaped my starving artist lifestyle and how I wanted my 4 year old son to choose giving over getting…or even the painful reality a child faces when hs mother and father argue about everything…

    Over 30 years I have compiled a body of work that may say I am a loser…every great character is usually a loser with a heart of gold…Homer, Ralph Cramdon, Archie Bunker, and on and on…but the distinction of me creating a fictionalized version of myself is-- it isn’t what the character is or what he says but his or her actions… how many of us as viewers are perceptive enough to note the action over the two dimensionality of the surface…?

    My action IS the body of work…I am not a loser because I am prolific and funny and thoughtful and lend my talents to matters of importance just as all of you lend your intelligence, life force to things that matter…you may not have put a camera on your life but your resume is a two dimensional way reflects extraordinary stories that should be heard…
    I don’t have carpentry skills or mechanical skills or detail oriented skills…

    I am an entertainer even if I don’t make money at it…I still apply my craft… My point is about distinctions of action…don’t allow 2 dimensional knee jerk reactions guide our intellectual perceptions of the world and each other…that usually leads to bitter little feuds that really don’t help anyone or anything…
    So I wanted to make that distinction about myself to you people…

    I may play a loser for a laugh but if you look closer I have never stopped fighting…and if you look even closer you will see my message…I have been fighting for the right ideas all my life…and I am proud of that…

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