Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   how did they get the releases?
Sunday, January 4 2009

setting: rural Hurley Township, Ulster County, New York

This evening Gretchen and I watched Skid Row, a documentary of the infamous blocks in downtown Los Angeles where the homeless live in a makeshift metropolis of cardboard and assorted indignities. (The first time I saw Skid Row it came as a revelation; I hadn't known of its existence until then.) We're guided through this world by Pras Michel, one of the members of the influential hip hop group The Fugees, who poses for nine days as a homeless man, shooting video and recording audio with concealed electronics (this is supplemented with better shots recorded from a distance by camera operators hidden in vehicles, though occasionally these larger cameras are noticed by the people being filmed, who then imagine them to be operated by the police). We see the shoddy nastiness of life on the streets: the drinking, the public urination, the public defecation, acts that may or may not be sexual, and the endless fights and lesser skirmishes. We also get to see a guy shoot-up a needle full of bongwater-colored heroin, a considerably nastier undertaking in real life than it ever seems in dramatizations. On the whole, though, there were few surprises. My big question, which was never answered: how did the producers get the releases for all the hidden camera footage? Nobody's face was pixelated or otherwise obscured, though it was mentioned several times in the movie how resistant the homeless are to being depicted in what they feel to be the nadir of their existence.

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