Back from Hawaii
by Matt Stoller, Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 08:44:04 AM EDT
Over the past week, I've been on vacation on Hawaii's wonderful island of Oahu. In the winter, Oahu has some of the best surfing in the world, with giant swells from storms in the North Pacific crashing into a whole variety of coral reefs just off the shore. This produces not just excellent waves for surfing, but regular and predictable waves in an ocean that is warm and turquoise. The culture of Oahu is very mellow, mixing a military base presence with lots of tourism and rural poverty.
I did a lot of reading, boogeyboarding, surfing, and general relaxing. In keeping with a grand tradition, I got really sunburnt and scraped both knees on coral reefs (gross pic of left knee is here, right one is here). I was also on a movie set for part of the time, and I'll just say that goddamn does Hollywood know how to do logistics. They have everything catered, measured, lit, sound-prepped, costumed, and taken care of. If something isn't right they fix it, and roles are clear. The director can focus on the art of the picture, secure in knowing that the budget, marketing, production, lighting, costume, and logistics are being dealt with. The actors can squarely focus on the script and their craft. The grips are unionized, efficient, and mellow, building sets and making sure that everything is perfectly set-up. The institutional knowledge of Hollywood is stunning. I never understood that the movie business is not about a creative visionary like Steven Spielberg, but about an incredible collaborative network of assistant directors, sound designers, costumers, grips, logistics and production specialists, writers, and A/V and computer technicians. It's quite a system, and I wish we could just hire Universal or something to do our convention in 2008. They really know what they are doing. For a time, they made Lindsay Lohan likeable. Watching a movie being filmed was a very different experience than watching the 2004 convention cluster*$#*& being planned.
Anyway, this is just an announcement that I'm back. I'm going to try and focus more on ideology, ongoing campaigns, and history. If you have specific suggestions about what kind of blogging you find more interesting, let me know.
Update [2007-6-7 14:12:32 by Matt Stoller]:: Apparently my knee injuries aren't manly enough for you. Here's one that's really rough, so don't click/look unless you can handle queasy.