You wanna waste my time? Okay.

For this visual assignment I had to take an iconic photo from the 80’s and replace it with what I thought it should be. There are few movies more iconic than Scarface. The main character Tony Montana is played by Al Pacino who is a Cuban immigrant. It doesn’t take a language expert to understand that Al Pacino’s Cuban accent is one of the worst movie accents of all time. Maybe that is just my opinion, but there are others who share my opinion.

What his accent sounded like to me was similar to an Adam Sandler accent. If we were going strictly by accents and not acting I bet Adam Sandler could have been a kick ass Tony Montana

What is that thing???

For this assignment I have to preview a zoomed in image and you have to guess what it is. If you guessed this immediately you either cheated or you can read my mind.

Keep scrolling!

You are so close!

It’s a pygmy goat! My neighbor adjacent to my backyard happens to have a slightly illegal farm right in the middle of the city, but it’s fine with me. Sometimes Kardashian and Kim (the names of both their goat) escape into the streets and it requires a whole 10 person team to chase after them. It never escalates too much because they are always hungry

House Crystal Lake

I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I think Jason Voorhees is still alive after 11 movies and 4 spin-offs!!!! HELP!

This assignment is titled “It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane” and it mainly aimed towards the paranormal or whatever. This picture I had popped up in the back of my head since this is an 80’s themed class. This is one of my friends on the top floor of a flooded house in a full tyvek suit. Personally if I happened to be driving or walking by in the dark and saw the silhouette of this man at the top of an abandoned house I don’t think I would ever go through that street again. My friend, Richie, was the last person to leave the house for a lunch break and he’s always doing something funny or trying to make us laugh. At this point in the picture he had been standing there for a solid 3 minutes with that pose. It was funny to me, but we couldn’t stay in those homes for more than a certain amount of time because of mold so he was really putting himself into potential danger.

La mano de dios

For this short assignment, I was tasked with finding my favorite photo. Since the class is based around the 1980’s I thought I would use one of the most controversial moments in soccer history.

This is whats known today as the “hand of god.” This picture is from the 1986 World Cup where Argentina managed survive the quarter finals versus England, but only because of this one play. The player pictured in blue is Diego Maradona who is arguably a top five player in soccer history scoring over 300 goals for club and country throughout his career. This winning goal might be one of the most controversial goals that will never happen again. In the 80’s video review didn’t exist and if the ref didn’t catch it in game, it never happened.

Here’s the link for the clip if you are interested.

Photography

I wouldn’t consider myself a photographer of any sorts, but I do take a few pictures from time to time. October 2017 to July 2018 I traveled around the southwest US as a part of this government program called Americorps NCCC. There I saw something new and exciting every day and while I was taking it all in I took pictures from time to time. At the start of summer 2018 I lived in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona and after I got there I realized how much interest I took in photography. The only reason is because I lost my phone tubing in the desert in Arizona of all places. all of our phones were on another tube being protected by someone who has never gone tubing, and didn’t want to go tubing at all. Once we hit some rapids everything flipped and there goes all of our belongings (almost all our stuff.)

A river in Arizona of all places

My phone at that time didn’t back up all my images from months before I even left for the program. Besides some photos I saved elsewhere, I ended up with nothing. Whenever I talk about the places I went people always ask to see what I did. While I do still have a ton of pictures, the majority of my personal images are gone.

Today I don’t set out to take captivating pictures because a lot of my surroundings are so familiar to me that it seems unnecessary at some points. On the flip side, there is more to appreciate within everyday life that someone, like myself, doesn’t attempt to capture. That concept in itself is a major part of photography in my mind because the mundane to me could be striking to another.

For this assignment we are given a guide as to how to capture the perfect photo. For me I believe a lot of whats provided is intuitive, while at the same time useful. Situations where the photographer exposes the aesthetics or calculates the foreground might be for a location of great photo-graphical significance. At the same time I believe some of the best photos are taken in random situations where there might be no time to calculate the backdrop. In the end it might not be the best photo, but what value it brings might be the difference between some old picture and Pulitzer price winner.

The man in the mirror

This assignment requires you to look in the mirror and give an accurate and detailed description of yourself. My first observation was “wow I need to get some more sleep.” I have the beginnings of bags starting to form under my eyes which is definitely from lack of sleep, but some nights its really hard to get to bed. I can also see all the miscellaneous hairs on my face which I’m going to dispose of once i’m done writing this post. The last Observation I really picked up was random discoloration around my face. I think it is from where there was acne previously, but I never really noticed it until I got up close and personal with that mirror. I think my main priority at the moment is to get more sleep, and with that everything else will be fine.

Forward momentum

For the majority of my posts I like to hover around that 80’s theme. For this assignment I thought to share this story because it is hilarious. Towards the end of 6th grade my parents finally felt comfortable leaving me around the house when they had other matters to attend to. This mostly meant watching my younger sister, but this time they left me alone in the house the entire day. Immediately when my parents left I called over so of my friends to come over, which was perfectly fine until an hour or so later. Me and my friends at the time weren’t doing anything in particular we were probably just playing video games or something like that.

A little bit after 2pm I heard a knock at the door which I ignored at first because I was a 6th grader and didn’t have any responsibilities to whatever was outside. Shortly after the person knocked on the door for maybe a minute straight. At that point I figured out it was my friends little brother looking for him, because no one else knocks consistently like that on my door. I would have answered it earlier, but I wanted to make sure that my friends weren’t breaking anything or eating all my food. Once I squared that away the first thing I thought was to run to the door so I could make the knocking stop sooner. As I’m running to my door I trip on a box, slide on a small rug in front of the door, then finally my arm went through the window pane near the door. The first thing I see my friends 6 year old redhead brother covered in my blood standing on my porch, he immediately ran home crying. At that point my first thought was “wow I cut this poor kids nose with the glass I shattered I hope he’s ok.” As I thought that I pulled my arm out of the window, and their was a gaping gash in my left arm. For some reason my first instinct was to take a lap around my whole house screaming and waving my arms around. During my lap all my friends saw that I was spewing out my arm and they also ran away from my house screaming (great friends.) After that I came to my sense (kinda) and wrapped my wound up with a bunch of paper towels and a normal towel. After everyone left me I went and sat on my neighbors driveway just rocking back and forth. Thankfully luck was on my side and my other neighbor just happened to pull up and saw that I was bleeding through both the towel and the paper towels, so to the hospital I went. Before I left I called my mom and told her that I was bleeding really badly, and the first thing she said was “it will be fine I’m getting so food for your sister.” The hospital at the time was a block and a half away so it was no time before the doctors got me stitched up.

War what is it good for

A good story in my eyes is one that engages me beyond listening, watching, or reading. Typically when I’m watching a great movie I end up becoming absorbed into trance like state that leaves me confused on my whereabouts when the credits start rolling. Usually for a good book I’ll end up mindlessly repeating something small until I realize that I am about to break something. Either way, a good story is one that engages you in more ways than one.

My story analysis looked towards the evolution of how war is portrayed up to the 80’s and beyond. The Vietnam war marked an evolution in human society both domestically and militarily. What movies like Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, (technically 1979, but still) and Platoon presented was, for a lack of a better term, the duality of man. While these movies are partially fictionalized they present real scenarios that were played out day by day in the lives of people who fought.

From what we know of the Vietnam war is on a smaller scale there were few who dictated the path that unfurled for something as small as a platoon for example. In that sense the highest ranking member of a platoon operates in a real life hypertext narrative. Life in general is based on the path you chose, but when the control of life is displaced it comes down to what decisions (if any) are made above you. Previously war movies hearkened on a bigger sense of unity through something like patriotism. War time atrocities for the most part weren’t portrayed in earlier films even some early Vietnam War films.

Apocalypse now is a movie that feels almost metaphysical in nature. It’s one of the rare movies that keeps an almost dream like undertone throughout the entire movie. The story follows a war torn vet, Captain Benjamin L. Willard, on a mission to kill a colonel who went rogue. Willard himself is already developing some of the mind bending affects of combat which leaves him in a state of, when he is not on duty he wants to be back in the jungle, when he is on duty the opposite is true. The movie itself is a cinematic masterpiece incorporating captivating scenes of Vietnamese jungle and coastal regions. On the other side there are numerous areas showing a worn torn region and a worn torn population. The sense of duality is supported by a main part of the plot, which is the fact that he has to cover an almost never ending river. His journey takes him through different stages of combat, each one becoming less meaningful towards the end of the movie. Their descent into the river paralleled their descent into madness. Each river base they encounter shows more and more of what combat did to the minds of those twenty year old kids at the time. Eventually the movie turns to a disassociated state when they no longer are using drugs to cope, but they are using every day. The climactic point of unorganized chaos is when they reach the Do Lung bridge. Fireworks are being set off on the bridge with some of them hitting the bridge making it wobble above the river. The people on the base are engaging in full on conflict with no one shooting back from the other side. Everyone else depicted waited in the darkness and just stared. While Captain Willard traverses the bunkers a mix of eerie music and guitar riffs fills the air along with screams and gunfire. Once Willard finally finds some fuel and leaves the bridge itself is slowly collapsing in itself from being shot at or hit with fireworks.

The audio alone is pretty freaky.

A lot of what is thought of war is what I would consider a linear outcome. Effectively the war itself follows a purpose for the greater good of humanity, and those who took part and were affected can move forward with their lives once they rebuild. This movie gave a piercing glimpse into what millions of Vietnam veterans still come to grips with today. Soldiers who fought faced internal challenges that go against what makes society work. The duality of man brought out through this war specifically should only exist then and never repeat itself. Apocalypse now is one of the rare movies that showed the horrors that everyday soldiers endure beyond killing. While it is fictionalized to some aspect, atrocities like it existed and that is what makes it a compelling story. Any story that can shed light on a purposefully forgotten past enhances it value to our society greatly.

Another day

Nothing to me is more relaxing than observing some of natures gifts to the world. As a child me and my neighborhood friends used to film almost everything around us. At that time I had no appreciation of the outside world that surrounded me and because this a lot of what brought me warm memories, is now receding. I can attest this to many factors one possibly being global warming while the other being I lost value in what I saw. Looking back at those videos we filmed summer after summer, left me puzzled as to how I managed to let everything slip away.

The street I grew up on had an almost perfect mixture of city life and nature. During the height of the summer towering trees would canopy over the entrance of one side of the street so the searing pavement was nothing to worry about on our bare feet. Within a big plot of land there was a mini forest which we dubbed the “black forest” during the dormant months. On the right side of the forest there was a hilly field center pieced with a withering stump. That side of the street wasn’t as built up compared to the other half and because this we basically did whatever we wanted. That forest was a place we would all gather and play little games here and there. The other side of the street was where me and all my childhood friends lived, which wasn’t any less green than the latter, but our time here was usually where we split as a group. The boys of the neighborhood would go play football, while the girls would go on their own and do whatever they did when we weren’t all together.

I would consider the people who grew up on the same street some of my closest friends. In retrospect we might not have even become close in the first place without our streets. On our side of the street we might have stayed divided, possibly only talking in our public school situation. The forested area provided a place where we all enjoyed the company of one another and found common ground. Just how nature shapes the world around us holistically, the small plot of woodland we played in shaped how I go about my life to this day.

Unfortunately as I’m writing this more of that area is being bulldozed to accommodate a massive gravel driveway that cuts through my street to the one above it where all the rich people happen to live. A family that moved in the neighborhood later leveled the whole field area for nothing in the end, only to leave piles of dirt. I don’t know what the forest will look like when I return home next, but I do appreciate all the times my tiny plot of nature gave me.