While Seated [012]

Michael David Murphy
While Seated
Published in
4 min readJul 6, 2016


20160705 — Still find it hard to believe that when you make a GIF and upload it to twitter, twitter says it’s a GIF in the lower left, but they convert the GIF to a soundless, looping MP4 file. They’ve taken one of the simplest components of the Web and converted it into something more complicated — probably to make things easier for themselves (somehow) in the long run. Technology has such grand capacity to make so little sense.
20160705 — Missed out on the tournament-day tickets, and for 2017 we’ve also struck-out on practice rounds. Two years in a row of good ticket karma finally caught up with us. [Screenshot]
20160703_IMG_7419.jpg — Every time I walk by this sign here in our ‘hood in ATL I think of this Stephen Shore from American Surfaces, which for some reason I recall was taken in Macon, but was probably from somewhere in Nebraska. What’s weird is that the sign bears no resemblance to Shore’s. It’s not the same shape — it’s just an old sign, but when I think of old signs hanging out over buildings, I think of Shore’s “Strange Drugs”.

20160703 — I like to think of live video as a kind of anthropologic data-stream. Without cuts and editing, webcam vids or livestreams have the transparent appearance of total disclosure, except you’re the talking head who’s tasked with making sense of it all.

One of the most affecting things I’ve seen in years was a livestream from near Ferguson, a few weeks after the protests, where someone with a phone was livestreaming the fire department hosing blood off the sidewalk after another police-shooting of an unarmed black man (he was carrying a sandwich, if I remember correctly).

On the frivolous, more web-cammy side of things, an unedited longstream can provide an amount of data that would otherwise be inaccessible. Case in point, this 26-minute view of a “long drive” competition here at a private country club in Atlanta.

There is so much happening here sociologically (and economically) it could be an easy 5,000 word piece. The question for me is whether to write it, or just accept the fact I’ve already wasted 26 minutes watching kids hit golf balls at a country club I’ll never get to play. (That last part’s probably not entirely true — I’ll probably end-up teeing-it-up there some day.)

But seriously, the unrelenting awfulness of the dad-jokes from the host; the body-language of boys just growing into their man-selves; the starry eyes in the younger kids who have the privilege and fortune of growing into a world where they can hang-out in such a “safe” bubble, free from the grit & grime of a major metropolitan city — it’s all here, and it’s all staggering to me.

There should be an experimental film fest that curates longform videos that offer these kinds of “peeking behind the curtain” views into niche aspects of society and culture that are otherwise off-limits. A festival for the re-upped, 21st-century-youtoob’able, unintentional versions of Mondo Cane, perhaps.

Or yeah, maybe I should start one.

20160703 — When you’re CEO of Sallie Mae and retire, you can build your own private golf course — not a private country club, but a private golf course, in rural Maryland. [via Reveal podcast]

20160630 — That dream you had on vacation where you flew into Dagestan, and somehow snuck through customs without having to show your passport, which you accidentally left at home anyway.

And when you walked outside, there was a huge snowstorm, and camels were stumbling about through snowy drifts. That dream.

20160621 — This is how you do disclosure in a footer on a blog post.
20160621 — Heartbreaking, but great.
20160620_IMG_6922.PNG — Sweet crossfade screengrab
20160617_IMG_6895.PNG — Loved this (middle paragraph) Meg Hourihan quote.
20160617_IMG_6892.PNG — I love having a look at eagle. Missed on the lip, but hey.
20160615 — Artists can still afford to live in San Francisco? [Screenshot]
20160615 — “Best” part about this is that Trump understands how the game works to the extent that in order to change laws, he’s going to the NRA, rather than Congress, because the NRA Lobby treats Congress like money-hungry puppets, which they are, so, can’t believe I’m saying this, but score one for Trump?
20160614 — [Screenshot]
20160613 — Three tweets I deleted, that in reverse order, tell a true story that happened on the same day the world was reeling from Orlando.
20160613 — What passes for “news” on Facebook, where thousands of people share, like, and comment on a three-year old news story, without doing due diligence and googling the distressing follow-up story, which, while not taking-away his heroic act as a 15-year old, dramatically changes perception about his character.
20160611 — MDM
20160606_IMG_6685.JPG — Gotta work on my patchy warm-up divot-taking.
20160513_IMG_6130.PNG — [Herzogian Screenshot]