While Seated, Date Descending [002]

Ted Cruz Laugh Track, Kasich/Kendrick, 100 Billion Bernie-isms (Or, what a month looks like when you can’t stop making political vids)

Michael David Murphy
While Seated
Published in
9 min readMar 4, 2016


Below is a round-up, a month or more of bits too big to tweet, too small to post. In date descending order. In other words, blogging like it’s 17 years ago…

20160304 — GET EM OUTTA HERE

20160303 — Wrote-up a post for ACP yesterday that merged my Vantage piece about Anaheim & Boston with the work Shaun King did yesterday morning combining Will Counts’ famous photo of Elizabeth Eckford in Little Rock in 1957, with a Facebook profile screen-grab from a white supremacist yelling at a black woman at a Donald Trump rally in Louisville on March 1st, 2016: Photography’s Cyclical Nature — Anaheim/Boston & Louisville/Little Rock


20160302 — On Super Tuesday, this tweet from Intercept journalist Jeremy Scahill:

I saw it around 10:30pm, and figured I could make a run at it, as a kind of quick-video-making #lazyweb challenge. Finished-up at 11:37pm! Don’t ask where I sourced the laugh track.

Can’t get enough Face Swap Live

20160301 — Saw all of the various perspectives of Christopher Morris getting slammed by Secret Service at the Trump rally at Radford University, and wanted to see what it would look like to time-sync the available views.

I’d done this a few years ago, for a brawl that happened on Hippie Hill in San Francisco. I’m consistently fascinated by how people can have varying perspectives on the exact same event unfolding in real-time…

A few years ago I made a Google Maps-based project that mapped out the YouTube videos of a guy who ran onto the field during a Phillies game and was tazed by security. Google Maps has been upgraded a few times since then, and the map’s functionality (embedding YouTube videos) has been broken.

Time Synched: Christopher Morris vs. Secret Service at Trump Rally — Radford University

20160228 — Wrote a quick piece on Medium a few hours after this nonsense took place in Anaheim: A Photographic Comparison: Who Hates Better — 1976 Boston or 2016 Anaheim?

20160227_5077 — the JR installation in o4w is fading

20160226 — I’d been wanting to make some kind of supercut re: Bernie Sanders, and figured that something around how he says “billions” all the time might be fun & revealing. I thought I’d make a video in which he said the word a hundred times. A hundred billions, so to speak. (Not the greatest idea ever, but yeah.)

I ended-up with trying to string together the longest coherent sentence in which he’s talking about billions and while I kind of failed to achieve that, this is what I ended-up with.

Sometimes an idea is enough to get you rolling, even if it’s in the wrong direction, and you end-up in a new, unrecognizable place. Very much like writing.

A Few Hundred Billion Bernieisms

20160222 — Couldn’t make it to Trump’s rally yesterday, which is a good thing. Glad to read about the protestor who pulled the power plug, which resulted in full Trumpian meltdown, which, when merged with Teddy Pendergrass, sounds like this:

20160222 — Two vines of exhibitions of extraordinary photographs in Athens thanks to the Do Good Fund:

20160222 — Perfect merging of timely news and weirdo video artistry, from Vic Berger:

20160220 — When you finally bottle-up the last bit of a super stellar citra/simcoe IPA you’ve been enjoying for the past month and your super (beer)snobby friends rate it on untappd.

20160220_5002 — At Documentum.tv launch
at Documentum.tv launch

20160219 — Panorama of Panel Discussion about Southern Photography, via the Do Good Fund; panelists included Mike Smith & Mark Steinmetz on my right, Baldwin Lee & Jill Frank on the left. A five-star day.

20160219 — When you hit a 188-yard 6-iron across the water on the 13th at UGA’s course, and the ball tracks to the pin and lips-out from becoming a hole-in-one.

20160219 — Took #kidfantastic to see Bernie Sanders last night.

20160218 — Kasich & Kendrick:

Kasich & Kendrick — MDM

20160218 — The less time we spend at Children’s hospital, the happier we all are.

20160215 — Rounded-up a few of the debunked Bernie-in-a-Civil-Rights-Photo! threads with the real thing, from Danny Lyon, and by extension, the value of being able to quickly and accurately search your own archive, in The Struggle to ID Bernie Sanders in Civil Rights Photographs, on Medium.

20160215 — Eagerly awaited Terrapin’s release of the four single-origin coffee stouts. Kinda feel like getting extremely specific about coffee beers is the new frontier. As a whole, they were pretty underwhelming, as the subtlety of the coffee profiles are tough to distinguish, and I’m usually pretty good at that kind of thing. The Ethiopian was my favorite, but I’m biased, and buy beans from Harar whenever I can. (Terrapin’s source was Oromo Valley.)

20160211 — Making a public case for voting for Bernie Sanders: From a Sidewalk in April on C-SPAN, on Medium.

20160205 — I can’t remember enjoying something as much on the internet (since Maximum Thor) as much as I enjoyed this playlist of small videos from Bill Wurtz, who thankfully made something so awesome this week it went viral, which led me to poke around the rest of his video-making efforts. So great!

20160204 — Sometimes you gotta vent about something as silly as beer, on Medium. (I write “Medium” in there so I can quickly do an in-page look-up.)

20160201 — Still fired-up about this cockamamie idea that the 21st century will be decade-less, without the kind of differentiation we witnessed between the decades of the previous century. The 40s were so distinctive from the 50s & 60s on up; while this decade looks to be shaping into a slow slurve of gradual change unmarked by 10-year divisions.

It has to be true that differentiation between decades is a fallacy of storytelling, where true distinction between, say, 1947 and 1953 would be tough to construe, even in hind-sight. At this point, it’s hard to tell 2007 from 2013, in terms of fashion, innovation, or just plain visual-style. These ‘teens we’re inhabiting have no demarcator that separates them from the aughts’ emptiness.

While 9/11 might be the date Americans fall back to when recalling the turn of the century (I’ll think of 12/31/99, riding my bike through rainy Seattle, waiting for the Y2K lights to go out on the Needle) the internet-ification of real-life has left us with a torrent of experience in the last 15 years that just isn’t resolving into a digestible chunk.


20160130 — When you play a 2-day tournament and somehow figure out how to make 5 birdies in your final round at the kind of country club that’s so upscale it gives you the shivers every time the guy manning the door (and wearing a Secret Service-style earpiece) looks you slowly up-and-down because you both know damn well You Don’t Belong.

20160130 — A friend easing a tee-shot into the fairway on Sea Island’s Seaside course.

20160125 — Everyone has inside jokes and recurring personal memes that are meaningless beyond the confines of their own head. One of mine is the idea: “I’d watch television if there was an entire station that played…”

This Visconti break-down of “Heroes” made me realize I’d definitely watch a station that played nothing but interviews-with-producers-who-step-through-multi-tracks of famous recordings from the history of music.

I mean, really.

20160122 — After rewatching Laura Poitras’ “The Oath” and “My Country, My Country”, I can’t think of a videographer, documentarian, or photographer in the last 10 years who has achieved something so profound, affecting, of-its-time and singular as Poitras. Salgado’s Genesis might be the only other contender.

Her O’ Say Can You See remains one of my favorite video installations ever:

And then, NYT reports on the show she has opening at The Whitney.

20160120 — Having fun with videogrep

20160118 — If, like me, you’ve never made a cake, but you’re looking for a recipe that’s do-able by a novice, the Cardamom Cream Cake from the New York Times is incredible and totally worth it.

20160118 — I don’t know what I’m talking about, but if you wanted to train artificial intelligence to process language like a actual human, you could point your basement’s neural network at an entire universe of podcasts, and the machine could go through and figure out how humans “got conversation done”.

Not going too long on this, but there’s so much about communication that’s about signaling, previewing, pausing, and using silence as a tool to indicate readiness for response. But you and I were in the same sociology class, so we know all that already.

I wanted to make something that entertained this idea, so I pointed audiogrep at four bro-ish, conversational podcasts, and created an audiofile with only the ahhhs, ummms, and deep breathing. It’s total nonsense, of course, but was an interesting exercise (especially when the source is nonsense, too). The audio retained the untranscribe-able mouthsounds, so to speak:

20160118 — MOUTH SOUNDS
20160117 — SEVEN TWENTY SEVEN SAX: I knew this would run afoul of YouTube’s ContentID gnomes, but I just wanted to see what it would look like to string together classic saxaphone solos and do my best to match their beats-per-minute for somewhat seamless editing. Just another experiment.
20150116 — #kidfantastic likes Bowie.

20150113 — Remembering when Bowie completely “clicked” for me, at a movie theater on Geary St. in San Francisco in 1996, seeing a first-run screening of Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves, which had these fantastic interstitials set to music between the “chapters” of the film.

beerThe interstitials were landscapes from fixed positions, where the clouds or waves or rivers slightly moved, and were colorized by the artist Per Kirkeby.

They struck me as high-art, cinematically inventive, and unlike anything I’d seen or heard before. And in the spirit of blogging like it’s 1999, I’m sure I’ve posted this somewhere before:

20150112 — Would love to be able to ask my computer a question like, “what’s the current status of the legal issues surrounding Vivian Maier’s photographs?” It’s a question that requires google searches + human intelligence + synthesis of facts; across articles and updates.

It’s a question I’d like quickly answered, but I’m not interested enough (this morning) to look it up myself. Can’t wait until artificial intelligence can create a whole new sub-species of the curious, but lazy.