Locked up in Miami — Amnesty International Guantanamo Cell tour

During my final hours in Miami last weekend, i walked through Bayfront Park and stumbled into athe launch of a very smart Amnesty International USA campaign. Amnesty commissioned / built a full-size replica of a Guantanamo “Level 5” cell and placed it in a very public place for anyone to come and visit.

I don’t know much about effective experiential marketing, but this is everything I imagine it to be. The best part came after I was already locked up, sitting there imagining what it would be like to live inside that hot, tiny box for months or years without being accused of a crime.

The tiny flat-screen above the sink implored me to touch the record button and leave a video message for our government. It’s exactly what Amnesty should have done to amplify their field work, but I’d be curious to know how many people actually felt comfortable recording a message there. Of course, the organizers also asked everyone to sign a postcard / petition in case you skipped out of the video.

I can only guess how much it might cost to construct something like this and ship it across the country with staff, but it was incredibly effective. Keep an eye for it as it heads up the East Coast.

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Adams Morgan Day photos

Great day for a street fair. I think we were all worried that summer was trying to sneak out the back door without saying goodbye, but we were proven wrong. Got a little trigger happy and shot almost 200 pics during the festivities; just spent past few hours in the darkroom [that is my laptop] editing and culling them down to my Top 40. Check out the photoset here. Of all the photos I’ve taken this year, I think i’m most proud of these, so please just indulge me.Two of my favorites (for your appetizer):

hogs, carneys, and fried oreos

… at the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair today. Because after the last two sundays of tubing and amusement parks, it just seemed like the right thing to do.These are the sorts of events that make us Americans either especially proud or embarrassed by our country. And, more importantly, it’s the type of place that makes amateur photographers think that they’ve turned pro. So, ahem — check out my set from today. Warning: contains farm animals.

An evening with Kiefer Sutherland

I can now comfortably stop being jealous of my friends and fellow Dittos down at SXSW right now. I could not possibly have gone to Austin this year, you see, because I had a prior meeting with Jack Bauer (photo) right here in DC, minutes from my apartment, at the DC Independent Film Festival. (Thanks to Catherine for the tip and Ginny for accompanying.)For the closing film, they screened I Trust You To Kill Me, a rockumentary about Kiefer and Rocco Deluca and the Burden, one of the first bands that his music label signed. Somewhat surprisingly for a music documentary, it was only half about the music. The other half was a very up-close and intimate look at Kiefer’s off-screen life (as well as Rocco’s) and his attempt at being tour manager for this [then] upstart band.In short, the film was awesome. It had all the ingredients of awesome-filmness:

  1. Band on tour
  2. Globetrotting to European and Scandinavian cities
  3. ‘Live’ rock and roll (accompanied by edgy music-video inspired scene transitions)
  4. Gratuitous behind-the-scenes shots of CTU and the 24 set. And Audrey Raines!
  5. Rock star and celebrity actor’s intertwined personal quests for meaning and fulfillment (you can go either way on this one, but the film definitely benefited from this)
  6. Adventure

The movie was great, but the real take-away for me is that Kiefer now earns top placement on my coveted list of people I’d most like to party with. (Sorry, Clinton, but you’re now #2.) This guy is funny, knows how to have a good time, and is definitely not the ass you’d expect him to be. He also seems sort of lonely and empty inside, but that’s neither here nor there.After the movie, the two filmmakers came out with Sutherland for a discussion with the audience. And no, the 14 and 15 year old girls who ran up to ask if they could visit him in LA or get a hug right there did not once make me question my intentions for showing up. I’m a true supporter of independent film regardless of any coincidental appearances by the most badass dude from the best show on TV. After the discussion, they pulled back the curtain and Rocco and his band actually played a short set, which was pretty cool for a Sunday night in Van Ness. Or any Sunday night. Turns out they’re much better live in real life than ‘live’ in a movie — check out the tracks on their first album.

oh the kodak moments i’ve missed

the only RSS feed that i’m really compulsive about checking in my reader is my flickr feed of new photos uploaded by friends or flickr contacts. but i’ve had this horrible sneaking suspicion that something was up with my feed during some recent conversations where others have referenced photos that i know i should have seen but definitely had not. i’m probably the last person to discover this, but it turns out that flickr does not add all of a person’s new photos into your feed of contacts’ photos — it’s more like the last 10. so, if you’re one of my flickr friends, i’m sorry if i’ve missed some of your award-winning shots. i’m poking through now to see what i find… also, has anyone figured out how to get a complete feed of all contact photos from flickr?

It’s all bad and good, good and bad

Shimkin is leaving the building the end of the week, which means I won’t have the pleasure of watching Geri butcher his name into Shlimpskin again. The good news is that I’m getting his big TV, which is 3-4″ bigger than the TV i got from Emmet when he left DC. (A few more years here and i’ll be due for a nice flat plasma.)We’ve had some really great thunder and lighting storms for the past 48 hours or so (good). But Justin and Michelle’s apartment is flooding again and the federal government is shutting down, and the rain’s not supposed to let up for days (bad).Speaking of Justin and Michelle — Great hike in Shenandoah National Park over the weekend (photos). Virginia is For Carnivores, we learned — not herbivores.The stupid new owners of the Wardman Park Marriott, JBG Companies, just clear-cut all the big old trees in the park out front (except for a few token trees by the street). All of these massive and impressive trees are laying on their sides like carcasses waiting for the wood chipper to come and shred them to pieces. It’s probably the most terrible visual thing I’ll experience all week. There’s no good part here, and it’s too late for the Lorax. We failed as residents to save the park.And finally, the big media is all ablog about climate change these days. So now we just need to do something about it. (Yea, the Sunday NYT nonchalantly threw “ablog” into one of its articles… I’m trying it out for myself.)UPDATE: Almost forgot the most important one– An interview with 24 writer David Fury in the latest issue of the Official 24 Fan Club Newsletter confirms that Joel Surnow and other producers are die-hard conservatives. But Fury is an ultra-liberal. And there’s a new 24 blog.