The Final Cut

So I am kinda proud of this assignment because it is something that I could utilize the skills that I have learned at school and for many years before.  My passion for recording.  Recording music, to be more specific and recording my music to be even more specific.

I was to take a topic of my choosing, research it, then tell the story without actually talking about it.  Naturally I decided to show off what I know and write a song and record it (two of my favorite passions).  It may seem like taking the easy way out in going with what I know and, for a lack of a better term, thinking outside the box.  I feel though that what I know how to do is abnormal in it’s own way when talking about creativity.

The topic that I chose was the Chernoble disaster of 86.  Enough information about this has been plastered over the internet so I will leave it to you to find out what that is if you don’t already know.  What I wanted to do was to write a fictional narrative about one persons experience with this event.  I took factual evidence and and wrote it into a story that I fabricated for entertainment purposes and threw in some education to go along with it.  One other thing that I threw in were some poetic notes as well.

Here is a link to the song.  It will take you to the MFT website in the band archive.  The page you will be on is that of Household Guns, one of my many bands.  Scroll through the songs until you get the song titled, “Twenty Five Reactors” and click on it.  The lyrics are listed below.

Twenty Five Reactors



Benjamin Masbaum

  It was a clear night in April.

Something about a plume while they slept.

What was supposed to be a test, turned out to one of the worst atomic disasters in history.

Just a picture that I found on the internet. This is not Tofer

For Kim and Tomik, it was just that and more.

Kim was pregnant with child.

Tomik was forced to evacuate his family from Belarus to Berlin.

The Damage however, was already done.In November of 86, seven months after the explosion, Tofer was born.

He had an unusually large head.  It was so large in, fact that the doctors had to rip open Kim just to free him from the womb.

Kim and Tomik were embarrassed of Baby Tofer’s enormous head.  They were afraid of what others might think.

For this, baby Tofer was locked in a room during his formative years and unable to leave or have friends.

During this time, Tofer was inclined to spend his days reading and inventing mathematical equations that would some day cure cancer.  Because of this, his head grew bigger.

Well into his twelfth year on earth, Tofer was given a newspaper.  It read of the aftermath of Chernobyl and the children born after that time.  Because of the size of his head, Tofer’s brain was equally large and he was able to put the pieces together and discover that he two was a child of Chernobyl.

I could not believe that this could happen to me but it can.

And there are many places in the Midwest, twenty five reactors

He can find the others,

They will join a circus

It will give him powers.

He will cure diseases

Tofer knows that the greatest concentrations on radiation still affect the 13 million still living in Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia.  He wishes he could find a way to help them all but he knows in his heart he can do nothing.

Twenty-five years later

He can see the future

But he can’t cure cancer

That’s ok he won’t live


Tofer never learned how to speak English

Even though he never had to.  But it would have helped his cause greatly.   Now sick with disease himself, Tofer on his deathbed wants a kiss before he dies.

Time goes on, the smokes clears, and the danger still exists.

The story is fictional about a boy who was born in Belarus Russia durning the Chernobyl disaster.  Because of radiation exposure from his parents while he was in the womb, the boy was born with a big head.  along with having a big head, the boy was super smart and dreamed of one day curing cancer.  I also threw in some self revelations about how we, (in the midwest) could be affected by nuclear fall out from the 25 Reactors stationed mostly in Illinois and some in Ohio.

Thanks, and enjoy!

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aaaargh! I hate this assignment.

Why am I here?  Hell I don’t know.  Of coarse we need to know what “here” is.  This is a question that is asked of me from time to time and, as much as it seems like an easy question, it is not capable of an easy answer.  That is why I hate that question so.  I want to show you something.  It is not funny, although you might think so.


You might think that some of these photos are funny, but to me, they are infuriating (except for the first one).  People watch the Maury Povich show and the Jerry Springer show and laugh.  They think it is funny that other people act stupid and unaccountable for their actions.  They give other ignorant people a reason to act stupid.  Because it is entertaining.  So why is it cool to be “gangsta”?  why is it cool to be a criminal?  Then you get what we have in picture 2.  A couple of ignorant children thinking this is the good life.  The sad thing is that their parents are probably no different.

Can you believe that I actually know people who have no problem telling me that they just got out of jail for some kind of drunkenly or disorderly conduct?  They just work it into conversation like it is no big deal.  If I were in their shoes, I would be too embarrassed to mention it.  I would probably lie about it.

For the purpose of this assignment, I choose to use “here” meaning “school”.  Why am I getting an education?  So that I don’t act like these people that I speak of.  Although I would like to think that, even if I didn’t have a college education, I am intelligent enough not to make these stupid mistakes but that is neither here nor there.  I like to think that, if anything, college will give me the opportunity to meet people who are not ignorant because like-minded people tend to find each other.

Hoooooly Shit!  While I write this blog, I am finding out that People in prison can go to college and have it payed for by the government.  Meanwhile, I (a responsible and intelligent person) am racking up a $40,000 bill.  “Nice”.  If I loose a position in a respectable company to someone who killed another person, I swear I will Kill someone myself.  (That is sarcasm.  I must let you know that before some other dumb ass decides that I am some trench coat wearing postal retard, and has me banned from the internet for speaking my mind, or even worse).

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Fear This

So what is fear, you ask.  I believe that we all know in the back of our minds, what fear is, so I believe that a more suitable question would be; What is my individual interpretation of fear.  My personal meaning of fear is probably not unlike anyone else’s on a general level.  A fear is anything we will not do, say, be around, touch, hold, see, or have done to us for risk of the consequence, whether or not that consequence is true, or just.  in essence, if we have a fear of spiders, (which is a common fear) then I will not be around, touch or see them because I might get bitten.

Sometimes the consequence to our fear might not be as apparent.  for instance one student has a fear of holes or porous surfaces (trypophobia).  This probably has some freudian relation to childhood or something, but the truth is that, we don’t know where this fear comes from.  (or maybe she does)

I don’t have any obvious fears other than the fear of confrontation, although it is not a large fear.  I can still, if my life depended on it, overcome that fear for a minute to defend myself.

So for my assignment, I want to remove all the desks from the class room.  The reason I want to do this is two-fold.
1. I am a people pleaser.  this is due to the fact that I have a fear of people not likeing me.  I tend to do what others want even if it means that I suffer a bit.  I want to take the seating out of the class room to prove to myself that I can do something on my own accord regardless if it makes me unpopular to others.
2.  I think that people are afraid to speak up in this class about there thoughts and projects etc. because it is more comfortable for them to just sit there and be an observer without particibating.  Sitting at the desk is a way to, sort of hide and remain unseen.  Eccept for the fact that these chairs roll around, sitting does not promote action and I think that if they stood for a while, it would encourage them to be out of their comfort zone and actually do something rather than observe.

the reaction I will get from the class will be disappointment, and confusion at first.  but not at me, because they will not know it was me behind the project.  however when it is revealed to them why it happened, I think they will understand and be OK with it.

After the fact, I noticed a few people curse me, jokingly of coarse.  One girl in class actually said that it sparked an OCD of her’s.  she said that seating and finding seating in the right spot is something she can’t help but do when she walks into a room.  (those weren’t her exact words but that is what I got from it).  in taking out the desks, she was forced to sit on the floor in a spot where she did not pick.  Other people complained about sore asses.  I also got a few people saying that it was a good thing to have them sitting on the floor for whatever reason.

I think that my second reason for taking the chairs out worked.  by sitting on the floor, we were able to speak to each other, without all the boundaries and restrictions that the desk may give us.  I feel like it was more of an intimate class.

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2 Hours and 40 Minutes of Bliss

It was our bliss assignment we were told to take the 2 hours and forty minutes of class time and do something just for you.  That is what I did.  It is private, as instructed by the assignment and that it what it will remain.  Although I can ease the suspension by saying, It was nothing worth writing about.  Next we were to take the stuffed animals and do something that had to do with contradiction and harmony.  This is my story.

I was given the stuffed animal that was a mock up of “Shaggy” from T.V.’s “Scooby Doo”.  At first, I wanted to transform him into the opposite as he was.  On the show, shaggy is a paranormal investigator.  He is described as a lanky, scrubby fellow with an immature disposition and a squeaky voice who manages to become side-tracked from the rest of the ghost hunting group along-side his best friend, a dog by the name of “Scooby Doo”.

To transform him into the opposite of his own personality, I would have to cut his hair and give him a suit and tie.  Possibly I would have to cut the whiskers on his chin however I was unable to pull the threads which acted as a scruffy beard on his face.

after looking at a couple of dollar stores, I could not find a doll suit.  I did, however find an adorable little police uniform that was meant for a stuffed bear.  I figured the contrast there would be a little less obvious and could use a further explanation.

As Shaggy is rumored, amongst the teenaged crowd, which is probably half of the T.V. show’s viewing audience, as being a stoner because of his droopy eyes and laid-back, hippy swagger along with his hilarious view of the world.  I think that a police uniform would be an excellent contrast.  I cut his hair, as planned, put the police uniform on him, and drew a mustache on his face.








From Stoner Shaggy to “Straight and arrow” cop Shaggy.

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My Spirit Has Been Shit On

So my Idea of the difference between  concept and final product is this;  when talking about the comparison between the two and how they are different, I believe it is necessary to see them for how similar they are first.  As a new media major, I tent to skip the gory details about the process that goes into making something for a client and focus on the finished product, which is what the client might want.  I have to be the one who takes their inspiration and puts my own twist to it as they see fit.  the concept, in this case, might be the “rough draft”, for lack of a better term.  It is basically what is submitted for the clients approval or to be tested in the market.  When talking about a client to professional relationship, I would call the notion of concept something that came from the professional and final product would be with the addition of the client’s ideas.  Thanks

I had an interesting time in class this monday.  I think that with this class, along with other classes I have taken in the past I am starting to show my age.  either that, or I just don’t get it.  I really want to be excited about thinking outside the box but I think, no, fear that I may have passed my innovative peak.  We had a discussion about inspiration and the question arose.  What is your inspiration for the project you are on?  I have to admit that it has been a long time since I have really been inspired.  Come to think, I really haven’t been impressed with anyones ideas or thoughts in the class to this point.  Nothing stands out anyway.

There was a time when I would have stuck out like a sore thumb in a class such as this.  I remember when I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  My outgoing personality would have shined through the mold of the herd.  I could not only produce a creative idea and make it tangible or tellable, but I also had the conviction to convince others that what I was doing was great.

I have been used to people looking to me for new and interesting ideas and now I can’t help but feel somewhat annoyed by people who are doing the same thing.  Jaded may be more of a fitting term.  I don’t, by any means, want to offend anyone in the class for speaking their mind, hell I used to do that myself.  When the teacher commends someone for the great job they did and how they understand this class I can’t help but think, “for what?  The idea the presented was dumb”.  or unoriginal.  Not that I am doing much of a better job, of coarse.

I just have this pre-conceived notion that I have already went through, a few years ago, what most of my class mates are going through now.  I am almost 32 years old.  I realized at a very young pre-pubescent stage, that I was a very creative person.  I took interest in art and soon into my teen years began to play musical instruments.  since then I have been in countless bands (that is not an exaggeration), I have been in upwards of twenty five or more bands.  I have even spent countless hours writing stories and poetry and have even made a few short films.  I have entered into thousands of festivals, contest, pageants, and shows, and I have nothing to show from it.  I know that I am creative and original and I have good reason to bitch.  I have good reason to be jaded.  Furthermore, I have good reason to think that another persons idea, concept, creation, etc. is not worth the paper it was written on.

My “bright-eyed, bushy-tailed spirit has been shit on for eight to ten years longer than most of my classmates so I just don’t feel like I have any more inspiration left and I certainly don’t feel that I can gain any insight from them since they are still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  Once again I am not trying to offend anyone and I also hope that I am wrong but, my only advise to any young B.E.B.T. is that the world will chew you up and shit you out soon enough.  make sure you make your stain in the grand picture before you loose your inspiration.  because you will some day loose it.

The only difficult part is this;  When you are young, you are inspired but nobody will take you seriously.  When you are older, you will be taken seriously but your inspiration will have long passed because nobody took you seriously when you had it.  The trick is to not exhaust all that inspiration so soon.   Keep just a bit of that “spark” for when you get older.

needless to say I need this class.  Beth mentioned something that sort of opened my eyes a little bit.  She said that she would rather us never step foot in the classroom if we thought we could get something more out of it by not attending.  this made me think that she was speaking to me even though she was actually talking to someone else who thought the class was boring.  I don’t think this class is boring however and as tempting as the offer to never step foot in class is, I will probably need to attend the classes to get the fullest out of it.

So back to what we were talking about before I went on this rant.   We were talking in class about the process of a project from the beginning to the end product and came up with the following equation;

Inspiration, > Idea, > Concept, > Trial, > Refine, > Product. (IICTRP) or (eek-terp)

1. Inspiration:  this is not necessary for a final product per say but it is definitely key in creating a final product that works.  by that I mean if you cannot muster any base for inspiration, your client will most likely miss the point or the purpose of that final product because there probably is no purpose behind it in the first place.

2. Idea:  the Idea is the thought of the actual final product.  What will it be?  What purpose will it have?  What will it do to ensure that it’s function has meet the criteria for it’s purpose.  The Brainstorming fits into this category.  Let’s say you were making a web site for a children’s book.  What would the layout be?  What colors should I use?  these questions and more should be asked at this time.

3. Concept:  After experimenting with various different methods (which is part of the Concept Phase),  you will then “construct” a rough draft or prototype.  You may even make a few different models that differ slightly.  This is your concept.  Finished by no means, it could give you insight as to what the product might look or behave like.

4. Trial:  after your concept has been modified well enough to the point of “performing” if you will, you will now try your concept on test subject consumers.  they will give you feedback for your questions.  What did you like?  What did you dislike?  did you understand it?  Did this work.

5. Refine:  After your feedback is tabulated you will probably (and most likely) need to go back to the drawing room floor, tweak knobs and flip switches.  erase, draw, and repeat.  when you are finished with the first initial round of Refining, you can go back to the trial stage.  You may find yourself running back and fourth between stage 4 and 5 as many times as you see fit.  This is perfectly normal and, in fact, necessary.

6.Product:  This is the end of the line.  After you have tried and refined and repeated as necessary you are ready to launch that children’s book web site or show that new commercial on television.  what ever it may be.  Product is not so much one of the stages of the process, but it is the prize that you kept your eyes on.  I is an indicator of the end of the process.  It is the goal that has been obtained.

the process would actually be more fitted to be described as a goal.  that is my two cents  or three nonsense.  whichever you choose is best.

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I Saw a Social Security Number!!!

So this was the assignment.  I was to pick something that a student saw and bring it to life.  I made a small video of a blank social security card and through a tree to five second timespan, number would be ghost written onto the card.

thanks for your patience.

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Stupid Rules

This class is definitely interesting to say the least.  I actually enjoy the discussions even though I am a bit nervous to express myself most of the time.  It is a big class and some of the people can be quite annoying.  It’s always the people who speak up too much because they think they are funny.  I get that humor is a way to cope with your fears and what not but lets just leave the comedy to the comedians.  however, I am probably just old.  I acted the same way when I was most of these guys’ age.

the discussion of class was about rules and whether or not which rules are good or necessary.  We were ask to name a time when a rule has kept us from doing what I wanted to do.  Let me just say that there are too many to think of.

One particular instance that comes to mind is with parking.  I hate parking rules.  One time I was living in an apartment building downtown.  there was a big parking lot just outside the building that was reserved for tenants who payed an extra 50 dollars a month to park there.  First off, where does this business get off charging an extra 50 dollars a month?  That is ridiculous in and of itself.  Second, because of this outlandish rule, nobody but five people actually paid for this service so you can guess how empty this parking lot was at all times.  Mind you, this is downtown so the rest of us who lived in the building had to park a few blocks away at times because of the lack of good parking downtown Indianapolis.

One time, I had actually parked there.  My car was towed.  Take that back; it was stollen and held for ransom by the City and the honest people of “Zender Properties”.  It infuriated me to the point that I put my fist and foot through a couple of there lobby windows.  They can just use that ransom money that they would be getting fat on to pay for some glass.  Serves them right!

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