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Tag Archives: Television

REVIEW: On the Frontlines of the Television War by Yasutsune Hirashiki

March 14, 2017

(From JayneB at Dearauthor.com)

REVIEW: On the Frontlines of the Television War by Yasutsune Hirashiki

JayneB REVIEWS / BOOK REVIEWS20th century / Japanese / non-fiction / Photographer / Vietnam / War / Military2 Comments

On The Frontlines of the Television War is the story of Yasutsune “Tony” Hirashiki’s ten years in Vietnam—beginning when he arrived in 1966 as a young freelancer with a 16mm camera but without a job or the slightest grasp of English and ending in the hectic fall of Saigon in 1975 when he was literally thrown on one of the last flights out.

His memoir has all the exciting tales of peril, hardship, and close calls as the best of battle memoirs but it is primarily a story of very real and yet remarkable people: the soldiers who fought, bled, and died, and the reporters and photographers who went right to the frontlines to record their stories and memorialize their sacrifice. The great books about Vietnam journalism have been about print reporters, still photographers, and television correspondents but if this was truly the first “television war,” then it is time to hear the story of the cameramen who shot the pictures and the reporters who wrote the stories that the average American witnessed daily in their living rooms.

Review

“The basic essence of war is death.” – David Snell

ABC News David Snell after Landmine explosion

David Snell (1967) after landmine. Recovered well.

I grew up watching this war and when, in the forward, it’s described as the Television War, I said “yes, that’s it exactly.” Every night my parents had the 6 pm nightly news with Uncle Walter (Cronkite) on. I remember the video footage and the body counts even though I wasn’t even 7 years old. When the last helicopters lifted off the embassy roof, I wasn’t even a teenager but I recall those images vividly, too. I’ve read plenty of memoirs of the war from military sources but until I saw this book, it hadn’t dawned on me that I’d never read any by the journalists who covered it and produced what I saw on the nightly news. Here is the story of a man behind the camera who gives the journalistic experience told from the POV of a SE Asian photographer.

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My Long Night With Hunter Thompson

the last word

The Last Word — Worst TV Show EVER

Long ago and far away (or at least in Florida), I was a field producer for the Worst Program on Television.  Many programs have vied for this title and, yes, there are quite a number that come pretty close, but ABC’s The Last Word was the hands-down Winner. They had to retire the Morton Downey Cup after that year and replace it with the Jerry Springer & Dr. Phil Dual Memorial Ball-Gag.

Irving & Shaplen: Covering the Nation

I said I was “a” field producer for The Last Word. In fact, I was the only field producer East of the Mississippi. Peter Shaplen, with his suave good looks and smooth Continental manner, covered everything from the Pacific to Chicago. The reason that there were only two of us to produce material for five shows per week was the result of the same complete failure of planning or, arguably, an absence of any indications of rational thought, on the part of the crack production team who had created the program.

You see, this was in the “good old days” of television known as the “Feudal Period” or the Daimyo Dynasty. All television programs and all television producers had been divided into fiefdoms run by a small group of powerful men (there might have been a woman or two later but I was never in their entourage). As a mid-level samurai seeking new quests after the 1980 presidential campaign and the usual complete emotional breakdown that followed, I was a loyal member of the Family L (all names have been replaced by easily-recognizable letters to protect…well, to protect ME.). That meant that L would seek to protect and keep me employed and, in turn, I would work 18 hours a day for him and periodically permit him to exercise droit de seigneur with new interns.  Without this protective relationship, I would have had to become a ronin (masterless samurai or freelancer), wandering the television wastes without meaning, regular pay, or health benefits.

Usually, this was a exquisitely functional relationship. Of course, my fortune rose fell along with L’s as he fought for power against Clan G, the Protectorate of W, and His Royal Doofus, Lord K.  This was in the period before the rise of the Gray Eminence of The Desk, Lady MM, and the destruction of the feudal system and all it’s lords and their vassals.

Yes, you may well ask the purpose of this digression into the politics of Television. Rest assured that it was central to the ineffable Awfulness of The Last Word. Originally, the Sun God –whose red and shiny visage had brought Light and Heat (and Ratings), had assigned L to produce a program to follow Nightline.  High Protector W rose in wrath and strode to the Head Office and demanded that the glory of a new program was rightfully his. His petition was heard by the Sun King. It was a bit odd how well L bowed to the inevitable and handed over the reins of Executive Production to the usurper.

(Jeez, I can’t write like this much longer. Hang in there.)

So The Last Word was given to W who immediately realized why it had come to him so easily.  It was a dog.

W instantly took on a new tactic: wandering the halls of 47 West with his eyes on the sky. If asked about The Last Word, he would usually respond with a vague, “Huh?” and then quickly change the subject to how well Barbara Walters was looking today.  I believe his plan was to be so distant from the program that he could successfully pass it off as the product of another corporate division and, possibly, another network.

The end result was that this small program was graced with 4 Senior Producers (two appointed by L and two by W), a Director who was also a Senior Producer (which meant that he wouldn’t listen to any of the others, one anchor in New York (a correspondent who had be recovered from Woodstock after 5 days despite desperate efforts by his staff to ensure he stayed there–even if it meant extending the concert) and one anchor in Chicago (who came with his own Senior Producer and an adamant determination to do nothing except his daytime program with different colors on the set).

It would have worked out much better if the Senior Producers had followed the time-hallowed CBS method of “Sharks in the Tank” and destroyed each other in true Highlander fashion. At the point when There Was Only One, the show might have had a central focus.  It would have been enough if you could have described it as anything but “The 30 Minutes that Follows Nightline.” Sadly, the Seniors (all of whom were best friends of mine) were insufficiently vicious and agreed to take turns–producing one program a week.  A typical week under this arrangement went like this:

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Catching up with PAUL D. BRAZILL | You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You?

Short, Sharp Interview: Dan Weatherer

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-That-Screamed-Horrified-Press/dp/1291596127/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388152727&sr=1-1&keywords=dan+weathererPDB: Can you pitch The Soul That Screamed in 25 words or less?

A collection of horror shorts to suit all (dis)tastes

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I really enjoyed ‘Seven Psychopaths’ and ‘Pacific Rim’ is kind of a guilty pleasure. ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ are my top television picks, though to be honest I watch relatively little TV!

Book wise I recently finished ‘The Necronomicon’ and have just started ‘The Satanic Bible.’

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

That’s a tough one. Personally, not if you have a real desire to write and to write well.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

I see myself at the very beginning of my writing career, and so would not rule out trying my hand at either. In fact I have already written and produced a short film (‘The Legend of the Chained Oak’) which we will be screening at various festivals next year. That project may lead into me writing a feature length script. I also intend to make some of my short stories into films with a local film maker sometime in 2014.

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-That-Screamed-Horrified-Press/dp/1291596127/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388152727&sr=1-1&keywords=dan+weathererPDB: How much research goes into each book?

Whenever I am looking to add authenticity or obscurity into a story, I’ll hit the books/internet.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

As I am just starting to make a name for myself, Social Media has become invaluable! I also like the fact I can reach readers directly, either for feedback or just to build a rapport. The personal touch goes a long way, and I have been taken aback by the sheer amount of support I have received from people I have never met!

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

2014 will see the release of ‘The Legend of the Chained Oak’; we have high hopes of success for the project. There will also be more collaboration with film makers and artists. Now I have secured the talents of Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard as my agent, I’ll be working hard to push my debut collection ‘The Soul that Screamed’ to a wider audience. Oh, and if I find the time…possibly a new book! Agnes Ferry has quite the fan club or so I hear…

BIO: Dan Weatherer began writing horror after losing his job at the start of 2013, a cruel twist of fate that turned out to be a blessing in disguise!

Discovered and published by Scathe meic Beorh, his first ever tale “The Legend of the Chained Oak” was an immediate success and was made into a movie, due Autumn 2014.

His next major project was a solo collection of short stories titled “The Soul That Screamed” (released Oct 23rd 2013.)  He will also collaborate with film-maker John Williams in the near future.

“Gilbert’s Well” is his first attempt at writing for a younger audience.

He lives in Staffordshire, where is married to his beautiful wife Jenni and is a (proud) full time dad to his daughter Bethany.

via PAUL D. BRAZILL | You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You?.

Something went wrong again | Hagiographic

20131112-113122.jpg

via Something went wrong again | Hagiographic.

Aspie X Factor | Catching up with seventhvoice

That Good Old Aspie X Factor Strikes Again

mber 17, 2013

911452_117850218414852_1882170407_n
My family and I were watching the X-Factor the other night and one of the judges said to a contestant…..
OMG where did you come from?”…….
To which my daughter responded by face palming her head into her hand while shouting….
” She’s from China…. really…. What’s wrong with these judges? …..Are they blind?”……..
The same judge then said to another contestant….
“Where did that voice come from?”….
My daughter glared at the TV  in complete exasperation, threw her hands up in the air and said………
“From her throat…. where else would a voice come from?……. Honestly I’m not watching this show anymore until they get some intelligent judges!”……
I do so love my Asper girls literal ways……… :)
But I must admit that I will miss watching the X Factor Au  because if she won’t watch it then no one else in the house will be able to watch it either.

via That Good Old Aspie X Factor Strikes Again | seventhvoice.

[Terry: Yes, but if it wasn’t for Asperger’s, we wouldn’t have any watchable television–Broadchurch, Homeland, Elementary, BBC’s Sherlock, House, etc. ]

Chinatown, London. Benedict Cumberbatch during...

Chinatown, London. Benedict Cumberbatch during filming of Sherlock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You want me to be a movie star?

This morning I got an email to be in a MOVIE. I had Stars in my Eyes! BookCoverImage

(In case there is anyone who might read this who doesn’t know, I began my career in TV as a motorcycle courier and my first novel is titled, oddly enough, “Courier” (Exhibit A Books, May 2014)

Hey Terry,
I’m doing a film that starts shooting in September. One scene has a motorcycle courier in it. It’s a speaking role. Just one line. Question is do you still have any of your gear, helmet / clothing. Any desire on your part to be a movie star???
lemme know! I’ll give you more details.
Mike
Geographically Desirable Movie
“Nicole’s Future is Waiting. She Just Has To Wake Up.”

Geographically Desirable

Nicole’s Future Is Waiting…

She Just Needs To Wake Up.

An Independent Film

In Production Now

www.geographicallydesirable.net.

Sadly, I had to respond honestly.

Sure

However, my daughters stole and wore out my leather jacket years ago and the motorcycle helmet might be in storage. Most importantly I’m twice the man I was when I was a courier–literally. Old and fat.

Terry

So much for Dreams of Celluloid Glory.

 bikerboi 2012-04-13 17.38.41

Terrible Sexist Horrible (but funny) |Catching up with Aewl’s Abode

 

[Terry: OK shoot me. It caught me leaning and I laughed.]

Daily Motivation

IMG_0969

sweetheart rewrite COMBINE

Buy Anything & Help Hey Sweetheart Stay Alive

10 Pictures That Will Make You Believe Happily Ever after Exists | The Happsters

10 Pictures That Will Make You Believe Happily Ever after Exists

Posted on July 16, 2013 by happsters

Do you believe that love can last forever? These photos depict older couples who are completely in love, happy as can be and still having tons of fun!

1. Strolling around

seeing old people in love

2. Making each other laugh

Older couple laughing

3. Combining hammocks and kisses

Hammocks & Old Couples


4. Holding hands

For More CLICK HERE

via 10 Pictures That Will Make You Believe Happily Ever after Exists | The Happsters.

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

Terry Irving’s Resume Reel.

Watch the first piece at least. It’s Ten Things You Should Never Do on Television News.

Catching up with friends: What Bothers Me About Soap Operas | windandlaughter

What Bothers Me About Soap Operas

Monday, July 1, 2013

trifecta

Trifecta: Week Eighty-Four

CRUDE

  • 1: existing in a natural state and unaltered by cooking or processing
  • 2 archaic : unripe, immature
  • 3: marked by the primitive, gross, or elemental or by uncultivated simplicity or vulgarity
  • Malcolm Thompson and Suzanne Church in soap op...4: rough or inexpert in plan or execution
  • 5: lacking a covering, glossing, or concealing element : obvious
  • 6: tabulated without being broken down into classes

There’s nothing more unsettling than watching your mother, father, sister, grandmother and grandfather clustered around the television, all watching the same soap opera. I don’t know what disturbs me the most: one, that of all things possible, this is what brought the family together, two, regret that they choose to spend their leisure time and sometimes their un-leisure time as well so utterly unproductively on a regular basis, or third, that we as a people fall prSoap Opera Digestay to the networks’ crude play on emotions so easily every time. The same formula of heartbreak, tears and gossip, and it works like a charm.

No soap operas

Every.

Single.

 

 

 

 

 

Ti-Oops, gotta go – he’s about to catch her cheating on him!

 

via What Bothers Me About Soap Operas | windandlaughter.

Zen of Northampton | A Caffeinated Brunette

Zen of Northampton

Posted on May 30, 2013 by A Cup of Tia

The other night we went to one of my favorite little towns, Northampton.

It’s one of my favorite places to walk around and shuffle through the eclectic shops.

One of my favorites is Faces, they have a ton of odds and ends you’d never think you need except you always end up with a handful of goodies at the cash register.

faces northampton

It was a scathing 90 degrees out so we hopped over to the Northampton Brewery for a cold one and some of their delicious brew house nachos.

northampton brewery

They have a great rooftop with tons of seating, perfect for sunny days like these.

IMG_20130520_144650

After we plumped around a bit more we started getting hungry again and ready for the main meal.

No, of course nachos weren’t enough.

We headed over to Zen of Northampton, a pan-asian cuisine restaurant.

zen of northampton

Much More at Zen of Northampton | A Caffeinated Brunette.

18th Birthday Prayers | Gatsby’s Abandoned Children

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

18th Birthday Prayers

Posted on June 4, 2013 by Jeremiah Walton

With

the bed

unmentioned,

TV silence,

and backs

leaning chairs

The dry anniversary

of my birth.

Happy birthday kid

you’re 18

no college notions

nor answers

Stare at the ceiling

because when you pray

your whispers are caught

pounding the roof

you spot a crack

and pray harder

via 18th Birthday Prayers | Gatsby’s Abandoned Children.

Game of Thrones: Blood Wedding | Expect the Unexpected

Hey Sweetheart We Get Rewrites

Game of Thrones: Blood Wedding

Posted in TV by patriciagay

When Walder Frey licks his lips, watch out Catelyn.

When Walder Frey licks his lips, watch out Catelyn.

“A sword needs a sheath and a wedding needs a bedding.”

Or is that a wedding needs a beheading?

I am so glad I have not read George R. R. Martin’s book series A Song of Fire and Ice, the basis for HBO’s Game of Thrones. If I had, I would have known what was going to happen in last night’s episode, The Rains of Castamere. As an “unsullied,” for me, the shock and horror that unfolded was totally unexpected, so it was TV at its best!

Spoiler Alert

[Terry: I haven’t seen this episode yet so YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN]

via Game of Thrones: Blood Wedding | Expect the Unexpected.

Welcome to a new friend: Luca Ripamonti | EnginEffect |

 EnginEffect is a site about cinema. Its purpose is to inform readers about the latest industry news, also giving advice on what to go see at the movies through the reviews / video-reviews. Also, in the future, as the site is still in beta, we will also have video-sections with a regular basis schedule, if possible. The project, however, would be much more: in fact the aim is a platform for information in various fields (music, video games, TV, sports, etc.).

via About | EnginEffect | News, Previews, Reviews, Trailers and many more!.

This is an extract from a German docuseries called Too Young To Die, which episode was probably dedicated to Heath Ledger. In this clip, we see Ledger’s father showing Heath’s diary about Joker’s plan: he was collecting all the things could inspire him for the role, and personal notes; most of the material was collected before … Continue reading »

After Machete, movie based on a fake trailer made for Planet Terror, Robert Rodriguez returns to tell the story of the kick-ass old mexican played by Danny Trejo. This time, with Trejo, there will be Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez (who both return from the previous chapter), Sofia Vergara, Mel Gibson, Vanessa Hudgens, Amber Heard, Alexa Vega, … Continue reading »

Okok, I didn’t have so much to write about right now, so I came up with this idea to write about my guilty pleasure. For those who don’t know what a guilty pleasure is, it’s something horrible or stupid or whatever that you really shouldn’t like, but somehow you do it the same. Here’s mine: … Continue reading »

Honestly, who was thinking that this was gonna be just a stupid and ignorant action flick? A lot of people, and probably me too. But, somehow, I was hoping this product to be fully action packed, cause it’s Timur Bekmambetov directing, fast paced and incredibly funny. My expectations never been satisfied so much. Produced by … Continue reading »

I just realised that, with the upcoming release in theatres of Catching Fire this November, there isn’t any sort of review of one of last year’s most anticipated movies: The Hunger Games. So, I have to write about this interesting and mediatic product. First of all: I’ve never read the novel, and I don’t think … Continue reading »

In the last years, since 2000 when Bryan Singer’s X-Men hit the theatres, the majors produced a lot of comic book adaptations. There are very much, but the most interesting ones, or, better, the ones that intrigue us the most, are the ones based on not mainstream characters: just think about Scott Pilgrim, Blade (which … Continue reading »

I’ve seen this movie yesterday night on my iPad. I know, it’s not the way a movie should be watched, but I couldn’t fall asleep (too much thinking, stress, and any other sh*t could pass through your head ). I’ve always interested in this film, as long as stars Bradley Cooper (which I think is … Continue reading »

As you know if you read the page “About”, EnginEffect isn’t just a site, but also a indipentent movie production. Obviously, we’re not talking about full lenght future, at this time we’re programming to shoot some short films. Here you can find a list of titles produced, in production or pre production.

FALLING DOWN

Title: Falling Down
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Year: 2012
Lenguage: Italian
Length: TBA, the script is composed by 10 page
Cast: TBA
Producers: Luca Ripamonti, Giovanni Mirabella
Writer: Luca Ripamonti
Director: Luca Ripamonti
Release Date: 2012
Plot: A cop and his ex-partner have the last face off to decide what to do with the killer that ruined their lives. They will have to choose between vengeance and justice. But justice, in this world, maybe can’t be the answer…

Falling Down is Luca Ripamonti’s first project as a writer and director. The goal of the film will be the comprehension of certain actions in a certain situation, but without justifying them. Clearly, the main topic will be the difference between justice and revenge. The director, during the writing, has been influenced from some movies like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, F. Gary Grey’s Law Abiding Citizen and Kenneth Branagh’s Sleuth. The movie is set to be shooted in the second half of October, with a release date before the end of the year. The short will be filmed in Italian, but the first release will be with English subtitles.
Falling Down will be available at our YouTube Channel and in download in here at our site.

Memory Matters by Danny Schechter (Your News Dissector)

English: Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Gaute...

ImageAs he aged, Nelson Mandela turned his principal foundation into a Center of Memory, not only to share the achievements of his phenomenal life but also to keep the story of the South African freedom struggle alive for new generations. Many, in just 20 years, had forgotten, or never learned about its sacrifices.

Memory is not just the preserve of the iconic and important, but something that all of us lose with the passage of time, especially because we live in societies oriented towards living in the present, in the here and the now, with little sense of a collective past beyond what most of us learn in school and then promptly forget. In Uganda, women facing an early death from AIDS, or diseases of poverty, came up with the idea of creating “memory boxes” to collect photos, heirlooms, and family histories to share with the children who will survive them. The boxes quickly became a popular way to pass on their history, values, and reminiscences to the next generation.
In more “developed” societies, we have vast professional archives to collect and preserve documents and artifacts, even though many are dependent on funding or university support. The state of Georgia just announced that is cutting the staff that maintains its archive, while in many states and cities, funding for public libraries is disappearing. Few of these places still have bookstores, with publishers increasingly relying on on-line sales. In some towns, newspapers face extinction and Local TV news may be next. Already, the media outlets that most of us rely on minimize context and background in reporting, often recycling stenographic accounts missing in interpretation. Even as we have more technology than ever to connect us
with a changing world, it tends to be used more for entertainment than information. The most popular websites are the best-marketed ones. The
superficial still trumps the substantive.
A recent study of Monterey, California, showed how what we remember is often influenced by the powers that be. John Herbst wrote, “many people will find the elements of the Monterey experience familiar: a history represented by upper class homes; socially elite governing boards and societie  outdated and non-inclusive interpretive exhibits; the tour guide who is alocal history ‘gatekeeper;’ emphasis on decorative arts and furnishings on a historic house tour; the lack of emphasis on industrial history; the commercial exploitation of adaptively used industrial buildings.”
This is the conflict the late Howard Zinn addressed years ago in his writing on the tension between official history and “people’s history.” It surfaces time and time again, when we think about whom we remember, and what to remember. There is a personal component in this conflict for me as a long time social activist, journalist, filmmaker, and sometime troublemaker. As a storyteller and journalist, I have often used my own experiences as a prism to explore the past. As my mom, the poet Ruth Lisa Schechter quipped, “He knows
what it is because he was there when it was.” History is still being made and remade and I am hardly the only one with tales to tell. As a relatively experienced observer who has lived

English: Young Nelson Mandela. This photo date...

Young Nelson Mandela.

through decades of tumultuous change and traveled to some 70 countries, I have developed my own reporting style and framework for analysis that informs my writing

and media work. It is grounded in a personal family history as well. As the child of working class parents with an immigrant background, I grew up in a culture that worshipped great writers and a history of labor struggles. I was introduced early on to a rich history replete with leaders who battled for social justice. That shaped my own orientation. Later, my immersion in the social movements of my time—student activism, civil rights, the anti-war, and anti-apartheid battles brought me into contact with well-known activists and important leaders.
In this book, you will find an essay on a “secret” I have kept since the 60’s, my small role in the underground inside South Africa that assisted the armed struggle, that decades later,

English: Nelson Mandela's prison cell on Robbe...

English: Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island

helped liberate that country. I helped organize unions and rent strikes. I marched in many protests in New York and Washington. I taught in freedom schools and reported on demonstrations. I wrote for and then edited a high school newspaper and college magazine. In my twenties, I began traveling the world witnessing South African apartheid in its darkest days and then the protests that rocked London, Berlin, and Paris in the late 60’s. I came back to America to pursue a career in journalism ending up as a News Dissector and the “News Dissector” at rock and roll radio, local TV news, talk programs, CNN, ABC News and later my own production company, Globalvision, where my colleagues and I made TV series and many documentaries. In my case, six were with Nelson Mandela.

I realized that there was a media war underway over what to report and how to do it. I realized that media omission was as bad as commission in the slanting of news. What we don’t know is often more important than what we think we do. Hence, my calling this collection, “Dispatches” from an ongoing conflict. In my own work, I had gone from being an outsider to an insider, and then an outsider again, always independent in spirit and critical in outlook. I went from the underground press to the mainstream media, from print to radio and TV, and back to print. Today I am often on the air around the world, commenting for BBC, Al Jazeera, Press TV, Russia Today, Saudi Arabia TV, and even Austrian radio, but rarely, if ever, for the networks I used to work for. I do appear weekly on Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Keep Hope Alive Radio show, and contribute to websites worldwide.
As the digital age dawned, I went online in 1986 and never came back. I was part of teams that launched various websites, and have written a daily blog for almost 12 years. (You can follow it at newsdissector.net). I wrote my first book on what it was like to work in the trenches of mainstream media in 1997. It was called The More You Watch the Less You Know. Afterwards, I seem to have written a new one every year for a small following, often – alas – poorly promoted by small independent publishers. They tried, but the big houses get more attention for their books because they have advertising budgets that smaller imprints lack. I have written about media, war, politics and activism. My last two books are, Blogothon , a collection of some of my online work, and Occupy: Dissecting Occupy Wall Street,  a report on the contemporary fight for economic justice.
This book on your screen is #15, probably the last one because it became clear that while I had the energy to write and churn them out, I didn’t have the wherewithal or connections to get them distributed as widely as I would have liked. I would like to think that it is not due to their quality. It may be that all these multimedia interests, flitting from blogging, to movie making, all my globetrotting, and a blend of activism and journalism ensured that I had no one “field” to be associated with or remembered for. It seems axiomatic that to develop a public profile, you have to do “one thing well.” That advice never fit well with my more hyperactive personality.
We live in the age of the brand, and among the many who compete for attention in the highly commercialized “media space,” the notion of a “News Dissector” may be regarded more as a catchy phrase, but not for a serious body of work, despite an Emmy and other media awards. A media careerist might see me as my own worst enemy for trying to do too many projects and too quickly. It is a criticism I hear frequently and there is some truth to it. We are told that people who act as their own lawyers “have a fool for a client,” so the writer and filmmaker who tries to do his own PR invites charges of being self-promotional, and then, can be ignored. However, I don’t feel ignored. I have been blessed by being associated with teams of colleagues who work with me, put up with me, and encourage my pursuits. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I am hardly the only dissenter and critic whose work is ignored by the guardians of the status quo.
What a long and sometimes strange trip it has been and continues to be. I am always dancing on the edge of the contradictions, somehow managing to find the funding and audiences to keep going. I can still drop names with the best of them, but none of it matters when you are working in what people on the inside consider the “wilderness,” a place reserved for marginalized voices and gadflies. How I hate that putdown!

I have dipped my fingers in many oceans, traveled up the Yangtze and down the Ho Chi Minh trail. I organized rent strikes in Harlem and taught at a civil rights Freedom School in Mississippi. I have been underground in the secret war against apartheid and over ground up on the mountaintop with the economic elite in Davos, Switzerland. I traveled with the Dalai Lama, marched with Martin Luther King, rallied with SDS, dined with Malcolm X, met Jean-Paul Sartre, connected with Fela, Amilcar Cabral, Oliver Tambo, and Samora Machel in Africa. Visited the home of Patrice Lumumba in Kinshasa, and more recently, ran with Occupy Wall Street on, where else, Wall Street. I also met Yasser Arafat, Le Duc Tho, and later, yuck, HenryKissinger and Spiro T. Agnew.

I yippied with Abbie Hoffman, helped produce the all-star Sun City anti- apartheid album with Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Miles Davis et al. Profiled Tina Turner and Bob Dylan, did one of the first national TV reports on hip-hop, visited John and Yoko at home, shook hands with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Tip O’Neil, and had lunch

with George Soros. I have been more fulfilled by what I have been able to produce, than by connecting briefly with the “good and the great.” I have been to many political conferences, media conferences and TV award ceremonies. I have been to China and many Chinatowns. Sometimes I felt like Woody Allen’s Zelig.

I would like to think my investigations were ahead of their time, including a film warning of the financial crisis in 2006 and another explaining why it was a crime story, not just an economic miscalculation. I did a film exposing election fraud in 2000, another calling for tolerance in the aftermath of 9/11, and yet another, explaining how Barack Obama won in 2008.
I wrote the first book published on the Iraq War along with a film exposing the role of our own TV industry as propagandists called WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception. At points, I have been widely published, and at other points ignored, or spied upon by the CIA and FBI. I know because I have seen my files. In one of my most wannabe revolutionary moments, one of their informants praised me as likeable if “funky” for wearing my hair in the “bouffant style of a woman.” So, even as I saw myself as a feared militant, they saw me as a teddy bear. Some activists even considered me an agent because I knew too much about the covert world, or because of the paranoia and suspicion that festers in the left political culture.
Smile.
I know of only a few friends, comrades, and colleagues who have been as immersed, and learned so much, in the course of so many adventures, doing so many things, going so many places, over so many decades, from the 1940’s through 2012 and still counting. This book and my earlier work is one way of giving back, sharing what I care about and hoping you will care too.

[ Terry: For once, I’d have to agree with the FBI, Danny is a teddy bear. An exceptionally impassioned teddy bear devoted to individual freedom and the value of knowledge. But still a teddy bear.  If you read my Post My Long Night With Hunter Thompson, Danny was one of my friends who made up the impossible band of 4 Senior Producer who tried to steer The Worst Show on Television in 4 different directions (sort of an editorial Amistad). On the other hand, he’s one of the people in television that make you feel like you haven’t gone anywhere no matter how many places you’ve been.

Danny’s book is available for a free download at  coldtype.net

and I strongly recommend it — even if you don’t agree with his politics.

Or better yet, especially if you don’t agree with his politics.]

Terry Irving: Full Circle – YouTube

Terry Irving: Full Circle – YouTube.

Why would anyone want to watch me on Video?

Chapter 216: Friends Make Everything Better | 18yearsyoung

A toddler girl crying

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 216: Friends Make Everything Better

07 Tuesday May 2013

Happy Tuesday!

Do you ever have days where you feel like bursting out into tears? Like nothing you say or do is right, that you’re a failure and you’ll never be successful? Earlier today, I was having one of those days, and I didn’t think it’d get better. But then I went to dinner with a group of my friends, and I found myself smiling and laughing with them, my bad mood immediately disappearing. It was so amazing, because minutes before I was in tears, and then I was joking and chatting away like nothing had happened.

And then I realized, while everyone has bad days, sometimes they get better when you’re around people you care about. Even if it’s a simple “hello”, or a long talk, friends make a lot of the bad things go away. Friends keep you from sinking, they make all of your fears and sorrows go away with a few words, a joke, or a hug. And friends can come in all shapes and sizes, from places far away, or close by. It doesn’t matter how many friends you have, one is enough. If you have one person you can go and talk to, or share a smile with, it’s enough to make any bad mood disappear.

So, what do you like to do with your friends? Personally, I enjoy going on walks, playing games, watching movies, or just hanging out! Also, if you ever feel like you need a friend to talk to, I’m always here with a smile and an open ear. Just message me, and I’ll be there, I pinky promise 🙂

I hope you all have a great week!

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via Chapter 216: Friends Make Everything Better | 18yearsyoung.

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