Saturday, January 12, 2008

treason is the reason for my poison...

There are a few apologies I owe to some really talented artists from around these parts. I had taken to filming local performances with the hopes of giving the footage to the artists (and to my pal, Cindy) so they could use them for promotional purposes. Some of them had no idea I had filmed their performances in the first place, such as Sean Kirkpatrick, Pleasant Grove, and the Baptist Generals.

Others, though, like Daniel Folmer and Kristy Kruger, did know I'd filmed their sets and were looking forward to the video I'd promised them. And I was looking quite forward to coming through for them.

Worst of all is the couple hours worth of interview footage of a friend, Monique, who is not only a wonderful person, but also a really amazing artist.

But, unfortunately, it wasn't my camera being used, and the person who would have been doing all the time-consuming work of downloading and editing the footage ended up flaking out spectacularly. I have no idea whether the film I shot was decent - or even if it had sound, for that matter (as I'd pulled that one out of my technotarded ass at least once previously) - but it would have been nice to find out. At any rate, to Daniel, Kristy and Monique...please accept my apologies.

Maybe some day I’ll get my own video camera and learn how to do the shit myself. However, given my inability to grasp even the most basic technology, the chances prolly aren’t real good.

I used to wonder if a person's character and motives could be separated. I'm sure most people, depending on the circumstances, can have selfish motives at times. Likewise, I'm sure most people don't have selfish motives all the time. But I think I am starting to learn that situational motives can be a pretty good indicator of character across the board. That if someone who is ordinarily an attention/accolade/limelight whore suddenly becomes interested in an endeavor for which there is no personal, material reward...chances are that person has other, less sincere motivations for becoming involved in the project. I've encountered people like that in the past and they're usually pretty easy to spot.

I don't know if a selfish motivation in one instance necessarily equals a selfish character in all instances. I can't imagine most people are that one-dimensional. Life is made up of varying shades of gray; it's never as easy to label something or someone as "black" or "white" as it should be. But I do think a person's motives in certain cases can definitely be a warning sign of trouble ahead.

I guess that's one of the lessons I can take from this situation: proceed with caution and then pay special attention to how things proceed. If altruism and a generous spirit aren't normally traits you associate with, associate, then chances are you probably won't be witnessing those characteristics any time in the near future.

In the wild, many of the flashiest, most brightly colored creatures are often times both a lure for the unsuspecting and a mask for the poison they're capable of producing. Then there are other critters - even plants like the Venus Flytrap - who appear benevolent and humbly subservient as a pretext to their instinctive intent: to ensnare and/or devour their victims with parasitic - if not predatory - behavior. The latter are much more difficult to identify for obvious reasons. I'm a firm believer that humans aren't nearly as removed from our less-domesticated animal neighbors as we'd like to think we are.

I don't think I'm oversimplifying, but I think there's a strong case to be made for the idea that if you can't trust a person in one situation or with regard to one subject, you probably shouldn't assume you can trust that same person in any situation...with regard to any subject. You are what you are; I am what I am. Or at least that's probably the safest approach to take with most people until proven otherwise. And while that sounds overly cynical, I'm not trying to suggest that people are guilty until proven innocent. But I am suggesting that, for the most part, you cannot turn honesty on and off...that sincerity is not a situational behavior when dealing with folks who are important to you...that trustworthiness is a defining characteristic of a person and can be established quite early, so long as you pay attention to what you observe.

I also think you can tell a lot about what's important to a person by seeing who he or she chooses to have as friends. I've always loved the fact that, if you were to put all my really good friends in one room together, it would look like a bunch of random people standing in line at the DMV; they have absolutely nothing in common with one another on the surface...not personality type or appearance or politics or hobbies...nothing. The one thing they do all have in common: they're good (by my definition) people. I can trust my life with any of them and vice versa. They're honest and sincere, they don't have questionable motives, they have their own moral compasses and follow them faithfully (whether I share those morals is immaterial)...they give me every reason to believe in them and I know they believe in me because we each are open books to one another.

And I guess that's all I want to say about that.

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