Ever since I heard about this video production I've been excited about "Salemia," our capital city's response to "Portlandia," a television series about Oregon's metropolitian centerpiece of hip, sustainable, cutting-edge coolness.
Which doesn't describe Salem in the slightest.
Our convention center attracts groups like Center for the Enthusiastic Appreciation of Paint Drying. The most frequent diagnosis at the Salem Hospital E.R. is acute episode of Chronic Boredom Syndrome.
I like it.
And I'm not saying that because I appear for a whole three seconds, from 0:19 to 0:21, though this fact admittedly does have some bearing on me being responsible for a healthy share of the current crop of You Tube views (most of the rest likely coming from the computers of Perron and Jenkins).
Way back in the '60s, Andy Warhol talked about how everybody would be entitled to fifteen minutes of fame. Given how things have speeded up, three seconds seems closer to the truth.
So this could be mine. Guess I need to milk it as much as possible.
If "Salemia" ever becomes the huge cinematic success that it deserves (though probably the history of artistic expression will look more kindly upon the production if it becomes longer than one minute and one second), students of this genre will discuss every moment of the Salemia Intro in excruciating detail.
Thus for posterity I shall offer up some revealing insights into my actor frame of mind after I was given a brilliant directorial instruction by Mike Perron, "why don't you go rummage through that trash can?"
In my middle-class life I haven't done much rummaging through public trash cans. So for inspiration I had to draw upon the times my wife has said, "I hope you didn't throw away that piece of paper that's been sitting around for a long time. It's really important."
However, upon lifting the lid I immediately realized that this receptacle on the Capitol Mall contained different stuff from our home trash can. Most obviously, a lot of McDonald's debris.
The photo above captured a moment of hesitation which likely is an accurate reflection of choices faced daily by actual transients. There's quite a bit left in this milkshake container; should I suck it out through the straw?
Art intersected with reality. I was torn between an impetus for Cinéma vérité and a desire to not get a nasty stomach bug. In the end I foreswore the straw, in part because I only like vanilla milkshakes and wasn't sure what flavor was in the container.
There's much more I could say about those three seconds. But too much explication of fine art detracts from the je ne sais quoi which is just about all the French I know, and so feels great to squeeze into a blog post whenever I can.
Here's another Salemia-related video from Perron and Jenkins. These guys have a great sense of humor.