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The Lonely Gunman - "To chaotically explore the underside of digital life in an amusing manner."

"Question Reality"

August 4, 2000

Greetings Denizens of the collective illusion that we call Cyberspace!

It's been a very busy month for "us" here at "The Lonely Gunman". Not only have we changed our base of operations to a noisy apartment over a highway (not the information super) convenience store, but we also spent the first 2 weeks of this month enjoying sunny New Jersey and New York City.

We went to NYC to attend the screening of one of our short films, "Misery Bay", at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival: Overall, it was very interesting and the opening gala was particularly so. Several facts struck me about the festival:

#1 - For an international festival, it was run in a very slipshod manner. For some reason, I had expected an event with the reputation of the NYIIFVF to be a lot more professional. For example, it would have been nice to know that my liaison hadn't been working with the festival for at least a full month leading up to the event!

#2 - The "Opening Gala" that we attended was the biggest muddle I've ever seen in my life, surely not what I expected an opening gala at Madison Square Garden to be like. Thousands of people crammed around a few dozen tables, everyone clawingly desperate to sell themselves. I wonder if the guy ever sold his script on Lyme's Disease?

#3 - The art show part of the gala was very interesting. I came back with the distinct impression that I could compete with any of the professional artists in New York City, if not North America. I'm not one to ever blow my own horn, but what passes for art in New York City is called "roadkill" in these parts. Sure, there were a few cool artists and photographers, but a couple of folks, especially the one with illustrations of tampons or the guy with the crappy, crappy pencil drawings of wrestlers should have their skulls opened up and their brains replaced with bubble-gum.

Ok, yes, I'm jaded about the whole "art scene" thing, I think that it comes from being surrounded by world-class fine art my whole life. My personal theory is that to make really good art (or creativity of any kind), the creator has to invest part of his soul and passion in his art. But, there is a risk to this kind of creativity-- if part of your soul is invested in your art, then it is bared for the world to see (and possibly ridicule). The best creators in our world are either willing to take the risk, or like myself don't give a flying fig what other people think of their creativity. Too few artists today are willing to take the risk, they take all the art classes under the sun, they have degrees and an alphabet of letters behind their names, but in the end they fail because they just can't invest that special part of their soul in their creativity.

Our world tells us that it's bad to take risks or to fail. I've never understood this myself: where is the fun in not trying? I'd rather fail at a million projects, than once be accused of not starting or trying anything. Maybe my non-caring attitude is the secret. Sure, I love sharing my works with the world. Some people are bound to love them; some are bound to hate them. In the end, I relish the negative comments more than the positive. I'm happy with who I am, I don't need praise to assure myself. Criticism is truly what I relish-- it helps me to learn and grow.

Now that my rant is over it is time to introduce the main theme of this issue. Tonight at our local museum my newest art show is opening. Understandably, most of you fine folks won't be able to make the long trek to Here Be Dragons, so I've put together a special virtual version of the art show which I have dubbed "Question Reality 2000": http://chainmail.
. Please visit it and let me know your opinion: does my art compete with the art shown in the New York International Film and Video Festival?

Now, loyal readers of The Gunman will know that I started a small contest last month. The idea is very simple, there's an object from Norse mythology called "The Sampo". Whomever sends in the best description of what "the sampo" is, real or made-up will win a hand-signed copy of "Id Infection", which is picture #15 in my virtual art show. The contest ends with my real-life art show on September 5th, 2000, so you better hurry up and get those entries in!

One of the only professional displays at the "Opening Gala" was from a web portal called Scenetrack: They certainly have a unique approach to the whole Internet Portal game. I can't help but wonder who the hell will be looking up big New York or Paris social events on the 'net. Of course, I'm just a hick boy; perhaps they've got the key to tap into a new Internet Market. At the very least I told them that they should open a Toronto Office.

I think it's about time to wrap this issue up, I've been trying to shorten issues in an attempt to make them more regular and more readable. Next issue I'll tackle another interesting scene from New York City in an issue called "And the Beat Goes On".

Until then, take it easy folks,


* Our short film Misery Bay is scheduled to be available at in the next few weeks, I'll be sure to let you know when it is ready for viewing.

If you have any comments or questions about this issue, you can email The Lonely Gunman at . I offer no guarantees to the validity, functionality, safety, usefulness, or amusement of any of the links or information included in "The Lonely Gunman".

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