Friday, September 5, 2014

National Lampoon, Leaked Photos, and Voyeur Culture

In 1985, Clark Griswold and his family traveled to Europe. While in London, Clark mischievously recorded his wife getting out of the shower. Ellen then did a seductive dance for her husband and the two commenced in intimate moments while the camera recorded. A few days later, while the family was in Paris, their camera was stolen.

Several days after the theft, Ellen saw a picture of herself during the recorded moments in an advertisement on the side of a bus. The advertisement was for an adult movie. As to be expected, she was embarrassed and angry at her husband for not erasing the material.

In the wake of the latest theft of celebrity intimate photos, is the above scenario still funny?

Also, who do you think is to blame - if anyone - in the above scenario?
  • Ellen Griswold

  • Clark Griswold

  • The Paris thief

  • The distributor

  • The bus company for promoting

  • The market for such a video
Personally, I hate "blame". People get too busy blaming and pointing fingers, and not fixing problems. What's done is done. After the incident occurs, the next step is to make sure it doesn't happen again. In the Griswold case, that might mean Clark is never able to operate the camera again. Or they don't make intimate videos again. Or they never hand their camera to strangers again. Or they ensure the thief is prosecuted to the utmost extent of the law, intimidating potential thieves. Or they could start a campaign trying to change the voyeur culture. Either way, effective countermeasures may be taken.

Or not.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My favorite Tampa Bay music venues

A few weeks ago, the Tampa Bay Times (who I have written for) published an "Ultimate Bar Guide" for the Tampa Bay area. One of the sections they divided bars into was the best places in Tampa Bay to see live music. Their list:
  • The Ale and the Witch (St. Pete)

  • The Brass Mug (Tampa)

  • The Orpheum (Tampa)

  • Pelican Pub (St. Pete)

  • Hideaway Cafe (St. Pete)

  • Uncle Mike's Smokehouse Grill (Plant City)
I've never been to three of their six venues and probably should go, as the TBT crew are well-versed in their area music and their recommendations are probably pretty good.

Here is my list of best music venues in Tampa Bay. It is slightly different.
  1. The Brass Mug (Tampa) - raw, loud, and isolated, despite being 5 minutes from University of South Florida. Best metal bar in the area seems to still be a work in progress after move to new location. Bands I've seen there: Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, Secrets She Kept

  2. Crowbar (Tampa) - wide array of genres helps. Perfect venue for Ol' Dirty Sundays weekly hip-hop night. Bands I've seen there: Obituary, Talib Kweli, DJ Scratch, RJD2, Weekend Nachos, several local shows.

  3. Hideaway Cafe (St Pete) - I need to go here more often, especially on a blues night. Only been once. Beautiful set-up. Very "unplugged"-esque. As the TBT folks mentioned, the Hideaway Cafe is billed as a "listening room", which is much different than the loud energetic concert vibes I am used to. A place for music listeners.

  4. Skipper's Smokehouse (Tampa) - Eclectic blues, jam, reggae bar. Great vibe. Awesome decor. Would be much higher if not for terrible parking lot. Impossible to find a place to park when they have live music. I've turned around and gone home in frustration a few times. Bands seen here: JJ Grey & Mofro

  5. Jannus Live (St Pete) - Outdoor courtyard venue that was redone a few years ago. Wide array of bookings helps. Being on a block with other bars, clubs, and pizza places is also a plus. Bands I've seen there: George Clinton, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep.
Places I need to go to that could make the list:
  • Ybor City Jazz House (Tampa) - New live jazz place in Ybor. Place for "grown folks". Dress code required. DJ Sandman, who I have interviewed, DJs upstairs on Saturday night.

  • Ringside Cafe (St. Pete) - Haven't visited since they moved to their new location near Jannus Live. Live blues and rock puts this place high on my "must-see" list.

  • Hard Rock Cafe (Tampa) - Been for food, not for concerts. Great environment. My favorite place to people watch. Growing reputation as a place for good rock.

Other places in the Tampa Bay area I've seen music (bands I've seen in parentheses):
  • The amphitheater (Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Eric Clapton, Robert Randolph, Alice in Chains, Velvet Revolver, Incubus)

  • Ruth Eckerd Hall (BB King)

  • Tampa Bay Times Forum (Pearl Jam, Kid Rock)

  • State Theater (Sevendust, Clutch, Aesop Rock, House of Pain)

  • Ritz Ybor (Sevendust, Southern Darkness Fest, Rodrigo & Gabriela, Black Label Society)

  • The Orpheum (Southern Darkness Fest)

  • Local 662 (local bands)

  • Fubar (Secrets She Kept, local bands)

  • Pegasus Lounge (local bands)