Bad Credit (Georg Rockall-Schmidt interview)

I’ve finally done it. I’ve raised my own credibility to such a high level that no one can ever knock me down again.

Wait what am I even saying… I’ve been doing this gig for just over two years and I’m finally starting to get some traction with it. It takes a lot of hard work to make it as a creative professional friends. I say these types of things over and over again, but you’re not going to just be handed things in life.

You have to hustle for them.

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Once you begin the process of the hustle, then you start to slowly see some gains as you invest more time, more effort, and more energy into the thing that you love. Which is why I am not a hero of the underworld, yet.

But I recently made friends with a gentleman that is working hard every day to become an internet darling. Not because he wants fame and fortune, but because he is an artists and he decided to take the ultimate risk and invest in himself. Which like no one does. Ever.

That’s right, he is creating his own reputation by setting aside a “rewarding career and fringe benefits”, slowly eating into his own savings, and eating rice and beans everyday. By living this lifestyle, he has been able to begin the process of generating some amazing video content, on a consistent basis and to the point where he is slowly building a following on YouTube.

I made the mistake of calling him a Professional YouTuber within the first few minutes of our interaction, and he quickly corrected me to say that he is an Early YouTuber, one who is using one of the most popular social media networks in the world to getting his writing out there.

I’ve said it once before already, but Georg Rockall-Schmidt is one of the most awesome people I’ve never met in real life.

And I’ve also already mentioned that Georg is a researcher, a writer and quite bright.

This is an interview about credibility, and it’s what this guy is all about. What resulted in an almost two hour conversation of the ills of Trump and Clinton, what happens when you become homeless, the genius of Channing Tatum, and the difference between nerds and hipsters, has been pared down for your viewing pleasure.

I present to you, with much aplomb, episode thirteen of timotheories interviews.

And as always, if you want to check out more timotheories interviews or the Cross Talk series please visit our YouTube channel.  And please, please, please share this post and of course subscribe to both the blog and channel!

Now let’s talk about connecting – Georg can be reached in a few different ways – YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. And if you really want to get to know him, he really will respond to messages.

Lastly my sincerest thanks to Georg for being genuine, glorious, gooey, and groovy. See you tomorrow with an album review by a starboy.

Tim!

Why Captain America Turned Nazi And Other Fan Theories (Cross Talk Ep.6)

Fandom is broken.

Well, that’s what Devin Faraci of Birth. Movies. Death. would have us believe anyway.

Now, normally I don’t like to indulge the reaction post/video side of humanity on the Internet because I find doing so to be far too specific and not in the least satisfying – The problem being that creating content around a “trending topic” runs the risk of quickly becoming dated and it’s often not broad enough to build an entire timotheories sized post on.

Sure, I could do something everyone likes, like speculating on the next Angry Birds movie, but I’d prefer to write like a Shrek movie, one with many layers, sort of like an onion, because I don’t care what everyone likes.

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But fortunately for you, dear readers, you’re going to get your cake and eat it too, because that Faraci article is something of a whopper and conveniently related to the topic I was going to bring up this evening anyway.

It just so happens that in doing research for Episode 6 of Cross Talk, how fandom influences studio direction, Chris came across the above article and decided to share with me. And we had a good chat about it.

But let’s get into it!

Without giving too much away, Chris and I have found a way to demonstrate the value of a measured approach to the challenge that is social media, because if you follow his logic through to it’s logical conclusion, then Faraci’s fandom has always been broken.

Faraci tells us that because of the Internet, extremists like Annie Wilkes now have a way to terrorize anyone and everyone, but what about the other side of the coin? Those who never had a voice now have potentially have one, and petitioning for artistic changes just go a lot easier.  So where did we land? And how upset are we about the Steve Rogers: Captain America #1 reveal? You’re about to find out, and I’ll give you a hint, as an artist, I happen to have a few theories on this topic.

I’ve included a direct link to the full video for you here, but as always, the real action is just below for your convenience. Otherwise, please sit back and enjoy Episode 6 of Cross Talk!

I’m out of theories for now, but please check back tomorrow for an album review that is all about Simon. It should be a good one! Please comment, subscribe and share this with you friends. We want to hear your feedback!

Tim!

How To Stay On Topic AND Be Topical (The Reading List)

Reading is cathartic, sharpens your mind, and expands your world. How it manages to do all of this is kind of amazing, but I’ve written about that before (see here, here, and here for recent examples), and it’s not really what this timely Thursday post is really about.

This entry is about another of my lifestyle goals as a cultivator of the arts.

You see friends, I’ve always been a lover of knowledge. Every personality test I’ve taken, every mentor I’ve had, and many of the compliments I have been given by generous humanly have usualy revolved around my intellect. I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life in thought and in the written word, so it kinda makes sense.

It’s a great comfort to me to read and I believe it is where a lot of my natural creativity lies. I’m very thankful for this gift and I intend to continue to use it to great effect. But I’ll be the first to admit, that creativity often comes from places other than self. Sure you can carry a creative idea through to it’s logical conclusion and exhaust it by repetition and personal exploration, but even more new ideas form through experience of the world.

Which is why I need to keep reading regularly, and read new things. As an artist, a curator of art and a practitioner of artist development, it’s my pleasure to share ideas with you dear readers. That means I need to find ideas in order to share them.

Buying a new album and film every week is a start, and participating in social media to build an empire is a good for discipline, but but I’ve always found that reading is the best way to spark ideas. Which is why I’ve decided to start The Reading List. It’s ambitious for sure, but it’s the only way I know how to flesh out a process, by dreaming big and digging in.

My goal for the rest of the year, and then for the rest of my life as I know it, is to read one book a month in a packet of categories. I’m going to start slow though.

To elaborate, I’ve grouped genres and topics, but will slowly expand outward until I am consuming at least 5 kinds of books a month. I already mentioned meta-reading, where I read a book, that I will also be writing about and how it relates to the act of reading, my relationship to the author I’m reading, and how my opinion of them and the work changes over time. I’m following this challenge concurrently with The Reading List to share some insights into the reading process and what I’ve learned from some wonderful authors.

And I’ve started with Ernest Hemingway. So let’s break down my crazy library sized idea for reading, and explore the possibilities and how it will benefit you, the readers of this blog.

I will read one book a month from the 5 groupings below, slowly expanding the number of books read so that I reach the point of 5 books a month. A book for each group:

  1. LIFE – Biographies/Art/Music
  2. LOVE – Classic Fiction/Non-Fiction/Graphic Novels
  3. LEARN – Business/Leadership/Self-Help
  4. LABEL – Philosophy/Sociology/Psychology
  5. LEET -The Internet

If I can get to the point where I read a book from each topic a month, I’ll be flying pretty high. You see, dear readers, if I can embrace the 5 L’s of LANGUAGE (my own idea), then I can contribute proper to your own education and personal growth in the age of the Internet – Hence the LEET grouping.

I think it’s a pretty neat way to keep myself accountable. But what do you think? I’m out of theories for the week, so share the post and leave me some feedback. Facebook and Twitter are most appreciated.

Tim!

This Click-bait Will Change Your Blog For The Better (Buzzfeed)

Click-bait. We all hate it, and we hate it because of what it makes us feel inside. We click that link hoping that the headline will deliver on what it says or that picture will open up a gallery of wonders. But it never does… It just fulfills instant gratification, without any kind of growth. In case you have absolutely no idea what I am referring to dear readers, I’ve set up some examples, which will follow below.

He thought he was safe. What happened next changed his world.

Number 9 is the most shocking one!

Marketing companies hate her.

What they learned was terrifying.

We already knew it, but she perfected the delivery.

This idea will make you a better reader.

Click-bait is without a doubt, the perfect example of a pejorative word. With sneering and everything.

We’ve all been there, surfing the internet from the safety of our homes while rocking our PJs with a litre of red wine, while scrolling through our preferred media of consumption (insert Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, Google Reader or YouTube for starters) when we see it. A headline that just screams INSTANT GRATIFICATION. All you problems solved in one click. Knowledge, sex, fun, tears, power, miracles, etc.

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But fuck that.

Click-bait doesn’t really solve any problems. In fact, it’s been designed by marketers to help generate revenue; quality and accuracy be damned. The goal is close the sale and get your curiosity past the point of intrigue but not sated enough that you can ignore the headline. And so you click. Because the thumbnail picture is conjuring feelings or the headline has a supposed spoiler in it. As I already mentioned, go anywhere on the internet and you are sure to find examples of click-bait in use.

It’s what made the website BuzzFeed so popular in the first place way back in 2006. It was originally founded as a hub for viral content, and it did a good job of bringing in users so that they would see content on its way up the social ladder, at the peak of its popularity, or content that was now overexposed and burning out fast.

With this traction the company was able to grow over the past decade and slowly become a source for internet media of all kinds, with a focus on digital media and tech. They’ve made great efforts to curate old content, deleting over four thousand articles at one point as they changed the face of their brand.

Now a website that once used click-bait of every kind to draw in traffic, instead produces their own daily content which consists of both articles and video, and has a staff of reporters, artists, and part-time contributors. Did I mention they also let their community contribute to the conversation?

Which means that they are more interested in traditional methods of publication now that they have traffic and want to have a good reputation too. Though they still click-bait. Man oh man do they still click-bait.

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So why did you decide to write about Buzzfeed then timotheories?

Because I have this theory.

How convenient for me. And for you! You see dear readers, I think that click-bait is our generations version of hot topic marketing. It’s not that much of a stretch when you think about it, but have you thought about it?

That’s the real question.

You see, over the past couple of centuries in the western world, marketing as evolved just as much. We’ve gone from eras of trade, to production, to sales, to having marketing departments, to having marketing companies, to “relationship” marketing, and now we are in the middle of social/mobile marketing. This article goes into detail on it, but for our purposes I’ve included a handy little chart that D. Steven White put together.

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As you can see, none of those marketing previous forms have died by any means, however, as they lost focus and became normative behaviours, creativity moved in new directions (as it always does) and communication had to go right along with it. Is click-bait the end-all-be-all answer in an era of social/mobile marketing? God no. But it is something to consider in the scheme of things, and it does have value.

So your task as an art maker, art shaker, and art breaker is to figure out all of the tools available, become an expert at marketing and move forward. But that’s something we can go into more detail on in a future post.

But what do you think? Am I missing notches on the marketing tool belt? Is click-bait not worth the time it took me to craft this sentence? Please leave some comments, subscribe to the blog, and share with your friends (artists, art enthusiasts, and humans apply)… I’m out of theories for today friends, I’ll catch you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!

Old School (timotheories presents: Cross Talk)

Do you ever look at all of people who wear shirts with the statement “old school” emblazoned across the front, and shake your head?

I remember a stretch of time when it was a very popular type of slang, especially with people in my generation. It was used to refer to gaming, music, and fashion especially. But pretty much anything that came from another era was subject to the old school moniker when brought up in conversation.

There was even a movie about this idea. And it was conveniently called Old School. At the time that this movie came out, I had just turned 18 years old. And in a fury of wanting to be an adult, participate in adult culture and do adult things, I went to see Old School in the theatre.

At the time, I thought I had hit comedy gold. It was quotable, it was rude, it had nudity, and I was finally part of a club I had wished I was a part of for years. 18 year old Tim was stupid, and I hated his motivations.

Hate is a strong word, and I really really really dislike using it. But it’s true.

I wanted to like old school things, and convey my taste, my wisdom, and my virtue. And I thought that watching a movie about men in their 40s who go back to college to start a fraternity, get drunk and sleep with coeds, was a pathway to this wisdom.

Appropriating without contributing, participating without earning anything.

Hence, I dislike the term “old school.” But that’s just the surface reason, let’s go deeper.

It also seemed to me to be a lazy way of contributing to a conversation without actually offering anything up. Equivalent to when people throw the word fuck around haphazardly or follow every other sentence with it.

The height of the “old school” slang for me was in 2003, when trucker hats were cool.

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But Coolio and LL Cool J were not. Cry me a river right?

B-Real - Hit Em High (ft. Busta Rhymes,Method Man & Coolio) [TV]

Sorry I thought of a quip and wanted to share it.

Anyway, as I mentioned, 2003 was a fun time. With lots of gentrification and appropriation going on in popular culture. We were just starting to define this trend and eventually landed the plane with a term called the hipster.

In this period of time, everyone wanted to address this overwhelming issue of postmodernism embodied in fashion. The hipsters took from every era possible and somehow managed to upset every niche culture in the process.

It was a fashionable form of nihilism and it stuck around for a quite a while.

Nihilism, subversion, and anti-establishment anti-hero types have always existed, but we needed to re-define and send this out into the world ourselves.

And because of the post-modernist movement, hipsterdom moved with the contemporary ideas of the day.

But as we hit the 2010’s, hipsters and attacking everything became faux pas. Or at least I stopped worrying about it myself. You see, I realized, and I think most artists are started to as well, that we need to move past post-modernism if we really want to create anything worthwhile.

Sure it can be fun to deconstruct something and take details away from it, but real joy can only be found in embracing and sharing your vision with the world.

Which is why I think that modern craft is the next big thing in the art world, in the arts, and in popular culture. You see, I have this theory. My theory is that every generation needs to separate itself from the one previous, but because life works in cycles, and we reference what comes before us, children are often the spiritual successors of their grandparents ideas and belief systems.

My parents (and the parents of all generation x and generation y kids) represent ideas of deconstruction, excess, and dichotomies that exist in the  extreme. That’s not to say that they are extremists, but it was a period of carving out and making broad strokes to deal with the world. In anticipation of globalization, the internet, and major issues of human rights.

I think that the next generations focus will be on nuanced issues, on craft, on communication, and on socialization. This is why more and more people are turning to small businesses again, why artwork is becoming about skillfulness again, and why we are tackling social media.

I’m going to end today’s post by offering a promise to you dear readers.

A promise in anticipation of a new year and new challenges! Next year, I am going to unveil a new component of the timotheories mantle called Cross Talk. On Cross Talk, myself and my co-host will be addressing themes we see in film (and eventually other realms)and using those themes to offer you up much needed insights.

It can be a lot of fun to learn about production details, fan theories, and celebrity gossip, but that is not the intent of Cross Talk. Cross Talk promises to be the kind of discussion you would have in a bar or on a couch with your close friends about a topic and provide you with a fresh perspective on a universal storytelling medium!

So stay tuned because we aren’t going to appropriate we are going to celebrate and bring something new to the table!

And that’s all of the theories I have today.

Tim!