December 9th, 2007

01:05 pm - on looking for models for another photo project...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
So I've been invited to do another photography show. This time the theme is "Light."

I know I'm still not done with the tarot project (and yes, I'm still working on it). But I had a great idea this morning for how I could really do something awesome for this show, and since this show has more of a deadline (the show is Jan. 15), I need to find some people who don't mind posing nude and having those photos displayed in a gallery. They'd be similar to what you're looking at here of me. Depending on your comfort, some may be more explicit than others, but I definitely don't want to show anyone's face in anything.

So, anyone interested?

EDIT: By the way, I'm looking for both genders.

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November 20th, 2007

02:07 am - on may-december romances and karaoke with strippers...
The other day, Steph and I were playing Scruples with friends when I was given a pretty interesting question. The premise was that if I get divorced, would I invite my new girlfriend to spend the night with me while my adolescent children were home. This transgressed into a conversation about how as I'd be in my mod 40s, my new girlfriend was likely around 19, which led to my commenting about how one of my life goals is to bed an 18 year old once I turn 36, just because there's something magical about banging someone half your age.

Amazingly, I am still in a relationship.

Anyway, Steph and Kim stated that they thought it was wrong for someone in their 40s to be dating a teenager. George and I maintained that while a little out of the ordinary there was nothing specifically wrong with it. Obviously one could look at the breakdown of our little survey of four and determine that, well... men are pigs. This may be true, but I actually had a little more logic to it than that. The girls theorized that because of the age difference between say, a 43 year old man and a 19 year old woman, the two could never have a compatible enough life experience to have a relationship and that it could only be about raunchy, dirty, unbridled sex and that that was slimy. While I have no problem with basing a relationship on raunchy, dirty, unbridled sex, I personally feel that assuming two people aren't right for each other because of their ages is just as prejudiced as assuming they can't be together because of their races, religions or genders. It just seems wrong to me. Maybe the 19 year old is amazingly mature. Maybe the 43 year old is amazingly immature. Maybe neither and they're just people.

I've always heard the "rule" that you should only date people who are older than half your age plus seven. But does that really hold true? So I'm wondering, how do other people feel about this sort of thing.

Also, Pittsburgh people: I've decided to get a group of people together for some post-Thanksgiving karaoke on Friday. Not just karaoke, BAREOKE! At the Tennyson Lodge. Basically, its karaoke while strippers dance around you. Its great fun. Anyone else interested in going with us? (men and women welcome, of course)

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November 13th, 2007

02:37 am - on sex as performance art and science!!!

Sarah laying
Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Those who follow my daily musings over in 365mav may remember that a few weeks ago, retrospection_ and I had our Hollywood debut a couple weeks ago on the set of the movie Adventureland that was filming at a local amusement park here. For you non A-listers out there who have never starred in a major Hollywood film release, I have to tell you that a shooting day on a movie set is VERY long. It's especially long when your entire part pretty much consists of walking back and forth holding hands and eating stale popcorn while less gifted actors who have to rely on "spoken lines" to get the pathos of their scenes across perform take after take even though you nailed your own mark each and everytime. We are true professionals like that.

Anyway, seeing as how we had plenty of time on our hands, Sarah and I had the opportunity to discuss a great many things that we have in common. After we had talked about football, movies, music and planned our next photo project, the topic of conversation of course turned to sex (because I'm so damn hot, you see). Sarah told me about a conversation she had with friends of hers about the way people behave when they're having sex. Namely, she theorized that while having sex you are in essence always "performing" for the other person.

Her theory is based around the premise that the sounds you make while fucking, from the moans to the dirty talk are all learned and not actually natural. While she accepted that some physical reaction is of course innate, she believed that the majority of the things people say or do is based on subconscious emulation of porn stars and isn't so much a biological of your own body as it is an attempt to entice and turn-on your partner.

I think the idea showed some merit, however I think its kind of a simplification. Everything I've learned about science from watching Mythbusters has taught me that before I can really understand the science of an event I have to break it down and go small scale. So, let's take sex out of the equation for a moment and examine a simpler response to stimuli. Raise your right foot off the ground about 18-24 inches, position it directly over left foot and swiftly and decisively stomp down as hard as you can. I would submit that in all likelihood upon contact between your feet you found yourself involuntarily screaming something to effect of "OW," "OUCH," or perhaps "MOTHERFUCKER!" Even if there was no one in your immediate vicinity, you probably made the same exclamation. So you aren't really screaming for the benefit of a second party so much as involuntarily verbally expressing a response to stimuli agnostic to audience.

Now find an infant child. I wouldn't use a newborn (we're not savages here); any child from about 6 weeks to 18 months will probably do. Now provide a similar pain stimulus to the foot of the child (again, as we are not savages, it is not necessary to stomp from the full 18 inches, 6-8 should do nicely). I surmise, that the child will have a similar verbal response to pain, however the response will likely come in the form of an unintelligible scream of some sort.

What we can learn from these experiments is that not only is the human response to pain innate, but the specific expressions used to convey that pain are learned. The infant does not know the words ow, ouch or motherfucker yet expresses pain verbally nonetheless. The adult on the other hand uses those terms regardless of audience. I therefore postulate that even though expressive terms to intense physical stimuli are learned, their use is involuntary to a large extent nonetheless.

Now leaving our small scale experiment we can again turn to the full scale problem of sex. I'd argue that while Sarah is right, and a large part of the sexual act, from lingerie, mood setting and makeup to positioning, foreplay and movement and even to verbalizations is designed to entice the other partner, and while I will also accept that a large portion of it is learned, the degree to which it is internalized is so severe that it is effectively indistinguishable from any other sexual response that is written into our genetic code. Yelling out a nice heavy "ohmigodohmigodohmigodimgonnacum!!!" is just as instinctive as contractions of the vaginal walls or penis.

Obviously, much like physical orgasmic response varies from individual ro individual, verbal response will vary as well. And again, much like physical actions during the sex act are intentionally performed (I don't think there's a genetic marker that tells someone to bite down on their partner's neck and shove an 18 inch vibrator up their ass at "just the right time"), some verbal responses are of course done intentionally and deliberately for the benefit of the second party (or perhaps third party observers). I don't dispute that. However, I don't think the responses can be simplified to the point that we can consider it a performance per se.

So anyway, like always, I want to know what you think. So give me your thoughts. Or give us your thoughts I should say. As I know Sarah is quite curious to hear what people think too. I originally promised her that I'd post this rant a month ago when we first had the conversation. It's quite possible that I misrepresented her opinions through the haze of memory somewhere here as well. She's welcome to correct me, and hopefully she'll respond to your comments as well with her thoughts as I will.

In the interest of science, I am willing to explore this further. As such, I'd like to have say, 20 female subjects, 10 of whom are porn fans, 10 of whom have never seen any, volunteer to have sex with me on video tape so that we can examine the results and present the findings in a followup journal article. The world is counting on us people. In the meantime, I'd just love to hear what people think.

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October 17th, 2007

07:32 am - on Not These Niggaz Again...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Note: Originally I was going to use the title "on EFIL4ZAGGIN" but I used it back on Nov 29th, 2006 so I decided to change it up a bit.

This weekend, Bill Cosby and Alvin F. Poussaint were on Meet the Press pimping out their new book Come On People: On the Path from Victims to Victors. beststephi is a big Meet the Press fan and watches it pretty much every week.

The interview sparked an interesting conversation between us, (and later, my mother, mamarayne about the current crusades to "ban the "N-word." Steph and my mom seemed to think the word was inappropriate and could never be accepted and should not be used either seriously or in jest, (as many African Americans do in polite conversation today).

If I can paraphrase both Cosby and my mother (as best I can, I'm sure she'll chime in if she disagrees), they made the point that too many people fought and died to not be called nigger and it disrespects their memory to use the word voluntarily now. To paraphrase Steph (again, she'll correct me if I'm wrong), blacks using the word "nigga" makes white people think its ok to use the word.

I tend to disagree with both arguments.

First of all, no one died for the word nigger. And if they did, they are foolish. They died for respect and for a fight against hatred, intolerance and bigotry. The word is merely a symbol of that. A powerful one, I'll grant, but a symbol nonetheless.

At the end of the day, its just a word. Hatred is hatred and ugly is ugly. If tomorrow, we made it a federal crime, punishable by immediate death with no appeal to say the word "nigger" do you know what would happen? There would be a sudden upturn among racists in the usage of the words porchmonkey, coon, spearchucker and jiggaboo. A Klansmen could run into me and call me "boy" or "negro" and I'd know it was offensive merely by his tone of voice. Hell, he could make up a word and call me a "wrikligrubber" and I'd still no he was hating on me. Why? BECAUSE HE'S IN THE FUCKING KLAN!

I asked Steph if she'd be ok if rap songs junked the word "nigga" for "porchmonkey" and she wasn't. So then I asked her if she'd be ok if they junked it in favor of "buddy" and she said that that would be fine, because it's inoffensive. That brings me to my other problem with it. My rationale for why the word MUST continue. What people were actually dying for during the civil rights movement was the right to culture, respect, freedom, and the ability to live their lives in peace, making their own decisions. It is just as wrong of an older generation of blacks to tell a younger generation what words they can and cannot say as it was of the white populace to tell the black populace which restrooms they had to use or which drinking fountain they could sip from.

I get what the word means to people. Really, I've been called it myself. And it does hurt. But taking the word away doesn't remove the hurt or the hatred. It just removes the word. And taking the word away trivializes all that was ever fought for. Rosa Parks didn't suffer so that blacks had to sit in the front of the bus. She suffered so that they could sit anywhere they wanted to.

Later, Steph and I discussed the names of sports teams. I was wearing my Cleveland Indians jersey, in support of their ALCS fight. She asked me how I'd feel if the team were called the Cleveland Slaves. I felt that's different. It's more analogous to call them the Cleveland Negroes or maybe even the Cleveland Spooks. But you know what. It probably wouldn't bother me. But then I'm enlightened like that. I don't think that renaming the Reds, Indians, Braves, Chiefs and Redskins helps remove racism. I think the fact that its an issue is a testament to the fact that the racism still exists. I for one can't wait til the day that the world is so tolerant that you can have an NHL franchise called the Philadelphia Niggas and not offend anyone. That's what I'll call progress.

Until then.... GO TRIBE!

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October 5th, 2007

12:33 am - on my truck, my movie career and the next Maverick Jam

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Note: Once again, cribbed from a 365 post. I'm getting way too lazy to keep two blogs

Day 419 of 365 More.

So it was a big long day. Got up early and had my truck towed to the mechanic. It's been out of commission since July. Hopefully that won't be the case soon.

Went to work. Got a lot done, but then I learned that the local paper finally ran the article about Sarah and me from when we tried out to be extras in the movie on Sunday. The article is kinda... well, a pointless fluff piece, but hey, there's several quotes from me, and I'm a press whore, so go read it.

Did more work.

Got a phone call from a casting director for the movie. Sarah and I are in. We shoot our feature film debut (such that it is) on Tuesday.

Then this evening, Steph and I walked in the Light the Night Leukemia walk in honor of her brother who died when they were kids. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I think I might have broken a toe wrestling. It's been bugging me for a several weeks now. So walking was kinda a struggle, but its a good cause and I'm glad I did it.

So anyway, about this shot.

The people are clamoring for another Maverick Jam. Listen... oh can't you hear the clamor? I've been trying to decide what to do about it. This year Halloween falls on a Wednesday (damn right it was a good day) which means that possible Halloween party dates are the 27th and the 3rd. Either could work, but then I was thinking, maybe it would make sense to do something else if I did the 3rd. And then my old idea came back to me again. Catholic School Jam, or perhaps Vicars and Tarts Jam (which has been suggested). Or I could do the good old fashioned Halloween Jam.

Halloween Jam is always fun of course, but Catholic School Jam has the bonus that there'll be tons of Catholic School Girl outfits, and well, we've already discussed >my feelings on that.

So that's the question. When's the better day for a party? October 27th or November 3rd? And which party should it be?

365 days

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September 28th, 2007

11:58 am - on the Light The Night Walk

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
I usually don't do this sort of advertising thing, but this is for a pretty good cause.

My lovely girlfriend, beststephi and I, are walking in this fundraising walk next week (Oct. 4). Steph's older brother died of Leukemia when they were kids, and so her family has decided to participate in the Light The Night walk in his honor.

It's a pretty important cause and for obvious reasons, it's especially important to them.

If you have any money that you'd like to donate, be it $10 or $10,000, please check out Steph's Donation page. You'll also find links there to more information on cancer research and the Light the Night Walk itself.


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September 20th, 2007

12:43 am - on hating censorship...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
If you are a regular reader of 365mav you might note that there was no update yesterday. I did not quit. Flickr decided that I hadn't been moderating my content appropriately, so they marked my account as "moderate". Which essentially means I don't show up in public searches. My photos are still there. They simply aren't exported to the outside of the world. You can find me if you're actively looking for me, but that's it.

This upset me because, though I have obviously posted nudes to flickr, I have taken great care to flag all of them as moderate on my own so as to avoid this very thing happening. I felt that I was within the guidelines. Yesterday, flickr decided (without telling me) that I wasn't. Once I realized I started working to fix the problem, but they won't tell me what I've posted that is offensive to them. At this point I have marked ever nude, implied nude and lingerie shot in my stream as moderate and I have still not been unlocked.

I posted this as today's entry. It may be my last.

Day 404 of 365 More.

If a photographer posts in the middle of flickr and there is no one there to see it, has he really posted?

I kind of feel like no.

So we're now past 24 hours of me being marked moderate on flickr and casual viewers not being able to see my photos. I am very depressed about it. I know it sounds silly, but you have no idea how much of my mentality is wrapped up in being an artist these days. That's why I was always so careful about moderating my photos.A lot of people would actually tell me "oh, that's not bad nudity, you can post that" and I wouldn't because I didn't want to take the chance of being censored. Now I have been.

Last night I went through and marked everything I had tagged nude as moderate, including implied nudes that showed no actual naughty bits. I have always been very good about tagging as well. I had written flickr several times asking what guidelines they wanted me to follow and each time they simply explained to me how to moderate things (I already knew) and not what I was doing that was over the line. I asked for a re-review. I was denied and told:
You still need to be more restrictive in moderating your photostream. You might consider leaving your account classified as "moderate" just to be on the safe side.

Which I considered to be about the most condescending thing ever. Fine, its not my site. It's yahoo's, and rules are rules. But I have repeatedly said (across 5 messages yesterday) that I was willing to comply if I was simply told what it was that they had a problem with. They have refused.

I have now marked every shot I have ever taken that was nude, implied nude, or lingerie as "moderate." This is far more restrictive than just about anyone that I pay attention to.

I am at a loss. I depend on this site as a creative outlet. It is a way to show my work to an audience that I might not normally encounter. Yes, I am aware that people can still see my stuff if they are looking for me specifically, but honestly, I was popular enough on LJ and through my own website that anyone who was already aware of me knew where to find me. What I loved most about this site was that people who I had never heard of before and who never heard of me, were able to simply encounter me and give feedback. I said this sometime ago, during that whole being unemployed thing, that even without a job for a significant portion of it, that first year of 365 was possibly the happiest that I'd ever been in my life as an artist. Even the first time I had a short story published didn't make me feel that way. It wasn't about the money. It wasn't about the showing off. It was about the fact that I had a direct link to people I didn't know who would tell me that something I did changed their lives. That is gone now.

I have been a flickr member since December 5th, 2004. I have posted faithfully every single day for the 365 days project for 404, straight days. I have had hundreds if not thousands of people tell me directly how much I have touched and changed their lives. It has meant the world to me.

There have been good days and bad days. But in all honesty, today is the first day that I have ever, EVER wanted to simply quit.

There aren't many things in this life that I actively care about. There really aren't. Despite what it may seem like, I'm really just kind of a cynical, depressed, asshole of a guy. I may have a heart of gold, but at essence, that's what I am. This was one of those few things I cared about.

And now I feel like its gone.

What's the point?

365 days

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August 28th, 2007

11:32 am - on fitness and weight loss...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Sitting at home working out and watching TV, and I am struck with a question. This isn't meant to offend anyone, so I'm going to break character and lose my normal mean spirited tone that I write with here, because I'm really curious.

Do obese people who go on super fitness diets and lose hundreds of pounds end up being extremely strong? I mean, most weight loss plans involve strength and muscle building anyway, of course. But for instance the woman on TV right now went from 527 lbs to 162lbs. Even assuming that she lost half of her muscle strength since she's no longer carrying around 365 lbs of what she used to on a daily basis, that still seems like she should be much stronger than average. I know I can't go very far with 180 extra pounds strapped to me.

So does anyone know how that works? Does anyone know anybody who's lost that large an amount of weight?

I'm really curious here.

Wow, that's probably the least offensive I've been in a blog posting in years.

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August 5th, 2007

01:51 am - on being a black man in a white man's world...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Note:Generally I don't crosspost my 365mav daily posts. But this was interesting enough that I felt like I should. I make light of it here, but I guess in reality I'm lucky I didn't get shot and had some crack spinkled on me.

Day 358 of 365 days.

The trials and tribulations of being a black man.

Had a wrestling show today. My car was acting up again, so Steph dropped me off. After the show I walked to a gas station not far away to buy cigarettes, a bottle of water and a cookie and wait for her to pick me up. Just as I was standing around wondering what the hell I was going to use for my 365 days shot so late in the day, two cop cars pulled up next to me.

"What are you doing sir?"

"I'm waiting for a ride."

If my people have learned anything over the years, it's to be as polite and cordial to the police as possible. I certainly wasn't looking to have my ass Rodney Kinged tonight.

Apparently someone decided I looked suspicious standing around in front of a gas station and eating a cookie so they called the cops. The cops rushed to the scene to apprehend the suspicious looking 5'8 black man brandishing a chocolate chip cookie and a bottle of Aquafina. They took my license and ran it through their computer and of course came up with nothing. Then they asked me what I was doing so far from home (the show was about 30 min away) and I had to explain being a professional wrestler. Eventually they decided to buy my story and wished me a good day. I did manage to get one of them to agree to pose with me for this shot. That kind of threw them I think. They probably don't have many suspects asking them to pose for pictures. I thought of having him pretend to arrest and cuff me, but decided that it was better not to push my luck.

I'm glad I didn't wear my "I'd rather be fighting the man" T-shirt today.

Steph arrived to pick me about 5 min. after they finally left me alone. I wonder if they would have arrested me on the spot if they knew I was boinking a white woman.

365 days

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July 11th, 2007

08:57 am - on Jammy Jam...

Originally uploaded by wooble.
Haven't been writing much here lately. Sorry for that. I have been devoting the entirtty of my blogging to 365mav. I'll try to work on that. I still need to post the results of my sexiest woman poll from a couple months ago.

Anyway, the time of Jammy Jam is nearly upon us. So I need to start planning for it. It's been problematic because I haven't been working, but that situation seems about to be remedied (at least temporarilly). So here's a general call for interest. When would be the best time to have Jammy Jam? The 27th or the 28th of this month?

Traditionally, Jammy Jam is on a Saturday close to my birthday. But this year I have been invited to present my photography at a show on that day, so I am considering having my first Friday party in many many years. Would people be able to make it then?

Also, Jammy Jam has been getting expensive in recent years. Would anyone be willing to donate money towards footing the bill? I have a couple idea for some stuff that might make it even cooler than normal if I had the cashola.

Speaking of which, the idea has been floated of having live bands again this year, just like last year. Are you in a band? Do you know a band? Want to play at my birthday party (for free, most likely, unless people are WAY more generous with the donations above than I anticipate). Let me know.

And lastly, are you planning on attending from out of town? Let me know as soon as possible if you need crash space somewhere. Its at more of a premium every year.

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May 17th, 2007

12:06 pm - on tarot shoots and other miscellaeny...

Jack of Swords
Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Obligatory plug: If you haven't yet, go vote in my annual sexiest woman alive contest. It won't take much time and it should be fun.

So the Maverick Tarot project (some pics, NSFW) is well underway. I've been using a mixture of friends of mine and models, but I think its going well. I actually have quite a great deal of the 78 cards planned out, but I still need more people to pose for them. So if you're interested, please let me know.

For everyone who volunteered before so long as they could be a specific card, I just want to make it clear that all the major arcana cards are nude. In the minor arcana, the wardrobe's vary by suit:
  • Swords: Goth, Punk, Club or Fancy clothes
  • Staffs: Preppy, Trendy or Biz Casual clothes
  • Cups: Urban, Hipster, Street or Hiphop clothes
  • Coins: Formal and Dressy clothes
  • Major: Nudes and Implied Nudes
It actually gets even more complicated than that, once you get into my ideas for each indivudual card, and each suit is in a different artistic stle, hence the cartoony, illustration style of Shiima on the pic for this post, but that gives you the baseline I am working from.

Oh, and I'm looking for a couple props. I need a set of balance scales (which I think atraxen said before he might have). And I need some interesting staffs. Does anyone have cool canes I can borrow? And what I really would love to borrow would be a really ornate spear. Anyone have one of those? And if you have ideas for different types of coins that show up well in photos, let me know there too. That's the most problematic of the suits.

So the photography is going well. I'm actually feeling more confident about being able to finish this project and maybe even sell it one day. I wish my day job hunt was going better. In the meantime. If anyone wants to hire me to do portraits or headshots, I could totally use the work and extra. So let me know if you are in need (or know someone who is).

In the meantime, I've been booked up pretty well with photoshoots for this thing, but I'm still going to need more (78 cards is a lot). So who wants to help me out sometime soon?

And oh yeah, please go vote in my survey. I want a nice big turn out like last year so we can hopefully get some interesting results.

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May 14th, 2007

11:03 pm - on the sexiest women alive (2007)...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
About a year ago, I was having a conversation with people about the annual sexiest women/men alive surveys that a lot of magazines do. . I decided to run my own version of the contest on my blog. I gave people one week to vote on who they believe the top 10 sexiest women in the world were. I used a weighted scoring system. If you ranked a woman #10 she got one point. #9 gave her two points. And so on, all the way up to #1 which was worth ten points. In all 437 votes were collected on 53 ballots for 218 women and as I had predicted we ended up with a Top 10 Sexiest Women that was quite similar to the ones being offered by Maxim, FHM, and Stuff magazines, but different as well.

My version of the list was so successful and good in fact, that I managed to drive the US version of FHM magazine out of business. (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

Now, I'm doing it again. I'd like the survey to be even more successful this year, so I figure I might as well get votes from all my flickr friends as well. So here's what I need you to do: Just pick ten and list them in order. Voting closes at 12:01AM eastern on Tuesday, May 22nd. I'll tabulate the results and post them.

Oh, and tell all your friends to come vote too. This should be fun.

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May 10th, 2007

03:25 am - on MPAA ratings...
beststephi and I were at a party the other day and I got into a discussion with people about MPAA ratings. What do they mean? Where do they come from?

I was surprised to find out how little people knew about the movie ratings. Most people seemed to think there were specific guidelines of how a movie recieved a certain rating, which I suppose is not that unreasonable an expectation, but is also completely false.

Much like the FCC's guidelines, which I also hate, the MPAA guidelines are entirely arbitrary and pretty much vary from one case to the next. They are based on a "reasonable person" principal, however the obvious problem is that what one person think is reasonable is completely different than what another person thinks.

I guess most people don't realize that a movie rating says the rational right under it. If you look next to the PG-13 or R or whatever, it will say why the film got the rating it did. My favorite of all time is Two Girls and a Guy which was "Rated NC-17 for a scene of explicit sexuality." I love that movie. I've seen it a dozen times at least. I must note that it has no nudity. It has no drug use. No one gets violently shot on screen. What it does have is a single scene where Heather Graham and Robert Downey Jr. have a quickee against the wall in his darkly lit bedroom. No naughty bits are exposed. It all just pantomimed thrusting, kissing and licking. They're not even in their underwear at the time. It's an unzip the pants and hike up the skirt moment In all seriousness, I have seen much more graphic sex on daytime soap operas. What it does have, that the soaps don't, is fuck noises. Not gentle loving moans and gasps. No, it angry grunts and dirty talk. You know... kinda like real sex. In fact, I'd argue it may be one of the most realistic sex scenes ever filmed. Or maybe I should say not filmed, because you never actually see much of anything. But it was given an NC-17 because Graham and Downey know how to act. Or at least, they know what good fucking sounds like.

I've found that a lot of ratings systems follow arbitrary systems like this. Flickr recently implemented a self rating system for photos that are uploaded. We are instructed to mark our photos as "Safe," "Moderate," or "Restricted." However, there's no real guidelines of what constitutes what, other than to state that Safe is safe, Restricted is stuff "you wouldn't want your mom to see." and moderate is for stuff inbetween. But what do you do if your mom is cool. My mom is very cool, and in fact reads my blog and looks at all of my pictures on flickr, and I'm pretty sure she's seen naked people before then in any case. So does that mean I can just mark everything Safe?

What about the picture I included on this post. Is it ok? Is it worksafe? Obviously its sexual. But it specifically and intentionally doesn't show any naughty bits at all. In fact, when I took this shot, I took care to not make it at all obvious where hands were or what was going on. I think the imagination takes it a lot farther. So what should the rating be on it? What about in the MPAA system? Do you think its worksafe yourself? How do you arrive at that conclusion?

Last week, Steph and I watched a great documentary called This Film Is Not Yet Rated. It explores the MPAA and filmratings, albeit from a biased, very pro-filmmaker, anti-MPAA point-of-view, but its quite good. But it poses an interesting question. How useful are the ratings anyway. If they're more or less arbitrary, and no one understands what they mean, then are they actually useful to anyone? Does anyone reading this actually pay attention to film-ratings? Do you use them to decide what to view for yourself? What about for your children? Do you read the little blurbs about why a film is rated how it is?

I'm sure I had other thoughts on this as well, but I'm actually starting to get tired, so i'm going to sleep. But I'd love to know people's feelings on this.

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May 1st, 2007

12:07 pm - on building a home studio...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
So I've obviously been doing a lot of photography lately. In doing so, I've converted a room of my house to a fully functional studio. However, I know a lot of people who are in to photography that don't have that luxury. This was originally posted to a flickr group that I read, but jameel asked that I crosspost it here for easy reference for him and in case anyone else wanted to know what I was using before I got my better lights. So here you go. I'd love to know if anyone finds this helpful or anything people would change.

Studio Tips...Collapse )

Also, I finally put up a personal website a couple weeks ago at So if people have always wanted to link to my a Mav website or wanted to comment on stuff, there it is. It has links to a lot of my photography and stuff like that.

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April 20th, 2007

01:54 pm - on photoshoots...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
I guess this is late notice, but what the hell.

I've been looking to do some photoshoots because 1) I am bored, 2) my wrestling show on Sunday got cancelled and 3) I need some tarot project stuff. Since this is Carnival weekend at CMU, I figure some people who aren't normally in town might be. So does anyone want to pose for some photos on Saturday or Sunday? (people who live in Pittsburgh are welcome too of course)

Let me know.

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March 31st, 2007

03:08 am - on strippers and singing...

Carmen Electra
because I can't take my own
pics in strip clubs.
I had been meaning to write this earlier in the week, but life got in the way. And I totally wish that I was allowed to take pictures in strip clubs, because I totally would have a 365mav picture with me singing Bareoke to go with this post, but since I didn't please enjoy this here picture of Carmen Electra, the future former Mrs. Maverick, pole dancing. I know I do.

So anyway, I've had the opportunity to talk about the concept of strip clubs with a few people lately. I find the varying attitudes towards them amusing. Particularly from women, but even from men. I've heard arguments that going to a strip club is essentially cheating and i've heard arguments that its harmless fun. One female friend of mine recently said to me "what's the big deal? I mean, its no different than looking at porn, right? All men look at porn." (let me just point out that this particular girl is beyond awesome) While another friend told me just tonight that her husband wasn't allowed to go because "he has me, what more could he want. I'm willing to strip for him if he wants, and I even have the shoes." (said girl is also totally awesome). Still another perfectly awesome girl has given me the argument that she is against them because she considers them "explotive to women because the men are in control and treating them like objects." Of the three women I just mentioned only one has ever actually been to a strip club (the second one) and only once. So in my opinion, its all just conjecture and speculation, but still they are all valid points worth examining, I think.

I'm obviously in the first camp. But then I'm a hypersexual, superliberal, anarchist afro-chinaman who worships Jay-Z as a god, so, you know, my opinions on these things can be a little skewed sometimes. But in general, I'm of the opinion that how a woman (or a man for that matter) chooses to earn a living is their own damn business. If you can make a buck by shaking your thang, then more power to you. I don't consider it cheating or even insulting to your SO because, no, its not enough. Life is about variety sometimes. For instance, I think beststephi is incredibly gorgeous. Honestly, I'm shallow, that's probably one of the reasons I fell for her in the first place. But that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy looking at someone else as well (as I enjoy looking at Ms. Carmen over there). I think its quite similar to the fact that I really enjoy talking to Steph because I think she's incredibly bright. (I'm shallow, that's probably one of the reasons I fell for her in the first place). But that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy talking to any of the rest of you as well.

And I don't consider it exploitive because, well, I've been to strip clubs, and its pretty much been my experience that the girls are the ones in control. And I'm pretty sure that the girls choose to be there. I mean, yes, they are being paid to provide amusement with their bodies. But I'm a prowrestler. I get paid for the same thing. Really, I think some of the software design jobs I've taken are far far far more exploitive than any of that. I think Walmart is more exploitive than a strip club. But I shop there too.

But as always, I'm quite curious to entertain other people's arguments. How do you feel about strip clubs? Do you frequent them? Are you against them? Do consider then art or are all we sinners going to Hell? Have you ever even been to one? How do you feel about your SO going to one? What do you think about the women who work at them? What about a male strip club? Do you feel the same way?

I've been itching to go back to the Tennyson Lodge for Bareoke since I was there for a bachelor party weeks ago, and max1975 and I were talking about taking a trip out there when I get back from Boston. So either on Wednesday the 11th or Friday the 13th of April. Would anyone like to come with us? It'd be great. Call it field research or just good fun. AOL and SPIN magazine both consider it the best Karaoke in Pittsburgh and its really fun. Wed. seems like a fun day because the bar is emptier and you get more chances to get on stage, but of course, most people have to work on Thursdays, but it's totally worth it. Friday of course doesn't have that problem, but the club has a lot more people in it, so you don't get to sing as much and it might be more intimidating to people who've never gone before.

Oh yes, and of course both women and men are welcome. As one of the dancers explains it, its a quite "couples friendly" club.

So who's in?

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March 20th, 2007

11:54 pm - on comparing art...

Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
So, in the midst of my 365 Days project (avaliable for viewing on LiveJournal at 365mav - cheap plug), I got into a discussion as to what the better movie is between Scarface and The Matrix. I am of the opinion that while I am actually a big fan of the first Matrix film but I'd argue that Scarface is the better movie. Matrix is of course very enjoyable, but at the end of the day is just a REALLY GOOD sci-fi/aciton pic. Scarface on the other hand I'd argue is a more DEFINITIVE example of an crime/action drama.

It's not about which movie you or I like better, that's a completely separate issue. Personal tastes come into view. I'd argue that there are specific quantitative aspects by which one can judge art. I always think its funny when someone mentions a singer, like say Jessica Simpson and calls her untalented. That's obviously untrue, she's quite talented (even beyond the obvious assets in front of her). She's not the MOST talented of course, but she's clearly a superior singer to say Ozzy Osborne, The fact that I may like Ozzy's music better doesn't change that. I'd say it's the same with writers or painters or movie makers and their works.


Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
Now in this specific case I'd argue that Scarface is extremely well written and executed. Even though 24 years later, its kind of dated looking, it's still the kind of work that you could teach a class around. A screenwriting class, an acting class, a directing class or even just a film appreciation class. Matrix on the other hand is only 8 years old at this point and already doesn't stand up that way, in my view. I very much enjoy it, but I also huge fan of Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. I just wouldn't go so far as to call it high art or anything.

So that's my question for this week. How do you judge art? Is it fair to even compare two works? Can you separate whether you like a movie from whether or not its good or not? Does it even make sense to do so? What about other arts? Books? Songs? Even sports teams?

Wow, I know I've been posting less lately as my 365 project has taken up more of my time. But it really feels as though I'm not quite being angry enough either. Maybe I should work on that.

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March 9th, 2007

09:54 am - on the Maverick Tarot

V. The Empress
Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
I finally started working on my Tarot deck. I have finished two cards. Only 78 more to go.

I have some ideas about some of the cards, and I have a nice long list of people who have agreed to model, but before I go any further I'm going to need to plan ahead an work out some details. So if you're interested in posing, you could help me out by filling out the following little questionnaire.

I am still of course looking for other people, so if you know someone who would be interested, send them my way.

Answer these questions...Collapse )

I'm still not going to promise anyone any specific card (especially since it turns out that like most people request like the same 10 cards, and no one asks for the other 68) but I did write down when people requested a certain card.

Oh, also let me know when you're going to be around to shoot. Thanx.

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February 27th, 2007

04:29 am - on poetry and perviness...

How Do You Make Love to a Black Woman?
I wonder if this painting has a real name
Haven't been writing much here lately. I've been preocuppied with my 365 Days project (available through the feed at 365mav). But I saw something on the news today that made me want to rant a little.

So, apparently a local Pittsburgh teacher has been suspended with pay after a mother complained when her 14 year old daughter brought home a poem that the teacher had given her entitled How Do You Make Love to a Black Woman". The daughter claims that the teacher called her into his office after class and gave her the poem. It upset her, so she took it home and showed her mother who went with her to the principal and demanded that the teacher be fired.

The poem is printed below for your easy perusal:
How Do You Make Love to a Black Woman?Collapse )
Now, I'm not going to go so far as to claim that what the teacher did was appropriate. But I do have a bit of a problem with how the media handled it. The story was sensationalized to sound like this was the biggest tragedy of all time. There are wars going on. There's global warming. Anna Nicole is dead and Britney is insane. We have real problems here, people.

The news only printed two lines from the poem, claiming that the rest of it was too scandalous. But I knew I vaguely remembered hearing it before, and a simple google search found it for me. Is it really THAT scandalous? I guess the word penis is in it. I'll grant that the guy probably was up to shenannigans when he called the girl into his office alone, but they were saying they felt it was inappropriate for the poem to be distributed (and to really drive the point home, the mother photocopied it a bunch of times and gave them out to all the parents in the neighborhood... I am not making this up). What would people have thought if he had assigned the poem to the entire class? They claimed that the poem was and I quote "graphic language even for adults, and especially for children." Is it any more sexually deviant than Romeo and Juliet (which I'm pretty sure i had to read by 7th grade)? Or is it that the woman in the poem is black? Do
black women not make love?

Also, did anyone actually read the poem? It's not even about fucking. It's about being sensitve and listening to the woman. The only reason they even mention penis is to say that its not the most important part of lovemaking.

So, I'm curious as to how people feel about this issue. Is the news overstating it, or am I just too jaded to realize how awful that poem really is? How would you feel if your daughter was given this to read by a teacher? What if the whole class was? How young is too young to discuss sexual literature in an English class? Is it more acceptable if the literature is a "classic?" Like I said, I certainly read Romeo and Juliet that young, and there's tons of sexual overtones in that. And I know we were assigned books with explicit sex in 9th grade when I was 14 (the same age as this girl). So how young is too young?

Of course, this is all just silly. Everyone knows that kids are already fucking their teachers by the time they're 13.

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February 8th, 2007

03:43 am - on help with photo projects...

Liz with sword
Originally uploaded by chrismaverick.
So I've been doing more and more photography lately. Obviously I have my 365 Days project (available for LJ viewing through the 365mav syndicate -- cheap plug). But I've also been shooting lots of lovely ladies lately. Mostly I've just been attempting to approve my skill and my portfolio, but doing so has given me an idea for a photo project.

And I need your help. Or at least the help of 78 people.

What I would like to do is shoot a tarot deck. Or at least make a photo set representing every card of the tarot. I haven't decided for sure whether every shot would feature a person (for instance, I might want to do something else for the World or the Tower) but I'm certainly going to need people for a great deal of them.

So who wants to model for me? I've asked this before of course, but never with a specific point. Now I kind of have one. I kind of don't want anyone to pose for more than one card, so I really am going to need a lot of people. So whether you've posed for me before or not. Whether you're male or female. Whether you even know me. If you're interested, please comment here and let me know. And hey, if you know someone else who I don't know and you think they'd like to do it, please send them to comment here as well. Its not like I have a shortage of spots.

I'm not specifically planning out who is what card yet (because obviously, I don't have any volunteers), but if you have a specific card you'd like to be (or a few options) feel free to mention that down here as well.

This should be exciting and fun. So does anyone want to help me out?

(64 comments | Leave a comment)

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