a question...

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just browsing through my email and i see that a friend of mine/donor, jonathan berger, is making some introductions, and in his cut and paste, he added this IM message...

"he's kind of like a batman villain, now that i think about it"

which i chuckle. not that it's a bad thing, but there could also be a hidden message of conflicted good/bad guy. i really don't think that JB intended that. ;) instead, i see the statement pointing directly to the fact that it speaks to the power of cultural references. (furthering reading henry jenkins for a modern viewpoint)

as some of you might know, i worked on john kerry's presidental campaign (i was on the winning campaign, the side that got him nominated). when i look back at the leaders of the modern era, i consistently see figures who not only can embody their own existence, but who can manifest the pop. i'm not just talking about elected officials, but musicians, painters, writers, directors, etc... frankly, this is not intended as some grand notion, but just a refinement of a question that's that perplexes me.

how can one produce a timely documentary without seeking out the pop?

JB, for further clarification, i enjoyed your statement and understand the context, BUT i found myself reading into the context of these "characters." primarily, why they were conceived with disorders... on one hand, they were designed as cultural figures, and on the other, they represent a personality conflict... most of the time external societal conflict... then exploring the concept further brings me to a deeper level of self evaluation. granted this is all armchair physchoanalysis, but i have a hard time relating to the "pop" world around me... so the question, "how can one produce a timely documentary without seeking out the pop?" is a personal goal of not "selling out the subculture"...

I'm not sure the batman characters are worth exploring too deeply, but let's leave them behind; they've led this conversation in a more interesting direction.

Can you articulate "pop" a little more? Are we talking about the general level of disgust that binging celebutantes and Us Weekly arouse? I'm a little suspicious of the whole "selling out" idea; there's a lot of punk-rock baggage about authenticity and control that just may not be relevant to todays means of production.

But what's yr worst nightmare in that regard? What Lo7 scenario would constitute "selling out the subculture"?

Context, man, context! Calling you a "batman villain" was in regard to the ubiquitous seven-ness of the project. In the campy 1960s batman TV show, that sort of obsessiveness was used to give a flimsy character a unique and recognizable identity in under 22 minutes. This one's obsessed with penguins, that one's always talking in riddles. Etc etc.

In your case, the 7s are a faux-obsession, and a well-considered one. Its an organizing principle and a marketing gimmick, and it works quite well in both capacities: As a project, Luck of Seven is focused and memorable. But there's nothing intrinsic to the number "7" about this project is there? No special mathematical properties or cultural significance to the number, to the dollar amount of $7,777, to the date 07/07/07. Its just a happy convergence.

But as to your question of "how can one produce a timely documentary without seeking out the pop?", I'd ask: do you really need to make an effort to avoid "seeking out the pop"? It'll find you, or you'll find it, but it tends to be a way of seeing, rather than a discrete thing to be hoarded or eschewed.

Is "the pop" something you'd have reason to avoid? Pop is an aspect of the way individuals interact with the public. Its the shared cultural network of points of reference. Its a way to relate. And if the goal of Lo7 is to communicate and interface and relate to as many different people in as many different places as possible, every form of relation and communication probably has a place somewhere.

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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