Don't Call It A Comeback

March 5, 2008

A brief commentary about my trip in which I use the word "moment" about 800 times. I'll be back to work this week, and might get around to sharing more thoughts about my trip later on, since it did spark a lot of thought. What else should we talk about in March?

In the meantime I posted a bunch of photos on my flickr page, or you can look through the galleries below:

Istanbul Graffiti:

Istanbul Cats:

Cappadocia (My Trip to Another Planet):

Posted by jsmooth995 at March 5, 2008 4:41 PM

Those cats were going at it LOL

uhm...what did u miss? Not much. oh wait...Obama double talked with Canada re NAFTA....that was interesting...

Glad u made it back safe!

I have a question for u...recently Turkey passed a law saying that it was ok to wear headscarves in schools again. Did you see a large amount of women covered?

Posted by: DJ Diva at March 5, 2008 5:00 PM

Congrats on the voyage! I totally understand the desire to want to simply be in the moment. I don't know if you have kids, but this comes up a lot with children. On one hand, as a parent I desperately want to have pictures, video etc of her first day of school but on the other, I don't want to experience my child's life through the eye of a viewfinder lens. There is a fine line here and each person has to find it for themselves. I think simply knowing that on the front end is really half of the battle-

Posted by: Knots at March 5, 2008 5:00 PM

Great point. If we don't enjoy the moments we're capturing on film, so to speak, then what's the point?

Posted by: Nick at March 5, 2008 5:00 PM

please dont talk about the election and shit. its being done to death and i cant take it anymore. talk about some real news like papoose bustin fat joe in the mouth

Posted by: ajin at March 5, 2008 5:23 PM

Nice photos over on Flikr. Your point about not over-documenting is well taken. Writing some notes in a journal is one thing, you do it chillin' with a drink before you crash, but worrying about lighting and camera angles, that's different, because it has to be done in the moment (and alters the moment).

Ajin's right. The media are beating this election shit to death. War could break out between Ecuador and Colombia and we'd never know, because we'd be busy finding out if Obama not wearing a lapel pin means he hates America.

Posted by: Mark at March 5, 2008 5:45 PM

glad you're back.

you haven't missed much really, politics as usual. the election got really interesting, and all of the sudden reminding us once again that hope and being positive doesn't really work in our society.

other than that, it's just the same ol American life, we fight, we hate each other, we complain too much while claiming being the

looking forward to see more videos.


Posted by: Mike at March 5, 2008 6:04 PM

Welcome back Jay: nothing quite like an extended break abroad.



Posted by: Dan Love at March 5, 2008 6:05 PM

How was living in a cave?

Posted by: jonrud00 at March 5, 2008 6:38 PM

Talk about the effects of negative campaigning. How effective non-effective it is.

Posted by: Stealthgator at March 5, 2008 7:56 PM

Welcome back Jay!

Now, bump all the election talk. The photos are nice, but what was that song that was playing? I liked that.

Posted by: stuntdouble at March 5, 2008 9:23 PM

And by bump that talk, I just mean for now, since you just got back. If you want to do something interesting, solicit people's stories of what happened when they tried to talk to friends and family about voting. I don't know about yall, but shit got depressing when I talked to 10 people and like 2 had any sense of what is going on at all, and a few people weren't even ashamed. And these are people I marched with decades ago, who are just languishing in ignorance somehow. A blood relative told me Jesus said to stay out of political issues. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry my eyes out.

But since that's a bit heavy for your first day back, uh yeah - what's that joint in the background of the video, haha.

Posted by: stuntdouble at March 5, 2008 9:29 PM

Glad you're back.

February was the same as January, but colder. You could talk about net neutrality and how comcast paid guys to take up space at the hearings.

What's the name of that song/artist you had playing in the background?

Posted by: VC at March 5, 2008 9:36 PM

Welcome back. Glad you had fun in Istanbul. There is SO MUCH to see and do in that city it's tough to not spend every waking minute taking pictures. Hic Turkce orendinmi?

Posted by: Bedirhan at March 6, 2008 12:02 AM

Hey, glad you liked Europe even if Turkey is quite the opposite og Norway(were im from), but anyways im going to NY for a week this summer and was wondering what kind of things i should see and visit( from a hiphop prospective).
Maybe you could dicuss what known and unknown places to go if your a turist in NY and love hiphop..

Posted by: Jonas at March 6, 2008 11:07 AM

yeah! welcome back the Internet, a land where mouses and not cats battle it out for fame, fortune and first posts...

and oh, yeah... vent about whiteness:

Posted by: lizzy at March 6, 2008 10:47 PM

Those cats look more street than most rappers

Posted by: TakaM at March 7, 2008 9:41 AM

So good to hear, see and read from you again!
Love the picks, thanks for sharing your impressions.
Those "street cats" are hustling, maaaan. They're cute!
Lol@ the pic title: "your paws are too short to box with god"!!!
But you are also right with what you say in the video, nowadays we have to remind ourselves to experience those moments with our OWN eyes, and not just through some media eyes, some camera lenses and so on. I always think that when I go to a concert. it's crazy, I need to tell myself not to take pics everytime. To just enjoy and watch the show and not worry about a good "shot".
We need to learn that again.
But taking pcitures when you're traveling is important too, you just need to find the right balance.

What can you talk about in March?
Yeah maybe not politics only.
I'd love to hear what's going on in the Hip Hop world and pop culture in general ine U.S.

Peace from BLN, Germany

Posted by: alia at March 7, 2008 9:56 AM

Dude, you almost got deleted from my news aggregator. But the Turkey video saved you. Hilarious. Glad you're back. Get back to work. We need you.

Posted by: gdawgBKLYN at March 7, 2008 3:01 PM

Haha actually, at first, I didn't really believe you went to Turkey, but hey! You did. Great pics and uhm, maybe some hip hop news for March? Even thou I really like this "type" of videos aswell.

Peace from Stockholm!

Posted by: E at March 7, 2008 3:54 PM

those are really great photos

what kind of camera do you have?

Posted by: InStereo117 at March 7, 2008 8:42 PM

Well if you have not already heard, in February bitch became the new black. Also great pics!

Posted by: FranSky at March 7, 2008 9:14 PM

what are the strippers in Turkey like?

Posted by: T Nelson at March 8, 2008 2:10 AM

This guy I play soccer with moved to the U.S. from Turkey 14 years ago. I always try to befriend new arrivals to the U.S. and most of my friends are international; its easy when your are a liberal student in the most conservative state in the union and can't stand 90% of your local peers. In talking with this guy I have found he has a real hatred for many Turkish citizens. (not unlike many South Africans do)Primarily those who don't live in the cities,the same people that have made the European Union apprehensive about accepting Turkey. Did you find in chilling with the locals that same divide between citizens of Turkey? Also, I really appreciated the being in the moment spot, same reason I stopped taking my camera snowboarding.

Good to have you back! your trip gave me a chance to catch up on some archived vlogs.

Posted by: anders at March 8, 2008 7:42 PM

Dude...I checked the site for like 2 weeks without seeing any updates. I almost cried. But it's good to see you back. Keep it up.

Posted by: bboyjaytheory at March 9, 2008 1:40 AM

anders: It's a little tricky seeking out frank discussion of politics etc there, under the threat of laws against "insulting turkishness" et al.. especially with me being some american bozo who speaks 50 words of turkish :)

But I definitely had the impression of a class divide between the working class/lower class which is more devout muslim, and the middle/upper class which is more secular (the differences are more complex than this, obvs, but that's the brief synopsis)

Posted by: Jay Smooth at March 9, 2008 3:35 PM

You had me worried Jay. Welcome back!

Posted by: Tom D at March 10, 2008 12:03 PM

Wow, did you see the comment on your flickr photo about the disembodied head? Didn't see that coming. Great pictures. I'm a big fan of your videos. Keep it up!

Posted by: Tony Gabe at March 11, 2008 10:41 PM

Damn, I'd love to go to Turkey. Only thing is, I don't know how obnoxious it would be being female. On the plus side white women are usually treated as "other" and thus exempt from most of the sexist bullshit in a lot of countries but I imagine it depends very much on how big a city/town you're in.

Turkey just looks so beautiful, I look at posters and can imagine the feeling and smell of being alone in the middle of nowhere. And you know what's really shallow? I want to go to Turkey so I can EAT EVERYTHING. Mmmmm. I love Turkish food, it is delicious.

Loved your slow mo of the cats: too lazy to look through your whole Flickr account. LOL If you read this, want to give your opinion on visiting Turkey as a woman?

Oh, one more thing, I love what you said about experiencing the moment. I love travelling, haven't travelled much but have been to Austria/Germany/Italy/England/Scotland with my family a couple of times, Canada to visit a friend for a couple of weeks and Bangkok to train (muay thai) for a month.

I love travelling... it's the only time I am comfortable alone by myself. I love being in the middle of somewhere different, just being there and experiencing different cities and cultures.

Celebrated a new year on a bridge over a huge river in the freezing cold in Luxenbourg, surrounded by people who didn't speak English and looking at all the old, old buildings lining the snowy banks. We went to my cousins place and had drinks with people speaking German and English and Italian and Thai and just loved the multiculturalism. I am most comfortable out of my comfort zone.

Posted by: Dana at March 17, 2008 8:38 PM

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