Station Announcement

February 25, 2009

Really just a station announcement, not a clever title.

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Posted by jsmooth995 at February 25, 2009 9:56 PM

Good luck with that new gig brotha, keep them youngsters in line!

Posted by: at February 25, 2009 10:15 PM

And then there's the whole setting up the camera, editing the video thing.

Posted by: Leon X at February 25, 2009 10:27 PM

Sounds like the little hater is getting to you.

You don't need the whole narrative arc. You don't need to follow any formula.

The people just like hearing your opinion.

Posted by: Just Doc at February 25, 2009 10:31 PM

was a small black hole created somewhere when you put your story about your video making formula in your video making formula.

Posted by: stealthgator at February 25, 2009 11:11 PM

Yeah, I'm really OK with videos being a little more random, because then, at least, we'll have something from you that gives us something to think about. As it is now, I only have the regular blogs I read. I need more smooveness.

Posted by: Michael at February 25, 2009 11:42 PM

Random Jay is still awesome. As Just Doc says, we like hearing your opinions, whatever the topic.

Also, what is it about water in a plastic cup that is so freaking appealing to cats? It's universal.

Posted by: slodwick at February 25, 2009 11:47 PM

First, much respect.

Now let me rip on you.

I'm a professional videographer, and I teach the subject to h.s. students as well. I can't second what Just Doc said strongly enough. Just print it out on little card and repeat as necessary. Strictly speaking, you're not a story-teller; you're a columnist. You're more like a 2.0 version of Mike Royko or Molly Ivins than Spike Lee. We want your perspective, your opinion, your take, not a narrative arc. You don't really do narrative at all (i.e. a sequence of events). You use mainly argumentation (discourse), mixed in with a health dose of exposition. Narrative just ain't your bag, brother. We come to Jay Smooth for an interpretation of the world. Slodwick is right: Random Jay is still awesome.

Until you can teach these kids how to offer compelling commentary, the way you always do, the rest is just editing tricks. I don't think you could devolve Rocketboom if you tried.

Posted by: generic at February 25, 2009 11:58 PM

Love the cat cameos. Especially the petting mid-gesticulation.

Posted by: Jo at February 26, 2009 12:30 AM

Generic: trust me you're preaching to the choir, I put a looot of thought and study into my process (and as many other people's processes as possible) :) Much more than I'd ever bore everyone with here.. So of course I know it is not a narrative approach in the most literal strict literal terms it'd be most accurate to say I approach this as an essayist.. but I was using the word "narrative" more loosely to describe the structure and flow I aim for. Effective essays will usually have an "arc" just as surely as short stories do.

(And just for the record, you don't know whether pure narrative is my game if you've never seen me do it :) )

Posted by: Jay Smooth at February 26, 2009 1:03 AM

BTW i love Spike but I'm not sure I'd agree that storytelling/narrative is where his strengths lie :)

Posted by: Jay Smooth at February 26, 2009 1:09 AM

I second Jay on the Spike comment.

And to Generic, since I can think of nothing more intelligent to say at the moment--don't hate, appreciate.

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 26, 2009 2:03 AM


Was I hating? Did it come off that way? No more commenting for me, back to lurking. Fuck. I'm so sorry. (I appreciate, Elizabeth! I meant to offer nothing but The Good. I'm an large fan of all JS content. I show Connectedness to my students. Maybe I should zip up, if it comes across as hating. And yes, totally pwned on the Spike. Was trying to reach for the opposite of substantial non-visual blah-blah, and came up with Lee, the one guy in film who should never write his own scripts.)

But, uh, to push back, this one last time ...?

That one tweak, that one switch from video-blogger to video-essayist is ginormous, and kind of unexplored. You're not really a video-blogger, are you Jay? It's like Frank Black to Kim Deal. "We make pizzas, not cookies." You make long-form visual hip-hop Montaigne-style stuff. You're not so interested in a running video commentary, right? Some stuff isn't worthy of a video, etc.

But what if you made both? what if you were a video-blogger? Would one necessarily devalue the other? I'm not a member of the Juicebox Mafia, but I thought the Gaza clip was pretty pithy, and didn't demonstrate (relative) ignorance of the topic at all. The brevity was a good counterpoint to the enormity of the subject. It was funny. I laughed. I wish there was more like that. I don't think I'm alone. (Am I?)

I dunno. 2 cents. Grain of salt.


Posted by: generic at February 26, 2009 3:05 AM

No I didn't think you were hating :)

Well depends what you mean by videoblogger, it's one of those words that's used many different ways.. I usually just mean that I make videos and post them on a blog. (I don't know the Pixies well enough to be sure I follow that part lol)

But getting away from the labels, I think anything can be worthy of a video, but everything's not ideal for the commentary format I usually fall into now.. so I want to try and mix it up a little more, is all I'm really saying.

Posted by: Jay Smooth at February 26, 2009 3:42 AM

Jay -

Tough business being creative. Love everything you do. Love the cat.

You shall remain in my aggregator.

Posted by: Kevin at February 26, 2009 7:59 AM

I'm sure you'll do what you want regardless of comments here, but my vote is keep it real. I too laughed at the Israel-Gaza mini-blog, but it's not the kind of thing that would keep me coming back to this site the way your more in-depth commentary with the narrative or essay or dialectic or whatever you call it. Insight and exposition are important, and those do take development.

And congrats on job!! Maybe you can explain dialectics to your students.

Posted by: Lena at February 26, 2009 8:59 AM

When you get a chance, you should blog on the Republican national committee chairman - Michael Steele - saying the Republican party needs a "hip-hop makeover" to appeal to urban-suburban youth voters. I've been wondering what your response to that would be.

Posted by: the.werneckes at February 26, 2009 10:40 AM

I agree with Lena. As amusing or randomly insightful as those thrown out comments might be, I tune into your videos because of the thought process that goes into your remarks. And I get what you say about the arc (of discourse, narrative, whatever)...this is what is missing from a lot of our media. When I used to teach, students just wanted to give opinions, but never wanted to justify or explain how they got there. So maybe the best thing you can give the students you'll be working with is a value of not just what they think, but how they think it.

Thanks as always for the site!

Posted by: Chandra at February 26, 2009 3:37 PM

Good for you workin' with kids in the south Bronx. Also, (and I hope this does not come off as insulting to you), but I'd be happy with just cute videos of your cat! She (?) is an amazingly pretty kitty. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE your stuff, but if you have less time, and can't think of anything else, I'm telling you: the cat.

Posted by: Andrea at February 28, 2009 2:55 AM

See, under these circumstances, my cat would have quite deliberately batted the glass off from the table onto the floor (if there were no nearby electronics to be decimated) and then stood on the table looking at me with an expression that clearly asked "Whatcha gonna do about it?" So, kudos to your cat both for cuteness and relative lack of evil.

And kudos to you for the work you do--I'm always thrilled to see new videos from you, but I'm also thrilled to hear you're fighting the good fight another way. The world could use a lot more articulate, passionate folk, and I can only hope that while I'm in a bit of Jay Smooth withdrawal, there are young people out there learning to look at the world critically and to believe that their voices can make a difference because of you. Oh, and I hope we'll get to see their work when it's done!

Posted by: fillefantome at March 2, 2009 10:43 AM

Respect! That's what I'm talking about! Keep it up man, I'm a big supporter of what you do, and how you do it. If you get a chance to help the fight in Texas, then get back at me via email. I'd love to get your input on some situations I am facing, where it's damn hard to not call his ass a racist. You may want to bring your socialist reading material with you. Be good man!

Posted by: Alex Williams at March 6, 2009 11:05 PM

sweet. never heard a better excuse. you investing in our young people is a worthy reason for us to check the blog less. mayhaps in everyone's spare time we too will invest in the young people.

Posted by: anne at March 9, 2009 2:11 PM

love your kitty cat!!!!

Posted by: emily at March 10, 2009 5:14 PM

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