30 April, 2013

Ze Frank

Almost exactly one year ago, give or take less than a week, I found myself wholly frustrated with my life, ennui levels higher than they'd ever been, and ready to throw in the towel at school. Being a courteous chap, I went around to my teachers to give them the news. I went to my English 101 professor first, because he was my favorite that semester, and he sat me down to give me a lecture I had braced myself to receive four different versions of.

Instead, he said that he was feeling pretty much the same, but had to keep going, as he liked keeping his house, whereas I was but a student and could afford to take some time off. Before I did, though, he asked, would I be so willing to let him show me a video on the intertubes? He said it helped him quite a lot, and if he and I were as similar as he thought we were, I might get something out of it, too.

The video he wound up showing me half of before realizing it was the wrong video was of Ze Frank talking about writing on his "truly inverted" nipples with Sharpies. For a brief second, I thought my professor was coming on to me, and I wondered what relevance this guy's nipples had to helping me out of a funk.

I'll admit, I did get a good laugh about it, so that helped in the moment, but once the guy in the video started talking about catching slow-moving bullets with butterfly nets in the middle of a war zone, my professor quickly closed out the video. He brought up another one, the right one this time, and hit play. The resulting video changed me.

It was Ze Frank's "Invocation for Beginnings."

This guy was incredible! Hilarious and endearing, all at the same time. I wound up not droping out of college because of that one video. I did a little digging on the intertubes later on, discovering that he had a year-long video blog back in 2006-2007 that he did every weekday, covering the news events. I watched them all. Several times.

Then I watched all of his new vlog. All of maybe three videos he had up at the time. I bookended by downloading the entirety of the original show, and watching them again.

(In case you can't figure it out by now, I have a tendency of getting fixated on things I think are awesome.)

As I watched the original vlog, and kept up with the new one as he posted new videos, I began thinking about starting my own vlog channel on the Youtubes. Here was this guy, who I felt was an older version of me, being awesome and connecting people. In a sense, he was doing what I wanted to do: create a community by drawing so many different people together, and getting them to interact and be awesome.

I kept putting my vlog channel idea, in which I would tell stories mostly in the video diary format, with some acting from myself and some friends I could possibly rope into it. It scared me very much, putting myself out there simply by talking to my video camera, so I would tell myself that I'd start next week, or next month, because it was better to start at the beginning of the time-counting cycle than in the middle.

Or whatever it was that I had said to convince myself I would be bad at it. Either way, this mindset went on for a few months before I created an account on Ze Frank's forum, and found-wait, I already told this story.

Either way, I think I strayed from my original point. Hang on, let me reread.

Okay, rather than wandering, I actually underlined the point I wanted to make: without Ze Frank, and the chain of events he (well, technically my English professor) started, I would not be writing this blog. I wouldn't have created the Twitter account to promote Perfect Strangers, and I wouldn't have met the Hot Mom Writer's Guild, and I wouldn't have been pushed into writing.

I'm bad at staying on topic, apparently. I should have just written about light, warm breezes or Sumerian temples, or something....

Next!: Wait, I've completed (-ish) the A-to-Z Challenge! Uhh, I had something for this...oh yeah! Next: Ich bin ein Liebster winner.

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