Saturday, May 31, 2008

Yesterday, I thought, was a perfect day for a little public art -the sun was shining, it was a Friday, and it's almost time for school to be out. So, Thursday night, I bought a Fujifilm Waterproof disposable camera and wrote a note on a piece of comic book backing board that read:
Hi - We live in a small town, but I feel like I barely know any of you. To help remedy this situation, use this camera to take a portrait of yourself. I'll be back at nightfall to pick it up and have the photos developed. Look for them Saturday at
Michael Dittman (

"What do you think will happen?" I asked my wife

"Someone will steal it", she said.

You have to understand , this is a complete role reversal in our relationship. My wife believes that everyone is good hearted, whereas I know the truth - people are animals, evil, evil animals, only one step up from ferrets with disassociative disorder.

But, Friday morning, at 6:45 am, I trekked down to Franklin's Fountain Park, chose a bench that was close to the West Entrance and secured the camera and the note to the arm of the bench with some paracord knotted skillfully, if I do say so myself.

You can probably see where I'm headed with this.

When I walked down to the gym at around10 am, it was still there, but when I went to the Post Office at 12:20, it was gone. The cord had been cut and left. I figured an overzealous police officer had deemed it a threat to homeland security so I checked all the surrounding trash cans in the park - nothing. Someone had taken both the camera and the sign.

I'm not upset - I'm only out $10 and a half an hour of time, but I am amazed. This project was done in Brooklyn and no one stole the camera, and yet here, it didn't even last six hours. I'd be interested to hear any insight or if you think this would have worked in your hometown.

The Titusville Summer Theater celebrates their 40th anniversary with...Titantic. You know, something cheerful and frothy.

Three weeks ago, when Pete Greene wrote about the ranking of the Oil City School District as one of the poorest in the state, I wrote in a comment on his blog:

Although I have no doubt that this will be an incredibly unpopular sentiment, I'd love to see the systems around here contract proactivly rather than waiting until there are 8 students in a class to realize that the number of schools we have in the region is unsupportable in the long term.

If Oil City School District could absorb all of the students from Franklin Schools and Valley Grove and still be smaller than it was a generation ago, then perhaps it should. (or rather, perhaps a brand new regional high school should be set up. And as long as I'm dreaming, how about some magnet schools as well? Last month, I did a guest gig at a 2 year old gleaming creative and performing arts high school ( in a former mill town that brought students (and their dollars) from three states and four PA counties. There's no reason that couldn't work here.

Not that it will ever happen, witness the silly hospital debacle, but some leaders with backbone and regional vision would go a long way to injecting some juice into the area.

To be honest, I didn't think he would agree with me, but on Venangoland, he lays it on the line, "Venango County does not need four separate school districts."

The NYTimes takes a look at this summer's comic book books

Bell's Comics has revamped their website.

Nancy Mosser Casting is casting dayplayers and extras for the feature film Hollywood and Wine starring Norm MacDonald, David Spade, and Chris Kattan.

They are also casting extras for the film remake of My Bloody Valentine. This film is casting on a day to day basis.

Make sure that you are registered on their online database and list on the availability area the dates in June and July that you are able to work. Questions? Call 412.434.1666.

Tikatok is a Publish on Demand service aimed at children.

Boston's Emerson College has started a Graphic Novel Writing & Illustration Program

Free and Legal Downloads:

Chicago Afrobeat Project Live at The Cedar Cultural Center on May 9, 2008

Drive-By Truckers Live at 9:30 Club on May 10, 2008

North Mississippi Allstars Live at Paradise Rock Club on January 27, 2008

Last night, when I couldn't sleep (which is happening more and more...old age? depression? anxiety?) I watched the fabulous We Jam Econo; a documentary about one of my favorite bands, The Minutemen. At one point, the were showing concert footage from the 9:30 Club and during "ack ack ack " as d. boon stuttered jumped all around the stage in those crazy pointy slip ons and Mike Watt 's planted legs shook seizurelike and the music ripped through the crappy PAs, the audience stood stock still, staring, chatting, and staring off away from the band. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
Minutemen Live at Folk City West on March 9, 1983

1 comment:

ollie said...

bummer about the camera. it sounded like a great little project.