Cutting Through the Fog: A self-advocacy column by Eric Gmeinder

Stop! In the Name of (a Different Kind of) Love

People have specifically complained about 2016 and 2017, but even more generally, I feel that the 2010s have been a uniquely wretched decade. What’s equally depressing is that plenty of people feel the way I do, but very few will go out of their comfort zone to do something about it. Now, instead of sobbing in my room to the saddest classical works, I’ve decided to take a gamble and proceed with editing a documentary series that originated as a nonfiction book in the dog days of 2016.

 

Making a career as an artist is hard, but especially in Sacramento. Whether I move to Los Angeles or Europe, both will probably be long-term goals, and creating this project has given me an epiphany: that, for now, documentaries may be the way to go.

Unfortunately, I will have to find a way to distribute it that doesn’t involve the Internet. I’m including a fair use disclaimer at the beginning of every episode, but the highly unpopular Digital Millennium Copyright Act undermined fair use and pioneered the use of copyright as a censorship tool. And despite users’ ability to filture mature content, social media are cracking down on material that isn’t “family-friendly.” Many people have seemingly forgotten what life was like before the Internet, but I remember, and that will no doubt come in handy.

Heroes of Motown, coinciding with the label’s 60th anniversary this year, will profile its groups and singers who had at least a few hits, and at least one hit that is iconic today. All the usual suspects will be saluted, while three solo artists- Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, and Lionel Richie- will have separate episodes from the groups they were in. I will charge $2 per episode or $10 for all twenty episodes plus an introduction. The proceeds will be used to help make the end of the decade more enjoyable for all of us. The opening theme will be “Get Ready” by the Temptations; each episode will have a different closing theme.

This will be only the third idea I’ve had that made it to completion. And for the first time, except for the narration to the introduction and one main episode, I’ve written all episodes and will edit them without having them critiqued by anyone first. I’ve become a seasoned cinephile over the course of the decade, and one of my favorite quotes is by jazz legend Miles Davis, who said, “I don’t pay no attention to what the critics say about me, the good or the bad. The toughest critic I got is myself, and I’m too vain to play anything I think is bad.” As far as style, my biggest inspiration has been the videos on WatchMojo.com. Get ready indeed.

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