First of all, I strongly recommend this great interview on insane films with
Dierdre Straughan. (Dierdre says some very interesting things and you also
get to see Madge Weinstein's new look).

I ended up leaving this long comment on the post, but, on the outside chance
you don't read all the comments on insane films I thought I'd repost it
because Dierdre's interview brought up a couple of things that really hit
home for me.

First, I get the impression that the whole world tends to believe that the
vast majority of Americans are nationalistic and narrow minded. My belief is
that almost exactly half of Americans are this way and the split is dramatic
and real. Much more so in the last 8 years or so than has ever been the case
in my 48 years of life in American. I don't think the rest of the world
realizes that this dramatic split exists here - the press only focuses on
(the other) half of us.

Second, Vlog Europe literally changed my life and opened my eyes to make me
realize why people would want to travel out of the US to countries where
they dont' speak your language etc. I've always been pretty much a hobbit
who doesn't really like adventure and was satisfied to just stay in one
place. I can't tell you how fun/great/enlightening Vlog Europe was and it
was all because of the people who were from different cultures who all
shared my same passion (for vlogging and, well, for having fun). Some of
those with the most interesting perspectives were the ex-pats like Dierdre,
Joel, and (Bicycle) Mark - but all the people I met were really really
interesting and the conversations in and out of the conference had this sort
of depth that surprised me and I don't thing I ever heard a person the whole
time mention anything about number of down loads his/her show had (not that
this is bad, just different), and even the session on making money turned i
to more of a session on philosophy with respect to  what is truly important
in life. (And, by the way, while Madge is very entertaining, I have to tell
you that Richard Bluestein is Really interesting and also added a lot to
these conversations).

... You know, I haven't even posted the actual comments I made on the Insane
Films post, which was the purpose of this email ... I think Michael Meiser
is rubbing off on me :) (though I could never be as articulate as often as
my friend Michael is :)

... So, the comments mainly say what I said above, which you can read, if
you want, after you watch the excellent interview referred to above.

... Richard


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