Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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doug block

camera man
"talking to doug"
Greenich Avenue Cafe, Spring 1996.
doug block is an independent documentary film maker from new york. his step-son attended swarthmore, i believe that's how we met. either that or john seabrook, new yorker author who quoted me in a piece on home pages for that magazine, and might have recommended me to doug.

doug decided to make a documentary about surfing the web, (for meaning?), he arrived at my site as a good way to organize some of the narrative. for a few months in 1996 he taped me talking, talked to friends of mine, followed my links to other people's links to other people. he also organized a few folks around the country to tape parts of my summer bus tour.

from all this footage, the documentary Home Page. it showed at Sundance and on HBO. I think I've seen it 9 times, in three or four different states.

his d-word site has increasingly revealing journal entries. seems as though doug has found some strength in talking through his trials and triumphs online. i enjoy reading it, although that's perhaps in some part because i figger in it.

i didn't have to get along with doug. i get along with a lot of people. doug is a pushy guy. that's a good trait for a documentarian. he gets the shot. sometimes he steps on toes. i can remember trying to work one time in the college computer room, and doug trying to stand on other peoples desks to tape me, all the while talking to convince them and himself he wasn't going to be in the way. uh huh.

but doug has a good soul. i appreciate his ethics. when we got kicked out of hotwired together, i could see us on the same side of the media street. he's spending time life money to make a documentary on home pages for chrissakes, he can't be that bad.

in november of 1997, before the movie comes out, i think about being fixed in time. justin with the wacky hair web evangelist dick suck crazy guy. but that's the risk of any media - unnatural fixity. watching small snippets, it's clear to me that i have evolved some since then, or merely scooted out sideways in another direction. if doug is a good filmmaker, people will watch the movie and gain a sense of what i was then, and what i am now. enthusiastic.

okay doug, good luck. thanks for looking out for me in ways that you did not have to.

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