Thursday, May 10, 2001
35MM Triage The folks who run the city of Seaside are looking to promote a more positive image of the township. "How are they going to do that," you ask? Well, by publishing postcards of the city. Really. (Please stop laughing or you'll miss the important parts.) The city is sponsoring a photo contest instead of actually doing anything about, say, turning the lower Broadway area into a decent downtown or breaking ground for the long-promised new library or filling in the missing businesses at the corner of Canyon Del Rey and Del Monte-all of which have been Seaside City Council "priorities" (I said, stop laughing) for years.
We've heard the same things promised by three mayors, four city managers (if you count the temporary ones) and many councilmembers, but the city still looks pretty much the same now as it did 10 years ago.
According to a Seaside-sanctioned press release, the contest is intended to "inspire civic pride" and "promote a positive public image" of the city. Photographers who live, work or go to school in Seaside are encouraged to illustrate one of four themes: "Art in Public Places in Seaside," "Seaside-A Reflection of Diversity," "The Beautiful Neighborhoods of Seaside" and "Playtime in Seaside." Winners will be selected after July 13, and postcards based on their images will be generated after that.
This contest is the brainchild of a collaboration between four city commissions (art, human relations, neighborhood improvement, recreation and parks), and as far as it goes, it's a fine project. There are many good and noteworthy things to celebrate in Seaside-Laguna Grande Park, the Boys and Girls Club, the views from Mescal Heights, the many city-sponsored events, the diversity of small cafes and restaurants, Bayonet and Blackhorse golf courses, and CSUMB jump to mind-all of which should provide a wealth of inspiration for photographers.
But if Seaside's power players really want to do something about improving the city's image, it has to do something about improving the city: You don't fix a broken leg by photographing the patient's smile.
Interested photographers can pick up an entry form beginning Monday at city hall, the Monterey County Library in Seaside or Oldemeyer Center.
Jazz on the Block It ain't just the music that's gone high tech, it's the marketing, too. The Monterey Jazz Festival is auctioning off eight front-section box seats on ebay as a benefit for its Jazz Education Fund. Bidding opened on May 1 at $3,900 and will close at 5:36pm on May 11-if you've got the dough, you've got a little time left. As of Tuesday afternoon, the bid had climbed to $4,000. You can place your bid by going to ebay.com and searching for "Monterey Jazz". The tickets, of course, mean you get admission to all this year's mainstage acts-including Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Barron, Taj Mahal and the Lincoln Stage Jazz Orchestra among others.
If you could buy these tickets, they would retail for about $2,400.
What's the Meaning of This? Inside one of the many presskits that Coast Weekly received last week, was a puzzler. Almost all major motion picture studios send out seasonal packets with photos and information about their upcoming films. Included in the Universal Pictures packet were photographs from The Mummy Returns, including an ugly, skeletal guy. Disgusting, sure, but predictable. What was puzzling was a note including a photocopy of the skeleton that accompanied the pack. The note begins, "The MPAA has disapproved this photo, which is included in the presskit ... . Please refrain from using it for any reason ... . Thank you very much for our cooperation in this matter." Huh? Why send the photo if it can't be used? Why would the Motion Picture Association of American (the people who run the ratings board) censor a publicity photo?
The questions continue to dangle. Calls to Universal and MPAA went unanswered.
--Chuck Thurman (firstname.lastname@example.org)