Burning Shorts Issue 16: February 2008 Grand Central Declaration

Hello! What’s This?

Time Stopped In Grand Central Station!!!


The brilliant ImprovEverywhere* used only human cooperation: humbling and inspirational!

We are inspired by this glorious video to see and to declare: Our Mission is to bring online works to smart humans.

Recalling our birth in Issue 1 way, way back (nearly two years ago!) and squinting ahead into the Global Brain Fog that obscures the Future, we see we strove, strive, and aspire to the Mission we can now express … declare!

Those who have been with us know that we have grown, and it is a joy to behold Frozen Grand Central unfreeze our ability to express that which has motivated us until now and that which forever will remain our aim.


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Burning Shorts Issue 15: January 2008 Grateful Dead Predict Burning Shorts

Can it be true?
The Grateful Dead predict Burning Shorts in 1972?

Introducing the Dead, May 7, 1972, The Bickershaw Festival, UK:

” ‘For all our muddy friends


Thus spake the announcer as the Dead launched into “Truckin'” – the start of a mammoth 245 minute show . . .” during which, this:

“After RAMBLE ON ROSE, the band comment on the stink from the dozens of fires.

Unknown band member: “What’s on fire”

Weir: “I don’t know what you’re burning out there , but it smells rotten.”

Phil? “It must be my shorts … ”

Below mid-page and just following “After RAMBLE ON ROSE …” http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/dead.html


So, we embrace this opportunity to honor hippie heroes and true creative visionaries: Timothy Leary, Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, and Jerry Garcia with Kesey, all as today’s internet can only make possible.

Indeed, there is such a wealth of content that what follows is a mere taste. Humble thanks to Web2.0 for providing us with such wealth.

In a recent Flaming Arrow, we mentioned our encounters personally with Leary, as he was an early, passionate, digital media evangelist: “Turn on, tune in, boot up …” as he said.

The recipients wanted more: You got it! We spent a weekend with Hunter S. Thompson; we interviewed Kesey; and we had a most memorable conversation with Garcia. That was a while ago.

Yet, time only illuminates more brightly just how swashbuckling these creative visionaries were and, as inspirational figures, important to our current mission: to commit heart and soul to advance the Human Adventure unfolding in digital media.

It is therefore a personal pleasure to bring you the following homage:

Timothy Leary: Psychedelics as sacraments; coat and tie era for Tim; black and white television clip; 42 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HclVTYUQV-M. Then, Tim circa 1980 and ambushed by television interviewer. Behold Tim’s commitment to gentleness and remaining open and non-defensive. 10 minutes 18 seconds and worth it. And he tells the interviewer to go “back to Iran”! Close to a hundred K views on this post: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT31oB2vspw&feature=related.  Nearing death in 1995, Tim provides advice for all of us: “”You have to go out of your mind to use your head.” Part of a series of length, captivating interviews by Paul Krassner. E.g., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-KAmpXsdUE.

Hunter S. Thompson: Hunter was surely big fun back in the day. Here we have Hunter struggling with intimations of mortality and just perhaps hatching a plan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r31hV_BPFf0&feature=related … For an accurate tribute to Dr. Gonzo, it would require the unique verbal intensity and apparent psychic chaos of another we met … Gary Busey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-rE0dNV5Bo&feature=related.

Ken Kesey [and the Merry Pranksters]: Seeking to visit Leary (they were all connected with each other … just not on this day, but see Garcia and Kesey below). Look for the “Further” sign on the front of Kesey’s bus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcstOdT1Pe0.

Jerry Garcia with Ken Kesey: Interviewed by the strangest of all, the late Tom Snyder … captured herein (Live, NBC Studios, New York City, May 7th, 1981)  is a trace of the infectious joy and silliness that fueled the era: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4ilnADvT2s.

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Buring Shorts Issue 14: 2007 Ends with a Zune!

Zune Journey: we just may have a masterpiece at http://www.zunejourney.net/ .

Please know and remember that the visitor controls the velocity at which one moves as well as the angular direction: Fast and straight is spectacular and even more so is slow with angular exploration.

Standing still is also fascinating: what a tribute to an interactive digital artwork.

This is a work, a Journey, of glorious kinetic, visual richness, and it is recursive in that the visitor-guided Journey moves through phases which repeat. Yes, the refrain from a song or, more accurately, the variations on a melodic theme in a symphonic movement repeat; however beautiful such musical repetitions or recursions may be, the listener remains passive. In Zune Journey, the visitor fully shapes navigationally all variations of each thematic return, and all occur seamlessly.

Zune Journey’s music, specifically, is a series of linear songs which are diverse yet supportive of the visual, self-propelled adventure, both in brisk forward mode and in thematic visual variations.

In design, there is an early ancestor of Zune Journey by Cyan called The Manhole.

Regarding The Manhole, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manhole. Regarding Cyan and its legacy, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyan_Worlds.  While The Manhole was a children’s game and thus simplified, the visitor moved in and through a recursive journey, as with Zune.

I had the privilege to represent Cyan during its most celebrated years circa 1993-1997, the period of Myst and Riven, the hauntingly beautiful, completely innovative, and exquisitely shaped works of interactive fiction for the personal computer. During its era, Myst was the best-selling computer game in history.

The Manhole was a very early work, and yet its innovative creativity alerted the player to the Cyan brilliant imagination which bloomed fully in Myst and Riven.

It is, therefore, both a personal and editorial pleasure to recommend Zune Journey, this native online work (hence available free and worldwide, though unobtrusively in service of a commercial product), which is uniquely beautiful.

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Burning Shorts Issue 13: Through December 2007

To innovate is to move …To the sweet spot on the Big Fast Wave of digital surf …

For quality online video.

We redesign and expand to do this, always.

We happily and proudly announce our alliance with Exterminating Angel Press, www.exterminatingangel.com, a publication of active values and editorial quality. To ally is to move to the sweet spot on the Wave.

So, new Burning Shorts will appear as a regular feature on Exterminating Angel Press. Our mission to discover, present, advance highest quality online video fits flawlessly within the larger editorial mission of Exterminating Angel Press and adds to its present and future organic growth. Providence.

Yes, we will maintain this site so that visitors can communicate and learn more about us, our history, our dedication, and above all our commitment.

Once again …


Stay on the Wave …


The mission of Burning Shorts: to discover, present, advance highest quality online video.

The mission goes well: site traffic climbs steadily and dramatically. We at Burning Shorts communicate and work with major online video talents presented on this site and later recognized by mass media as major pioneer artists. We communicate and work with the growing group of Visionary Editors who donate outstanding video discoveries and who guide, advise, and thus make priceless contributions.

To our surprise, we have yet to find another site that shares our mission.

So, please know that, as you read this, we are in the process of redesigning and expanding this site to innovate and improve the pursuit of our mission. Among expanded features, we expect, will be more visitor opportunity to contribute, to comment, and to interact.

We move as quickly as we can without sacrificing the quality to which we aspire. During this redesign/expansion, we may dispatch Burning Shorts online video discoveries by means of our extensive email list, which we invite you to join by contacting us.


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Burning Shorts Issue 12: More From June 2007


What time is it? Let me see. Oh my goodness, my watch just melted. The June and Beyond Issue below was published yesterday, and here we are again.

Since then, Tim Rehling alerted us to the latest and most astounding work of Lasse Gjersten. Lasse was profiled here in ISSUE 5 – DECEMBER 2006 / JANUARY 2007.


We see clearly and declare our mission as Online Sanctuary for innovative, intrepid, and noble video works. So, we must respond to Tim’s alert immediately and present Gjersten’s greatest work here and now. To advance our mission, we publish when we must. Now … and awe-struck we present …

Lasse Gjertsen “Giovanni Sollima – Sogno ad Occhi Aperti (Daydream)”

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Burning Shorts Issue 11: June 2007




Since Burning Shorts launched one year ago, so much has changed. The Online Video Giant Goo-Tube has emerged, and many similar sites presenting the Raw and Unfiltered continue to trend downward in traffic. Oh, yes, nearly everyone with a site, especially Hollywood Major Studios (and their many networks), has declared entry into this medium, though we have yet to see a single successful online video site emerge from Old Hollywood.

During the very same time, Burning Shorts, thanks to you, has trended generally and steeply upward.

Also during this year, we have connected with two of the artists who we were honored to present in our very first Issue: Ryan Wood of Dangerously Adorable Productions, Inc., creator/writer/director of “Fear of Girls” and Sarith Azuma now known as Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku, creator/star of “Urban Ninja for Hire” pictured above displaying the spirit appropriate for online video achievement.

What has not changed in the year is the enduring brilliance of these works and the artistic expansion of their creators. To us, this is thrilling: “Content is King”, and quality content lives on and on.

Wood, now our cherished colleague, and one particularly savvy Hollywood Studio have allied for soon-to-be premiere release online “Fear of Girls 2”. With “FoG2”, we see pioneer visionary Wood innovate to the very heart of what the world has experienced as comedic/dramatic series entertainment, all while seamlessly presenting lol comedy, touching drama starring our geek-is-chic team of “DougDoug” and “Raymond”. The art and artist to watch above all.

See our two very curious friends again in “Fear of Girls”. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7521044027821122670&q=Fear+of+Girls&hl=en.


We at Burning Shorts enjoyed some time with Xin Sarith and the EMC Monkeys, watching practices and sharing social time. In the year since we first presented “Urban Ninja for Hire”, Xin Sarith has grown and expanded.

http://www.originalxin.com/main.html .

Xin Sarith Azuma Phan Wuku in his own words (redacted from a longer essay):

“Born in the jungles of CAmbodia, i lead a peaceful life until the day rebels came and attacked my village. My family and i fled and became refugees in Thailand, minus an older brother… After buying a fake last name- PHan, we came to America.

Karma got to me once i faced a Muay Thai kick boxer. I never walked the same again. Also around this time, i fought the law and the law won.

For my 21st birthday, i went hitch hiking around middle America. After being gone for 2 months, i felt renewed. Birth of Evolved Monkey Combat! Utilizing my years of martial arts experience and being, “down with the phat beat”, I took a chance. I had a dream. I had a passion. And i wanted to share it with the world! After 3 short years of giving it my all, i produced “URBAN NINJA”.

Through suffering and hardship, sacrifice and perseverance, i am what i am today. Strong in mind, body and spirit. Confident in myself and proud of the things I’ve accomplished. I am open minded and aware of the people and things around me and although I am somewhat of an anti-hero, beneath my tough exterior lies compassion for my fellow man. I’ve learned to appreciate life and to live it the best way i possibly can.

Now you know pieces of my story. A kid who came from nothing. A kid who had a dream. A kid who gave it all but never gave up. Go be that kid. And maybe one day, i will read your story.”

http://www.originalxin.com/chronicles.html .

There it is in the final paragraph, as clearly stated as ever expressed: the American Dream lives. And, Xin Sarith’s guide to the Dream is Eastern wisdom for the ages:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

-Siddhârtha Gautama, the Buddha”

http://www.originalxin.com/monkeypoo.html .

Over thirteen and a half million views and a year later, experience Xin Sarith’s “Urban Ninja for Hire” again …

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2kJZOfq7zk .

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Burning Shorts Issue 10: May 2007



We interrupt the routine and the ordinary to bring you The Landlord http://funnyordie.com/v1/view_video.php?viewkey=3efbc24c7d2583be6925 an hilarious video. In roughly a week in mid-April it has zoomed faster and higher than the Space Shuttle Booster Rocket … 9,055,809 views with no signs of slowing … pulling a new and previously unknown viral video site FunnyOrDie into the hottest viral video destination on the web.

Behold the rocket blast performance of the Landlord on site rating system Alexa: http://www.alexa.com/data/details/traffic_details?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsjl.funnyordie.com .

FunnyOrDie has been smart enough to put The Landlord on its landing page ahead of its own home page! http://sjl.funnyordie.com/v1/landing.php.

The American Artistic Dream is Alive and Well when a creative team can connect with the global audience this quickly and directly!

Our mission at Burning Shorts is to ignite the connection between creative team and audience, and our soon-ending Year One shows success beyond our best hopes.

In a medium where The Landlord is just the beginning, our Destination is always Further. So now and into Year Two we introduce “WikiTube”, the organic and innovative next step for Burning Shorts.

“Wiki”: As Wikipedia says of “Wiki”: “… [A]n effective tool for mass collaborative authoring.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki. We want your discoveries as link candidates for our site!

“Tube”: A word that evokes the Mother of All Online Video, YouTube. The aim here is to stress that we invite you to find in the vast Raw and Unfiltered, YouTube and its sibling viral video sites, the Artistic American Dream Videos for our audience.

“WikiTube”: Collaborate with us to find and present American Dream Videos to audiences!

To help you WikiTube, we offer this resource. During Year One, we compiled online/viral video sites in what we call “The Directory of the Raw and Unfiltered”. We happily offer you that Directory: for each site, the Directory has the site address as well as a sentence describing creative content and a sentence describing business model. Request it, and it is yours.


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Burning Shorts Issue 9: April 2007

And Beyond

See where you fit in the big human picture through this simple and eloquent interactive work. http://www.royalsapien.com/pop1/

The very first Burning Short of Issue One was/is “Surf’s Up”, a surfer daring the most impossibly huge monster wave. Here is another surfer in a slick, seductive masterwork of performance art.  http://www.dailymotion.com/cluster/extreme/video/x14gl9_dynamite-surfing

Which leads naturally to Banksy… iconoclastic artist who defies everything including our effort at editorial comment. Drill into the site and let us know if you too are speechless. If we do not hear from you, we will know you are. http://www.banksy.co.uk

And Beyond … We … Burning Shorts, our Friends, and Allies … plan to hit the road on the “Wanted Dead Or Alive Tour”, a combination of anthropological field work and performance art, all with the aim of intensifying the impact of Burning Shorts. The more Raw Unfiltered and Disposable Video appears online the more we pursue the Elite and Enduring.

Cynopsis Digital [“CynDigital”] is a fine daily emailzine which features a video site or clip of the day. Subscribe free through www.cynopsis.com. Since CynDigital has the daily vid covered, our destination … the Elite and Enduring … grows ever clearer.

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Burning Shorts Issue 8: March 2007

Several months before its first birthday, Burning Shorts happily reports . . .

  1. 100% correct prediction of hit properties: Every Issue published in the first six months contained at least one property that subsequently went big to wildly big in the mass media.
  2. Double monthly 400% traffic spikes: Traffic has been solid since birth. Then, in December 06, traffic increased 400%. January 07 traffic increased 400% over December.

Our mission always: intelligently present only the finest online video from and for artists, for media professionals (who seek to discover these artists), and the audience generally.

To stress our mission’s importance and to present a treasure among the finest online video, consider Web 2.0 The Machine is Us/ing Us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gmP4nk0EOE.

Blog As Artistic Collage

“Let us not talk falsely now the hour’s getting late.” –Bob Dylan

Hollywood (movies and television) no longer affords the conditions for creative innovation, and, so, Hollywood is broken. It is understandable that most professionals in Hollywood are blind to this reality.

This is why. At best, Hollywood has been always dysfunctional. Specifically, Hollywood has been the dysfunctional marriage of creativity and commerce, of art and business. Some time ago, I sought to present this dramatically with the help of a mental health professional.

I proposed that, before an audience, we assemble a group of Hollywood creative talents as well as a group of Hollywood business and management executives. Each group would be small in number but great in eloquence and intensity. The moderator or, rather, the mediator would be a mental health professional; specifically, a marital therapist.

Then, the therapist would pry open and help the participants unpack the enduring tensions in this “dysfunctional marriage”. I thought it might be illuminating. And fun.

Dysfunctional marriages produce many unsuccessful offspring, just as the Hollywood marriage of art and business produced many unsuccessful works. However, even dysfunctional marriages produce some remarkable offspring, perhaps all the more worthwhile because of their family histories, and, so too, did Hollywood produce some remarkable, even wondrous works.

On those occasions when I could advance this proposal, I did so. Alas, those to whom I presented it were too caught up in the very dysfunction to explore the idea.

Now and hereafter, it is too late. Hollywood, like other businesses, has become a body with four or five heads: Disney, Newscorp, Time-Warner, Viacom, and perhaps Sony or NBC-Universal. As a result, the cost of making and marketing content has soared, and the marriage has dissolved with bottom-line business in control. Wondrous works fade as possibilities.


At the same time, digital media, in which film-making resources and global distribution are easily available to anyone motivated, have provided a spectacular source of hope and excitement for innovative and compelling entertainment. From Walt Disney to DC Comics and countless other examples: the great ones started small; yes, even Superman. So, online video is the focus of my attention, and a focus toward which I have been working for twenty-five years.

The site Burning Shorts is my effort to bring to Hollywood and to the audience the early, small, and yet wondrous: the finest online video, and the innovative talents who will emerge.

However, nothing in my experience prepared me to be dazzled by Bedazzled. It is not an online video. It seems to describe itself as a “blog”.

I prefer to recommend it to you as a site which, in its totality of look, tone, design, and content is a wondrous work of art. It is also organic, growing over time. I do not know the identity of its author currently, but the whole site feels like the expression of a single artist: visual images, online videos, links, and exotica, woven together by prose, wit, and intelligence. I urge you to consider this important.

You will find it at http://bedazzled.blogs.com.

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Burning Shorts Issue 7: February 2007

Tax Cut for Perverts

We strive to understand online video as well as to present its finest quality works. More in the spirit of understanding, we immodestly present “Tax Cut for Perverts”, a masterpiece in the critical media category “Politics as Theater”, starring City Councilmember Carolyn Moceri. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rZlYWqJvBA&NR

Apparently from the City Council of Warren, Michigan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren,_Michigan, the Politics as Theater here is sheer absurd comedy.

The absurd comedy is reinforced in a subsequent installment by artist Warrenkooks in “Moceri Does the Hat Dance”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o003qzf7oV0

Politics as Theater is a critical media category. For those who watched the online video beheading of American Nick Berg by Insurgents in 2004 the power of viral video as a weapon for those engaged in asymmetric conflict with the West is, alas, beyond measure and woefully underestimated.

The mere awareness of Politics as Theater and the tragic shift of the former to the latter is generally overlooked, understandably, by the very media that bloat and profit from the shift. So, when Jon Stewart calmly and eloquently rips the lid off the Politics of Theater on CNN series “Crossfire”, the result is glorious. We provide a selection of postings of Stewart’s Appearance, and we urge the longer versions, such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmZkw169xEI . With Stewart’s masterfully appearance, more is better: His comments are delicious and good for you! Remember: “I’m not going to be your monkey.” For other editions: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jon+Stewart+on+Crossfire&search=Search.

“Line Rider~Futuristic Adventure”: Metaphor and Reality

Just last Issue we introduced new-born artform Linerider. Now, with “Furturistic Adventure” (again with thanks to David Harrison), please enjoy how that artform is racing forward with stunning beauty and velocity, like the little sled-riding protagonist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yav47XgQo7w&eurl=.

So, “Furturistic Adventure” (among other spectacular Linerider works) is both metaphor for the stunning beauty and velocity of the Linerider artform and that stunning beauty and velocity itself!

Possible Walt

Walt Whitman is forever one of America’s greatest original voices. Imagine then literally hearing his voice, as this alleged recording by Edison captured Walt at the end of his life. http://www.whitmanarchive.org/audio/ then click “America” to play the recording. (Our thanks to Sue Bachner.) We believe the voice is reading these lines.


Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,

All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old,

Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,

Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love …”

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