According to my blog stats, the search engine term of the day is “Jeremy Witteveen.” I get a few hits a day for “cafe witteveen.” And once in a while, someone looks for my name. But usually there’s a “1” beside the term and not a number in the teens.
But today the search term “Jeremy Witteveen” is getting some major play. People are looking for me. Little old me! I’m curious what I’ve done now.
Well, if you’re the one or one of many, you’ve found me. Lucky you.
There is one other Jeremy Witteveen, that I’m aware of. He’s Canadian, and very cool. Probably cooler than I. He used to be in a band, too. If you’re looking for him, I’m afraid this blog is going to be a major disappointment.
I just noticed a spike in my hits today, and it’s thanks to that reprehensible Internet rag “World Net Daily.”
It seems that I was quoted in an article about my infamous reviews* of the worst book on evolution out there: “Evolution the Grand Experiment,” by Dr. Carl Werner. You remember all the great reviews (scroll down) I did, right?
Still, Werner’s work is not without its critics. In separate commentaries devoted to each chapter of “The Grand Experiment,” blogger Jeremy Witteveen calls it “a coloring book for Christian parents to impose on their children to keep them ignorant and far from successful academic pursuits.”
Witteveen also writes that his “personal goal is to help American Christians finally accept evolution as fact.”
Well, hellfire and broomsticks, If you’re reading from WND, make yourselves at home. I love visitors.
And if you’re visiting and you’re wondering why it is that I would make it a personal goal to help American Christians accept evolution, it’s because I’m tired of apologizing for you all for not accepting a simple concept. This is one aspect of the American cultural argument that is easily researched and understood.
I had a strict evangelical Christian education, and taught that evolution was absolute donkey poop. But once I researched the science outside of the Christian classroom, the Christian discussion points against evolution didn’t hold water.
Please, pretty please, stop dragging your collective feet on this discussion. The perception of American Christianity is often bad enough already.
The outsiders’ perception of Christianity tends to be that its flock isn’t well educated. I know, I used to be one of you. There are many great believers among you who accept evolution, and they are the shining examples in your midst. For instance, evangelical Christian and scientist Francis Collins is a proponent of evolution and he encourages believers to accept science.
Dinesh D’Souza is also a strong believer and his advocacy of evolution and the big bang is crucial to his debate tactics which can frequently embarrass non-believers.
What’s amazing to me is that you’ll all get behind a Mormon like Glenn Beck, which most people at one time or another condemned Mormonism as worse than any other religion, but this one simple provable concept called evolution is too difficult to get behind.
For the love of your own PR, speak out for the acceptance of evolution.
Or maybe just opening your eyes to nature. Or reading a few books instead of repeating what you hear from the pulpit, that could help.
In any event, continue your education so we can all pursue the discussion intelligently.
*Scroll down from that link and you’ll find all the reviews.
One of my favorite things to do when shooting event candids — like this weekend at the Gay Pride Parade — is to grab someone walking toward the camera. Some of my favorite shots are when I can get a complete stranger to look at the lens. I feel it adds a human dimension to the photograph. It’s photographic pathos, if you will.
At the same time, I find that when I’m at events in which I’m a welcome party shots are often better if the subjects are not looking at the lens. I have no idea why I do this.
I mean, I can shoot the shots where everyone is huddled up and smiling shit-eating grins. But I don’t want every shot I take to be like that. Who cares if you can look into the camera and smile. I want you to look at each other and smile.
To get strangers to look at the camera, I find there are three ways to do it. 1) Stand in front of them and make them look at me. 2) Stand in an obvious location and hope someone looks toward the camera and fire. 3) Blow a vuvuzela, wait for a glance and then hit the shutter.
When I grab some stranger’s eye contact toward the lens, when you see it later, you connect with them on some level.
In public, I tend to pine for connections with people. I love shared moments of laughter. I tend to be the guy in the elevator that cracks a joke. I get that element of person-to-person flirtation from my old man. My Dad can talk to almost anyone. Since I can remember, he always “flirted” a little with old ladies and little girls. Now don’t take that the wrong way. He seriously had a way of getting strangers’ attentions.
Perhaps the camera is my way hiding behind an insecurity in order to be more gregarious. Maybe when I have a nice lens between someone else and me, I feel more confident. Who knows.
Here are a series of shots I took of people walking toward camera from last Sunday at the Gay Pride Parade.
Back in 2003 or 2004, I helped put together a video for a local standup comedy show called the Lincoln Lodge. The video was about a local store that — if you lived here — you’d have to frequent — called Odd Obsessions Video. They offer the best videos, films and DVDs for rent. Super reasonable. They are super cool.
I thought they closed down, but they moved to a better location than the one in the video I made. I just learned that the web site Everything is Terrible! is in a filthy sexual relationship with Odd Obsessions, and I thought what a match made in heaven.
Anyway, I sent EIT this video because I thought they’d get a kick out of how bad it was. Maybe they’ll include it on the blog someday and it’ll get mad terrible hits!
Some things to notice: I had not yet received my wireless module for my microphone, so I ran a wireless lav cord up into the microphone. You can see the cord in several shots. Brady Novak is in the video, and he’s one of my favorites from back in the day. This was a video that I was trying my hand at animations. Six years ago, I was pretty fucking happy with how they turned out. Shoot, I’m still pretty fascinated that I had the vision even now. That’s all the DVD extras I can think of for now.
As a part of the thrilling challenge that I’ve made with creationist Mark Tetzlaff to read Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth,” I agreed to read two Christian books of his choice. I put no pressure on him to decide which books. He chose ones that I assume speak to him, his intelligence, and his cause. I’m still working to complete the first book, “Evolution, the Grand Experiment” by Dr. Carl Werner. The second book, “Why I believe in God,” by Cornelius Van Til arrived Friday in the mail, and I decided I needed a little change of pace, so I went ahead and read it.
For the record, I read “Why I believe in God” out loud, word for word, in my kitchen, and read a couple pages four and five times. I read it out loud because I wanted to really digest its words, not because I’m a poor reader. I typically read fast, but I wanted to carefully examine Van Til’s message.
For a bio on Van Til, go check out his wiki. He’s Dutch by birth and moved here with his family at a young age. Everyone knows I hate Dutch people, so the book didn’t go over very well with me.
In response to the challenge I made to Mark Tetzlaff, here is the beginning of my review of the book “Evolution: The Grand Experiment” by Dr. Carl Werner.
Since none of you have probably even heard of the book, let me describe it. It’s a hard cover book approximately 262 pages long. It is written by the good Doctor Carl Werner and filled with photography from his lovely wife Debbie.
Tetzlaff recommended this book, because he believes “that Dr. Werner is an honest researcher. He examines the evidence in great detail and contrasts how evolutionists and creationists interpret the evidence. In his book, he never states his opinion or interpretation of the evidence, but simply explains the evidence, how others have interpreted it and leaves it to the reader to make their own choice. This book does not provide answers to our origin or development, but it does offer a tremendous amount of information that teaches us a great deal about the world in which we live.”
Tetzlaff’s recommendation can be found in the comments of this post.
What kind of café is this? How long has it been since I meal blogged? Too long. I don’t have much to share, as I’ve been experimenting more, and experimentation usually means that I haven’t figured out how to serve the dish aesthetically, because I’m concentrating on flavors, fabrication, recipes and pleasing guests and/or Tina’s tastebuds. I’ve been trying to do more vegetarian dishes, and sometimes the colors are harder to photograph.
If you’re new to the café, I’m aspiring to be a better cook. I cook or prepare meals almost twice a day, and we only eat out about twice a month. Because I work from home as a photographer, I use the commute time to plan and prepare menus. I’ve found that cooking is an artistic outlet, and aspire to be more appreciative of the art of gastronomy, the major religion of the French. Plus, I’m trying to get my blood pressure down, and it helps when I prepare all my meals.
Back to the food. Last night’s dinner was far from vegetarian. It was grilled sirloin with thin-sliced grilled potatoes, which is simple and easy, except for the fact that last night’s weather was windy and humid. Our back porch is on the third floor and there is no wind protection or roof over it. An El train track is about 20 feet from the deck and trains runs about 40 or 50 miles per hour every 10 to 20 minutes on average. At rush hour, a train rumbles by every couple minutes in either direction. When I’m grilling, it plays a role in causing mental instability.
That said, here’s a shot of last night’s meal. Battling the elements is part of the process, and when I get a steak with perfect grill lines and hardly any burned taters, I’m a happy camper. The wind tends to blow out the flames, and I barricade a bunch of chairs around the grill. I also grill at a higher temperature than I would like, because it helps keep the flames lit. But after all that, it was worth it.