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The dark night of Justin Hall

This is perhaps the oddest and most moving personal ad ever. (Warning: video and strong language.)

Damn. Having from time to time read Justin's brilliant blog (a genre he could well have founded although I don't think he uses that word) I've always wondered how the people in his life put up with his exhibitionism. Now I guess we know that they don't.

Justin is something of an extreme case, but the kind of extreme case that's been giving western civilization much of its creative juice for a couple of centuries now. If this were 1905 or 1805 he'd have been a flamboyant poet or actor with a dangerous reputation, or in 1945 a Kerouac. In 2005 he's at risk of being lumped in with the "camgirls" (remember camgirls?), but I think he's aware of his role in a William Gibson novel of his own devising in a way that the camgirls were not.

As I was watching the thought occurred to me that maybe he just needs to find his Yoko Ono (or to remove the asymmetry, perhaps be the Yoko Ono to someone else's John Lennon). But I guess he's already tried that.

(Via Wheresmy40.)

time 2005.01.28 link


thank you for posting that. it disturbed me. i think i need to watch it again. did he take his blog down?

elenamary [elenamary cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2005.01.28
I'm not sure about the status of his blog. It looks to me like you can use the search box to find content if you know what to search for; a month and a year seem to work fine.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.01.29
I had a similar thought. People find partners with stranger preferences than online stories; he needs to find a woman who is a journaler herself or who doesn't mind being the partner of a journaler.

Adina Levin [alevin cxe alevin punkto com] • 2005.02.06
Yes, and I guess that's what he thought he needed, too, but in his case it goes to another level: he'd need someone ready to treat life as one big performance art piece.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.02.06
Justin's blog was one of my favorites. It really morphed in recent months though. I originally read his stuff on games, Japan, and the web. He is a very good writer, and I hope he gets something out of USC film school, and makes movies.

Seth [eggm4n cxe google punkto com] • 2005.02.13
Am I the only one on the internet who thinks this is just a visual art project. Has anyone bothered to note that Justin is enrolled in film studies? I've been reading his blog for a long time now and have spent some RL time with him. He thrives on attention for certain and I believe some of, if not quite a lot of, what he's saying to be genuinely true I didn't, for a moment, believe he was having a genuine experience in front of that camera. He's not an actor, that much is clear. Thus, when he delivers his material the emotionalism behind what he's doing feels awfully forced. If this is really an art project I think it's a bad one. I actually wondered if this wasn't the best excuse he could cook up to get offline long enough to have a bit of a private life? Wouldn't put it past him - he's a smart guy (albeit a bad actor). I hope he's enjoying his new life in LA and all the pretty, trendy girls he's sure to be meeting in film school - I also don't put that past him. To be sure, Justin likes having a good time. A bit of a geek playboy if you will. That's the only thing that is preventing him from having a serious relationship and it's a self-enforced ban on intimacy if you ask me. If he was in a rock band we wouldn't expect him to settle down until he was in his 40s - if that. I think Justin is a little like a rock and roller who wants to live life out loud and be adored by his *fans* ...

Mel [chandrasutra cxe gmail punkto com] • 2005.02.22
I don't think you're the only person to notice the film studies connection. A friend of mine who happens to teach film studies himself showed the clip to his students and described Justin as "performing, but performing in earnest".

I haven't figured out all the levels there but it looks to me like a mixture of real pain, a plausible life crisis, and a pose. It wouldn't surprise me if he turned it in for a class, but I guess it would surprise me if it were just a project.

At this point Justin's whole life is an art project, which seems to be at the heart of his problem.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.02.22
I just stumbled onto something all true Justin-watchers must have known about ages ago, this previous film school project entitled "Sex Church". It's less engrossing, less coherent, and much less safe for work.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.05.07
By the way, here it is in context at

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.06.07
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