Comments on dark night flick
commentson 14 January 2005 : 14:04, Amy H. sez:

Hang in there.

You're a great writer, but every writer deserves the occasional break. (i don't mean everyone deserves a breakdown! Just a break from web-publishing.)

commentson 14 January 2005 : 14:14, Maya Seligman sez:

I want to put you in a nest, so all your fans could nurture you. You could look up and see the hundreds of faces that hold you in their thoughts and prayers on a regular basis (normally without you even knowing it). I wish you could see the strong threads of human connections that are plugged into you, even when they don't express it to you.

And on the big-scale, you've brought up some amazingly thought-provoking issues. It's worth it to examine the role of the web in our spiritual truths, self-identities, relationships with other people, and cultural changes. Looking at today's world, technology is having such a monumental impact on human interactions. It's ironic that electronic communication has a way of helping us transcend the previous limitations of time and space, while also sucking our attention into those vehicles -- perhaps further away from the face-to-face intimacies. Email is the total norm for our generation (and most others). From a distance, an angel might see a planet of people communicating with each other, with their eyes stuck to their computers, fingers glued to their keyboards and cell phones. Where are human beings going with this phenomenon? What does the blog represent sociologically -- and spritually? Justin, your little movie puts these questions in our faces in a real way.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 14:26, cj sez:

I know exactly what you're feeling. Remeber man, there is a God who cares very deeply for you. So much so he gave his life up as a sacrafice for you. Email me if you want to talk about it.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 15:05, Mark W. Gray sez:

Have you thought about going ahead and writing everything like you always did, and just editing the part that you share with the world to respect the privacy of your loved ones? I figured something like this was going on since your site's been blank for the last few days. In my imaginary version, you were tangled up in some kind of marathon romantic encounter and were still in the process of negotiating how much of it to describe on the web. Either that, or you were being sued by USC for posting your films. So if your new lady friend doesn’t like stuff about her being published on the web, just write about her and keep it for yourself. I can’t believe your whole story has been COMPLETELY unfiltered up until now. There’s bound to be an acceptable level of exposure that she can tolerate. I mean, if she’s into you, she’s into you; and part of who you are is that an unknown number of people read about your life as it happens.

You talk about making your art. The definition of art I’ve always liked best is: Reality filtered through your emotions. It may seem like the key is the emotions, but to me, the key is really the filtering – that the artist chooses where the artwork ends and the rest of the world goes on. Clearly stream of consciousness writing (and now video recording) is therapeutic to you. I’m sure it would be for anybody. But I think the therapy is in the writing, more so than in the posting. If posting the intimate parts is messing up your life, quit posting the intimate parts.

“Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

“Then don’t do it.”

If you need any more middle-aged male advice anytime soon, I’d be happy to help out. Let’s get a taco sometime. Or, better yet, several drinks.

Post this if you want, and keep feeding the beast, or don’t - it’s up to you. From reading the reviews, and reviews of reviews, in this forum from your last film, I can’t vouch for the supportiveness of this crowd. I get where you’re coming from with this last soul-searching/baring video, but you’re bound to attract a lot of abuse – also a lot of good natured, but uninformed advice. Let the filtering begin.


commentson 14 January 2005 : 15:51, James sez:

Hey Justin --

I hope you can keep some perspective on your turmoil, and at least know that you are a huge inspiration for all of us readers of yours.

You have had the good fortune to have a life that is dramatically more coherent and purposeful than most people's. I envy that about you.

I think that it is inevitable that someone who innovates and tests the boundaries like you do, is bound to feel pain for it, not that that's any consolation when you're in the grips of the pain.

There's someone out there for you, I am sure, who will accept your intimacy as well as your need to write about it on the web.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 16:14, kn [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

You are definitely not alone in having these big life questions! Someone once said that part of our need for a long term relationship is that everyone wants a personal witness to their life. Even though I am a very private person I find that to be true for me. Interesting how your website sometimes functions in that sort of a capacity....

I have very much enjoyed your site for the past half a year since I stumbled onto it. From a female perspective though I will say that some of it has been a little too much information (email me if you want specifics on this). I think I'm fairly safe to say that most of us women want a little mystery. Unraveling that mystery is a rewarding part of developing intimacy.

I hope you can find a balance of sharing that allows you to continue your art but also fosters personal intimacy. I highly recommend talking things through with a professional (therapist etc.). It really helped me when I was at a crossroads like this.

I wish you much peace and happiness!

commentson 14 January 2005 : 16:19, Ginna [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I'm not going to give you a pile of platitudes that will minimize your pain. It may sound dumb, but when I have had similar pain in my life, sometimes it has helped to revel in it. Pull every ounce of pain, misery and tears that you can out of it. Let it inspire you either to make changes in your life or creatively as it has in this movie.

I hope that you are able to find a balance in your life that will allow you emotional and creative freedom.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 16:22, Joshua Fuller sez:

Bro, you gotta slow down. Let yourself catch up with the rest of you. Your life is what you make it. If you don't like it, change it. You are capable. I have read you for a while now. You have experienced alot. This is just another one of those experiences.
Hang in there

commentson 14 January 2005 : 16:57, Baron Longclaw sez:

I’ve been watching Justin upload his life for the last few years, and I’ve always been impressed and inspired by the intensity of his searching, his fearlessness and thirst for experience. He’s been sharing his struggles, triumphs and explorations with remarkable candor since 1997 or thereabouts, so he’s a true pioneer in the field of web mediated personas. He’s transformed his life into a kind of art by presenting himself online with arresting intimacy, and in doing so, has offered his life as a guinea pig to the great social/tehnological experiment which is unfolding around us, and through us. Justin Hall is a real performance, a new breed, a hyperself, an evolutionary tendril extending itself into a new collective mind-space. The man’s a brave mutant, and these are his tears.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 17:05, /\/\/\/ sez:

Justin: I have had dark nights like yours. Many of them. As I watched your video, somewhere around the fourth or fifth minute I recognized a tone in your voice that I've heard come out of my own throat -- an endless, deep despair borne of that loneliness you keep talking about.

No amount of the "things will get better" sort of back-patting is going to make you feel any different. I know that. But I also know that everything changes, always. In moments like the one you've chosen to share with us, you may feel *certain* that you will feel this way forever. But it cannot be so. Everything changes.

There is an amazing Vietnamese Buddhist monk living on this planet; his name is Thich Nhat Hanh. One of his teachings that has touched my life most deeply -- especially on dark nights -- is the idea that "happiness is not an individual matter." Tinkering with your life for the sole purpose of bringing about your own personal happiness is the surest way to never touch happiness at all. Focusing on one thing that you are certain will bring you happiness is a recipe only for pain.

Generating happiness -- finding peace -- the way to do these things is to go out into the world with openness and compassion, to love and to share. I have been reading your stuff online for long enough (since the mid nineties, when I was a wee student and the Web was new) to know, despite having never met you personally, that going out into the world with openness and compassion, to love and to share, is something you can do, because I've seen you do it over and over here in the online sphere, which, despite any misgivings you (or anyone else) may have about it, is a very real part of the world we live in. I've also gotten to read about you loving and sharing outside the confines of pages served over http. I know that this is part of you, and as such, you can find peace. I also know it may be difficult (or impossible) for you to feel this way right now. But: Everything changes.

Your suffering can bring you peace if you let it. Your suffering will turn out to have been worthwhile, if it brings about realizations that transform your life. Your suffering has, ironically, given you strength. Your suffering is your greatest asset, if only you stop, breathe, and accept. With acceptance, the tears stop, the love begins to flow, and when you radiate it back out into the world, the wonderful miracle is, you may very well wake up one morning filled with the simple thought that it just plain feels good to be alive and starting another day. When that happens, I wonder: What will you do with that day? Perhaps your readers will be lucky enough to read about it. And perhaps that won't be your bag anymore. Either way, I hope that day comes soon.
My thoughts are with you.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 17:09, Wendy sez:


It's heartbreaking to witness you going through this.

You will find someone who, not only respects what you do, but who is comfortable enough with themselves to not be afraid and who will be honored to be part of your art.

"We create our own reality." If it's more balance you want, you will find it.

And have faith in us women! Not every woman is going to think you're a freak, feel burdened by your expressions of rawness and/or reject you.

Remember, you are still going through your Saturn Return and it wasn't that long ago that you made some major shifts in your life. Cut yourself some slack and realize what is happening in this moment isn't a reflection of what will happen tomorrow.

We all have used the Web to find "shreds" of connection. We all are yearning to find people we can connect to. And many of us know those connections will be few and far between. You're not alone, Justin. You're just lonely.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 17:27, Terence sez:

Nothing but love kid.
If people don't get you, fuck 'em.
There's some deep shit for you.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 18:40, A passer by sez:

Ajahn Sumedho


It is important to reflect upon the phrasing of the First Noble Truth. It is phrased in a very clear way: "There is suffering", rather than "I suffer". Psychologically, that reflection is a much more skilful way to put it. We tend to interpret our suffering as "I’m really suffering. I suffer a lot - and I don’t want to suffer." This is the way our thinking mind is conditioned.

"I am suffering" always conveys the sense of "I am somebody who is suffering a lot. This suffering is mine; I’ve had a lot of suffering in my life." Then the whole process, the association with one’s self and one’s memory, takes off. You remember what happened when you were a baby...and so on.

But note, we are not saying there is someone who has suffering. It is not personal suffering anymore when we see it as "There is suffering". It is not: "Oh poor me, why do I have to suffer so much? What did I do to deserve this? Why do I have to get old? Why do I have to have sorrow, pain, grief and despair? It is not fair! I do not want it. I only want happiness and security." This kind of thinking comes from ignorance which complicates everything and results in personality problems.

To let go of suffering, we have to admit it into consciousness. But the admission in Buddhist meditation is not from a position of: "I am suffering" but rather, "There is the presence of suffering" because we are not trying to identify with the problem but simply acknowledge that there is one. It is unskilful to think in terms of: "I am an angry person; I get angry so easily; how do I get rid of it?" - that triggers off all the underlying assumptions of a self and it is very hard to get any perspective on that. It becomes very confused because the sense of my problems or my thoughts takes us very easily to suppression or to making judgements about it and criticising ourselves. We tend to grasp and identify rather than to observe, witness and understand things as they are. When you are just admitting that there is this feeling of confusion, that there is this greed or anger, then there is an honest reflection on the way it is and you have taken out all the underlying assumptions - or at least undermined them.

So do not grasp these things as personal faults but keep contemplating these conditions as impermanent, unsatisfactory and non-self. Keep reflecting, seeing them as they are. The tendency is to view life from the sense that these are my problems, and that one is being very honest and forthright in admitting this. Then our life tends to reaffirm that because we keep operating from that wrong assumption. But that very viewpoint is impermanent, unsatisfactory and non-self.

"There is suffering" is a very clear, precise acknowledgement that at this time, there is some feeling of unhappiness. It can range from anguish and despair to mild irritation; dukkha does not necessarily mean severe suffering. You do not have to be brutalised by life; you do not have to come from Auschwitz or Belsen to say that there is suffering. Even Queen Elizabeth would say, "There is suffering." I’m sure she has moments of great anguish and despair or, at least, moments of irritation.

The sensory world is a sensitive experience. It means you are always being exposed to pleasure and pain and the dualism of samsara. It is like being in something that is very vulnerable and picking up everything that happens to come in contact with these bodies and their senses. That is the way it is. That is the result of birth.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 20:01, Liz sez:

#1. I second what Terence said!!!!

#2. I went through the same thing when I was 33yrs old. I finally started looking at myself with regards to my failed relationships and heartbreak. Trust me babe, the answer is within you, it's not in other people or sex or careers. That power greater than yourself is preparing you. Thats why the questions are coming up. When the student is ready the teacher appears.

BTW, you know I love you. :)

commentson 14 January 2005 : 20:07, Andrew sez:

What do you say...

What do you say to the person who's life was the first you ever saw published in hypertext? What do you say next when you think of the years you spent following their life, accomplishments, failures, romances, travels and constant reinvention. Then what do you say as you find yourself still looking into that open, unique head after all the others have disappeared, pissed it away or converted it into a pay-for porn site? What do you say recently as you watch him redirect his energies into another artform while talking of abandonment and distrust from those that he shared with the world. Finally, what do you say when you see that man in the darkness, crying in anguish for feeling so alone and alienated by his own hand?

I say this... collect yourself in that darkness, close your eyes, be as calm as you can be and focus on the darkness. The silence, the emptyness, the daemons and the noise filling your head and focus through it... concentrate on the slight heaviness you feel outside your reach, draw it closer by feeling it's warmth and concentrate it around you. That's us Justin. The quiet lurkers and the vocal posters. The people that have a little piece of you in our heads. With that feeling, you are *never* alone in the darkness, instead you are protected from it and can feed off it and draw strength from it.

Just as we are out there, so is she. She may be four hours away, four time zones away or a mere four steps. But wherever she may be, we will be there with you as you search and will celebrate with you when you find her.

Until then Justin, you're not crazy, you're not stupid and you're not too dramatic. You're real and not afraid to show it. That's more than most can ever hope to be.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 21:03, brent sez:

I had mine when I was about thirty.

It gets better.

I like Simone Weil's theory that sometimes it's so hard to accept how much love there is that it hurts. Or something like that.

Everything exists as an opportunity for us to be more gracious and graceful.

And to rise from our shiny bugs on the highways with new humming hoverwings. No more street signs. Or something like that.

We emerge more human than before. More alive.

I love you Justin, and I'm sure a lot of people do.

You are one of the Giving Elves .

My heart goes out to you on this little platter made of tiny black spidery lines.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 21:10, netcowboy [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I had my breakdown when I was about thirty.

It gets better.

I like what Simone Weil said about there being so much love in the world and it's so hard to process it that it hurts sometimes.

Or something like that.

Actually, I'm not sure she said anything like that.

Anyway, one day you are a shiny, colorful beetle on the highway, and then it goes dark, and then later you get your hoverwings and no stopsigns.

As I think you know, the experiences of life, good and bad, are all just opportunities for each of us to be as graceful and gracious as possible.

And to talk about the hoverwings.

I love you, and I'm sure a lot of people do.

You are one of the Giving Elves .

My heart goes out to you on this platter made of tiny spidery black lines.

Remember, when it comes right down to it, - All you have to do is Be.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 21:10, Mark-Paul sez:


commentson 14 January 2005 : 21:12, Mark-Paul sez:

Truly powerful.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 22:30, Zack sez:

When we cannot run, we walk. When we cannot walk we crawl. When we cannot crawl... we have somone carry us. Know this, there will alwasy be someone to carry you.

commentson 14 January 2005 : 23:28, c clinch sez:

I often read the things you have to say. I've never met anyone that can or would even try to explain themselves (ie: "how you are the way you are") like you have. Thank you Justin.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 04:10, Jason sez:

From your video I am guessing that this girl didn't like that you gave the details of your night with her posted on your page. It didn't seem like you gave any details that would matter, but maybe that's what she is afraid that you might do just that.

As far as you being alone, I just don't think you have found the right person yet. Think about how many times you have been in this same situation after a break up, and eventually you pick up and move on and meet new people. Forgive me if I am wrong, but it seems like a lot of you talk of being alone might stem from the fact that you just turned 30 maybe and you are afraid of being alone.(Again please forgive me if I am wrong.) I am 29 now, and will turn 30 in April. This year had me thinking a lot about the same kind of things, but it's no reason to get up in arms about it. For example, my brother got married when he was 23, had a kid the next year, and is now as of last year going through a divorce because he rushed into things and just wanted to settle down. If I have learned anything from him it is that time and patience are your best friend in this situation, and instant gradification is your enemy.

Keep your chin up man. Of all the people I have ever crossed paths with online, I would say you have been the most kind and generous. You are very helpful with your knowledge of a common intrest.(Japanese Culture) You have answered all my emails with my questions and I really appreciate that. Keep your chin up man because tomorrow is a new day.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 05:31, steve sez:

Get off the web. Stop posting your life here. It's obviously causing you too much pain. At least give it a six-month go. I know I could never do what you do, and it would cause me as much pain as you seem to be going through.

I recommend that you just take a break from sharing your life with the world for six months or so. Then you can evaluate how your life has changed, whether is is better, worse, or the same.

Whatever your conclusions are I am quite sure that you'll be much healthier once you know the answer.

Good Luck.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 05:53, yelena sez:

hey justin,

i adore what you're doing, you're truly talented and lots of fun, so please, snap out of it, beacause i miss you...and here comes a castaneda's don juan's quote that usually works for me: 'the trick is what one emphasizes. we either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. the amount of work is the same.'


ps i met howard in paris a year and half ago, a fascinating person, i wonder what he says about this breakdown...

commentson 15 January 2005 : 08:06, netcowboy [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I had overnight to think about it, and I wanted to share one other thing.

Maybe the key is to find someone who totally disapproves of you.

Of course, you are going to come to your own conclusions about life and living, but for my part, I like a gal who is very rigid and has lots of tiny meaningless medals on her chest from all of her campaigns of terror.

Then I can sit with her, the fragile useless flower that I am, and admire her ignorance and insane rationality.

And she can tear me up into a perfume.

Then again, maybe I am Herr General and her soft, grey brain is the prisoner I torture.

Melissa has never understood me for a single minute in fifteen years. But that hasn't stopped us from having really great sex.

After I bring in the paper.

All I'm saying is, maybe hybrid vigor is the key. Find someone as different as possible from you. And displease her until she punishes you again and again.

Oh yes! YES!

Anyway, I offer my deepes feelings for your amusement.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 11:14, James sez:


Shit, I have been thinking about your situation overnight, too. That film was powerful, raw stuff. As I was watching it, I finally thought I kind of understood what you are like in person (yes, I have watched all your other films, but this one was so raw and unmediated).

What this comes down to, is acceptance.

You're not being accepted.

What you do is unusual. I don't expect many people to "get" it. Most of my friends, I think, would not "get" what you have done. You have to be educated in a certain way, have to have a certain perspective on life, admire a certain attitude in art and culture, to really appreciate what you have done. I don't expect many romantic partners to be amenable to your hobby. They don't accept you.

You're truly unique. You're interesting because you move among technical innovators --- the Trotts, etc. --- but you yourself are quite different from them, because you are a "power user." You don't create technology yourself, but you show everyone else the life-changing power of these technologies. I see you as a legitimate heir to a literary tradition (perhaps the Beats, as well as the modernists like Proust, and the American Renaissance writers like Whitman), but literary types, by and large, seem not to have discovered you (many of them are Luddites, not interested in anything that's not printed on paper, even if they do, from time to time, post things on websites. I.e., I can't imagine the idiotic Dave Eggers crowd to give a rat's ass about what you do.).

I think that, rather than hanging around with techies, your best bet to romantic connection is in an MFA program --- IN CREATIVE WRITING --- or among the literati somewhere else. That's where you will find like-minded spirits. You're spending too much time with the damned geeks. Ultimately, no matter how hiply they dress or what alternative culture they claim to embrace, those people's worldview, their cultural perspective, is too limited to really take in the magnificence of what you have done. You need someone who understands modernists, who understands Whitman and Proust, to accept you. Someone who is truly literary will comprehend you, and accept everything about you.

A literary woman will accept you.

Whatever you do, I do not think that you should stop posting your life online. is not just "a guy's personal website." This thing is a public trust, part of our times, a cultural treasure. If you were to stop posting to, I would spearhead a class-action lawsuit, on behalf of all of your readers, to enjoin you from ceasing publication. Your work is that great.

I don't believe that you have to choose an either/or solution to this. Your situation, as I see it, is somewhat akin to a prominent politician or celebrity who is seeking romantic connection. I imagine a lot of potential partners couldn't take the exposure and the pressure that such an entanglement would bring.

But I know you can find acceptance, in the right milieu.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 12:00, David Kaye sez:

It took you a few years but you finally came to realize that the Internet is not real life. Virtual friends are no substitute for real friends. Producing one's life for videos and blogs is not the same as living it.

Watching your video it's hard to see what is you in real life and what is the dramatic packaged version of you. Are you really flipping out or are you making a dramatic presentation?

If indeed you're really flipping out, I'd suggest turning off the computer for a few days and doing something recreational. If you were in SF I'd recommend coming to my games group, SF Games ( ) because in such a group you meet real people for real interaction. There's likely some kind of games group in LA as well, though I don't know where.

In the 9 years I've run SF Games, many people have opened up and made good friends. Some have started romantic relationships, too. One member who was always traveling the world and just couldn't settle down because of an itch to pack up as soon as he found any kind of intimacy, is now pleased to call SF home. And it was because of the games group and the social network he became a part of.

Games may not be your thing, but surely you will find some activity (and no, going to movies is NOT an activity), that you will enjoy, where you can meet people in the real world.

Good luck. Feel free to write.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 12:17, David Kaye [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

It took you a few years but you finally came to realize that the Internet is not real life. Virtual friends

are no substitute for real friends. Producing one's life for videos and blogs is not the same as living it.

Watching your video it's hard to see what is you in real life and what is the dramatic packaged version

of you. Are you really flipping out or are you making a dramatic presentation?

If indeed you're really flipping out, I'd suggest turning off the computer for a few days and doing

something recreational. If you were in SF I'd recommend coming to my games group, SF Games ( ) because in such a group you meet real people for real interaction. There's

likely some kind of games group in LA as well, though I don't know where.

In the 9 years I've run SF Games, many people have opened up and made good friends. Some have

started romantic relationships, too. One member who was always traveling the world and just couldn't

settle down because of an itch to pack up as soon as he found any kind of intimacy, is now pleased to

call SF home. And it was because of the games group and the social network he became a part of.

Games may not be your thing, but surely you will find some activity (and no, going to movies is NOT an

activity), that you will enjoy, where you can meet people in the real world.

Good luck. Feel free to write.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 13:07, James sez:

David Kaye your comment is, to put it mildly, retarded, however well-meaning it may have been. Justin does not need an "activity" or a "club." Nor does he need to be lectured magniloquently on the difference between online life and real life.

Your chirpy, condescending encouragement to meet "real people for real interaction" is laughable. Have you not read anything on this site? Have you not read about Justin's life?

Don't treat Justin like an asocial shut-in who has been sitting in front of his computer for eleven years and needs to be patiently instructed on how the world works.

He doesn't need to go hang out with the goobers in your "gaming group." From all the evidence here, he has plenty of friends and his current crisis is more about the conflict between his search for interpersonal intimacy and the reluctance of his friends and romantic partners to be written about.

Surely you just discovered Justin's site --- your message suggests you understand nothing about him.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 14:10, roBin sez:

On the bright side: At least your hair looks great!


commentson 15 January 2005 : 17:47, EthanB sez:

Danse Russe
William Carlos Williams

If when my wife is sleeping
and the baby and Kathleen
are sleeping
and the sun is a flame-white disc
in silken mists
above shining trees,-
if I in my north room
dance naked, grotesquely
before my mirror
waving my shirt round my head
and singing softly to myself:
"I am lonely, lonely,
I was born to be lonely,
I am best so!"
If I admire my arms, my face,
my shoulders, flanks, buttocks
against the yellow drawn shades,-

Who shall say I am not
the happy genius of my household?

commentson 15 January 2005 : 18:23, Don Wrege sez:


Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Take care,


commentson 15 January 2005 : 18:28, sojun ikkyu sez:

the content of your film isn't especially remarkable, but the fact that you've made it public indicates one of two situations:

(1) you are indeed experiencing a psychotic breakdown (foreshadowed by your extreme bipolar swing from manic euphoria to unmitigated despair in 48 hours); or,

(2) what's actually shattering is the rigid container that so far has prevented you from dedicating your entire existence to the uncontrolled and uncontrollable force now exploding through you -- what you referred to as your "art."

if (1) is the case, let's hope your family and friends are helping you obtain prompt medical attention.

if (2) is the case, congratulations, justin. you can now stop touting products and eject yourself from the last-ditch marketing game you signed up for at usc. you're an artist, not a hustler.

as for people not trusting you because you write things on your website, no, that's not what's happening. they distrust you because of your obvious confusion and contradictory poses: you don't jibe; you don't cohere. when you stop spewing your energy all over the place and devote yourself to your real work (as opposed to the manic activities you hope will make you likeable), you'll definitely attract your people, and you'll earn their trust, respect, and love.

regarding the "spiritual" thing, let that go for a while. you're not able to comprehend it yet. you'll only be vulnerable to fads and bogosity.

good luck!

commentson 15 January 2005 : 18:57, ed sez:

justin, i chose to comment this by e-mail. i hope you'll find time to read my words, and meaning in them.

david kaye: what is real life?

commentson 15 January 2005 : 20:21, Milly sez:

You are beautiful.

commentson 15 January 2005 : 21:20, mc sez:

I don't have the bandwidth to watch your video.

Selling out has its downsides, but having a family takes care of the loneliness problem, provided your marriage doesn't suck.

The romanticism thing is tough. I can't think of anyone who has clung to it and stayed in a stable relationship into late adulthood. Somebody prove me wrong on this.

I'm often comforted by accounts of near-suicides, such as the stuff by Art Kleiner. They seem to share the common experience of realizing, once they got airborne, that all of their problems were solvable. I cling to that and try to make myself understand it *before* I head to the bridge.

Advice is worthless, and for that I apologize.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 00:45, Gina sez:

I've missed you, I'm sorry I may be considered half of your problem for doing so. You have related to all of us, it is real, even if it's not the "old fashioned" way of communicating. I think you are a pioneer in what you do. That little red light you see, yes, it is the future. You have paved a way for us that is ahead of its time. Who knows how we will communicate and interact with each other in the future, you have been willing to investigate, and do so honestly. I and many others respect you for that. I feel so terrible that you are suffering, but I strongly beleive that there will be someone for you, who truly does understand you and your art. There is nothing wrong with you. You are lovable and your work is beautiful. I see you. I support you, who you are and what you do. I see you.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 00:48, anon sez:

I stopped blogging my life in early 2004, and the quality of my life improved 100-fold ... I was using the blog as a method of social interaction.

When I stopped, I found myself calling people more and wanting to hang out and go places, go to shows, etc, to compensate for the social energy I was putting into the blog.

I don't regret my decision one bit. Also I have more time for my art now, that is a valid concern on your part, and I think it is possible to have it both ways. Fuck blogging.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 00:49, anon sez:

Also --
thanks for sharing this intensely personal movie .... you've given me a lot to think about

commentson 16 January 2005 : 02:14, David Kaye [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I have been reading this site for many months. My advice stands.

Some may call my suggestion about doing more social real-world activities as "retarded", but my years (30+) in community organizing and 25 years in computing shows that I know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's easy to think of the online world as the real world and to mistake people who write emails with friends.

I know that Justin has had other contacts apart from online, given lots of speeches, gone to Japan, wrestled and whatnot. But, my advice stands. More social activities, less computering. From my experience that's my advice.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 05:01, netcowboy [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

This Just In...

Dude, you are totally welcome to blog with me at my new site You can have as much real estate as you want and take it any direction you want.

I liked the name "Stop the Presses" because it's about how your experience of life is as valid or more valid than the blunt information delivered through traditional media.

Shoot, I've always preferred the Justin News Network to about anything.

Plus it might be a good anti-loneliness pill.

Not that people should hone in on this whole loneliness issue. Every strength has its weakness and all, and vicey versa.

Somewhere inside Justin, he's kicking back with a margarita having a good laugh at himself and us all to be sure.

Maybe it's not always obvious, but the genius of Justin is he is always proving to us that there is love in the world, by leading such an open life. Any window on life is ultimately a lesson in love. That is more than can be said for those of us will our little "advices" and "solutions". Sure, we are part of the love, but we cloud things too.

We should all be out there in The Swirl a bit more ... life and death are just a breath away.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 11:10, David Kaye [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

What is real life? Real life is dealing with real people in the flesh. Why is this superior to dealing with them online? There are many reasons:

(1) The anonymity of email causes people to act in strange ways (such as the comment from one person who called my idea "retarded", something he would likely never say if he knew me in person.

(2) Nuance. Humans respond to subtlety, such as the slight wink of the eye, the nod, the slight shift of position in a chair, the slight inflection in voice. Online communication lacks that kind of subtley, so that many comments tend to hit a person across the face like an axe, though that may not be their intention.

An example: Someone here felt that my original comment was "chirpy" and "condescending", as if I have absolutely no background. It happens that I have been through a LOT OF PAIN, including losing both my parents tragically by the time I was 22, losing 6 dozens friends and companions (my entire social group) to AIDS, and having two boyfriends killed in traffic accidents. This is the kind of thing a person reading an email or a blog cannot learn unless the writer lays down the groundwork. Laying down this kind of groundwork is something most online writers don't do because it takes a lot of time and bores the other readers.

The only REAL way to get to know someone is in person over time, not through emails and blogs.

(3) It's easy to perform in email or on video. Justin's video looks like a performance, not like real life. Why is this? Well, having been a radio talkshow host I think I have a little experience in how one-way communication works. People who produce the communication (the video, the talkshow), tend to ham it up to create a dramatic presentation, often hiding themselves behind the presentation. The viewer/listener tends to see the presentation and begins to feel that they are seeing the real person.

How many of us are surprised to learn that actors have kids? Many of us are surprised because we think of actors as living only onscreen. We don't think of them as going home at night, mowing the lawn, fixing dinner, or raising kids. That's the danger of one-way communication of such things as video.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 14:24, Justin sez:

Justin - wanting to be known and heard and be expressive and to communicate is nothing to be afraid of. I can't really tell you much on what you should do, but just remember -

To be Loved, Love.

And as for your online prose on your life - it never hurts to ask for permission and use pseudonames even when you have permission.


Keep on inspring this Justin;

commentson 16 January 2005 : 15:52, Erika and Michael sez:

I always rather envied you...the places you had travelled to, both via the web and in real life. The connections you seemed to make with people, all presented you as this cosmipolitan fellow,well rounded and all.

But I do suppose most of us don't want our personal intricacies aired on the web. I think you just need to find a balance; sometimes you do post too much...About Amy you got pretty personal etc etc. Ive been reading your site since 99'.

Just find a balance-you don't need to choose between your art and relationships.
And you are not alone.


commentson 16 January 2005 : 16:51, Justin sez:

Ugh. This film is deeply uncomfortable for me to watch. I've been following this text adventure casually for years now and have enjoyed much of it. After my first encounter with Justin's weblog I myself fancied perhaps putting up some record of my personal experience. It never happened.

I journal daily, generally more prolific when in turmoil, but never have I been able to justify opening up that personal dialogue to an audience. To do so would require a lack of consciousness of the "other" which I have yet to master, and have difficulty justifying. Sometimes I feel that writing does not incorporate enough of the sensory/mind/body apparatus to allow me to be completely lost (and un-self-conscious) in the process.

For me, one of the vital elements of reflective practice is it's privacy. Only in private can I be allowed to muse, regurgitate, criticize, theorize, embellish, all without having to consider an audience. Without having to consider the truth, or shape it, or stifle ego, or pander to it. And without the potential for any outside interaction with ego (made visible by words), it softens and I am allowed to see my own truth in my own words.

What I see in this film feels wrong to me. The expression, the tone, the self-conscious act of turning on the camera. It's as if I'm watching a poorly animated avatar, each tick and gyration driven by an intentionality that spontaneous expression leaves no room for. So I don't believe it.

Not that I don't appreciate (and I truly do) the intent of the artist behind the work (words), or the real pain he may be suffering. It's that I don't feel the expression is in alignment with a depth of feeling and experience made available to me through my own sense-memory. I could read the transcript and perhaps not have this same reaction.

In a way, the film is a type of case in point. Perhaps some experience, particularly this one, truly is intimate and does not exist to be shared so intentionally or with such dramatization. Attempting to render it outside of the bafflingly immediacy of pain and your response to pain, to re-experience it, or provide some type of self-editorial is a simulacrum at best.

... who is he speaking to ... The difficulty in seeing that person is troubling. I'm missing some hint of consciousness of me the listener. A directed communication. Hearing while speaking. A daunting task to imagine a singular persona behind the multitude of visitors. Are we wired for this type of broadcast communication? So outwardly directed and purposeful in it's dissemination of information. Knowledgeable of the vastness of it's audience, as a news reader is, and equally unbelievable. Perhaps he is speaking to himself. Is he listening to himself? Does he believe himself? Is he convinced? We go inward to go outward. We turn ourselves inside out and the listener turns himself outside in. Two revolving doughnut holes of experience.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 17:03, James sez:

David Kaye, your comments are inflammatory.

Now you're accusing Justin of "hamming it up," putting on a performance. That's insulting to him, a slap in the face of a man who has given us a gift by letting us share an experience that most would not have the courage to share.

Would you accuse, say, William Styron, who wrote nobly about his own struggles with depression, of "hamming it up"? What is different about Justin expressing his feelings through the web?

Whenever we share how we feel with other people it's possible that we are "hamming it up." This is equally true, no matter what the context, whether in-person or on the web. What is your point, then -- that he should keep his suffering to himself? Even if he were merely giving a written, narrative account of suffering, he might embellish, etc.

Justin has expanded the boundaries of this medium. I felt, watching Justin's film, that I was experiencing a breakthrough in the expressive power of the web. Not that the technology hasn't existed, but that Justin had pushed it once again --- by sharing a moment of despair with us.

Isn't it possible that Justin realized, "I am suffering, let me at least share this experience the way I know how by recording it," and that he was NOT "hamming it up"?

Justin's site is anything but "one-way." What the hell are we all doing here, if not conversing with Justin and each other?

commentson 16 January 2005 : 18:39, jay dedman sez:

Hey Justin--

first off...if know you have mastered text blogging...but with got to learn about compression. File is just too big for logical viewing.

Next thing.
Start videoblogging.
Join our videoblogging group.
You can still document without writing.
This is what we do.
It is about connections.
You just did it here.
and all you had to do was turn on the camera and post.
Its just another level.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 19:00, João sez:

Hope you feel better soon!

commentson 16 January 2005 : 20:49, Taylor sez:

Remember Justin,

You are # 1 !
You are the BEST !
You are a WINNER !

Never forget this, Justin.

I have faith in you, but in the end it comes down to want you want.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 21:27, Denkedran [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

You are heavily addicted to the internet & self-presentation and acting like an addict. Posting a video of yourself crying in deep desperation is not real. It was very real when you taped it, but it has become unreal when posted. Nothing is real here, I'm not real and your're not real. So it has not the slightest curativeness, it just aggravates the colonisation of your real life by the web.
Be really brave and shut down your site for a longer period of time and don't post anything anywhere. Withdraw yourself from your drug, expose yourself to untapeable hurting and joyful situations in life, some that disappear in the same moment they happen. That's liveliness and I suppose that's what's missing.
You have never documented your experiences in the past decade, you have just created Justin from who did experience all that. Become real; become someone I can't read about here anymore.

Sorry if this is rude.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 21:34, Mark-Paul sez:

What about the lighting? How come no one is talking about the f'ng lighting? Everyone is so caught up on the drama only [no offense]. The lighting is almost a character derserving end-credits of its own. It really accentuates the mood and mid-way through the film [where you modified the lighting with a flashlight or somehing without saying a word] it controlled the mood. By the end, the lighting became the hegemonic force over the mood. Impressive and powerful.

As far as the loneliness thing... we are all on an individual journey here. Don't you know that? Some people use a crutch called marriage, others use drugs or alchohol to try to mask it. Even relationships and two-way communication can't obliterate it. It's always there, just beyond the light. Embrace the loneliness. It really won't hurt you. It wants to be your friend.

Bring back the old site, damn-it...

commentson 16 January 2005 : 21:47, Randy sez:

thank you for sharing, as always, justin. i'm thinking of you, man. i think you're awesome.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 22:17, Mark-Paul sez:

I forgot to mention the subtitles...

I think English subtitles for English can be risky, but in this case really worked well. It was almost an alternate path into the dilemma presented. First I watched the film and concentrated on all the textures presented: the unfolding drama, the lighting, and the subtitles. In the second viewing, I focused primarily on the words and the lighting. Finally, I attempted to block out as much as possible except for the subtitles which stripped away several dimensions, but still created a distinctive experience.

So, I would have to say the subtitles, as used, were a fourth character.

commentson 16 January 2005 : 23:03, Jon Web sez:

People seem to give you a lot of pat answers... trying to ease your pain and trying to RID you of this pain.

I won't. I think you'll realize that you wouldn't want it in any other way. You will not wish that you do not know pain and loneliness. I think you know that there is peace in that loneliness, something deep. Oftentimes, people run away from it and search for something that would keep them forget the reality of this hollowness but only to find themselves feeling emptier and tired.

There is something to be found in that loneliness, more satisfying than the distractions that we sometimes fill it with.

I think when we no longer run away from it nor fear it, we will have a renewed sense of self.

Be comfortable while you're there.


commentson 16 January 2005 : 23:27, sh4nnon [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I noticed that the file size for your movie was rather large and assume that this is a bit taxing on bandwith. I have done a test and posted it here:

I would suggest compressing the file with a 3ivx compresser that is relatively cheap to purchase and would make a lengthy movie such as this far easier to download and view.


commentson 17 January 2005 : 01:08, ehich [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Nobody has commented so far. I might break some taboo by doing. I don't care: you can just delete it if you don't want it here :)


We are alone, and there is no G-d. At least I think this way.

We have no divine hope, some bright star that can lead us in our lives. We are lone, and there is no G-d. And we just got to make our own life.

By creating you are entering a pact with the universe. That is the way I see it at least.

By creating, and creating something that can last, and can remind people of things they do not normally think about, you are entering a relationship with what is around you.

You cannot relate well with people around you. I know how it feels, I feel the same sometimes. Stuck here in Bergen, western coast of Norway, when my girlfriend lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, and my friends are scattered across the country and world.

So, I make movies to please my friends from afar. Most people I know here in Bergen have no clue about my vlog.

To say that seeing your DarkNight movie was a great experience for me is to cheapen your creation. It was not made for entertainment, but I want you to know, oh stranger on the web, that it struck a chord with me, and I guess many others who has seen it.

ok enough frigging rambling.


commentson 17 January 2005 : 01:13, ehich [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

haha, stupid me. i couldnt see the other comments before I commented myself. Ok.

take care, r.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 02:08, sninky-chan [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Wow. Brave and foolhardy thing to do, publishing that film. It's like getting a tattoo -- you can't really undo letting it out into the world where it can be copied infinitely, so I hope you're OK with everyone else having it for the rest of your life.

But thanks for the insight into someone else's despair. I often feel the same way -- without the crisis and crying -- and I think a lot of people do.

Hope you publish the conclusion someday.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 05:29, Macgyver911 [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I only have one problem with what you posted, the apology at the end. You shared something deeply personal with us and shouldn't apologise for it.

Doubt it'll make you feel any better but I was more or less the same around 2 years ago. I absolutely hate January and feel kind of like you described, hell most of the time. Except I'm not to good with sharing it so it stays bottled up. I'd like to think I'll find the ability to say something of meaning in my blog eventually but I doubt it. Hang in there dude, there's 6 billion people on the planet and I'm willing to bet that around 2 billion of them feel like you, we, do to some extent. 3 billion don't have enough food or other pressing survival problems so they don't think about it and 1 billion are probably semi happy. We're all fucked up, that's what makes the world interesting....

commentson 17 January 2005 : 06:33, anniina sez:

Can't know whether you've discussed all this with the 4hours away girl, so patience.

How do you know she'll reject you?
Have you asked her opinion?

If no, don't jump to conclusions.
If yes, there's still no reason to panic.

Think how much the website means to you.
Are you willing to abandon the site?
Is there any other way to get similar satisfaction?

How much are you willing to change to get acceptance from her?
Or should she accept you the way you are?

Sorry. I only seem to have more questions.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 07:33, ryanne sez:

you said so many things that we are all feeling.
a lot of us are vloggers too.
we're out here.

that desperation has led a lot of us to connect through video
and eventually in person
will you be in town?


commentson 17 January 2005 : 12:16, Chuck Olsen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Justin - big hugs brother.

You are at the cutting edge of human connection, and I've never seen that edge cut so deep until seeing your video.

Here are 12 MB versions of your vid:

Thanks for being brave/voyeuristic enough to tape this and post it.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 13:12, Chuck Olsen sez:

Sorry - due to bandwidth, here are the relocated smaller versions:

commentson 17 January 2005 : 13:29, shannon sez:

I disagree Chuck. There's nothing cutting edge. The word....childish is more appropriate.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 15:21, ryan sez:

turning 30 can be rough, but relax.
soon you'll be 31.

you are NOT desperate and alone. you ARE however living in los angeles and I don't know anyone there who doesn't feel like you do on some level. you just express it more brilliantly and honestly. also I want to reiterate that I believe feeling desperate and alone is a state of mind. and it is a fact that states of mind change. from reading your website for the past 8.5 years I believe you go through about 450 states of mind A DAY... so chill out... DO go get some yummy grub and a beer... and get ON with it, Lucky Astronaut... aren't you on a 30 year old's mission?! there are experiments, tests, and adventures ahead of you!!!

commentson 17 January 2005 : 16:17, speakeasy [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Reaching out and being an only child (or generationally isolated) the estranged Father with possibly unresolved sex-identity issues, excessive drinking as diversion from deeper non self-acceptance. Possible High-funk autism (heavy visual preference...blurting, quick perceptive screeds...). Private school dissociative druggie types coming from limpid loving, driven, self-asorbed professional parent types who carry from their parents a boatload of unmet psychic tangles and detritus...I hate to say it but it's a walking cliche' if you hover in the right class-determined corridors . At different points in my life I've been situated to observe this archetype upon the land. It doesn't make the confusions and pains less real, but, BELIEVE ME, you are NOT alone because they are quite well represented in many areas of endeavor in our fair land. Loneliness itself can be used as a teacher and temperament builder. If substances are flitting in the background then things can get complicated and dangerous, both socially and physically. I've let friends walk right out of my life because I got sick of their self-indulgence with various hard drugs after having spent substantial time trying to pull them out of their pretty, spiralling descents. See: The Tribes of Palos Verdes (maybe not exact title)...rocker idiots with all of W.S. burroughs' books on their shelves (who watched his own son decay into opiate-charged self-destruction). I could go on forever on this one. This one I actually know about first hand...

commentson 17 January 2005 : 16:40, C(h)ristine sez:

Thanks for sharing -- dude, get the hell out of L.A. Take care of yourself -- it's the winter of 2003 all over again...only this time, it's mental and emotional shingles.

I feel what you feel -- web as a connection to the world. Intimacy? Yes, shared with the 'net...but I'm getting better at sharing it with people in proximity. I'm getting better at spreading it around. It's possible.

Someone once told me-- that making the decision to change, or recognizing a the first step towards change.

Okay -- but then again, maybe it was a moment -- and you're fine now -- and if you're fine now, then you're fine, and it's okay everything's okay!

commentson 17 January 2005 : 16:57, Max sez:

It astounds me how sympathetic these comments are. I don't know if that's because you've deleted the negative ones, or what.

Dude, based on what you actually articulate in that video, you have no serious problems. You say you have problems connecting with people. Maybe that's because blogs and IM are perhaps the weakest, most soul-drained form of intimate communication. It's your art? Find a new one, at least until your life improves. Any artist who can't express himself outside his chosen medium isn't an artist at all.

Give the computer a break, go outside, and try something new. These "breakdowns" happen when you push yourself to limits you weren't made for. There's no evolutionary basis for sitting in front of a computer screen all day, so of course it's going to fuck you up after a while. But we humans have plenty of experience of going outside, into the world, and living it as it has always been lived - in person, face to face, no wires attached. That's the solution to your problems - not this video.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 17:06, nurse2be sez:

Justin. You were one of the first "voices" I heard about ten years ago when I first got interested in the net. It rips my heart out to see you suffer so. I just wanted to reach out and offer - support, I don't know how to truly express it through this electronic medium. You are not alone. There are many of us who have shared similar lonliness - though I have never seen it expressed so honestly and gutwrenchingly. I am not going to offer any advice because a lot of good advice has already been given. Just wanted to tell you you are heard for what it might be worth.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 18:33, Tato Pedrosa sez:

Justin, man... look up at all those comments in here. Don't they mean anything to you? I mean... You are such a big inspiration to all of us. We've been reading and watchin' the beautiful ways you choose to lead your life through. We've all been crying and smiling and laughing and getting angry, just like you. Just with you. Sometimes silently, sometimes commenting on everything you do. I speak for myself but I think I feel the same way a lot of other people do when I say all this.
I got so angry and mad at you a lot of times. But you made me laugh and you made me cry some more lots of times!
I dont even know if I make any sense at all.
You made me cry tonight with this video of yours. And again, I admire you, for it takes guts to do what you're doing.
I wish we could just hang out for a nice cold beer.
I don't know if it means something, but, Ill leave the light on for you.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 19:00, David Kaye [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

JAMES: Yes, Justin is hamming it up. It is an inevitable a person does in front of a camera or a microphone. I've done radio and TV, so I know that once the camera and mic are on, a person takes on a role. They may think they're being themselves, but they're really playing a caricature (or a shorthand) of themselves. This goes for everything from a sitcom to a "reality" TV show to a newscast, a cinema verite documentary, EVEN a stand-up interview with the survivor of a plane crash.

I believe it is probably impossible to not ham it up when a mic and camera are turned on.

If someone is at a party and the camera is turned on, they tend to make it look like they're having the time of their lives.

If someone is hurt, they tend to show their hurt more intensely for the camera, sometimes even crying on cue for the TV news (believe me, I've seen it).

I'm not saying that what Justin is experiencing isn't real. It's very real, but it's a hammy caricature of reality.

commentson 17 January 2005 : 19:17, Slaalem:Likewise sez:

hey justin

fiction! fiction is your answer! i swear. i'd normally be less matter of fact but it really is. i swear. people will WANT to appear in your stories then. or say that they think they did. you get to keep your blogging stuff as a journal that is source material for your fiction. and make great alchemical stories that help to sculpt and morph with reality at the same time. perhaps even making it a better place because everybody needs to feel that they are not alone.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 06:11, steve sez:

I'm not going to insult justin's video. His pain is real. In fact, his video is the best he has ever made.

I am going to say that Justin think long and hard about everything folks have said here. Especially those who have suggested getting his life off the net post-haste. It's only now cocking things up in his real life.

I have been critical of his self-importance and arrogance... but I care about him, and frankly what he is doing is not healthy to himself or others. "They don't want to hear this shit" is true. They don't. I would not.

What he has done for his whole life is brave... something I could not do. But you do have to cut yourself off from the rest of the world should you choose to do this. They don't want their life posted to the world. They don't want to hear that shit.

Justin is a brilliant guy. I have faith that he will do OK relationship-wise after he gives up the net. He has to do this. I'm assuming that personal relationships are more important to him than feeding the net beast... that's a safe assumption.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 06:28, Rushkoff sez:

Justin, dude. As you know I am much more your friend in real life than on the Internet. And what I believe is this: the web sucks. At least for any sort of interpersonal fulfillment. You're discovering for your generation what I learned about TV: it ain't real.

The glass teat providing me with no more love than it did mother's milk. Meanwhile, it trained me to see life like a TV movie. I learned, wrongly, to await the dramatic arc in my relationships. I wanted the strings to play and the romance to function as it does in a romantic comedy. And of course, I learned after a very long time that real connections with other people do not share many of the qualities of the kinds of connections depicted in TV movies. In fact, they are almost completely the opposite.

I understand what it is like for you to pursue a "deeply connected" state with someone else. But your connection with another human being will share very little, if anything, with your sense of connection and immersion online. The web provides a more complete sense of immersion, for sure - just as the TV provided me with a more dramatic shape of romance - than happens in real life. And looking for the drama or intensity of TV and web experience in real life will bring one only to deeply neurotic folks who think they can provide it.

The fact that you've published your life on the Internet doesn't make people not trust you, necessarily (though I'm sure it did back when you were in college and publishing everything). But publishing your life online in the quest for a sense of connection through this activity will have diminishing returns.

It's not a matter of 'giving up what you do,' but finding the next form for your work. I do believe this one is used up. It's not an either/or. If you believe this form is all you have, you are mistaken. You've been on this particular gig for 10 years. You might actually find yourself feeling and being more creative by figuring out your next project.

If your work doesn't fit your life, maybe that's because it's a project that commenced during another phase of your life. You need to reorient to the work, and see it as bigger than this little web thing. One thread, that has overstayed its natural life.

It's done. We all learned from it. Great job, truly.


commentson 18 January 2005 : 08:14, j sez:

the point is is that you don't need the internet to communicate with people.

the internet is evil for that reason. it is wrong to depend on technology for intimacy. because true intimacy is acquired without it.

thanks for sharing.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 09:13, Rushkoff sez:

Weird. I typed a whole long thing this morning, but I guess it didn't "take."

Very briefly, what I suggested was that this particular art project has run its course. It's a great piece of work, and it lasted ten years. Letting this particular work be complete will give you the room to begin your next piece. You won't know what the next piece is until you let this one go.

Second, I tried to explain that just as television tended to warp my expectations for romance, the web may have warped yours. Real life doesn't provide the dramatic sweeps I learned to expect from watching TV movies. Neither does real life provide the kind of immersion we learn to expect from web/online/game experiences.

Looking for the texture or intensity of a media experience in real life almost always drives us toward neurotic people or 'borderlines' who can provide that level of response.

Your art is not the obstacle to your life. But this particular project has seen its day, and might be serving as an obstacle to your next great exploration.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 10:05, witz sez:


commentson 18 January 2005 : 10:19, Kuja sez:

After seeing the outburst of your confession, I can say I know you as if I knew someone too close to me. Very impressive. Sometimes, I really don't know if you are acting or not. But I belive you are not. And if you were, wow, Actor's Studio is alive! Anyway, I hope you get happy again.
Cheers from Brazil.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 11:09, Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I'm confused. I mean, I have followed Justin since the late nineties; he's not totally living through the Internet, is he? Some people here is telling him to move off the Internet, but why?

I have seen this metro-Justin do them all things his way, and the people he have met have been really interesting. No harm done so far, right? It all comes down to the love part, doesn't it? Justin would just have to consider what to share and what not to share. After, he has patched himself together.. That is, if he still values as much as before the break-down.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 11:23, liza sez:

(I have yet to watch the movie, can't spare the memory right now)

Justin, maybe you should take a semester off from school. Do some work but not too much. Take a little vaction. Some place comfortable. Some place safe. Don't come to CT, it's really cold outside and my office window has a massive draft coming into the office and blowing down on me. boohoo. Name some things that would make you happy. Maybe some of us could send you something.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 13:01, liza sez:

(My quotes might be off. I'm really jacked on coffee.)

“...Something is wrong with me...”
You, me and everyone else. Your not alone in how you feel.

" I gonna be like this for the rest of my life..."
No you wont. You just maybe need to make changes and get out more. Get away from the net for a while. Go to some meet ups that involve things you are interested in,

" I have to sacrifice meaningful relationships..."
No just don't talk about them on the net if that is what is hurting that relationship. Maybe get a therapist as an alternative to the net.

“...can I find something else...”
Of course you can. Take a class in something you thought you would never do (My last college class was a gym class. I ended up having a lot of fun in something I hated in high school). Try different things. Go to places you would never go to. Forced to take a jewelry class in college I ended up really liking it even though I don’t like wearing it. I love making it. I love metal work. Take some sort of art class that forces you to be in contact and communication with other people (Dark room classes really work. You really get know the good and bad about a person from being in a dark room.)

“...I don’t know what the fuck I am going to be...”
Many of all ages do not know what they are going to be or what the are now.

“...and I can say man your dramatic. Man you’re really doing it up...”
You’re not. We all go through and feel what you are feeling.

“...I am a fucking wreck...”
It’s ok to be a wreck. We all are sometimes.

“...I am so sorry...”
Don’t be.

“...I am alone because of what I did. And I am going to be alone...”
If you make changes in yourself then you won’t be. Maybe grad school is not your answer right now. Maybe you should move near the woman you want to be with.

“...You’re crazy...”
No kidding. Everyone is.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 13:03, yelena sez:

well, i would just like to add that rushkoff is my hero...

commentson 18 January 2005 : 13:05, yelena sez:

well, i would just like to add that rushkoff is my hero...every little thing he says is magic :-)

commentson 18 January 2005 : 13:54, forksclovetofu sez:

I don't know man.
This is the most terrifying thing I've seen this year; mostly because it's so easy to relate.
Understand: even if you find someone, elements of this will recur.
If it makes you feel any better, when cultural historians and anthropologists look back on the confusion and malaise of our generation and how that strange, sad apathy/melancholy is linked to the rise of the internet and blogging: I imagine you'll be something more than a footnote.
This, in the long run, is one of the better things we can hope for.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 13:56, Mark sez:

Hey i enjoyed your video.

Thanks for sharing!

I think you are echoing what the soul of America cannot express.

I wrote a small 50 page book about 2 months ago tha i think would help with where you are.

email me if you want it. i will attach it to the email


commentson 18 January 2005 : 15:38, slimshady sez:

Just watched (as much as I could stomach) darknight.

Get over yourself or kill youself!


commentson 18 January 2005 : 17:07, J < sez:

the only thing i can offer, friend, is that recently i officially gave up playing music solo... i realized that the one thing that was supposed to be my most deeply personal artistic expression was the single most lonely, depressing thing in my life.

it took me 3 years to realize that something i loved so much... something that gave me my very identity... was seriously fucking my skull... pushing me towards sociopathy...

so i gave it up...

BUT i did not stop playing music with others or stop making music altogether... and i never say never.. maybe someday i can go back...

in any case, take a break; work on games, write another travel companion. no one here is going to complain, and if they do... fuck'em... nothing personal all.

You are right.. the internet, reguardless of what all the japanamation tells us, is not taking over our world.. making our 'real' lives unnecessary. At some point you need a personal life, one that is not up for comment or seeming directed by the magic 8-ball that is

lastly, venture up north, you know we have a spare futon, a new bottle of scotch and a house fulla birds.



commentson 18 January 2005 : 17:46, Ben Cerveny [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

justin! we are always relating with you through the opaque one-way mirror of this constrained expression game. this medium may be cold, but it is Relational. i think you have detoured into the secret minilevel where sobbing is the soundtrack. don't worry, you'll pop back out onto the "surface" again where the low-rez clouds are blowing in the sideways scrolling breeze.

mediated intimacies are always Uncanny. especially this one: meta-Uncanny! the clinical objectivity of your post-produced subtitling of yourself adds an extra bit of ritualized infolding angst. do you know the early films of Atom Egoyan, like Speaking Parts?

i am sad that you are sad. your Trouble reinforces my instinct to find intimacy in the negative spaces between the motes of extroversion that comprise this blogosphere of ours.

hey. the lights are on along the runway up ahead... why don't you take her down for a landing? i think they have a nice cafe there, where people meet and have coffee together and chat about the little things that made their day a new one.

- bc

commentson 18 January 2005 : 18:49, andrew sez:

"He who knows that power is in the soul, that he is weak only because he has looked for good out of him and elsewhere, and so perceiving, throws himself unhesitatingly on his thought, instantly rights himself, stands in the erect position, commands his limbs, works miracles; just as a man who stands on his feet is stronger than a man who stands on his head."

commentson 18 January 2005 : 19:45, Pete sez:

That was possibly the most real piece of self-examination I've ever seen, online or elsewhere. It was touching and sort of beautiful. I apologize if your pain had to be the thing to evoke so much emotion, but I'm sure many of us can relate to how you feel/felt. . .and it seems as though you've found a very therapeutic means of releasing your frustration. I was reminded of a quote from one of the better "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episodes where a vampire, who was a psychology major before he died, had a long discussion with Buffy about her life-story, her angst and depression, and the conversation ultimately ended with him saying, "It all adds up to you feeling alone. But Buffy, everybody feels alone. Everybody is...until you die." And though that remark itself may seem thoroughly depressing, it's actually quite the contrary. I believe that we actually are always alone in our lives, and no amount of friendships or close relationships will ever change that. This life is, afterall, your story..and no one elses. So maybe the only time this feeling of loneliness and separation ever completely dissipates is when we die. Until then, we can only hope to find brief moments of happiness and unity where we forget how truly alone we are.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 22:20, Rick sez:


Two words: fewer drugs.

commentson 18 January 2005 : 22:44, roBin [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

ben -

you rock,


and then... you rock some more.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 00:12, Q sez:

Hello there Justin,

I wrote a few days ago about intimacy and today I watched your movie. This is maybe the best thing I've ever seen on the web, and it makes me glad I've read your site all these years. A human face on a lot of text. Truly wonderful. If you wanted to create this feeling that someone else shares what you are feeling, I've never seen it anywhere more than in this video. Not only that, but it's funny.

When I wrote the other day, I think I was speaking partially out of jealousy and bitterness. I don't have the answers any more than you do. You are not the only one who seeks relatedness with every cell in his body and can't seem to find just the right thing, or hold onto it. I've gotten mad at God for giving us glimpses of the bonds we seek without giving us the foresight or knowledge to preserve them. I've felt things intensely, and felt things I thought were so beautiful slipping away, powerless to maintain them. I've felt connected at rare times, and spiritually alone at many others.

I wonder if there is something to be found in "adulthood," this business of having patience, waiting, not orchestrating, not acting right away. Or something like that. I don't know quite what it means, but I've come to doing something different from being humbled a lot of times by pain. (But then, I comment, so perhaps things are not so different.) Perhaps when I see you, I see someone who isn't yet humbled and I don't think you should exist in the same world as me. I also see in your face people who have tossed me aside, looking for something better, greater, more perfect. I also see someone who, in rejecting the normal rules and the normal dance of social engagement, rejects his community. jealousy?

Then again, I'm in no position to judge you. Nor is any of us. I hope your woman sees this video and loves you for it, and not in spite of it (or not at all). Wouldn't that be nice. We all want to be really "seen" and then loved, but most people tiptoe to it, hiding and revealing, orchestrating, while you seem to try to put yourself out there as-is, then let nature do your bidding. Nobody knows what the right strategy is. Maybe yours, maybe other people's. Maybe there is something different. Then there are the problems of the imprecision of language and the emotions of sex. Many things to consider. As for me, I wait, keeping slowness as a friend.

I suppose that's all for today.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 01:37, Gareth sez:

I wonder how much of this is performance art, and how much genuine (if self indulgent, experience and expression). Perhaps posting this was partly intended to raise this question..Clearly subtitling aspects of the film, and releasing it close to the time of production conflict in providing an effect that is both poignant and confrontationally artificial.

This is the first I've seen of your site, and it seems apparent that the mode of performance expression one you've been indulging in since almost your very first forays onto the web. I think what makes this 'piece', and your site as a whole interesting, is the frision of genuine personality and self exploration with self promotion and illusory identify. Interesting stuff, keep it up.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 01:59, Randy Mills sez:

Hey man...your video inspired me to write a poem...check it out on my video blog...

Aloha brah,


commentson 19 January 2005 : 02:41, Kamen sez:


I know what you're going through. I know that sounds so trite but I do. I think that blogging has fucked up all our lives in subtle little ways. Me...I don't even have the balls to put my name on the stuff that I do post. You did and now, as you've experienced in the past, are suffering the social consequences. I cried with you because I find myself pounding away at this gawdamn keyboard day after day and struggle to relate to others around me who may not be so tech-saavy or socially inclined. This is that proverbial double-edged sword that can wield so much good but do so much harm. But do you lay down this occasional do'er of good because you might harm someone. learn to use the weapon better. I don't think you have to stop blogging (I know you were doing this way before blogging was cool or even invented). Maybe, it's just a matter of wielding it with a softer touch...oh hell, the metaphor might have fallen apart a sentence ago but I think you got my drift. From one isolated member of this species to another, if you wish to chat can email me at The name is Kamen.....



commentson 19 January 2005 : 04:36, JK sez:


commentson 19 January 2005 : 05:20, bil sez:

Justin Dude,

I went thru the same sh*t at your age. You know what? MOST intelligent, socially-aware young adults do. Relax. It's an experience, albeit a really crappy one. It comes and goes, you think you're on top and then you're on the bottom again. But it does go away. Trust me. Trust the rest of us who for better or worse have been through it before you. I thought I was the only one in the world too. I was kidding myself, of course.

Recording your experience is brilliant, and one day soon you'll watch it again and laugh... with your loved ones all around you as they are with me.

This is life, man, and it comes around once. Let each day be what it is, but make each day better than the one before if at all possible. And take the hiccups for what they are. But above all else, live. The alternative sucks.


commentson 19 January 2005 : 06:47, Kaz Zimmerman sez:

Justin, I don't know what to say. I don't want this comment to sound gushy or mushy, and yet I must confess that in watching your short film Darknight , that I could not help but cry a little bit. I've been there. More times, then I'd like to recount. Would it mean anything to you to know how deeply I admire what you've done in actually filming yourself going through this? What you're done, IMHO, takes a profound depth of courage. Emotional outpourings like this, intense, personal and heartfelt, can be so frightening, so raw and primal. They need to be shared. Yet, the sharing of such feelings can be one of the hardest things in the word to do. Because when you share something like this, I believe what you're sharing is your most naked of selves. These kind of outpourings are scary because I believe them to be our deepest consciousness breaking through all the guise, poise, and persona that we normally present to the world. You have no idea who I am, and yet I must tell you, I don't think you're crazy. You just want to touch the things that we've been told are too vulnerable to touch. I applaude you. I've been going through my own realizations about who I am, and how I want to be seen this week. You've made me feel less alone. Thank you.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 06:52, snoo b sez:

I've read for a while now... I never realized J was an artist.
Can anyone point me to his art? I assume he has put it online somewhere?

commentson 19 January 2005 : 07:04, Julian sez:

I think this is how a lot of people feel. FREE yourselfs from the web, rip that internet connection out of your socket and GO OUT THERE and meet and talk to real people

commentson 19 January 2005 : 09:00, Ryan C. [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

You're not alone. I hope the commenters here can help you get through this.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 10:31, klaivu sez:

Yes, it all sounds very familiar. Loneliness coupled with alienation. But it made me laugh. At least at the point where you explained you knowing you're in love "with this girl". If you can't deal with yourself, conform. Don't break down like you did. That was pathetic. Isn't everyone alone? What makes your pain so overwhelmingly special that you entitle yourself to despair? Life is awful, yes. Escape reality into religion if you don't like that fact. Conform, like I said. Or get a fucking hold of yourself. Get some perspective. Your emotional anguish is pathetic and self-absorbed. Learn to be ashamed of this. Beat yourself a little, and you might gain some control over yourself.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 10:51, James sez:


I can't believe all this stuff I am reading, people urging you to stop writing on the web.

Those suggestions are absolutely, utterly, completely, verifiably hands-down insane.

Telling you to stop publishing your life on the web is essentially telling you to stop doing what you do best. You are a writer. You express yourself, fundamentally, verbally --- not visually, not through business deals, etc., but through words.

There is nothing pernicious about the web, any more than there is something pernicious about paper. Writing is a lonely enterprise, and because it places such strenuous demands on the mind of the writer, is taxing on the mental health of anyone who engages in it for a living. The web is not a disease that you need to recover from --- nor is it a ten-year project that has run its course (as Rushkoff suggests).

These people reveal, through their suggestions, that they do not understand the web; they are suspicious, superstitious people who believe this new technology has some dangerous voodoo power to corrupt you and ruin your life. Not true. It's just a new medium, like the printed word was at one time a new medium.

Read Richard Rorty's Irony, Contingency, Solidarity. That book is about people like you --- the self-created poets, committed to idiosyncratic visions of what life can be.

Don't give up on your vision.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 10:53, anonymous sez:

Do you have a personal journal (the kind made of paper) that you can write in? Have you tried that? As a way to talk about your feelings and people? Perhaps that is an avenue you could try, something to get your emotions out, talk about people, your art, what you want to do, your feelings about spirituality...

commentson 19 January 2005 : 10:56, PurpleCar sez:

Justin: I don't know you or your site. My first impression of you is from the darknight video (via Your angst about the unseen but keenly felt drive to write/publish/produce the art of a revealed life is very similar to the discomfort many artists feel, especially professional comedians. I know that seems like a stretch, but stay with me.

Comedians, more so than actors but much like musicians, rely on their personal lives and relationships for material. Not only are they following the (misleading) adage of "write what you know," but they often report that they're compelled to share true events from their lives. There are many psychological theories on this particular compulsion, but I think the overarching theme is that people share pain to get rid of it, and they share joy to multiply it. You probably do this on a grand, less personal scale than most of us.

But I think your instincts are right- having a private relationship conflicts with this compulsion of art. The best way to survive between a rock and a hard place is to balance in the middle.

Perhaps you should read some famous comedian auto/biographies to see how they learned to draw a "sacred" safety line around their spouses, families and closest friends, and how those loved ones learned to accept the artist.

It's not about you "getting out" or finding that "one right girl." It's about you deciding where the art ends and where the person begins. What you do is modern. What you're feeling is ancient.

Good luck.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 12:10, netcowboy [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I was just watching your "media" and you make an interesting point about whether being true to one's art and to one's self requires a life with no compromise, ergo, no relations with others.

My wife is a field marshall, and she tends to view any form of artistic expression as a form of megalomania.

Yet is is this megalomania that gives us language, cities, highways, and houses. It is through artifice that we relate to others and to the world.

The documentation of your angst gives a 'highway of catharsis' for those prepared to harmonize with your product. Others just see it as megalomania.

I think it's like different cities have different personalities and some folks feel more comfortable here than there.

I think it's that way between an artist and others. Some people get the vibe, and many others don't.

I appreciate you so much Justin. I definitely feel I am one of the people far away who "gets" you.

Remember all of this is a kind of theater, so don't worry about some of the intense things.

This too shall pass.

In the end, I think we are all alone and so what really matters is diong those things which please us the most and not caring so much what other people think or feel.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 13:45, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Dude, you're not crazy; you're ridiculously self-absorbed.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 13:57, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Wait wait wait WAIT ONE FUCKING SECOND, You're 30 years old? What the fuck, dude! You're a goddamn grown ass man, and you're uploading videos of yourself crying like a 13-year-old whose parents are getting a divorce? You need to get YOUR motherfuckin' shit together buddy, and stop crying about it. You need to pull that silver ass spoon out of your mouth and maybe you wo'nt have to cry so much. You go out and get yourself some real problems and we'll talk, my man. Until then you need to get this embarrasing ass shit off the internet if you ever want to get a girl, or a dude, or anybody to fuck you again. As it is, you're becoming famous for being a douche.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 14:04, erin sez:

i have been a silent reader for...well, probably years now and haven't said much up to this point. but what you said was powerful and still, very brave.

i think you are probably right - your online life and your real life became one in the same. and for years you were able to sustain that with an honesty and candidness that many online journalers never achieve. i have seen many people go thru a form of this kind of breakdown, but probably never this powerful and certainly no one ever videotaped it. i guess that's devotion to your art. plus, i don't think other journalers see their journals as art. but you do. and you're right to feel that way.

i was very happy to see you going to USC. i went there for film school as well. maybe transitioning your journal into something structured like a program was what instigated it.

i guess what i am saying is that you're not alone. many other journalers have gone thru this and more do everyday. you're just better and more thourough at maybe your schism with it was that much more powerful.

hang in there. get a paper journal and keep writing. it will help. go get some lovely sunshine and talk to your friends.

i know you'll be back. you'll be changed but you'll be back. the email line is always open to talk.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 14:31, Chris sez:

Hold on to your vision and trust the process, it gets better once the tough parts are done with.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 16:06, cosmo sez:

Shit on toast!

Just watched Darknight.

I've been through periods of depression and loneliness, so I know that nothing I am going to say will make you feel any better...

But - I DID feel better eventually, and I was much stronger as a person for having been through the horrible experience. I kind of feel now that its in my armoury to deal with the world. It gives me strength to know that I was low down, but got better and no matter what anyone can throw at me, I'm stronger than they are 'cos I've been down as low as I'm ever gonna go. And I ain't never going back there.

Powerful art though, Justin.

You have my admiration and respect.


commentson 19 January 2005 : 16:22, Robert D. [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I’ve been reading since I first got online in 1994; was actually one of the first sites I ever regularly visited. Little did I know that in Fall 1995, when I was a freshman at Villanova, that you were just down the road a ways at Swarthmore!

You have the distinction of having been a weblogger before almost anyone else, even before there were weblogging tools. That's a legacy no one should forget.

You were also sort of the first simstim star. If you've ever read William Gibson's first three novels, you hear about a sort of star called a simstim star, where people jack in and can look out through the star's eyes and feel what it's like to be that person, from the inside out. You've given all of us us yourself--inside and out--for eleven years. Perhaps it's time to take a break. Or maybe even retire. You've done enough for us, and I think if any of us out here were there, we'd rather not be "Internet friends"--a disposable, low-maintenance friend--but real friends.

Godspeed, Justin; just do what makes you happy. If you ask me, choosing between feeling alone on the Web and being in love offline is no contest at all. If you choose to get back online at some point, we’ll all be here for you. But the Web would rather you be happy than anything else.

Todo esta y va a estar bien. Vaya con Dios.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 17:10, OiVey sez:

Have a beer, eat some food.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 17:23, adam sez:

a white man in america should not be this upset.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 17:24, bullemhead [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

a white man in america should not be this upset.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 18:11, Bee Mindful sez:

Maybe it's a nice time for a long walk without any devices. Not too long, but the kind of walk you do every day.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 18:23, Mike B. sez:

There's nothing wrong with you. Everybody's fucked up.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 19:06, Shahid sez:

The outside world can make you feel very horrible.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 19:28, peteralan [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

1993 at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Gerald Ferguson told me that art and love don't mix. He was old then, around long enought to know - since then it's one of those tiny sentences that meant nothing at the time but jangled around in my head making a racket louder and louder as the years go by. I'm close to thinking it's true; or at least that the apex of life is not some perfect sychronicity of pleasure, love and labor. Perhaps for the lucky. But most useful for the rest of us is an ability to endure pain without being crippled, to enjoy pleasure and love when it arrives and remember that the pain its absence produces, at least, reminds us that we're alive. No other advice but endure, breathe, get back to work. All the most basic buddhist practices put the bedrock of our value as humans in these basic, seemingly autonomic, principals - that exploring them can expand into an appreciation of being not rooted in other's judgements or our own drama. Worth a try.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 19:29, Mark-Paul sez:

Maybe Justin is breaking up with us...

[fade to black]

commentson 19 January 2005 : 19:37, peteralan [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

another thought: if you're in grad school like I think you are, then it's no suprise you're having a breakdown now. It's a good thing, much better than having it aroud Xmas of your second year, when the folks who have been sadly in denial for a year and a half realize that their final thesis projex are shite. Having got it over with now, you'll be rolling with brilliant ideas, gingerly trying to avoid everyone imploding around you. Just wait and rejoice.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 19:43, The Stolen Girlfriend sez:

That made me cry.

Guess I'm a douche too.

commentson 19 January 2005 : 20:30, billy sez:

don't be gay dude. you're a grown ass man.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 01:55, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

That made you cry? It made my cringe, and it made me laugh, but it didn't make my cry. It was the outward manifestation of a 30-year-old man acting like a spoiled child. It was a temper tantrum. It wasn't art. Art requires effort.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 02:13, Noha sez:

I have two main comments about this movie:

1: ...I thought you could only date girls that worked with you! Maybe the breaking of that vow/statement is the source of the misery you are now feeling.

2. Even though you are totally occluding the parallax through this entire film, I really like the confessional filmic style you have been developing through this and your last (fleshbag) film. Keep up the good work. I wonder what kind of situation you will have to go through to get the material for the next one though. Phew!

3. (I know I said two but I just thought of something) I have been reading posts about the convergence of fact and non-fiction, and it brings to mind certain questions. Like, for instance, is it my place to divulge certain informations on the internets that I may be privy to as a member of your physical existence, that these audience members may not be from their mediated relation to you? Are you the sole arbiter of what gets displayed and not displayed, or by blogging your life are you submitting fully to a public existence, leaving nothing to clandestinehood (dunno if this is a word)? Where is the line drawn, where does the camera shut off? We discussed in Naimark's class the time when the cameras are on 24 hours a day. You seem more prepared than the rest of us for this eventuality but are you really ready? Don't worry, this is not a threat but merely an inquiry...

commentson 20 January 2005 : 04:58, nubchai sez:

I haven't watched Dark Night yet but will over the weekend.

A lot of people here are basically making excuses for you: art and love don't mix, grad school would make anyone have a breakdown etc etc. I'm not going to do that. I'm still not sure how much of this latest episode is created or real.

People having real breakdowns don't make fims about it. People work full-time jobs, have families and go to Grad School at night. They don't have breakdowns. They just deal with life.

You do need professional help though. Get a referral to a good shrink and talk to him/her. I think you do have problems. You may indeed need talk therapy and even meds to even out. I don't know. But you need to talk to a professional jut based on what I've read here in the last year.

You say often that you're looking for intimacy. You seemed to have that with Amy and Jane. In the latter case you also seemed to walk away from it. You need to talk to a professional about what the issues are that prevent you from building and sustaining a long-term relationship with a woman, getting married etc. etc.

The other thing is that some people here laughed at the guy's comment about getting into the "real world". I agree with him. Talking in cyberspace is one thing. Establishing face to face relationships that last over time is entirely different.

That's my advice

commentson 20 January 2005 : 05:40, liza sez:

(pardon my spelling and grammer I am about to go out the door.)

I just thought of something. Maybe its stupid. But maybe getting a dog or a cat might be a good fix for now till you get things straight enough to communicate with the woman you love.

Having her since january, my family can not image how we lived without our beloved Shih Tzu Piper. And in Sept we added a Pomerainian, Candy, to the family. It has brought our family closer and a little less disfunctional.

Just what you feel is temporary and you will get through it.


commentson 20 January 2005 : 07:27, rose sez:

Welcome to being human, revel in it, all of it.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 10:13, violette sez:

I agree with good citizen. At least someone is honest enough to say that the emperor has no clothes. It made me cringe and laugh, too. I felt embarrassed.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 11:03, palochi sez:

No brilliant advice here, other than to say you need to know that you're not alone with what you're dealing with. And you're a beautiful guy who has given some of us a gift through the sharing of your inner self and the pain you're going through by creating this video. Fuck anyone here who thinks differently -- they'll never truly get it. I hope you eventually find some peace from your demons.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 11:49, zahn sez:

Justin I've been reading your journal off and on for a few years. I have to say this last year was the worst. Ever since you broke up with Jane things seemed off. Now this... well it seems so self-indulgent. You are a man Justin. Not a kid. You have to make some changes if this is all for real and not made up.

You need to see a therapist. Get a referral and run don't walk there. Lay it all out for the doctor and get some feedback. You're getting a lot of cyber hugs here and I think it's nice but it's not going to help you. You need professional help.

There are other things I could suggest like drop out of Grad school for a while, get a job where you build real things (like gardens, houses etc). People will laugh at that last one. But you live in your head too much. You need to create something concrete and you need to sweat. You seem to have the resources to do what you want. So that's one thing that I think would put you a bit more in touch with reality. On the relationship side you need to wait until you talk to the shrink. I could draw some hints from the past you've shared but it would be really dangerous if I did.

The last thing is to stop posting an online journal for a while. Keep a private journal because I know stopping cold would be hard. But the journal right now may not be too healthy for you.

I do agree with the people who have suggested you find activities to do with other people. There's a huge difference between the relationships we develop online and the face to face realtionships that we nurture with our friends.

Take care of yourself Justin

commentson 20 January 2005 : 13:29, le sez:

in light of the previous comment, i'd like to repeat my advice to disable comments on MT, justin.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 14:27, Rebecca sez:

Okay, Justin. I don’t know you that well. I’ve read a handful of your links here and there and I’ve always been intrigued and I’ve always enjoyed them and learned one thing or another. But if you are looking for connection, most likely you will not find it on the internet or through a journal.

First you need to know yourself, who you are in this very moment. Once you connect with yourself, meaning, being Honest about who you are, then you are able to connect with others.

When you look at someone and see them for all that they are and see a halo around them and love them for everything that they are. Let this person stand as a single and solid entity - without yourself in the picture . See this other person who has had all of the same emotions as you. As we all have. We’ve all been happy, angry, sad, depressed, afraid, we’ve all felt love. We all want similar things in life: to love, to be loved, to have purpose, to be heard, to be understood. We’ve all suffered pain. Please know that I am in no way minimizing your pain, but rather explaining that this is where connection lies, in the common emotions that we share. We each have something in common with each other. We are desperately similar creatures and there’s always a connection point.

At this point, it’s looking into someone’s eyes and finding that connection. It’s looking into her eyes and saying, “I know you.” This is when we are no longer alone.

And if you love this woman and she loves you, you two get to create a compromise together. How awesome is that?

Your art form is a risky endeavor, but this is a riskier one. this level of connection can be frightening, but when it becomes of the utmost importance to you to have it, you will take the worthwhile risk.

And I don’t know anything better than this level of connection. It fills me up. My relationship with my husband is the most fulfilling aspect of my life. If would like to talk, I’m open to that.

I wish you love, honesty and bravery.


commentson 20 January 2005 : 15:29, x sez:

people trust you
you don't trust yourself

you are self involved
mental masturbation should not take the place of making love

you need to learn how to give in order to live

don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the real world

the only person standing in your way is yourself

you can have everything that you desire

commentson 20 January 2005 : 16:08, Mike B. sez:

Justin -

You're a smart man and I believe you will triumph over your struggles. There's no other option, really. I wish you the best of luck, but I also plead with you: please don't go to the dark side and become a Jesus freak. (You were discussing some revelation about the function of religion.) God gave you a big, beautiful brain so that you wouldn't have to flock to churches with the rest of the sheep. Over and out.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 16:10, Joe Kaczmarek sez:

Been there, done that... and survived!

OK, so I haven't been through all the exact same stuff as you... but the general experience yes. The isolation in a crowd, the self over-analysis, the internal struggle, the utter despair.

When one of my lowest points (and there were quite a few) came, I was lying on my dorm room bed (it was against a window looking out at other dorms so I could see on Friday and Saturday nights that I was the only one not out having a good time) questioning my self, my being, my very nature, and then coming up with (and ranting it over and over and over again) this little ditty:

"There out there, I'm not here, made of nothing, nobody cares."

I must have chanted that thing (through as many emotions as possible) until I ran out of energy and couldn't talk anymore.

That was a really bad breakdown and a low point in my life, but to provide contrast, one of the highest points in my life was four years ago today when I married my wife.

I could go on and on (but can't because of time restraints tonight), but my point is that time passes, things change even if you don't willfully change them. Continue to be yourself (not matter how much you question yourself (and unless you are physically self-destructive)), but just be open to new opportunities and scenarios that you normally wouldn't consider.

Speaking from my experience, one big change won't happen, but small sequences of events will happen enough that one day you'll find someone's post or rant or video about their lowest point, and it wil remind you of yours and you'll look back and be so grateful for all those little changes that you didn't even really notice until now.

But I'm rambling, and what I say doesn't matter to you because you already *know* what matters to you and what advice matters to you and what advice or words of consolation don't matter to you.

So, again, I'd just like to say that I (and judging from the bulk of these comments, many other people) feel for you and your struggle and wish you a happier future.


(Oh and if you want to really know that I've really been down there in the pits of despair, you could probably just read some of my poetry... hell, some might even help you see that you're not alone as others have told me my poems did for them.)

commentson 20 January 2005 : 18:09, Jonathan sez:

Hi Justin,

I agree with those people who say you should step back from the Internet for a bit, though I don't understand why some of the people suggesting this feel the need to be dicks about it.

I don't read regularly, and maybe you already have a book deal, but if not, I would think that your on-line reputation could be parlayed into a mid-list contract. I'm sure the slowness of other forms of publishing would be frustrating, but perhaps that slowness is exactly what you need.

Props to ya.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 20:59, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

"in light of the previous comment, i'd like to repeat my advice to disable comments on MT, justin."

That's nuts. Zahn's post is one of the few here that actually suggest facing reality. So he should shut himself off from all outside comments because someone gave him a piece of advice that you disagree with?

Anyway, what's really fucking weird is that there's all these people in the comments ready to say whatever this Justin guy wants to hear at a moment's notice. He reads every one of these, getting himself a nice big "hug" with each new post that reaffirms exactly what he already had in mind. Then a few of us happen to suggest a few things that are a bit less, well, patronizing, and suddenly all comments should be closed, you shouldn't listen to us, don't read that one, Justin. What utter bullshit.

Man, you have got to start living a life that isn't focused completely on yourself, your happiness, your ability to connect, your relationships. That whole video is about you, you, you. Obviously "publishing your life" has served only to give you laser-sharp tunnel vision.

I think the suggestion that you get a dog is probably the most brilliant sentence written on this entire page. So I'll leave it at that.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 21:00, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

P.S. If you were half as alone as you think you are, you wouldn't have someone willing to listen to you cry about it over the phone.

commentson 20 January 2005 : 23:12, Mike B. sez:

Good Citizen -

If I were being charitable, I would assume that you might label your apparent disdain with Justin's confessional as a form of "tough love". It's pretty obvious, however, that you're just engaging in a feeding frenzy. Your catharsis is in and of itself, "self-absorbed", as you might say. Hypocrisy like yours makes me want to barf.

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

If you had written only one negative comment, it could have been construed as a means of fostering responsibility and expressing care or concern. Instead, you kept stamping the pavement with your feet, just like the tantrum-throwing child you accused Justin of being. One tough comment was enough; multiple tough comments instantly exposed you as someone I would take great pleasure in beating the shit out of.

Are you the kind of bastard that would kick a man when he's down?

Blogs, by definition, are a form of self-absorption. And nobody is forcing you to read them. Help a brother or leave him alone.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 00:32, Pious John Jentan sez:

You are an incredible waste of bandwith, and I don't say that lightly. After traveling thousands of miles in a quest to convert the infidels to Christ's teachings, I can honestly say this makes me question the existence of God, the Holy Ghost, and Kirk Cameron. My suggestion to you, and I am speaking as a 14 year scholar of the Vatican's Referral Satellite Dome School, you need to end your life, like Jesus did.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 00:47, Bryan sez:

What the fuck did I just watch? I'm glad you have nothing to write about, it would just be more bitching and whining.

One reason most people don't want to be with you, is that godawful haircut. Jesus Christ...

commentson 21 January 2005 : 03:21, David Kaye [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I haven't seen any comments from Justin. Maybe after reformatting the comments he decided to go off and put a life together, and maybe spend less time online.

I agree with the several people who said that at age 30 it's time to get with it. Amen.

Might I suggest learning to play guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, or bass and joining a bluegrass jam? Bluegrass jamming is a real way to learn how to get to know other people in a co-operative way. Bluegrass jammers allow someone to play in the background until they've developed, then they allow them to begin to take solos. Few things are as satisfying as being given the nod to play a solo by a good musician you respect. It means you've arrived: you're good enough, and you play well with others.

Whatever the case, getting out and doing activities with others (not watching movies or doing other passive things) is really the best way to develop one's social skills.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 05:29, Kuahine [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Ah, well. The past few years have been rough on all of us: global warming, terrorists, mad cows, tsunamis, war horrors, bird flus, freedom fries, anthrax, phishing, SARS, mudslides, spyware, Michael Jackson.... How much can a body take?

Sure, we're cracking under the pressure. Cursing at loved ones and talking trash to our neighbors, laughing too loud and drinking too much at parties, giving stink-eye to little old ladies and their 14 items in the express checkout, snapping at phone clerks who can't spell 'the', going ape-shit in front of video know, the usual signs.

So let's cut ourselves some slack, yeah? Be nice, smile plenty, love more, hate less, judge not, and take care of each other as best we can. Cause it's gonna get a lot harder before it gets easier, and we're gonna need all the goodness we have just to keep it going. And sweet Justin? Oh, he'll be as right as the rest of us, I expect.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 07:59, Shii [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Hi. There are a bunch of people over at the LiveJournal emo community who symphasize with you totally. We liked your video so much, we made our own version where our own darthphunk explained how the Internet makes him feel more spiritually aware of everything. Please watch it and enjoy.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 08:20, puk [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:


commentson 21 January 2005 : 08:30, GSTPal [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Justin, you are a beautiful butterfly. Your video touched me in a way no video has before, in a brilliant, mind alteringly erotic way. I've always denied it to myself, but now I know.

Justin, you've made me realise that I am gay.

I want to be with you, and I know I can't, but I'm not going to video it, I'm going to find my very own Justin. My heart goes out to you, and I hope you can find a man who can satisfy you the way no woman could.

PS: This is deadly serious.

Thankyou, Justin.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 08:31, DFAUprez [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Whoah. Wait. You're 30?
DUDE, that's the most pathetic thing I ever saw...

Ever thought of going outside, maybe?

commentson 21 January 2005 : 08:49, PumpkinDave [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

FFS man, you just went and put the last nail in your own coffin. No-one's ever gonna take you seriously if they see this, and it's not like your life was even that terrible to begin with. What a waste. Dumbass.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 08:51, João Paulo Paglione sez:

Yo! Remember when Jay-Z was gonna "Fade to Black" and retire. But, he didn't. So I dunno watchya gonna do, but as I gave you the honorary title of Blogfather, Liz my blogmother, Tato my blogbrother.. do watchya gotta do.. but maybe you can come out again with a remix with Linkin Park!

Ya feelin' me?

I say put on some "Play that Funky Music White Boy" and drop a beat, dance, get up on yer feet, shake that ass, forget your mental stash...

Hope you feel better, take care of YOUR-SELF!

commentson 21 January 2005 : 11:35, Blake sez:

I laughed my ass off. Thank you for that

commentson 21 January 2005 : 14:46, Fredrik [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

God damn, this is ... I don't know. Incredible, or something like that, I guess. Not something to easily put words on (of course). I want to pass it around to people, I want to discuss it with someone, everyone. I wanted to give you a hug.

Side note: editing something like this together, of yourself ... Therapeutic in itself I guess ... Getting it up here seems like a decision, a victory I'd say. I'm glad it's going that way.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 16:43, Mike B. sez:

Andy Kaufman once staged a breakdown, but it backfired on him.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 18:32, Lindsay sez:

You have no idea how far home this hit with me.
Thank you for having enough balls to share this.

commentson 21 January 2005 : 20:32, Robin [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I typed something long and stupid here, but I didn't like it. So I'm going to say this instead.

Never, and I mean, NEVER feel that you should have to hide all your indiscretions, your flaws, your faults from whoever you love. Never hide your darker moods from them. They should know you in all your forms, be those forms disheartening, endearing, or otherwise. Open up and share everything, and then you can see, from their reaction, what kind of people they are. If someone you dig gets "freaked out" when you're depressed, when you've shared it with them and opened yourself to them, they can fuck themselves. Because they aren't worth a fucking damn if they don't love you in every form and mood and feeling you have. Not a damn.

I should stop before I babble. But; the long and short of it is, I think you're a lovely, clever boy, and I know that soon (yes, soon!), will come the day when you find your someone, from whom you will have to hide nothing, whom will find you the most beautiful creature in whichever state you're in. You'll both love each other more than anything, and although things won't be perfect (because, no matter how much we wish it, they never are), you will be truly and genuinely happy.

Feel better, dear sweet boy. We all have our dark days.


commentson 21 January 2005 : 21:45, hiro sez:

you are an individual.

i stumbled upon your site from a friend's link.
that was 2 days ago, and i haven't left.

you're an inspiration to me. your ability to lay your entire life open on to the are an amazing person, and i wish you only the best.


commentson 21 January 2005 : 22:32, chris delbuck sez:

that fucking video was amazing, i can't express how much every word you said felt as if it were tapped from my head... i confide in my journal online as well about the girls i love, and they all read it, and i think that it just does nothing but pushes them away, honesty is poison... thank you so much for putting this up.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 00:33, Taylor sez:

What does Justins mentor, Howard Rheingold, think of this?

commentson 22 January 2005 : 05:23, someone sez:

Do you really believe that nobody feels the way you feel? Do you really believe that posting your feelings in a blog pushes people away? Are you going to lose something great by admitting your feelings to someone you love?

If you've noticed your long list of people who have replied in comments, quite obviously there's a great deal of people who your actions have not pushed away, so what causes you to believe that admitting your feelings one-on-one to a loved one will do just that? I hardly think something as simple as writing about your life will turn most people off, and that's something you need to realize.

If you don't want to write about people in a public forum then can you not still write about them in private, in the same manner you use as in your online publishings, to get everything out? In the same manner, it's highly improbable that there's not a single person in your life that you can't talk to. Even in this video that's what you're doing.

So you're a bit of a mess, unless you're made of steel you're going to break down at one point or another, everyone does. You fear this girl wouldn't want to be with you because you've broken down, do you think she's never experienced the same sort of emotions? Do you think she never cries out of being lonely, wanting something more than she has, feeling hopeless? If she pushes you away for simple things, is she really a person you want to be with?

A lot of people have discussed the possibility of taking a break from publishing, but I don't believe that you need to sacrifice anything for anything. What you do need to do is talk to this girl - tell her how you feel, don't be intimate to a frightening level but do discuss what you feel for her. In relationships of any kind this is a crucial aspect, and is something that brings people together, not something that drives them apart.

You need to be asking yourself more questions rather than making presumutions. You are not the only person in the world who cries, writes to express, needs to get things out, and I think any gal who is worth it would know that.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 06:44, Richard C. sez:

I should say first that I haven't ever read any of your blog or other writings - the first I heard of you was when a friend send me a link to your breakdown video.

Nice job with the editing, almost professionally done. Must have taken a lot of emotional detachment.

I have to wonder why the notion of bearing your soul, as it were, is so important to you when it obviously brings you so much unhappiness. Perhaps I'm just cynical, but the fault in your life is you. Not because you lack some "spiritual respect" or anything so intangible, but because you make the choice to publish as much of your private life as you do. You said yourself, people don't want to be with you because of it; yet you continue.

Maybe you're an extremely entertaining writer - judging by your fans, it would appear that you are - but it's your choice to make. You believe that it's your "art" or your (potential) relationships with other people. By showing this video, you chose your media.

You're either masochistic or simply clawing at the world for attention. Either way, you're the only one who can change your situation.

Best of luck.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 07:58, DA-KA-RA sez:

Wow. Grow up dude. This is attention-whoring in what is quite possibly the purest form I have ever seen it in. The problems you face here are infinitessimally small compared to other peoples problems. Your emotional weakness proves your physical dependance on your fat, weak, bourgeoisie style of life.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 13:36, Mark-Paul sez:

Me: Hey Justin, what up dude?

Justin: Yeah man, what's going on?

Me: Um... well... You know... I mean...

Justin: What man?

Me: Well, I saw your video.

Justin: Yeah...

Me: Well I mean...

Justin: Well what did you think?

Me: To tell you the truth, it kinda reminded me of Duncan.

Justin: Wow. Really?

Me: Yeah. I mean where you go off on the whole bit about feeling isolated...

Justin: Bit?

Me: You know what I mean, dude....

Justin: Man, this isn't a bit. I've kinda reached a low point.

Me: Yeah, I know. I didn't mean to minimalize it.

Justin: So, what did you think?

Me: Well it was powerful, disturbing, troubling, and like I said, it kinda reminde me of Duncan.

Justin: But, what perspective did you get from it? How did it make you feel?

Me: Well, remember that time when you were in Nepal, I think? You know after.... well, you know. And, Colin was beating on you so you locked yourself in the bathroom in the hotel?

Justin: Yeah...

Me: Well, what I got from the flick is that you were that vulnerable character again. Except this time instead of Colin pounding on you it was life.

Justin: Go on, man...

Me: And, juxtaposed to the Thanksgiving flick where there was that acute sense of family and "roots," the feelings you invoked here were total isolation. You know, like Duncan...

Justin: But, exactly what feelings did the flick invoke? What did it make you feel like?

Me: Well I could completely identify with what you were going through and the same time it reminded me...

Justin: Yeah, I know... it reminded you of Duncan. To tell you the truth, me and Duncan weren't even really that...

Me: No! And, I know. But, it reminded me of that message your grandfather left you that time you were traveling the country and you got into some trouble with the law.

Justin: Oh yeah...

Me: Anyway...

Justin: Wait a second. Do I know you? I mean, who are you, exactly?

Me: Come on dude, you know, your friend.

Justin: But, do I know you?

Me: Well, no, I mean I guess not. I mean, not really.

Justin: Well how do you know so much about me? How can you relate to my private experiences?

Me: Come on, man. You know...

Justin: Yeah, I guess.

Me: Yeah.

Justin: Well, I gotta go.

Me: Yeah. Me too. Later...

Justin: Yeah. Later.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 14:29, IdahoEv sez:


I sat there for a week with your video taunting me, on my page of personal blogs I read every day, not clicking because my PhD thesis was coming due this week. I wish I'd found the time anyway, here I am posting below your own local archive of, apparently.

You were the guy who showed me the personal and social implications of the internet back when I was just a geek discovering a cool toy in 1994. The asshats who are telling you to pull away from the 'net or in some other way to "get a life" are simply idiots who don't understand that no life is any more or less real than any other; whatever it is you choose to do is your life, and it is as real to you as anything can be. (That's for their benefit; it's obvious from the video and to anyone who knows you that you already understand it.)

The pain of losing someone is the pain of losing someone, period, and the truth is it has fuck-all to do with your blogging or anything else. You'll rationalize any reason for why it hurts or what it means about your life, and questioning who you are - I'm speaking from experience here - and then eventually move on. I've been through that pain half a dozen times and put other people through it just as many. Half the time, the pain mutual. It sure does suck all the way to the bottom of the barrel: fuck, you were there to witness when the worst of mine nearly caused me to drop out of college. I've gotten better at coping with loss since then, but only through practice.

As for whether or not your art makes it impossible to be with someone, I have a story for you. I've been blogging pretty much ever since you showed me how in 1995, but in recent years I've settled into a philosophy that I blog about myself, my own doubts and insecurities, but I simply don't discuss other people, their lives, or my relations with them. Whatever, that's not a recommendation, it's just what works for me.

Not so long ago I dated a woman who had a livejournal and a barrel full of her own insecurities. I stuck to my polic of writing only about myself (not her), and the fact that I wouldn't write about the details of our relationship on my weblog caused immense stress and innumerable fights in our relationship; she was afraid that that meant she didn't mean anything to me.

So it cuts both ways; new technology or not, people still go through the same old shit. I'd encourage you not to give up your art (as if you really could, anyway). You'll eventually find someone who is compatible with your art as well as the rest of you; it's the same challenge we all go through trying to find someone.

If you want to hang out with an old friend who knows what it's like and who lives in L.A., drop me a line. I'm around, I'll take you out to lunch or something.


commentson 22 January 2005 : 14:50, Rebekah sez:

This really touched me, and hit home a lot. I wish I could give you a big hug.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 14:51, Rebekah sez:

This really touched me, and hit home a lot. I wish I could give you a big hug. Sorry to double post this, but I used the wrong email address before.. not sure why that matters, but I reposted anyway.

commentson 22 January 2005 : 16:24, elgado sez:

To better understand the causes of this, I recommend a look at The Unabomber's Manifesto, namely the parts that deal with the "Power Process" and "Alienation"

commentson 22 January 2005 : 16:29, TheMystic sez:

Dog and music remix of your misery :

commentson 22 January 2005 : 19:12, speakeasy [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I forgot, you've been getting a lot of media exposure...think I saw this mention of you in the NYT magazine section, yes ? So the performance continues or you're genuinely freaked out...I imagine you might be capitalizing on the now global audience...yah, Justin..

commentson 22 January 2005 : 19:50, shamara sez:

somehow i stumbled on this.
and i guess it makes exact sense that i find this now. that you are "sharing" and i feel alone. it's a bit fucked up and confusing. but it seems like you're doing what you want. what you do.

commentson 23 January 2005 : 07:03, matt sez:

Yeah, that's me... I suffer for my art in much the same way. Been there, done that. Still alone after 35 years. I'll keep at it because my art is worth more to me than my comfort.

commentson 23 January 2005 : 11:02, jim (kaya) sez:

Take care my man. Sending a big hug.

Thank you for sharing.
-jim (Halcyon's brother)

commentson 23 January 2005 : 11:24, ClockworkGrue [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I've been down the breakdown road. I was an exchange student in Japan in 2000, and I became frustrated by the fact that I couldn't have a "real" conversation with anyone because of the language barrier. It was probably the lonliest time in my entire life, and I was further dragged down because I blamed myself for not being able to learn Japanese fast enough to be able to say the sort of things I wanted to say (that is, speak at a native level). Instead I kept a journal. Not a web journal, but just a little black book. Every complex thought I had about anything got written down in there because it was the only place I could express it. I was emailing friends almost every day with long messages about what I was going through, but I felt (even though no one said this) that this just made me look pathetic, and people were only putting up with it because they were my friends. Throw into that mix the girl I had a huge crush on deciding to start dating a friend of mine because I was out of the country. Not a good time.

Truth be told, I'm not sure exactly how I pulled back out. I had a snapping point at which I came to accept that I really was unhappy with how things were going in my life, and that was hard because I think we American males have this societal role to endure whatever shit the world throws at us with a steel jaw; make lemonade or just shut up and eat your damn lemons, as it were. Once I allowed myself to accept that I was unhappy, I started trying a bunch of different things, and kept with the ones that made me feel better: exercise, more writing, mixed-media art, music, etc.

Thing is, we become really good at casting ourselves in roles: "Rebel," "Dad," "Game Designer," and so on. But these names can never be our sum total. I think that when we discover that playing the part we cast ourselves as is making us unhappy, it's time to look at what we had always been assuming were the characteristics of our role, and cut away the parts that were only dragging us down, replacing them with the things we've secretly been wanting.

commentson 23 January 2005 : 13:52, T. sez:

I think maybe you're just faking it. To create a movie, to create your "art." I mean, you were obviously looking off into some display to see how your face looked when you had that maglite or whatever, and had tears running down your face. And you edited it, added text and so on?

So someone said you couldn't write about other people anymore. What are you---empty? Authors, what do they do? There are millions of books out there, are they all true? Untrue paintings? That's art too. There is stuff inside you and you know it. So you made this video, because it was something that came from inside you. You didn't have to use other people. Great.

It's truly a masterpiece, by the way, if you're acting. I'd shake your hand and toast you---I could never have done anything half as brilliant. And you have a TERRIFIC sense of humor. If not, if you're just depressed, then it's just drama queen shit that no one wants to see, and you'll get over it. No biggie.

I'm not gonna use TypeKey because I want to see you approve this post, UNEDITED. You removed the goatse, nullification, and tubgirl pics... So I know you're there, Justin, watching, paying attention---still interacting.

You, yourself, the Ego.

commentson 23 January 2005 : 16:15, Mark and Jeff sez:

Dude, that's some fucked up shit........yet it brought plenty of laughs to me and my roomate. Uh, keep documenting or whatever, just don't kill someone.

commentson 23 January 2005 : 16:17, James sez:

Those comments by ClockworkGrue are the smartest advice I've read here. Whoever you are, you have helped me, too. Thanks for those insights.

commentson 23 January 2005 : 19:24, Keefer [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Thank you for removing the disgusting photos. I almost vomited at the "Bobbit" disection! I hope you're doing better!

commentson 23 January 2005 : 20:31, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

you're a douchebag. why did you take the link off your front page if you weren't going to get rid of the rest of the site?

maybe we're supposed to think you killed yourself or something equally artistic.

so anybody else still able to find this page? here's a link to his next post that he pulled down: and which is something about crying on a picture of his grandma.

commentson 24 January 2005 : 13:55, Kyle sez:

What happens when the internet stops?

commentson 24 January 2005 : 16:20, Paolo sez:

Have I been missing something? Blogging is new to me. Okay, I've known what it is, but...

What a response from your dark night. Was it the night cyborg met human?

Imho, virtual comunication is and always will be virtual; and a poor substitute for real communication.

Descartes "I think, therefore, I am" is crap... I am me, all of me body and soul, and there is no distinction between the two. My words without my body are half of what I am saying - even management gurus recognise this.

Therefore believing you can communicate and connect online as well as you can face2face is not true - you must always make up for the other's absence.

Justin, your anguish is understandable and I have felt it myself when trying to communicate online, but perhaps you are expect something from this medium that it cannot give?

On the hand, you have got a lot of supporters out there.

commentson 24 January 2005 : 18:29, Soror [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

Allow me to quote the choice bits...

"Something is wrong with me..." Justin says, over and over and over. "I publish my life on a fucking internet and it doesn't make people want to be with me. It makes people not trust me and I don't know what the fuck to do about it."

"I want to relate so badly. -sob- I can't find people I can relate to. There's...I can't find people to relate to. There's so few." - "If I want to make art that I can believe in do I have to sacrifice meaningful relationships? Is that what it costs? Should I give up my art, should I give up what I do? Should I give up what I do? Can I find something else?" - "This is all I have."

Witness a blogger who has used web-publishing as a shield against having a real social life, and meeting real people, and interacting like a human being. Yes Justin, there is definately something wrong with you...but it is very fucking easy to fix. The Fix: Take equal parts of sunshine, face-to-face humanity (non-internet socialization) and a healthy dose of anti-depressants. Shake well.

Boo Hoo. I could whine all day about having nothing to write about, no friends, not being able to relate, and people genuinely not liking me because of what I say on my blog...but what good does it do? IT IS MY OWN DAMNED FAULT. It comes with the territory, Justin, and despite this episode, this 'Sort of Nervous Breakdown as Circus' you have known it was the case all along.

What good does videotaping your own nervous breakdown and showing it to people do? By posting it up you've ALREADY PROVEN that you haven't learned anything from the obviously massive emotional trauma you've gone through. - Because you've slapped yourself up on the internet again, genius, and all because you want to 'share with people' in an effort to spackle up your ego.

I am unimpressed, moreover, I think you are full of meladrama and you know it. 'Give up your art?' Try instead 'behaving like a human being for a while and not feeding the necessary parts of my ego with blogging alone.'

Dry up.

commentson 25 January 2005 : 01:46, random sez:

What a brilliant example of why film school is beneficial.

commentson 25 January 2005 : 07:45, Arlo sez:

The audio from this video set to music:

commentson 25 January 2005 : 13:45, Distorted Silence sez:

I was so touched by this film.

I have decided to make my own film which displays much the same thoughts as you. I hope that you feel better Justin, you're a strong guy I know you are

The link to the movie is in my name as link
Here it is again anyway...

Much love

commentson 27 January 2005 : 10:14, Andrew B sez:

Since Justin is objectifying himself by placing himself at the center of his art, I decided to write this note toward Justin in the third person.

I have been a big fan of both Justin and his ideas for some time. But this film made me want to cringe. It was the most masturbatory, self-aggrandizing, and cliched piece of work that I think I have ever seen. If this was done by some overly dramatic 19 year old it would be bad enough. From someone who I respect, and think is smart and creative, it is just pathetic.

First of all, I didn't buy the candor. Sure, Justin was very bummed out but I think he pumped it up, cranked it up, to both wallow in a real emotion but also to create some subject matter for "his art". Even when sobbing, the corners of his mouth sort of turned up in a wry way, to indicate that even in his "dark moment" he was having fun and thinking "Oh boy, what a cool video this will be!"

He is in a graduate film program yet is cut off from any interesting subject matter (compared to his adventures in Japan and elsewhere), is in a boring town with no friends and a so-so program. So, as is his habit, he turns the attention to himself. Most telling quote: "After 3 days of sitting through this at least I should make some fucking media out of this."

Read Kafka's short story "The Hunger Artist" which lampoons the self-centeredness and the phoney suffering of the artist in the modern era. (The protagonist makes is own hunger the medium of choice and ends of starving to death in front of an adoring public.)

The grandiosity was amazing: "If I want to make art that I believe in do I have to sacrifice meaningful personal relationships? Should I give up my art then? Should I give up what I do!" Excuse me, but isn't Justin in a grad program to learn how to make video games? He should real and stop taking himself so seriously.

"There is some element of, like, a spritual respect or something that I don't have with a single person who lives within 3 hours of me!" Welcome to L.A.

I think his life used to be much more interesting, when he was hanging with Jane, writing and speaking, and travelling the world. He seemed filled with joy and had a lot of interesting things to share. Now it's as if he is in a depressing vacuum and the walls are caving in. I think moving to LA was a mistake.

Look I am not saying to sweep problems under a rug, and I recognize the mental illness that runs in his family, he just should not wallow, and pump up his emotions because it makes him feel real, and should stop subjecting us to crap like this. He might want to:
1) Get a therapist. Go every week for at least 8 weeks.
2) Consider taking a leave or dropping his grad program.
3) Try to work out 3 times a week. He's probably not physically healthy.
4) Get back to posting via text, and he doesn't need to put everything emotionally on the table. It frankly is boring and makes him look like an ass.

Didn't mean this to be a flame. Just a "tough love" message to a guy a respect.


commentson 27 January 2005 : 10:45, Steven [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

I think Justin is finally growing up.

He's been a dilettante, a superficial person who never thought of anyone but himself, for his entire life. He's not a narcissist, as others have proposed.. true narcissists are cruel to others... justin is a kind soul at heart. Yet he has finally seen that a world exists outside his own world. Actual, real people work actual, real jobs and earn their own money.

He's prattled about his "art", where no such art exists. He's never had a real job or ever had to support himself at the ripe old age of 30. Yet reality has caught up with him.

I like Justin, I really do. He's realized that a big world exists outside his own existance, and it kicked him in the ass. Most of us have these histrionic hissy fits when we are 15 or 16... Unfortunately justin learned it later in life. But he's finally growing up a and becoming a man. He's giving up his childish toys (this journal) and venturing into the real world.

We may never hear from him again, and that is a very good thing. He's going to take AT LEAST a year off of posting here and hopefully take this site down forever.

commentson 27 January 2005 : 16:18, David Kaye [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

One early telling point of this whole thing was 13 years ago when he appeared naked to give a speech at his high school.

While I'm all for nudity, in this society it carries baggage, and the baggage it carries is this: "Look at me. I'm giving all of me to you; there is nothing hidden." But the fact is that everyone has some secrets, and nudity tends to actually hide more than it exposes. It's more like, "Here, let me distract you with my nudity while I hide the really important things."

And I believe this is what's been happening for the 13 years since.

commentson 27 January 2005 : 19:56, laura sez:

i talked about you in analysis today. my psychologist had never heard of the term "blogging" before and i had to be surprised, as it's in the papers by now and living in new york, you come to be aware of these things.

i explained it to her, but she was unable to connect with me on it for that reason and i found it ironic. and it wasted time and money that i don't even have in the first place, but she doesn't know that.

there's this song that i can't stop listening to this month, january 2005 seems to be a troubling month for everyone, but the song is called clowne towne by xiu xiu. and now, it reminds me of you every time i hear it.

since i don't know whether you will go and download it or not, i'm going to write it out for you because i think it's significant. well, no not the whole thing, just my favorite part:

your true self has become weak and alone and annoying and a true ridiculous dumb ass!

please listen to it.

commentson 28 January 2005 : 23:17, leyla sez:

no unsolicited advice to offer. no cruelty disguised as tought love either. but a short excerpt from a Rumi poem might mean something:

there is nothing i can do
there is nothing you can do

what would the wound do
with the knife on it's way to it?

commentson 29 January 2005 : 09:56, James sez:

Steven says:

He's prattled about his "art", where no such art exists.

Steven, please listen to this: This website IS Justin's art, and it's a brilliant work of art.

It is a collage of great genius. I seem to be the only person harping on this, but this website is one of the great American cultural achievements of the last decade. Someday other people will join me in recognizing this.

commentson 31 January 2005 : 15:16, good citizen [TypeKey Profile Page] sez:

For those of you who have said "at least he's stopped posting," he hasn't.

After this, he posted three more times.
On the 15th:
On the 19th:
and then again just this past Saturday:

February 2005 - comments are closed on Thanks.