Summer is never the easiest time of year for my brother Damon. Living as he does out in the middle of the desert with nothing but generator power and water from a shared well, it can be a challenge to keep himself cool. But even during the coolest time of the year, it’s tough trying to get him to offer me any back story on the televison program he produced during the 90s for Access Tucson’s public access cable station. Though I’ve asked him to contribute to my series of excerpts from his show, so far the only response I’ve gotten from him is a terse “just keep ‘em coming.”
Well, that much, I can do. But I confess I’d love to have some context for the “This Is My House” segment contained below. In this clip, Damon and his two compatriots, David Martin and Michael Bloch, travel to a ditch somewhere in South Tucson and interview a couple of homeless gentlemen who have set up housekeeping amid the piles of garbage out behind an apartment complex.
The two men are eager to strike up a comfortable rapport with the three large strangers who have just invaded their territory. They generously share the details of their lives: the danger of their surroundings, their distrust of “the big city” and the dubious current state of their sobriety. They are really quite chatty — clearly, the men rely heavily on their communication skills to help keep them safe.
The conversation is disjointed enough, and is made even more so by the challenging style Damon employed when editing the material. The entire piece reels drunkenly, fragmented into a hallucinatory visual and aural collage of jarring jump cuts. Though highly quixotic, the effect crackles with my brother’s typically intense creative energy.
Competing this week’s package are two pieces of zen instruction, another fake ad by Yours Truly, and a brief musical interlude featuring Damon stripped the the waist, bellowing for dessert.