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[FBC] Cameras at Parties - Transience Divine
February 19th, 2007
04:18 pm

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[FBC] Cameras at Parties
The aftershow party was at mals13's. I love her apartment for parties. It has an incredible good vibe: relaxed, varied, "come on in and take your top off"-inviting, filled with unassumingly trendy and enchanting furnishings, and mals13 and her roommates are laidback, fun hosts.

But last night there was a video camera.

Evidently it was there with mals13 blessing. By the time I asked about it, she said it'd been on for an hour, and that everyone knew. Well, *I* didn't know, and I felt like it was something of a break of faith. The comments below aren't directed at mals13 (or the camera's owner), and I'm not still annoyed at all; I just have a definite opinion on this, and I'm interested in others' thoughts on it.

Of course mals13 or any other party host is welcome to have cameras at their parties... but doing so is a break from the normal rules of Rocky parties: what happens at the party stays at the party. That rule isn't just a good idea. It's a vital assumption. It's there to cultivate an atmosphere where anyone can let it all out, without worrying about the consequences. It's not easy being sexually free or raw-bones open.

Rocky is a context for, among other things, exploring sexuality. Sexuality-- a core of our selves-- is complex, surprising, and shadowed in layers of societal nonsense. Opening it up and getting beyond all the layers is difficult work, and ultra-sensitive to the situation you're doing it in. The more you're concerned with the future (as when there's a camera in the room), the more you're taken out of the present, the only place where sexuality lives. Not having cameras doesn't guarantee for that special context for sexuality, but it's an important piece. The right mix happens so rarely anyway.

The rule is also there to protect people-- especially the ones who aren't willing to ask for that protection. There are members of Rocky and visitors to Rocky who could get into problems with their friends, family, work, and future plans if anything got out. Keeping records is forcing them to trust you, or assuming that you know their situation well enough to positively know that it wouldn't be a problem. I don't consider that an ethical stance.

As Rocky, we are the chauffeurs of a valuable treasure: our Arc of the Covenant is the Rocky party. It is unique and sorely needed in our world. If we treat it well, it will shower us with gifts and allow us to bring light into the lives of others who visit our temple. We don't have to use it every week-- other kinds of parties are fun too-- but I hold it in special regard and do not want to see it corrupted.

This is a core aspect of what Rocky parties mean to me. If someone wants to have another kind of party I think attendees should be warned.

Current Mood: determinedmortar

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
From:jessweis
Date:February 19th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
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The camera rule always bothered me, actually. Partially because I love keeping visual records of things and personally don't take what could be possibly compromising pictures of people. (don't like being videotaped, tho. ever.) But more so, if I do something at a party, I want it to be something I'd own up to in the future or in front of other people. Not to be judging my actions on the spot and not open to new experiences, but rather to be accepting of whatever it was in the future and confident enough in the people around me to be accepting, too. I still think you should *know* it's happening, though. And I like the idea of being asked specific permission, or at least being able to say no. I almost kicked someone out of a party once because they kept videotaping people who had expressly requested they not be taped.
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From:jrising
Date:February 19th, 2007 11:52 pm (UTC)
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Getting specific permission makes sense. Rules are there as a groundwork from which people can choose to deviate. I guess my objection is that video cameras, or people going around snapping photos, makes for a whole different atmosphere, and people don't get to decide any more.

I understand wanting to be true enough to yourself that you could face whatever you did in the morning. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people wouldn't be very accepting of what goes on at Rocky, unless they were introduced to it gently. I've heard too many people make close-minded statements-- even ones which they decided they didn't mean later-- because of things they saw without understanding.
From:jessweis
Date:February 22nd, 2007 01:37 am (UTC)
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on a slightly related note, you replied to a comment of mine some time ago saying i could pick a date for an afterparty at your place. i think you had specified in feb... which is kinda gone. can i get march 3rd or 10th?
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From:jdub0014
Date:February 22nd, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, please have an after-party soon Jimmy! Yours have a fun atmosphere AND they are close and easily accessible on the T. Double whammy.
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From:jrising
Date:February 22nd, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
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*swoon* I was hoping to have another party soon. I'll stake out March 3.
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From:g_w_s
Date:February 19th, 2007 11:20 pm (UTC)
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I love my camera. I love my spiffy lenses. I love to take pictures of things, people, places, *ideas*. I love to take pictures of both mundane and compromising things, ideas, places - and people in both mundane and compromising poses. There's even a good chance I'll bring my camera to the next rocky party I attend, unless at any point I am told it's not welcome.

Now, here's the thing - I don't like for others that I do not know well enough to trust absolutely to have access to compromising photos of ME. If I'm busy being wary of this, I'm going to be less fun. I am quite certain this is a common feeling, so I am always *extremely* sensitive to others' privacy as well. If I take your picture at a rocky party (again, assuming I don't know of a compelling reason not to document and create art), you WILL know I am doing it before the shutter opens, and if for some reason a nude body sporting a strap-on with a rubber chicken in one hand leaps into the frame at the last moment, I WILL ask the person behind the rubber chicken if they want me to delete the picture. I will undoubtedly be giggling and asking to borrow the rubber chicken (etc) so that I may leap into someone else's picture, of course..

Anyways, that should be common courtesy. I would much rather see people exercise that than a strict no-camera policy. Video taping without knowledge of its presence or purpose would bother me.

(On the other hand - here's a fun idea. Have a voyeur party where there are video cameras EVERYWHERE, hooked up to monitors/tv's in different rooms, but with NO recording and a clear statement of such. A friend once went to a party like this - hidden cameras that everyone knew about, with scattered tv's - and I have wanted to try it ever since.)
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From:catullus_5
Date:February 19th, 2007 11:27 pm (UTC)
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That actually is an awesome idea. I bet it would induce more, uh, playfulness rather than less.
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From:g_w_s
Date:February 19th, 2007 11:31 pm (UTC)
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That's the idea! I should mention that my friend's party wasn't a rocky crowd, and that it was the *possibilities* that were exciting - at a rocky party, I would expect so much more. I for one know that I'd be excited to explore things I hadn't tried before, given my wariness of being recorded.

That's a kick-ass icon, btw. I love it! Much better than kicking that stupid turtle shell over and over..
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From:jrising
Date:February 20th, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)
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I like your idea for a voyeur party-- any idea where we can get that kind of equipment?

I agree with what you say about common camera courtesy and protocol. But Rocky parties are another kind of beast-- or at least they can be. Every kind of technology has wide-spread effects on social situations. Not as a immutable rule, but as a general rule, cameras are one technology that I don't think we want.

Unless you're given permission by the party host for bringing your camera, or the expectations change, you probably should not bring it to a Rocky party. Or if you bring it, don't bring it out except for a specific shot that you've gotten permission for.
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From:g_w_s
Date:February 20th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
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Aye, I doubt you've seen my camera. I'm usually only taking pictures of my friends that want their pictures taken - pretty safe. It's too new and expensive to leave out all night anyways (I will spill beer on it). =)

(Besides, my camera sees most of its rocky-related use either before the shows or after the parties.)

Where could you get that equipment? I think a small number of small-sized black/white monitors would be ideal, but I'd think that any small tv would do. Lots of people have cameras (though few have more than one), and if it's a party I'm attending, I'd definitely be able to bring at least one. Get a bunch of people to do the same and you're all set. It can be made obvious that there is no tape present. For something like that, you'd have to plan it out - coordinate between people bringing equipment. It's not unmanageable, I don't think.
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From:revolos55
Date:February 21st, 2007 12:06 am (UTC)
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That sounds kinda cool
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From:g_w_s
Date:February 19th, 2007 11:51 pm (UTC)
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Heehee.. random hijack. I had to laugh at the quality of the graphic..

http://www.400monkeys.com/God/

disclaimer: I am typically indifferent to others' religious beliefs (an it harm none).
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From:anastasia1
Date:February 20th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)
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This does not surprise me at all, and I'm sure you were not the only one to not know what she was doing. I would warn nyone that she is the most manipulative, self serving person I have ever come across. Do not trust her. She WILL screw you over, especially if she says she "considers you a friend."
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From:andelsky
Date:February 20th, 2007 04:11 am (UTC)
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*edit* I do stand by that feeling really out of place and uncalled for within the context of this post.
BUT, I certainly don't mean to jump into something where I have no involvement and where I know nothing of the background and very little of the people involved.
I apologize for any potential offense.
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From:anastasia1
Date:February 20th, 2007 05:48 am (UTC)
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That's right. You have no idea of the horrible things she has done to me personally or to my family. She has never even attempted to try to fix what she has done. If she says she's your friend. She will screw you too. I was warned and didn't believe it. I wish I had.
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From:d_day
Date:February 20th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
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I heard about the video taping before hand, but not from Mali.
Honestly, it made me a little relieved that I wasn't going to the party. It is a huge departure from usual Rocky Party Expectations, sometimes change can be good, but I always worry about any possible Legal ramifications. If I had gone to the party I would have asked not to be filimed, I would not have drank at all and would not have stayed long.

sad but true. I'm that paranoid.

A friend brought a camera to the First Annual New Year's Eve Party... it felt akward but he only had it out for a brief period around midnight and he was telling everyone. It also was not a Rocky party.


I do agree it could be a fun theme though.
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From:d_day
Date:February 20th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
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I felt the need to add this.

It is up to the host. Rocky rules are one thing but ultimately the Host is in charge.

Maybe next time (if there is a next time) Mali (or whoever) could put a sign on the door as people enter and/or add the detail about filiming to the LJ post and/or list email. As it is up to the Host what goes on at a Party, it is courtesy to do your best to inform everyone and let them make their own decisions as to particiaption
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From:jrising
Date:February 20th, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
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I totally agree. Whatever the host says, goes, no matter how big a deviation from normal Rocky expectations. And it could be a change for the better that we'll want to adopt as the new party expectation (change can be very good). But the host has to say it clearly and beforehand, so people know what to expect.

I don't have much to hide from a camera, but it does make me feel different, and I know I'll never be quite as free if they're around.
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From:mals13
Date:February 21st, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
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honestly, I didn't know about the camera until it was getting set up, and it was being set up in an area of the apartment that wasn't very compromising in the slightest because most things usually go on in another room. I wasn't asked, but I also didn't object because I figured the person gathering the footage would *never* use anything compromising against our wishes.
When somebody finally said something about the camera, once it entered the room where people were gathered and having fun, I should have said something then, but I let the room duke it out. I don't like making decisions for so many people, I might be the host, but I don't want to be the one blamed for ruining a good time. Heh, go figure.

I definitely agree with you. I should have taken a better stand on the situation, but hindsight is 20/20, right?
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From:revolos55
Date:February 21st, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
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I don't have an objection to cameras in general, as long as the subject(s) of the picture or video knows about it. I like the general rule of 'no cameras' because it sets the tone of safety/no proof, and when cameras do make an appearance it's unusual enough to get noticed.

I do like having pictures to record fun times, and as far as I've seen it when Jesse or Josh brought out a camera or videocamera it's always been "Hey, look! Camera! Fun picture time!" Otherwise photogrpahing or taping people without knowledge or consent is not in keeping with the freestyle Rocky spirit.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 21st, 2007 06:52 pm (UTC)
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This is the real world, and things aren't black and white. Despite the quaintness of the idea, there aren't any "rules" about Rocky parties. There are assumptions, sure, but the only assumption I've ever clung to is "nothing is predictable about Rocky parties".

Were grown ups. The camera was visible and obvious. Some people didn't want to be taped, and they weren't./ Some people encouraged it, and they were taped. No one had to do anything or not doo anything they did or didnt want to do, regardless of the camera, no one was pressured to do anything, no one was forced to stay, and only two people objected to it. The rest of the party, including the hosts, didnt have a probem with it, or liked it, so it stayed, its that simple, majority rules.

Rocky parties are in general an environment that fosters opening up and getting crazy, but that doesnt mean you are PRIVLEDGED to come to someone elses house and do wahtever you want. Youre as free to explore your sexuality or engage in illegal acts, as anyone else is free to tape it.

While I see this as a facinating and relevant discussion topic, I also see it as a non-issue. There was more than one room at the party.

No offense meant, none taken, thats my .02
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From:jrising
Date:February 22nd, 2007 03:15 am (UTC)
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"Majority rules" is exactly what I want to avoid.

Sure, anyone is capable of bringing a camera to parties. When that happens, we each get to decide individually how we want to respond. We could make those decisions caring only for what we individually want. Or we could be conscious of the way our decisions affect others. One way to do that is LJ discussion.

Rules aren't just a quaint idea; they're labels for the the expectations that make us a community. We're adults, so we get to choose our rules-- we get to create the atmosphere we choose, or be stuck with the atmosphere of the most common denominator.
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From:overstim
Date:February 22nd, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
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That was me by the way- i have no idea why i popped up as anonymous.
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