Friday, February 01, 2008

An Amazing Guy/AF Tip of the Day

I want to write about something/someone different today.

Michael Totten ( is a free-lance journalist, an Independent Journalist if you will. He lives in Portland, but spends an amazing amount of time in the Middle East. We had lunch months ago when he was in town and the guy blew me away.

Like an Independent Filmmaker, he picks up free lance jobs (articles) here and there, but basically he funds his own trips over to the Middle East and writes what he sees. His blog is amazing! He doesn't hang out with the big time news media, he goes and sees thing that most of the media miss, and writes about them.

He has met a lot of real people over there and he covers them. He talks about their problems, and how they are just trying to survive. He writes about power struggles between groups and goes behind the scenes and does the background work. I read his stuff and get a real sense of the people and the struggle of their daily lives. I mean here is a guy who most of us have never heard of and he is mostly by himself (sometimes he's with another friend), moving around observing and writing. And he does it all with out major backing.

How does he do it? Like I said he picks up some free-lance writing work, but he also has a space on his web page where you can "donate" or subscribe to him. When you think about it, Michael is like an Independent Filmmaker, only he is doing his work in a much more dangerous place than most of us. His "donation/subscribe" buttons on his website are pretty small and unless you are working your way through his site you might miss it.

His archives go back to August of 2003, which is a long time to be covering that area. He lists tons of other people's blogs on his site, including bloggers from the Middle East! Wow. This guy deserves out attention.

I read his stuff every chance I get, and meeting him was terrific. He is a quiet, unassuming guy with a pretty good sense of humor. He certainly was not what I expected of a journalist who funds his own trips over there and writes what he sees. If more people read his work, we might have a greater understanding of what is going on all over that part of the world.

And get this, he doesn't have a political agenda that he is trying to ram down our throats like a lot of these famous morons on TV and radio(and the ones who are hawking their big best selling books). You know, the experts who know what is going on over there, but have never been there. They tell us who to vote for and try to make us hate and distrust others who aren't like us.

Michael just writes what he sees, and experiences.

Please check out his site,, and if you like what he is doing, send him a couple bucks. The guy is a REAL INDEPENDENT!

Let's support him because he is like us. A normal person who is working out side the system to let people know what is really going on. He just uses words.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I like Michael a lot.

And now, Your AF Tip of the Day.

I don't care how much you think you or your friends know about movies. What many of you have learned has come through watching the special features and director's commentaries on fucking DVD's. That doesn't tell you anything.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming in 2008)


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