Articles by Dan Beckmann

YO Michele Bachmann: Unlike Your Campaign, Gay Can’t Just Go Away!!

Friday, January 13th, 2012

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Michelle Bachmann’s Waterloo this campaign season was her birthplace, Waterloo, Iowa. It was her first stand in Presidential politics, for many in the gay community and quite possibly the nation, we hope it will be her last.

The reason we draw attention to this obscure Republican primary candidate, is not just her views on gay marriage, but the business of a clinic she co-founded with her husband, Marcus. One of the services of this clinic, is you can “pray the gay away.”

Schmooru’s resident clinical psychologist, Dr. Esther, vividly addressed this issue, but we didn’t want to get involved with the election–so we had to wait. Fortunately, with Michelle Bachmann we didn’t have to wait very long.

In addition, a second part– now that you know you can’t Ungay someone through psychotherapy, it can help you to come out of the closet.

Now if we could just find a clinical way to turn someone un-stupid?

NEW NARROW SHOW: Just In Time For Easter!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

By now, probably most of you are all sick and tired by now of hanging out with your families. The judgements, the awkward silences, the chore of having to figure out relatively benign things to do together?

The good news is, you won’t have to do it again until the spring! You have the long cold winter, the anticipation of the uncelebrated holiday of January 23rd, known as the ‘most depressing day of the year’, when all your holiday shopping credit card bills are due!

Fortunately, considering how long it takes us to make these Narrow Show’s, its egg references will be somewhat seasonally relevant for a good 4 months! Did we plan this on purpose–of course not– further there’s no Easter reference directly whatsoever! The truth is, we never really know when these things are coming, but since we’ve got this one out before the big EGG Holiday we hope you’ll enjoy it over and over again over some Cadbury Creme Eggs(which should be out now already?)

The Narrow Show: Egg, Cicada, Secada

From the entire Schmooru Community, thanks for a GREAT YEAR!

Schmooru Network Breaks Top 5 of All Youtube Partners!

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Last week, schmooru, through our network of independent distribution partners took the #4 spot on Comscore’s listing of youtube partner channels by unique viewers. What this means is after 2 and half years in the trenches–with no bags of money or Hollywood connections, the little network that could, built up by a community of professional creatives is breaking through.

What makes us even more proud, is the programming we’ve been able to distribute over our network. For instance, since its inception, our Art as Life project, inspired by the continental philosophies of Martin Heidegger, with the intention of bringing art to the masses, has been viewed over 30 million times.

Ask Dr. Esther’s midwestern mental health series has covered serious topics ranging from Depression, Marital Infidelity, How to Find True Love and of course, How to Have Good Sex, among others!

Basically, what we’re saying here is, along with the help of our viewer community, we’ve been able to get this hard fought #4 spot–beating out some serious players & interests, through hard work and doing it our way. We consider this email list our ‘inner circle’ & we thank you for your ongoing support.

We’re not finished yet, in fact–we’re just getting started. In time for Christmas expect an All New Narrow Show on the “Incredible Edible Egg” & Dr. Esther explains how to get out of the closet.

ART as LIFE Project takes Schmooru to #4 on ComScore

Monday, November 28th, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — [PRNewsire] In its first month, Schmooru’s ‘Art as Life’ video project propelled the Schmooru Network to the #4 of YouTube partner channels by unique viewers according to Comscore.

While retaining the project’s purpose of bringing art to the masses, the ‘Art as Life’ videos have been viewed over 30 million times on Schmooru’s online video platform partners.

“Our purpose was to spread experimental art far and wide, and disrupt everyday people in everyday circumstances” said Dan Beckmann co-founder IB5k. “We aim to use the preeminent distribution platform of our era – the whole internet – to bring some humanity to the constant stream of ads that the world has to sit through on a daily basis.”

Schmooru has received several dozen submissions to the project from its closed network of professional film-makers, graphic designers, painters and artists – a community of creatives that counts in the thousands and hails from around the globe.

“Our community was just tired of having every creative idea ruined by committee,” said Beckmann, “so we let them have free reign of our network and pushed out whatever their minds could come up with.”

The ‘Art as Life’ project is ongoing, with new releases set to occur several times a week on a rolling basis through early 2012.

If you are interested in submitting to the ‘Art as Life’ project, please check out:
To see all of our contributions go here: is an independent video destination backed by a community of creatives spanning the globe. Schmooru is wholly-owned by IB5k, a civically-minded, creative development firm born out of Obama’s 2008 New Media campaign.

For Press Inquires please contact:
Dan Beckmann, Co-Founder IB5k

Why We All Should Care About the Old Crank

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

If life were to be cut into three acts, if we all were permitted to live as long as Andy Rooney– his third act starting at the age of 58, was certainly his most culturally relevant.   What do I mean by that?   Yes, he was a journalist during World War II and a writer for many well known television people for many years– but the reason we all know his name is because of his few minutes with Andy Rooney that started in 1978.   His third act came latest and lasted longer than any other act–in a world so fascinated with youth and prodigal genius, his tardiness is an inspiration to us all in whatever we do.

If you watch several dozen Andy Rooney clips, as I’ve done the past couple of days, you will also notice the tone in which he’s introduced.   I’ve noticed a different tone between some of the older gaurd at 60 minutes and those newer to the train.  It generally ranges from suspicion, to light contempt, to wink wink, the old crazy man’s about to speak.   In his passing, what these esteemed colleagues and ego maniacs have seemingly all agreed on are at least these two points:

1) The guy was memorable – Andy Rooney is the person most people ask them about when they’re out in the field.

2) He brought in the numbers – When Andy Rooney was suspended in the late 80s, Don Hewitt begged for him to come back as soon as possible because the ratings were starting to go into the toilet.  The ratings tended to go up over the course of the hour despite the fact, the producers generally put their most impressive story at the top of the show.

As someone who has had introductions similar to Andy’s throughout my entire life, and who generally associates with others who do as well, I consider Andy Rooney & Don Hewitt trailblazers in the respect that the first parts of 60 minutes clearly are the ones people SAY and want you to think they are watching for– when the truth is, a lot of people actually stuck around each week for Andy, whether the bigshots in the beginning had duds or not.   Don Hewitt tried a lot of crazy things at the end of the show before he got to Andy(point/counter point?).  It took guts to not only give a frumpy writer who had never been on a television a shot, but to keep him there long enough for the American people to understand the truth in what you saw.

Broadcast television is a hard business and when someone like Andy Rooney dies it also reminds one it may soon be a lost art.   At Schmooru, we still consider ourselves broadcasters, even on the internet.   Its a lot harder to attempt to make programming that in some way can relate to the largest audience you can find out there, than to preach to a certain choir–and still have it be interesting.   Andy Rooney, in his longevity and in his controversy is exemplar in how to do just that.

Meanwhile– F. Nick Michaels, doesn’t like Milk:

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RATED: What Would Ralph Nader Do?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

It was the 2000 Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis. The match up, Al Gore’s ‘lock box’ Vs. George W. Bush ‘compassionate conservatism’. Protestors occupied the baseball field across from the Field House–before there was anything to really protest about.

I was the guy in charge of WUTV– the campus television station and this was the biggest thing that ever happened to me. We had wall to wall coverage, analysis– and yes a SCANDAL! Ralph Nader wanted to get into those debates. Now I don’t know whether he should have been allowed to debate or not–some blame RALPH for deep sixing Gore. All I know is we had extra tickets, and we’re able to get people next to the field house to interview them as part of our extensive WUTV coverage (playing closed circuited only on campus–but maybe CNN was watching?).

The end of the story is, we got Ralph Nader tickets to get to his interview with WUTV and as soon as he showed up, he was prevented from coming on campus. I haven’t spoke publicly about this until now–our shenanigans were mostly overshadowed by the Governor of the State of Missouri dying in a plane crash earlier that morning.

What I can tell you is that Ralph Nader got us all the seat belt which is RATED on this new installment of RATED (and I think maybe he should have stopped there).

Spitzer, Sanford, McGravy…

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Spitzer, Sanford, McGravy(mis-spelled on purpose cause I like it better than way)… what do these guys all have in common?   They used to be governors, but they aren’t anymore due to marital scandal!  They cheated on their wives.

In some of these types of cases the couple immediately gets a divorce– in others, they end up staying together.  In those cases, not that its any of our business, but the question could be raised, did they have a deal before hand, within the marriage that “substitute teaching” was ok every now and then?

Who knows– but in this episode of Dr. Esther, if you’re considering setting up one of these transactions, you may want to see what she has to say first.


Al Gore Time Machine

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Many people may not know this, however, quite a few do– that Al Gore in many respects is the inspiration upon which our community of creatives was founded. Many of us have worked directly for an Al Gore concern, and so, in making this new series, something I consider to be a tragic comedy, we are not doing so to add to the pile of deprecation on this heavily misunderstood man.

This deprecation, in many respects is a contribution to a larger problem.

Al Gore Time Machine is a story about a man who finds himself at the precipice of history time and time again, with the opportunity to make something happen, only to fail at the last minute, attributed to poor taste or judgement.

If you look at Al Gore’s life and accomplishments, it is actually much more tragic than this– with very few laugh lines. He has brought the world’s attention to the encroaching climate crisis only to stop short of any systemic change, he won the presidency of the United States & an in our corner of the woods, he came up with an idea similar to Yotube before Youtube was hatched–mostly in reaction to the media that traumatizes him, while failing to seize the true opportunity due to a paranoia developed from his enemies who he’s allowed to define and consume him.

We’ve all seen those moments of greatest in Al– the times when he’s said something that’s clicked when it appeared as though he was presenting himself as himself. That’s really all anyone ever wanted from him. And time and time again he’s let his enemies define him to the public– and instead of doubling down on the person he really is, a true visionary in many respects especially when you consider where he came from.

In many respects, Al may, without his knowing, be ahead of the times once again. We all hope that the new movements taking to the streets throughout the world is the true visualization of a democratized, leaderless media. If we are to enter into a post-leader era, one where we don’t have to rely on the personal deficiencies of otherwise productive people, we all may be better to seize these historic moments.

The responsibility won’t rest on Al’s wide shoulders to direct a movement he started to its full and total completion.

I hope that becomes the case. I think Al probably does too.

In closing, this is not a partisan hackery job here. We are working up a similar series call “Dick & Don Time Machine” — a story about a tragic duo that travels back in time to make the world a more terrible place based on their own paranoia around self preservation. Compared to those fascinating trwerps at least it seemed like Al was trying to make things better for all living creatures, not just his own tribe at all costs and “go fuck yourself” to the rest (an argument could be made for Dick & Don, of course, that they were just trying to keep things real).

Until then, green power to the people.

WE Like Andy Rooney & Facial Hair

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

There have been many copies, derivatives, inspirations over the years, but Andy Rooney they also say is a true Original.

YET, even the name ROONEY, was taken and used for another grump in Ferris Buehler’s day off.

Ferris Buehler’s day off was fak’d ‘By the Bell

Three men and a baby was faked by Full House.

Good Morning America thought they’d fool you into thinking these two JOLLY weather guys were the SAME. They were not!

And the list goes on and on. At least these things were considered ‘derivative’ not complete copies.

Which brings us back to a few words with Andy Rooney.  Its hard to believe Andy is not going to be on television regularly anymore. You know, I remember as a little kid, even when I couldn’t understand any of the other stories on 60 Minutes and Mike Wallace just made sounds and funny faces, I knew what Andy Rooney was talking about with that extra cotton in the Tums container.

Oh and by the way, there’s a new “I like, I Don’t like” out this week. F. Nick Michaels Likes Facial hair and I must tell you its his best effort yet.



Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

There’s been much SNEEZE acho’d about the future of news–the proverbial piano that’s DROPPED on the ‘old way’ of doing things. As the clean-up of the ivories endures– we thought it might be nice to put Tony the Tiger, epic spoke’s cat for the legendary Frosted Flakes cereal IN the ANCHOR CHAIR!

BEHOLD– the “Confessions” series from the newsies down @Schmooru. The concept here is our team goes in, interviews the heck out of people who work in real places to get to the truth, without revealing their identities. We protect the sources, you get the goods.

Our first series OUTS a DirectTV Call Center. We all have had to call these places, but what’s it like on the other side of the line? If you think its bad navigating the dial trees, imagine what its like eating shit from people with problems you’re not allowed to solve for 10 hours a day? In call centers– there’s only one rule, no matter what they say to you, you can never hang up.

IN this NEVER BEFORE done expression of journalistic integrity–the only thing you’ll be left saying at the end of Call Center Confessions is “Its’ G-R-r-r-r-r-r-eat!!”