Articles by Dan Beckmann

NEW SERIES: ‘Mike’ Bloomberg Hangs Ten!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

As I spend about half my time in New York City–I often think of our dear Mayor, Michael “Mike” Bloomberg and how he would react to whatever I’m looking at in the various corners and crevices of this massive city under his rule.  Has he been to the rooms full of garbage in Greenpoint?   Did he grease palms in the Target parking lot in Maspeth?  How about the Pee on the Franklin Avenue shuttle–did he smell it?     Has he ever been to Staten Island– he’s the mayor of that place too–right?

With the recent hurricane and the evacuations–I imagine that “Mike” was reminded about a place called the Far Far away called the Far Rockaways.  This beach front property, takes at least an hour to get there by the A train from the tip of manhattan– and that’s if you don’t take the Lefferts line by mistake.   This island that costs about $3.50 just to get over the bridge and about $2.25 to leave by train is filled with projects–GOODTIMES STYLE.

Why would anyone put projects on the beach?  Well lets just say–its REALLY HARD to be there in the winter time.   It doesn’t smell all that good in the summer time– and the places to make money are in a land you can sometimes see on a clear day, but in reality is far far away.

That’s where our newest series 36 Degrees takes place.   Filmmaker and Santa Cruz native Annie Woods, has been embedded in the quiet surf scene that actually exists in New York City.  Although in recent years it has gained more attention (I’m told they did just have the Quicksilver Pro Tour out in Long Beach) the east coast surf scene still remains a vague mystery to most.   36 Degrees goes where Bloomberg doesn’t–to the end of the A train to find out what it means to live in the biggest cosmopolitan city and be a surfer.

 

RATED: Who the F*ck is This Guy?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

There’s a lot of provocative stuff going on the airwaves right now but it doesn’t mean our times are any more provocative(even if they are).  As Broadcast News gasps its final breaths, its going to take the kitchen sink, counter, walls–heck the entire neighborhood down with it as it tried to hang onto what’s left of its dwindling audiences. Mass media requires mass audiences to survive–like vampires need blood. And as it creeks its LOUD, slow death, it will become even more suckered with hyped-out, deadlined horror stories like national debt defaults, Charlie Sheen explosions, bad things that happen to cute blond chicks and terror scares on September 11th–its just unavoidable, its like rigor mortise.


The next couple of years will feel like the worst part of the worst Star Trek episode on repeat at ear shattering volume.  DAMN IT JIM!–who’s left to simply cut through the crap, make any sense of it all? You won’t find that here. “Making any sense of it all” is OVER RATED and I certainly wouldn’t trust anyone who claims to sell you that story–in the meantime, we offer RATED. Its a new short format show from Schmooru.

In each episode K. W. Rockefeller is presented with some of the toughest issues of our time. Without hesitation or prior preparation, he concludes whether something is Under/Over or just plain RATED.

A Truth From Inside the Obama’s 08 Campaign

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Did I ever mention, in 2006 I was threatened on an hourly basis based on my ability to write hit getting headlines?   This is a REAL, honest to gosh, truth from inside the Obama Campaign!   Its also the story behind Schmooru‘s most popular series The Narrow Show which launches our ALL NEW FALL SEASON!

2008 was an inspirational time to pretty much anyone.  Down at Obama’s New Media heaquarters in Chicago, it was an epicenter of CHANGE & HOPE.   We worked so hard there, we really didn’t have much time for anything else.   So, when I used to sneak out every week for an hour or three to go down to Chicago’s NPR station WBEZ and hijack an empty studio with my friend “Mike” to record a few conversations, I was really just trying to get a break from it all and do something…anything.. NON HOPEFUL.

Its true that IRA GLASS once spit on one of those mics we used, but he unfortunately had little to do with this extremely precious story about two college educated white boys who met at a university.  Despite Obama’s direct and divine influence on their creation, almost none of the recordings from these ‘campaign sessions’ have ever been released under “The Narrow Show” nomer.   In fact, Mike & I continued to record real conversations together despite very long distances and we’ve found that to work out much better.   It was over a year after the campaign was over, when we needed to start building a library for Schmooru, that we decided to take things to the ‘next level’ (please wait 30 years for the Narrow Show Anthology for these precious audio wonders to be released & they are good).

I sent Mike this show above as a method of putting still images to illustrate our words.  Its from this PBS show called Gather ‘Round(the guy in it was hip, before sters were born)– it was something they played for us during “Plan B” during elementary school growing up in Ohio.   “Plan B” meant that somehow the weather was too bad for even us rusted Northern Ohioans to go out and play–that we had to stay inside.   Accordingly, they still had to torture us while INSIDE, by playing VHS copies of alternating episodes of these BORING stories and the Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster, in 20 minute intervals.   While to this day, I’ve never seen any of these things all the way through — in the end, I guess it inspired this form that has brought joy, or maybe fascination is a better word, to 10s of thousands of schmoo viewers.

Despite many amazing things I’ve been a part of with great teams of people– The Narrow Show is the most cultural relevant things I’ve ever worked on that truly reflects the closest thing to my own personal vision.   We do not script– and it all just comes out.   From the personality that has driven away throngs of women(and many men too), is now the most successful thing we’ve got going right now.

Without further delay–the new as a brand spankin’ new baby’s forehead–> episode 110, The Cranials.

New Fall Season Starts Wednesday!

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Man… it sucks to be back at work–doesn’t it? Fortunately, we’ve been hard at work at Schmooru making more things to distract you from actually doing anything productive. We’re about to launch our biggest season yet, with TONS of new shows and the return of some of your favourites!

Coming this Wednesday, our NEW FALL SEASON premieres with an ALL NEW NARROW SHOW!

The Narrow Show Episode #5 – The Cranials – We introduce you to a group of folks who’ve got the ways and means to just not let you be.

36 Degrees TRAILER: Full disclosure, we combined going to the beach with our work.  Meet 36 Degrees.   Filmmaker Annie Woods spent the summer documenting one of the dedicated surf cultures in the greatest city in the world– New York’s Rockaway Beach.   Navigating crowded subway trains with longboards, the surfing community in NYC gives new cred to the word ‘gnarly’.

Al Gore Time Machine – The tragic tales of a man who touches history with the best of intentions, but no matter what he does, can’t seem to get it right!


A Friend of Mine – Hillary Clinton once said it took ‘a village to raise a child…”, in the case of “A Friend of Mine” it takes the over 3,000 creative members of Schmooru.com to raise this series!   Based on true recorded stories of sexual folly, mistaken identity, drunken deviance, and abject shame–a different group of schmoorus will illustrate the stories in each episode.  Directed by Adam Vine & Carl MacLaren.

Call Center Confessions- In Schmooru’s first step into the waters of innovative journalism, we coax the confessions of the real truths on the other side of the line at a satellite cable TV call center.  If you think your life sucks, you’ve probably never worked in a call center.   By filmmaker Michael Solsky.

Ten Danmandments – Raising a dozen catholic kids in Omaha, Nebraska teaches you a thing or two about life.  IN the case of Ten Danmandments, in his own no bullshit style, he’ll not only reveal his rules to live by, he’ll obliterate any questions.   From the makers of Immigrants.

Rated – Whether its Lady Gaga vs. Madonna or Incadescent lightbulbs, Kevin Gask tells it like it is.   What’s Over hyped, under appreciated, and well.. just plain Rated.  By Filmmaker Daniel De Bonis.

Singles Night with Jack Curtin – You may not know Jack Curtin yet, but after you spend a night with him Boston, you’ll either want to go home with him, or send your sisters running for the hills.  Either way, Jack Curtin always knows how to keep things rolling, keep things easy.. keep things real.

Also Returning this season with ALL NEW EPISODES:

I Like, I Don’t Like

Ask Dr. Esther


Mike Nugent’s Montana


Food with Sam

 

Every Wednesday.   Obliterate some time with something new from the creative minds of Schmooru. 

Why Schmooru is a California Based concern

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

I still like the CRAZY days
I always will
thats why SF is home )
Liz: why is SF home?
me: I can have the crazy days without judgment my whole life through

I need the crazy days

Liz: ha
me: not so much at once
as HARRISON and etx did in the day
but I need crazy to be possible
there’s an unwink to people on the streets there, (she’s one who gets it and wants them too)

In NYC they seemingly want to write something or be told something about crazy days
then act them out. That’s all they have time & space for.

In DC they do this too, but they despise the crazy days


In SF, we’re just a bunch of little kids out there.
Liz: is there a heroin scene in brooklyn?
Liz: I got that distinct impression last time I visited
me: it wouldnt surprise me
thats not what Im looking for
Liz: I really tried to change the subject
no way man
awful

me: crazy is the freedom to not ‘make CENTS’

california-as a direct democracy doesnt make CENTS
they have laws that disagree
the place is ungovernable

like trying to make sense to a little kid
Liz: ha
me: I love that shit
theres so much opportunity in that

me: sometimes that leads to a BUMMER
but there’s more a chance to allow for STOKED
in california you only have those two choices.

Schmooru.com Launches!

Monday, February 21st, 2011

index

Welcome to Schmooru.com. For those of you waiting since May 2009 — you no longer have to get your schmoo on alone! Every video you see here was made by a member of our community. While thoroughly checked before admitted — each was given the creative freedom and a modest budget to complete their work. They were not conceived in a conference table by a committee of people related to each other, NOR was any focus group or ratings paper consulted — each one of our creators had a vision and was able to go with it. (more…)

Don’t Fear China. Those Grammarians Will Kill It First.

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

With last month’s visit of Hu Juntao, President of China — its like everyone’s worried about China taking over the United States! OMGAA! What’s most shocking to me is that this display of pageantry has sparked so much discussion about the two NATIONS, as if there aren’t people working on relations or flying on airplanes between the two places at every hour of every day of the year. (more…)

My Junior English Teacher Passed Away This Week

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

To set the mood, lets start this class in the continued pursuit in this forum of where creativity originates — with this sound to begin the “Morning Announcements, just as it once did in Barbara Wagner’s English classroom in 1990s Ottawa Hills, Ohio as she scowled from her front table. (more…)

R. I. P. Major Magic

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

I’m not a military sentimentalist, but somehow, I imagine, the next Veterans day will not be the same since the recent passing of Major Magic and his ALL STAR PIZZA REVIEW. (more…)

TOP FIVE: Dentist Office Songs

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

The creative process rarely fully conceives of distribution. Will your work end up posted in an Applebees or at some snooty apple orchard art fair — its not always clear. (more…)