April 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
My Shtreimel is a video blog that features my fiancée Loren, who is a reoccurring character in my work. Sitting in a dimly lit room, Loren shares a personal Sabbath ritual. Behind him is the large painting of the Rebbe that appears in Obsessed with Frida Kahlo video. Although Loren is alone, he addresses the camera as if he were speaking directly with his eventual audience.
My Shtreimel, YouTube Video, 2006.
“I think it is very important for each of us to have an enjoyable Shabbos experience. And to be able to in some ways personally define what that Shabbos experience entails. There’s a lot of different minhags that I think a lot different people have that not every one has. And there are certain things that we develop not necessarily because they are passed down from our father, or our mother, or your mother’s father, just because it is something that makes your Shabbos experience a little bit more enjoyable a lot these personal minhags that we all have…”
Casually citing the Chofetz Hayim and the Talmud Yerushalmi, he acknowledges both his relationship to, and awareness of traditional Jewish texts; thereby, indirectly aligning himself with a more observant Jewish community. Using humor, he offsets the implied exclusivity of those ties, by adding that he is actually wearing a woman’s hat that was purchased at a thrift store.
eruv stl is “posted as a response” to My Shtreimel. eruv stl is intended to link Berlin’s Eruv to St. Louis. In this low quality thus “authentic video blog” Loren and I drive around the Washington University in St. Louis area, with a map in hand, trying to locate St. Louis’s eruv. In the background you can hear Guns and Roses famous song Welcome to the Jungle. Loren assumes a role similar to the one of Matisyahu, a halakically informed Jew, who does not the traditional model for the other and is thereby able to communicate with the secular world.
eruv stl, YouTube Video, 2009.
I ask Loren why he thinks the eruv extends as far as it does and if he thinks that there area lot of Orthodox Jewish families living in the area. Loren tell me that the eruv has extended this far because of the Hillel on campus, and that while there are not many Orthodox families living on the streets that we are driving, that the presence of the Hillel on campus is enough to create an eruv-worthy Jewish community.
Not only does it become clear that Loren familiar with Orthodox Jewish practices and the neighboring streets, but also he is still not sure exactly where the eruv is located. Meaning that even though the eruv is present, Loren is either a) so religious that he doesn’t abide by it, OR b) he doesn’t lead a Jewish life that would involve abiding by an eruv. As the conversation continues Loren continues to distance himself from vocabulary that you would expect to come from a more observant Jew, as he casually engages in humorous banter with me surrounding the eruv.
I ask him how it felt to finally “find” the eruv, he responds that he “feels pretty good” but he didn’t feel like “it was an actual wall” – which it isn’t, so this statement is made in jest. He continues, “its like finding Waldo, Waldo had curly hair and glasses, he might have been a frum Jew [...] maybe it is a statement about jews begin such a small percentage of the population…
more thesis excerpts coming soon…
December 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
Loren’s long awaited legal music database has finally arrived!
here is the official video:
and here is the official press release:
From writing-off leather pants to copyright disputes: New database chronicles legal side of music industry
School of Law’s Center for Empirical Research in the Law and a recent law alum launch thediscography.orgBy Jessica Martin
Do black leather pants qualify as a tax deduction for rock stars?
Fans, musicians, journalists, researchers and anyone else interested in music can see how the courts dealt with this question and nearly any other legal issue involving the music industry at The Discography: Legal Encyclopedia of Popular Music accessible through thediscography.org.
The site was created by Loren Wells, JD, musician and recent graduate of the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law and is supported by the Center for Empirical Research in the Law (CERL) at the School of Law.
The site’s database — the most elaborate of its kind — covers 2,400 court opinions spanning nearly 200 years of the music industry.
The opinions, ranging from copyrights and contracts to taxes, torts and more, are fully summarized and searchable by a number of variables such as artist, location, timeframe issue and more.
“You can see nearly all of U.S. law through the cases and while the cases are educational, they’re also immensely entertaining,” Wells says.
“The Discography is for anyone who legitimately wants a balanced perspective of the music industry and an appreciation for the people who make it happen.”Wells started in the music industry with small rock shows and then moved onto playing the House of Blues and record label showcases. He strayed from the stage briefly to attend law school.
Thediscography.org also features a blog that highlights interesting cases, artwork by Wells and a news section on current legal events in the music industry.
CERL provides the technical platform to deliver Wells’ database to anyone who would like to access it.
“We took an uncut gem and presented it in a defined form,” says Andrew D. Martin, PhD, CERL director and professor of law.
“The Discography is exciting because it’s an extraordinary collection of information that did not previously exist.
Martin says the project is being driven by a “very passionate student” and is a departure from the staid, faculty projects that CERL normally supports.
“The value of the database is immense,” says Martin, who is also professor and chair of the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences. “Through the lens of music cases we’re able to understand a great deal of American law.”
CERL’s research technologist Troy DeArmitt says “Wells put a lot of energy and knowledge into constructing this body of information.
“It would be criminal if this information was not accessible to the world,” DeArmitt says.
Editor’s Note: Loren Wells, Andrew Martin and Troy DeArmitt are available for live or taped interviews using Washington University’s free VYVX or ISDN lines. Please contact Jessica Martin at (314) 935-5251 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.