Writer, photographer, artist, dog-lover…
I like to start things, I guess you could say. I was one of the people who started S&R and am the ostensible ringleader. I started The 5th Estate, the precursor to S&R, and for awhile there it was the best thing on the LiveJournal network. In the summer of 2012 I rounded up a lot of my fantastic photographer friends and started 5280 Lens Mafia. And all the way back in April of 1994 I started Lullaby Pit, making it one of the first 2,000 branded Web sites in the world.
I’m an innovator in the business world, too. I’ve founded or co-founded a couple small companies and have developed all kinds of genuinely new, nobody-ever-did-this-before programs for my employers and clients. (You can learn more about my business offerings at Samuel wordSmith.). I even started a campaign for president. (Okay, maybe that one wasn’t entirely serious).
Let’s see, what else?
- I used to be a poet. Who foolishly wished he could earn a living being one. But couldn’t, so he retired.
- My current creative passion is photography. I’ve always wanted to do something visual and have been fortunate to have friends who were talented shooters. So I finally bought a camera and set about the business of learning a new skill from the ground up. Vertical learning curves do not scare me, apparently. Check me out at Sam Smith Photography.
- Of course, my natural tendencies toward darkness, experimentation and digital fuckery most foul inevitably led me to a place that starts with the camera, but at the end really isn’t photography any more. Let’s call it digital art, for lack of a better term. You can explore it at Candlefall Gallery.
- I’m a natural born teacher, although I get frustrated with how little learning is valued in the US. I taught at a variety of schools, including the University of Colorado, Iowa State University, Salem College, Winston-Salem State, St. Bonaventure and the University of Denver. Then I ran screaming.
- Politically I’m probably most easily labeled as a “progressive,” although the “easily” part is guaranteed to lead a slothful thinker into trouble. For instance, I hold some views that are seen as extremely “conservative.” In general, I think that our labels are pretty counter-poductive – “left/right” and “blue/red” are mostly clever PR tactics that let the have-mores divide and conquer the have-lesses. There’s a divide in the world, all right, but it ain’t left vs. right – it’s top vs. bottom. Once you process that and factor in my rabid belief in education, you begin to understand why most conventional political distinctions make no sense to me. At all.
- I’m a freak about music, and I write occasionally about its role in the broader culture.
- I love sports and get pretty worked up about its role in the culture, too. When I’m not thinking too hard about it, though, I’m rooting on my favorite teams: Chelsea FC (#ktbffh); Wake Forest University; the Boston Red Sox; the Denver Nuggets; the University of Colorado; and the Colorado Rapids. I’m also a Broncos fan, although truth be told I’m about done with the NFL thanks to the way the league has lined up against Colin Kaepernick and the other players protesting for simple justice.
- Born in February of 1961, I’m on the very front edge of Generation X, and generational dynamics are a key theme in both my blogging and professional lives.
- I love dogs to the point of irrationality. For 12 years I was lucky enough to live with the best dog ever, Ronan MacScottie. Now I live with my girlfriend and she has an Australian Cattle Dog named Trouble. No animal should be this smart. Or insane.
- I love playing trivia. My team rarely loses.
And in closing, the vital statistics:
- I live in the greater Denver metro and wish it would stop growing so fast. If you’re thinking of moving here, don’t. It’s awful. Really.
- I earned my BA from Wake Forest; I hold an MA from Iowa State; and I capped all that book-learnin’ off with a doctorate from the University of Colorado.
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