Categorized | Features, Media

Living in the Material World

 

The Amazing Transformation of Dr. Kitchin

Award-Winning VIDEO

 

Joshua Izenberg
Filmmaker

 

Slomo came into my life at an opportune moment.

Having just rolled into my 30s, I was looking for both a film subject and some wisdom on how to approach the encroaching “middle third” of my life– the years when youthful idealism is so often blunted by adult responsibilities.

Around this time, during a business trip to San Diego, my father had a chance meeting on the Pacific Beach boardwalk with John Kitchin, an old medical school classmate.

My dad barely recognized Dr. Kitchin, who was meticulously skating up and down the promenade, blasting inspirational music from speakers hidden under his shirt.  Disillusioned with a life that had become increasingly materialistic, he had abruptly abandoned his career as a neurologist and moved to a studio by the beach.

The locals called him Slomo, knowing little about his past life, but cheering and high-fiving him as he skated by in slow motion.  He had become a Pacific Beach institution.  

I was intrigued.

I’ve long been fascinated by people who make seismic changes late in life.  It goes against the mainstream narrative: “Grow up, pick a career, stick it out, and retire.”

I was also curious about Slomo’s concept of “the zone,” a realm of pure subjectivity and connectedness that he achieves through his skating.  The only thing Slomo loves more than being in the zone is talking about the zone, so it wasn’t hard to persuade him to take part in a documentary film.

Slomo’s combination of candor and eloquence made him a natural on camera, and his background as a neurologist legitimized his metaphysical theories about skating, lateral motion and the brain.  But like many of the people who saw him skating by, I couldn’t help wondering: was this guy nuts, or was he onto something?

And was his mantra – “Do what you want to” – translatable to those of us without the nest egg of a retired doctor?  But just like the throngs of Slomo fans on Pacific Beach, I couldn’t get enough of him, and was determined to capture the effect he had on people in a cinematic way.

With this film, we hope to create a window into the ecstatic experience that Slomo has every day, transcending the trappings of the material world.

And for my part, I continue to be intrigued by the particular joys and conflicts that define a person’s life once he decides to do exactly what he wants.

 

* * * * * * * *

Josh Izenberg is a filmmaker based in San Francisco.  “Slomo,” his first documentary, received more than a dozen awards including Best Documentary Short by the International Documentary Association and the jury award for best short documentary at SXSW.

This film blew us away on a number of levels.  We hope you like it too.

Oh, one other thing:  it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.

 

~For Herrmann and Cheyenne Spetzler, Bill Hunter, and Jim Bella; with the best wishes for happiness and health.

Please share this with others
and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

5 Responses to “Living in the Material World”

  1. Karen Thomas says:

    Awesome video, awesome story, very well done! Thank you!

  2. Brandon says:

    After being in the army my entire adult life and having to more or less start over with a brand new career, or a lack there of, I’ve been getting increasingly harder on myself. Honestly, I think you may have changed my entire outlook on life and what is important before I could finish my first cup of coffee this morning. I’m not giving up on chasing the career that I’m chasing, but I feel great anyway. I think I’ll be taking my hobbies off the back burner and establishing my own standards for success. Great job on the video and thanks so much for sharing it!

  3. Skippy says:

    Thank you, Brandon.

    We don’t suggest giving up on the career by any means. There are bills to pay and a family to feed and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

    One day I asked a very wealthy man his secret for success. He was a sharp and fascinating elderly gentleman who had done many things: he was a banker, owned the Pan American Bank, wrote bond issues, developed land in Florida during the 20s and the Depression, and did countless other wheeling-and-dealing projects over the years.

    He thought long and hard before answering me.

    He said: “Son, remember this: every man should have a trade, a hobby, and a profession. Having all of those and you’ll always be able to provide for yourself and fall back on something both during the good times and the bad. Ask yourself what yours are.”

    Looking back on my life and taking his thoughtful advice, he was right.

    We were inspired by Dr. Kitchin, too, who reinvented himself later in life. I guess he developed his ‘hobby’ after reviewing his career and values and what he was unhappy with. Granted, he had made his money and was able to pursue his pleasure. Rollerblading doesn’t pay much nowadays.

    Brandon, we wish you the very best in your endeavors. And thank you for your service. Good luck and Godspeed to you in your new career– wherever that lies and wherever it takes you.

  4. lost says:

    A message that touches all. nice video, inspiring idea. we all should be so lucky!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • Hard days at First Look
    Djelloul Marbrook -  Mainstream journalism is now in the hands of five corporatoe dictators, five Citizens Kane. In committing $250 million to finance First Look and Intercept, eBay’s Pierre Omidyar promised to break this mold, this corporate manhandling of the news. American journalists took notice. Many applied for work at this new project, which has now, […]
  • What's happening
    What it's like trying to get a voter IDSweden become third EU state to recognize Palestine A Georgia appellate court recently reached a decision that holds parents liable for their kids’ online activity—an unprecedented legal ruling, lawyers said. The parents of a 7th grader were deemed “negligent” after failing to get their son to delete a defamatory F […]
  • Halloween outfit of the year
    Ruth Baby GinsbergSource unknown […]
  • The real Clinton story: 1983
    Stories the media doesn't tell you about the Clintons and the state that made them Mochtar Riady forms Lippo Finance & Investment in Little Rock. A non-citizen, Riady hires Carter's former SBA director, Vernon Weaver, to chair the firm. The launch is accomplished with the aid of a $2 million loan guaranteed by the SBA. Weaver uses Governor Clin […]
  • Real economics: Wealth
    Al Jazeera - More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study by the Urban Institute. Washington Post - The median net worth of American households declined between 2000 and 2011, the Census Bureau said in a report that showed the steepest drops experienced by minorities and pe […]
  • How we get rid of geniuses these days
     A question we have raised from time to time: Where is today's Albert Einstein? Our answer: Probably on Prozac somewhere. . More on this topic:Washington's Blog -  Scott Barry Kaufman (PhD in cognitive psychology from Yale)  writes in Scientific American: Research … has supported the notion that under certain conditions, people with ADHD characteri […]
  • Pocket paradigms
    You meet alot of process people in Washington. They're like vehicles without a drive belt. They make a lot of noise; they just can't go anywhere. Getting things done is now a radical act. Then there are the virtual people. They only exist as images of themselves. Talking to one of them is like watching a bad cable show without a zapper. Some scient […]
  • Word
    It's what you learn after you know it all that counts -- Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver […]
  • William Burroughs getting in the Halloween spirit
    VIA CURTIS KISE […]
  • Down East Notes
    PUBLIC INFORMATION ANNOUNCEMENT Town of Freeport, MEOn Monday evening, October 27, 2014, the Maine State Police informed Freeport’s Police and Fire Departments that Ms. Kaci Hickox would be stopping in Freeport for one night on her way to her home in Fort Kent. Ms. Hickox is a healthcare worker who recently returned to the United States after caring for Ebol […]
  • The new Middle Ages
    Some readers may recall our occasional thesis that we are living in a new Middle Ages in which the masses are up against a relatively few paranoid lords in well moated castles aka Washington and NYC. We were please to find that Monty Python was on this case some time ago.VIDEO […]
  • Mid and late career teachers are underpaid
    Center for American Progress:Mid- and late-career teacher base salaries are painfully low in many states. In Colorado, teachers with a graduate degree and 10 years of experience make less than a trucker in the state. In Oklahoma, teachers with 15 years of experience and a master’s degree make less than sheet metal workers. And teachers in Georgia with 10 yea […]
  • What's happening
    What happens when you criticize Teach for America? Over 214,000 doctors won't participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. It's about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.The 29 states whe […]
  • FBI comes up with new assault on Constitution
    Guardian - The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.Civil liberties groups warn that the proposed rule change amounts to a power grab by the agency that would […]
  • How corporations staged a coup against America
    Vox - In September, a proposal to amend the US Constitution to allow tougher campaign finance and election spending restrictions went down to defeat in the Senate, on a party-line vote. Now, a new analysis by Common Cause rounded up the latest lobbying filings to find which interest groups disclosed lobbying against this amendment.There are no great surprise […]