Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Service

Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 12- Memorial Service
Published on Aug 8, 2015

"About 100 family, friends and colleagues gathered at the Fairview (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department on August 8, 2015 for a solemn ceremony in remembrance of Dario Darias."

This post picks up where the previous one left off.

I'm impressed with how much I feel I knew this man. Not that I knew him as we conventionally speak of knowing someone - I never met or spoke with him or saw him when he was alive. He wasn't famous or well known or renowned for things that would have us  know "of" or "about" someone, that way. Further, the videos through which he shares his dying aren't famous either, at least not yet: even the most well-viewed of  this series of videos has drawn only 31,000 views so far (as I'm writing this.) Still, his way of presenting himself and sharing his life to the camera, even from the awkwardness of his hospital bed; that, along with some very insightfuly simplistic video making, the results of which are posted on YouTube, a medium that  brings digital narrative up close, just inches from the eyes and ears of the viewer, establishes a most affecting and undeniable intimacy.

So, no, I don't feel like I knew Dario well, but I do feel I knew him and like all people I've known, no doubt there was more I might have known, and no doubt I missed out on some wonderful things. Still, through viewing his videos, I feel  I knew him enough to get the flavor and measure of his spirit and to absorb a little of it, enriching my own in the process.  Isn't THAT knowing someone? Knowing in the best possible sense?

Here we have the final installment of a series of videos that takes us along on a man's journey as he dies. Just 49 years old, this man,probably should have lived longer, should have seen and done and accomplished and loved a great deal more. In this series he shares his experience with us starting from his initial acknowledgement that he has a very serious medical condition and is going to die. In 11 subsequent installments we accompany him, bear witness to some of his experience and learn about his life. He has some important things to share, things we might do well to learn from.

I found the journey to be sad, yes, but also uplifting. This man bore up and faced the inevitable with intelligence and dignity and as much good humor as I suppose would make sense considering his situation.

On another, related note I think this video series (to fully understand this, take a look at the previous post and the videos shared there)  breaks some extremely important new ground for us humans. THIS is a way to appropriately have some of the best of oneself live on it after one is gone.  Out of extreme respect for the man that the video above memorializes, I'll simply state here, on HIS page, that If I were to find myself in similar circumstances, I think I would want to do this. I'm pretty sure of it. I think some very significant possibilities are pointed to in this. This bears some serious reflection about our own lives and their endings.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pancreatic Cancer Diary

Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 1
This video's opening text shows the date July 4, 2015

Speaking slowly in a low, hoarse voice: "My name is Dario Darias. I was just diagnosed with, uh... Pancreatic and Liver Cancer... pretty much everywhere by now.... stage four!"

I don't know this guy, but somehow, through this video, I feel so much for him. I should mention, by the way, that I came across these videos quite by accident. I'm interested in people using YouTube to record and report on what's happening in their lives. This item turned up and in a number of ways puts me in touch with thoughts and feelings that have taken me by surprise.

The visual aspect of these videos adds authenticity, the 'ton of bricks' kind, true, but it's in this man's voice, the wavering, overcome by sadness, overwhelmed by the hopelessness of it all quality that moves me so much. THIS is the gravity of CANCER.

Early on he gives a bit of his story, the clean way he's lived his life, the medical check-ups that gave no clue about the disaster coming. He describes his current symptoms - and they are serious - and on and on. He describes the recent warning signs that led to the doctor visit that ultimately resulted in a shocking, 'out-of-nowhere', devastating diagnosis of terminal cancer... And we are hooked into this poor man's life just 2 minutes into the first of the videos.

This gets intimate. We don't know who's behind the camera that he's talking to, but this guy speaks directly to it sharing his experience in granular detail about how he knew something was wrong with his body and the way he had to communicate his observations in order to alarm his doctors sufficiently to order the tests that put a name to his disease. He's talking from his hospital bed to the camera and the person behind it as if it's a family member or a close personal friend and so, we too, relate to him as a member of our close circle.

Thoughts of regret about not seeing a doctor sooner... ruminations about dying... about how much time remains... what to do with time left...  about how well life's been lived... anger at medicine's inability to offer any help...  it's all there. That, and some good advice for the rest of us to avoid his fate... maybe... hopefully!

Where did this series of videos come from? What's the back story? It would be easy to say "Who knows? It's just another one of those riveting videos one comes across by accident on YouTube", but by looking just a bit deeper, by going to the "Home" area of the poster's channel  (Cesar Darias) and then by going to its "About" page, I easily found the following 2 pieces of information. Together they help flesh out the remarkable story that the videos tell:

"My cousin, Dario Darias, was a husband, father, brother, U.S. Navy Corpsman (assigned to Marine Corps), U.S. Army Medic, Coast Guard Auxiliary member, volunteer firefighter, a Mason and he loved to ride his 2009 Yamaha XV1.

On July 3, 2015 he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. The next day he asked me to record this video diary. I thought this was going to be a long-term project focusing on a 49-year-old man fighting a disease. I was wrong."


"*Caesar has more than 20 years of experience working as a television and print journalist.

He works as a freelance general assignment reporter for He also teaches video production..."   

There are another 9 videos that lead up to the one below*

What we witness in these videos, the progress of this good man's dying, took place during a span of roughly 3 weeks. The last video in which we see him opens with the date July 21st. The publishing date of all is July 23rd.  After that, there was a 12th installment, the video of Dario's memorial service (not shown in this post) which was published on August 3rd, which may well have been shot a day or two previous to its publishing. We see nothing more of Dario after the video below, though.  I think he gave us a remarkable gift during those sessions when he was able to share his experience.

Thank you, Dario!

 Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 11
This video's opening text
shows the date July 21, 2015

This video poignantly opens with a dense collection of IV drugs dangling over Dario's head, presumably dripping life prolonging substances into him. This video is so much shorter than the first, just 8 minutes long and as he begins to speak to us we understand that his strength is very depleted. He struggles to share with us some of what little life he has left. He gives us a bit of description about his condition, not that it takes much explanation. We can see full well the state he's in. His speech is quite labored and he declares after just a minute or so "This is the final stretch!" Out of what I guess, he perceives to be the best way to help his subject achieve his goal for this video, about half way through, the camera operator shift gears to become an interviewer and (staying off camera and out of our view) asks Dario "If anyone's watching this, and they're going through what you're going through, or they just found out... do you have something to say to them? or a message about the way you handled it? or what they could expect? And yes, he does have some good things to say, and among his short statements it seems to me he emphasizes "... take it easy, it's coming - .... make the best of it... it's just gonna happen!.. don't be crying or feeling sorry for yourself or depressed, it's just gonna happen... take it easy on the way out!" And then he rallies for a moment, marshalling his strength, looking and talking strongly into the camera to share his good sense of humor with us for just a moment. I think that's a very good way to be remembered.

The video ends with a shot of an IV monitor next to Dario's bed that shows he's receiving a dose of  Dilaudid, an opioid pain medicine. And then the screen turns black bearing white text that says "Dario Darias died the next day." 

Honestly, I feel a little creepy writing this - like I've intruded into the private family business of a family I don't know at all and who hasn't invited me - and that I've done this at the most offensively intrusive moment possible. But truthfully, they have invited us all to bear witness to what a dying man wanted to share with us. That's why it's posted on YouTube!

PS - I am the 332nd subscriber to the channel Cesar Darias
PPS - FYI - Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer - Mayo Clinic:

*The Interim Episodes of this Series:

 - Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 2 No opening date shown  (23 minutes and 2 seconds)
- Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 3 Opening  shows the date July 5, 2015 (25 minutes and 2 seconds)
Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 4 Opening shows the date July 6, 2015 (16 minutes and 36 seconds)

- Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 5 Opening shows the date July 7, 2015 (6 minutes and 40 seconds)
Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 6 Opening shows the date July 8, 2015 (14 minutes and 37 seconds)
- Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 7 Opening  shows the date July 8, 2015 (12 minutes and 3 seconds)
Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 8 Opening shows the date July 13, 2015 (4 minutes and 14 seconds)
- Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 9 Opening shows the date July 16, 2015 (4 minutes and 14 seconds)
Pancreatic Cancer Diary, Part 10 No opening date shown (10 minutes and 11 seconds)


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Are Penis Size Videos Interesting?

Greek people prefer small penis

Recently, a buddy sent me links to these 3  videos; all on the same theme, Penis Size and what we humans make of it. A theme worthy of video-on-demand consideration? Well, following those little suggestions for more videos to view on the right side of my screen, I see that, Hell Yeah, a lot of people want to invest a little time looking into this! - or perhaps they just think they do. I say that because very few of these video offerings seem to me to deliver much of anything... other than that, yes, they do talk about Penis Size. At any rate, I have NO intention of reviewing and weighing in on too many of these. Let me just list a bunch of titles for you and then if you decide that you really have an interest in this you can go and run them through the YouTube search engine, pour yourself a nice glass of whatever it is that goes well with watching Penis Size videos and ENJOY!

(List of titles: Porn Stars Weigh In On Penis Size, How Big is the Average Penis, College Girls on "Does Size Matter?", 7 Ways Women React to Your Penis, Black Guys Have the Bigger Penis? - Is It True, Man's Giant Penis is Scaring Women Away!, How to Measure Your Penis... the list goes on, but frankly I'm getting bored with listing these so, assuming you got the idea, I'll stop now...)

It just may be the perverse way I look at life in this world, but frankly, I think that the phenomenon of people creating and posting these videos is more interesting than the theme it addresses. I mean, when it comes to penis size, either the penis being considered is small, medium, or large and either you're happy with whatever size the one you are involved with at the moment is or you're not... BUT, why people have such a charge on this issue, now there's something to ponder.

Of the many small penis video offerings to be found, I think this little group that was sent to me is probably as good as any by which to contemplate the genre. These all feature reporting, yes, the style of discourse here can only be described as video journalism, by the same correspondent. It's interesting to me, that he takes a kind of "let's just jump right into this, shall we? without even giving a nod to the obvious, that we are treading here on ground that is not oft tread in polite circles, that we are mentioning the unmentionable, and that somehow, let's all get our hopes up, shall we?, that we've somehow lucked out and found some low hanging, forbidden fruit... and since God isn't watching at the moment, let's take a big bite and swallow before he comes back into the room!"

The consequence of having a small penis

I love the way our journalist launches us into this inquiry, humble and serious asking his attractive female interviewee "Do you think there's a pressure for guys, nowadays, to, to,..."  (stumbling to get the words out)... you know, to get themselves enlarged?" (whew!). And she responds in the affirmative adding that "Absolutely, women - that's all they talk about!" (nervous laughter)... adding "Usually, they only talk about the ones that are small..." This she follows with a, confessional in tone, chatty little description about a guy she knew and the tragedy his small penis size represented for their relationship... ya da da, ya da da, da. FYI - at 1 minute and 1 second, this is a pretty short video. But wait a minute! I'm talking about length here...

Woman's ideal shape and size of penises

The final video in the sequence is one of those that require a YouTube log in... something-er-other about  assuring that only the right eyes see this video, which I guess "they" fear  would do damage to some and render YouTube liable for it. If, that is, this content were to be viewed by those to whom it must remain forbidden. Just increases our desire to know what's behind the curtain, doesn't it?

In this 3rd, password protected video, our journalist opens in that journalistic style of voice-over narrator asking a question central to what we are about to see... his voice is an earnest, and seriously inquiring one and we hear it speaking to us over footage of 4 attractive young women marching purposely down the hall of some serious institution somewhere (a school perhaps?) establishing context and creating anticipation for what is about to follow... our journalist asks "But what about women? Are they really after those big dicks we see in porn movies?"

And then we see this group of women file into and take seats in what appears to be a classroom of some sort, and our journalist is at the whiteboard addressing his 4 inquiry participants "Hello." He says in a serious tone. And then we hear the voic-over narration explaining as he writes "I've asked the girls to model their ideal penis for me... out of clay." and we see him writing for them on the whiteboard some suggested physical characteristics for them to keep in mind as they produce their clay models, he ticks them off one after another: "girth, length, shape," It's a short list, but importantly he adds "So, if you could just draw from your own experience, and try to find your ideal penis."

What ensues is another 3 minutes, or so, of some rather ordinary, reasonably attractive young women doing, what appears to me to be their best, to comply with the task set before them. Along the way, they engage in some banter about erections and size and on and on and then we see our journalist sitting with the ladies when they've finished and all are admiring their creations asking them that question again "Do you think there's a lot of pressure on men, to... you know... have a penis of that size?" he asks in his earnest interviewer voice, again, referring to one of their sculptures as "Godzilla". And to his surprise, and he makes quite a big deal of it, the response seems to indicate that the pressure originates with men, not women! And then onto discussing whether or not they have sculpted accurately, depicting actual size, or perhaps from impressions that things may have seemed larger than they actually were.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Eating Corn on the Cob with a Drill (WARNING: People Doing Crazy Shit Alert!)

People NEED to do crazy shit and some of them need to do it before an audience. That's the simple 'what's so' of it, readers. And it's no surprise that these folks often find their way to YouTube to upload the crazy shit that they do. What makes this so perfect though is that there are lots of folks, too, who simply like to go to YouTube to see the crazy shit that other people do. I know this full well, because... I'm one of them!

Sometimes these videos amount to public sharings of things that simply are goofy experiments. No doubt,  these make perfect sense when conceived and I suppose, when verbalized to buddies. Above, we see a cartoon from the very early days of  Cinema. In it we see Donald and Goofy, and Micky all eating corn in a comically mechanical fashion. Now however, we can all join our favorite cartoon characters in doing impossibly and wonderfully ridiculous stunts like this. What's so cool about YouTube is that we can see real people in the real world being cartoon characters. "Eating corn like in the cartoons" (title of the video, below) is one good example and it is pretty interesting to see people try such things... 

...things like eating corn with a drill? This is very much the sort of idea that would have grabbed the fancy of commercial producers of animated short movie features, who would have scripted Daffy Duck or one of his ilk to try it. It would have made a great 'bit' for a cartoon. And while those classic cartoons predated the development of the electric drill, or at least the ubiquitous access to one that the average idiot now enjoys at stores like Home Depot and Ace Hardware, if that been the case back in the day, I think the Disney guys would have thought of this stunt and used it in one of their creations.

The fools below (or are they wannabe actors playing fools on YouTube?) are a duo whose YouTube show is titled Great Mythical Morning. And hipster morons or not, they have garnered 2,785,158 views for this masterpiece, it being posted for only 10 months as of this writing. The fun begins with their announcement that "Today is national Corn on the Cob Day!" What follows is not a pretty sight! By the way, both of these morons do give the stunt, "eating corn on the cob with a drill" the good old college try. The fun part is how much of a mess they make because a drill is truly a poor choice of corn eating implements. They both stick to it, though. In fact, they seem to enjoy the experience... However, after a few minutes we are all satisfied that yes, you can eat corn on the cob with a drill, no it is not a neat way to eat corn on the cob, and no we don't ever need to try or to watch someone else try this ever again! 

Want more? Of course you do! Here's a very short video of a man doing a great job eating corn on the cob with a drill. This guy has attached his cob to the drill far better than do any of the many other videos on YouTube of this particular stunt. There's none of that characteristic wobble and spinning in place that you get from so many who have engineered the attachment of the cob so poorly. But the question remains. though, 'what percentage of the kernels really should end up in one's mouth in order for us to agree that one has actually, truly "eaten" the corn'? Personally, I'm not sure; but I think this guy, even though he's clearly on the edge of that issue, deserves for us to give him the thumbs up!

Yes, I've saved the best (worst? most horrifying? craziest?) for last. I'll simply describe it. A pretty, young Asian woman with a head full of that wonderful, shiny straight black hair that pretty young Asian women often have, tries the stunt. Result? Her long tresses become tangled in the spinning juggernaut of corn cob mounted on drill and pull a major chunk of her beautiful hair out of her scalp. NOT a pretty sight! I hope she'll be OK and that her hair grows back well and that she stops doing crazy shit like this!