Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Ten Dollars an Hour, the short documentary I made in the spring about an African-American cook at a fraternity house on-campus at the University of Mississippi, has been viewed almost 2,000 times in the past four days. I'm flattered that people are responding to the film. I believe it started when the film was posted on metafilter and from there several blogs picked it up. There have been more than 80 comments on the metafilter post, including my own. Here is the film, of which I am quite proud, with some follow-up comments below:

Ten Dollars an Hour from Ben Guest on Vimeo.

Leasse Williams (and Janis Jones) still work at the Sigma Nu fraternity house.

The numbers the economist and I ran were wrong. At $15,000 a year, Ms. Williams is not below the government poverty line. Yesterday, I attempted to edit this part out of the film but my hard drive crashed. Once I get the hard drive fixed *fingers-crossed* I will cut the sentence from the film where the economist states that Ms. Williams is living below the poverty line. In ant event, it doesn't change the point that $10 an hour is not a livable wage.

Ms. Jones has twice contacted my professor (the film was originally completed as an assignment for a Southern Studies course in documentary filmmaking [side-note: at the end of the semester the "best film" was chosen by the professor from the five projects completed for the course. Here is the winner]) to express anger over the film. During the first phone call, which occurred over the summer while I was in Namibia, Ms. Jones, who had not yet seen the film, mentioned that she had been contacted by a Sigma Nu alumnus in New York who was looking into taking legal action against me for slander.

Brad Walsh, a lawyer here in Oxford and a former Sigma Nu financial advisor and House Corporation member, has left several comments on my vimeo page, to which I have responded.

Friday, September 25, 2009

University produced commercial for Ole Miss on ESPN last night said: "Nearly twice as many students are accepted into medical school" but never stated the comparison. Twice as many as what?
"We can't even agree to increase the minimum wage after ten years." David Simon is the man...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I don't see why folks hatin' on Jordan's induction speech. I loved it. You got an unfiltered glimpse into what made MJ so competitive.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Recent UM newsletter: "American students found that the Mexican culture does not necessarily encourage perseverance or responsibility."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"MDMA got you feelin like a champion/The city never sleeps, better slip you an Ambian."
Blueprint 3 has two instant classics: Empire and On to the Next One. Can't decide which is better.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's a shame the best pizza I've had in MS is at Newks. FYI: Sal and mookies in jackson is wack.
Wish newks had half-pizza and salad option.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pats win! What a finish. Brady says, "That's not the way we draw it up." Classic!
How do you call "roughing the passer" on a sack? Isn't a sack, by definition, roughing the passer?
My favorite Patriot of all-time? Troy Brown.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Making pasta with pesto, roasted red peppers, diced tomatoes, fresh basil, and grated parmigiana...