There are the things I want to write about. And then there are the things that interrupt the process. This week was a prime example of it.
I have “HyperVigilance” and it draws me into things.
As a result, I take in a lot of information. I also start to notice things.
I am not going to mention at all the group I am referring to in the above photograph. I am sure everybody knows who I am talking about. The problem is every time a horrific event happens these people get free publicity. I will be reading an article and there is almost always a link to a story about them planning to protest in the wake of that event. Let them have their “abuse of free speech”. However, can we as a society just move along? Stop paying for the gas to send the news crews to go to their compound to do a story about them.
It is simple story that is never going to change.
THEY ARE ASSHOLES. AND THEY ARE ALWAYS GOING TO BE ASSHOLES.
They give people of faith and morals a bad name. Besides they are never going to make anything in society better. They are not doing any research and development in their compound. They are just finding new ways to hate.
STOP PAYING ATTENTION.
The following is one of the most linked to quotes I saw in various places this week.
Mr. Rogers may have become at one point the subject of parody. However, I think people grasped on to the simple honesty of his words.
And he is a better example to follow in these days.
This is the first Sunday almost a year and a half that I did not have to work. I wish it was a bit warmer so I could be outside. I like sitting in my yard with a cup of coffee and a book to read. This year I want to break up that routine with hiking, bike riding, geocaching, golf and maybe even fishing. It is just not quite warm enough to spend any great deal of time doing those. Yet.
I decided to get out of the house anyways. So I am at a coffee house with the laptop. I really do not like writing in public. I hate over hearing many of the conversations of others. I also do not like writing when people are looking over my shoulder. I especially hate it because those people, who do that never, ever seem to contribute back. But I decided to give it a try. Break routine. I usually write in private. I pace about. I talk to myself. I usually yell and threaten the computer about every 15 minutes or so.
The other problem, I have had was the Wi-Fi source near my workplace is very inconsistent during the day. My place at work has a very dictatorial ruling on using the computers. Plus, I never discuss anything in regards to my writing with them. It is not worth the trouble. I really do not to invite the ”snide and insulting” remarks. It is bad enough I have to hear them every morning debating either the Bills or the Sabres. So I know what I will get. I was thinking about getting one of those mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. However, as I looked into the plans there data allowance would not help me. $10 would quickly be almost $50.
Is there a program out there capable of saving a page to read later? And it does not depend on an Internet signal to display content.
But I have to develop better habits to deal with the technical issues in which I will always seem to encounter.
So I need to update what I am working on.
This month’s issue of Writer’s Digest published their annual list of Top Websites for Writers. I wanted to try to link up and read more of them on a daily basis. Break time and lunch time would be ideal. But the signal problem does not help. The other thing is my Kindle never loses the signal. However, it is not exactly the best way to read webpages.
The other problem I have is when I get frustrated with the process. I have a tendency to “surf” looking for ideas. There is a file folder on my computer in which I save pictures I see. The reason is I think a good visual can lead to a story premise. I am not trying to steal the work of others. It is more a case of what a good picture (idea) can lead a person like me to create something. The influence of piece is what it causes the next step to be.
I have been re-reading Ray Bradbury’s book The Joy of Writing. (It is another one of my “dumper books” at the moment). The first chapter is one that resonates with me at the moment. He talks about his unusual sources for “inspiration” because he finds value to them. Even though they are not what is “popular” with the people in his life. And he will continue on with them despite the “opinion” of others. He found the “value” others were not willing to see with those sources.
I have to say I know very much what he is talking about at this moment.
I know what I read, watch, listen to is not what most of the people in my life are in to. But those things are what are on my “path”. And I try to point out their existence to others to find. I have to say to this. “I will never put utter shit out there for people.” I may not know its “full value” but there is something there to be “discovered”.
I began thinking about this today upon hearing of the passing of Roger Ebert. In my younger days, Roger Ebert along with Gene Siskel was my first introduction to debating back and forth when it came to movies. There was no Internet back then. I also did not know anyone personally at the time willing to have a discussion/debate like they did. I did not always agree with them but they did engage me. And that made me think. I remember in my film classes they were “demonized” for what appeared to be a simplistic approach to criticism. However, in retrospect they were they beginning foundation of how I looked at movies. They also were the first ones who pointed out smaller budgeted movies and foreign films that were worth a view. I learned a lot more from their segments than from many of the “wordy” pages I was required to read about movies in class.
The problem with many reviews/discussions of film (or any other artistic work) is that the either aims “over the head” or “below the belt”. I think and I try to with my own is “to aim at the head”. It is not my goal to be “100% right or wrong.” For me what matters is the conversation that happens. Sadly, lately it has not been much or in fact any. However, I need to keep moving on. No choice with this “path”.
I hope I made you take a moment just to think.
The only way forward is to debate, converse, engage. I may be right. I may be wrong. At his stage, I am really holding on to neither side. But I know this without the “conversation” I cannot claim for sure either side.
It is not only what you are talking about. But who you are talking to.
People unlike plants need movement to grow.
I need more people to help bring things to my table.
The following is a clip where they debated Empire Strikes Back. And listen to the debate. The nature of what is being criticized and why really has not changed much over time.
And take a moment to watch more from them. Search YouTube.
It is kind of weird how I can have a thought or two and then find something related while surfing about the Internet.
And I will not even start about those damn YouTube Wormholes. All though may I should one of these days.
I really do not have anyone in my direct daily life to have any meaningful discussion about the so-called “creative process”. So I have to rely on finding articles to help me with the process of “breaking it down” so I can get it to “break through”.
There is another concept for reference that used. And it may sound gross to you. However, it really is not that bad at all. It is what is known as a “dumper book”. This is a book that you read while going to the bathroom. In my case, it usually is an edition of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. It has short passages that can be read in a few minutes. It all depends on the fiber source though. The following are two different ones. But I also keep them next to the bed. So if I have a moment I will look them over.
One of the best parts of the daily newspaper used to be the comic section. Now days, if the paper even shows up in the break room I only read about 6-8 out of the 30 so choices with any regularity. One of the comics I really miss is Calvin and Hobbes.
The creator wrote a book that explored the making of the strip. This book shows how he experimented with the format and developed the characters over time. He also shows how some of the ideas and concepts worked. And he also shows the ones that did not work which is important. Too many “behind-the-scenes” pieces are nothing more than a “glamour” piece. I think it is more important to see how a creator gets “into a corner” and attempts to find some “creative” way to get out of it. This where you get the real lessons at work.
The other thing I do is print out various things I find on the Internet. Like this.
I realize that all the traditions of being “creative” that I grew up with really do not work anymore in this day. I also realize that education (my own) is going to be forever an on-going process. And a piece of paper (I did get one) hanging on the wall is never going to “encapsulate” in all. However, in this world many people still hold on to that idea. Even as its “bubble” is closer to “bursting”. The future is going to be based more on “application” rather than “memorization”.
I realize more and more each day that the thoughts in my mind are about the consistency of a “Chunky Soup”.
And then came these three articles from Seth Godin.
“Fat, Drunk and Stupid is no way to go through life, son.”
That was the type of behavior that was immortalized and celebrated in the classic movie Animal House. In the last few years, the same behavior was demonized in a way by the TV show Jersey Shore. I love the movie Animal House and it still holds up after all this time. I want to make this perfectly clear. I have never watched one single episode of Jersey Shore. The power of this country’s mass tabloid media and late night talk show jokes have made sure I am aware of who is who in that cast.
Here is side note about that. I think when I die I will not have to testify for “my sins”. Instead my brain will be scanned to show all the crap that accumulated in it. Then I will be shown what I could have known instead. Example, Maybe I could have figured out a method in which no TV remote was ever lost again. Instead the brain cells need for that solution instead was occupied with knowing “The Situation”. And then I would be reminded that several of the cast members “wrote” Best Selling Books. In even the afterlife, salt will be shoved into my “wounds”. The fact that indeed happen makes me think that the Chinese might have had an idea with their 1950’s Cultural Revolution. They just decided to fill their “re-education camps” with the wrong type of readers. The problem was you cannot make a society “smarter” by eliminating the ones with all the knowledge. However, as “oppressive government” it is easier to manipulate (I mean govern) the later.
The story line for Animal House follows the members of the Delta House who want to be a group together they just do not want to go by the “mandates” of the fraternity system. Nothing causes more the “System” to be upset then “not playing along”. It is kind of funny that colleges exist to expand your mind and opportunities. And yet they spend a lot of time demanding “conformity” over anything else. Now, back to boys in Delta House who the Dean of the school wants to eliminate so he puts them (Unbeknownst to them) on “Double Secret Probation”. This leads to this showdown scene.
The scene shows how “power” is really arbitrarily assigned and how it is applied too in almost the same manner. This shows that just because the “System” is set to screw you that you do not have to sit there and take it. Otter (Tim Matheson) makes one of the funniest “pro-democracy” statements. And it is true when you think about it. He knew they were determined beyond a “reasonable” belief to screw them over. He was not about to do “The Dance with the Chicken Shit” with them.
Animal House is an example of why you should “fight the system”. Although in “Over-the Top” way. And that makes it funny. Now Jersey Shore loaded the house with a bunch of real life people who had more hormones in quantity that was significantly higher than their brain cells. They then loaded with alcohol and low expectations. And wonder why bad things happen. Jersey Shore makes an argument that if these people are in this society then we need “The System”.
So which model do you want to live by?
DISCLAIMER: This post does recommend or endorse “overconsumption” of any substance or “bone headed behavior”. To borrow a catch phrase “Know your limits and stay within them”.
I also think the education models that keep teaching “How not to make any mistakes” does not work. Ever. It should be this. “Look you are human. You will fuck up from time to time. That is why you have insurance and lawyers.” Then teach methods on how to admit to it and then make amends. And how to do it long before you need “12 Steps”.
High Schools need to be teaching more about how to read a credit report. And fill out an auto insurance form. Education needs to get a little more on the “practicals” then the “theoreticals”.
I have never had to perform an “emergency” geometric proof. And yet that got brain cell space. Which I lost and have no idea where it is my brain.
Watch the end of the movie….The Deltas turned out alright despite their college time.