So I Watched Some Things

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As you can probably tell from my blog posts below, I watched some things. I even tweeted about some of them too. Though I didn’t really get to tweet all of them. You know? Laziness and all.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t read my opinions about them here though.

So on to business.

I REMEMBER YOU MEMENTO!

So the writer portrayed here was a stalker who couldn’t talk to people like a normal person. It was also implied that he was poor. Because writer, that’s why. The writer here is just a creepy white dude who got too deep in with his target. He became a part of the story instead of just making it with the keys of a type writer. He is obsessed with his target for the sake of story. He is repressed and he was only truly happy when he was typing on his antique (now anyway) typewriter. All writers must type at fifteen thousand words a second or else they cannot be the special creative types that pump out content. So largely, it focused on a middle aged unemployed white dude as a stalker, who said he was a writer. Not the most positive interpretation of writers.

YOU’RE A FUCKING TRACER, TRACER.

I am unabashed Kevin Smith fanboy.

Alright, that’s out of the way.

Jesus fucking christ, Banky, just move on from Holden and date Hooper (See Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back). Wow, writers are insecure assholes. Even comic book writers. One cannot trust a writer to handle anything with any sort of emotional maturity. Same creepy attachment to ideals and the people that can’t possibly live up to their expectations. Hell, when Jay and Silent Bob are the guys who the main characters, in this case, the writers, go to for relationship advice, you know their perspectives are sort of fucked beyond recognition. It sure ends much better than “Following,” as everyone lives and no one goes to jail. Though they seem to be emotionally stunted jackasses who finally grow up when they realize how unfair it is to hoist their unrealistic expectations on partners that can never fulfill them.

Oh god do I love this movie now. More than when I first watched it, but Banky and Holden… Please let Alyssa be Alyssa. Sometimes love just isn’t enough.

If Only They Loved T.V As Much As Kenneth Did.

I watched episodes “Tracy Does Conan,” “The Baby Show,” and “The Rural Juror (Seriously, say this name and not hate yourself).” All portray Liz as the constant parent in charge of her show’s production form the writing staff to the actors. Actors are portrayed as selfish and narcissistic, and are incapable fitting in with reality. Writers are largely the same, but do their best to avoid any actual writing. The most accurate portrayal of writers anyone has ever seen. Writers are slackers and don’t really want to do the writing thing. All of them are white males and one black guy, perhaps as a reference to the diversity requirements for network television.

Across every T.V show and film, writers were usually portrayed as selfish, creepy, and white. That seemed to be largest consistent quality that carried on from media to media. Perhaps writers should consider presenting themselves as not creepy?

If you excuse me, I have to finish writing my billionaire autobiography where I stalk dinosaurs with my creativity.

 

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I watched 30 Rock’s “Tracy Does Conan.”

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It felt good to revisit 30 Rock. It really made me appreciate the show again. From Tracy’s hi-jinks to Liz’s futile attempts at maintaining any semblance of control over a cast of lazy writers and psychotic actors, I just loved seeing it again, so I walked in feeling good about the episode.

By the way, here’s the storified version of my live-tweet notes.

Liz, the head writer, is more of a mother figure than anything else. Though like the stereotypical depiction of writers in media, she wants to be alone, she’s sorta awkward socially, and no one appreciates her effort or creativity.

The cast of writers “brainstorm” for ideas. Though they think more about how to do the next real life gag on a co-worker more than they do for the comedy show they should be writing. The actual act of writing is about avoiding writing as much as possible.

It was great revisiting the show again and I hope you all enjoyed my live-tweet notes/commentary on the episode.

Please visit the poll on the previous post if you want to tell me what you think of live-tweeting.

I Watched “Following.”

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What I have to say about that? My fingers hurt.

The movie was very early Nolan as well. Constant jumps in scenes with no seeming rhyme or reason that makes the viewer question the continuity of the film. It’s the older cheaper version of Nolan’s “Memento” basically in terms of narrative structure.

Oh before I continue, I took notes, as your twitter timelines will indicate. Sorry about that, but I thought it would be fun and informative and I hope it was for you too. My notes aren’t what purists would say are “correct” or “accurate,” but they’re there. Here’s the link to all of those “Following” tweets in one place for easy access.

What did I learn from this? Well I can tweet 67 times in the span of an hour and not include pictures of food or my dogs. Also my grammar and spelling seem to devolve into that of a twelve year old. The sacrifices I make for art.

It may also be one of the best ways to watch a cerebral movie like this. By thinking aloud to an unseen audience, it allowed me to really think about what I was seeing. Look through that storify, I laid out some great shit in there.

Anyway back to “Following.”

It’s in the noir genre so don’t expect anything life affirming… or good to happen to any protagonist. Especially the writer. Never the writer. Oh and about the writer. Yes, he will be referred to as the writer throughout because he doesn’t have a name. Message much, Nolan?

The writer is just an combination of traits that every writer portrayed in media is. He’s lonely, not clean, lives in a shitty somewhere, has trouble finding that inspirational muse, and he’s desperate. Nolan doesn’t even bother to give him a name because he doesn’t need one, he’s writer, and that is all he is, the movie doesn’t pretend otherwise, though the writer tries to. Nonsense such as names were skipped entirely for known archetypes.

I won’t tackle everything I saw in my notes.

Okay. One thing.

When noir lady asked that question. I did too. When he explains to her using that excuse it was something I asked myself. Does being a writer or self-identifying as a writer mean anything? When the writer asks for people’s stories, they give him one, because he’s identified as a writer.

There are a few ways to take this so I’ll take one.

Yes, if only because he was allowed access to their lives because writer. The writer has found meaning in their story, which becomes his story once he’s apart of it. He takes their story and make it his own even though they take him. He had meaning for that brief adventure.

Whether that was a critique of this particular archetype’s character or of the archetype itself is something I can’t figure out an hour after watching it, but it was interesting to see the pieces.

You can check out the film on Netflix instant streaming and watch it for yourself. If you want to tell me what you thought and saw, the comments are right below.

Thanks for reading the tweets and my post.

Annotated Bibliography (A Revision Needed)

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The primary question I had of my research question was whether search engines like Google had an effect on how language is used in today’s modern world. Surprisingly there aren’t a lot of articles that pertain to this.

Marek, Kate. “Chapter 3: Installing And Configuring Google Analytics.” Library Technology Reports 47.5      (2011): 17-25. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

The closest article I’ve found so far that’s close to my originally chosen topic. It concerns itself primarily with how to filter Google specifically, but it doesn’t necessarily speak about how one’s linguistic skills are impacted by search engine terms. Language is a passing mention in this analytic article.

Shesen, Guo, and Zhang Ganzhou. “Building A Customised Google-Based Collocation Collector To Enhance Language Learning.” British Journal Of Educational Technology 38.4 (2007): 747-750. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

This article speaks to how search engines can actually impact language learning, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s entirely related to my topic so this will require further reading.

I Don’t Need to Write to Anyone! Including Me!

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Yeah… Take that academia.

I wrote something down. It was not much of something really. I was in a chat, discussing my hobby with someone else who shares the same hobby.

Now I must ask myself, was I writing for that person, or was I writing for myself and that person just happened to be the recipient?

I don’t really know. I wrote what I wrote because it pleased me and it was probably cool for the other guy too since he got to chat about his hobby to someone who would understand what he was saying.

I don’t really consider my audience for the most part when I write, especially in a casual setting. The only time I do is when I’m trying to write for a grade. I just felt a bit of guilt typing that. I feel guilty for writing for someone else only when that person holds one of the keys to my future. It feels like I’m a circus performer only allowed to go through one specific routine because that’s how they like it and that is the way it’s supposed to be done.

How can an intensely private act like writing be considered in a public context? Does anyone write live on television or Internet streams? Is that even a thing that people would watch anyway? Assuming they pump it without enough slow motion and sound effects to cover the fact that it would be a show where you watch a guy type words on a keyboard, I still don’t think it would cover up the fact that writing is something that is done in private and very boring to watch unless we were all mind readers.

If Indian dramas can make standing in a room sound exciting with lasers, maybe it can help with making writing look exciting.

But now Simpsons.

Stop asking why there’s a Simpson’s clip here and just follow my twisted analogy. There are times where I feel like the audience I’m supposed to be writing towards is McGarnagle and I’m Billy. Minus the death. (Sorry for the spoilers).

So the point is… I just don’t think about writing for an audience unless I’m graded for it. If I were to be consumed by how I thought everyone would receive my text then I would lose my mind and never get anything done. Oh hell, I’m not even sure I write what’s beneficial to myself. I wouldn’t say every tweet on twitter was of mind bending excellence.

Except this one of course. That just displays my greatness. By greatness, I mean laziness, which in my mind is like the same thing.

Oh damn, where was I?

Right.

Elbow.

Elbow wants me to turn off the audience. Great I already did about four hundred words ago. But, Elbow’s article “Closing my Eyes As I Speak: An Argument for Ignoring Audience” advocates the writer to ignore the audience. I suppose the title sort of gave that away.

One of the best ways teachers can help students learn to turn off audience awareness and write in the desert island mode–to turn off the babble of outside voices in the head and listen better to quiet inner voices–is to be a special kind of private audience to them, to be a reader who nurtures by trusting and believing in the writer. (Elbow 65)

I largely agree with Elbow here because I basically do pretend I’m on a desert island without a Wilson. I would prefer to write because I just like to write. Maybe someone finds it funny or enlightening or maybe someone finds it repulsive and offensive. It doesn’t really matter. There’s one thing I take some issue with here though.

“quiet inner voices.”

One of the greatest insecurities a writer has to face isn’t always the outside audience, but inner one.

We have to deal with our inner thoughts that say we suck and what we’re writing isn’t worth writing. One of the most important reasons to avoid thinking about any audience is because the writer has to deal with that inner voice saying how much your writing sucks.

That’s what my voice persists to this day and I’ve kept on writing. It’s an intensely private act that one must overcome in order to write. There is no time or room to consider writing for anyone besides yourself. At least, that is how I see my writing.

Fuck you, inner doubt and fuck trying to write to anyone but yourself. Except grades. Oh please give me a good grade.

A Question to ponder: 

Are there times when writing that you have to silence your inner voice? 

In Which I Tell You About My Twitterness. There Will be a List.

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I really hated using Facebook. From the incessant ads regarding a social media game I’d never play to the weird social media conflicts that I some how was involved in. So while I still have it sitting somewhere gathering imaginary dust.

I do, however, use my Twitter account everyday.

What can I say? I have preferences to what kind of social media I use. I’m a 21st century snob in that way.

I’ll admit I was using Twitter long before this class required me to do so. I like it because I can just receive the news I want to read instead of the conversations between family members I’m not interested in.

I use it for baseball news primarily from trade rumors, new articles from writers I like, and other miscellaneous things.

I use it for updates on video games release dates. It also gives me quick access to video game trailers and other things.

Do you know what I’m trying to say?

I’m a follower of Twitter, not someone who should necessarily someone who should be followed. And that’s fine, I like Twitter’s access to quick summarized information. In fact, the only time I needed to tweet something of original thought was because of this Twitter assignment. I mean, I write blog posts on this blog and I like to think that people would like to read it occasionally.

Oh wait, I almost forgot, I love following awesome people and gimmick accounts, and I think you should follow them too if you have any sense of humor.

(This will mostly be a sci-fi list. Sorry everyone else. Hello people who like Star Trek.)

You know what I love? Archer. You know what video games I love? Mass Effect. What happens when you combine the two in a union that was meant to be? Archer Shepard.

An example:

Imagine if you will, an unaired eight season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. If it’s something you’ve always been curious about, well here you go. I present to you TNG Season 8 all on Twitter.

An example:

How can you be a fan and not want to see THAT?

You know if you could receive a tip or advice from someone on the Enterprise. It was Riker. Everyone went to Number One and now you can too if you follow Riker Tips.

An example:

The beard, man.

Bonus: Riker Googling is great too. Now you can also have Riker’s search engine history!

An example:

But there’s one man on the Enterprise who had the best leadership advice. That man is Captain Jean Luc Picard. The best captain (COME AT ME). Picard tips is not only essential to your life on the starship Enterprise, but to your life in general too.

An example:

Alright, we’ve navigated from one piece of fandom…straight into another. If you remembered the 90s and you remember the Simpsons, I have great news for you. Simpsons Quote of the Day quotes everything Simpsons from season 1 to 11. It’s… Just magical.

An example:

I promise that’s the end of the list.

Anyway, I’m glad Twitter has allowed the creation of awesome gimmicky accounts like these. There are a lot of reasons I use Twitter, but fun gimmick accounts are by far the funnest. I mean, this is just too fun to miss out on.

Authority Doesn’t Equal Enlightenment

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Let us pretend for a moment that I am a sixty-five year old white male. I have worked all my life trying to make my used car sale lot the best in Wyoming. I even managed to attain an associates in business management because my wife would prefer I set a good example for my three children and eventually their grand children. I did get one when they were in their early teen years, so the amount of teenage resentment and fatherly love was about even. Just kidding, there’s no such thing as a middle school student who does not despise their parents.

You hate my imaginary used car salesman, do you not?

The 1992 Subaru. MADE ONLY LAST YEAR SO BE SURE TO GRAB THE LAST ONES IN STOCK!!!! THIS SALE WON’T LAST FOREVER!!!!!

Okay, what the hell does this have to do with anything? And why should you give any credence to a used car salesman, even if it is an imaginary one? It’s my example so I’ll get there. Welcome to the hell that is privilege and authority someone else abuses.

Welcome to the DANGER ZONE. I mean, HELL! http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/1zeytw/welcome_to_hell/ For the source.

But like any person, he has opinions, but unlike everyone, he may have the authority to have people believe him. He’s a successful business man, he has a degree, and he’s an old white guy, so he has an enormous amount of authority to lend to his opinions even if he never personally experienced the problems he’s talking about.

So when he complains about “the rap music” or says that poor people simply need to work harder to attain their goals, we should probably just nod and say “Oh, you used car salesman guy,” and proceed to completely ignore an opinion he has no real basis or understanding for despite his success in society.

Just because, he has, the uh, thing. You know, the thing? You should do something like…

Thanks, Cartman.

Which after a long delay leads to the point and that very same point is touched upon in Jacqueline Jones Royster’s “When the First Voice You Hear is Not Your Own.” Just because one has the authority to say such things doesn’t mean they are correct, no matter how well they have done in other facets of life.

Colleagues who occupy a place of entitlement different from my own talk about history and achievements of people from my ethnic group, or even about their perceptions of our struggles. I have been compelled to listen as they have comfortably claimed the authority to engage in the construction of knowledge and meaning about me and mine. Without paying  even a passing nod to the fact that sometimes a substantive version of that knowledge might make me quite impatient with gaps in their understanding of my community (Royster 30)

Well damn, that must suck. Okay post over.

Oh fine, I’ll elaborate.

It is frustrating to hear someone comment on your circumstances when that person has never experienced them. He or she has basically never walked in your shoes, even for a day. If the sixty-five year old white guy from my first example told me he understood the plight of Japanese Americans throughout history, because he knows what to do. He also has an associates in BUSINESS MANAGEMENT. That would infuriate me. Now replace Wayne Brady with Max Brewer when I hear this…

It’s just so upsetting, isn’t it?

Even in an academic setting, it seems prevalent, if we’re to take Royster’s account only. To think, even in a context that is meant to provide discourse and understanding over a variety of topics, academic or otherwise, we are sorta stuck with this appeal to authority that often seems to deceive as it does to help.

Just to have someone tell you that they know you’re circumstances better than you do, the one who has lived in them and had to experience them, rather than study them as a matter of academic curiosity. Should I just say “Oh man, it sure would be great if third world countries stopped being so poor, so why don’t they just join the rest of us and keep up?” Well no, that’s awful and uninformative, but sadly it seems to be a real occurrence, simply due human nature those with authority who speak on such matters without considering the circumstances responsible for such an lifestyle.

But Royster has a plan.

Those of us who love our own communities, we think, most deeply, most uncompromisingly, without reservation for what they and also are not, must set aside our misgivings about strangers in the interest of the possibility of deeper understanding (and for the more idealistic among us, the possibility of global peace) (33)

This seems a little idealistic doesn’t it? The goals are admirable, but I’m not sure they’re entirely realistic. Sure, the intent is great, but Royster offers an idealistic solution in a realistic world. Even Royster seems to admit it’s idealistic in the grand scheme of things. But goddamn, wouldn’t it be great if it happened? That way I won’t feel like saying

Then I can say in a puddle of my own sweat tears, like Ben Sisko from Deep Space Nine, and say “IT IS REAL.”

Goddammit, I would like me some global peace and understanding, even though I know it’s implausible.

*Note: Forget everything you read here until Tuesday. You know, presentation and shit. 

A Question to ponder:

Is my title correct? Authority does not equal enlightenment?