Friday, 10 July 2009

Media-Related Tangent, Work Today, and Homeless Folks

First, quickly: I find this post on the use of new genres (specifically, Twitter) to extend narratives. I don't watch Mad Men, but I still find this interesting.

Actually, wait. This is worth a tangent. OK. I am sometimes annoyed and sometimes intrigued by what I think of as "supplimentary media" to movies, TV shows, etc. For instance, if I Twittered, I think I could follow Marten, Faye, Dora, and (most certainly) Hannelore. I would like to read more from Yelling About Music, but last I checked it had two posts from over a year ago. If I watched more TV and the characters had a blog, I'd read it. That seems cool to me. I'd love to see what Wanda or Brent from Corner Gas would blog about.

Further, I do like wikis based around fiction I watch/read. For instance, I don't know how much time I've wasted on the Narnia wiki or the Middle-Earth wiki when I was supposed to be studying or writing an essay. (Though it's funny to note that I'm rarely so much as inclined to go to those sites when I have nothing to procrastinate.) And I spent an inordinate amount of time reading a wiki for a series of graphic novels which don't exist.

I mean, I started making a blog-retelling of As You Like It. Obviously I like this stuff.

But, on the other hand, I tend to very much dislike it when these things become spoilers. That is, when we watched Cloverfield, Jon may remember that Teddy regaled us with stories and explanations about the monster's origin etc. and its connection to some fictional brand of newfangled beverage. What I disliked about this was that it utterly destroyed one of the most important parts of the movie: that you didn't know anything about the monster. What made it so terrifying (the monster, not the movie) was that it was alien. No one knew how to deal with it because no one knew what it was. Unless you read up on the on-line hype. Unless you followed fake news broadcasts and watched advertisements for the said newfangled beverage. Then you knew.

So what, you ask, is the problem with that? For those who are curious, the information is available; for those who prefer not knowing, it's not in the movie. Here, my friends, is the problem: people need to learn to deal with not knowing. This obsession with omniscience through science/scholarship/gossip/data collection is annoying and verging deeply into being unethical. This movie was an excellent step forward in it's deliberate holding back of critical information. It's a monster movie which doesn't explain where the monster came from, akin to Godzilla and all those zombie flicks. Except for the stupid "supplimentary media."

So, the primary benefits include the ability to create verisimilitude, generate interest, add nuance and more story, and experiment with genre. The primary disadvantage is the possibility of TMI and of overwhemling or distracting from the media itself.

OK, TANGENT OVER. (It's longer than the bulk of the post.)

Today I worked at Heritage Park instead of the Marine Park. I enjoy sometimes being able to go over there. Don't get me wrong: I have no problem with my two coworkers. It's just that it gets a bit . . . isolated. I like being able to work with other people for a while, you know? Also, I like being back in the Park without having to be there full-time.

Interesting thing I discovered yesterday, though. I found an old timesheet for someone working on those boats in a museum-like capacity back in 1999. Apparently, street people set fire to the lawn sometime in April of 1999. Crazy. I understand they were on a different lot back then, but there are nonetheless lots of homeless people moving around the Marine Park where it is now. I realized that for most of the day, the majority of people I see (if not interact with) are either dirt-poor or outright homeless. It's hard to have a heart for the homeless when you meet some of them. I gave a guy change for what I thought was bus fare. I asked him rhetorically (or so I thought), "Need it for the bus?" as I handed him some quarters. And he said, "No, I'm spending it on booze. I'll be honest." I forget what I said in response, but I kind of wanted to ask for the quarters back. I don't mind giving for bus fare; I don't care if you're homeless or not, I won't mind giving you a buck twenty-five for transportation. But I'm not a fan of giving money to supply some drunk with more drink.

I always feel like I have more to say on my blog whenever I do sit down to type, but can't remember it. Or, it doesn't seem important any more. I guess we'll see.

Oh, did I mention we're moving? Early this week. I'm looking forward to it, but it hasn't really sunk in yet. How often have I said that? It never sinks in.

Over and out,

English Clergyman.


Jon Wong said...

My favorite example of people not being able to deal with not knowing:

At the end(ish) of Lost in Translation, there's a scene in which Bill Murray whispers something into Scarlett Johansson's ear. You can't hear it and the subtitles don't show anything. You only need to glance at the IMDB boards to see people going crazy trying to figure out what he whispered... as if it mattered.

Christian H said...

I should point out I'm not trying to diss Ted here; I'm dissing the availability of the information.

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