Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
November 27, 2018
Those High-Energy YouTubers
Category: Miscellany

So it is late, and I ended up watching random YouTube videos, and I think I figured out one of the things I dislike about so many YouTube personalities! Like, I've always known there's something about their mode of speaking that I find so offputtingly artificial, but until tonight I'd never really connected it to the seams and frequent cuts in the videos. Now it occurs to me that they're saying a thing, then stopping the video (whether to repeat flubbed lines or simply for effect I have no idea), then resuming with a new take -- such that pretty much every single sentence is delivered with the energy and enthusiasm of an opening line. And while I generally tend to find television presenters' delivery styles to be unnatural and somehow repellent, hooooly crap would that explain why I find YouTube personalities to be so especially exhausting. It's all just so aggressively fake.

-posted by Wes | 3:54 am | Comments (0)
November 7, 2018
A thing I learned today.
Category: Miscellany … Serious

So I learned a thing about myself today.

Folks who've known me for a while (or perhaps not as long, depending upon what you've read and/or what I've said in particular conversations) know that a question that has long plagued me is whether or not I am or indeed can ever be *good*. There's a lot involved in that line of questioning, but part of it has stemmed from my general lack of feelings, or at least their irrelevance to much of my programming: I tend to not *feel* particularly strongly, but I have principles how I should treat others given the nature of our relationships, and I stive to hold to those. One of the reasons I enjoyed Dexter (the show) was that I identified closely with the titular character's approach to the world -- he was governed not by emotions but by a set of rules: a code. In Doctor Who, I very much liked the Doctor's declaration at the end of Capaldi's first season: "Love is a promise," such that a Cyberman, purged of all emotion, is still capable of adhering to and acting on its dictates. I don't know that I'm capable of the love people generally describe when they talk about that phenomenon -- and I particularly question my ability to experience the intensity of feeling, the physical desire, the emotional connection and empathy, and so on that people describe as components of romantic love -- but I endeavor to be good to the people about whom I claim to care. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 10:27 pm | Comments (0)
November 2, 2018
Another theater-y observation
Category: Miscellany

Another observation from this week's theater viewing:

Makeup effects. So one play had a villain with a scarred face, and ultimately the actor gestured to it and the dialogue explicitly noted the character's "bad face" such that it became clear that the character's deformity was, in fact, manufactured as part of the production. But initially no mention was made of it, and with the dim theater lights and my distance from the stage (and perhaps whatever visual impairment I retain from my retinal detachment issues) the makeup seemed convincing enough that I thought the actor might actually have been injured in a fire.

So until the artificial nature of the scarring became apparent, I was decidedly uncomfortable -- because I wanted to watch the play, but I also didn't want to rudely stare at this actor's deformity (even though an actor with an actual deformity would have to have made peace with that scenario). So I think if I felt a need to have a character present as such in a production I were directing, I'd probably want the effect sufficiently unrealistic in order to immediately key the audience in on the deliberate nature of the character's appearance and thereby relieve the audience of any undue discomfort.

(Now I'm wondering how the makeup sitch will play out with Waffles in Uncle Vanya.)

-posted by Wes | 5:40 pm | Comments (0)
Theater-y person observations
Category: Miscellany

Apparently I'm a theater-y person now? Not sure how I feel about that -- and honestly, given how inaccessible much theater remains to me, I'm not sure how accurate that assessment is! -- but okay! That said, assuming plans go according to themselves, I will have seen three shows this week by Saturday's end.

A few observations without explicit reference to the particular plays seen thus far:

Observation #1: A friend who came out for Merchant remarked that, when he sees Shakespeare, for the first 10-15 minutes it's as if the characters are speaking a foreign language -- and then all of a sudden something trips and they might as well be speaking modern English. I hadn't noticed that phenomenon in my recent theater forays, but I totally had that experience with one of the plays I saw this week. I'm not sure it necessarily helped me to understand what was happening in certain parts of the play (or to comprehend the jokes), but once the TARDIS landed in the vicinity I was able to follow the characters' speech with relative ease. It was weird. (more...)

-posted by Wes | 8:00 am | Comments (0)
October 24, 2018
Son of a f’n ragdoll!!!
Category: Miscellany

So yesterday evening I was driving to rehearsal, and other drivers were doing things I did not like (as other drivers are wont to do), and at one point I shouted (as I am wont to do, albeit not this particular curse; also my curses are always for my benefit; I never roll down the windows to share them with other drivers), "Jesus son of a fucking ragdoll!!!"

It is a thing I have never shouted before, and it gave me pause as it occurred to me that the majority of my driving curses are largely improvised. They frequently begin with "Jesus" and include at least one proper swear word, but beyond that? My brain goes where it will. And I've never consciously endeavored to do so, but I find it interesting that I tend to replace "Christ" in curses. I do remember some (ridiculous and flawed, I think) philosophical arguments to the effect that people who swear to religious figures are in fact confirming their belief in those figures, so I'm amused that my curses along these lines actually fail to satisfy those arguments' conditions for implicit religiosity.

Of course, "God fucking Hell on [randomly generated phrase]" is also a common curse of mine, and I don't expressly believe in a bunch of those terms. XD

-posted by Wes | 2:04 pm | Comments (0)
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