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Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Death to Cyber Nanny and Professor Old Bore

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Three things that are ultimately useless.

1. Internet censorship. Whether it’s ISP based filtering, college/school/company/institution firewall blocks, or nationwide blackouts.

2. Education. ie, the drivel we are bashed in the head with ad nauseam from kindergarten through school through college. None of that ever matters.

3.  Conservation. For every glass of water you save by turning the tap off, some fat American (or European or Indian and so on) is wasting ten; effectively negating your action.

Now, making gross statements like these without offering any elaboration is quite easy. But, while number 3 is mostly a joke, the first two aren’t. If I have to explain why, then, brothers and sisters, enlightenment isn’t quite yet within your grasp. But Yours Truly will help you find the way. In the future.

Written by Jesus Eastwood

July 28, 2009 at 9:52 am

Posted in Culture, Stupidity, Technology

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Content Overload

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One of the privileges of modern computing is nearly unlimited space. Where once you’d meticulously delete things, now you can afford to let it stay there. Where once watching a DVDRip meant either burning it to a CD right after (if it was good) or clicking it, pressing SHIFT+DEL and hitting ENTER (if it sucked or was just not worth the cost of the burning media), now it gets lumped into a folder called Seen and promptly forgotten.

Unless it’s good. In which case the folder is called Good Movies, and is eventually burnt to DVD along with five others.

Having access to all this content is wonderful; especially in this country of poverty – the internet as a great unifier, hail Web 2.0. But the flip side is, a lot of this content loses its worth.

There’s just so much to see! We simply don’t have time to watch every movie the way it deserves to be seen (whether it’s good or bad): from the beginning to the end without any other distractions.

So these days there’s a movie playing nearly everyday in the background while I do other work. Like writing blog posts. Most of these movies are the ones you’d never want to watch again, of course, but you gotta wonder: what if you miss out on that rare supposed B-grader that’s actually worth its footprint because you’re too distracted with the latest dose of science fiction nostalgia?

Basic Instinct 2‘s playing in the background now, and you and I both know that all the t-n-a won’t save this ship (neither can the gorgeous Charlotte Rampling). But there was a time where I’d deconstruct a movie as shallow as this one too. Where this would be film school. Every scene would be analyzed for shot selection, music, length, and so on. If the film failed at that level, then of course there was the old doo-hickey: make up your own dialog.

More and more often, I reserve my proper movie watching time for movies I know achieve greatness. This Sunday, for example, is Kurosawa day.

But what about the next generation’s Kurosawa? If all content is merely background noise now except the renowned greats, how will the new visionaries get noticed amid all the ruckus?

“I’m bored,” a Youtube surfer says. Once upon a time having so much choice at your fingertips was unheard of. Once upon a time all I got here were two channels with half an hour every Sunday morning reserved for Walt Disney cartoons. It was all good. Every single cricket match was a family event. Who watches TV anymore? We’ll just read the results on the RSS feed, they say. But that’s for another post.

My excuse is that I simply wouldn’t have seen Basic Instinct 2 if it intruded into my proper movie watching time. Who’d sink this stinker between Herzog and Egoyan?

And yet, once upon a time the sheen and gloss (it’s not a bad looking film, even if Sharon Stone is plastic) on display alone might have been enough.

Infinite choice only seems like Utopia. But I’m not complaining. Gift horse, and so on.

Written by Jesus Eastwood

May 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm