Dear Mole: Media Is Not In Our DNA

I officially “moved in” to my new place on March 28. At the time, I figured that at worst, I had about 3 days of being beholden to my antiquated DVD collection before the DirecTV installer showed up on the first of April.

He never showed up. As soon as the 9 to 5 window had expired, I called DirecTV and was informed that the driver “couldn’t find” my place but apparently hadn’t bothered to call me for directions. So I heard myself do something of which I didn’t think myself capable: I told them to go fuck themselves.

I spent the next 3 weeks essentially TV-free. Sure, once in a while I would throw on an episode of the Trailer Park Boys or Bob’s Burgers to watch while I ate dinner, but I was pretty much left to my own devices when it came to entertaining myself.

Last weekend, I picked up a Roku TV and now I have Hulu and Amazon Prime and all sorts of shit I never had before. Problem solved.

But was it really a problem that deserved a solution?

My point is that despite what I would have predicted, the psychological effect of a sudden pulling of the TV plug after years of constant consumption really wasn’t all that significant. My brain simply looked elsewhere for occupation. There’s plenty of wildlife up here, not to mention foliage the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Oh, and one hell of a great local cannabis dispensary within half a mile of my home.

We feel beholden to media consumption because we’re told that we are by the very media that we consume.

Old movies have something of the taste of the familiarity of an old friend. We know the dialogue inside and out and there’s no chance of being unpleasantly surprised by the outcome. But of course, old friends are better than old movies for the simple fact that they’re not static. Surprises are assured. And even when those surprises are unpleasant or contrary to the image of that friend we’d cultivated in our minds, they still contribute to the vitality of life while re-watching old films does quite the opposite. That’s not to say that I won’t re-watch my favorites many more times before I slip off this mortal coil — it’s just to say that when I’m engaged in such an activity, it has about the same effect on my life as a good nap.

But one good thing came of my 3 weeks of nothing but DVD fare on my TV: Letterkenny introduced me to yet another kick-ass band called The Tune-Yards. Check ’em out:

Oh yeah, if you haven’t yet watched The Goldbergs, do so immediately. Thanks, Hulu!

Smooches,

‘Mudge

Sisyphus’ map of tiny, perfect things

I’ve posted about Albert Camus’ philosophy regarding Sisyphus and how imagining him happy is a way to look at one’s own mundane, plodding life.

And I’ve also mentioned how Groundhog Day’s Phil Connors embodies Sisyphus.

Nice artwork, eh?

Well, I recently watched a campy, but fairly endearing story that takes both of those themes and includes them in the script.

“The Map of Tiny, Perfect Things” (Amazon Prime) does a pretty good job of depicting the trope of being stuck in the same day for eternity. It may not be worth watching more than once (like Bill Murray’s film), but it’s worth at least one viewing.

What struck me, of course, is that this connection I’d made between Phil Connors being Sisyphus was one I’d shared prolly four years ago. And it was cool to see the theme exposed in a film.

There’s the map of perfect things (places)

 

Dear ‘Mudge: About your addiction to TV

Dear ‘Mudge,

I’ve been thinking about the phenomena of consuming visual-aural narrative and how I believe our minds react and respond to the sequential stimulation they offer. Or, to put it another way, why do movies engage us so?

I’m sitting here watching yet another movie I’ve seen a half dozen times, Wolverine. Regardless of what one’s opinion is of this one film, to me it’s engrossing at times, flippant or amusing at others. It, like its hundreds of thousands of brethren, does something to my brain, it captivates me — for a time.

And then it’s over. The sequence of events completes and what was once riveting, is now just a memory of bits and pieces that only vaguely come to mind when I concentrate on them. Which I don’t.

In-movie-mind is this experience which is different than normal existence. We can think about scenes in a film or captivating television show but these thoughts are nothing like consuming the media itself. Watching one is like being there, in the moment — at least with a good one. And although one may have previously viewed the cinematic experience before, one can still drift into it and relive it upon watching it again.

What is this sensation? Why and how is it different than normal experiential life?

Have you thought about this curiosity yourself?

Does your trailer come with an in-home theater?

‘Mole

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Had to throw in a gratuitous flickpic cuz, you know, pictures ‘n posts.

The Wolverine Review

Clubbed — a card game

Roughly ten years ago, my daughter and I came up with a new card game. We were into table games and exploring various card games at the time. A few years later we decided to submit the game to a site that collected such things. Years later, they finally posted the game and referenced us in the notes. Years after that, a few months ago, in fact, Mark (referenced below) contacted me, had found the game and wanted to produce a video. This is his excellent effort.

Strange how things you post online catch up with you sometimes.

Cheers,

‘Mole

Live Long and Prosper — in AI

Yes, the dead will speak. And they will have trained themselves to do it.

(See prior posts regarding this topic.)

This is only the beginning.

From Reuters:

quote:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor William Shatner, best known for forging new frontiers on the “Star Trek” TV series, has tapped new technology that will give current and future generations the chance to query him about his life, family and career.

Shatner, who turned 90 on Monday, spent more than 45 hours over five days recording answers to be used in an interactive video created by Los Angeles-based company StoryFile.

Starting in May, people using cellphones or computers connected to the internet can ask questions of the Shatner video, and artificial intelligence will scan through transcripts of his remarks to deliver the best answer, according to StoryFile co-founder Stephen Smith.

Fans may even be able to beam Shatner into their living rooms in future, Smith said, as Shatner was filmed with 3-D cameras that will enable his answers to be delivered via a hologram.

Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on “Star Trek” from 1966 to 1969 and in a later series of “Star Trek” movies, answered 650 questions on topics from the best and worst parts of working on the classic sci-fi show to where he grew up and the meaning of life.

The Canadian-born actor said he “wanted to reveal myself as intimately as possible” for his family and others.

“This is a legacy,” Shatner said. “This is like what you would leave your children, what you’d leave on your gravestone, the possibilities are endless.”

:unquote

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In other news, my existence continues. Nothing much going on, nor has my muse escaped from her prison (shut up down there!) so, why bore you all with a tiresome report. If I had a news-worthy story like the ‘Mudge, well, I’d be happy to share it.