The way in which we consume and process story has changed over the past 15,000 years, but not so very much. Big Fish Presentations gives a brief rundown of storytelling, but what I was thinking about was how YouTube – that incessant time waster – is just another receptacle for story. Sure, the sheer number of stories on YouTube is overwhelming. But, it has itself become a sort of ceremony.
Like early neanderthal, sitting around the fire and grunting out tales of hunts or avoiding death, and paintings on the cave walls showing these endeavors, we now turn to a new media cave wall, where the images are painted more clearly, though the grunting sometimes remains the same.
In an odd form of synchronicity, this story on Michelle Phan hit my inbox this week. Early digital influencer left the public life, but released a new video last week. Her third in two years.
Sometimes we take it all too seriously. Life is about learning, and about experimentation. It’s not always cut and dry. It’s not always 1+1=2.
The truth is, we’re all given the same blank slate when we come into the world. Some of us have better financial situations, some worse. Some have terrible family lives, whereas others having amazing support systems. But what we come into this world with – it’s basically that same for everyone. You have a body, a mind, and time to use the both to their full advantage.
My full advantage won’t look like someone else’s. Sometimes, paths will align. Mostly, we run separate paths.
In The Four Agreements, number four is “Always Do Your Best.” It’s qualified after by saying that some days your best will be (objectively) better than others. However, if you’re always doing your best, no matter the external circumstances, you’re living up to your end of the life-bargain.
“Under any circumstances, always do your best, no more and no less. But keep in mind that your best is never going to be the same from one moment to the next.”
I suppose it’s been three years in the making, but the time has come to make some pretty extensive changes. I’m making them in my living situation, my work – both the where and why, my finances, and even here on the blog and at my website. So, expect one or two differences here over the next month. I’m excited for the opportunities.
mmm… Friday Roundup. It sounds a lot like the 1A Friday News Roundup. Not sure that’s going to stick.
What I’m reading: From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury. Plunked out Something Wicked and Halloween Tree. My deep dive into Bradbury continues with more fiction. I don’t know why I didn’t read more of his stuff when I was younger. Hard-headed, I guess. After having to read Fahrenheit 451, it was a matter of principle to not read him. A mistake. Also, found this interview from NEA’s Big Read which I enjoyed.
What I’m listening to: Miss Nelson is Missing: The Musical. My next theatre project and I’m getting a head start on the material the best I can. I never thought I’d be one for TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences), but I like it. It tends to be much lighter, and therefore you can have a lot of free-spirited fun with it. Also, kids usually are more appreciative than adult audiences. (Not always, but usually.)
What I’m spending time with: My dog. Having a light month of work means more time at home, so he gets the benefit.
Other things of interest to me this week:
- Research on the Wendigo. I was captivated by the native Alaskan people and some of the tribal myths I heard. I did a little research on Alaskan culture and progressed some into Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Where, according to the legends of the Algonquian peoples, the Wendigo lived. A few links, if you’re interested: Backstory Radio; Extra Credits Animated; How Stuff Works.
- The painting style of Bob Ross. I do recall watching the show on PBS in the late 80s, early 90s. I was young, but that voice is hard to forget. You can also find a selection of episodes on Netflix or YouTube.
- American Horror Story: 1984. More in the horror genre, and in the vein of the 80s, I watched the first episode of AHS 1984 this week. Truth be told, this is the first time I’ve been excited for a season of AHS since the first season. I haven’t even watched all the previous seasons. But resonates, as I grew up watching Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Sleepaway Camp, etc. And actually, my cousin was the real horror-buff in the family. He had all the toys, the movies, and the spooky knowledge. The family even lived in this two-story cabin in the woods, and I’d go visit and watch scary movies, or Star Wars or Masters of the Universe, and we had a lot of fun. Anyway, this is a nice throwback – so far.
A song I’ve heard a thousand times if I’ve heard it once, Drive by Incubus played on the radio the other day. And for whatever reason, I really listened to it. Not, I could sing along with it easily enough, but I guess I hadn’t paid attention to the lyrics.
“Sometimes, I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll let the fear
Take the wheel and steer
It’s driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
But lately I am beginning to find
That I should be the one behind the wheel
Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes
Whatever tomorrow brings
I’ll be there, I’ll be there”
It’s a question of how to live your life. Do you drive forward, making the decisions? Or do you just go with the crowd?
Better to stand out…
This blog could almost be called Common Sense. I’m not really giving novel ideas. Some may be in a form uniquely “me”, but there’s not much here that couldn’t be said by someone else.
I’m reminded of Thomas Paine, and his Common Sense.
“In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense: and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day.”
Sometimes it’s all about getting the idea out. It may not be about who’s receiving the idea as much as it is the idea bubbling up and out of you until you cannot possibly contain it.
There are days when ideas seem to have completely left the building. There are days when one singular idea is all that you can see – blocking out every other item in such a way that you must concentrate solely on it.
And then there are the common sense ideas – ones that mean much to you and, you hope, at least one other person.
I caught a bit of the Emmys on Sunday night. It’s been DVRed, but finding time to watch it this week will be tough. Easier instead to read the rundowns posted yesterday, either from NYTimes or Vulture, or from Twitter feeds and other social postings.
Two years ago, roughly at this time – following the Emmys, I posted on awards shows. It’s funny to think that again the Emmys prompts a post. After rereading my post from two years ago, I’m happy to say I’ve made some forays back into the entertainment business. Small steps.
But the awards show is an interesting animal. We’re watching the congratulations of people who likely enter our home at some point during the year, when otherwise we’d be watching the shows which they are on. The ratings were a record-low on Sunday, which may have something to do with the abundance of that other that we could be watching. We also are much more involved during the year with celebrity gossip thanks to social media.
So is there a place in the cultural consciousness for award shows? Should they even be televised? I’m sure that the question will continue being thought about among television executives trying to decide how best to sell to advertisers.