Desaparecidos - Anonymous
It turns out procrastination is not typically a function of laziness, apathy or work ethic as it is often regarded to be. It’s a neurotic self-defense behavior that develops to protect a person’s sense of self-worth.
You see, procrastinators tend to be people who have, for whatever reason, developed to perceive an unusually strong association between their performance and their value as a person. This makes failure or criticism disproportionately painful, which leads naturally to hesitancy when it comes to the prospect of doing anything that reflects their ability — which is pretty much everything.
But in real life, you can’t avoid doing things. We have to earn a living, do our taxes, have difficult conversations sometimes. Human life requires confronting uncertainty and risk, so pressure mounts. Procrastination gives a person a temporary hit of relief from this pressure of “having to do” things, which is a self-rewarding behavior. So it continues and becomes the normal way to respond to these pressures.
Particularly prone to serious procrastination problems are children who grew up with unusually high expectations placed on them. Their older siblings may have been high achievers, leaving big shoes to fill, or their parents may have had neurotic and inhuman expectations of their own, or else they exhibited exceptional talents early on, and thereafter “average” performances were met with concern and suspicion from parents and teachers.
Oh Sweet Irony of the Day: Pirate Bay Unlawfully Parodied By Copyright Police
Last week, Finland’s copyright enforcement agency CIAPC launched a parody website of The Pirate Bay, using their source code and replacing their iconic pirate logo with a sinking ship in a campaign against illegal file sharing. Then yesterday, the Pirate Bay reported the CIAPC’s spoof website to the Economic Crime unit of the Finnish Police, who will investigate whether or not copying the torrent-sharing website’s CSS files constitutes copyright infringement or violation of usage terms. Meanwhile, the Sweden-based company’s representative “Winston” explained in a blog post that they are pursuing the matter because they “will not stand by and watch copyright enforcing organizations disrespect copyright.”
I LOOOOOOVE IIIIIT SOOOOOO MUUUUUUCH.
Source: Boing Boing
There’s this thing in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where the universe is so expansive that they no longer need to manufacture things because it already exists somewhere. Rather than making screwdrivers, they just go to a planet where screwdrivers grow on trees. The universe is nearly infinite and technology is as such that they have an index of every naturally occurring resource and they mine the natural world for things rather than manufacturing things.
I think we’re at a time now with the ubiquity of cameras where stories that are comparable to fiction are documented often enough to be a reasonable substitute for fiction. I’m not AT ALL saying that there’s no place for real fiction and that we should all be watching vlogger sketches instead of 30 Rock because obviously that’s a ridiculous statement. I’m saying that reality TV can evoke emotional responses akin to fiction and it’s a worthwhile medium.
There are certain people like The Gregory Brothers and Allison Grodner at Big Brother and whoever is running development at TLC who have tapped into this new space of capturing organic stories that happen in real life. Reality TV can be really amazing when there isn’t a dramatic conceit in the outset, but rather a premise where something interesting is likely to happen, and then it’s edited and packaged in a way where the footage is consumable as a fictional drama. That is not the same thing as contriving a fake dramatic situation, as was often the case with early-90s reality TV.
Kai from the “smash Smash SMASH” video is such a great character. Even if you watch 100% of the news footage, you’re just aware of the facts of the situation, and you don’t get an emotional response to the situation until it’s packaged in a dramatic way by the Gregory Brothers. Which is analogous to how fiction works, too, isn’t it? A plot outline is nothing and a dramatic execution of that plot outline is everything. The raw footage is nothing - but then it’s edited together in a way where it uses filmmaking techniques to present the drama of the story to you in a way that you’re accustom to understanding from watching movies and TV your whole life.
Some of my favorite stories ever are things that happened on reality TV. Big Brother 6 is maybe my all time favorite TV show season. This fantastic organic story emerged that explored themes of religion and xenophobia. Essentially what happened was that the Big Brother game “broke” because over half the house formed this weird quasi-cult - they were all Christians and bound by the fact that they were Christians but also almost worshiping this evicted father figure house guest. And then they went on to evict the muslims and sluts from the house because they didn’t fit the values of the majority. It was insane. But it emerged naturally and it was in no way contrived by the editors or producers, just packaged in a way where you could understand what was going on.
I also think that Honey Boo Boo is a really interesting character, and her family is fascinating. I think that Jon and Kate Plus Eight was also a really fascinating show. With both shows TLC didn’t really know the story they were documenting before they started filming. They just knew something was going on there and they wanted to capture it on film. Jon and Kate ended up being a story about being held prisoner in your own life. Honey Boo Boo ended up being a story about how happiness comes from treating those around you with love and respect; not from possessions, appearance or status.
The idea that reality TV is “exploitative” is a false premise. It might have been in the early 90s. But in 2013, every single person is just as aware of what reality TV is and what it means as you are. The fact that people think Honey Boo Boo’s family is being “exploited” by TLC implies that somehow they know less about the situation than you do. It’s an elitist sentiment and it’s bullshit. Honey Boo Boo’s mama has a deal with TLC where they directly deposit their payment for the show into a trust fund for each of her children. She doesn’t have access to the money she just has them send her a letter every time they make a deposit. She knows what’s up.
Someone once told me that The Gregory Brothers are exploitative and I got really mad. I’ve met The Gregory Brothers and I’ve met Antoine Dodson and they’ve gone really far out of their way to just be good people. The Gregory Brothers split 50% of their profits with the person who is singing on camera, which is reasonable as fuck. It’s life changing to those people.
When I made the original Keyboard Cat mashup I tried super hard to make sure Charlie Schmidt (who filmed the original video) got everything out of it that he deserved. It’s dramatically improved Charlie’s life and is barely even a thing in my life. And I’ve still heard people say things vaguely accusatory, that I’m somehow “stealing credit” or “exploiting” him, even though he made way more money off it than I did. It’s really annoying when people think that way.
Basically people use the word “exploiting” to say “I don’t understand why you people entered this mutually beneficial relationship so I’m going to assume one of you is being exploited.” It’s a shitty sentiment and a shitty way to approach things.
There are really amazing people and things happening in real life all the time and it’s great that some people have made it their mission to document these stories and express them to others. I think there is artistic value in knowing how to capture those things and then feed them through the fictional stylization pipeline so that audiences can consume their inherent stories as they would consume fictional stories. I’m pretty sure this is something relatively new - it’s definitely dependent on the technology of cheap cameras and cheap editing equipment and lower cost distribution models so I can’t imagine any sort of similar system of interacting with real people as fictional characters in a one-to-many way was ever possible before now. “Reality” is this amazing new frontier in fiction and I like it a lot.
Anyway the point is fuck Jodie Foster.