As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
It’s a nice short video demonstrating what modern creative animators can accomplish with the modern tools at their disposal.
Decent documentary about Amazon. One should keep in mind that it is taken from a British perspective.
I am making this announcement to let you the reader know (well if there are any readers) that next five posts will be the first five chapters of a literally work I am working on. A piece of literature that specifically has to do with the decline of society (mainly western civilization as we know it) with my analysis of it a long with possible remedies to the issues.
It’s really just a first draft, and it is still fairly rough around the edges. I would need a team of 2-3 editors to get it to level of a final product I could approve of, but I hope you that the ideas to heart.
I’ve been an anime viewer for a long time since I was a child. I’ve written before of how I enjoy this medium of entertainment, but I sometimes wonder if it was fate that drew me into this medium as it happen merely by accident. I was born into a generation where the western audience was about to explode, and I happen to be involved with a family which had already been early adopters of the medium of what western anime historians typically recognize as the period 1970’s and 80s. This isn’t exactly another post about anime, but instead the point I am trying to convey is that this was the spark of my fascination with understanding an entire different country and later continent. I became fascinated with their history, and culture realizing that in some aspects it wasn’t that much different than my own, but in other ways it truly was foreign. Japan in my opinion gives a glimpse into the future of humanity. A place where economic stagnation is a consequence of decades of corruption, and bad policies. Where there isn’t a true incentive to bear children like before, and thus a declining population rate has developed as it also has in Europe. A world where the visual, and the fantasy become what the human heart desires a world in which reality is something to escape from not embrace. Resulting in a place in which instead of understanding pain, and loneliness we run away from it hiding through easy gratification services for pleasure, and joy. In which visual media keeps us so distracted we never bother to think too much outside of the world that was derived for our enjoyment.
The virtual becomes better than the reality. In my own country this is merely beginning as Netflix being the major chunk of Internet traffic is merely the proof of that fact. In the west there will also be a transition to what has occurred in the east a world in which the digital slowly takes over. In Korea RTS players are treated as kings, in China they are all so hungry for digital media they have become best DOTA 2 (MOBA video game) players, and in Japan you merely have to visit or Google articles about Japanese virtual girlfriends.
The fact the Staples Center sold out for a video game tournament only adds to long list of signals you as well the amazing growth of Twitch.TV. When I was young being a gamer wasn’t exactly widely accepted, but now it is part of the mainstream landscape. Most of today’s information is digested through digital means as most people use applications on their phones, and computers to communicate in this world to define who they are and in extension ‘live’. Slowly we will move from the 2D screen into the 3D realm that once we thought was unimaginable, but that is the yearning. When games like Second Life exist, and are popular I realize that people yearn to live their fantasy, and distance themselves from the bane of their existence. It’s always easier to delude yourself, and play along in the fantasy. Ignorance and escapism are intrinsic human traits. I see a world that won’t be as interconnect as it can be, but instead isolated and fractured. Where people no longer say anything meaningful to each other, but exist frame to frame thus a way of life that is devoid of any true meaning. Does this mean I am saying technology is the root of our problems? No the problems of today are instructively human no matter what the circumstance. Instead what should be obvious is that society, and people are evolving. As a species we are evolving to a much more visual culture where images impact us more than just words. This is nothing nothing new people have been writing about this transition for 35 years now, but before they only had photography, and television to provide as a basis. Now in the dawn of online video, games, streaming, and numerous other applications we all should see where this trend all lead to. It leads to a society in which everything can be compartmentalized. Everything a human could ever need, do, and dream about can be all neatly organized into a serious of different applications. Want to date? There is an application/site for you. Want to write a journal? Service for that as well. Share pictures? Thoughts? Dreams? Pain? It’s all there for the taking. I could go on but I hope you understand the picture I am painting for you. We are entering an era in which culture of all kinds will blend together, and it will be up to the individual to decide how to conceptualize it all. Are we ready for such a world? I think not, and perhaps it’s already here. As more people in the poorer countries become connected to our virtual world we will see the blending I speak of. It’s uncharted in terms of scale, and speed of interaction. In such a world everything will become an image of projection. Who you are, what you believe, and what you do will all become images and those images will tell your story. Not merely your own, but everyone else’s as well.
Growing up I have seen my share of movies. Some of my personal favorites have been Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Saving Private Ryan, and Terminator 2 just to name a few. This piece of writing will be about one of my favorite movie trilogies The Matrix. If you haven’t seen it yet I highly recommend that you go watch it now. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good in my opinion. Anyone who knows about the films knows it’s contains many philosophical inspirations. There are many scene’s that one could pull from, and there are plenty which have been iconic, and very well known. For this piece I want to focus on the “system scene” if you need a refresher you can find it here. The scene is straightforward Morpheus is trying to teach Neo that people ingrained in a social system won’t see a world without it. This is the main point I want to highlight since it is very relevant in today’s society as well. People want to stay within their bubbles, want to believe in the cultural values they were ingrained with, and live with this comfort. If history is anything to go by you often realize that comfort levels, and value systems change overtime and sometimes it can happen suddently. Events happen, and can change a person’s perspective over night. Once your eyes are open to a different view of the world it can truly be profound, but you soon realize there are other ways to view the world and as you begin to discover them you begin to form your own view. As you do this you hopefully see that people are trapped in this broken view of the world. People become so dependent on “making it” in life they lose focus on real social values, and more importantly don’t realize how easy it is for it to be taken away. It is good to have goals, and dreams, but it is more important to not be consumed by them. Dreams are so easily shattered. Goals should be adaptable. For all the masterful planning, and strategy we can only factor in so much randomness, and chaotic variables. It is impossible to control absolutely everything especially with only the human capabilities we do have. We can only control our limited actions, attitude, and beliefs. Most of us unless we truly attain real absolute power are only very tiny players in the grand game of life.
I wanted to take the time to write about one my favorite fictional universes — Star Wars.
Many of the positive memories during my early childhood revolved around these epic films. I was exposed to the films at a fairly young age. I can remember sitting in front of my home’s small television, and spending hours watching the first Star Wars movie. I also remember watching the movies in theaters when they were re-released in 1997. I am trying to avoid spoilers, but the moment in the Empire Strike’s Back where Luke Skywalker loses his hand I vividly remember turning away even though I knew it was coming having seen the film many times at home. Then the prequel movies soon appeared in theaters, and there I got to experience Star Wars fandom first hand. I am not here to debate the quality of one trilogy over the other as I like to view Star Wars as an entire sage. I felt the anticipation, and the passion of the fans feeling that I have never felt for a movie before or perhaps since (Lord Of The Rings is comes close). It’s still the only set of films I ever experience in which people are waiting days in long lines, and I’ve seen some pretty hefty movie lines for movies such as Planet Of The Apes, James Bond, and Star Trek. I remember people cheering during the film when an iconic character appeared, or when a spectacular event occurred, and with the new Episode 7 coming out in December I fully expect the same. It’s the only film I’ve experience perhaps bar Lord Of The Rings in which the people would give a round of applause during the credits. To me that’s the special aspect of this fictional universe once you are hooked you are hooked for life. Even people who hate the “newer” films have watched them, and have a strong love/hate relationship.
So the fictional universe of Star Wars is beyond the movies. Having read multiple books, and played numerous video games from the 1990’s onward. These experiences only enhanced my love of Star Wars, and to this day my favorite video game is Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic, and to not get too far off the topic I will just say this was this game that made me truly love Bioware beyond Baldur’s Gate , and Mass Effect. So I think I’ve expanded enough on what Star Wars means to me, and to so many others. It’s a rich universe, and a profound place full of places to explore. If you have never experienced Star Wars at all I encourage you to do so.
I like to view the story of Star Wars as a story of hope, and redemption. There are many other themes in the films, but to me that’s the emotional basis of the films. So I never liked to view the films as one separate trilogies but instead as one epic story. This is why when introducing the films I am a fan of the Machette Order, but if it’s a first viewing for a newbie I will insert Episode 1: The Phantom Menace instead of skipping it.
Now I will rank the films (remember this is merely my opinion), and I will give some reasons why it’s placed in that slot. Granted this list will change with the upcoming trilogy.
6. Attack Of The Clones – This movie is the worst one. I have no idea why Lucas cast who he did for the role of a teenage Aniken, but I always felt his acting was forced, and perhaps to be fair the writing may have been poor, and even the greatest actors can’t fix that. The lightsaber battle in this one is the worst out of the three prequels films. Unfortunately for such a poor film it can’t even get that aspect right. I am not even going to touch the cheesy romance that was the focus of the film, and the less said about that the better. The whole clone army I thought was interesting, but let’s be honest seeing Yoda’s scenes at the end is a big plus for this movie.
5. Phantom Menace – This film has it’s strong points. The epic lightsaber duel, and a decent amount of action. The world building is more profound than the original trilogy which helps the development of the film. It allows you to see the Star Wars and the vastness of it. The big criticism is the character Jar Jar Binks as he may be the worst character ever designed in the Star Wars universe. Also the movie can be a tad predictable, but what can you say about Star Wars is that it is predictable.
4. New Hope – Most people hold this movie in high regard, and that’s for a good reason. There are many iconic scenes, and phrases that have shaped modern American culture, and in a grander scale shaping human history. Let’s be honest here there are many plot holes in the film, and for instance specifically the Stormtroopers for trained soldiers they are pretty poor (they miss everything). Also keep in mind that the duel between Vader, and Kenobi was pretty tame. Granted in the film’s defense for the first lightsaber duel in history it’s actually decent.
3. Return Of The Jedi – The grand conclusion to the story. Thematically the epitome of what Star Wars is all about hope, love, and redemption. Darth Vader and Luke duel again it isn’t that great compared to the Empire Strikes Back, and other duels in the movie series. I rank Jedi in my top 3 because of what the movie means, and in Star Wars lore it means a great deal.
2. Revenge Of The Sith – The best film of the new trilogy. Epic battles and game changing moments that we all knew were coming, and being the film pertaining to the birth of Darth Vader you know it’s going to be big. The scale was so grand, and the duels were so invigorating that it truly touches your heart, and mind. Granted the movie still has many issues, and to be honest most Star Wars films do.
1. Empire Strikes Back – To me this is my personal favorite. This one had the biggest twist in movie history, and amplified that cultural phenomena that was Star Wars. Seeing Darth Vader in his full fury, and as a kid I will tell you this I was scared of Darth Vader. He was like the narcissist bad guy I got to grow up with. Vader in a sense was scarier than the Emperor. I mean when Luke was convinced there was good in him I partially wasn’t exactly convinced, and was a bit surprised that I turned out to be wrong.
Now for a little shout out for the Movie/TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. At first I thought it wasn’t going to be that good, but the more I watched it the more I liked it, and it’s a good treat for any true fan of the universe. Can’t speak for Star Wars Rebels because I haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet, but I am optimistic on that front as well.