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Because it’s too complex and long for a hashtag. Black Lives Matter. Yes All Women. The Mockingjay Lives.

27 Nov

It’s Thanksgiving in the year 2014 (by a certain reckoning) and I live in a world where people behead other people. Seriously! Beheading! I live in a world where women are scared to be women. Where people with darker skin get shot at and killed. Where shooting and killing other people is often considered (and then demonstrated) to be ok.

I want to live in a world where humanity is free to discuss the exciting stories of our times. “Hey! There’s a new Star Wars teaser trailer coming out tomorrow!!” “Star Wars Episode 7: The One Where Han Solo is Old.” “Have you all seen the brilliant Mockingjay (part 1) yet?”

In one corner of my Facebook newsfeed people are discussing how the cops in Boston are pretty good and that being afraid of them doesn’t make too much sense. In another corner a friend of mine posted about their experience peacefully protesting and being forcefully pulled across a barrier and then arrested by Boston police. They’re pretty good though and being afraid of them doesn’t make too much sense. Maybe I read too much Facebook.

We are human beings. We ought to live in a humane world. I like to start from there because it’s the ultimate purpose behind things. The goal isn’t “just” equality. We are human beings. We ought to live in a humane world.

We ought to live in a world where it is never ok to shoot another human being. We ought to live in a world where everyone is encouraged to be who they are and given the support they need. We are human beings. We ought to live in a humane world.

Theoretically, we tell stories because they help us learn and grow. Well told stories can inform us about being human, and about how we can work towards that humane world that we all ought to be living in. I want to talk about the story of The Hunger Games, I don’t want to live it. Heck, the point of telling The Hunger Games is to show us all how to avoid living it.

And yet… here we are.

We ought to live in a humane world. Katniss is a hero because she is deeply human. She is powerfully humane in even the most inhumane and cruel circumstances. She is not a hero because she kills other people. She is not a hero because she can fight well. Indeed, when she fights and kills she becomes less human.

We need more empathy and less fear. We need to remember not just to love our friends and our families, but every human being. Every. Single. One. Even the ones who behave inhumanely.

Happy Thanksgiving. May the odds be ever in our favor, and The Force be with us. Especially since it’s waking up.

When It Comes, It Comes Slowly

3 Mar

Managed to watch some of the Academy Awards last night, even though ABC makes it difficult to do so unless you actually pay for cable. Remember paying for cable? When you had to pay a large monthly sum for the privilege of watching commercials on a bunch of channels you probably didn’t care about? Who still does that?

Ellen joked that 12 Years A Slave would win Best Picture because if it didn’t everyone in the Academy would be racist. It won Best Picture.

The Academy Awards used to be segregated.

Lupita won for Best Supporting Actress. This is after she graduated from Hampshire College. These two things probably aren’t related, but it’s neat that I “know” someone who was there. She gave a great speech.

Meanwhile nearly 400 (!) people were arrested for protesting the building of a giant pipe. One of them looks like Chelsea Clinton. It is almost certainly NOT her.

I wish humanity developed faster.

But at least we do develop. Better than stagnation.

Star Wars Visual Symphony

16 Jul

It is done.

Part I: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfXz37vFwkA?rel=0

Part II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1asOVdQeJSo?rel=0

 

I’m genuinely surprised with how well this project came out.  I just started it (years and years ago) as a hobby, something for me to just play around with video editing whenever I was bored.  I never figured it would end up as good as it has, but I’m really moved by parts of it.

It’s like I took what makes the story of the Star Wars Saga powerful and good and condensed it down into 15 minutes.  Of course having John Williams’ music over the whole thing doesn’t hurt (in fact I’d say it’s essential).  At any rate I’m quite pleased with it.

What should I work on next?

Star Wars Visual Symphony: Concerto II

9 Jul

The second in the three-part symphony is now up.  Concerto II in Love and Death

This may be my favorite of the three, although the third isn’t quite done yet. There is certainly something to enjoy about the epic conclusion, but I think this one ended up being the most powerful. Plus, there is something to be said for the Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon love scene.

Star Wars Visual Symphony: Concerto I

2 Jul

Behold the bounds of my geekiness!  Marvel at the remarkable montage!  The first of the trilogy is finished and now available for anyone (and everyone) to see!

Perks of Being a Reader

1 Jul

Finished reading The Perks Of Being A Wallflower the other day.  Absolutely fantastic book.  I wanted to turn around and read it again right away.  It is just so full of delicious quotes and fantastic everythings.  Would that I could write as well as “Charlie.”  It felt a bit Good Will Hunting-ish near the end, but it still worked for me.  We’ll see how the movie plays out.

The trailer for the movie is better after having read the book, but it’s a good trailer either way.  It looks amazingly accurate to the book, which I think is impressive since the book is all letters (like, the kind you send in the mail) and it’s hard to do a movie that way.  Then again it’s written and directed by Stephen Chbosky, the author of the book, so it will be hard to find fault in the adaptation.  Plus it has Hermione and Percy Jackson in it, both looking nothing like Hermione or Percy Jackson, so that’s good.

Only thing is… this comes out in a few months!  Why is there only one trailer?

Star Wars Visual Symphony sneak peek

10 Jun

So you know that Star Wars Visual Symphony project I’ve been working on since 1999 when Episode I came out?  Of course you don’t.

But there is one, and I’ve finally made some progress on it.  So much so that the first movement (first of three) is almost done.

Here’s a small sneak peek at it, if you’re interested.