Everyone Could use a Montage

Montages are great they allow an epic task that would normally take forever to occur in 30 seconds or less. With some creative camera angles and an upbeat pop song anyone can go from science geek to superhero.

Want to lose weight? No problem. Just inter cut scenes of intense cardio workout with shots of the numbers on a bathroom scale steadily declining and finish with a shot of you modeling skinny jeans.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had montages in real life? Think about it.

If I decided to write a novel all I would need are a few really good shots of me typing followed by a shot of the printer emitting an endless stream of paper. Then a shot of red marked pages being crumpled and tossed into the waste paper bin. More typing. Insert the required shot of me sleeping on the key board while “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” flashes across the screen. More typing, hit the print key, shot of printer spitting out one last sheet of paper with “The End” on the bottom.

That was easy none of the wasted hours of staring at a blank word document or the annoyance of having to delete a days work because that scene I wrote was too clever by half. No getting distracted and organizing all of your writing utensils into separate pencil cups by color. Don’t ask.

Is it just that a montage gives a false sense of time passing? I don’t think so because it is understood that some of the montages take days weeks or even years out of the narrative time in the movie. What the montage does is give the viewer a false sense of focus. Making us think that we will really be able to stay in the game and devote the required amount of time to reaching our goals. It’s true that many people have stuck it out and written that great novel or lost the weight. But it doesn’t take  just one time of saying, “I am going to do this.” It takes constant re-motivation, patience and even knowing when to call it a day. Really, who wants to wake up to “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr?” That would really upset me having to delete all those Rs before I could do anything else. 

The montage might work for people living in TV land but in the real world we have to do it the hard way with all of that real-time in between shots in which to lose focus and get distracted.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some writing to do. But we both know that I’ll just end up wall papering my room with post-it notes.


Go West Young Shrew

The National Players were at Owens Community College, in Perrysburg Ohio, last night (9/22/2011) performing a wild west interpretation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This interested me for two reasons firstly because as you may recall I have written papers on The Taming of the Shrew thus making it what the cowboys would call familiar territory. And secondly, if anyone has read “Souls are Wild” (Cross and Cosmos Issue 4) then you know that the Old west is also familiar territory for me.

 Sadly though Shakespeare’s entertaining Induction was cut, it almost always is, and replaced with a verisimilitude inducing prologue which provides the plot in a nut shell for those new to the play. Still it would have been interesting to see the drunk tinker Sly being kick out of a saloon and then getting taken in by a wealthy cattle baron.

 The set design was simple but very effective it consisted of two sets of swinging doors one stage left and the other stage right, the stage right doors decidedly more Saloon looking, and an open doorway center stage. The lumber, looking aged and weathered, was rough cut and gave a very Boomtown impression to the city ofPaduaItaly. I guess that made this a Spaghetti Western.

 The National Players gave a truly rough and tumble performance with comedic sound effects adding emphasis to stage punches and kicks. And in true frontier style extra effort went into making sure that none of Shakespeare’s physical innuendos went over anyone’s head. While, thankfully, the production avoided sprinkling Shakespeare’s words with the old western clichés of ‘taint and I reckon I do have to mention actor Chad Tallon who played Grumio. He managed to maintain a particularly thick “westerny” accent while at the same time speaking clearly and giving wonderfully comedic timing to an already hilarious character.

 Everyone who worked on this production did a great job and deserves praise but I only have so much room. Still, just one more nod. This nod goes to Costume designer Ivania Stack. All of the costumes looked fantastic and, I think, perfect for the time setting but I have to say that I really loved Kate’s coat that she wears in the final Act. It is just stunning and I really want one. Sorry I couldn’t find a picture.

 Unfortunately the there was only one performance at OCC but here’s the link to their web site. If anyone reading this hears about a production coming to your area I hope you’ll mosey on down and take in the show.

Save the Books!

There is an alarming trend occurring in our society. More and more books are being committed to a nonexistent state. Some of them never to see life in print. How can we trust humanities greatest literary works to the digital ether? We have organizations to Save the whales and to save this or that landmark but who will save the books?

 I am not tech savvy. Technology hates me.  I will never be jumping on the E-book band wagon. But, you ask, how can a writer who relies on the internet for publication argue against E-Books? A printer I say. I print everything. Hard copy, hard copy, hard copy, that is the key to preservation.

 The greatest achievement in human history is the Book. The printed word. Not this new fad of downloading electronic books onto portable electronic devices. Nothing can replace the feel of a page between your fingers or the smell of aged book paper.

 Technology is fallible. It will let you down. But words safely written, typed, or printed onto good paper. They will always be there. It’s true that paper decays, becomes brittle, grows mold, and yes, it can even burn. But drives can be erased, Information deleted, computers crash and power go out. Both systems have their faults and both, some would argue, offer advantages.

 Books are idiot proof. Somehow even an illiterate seems to know how they work.

Step one open.

Step two stare into it.

Step three turn the page.

Repeat steps two and three until end.

 You never have to wait for a book to charge or boot up or download. They don’t require batteries, headphones or fancy cases to store them in. No extended warranty needed.

Books will never crash or loose a signal or be disconnected from a network. Once the printed word is in your hand you have total access to it. No IP address needed. No 404 errors, no redirection and no passwords to remember.

 I love books. Let’s keep printing books. Let’s keep making lots of copies. Let’s make sure that the next generation knows what Old books smell like.

Never let the books die.

 Here’s a challenge for everyone who reads this post: Go out and find a real life paper version of Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi novel Fahrenheit 451. DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT. Go to the library, a bookstore, borrow it from a friend maybe you already own it, just make sure it’s a book. Hold it in your hand. Then read it. If you’ve read it before then read it again. Enjoy it. Learn from it. Treasure it. Save it


29th of August

06th of August

25th of July

12th of July

Wow! I didn’t realise how far apart my blog posts were.

Sorry that I post so infrequently. In my defence the word Random is in the subtitle. I am going to try  posting about once a week from now on.

 Yes this does count for this week in case some one was wondering.

I guess the problem is that without more focus I have been waiting for the “Random Musings” to come to me instead of actually putting effort into this project.  I am trying to change though. From now on I will Plan my “Random Musings.” Yes I too can see the problems inherent in the paradox of planned Randomness but I think I can make it work.

So until Next week. Hopefully. Maybe. If I get around to it.

Cathrine 🙂