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Week 1

August 7, 2012

I believe in architecture and geography as essential elements of creative work. I see everything from writing a book, script or joke as requiring crafting – architecture – and a cohesive path – geography. Geography is what takes us places and only by traveling do we experience the necessary change to complete a story. Architecture is the artistic elements of the voyage – whether natural or artificial, it is the path that is traversed and the vehicle used to do so.

When I make plans, it usually follows a path. I think of the method of movement, the distance travelled and the supplies required to survive the trip and then I add the necessary art to make the trip worth taking. Or, more often than not, I add a direct cause of misery to be overcome or suffered through to make the trip more worthwhile. I have always equated elements of pain and misery to adventure, which I have had to reduce significantly now that I plan and coordinate for work.

So if I were to take a road trip, I would rent a car, get a map to ballpark time and distance, stuff the car with more food than required, and bring an iPod full of music, including new stuff, old stuff and podcasts galore. The automatic way to make the story more worth telling is to leave uncomfortably early, drive recklessly, or stop at several places en route – whichever offered strange geography or the opportunity to eat like an asshole.

Are plans are designed like tables – you need to consider four different perspectives to build the legs to support the end result. If you don’t think your plan has four angles, then you’ve not thinking or you’re taking something for granted.

So when I say that I’ve made plans for the First Year of the Inglorious Five Year Plan, I am acknowledging loftier ambitions than as follows:

– Pay of Debt
– Recognize that money is Security, not Expression or Liberty

– Make beautiful things

– Increase

– Increase curated consumption of media and information
– Begin with elements of history that informed the generation previous and elements of history that kicked off the media of the 20th century (basically watch the Marx Brothers Movies, some Hitchcock and the Twilight Zone)

(Yes, I do have every episode of the Twilight Zone, readily available to stream on my Boxee Box right now. If I watched an episode a day, I wouldn’t be finished this year.)

Though I will be discussing things freely this year (matters literary, matters career, rarely matters financial, often matters living and sometimes matters lupine), I am also going to take a small step back from publicizing this plan, unlike I did with the other. The Glorious Five Year Plan was rubbed, tugged and shoved in the face of almost everyone I met in the last five years and frequently in the face of friends and some enemies. So I’m going to take it a bit easier this time around, play things closer to the chest.

Because at the end of the day, no one gives a shit about your brand new hobby, diet or t-shirt. And I’m tired of trying. I’m tired of my own arrogance in assuming something is better and I’m tired of needlessly and pointlessly informing other people of things they don’t care about. The only person affected is me, so more often than not, details and context will stay with me. It’ll make things seem less structured that way.

I’m into the third section of Geoff Manaugh’s brilliant BLDGBLOG book, which is about Music/Sound/Noise. Previous sections focused on the Underground and Redesigning the Sky. The fourth and final is about the Future, which I am looking forward to.

Manaugh’s BLDGBLOG has been a pleasure to read for years now, as he focuses not exclusively on academy, or politics or “progress” as a term, but instead culture, development and interesting things. As a prole, my focus is really on new ideas and new applications. I knew that the Russians had developed cloud seeding technology that allowed them to alter weather patterns, making positive that their military parades never get rained on, but I never considered the weaponized alternatives to that technology. It’s an easy leap to say that you could make an thunderstorm over enemy bases, making it impossible for their fighters to take-off, but it was really a mind-bend to think that you could lace the crystalines necessary for artificial snowfall with anthrax, or a similar chemical and decimate a population below.

Custom weather patterns and boutique clouds are what follows. Sure, fucking with the weather, something we barely understand as it is (if you don’t believe me, please explain what wind is and how it works in the comments below) will probably lead to the annihilation of the atmosphere and the human race, but fuck it. Let’s see if we can make rain in the desert.

Breaking Bad is back and I’m so completely on board. It’s moving a bit slowly – lingering on a few beats and the structure of the new business is less realistic than ever – but it’s still one of the best shows on TV. The performances of often perfect dialogue and the agonizing silences that follow make every week seem better than the last. I’m avoiding all discussion and trying to not even think about where it could go, because I want to enjoy the trip for as long as I possibly can.

I’ve also completed Season 5 of The Shield and was immediately thankful that I have the next two seasons already to go on DVD. They’ll have to wait until after I get back from Vancouver.

The Newsroom, on the other hand, is such trash. I’ll never stop watching it, but it’s so trashy. It has become like a soap to me. Not a single person acts with any true gender compulsion, all the relationship stuff is stunted and awkward, often with people loudly acting against their own interest, and a lot of story comes out of blatant, constant clumsiness. And then they get into the newsroom problems and they solve their problems with montages to Coldplay songs, or grand standing. It’s ridiculous and I’ll never stop watching.

Where the West Wing examined the relationship between power, authority and hotly debated right and wrong and how they’re always stuck in the prism of politics, there was never a point where someone was able to solve a problem by throwing a bunch of money around because it was the “right thing to do.” They shouted and idealogued, but they could also lose the fight, if not the argument. Maybe Sorkin got tired of losing.

Also, just an FYI. Remember how the third episode was about Newsnight being threatened by the corporate overhead for speaking out against corporate interests? And how that seemed to be an active point of conflict going forward? Three episode later, nine months have passed and we haven’t heard anything from them since.

Perhaps, like Moriarty and the Joker, the villains will only appear a few times per season.

Again: I am never gonna stop watching this show. I will buy this show to listen to the commentary to punch myself. This is my Jersey Shore.

I am going to Vancouver later this week, meaning the blog, already, has fallen into disrepair. I intend to make full use of my time there, explore the area, crush the shoot and swim in the 24 hour hotel pool.

That said, this video has stuck with me since I saw it. It’s just… so perfect for what it is. It’s a simple story, well told, and beautifully represented. You even forget that there is practically no source audio. But it doesn’t matter, it works.


On to Vancouver. Back in a bit.

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