Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

We love you, Spider

I subscribe to this
quote-of-the-day website mailing. Sometimes I get great stuff, often enough that it's worth the quick read before I delete the e-mail. This showed up the other day:

You're miserable, edgy and tired. You're in the perfect mood for journalism.
Warren Ellis
(1968 - )
English Author of Comics, Novels and Television

I'm 99 44/100% certain those words came from the mouth of Spider Jerusalem. (Actually, I'd make that 100% certain were it not for the fact that I don't trust anything on the interweb 100% but don't have the time to re-read all my issues of Transmetropolitan to confirm the quote. (But now that I mention it, I think I'd quite enjoy reading Transmet again; it's a series I miss.)) Spider -- and, I infer, Ellis -- would probably feel a mixture of flattery, amusement and contempt at learning he's being quoted in the same place as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Incidentally, today's Solzhenitsyn quote was pretty good in its own right:

One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Russian Novelist

Monday, September 07, 2009


I've spent some odd hours this weekend online hunting for images and footage of a number of historical events from the past sixty or so years. We've talked about using video projection as an element in the scene change transitions for Absence since each scene jumps forward in time anywhere from two years to a decade or so. The idea of building the events of the timeline into those transitions seems appealing. It's a rich, albeit obvious, opportunity for the sound design -- period music, audio from newscasts, etc. The visual element, though, is a bit more of a challenge. I'm designing the lighting for the show, and because I'm a sucker for a challenge and have no capacity for protecting myself from overwork, I'm exploring possibilities for video.

So I've been poking about online in a hunt for images of things like VE Day, the war in Vietnam, the fall of the Berlin Wall and other less focussed things, like the Cold War (any suggestions for images that evoke the Cold War are most welcome). The last scene in the show takes place in 1993, and the script specifically mentions "CNN news about the first World Trade Center bombing." [sic] If you're lazy about your search parameters, and even if you aren't, a lot of the hits are going to refer to the September 11th attacks in 2001.

There's a lot on the web about the events of that day. I looked at some of the footage of the second plane -- it's eerily well documented -- and found it a very incisive reminder of the feelings on that day. I'm glad the timeline in Absence doesn't extend into the 21st century. I'm uncomfortable enough with the idea of editing elements of that footage, and even more uncomfortable with the thought of how inured to it I might become through the particular sort of familiarity created in the process of editing.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

They somehow know me far too well...

Now that I think about it, it was always pretty much inevitable that I'd find a bunch of things on ThinkGeek that fit my own idiosyncratic tastes. But this was just a little too perfect.

And, terrifyingly, my ThinkGeek wish list presently totals at $1,163.51. Amazon doesn't show you the total cost of everything you've tossed onto a wish list (at least nowhere that I've seen), so my wish list there just piles up full of things I'd like to have if money were not a concern and all I did was have things. Of course it's not likely that I'll ever get all or even most of the things on either list. The act of adding something cool to a wish list gives just a hint of vicarious pleasure at having found a thing I like.