Geek Music – Carol of the Old Ones

The Civilian New Year is merely 28 minutes away at the time I am typing this, so I’d like to begin this post by wishing you all a happy new (civilian) year!
The reason I note that it’s the civilian new year is because we also have the Jewish new year around these parts. This also explains that while what I am going to link to here is not something that is directly related to my religion (though I’m Jewish by way of culture, not exactly religion…)

Anyway, this is a prime candidate for geek music, it’s not merely a filk, but a more professional endeavour. Well, I’ll let you listen to this thing first.

Carol of the Old Ones (which even got its own Wikipedia page!) is a take on the Christmas carol of Carol of the Bells, which had been performed by a group that had done such renditions for 24 christmas carols (I believe), in two discs. I actually put my hands on one of the discs, and I wasn’t too enamored with the rest, which may have something to do with lack of yearly exposure to these songs, or holiday anthems, so to speak.

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(Media) Moments Frozen in Time – Favourites.

Favourites are moments which had been frozen in time. At least the ones which we can find in media, because as we all know, memories are something which is constructed, and not only at the time in which they occur, they keep being constructed after the fact to fit with new information received.

Media memories are memories, or rather, occurrences from books, movies, series, music, they are frozen in time, crystallized, so to speak, because we can return to them, time and time again. The passage that had stirred our blood so in a novel, the elation that we had felt when listening to an overture in an opera, and so many others.

But can we truly return to these perfect moments, to revisit these perfect memories, or are our memories moments that are constructed from an alchemical fusion of two things, which can never truly be reproduced, as Dr Jackyll had found to his dismay? A unification of the media section, that indeed can be experienced again, and of our emotional and psychological state at the time, which are not only something one would be hard pressed to reproduce, but even to merely identify?

Read more, and please share your own frozen perfect moments!
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Constructing Time – Philosophy, Rambling, Christmas.

Time is of the essence, or so they say, and time keeps running out. It is funny to say that time runs out, because as many of us know, or at least have been told, time is infinite, so how can it be that we never have enough?
Well, look at space, and what we are told of space and matter. If space is infinite, and the amount of matter is finite, then comparatively speaking, there’s no matter in the world. If you divide any number by infinity, you end up with a zero.

The White Rabbit. From Ryo Ueda's Alice Fantasia, from icie. Time! Time!

Likewise, the problem is not that time is infinite, but rather that we only have a finite amount of time, so we always have no time, because for us, the amount of time, figuratively speaking, is always zero.

Keep reading to see how it all makes sense, and why it is also seasonal!
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Whisper of the Heart – The Dreary versus Fantasy (Worlds).

The kids, and the cat.

So I’ve watched Whisper of the Heart in a Hayao Miyazaki focused film festival of sorts last Friday (along with Porco Rosso, I’ve watched all the other films they had there previously), and I was bothered by something  in Whisper of the Heart, well, a couple of things.

There will be a certain amount of spoilers, be advised.

The first is that it had a “point”, a moral, a lesson it had tried to pass, when I think it’d have worked better as a “Slice of Life” story that just showcases something. Porco Rosso on the other hand was cute, but it was rambling and a bit directionless.

Whisper of the Heart follows Shizuku Tsukihima, a girl who loves reading books, at her senior year of junior high school. In a way, she lives in the world of imagination, reading books voraciously, and fantasizing about the boy whose name appears before hers in many of the books she loves.

By the by, she is a junior high school student, and while some aspects of her and her classmates seem a bit off in age, as in, some fit high schoolers better, and some actually fit elementary schoolers (and even 4th-5th graders at that), on the whole, it seemed fitting, the behaviour, which meant quite a bit. I hate it when films totally butcher how younger people behave for the sake of cliches.

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Month in Review – November 2009: Purchases and Media.

Well, it’d please you all to know that while I’m not sure what’s going on with Figure Friday, there will be Figure Monthly rolling out next week, for October, and shortly thereafter November, at the very least. This very entry should have gone up earlier this week, but school is putting the crack down, as well as dealing with the public beta of the Hordes wargame which is currently ongoing.

Read on for last month’s media consumption and purchases, which had been relatively light, due to both school and a new girlfriend taking away from my free time. Also, happy birthday to me ;)

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Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness; The Office, American Pie 2, etc.

Michael Scott (The Office)

There’s something I dread when I watch comedies, and it’s even more prevalent in certain black comedies where they are played seriously, dead-pan. I like to term it “Sympathetic Viewer Awkwardness”, which happens both when the character feels awkward, but much more commonly, when we feel awkward for the character.

Take for instance the American version of The Office, starring Steve Carell as Michael Scott, the boss at a small office where they sell paper. Michael will not miss an opportunity to be rude, racist, sexist, and offensive. His staff obviously pays him no mind, and don’t take him seriously. I do remember the scene where he asked every person in the office to talk as if they were someone from another “group”, and he drew the “Indian” card (India, not Native American), and then Kelly, the Indian worker, had walked in and had slapped him, since she thought he were mocking her.

The thing is, watching The Office is almost a physically painful experience for me, as I can’t help but go, “Oh gawd, he didn’t just do that, did he? He did!” and of course the show actually plays and gives social commentary, by showing you these ridiculously offensive things, and having a character who truly means well, he just really doesn’t know any better. If you watch the show with people who think Michael’s behaviour is legitimate, BTW, know that you are not in Kansas anymore ;) Continue reading