Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Newspaper killed the Twitter Star

After a time of yelling repeatedly at friends getting louder each time we finished playing Pictionary on the weekend. We were in high spirits and drinking other spirits as well and will, most likely, quote idiocy from it for years to come. I, personally, think we’d had more fun than cramming us all onto a dance-dance revolution to tap dance.

And, after this, I still think board games still can go the distance against there computer compatriots despite the death knell indicated in every article written about them. Every article written about them since the start of television will tell you that in the future no-one will crow over their family at Monopoly or cheat decisively at Cluedo. No-one has mentioned twister yet, though I think that has kept its high usage by children’s parties and drunken teenage drinking games (I make note that the second has never been exploited to its full availability by its parent company).

So why do media outlets think that for every new invention out there some industry should be wearing black, hanging up closed signs and deciding to form a band. Why, at every available opportunity, do we here about the iPod killer, the replacement for books and the end of radio? What real purpose can be seen by alluding to these pieces of plastic being compared to Jack the Ripper for sensational purposes.

I am still to see the death of radio, the end of children reading books, the replacement of television with the internet and all other visions of the future reporters seem to be bound to mention in their articles. Are we really relying on these reporters to give us our ‘vision of the future’? We seem extremely sceptical of a seemingly elderly crone crouching on a milk crate in a tepee telling us our future but should the writer from Newville Chronicles mention that helium balloons will replace the conventional automobile we bow to this opinion and nod over cups of tea at our next mad hatters tea party.

I am yet to see a train without a single person carrying one of the flimsy papers known as newspapers that has been said to disappear ever since the wireless came along. The wireless itself has still been on the ‘endangered species’ list on everything since the cathode ray made a name for itself. Who argued, in the 80’s, with the sentiment that video killed the radio star. I personally can’t think of any nightclub where a VJ (Video Jockey apparently) can make enough money to be called a starving artist.

So why is it only mediums that are already on the wanted list are the ones that are reporting these things? Why are there blogs out there telling everyone that no-one will be Twitting and not blogging. Is there such self loathing in the reporting industry for there personal medium? We should really be worried about this entire profession if they think that nothing they do is worth the paper it’s printed on. Maybe we need to have mandatory anti-depressants for these reporters if they hate their jobs that much?

Still, I think the best option is to slowly wind back a little and become technophobic again. This technological development may not be all that helpful. We need to look at what we’ve done in the past and try it over again. I’m going to start chipping away at some stone tablets for my next blog and get a personal slave to carry them to you.

It might not be next week though.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An 'Emotional' Message

I love living my life by moderation. If people ask how I am I might say 'good', 'bad', 'tired' or even 'where's the coffee'. It seems that that really covers my lifes feelings, wants and gives back about as much information as the asker requires or wants. And despite english stunting emotionally direct communications, the tone of my answer will give away more about my actual feelings than anything else.

The tone of all my answers is, in fact a highly relevant supporting the use of the wonders of sarcasm, the wit of irony and the humour of a movie like 'Wayne's World'. All these things that are then lost in the wonders of the net. And that comes at a point. If you think I'm serious with the first comment of this paragraph you can't hear the tone of my voice dripping with sarcasm. You may be waiting to see if I'll insert a winking emoticon to check I'm joking otherwise you could, possibly, watch a feed of my webcam as I gaze, glassy eyed, into the glowing box of a screen in front of me. I can't see much emotion being conveyed through 36 alphebetised characters plus punctuation or at intently gazing at a flickering screen while people watch me from a plastic egg.

So can we get past this barrier of only putting straight flat lines down on a screen with little to no emotion. Does a :) really convey that I have ambivalent feelings about my cat's employment choices or that :P will show my heightened disapproval of the business plan for the matchstick world builder set. So what options does this leave us, Maybe we can start to have a colour variations to indicate anger(red) sadness(blue), envy(green), shallow(pink), Peachy(peach) or even Pissed Off(Yellow). Personally I like to think that emotion is all about pressure and the keyboards, in all there innovativeness, should be able to the pressure your pounding into the keys. So if you're hammering nails into a concrete wall or lightly brushing a speck of dust on the keyboard the letters should change in size. Apparently, the chinese language, has five different tonal variations but the English could not have over 128 different points of pressure. It might make it a little harder to see the vary light touch people have when typing lightly but punch the keyboard and some letters should sit there for days.

But just to be clear I'm quite happy to see you all reading this. It's just annoying for you, the reader, that you can't tell if I'm sarcastic or not.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's in a name?(What's their name?)

Have you ever asked yourself what is really in a name?

What defines you to someone else?
What makes them remember that your name is not Fred or Antoinette?
Because often, if you're in this fair country of ours it's not the name that people will refer to you. I mean what is really in the use of a name. It's whole idea is to give you an individual persona but it's real usage is only to identify you in documents, across a crowded room and by the police should they ask your friend who it was that drove them from the scene of the crime.

But the real heart of your personal moniker is the nickname, especially in your local neighbourhood and workplace. With such a diverse creative flair in most people Darren can become anything by shortening from D to Dazza to D-ren then to lengthening it to something like Dublin Darren even if he’s from Bangalore and has a liking of Gridiron. And with our current trend of expanding nicknames Dublin can change to Ireland and be Irish in a blink of an eye.

So this very Australian method or renaming people, places, animals and any other noun within sight probably has a lot to do with the fact that few Australians speak clearly enough for you to understand there name. If they happen to be from somewhere like Melbourne. They tend to speak with speeds akin to a Japanese bullet train whereas up north near Cairns the vocals are so drawn out that by playing there words back at double the rate it still takes a minute to say the name Bob.

So the fallout of such a movement inside this country is that no-one actually knows the real name of a person that they talk too and the ‘AKA’ line in the Police report looks more like an internet phone directory. Many a friend gets into a conversation with another on a street corner only to start referring to them as Walker, for walking around all the time.

Still, you can take heart in the fact, that when your parents failed miserably in attempting to give you an unshorten-able name that they didn’t call you Moses or Apple and expect you to go through a playground without any minders.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I like my reality with fantasy on the side

I was having a discussion recently musing over the thought of setting up a themed restaurant, a version of a standard eatery based on a forensic science style. Toe tags being a standard, zip lock bags with pieces of food inside, chalk outlines for the cutlery and microscopes to inspect the meal. Waiters wearing full body jumpsuits would end up saying profound, but annoying phrases in gravelly voices while looking into the middle distance. And that would be perfectly in line with CSI : Antarctica whenever it happens to be conceived.

And that is when the major issues hit me like a lead balloon.

That, while this would work based on the TV setting, the real forensic science is nowhere near as exciting. In fact the distance between the television version of reality and actual reality is so far that they wave at each other as though on differing magnetic poles.

It is, unfairly I believe, indicated that the media is glamorising the dramatic side of these jobs and that in reality, apparently, the whole case cannot be solved by the half centimetre of glass with an ants fingerprint on it.

And the problem with this whole issue is reality.
Reality, right now, isn't that exciting......yet.
Reality, should be a lot more like TV; glamorous, dramatic, riveting, sexy and all over within an hour.

This is the problem that we should go to our politicians, local council and radio shock jocks about. If we are truly entering into a nation dependant on the TV, computer and other fictional mediums. Can we really exist in such boring lives that we live in right now.

We should have police who can't enter a room without a diving role, forensic scientist who work alone to perfectly syncopated music tracks, delicatessens to meet with friends that do not smell like bad pastry's.
We should have some home lives where people don’t pay attention to living costs or budgets and hand over their credit cards without a care in the world. The fact then is that you get to have a new marriage/affair/kid/divorce every three months and the possibility that if you do seem to die you may be, saved at the last minute, resurrected, or have an evil identical twin.

If we really want to believe in the television lives we should make them real, in every way possible. We might get sick of the theme song every morning when we wake up, but our flashbacks would seem like we’ve just looked into a pool of bad stereotypical 80’s music videos.

Sure, it would mean that most towns would have incredibly high murder rates, security guards should keep up there life insurance policies but police would be invincible roundhouse kicking cowboys.

But until that day happens I'm going to work on my own life getting more 'dramatic'. Considering that I'm a photographer it should mean that I'll have to start investigating a large multinational corporation illicit happenings, get killed off in the first ten minutes so a friend of mine can investigate the case and shoot the head of HR in another 40 minutes before driving off in a sports car with a blonde sitting next to him.