Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cool Shit 11/17

Hang this up in your pants humidor, and you'll have a handy guide to know what color shoes you should wear with your burgundy suit you just got to impress Jean, your cubicle mate!

Pretty sure there's no bigger harbinger of impending doom than a dusty, half-assembled doll lying in an abandoned building. Of course these pictures beg a better question: why are there so many abandoned toy factories?

I have no huge affection for Blockbuster, so the news of them closing shop doesn't affect me one way or the other. But that's not to say that I don't believe the store didn't have its value (or video rental stores in general for that matter - Blockbuster kinda deserves what it gets as its business model put a lot of independent stores out of business when it first arrived on the scene). Video stores were the digital library for people of all kinds, and if you developed enough of a relationship with the employees and clientele, you could find cool movies you would have never heard of before. No algorithm is going to be able to recreate that, because the algorithms don't take into account emotion or the unpredictable nature of finding something not necessarily in your wheelhouse drama and being genuinely excited about it. Sure, you can surf on Netflix and fall down a rabbit hole of clicks, looking for new and unique movies, but I'm not sure that can ever replace wandering the aisles of your local video store, poring over ridiculous covers and walking it up to the counter in hopes that they might have it. Our world of instant access to just about everything is convenient at times, but it's not necessarily always good. The peaks and valleys of having to sometimes wait for our reward I think is lost now, and is having its affect on our society. See you next week on 60 Minutes!

Plus, if I had never walked into a Blockbuster, I would have never seen this:

Is the golden age of television over? If you thought my Blockbuster musings was long...I think I could write 10,000 words on what is wrong with the current state of television writing, starting with the false notion that Lost hurt sensibilities by drawing their mysteries out for so long. Lost wasn't hurt by the time it took to unravel; Lost was hurt because once unraveled, there was no clear answer. It got people rabid with the creative arcs it created, but then fizzled at the end by ignoring 90% of what it started. So now lesser shows such as Revolution and The Blacklist (just two examples) move at such a breakneck speed to try and surprise and delight the audience with twists and turns, that they create a template of trying to constantly one up themselves, which the audience can only take so much of. Seriously, Revolution premiered and the story almost immediately became, "don't worry, you'll know why the power went out by the end of the season," which was both disingenuous (seriously, ask anyone and I guarantee they couldn't explain why the power is off) and counterproductive to storytelling. If the writing is good, the people will stick around and watch. Just make sure you have your solutions buttoned up. Man it sure is high up here on my soapbox!

Tor! For when you want to send secret messages or buy drugs online, you go to Tor! Use it to get back on the Silk Road, which is once again operational.

A fun look at how baseball would change if it had a 16 game season.

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