I’ve written some on depression. Don’t really have anything new to say. But I just wrote this email to a friend which expresses my feelings today.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, 1982, Directed by Nicholas Meyer
These Podcasts Broke The Internet
I SWEAR I’m going to start updating this thing. I wish I thought about it more often, because out of my various creative endeavors on these here internets, writing is the thing that started it and the thing that I still most enjoy. I just don’t make the time for it, and that’s a shame.
For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with the first ten episodes of This Podcast Broke The Internet, my best-yet podcasting adventure with Carter Kalchik. We’re really making something great here and I’m convinced that each week we get better.
We’d love your feedback, so be sure to chat to our Twitter @PodcastBroke or use the hashtag #PodcastBroke. Thanks for listening!
Episode 1 - Frank Langella and Breakfast Foods
Episode 2 - Unconventional Gaming
Episode 3 - The 86th Academy Awards
Episode 4 - The American Sitcom
Episode 5 - Sci-Fi ‘99
Episode 6 - Metacast
Episode 7 - Apptastic (Or, some other made-up Buzzfeed word)
Episode 8 - Dune by Hayao Miyazaki
Episode 9 - Deus Ex Minecraft
Episode 10 - Why Do We Podcast?
This Podcast Broke The Internet 2: Unconventional Gaming
This week, Shawn and Carter discuss the games Journey and The Stanley Parable and question what these games have to say about the state of the industry and the art form. (Spoiler: we are not CoD fans.)
Many thanks to Nate for our new logo. Check it out in iTunes.
The page for the show is forthcoming. For now, copy and paste this link into ‘Subscribe to podcast’ in iTunes, or click here for a direct download of the episode. As always, please send feedback via Twitter (Shawn | Carter) or use this email. Happy listening!
Also, check out some sweet, sweet outtakes from the episode over here on YouTube.
This Podcast Broke The Internet: A SCHP Joint
If any of you are handy with MS Paint, I would love to get some fan-made artwork for the cover album. Size should be 1400 x 1400 (or no larger). Send anything you come up with to this email address.
The End is in sight. #interrobang
The Blank Page
When I was in school to be an English teacher a lifetime ago, I was part of a program that met weekly with early-adolescent students with writing deficiencies to help them with their process. And as students ourselves, my cohorts and I were tasked with making a study of this exercise.
The resulting paper that I wrote was entitled The Blank Page, and it focused on how the students would use space on a page to define, explore, or limit their creativity. I also focused on the differences between hand-writing on blank paper and typing on a PC word processor.
In my little experiment, one of the surprising results that I demonstrated was that the children flourished in a word processing environment while finding a piece of blank paper intimidating. Time and time again, the students created longer, more complete, and more intellectually complex work when they had a keyboard in front of them than when they had a pencil and a piece of paper.
I’m not a scientist, but I’m familiar with the idea that correlation does not imply causality. However…
When I interviewed the students, a recurring explanation for the phenomenon was that a computer (and specifically Microsoft Word) is intelligent enough to help with all of the things that bothered a student who has trouble writing “from the hip,” which, as I thought about it more, was never a problem for me. It generates nice, clear margins. A spell check is a click away. You can set a tone with different fonts. If you make a mistake, highlight and delete.
With a piece of paper, you’ve only got your own handwriting to work with. If you don’t know how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism, you’re going to fake it and wait until an Oxford English Dictionary is handy. And if you just made a two paragraph diversion that clearly doesn’t work, you’re either using the rest of that nub of an eraser you’ve been chewing on, or you’re striking a bold line through half a page. Or, more likely, balling the whole thing up and starting over.
I haven’t spent much time blogging since my high school days. I’ll blame Facebook for the initial dearth of my internet writing. When I had a Xanga, I felt like I had an audience (whether I did or not). Once I abandoned it for Facebook, my internet social life no longer included the idea of an audience. Just… friends. Whatever that meant.
Then came YouTube. And reenter the concept of audience. I deleted my Facebook, abandoned my friends, and focused on two fronts: my story-telling (see Deus Ex Minecraft and my Five Things intros) and my vlogs, which were very much a continuation of everything I used to do with Xanga.
When I ran my writing study with the students, I told myself that I did not suffer from the word processor / paper and pencil dilemma. I could use either tool to equal result. Because, then and now, I often spend time hand writing before transferring to PC, and with documents like scripts, I usually don’t even bother.
But, you see, it’s not just about PCs and paper. It’s about any tool made for any creative process. It’s my Kodak Zi8 HD camera. It’s my Google Nexus 7 (bringing you this very post). It’s a cell phone. It’s a guitar. It’s a microphone. It’s an iPad. It’s Siri, it’s Google voice, it’s whatever turns the ideas in your head into something visual, or tangible, or otherwise ready to be shared with the masses.
Any of these things is a blank page, and that’s why sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just fucking start. I felt sorry for some of those students because they were so intimidated by the blank page. But it turns out… I am, too.
Reinventing My Wheel
What the hell did you do with the rest of my 2013? I wasn’t done with it!
It’s like, February now.
(Also, this is the first and only time I will complain about the bitter, unusually snow-laden winter we have been having in Lancaster. Fucking Polar Al Roker, man. I liked him when he was fat.)
I have been watching new videos posted by two of my friends. This is significant because I have watched very little on YouTube these days.
(besides continuing to try to get Gangnam Style to two billion views)
Ron Smalec is releasing a series entitled “2014" in which a perhaps typical Ron-style Minecraft character has a really shitty memory and all of a sudden learns the word fuck! to much hilarity. He told me it was inspired by my series Interrobang, and I’m hoping he means beyond my vernacular.
(I’m only through episode three. I like waiting to binge. I’m starting in on Downton Abbey next.)
I was telling Carter
(him in a minute)
that I’m jealous what Ron gets to do with command block know-how what I have to do in editing. Also, he has the patience for tools that I know how to use but am simply too lazy to fuck around with Minecraft for a day and a half only to end up with a nonworking .jar file and a fresh install anyway?
OK, so Carter and I are podcasting again. And have been for weeks. Yay! I know! We did it! So where the fuck are the episodes?
Well, a smart man said once that you should stockpile episodes before release so that you know you actually have something, and a sense of direction for your series. That’s smart. When you’re trying to assemble any new project.
(especially one that requires a lot of moving elements i.e. multiple people multiple schedules availability no offense to anyone I’ve ever worked with /jokingnotjoking)
Well here’s the good news. We have successfully recorded and proven our proof-of-concept to the point that we already feel we can break it. You’ll understand when you get to that episode. We just like movies too goddamn much.
You will see the first episode of our new podcast We Finally Have A Quite Decent Enough Name For This One, I Swear this week. Not promising a day, but it will be here.
Here’s the more good news. I’m filming episode 17 of Interrobang?! and I am giving you a solid release date of Valentine’s Day. It’s a fucking bullshit holiday, anyway.
It’s going to be awesome and that’s all I have to say about that.
Here’s the most good news. You will see a return of my face to the nearly-you-could-almost-call-it-often YouTube. Inspired by my favorite aforementioned data nerd, Carter Kalchik, who has FINALLY
(I’m one to talk)
returned to connecting words like dukkha and github repository in less than two minutes. Start with this one, it won’t hurt your brain as much.
(I had to Google both those things, you learned motherfucker)
Watching Carter’s videos is really inspiring me to get in front of the casual camera again. It’s hard to start, but I just need to do it. I know how to do it, I’ve done it literally hundreds of times, but I’ve just felt shy for a while. But the only way to relearn the ropes is to get right back in the saddle.
I did that with the half-smirk that I always do to let you know that I’m in on the joke. You know the one? If you watched the banana video from earlier, you totally know what I’m talking about. Ugh, I’m so good at embarrassing… myself.
Expect a video from me tomorrow on this channel. It will probably be a little bit embarrassing.
Now, go on and finish watching Gangnam Style.