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Author Topic: Help With Self/Peer Reviewing  (Read 7540 times)
k9k
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« Reply #30 on: April 06, 2011, 01:21:00 AM »

I must chastise you Altivo, things have changed but in a sense of shifting.

Take Art.




This wonderful graffati stems from our friend across the pond, that of Banksy.

Or take my /b/rothers. Anonymous is mostly kids standing up what they feel is right, bringing our culture to the surface.


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« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2011, 03:16:56 AM »

Well, that was a nonsequitur if ever I saw one.  Tongue
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« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2011, 04:56:18 AM »

what I am saying is, while the old fades away, the new takes it's place.

Friends with benefits, tweeting, green tech, ideas and concepts to change the world.
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« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2011, 06:39:53 AM »

Not a big fan of "Fringe" at all. It all felt so contrived and cliché. It tried too hard to be the "X-Files" -- a series that did incredibly well in the States despite its genre and lack of pop-culture references  -- and failed in every aspect.

Like I said in our discussion about books. If a book is written in such a way that it instantly grabs 9/10 people, you can cram it with whatever messages you want to propagate, and the people will eat it up.
Whether you are a fan of "Fringe" or any series is beside the point. I cited them as an example of a show that tried and almost failed to bring its concepts to the public. "X-Files" was a cultural phenomenon on par with "Star Trek" or "The Simpsons" - they only come along every few decades or so. They're pretty much the only reliable long-term way to hammer ideas into people's heads, so your chances of using a screenplay to revive dying words are the same as your chances of writing the next cultural phenomenon. Easier said than done.

As to your other point, screenplays are not books. I've already outlined their drawbacks with regards to preserving language in my second-to-last post. Please read it; my response hasn't changed and I'm not keen on retyping the whole thing with slightly different terminology.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 08:11:23 AM by Reiter » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2011, 08:42:29 AM »

@Quinn: That's tragic. It's like those short-sighted people who lobbied to ban "Huck Finn" because the characters kept using the word "nigger". Never mind that it was being used in an accurate, inoffensive context, in a work that was, if anything, anti-racist. Why? Is it just because a white man wrote it? That's racism, if you ask me. I demand the right to use the words "nigger" and "niggardly" wherever context demands I use them. If people get offended, that's because they're idiots. They have Ph.Ds? Then that makes it official. (Cookies to whoever knows w/c work I borrowed that quote from)

@'Tivo: Then write. The Chinese have this proverb: "If a man wishes to live forever, then he should bear a son, plant a tree, and write a book." You could argue that we are, in a way, your children - as are all the other youngsters you mentored/helped on their way. You have a farm, so I assume you've planted several trees already. All that's left is to write. Books will remain long after oil runs out, long after power outages render e-books and film useless. Civilization may fall and still books will remain, waiting for the next curious hand to dust them off and read them.

Alflor is right: do not accept the death of literature. Please. Write in defiance of what is to come. Write even if you are sure that only one person will read your writing. Write because you have a voice, because that voice has stories it and no other can tell - most of all, because that voice will one day shrivel and die out and be no more.

I've never set foot in a dime store, but I know, in a vague, roundabout way, what it's like. Bradbury and McCullers showed me that. You showed me that just now. Don't give up, 'Tivo. You may say that you're well past your prime, or call yourself a sour old prune, but you can still do this. Give it one last shot.

If for nothing else, do it because all this rhetoric makes me sound like a pompous fool. Don't let me have humiliated myself in vain. Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2011, 11:16:04 AM »

Thanks, Reiter. Oh, I'm not giving up, but I often feel very much like Poe's Fortunato, trapped in the vaults, helplessly watching as the light is walled away forever, brick by brick. I may still have a voice, but making it heard is extremely difficult.

I think I see, k9k, but Twitter will never be a replacement for genuine writing. And people who use Twitter to measure the world will never gain full vision any more than those who listen to the sound bites on Fox News can do.

As for that dime store, it is now so stuck in my head that I can't shake it out. As recently as the 1980s, there were still dime stores in Chicago. Every Woolworth's had a common character, one that you could identify blindfold: the smell of popcorn and cheap perfume, the sound of those ceiling fans, the chink of crockery at the lunch counter, the tinny sound of candy being weighed out on a balance scale, poured from a tin scoop into the pear-shaped copper weighing bowl and then tipped into that delicious little paper sack from the narrow end "untouched by human hands." Of course it was touched soon enough thereafter, and you can't buy that kind of delicacy any more.

I'm old. I take a cue from Lemuel Gulliver and go out to the barn to cry on my mare's shoulder as she rests her muzzle on my back consolingly. We find more solace in our conversations than ever I can trace among the congress of men and women.
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« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2011, 03:53:46 PM »

As to your other point, screenplays are not books. I've already outlined their drawbacks with regards to preserving language in my second-to-last post.

As someone who has to deal with screenplays and scripts in general all the time, I would say otherwise. Screenplays are just as powerful and just as useful for preserving language. Dialogue-writing is an art that many people seem to neglect or forget about altogether. Characters can be created and made to use specific words that you wish to weave into the cultural web. The only difference between screenplays and books, in fact, is that you depend on the actors to provide the narrative and emotional tension that you would have otherwise provided with words. If you look at any truly well-written show, you will see words used that are quite uncommon, you will see traditions that are dying out being preserved on-camera. It can be done, it has been done and it is being done. It's this surrenderous attitude that gives us bland shows that only use the 7000 everyday words that you have mentioned. It's about going beyond that. If nobody does, we get "Jersey Shore." That is our punishment for our lack of vision and creativity.
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« Reply #37 on: April 07, 2011, 04:33:05 AM »

I'm not being "surrenderous", I'm being realistic. I'm home for the holidays and the book I'm citing is in Germany, but the 7000 words already include those relatively uncommon in daily conversation. I don't doubt that screenplays can be effective at introducing/reintroducing concepts; it's whether they can act on such a large *scale* and with such abstract concepts as words or the subjunctive or the pluperfect that I'm skeptical about. Again, you can do this most certainly with books, because you get to "show off" your impeccable grammar and vocab in narrative. Screenplays limit you to dialogue.

I'm not giving up the fight. If you didn't notice, I'm the one putting forth such silly ideas as grammar awareness programs. Far from being "surrenderous". I can't go on your endorsements alone, though. Maybe you could provide examples and arguments that show HOW screenplays can/have cemented uncommon words in the public consciousness. Always nice to wax poetic about the power of good screenplay, but right now, you're really giving me very little other than enthusiasm to go on.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 04:59:49 AM by Reiter » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2011, 12:57:29 AM »

Okay, maybe "surrenderous" is a bit much. You are, however, not thinking outside the box. Rather than proposing grammar awareness programs, one needs to think of actual viable ways to solve the problem. As far as examples, well they're more common than you might think.

Some rely heavily on stage directions. Take the Japanese movie Hana-bi. It is very bare=bones and comes with a very strict set of stage directions and dialogue constraints. Not one shot, word, motion, or anything else is wasted. Everything carries deep symbolism and meaning. The dialogue is sparse, but powerful. The scenes are quiet, but every time something happens, it carries meaning -- today's American film-makers can certainly learn a thing or two about that... I'm talking to you, Michael Bay.

Other films are the opposite. They are very dialogue-heavy. Take something as simple as The Breakfast Club. The action is minimal, the story is simple. It is all in the dialogue. Each character has their own manner of speaking, bringing their cultural stereotype into the mix. They carry messages of class division, bullying, contempt... all that without a single bit of narration. If it were a book, there would be very little else but dialogue. That movie introduced a lot of words into the populace and all the generations that follow will watch this movie and remember those words.

Also, if you want to bring back a word from a certain bygone time period... go there! You're writing a movie, you can go anywhere! Take Pirates of the Caribbean, for instance. "Savvy?" That word is now actively used by my peers. Go back a month before the movie was released, and people didn't even know what it meant.
There are a ton of other examples where period movies used words that caught on in modern speech.

All it takes is a bit of imagination and you can bend and twist people's minds like soggy noodles.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 01:02:04 AM by Alflor » Logged

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« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2011, 04:19:41 AM »

@Quinn: If people get offended, that's because they're idiots. They have Ph.Ds? Then that makes it official. (Cookies to whoever knows w/c work I borrowed that quote from)

*Snaggs a cookie for The Kings Speech and starts making noodle knots*
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« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2011, 09:17:39 AM »

I'm just being skeptical, Alflor. You're describing screenplays as a sort of miracle cure for language. I do want this to work as much as you (it's like Baby Einstein CDs - who doesn't wish their kid could become a genius after listening to a $10 CD?) but the thing is, we've had some of the best and most skilled screenwriters going at this for decades and still English is going into a decline.

I think part of the problem is that movies, like books, appeal only to a certain subset of viewers. I like musicals. I've performed solos in a couple, and I used to know Sound of Music by heart. I think My Fair Lady did a very clever and helpful treatment of grammar, but how many people will that treatment actually help? It's basically preaching to the converted. Intellectuals who like their dialogue and probably don't need help building up their vocabulary will gravitate towards dialogue-heavy films, while action-lovers who may need that help will move towards, yes, Michael Bay films. Not that I'm disparaging action-film directors, but unless you're writing a shoot-out scene in the Linguistics department of Harvard, there's a limit again to the vocabulary you can use. You could probably sneak in the grammar stuff if you're subtle, but you don't use the technical jargon of Primer in the remake of Star Trek, and vice versa. (Also, I wasn't aware that The Breakfast Club even existed until you mentioned it just now. Anecdotal evidence, but I'll still cite that as support for my point that any potential language-saver needs to be a *universal* cultural phenomenon first.)
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« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2011, 02:21:58 AM »

I would like to point out that you folks forgot the Lord of the Rings movies that came out not too long ago, or the Narnia movies.
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« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2011, 04:10:38 AM »

Forgot them how? I was utterly unimpressed with both.

I'm particularly horrified that so many people who never read the books now think they "understand" the works. They do not.
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« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2011, 12:15:53 AM »

Say what you will, the fact that complex works like them made it into a movie is still something of note and merit.
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« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2011, 12:24:12 AM »

That's exactly the problem, though. The books are complex and multi-layered. The movies are shallow and seriously abridged.
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