Tuesday, 4 February 2014

#3 - "You can't take the sky from me."

NOTE: The "Characterization 101"-entry is on a temporary hiatus, until I return to my Roodepoort office. I'm "traveling" at the moment. :-D

I'm much more confident that we'll share opinions this morning. I reckon, and I'm not alone, that Joss Whedon's Firefly was one of the finest sci-fi tales ever told. A young, brash me, would say, "The best ever!"

Never before was such a poignant cross between sci-fi and traditional westerns accomplished. Right now, I still hold a similar sentiment. Imagine the coolest western you've ever seene. Now add a beautiful mix of space waste, dystopian desolation, a class-ist society etc. and you have...

#3 - FIREFLY (2002/2517).

Comparing it, briefly, to the Star Wars universe, I conclude that:

  • It is a far more believable setting
  • The aforementioned, alone, does not imply quality.
Star Wars is more mystical and fantastic in scope, certainly. You simply have to suspend your disbelief to enjoy most (almost all) series and films. So it's not fair to criticise ANY sci-fi by saying, "It's not very believable," but this is something most of us should know. Getting back to Firefly...

It definitely crafts a certain connection with the characters. I'd said it before, but its importance cannot be over-stated: A great T.V. series makes you feel as if the characters are your pseudo-friends after a while. That sounds emo, but it's not. I do believe that.


WARNING: Spoiler

WARNING: Spoiler


EVERYONE knows about the series' TRAGIC outcome, right? For those who haven't seen it, those guys ARE NOT JOKING. It was BALLS. :-(

Wynand and I discovered it, once again, on TwoPlusTwo. Naturally, we knew about the shock ending. BUT, were we prepared, properly? Not in the slightest. I remember still getting up and double-checking the other DVDs to make sure we hadn't missed something. Nope. You think, "SURELY this cannot be!!! It was a FANTASTIC show, why the hell was it canceled after 16 episodes???" It's a little like questioning your first-born's unusually ENORMOUS size 17 feet. There's no sense in asking, "WHY????" It's in the past. It happened, and no amount of mewling is going to change that.

Still, it was crazy-shocking. Words cannot describe. Little wonder that until 2012, there was STILL a fan campaign to reboot Firefly - www.helpnathanbuyfirefly.com. The lead actor, Nathan Fillion, who plays Malcolm Reynolds, stated the following regarding Fox's decision to cancel:
“Yes. Yes. I would examine very closely Fox’s reasoning — I’m a little gun-shy. If I got $300 million from the California Lottery, the first thing I would do is buy the rights to Firefly, make it on my own, and distribute it on the Internet."

Until next time, when I'll deliver the much-anticipated release about "Characterization", let's hope Fox plays nice. :-) 

Monday, 3 February 2014

#4 - Black Books. I'm gonna get flamed. Hardcore.

Why would I publish anything knowing that most people would disagree with my opinion? Simple.

  • It might inspire someone to watch or re-watch the series.
  • It's MY LIST. It's a trip-down-memory-lane.
  • How valid is any opinion if there is no-one in the other camp?

So, #4?

Black Books.

"Um...how is that better than Arrested Development? Did you even watch it??"
That is the sort of response I'm expecting on this particular issue. In short, it's better because of the stories it weaves, the characters it creates, the emotions it triggers etc. Arrested Development, like I mentioned, can be faulted for being "too cerebral." 

"That's hardly damning criticism, Konrad!"
I know. These series are all BRILLIANT, true genial works-of-art. So number 5, just because it's LAST on the list, can't be garbage, right? This is "in-your-face" comedy done extremely well.

"Sorta makes sense. So you say characterisation? Who's your favourite character?"
In a word, undecided. If forced to expound on that, *maybe* Bill Bailey's Manny? But Dylan Moran's Bernard is just so brilliant. It would never work without THE GLUE, a.k.a. Fran. I really can't choose. (But Manny). :-)

"/Blech. You're giving me nothing!"
The additional criteria for series vs. films, which I feel deserves its own mention, is CHARACTERISATION. I've already mentioned it, but I want to dedicate my next entry to it. 


I have the perfect XFM - The Ricky Gervais Show segment to fit with it too. I cut from the Wiki entry: "After the first series of The Office, Gervais and Merchant returned to Xfm in November 2001 for a Saturday radio show. The show ran intermittently until January 2004 with breaks of 1–3 months between new shows. This was when the pair first worked with Karl Pilkington, who produced the shows and later collaborated with them on their series of podcasts."

I feel like this number deserves SOME justification.

Monday, 27 January 2014

5# - Arrested Development (2003). Kitty: Say goodbye to these, because it’s the last time!

I regard only the original three seasons (there's a 4th on Netflix, and I've seen an episode of it on D.S.T.V.) as exactly that: the original and proper series.

I have extremely fond memories of watching this with Wynand. We both absolutely loved it! At the time, at least for us, it came out of left field. Entirely.

He randomly heard about it on some poker forums, and it was ridiculously cheap on Amazon. The recommendation was something akin to "BEST SERIES EVER!!!". If you know anything about the TwoPlusTwo forums, you'll realize that you can find some great content there, if you're diligent enough to sift relentlessly through endless garbage. Or know exactly where to look. It was a trusted source, so to speak.

We were not disappointed. I could go on all day about how this is very similar to the EXACT comedy T.V. series I'd hope to write, if I were ever given such a task. The dialogue is so intellectual and incredibly clever, the characterization is a thing of beauty, the plot is well thought-out... Seriously - What's not to like here? 

This graphic gives you a moderate understanding of exactly how complex and layered this is. I swear, I watched it several times and EVERY TIME I caught new elements of the jokes. It's like peeling back an onion.

I suppose if you aren't attentive enough during series, and rather watch them for pure mindless fun, it can be considered "too cerebral".

Michael (to G.O.B.): Get rid of the Seaward.
Lucille: I’ll leave when I’m good and ready.

Tobias: Okay, Lindsay, are you forgetting that I was a professional twice over: an analyst and a therapist, the world’s first “analrapist.”

Lucille: Did that Mexican girlfriend of yours kick you out?
G.O.B.: She’s not that Mexican, Mom, she’s my Mexican. And she’s Colombian or something. Anyway, it’s over.
Lucille: You’ve got three days.
G.O.B.: Hey … if I can’t find a horny immigrant by then, I don’t deserve to stay here.

Lucille: I don’t have the milk of mother’s kindness in me anymore.
Michael: Yeah. That udder’s been dry for a while though, hasn’t it?

Kitty: Say goodbye to these, because it’s the last time!

You'll only get these if you're a fan of the series, since they require knowing the characters like intimate friends (which most great series accomplish, to some degree). They made this boy smile. Broadly. Some would say the "L-word".

Yes, "laugh". :-D

Since I rate everything from my daily breakfast to the way my head hits the pillow at night, on a scale out of 21, I might as well do that (:-P):


Monday, 20 January 2014

Who knows David Moyes?

You do! Some of you.

I digress. I do that. Don't read on if you don't want any spoilers. I'm doing my best (are other people?).


Ok, what do I mean? My life is like that of the new Man Utd manager, David Moyes. Those who know me, know I love United. I really do. Since 1993, I remember a match against Liverpool, with me promising to support the winner of that match. At the time, I had no knowledge of football. Not really.

1998/1999, omg. I remember it as three matches, really. The Ryan Giggs wonder goal match, Juventus Quarter-final of the Champs. League and the Bayern Munich (read: Darth Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back) Final ZOMG. Such history! Chills.

So now? On Sunday, they brutally lost to an Eto'o hat-trick for Chelsea. Does anyone like Moyes right now? I do. He'll make it work. He might be under SEVERE pressure right now, but he'll make it work. Keep the faith.

He tries his hardest because he was handed something beautiful (sound familiar?) and wants it to shine!

Is he tempted to give in? Of course. Will he?? FUCK NO. Sometimes, love is not enough. I guess it helps, but the only person whose actions you can ABSOLUTELY control, are your own. I'm doing so.

"Gotta get me some of that new honey!"

(He's classy, he drinks Cognac. Still a niggah.)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The best...EVAR! :-D

Yesterday, was one of the MANY highlights throughout this boy's life. Having said that, I can also add, simply, NOTHING has ever topped it.

"OMG? Why??!" exclaim you, in surprise.
I say, calmly, "Rather ask me in person about it."
At this, you again show a mix of surprise and disappointment, "What a fuckin' retard. Doesn't he realize that blogs, and the INTERWEBS, don't work like that?"
"Au contraire, companion on this crazy journey of life. Trust me, it's too special."
"My mind is made up, sorry. I think we're social creatures. Novel idea /sarcasm, let's be social!"
"Er...and if I can't make it to where you are??" questions a defiant you.
Confidently, I get out, "Then I'll contact you. When the time is right."

So with that, I'll give you an extra teaser for my TV-series mini arc. I'm gonna name 5 in total. So today, 1. Characteristics for judging: Very similar to films. Re-read! One extra one will come in for additional info, a bit later for you. :-D

5... /dramatic drum beat, dum dum duuuum



Jimi Hendrix Teaches Guitar Vol. 1. 

You've never heard of this, RIGHT? Just checking if you're awake.

Honourable Mention ("God, he drags it out like the Oscars!"): 

And the envelope contains...The Big Bang Theory. Simply a great traditional sitcom. You feel like they're your friends almost, after rewatching (Completely geniune, I swear. For once, not joking.) the 6 series I have, roughly 36 times. Together, right? EACH OF THEM. They're funny. :-D

Finally, no. 5!

Arrested Development. Another comedy, but THIS one...

Tune in next week to find out why!

©The Jimi Hendrix Foundation™, 1984. This blog entry is not affiliated or sponsored by The Jimi Hendrix Foundation™ or any of its members. It is NOT about Jimi Hendrix AT ALL.

/had to sneak a last joke in there! :-D

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Brevity (?)

So, I had nearly 0% sleep last night. Around 3 hours. Not in the most soopa "Entertain the masses" (Hey! Not boasting, it's a common fact that I have gazillions of readers) mood today. I do feel the need to get some stuff off my mind though.

The topic is brevity. I have become VERY conscious of the fact that The Social Konrad™ (You boys in the back of the class! Stand up, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Whatsapp!) is bombarbed with cool shit on a daily basis. Why wouldn't you be?

What do little old me and Robert Mugabe, Barack Obama and Eternal Party General Secretary Kim Jong Il (bless his departed soul - Fat fuckin' chance!) actually have in common? Of course, it's time. We each have 24 hours in EVERY SINGLE DAY (favourite Pennywise song, so good!). Naturally, TIME is the great equaliser. 

So, keeping it brief (topical, huh? :-D ) I just wanted to say:

  • I am never planning on wasting anyone's time
  • I think most people like my lists, and I'm planning another mini-arc about TV series, since that seems helluva fun to me
  • I'm taking my New Year's Resolutions pretty damn seriously
  • I'd love to know if ANYONE has ever thought "Blech, seems cool, but I just don't have time for that jazz today". Meaning my blog stuff. I think it will be better for everyone if it's a tad shorter and more often (think: meal routine to boost metabolism), no?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The first ray of sunshine of 2014...

I know you missed me. I'm back to brighten some otherwise dreary existences. With my auto-eroticism out of the way, why have I been gone so long?

A combination of factors. Number 1 is that it was just nice to take a break in December when the big migration to the coast starts. Of course, my mind was active (some would say *too*) during this time, full of all the joys of life, embarking on a journey of discovery along with Alex, possibilities for the new year... Shark-cage diving, great food and braais, wine estates, Moyo in Stellenbosch, the Franschoek Motor Museum...it was a blast.

In their infantility, a lot of ideas are simply easier to think over in one's mind than to get them out there. The raw processing speed, not having to communicate an idea and make sure it's understood correctly etc. There are a lot of advantages. Partly for that reason, partly being busy with AWESOMENESS, they didn't quite make it onto paper. 

The Procrastination Equation is an excellent read by Piers Steel, Ph.D. It presents the titular equation as Success X Value / Impulsiveness X Delay. Yeah, never been a fan of how math is encoded in ASCII either. What I'm oh-so-eloquently trying to say, is that as more and more stuff built up in my mind, the more difficult it became to get it out there. Thus, I procrastinated. Like a professional.  Because of my diminished chances of success (explaining myself like a schoolboy before a headmaster), I delayed even further. This created a cycle. It's time to break that cycle. THIS...IS 2014! (Tip: you have to read it like "THIS...IS SPAAARTAAAA!!"

Boys and girls, that means, Santa has EXTRA GOODNESS for you this year. And this is Konrad v1.16a. Now enhanced by www.lumosity.com. Solid research and logical conclusions, great and very well-designed exercises, a fantastic iOS app, there's nothing not to like here.

I've already plugged it on Facebook, but I might as well plug it here. Hey, they might give me a job. I've learnt that there's a reason why South Africa possesses a so-called unemployment-crisis. Don't worry, it's not going to turn into an pro-ANC-flavoured rant. But work is scarce. That's definitely Priority Number 1™ for 2014. Get a new job. 

And blog more. Stop thinking about that shit. Get it OUT. Share it.