Readability

Breaking Free

by baldilocks

Andrew Kla­van:

One of my the­o­ries about the clas­sic gang­ster tele­vi­sion series The Sopra­nos is that cre­ator David Chase rec­og­nized an impor­tant truth about the struc­ture of TV sto­ry­telling. In nor­mal sto­ries, a pro­tag­o­nist is placed in a sit­u­a­tion that uniquely chal­lenges his char­ac­ter so that in trav­el­ing through the arc of the story he is trans­formed in comic or tragic ways. But in a TV series, the hero’s char­ac­ter is never really trans­formed — because oth­er­wise the series would end — and he is doomed to repeat the same actions over and over with­out surcease. In short, he is in Hell, like the sin­ners in Dante’s Inferno who must repeat the same actions for­ever. Or like Tony Soprano.

Nowa­days, watch­ing the news, and read­ing social media, I feel a bit like Tony Soprano myself. A story breaks — a promi­nent per­son dies or there’s a mass shoot­ing, for instance — and the exact same reac­tions appear on news media dis­cus­sion pan­els and social media as the last time such a story occurred. Then these reac­tions fade away as we grow weary of hear­ing about the event. Then a sim­i­lar event occurs and we all become embroiled in the exact same con­ver­sa­tion. We never learn. We never change. We just do it again and again and again.

Exam­ples used: the death of Sen­a­tor John McCain and the Jack­sonville shoot­ing, naturally.

We get a few min­utes of thoughts and prayers[.] Then the scream­ing starts over the Sec­ond Amend­ment. The nation’s media can’t even give the fam­i­lies of the dead one lousy day to grieve in peace before they are at each other’s throats.

Then the scream­ing fades. The news and social media move on. Until the next time, when it all starts again.

Andrew gets to his point and it’s a very good point, but the above pre­am­ble leads to mine.

It illus­trates why I want to get off my back­side and go visit my coun­try and my coun­try­men. I’m tired of the social media tread­mill, but not tired of the con­nec­tion. So, I fig­ured that it was time to do some­thing that I hadn’t tried before. Per­son­ally, I think we could all ben­e­fit from some move­ment. Take that any way you wish.

Four more days and I’m on the road. If you want to help out, go here.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

by baldilocks

Andrew Klavan:

One of my theories about the classic gangster television series The Sopranos is that creator David Chase recognized an important truth about the structure of TV storytelling. In normal stories, a protagonist is placed in a situation that uniquely challenges his character so that in traveling through the arc of the story he is transformed in comic or tragic ways. But in a TV series, the hero’s character is never really transformed — because otherwise the series would end — and he is doomed to repeat the same actions over and over without surcease. In short, he is in Hell, like the sinners in Dante’s Inferno who must repeat the same actions forever. Or like Tony Soprano.

Nowadays, watching the news, and reading social media, I feel a bit like Tony Soprano myself. A story breaks — a prominent person dies or there’s a mass shooting, for instance — and the exact same reactions appear on news media discussion panels and social media as the last time such a story occurred. Then these reactions fade away as we grow weary of hearing about the event. Then a similar event occurs and we all become embroiled in the exact same conversation. We never learn. We never change. We just do it again and again and again.

Examples used: the death of Senator John McCain and the Jacksonville shooting, naturally.

We get a few minutes of thoughts and prayers[.] Then the screaming starts over the Second Amendment. The nation’s media can’t even give the families of the dead one lousy day to grieve in peace before they are at each other’s throats.

Then the screaming fades. The news and social media move on. Until the next time, when it all starts again.

Andrew gets to his point and it’s a very good point, but the above preamble leads to mine.

It illustrates why I want to get off my backside and go visit my country and my countrymen. I’m tired of the social media treadmill, but not tired of the connection. So, I figured that it was time to do something that I hadn’t tried before. Personally, I think we could all benefit from some movement. Take that any way you wish.

Four more days and I’m on the road. If you want to help out, go here.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!