Up until last Sunday, I’m talking about the Sunday before yesterday, the Sunday before Fathers Day Sunday, although my love did make the mistake of thinking last week was actually Fathers Day, so I got to have two Fathers Days in 2016… anywho… I digress… Up until last Sunday i was managing a post or two a day, that’s just not sustainable is it?
I think I made the same mistake with my first blog attempt, a movie review blog in which I was watching a certain selection of movies and posting about them, that was a movie a day, so two hours plus about another two hours reflecting, thinking, constructing, writing, and trying to be a family man in between… It did not work. Also, you can only write about a single topic for so long before you start to get irritated by your own voice!
This blog is not going to be that thing (although stay tuned, because I am planning to realign those hours spent and posting them here sporadically – but not today, and not on a schedule). So, for myself, and for you, let me categorically state that Blog inactivity does not equate to inactivity of the soztheo.me exploration of this world – to adequately demonstrate this, here’s some DS106 Digital Art created last week 🙂
On Monday we had to find an old novel cover and update it for our times…
Monday was an interesting one, after the shooting in Orlando I was engaged with the social media activity of the competing potential future leaders of the free world…
Donald Trump just has the ability to unite us all, doesn’t he? In a shared hate that is (and then the very fact that he has so much support just says that I am wrong on that one), well he manages to generate hate anyway… Just my unfiltered opinion…
What disgusted me was the way he got hooked into the opportunistic terrorism propoganda opportunity of it all, completely devoid of any meaningful semblance of demonstrating empathy or compassion which could unite a nation reeling from an attack. A good leader would seek to bring his followers to the united ground of a shared United states… Yes? No?
I am pro-Hillary. Mind you I’ve been pro-Hillary since the first two times she was president.
I live in South Africa, and we have our own approaching elections at the fore of the nations consciousness (with our own version of Donald Trump) – but I will be watching this election closely and with great interest…
On Friday I was then given the opportunity to shed light on one of life’s greatest questions:
Makes total sense doesn’t it?
What is DS106 you ask?
DS106 is a well regarded digital storytelling course, the course is conducted within proper education establishments, but the course is so popular that there is a free for participation version available for sign-up 🙂
One of the activities is the DS106 Daily create (@ds106dc on twitter) which provides daily creative prompts for completion – good mental creative flex fun 🙂
And then this happened – tasked to place ourselves in the Mystery Machine expanded into two days of Scooby Doo Fun as the next day we had to try and catch the squirrel who was stealing a fellow DS106-er’s mail.
In closing… What the hell are Sea Monkeys?
I’ve seen them advertised, and have now seen photos of them (which do not look anything like the hand-drawn images in the adverts btw). They are some prehistoric looking things!!!
Anyway, there is a major legal situation underway in regards to the license associated to the patent and ownership of the property that is Sea Monkeys, which in America seem to be one of those things that kids do, you can read more about it here.
Let me know what you think about these little creative outputs why don’t you, and by all means, come join us on this @DS106 #4Life journey :)!
Like in all those good stories her Nan used to tell her, the struggle was real. It was immense, perceivably insurmountable. There would be many obstacles. There would for sure be many tears. There may be death. Hopefully there will be survival on the other side. Nothing is certain. There was her and the road ahead. And that is what makes a story one that is worthy to be told, at least that’s what she used to like about those stories she was told as a kid. She just never thought she would be the star in one of those stories. She laughed because those were usually the best characters in the stories she loved, those that were there unexpectedly.
She drove down the cold, harsh streets of AuCT. They were deceptively quiet. The ominous chill in the air screamed at her as up above the red clouds rolled in. The rains were coming. The residents scuttled for shelter. She herself was heading for cover too. This storm would only be a temporary respite from the one that lay waiting with dawn.
Her mind wondered back to the shady memory of her mother, a woman who had weathered many storms herself. A true Survivor; dead now, but a survivor all the same. She knew that this moment that she was preparing to face, so many had faced before her. Her mother was not a believer in the idea that we are ruled by circumstance; She believed that we controlled our own adversities. She believed that when the struggle loomed ahead, it was each individuals choice as to how they would face it.
You could run, but in AuCT there was only so far you could go forward before you had to turn around and run back in the direction from which you came. Yes there was always the option of going up or down but they too were limited, Hide and Seek was a favourite pass time of the low-life’s who spent their time playing the Finders. You could fight them, which was a terrifying prospect, especially when your opponents outnumbered you, outgunned you, and pretty much just out-fought you. Lastly you could hope that a hero would come along and rescue you, wouldn’t that be nice? But heroes were not really a thriving commodity within the walls of AuCT, too many of them had risen only to be cut down, leaving the remnants of Hope smoking in their wake.
“Fat lotta good that does me,” she said out loud to the ghost whose advice she held true… and who she hated for it!
As she pulled under cover she took a deep breath… The rain would fall. She would pack as it fell. When it stopped falling she would run. While she ran she would prepare for the fight. And while she ran and while she fought, she would prey for a hero. If a hero didn’t come… “
Well, we’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it, won’t we…”
It’s a cold Sunday Night in Johannesburg and a week of creativity comes to a close.
As you may know if you have been following me, I have been participate (rather lightly) in the DS106 Digital Storytelling course, although this has also been relegated to a daily excercise in creativity as prompted by the Daily Create prompts on the DS106 Daily Create Handle @DS106DC – I recommend this to anyone aspiring to be creative, it is an incredibly satisfying mental flex, and there is a community of creatives participating who are supportive, friendly and fun! :)! The selected image for this post is for today’s Daily Create #TDC1617 which was to Draw the dark side of the ds106 moon (with the “Draw” being incredibly loosely interpreted).
I have also been participating in the writing prompts associated with a brilliant site called The Blog Tag – where I have got interact with fellow participants in the Blogger World, and contribute some of my writing to the plethora of themed content currently being uploaded onto the web by this initiative – I have had two of my contributions selected as part of their Reading Nook (which is itself a product of the activity, with selected readings from their theme being shared). You can read these contributions as well as those of the other selected reads on The Music Week Reading Nook and on The Movie and TV Week Reading Nook.
I find myself wanting to write and create all the time, and I have to balance this need for creativity in my life with the realities of what life requires of us – being a father, a partner, a husband, a son, a worker… But I always have loved and have come back to this quest for creativity, having been a Film Student, having been a student studying a BA in English Literature with a focus on Creative Writing, in the hopes of expanding into those perceived versions of myself, it’s funny but not so surprising, that I have synched back up to that vision of what I want to be when I’m all growed up (and that’s already happened). I feel that this blog is a step in the right direction… So…
Thank you to all who are taking the time to engage with me, thank you for accompanying me hereon…
I’ve really had fun with this weeks movie activity – with some belated posts coming to the fore… I find myself in the stars – Today on DS106 we had to come up with a repeated word poem – mine was rather planetary. And at the same time I had the below perusing in my head in relation to a plot/theme appreciation task that was on the card this week, so there it is, below the DS106 video of course…
Who is this Alien
Who comes to my planet
Who breaks into my home
She is a she
A Mother too
Yet she tracks
My newly born child
Who is this monster
Who returns to me
Returns to Slaughter
She is pregnant you see
With one of mine
She will soon see
That a mother
Is a mother
Whatever the baby shall be
Back from the dead
Infused with me
She now is Queen
A mother again
But she wants to be
The mother of humanity
At my expense
And of that of mine
She will kill us again
To save her half
But what do I know?
I’m just a Xenomorph…
But really, who is the Alien?
Yoh, it’s been quite a week a I tell you! Juggling will be the word that exists in summation of this first full week of June 2016, I almost feel like I never got to give my full this week to the tasks I had set myself, but am also very happy with my movie focused outputs. There was a throwback reminisce to my favourite movie of all time, Aliens (click here to read it), a poem in honour of those who mess up our wish list for anticipation in movies (click here and have a squizz) and a Top 10 List entry, the first of a series, which I hope will become a thing on this site (herezit now)… And then some!
Also, this week it was announced that a Roald Dahl Gobblefunk Dictionary is to be published, a great forerunner to the impending Spielberg release of The BFG – that’s just Scrumdiddlyumptios! Thanks to my DS106 team for the task they gave this week #TDC1614 which was in honour of this news, in which we had to come up with a gobblefunky slogan – DS106: It’s packed with splendiferousness!
So without further ado, here’s my close of the week The Blog Tag Q&A answers!
- What is the worst Apocalyptic scenario you have seen in movie/tv show? Without a doubt, the scariest Apocalyptic scenario I am aware of is to terrible and unbelievable to have even been conceived as a possible scenario based in reality… Until now where reality is becoming stranger than fiction… The election of President Trump…
- What’s your favourite genre? I am ahuge Sci-Fi fan, this includes comic book movies, but I will have to say that actually what I love are saga’s, long-going storylines even drama’s (I think that everyone actually loves saga’s, hence the popularity of series).
- In what movie/tv series would you like to replace the main character? Wow! I am not a fan of Nicholas Cage, so pretty much anything he acts in could do with a recasting… Also, and this is because he does not have the dedication to his fans to give back! I wish Will Smith had never starred in Independence Day, a movie that made his movie career, because he is to big now to do the fans the honour of having him return for the sequel – pretty much makes me feel that it is okay if neither he nor any of his bunch ever come to an Academy Awards ceremony again!
- Do you believe in happy endings? This is a hugely philosophical question, you can’t trick me 🙂 The only real ending is death, even in romance movies, once the credits roll, the two having fallen lovingly into each other’s arms, they still have to move in together and like real people learn the intricate rules that will govern the sacred space that is the bathroom…
- Which movie represents the best love story? I’m gonna go with the classic here and say Zeferelli’s Romeo and Juliet, only because it is a story which has captured the imagination of viewers for centuries…
- Best representation of a book? A movie should be inferior to the book. I love watching movies and only then reading the books because then you get to never be disappointed 🙂 think on that, I will say that it sits somewhere between The Lord of The Rings Movies, Interview with the Vampire and The Shawshank Redemption.
- What do you consider a “binge-worthy” TV series? My favourite series of all time are Alias and Survivor, I can binge watch, and have re-binged on both repeatedly (I know… Survivor… The Reality Show… So sad right…)
- Do you get emotionally attached to characters? Absolutely yes! My biggest disappointment was the Irina Derevko storyline in Alias, I loved the character so much that the arc her story ran just slayed me…
- Do you get emotional while watching TV Series or Movies? I do allow myself to get emotional in movies. Titanic made me cry… 🙁
- Do you watch Anime? No, I know I should, I love animation, but I do not.
- If you had to choose a main character from a tv series/movie to come save you, who would you choose?Lieutenant Ellen Ripley from Aliens…
- Who was your childhood Hollywood crush? Michelle Pfeiffer – it’s the Catwoman costume!
- Which popular shows do you think is overrated? Arrow, The Bold and The Beautiful!
- Which movie/tv series centralized around one of your favourite cars?? Herbie, Supernatural, Back to the Future… Haha… Well, I am dieing to watch Back to the Future again…
- Which movie do you think deserves a sequel the most? Interview with the Vampire – Those books are amazing! The Queen of the Damned that was released just does not count!
- Which movie would you like to see a prequel? The same answer! That’s the beauty of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and vampires in general – long lives equal centuries of back story!
- Which TV series would you love to revive ? Ummm… ALIAS!
- What’s your favourite mythical creature / monster from movie / series ? The Xenomorph from the Aliens movies – or are we the real Aliens in those movies? Whatever, H.R. Giger’s art come to life really is a masterpiece.
- Whose your favourite director? Right now I am on a whole Quentin Tarantino revival in appreciation – that said, I really am a huge fan of James Cameron. Ridley Scott, most of the time. And Steven Spielberg just seems to get it consistently right, right?
- Do you prefer older movies, or movies with a lot of CGI? I can’t decide – I love the newness and expansion of CGI, but I savour old movies (my Mrs’ hates old movies and the fact that I enjoy them – she loves newness).
- Whose your favourite actor? It’s a funny thing, cos as much as I am not a fan he never disappoints… Tom Cruise… I know, right? But what does a bad Tom Cruise movie really look like?
Anime vs. Reality TV
Cooking show vs.
Car repair show
Comedy Superman vs. Ironman C’Mon… Batman and Captain America
Charlie Chaplin vs
“The liluns found it while playing down on Jules, do you know what it is?”
Garr looked at the small contraption, a machine, buttons with faded numbers and letters, and a screen – not cracked, had somehow survived. “I think I’ve heard of these. It’s a craculater, they used to use them amethmitrickly, for summations and the like… Definitely needs power, what kinda I don’t know.”
LAk, ever the optimistic one out of the two immediately thought potential was in hand, “You think is worth something, can we trade.”
Garr was sceptical, didn’t know if it would be worth anything, but he was still wary and hopeful, just in case. “We may need to visit the two old bags tomorrow, they might know. Have you got some brew for them, you know they won’t help unless we got some brew… For now puts it away, then take them liluns and see if anyone need some hands in exchange for some brew… Oh and LAk, say nothing to nobody about nothing”
With that Lak was off, she had liluns to round up. possibility lay ahead. This little discovery sure was a welcome change to the usual flow of days in AuCT. There was talk of black SnO later. Maybe the liluns could earn enough brew for the night and for the two old bags…
Because today’s challenge was all about sharing what made you happy…
Well wouldn’t you know it, on a day where I was actually wondering if people were picking up the real me through this blog, my DS106 fellowship provides me with the perfect challenge in which I get to share a part of myself that is the most important part… Yes, I’m a family man.
Is there anything more important, any title more profound, than Daddy?
Well there most certainly is, Mommy! Without my love; My Bela; there would be no place for me to be defined as I currently am. The true brains of this journey, she who has opened my eyes to a world beyond my wildest imaginings.
I am the luckiest guy in the world, I have a loving family, I get to wake up everyday and live love. It’s just the most important thing isn’t it? The ultimate driving force, the very definition of what makes a man truly great, the sanctity and the honour that comes with being the patriarch of a family unit. It’s where my success lies, and the security and preservation thereof is where my future flourishes.
It ain’t always easy is it? Life throws curve balls at you all the time, sometimes you are able to prepare for them, sometimes you are not, sometimes they come out of left field like a tidal wave set to wreck destruction upon you as you stand in its wake, sometimes it comes from those closest to you armed with malice and hate – Undeniably it’s love that gets us through those tough times.
The fact of the matter is that true triumph exists within the harshest of circumstance, and life is there to be lived no matter what. The inevitability of the greatest fear within the human condition (as in death) lurks around every corner, it can all feel like too much, but… because this post really is about the but…
Bela, your smile makes my heart sing
My post today, My World today
They honour you, they come from you
My hopes and wishes and drive for our future
They live within your smile
Alexi, my boy, we love you so much
Your growth into the little boy you are
The privilege of witnessing the man you will become
Everything we wished for on this journey of parenthood
Is fulfilled in the delight with which you exist
Ari, our littlest one growing so fast
We stare in wonder, in disbelief, in awe every day
We look forward to getting to know you
We look forward to you defining our big and little brother set
We look forward to the day you say Mommy and Daddy
Just remember that no matter what, say the words that need to be said. Don’t wait for it to be too late. Today for me I had a prompt, so again thank you DS106, but it really doesn’t need to be so. I went through that moment earlier in this post when I spoke about the dark times, that was important, because it is during those times that we most often forget to express our love, when it is needed to be heard the most. This blog really has been a saving grace in terms of maintaining chipper, by being creative, by sharing, but it is here that I realise that maybe I could have said it more often over the last couple of months. I mean… I feel it, I say it, I do it everyday, it is in my nature, but maybe I can feel, say and do it more… I know I’ll start (well I’ve already started) by saying it here…
I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
— soztheo.me (@soztheo_me) June 7, 2016
On Saturday I tried to make something out of nothing, quite literally, within 5 minutes (more on that here…)
The ironic thing is that I really (for 5 minutes) struggled, and I layered #TDC1609 with subtext, which I actually bought into for my 5 minutes – there is light I tell you (Look what happens if i optimize the shadows and highlights in the image, there is lots of light at play, this simple work is as abstract as they come!!!)!
And there I go again trying to convince myself…
The point is that I was disappointed with the effort, and yet I wasn’t because the layers of meaning are applied…
Yesterday I didn’t post an update for #TDC1610 (so this will be it, and it will be short) although I did meet my self-imposed Daily Create quota :P…
There was not much thought to this one, but it took a lot of time, and so by the time I finally got it up I just didn’t have the energy to write about it!
Truth be told, there isn’t much to say about the piece itself, it’s a not so tongue in cheek commentary on the most base of subject matter… Except that what I have realised is that the majority of the enjoyment I am deriving from these excercises is in the doing :)! Sometimes they take a lot of time, sometimes they take alot of thought, sometimes they take little of either and sometimes they take much-er!
Today, as a bit of a reprieve in terms of effort from my Saturday entry, I took a hold of the horns of today’s daily create #TDC1611, and went balls to the walls. I studied film when I was 19, at a not so esteemed college, in South Africa, where my skill that I entered the industry with (for all of a couple of months, because I was more inspired with partying, and because the skill I had was not actually related to anything I was actually passionate about when it came to the industry), was editing (in those days, my very expensive Television and Film production textbook, which cost R700, had a chapter on digital editing which was 11 pages long – the world has changed)… and I digress… the point is that I know on some level those projects I worked on back then were at play, even if just a little, here today, because the video editing bit was the easiest bit for me.
FYI – This is not going to be a “How To”, I am unable to adhere to that kind of writing, this is more of a thinking around my approach, as I come to understand it myself – But let me just say now, before I lose you all completely, that I appreciate beyond words the positivity you have given this video on Twitter – It really is encouraging – I really am enjoying these Daily Creates!
I visited the website with the sound effects and from the beginning I had this idea that I would find 5 animals from as far away from each other as I could (the daily create prompt helped there)… Then it was a matter of extracting the sounds, and that wasn’t so easy, but all of us have managed to do that, so we know it is possible and I will just say that I managed to get them all individually. At this point, while I was getting them in mp3, I had decided that I was today going to make a video, Windows Movie Maker would be the tool of choice, having played with it just a little recently, and so it became very much about what the message of it all was going to be…
As I thought on this, and sourced pictures from Wikipedia of the animals I had selected, I decided that silent movie speech cards were going to be the tool of choice, and that there was going to be a poem, but a poem about what? What do 5 animals have to say, that would unite them, and why unity became a theme I do not know, except I think I kinda do…
Today I read an article in which one of South Africa’s greatest satirists Zapiro, has been listed as No2 on a list of the top 10 cartoonists worldwide – it’s a beautiful thing, he has challenged South Africa in his commentary art which has unforgivingly documented our history for the last approximately 30 years – but it’s also a sad event, because the man has fallen, in many eyes, as he compromised his artistic integrity last week when he apologised for a cartoon in which he portrayed a “Black” Minister as a performing Monkey under the control of our shameless President Jacob Zuma (a man who has abused his powers beyond the imaginable, and whose cabinet is a joke – Wiki?). Zapiro has been necessarily scathing of our President for the last 10 years, and sadly the South African climate has deteriorated under his watch, as he has not fostered the necessary progressive environment for this Rainbow Nation to continue upward. It was the depiction of a black man as a monkey which resulted in a racist backlash on social media, as the commentary of the analogy was lost within the remaining anger of a certain Miss Penny Sparrow who in January caused a national crisis when she spewed forth her racist assertions as she compared black beach goers to monkeys – the stigma essentially overwriting the commentary of the piece. Our ruling party loves the racist card, and they milk it for all it’s worth, so that freedom of speech and artistic license are being eroded, even our public broadcaster has made an announcement last week that they will be (without actually using the word) censoring what they show on the news, so as not to incite further anger, and just this week South Africa managed to avoid being downgraded to Junk Status by global ratings agencies… So yeah I kinda think I know how this piece came about…
And there it is, the reason that the animals are speaking so, in various animal languages, for they too have caught wind of what is happening in South Africa, even the most beautiful moments of our day are challenged by the realities of a society which we hope will recover for the second time from what we perceive to be a decline. This was a nation which has had the world’s attention for years, and we rose upon the dreams of a great President Nelson Mandela, only to find ourselves in an arena we are actually not prepared for. It really is a fearful time in South Africa, but hope remains alive, and ultimately I have to believe that every dog has it’s day…
Humour is a powerful device, find the funny to tell the truth, because truth is universally identifiable, especially when expressed through art…
Ever have one of those days, where the world is weighing you down; nothing has been going right for a while and today feels like yet another shade of shade on an ever increasing scale of shade; that there’s a cloud over your head and it’s raining down upon you and only you…
I never had one of those days yesterday, but I know them way to well!
Yesterday’s Daily Create was a last minute piece of creation that commenced 5 minutes before midnight… I was actually quite ashamed, since commencing my current blogging schedule, this would be the first time I missed posting – but it was such a great day (and if all goes according to plan, you will hear about it soon). So at just before midnight, after the excitement of good company and fun had completed its ensue-ment(?), I thought – at the least let me try and get the job done – but now it was a matter of what could I do with the following prompt:
— ds106 Daily Create (@ds106dc) June 4, 2016
I decided at that moment to embark on a five minute creative excercise… I was thus forced to take stock of my limitations… we are now two minutes down you must understand… So what does this picture say to me? What does it all mean? What is the knock-on effect and impact of not meeting my personal commitments (which mean nothing to anyone but to me alone) actually mean to me in the grand scheme of things? What does 2 minutes (because the clock is ticking) of creativity look like?
And then the moment of revelation arrived, and aligned with the very first entry of my oldest remaining journal, an entry based and inspired on a song from a little know movie by a little known band – Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones as per the end credits of The Devil’s Advocate (a movie which confirmed to this former film student prior to his studies, that Charlize Theron was meant for bigger things). This song was somewhat of an anthem for a gothic rocker youth during his more… sombre (shall we say)… days, before he discovered the joy of house music and the npartied at maybe one to many Rave Party Gathering Things… But I digress… I used to lie awake at night and travel down the hypnotic journey of this songs’ melody and lyrics, eyes closed, painting it all black – much like the eventual outcome of any inanimate (or even animate for that fact) individual being smacked dead by what appears to be the stupidity of invention…
Sound morbid right? But that’s how surprisingly and profoundly brilliant and exciting I think the piece is, because death, is well death, and if you don’t believe in anything (and I do believe inanimate objects do not, unless there is like a Wicker-Deity somewhere) then the emptiness of Black is the inevitable nothingness which exists. And so with a minute and a half left, I tried to capture the abstract representation which would encompass all of the above in a single shot of black, and that took longer than it should have!!! Because there is light frikken everywhere… (which is amazing, particularly in South Africa where having light is a privilege in the late hours)…
Which is fitting because if you look really closely, in the top right corner of the image, there is a hint of a glow coming through – a hint I say – offering a hint of hope to all of us that need to believe that there is light in the darkest of darkness… Even for those of us who are inanimate… apparently…
And that takes me back to the beginning of this full circle post, because even in the darkness, search for the light!
And that is my summation of this piece – Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder… 🙂
— soztheo.me (@soztheo_me) June 4, 2016
Well isn’t it just so funny – I am a member of a group called The Blog Tag (check them out on Facebook), this weeks blogging prompts have been aligned to the theme Music, today’s DS106 Daily Create is all about making a Guitar Face, and so my universe has aligned – as has this post, which is now on it’s second draft because I’ve only just now made the connection myself 🙂 – and it’s the perfect Daily Create to go with today’s Final Blog Tag weekly review:
So the aim was to take a guitar face photo, but I cannot just leave it at that apparently… Why would i wanna do that… So the question I pose to you now is, Do you know the movie? It’s wanna my favourites, I really need to watch these movies again…
In review of the week’s Blog Tag Posts and activity, a week of posts related to prompts around the theme Music, let’s first look at the posts which were the product of said prompts and tasks:
MUSIC WEEK IN REVIEW
So Monday‘s prompt was to write about my favourite song/music and why I love it so much – I am a Pop Music Fan, a bit of a pop purist (and I have a strong belief that actually there while the music of Pop is considered to a large degree to be shallow and not worthy of even being considered as art.
The artists I like do approach their craft with seriously, have worked their craft and skills and most definitely consider every move they make, because they are by definition feeding into satisfying the most people aesthetically) and so I selected to not to focus on the genre in particular, but rather to focus on a specific moment and memory which involved me and my favourite genre (and one of my favourite musicians) which demonstrates the place MUSIC has in my life…
Tuesday was a crazy day for me, and the prompt on this day required that we share our current playlist.
This is just a fun task, one you should try with your friends, or your colleagues, or your gym buddies, or your social media contacts! The fact of the matter is that music is so diverse and you can learn so much about people by the music they listen to…
I fancy myself quite a diverse connosieur of music with diverse taste in music, as music is definitely attached to the mood in play during the listening…
My Playlists tend to be quite a mixture, but when I listen, the accessing of emotion is fun for me, so I have no issue with the genre jumping that oft does occur…
On Wednesday I was given the opportunity to express myself on this blog with a poem – My first on this forum.
I love the creative energy that poems provide, I guess you could attest it to the reading I did as a child, which included the likes of Roald Dahl and Dr Seuss BUT the power of lyrics in the musical writing process have always been instrumental in my understanding of expression – I’m one of those people who learns the words of all the songs of the artists I like…
I really write poetry on the fly, it is most probably (and ironically) my most free flowing form of writing – I access it, I document it, I relase it and step away
The specifics of this prompt I felt had already been covered in my Monday post, but I still definitely engaged with the theme, and the poem became about the relationship we assign to exist between Music and our emotions…
Well I can’t play – this was most probably the most difficult post for me, it’s not for a lack of want though…
I also happened to be ill on Thursday, so I almost didn’t write a post, but I was also committed to delivering a complete weeks contribution to The Blog Tag initiative – So, Yay for me! Flu didn’t get me down.
Will I ever learn to play an instrument? I hope so… It’s something I have always wanted to do, and I admire people who can play instruments – for me, all that creative energy I have alwayd dabbled with is now being poured into this blogging thing – I hope those of you taking the time to read my blog are enjoying it 🙂
And Finally on Friday we answer a Q&A provided by The Blog Tag team which you can read right here…
So Thank You for joining me this week on this journey of Me and Music!
The premise, look around you, DS106 is everywhere, and yet so often just about everywhere is getting it wrong – don’t you just hate it when the universe fails to hit the sweet 106 spot?
And so we had to look around us, in our quest to make digital art, and find these instances of 106-failure. A funny thing is going on at the moment…
On one had I have acknowledged that if I am going to be taking blogging more seriously, I will have to care about the numbers and analysis which indicate growth of following… On the other hand, the creative endeavor, that in which we create for creation and expressions sake, and in which we do so in the face of and prepared for criticism and opinion, not to be focussed on the returns of “Popularity”…
And so, I watch the numbers, I do, and I create, I do that to – so my contribution/s on this post deal with the reality and the created possibility of missing the mark – not once in number, but twice, the second in the literal/creative capacity…
Today we have been tasked with the (only coz it’s been a really long week, and only 2 days in…) daunting remix of the P.D. Eastman classic Are You My Mother cover, to something more modern…
Herewith (below) is my contribution, but please also do take a look at the fine work of my fellow DS106 Daily Create crowd… https://twitter.com/hashtag/tdc1606?src=hash – a really fine group of twitter avatars who I have the pleasure of sharing a little bit of creative space and energy with everyday!
Thanks Fellow DS106 Daily Create Bretheren – keep em coming!
So, use a random name generator, choose two names from different countries, find a picture, and tell the story of the people in the picture…
I wanted two countries who had sharing borders as soon as I saw this picture. Hungary and Romania were the two best that would suit my scenario – as I wanted to have a conflict type border sharing scenario (although I don’t even know what the historical or current relationships between the two are). I struggled with this because I have good friends who are Hungarian and although we jokingly rib our mutual nationalities, I really didn’t know if this would be a declaration of war, a prequel to the Hungarian Spring (although I kinda suspected that it wouldn’t). But I had actually read an incredibly good and thought provoking blog post about being careful of what you put out in the social arena, so better safe than sorry.
I just so happened to be chatting to one of my Hungarian friends on FB during the creation, so I passed it by her humorously… and Hungary, she has approved the post on your behalf as one of your countrymen – take it up with her!
That said, this was also a good step in the creative process as I learned that the name I had selected was actually a girls name (so I put that piece of info to use), also, and this was just sugar on top of it all:
Did you know the Budapest Zoo is actually an exporter of hippos? It’s because the hippo pool is fed by an underground spring that is very good for fertility problems… So the hippos are rather fertile….
This is actually a thing!!! #HornyHungaryHippos
So now I think I may be psychic! This could actually be a true story! I wonder where next my powers will take me!
Oh! And about that blog post I read earlier today… Definitely worth a read, check it out! at http://theblogtag.co.za/2016/05/31/your-online-persona/
“Oh No, MATH! Find an example of the Fibonacci Numbers out in the world” – (as per today’s daily create challenge).
I hated Maths in school… Okay, let me rephrase, I pretty much totally hated the school structure, the classes, the learning – the irony is that I have an aptitude for intellectualism, ideation, study and creativity – so much so that consistently through my formative years I was placed in the “clever classes” based on what was perceived, and yet I consistently failed to deliver to expectations, until the system pretty much gave up trying. My poor mother, parent’s evening after parent’s evening having the same conversation with my teacher’s year after year, “He could be a straight A student, if only he applied himself…” Those in the know will understand… In my mid-30’s I was diagnosed, ADHD, aural learning disorder – and a mother pushed to her wits end… This post happens to be about a parent’s love…
But it’s also about Maths, it’s frikken Fibonacci after all, and again the irony is that despite my dismal mathematical performance during my “formative” scholastic years (in which the most solid forms I achieved were lifelong habitual vices like smoking, drinking, donning the black sheep cloak), I do actually have, and obviously always had, a logical, mathematical aptitude, the beauty really is in the exactness; the precision; the detail. You should see me on Excel, I surprise myself with what beauty I can create with but a handful of basic formulas and colours…
Because this post is also about art, like maths it’s about the beauty of excercising duplication and expression, of formulas; of colours; of precision; of vision – like that of my Greek philosopher lineage. Art, like the digital art we create in DS106, the sharing of vision, of the art of the mental flex, the execution of our ideas into expressive product, often humorous, thoughtful, preposterous, deep, connected, stimulating, emotive and most of all creative.
And wouldn’t you know it, this post is all about creation in all it’s anomalous exactness, it’s chaotic precision, it’s fluctuating persistant course. Because nature is the greatest form of art, the whole principle of the Fibonacci golden spiral and it’s alignment to the natural order of things, that there is order, measurable and beautiful, that a flower and an equation can have a commonality based in the beauty of certainty, while being strikingly at opposition between life and conceptual thinking – because ultimately that is where creation exists, within that space of opposing potential made reality, and the most beautiful representation and expression of that is the conception of a child… Creation.
Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, the power of beauty is that you know it when you see it, it aligns mysteriously within, with the precision of mathematical certainty as embodied by indefinable possibility… and Love… a Parent’s love.
Oh! And about a parent’s love, about emotion. I don’t know how that quantification and calculation goes, but it’s focus, I would venture to guess, is even larger in concept than the beauty that is the Fibonacciness of nature. In fact, I believe, and I don’t even care if you could and would and do prove me wrong, because I will be stubborn about this one… I believe that even Fibonacci fallibly bends to the power of a parent’s love…
So today for the DS106 Daily Create we have been asked to randomly (via this random link http://daily.ds106.us/random) to select a Daily Create from the past… and then to do it all wrong…
I have landed up with the #tdc1481: Put a Western Reflection in your Front Window… Err… Soooo not South African; inspiration was, well, absent – so I googled Western, the first entry was this wikipedia link, and the first image to befall my delighted eyes was the Parthenon (and without even reading the article it all made sense, for when the Greeks invented the world, this did ofcourse include the West). My greekness now delighted, the muses unleashed their love upon me and so the rules were broken.
- My front window is in my door,
- the reflection would be from inside,
- from whence the West resides.
It was a great day in the DS106-iverse; A simple task resulted in mucho creative connectedness for all involved 🙂
All we had to do really was:
Show the world how DS106 is MASSIVE (by creating some massive art) – we photoshopped our hearts out :)…
… and we had a fair volume of “DS106 is a huge part of, and within, the Universe” type posts going, and then Mariana our resident DS106 Shrink, Dr Fumes if you will (http://theds106shrink.tumblr.com/), brought us back down to earth… With a single flagged hand gesture she got us connecting across the oceans (and sometimes within our own borders too), with our fellow DS106 brethren.
All in all, a pretty good day on the twitter-verse 🙂
Art is artificial; a representational rendering of the real. Yes it is powerful, can sometimes move us more than the actual real, but this is because of the stylistic application which has been employed to create the rendering, which is not actually accessible within the realms of reality.
Think about your digital identity, what is it comprised of? It can never and will never be you, and yet, sometimes, with the share of a picture or a post which you have identified as being profound, or humorous, or are critical of, you have in that action made a statement, more often than not you have done so to illicit a response, the anticipation and interpretation of which defines, contributes and shapes the work of art which is your digital identity; Validation of your output is after all the basic human need of any transactional act – How many likes did you get? How many shares or retweets – and what does that validate exactly, not you certainly, but rather that extension of yourself which you have created and curated on the digital landscape.
I like to think of these actions as brush strokes or performances, all of them aspects of a greater work – the digital self is your project and you are it’s architect, it’s a representation of you, what are you going to do with you today?
I don’t do feet, that should be sufficient, no explanation required, but I’m sure I have something to say about it…
My Mrs wished I did do feet, but we are far enough into our relationship that she knows that if I even hint at the possibility of giving her a foot massage I’m either really sorry for what I’ve done, or if there is nothing that she knows about that I have to be sorry for, then there is something I’ve done that she’s about to find out about…
No, No, No, I don’t do feet, I can’t and I won’t, coz I don’t wanna – so as impressive as it may be that there are people drinking soda poured by feet, I ain’t the one doing the pouring, the drinking, or the caring…
And yes, I know that in the Fungus Amonstus challenge I did contribute some images of really gross feet, but you can blame google for that!
Oh Yeah, Quentin Tarantino, he does feet, he also makes movies (on a larger scale than this request perhaps, most of which I am actually a fan of), but he manages to sneak that appreciation into every movie he does… So, for those who appreciate feet, here’s a little Tarantino for you (and I haven’t watched it, so let me know) 😛
We live in an age where our digital selves are an extension of who we are.
It’s a profound statement, but even the most seemingly mundane of mind (and that’s not to be offensive to the mundane of mind, or to infer that I am not the mundane of mind of which I speak, as I myself am a newbie here, dealing with these concepts), have embraced the very idea that the world within the digital realm offers the opportunity to exist in two simultaneous realities concurrently – So why the disconnect?
As a student commencing on a journey to redefine my digital self through an intricate game of “ketchup” (on all things digital), I am currently learning tricks, and bits, and bobs, which are expanding my repertoire as I venture to a goal which is being defined as I travel the course (The DS106 Course – DS106, look it up). The thing of it, is that I have come to realize and accept (through content which highlighted/pointed it out/told me… LOL) that what I am currently conducting is a Digital Facelift – I am having an absolute blast, playing on various platforms, redefining my digital presence from a single social media platform dedicated, other self; to a multi-platform, multi-skilled, multi-faceted and integrated, cohesive, interlinked and unified, constantly in flux, other self.
It’s a great excercise, but it is flawed in that these skills should not be something we need to pick up along the way, down the line, out of necessity, we need to change our outlook on the importance of digital preparatory practice for life. These skills should be as ingrained, as developed and intrinsic as the basic need to recite and use the alphabet (a meta tool, btw), because today’s alphabet is different, having been born out of the forward projection of technological advancement (the same way that letters put shapes to sounds), so that the new alphabet (and remember, on our online chats, we do talk in pictures these days), it looks something like this:
A-B-C-D-E-[Selfie]-F-G-H-I-J-[SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT]-K-L-M-N-O-P-[CODING]–[html]–[JSON]-Q-R-S-T-#-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
…Well, something like that.
I have a cousin, a young single developer, no kids, who one day when I was interacting with my child, who is PortuGreek (ie 1/2 Portuguese + 1/2Greek), and is being engaged with three languages (as we are primarily English speaking), commented that he would teach his toddler coding from a young age – silly? but profound? It made me think, as it speaks to the digital arc projected and expected in the future… Let’s teach our kids to be the Neo of their Matrix!
#ThePoint is that, we should be empowering the next generation, we should be enabling them through their educational trajectory, by realigning the education process so that the narrating, curating and sharing of knowledge is dependent on and intricately involved with the cultivation of a digital identity – always changing, always growing, always reflecting back and informing and redefining the self, making each student the architect of his or her own digital life. The physical learning environment needs to run in conjunction and in partnership with a digital learning environment so that the next generation is not only up to speed with the latest methodologies and tools, but that their involvement is the necessity which defines and results in the tools they need – so that our kids are not, like me, trying to get to grasps with SEO, now, short of forty…
We don’t want them to be investing time years later, making novice mistakes, taking toddler steps out of digital necessity… That maybe the current senselessness and shallowness of the current digital reality (which is symptomatically a great contributor to the stall to getting the digital more incorporated in the reality), like the celebrity selfie (which has become somewhat of a prostitution of our digital identity) may just be eradicated, minimized, a dreaded fossil of the past, as the new generation finds the openness they seek, which is an intrinsic human need for validation, as an outcome of cultivation (not discovery) of openness to the world, each other and ourselves through the nurturing and growth of the digital self; the widest external opposite to our internal selves.
It’s called a Personal Cyberinfrastructure this proposed but simple (the jargoned and nuanced incoherency of the above is ironically a direct result of its absence) solution, and it’s the Gold, it enables the students of the future to tower above us as the masters of their own webiverse.
NB Side note: Because in case it’s not obvious that this is part of a course… Now that Soz has jumped ahead to an excercise in Unit 2, he will round back and do those excercises he missed in Unit one)
Find Out More
So… Today’s post is supposed to be about an “Obviously Photoshopped” photo, but I have decided instead to share a personal journey and struggle I have gone through and dealt with for the longest time…
It all started with a trip to Greece when I was a kid, the food there was soooo good. I don’t know what it is about another country and it’s cuisine that makes it so good, but it was, as I’ve already said (and may just say repeatedly without ever actually, adequately capturing the essence of the magnitude of its goodness), Oh so good, and since we returned I have chased that feeling of deliciousness. Sadly my awesome holiday had left a giant void in me I could not fill, and oh how I tried…
It’s been a long road of tears, food, split pants, more food, more tears, candy, pizza, ice-cream, chocolates, crisps, Akalwaya’s steak sandwiches, McDonald’s, you get the drift… A never ending spiral of soul devouring eating! It had eventually got so bad, that when I looked at my pet dog Colby I could see the cuts of steak which resided under his pelt, fattening him up as I waited for the Zombie Apocalypse which would result in the closing of convenience stores, restaurants and supermarkets so that I would, out of necessity only of course, have to do the unthinkable…
Thankfully for dear Colby, this all came to an end when I saw the topic of today’s daily create, and voila the moment of change hit and before I knew it, through belief, dedication and an appreciation of the little things (which I couldn’t previously bend down before to grasp), and within a day, I have managed to recreate myself, and you can too, all you need is a little belief…
…and maybe a little help from PhotoShop.
And just in case you need some additional motivation, here are some tips from one of South Africa’s home grown YouTube Superstars (and now a Comedy Central Africa Star), SuzelleDIY, with tips on How To Get Fit
So, Take a photo of mushroom and/or fungus – find the art around you…
Ummm, well had this been a task on Saturday when I actually had a mushrooms which sprung up on my lawn, then I would totally have gone out and taken a photo of the fungal family unit, but woe to me, they are no longer there and so the quest to find a fungus, or to seek the inspiration for this particular shoot and create, is sadly uninspired – or is it?
Because now I feel I need to find meaning in the simplest of deliveries, and so it goes that this image is transformed into a commentary on the computer based generation who seeks interaction with the world by spectating via computer screen, sadly the result thereof well sometimes beautiful can also be not beautiful at times, as there are some gag-able additions to the search which demonstrate the uncertainty of life as well as the danger of a worldview as generated behind a computer screen… It’s deep stuff man… and very much like fungus, not really something I necessarily want to consider or look at, in fact, it might just have been easier to go and admire the beautiful side of it as filtered by a specific rose coloured pair of glasses.
This turns out to be, just as required by the task, very much a fungus in my daily life…
(On the plus side, this here photo is uploaded on my Flickr account, a 1st!)
There we go – nearly didn’t accept this challenge, and then I decided to submit an image (although there was a specific request for a gif), I ain’t never made a gif before – and then I reassessed and went ahead and voila – the little squirrel that could…
The Brief: Amazing Tricked-Out Squirrel Tricks – For today’s Daily Create, name and describe an invented fancy trick for Florence Hinton’s squirrels (or their descendants, since Florence’s little critters are no doubt long gone). Add your own gif to make your point, if you want.
What? Trained squirrels? Tricks? or Talent? Find out more: http://daily.ds106.us/tdc1596/
— soztheo.me (@soztheo_me) May 22, 2016
And there you have it… If I can do it, surely a squirrel can!
So on this cold Wintery Johannesburg Day, could really use one of these:
The brief was simple, I don’t feel like doing simple today 🙂
For those just tuning in, this is a Daily Create from the DS106 course (an awesome creative, digital storytelling course), and this here is my contribution. I am loving this journey, and with all the stresses of daily life, the creative accessing of moments of inspiration and practice really are adding to the joy of these days – and while currently this blog is feeding into DS106 alot, each piece of digital artistic expression holds a personal part of me.
Even with the latitude given for this challenge, the task simply read as follows:
“We challenge you to get off of your chair, away from your screen, and find a tree you can best do some yoga near. That means YOU too Jim Groom! Bonus points for being a real photo. Extra bonus points for being in a tree. Extra extra bonus points for being in a tree over a river. (No bonus points for wearing weird bathing suits).”
So… I found the perfect tree to do yoga near. I (the challenged YOU, but not Jim Groom), actually got out my chair. This is a real photo (well, it’s made out of real photos and even follows the laws of mathematics). It’s me, in that that’s my son (who is 50% me) and there he is again in the tree, both of him and tree him are doing tree yoga poses – so 1+1=2 and 50%+50%=100%, and we in a tree, over a river 😛 (sans bathing suits)
What fun I say, What fun!
This is a truly South African issue, but who knows, if this snowball keeps rolling down this hill, it could become a global concern.
South Africa has its issues – always has… We are tearing down monuments of evil, while erecting legacies which may take aeons and bloodshed to undo. What have we learnt, are we as a human race in general able to learn fast enough? Is the legacy of a time that was unforgivable, for anyone in the position to forgive the unforgivable, is it to late in the human trajectory (for our lifetime at least), for the required level of forgiveness to be implemented as opposed to, and before, the unthinkable result of even greater unforgivable legacies are created? Because ultimately, if greater atrocities are created, only as retribution for the previous atrocities which were committed, we will only keep this cycle of vendetta going, in fact escalating to a point of absolute insurmountability!
Through it all, blood will be spilled and the ongoing definition of humanity (as being owned and defined as an esteemed aspect of our collective psyche) will forever be something less than a desirable attachment to the soul. Life is so not a precious commodity these days, and perpetuating the hate that exists between people and their dividing qualities will forever be exploited and highlighted by those so evil that there narcissistic psychopathy will be enabled to feed unquenchingly upon the spoils of the chaos, unless we make the change. As demonstrated by the actions of the leader of this great (but nearly shattered under his dominion) potential that exists in this country, as satirically exploited by my daily create for the day, this man of whom I speak (whose name is not worthy of mention in this symbolic rant) is only the tip of global issues that exist, where men in power take advantage of the positions which could actually impact enough as to contribute to a positive global psyche (as achieved by the great leader who came decades before he who must not be named here), and who do so at the expense of, never mind in the name of, those who blindly fall under their spell of evil. Learn a book! Read some! Never let it will be!
Nkandla people, Nkandla.
I’ve always liked a limerick 🙂
Sometimes the creative process can be painstakingly draining, I had this experience yesterday – It’s still rewarding but it comes with challenges all it’s own, as it takes you out of your comfort zone, challenging you to explore those methods of content engagement that you (or I, as the case may be) have consciously neglected or unconsciously ignored.
Then you get those easier tasks, they access your skills and caress your sensibilities with ease, like reciting your favourite prose verbatim, it’s brain muscle memory, and the rhythm and cadences tilt you towards the familiar, it’s comfortable and consoling like a steaming cup of hot chocolate savoured under the habit of blanket you’ve wrapped yourself in, memories enticed, the security of a baby…
What do I think now?
I can languor in the familiar, which by my own explanation is so familiar as to border on regressive, or I can celebrate that which stings of propulsion, the antithesis of familiarity? Hmmmm…