Good morning, yet again, I say as I often do—though I sympathize with Gandalf’s irritated inquiry after Bilbo wished him good morning at the beginning of The Hobbit. I won’t go into that discussion, however, since—much like when Costello didn’t want to talk about which end of a racehorse he owned—it’s a long tale*.
As I warned you yesterday, I have indeed finished and edited my recitation of The Raven, and I posted it on YouTube. I’ll embed it here, below. As you can see, I dispensed with the mask during this performance, though I left on one of my two pairs of dark glasses—these ones are actually reading glasses, but I wasn’t reading; I did the whole thing from memory.
I left the mask off because I wanted to be able to convey the emotions this poem always engenders, at least in me. It’s weird, but I cannot seem to express or often even feel emotions of my own, or at least not recognize them, unless I’m reading something—out loud usually—or singing along with a song, or singing it myself. I think sometimes that’s why I, and people like me, enjoy melancholy and dark songs so much. It’s our only way of even crystallizing, let alone expressing, our own feelings. Often, it’s the only way we can even tell what they are, at least if we have alexithymia/dyslexithymia.
Anyway, all of you are hereby warned that, if you watch the video, you’ll have to look at my face, unimpeded by the mask, though at least I’m wearing dark glasses. Unlike that weird, one-hit-wonder pop song from the eighties, though, this is not because the future is bright. Ultimately—in the long run, anyway—the future is dark. Indeed, one could say that the future is darkness itself. But that’s not going to be fully instantiated for trillions to googols of years, so you’ve got time for a quick bit of breakfast before we go.
With that warning, here is the video of my recitation of The Raven, with background “music” by me. I hope you like it. If you do, I would be grateful if you could give it a “thumbs up” on YouTube, because apparently that makes things more likely to be recommended to other people and all that. Obviously, if you want you can subscribe as well, though if you follow my blog, you’ll probably know about my videos shortly after they are posted, assuming there ever are any more. Also, of course, if you’re inclined, you can share to social media and whatnot, and that too would be appreciated.
It’s interesting, but before recent times, I found the YouTube recommendation algorithm quite good and useful, directing me at times to subjects that I wouldn’t have known related to me without the recommendations, such as Asperger’s. But of late it’s been spending a lot more of its effort recommending videos I’ve already watched.
To be fair to it, when I like something, I do often rewatch it many times, just as when I like a book I reread it many, many times. But still, it would be nice if, instead of things that are entirely rehashes and obvious draws from channels to which I subscribe, it would do more of the thing it did with Asperger’s, a sort of “a lot of people who watched similar videos to you went on to look at these videos and related ones”. I don’t think there was any recognition of connection in the algorithm, it just spotted patterns across a very large data set and suggested similar patterns to me (and no doubt to many others) so that I would stay there at YouTube.
But I have noticed that most of these algorithms in general don’t work too well with me anymore, if they ever did, whether it’s Netflix or Amazon or YouTube or Facebook or Hulu any of the other various things that can make money if they can recommend something to you that you’ll watch. I’m apparently too weird, or perhaps just to anhedonic, for typical things to appeal to me.
I guess I shouldn’t really hold it against YouTube too much. I recently tried to restart all three of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Lord of the Rings, The Belgariad, some comic books, some Japanese light novels, and—most concerning of all—some physics/cosmology books that I enjoy. I haven’t been able to get far in any of them. I just get…well, not exactly bored, but unable to maintain any interest. Just apathetic. As Pink (the character in The Wall) sang, “Nothing is very much fun anymore.”
I am at least looking forward somewhat to this Sunday evening when we will be able to watch the Doctor Who sixtieth anniversary special, and Jodie Whittaker’s regeneration moment, The Power of the Doctor. I think it’s going to be fun, though it will be sad. I’ve enjoyed the 13th Doctor, and most of her episodes, especially in the last two series. I look forward to seeing the 14th Doctor, of course, but will miss 13. She isn’t my favorite Doctor, but she’s been very good.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. BBC America will be showing the above mentioned program Sunday night at 8 eastern, so if you like Doctor Who, keep that in mind. It’s just possible that I might go on to recite some more poems, or read bits of books or stories that I like and want to share, but I think I’ll use the mask again for those, unless my face changes significantly. That’s unlikely to happen, since unlike the Doctor, I don’t regenerate**.
I’m off work tomorrow, so there won’t be any more posts before Monday, if there are any at all***. You can all be thankful that you’ll be granted at least a restful weekend without my words.
*Or “tail” in Costello’s horse’s case.
**As far as I know.
***After all, something might prevent me from making them even on usual days.