Hello, good morning, and good Thursday to all my friends, comrades, fellow travelers, and anyone who doesn’t consider themselves adequately described by any of the preceding terms. It’s time for my weekly blog post, something without which I know many people’s Thursdays would not be the same.
I’ve been fiddling around with some things related to Iterations of Zero on and off lately. I posted another “audio blog”, this one about the need for people to justify their statements, particularly if they’re saying something derogatory. If they can’t, then you should just ignore them or tell them to take a number, get in line, and kiss your ass. I don’t recall precisely what set me off at the time, but such things do get on my nerves, especially in the era of rampant social media-based epithet hurling. In that bit of grumbling, I also deal with the difference between words and the proverbial “sticks and stones”, and mention, obviously, the Cheese Shop Sketch from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
I’m still not sure whether these audible meanderings are beneficial, as compared to writing articles out. I don’t know which form of thinking in public people prefer to consume, at least from me, and I haven’t received much specific feedback on the question, or if I have, I haven’t noticed it yet (and I apologize for that, if so).
I’ve already recorded a short subsequent audio burst, or whatever one would call it—they don’t really merit the term “podcast”—but haven’t edited it much, because I’m frankly not sure people like these things from me*. They are, I must rather guiltily admit, much easier to produce than written posts, at least in first draft. They’re just me thinking out loud into either my laptop or my smartphone. Since I’ve been known to think aloud even when I’m not recording, this engenders a big advantage in the low activation energy needed to initiate a posting. Still, the writer in me feels guilty. He also feels cramped.
I had a peculiar burst of “creativity” the other night and morning that I rather quickly acted on, which is unusual enough. I took the recent audio of my “karaoke” version of No Surprises, by Radiohead, and I decided to make a simple video—but not as simple as my usual “videos”, which generally contain just one fixed image. Instead, I got a bunch of old drawings of mine that I’d scanned into the computer, sometimes decades ago, and picked out several that fit the mood I was in when I sang the song**. I tried to make the video with the simple Microsoft video editor, but I didn’t think much of the outcome, so I did a trial installation of the latest version of CyberLink PowerDirector, a program I’d used in the past, so I could do crossfading between pictures and whatnot. I also used a graphic manipulation program (GIMP) to distort a picture of me from the one true video post I have on YouTube (it’s not pretty) so that it vaguely resembled Thom Yorke’s face in the video version of the song (see above).
This all happened with surprising speed; when I get into something, I often become somewhat monomaniacal. I skipped editing Unanimity yesterday, and even skipped practicing guitar (which anyone who’s heard me knows I cannot readily afford to do), and I produced a satisfactory video. It was nothing special, but I thought it evocative. I uploaded the final product onto YouTube, shared it through Facebook and Twitter…
…and within minutes got the notification that the video had been blocked for copyright reasons.
You might think this would irritate me, but you would be mistaken. I was mildly surprised—ironically, I suppose—but within seconds I thought, “Well, fair enough.” It’s their song, the copyright belongs to them or to whomever they assigned it, and the enforcement of that copyright is entirely their decision. I certainly never meant to try to make any money off the video—I’ve never monetized YouTube in any way—but again, it’s their decision. Thom, Jonny, Colin, Ed, and Phil wrote the song, it belongs to them…or to whomever they’ve given the rights to it. As an arguably creative artist myself, I certainly don’t want anyone using my stuff without permission. I want people to pay for my books (though you can listen to some of my stories and the first nine chapters of The Chasm and the Collision for free on YouTube ad libitum, read by the author).
I may upload my video onto IoZ in place of the simple audio of the song, but I’m not sure. I’d like to have some of you see it, but I don’t want to go against any literal desires of Radiohead. Of course, the block was clearly an automated response, without any specific human consideration; it happened too fast. I don’t think the fellows from Radiohead are following my work closely enough to have responded so quickly.
With all that happening, I’ve gotten a little less editing done on Unanimity this week, but at least it’s shorter than half a million words now. I’ll try to trim the fat enough so that it’s not just a heart attack waiting to happen…though I do hope it will be the kind of meal that makes you have nightmares.
In all other things, though, I wish you well. I always enjoy any comments you might care to make, either here or on IoZ or anywhere else I lurk online. But do remember, if you have a beef with me, you’ll need to back it up with evidence or argument, or I’ll just tell you to f*ck off.
I will, however, joyfully accept unjustified compliments.
*Though, to be fair and honest, I did get actual, thoughtful feedback on my discussion of the wavefunction and many words.
**Not a happy one, but at least not apathetic.