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And it’s got me thinking…
Watching it I started off in the land of oh-great-it’s-another-non-sequitor-odd-images-mash-up-nonsense-because-those-kooky-kids-today-only-have-an…
What was I saying? Oh yeah.
But somewhere around the halfway mark (around the Spongebob take down scene) I started thinking maybe my ass is just getting old.
I mean given the unending bombardment of culture that we currently all strive to keep pace with, times they are a changing. That means how we view narrative and the aesthetics of story are changing too.
Maybe in 40 years this will be the only way to tell a story. Brief, unstrung moments caught, considered and dropped in an instant because any longer than that would be too boring.
Could be crazy talk – but then again scenes composed of rapid fire cultural references, indy needle drops, smash cuts and whip pans make no sense to my old man… Not his kind of story is all.
Ok, ok. Tangent over.
Future of narrative or not, this is good times:
Be undeniably good.
When people ask me how do you make it in show business or whatever, what I always tell them and nobody ever takes note of it ‘cuz it’s not the answer they wanted to hear — what they want to hear is here’s how you get an agent, here’s how you write a script, here’s how you do this — but I always say:
Be so good they can’t ignore you.
Those words aren’t mine, they belong to a much smarter man than me. His name is Steve Martin (the full interview is here if you want to check it out.
If all you know of him is his comedy work then you should sample the rest of what he has on offer: insightful books, intelligent literary and film criticism… the guy is a genius – hell he even released his own banjo album (don’t worry – this isn’t a preamble to a banjo video, but if you want to check out his mad strummin’ skillz then here).
Mr. Martin is dead right. With every industry (and not just those populated by creative types) there is always a placebo pool of things that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something when you haven’t done anything at all. Eddie Vedder hit a nerve in ’96 when he brought that to everyone’s attention at the Grammy’s:
Let’s face it – doing anything truly great is hard – so hard that people have invented a whole host of half measures (like money, awards, groupies) to create the illusion that someone has created something truly amazing when all they’ve done is filled the a small niche in the current cultural market and advertised the hell out of it (for more examples see the complete discography of Nickelback).
So how do you know if you’ve ever created something excellent?
It’s so good you can’t ignore it.
Don’t take it from me. I can’t speak to that – I have yet to create anything that I’d truly call great – take it from a musician who operates without a studio, instruments, band, turntables or microphone – and who also operates without excuses.
All he’s got is two pens:
I’ve been yipping about the growth towards an aesthetic of simplicity and music videos present themselves as great example.
I have to admit, like a lot of people, I just stopped caring about music videos a while ago. They were all stylized flash. You name it: stunts and special effects, crazy color timing washes, famous actor cameos…
Here’s a great example. “Toxic” by whats-her-name. Made with a wad of money thick enough to choke a whale:Vodpod videos no longer available.
They had all the sizzle you could ask for but was there any steak? Rarely (sorry for the pun). If there was anything of substance to a video it was usually there long before the glitter dropping helicopters arrived.
Lately, the most popular, viral, amazing videos are the ones predicated on a simple concept or an intimate narrative story (rather than the expansive, explosive rock n’ roll jam that vows to take over the world).
Here’s what I mean. “Meeting of Important People” sets, “Brittney Lane Don’t Care” in a world of kraft cardboard:
“Classified” takes a run at the national anthem. This pleases me.
How did I miss this?
I have no words. It’s not even on beat. You know what rapping off beat is called?
It’s called, “That makes my hate itchy.”
I know that doesn’t makes sense. Neither does this video:
But you have to give the guy points for going out on a limb and having the tenacity to stay there.
Check out what I mean here.
Talented. Awesome. Humble.
And ambitious enough to attempt an acoustic cover of a rap song…
(kinda relates to that beatbox editing post from yesterday)
What would happen if someone with a good ear for music logged into Youtube and assembled unrelated videos that he/she liked into one cohesive orchestral piece? Probably be pretty cool, right?
And it look like this:
I don’t remember if economists, politicians, beaurocrats and technocrats predicted these particular facets of globalization.
Never can tell what path information and culture is going to choose to take.
1) 2Pac has posthumously found an audience in Kazakhstan:
2) Artists are taking to the streets to find new inspiration for their paintings – taking to the Google streets.
Sample painting below, full story here.