Sunday, 2 October 2005

Applied Pattern Recognition, 3 Important Interviews

I'm reading this: the nearly complete, 9,500-word transcript of M.E. Russell's 67-minute interview with "Buffy," "Angel," "Firefly" and "Serenity" creator Joss Whedon.

And while I was reading I realized someone's applying what they learned from William Gibson:
Sometime on August 16, 2005, a mysterious clip surfaced on IFILM. It was entitled, "R. Tam, Session 416, Second Excerpt" and within twenty-four hours Browncoats everywhere began speculating that it was the beginning of a long-rumored viral marketing campaign for Serenity

One quick selection from the interview:
Q. Did you ever feel like you were getting away with murder?

A. No. It felt like we were getting away with a movie -- which, in this town….
You know, I've murdered lots of people, and really? Nobody cares. But trying to actually make a movie? People really get upset, and they want to get involved, and they want to mess it up. And not only did [Universal] not mess it up, but they were incredibly helpful. Like, when we were in the testing process, they had level heads, they had good ideas, they understood where the audience was not getting what we needed. And yes -- when we were shooting, they were like, "We love your dailies. You’re making your days." They literally came by and said, "We're just resting on our way to another movie." And I think they stopped by twice.
As a youth, what I wanted to do with my life was make summer movies for a studio. In this case, I'm near my goal -- I'm making early-fall movies for a studio. I want to make movies that please people, that are exciting, that are meaningful and visceral, and that studios can be proud of. I didn't want to make highbrow think pieces. So all I've ever asked is that [the studios] let me do for them what I wanted -- what I think will be best for them.
So many times, I've run up against people who are like, "Well, we've got another agenda." And I'm like, "My agenda will make you richer! I want to reach more people with this thing that will be better!" And I don't mean to sound like I'm all that, but I've dealt with some pretty amazingly stupid situations. And so for a studio to just go, "Yeah, we believe in your story, and you're doing it for the budget; godspeed!" -- shouldn't be an amazing experience. But it sure was.

Another interview of interest (to me at least) :
Inside the secretive Bilderberg Group

The chairman of the secretive - he prefers the word private - Bilderberg Group is 73-year-old Viscount Etienne Davignon, corporate director and former European Commissioner.

In his office, on a private floor above the Brussels office of the Suez conglomerate lined with political cartoons of himself, he told me what he thought of allegations that Bilderberg is a global conspiracy secretly ruling the world.

"It is unavoidable and it doesn't matter," he says. "There will always be people who believe in conspiracies but things happen in a much more incoherent fashion."

And to finish off, this interview with Ben Mack of PWC and William Breathitt Gray of Trumpet America
MACK: Why didn’t more people see Bush as a liar in 2004?

They just didn’t want to. As happened with me, civic consciousness grows slowly on people generally; it’s hard, and it’s scary, to change your opinions on big issues. Faith in the president and the U.S. government is a big issue, and many people just had not come to the point where they could face their doubts and disgust. There was still a lot of inertia driving events, left over from 9-11; people kept their worries inside. I hope citizens are over that now, and are able to make better decisions.

And for the record, I didn’t vote for the man.

In Kurt Vonnegut’s recent book “A Man Without A Country,” he states: “There is no reason good can’t triumph over evil, if only angels will get organized along the lines of the mafia.” – KV Jr. born 11/11/22.

What’s your reaction to that sentiment?

There is a fine line separating conviction from fanaticism. A fanatic never doubts. But this makes him no more ‘religious’ than others. Not doubting is not ‘faith’ – it is not ‘faithful’ not to doubt. Faith is the overcoming of doubt. That a fanatic never doubts attests only to his fear of facing his doubts and his inability to deal with them. His is a poor soul indeed.

A fanatic is not humble; he is possessed by his righteousness. Although fanatics periodically fall to their knees and lift their heads skyward pleading for divine mercy/intervention (accompanied by admissions of lowly state and affirmations of unworthiness, et cetera), they are arrogant in their thinking and in their actions. They are sure that they and their god know better than the rest of us, and so they excuse (and their god excuses them of) their extreme and often violent means to achieve their ends. What they fail to note is that means both shape and form part of ends. “The means” and “the ends” are parts of the same time-space continuum; one cannot adequately speak of any given “ends” without considering their prior “means.” And all “means” produce “ends” of some sort.

A fanatic is a double-edged sword cleaving his way through society; for every ‘good’ (whatever you mean by that) stroke he makes he also errs.

In contrast, a man of conviction uses his experience and reasoned analysis – and often, faith – to guide him. Although hard to dissuade, a man of conviction tends not to extreme views; he retains a smidgen of humility that permits learning and growth. Those things which he is convinced of – his convictions – have weight, substance, since they are reviewed and tested daily. He is not one to give in or give up easily.

Men of conviction build civilizations; their works, whether structures or precepts, have staying power.

Fanatics are as stones thrown on calm water.

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