josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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23 Apr '13 02:20:22 AM

Still more snow.

22 Apr '13 10:18:59 PM

'There must not be a plan.'

21 Apr '13 11:24:31 PM

All I Have Learned And Forgotten Again

21 Apr '13 03:14:13 AM

'When one person faces another, his experience is conditioned by his "outsideness." Even in the physical sense, one always sees something in the other that one does not see in oneself. I can see the world behind your back; when I see another person suffering, I, but not he, can "see the clear blue sky against whose background his suffering external image takes on meaning for me"…. And I am aware that each other has the same "surplus" of vision with respect to me. Different forms of aesthetic, ethical, political, or religious activity… make different use of this "surplus."'

20 Apr '13 09:36:40 PM

'No books, perhaps, but the big no no is No Teachers.'

20 Apr '13 01:52:58 AM

The weather doesn't match the sky.

19 Apr '13 11:16:48 AM

As I work on my TV project, I'm a little intimidated by the idea of images. There are supposed to be powerful images in film; I rarely feel like the power of an image is as important on television, or at least like I'm very good at watching for those images instead of letting them affect me as a matter of habit.

There's a rare powerful image in the season 11 Law & Order episode about a school shooting (around two years after Columbine, which the police and the students refer knowingly to). After Briscoe and Green confiscate a tape of the shooting made by a student (who's trying to sell it because he 'wants to be in the news business'), we cut to the squadroom, exactly when there would normally be a scene in which Briscoe, Green, and Van Buren talk through the kind of routine business they usually have at the beginning of an investigation, while barely interacting with the rest of the squad (save perhaps Profaci—'here's that ballistics report'—in the first nine seasons, and his various successors afterward), which continues to go about its business in the background.

Instead of that, what we see is the entire squad gathered around a TV set, still, rapt, silent, watching the tape. When there's a lull, Briscoe interjects: 'He's reloading'. Green flinches when the shots resume. The last image shown from the tape, as the shooting seems to have died out after the shooter runs away, is of one of his classmates, unharmed, frozen at her table, hiding her face in her hands.

The first shot in the scene, the first thing on our screens, is the screen they're watching, so that we know we're watching (people) watching TV.

The next shot, of the squad, is set up with the camera just a little bit higher than usual for a point-of-view shot of a conversation. The squad's TV set is at lower right, placed as if the speaking partner in the conversation.

The tape of the shooting is shot, just like the show is, on a handheld camera.

19 Apr '13 10:30:24 AM

What can you see, if you watch people talk?

18 Apr '13 11:30:33 PM

Something something Burma Shave