Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Vic the Scientist is Speaking English, and Film Studies Department is Speaking Spanish (or Visa Versa)

Swimming in the chaos of existing philosophy and social theory. Man, did I feel it today. That is why I enter the Humanities and Social Sciences "Fluffology" centers of the university with my head screwed on tight: viewing humans and their constructs (human ecosystems) as a leaf-cutter ant system. As encrusting networks of bryozoans. Like bacterial scum encrusting planet Earth. Humans are ecological, biological, resource-acquiring-excreting, fornicating-replicating beings. So, my head is screwed on--or partly so. And swimming in the chaos of social theory, I can quickly grab the mental jewels and scrap the bullshxt.

Okay, department hopping to the film-studies department today was like a trip to Baja California. It's not as bad as hopping from United States to Greece to China. Not that bad, but it felt like it. Two or three leaf-cutter ants trying to put out their feelers and talk but not so successfully. I can't help to think about Waking Life and how the movie maker cheated in novel philosophical ideas. I am now drowned in a perfect-storm ocean of recent philosophical harangue, and I hope I can GET OUT of it as fast as possible.

I don't understand. I talk to intelligent Joe Schmuck of the outside world about the university and what I am trying to do for my research, and then I talk to a professor in the university and they just are so immersed in the language of their own discipline that they don't have that "think outside the box" and "take a step back" perspective that drives me nuts. So, what does that mean? It's best to balance the outside and the inside world. I just wished if professors took a mental break and took a step outside the university and tried to decipher it in its whole. *sigh*

All right. What happened, Vic. Calm down. She did a video log, to show her emotions. She did a "running with mirrors" thing: a reflection of herself on the computer screen with stars overlaying. She just wants to dream in her 8th continent.

What disturbed me today is Dr. Walker's high appraisal for a philosophical rant on A Perfect Storm and Brother Sun, Sister Moon that made close to no sense to anyone. People were leaving early. Alex and I were shaking our heads. It was referring to the work of philosophers, but it had no practical communication abilities in our everyday experiences. And afterwards, Dr. Walker said the lecture was "brilliant" and will "connect" with all the other upcoming lectures--"I see where you're going with this." Somehow, brilliance has two meanings. "Brilliance" can be defined as someone who is talking big words and strange phrases that no one else understands, and since the victim of this talk has low confidence and relatively assumes that he is stupid and that the lecture was "brilliant." And then there are few people (most particularly science writers, like Sarah Simpson, who state that "brilliance" is truly a person who is able to be creative and create new things and see the same system in new ways, and have the ability to communicate for people and that I left feeling... upset.

I think this class is a bit of a one-way street in terms of communication. Just rain down the information. And especially if the information is disorganized, it feels like it's raining down "bullshxt." Not to be mean or rude or anything to anyone, but this is how I feel emotionally. And how other students feel. Somehow, as Michael Hanrahan said in an email, somehow I seem to represent "The Silent Majority." Just keep writing, Vic, don't give up. But I can't blame them. Two back-to-back films Monday and Tuesday. Lecture on Wednesday, some audience input. And too many students in class, not to provoke meaningful conversation and connections with others. And even hard to have time to talk with profs either. But I can't blame them. I can't blame anyone for this. It's the system. The system gestalt of inhumanity we live in. It's like this environment as a whole is the way how it is because of intrinsic byproducts of ecological patterns and physics theory.

Though in the end, I did have the opportunity to talk to Sean and Alex (who's applying to USC Film production, already has an interview, wow, producer for a music video for the Old Souls, largely on his budget, whoa). All I do is bxtch-bxtch-bxtch. Do I have anything better to do? Well, you have problems? You bxtch about them. Don't leave them inside. That is BAD for your health. Like deathly to your health, your life.

So, today, put all this effort compiling all this information to Dr. Walker and what to say to her (she didn't know that Marion passed away, though I sent her an email). And I jogged very late around our neighborhood (a good half-hour jog, nice timing) being oblivious that I was far from UCSB. I had to call Nicole and we talked over the phone. I signed up for the first interview with Scott Bull. We briefly talked about meeting times. Dr. Walker thought I wasn't going to work on the project at all. My god, what lack of communication. I bet mostly or entirely my fault. I am just trying to stay in one piece here. Went to class, did a vlog, was 7 minutes late. Sat next to Alex the Old Souls music video producer. Missed receiving a couple of sheets of paper, which I then forgot to ask Dr. Walker for, and THEN? Dr. Salocky started talking... lecture... it was philosophy and how The Perfect Storm and Brother Sun, Sister Moon were similar. She talked about deep ecology, nature, sublime, aesthetic, harmony, subjectivity, objectivity, complexity, chaos, order, connectivity. Ugh. Words of questioning. Language issues. Ambiguous language. Okay, to get this straight, this is how I see it. When I read Kant's papers this morning, this is what I thought: something is "beautiful." It can be intrasubjective or intersubjective. It stimulates an emotional pleasure center, but that is about it. You don't think any further. Your cerebral cortex is non-operational. But if something is "sublime," that the system itself may be "beautiful" to stimulate the positive emotional center, but not only this, that this pleasure emotion opens the gateway of imagination and exploration and connection of the system, and its abstract concept of the system far beyond the system itself--extended in space and time and in imagination. *brain fart* shifting gears?

Kant (was this really written in 1790? Oh my godzeekybazooka). Kant said that systems that invoke negative emotion and fear are not sublime. Obviously, because fear suppresses and stifles creativity. Dr. Szaloky said that Brother Sun, Sister Moon was "aesthetic" but The Perfect Storm was "sublime." That, to me, was... well, I still don't get it.

The other thing I have to consider here is, when I am talking about films, is that there is this FILM TRIANGLE or POINT OF VIEW or FRAME OF REFERENCE ISSUE. "Mutual knowledge" issue that Dr. Steven Pinker talked about. There are several camps who have different perspectives and different knowledge regimes of the film itself, and it's very important to decipher from which frame of reference you are making your analyses.

So, here are the camps:
(1). The people who construct and produce the film in the first place.
(2). The people who are in the film. The artificiality and delusion of the system that the film creates. Boxing a system of Reality in space and time. Inside the spacetime of the story and the main characters of the story itself.
(3). The main character(s)' perception of the environment constructed within the movie.
(4). The audience, the outsider, the "intellectual spectator." I consider many film professors to be "intellectual spectators." Analysis through observation, not necessarily participation.

So, perhaps it's more of a "SQUARE" rather than a "TRIANGLE" of perception. Where would I like to be in this square? I have seen and experienced all four angles, quite recently through Blue Horizons, but from this square of frame of reference, in terms of analysis and construction of my theories, I work with point 3. In terms of understanding the "niche space" of Hollywood and the mental exercising of ancestral neurological programs no longer useful in our modern environment, that is me being from point 4. This is SO important to understand because I had this issue with talking to Dr. Walker today. Now you know. It's just like when asking Constance Penley about "agents" in Hollywood, and how they work. Now I know it's, well, talking about "agents" is a no-no question for Constance Penley. Don't ask again. In short, agents are middle men. They are like the "agents" in the Matrix. They have no purpose really, and they only exist because in a system of interdependence that becomes over-sized you have to invent overspecialized jobs that don't need to exist. Like being an agent. It's like a blood-sucking leech to the system. There are people who play valuable roles, and then there are those "extra people" or "leeches" who are responsible for gestalt "diminishing returns" of this system. Same for American pharmaceutical companies.

Now that I don't have to write 1.5 page respones to the journal articles (I wonder whether Nicole had a role in that), I guess I won't do that. I guess my focus is to continue my Biological Incorrectedness.

One last thought. I gave Dr. Walker copies of the film Flock of the Dodos, by Randy Olson. I knew of him retroactively from my own personal development, but it's the same line of reasoning. Not a film-making trying to understand science, but a scientist gone film-maker. And not only we portray and reflect upon the scientific byproducts itself, but we explore and even mock at the absurdity of the modern state of science! Scientists taking a step back and looking at the circus of scientists... We run to the social sciences for help. Maybe they'll take us in for a little while.... Scientists now dressing up and consulting with Hollywood movie stars. How amusing. Monopolization of "fame." Ugh.

I'll stop there. Need to put stuff away.... This computer is a frickin' mess!

key words: chaos of social theory, leaf-cutter ants, bryozoans, Dr. Janet Walker, Dr. Melinda Szaloky, ambiguous language, intrasubjective, intersubjective, sublime, aesthetic, film triangle, film square point of view, mutual knowledge, film-science-spanish-english, agents, leeches, Dr. Randy Olson, Flock of Dodos, Hollywood Ocean Night

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