Recent Updates

29th May 2011
" Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing "
Rollo May  (1909 - 1994) 

17th October 2010
"But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!"
Robert Burns  (1759 - 1796) 

2nd April 2010
"The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect."
Esther Dyson (1951 - ) 

24th September 2009
"One shouldn't expect privileges because of her sex. Neither should she adjust to prejudice." Betty Friedan (1921 - 2006) 

16th August '09
“The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain.”
Khalil Gibran (1883 - 1931)

My Random Ramblings...

29th May '11

In These Stones Horizons Sing

Why do I like to go to conventions? Because I like people, like getting to know them, their lifes, their opinions, just the whole package. I like looking somebody in the eyes when I talk to them and see their emotions in their faces, not in an emoticon. The internet is great for connecting with people all over the world, finding likeminded folks regardless of geographical distance or wackyness of interest and to reach large numbers of people.

But for me, it is in the end very unsatisfactory, shallow and transient. Too many people, too many brief interactions, too little continuety. Conventions is the perfect symbiosis of the virtual and real life, it allows to meet likeminded people from all over the world and truely conect with them, get to know them as people, not just as avatars or text on a screen. And once you have made that connection, any future virtual interaction is so much richer and has an extra layer. I read a post and know what that person would sound like saying it. I can connect what a person says about a vid, a show or a political event to their life experience. Now, I am feeling like I am interacting with a real person.

So, that's why I like going to conventions. The vids are great, I enjoy the panels, but it all wouldn't be worth it without the people.    

17th October '10

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...

I thought I was so clever. Rather than wasting lots of time and money to go to the US for Vivivdcon and find myself stuck at a big bitch & wank fest I would dangle my toe in the vidding community at VidUKon. Not more than 7 hours traveling (and that only if the con should be held in Cornwall or the Outer Hebrides), not more than 20 or 30 attendees, not too much stress or programming or hassle...perfect. But then it started to look like it wasn't going to happen, and I lost faith (bad me, I know...)

So, I caved in and gave Vividcon a shot. The sign-up time was 5 am on a Sunday, so I decided to leave it with the Gods, get up as normal and see whether I still get in. Which I didn't. I ended up on the waiting list, and forgot all about it. Until one day I got an e-mail saying a place had become available.  I did the maths and thought it was actually a bit silly to spend so much money  just to attend a con. So I left it with the Montreal Canadians (play off times) - and they won. At that point I resigned to the fact that clearly the Univers wanted me to attend.

And then the shit storm broke lose. Holy matrimony, I'm still kind of speechless. I got the impression that the people attending the con didn't really get on very well with each other.  I foolishly commented on one issue I thought I had some insight into, but was informed in no uncertain terms that my opinion was wrong, I was not entitled to an opinion and that I was an evil person. Right. Considering going to Chicago just for a city break to take in the sights (too late to cancel flight & hotel) at this point. Really not the people I want to hang out with for a whole weekend.

Luckily some people informed me 'behind the scenes' (how telling that people felt they had to communicate this via PM rather than a comment) that most of the people arguing their heads off would not be attending, and that the people going to VVC were all a friendly, civil bunch of people. So I decided to test the waters myself and decamp if I didn't like it.

Weirdest thing ever, the whole con was just fluffy, warm and welcoming. Everybody was there to have fun, there were no disagreements or arguments, all problems were addresses as well as possible when they arose. Accessibility was at least as good as any hotel, official building or airline would offer, probably quite a bit better. Why would you expect a small, non-commercial fan gathering to be able to provide more than the hotel offers to it's other guests? It still boggles my mind.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun and did not regret going at all. I was really nice to be able to put faces and personalities to names, that alone was worth going to the con. The social side of the con was great. Despite not knowing anybody and not really being very present on LJ either I always found people to share a meal with or talk to. There were loads of room party's and other extracurricular activities and getting to know people was kind of unavoidable.

In terms of official programming I probably enjoyed the Panels more than the vid shows because they were interactive, they made vidding more explicit and I felt like I was getting a lot out of them. hollywoodgrrl's "In Soviet Russia, Vid Edits You", Millie's "Paging Dr. Vidder", Dualbunny's "Structure Redux", dragonchic's "Defining Viddability" and here's luck's & renenet's Vid Reading Practicum were all brilliant and way to short. Speranza's Townhall Meeting was very exiting and exhilarating. Clearly the core group of vidders consists of mature people with professional attitudes and a cool head on their shoulders. Hallelujah. Maybe LJ brings out the worst in people...

Anyhow, now that I've spend loads of money and a week of my annual leave on VVC it suddenly looks like VidUKon might happen after all, so I get to go to 2 cons instead of 1. After all no grief and pain, just joy.....

2nd April '10

There are 3 kinds of death: cardiac arrest, brain death and being offline...

My relationship with the internet is a bit like my relationship with alcohol. I love it, but I know it's no good for me.... But whilst I feel  that benefits of the World Wide Web outweigh it's risks and downsides I feel much less enthusiastic about social networking and blogging sites and therefore, until recently, stayed clear of them.  

I don't even know whether I can really put my finger on what bothers me about facebook, myspace and livejournal. I think it has to do with how these sites appear to turn relationships and communication disposable, to be thrown away immediately after use. Conversations are no longer reciprocal, all the world (or so it feels) listens in and chips in if they feel like it.  Everybody knows everything about everybody (if they so desire) but nobody really cares (or at least not for long), they are already onto the next thread, the next topic , the next page...

I also feel uncomfortable with how these sites have (mis)appropriated the word 'friend', and - adding insult to injury - created the term 'de-friending'. Never before have we been able to connect to so many people, and never before was it so easy to rejected by the whole wide world.

So why did I sign up on livejournal? Well, the biggest reason is that that is were most of the vidding community is at, and unless one is present on lj it is really hard to participate in that community. Also, it seems to be pleasantly free from wank wars and populated by rational, mature people with interesting insights. Maybe, like alcohol, lj is enjoyable if used in moderation?

24th September '09

To Vividcon or not to Vividcon, that is the question...

I haven't really thought this through much, but over the last couple of weeks I've come across a number of posts and indeed debates about the recent Vividcon, and it really has bothered me.

I haven't been - ever. But I have read about it and I guess I formed a - possibly glorified - idea of what it would be like to attend. In my fantasy, it was a brilliant event. Loads of like minded people, loads of vids, loads of interesting panel discussions about vidding, loads of stimulating discussions about vidding, fandoms and life in general, loads of inspiration to develop as a vidder.  

So there I am, snooping around the net to find some vid recs from the event , read some reports about how great the con was, get all excited and plan my trip for next year. However, what I found was very different. Suddenly the con is not such an appealing event anymore. Obviously it's impossible (and inappropriate) to have an opinion based on forum posts and blogs, but whatever actually happened there it seems clear that there is a real communication problem in the community....It does not sound as if the various perceived problems were addressed at the time of the con, but rather that after the event discussions, opinions and complaints were posted on the net (leading to the usual confusions, misunderstandings and misinterpretations) and developed a life of it's own.

The worst thing is that between the lines it reads as if this debate has lead to  a level of disengagement and frustration in some really great vidders and I worry that some of the people I most was looking forward to meeting and talking to might not be there in the years to come. I for one am now thinking about attending Vidukon instead...

16th August '09

Does the world really need another Supernatural vid....?

One of the vidders I have a lot of admiration for cited in her vidding meme under Pet Peeves (amongst others): "Generic Sam & Dean angst vid #20543. SPN vidding has been beaten to death by a large stick since as early as season 1. If you want to vid it, at least vid an interesting concept." 

I completely agree with the sentiment! I rarely watch SPN vids anymore myself (unless they come highly recced or are from a vidder with a particularly impressive back catalogue) for exactly this reason. So why did I feel compelled to do generic Sam & Dean angst vid #20544? I didn't have an interesting concept or a new insight into the characters to offer and no spectacular editing or special effects to dazzle the audiences with .  Hell, I just about know how to open my edit programme...

The answer is easy: I wanted to do MY OWN generic Sam & Dean angst vid, not for anybody else, just for me. It was a story I wanted to tell, despite the fact that it already has been told by thousands of others before me. I'm sure deep in the subconsciousness of all creators of generic boring vids there is the hope to produce something special and unique, and whilst objectively they may fail miserably at doing so (like me) they might still achieve exactly this  - a vid that is special and unique to them. And to a vidder that's just starting out, that's good enough.