Freddy the Pig Convention

  • I worked on two films in August on back-to-back weekends.  I recorded sound for one and was the AD for the other.  The sound gig was frustrating, primarily because of the DP, with whom I’ve worked before, and with whom I was similarly frustrated the first time.  He has an attitude that drives me up the wall, because he won’t so much as acknowledge the possibility of having made a mistake or a bad choice.  His mistakes were plenty, but the ones that primarily concerned me were his complete disregard for the needs of the sound department.  Whenever he had created a conflict, rather than make any concessions, he would announce, “we’ll just shoot this MOS.”  The Director was young and inexperienced, and she just went along with it.  And then there was the time he trapped us all in a vehicle with no exits and an overloading inverter.
  • The AD gig went smoothly.
  • I have given up trying to watch Fawlty Towers.  The humor is just so dumb.  I have finished watching all of Community.  I watched Collateral, but that was only four episodes.  I accidentally watched the first three episodes of Castle Rock, but I’m not interested.  This leaves only Masters of Sex, in which I am only marginally interested at this point.  While I was thinking about what to watch, my mom suggested Doctor Who.  I haven’t watched Doctor Who since the seventh Doctor.  I did catch a glimpse of an episode of the ninth Doctor, and I was a little incensed that they were using modern lighting and photographic techniques, so I’ve always resisted getting interested.  However, my mom was raving about the different style of writing, and she urged me to give it a try.  Maybe I will.
  • I have figured out what I dislike about Masters of Sex and probably quite a bit of modern television.  It grates my nerves to watch characters constantly make such obviously bad choices.  Sure, it’s a plot device, and an easy one, but it has a downside.  It leaves the audience wondering why anyone would do that.  Thus, it is a technique that should be used sparingly and with adequate justification.  To use it over and over as the central drama of a television series is just bad, lazy writing.  I don’t identify with characters who do that.  Now that I can see it, I have no interest in continuing to watch Masters of Sex.  It’s very likely that I will quickly turn away from other television series when I see them using the technique.
  • I have read two Andre Norton novels, Witch World and The Zero Stone.  The first one wasn’t very good, but the second one was.  My mom left behind a box full of Andre Norton’s books, but aside from Witch World, none of the titles I think I might want to read are in there.
  • After seven chapters, I gave up on Dorothy Must Die.  I don’t remember now where I picked up the recommendation.  I knew better once I found it in the Teen Fiction section of the library, but I checked it out anyway, having been mislead into thinking that it was high art.  Now I would call it simple-minded and uninspired even if it hadn’t ripped off the world of Oz, and I can’t stand reading it.  I see the author has made a career of writing in this series.  I don’t know how many Freddy the Pig* books I read as a kid, so I guess I shouldn’t knock it, but in my advanced age, this sort of thing isn’t for me.  I will be taking it back to the library unfinished.
  • Exit Strategy, the last of the Murderbot Diaries dropped this week, and I read it the evening it came out.  It was good, as was the entire series, and it makes me sad to see it come to an end.  I have resolved to read other things by Martha Wells.
  • The Sirens of Titan was typically weird for Kurt Vonnegut, and it was obviously a huge inspiration for Douglas Adams.  Lock In was decent.  The Name of the Wind was good in some ways, but in other ways it suffered structurally; I probably won’t continue with the series.

(* Freddy the Pig was a precocious talking pig on a farm full of talking animals.  I stumbled on these in the Juvenile stacks at the library when I was young, and I ended up reading a few of them.  Published between 1927 and 1958, they were all pretty dated by the time I found them, and I thought they were obscure even then.  Googling it just now, one of the recommended search phrases was “freddy the pig convention”, which seemed ridiculous, so I clicked on it.  There is, in fact, a Freddy the Pig Convention, and it is happening this weekend.  I can’t even.)