The Big Think

October 14, 2009

Extreme According

Filed under: Music — jasony @ 11:58 am

I usually view accordion with a certain amount of ironic distain (subconscious, but still). No longer. Vivaldi’s Summer (3rd movement: Presto).


Great Jumping Judas on a Vespa:

*NOW I’ve Gotta Go Practice*
Okay, this is stupidly fast. Flight of the Bumblebee. On guitar. At 320bpm. (ffwd to about the 6:00 mark):

Tech the Tech to the Techno Tech

Filed under: Movies — jasony @ 8:46 am

At his recent keynote speech at the New York Television Festival, former Star Trek writer and creator of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica Ron Moore revealed the secret formula to writing for Trek.

He described how the writers would just insert “tech” into the scripts whenever they needed to resolve a story or plot line, then they’d have consultants fill in the appropriate words (aka technobabble) later.

“It became the solution to so many plot lines and so many stories,” Moore said. “It was so mechanical that we had science consultants who would just come up with the words for us and we’d just write ‘tech’ in the script. You know, Picard would say ‘Commander La Forge, tech the tech to the warp drive.’ I’m serious. If you look at those scripts, you’ll see that.”

Moore then went on to describe how a typical script might read before the science consultants did their thing:

La Forge: “Captain, the tech is overteching.”

Picard: “Well, route the auxiliary tech to the tech, Mr. La Forge.”

La Forge: “No, Captain. Captain, I’ve tried to tech the tech, and it won’t work.”

Picard: “Well, then we’re doomed.”

“And then Data pops up and says, ‘Captain, there is a theory that if you tech the other tech … ‘” Moore said. “It’s a rhythm and it’s a structure, and the words are meaningless. It’s not about anything except just sort of going through this dance of how they tech their way out of it.”

the writer concludes:

The biggest weakness of the entire genre is this: the protagonists don’t tell us anything interesting about the human condition under science fictional circumstances. The scriptwriters and producers have thrown away the key tool that makes SF interesting and useful in the first place, by relegating “tech” to a token afterthought rather than an integral part of plot and characterization.

Priceless! I’ve always thought of modern television and movie “Sci Fi” as being nothing but thinly veiled fantasy with a jargony veneer. There are some movies (like Solaris, for example), that are pretty true to the sci-fi tradition of meaningful commentary, but on the whole Hollywood dresses up explosions and sexy actors in a SF gloss and tries to pass it off to the Star Wars crowd. Read the whole thing here and despair that we’ll ever get real SF into the mainstream.

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