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  #51  
Old 12-03-2017, 05:29 AM
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enviousdominous enviousdominous is offline
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My adventures in "parts unknown" aren't quite over yet, but I've noticed that Wrestlezone is no longer being blocked by the network out here, so here I am.

A budding young animator from the UK has been taking the animation world by storm with his efforts to share his view of the world through moving pictures, and his name is Steve Cutts. He's apparently most famous for conceiving the Simpsons couch gag that portrayed Homer and his couch as buddy cops in a glamorously portrayed homage to the 1980s tv show Miami Vice.

This work of his is a very poignant rendition of a relatable rodent's pursuit of true happiness, appropriately titled "Happiness". When I watch it, I'm reminded of how wanting something is often more of a thrill than actually having something. Also that happiness is a shameless but very potent marketing ploy on behalf of companies that thrive off of misery. For some of us; the satisfaction that comes from contentment is boring, and thus prosperity becomes confused with greed.

Steve Cutts - Happiness

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  #52  
Old 12-25-2017, 02:21 AM
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enviousdominous enviousdominous is offline
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I wish everyone here a very Merry Christmas.

This holiday has always been a "to each their own" type of holiday in terms of its true meaning. We've all likely seen Charlie Brown and his gang of irregulars discover that a decrepit looking tree can be made beautiful with effort and an excessive amount of decoration, the true meaning for them was that they accept the day as a day to not look down on or ignore the impoverished. Whether or not they chose the best approach to deliver that message with what -- for me -- amounted to an extreme makeover to validate the notion of physical beauty is a completely different debate.

I see Christmas as an opportunity to learn from the excesses of others. As if I was wearing a badge of immunity, on the day of the purge. People rush to validate their principles and their traditions by buying material goods, claiming that their name is "Merry Christmas" at Starbucks, and perhaps they volunteer at a shelter to glow in an aura of self-indulgent generosity. I'm an Atheist who celebrates this day because I wouldn't want my friends and family to feel neglected, and because I honestly think that Jesus Christ existed and that he was a great person.

The creator of the short film I'm about to share -- Ryan Larkin -- was no stranger to a fundamental principle that I believe that Jesus Christ lived by, that there's no shame in poverty. Ryan Larkin was an eccentric person, to put it mildly. His young adult years were, in a word, "shameless". His animation was meant to startle his audience, and explore the differences between common folk when they're compared side by side. The content of these seemingly simple art projects were explicit enough to get some of his projects censored or outright banned by The National Film Board of Canada. It would have been impossible to share any of his early work on this forum without risking being banned, if it weren't for Ryan going through a paradigm shift of sorts in the early 2000s. His attitude toward art changed, and he began production of a short animated film titled "Spare Change".

Ryan wouldn't live to see his work finished. He developed lung cancer and passed away a year before his work was completed by the National Film Board of Canada. For me; the film depicts Ryan's perspective on the world around him long after waking up from the wet dream that was his young adult years. He was a man who could have enlightened the world with his knowledge, trapped in the body of a bum who depended on the generosity of random strangers. Giving, sharing, and seeing everyone as equal. That's not just a snippet from the Communist manifesto, that's the true meaning of Christmas.

Ryan Larkin - Spare Change

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Last edited by enviousdominous : 12-25-2017 at 02:35 AM.
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  #53  
Old 03-06-2018, 04:10 PM
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Cartoonists are a valuable source of positive morale for me. When I was a kid I could sit for hours and read comic panels depicting relatable characters getting into off-beat situations. One of my favorites, if not my absolute favorite, was Garfield.

The Garfield character became so popular for his creator, Jim Davis, that it made sense to animate his more popular adventures for tv specials. This was all prior to his Saturday morning cartoon show. Jim enjoyed putting Garfield into insanely comedic situations, and at one point he decided to create stories loosely related to Garfield that explored other types of artful storytelling.

Garfield: His 9 Lives was a tv special produced for CBS in 1988, based on a book of comics with the same name. The tv special deviated slightly from the book, and introduced a story that was absolutely breathtaking. The theme being that Garfield is revisiting his past lives to explain his character for his adoring audience. The story I'm referring to is Diana's Piano.

This story depicts a normal housecat who is a source of inspiration for her family. I'm amazed at how beautiful it is, and at how well it works with a compilation of short animated movies that invoke a wide variety of emotions.

Doug Frankel - Diana's Piano

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  #54  
Old 04-25-2018, 11:22 AM
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For a human being to achieve a state of higher sentience, they must develop a way to comprehend their surroundings in simple terms. We have a numbered system that owes itself to the mathematicians of ancient Mesopotamia. While most societies of the world invented or adopted a system where the number 10 would be the base from which we start counting from 1 to 9 again, the ancient Babylonians considered the number 60 to be a more substantial base.

Many systems we use today use the number 60 as a base or a strong reference point, how we measure time and degrees of a curve utilize 60 as a principle factor. There's a society called The Dozenal Society of America, and it's their goal to replace the base 10 system with a base 12 system. The numbers ten, eleven, and twelve would be replaced with, dek, el, and doh (respectively). Counting on one hand, you'd use the bones of your fingers to represent the values and your thumb to point to whichever value you intended to indicate.

This idea has been on the minds of mathematicians for as long as the base 10 system has existed, and it was explored in an episode of an educational animated show from 1973 called School House Rock. The episode titled "Little Twelve Toes" is my favorite of the series, and it was narrated and sung by a man named Bob Dorough. Bob Dorough passed on last Monday at the age of 94, and his many contributions to School House Rock are just a small fraction of the body of his work in music.

School House Rock produced 11 episodes, each episode focusing on a number. 1 and 10 were left out, likely because of how much focus those numbers already receive receive. This episode was animated by the late Rowland B. Wilson, who was most famous for his satirical cartoons from magazines like The New Yorker, Esquire, and Playboy.

Rowland B. Wilson - Little Twelve Toes

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  #55  
Old 05-04-2018, 02:24 PM
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Searching high and low for a vaguely remembered animated work can be a thrilling endeavor. I can say from first-hand experience that finding a hidden gem of an animated work from your past is an amazing feeling.

There was an animated film released in 1976 in the Czech Republic called "Clock Man". It's the story of a magician who goes to great lengths to teach a young girl the values of being honest with her mother. The most compelling thing about this film is the striking image of the Clock Man. I had never seen this film until recently, but it was referred to me as an example of how individuals had desperately sought it out with only a very vague impression of its plot. What haunted them mostly was the Clock Man, and they could only find closure after years of searching.

Dagmar Doubková - Clock Man

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  #56  
Old 06-28-2018, 04:09 PM
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enviousdominous enviousdominous is offline
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A word has been on my mind lately, and that word is "entropy". It represents the idea of a seemingly ordinary concept potentially falling into disarray over time, usually used as a negative concept.

Choas and disorder are frightening for those of us who grew up on the structure of society. I personally feel that we become complacent without being challenged by problems that seem way outside the norm of what we'd normally expect.

The Navajo would tell many tales of the Coyote, and how it sowed chaos. What's striking to me is that the tales aren't presented as though the Coyote is a villain, more like the Coyote is a welcome aspect of nature.

In the Navajo tale of "The Coyote and the Stars", a man is carefully designing the stars in the night sky to flawlessly resemble the animals of the land. The Coyote mocks him for being so careful, and taking so much time with his task. The Coyote abruptly snatches the stars, and tosses them into the sky. The man isn't upset, as the stars still vaguely resembled his design. The Coyote did not use any stars to create his own likeness, and is left with only one star to use for himself. This star was named The Monthless Star, as it was only visible a few days of the month. It is not known which star in our sky was the one recognized by the Navajo as the Monthless Star.

The following animated work is an interpretation of this story, created by Scottish animator Claire Stewart. Something to note is that this does not contain the Navajo language, or any dialogue at all. It is actually forbidden to tell these stories in the Navajo language when the frost isn't on the ground, between the 1st of September and the 30th of March is when it's allowed to tell these stories in the Navajo language. Please keep this in mind if you intend to reference Navajo stories of the Coyote on YouTube, and respect their traditions.

Claire Stewart - Coyote and the Stars

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Last edited by enviousdominous : 06-28-2018 at 04:13 PM.
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