Monday, October 9, 2017

Spare Me the Narration, Please

Knowing that I’m someone who loves photography and photographs one might think that I also enjoy videos, but I don’t.  I don’t like videos on Facebook.  I don't like them when I'm checking the news.  I don’t like vlogs.  I don’t like listening to a YouTube DIY or product review, (especially when it’s narrated by somebody who sounds like the local motel owner).  I have the attention span of a dog or worse, so I’m not going to plod through anybody’s “slice of life” clip with rapt attention.  If you’re one of the scooter bloggers I follow, I might have noticed that you’ve mentioned the idea of tinkering with video now and then, and I hope and pray that your wonderful blog never turns into a vlog.

I find that a still photograph allows me to enter the scene that’s captured in it in my own mind in a way that a video doesn’t allow me to do.  A video ruins a view of something for me with somebody’s incessant yapping away about what’s being seen and it doesn’t allow me to experience the view in my own way.  The videographer suggests or outright tells me what I should see, rather than allowing me to simply see what he’s showing me.  I find the intrusion of his voice to be obnoxious as if were he yelling out in a church or a library.  Imagine if a visit to a museum came with the artist accompanying you to each of his works and telling you what you should be seeing in his creations.  It would make his works of Art much the less if he failed to communicate what he wanted you to feel in the artworks themselves.

 Enjoy your ride, but please don't narrate it on my account.

Too often a video narrator has diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of ideas.  He finds the need to keep on yammering even if his thoughts aren’t well formed and he ends up seeming to be talking for the sake of talking.  All that unnecessary yakking detracts from the view, rather than adding to it in a good way.  Now add the buzz of a scooter or the roar of a motorcycle in the background of everything that’s being said?  No, thank you!
I like to read someone’s thoughts.  To read them; not hear them.  Written thoughts are generally well put together because they’re not usually just spewed out off the cuff, or off the tongue as it were.  They often involve the use of the delete and backspace keys, both of which are used about as often when I’m writing as the space bar.  They’re polished in a way that extemporaneous speech typically isn’t, and they serve a purpose other than simply allowing the narrator to enjoy the sound of his own voice.  I can usually read the printed word a whole lot faster than I can listen to the same words being spoken, especially when the speaker is breaking up his sentences with a bunch of pauses, ums, and ers while he thinks of what’s going to be spoken next.  Most importantly, though, I can process written words more thoroughly when I can allow my brain to soak them up and reread them if necessary.

 No, sir, I'm not going to listen.  I want to read!

So, if you’re a successful blogger, I encourage you for my sake to keep on being one rather than giving posting videos any serious consideration.  Old Yeller here probably isn’t going to give your vids a listen, though admittedly with some degree of regret for what he might be missing.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

And the Goblins Will Git Ya

Halloween is a day that I’ve had mixed feelings about all my life.  There are those who consider it the best holiday, including my daughter who opted for a Halloween wedding, and then there those of us like myself who remain at best ambivalent about the whole thing.  I’ll never consider it a holiday because I don’t know any work places at which it’s a day off.  And my parents’ practice of darkening the house on Halloween evening lest they have to open the door and distribute treats to kids in costumes made it more funereal than anything else when I was a kid, not to mention that my sister and I weren’t allowed to go “Trick or Treating” except to a few old relatives’ houses to which our dad drove us.

I probably have more use for the day now than I did for most of my life.  Well, at least for the decorations which I enjoy seeing probably way more than an almost 60 year old man should.  There’s just something about a house that’s all “done up” for Halloween that gives me the kind of delight I missed out on as a kid, and I’ve been riding the scooter all around the valley for the past week or so with my camera on a lanyard so I can stop almost on a dime whenever see a photo worthy house to get a picture.  I’ve been sharing most of them on Facebook where I can simply post the pictures without having to come up with some words to go along with them.

Which leaves me wondering why every now and then I keep coming back here to put down some words.  I’ve given up on trying to write anything profound these days and settle for cranking out what’s more or less raw emotion at times for the sake of having something to write.  I don’t know what’s changed in me, exactly, that would account for my lack of ambition in sharing my thoughts.  I find myself wanting to write – to share the part of myself that I enjoyed sharing when I started this endeavor, but I’ve almost come to feel that I ain’t got anything worth sharing left in me.

I’ll keep looking around that next bend in the road to find things to write.  Even if nothing more than Halloween comes around to kick me in the ass and get me moving.  Maybe if a monster or two were to chase me.  Then again, I don’t really want to think about that closet door at the foot of my bed when I was of preschool age.  Or what I thought lived in it.
My bed was against this wall until I was in the fourth grade.  I slept with my knees tucked under my chin because I knew if that door were to open the monster that feeds exclusively on little boys' feet would pounce on me in a heartbeat.  I didn't need Halloween.  My imagination was sufficient to terrify me and without the benefit of candy to make it all worth it.