Top TenIt’s kind of interesting to me, the way compiling links really does provide a window into what’s kicking around my head. Admittedly, there are only ten, and though they do represent things that interested or amused me over the last couple of weeks, there are links that don’t make the cut because they’re not of broad enough interest (I care about the best build for a Guardian in Guild Wars 2, but I don’t kid myself that anyone else does), or the content is intriguing but poorly executed (this happens constantly). So here we go.

1. Satoshi Kon – Editing Space and Time. I saw Perfect Blue some years ago. I enjoyed it, but found it a little confusing and odd. I’d like to see it, again. I liked Paprika, and next on my list is definitely Tokyo Godfathers. Editing is one of those things that I only notice if it’s terrible, so I found this video fascinating. It’s kind of sobering to think that there are whole worlds of technique that I don’t “see” the way I see story, because I’m not attuned to them.

2. Frankenstein – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis. I know that I need to stop posting Thug Notes, but they’re so awesome, and Frankenstein seemed like a fair cop. Truth be told, I can’t watch Thug Notes without smiling and laughing. You get to revisit something you’ve read (or haven’t) and see it in another light. Go spend an hour or two working through these videos.

3. The rise and fall of Vampira, dark goddess of horror. I grew up watching creature features, sometimes on Saturdays, and sometimes late at night. My host was Son of Svengoolie (no link – I don’t like to provide links other than the Top Ten in the Top Ten), but I had a sort of DNA-level knowledge of Vampira. The birth of the creature feature host is an interesting story, with a sort of cool, underground vibe to it. I’m going to have to check out the author’s book at some point.

4. Margaret Atwood’s new work will remain unseen for a century. Ah, Peggy – is there nothing she can’t do? Seriously, though, this is an interesting idea – a sort of time capsule. Of course, cynic that I am, I can’t shake the thought that no one will be around to open it, or when they do, they’ll say “who?” This isn’t a slam on Atwood, whose work I like, it’s just a comment on the whimsical nature of celebrity, and changing style. How many authors from 100 years ago can you name?

5. The Lost Art of Candor in the Workplace. I’m a big fan of transparency in general, and in the workplace, specifically. I’ve seen too many projects wrecked because people are afraid to tell the truth – it happens all the time. Sometimes it’s about blame, sometimes it’s about avoiding conflict, and sometimes it’s about the culture: if you’re the only guy telling the truth, telling the truth is likely to get you in trouble. The importance of honest dialogue is a lesson that every individual, and every community, needs to learn.

6. Honest Trailers – Godzilla (2014). Well, you know – I loves my kaiju; pretty much anything Godzilla-related I’m going to dig. Combine that with Honest Trailers, which are usually pretty funny, and you’re going to get something I like. Also, the opportunity to vent about the fact that Bryan Cranston is not really in the movie can’t be passed up: Godzilla had one of the worst bait-and-switch marketing campaigns I’ve ever seen. The movie was okay, though – I didn’t realize that the guy I registered as “no-name soldier guy” was the guy from Kick-Ass!

7. Humans Need Not Apply. Lately I’ve had Robots and transhumanism on my mind. I think part of it is just wanting cool things to happen, even if they ultimately end up destroying us. The idea of massive unemployment because of robots is pleasantly dystopian: I mean, you know rich people will be doing fine, and it’ll be the middle class that gets the heave ho. Can I just jump ahead a few hundred years, to when no one needs to work, at all?

8. A Look at the New Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook. Look, I want to go back in time, okay? I want to reel in the years to a time when I could spend 8 hours every Sunday drinking Coke, eating donuts, and playing Dungeons and Dragons. I don’t know if I’ll get to revisit this part of my life: I don’t know who I would (or want to) play with, and I don’t have time to design anything, but… I can’t quite let it go. Can I be a teenager, again?

9. I Am Not Broken: The Language of Disability. I’ve thought a lot in the last few years about what “normal” means. Culturally, there’s always going to be a normal: I don’t think that human beings are able to hold the level of nuance and complexity in their heads that would allow them to constantly process different shades and varieties. We group things into categories  for easy processing – it’s what we do – and along the way cause all sorts of problems. I think that the best we can manage is to recognize that tendency, consciously push back when confronted with difference, and recognize that “normal” is something we imagine to make things easier, sometimes at great cost.

10. Galaxy Song – Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. An oldie but a goody. I can’t remember what put this in my mind, but like a lot of people, little bits of media are floating around my head constantly, and I often have the urge to respond to something with a line from The Simpsons, that no one but me will get. Sometimes I do, if I think it’s innocuous enough. Often I ignore that impulse, because it would be obnoxious, or require an explanation. At any rate, it came up, and here it is. Seriously – we’re still catching up to Monty Python.