I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.
"We have a word for that in Japanese," he said. "It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”
Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?
"I don’t think it’s like the pillow word." He clapped his hands three or four times. "The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness. But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.
”—Rogert Ebert, on Hayao Miyazaki (via figureight)
So yeah a ton of those documentary-anthropology shows are editing out things that don’t fit their idea of “primitive” and then ramble on and on about how “primitive” the people they’re following around with cameras are.
It’s total bullshit.
"In places like Bali, native villages have resorted to ‘staged authenticity’ (hiding televisions and swapping T-shirts for traditional ‘ethnic’ outfits when tour buses show up) to maintain a tourism-dependent economy. Granted, Balinese villagers are just as Balinese when dressed in blue jeans, but that simply doesn’t jibe with the fickle market demands of ethno-tourism. Consequently, we end up with these surreal scenarios, wherein tourists from Los Angeles will travel to Thailand to see modern Hmong peoples, yet those same tourists would never think to visit a community of similarly modern Hmong people in Los Angeles… many ethno-tourists aren’t traveling the world to interact with people—they’re traveling the world to interact with clothing.” —Rolf Potts
I remember when I was reading that story as a kid, Sherlock goes on and on about The Woman, the only one who ever beat him, and you’re thinking, he’s had better villains than this. And then you click: he fancies her, doesn’t he? That’s what it’s about.
In the original stories, Adler wasn’t a plot device, she was the adversary in the mystery that matched wits with Holmes, outsmarted him, and that he respects greatly at the end. While she’s still a character in the story, she doesn’t exist for Holmes, and she comes up with a solution to the dilemma that’s actually superior to his.
But Moriarty existed purely as a device for Arthur Conan Doyle to get rid of Holmes. He had to create a reason for Holmes to be willing to sacrifice himself, so he created Moriarty who was given this big criminal past and was said to be super smart. The story itself really didn’t show him being particularly smart, and most of what sets him up is just told to us. At the end he ends up being tossed off a cliff by Holmes after Holmes has ruined his empire. He’s completely a plot device, his entire raison d’etre in the story is focused around Holmes, and to get ACD from point A to point B which is having Holmes die a hero’s death that hopefully the fans would accept. He wasn’t Lex Luthor, he was Doomsday.
Adler didn’t exist as a plot device, she didn’t revolve around Holmes, and she got what she wanted at the end. Moriarty existed just to facilitate Doyle getting rid of Holmes, everything he does in that story revolves around Holmes, and Holmes gets what HE wants at the end (even without Holmes coming back to life, it had already been established Holmes was prepared to die to get rid of Moriarty).
Yet in almost every adaptation, it’s the opposite. Adler is the plot device, she’s a romantic interest, she’s a hostage, she’s the fake out, she’s the bait, etc… and Moriarty is the active agent who is smarter than Holmes and outwits him (at least until he’s defeated) and that Holmes respects as an equal. Adler tends to exist for Holmes, revolves around Holmes, and Moriarty is the greater character with his own story.
The Moffat quote makes me suspect that a lot of boys (him included) grew up reading A Scandal in Bohemia, rolling their eyes and going “stupid chick, he probably let her go just because he likes her, why else would he think she’s so great?” while reading the much less fleshed out Moriarty who Holmes defeats and going “WOW WHAT A COOL BRILLIANT DUDE! HE’S SO SMART AND AWESOME. WHAT A WORTHY FOE.” Even though he’s not shown as being so, he’s just said to be so, but he’s a man and he captured the imaginations of boys reading the story, while she’s a woman and they fit her into a slot for women characters (and how women are seen in relation to men in society) and dismissed why she had won such profound respect from Holmes. So when they grew up and wrote the adaptations that now shape how people see these characters, their biases changed the way the characters were represented, and also the way people now see them.
“There’s a mosquito net maker in Africa. He manufactures around 500 nets a week. He employs ten people, who (as with many African countries) each have to support upwards of fifteen relatives. However hard they work, they can’t make enough nets to combat malaria-carrying mosquito.
Enter vociferous Hollywood movie star who rallies the masses, and goads Western governments to collect and send 100,000 mosquito nets to the afflicted region, at a cost of a million dollars. The nets arrive, the nets are distributed, and the ‘good deed’ is done.
With the market flooded with foreign nets, however, our mosquito net maker is promptly put out of business. His ten workers can no longer support their 150 dependents (who are now forced to depend on handouts), and one mustn’t forget that in a maximum of five years the majority of the imported nets will be torn, damaged and of no further use.”—
Dambisa Moyo, an excerpt from Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa (2009) via seetheworldanew (via pritheworld)
A reminder to take a long term view to problems. And always one that promotes development, not dependency.
i’m not even religious but this reminds me of that teach a man to fish thing and like how people know how to sustain themselves but we aren’t allowing them too or taking away that ability often while preaching “christian values”
“Because that’s the thing about Scooby-Doo: The bad guys in every episode aren’t monsters, they’re liars.
I can’t imagine how scandalized those critics who were relieved to have something that was mild enough to not excite their kids would’ve been if they’d stopped for a second and realized what was actually going on. The very first rule of Scooby-Doo, the single premise that sits at the heart of their adventures, is that the world is full of grown-ups who lie to kids, and that it’s up to those kids to figure out what those lies are and call them on it, even if there are other adults who believe those lies with every fiber of their being. And the way that you win isn’t through supernatural powers, or even through fighting. The way that you win is by doing the most dangerous thing that any person being lied to by someone in power can do: You think.”—Ask Chris #81: Scooby-Doo and Secular Humanism (via meiringens)