This weekend I stumbled upon Procreate for the iPad. If you haven’t heard of it before, imagine Photoshop’s basic features in a program that goes for only $6.00. It has layers (though you are limited to about 3 total) with the same adjustments available (multiply, darken, etc.). You also have the outline tool, transform capability, opacity, undo, and much more. Add in the fact you draw with your hands or a stylus instead of clicking a mouse- mind-blowing. Unfortunately I have the iPad 2 and as far as I am aware, it doesn’t allow pressure sensitive tools which would be great but it’s still a handy program.
But while researching Procreate and stylus tools I came across another program that I experimented with over the weekend and enjoyed just as much: Poser. Poser is a 3D application for your desktop that allows you to pose computerized humans with complete camera angle command. The control panels are a bit daunting but with a little playing around and tutorial watching I was able to find my way. The benefits of this are huge as a reference source. I haven’t tried it out too much but I hope Poser will be a go-to for tricky angles.
The headline we are all waiting to hear.
But as of today, the where and how of the plane’s discovery is still a mystery. It’s been one month since flight 370 disappeared and with that question mark ever floating, the deliberation has prompted a treatment reserved for school shootings. One where a rumor mill/media circus props up its tents inviting every wacko they can muster together to present their sideshow of predictions. A few potential exhibits already in town:
a) A Bermuda Triangle/Blackhole/ Alien Abduction type scenario.
b) Pilot suicide.
d) Russia diverting attention from Crimea.
e) USA shooting down the plane due to top-secret documents onboard.
f) China shooting down the plane due to a large amount of anti-communist party members onboard.
Speculation is a reaction to an emotional response. Like when a republican’s head explodes after you tell him the Iraq war was a mistake (Though let’s not rule out lasers on this one too). Using rational is something we save for math class and legal proceedings, not for missing Malaysian planes or trench coat mafia attacks. When we broach a subject from an emotional center everything turns into grandeur.
For example, a man from the Midwest built crosses bearing the name of everyone who died at Columbine High School. He brought them to Colorado shortly after the shooting and put them up as a temporary shrine. People loved them. However two of the crosses one father forcibly destroyed. The names Dylan and Eric were upon them. Now the man who made these crosses constructed them based on rational. Fifteen people died. Fifteen crosses. All fifteen, regardless of who they were, had parents and/or relatives devastated by the attack. But to the families of thirteen of the victims a very visible line differentiated two of them.
You see, you can argue with rational. But you can’t argue with an emotion. Every one of the flight 370 speculations listed above is fueled by an emotion in some form. Maybe you have a fear of the unknown, or a big brother complex, maybe a deep-seated mistrust in other people or….lasers.
My belief? That the Hindu god, Ganesh, needed to escape to space and he commandeered the plane to exit earth’s atmosphere. Below is a mug shot of the person I believe we are looking for. And please. Don’t attempt to rationalize whether this is true. Because it is.
It’s not every day that we are needed.
This is the quote by Samuel Beckett that precedes the novel “Hologram for a King” written by Dave Eggers. If he had chosen to omit it and let the reader wander unfocused through the story I don’t think the desired effect would have been achieved. Hologram for a King is about Alan Clay, a man that used to run a bike manufacturing company in the Midwest that closed its doors after outsourcing. He lives in an empty house and watches old Red Sox DVDs. His neighbor after discovering transcendentalism walks into a lake and kills himself. His wife left him and he can’t help his daughter pay for college. At the beginning of the story Alan is headed to Saudi Arabia to sell King Abdullah a hologram for his King Abdullah Economic City. In 352 pages Alan waits for this king to show up- giving a second nod to Beckett’s classic, “Waiting for Godot.” And then it ends very open-ended but in line with the epithet.
Eggers litters his writing with echoes of Beckett’s bywords either with parallels to an eroding American economy or straightforward statements such as when Alan is writing his daughter and says “People think you’re able to help them and usually you can’t and so it becomes a process of choosing the one or two people you try hardest not to disappoint.”
Despite Dave’s intentions, this fundamental theme is lost by a large amount of readers as portrayed by the Amazon comments. It’s as if everyone vaulted past the epithet and began tearing through a book with the expectation of a unique character in a unique situation attempting to solve unique problems. But that’s not what this book is about.
Amazon quotes I found:
“I found the book depressing and often boring.”
“The main character wasn’t very likable to me, and I found myself irritated with his choices.”
“The story is rambling and nonsensical, with no real direction or purpose.”
This is a book about objects of importance losing their significances. It’s about becoming a thing of the past. After I finished reading it, yes, I felt it fell short of his previous works or what a story typically provides a reader, but the more I went back to the epithet the more it made sense.
My epithet for Sacco:
“If you told me nothing has a meaning you would be right, but something still has a meaning.” –Albert Camus
I chose it meticulously and with much thought because I wanted it to reflect the larger themes I was exploring. It took me six years to find a sufficient ending and a suitably longer time to find the beginning. But the beginning and ending, as it should be, are the hardest to write- they’re the bookends so to speak. And unlike Hologram for a King I hope people don’t tear through it and not see the direction and purpose.