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Showing posts from February, 2012

Cookie Trail

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One of the most amazing chapters of my time at CTV Edmonton was a convergence culture moment. The term convergence culture is Henry Jenkins's, and it refers loosely to the meanings created when established media collide with new media. My up-close view of this came in the Duckett Cookie Episode, when then (and that's not a throwaway adjective in this case) Alberta Health Service CEO Stephen Duckett chose not to answer reporters' questions. 


The questions, as it turned out, were about whether he would answer questions, whether he thought he should stop to talk about emergency room wait times. CTV posted the video of that encounter to YouTube. Hundreds of thousands of people viewed the video, thousands commented, scores created mashups. The premier told the legislature that he thought everyone had seen the video. Duckett was subsequently fired. It is not the firing that is of interest to me. Who knows? It may have been politically motivated, and had nothing to do with converg…

Peace of Mind!

Here is a short video showing the boys at their best!

Lost in space

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I have started this sentence three times. The first time, it was a reference to my friend, CTV reporter Bill Fortier, and the sentence was going to refer to his commitment to proper spelling. But I couldn't think my way out of that sentence (I love that sense of sentence, actually, because it captures what it's like to feel imprisoned by the written word), so I abandoned it by pressing the DELETE button 10 or 12 times. 
Then, I re-started the sentence, this time by referring to what it's like to be married to an editor, and how that changes the way you read and re-read for spelling errors. But that was silly. Not being married to an editor, don't get me wrong. I just couldn't think my way out of that one, either. DELETE, DELETE, DELETE, DELETE, etc....
And that got me thinking about the DELETE key. It's like time travel. With a flash of a finger up to the top right of the keyboard it's possible to zip back into the recent past and re-do your thoughts, re-work…

The Cook

Somewhere in some poem by Seamus Heaney is a scene from the poet's memory where he is watching a woman in his family (his mother? aunt? grandmother? My power of recall is fading!) perform a mundane task in the kitchen. She is cooking or canning or jarring. The poem builds to its teaching, which is that that is what love looks like. Or something like that.
I have retreated to that image many times, because I don't trust the images from advertising and celebrity culture that purport to show us what love looks like. 
And I have used that half-remembered poem fragment to make sense of what I see every day in the kitchen in my house, where Shelagh, my wife, loves our little family into existence according to an ancient recipe. 
I am no moviemaker, but I wanted to try to capture that reality as she made meatballs yesterday. 


The Descendants

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The long closing shot in The Descendants -- George Clooney's Matt King and daughters Alex and Scottie are sitting on the couch watching television -- reverses, albeit briefly,  the motion of the archipelago on which they live.

A family feels exactly like an archipelago, King observes. Separate but part of a whole, and always drifting slowly apart.



Here, the family rereassembles and sits together on the couch, sharing a blanket reminiscent of the shape of Diamond Head. 

Breakdowns come, breakdowns go...

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This is something that intrigues me:

"A breakdown is not a negative situation to be avoided, but a situation of non-obviousness, in which the recognition that something is missing leads to unconcealing...some aspect of the network of tools that we are engaged in using. A breakdown reveals the nexus of relations necessary for us to accomplish our task."



The quote is from an excerpt from Using Computers: A Direction for Design by Terry Winograd and Fernando Flores included in The New Media Reader that is the assigned text for a communications elective I am taking in the MACT program at UAlberta.