To say nothing of the fur coat. Great pic over at The Lively Morgue.
Tom Scocca at Gawker:
Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of cynicism.
The practice of cynicism is smarm.
The piece is long and at times meandering, but it is decidedly important.
I haven’t published here in awhile and have thrown out too many drafts trying to explain why. Scocca gets it. Nails it.
The result of this approach, the Upworthy house style, is a coy sort of emulation of English, stripped of actual semantic content: This Man Removed the Specific and the Negative, and What Happened Next Will Astonish You. Even Upworthy’s fellow participants in the ongoing SEO race to the bottom are horrified. But it works, in the sense that people who do not want to think about actual things or read any information will reliably share Upworthy stories.
More content than ever is flung my way on a daily basis, yet most of it feels like junk. So I refrain. I disengage. I stop reading and, of late, writing. Because what’s the point?
There is far too much garbage in this world that I know far too much about. I feel like I’m doggy-paddling upstream.
This is a gross over-generalization. There is much great writing available to me, but the echo chamber of the Internet can overwhelm and disenfranchise. Yet when I keep quiet I am but an enabler of the proliferation of thoughtless nonsense.
So let me try, then, not to keep quiet.
I haven’t put it through its paces completely quite yet, but I have done a bit of testing of the biggest new feature (for me, at least) that Brett has long teased: Fountain preview is now built right into Marked. To test it out just open up any
.fountain document in it. Brett has added a slew of new tricks that were never possible with the original Fountain for Marked package, like pagination preview and solid print output. And because Brett has good taste Fountain preview defaults to using Courier Prime. Wise choice.
I do want to point out a few differences between the way Fountain in Marked 2 works compared to other apps.1
The first thing is the pagination. Brett’s pagination implementation is very elegant. Any Fountain document opened in Marked 2 will have a continuous scrolling page of text with a thin gray line denoting a page break. To the right of the gray line will be a page number. It gets out of your way but is still visible enough to give you an idea of where you are in your script. Printing will stick to these exact page breaks.
In my minimal testing, I’ve noticed that Marked 2 has slightly different pagination from Slugline and Highland, which both provide identical output. The discrepancy seems to come from the width of action blocks, which are slightly more narrow in Marked 2. As a result some action blocks appear longer, e.g. a four line block spills over to a fifth line.
This is an extremely minor difference, but for now, I’d go with printed output from either Slugline or Highland. That said, pagination is more important for producing a film than writing one; if you just want to write a screenplay then Marked does a bang-up job of previewing formatting for you. Quit whining about page numbers (, Jon,) and write your damn movie.
Marked 2’s Fountain support, out of the box, doesn’t support non-script elements, such as notes, sections and synopses. All of these elements get stripped when the document is opened in Marked. This makes a lot of sense since Marked provides final output preview, however I also think there is some value in seeing inline notes and structure. A toggle to see them would be nice, or at the very least have them parsed so that sections are navigable in the Table of Contents view.
As far as I can tell there are only two bits of the Fountain syntax that are currently unsupported: dual dialogue and centered text. Dual dialogue, I should mention, is technically supported in Marked 2’s built in Fountain parser, however it displays improperly. Try it. I’m sure this will get fixed in an update.
The biggest change I’d like to see to Marked 2’s Fountain implementation is for it to be more customizable. Custom CSS loading gets turned off when you load a
.fountain document. If you want to see, say sections and synopses, or you want to turn off bold slug lines in Marked, the only way to do it right now is to load your script with Fountain for Marked. And the only way to do that is to rename your document’s extension to anything other than
.fountain. Or keep using the original version of Marked, which is still available and supported.
One other customization niggle is the way Marked 2 loads Courier Prime. The app includes the regular and bold versions of the font, but neither the italic nor the bold italic versions. Italic text is rendered in Marked but it doesn’t load the beautiful italic glyphs designed by Alan Dague-Greene. There is no option to look for the font locally, which would be nice. But I’m weird.
Brett’s Fountain implementation is extremely sophisticated and an excellent addition to the plain text screenwriter’s tool belt. I’ve said nothing of the rest of the advantages Marked 2 has to offer, like deep analysis of word usage, keyword search and readability statistics. There are a million reasons you should go give Brett $12 for his app right now. Fountain is but one of them.
I still think it’s nuts that Fountain has an app ecosystem as big as it does these days.↩
There’s about a million miles between saying “I have no idea what I’m doing,” and “I’m making it up as I go.”
One of the rules I set for myself with Hindsight is that it’s not enough for me to find great articles that are one year old, but I have to actually read them. On a day to day basis I have no compunctions about linking to stories that look good that I may not have read all the way through, the idea being “here is something I think looks interesting and maybe you will, too” as opposed to “this is a fully vetted story.” But Hindsight is meant to be different.
This week I couldn’t find the time to sit myself down and read the articles I had planned on publishing in Hindsight 3. More accurately I didn’t find the time; I probably could have. As a result I don’t have a fully fleshed out edition this week.
But I want to talk a bit about what that means. More than usual this week I felt rushed around, consumed by the Internet, quickly devouring any and all current stories I could. This week was a great reading week for me; I feel rather informed right now. Yet I am overloaded. I started the Hindsight series specifically to get away from this feeling of being overwhelmed.
Still, I think it’s important not to skip a week. In lieu of a full fledged Hindsight I want to share with you just three stories. There’s always next week. And there’s always next year.
Hindsight 3 — September 9 - 15, 2012
“You’re Young. I’m 18. So what?” by Jared Erondu, The Industry, September 14th, 2012
It really amazes me how much the world focuses on one’s age and degree(s). Even more so than skill and personality, the most important factors. But today, for my birthday, I’ll try to debunk the silly notion of age > skill.
In junior high I started a business making photo montages on videotape using PowerPoint. I remember how tough it was to convince people I could reliably deliver a product, how embarrassed I was to take initiative and treat my work like a “real” business.
Erondu expresses everything I felt back then. For his 18th birthday last year, he decided to quit being ashamed of his youth and embrace it. There are great lessons in his piece for readers of any age.
“Beyond the Matrix” by Aleksandar Hemon, The New Yorker, September 10th, 2012
In the Wachowskis’ work, the forces of evil are often overwhelmingly powerful, inflicting misery on humans, who maintain their faith until they’re saved by an unexpected miracle. The story of the making of “Cloud Atlas” fits this narrative trajectory pretty well.
“The Devil on Paradise Road” by Bruce Barcott, Outside, September 12th, 2012
It started as a bluebird New Year’s Day in Mount Rainier National Park. But when a gunman murdered a ranger and then fled back into the park’s frozen backcountry, every climber, skier, and camper became a suspect—and a potential victim.
I didn’t read the above two pieces for the reasons laid out at the top of this piece. I hope to soon and wanted to make sure you, the reader, had the opportunity to check out some (presumably great) pieces from last year.
Until next week…
iOS 7, the A7, and the camera sensor work in tandem to capture more light, process information such as closed eyes and movements, and then present it through the interface. When using an iPhone, the user only knows that the 5s takes better photos with cool new features.
If you only read one iPhone 5s piece, make it this one.
It wasn’t easy to set aside the week’s biggest news and take myself back to September 2012, but once I did it reminded me why I started this project in the first place. I missed each of the stories below when they were originally published this week last year, probably because I was devouring every last nibble of campaign trail nonsense.
My focus in the present is on potential US involvement in Syria. Looking back on this week next year, who knows what will have passed me by as I mire in (admittedly consequential) current events. It was nice to shift my attention away from the stories that attract the most noise.
So enjoy this collection of four stories from last year and one that’s a decade old. I sure did.
Hindsight 2 — September 2 - 8, 2012
“The House That Hova Built” by Zadie Smith, The New York Times, September 6, 2012
The rapper Memphis Bleek, who has known Jay-Z since Bleek himself was 14, confirms this impression: “He had a sense of calm way before music. This was Jay’s plan from day one: to take over. I guess that’s why he smiles and is so calm, ’cause he did exactly what he planned in the ’90s.” And now, by virtue of being 42 and not dead, he can claim his own unique selling proposition: he’s an artist as old as his art form. The two have grown up together.
The best bits in Zadie Smith’s profile aren’t about Jay Z1 at all; they’re about hip-hop and America.
“At sea for science” by Maggie Koerth-Baker, Boing Boing, September 5, 2012
In a lot of ways, the Joides Resolution is like the research stations in Antarctica. Truly an international effort—”more international than the International Space Station,” as Richard Norris put it—it’s also interdisciplinary. Scientists literally cannot do this kind of work on their own. In order for a science team of 30-some people to function, they have to work alongside 20 technicians and more than 70 crew members, including cooks, electricians, and welders. It creates a different sort of community and a different sort of environment than what you’d find in a lab on land.
Lab culture is an interesting enough beast on dry land. I can hardly imagine what it’s like at sea, but then again I get impatient on ferry rides. Maggie Koerth-Baker talks to the crew of the Joides Resolution about their expedition in a one hour podcast.
“Reporting Poverty” by Emily Brennan, Guernica, September 4, 2012
In my kind of work, you don’t parachute in after some big, terrible event, which is important and has to be covered, but offers only a glimpse. It’s the kind of work in which you ask, what is my understanding of how the world works, and where can I go to see these questions get worked out in individuals’ lives?
The journalist Katherine Boo talks about her process with Emily Brennan and about her reporting from a Mumbai slum. I especially like her take, later, on the ethics of reporting on the plight of others to sell magazines: “…if writing about people who are not yourself is illegitimate, then the only legitimate work is autobiography; and as a reader and a citizen, I don’t want to live in that world.”
“Why didn’t CNN’s international arm air its own documentary on Bahrain’s Arab Spring repression?” by Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian, September 4, 2012
On 19 June 2011 at 8pm, CNN’s domestic outlet in the US aired “iRevolution” for the first and only time. The program received prestigious journalism awards, including a 2012 Gold Medal from New York Festival’s Best TV and Films. […]
Despite these accolades, and despite the dangers their own journalists and their sources endured to produce it, CNN International (CNNi) never broadcast the documentary. Even in the face of numerous inquiries and complaints from their own employees inside CNN, it continued to refuse to broadcast the program or even provide any explanation for the decision. To date, this documentary has never aired on CNNi.
Glenn Greenwald became a household name over the summer with his continuing coverage of former Edward Snowden’s cache of NSA documents, but he has been relentlessly been covering government and media hypocrisy for years. Dollars to doughnuts much of the criticism Greenwald receives from other journalists is directly related to pieces like this one. Further Reading: The same day as the above article, Greenwald dove deep into CNN’s government sponsorships and the seemingly better coverage a regime can buy with it.
“One More Vital Pagan Orgy / Sex, drugs and glow sticks: Our columnist survives yet another Burning Man, perspective intact” by Mark Morford, SFGate, September 3, 2003
OK look. Burning Man is not an orgy. It’s not a sweetly blasphemous pagan love-fest. It’s not a giant drunken drug-addled overly hot week-long rave party with lots of beer and margaritas and bikes and exposed nipples and unshowered flesh and flashing shiny things and dust and crazy nouveau idealistic neo-hippies and breathtaking starlight. Not solely, anyway.
Mark just filed a story from his “10th burn” yesterday. Odd that he now recommends downloading an iOS app for the fest he described a decade ago as an “art-filled dust-drunk city in the middle of nowhere sans money sans phones sans work sans rules…”
Photo Credit: “Mumbai graffiti”, Lindsay Loebig, September 6, 2012
In Fountain, character names consist of a single line in all caps following a new empty line. Jonathan wanted a workflow that would capture a characters name as a snippet so it could be easily reused after the first time it was created. I came up with this workflow to create something similar.
Come for the workflow, stay for the workflow building and Python tutorial. Gabe is great at explaining code in plain English.
Affiliate link. I thank you in advance.↩
Tim Barribeau at Imaging Resource:
The folks at Ilford, makers of black-and-white film and papers, have opened up a lab in California, and will turn their expertise to developing and printing your film for you.
Prints and scans by mail; 35mm and medium formats; black and white, C-41 and E-6. $16 gets you a low-res scan, and $10 more gets you a 4492x6774 87+ MB JPEG of each frame.
I miss my Nikon FM2N.
(via Boing Boing.)