Monday, January 26, 2015

Update 18

So, I'm intently typing away, and suddenly I come to the point where I'm supposed to explain my theory of life, the universe, and everything. Well, it isn't my theory, it has grander origins than that. But, it is the theory that my little book presumes when discussing pop-culture and its purpose and whether some particular piece of it is any good.
This is Pascal, by the way. I've included him for visual
interest.

I came to this point and the first thing I thought to do was to begin arguing for the theory; laying out evidence and so on that show the theory to be true. Then I stopped, because I realized I had to choose which arguments to use, and which to leave unspoken. (This theory, being true, has a number of arguments in its favor). This stalled me a bit. Then I got to thinking a little more, and wondered whether I should argue for it at all.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Update 17

Progress Report

Well, to spite getting a stomach flu, I did get some work done on the book this past week. Because I'm laying out specific blocks on time for uninterrupted work, I've begun to move more quickly. I'm not getting more writing finished, but I'm getting more started, by which I mean that I get a first, rough draft of something out on paper (up on the screen?) and move on to the next rather than lingering on it and agonizing over it. I might have to make more passes (I doubt it) but even if that's true, I have more to make passes on, yes?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Update 16

Progress Report
This is what I looked like today. It was incredibly romantic.
You should have been there.

I'm still writing a book! It's been a lovely week at home with my wife and the kids, and now that Jack is more than a week old I'm picking up steam again.

I'm trying out a new method of organizing my time when it comes to writing. Today was the first experiment, and it went pretty well. Not as efficient as I had imagined it, but so far I chalk that up to imperfect execution, rather than a fault in the system. Practice, practice, practice. 

It's amazing how much the mind really feels like a muscle. Lack of exercise makes it weak. You can strain it, clench it, pace yourself when using it. Fascinating.


© 2015 John Hiner III



Monday, January 5, 2015

Pop-culture and Kids: a brief reflection

My son was born on the 2nd of January. So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I have decided to write a little about what I think children and pop-culture have to do with each other. Also, as a side-effect of this momentous occasion, I have not been working on an article this past week. So, please cut me some slack if this seems a little hasty or unpolished. 

I, for one, think I have a reasonable and charming excuse; his name is Jack.

Many many things that are undeniably part of pop-culture are directed towards children. These things are also undeniably made by adults. This fact: that things made for children are made by adults, has often impressed me and made me wonder as I walk down the toy aisle at Wal-Mart of somewhere similar. 
Though it's a mixed bag, I've enjoyed me some Adventure Time.
But showing it to my young son and daughter? This suggestion gives serious
pause.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Update 15 - Merry Christmas!

Hey guys,

It's been Christmas vacation. I haven't been writing stuff. I've been playing with my daughter, playing with my toys, watching movies, and drinking beers. You should be too (differing in particulars perhaps, but the same categorically).

However, I will take this time for a brief reflection. Some people make the yearly lament that Christmas has become too commercial and materialistic. I will not deny this entirely. But, there is a difference between material things, and materialism.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Update 14

Progress Report

As promised, here is a sample taken from the end of the first part of part one. You may or may not recognize it, as it's a re-working of my series on Art.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Update 13 - Modern Art and Pop-culture

Some Thoughts

Last week, I mentioned the possibility of writing an article about the Albright-Knox gallery. I'm still thinking about it. But something interesting did occur to me on the subject.
It seems to me that pop-culture, at least in visual aesthetic, is closer to an older western sensibility than modern art is.


Take these three images: a landscape painted by Albert Bierstadt in the 1800's, a painting by Jackson Pollock, and a search result for "Shadow of Mordor wallpaper" on Google.
The first two are paintings by highly regarded artists. The third depicts a character and a setting from the story-line of a video game derived from a seminal work of high fantasy - the pop-culture is several layers deep there.

And yet, which of these three is not like the others?

Something being popular doesn't necessarily mean it's good. But, something being esoteric or unpopular doesn't necessarily mean it's good either. 

Jackson Pollock's paintings hang on gallery walls, but millions and millions of people enjoy The Lord of the Rings and play video games that look like that third picture there. I mean hey, guess which one's my desktop background?

Worth pondering.

Progress Report

I've made some good progress hammering out the first section of the book using large swaths of text from my already existing articles. More to do though. I promise I'll have a sample or something for you next week, k?

© 2014 John Hiner III