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OCCULTURE: 66. Gordon White in “Breaking Kayfabe” // Ursula Le Guin, Dragons & the Story Shape of the 21st Century
"If ya hit the ol’ play button on this one, it’s probably because of the name in the title. Gordon White is in the house. Mr. White as he’s known in the metafiction that is our current cultural narrative. But Mr. White is no reservoir dog in this story. He’s the Humphrey Bogart of High Magic, the main mage behind the oh-so-popular Rune Soup blog and podcast. You’ve read it, you’ve heard it. And if ya haven’t, well, you’re in for quite the trip on this here starship.

Gordon’s mind is a cabinet of curiosities and we pull out quite a bit of them here, including how we can rearrange our reality, the magic of fiction, artistic impulses, Game of Thrones, a game of tomes, and if ya ever wanted to hear Gordon White speak in pro wrestling terminology, well, there’s a bit of that too.

So let’s do this damn thing already and cast this pod off deep into the primordial chaos, where the protocols of the elder scrolls read more like a legend on a map of Middle Earth than they do a plan of global domination."
gordonwhite  fiction  fantasy  novels  art  makingart  magic  myth  mythology  belief  creativity  ryanpeverly  nonfiction  stories  storytelling  change  homer  bible  truth  ursulaleguin  2018  occulture  westernthought  carljung  josephcampbell  starwars  culture  biology  nature  reality  heroesjourney  potency  archetypes  dragons  odyssey  anthropology  ernestodimartino  religion  christianity  flow  taoism  artmagic  artasmagic  magicofart  permaculture  plants  housemagic  love  death 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Allen Tan on Twitter: "whaaat this is awesome https://t.co/CGyXfFlqAs"
"whaaat this is awesome
["Nintendo is making a bunch of weird DIY cardboard toys for the Switch and they’re awesome" https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/17/16900496/nintendo-switch-labo-cardboard-diy-accessories-announced-price-release-date , see also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3Bd3HUMkyU ]

so exciting to see the switch be the culmination of weird things that nintendo has been trying to push all its life

like they have been trying to do one-off controllers for F O R E V E R

all right, y’all need to know about some amazing historical examples of cardboard toys

STRAP IN

first of all, @LangeAlexandra wrote a book about some of this stuff

["All the people in my tl going nuts for the Nintendo cardboard kids. Buy them, then go buy “Cardboard Carpentry” or “Nomadic Furniture” or other literature from the 1970s heyday of cardboard creativity.…"
https://twitter.com/LangeAlexandra/status/953759330893025281 ]

1/ ‘Big Jim was Mattel’s non-military version of GI Joe, a handsome guy with a partner named “Josh.” (made of vinyl and cardboard)’ https://www.motor1.com/news/71930/in-the-1970s-we-wanted-these-car-toys-for-christmas/

2/ In the early 70s Milton Bradley made 4 cardboard playsets ranging from SPACE to PLANET OF THE APES to a…HOUSE and, finally, MARVEL WORLD (feat all the characters you know, and more) https://flashbak.com/cardboard-universe-remembering-amsco-playsets-1970s-34930/

3/ and then when Star Wars came out they made the same thing but for the death star etc etc http://www.starwars.com/news/from-cardboard-space-stations-to-creature-cantinas-kenner-vintage-playsets-part-1

(even more photos: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/cardboard,playset/Interesting … )

4/ BEFORE THAT THOUGH, the 60s featured this cardboard fireplace set feat. a “realistic fireglow effect”

(it’s a fan)

5/ lastly, for the design nerds, Roger Limbrick, under the POLYPOPS brand, made 5 large-scale constructions that were meant for kids to crawl around in and move http://www.rogerlimbrick.info/119-polypops-cardboard-toys

“Roger was particularly interested in developing designs which produced movement and active play
in children […]

The design was made from one pre-punched and creased cardboard shape - 18 pieces
for self assembly by folding and interlocking. No glue”

uh, what else

oh, well, since you asked

6/ the 50s features this (life-sized, I think?) golf cart made of cardboard

(courtesy of this listings site: http://www.timewarptoys.com/products.php?cat=Toys1 )

7/ this cardboard whistle? accordion? idk
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Japan-Paper-Cardboard-Accordion-Toy-Works-Whistle-Sound-Clown-Porky-Pig/332523854554?hash=item4d6bf75ada:g:KG0AAOSw-RhaX5Ho

anyway, there’s lots more to find, if you’re willing to dig around ebay"
allentan  cardboard  toys  history  classideas  nintendo  2018  nintendoswitch  nintendolabo  rogerlimbrick  polypops  children  play  1960s  1970s  miltonbradley  starwars 
january 2018 by robertogreco
dani on Twitter: "It started with x+4... and I couldn’t unhear it. I was supposed to do my math homework but instead I figured out what the Cantina Theme wou… https://t.co/OkYdzAcuN9"
"It started with x+4... and I couldn’t unhear it.
I was supposed to do my math homework but instead I figured out what the Cantina Theme would sound like if your instrument was a pencil. (Volume all the way up)

With music for those wondering what the heck this is.
(Excuse my reddit tag, I wasn’t about to re-edit the video for Twitter, no sir)

Here’s the Imperial March my friends"
music  math  mathematics  fun  humor  sound  classideas  2018  starwars 
january 2018 by robertogreco
What to do when you're not the hero any more
"Let's not get carried away here. These stories and retellings are still exceptions. Women are still paid less, respected less and promoted less at almost every level of every creative industry. For every Jessica Jones there's a Daredevil, whose female characters exist solely to get rescued, provide the protagonists with some pneumatic exposition, or both. For every Orphan Black there's Mr Robot and Narcos and you know, sometimes I wonder if perhaps I watch too much television. The point is that what we have right now isn't equality yet. It's nothing like equality. But it's still enough to enrage the old guard because when you've been used to privilege, equality feels like prejudice.

The rage that white men have been expressing, loudly, violently, over the very idea that they might find themselves identifying with characters who are not white men, the very idea that heroism might not be particular to one race or one gender, the basic idea that the human story is vast and various and we all get to contribute a page - that rage is petty. It is aware of its own pettiness. Like a screaming toddler denied a sweet, it becomes more righteous the more it reminds itself that after all, it’s only a story.

Only a story. Only the things we tell to keep out the darkness. Only the myths and fables that save us from despair, to establish power and destroy it, to teach each other how to be good, to describe the limits of desire, to keep us breathing and fighting and yearning and striving when it'd be so much easier to give in. Only the constitutive ingredients of every human society since the Stone age.

Only a story. Only the most important thing in the whole world.

The people who are upset that the faces of fiction are changing are right to worry. It's a fundamental challenge to a worldview that's been too comfortable for too long. The part of our cultural imagination that places white Western men at the centre of every story is the same part that legitimises racism and sexism. The part of our collective mythos that encourages every girl and brown boy to identify and empathise with white male heroes is the same part that reacts with rage when white boys are asked to imagine themselves in anyone else’s shoes.

The problem - as River Song puts it - is that 'men will believe any story they're hero of,' and until recently that's all they've been asked to do. The Original Star Wars was famously based on Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey", the "monomyth" that was supposed to run through every important legend from the beginning of time. But it turned out that women had no place in that monomyth, which has formed the basis of lazy storytelling for two or three generations: Campbell reportedly told his students that "women don't need to make the journey. In the whole mythological journey, the woman is there. All she has to do is realise that she's the place that people are trying to get to".

Which is narratologist for "get back to the kitchen" and arrant bullshit besides. It's not enough to be a destination, a prop in someone else's story. Now women and other cultural outsiders are kicking back and demanding a multiplicity of myths. Stories in which there are new heroes making new journeys. This isn't just good news for steely-eyed social justice warriors like me. It also means that the easily bored among us might not have to sit through the same dull story structure as imagined by some dude in the 1970s until we die.

What does it mean to be a white cis boy reading these books and watching these new shows? The same thing it has meant for everyone else to watch every other show that’s ever been made. It means identifying with people who don’t look like you, talk like you or fuck like you. It’s a challenge, and it’s as radical and useful for white cis boys as it is for the rest of us - because stories are mirrors, but they are also windows. They let you see yourself transfigured, but they also let you live lives you haven’t had the chance to imagine, as many other lives as there are stories yet to be told, without once leaving your chair.

This isn’t just about "role models". Readers who are female, queer or of colour have been allowed role models before. What we haven’t been allowed is to see our experience reflected, to see our lives mirrored and magnified and made magical by culture. We haven’t been allowed to see ourselves as anything other than the exception. If we made it into the story, we were standing alone, and we were constantly reminded how miraculous it was that we had saved the day even though we were just a woman. Or just a black kid. Or just - or just,whatever it was that made us less than those boys who were just born to be heroes.

The people who get angry that Hermione is black, that Rey is a woman, that Furiosa is more of a hero than Mad Max, I understand their anger. Anyone who has ever felt shut out of a story by virtue of their sex or skin colour has felt that anger. Imagine that anger multiplied a hundredfold, imagine feeling it every time you read or watched or heard or played through a story. Imagine how over time that rage would harden into bewilderment, and finally mute acceptance that people like you were never going to get to be the hero, not really.

Then imagine that suddenly starting to change. Imagine letting out a breath you’d held between your teeth so long you’d forgotten the taste of air.

Capitalism is just a story. Religion is just a story. Patriarchy and white supremacy are just stories. They are the great organising myths that define our societies and determine our futures, and I believe - I hope - that a great rewriting is slowly, surely underway. We can only become what we can imagine, and right now our imagination is being stretched in new ways. We're learning, as a culture, that heroes aren't always white guys, that life and love and villainy and victory might look a little different depending on who's telling it. That's a good thing. It's not easy - but nobody ever said that changing the world was going to be easy.

I learned that from Harry Potter."
lauriepenny  privilege  feminism  starwars  2015  capitalism  inequality  gender  religion  patriarchy  whitesupremacy  madmax  josephcampbell  monomyths 
february 2016 by robertogreco
The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker: A Jedi’s Path to Jihad | Decider | Where To Stream Movies & Shows on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant, HBO Go
"With the imminent release of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, many theatergoers are re-watching the original movies to reacquaint themselves with those stories from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. This time, however, they may find themselves surprised by how much the film’s characters and themes echo the current War On Terror.

While some have put forth persuasive arguments as to why the Galactic Empire were actually the good guys and the Rebel Alliance bad (an explanation by Jonathan V. Last can be found here, and an excellent follow-up by Sonny Bunch here), the recent online discussion tends to be on a more macro level, discussing galaxy wide events and surrounding the Empire’s struggle to restore safety and order to a star system overrun by space terrorists.

A more focused study, however, is needed to truly understand that the Star Wars films are actually the story of the radicalization of Luke Skywalker. From introducing him to us in A New Hope (as a simple farm boy gazing into the Tatooine sunset), to his eventual transformation into the radicalized insurgent of Return of the Jedi (as one who sets his own father’s corpse on fire and celebrates the successful bombing of the Death Star), each film in the original trilogy is another step in Luke’s descent into terrorism. By carefully looking for the same signs governments and scholars use to detect radicalization, we can witness Luke’s dark journey into religious fundamentalism and extremism happen before our very eyes.

When we first meet Luke Skywalker, he’s an orphaned farm boy with barely any friends, living with his Aunt and Uncle, and wanting to join the Galactic Academy like all the other guys his age. You see, Luke didn’t become a space terrorist overnight, but he did exhibit signs that would make him a prime candidate for terrorist recruiters. The process of radicalization, as described by Anthony Stahelski in the Journal of Homeland Security, notes terrorists tend to:

• Come from families where the father is absent (check)

• Have difficulty forming relationships outside the home (check)

• Be attracted to groups offering acceptance and comradeship (checkmate)

Luke is just the kind of isolated disaffected young man that terror recruiters seek out.

Obi Wan — a religious fanatic with a history of looking for young boys to recruit and teach an extreme interpretation of the Force — is practically salivating when he stumbles upon Luke, knowing he’s found a prime candidate for radicalization. Stahelski notes terror groups place a focus on depluralization, stripping away the recruit’s membership from all groups and isolating them to increase their susceptibility to terrorist messaging. Within moments of meeting Luke, Obi-Wan tells Luke he must abandon his family and join him, going so far as telling a shocking lie that the Empire killed Luke’s father, hoping to inspire Luke to a life of jihad.

Shocked and confused by this onslaught of terrorist brainwashing, Luke hurries home only to find the charred corpses of his aunt and uncle. The Empire’s accidental harming of Luke’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen can be directly compared to the casualties of President Obama’s drone campaign, whose body count terrorists capitalize upon for recruitment. This is precisely what Obi-Wan does, preying upon Luke’s emotional state to take him under his spell and towards a life of extremism.

Obi-Wan whisks Luke off to Mos Eisley using a Jedi mind trick to bypass security, knowing full well he likely appears on numerous terror no fly lists. After contracting a local drug smuggler for transportation, Obi-Wan and his newest Skywalker recruit are off. They are soon captured, however, and attempt an escape which culminates in a battle between Obi-Wan and Vader. During the fight, Obi-Wan notices Luke watching, and seeing an opportunity to fully inspire Luke to radicalize, says a Jedi prayer while committing suicide. Can you think of any other groups who try to inspire terrorism by yelling a prayer before a suicide attack?

Once Luke escapes and regroups with a terror sleeper cell, he joins them on an attack mission. As he nears his target, hearing Obi-Wan’s words in his mind, Luke closes his eyes, says a prayer and bombs a space station, killing everyone aboard. Young Skywalker has proven himself a quick study in the ways of armed religious extremism.

As the Empire Strikes Back begins, Obi-Wan appears to Luke as an apparition and gives him clear instructions on continuing his radicalization. Luke is ordered to travel overseas to receive training and religious instruction from Yoda, an extremist cleric who runs a Jedi madrasa on Dagobah.

Yoda accepts Luke into his religious “school,” teaching Luke Jedi fundamentalism and guerilla warfare. Like many extremist mullahs, Yoda demands total adherence to his strict interpretation of the Force and seeks to strip Luke of independent thinking. Yoda’s push to radicalize Luke, rob him of an identity, and instill obedience are apparent when at various points he instructs Luke to “Clear your mind of questions,” “Unlearn what you have learned” and, most grimly, “Do, or do not, there is no try.” The Jedi know it is imperative to force mindless devotion in warriors they recruit for their holy war. Armed with new combat training and cloaked in a hardline religious fervor, Luke leaves Dagobah, impatient to put his terror training to use.

In Return of the Jedi, we see a darker, hardened Luke, fittingly dressed in black and eager to use violence as a tool to enforce the twisted “judge, jury, executioner” value system of the Jedi. During a rescue mission, Luke exhibits their extremist binary worldview of “if you aren’t with us, you’re a viable military target” when he blows up Jabba’s barge, killing every man, woman, and child on board. Excited by so much bloodshed and mayhem, young Skywalker seeks to assassinate the Emperor and even his own father (!) if they won’t convert to Luke’s extremist interpretation of the Force. Luke enters the Death Star, hoping to gain martyrdom if he is killed. As Luke’s insurgent friends successfully bomb their target, Luke succeeds in killing the Emperor and, eventually, his own father. Luke’s path to radicalization is complete, his bloodlust sated … for now.

With Darth Vader the final casualty of Luke’s jihad, Obi-Wan and Yoda have succeeded in catching yet another young man in their web of Jedi extremism. As is now evident, Star Wars is clearly a cautionary tale of the dangers of radicalization, and how even a seemingly harmless young man who kept to himself on Tattooine can become the terrorist next door."
starwars  radicals  radicalization  culture  2015  jihad  politics  perspective  lukeskywalker  extremism  religion  indoctrination  brainwashing  psychology 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Apple and Star Wars together explain why much of the world around you looks the way it does - Quartz
"One of the most effective critiques of the totalizing approach to urban design—the Darth-design of cities, if you will—was architecture critic, activist, and theorist Jane Jacobs. Towards the end of her bestselling 1962 critique of mid-century urban design, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jacobs recounts the number and diversity of the neighbors in the building where she worked. She reports:
“The floor of the building in which this book is being written is occupied also by a health club with a gym, a firm of ecclesiastical decorators, an insurgent Democratic party reform club, a Liberal party political club, a music society, an accordionists’ association, a retired importer who sells maté by mail, a man who sells paper and who also takes care of shipping the maté, a dental laboratory, a studio for watercolor lessons, and a maker of costume jewelry. Among the tenants who were here and gone shortly before I came in, were a man who rented out tuxedos, a union local and a Haitian dance troupe. There is no place for the likes of us in new construction. And the last thing we need is new construction.”

And added, in a forceful footnote: “No, the last thing we need is some paternalist weighing whether we are sufficiently noncontroversial to be admitted to subsidized quarters in a Utopian dream city.”

That there is little room for controversy or discord in the Death Star—amongst its legion of same-suited stormtroopers, say—may go without saying. But what of Apple?

It is clear, first of all, that the company’s success—for all the apparent imperiousness of Jobs—relied, and likely relies still, on discussion, disagreement, and diversity. Jobs himself was famously a stickler for regular “no-holds-barred” meetings in which, while his own leadership had to remain unchallenged, no other presumptions or suppositions were sacred. (Pixar’s irrepressible Alvy Ray Smith would be one of the only employees to challenge Jobs’ control of a whiteboard, part of a duel with Jobs in which dry-erase markers, presumably, stood in for sabers.)

Like the products themselves, however, Apple’s core identity relies on keeping disagreement and discord behind a tightly controlled façade. And sometimes even a tightly controlled interior; one of Jobs’ least successful management interventions on his return to Apple was a short-lived attempt to have all his many thousand employees wear the same, black, custom Issey Miyake clothing. To Jobs’ credit, he quickly withdrew the proposal—but it lived on in the many hundred black turtlenecks Miyake crafted for Jobs’ own, resulting use.

No, if there is something disturbing in the design of Apple’s own apparent Death Star, it is not so much in the company’s clearly successful internal operations, nor in its beautifully singular product range. Rather, it lies in the runaway result of this success; the way in which so many of our interactions with the world, and with each other, are now filtered through the efforts of a single, well-designed and Apple-authored interface.

And beyond well-intentioned, we might even say essential. Particularly given the disorder and predictable unpredictability of complex technological systems, we all crave, and need order. The first Star Wars shoot was so plagued with technical difficulties (and the related derision of the unionized British workforce on the Pinewood Studio lot) that more than one cast member observed that George Lucas appeared far more sympathetic to the authority and order of the Empire than the ragtag Rebel Alliance. Apple has thrived above all in the last two decades by offering the particular beauty that lies in order, organization, and simplicity, and in the predictable delight that results when something technical, unexpectedly, just works."



"We might start inside. A recent profile of Sir Jony Ive in the New Yorker by Ian Parker, “The Shape of Things to Come,” shifts seamlessly from the discussion of consumer objects to that of architecture. Ive, it is suggested, sees himself as an architect too. He finds it, he says, “a curious thing” that in design “we tend to compartmentalize, based on physical scale.” He is reported to assert that he has (in Parker’s words) “taught Foster’s architects something about the geometry of corners,” introducing a seamless, curved detail between wall and floor that now runs throughout the building’s interior.
Yet this detail, and its future life, points to what is in fact one of the main differences between design at the scale of consumer electronics, and that at the scale of architecture and the city.

Apple’s great success as a consumer-focused company is rooted in the one power a consumer has above all: choice. Apple’s products are ubiquitous, above all, because they are far better than what they compete with, a quality that comes precisely from the tight control that Apple exerts on them and their design. But, at the point we don’t like our device, we can—and will—buy a different and better one—from Apple, or from some as-yet-unimaginable competitor.

Yet it is in the nature of architecture that it offers no such choice—the more so the bigger it gets. We can, if we are lucky, sell a house we don’t like. But we can’t sell or dispose of the terrible building across the road. And architecture involves many more people than those who design it, or even pay for it. Myself, I keep thinking of the cleaning staff of the new Apple headquarters; it is for these people, above all, that the usual, clunky detail of wall-meeting-floor exists, with a skirting board to hide the edge of the floor-wax, and catch and disguise the dirt that escapes the polishers. One hopes a special, super-functional polishing device has been designed for them, that will seamlessly clean and feather the floor-wax as it slowly curves into the wall—but one fears that it has not. One thinks as well of Apple’s desk-bound employees, who, so as to preserve the clean lines of the building’s exterior, will not be able to open windows in their offices—despite the Bay Area’s preposterously perfect climate. (“That would just allow people to screw things up,” Jobs apparently declared.)

But here is where the design of products and buildings is most different. The particular conundrum solved by the best teams of architects and city-builders (including all of us as citizens) is how to balance a whole set of competing demands, physical, environmental, and social, against each other—including the demands of the powerful against the needs, and rights, of the powerless.

As we attempt to design 21st-century cities for an increasing landscape of uncertainty, this is an important lesson to remember. Instead of single, grand projects, the staying-power of a city depends on a million connections between its inhabitants, and the natural and technological systems that sustain them. Cities designed tabula rasa, as Jane Jacobs cogently characterized it a generation ago, lack this robust resilience. Instead, their monumental visions of order turn out to hide brittleness, fragility, and frequent catastrophe. Even the most seemingly ordered long-lived city-grid—Manhattan, Barcelona, even San Francisco—simply allows us to better negotiate what is, in reality, a riot of real-world diversity.

It is in this light, perhaps, that one might also examine Apple’s greatest points of corporate difficulty: the interface between the company’s tightly designed and integrated products, and the public software ecosystems it has developed in service of them, the App Store and the Mac App Store. To this architect, these places read a bit like a modernist cityscape; beautiful, elegant, even nice to visit—but very difficult to live in. Like such cities they are also—at least in the case of the Mac App Store—increasingly abandoned, as is usual, by those who can afford to leave.

And yet it is not really Apple that is entirely to blame. The revolution in architecture today—one where the world of screens and devices and the common infrastructure of our cities merge, overlap and combine—is much larger than even the enormous, careful company.

In an awkwardly received, hauntingly prescient diatribe while presenting the Oscar for Best Director in 1979, Francis Ford Coppola declared, “We’re on the eve of something that’s going to make the Industrial Revolution look like a small out-of-town tryout.” What Coppola saw was our world today: “a communications revolution that’s about movies and art and music and digital electronics and satellites, but above all, human talent.”

Steve Jobs’ Apple set out to help create this world—and has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams of the future. George Lucas hired Pixar’s founders, originally, to use technology to make the production of culture easier for himself and a cadre of directors. But Lucas’s digital editing system was quickly eclipsed by Apple’s own, far cheaper, Final Cut Pro—and then, of course, by the iPhones that put high-quality filmmaking and editing into all of our hands. In this, and much else, Apple has helped author a world much like that of Lucas’s far-off galaxy; where all of us are connected, and can tap into vast reserves of invisible power through the device we hold in our hands.

But as Apple’s reach extends into the city and world, into the public sphere as well as the private screen, we should do well to remember these hard-learned lessons of control and openness, hardness and softness, brittleness and resilience. After all, the only thing one can say for certain about a Death Star is that it unexpectedly explodes right before the ending."
apple  starwars  georgelucas  architecture  cities  design  stevejobs  nicholasdemonchaux  history  siliconvalley  filmmaking  urbanism  urbanplanning  control  predicatability  fragility  resilience  unpredicatability  hackers  hackability  jonyive  janejacobs  discussion  disagreement  friction  discord  serendipity  authority  cupertino  pixar  canon  openness  hardness  softness  brittleness  isolation  uncertainty 
december 2015 by robertogreco
SWAPI - The Star Wars API
"All the Star Wars data you've ever wanted:

Planets, Spaceships, Vehicles, People, Films and Species

From all six Star Wars films"
starwars  swapi  api  via:robinsloan 
december 2014 by robertogreco
A Pirate’s Life for Me: Education as Common Good — Medium
"There is an ancient English practice of ‘beating the bounds’ — an annual festival that was held around this time each spring. People of the parish marched around the commons — the land they worked together — and trampled down any fences that had been put up to try to make land private. The commons was where the community had shared rights. It was where the parish planted and literally grew together. It was ‘the theatre within which the life of the community was enacted’ — and if there is a better definition of what a school is then I’d love to hear it.

As land enclosures accelerated through the 17th and 18th centuries this ritual of ‘beating the bounds’ took on an explosively political edge, and was seen as an act of piracy. I would argue that one of the reasons that pirates have been rising up again because that stage upon which our communities traditionally grow has continued to be so narrowed and reduced, as the spaces and arts that we used to share together have been enclosed for profit."



"In a political climate where all we hear is economic growth, in an educational climate where all we hear is the international rat race, it is a virtuous act of piracy to focus students on well-being and happiness rather than putting them through the mincer simply to improve our league table standing.

To encourage students to genuinely think beyond the raw economics is to encourage them to break down the enclosures of a consumer-capitalist worldview and see that life and childhood is a much much wider ocean.

Our schools should be that ‘theatre within which the life of the community is enacted’ — or, to turn that round, our schools should be theatres where the community learns to enact and embody life. Too often that life is narrowed ‘work hard to get the grades to get the degree to get the job to be wealthy.’ And if that’s what we teach in our communities, that’s what our communities can only become.

We need to encourage that spirit of radical self-determination, that desire for the common good, that worldview that values the arts and drama and classics and philosophy not for what they might eventually earn for us, but because they enrich our communities in ways that Gove will never see.

We need, in short, to act to protect childhood. To protect play. To protect time to kick a ball and do nothing."



"Pirates in literature and film are not just about swashbuckling thieves. They are about emancipation, about challenging the current order of things, rebelling against the Empire — not in order to destroy it — but to renew it.

And this is why this pirate archetype should be at the centre of what we do in education.

Not that everyone should be wearing stupid pirate costumes. But that every child coming to school should be encouraged to explore the commons of knowledge — not for some future financial gain, but just because.

And in a world where education has been turned into a commodity, a means of accessing wealth, it is an act of piracy for teachers to suggest that a different world is possible.

But, moreover, we should be encouraging these acts of piracy from students themselves.

Like Malala, like Wendy, like Luke, like Henry Hill the book pirate, they should be encouraged to play these roles and, in doing so, begin to individuate healthily and slay the structures that block them from full human becoming.

They might be girls challenging everyday sexism, boys challenging homophobia, students campaigning against rigid curricula and the elitism of the cabinet.

Whoever they are, we should be supporting them, creating theatres within which the sorts of communities we want to exist in are modelled.
Classroom as TAZ

During the Golden Age of piracy, pirate communes sprung up along the Moroccan and Caribbean coasts. In a laced-up world, these were places of extraordinary freedom and subversive liberty.

The authorities would hear of these places and send ships to shut them down. But, as one Admiral said at the time, it was ‘like sending a cow after a hare.’

These communities of pirates and freed slaves would spring up, dazzle and disappear. Leaving those who experienced them wondering what in heaven just happened.

They have since been described by historians as ‘Temporary Autonomous Zones’ — or TAZs.

They are a space liberated, for a short time only, and presenting a new form of being, ‘an intensification of everyday life, life’s penetration by the Marvellous’ as one writer put it.

That is what each classroom should be, what each lesson should aim at: a liberated space, penetrated by something marvellous, springing up and disappearing before Ofsted can crush it…

It is in these liberated spaces that education, true education, will happen."

[See also: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:7161b69fef5d ]
kesterbrewin  education  pirates  piracy  commons  learning  schooling  unschooling  responsibility  howweteach  howwelearn  community  lcproject  openstudioproject  life  living  cv  peterpan  history  lukesywalker  starwars  patriarchy  liberation  anarchism  anarchy  temporaryautonomouszones  thomasjefferson  malalayousafzaiis  jollyroger  pisa  schools  2014  marcusredicker  henryhill  publishing  benjaminfranklin  knowledge  copyright 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Confessions of an Aca/Fan: Archives: He-Man and the Masters of Transmedia
"When I speak to the 20 and 30 some­things who are lead­ing the charge for trans­me­dia sto­ry­telling, many of them have sto­ries of child­hood spent immersed in Dun­geons and Drag­ons or Star Wars, play­ing with action fig­ures or other fran­chise related toys, and my own sus­pi­cion has always been that such expe­ri­ences shaped how they thought about stories.

From the begin­ning, they under­stood sto­ries less in terms of plots than in terms of clus­ters of char­ac­ters and in terms of world build­ing. From the begin­ning they thought of sto­ries as extend­ing from the screen across plat­forms and into the phys­i­cal realm. From the begin­ning they thought of sto­ries as resources out of which they could cre­ate their own fan­tasies, as some­thing which shifted into the hands of the audi­ence once they had been pro­duced and in turn as some­thing which was expanded and remixed on the grass­roots level."

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5602 ]
henryjenkins  thatsme  cv  storytelling  worldbuilding  media  transmedia  dungeonsanddragons  starwars  he-man  childhood  toys  play  characters  fantasy  imagination  remixing  remixculture 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Telling stories about stories « Snarkmarket
"Increas­ingly, I’m con­vinced that no media is suc­cess­ful or even com­plete until it’s been trans­formed or extended. I know this is not super-controversial—it’s sort of the Cre­ative Com­mons party line—but it turns out things don’t trans­form them­selves! A lot of media gets CC-licensed and then just sits there.
robinsloan  annabelscheme  platforms  creativecommons  remixing  fanfiction  storytelling  media  henryjenkins  cocreation  participatoryculture  participatory  snarkmarket  newmedia  starwars  harrypotter  narrative  engagement  remixculture 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Watch This: 70-Minute Video Review of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace | /Film
"Chances are you probably didn’t like Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. You might be a Star Wars fan, or at least a fan of the original trilogy. After waiting in line for hours, days, weeks, you may have even written a mini 200-400 word review on an internet message board somewhere. If you were a working movie critic, you might have even written a 1,000-2,000 word review of the film for some newspaper or magazine. All of this exists in the realm of possibility…but what about a 70-minute video review? Some guy named Mike from Milwaukee, WI put together a 70-minute video review discussing the many reasons why the movie was horrible. And this isn’t your usual fanboy rant, this is an epic, well-edited well-constructed piece of geek film criticism. In fact, the way I learned about the video was from Lost co-creator and Star Trek producer Damon Lindelof, who said “Your life is about to change. This is astounding filmmaking. Watch ALL of it.”"
filmmaking  georgelucas  critique  humor  film  scifi  comedy  starwars  movies  reviews  criticism 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Twitter / Amy Jane Gruber: Can you just buy a fixie o ...
"Can you just buy a fixie or do you have to make your own, like a lightsaber?"
humor  bikes  biking  starwars  fixedgear 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Raph’s Website » The perfect geek age?
"Was being born in 1971 the perfect time to be born a geek? ... [long list of examples here] ... Looking back on it, it makes me feel a bit sorry for those born ten years later. And I can’t judge ten years earlier, but so much of that seemed to hit at the right age. Looking back at history, it seems like the last big waves of popular invention like this were decades ago. Teens with hot rods? Engineering in the 20s? I see my kids now, and they are so clearly getting the finished products of so much, not the products in the process of invention… Am I wrong?"
1971  cv  history  childhood  transformation  videogames  dungeonsanddragons  libraries  internet  web  online  wikipedia  computers  programming  geek  via:blackbeltjones  raphkoster  mac  education  learning  culture  popculture  gamechanging  flux  google  sciencefiction  futureshock  starwars  comics 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Star Wars: A New Heap - Triple Canopy: Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Death Star.
"30 years ago, American film audiences pressed low in their seats as a massive white wedge of machine parts passed overhead. With release of Star Wars, smooth, silvery flying saucers that had dominated postwar sci-fi became embarrassing reminders of obsolete vision of future...film’s visual program was departure from saucers & occasional capsules writ large that sci-fi audiences had grown accustomed to, but its colorless symmetrical ships should have been recognizable to at least a small portion of its audience—those familiar with contemporary art."... "30 years after...strange chimpanzee crossed another threshold. For first time in 5500 years of building cities, more of humanity now lives in them than in rural settlements. In the coming years there will be countless master plans for new mega-cities in Africa, Asia & South America. We can only hope that these plans will be drawn by disciples of Jane Jacobs, students of Robert Morris, admirers of Robert Smithson & fans of Star Wars."

[via: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/12/the_used_future.php AND http://www.kottke.org/08/12/star-wars-a-new-heap ]
design  art  culture  architecture  history  writing  film  reading  minimalism  criticism  starwars  aesthetics  sciencefiction  scifi  robertsmithson  georgelucas  robertmorris  janejacobs  modernism  future  cities  urbanism  critique 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Original Vehicles - Überschwerer Kampfschreitpanzer "Thorshammer"
"The immense, awe-inspiring, Überschwerer Kampfschreitpanzer (Superheavy Armored Walking Tank) is thought to be the brainchild of notorious Nazi (mad) scientist Doctor Siegfried Qual, who built the initial prototype as a gift to Adolph Hitler."
germany  humor  machines  military  nerds  photography  politics  starwars  ww2 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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