On TV, the soap EastEnders has presented life in Albert Square in London since 1985, the story of the Beales and the Mitchells, and many other characters, all told.
It airs here in late-night TV slots on the weekend, many months behind its broadcast in England. I find the value to be to appreciate how it is to live in a community other than the one in your life, with which you are familiar.
The lives of soap characters can be interesting. There are confrontations and there are obstacles. If nothing else, it’s a bit of fun.
Watching EastEnders in October 2019, not long before the thirty-fifth anniversary of the show, I can remember a little how it was watching the thirtieth anniversary, five years ago, when the soap revealed that the Beale girl, Ian’s daughter, had been murdered, a mystery.
What interested me in particular now, to the extent I am saying something about it here, is the going away party for Bex to celebrate her acceptance to Oxford. Bex, before she relented, was a Goth girl, so to speak, ranking in the subculture of the disenchanted. I think Bex had interests in the high school theatre where she went to school, and in playing the guitar.
She is pretty while presenting emotionally adrift. EastEnders characterizes Bex as an intellectual and artsy teen, moody and pointedly smarter than her peers, conflicted about her role in the life of Albert Square.
Bex has shown talent as a musician before giving it up. She performs songs in a much earlier episode of the show, taking the stage in the Vic, when she is beginning to take on the role of a neighbourhood talent, a bright artistic girl struggling, given her ability to make waves. What I’m moved to write about is the character’s decision, the night of her going away party, when her friends and family are celebrating her acceptance to Oxford, to pen a suicide note, and to overdose on pills, tears in her eyes, by herself in her bedroom.
Often EastEnders diverges from its responsibilities as a soap, presenting sometimes troubling storylines entertaining for soap audiences.
The suggestion that a brilliant, youthful, and gifted character, with circumstance thumping for herself, would settle on the extraordinary choice to end her own life, made me think. Youth suicide is extremely sad, and it perplexes me that Bex would make that decision, bringing hurt on herself, and on everyone who knows and loves her. The song that soundtracks the tragedy for Bex is the Tears for Fears song Mad World, music adding to a sense of despair and confusion that Bex is experiencing.
“The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had,” the song presents lyrically, as Bex drifts into near-death sleep. Time-lapse photography shows the lights going out in the Vic, and the encompassing night sky giving way to a cloudy morning, when Bex may be lying there dead in her bedroom. Her mom discovers her.
That’s the end of that episode. Elsewhere in the TV landscape, that tapestry of storytelling that even in 2020 is compelling, the song Mad World has received another place of honour in a TV soundtrack, but in another show, in another nation, and for a different format. Maybe strangely, but provocatively, Season 2 of the CW show Riverdale has likewise presented Mad World.
By Episode 8 of Season 2, the Riverdale character Jughead has risen in the ranks of the Serpents. Musically-talented Archie and Veronica are presenting Mad World to their friends and family until the tension between them hits a breaking point, and they leave without finishing the song.
The group, a significant number of who are Serpents, are disappointed. Betty thinks fast and takes the stage, picking up where Archie and Veronica stopped. Betty quickly takes Mad World to a different level, assuming the role of dancer and drawing the Serpents in.
Jughead watches with shock, and maybe with interest. With his yearnings to use the Serpents, it isn’t unusual that Betty would in like manner expect another job. Both EastEnders and Riverdale hit big audience numbers, and anyone who sees TV could note a similarity between the two Mad World scenes.
For Bex, it is about an early closure, and for Betty, it is tied in with seeing Jughead order the Serpents. Bex’s mistake in EastEnders, which went down quite sometime after the Riverdale showstopper, reflects a character who feels alone, despairing so much that she decides to take her life.
Perhaps it could even be derived that she knows about Riverdale from TV. EastEnders is set in reality. The EastEnders characters watch real-world TV and hear real-world music in the Vic.
Bex, simply, doesn’t deserve death. She is a beautiful, intelligent, talented young woman, for who opportunity is knocking.
I like both shows, both EastEnders and Riverdale, but there is a kind of question of how appropriate Bex’s act of self-destruction is.
The Mad World scene in Riverdale could, I see, be haunting, if it is relatable. In EastEnders, the pendulum has swung away from the physical, to be a forebear of doom. Both shows have a sense of appreciation for popular music when songs present loud and clear.
The haunting going on in these TV episodes has to be executed within the context of plot devices, or else it isn’t effective. It needs to make ideas click for an audience, or it falls short of the substantial. I think both shows want to present specific circumstances to get viewers feeling haunted.
“I find it kind of funny; I find it kind of sad…” Curious that the song lends itself to drama. You’re welcome to comment and/or follow. Thanks for visiting.
Starting, for April, I participated in many of the new Discover challenges that WordPress organized, to help bloggers write posts during the crisis. Each morning, 6 AM in most cases in my time zone, a new word with additional suggestions became available for WordPress bloggers.
Each word theme was accompanied by suggestions about what to post. I found the exercises helped me feel better about blogging because some things I enjoy discussing became the subject of new posts at the same time other bloggers addressed the same themes. With each post, I had several visitors, and if you are among those and returning, please accept my thanks.
Now, today is May the 4th, Star Wars Day. Star Wars The Clone Wars concludes its season 7 run today, a season devoted to the Seige of Mandalore. I think the entire animated series lives on Disney+.
Today is also the day that all nine films of the Skywalker Saga are available with a Disney+ subscription. “This will be a day long-remembered,” to quote Peter Cushing in Star Wars Episode IV.
I have a new strategy, I am starting by trying a serious-in-tone critical thinking post. I was already writing the odd observation about techniques that might contribute to someone’s existing take on the science of being a blogger, tempered with humour, I suppose. I reckoned that I was enjoying myself, that’s mostly what counted.
A definition of a hobby is this:
n. pl. hob·bies
An activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.
The pleasure of blogging comes from the interaction on the world wide web with people who also blog. I believe that social interaction is important at any age. Why is social interaction important for psychological health, I asked Yahoo!.
“Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults,” Yahoo! answered. “This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer. You will enjoy better mental health.
“Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression.”
There are so many avenues that if you have access to the web, there are so many ways to reach people, and fulfill that desire, I know you know this. It is always about more than the dollar, as it should be. I’m not out to make a buck at all, I’m just experimenting with being an optimist.
Recently I found a website page that takes a gander at the satisfaction that goes with the joy of a decent diversion. Human resources psychologist Jessica Beltran addresses it in The Value of Hobbies https://blogs.psychcentral.com/thrive/2014/05/the-value-of-hobbies/ “We are at our best when we are relaxed and in tune with ourselves.”
While we are capitalists, the playing field becomes more narrow if you consider that you can address people with the confidence of having many of the skills that they have. There is any number of stations in the lives we lead, but lots of motivation speakers give the advice to get started with your creations, however possible. “Do hobbies help with their careers?” I asked Yahoo!.
“While it may seem counterintuitive to make time for something outside of work to get ahead at work, career coaches have confirmed that having a hobby can help make you better at your job. Having a hobby helps you learn how to handle work-life stress and think creatively,” answered the search engine.
“What skills are needed to be a critical thinker?” I went on to ask.
In response Yahoo! informed me of several qualities, ten in fact, that you need to be a capable critical thinker:
5 Critical thinking.
10 Logical thinking.
I have additional input.
Accuracy, for starters, I learned about in high school science. Accuracy in that environment is measurably collecting data. To determine accuracy, you might perform the same process several times, with only minor variants, to learn if your method is accurate.
It’s important. Troubleshooting a computer station, for example, requires accuracy.
You need to determine what changes have gone on before and after a problem has happened at your terminal. There is a joke about hapless computer users calling the Windows system crash the Blue Screen of Death, dire-sounding, but which means that you are losing your unsaved work, a bummer. By the way, I enjoyed computer science in high school a lot more than I enjoyed chemistry and physics.
If what you were doing meant nine out of ten times you got a system crash, and then one out of ten times it worked out, hypothetically speaking, you could, if the measurements were accurate, you’re determining that those nine times of system crashes mean that you can’t proceed in that manner. If five out of ten times, your computer works, and five times it doesn’t, you don’t have an accurate idea of what of your commands are leading to the system crash. The results aren’t too useful in that case.
You need to check variables that contribute to your procedure’s success or failure and come up with a more accurate idea of what’s going to work. Once you establish the variables that work out okay, by trial and error, you can figure out which instruction is awakening the Blue Screen of Death.
The second term in Yahoo!’s list is the word adept. Adept means are adroit. Critically, you have to be adept at forming interpretations.
Those I think of as the external–the external is the object or scenario you’re critically thinking about. You need to know what you’re examining, to form a critical judgement. I have two ways for you to do this, and you can read about them a little further in.
Like for me, to decide whether, say, a popular film is “good,” in the sense that the motion picture proves that everybody involved did a good job, you have to understand enough about what makes a good film to be adept at reviewing it. It would help if you’d contributed to the completion of a motion picture, to be properly critical, but it probably suffices to understand the structure of a film, the symbolism in the film visually, and previous attempts to make similar films.
The next term, the word analytical, this is a word like adept, but analytical is more about looking at a critiqued thing that calculates whether you should take it seriously or not. You know what the thing is and what it’s for, but being analytical towards it means judging it in a way that you can comprehend additional specifics about it, forming your external. What does it mean? is an analytical question that you might have about your object or scenario.
You would be analytical concluding that your problem works at all levels.
Next is creativity, a lovely word, for I feel I am creative, as would many bloggers regard themselves. Creativity is reworking an established idea and making it yours. It goes on constantly.
Like, back to film, when a successful film franchise follows up with a sequel, or a reboot, that’s an instance of creativity that is often quite impressive. As with, say, the 1978 horror film Halloween, directed by John Carpenter, when two years later in 1980 the sequel Halloween II came out, again starring famed actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the film continued the story of the first movie by showing a lot more of what happened later that Halloween night, when the mad masked murderer had returned, (ghastly!). However, John Carpenter was no longer directing the film.
Do you like horror films?
Halloween II has the same characters and the same locale and a continuation of the plot of the first film, all interesting for fans of the first movie, just with the point that somebody else is now directing. That’s the creative part, in this example.
Next, Yahoo! repeats the phrase critical thinking. I mean that Yahoo! includes critical thinking among the terms for critical thinking, which begs the question, Yahoo!. I interpreted that as meaning that critical thinking refers here to the overall level of ability the interpreter brings to the noun being thought through critically. It is having the skill to return to thinking critically, in a manner that applies other additional criteria.
In this case, we’re using the handy number ten. The words, I derive, make an agenda for surveying an item or a situation. It is redundant to include the phrase “critical thinking” in a list that explains critical thinking, pointing to a rabbit hole, a burrow that goes on and on when it opens.
You have to be firm with yourself what decisions you will make in the process of critical thinking or you will never conclude. I have a little more to say about that in the conclusion.
Detail-oriented refers to the organizer’s ability to put together a mental assessment of the details that have gone into the subject being thought about critically. A job interview often includes a question along these lines, as in, “If you were taking this job, would you consider yourself a detail-oriented person?” It means getting everything right.
Efficiency is the ability to get things done promptly. You don’t lose time by making redundant decisions; everything works. If you value efficiency, you want your scenario or your object to function smoothly, a swift external.
It means saving time. A lot of people who need to complete many tasks highly value efficiency.
Industriousness refers to having the initiative to take bold steps. Being industrious is good in that a person shows, say, leadership. If what you are critical of is a tool for industriousness, it lends itself to a nature that assists people who have a success rate at reaching goals.
Innovative means thinking outside of the box. Someone innovative has solutions that circumvent traditional stop signs that cause headaches. Being innovative is positive. You should recognize when innovation is happening and that it can have positive results.
Logical thinking is great for being “right.” I first read a little about logical thinking in a high school English class. I was daunted at the time because I’d never known that logical thinking existed like that, and I doubted I could learn enough about it to become competent, bizarrely, I suppose.
I was a diffident youth. I wish I’d got that information earlier in life. My teacher, Ms. M., outlined twelve specific styles of logical thinking and in fact, I wonder if I as yet have that same document.
I should have read it again and again. At times I’ve been proud that I’m not completely obligated to be logical, but I don’t disregard logic. I value things like the structure of an external, and that, for example, requires logic.
Logical thinking when it comes to being critical of a specific external is very useful, for if you can make a logical argument about the nature of your object or situation, you’re external, you are on your way to answering a riddle about it. It is a regret I have that I didn’t take the introduction to logical thinking I got in high school more gravely and go to work at understanding it.
The ten criteria words stop at the letter L. This is all about setting your sights on critically interpreting an external and taking it apart in a way that you can better understand what it means. The terms are building blocks for evaluating your external.
There are some points where the process isn’t going to be scientific. Starting with accurate, you need to look at more than one external and compare them to see how accurate your method is. This word accurate is exciting because you can find parallels that aren’t necessarily immediately self-evident.
You are being analytical because you are trying to make a process occur that is accurate. Those two a-letter words work together to open a method of diagramming your external to better understand what it is.
The next word, adept, is applicable because you need to run your process with adept skill. What I’m doing here is being creative with Yahoo!’s list of critical thinking terms. I’m making the argument that they are useful.
The search engine believes it. So, too, should you. Together the terms have an impact that you can draw upon for inspiration.
It does bother my sensibilities that critical thinking could itself be a term for critical thinking, but as there is a connection between all three a-letter words, so too I noticed a connection between the two c-letter words. Critical thinking and creativity are two different sides of the same coin.
I’ve had to stir my reserve of critical thinking to identify what that means, but it is so. Creativity is letting reason fly in the wind, whereas critical thinking is unearthing the truth about your external that wouldn’t be evident if you didn’t possess some definitions that assist in critical thinking.
For d, we have detail-oriented, taking your analysis and better developing it.
For e, we have efficiency, reducing creativity in favour of a strategy that is more pure critical thinking and not as open-minded as the word creative would imply.
Next, we have i-letter words, industrious and innovative, words that strengthen the process of analyzing the external by accelerating the process. Those words apply to the analyst as much as they apply to the object or scenario being looked at. Being industrious is keeping at it and being innovative is keeping open-minded.
Both these reflect the analyst as much or more than the external being explored. Logical thinking is a phrase that means much the same as analysis. If you took these ten terms, you could assemble them this way: You have the creativity and you have critical thinking (the c-words).
If you want creativity to rule the process of investigating the external, what you have is industriousness and innovation for the matter at hand.
To proceed down the avenue of critical thinking that is more logical and detail-oriented, you can reduce your creative input and begin letting a process unfold without the benefit of a creative assignment. In either case, you need to be adept at thinking, and further, to return to the a-letter words, you are being more purely analytical and accurate if you pursue critical thinking without the requirement of innovation ruling your process. So, your basic process either follows one c-path or the other c-path, critical thinking or creativity and then to round out outreaching your external you have the accuracy, the analytics, the detail-oriented questions, the efficiency and the logical thinking; and down the other c-path, you have industriousness and innovation.
These are subcategories from the ten we started with.
The terms favour an analysis-heavy approach to critical thinking, meaning there are more components of more purely critical thinking than terms that include creativity. Where that leaves us is what I started with, the word hobby. A creative design is better for a hobby; analysis is better suited for more profound comprehension.
All the same, creativity can be as hard to comprehend as analysis. If you reach an external by analysis, it is beginning to fall outside the field of the hobbyist and more closely approach the realm of the expert.
A more complicated external lends itself to critical thinking; a simpler external is suitable for creativity. This isn’t always true, but that’s a guideline that you could start with if you are deciding whether you want to approach an external with a lens of more complicated and comprehensive critical thinking or with a simpler but also effective creative paintbrush, so to speak.
That’s the rabbit hole, that if you don’t have a handle on your creativity, flights of fancy can take you far afield of a suitable stopping place. That’s why creativity isn’t a super useful strategy for analyzing an external that’s become complex. That’s when your critical thinking approach needs to take over.
I’ve enjoyed writing about this, my first post since the April Discover challenges ended. Do you like the idea that a simpler object might benefit from creative analysis and a more complicated object require a more detailed critical analysis? You’re welcome to follow and/or to comment.
I’d been focusing when I could on five more ways you can dispense with some of the time you’re putting into video research. If you do anything like that and if you think of consuming video content as being video research, then increasingly I don’t think there’s a consensus that anything like video research is useful. I’m looking back in time when there were different attitudes to video. I mean that it wasn’t as accessible as it today. It occurs to me I should argue that if you are committed to any research activity utilizing video, and there’s a ready workaround, you should concentrate on the workaround.
The first part for this post, about chasing an adherent to research, left off with points how you can turn some of your conclusions into blog posts. Or if you don’t have a blog, there’s somewhere you could start. I would like to make the point that the best conclusions you can form from watching a lot of videos can indeed be put somewhere, like in a blog, or a podcast, etc. For example, on Patrick Bet-David’s Valutainment on the internet, I watched Bet-David and Robert Greene discuss Greene’s latest bestseller. Bet-David pointed out that Greene sat down with three hundred books to write his latest book, for the pay-off. That’s the traditional sense of research that I don’t think you should disregard in any way. There is no way that you can eliminate the process of reading the page, or perhaps your Kindle, from the actual work of doing research. Sad but true.
The traditional sense of video is taking a video camera to a wedding and then selling it to the wedding party. The best research you can cultivate from a video of that kind is whether a particular family member was in attendance, or perhaps how the bridesmaids looked when they were standing side by side. Do you see many wedding videos, apart from celebrity weddings, that make it onto the Internet? I am not sure there are, particularly as the advent of the handheld video camera has given way to the smartphone camera. If you are a young person reading this, and you don’t relate to the idea of a videographer at a wedding, it isn’t that different from a professional photographer taking pictures. It is just that the videographer mingles with the wedding party and gets a little movie of the wedding.
I’m writing there about commercial consumer video, not expensive TV productions. The thing about the video you watch is that when it is a pricey production, I don’t think you can count on it for insight. Particularly when focusing on video production for TV, in the nineteen sixties, seventies, and eighties, when the technology was useful enough to shoot material for television, and before computers were beginning to infiltrate it, there just wasn’t a lot of purely informative video. The novelty on being on video overshadowed a requirement, to be honest. As soon as the camera was recording, everybody was immediately acting at all times. That sounds like a polarized argument, but ninety-nine percent of the time if you were being paid to appear on camera, you were acting to do it. Speaking jovially, you had to nail it.
What happened in the mid-nineteen-eighties? Computer effects were beginning to be integrated into more and more of the ready video, which starts to become interesting for the possibility that more and better information could be communicated by video. With more information is born the reality that better information begins to come across. Purists might disagree, but fast-forward fifteen years and amateur video is not only more accessible but could also be edited on par with the best of people in the trade in previous decades. There had been an explosion of video on cable TV which meant more ways to deliver information by video. Did that mean you could derive better conclusions in the sense that by better I mean better located in reality? I think so. You always want the past back, once you’re past a certain age, but there is some logic, or I am doing my best to apply logic here.
The apparent irony is that the development of the computer industry accelerated at a much faster pace than did the growth of video. I’m tempted once more to stop, but it’s true that by the time video was in its golden years, the computer industry was spritely, pardon the pun, spritely and skyrocketing for many, many people. I don’t want to mislead you unfairly, but surely some blame for some of the big, really bad troubles that have hit people where there is free access to information lies with what’s just bad information. That caution gets sounded frequently, and where before I was tempted to stop then and there, now I really am going to stop.
I have promised one more post on the subject, with five remaining ways you might want to dodge video. You’re welcome to like, comment, and/or follow.
I am humbled by the attention I receive and I shall make some effort to reciprocate interest if I am lucky enough to make a tiny ripple in this pond. We need to go back to the future