Some Thoughts On My Media Choices

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My media tastes seem odd for a man of 50, at least for many people’s point of view.  I’m big into anime, documentaries, unusual or odd films, animation, and things that catch my fancy.  It’s not a lot of typical stuff out there, even though a lot of supposedly “mainstream” stuff (like “Better Call Saul” or “Atlanta) is pretty damn spectacular, especially compared to past shows.

It’s strange to explain it to people, because really why should I?

We all have our own tastes and reasons.  We all have our inclinations.  We all have different needs.  What’s weird is how it seems some things are “appropriate” by simple things like age and gender – as if a lot of media even fit those definitions easily.  I can show you a few episodes of the anime My Hero Academia, supposedly targeted at a young male demographic, that would make you think otherwise.

But we feel that our tastes somehow must fit a series of checklists for our demographics.  I’m not sure why we do that.

Is it part of our culture?  Is it part of our ideas of gender?  Part of our idea of ages?  I’m sure all that plays in, but know what I think?

I think a big part of it is how we want definition – and marketing.

Marketing drives us to classify and target works.  What sells.  What fits.  What makes the most money.

Definition is our need to classify things, to not deal in ambiguity.

Combine Marketing and the need for definition, and you’ve got a toxic stew of assumptions.  I’m kinda tired of being told I should like “X as I’m Y,” while I try to explain how awesome Steven Universe is.

This is why I am so pleased that Netflix, Amazon, television, and animation in general is crossing boundaries. I’m glad to see stuff like The Dragon Prince that has that family-for-all feel, a highly accessible but very smart and serious fantasy.  I’m glad to see hyper-real stuff like Atlanta, a heady and near-experimental mix of character story and hyper-reality.

Let’s enjoy what we like.  Which is why I’ll be watching Deku become a superhero, then scope out an indie film, and then on to a documentary on fonts.

Geek As Citizen: Paul Dini, Marketing Bias, And Cultural Creation

For those of you just tuning into this, Paul Dini appeared on Kevin Smith’s podcast, the self-depreciatingly named “Fatman on Batman.”What got a lot of attention and appeared on io9, Boing Boing and other sites was Dini’s experiences with execs who didn’t want female fans of the show since “girls don’t buy toys” and some other objectionable choices.

Some of the most disturbing parts are transcribed here.

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Fanimations: Animation, Technology, and Animated Fanworks Of The Future

Last week bonnie discussed Bad Thai Disney Ripoffs and how technology for animation was putting it in reach of everyone.  She speculated on how animated fanworks could one day be much, much easier to do.  I of course wanted to add my own analysis.

Namely, taking the idea that someday technology could give us reasonable-to-high quality, quickly-done fan and amateur animation.  Laugh as we will at the Thai Faux Disney, the quality of the animation is not horrendous – if it were a fanwork it would be considered pretty decent.  So, building on the idea that technology is making animation easier and easier, what points do we have to reach to get to many people using available tech to jump on the animation bandwagon?  When do fan animations (fanimations?) reach a point where, like music videos and so forth, anyone can at least give them a go?

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