Friday, October 05, 2012

A Consequence Of Puppets Revisited

He said, “You know, a monster might not want you.”

She gasped, putting one hand over her mouth. She pointed at him with her other hand and spoke through her fingers over her mouth.

She said, “That’s the most awful thing you’ve ever said to me!”

I started this week with a little stop-motion film, The Louisiana Sinkhole: An Apocalypse Opera. Although that was a short stop-motion film, it still required way more than a thousand individual images. And it was in color and it had dialogue and music.

I want to end the week with something that is kind of the opposite of that. I think of this kind of stuff all the time.

This is a single image. There’s no color. It doesn’t have dialogue or music. I didn’t even make up a caption to try to call it a cartoon.

It’s just a pencil drawing. I drew this back around the time I talked about in The Lost World Of Stacy And The Llama.

If photography didn’t exist, if animation didn’t exist, I would be happy doing drawings like this forever. The interplay of shapes. Lights and darks. Verticals and horizontals. Positive shapes and negative shapes.

In so many ways I am even happier doing things like this than photography and animation. I kind of envy the supervillain at the end of my post All The Issues Of Perspective, getting hauled off to an asylum where they take away his camera. But he can still draw.

But now I know I still have the same problems I talked about in This Woman From The Canals Of Mars. I just can’t—in my head, my heart—I can’t figure out what place something like this has in the modern world.

Maybe I should make some woman really, really mad so that she’d come over here and tear up all these things. Solve my problem for me like in Romanticized Portraits.

“There’s a high-wire act going on. The harmonica sounded like a real harmonica in the beginning, and then maybe a keyboard harmonica, a synth, doing things that seem technically almost impossible.”

That’s from the “Blindfold Test”
of woodwind player Ted Nash
in the August 2012 print issue
Downbeat magazine. He was
listening to a song from the
“Puppet Mischief”
by John Ellis and Double Wide

Jazz musicians now try to figure out
if they’re hearing a synthesizer play
even when they hear a harmonica
which would be something like puppet mischief,
something not real pretending to be real.

This is an advantage that puppets have
over drawing and music and writing—
A drawing can be rendered by software
or projected and traced. Music software
can be programmed to produce any sound.
A whole novel now can be a collage,
paragraphs plagiarized from all over.
But a puppet is what a puppet is.
Everybody watching a puppet knows
somebody made the puppet, somebody
is moving it around and somebody
planned the show. It’s like a conspiracy
but one that everybody is in on.

Maybe the only answer possible
is to do a show about a puppet
that likes to draw. Or make music. Or write.

And when she asks, “Who am I taking off
my clothes and posing for? Am I your muse,
or am I doing this for the puppet?”
I will be able to honestly say,
“I have no idea. Does it matter?”

And I have no idea what she’ll say.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


A Consequence Of Puppets

Refuge, Sanctuary And Asylum As Synonyms

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