When We Say Storytelling
This is about the eighth time I’ve started to type out what I mean when I say “storytelling.” The reason for that, I believe, is that it is so, so important, that I don’t want to get it wrong. Storytelling is essential to humanity. It was the first thing we were good at that other species weren’t. Stories are cultural currency. Storytelling has the power to connect or divide us. To drive us to action, and achieve unprecedented greatness, for good or ill. One cannot tell a story without giving a person of oneself, and so giving a story is giving a great and valuable gifts. We as people need stories, almost as much as we need food and water. Stories are companionship for the lonely, solace for the despairing, encouragement for the hopeful, and support for the unsteady. This is evinced by our obsession with hearing stories every minute of our waking lives. Office gossip. Network news. Celebrity columns. Novels. Comics. Video games. Movies. Podcasts. Eavesdropping on strangers. We crave stories, in our bones.
Sorry. So, storytelling then, is important. But it is also an ambiguous concept. I have been telling a story in this blog post. But it would be no less of a story had I tried to communicate it through a series of visual images, or a progression of musical notes. Or all three together. (You know, like a movie.) To me, a story cannot come from one note, from one panel, from one word. In order to tell a story, there must be an element of narrative progression. It needn’t be complex, but it must tell of change, or movement. I think. That’s what I’m thinking about it. If you’re telling me a story, you’re telling me about something that happened, or something someone did. It doesn’t have to be spectacular, but it should be, something.
The Shape of Stories
I just spent all this time first thinking about what to put into a video, then figuring out what I thought would be the much more intuitive process of recording a video on my computer, and then finally recording the video. So now, as I wait for it to like, transfer itself? I hope it does what it says its gonna do, cause I’m going to be really mad if it doesn’t, and its too late to do it over. Oop, I think here it is. Sike! Looks like you can’t drop videos into wordpress. So alright. I guess I’m gonna upload it to youtube, and embed a link. Or something. Here goes. Wow. Says its going to take like 13 more minutes. So great. Anywho heres a link to the podcast I mentioned in the video, if you should ever be allowed to see it, dear reader.http://www.missedinhistory.com/podcasts/battle-of-poitiers/
And this space I optimistically reserve for the link to my youtube video:
Appreciating Past DS106
Just saying, this element is a little culty. To know you where you’re going you must know you’re history. Oooooh, spooky. Anyway, yes it was the first thing I saw on this one page I visited but the Bounty for the Dread Pirate Santa is not a title you pass up on. Its a hilarious premise. The work is digital in that it accomplishes its task through a variety of media including not only text but hypertext, as well as audio and visual components, all located on the same page. I think its funny. Its a little light on production value, but full of pop-culture references. You’ve got Princess Bride in the title and Spiderman a bit further down. Its also a little light on storytelling. Really what it does is use humor to remind DS106ers of a unit which presumably focuses on fair use and the importance of respecting copyright.
1. A Fairy Tale
In a place not unlike this, and a time not too different from ours, there lived a man. The man used to toil his life away, and then one day decided to take a risk, and he left his labor and steady pay, and he left his home, and made his way to the University. When he got there, he was admitted to the University free of charge, but he couldn’t afford to pay for a place to live, so he took up residence in a barn on the edge of the school grounds. No other people lived in the barn, but it was home to some animals. Some dirty, noisy, graceless animals. But the man was determined to complete his study, so he did his best to appreciate the virtues of the animals, like their generally friendly natures, and convenient schedules. But one day the animals came up with a half-baked plan, and decided they would leave the barn. And without the animals around, the farmer who owned the barn would not let the man stay. The man would soon have to leave the barn and return to his parents’ village in shame. But then, the man’s beautiful, intelligent, loving girlfriend, who was scheduled to graduate from the kingdom’s much larger and better official university sooner than the man was scheduled to graduate from his, was offered a very lucrative position with a company based in a much warmer kingdom with a much lower cost of living. Suddenly it didn’t matter to the man about the animals or his parents’ village anymore, because he knew that in a few short months he too would complete his studies, and could leave the whole place behind. And the man and his girlfriend completed their studies, froze a few dozen bagels to bring with them, and went to live and work in a warm and beautiful place, where she swiftly and efficiently balanced numbers and figures, and he idyllically wrote whatever came to him, and they spent the evenings together drinking fruity drinks in the warm weather and eating food that was cooked on a grill, and they lived happily ever after.
2. Play With Food
I made an oreo necklace. Wasted all my black thread too. BUT, the cookie was delicious.
Tell a Story With Photos
Five Frame Story
So, remarkably, as much as I keep seeing setbacks here, I feel like I’m overcoming them pretty well. Honestly, I wish I had more time. The hours I spent tooling around and troubleshooting tonight were really rewarding, but I didn’t have time for them, the way I set it up. Mostly my own fault, yeah, but nothing exists in a vacuum. I hope that I can start getting a lot more out of this course by giving myself more time to really engage with the material, rather than just dashing off a response as best I can given whatever constraint happens to be upon me at the time.