The Philosophy of Frozen

Off The Top of My HeadI’m a guy in my thirties so why would I discuss a Disney animated feature from last year marketed (if you buy into the whole “gender roles” thing) mostly to young girls?  Because I think it actually has a lot of very good messages that apply to everyone.  It may have just hit me at the right time, but it really did strike me as a having very positive philosophic message and I picked my favorites.  Since it has a wintry atmosphere it felt like the right season!

1.) Conceal it Don’t Feel it: A lot of us have found ourselves in environments where repression was favored over personal expression.  As the film, and life, have shown that kind of thinking only leads to temporary containment and eventual explosion of bottled up emotion.  These releases can be positive or negative…so it’s better to live with and as you truly are.  The people who truly care about you will understand.

2.) Nothing’s in My Way: A number of times over the past few years I’ve felt that “waiting for the right time” or the “perfect moment” was the best thing I could do.  Keeping the status quo until everything was just so would yield the best results.  Only very recently I realized there is no perfect moment.  And the only thing in the way of my progress was me.  So for the first time in forever I’ve really felt like nothing’s in my way.  And that’s true for most of us.

3.) Let it Go:  The most important message I think of the film.  We all linger on what could have been, stew over how we were wronged, and lament over what we’ve lost.  Spend too much time looking back and you’ll never see what you have here, and now.  All that stuff is a burden and a weight to carry.  Use it, learn from it, but once we’ve used it…let it go…and make room for something new.

4.) People Don’t Really Change:  Though it’s mentioned in a song about love I find this to be true in all human interactions.  Though the details of a person may change their foundations never do.  Honorable people generally stay honorable, scoundrels stay scoundrels.  Loyal people are loyal to the end and bastards always seek their moment to be bastardy.  And it may sound strange but I firmly believe that we can have all these kinds of people as friends, even the worst of the worst, as long as we fully understand who and what they are.  Trying to change that chaotic evil into lawful good though will result in nothing but agony for both.

and last but not least…

5.) Reindeer are Better than People:  That goes for most animals…they are better than people 😉

This movie really did have an impact on me.  Again it may have been the right story at the right time…but it opened me up to a number of realizations about how I perceive my own life.

From the RevPub Team to all of you, Happy Holidays (or happy lack of holidays for all the non-celebrators out there) we’ll have more new content coming soon and will have even bigger and better stuff coming in the new year!


Off the Charts: Fond Farewell to Futurama

Off The Charts Header

In 1999 a terrific show aired its first episode.  It was smart, yet low brow; classy, yet crude; and cruel, yet hilarious.  I have never before, or since, seen a show that could so span genres and play with emotions, pop culture, and trending topics as well as it did.  It could actually make you tear up in the same episode your sides hurt from laughter.  One of the best shows, consistently, I’ve ever seen.  And now it’s come to an end…….again….

Yes I’m talking about Futurama.

Futurama is a singular show.  You care deeply about the characters, their plights, and their relationships, but can still laugh uproariously when they get heads hacked off (only to be put back on again.  It’s the future, people!)  I started watching Fry, Leela, Bender, Amy, and company from premiere night.  I knew it would be my kind of show, and I’ve followed it religiously since.

Fox never knew how to use the smart writing and thought it should play to the same market as The Simpsons. (Ok to get something off my chest…I LOVE(D) The Simpsons.  I thought it was one of the best shows ever made…from about 1989-1998…  Since then it has become a showcase of Homer’s high-pitched screaming, and nonsensical guest stars…I haven’t watched a new one in years and don’t plan to)  Fox put it on adjacent to its venerable yellow-skinned family comedy and hoped to capture the same crowd.  Unfortunately, by then, the Simpsons’ comedy had become a little “dumber” while Futurama played to a newer “uber-nerd” crowd and was written by math, physics, and computer science PhDs.

The show was pre-empted by sports, moved to and from various time slots, and delayed (and delayed, and delayed) until it was finally “cancelled” in 2003.

After extended runs on the Cartoon Network, Futurama fan outcry was such they creators made four direct-to-dvd movies and eventually found their way onto Comedy Central where they’ve run the past four years.

It was a strange event to see a show cancelled, brought back on DVD, and then renewed on a whole new network.  But I was thrilled to see it back.  It was just as funny and insightful as ever, and without the network TV yoke could add a little extra crude humor to the mix.

All of the voices returned, which is essential as the BEST, seriously people, the BEST voice acting possible can be seen in this show.  Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil Lamarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, Tress McNeille, Dave Herman, Tom Kenny and the legendary Frank Welker make the finest ensemble cast I’ve ever seen.  And they truly make you appreciate good voice acting, especially when compared to the celebrity-voiced cartoon features cranked out by Hollywood nowadays!

Now the show’s third incarnation will sadly come to an end in September.  Which means one of the greatest shows to ever air must also have the distinction of being one of the most cancelled programs in TV history.

To me this is one of the reasons TV is in the state that it’s in, and why more and more viewers are turning to fan-supported programs on YouTube and other internet sites.  Yes they run on “ratings” too, however with an audience (like me) able to watch and have our ratings count at non-standard times (I’ve found people in my generation may not want to watch the show when the channel airs it, the internet provides us this option!) our views count whether we’re watching on release day or weeks later.  Granted for every Geek & Sundry there is Annoying Orange but both can live in harmony on the internet rather than in competition.  Unlike TV where great shows like Futurama go up against the likes of Honey Boo Boo and somehow come up short.

Though David X. Cohen, the terrific co-creator of Futurama, has stated the show will never again return like it did before, I’m holding out hopes we’ll see something of the characters again.  How about a theater feature, guys?  Your fans will come out to support you!

I’ll still relive the show again and again on DVD (and for those who don’t own them, this is a series that is a MUST buy on dvd.  Don’t think you get the full enjoyment watching it on Netflix.  The audio commentaries for this series are the best ever.  Seriously EVER.  As good as the show without them.)  and hope that Futurama somehow attains more unlikely one-ups than can be found in a 1988 issue of Nintendo Power.

If it doesn’t (which it likely won’t) it will be one show I will truly miss.  It represented the best that TV could put together.  Well-made, well-written, well-acted programming that made you feel the people behind it truly cared about their show rather than just produced it to make a few extra bucks or pander to the lowest common denominator.

So here’s to Futurama.  ::spooky tremolo::  Good bye to the world of tomorrow!  (I hope to see you again out there!)

Give it up for a great show…

Official Website

Great fan page, Can’t Get Enough Futurama

Writing for Web – Adding Motion and Video

Until this post, I had never created a Power Point presentation.

When I was in college, Power Point was just making its way to projector screens everywhere, and I preferred a more hands-on approach. I only gave a few presentations, and I liked to use music and handouts so people didn’t have to take notes. There were only a few students who used a Power Point, and I was amazed at their project.

Chapter 4 discusses adding motion to your posts in the forms of video, slideshows, animation, motion graphics and software simulation. This chapter was easy to understand and read through without being overly technical or making the reader have too many “Oh…” moments. There is a lot of important information in this chapter, and Felder recommends lots of tips for effectively adding motion to your writing.

Here are the important tips to remember about motion in your posts:

  • Know what you want to say. Write a script, make a story board, or simply brain storm ideas on post its or napkins.
  • Have a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Keep it short and simple.
  • Think of your audience. What do they want to see? How can you make it interesting? Is it fun?
  • Ask for feedback, and take constructive criticism while remembering you make the final decision.

With these items in mind, I created a quick Power Point slideshow of the people behind Revenant Publications. I hope you enjoy my first attempt at a Power Point, and feel free to leave comments in the reply section below!

Revenant Publications Power Point