Bearth DayBack in 2009 I was involved in a writing project where I wrote a blog every day for the month of April. Recently, I came across some old entries and thought I would share the one about Earth Day. Here's what I wrote this six years ago today:
I'm sure you already knew this, but today is Earth Day! Earth Day is one of those holidays that is widely celebrated, but not yet significant enough to get you the day off from school. It is also, and I think this is true, the Earth's birthday. I mean, it has to be, otherwise what's the point of having it on this day? Random date on a calendar selecting by some guy named Gaylord? Most certainly not.
There has always been speculation about the Earth's actual date of birth. In 1650, James Ussher calculated the Earth's date of creation to be October 23rd. Which is fine with me, because that is my birthday, and I have no problem with sharing my birthday with someone as great as the Earth. However, thanks to "modern science" and whatnot, this well thought out and previously accepted theory has been kicked to the curb.
Though the Earth's exact birthday is still not known (and honestly, no one is ever going to find out; it's just impossible to tell when the Earth officially went from lava rock in space to planet capable of holding life), we still have Earth Day to fall back on and celebrate its apparent birth, and also to raise awareness that we might possibly maybe most definitely be killing it . . .
Earth Day started in 1970 as a way to pledge for a better environmental future by decreasing population growth and the entrapment of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. The plan was that by 1994, everything should be evened out. And now, in 2009, things have become progressively worse from where we started 39 years ago. But, we can at least feel guilt free on Earth Day, when we ride our bikes to work and use mousse for our hair. PROBLEM SOLVED.
All this Earth Day talk reminds me of when I was in sixth grade and I went to an undeniably GREEN camp for a five-day trip with my school. There, the counselors took us on hikes and showed us the world around us. They also told us that Earth was slowly dying, and it was all our faults for using hairspray, voting for Republicans, and driving Hummers. Naturally, I had no idea what this hippie guy was talking about, but he had a very colorful and hypnotic shirt, so I obeyed him.
Since then, I have, admittedly, fell of the wagon a bit: I only drive diesel cars, I do not recycle, and I have a bad habit of leaving all twenty-three of my microwaves on for days at a time. Also, the nine acre lot on which I live has been rented out for nuclear testing by the government. But at least I can feel good about my impact on the environment on this day, for I unplug all my microwaves, choose not to leisurely ride my coal-powered bicycle, and recycle old jokes down at the Comedy Club. Obviously, I'm forced to make sacrifices, but someone's got to save this planet right?
I bet you are sitting there at your computer (which is hopefully hamster-powered, if not only for today) and thinking to yourself, How can I decrease my negative impact on the environment? I like it here on Earth! And there are many ways you can do this! But be warned that none of them are easy or practical.
First, you can move to rural Pennsylvania and become Amish. Live off the land, wear straw hats, and play games like jacks or "Count the Bricks." But do not use candles, as these are very hard on the atmosphere as it turns out. Convince your Amish brethren that halogen lights are green, and that green is good. If they do not know what you mean by green, just tell them Jesus came to you in a dream and said to use them. That should work.
Alternately, you can do nothing. By which I mean go out into a field and stand there for the rest of your life, doing nothing. Do not breathe, do not move. This will make you completely and 100% environmentally neutral. Then, when you die, your decayed corpse will serve as a fertilizer for Mother Earth, thus making her stronger. Good work.
Less helpful ways of cutting down your carbon footprint include using green technology, driving hybrid cars, turning off lights (who has time for that?), or recycling. These steps, while somewhat helpful, are not as great and drastic as my two previously mentioned "green ways of life."
So, have a happy and green Earth Day, everyone. And remember: Every time you Tweet, you might as well be stabbing Earth in the heart
Since then, there's been (probably) thousands of groan-inducing attempts at humor, and I need to find them! But I need your help. If you know of a pun (Barbara or otherwise), post the podcast number or video and time stamp in the comments and I'll track it down. Hopefully it will lead to great things.
Remembering MontyIt's difficult to find words worthy of Monty Oum. They probably don't exist, in fact. Maybe in German, where they have words for emotions other languages don't know how to describe. That's what I feel when I think about the profound impact knowing Monty has had on me: feelings beyond description.
What I always admired was that Monty knew with 110% certainty that animating was what he wanted to do, what he was meant to do. With that kind of passion, Monty tackled everyday with an enthusiasm that was difficult to ignore. Even just asking him about animation could have him talking uninterrupted for 15 minutes about the beauty of the medium. Combined with his amazing work ethic, he was a productivity machine. He was driven to create, and to be creative, with his work. It is a constant inspiration.
I was very fortunate to be able to always work near Monty. While we rarely worked together on projects, he was a wealth of information for me; we would talk animation principles often, and in the first three months after moving to Austin he taught me more than I was able to teach myself in the two years I'd been animating. Whenever I worked late we would have long talks about whatever we were working on, TV shows, or just life in general. He was always spitting wisdom; he had a very philosophic outlook on life, on purpose, and on motivation. When he made a decision, it was final, and it was full steam ahead in that direction. To Monty, second guessing himself would be time better spent on rigging or keyframes.
Before I worked at Rooster Teeth full time, I ran into Monty at San Diego Comic Con in 2012. We walked the convention floor as he told me about a new series idea he had called RWBY. He had so much of the world built in his mind already that it was clear this was going to be huge. He talked nonstop for about 30 minutes, painting a picture of the series with each excited word. The show would not premiere for another year, but it was clear this was Monty's dream project. I remember, in the middle of it all, thinking "I hope someday I can have a project I'm as in love with as Monty is with this RWBY thing."
In 2013 we went on a convention tour in Australia together. In Melbourne, we held a panel on animation at ACMI. Now, I will always be outclassed by Monty as far as skill in animation, but sharing the stage with him as we showed off our work to 250 people was an honor and privilege I didn't deserve, but gladly took. It will always be one of my most cherished memories. Monty always spoke proudly about his work, it was never boastful or arrogant, just pure excitement to have created something. It made me take a look at how I viewed my work; to be less pessimistic in the mistakes and just take pride in having created a thing that hadn't existed before. It's the very basic drive of why we do what we do, and Monty never lost sight of it.
These are some of moments that contributed to the immeasurable impact Monty has had on me. I wish I could have told him all these things. I wish it didn't take losing him for me to think about what he meant to me. But what greater compliment can I give to a person than to show them that they gave me the direction and the drive to succeed, and to do so in a way that would honor their life. I will always work a little harder, I will love life with a greater enthusiasm, and I will do it to honor my friend, Monty Oum.
How to Write Like Aaron SorkinI've been watching The Newsroom lately, and it's the first show of Aaron Sorkin's I've watched in a big chunk, and I've noticed he tends to try to work in humor in dramatic or tense scenarios, but apparently he only know hows to do it one way:
INT. Boardroom - Day
The main characters are having a serious discussion that could decide everything.
PERSON 1: This is serious, we can't let it slip away like a wet frog through our fingers. We need to act now.
PERSON 2: I caught a frog once, it wasn't that slippery.
PERSON 3: No one cares about the frog, we need to take care of this serious issue!
PERSON 2: All I'm saying is the gravity of the situation would be felt more if we had a metaphor that properly illustrated the stakes.
PERSON 4: Technically that was a simile.
PERSON 2: What?
PERSON 4: Metaphors don't use "like" or "as," those are similes.
PERSON 3: We NEED to focus on the issue at hand!
PERSON 1: Person 3 is right, we need to take care of this. Person 2, you were wrong, it was a simile, not a metaphor.
PERSON 2: Irregardless, the comparative language you used was ineffective in conveying the importance of the issue.
PERSON 4: Irregardless is like, a triple negative, it's not a word.
PERSON 1: Right again.
PERSON 3: Hey I just got a phone call, the important thing happened and we lost everything.
PERSON 2: Boy I wish someone explained how important this was earlier.
CUT TO BLACK.
Keep in mind this should be performed 75% faster than any human speaks, ever.