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Recently I have found myself developing a new web show in my head. It’s another one of my long standing concepts that has been bubbling away for about five years. With the WC Project well underway now, I’m finding myself keen to get STS through the treatment phase.

It’s a bit of a challenge to take on a new show while you’re still working on a project – and I really want to make sure that I get STS roughly sketched out in my spare time. The WC Project’s scripts are now complete, and so from a writing perspective I have a little window of opportunity to start laying the foundations of STS before I have to get on to other WC issues.

But here is the problem.

STS is a comedy-drama set in pretty much real life. It focuses on a single character (partially autobiographical) and how he becomes involved with a large number of people in his search for meaning and love.

The problem is… and this is kind of embarrassing… names.

I’ve been trying to think up names for all the characters – and I’m drawing blanks. I had Sean McCarthy – but that sounds kind of naff. The main character needs to have a kind of iconic name, something that rolls off the tongue and when you hear it you will think of this show.

Like Ally McBeal, Mary Tyler, Chris Rock – those kind of names that no matter how quirky – they just stick in your head.

Then I need to flesh out all of the main character’s friends and family – again, names… but also personalities. I don’t want to just copy-paste people I know.

I want to be making a bit of a subtle statement with STS.

The WC Project is actually carefully developed to contain messages about identity and responsibility – nothing that is in your face or immediately obvious. Instead, if you stop and think about the situation, the characters, the creatures… there is an allegorical/metaphorical tale being told.

I want STS to have something similar – which means that the characters need to be carefully crafted to represent ideas while also still coming across as real people rather than obvious metaphors.

A difficult juggling act, I can tell you. With WC, I have no idea how much of my intended undertones were successfully subtle or even noticeable. STS is, in some ways, even more challenging from a writing perspective.

The thing is I also have two other show concepts that I want to explore as well… so it is proving to be a case of loads of starting points – but a challenge to get any of them fleshed out at the moment…

Anyhow… this week while I’m in Auckland, I’m hoping to develop STS a little further. One benefit of STS is that it would be considerably easier to shoot than WC. No visual effects. 😀

Conan

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The last couple of days I have been struck by an odd malady.

I’ve been reading a lot about various views on a variety of matters from roleplaying through to gang violence. These have started a train of thought in my head about how I feel about these issues and I begin to write a post or response.

Then I kind of freeze up. I delete my long, and often well-reasoned, responses and just move on. Why?

Well, it strikes me that many people like to argue for the sake of arguing. They succumb to the old technic of looking for flaws in reasoning without stopping to think about the intent and drive behind the case they are arguing against. I know this, because I do it on many an occasion as well – it’s an easy trap to fall into and one we were constantly warned about in Argumentation Theory.

See, as much as people hate to admit it, we do often act on intuition and instinct. A good argument will take that as a foundation, but then look for reason in their position and (hopefully) be open to the possibility that their intuition is wrong.

I just realise that I’m not feeling up to getting into actual long silly arguments anymore. When I was younger, I was ready to leap in with both feet and take on anyone I felt had made an fallacious argument – but these days… well I just get exhausted as I run through the variety of responses that I will likely receive and often talk myself out of getting involved in what soon seems like a fruitless exercise.

Take, for example, a long post I wrote about gang violence. The main points of the argument were that there is no real excuse for gang violence – the situations these people find themselves in can be overcome, but they need to be willing to stop. The other part was that violence is not part of human nature – which lead to my often argued position that humanity defines itself and thus has only itself to blame.

Now I had reasoned this out and had a fairly solid post when I realised that there will be several schools of response – the first is the classic middle-class apologist approach: “How can we really understand what it is like to be in that situation?” – the problem with this approach is that most NZers likely know someone with some degree of gang affiliation. I know that I have a couple of friends who have lived in gang neighbourhoods and grown up surrounded by gang life – and they have successfully turned their backs on it.

The next was taking on the human nature argument – which is a tougher cookie to crack. Not to forget the argument about the complexity of stopping gang violence – no point stopping hitting the other kid if he wont stop punching you.

It just seemed far to big a mess to take on. The same goes for a debate about how we should judge games – too many perspectives and no willingness to accept each other’s view.

Now much of this is due to my own over analysing what the likely response to my arguments is going to be.

Yet here I am right now, trying to approach it again. 🙂

I guess for me one of the things that I think about is how can the world be improved? To me there is so much that is wrong with the way we live. But how can you make it better without falling into the classic traps of hubris, facism, authoritarianism… or wishing for the fairyland dream that everyone becomes more educated and figures it out for themselves?

Still working on those questions… I’ll let you know if I ever find the answer… 🙂

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