So, this week was all about getting WIRED. We had to get connected so we can communicate like kids hooking up two soup cans with a taut string or wire to talk to each other. When I was a kid, it looked like this:
Now that I am a computer science major, I think of it like this:
This week felt like going into a trainyard and hooking up a bunch of unrelated cars that had been sitting around on different tracks. I already had a Domain of One’s Own account with WordPress, as well as accounts on Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube. None of these had been linked together, so that was my first order of business. I dusted off my website (which had been shamefully languishing in neglect) and created some blog tags and categories so future posts will get picked up in the the ds106 Flow. I tried out a couple of themes, found one that looked uncluttery (I know, it’s not a real word) and plopped links to my other online accounts. Ta-da, some of those train cars are now linked together and the trainyard is looking neater.
The next order of business was to discover what this Soundcloud thing was all about. I know nothing about sound editing and production, and this is a shortcoming that will undoubtedly be improved upon in this course. I’m looking forward to that. Meanwhile, I got the account set up and a dorky introduction posted. I plopped them all together to make a dorkfest of introductions in my first blog post. Please excuse the awkwardness, I much prefer writing. Eeek.
I’m hoping I can learn more about making animated .GIFs. They appear to be rather tricky to get right, and it looks like something that can be a lot of fun to incorporate into storytelling processes. If anyone considers themselves an expert, or knows of a good
tutorial, toss a URL my way, please!
Because of Jim Groom’s forewarning, I had already binge-watched Season 1 of the Wire. Then, because of an inability to control obsession, I continued on and ended up watching all of the seasons. I wound up taking notes during certain scenes so I could remember where they ocurred because small moments of creative inspiration would hit and having a memory like Swiss cheese means if it doesn’t get written down, it disappears. Several times I saw opportunities to combine other interests into mash-ups, or Triple Troll Epigraphs, so I
wanted to be prepared as much as possible.
Season 2 was not my favorite, mostly because it departed from following the Barksdale crowd. It was alright, but I continually found myself hoping Ziggy would take a long walk off a short pier. Overall, my two favorite characters are Kima Greggs and Stringer Bell. They
both are striving to become better at their professions, despite obstacles and the downward suction pull of their comrades and environments. I especially love how these two characters are really the same in their struggles and aspirations, and they exist in parallel universes.
The most interesting aspect of Season 1 to me was the use of old technology (pagers and pay phones) to thwart police understanding of Barksdale activities. Everyone knows what is going on, but until the police can prove an understanding of how the messages are being transmitted, encoded, and decrypted, all they can do is continue to watch the drug sales and work on the puzzle to obtain a warrant that they can act upon. Because of a long history of watching Star Trek: The Original Series episodes, every time I saw Wallace, in my mind he was wearing a red shirt. I just didn’t see him surviving as a member of the landing party in Inner City Baltimore.
Seeing that there was corruption in all three communities of law enforcement, politicians, and Barksdale crew, it was not surprising that all of them are in some version of The Game in their community context. I’m interested in where/how D’Angelo learned to play chess. Since he’s being groomed to rise in the structure of the family business, did he pick it from someone there?
I enjoyed the Groom/Bond discussion of Season 1 Episode 7 because there are things I’m seeing in my second trip through Season 1 that I missed in the first viewing. Stuff in the background of scenes, things on computer screens that I missed the first time around, and bits of dialogue that have more meaning to me now, having seen the entire thing all the way through. I like the explanations that Freamon gives, and how after he at first seems skeptical of the group and remains on the fringes, he jumps in when it becomes a puzzle that needs to be solved. I like how Prez “finds himself” as a puzzle-solver too, and the two of them end up being the brain trust of the law enforcement side of the story.
The concrete statues at the towers that were mentioned in the Live Discussion reminded me of statues of children that are placed as memorial markers in graveyards. It seemed like foreshadowing that these statues are in various places all over the area of the tower projects. It’s a rough Game, that’s played in the middle of a metaphorical graveyard.
Later in Season 3 I enjoyed the visuals of all the clean laundry hanging out on the line in/near the courtyard as the drug activity slowly gets cleaned up in that small area. As the drug activity gets moved to Hamsterdam, more laundry appears in the apartment courtyard where the drugs used to be sold. Also, as things improve there, the orange couch starts looking rougher and rougher, until it eventually gives way to a different couch altogether. The passage of time and evolution of the drug activity was really staged well for the viewer. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Meanwhile, back to accomplishing that first assignment…
The final step in the set-up assignment was to create an account at Gravatar. I ended up using a tribal canoe paddler icon that has stayed with me for years on some of my accounts and that way I won’t freak out my small band of merry followers on Twitter that are used to seeing me in that incarnation.
Really, everything went pretty smoothly. There was only a tiny hiccup in getting my blog to get picked up by the ds106 hub since it was in a non-standard location on my pre-existing website. Jim Groom got that all WIRED together and it looks like I’m good to go.
Looking forward to “meeting” you all and getting to know you through your work as we all explore this storytelling/making/interpreting process together!