Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Musical Picture

I'm in my Film Genres class.

Last week we watched Swing Time with Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers.
She's as lovely as any actress I've ever seen on screen. This week it's
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. You know, "Bless your beautiful hide".
That one. They're grossly un-p.c. by today's standards, especially Seven
Brides for Seven Brothers but they retain the original appeal. Who
doesn't love some song and dance?

We discussed for a bit the absudity of the Musical film. I'm sure the
thought has crossed your mind before. Here we have a group of people who
spontaneously burst out into choreographed song and dance. Everybody
joins, instinctively taking their queues, as naturaly as smiling back at
a grinning baby.

Sometimes they do it within a diegetic context, i.e. we see the actor
sing and dance because his character in the film is a singer or dancer.
More often, though, music rises from the ether and somebody sings for no
audience (except us) and out of nothing but love.

If anybody did this in reality, we would send them to a professional
mental health expert. They'd need a head shrinker. They'd be

I'd love to see a musical exploit this. Our main character believes
life's a musical. He sings and dances, the animals join in. The
production values reflect classic musicals; their performance is in
front of a painted backdrop, they're elaborately costumed along with
everybody else, the setting is exaggerated and overdone.

But nobody else is in on it. We cut to the reality of the situation.
He's crazy as a loon, and his backup singers and dancers are actually
puzzled onlookers. The setting is stark and unpolished, just what it
would look like anywhere off-screen

I think it could make for a pretty great satire. The audience could
simultaneously enjoy the song and dance and acknowledge the absurd
propositions that virtually all musicals present.

P.S. Dp made the astute observation that there is almost NO way Will
Ferrell didn't base Ron Burgundy on Adam Pontape from Seven Brides for
Seven Brothers. Clear as day when somebody points it out, but the
liklihood of those two films entering the same conversation for any
other reason is almost nil.

-Sent from Austin's phone.


The chalk clanked as it met the aluminum cradle beneath the blackboard.

A hand went up at the front.

"What was the last part of that? Conformity is uniformity and compliance
with regard to..."

"With regard to rules, principles, and purpose."

Each pencil in the room dutifully scrawled the definition given.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I went to a press conference today with Frank Gehry. Brandt Anderson, an
extremely successful young entrepreneur, was also there. But I'll be
honest, I was excited Frank Gehry was there.

There were many small models for the development he designed here. They
were made of construction paper and glue.

I've seen those models before, or ones very like them. I watched Sydney
Pollack's Sketches of Frank Gehry last year.

Construction paper and glue.

I don't doubt that the man is a genius. I don't. However, I do question
the nature of Genius. I wonder how much of Genius is found in our
celebration of something or someone. Would he be equally the Genius he
is if nobody paid any attention?

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Personal Android

They're having the press conference right now announcing the Android powered G1. I'm watching the streaming video of the event.

There were early reports that it wouldn't be available to markets that didn't offer 3G. I was about to really lose my cool. Those fears have thankfully been put to rest.

I will be purchasing one presently, or as soon as I can.

UPDATE: This is what I am excited about. Click here.

I'm geeking out bad. I've never experienced this level of techno-lust. I want one of these so bad it's killing me.

It's weird, I know. You don't have to understand. I don't really understand it.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I went to a concert on Saturday. Local bands, groups I had only vaguely
heard of. My friend assured me I'd like them.

The opening band was noise. Straight unsettled noise. The follow-up act
was better, but still indecipherable, only approaching music.

I sat and watched the crowd as much as I watched anything on stage. I'll
always assert that an audience is equally as entertaining as virtually
any spectacle.

We stepped outside to escape the smoke and sweat. I asked my friend why
we come to concerts like this, what's the appeal? He said it's about the
music. I think that's a patent lie.

If it was about the music, they wouldn't have the volume up at such an
unnaturaly high and sustained level that it kills hearing cells. They
wouldn't have the main lights dimmed and the colored lights, strobe, and
disco ball rolling. There wouldn't be smoke machines fogging the already
rank air. The lead singer wouldn't wear black tights, cowboy boots, a
flattened mohawk, and Long John Silver's ruffled button-up. The girl
next to me wouldn't call him sexy. There wouldn't be gaggles of early
teens glancing uncomfortably, late teens trying to look cool, and mid
twenty somethings with despondent stares.

I played along. I danced, I sang, I screamed.

But I'm too old for this. If not in age then in heart. Too old to enjoy
the noise.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

After the Fact

Today I did some reporting. And it was all wrong.

I didn't get the right B-Roll. There were childrens' drawings and kids
on the playground. There was hospital equipment and bicycles and
elaborate signs. There all kinds of great cutaways.

And I didn't get any of it.

Instead, I was worrying about the camera being on, and the record button
pressed, the lighting right, the framing set, the microphone on, then
making sure the mic is off afterward if I want it to work next time.

I make a lousy technician, and when I'm trying to be one, I'm an even
lousier reporter.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yesterday, I was talking to a couple friends waiting for the Devotional
to start. Both of them lovely gals from my old ward. It was nice to
catch up.

Before devotional, they often play BYU Weekly, and yesterday was no
different. On the screen came me, hosting, smiling in my gray suit, red
tie, and contact lenses.

In the midst of our conversation, I pointed up at the screen,
indicating, That's Me, THERE I AM.

They looked at the screen, then back at me, and one asked, "Oh, do you
work with that guy?"

Very Funny. Yes, I answered. But when they continued on without further
comment, I realized they weren't kidding, that they both actually hadn't
recognized me.

I backpeddled on our discussion and pointed out, THAT'S ME. They were
still confused.

"They're talking about you? Did you write this?"

What? Yes, I wrote it, but you're missing the point, THAT IS ME ON THE

Amazing, really. I suppose I look really great on TV or really dull in
reality. Maybe both.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Color Code

I'm reading The People Code, formerly published as The Color Code, by
Dr. Taylor Hartman.

To those reading who are A) Well enough acquainted with me, and B)
Familiar with The Code, I would like to know:


I know, this is shamelessly self indulgent. You don't have to answer.
But you'll miss out on all the fun if you don't.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Self Control

Try not to be so annoyed. Nobody is out to get you.

The girl behind the counter got your order wrong because she is new to
her job, not because she is stupid.

The site that offered the free personality test made an honest mistake
by trying to charge you. They sent a gift certificate, so no harm done.
They weren't trying to con you.

Freshman are just having fun. They're at college for the first time.
They don't realize how loud they are. Let it slide.

The car wash didn't work after you paid for "the works". It was a simple
mechanical failure. Keep the receipt, you can get a refund later when
there is an employee on site. At the automated car wash. Whenever that
will be.

Till then, I'm out seven bucks.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I must have some subconscious need to have blood on my face when I go on

Last Monday, I cut my lip shaving in the morning before we shot BYU

This morning, when my alarm went off, I jolted from sleep and hit my
head against the wall. There was blood on my forehead when I looked in
the bathroom mirror.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Last night we had an awesome barbecue at my house.

Barbecue is one of the most commonly misspelled words in English.

This morning I went to the Governor's Day Parade at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Then I interviewed the Governor.

Then I looked around some Helicopters. A Black Hawk and an Apache. And a Tank.

Then I came home and made an awesome lunch for myself.

Tonight I'm going to a friends for dinner.

Shaping up to be a good day.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ebb & Flow

Few things could make me feel better than being offered T.A. positions
by two professors I know and respect.

Few things could make me feel dumber than phenominally failing a
spelling test my senior year of college.

Should be a good year. Wish me luck.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Work and Home and Play

It is impossible impossible impossible to be productive from home, unless that productivity involves home improvement. Too many distractions.

I'm allowed to work from home, but it can't be done.

My homework is meant to be done at home, but that'll never happen.

I'm glad I learned this so early on in my education. Oh, wait...

Thursday, September 04, 2008


My friend David and I once started to write a book about dating at BYU.
We found it wasn't that hard or threatening to take girls out and have a
fun time. It was easy.

That was two years ago.

I don't even remember how to talk to girls anymore.

-Sent from Austin's phone.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Day

That alarm isn't mine. Mine sounded and I turned it off immediately.
Must be one of the roommates.

Why did I stay up last night? That was dumb. That was a dumb thing to
do. I need to grow up.

Smith says with this old "Y" sweatshirt on, I should carry a pennent
around with me everywhere, and scream "GO COUGS!" in every room I enter.
Become the superfan I've never been.

Everybody says Good Morning as I pass on the way to work. A girl smiles
at me for no reason. A bright looking (probably fresh returned
missionary) says thank you when I give directions. People seem so
excited for the first day of school.

It's colder than I'd like. Seems like my summer in Washington went by
without ever hitting 90*. A summer without ever reaching triple digits.
Doesn't seem right for an Arizona native.

I can be happy school is starting. I can do that. When I get my schedule
worked out, I can do that.

Anchor auditions are later today. Wish me luck.

-Sent from Austin's phone.