Tags: joke

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Movie Knight

I mentioned how much I enjoyed Mike Hill’s talk at Beyond Tellerrand in Düsseldorf:

Mike gave a talk called The Power of Metaphor and it’s absolutely brilliant. It covers the monomyth (the hero’s journey) and Jungian archetypes, illustrated with the examples Star Wars, The Dark Knight, and Jurassic Park.

At Clearleft, I’m planning to reprise the workshop I did a few years ago about narrative structure—very handy for anyone preparing a conference talk, blog post, case study, or anything really:

Ellen and I have been enjoying some great philosophical discussions about exactly what a story is, and how does it differ from a narrative structure, or a plot. I really love Ellen’s working definition: Narrative. In Space. Over Time.

This led me to think that there’s a lot that we can borrow from the world of storytelling—films, novels, fairy tales—not necessarily about the stories themselves, but the kind of narrative structures we could use to tell those stories. After all, the story itself is often the same one that’s been told time and time again—The Hero’s Journey, or some variation thereof.

I realised that Mike’s monomyth talk aligns nicely with my workshop. So I decided to prep my fellow Clearlefties for the workshop with a movie night.

Popcorn was popped, pizza was ordered, and comfy chairs were suitably arranged. Then we watched Mike’s talk. Everyone loved it. Then it was decision time. Which of three films covered in the talk would we watch? We put it to a vote.

It came out as an equal tie between Jurassic Park and The Dark Knight. How would we resolve this? A coin toss!

The toss went to The Dark Knight. In retrospect, a coin toss was a supremely fitting way to decide to watch that film.

It was fun to watch it again, particularly through the lens of Mike’s analyis of its Jungian archetypes.

But I still think the film is about game theory.

Oddcasting

Thomas wrote about odd moments in technology after experiencing a moment of cognitive dissonance involving his iChat and my iTunes. I was listening to an interview with Thomas on Podleaders so that’s what was showing up in my iChat status. When Thomas noticed this, he pointed out via iChat how weird it felt. At that point I was listening to him time-shifted via iTunes whilst messaging with him in real time — itself a very odd moment.

Recently I’ve been experiencing some other odd moments whilst listening to podcasts. Specifically, I keep hearing my name, which is disconcerting when I’m not expecting it. I tend to listen to podcasts while I’m coding or Photoshopping so it’s weird to be snapped out of my “zone” by hearing my name.

It’s happened on two episodes of the Web 2.0 show; one with Dan and the other with Tantek and Ryan. Then it happened again while I was listening to Cameron’s talk about Ajax.

In the last two instances, I was mentioned because of Adactio Austin. I’m doomed to be known as the geek who mashed up Google Maps with beer.

Which reminds me of a joke…

Two gentlemen of whatever particular nationality you like to deride (Welsh, Irish, English; take your pick) are standing on a hill overlooking their peaceful harbour town. One of the men speaks:

See those boats out there in the harbour? I built those boats with my bare hands. But do they call me John the boat builder? No, they do not. And all of the nets on those boats… I made those nets. But do they call me John the net maker? No, they do not. And you see all of those houses down there in that valley? I built each one of those houses with my own sweat and blood. But do they call me John the house builder? No, they do not.

But I shag one lousy sheep…