Soderbergh told me recently that a lot of the show’s simplicity is driven by time and budget constraints. They’re working on a tight schedule and have to shoot a lot of script pages every day, so they don’t have the luxury of shooting things five different ways and deciding later which one they like the best. The use of compact, high-definition, light-sensitive digital cameras allows Soderbergh to shoot with one or two visible light sources, often of fairly low wattage, and achieve naturalistic lighting effects that Stanley Kubrick spent a fortune on when shooting the visually similar Barry Lyndon (the first movie with interiors shot entirely by candlelight) on 35mm film 40 years ago. I’m almost reluctant to convey all that information here, though, because it might make it sound as if what Soderbergh is doing is easy. It’s really not. That fusebox scene I mentioned earlier is so complex, in terms of choreography, that a lot of period shows and films would set aside a day to block it, rehearse it, and shoot it. Soderbergh did it in two hours, from start to finish. You can’t work that fast and get such great results unless you’re absorbed in your craft so fully that it has become instinctive, in the way that a painter’s brushstrokes are instinctive, or a great basketball player’s moves are instinctive. At some point, intelligence becomes physical. The eyes and hands are just taking dictation from the subconscious. That, I suspect, is the level at which Soderbergh is operating now, 25 years after the premiere of his first feature, sex, lies, and videotape.
Daily drama set in Great War Britain. Pure enthralling fiction, set against a backdrop of fact, each 12m episode will be set a hundred years to the day before broadcast, and the series will last the length of the war.
ooooh….adding to my podcast post-haste
The internet has been a massive boon to narrative radio, with the BBC iPlayer and downloads making mainstream content more accessible than ever before, and podcasting getting in on the radio drama act with independent online shows like Welcome to Night Vale and Thrilling Adventure Hour. Having their entire back-catalogue available online means that these shows pick up more and more fans over time. As magical as the iPlayer is, that’s one of the main issues with BBC drama content: it almost always disappears after 7 days. The plan is to extend that to 30 days in the near future, but even then there will still be a great disappointment when realising that, after listening to eight episodes of a serial, there’s nowhere one can find the rest of the episodes until they’re repeated at 3 AM on Radio 4Extra in 2019.
OK, this is not something I talk about much. And I don’t think I’ve ever talked about it online. But for some reason, tonight I feel a compulsion to talk about it. Not sure why. But what I’ve learned over the years is to trust these instincts when they arise. So, borderline incoherent, typo-filled screed below the cut.
So here it is: I have fibromylagia.
Well, let’s be a little more precise. I have a fibromyalgia diagnosis. I am not entirely sure that fibromyalgia really exists.
Now, let me be crystal clear about that – because for years and years, people suffering have heard the phrase “Fibromyalgia isn’t real…” shortly followed by “…it’s all in your head.” As if the pain isn’t really happening and moral, intellectual fortitude is all that’s needed to overcome.
The people who say that should have very heavy objects dropped on top of them. Repeatedly.
And since fibromyalgia is usually called a “woman’s disease” (there aren’t enough quotation marks in the universe to put around that phrase), fibromyalgia becomes yet another way to say “Shut up and let me get you some yellow wallpaper.”
So what I mean when I say I’m not sure fibromyalgia exists is that it’s a convenient label for doctors to slap on the situation – and it doesn’t actually tell me anything about what the hell is really going on. But would I like some Lyrica?
No, I would not like some fucking Lyrica. Or Neurontin. Or Cymbalta. Maybe this isn’t something that a prescription can make vanish, you goddamn allopathic, machine-metaphor addicted God-complex fuckheads.
So, call it fibromylagia, call it chronic pain syndrome, call it Harold K. Moskowitz if you like, I doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change the fact that something is simply not working. Sub-optimal, if you will.
It’s been about 20 years or so of this crap. A long time to deal with it and not really talk about it. But really, people usually don’t want to hear about it. Because there’s nothing you can do to solve it. It is, by its nature, a problem that cannot be fixed. And so it becomes tiresome. Zod knows, I’m fucking tired of it.
All you can really do is maintain. Eat healthy, get moderate exercise, and take it easy. Be careful of not overdoing it. Know your limitations, is what they say.
To which I say – do you have any clue what it’s like living in America? There’s no such thing as taking it easy. Puritanisitc striving and self-abnegation is written so deeply into the DNA of our culture, and it’s so unbelievably toxic. I’ve been choking on it lately.
Work, work, work, work, work, work, work. Oh, are you not getting ahead? You must not be working hard enough. You must not WANT IT enough.
Part of it is that I’m actually doing OK – I have a bunch of projects I’m working on, and some of them actually pay money. But every day is a war between “you should be more productive” and “you shouldn’t overdo it.”
Or put another way, “work more” while simultaneously “work less.”
I’m not really sure what the point of this screed is. It’s just that, for a long time my coping strategy was to not push myself. But I’m tired of that, and for the past few months I’ve been making another concerted effort to improve my condition – seeing some new doctors and health providers. Spending a fuckload of money on it, but it seems to be worth it. Thank Zod for myofascial release and trauma releasing exercise.
And it just feels like as part of that effort, it would be good to talk about some of what the experience of 20 year of this has been like. I’m gonna try to write a little more about this going forward. If you have questions, feel free to ask them and I’ll try to answer them best I can.
Going to publish this now before I think about it too much and delete it.
Supposedly invented by the Chinese, there is an ancient form of torture that is nothing more than cold, tiny drops falling upon a person’s forehead.
On its own, a single drop is nothing. It falls upon the brow making a tiny splash. It doesn’t hurt. No real harm comes from it.
In multitudes, the drops are still fairly harmless. Other than a damp forehead, there really is no cause for concern.
The key to the torture is being restrained. You cannot move. You must feel each drop. You have lost all control over stopping these drops of water from splashing on your forehead.
It still doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But person after person, time and time again—would completely unravel psychologically. They all had a breaking point where each drop turned into a horror. Building and building until all sense of sanity was completely lost.
“It was just a joke, quite being so sensitive.”
“They used the wrong pronoun, big deal.”
“So your parents don’t understand, it could be worse.”
Day after day. Drop after drop. It builds up. A single instance on its own is no big deal. A few drops, not a problem. But when you are restrained, when you cannot escape the drops, when it is unending—these drops can be agony.
People aren’t sensitive because they can’t take a joke. Because they can’t take being misgendered one time. Because they lack a thick skin.
People are sensitive because the drops are unending and they have no escape from them.
You are only seeing the tiny, harmless, single drop hitting these so-called “sensitive” people. You are failing to see the thousands of drops endured before that. You are failing to see the restraints that make them inescapable.