Tag Archives: reading

Why Writing Is Like Plumbing

Some people want to be writers. Others want to be plumbers. But the way I see it, plumber or writer, we’re learning similar crafts.

Both plumbers and writers are just trying to figure out how everything fits together. And neither of these jobs is glamorous. In fact, odds are clearly in the plumbers favor in terms of money and security.

The downfall of an amateur writer is trying to be a writer when he should be learning the trade of plumbing.

Step by step the amateur progresses. He learns how to line-edit, write to a beat, and use grammar. He thinks about his audience and method of distribution.

I guess the only difference between a plumber and a writer is that people like to be called the latter.

Plumber, writer, pediatrician… the words are just labels in the end. And labels are for soup cans and filing cabinets. Don’t confuse the label with the skill-set.

Good Art Is like a Good Haiku

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Yangshuo, Guanxi

A summer river being crossed
how pleasing
with sandals in my hands!
– Yosa Buson

Haiku poems are short, orderly pieces created in the Japanese tradition. The most common form has 5 syllables on the first line, seven on the second, and five again on the last.

Haikus are very closely related to Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism.

The goal of a haiku is to capture a moment. It does not seek to explain or analyze, but simply strives to present the moment clearly. If the composer is very good, then a certain shade of emotion will also be present in the words.

Good art is often like a good haiku. It clearly presents a moment and emotion without explanation.

 

Reflection on a Fake Japanese Internet Quote

I was browsing reddit earlier today, when I came upon a quote.

The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are.

This is slightly oversimplified, yet still true. The concept of putting on a “front” for strangers is nothing new, to me anyways. I see people doing it all the time. I do it myself. It’s just part of human nature.

Whatever the case, I thought about it on my run today.

When I am running, and deep in my element, I feel my third face comes out. My true, wild nature. Swashbuckling and brash.

Maybe that’s why running is so amazing. 

Sidenote: I can’t find the source of this quote anywhere. Perhaps I am just circulating more fictional Japanese proverbs. Oh well.

Ghost in the Shell- Review

This past weekend I watched the remake of Ghost in the Shell with my girlfriend. IMDB gave it a rating of 6.8 out of 10. Fair enough, but I would probably give it at least a point higher, maybe even two.

(Full disclosure- I have been an anime fan since forever. I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, Gundam Wing, etc.. So, I am partial to stories being told in this format.)

Why did I like it?

Well, visually it was phenomenal. You can really see how far Hollywood has come these days with movies like GITS. It’s setting was portrayed very tastefully. (But caution- I am not sure it would be as cool in your living room. Definitely recommend going to see it.)

Acting wise, it was pretty good. The lead, Scarlet Johansson, did a good job of playing a stoic, if not slightly psychotic Major. None of the supporting roles stole the show, but they certainly didn’t hinder it either.

Story wise it worked. Good sci-fi themes of technology, evolution, A.I., etc. The growth of Major was strong enough to carry the viewers interest, although it wasn’t the coolest part. As I have said, that was it’s setting.

The villain, Kuze, was very evil and I loved it.

If you like action, sci-fi, or anime, definitely check it out. If you are reading this and you saw it, what did you think? Unfortunately there appears to be some hate going around the internet about this movie. I think it deserves a least over a 7 on the IMDB.