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Buster Keaton Made a Lot of Hats (Document of Learning)

Throughout Buster Keaton’s career it’s a documented fact that Keaton and his wife made somewhere over a thousand of his pork pie hats. They were core to Keaton’s signature look; Keaton’s hat was his own creation. It was something that made him stand out from the crowd. It was akin to seeing Micheal Jackson with his one white glove, it was something distinctly him.

So I figured if I’m going to have to make a hat myself if I wanted to portray Keaton with any grain of salt. So that’s what I did, I made a hat to call my own.  It was much simpler than I thought it would be, simple enough that I could teach you in one blog post, you know like maybe this blog post… or maybe in this link.

Eminent Interview: Gerald Potterton

The person I had the pleasure of interviewing was Gerald Potterton. Gerald Potterton was the director of the final silent film Buster Keaton was a part of, The Railrodder, as well as many other films of his own creation, which for the most part were animated.

Gerald, due in part to the nature of my question, didn’t go in-depth about his past work but he talked briefly on some of the variance between his work with Buster and past projects.  He mentioned how with animation most of the work was planning, sketching,  and story boarding, but with Buster it was much more “spur of the moment”. They had the locations and they had the plot, but each gag and scene were changed constantly.

Further along in the interview I asked him how he had started working on this project, after all it’s not ever day you get to work with one of the greats of the silent area. The way Gerald explained it modestly as one part fault of a wise cracking co-worker and another part luck. Gerald had written a half page script for a short film titled   The Traveling Man. He imagined it at the time as an animation piece using a photographed actors head on an animated body as the figure travelled across Canada. While talking about it with some fellow animators over lunch one of them tossed out the idea of using “The Great Stone Face” himself Buster Keaton as the actor.  Gerald admitted he wasn’t sure if he was still “around”, until he remembered someone mentioning he was working on a film in New York. So he set off to meet with Buster in New York and discuss the possibility of working on The Travelling man with him.  “He read it, thought it was a crazy idea, and immediately said he would do it” Gerald said, he felt ecstatic after one of the greats agreed to work with him.

Towards the end of the interview I asked about how Buster Keaton left an impact on him.  His words were “it opened my eyes
up to his thorough thought process of how to plan and work out the workings and complexity of the gags n his films”.  He also mentioned how he realized the genius Buster really was and how  amazing The General, one of Buster’s most acclaimed works, was. It was obvious that after talking to Gerald he thought incredibly highly of Buster.

My take away from the interview in the end was this. Buster Keaton was a man who strives in a social atmosphere, he was unlike other visionary directors like that of Stanley Kubrick who were often described as cold and distant to their crew. Though like the other great directors he was someone who was passionate about his work, working tirelessly on his films. Every scene and every gag he put together was made with a purpose and a idea in his mind. Buster Keaton was a man who there to get the job done in the way he wanted to do it.

In-Depth #1

My choice of category when it comes to in-depth?

Cooking, to be more specific, fusion cooking.

I chose this out of the thousands if not hundreds of thousands other topics to explore, I chose it over weightlifting, over business, over painting… you get my point. But I chose it over these for a reason, passion.  I feel passion every time I cook it’s where I find a chance to let loose, so I felt like it was, for a person such as myself, where I should I go “In-depth” beyond my normal scope in its terms. So I quickly found where the unexplored territory of this subject lied for me and that was fusion cooking. The combination of two cultural styles and cookery, it isn’t just me making Thai food, it would be me making a blend of cultural quirks. I want to mash them so to as make them unidentifiable as one culture’s dish, it won’t just be Mexican food, it will be some kind west coast mash of the local ingredients and the spicing of Mexico.

To go along with this I’ve set my goal for this project to fit its theme of cohesion and blending, specifically I’ve set my goal as  to create not just a dish a repertoire of dishes. I want them to bring out and show what I’ve learned, they must make heavy use of the fresh ingredients grown or caught around us in  my city, so it can not just just be combination of cultures but also something that can only be made here.

Fusion cuisine from the restaurant Bambudda

Lastly the topic of my mentor, someone I still haven’t found yet. I’ve worked to find one, emails sent out in abundance, though they all say that they are too busy with their workload. Though, I push on and I continue to search for a mentor and as to make up for the time lost I’ve enrolled in a cooking course to help with the time in between when I come into contact with  someone available and now.

The Zip Process

The process of Zip project was an interesting one, at least for me. It started as exploration into a genre of public speaking but turned into me finding how to relate to audiences.

From every speech I heard there was one thing that was consistent, It was suited to the audience. They connected like no other public speaker, they found ways to relate, ways to understand, ways to get the audience to visualize. They motivated audiences using memory’s they knew audience could relate to, they connected with them. That connection spring boarded into their speech and was the basis of their motivational energy, the energy that powered their speech.

After that I knew what was what I believed the apex of motivational speaking, where I should aim for. So of course I began to take notes, notes on vocal techniques, hand motions, so on and so forth. This is where I spent the majority of my time on this project, watching speeches and analyzing them for the small details. I used this information to refine my speech, I learned to keep it short and sweet, I learned to use terminology that is relatable to my audience, and I learned to create an image in my audience’s minds. So I gathered these notes together I made my speech.

The Influence of Ideas

Now that the first term is over, I have been left thinking about socials, and what I believe we’ve learned. And what I’ve believed we’ve learned, which is, “with new ideas comes change” is the fundamental point of this post.  Though others would disagree, to me it seems obvious, from Columbus and The English Civil War to the current day election and Eminent these all show change through new ideas more so than anything else. Be it through conflicting ideas or a whole new way of discrimination, it’s evident (in my opinion) that this is what largely what this first term has been based around.

Discrimination

Image result for christopher columbus

Columbus was the person I was speaking of when I mentioned “a whole new kind of discrimination”, because he was the one who brought discrimination on massive scale to an entire continent worth of people. The cause of this? His idea of the first nations being less than people effected the first nations with more than just discrimination, it brought  genocide. But that is just cause and effect, this unit (Christopher Columbus) also showed off the idea of change and stagnation. The largest example of this being the European’s stagnant behavior in regards to their treatment of others and the idea’s they brought with their stagnation, that forced the first nation to change their way of life. They we’re literally torn form their homes and forced into slavery or killed outright. Columbus’s idea’s not only invoked change but also discrimination.

Conflict

Conflict was a topic that came in abundance through out this first term, but I believe the prime example of this was the English Civil War. In a war there is with no doubt, no lack of conflict, so as we studied the cause of this momentous battle through passages in peoples writing’s and the idea’s of the opposing sides, clashing, hoping to make change.  We got to look in from our unique perspective as those observing and debating there ideas (in countless class discussions). So in this conflict, on a country so important, this internal conflict, effect’s the world not just the country, we got utilize its conflict’s and effects, its change and stagnation, to create our own mock realization of its ideas. In the for of The Trial of the King.

Revolution

The Trial of the King was the moment, I looked beyond just the conflict of idea’s and literal conflict of the English Civil War and saw it for what it wanted to achieve, it’s effect not its cause, revolution. This trial played parallel to current event of the time, the election, and through constant comparing you could see there similarity’s. Stephen Harper was the 2015 equivalent of Charles the First, and much like Charles, people wanted a “revolution”. They wanted Harper out, as to force him to stop plaguing the people and to head way for someone new, someone different. These comparisons continued for awhile, even after the trial, because they stuck with people, much like gum to the sole of your bootSo after debating this comparison for a while I realized more on this topic in particular, I realized that it wasn’t just “new ideas that brought change” it was ideas themselves.

Conclusion

This term of socials I believe has been one of great value to me. It has shown me the influence exerted through ideas brought to the public more so than anything else before it. With countless lessons on ideas of cause and effect,  racial discrimination, and change because if them, I believe socials 9, so far, has promoted my understanding of the idea of the idea, to level of new depth.

A Bibliography of Stephen Colbert

Image result for Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert (Character): Wikipedia

A document I used to fill in the gaps of my knowledge, though there are some very intriguing facts contained within it.

Image result for the colbert report

The Colbert Report (Clips and Episodes)

A small library on all of the works of The Colbert Report. This show was incredibly lucrative to finding the core to my eminent person, I used this for the majority of the information I needed on his character.

The Colbert Super PAC: Wikipedia

A block of information, as Wikipedia articles normally are. Though essential for finding many specifics, number wise while looking into this portion of his life.

colbert rally
[Art From: Todd Lockwood]

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear: Wikipedia

You may have noticed a common theme, but this Wikipedia article, is again just there to fill in the specifics that I don’t have from the show.

Now to summarize, it is quite obvious that the vast majority of my knowledge I used was from the show. But with an episode count totaling at 1,447, It’s obvious why there are only small gaps of info to fill in.

 

Lacking a Interview

I’ll be honest, I failed to get an interview, but it’s not due to a lack of trying. To be honest, (again) I sent out dozen of emails, and they all shared one quality they aimed to high. I sent E-mail to Stephen Colbert himself, to famous American Politicians (and not so famous ones), other famous comics… you get my point. So now I have no interview, but I do have… regret.

I have regret for things outside of my control but more so I regret for, as mentioned, aiming to high. I have much to say about this as not having an interview has irritated me, to say the least, since I began my speech. It’s mostly irritated me because I was never even close to getting one, it was always “not at this time” or no reply at all. I realize now that was likely due to me, messaging some very busy people, and I realize that. But at the time I was racking my brain to figure out why all these people are so busy!

I now (obviously) realize the reason I had no interview, beyond their apparent business, was me shooting for the stars. Because when you aim for the stars you kinda expect to fall. I grew blind to this, so thinking back on it, it is not surprising I failed. I should have aimed for people easier to come into contact, lower on the totem pole you could say. So in the end I failed, but I can learn from it.

My Centre of Learning

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Stephen’s Memorial

When Night of the Notables came about I created something that represented a lot more than just a moment, it represented an idea. The idea of the death of the medium, Stephen Colbert used to inspire and display his opinion. To display this I used, as you can see above, a memorial stone. Which depicts the death of Stephen Colbert (the character, not the person) at the the hands of his own comments.

With his death that I proposed I then began to go on large discussion about what “Stephen” did during his existence. So I talk on how he was used to display corruption or exploitation of politics, or how he was used to create large events (ei. The Colbert Super PAC) to donate to charity. But what I always made sure I spoke on, was how he was used so the actual Stephen Colbert could bring forth problems in his country without outrage. This was important because without the comedy from the character, politicians and talk shows were attacked if they so much as mentioned anything being wrong with America/Americans. An example being during  one of Obama’s recent speeches he made a small comment, which then he then had to apologize profusely  for.  So in the end these the discussions always led to the same idea, it was tragic to see this foolish, right-wing, narcissist die.

In conclusion, by the end of the night and many discussions, these topics not only gave the people who came to my location, but myself as well, many things to think about.

 

Lost in City of Knowledge

It  was a bright morning as we drove into Vancouver, it felt as if you could feel the anticipation emanating from the talons students. For today was the much hyped Vancouver Public Library trip,  where  we would dive forth and adventure through books stacked like skyscrapers, varying in size and shape, the piles were so expansive it felt like you were lost as soon as you wandered in.

But before I could get lost in the city of knowledge that was the library, I as well as many others took just moment of our to appreciate the exterior of building. It was obvious that many were captured by the building as soon as we began to just look at it, because with of all its twists and curves, it felt like it wanted to pull you in. We would soon get pulled in, but before that could happen we were quickly split into two groups one who would go to the library and another that would enjoy a small bookstore by the name of MacLeod’s Books.

Sadly I was not part of the group that went into the city of books, though I along with some of my other colleagues instead got to enjoy the quaintness of a small used book store going seemingly unnoticed.  If the library was a city, MacLeod’s Books seemed much more like a comforting small town, because even though it contained only old and torn books that made it seem more sincere. I searched as long as I was there but sadly I didn’t seem to find anything either pertaining to my eminent person or that I would enjoy owning (that I could afford).

After the hour we spent in the book store, we went back towards the library to  reunite with the other group and enjoy the small break lunch gave us. A break basically consisting of the consumption of many a bubble tea, sushi, and pizza which coincidentally were right beside each other making around 60 students confined into an area around 30 feet which led to an enjoyable lunch break.

Once lunch had come  to a close we broke off from the other group again and left to partake in the library. It was fantastic, it felt exactly like expected, it felt like I was lost in  city of books.  But sadly while I was lost in the city of books I found nothing on my eminent person, all I could find was were his book would’ve been if it wasn’t taken out. As I found that out I realized I might as well help out others, so I spent the rest of the time I spent it with Jackson in search of books on his eminent person.

As we used up the last of our time we reconvened with the other group and began to funnel ourselves onto the bus so we could return to Gleneagle. The ride back gave me a good opportunity to appreciate the trip in its whole from the quaint bookstore to the craziness of lunch to library its self, I would say after thinking it through it was an enjoyable trip.

Stephen Colbert

As of now I’ve decided that my eminent person, known for his famous “report”, will be Stephen Colbert. I’ve chosen Stephen Due to his many themes running through his life and comedy. Such as his deep love and interest for his country and comedy,the fact that he comes from a white middle-class household and that he’s guy much like myself. So what I’m saying, is that we’ve got quite a few similarities, as you can tell.

Born on May 13, 1964 Stephen was man with ambitions, ambitions large enough that he would become a writer, actor, comedian, but right then he was just a kid. Though he had his path ahead of him and he to figure it out he went to Northwestern University to study to become an actor but by a chance meeting with the comedian Del Close and the rest is history. From just working as part of sketch comedy group (Exit 57), landing his own show, The Colbert Report, to finally taking up the mantel of the host of The Late Night Show.

There are many accomplishments throughout his life that make him noteworthy, here are just a few. He, personally made the news grow into a platform, in my opinion, worth watching (with his work on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report) with his hilarious and informative writing and acting. Along with this Stephen has created, with much effort a Super PAC by the name of The Colbert Super PAC , it was made solely through parody of a Mr. Tim Pawlenty’s own Super PAC, which he soon realized was actually something he should do. Lastly. on this small list of achievements comes one of his most reputable, his impact on the american political scene, largely due to his numerous bits, interviews, and entire episodes on the idea. So to condense this down it’s obvious he’s a very reputable person.

Goals

To do this man justice, I will portray this man with my utmost ability, and I will show why he’s truly eminent. Specifically my learning center is something I want to catch your eye and show flares of passion and layers of intrigue, I want it to be something past a poster board, something that shows a glimpse of who he is and his eminence. Overall my goal for this project is to just make it something that shows what he is as a person.