Monthly Archives: February 2011

The User Interface

I have been thinking more and more about user interfaces(UIs) lately. Maybe it’s the proliferation of devices in our everyday lives, but I cannot shake out of my head that individuals designing interfaces seem to shrug off the idea that there should be rules governing their choices. The two rules necessary for UIs are as follows: simplicity and accessibility. Read the rest of this entry

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Donald For Spider-Man

The link below leads to a video of Donald Glover performing stand-up, specifically his discussion of the “Donald for Spider-Man” campaign in which he starred but did not fully participate. I appreciate his response to someone’s saying that maybe Michael Cera should then play Shaft. My response: Why not?

Donald For Spiderman (HD) on Vimeo on Vimeo

via Donald For Spiderman (HD) on Vimeo.

Community: I won at Dungeons and Dragons – and it was Advanced!

Few shows effectively walk the line between affectionate parody and cruel ridicule of subcultural subjects. Some topics are pointedly ignored because acknowledgment grants some sort of power. Fortunately for Community, there is no topic in the multimedia world that is worth ignoring. What amazes me is the creativity displayed by the writers to make each topic work. In the first season they managed to make a post-apocalyptic action episode work. In the current season, they have already pulled off parodies of both zombie and space shuttle launch films. Bear in mind that this show takes place at a community college and the parodies are appropriately grounded in some level of reality.

Which brings us to the recent Advanced Dungeons and Dragons episode. In order to instill a classmate with self-respect after realizing he was exhibiting the warning signs of a severe depression, the study group convince him to play a game, his favorite game, with them. What would normally happen on television series in such a circumstance would be the transportation of the cast into the magical world they were imagining. Instead, it kept true to the nature of the game. Every person described what they were doing or attempting to do, and to make it even more funny a narrator (speaking in the tone typical of fantasy films) spoke over them – to describe the characters as they described their actions. This simultaneously pointed out just how ridiculous playing role-playing games can appear to outsiders but reinforced to those with experience in these games the majesty of these curiously indescribable worlds.

This does not come without some criticism. The previous week’s episode featured an anti-drug play in which Pierce paid Annie off in order to get a larger role, but this had the poor effect of making his role, that of drugs, the most appealing to their audience. Pierce already played antagonist, and in the AD&D episode he played antagonist again. It does not sit well as a viewer because it seems like there is no break for the cast in dealing with him, which begs the continual question of why he is always part of their study group. I guess that is the ongoing joke, but his continually disappointing behavior sometimes stops being funny and becomes something worth avoiding. (Bear me no mind, though. I also think this of Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. One-note characters both me. When depth is only given once every seven episodes, it does not work for me.)

Click this link to watch the episode on Hulu.

I admit to being shameless about this show. It is one of the few shows that I can say has consistently been one of my favorites airing on television. It does not fail to make me laugh.

The Race of Superheroes

Christian Bale is Batman. Andrew Garfield is the new Spider-Man. Now it has been announced that Henry Cavill is the new Superman. What do these three men have in common?

Henry Cavill, the new starry eyed youngster from the farms of Smallville

They’re all British and they’re all white. Read the rest of this entry