Thursday, July 31, 2003

Jul 31 2003

[The Irish Walk]

I spent most of last evening wrestling with Adobe Premiere, which is surprisingly clunky. It doesn’t allow you to move clips “on top” of each other, and it wouldn’t let me move multiple clips on the timeline. Whenever I made one change at the beginning of the project, I had to re-position all the clips after it. Ironically, I found the “lightweight” personalStudio much easier to work with. Except that it can’t handle the wide range of formats that Premiere does.

I was editing together a collection of clips from last week’s Redemption club meeting. My original intention was to create a short demo movie, which I did. But now that I’ve assembled it, I think maybe I should have made something more akin to a “highlights” video. I like the idea of following Lileks’ lead and creating a highlights video for every evening we meet, in addition to keeping raw video for later assembly into a…err…Redemption Music Video. Don’t know.

Meanwhile, Brennen writes:

“Orwell wrote in a world which has since changed immeasurably; his concerns were different and the axes he had to grind aren’t mine. Still, it seems good to point out that while the imagery of 1984 and Animal Farm has become a kind of lip-service orthodoxy in its own right, Orwell had a lot of other things to say that would still be worth hearing.”

Moreover, it’s easy to forget that there was a time before 1984 and Animal Farm. Those books made such an impact precisely because they were so shocking to their culture.

We forget that, decades ago, a whole lot of people romanticized the Soviet experience, sugar-coated it, or were just plain ignorant of it. A whole heck of a lot of people living 50 years ago thought that socialism and command-and-control governments were fundamentally good and would inevitably lead to world peace. I’m not exaggerating; many magazines published thoughtful opinion pieces about the shining governmental example of Soviet Russia.

(If you’ve ever read Winston Churchill’s thunderings against the evils of communism, this is partly why — a large number of Brits during WW2 were all for communism, and wanted to emulate it. The majority of the population simply didn’t understand the uglier forces that permeated Soviet society.)

The Soviet experience was neither 1984 nor Animal Farm, nor must communism inevitably result in those horrific visions. But those works woke up a lot of people to what those forces can create.

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