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22 May 2010 @ 09:45 pm
203: Re-Entry Is a Doozy  
Best Beloved recently pointed out to me that it had been approximately seventeen years since I had recommended anything, which had of course triggered the inevitable thing where I am reluctant to write up a recommendations post because it's been so long since I've done one. You all know how this goes. She suggested I ease myself into it with vids. Happy vids.

She was, as always, right. Here are some happy vids, and pretty soon I might even remember how recommending works! I think - I think there is cake involved?

I might be wrong about the cake, actually.

The One That I Always Remember as Being NC-17, and Then I Rewatch It and Realize That It Is Merely Suggestive. Very, Very Suggestive. Let's Misbehave, by trelkez. White Collar.

Okay. I have read stories in this fandom - not, you know, all of them or anything, but some. Many, even! And this vid is, like, 45% of them. This is a vid with plot, and the plot goes like this:

Neal: I am exceptionally pretty.
Peter: Yes, you are. I might wish you weren't, but it's a fact and I'm prepared to put it on any number of affadavits.
Neal: Also, cute.
Peter: Yeah, but I've got to point out that it's the kind of cute where sometimes I want to smack you.
Neal: That's all just part of my charm.
Peter: The hell of it is that that's true.
Neal: And did I mention that I'm talented?
Peter: I already knew that, actually.
Neal: Face it, you can't resist me.
Peter: Let me just remind you about my wife.
Neal: You're in luck! I'm good with other people's wives.

Neal: So. Hi. Peter loves you, you know.
Elizabeth: And I love him, so that's something you and I have in common.
Neal: Did I mention that I am exceptionally pretty?
Elizabeth: You didn't need to. I have eyes.
Neal: But I would never want to come between the two of you.
Elizabeth: Well that's a pity.
Neal: Oooo. I think you're about to make me an offer I won't refuse.
Elizabeth: No, I'm going to make that offer to Peter.
Neal: Great! But, uh, if you're caught, I will disavow all knowledge.
Elizabeth: Like hell you will.

[And then they all have sex.]

So compelling is the force of this vid that even I think Neal is pretty for the duration of it. (I'm sorry, but under normal, non-this-vid circumstances, Neal looks like a not-especially-attractive ferret to me. I mean, okay, fine, a kind of cute ferret, but definitely the sort of creature you want to a) pat on the head and b) keep in a cage. Yes, fine, the line to cut me dead starts over there.) And that makes me notice that Elizabeth (who is absolutely not only pretty but hot) and Neal look a lot alike. And they have some similar body language. Hmmmm. Perhaps Peter has a type? IT MIGHT BE. WE SHOULD LOOK INTO THIS. (Hint: start by watching this vid.)

The One That Answers the Age-Old Question: Where Do Good Past Incarnations Go? The Tenth Doctor Musical, by di_br. Doctor Who.

Okay, I am guessing by the fact that this thing has almost 500 comments on LJ and more than 50k hits on YouTube that everyone has already seen it. I do not care. There might be someone out there who hasn't. That alone is reason enough to rec this.

Because, oh my god, this is just - just - well. I don't want to spoil it or anything, but there was a point, right before Nine rolled his eyes (and I was right there with him, of course), that I had a laughter-induced hallucination. (And here it is, for the people who have seen the movie of Bridget Jones's Diary: I saw the tenth Doctor in his pajamas, using a hairbrush as a microphone, singing All By Myself until he broke down weeping helplessly on the TARDIS's control panel. And here's the thing: I am absolutely, completely convinced that he's done this. We just need to get the footage out of the TARDIS somehow. Anyone have an in with her?)

I love this vid. I love every single thing about it. I love the idea that there's a Home for Old Doctors where they can watch the latest incarnation's exploits ("I tell you what, I would never have done that. In my day we knew the value of a blooping tube of blue goop.") and brood all moodily and be harassed by babies and have a cup of tea. I love the bonus track at the end, which, seriously, I have no idea what's going on there, but it is fucking scary, even so. I love the bits with Jack and the Master. I love Martha's theme song, which is so obviously her theme song I don't know why I never realized it before.

I even love being rickrolled. Pretty much.

The One That Makes Me Say, Every Time, "They - Had a Wizard of Oz Episode? Or a Costume Party Episode? Seriously, What the Fuck?" High School Never Ends, by Gab, aka milena_d. Gateverse.

It took me a lot of rewatching to figure out just why this vid works so well for me - because it does, it so totally does, and yet usually this kind of concept doesn't. But I persisted in my viewings - it wasn't actually a hardship - until I realized that actually, this vid is a celebration of the somewhat doofy but always entertaining physical acting (if, um, that's the term I want) of the many people of the Gateverse. And that is - it's just wonderful. It's physical comedy! In vid form!

But it's so much more than that. It's also filled with sly meta commentary on the shows and their fandoms, and, even more than that, a lot of love for the Gateverse and everyone in it. One of the things that I love about vidding is that for me, it's the fanwork type that can most easily just be a giant explosion of love for the fandom. There are vids that are, totally obviously and clearly, OMG SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE <3 <3 <3 set to music. And how can you not love that? How can you not love it when someone not only draws metaphorical hearts with her name and the fandom's name in it, but does it while hitting the beat?

(I am guessing that if you're better with faces and people than I am, fanart probably accomplishes the same thing. But - okay, this is a totally honest example of the way my brain sometimes fails with fanart. There is a very famous series of drawings in an older fandom, and someone linked to them on my friends list a while back, so I looked at them. And then I went to get Best Beloved, because when I'm that kind of lost, usually the problem is that my brain is malfunctioning. And we had a conversation that went, in part:

Me, showing her one of the drawings: ...And I just don't get it, I guess. I mean. How is this fannish?
BB: What do you see?
Me: A tiger.
BB: Do you see the guys in front of the tiger?
Me, trying to fake it: Um. Maybe?
BB: Do you see the one guy's penis, and how the other guy is sort of going for it?
Me, stunned: There's a penis?
Me: It's a really confusing picture!
BB: There's two guys and a penis and a tiger! IT'S PRETTY BASIC.
Me, muttering: Not to me it isn't.
BB: I can't believe you brought me in here to look at a penis you didn't even know was there.)

The One That Makes the Best Use of Lens Flare I Have Yet Seen in a Vid. The Test, by [personal profile] heresluck.

Probably you have already heard about how awesome this vid is. Well, you heard right: it is in fact profoundly awesome. It so profoundly awesome, in fact, that I feel comfortable recommending it, even though right now I have to question my judgment in anything Trek-related. I am still in that unfortunate phase of fandom where I sort of lack - you know, taste. And rational thought. Basically, my flowchart for determining whether or not I love something has a new branch in it, very early on, which looks like this (except of course the actual flowchart is nifty and cool-looking, because my brain does not run in ASCII):

Trek? The kind that has a Spock? ---Yes ---> OKAY I ALREADY LOVE IT

I am - a little obsessed. Just a little. But trust me when I tell you that my obsession is not why I love this vid. There are, in fact, so many moments that I love in it that if I made a greatest bits collection of it, it would be about four minutes long. (If I was allowed commentary in addition to actual clips, it would probably be about three hours long. This is why I don't ever try to do a frame-by-frame analysis of a vid; two years in and I'd still be at 0:45 and I'd already have said, "But it's, you know, SO INCREDIBLE, because" seven million times.)

I will say this, though: I was absolutely, completely sold on this vid in the first 35 seconds. AND THEN IT GOT BETTER. And then it got better again! It was like a matryoshka doll set, except made entirely of joy; I kept thinking I'd found the pure brilliance at the center, but no! There was always more joy still to come.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
tried to eat the safe banana: Drawthefourthvine on May 23rd, 2010 07:17 am (UTC)
This should be your new journal name, just sayin'.

You might be right about that.

Is it all line drawings? Or fanart specifically? Not I want to do SCIENCE on you!

It's - it's hard to explain. It's a style of drawing, and I struggle with it as much in non-fanart as in fanart. It's worst in very detailed, very busy, very line-filled drawings, and worst of all if it's all lines in one color. (So, like, charcoal, sepia, pencil, etc.) I'm just lost; the artist is apparently relying on her audience having an ability I don't have, something that helps people make sense of that kind of jumble.

So what happens is that I'll see part of it, and I'll assume the rest is decoration or whatever, and then I'll discover that the part I was seeing was the background. The foreground is, in these cases, always occupied by people. Who I can only see after BB traces the lines that make them up. (I ask her, "How was I supposed to know those were the important lines? How did you know?" but she can't explain; whatever is going on is as natural for her as it is unnatural for me.) And then sometimes I'll glance away, and when I look back, I can't find the right lines again - I'm back to being lost.

But I am okay with seeing almost all art, even if it doesn't resonate for me. (Art that has incredibly detailed faces, and the body and background are kind of - faded out, undetailed? There are portraits like this - that kind of art doesn't work very well for me, but I know what it's supposed to be.)

And, thinking of it, I am actually better with fanart than with a lot of art, because there's a shorthand and I know it. If the character has sproingy hair and it's labeled SGA, I know who he is! If it's a Trek piece, blue shirt and pointy ears means Spock! And so on.

(As an example of art that does not give me trouble: my icon. I know it's a face, and I can see it. The face is not why I have the icon, but still: I know there is a person there.)
Doctor Science: Dinosaur science personifiedmecurtin on May 23rd, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC)
*steeples fingers* Fascinating.

It sounds as though you have a low-quality Face Recognition Module, and it breaks down (almost) completely under unnatural conditions (e.g. line drawings).

What's scientifically interesting is that you *do* see the tiger. (what picture is this? Is it online?)

My hypothesis is that the normal human Face Recognition Module is so advanced that it doesn't need many pixels of input to get a result. You may be evaluating faces as though they are normal patterns.

So if the picture has 100K of data that are part of the tiger, and 20K that are faces, you find the tiger 5 times easier to discern than the faces. The standard human FRM is perhaps 10 times better than that for normal patterns, so to neurotypical person looking at the picture sees the faces twice as well (parses the pattern twice as easily) as the tiger.

... now I want to make your blood relatives look at pictures, too. I get more Agatha Heterodyne-y by the day.
She-Who-Reads-Constantlypaxluvfelicitas on May 25th, 2010 03:42 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah. thefourthvine has talked a lot about having difficulty watching television because of an inability to tell the people in the shows apart after they've changed clothes. Anecdotally, that definitely suggests some degree of prosopagnosia. Since major brain damage to the fusiform gyrus in childhood is the kind of thing that can come up in a blog, I'm assuming it's either associated with some other learning disorder or she's one of the ~2% of the pop that won the genetic lottery there.

(Hi TFV! I promise I'm not trying to be creepy; I find your brain interesting both for the witty writing AND the unusual neurological function! But, you know, if you care to tell me whether you find it unusually difficult to guess ages, or whether any of these photos seem strange, you'd make my day!)
Doctor Science: Dinosaur science personifiedmecurtin on May 25th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
Are you a neuroscientist? I would follow you, knew I but where.

Do prosopagnosiacs find faces *harder* to recognize than comparable non-face patterns? That is, is the lack something in pattern-recognition generally, or is their baseline pattern-rec normal?
She-Who-Reads-Constantlypaxluvfelicitas on May 25th, 2010 05:00 pm (UTC)
Nononono, just an interested Bio student who's read a couple of review articles. I am by no means an expert.

From what I've read, prosopagnosia is kinda like autism in that it covers a whole spectrum of different conditions with similar symptoms. In apperceptive prosopagnosia, people can't construct facial components into a sensible whole; they sometimes also have problems with greater pattern recognition. In associative prosopagnosia, people can perceive faces, but have difficulty tying those faces to memory data that lets them know who that person is. So, the highly scientific answer is, "It depends."
Insane_duckfishinsane_duckfish on June 16th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC)
AAAH AAAH AAAH The one in the bottom right corner is CREEPY. It took me a moment to figure out where the change was - my initial reaction was just asldfkjalskdfj WRONG.