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Breaking the Seal


Here’s a list of the blogs that I commented on this week, as well as my honest findings about the projects themselves, and their creators.

From Maryna Matorina’s “This Story is Shapely”
As much as I hate to play fact-checker with this one, “Avatar” is still the highest-grossing film of all time, making $2.788 billion at the worldwide box office in 2009, according to Box Office Mojo. James Cameron’s other career lynchpin, “Titanic,” is the second-highest grossing film, followed by “Jurassic World,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” and “Furious 7.”

Also, Vonnegut only brought up the million-dollar paycheck when he talked about the Cinderella story in his lecture. He didn’t necessarily mean that all stories will give you that kind of pay-off, should they be written well.

Finally, you didn’t play any sound in your video timeline until 39 seconds in, leaving the audience seeing things, without hearing any important cues leading into a specific moment. We want to pay attention to you, but we don’t have any reasons to.


Maryna’s blog did seem to have the best of intentions in mind, but she still has room for improvement. As I hinted at here, readers want to pay attention to these posts, but they aren’t going to do so if they feel misled. Even now, I’m not sure what film came along, in the intervening five years, that would cause Avatar to fall to second place on the box office leaderboard, but that’s just me. Again, these were just minor nitpicks. I’ve yet to receive a response from her at the time of this post, so we’ll have to wait and see if she takes my advice.

The takeaway from her site is that you need to do your research if you’re going to bring statistics into your argument.

From Miranda Skinner’s “Daily Create 9/7/15”
This really lived up to the title of a Daily Create challenge, since it felt like something anyone could provide a response to. It reminds me of games like “#HashtagWars,” from “@midnight,” or “Scenes From a Hat,” from “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” It’s that kind of unpredictability – that spark of insanity that Robin Williams talked about – that will help you learn more about the world around you, long after this class concludes. The only thing I have against all of this is that your site’s asking if I want to hear of any follow-up comments…twice. You might want that checked. #talkingpolack106

I love shows like Whose Line Is It Anyway? and @midnight, because the comedians on those shows need to rely on their social skills, or “street smarts,” for the joke to work. With that in mind, Miranda’s blog makes me feel as if she has the social skills to go far once class is dismissed this winter. She seems like someone I would want to befriend, given her bubbly personality on her site, but as of this post, she’s yet to respond to me.

The takeaway from her site is that sometimes, you have to cut loose every now and then, and let your creative actions speak louder than simple words.

From James Baylor’s “Last And Furious”
I know that this was supposed to be funny, but I’m not laughing at this one, and here’s why. The goal of this challenge was to take a movie title, change one letter and draw a scene from the new movie. While the first two acts can be said without complaint, Act III is where you just gave up. All we received from you was a slightly-rushed sketch, of a close-up of a car, and that was it. If you’re going to parody “The Fast and the Furious,” or any of its sequels, you have to put more effort into it, than a snapshot of a random car on a street. For example, you could show one of the runners-up, acting like a sore loser, because they just lost a pink slip race, and now have to give up their car to a rival gang. I could be wrong, here, but still images can tell a story in certain situations, and this isn’t one of those times.

One thing about this particular post of James’ was that the car design was lackluster, at best. This gave off an impression I wouldn’t use to describe anyone with, because this laziness made me feel like he just didn’t care about this class, and wanted to get everything over with, at once. The fact that this post was originally taken down, shortly after I uploaded it, didn’t help, and neither did that James said next.

“I’m sorry that I’m not a Picasso. I don’t have the time you have to take 3 hours for a daily create. Your input honestly does not matter to me. thanks for trying to be my teacher though! It was funny reading your comment seeing how much you care lol”

I care about my grades, and I care about my classmates, and with an attitude like this, I doubt I can say the same for Mr. Baylor. Admittedly, I may have the same issues as he does, with regards to timing, but I take what time I do have to make sure that my project makes sense, and fits with the context I’m given. If I don’t, I’m going to confuse Superman for Rambo again!

The takeaway from his site is that, if you think helping others is a joke, you might end up being your own punch line when the grades come in.

From Rachel Stanford’s “Twitter Poetry Collaboration”
This is a fitting finale for that particular portion of Levato’s poem. I suspect you’ve read the works of Edgar Allan Poe before writing this response, and I think it works in your favor. What this line says is that, although the war has concluded, it has not done so without casualties on both sides of the battlefield. Winners and losers don’t exist when conflicts are taken to their most logical extremes, especially when those involved in said conflicts are too stubborn to see that everyone’s life is at stake, including theirs, when so much as a single round of ammunition is fired. In the words of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, “War, children…it’s just a shot away.”

I felt like Rachel knew how to get her point across when it came to #pxc001, and the fact that it was her entry that caused Francesco Levato himself to follow the Daily Create was only the peak of the mountain. I can relate with her thought processes, since both of our responses to this particular challenge came from very dark places, Rachel’s from war, and mine from ego. She’s just as honest with me when I critiqued her work, as well, making me think she could go places after all of this is over, as well.

I am glad that at least one person understood what I was trying to say with my three lines of poetry. War causes so much strife and tragedy and it seems so senseless at times.

The takeaway from her site is that, sometimes, great minds can think alike. Rachel’s definitely someone to watch out for, in the future of DS106.

From Miles Davis’ Appreciating Past DS106 Stories “30,000 miles in 30 seconds”
The most glaring flaw I can find with this entry is your consistent lack of grammar. While I can forgive you for confusing the genders of the creator of “3,000 Miles in 30 Seconds(ish),” it seems that these simple mistakes are making your argument look unintelligible to those who want to read it, like your classmates, let alone those who need to, like Ms. Polack. I think this might call for an immediate rewrite, from the beginning, and with all of the errors fixed. #talkingpolack106

If you have read Miles’ blog in its entirety, odds are you would’ve felt the way I did reading through this the first time. As someone who has impressed many a teacher over the years, in Public Speaking and Creative Writing classes, this is something that I had to bring up in my critique. While I did get the point he was attempting to convey with this post, it was hard of me to notice with the myriad of minor mistakes he was making, with regards to grammar. I have a feeling he’ll try to defend these mishaps, and choose not to change his ways, but for now, he hasn’t responded to me.

The takeaway from his site is that we all have something to say, but it won’t mean anything, to anyone, if sentence structure is the last thing on our minds.

Like I said, while I do have poor social skills, I don’t have it in me to just let go of an issue as easily as others do. I want to see Miles improve on his writing, and James improve on his behavior. If you’re not going to even try in this class, then the only story you’re going to tell is a tragedy, and as Kurt Vonnegut pointed out, not everyone loves a tragedy.

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