Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day Twenty-six - TEDTalks: Smart Laughs, Episodes 2 and 3, or "You make me cry, Ze."

Every couple of months... well, sometimes every couple of months... more often than not, the way it goes is that I completely forget about TED for almost a year, then randomly find a link to it on StumbleUpon or Reddit and I'm back for a long, emotional, and enlightening binge.

And it really is a binge. Hours and hours of free time spent watching folks wiser than me.

See, I really want to go to a TED conference. Hell, I want to speak at a TED conference, but I'm so deathly afraid that I'm not worthy... of either.

Anyways, while searching through the annals of Netflix (well, scrolling through the recommended documentaries bar because I've watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Indie Game), I saw Smart Laughs and just had to add it to my queue.

I'm glad I did because, so far, I've seen none of these segments before during any of my binges. At least, not that I remember.

The first one I'll report on here is episode 2 and is entitled "Rives on 4AM."

At it's core, it's really just a funny little comment on the grand collective unconsciousness and how tiny thoughts and phrases filter through the zeitgeist at various places. How our minds look for connections and actually sometimes find them, whether they are coincidence or not.

It's cute, it's funny, and it's short. Only ten minutes long. It both lampoons and, if you turn your head and squint, could completely justify the existence of conspiracy theorists.

For the most part, though, it just makes me think. Also, laugh, but mostly think.

And I like to think.

In fact, it's probably both my greatest strength and weakness, but I digress.

The second segment I'll report is episode 3, "Ze Frank's Web Playroom," which is actually, oddly enough, his second segment in the series as his talk from the early 2000's "Nerdcore Comedy" is the first episode.

This one really touched me.

Not only was it an interesting demonstration of several thought provoking interactive web experiences that he's created or sponsored, but it really demonstrated how he, personally, had changed in the years since his previous talk "Nerdcore."

It also really got to me during the Pain Pack demo.

For any reader of this blog who doesn't know me personally, I occasionally suffer from deep bouts of depression and social anxiety. I've had at least one major depressive episode in my life that seriously impacted my lifepath.

It was pretty bad.

Most times, I manage to get by with coping mechanisms and am usually relatively happy most of the time.

That said, observing the Pain Pack portion of the segment hit me right in the feels. Hearing first the original message that inspired him, then his (and, subsequently, the world's) musical response, had me crying openly.

Just thinking about it has me tearing up.

I think Ze and Rives are very much on the nose about our connections to the social media zeitgeist and collective unconsciousness... and they managed to convey these messages in smart, funny, and emotive ways.

I respect them... and envy them... and hope that one day I might be worthy of that same stage... that I have something just as relevant to say. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but I'm a dreamer.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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