I wandered through the room as Lester Holt was laying out the pirate-rescue details on NBC, and of course I stopped. (I cannot walk past Lester Holt without stopping, I am so fascinated by his utterly immobile upper lip. My old neighbor, the ex-dental hygienist, theorized he’d had extremely good cleft-lip surgery at some point in his life. But never mind that.)
What fascinated me this time was the animation of the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips. They needed an animation — a re-creation, based on information provided by the Navy — because of course reporters weren’t there. I don’t know how close the U.S. news media was able to get to the scene, but the correspondent on the scene was in Kenya, so that’s a pretty good bet. Anyway, the animation was very odd. You know those caricatures you see lately, where the caricature is all done in Photoshop? (Example.) No need to learn to draw when you can emphasize features with digital tools. It was like that — the “ocean” was plainly a water tank, the “ships” were toy models and the Somali pirates were symbolized by three black silhouettes; when they were “shot,” the silhouettes popped into the air and then flew out of frame.
Oh, hell — let’s just go spelunking for the damn clip. Here it is. Sorry about the Applebee’s ad.
I’m not opposed to re-creations or animated graphics. This one was just weird. And sorry, but I’m a word person. Describe it simply and clearly, and I can see it in my head. Lots of people probably think a lifeboat resembles a giant rowboat, however, like the ones in “Titanic.” So I can see the problem.
By the way, is there anything to these reports, about why the pirates feel justified in robbing American and European ships? I know, I know — failed state, warlords, etc. But if Italian mafias were shipping toxic wastes to my coastline to dump, I’d be pissed, too.
How was your Easter? Mine was lovely. We went to the Detroit Institute of Arts, not to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit or anything, but just to poke around. I hadn’t been since the big reno/reorg a couple years ago, so that was interesting — it really is a better museum now, with rooms grouped around ideas rather than strictly by periods. (Two ways of looking at an arch, Gothic and Renaissance, for instance.) Alas, we couldn’t linger with the Diego Rivera murals; there was some sort of presentation going on there, a dramatic storytelling thing that required a loud, screechy voice that echoed around the space and was not exactly conducive to art appreciation. Another time.
I also stayed away from my computer for much of the weekend, although I did finish my taxes and discovered, mirabile dictu, I’m getting a refund. Nothing like having a little money worry go away to make a person feel mellow and happy. Which is why I don’t understand Caroline Kennedy these days — glutton for punishment, or does she really think these things should be hers? The Vatican? Why not Ireland, or Luxembourg, or some nice, inconsequential minor principality with good food and a decent party circuit? Who in their right mind would want to grovel before Ratzi? As Michael Wolff puts it:
Caroline Kennedy has come to represent something that makes people crazy. Whatever she wants, people don’t want her to have. This is partly because she can’t but seem to act like she’s entitled to it. And it is partly because she does not seem to want to bother erecting the pretense that she is qualified for it (after all, she, of all people, knows that most politicians are not brain surgeons). And it is partly because her desperation is so apparent. She needs a job. Any job. Please. Which is not a good way to present yourself.
Well, yeah. Is being rich that boring? Having made one’s choice (to be quiet and wealthy and good), is it so hard to realize it doesn’t come with all the benefits one would like? This girl needs a good therapist.
And that’s it for me, today. Off to speak to a journalism class out in Dearborn and then to contribute to my IRA. And then to e-file.