REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

In Media Res- " who? what? when? why?"

POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Monday, January 17, 2022 03:22
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 235
PAGE 1 of 1

Sunday, January 16, 2022 5:52 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Quote:

The Menticide Manual – In Medias Res
2721 Views January 16, 2022 4 Comments

By Thorsten J. Pattberg for the Saker Blog

In medias res is the literary device to start your story “in the midst”. This trick will create in the minds of the audiences the illusion of distance to a beginning and an end. As in: They are throwing you in the middle of it.

All epics – from Homer’s Odyssey to Asvaghosa’s Buddhacharita to the anonymous Beowulf – are necessarily written in the mode of in medias res. That is what makes them epic.

But it can be done with every story, and with every part within that story. A trained propagandist can and will use in medias res to make any character epic, any story epic, any news piece totally epic.

In this concise chapter, we shall talk about how to write extraordinary distance into any event, thing or character with the intent to deify them – to make them appear god-like.

This lesson is going to knock you over the head, so please find a quiet place and sit…

From Epic Poems to Modern Media

Once this “in the midst” device is repeated in first, second, and third-slot stories, an extraordinary depth is created. This can be cycled indefinitely. The readers are confronted with the extraordinary experience of “reading something backward.”

You may have heard this in grammar school, when your English teacher read a commentary which stated in passing that the Iliad or The New Testament were actually written backward. And you probably didn’t pay much attention.

In literature, we call this ‘the backward-building technique’ or ‘backward linearity’, but this is really misleading terminology, because we cannot write backward, obviously. We just never start at the beginning. So we later relapse, flashback and remember. In editorial work, scholars call this ‘intertextuality’. This is just another sophisticated word for saying we are experimenting with narrated chronology and non-linear order. Yes, we do that for you.

This “reading it backward” is the addictive habit those magicians with 6-figure salaries in Tinseltown use in order to get us hooked for eight consecutive years on Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead and other infinitely epic crap.

The new epic story tellers write stories within stories, endless weighting, say a modern King Arthur, with new deeds and twists and fatalities, introducing ever more interrelated characters such as the adventures of Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad and Wizard Merlin, and ever more backstories to the new Holy Grail and Camelot, and it just never ends and goes on and on, with new, multilayered deaths and rebirths and [a new stylistic device:] subverting expectations.

You will think, by watching or reading these, that those stories and characters are far more epic than you and your small life. It is a demonic technique, so please do warn your kids…

Those publishers and studios do not roll dice. Writing is a science. They know exactly what certain techniques are doing to your brains. You – I mean “Us” really – are all experimental rats to them.

Epic poems existed for thousands of years, long before writing emerged. They were orally transmitted, and only later written down, such as the Nordic Valhalla mythologies or the Hebrew Old Testament or the Vedic Ramayana. This means that in medias res has an evolutionary psychology explanation.

When our ancestors met a new member or a new situation about which they did not know the backstory, they were excited to know more about it – but also alerted.

If our brains find themselves “in the midst” of something, with information missing as to why and how it got here, neurotransmitters respond and release chemicals that contribute to the excitation of adjacent neurons like a cold flow. It feels like you were in free fall. Of course, the brain will quickly counter the excitation by signaling molecules that inhibit the neurons.

Because if the brain doesn‘t do that, or if the receptors wear out and if the inhibitors can’t inhibit any more, we end up with seizures or in epilepsy. And this is precisely what modern media wanted to test on us: we were fixated onto a giant excitation experiment and they drove us to our limits of the neurological possible. They wanted to measure attention span and frequencies and all that. And now they know.

From Modern Media to Social Media

Let us describe the evolution of in medias res. Epics were usually about the rise and fall of families, so lots of characters and hours of plot, intrigues, endless drama and interesting deaths. Fantastic journeys were also very popular.

In writing for moving pictures, trained writers can easily shorten and cramp hours of plot into 120 minutes or 90 minutes (what we call movies), next 60 minutes or 45 minutes (what we call television shows), and later just 30 minutes (what we call episodes).

To the surprise of the producers, audiences respond to the in medias res technique, not to the actual content. In other words, the audiences were conditioned toward backward-building techniques – no introduction, lots of flashbacks, cliff-hangers, different subplots, constant flow of new characters, fatalities and deaths.

So, producers and writers could condition the experimental rats, Us, with just half of the actual content we thought we needed. If we look at Japanese One Piece, now over 1,000 episodes, or American House of Cards, slightly over 70 episodes, we have 30 minutes or 45 minutes run-time respectively, but with each actual episode just making up 15 minutes. The rest is for illusion – in medias res intros, flashbacks, breaks, close shots, long pauses, unnecessary exterior shots and pointless dinner scenes.

For a scriptwriter, 15 minutes is still too long actually. That is 2,000 words of dialogue or 10 – 16 pages. For comparison, the Book of Tao, which comprises the entire universe, is 4,000 words. At most, I would say a major plot moment is about 1.5 pages of writing. So the scriptwriters must litter the script with several subplot moments and call them A, B, C, D… and so on. In other words, they write backward.

Their audiences feel they are thrown at distance into a long existeth universe, and (mostly) have no idea that that universe has not been written yet (think of George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire that took him forever to rearrange). And some universes will probably never be completed at all (think of J R R Tolkien’s Middle Earth or George Lucas’s Star Wars saga). We are thrown into something and only later might they bother to tell us what it is. Here is a hint: They don’t know yet themselves. It is just a psychological trick – in medias res.

The epic Ramayana (5th century BC) had 71 main characters. The Chinese epic Outlaws of the Marsh (14th century) had 108 main characters. The Lord of the Rings (1954) has 750 named characters. Anpanman (1988), a Japanese animation show, has 1,768 characters. But all those characters were invented long after you had read the first chapter. You are now going backward into their stories.

You can see this with big producers such as Marvel Comics, a US-company specialized on superheroes, that has come a long way since its first publication of the Human Torch in 1939. The company worked its way backward, as all epic storytelling does, and furnished its universe with over 1,500 superheroes and villains, including the glorious 3D-Man who popped out when you crossed your eyes or put on holospecs, the abominable Siamese twinhead Bi-Beast and, my personal favorite, the emerald-green tomb-god Rama-the-Tut.

So we are going to best every character, every scene, and cause ever more in medias res moments. Then writers moved away from epic novellas and movies and tv series to ever shorter media.

Did you know that advertisements are perfected in medias res moments? An advertisement needs no introduction. It comes out of nowhere. The idea is that you almost feel assaulted and caught “in the middle of something” preferably whilst in the middle of watching another “in the midst” middle part of an epic tv series that they have no plan to end. You are spammed 5 to 20 seconds, and then they just leave you at that. And you have to work your way backward as to what just happened.

From Social Media to the Metaverse

The average Youtube video duration once was 10 minutes to 5 minutes, now even just 3 minutes. That is easily outrun by 30 seconds Polemixs, 10 seconds TikToks or just 6 seconds Vines. That is about the length of 18 words, two lines of verses or exactly one stanza of any 2,000 years old epic poem. See, I told you to sit…

The underlying technique is always in medias res; we are just being thrown into the midst of a new part, over and over again.

We have said that in medias res has evolutionary relevance in our psychology. This is actually how we construct our own epic life story. We were constantly confronted “in the midst” of a new situation, and had to work our way backward to figure out its greater meaning in our own universe.

This is where the neurological technologies of the future will play a greater part in all story-telling. We have managed to actually have people sit on a sofa and do nothing but zapping or clicking – in medias res – into thousands of unrelated new story-lines each day. We simulate to their brains an epic multi-life story. They actually lead multi-lifes with no beginnings and no ends.

The next step for our producers and writers will be to facilitate audiences with endless, infinite streams of in medias res, which some feudalistic cyberspace monopolists have already laid their hands on and patented as ‘the Metaverse’. It really is in medias res. They are going to deify and multiply our living psychology.

So what is the moral of the story? The moral of the story is that the more powerful you want to make your story, and the more interesting and epic and memorable you want to make your characters, the harder you must strike in the midst and work your way backward…

“The writing style is so realistic and fake at the same time it‘s mind blowing but my grandpa died.” –Grimmer







NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, January 16, 2022 10:48 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them. SECOND: I am so very sorry I libelled you by labelling you a Russian Troll. I apologize for this. http://www.fireflyfans.net/mthread.aspx?bid=18&tid=64646&p=2


Once upon a time, I was taught that a news story should cover everything you need to know: the who, what, when, where, how and why of a story.
THAT, apparently doesn't create audience engagement!

Instead, if you're plopped into the middle of a story, your brain will instantly start trying to figure it out. THAT is engagement! And it's a device that scriptwriters and advertisers and influencers and propagandists know well.

Interesting point.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake


NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 17, 2022 12:03 AM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Once upon a time, I was taught that a news story should cover everything you need to know: the who, what, when, where, how and why of a story.
THAT, apparently doesn't create audience engagement!

Instead, if you're plopped into the middle of a story, your brain will instantly start trying to figure it out. THAT is engagement! And it's a device that scriptwriters and advertisers and influencers and propagandists know well.

Interesting point.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake


Whenever I see a movie or TV show or episode or whatever that starts with an 'action-packed' or 'gripping' scene - man runs across beach then gets shot in the back by an unseen shooter and dramatically falls dead on the sand - or - couple argues loudly with youngster crying in the background then man storms off - I mentally roll my eyes and prepare for a badly-written slog. I know it's 'supposed' to engage me, but it just irritates me. (The only time I think it's acceptable is in murder mysteries, where, in the interest of brevity, one often starts with a mysterious unexplained murder, or at least dead unexplained body.)

Also I usually skip past things like breakfast scenes, dinner scenes, bedroom scenes, restaurant scenes and so on where we're being treated to imo pointless diversions of nothingness. I skip to the next thing to try and get to what happens plot-wise.

When it comes to news stories, the whole 'we need to start with a human story to grab people' drives me nuts, along with a lot of the meaningless backs and forths of past and present, here and there, detail and outline, and so on. I USED to spend a lot of time rearranging news items into a concise complete read, but meh - too much work, honestly. Now I just try to find the salient point, (presence or absence of evidence, and if it seems like something important, I look for additional information from original sources), and if people want to look further, they can go read it themselves.

When it comes to 'sagas' I get alerted when a character is being expanded, probably due to audience interest, but unless there's some new meaningful thing, or at least something interesting, I drift away.

So mostly - idk - I don't THINK this works on me all too well. Maybe that's a benefit of having severe ADHD.


BTW, the popular series 'Lost' lost me about 3 episodes in. I felt like it was a pointless exercise in being jerked around by writers who were desperately trying to throw more and more stuff into the plot b/c they didn't have a clue where any of it was going.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, January 17, 2022 3:22 AM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Once upon a time, I was taught that a news story should cover everything you need to know: the who, what, when, where, how and why of a story.
THAT, apparently doesn't create audience engagement!

Instead, if you're plopped into the middle of a story, your brain will instantly start trying to figure it out. THAT is engagement! And it's a device that scriptwriters and advertisers and influencers and propagandists know well.

Interesting point.

Methinks the current term for this is "clickbait"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
Another 1990s style Mass Shooting in a School
Thu, May 26, 2022 18:39 - 23 posts
In the garden, and RAIN!!!!
Thu, May 26, 2022 17:31 - 10575 posts
Russia Invades Ukraine. Again
Thu, May 26, 2022 16:29 - 591 posts
Assessing facts, evidence and accountability - Ukraine v. Russia
Thu, May 26, 2022 15:36 - 27 posts
Some Covid-19 thoughts
Thu, May 26, 2022 11:16 - 3737 posts
Dow Nearing 30K. Time For You To Jump Off?
Wed, May 25, 2022 22:52 - 91 posts
I'm surprised there's not an inflation thread yet
Wed, May 25, 2022 21:55 - 249 posts
Disband FBI?
Wed, May 25, 2022 21:17 - 125 posts
Hydroxychloriquine, The Cure For Wuhan Coronavirus (Fauci Flu)
Wed, May 25, 2022 20:19 - 111 posts
Will Your State Regain It's Representation Next Decade?
Wed, May 25, 2022 20:18 - 106 posts
January 6th Commission investigating coup attempt
Wed, May 25, 2022 19:26 - 516 posts
What FDA approved drugs was this waste of carbon on?
Wed, May 25, 2022 17:45 - 5 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL