athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
A common reaction to Robin Williams' suicide is surprise, most particularly surprise that he suffered from depression.

That part … did not surprise me at all.

Look at him. Pick any movie, any scene, especially the ones where he's smiling. His smile, more often that not, is almost apologetic.

That is the face of a man who is constantly, keenly aware of the fragile, transient beauty of life and existence … and the more beautiful the moment, the more that transience weighs upon him.

That is the face of someone who feels sadness in the midst of the most sincere joy, because of that joy.

That's depression.

It's not just languishing in the dark and reading Goth poetry. It can also be smiling with tears in your eyes. It's not an inability to feel joy or happiness – it's when even joy brings pain.

Some people think that if it weren't for the lows in life, we couldn't appreciate the highs. When you suffer from depression, it’s exactly the opposite: the highs in life just bring the lows into sharp relief.

If you look at Robin Williams' life – his loving family, his career and fans, his financial security, his supportive community – and think that, in the face of all that, being depressed "doesn't make any sense" – you're absolutely correct.

Clinical depression isn't an emotional state. It’s a chemical imbalance. Those serotonin levels don’t respond to logic or reason or perspective, and even when you know all these things intellectually, they don’t magically make the emptiness go away.

I was lucky. I had acute depression, not chronic, and I don't seem to have whatever quirk of psychology or metabolism that leads to substance abuse or addiction issues. I can empathize with the late Mr. Williams, deeply, but I can't ever know what it was really like in his head, to have the Black Dog sinking its teeth in your throat, even when surrounded by those you love and who love you in return.


Subject line courtesy of Patton Oswalt's Twitter.
athelind: (DRAGON!)
(Yeah, I'm posting a lot today. I'm thinky.)

Every few years, I come back to this question; for the first time, though, I've got a different answer.

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your alter-ego?



For years, I wanted Kelsey Grammer for Athelind, but I think Your Obedient Serpent has finally moved past mere self-conscious pomposity.

Just as [livejournal.com profile] jirris_midvale wanted someone who could swing between the two poles of his personality, I've found someone who can capture the full binary range of Athelind's psyche:

Peter Cullen.



When Athelind is up, he's impassioned, sincere, and inspiring, much like Cullen's most famous role.

And when he's not ... Cullen has that covered, too. You can just hear him say stuff like "any day where you don't have brain damage is a victory", "so far, so good", and other, similar gems from my Argot entries, can't you? Really, some of those only really carry their full weight as Athespeak when said in that voice.

As always, comments are open -- who's your voice?


Edit 05 June 2010: You know, when I think about it, Argot entries tend to be in Eeyore's voice, while Feed Your Head entries lean toward Prime.
athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
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Oddly, this came up in conversation with [livejournal.com profile] thoughtsdriftby just this morning:

I buried Robert A. Heinlein.

The question specified "daily life", so I'm not going to count the numerous writers, artists and actors I've met at science fiction conventions.

There was also the time the family visited New Orleans, circa 1980, when the Captain and Tennille were filming a TV special, and we kept running into them every time we turned a corner.


athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Oddly, this came up in conversation with [livejournal.com profile] thoughtsdriftby just this morning:

I buried Robert A. Heinlein.

The question specified "daily life", so I'm not going to count the numerous writers, artists and actors I've met at science fiction conventions.

There was also the time the family visited New Orleans, circa 1980, when the Captain and Tennille were filming a TV special, and we kept running into them every time we turned a corner.


athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)


It's a song about the loss of innocence... and we've all lost a little today.

Good night, Mary.


athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)


It's a song about the loss of innocence... and we've all lost a little today.

Good night, Mary.


athelind: (cronkite)

Walter Cronkite, Dead at 92



The man they called The Most Trusted Man in America -- and really, has anyone else come along worthy of the title come along since he retired? -- died today, in the middle of the the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that he covered so memorably.

He was a journalist, by God, and there are damned few of them left today, in the mainstream media or on the net.

The nation whose population depends on the explosively compressed headline service of television news can expect to be exploited by the demagogues and dictators who prey upon the semi-informed. -- Walter Cronkite, 1996


Good night, Uncle Walter.


athelind: (Default)

Walter Cronkite, Dead at 92



The man they called The Most Trusted Man in America -- and really, has anyone else come along worthy of the title come along since he retired? -- died today, in the middle of the the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that he covered so memorably.

He was a journalist, by God, and there are damned few of them left today, in the mainstream media or on the net.

The nation whose population depends on the explosively compressed headline service of television news can expect to be exploited by the demagogues and dictators who prey upon the semi-informed. -- Walter Cronkite, 1996


Good night, Uncle Walter.


athelind: (barcode)
"Billy Jean"? "Thriller"? "Smooth Criminal"?

This is the Michael Jackson that I'd prefer to remember.



He spent his whole life trying to recapture a childhood lost to celebrity.
I think this is the Michael he'd have preferred to remember, too.

athelind: (Default)
"Billy Jean"? "Thriller"? "Smooth Criminal"?

This is the Michael Jackson that I'd prefer to remember.



He spent his whole life trying to recapture a childhood lost to celebrity.
I think this is the Michael he'd have preferred to remember, too.

athelind: (furries for obama)
This made me happy.

(...I also really want to play in that game setting.)

athelind: (Default)
This made me happy.

(...I also really want to play in that game setting.)

athelind: (Ommm)

Dreamworks is Really Tyrell Corporation: Kung Fu Panda More China Than China



Excerpt:
Chinese animated films tend to be more educational in nature and heavy with significance, but short on entertaining detail, "Kung Fu Panda" viewers say. Local directors would not have had the imagination to make Po's father a duck. Nor would they dare to portray a panda -- a cultural icon in China -- as lazy and fat as Po when "Kung Fu Panda" begins.
ad_icon

Foreigners who make cultural missteps are often accused of hurting the feelings of the Chinese people.

"If you asked a Chinese to make this movie, the panda needs to be lovable but in a perfect sense," said Sun Lijun, a professor of animation at the Beijing Movie Institute, in the July 10 issue of Oriental Outlook magazine. "In the end, he would be so perfect he would be unlovable."


This intritgues me. I was wondering how the movie would play in China -- if it would be dismissed as just a big ball of stereotypes. The best-case response I foresaw was amused tolerance.

I did not expect waves of enthusiasm combined with a shocked awareness that barbarian outsiders had made a better movie about China than China could.

This is, incidentally, one of those movies that could only work because it's furry. Yes, the Cute Talking Animals genre has been overplayed in CGI -- but that doesn't mean it's anywhere near tapped.

athelind: (Default)

Dreamworks is Really Tyrell Corporation: Kung Fu Panda More China Than China



Excerpt:
Chinese animated films tend to be more educational in nature and heavy with significance, but short on entertaining detail, "Kung Fu Panda" viewers say. Local directors would not have had the imagination to make Po's father a duck. Nor would they dare to portray a panda -- a cultural icon in China -- as lazy and fat as Po when "Kung Fu Panda" begins.
ad_icon

Foreigners who make cultural missteps are often accused of hurting the feelings of the Chinese people.

"If you asked a Chinese to make this movie, the panda needs to be lovable but in a perfect sense," said Sun Lijun, a professor of animation at the Beijing Movie Institute, in the July 10 issue of Oriental Outlook magazine. "In the end, he would be so perfect he would be unlovable."


This intritgues me. I was wondering how the movie would play in China -- if it would be dismissed as just a big ball of stereotypes. The best-case response I foresaw was amused tolerance.

I did not expect waves of enthusiasm combined with a shocked awareness that barbarian outsiders had made a better movie about China than China could.

This is, incidentally, one of those movies that could only work because it's furry. Yes, the Cute Talking Animals genre has been overplayed in CGI -- but that doesn't mean it's anywhere near tapped.

athelind: (Default)
Whilst looking for an old post, I found one from about three years ago that might do with revisiting:

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your character?



Think of this as one of those "Writer's Block" questions they put up on the LJ Home Page.

I may make it part of the character creation process in my future tabletop games.

I'm still sticking with Kelsey Grammer for Athelind.


athelind: (Default)
Whilst looking for an old post, I found one from about three years ago that might do with revisiting:

When they make an animated movie of FurryMUCK / Second Life / The Internet / Your Favorite Tabletop RPG, who should voice your character?



Think of this as one of those "Writer's Block" questions they put up on the LJ Home Page.

I may make it part of the character creation process in my future tabletop games.

I'm still sticking with Kelsey Grammer for Athelind.


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