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OMG PURPLE FOX! — LiveJournal
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My latest article for Falkvinge on Infopolicy is a reflection on the recent antics of LulzSec and other “whimsical” hackers:

I don’t like having my personal data taken by the “Bad Guys”, no more than anyone. When the infamous Sony Playstation Network hack took place in April, I was among the angry and upset, fearful that my credit card number would be popping up in every blackhat IRC channel out there. But it wasn’t the hackers with whom I was angry. And now, as the exploits of Lulz Security make me angry as well, it’s still not the hackers themselves enraging me.

Continue reading at Falkvinge on Infopolicy

Originally posted at Plankhead
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Picture of Adrien Brody's face, and an unrelated file on my desktop that mysteriously turned into it

Context: Some fellow Plankheads and I are planning to do a live-action version of Brodyquest at Anthrocon in a couple weeks, so I needed to make some Brody masks. Well, I saved it onto my desktop, AND THEN THE ENDING OF BRODYQUEST ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

I have no idea how this completely unrelated PDF file turned into Adrien Brody’s face, but all I know is that I didn’t (intentionally) do it. What the hell.

For anyone who doesn’t understand the context, watch Brodyquest and note what happens at the end:

Originally posted at Plankhead
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An animation student from Bennington College is animating for Your Face is a Saxophone as her summer internship. When I was emailing back and forth with her program coordinator, I signed my emails as “Zacqary Adam Green; Chief Executive Plankhead, Plankhead”. Because, of course. Why wouldn’t I?

So, it turns out they created an account for me on Bennington’s employer coordination web-app-system-thing. And lo and behold, I open up the contact info page, and the Title field is already filled out:

Title:

Now, on the one hand, yes, of course, why shouldn’t it say that? That’s my title.

On the other hand, this was typed in by another human being. And not just any human being, but an administrator at an academic institution, in the context of entirely legitimate academic administration.

This is so weird.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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There once lived four wise men on a small island in the sea. Each wise man believed in a different philosophy, and lived according to his own personal ideals. One day, an earthquake shook the seas around the island, and sent an enormous tsunami barreling towards its shore.

The first wise man screamed, stood up, and ran. He ran and ran to the top of the highest mountain on the island, and hid in a cave at the summit. In the darkness of the cave, he did not see that the tsunami was taller than the mountain, and that he was not safe.

When the wave hit the shore, the first wise man died, cowering and terrified.

The second wise man laughed pompously at the wave. He gathered every piece of wood, stone, and shell he could find on the beach, and began to construct a wall to stop the wave, and hold it back from engulfing the island. The tsunami approached, and was soon mere meters away. The second wise man’s wall was barely a foot high.

When the wave hit the shore, the second wise man died, humiliated by his defeat.

The third wise man grumbled, and did not move from his seat. He closed his eyes and covered his ears, so that he would not notice the wave approaching. He occasionally relented, opening his eyes for a moment to see the tsunami continuing its approach, before cursing under his breath and shutting himself from reality once more.

When the wave hit the shore, the third wise man died, bitter and angry.

The fourth wise man was barely a man at all, being the youngest of the four. He fashioned a surfboard out of a palm tree, and ran out into the ocean. He swam atop his board out to meet the wave head-on, and at last, finally reached it. He stood up atop his board and allowed the wave to carry him, at thrilling, breakneck speed, sending adrenaline rushing through his veins.

When the wave hit the shore, the fourth wise man died, an elated smile on his face.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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Once upon a time, in a Magical Forest, there lived a friendly Wolf. Wolf was a model citizen of the Magical Forest, and was always nice, kind, and neighborly to his fellow animals. Wolf was also very enthusiastic about firearms, and owned lots and lots of them. He liked to take his guns out to a big clearing in the middle of the forest and try to shoot apples off of the big tree stump from very, very far away.

But Wolf was always very careful with his guns; he made sure never to turn the safety off or put any ammunition in them unless they were pointed downrange, and that no other animals were standing near the big tree stump. He always locked up his guns in a great big secure closet in his den, and never, ever shared the key with any other animal. He also made sure to never, ever, ever unlock his gun closet if he were feeling angry or upset, or if he’d eaten any magical mushrooms less than four hours prior.

One day, Wolf decided he wanted to buy the most awesome new gun he’d ever seen. It was a high-powered rifle which could fire 800 rounds per minute in fully-automatic mode, and could take magazines with 60 whole rounds inside them. This gun was epically badass, and Wolf knew he’d enjoy having it very much. But because it was so ridiculously badass and awesome, Wolf realized that he would need to get permission from Owl, the leader of the Magical Forest.

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Originally posted at Plankhead
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This is the first behind-the-scenes video production diary for Your Face is a Saxophone. Once every week or two, we’ll be posting a video showing off the happenings of what happens with things happening.

In this video, Andrew Camenzuli and I test out the microphones and mixer that we were able to buy with the help of our esteemed benefactors. If you’d like us to be able to afford more awesome things, like computer equipment and epic car crashes, please donate. This is your last chance to get a lifetime Plankhead membership for just $5 before our pricing changes on June 15th.

Music used in this video by xIk.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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This morning I put in an order for a mixer and microphones, following the guidance of Andrew (no, not Andrew the YFIAS character; Andrew Camenzuli, our new Vice Plankhead of Technology). Not only will these improve the audio quality in future episodes, but also the actors’ performances.

When we recorded the pilot, we had each actor take turns sitting down in front of my laptop and reading their lines into its somewhat-passable microphone. This was far from ideal, as they weren’t able to play off one another. It was even worse for Vin, who wasn’t able to record his lines on the same day as everyone else, so he didn’t even have the ability to watch everyone else’s performances.

With these new mics, we’ll be able to set them up to cover the room, allowing the actors to stand up, move around, and get into their characters simultaneously. We’ll be micing almost as if we were shooting a movie, except without using any of the visual component. I’ll probably set up a camera as well to take footage for animation reference (and as a DVD/member extra), but we won’t have to worry about keeping the mics out of the shot.

These purchases were made possible by the generous contributions of our donors. Exorbitant amounts of thanks to each and every one of them.

Speaking of donors, I’d like to highlight one of them in particular. After putting in the first order today, I sent a mailing to all of our Plankhead members (you can get a lifetime membership by donating just $5 or more until June 15th — from our YFIAS donation page or the Plankhead.com one). In it, I mentioned that we’d been able to get two great microphones, but a third cardioid mic we’d wanted to use as a fill couldn’t fit into our budget, and that if we could only have $100 more, we’d be able to get it and improve our sound quality even more.

Lo and behold, within less than an hour, Matthew Sheahan added $150 to his donation. That was enough to buy our microphone, stand, and cable, and still have some left over to buy the cast pizza for our recording session. Mr. Sheahan, you are an epic individual.

Mr. Sheahan, by the way, operates this Discordian Quotes site, as well as the Lost Souls MUD. Check them out.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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A few weeks ago, Vin Vulpis sent us an email saying that he could no longer commit to playing Andrew in Your Face is a Saxophone. We understand completely — in January 2010, when we recorded the pilot, Vin was still living close by, but he’s now very busy studying in Pittsburgh. I’d feared that it might not work out to bring him back, and, unfortunately, that turned out to be the case. We’ll be sad to see him go.

Fortunately, my brother Alex is available, and he certainly has the chops to fill Andrew’s gigantic pinhead. So, allow me to formally announce to the Internets at large that Alex Green will be playing Andrew in the remaining six episodes of Your Face is a Saxophone.

Alex has acted for me before, most prominently as everyone-but-the-main-character in this film I made for English class when I was 15:

He also appeared as the only redeeming factor in this thing which you absolutely should not watch. The fact that I have linked to it in no way implies that you should actually click on that link and watch it. Please don’t.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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This is not content; this is a blog post.

You are not consuming this blog post. It is not being depleted by you so that it will never be available to anyone ever again. Instead, perhaps you are reading it on a large computer screen. Perhaps you’re reading it on a laptop, large or small, sitting on a desk or in your lap. Perhaps you’re reading it on the screen of a tablet computer, or on the small screen of a cellphone. Perhaps it’s been printed out onto paper, maybe a plain letter sheet, or onto the glossy pages of a magazine, and you’re reading it off that. Perhaps you’re reading it aloud to a group of people, or perhaps you’re in that group of people, having it read aloud to you. But whatever you’re doing as these words enter your brain, you’re most certainly not consuming any content.

There is no such thing as content. There is no content industry full of content creators who create consumable content for content consumers. Instead, there is a diverse field of people, young and old, amateur and professional, communicating and manifesting ideas and information using a wide variety of methods and techniques. The end products of these efforts may be in the form of text, imagery, sound, or interactive experience, but none can be categorized as a generic, consumable commodity known as “content.”

If you are an artist, you are not a content creator. Perhaps you’re a painter, a musician, a filmmaker, a novelist, a comedian, a dramatist, a playwright, a game designer, a sculptor, a photographer, an animator, a puppeteer, a poet, or perhaps you’re a combination of all these things and more, but you do not create content. You make art.

If you are a journalist, you are not a content creator. You may report your stories through written words, through spoken words, through pictures, through video footage, through motion graphics, or a fusion of all these media, but you do not create content. You do journalism.

If you are an entertainer, you are not a content creator. You may entertain by telling a story, by doing a dance, by making people laugh, or by recording your conversations with fascinating people, but whether you broadcast this entertaining act with pictures, sound, or anything else, you do not create content. You do entertainment.

If you are an educator, you are not a content creator. You may write informative articles for an encyclopedia, deliver an enlightening speech to an eager audience, or create a presentation with charts and graphics, but however it is that you communicate your knowledge, you do not create content. You teach lessons.

All of these things are expressions of human thought, and yet rather than respecting their nuances, their diversity, and their individual importance, we marginalize them with our language, relegating all of what makes us unique as human beings to the generic, soulless, meaningless, newspeak descriptor of “content,” and their authors to a status of “content creators”. Yet, we do not refer to architects, carpenters, industrial designers, and the forces of nature themselves as “object creators”, and rarely, if ever, do we collectively refer to the results of their efforts as “objects”.

If you are a maker of things, a disseminator of knowledge, or anyone who contributes to the collective intellectual output of human beings, do not accept the notion that your work is less significant than a house, a chair, a piece of electronic equipment, or a rock. Do not allow yourself to be labeled as a mere “content creator.” Have more dignity than that.

CC0
To the extent possible under law, Zacqary Adam Green has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to This is Not Content; This is a Blog Post.
This work is published from: United States.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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The script for Episode 2 of Your Face is a Saxophone is finished. In writing this episode, I wanted to improve upon a couple problems I’d noticed in the pilot:

  1. Leora wasn’t as well-developed a character as everyone else.
  2. It didn’t pass The Bechdel Test.

So, I decided the second episode would be a good time to bring in Janet, a recurring character glimpsed briefly at the end of the pilot (She’s the one in green). During the episode, she talks to Leora about things other than men. Problem solved. Oh, and she’s also a fairly interesting character in her own right. As is Leora, now that I’m giving her a chance to show herself.

Anyway, this episode’s gonna be about sexist advertising, and how it’s stupid and all that. And also how sexism is stupid. I know, real profound, right?

Hit the jump to read a scene from the script. If you were a paid Plankhead member, you’d already have been able to read the full, entire script, and for a limited time, you can get a LIFETIME PLANKHEAD MEMBERSHIP!!! with your donation of $5 or more at the Your Face is a Saxophone Donation Page. I just did a sales pitch. I feel dirty.

Okay, anyway. Script excerpt. Here it is:

Read the rest of this entry »

Originally posted at Plankhead
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