August 10th, 2008


Meme: Casting Call

In Which Your Obedient Serpent once again takes a meme that's supposed to be about you and turns it into a discussion about himself.

I've lost count of how many people on my Friends List have posted the following meme:

Casting Call:
Its inevitable that as we read each other's journals we create mental pictures of each other. Post this on your own journal to find out who your friends see when they read about your life.

Two Rules:
1) The person must be in the movies or on TV [or video games, advertising, comic books etc, ed.] (but doesn't have to be an actor/actress). The person can be specific to a role (e.g. Jennifer Elhe's Elizabeth Bennet) or just the person themself.
2) Post a picture!

Conceptually, this is a different question than "Who would play me in a movie?" -- and that in turn is different from my occasionally-revisited question, "If they made a cartoon of the Internet, who would voice your character?" It's "who do you think of as me?"

I haven't replied to any of them.

Why not?

Because, well, I can't. Most of the people I know are Furries... and I picture them as their Furry Personas.

If I've met them Face to Face (f2f), I may picture them as themselves -- this seems to be directly proportional to how much f2f time I've spent with them. In some cases, I see both "fursona" and RL self simultaneously. normanrafferty has that level of quantum superposition, both Man and Rat.

pyat, on the other claw, is an unusual exception: I always picture him as his human self, even when talking to his mouse persona on FurryMuck. Perhaps it's because he posts so many pictures of himself -- and uses them as LJ icons. Perhaps it's because he's so... himself. Between his "voice" when posting and his "Fortress of Solitude" video journals, he's turned his real face into the avuncular "Geek Dad" persona that comes through in all his communiques.

For those I haven't met, don't have furry alter-egos, and seldom post pictures of themselves... usually, you wind up as your user icon in my head. Yes, thebitterguy, I see you as a South Park character with a goatee.

The people with no user icons at all? I honestly don't have mental images of you.

But in no case do I picture actors as you.

hoard potato, tv, movies

Understanding Athelind's Argot: "Penguin Plotting".

In the 1965 Batman tale, "Partners in Plunder" (Batman #169, February 1965), the Caped Crusader had to deal with that Felonious Fowl, The Penguin, in the second Silver Age Appearance of said scurrilous scofflaw.

The Dishonorable Mister Cobblepott, you see, had just been released from prison... again... and had the villain's equivalent of writer's block. He simply could not come up with a sufficiently flamboyant plot to be worthy of his attention -- and that of the Dynamic Duo.

What? Go straight? and give up the game?? Nonsense!!

Instead, in a flash of Genre Savvy inspiration, he came up with a plan to have Batman and Robin plan his next caper for him. He set up a seemingly-honest front selling his trademark umbrellas, and then pulled entirely random umbrella-related stunts around Gotham City: exploding umbrellas, giant, radio-controlled umbrellas, and more.

At one point, Batman and Robin show up in the umbrella shop to warn him that they're onto him, but, of course, they have no real proof. After they leave, Robin notes in puzzlement that Cobblepott was wearing his monocle on the wrong eye.

He plants a radio transmitter in one of the errant bumbershoots, and, when Batman and Robin have it in their hands, he cheerfully listens in as they piece together the "clues" he's left, figure out the "target" he plans to steal, and thoroughly detail the way they think he's going to pull it off.

He chortles, and goes through with exactly that crime, exactly the way they described it. He does tweak a few things, but to no avail; he winds up in their clutches anyway.

He doesn't care, though. Why not? Well, for one, the World's Greatest Detectives never figure out that they planned the job for him.

For another... they're still scratching their heads over the significance of the monocle.

And he reveals, to the reader alone... there was no significance. He put it in the wrong eye just to fuck with them.

This was later adapted into Burgess Meredith's two-part debut as The Penguin in the Adam West Batman TV show: "Fine Feathered Finks"/"The Penguin's a Jinx".

Reading this tale a few months back pretty much cemented Oswald's status as My Favorite Bat-Villain.

It also describes My GMing style -- or my most successful one, that is -- which is why it merits the Argot entry.

As a Game Host, the approach that works best to me is to have a general framework in mind, but be willing to change things on the fly -- and to be willing to take good suggestions from the player, whether they intended them as suggestions or not.

(The obvious extension of this, of course, is the Monocle Mystery: Always leave a loose end or two to mess with their heads.)

As an example:

In the first big adventure of the legacy2020 game, Robin rattled off this entirely reasonable chain of "villain profiling" logic that ended with, "so, obviously, Squid's hideout must be HERE."

I stopped, blinked, and realized that what Robin's player had come up with was far better than anything I'd thought of myself. So... there it was. Penguin Plotting prevailed!

eggshellhammer contrasts this with pixelbitching, "Like in the old adventure games, where you had to click just... the right... pixel... And it looked like every... other... pixel..."