Episode 610 - Beauty!

Nov 21, 2022

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, so the saying goes but it's absolutely true. There is a layered subjectivity to it based on personal preference, the cultural standards of your community, the ethnic traits of you and your peers, prevailing global fashions in appearance, the dominant archetypes in the media and so on. All these things combine to form our personal subjective ideas of beauty. You can see this yourself if you look at paintings, statues, masks, frescoes and other artifacts that have been produced by all the diverse cultures on earth over thousands of years: there IS no standard, eternal, objective of beauty.

Topics and Show Notes

Years ago a plastic surgeon thought he'd cracked the secret. He wrote a book about the idea of a mathematical, objective beauty model based on symmetry. Of course any artist could have told him it was absolute nonsense for any number of reasons, but popular books based of pseudo-science gain a lot of traction among the majority of people that don't tend to be able to think too hard about these questions and crave easy solutions.

There are two competing, rudimentary forces at the base of the idea of beauty:
One part is based on conformity: becoming the most generic, simplistic, ordinary, average version of something. Symmetry is a big part of that. This is what that sort of cosmetic surgeon specialises in. We can surmise this comes from the drive to find things that look like us (i.e. our tribe), and is the best representation of “us”.
The second part is based on novelty: What makes this person stand out, what makes them different and unusual.
And then cultural standards, popculture, fashion and many other factors add layers of complexity to these.

*A note on symmetry:
Part of the mistaken notion that inflated its role in “beauty” was the idea that it's an indicator of health or “good genes”, which is false. The reason for symmetry in bodies is just to make the coding simpler. Recent studies have confirmed this: just like when an artist wants to save time by using a mirror or copy, pasting and flipping to make a face or body, nature does it for the same reason.

We talk about it in much greater detail in the Quackcast! Who do you find beautiful?

This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Phineus Teen Wizard - Thrumming 80s groove. Synthesised neon soft pink glow in the midnight blue fuzz. We’re going back in time… roll up the sleeves on your red leather jacket, slip on your fingerless gloves, lace up your hightops, get on your BMX bike and peddle back through the decades to 1983!


Topics and shownotes

Featured comic:
The Faceless Comics Set 1 - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2022/nov/15/featured-comic-the-faceless-comics-set-1/

Featured music:
Phineus Teen Wizard - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Phineus_Teen_Wizard/ - by Phinmagic, rated E.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/banes
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/

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Episode 604 - Stylised reality

Oct 10, 2022

4 likes, 3 comments

When creating fiction we always have to stylise experience in many and various ways in order to communicate with the viewer in a way that's meaningful to them because it's usually impossible to simply show them the exact reality of something and expect that same meaning to carry through.

Episode 601 - /rant

Sep 19, 2022

2 likes, 0 comments

If something affects or disturbs you so much that you want to respond to it through a story that you write, that can be a pretty powerful form of inspiration! But it depends on how you handle it. For example, Stephan King's acclaimed novel Misery was inspired by nasty interactions he had with fans after he published a fantasy novel. This story was very well received and even turned into a popular movie. And then there are other ways to handle it…

Episode 598 - 2D or not 2D!

Aug 29, 2022

5 likes, 3 comments

What makes a character two dimensional? What makes them three dimensional? Does it matter that they only have two dimensions to them? This was an idea that GeekyGami posed and so we thought we'd explore it in the cast. My own theory is that a character that is purely archetypal, tropeish, or cliche, with everything about them flowing from that archetype, and they never go beyond their archetypal traits- that makes them 2D.

Episode 597 - Revelations!

Aug 21, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

Today we're talking about a technique in storytelling that we're calling the “revelation”. Inspired by Banes doing an article on the weird trope in movies of having a character discover newspaper stories about the villain that suddenly reveal the true stakes of the story and kick things into high gear. There are other types of revelation in stories though and they're used in different ways.

Episode 594 - Grow up! Or don't...

Jul 31, 2022

5 likes, 1 comment

The Manchild can be a fun character or they can be pathetic. They're a staple of comedies because they're an adult that gets to act immature and childish, without the restraint and responsibilities imposed by adulthood. This can make a great contrast; “The adult man acting like an immature child”, John C Riley and Will Farrel have always done that extremely well, as did Chris Farley back in the 90s. It can be be portrayed as pathetic and sad when the person can't seem to be able grow up or take on any responsibilities. They're often characterised by people with “childish” interests, like the cast of the Big Bang Theory, or with a childlike love of something like sports like Kevin in Kevin can F Himself.

Episode 591 - Superhero types?

Jul 11, 2022

2 likes, 0 comments

The Superhero movie cast last week was popular, I wanted to chat to Tantz about different types of superheroes. We all know that the same kinds of superheroes seem to popup and reoccur in multiple forms all the time, even within the same worlds, i.e god-like superheros like Superman, Captain Marvel, Omni-man, Homelander, or Magical types like Doctor Strange, Zatana etc. It was a fun chat about all the categories and subcategories we could think about!

Episode 587 - Heroes who are Villains

Jun 13, 2022

4 likes, 0 comments

Our very own Tantz made a newspost last week about the idea of “Heroes” who are really villains… or at least they're actually villains who think they're the hero, but come to realise that they aren't. Sometimes that makes them change their ways and they seek redemption, maybe even becoming a true hero. Sometimes they just lean into and embrace their true villain nature.


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