Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fun with Dictation!

Twilight Zone fans are probably aware that Rod Serling had a somewhat unique way of writing his many TZ teleplays (along with, presumably, his non-TZ work as well).  He’d record his ideas, dialogue and all, with a Dictaphone machine (reportedly while lounging by his swimming pool, which you have to admit is pretty damned cool), and his secretary would transcribe his recordings into script form.  

As for me, I've dabbled with various methods of electronic note-taking over the years (micro-cassette, digital mini-recorder, cell phone voice recording, etc), but now that I have an iPhone, I thought I’d found the perfect solution.  Using Siri along with Apple’s Notes app, I could now dictate my blog entries during my to-and-from work commute, then cut-and-paste the resultant text straight into Blogger with minimal editing, bypassing the need for transcription altogether.

Or so I thought.

As it turns out, Siri… well, isn't the world’s best dictation-taker.  I thought at first that the problem was with me, that perhaps I needed to enunciate more clearly, but since I don’t have the same problem with the iPhone’s other voice features, I acquitted myself.  I then wondered if perhaps something was getting garbled in translation between Siri and Notes, or perhaps my 3G connection on the road was just intermittent enough to confuse things… I dunno. In any case, I was astonished to discover just how useless this new methodology is when, over a three-day period early last week, I attempted to dictate my thoughts for this week’s promo/review for the episode “He’s Alive.” What follows can either be construed as a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the machinery humming underneath this blog, or an exercise in senseless hilarity (to maximize said hilarity, read it out loud).  I should mention that there are a few spoilers here, but since most of it is linguistic chaos, you may not even catch them.

     Notes on he's alive. Discuss how sirloins intent was probably to show the corrupting influence of evil Allah Hitler's ghost however the Vollmer character is already pretty much set he's already you have got the that the racist mindset that revolutionary mindset all the Hitler influence really does is focus focus his hatred It's impossible to identify will forward because he's such a paradox honey I get the keys you know a racist Dick basically you know someone without a real direction in life so he chooses you to to persecute others however he's also had this you know influence since his childhood of an elderly Jewish man infector concentration camp survivor with as his parental figure out throughout most of his life how did he go so wrong? Maybe we should be blaming others for some of this first was clearly aware that he was a troubled child he offered him food and shelter so he kind of assumed a parental role he probably should have been you charging himself with the task of this person's emotional development Okay what Sterlings trying to do here is basically presents yet another tale of you know you home is a corrupting influence and here's another sample of what it will do ultimately to someone you as Vollmer basically kills Ernstes ends up you know on the hook for murder and shop at least possibly fatally. The problem is it's really not appointed needs to be made anybody with two brain cells can tell you that evil hateful people are going to come to a bad and especially email him in a in a narrative drama. We arty Noe. We are do you know he will be a corrupting influence the only real point to the story is if we could've mostly identified with the Vollmer character which we cannot therefore the story as executed for me at least is a failure, Not on the level say season freeze 3 o'clock because that was just horrible as fucked up his former is he's nowhere near as repellent as all over Krengel however it's impossible to feel sorry for him because he's such a rampaging asshole and I'm sorry I have no tolerance for racism

Further notes on he's alive What is the point of all this? The evil defeats it's on purpose? That's not much of the story. The whole thing is just a little bit heavy-handed and frankly nonsensical in parentheses homers attachment to Earnst the one person world he should be repelled by and hate is the one person that he loves and that he goes to when he's hurt or sad or in need of it but a nice glass of Manischewitz. Don't get me wrong he's alive isn't awful it's technically well done and are some great imagery am particularly with the the Hitler character in in shadow but we see his very expressive hands with all kinds of things I really like that and there's a cute little special-effects that probably 99.9% of the world has never even realize was there parentheses the swastika eyeball thing) and really the performances are fine Dennis Hopper is you know suitably shrill little whiny and repellent as he should be the last thing we want is to like this guy Earnst is the hero of the story by default and you know he dies so I guess this is a tragedy…?  I think I would've liked to see something a little less black-and-white and Morgret-year-old get a little bit of archetype thing going on Notsi versus Jew basically even though a few other ethnic city is our name dropped throughout Vollmers histrionic speeches Maybe some more conflicted list of him foamers part and maybe though I guess there is some of that when he freaks out when he realizes just how real all this shit just got which even that is a little weird because he seems pretty clearheaded about what he's doing. It's Wicassee surprised that the Shatterly advisor is Hitler die fuck I don't know maybe if Follmer had a girlfriend thing first then we have some estrogen in this freaking him Man festival episode binders literally not one spoken word dialogue by female we see females in the crowd but they never talk So yeah mediocre girlfriend no then we would have you know an attempt at a voice of reason other than the nurse character which again really doesn't make any sense and Vollmer story him in unless you know Serling was trying to draw parallel to the Holocaust where we have yet another Jew murdering get an early start another Nazi murdering yet another judo which man that's that's pretty heavy-handed right there to so I guess we can fake Sterling ford not away but that's what he did a fuck Maybe having Homer have a girlfriend who you know tries to set him straight and failing know maybe I could add some color no pun intended you're some yeah maybe maybe she could be conflicted make make that maybe she could be conflicted maybe she's like on the fence about this whole racism thing she loves Vollmer but yet you know she's Jewish and see him go down the dark path so you know maybe Gatelot now it could've me And maybe he could ultimately killed her you know I don't know I I mean ultimately in oh and I don't know this is going to favorites I don't necessarily Haidet but I don't really Lovelody learning and not even really sure I like it euros bayberry I think that generally it's well-regarded you know as you know one of Sterlings it out rages against Theo the crimes of humanity or whatever I also almost get this weird feeling that Hitler's ghost isn't even really fair that it's you know me Vollmers develop like a split personality kind a like you know Tyler Durden and fight club sort of a deal him and basically it's his own's no alternate personality that's directing him I can't like that better actually and we could totally explain it is that until the very end when we see the shadow of Hitler you know leaving the scene as Homer lays there bleeding to death Of course then we wouldn't if this is a ghost then we would really not have us a supernatural element but in the show certainly has done that at various times

Notes on heis alive part three It occurs to me that it may have been Avastin more interesting story if Serling and written as follows everything the same up until the part where the one guy in the group the loyal guy kills the the fact guy and he is perfectly willing to do it okay what if as Peter's popularity grows as the group grows in strength him he Peter starts to have second thoughts and then but this other guy the loyal gap Is just got informed full bore and what if in the end it's he that kills Vollmer and the last thing Vollmer sees Autopscot set so as you know the loyal guy pulls the gun on Ballmer and you warmers try to talk his way out of it maybe up until this point doesn't know that the advisor is Hitler so then the guy the loyal guy has a gun on him and And then it's revealed that Hitler's been advising the loyal guy too so almost dying site is the loyal guy whatever his name is and Hitler standing over his body you know that then you obviously completely different ending but something more powerful because not only does it do when we get the you're basic black and white usual is bad thing but they would also we can also meditate on the duplicitous mess of evil The two-faced nature of evil that might've been cool I still like the idea to of there being a dick like a girl lately maybe Vollmers got a girlfriend of Enmedio influence is what kind of pulling Vollmer out of of the Nazi gang I am not real sure how the earnest character with fitted all this maybe he wouldn't even be part of it anymore I'm interesting in this could've been a very different story but it's not and this is what we. Have. Boom Also what is the Hitler character is some kind of like supernatural being I mean God he is he's a ghost but what if he says something at some point maybe it's a Vollmer before it roamers killed that he is like an immortal something he's evil of Italy he manifests throughout the ages different things maybe he's the devil himself that wouldn't that be interesting Hitler is the devil account like that interesting but if maybe Hitler's just the guys that he Uses. Hum interesting Also mentioned that while the devil would be an interesting approach that might've been too much Satan for season four of us there are two episodes still due come both featuring the old rascal

If you made it all the way through.... well, congrats (unfortunately, there's no prize). If perhaps you've experienced similar problems with your iDevice, there is help out there.  I've found a tutorial video ("How To Improve Siri Dictation on iPhone 4S") that offers a number of helpful tips.... I suspect my future dictation endeavors will have more coherent results (fingers crossed).

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