What’s Bad About Things Being ‘All Good’?

There’s three popular phrases I hear and also use frequently.

“All Good”, “Sweet As”, and “It is What It Is.”

In the right context they are harmless and sometimes gentle phrases that are about accepting things as they are right now.

If someone says” How’s everything going?” The reply can be ‘all good’, or ‘sweet as.’

 

It is all about the context. Sometimes these phrases are exactly the right thing to say and name what is really going on. They can put people at ease, create connection, unity, and equilibrium.

But how often does this actually gloss over things that are not quite right?

Are we sweeping things under the carpet when we declare things are ‘all good’ or ‘sweet as’?

But how often have these expressions crossed over to being an automatic response to everything whether it is good or bad, running smoothly, in conflict, or challenging?

Is it resignation, or is it acceptance when someone uses the phrase ‘it is what it is’ ?

I think it can be both. But it is ‘good’ to know the difference.

I was watching a Netflix series early this morning, and it suddenly came to me how much my years of consumption of television, feature films and video has deeply influenced my perception of time.

Everything is edited so there is momentum with very little down time. We have an expectation that ‘something is going to happen’. Film makes talk about creating a beat to ensure momentum and rhythm, as we do in poetry and music. In itself that is not a bad thing. But most of what we consume day to day via visual media sets a pace, that is quite at odds with how time really passes in most of our lives.

How boring would a film or Netflix series be if it included people circling round and round to find a parking spot, or waiting on hold for a call centre to respond to a request, or waiting in a queue to be served.

Of course we edit all this stuff out of the stories for media.

So really that’s fine if we know that is what is going on. But I have succumbed often to the hyper-reality that time will pass in my own life the same way it does in these fictions.

I am teaching myself now the art of doing nothing, of having ‘downtime’ be as valuable as active time.   I look to have this more in balance the same way it is used in resistance training in physical workouts.

In The Weave, we focus a lot on the intersections we come across in our interactions; the knots, the twists and turns that make up a weaving. It is the intersections where everything is held together. But it is held in a tension; too tight and the fabric is constricted and uneven. Too loose and it is full of holes and not held together.

Our approach to life can be much the same, through dark and light, through good and bad. The times of stillness and inaction inform and fuel the action, while the times of action fulfil through momentum.

It is much the same with the very essence of our lives, our breathe. We breathe in to energise, and we breathe out to relax. We would not live without both.

Our self observation and acceptance of the twists and turns is both the art and the science of living.

So when we are at peace with the yin and the yang of the light and the dark, the good and the bad, the stillness and the movement, we can say that things are All Good, Sweet As, and It is What It Is.

Pink Noise and the Science of Story

New research is showing science can be used to manipulate movies to appeal to viewers attention spans.

New Scientist reports it’s all about using ‘pink noise’ which is a sound frequency that can be correlated with people’s attentions spans. So the length of shots in a movie, evenly distributed can hold people’s attention spans.

A Cornell University psychology professor, James Cutting analysed 150 Hollywood films and says directors have got better and better at producing shots so that their lengths grab our attention span.
So while the science shows ‘shot-pacing’ can manipulate the attention spans of audiences, movies that do this are not always the best to watch. Cutting says some movies that had the pink noise frequency were not that great, while others with greater narrative and acting were better viewing.
If you are really keen on knowing how movies can control people’s thinking, there is a science called neurocinematics. Neurocinematic researchers say some films
have the potency to “control” viewers’ neural responses. By “control” they
mean that the sequence of neural states evoked by the movie is reliable
and predictable, without placing any aesthetic or ethical judgment as to
whether the means to such control are desirable.
While knowing the science of making stories ‘stick’ is what you might call, the Y and Z factors, the appealing X factor of movies and great stories are still about something more than manipulative mathematics.
As Cutting says narrative and acting are big influences on the movie experience.
I think we need to have ‘story ethics’ to deal with our ever increasing ability to manipulate through story telling science.
Media from film, to television, to books, magazines and music have long had the abililty to manipulate. But it is the motivation for the manipulation that is important to think about.uess
I guess we can hope that our increasingly transparent online world will ensure we know more and more about seeing the ‘puppeteers strings’ in storytelling.