It happened last night. After days and days of excitement, exhaustion and incremental sanity loss, I pulled the trigger.
I cancelled my third show of the night in favour of getting eight hours sleep.
It’s okay, I had more than enough of my fill (and heard that the 10.30pm Nick Thune show I cancelled was meh-diocre).
7pm – In Conversation with Dan Harmon
Expecting a fan to be truly objective about something like this is lunacy. If you’re involved on such an emotional level, parsing the information you’re receiving critically is impossible. This time I’m not just talking about me.
The host was a massive Dan Harmon fan, which is great to see. He spoke passionately about the humanity inherent to his narratives, characters. His ability to filter popular culture into identifiable moments that resonated in an audience. He referenced niche Harmontown, Community and Rick & Morty quotes in a coherent manner. He was a well spoken, intelligent host who understood his subject.
Unfortunately this meant he also could not be fully objective and at times had trouble reigning Dan in. Some metaphors ran a little long (the tangents were well expected) and could’ve done with the kind of rallying usually the domain of Jeff Davis, his friend and comptroller. The first 10-15 minutes of the conversation were a little bit muddled, but after that it settled into a cohesive groove.
I’m not prepared to be objective either. I had a blast and alternated between wonderment and hesitation. There’s a level of idolatry that I hold and part of me is terrified of that crumbling. If I came away truly disappointed, that’d cause a wound deep in my core that would fester and eventually play out in some unsanitary fashion. Thing is, when Dan was on point he was on point. One particular notion resonated significantly. He talked about the vicious cycle of narcissism and self-loathing, how one informs the other and they snake around to bite each other’s tail. Am I looking for an excuse to shoehorn in the word ouroboros? Am I ever not? There’s something in hating yourself because you’re not everything you want to be, because you expect yourself to be better, then whipping back around to hatred ad infinitum.
I also got to ask a question about how Dan saw VR affecting the way narratives would be written in TV and film, considering the shift away from locked perspective. He said the nature of everything would likely change. One aspect could be the volume of writing necessary ushering in some vein of procedurally generated content for background voices. Another could be the concept of narrative being thrown out in favour of much more open interpretations. Everyone comes away from a situation with their own view and perhaps in a more interactive environment the content would reflect that.
8.45pm – Todd Barry
Barry was funny as hell. He had this air of affected arrogance and nonchalance that played brilliantly. His crowd work was skewering and scathing. I was in the front row and basically tried to look non-remarkable in order to not get picked on. it sucks, but I felt I could’ve gotten a lot more out of the gig had I not been falling asleep the whole time. I was exhausted and had to quickly gun it out of there to get home and crash. Sorry Todd, it’s wasn’t you, it was me.
Kumail/Harmontown tonight. I may well lose my shit.