Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,
Kalliel
kalliel

Repetition

I just read an interesting article about press junkets and personhood, which reflects pretty accurately how I feel about repeated information, or having to repeat information, in general. I realize disliking repeated information, or being suspicious of it, is crazy talk. Because repetition leads to memorization, for one thing, and sometimes you can't help but repeat yourself when something is that true.

But man, it drives me bananas when I overhear someone's project spiel, or their political opinions, or what-have-you, more than once. Because it starts to feel like a set piece, and a confined thing, rather than something actually felt, lived or believed. I went to Japan last summer with this very talkative woman doing a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice (and then went on to be employed by the JACL, or Japanese American Citizens League, a civil rights organization)--I know she believes in her causes and I know she knows her stuff, but MY GOD by the end of our trip I was half-convinced she was just reciting a script and talking the talk, because I'd heard her say the exact same thing so many damn times! XP

Or when I'm asked to repeat myself (or forced to repeat myself), I get upset because I think, omg, why weren't you listening the first time?? Or annoyed because it feels like I'm turning myself into a script, too. But let's be real, I'm not asked to talk that much, repetition or otherwise, so it really shouldn't be that big a deal.

OR WHEN TWITTER ACCOUNTS TWEET THE SAME THING MORE THAN ONCE. I get that it's common practice, because you're really not expected to see everything on your feed the first time it's posted, but I'm a thorough person, and I have a pretty good memory, so I generally see things the first time and I generally remember them. (Not that there aren't major exceptions; of course there are.) So I forget that's not the norm, and like, TV is often written for people who aren't actually paying that much attention in the first place, so there's a lot of repetition built into the form for good reason. Same with Twitter. There's a lot of information on the Internet, and if you want to be heard, I guess you have to duplicate yourself.

Maybe it's the inefficiency/lack of economy I get bothered by? Like when 50 news sites post variations on the same story and the 49 that aren't in a major publication are essentially just glut. Or, to go back to interviews, it seems like a waste of everyone's time to rehash the same exact question 300 times as though this information weren't readily available already. Again, it's not as big a deal as my mind makes it sound, but in my corner I'm just like, BLINDNESS TO THE ARCHIVE. ERASURE OF HISTORY. WHY THE FUCK CAN'T YOU JUST GOOGLE THIS BEFORE YOU DEVISE YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS, etc. XD

To make this even stupider on my end, I actually do value repetition in other forms quite a lot. I'd often rather see a movie I've already seen than watch a new one. (Which is why I haven't seen any movies, but could quote you entire swaths of the ones I have. And it's not even just movies I actually liked.) Clearly I'd rather watch the same TV show 20 times than watch 19 other shows. A major reason I watch Law and Order: SVU has nothing at all to do with cop procedurals as a genre, or the nature of SVU's cases, the quality of the show, or even the characters who lead it. The familiarity of the cadence of the show and the way its narratives move is a reassuring repetition I often crave.

I've stuck with shows way longer than I should have purely for their set design (True Blood), or their musical montages (House, MD), or their choreography (Dark Angel), or their background score (Elementary), but "for the familiar cadence of the narrative" is probably the weirdest.

P.S. The actual article is about the movie adaptation of John Green's Paper Towns, which I did not realize they were making! So if you read that book, you might be interested in the article on those grounds, too.
Tags: fandom: misc.
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