I just saw a play that was interesting, but way too long. The producers had to fill out the required time for a Broadway play, whether or not they had enough good material. A lot of movies are too long for the same reason. To me, most action movies are no more than a series of barely distinguishable scenes of violence strung together from the opening credits and beginning “premise,” and an even more spectacularly violent dénouement. As far as I’m concerned, you could cut movies of this genre in half without altering the plot (what plot?) at all. But then, you might have a 47 minute movie and no one would pay to see it.
This is particularly painful with comedies, particularly on television. Many sit-coms have a few funny bits and that’s it. The rest of the show just isn’t funny. In a perfect world, you could air an 18 minute episode because that’s all the funny material you had. You should be able to present the material that works and then call it a day. For the most part, half-hour shows are only 21 minutes after subtracting commercial breaks. Take off another one or two for coming attraction … and you’re down to 19 minutes. So many the problem is those really bad scripts? Maybe they only feel long because they are so bad.
I worry about this with blogs too. I have good ideas but I they don’t always add up to a whole post. So I’m simply going to present a few paragraphs from a couple of interesting articles I read recently.
First, apparently babies and young children are ‘designed’, by evolution, to seem cute and winning to adults to insure kids get the maximum love and attention they need to thrive and grow. Infants’ big eyes, button noses, and chubby cheeks elicit a kind of primal bonding reaction in adults. So do the sounds the make and the way they smell. It’s a visceral, chemical, and nearly universal reaction.
Children start to lose those physically attractive ‘baby’ features around age two or three, so adults are hard-wired to respond equally strongly to the speech patterns of young children.
The way kids perceive and say things sound funny and charming to us. Their observations about the world seem irresistibly adorable. This phenomenon has a name: “Cognitive Babyness.” Studies show that between age two and seven, a child’s cute behavior replaces their cute faces in stimulating a care-giving response. Go evolution!
So much for interesting factoids. I’ll move to my next mini topic.
I taught Yoga and Meditation for eight years. I know the enormous benefits to adults — increased focus, attention span, calmness, control and confidence. Also, decreased tension and stress, anger, frustration, distractibility, and fewer physical aches and pains. It never occurred to me that teaching some form of Yoga and/or Mindfulness in to schoolchildren might have the same amazing benefits. But recently, I’ve read several articles about these kinds of programs being taught in kindergarten through high school, all around the country. They have produced outstanding results.
The skills taught have reduced the symptoms in ADHD kids. Calmed children with anxiety disorders. Helped kids with learning issues, behavior problems, and social deficits. The same studies have shown improved grades, a higher degree of empathy and kindness between kids — and an enhanced enthusiasm for school.
Many schools have incorporated some form of mindfulness into the curriculum for teachers as well as students.
Way to go! Good for you! Over and out!