This is my project for the second quarter benchmark. I talk about why the Thirteenth Amendment is important to me, why the Thirteenth Amendment utterly fails at the things it should defend, why I hate the draft/why I am terrified of the draft, and also why the Thirteenth Amendment is important to me.
Seems the quality dropped immensely in the conversion to .flv. This doesn't matter very much, otherwise I would upload a higher-quality version elsewhere.
Works cited/footage/imagery used are in the credits of the video, and they are also here
in MLA format.
If there's something that always resonated strongly with me, it was the draft. The only Amendment that could possibly oppose the draft does not help, which makes it an interesting topic to investigate. Also, the Thirteenth Amendment is the kind of strange and obscure thing nobody else
would talk about, so I decided I'd like to do it. I'm like an Amendment Hipster or something, and most of them are simply too mainstream for me to do a project on.
I have a strange fascination with/hatred of the draft, so that's always a fun thing to investigate and complain about. My favorite thing to do for any project is always, invariably, to write the script. People that are used to my work are aware that I have never once planned anything
(I imagine they are also aware that I love italics). It's a lot of stream-of-consciousness and unplanned ramblings that often come together and work, no matter how long-winded they are. That is also a style of mine, to write for far longer than I should. I feel like Richard Dawkins if he rambled on and on about unicorns and miracles rather than politics and religion.
The most challenging thing about this project, to me, was that I had no working microphone when I set out to record the lines for the project
. Every single microphone I own broke down in around the same time frame (my headset and built-in microphone
both decided to stop working within the span of about three hours). I was without means of recording for a few days, so I rewrote the script a good seven or eight times. When I got a new headset, I decided I was not pleased with the script, and rewrote it a few more times, staying up far into the night to rerererererererewrite this thing and then record it, only to change it again. And then I finished it. So, I suppose the actual challenge was, when I had no means of recording and thus more time to work on this, I became indecisive and unpleased with my script and kept changing it for several hours.
If my built-in microphone worked, I would have personally appeared in the video a lot more. I was not particularly in the mood to record myself and then lip-sync (and I was also not particularly in the mood to make a silent film, despite being related to the actor behind the one of the most famous silent film character of all time
), and I have a distaste for documentaries made up of static images. It's why I tried to fill it with semi-relevant clips, and is also the reason why I have such a horribly out-of-place video of me typing on my typewriter in the beginning (also, I just really wanted to show off said typewriter).
So, I think the trouble with this project was all of the technology issues and script issues I was having. Other than that, it went pretty smoothly. Of course, recording and script made up pretty much the entire project,
so there wasn't much to go smoothly other than the final click of the button to export to Quicktime and be done with the thing. I think the only reason I started to hate my script was because I had too much time to consider it and analyze its flaws over and over again, otherwise I would have had a product much earlier than I actually did. However, I suppose it turned out for the better, since I think what I have now is an improvement over the original script and the thirteen or so scripts that followed.
I worked on a project earlier this year about the Espionage Act and how it practically trampled free speech like the stampede trampled Mufasa. One of the historical events I mentioned in this project was the Schenck v. United States decision, in which the secretary of the Socialist Party told people to refuse the draft, which he believed was in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. Ever since I learned about that, I've been very interested in the Thirteenth Amendment and what it does, what it does not do, and what it should do.
I mostly spent this project expanding on knowledge I picked up when learning about the Espionage Act, but the most interesting new thing I learned about in this project was the O'Brien case, the one where the guy burned his draft card in front of some FBI agents outside of a courthouse (which is an incredibly awesome thing to do
). Listening to the audio for that trial was pretty fascinating, and the most enjoyable part of the entire project may very well have been learning that 1960s trials really sound exactly like they did in the black-and-white movies, right down to the voices of the actors.
Anyway I've written god-knows-how-many paragraphs and I have under two minutes, so I'm just going to end this here and say I've covered everything I think I had to cover, so we're done here. Right? Right.