The recent rash of all-CGI documentaries is quite possibly perfect TV programming. It gives you all the sense-of-wonder eye candy of monster movies without a criminaly thin hacked-out plot full of bad, poorly motivated characters. Plus, under the microscope, it holds up as true science fiction, creating scenarios speculated from actual theories and principles. The premise also has, so far, a killer track record and no shortage of potential subjects.
Two neat sites from the fringe of science fiction: First off is a text list of SF References in Music. Very cool. I feel sorry for the guy running it because he must get tons of email recomendations. The other one is Langmaker.com, dedicated to artificial languages, including a large number of tongues and dialects from science fiction novels.
The Raelians (who are insane) and their puppet company Clonaid (possibly the worst company name in recent years) say that the clone baby has finally been born. The battle for scientific and reproductive freedom is hard enough ('cuz it can all go horribly awry, don'tcha know) without inept new-age Scientologist- wannabes claiming to be at the forefront. Actual scientists would love to look at the data, but the Raelians say their technology is of alien origin and, hence, proprietary. Y'know, it's a shame when fandom goes to your head.
Another soldier falls. Liberatrian news and information site Free-Market.net will be closing up shop.
Thursday, December 26
There's got to be a morning after...
Well, once again the National Weather Service got the details of a winter storm wrong. This puppy arrived late, stayed longer than scheduled, and left roughly twice as much snow as planned. So far this season they have yet to nail a "weather event" even close to its actual size. I am curious as to why there has been no outcry about this yet. Someone must be considering lawsuits.
Aside from that mess the holidays were good to me. Jennifer made a substantial donation to my swizzle stick collection and got me a sweet pocket watch. The jewel of the day, though, was a walking stick with a spylass as a handle. This thing is almost too cool.
I'll be off the web for a couple of days for Christmas. Gonna try and ignore the news and TV and all that. I've got a stack of books in serious need of reading piling up next to my couch. In the meantime the 2002 Bad Day Studio Holiday Card has been posted at the Card Archive. Feel free to spread the joy (and the URL). If you've received these in the past and didn't this year, email me and I will get it out. I delivered quite a few by hand this year, and everybody insisted on feeding me cookies. I am now bloated with empty calories.
Someone exceedingly foolish is using up valuable bandwidth to protest the second LotR movie being called The Two Towers, claiming "I don't think you can put a price on sensitivity." Only a person of singular ignorance and touchiness can plumb these depths, people.
The tiny mole that has plagued/adorned my left cheek for the better part of the last decade fell off last night. Just a "pop" and it was gone. It was small, but I'll miss it. I always thought it gave my face character. Now I have to depend on my sparkling wit and personality. Sigh.
Seyla Benhabib of the MIT Boston Review brings up some hard thruths about the state of philosophy in the culture. It is difficult to watch as ethics and metaphysics are co-opted to the point of redundancy by the "intelligencia" of the country, and each day brings another outrage from some mouthpiece with only good intentions. Fortunately the internet continues to stoke the flames beneath a modest crucible of ideas. Simon Smith of Better Humans discusses the moral basis for "playing god" in certain areas of science. It is my opinion that those social guardians who would subject the species to paltry lifespans and imprison our minds with false education should be chemically stripped of their immune systems and left vulnerable to the thousand shocks the flesh is err to. They are monsters, and they are responsible for the millions of lights snuffed and ideas unrealized in the world today. We are at least 1100 years behind our technological and mental potential because of religion, collectivist philosophies, and the grotesque concept of clinging to primitive traditions and mindframes because they somehow "complete" us and validate our humanity. That is sick.
In response to the current popularity of Tolkien, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto of the Times Online says "fantasy is the opium of the ignorant and the indolent." The rest of his thoroughly fucked thoughts on the subject can be found here. On the other end of the spectrum Booksense has a good interview with China Mieville.
What the Fuck? Part One: The Malaysian Government is banning an ad campaign featuring Brad Pitt because he isn't asian enough. Wow. If that ever happened in the U.S. there would be rioting. An uptight people, the Malaysians, but they make great drinks.
Warren Ellis has announced that Ordering Comics is going under after the current edition. Too bad. This was a nice site, where a lot of hidden gems buried in the back pages of the Diamond Comicscatalog were brought to light. It was a public service for both readers and creators.
Wednesday, December 18
One little victory: When I saw George Dvorsky's "Ending Biblical Brainwash" column at Better Humans.com on Monday, I forwarded it to the Infidels Newswire (in keeping with my vow to spread the word of godlessness). They posted it almost immediately. The esteemed Mr. Dvorsky wrote me a nice email Tuesday saying that the column got close to 1400 hits in the first 48 hours.
Bringing new meaning to the word "godhead": If you go to the Amazon page for Pat Robertson's book Six Steps to Spiritual Survival, and scroll down to the "Customers who shopped for this item also shopped for these items" section, the first link leads you to Going Down: the Instinct Guide to Oral Sex. If this was a stunt pulled off by a hacker, they have my undying devotion and a place to hide if they are on the run. (Update: This has apparently been fixed by Amazon.com recently. Trust me, it was funny as hell.)
Film Threat reports that things continue to look grim for Forrest J. Ackerman. The infuriating part of this story is that his legal bills add up to $200,000, a fee that Steven Speilberg, Stephen King, or any number of purported "fans" that Forry inspired to play in the genre could erase without pain. Hollywood, an institution that makes bogus leftist ribbon-wearing mandatory for any of its visible representatives, hasn't raised a finger to assist and preserve one of the finest collections of movie memorabilia. Then again, these are relics of a time when Hollywood had artistic vision, integrity, and tried to make a quality product. I can see why they might want the collection forgotten.
The sub-title of George Dvorsky's new column at Better Humans.com says it all: "it's time we classified religious fundamentalism as a psychological disorder." I forwarded this to several news services in hopes of getting it a wider audience. This is an important piece that needs to be thrown into the cultural mix now. I personally think the diagnosis should be expanded to include people who put credence in psychics. Mr. Dvorsky has it dead-right when he says we need to engineer fundamentalism out of the human mind.
And Lovecraft is laughing from his grave as scientists head to the South Pole in search of dark cosmic energy. This cannot possibly end well.