March 30, 2006

General rambling + books + politics

How embar­rass­ing. I’m sit­ting here at 2:30am, lis­ten­ing to the Thun­der­puss remix of Mary J. Blige’s No More Dra­ma on head­phones. Next is Madon­na’s Easy Ride.

Did a bit more work on the log site — not vis­i­ble work, but CSS fix­ing the Old Blog page. I still have to turn a few hours into the gallery design.

Got my first com­ment (!). Thanks Brad. I’ll fol­low your advice and turn the text bright­ness up a lit­tle with the next CSS revi­sion. Oh, and I’ll call you tomor­row night.

Michael’s cur­rent job has him get­ting up at 7am two days a week, so he hits the sack pret­ty ear­ly: at 12:30am. Heh. No mat­ter how many times I see him off and home again, I can’t help think­ing he could do with more sleep before an hour’s dri­ve to Penrith.

Because of those two days a week, I have only my own com­pa­ny dur­ing most nights. His web-dev con­tract is for anoth­er two and half months, but then we’ll back to all-night World of War­craft ses­sions and I might have a chance at watch­ing an ani­me with him. Iron­i­cal­ly, the work he’s doing is bet­ter done at home; half of it requires remote­ly using the code envi­ron­ment on our local serv­er. His con­trac­tor is pay­ing him to trav­el, then work slow­er than nec­es­sary over an unre­li­able con­nec­tion. Some­where, some­one has to jus­ti­fy this deci­sion. Maybe it’s the same peo­ple who gave Kim Bea­z­ley this great idea about manda­to­ry net cen­sor­ship.

Keep­ing true to my off-on-a-wild-tan­gent writ­ing style, I think Labor’s moron­ic elec­tion promise deserves a bit of froth. I read that sto­ry, and, for the first time in my life, wrote an email to a politi­cian. It was­n’t nasty, it did­n’t involve dirty lan­guage, and it did­n’t get replied to.

I was­n’t sur­prised when a few days passed with­out com­ment — I mean, he must be get­ting an email like this every ten min­utes, even con­cern­ing just this top­ic, since the pro­pos­al is so moron­ic in the first place.

I focused on the polit­i­cal aspects of the deci­sion because he should recog­nise these first. The tech­ni­cal prob­lems are only there to be over­come, and some­where down the track they will. But the pri­va­cy impli­ca­tions can’t be ignored.

Onto lighter top­ics we float. Last week was a javascript-edit­ing fren­zy, get­ting drag and drop code for Michael’s project work­ing. The last prob­lem left is the dragable “clear:left” qua­si-ele­ment. I’ve yet to look at that, but basi­cal­ly all divs float left, and to get line­breaks we’re using clear:left, and we’ve made a fake ‘ele­ment’ that applies clear:left to nextSi­b­ling. There are issues here we haven’t invisti­gat­ed yet, like all the bloody divs sud­den­ly mov­ing when the clear:left is yanked around with the mouse. I don’t know whether that’ll make for a usable WYSIWYG interface.

This week I’ve been read­ing Lar­ry Niv­en and Jer­ry Pour­nelle’s Foot­fall. Since I read before bed on the Palm (using the green-screen back­light) my men­tal accu­ity isn’t what it should be, and it took me a few attempts at some para­graphs to recog­nise peo­ple’s names. The Mote in God’s Eye fea­tured a char­ac­ter list at the begin­ning, as does this book, but Motie did­n’t have four bil­lion char­ac­ters. As bad as it sounds, I’m read­ing this now for the sto­ry arc and explo­ration, aspects which drove me away from Arthur C. Clarke’s nov­els. In Clarke’s hands explo­ration con­sumes the nov­el to the point where the main char­ac­ter is sole­ly a cam­era for the events. In Foot­fall it isn’t as bad, but it’s still hard to keep focus.

Speak­ing of great books, those into raw, hilar­i­ous, intrigu­ing (and “queer”) nov­els are high­ly encour­aged to get Joey Comeau’s Lock­pick Pornog­ra­phy. I read the first few chap­ters online from a link on Dinosaur Comics, and clicked on buy with a speedy inten­si­ty I had­n’t felt in a while. The book arrived today, and as soon as I’m done with Foot­fall I’ll start Lock­pick. I’m real­ly intrigued to see where the book goes, since there’s so many con­texts just in reach of its the­mat­ic. I don’t think it’s a book with a con­crete polit­i­cal state­ment, and it’s cer­tain­ly not a com­ing-of-age dra­ma where char­ac­ters could be sav­aged with a lawn mow­er but still find time to smile beau­tif­i­cal­ly at each oth­er in the final twen­ty sec­onds of the trail­er (sor­ry, angst got away from me).


If you’re mar­ket­ing a gay film, don’t call it a com­ing-of-age sto­ry. What kind of pos­i­tive mes­sage are you aim­ing for if you can’t state direct­ly what it is? You’re dig­ging a hole you don’t need. Amer­i­can Psy­cho did­n’t achieve cul­tur­al mind­share by describ­ing itself as “one man’s jour­ney to find redemp­tion and self-for­give­ness”. You aren’t direct­ing a Bryce Court­ney nov­el. Use the word “gay” and stop pan­der­ing to some­one else’s under­ly­ing big­gotry, you idiots.


So I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to Lock­pick.

It’s 4:40am and I should do some­thing else for a while. Bed calls, but I’m too men­tal­ly active.

posted by Andrew