ソーラーバードーのほん: Life in the Convergence Zone [entries|friends|calendar]


Solarbird

[ about | Solarbird's profile ]
[ my studio | supervillain central ]
[ steal this | the free music set ]
[ subsets | economics writings flowers leaves photos calendar ]
[ other fun | a miracle of science leannan sidhe owls annie henry zero hedge ]

whaaaaaat even
[03 Jul 2015|12:18pm]

IS GERMANY TROLLING US? I HOPE GERMANY IS NOT TROLLING US.

It’s an electronic MIDI hurdy-gurdy.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

I take it back about Comcast Business Internet support
[03 Jul 2015|11:56am]

[ mood | pissed off ]

I take back what I've said in the past about Comcast business internet support being better than their consumer level.

They've fucked up their internal routing of our mail for the third time, which means we can't contact comcast customer servers to deliver email. And despite the previous two times being in our customer records, they seem to have no idea what to do or even who should do it.

Primary support sent me to security assurance, because they couldn't deal with it. Security Assurance said they can't do anything about this kind of problem, and made me call back to primary support.

First tier primary support that time didn't even understand the problem, so they elevated me to tier 2, who just called me back also not understanding the problem. After eventually explaining in sufficiently small words, they've just told me they can't do anything about it and can't even escalate it and that I have to talk to security assurance. After I made it sufficiently clear that Security Assurance has insisted they can't do anything about this, he just kind of started repeating, "we cannot do anything about that here, we have no way to escalate it, you have to talk to security assurance."

This despite it being EXACTLY THE SAME FUCKUP AS THE PREVIOUS TWO TIMES AND IT'S ALL DOCUMENTED.

jfc.

eta: Aaaaaand I've been sent back to core support again. Because Security Assurance Doesn't Do Anything Like This.

eta2:: I am currently on hold. And elevated again to tier 2. And they're calling me back.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

1 comment|post comment

and here comes the hammer
[03 Jul 2015|08:30am]

Amazon has been working on adjusting Kindle Unlimited – their streaming-service equivalent for writers – for a while. A fair number of people have been worrying about what that would mean. We’ve known for a while that the author money would come from a fixed-size pot – and that pot would probably be small. But we didn’t know for sure.

Now we do. Surprise! Pseudo-streaming for writers means the same thing as streaming means for musicians. Payment schedules which are somewhere between a joke and an insult.

I don’t know enough about the writer side of the world of things to know exactly how terrible this is, but given the zero-sum gaming of the system, and Amazon’s market dominance in the epub world, I’d have to say it sounds pretty damn bad – possibly even worse than for musicians, even if the actual rates are higher in some ways. The numbers being thrown around involve phrases like ’60-80% cut in royalties.’

Anyway, writers, you’ve been warned. Anybody with a better understanding of the book world want to chime in?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

post comment

the confederacy was entirely about slavery
[01 Jul 2015|02:19pm]

If you are one of the people who think the Confederate States of America was about anything other than slavery and white supremacy, you are flatly wrong. You aren’t wrong on interpretation, or importance, or emphasis, you are flatly, utterly, completely wrong on facts.

Don’t take it from me, take it from then-newly-elected Vice President Alexander H. Stephens of the Confederate States of America:

The new [Confederate] constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. … Our new government is founded… its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Savannah, Georgia, March 21, 1861

Emphasis added. It was about slavery. The whole damn project was about slavery.

Here’s an article with some more direct quotes. Such as Texas’s February 2nd, 1861 declaration of secession:

Texas… was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery – the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits – a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. …

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. …

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

It was about slavery.

Here’s soon-to-be-Confederate General Benning of Georgia, writing to Virginia, urging secession following Georgia’s vote:

What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? This reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction … that a separation from the North was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery… If things are allowed to go on as they are, it is certain that slavery is to be abolished. By the time the north shall have attained the power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. … The consequence will be that our men will be all exterminated or expelled to wander as vagabonds over a hostile earth, and as for our women, their fate will be too horrible to contemplate even in fancy.”

It was about slavery.

Not every Confederate state listed their reasons for secession and formation of the Confederacy. Some kept it short, two or three paragraphs. But every Confederate state which made a list of reasons went with slavery.

Here’s South Carolina’s declaration of secession, adopted December 24, 1860, listing their complaints:

…an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress [regarding return of escaped slaves –sb] or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed… In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. …

Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States.

… A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

It was about slavery.

Here’s the Mississippi declaration of secession:

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

It was about slavery.

Here’s Georgia declaration of secession, passed Tuesday, January 29, 1861:

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slaveholding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. …

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery and to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers. …

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs.

…their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property [slaves] but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquility.

It was about slavery. They said it was about slavery. They said their government was founded and based on slavery and white supremacy; that it was the corner-stone of their government.

I’m pretty sure that means it was about slavery.

eta: More, from before and after the war.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

37 comments|post comment

pictures from the road
[01 Jul 2015|08:30am]

I don’t have nearly as many photos of the dry side as I want, particularly ones taken on the way back. As we were headed west, I kept pointing at things and going, “goddammit, I wish I had a picture of that,” but I was flying that Raptor and the only one who could, so not so much for me. Full autopilot, where are you when I need you?

Here’s me packing the last thing to be loaded in – the cooler – before heading off. I’m wearing a highly appropriate shirt given the decision which had just come down that morning. Korrasami 5eva:


It’s canon and you gotta deal with it!

When you’re out and you want to eat somewhere, and you don’t want to do stupid chain restaurants, you kind of get a grip on recognising where is going to be good. Old locals eating there? Probably at least okay. This place was called something like… Backwoods BBQ? I don’t even know. They also had a big “BURGERS” sign up. Regardless, it’s here. I’d put in a streetview link, but here’s what that looks like, so thanks a pantload, Google Maps Driver. Regardless, they had good BBQ.

We were making really good time, and the plan was to get there and help Zinger set up his giant pavilion, but then out of nowhere this happened, and we moved about 5km in 90 minutes.

No, seriously, that’s not a guess, that’s an approximation on distance and specifically correct on time. So I also took the opportunity to take a few pictures of rocks. As usual, everything is larger and there are more photos on the Flickr feed:

This one is particularly worth looking at bigger. It’s pretty good for a shot-while-driving photo, I think:

Once we got there too late to help out with setup, it was already goofy hot and working on getting worse. That’s where I learned I can’t be in sunlight at those temperatures unless I feel like passing out, which was pretty much what I almost did. Emphasis on almost, since the band noticed I wasn’t answering questions even though I thought I was, and intervened with coldpacks and ice and fans and such.

Somehow I hadn’t recognised when getting directions and stuff that we were playing a bunch of shows in Amon Park. 48C/119F and in Amon Park. Definitely the worst Korra AU ever:


NO.

After Saturday’s last show, we ducked out to a nearby Thai restaurant (Baan Khun Ya Thai – recommended) mostly for the air conditioning. The staff were really nice and let us linger for a couple of hours while the worst of the heat… well, I’d like to say ‘passed by,’ but really, it mostly hung around, trying to wait us out.


I Am Carrot-Head Groot

Also at a rest stop we saw this. Who the hell needs to be told this, anyway? I mean, c’mon, have some sense. Don’t just toss these out.


No fine high enough

More and bigger pics start here. Next we’re headed west, to Clallam Bay Comicon again. That’ll be both a Crime and the Forces of Evil and a Leannan Sidhe show, because we’re both going and being in each others’ bands and all that. See you there, I hope!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

5 comments|post comment

don’t fall for this
[30 Jun 2015|08:30am]

Sure, as a floating lair, it looks fairly swank, and the only ethical way to own this monstrosity is to steal it, so that’s fair. But when you see rooms like this?


No.

This is Bond Bait. It’s engineered to make you fall into a variety of the Bad Supervillain traps, most notably monologuing about your own plans and awkward we’re-not-so-different speeches.


I’m sure you do.

Nobody needs another one of those speeches. Nobody. This lair? Give it a pass.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

and we’re back!
[29 Jun 2015|12:06pm]

Got back early this morning. Pretty sleepy still, but now I can say I’ve survived a weekend of gigging in 46-48C (115-119F) temperatures. Surprisingly good crowds, particularly given the weather. Sunday went particularly well – we kind of turned a morning set in an isolated section of the fairgrounds into a musician jam-along that we’re all thinking we should do on purpose next year.

Also, shout outs to the aid pavilion staff who were there helping people do heat management. I spent most of the day Saturday and all of Sunday in the aid pavilion partly in self-care and partly – particularly on Saturday when I didn’t have the sense to go straight there – being treated by the nurses on staff. It was a wash-rinse-repeat cycle of aid-pavilion-with-fans-and-cooling-and-ice / perform a set / back to aid tent, emphasis on wash and repeat.

I did learn a few things. I dissipate heat well few places, but one place that works is in my hands. The staff were kind of amazed by how quickly I can melt ice just by holding it. Aheh. Drinking cold fluids didn’t help much; just eating ice in chunks as large as I could swallow helped a lot. So did ordering a case of chemical cold-packs in advance. But in future, with forecasts like these? We’re getting a hotel room or we aren’t doing it.

Pictures tomorrow. Not as many as usual, but a few nice ones, including a broad landscape that also happens to show the 90-minute traffic jam out in the middle of EXACTLY NOWHERE HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN? But that was okay. At that point, we had AC. :D

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

and we’re out
[26 Jun 2015|09:17am]

Too busy loading out for shows to write a real post this morning, but congratulations to all the QUILTBAG people in the States on getting marriage equality. I was a little worried they’d limit their ruling to full-faith-and-credit, but they didn’t.

And a shout-out to all the queer kids in homes where their parents and/or guardians are raving and ranting about this ruling today. Keep it together, stay strong, it may seem like forever but you will be out of there eventually. They’re wrong, and you aren’t.

See you in Richland!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

going out with leannan sidhe
[25 Jun 2015|08:30am]

I’m going out with Leannan Sidhe this weekend, which is normally awesome good fun times. But this time, I’m actively worried. There are a bunch of different alarms and alerts up telling people to stay home and stay indoors and the forecast high during the days I’m going to be out is around 43°C, which is right around 110°F.

And laugh all you want to – I’ll destroy you first – but yes, Solarbird the Lightbringer has heat issues. And this isn’t the kind of thing you’re supposed to blog about, everyone will tell you, you’re supposed to keep it upbeat and confident in a music blog, and I’m actively kind of frightened, because 30C is a bit hot for me, and we’re shooting well past that and past “hi, I’m passing out now” territory and into “why am I doing this” zones.

Plus, we’re camping. There’re no hotel rooms around for less than $600. Well, that’s not technically true, there are, at hotels with reviews that talk about bedbugs, which is to say, there are no goddamn hotel rooms.

Normally, this is all quite fine, I’m fond of a bit of camping. But the lows are, like, 24C, which is, um, like 75F? The outdoor low in the shade is a temperature I find a uncomfortable for sleep.

I’m not kidding when I say I’m really nervous about this. Not in that isn’t-this-exciting way, but in that passing-out-on-stage-is-a-real-possibility way.

Yeah, so, that’s no fun. Here, meet Paper Jam Shatner. I found him while looking for something else completely unrelated and I have no idea why Google showed him to me. Paper Jam Shatner will only make sense at all if you watch a lot of Gravity Falls, but hopefully, that’s you.


kkkkkkgkkkgkgkgkgkkgkgkgkggkkkngnnnnnN!!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

8 comments|post comment

wat
[24 Jun 2015|08:58pm]

[ mood | wat ]



Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

post comment

nothin’ but class
[24 Jun 2015|09:15am]

C’mon, George, have some goddamn self-respect.


No.

It’s hard to tell, but his tongue is out. He only moved because he heard me get the camera, but for once, I got a picture.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

3 comments|post comment

ow ow ow ow ow
[24 Jun 2015|08:30am]

It’s really important for many kinds of instrumentalists to maintain good callouses, particularly zouk, mandolin, and guitar players. There’s a rumour that Stevie Ray Vaughn used to superglue his callouses back on if they fell off.

Somehow my left-hand (fretboard side) callouses have all disappeared. I’ve been playing all week but in the shower yesterday I was like, “wait, my fingertips on my left hand feel really soft, what the hell?” now, well, YEP THEY SURE ARE.

A few hours of playing tonight seems to be bringing them back, but… da hell?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

minigame capchas now?
[22 Jun 2015|08:30am]

I’ve never seen this before – a puzzle game for capcha on some Livejournal comment pages:


queen to queen’s level 3

Yeah, I had to do a puzzle to leave a comment. Also to edit the comment.

There must be some truly severe spambots out there at this point is all I can say. Damn.

Oh, also, we saw Jurassic World. It’s much better than I was led to believe, on several axises, and easily the best since the original – which is not a high bar, of course, but I don’t mean it as a backhanded compliment. It was genuinely fun.

I didn’t get into it enough to write my own review, but Anna posted one over here. I guess the only thing I’d say about Anna’s reaction is that the shit Claire got for not picking up on her nephews personally the first day there.. I really read that as fallout from her sister’s impending divorce. I’ve seen divorcing parents ramp the “it’s all about me” neediness up to 12 before, and for me, anyway, it felt very much like that.

Sadly, another character also gave her shit for not dropping everything and attending to the kids, too. Just not as much. I’m sorry, did you miss the part where she had a serious job and where events were unfolding?

Regardless; better and less annoying than I was lead to expect, and well done making me be actively on the velociraptors’ side. Team Velociraptor. Go Blue.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

3 comments|post comment

Collective nouns for tumbler vocabulary
[21 Jun 2015|11:57am]

[ mood | silly ]

So Anna and I were walking to the bus and I referred to a “flotilla of douchecanoes” and we started wondering about collectives for douchecanoe because it’s really only a flotilla when on patrol, right?

So we came up with a couple like “a vexation of douchecanoes” and “a wankerage of douchecanoes” and also along the way “an enragement of meninists.”

But I really think more Tumblr words need collectives and also can anybody top vexation for douchecanoes because I think that’s pretty good.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

4 comments|post comment

how to make me enjoy something by Bach
[20 Jun 2015|12:58pm]

[ mood | amused ]

I finally found out how to enjoy something written by Bach. Now if we could just combine that with this:


...we'd have a real winner.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

post comment

And so it begins: Paypal phone spam
[19 Jun 2015|11:44am]

I have a Google Voice number that I set up a couple of weeks ago solely to give to PayPal, given their new horrible data-mining and cold-calling-by-anyone terms of service.

I have given this number to quite literally no one outside my lair. (And not even everyone in it!) I even added it to the Do Not Call registry. So guess what I got today that could only have come through one place?

Die in a fire, Paypal.

If you have a PayPal account, get a throwaway number for it, because the spam robocalls are coming.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

9 comments|post comment

jupiter ascending isn’t what most critics thought
[19 Jun 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | curious ]

We finally saw Jupiter Ascending a couple of weekends ago, in the lair, rented rather than in a theatre. I wish I’d got myself out to see it large, but, well, life and all that.

It’s better than it’s given credit for. And I thought I had a long post to write about this, but I keep not writing that post, so I’m going to write a shorter one and see what happens.

Jupiter Ascending is, in large-brush-strokes, David Lynch’s Dune, but with the “Chosen One” trope excised and replaced with “Hidden Princess.” It’s a bold decision to make, because audiences aren’t used to Hidden Princess in live-action anymore, and they’re not used to it in nominally-SF movies at all.

That’s what it is, though. You’ve got all the bits. You have ultra-rare critical-to-galatic-society unique-brutal-production-method High-Protein Liquid MacGuffin. You have old-school Dune-style space-opera politics-as-secret-warfare over the usual space-opera things, with betrayals! Everywhere! You have overflowing decadence, commentaries on exploitive economics, and massive disparities of wealth and power on an intergalactic scale, and set design Lynch would’ve killed to possess. And it’s a whole family of disturbing predilections and obsessions, as in, again, Dune.

You even have Eddie Redmayne channeling Sting’s shouty Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, only a little more of a lid on it.



But not much of one

Meanwhile, instead of Chosen One tropes and fantasies, you get a huge bundle of Hidden Princess – the lost royal child, the family of commoners who know actual love vs. the royality who doesn’t, all of it.

Plus you get the bundle of heterosexual schoolgirl fantasy stuff that tends to go along with that trope. So… you’re found by a guy who is part wolf and has a tragic backstory you can’t be bothered to explain coherently because it doesn’t really matter because it’s different for you because it’s you (of course) and he has wings and he’s utterly devoted to you and has a great ass – did Tina Belcher write this part?



That’s just one example. And sure, it’s silly, just like a lot of the Chosen One tropes – Harry “Lightning Scar” Potter, I’m looking in your direction. But we take those tropes for granted, and run with them because they’re so common, they’re shorthand, and given meaning depending up on how well they’re done or not done. We don’t even call them “silly,” half the time; we call them “mythic” if we don’t just gloss over them entirely.

And when push comes to shove, that’s what I think did in Jupiter Ascending with critics; familiarity with “Chosen One” tropes, and the expectations thereof, but a lack of current familiarity with “Hidden Princess” in anything like this context.

Many, many people complained that the story made no sense, or was confusing. It’s not. It lacks narrative discipline, sure, but the primary flow is deeply linear – pedantically so at times. It only fails to make linear sense if you either try to force it into the Chosen One paradigm against all the actual storytelling on screen, or if you ignore everything women characters do as unimportant. (Every reviewer who referred to Black Widow as “eye candy not doing anything much” in the first Avengers film, I’m looking in your directions.)

But also explains why it did eventually find an audience. A subset of the viewing audience did pick up on the Hidden Princess tropes, and once you get that, it makes all kinds of sense.

Particularly once you realise it’s Hidden Princess Dune. Then, suddenly, it’s pretty neat.

I should schedule a critical-viewing double-feature at the Lair: Lynch’s Dune and the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending. Seeing them in that close a proximity sounds neat to me, as a cinematic exercise. Maybe in the fall, once summer touring season is done.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

actually, chrome worked out pretty well
[18 Jun 2015|09:15am]

Guess what finally showed up in the post:

I’m happy with the chrome instead of the black I’d originally wanted – I worried the chrome on the frame wouldn’t match that on the vehicle itself (because I have seen it in different colour temperatures) but yay, that worked out fine. ♥

Rehearsal today. Getting ready to head out for shows again soon. Yay!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

post comment

this is just pathetic: puppy boycott, ahoy
[18 Jun 2015|08:30am]

[ mood | amused ]

So, as predictably as rain is wet, the Puppies have declared a boycott on Tor Books unless they get a swath of demands met, including apologies from Tor for true statements made by people who are not Tor employees. While the most famous of the white supremacists in the Puppy movement didn’t start it – this guy didthe oberpuppyführer has, of course, endorsed it. So has the Internet’s biggest Korrasami hater, and some others, too.

Anyway, the demands are ludicrous, but to summarise:

  • Tor must publicly apologize for writings by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Moshe Feder, Irene Gallo, and John Scalzi that “demonize, denigrate, slander and lie about the ‘Puppies’ campaigns”
  • Tor must “publicly reprimand those individuals for stepping over the line”
  • Tor must “publicly indicate that it is putting in place policies to prevent any recurrence of such issues.”

See, this is exactly what you get when you hang one of your own out to dry for making personal comments on their own Facebook page like Tor did. You get escalation. So I’m honestly having a hard time feeling sorry for Tor Books here; it was as predictable a piece of politics as one can imagine. And I’m not just saying that in retrospect; I said so at the time.

Now mind you, this “boycott” is pretty must sad-trumpet amateur hour for several reasons, not the least is probable inability to make visible economic impact. As Vox himself admitted, he hasn’t bought anything from Tor in years, and I doubt all that many of the others who are going to sign on to this thing have either. A few, sure, absolutely – with the hilarious side-effect that means the writers they might be able to hurt are the ones on their side.

But even were it all of them, I have to wonder – how small a pond do they think this is? As I’ve, again, written before, if you want an effective boycott, you need three things: 1) a specific and reachable goal, 2) the ability to have economic effect, and 3) a functional alternative to the thing you’re boycotting.

They don’t have these conditions met. They have maybe half a point on item one: there are stated demands. But the thing is, those demands are mostly stalking horses for greater goals, and the Puppies have already proven they will unilaterally escalate. Therefore, no one sensible should assume those demands will be stable here, either. Meet them, more will arise. It’s like Hydra.

Plus, and this should not be left unsaid, their demands are simply ludicrous. But moving on.

They have more than half a point on item three, the alternative – they have a mishmash of selfpub (which, as we know, is Real Publishing for Real Men Now, apparently) and small-press, particularly the Oberpuppyfurher’s small press. (“Shocked! Shocked to discover there might be economic motive to my political boycott!”) Plus, there are plenty of other publishing houses. So maybe a full point, but so much of their work is Campbell-reject shenanigans that I don’t think it really matters.

And most importantly, they have exactly fuck and all on item two. “Oh look, a few dozen people who hate us and don’t read what we publish are calling a boycott.” “‘K.” The whole “muzzle a whole fleet of people or we’ll ruin you” threat doesn’t have a lot of bite if you can’t pull it off. And their 10%-of-the-vote crowd simply can’t.

Sure, they managed to game the Hugo system with numbers that small, because nobody else was block voting; parties vs. no party always win. But that trick doesn’t work when everybody is throwing dollars around for things they actually want and there’s no shortlist to pack. It’s not the kind of closed environment where these tricks work.

Plus – and this is probably my favourite part of this particular fail – the political movement whose original rallying cry was “Heinlein couldn’t win a Hugo today” is now boycotting Robert Heinlein’s publisher.

I guess keeping him off the Hugo ballot this year just wasn’t enough. Man, they just must hate Heinlein.

So, in conclusion: doomed.

eta: Steven Savile on Facebook claims Puppy leader Torgersen told him this was all about exposure, and wasn’t ever about the Hugo awards, back at a Writers of the Future event.


This part of a series of posts on the Sad/Rabid Puppy candidate slate-based capture of the Hugo Awards, and resulting fallout.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

building a sonic core
[17 Jun 2015|08:30am]

So here’s what the Second Doctor sonic screwdriver I built and carried around at Anglicon looks like on the inside. It took a few goes to come up with the best way to do things – or should I say, a functional way to do things – since everything had to fit in a 9mm diameter tube.

I took a few approaches, but eventually I went back to just using the original pen light’s switch – a spring which is compressed to close a very simple circuit, which used the metal housing itself as the return power conduit. So all the various elements ended up being shaped like short AA batteries, with power contacts at each end.

This involved occasionally making casts for new parts, to hold the active elements against each other. I made them out of epoxy glue, with forms made of various items, sometimes tape, but whatever was appropriate.

I ended up having to cut that form down a lot, after it was done, because it was too big. And I needed to keep some space from the other side of the speaker, so I built a spacer out of a wooden dowel, and glued it all together, then wrapped in heatshrink.

The rattle/buzzer is similar. Obviously it has to be longer, because the actual driver is an offset motor, the sort of thing used in phones. The big difficulty here was that there’s an actual physically-spinning offset piece, and I needed a way to allow that to be pushed down upon without jamming. The original piece was a bit of plastic on only one side of the spinning element, but that turned out to be inadequate, so I surrounded it with a wooden tube.

Plus of course in both cases the wiring had to be moved so there’d be positive on one end and negative on the other, so all these cast elements had wire grooves in them. Here’s one of those ends, nice and visible.

And so, I ended up with this totally modular thing which will let me swap out modules – even, say live – and have functionality change. I already know my next module, if I can make it work. It’ll be hard, given the tiny size, but it’ll be fun to try.

Here are two videos of the sonic in operation: Noises emphasised, Light effect emphasised. Even though it’s just an LED, I really like how the lighting works.

And stills:


Sonic, Idle


Sonic, Lit


Sonic, Light End


Screen Accurate

So, yeah! Second Doctor Sonic.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth.

2 comments|post comment

navigation
[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | deeper ]