YouTube: One Lucky (Or Rich!) Fan

September 26, 2007

Supermarionation Stuff and Buzz, My Dalek

Who else would find this for you?

Eh? Eh?

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Writing Quote Of The Day: K.A. Bedford

September 25, 2007

FAQ 2.0

7. So you somehow defied the odds and got published by an actual for-real publisher! What’s the secret to beating the Evil Publishing Company Conspiracy to keep the “little guy” (particularly the ones with the “Unique Artistic Vision) out of publishing?

Well, the key secret to getting published, above and beyond all others, is this: you have to write a good book. That’s the whole thing, right there, in a nutshell.

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Did you just read this post? Now click here.

Previously in this blog:
Second Quote Of The Day: Walter Jon Williams
Book Drooooool!
Hemorrhaging the Neural Net
Writer Added


NBC’s Journeyman: Thumbs Down

September 24, 2007

Update 12/13/07: NBC did not order more episodes beyond the original thirteen. I guess the creator now has much time to frivol.

Spoilers ahead. Skip this post if you haven’t seen the first episode tonight. It debuts on NBC at 10PM EDST.

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After all the hyping I did of Journeyman here, seeing the actual pilot (courtesy of “Chuck” and also Amazon Unbox) was a letdown.

I don’t like the star playing his wife. Let me just come out and day it: She’s a shrike, a bitch, and if I had her for a wife I’d want to travel back in time too! And as for the actress herself, she looks more like a supermodel than someone who’d risk her figure to have a kid. This is bad casting.

I don’t see the appeal of the woman he pines for. All that time he thought she was dead — and she’s not? Did I care? No.

His journeying back in time made no spatial sense. He’d go to sleep in his bed and somehow wind up miles away in a park? Are they going to use earth rotation as an excuse? For that matter, what triggers the time traveling? There’s an inference of either the Hand of God or mental illness being the catalyst. The latter is more convincing than the former.

Is every episode going to involve him intervening in some aspect of the past, in someone else’s life? This reeks of Early Edition. That show had more appealing, more true-to-life, characters — plus a cat!

His initial journey back into the past lacks emotional realism. To understand what I mean, I now have to recount my own “journeyman” episode. It was a dream I had back in 2003 (1/26 to be precise; it’s in my Palm) and it left a permanent mark on me.

I “woke up” standing on the sidewalk looking at a protest marching north near Columbus Circle. It is sometime in the 1970s (I can’t pinpoint the year). I am seeing a protest I had actually witnessed in real life back then. But I am back there with my knowledge of today. And it hits me that I am back there with what I know now. I have traveled back in time. The vividness of the dream, its reality, is as real as real, if not realer (you know how hyper-real dreams can be; if you don’t, I feel sorry for you!). I am there. And I know the future. And all the shit that I’d been through in that future is now gone. Wiped away. I had a sense of freedom, of liberation, that I’d never before experienced in my life. I could do everything differently — and with the foreknowledge I contained inside me. I walked down to a neighborhood I once lived in for a few years. It was pre-gentrified. The rents were still low and I could see the lowlifes who had been swept out in the neighborhood’s redevelopment. They didn’t frighten me. In fact, I was without fear altogether. That I was suddenly homeless and apparently penniless didn’t bother me at all. It was the freedom of it all that excited me. I could get money, I could get an apartment — and beyond all that, I could get rich. I knew the tech stocks to invest in. I knew that Microsoft was still a private company. There was no DOS yet. No IBM PC. Reagan wasn’t yet in office (and when he came in, I’d know there’d never be a nuclear war with the Soviets — something many people actually feared during that time!). Do you understand? Can you imagine it for yourself? How absolutely exciting! To this day — over four years later! — all I have to do is recall that dream and I can recapture some of the emotion of it.

Journeyman lacked that. Instead of seeing his life having a new, fresh start, instead of feeling the emotions that would accompany that — we get nothing. A search for shoes in his old (not-his-yet) house. And even then it almost takes a baseball bat to the head for him to realize what has happened. Even if he thought it was a vivid dream, there are things he could have done other than what the writer chose.

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This is bad writing. Very, very bad writing. Characterization was pushed aside in favor of plot. A possibly fatal mistake. With the rare opportunity to grab the audience and make them experience such a trip, to really feel it, the writer flubbed it.

In this respect, I think many people who’ve read The Time Traveler’s Wife and watch the show for the first time tonight will feel right at home. It’s as arid and as shallow as that book. It even has an element from that book: the character time-traveling while driving, causing an accident! Strange coincidence, huh?

I’m not sure if I’ll tune in for the second episode.

If you watch it and like it, visit The Journeyman Blog.

Previously in this blog:
NBC: Settle With Apple
Is Google Better Than Spy Agencies?
A Third Post-iTunes Fable For NBC: Steve Jobs Is Journeyman
A Second Post-iTunes Fable For NBC: You Got Chucked!
Should Apple Turn iTunes Into A Platform?
NBC: Stop Being Blonde!
NBC To Give Away Show Pilots
Journeyman: Still Unleaked!
Fall Network TV Doom Watch List
Journeyman: All Available Vids
Journeyman: No Leak, But Two YouTube Vids
NBC: Leak Journeyman NOW! Early Reports NOT Good!
YouTube: NBC Fall Preview
ABC Kicks NBC’s Ass For Fall TV Buzz
Hey, NBC! Leak Journeyman NOW!
Now NBC Has Pissed Me Off!
Journeyman: Interesting Bits
Hey You Three. Email NBC!
Journeyman Still Not Leaked
September 2005: NBC Promotes A New Earl Show
I Give NBC A Kick To The Nuts. It’s Called An Incentive.
Now Sinfest Persecutes Me!
Hey, NBC! Leak Journeyman, Dammit!!
Bourne Ultimatum? Yes. Journeyman? No.
Hollywood: Settle!
Brightcove: Journeyman Preview
DailyMotion: Ha. Ha. Ha.
Are The Suits Using P2P To Hype Their Shows?


Tech Quote Of The Day

September 24, 2007

King Algorithm
An Oracle for Our Time, Part Man, Part Machine

As you sit with your eHarmony spouse watching the movies Netflix prescribes, you might as well be an avatar in Second Life. You have been absorbed into the operating system.

Did any of you ever read John Douglas’s books?

They drove me mad. He was able to profile criminal suspects down to make and color of vehicle. Do you understand the process of sorting that had to be gone through to accomplish that? Even more maddening, with certain other details he could determine, it made me wonder if all human beings are nothing more than a series of clichés strung together. Are there certain OSes that run human beings, so that someone can determine their core, underlying motivation? Their “algorithm?” And where does that algorithm come from? Is it innate in all of us? Do we create it as we go along? Are there a limited number of algorithms for human beings?

This shit should worry you.

It began with advertising. Moved into law enforcement. And can easily be used for evil purposes by government. Even our government.

How would you like your door bashed in by a team of paramilitary cops and have yourself dragged off because some secret calculation by the Pre-Crime/Pre-Terror Bureau has stated you’re a future hazard?

Previously in this blog:
We’re Puppets Of Biology. PKD’s Electric Ant.
OK. This Just Freaks Me Out. It Better Freak You Out Too!


Reading: September 23 2007

September 23, 2007

Just Read:

Outrageous Fortune by Tim Scott
— A huge romp that loses track of all its threads towards the end and leaves an unsatisfying feeling that not everything has been wrapped up as neatly as the author thought. It’s also horribly mis-titled. His next book is to be called Love In The Time Of Fridges, so this one probably was going to be Don’t You Hate It When This Happens? but something must have gone awry in editing/marketing land. If you like Jasper Fforde‘s bizarre works, you’ll love this book. For most of the book, I kept thinking it was Fforde writing under a pseudonym. Apparently Tim Scott is a real person (who does not have a site or a blog!):


Tim Scott is not Jasper Fforde!

Today:
I have no idea yet. I have a few non-fiction books and several Palahniuk novels. I’ll have to see what captures my fancy…

Tomorrow:

Ammunition by Ken Bruen
— it’s Bruen! He always jumps the Endless Reading Queue. Here’s a quick YouTube video of him. He’s one of my writing gods and has been in the Blogroll since the start. I would have had this read already, but I didn’t get to the NYPL in time. It’s on hold there and now I have to wait until tomorrow. Just what I need: a reason to wake up tomorrow.

Abandoned:
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I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon
— bloody hell. This is a two-inch thick book that also weighs a ton. I just couldn’t keep lugging it around. I’ll have to return to it another time.


YouTube: Dune Movie Trailer

September 22, 2007

Frank Herbert’s Dune Trailer

12/13/07 Update: Alternate YouTube links:

Dune Trailer Remastered
Dune Trailer
D. LYNCH: DUNE – Theatrical Trailer

A beginning is a very delicate time. In 1984, the long awaited film version of Frank Herbert’s epic novel Dune came to the silver screen. What happened next? The worst box office disaster in history! Sad to say it, but mostly everyone who saw Dune hated it except for the few who actually read the book! I’ve always loved this movie but if I ever said that in public I was usually beaten with large rocks or a baseball bat

Yo, B, I gotcher back. I love this movie too — both versions!

Quotes I carry in my PDA:

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed – The lips acquire stains – The stains become a warning – It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear… I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

Sector 6 – 80 — copy the sixth — the summit — the eight the quadrant over the ninth plus eighty — four circles — weave the eighty and call the fourth copy — enter nine — seven by seven a seven the seven call seven B seven — enter the circles call the sixth copy the sixth over the summit…. eight. […] Eight…. Thufir Hawat… Mentat… Master of Assassins.

They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup as the east wind. And they shall gather the captivity of the sand. […] Behold as a wild ass in the desert go I forth to my work.

We Fremen have a saying… “God created Arrakis to train the faithful.” One cannot go against the word of God.

Bring on your baseball bats, mofos!

Previously in this blog:
David Lynch Hate Me
LifeDrive Notes: More WiFi Unfun


YouTube: Gerry Anderson Documentary

September 20, 2007

The Making of the 21st Century (Part 1 of 4)
The Making of the 21st Century (Part 2 of 4)
The Making of the 21st Century (Part 3 of 4)
The Making of the 21st Century (Part 4 of 4)

Documentary on the making of Thunderbirds & all the other worlds of Gerry Anderson. Features interviews with Gerry Anderson, Ed Bishop, Francis Matthews, Christine Glanville & Derek Meddings. Edited by myself back in 1991 to a radio documentary from the 1980’s.

This is a wonderful little documentary filled with images I’ve never seen before! Taken from a VHS tape, showing some wear.

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I’d never seen the A.P. studios before.

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Special effects master and pioneer Derek Meddings

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One-legged on a scary catwalk: No OSHA!

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One of those exciting Derek Meddings explosions!

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Look at how large the Angel Interceptor cockpit area was!

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Another great Meddings explosion! No one could do it like him!

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Terrahawks: behind the scenes

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Look at the puppet’s size next to the light meter!

JOE 90 Club Mix 1986 7 inch vinyl

improved quality recording

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Ex + Mart Thunderbirds Ad HQ

its a no strings deal

A snarky ad featuring a sorry-assed imitation Scott Tracy:

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No! This is Scott Tracy, dammit:

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(Of course they would have to use an imitation. The real Scott has too much dignity!)

Previously in this blog:
Gerry Anderson category
Supermarionation category