- A lot has been written recently about the “film,” Innocence of Muslims, notably its offensiveness to Muslims (and film lovers), the violence that’s erupted in its wake, and the duplicitous nature with which it was made. Now, via Neil Gaiman one of the actresses speaks out:
It’s painful to see how our faces were used to create something so atrocious without us knowing anything about it at all. It’s painful to see people being offended with the movie that used our faces to deliver lines (it’s obvious the movie was dubbed) that we were never informed of, it is painful to see people getting killed for this same movie, it is painful to hear people blame us when we did nothing but perform our art in the fictional adventure movie that was about a comet falling into a desert and tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it, it’s painful to be thought to be someone else when you are a completely different person.
- I’m not quite sure I buy into the idea of Breaking Bad as a “White supremacist fable” entirely — it’s probably true the show doesn’t get the drug trade right, but, then, it’s not really about the drug trade, is it? — but there’s some interesting food for thought here:
White-washing the illegal drug market involves depicting it like markets wealthy viewers are more comfortable and familiar with, namely those of the farmers market or the local pharmacy. Walter White combines the ostensible moral complexity television audiences demand in a post-Soprano protagonist with a cleanliness that allows him to market expensive cars. The U.S. is still very much a white supremacist country, but classic cowboys-kill-Indians narratives don’t play with wealthy viewers or the critics who help determine those tastes. And Jack Bauer can drive only so many cars. For the credulous viewer who likes to imagine he’s a couple of life crises from being the Larry Bird of meth — and for the people who sell him stuff — White is right.If nothing else, the article makes me want to re-watch The Wire.
- John Green on self-publishing and Amazon:
Here’s my concern: What will happen to the next generation’s Toni Morrison? How will she—a brilliant, Nobel-worthy writer who doesn’t have a huge built-in audience—get the financial and editorial support her talent deserves? (You’ll note that there’s no self-published literary fiction anywhere near the kindle bestseller lists.) Amazon will have absolutely no investment in that writer, and they won’t need to. Over time, I’m worried this lack of investment will hurt the quality and breadth of literature we actually read, even if literature remains broadly available.
- This isn’t new, but: Jonathan Coulton on the future of music, 3D printing, and scarcity:
This is my bias: the decline of scarcity seems inevitable to me. I have no doubt that this fight over mp3s is just the first of many fights we’re going to have about this stuff. Our laws and ethics already fail to match up with our behaviors, and for my money, those are the things we should be trying to fix. The change is already happening to us, and it’s a change that WE ARE CHOOSING. It’s too late to stop it, because we actually kind of like a lot of the things that we’re getting out of it.
- And finally, PBS asks, “Can fandom change society?” [via]
- Oh great. Now TMZ is running tour groups.
- Finally, a genuinely interesting use of those QR codes.
- The Mirror Project returns! Well, kind of. It’s an archive or time capsule of the internet that, not so long ago, used to be. If nothing else, it was neat to revisit my own entries.
- How copyright enforcement robots killed the Hugo Awards [via]
- And finally, Bill Wearing Socks:
- Here’s a question: Who inherits your iTunes library? Maybe a follow-up to that: would you want someone to inherit it?
There’s a significant difference between shelves of books or stacks of records and folders of e-books or mp3s. There’s no re-sell value to the latter, for instance, either because of the difficulties of transferring the files or because of restrictions inherent in the licensing agreements we sign. So the only reason to bequeath your digital media is if you feel the person receiving it in your will actually will want it.
- Ass-whooping on NPR.
- In other news, they were still printing Nintendo Power Magazine?
- Writing credits in documentaries: apparently a bigger issue than you might think.
- And finally, Space Stallions!
More information here.
Today was just, y’know, every inch a Monday.
This evening, I got to Grand Central only to discover that two of the three shuttles to Times Square were stuck there on the tracks. Rather than wait around for the one remaining shuttle to depart, pick up new passengers across town, and then come back — only to fight the crowds and maybe still not get on the train — I decided to try my luck with the 7 train, which also stops at Times Square. Of course, that involved a lot of walking back through the subway to find the right track, then waiting forever for the train, then being kind of a dick to a guy coming up the stairs when I was going down, trying to make the connecting E train to Penn Station.
(There didn’t seem to be anywhere to move, really, but I could have been a lot nicer about it. I could have made an effort. I didn’t realize until after I’d refused to budge that he maybe needed the stair railing to help himself up. And so to that anonymous stranger, I’m sorry for being a dick. If it’s any small consolation, I missed my train out of Penn Station, so all my running around was for nothing.)
Anyway, that was Monday. I also got the sad news that actor Jonathan Hardy, the voice of Farscape‘s Rygel, passed away at the age of 71. So I’ll leave you with this small clip from one of my favorite first-season episodes, which I tried and failed to upload to my Tumblr:
- I’m not sure I love this idea enough to actually follow them, but Matthew Baldwin did a neat thing: he created two Twitter bots, one playing Zork, and the other responding as the game. I’m actually more interested in replaying the game itself, but still, it’s pretty neat.
- Why Nigerian e-mail scams are so crude and obvious? Turns out, it may be on purpose. [via]
- So the hitchhiker who said he was writing a book about human kindness only to be shot by a driver…actually shot himself. So, um, I guess that’s one for humanity then…? [via]
- I’m not convinced any of these sounds are necessarily worth preserving, but the Museum of Endangered Sounds is an intriguing idea. [via]
- And finally, Three Simple Tips to Writing Your Own Aaron Sorkin Character Name. He must have hated writing a character named Mark Zuckerberg.
What can you say? The man has a formula.