Wednesday various

  • Jack of all trades, master of none? The people who multitask the most are the ones who are worst at it. I’d post some further thoughts on this, but I’ve got about fifteen dozen other things I need to do right now.
  • Zack Handlen looks for meaning in the films of Michael Bay. An unenviable task, to be sure:

    [Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen] is, by any sensible measurement, a lousy piece of work. But it has a personality behind it. That personality is childish, shallow, and has some definite issues with women, but every time Bay frames up those giants staring to the heavens, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that the son of a bitch means it. I sort of wish I could mean it too. Because sometimes the shit gets real, and that’s when winners have to fuck the prom queen, since fate rarely calls on us on a moment of our choosing to stop a giant asteroid from killing everyone we love.

  • Jonesing for some poetry? Swindle is “an automated daily aggregator of contemporary poetry,” pulling in poems from literary journals, magazines, and other RSS feeds. Its creator describes it (at Bookslut) as “a little like Google News, if Google News had been built by a virtually unpublished poet using a second-string web server and a three-year-old book about web programming.”
  • Then there’s The Longest Poem in the World, which, at about 4,000 verses a day, “aggregat[es] real-time public twitter updates and select[s] those that rhyme.” It’s an intriguing project, although any resemblance to good poetry is probably accidental. (There’s something reminiscent of flarf about these “verses.” I wonder if any of my tweets have ever turned up there. [via]

  • Meanwhile, on a somewhat related note, A Brief History of Appropriative Writing. This was interesting, more so than I expected actually, though I still have issues with appropriation without attribution or at least passing acknowledgment. Artists borrow or steal all the time — that’s the nature of art — but it’s good form, if nothing else, to acknowledge the debt where it exists. [via]
  • And finally, while I wouldn’t necessarily mind seeing Jack Harkness on Doctor Who again — and I think the ending of Children of Earth definitely made that a workable possibility — I definitely don’t want to see the two shows combined. Doctor Who can go into dark places — by its nature, there’s few places it can’t go — but it’s still at it’s heart a smart adventure show and at least partly aimed at kids. Torchwood, on the other hand, is best when it’s at its darkest…even it it’s at its worst when it’s just being dark (read: sexualized and “adult”) for its own sake. I don’t want the Doctor to be Torchwood‘s comic relief, any more than I want Captain Jack to be a dose of dreariness in Doctor Who. John Barrowman fits well into both worlds, but I’m not convinced the two worlds would fit well inside each other.