To celebrate the release of Half-Off Ragnarok, naturally.
There will be cupcakes! There will be music and a raffle and reading and some Q&A, and it will be a hootenanny of a good time, with a whole lotta hoot AND a whole lotta nanny! Bring your kids! Bring your siblings! Bring your slime monsters! We totally hope to see you there.
Since this book does contain snakes, I will probably talk about snakes at some point during the evening. So while I would love to have you there, if you're deathly afraid of snakes, it might be a good idea to skip this one. (On the plus side, I'm pretty funny when I talk about snakes.)
Remember that Borderlands does take telephone and email orders, and would be happy to send you signed books (and they do have Letters to the Pumpkin King in stock). Get a book already touched by pure awesome. Or, you know. Ink. The party starts Saturday at 6pm!
Cheese! And! Cake!
- Current Mood: excited
- Current Music:Of Monsters and Men, "Yellow Light."
My immediate reaction to this, as I noted in the Work Room, was "Why didn't I get gridlore to sign up instead of me? He's the funny one!" (Side note: It's not too late...)
From there, my brain bounced to the really BAD joke I was reminded of at work today.
When the Ark landed, Noah commanded all the beasts to go forth and be fruitful and multiply. After a suitable interval, he went around to see how they were doing. Sure enough, all were being fruitful--except for one pair of snakes. "We can't multiply!" they told Noah. "We're adders!"
"We'll see about that," Noah said. And he commanded the beavers to gnaw down enough trees to make a big, square clearing, and then gnaw off the branches to leave only trunks. Then he bade the badgers dig four holes in a square, and had the elephants plant one tree trunk in each hole. Then, as the elephants held still other treetrunks against these four posts, monkeys swarmed up and lashed each horizontal trunk against the vertical ones, forming a framework. The elephants laid more trunks on top of that. This done, Noah had two eagles pick the barren snakes up and fly them to the top of the new structure. A few weeks later, he shinnied up a giraffe's neck to look and sure enough, the snakes were surrounded by little ones.
Which all proves that you CAN make multipliers out of adders--with a log table.
Mind you, my job has nothing to do with math (and I never learned log tables in high school), so you may wonder why this would come up for me at work. Well, I work for a diaper delivery service; if people don't continue to go forth and multiply, I'm unemployed!
This entry was originally posted at http://kshandra.dreamwidth.org/1318676.h
Olivia Chow officially launched her campaign to be Toronto’s next mayor, saying that "it's time for change" in Toronto, promising to take the city in a new direction from the "failed" leadership of incumbent Rob Ford.
"We need a new mayor for a better city and I'm here to apply for the job," Chow said.
Speaking of her humble beginnings in a struggling immigrant family, Chow told the crowd in St. James Town — the neighbourhood where she grew up — that she learned not to spend what you don’t have, to work hard for what you want and how that has shaped her view of Toronto and what the city needs to thrive.
[. . .]
“In the last four years we have paid more and more and got less and less. We are paying more to take the TTC, but we’re waiting longer for buses and packed into them like sardines," Chow said, also speaking of the unemployment rate and the vulnerable younger generation.
Although Chow made no direct mention of Ford's admission that he smoked crack cocaine and bought illegal drugs while mayor, nor his videotaped booze-fuelled rants, she emphasized how disappointing he has been and how he is not someone who could ever be a role model for children.
“The current mayor’s disappointing leadership has let us down over and over again. He has failed to make the critical investments our city needs to stay competitive … the current mayor is failing at his job and he is no role model for my granddaughters,” she said.
The major candidates that have declared their intention to run for mayor have so far been right-leaning, fiscal conservatives. Chow, a notable New Democrat, has already tried to contrast comments about left-wing overspending her rivals have spoken about.
Chow, appearing on CBC News Network later Thursday afternoon, noted she was on the city's budget committee, under then-mayor Mel Lastman, for five years, during which time the books
blogTO and Torontoist both commented yesterday on the near-certainty that Chow would run. Combing through my archives, I find a note from last March on the possibility that, according to various polls, Olivia Chow would beat Rob Ford in a direct mayoral run, and another on her admission that she was considering a run. These, incidentally, preceded news of Ford's crack tape and the various ridiculous sequelae.
Chow has a solid political record behind her, like most of the candidates announced so far. Chow's advantage? Metro Toronto's Matt Elliott had earlier suggested that, given that three of the four highest-profile candidates (Rob Ford, John Tory, Karen Stintz) were on the right, Olivia Chow was the only candidate running from the left. If she was unopposed by any high-profile candidates, presumably she would have a considerable advantage over others.
Plus, it's time for a mayor from the downtown again. (Amalgamated Toronto, as my friend Leeman pointed out to me earlier, seems to alternate between left-leaning mayors from the downtown and right-leaning mayors from the suburbs.)
Will I be voting for Chow? Unless something changes, I will. I suspect I won't be alone in doing so. Having someone more ideologically sympathetic to me in office who isn't prone to doing any number of ethically problematic and potentially criminal acts is something I'd enjoy. At the very, very worst, if there ever did turn out to be an Olivia Chow crack tape, I'm sure it would be a tasteful crack tape.
Muse is my croupier. Who deals no card
sets no wheel spinning. Yet I stake my heart
each moment she is there. When we're apart
I feel the gambler's hunger. It is hard
to keep my tells from showing in my face.
We play. I can't foresee which move she'll make
but it's her board, her table. One mistake
could lose the game. It's only by her grace
we are still playing. Poem against smile
we wager precious things that have no cost.
She cannot lose. I win, not having lost
we are still here at table all this while
From other games, this is the one we choose
where time itself is all that we can lose
It seems to me that our community would be a good one to churn a bunch of these out. I wonder how we might do that... Cuz they look WAY more fun than wheelchairs.
- Current Mood: thoughtful
Too many people died in 2013. So many, it seems, that when Philip Chevron of The Pogues died, I didn’t get round to finishing my post. Here’s what I wrote in October:
… Except there ain’t no fucking heaven, and too damn many people have left for it this year. I hate 2013.
If there’s one slightly positive thing about Philip Chevron dying two days ago for me, it’s that I was reminded that the box set Just Look Them Straight In The Eye And Say… Pogue Mahone! exists; and also that it is now available in an inexpensive format for about £14. I ordered it on Tuesday night, and it arrived today.
I’ve been listening to it all afternoon. It’s a combination of outtakes, demos, live tracks and radio sessions, and it’s very good.
One thing that stands out at the moment, though, is that their music is steeped in the imagery of death. “Some people left for heaven without warning” is a line from “Sally Maclennane”, of course.
This entry was automatically crossposted from my blog, A Labourer at the Bitface. You can comment here on LJ, but it might be nice if you commented over there.
Wikipedia claims the single only charted in Japan, while the album Don't Stop for which this song was the lead single did chart respectably enough it wasn't a big hit. Why isn't Annie a star? Is she like Róisín Murphy, praised here many times, who is a critical darling but never going to make it big? I hope not.
Having said which...
Blessedly, the craze for extras hasn't really penetrated much into the book world. A couple of publishers to my knowledge have experimented with extra matter at the end of the volume, which I have dutifully disregarded; with series novels, there has been something approaching a habit of running the first chapter of the next instalment in the back of this one, which again I just ignore. I don't want to read the start of the next book until I have the next book and am sitting down to read it, thanks. Twice I have begun to read restored "author's cut" texts of favourite genre novels, where the authors or their estates have put back much of what their editors had wisely told them to cut; I wasn't able to finish either one, because they read long and draggy and wrong.
Having said which...
It is the opinion of wise people hereabouts that Mars Beneath needs to begin further in, at a different point in the narrative. They're probably right; I'm certainly prepared to go along with them for now. However, that does leave me with an orphaned chunk of text, some of which I rather like.
So, here: have a murdered darling, the deleted opening of an unfinished novel...
I did perhaps know it to be the greatest day of my young life, when Willoughby called me to his office one morning in early Aquarius. I don’t believe that this is hindsight only. Even then, at the very start of the adventure that set my course - and my planet’s course, my people’s course - for all the years to come, I think I felt the hand of history on my shoulder, bracing me.
I did need bracing. Prevously I had only ever presented myself to the old man for a carpeting. That particular day, I was aware of no particular sins. My hangover was no more egregious than my haircut; my copy was not unduly late - yet - nor my collar unduly grubby; I had a likely quantity of ink on my fingers and none too much elsewhere on my person. I hadn’t been overly attentive to his daughter recently, nor overtly offensive to his wife. So far as I could tell, my conscience was entitled to its tolerable clarity. And yet the summons had come, and so I stood outside his door and fidgeted with my necktie until the secretary put his head out to beckon me inside.
“Thank you, Mr Lawson.” Always be polite to the gatekeeper. Even a cub reporter outranks a mere secretary - at least, in my own private hierarchy he does, and I did - but Lawson could make or break a man faster than anyone else at the Arean-Messenger.
Faster than anyone except his employer, that is. Lawson’s power lay in access to the old man, granting or denying it at whim. Willoughby’s was pure, the thing itself, ownership outright. He was Editor-in-Chief by his own appointment, because he chose to be. That he was a natural for the task was mere happenstance. Lawson was self-serving, subtle, political to the core; his master was blunt and brutal, a pick-axe to Lawson’s rapier, easy with the weight of money at his back. Together, they were formidable.
I stepped into the fug - Lawson chain-smoked gaspers, we all thought as a defence against Willoughby’s cigars - and said, “You wanted to see me, sir?”
Willoughby grunted, leaking smoke at me between his teeth like an incense-burner in a back-street temple anywhere within half a mile of Marsport docks. “Sit yourself down, youngster.”
That shook me almost more than the office-boy’s original call to the sanctum sanctorum. Willoughby didn’t stand in loco parentis; he was an employer, not a patriarch. Despite my best hopes, he’d never been in the least fatherly. Sent for, one might be castigated, instructed, congratulated or cast forth; if any man ever had been summoned for any reason else, news of it had never filtered out; but in any event, one was not invited to sit in the Presence. Not ever. There wasn’t a chair supplied. Only his own, behind his own magisterial desk, and Lawson’s in the corner.
There was a chair now, set ready on the carpet. A glance to my rear showed Lawson standing, leaning against the door-jamb for want of anywhere to sit.
I perched tentatively, and waited for the cataclysm. There must surely be a cataclysm coming.
If you need to know what dieselpunk is, it's a subcategory of steampunk, essentially, covering the 1920s through the 1950s, including the Roaring Twenties, the Depression, World War II, and even a little beyond that, but here's the thing: I want material from all over the world, I don't want a white-washed representation of this theme.
Spread the word.
PS. if you have any reprints that you'd like to recommend, please feel free to help us out here.
- Tyne at the Theatre Royal; David Whetstone's review in the Journal refers to the original production at Live Theatre, and although the Theatre Royal was both packed and appreciative, I felt it would have been more at home in the smaller, more intimate setting. I found the framing narrative more than a bit predictable, but the material it framed was enjoyable. Best thing: a story by Julia Darling that was entirely new to me, The Women Who Painted Ships (perfectly performed by Zoe Lambert and Jane Holman)
- I made hot cross buns, a mash-up of my basic sourdough, the recipe from Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery and what ingredients came to hand. I don't usually add sugar to my bread, the sourdough starter doesn't need it, but the remains of the jar of nutmeg jam were quietly cristalising in the fridge, so I scraped that in, and added more nutmeg as well as cloves, cinnamon and allspice. I liked the result, warm and aromatic with nutmeg. I followed Elizabeth David's instruction to make the cross by cutting the risen buns, then gave them five minutes more before putting them in the oven: this, too, worked surprisingly well (Mrs David says don't worry about getting the crosses perfectly even; the important thing is that you have made the effort. I paraphrase, but not by much - and yes, I know it's not like her to be so laid back).
- valydiarosada and D. came for the weekend, and accompanied us to a curious concert at the Sage. Greater North was a Folkworks production involving a variety of performers, from recent Folk Degree graduates Horizontal Sunday to the Keelers and Maddy Prior, compered by Kate Fox. What the publicity material doesn't mention is that it was put together as the entertainment for a Rotary convention, which was a bit disconcerting, but didn't turn out to be a problem. I liked Melanie Barber's clog dancing.
- Sunday lunch in Cotherstone was a bit of a detour on the way to the Bowes Museum, but a very scenic detour. The museum itself is just so full of stuff you can't see it all: you could spend a entire visit on the ceramics or the paintings, or focus on the history of the building, the Founders' collection, the Swan, or head straight for the temporary exhibitions (currently Gavin Turk neons. These really deserve a post of their own, too, but the essence of it would be: you can't dislike a giant neon banana, but the accompanying information does its best to persuade you...). Then you head downstairs to the cAafé and discovery a whole other gallery hidden away. I end up wandering around exclaiming incoherently: "Mechanical mouse! Meissen starlings! Roman pottery! Cup and ring markings (on the Gainford Stone)..."
- durham_rambler and I went to Helen Savage's tasting of cool climate Californian wines. Some very enjoyable wines: a classy Roederer fizz, a Kendall Jackson pinot noir (my notes say both 'butterscotch' and 'cabbaage' - but then my notes also say "Beware the glassy winged sharpshooter").
- As a birthday treat, J. and I allowed durham_rambler to drive us to Alston for a day out: a pub lunch of Cumberland sausage, a stroll beside the Nent, a circuitous route home - Teesdale again - and suddenly, just on that one stretch of road, lapwings everywhere, tumbling in flight and standing sentry on the flanks of the hills, smart in their olive coats and slicked back crests.
- And home for a quiet evening on the sofa, a bottle of Spanish red, a bowl of olives and the first episode of Shetland on television.
***A Jehovah's Witness asked if I'd like something to read. There was a time when I distributed political pamphlets; so I accepted his offer.
It occurred to me that Jehovah's Witnesses who became Satanists ought to join Lucifer's Witnesses.
Other possible Satanist group names: Damnation Army. The Society of Enemies. The Unethical Culture Society.
***Comments of Comment:
Most dollar stores were actually dollar stores when we first started seeing them, some 15 or 20 years ago. There was one that amused me, in a heavily-Latino section of Houston, that called itself !Caramba 99¢! Unsurprisingly, in the intervening time, inflation has taken its toll. For a while, most of the dollar stores had gone to $1.08; these days they're up to $1.15.[See correction to following below] Dollar Tree is not, by the usual definition, a dollar store -- they're a discount chain. I've had to explain this to people before, with varying levels of success. In a dollar store, _everything_ is the same price.
ETA: Sorry, my bad. Dollar Tree _is_ a dollar store; I was thinking of Family Dollar, which is not.
At the Reno Worldcon, there were several programming items for Christian fans. There was not a single one for Jewish, pagan, $OTHER_RELIGION, or atheist fans. When I noted this, I was assured that it was not a question of discrimination, but rather of how much demand there would be for such programming and who would be willing/able to provide it. I am sure that the same thing applies to your atheist panel.
[The atheist writing panel was on Minicon's list of suggested program items. There might or might not be a volunteer to run it.
[Note: I believe the only way to be certain there is no God or gods is divine revelation. Unless you're omniscient.]
I think we can skip the "alleged" part … In a Strib story headlined "Alleged drunken driver nearly falls out of car onto St. Paul cops," Chao Xiong writes: "A St. Paul man was so drunk Sunday morning he nearly fell out of his vehicle when police found it stuck in a snowbank. … Doty’s eyes were droopy and bloodshot, and his speech was so slurred officers couldn’t understand him. An open beer can was found in the center console, and an empty bottle of vodka was found on the passenger floor, according to the complaint. 'Doty had to hold onto the driver’s door for balance when he got out,' charges said. 'Doty was so intoxicated he couldn’t get his flip flops on his feet.' … Doty has nearly two dozen convictions involving drunken driving, alcohol or traffic violations."
Here’s a guy who has watched waaay too much TV. Emily Gurnon of the PiPress says: "A Woodbury man shot a former high school classmate at Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub in St. Paul while posing as a police officer, according to an attempted-murder complaint filed Monday. From his hospital bed, the 29-year-old shooting victim told police that Patrick Timothy Juetten wore a fake badge Friday night and suggested they 'rob drug dealers' together, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court."I Don't Want to Be Normal. I Want to Be Healthy 03/11/14 Dan Goodman, 1720 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis MN 55414. dsgood at iphouse.com or at gmail.com. dsgoodman.blogspot.com 612-298-2354
- Current Location:Minneapolis, Baja Manitoba
The first episode, posted on February 4, did well, averaging 23,289.3 viewers* for its four segments. But since then it's been downhill. The second episode reached an average of 9,337 people for each of its six videos, and the third and latest instalment, released on February 26, garnered an average of only 5,346 viewers over its three segments.
[. . .]
By conservative estimates the City, the radio show they hosted on CFRB Newstalk 1010 for almost two years, was broadcasting to upwards of 80,000 people every week by the time it was cancelled last fall, with huge spikes on Sundays after new developments in the mayor's crack scandal.
When they moved to TV as the scandal roiled in mid November, their single episode on the Sun News Network nabbed 155,000 viewers, which the channel's vice president Korey Teneycke said at the time made it "biggest night ever for Sun News by a country mile."
[. . .]
One reason is simply the demographics of the internet, according to David Bray, creative director at Bray & Partners and an expert on the radio market. The people who listened to the Fords' radio show are unlikely to watch the YouTube series, he says.
"CFRB listeners are somewhat older," says Bray. "It does appeal largely to the 55-plus crowd… Would that same constituency move over to online? Very unlikely, because clearly that demographic isn't as active online."
The online show's content is also a problem. While the Ford brothers appeared to maintain a high degree of control over their radio show, they did usually take phone calls from listeners or had guests on. There was at least the potential for unscripted moments.
1. Name: This was regarded as a very minor consideration indeed.
2. Ingredients: In the present case Mr Mills said that the ingredients of the Torq Bar were sufficiently close to that of a flapjack for it to be considered as such.
3. Texture: The Tribunal in United Biscuits considered that, generally, it would expect a cake to be entirely or mainly soft and friable, not able to be snapped and not crisp. The Torq Bar was entirely or mainly soft and friable, cannot be snapped and is not crisp.
4. Size: Mr Mills said that the Torq Bar is the size of a small cake.
5. Packaging: Torq Bars are individually wrapped in foil like many cakes.
6. Marketing: Torq Bars are not sold in Supermarkets with cake but in sports shops and off the web site.
7. Manufacturing technique: Torq Bars are manufactured in a very similar way to flapjacks.
8. Consistency when stale: Like cake, Torq Bars are moist to start with and become harder and crisper when stale.
9. Presentation: Torq Bars are presented in a manner similar to many cake products.
10. Attractiveness to children: Torq Bars are designed to be attractive to adults, not children. In this way they resemble cake.
11. Core ingredients: Oats are a substantial part of the product, not in flavour but in bulk and texture when eaten. In this way the Torq Bar resembles a flapjack.
I rather like the 'Eleven Tests of Cake'*; it sounds like Twelve Labours of Hercules, but for the rest of us.
* I can't help imagining the Eleven Tests of Cake being applied by Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition.**
** Mention of the Spanish Inquisition and Cake of course bringing to mind Eddie Izzard's "Cake or Death?" routine.***
*** Which would be far scarier if performed by Izzard in character as his Hannibal role of Dr Abel Gideon, who is a blatant expy of Anthony Hopkins' depiction of Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs.
This entry was originally posted at http://major-clanger.dreamwidth.org/2269
Jaywalking is so much of a British custom that we don't actually have a British word for it; it's not an offence of any sort, it's just the way we cross the road. My favourite English dictionary defines a jaywalker as "a careless pedestrian whom motorists are expected to avoid running over" - but in a serious and respected dictionary, that only goes to show how we do not regard the activity with any real deprecation.
So I have been a devout jaywalker for fifty years, and I'm very good at it; only now I live in America, and my timing is off and my instincts are awry and I am not natively tuned in to the rhythms of your traffic, even disregarding the obvious wrong-side-of-the-road thing; and here I do not jaywalk. I am scrupulous about crossing at junctions and pressing buttons and waiting for lights and so forth.
And today I did all of that, and the lights changed and the green/white man was in my favour, and I stepped out into the road - and a white car came within inches of killing me. The driver wasn't even coming around the corner with the poor excuse of turning right on red; he came straight down the road, which means straight through a red light when there was a highly visible pedestrian in the walkway. And if he'd killed me it would've been my own fault, because I didn't look, because all the lights were in my favour and I was doing the thing properly and just expected everyone else to do the same.
I'm going back to jaywalking. It's safer.
(In related news, my interior monologue may have been a little ranty, all the way home: and it occurs to me to wonder, does everyone in fact have an interior monologue? I have always assumed so, just because I do and it's constant - and we know this, because every now and then m'wife says "so where's your interior monologue right now?" and I always have an answer for her even if it doesn't make for inherently interesting conversation - but then I do recast my experience natively into words, and it is possible that not everyone does this. So: interior monologue, yes/no?)
- io9 links to a map showing the Milky Way Galaxy's location in nearer intergalactic space.
- The Big Picture has pictures from the Sochi Paralympics.
- blogTO shares an array of pictures from Toronto in the 1980s.
- D-Brief notes the recent finding that star HR 5171A is one of the largest stars discovered, a massive yellow hypergiant visible to the naked eye despite being twenty thousand light-years away.
- The Dragon's Gaze notes recent studies suggesting that M-class red dwarfs are almost guaranteed to have planets.
- Eastern Approaches argues that the lawsuits of Serbia and Croatia posed against each other on charges of genocide at the International Court of Justice will do little but cause harm.
- Far Outliers explores how Australian colonists in the late 19th century feared German ambitions in New Guinea.
- The Financial Times World blog suggests that, in its mendacity, Russia is behaving in Crimea much as the Soviet Union did in Lithuania in 1990.
- Geocurrents notes that the Belarusian language seems to be nearing extinction, displaced by Russian in Belarus (and Polish to some extent, too).
- Joe. My. God. notes the protests of tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews in New York City against mandatory conscription laws in Israel that would see their co-sectarians do service.
- Marginal Revolution notes that, in pre-Israeli Palestine, local Arabs wanted to be part of a greater Syria.Otto Pohl notes the connections of Crimean Tatars to a wider Turkic world and their fear that a Russian Crimea might see their persecution.
- The Power and the Money's Noel Maurer notes that Venezuela has attacked Panama in retaliation for a vote against it by confiscating the assets of its companies there. In turn, Panama has promised to reveal the banking accounts of Venezuelan officials in Panama.
- John Scalzi of Whatever is unimpressed with the cultic adoration of Robert Heinlein's novels by some science fiction fans.
Better there never had been a warm day.
Then I spent five minutes trying to decipher what some fucknut on Facebook meant by the acronym "ikr."
Anyway...yesterday's stale Hell, which is looking pretty damn good right about now:
No writing yesterday. Instead, I put together the sixth draft for a table of contents to the second "best of" volume, which meant reading through several stories from 2009 and 2010 that I haven't read since they were written. The book still has no title. There was email, because always is there email. I also spoke with a representative from the second university to request my papers for their archives. It's more than a little strange, such interest, but it's also comforting. There's much I wouldn't want to see lost. Around five p.m., I began signing signature sheets for Centipede Press' forthcoming A Mountain Walked anthology, edited by S.T. Joshi, which includes my story "John Four," as well as fiction by H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, Gemma Files, T.E.D. Klein, Thomas Ligotti, Wilum Pugmire, and quite a few others. I've never before signed signature sheets that Lovecraft "signed" before me. I made it through about half of the five hundred pages. Anyway, yesterday was a long and very tedious day. Today will likely be more so.
Think of every town you've lived in,
Every room you lay your head.
And what is it that you remember?
Do you carry every sadness with you?
Every hour your heart was broken?
Every night the fear and darkness
Lay down with you? ~ Hem
Last night, we finished Season Two of House of Cards. I cannot praise this series highly enough. Certainly, it's the best television since the untimely demise of Deadwood in in August 2006. Frank Underwood is one of the most unqualifiedly brilliant characters TV ever has spawned. As I watched the two series, it felt less and less life Capitol Hill politico-drama and more like Rome as scripted by a collaboration of Shakespeare and Camus. David Fincher has crafted a marvel, and Kevin Spacey has turned in what may be the performance of his career (which is saying quite a lot). Highly recommended.
I have more pictures from Mackerel Cove on Tuesday, and I'm only putting them up because I've gone to the trouble to sort, resize, and upload them. Just now, the warmth of Tuesday feels like a sick goddamn joke. These include the second, third, and fourth underwater photos by Nemo. The first was taken, you will recall, at Beavertail on February 22nd. That one was taken in a calm (freezing) tidal pool, these three in sandy surf.
A man is walking on the highway.
A woman stares out at the sea.
And light is only now just breaking. ~ Hem
And I should consider trying to get to work. There's proofreading and correction on two short stories to be done today.
- Current Location:Eos Mensa
- Current Mood: depressed
- Current Music:Hem, "Half Acre"
I took some quick photos
Yonge and Eglinton:
On the subway:
Dundas between Bay and Yonge:
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 95
In order to make a child-safe web
|All unsuitable sites should mark themselves as "Not Child Safe" - the default assumption should be that without that, your site is safe for kids.|
|All suitable sites should mark themselves as "Child Safe" - the default assumption should be that the internet is for adults, with some exceptions.|
I am aware that "the web" and "the internet" are two different things
I was on the internet...
|before Domain Names existed (1984)|
|before the web was made public (August 1991)|
|before Eternal September began (September 1993)|
|before Internet Explorer (August 1995)|
|before Google (September 1997)|
|before Livejournal (April 1999)|
|before Windows XP and IE6 (October 2001)|
|before Firefox (November 2004)|
|before the iPhone (June 2007)|
|before Google Chrome (September 2008)|
|before the iPad (April 2010)|
Context for Q1: People talking about how adult (not porn) websites should mark themselves as such, when my feeling is that the web is _for_ adults, and if some websites want to mark themselves as "Safe for Children" then that's their right, but it shouldn't be enforced on the rest of us.
Context for Q2: The web is 25. Except that that's the anniversary of the spec for the web, and there wasn't a web browser or server until Christmas 1990. And you couldn't get to it from the rest of the internet until August 1991. In any case, the numerous writeups in the press talking about "the internet" being invented in 1989 have been annoying the technologically savvy of my friends a lot, so I thought I'd do a poll.
So this week became a Do All The Things week. And I've been in pain since Saturday's (amazing wonderful worth it) party. So. FUN.
What we've been up to:
* Elayna is looking to transfer schools. She's been having issues there for a while, almost entirely due to the size of the school; 600 students gets really cliquey, and the atmosphere is often a negative one, socially. Also smaller school = fewer food options. And small school in the middle of nowhere= no recreation or escape options. Academically, she's doing great, with the highest GPA she's ever had, which means the school whose transfer day she attended Saturday morning will probably happily take her (she was accepted there for 2013-14). It's the school she *almost* attended - her current school won by a nose. We think she'll be really happy there, and it's much closer to us and to her best friend, and has real transportation and food options. More info when she gets her acceptance! But yes, that's another Big Thing in our world that I haven't been talking about because it's primarily Someone Else's Stuff.
* We have been doing a lot of the stuff around the house that's needed doing. Adam's so tired when he gets home from work, and he likes his weekends to be as work-free as possible, so there's a list!
* Elayna went to the eye doctor; her prescription hasn't changed, but she needs prescription sunglasses for her light sensitivity. (I went to the eye doctor recently as well. We're pretty sure my eye weirdness is just how I'm built and not impending glaucoma. I have OCT pics of my eyeballs now as a baseline!)
* Elayna went to Dr. Jackpot (pain issues). He is thrilled to have a mother-daughter pair of genetic weirdos. :) She likes him, yay. He laid out an excellent plan of attack for her intersecting physical stuff.
* That made me late to my first PT at the new place, which got rescheduled to 7:30am the next day, which then got rescheduled to 3:30pm, because that, too, is how this week has gone.
* Oh yeah I never talked about PT here. The first PT is one I picked because it's walking distance from my house, but... I did not like it there. The therapist was a little old lady who didn't seem to listen much and seemed reluctant to examine me thoroughly, and gave me some bog-standard isometric exercises and no insight. Dr. Jackpot has spoiled me, it seems, because I thought that visit over and decided no, if I'm paying $50 a week for something, I want it done right. So yesterday I went to a PT that heavenscalyx recommended, and I am much happier. This guy took tons of measurements, examined me very thoroughly, was not afraid to handle me, and listened closely. Also observed a lot. Much more confidence in this one. So apparently I have a lot of hip laxity, enough so that my normal sitting positions are knocking my SI joint out of whack. My pelvis rotation was a little ridic. It is a weird sensation to have one's pelvis maneuvered back into position. I have exercises, and I must be mindful of how I stand and put a stack of books under my desk for my feet, because being short means my feet don't touch the ground, which means I tuck a leg or two under myself for comfort, which means my pelvis is shifting, therefore pain. There's a lot of work to be done on that before we get to soft tissue work. I am determined, though.
* Elayna had to observe a class for her education class, which she did yesterday at the high school - before she realized that she had to do it at an elementary school. Fortunately, her favorite teacher was able to get her in touch with some elementary school teachers, so she's doing that observation today.
* Nicky and Bash went to the vet today! Nicky needed his kennel cough vaccination so he can go to doggie daycare when necessary; Bash just needed his annual checkup and shots (we got him on my birthday last year). The vets love both of them so much. <3 Oh, and Nicky starts obedience training next week!
* I went to SEE for my new glasses and the person remembered me from last March. Very good at her job. New frames will have GLITTER.
* Adam's getting a haircut.
* Tomorrow we're taking Elayna clothes shopping, as that's what she wants for her birthday; tomorrow night we're going to MIT's Twelfth Night. Elayna still has to decide what she wants to do for her actual birthday, which is Saturday. Sunday we're taking her back to school. :( And I have a grueling day ahead of me on Monday.
* I might get like an hour of writing time today; Elayna's class observation overlaps with Adam's haircut. I live in hope! As noted elsenet, I realized that the teenage flashbacks in the novel are pretty much Pretty Hate Machine: The Novella. Eerily perfect. (Yes, losing a week of writing time has been making me twitchy, especially because I lost big chunks of last week.)
I feel like there's more.
Anyway. Off to do the next thing!
It occurred to me today that I have a burnt circuit. I do not care what people on the outside think about the things I love.
This is partially from Magic’s recent #crackgate, wherein a douche went around photographing fat people’s ass-cracks at a Magic tournament, and partially from fandom’s reaction to Jonathan Ross being rejected as the Hugo nominee. Both precipitated hand-flutterings from people – “Man, this makes us look bad to Those People.” Those People, of course, are the millions of folks not really invested in the Hugo or Magic or whatever, to whom this ugly introduction may make us look bad.
I don’t give a shit about Those People.
And maybe that’s not fair. But I got bullied a lot by people who looked like Those People, and at some point a switch cut off: I really don’t care what Those People think, ever. My hobbies were always weird, like walking lead figurines around a pencilled dungeon and pretending to be a wizard, and so I gave up on the concept of legitimacy.
I love what I love. People may think it’s funny – will think it’s funny, in fact. They may paint me as an asocial nerd, or some fat dude with an asscrack, or whatever, as they have since I was twelve. And I spent a lot of time trying to convince people that “No, my crazy hobby isn’t that way!” before shrugging and moving on.
Because the truth is, what I do is a little weird. And if you’re not inclined to like it, well, it’s pretty easy to make fun of. And if you want to do that…
…fuck it. Do it. I mean, it’d be nice if the entire world thought of Magic players as well-groomed smart guys going on adventures (for many of them are!), or science fiction fandom as a vanguard of approaching world culture, but… it’s not necessary to me. I’ve given up seeking approval from random groups of people – many of whom are just looking for an excuse to laugh at strangers anyway.
Which is not to say I don’t worry about being inviting. If Magic’s full of mouth-breathing douches who constantly make jokes about women and gays, well, I’m concerned, because if someone wants to play Magic I think they should feel welcomed here. I’ll work to muffle those dorks best I can. And if some idiot is walking around with a camera at a tournament with the specific intent of mocking people there, then that makes the people at the tournament feel bad, and so fuck him, kick that douche out, he’s hurting my people.
But in general, I don’t care if we’re presenting a good or a bad image to the world at large. I’m a man of ridiculous endeavors – polyamory seems bizarre to people, science fiction seems bizarre to people, Magic seems bizarre to people, and hell, even my love of fireplay is pretty damned weird. I’m not going to spend a lot of time as an ambassador to the mainland from the Archipelago Of Marginal Pastimes, pressing the flesh and trying to convince them that this is a perfectly lovely thing to do.
No. Either you get it instinctively. Or you’re open-minded enough that you try it and love it. If you’re the sort of person who’s going to slot me into a pre-fitted box, I’m not going to spend time engaging with you, I’m going to walk in and out of the goddamned box at will to show you that it’s a mime’s construction made of thin air and intent.
Some of my hobbies have gone mainstream – hey, I can play Dragon Age on my XBox and have that be perfectly okay for a middle-aged man, mostly! – and that’s great. But I don’t think that happened because videogames made a conscious effort to dress up nice and be cool – videogames stayed videogames, and eventually enough people played them that force of sheer numbers bowled them over into the “mostly acceptable” column.
Maybe that’ll happen with Magic. Maybe it won’t.
Either way, I’ll still be playing.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/386870.h
The reason for choosing to stop tomorrow morning, is that we're leaving the country tomorrow night. We're off on a short trip around Thailand (well, parts thereof), stopping off for a family visit in India on the way home.
We found, way back in 1996, that taking USD to South East Asia is a better plan than taking GBP, because you can often pay in $ and get local change without needing to go to a currency exchange. (In Burma it had to be USD and they had to be absolutely perfect - not even curled, let alone folded - because their value is as physical objects, not as currency tokens.) Last year we took a pile of $$$ to Lao and brought a pile of them back again, because nothing costs very much in Lao. I decided not to bank them but to keep them as 'savings' for a future trip. I vaguely remembered there were some, and thought it might be about $50, but it turns out to be $482. I am exceedingly pleased with this gift from past!me. And we have almost enough Thai baht to cover the taxi ride from airport to hotel, too (because we travelled via Bangkok to Lao, last year).
Our time in Thailand is scheduled to include a lot of time on the water - drifting along on a converted rice barge, raft houses on the river's edge, bamboo rafts, longtail boats - as well as on trains, elephants, buses, and bicycles. It sounds pretty relaxing. This is good because relaxing has been in short supply at Lamentable Towers recently. Hopefully everything will seem more manageable when we return.
Comment here or comment there (where there are comments).
The problem with the net is just anyone is allowed on it. Oh, for the days when computers were a reliable class marker and the Right People didn't have to share the net with those sorts.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
A plot problem, or plot stall, or writing yourself into a corner, is when you're going along pretty good, writing your story, and you suddenly get stuck. You don't know what's going to happen next. Or the thing you wanted to have happen next doesn't seem to make sense anymore. The story was going along smoothly, now it's all awkward and bumpy and wrong. You will find yourself having to explain why characters are doing things they are doing, coming up with elaborate justifications for actions that you know in your gut are out of character. Hand waving things that really don't work. And then you may just hit a point where you can't go on.
It's not that you're lazy and you don't want to write, you're not blocked, it's that you know something is wrong and the plot path you are on doesn't work anymore. It doesn't feel right. It doesn't match the image of the story that is stored in the back of your brain somewhere. Whatever it's supposed to do, it's not doing it.
The reason a lot of writers and artists watch Project Runway is to listen to Tim Gunn's tutorials. He's been a teacher and a mentor to creative people for a long time, and a lot of what he says can apply to any artistic project. One of the things he will tell people is, to paraphrase, "you need to free yourself from this" where this is the thing you've worked yourself into a corner over. That means you need to step back from the flawed thing you have been trying to fix and mentally start over. Your basic idea is probably still good. But somewhere along the way you went off the track from it.
The longer the work, the more likely the plot problem doesn't originate at the point where the story-car slid off the road and your writing came to a halt. The plot may dead-end in chapter six when you realize this is just not working, but the groundwork for chapter six was actually set up in chapter two. Chapter Two is where your problem starts, not chapter six. You need to stop hammering at chapter six, trying to make it work, and think about how you got there.
Take a fresh file or sheet of paper and start outlining the plot so far, in simple declarative statements. "Janine wakes up, discovers someone has broken into the cargo hold of her airship." "Janine calls Esther for help, and they find footsteps and follow them out of the compound." etc.
Just outlining it like that may help jog something. Are Janine and the other characters taking the next most logical step to figure out their problem? Did they/you make an assumption somewhere that doesn't make sense? Is the solution too easy? Is the solution too complicated, because it's trying to fill in plot holes that shouldn't be there in the first place? Are you making the characters do what you would do rather than what they would do?
Maybe Janine should call the airship police, maybe that's really her next most logical step, maybe it's the natural thing for her character to do. If there isn't a reason she shouldn't do it, maybe she should. Maybe it will add a layer of complexity to the plot that will lead you to the next step, and open up more interesting possibilities.
(There's a bit in Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night where Harriet is working on her book, dictating it to her secretary, and she is trying to write a scene where a guy, Wilfred, finds the murdered man's handkerchief in his girlfriend's room, and assumes she has it because she's the murderer. The scene just won't work, and finally the secretary says, "If that happened to me, I'd assume the laundry just made a mistake." Yeah, pretty much. Wilfred isn't going from A to B, he's going from A to M, and most of the readers are going to need a willful effort to follow him on that journey. It just doesn't make sense. Harriet solves this by going back to the beginning of the book and making Wilfred the kind of person who would naturally make the assumption, on very poor evidence, that his girlfriend is a murderer.)
If that doesn't help jog something, look at the individual plot elements. Are there any that make you, in your heart of hearts, go "blegh." Are you actually stalled because you're really thinking "I don't want to write this part because it's boring"? This isn't a report for work, it's fiction. If it bores you, it's going to bore your readers. Get rid of it and think up something better. Maybe you picked the easiest thing, the first thing you thought of, when you should have pushed yourself and picked something different, trickier, edgier. Maybe it shouldn't be Janine's airship, maybe it should be her sentient flying whale.
If that still doesn't work, try explaining your plot to someone in person or email. When you're thinking about a plot, telling it to yourself, you can unintentionally gloss over the tricky bits that don't work and they slip past. When you're trying to make another person understand what you're talking about, those tricky bits stand out like they're lit up with neon.
But basically the key is, for me anyway, to step back. If you're trying to get through a maze and you come to a dead end, you go back and look for the first wrong turn you took, you don't stand there pressing your body into a hedge trying to will the pathway to appear.
I'm thrilled to be heading over to Ohio this weekend to be a Guest of Honor at Millennicon. Here's the schedule, just in case you want to come say hello or make sure you know how to avoid me all weekend.
- 6 pm, MR 1210, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (In which the convention throws a birthday party for my son, because they are AWESOME!!!)
- 7 pm, Harrison, Opening Ceremonies
- 8 pm, Con Suite, GOH reception
- 10 am, Harrison, GOH Reading
- 2 pm, Hotel Lobby, GOH Autographs
- 3 pm, McKinley, There are No Dumb Questions (Moderator)
- 10 am, McKinley, Fan Fiction and “Real” Writing
- Noon, Hotel Lobby, GOH Autographs
- 2 pm, Harrison, GOH Q&A
- 3 pm, Harrison, Closing Ceremonies
Tom Smith will be there as Filk Guest of Honor, which should make my wife happy. She tolerates me, but she'd much rather hang out at one of Tom's concerts ;-)
There are a lot of great people at this one, some of whom I haven't seen in a while, so I'm expecting this to be a lot of fun.
While hunting for an agent, I would occasionally ponder just how ludicrous this whole “traditional publishing” thing was.
“Selling a book isn’t your first major milestone,” I told Gini. “So you’d think that ‘getting an agent’ would be your first major milestone, but no! It isn’t! ‘Having an agent ask to look at your book’ is. And think about that! There’s sad authors who go whole careers without even having an agent ask to look at their work.
“Only in this business, man,” I muttered. “Only in this business is getting someone to read the first three chapters of your book considered to be a major triumph.”
But it is, really. Authors speak in hushed tones of “the partial” – and, God willing, “She asked for the full manuscript.” Now, this is usually code for “The agent will spend four months pondering it, only to tell you very kindly that it’s not for them,” but that’s not the point. The point is that getting someone to look at your book means that you’ve escalated your game to a certain level! Lots of people don’t get that far.
Sad? True. The two go together, like peanut butter and chocolate.
So when I got the contract in the mail announcing that Evan Gregory of the Ethan Ellenberg Agency had indeed signed me as his client, thus vaulting me to the next step of the trad-pub game, I couldn’t have been happier. Actually, that’s a lie. As y’all know, I’d been in a depressive slump, so while I was super-happy, I also approached the happiness like a distrustful stray cat, waiting for a boot to be chucked at me. Even today, I keep re-reading those emails with a wary eye, as though on further examination they might turn out to be from some helpful Nigerian prince who will help me transfer his fortune into my bank account.
But dudes. Done deal. And now Evan begins the haul of schlepping my books about to publishers, which means God willing I will have news for you at some point. This stuff takes weeks, months, years. And even more luck.
And I schmeared this news all over Twitter yesterday, but that felt too ephemeral. I know some day I’ll want to look through my archives so I can ask, “When did I first get an agent?” And here will be this blog post, telling me. Reassuring me that shit actually happened.
As a first step, it’s a pretty darned good one.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/386763.h
- Wed, 18:14: It is very much *not* the 25th birthday of the Internet. Just the web #pedant
- Wed, 18:15: RT @jkendrick: SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive, First Take: Useful, but pricey via @ZDNet, @marypcbuk http://t.co/dr7m2jU15Q
- Wed, 19:42: Freeze frame fountain #blinksocl http://t.co/p77ILTM9ZI
- Wed, 19:58: So we're off to Seattle this afternoon for a couple of days; anyone want to catch up with us?
- Wed, 20:00: My best humming bird phone shot so far #lumia1520 http://t.co/IJ6p6VmkI7
- Wed, 20:16: Maybe a better humming bird phone photo #lumia1020 http://t.co/mVi0x4RD9j
- Wed, 20:20: My guess; OneNote for Mac will be the equivalent of Modern OneNote rather than desktop OneNote
- Wed, 21:11: RT @sbisson: The Web is 25 today, and this is the sticker Tim Berners-Lee put on the first web server. http://t.co/Q9FgGXQakT
- Wed, 21:19: I have a T shirt saying "the Internet is full, go away" that predates the Web ;)
- Wed, 22:27: RT @rupertg: If NSA has infected millions of PCs with malware - where's the malware? What has it connected to? Over to you, $billions secur…
- Wed, 19:37: Thirsty hummingbird http://t.co/VjxlAsf1SZ
- Wed, 20:13: The Web is 25 today, and this is the sticker Tim Berners-Lee put on the first web server. http://t.co/Q9FgGXQakT
- Wed, 20:13: Last tweet deleted and reposted due to egregious and embarrassing typo.
- Wed, 22:51: SFO -> SEA
- Wed, 22:52: Flight 5 of 7.
- Wed, 22:58: Recent Reads: The Gone-Away World. Nick Harkaway's gonzo apocalyptic thriller is a Pinocchio story on epic scale. Funny and engrossing.
- Wed, 23:00: So when did flight safety videos become a thing?
- Thu, 00:54: Hello SEA. In 15 minutes early, too...
- Thu, 01:12: The Nerd Bird and The Mountain. http://t.co/a17GcLOsvl
- Thu, 06:28: Cyrillic email addresses for a UK bank? Methinks you're a spammer.
- Wed, 20:07: @BlizzardCS No answer? Why on earth are we told to follow you when we have problems logging in, then? *sigh*
- Wed, 20:26: @BlizzardCSEU_EN I managed to log in to the Beta Launcher and authenticate but cannot get on to any servers I have toons on.
- Wed, 20:27: @BlizzardCSEU_EN Dragonblight, Bloodhoof, Aggramar, Hellscream and Draenor (all EU, Eng) - Cannot get on for some reason.
- Thu, 01:15: RT @EmrgencyKittens: Wondered why no birds were using the bird house... turns out the cat had invaded it for personal use. http://t.co/PSnI…
- Thu, 01:16: RT @JonCG: In honour of Douglas Adams' birthday novelists everywhere will stop to smile at the sound of deadlines whooshing by...
- Wed, 13:19: . @bbcnews gets it badly wrong, claiming @timberners_lee is the "inventor of the internet". Do some basic research & get your facts right.
- Wed, 17:27: I've just had to use the ATG Website. *shudder*. What ludicrous rules about leaving seats empty.
- Wed, 18:21: The World Wide Web is 25 years old today. If you're grateful, follow it's father @timberners_lee - he really should have a lot of followers.
- Wed, 19:18: #AskSkype why have you forced us to use this terrible IM client in place of Windows Live Messenger?
- Wed, 20:54: RT @sbisson The Web is 25 today, and this is the sticker Tim Berners-Lee put on the first web server. http://t.co/oXDEYbrjmV
- Wed, 16:58: RT @mybookishways: I just backed Devils' Field: @LucyASnyder's New Jessie Shimmer Novel on @Kickstarter http://t.co/kztNyw4n0a
- Wed, 18:16: Behold the shiny from @EvilGMedia! This antho edited by @jenniferbrozek features SF by me, @seananmcguire and others. http://t.co/cMP0JBSu09
- Thu, 00:24: RT @douglasfwarrick: @LucyASnyder's new book is getting the @Kickstarter treatment. http://t.co/56lASYjkV2
- Thu, 00:36: RT @uriel1998: We are almost halfway to funding Devils' Field: Lucy A. Snyder's New Jessie Shimmer Novel! http://t.co/kNwLlOvnLw via @kicks…
- Bending light with a tiny chip - a new technique allows a chip to draw with light.
(tags: optical projector light technology )
- UK leads Europe in 'superfast' broadband choice and take-up
(tags: uk europe internet )
- Artist Draws Doctor Who Perfectly As Doctors Dog Breeds (Torn between Baker and Capaldi)
(tags: drwho dogs viaJennieRigg )
- Sometimes I wish I was a woman (NSFW text)
(tags: masturbation technology review )
- Why is the alphabet in alphabetical order?
(tags: language linguistics history )
- How to speed up your computer using Google Drive as extra RAM
(tags: computers funny )
- Lava! Vs! Coke Can!
(tags: lava video )
- Drone Flies Into an Active Volcano, Takes Video
(tags: drone volcano lava video )
- Seattle's University Bridge is powered by an 80s computer with 5 1/4" floppy drives
(tags: technology bridge )
- 65 Students Of Colour Share Their Experiences Of Life At Oxford University
(tags: oxford race racism identity )
- Snowstorm Spawns Most Hilariously Comprehensive Forecast Ever
(tags: weather usa funny )
- Language evolution may shed light on human migration between Asia, Siberia, North America
(tags: language usa asia migration )
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.
These are what I still need and have no promises for.
Why not Flickr? Because it is now Yahoo-and-like-it. I have been locked out of my btinternet/Yahoo account for some time (a couple of years now) and don't really want to go back in. As a result my first Flickr account (http://www.flickr.com/photos/16156673@N0
27. Small tortoiseshell
28. Peacock* (the butterfly, not the bird, though in fact there are peacock birds near here (but they're not wild))
29. Green woodpecker
30. Tawny owl* (been hearing them ever since we moved in, but I finally saw one flying across the road while driving home from an evening out)
An earnest doctor, eager to offer humanity a discover that would render us immune to most of life's travails, discovers to his horror the dying woman he tried it on has become the greatest monster imaginable, a woman with power!
Yeah, so this pretty awful in pretty much every conceivable way. Although I do take the point that it's probably best not to use instant immortal juice on someone who seems to be a sociopath.
I did like how the two doctors discuss how horrid she looks right in front of the dying woman. Bedside manner: as mythical in this time as medical ethics.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
The text version can be found here.
Read by Kate Baker
An engineer seeking a new life signs up with hardened criminals, only to discover their crimes don't stop at a bit of poaching.
So, the details that kept yanking me out of this were all world building on Earth, specifically details like
[...]the Nazarios, like the other Christians of Punta Aguila, however valued, however ancient their roots, knew that they lived there only on sufferance.and
a slow, patient, reliable thing that dated from before the founding of the London Caliphate.And it does seem to be the Punta Aquila in the Dominican Republic.
Could be the sort of detail tossed as "look, the world changed" but in a 2007 story, a casual reader might be forgiven for hearing Eurabia dogwhistles.
First published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 2007.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
- Current Music:Isador Goodman piano recital
Well, I agree with him. From now on, no more readings. No more than a page anyway. Just banter, which I am okay at. You can hear me banter next week at two events:
Nick Mamatas, Jim Nisbet, Sin Soracco, and Ken Wishnia: PM Press Crime Writers' Short-Fire Reading and Signing, Wednesday, March 19th at 7:00 pm at Borderlands Books.
Thursday, March 20th at 7pm: Radical fiction, mystery, and crime! With Ken Wishnia, Norman Nawrocki, Sin Soracco, Nick Mamatas, Owen Hill, and Summer Brenner. Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 19:00 at Bay Area Public School.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) claims the company behind AOV Adult Movie Channel, XXX Action Clips Channel and Maleflixxx isn’t broadcasting enough homegrown pornography.
Toronto-based Channel Zero, which owns the speciality channels, is required by its license to air at least 35 per cent Canadian programming “over the broadcast year and during the evening broadcast period.”
The CRTC is holding a hearing on April 28 to review the license renewal application for the channels.
The regulator is also concerned the broadcaster failed to provide the minimum 90 per cent closed captioning for English-language programming.
The CRTC could choose not to renew Channel Zero’s license, to renew it for a shorter period, or suspend it with an order to comply with the license conditions.
Channel Zero is not commenting on the CRTC’s concerns but has previously described the lack of Canadian programming as an error.
Canada is a major player in the production of porn, with thriving companies based in Toronto and Montreal.</blockuote>
I'm inclined to wonder if this might not be a bad way of getting more high-profile Canadian porn produced. Cancon seems to have helped produce stronger music and other cultural industries, after all. I'm also inclined to consider seriously the argument of The Globe and Mail's Kate Taylor that this raises issues of the relevance of Canadian content regulation to some media.[I]n a land awash in American programming, Canadian content regulations have a larger purpose, to reserve some portion of cultural space for domestic product so that Canadians occasionally see Canada and Canadians on TV. Adult movies may be culture in the broadest definition of the term, but they don’t have much redeeming social value. Unlike sitcoms or dramas, which are potentially filled with meaning that contributes to a social conversation, porn is a generic product whose national origins are as unimportant as those of a light bulb or a vibrator.
Beyond that, however, lies a nastier question about all Canadian broadcasting: How effectively can you ever compel commercial interests to advance public policy objectives? Lots of anodyne specialty channels featuring comedy, cooking and cartoons as well as the main commercial networks themselves have to meet more onerous programming requirements than the AOV trio and it is often not in their best business interests to do so. Depending on their niche, they can usually buy American content more cheaply than they can produce Canadian, and they rarely show much enthusiasm for their obligations, squirming around the regulations in one inventive way or another. Commercial Canadian broadcaster is something of an oxymoron; one of the reasons Canada needs a powerful public broadcaster is so that at least one institution can operate free of that contradiction and dedicate itself to Canadian programming.