Angry Robot

Dream Review #1

I’m in the employ of Boards of Canada – I’ve been hired to adapt what seems to be a thick legal document into song form. Why they want this done is not explained. However, before I can complete the task I am chased by some nebulous evil. The chase goes on for some time, but before the outcome is resolved the dream fades into obscurity. I wake and take a slash.

All in all this was a disappointing dream. The premise is intriguing, if somewhat unbelievable; but of course it’s barely developed before the requisite chase scene takes over. Can we have some dramatic unity here? Even the chase is nothing to write home about, since we are given no villain to oppose, and there’s no resolution at all – the dream just peters out as if it lost interest in itself. Sometimes you just have to ask – what’s the point of it all?

I give this dream one and a half stars.


The Queen of B Paintings. Especially liked trash*, pussy hair styles, the dangers of sex, the expression on the sex addict‘s face, and hey, there’s scrotal sacs!

Oh, Wow

Paul Martin’s blog. (via the “worst blog of the year” contest here.)


Testing the ability to post to the site via NetNewsWire Pro.


Kids, there’s way too much eggnog around these parts for me to update any more this week. Have a good eggnog, everyone.

Caesar Redo

There’s been a design overhaul at Bloggus Caesari. Soon to come is an architectural overhaul, and I want your input. There’s quite a lot of information there and I’m not finding it very easy to navigate as it stands right now. Here’s what I’m aiming at:

That’s what I’ve thought of so far. The map feature may not happen, as it would involve a lot of work that I’d need someone else to do, and so would need to ask for donations etc. etc. and I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble. Comments encouraged.

Female Urinary Chute

Ladies, start your engines. (via adampsyche)


Once every six days the day started with two periods of politics followed by one of french, all taught by the same kindhearted longwinded dwarf who was tolerable for one period but absolutely unbearable for anything more. So we’d skip the double and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, hot eggs and peameal and a neverending cup of coffee administered by a man named Dana who said things like “more diesel?” before a cup refresh and who may still be there to this day – I’ve been planning an expedition.

We’d return for french class, flagrant absenteeists. The gasbag trusted in the system, you see; he believed in democracy, he admired the fine workings of a well-oiled judicial branch, and he believed in the school’s absentee monitoring system. All he’d say is “I trust you’ve spoken to Mr. N about your lateness.” Mr. N was in charge of the attendance book, in which all tardiness must be logged with an appropriate one-line excuse, typically “sick,” “car trouble,” and the like.

But we had an in with Mr. N. Possibly he admired our come-what-may lighthearted approach to life, I’m not sure. He definitely wasn’t beyond a good face-reddening and the lifting of a student off his feet with all his kung-fu football power, but he never applied such tactics to us. We could write whatever we wanted in his stupid book, week after week. One day King submitted “Operation X” as his excuse, and I “Operation Y”. A couple years later a resourceful student compiled a list of the most entertaining attendance excuses, and ours were featured heavily. But I have to admit they were not the best. The best was given by Jost, and read simply, “bad love.” As good an excuse for anything in this godforsaken world, I’ll never know.


Interesting ambient music generator, via Jerry Kindall.


Saw the film last week-end. No, the suckmaster doesn’t wreck it, nor
does he suck – he’s back in all his pre-8mm, pre-Con Air majesty, the Nick
Cage you might have seen in such films as Raising Arizona and Wild At Heart.
It would be hard to argue that this isn’t a good film. To argue that it’s
not a great one, one might start at the end. Spoilers herein.

Curious that to argue against its greatness one winds up asking, is it a
good adaptation?
, and that such a question is obviously at the heart of
the film. The critical tendency is to evaluate adaptations solely on their
relationship with the original work: The Shining film is better than the
book, no, it’s worse, etc. For adaptation, then, one might wonder whether there is any reason why the Orchid Thief was chosen as the source material: is there any thematic link between that book and the film itself? Or could Kaufman have simply inserted his story into any book, to identical effect? Well, orchids are adapters. The film mentions they are not parasites: while an orchid may grow on a tree, it takes nothing from the tree itself, only light and water from the environment. The insinuation is that orchid-like, the film operates independently from the book: based on it, but an independent being. Consider the film separately, don’t, then, treat it as an adaptation at all.

I tend to agree. What’s on screen is all there is in a film. The source material — like tidbits about what happened on set, or speculation about the director’s psyche — is beside the point. And the problem on screen in this film is the end. It all works thematically, and it’s oh-so-clever: once Hollywood formula hack twin Donald starts helping with the script, we get car chases, drug deals, torrid affairs and window-peeping. Up until this point Charlie has been concerned with the themes of The Orchid Thief, but suddenly all are put aside in favour of the violent, cathartic Hollywood ending. What does this mean? Maybe unity is no longer necessary in scripts, sure; maybe they’re saying the story couldn’t be told properly by Hollywood, or that adaptation is always doomed to failure. But it feels like a failure. It feels like a different film, and it’s not as funny. Did Charlie Kaufman deliberately wreck his film to prove a point? Or did he simply fail?

But like I say, it’s still a good film: I only take issue with the last 20 minutes or so, the rest is excellent in every possible way. However, I can’t help but think a flawed ending mars Adaptation’s greatness. Then again, I’m still trying to figure out what I think about it, which is always a good sign.


There aren’t many things that make me want a PC, but this is one of them. A 3D operating system, sort of. I’m sure it’s at a rudimentary stage of evolution, but it only makes sense that a 3D OS will replace today’s 2D models just as Doom eclipsed Commando. Check out the gallery.

Note that the free demo features advertising inside your virtual pad; if you pay for the product you can put anything you want on the walls. (Seems the programmers heavily favoured Maxim girls – or is that actually advertising?) I’d like to see how they handle shortcuts – if they’re clever, quick camera moves (as seen in Metal Gear 2), rather than cuts. Also, you can’t help but wonder how a networked world will be represented by the system.

I don’t expect it will happen overnight – as in fact some level of naturalism is needed to lure new users – but eventually such a system, for reasons of efficiency, will become abstract and look less like “real life”. And that, I’d like to know what that will look like: less Star Trek, more Escher, I’m guessing. For example, in a 3D world with no concern for gravity, why wouldn’t the ceiling be used for shortcuts, etc.?

Finally, let me just smugly note some similarities to something I wrote over a year ago for joystick101.

It's My Birthday

Should I mourn the lost years, celebrate the memories, raise a glass to the future, hang my head in shame, cry if I want to, commit to excellence, reach for the stars, dance around the issue, buy new shoes, free the monkeys, sculpt a living testament, open a fast food franchise, make my nine millimeter go “bang,” live the legend, go to Defcon 5, buy into the dream, sell the plantation, get out for good, split the atom, exert worldwide rights, enforce the rules with feverish abandon, measure my accomplishments in ounces or grams, live life to the half-fullest, tickle the toes of the Great Satan, bathe in Guinness, salute the Poutine, dismember my opponents, overcome all obstacles, meet the challengers, best the biters, bite the bullet, believe the doubters, doubt the believers, move my troops into position, see if this “life” thing pans out, query, measure, surrender, advance, retreat, turn on, turn off, step back, tear off, triumph, or just take ‘er easy?

"That shit is craccin off tha hizzle"

Y’all are familiar with d/blog’s own cult thread, right? The one where a bunch of idiot teenagers have trouble working their radios? Well, looks like adam‘s got one he’s been hiding, on the subject of the Snoop de Ville.

My fave comment:

In my country, it would take many oxen to pull such a car, were it to run out of petrol. Half of my tribe could sit in the “bitch seat” alone. And do you know how much grain the trunk would hold?

Most respected Mr. Doggy Dogg, please consider sending one of your fine cars to my village. We would grant you five of our women and Tp!ca, the village fool. He may wash your many fine cars for you.

Keeping it real in the motherland,


Rapper Dentist Daddy

As a borderline mind-boggling followup to last week’s rapping snack clothes, I give you Rapper Dentist Daddy & Hip Hop Dentistry. (via kafkaesque)

Buy War

The Perpetual War Portfolio:

an evenly weighted basket of five stocks poised to succeed in the age of perpetual war. The stocks were selected on the basis of popular product lines, strong political connections and lobbying efforts, and paid-for access to key Congressional decision makers.


All this week, new photos over in that part of the site. And precious little gasbagging over here.

link and think, late

Have a look at this
MeFi page for all sorts of great links related to World AIDS Day, which was, er, yesterday.