Angry Robot


Until the giant move of servers and content management systems, I don’t think I’ll write anything here. That massive paradigm shift should happen within two weeks. It will be exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!! Until then, I’ll be deep below the earth’s crust in my haunted web-lab, stitching a monster together from discarded PHP, forgotten javascript, and the souls of old photos I took many moons ago.

Elections '04

Election over, with just about the best result an NDP fan could hope for, as our favourite left-wing wacko party seized 19 votes and thus “the balance of power”. Look, NDP got 15% of the vote and 19 seats, whereas the Bloc got 12% of the vote but 54 seats! That kind of nonsense will change, if Jack sticks to his plan and makes proportional representation the precondition for supporting the liberal minority. In the smaller numbers, the Greens scored big enough to get financing for the next election (which according to the law of averages with minority governments should be less than two years away). Also, more than twice as many people voted for the communist party as for the libertarians – and that’s not counting those who voted “Marxist Leninist”. But votes for the Marijuana party dwarfed all the commies put together.

Don't quit while you're ahead?

Okay I didn’t need to read this study (thanks for nothing, leuschke). It’s great to know that quitting smoking at 30 adds 10 years to your life, but horrible to learn – at least for someone who recently quit, like myself – that quitting at age 40 adds nine. So sacrifice, on average, one year of old age for an extra 10 years of delicious, delightful smoking? Or endure a decade of unrequited yearning in order to buy an extra year of drooling, pants-shitting life in the Journey’s End retirement community? I DIDN’T NEED TO KNOW THIS!

The War Against Rock

This is a war we can win. In fact, we may have already won. Agents from rap,
r n’ b and pop (and to a lesser extent country) have worked together and
rooted out the rock networks from the charts, clubs and the hearts of the
fans. Rock is dead!

(By rock I mean blues-based, electric-guitar-centered music, typically performed and
composed by the same band. By “dead” I mean no longer culturally relevant, like jazz. By “is” I mean “is” [I think].) Look at the <a
href=””>Billboard top ten:
there are two rock acts, Slipknot and Hoobastank; one of which is a
borderline novelty act and the other I know nothing about.* Avril Levigne is
an example of non-rock: all the attitude of rock, without all that rock!

Charts alone don’t say it all; things can be non-profitable but still influential. Rock is not one of those
things. The rock market as it exists now consists of:

Also, there is the indie-rock market. Sorry to burst our bubble here, but
indie-rock as a cultural force is about as powerful as fans of Magic: The
Gathering. It’s a closed circuit, a soliloquy that no longer informs any
other field. Like jazz, or “classical.” More evidence here.

The age of rock is over. Not that it’s a good thing. Hip hop and its
retarded little sister R n’ B have taken over, and with precious few
exceptions all they have to say is “hey lookit me.” The guitar has been
replaced. Some would say by the piano, and look for a return of the golden
age of songwriting. It would be more accurate to crown the computer our new
overlord. But all that doesn’t matter: my point isn’t that rock fans should give up and start worshipping Squarepusher or something. Listen to whatever you like. All I’m saying is: rock is dead.

*since I drafted this, Velvet Revolver debuted at No. 1 in the top 10. I’d say they fit in the has-been section, wouldn’t you? However, it fucked up my paragraph to mention it up there, so here we are.

Cutlery-related Idea

Edible fork.

And knife and spoon, I would assume. But not too edible, or the meal would have to come with ten of each.

Hot Giveaway!

Anyone want a Gmail account? I’ve got four more to give away. If you’re on hotmail or suchlike, you might look into it as a replacement. Leave a comment or send me a mail.

Orchard on the Conservative Party

If you’re a Canadian considering voting Conservative on the 28th because you’re pissed off at the Liberals, please read this. It’s by David Orchard, who almost won leadership of the PC party, and he’s not voting Conservative.


HOLY SHIT IT’S THE GREATEST SONG EVER you know the one it goes “Puerto Rico…ho” and that’s IT. Over a slamming beat. Steve Reich would be proud (maybe not). I have vague memories.. .barely hearing it, not able to clear it from my head, like it was a fantastical reverie, a feverish dream of a better place, a place called… PUERTO RICO. You can hear a sorta-remix here, some discussion of the samples here, but more accurately you’ve already heard it somewhere magical, in your special place, deep inside.. the dream the miracle the unbeatable Puerto-Rico-Ho that lives inside your heart.

Virtual Exercise

Does anyone want to take this to the next level? That shit is basically an exercise bike with a gamepad built in – as if that’s any easier than using your regular gamepad while on the bike, but anyway. What is needed is 1. a bike that outputs as a peripheral controller (like this), and 2. a game made especially for that peripheral, as trying to control, say Space Invaders via foot pedals is just fuckin’ weird. Many would say “just go outside with a real bike”, but the odd time the weather’s bad, there are too many cars, you get sick of the regular trails, and/or it’s winter. Besides, in my books fantasy always beats reality: you could be biking on Mars, or through the human body, or while firing rockets at SUVs or bin Ladens or whoever your enemy is this week.

War on Anything

Aw shit, we’re actually LOSING the War on Terror. No, bin Laden didn’t just take over the White House, it’s just that there were more terror attacks in 2003 than previously admitted, possibly the highest amount in 20 years. I noticed in a recent speech about Iraq that Bush was decrying “terror and violence”. I guess “terror” isn’t what happens when a militia takes over a city, it’s “violence”, fair enough. But technically, Mr. President – and if we’re going to start the War on Violence you should know this – you can only win the War on Violence if you stop fighting. So you might as well surrender, you’ll win.. Argh… anyway, I propose we declare a War more winnable:

  1. The War on Shame
  2. The War on Racoons and Seagulls
  3. The War on War Metaphors
  4. The War Against Age
  5. The War Against Shitty Ads with Breakdancing in Them
  6. The War on “Entertainment Reporters”
  7. The War on Ashton Kutcher
  8. The War Against People Who Just Quit Smoking and Suddenly are Rabidly Anti-Smoking
  9. The War Against the Font “Comic Sans”
  10. The War Against Rock

Ad above urinal in the Cloak

Come on now. Some scumbag breakdancing is really gonna sell that truck to me? “Man, that truck has attitude. Just like me. I like me. I like attitude. I like that truck.” (apologies to Don Simpson)

On the "Obesity Epidemic"

There was a “fitness expert” on the teevee explaining that diet should be 80% of the focus of your weight-loss regimen, and exercise the remaining 20%. You have failed humanity, “expert”! Let me put on my fucking expert pants here for a second. When you look at the history of humankind, have we ever had an obesity epidemic before? No, quite the opposite. In fact, chubbiness used to be a status symbol because it meant you could afford to laze around all day doing jack shit. Did previously, healthy generations of humanity have drastically different diets in terms of carbohydrate intake? No way – the Romans were all bread and pasta, and barely ate meat. Were they fat slobs? No! They didn’t have cars or videogames, and they marched around everywhere conquering the shit out of everyone. In other words, EXERCISE! How fucking obvious is that? Now that people only get out of their cars to stare at monitors, well yeah, they’re all fat. I love bacon and all, but I refuse to accept it as a health food. I refuse to believe that by eating bacon with every meal (and avoiding that horrible ‘bread’ stuff), I will miraculously shed my excess girth. No, kind sirs, you eat bacon with every meal and your fat gut will secede and form its own person. You’ll be watching Oprah wondering why you get dizzy when you reach for the remote, and your new gut-self-blob will be gradually growing arms. Go out and conquer someone you lazy slob!

Yet More Dull Site News

What’s been happening around here? I went to Wisconsin, which was
tornado-tastic! Other than that, mostly I’ve been preparing a new design and
shopping around for a new blog system. First I was thinking EE, then <a
href=””>WordPress, but both of them are in dire
need of some user manual action. Now I’m thinking <a
href=””>TextPattern. Thrilling huh? If you
actually think so, read on!

I have a very specific site architecture in mind, and for some dumb reason
the URLs have to match. I want to be the photo site with
only photos, /blog/ be only blog entries, /brief/ will hold shit like quick
links and one line film reviews, and so on. However, I want to
have a reverse-chronologically ordered listing of all of the above, href=””>J-Ko stylee. Thing is these entries have to
be presented differently depending on whether they are photos, quicklinks,
or what. I know WordPress can do it as founder href=””>Matt’s site is rockin’ that look, and EE
can presumably do that and a lot more.. but damned if I’m going to learn PHP
just to sort that shit out. I mean c’mon.

Now I was always disappointed that Dean Allen forewent href=””>textism in favour of making a CMS, textpattern. He was kind of an inspirational blogger for me, I guess, and it bugged me that he wasn’t writing anything anymore, and I viewed textpattern as sort of a waste of time. But it was a fucking revelation to look at it the other day. Now it doesn’t have a manual (it’s still in ‘gamma’,) but it’s so freaking well thought out, and importantly, from a writer’s point of view. It’s a thing of beauty. Moreover the thing I want to do, well textpattern’s ‘section’ concept is designed to accomplish just that. No tinkering or what have you.

Ante-ceding that revelation was another, awesome! discovery: TextDrive. Dean is starting a hosting company, and rather than get venture capital involved he put out an irresistible offer. $200 for a year of hosting, with the best specs I’ve seen (1GB space / 10gigs transfer / 20 mySQL databases / IMAP / WebDAV / more). After that… free hosting. For as long as his company exists. Basically, if it lasts two years it’s a awesome deal, and if it lasts longer, it keeps getting awesomer. So yes I got in on that shit and am now one of the ‘VC 200’. Deal’s closed now, but I’m sure the introductory rates will be also be rock n’ roll.


What I will do is set up the new server and tinker with a new textpattern installation thereon. When it’s all ready to rock, and I’ve seamlessly moved ÿ and king, I’ll switch up the DNS and we can all revel in the new glory. Should be a couple weeks at least, as I still have tons of designing/migrating to do. So if I don’t say much here, that’s why.

Hassle the Hoff

I just found out about this. And man… I’m practically soiling myself thinking about how AWESOME it will be! Not even in a mock-excited jaded slacker sort of way. After watching many, many Baywatch episodes, I’ve come to realize that I actually, honestly, earnestly enjoy Mr. Hasselhoff’s work. Maybe it’s because of those impressionable years watching Knight Rider. He’s no Larry Olivier or anything, but he’s an appealing TV personality and possibly a compelling musician – I’ve never heard an album. But I sure as fuck will hear the shit out of this one! A bit of Ice T action and Hassle’s street cred will be through the rizoof, no diggety!*

*Can I get some kind of email alert when a unit of rap lingo falls out of favour? Or can I keep using diggety and Kronkite like it’s 1999?

Cold Lamping

Hello. A station ID I did for Space is now available at the website – Cold Lamping (RealVideo stream). You should also watch Gord’s Klingon 101. Eventually I’ll get a proper QT file of the spot and host it here.

Even More Accidental Collaborative Web Genius

Really, this is pretty much the greatest random-googling comment thread ever. You’ll learn more about G-l-a-s-s T-i-g-e-r frontman A-l-a-n F-r-e-w than you thought possible.* Cheating! Heartbreak! Grudges! Lifelong hetero promiscuity! Nonetheless, lingering suspicion of homosexuality!

* Google is watching.

Take Care of Yourself

catches own reflection in monitor

Dude, you’ve basically got feathered hair now.

Is it that hard to arrange a haircut? Sort that shit out! I mean, the 80s are retro-cool and all, but seriously. People are probably starting to feel sorry for you.

No, don’t WRITE about it! Just call the fucking barber! JESUS WEPT!

UPDATE: Mission accomplished. The feathers die 05/20 at 12pm.

Movable Type Licencing Part 2

Because I actually read the fine print at the end of Mena’s post, I’m moving the rest of this entry here.

Okay now I’ll blather on even more, for my own benefit rather than SixApart’s. I was looking at the competition, especially ExpressionEngine, and at the same time I had been planning a site-wide redesign and architectural reorganization. And I realized if I had a CMS that allowed subcategories as well as unlimited user-defined entry fields, I’d be able to do my entire personal site as one blog. The master blog would power all the sections: photo, links, blog proper, music, video clips, and all those sections’ categories would be subcategories. Given a certain amount of power over custom templates, I could streamline the site like that without anyone knowing the difference. Plus there would be so many further possibilities to explore. (but I’d need custom fields because of the way I want to present photos and quick links.) Weirdly, if MT was able to do that, I’d no longer be looking at switching. And that in a way is part of the cause of the general disenchantment with MT – it hasn’t really been developed in a while. I suppose there may be plugins that enable that level of jiggery-pokery, and I’ll be looking into them, but see what I’m sayin’?

If anyone has any opinions about any of this – especially (he selfishly added) with regards to what CMS might be the best for my purposes, I’d love to hear. I’m now leaning towards ExpressionEngine, but I’d really like to be convinced over to WordPress as the vibe in those parts seems shit-hot. And frankly the easiest thing would be to stay with MT, so I’m still open to that. I’ve always loved using MT and remember how great it felt after being on blogger. It was really pushing the envelope then. I’d like some more of that now, please

Movable Type Licencing

With reference to this: I have four of my own movable type blogs: this one, the link log, the photo section, and Bloggus Caesari. There not having been restrictions on authors/weblogs before, I host two friends’ sites (and one that has never been used). One of those friends’ sites has three somewhat active authors. I had plans to set up two more blogs for my own purposes (music / video clips), and I want to be able to help any friend of mine who thinks they might want to set up a blog by giving them one. It might sound cheeseball but I think it’s important to help people express themselves if I can. The first announced MT prices were outrageous for my purposes, but the revised prices are more realistic. Basically, the five-blog personal licence would cover me and the introductory price doesn’t seem too much to ask; however, it would prevent me from starting new sites with abandon.

It’s worth mentioning that I also set up skitfaced with moveable type. We don’t use it there anymore since that experiment in short-form text comedy was sort of a failure, but for a while it was pretty neat: we could easily set up a new site and make up a few (fictional) authors. Basically we used it as a CMS. This would be prohibitively expensive with MT now.

With the new $10/author add-on thing, realistically I’m not all that constrained in terms of starting new sites for others. And I’m definitely not opposed to the licencing right now or the idea of paying for software or anything like that (I donated). But what I would really like is the option to buy MT with unlimited blogs/authors. Because now that I’ve looked around, you have your free, open source WordPress which soon I hear will have multiple blog support, and you have your ExpressionEngine which gives you unlimited blogs/authors and a whole lot more, for less than MT. (And I suppose you have blogger, for free too, but been there & done that.) I wasn’t looking at the competition before, but I am now, and I’m a bit tempted. Maybe I never will, but I like to imagine that I might start up another fictional blog, or maybe a film-specific site, or something for my friends, and coughing up $10 each time… well, it feels constraining.

UPDATE: rest moved here


OK, I promise not to keep up on this Iraq/politics tip too heavily. But I just wanted to follow up (especially with regards to a recent conversation with LES and P-Ron). First off, we need to disprove the idea that besides Fallujah and Najaf, the rest of Iraq is relatively safe. If you follow the latest reports (and Juan Cole is a great place to visit for that), you’ll know that over the past few days the US has been fighting the Mahdi army in Kufa and Karbala as well as Baghdad. Furthermore this bleak opinion piece notes amongst other things that Western journalists no longer travel outside the “Green zone” (heavily fortified US area of Baghdad) for safety reasons. I know, the Guardian is a lefty commie terrorist-loving rag, but I’d wager journos know what journos are up to, and a shit-ton have been killed in Iraq so it would only make sense.

Secondly, about the prison photo stuff. The issue is whether the pics are the work of a few “crazy kids” or whether it was something ordered by superiors. I have read convincing reports that say the photos were actually part of the procedure, as it meant the MPs / MI officers could conceivably show them to the detainees’ friends and family and make the humiliation even worse. But whether that’s true or not, go read what Powell said, which if you’re lazy is that State told Bush about the Red Cross’ complaints about Abu Ghraib in october. Anyway, this seems to make sense (ignore the sensationalistic headline).

Finally, while we can all have opinions about what’s going on at the moment, the issue is whose opinions will the test of time. Will any of you who supported the war now argue that it was worthwhile, given that the “humanitarian war” argument now boils down to “our press-restricting and torture are better than Saddam’s press-restricting and torture”? I suppose the “flypaper theory” (better to fight terrists over there than over here) is the only one that still holds water, albiet a filthy, nasty sort of water that certainly won’t win you any elections.

Moore vs. the Mouse

More here from Craig Unger, author of House of Bush, House of Saud. Basically, Disney is forbidding its subsidiary Miramax from distributing Michael Moore’s latest, Farenheit 911, which details the connections between the Bush and bin Laden families and also explores the strange evacuation of Saudis (including bin Laden family members) from the US shortly after 911. Moore’s agent claims Disney didn’t want to endanger tax breaks from Florida governor Jeb Bush; Disney claims the film will alienate a large portion of its audience. As the NYT points out, either explanation is depressing. Atrios isn’t worried as obviously someone will distribute it, but for other reasons this is a hugely big deal. First, we are talking about a corporation here that somehow would rather toe the Republican party line than make money. Bowling for Columbine cost $4-million and made $55-million worldwide. This new film is a fucking guaranteed class-A superprofit, and Disney sans Pixar needs every penny. Secondly it’s not the first time a corporate owner has blocked otherwise profitable product for ideological reasons (Stern, Nightline, etc). So if Disney is willing to give away $50-mil, and ClearChannel to lose 8.5 million listeners, how much of a chance will they give films, shows and books that aren’t a guaranteed profit?</br />UPDATE: The backlash begins, although the only thing that’s in question is when Moore learned Disney wouldn’t distribute the film.

Another Post About Ninjas

So I’m searching around trying to find out more about this 2mex bootleg, and what do I find but someone in this forum called “BIGSHADYchesterLANDNINJa”.

What, are there Sea Ninjas now? Sky Ninjas? Earth Ninjas that burrow through the earth and can hurl throwing dirks from under the ground up into the room you’re in and you’re all like “Fudge! Who thew that?”

Incidentally, if anyone has a copy of Jean Grae’s Attack of the Attacking Things, I’d like to talk “trade”. First heard her as What? What? on the first Herbalizer LP, and she surely rocks quilts, as they say.

Good Ol' Justice

We Americans vow to uncover the perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to justice. We will do so by randomly arresting people and then torturing them.

Dream Review #9

I was composing some music in GarageBand. P-ron, looking over my shoulder, said, “hey, you’re using a Republican drum loop…?” I hadn’t meant to – I didn’t know sounds could belong to parties.

Maybe a fear-of-gay dream? Maybe I love music because it seems less plagued by politics? A thought-provoking dream. However, the characters were stock and the plot didn’t go anywhere. I give this dream two and a half stars.

Music by the Boatload

This seems too good to be true. It’s an apparently legal Russian download site that charges by the megabyte – a cent per megabyte, to be exact. This reporter claims to have downloaded 56 full albums, which would cost a grand at the iTunes store, for $48 US. And he says nothing sleazy showed up on his credit card. That may be so, but when the three concepts “mp3 download” “Russia” and “credit card” come together in my brain, I don’t think “that sounds like a completely trustworthy, legitimate way to purchase music,” I think WARNING WARNING WARNING. (via gizmodo)