[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2022-08-11

MING 2024

Filed under: Humour,Movies,Politics,Television — bblackmoor @ 12:05

[I enjoy doing this sort of thing, and I think I have an eye for it. If I were a bit more ambitious, I would try to do it as a “side hustle”.]

“Psychological warfare has a new meme for your approval, Your Majesty.”

“What is this, Klytus: some new form of torture?”

“Most amusing, Your Majesty. These are a form of propaganda used on the Earth.”

(Ming examines the image)

“Would you like to explain why there is a Frigian labour beast next to the exalted name of MING THE MERCILESS, or should I call for the bore worms now?”

“Of course, Your Majesty may do as he pleases in all things, and I embrace the opportunity to display my undying loyalty. But as it happens, that is the current year according to the reckoning of the people of the planet ‘Earth’. The animal is a symbol of strength, ruthlessness, and nobility. It is known locally as a ‘jumbo’.”

“What primitive creatures these Earthlings are. And the purpose of this image?”

“Why, to grant the Earthlings hope, Your Majesty.”

“Hope?”

“Hope that you will show mercy, Your Majesty.”

(Ming pauses, then slowly claps, exactly three times)

(laughing) “Well done, Klytus. I look forward to reports on the psychological damage.”

(chuckling) “Thank you, Your Majesty. HAIL MING!”

P.S.

Being an actor must be such a strange job. You wear what someone else picked out, stand where they say to stand, and say what they wrote for you to say. And yet, it is so much more difficult to do than that makes it sound (I have only had a couple of amateur performances in my past, but it was enough to learn that much).

Then (if it’s film or whatever), you spend days, weeks, months, traveling from city to city just to sit and repeat the same half-dozen sentences about it for “interview” after “interview”. (Do they even get paid for any of that?)

And then, when the product is complete, you bear the brunt of the blame for the end result, even though you just did what you were told to do.

And whether you even get the job in the first place is dependent on factors so far beyond your control that joining Scientology or Keith Raniere’s bonkers sex cult seem like good alternatives.

Show business, man. It ain’t for sissies. (I think Betty White said that, originally, but I may be mistaken.)

Wednesday, 2022-08-10

We are all Sisyphus

Filed under: Philosophy,Writing — bblackmoor @ 14:24

Being skilled at a thing does not correlate to an understanding of other topics

Someone being good at their job — even being really good at their job, which Dr. Benjamin Carson is (yes, he is) — does not mean that you should listen to their opinions on other topics. Examples are ubiquitous; exceptions are rare.

Being skilled at a thing does not automatically correlate to an understanding of it

Someone being good at their job — even being brilliant at their job, which Harlan Ellison was — does not necessarily mean that you should listen to their opinions on that topic.

I came out of the womb a writer. I didn’t realize that everybody couldn’t write. Writing was my natural form. I didn’t become a writer, I was a writer.

Harlan Ellison, ATW Interviews; January 14, 2012

Even someone really good at something might not be able to teach you how to do it, particularly if, like Ellison, they never had to try to excel at it: they just did. Should you listen to them? Maybe. Maybe not. So how do you tell?

Don’t depend on one expert for … anything, really. Four out of five dentists might be wrong, but giving them the benefit of the doubt is not a bad way to start, when all five of them know more about teeth than you do.

Knowledge and experience are undervalued by ignorant people

People who have dedicated the time and energy to understand a topic will be ignored, at best, by those who haven’t. Ignorance wants to perpetuate itself. Exceptions are uncommon.

No you will not teach or show that propagandist Al Gore video to my child, blaming our nation — the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet — for global warming.

Frosty E. Hardison, outraged parent; cited in Harden, 1997, para. 4

“Intelligence” is overvalued by intelligent people

This is one of the first things I figured out about myself. Being born with a facility for specific kinds of pattern-matching and problem-solving — what we generally mean when we use vague, billowy words like “intelligence” — correlates to making effective decisions, not to making beneficial decisions. Exceptions are rare.

Also, being born “smart” is not an achievement, despite the accolades and financial benefits that come with it. Sure, it feels great to excel at something. But being able to reach high shelves is not an achievement — using your reach to help someone is.

We are many things (and that’s okay), but what is most important about us is what we choose to be.

We are what we choose to do.

How is this relevant to Sisyphus?

This is all distressingly … timeworn. If you were to translate the above paragraphs to ancient Greek, I bet you could find 2500-year-old references to similar observations. Sometimes, the emphasis will shift slightly, and it will be expressed as a desire for the “dinosaurs” to die off and get out of the way. I’ve said that myself.

I confess, I do love the irony of that.

We are all dinosaurs. We are all Sisyphus.

Not you? Heh. Okay. 🙂

Tuesday, 2022-08-09

Advice From The Patriarchy: English muffins

Filed under: Food — bblackmoor @ 14:20
"Because nothing says 'privilege' quite like offering unsolicited advice to an entire generation."

Most of the time, the brand doesn’t matter. Don’t waste your money. Buy store brands when you can.

However, no one makes English muffins like Thomas’ English Muffins. They are the English muffins to buy.

Bays are also quite good.

  • 1 Thomas English muffin
  • 1 slice Canadian bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter

Microwave egg at 50% for 2:30.

Season to taste.

Tuesday, 2022-07-05

Grass is not the enemy

Filed under: Ecology,Gardening — bblackmoor @ 12:17

Grass — “turf grass” — is very good at what it does. Your kids and dogs can play on it without getting muddy. It prevents erosion. It does not die back in winter, so it still protects against erosion from winter storms. There is grass suited to bright, hot areas, and there is grass suitable for colder, more shady areas. And turf grass is fairly easy to care for, if you choose an appropriate type of grass.

The problem with “lawns” is that Americans try to grow them in deserts, and/or dump chemicals on the ground trying to make the grass look like AstroTurf. If you live in a desert — if you must water your grass weekly just to keep it from dying — then don’t grow grass! And use any chemicals sparingly, if at all.

Grass is not the problem. Lawns are not the problem. Stupid people are the problem.

Friday, 2022-06-17

Advice From The Patriarchy: Stud Finders

Filed under: Home,Work — bblackmoor @ 13:09
"Because nothing says 'privilege' quite like offering unsolicited advice to an entire generation."

Advice From The Patriarchy: if you need a stud finder, the Franklin ProSensor is one of the very few that actually works.

Monday, 2022-06-06

The past is a different country

Filed under: Fine Living,History,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 18:16

I had a sombre thought today. The world I grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. In some important ways, that’s a good thing. But it’s a bad thing, in a few ways. I feel sad for people who’ll never be able to live in it. Ah, well.

Thursday, 2022-05-19

Advice from the Patriarchy: Sardines

Filed under: Fine Living,Food,Humour — bblackmoor @ 10:25

Elevator pitch: Doughy old white dude (DOWD ?) offers useful advice to young people, based on things that he learned while living this long — with the disclaimer that at any moment, what he suggests might be rendered distasteful, ludicrous, or simply impossible by the passage of time.

I’d call it ADVICE FROM THE PATRIARCHY.

Today’s advice: Sardines are the best fish for you. They are sustainably harvested, full of healthy stuff (one of the few natural foods with Vitamin D, just for example), and no risk of bad stuff that may come with larger fish (no risk of ciguatera, for example). And King Oscar has the best sardines.

They are not good for you if you have gout, sadly. But if you are so afflicted, I suspect that you already knew this.

Later…

Advice From The Patriarchy … Because nothing says ‘privilege’ quite like offering unsolicited advice to an entire generation.”

See, I think that’s hilarious. But I suspect that the desired audience would not appreciate the joke.

Tuesday, 2022-05-17

Fame is fleeting

Filed under: Humour,Movies,Music,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:39

For no particular reason, the song “Fame”, by Irene Cara, came into my mind today. Google tells me it was released in 1980: 42 years ago. I haven’t heard it in very nearly that long, but I recall it clearly, and I even recall the name of the singer.

That is just how hugely popular that song was… briefly. And then nothing. When’s the last time you thought of it? How strange that is. The fleeting popularity of fame, so to speak.

It’s not really my style of pop song, and I still haven’t seen the eponymous movie, but even I loved the song and sang along to it, at the time. Of course, I was in my early teens then, and a boy, so I could never actually tell anyone I loved that song. It would have been indistinguishable to wearing a “call me a ‘homo’ and push me down” sign. (I’m not gay, and was even less so then, thanks to adolescent hormones, but bullies don’t place a high value on accuracy. Hopefully, my own miserable teen years helped distract the bullies from actual gay kids.)

Anyway, that’s not what compelled me to write this post. I’m writing this post because I asked Google to “play ‘Fame’ by Irene Cara on YouTube, on ‘downstairs group'” (my downstairs speakers). And, obligingly, it did (Google can be… contrary, sometimes).

And then it played “YMCA”, by the Village People.

And THAT made me laugh out loud.

Monday, 2022-05-16

Getting rid of Firefox’s “downloads” popup

Filed under: Software,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 15:12

Ever since Firefox 98 (I think), a popup appears every ten minutes or so, showing files that have been downloaded successfully (or not, I assume). Whether I have downloaded anything recently or not. It does not go away until I manually close it.

That is annoying. Here is how to fix it.

Go to about:config (accepting the warning along the way).

Change browser.download.alwaysOpenPanel to false.

Saturday, 2022-05-14

Claude Shannon

Filed under: Philosophy,Programming,Work — bblackmoor @ 23:53

“Shannon’s account of genius was a refreshingly unsentimental one. A genius is simply someone who is usefully irritated.”

One of the fathers of modern computing used this 6-step process to solve any problem

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