[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

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.

Saturday, 2022-05-14

“Outlaws” (2022) vs “Misfits” (2009)

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 20:26

If you liked “Misfits” (2009), you may like “Outlaws” (2022) on Amazon. I just watched the first episode. Christopher Walken steals every scene (of course), but the rest of the cast is quite good. I even felt some sympathy for the probation officer, who is typically the antagonist in this sort of show. (They played with that trope to good effect in “Misfits”. My strongest memory of that show is their jerk probation officer singing karaoke. It made me cry, in large part because it was the culmination of a season-long story arc. I was going to link to it, but after watching it out of context, I decided not to. You’d really have to watch the show to fully get it.)

Ironically (or perhaps by design — he is quite clever, after all), the only character I have no particular sympathy for (at the end of the first episode) is the one played by Stephen Merchant.

Anyway, “Outlaws“. Amazon. Check it out.

Friday, 2022-05-13

Story hook: the Post Office Saves The World

Filed under: History,Prose,Technology,The Internet,Writing — bblackmoor @ 10:06

Imagine a world where Amazon and Google and Microsoft and Apple had the combined wealth and power of Mailboxes, Etc. …

Proposal: some services must never be operated for profit. As in, if you want the license to operate, you operate as not-for-profit, with all of the oversight and regulation that entails. What kind of services?

  • Hospitals
  • Military
  • Police
  • Post Offices
  • Prisons
  • Roads
  • Schools
  • Trains

Story hook: a team of people from 2080 go back to the 1960s to attempt to prevent the end of Human civilization. How? By lobbying legislators to put civilian use of ARPANET under exclusive control of the US Post Office before Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf develop TCP/IP.

Update: In case this was unclear: if you put “Contracting Company” after any of these services, it should make NO DIFFERENCE. NONE. If you want the license to operate, you operate as not-for-profit, with all of the oversight and regulation that entails. We are at least a generation past the point where the “contractor” loophole should have been legislatively closed. Human beings are not “resources” to be squeezed dry and discarded.

Monday, 2022-03-14

“Spider-Man 8: No Way Home”

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 12:53

I did not love “Spider-Man 8: No Way Home“, but I did think it was interesting. I am not sure making the villains more pathetic was a good choice for this kind of film. I think it’s worth seeing, though.

Sunday, 2022-03-13

Fun with voice recognition

Filed under: Music,Technology — bblackmoor @ 11:12

Fun with voice recognition…

I asked Google to play “Hello, it’s me” by Todd Rundgren, on YouTube, on my downstairs speakers. It played some weird song I had never heard before, but I liked it. Then it played another song I had never heard before, and I liked that one, too. The third one, too! (I have linked to that one below. I have since learned that it was a huge hit everywhere other than the USA.)

That was the first song I looked up as it was playing. After that, I just let it play for a while. Then I noticed there was a theme. Five or six sings songs in a row (at least) seemed to be about robots in a children’s amusement park, and they all seemed kind of sinister…

We’re not so scary if you see us in the daylight
You’ll be so happy just as long as you survive the night

“Survive The Night” — “Five Nights At Freddy’s”

I looked up a few of those songs, and they are all from a game called “Friday Night At Freddies”. I’ve heard of the game, but I’ve never played it or heard any of the songs from it. From what I have heard so far, it has a killer soundtrack.

Saturday, 2022-01-15

Avengers: Endgame

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 18:17

Avengers: Endgame…

Society dealing with a 50% loss in population is nothing — NOTHING — compared to the mass starvation and tragedy that would result from a sudden 100% increase in population after society has adapted to the previous 50% population loss.

Today you have two children. You have a job, and you can feed them.

Tomorrow you have another unemployed adult in your household, and two more children to feed.

How does that feel?

And that’s if you are lucky. If you aren’t, you (SUDDENLY — to you it seems five years have gone by in a moment) are a single adult with a child, and you have no job and nowhere to live. And there are THREE BILLION people who, like you, weren’t here yesterday. Good luck finding a job or a place to live.

Avengers: Endgame is the beginning of a tragedy the likes of which the world has never seen.

Wednesday, 2021-12-08

I have absolutely no idea what we’re doing here

Filed under: Humour,Movies,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 08:51

“I have absolutely no idea what we’re doing here, or what I’m doing here, or what this place is about. But I am determined to enjoy myself.”

Saturday, 2021-11-20

Shallow and facile and selfish and destructive

Filed under: Society,Television — bblackmoor @ 23:49

So… okay, I interrupt my reports of the previous moment’s heart-rending injustice (which is 87% likely to be something found exclusively in the United States Of America), to talk about a show I like, and to also share an unexpected heart-rending.

I am currently watching “Upstart Crow” on BritBox on Roku, and I am on the “Christmas Lock Down 1603″ episode. Thus far, it has been a humourous coddangle of an episode, to enjoy over an evening’s thrillop and quentish. But what’s this? Will (Mr. Shakespeare, to some) says this…”I haven’t seen my family in months. I missed my father’s funeral. I never even got the chance to say goodbye!”

–record scratch–

Hold on: is Harry Enfield (the actor who plays William Shakespeare’s father) DEAD?

So I paused the episode, typed all of this into futtington Facebook, and then googled “Harry Enfield”…

Mr. Enfield is alive and well (as far as Wikipedia knows). So why would… oooooooh… (google “John Shakespeare” …) ah, John Shakespeare died in September 1601. And this, of course, is “Christmas Lock Down 1603”. Hang on, there: are we to believe that London has been experiencing a plague lockdown for … ah. Never mind.

KATE: After all, while we be locked in our homes, there be no land cleared, no rivers damned, no forests felled. Nature has its moment and all God’s creatures a year without fear that man will destroy its very habitat.

KATE: That has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

WILL: Yes, Kate, it does. But it brings me no comfort, child. Because even if humanity has by some miracle used this time to take stock of the things that actually matter, and if perhaps nature has been given momentary relief from its brutal servitude to man, it won’t make any difference.

WILL: Because the second this is all over and humanity is free to roam once more, we will be exactly as shallow and facile and selfish and destructive as we ever were. We will have learnt nothing, Kate. Nothing. Because frankly, we never do.

Wednesday, 2021-11-03

The Second Coming

Filed under: Philosophy,Poetry,Politics — bblackmoor @ 08:42

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

The Second Coming“, W. B. Yeats, 1919

Fun fact! Yeats went on to embrace fascism and authoritarianism — the “passionate intensity” of “the worst“. “The Second Coming” is the most compelling proof I know of that an artist is not their art — and if we insist on conflating the two, or on depriving ourselves of great art by less-than-great people, that it is we who suffer for it.

Yeats, after all, is long dead, and quite beyond our reproachment.

What had me thinking about this was, of course, the results of the election yesterday, in which the “the worst” — angry, hateful, and completely detached from realitywon virtually every election.

I am glad that I don’t have children. The United States is a dumpster fire, and it won’t get better in my lifetime.

If it ever does.

Monday, 2021-10-11

The Lord Of The Rings

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 10:58

I’ve spent the last week or so watching the 4K extremely-high-definition blu-ray of the extended 11 hour “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. The difference between this and the DVD is truly breathtaking. And the trilogy itself is, of course… it has no peer.

I am glad that I lived to see this.

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