[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2020-06-15

Antifa 1978: Blues Brothers

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:07

I am thinking about making a series of these.

Friday, 2020-06-05

MyMedia under screen

Filed under: Linux,Movies,Software — bblackmoor @ 11:47

I use a Python application called MyMedia to stream videos from my Ubuntu media server to my Roku boxes.

I installed Ubuntu 20 yesterday. The painfully slow navigation problem (caused by the slow but inevitable deprecation of python 2) re-appeared, and I tried to re-create the fix. Initially, I just succeeded in preventing MyMedia from running at all.

Here is what actually worked.

  1. First, I copied all of my backed up MyMedia files to /usr/local/bin/mymedia
  2. Then I installed python 2.7…
  3. sudo apt-get install python2
  4. Then I installed pip, but first I had to install curl…
  5. sudo apt-get install curl
  6. curl "https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py" -o "get-pip.py"
  7. sudo python2 get-pip.py
  8. Then I installed Pillow
  9. sudo python2 -m pip install --upgrade Pillow
  10. It might not have been necessary, but I installed several image libraries…
  11. sudo apt-get install libjpeg-dev
  12. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so /usr/lib
  13. sudo apt-get install zlib1g-de
  14. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libz.so /usr/lib
  15. In common.py, I made sure that this…
  16. import Image
  17. … had been replaced with this…
  18. #import Image
    from PIL import Image

Huge success!

Note that during this process, I got several warnings about Python 2.7 being deprecated, like this one:

DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 reached the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Please upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 is no longer maintained. pip 21.0 will drop support for Python 2.7 in January 2021. More details about Python 2 support in pip, can be found at https://pip.pypa.io/en/latest/development/release-process/#python-2-support

It’s only a matter of time before MyMedia becomes unusable. I would love to get access to the git repository and try to update it for Python 3, if that’s possible. I’ve asked, but the original developer is no longer associated with the project. It may be that I’ll have to find a new solution to this problem in a year or so.

Also, I have updated my init script (/etc/init.d/memedia), which runs mymedia in a screen

#!/bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: minidlna
# Required-Start: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: mymedia server
# Description: mymedia media server.
### END INIT INFO

# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
DESC="MyMedia media server"
MEDIAPATH=/var/media
DAEMONPATH=/usr/local/bin/mymedia/server
DAEMON=$DAEMONPATH/mymedia.py
SCRIPTNAME=/etc/init.d/mymedia
SCREENNAME=mymedia
USER=bblackmoor
GROUP=media
EXECUSER=root
EXECGROUP=media

case "$1" in
start)
chown -R $EXECUSER:$EXECGROUP $DAEMONPATH
chown -R $USER:$GROUP $MEDIAPATH
su - $USER -c "cd $DAEMONPATH; screen -dm -S $SCREENNAME python2 $DAEMON"
;;
stop)
su - $USER -c "screen -S $SCREENNAME -X quit"
su - $USER -c "screen -wipe"
;;
status)
su - $USER -c "screen -list | grep $SCREENNAME"
;;
*)
echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status}" >&2
exit 3
;;
esac
:

Thursday, 2020-05-21

“Day Of The Triffids” (2009)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 14:24

Letting the 2009 BBC adaptation of “Day Of The Triffids” play while I work. This has a remarkable cast: Dougray Scott, Joely Richardson, Eddie Izzard, Jason Priestley, Vanessa Redgrave, and Brian Cox. Eddie Izzard steals this. It helps that he’s playing the perfect Eddie Izzard character: charming, clever, subtle, and much more dangerous than you think.

This is the last of the three extant “Day Of The Triffids” film adaptations. I have been letting them all play, over the past week. They’re depressing as hell. There is no happy ending. Ever. And although the triffids are undoubtedly dangerous, people are the real monsters. Not most people. Most people are decent, and have empathy. Most people want to work together so that everyone can survive. Most people realize that we are all in this together.

But just a few are malicious. Just a few are sociopaths, sadists, and liars. Selfish. Cruel. And if people allow the worst among them to seize power, that’s really all that it takes for everything to go to hell.

Sunday, 2020-04-19

Hogwarts wallpaper or Zoom backgrounds

Filed under: Art,Movies — bblackmoor @ 13:54

Here are some Hogwarts screen captures you can use as wallpaper or as backgrounds for your Zoom meetings. These are all from “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001).

Tuesday, 2020-01-28

“The Devil Rides Out” (1968)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 11:12

The Shout! Factory blu-ray for “The Devil Rides Out” (1968) is quite well done. The print is clean and bright, and the extra features are fascinating.

This movie was part of a trend of 1960s “satanic” films, and while it’s not my favourite of that genre, I have a great deal of affection for it, in no small part due to Christopher Lee’s magnetic presence which anchors the film.

Sunday, 2020-01-26

“Pirates Of Blood River” (1962)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 21:01

Watching “Pirates Of Blood River” (1962). What a great cast! Christopher Lee, Kerwin Matthews, Glenn Corbett, and a young Oliver Reed (yes, sadly the few female characters are little more than set dressing and prizes to be fought over… it irks me, but such was the era).

This movie is an example of a particular genre, which one sees more often in horror movies: a group of people (usually criminals) is betrayed by their greed, which leads them into a cul-de-sac of betrayal and death. If you haven’t noticed this before, keep an eye out for it: you’ll start seeing this plot everywhere once you start looking for it.

One of the things that irks me about this particular movie are the religious zealots who are so blinded by their hatred and superstition that they happily cause death and destruction to the people around them, because they are servants of “god” and they get a free pass. You see it a lot in movies set in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly horror movies (maybe I just watch a lot of horror movies). You also see it a lot in places like Alabama and Washington, D.C. The word “evangelical” has become a synonym for “sneering hypocrite”.

But I digress.

I am amazed at what marksmen these Huguenots and pirates are with unrifled muskets and blunderbusses. You rarely see people in movies who are this accurate with actual rifles.

“Pirates Of Blood River” (1962) is a cool movie, worth watching. Do so, if you get the chance. The ending is rather abrupt and not entirely satisfying, but again, such was the era.

Thursday, 2019-12-26

Cinema Insomnia animated GIFs, part 1

Filed under: Art,Movies,Television,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 13:01

Here are some animated GIFs I made for Cinema Insomnia.

Saturday, 2019-11-09

Henchman: The Al Leong Story

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 18:43

Finally sat down to watch “Henchman: The Al Leong Story“. I really wanted to pay attention to this, so I didn’t just play it while I work (which is usually what I do). That’s why it has taken me so long to view it.

Henchman: The Al Leong Story

I really enjoyed this documentary. It gave a good overview of his career, and I learned some things that even I, the founder of (as far as I know) the first and only Al Leong Fan Club, The Golden Horde, did not know.

I wish the background music were not so loud during the interviews, though. More than once, I wanted to shout at the screen, “TURN THE MUSIC DOWN!”

Even so, I suspect that I will watch this DVD again. 🙂

Also, I really should start updating the fan club web site again.

Saturday, 2019-07-20

Comments on the gilded age

Filed under: Movies,Television — bblackmoor @ 08:49

People say we are in a gilded age of this or that. Fantasy TV. Superhero movies. Whatever.

I am not sure I agree.

How many Batmen have we seen? How many Spider-Men? How many Avengers movies? Can you recall what happened in which movie? In which one did Quicksilver die? In which one did Quicksilver rescue people from a house? The colors blur in my memory until it is a mottled brown expanse.

Take Spider-Man. Some people like Tom Holland in the role. Some don’t. I don’t think I have an opinion. It’s like trying to have an opinion about one squawk in a cacophony of geese. It’s all just noise to me now. A Spider-Gwen movie might rise above that noise like a black and pink bouy in a sea of diluted mud, but it might not.

Tuesday, 2019-06-04

“Song Of The South” (1946)

Filed under: Movies,Society — bblackmoor @ 10:09

The stories told by Uncle Remus in “Song Of The South” are the stories of African-Americans. “Song Of The South” was based on stories compiled by Joel Chandler Harris — a white man, yes, but they were the stories of African-Americans, and Harris tried his best to tell them faithfully. Joel Chandler Harris was a journalist who actually cared about the people whose stories he was sharing. It’s easy to say, “Oh, those should have been shared by African-Americans,” but at the time, that wasn’t an option. If he hadn’t collected them, those stories might be lost now.

As for the movie, it is not the racist propaganda that people who have never seen it assume it to be. If anything, it’s the opposite. For example, it shows a world where black and white children play together — in a movie made at the height of the Jim Crow era. The songs won awards, and the wonderfully talented James Baskett won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Uncle Remus — the first African American to win one (he wasn’t allowed to accept it at the main ceremony, due to idiotic 20th century racism). The worst thing that can be said about the movie is that the live action parts are dull, aside from when James Baskett is singing.

I know it’s just a dumb Disney movie, but I wish people recognized that “Song Of The South” was a small step forward for our society, at a time we really needed it. As a work of art and a cultural milestone, it and the people who made it deserve far more respect than they get.

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