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Miles Coverdale

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[24 Feb 2016|08:01pm]
So this song has been my on-repeat jam for the past week or so. I like it for a lot of the same reasons I like "Friends on the Other Side" from The Princess and the Frog -- though this one is an "I Want" song instead of a villain song.


Click here for the lyrics, annotations, and background.
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10 Years On [19 Mar 2013|10:33pm]
March 19, 2003.

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[26 Jan 2013|04:41pm]
A Message to the NRA From Robert E. Lee.
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Ten-Year Anniversary [15 Jan 2013|09:04pm]
So, I've had this journal for ten years now, as of today.

I know I don't write here an awful lot; I've noticed over the last few years that my drive to write things here has drained away. Maybe it would do me good to start writing here again, though I don't know what about. (I think that's been part of the problem, honestly-- a lack of writing ideas.)

Earlier today, I was thinking about ten years ago, where I was in my life at the time, and all that, and I considered the question "What would I tell my ten-years-ago self if I could?" But then, I realized that the choices I made and the actions I did are what made me who I am right now, both for good and for ill. And if I changed any of that, I wouldn't be the me that I know now, not really. Don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of bad days over the last ten years, but I've also had plenty of awesome days (as well as okay days, mediocre days, and meh days), and I wouldn't want to take a path that wouldn't have led to the good days just for the sake of sparing myself the bad ones.

tl;dr-- I shouldn't spend more time on if-onlys than on now-whats. And I think I like who I am now better than who I was ten years ago.
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[18 Aug 2012|11:23am]
This is a swing jazz cover of the Final Fantasy 7 boss battle music.

Unconventional, but it's at least as good as the Black Mages' metal version.
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[26 Apr 2012|07:11pm]
The Fauxtopias of Detroit's Suburbs.

"In cities other than Detroit, history is often obscured by the present. But Detroit's abandoned historical buildings demand that you stop and consider them. What were these places? Who spent time here? Where are they now? When historic structures are demolished in Detroit, no one is lining up to build something else on the spot. In other cities, the present takes the place of the past. In Detroit, when we lose our history, we get nothing but emptiness in its place. That is why I still love the ruins."
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[07 Apr 2012|01:02pm]
(Now, with all that being said, I think Zack Snyder could have done with talking with the folks who made the Final Fantasy games to get a better idea of the sort of thing he was trying to go for.)
(And talking of Final Fantasy, I think that Aeris is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. And you could make a pretty strong case that so is Rinoa.)
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[07 Apr 2012|11:48am]
Here's a good essay about how to be a fan of problematic things. (Yes, it's from last year, but it's been making the rounds in the geekosphere lately.)

Some of you may be wondering why I enjoyed Sucker Punch but not Cryptonomicon, even though the problematic elements in Sucker Punch are far more in-your-face and lushly portrayed. All I can answer is that Sucker Punch had steam-powered zombies, zeppelins, dragons fighting World War Two bombers, and Scott Glenn tossing off great one-liners-- and Cryptonomicon didn't.

(Plus, whatever Zack Snyder's faults, he seems to understand that putting young women in mental institutions and lobotomizing them is A Bad Thing. Neal Stephenson, on the other hand, wants us to pity his protagonist for outright insulting his girlfriend and her colleagues to their faces, immediately running off to the Philippines for a year, and then returning to find that her friends think he's a big jerk. Also, Stephenson doesn't seem to find anything problematic when, in the first scene we meet her, his Strong Female Character (tm) cuts the watch off his protagonist's wrist for getting too close to her, but in the last scene, she breaks her leg and has to be carried around like a useless lump by the protagonist.)
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[22 Aug 2011|07:20pm]
If any of you have read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, you need to watch the video for "Calamity Song" by The Decemberists, right immediately this minute:

(I hope this works. [EDIT: Nope, it doesn't.] If it doesn't, here's a more direct link-- although the NPR story gives away the setup of the video.)

And while I'm posting videos, the new single from They Might Be Giants is really good.
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I like H.P. Lovecraft, but man, come on [27 Apr 2011|08:57pm]
oh by the way
fun fact
the more syllables the better
sometimes it can make reading his writing very difficult
but luckily i discovered a trick
which is that you can replace almost every single one of his adjectives
with "spooky"
without any loss of meaning

This is the most awesome thing I've read today. The rest of his blog is pretty sweet too, if you share my foulmouthed irreverent sense of humor. (Check the "smorgasboard" section for the archive. I'm also fond of his retelling of Anansi and Tiger's story from American Gods.)
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[05 Apr 2011|06:26pm]
So, this weekend I saw Sucker Punch. My review in brief: Take The Wizard of Oz, Marat/Sade, and "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," throw them in a blender, and pour the result into an anime. It's a visually stunning movie with a really awesome soundtrack and some very problematic elements to it (which hopefully I'll have the mental solidity to write about later). Also, Scott Glenn steals the movie.

On the whole, I enjoyed watching it, but mileage will definitely vary, and I can see why it's been taking such a beating in reviews.

I also watched Tetsuo: The Iron Man this weekend as well. All I'll say about that is: They should not have called that movie Tetsuo: The Iron Man; they should have called it What the Hell Ass Balls.
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[31 Mar 2011|05:52pm]
If anyone's interested, these are my favorite works of art in the world, and the link is the best Internet presentation of it that I've seen. (Click and drag to pan the view.)
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[01 Mar 2011|10:17pm]
ALSO TALKING OF BOOKS-- I still haven't forgotten my resolution to write about Cryptonomicon, don't worry.
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[01 Mar 2011|10:11pm]
I finished reading N.K. Jemesin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms recently. I really liked it, despite the fact that for some reason I've never been able to get into Zelazny or Bishop or suchlike grand- court- of- gods- playing- chess- with- puny- humans- mwahaha novels before.

(Yes, it is true that I loved the hell out of American Gods. That was different-- I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to note that in Gaiman's novel, what the gods are doing with humanity in the book isn't a game of chess, but a con game instead. I suppose my love for reading about charming rogues-- why hello there Locke Lamora-- explains my enjoyment.)

I'm going to have to let the book percolate through my brain for a while before I write more about it, but the one big thing that's sticking out in my head for me (and I don't know if this is something that Jemisin specifically intended, because I really hope I'm not misinterpreting the book) is this idea that, yeah, you are the product of what's happened in your past and there's nothing you can do to change that because it makes you who you are-- BUT, what's freedom is the ability to choose for yourself what will influence your life going forward. And I know that sounds really simplistic when it's written out like this, but the more I think about it, the more it sounds powerful. There are certainly worse ways to life your life, I'd say.
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[10 Feb 2011|06:49pm]
Steampunk zeppelins are pretty cool, it's true.

But dieselpunk flying boats are much more awesomer.

(...hi, Internets! Still not dead! Just haven't had much to say on here!)
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October 25th, 1854 [25 Oct 2010|12:46am]
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
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[12 Sep 2010|02:20am]
John M. Ford, "110 Stories."
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A pop-culture-related update. [20 Jul 2010|08:59pm]
I ran across this video earlier tonight, and I think it's pretty damned awesome.

The 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time.
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[20 Jul 2010|07:29am]
Hipster nerd guys get defensive when called out on sexism. Film at eleven.
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[13 Jul 2010|06:43pm]
Well, July the 13th, 1985
Was the day we watched Live Aid
The global jukebox came alive
And we fed the world that day
We fed the world that day...

It was a day for a party, we made a lot of food
And we ate it, sure as hell
Vegetarian salads, they had no meat
There was leftovers as well

Everybody laughed when I said
(Thinking of the people either dying or dead)
"Let's pick up the leftovers,
Send them to the starving children in Ethiopia!"
(My mother always used to say that)

Sure, I was pleased to give money
'Cause it was not a political cause (no!)
I just remember the smiling faces
The music and the applause

I spent thirty quid on coke
I smoked a little too much dope, yeah
I was wiped out from five 'til seven--
I missed Spandau Ballet and U2!
It was...

July the 13th, 1985
Was the day we watched Live Aid
The global jukebox came alive
And we fed the world that day
We fed the world that day...

(What about the music? Oh yeah!)
The music was fucking brilliant
And that Madonna, she sure can move
By the time Paul McCartney's microphone had failed
We were all well into the Live Aid groove, yeah

Paul McCartney, he sang:
"Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be"

Well, it must have been a bit of an irony
'Cause if you "Let It Be," nothing will ever improve
But it was one of the first times I'd ever seen a real live Beatle singing a real live Beatles song live on national television though I really wish Julian Lennon had turned up instead of his recently-dead father,
I was really moved!
It was...

July the 13th, 1985
Was the day we watched Live Aid
The global pukebox came alive
And we fed the world that day
We fed the world that day...

Well, the powerful force of pop music-- solve the problems, feed the world
So what if there weren't any blacks involved, there was Everything But The Girl
Bob Geldof has no ego, that man should get the Nobel Prize
By the time he sang the solo on "Feed the World," I thought he should be canonized!

I felt guilty about the starving
But I felt good to be alive
And I must admit I shed a tear or two
At the very moving video for that great Cars song "Drive"

Saint Bob made me feel like shit
So I got out an envelope, opened it
Put in a very crisp new ten-pound note--
It was the same one I'd used earlier to snort my coke...

And that made me feel good inside.
(Sending the money, not snorting the coke!)
It was...

July the 13th, 1985
Was the day we watched Live Aid
The global jukebox came alive
And we fed the world that day
We fed the world that day...

But you can't go on
As if nothing's wrong
Who's gonna drive you home?
Who's gonna drive you home,

--John Wesley Harding
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