Or, even, get dieselking.com, and put an actual website on it. You know, with a bit of self-respect.
And hey, If dieselking.com is not available, maybe that's a good sign that you should have a different band name. You idiot.
i found myself in the westfield centre in stratford, which is a large modern shopping centre. it's about a year old, so it's a pretty good way of seeing how someone would build a shopping centre right about now.
i had some food shopping to do, and a grandma to pick up, but i felt i had enough time to maybe go and impulse purchase on a cd, which i haven't done for a super-long time. I really feel like i need to be challenged by some music. it's an odd feeling, that i've settled a bit into too much of a rut.
incidentally, two of my most recent purchases are both a) too heavy for me, which i didn't think possible, and b) french. wierd correlation. when i say too heavy, i love both of them, but one (whourkr) is heavy at the expense of song. it's like i can't hear the music, and i didn't realise that was important. the other, deathspell omega, i can listen to, but it's really disturbingly heavy at a very fundamental level. it fits the 'intellectual black metal' tag very well.
so i had a look at the map, and under 'music and books' there was two shops: foyles (that's the books then) and hmv. HMV! they're not even successful enough to be considered mainstream as any more, and therefore are now indie! right?
so i popped into foyles, which sold books (no cds, unlike the really massive soho one), and then tramped to hmv, the only music shop listed in the whole shopping centre. and it was not a big hmv. and only one quarter of it - literally just a corner - was cds. i mean about 6 racks. it wasn't big enough to have a metal, or a jazz, section. what metal there was - whitesnake, blacksabbath, slipknot, avenged sevenfold et al - was lumped in with rock and pop.
i'm not complaining about hmv being rubbish, which we've all known about for ages -
there was this one time i was in the big one in manchester looking for the new quickspace single after eharing them on peel. a shop bod gave me their entire band history and told me it would be out in two weeks. wonder what he's doing now- but the fact that there is just virtually no music for sale, anywhere in the whole place. like it's just not something people do anymore.
it's not for lack of music; the centre was flooded with music, achieved by having hundreds of speakers lining the ceilings. it felt completely ubiquitous, and utterly fluid, because as you moved around there was no change in the level of sound. it felt like a soundtrack, the opposite of diegetic. but it wasn't there to be bought, or owned. or recognised or valued.
i also had a dream over the holidays, that i was doing a big shop (which i can do now when i have the car). and this old woman was pushing in front of me. and i thought, hey, why on earth should i have dreams about people pushing in front of me? get out of my dream. so i made the old woman vanish and tried to replace her with something more interesting, but then i thought, hang on, if this is my dream, why the hell am i dreaming of doing a food shop anyway? and then that was too much and i woke up.
So I thought I might as well call this a blog hiatus for a bit, until things at home and work settle enough for me to have thoughts again. Meanwhile you can ask to follow my twitter account at https://twitter.com/grilly, because I can't think anything that can't be written down in anything more complicated than that.
I saw Britain in a kebab shop tonight. I'm writing because I was too shy to photograph it.
A youngish Mediterranean m man was cleaning some sort of deep fast fryer. It had a clamp down lid which was currently open, while he scrubbed at the insides with what looked like a big bog brush. Stained onto the underside of the flipped-up lid was brown grease. But the grease wasn't a consistent pattern, because there were gaps from where a basket has blocked out the splash back of the hot fat. And for some reason, the basis formed a perfect double-cross; like someone had gone and scratched the union jack onto the burnt-on fat off the fryer in Broadway market kebab shop.
What a great photo it would have made. I'd have won some award for sure.
Take 'st James st station'. Aside from featuring the abbreviation 'st' three times for different words, it's a station named after the street named after st James. Here's an idea - just call it 'st James station'. Everyone will still know where it is.
Likewise, I've just been past a bus stop called 'higham station avenue'. I'm not suggesting this stop is renamed 'higham station' when it might not actually be that close to it. Better, we rename the avenue 'higham avenue' and then the busstop can be 'higham avenue' as well, because bus stops are often enough to be named after the actual roads.
I hope this makes you think a bit - I mean, why not Tottenham court station instead of Tottenham court road station?
The only thing I can think of to contradict this is Liverpool street, which would before confusingly called 'Liverpool', but that should be called after bishopsgate ot 'spital fields, or bedlam, anyway.
So yeah. Reclaim the street and station names!
You probably haven't read ATMOM. But because I am good to you, and in the spirit of the old internet of blogging something and writing about it, rather than just tweeting a link to it, here is the Ladbroke/Richard Coyle (who also did last week's 'Shadow over Innsmouth') production:
So before you read this post, listen to that. It's only 2.5 hours, which is a lot less than it'll take to read the novella, which will distract you with the surprisingly tough, verbose language. Also, go to their bandcamp and gaze in wonder at the number of well-produced, free-streaming, excellent books, and maybe even buy some of them.
Guillermo del Toro was working on a movie of ATMOM. Loads of pre-production was happening, and then the studio said 'you can't do a multimillion dollar R rated film.' Then, along came prometheus, which was exactly that. It looked like maybe, if Scott could pull it off, then so could Del Toro; the time is exactly right for Lovecraft to spill over into the mainstream, even through the relatively cthulhu-free ATMOM.
Then Prometheus actually came out and Del Toro said: "Prometheus started filming a while ago- right at the time we were in preproduction on PACIFIC RIM. The title itself gave me pause - knowing that ALIEN was heavily influenced by Lovecraft and his novella.
This time, decades later with the budget and place Ridley Scott occupied, I assumed the Greek metaphor alluded at the creation aspects of the HPL book. I believe I am right and if so, as a fan, I am delighted to see a new RS science fiction film, but this will probably mark a long pause -if not the demise- of ATMOM."
When questioned further he added: "Same premise. Scenes that would be almost identical."
It's taken me a while, but after listening to ATMOM while ill in bed, and having chanced upon a free night to watch Prometheus, I feel in a position to make some sort of judgement as to whether or not the similarities between the two are too much to bare. If they are, of course, surely the people who own the rights to ATMOM should be in a position to sue for copyright infringement?
First then, a few notes on Prometheus, that I don't think I've seen addressed anywhere:
The cast, on paper, is excellent. But in the film, they're made useless by having to be 'characters' instead of acting. Everything about them is a straightforward, lazy approach to characterisation that relies on stereotypes to get us to 'know' the characters super fast. TBH, I was surprised this film clocked in at only two hours; given the tendency of big-box-office films by Jackson, Lucas, and Nolan &c. to be over two hours, I thought a little more time might be spent on more effective character development. e.g. why is Idris Elba having to put on an American accent? we have sleezy truckers too. I shouldn't complain, I just hate it when people needlessly have to fit a the pointless details of a scripted character.
When will film makers stop making prequels that look more advanced than the films ostensibly set after them?
Ancient civs with nothing to do with each other; such as the Sumerians, Mesopotamians, and Babylonians. Is it just me, or did they all live in the same square mile? Oh, and that star configuration: I'm pretty sure, that if you have the entire star map available to you, you will be able to find five stars that sit in that pattern *especially* if they are invisible to the naked eye.
This mission costs 1 trillion dollars. What's that worth in real terms? That might be nothing by 2093. Would a C14 reader work in space? Radiocarbon dating only works on earth because of the particular proportion of C14 created in the Ionosphere on this particular planet. Who's to say it would still apply on a different one?
At this point, on top of the 'dna match' controversy, and the 'let's give it a shot to convince the head that it's still alive' nonsense, it is enough to force the conclusion that this is not a sci-fi film. Alien never had any of this rubbish; it had just enough to get you into space, then no hand-wavey gadgets. This pulls out shortcut after shortcut and it just grates until you decide to stop caring about it and write off any plausability, so you then categorise it with Doctor Who instead of Alien.
So then they land on the planet and are faced with a design recycled from the original attempt to adapt dune:
It totally breaks the suspension of disbelief to see a recycled art asset like that. I mean, if Radiohead come on stage and started playing a 'brand new song' that incorporated a sample from a junked demo that everyone in the audience knew but had never had an official release... People would love it. But here, in terms of story telling, it kills it, because it shows up the laziness. You feel like you're getting the cast-offs from other projects.
Lastly, I've got one word for the film as a whole: scattershot. Every threat in this film is a different thing. We have the penis-snake, the zombie, the virus that kills the man so he has to be burned, the squid, the engineer. Every scene is a different creature and that's not good storytelling because you can't build up any suspense. It smacks of making things up as you go along with no end in sight (I'm looking at you, Lost-scriptwriter-man). The film feels like it was put together by a crew behaving like the characters in the film: running around chaotically with no aim, no structure, no one in charge, getting lost, and ultimately, crashing the vehicle into an alien space ship because they've ran out of other options.
So, with all that said, just how similar are these two stories? It's hard to say, because I'm still not exactly sure what the actual plot of Prometheus was. But I'll take this as far as it will go.
If justice was done, this song would play over the credits of ATMOM. Click play and read on:
Stylistically, they are both about teams of academics going to the edges of known space and discovering that life on earth was created by beings from beyond. P achieves this with a great deal of faith, and not in the way that was intended; they assume *right from the start* that they are going to meet the aliens who created humans, on no evidence at all. This wild supposition turns out to be right because 'the DNA matches', luckily.
In another similarity, it turns out in both stories that the aliens were killed by their creations; the slave-race of shoggoths in ATMOM, and -whatever the hell was going on- in P.
In another twist, both the aliens turn out to be Men (capital to distinguish the gender from the race). But in different ways; ATMOM has the most exquisitely described monstrous creatures who attack the humans upon waking, but as the story progresses, are sympathised with more and more until the narrator declares that spiritually, they are human (decades before pk dick said 'human is'). On the other hand, P has aliens that beneath the helmets are clearly human, before even the DNA match, but who attack the humans upon waking.
Here's my bugbear, though. Writing in the early 20th Century, Lovecraft's story placed a mythical creation of the earth in keeping with the current science of the time (and even now) by claiming his Elder Things created the essence of life on earth, and then let it evolve, perhaps with the occasional 'hello'. Scott, on the other hand, either has his aliens riding rough-shod over evolution and creating humans sometime fairly recently, or creating life way back in time which then somehow, inevitably turns out to be exactly like the engineers. Or maybe you think they seeded the earth with life, then turned up every now and again to push life in the right direction, but then you're wrong, because there's no hint of that and the movie you're thinking of is called '2001'.
So why is a story from 100 years ago more respectful of science than a story from this year? The only piece of sci-fi in ATMOM is a new boring device (that's not even a pun). Even more so, Lovecraft used the story as an opportunity to de-mythologise his world, so that rather than gods, Cthulhu and his ilk were just aliens beyond ken. On the other hand, P is full of made-up crap and careless innacuracies.
So yeah, Prometheus is just At The Mountains of Madness, but IN SPACE; minus everything that was good about ATMOM and plus a load of crap, but still, the story line is ATMOM in all the places that matters (ok, I'll admit it, I thought David was quite good. And I have to say, I loved the panicky menu navigation on the operation machine). 'Cause even if you did adapt ATMOM, you'd have to change the story telling techniques in some ways so that it's not all about two guys reading some incredibly detailed statues for half an hour. I mean to say, not a lot really happens in ATMOM. The narrator is only alive at the end because he always misses all the action and tells you what has happened before they got there; the whole story builds up to a single *glimpse* of a living monster.
But you know what, I'd just be happy if they released a book of the unused concept art for GDT's ATMOM. That would be easily better than waiting for the film to never come out.
I've watched exactly three films in the last... However many months. I think all the films I've watched have necessarily been at the cinema, because if we don't make time to go out and see a film, we don't watch one. I saw batman alone, dredd with bruv, and bond with the long-suffering. And what an interesting clutch of overlapping characters they are.
There's so much you could say about each one; Batman 3 was the first ever Christopher Nolan film you had to switch OFF your brain to enjoy; Dredd was great for the first act while it built the world, and was then just people shooting each other for 50 minutes; bond was just as heroically ludicrous and camp as Roger Moore at his banalist.
It's so weird how similar the three lead characters are. They're all orphan superheroes without a secret identity. I mean, technically batman is Bruce Wayne, but really he's just batman. 007 is James Bond, but who even is that? And as for dredd, well he's just a mask. Who knows what's underneath?
And all of them riff on being orphans. Dredd and Bond were targeted and raised in their roles from a young age, hence having such a deep loyalty and deep inhabitance of their role. Batman had a similar trauma but I think spent more time making himself than being molded.
I was worried about bond, you know. My overriding memory of the last brosnan film was of my absolute lack of desire at the prospect of watching it, met by the sheer joy of the crazy-stupid antics on screen. Oh, my heart bled at the idea of a 'dark and edgy reboot'. Why not just make a different spy story? Dark and edgy works with batman, another character with a similar flip-flopping between carry-on and po-faced pout. And yet in nu-bond 3, the po-facedness is done to a level that is itself camp. It has come full circle. Handing bond a gun (albeit a dredd-alike personalised one) and radio instead of a fancy secret gadget pack has become just as silly.
But by the end of the brosnan-era bond, they had rigid enough cliches to take risks in other areas. For instance, strong female characters. Dame Dench was M from the get-go of the 90s reboot of bond, but Die another day struck me because of the egalitarianism of the sex in it. Bond bedded exactly two women - both of whom were also spies. Halle Berry's character 'jinx' was so well received that a well-deserved spin off was planned (sadly junked by MGM in favour of the reboot). My point is bond was portrayed on a par with the ladies he was associated with, in opposition to the 'sexual conquest' style of previous iterations. And that's kind of gone.
Roll on 2012 and, oh dear. Dench is killed off and replaced with Leonard Rossiter lookalike Fiennes, which wouldn't be a retrograde step if there wasn't a paucity of other females in the film. The only others were the Chinese girl, an utter victim who only exists in order to get shagged and then shot in cold blood, and miss moneypenny, who can't hack it in the field and takes a desk job. What a miserable bunch of characters.
There's not much to say about the other two films here, except that only dredd satisfyingly passes the bechdel test.
This is the death of pop-feminizm. This is what happens when people think that women were just something you needed to have around while people were actively complaining about representation of women, and then you can go back to business as usual and jobs for the boys.
Take CBBees, at the other end of the scale, a channel I have spent a lot more time with. Consider, CBBies shows where the only female role is a puppet:
Andy's Wild Adventures
Justin's House (on top of which, the puppet is mute. There used to be a minor live action female regular, who was ditched after the 1st series)
And consider the many other shows with a single male actor and several puppets/animations; Mr Bloom's Nursary, Kerwizz, Iconicles.
Other shows are just males: mostly Justin Fletcher's other two (one-man) shows, something special and Gigglebiz, but also Mr Maker.
Aside from the one-woman 'I Can Cook' (which suggests there'll soon be a 'I can do the household chores' aimed at girls too), all the other female-led or centric shows are SCOTCH. Nina and the Neurones, Wolly and Tig, Me Too, and Balamoray are all Scots shows. What a strange correlation.
I've missed out the pure cartoons here, but if you're not familiar with CBBies' output, this is pretty much it, these programmes on a loop every day forever. Women marginalised or substituted for puppets, children raised to see women around them but not on telly.
Anyway this has been sitting around for a couple of weeks and I'm done with it now.
I have been loving rogue-likes for some time now. I was all set to write up glorious praise for the purest game mechanics I have come across. Doom RL, FTL, desktop dungeons, even trying my hand at Nethack; these are games that keep plot minimal and give you the time to explore them fully. Their randomised levels, perma-death, and lack of quick save, mean you can't learn a route through them or play them by muscle memory; you've go to play them as games, accept you'll probably die somewhere along the short playthrough, but along the way you might unlock something else about the game on the way.
But something happened the other night; I was looking at the ftl wiki page, and I just got a bit bored of the ludicrously unlikely unlockables, as rewarding and enjoyable as they are. I've enjoyed ftl, in the casual way, but in order to really play it, I'd need to invest hours in it, same as a more serious game; rogue-likes are like casual games for hardcore gamers. And I can't claim to be that, anymore.
So instead i fired up Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the World. A complete avant-face which has done me wonders. I have utterly refound my love of narrative.
But before Cthulhu, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. I finished playing it a bit of time ago having racked up far more hours playing it than necessary. It is a game, in many ways. A very simple mechanic ('hide') gets you from the start to the end of what is basically a three-act story.
When i finished Amnesia: The Dark Descent, my biggest thought at the end was "does that castle make physical sense?" It's more than a moot point. There's a lift that seems to plunge floor after floor, then in the dungeon you find yourself in, the sun streams in through from what looks like only two floors above. There are guest rooms which clearly occupy the same space. And in the depths of the castle there appears to be a cathedral, with infinitely deep floors and ceilings. Maybe it's meant to be a magic castle like the sword level in thief. But while these things break you out of the game, like grammatical errors in a novel, they don't affect the plot. I might explore these ideas later in another piece on architecture in video games.
The story is shuffled up, as the game begins at the start of act three: Daniel decides to kill Alexander and erases his memory as to why (this is not a spoiler, it's the setup). During the course of the game, the first two acts are related to us through the random notes and the pages of Daniel's diary he has for some reason scattered throughout the castle in chronological order. Plot aside, the game forgoes almost all interaction; it's really a variation of a first person adventure game, with very simple puzzles separated by intense fear. It, and Dark Corners... are both what I have come to think of as 'unteractive' games.
Unteractive games, like Dear Esther and Thirty Flights of Loving, are like promenade theatre. The action happens around you, envelopes you, although you don't do anything yourself to further it. In fact, a huge amount of games are already like this, they just hide the fact with fake interaction.
By fake interaction, I mean that you're not really physically engaging with the game. Your Portals and your Half-Lifes, just to stick to first person games, are interactive. Unless you do something, the game doesn't go anywhere. Thirty Flights and Esther are games that you don't do anything in, not that that's a criticism. But all you control is the pace the information is relaid to you at. It's a style of storytelling that has only previously existed in promenade theatre, as I say, in that that involves a journey, and a feeling of involvement for the audience that is really an illusion. Most games dress their lack of interaction by asking you to do something repetitive and meaningless while they feed you narrative. I'm glad some games have had the bravery to do away with that, and just present the narrative more directly, and calmly.
That said, I think more games could do with stripping out the interactive elements and going unteractive. That underwater shock game (whatever it was called) would have been much better if it had removed all the sleepwalking combat with the crazed survivors and just left you to explore a totally dead city, with the occasional and surprisingly violent encounter with a big daddy and little sister.
Amnesia and Dark Corners have a smattering of interaction, of the puzzle solving, graphic adventure type. But the puzzles virtually solve themselves and what really you have is a story that is being presented like a second person text; the puzzles just give you the impetus to explore the world more fully.
Thief was the first game I remember that presented stories as fragments scattered around an area, that you piece together in your mind. Actually that's not true, Looking Glass games used the technique throughout their career, and from the deserted magic school in Ultimate Underworld 2, to the logs left behind in System Shock, it is an excellent way to tell a tragedy. Most memorably, the live logs you receive as you rush to save some survivors, only to find a cortex reaver looming over their fresh corpses. So the part in Amnesia where you enter the wine cellar, to find the diaries of poisoned militia, is nothing new in style. It's part of a grand tradition of games that are like looking glass games.
So I'd consider an unteractive game to be one where your actions have no consequence to the plot, and the game is honest about that. Compare with interactive fiction, where the story actually changes depending on your decisions. Games like Torment and Deus Ex are about halfway between, because even if the overarching plot is the same, characters have different arcs and the details of the plot are different in different playthroughs.
I like unteractive games now. Suddenly, more than rogue likes. I've rediscovered stories and I love them; and I love this style of being fed a story.
In other news, I'd like to announce that I'm currently building up tracks for 'Return to the Fulfilment Centre', my 2nd collection of remixes, follow up to 2010's 'The Page You Made'.
It might never happen, but I've currently got a list of 5 remixes to complete, some of which are currently part-baked. But 5 remixes does not an album make. So it begs the question: have you got any songs you'd like me to work on? I'm open to suggestions although I can't guarantee that any song in particular will grab me and make me want to paste drum loops over an 8 second sample of it.
Halloumi is often considered a veggie treat, akin to bacon. So I've been playing around with my (birthday present) smoker on and off this year
So I've been a bit experimental this morning; I've tried to smoke halloumi a few times, and it's just not been as delicious as it was in my head. So today I thought I'd try a couple of variations to see if i could get the balance right.
Usually, I would dry fry halloumi in a pre-heated pan until browned, to get it just so tasty and chewy. When I've smoked halloumi in the past, the smoking cooks it, but hasn't got the texture right. So this time, I took a large piece of halloumi (225g cypressa), and cut it in half. One half went in the (stove-top) smoker sliced and the other went in whole. I smoked it for about 10 minutes with 2 spoonfuls of hickory chips.
When it came out it looked like this:
The large piece seemed to have a different look to the sliced pieces.
At this point, I tried the pre-sliced halloumi, and I don't know what I did differently, but it was already very nice. Maybe I'd just got the timing right for the quantity of material in the smoker; the guidelines seem to suggest about 25 minutes for 500g, so perhaps I'd just overdone it in the past.
Slicing open the large block of H, I was delighted to find it as I expected: a lovely coating of smokyness, which permeated the flavour, edible, but still really uncooked in the middle. So I got a frying pan going, and threw a couple of slices in. I also put in the pre-sliced H, just for comparison.
They both cooked nicely, the coated H gaining it's usual patchy brown pattern, and the pre-sliced H going an even darker colour.
The end result is that briefly smoking the whole block of H and then pan frying it as per usual just adds the lovely delicate smokiness without being overpowering or too different to how it should be. But actually, I think I've finally got the balance right for smoking it pre-sliced too, because that was very nice in it's own way.
So in future I think I'll more readily throw whole foods into the smoker, then slice them up and cook them as normal. An extra stage to add for special occasions. I guess experimentation is key. I've probably been over-smoking everything, leading to tough food that tastes like bonfire night.
The problem is that having one indestructible foe for a whole game does not work as a fun game mechanic. What would be good, IMHO, is a rogue-like sand-box cityscape, with you as the terminator, tele-porting back to 1984 and being charged with the assination of: [insert name here].
That's pretty much it. All you know is a name, and you've got a whole city to explore. You could just kill everyone, you're bound to get the right person eventually. Track down your target - unlike Hitman, they'll probably be entirely unguarded - and kill them with one shot. A lot of rogue-likes aim for spectacular failure. What about one where you're almost guaranteed to win, but the time loop paradox succeeding generates means you just get sent back to the start? See, it even makes sense.
The City and its inhabitants are randomised, as are the stats of the soldier sent back from the future to stop you. He'll fail of course; he's only human. But he might give you a run for your money, provoking you into epic car chases, fire-fights with increasingly desperate authorities, fun, emergent gameplay that's all ripped off GTA. The Kyle Reese character exists only to put the challenge in, to be the spanner in your works, that leads to all sorts of madcap schemes. And if he gets the target on the back of a motorbike and rides off into the night, how will you find him? With detective skills and by any means necessary.
I think this has got legs. Anyone fancy making it?
A critic's real job is to accurately review cultural artefacts. But past a certain point, this doesn't just mean saying whether they're good or not, but having an insightful dissection of the material. Quality judgements - 'buyer beware' type things, essentially - only seem to be needed in mass media, where works of art might actually utterly fail to say what an artist or team of artists intended. For a review to work effectively, both the reader and writer must have already had the experience.
So picture this: Empire magazine having two review sections: one assessing this month's releases, in terms of how affecting they are and whether you (depending on who you are) should go and see them; and the other literally reviewing last months releases, for a full on, spoiler packed, critical debate for the informed reader who wants extra mileage out of the film they've invested the time in. Then imagine that replicated in whatever strand of culture you're into. What do you think?
ICOE is now available on CD.
I've still got ludicrously self-indulgent 'making of' blog posts coming, or maybe i'll just save them for the pub, monologuing to your bored face about what it all means and how hard it was to make. But before I do that, there's an important annoucement:
I printed off 50 copies of this myself, assembled them, did the cover with laurence and ed. There are now 25 left, 10 of which are already allocated for people I know about (i.e. friends, family, and me).
That leaves 15 for people to ask me for.
I don't know how I gave away 25 already. I know some of the first half of the batch went to people leaving school as a going away/stay in touch thing. I could in theory burn off more, but I'm loathe to go through the process again. I'm not gigging at the moment so there doesn't seem much point in getting 250 or so printed to lie around the flat forever.
If you want a real, official copy of the album that looks lovely, ask me for one now.
The crux of this, is the upgrade has reduced functionality, as it sometimes does. I'm not happy about it.
Mp3s have lost something compared to minidiscs. And I suppose I'm thinking of this as an archive format. MDs were the high point for me, I think. MDs were fluid in a way that virtual (in the as opposed to tangible) media aren't.
The advantages of MDs were numerous; encased in a cartridge, they were sturdy and kept the data away from grubby fingers, a move abandoned for god knows why when DVDs came out, which were very expensive and needlessly fragile. They were better than tapes because they were better quality. They were better than CDs because they were smaller, and instantly writable. And as I look back back, they're better than mp3s because they're instantly editable.
It seems like you've got a lot of control over mp3s, and in certain areas you have; shove them on the Internet, move them around your computer, edit their metadata, stock your entire music collection on your walkman, all great. But I'm someone who records audio from a variety of sources, not just CDs. I rip vinyl and listen to it on the move, because it sounds better. I record broadcasts and concerts. Do you know how hard this is with mp3s?
The one button that makes MDs better than mp3s is 'track mark'. Recording audio into a computer is easy enough, it's what you do with it then, the software, that's the trouble. I can't just take an mp3 of a performance, and just split it up into its constituent parts; I have I cut and paste it into several windows of audacity or whatever, then render each one to a separate file, then edit the metadata of each one. On MDs it was as simple as pressing 'track mark'. Even without a keyboard, md players seemed so much more user friendly, even before you take into account what they crammed into a device the size of a phone; line in and out, mic in, headphone out, optical in and out. Whatever you were recording or editing was a cinch. Give me a solid state mp3 player/recorder with the same controls and connectivity, plus a USB out (instead of eject, I suppose), and I'd be a happy nerd.
And we all think, aha mark, doesn't John Carter prove your theory wrong? That's the biggest disaster in film history? And he of course can reply, no, he put that caveat about not having a big name draw attached, so the theory holds.
Except, it doesn't have to. Despite the huge news stories that bounced around the mainstream news for days after its opening week, carter in fact made its money back. It says so on the wiki; currently at cost $250M, took $280M. Not much of a profit, but definitely not a loss.
Where was the retraction? When did the media come crawling back to tell us that story they'd sold us was a lie based on insufficient data? A prejudice? That they'd ignored international box offices - apparently, it was a big hit in the former communist CIS, making you wonder about those theories about the 50s 'red menace' - which is exactly the sort of argument dr K makes for a big film never losing money. Rather than being dismissed by Carter, he's been entirely vindicated.
And while the success or failure of a film is trivial, I'm sick of the media over-hyping controversy and then ignoring the more sensible follow up. Exactly like the mmr-autism swindle, and every other case of sensationalistic reporting ignoring the facts for a narrative.