Monday, December 07, 2009

a copyright xmas present for me

Remember that time when a bunch of companies started screaming about copyright infringement and how they were being "victimized" by kids who download music and then go buy the album and tell all their friends about it?

Funniest thing, when they made a whole bunch of albums going back to the 1980's, the music companies failed to pay the COPYRIGHT FEES on the music they used. I have a warm fuzzy feeling right now. It's not just the deeply satisfying "I told you so" ringing in my head, it's the warm glow that comes from artists standing up to music companies.

These gateway companies must become a thing of the past. They don't collaborate, they don't create art, they don't support artists and their entire business model is based on theft and lies.

Anyway, the thing that makes this interesting is that it's not just an isolated case of a few artists and it's not likely the companies will just tie it up in court. It's a class action suit and the artists are suing for 6 Billion dollars. The companies have actually admitted they owe 50 Million dollars already. Oh warm glow...

Oh please please please don't settle, let the case continue and dear beings who make the holidays bearable for people like me who don't get festive, please please please make sure every name of every executive of every company who wants to sell bootlegged tracks be published in the papers with great big photos.

happy holidays ;)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

a balm

I'm sick today, but reading this piece by Lynn Crosbie made me fee immensely better.

Letterman, Polanski, and other icky celebrity news

Saturday, September 12, 2009

so many penetrations in one mashup...

Oh thank you Mashable for bringing this to me...



Okay, I don't even know where to begin with this one, so I'll start with what feels right: in my world, DP doesn't stand for 'digital protection'. It stands for two large, thick, smooth, sweaty meat-sticks in one tight, wet orifice at once. Hilarity and money shots ensue.

So if you're an anti-piracy sponsor, maybe you wanna go less with the ripped-shirt, wench-ravishing type of pirate to come down on. So to speak. Otherwise your message will get lost in the endless cycle of penetrating the market and the withdrawing from your customers only to once more plunge your next products deep into the tight, eager openings of your all too frantic, desperate consumers.

Particularly when it's all too easy to envision a top-level executive, not-very-artistic type sticking one in the artist and another in the consumer at the same time. Too right on the money?

It always gets dirty with me.

Next, bear in mind that when you make something that looks like a Mashup or 'remix', it could give off the impression that you're okay with people using your content in order to make mashups. Keep it clear folks. Also, you're not good at it, nor are the people you hired to do it. This makes your argument not only r-rated, but hilarious. We can't take you seriously with DP The Barely Mixed Mashup as your spokesperson.

The rapper featured in the middle only serves to reinforce my main belief about pirating artworks: artists do not suffer from expanding their audience. I share music with friends and when I first learned about lots of the artists I'm into, I was shown their work. For free. By passionate, enthusiastic, even zealous people who's mission is to promote artists and their work. For free. You're welcome.

You're misrepresenting artists in this way as well, and that I find far more personally offensive than full-on double-anal, double-vaginal, double-oral christmas turkey gonzo porn. The artists I know and care about never lose their careers over having their work shared. They never get careers because archaic gateway music companies don't care about anything unless it's saleable at the outset, which means pop music owned and controlled by them instead of original, creative works that only garner a small but committed audience. Jazz musicians are only famous to other jazz musicians and they are usually delighted when you meet them after a show and tell them about the person who made you listen to their cd.

Finally, a kid saying oops when mom springs into action on the swat team? All hail mom, first of all. You give them what for with that wooden spoon. It's not like a gross mis-representation of women and the police will harm your credibility by putting that in a video. As for the kid? She'll soon be in college with a Kindle and find herself explaining to her prof why her coursepacks disappeared because Amazon can't keep their heads on straight. The other kids who shared information from torrent sites will all be prepared for higher-learning and passing on great works to even more people.

Don't worry though; the CDI college ad you put in the middle of the video can show her how to build her skills towards a career, and we all know in this day and age how likely it is for an artist with a technical certificate to get lucrative contracts and even full-time job offers. If it were me, I'd totally rock my programming skills hardcore to be a low-level tech-support IT person in a dilbert-scented office building instead of getting famous for my music, book and video mashups while I dj on the side. No question dude!

Oh Software and Information Industry Association. Even you must have a person with at least 5 out of 10 people skills who could look at this video and suggest you don't release it because you're only going to get pantsed and pointed at by the kids who actually know how to use the Software and Information from your Industry.

Until you figure it out too, stick with single-penetration. Get the basics down first before it's Christmas Turkey gonzo time.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Let it be hereby witnessed

All three writers in my home, on this day, did finish our novels within 3 days as proscribed by the terms of the contest. Hail Hunter, Callaghan and Vyse, for we have written each of us a novel in 3 days!

A word to writing supporters

Are you a fabulous, loud, bitchy, quiet, loving, caring, despondent, huffy, huggy friend/lifepartner/caregiver to a wild-eyed writer who has ill-advisedly decided to attempt an entire novel in 72 hours? Here are a few tips to keep your well-watered but groggy and frantic writer on track:

Do occasionally ask how things are going and keep all cups filled, be they water glasses, wine tumblers, coffee buckets or whiskey bowls. Not filled to the brim, to avoid spillage, but never less than halfway full.

Don't ask for a whole synopsis thus far. It will only kill whatever just seemed to get done and the setback is bad enough when there are months to write a novel, infinitely worse when there are just three days.

Do tidy up a bit, get some laundry done, throw some sawdust on the floor, lick the windows clean and bother the neighbours for cups of sugar. Keep the general running of the house going while the writer is immersed in conquering heroes and destroying the lives of very nice people who have only just now come into existence on the page.

Don't try to be an integral part of the writing process. Those people who get thanked on the liner notes of albums were tea-bringers who kept their mouths shut. And what's more they were proud of it!

Do have more than one back-up take away menu in case the Indian restaurant up the street all of a sudden refuses to deliver just because one time they got a call for fresh goat at 4am in the middle of January which the writer then refused to pay for on the grounds that drinking and ordering take out is to be expected any time, but going to the bank machine to get money out to pay for the take-out at 4am is a wholly unreasonable request. Especially in January.

Don't offer to come by for moral support, show up to the writing room ready to open a bottle of red wine, pick up the NASA-designed corkscrew of the head writer, hold it out to her and say, "this is stupid". Unless you have tendencies toward self-harm, all things in the home of the head writer are awesome, especially the NASA-designed corkscrew. Open the bottle and sit down quietly.

Do bring something else to do with your time. Writing isn't an entertaining venture for anyone but the writer, so sitting around watching someone write will for you, feel like watching the Matrix from the point of view of the people on the ship. Whole worlds are being created out of bits of bones and breezeblocks, but all you'll see is several very stressed people frowning and occasionally shrieking at their laptops. Bring a few DVDs, maybe some sudoku games, or better yet, groceries. Writers love it when you occupy your spare time cooking for them.

Don't expect to do this type of thing more than once a year. If you're stressed out by the crying, drinking, howling, snorting, table shaking, door-kicking, glass throwing, loud music, and back-breaking naps where your beloved writer makes wheezing, chugging sounds that remind you of a broken radiator, imagine how stressed the writer is.

Do be ready with big hugs and chocolate covered flowers for your writer when the novel is done and the only thing left to do is lower the laptop gently into a bathtub filled with hot, foamy suds as the filthy, bloodied writer tearfully promises to get an accounting certificate and never ever do anything like this again. Promise to destroy the hated manuscript, tuck your writer into bed and hide the laptop until the next day when blood sugar levels are once again at a point where the writer can think clearly.

Novel HO!

Day The Third

This is the home stretch. Last night our hero narrowly escaped lots of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the last two scenes are crystalizing as we speak.

A very annoyed reptile was kept up until a truly late hour when finally all scribblers, onlookers, psychic cheerleaders and invoked, then discarded gods were unceremoniously ousted from the circle of creation so we could all get some shut eye.

Everything is rushed this morning. Leap out of bed, leap into shower, slather products from random bottles onto hair and body. Shake dry. Frenetic ballet in kitchen as veggies are chopped for bored and pissy reptile, egg fries while dishes tossed willy nilly into dishwasher. Coffee. Grinder sounds like reverse thrust of 747 Jet. Toast bell sounds like alarm from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.

Chew too quickly, bite lip, wipe away small drip of blood. Fling iguana food into cage, throw breakfast plate into dishwasher, fling body into chair in front of laptop.

Work tomorrow is going to be a boring, tiring grind.

Novel Ho.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Day The Second

Partner and I did amazing work yesterday, but suck at high-fives. We agree now to stick to chest bumps only. It's 8:45 and we finally broke for sleep last night fairly early. Coffee brewing, hope someone brings croissants. Iguana is supremely annoyed that so many people are in her home and refuse to leave. Her bowl is full of lovely greens, her heart is full of cold-blooded indigance. Aw.

Back to the marathon. Must eke out at least the next two scenes before Act II can fully develop. Partner will be here by then hopefully. Timing is not my strong suit, but then, nothing really is.

Tired, sore, need to do laundry, yawning, stomach rumbly and generally out of sorts. This is going to make National Novel Writing Month seem like a soft summer breeze.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Morning of Day 1

Last night partner and I rocked the character intros and are well into the marathon. Then interruptions for silly socialization and sleep. Who comes over to discuss farming and provincial taxes at 3am?

Partner is getting cream for coffee, croissants and fruit salad while I shower and feed restless iguana. Act I and start of Act II by supper yo!

Friday, September 04, 2009

4 hours out

iMac is in the office, lizard is trying to sleep and giving off restless annoyed vibes. left wrist brace is in front of my keyboard, house mostly tidy, water on boil for carby delicious pesto pasta. Best if served with bits of fresh apricot.

6 bottles of red, one a cheeky pinot from down under and a california that tastes like christmas. fake plants moved, outline ready, word loaded on pc laptop, word for mac loaded on iMac. Every episode of Blacks Books, The Big Bang Theory, Kath and Kim AU, Kath and Kim US ready for procrastination and solving writer's block direct from 1TB harddrive. I should have done more research. No time now.

Appropriate sigils chalked on basement floor, rhodes and amp covered to avoid spiritual splatter. Spices mixed in shaker, partner on way with blender for fruity goodness tequila drinks. Rubber aprons, gas masks and nosegays ready. Stereo set up in every room including bathroom.

Bad Plus loaded on mp3 player and other harddrive in living room. Donny McCaslin and Vanessa Rodriguez on laptop player.

Pasta boiling, partner on the way.

Now we wait.

novel marathon checklist

At 12:01 am, a scant 16 hours and 46 minutes from now, I hole myself up to get a laptop tan and wreck my wrist and arm tendons with 3 days of typing, glass lifting and hair pulling.

Am I ready?

Idea, check. Outline, check. Main characters, check. Red wine, check. White wine, nearly out need more. Iguana food, check. Research materials, check. Coffee, need more. Black teas, check. Candles to burn and invoking the gods of tenacity and sheer luck, check. Black slate altar for ritual slaughter of unsuspecting goat when all else fails and writers block can only be lifted by hailing the gods of chaos in a fury of entrails, check - move to middle of basement nearer drain than last time.

Spit roast drill attachment - thank you Jamie, great idea - for celebratory meal after writer's block vanquished. Mint sauce and chipotle peppers, check.

checklist to check against when right side of brain rears it's ugly head and insists that sleeping the entire weekend just isn't going to happen, check.

Pencils, paper....oh no

Thursday, September 03, 2009

prayer of the marathon novelist

Hail all muses and inspirons who watch the weft and warp of stories.

Hi.

This weekend, as I slog through the wet, gooey mess encased in bone that keeps my stories fresh and green, let not my body fuse with the upholstery in my chair like that lady who was surgically removed from her couch.

May my plots be thick and glossy, may my dialogue be rhythmic and strong. Keep annoyances and interruptors from my door when I have a flow going, and send inspiration when I don't.

Extend for just this weekend, the opening hours of my local wine shop and keep the panic from me at 4 am when dawn arrives and I'm not even close to how far I want to be.

May the power stay on, may our laptops stay lit. May the music flow freely and no telemarketers disrupt my progress.

For the next three days.

Amen.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

3 day novel 09

This weekend I'll be writing a novel in just 72 hours with several like-minded fiends. Other writers will take over my delightful home, fill every room with a laptop and we'll get down on paper a short novel with sleep, hunger and sobriety standing as obstacles to be bested by our sheer temerity.

Come one come all and watch the least sportive, least active, yet most invigorating of the fall competitive season! Novel HO!

Monday, August 10, 2009

not quite a floating party...

This year's WorldCon was held in Montreal, city of odd bureaucracies, French street signs, odd little restos and incomparable local je ne sais quoi. With little else to report on a Friday evening, the CBC decided to point out on the evening news that some of the parties being held on two floors of the Delta Hotel. This is not a particularly interesting or even noteworthy event given the destruction and cleaning bills from the prom season. In addition, it is well-known that few people watch the evening news on a Friday, and even fewer people in Quebec, who speak French, both to watch the English evening news on the CBC.

Nevertheless, the good people at the Delta Hotel decided that based on this potential avalanche of rowdy hoodlums poised to descend on their rooms with the partygoers at the World Science Fiction Convention, who are so merciless, so supremely debauched when their energies are not carefully channeled through panel discussions and author readings that the top of the hotel - we were after all on the 28th floor - would detach from the rest of the building and go on a marauding adventure for more drinks and buffet treats.

Since I was at the Irish/UK party who's theme orbited the most recent installment of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, this seemed a not unlikely event. However first, I had to get there. After a dizzying elevator ride that was carefully managed by Delta staff and WorldCon volunteers since obviously pilots, vacationers and conference attendees couldn't possibly assemble themselves on different floors via six elevators alone, I arrived at the 28th floor of a hotel that appeared more than equipped to deal with whatever debauchery would be meted out by us. I did worse to a tiny hotel in Niagara on a wine-tasting tour with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. This would be a dawdle.

For this and other reasons, I awaited my writing partner from eight o'clock until about twelve thirty, at which point I lost track of just exactly who was there and had been for how long. The thing is, the brits know how to party. You could be in a room of wine enthusiasts, university professors, football fans, whatever it is, if you find someone from across the pond, you won't get steered wrong. In my case, the Irish/UK party meant interesting conversation with lots of people, food, the horrors of Disney and the cynical genius of Dylan Moran.

Of course I'm biased, but not just because of my lineage. The thing is, there was a glass of single malt scotch in my hand most of the night, aged at twelve years minimum. I got to discuss that when someone assumed I was american and tried to tell me not to shoot the whiskey in front of me. It helped that the discussion in which I got to tell him about the 18 year old scotches I keep at home was held just below a large blue tardis.

Thanks to everyone who kept me fed and watered until about 3:30, except for that weird French publisher who I'm sure thought was being charming but actually creeped the hell out of me by running his fingers through my hair and on my neck incessantly and without warning. If you're reading this, know that when a Canadian woman tells you how much you look like her gay best friend, pause and consider if it's because she's picturing something already large and slowly, mercilessly expanding in your rectal cavity. If that's what she's picturing, you're probably being a complete prick and you should stop.

Even more thanks to the amazing guys that put up with the ridiculous hotel staff who fucked up the elevators, locked the doors - putting me in the position of being trapped in a room with loud music and scotch - reopened the doors and generally made our evening that much more eventful. You couldn't pay for that kind of entertainment. And much thanks for the towel.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The type of thing I'm all aboot

Every so often, someone comes along and kicks the sorry ass of a culture obsessed with impossible beauty standards and required sexuality of celebrities and celebrity hopefulls. Today it's Susan Boyle and I have no more eloquent way to describe what I love about out than to simply show her in form. The title is a link to the video. Just look at the audience and judges. Eat it kids, this babe rocks!