The ravens are looking a bit sluggish. Tell Malcolm they need new batteries.

Tuesday, February 24


Lost Metaphors

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

William Gibson, Neuromancer

What? Bright blue?

That's what colour my TV is when it's tuned to a dead channel.

I was just watching the start of Chrno Crusade, and the opening credits are old, degraded film stock, with all the blips and streaks and wiggly things you get with old films. Of course, it wasn't really, since Chrno Crusade was made last year; it's a digitally generated effect.

But I wonder, if all you had ever seen was digitally-projected perfection, what you would make of this?

After all, we are already bringing up a generation to whom Y*(*&)@$^%B)#@$)(^F@#%)(T NO CARRIER means nothing. ADSL and cable modems don't do that, and even on dial-up you're more likely to see a friendly pop-up message saying "Windows has detected some sort of problem somewhere".

You don't get the scrunchy, crackly sound of old vinyl records any more. I have about a dozen LPs stashed away... Somewhere. I don't even own a turntable. I still recognise the sound, of course, and a period song from the thirties or forties or fifties with that sound behind it will serve quickly to set the stage for a film or TV show. But how much longer will producers get away with that?

The sound of a shortwave radio that is just barely bringing in a signal?

The sound of a radio being tuned between stations using an analog dial rather than push-buttons?

The clatter of a manual typewriter, the chatter of a high-speed impact printer?

The whirr of a film camera? The mime routine for filming something - one hand curled in front of the eye, peering through; the other hand cranking the film along at a steady 24 frames per second?

The click! of a camera shutter? Did you realise that in some places digital cameras are legally required to produce a click sound? And since they don't do so naturally, they need a small speaker to digitally reproduce the appropriate sound?

Maybe that's the answer. Maybe televisions should generate artificial static when your digital HDTV set-top box conks out. Maybe all mobile phones should be leigislated to go ring ring rather than bip-bip-biddely. After all, no matter what the ring tone is, everyone reaches for their phone.

Maybe electric cars should be programmed to "backfire" every so often, and generate a nice throaty roar when you stomp on the "gas".

And maybe someone should write a program for Windows so that just when you least expect it you suddenly see Y*(*&)@$^%B)#@$)(^F@#%)(T NO CARRIER

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:25 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Rats and Gargoyles

So, if Casaubon's mother hadn't been around to summon the birds to catch and eat the soul-moths of all the people dying of the plague magia that Plessiez had created to attack the Decans and their acolytes, and Zaribeth's sister hadn't arrived to guide the Boat of Night to pick up all those birds and their soul-burdens and take them through the Night Between Days (or whatever it was called) to tomorrow and reincarnation, would they (the souls) have then been sucked into the Night Sun and there suffered the True Death? And what would that have done to the structure of the Universe, already weakened by Spagyrus?

Exactly what role did the University of Crime play in the final outcome of events? How essential was it that Plessiez went back and disrupted the plague magia, aside from placating the Night Court? And the model of the Temple of Salomon that Casaubon and his friends built, that was finally made real by the Decan of the Eleventh Hour - did the pattern it embodied really make a difference?

Or did it all come down to Valentine White Crow, scholar-soldier of the Invisible College, saving Theodoret and finally pursuading Spagyrus not to commit suicide?

Heck, I don't know, and I've read the book.

There are two sequels, or at least books containing the same characters... Some of the same characters... Some characters with the same names. Anyway: Left to His Own Devices and The Architect of Desire. I'm reading those now, and I'll see if they shed any light on earlier events.

Probably not.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:25 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Sunday, February 08


Just Because

Hey, where did we go
Days when the rains came?
Down in the hollow
Playing a new game,
Laughing and a-running, hey, hey,
Skipping and a-jumping
In the misty morning fog with
Our, our hearts a-thumping
And you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.

Whatever happened
To Tuesday and so slow
Going down to the old mine with a
Transistor radio.
Standing in the sunlight laughing
Hide behind a rainbow's wall,
Slipping and a-sliding
All along the waterfall
With you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.

So hard to find my way
Now that I'm all on my own.
I saw you just the other day,
My, how you have grown!
Cast my memory back there, Lord,
Sometime I'm overcome thinking about
Making love in the green grass
Behind the stadium
With you, my brown-eyed girl,
You, my brown-eyed girl.
Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:15 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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