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Well, rot my socks [Jul. 18th, 2010|09:22 pm]
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[Current Mood |drunkdrunk]

I write like
Nick Mamatas

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

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Gmail warning [May. 9th, 2010|11:56 am]
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[Current Mood |uncomfortableuncomfortable]

If you use Gmail for anything non-trivial, this may be the time to think again and switch to some other service, since there are indications that Gmail has some kind of bug or backdoor which may allow your account to be hijacked.
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(no subject) [Apr. 6th, 2009|01:49 pm]
I like that meme which goes, "here's a list of books, bold the ones you've read and strike through the ones you dislike".

This one is from Paul McAuley; his personal list of essential science fiction.

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus MARY SHELLEY 1818
Journey to the Centre of the Earth JULES VERNE 1863
After London RICHARD JEFFRIES 1885
The Time Machine HG WELLS 1895
The House on the Borderland WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON 1912

Brave New World ALDOUS HUXLEY 1932
Star Maker OLAF STAPLEDON 1937
I, Robot, ISAAC ASIMOV 1950
The Martian Chronicles RAY BRADBURY 1950
The Dying Earth JACK VANCE 1950
Childhood’s End ARTHUR C CLARKE 1953
The Space Merchants CM KORNBLUTH & FREDERIK POHL 1953
Tiger! Tiger! ALFRED BESTER 1956
The Death of Grass JOHN CHRISTOPHER 1956
The Seedling Stars JAMES BLISH 1957
The Midwich Cuckoos JOHN WYNDHAM 1957
Starship Troopers ROBERT A HEINLEIN 1959
A Canticle for Liebowitz WALTER M MILLER JR 1959

Solaris STANSLAW LEM 1961
Hothouse BRIAN ALDISS 1962
A Clockwork Orange ANTONY BURGESS 1962
Cat’s Cradle KURT VONNEGUT JR 1963
Martian Time-Slip PHILIP K DICK 1964
The Crystal World JG BALLARD 1966
Flowers For Algernon DANIEL KEYES 1966
Lord of Light ROGER ZELAZNY 1967

The Left Hand of Darkness URSULA K LE GUIN 1969

The Fifth Head of Cerberus GENE WOLFE 1972
Ten Thousand Light Years From Home JAMES TIPTREE JR 1973
The Forever War JOE HALDEMAN 1974
Inverted World CHRISTOPHER PRIEST 1974

The Female Man JOANNA RUSS 1975
Arslan MJ ENGH 1976
The Ophiuchi Hotline JOHN VARLEY 1977
The Final Programme MICHAEL MOORCOCK 1968

Engine Summer JOHN CROWLEY 1979
Timescape GREGORY BENFORD 1980
Neuromancer WILLIAM GIBSON 1984

Divine Endurance GWYNETH JONES 1984

I don't have any objections to the missing ones; I just don't read many books nowadays... just ebooks, due to an impending (for the last year!) long-distance move. I have to say I'm not keen on Lem, but according to Polish friends the English translations lose some characteristic humour.
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English as she is wrote [Mar. 30th, 2009|04:30 pm]
I was considering the two phrases, "walking distance of" and "walking distance from", both of which I've seen used. The "of" version is what I'd consider more correct, and I wondered how common the other was after seeing it in an LJ bemoaning poor English (no, really).

Google has the answer (or at least a pointer):

"Walking distance of" (4,410,000 results)

"Walking distance from" (3,540,000 results)
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(no subject) [Oct. 9th, 2008|02:01 pm]
Aleister Crowley said he could make himself invisible, and claimed to have walked around a town once in a red robe and golden crown, unnoticed by anyone.1

"Oh Lord, old fellow, it's that bounder Crowley! Good heavens, is that a bath-robe he's dressed in? Heavens no, just ignore him or we'll be here all day."

1. Obituary, TIME magazine, Dec. 15, 1947
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Dursprung [Jan. 8th, 2008|07:53 pm]
Dursprung is a self-facilitating media node who opts to refer to himself in the third person, as this aptly symbolizes his alienation from the so-called ‘mainstream’.

Dursprung has recorded innumerable albums under the alias of Wankshaft. Despite a strong interest in dicks and pricks, he opted to study the humanities, taking a first in Applied Analism from Cambridge University in England. As well as making disharmonious and distressing noises under his own name for records, film, and car alarm manufacturers, Dursprung contributes regularly on cultural topics and other forms of intellectual masturbation to magazines like Vox, Dix, Slobgobble, Necropolis, Twat, !, and OMGWTF, most of which are returned to him in due course.

Dursprung held his first one-man event in 2000, an installation called “Wank Me Senseless” at the Teddy Roosevelt VA Hall in Peoria, Illinois, which employed salvaged window display mannequins and recycled sexual prosthetics to make a scathing comment on the mundane world’s failure to accept alternative sexualities. He followed this in 2001 with “Crank My Handle”, a commission from Ed’s Discount Grocery in Vandalia, which was unfortunately shut down by the fascistic myrmidons of the Vandalia Police Department.

In 2002 Dursprung discovered the Furry Fandom and was inspired to create his groundbreaking installation entitled “Fur is Murder” which can still be experienced at the Arthur Wang Gallery in Himmler Creek, Montana.

Dursprung’s appearance at the the Buffalo County Jail in 2003, where he deployed an improvised installation entitled “I AM INNOCENT, LET ME OUT OF HERE” garnered rave reviews in the Monadnock Shopper News, which described his ingenious use of nudity and a strategically placed Idaho potato as “terrifying.... frightening.... the true face of postmodernism”.

Dursprung currently lives in Barrister, Texlahoma, where he is an associate at a local Kinko’s, and spends several hours each day facilitating informational and memetic exchange via the mediating agency of the Internet with likeminded people in locales as far-flung as Japan and New Jersey.

mood: pensive
music: Laibach - Drzava

Dursprung has come to believe that the most perfect kind of government would be a mechanized fascist state devoted to the survival and expansion of humanity through technological and technical progress, with a healthy disregard for any natural, moral, or physical boundaries that stand in its way.

Snappy uniforms would naturally be a given. Black uniforms, with gleaming chromeplated insignia composed of mythic runes reimagined for this brave new world. These inspiring garments would of necessity be tailored to emphasize the fact that we are above the mundane world and somehow symbolize our otherness, our apartness if you will. The corresponding footgear would consist of high black boots - the total blackness of deep space - polished to a stunning mirrorlike sheen. Members of all genders would wear identical uniforms, their “rank” or “standing” being indicated by discreet and tasteful insignia.

Dursprung knows that he will be labelled a ‘fascist’ by the unimaginative hoi-polloi, but cares not. Just imagine those glorious boots!

"Fur Is Murder" (Multimedia Installation, London, 2005)

The fur-covered animatronic suits twitch and move in a ghastly parody of life, their slackly hinged jaws lolling open to disclose that their occupants are no more than rotten bones. Attached to the suits are elaborate and fanciful phalluses made from dayglo-painted fibreglass that waggle obscenely while concealed speakers supply a soundtrack of unsettling nonsense words like "yiff" and "meep" chanted over and over by what sounds like a school choir. Progressing into the second room we find a movie theater in miniature where the slumped and dead-looking patrons barely visible by the light of the screen are watching a montage of classic Warner Brothers animations with the soundtrack replaced that of a 1970s pornographic movie.

...utilizes the images and tropes of the so-called "furry" fandom to illuminate the fathomless void that lies beneath our metaphysical feet. Dursprung is telling us that we are ALL animals...
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Basic Training, or, Sergeant James Instructs [Dec. 25th, 2007|12:23 pm]
"Now this," said Sergeant James, "Is what we likes to call a fourth order Solomonic manifestation, or if you was a scholar, you might want to call it an afrit. Very common sort of thing, this. If I were to tell you all about our bothers with them in Palestine we would be here all day and no mistake. You will note the spidery limbs and the black what you might call hair just like the engraving in your Guide. And yes, Mr Blake, 'is eyes is indeed particular red and fiery. Just you don't look direct in 'em and you'll be fine.

"No need to be scared, Mr Mather. You will notice the horrid little thing has a collar, castiron, demons for the control of fitted, so he can't do you young gentlemen no harm. Well, no real harm. Yes sir, the non-military types would call it a demon, but we are pleased to be in Her Majesty's forces so we will refer to it a fourth order manifestation of the Solomonic variety as laid down in regulations if you don't mind. Sir.

"Now then, who wants to be first? Come now, you young gentlemen is to be officers, where's your marital spirit? Yes, I meant martial, Mr Firth, thank you very much. You'll be up against far worse than this poor little fellow if you ever become officers. This is strictly a tuppeny-ha'penny manifestation, on account of we don't want to lose none of you gentlemen so soon in your training. Mr Blake, you seem keen to get to grips, so if you'd be so kind...

"That's the style, step in the pentacle and keep yourself at the ready while Corporal Hawkins looses 'im, then just you give it to 'im like he stole your beer or made eyes at your lady friend. Oh, well done, sir! Lay it on with a will, sir, he ain't a living thing so it don't count as cruelty. Yes, Mr Mather, treat a dog like that and you'd be up in front of the magistrate but this is no dog, sir. Oh my heavens, no. Just you ignore that whining, it don't signify nothing.

"Well done, Mr Blake! You're sure you ain't done this before? Really, sir? Yes, you is a natural, sir. Careful with that damned thing, Hawkins, or I'll have you up on a charge! Oh for f___'s sake - pardon my French - don't you scuff them runes or I swear to G__ I'll -

"Now you, Mr Mather, don't be shy, he can't hurt you much, being as he is barely real. Yes, yes, them is what you might call claws but I seen worse on the mess room cat. Are you set? Good, good. Do it, Hawkins, loose the b____r.

"Oh now, sir, what did I just say about not lookin' 'im in the eyes? Oh, dear me. Ugh! Put a handkerchief round that someone, that blood is a b____r to get out of the linoleum. Hawkins! Give 'im the wand, Hawkins, filthy little manifestation. No sir, that won't leave hardly no scar and nobody really needs their little finger any'ow. Off you go to the sickbay right away. Tell 'em no need to cauterize, just a Solomonic on a bad day.

"Now I hope you other young gentlemen ain't discouraged none. Mr Firth, would you -? Good show, sir, that's the spirit. Give 'im hell, show 'im who's in charge. Maybe not quite so - well, no mind, sir, plenty more where that came from. We just don't expect you young gentlemen to banish 'em by hand, is all.

"And that is all for today. Don't forget to enter this in your logbooks. Tomorrow we shall proceed to manifestations of the third order, we have some particularly vile leshi for your instruction. Nasty little b______s they is and I shall expect you to really give it to 'em. Bless you sir, yes, of course leshis is Russian. Don't nobody even look in their grimoires nowadays?
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Portal Of Evil [Sep. 3rd, 2007|06:15 pm]
Portal of Evil is not to be confused with the much-loved Internet phenomenon, Goatse, whose abused nether region enlivened many a corporate email and put some folk off driving through the Eisenhower Tunnel for life. No, Portal of Evil (or PoE as its fanatically loyal members refer to it) is the self-styled "Yahoo of the weird", where homely college kids, nerds, geeks, former substance abusers, violently inclined midgets, and transsexual Microsoft employees congregate to voice their unabashed opinions of furries, otherkin, religious nuts, and insane people in the site's quaint 90s-style forums. Through the cathartic venting of their negative emotions these humble folk invest themselves with self-respect and develop and grow as online humorists and internet debaters, according to the site's founder and guiding intelligence Kevin T. "Kthor" Jensen, the notorious online humorist and bon vivant who is reported to have once ridden down Pike's Peak inside a burning steamer trunk.

From "An Interview with K. Thor Jensen" (unpublished)

PoE is Jensen's baby, and as he explained to me in his exclusive NYC apartment he could see right from the start that there were people who needed to be mocked on the Internet.

"I could see that someone had to search them out and set them up for the laughs and jeers," he says as I deftly remove his hand from my knee. "You see, the Internet is not for everyone. The Internet is for intelligent young middle class professionals like myself and my friends, hip young metrosexuals who use Apple Macintoshes and understand terms like 'multimedia' and 'paradigm' and 'teabagging' and who aren't afraid to say 'Fuck you'. It is not for dirty white trash AOL users to make webpages about their fleabitten cats and dead babies. And nor is it for filthy perverts in animal suits made of used carpet. That is why we mock these people."

I ask about the members' summer-camp, the famous PoE-Con, where these self-appointed Masters of the Online Universe gather to let down their hair and indulge in bacchanalian excesses that would make Caligula blush, presided over by Chester ("Call me Chet or I kill you") Faliszek, the site's webmaster, dressed in a red latex devil costume and wielding a bullwhip. There are a hundred eye-popping tales of what goes on at PoE-Cons, what with the fireworks, the inflatable grandmothers, the improbable quantities of liquor, and the notoriously willing female members.

"Those rumors are all true," he says with a smile. "The guys and girls all know each other; what could be more natural than to get all down and dirty with a drum of Crisco in an inflatable paddling pool while Chet whips the bejesus out of us? Hey, that isn't recording, is it?"

I put it to Jensen that his world-famous website is no more than a hate site when all's said and done, and that the members seem to display a great deal of homophobia among other more acceptable prejudices, a charge he airily denies.

"Nonsense. The use of the word 'fag' is just a friendly slapdown. Like calling someone a 'mongoloid' or a 'spook'; no more than that."

And what about the furries? The members of the anthropomorphic fandom seem to perceive PoE as being unfavorably disposed towards them.

"Jesus Christ, guy," he blurts out. "Those f***** freaks are jerking off to Tiny Toons porn and having sex dressed up as Clifford the Big Red Dog. Of COURSE we're un-f******-favorably disposed toward them, the sick f***s. Unlike faggots it's totally acceptable to hate dog-f*****s." He smiles winningly. "I hope they all burn in Hell."

External links

Portal of Evil
Portal of Evil News

This piece previously appeared on Uncyclopedia but was rightfully deleted on the grounds that it was forumcruft.
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Captain Corelli's Mandarin: A Review [Jun. 19th, 2007|10:33 pm]
"Captain Corelli's Mandarin" (2001, USA)

The comical misadventures of an Italian merchant skipper and a dignified Chinese potentate who find themselves sharing lodgings in prewar Liverpool. The thunder-faced Warren Clarke is mysteriously unItalian as the Captain, but David Yip furnishes a virtuoso performance as the unnamed Mandarin, suitably enigmatic and closelipped, speaking only to utter a gnomic sayings such as "The man who loves peas loves not life". The irrepresible Lee Evans as George Formby steals the show, despite his role being little more than a cameo; I guarantee you will never look at Formby in the same light after witnessing Evans' sinister ukelele-fondling interpretation.

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40% weird [Jun. 16th, 2007|06:44 pm]
Yes, an LJ meme. I"m so, so sorryCollapse )
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