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Week 31

January 18, 2012
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Support the SOPA blackout, yes, but am Canadian, so keep on, I guess. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for Canada if SOPA passed though, as a mighty exodus of tech might happen, leading to a digital prohibition era level of bootlegging the web. Piracy has always been a point of contention that borders cannot solve. We know that the majority of downloading piracy happens outside of the US for the expressed purposes of foreign languages. The bulk of streaming, on the other hand, is for English speakers. From what I understand, the bulk of servers are in smaller European countries anyway. Skype is in Luxembourg.

Microsoft talked about it, but maybe it’s time for Google to make an off-shore independent island and nation.

Then there’s other problems, like release dates. Sherlock Series 2 is done in Britain and North America has to wait until May. Movies premiere in Hong Kong a month or more before North America. Why? The world is smaller and timing matters.

This is the week that I finally lose patience with my iPad keyboard, which stops fucking noticing the iPod is sitting on top of it. It’s currently prostrate on my desk and acting up as if I were dangling it like a toddler out of a window. I’ve got to find a replacement and find it soon, because I like writing on my iPad. I find the features so restrictive I have no choice but to write and write fast, ignoring all formatting, details and etc.

Restrictions in a very clear way help to move things along, just like discomfort precipitates action.

READING

I just finished AUDITION by Ryu Murakami. I breezed through it this afternoon. The prose is sparse and the detail on par with a screenplay. I’ve missed the movie for years, it was usually out of stock at the video store and I’d never heard enough of it to warrant buying or borrowing, but knowing now what I know about Takashi Miike, I am looking forward to it.

The prose being as sparse as it is though, like the BRICK novella, you get the feeling that they wrote the story to attract a film interest. The book being a means to an end is an interesting to way look at it, just like how everything else we do these days is a dash on our resume for something else. The risk, of course, is writing a bad book, but you could just as easily write a bad screenplay or record awful music or draw poorly.

I finished the Carl Banks collection, DONALD DUCK – LOST IN THE ANDES and it was delightful in every way. The gags were funny and the art was clean and the new colouring outstanding. Reading it really opened up some new sensibilities that Dark Horse and other reprints will let me explore another time. Until then, I’ve got INFINITE KUNG-FU and a pile of other things to read.

I’ve continued plodding through AND HERE’S THE KICKER, which I love. The Dick Cavett interview made me keep brevity in mind. Todd Hanson explains that The Onion works in pitching Headlines first, selection the 6-8 from a list of a hundred, discarding the rest and then writing the articles (which explains why the headlines are usually the funniest part, but still). Robert Smigel talks about being subversive in mainstream setting (in a sweater, he says), where Bob Odenkirk doesn’t want you in the audience if you don’t get it.

WATCHING

The new FRIGHT NIGHT was fun. Turns out I did miss Colin Farrell after not seeing him outside of IN BRUGES for a little while. I also watched MYSTERY TEAM, the Derrick Comedy movie. It was funny in that it played it completely straight and stuck to it’s core thesis. It was definitely Donald Glover heavy, but that could have happened for any number of reasons.

I’ve also enjoyed another episode of FRY’S PLANET WORD, where Stephen Fry travels the world and examines the origins, context and content of language. The fifth episode goes into storytelling and argues, irrelevantly, that Shakespeare is the finest example of which that has ever existed. It’s always pleasant to see Stephen walk around the world and talk about things of which he is passionate about, but this series especially comes off as a fun watch.

The SHERLOCK series 2 is stuck under my craw at the moment. 10.5 million people watched the premiere on January 1, plus whatever the BBC iPlayer pulled. The DVD comes out the 25th, or so. And North America doesn’t get it until May, leaving pirates enough time to make it so available that one could trip over it. Not to mention the spoilers.

I’ve got to wonder exactly what the deal is from Showtime, compared to what could be done now. Showtime gets second window viewing, three months after the fact so the BBC can run it, what, two, three times? And if you pull a FIRST viewing at 10.5 million, what could the damage be of putting it on iTunes at 2 bucks a pop and waiting for it. Hell, put it up the second it starts airing. Worldwide release, available at a price.

Even if that doesn’t make fiscal sense right now, it will in a few years. And then we begin to see the decline of the network system.

LISTENING

Rdio seems to insist that Adele is similar to The Black Keys. Other than that, it seems to be a mistake to listen to the Rolling Stone and David Bowie, as that opens up a cornicopia of shit that I never want to hear being recommended to me with great regularity.

That said, the amount of rare and bizarre things that keep popping up is making me pleased. The Damned doing Lust For Life. The Buff Medways. EPs and otherwise. I look forward to digging deeper.

WORKING

Plans are beginning to shift monumentally, as I begin sectioning off my year. It’s be nice to start seeing some pages, as I start worrying about Specs and Originals once again. The package has to come together by May and the decision stands between NEW GIRL (picked up) and COMMUNITY (questionable fate at the moment) and PARKS AND REC. Then the dramatic choice between WHISKEYTOWN and THE RIGHT STUFF must be made to balance out the package.

CHARLEMAGNE, as it is, causes me such resistance that I should put it aside with the draft that I have and come back to it when I actually can make some distance with it.

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