Saturday, March 31, 2001

Added Fredrik Norman's weblog to the norwegian blogs and diaries list. Looks good, so check it out.

The movie is called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), but they all seemed pretty bad and ugly to me. More like "the one who is more ugly than bad, the one who is more bad than ugly, and the one who is both bad and ugly, but is so insanely cool it doesn't matter." I enjoyed the movie, but didn't love it until the end, with the graveyard scene (to some Morricone music I recognized from the latest Metallica album - I'd been wondering where that came from), and the three-way duel. I could stare at closeups of dirty desperados fingering their guns to Morricone music for hours.

Friday, March 30, 2001

Vagina dentata? This invention is too good to be true.

Yay, Blogger is back up, after 16 hours of downtime, which just happened to coincide with my usual blogging schedule. Oh well, it's a free service, can't complain about a little downtime. Even if it wasn't free, I'm not sure I would switch to the competition or make some scripts of my own, I really like it.

Anyway, frustrated by not having anywhere to post my links, (I've forgotten most of them by now), I didn't find anything interesting to write about at Kuro5hin either, (is it I who have changed or is k5 a pale shadow of what it was last year?), so I spent some time on VG's discussion board today, seriously praising Linux for once. It's kind of refreshing to find an online discussion site where everyone doesn't already take Linux's superiority for granted. I'm all for Linux and the Free Software movement really, but I'm so tired of all the ideological sermonizing. Free Software was never really about high ideals or straight&narrow paths, it was about skilled hackers taking the matter into their own hands, solving problems and doing things better, because they could and because they wanted to, and because they were nice people, (which is how a lot of good things get done on the net.) Coders are still doing that of course, but the puritans and the fanatics have taken over the ideological aspect of this movement, like the borg of trolls that has assimilated Slashdot. (Any connection, I wonder?)

Gnuhead as GIF for satirical reasons.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

"I am not a politician or a security person... I am a citizen and I want security."

The mother of an israeli boy whose friends were blown up yesterday. Unlike the 10 month old baby also killed this week, (what kind of fanatical parents intentionally moves to the most dangerous place in Israel?), this happened close to Tel Aviv, and I think the quote summarizes the dilemma on the israeli side. Not everyone in Israel cares about land and religion, (I know one of them), but everyone listens to the cries of mothers who have lost their children.

Btw, Drudge did a Stile yesterday by posting the picture of that dead baby, angering a lot of readers in the process. He defends it by claiming other media present a sanitized version of the conflict when they censore images like this, but, like the pictures from the Qana massacre, this is not the kind of stuff I think you should print in newspapers - or put on the front page of your website without warning. (Consider yourself warned.)

Christian teenage testimonies of how rock'n roll almost ruined their faith. [From buzz.]

"The only difference between 'Christian rock' and secular rock is the words. The beat, rhythm, and the melody are not different; they are the same."
I'm always fascinated by how these people manage to combine perceptive music analysis with complete and total lunacy. It's a bit like the West seen through the eyes of a north-korean textbook, really. If you replace a few terms, ignore 50% of the facts, and invert the good-evil axis, the picture of a culture is often painted better by its enemies than by the people living inside it.

I didn't even know we'd started the qualification for the soccer world championship next year, and now we're out of it already.

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

And it's Christmas day for political pundits everywhere in Norway today: Verdikommisjonen, (The Commision on Values), has released their final report on the ethical aspects of norwegian culture, after nearly 3 years of study and debate among the various intellectuals, academics and regular joes former prime minister Bondevik selected as members. Philosophy by committee, what a great idea! Should I rip apart their meaningless definition of freedom, should I satirize over an ethical committee that concludes years of work with a suggestion to reduce speed limits by 10 km/h, or perhaps I ought to write a lengthy rebuttal to the predictable children vs media essay?

No! I leave that to those newspaper columnists, politicians, and village idiots on Usenet who can read through all this crap without falling asleep. Instead, I'll focus on an issue closer to my heart, one that I feel the Commision on Values, in typical disregard of the Vital Issues of the Day, has brutally stepped on like a used cigarette, thrown away like yesterdays paper, flushed down like .. well, you get the idea. Here it goes: doesn't work with Opera! It keeps reloading itself, over and over again, and when I tell it to stop I can't see more than the first page. To read anything at all I have to press the stop button right before the download is complete, which isn't as easy as it sounds. Somebody haven't bothered to test their website with the Third Browser here.

This is wrong and hypocritical on so many levels. It's anti-norwegian to discriminate against Opera, the culmination of 200 years of norwegian independence and free-thinking, the only thing that ever made me proud of coming from a country that haven't made international-quality pop music since A-Ha. It's arrogant, incompetent and egoistic. It's even oppressive, of us Opera-users as a struggling minority, (and God knows we face enough discrimination every day as it is.) Where are your fancy-schmanzy ethical values now, eh, Langangen and Eidsvåg?! Bet you dropped them on the way out of your expensive limousines!

It goes without saying that mainstream media will ignore this issue, which just proves how far we've yet to come in Opera-Explorer interrelationship issues. A sad day indeed. (What do you mean, "just turn off javascript"?)

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

I saw The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) yesterday, with David Bowie as a weird anemic alien on a mission to earth. It's a very odd, and, let's not deny it, bad movie. In fact it's so bad I wouldn't ordinarily be writing about it all, (I leave movie flaming to the professionals), but astonished by the raves it got at IMDB and Amazon, I feel obligated to point out the obvious:

The Man Who Fell to Earth is kind of like how 2001 would have been, if it had been about an alien on earth doing nothing in particular, if the only special effect was Bowie himself, all the other actors were nephews of the director, and somebody had cut out all the scenes with actual plot development to get the movie down to 140 minutes. What's left is a long series of confusing scenes and a plot that moves slower and slower until the movie spontaneously and mercifully decides to self-combust. The only way to save this movie would have been to expand the artsy sex scenes into actual porn, by which standards a cut-down version of the plot would have been excellent.

Speaking of bad movies, as I said, I prefer not to write about them, which is why I'm not commenting the 73rd Annual Beverly Hills Backslapping Awards.

Monday, March 26, 2001

Sluggy Freelance: "Fast Food, (coming this spring from Michael McChrichton.)"

The Register investigates pedophily on the net. The first part contains some disturbing but illuminating IRC transcripts, and the second part analyses how pedophiles are being systematically used to leverage intrusive legislation.

The techies at The Register has a bit more credibility in this matter than some journalist who got his MS Word diploma last month, so this is worth reading.

Ole Krogstad of Boot Boys and Tore W. Tvedt of Vigrid, have been arrested and charged with racism. Not murder, not violence, tax evasion, or even unpaid parking tickets. Words and ideas.

It is sad to see this outdated law (�135a) being dragged down from the dusty attic it's been hiding in most of its existence. It is even sadder to find Human-Etisk Forbund in the cheerleading crowd, along with the usual enemies of democracy. I don't like peaceful or violent nazis more than I like peaceful or violent commies, but I mean, unless somebody's standing behind you or monitoring your net usage, just follow the links to Boot Boys Oslo and Vigrid damnit, and read what they have to say. Read it, then decide whether this is information the government should have prevented you from accessing. This is not about murder or violence, which is illegal no matter who commits it, it's about your right to visit those websites.

Sunday, March 25, 2001

FNA #139 is out!

Flashback News Agency, a swedish monthly bloggish newsletter, is propably the most important alternative to mainstream scandinavian media right now. It's the kind of independent, subversive, obnoxious publication that will make any closet-hiding censor reveal their true colours. "What?! You can't write about that." Well, Jan Axelsson can, and he does, and he mails it to 104 000 scandinavians every month.

Why don't Norway have anything like this? Or perhaps we do, and nobody told me yet.