July 05, 2006

Cancelled TV Pilot.

Cancelled TV Pilot written by Robert Smigel & Conan O'Brien -- staring Adam West.

The Pirate Party US version launches...

Not that anyone gives two shits about this but....

July 4, 2006 - Independence Day

On this date in 1776, the continental congress adopted a Declaration of Independence. Foremost among the colonists' complaints was the lack of representation in the government ruling over them.

In 2006, the Internet community is again faced with a lack of representation. We are forced to abide by laws drafted in cooperation with the major organizations and corporations like the MPAA & RIAA, passed by a group of politicians with no understanding of the technology or culture that has evolved from the Internet.

I like the theory of this group -- but naming it the Pirate party may not be helping your politcal legitimacy at all... It's no different than the ass-clowns who are trying to legalize pot. Most of them shouldn't be giving public speaches anywere, ever...

Have a look at their site...

(Link - Pirate Party)

Are Games Art?

This issue will most likely never go away. With people on both sides of the debate arguing with various levels of logic -- I think it's a debate that may never be settled. The whole issue has been brought to the forefront of some people's minds by an article in the new Esquire Magazine. In it, Chuck Klosterman the man responsible for Sex, Drugs & Coco Puffs (Link), says, among other things, that video games have few, if any, serious critics. This coming from the guy who wrote a book that was good, but nothing you couldn't see on VH1's "I love the 90's" or "I love the 80's" or "Best Toys"... Seriously, anyone who took a pop culture class in college would have a shot at coming up with the same shit he writes about. So, given that he wrote a book about pop culture, he feels he now has the authority to decided what is and is not part of being a critic.
In the article he states that most video game criticism is merely, "without exception, it's consumer advice; it tells you what old game a new game resembles, and what the playing experience entails, and whether the game will be commercially successful. It's expository information. As far as I can tell, there is no major critic who specializes in explaining what playing a given game feels like, nor is anyone analyzing what specific games mean in any context outside the game itself."
He goes on to talk about Gone with the Wind. And how when, "Scarlett O'Hara asks Rhett Butler what she's supposed to do with the rest of her life, and he says that (frankly) he doesn't give a damn. Now, the meaning of those lines can be interpreted in many ways. However, what if that dialogue happened only sometimes?"
I think this example doesn't work in his favor. There is something very appealing to a large number of people to be able to experience a story that doesn't have a clearly defined & or predetermined outcome. A movie serves a purpose by feeding the viewer what she/he wants to see. There is no thinking involved. Even when a movie is "though provoking" it's only because of some ambiguity that makes you think about what the characters really mean. That's not difficult -- there's nothing special or unique about writing dialogue like that. Billy Shakespeare did a little of that as well as the Bible, Koran, and any other religious text you can think of.
What? You're right, dear reader, video games are becoming rather formulaic too. Though within that formula is still the opportunity to experiment. I think it's safe to say I can count on one hand the amount of decent experimental films within my life time.
So, it does matter to some extent to me that people consider video games art. I'm not even asking for "high art". Though didn't Warhol through the notion out the window when he painted fucking soup cans? Jesus H. Christ the lines have been blurred -- postmodernism is upon us and it turns out that there isn't a right answer. So, Chuck, Fuck you for daring to pontificate on what is and is not critical. I can tell you want to sell magazines & I understand. It strikes me as a Ann Coulter kind of move on your part.. But that's cool.

Check out Henry Jenkins blog for a well written discussion of this subject. I should start thinking through mine better .. But, I'm sure my 3 faithful readers will let this one slide.
(Link - The Official Web Log of Henry Jenkins)

Birthplace of the Cellphone to be demolished...

Bell Labs

From Engadget...

The facility in question, one time Holmdel, New Jersey home to Bell Labs -- one of the most prolific technology innovators of the 20th century -- was owned by Lucent technologies until a recent round of asset liquidations. Barely 40 miles out of New York City, in its heydey the six-story, two million square foot campus, employed over 5,600 people who toiled away in its bowels; it became home to the work of numerous Nobel laureates, and has long since been cemented in the annals of tech history as the birthplace to some of the most important communications technologies ever conceived. And it'll soon be torn down.

That's to bad... Ya, that's all I'm going to say about the emotional weight of this situation. Engadget gives a nice history of the whole thing. Definately worth a read as the majority of us have a cellphone & it is one of the few pieces of technology we take with us practically everywhere.

(Link - Engadget)

Good to be back!

I'm sifting through piles of e-mail... Starting a new project... Life returns to normal faster than I would like.