The Null Device
Film update: I didn't get to see Hotel Splendide at the Film Festival last night, due to having a load of work to do (hence the 13-hour days), but I did manage to get away tonight and see a preview screening of Chopper (not at the festival, though; I got a free ticket from a chaosmusic.com promotion). For those not in the know, Chopper is about Mark "Chopper" Read, the notorious Melbourne underworld hitman turned raconteur. It was quite entertaining, in a post-Tarantino sort of way. One thing I noticed was the period detail, such as the bad 1970s fashions (all those mustaches and tan suits), and the authentic Franco Cozzo TV ads in the background of one scene.
In another absurdity resulting from the War On Drugs, a 6-year-old boy was suspended from his school for bringing in lemon drops. The local school district has a policy of treating unfamiliar products as controlled substances, just to not let the little bastards get away with something they shouldn't. (JPEG of newspaper clipping)
Victoria's judaeochristian-family-values-based IVF laws have been ruled invalid by the Federal Court for discriminating against unmarried women. Which may put paid to the Internet-traded US sperm black market. Though whether the Federal Government could do anything about it remains to be determined, given their push for values-based legislation (i.e., church-going married suburbanites paying a lot less net tax than multiply pierced bisexual inner city café-Marxists who believe that the PM should apologise to aborigines and other such subversive notions). Er, seems I'm ranting again... Never mind.
Amusements of the obscenely wealthy: Some people are so wealthy that they can buy anything; consequently it takes extreme things to satisfy them. Take for example "The Bachelors", a transatlantic brat-pack of "rich kids", who have taking to drugging women, raping them and swapping videos of their conquests on the Internet. Make that a snuff film ring, and you've got a movie concept... (via Leviathan)
Salon's Scott Rosenberg reckons that the RIAA have dug their own grave by crushing Napster. They could have a point (i.e., distributed file sharing will be harder to kill, and US Congress doesn't seem too friendly to the copyright industry's calls for draconian legislation), though I'm sure a few billion dollars could buy the RIAA some highly favourable laws tacked on as riders to other legislation. In any case, every major-label published (or, to a lesser extent, distributed) CD you buy helps the RIAA hire lawyers and lobbyists, so you may do well to stop.