The Null Device
As the dot-com revolution swallows up San Francisco, long-time residents get evicted to make room for SUV-driving stock-optioned yuppies and the city's character and culture are clear-felled, protestors are taking extreme measures:
25 protesters were arrested in August after they seized the offices of a dot-com company that had recently displaced a popular neighborhood dance studio. Forty police officers called in by the company staged a predawn raid to make the arrests after the protesters had occupied the site for two days.
Thrusting a notice into their faces, the 34-year-old painter matter-of-factly explained how the Internet company they work for has been snatching up property throughout the Mission District, displacing not only artists like him, but also countless nonprofits and struggling families. Now, he said, he's turning the tables. "I'm sorry, but I'm evicting you. If you wouldn't mind getting up, I'm going to occupy your space," he informed the dumbfounded dot-com pair
An easy-to-follow article on how to write fantasy, SF and horror, and how to review books:
An often overlooked area in Fantasy is the naming of characters. Some writers just don't take the trouble to invent decent names, but it's so easy! The best way is to take a word (any word, but the longer the better), mix up the letters and then pick out some names. Easy! The trick is giving the right names to the right characters.
2. No matter what your story is about, stick a picture of a space ship on the cover. Preferably one with yellow and black stripes.
Gothic horror got a bit bogged down in the 19th century, and its icons were employed fairly arbitrarily in an attempt to secure sales. You only had to mention fog-covered moors and you were stuck with the Gothic label, even if you were writing a gardening book. This, in fact, was exactly how Gothic Romance came into being, as well as the lesser known sub genres Gothic Western, Gothic Crime and Gothic Historical Fiction. Gothic Light Romantic Comedy was another spin-off but it never really caught on.
Scare meme of the day: The collapse of the Internet boom might cause the Second Great Depression. (Wasn't the Y2K Bug meant to do that?) (via bOING bOING)
Happy Mad Hatter's Day (well, if you use US-style dates, anyway).
So, you may be asking, what has your humble blogger been up to of late? Well, I have been going to the Melbourne Fringe Festival and seeing acts. Last night I saw Resonance, a somewhat experimental cello performance, and the day before I saw a pretty doovy film noir-esque production of Macbeth. If you want to read more, I've posted reviews to Grouse's Notes from the Fringe.
Perhaps fearful of Southern Baptist boycotts, Disney scraps an expensive computer-animated feature, concluding that it is too "gay-friendly" in tone. The project was at an advanced stage, and had cost US$20 million to make so far.
Looks like Slobodan Milosevic's régime has fallen. Good riddance too.
The EMI/Time Warner merger has gone down the toilet, sunk by EC competition regulations. Which probably means that EMI will be snapped up by BMG or someone within a year or two. In any case, rather than having four gigantic corporations controlling everything, we have five, the results of a decade of mergers and acquisitions which, as pop svengali Pete Waterman (of all people) explains in RealAudio, is freezing out smaller competitors and resulting in severe stagnation in the music industry.