The Null Device


Meme: The Triangle of Truth. (via Meg)


Tonight, I managed to go to the Isosceles Film Night at the Glow Bar; I only saw the trailing end of it, as, unfortunately, it clashes with work. The night was in this trendy open-space bar with curved walls, onto which the films were projected. I missed some of the more interesting-sounding films (Themroc and Flowerlovers, though I may have seen Malj at a Splodge film night, if it's the one with the baby-chicken-crushing factory), though the ones I saw were not bad, which is more than I can say for the crowd...

I'M WAYNE KERR AND IF THERE'S ONE THING I HATE... it's trendy fucking art student types who go to film nights and sit around talking loudly in their fashionably attired little cliques, oblivious to the fact that this is a film night, and some people are trying to watch the actual films, of all things, and to make out the soundtrack over the din of vacuous social chatter.

Ahem... that's better. Anyway, of the films I saw there was The Illuminati, a short by some VCA people that posited that Michael Jackson was a product ofthe UFO cover-up conspiracy opposed by local industrial hip-hop group Curse Ov Dialect. There was also a film of someone blowing up parts of a house (slow motion sequences of books spinning through the air, opening and fragmenting, from an exploding library shelf, over ambient music; destruction never seemed so tranquil), as well as one of a Japanese performance artist smashing things whilst a drummer played, and some psychedelic computer-generated animations (moving polygons, wireframe creatures (squinks?) locomoting down wireframe paths, &c) over fragments of music (I recognised a Coil track).


A Microsoft exec speaks to Slashdot about Linux, software rental, standards and the like. Quite candid; it's interesting to read what the Redmond mindset on all these things is.

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The growing menace of terrorism: Those terrorists are everywhere. First computer hacking was defined as terrorism, and now the US state of Utah, known for its conservative Mormon values, has defined non-union pickets as "commercial terrorism", a brand-new crime for a new millennium. The ACLU are, of course, not amused by this.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics has threatened fines for listing your religion as "Jedi" on the census. Supposedly Jedi is not a real religion, or so they say. Sure it is; Jedi believe in something called The Force which is, like, everywhere, that Microsoft is evil, and that Natalie Portman is a hot babe. It's sort of like whiteboy Rastafarianism, only instead of smoking pot you read Slashdot.

Anyway, I'm putting my religion down as Discordian. Let's see them prove otherwise. If you are of the Discordian religion, you are invited to do the same. (Besides, Discordianism is not a product of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, like Star Wars.)

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Out: SUVs
In: disposable cars


Stamping out offensive behaviour: The forces of decency are clamping down on the Comedy Festival, and dissenters are being punished. Firstly, a late-night TV host named Rove condemned a visiting comic's routine as "disgraceful filth" and "wholly unacceptable", because it made some off-colour comments about Christianity; mind you, this was not a conservative politician speaking, but a fellow comic. (Perhaps it's time for a Comics Code for the Victorian comedy industry to ensure that such acts are not tolerated by legitimate comedians?)

Secondly, radical-leftist comedian Duff hijacked the opening of the festival, smacking a cream pie in his own face and then passionately kissing the Premier (known for his emphatic support of police brutality against protesters). After that happened, he was declared persona non grata; his website was removed from the Festival's site, several of his shows were cancelled, and he was forcibly evicted from the Festival Club, which is for legitimate comedians and their patrons only.

I wonder what the 2002 Melbourne Comedy Festival will be like; probably carefully vetted, with no sacrilege, no offensive jokes, no subversive elements and none of those dreadful dreadlocked S11 Maoists; in other words, something that may as well be playing in Singapore.


Meanwhile in New York, the governor has asked prison officials to ban convicted killers from exhibiting art at prison art shows. This ban was prompted by serial killer and irrepressible artist Arthur Shawcross, 11 of whose works (including innocuously cheesy fairy-tale fantasy paintings and a sketch of Princess Diana) were exhibited at the Corrections on Canvas exhibit. Shawcross, like a latter-day De Sade of kitsch, sparked outrage two years ago by having paintings and poems smuggled out of prison and sold on eBay.


Victoria's devout Catholic Premier, Steve "Jeff" Bracks, has banned screenings of R-rated films on Good Friday, to preserve the state's Godliness and not offend religious folks. In what may be a sign of the pendulum swinging towards conservatism and legislated morality, increasingly many businesses are shut on Good Friday, including most hotels.