The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'warren ellis'
Yesterday, blogging ambulanceman Tom Reynolds has had a break from rushing off to treat patients, and has instead taken to imitating God-King Emperor of All That Is Fucked-Up, Warren Ellis. He's got the hastily-written post-apocalyptic scifi story fragments (and not bad, either), pimping of new bands and music streaming, photos of Japanese English signage and links to body-modification sites. Probably needs more scary goth web-porn stars, though.
New Spectator Sport, a rant from Warren Ellis about the decline of the music industry:
TV shows specifically designed to manufacture the absolute least offensive pop product through game-show structure and the application of telephone democracy. If you're dumb enough to be able to sit through those shows without the front of your head filling with tumours, you get to vote for the performer who is retarded enough to be a comfort to you. Loathesome as they were, even the Spice Girls delivered with some character. I remember novelist and critic Nik Cohn saying he never would have been so hard on Bob Dylan if he'd known Bruce Springsteen was around the corner. People railed about the Spice Girls being a manufactured band, but who knew there was a TV-powered pod-person hothouse around the corner?
The American music industry, from my perception here in Britain, seems to have sunk into a bizarre obsession with paedophilia. Britney Spears has gone from schoolgirl gear to a deeply strange hentai look, little-girl head stuck above great shiny plastic boobs, singing in a Minnie Mouse voice. No wonder she was being stalked by a shifty-looking middle-aged Japanese bloke. He probably had a suitcase full of tentacles to use on her.
Mainstream pop music is almost always bad., it's a given. But, God, can you remember a time when the most popular acts were this empty? It's like that awful vacuum before punk, when people were buying Dean Friedman records just to have something to buy, and poster companies were printing off six-foot long images of Nana Mouskouri and Demis Roussos just to have something to sell.
Ever wondered what Spider Jerusalem would have had to say about George W. Bush? Wonder no more.
There was a mountain of cocaine on the big teak desk there. Gulls were flapping around its peaks. Tony goddamn Montana would have quailed. Junior slipped on a gas mask, shoved its open intake pipe into the pile, and flipped on the compressor. Enough coke to kill a flock of young tyrannosaurs hoovered up into Junior's head. He ripped off the mask and shrieked. Bloody residue dripped out of the pipe and back on to the pile. Eyes bulging, he looked down at the pile. He yelped. "My God! I see Jesus! I see His Face in these Satanic drugs! I am Saved! Glory Be!"
He looked at my face and laughed. "Relax, sport. I'm just practising. I'm going to be President one day."
If you can read this, then we're back. A routine machine relocation didn't go quite to plan, but it's all fixed now (hopefully).
And below is the backlog of blog items that didn't get posted to The Null Device over the past few days:
- Your tax dollars at work: A US spy agency as been monitoring webcams at an Islay distillery, just in case they were making chemical weapons instead of whisky. Defense Threat Reduction Agency officials stressed that monitoring Scottish distilleries was not a high priority, but stated that it would take just a "tweak" to modify the whisky-making process to produce chemical weapons. (Hmmm; that suggests some interesting near-future scenarios for potential flashpoints between the United States of America and Britain and a rogue People's Republic of Scotland.)
- An interesting paper on the design of the Google File System, a custom file system optimised for storing huge (multi-gigabyte) files on large farms of fault-prone hardware. (via bOING bOING)
- The latest fad in baby naming in the U.S. involved naming your children after your favourite brands of consumer goods. Looks like Max Barry wasn't all that far off: (via Techdirt)
"His daddy insisted on it because Timberlands were the pride of his wardrobe. The alternative was Reebok," said the 32-year-old nurse, who is now divorced. "I wanted Kevin."
This is only the latest chapter in the boom of giving children unique names.
According to the most recent census, at least 10,000 different names are now in use, two-thirds of which were largely unknown before World War II.
- "We're Gonna Get You After School!" Gibson's Law applies to playground mob psychology, with kids setting up websites and blogs to call their classmates names. This way, technology may be said to have democratised bullying, as it's no longer the musclebound alpha-jocks and the popular rich girls who have a monopoly on making others' lives miserable. (via TechDirt)
One 12-year-old blogger, writing on the popular Angelfire Web site, recently announced she would devote her page to "anyone and everyone i hate and why." She minced no words. "erin used to be aka miss perfect. too bad now u r a train face. hahaha. god did that to u since u r such a b -- . ashley stop acting like a slut wannabe. lauren u fat b -- can't even go out at night w/ ur friends. . . . and laurinda u suck u god damn flat, weird voice, skinny as a stick b -- ."
The author of the article calls for the use of "parental control devices" to stamp out "social cruelty", much in the way that filters have been used to stop pornography. Which sounds more like it would strip those kids put upon by the alpha-jocks/princesses of their online support networks of fellow outsiders.
- More on the internet's impact on human interaction: Internet chat addiction can stunt social skills in introverted adolescents, says a researcher in "social administration". Dr. Mubarak Rahamathulla says that research suggests that chat rooms have contributed to some teenagers fearing conventional social interaction, and becoming more dependent on anonymity or pseudonymity. However, he says, webcams may be a safe, healthy way for to explore their sexuality. Perhaps the future belongs to asocial chatroom onanists, who are into anything as long as it doesn't involve actual human contact?
- The AT&T text-to-speech demo site now has two British voices; the male one sounds somewhat deranged, as if having at some time in the past eaten some BSE-contaminated beef. (via kineticfactory)
- A company is now selling licensed arcade ROMs for MAME. StarROMs currently have a few dozen titles, all from Atari, but plan to have more; games cost between US$2 and US$6 per title, and all are unencrypted ROM images suitable for MAME, with no DRM chicanery to be seen. Let's hope this idea catches on.
- Transcosmopolitan, or Spider Jerusalem's stint as features writer for a women's lifestyle magazine. (via Warren Ellis' LiveJournal comments)
A compellingly fucked-up short story fragment from Warren Ellis, who does fucked-up better than most people.
Warren Ellis (he who knows all too many scary goth camgirls) writes a commentary on the intersection of the geek/tech and goth subcultures:
Sometimes I think of LiveJournal as the world's biggest technogoth community. LJ has been both lauded and derided as a space for people with black clothes and strange hair to work out their alienation and disaffection in electronic public. That hasn't stopped it being successful, and it hasn't stopped it being a tool for national and international networking. As a piece of "social software," it's not flawless, but its influence and effect has been huge. If nothing else, several thousand alt.models, often very ambitious and creative, seem to have hooked up together with this thing. An army could be formed. That would be an army worth supporting with taxes. In fact, it could probably be paid for by Paypal donation links.
(Though I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of goths forming an underground army. It's too easy to imagine paramilitary groups of real-life Blackshirts, motivated by the nihilistic tirades of Marilyn Manson and the cryptofascist bombast of VNV Nation, and filled with contempt for the inferiors who wear coloured clothing. First they came for the jocks, but I didn't speak out because I wasn't a jock, and so on. But I digress)
Though I was wondering whether LiveJournal was another one of those Gothic Internet Startups of the Not-So-Long Boom, like Dimension X (now part of Microsoft) and Netizen (no longer around). I once had the idea of a parallel history where the boom doesn't end, and the goth subculture evolves into a sort of tech-industry freemasonry, with membership and initiation essential for getting any sort of consulting gigs; and the usual goth-club "courtly intrigues" and catfights happening behind the scenes. It'd make a decent setting for a story or a novel.
Two items from Slashdot: An interview with Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan and linker to scary memes and equally scary goth camgirls. And a preview of the next Neal Stephenson book, coming out in September.
Superidol, a new comic-book story by Warren "Transmetropolitan" Ellis, is now online. (via bOING bOING)
Yes! Warren Ellis (the Transmetropolitan one, not the Dirty Three one) has a blog. It seems to be mostly a scrapbook of fringe news and scientific tidbits. (via bOING bOING)