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Posts published in “Thoughts”

Badly written reviews complaining that a book was badly written

I was wasting valuable time today on Amazon.com reading reviews of a book I already own when I stumbled upon this gem of a review.

this wasn’t the book version i bought, but i bought a very complete version of grimm’s fairy tales because i wanted to read fairy tales like i had earlier in my life. now i realize i was probably reading a hans christian anderson book before – translation, SOMEONE WHO COULD WRITE A STORY. the grimm’s fairy tales were so bad, i was shocked.. i know these people lived in an earlier century, but the writing was on a third grade level, the morals were non-existent and the stories were just BAD. i know they come from an earlier century, maybe when people were less educated, but that’s no excuse for ridiculously bad stories that are written horribly. i don’t know what kind of drugs everyone is using to think that grimm’s fairy tales are worth reading, but i’m here to tell the truth, they’re beyond bad. i would type an example of the worst story i read, but i can’t because i threw the book away! i can’t wait to get a hans christian anderson book and read some real, interesting fairy tales that were written well.

I was struck by the irony of someone complaining about how poorly written a book is with a poorly written comment. It seems to me that if you are going to complain about something being poorly written then your complaint had better, at the very least, be written in clear, lucid English. I’m not asking for moving depth of thought or valuable insight (though those would be nice). I’m just asking, you know, that the sentences are sentences, that the rules of spelling and punctuation are observed, and that you maybe give it one proof-read. It seems like this is probably a lot to ask of people ranting on Amazon.com, but I don’t think I’m being wholly unreasonable. I am forgiving of typos; they happen. But if you are going to bash a book for being poorly written, do me and the rest of the universe a favor and don’t immediately negate your own argument by spewing trash like this.

Personally, I quite like the book being reviewed and I don’t think it’s poorly written. You’ve got to appreciate a Cinderella story where the wicked step-mother forces the sisters to mutilate their feet to fit into the slipper and which ends with them having their eyes pecked out by birds.

This is my brother and his new baby

Welcome to the clan, baby Sienna Jo.

Look at the baby! Now look at the coffee/soda/mysterious dark liquid stain on Mike’s shirt. I love that she has dark hair like her devastatingly handsome, talented uncle Joe.

Congrats, Mikey and Leah. Way to start the new generation of Dillinghams off with a bang. We’re not a family of whimperers, regardless of what T.S. Eliot said about the world ending.

To the people standing in line outside the Verizon Wireless store this morning on Broadway and 18th Street

The Blackberry Storm? Seriously? That’s worth waiting outside in 30 degree weather for? A telephone is so important to you that you would WAIT for it? What, so you can get e-mail forwards in a slightly cooler interface than the last Blackberry you got? Do you even need the Blackberry? What are you, a doctor? Could you really even have such a serious job and still be able to be in line at 9:30 on a weekday morning? What the fuck? Don’t you have better things to do and better places to be, like work or school or church or home or anywhere but standing in front of the Verizon Wireless store on Broadway?

It’s just a thing, people. There will be another, cooler thing in 6 months. It’s not worth it. The Union Square Greenmarket was open this morning. Why don’t you go over there next time and buy some locally grown produce? Much better.

Mixing in Avid Media Composer

Mixing in Avid MCA is horrible. Please don’t do it. It’s just not set up to do a fine-tuned, final mix. I mean, that’s what they (i.e., DigiDesign, who is owned by Avid) sell ProTools for, right? Avid has this horrible tendency to nerf their products to force you to buy something more expensive. Why? And then not to provide support and release buggy version after buggy version? Despicable. I don’t think we paid to be in extended beta testing.

I’ve put another horrible thing (in a different way) after the jump.

Max von Sydow is the killer.

Minority Report, the Tom Cruise/Steven Spielbergo film based on a PKD story of the same name, was a pretty solid SF action film. It is by no means perfect, but it does have a whole lot of awesome about it. There are some solid chase scenes, massive action, a good twist (but not good enough not to be predictable), and an unsurprisingly rad cameo by Peter Stormare.

It also features one of the coolest near-future SF computer interfaces I’ve ever seen. It’s right up there with the thing Deckard uses in Blade Runner to search through the picture. Well, apparently, some group of genius geeks (I love you) have built a real working version. All it needs is the holographic display and we’ll be in business. I’ll take two.

Check out the video.


g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

How rad is that shit?

3 new music videos.

I was watching my recorded Headbangers Ball yesterday—which has mysteriously moved to the wonderful 2 to 3am time slot on MTV2, double ewe tea ephraim?—and I saw three new videos worth commenting on.

The first is the new Motorhead video for “Rock Out”.

I’m not a Motorhead fan. I can appreciate the band for what they are, but their music has never really done it for me, whatever “it” is. That’s not to say I have no respect for a band that has made a career out of writing essentially the same two and a half minute song over and over and over and over. How can you not respect that? It takes a special kind of balls to pull that shit. Their new video, however, is amazing. I’m not sure what about it I like so much. It’s not the song. It might be the cinematography, which is quite nice for a metal video. It might be the de-emphasis on the band’s performance. It might be how personal it all feels. In all likelihood, it’s all of these and something else. Just watch it and you’ll see what I mean.

My friend Chris

Let me introduce you to my friend Chris. Chris is a wildly talented cinematographer and maker of images. He’s also a wonderfully goofy son of a bitch and a good, old friend of mine. Coming from a social group of Luddites, neither of us knew we had Flickr accounts until he saw my (awesome) site and link to my Flickr account.

There are samples of his photography and his reel after the jump.

On singing in metal 2 – Intronaut’s “Australopithecus”

This morning while avoiding sitting down to do actual real work, I was cruising the Deciblog and stumbled upon this new video by Intronaut. It’s stupidly awesome. The video echoes Jan Svankmajer’s Alice, but with a distinctly modern feel. The cut is sharp and punchy, and the cinematography conveys a palpable sense of dread. What more could you ask for from a metal video? That the song is appropriately killer? Taken care of. Harmonized growls, double bass, breakdowns, gnarly chorus; this song has it all.

So why is it in On singing in metal? I filed it there because of the musical shift at 2:14. I fully anticipated some truly awful singing destroying my initial impression of this song as pure slaughter. How delighted I was to make it through the calmer section to be greeted at the other end by the brutal crunch of the chorus! This is a perfect example of how to integrate melodic sections into your metal song without succumbing to the misguided need to throw in some contemptible “singing”. Intronaut, I salute you and your restraint and show of good taste. Well done.

The rest of you, pick up their record from Century Media here—Intronaut – Prehistoricisms. Only 10 bucks! That’s two beers WITHOUT tip. Do it.