South Park Self

how do you like your blueeyed boy / Mister Death?

I would blog about our lovely weekend away, except (a) I don't have the energy to dig up and post the photos, (b) I need to do the traditional start-of-month acknowledgement of sources, and (c) I'm too damned upset about Iain Banks. Apart from being one of my favourite sf authors who falls into the China Miéville category of "clearly way more intelligent than I am", Iain Banks is a lovely man and doesn't deserve sudden short-term terminal cancer to the solar plexus. And while one tries not to turn this narcissistically to one's own pain, after Terry Pratchett this is just too damned much. Not only are they two in my top 5 of authors-whose-every-work-I-will-read-despite-anything, they're both highly intelligent, culturally aware and likeable people who utterly don't deserve this, and both of whom I have met. I haven't met many of my sf/fantasy icons. In fact, I think the two of them are it. I actually got to chat to both of them beyond a quick signature. If this is the upshot, I'm going to try and avoid meeting any more, the cosmic wossnames apparently take that as a signal to hit them with something unpleasant. If I ever see China Miéville in the flesh I'm going to run like hell in the opposite direction. (Which, to be fair, I might well do anyway. Intimidating man.)

I'm being very bad at this blogging thing at the moment, I don't seem to have the energy. However, a few actual posts were perpetrated in the month of March, with attendant convoluted subject line references, as follows. (I include the actual wording of the subject line as an innovative addition to these little round-ups by special request of the Jo).

  • 7th March: "rocking the Lawful Good". This doesn't need attribution, it's not a quote, and if any of my readers don't by this stage get the D&D alignment reference and its particular application to my psyche, I give up.
  • 8th March: "the interconnectedness of everything". This is actually a partial paraphrase of Dirk Gently, I never remember the exact wording accurately. (Apparently it's "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.") I must re-read those, they're fun, and Douglas Adams can't blindside me by suddenly pitching up with something terminal on account of how he's already dead. This is at least predicable.
  • 10th March: "I came, I saw, Ipad." That was a horrible piece of lame wordplay and I should be ashamed. Also, I very much doubt that Julius Caesar ever actually said "Veni, vedi, vici". It has "apocryphal" written all over it. The Ipad, on the other hand, is a marvellous gadget and I'm really enjoying it, even if the lack of actual hard drive, as a concept, makes me flail around a bit.
  • 15th March: "! GET! KNOCKED! DOWN! butIgetupagain". Now I have the bloody Chumbawamba ear-worm again. Thanks for that, meticulous referencing. That wretched song ("Tubthumper", for the sake of full attribution and in case you weren't paying attention) is more damned fun than it has any right to be.
  • 17th March: "this vast and brooding spirit". Oh, now, that's interesting. *waves the Red Flag of Over-Analysis Alert*. The quote is from the poem about Cecil John Rhodes which adorns the Rhodes Memorial, and which incidentally also formed the basis for a more than usually way-out Call of Cthulhu module I and Bumpycat wrote back in the day, featuring Rhodes's negative energy centred on the memorial as a blot on the fabric of reality which opened portals to Bad Stuff. (I don't do postcolonialism, except apparently in my role-playing modules, where I've done it several times). It's also a misquote, owing to the extreme dodginess of my memory: the actual phrasing is "the immense and brooding spirit". The post is talking about Batman and whinging about the excessive broodiness of The Dark Knight Rises, so as a subject line it's fairly apt, but I remember typing in the (mis)quote more or less as a knee-jerk and then being tickled by how actually appropriate it was to my argument in the review. The full poem reads: "The immense and brooding spirit still / Shall quicken and control. / Living he was the land, and dead, / His soul shall be her soul!" In terms of Batman's identification with Gotham and the upshot of the movie, that's pretty much exactly it.
  • 19th March: "meanwhile, he has built a remote-controlled duck". Actually attributed in the post: quote from the article on useless machines which had endeared itself to me at the time. Even more pleasingly surreal out of context.
  • 26th March: "I have a bad feeling about this...". This was a post about a Star-Wars-Lego-themed cocktail party. If you do not recognise the quote you are no friend of mine, and need to slink off into a corner somewhere and consider your sins. Good grief. (We had the first movie playing silently during the party, causing a lot of us to sit around watching it and supplying either the actual dialogue, or new, improved dialogue (mostly Stv). When everyone had gone the EL and Sven and I watched The Empire Strikes Back and argued about abysmal Empire tactics on Hoth. I love my friends, and am fairly confident that none of you are currently sitting in a corner considering your sins).
The news about Iain Banks is indeed bleak, but he's not dead yet! I'm sort of willing him to defy the doctors.
Yes, very sad about Banks, Hydrogen Sonata was his best Culture novel yet, and it can't be his last.

Re: iPad's lack of accessible file system - I recommend Dropbox, great for getting all my DMing PDFs onto the pad.