*Computer News Some of you may have wondered why I kinda stopped replying to comments here for quite a while. Well, about a month ago my computer started acting odd. This progressed into full-blown fuckuppery, to the point where it kept crashing and I could barely get it booted up. A friend and I messed around with it for a whole day, concluded it was probably file system corruption, and we eventually decided the simplest fix was just to reformat the whole shmeer. So in the meantime, I'd be running the computer off a flash drave with the OS on it. Kind of like having an artificial heart, on the outside of your body. :/ This was only supposed to last a few days, but then I found that I couldn't reinstall the OS on the computer, no matter what tactic I tried. The flash drive setup worked okay for a surprisingly long time, and during that period I kinda took a sabbatical from most of the stuff I usually do, including replying here. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, the good news is that eventually the computer failed completely. Why's that good? Because I took it into Micro Center and they diagnosed it as a bad hard drive. They swapped out a new (bigger!) one for less money than I'd expected and they did it in just about 24 hours! Woo! So yeah, I finally got my groove back and I've been rebuilding from my backups since then.
*Cloud Atlas Saw Cloud Atlas recently. Need to see it again. This is, honestly, one of the best movies I've ever seen. A project this audacious and complicated shouldn't work, and for some people it doesn't, but for me it hit like a supernova of thought and emotion. There's six interconnected stories, all taking place at different points in humanity's history. A lawyer on a ship meets an escaping slave. A gay composer partners with an aging maestro to create their masterpiece. A crusading journalist investigates shady doings at a nuclear power plant. A publisher is trapped in a situation born from his own greed. A cloned waitress is enlightened to the horrors of the corporatocracy. A member of the last group of technology-using humans seeks help from a small tribal village. Every segment of the film has jaw-dropping visuals, characters I loved, and themes that sparked my thoughts for hours. This is a movie to be discussed for hours after you see it. It is not for people who don't like to be challenged by their entertainment. This is like sparring with a brilliant opponent to the limits of your mental abilities and feeling exhausted and utterly fulfilled by the end of it.
*Wreck-It Ralph Another movie I saw recently, and while it really can't be compared to something like Cloud Atlas, I think I enjoyed it nearly as much. It is incredibly fun and imaginative. The jokes are genuinely funny. The color palette and car scenes in the Sugar Rush segment felt like watching Speed Racer for the first time again. There's about eighty-bazillion references to video games and they're all handled well; you don't need to know the source to find them funny, or else they flit by subtly in the background. Also, Vanellope Von Shweetz made little cartoon hearts pop out of my head. I just wanna snuggle her! She reminds me a lot of some of my own characters.
*Some Observations Here's some stuff I thought and wrote down while I was in computer limbo:
Pretty much any time there's a topic where you're not allowed to voice a certain opinion because you'll be called a monster by a certain group of people, that's the opinion I'm interested in exploring. If your beliefs prove themselves, then there's no reason to bully people who disagree.
You cannot simultaneously think of a group of people as both 'oppressors' and 'human beings'.
Comedy and dignity should be mortal enemies.
I definitely believe in the idea "Anything that can be destroyed by the truth should be." If someone has a solid theory, I should be able to hammer at it all day without making a dent. Someone who has genuine faith in their belief doesn't fear anyone questioning it. But if instead they rush in to try to stop me from swinging, that says to me they're worried about it shattering. So I swing harder.