The Poptimist is Always Disappointed

OH HAI - How do you work this thing?

    Tumblings

    tomewing:

Phil Sandifer’s critical epic about Alan Moore and Grant Morrison has reached Skizz, Moore’s first ongoing for 2000AD (drawn by Jim Baikie). And also - unless there was a Future Shock earlier in the same Prog - the first Alan Moore comic I read.
http://www.philipsandifer.com/2014/03/fantasies-in-here-and-now-last-war-in.html
(I think Skizz is very good - much better than Moore apparently thinks it is - hopefully I’ll find time to write why at some point.)

Skizz had a very big impact on me when I read it. The story specifics are that the final episode had me in tears in the back of the family car while on the long drive (at the start of a Summer Holiday I think it was.)
I loved my 2000AD stories but I don’t remember anything before or after that doing the same thing to me.
I **CUT UP** my progs to collect Skizz in a cardboard binder I’d made for myself.
 * * *
When I briefly went on a comics script writing course (in the mid 90s) my model to start and end the story was Skizz (I had a collected edition by then). I wanted the equivalent of the centre-spread colour splash for the penultimate episode, and the same ‘drop into the action’ start.
For what it’s worth the story I was roughing out had the working title ‘Colony 1’. it was about the first extra-solar human colony on an alien planet. They lived in a an atmospheric dome, with a sub-plot of moral debate about terraforming the planet. The main plot concerned the mystery condition that struck and caused the adult population to be out of action in some way.
I am not a born story teller :-(

    tomewing:

    Phil Sandifer’s critical epic about Alan Moore and Grant Morrison has reached Skizz, Moore’s first ongoing for 2000AD (drawn by Jim Baikie). And also - unless there was a Future Shock earlier in the same Prog - the first Alan Moore comic I read.

    http://www.philipsandifer.com/2014/03/fantasies-in-here-and-now-last-war-in.html

    (I think Skizz is very good - much better than Moore apparently thinks it is - hopefully I’ll find time to write why at some point.)

    Skizz had a very big impact on me when I read it. The story specifics are that the final episode had me in tears in the back of the family car while on the long drive (at the start of a Summer Holiday I think it was.)

    I loved my 2000AD stories but I don’t remember anything before or after that doing the same thing to me.

    I **CUT UP** my progs to collect Skizz in a cardboard binder I’d made for myself.

     * * *

    When I briefly went on a comics script writing course (in the mid 90s) my model to start and end the story was Skizz (I had a collected edition by then). I wanted the equivalent of the centre-spread colour splash for the penultimate episode, and the same ‘drop into the action’ start.

    For what it’s worth the story I was roughing out had the working title ‘Colony 1’. it was about the first extra-solar human colony on an alien planet. They lived in a an atmospheric dome, with a sub-plot of moral debate about terraforming the planet. The main plot concerned the mystery condition that struck and caused the adult population to be out of action in some way.

    I am not a born story teller :-(

    A Minecraft Server on Amazon Web Services all for FREE

    (Doing this for random hits but also just as note to self)

    1 Sign up to Amazon’s AWS

    you have to put in card details, and they do an automatic “authentication code over the phone” step, but keep calm, it still works out for free for a year.

    2 Create an instance in the AWS “free” tier

    "Amazon Linux 64-bit" will get you a ‘netbook’ sized machine ~640MB RAM and 8GB of storage. Enough to do the trick.

    You’ll get a “key-pair” file ending “.pem” - keep that safe as it’s the keys to your server which you’ll need later…

    3 Set up the security groups in your instance

    In “Amazon EC2 management” (https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2) click on security groups, select your security group (which was setup with your instance by default). Click “Inbound” tab and add “custom TCP rule”s to allow ports: 22 (ssh), 80 (web), 8080 (minecraft admin tool), and 25565 (minecraft) open to the world.

    4 Connect to your server

    OK, this is where the hard technical bit starts. You need to connect by SSH to your new running instance. In the EC2 management find your instance details and the public (or private) IP, eg 50.51.52.53 and click “Connect” which tells you how to do it with a terminal/SSH client, something like

    ssh -i MyAWSkeyfile.pem ec2-user@50.51.52.53

    (If you are on a Mac start the Terminal.app, and in a window type “ssh -i ” with a space at the end, drag in the PEM file to get the next bit and then type in the last bit starting “ec2-user…”)

    5 Install Java 7 as a ‘root user’

    If you’ve connected well done. Now you need ‘root access’ by typing

    sudo -s

    Then run these three commands…

    yum update
    yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk.x86_64
    update-alternatives —config java
    Read through and accept the prompts, and in the final step choose to select java 7 (should be option 2)

    6 Install McMyAdmin (free to use on 10-user minecraft servers)

    In a browser open http://mcmyadmin.com click ‘Download’, select the 64-bit linux option, and follow the 3 steps. Step 1 starts “Run the following as root” which you can do because you already are from step 5.

    For step 2 you need to get out of ‘root access’ first by typing…

    exit

    In the last bit of step 2 choose a decent password, and remember it!

    Instead of starting mcmyadmin straight away in step 3, set it to run at “reboot” instead. To do this type

    crontab -e

    The screen will become a simple text editor. press <ESC> key then the ‘i’ key to get “—INSERT—” at the bottom of the screen and type this in…

    @reboot cd ~/mcmyadmin; ./MCMA2_Linux_x86_64

    This will appear at the top of the screen. Then hit <ESC> again to make the ‘—INSERT—” vanish. Finally type “:wq” and hit return, and that’s done. Close your SSH session by typing “exit”.

    THAT’S ALL THE HARD STUFF DONE

    7 Restart your server

    In EC2 management select your instance and select “reboot” from the actions menu, give it a few minutes to come back before…

    8 Login to your mcmyadmin and setup MineCraft server

    The mcmyadmin tool is a web application on the IP of your server but on port 8080, eg http://50.51.52.53:8080

    Login as user “admin” with the password you put in during step 5.

    Click sidebar “Configuration”, select the “Server Settings” tab, choose a “Server type” and click install. The “Official” server (from Mojang) code will do you, but you may want to use the “CraftBukkit” which has lots of plugins but only works with clients running Minecraft 1.6

    When the notifications say the server has been installed click on sidebar “Status” and click “Start Server”

    YOU ARE DONE.

    9 Connect to your server from a minecraft client

    ink-splotch:

    There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She’s become irreligious basically because she found sex. I have a big problem with that.” - JK Rowling

    Can we talk about Susan’s fabulous adventures after Narnia? The ones where she wears nylons and elegant blouses when she wants to, and short skirts and bright lipstick when she wants to, and hiking boots and tough jeans and big men’s plaid shirts when she feels like backpacking out into the mountains and remembering what it was to be lost in a world full of terrific beauty— I know her siblings say she stops talking about it, that Susan walks away from the memories of Narnia, but I don’t think she ever really forgot.

    I want to read about Susan finishing out boarding school as a grown queen reigning from a teenaged girl’s body. School bullies and peer pressure from children and teachers who treat you like you’re less than sentient wouldn’t have the same impact. C’mon, Susan of the Horn, Susan who bested the DLF at archery, and rode a lion, and won wars, sitting in a school uniform with her eyebrows rising higher and higher as some old goon at the front of the room slams his fist on the lectern. 

    Susan living through WW2, huddling with her siblings, a young adult (again), a fighting queen and champion marksman kept from the action, until she finally storms out against screaming parents’ wishes and volunteers as a nurse on the front. She keeps a knife or two hidden under her clothes because when it comes down to it, they called her Gentle, but sometimes loving means fighting for what you care for. 

    She’ll apply to a women’s college on the East Coast, because she fell in love with America when her parents took her there before the war. She goes in majoring in Literature (her ability to decipher High Diction in historical texts is uncanny), but checks out every book she can on history, philosophy, political science. She sneaks into the boys’ school across town and borrows their books too. She was once responsible for a kingdom, roads and taxes and widows and crops and war. She grew from child to woman with that mantle of duty wrapped around her shoulders. Now, tossed here on this mundane land, forever forbidden from her true kingdom, Susan finds that she can give up Narnia but she cannot give up that responsibility. She looks around and thinks I could do this better.

    I want Susan sneaking out to drink at pubs with the girls, her friends giggling at the boys checking them out from across the way, until Susan walks over (with her nylons, with her lipstick, with her sovereignty written out in whatever language she damn well pleases) and beats them all at pool. Susan studying for tests and bemoaning Aristotle and trading a boy with freckles all over his nose shooting lessons so that he will teach her calculus. Susan kissing boys and writing home to Lucy and kissing girls and helping smuggle birth control to the ladies in her dorm because Susan Pevensie is a queen and she understands the right of a woman to rule over her own body. 

    Susan losing them all to a train crash, Edmund and Peter and Lucy, Jill and Eustace, and Lucy and Lucy and Lucy, who Susan’s always felt the most responsible for. Because this is a girl who breathes responsibility, the little mother to her three siblings until a wardrobe whisked them away and she became High Queen to a whole land, ruled it for more than a decade, then came back centuries later as a legend. What it must do to you, to be a legend in the body of a young girl, to have that weight on your shoulders and have a lion tell you that you have to let it go. What is must do to you, to be left alone to decide whether to bury your family in separate ceremonies, or all at once, the same way they died, all at once and without you. What it must do to you, to stand there in black, with your nylons, and your lipstick, and feel responsible for these people who you will never be able to explain yourself to and who you can never save. 

    Maybe she dreams sometimes they made it back to Narnia after all. Peter is a king again. Lucy walks with Aslan and all the dryads dance. Maybe Susan dreams that she went with them— the train jerks, a bright light, a roar calling you home. 

    Maybe she doesn’t. 

    Susan grows older and grows up. Sometimes she hears Lucy’s horrified voice in her head, “Nylons? Lipstick, Susan? Who wants to grow up?”  and Susan thinks, “Well you never did, Luce.” Susan finishes her degree, stays in America (England looks too much like Narnia, too much like her siblings, and too little, all at once). She starts writing for the local paper under the pseudonym Frank Tumnus, because she wants to write about politics and social policy and be listened to, because the name would have made Edmund laugh. 

    She writes as Susan Pevensie, too, about nylons and lipstick, how to give a winning smiles and throw parties, because she knows there is a kind of power there and she respects it. She won wars with war sometimes, in Narnia, but sometimes she stopped them before they began.

    Peter had always looked disapprovingly on the care with which Susan applied her makeup back home in England, called it vanity. And even then, Susan would smile at him, say “I use what weapons I have at hand,” and not explain any more than that. The boy ruled at her side for more than a decade. He should know better. 

    Vain is not the proper word. This is about power. But maybe Peter wouldn’t have liked the word “ambition” any more than “vanity.”

    Susan is a young woman in the 50s and 60s. Frank Tumnus has quite the following now. He’s written a few books, controversial, incendiary. Susan gets wrapped up in the civil rights movement, because of course she would. It’s not her first war. All the same, she almost misses the White Witch. Greed is a cleaner villain than senseless hate. She gets on the Freedom Rider bus, mails Mr. Tumnus articles back home whenever there’s a chance, those rare occasions they’re not locked up or immediately threatened. She is older now than she ever was in Narnia. Susan dreams about Telemarines killing fauns. 

    Time rolls on. Maybe she falls in love with a young activist or an old cynic. Maybe she doesn’t. Maybe Frank Tumnus, controversial in the moment, brilliant in retrospect, gets offered an honorary title from a prestigious university. She declines and publishes an editorial revealing her identity. Her paper fires her. Three others mail her job offers. 

    When Vietnam rolls around, she protests in the streets. Susan understands the costs of war. She has lived through not just the brutal wars of one life, but two. 

    Maybe she has children now. Maybe she tells them stories about a magical place and a magical lion, the stories Lucy and Edmund brought home about how if you sail long enough you reach the place where the seas fall off the edge of the world. But maybe she tells them about Cinderella instead, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, except Rapunzel cuts off her own hair and uses it to climb down the tower and escape. The damsel uses what tools she has at hand. 

    A lion told her to walk away, and she did. He forbade her magic, he forbade her her own kingdom, so she made her own. 

    Susan Pevensie did not lose faith. She found it. 

    (Source: ifallelseperished)

    remixesofselfcontrol:

    Mindworkers remix

    remixesofselfcontrol:

    Infernal - Alex K Remix

    High Contrast “Spectrum Analyser”

    Hello Tumblr, just popped in to say this song and video are amazing

    Charli XCXorcism

    I need to stop listening to this damn album, so I’m just going to try writing in this little (but expanding) box on the internet, the geography of the mind map I find myself occupying in the hope that I can move on – even just a little – to the next grid reference. I feel sorry for poor Little Boots and even Rudimental who only got a couple of weeks before relegation to listening time’s opportunity cost.

    Every now and then an album digs its multiple hooks into me and just gloms on and drags me through a cycle of compulsive listening, through a trough of listening and hating that I’m listening to it and little else, and out into a place where I can consider leaving it, say a week, coming back to it later with an ‘oh, yes this IS still awesome’. Listening out of order is hard, and the point where I’m skipping around is the point where I know I’m on the voyage home to sanity.

    This mania happened to me most recently with the Nero album, but not as intensely (I found quite a few tracks on it patchy in the end), and I have to go back to when I lost all perspective over Late of the Pier.

    Which I *think* was also the last time I went to a gig (*thinks again* that doesn’t sounds right, but…). And I did get to the point with Charli of hovering over a BUY button for an Islington Academy gig a few weeks back now. I had to stop myself, because then it started to feel creepy.

    The Late of the Pier gig I felt conspicuous in because I was basically surrounded by the cast of skins taking mobile phone photos of each other in various faux-snogging poses. But once the music was playing it didn’t bother me – and I thought little more of them until I found myself wanting to apologise to the few I barged into during an aggressive shit-losing dance to Focker. And the band was all boys, and (being straight) it felt OK to me to be in awe of the music these young men were playing.

    I recall the point when I started being older than the bands I liked – and that was 20 years ago (hello Ride, Ash, Altern-8). So yes that makes me old for a gig goer – and that would be OK if I went to the gigs of the bands I grew up with. There’s a little pre-gig game checking out the demographics of such gigs, and how they’d shifted and expanded and receded.

    Anyway, I’m not a music journo with a ready-made excuse card that says ‘talk to the commission cos the social awkwardness ain’t listening’, so following the thought of a ticket for a gig to watch a very young woman – I couldn’t do it.

    So rather than dwell on the fact that I’m DEFINITELY NOT CREEPY, this takes me instead to the place that these songs (like Ride and Ash 20 years previously) were being written by a person at an age – where I was cruising through my A-levels and pirating games for the ZX-Spectrum. And it still astounds me that someone can do this at such a young age, and I have, in comparison, wasted my life faffing about with computers.

    Reaching back for artists I like in the same solo-female category (sorry Ride and Ash), working great stuff at that age there’s PJ Harvey, Bjork, and then further back Kate Bush – has highlighted one big difference, with these artists – lyrical ‘simplicity’. It’s a criticism I’d be unsurprised to hear being made, but one I think I’m going to try and deflect. Though as lyrics have always come in a distant second in coming to love the musical output of an artist, it’s not going to be a strong defence.

    The content of the songs on this album are direct with a beguiling apparent lack of guile. That’s my defence in a nutshell, if clumsily put. They lack the precocious literacy and hippie-child poetry of Kate Bush. They lack the powerful feminine rage of early PJ Harvey. But precocity is not innately positive – acting and conveying your age is not a bad thing. Caustic observations on the male–female power dynamic are lovely (bless them, the ladies!), but there’s other truthful, maybe more banal observations to be made. Where banal != boring.

    To be fair the songs are not without figure, they’re just applied with a measure of restraint – Nuclear Seasons being the exception that has a governing theme/metaphor. But it’s the plainer language that rings truer – a clichéd prose “And then it hits me like a ton of bricks” or basic poesy like “You’re the one that’s been stealing stars” seems more on point and honest for an 18-19 year old reaching to convey actual emotional states than anything more distractingly wrought.

    Poetry was never my strong point, and clearly I don’t value originality as much as some – but the overall effect is of a child struggling and not communicating expertly. Perhaps that’s not the intention, and the author would rather that not be my judgement – but authorial intention can go hang.

    Anyway, did I mention I LOVE THESE SONGS?!?! So I think I’m going to stop (900 words, by now, you say?) and just list songs in order of most awesome (A+++) to slightly less awesome (B)…

    • Lock You Up
    • You’re The One
    • Grins
    • You (Ha Ha Ha)
    • Take My Hand
    • Set Me Free
    • Black Roses
    • Nuclear Seasons
    • Set Me Free
    • How Can I
    • So Far Away
    • Cloud Aura

    An album I fall asleep to a lot in 94/95

    I am adding art to iTunes for sundry old CD singles, and to cover the fact that I’ve done that for Salad and Breed, here’s something from the same pile/era that still sounds totes amaze