11 June, 2017

Weekend Checkup for June 10 &11, 2017

I planned, over a month ago, that after I did some online spring cleaning,  I would post a series of weekend links on May 12th. Then the following week, I planned to use my vacation time to blog things that I wanted to write out for awhile. Most of "spring cleaning" was managing my Patreon contributions and culling through who I followed on Twitter. The latter went as well as I thought.

Same goes for this post. I did enjoy my vacation however, and with it came a nice bookstore haul...

The only one that came via Amazon was Jem Roberts's The Frood, while the two Doctor Who novels, White Trash, and The Handmaid's Tale I bought at Bank Square Books. We are the Change We Seek, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, and Bird by Bird were from the Savoy Bookshop while all the Shakespeare plays I purchased at Barnes & Noble in Warwick. I read through The Frood already and loved it as the book expands on Douglas's life and career beyond the confines of Neil Gaiman's Don't Panic. I also finished A.L. Kennedy's Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse and, while it was nice to see an Fourth Doctor novel, its take on psychological and cosmic horror ultimately hindered it.

Speaking of Who, I've been obsessed since the new season began. Bill (Pearl Mackie) and the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Calpaldi) are an excellent duo and a breath of fresh air since Clara left two years ago. Aside from this past week*, I've enjoyed their stories. I thought about doing Doctor Who reviews in a similar vein to Stuart Ian Burns over at Feeling Listless or Frank Collins who has done a thorough, academic analysis of "The Empress of Mars" that I think is worth reading. My mind flashes back to the Behind the Sofa blog in which they both contributed to, a site which is partly responsible for my initial inspiration into the blogosphere alongside FL, Tachyon TV, and Dan Gillmor via Mediactive.

Also, Sean Bonner and Documentally also played a major role to the point that, if it weren't for the former's newsletter, Just Another Crowd, I would never know of Seth Abramson. Seth's done some excellent interpretations of the Trump Administration's actions via his Twitter. The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article on him which I found via Sean's newsletter (#275 in the letter archive).

Speaking of politics, my local borough went through their mayoral and council elections and I couldn't be happier with the results. The opposition didn't sell me enough on their campaign leading to similar issues I had with Bernie Sanders last year. I also ran into their candidate for Mayor in passing who made me feel rather uneasy and intimidated by him. It's complicated and I'd rather not blog about it right now, but it did affect my vote.

Writing that also was slightly unnerving so here's my video of the week to ease your troubles...

Kim Justice does these excellent documentaries on retro games and gaming culture. This is just one of many, and it's s still ongoing. In fact, if you contribute to her Patreon, you'll get early access to later episodes. I've only started watching her videos after listening to her interview with the guys at the Retro Hour Podcast, and thought, "Hey, this was the sort of thing I was looking for with Let's Plays." This video on notable Playstation ads of the '90s is another one of my favorites so far and the semiotic examination makes it more than worthwhile.

As for the Rest...

I've been playing around with the Brave browser for about a few months and it's nice to not only see a privacy-centric browser, but one that's similar to Vivaldi. By that, I mean that they are both browsers with features already built in as opposed to having to search through the extensions marketplace. I found that while using private tabs, Brave is very friendly to my SSD over a few hours of usage. As for RAM, it goes without saying as it's also Chromium-based. I felt comfortable enough with it though that I decided to get Firefox off my computer altogether and that's something.

Mastodon might be my new favorite social network once I finally decide to cull through Twitter. It's open-source and decentralized like Diaspora, meaning that there are multiple, separate instances that connect together. It respects privacy in the same way that Ello does and then some, but more importantly, you can pay to keep the network going via creator Gargron's Patreon. My first post on there mentions this, a fact that I hope gets much love. Brave's on the same page with Brave Payments where the user can voluntary send money to sites whose work they support, while wishing not to be tracked by them.

In other contributions worth donating to, the GaymerX East Kickstarter is still ongoing--five more days as of today. Regardless as to whether or not you're attending, you would be providing a space for LBGTQ players to showcase their latest developments and provide a space to well...play. The rewards are also worth it and I'll admit, after watching TieTuesday** play through Read Only Memories, I'm interested. It's my kind of title. Enough said. Either way, if you can, donate.

One last thing before I go. Remember my recent Doctor Who bug, well, I found this blogger via Clayton Hickman on Twitter, and his analysis of Eric Saward's writing is something else:

Saward has a particular prose style which can be brutally efficient, the grammar of which is so at pains to be correct, it’s awkward.  (Not unlike that last sentence.)

Consider his habit of giving characters concise, frank questions to elicit a response from another character. Often these questions try to fit in both a descriptive noun and and active verb. “The escape was prevented?” is an example. The line could be, “everything worked out fine” or “no harm was done”. But in Saward’s style, we find out two things: there was an escape and it failed. In one super efficient question!

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like something anyone would actually say. See also, “you have the Doctor?” And “you fear an attack?”. And my personal favourite, from The Mark of the Rani, “you suspect another motive?”

That's all for now! I'll blog again soonish!

*Mark Gatiss isn't my favorite of the NuWho writers. At least recently anyway. Loved the throwbacks though.

**If you're interested in catching Tie's streams, he's moved over to Twitch. The archived ROM stream was originally broadcast on Hitbox (now Smashcast). You can also donate to his Patreon here.

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