fantasy world

Apparently according to research commissioned by the 'Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property' (who?) 'free downloads' is costing the British economy billions of pounds a year...

IE I'd imagine a bunch of accountants were locked in room with their laptops and some bottles of wine and told to come up with some figures that this 'Advisory Board' could bandy about - and got paid quite a bit of money for the privilege.

"Ministers privately accept the difficulty attached to criminalising millions of people who now apparently see little wrong with stealing online content."

-They could of course, build more prisons... (what are the numbers of people fined and imprisoned for not having a TV licence these days?) or as is it seems more likely - why not make the whole of the country into a prison island (ID cards, with compulsory records of our DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, Etc. CCTV surveillance, keeping records on everyone's emails, IMs, web browsing history... We're well on our way there now.)

Or how's about trying to find new ways of making money out of creative content that doesn't rely 100% on outdated, last century ideas of counting bums on seats in cinemas, or selling over-priced plastic boxes with silver discs in them?

God help us if they ever bother to factor in the sales of second hand CDs and DVDs... like the financial sector at the moment they might decide everyone owes umpteen times over the GDP of the entire planet...

Cost to British economy of free downloads is revealed | Technology | The Guardian

Doctor Who: new companion is 'unknown' 21-year old girl

Oh. Hum. Eeeerrrr... Is this turning into 'the Time Lord Babies' show - you know, like the Muppet babies or Puppy Scooby Doo?

I'm trying not to be worried - but I dunno what Stephen Moffat is thinking... is he trying to get down with the kids? Won't he alienate some of the older members of that Saturday night family audience?

Doctor Who: new companion is 'unknown' 21-year-old actress - Telegraph

guardian snippet (with snarky comments)

politicians expense claims

This is just jaw-dropping.

A plague on both your houses - Times Online

Of course this is a symptom of the current generation of career politician we've now got. These are people who go straight from school - to university and then into politics. Consequently precious few of them have had much experience of real life - or even held down a real job (some of them might possibly have had a silly part time job during uni. but otherwise they probably interned for their chosen political party) or know much about how normal everyday people live their lives. This is apparent by the utter cluelessness they display when reporters confront them:

ANDREW SINCLAIR: And you would say, you haven’t broken any rules, this is all within the claims policy.

MARGARET MORAN: It is all within the claims policy and that’s why I’m angry about this because not only has it been very stressful for me and my family, it gives the incredibly misleading impression that somehow we’ve been dodgy, that we’ve been fraudulent or we’ve been corrupt. Nothing is further from the truth. As I say, there are – I’ve done everything by the rules. There are inaccuracies, some of which I think are probably actionable and I think that it’s deeply irresponsible and actually the evasion of privacy, not just my privacy but my partner’s privacy, the Daily Telegraph, now have and have circulated to all the media, details of my credit card, my bank statements, my mortgage statements, personal details relating to my partner, which I do not believe any responsible media should be dealing with.

ANDREW SINCLAIR: Some people are going to say you should resign over this.

MARGARET MORAN: Well I, I don’t want to resign. I want to continue to do a good job for my constituents; my Party doesn’t want me to resign. (interjection)

ANDREW SINCLAIR: Have you thought about resigning?

MARGARET MORAN: Well I, no, I haven’t because I haven’t done anything wrong. You know, if you haven’t done anything wrong, what is there to resign for.

See the clip here.

If I was in charge of the country - I'd have all mps put on minimum wage and if they're away from their constituencies for parliamentary business - they'd be halls of residence set up for them - with constant cctv surveillance in what would no doubt prove to be a futile attempt to stop them bonking each other senseless...

Of course what they should do is pay all the money back and give everyone a tax rebate. Don't hold your breath.

Art School Confidential - huh?

I've just watched this movie and am currently in the throes of 'huh? wha?'. So all this is off the top of my head.

I'm confused - I haven't read the comic book - so I can't vouch as to whether it's a good adaptation or not... so I'll have to let that slide. But broadly speaking - you can get away with a lot more in a graphic novel than you can in a movie. (Maybe that's because expectations are a lot lower? I don't know.)

But from a first viewing it seems like what could have been a really nice (all be it somewhat trite and conventional) little 'boy artist meets out-of-his-league pretty girl' romance on top of a snarky little dig at the woefully pretentious art school mores was further ruined by having a murder mystery grafted onto the top of it. Leaving me not knowing what I was watching really - much less as to what it was trying to say. (I feel it could have worked in the hands of a far more accomplished director. But here it all fell apart and became lifeless mush.)

Was it saying:

Everyone is a pretentious fraud apart from the serial killer who made his paintings from his murders? (But all he really did was make a memento of each of his victims - is that art? Do we consider what serial killers -like Dennis Nielsen and Jeffrey Dahmer or Ed Gein did with their victim's remains art? Or even the paintings of clowns by Wayne Gacy? Now, is that art appreciation or just morbid curiosity?)

That the highest accomplishment in modern life is fame even when gained through notoriety? Because that would have been a great sarcastic message - but somehow it just didn't quite work as well as it could have done.

That everyone is clueless?

If you want the girl and to be famous - then claim credit for someone else's work - even if it's homicide? Despite the fact that your own work looks nothing whatsoever like what the murderer produced. (Which should be a big giveaway surely) The problem with that was the lead actor - simply wasn't anywhere near morally ambiguous enough - Max Minghella made an ideal fresh young innocent abroad - but someone who could be mistaken for a serial killer - or even someone warped and complex and manipulative enough to be willingly allow themselves to be imprisoned as such? Oh c'mon. No. That bird wasn't ever going to fly.

The other gripe I have about the film is that the main character's art is just - so tediously bland and conventional - it's illustration not art. (You must remember Clowes for career went into comic books - which is story-telling through a series of images - a different discipline altogether from making a single image which is meant to stand alone and be looked at for a long period of time. And now I think of it - movie making - is that too. So maybe the whole film is about a cartoonist and a movie maker - people who make stories through a succession of images - just totally failing to understand what single image art is really about. Then having an axe to grind in later life about how they were so misunderstood in art school... Hey, I think I might be on to something here...)

Art School Confidential

Gordon and Sarah Brown at Auschwitz

Sarah: "So first we start by making everyone have voluntary ID cards?"
Gordon: "Then we make them compulsory... like Germany did in 1939"
Sarah: "Then we start building huge work camps?"
Gordon: "We'll claim it'll be to help the long term unemployed..."

[well - I can't help but think ol' Gordon has been taking away all the wrong ideas away from history recently. Like his full support of the Thatcherite/Reagan brand of laissez-faire capitalism - the last time that was tried in the 20s/30s - mmmm how'd that one end again?]

Manchester 'launch' for ID cards

"'ID cards will deliver real benefits to everyone, including increased protection against criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists,' the home secretary will say."

And will they go on to specify how exactly this magic ID card will do that? Unless people are totally scrupulously honest and tick the 'I am a terrorist/criminal/illegal immigrant' box when they voluntarily turn up to get a card? Only to be taken off by the police as they try to leave the building?

BBC NEWS | Politics | Manchester 'launch' for ID cards