Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forDecember, 2007 | back to home

30 December 2007

Please always provide a “child lock” mode. My less than two year old son is already turning on the drier and washing machine or at least changing the settings so that if you aren’t careful when you do turn them on they don’t do what you wanted them to. It won’t be long before he’s opening the fridge… It would cost little or nothing to add some kind of “child lock” option – I don’t know why they aren’t more common.

8 December 2007

All over the Christian world on street corners, in homes and in churches, choirs are starting to sing carols – usually for free (I’ll be doing it myself on the 15th at Crouch End). So why is it so hard to find traditional christmas carols in the public domain? Most of the creative commons databases had just modern music, the public domain classical music archive I found didn’t have much and the Creative Commons Christmas Songs list on a blog didn’t have much in the way of traditional stuff sung traditionally, and had several broken links. Can anyone suggest a good source?

1 December 2007
Filed under:Arts Reviews,Humour & Entertainment at4:21 pm

John Patterson in a reviews Southland Tales – the latest in a series of ambitious, clever movies which he compares to Heroes and Lost. He hits the nail on the head when he points out:

It seems that the process of making a movie or TV show ever more fiendishly clever and logic-proof eventually falls subject to the law of diminishing returns. The cleverer they get, the more likely it is that things will eventually turn really stupid. Are they really exercising our minds or just dumbing things up?

This is what I have found frustrating with some of my favourite series – Lost and Heroes among them. It’s fairly easy to hook the viewer by offering what appears at first to be a sophisticated, interlocking plot only to end up revealing that the writers really don’t have any idea where it is all going (and perhaps never did). He goes on:

this is the way many pop narratives seem to be going today. Everything goes in, no matter the impact on coherence or credibility. The ideal viewer is a kid with a laptop, an iPod, a full complement of cable/satellite TV options, a NetFlix subscription, a TiVo hard drive packed with recorded shows, a taste for online gaming within ridiculously detailed game-universes and open-ended game narratives, a demon for channel-surfing and an encyclopedic knowledge of pop-culture.

Now that both academics and marketers love the once-neglected fans, is television (or at least the kind of US drama I tend to watch) going to get clevered to death?