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Michal on We Apologise For the Inconvenience
at 16:00 on 19-11-2015 - link
Oh, was this the person who posted on your article with OpenID a while back?
The very same!
Arthur B on We Apologise For the Inconvenience
at 08:29 on 19-11-2015 - link
Oh, was this the person who posted on your article with OpenID a while back?
I'm very pleased that we had readers who cared enough to worry when the site was down, but also I'm deeply amused that we got under some people's skins enough that years after the fact they came out of the woodwork to celebrate our apparent demise.
- Michal on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 01:32 on 19-11-2015 - link On a more serious note, I admit I haven't been visiting this place nearly as much as I used to, but then G. Jennings' biggest (only?) superfan decided tracked me down on my personal site, and that brought back a flood of memories and a panicked "where'd all our stuff go?" response. Which is to say--glad to see Ferretbrain up and running again, and all our articles safe and sound.
Shim on We Apologise For the Inconvenience
at 21:18 on 18-11-2015 - link
The autonomous AI that does not exist, and certainly does not regulate Ferretbrain operations, did not suffer an unexpected memory failure. This non-failure did not result in electromagnetic fluctuations in the purely imaginary Faraday hypercage in which Ferretbrain is not located. No DeQuincy loops formed, and therefore it is logically impossible that a localised space-time-space distortion resulted in Ferretbrain temporallarily existing only in the past and the future, but not the present. The resolution of this non-problem did not require an undisclosed visit to CERN lasting several subjective weeks for outside observers. Tindalosian beings were not encountered and no Trismegistine was deployed. No participants in this non-event were exposed to unclassified energies. The crystalline substance that has replaced the flesh on one-quarter of Arthur's torso is not in any way related to these incidents which did not occur.
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Cammalot on We Apologise For the Inconvenience
at 19:34 on 18-11-2015 - link
Oh, thank goodness! You SCARED me! :D
Very glad to see you back. I was dang near heartbroken to think of the loss of all your (plural)detailed writings.
- https://bishopsreviews.wordpress.com/ on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 16:27 on 18-11-2015 - link Glad to see y'all back. I was afraid you might be gone forever.
- Arthur B on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 15:35 on 18-11-2015 - link Down the back of the sofa.
Robinson L on We Apologise For the Inconvenience
at 15:30 on 18-11-2015 - link
So glad to see this old place up and running again. I've been faithfully reading through the new articles, if not always commenting, and I'd fallen a bit behind by the time of the shutdown, so I'm looking forward to catching up. I ... may or may not have been checking daily.
Heck, maybe this mini reopening will inspire me to revisit some half-baked article ideas I've been sitting on for a while. Or maybe not, we'll see.
(But seriously, Arthur, you can tell us where the site's really been at all this time: was it the Dreamlands? Yuggoth? The Plateau of Leng?)
https://ronanwills.wordpress.com/ on We Apologise For the Inconvenience
at 10:09 on 18-11-2015 - link
Welcome back! I was getting pretty worried for a while there, I thought I had lost one of my favourite sites on the whole wide web.
- Arthur B on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 08:48 on 18-11-2015 - link O, brave new world that has such butts in't!
- Michal on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 05:40 on 18-11-2015 - link Hey, back just in time to see Chuck Tingle's "Buttception: A Butt within a butt within a Butt" somehow end up on the Nebula Awards Suggested Reading List!
- https://me.yahoo.com/a/pwQl65QjyO_qKzMVXCk4NkWmA93bTB40uqFXg0tjtoso59j2K3E-#74262 on We Apologise For the Inconvenience at 01:59 on 18-11-2015 - link Nice to see you back.
- Arthur B on Kickstopper: The Point and Click Cycle at 16:59 on 06-10-2015 - link To be fair, Malachi is a raging snob whose clientele consists of the aristocratic elite, so he might be entirely down for all that. Maybe there's a subplot in the next game where David finds Malachi's lovingly-thumbed stash of Julius Evola books and they have a huge fight about it.
- Shim on Beasts in Crinoline at 16:43 on 06-10-2015 - link I think the take-home lesson here is probably that you should use my articles as a handy guide to what you won't think :)
Arthur B on Discovering Britain
at 16:31 on 06-10-2015 - link
The mummers who tour the pubs around where my parents live on Boxing Day each year do blackface and their play involves King George fighting a Turk, so it's in a weird place where there's clearly some racially-motivated jingoism going on but everyone's made up the same (though I note from their website that they've also incorporated characters in whiteface, or indeed without full-face facepaint at all).
Incidentally, their take on the subject is as follows:
In my experience this question is always raised by white people. We have never had a problem with black people. They can easily see we are not trying to parody them. In any case, why should they be insulted because we make ourselves look like them? Imitation, after all, is the sincerest form of flattery. Surely by changing the tradition and not blacking up we would be saying that there is something shameful about having a black face. I imagine that there are african tribes who whiten their faces - would they change centuries of tradition so as not to offend Europeans? I suspect not. Would Europeans be offended anyway? I think not.
There is the kernel of a good point in there, in that there's a bunch of features of blackface which are meant to make you look like a white Southerner's caricature of a black person which the Herga Mummers don't do. (If you check the photos you'll also note that they don't paint their ears or necks, just the front of the face, which I suppose you could see as a penny in the scales of "it's meant to resemble a mask, not a black person" or something like that.)
That said, they totally ruin it with all the defensiveness. (Plus, you know, the whole Turk thing.) Conversely, these dudes do a particolour pattern which fits the rest of the traditional morris/mummer aesthetic just fine, makes the facepaint look more like a patterned mask and less like an attempt to spoof someone's actual skin, and just plain looks better. (Credit for finding the particoloured morris dancers to Joe and Sarah at Wicked Problems.)
Shim on Discovering Britain
at 16:13 on 06-10-2015 - link
It's also worth noting that as far as I'm aware, there is considerable debate over whether those have anything to do with blackface per se or are a case of parallel evolution.
This doesn't mean they shouldn't be questioned, or even phased out. Even if it were somehow proven to come from completely different roots, we may feel its unfortunate associations are enough of a problem that we don't want it any more. It does complicate the issue and raise questions about how we should deal with this kind of thing, intersection of different cultural phenomenon and so on. Haven't seen a good discussion yet.
There's similar discussion in Holland over Black Peter, although what I've read of that was pretty unconvincing to me. There is a related question of whether a US-centric view of racial issues is becoming dominant via the Internet, which is its own kind of problematic (partly because cultural imperialism, partly because probably really unhelpful given massive differences in demographics and history between even English-speaking countries). Another thing I'd like to see a proper discussion of.
Craverguy on Kickstopper: The Point and Click Cycle
at 16:10 on 06-10-2015 - link
I find it somewhat bizarre that Malachi is pitched as being this walking repository of historical information, and yet there is no discussion whatsoever that Augustus' major legacy is as the man who put the final bullet in the head of the Republic and ushered in the age of permanent tyranny, and maybe that isn't something we should find desirable to repeat.
I mean, that is literally the first thing you learn about Augustus in history class (or from watching Rome, whichever). And these people are risking their lives to ensure his rise is recreated without ever contemplating what happened next?
Arthur B on Discovering Britain
at 12:58 on 06-10-2015 - link
The Black and White Minstrel Show was basically a British take on the American minstrel show tradition, right down to the musical repertoire, so it was basically us riding on the coat-tails of an American thing.
Minipops, however, was all our own idea.
It's also worth noting that we have our own mildly shameful blackface traditions in the form of morris dancing and mummer's plays and that's still going today, though some groups are now doing stuff like changing the colour of their facepaint or painting half the face black and half the face bright blue or something to make sure what they're doing is obviously visually distinct from blackface.
https://ronanwills.wordpress.com/ on Discovering Britain
at 12:05 on 06-10-2015 - link
Never heard of that blog, but it seems like the sort of thing that would be right up my alley. Checking it out now.
I was completely unaware that something like that Minstrel thing existed in Britain as late as the 70s, having assumed that was more of an earlier American thing. I can't really act superior about it though, since if it was in TV in Britain then you can be sure people in Ireland were watching it as well.
- Craverguy on Beasts in Crinoline at 21:00 on 05-10-2015 - link I hadn't read the comic when I saw the movie. I just thought it was a bad movie on its own merits: incompetently written, blandly acted, and with laughable special effects.
Shim on Beasts in Crinoline
at 18:07 on 05-10-2015 - link
Well, I had a good idea what the film would be like (pulpy nonsense) and chose to go on that basis, so it was a let-down for me when the comics seemed to be a bit more serious and also rapey. Whereas I'm guessing you were hoping for a loyal adaptation of the comics for their literary merit,* and the film had none?
*as is well established elsewhere, this is basically wasted on me
In the original, Dracula starts out as basically being an aged version of Vlad Tepes, and he gets younger and stronger
It is a *long* time since I read it - I remember him slowly turning from a white-haired elder into a fit, healthy young man with a full head of black hair. I think my mental model has him still being an aristocrat, but I accept that I may be 100% factually wrong about that and maybe he turns into Arnie in the book.
Arthur B on The Omen That Portended Wolf
at 17:28 on 05-10-2015 - link
Having looked up the essay in question, I am bemused that Ellison assumes that the audience in his showing were applauding because they specifically morally approved of David Warner's death, and not because, say, they thought the death sequence was impressively scripted and masterfully executed - which it is.
It's also interesting that Ellison, who admits that he hasn't seen the film for five years when he describes the incident, describes all sorts of shit which just plain doesn't happen in the scene in question. Which rather blunts his argument that the violence was in excess of what was necessary; clearly, the depiction in the movie managed to create such an impressive illusion that you see way more than you're actually shown that even years later Ellison is able to make a powerful description of what he imagined to be happening and the various gaps his imagination filled in.
And isn't being able to present you with something which is both awful on the face of it, and which is even more awful when you remember it than when you see it again, one of the cornerstones of horror?
Then again, factual accuracy clearly isn't Ellison's priority, given that he lumps in the likes of Scanners with the "knife-kill" films he's ranting about. And whilst I'm with him on Dressed to Kill being bigoted trash, I can't follow him in denouncing Blow Out.
- Arthur B on The Omen That Portended Wolf at 16:55 on 05-10-2015 - link David Warner's death is easily the nastiest in the original film. Even Patrick Troughton's isn't quite as grim in execution (pun unintentional but endorsed).
http://brandiweed.livejournal.com/ on The Omen That Portended Wolf
at 15:32 on 05-10-2015 - link
The film is also, whilst comparatively bloodless as far as horror goes...
Heh, funny seeing this comment if you've read Harlan Ellison's essay "The Thick Red Moment" where he describes in his usual even, measured tones just how grossed out he was by the death of David Warner's character in the film.