Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Tuesday, 18 June 2002

# 7:45 PM

There's a certain category of fictional works, which are populated entirely with characters that I hate. I mean, these people are scum. They have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. If I were to be in the same room with them in real life I would be forced to blow their heads off with a machine pistol. Fortunately I can avoid this sort of person easily in real life. I can also avoid these people in fiction, by not reading the books, but sometimes I get suckered in and don't realize until it's too late to do anything but hurl the book out the window and scrub my brain out with lye.

The question here is, why do people write these books? How can they stand to have these scum living in their heads? To have made them up and be personally responsible for every last bit of their scumminess? Why did they not blow their characters' heads off with a machine pistol in chapter one, then find a story to write that has at least one person who is worth knowing?

# 3:30 AM

Joshua Micah Marshall, a fine investigative journalist with a blog, thinks that Patrick Buchanan was Deep Throat (of Watergate fame). It is not clear whether this is true or not, but it is a juicy little theory, is it not?

(Why am I still awake?)

# 3:20 AM

ihnta, ijls

Teresa has a post on Lutheran humor, in which she mentions "everyone's favorite Martin Luther quote:"

Sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.

I feel obliged to point out that I have never heard that before. However, now that I have, it is indeed my favorite Martin Luther quote. (It is also my only Martin Luther quote.)

music

I haven't done an Amoeba run in awhile, but the albums in heavy rotation on xmms are:

All the band names start with "T." This means something, but I do not know what.

The Sisters of Mercy get mega bonus points for doing their own web page, with an attitude I approve of, and not fscking up the HTML, unlike some other bands I could mention. Well, except for the red-on-orange color scheme in some places. Owwww.

The Bosstones get negative points for pointless Flash; the link above bypasses it, for your convenience. Ditto TMBG; you will notice that the link goes to a fansite, not their official site, and there's a reason for that.

Time was that if XMMS was playing music, the Flash plugin couldn't make any noises. This is no longer true. I need to find out what changed and change it back. (Or find some way to prevent the Flash plugin from ever making noises. Hmm... hexedit the binary and change /dev/audio to /dev/null...)

# 2:40 AM

Yesterday, I went to see my friend Julia Bernd receive her masters' degree. Julia is another linguist — these days I seem to be hanging around an awful lot of them. She had a lot of family and friends show up. I didn't know anyone was named Desiree in real life, which is presumably what I get for being such a Yankee (Julia and company are all from various parts of the Old South).

Today, I spent an awful lot of time playing Freecraft, which is a clone of Warcraft II, which I was hooked on for a while back in college. It is a strategy game, in which you have to defeat a series of small armies of orcs (in the original; the Freecraft people are systematically renaming all of the cast in order to make it a tad less cliched, but they haven't finished yet). One thing I hadn't noticed before, about both the original and the clone, is that you invariably wind up clear-cutting all the forests on the board in order to build stuff with the wood.

An increasing number of web sites in my bookmarks list are becoming inaccessible from my DSL connection; routing traces go off into the weeds. I've poked the ISP and we'll see if it gets fixed. Unfortunately one of the inaccessible places is the W3C's HTML validator, so if there are any markup errors in this post, that's why.