Thursday 2 March 2023

fuga dal bronx (10. 582)

First given the MST3K treatment on this day back in 1996, the 1985 apocalyptic film by Enzo Castellari (also creator of the 1978 film movie The Inglorious Bastards, Quel maledetto treno blindato—“That Damned Armoured Train,” a remake inspired from The Dirty Dozen but only an inspiration in for the title of the similarly named Quentin Tarantino film which is not a remake but does have a cameo of Castellari as a Nazi general) was also released under the title Escape 2000 and chronicles the resistance of the residents of the New York borough, a dystopian wasteland to sinister property developer, General Construction Corporation, and their plans to drive out the present population and build a futuristic city in its place.

Tuesday 21 February 2023

gonzalez v google (10. 563)

During oral arguments, the US Supreme Court entertained a 2015 case contending that internet giant and parent company of Youtube effectively acted as a recruitment platform for Islamic State violence by hosting and algorithmically promoting harmful content and ought to be held liable for what users post on their sites—as publishers would for seditious or dangerous material. Heretofore, host companies have been shielded from legal responsibility from third-party screeds and recommen-dations that can potential deputise and radicalise through their affirmation and reinforcement (admittedly a search engine’s raison d’รชtre) under a provision of the law called Section 230, a carve-out of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that states those operators are not the authors of what people choose to share and propagate, and without a measure of immunity, it is feared that US companies would be exposed lawsuits and severely disincentivised from offering anything that one might find objectionable by any standard. Though the court and the twenty-six word that the argument hinges on may not provide a sufficient framework to define defamation and danger, justices—again, the internet is not America and such regulations should be taken in context—are trying to parse the difference between inclusion and amplification.

Wednesday 14 December 2022

6x6 (10. 384)

strife wins out: ๆˆฆ (ikusa, tatakau meaning war) is voted kanji of 2022—previously, see also—via Language Log  

dunston checks in: Poseidon’s Underworld reviews the 1996 comedic film starring Jason Alexander, Paul Reubens, Rupert Everett and Faye Dunaway  

hearth and home: more animated Yule Log loops—see previously—via Waxy 

twitterpated: a survey of possible dinosaur vocalisations  

mission highlights: arresting imagery from Artemis I—see also 

diwhy and regretsy: a collection of jargon and slang terms from the crafting community

Wednesday 5 October 2022

and as i recall, i think we both kind of liked it (10. 198)

Coincidentally on the anniversary of the premier of the cinematic adaption of the Truman Capote novel in 1961, Deep Blue Something’s ballad “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” recorded and released the year prior, topped the UK singles’ charts on this day in 1996. Lyrics inspired by another Audrey Hepburn film, Roman Holiday, the band leader felt another title would better suit. Their failure to achieve the same level of enthusiasm for later works earned the band the status of one-hit wonder. Well that’s the one thing we’ve got.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

yea i didn’t falter—just kept on going, man! i knew nirvana was straight around the corner. i turned the corner and ran smack into betty crocker! she was running across the sky yelling you never outgrow your need for milk:

The low-budget 1978 sci-fi movie Laserblast starring Roddy McDowall (previously), Kim Milford (original cast member of Hair, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and both Jesus and Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar), Cheryl Lynn “Rainbeaux” Smith and introducing Eddie Deezen received the MST3K treatment on this day in 1996 as the season finale of its seventh and last on the Comedy Central cable channel, before being untethered (the Umbilicus of the Satellite of Love cut) the mad scientist lair Deep 13 and drifting into interstellar space—foreshadowing its imminent move to the Sci-Fi network. A teenage loner discovers a powerful piece of alien technology that slowly corrupts him and compels him to seek revenge (a popular genre at the time) against those who’ve wronged him.

Sunday 30 January 2022

supernintendo chalmers

Via Kokatu we discover that a clever programmer has turned the segment from 1996’s “22 Short Films About Springfield” (a reference to the biopic Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould from 1993) wherein Principal Skinner invites his boss over for lunch, proceeds to ruin the meal and tries to convince Superintendent Chalmers that burgers are called “steamed hams” in upstate New York into a graphic adventure. Download the game or view the playthrough at the links above, which include more detail on the episode, the meme it inspired and other fan-made Simpsons arcade games.

Monday 19 April 2021

cinematic titanic

Starring Rex Reason, Faith Domergue and Jeff Morrow, the 1955 sci-fi vehicle This Island Earth, its concurrent critical acclaim was in part—not to detract from the pretty solid script—due to the novelty of Technicolor, was given a second lease on life with its MST3K treatment as the show’s first feature film, premiering on this day in 1996. With elements of The Last Starfighter, Earthling scientists are recruited, abducted by extra-terrestrials from the planet Metaluna to perform the alchemy necessary to defend themselves from an invader alien called the Zagons, learning too late that this effort only covers up and conspiracy to relocate a doomed population to Earth along with their irreconcilable differences.

Monday 8 February 2016

weary giants of flesh and steel

Writing for Quartz magazine Gideon Lichfield presents an interesting long look back at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s charter statement—the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace—which was proclaimed two decades ago this week.

Fresh from the World Economic Forum in Davos (amid the conflicts in Chechnya, the implication of First Lady Hillary Clinton in the Whitewater real estate scandal, and various other –gates enough to sour the most hopeful souls) and responding to a palpable, puritanical tension over the efforts of the US government to censor objectionable language with the same prudish quiver that applies to inter-state trafficking and cinema-goers, John Perry Barlow drafted his vision for a free and unfettered world-wide web. Analysing each article, one finds through the lens of 1996 both the naรฏve and the far-sighted expressed in rather poetic conceits and rousing construction that evokes other lofty mission-statements. I especially find the arguments for self-regulation and emergent governance forming organically, as mediated through quid pro quo and the prisoner’s dilemma, and manifest in the economics of gigs and journeymen. What do you think? Has the perceived draining of internet liberties come from outside menaces and frightened tyrants of industry or is its architecture a victim of its own success?