I've got a new fan

Recently I wrote a review of this book, Moonbane, by Al Sarrantonio. It's a dumb book and I didn't like it. Or maybe the book is actually good and I'm the dumb one? You be the judge.


Public Holidays

The distribution and designation of public holidays in Australia is terrible, and I know exactly how to fix it.


Don't Play Saints Row 3

It might sound contradictory, but I think Saints Row: the Third is a lot of fun and you shouldn't play it. SR3 was generally well received at the time, but since Saints Row IV came out there's just no reason to go back to it.


Hate the Hut

My parents went on holiday recently and asked me to house-sit. While I was there I looked up some of the local pizza places. At home, I normally get two large pizzas and a garlic bread delivered for $24, which is dinner and breakfast for two people. I couldn't find a single place in Bendigo that would do anything comparable, so I gave up on “good” and swung in the complete opposite direction. Pizza Hut.


Intellectual property vs. physical property

The theory of copyright is sound enough to seem obvious and unassailable in the modern world: if one creates something, then one should be able to control and profit by its distribution. It applies as well to something we create with our minds as something we create with our hands. If I build something I can sell it, give it away, or keep it for myself. If I write something I should have the same options. If it were that simple, there would be little room for criticism.

But there's a strange difference in how the law treats physical and intellectual property. If I build a desk and sell it to you, you can use it as a desk, you can use it as a basis for constructing something else, you can chop it up and use it as firewood. It's your desk now. But if I write an article and you buy a copy from me, I get to tell you what you can do with it. You can't sell your copy to anyone else, for example. You can't chop it up and make something new out of the pieces. In fact, if I want, I can take it back and not let you have it any more. Even though you paid for it, it's still mine.


Tangled is a weird film

I just watched Tangled for an assignment I have to write on fairy tales and how they've been changed and adapted over time, and I was surprised at how ambiguous it is. And also how unambiguous it seems to think it is. Let me explain.

On the surface, there's a witch who kidnaps a princess and holds her prisoner in a tower, the princess escapes, high jinks ensue, witch dies, princess is reunited with parents. But they seemingly went out of their way to undercut that narrative without ever acknowledging that they were doing so.


Wolfenstein: The New Order

I've played about three hours of Wolfenstein: The New Order now, and I'll probably play a bit more, but I'm really not impressed with what I've seen so far. If I'd paid money for it I'd be pretty disappointed.


Gender and Character Customisation

Following the success of the Grand Theft Auto series (2004, 2008), the open-world sandbox crime genre of video games seemed an obvious path to financial success, and so many imitations were created. One such imitation was Saints Row (2006), a game that was not without its fans but, aside from a surprisingly high-profile voice cast (Saints Row 2006), didn't really stand out from the crowd. It was not until the release of the sequel that the series really found its footing and achieved cult status.

Ken Zucker, Transgenderism, Gender Identity

Gender identity is a tricky subject. Many people (I'm led to believe) have an innate sense of gender which may be in harmony or at odds with their physical sex. Not having such a sense myself I'm unable to imagine what that is like and must simply take it on trust that it is indeed a thing, in much the same way that a person blind from birth must simply accept that colours exist and the sky is blue – you say it and I accept that it is so, but it doesn't really mean anything to me.


Shadowrun Hong Kong

This is primarily a review of the latest Shadowrun game (released August 2015) but I'll also talk about about the entire Harebrained Schemes series (Shadowrun Returns/Dead Man's Switch, Dragonfall/Director's Cut, and Hong Kong/Extended Edition) as I want to contrast some of the changes in this game to the previous ones. I'll talk about the plot a bit later, but I'll warn you before I get there in case you don't want to hear any spoilers. First I'm going to start with my overall impression.

Phones are annoying

Someone has apparently accidentally set their phone to forward their calls to my number, so I've been getting phone calls all day. This would be annoying enough, but the people who've been calling are a pack of wankers.


What the hell is "bio cheese"?

Well, it's a vegan cheese substitute with an awful name. I've seen it in the shop near my house recently and today I decided to give it a go.


Why do men's rights activists oppose women's rights?

In her essay Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words, Sharon Marcus argues for a post-modernist view of “understanding rape to be a language” (Marcus 1992, p. 387), that it is the narrative of female victimhood and male aggression that makes women vulnerable to rape and is itself reinforced by rape and the way we think about it. The prevailing view of rape, she says, is that it cannot be prevented, “only postrape events offer possible occasions for intervention” (Marcus 1992, p. 388).


Mortal Kombat (2011)

I recently finished the 2011 Mortal Kombat sort-of reboot and I thought I'd tell you all about it, bekause it was pretty good. Mostly. But first I'm going to need you to open this link up in a background tab. Done that? OK then, read on.


Tim the Landlord

I ran into my old landlord, Tim, today. Not too surprising since he owns the flat opposite the one I now live in. He says he's moved back in there now, but that doesn't actually seem to be the case. I'll get to that later. Everything with him is just a little bit odd. But first let me take you back to our first meeting.


Best of 2015

Most people would limit lists such as these to things that were actually released in 2015, but I'm doing it a bit differently. These are my top 5 of each category that I watched/read/played this year, regardless of when they were actually published.