Does this mean I'll be blogging more? Perhaps. I'm still not used to the interface and I can still think up a lot more excuses for being slack.
Checking the communities for my hobbies does not look promising, but there are plenty of other online communties out there.
I've also signed up to Mastodon the next new competitor to Twitter. It has similar issues but there are distributed servers (instances in Mastodon lingo) that allow more noiseless feeds.
We are entering a stranger new world and we have taken our old social networks and applications for granted.
Time to try something new.
This was my first Continuum , not my first SF convention - the last SF convention I attended was Loncon and murasaki_1966 and I wanted to recapture something of that feeling locally.
It was also competing against a con we have regularly attended for four years - it was high time murasaki_1966 attended a con she was actually interested in, and wed heard good things about Continuum. So while I wasnt exactly at Continuum under sufferance (and, for reasons I must obscure, actually glad I went) my social media feeds were filling with photos of my friends having a better time than I was.
Im hoping this was atypical of Continuum. It felt hastily and improperly assembled - certainly the convention chair gave the impression shed rather be anywhere else than standing in front of a crowd, and the panels seemed, for the most part, fairly generic. Generic to the point where I walked out of the horror panel because it was stuck on the definition and allure of horror, a discussion that Id move past decades ago.
And that was the major feeling I had from the con - I didnt feel like I was missing out if I attended one panel over another, or even didnt attend panels at all. Not that there werent panels worth attending by any means - but they were hugely reliant on the passion the panelists had for the topic, or their ability to narrow the focus of the panel - some of the panelists just seem to have been there to fill in slots.
I met up with some old friends and saw some faces behind some e-quaintances. My friend Laura called my bluff on something so were cooking up a project together, but it was rare that I felt actually engaged and immersed in the con. Maybe I just should have had different expectations, maybe Continuum is not the con for me.
On the whole, I would have rather been in Albury.
My father died 30 years ago today.
It's still hard to write about because it was the result of an operation to remove tumours from bowel cancer. He developed perotinitis and the infection spread through his whole body. By that stage he was too weak to fight it.
There isn't a week or a day that goes past without me seeing something that reminds me of him - more than just looking in a mirror. He knew a lot of what was going to happen in the world, he was involved in environmental concerns in the 70s and 80s, he introduced video technology into staff training when he worked at the National Library and he was worried about the effects of the technological revolution that we were just on the cusp of, even as he was fascinated by it.
He influenced a lot of people, wove our family inextricably into Fijian culture and left a gaping hole in our lives.
He was a great photographer, and my mother is still working on publishing and sorting his photos, starting with a record of the Fijian village that adopted us.
He is still greatly missed by me, my brother Ross, my mother Geraldine and all those whose lives he enriched.
Those of you outside of NSW will probably not have heard of it, or the controversy surrounding it and, indeed, if / when you see it, may wonder why there was any controversy at all.
It’s a documentary about four children with gay parents - and it follows each of the children through a challenge in their life and shows just how they, and their parents, navigate it.
Ebony wants to get into the Newtown School of Performing Arts. She lives out west with her two mothers and they would like her to go to school in the inner west where her parents relationship is accepted. As the mothers are both on welfare and Ebony has a much younger brother with serious health issues, they are making a lot of sacrifices for her, which she is well aware of, and just increasing the pressure she feels herself under.
Matthew wants to play Aussie Rules but one of his mother’s is a charismatic Christian, who wants to keep Sunday free for worship. The fact that her fellow congregationalists considers her a sinner, changes Matthew’s ideas about faith.
Gus just wants to go to the WWE
Graham is the saddest. His natural family had prevented him from speaking until the age of 5 and his adoptive gay parents are doing their best to help him catch up with the rest of his peer group. This is not helped when the family is forced to relocate to Fiji (where homosexuality is even less accessible than the western suburbs of Sydney.)
The focus is squarely on the kids, They can clearly speak for themselves (though Graham, of course, has a little difficulty) and they do.
And that’s the point. If anything, the awareness of their parents’ non-compliant relationship makes them even more aware and sympathetic. Ebony even talks about her own homophobia until she adjusted to have two mothers.
GB is gripping. The director, Maya Newell, keeps a sharp focus on one particular thread in these families complicated lives and has a great cinematic sense. This is not a dry polemic, this is a warm human account, sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking of four non-traditional families and how they deal with very traditional challenges. It is made with great sensitivity and artistry and gives us the good fortune of the acquaintance of four wonderful children: Ebony, Graham, Gus and Matthew.
For further information (including forthcoming screenings - and it is worth seeing in a theatre) check the website
For those late to the story, you may want to brush up on the first part.
Originally posted by blamebrampton at Vincent Crabbe and the Goblet of Bile
One or two people too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia have been waiting longer for a sequel to this post than I’ve been waiting for Jo Rowling’s Potter Encyclopaedia. The difficulty has been that the recent government has been unsatirisable. Because they are so ridiculous, it's hard enough to convince non-Australians that the reality is real – actual jokes about them are doomed.
However, recent events have left me with no choice but to hit the keyboard. Thus, I bring you:
No. That's how they are advertised to you. Here's how Ashley Madison is actually marketed/advertised.
1. There are those garish "Life Is Short - Have An Affair!" ads. They are not really meant to bring in members, nor are they want prompt most people to sign up. Their entire purpose is to let people see that they are a big site with a lot of real members and that if you are married it's a place you can go.
2. Then there is affiliate marketing. This is what gets most people to sign up and if you are the type of person who might get offended by a non mono relationship you've probably never seen it. What happens is that AM pays a commission to a site that can get people to sign up for it. What these sites do is target the real demographic - poly people, cuckold relationship people, gay people in beard marriages.
What the sites do is offer helpful information in general for people new to these types of situations. Because people in these situations need to find out how to meet people to date outside normal dating channels. The sites that offer solid information are very popular because people need this information. Then, in the articles themselves it is pointed out that Ashely Madison can help them. Another variation of this is that the site will have erotica based on these scenarios (because people may choose to read erotica before they look for real advice) and then have customized Ashley Madison ads on the pages of the site.
Now, if you are not one of the people who needs Ashley Madison for these non cheating reasons, there it is unlikely you've seen those affiliate ads, which are the most common ads for the site, becuase you haven't gone to pages that would provide you with those links.
This is why you may think that most of the people on the site are cheaters and that is who the site is for, but you'd be wrong. The truth is that it's marketed much more extensively than that.
We come to Skull at last. And Skull's a smile.
Rewarmed next day, each tragedy's a farce.
Kings fall, we all fall down. Prat-fall. On arse.
Perfectly timed. Poised, elegant. With style.
Rude noise. Best laughter comes from quiet rage
channeled and weaponized. Always about
something beyond the joke. He didn't shout
wry quiet almost whisper. Rueful sage.
Some things are never funny. In each book
reduced their number. With a jest would name
each foolish monster, when those monsters came
from life and dream. Crush with a knowing look.
His comic timing still his last best friend
Prepared it earlier. Told us. The End.
The gunman was known to police and, surprisingly, me and a lot of the public as he had been sending offensive letters to the widows of casualties in Afghan conflict. He had lost a High Court appeal on Friday and was released on bail for sexual assault. There's every indication that he was a lone nutcase.
Here's the Guardian's report
BTW - the #illridewithyou hashtag was created by Tessa Kum aka @sirtessa - one of Australia's SF community. A wonderful idea to kick against the toxic climate of hate and create solidarity with the Islamic community.
It should be remembered that it was members of the Islamic community who warned the police about the gunman in the first place.
Our local Murdoch tabloid released its own toxic cloud in a special afternoon edition. It got pretty much every detail wrong.
In today's broadsheet (which is also a tabloid - it's complicated) Peter Hartcher takes our politicians to task for, basically, doing what terrorists want them to do.
The area around Martin Place is still under lock down.
A terrible day - but at least the police and most of the media acted responsibly.
There are reports of a visible black flag with white Arabic characters and so people are jumping to conclusions. At this writing there's not enough information (in my opinion) to make any kind of judgement about motivation or the eventual conclusion.
I'm hoping for a peaceful and early resolution to the crisis but there are already reports of anti-Islamic incidents fuelled by ignorance.
This seems to be one of the more responsible sources of information at the moment.