Being a geek is all about your own personal level of enthusiasm, not how your level of enthusiasm measures up to others. If you like something so much that a casual mention of it makes your whole being light up like a halogen lamp, if hearing a stranger fondly mention your favorite book or game is instant grounds for friendship, if you have ever found yourself bouncing out of your chair because something you learned blew your mind so hard that you physically could not contain yourself — you are a geek
It’s a noteworthy coincidence that Thomsen, in his opening paragraph, talks about Dark Souls distracting its players from potentially spending time learning a foreign language. In practice, Dark Souls does nothing but tutor players in foreign language. Because games vary in their mechanical rules, each one offers a slightly different ‘dialect’ to master. Some languages are quite different. The grammar of Drop7 is as different to the grammar of Assassin’s Creed as Mandarin is to German. To stretch the analogy a bit further, the gameplay language of Gears Of War and Uncharted would be more akin to the nuances separating Spanish and Portuguese. To adore videogames is to be an insatiable linguist.
If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
I don’t know that George Lucas is actually a ‘very reasonable person’, but this is funny nonetheless:
Says Lucas of his problems with Universal: “I’m a very reasonable person. Ask me to cut tits for a GP rating and I’ll do it. But they wanted to take ‘graffiti’ out of the title — they thought people would think the movie was about feet.” #
[During the production of The Empire Strikes Back] The art department experienced an awful setback, when Stage 3 at Elstreet Studios burned to the ground. “Stanley Kubrick had built a hotel for The Shining, and they kept on covering it with salt, which was melting, so the studio was a real mess,” says [Empire Strikes Back Production Designer, Norman] Reynolds. “And it was cold and it was just dreary, really dreary. And then the hotel set caught fire and the stage burned to the ground. It was a tough time, actually.”
“The still photographer on The Shining, Murray Close, took a wonderful picture of Stanley standing in front of the smoldering remains, and he had a wonderful smile on his face.” says Boone. “I saw a print of that, but Murray was forbidden to have that picture published.”
Norman Reynolds recalls that [legendary production designer, John] Barry was dumbfounded one day while working with Stanley Kubrick on A Clockwork Orange. They were on an apartment set and, although the fridge would remain closed throughout the scene, Kubrick insisted that Barry fill it with food props that the character would’ve stocked. “They had a bit of a falling out as a result of that,” Reynolds says. [p101]
Stanley Kubrick attended the funeral of the John Barry, the the production designer on Star Wars, who had died suddenly:
“That really was a really big shock to see Stanley [Kubrick],” says Tomkins. “The only time Stanley came out of his shell. I mean, you never would get Stanley going to anybody’s memorial service, but he did come to John’s. So I was quite impressed by that, that he must have like the guy very much.” [p95]
We have become used to thinking of heroism as something that simply happens to people; indeed the word has been in a sense cheapened by the modern habit of calling everybody exposed to any kind of danger, whether voluntarily or not, a “hero.” Soldiers—indeed all those in uniform—are now commonly referred to as “our heroes,” as if heroism were a universal quality shared by everyone who bears arms, or as if it were an accident, not a vocation. Even those who die in terrorist attacks, and have thus had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, are described as “heroes,” though given the choice most of them would no doubt have preferred to be somewhere else when the blow was struck.
From Hero – The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda.
“I am fascinated,” I insisted, “That’s the problem. I am suffering from fascination burnout. Of all the things that are fascinating, I have to choose just one or two.”
- Neal Stephenson, Anathem, hardcover edn, Atlantic Books, 2008, p. 733.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot
Tom DeSanto, the producer of Transformers, X-Men and X2 (paradoxically) says:
“The studios are so dependent on pre-existing brands, they’re not allowing anything new into the pipeline,” he said. “They want to know what was the video game or what was the comic book. It’s shortsighted. But what’s being missed is the next generation of new stuff. Because nostalgia is creative death.” #
The success of the mediocrity-fest that is Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0 only strengthens this strategy with the studios.
I like nice words, and I couldn’t help reprinting this sentence:
Perhaps no journalist is so admired by his peers, in part because he has actually pulled off the life we imagined our profession would afford. Dashing off 1,000 ‘pater le bourgeois words before a two-bottle lunch, blagging through war-zone checkpoints, starry parties, whisky-fuelled late-night geo-politics and crackling media feuds. Yet as most of hackdom has knuckled down to colourless, desk-bound sobriety, there is Hitchens, still larging it, a 3-D cartoon of what we might all have been, given his ego and intellect, his brass neck and neoprene liver. #
And of course this snippet:
But Hitchens is never far below boiling point. He is an evangelical secularist, an atheist warlord.
I would love to just quote the entire thing verbatim, as it is a great piece of writing. At least if you happen to be an evangelical secularist. If on the other hand you find yourself on the side that believes in the great-eye-in-the-sky… not so much.
I just saw this article on Digg about how to ‘speed up Safari‘ by reducing the ‘page load delay‘ in preferences. In the comments are many testimonials like “Oh my gosh! Safari is so much faster now!“ This just goes to prove how inaccurate people’s powers of perception are when it comes to measuring the performance of browsers. I say this because the preference in question is dead and does absolutely nothing in Safari 1.3 and Safari 2.0. :) #