Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

March 20, 2009

Currently in recovery (from not blogging)

Spent yesterday in bed with a book and Lost DVDs, trying very hard not to cough in order to avoid hideous back spasms. Was surprised by how well the supposedly-meandering third season of Lost holds up when the episodes are viewed back to back. Yes, there are some dodgy elements (chiefly Nikki and Paolo, the very short-lived experiment in showing us some of the other crash survivors) but the narrative is tighter than I remembered. I suspect the middle to late season may sag a little though.

Anyway, I feel better today.

Now that I have spent a week on Facebook, I suspect that it really demands a lot more time than I will be prepared to afford it. It’s good to have an easy means of occasionally touching base with my various cousins and rarely-seen old school buddies, but I daresay that it will not supplant blogging as my preferred medium for contact with the outside world.

In a related topic, while being exposed to near-lethal doses of daytime television of late, I’ve had the chance to observe Twitter’s transition from “kind of cool thing that only teenagers and hipster geeks have heard of” to mainstream penetration. In the last four weeks virtually every daily news/entertainment/variety show in Australian television has suddenly realised that they can create the illusion of audience participation by letting you know that their co-anchors are”currently in makeup” or “changing shirts after being peed on by that koala”. You know that when the morning newsertainment shows have a Twitter feed that it is officially no longer cool. Notch up one more geek meme that passed me by without interference. I’ll catch the next one when I can be bothered getting a mobile telephony device that can keep up (my current one has a monochrome LCD display and no camera, to give you some idea of its vintage).

Having completed all outstanding property purchases a couple of weeks ago, we have now entered the “paying all the problems that were not previously apparent” stage of property ownership. Apparently at one of our places the tenants have nailed boards across several doors in order to prevent the kids from getting through. If that were the worst of it it probably won’t bother us (the place was cheap for a reason) but I suspect that more improvised renovations are waiting to be discovered. Hopefully they haven’t been arseing about with anything electrical. We are bracing ourselves for this initial period of landlord operations, which is likely to prove a little on the expensive side. We’ll just grit our teeth and remind ourselves that this is a long term investment project. Over and over again, probably.

I’m not writing anything at the moment, by the way. Quelle surprise, eh what? But I have been reading John “He Died with a Felafel in his Hand” Birmingham’s latest post-Tom Clancy technoporn thriller Without Warning, which could easily have been written in response to the loudmouth assertions of some arsehole in a pub (not the least credible motive ever for a novel by any means). It starts with the premise that the world would be better off without the United States (a view that I, in the somewhat distant past, was known to assert in my more pompous moments) and then proceeds to systematically dismantle that assertion with a plausible progression of increasingly horrible events. It’s interesting that, aside from the occasional deliberate jingoistic note and the obligatory hypercompetent spy, for me the most compelling sequences were the speculations about shifts in the global political landscape. And his conclusion, that despite its flaws we’re kind of screwed without the damned Yankees, is pretty hard to refute.

My only real complaint is that it wasn’t long enough – most of Africa and Asia are scarcely mentioned, and Europe and South America only in key patches. If Birmingham had churned out a book twice as long, I’d have eaten it up twice as happily. He writes well, that lad. I knew he’d go far. Never thought he’d go where he has, but more power to him.

So, what have you been up to then?

4 Comments »

  1. reeling from disaster to disaster, actually.

    Comment by Jenny — March 22, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  2. Oh noes! I noticed you weren’t on LOTRO at all on the weekend. 🙁

    Curiously enough, Lexifab, I am in the middle of watching series 3 of Lost for the first time. I haven’t noticed any meandering, or else have internalised it as a feature rather than a bug.

    I have a theory that if we knew all the facts Libby’s decision to go and fetch the blankets would look just as much like a final commitment to the forces of darkness as Ana-Lucia’s decision to hand the gun to Michael to kill Ben… so that both their deaths are equally justified. From your more-knowing position in the future, am I on the right track?

    Comment by Chris F — March 23, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  3. Possibly. Or possibly the producers just decided to get rid of the two cast members who had recently disgraced themselves with DUI charges.

    Actually, it’s the start of Season 5 now and the moral philosophy of the show is still tantalisingly hard to pin down. It conveys the distinct impression that there lies within the core of the backstory some specific moral perspective, but I haven’t really sussed it yet.

    I did quite like Libby though, so I was sad about her.

    Comment by lexifab — March 23, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  4. Everything is soft focus here. Eventful soft focus. Probably some kind of survival strategy. Otherwise the excitement would be a bit much for this Mental Elf.
    House buying, swamp selling, and jaunting off to Scotland soonish with See You Next Wednesday.

    Yes, John Birmingham “Tasmanian Babes Fiasco” Birmingham I did NOT expect this. He does write well. It’s a bit like when Fay Weldon and Margaret Atwood were both writing in the sixites, who could have picked who of them was going where and I felt the same about John Birmingham and Andrew “Praise” McGahn…

    All ultimately disappoint me, but that’s only ~ultimately~ and not to say I wouldn’t be beaming if I’d written anything at all anywhere near any of them, but the youthful PROMISE, you know, so grand. To see them become more narrow as they grow older.

    Comment by polly — March 26, 2009 @ 9:06 am

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