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

August 31, 2011

The Dreaded Linkfest

Filed under: geekery,the interweb she provides — lexifab @ 5:04 pm

Look, let’s just be open about this. Nobody likes a blog that just throws up a bunch of links to things that the author found either amusing, disgusting, provocative or all three. And yet we all do it, because the only thing an RSS-junkie like me likes even less is a blog that goes more than a week without an update. Right?

Say, is that the sound of coyote-whippoorwills chirruping at some tumbleweeds blowing past?

Well, anyway, this week I’m working on my short story (Teeth still grinding. Words still emerging at an unusability ratio of four- or five-to-one. Proceeding as expected) so I haven’t spent too much time pondering the sort of blood-scorching topics that compel my usual waffling commentary.

I thought about taking cheap shots at the dire quality of what passes for politics hereabouts. However between the Convoy of No Confidence (daft and inconsequential and considerably less representative than most things that get protested in Canberra) and the Craig Thompson affair (which is vanishingly unlikely to bring down the Government, unless there are actual dead hookers yet to be revealed) and the minimalistic reporting about the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office (which should constrain participants of future election campaigns to boring policy-based debates), my heart wasn’t in it.

Instead, here’s some crap from the internets:

Via writer Cam Rogers, The Lonely Island are those incredibly rude young chaps who had that song about being on a boat. Here they present another nautically-themed number, which features Michael Bolton taking the absolute piss out of himself. Warning: contains further swearing, though not nearly as much as pertained to that motherfucking boat.

What with all the walking I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been listening to a lot more podcasts (I have not quite picked up an audiobook habit yet, though I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I add them to the long list of cultural artefacts for which I have an unhealthy and time-consuming appreciation). Two of the better gaming-related shows that have hit their stride over the last year or so are The Walking Eye podcast and the Jennisodes.

TWE is an excellent round-table discussion ‘cast in which the principles first record several of their play sessions of a particular game (usually but not always a recent small-press “indie” publication). They follow this up with a review episode in which they pull the game apart and figure out what did and didn’t work for them, and then finally they get the game’s author(s) on the show for an interview. If you can develop the stamina and tolerance for listening to someone else’s roleplaying session – the actual play recordings sometimes go for a couple of hours – then these recordings are an excellent introduction to games that are sometimes (often) best taught orally. Which is not to say that they don’t sometimes (often) get rules wrong, but they are usually conscientious about correcting their mistakes. It’s a fine show – the presenters are thoughtful and assured, the discussions are free-ranging but rarely stray off-topic, and the combination of actual play – review – interview provides an excellent overview and more than enough of a game’s flavour to inform a decision whether to purchase it. I picked up Apocalypse World on the strength of the TWE review and will likely get Fiasco on the same basis.

The Jennisodes is another roleplaying game-focused show. Its format is a slightly more traditional interview show, but host Jenn has a real knack for (a) getting interesting people on and (b) getting them to say interesting things about themselves well beyond whatever the topic at hand may be.

Getting away from the gaming, I’ve also started listening to War Rocket Ajax, which is a comics-related podcast that sometimes strays into esoteric subjects about which I comprehend little (such as nerdcore hiphop and the varieties of barbecue available in the southwestern USA region). Nevertheless the hosts Chris Sims and Matt Wilson are engaging interviewers possessed of truly inhuman depths of knowledge about Superman, Captain America and even some comics that don’t have superheroes in them. This is a good show – their recent interviews with Mark Waid and Greg Rucka were music to my nerdy ears.

Inspired by the DC relaunch about which Ihave recently opined at length, the DC Fifty-Too blog depicts covers from an alternate universe relaunch with some of the artists and characters that didn’t get invited to the party. Many of them are far more compelling than the actual relaunch titles (I would pay handsomely for a Mignola-style Big Barda series).

Apocalypse World is yet another roleplaying game I would desperately love to play if I could find the time. Instead I console myself with vicarious entertainment like this short instructional animation explaining how the game is played, which I have mostly linked to because it is oddly beautiful.

A good caution on the dangers of writing outside your culture and immediate experience in this ABC Drum article: How to Write about Aboriginal Australia. I have a great fondness for sarcasm borne of weary exasperation. In the past few days a work colleague of mine also posted this inspired rant about the declining  Australian backbone: Snobs and whingers. There’s some good writing on the Drum at the moment, especially now that they seem to have dispensed with the occasional services of Bob Ellis.

8 Comments »

  1. I admit I skipped to the end and only read the last two of your linkfest. There’s nothing more Australian than whinging about snobs and whingers. I will drink my instant coffee with pride today.

    Comment by The Once and Future Dr Clam — September 1, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  2. Well, I fugured that would happen, which is why I tried to put in something for everyone. 🙂

    Comment by lexifab — September 1, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  3. I was tempted by the one to the Parliamentary Budget Office, I admit … but their webadmin is probably already overwhelmed by the increased traffic since this post went up.

    I like ‘fugure’ as a verb, btw: it would have to mean something like ‘to assume a proposition in such a way that if it is not done properly, death ensues within minutes’. Or it could be a combination of ‘figure’ and ‘fugue’, meaning ‘to assume a proposition in a vague trancelike state’. Or all three!

    Comment by The Once and Future Dr Clam — September 1, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  4. Possibly meant to denote something edited in a trancelike state… However I like your first definition best and declare it lexifabricographically thus!

    While the Parliament House website continues to struggle under the weight of near-universal scrutiny, I can outline the PBO thus – a bunch of beancounting functionaries whose job it is to cost election promises. Which sounds intrinisically dull, until you realise that the last three or four elections have all hinged on vague, overstated, uncosted and/or financially ruinous promises made by both sides of politics. If they can’t spend the next (imminent) campaign accusing each other of tricksy accounting and engineering vast economic black holes, they may be forced to fill the resultant media vaccuum with an actual policy debate. Which we haven’t seen in this country since Tampa or so (with rare exceptions).

    Comment by lexifab — September 1, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  5. Curses, where has the vibrant community of Lexifabricography fans gone? To contribute to your linkfest, my kids found this.

    Comment by The Once and Future Dr Clam — September 3, 2011 @ 10:43 am

  6. I’m still here…in a passive consumerist way.

    Comment by Jenny — September 3, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  7. Clam – There is a truly staggering – some would say toxic – quantity of My Little Pony remix videos on YouTube. It’s a worse timesink than TV Tropes… (PS: Before anyone asks, I deny all accusations of Brony-ness)

    Comment by lexifab — September 4, 2011 @ 1:07 am

  8. Also – DAMMIT CLAM! That song from the BTVS musical episode has been stuck in my head for three days because of your link. I WILL HAVE MY VENGEANCE!

    (I did enjoy a brief respite when it was replaced by Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”, when Google did its celebration of Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday on Sunday. But now it’s back, and it hurts usss…)

    Comment by lexifab — September 6, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

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