July 30th, 2007

snark maiden

There's alien and there's different

We caught some of the Radio 4 adaptation of Lem's Solaris yesterday. I know it's a dramatization of a translation but the wilfull refusal to put any information in some of the dialog sounded like the inspiration for every Pinter play I've ever heard. And I'm not sure I find an alien life form with an Essex accent convincing (sbisson sugested it's the equivalent of a Leningrad argot but it just has other connotations for me).

And personally, if I met the re-incarnation in alien plasma of someone I used to know and they asked what was happening, I like to think I'd tell them they were a re-incarnation - but I guess that's rather a postmodern plot.

I like postmodern. I like Dexter, because it plays so cleverly at the edge of what's acceptable and what's sympathetic. It also does tone shift, from serious to trivial, in a way I find intensely pleasing and funny and ironic ('some would say God was in this room. If he was, I'd ask him if he's brought a power extension.') But given that the character is a sociopath and possibly a psychopath too, those oh-so-witty changes of register could be part of his lack of affect rather than a pomo sense of humour. I can't watch the episodes back to back - more gore than Lucky Number Slevin and too much of the register is played in dark rather than dark but funny - but it's enormously compelling.

WiMAX news: good for two reasons

I'm not really a news writer; I have too many opinions and I don't always have an industry expert to quote to put my opinion across. News is reporting, not reportage - the writer should be even less in the way of the story than usual. But when I have an interesting story and really juicy quotes, I like writing it up. The story - Nortel creates an alliance to bid against mobile operators for UK WiMAX - is good because it's a service that understands that the most important word in 'mobile Internet' is not mobile. Make me pick between a toy service now and the real thing on my PC and I'll complain about your service and go home. And the quotes were great - I have lots more snark on the subject of wireless broadband than I could fit in the piece ;-)

Plus I was pleased that the story hardly got edited at all, and that was for euphony rather than structure. Go me!

If you keep an eye on my upcoming features I have just updated the list on www.marybranscombe.com - next stage is flipping it to a scraped list rather than a static div. What's the Web equivalent of dead tree media - dead bit div's?