Thu. May 30th, 2024

I worked on one of my No Man’s Sky hybrid machinimas today. This was the official second episode, where my spawn travels from Planet Mina to Jeongyeon’s World via the stargate. I seem to be adding things as I go, hopefully making it more interesting. First I added the commentary text, now I’m including a music soundtrack (some Twice songs) and integrating some images of the Twice members where I can. I’ve mixed the music in such a way that it sounds like it’s coming from my spawn’s helmet, a tiny ambient sound mixed in with the game’s own music and sound effects. The idea is he is listening to the music on his helmet radio whilst exploring worlds, which is definitely something I would be doing. I’ve decided I’m going to use only the more chilled Twice tracks, not the more uptempo or well known singles. At this stage I’m not really sure what I’m doing, I just know I’m enjoying the process. I plan to continue to add things as I go. Stay tuned.


I listened to a couple of podcasts recommended to me by my mate Lui, who spends much of his free time these days listening to political podcasts. They were a couple of episodes of Who Screwed Millennials by the Guardian Podcasts. The first episode was a general taster of the subject, featuring comment from Malcolm Harris, Lenore Taylor and Yanis Yaroufakis. The main theme was that Boomers were not the ones who ‘screwed’ Millennials, they were merely the beneficiaries of a short-lived enlightened economic program that has since been scaled back drastically. The second episode looked at home ownership and the housing spiral that priced Millennials out of the market, largely due to policies developed and implemented by John Howard and Peter Costello. This second episode was particularly good, taking us step by step through decades of housing policies, starting with Menzies and ending with Howard and his push to bury Capital Gains Tax. I won’t go into the details, but it’s worth hearing about, especially for Millennials. And there’s more to come, as the series goes for five episodes. Later ones look at Education and the job market.


A nice book came across my desk today at work. It was Marilla of Green Gables: A Novel, by Sarah McCoy. I am a big fan of the Anne of Green Gables books by original author L.M. Montgomery. Anne is like the female version of Huckleberry Finn transposed to Prince Edward Island in Canada. And I believe Mark Twain was also a fan of the book. I love Anne and the series so much that I even wrote a goofy song about her back in the day. It’s about time her guardian, Marilla Cuthbert, got a story all her own. If anyone deserves it, it is her – and also her stoic brother, Matthew. I assume he will be in it too. I will read the book with pleasure some time in the future. In the excellent Kevin Sullivan tv series of the books, Marilla was played by the actress Colleen Dewhurst. Not long after the show was aired I saw Dewhurst in a production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard in Covent Gardens, London. It was splendid. I love Chekhov’s major plays.


One of the many reasons I like working in libraries is because I’m always having book or literary encounters. For example, I helped a patron out today whose name was Sinjun. How many of you literature lovers know that reference? Well, it’s from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Sinjun’s the missionary character Jane encounters later in the book, and who tries to get her to join her in the arduous task of being a missionary in hot India. Thankfully, the spirits of nature, or something supernatural, intervene and she is instead reunited with Rochester. Knowing all this, who would name their child Sinjun? I ask you! I re-read the book a year ago (actually, it was an audio book, brilliantly read by Thandiwe Newton) to get me up to speed for another related book, Jane Eyre Laid Bare by Eve Sinclair. This was a juicy soft-porn bodice-ripper of a book that focused mainly on the Thornfield Hall and Rochester chapters that make up the heart of the story. There was some mention of Jane’s time in Lowood, the girls school, and you can imagine what went on there in this version of the story. All in all, it was fun, but strange reading about Jane masturbating and all that. Just how Sinclair handles the whole ‘woman in the attic’ scenario has to be seen to be believed. Interesting how quick we went from the wholesomeness of Marilla to the sordidness of Jane Eyre Laid Bare, hey?


It’s handy knowing something about Jane Eyre, because the book is one of those cultural touchstones that always seem to come up in all kinds of places. Like, The Bangles. Remember them? Walk Like An Egyptian and all that? Their most well-known singer, Susanna Hoffs, wrote a novel called This Bird Has Flown, and there are Eyre references all through it. Have to say, although I really wanted to like it, I was disappointed by the book. I thought the Jane Eyre references were a bit half-baked, and the main character was not likeable. I’m really sorry Suzanne…

One final trainspotter note about the Bangles. I had tickets to see them around 1990, but they broke up before they came to Australia. Then around 2005, they did tour, minus bassist Michael Steele, and I finally got to see them. I thought their comeback album of the time, Doll Revolution (with Michael Steele), was really good.

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