Daily Archives: February 12, 2010

Centurion Movie Trailer

Interesting script idea — make the Romans sympathetic by making them vastly outnumbered and facing impossible odds.

There actually was an early Roman battle a lot like this one, except it was in Italy. All the guys got ambushed, etc. And IIRC, there really weren’t many more than seven guys who survived, and some paralyzed general telling the guys to leave without him. I just wish I could remember the name of the battle…. Was in the Punic Wars?

*looks for famous Roman battles*

Yes, that’s it. The Battle of Lake Trasimene, when Hannibal laid an ambush from up on hills. That was by a lake, though. And a lot more Romans escaped than I was remembering, which goes to show that memory can be more dramatic than the original source material!


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I Skip All the Meetings and Forget to Read the Memos

Apparently, at some point between Due South and today, our Canadian friends decided to stop calling folks “First Nations” and start calling them “Aboriginals”. Not “Aborigines“, but “Aboriginals“. It sounds incredibly racist-Victorian and creepy to me, I guess because I skipped all the preliminary work making “First Nations” sound somehow racist and “Aboriginals” somehow okay.

So I had to turn off the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I just wanted to watch the pretty light show, but noooooo. Nothing but narration yap from the commentators, and the creepy thing where they called North American Canadians something that sounded Australian except racist.

Shrug. Well, I wanted to get some sleep. But this isn’t the way I planned getting it.

I’m actually pretty surprised that the Olympics are on. I haven’t really heard anything about them, because they don’t bother to run Olympics advertising on the channels I usually watch. (Also, I usually mute the commercials and work on something else.) Too close to the Superbowl to excite people, maybe? Too much snowstorm stuff going on?

Well, I hope to watch the curling, and I hope that this year, the commentators will shut back up and let me watch. It’s no fun if you can’t hear the broom against the ice. But I’m fairly sure they’ll keep right on yapping continuously, just like I’m sure they’ll keep running crazy little banners that block the picture just when you want to see something. Just like I’m sure you won’t really get to see the competitions, since they’ll keep cutting away for short features and commercials. The whole beauty of the Olympics is the sheer amount of sports there is; but the whole goal of Olympics coverage is never to show you any sports at all. Turn it into narrative and soundbites and make it footage material instead of something happening live. Do anything but actually show what people sit down to watch.

I wonder what excuse they’ll use this year for not showing events live. They’ve always got one.


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Authors Postin’ Paranoid… ‘Tain’t a Pretty Sight.

I just found a very confused post by a confused fan saying to an author that he’d recorded himself reading the author’s stories, and listened to these recordings often; and that therefore he was looking forward even more to buying and listening to the upcoming professional audiobook recordings of the same. He wasn’t very coherent, but “your books are effective out loud” was pretty much all there was to it.

Now, to be fair, the law and practice in the audiobook arena is indeed very fraught right now, what with the crazy outlawing of text-to-speech on Kindles, and worries about whether text-to-speech will become as good as a voice actor. But the author went on to respond to this comment not that the law was fraught, and that he’d rather not hear about this because he wasn’t sure what his legal position should be. No, the author seemed to be honestly under the impression that there was no such thing as fair use in this area, and that probably you’d be better off not reading books out loud to anyone, unless you could prove that it was a kid’s book and you were a licensed parent.

It was very distressing. Law shouldn’t inspire fear of doing normal things or hearing about others doing normal things. Reading out loud is the primary form of reading, not the secondary one. It’s like someone suddenly worrying that computers make numerical calculations, or that they do so with “on” and “off”. Sigh.

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