Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blogging Nostalgia

Earlier today, I found an old copy of To Kill a Mockingbird lost under the sink in my bathroom, which brought back memories of visiting friends finding much amusement at reading the first chapter for entertainment while conducting their "business." Furthermore, it brought back some old blogging moments of misunderstood and misplaced aggression and hostility between blogs.

Alvin has reposted a historical post, which originally came around the same time as this nonsensical item which sparked some sort of debate. The debate concerned absolutely nothing at all, but the conversation that occured between two different blogs went down in the history of the Internet, for sure. He and I together reach millions of readers, indubitably.

I've also blogged about To Kill a Mockingbird before; I mentioned how it was referenced gratuitously in Big Daddy.

My point is this. I only create content on the Internet so that I can rediscover it in a couple of years and amuse myself.

Ridiculous Spelling

I am sitting here watching the national spelling bee, and the first contestant, Jonathan Horton is repeating his word about literally 40 times, back and forth with the announcer. His word was girolle, and he missed it. It is one of the most ridiculous words to say in the the English language. He took up all of the two minutes they allow. I wonder about the sanity and wellbeing of the children who study the most obscure and esoteric words in existence for this competition.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So it's time to quickly review two movies, Pirates of the Carribean 3 and Spiderman 3.

They're jumpy. "Pirates" is jumpy because is so confusing. Gene Seymour summarized it well, "It won't matter whether you've seen the first two Pirates movies or not. You'll still be confused." Still, it felt much more entertaining than the second one. It was jumpy because there were way too many plots that were not explained adequately.

Spiderman 3, I thought, was entertaining enough, but it seemed to drag. There was a lot of emotion from the characters, but somehow, the reader didn't really have to connect with them. Of course, as a Spiderman movie, one might expect a bit more action, and this one was lacking something to liven it up. Also there were a few loose ends, and plot elements that didn't seem to logically follow; some major events that should have triggered some other things were simply ignored, and in this way, it was jumpy. It's hard to talk about a movie in the abstract so as to not give away spoilers, but if and when you see it, you'll probably understand what I'm saying. It did have a few hilariously intentional irrelevant items.

So, the consensus is that both movies were disappointing. Of course, people will see them, because the machine we call Hollywood is beyond our control! Studios can make a terrible film for a hundred million, and audiences will flock the theaters, buy the DVDs, succumbing to the advertising. If a studio pours a hundred million into a terrible film, advertise if for five million, and then make 2oo or 300 million, it's a great success! I am, of course, making up these numbers out of thin air, with no authority or basis whatsoever.

You know, sales of movie tickets and DVDs have been declining, and many people have been quick to blame piracy. Sure, that probably contributes to it, but there's a much bigger factor here. The movies are getting worse and worse! If these are the summer blockbusters that Hollywood has to offer, they're in bigger trouble. They have a lesson to learn. If they make good movies, they will regain all those ticket sales. If they continue to push bad movies, they will lose money, and fans. It's that simple. So many small, relatively low budget films that are really well made are remembered by the public, and when they make a ton of money, it's due to merit. Films like Napoleon Dynamite, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Those were sleepers. Anyway, I forgot what my point was here. Watch good movies, and don't watch bad ones. That pretty much applies to everything in life. Do good, not bad. The discretion is yours.

Fake Beer

Somehow I'd like to think that the reason a product like fake beer, marketed to kids, wouldn't fly in the United States is a difference in culture, but some cynical part in me feels that a conservative politician, or even a liberal politician, trying to appeal to some conservative or even mainstream bloc, would try to outlaw this. There were some politicians I had heard about a while back who were trying to ban THC-free Marijuana-flavored lollipops. That issue turns into one regarding freedom of speech, as such a ban would be stifling anti-prohibition speech. I'm not sure what someone would want in a Marijuana-flavored lollipop, because I'm pretty sure that people consuming real Marijuana it aren't doing it for the flavor.

Some Shenanigans on LiveJournal

It looks like the administrators of the blogging service I used previously are conducting some interesting filtering.

Of course, this isn't censorship to me. LiveJournal is a private company, so they should be able to do whatever they want. Censorship should be clearly defined as something only the government can do.

What strikes me as silly though, is why they're cracking down on this. It doesn't seem to me that sexual offenders and pedophiles have anything to lose really. LiveJournal is stifling discussion of sex crimes, but it doesn't seem to me that this action alone could actually do anything to prevent or even slow sex crimes in real life. Even still, maybe the administrators feel some kind of guilt for having condoned filthy discussions of this nature, and they don't want to tolerate it anymore. They can clean their hands of it, but really, they ought to know that they aren't really accomplishing anything in the real world.

This raises a question about pornography in general, specifically child pornography. Now, pornography can be simply text. Should child pornography be illegal, where it is only synthetic? That is, if someone writes a pornographic short story involving children, there are no victims. What about sexually explicit depictions of children that are entirely computer-generated? There's no victim there. I believe that under current law, possession of this "synthetic" child porn is a crime. Proponents of this policy might argue that those who create, distribute and consume such synthetic child porn would be encouraging crimes in real life. That argument doesn't hold a lot of weight to me, since popular culture references and even glorifies all sorts of other crimes. Think of all the movies about the Mafia, or car thieves, burglars, and others. Conservatives would probably still make this argument that condoning synthetic child porn would encourage crimes against children, but I say, it could even have the opposite effect, from catharsis. I don't want to immediately take the side and say that consumption of this type of pornography would be cathartic, but I can say pretty confidently that the world is nowhere near as scary as fictional media products would have you believe. What's fantasy is fantasy, and any fool can tell the difference. At the same time, I definitely would not like to associate myself in any way with the kind of person who would watch synthetic child porn. Now, the instant one tries to touch a child inappropriately, they should be locked away forever, but we can't be making certain thoughts a crime.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Line Rider

Somehow I missed it a while back when it exploded in popularity as a phenomenon on this great Internet, but I have recently caught the fever of Line Rider. You can decorate the backgrounds, but mostly, there's some inexplicably simple pleasure one derives from sending little two-dimensional pixel down a line. Enjoy.

StarCraft II Background

If you're living under a rock, you should know that StarCraft II has been announced. I personally think that StarCraft is probably the greatest video game of all time, having wasted a decade playing it, and I can imagine how the sequel will step it up. To build hype, I have been using some themed backgrounds. Check them out here.


This is The Paltry Press.

I'm Seth Goldin, and I'm not going to pretend that this blog is some sort of new phenomenon to me. The truth is that I am creating this blog to help to simplify my content-producing identity online. What do I mean? I suppose I started into this venture of producing content online on April 26, 2003, a date that my most devoted fans of mine will know is the date I launched my personal website. Back then, I used stupidly simple online editors, because I hadn't bothered to take the time to play around with any actual HTML. When other people had already started blogging, I attempted to do so by manually editing pages, not posting with software of the future. Later, I experimented with different blogs, migrating waves of posts on different different sites. Hilariously, I lost the earliest works by accidentally deleting them forever.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. A friend pushed me into using the Blogger software for a certain collaborative project a few years back, and I experimented with it. He had already been using it, and over the years, I have liked what he was doing with it, how he's blogging, and how he continues to blog. I admired his work, completely deluding myself by not using Blogger as my primary blogging tool, even when I had used it for quite a few projects. I still do. I've been using Blogger for a good long while, but today, I simplify my digital identity by consolidating everything I want in a blog, right here, at The Paltry Press. I say I'm simplifying things because I can manage all my projects at Blogger together, easily, and I now am finally creating the primary blog to go along with them, the blog I should have had much earlier, years ago.

I'm titling it The Paltry Press. Yes, I write the title again, perhaps because I'm still mulling it over, having just thought of it, and titling this blog whimsically. Of course, the self-deprecating humor in the title will serve to show that this blog won't be professional, but I'll do my best to make it good, with frequent posts of high quality. However, if history tells us anything about the future, this blog will consist of terrible posts published irregularly and unpredictably.

Because this is about cleaning up things, of sorts, I aim to divulge my intentions for doing so. With the popularity of blogging having exploded, I see this pressure to record chronologically all content worth producing. I have been able to do this for the projects involved with Blogger, and I am ready to trust it for bigger and better things. I hesitate to say that I am migrating here, because this to me is a clean slate, a fresh start, even if I have maintained other blogs before that I am now happening to discontinue with, or even delete, after archiving. My purpose here is to provide a blog to disseminate information that I want to disseminate, what I want, how I want it.

In this blog, which is hopefully going to continue for a long time, links may become outdated, but the content here will last. Because of the fleeting nature of the Internet, a reader must remember that posts which will eventually have broken links worked when I posted them. I can't believe I'm talking about the future as if it's the distant past, but that's just a testament to my plan to make this last a very long time, with consistent content. Of course, things change so quickly on the Internet, having a broken link, to somewhere else on the Internet, controlled by an entirely different person, in one of my posts doesn't mean that it's old. On the Internet, a broken, but once working link could mean the post is a couple of days, or even a couple of hours old.

This blog will stand alone. It isn't complementary to another component of my online presence, like my home page or another blog or podcast. Having that mindset, I believe, will free it up to be creative, making it limitless, such that I can post items that I intend for distribution elsewhere as well, keeping in mind that it was here first, and conveniently, it is stamped with a date and a time, immortalizing the content exactly as I desire.

So getting all this obligatory meta-blogging for an introductory post, I can now inform you to rest assured that what I'll take for good content is on the way. You'll soon learn of what I find interesting, and what my opinions are. Read on. Spread the word.