athelind: (Constitution)

I will allow the possibility that corporations might be considered people as soon as I see one marched to the guillotine.

Parading its head on a pike is optional.
athelind: (clobberin' time)
One of the comic-related blogs that I peruse regularly is also art-related: Superhero of the Month. They have a pretty straightforward shtick: each month, they pick a superhero, and invite the art community to reinterpret that character with new costume designs and, occasionally, revamped backgrounds. The contest is usually sponsored by some comic book shop, and the prizes tend to be graphic novels featuring the character in question.

It's a concept that's produced some really impressive and thoughtful looks at iconic characters, and it's one that depends heavily on fair use, remix culture, and the principles of the transformative works movement.

So what in the world possessed them to shill for a copyright-maximalist marketeer and his hollow, vapid t-shirt logo "superhero"?

Here's the guy who's the subject of the December 2011 contest: NOTES (or possibly N.O.T.E.S.), flagshill for the innovatively-named Superhero EnterprisesTM.

"NOTES" is our most powerful science fiction superhero and a highly-skilled leader in music technology, whose mission is to enhance and transform the experience of making and editing electronic music.

"N.O.T.E.S." distinctively offers solution(s) to the global fight against illicit downloading and counterfeiting, as the consequences of digital piracy online and in the streets....have continued to threaten the U.S. economy, jeopardize public safety, and undermine the livelihood of our domestic entertainment industries.

Comic book superheroes are supposed to provide role models that are potentially used by children in developing self images. N.O.T.E.S. symbolizes these qualities of high moral character, courage, generosity, and honor of a noble spirit.

That's right, kids: he fights those eeeeeeeevil downloaders! He's a valiant defender of the profit margin and traditional distribution models!

The blog also offers a link to the eventless "origin story" for NOTES, in which Our Hero defeats a couple of shoplifters with ... um ... look, all snarkiness aside, but it really reads like his music is so crappy that they go into convulsions. There may be more pages that haven't been posted yet; it certainly reads that way, and the "origin" offers no explanation as to how he got these powers of amazing musical dysentery.

I've perused the rest of the site, and it just gets worse. The fake street 'tide, the obvious memetic targeting toward the metaculturally naive—he's like Joe Camel for anti-downloading. There's nothing about actual story here; he's Pure Product, No By-Product. Sure, Marvel-Disney and DC-Warner exploit their properties mercilessly these days, and yes, Joe and Jerry's concept sketches included sketches of product labels adorned with their mythical muscleman, but NOTES is designed to be merchandised first and foremost. They come right out and say it: he was the logo for their music production company first, then they decided to spin him off into a "superhero". He got t-shirts and sneakers (and an art contest!) before his first comic was ever released. They describe him themselves as "the trendiest superhero in the universe."

Higher praise no mutant could ask.

And what fabulous prizes await the artists who can best capture this Champion of Commercialism?

1st Place: Opportunity to write/illustrate a two-page short story featuring NOTES to be featured on Superhero Enterprises' Tumblr and DeviantArt pages, and a NOTES T-shirt.

Semantic Analysis: Draw us free art to make our IP look cool and popular, and we'll let you do more free art to promote our brand!

Your Obedient Serpent was sore tempted to post a comment along these lines on the SotM blog announcement, but honestly, that's flat-out trolling—especially since the comment list on every SotM entry is headed with a "don't be rude" disclaimer.

I should note, however, that the contest parameters themselves state: "What we'll be looking for is an illustration that best exemplifies what you believe NOTES stands for."

Oh my. Do be careful what you wish for.

My medium of choice, alas, is prose, and thus not appropriate for the contest.

I think it would be a fine thing, however, if the more artistically-inclined provided the blog with entries that showed exactly what they believe NOTES stands for.

As Uncle Howard used to say ... Do Not Call Up What You Cannot Put Down.

athelind: (coyote durp durp durp)
... "sick mind" as in "staying home sick today with weird sinus-related wooziness", which is leaving my brain making strange, dissociated, random observations.

And I get to share!

Have you ever noticed that people who vehemently insist that the new century/millennium began in 2001, and you're an illiterate idiot if you suggest that any other opinion might possibly be valid, will still refer to a movie made in 1980 as an "Eighties Movie"?

athelind: (Eye - VK)
Now, I have no doubt that this is spam:

Same entry.

Addendum, 23:25: I suspect that post-dating an entry several years into the future to keep it at the top of one's LJ makes it "sticky" in more ways than one. Since a lot of spambots post their phishy little comments on the journal's latest entry, that post-dated entry is going to pick up most of them.

Note that this particular comment is generic enough and innocuous enough to create the impression of legitimacy on many normal blog entries. Ironically, it's the same elements of my VK-CAPTCHA post that made it so hard to determine whether the word-salad response was a robot or a hipster that made this more innocuous one so obviously machine-generated.

athelind: (Eye - VK)
Those who just read my pearls of wisdom via their friends lists may not be aware that the topmost entry on LJ page is a mash-up of a CAPTCHA test and the Voight-Kampf test from the opening scene of Blade Runner.

On 18 January 2011, that entry got a word-salad comment that looked like a random text generator used a series of metaphysical screeds as a seed source:


Those who possession of to the standard faiths call that the expert of their obedience rests on revelation, and that pronouncement is confirmed in the pages of books and accounts of miracles and wonders whose disposition is supernatural. But those of us who take great discarded the belief in the mysterious quiescent are in the attendance of revelations which are the purpose of faith. We too entertain our revealed religion. We have looked upon the lineaments of men and women that can be to us the symbols of that which is holy. We acquire heard words of sacred wisdom and facts in fact spoken in the possibly manlike voice. In sight of the domain there set up hit to us these occurrence which, when accepted, despair to us revelations, not of abnormal doctrine, but of a natural and sure credence in the incorporeal powers that spark and labour in the center of [a person's] being.

Given entry in question, I can't tell if this is just some kind of random spam, a blind idiot translation of something from another language, a sincere if TimeCubist rant, or an amazingly clever metacommentary.

Think on that one for a moment. I cannot ascertain the degree of sentience that generated this comment. Someone (or something) has responded to a parody of a test to determine your humanity with a response that is recursively ambiguous. Seeded randomness? Automated translation? Schizoid human? Clever post-modernist? I can't tell.

I was tempted to leave it there, but [ profile] theweaselking provided some compelling reasons to delete it (especially since LiveJournal lets you mark such unwarranted commentary as spam). I hope that copying and pasting the text here won't trigger the spammer's search engines, but I am far, far too lazy to turn the blurb into an image.

athelind: (prisoner)
It was a trivial thing, really. I discovered that "second breakfast" wasn't merely an invention of Professor Tolkien, but an actual meal in some cultures. This amused me enough that I went to the Wikipedia page for Hobbit to turn the reference to that meal into an internal link.

While I was there, I shrugged, and turned the references to all the meals into links.

and then there was DRAMA ON THE INTERNET OH NOES! )

If there are any further volleys in this pie-fight, I'll update accordingly.

athelind: (Eye of the Dragon)
And so, another year ends, and Your Obedient Serpent will be more than happy to be shed of this one. I bid 2010 adieu with two upraised middle fingers and a shout of defiance.

It's time to face forward.

I've mentioned that sometimes, the radio talks to me, that the station I most often tune to has a tendency to play certain songs over and over again, and sometimes, the songs that cycle into that repetitious rotation are ones that directly address my moods and circumstances.

Back in November, as I was preparing to move a lifetime of belongings out of [ profile] quelonzia's garage, this one played nearly every day.

I was going to post it tomorrow, but it played again, just minutes ago.

This, then, is my New Year: No Resolutions, Just Resolve.

I've got a world and a life and a future in front of me.

And it's mine.

I know what it means to walk along the lonely street of dreams ... )

Happy New Year, one and all!

athelind: (AAAAAA)
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Have you ever closed the door on an opportunity or a relationship in order to open another door, only to realize you made the wrong choice?

oh, for crying ...

Yes, okay, yes. I woke up to that running through my brain this very morning: sometimes it seems like every single time I've had a binary choice, I've picked the wrong one. On the rare occasions that I do make the right choice, I manage to screw it up somehow with later choices.

I reiterate my conclusion from the last "life of regrets" Writer's Block I answered, less than three weeks ago:

Shoulda-Woulda-Coulda is toxic.

You can't do a damned thing about where you've been.
You can only do something about where you're going.

Face Front.

Rassin' frassin' LiveJournal Drama Llama stereotypes. There should be a cap on how often Writer's Block can ask the same kinds of question in a single month.
athelind: (Howitzer)
When did it stop being bad manners to talk about religion and personal belief?

Ninety-nine percent of our problems with polarization and conflict stem from the shift in culture that's made this an acceptable topic of public discourse.

I miss the concept of "boundaries".

athelind: (Dragon Conspiracy)
Conspiracy rants are often amusing.

Conspiracy rants that cite Mage: the Ascension as factual material are Comedy Gold.

athelind: (Eye - VK)
Unpleasant personal epiphanies.

Taking my own advice and running some diagnostics.

If I'm quiet for a few days, Don't Panic.

Comments closed; reassurances just reinforce bad behavior.

November 2016

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