On the one hand, this code is about three times longer than is dramatically necessary.

On the other hand, I’m glad that Picard enforces best security practices on his ship.

(Reblogged from oliviadurdles)

A lot of people (most?) seem to be reading Weird Al’s song “Word Crimes” as a simple litany of grammar and usage bugaboos. This seems to me an impoverished interpretation. Yes, “Word Crimes” is set to the tune of a (once) popular song, and the lyrics are rhymed in a reasonably clever way. But in this reading, it’s still little more than a laundry list. While Al certainly does plenty of parodies like that, they’re not usually his funnier ones.

When I first heard Weird Al’s song “Word Crimes”, I interpreted the joke as making fun of the narrator, who is super hung up on ridiculously inconsequential bullshit. I find this amusing, because I enjoy poking fun at people who get huffy about “grammar”.

That is to say, the song is a satire of persnickety prescriptivists. The fact that these people have been sharing it around as a rallying cry makes this satire all the more cutting.

I don’t think this is an unreasonable or forced reading. There’s plenty of precedent in Al’s music for having incredibly unself-aware narrators. Even sticking to the album Mandatory Fun, there’s a perfect example of this in “Jackson Park Express”, which is easily the album’s best track.*

* (OK, not easily—”Foil” takes a close second. Because … it’s about aluminum foil.)



[Image: A tweet from Weird Al Yankovic that reads; “If you thought I didn’t know that “spastic” is considered a highly offensive slur by some people…you’re right, I didn’t. Deeply sorry.”]




Robin Thicke is unapologetic about how rapey ‘Blurred Lines’ is, meanwhile the dude who parodied it issues a public apology for one word.

And that is just one reason why I love Weird Al.

And on this day, I respected Weird Al even more. Why is it the guy who supposedly takes nothing seriously is the one person who seriously apologizes when he made a mistake?

so is he gonna change the lyric?

Note: The following is in no way meant to suggest that Al shouldn’t change the lyric. In fact, the fact that everyone seems so quick to jump aboard the “let’s forgive Al!” bandwagon seems really weird to me.

I’m curious what the logistics involved in changing the lyric would be. Al would have to rewrite it, of course—but he’s a clever guy, and I assume this wouldn’t be too difficult for him to do.

I assume recording the new vocal would involve going back into the studio. He’d also have to replace the “spastic”-containing version that’s already out in distribution. These steps seem much more complicated than simply writing a new lyric, and I imagine it would depend a lot on whether Al’s label is on board with the plan.

There’s also the music video, which is important, since it’s probably how people actually listen to the song. Fortunately, it’s an animation, with lots of discrete segments. In particular, the section with the “spastic” lyric seems like it would be relatively easy to splice out with something different. Al didn’t pay to produce the video, but I could see it being reasonably within his means to pay the animator to make the change.

Again, issues with distribution and who actually owns the video might make releasing a revised version complicated.

None of this is to say that Al shouldn’t change the lyric. Indeed, I think he should. (I don’t know whether he’s planning to or not.) Even if he can’t meaningfully replace the existing version of the song—due to rights or costs or other logistics—merely releasing a revised version would be a meaningful gesture, and help legitimize his tweeted apology.

(Reblogged from illhaveuknowthatiloveyou)

ok, here is an update to my previous post

it is 2:50 in the morning and i just woke up with a pretty complete plot to the novel. the idea is based on the solution i talked about earlier, but more expanded, more fleshed out, and a lot of ancillary questions answered.

the idea seems to fit together quite beautifully and is incredibly satisfying to me. i am giddy enough about it that i cannot easily fall back asleep.

it is also 2:50 in the morning, a time when every idea seems beautiful and incredible.

i expect i’ll fall back asleep and when i wake i’ll read this and think about the idea i’ve jotted down and poke holes in it and realize it’s not really so great.

but even if that is so, i am feeling good about this idea right now. i feel like it could work. and i want to record that feeling, if only for posterity’s sake.

I just thought of a solution to one of the big, huge, fundamental problems I’ve been having with my novel—a problem that’s been there since its inception, pretty much.

However, the solution involves metafiction.

However, much of my favorite fiction employs metafiction! I mean, heck, Borges used metafiction all over the place!

BUT—Borges I ain’t.

So, fuck.