Archive for Edgar Poe

Altered Carbon [season 1]

Posted in Books, pictures with tags , , , , , , on April 12, 2020 by xi'an

Following my reading of the rather thin (plot-wise) Thin Air, I took advantage of the virus to watch Netflix Altered Carbon. Which is based, roughly, on Richard Morgan’s book. While I enjoyed watching the efficient series, I failed to see a deeper message beyond the cyberpunk detective story, message that was indeed in the book. The show is very efficient with a well rendered futuristic San Francisco. Reminding me of Blade Runner, obviously. But also of the novels of William Gibson in many ways. Including this transformation of the Golden Gate Bridge into a container community. And the somewhat anachronistic fascination for samurais and yakuzas. A choice leading to repeated (wo)man to (wo)man fights that tend to become repetitive, a fairly high level of cruelty, sadism, gory and graphical episodes, definitely not a family show!, another futuristic and bleaker version of Chandler’s Farewell my Lovely, with the special twist of the murdered investigating his own murder already at the core of the book. But the lack of a deeper political message dilutes the appeal and somewhat the tension of the show, making somehow the existence of characters with a conscience hard to believe. A plus for the AI turned Edgar Poe turned The Raven hotel though! And a minus for the “happy ending.”..

Brisbane City roller derby

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , , on August 22, 2012 by xi'an

On Saturday, I got a glimpse into a very special niche of urban culture, namely a roller derby competition. If you have never heard of this, a derby opposes two teams of roller-skaters on a small loop, the goal being to let one designated member of the team (the jammer) get ahead while preventing the other team from doing the same by blocking the way and bumping into other skaters... I find roller derby rather interesting as a sociological phenomenon, if not as a sport (it relates more to role-playing than to sport, esp. when considering the pseudos chosen by the players, from Sweet enemy to La Mort Rouge [classy reference to Poe], to Florence Fightingale [my favourite!]) and I was thus glad to be able to attend this competition. I actually found the game itself a bit boring (and much less aggressive than I thought!) because one of the teams (SSRG for Sun State Roller Girls) was way above the other (BCR for Brisbane City Rollers) and very strategic in its accumulation of points, which meant the game was rather static once the jammer had found her way through the pack, but the whole event was definitely hilarious, from the players to the referees, to the jury, to the audience.