I generally do not weep when my heroes die. But I do for Ursula K. Le Guin, speculative fiction writer, poet, scholar and genius, who left us at the age of 88. Not all tears are wrought of misery – … Continue reading Works to nourish the uncolonised mind – Ursula K. Le Guin
I have responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation survey on concessionary travel. Continue reading “Defending free bus travel”
There are few more rejigged, tweaked, re-released and given a facelift films than Star Wars (1977). Even in the earliest years of its existence, producer/director George Lucas made a habit of altering it – for instance, adding in the Episode … Continue reading Fan Edits and The Empire Strikes Back
Fans of American pulp horror cinema mourn the loss of George A Romero, leaving us after 78 years after a mercifully brief battle with lung cancer. In his early years, Romero went to Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh and stayed there … Continue reading George A. Romero – Land of the Dead reconsidered
There’s been two and a half years of non-campaigning on independence other than marches and rallies to keep spirits up.
Instead of campaigning for independence, we’ve had four SNP with milky non-confrontational anti-politics full of slogans like “Stronger For Scotland”. To which I would ask, which Scotland? And how does this strength manifest – there’s been few SNP platforms to inspire and uplift working people.
Corbyn understands little about the national question and is clearly being briefed by reactionary and independence-hostile elements in the branch office. Nevertheless, he is gaining power and popularity by articulating left solutions to social problems. Housebuilding, nationalised energy, public railways – mana from heaven for those one in four Scots who haven’t the means to save for retirement. Continue reading “Conservative Prospectuses won’t cut it – Outflank Corbyn”
The democratisation of our media – including the continuing work of the Scottish Socialist Voice – has given birth to high-quality internet streaming video and affordable camera equipment, often in the form of broadcast quality high-definition video in the palm of your hand. This liberates creators, broadcasters and filmmakers.
Cinema bears its fruit; one of the first films of note that grasped the possibility of home-made media was Jonathan Caouette’s intensely personal documentary, Tarnation in 2003. Telling the story of his life and relationship with his mentally ill mother – the film was initially made for a tiny total budget of $218.32, using free iMovie software on a Mac home computer, and went on to critical acclaim. The power and decreasing cost of cameras, audio capture and computing power have exploded since then.
As your elected social media co-ordinator, I regularly and clearly see the difference in engagement between posts with embedded graphics and video, to those without. Continue reading “Video Production: a series”
Getting an acceptable image on a DSLR is generally not difficult. Getting a professional, consistent, stable image is occasionally very hard.
The single greatest aspect of achieving a pleasing image is ensuring the image is exposed well. Exposure is the process in which light reaching the camera’s sensor is absorbed, quantified, converted to an electrical signal and digitally coded into a recorded image. It is comparable to the photochemical film equivalent of light reaching the photosensitive film in sufficient quantity, so it can be developed later. Continue reading “Video production – Exposure”
Black Mirror: Series 3 is remarkably well-made. Ever since its 2011 premiere, showrunner Charlie Brooker has been gleefully dramatising and satirising mankind’s encroaching technological empowerment as debilitating fetishes, or grand traps. He seems to delight in misery and misanthropy.
After the concentrated pastel nightmare fuel of Nosedive, the pant-filling terror of Playtest and the cruel nihlistic vigilantism and twisted moral code of Shut Up and Dance – the real treat of series 3 is San Junipero. And it’s an instant classic – in much the same way that Breaking Bad‘s One Minute, or The West Wing‘s Two Cathedrals is. Continue reading “Black Mirror – San Junipero”
The Scottish Socialist Party recognised that a Brexit vote under the present circumstances would unlock a “carnival of reaction” – a tidal wave of racism and little Islander mentality which would continue to blame and demean migrants and those seeking asylum for Britain’s catastrophic failures on working class people.
We also noted the revolutionary left Leave argument was strategically inept – and was nowhere near strong or organised enough to counter the brutal right’s mentality – and was one that chose to walk away against the rise of sweeping fascist parties across Europe. Continue reading “EU and Independence Paper”
Last night, I was working with a comrade on implementing a discussion forum. Looking at its functionality, fixing its breakages and ensuring it had access to all it needed to function correctly – and test with more people in due course. He was looking at administrative functionality, I was trying to ensure that it wasn’t going to fall over after being loaded to the party server.
We both had similar computers, laptops of similar calibre. But he gawked as I was reading error logs, fixing the errors and tying together disparate pieces of software and doing what I can to ensure that it cannot be owned. To me, this is what I do. I’ve learned how some of this works through half a lifetime of prodding and poking computers and their software to see how they work. It’s not a mystery – it is just study, experimentation and knowledge. And I am deeply average compared to many of my peers. Which is fine – you should never stop learning. Continue reading “I rely on a lot of people to make me whole”