A new title?

5 May 2006

Ok, so apparently the title of this blog (the pontificating platform bit) is stupid. So what should it be?

In other news, I just discovered that when I archived my copy of “Voices of a Distant Star” to CD, I somehow saved the wrong version – a version with only French subtitles. Now I’m kinda sad because I wanted to give a copy to a friend (well, swap actually, for a copy of “Dollars and White Pipes”, which I keep seeing only half of (long story there)). Anyway, Voices is one of the few anime films I’ve seen that I really loved (ok, I haven’t seen a lot of anime, but some, like “Metropolis”, just seems a bit forced to me). Oh, another good one was “Spirited Away”. Quite chilling, that one.

In case anyone’s wondering about the high link content of this blog posting, I’m writing this with a newly discovered Firefox extension, Performancing (now, how post-modern is that name? hehe…). Performancing opens a blogging window in the bottom half of your browser window, allowing you to easily copy and paste content from browser to blog. You can even drag and drop images. Very intuitive – that is, once I figured out which button to click to launch it. (Its the PFF SB ICONone). So now my browser is a bit of a kitchen sink – I’ve got FoxyTunes to control my music player, ScrapBook to save web pages (helluva useful for research) and more and more and more. 😉

Anyway, enough for now. Been having a fascinated extended conversation with Rebecca (and obliquely, Ahmed) about power and community (or the lack thereof) and how for transformation to happen in our country / society it is vital that women’s struggles over their very private (but ubiquitous) oppression succeed. And how if JZ wins his rape case (which I suspect he will – we’ll see on Monday), he will set this task backwards as every man will imagine themselves a little-JZ, i.e. a version of this grandstanding arrogant prick, albeit it on a smaller scale. Oh, and I was listening to New Model Army (“All of This”) but now its Fairlight Children.

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A trivial blog

27 April 2006

I’ve been wasting far too much time recently playing Mount and Blade, a shareware game oriented around medieval combat. Well, combat as well as travelling around the world, trading, a few quests, etc. Its as-yet unfinished and apparently created by a mere two people in Turkey, but my hours wasted are testimony to how playable it is.
One of the main attractions is that the interface works very cleanly. Combat, which involves everything from bows and arrows to lances (on horseback) to swords to crossbows, is a fun combination of simple (essentially gesture based) commands and complex possibilities (especially since most combat takes place out in the open, with lots of room to manuevre).
The game is lacking in storyline, and multi-player (which doesn’t exist) would be helluva fun, but I (and many many other people on the Internet) can’t wait for future developments. Until then I’ll keep playing the beta I’ve got.

my new banner

10 March 2006

Ok, so its Friday night, I’ve been sick the whole week. I thought I was getting better today, so I went to work, but meanwhile Rebecca got sick last night with vomiting and stuff, so…. work was really stressful, don’t have a proper work environment set up yet, RSI‘s playing up, the tracker queue is a mile long, etc etc.And tomorrow is the women’s empowerment workshop I’ve helped organise in Vrygrond, which is a source of considerable stress since people have this annoying habit of saying they’re coming to a workshop and then not pitching up….So… its Friday night. I’m not going anywhere, because of all these worries, to which a lack of money is added. So, what to do? Besides covert La Haine into a VCD, I decided, while chatting to my online friend Shan that I should exercise my Photoshop skills a bit. So that’s where the new banner comes from.Some of the source artwork is Zapatista murals from Oventic, courtesy of UK Indymedia. I guess they express the vision of the world I currently relate to, with that slogan “por la humanidad” (for humanity – against neo-liberalism)… and moving to the right hand side of the banner its mostly South African stuff. A mural from the Community Arts Project in Cape Town, an 80s May Day poster, part of an artwork by Norman Catherine and the postcard about Jenny Curtis Schoon that Sue Williamson did. The South African art is part of my memory from ‘Resistance Art in South Africa’, the book I bought (to my parents’ horror) with the book vouchers I won in matric (1990). Yeah, I guess the right-hand side of the banner is where I came from in a sense…

And I picked the photo of Jenny Curtis Schoon because she and her daughter were blown up by a parcel bomb sent by the South African government in 1984. Marius Schoon, Jenny’s widower, was one of those who fought long and hard against the ‘amnesty’ deal of the post-Apartheid Truth and Reconciliation, which traded confessions for amnesty from prosecution (as it is, almost none of the Apartheid state’s murderers have been prosecuted anyway) and in the process let Jenny’s murderer off the hook. I guess being a father these days makes me relate so much more to this story of a family whose relationship of love and hope was so literally blown apart. Aluta continua….

Birth of a new blog

9 March 2006

Years (yes, literally years) ago I created a blog for myself in a fit of enthusiasm. It was hosted on a machine called cybernetics, which was run by a friend of mine (Jaco) and located within the network of the Western Cape Schools Network – i.e. dependant on several chains of friendship that had built up over the years. Since then, Jaco moved to the UK, my connection to the WCSN has become rather more tenuous than it was then…. and anyway, I’m an awful writer. Its not that I can’t write well – its just that writing is not natural for me, and anyway, I’ve got the attention span of a flea when it comes to ‘projects’ like this.Over the years I’ve acquired a ‘secret’ blog on Livejournal which is somehow linked to my ‘online’ identity. I’m a secretive sort in some ways – I get rather freaked out and embarassed at how much you can discover about me with a Google search, so when I introduce myself online I tend to use pseudonyms, etc. Its all a bit silly sometimes, but hey…Anyway, eventually cybernetics was switched off due to a server room reorganisation, and after a while, I got David at WCSN to put my pieces of cybernetics online elsewhere… the main thing I was looking for was my daughter’s website and gallery which is about the only thing online I update on a semi-regular basis. I’ve now re-hosted all that content on ‘leftside’, the FreeBSD server that acts as my mailserver, firewall and all-round fiddling-with machine. I had a look at the traffic coming into that machine, and noticed that one of the most-requested URLs was the one for this blog. Hmm. Wow. So… in the interest of search engine optimisation, I decided I better fix the blog up again. This involved moving from MovableType to WordPress simply because WordPress is open source (and thus damn easy to install from FreeBSD’s ports collection) while MovableType, er, isn’t.So here it is! Peter’s Pontification Platform, reborn! I might even blog in it once in a blue moon.