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Luther (2010-2015)

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English television at its best. Idris Elba as the leading man. Ruth Wilson as the delectable psycho killer bitch Alice Morgan. What more would you need to recommend this piece of television history?

Nothing really, but for me it’s all about the sub-text.

You can never be sure that others see what you see. You can’t even be sure that what you see is what the creators intended. But it’s all there regardless. Once it’s released, the mise-en-scène and dialogue don’t undo and recreate themselves in some alternate fashion.

What I see is that Luther and Alice are the same person. Split personality. Two halves of a whole. Yin and Yang. Call it what you will.

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Assassin’s Creed (2016)

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The two halves of the film don’t really fit together: contemporary evil corporation manipulating duped experimental subjects, and Renaissance intrigue, murder, and mayhem. Welded together with the crude device of a conspiracy plot more at home in a Dan Brown novel than in a sane mind: The Catholic Church seeks to enslave mankind with evil intent. Presumably giving all the Anglo Protestants in the USA justification to arm themselves to the teeth, form militias, and destroy civilisation to save it from destruction by the Catholics. A fine piece of contemporary American logic.

Worse, from my perspective: there is a substantial portion of dialogue in Spanish, forcing me to turn to sub-titles, which I have always thought of as destroyers of a film. Both for distracting from the visuals, and for usually being the work of illiterate gremlins guessing at original meaning rather than translating it.

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Evil bitch spearheads drive to turn ‘public service’ into ‘enemy control’

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Jack Waterford’s editorial for syndication by the Fairfax press on Department of Human Services’ baleful chief, Kathryn Campbell, is a rare pleasure to read.

In the era of inarticulate, anti-grammatical social media clicks and grunts that has subverted even nominal writers, Waterford’s considered prose paints a fairly stark picture of a narcissistic, sociopathic, top-down manager unduly influenced by her career as a defence force reservist general.

Instead of repeating Waterford’s excellent points, they are taken as read here, though extended beyond his intentions.

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Cosmos: an ideological odyssey

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s script in the 2014 documentary series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, is a relentless defence of science against an always unnamed superstitious barbarism. The vehicle is the explanation of how we came to understand our universe as we do today by scientific investigation standing against shadowy forces of ignorance and ideological zealotry.

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It’s not elitism, but its absence

Some semi-random thoughts on where to from here, and why.

What could be more predictable than a news media looking to fill column inches/actuality minutes with blamestorming the election of a vulgar nincompoop by finding fault with his opponents.

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Bridge over troubled water

Australia has an opportunity right now to emerge from the shadow of a moribund American imperium and become an independent centre of influence in South East Asia.

It is a narrow window of opportunity the squabbling children who call themselves our leaders probably don’t even recognise. But it’s there, beckoning us to act.

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All hail Amerikanistan

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As late as 15:30 this afternoon I was trying to persuade myself that there had been a miscount and Clinton would win by a narrow margin. Like the ending of some nail-biting thriller with too many plot twists. But I was guilty of wishful thinking. And of having ignored a friend in the USA who had forecast for me quite consistently that the forces of barbarism she has lived with for decades would triumph with this improbably vulgar, buffoonish candidate. That Trump was just the logical next step in the obliteration of American post-war civilization. That Americans were just balefully malicious enough to summon the demon.

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Duterte is difficult to retract jack-in-the-box

Is Rodrigo Duterte the Filipino Trump? Brash. Vulgar. Homicidal. And now allied to America’s traditional foes?

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Or is it that America’s monotone rhetoric of free trade, and its supposed benefits, has worn too thin, at home as much as in its colonial outposts?

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DDoS analyses are denialist nonsense

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The root cause of the magnitude of the DDoS attacks targeting DNS servers isn’t about the internet of things, botnets, or ever more clever hackers.

It’s about America’s political economy: the destruction of the internet’s nuclear strike-resistant architecture by its increasing commercialisation, with ownership concentration mirroring a concentration of choke points that should never have been created.

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