on the existence of Tumblr, of Hogwarts, and of Awesomeness

Oft and oft have I been asked the purpose of that oblique, self-referential sphere of the interwebs known as Tumblr. And as oft as I have been asked, I have either answered or have asked for cash dollars upfront. But here, ladies and gentlemen and the undecided, here at last is the justification for tumblr, laid out as plainly as the schnozz on your pan. This, my friends, cannot be topped, not even by Jake Gyllenhaal on a late and sloppy Friday night.




If you got a letter saying you were accepted at Hogwarts:


You’d look up from whatever you were doing like:

You would then spend the next couple of days like:

You would then go to diagon alley and you’d be all like:

You’d go from shop to shop like:

Then, on september 1st you’d run through the barrier on platform 9 3/4 like:

You’d meet people on the hogwarts express like:

You would realise they’re just like you and you’d be all like:

Then you would jam for the rest of the year like:

THIS post right here? This is what Tumblr was invented for.

On the Morally Ambivalent Robin Hood Criminal Archetype in the Early Twenty-First Century OR Julian Assange is a Big, Fat Stainless Steel Rat

which is nothing less, although possibly nothing more, than a comparison of Julian Paul Assange, founder of Wikileaks, recipient of the Sydney Peace Foundation medal, the UK Media Award from Amnesty International,  the Sam Adams award, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, (etc etc TK already) and the minor sci-fi character James Bolivar (“Slippery Jim”) diGriz, aka de rat van roestvrij, aka die Edelstahlratte, aka El Escurridizo, aka un criminale al nichel-cromo, aka (my favorite) Ratinox, aka the (you thought we’d never get here, didn’t you?) Stainless Steel Rat, protagonist of Harry Harrison’s The Stainless Steel Rat books, a moderately popular but enduring series of science fiction comedy-adventure serials.

Harry Harrison on OK Cupid oh and Cupid is SO NOT OKAY with using a fake name

Harry Harrison on OK Cupid oh and Cupid is SO NOT OKAY with using a fake name

Did I say “Harry Harrison?” Gee, it’s awfully early in the post to be that confused: of course I did! That name should ring a few bells for Assangeologists, particularly those of a fangirlish turn, for it is the usernomdeplume that Assange employed on sites as High Nerdy as delicious and as decidedly non-nerdy as OKCupid (come for the casual sex, stay for the quizzes!).

That’s so funny: every guy I know calls himself “Steve” on dating sites.

Well, it occurred to one (and that one this one, this one right here) that, worthy as Mr. Harrison’s screenplay for Soylent Green undoubtedly was, that sort of thing won’t get you far on a dating site (although it is a people business, come to think of it but now that I have, I wish I hadn’t. Not to say it doesn’t explain a whole lot about my dating life, but ENOUGH of that line of thinking, moving ON! What? What? STOP LOOKING AT ME) dystopian dramas really don’t pull the chicks like being a dashing James Bond villain-type.

Viva Julian the TinTinja, but that's a whole OTHER post.

Viva Julian the TinTinja, but that's a whole OTHER post.

Of the type typified by the above-mentioned and highly morally ambivalent Stainless Steel Rat. So I’m thinking, Golly, if I were a dashing James Bond villain-type of man who was strongly identifying with the works of Harry Harrison (not Harrison himself, because that would be creepy and somewhat self-defeating on a dating site as he is well out of Top Pulling age range although I’m sure a charming enough man in person and with some advantageous lighting) I would be identifying with ol’ Slippery Jim, you bet your sweet bippy I would, whatever that is, because whatever Harrison’s other books, Return to Eden, West of Eden, and Winter in Eden are about, I’m relatively sure they are NOT related to the rather tedious Anne Rice erotic novel, and believe me, there’s nobody in there you’d actually want to identify with, particularly if they could be played convincingly in a movie by Rosie O’Donnell, as none of them were, according to the reviews. And Clan of the Cave Bear, which I imagine to be much the same, didn’t get anybody laid. So, that.

And here, an interlude, because my English teachers taught me you can never have too many references in a scholarly work of this nature.

DiGriz himself, although an accomplished liar and a notorious intergalctic thief, did have values, he saw his exploits as not only a means to get rich but also as an entertainment for the masses which caused his plans to get bigger, brasher and bolder…he had a reputation to uphold after all. He was also quite proud of the fact that he never took a penny from anyone without insurance cover and his intended targets were usually powerful institutions with little scruples themselves.

But where was I? Oh yes, introducing Ratinox. Did you ever see the old Batman tv series? Stick with me here, this is good stuff. There’s a payoff, I promise. So, “Batman” was my sister’s first word, but no, that’s not the payoff (unless you’re the proud parent who can swan around the play group for weeks like a queen because YOUR little girl’s first word had two syllables and was a superhero besides; OR you are The Sister, in which case you’re used to this bullshit but are glad it’s you-centric for once). In those old Batman series, as rich a guide to the world of comic comicbook criminality as existed, just before the villain tried to kill off Bats and the Boy Blunder, he’d tell them the whole plan from start to finish, slowly, presumably for those in the audience too stupid to riddle out the riddles (which meant everyone who couldn’t afford the kinds of drugs the writers were on at the time). And so it is with the comic comicbook criminality of Slippery Jim diGriz, who will tell you just everything about himself if you read far enough through the books, and you will, if only to see if his wife finally does kill him or not.

So, let us read. All excerpts below are just from The Stainless Steel Rat for President, the most political of the books (yes, this is going to be a whole series; there are a LOT of books):

Operation Global Media Domination: the intellectual situation

We’ll try not to be smug about this.

Julian Assange Smug Life. I got 99 problems but a snitch ain't one

Julian Assange Smug Life. I got 99 problems but a snitch ain't one

We will fail.

Today we got a link and some actually decent traffic because a post from the ol’ raincoaster blog was excerpted at the International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, bringing to four the number of universities which have used this blog in either their academic publications or their course materials.

This almost makes up for a recent, and high-profile, local blogging conference at whose keynote someone else was publicly thanked, at length, for the job that I did. No, really, that was me. On the other hand, I guess this makes me the Executive Director of W2 by default; I sure hope the salary is good!

But I’m SO over that!

In bonus good news news: our Iron Maiden/Bollywood mashup unicorn chaser is going the teensiest bit viral, and if you’ve clicked Play you know why. And speaking of music, we know the music on our WWII Dogfights in Colour YouTube video is intolerable, but we got paid $95 to put it on and if you want it off, make us a better offer.

We note further that the appalling music hasn’t stopped it from getting over one million hits. Let’s give it a few more, eh?

Help Us Help You Help Us All: The Shebeen Club May Meeting!

Mr. Grumpy Pants

Shamelessly stolen from the Shebeen Club, which is officially as of right now no longer my baby! Yes, I wrapped it in swaddling clothes and put it in a wicker basket and took it down to the river and…found out wicker baskets don’t float, so I complained online until somebody solved my problem, as per usual.

Why so serious, pookie?

Has your writing career got you down? Things not falling into your lap like those unicorn rainbows and lollipop dreams would have it? Wondering what to do and how to do that (short of offering to sleep with Jack McClelland)?


What with raincoaster heading off to places to our north so as to discover new alcohol-based uses for ice, The Shebeen Club is being forced on a new sucker transferred to a new, bright, shining set of hands! Ian Alexander Martin (a guy comfortable with writing about himself in the 3rd person) wants to know what you — yes, you — want to see in the meetings!

Come on down to the Rebel Room, put him in a sleeper hold, and then calmly explain what you need to learn about and who should explain it to you as a presenter.

The best way to get what you want is to say what that is. No one is willing to admit they can read minds, so join us on Tuesday, May 24th at 7pm for a timely, lively discussion by you and other intelligent people who are writers, publishers, literary agents, PR and Media people, or just plain people involved in that Publishing Biz. Bring your questions, suggestions, and your brain!

As always, tickets are $20 in advance [Eventbrite Link; let us know you’re coming and we’ll give you the early bird price] (available till May 23rd) or $25 at the door, and that includes dinner and a drink. The venue is the upstairs lounge at Revel Room, 238 Abbott Street just south of Gastown.

  • Revel Room: 238 Abbott Street just south of Gastown [need a map? CLICK HERE]
  • JUST $20!! GET YOUR TICKETS HERE! [Eventbrite Link!] includes dinner!
  • …or, bring $25 cash on the evening
  • Tuesday, May 24th
    • 7:00 – 7:30 meet & mingle
    • 7:30 – 8:00-ish listen & learn


emo gossip linkage

If only my parents had bought me this when I was little!

If only my parents had bought me this when I was little!

Okay so judging by the computer clock I have 12.5 minutes to finish this post and get it up, which may give you a hint why most of my posts seem rather … thin … lately. I have to jam them all up before the web cafe closes or walk several miles in the rain to get to the nearest 24 hour cafe and then pay another $2 for lousy coffee or $5 in the case of the nearest cafe, which has a two-drink minimum and NO I AM NOT EVEN JOKING so is it any wonder I’m having an emo breakdown? It’s only Monday by a few minutes and I’m already three days behind in posts.

So let me tell you about the time I had an emo meltdown on my one and only celebrity follower. Well, I have some celebrity journalists following me, thank god, because validation from writers better than one’s self is always welcome, but I have only one Actual Movie Star Follower, and that’s John Cusack. I’d tell you about him, but I don’t have time and you DO have google, so knock yourselves out.

It happened after I’d stayed up too long liveblogging Japan (for which I did get on the front page of Google for “Japanese Earthquake” for a time at least; I do think I did a good job, but GOD who can blog that for long without going ever so slightly insane, eh? I ask yez) two nights in a row and gotten an email from a friend in Hawaii mentioning the two quakes he’d had while he was replying to my email of a few minutes ago. Oh, swell.

Then I heard about the reactors.

That’s about when I DM’d my one and only Genuine Celebrity Follower, a man I know through conversations of about 420 characters total. And nothing is to be deduced from that purely coincidental number.

And what did I say to this near-stranger? “Do you ever have one of those days when you think the end of the world is actually here already?”

So, yeah, I’m apparently That Fan. Mother would be so proud.

On that note, here are your emo links for an early Monday morning. I should drink more, at least I’m a happy drunk.

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