Piracy -How I feel about it

I grew up with pirate videos and pirate games. I watched every movie available this side of Betamax. I had tens of new Spectrum games per week. With the odd exception I can honestly say I valued and appreciated none of them.

It became about acquisition rather than appreciation for any one movie or game. I became a Collector rather than a beneficiary of art and/or entertainment. Only when DVD came out (around 1998) did I begin to realise how much I had missed in the great films of my past -missed because of youth of course, but also because of a lack of atmosphere due to poor quality picture and sound, as well as getting lost in a race to view two, three, seven movies in one day.

I had drawers full of Spectrum games with maybe 10 games per tape. I spent more time copying them and arranging them in the drawers than playing them.

I now see the same thing for other people with R4 Nintendo DS games especially. Those who have them rarely seem to play any one of them -or rarely seem to be “gamers”. They are collectors, happy to know they have something, even if they barely play/ view/ use it  -and best of luck to them. But they’re missing out.

I believe I (and my family) have a healthy appreciation for most individual titles. We wait and often are uniformly over-excited to get & play, say, the latest Mario game. We enjoy this excitement and we give a game time to sink in -perhaps partially because it has just cost us 40 euros or more.

So I don’t oppose “piracy” on moral grounds. I couldn’t care less about that. I’m not convinced it’s theft or anything near that in most cases (but I won’t get into that now). I’ve installed the USB Loader on the Wii, ripped my Mario Galaxy and Wii Play games, then promptly forgot about it.

I believe “piracy” -even 100% super quality AVIs or whatever- takes something from the whole experience. A great game/ movie/ book needs to be consumed whole and possessed -or it must possess you. You feel it inside like a drug. The good kind. The non-chemical kind. Piracy (or what we call such practice) gnaws at this sense of possession -at least for me. We lose something of the thrill and the overall experience. This often stops us from appreciating its greatness in the first place. Even reviews or remarks on a movie (or game) based on a “pirate viewing” I disregard for this reason.

“Pirates” are not experiencing the whole package so can’t be trusted (or even trust themselves) to have gotten the most from it or to be able to review the experience the buyer will have. That’s not to put down the pirate. Do what you feel like, but in my view the pirate is a victim of the Cameron creed that “more is more”. When you can stand back from that and see the wood from the trees it’s obviously not true in many cases.

I’d rather buy and play, say, 4 DS titles in a year than have a card with 100 at any one time. You simply don’t get the quality experience from them. I’m not a pirate -but for selfish reasons. It spoils my enjoyment of and appreciation for and patience with whatever is at hand.

How to cook the nicest pancakes

How to do anything:

“Don’t try and don’t think.”

I went for a pleasant walk in the woods with Mrs. Rumm a few weeks back. During such excursions I like to travel off-path whenever possible …especially when someone with me hasn’t done so before. I find one discovers much more on the road less travelled, don’t you think? Or, if not more, at least different.

The only problem I find with this is in re-joining the main path. If another person witnesses this return their dirty silent judgemental mind throws a wobbly: “They’ve been having it off! Why else would they have gone into the trees!?”

Fear not, though, for before we go any further I shall reveal to you the secret to rejoining the path.

As I told Mrs. Rumm that day, “if anyone sees us as we come back to the path they’ll be searching for signs of a lustful romp” (honestly, we weren’t at it, but it’s OK if you choose to believe otherwise). “Anything we say or do will be assembled together in their minds in such a way as to ‘prove’ this snap assessment.
“So, as we return, if we meet anyone else just say Guten tag, then walk on.”

Well we didn’t meet anyone on that day, but I mention it because it happened on the same day as…

Continue reading How to cook the nicest pancakes

Porn Queen AKA my Review of Transformers 2

The words “I’m not a prude” are usually followed by proof to the contrary. So I shall allay any expectations by not using them.

Have you ever found yourself in a group where people have gotten increasingly carried away with themselves, taking things a step further and further into unsavoury behaviour? I’m sure you have. We all have.

I remember walking home with friends late one night when I was eighteen years of age (more than 20 years ago now!). There were around ten of us there. All male. Some general horseplay and possibly rowdy-type behaviour was going on (I honestly don’t recall, but I can imagine). When you’re inside a group like that you don’t notice and don’t see yourself as others do.

Suddenly one amongst us leapt in the air and smashed the window of a parked car with his foot. It’s not the type of thing any of us was familiar with. Why did he do this? What happens next? How did it come to this? Why did my friend believe it was an acceptable thing for him to do?

None of that mattered. No questions were asked. There was a yell of glee and an air of excitement and we all ran.

Continue reading Porn Queen AKA my Review of Transformers 2

Have you seen my creative kidney?

I’ve been having something of a creative block recently. It’s not that I’ve been sitting at my desk banging the keyboard with my head in a bid to see if something falls out. It’s more like I’ve been doing other things and haven’t attempted much in the creative sphere. I can’t say I’ve been overly busy doing those other things, but for whatever reason I haven’t felt the urge lately to write or to think or to do other somewhat-creative things.

To me that’s a terrible thing to admit. Others would find it silly to be that way in the first place, I know, but I’ve always had a kind of need to “create”. Not being endowed with any drawing skill and not being able to play a musical instrument, this yearn has mostly manifested itself in writing form. For the past few weeks/ months(?) this yearn is not there.

I don’t know why, but it hasn’t really bothered me. And that bothers me.

It bothers me that I’m not bothered that I haven’t been creative. Most things I’ve written here (especially those in the category A Digression or books or music lyrics) have come from this need. It’s as basic to me as breathing or eating. I’ve never forced it or wondered “what should I write about?” Recently I’ve just not had that need and that’s why I haven’t posted here much or done some of the other things I might have been doing.

I wish I had the need. It’s like losing a kidney. It can’t be seen or quantified with the eye in normal day-to-day interactions, but I know it’s not there and I’d rather have it back. (Thankfully I do still have two kidneys at time of writing bythewaythankyouverymuch.)

It’s not that I think that need will never come back again, but I suppose I believe the time has come for me to give it a little kick. I hope this post somehow helps re-start the engine, which is why I felt the need to make it.

I hope you haven’t suffered through reading this only to find it’s pointless. Perhaps you can give me some pointers on what I should do?

“Get a life!” I hear you cry. Alas, we all can’t be as good and upstanding as you.