A Redundancy of Hyperlinks


Collective nouns are fun. They are fun because they are weird. Here’s the wikipedia glossary of collective nouns, and another collection specifically for groups of people. Some standouts, for me, include:

  • an ambush of tigers: because if there’s ever a group of tigers, chances are you are not ready for them
  • an ambush of widows: more funny because it’s also used for tigers
  • an argument of wizards: they seem the sort to argue
  • an ascension of larks: both musically and aerodynamically satisfying
  • a barren of mules: depressing but accurate (mostly)
  • a bind of eels: I imagine many eels together would make quite a tangle
  • a conflagration of arsonists: apropos
  • a conspiracy/storytelling/unkindness of ravens: all equally interesting to me, but then, I find ravens and crows very interesting in general. Speaking of which,
  • a hover/murder/storytelling of crows: it’s this repeated “storytelling” that is especially intriguing to me. Because crows, and ravens, are smarter than you think and do communicate on incredibly intricate levels, to the point that they are telling one another stories
  • a decanter of deans: because, wine
  • a sodom of shepherds: because there needed to be some biblical stuff in there

Anyway, I was looking for a collective noun for hyperlinks. Or just links, when that failed. Suffice it to say, I couldn’t find one, so I decided to make one. And it is “A redundancy of hyperlinks.” Let me explain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Some collective nouns have an inherent logic to them, even when the logic is weird. My logic for a “redundancy of links” is quite simple: when there is a large group of links, no one follows them. At the very least, no one follows all of them. Many times, especially when people are making arguments and they link out to supporting materials, the existence of the link is enough to validate the argument. Even if the link goes nowhere particularly useful.

Case in point: this post contains a redundancy of links. I guarantee that you didn’t click through to them. In part because links are disruptive and distracting to a narrative if they’re used as they’re meant to be. If you’re reading a story or engaging with an argument, you don’t want to be taken away from it. And if you do click through a link, and it takes you anywhere with substance, chances are it takes you a while to come back to what you were reading. If you come back at all.

Sometimes the link itself is redundant, sometimes it renders the article it’s linking to or linked from redundant.

So, a redundancy of links.

It’s gonna be a thing.




Mad Max: Fury Road; or, my car is boring and lacks firepower


I saw Mad Max: Fury Road yesterday and I have some thoughts. These thoughts do not constitute a review. I will try to keep my thoughts spoiler free, but I can’t make any promises. If you don’t want anything spoiled, if you try to maintain a level of near total ignorance before going to the movies, more power to you. I’m the same way. Don’t read this.
I liked the movie. There, reviewed. Now, on to my impressions and rambling thoughts:

My car is boring. It has neither porcupine spikes nor cow catchers nor any of other diesel punk trappings and I never knew I wanted until I saw this movie.

Driving is also boring. We’re confined not just to roads, but to specific SIDES of the road. And no one is throwing spears at us.

About those spears–are they tipped with gunpowder? Actually, that goes for everything in this movie. I feel like things shouldn’t naturally explode that easily just from getting hit. I get it, there’s gasoline, but it still needs heat or a spark or something.

After seeing this movie, I saw a VICE special on water in India and it freaked me right the fuck out. Because the way the people crowd the water truck in that episode and the way the … citizens? Serfs? People who are neither protagonist nor antagonist but instead act as a demonstration of the tyranny of the latter? Anyway, the way the crowd and jostle for water is alarmingly similar.

There’s not a lot of talking. My friend and I talked about that (ha) as we were leaving the theatre. Tom Hardy is good at playing the man of few words, but really there’s very little dialogue across the board. Charlize Theron probably speaks the most, but she doesn’t speak much. My friend and I concluded that, when your life has been reduced to fight, flee, and sleep, there isn’t time for chitchat.

Charlize Theron is, as always, bad ass.

Tom Hardy is master of the wordless noise. He grumbles and grunts and generally reacts to things with telling back-of-the-throat vocalizations that somehow make me think of fist fights on a gravel back lot.

I don’t know if this was supposed to be set in a post-apocalyptic Australia. There are a couple Aussie accents, but for the most part people don’t seem to have made much of an effort. I’m fine with this; I prefer no accent to a poorly done accent. It would have been off-putting if they’d tried to pretend this was the Aussie cult movie it derived from and not a Hollywood production. And I kind of like the ambiguity it gives the setting.

This isn’t really a sequel or a prequel or a remake, but some sort of sideways story with a character who has, to a degree, entered the echelons of pop culture and cult fame.

Going back to the whole no-talking thing, I like that there are never any discussions that we’ve witnessed a million times where one character says, “Why should I trust you?” and the other performs a overwrought soliloquy that acts as an exposition dump about who they are and what they’re doing and why, meanwhile we in the audience work our asses off suspending our disbelief, because you know what? You don’t really know you can trust someone until you see the actions they take. Max and Furiosa never talk trust. The bullets start flying and they act. And later on, when Furiosa is asked about Max and Nux, she simply says their reliable. And is taken at her word.

When you create characters that don’t speak much, the words they do speak have more weight.

That being said, this movie is full of unaddressed tragedy. The water crisis. Who killed the world? The War Boys and their half-lives. The Breeders. The Bloodbags. But despite those things going unaddressed, you get it. Or, you get as much as you need to get.

It’s been a long time since I watched the original road warrior movies. I’m not sure how long, but I know that I watched them on VHS. That should give you a solid frame of reference.
When this movie comes out on DVD, they’ll probably re-release the original trilogy on DVD. Probably with cool box art, and a deluxe metal case with a skull steering wheel sticking out the front. And I will buy the new one and the old trilogy, but not deluxe steering wheel edition. Because I’m not made of money.
Also, I hate box sets that take up space on my shelf with bullshit swag. Like those Simpsons box sets contained within a mold of one of the characters faces. What kind of bullshit is that?
Anyway, go see Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s fun.
Or don’t see it. I’m not your mother.

25 lessons in 25 years


I turned twenty-five a couple days ago and in honour of … myself, I’m going to tell you twenty-five things that I’ve learned in my quarter-century of life.

The thing with learning is that the most important lessons are integrated without us really being aware that we’re learning. We don’t remember the moment we understand how multiplication works, but at some point the concept clarifies itself. Most of the things we remember learning are at least a little weird. Did you know that you have taste buds in your small intestines? If you didn’t, I bet you’ll remember it. Because it’s fucking weird. This list comprises some of the weird things I’ve learned in my life, mixed in with some serious things, as they occurred to me, on this day.

  1. Be polite.
  2. When paying for parking, if there is an option to “Add time” to your spot, always try that one first. The worst that can happen is that it tells you it can’t do it. And sometimes you only have to pay for an hour and you get six.
  3. If you speak with conviction, more often than not you will be believed. Even if what you’re saying is that “ghost” is pronounced “g-aw-st”. They won’t always believe you for long, but they will believe you.
  4. Other people know the conviction trick.
  5. You know how you’re not really paying attention to other people a lot of the time? Other people are the same, so don’t worry so much about how you’re coming off to them because chances are they’re thinking about themselves.
  6. We are all narcissists. But knowing and admittingĀ that you’re a narcissist is a huge part of not being a dick about it.
  7. Despite being narcissists, there is such a thing as altruism. Don’t believe the economists.
  8. If you’re at a buffet, LEAVE THE SALAD FOR THE NEXT ROUND. Seriously, they’re not going to run out of salad. You know what they are going to run out of? Bacon.
  9. On the theme of buffets: you know how there is always a bewildering platter of cold cuts midway along the table? Yeah, what you want to do is, grab a bun (there will always be buns, if there aren’t buns, drop the plate and walk away, you can’t trust the quality of that buffet), put it in your left hand, and balance your plate on top. Do as you will until you reach the cold cuts (and sometimes there’s cheese, take cheese at your discretion). When you get to the cold cuts (and possible cheese) grab a few, put them on the edge of the plate. When you get back to your table, make a sandwich with your bun and cold cuts. Wrap it up in a napkin. Put it in the pocket of your coat. Because usually events with buffets last a long time. You’ll eat, you’ll get seconds, some people will talk about whatever. By the time you go home, hours will have passed since you at dinner and you’ll be starting to feel peckish. And then you’ll remember: your Road Sandwich! Glory in exultation and eat said Road Sandwich.
  10. Women’s jackets tend to have sub-par pockets.
  11. Unless you’re in a hospital or a McDonald’s ball pit, there is no reason for anti-bacterial soap. Bacteria is good. Bacteria is necessary. Just use regular soap, it’s fine.
  12. If you’re tired and on public transit, sit in a two-person seat next to the window. You can lean your head against the window, and while someone weird might sit next to you, no one will make you get up.
  13. You are statistically unlikely to be trampled, no matter how short you are.
  14. That being said, maybe avoid the pit?
  15. “Perfect” isn’t a real thing.
  16. There is nothing new under the sun, there are just movable pieces and interesting configurations. Don’t stress out about originality, because it doesn’t exist. Anything that seems brand new only appears that way because you didn’t see how the sausage was made.
  17. The world doesn’t owe you anything.
  18. You’re never done learning.
  19. Celebrate the little moments. Sparklers are pretty cheap.
  20. Glitter is the herpes of arts and crafts. It never really goes away. You’ll think it’s gone and then *BOOM* glitter. That shit is viral.
  21. If you park your car in the sun, crank your wheel around so the top is facing down. That way, when you get back in your car after it’s spent hours baking in the heat, you’ll be able to steer without burning your hands.
  22. Never say, “I’m the kind of person who–” unless you follow it up with something self-deprecating. Otherwise you sound like a douche. Sample sentence: “I’m the kind of person who can’t be with just one person.” Douche. “I’m the kind of person who sharts when they’re nervous.”
  23. “Shart” means to shit a little when you fart.
  24. In the same vein as #22: you do not get to give yourself a nickname. That’s not how nicknames work.
  25. Make the last words you say to the people you love “I love you.” No one can ever hear that enough, and at any given moment the last words you say to someone may be the last words you ever say to them.

I’ve learned other things, like algebra and the difference between “affect” and “effect” (helpful alliteration: “The arrow affected the aardvark. The effect was electric.”) but this is the list that came to me in the moment and I think it’s legit.