Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Exorcist, SOPA, Pirates, and Time

1. Dreamed that, I'm returning to school after the summer holidays.  I talk to a fellow student who spent his holidays in Australia.  He talks about staying at a hostel I've heard about. It's very inexpensive, but nice. Their policy is that, prior to coming to Australia, you send small amounts of money in intervals.

At first I'm interested in hearing about the guy's trip. Then I start to feel jealous. I'm wondering if he knows about my Australia obsession.  

2. Went to Tallygarunga.

Today I'm reading another Eudoxia Karras and Jason Miller story.

This one is called Good Morning Sunshine

It takes place in Brighton Beach in Melbourne.

3. Looked for Brighton Beach on Google Maps, even though I think I may have looked for it before....probably for Tallygarunga.

I think maybe it's the one with the colorful bathing houses.  

4. Found the website that confirms I'm right about the bathing houses.  

5. Started to read the Tally story.

Eudoxia goes to the zoo and watches penguins....for hours.   She must be a huge penguin fan. When I was in my twenties, I was a huge orangutan fan.  I'd go to the zoo to watch them—maybe for hours.   I took videos and notes.

6. Read that Jason met Lot. I think Lot is Eudoxia's brother?

Jason and Lot had some conversations about Eudoxia's ex, Malcolm.

7. Learned that Eudoxia had once been pregnant with Malcolm's child.  Jason learned this recently and wishes Eudoxia had told him. He's not mad, though.  It's more like he wants to be there for her.

They have a sweet relationship. 

8.  Saw that my Australian of the day is John Malet Armstrong.  He was known though as Jock Armstrong. 

Jock Armstrong was born in Sydney in 1900.

His father and grandfathers were also honored with entries in the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Jock's father was a doctor.  One of his grandfathers was a naval officer and the other grandfather was a clergyman.

Jock himself became a naval officer.

9. Learned that, in his youth, Armstrong was big on rugby and swimming.  I'm sure those skills helped develop his navy skills. You need strength and an ability to deal with lots of water. 

10.  Learned that Armstrong was the executive officer of a ship during World War II. He participated in the rescue of some military people from another ship.  

11. Learned that Armstrong's naval career reached a major setback in 1948.  A medical examination found that his eyesight was deteriorating, and he had weak bones.  If I'm understanding things right, he had to quit sea work, but he still worked for the navy.   He did staff/office work. That lasted about ten years. Then he retired. 

12. Started to look at Fredweng's day 16 in Australia Flickr set.  It's a small set.  I guess he was less into photography that day.

13. Saw Flickr is participating in the SOPA protests. They have this thing where you can darken people's photos for the day.  That's pretty cool...kind of wicked.

I'd feel bad darkening other people's photos. But maybe I'll darken some of my own. It's not like my photos are that popular, though.

14. Darkened one of my photos.  You can still see the photo. It just has SOPA information on top of it. 

15. Felt pressure to darken my blog.  Although I did do my part my emailing our representative.  But   maybe I'll also black out my blog for a few hours.

I don't know if I'm doing it to help save the world, or because it just seems kind of fun.  

I mean I definitely support the cause.  I just don't know if my little gesture will make a difference.   So I'm really just doing it for the satisfaction of joining in the game.  It's kind of like people joining in a riot...but without the destruction and violence. 

16.  Went back to looking at Fredweng's photos. 

17. Saw that Fredweng had noodles for breakfast.

He's really big on the noodles.  

It's a cheap way to eat, and then you have more money for your travels.

18. Thought this was an interesting thong sculpture. 

19. Saw that Fredweng went to a German town called Hahndorf.  They pride themselves on being Australia's oldest German town. 

When I think of German towns, I think of Germantown. And that, like Eudoxia Karras and Jason Miller, reminds me of The Exorcist.  

20.  Saw from Google Maps that Hahndorf is about 30 minutes south-east of Adelaide.  

21.  Thought that this was an interesting bike display.  

22. Saw that Fredweng is at a terminal.  I think maybe the ferry terminal. Where's he going now?  

Wait no.   I don't think he got on the ferry Maybe he just wanted to take a photo of the ferry.

Now he's at a bus stop in Adelaide.  

23. Thought this church was beautiful.  

24. Thought that the old/new juxtaposition in this photo is interesting. 

25. Went to Funtrivia to take another Australia quiz. 

The one I'm doing today is called Suburban Australian Waterways.

I might get everyone wrong; and if I don't, it will probably be a case of lucky guessing.

26. Got question #2 wrong and learned the early white settlers of Sydney got water from something they called The Tank Stream. 

The Sydney government has a website about it.  

27. Got question #3 wrong and learned Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra was created by damming the Molongo River. 

Bonzle, one of the websites that has great rain information, has a page about the Molongo River.  

At one point the Molongo River merges with the Murrumbidgee River.  Yep. It does.

28.  Got question #7 wrong and learned the Todd River in the Northern Territory doesn't join up with another river.  If it's lucky enough to have water, in the first place, it simply stops at the desert.

29.  Got question #8 wrong and learned Darwin has lots of Mangroves growing there. 

I think they grow near the river.

30. Got question #10 wrong and learned that near the New South Wales/Queensland border is the mouth of the Tweed River. 

31. Finished the quiz.   I got 5/10 which is the average.  I did better than I expected.  I did have to guess on the ones I got right, but it wasn't completely random guessing.  I kind of had an idea what to choose.  I knew enough to get those right with multiple choice. I wouldn't have been able to answer if it was fill in the blank.  

32. Read a little bit more about SOPA.

I don't understand all of it.  I'm kind of just blindly following the wisdom of those I deeply love and respect, hoping they don't lead me astray.

I figure if Lord Wiki is against SOPA, I probably should be too.

Well, and I'm not completely blind.   I understand a little bit of it.   

I have so many mixed feelings about creative piracy.  I think it's wrong to do it in order to profit from it.   Yet I have enjoyed entertainment pirated by other people.  For example, that's how I got hooked on Offspring.  Someone illegally uploaded it to YouTube.    Now YouTube has a rule that says people can't put ads on their YouTube video if it contains any copyright material.  So they shouldn't be able to profit from them.   Hardly any of my videos qualify for ads because most of them contain copyrighted material.  In some I'm reading from a book someone else has written.  In others,  I use songs, that don't belong to me, in my montages.

I don't know, though, how easy it is to sneak past those rules.  

Is it one of those things that people do anyway in hopes they don't get caught?

And....

If you're sharing other people's work just for the joy of sharing, is that horrible?

I did do that once. There was a song I wanted to talk about on my blog.  No one else had turned it into a YouTube video, so I went ahead and did it myself.   I didn't do it to be wicked.   I did it because I wanted people to hear the song. It's fairly obscure.

To me, it was different from my montages.  With montages, it's kind of like a collaboration effort...without the permission of the other party.  

I don't know.  It's all so complicated.

And I do wonder if I'd be in support of SOPA if I was making money off my creative work.    I would probably feel differently then. Right now it's hard for me to feel sympathy, because I work very hard, and I don't get paid.   I give it away for free,  so part of me is thinking why should these other people expect to get money for their work?   And well for now....I don't think many of them are starving. 

I take for free what others have pirated, but I also still buy a lot of stuff.   I listen to free music on YouTube, but I also buy music on iTunes and Amazon.   It's the same way I read books free from the library, but I also still buy books.  

I think most people do the same. 

33. Wondered if there will come a time when all art is free and no one pays for it.

Maybe.

But I don't think it will happen anytime soon.  There's so much free entertainment out there. Some of it legal and some of it pirated. Yet we still pay for movie tickets. We still buy books. We still pay to download music.  We still buy and rent DVD's. 

And just because something is freely available, it doesn't mean it's going to be taken. The video I pirated on YouTube has had only 7 views.  My novel that is available free online...I've had VERY few people wanting to read it. 

34. Thought of something I read the other day.  I forgot where; so I can't link to it.  Sorry. 

It talked about how the entertainment industry claims to have lost (or will lose?) billions of dollars because of piracy.   Someone responded that this is assuming people would buy the whole CD instead of getting the one song for free.

That really can't be assumed.  Some art is consumed because it IS free.  If it wasn't free, people would pass it by and find something else to entertain them.   

What if my blog wasn't free?  What if people had to pay $5.00 a month for a subscription?   Would I have as many readers?   Probably not.  

I do like imagining that someone out there would pay.  But I think most people would move on and find something else to read.  

35. Thought more about all of this.   There is entertainment I partake in, and I wouldn't if I had to pay for it.  Then there's other stuff I've gotten for free and was perfectly happy to later pay for it.

An example of that would be Offspring again.   The account that put it on YouTube got shut down.   I wanted to see more of the show.   I totally didn't mind paying for it, so Tim went through major hoops to buy it for for Mother's Day.   It's not easy getting international shows sometimes, which is a whole other story.   And because of that, I kind of do support the pirates who upload videos so people can see international stuff they wouldn't be able to see otherwise.

36.  Thought about my pretend trip and wondered if it will lead to me having a delusional disorder.

The funny thing is, I think the memories of this trip feel as real to me as the memories of our TRUE trip.  It could be because the last real trip happened close to three years ago.   The memories have faded, and are a bit hazy.  I think old memories have a sort of unreal quality to them.   

37. Thought about how my oldest nephew was born when we were last in Australia.   We were in Gerrora (near Kiama) when it happened.  So when I want to quickly know how long it was since we were there, I just look at the age of my nephew.  He'll be three on February 14.   

It will be really sad for me if he's ten and I'm still using his age to determine when was the last time we were in Australia. 

Although I shouldn't be that way. I was extremely lucky and blessed to have been able to go to Australia twice. 

38. Thought about airplane rides.

When I started the pretend trip project, I knew the time that our plane would be leaving, and I told Tim and Jack where our pretend selves were. While we were close to going to bed, our pretend selves were boarding a plane in Los Angeles.

Then the next day at some point, Tim asked me where we were on our pretend trip.   I informed him we were still on the plane.

What?!  Tim was quite surprised and remarked that it really WAS a long flight.

It seemed like so much time had passed since we were talking about it at bedtime.   

The idea terrified me and a part of me wondered if I'd rather just skip any future real trips to Australia.

But then tonight, while I was taking my shower, I thought about it.   The fourteen hours at our house felt much longer than any long plane ride I've been on.   When I'm on a long flight, it doesn't feel like eight, nine, fourteen, etc. hours.   It feels more like three very long and boring hours. 

I think it's because we're so busy at home and we do multiple things.  It stretches time.

When we were in Australia in 2009,  time went really slow.   And we definitely weren't bored.  I was mystified.   But now I think I understand.   We were busy and our days were full of lots of things.   It's like we lived a week in a day, or at least two days in one day. 

Time is a funny thing.

39. Looked at Statcounter and realized, for the most part, my blog blackout is only affecting people seeking to learn more about Sam Moran's tattoo.