Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Short Shrift

People: It is premature for memorial videos for Zoe.  We don't know that she's dead.[1]  Granted, when last seen (spoiler) she appeared to be on fire, but hey.  Anything can happen in Sluggy Freelance.

Ryan Oakley on Steampunk

As evidenced by this phone, it’s just a cumbersome and ridiculous affectation.  It’s an aesthetic done by rote.  A geekish dogma.   It serves no purpose other than to make something “steampunk.”  It’s aesthetic does not emerge organically from the logic of its function.  Instead it’s just pasted on top of something else.  It’s just copper bullshit.

When I look at the phone, I cannot think of a single way that all that effort has improved the device.  It’s made it heavier, larger and clunkier.  The thing is not better.  The phone has just become a weapon in  identity politics, an assertion of tribal loyalty to the cost of function.  “I’m a steampunk,” it screams.  “Pity me!”

The Czar of Muscovy: Cash for Refrigerators, Or The Impossibility of Reason

Congress has decided it has had enough of Cash for Clunkers. After all, the program proved to be unmanageable, has completely run out of funding, and still has yet to pay money to the people who were to have been saved: auto manufacturers and dealerships. GM, for example, is fronting the money to dealerships who are running out of cash due to the government’s inability to pay up.

The same folks who want to run your healthcare system, but proved incompetent at handling a quarter million basic cash transactions.

Maybe they should try something easier. Like refrigerators. Yup. Cash for Refrigerators kicks off this Fall, in hopes that the government can accomplish something quite a bit smaller without effing it up.

Government is into everything: now they're writing their own satire.

[1] Also, she is a cartoon character.  Cute, but a cartoon.

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