Italo Calvino – The Flash

I’d never heard of Italo Calvino before today – but I thought this was pretty special, and I’d like to read more of his work. Perhaps you will, too:

It happened one day, at a crossroads, in the middle of a crowd, people coming and going.

I stopped, blinked: suddently I understood nothing. Nothing, nothing about anything: I did not understand the reasons for things or for people, it was all senseless, absurd. I laughed.

What I found strange at the time was that I had never realized before; that up until then I had accepted everything: traffic lights, cars, posters, uniforms, monuments, things completely detached from any sense of the world, accepted them as if there were some necessity, some chain of cause and effect that bound them together.

Then my laugh died. I blushed, ashamed. I waved to get people’s attention. “Stop a moment!” I shouted, “there is something wrong! Everything is wrong! We are doing the absurdest things. This cannot be the right way. Where can it end?”

People stopped around me, sized me up, curious. I stood there in the middle of them, waving my arms, desperate to explain myself, to have them share the flash of insight that had suddenly enlightened me: and I said nothing. I said nothing because the moment I had raised my arms and opened my mouth, my great revelation had been as it were swallowed up again and the words had come out any old how, on impulse.

“So?” people asked, “what do you mean? Everything is in its place. All is as it should be. Everything is a result of something else. Everything fits in with everything else. We cannot see anything wrong or absurd.”

I stood there, lost, because as I saw it now everything had fallen into place again and everything seemed normal, traffic lights, monuments, uniforms, towerblocks, tramlines, beggards, processions; yet this did not calm me, it tormented me.

“I am sorry,” I said. “Perhaps it was I who was wrong. It seemed that way then. But everything is fine now. I am sorry.” And I made off amid their angry glares.

Yet, even now, every time (and it is often) that I find I do not understand something, then, instinctively, I am filled with the hope that perhaps this will be my moment again, perhaps once again I shall understand nothing, I shall grasp the other knowledge, found and lost in an instant.

The Newsroom

The Newsroom is a relatively new TV series, about the life of a news anchor who’s trying to ‘do news well’ – and it’s phenomenal. I just finished watching the 1st series last night, and I can honestly say that it’s the best TV series I’ve seen in years. The writing, by Aaron Sorkin (of The West Wing fame), is phenomenal, the acting is superb all-round with an incredible performance by Jeff Daniels, and the entire thing just ticks every box for me. It’s interesting, exciting, full of plot-twists and tensions, likable good guys you root for, villains you boo, and like real life – characters who are neither purely good nor bad, they’re both.

As for downsides, there are few. It does have a few characters who can be annoying at times, and (not being American) some of the more US-centric references mean little to me, but even with the occasional rough-edge, it’s still probably the best, most enjoyable and engaging show I’ve watched in years. Also, there’s a second season in the works, which I’m delighted about.

Highly, highly recommended.

William Gibson Sprawl inspired apparel

For anyone who’s read the Sprawl Trilogy, this will definitely flip your switches:

William Gibson Sprawl inspired T-Shirts

You can buy ’em on T-Shirts and hoodies and all sorts of stuff over at memetictees.

I think the “Tessier-Ashpool IT Department” and either the “Chatsubo Bar” or “Sprawl Cowboy” shirts would make a fine addition to any geek wardrobe :)

A new life awaits you on the off-world colonies

The news that Ridley Scott is going to be directing a brand new Blade Runner movie completely blind-sided me this morning, and I’m yet to pick my jaw up off the floor. I love Blade Runner – it’s my favourite film of all time, and I’m sure I must have watched it like 20 times. I loved the Philip K. Dick book, I really enjoyed the K. W. Jeter extensions, I finished the PC adventure game multiple times so I could see all the different endings… So yeah, bit of a fan, then. To find out they’re making a new movie, and that Ridley Scott’s at the helm has officially just made my year =D

If you don’t know what you’re missing, check out the Blade Runner Final Cut (2007) trailer below:

Surely more of this has got to be A Good Thing =D