Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: January 2014

Starship Troopers: One of the Most Misunderstood Movies Ever

It amazes me how many people completely miss the point of this movie, as it's hardly subtle, and should've been even expected coming after RoboCop and Total Recall in Paul Verhoeven's oeuvre. It's probably my favourite of his because it's so relentlessly grim and boiling with anger below the surface sheen. Perhaps it presupposes too much knowingness on the part of its audience -- but that's really more the viewers' deficiency, not Verhoeven's. #link


Does the dog die?

As the site says, it is the most important movie question, and depending on how it's handled can potentially ruin the whole film for me. Yes I'm a sentimental old soul, what of it? #link


Ian Maleney on the Spotify 'conversation'

"Ultimately, Spotify is fantastic for major labels and acts with large audiences. Most pop/major acts sell to casual audiences, audiences that aren’t too interested in paying for their music anyway. So Spotify helps monetise the casual listener who would have just listened to the radio beforehand." For everyone else, there's Bandcamp. Really. I mean, I do use Spotify occasionally, or even YouTube, but I don't kid myself thinking it's any better than downloading at the end of the spectrum where my tastes lie. That's where Bandcamp and similar come in; they are so much better for independent artists and labels alike. #link


The gloves are off

Bee pointed out how no one wears gloves handing old documents in BBC Four historical documentaries anymore, so I hit up Google to see if there was anything to it, and immediately found this, the answer we wanted! #link


Life and Death in Sugar Ditch Alley

Jerry 'The King' Lawler and Memphis wrestling are still alive and drop-kicking, 40 miles south, writes The Masked Man. As if I needed telling. But you do. #link


Always the Same Thing

“I don’t care what I eat so long as it is always the same.” Maybe Wittgenstein never said that, but that's not as important as the notion that it's totally plausible. A man after my own heart, that Ludwig. #link


Quantum Shorts

A competition for short stories inspired by quantum theory; worth a serious look when the winners are announced. [c/o Tor.com#link


Weeknotes #627-641

Good riddance to 2013, then; a year that started off pretty well but then turned a bit shit. Obviously it wasn’t all bad, though, and I’m looking forward to carrying over those positive traits — in my personal life and professionally — into this new year.

What of the last four months, then? Clicking back in Google Calendar, I see that September was quiet but for my grandad’s 90th birthday, and finally seeing Soundgarden live; in October I reviewed more films than music, a trend that would continue as the weeks ticked away; mid-November was a bust, a big sucky bust; and December flew by, as it always tends to do.

No forced optimism for January, however; the crappy weather today’s done enough there. Nothing else for it but to knuckle down and Make Things Better. Call that a resolution if you wish.
First things first, must finish off this year-end music round-up before ’13 is too distant a memory…


19 Book Cover Clichés

Once seen, never unseen. Personally I blame designers too harried to click past the first search page on the stock photo site. #link