February 14th, 2009


Little Known Secrets of the World Wide Web

1) If you Google "Google," you will create a never-ending recursive logic loop that will break the internet.

2) Wikipedia has its own Wikipedia page. Though registered users are allowed to edit or add to it, doing so opens a small black hole that sucks you and your computer into another dimension -- one where everything mentioned on Wikipedia is actually true.

3) If you try to name your LJ blog "LiveJournal," a dried-up monkey's paw will appear that grants you three wishes, none of which can be used to name your blog "LiveJournal."

4) If you type "MapQuest Headquarters" into MapQuest's "Address or Intersection" field, a mysterious ring will appear on your finger. If you twist it, you will be magically teleported to Burger King.

5) If you type "AltaVista" into Babelfish, you will be transported to 1996 and given a second chance not to waste the next thirteen years online.

Happy Valentine's Day

The world's most romantic couple, Gomez and Morticia Addams, would like to wish you and yours a happy Valentine's Day! Here's hoping there's lots of candy and flowers and wine, or, if you happen to be unattached this February 14th, a card from a secret admirer!

Or Wait, Do They Mean the Ibsen Play?

The Dollhouse opinions are flying fast and furious all over the web. I've already made my opinion known that I found it boring and derivative (The Matrix meets La Femme Nikita by way of the recent revamp of Bionic Woman), as have others. On the other hand, some people liked it, and that's cool too. Everyone's taste is their own. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Over on SciFi Wire -- which seems to have transformed from a pretty useful if geeky news site into a series of sometimes interesting but often fawning blog entries -- Kathie Huddleston wrote a piece on Dollhouse that I found pretty even-handed overall, even if I don't agree with her on the things she thought were good in the premiere. That is, until I came across this penultimate paragraph:

The one thing that becomes very apparent through the next episodes is that Whedon is going to take his time to tell his story his way. And while that may not be what all of us want out of Joss's latest brainchild, he's earned this. So suck it up, people. Give back a little and give Dollhouse a few episodes to win you over.

I'm sorry...what? Give back a little? The implication here seems to be that we all owe Joss Whedon something because of some undefined once-upon-a-time thing he did for us. Sure, he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my favorite TV series of all time, so good for him. He also created Angel and Firefly, neither of which I particularly cared for, but hey, lots of people did, so again, good for him.

But do I -- does anyone -- owe him anything? Is it our duty to sit through Dollhouse even if we don't enjoy it, just to make sure it doesn't get canceled for those who do? Hell no. I'll support a project if I like it, not because I feel I have to. That way lies only a plethora of sub-par entertainments being forced down our throats that we should simply take without question because of who created them. Quality means more to me than authorship. It should to everyone, in my opinion, but let's face it, that's not always what happens (I'm looking at you, Dean Koontz fans).

Of course, the rub here is that Joss Whedon fans, like those loyal Dean Koontz readers, do tend to like whatever he cranks out. And that's fine. But please, don't tell me I have to "give back." I don't owe Dollhouse anything. I don't owe Joss Whedon anything. And he would be the first to agree with me on that.