Wednesday reading/watching

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:53 pm
egret: egret in Harlem Meer (Default)
[personal profile] egret
I finally finished Merlin's Bones by Fred Saberhagen (1996). It was about Arthurian figures using magic/science to penetrate into present day reality with their violent wars. There was a lot about time travel, and the whole old Merlin/young Merlin thing, and an overworked conceit about Tennyson's Lady of Shalott. The characters were kind of stock and the to and fro of time travel was kind of tedious, but I actually really liked the world-building concepts behind it all, where Camelot itself is just a kind of stage for the powers that be. Overall, meh. Only worth it if you are really into Arthurian stuff.

I have too many projects so I don't think I'm going to submit to the CFP on Star Trek: Voyager, but I'm still bingeing on the show because I love it. I forgot that whole weirdness with the amphibian babies in "Threshold." Good times! Still not done with Midsomer Murders either. Wow, that would be a great crackfic crossover. 


umadoshi: (W13 - Claudia open mic (vampire_sessah))
[personal profile] umadoshi
The Toast makes a one-day-only return appearance today! "Link Roundup!"

Yesterday [dreamwidth.org profile] bluemeridian posted a batch of MCU and Wonder Woman recs.

"‘Wrath of Khan’ Returning to Theaters for 35th Anniversary".

"Orbit Turns 10: Take a Look at a Decade of Milestones". [The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] misbegotten, the Cincinnati Zoo has successfully reunited Fiona-the-hop with both of her parents. Adorable hippo pictures ahoy!

From 2014, but via Twitter today: "BitchTapes: American Protest Music". [Bitch Media]

"The Fourth Messenger at the 2017 New York Musical Festival". [ViennaTeng.com] (Includes purchase links for the soundtrack and script.) [ETA: Refers to a concluded run, not an upcoming one.]

On Atlas Obscura:

--"NASA Just Released Hundreds of Historic Space and Aviation Videos".

--"These Endangered Pygmy Rabbits Survived a Wildfire by Heading Underground".

--"Why It Took Scientists So Long to Figure Out Where Babies Come From: Human conception was still basically a total mystery until as recently as 1875".

--"The Odor ‘Wheel’ Decoding the Smell of Old Books".

--"The Dormouse-Fattening Jars of Ancient Rome".

--"People in 1920s Berlin Nightclubs Flirted via Pneumatic Tubes".

--"Found: Never-Developed Photos of Mount St. Helens Erupting".

--"These Maps Reveal the Hidden Structures of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books".



On Mental Floss:

--"The Golden Girls Are Starring in Their Own Version of Clue".

--"This Illustrated Periodic Table Shows How We Regularly Interact With Each Element".
selenak: (BambergerReiter by Ningloreth)
[personal profile] selenak
Having now read three of the four books the first two seasons of The Last Kingdom are based on, I find my original suspicion that Bernard Cornwell novels benefit from adaptions into other media because these take you out of the main character's head justified, though not always quite in the way I assumed. Because the novels are narrated by an older Uthred looking back, his narrating self can sometimes point out things his younger self did not yet see or realise, for example, that he wronged his first wife Mildrith, or that he underestimated Alfred early on because a chronically sick non-warrior valueing learning and feeling guilty about sex could not possibly be a strong leader in his young eyes. Otoh, older, wiser Uthred narrating still doesn't change the fact most female characters come across as more dimensional and fleshed out in the tv adaption than they do in the novels (Brida and Mildrith in the first, Hild and Aelswith in the second season - Iseult, alas, is a cliché in both versions).

The tv show cut or compressed various characters and slimmed down events, and given that they do two books per season so far, that's not surprising. But even if they took a longer time, I think some of the changes and cuts were to the narrative's benefit. For example: Cornwell has to come up with some pretty convoluted circumstances and far-stretched plots to have a teenage Uthred who is still with the Danes secretly present when Prince (not yet King) Alfred confesses about his carnal lapses to Beocca. In the book, he needs to be because he's the narrator and neither Alfred nor Beocca would have told him about this. The tv show dispenses with said circumstances and just has the scene between Alfred and Beocca, without Uthred secretly listening in, because he doesn't need to be in order for the audience to get this information about the young Alfred.

Mind you, dispensing with the first two times Uthred meets Alfred and letting their first encounter not happen until after Ragnar the Elder's death creates one important difference between book and show relationship that's worth mentioning. Book Uthred lies to Alfred (and Beocca) these first two times and point blank spies on them for the Danes, so the later "why do you keep distrusting me?" indignation rings a little hollow in this regard. Show Uthred does no such thing, so Alfred is accordingly less justified in his lingering ambiguity.

Another cut that somewhat shifts perception: the first novel has Uthred participating in a few Danish raids led by Ragnar, including one on Aelswith's hometown (though she doesn't know he took part). Now, in the show we go from Uthred the child to adult Uthred directly and adult Uthred is solely seen at Ragnar's home, with the deaths of Ragnar & Co. impending, but given adult Uthred later is shown to be already a skilled fighter, it stands to reason he practiced these skills. But I suspect the show avoided showing Uthred fighting against Saxon civilians this early on deliberately. Both show and books have Uthred loving the Danes but staying with the Saxons post Ragnar's death because various circumstances (and then Alfred's machinations) make it impossible for him to do otherwise. Only the book, though, spells out that Uthred doesn't start to feel any kind of identification/emotional connection to the Saxons until he sees them winning a battle (until then, narrator Uthred says, he hadn't thought Danes could lose, which makes sense given that throughout Uthred's childhood and adolescence, they were winning), when before he regarded them as weak and didn't want to think of himself as belonging to them. Which makes sense given Uthred is raised in a warrior culture and is a young, arrogant adolescent at the time, but again, I suspect the tv version avoids spelling this out in order not to make him off putting early on when establishing the character.

Otoh, the scenes the tv show adds in the two seasons where Uthred isn't present all serve to flesh out the characters in question more and work to their benefit, whether it's Alfred, Hild, Aelswith or Beocca. The notable exception is Guthred in s2, whose additional scenes make him look worse, not better than the novel does. Possibly, too, because in the novel Guthred is described having an easy charm that makes Book!Uthred forgive him even the truly terrible thing Guthred does to Uthred, and the actor playing Guthred on the show doesn't have that at all, and instead comes across as nothing but fearful, easily influenced and weak. (And show!Uthred while coming to terms with him doesn't forgive him.) I have to say, lack of actorly charm aside, given that Guthred does something spoilery to Uthred ), I find the tv version more realistic.

The push-pull relationship between Uthred and Alfred is there in both versions, but in the tv show, it comes across as more central. As my local library has it, I also read "Death of Kings", the novel in which, Alfred dies, not without manipulating Uthred one last time into doing what he wants him to do, and Uthred's thoughts on the man later, summing him up, are Cornwell's prose at its best:

I stood beside Alfred's coffin and thought how life slipped by, and how, for nearly all my life, Alfred had been there like a great landmark. I had not liked him. I had struggled against him, despised him and admired him. I hated his religion and its cold disapproving gaze, its malevolence that cloaked itself in pretended kindness, and its allegiance to a god who would drain the joy from the world by naming it sin, but Alfred's religion had made him a good man and a good king.
And Alfred's joyless soul had proved a rock against which the Danes had broken themselves. Time and again they had attacked, and time and again Alfred had out-thought them, and Wessex grew ever stronger and richer and all that was because of Alfred. We think of kings as privileged men who rule over us and have the freedom to make, break and flaunt the law, but Alfred was never above the law he loved to make. He saw his life as a duty to his god and to the people of Wessex and I have never seen a better king, and I doubt my sons, grandson and their children's children will ever see a better one. I never liked him, but I have never stopped admiring him. He was my king and all that I now have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live and the swords of my men, all started with Alfred, who hated me at times, loved me at times, and was generous with me. He was a gold-giver.


Last Yuletide I added a Last Kingdom request at the last minute because I'd seen it had been nominated, and accordingly it was short, but this Yuletide I think I'll also offer, and will request in more detail and more characters. While the other historical tv shows I consumed during the last year were entertaining in various degrees, this was the only one which was also good.

Today's frustrations

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:46 am
egret: egret in Harlem Meer (Default)
[personal profile] egret
  • I can't find a way to crosspost FROM wordpress.com TO dreamwidth. Alas. It's not worth hosting & managing my own installation of wordpress. At this point. Maybe when I retire in 15 years and have time for that kind of tinkering. Because I think I could do it with a specific plug-in that wordpress.com of course does not offer. 
  • It's difficult to concentrate when cats jump all over everything knocking things down. 
  • My milk was spoiled and then my backup soy milk was spoiled too but I am re-learning to drink black coffee. 
  • Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future. 
  • Gathering sense of doom on political scene is NOT HELPFUL. 

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:30 pm
skygiants: Anthy from Revolutionary Girl Utena holding a red rose (i'm the witch)
[personal profile] skygiants
[personal profile] jothra went to a library sale last week and asked if I had any requests: "Weird 70s Gothics? Trixie, Belden?"

"WEIRD 70S GOTHICS PLEASE," I said, and Jo duly carried out her commission so well that I don't know if anybody's ever going to top it:



Portrait in Jig-Saw is apparently so obscure it doesn't even have a Goodreads page, which, having read it, I can honestly now say is kind of a shame.

Our Heroine's name is Alixander David Somerlaid MacDonald (I KNOW), otherwise known as Alisdair; she is a Strictly Sheltered Heiress who has been raised in a Freezing Castle in Complete Isolation and Solitude with only occasional visits from her father until she comes of age on her 21st birthday.

...for the record, the year is 1973.

My legit favorite part about these spoilers is that the entire plot relies on an alternate universe where the world's most famous postmodern novelist is a Thai princess, I want to live in THAT universe! )

Investigators of Infernal Incidents

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:31 pm
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
[personal profile] andraste
So, I've spent the past six days re-watching The Talons of Weng-Chiang in honour of the death of Trevor Baxter. I'm always happy to have a reason to return to this bit of the Hinchcliff era (regardless of its evident flaws re: Being Hella Racist) although I could wish for a different excuse this time around.

The eternally surprising thing about Jago and Litefoot is that they don't even meet each other until part way through the fifth episode. And yet, the minute that Litefoot opens the door and Jago mistakes him for his own servant, something truly magical happens and they become the ultimate Holmes double act. It's partly the writing, partly the acting and partly an extraordinary chemistry between Benjamin and Baxter that makes their bonding feel inevitable instead of misplaced. Even before Big Finish came along I found it impossible not to imagine their lives continuing outside the frame. Much as I can't imagine Ian and Barbara not getting married, I could never imagine Jago and Litefoot not being Best Friends Forever and having lots more adventures in Victorian London.

Fortunately Big Finish ensured that they finally got their spin-off show, and IMHO it's some of the best stuff they've ever done, in large part because the leads are a complete joy to listen to no matter what they're doing. One of those pairs of actors who could read a phone book at each other and make it funny or touching or both at once.

Apparently Trevor Baxter used to joke that he'd have nothing to live for if they cancelled the series, and I don't think you can say fairer than a run of thirteen box sets (plus extras!) that was only ended by the death of one half of the principal players. I hope he knew just how much his work was appreciated by fans everywhere.
umadoshi: (StarCraft - Zerg symbol)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--My sleep has continued to be all over the place. Last night I managed to get to bed around 1 AM or so (IIRC) and didn't get up until 11:30 today; the night before, I was in bed by 1:15 so I could get up at a reasonable hour and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose, [dreamwidth.org profile] ginny_t, Kas, and I could go raspberry picking, and I managed, at a generous estimate, two hours of sleep. FUN.


--I had these notions of finishing a fic for this round of [dreamwidth.org profile] smallfandomfest, but it wraps up at the end of this month, so...ha ha ha no. ^^; But hey, I got it started and made some actual progress during [dreamwidth.org profile] nanodownunder, and unfilled [dreamwidth.org profile] smallfandomfest prompts remain available for claiming past the round when they're prompted, so it's not like I won't have another chance. I just liked the idea of doing it now.


--I haven't taken pictures yet, but when we were out watering the garden a couple of days ago, there were the beginnings of blossoms on one of the two clematis plants!


--Amidst all the political awfulness, personal stuff, cute gifs, and book-blogger chat, my Twitter feed has been full of people being gleeful about "Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator"--enough so that I briefly pretended I don't have something like 100 unplayed games and can't remember the last time I played anything and went to check it out. I was saved by an impulse buy by the fact that the game's currently Windows- and Mac-only; I do still have a Windows partition for games, but realistically, I also can't remember the last time I booted into it for anything but StarCraft. (And that wasn't terribly recently. I did buy at least the first of the SCII Nova mission packs, but I don't remember how far I got.) (Separate parenthetical: I've preordered the remastered original StarCraft, so for that, booting into Windows will undoubtedly happen. Unless it magically runs under WINE.)


--I need to keep reminding myself that Rogue One is on Netflix until I finally watch it (having literally slept through most of it in the theatre, which was not the movie's fault!). I should also rewatch TFA sometime in the next few months.


--It turns out Black Sails is shorter than I'd been thinking in two ways: I'd somehow had the impression it's five seasons, not four, and I also hadn't realized the seasons are so short (eight to ten episodes each, I think?). All of a sudden bumping it up to basically the top of my to-watch list (which seems to be a good plan, judging from how many people I know are in love with the show) is a way less daunting prospect.

Linkspam: fannish/geeky, misc.

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:19 pm
umadoshi: (lilacs 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] sgamadison, an update on Stargate Origins: be aware that the new digital episodes are only going to be ten minutes each.

"A Woman, Explaining Things". [Sarah Gailey on the casting of the thirteenth Doctor]

"Towards a Definition of “Fanfiction”: 3,564 people took our survey. Here’s what we learned". [Fansplaining]

"Does God exist in the Marvel Universe?" [Salon]

"Akiko Higashimura's Princess Jellyfish Manga Ends on August 25". [ANN]


Miscellaneous

"Radical Cartography" is...hard for me to describe. Very cool things with maps...and stuff...?

"All of my work on the “Irish slaves” meme (2015–’16)". In case you ever need to debunk the "but the Irish were slaves too!" crap that some flavors of racists like to whip out.

"Gratitude for Invisible Systems: One way to improve democracy is for more people to appreciate its complex technological underpinnings".

"My Father Spent 30 Years In Prison. Now He's Out". This is lovely and heartbreaking.

"Updated Syllabus for Journalism 101". [McSweeney's]

"This Is How Tough It Can Actually Be To Follow High School Prom Dress Codes". [Buzzfeed]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] bell, "When Your Teacher Keeps Saying You Can’t Draw Cats, But Your Paintings Are Photorealistic".

"Make a Magical Carpet Cat Hammock With an Old Towel".

"This Guy Spent A Year Exploring The Subculture Of Competitive Punning".

"How to Fall Down". [Lifehacker]

"Sapphic Stories || Around the world". "Sapphic Stories – Around the world does not intend to be a rec list that is ultimate and finalized, but just the beginning of a search for more pluralized stories. There are many other stories out there that we need to look for. Still, I believe that this post could be a nice start so that people can recognize these stories set in the places they grew up in or to know more about what it means to be sapphic in other places. This list contains F/F fiction books, books that have at least one women who feel romantic/sexual attraction to women, short stories, anthologies, and nonfiction about how it is to be LGBT+ in some places of the world."

"tim walker photographs all black cast for alice in wonderland themed pirelli calendar".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "Superb Cut Paper Artworks by Pippa Dyrlaga".

Orphan Black 5.07.

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:22 pm
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)
[personal profile] selenak
In which there's pay off for severa storylines, hooray! And flashbacks.

Who are you? )
elf: Anime-ish version of elf: long cyan hair, glasses (Anime me)
[personal profile] elf
Nice ending to the month. Also, nice topic for today - tomorrow I start the new job, so a moment to reflect on self-identity is not a bad idea.

Bitch | Out of Control | Everybody's Moon | One More Time to Live | I'm Going to Go Back There Someday | Cloudy | No Rain | Live to Tell | Kiss Off | It Just Won't Quit

I bought this one when it was on the charts; still have the album on vinyl. )

Meme list

Dear Equinox Letter

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:24 pm
sol_se: (Default)
[personal profile] sol_se
Placeholder
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Didn't I already do this one? Like, twice? Wait; this list has both "preteen years" and "childhood" songs - am I supposed to consider those as two separate, distinct categories? Does "preteen" mean 10-13 and "childhood" mean before that? If that's the case, then I messed up the "preteen" thing, because from where I am now, that's an awfully narrow slice to try to sort out. I mean, there are plenty of online lists that could help me put songs into the before-and-after 10th birthday groupings, or whatever it intended, but I'm really not going there.

But okay; I do actually have a playlist of "early childhood" songs, so I can grab a few from there. Even though several of them are TV show theme songs.

...omg, there's a whole generation who doesn't understand how nerve-wracking it was to watch them never get off that damn island.

Tom Dooley | I Wish I Was a Teddy Bear | Ballad of Gilligan's Island | Seasons in the Sun | Welcome Back | Queen of the Silver Dollar | The Aba Daba Honeymoon | Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Manah Manah was not my favorite back then. )

Meme list
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Oh good. Back to song topics that don't make me want to rip my hair out.

Had to stop and think about this one, because "love the voice" is not high on my priority lists for songs I enjoy most. But for a long time, I listed my favorite type of music as "anything with a baritone voice and acoustic guitar."

What You Need | Dance Magic | I'm on Fire | Love Is Chemical | Holly Holy | Wherefore and Why | Stay Young | The Warrior | Rainy Days & Mondays | Delta Dawn | It's So Easy

And one where the vocals are so pretty, I almost forget that I love the lyrics, too )

Meme list

Linkspam: fannish/geeky, misc.

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:02 pm
umadoshi: (ocean 01)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Here's how the new Star Wars novels will connect to The Last Jedi: The ‘Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ books will explore details from the history of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia". I'm just gonna jump down here to Canto Bight: "This collection of four short stories will focus on creatures from the glamorous casino world of Canto Bight, described as the galactic version of Monaco. The book, which hits stores on Dec. 5, will be written by Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, and John Jackson Miller." [Also linked at [dreamwidth.org profile] aftertheendtimes, because awesome news is awesome.]

"Stargate Origins Series to Launch New MGM Digital Platform — Watch Teaser".

"Pacific Rim: Uprising Releases Teaser and Info on a New Crop of Jaegers". [Tor.com] And once again, we have a Jaeger with a slur (same one) in its name. :/

"Jenny, the Doctor’s Daughter, Finally Getting the Doctor Who Spinoff Adventures She Deserves" [in audio drama form]. [The Mary Sue]

"Dick Grayson vs. Toxic Masculinity". [Book Riot] [May 2017]


Miscellaneous

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] wendelah1, "Rape Choreography Makes Films Safer, But Still Takes a Toll on Cast and Crew". [Content warnings: what you'd expect from that headline.]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] dine, "The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives".

"The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence".

"Photobucket Is Holding People's Photos For 'Ransom': The company is now charging a $400 fee to hot-link images — which will break photos on tons of old websites and blogs.". [Buzzfeed]

"The Lost Cookbooks Of Black Chefs".

"Just 19 Fascinating Things About The Hair & Makeup On 'GLOW'". [Buzzfeed]

"How Eyeliner Defines My Womanhood". "My politics and my eyeliner became inseparable. Projecting my own sense of beauty, without shame or hesitation, scared the hell out of my opponents. My look was my armor and my weaponry. / But the fight took its toll. Somewhere in my late teens, I closeted myself again, without particularly noticing that I was doing so. I stopped wearing anything that scanned as feminine. I didn't even own eyeliner for 20 years. And I said nothing when people took me for a straight, cisgender man. [...] I’ve finally recognized, over years of trial and error — mostly error — that a wildly disproportionate amount of anxiety I experience arises from dressing like a man. A couple of years ago, that anxiety was swallowing me whole. I didn’t like who I’d become, and I wanted better for myself and my family. And, thanks to the wealth of information available online, and the supportive trans and queer community I found there, I had finally found the words to describe myself."

"Not in This Day and Age? On “Feisty, Cheeky, and Rebellious” Women in History".

"Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground". "One of the biggest problems is a side-effect of what made it possible to dig the deep level tunnels in the first place — namely the very solid and nice to tunnel through London Clay which sits under the city.

In fact, when the early tube tunnels were dug, they were so cool down there that the cool tube was seen as a respite from the summer heat on the surface. Why suffer on a bus in the heat when there’s a cool tube to take instead, said the marketing men.

So why is the Bakerloo line, once the coolest place to be, now a mobile sauna?"

Thank god for sick leaves

Jul. 21st, 2017 03:41 pm
meicdon13: (Default)
[personal profile] meicdon13
Day 2 of feeling like a disease-ridden lump x__x

Yesterday was the cough to end all coughs and a feverish, aching body. Today the cough has transitioned into a cold (with the occasional cough) and my back is one giant hurt (probably from sleeping so much yesterday).

Someone end my suffering ;__;
elf: John Egbert with a rocketpack, captioned "THIS IS STUPID" in all caps. (This is stupid)
[personal profile] elf
I'm behind again. This time it's not because I forgot or got too busy. Who MAKES these damn lists, anyway? Don't answer that. I know who. Teenagers, or maybe college students. People who think, "reliving heartbreak is a poignant moment, an interlude of quiet sadness in the midst of your hectic day," and not "reliving heartbreak is like walking naked into fire, so of course I'd want to share that with all my friends and casual acquaintances who knows how many strangers on the internet."

So I've spent a couple days trying to nudge the question from the side, trying to consider songs that I think of as heartbreaky without sending myself into a downward spiral that could take weeks to recover from.

Today doesn't get a list, and it doesn't get a video. [personal profile] mdlbear posted that Jordin Kare has died.

I remember one filksong from my first year at BayCon - Leslie Fish's "Banned from Argo," sung in the back corner of a party room by four people sharing a copy of Westerfilk. The next year, I went looking. I remember one song from my second year - Jordin Kare singing "The Bride of Saint-Germain."

I wrote about this before. Bride of Saint-Germain has, as far as I know, never been recorded. It's certainly never been publicly released. And now, no matter how well the OTW does in its struggles to get fanworks accepted as fair use, no matter what kind of precedents vidders win from congress... he's never going to record even one of the fannish concert versions that sometimes make their way to Youtube.

I loved Jordin's music; I have both Fire in the Sky and Parody Violation and I can sing along with all of them, even if I don't quite know all the words. The song that breaks my heart is the one I'll never hear again.

Meme list

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:36 pm
skygiants: Fakir from Princess Tutu leaping through a window; text 'doors are for the weak' (drama!!!)
[personal profile] skygiants
Death of a Pirate: British Radio and the Making of the Information Age is a fairly fascinating book that's trying to do a lot of things at once: the book starts out with the dramatic recounting of MURDER!!! and then immediately takes, if not a deep dive, at least a vigorous swim through such varied topics as the history of British radio and the BBC, Keynesian economic philosophy, copyright limitations, and the founding of Sealand in order to contextualize it.

Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:

- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead

The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."

HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:

- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'

Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.

Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.

...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.

(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?

For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')

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