Friday, March 19, 2021

Somehow The VItal Connection Is Made

Even before I get started, let me have a good old grumble. I like Blogger as a platform. It suits me. I'm used to it. I could do with a little more flexibility in layout but I can live with what I'm given. There's just one thing about Blogger I really can't stand.

Somehow, someone thought it was a good idea to set a combination of keys that could instantly wipe everything you've written. As though it never existed. 

I'm not saying it was anyone at Blogger or even anyone at Google. It might have been someone at Microsoft. Let's say it was. Blaming Bill Gates is a thing these days, isn't it? It could even have been someone from Firefox. That's the browser I use when I'm blogging.

Whoever it was, it's Blogger I blame. They should know people who use their platform bumble. Anyone who knows what they're doing is on Wordpress. Everyone knows that. Someone at Blogger should have come up with a better way to stop in-progress drafts from vanishing into the ether. Never to be seen again. And I mean never.

When something goes this way it seems to be gone for good. None of the many suggested ways of recovering lost data can bring it back. I've tried them all. Well, all the free ones. That I can understand.

It doesn't happen often (thank God). In fact, I can only remember it ever happening to me twice in nearly ten years, although that both times were in the last six months suggests it might be a growing problem. As you can probably guess, it just happened to me now. Fortunately I'd only written about four or five paragraphs. Last time it happened it was pretty much a whole damn post.

There is one way to avoid it happening. Okay, two ways. Three, if you count writing the posts in a separate text editor of some kind , although that seems like a backwards step to me. 

The main one would be not to press that combination of keys in the first place. It would work, too. If I knew which combination of keys it was I'd do that. 

Yeah, no I wouldn't. It's not like I meant to press them in the first place.

The other is to remember to open a Preview as soon as you start typing. If you somehow manage to blank the draft the preview will still be there in another tab of your browser and you can laboriously screenshot it and reconstruct the post from static images. I did that once. I remember writing about it.

There. That's got that off my chest. Back to the post I was going to write. Only now it's going to be shorter. Shorter-tempered too, likely as not.


I saw this morning the upcoming Final Cut version of Disco Elysium isn't going to get a classification from the Australian Classification Board. That's not too surprising. It doesn't take much to trigger the sensibilities of the ACB. Ironically. I sometimes wonder if anyone on that board has ever met an Australian.

They might be doing the Aussie Disco fans a favor. Although there are a few new quests and some other tweaks, the main addition is loads more voiceover, just about the last thing I thought the game was lacking when I played it.

Steam's been asking me to for permission to update the game for a while. I'm guessing that would move me onto the final version. Those who already own the PC version are entitled to the update for free, I believe. 

That's why I've been scrupulously avoiding it. I would like to play again some day and I'd prefer to do it with the minimum of over-enthusiastic people just throwing themselves into their parts.

No, if it's acting we're talking about, how about going the whole hog? I noticed from the post that there's a Disco Elysium TV series in the works. According to a Variety report from last year, it's being produced by the guy behind the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Make of that what you will. 

The Variety article also told me another thing I didn't know: Disco Elysium is based on a novel, namely Robert Kurvitz’s “Sacred and Terrible Air”, published in 2013 as “Püha ja õudne lõhn”. 

I'd like to read that. Unfortunately it was published in Estonia. In Estonian. 

Reddit says there's an English translation on the way.  Steam firms that up: "It is currently in the process of being translated to English. Robert has been working hard to get Disco Elysium finished but once we have launched, he’ll be able to return to the book. Expect it in the second half of 2020."

That didn't happen but i imagine we can all guess why. So the same guy who wrote the book is also lead designer and writer on the game. Further investigation shows the whole thing is based on Kurvitz's tabletop roleplaying campaign. Because of course it is. Aren't they all?

The Escapist has a good article on the provenance of the game and the philosophy of its creators. Some choice quotes from Robert Kurvitz: "The two biggest favors anyone’s ever done me in my life are the political education from Estonian punk bands and what (lead designer and writer) Chris Avellone did with Planescape: Torment". and "We have an insanely ambitious list of projects we want to make in the Elysium setting. The last one I want to make, when I’m 50 or 60".

Planescape:Torment is a game that constantly turns up as both a benchmark and a touchstone for everything ambitious in crpgs. I hated it. No, that's not fair. I never got far enough in to hate it. I gave up after about an hour. Horrible, horrible game. Or so I remember it. I guess I should probably give it another try.

On the longevity of the project, well, if it happens it'll be after my time. I'll settle for the TV show. And a sequel to the game. There's going to be one, of course: Kurvitz "has plans for an expansion and full sequel for Disco Elysium".

Maybe this flag has something to do with that. PCGamer thinks so. Fun to speculate.


As originally conceived this whole post was going to rumble confusingly between meta-musings on the nature of hyperlinking, the origins and spin-offs of Disco Elysium and Lana del Rey's new album Chemtrails Over The Country Club, which I had delivered to my door this morning along with a bottle of black mould remover and a new duvet. 

These things are unconnected. Everything is connected.

By the time my hard copy appeared in my recycling bin (it passes for a letterbox in times of pandemic), and even though I'd pre-ordered to be sure I'd get it on day of release, I'd already managed to read a full review. More jarringly, the review came complete with click-throughs to the whole album, which I steeled myself to ignore. 

I was going to link to the links so those who might still be trying to maintain a veneer of skepticism over Lana's genius could test their no doubt wavering resolve only... they're gone. That's kind of weird. 

I mean, I thought it was pretty weird the whole album was there to listen to for free on day of release to begin with but it's even weirder now it's disappeared. Maybe someone at Pitchfork has fat fingers, too. Maybe they pressed the wrong key combo. I know how that goes.

The review itself looks pretty good, by which I mean it says things I agree with. In general. In specifics I can't compare. My dedication is such that I came here to write this first. I haven't listened to the album right through yet. They score at Pitchfork, which is crass but compelling. A solid 7.5 is strong enough after Norman Fucking Rockwell's 9.4, I guess. 

I notice they don't talk much about what the songs sound like. Pitchfork reviews rarely do. That'd be like dancing about architecture, wouldn't it? A lot safer to stick to analyzing the lyrics.

The whole focus on the sheer Americanism of the del Rey project struck me as true but it's so much bigger than that. Lana may be "truly American—specifically American" but that's because she's becoming the great chronicler of the American Century, the 20th (which everyone knows didn't end in 1999). Her references, while rooted in American culture, speak to the way that culture dominated everything for all of our lifetimes. 

Until, perhaps, now. The Pitchfork piece on Chemtrails links to both the online magazine's own, excellent, review of the monumental Norman Fucking Rockwell but also to another highly insightful take on that landmark recording from The Atlantic

As the piece says of Lana's breathtaking "The Greatest", "It’s an epitaph" and it is. Thing is, Atlantic takes it to be an epitaph for America. I took it to be something more

That's the problem with masterpieces, isn't it? You either have to top them or you have to stop.  But no-one ever does stop, do they? And we wouldn't want them to.

Where do you go after the end of the world, anyway? On, of course.


See, I would have tied it all together if it hadn't been for that pesky Blogger! Or I think I would. I guess we'll never know.


  1. I feel your text-loss pain. I used to do this all the time back when I was blogging in the browser.

    Here's an older article describing a few Firefox extensions that might solve your problem . I haven't tried any of these, and they all seems a little out-of-date and sketch, but you might want to give one or more of them a test run and see if they work as advertised.

    1. Thanks. I read the article and had a look at the three it recommends. One doesn't seem to exist any more and another is Chrome only (and I think Chrome has a better option anyway) but there's one for Firefox I might try. It does record literally everything you type, though, snd it looks like you'd have to remember to manually delete it, which seems like a bit of a security risk when you have a memory like mine.

      I really need to stop typing so recklessly. I don't know which key combo it is that I hit but I do know it's in the lower left corner. Probably ctr-shift-something. I hit other combos that open various consoles and do weird things now and again but this is the only one that's a problem. If I didn't get so frenzied typing when I'm in creative mode it wouldn't happen!

  2. The thing that I enjoy about LDR is that there doesn't seem to have that desire to be accepted by the masses, in that reviews don't ever seem to impact her next delivery.

    Compare that to someone like Kanye, who's opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, has really driven him over the edge with the lack of larger accolades. It's as if his genius doesn't exist if specific people don't tell him so.


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