Wednesday Morning Pre-Work Blips

April 4th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  1 Comment

» The Social Universe of “Toy Story”

Here, near as I can make out from Ben’s six or so recent viewings, is the long and short:

  • Good toy owners are middle class and attractive.

  • Bad toy owners are poor and have broken teeth.

  • Toys prefer “good” owners over “bad” ones, even if it means they live their lives in fear of being abandoned and cast aside. Being abandoned on the whim of a child is simply part of the “toy condition.” Toys that live in fear of being rejected are amusing.

  • There is liberation in realizing you’re someone else’s plaything, and not an autonomous, unique individual. In fact, selfhood can only come about once you acknowledge that you have none, exposing yourself to the pain of abandonment by the only force in the universe that can grant you meaning. People who insist on their own unique selfhood are ridiculous.

» The Social Universe of “Wallace & Gromit”

  • Rich people are dandies and prats, unless they take unique pains to be moral and compassionate.

  • The clergy are hypocrites who probably deserve to be mauled by a were-rabbit.

  • It’s not nice to kill apparent monsters, especially for the mere crime of eating vegetables or humiliating rich serial rabbit murderers, because there might be a nice, misunderstood person underneath. A corollary: mobs are dangerous and should be avoided when setting policy for were-rabbit management.

  • Friends forgive transgressions, even when the transgression is triggered by a vicious addiction to cheese.

  • It’s strange and probably wrong to tamper with or attempt to alter the essential nature of a living being for your own convenience.

Some more Wallace & Gromit points:

  • Penguins, now that I think about it, really are sort of menacing.

  • The point of time spent together with a friend isn’t efficiency.

  • Robot dogs can and most likely will turn on you. Crush them in a machine and take away their ability to move independently at once.

» Google vs. Steve

Looks like Google has a desktop for the Mac.

» Easier PDF Reading

If you read PDFs much, especially longer ones, and can’t countenance wasting the ink or paper to print them, Skim is a very nice, reading-oriented PDF displayerator. The full-screen and prezo modes are handy. There are good annotation tools and a reader bar. (via Gus).

» Much Easier PDF Reading

If you have an Apple remote and want to read PDFs without having to lean over the keyboard, there’s an interesting class of apps designed to take the remote past its use as an interface to FrontRow. Two I’ve looked at, but haven’t decided on, are RemoteBuddy and SofaControl. Since Skim isn’t very widely known, you have to do some work to extend either to work with it. Both work pretty well with Preview, though, which has a decent enough full-screen mode.


  1. Michael says:

    April 4th, 2007 at 1:02 pm (#)

    Sounds like the screen writers had some sort of SM bent in their past, doesn’t it?

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