Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Sad bunny...

Where, I wonder, is the transition between over-grown adolescent and dirty old man?

After a couple of years where, though I had a DVD drive on my home computer, I didn't actually use it as such, only its CD-R capabilities, this autumn, I've started to spend more time in front of the virtual square-eyed monster - as noted previously, I gave up the TV in the '80s because I resented paying the TV Tax for the rubbish on air, and that was just before video players became mainstream rather than luxury goods, so I never got into the habit of watching movies at home.

In the past, I've often used the 20:00-22:00 slot after supper and before bed as hacking time, working on one freeware project or another, so a movie would overwrite the bulk of that slot; but my home coding usually goes inversely to the amount of coding (as opposed to design) I'm doing at work, and this autumn that rule has meant no drive to cut code after hours. So the evening becomes a bit of mail filtering, any downloads I've identified, and then it's about 9pm, so there's a slot where I can fit in something a bit more bite-sized, like the odd episode of The Water Margin, or yielding to watching girls'n'guns anime.

And it's the latter that prompted the original question. I mean, how sad is it to go trawling for freeware region-free DVD playing programs for Windows just to be able to make use of disks that were only issued in the region 1, some time in the mid-90s, and so I don't have to reboot into Linux to use them. At the moment I'm using the VideoLan client, which may not be the slickest player around, but does have the advantage of playing Region 1 disks while leaving the drive "cherry" (as the Yanks would put it). And all to watch episodes of Original Dirty Pair [who do look better in motion - hair especially - than when still, though I still hew to my original discovery of the two, and consider the early Adam Warren visualization as the best of the canonical-costume versions].

But if that wasn't sad enough, I actually went out trawling fan sites, and stumbled across an on-line translation on line of the first of the Dirty Pair original treeware-published stories - The Great Adventure of.... I don't know how old and what experience the author had when he wrote it, but it reads like my own teenage juvenilia (prior to the stuff I kept and have put on-line) in its simplicity of plot and character motivation - but at the same time shot through with touches of promise - or at least things where from the viewpoint of 20+ years on, one can see hints at the use of tropes that didn't come into the SF genre until much later, for all that it is laced with solidly retro spaceship-fiction tropes too.

Perhaps it has to do with the optimism and vitality of the Japanese economy at the time (when it was going to rule the world) which moved over to the States in the 90's, and fuelled the ever-Higher Beyond feeling that permeates the Adam Warren comics.

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