Linkblogging For 20/08/13

Sorry for the lack of proper posts recently. I’m busy doing final edits to the Beach Boys book (which is taking longer because Plok has given me such good notes — I’ve had to do things like go and do a search for every occurence of the word album and think “Is this really necessary?”) and I’m also getting *VERY* little sleep (for those who care, the CPAP machine is working for my apnoea but not for my delayed phase sleep disorder).

So don’t expect proper posts until Saturday. Meanwhile, have some links.

Rules for writing from Elmore Leonard, who died today.
Oddly, reading them, several are rules I already follow, not because of talent, but because of lack of same. I especially like the Steinbeck quote:

I like a lot of talk in a book and I don’t like to have nobody tell me what the guy that’s talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks. . . . figure out what the guy’s thinking from what he says. I like some description but not too much of that. . . . Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. . . . Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That’s nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don’t have to read it. I don’t want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story.

That’s how I write unless I really have to do something else, not because I necessarily agree (the admonishment against adverbs in Leonard’s piece is daft) but because writing any other way is *hard work*. Dialogue and character are easy, while descriptions of people and places are hard.

The full script to The Killing Joke

On the phenomenon of bullshit jobs. This is very, very familiar…

Groklaw is closing down.

I hope that makes it clear why I can’t continue. There is now no shield from forced exposure. Nothing in that parenthetical thought list is terrorism-related, but no one can feel protected enough from forced exposure any more to say anything the least bit like that to anyone in an email, particularly from the US out or to the US in, but really anywhere. You don’t expect a stranger to read your private communications to a friend. And once you know they can, what is there to say? Constricted and distracted. That’s it exactly. That’s how I feel.

So. There we are. The foundation of Groklaw is over. I can’t do Groklaw without your input. I was never exaggerating about that when we won awards. It really was a collaborative effort, and there is now no private way, evidently, to collaborate.

I’m really sorry that it’s so. I loved doing Groklaw, and I believe we really made a significant contribution. But even that turns out to be less than we thought, or less than I hoped for, anyway. My hope was always to show you that there is beauty and safety in the rule of law, that civilization actually depends on it. How quaint.

PJ will be missed. She did good work.

550 free films to watch Includes light-hearted entertainment like Chimes Of Midnight, Orson Welles’ adaptation of Shakespeare’s Falstaffian plays, and highbrow masterpieces like Horror Express, where Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee fight a serial-killing ape-man.

Charles Stross on the Spooks vs News cold war

I laughed so much at this I gave myself an asthma attack

Faction Paradox fanfic — someone doing one short story for every entry in The Book Of The War.

Shabogan Graffiti on patriotism

A poem about social media by Roz Kaveney

Jennie asks why political party membership is falling

Alex has a fascinating reading of The World’s End. It’s not what I took away from watching the film, but it makes sense. I may have to re-watch it.

Millennium on the Miranda detention

Adam Curtis on the intelligence community (I assume you’ve all read this already, but just in case

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