The Villain With a Thousand Faces

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in Sen and Sensibility | No Comments
The Villain With a Thousand Faces

Originally published on the Clyde Fitch Report. Read the full piece.

Aurora.

As I’m sure I’m not the first to point out, it could be the code name of a superhero, or a remote planet on which garish battles take place.

But as we all know, it’s nothing so distant. It’s the name of a town where, as movie patrons settled themselves into their bucket seats, popcorn in hand, a tragedy unfolded.

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Charting Magical Territories: the Art of Bishakh Som

Posted by on Jul 17, 2012 in Sen and Sensibility | No Comments
Charting Magical Territories: the Art of Bishakh Som

Originally published on the Clyde Fitch Report. Read the full piece.

Bishakh Som, like his haunting, mysterious creations, is many things.

He’s a Harvard-trained architect. He’s an intellectual, a raconteur. He’s a figure in the independent comics scene (whether your degree of insider-ness causes you to spell it “comics” or “comix”). And if this is your first introduction to his work, I have a feeling it won’t be your last.

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The Year of the Dragon

Posted by on Jan 22, 2012 in Musings, The Malay Mysteries | No Comments
The Year of the Dragon

Today marks the Chinese New Year (in the U.S., anyway, given time zones and so forth). And not just that: it’s the Year of the Dragon. The auspiciousness of this date comes up in one of my Malay Mysteries.

“Huh? But I thought these stories were about Malay people, they don’t use the Chinese calendar,” you say. True! But read on for the explanation…

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A thought or two on SOPA/PIPA (updated)

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Musings | No Comments

Update: there’s much dancing in the streets at the apparent withdrawal of SOPA/PIPA, after a huge public outcry and day-long internet protest. Great news, right? Except the redoubtable Lamar Smith, who believes himself to be an expert on both technology and civil liberties, has proffered a new law that requires ISPs to retain data on their customers’ activities online.

This one is meant to “protect children” (like the last one was intended to “stop piracy”)–seeing a pattern? Talk about Bad Thing (child predators, piracy), whip up hysteria—because, you know, people are too lazy and stupid to learn anything about how the internet works and will respond instead to fear mongering—then slip in laws that subvert civil liberties, violate privacy, and bypass due process. Here’s information about the new law, “Protect Children From Internet Pornographers” (read: “All Your Base Are Belong to Lamar Smith”), and here’s some more.

I do not share Lamar Smith’s views on the stupidity of the American public or the world citizenry of the internet. You know what to do.

Original post:

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard all the hullabaloo about SOPA/PIPA, they are two bills currently wending their way the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, respectively–have a look at the Wiki article about it if you’re not familiar with the issue.

These bills, by their names alone (Stop Online Piracy and Protect Intellectual Property), seem like good things. Even those who guiltily BitTorrent gigabytes of TV shows, music, and other material will acknowledge that hard-working creative professionals should be fairly paid for their work, and that piracy is theft. There’s no argument for it, only a free buffet for those willing to bend their morals a bit.

In fairness, I’ve resorted to torrenting things on occasion–I’m proud to say less than half a dozen times–but only when I absolutely could not locate the items in question through any of the usual channels, through which I’d happily have paid for them. But, as a content creator putting my work out there, I fully appreciate how piracy harms large and small alike, I’ve seen it from all perspectives, and I would not dream of ever pirating content today.

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Consider This: The Ghost of Silver Cliff

Posted by on Jan 17, 2012 in The Malay Mysteries, Videos | No Comments
Consider This: The Ghost of Silver Cliff

Video: author Jai Sen talks about love in The Malay Mysteries book 2: The Ghost of Silver Cliff. The second in a series of conversations about The Malay Mysteries. (more…)