Day off work

May 14th 2002 -

I have two days off work this week, and today is one of them. I’ve just about finished teaching Raman everything he has to know, and the remaining two days of work will be helping him get his course material together. Then, when he gives the course in a couple of weeks, I’ll be there for two days of support.

Then back to the salad days. I think I’ll start with a little Greek – we might go to Las Vegas, stay at the Waldorf, then hit Caeser’s Palace… or not.

Side order of Guilty Pleasure, hold the Pleasure…
I decided to see what John Carpenter has been up to, despite despising both Village of the Damned and especially Vampire$. But Ghosts of Mars is set on Mars, and it sounded like dumb fun. It isn’t. It’s just horribly boring. I kept finding myself drifting off, to be awoken by annoyance at another horrible plot contrivance. I tried a beer or two, but I think you really need a loutish group of savage film-cynics to really enjoy it properly.

Ghosts of Mars: Society: Matriarchal.
OK, so it did get me thinking. One of the opening titles is along the lines of “Mars. Population 600,000. Society: Matriarchal”. Oh, aye. Sounds interesting, eh? The only manefestations of this matriarchal society, however, are that the senior positions in the police/government are women. In other words, in order to make a matriarchal society, you should simply reverse the genders of those in high places, without changing the system in any fundemental way. Oh, except that in order to be promoted, one has to be a lesbian. That’s about it.

As I said, it got me thinking. What would a *real* matriarchal society be like? What would be different? And of course, there are many parameters and assumptions to settle before you can really get stuck into the question. Like, does it exist in isolation? Does it have to deal with patriarchal societies? Are we starting the society in the stone age or the modern age? For me, the most interesting case study would be for the modern age, with no outside pressures from patriarchal societies. The whole area of gender study is so fraught with cliches and assumptions that it’s interesting to see what people throw into the ring… and I’m not going to go into it here, except to say that John Carpenter’s view is probably the most boring matriarchy I can imagine.

The Gift
I also watched the DVD of “The Gift”, which was also a bit of a disappointment. Nice acting, understated direction, shame about the *yawn* script.

I’m trying to record a voice-over for Jon’s short film “When Doctors Collide” and I’m having terrible trouble with ground-noise on my equipment. Previously I’ve used the shotgun microphone, but this time I figured I’d try for the studio mike. And because the computers are so noisy, I figured I’d record in a separate room, onto a minidisc, and then transfer over to the computer separately. No deal. I’ve recorded directly onto the computer using the studio mike before, and the results were OK (except for the fan-noise of the computer) but for some reason hooking the studio mike’s amp up to the minidisc recorder – either of them – causes a horrible buzzing sound on the end result, presumably due to some kind of ground loop. But I’m no expert, I haven’t done serious electrical engineering since I graduated ten years ago.

Bugger. There goes today.

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