Suicide

“I’m walking to the bridge,” begins a Golden Gate Bridge suicide note […] “If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.”

Suicide is fascinating to me. On the one hand, I feel like we should respect somebody’s decision or assumption that, overall, they won’t come out of their life “ahead”. A line from an Editors song comes to mind:

In the end all you can hope for // Is the love you felt to equal the pain you’ve gone through

I mean, who are you to tell somebody “No, no. You have to suffer at least 30 more years before I allow you to die”?

On the other hand, it’s not as simple as that. Suicide can’t really be looked at isolated from depression or mental illness in general. I also ask myself if – aside from people who are terminally ill and don’t want to suffer anymore – every person commiting suicide is by defintion mentally ill.

Anyway, this piece on the dramatic surge of suicides is well worth a read:

Around the world, in 2010 self-harm took more lives than war, murder, and natural disasters combined, stealing more than 36 million years of healthy life across all ages. In more advanced countries, only three diseases on the planet do more harm.

Light Pollution

I live on the 4th floor, and at night I can directly see the light sources of all the road lights outside my window. There’s just no way this is necessary. And then there’s the glowing sky over Hamburg’s busy port. And all the shop windows at night. And so on.

This excellent piece in The New Yorker from 2007 points out all the serious effects of light pollution: It is disturbing sleep, causes health issues, benefits crime, costs a ton of money, wastes energy and endangers animal populations.

Most people don’t notice bad nighttime lighting; if you do, it can make you slightly crazed. When I’m driving at night, my wife has to tell me to watch the road instead of looking back over my shoulder at a yard whose trees have floodlights in their branches, or at an empty parking lot so bright that you could deliver babies in it

via kottke.org

#notatort CW 35 – "Primer"

It’s true what they say. The first time you watch Primer, you don’t understand what’s happening.

It is amazing what Shane Carruth pulled off there. And not in a “it’s cool cause it’s complicated” way, but just because the movie really sucks you into its world with its unique atmosphere and way of storytelling. And once you have your own opinion about what happened, you can start an edit war on Wikipedia.

I just wanted to watch this movie so I can listen to the time travel episode of The Incomparable. Can’t wait to listen to Siracusa ramble about 12 Monkeys, Looper and Primer.

Kevin Spacey on the future of TV


Yes. Kevin Spacey on TV, the future of TV, pilots and House of Cards. I talk about Netflix and how House of Cards is special in this article.
Thanks to Timo for linking the video to me.

Prevention


Thx to Timo for linking this to me before everybody on the Internet did.

#notatort CW 34 – "The Thing"

Well, here’s the thing (no pun intended): I don’t like the German TV Series “Tatort”. It runs on Sundays, people meet up to watch it together, and the German part of Twitter is also very busy with people talking. And let’s be honest: mostly complaining about it.

So I’ve had the idea of having friends over and watching a good movie instead wandering around in my head for a while now. With #notatort, I’m trying exactly that.

John Carpenter’s “The Thing” was the first movie of the #notatort series. Here’s some related thoughts and info:

  • This article connects Carpenter’s work to H. P. Lovecraft, very interesting: Cosmic Horror in John Carpenter’s “Apocalypse Trilogy”

  • If you’re interested in more of Carpenter’s stuff, there’s of course “Escape From New York”. It conveys a dark and punky vision of the future, and has more raw ‘Kurt Russel doing stuff’ in it. Carpenter did the soundtrack himself, it’s all minimal music, so you may recognize that element of “The Thing” here. Here it is on Spotify.

  • Assault on Precicnt 13” goes more in the rustic filmmaking direction. A very simple setup creates a claustrophobic atmosphere, the soundtrack is also minimal and by Carpenter himself. I now freak out every time I hear an ice cream truck play its melody.

"Anonymous: We Are Legion"


This is an interesting doucmentary. About the early and not-so-early days of Anonymous, Telecomix and LulzSec. It is partisan, for sure. But that also means it’s not made by people who don’t understand the Internet and therefore have no idea what they’re talking about.

So, interesting to see what happened 2007-ish – I would’ve thought that I was somewhat conscious back then, but apparently was rather ignorant to stuff like ‘chanology’ etc. Or busy with other things (yeah that must have been it).

Thanks to Felix for pointing me to this documentary.