August 30, 2007
The many ages of Mylène
One of the interesting things I've found you can do with Youtube is watch your favourite stars as their styles changed over the years.
The example today is, no surprise, Mylène Farmer, and her huge (in France) 1991 hit "Desenchantee". Below are four versions, each with a slightly modified version of Mylène's strangely alluring arm-flailing choreography for that song.
It's probably just a reflection of my advanced age, but in this particular version of the "Young Elvis-Old Elvis" dispute, I think I enjoy the most recent version, where the lady is clearly enjoying herself the most (on the other hand, for the same reason it's probably the least faithful treatment to the song's lyrical tone). And yes, they're all better than Belgian pop tart Kate Ryan's 2003 cover version. You need to have tes idéaux in the first place before they can be abimés, dahling.
Back from the prairie
Posting has been even sparser than usual, due in part to my recent hanging out at this little function.
The gap between high-tech military simulation and computer games continues to close rapidly, most notably in the land force wargame area (the air force, for instance, is long used to pilot trainers' similarities to good flight simulators, but armies have needed recent technological improvements like eyesafe lasers and small form-factor GPS units to get to the same place).
The moment this sunk in for me was out at CMTC Wainwright, the Canadian army's equivalent to the American Fort Polk, when late at night one of the training audience's wheeled reconnaissance patrols snuck too close to the base commanders' cabin... which, predictably, had both excellent sight lines into a valley below, and a virtual "minefield" around it which game-kills anyone who got too close.
I happened to look down on the duty signallers' log in the recce command post, to read "C/S 61A killed in cabin minefield. Returning to base to be rezzed."
The signaller was a young corporal, as familiar as I am, if not more with World of Warcraft, etc. The notation made perfect sense, of course, to both of us, because we were, he and I both at that moment, in a 150 square kilometre massively multiplayer roleplaying game, and we were tracking two other PCs heading back to the "bind point" so that a healer could resurrect them and they could head out on yet another quest. It was an interesting feeling.
August 07, 2007
"Shock Troops" update
"An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."
--Maj. Steven F. Lamb, deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad, to the Weekly Standard, yesterday.
"We don't go into the details of how we conduct our investigations."
--Maj. Lamb again, to the New Republic, today.
Now this is getting fun.
Actually, what this also helps illustrate is TNR's self-evident and ongoing issues with editorial management. The obvious follow-up question to Maj. Lamb after he gave them that quote was "But the Weekly Standard claims to have a written statement from you saying the exact opposite of what you've just told us. Do they or not?" You simply don't run this kind of story about another paper's coverage without closing that door. The fact that they didn't speaks volumes about the current editorial strength of what was once easily my favourite U.S. magazine.
The fuller-version of the statement tie-breaker here (which also shows quite neatly how the two different papers could have gotten their two different spins from the same Media Response Lines).
"endearingly macho" -- Mark Steyn
"wonderfully detailed analysis" -- John Allemang, Globe and Mail
"unusually candid" -- Tom Ricks, Foreignpolicy.com
Bill & Bob
Ghosts of Alex