V For Vendetta (the graphic novel, not the movie)

I just finished reading the graphic novel yesterday. If you like dystopian fiction where there's no real "hero", and you know who Guy Fawkes is even if you're not British, then you ought to read this novel.

As for the movie...I ought to have learnt my lesson about seeing movies someone adapted from an Alan Moore comic, after The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which was an excellent set of graphic novels made into a crappy movie, and my friend Taliesin says the same of From Hell. Still, though I've not yet seen the V For Vendetta movie, something tells me I probably will. I know they totally changed the ending, but I was surprised to see characters listed in the cast list on IMDb that I expected would have to have been cut. This is a long graphic novel -- there's no doubt they had to condense it. So I'm curious about what they did cut.

But being the Wachowski Brothers, I'm expecting they'll be emphasising V's superhuman quickness in a fight -- which, while it certainly was there, and was pointed out many times, it was definitely not the focus of the story. Even more supernatural than his speed was V's ability to plan for every tiny detail in his complex plan for revolution, and his ability to carry it out with surgical precision, all the while quoting from various works of culture.

So far, I've enjoyed everything I've read from Alan Moore, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say about Neil Gaiman. Neil Gaiman's not so much a writer, as he is a collector and reteller of fairy tales and legends, and a weaver of atmosphere. As far as plot, pacing, and characterisation goes, his writing is weak. Much like Dan Brown's not so much a fiction writer, as he is a composer of essays on some neat ideas, and a writer of travel guides. Hmm, I could keep adding to this, but I think I'll expand on this and some others in a later entry I'll call "Writers Who Increasingly Piss Me Off the More I Read From Them."


Dr Who

Just so there's no repeat of the Shaun of the Dead thing from a few years ago, since I see last year's Dr Who series is about to be shown in the US, let me just say in advance that it's a great show, and you'll probably like it. I anticipate a great big wave of new Dr Who fans who have never known about it before. I saw the whole season in mid-2005 when it was airing originally, and it's much better than the older seasons. Better budget, more dramatic, less corny. I thought the new regeneration of the Doctor was a great choice, despite his short haircut and rather normal clothes. There's still corn and cheese in the series, but in a fun way, so enjoy, all!


Suggestions for corporate voice mail

Businesses: If you want to keep me, the customer, happy, consider these suggestions. They all really boil down to the same thing -- speed it up. But here are some specifics.
  1. Talk faster.
  2. Do not inform me to listen carefully as your menu has changed. If this is the first time I'm calling, as it usually is, then I've never heard your menu options before, let alone developed a habit of punching in numbers in advance. And if I'm a returning customer doing so, then I'll easily find out your menu has changed when I find myself listening to more questions from the wrong area, and I'll just try again. Better to waste the time of an occasional instance like that than to waste everyone's time every single time they call.
  3. Do not include useless extra submenus that have only one option ("press 1"). Just pass through to the meat of the issue.
  4. Do not entreat me to visit your web site. If I'm calling you, it's usually because I already tried your web site and something wasn't working correctly. And you irritate me more and more the longer your web address is, pausing after every dot and slash, after every careful and slowly-enunciated word (or worse, spelling) in the URL.
Sure, there's more, but these are the only things annoying me right now.