Thank GOD for sense:
||10:05 am - Defending against the last plot won't save us from the next one
Cory Doctorow: Bruce Schneier tackles last week's security response to the putative hair-gel terrorists:
It's easy to defend against what the terrorists planned last time, but it's shortsighted. If we spend billions fielding liquid-analysis machines in airports and the terrorists use solid explosives, we've wasted our money. If they target shopping malls, we've wasted our money. Focusing on tactics simply forces the terrorists to make a minor modification in their plans. There are too many targets -- stadiums, schools, theaters, churches, the long line of densely packed people before airport security -- and too many ways to kill people.
Security measures that require us to guess correctly don't work, because invariably we will guess wrong. It's not security, it's security theater: measures designed to make us feel safer but not actually safer.
Not apologising for not putting that behind cut either.
In other news, a really nice weekend doing the cream of Fringe comedy in 2 days.
Saturday was the Goodies and Rich Hall: the Goodies
were actually amazingly polished for 2 middleaged men and a bunch of old TV clips - weirdly, possibly my favourite show of the weekend. Non-appearing Bill Oddie was substituted by cleverly interactive video bits and Graham Garden manipulating him as a glove puppet, hilariously (oo er vicar). The whole thing is basically an hour and a half trailer for the "reasonably priced DVD" but really, it's so good you don't mind. I honestl;y didn't remember their stuff being this clever - slapstick yes, but it's also years ahead of its time in terms of sfx, post modernism etc. Very recommended, but probably sold out!Rich Hall
was -- well, i just love Rich Hall. You either do or don't. Cuttingly clever grumpy transplanted American takes on World - he made three animal lovers walk out in the first ten minutes over jokes about shooting gophers in Montana, and spent the next 50 minutes periodically tearing himself and them apart over it. i've seen him funnier, but this was actually a fascinating view of a man in some state of manic decay (rather as Phil Kay was last year.) V tempted to also go and see his play.
Sunday was Fringe Sunday
, (with poisonduk
), Paul Merton's Improv
, and Bill Bailey : Steampunk
. I've never actually seen Paul Merton live and wouldn't have minded a bit more of him and less of the 4 co-stars. But basically very, very accomplished improv of the usual Whose Line Is IT kind: once I discovered I could actually see something by standing up and leaning against the back of my chair (I was in the back row of a staggeringly crowded venue) I was very happy. I liked the way they incorporated the guy in the wheelchair: not pandering to any difficulties he might have, but from time to time not ignoring it either ("When you booked our family holiday why did you pick a safari?"). He also did a stonking Dr Finlay's Casebook Edinburgh accent that wavered dangerously in the direction of Morningsiiide. And I liked the aardvark joke:-)
And the highlight of the bunch, Bill Bailey
. We were so tired by this stage we admitted we'd have skipped it if it had been Paul Merton but there was no way we were going to miss the MeisterTrollDerFunken. (Does this man really speak fluent German as well as everything else? I suspect so). As andrewducker
has also chronicled, the two bits that were absolute tour de forces were the brief run through philosophical whimsies at the start taking in Pynchon, Baudrillard, etc, and the one paragraph demolition of Dan Brown (though that admittedly is like shooting fish in a barrel). The thing that got me is that this really is incredibly intelligent comedy - I felt frankly it was pitched right at me in which case, er, how many of the people there missed stuff? We don't have much of a tradition of intellectual comedy in the UK really - our history is of smut, innuendo, scatology and mother in law gags. It's the Yanks who had Woody Allen and Seinfeld. I'm proud that the leading comedian of our generation is clearly so fucking clever.
Add in Friday night seeing Chunbara,
a combo of Japanese sword trickery and Taiko drumming, followed by large Chinese (food, not Fringe show!) and getting pissed with the Book Club (much oo-ing over Sayeed and Sawyer), and a gap on Saturday night drinking Merlot with purelyskindeep
and friends, in My New Spiritual Home, the licensed Chai Tea Lounge on Candlemaker Row (fantastically cool but rather overwhelmed with people on Sat night) and er, I'm rather tired today. No, you say :-)