Mad Max is the ultimate Dark Hero

I love stories about dark heroes: characters that do good, but whose methods are harsh and violent. Basically the antithesis of Captain America. The bright hero story is usually a good guy that always does the right thing, even when it compromises the mission.

Probably the most mainstream dark hero is Batman. I was a huge fan when I was a kid. Especially the Frank Miller era, like Year One and Death in the Family, where Batman is basically a criminal that follows a code to just target other criminals. The trouble with Batman is that his stories, however dark, are confined by the cultural norms of comic books. I have mostly enjoyed Batman on film, but even there, the legacy of the comic books hinders the portrayal on film.

Enter Mad Max. Maxwell Rockatansky’s begins as a cop who is conflicted over the violence of his job. The iconic “Special Interceptor” is a bribe from the police captain to get Max to stay on the force. He tells his captain that if it wasn’t for his badge saying what side he is on, he’d be no different than the bandits they are supposed to stop. When a gang kills his family, Max steals the Interceptor and hunts them, like animals. Unlike Batman, this loss doesn’t solidify him into a crusader, it has the opposite effect: he just walks away from everything. In the subsequent films, Max takes risks to help other people and losing everything in the process. He is a hero, but he never acts like one; he just does things.

Getting in to Ham Radio

I decided to pick up a new quarantine hobby besides playing Fallout 4: Amateur radio. I won’t be posting a bunch of radio stuff here because I want to dedicate a site specifically to that. I also have done a bit of traveling, and I want to document my adventures there too. I did a similar thing with writing about telephones. I didn’t want to clutter up my personal blog with a bunch of radio or telephone shit.

It turns out that Amateur radio has a lot of overlap with computers. Hams are big into Raspberry Pi’s and I even found a VOIP service specifically for hams!

There is a lot of electronics in amateur radio as well, which is a real weak point for me. I have messed with Arudinos a bit, but I’ve mostly stuck to computers. It’s a fascinating hobby, full of different things to learn about antennas, batteries, and even connecting computers over a radio.

My Blog Categories Explained

WordPress has this great feature that lets you categorize your blog posts. I use it to organize posts based on their subject matter. I have a wide range of interests and things that I write about, and viewing categories lets me see which subject seem to dominate my writing.

The categories I have thus far are:

gadgetstuff: These posts are about laptop computers, mobile phones, tablets and other nifty gizmos, from a consumer standpoint, rather than a hacking standpoint. I have a dedicated blog for my love affair with phones, so hopefully my curmudgeonly posts about them will not bleed over to here, but I make no promises.

gamerstuff: These are posts about video games, role-playing games, and tabletop games. They are also posts about gaming hardware, industry news that I have something to say about, and Penny-Arcade comics that I enjoy.

geekystuff: These are posts about sci-fi and fantasy books, movies, TV shows, and comics. I am a huge fan of The Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter, Batman, Doctor Who, and The IT Crowd. I am also really into cartoons like The Simpsons, Archer, Rick and Morty, and The Boondocks.

hackerstuff: These are generally posts about my Home Lab, hacking in the 1990’s Unix sense, hacking in the 2010’s information security sense, programming, VOIP, open source software, and networking. It’s also where I talk about Hacker Culture and the history of hacking.

makerstuff: These are posts about DIY projects that I like, the Maker Movement, and the Internet Of Things. I will also occasionally post recipes and other things. I don’t do as much as I used to with electronics, so these posts are rare.

patriotstuff: I use this category to group together my rants on constitutional issues. I don’t really get into politics, or rather, I don’t care much for liberals and conservatives. My politics could best be described as “I hate corporations and I hate cops.” There are some issues on which I would probably be identified as conservative, such as limiting the reach of governments and the importance of small businesses. There are issues on which I would be probably identified as liberal, such as my issues with institutional racism, sexism, and homophobia. I am mostly concerned about issues that pertain to privacy, free speech, net neutrality, equal rights, and the freedom of the press. When it comes to corporate-run mainstream media, I am more of a critic than a supporter.

piratestuff: These posts are generally about criticism of copyright, the media industry, my support of independent media, and the development of new sources of content. I am huge opponent of most American Intellectual Property laws. I am also a huge supporter of new media outlets, streaming video, remix culture, and peer to peer technologies.

I will likely add more categories over time. I will also add tags to my posts when I think that they are relevant.


New Blog Smell

Aftecrazy_pills_blogr much consternation, I have decided to stop hosting my own blog. For almost two decades I have run a blog of some type from a Unix or Linux box that I was either an owner or a trusted guest on. For the purposes of blogging, I think that it’s more important to write, than to be clever with servers and code, because no one actually sees that back-end stuff anyway. So in a way, it’s sort of an end of an era, kind of like when I quit using pine to read my email, and switched to gmail.

My most recent blog, which I maintained for 6 years or so, was hosted on the domain. I’m not as active with The Hive as I once was, so it didn’t seem right to keep posting there. Also, I felt compelled to sort of self-censor because of the blog’s affiliation with the hackerspace.

So this is the new blog, now with 10% more blog!