21 February 2008

Joanna on webcam

Back in June I started blogging about a remarkable series of Internet pages and blogs concerning the alternate reality of Joanna. At the time I had assumed that she could not possibly be real, that 'Joanna' was a persona devised for purposes unknown that happened by chance to include Scientology, history, the occult, conspiracy theory and other interests of mine. Was this an extended joke, an alternate reality game? Why was I apparently the only person in the world reading this?

I was wrong.

Over the past two weeks the author has made 21 Youtube videos, presumably influenced by the explosion of such clips from Anonymous and others concerning Scientology. They appear to be a restatement of her reality along with some more mundane information, I haven't watched them all yet, too much at once and I'll vanish down that rabbit hole...

10 February 2008

Judgement Day

So I'm sitting trying to wipe this grin off my face.

It's crunch day for Anonymous. Could they bring their merry band of virtual personas out of the Matrix, down the Internets and into the Real World? I say 'is' because since we don't live on Discworld results from California are not in yet, but first reports look good.

I arrived at the London Dianetics and Scientology Improvement Centre at around 11:00 for a quick chat with the bobbies setting up barricades. Barricades? Yes, police radio was reporting crowds assembling at the London Scientology Org a couple of miles away. Hundreds of them...

As planned they moved to Tottenham Court Rd a couple of hours later. It was a noisy but well behaved crowd, improving their chants by the minute - some football fans amongst them I'd say. Placards, masks, leaflets of all descriptions, and an anarcho-syndicalist flag.

My fellow critics had followed them, and it was good to see old friends who had come out of the shadows for the Big Day. There were several Youtube wannabes filming, including a livecam.

Cult reaction? Exactly what I'd hoped for in London. They came out to play, but could only watch in bemusement.

01 February 2008

There can be only one doll

Rozen Maiden is a Japanese TV anime series that ran for two seasons 2004/5 plus a 2006 Christmas special. It was popular there but will never be shown in the UK, but then no Japanese anime series of this kind will be shown outside Japan.
Why not? It's a cultural difference. Rozen Maiden is made for teenagers not children. The central (human) characters are all teenagers, and the human plotlines revolve around specifically teenage concerns.

Oh, sorry, go read some background. Read, now!

I watched the whole series over the holidays, it was my treat one episode a day since the TV had nothing I wanted to see except for Kiki's Delivery Service which is, oh dear, an anime. It was... wonderful, the best anime I've watched since 'Scrapped Princess'. I could type pages over how wonderful it is, but I don't expect to convince anyone so, duely noted.

Now my question: am I the only person who can see this? Rozen Maiden is 'Highlander' as played out by magic dolls. Consider: immortal beings who are destined to fight until one is left who gains a great prize? A story which has amongst its themes the consequences of being immortal; the effects on the mortals around them who will grow old and die as they go on?