Request: I need to know Java. Fast. Specifically J2EE, but it's been so long that I'd take anything good.
History: I had Java stamped into my head, but that was in 1999. The last time I used it was for some graphics programming in early 2001. To give you an idea of just how long ago this is, I was taught using Borland JBuilder 3 as an IDE. Now I need something to bootstrap me to a basic understanding of J2EE as soon as possible.
Tonight. Tonight, I start on these redlines. I've got the conceptual distance I need to do the job. Tear down everything that doesn't work and make it all faster, weirder, better. The fear's only natural, but I can live with that.
On an unrelated note: I dislike shopping for large goods. I generally do my research first, then go in to a shop and utter the wonderful words "I'd like to buy a $MODEL, please." This throws the salesweasels, who usually deal with people who do no reasearch and don't know what they're after. Yet this technique can fail me — while I got a Dyson first time, my quest for a decent telly has been scuppered until next weekend.
I've been meaning to talk about something. Oh yes, Torchwood. Like a train-wreck, I've seen just about all of them (missed the Texas Chainsaw rip-off, caught the others). I can't look away, but one thing strikes deep every time I watch it: Torchwood is not good television. It's not even average television. It's pure, unmitigated shite. The BBC, responsible for such creative genius as Waking the Dead, has shat all over that genius and then broadcast the results. The cast are at best unconvincing, and more often engaged in pathetic hysterics to show the "terrible anguish" they're going through. The show gets through sex references (and scenes) like they're going out of fashion, ignoring the story in favour of droning on about two characters' fucking. The actors obviously can't give a toss, given that their lines are so horrible that they just want to get paid and go home. The whole thing insults any vaguely intelligent viewer, trotting out nothing more than cliche after cliche without any framework — let alone a sensible one — to hang them together.
Stargate SG-1 is good episodic SF. It has a basic premise, and executes that premise well. Torchwood isn't. It has a premise (secret NGO hunts aliens), then goes on to violate the underpinnings of said premise in every episode (how the fuck do they remain secret?). Throwing in some Who references does not save this crap, not at all. Worse are the stories — and that's because they're not fundamentally bad stories. The bikini-cyberwoman could have been good. So could the fairy-child, and the latest one. The problem is, they weren't. All of the stories are SF tropes but the creative team mangle them, removing any chance for the characters to act in any way other than brain-damaged morons. What few innovative ideas are buried in favour of the characters discussing their sex lives or giving each other a chance to prove that yes, onions really do work for fake crying. Worse, there's no ambiguity. If it's alien, the commander kills it and the rest of the team cry/accuse him of brutality/give him a blow job while he says "there was no other way!". There's always another way, usually one that a six-year-old could have come up with, but the characters (and general situations) are too brain-damaged to allow anything such as logic or believability.
How anyone can praise this shit is beyond me. It's SF soap opera of the worst kind, riding off the success of a revamped Doctor Who but without any of Who's innovation or intelligence.
I have more right than most to be angry: I actually paid for a TV license. My money was wasted on this broadcast wankfest, yet if I want good BBC TV I have to buy it on DVD.
: That's currently clogged with sticky mud-like crap and needs a damn good cleaning.
: If you haven't seen it, do so. There are DVDs, and I'm sure some form of downloadable gubbins.