OnPoint by Keith Ng

Cowboys are gay (plus NGA and Telescum)

Shane Thompson says he asked Telescum to upgrade his Xtra connection on Sunday, and it was done before the sun set on Monday. Meanwhile, the upgrade for my connection with Orcon is still sitting in the goddamn queue, nearly three weeks after the original request.

The explanation given by Russell's Telescum insider only explains why new line orders and third-party ADSL connections have to be separated - it doesn't explain why Telescum seems to be prioritising Xtra customers over customers of other ISPs. Oh, alright, it's pretty bloody obvious *why* Telescum is prioritising Xtra over other ISPs, but I was under the impression that Telescum has moved to a strategy of appeasement now, in the hopes of avoiding the dreaded regulatory bitchslap. We're on to you, buddy.

I think I got the sentiment right the first time: Die dirty telcos, die die die.

Reader Matthew Sew Hoy notes that cable is a pretty economic option, too - he's getting a 2Mbps connection with 20GB a month for $69, which isn't too shabby. Of course, cable is only available in Wellington and Christchurch, and via my arch-nemesis, TestiCular.

Rob Russell complains about Telescum installing obsolete equipment that doesn't even *support* broadband out in the country.


Hope some of you made it to The Great Dictator on ANZAC Day - otherwise, it's on again today, but only if you don't have a job to go to.

The South Park segment from The Aristocrats is on YouTube (Hat-tip: Phil Steele), and here's the NGA for this week (click on the cartoon to view it).

Just two more recommendations: Manderlay is my pick for the festival. It's only a sequel to Dogville in a very loose sense, so don't worry if you haven't seen it. It's set around a small cotton plantation in the South that didn't quite pick up the fact that slavery was over, some 70 years after the civil war. Our heroine, travelling through in daddy's convoy, is determined to make a difference. The whole thing is consciously staged as a thought experiment on the nature of freedom - and it's pretty bleak. Orwellian bleak.

And the last one, A Fistful of Dynamite, is foolproof. I mean, a Western about a bandito and a dynamiting Irishman robbing banks and blowing stuff up in the middle of a revolution? How could you go wrong? Going in, my friend advised me that Brokeback has been the outing of the entire profession: All cowboys are gay.

[Minor spoiler follows, but it doesn't really matter, because it doesn't make sense when you see it anyway - the whole cinema was hysterical with laughter, and I don't think it was meant to be funny.]

Okay, so James Coburn (the dynamiting Irishman) had some nice boots, so what? But then came the flashbacks. It was easy to dismiss at first - with slow-motion soft-focus close-ups accompanied by twinkly fairy music, who *wouldn't* look gay? But then in every shot of Coburn with his girlfriend, his affectionate male friend would also be in the background, getting all slow-mo and soft-focused as well. Even when he's kissing her, his "good friend" would just be hanging over his shoulder smiling approvingly and start nudging him from behind. With his elbow.

Then he started prancing. I don't mean skipping. I mean full-on, I've-watched-Sound-of-Music-too-many-times prancing. In slow-motion and soft-focus.

And then... and then there was the last scene...

Judging by the audience response, it rivals Brokeback to the Future.

[P.S. SPL has wrestling scenes - that is, real martial arts fighters Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen actually pull wrestling (real- and pro-) moves off on each other, which is a first that I've seen. Doesn't have much else going for it, though...]