Day 20 - Handmaid's Tale; Jane Austen plans; Office Space (1999)

“I waited patiently - years - for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.” ― Amy Dunne, Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn)

This is one of those inner monologues that Amy has. The Jane Austen reference in this line was incredibly interesting to me. Amy was such a great character! How could you not be curious about what she really meant and what she really wanted Nick to be like? Why did she settle for Nick?

Another question that I had when I watched the movie (which was answered in the book): Why did she move to Missouri with Nick if she wasn't into it?. It was like some sort of “complicated pay back” for her giving away most of her trust fund money to her parents when their publisher drops them. That’s what the move was about. The reference to her being jettisoned, and her being unwanted luggage and all that is an addition in the movie. The book takes a much subtler route to show her disgruntlement with Nick over the move to Missouri and the reduction of his involvement in the marriage.

HackerNews is a facinating place. It’s like Reddit but filled with a lot more articles, and much much more passionate people, if you go by the comments. There is a lot of disgust thrown at it, though. I have seen HN being made fun of whenever the discussion takes a turn for the worse and stops making sense. Godwin’s Law seems like a really good analogy to use here. (It has happened even in conversations where there were enough paths to choose from for further discussion but people inevitably chose to go ahead with the Nazi reference!)

I have started reading Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood, while a quick look at the synopsis pointed at something like a social commentary (?), the reviews seem to compare it to 1984 (Orwell), which is terrifying to say the least. I had to read P G Wodehouse and stay off of Dystopian books for almost 4 months ever since I read 1984. I read Brave New World (Huxley) about 8 months after I completed reading 1984. Hmm, that’s a long long time. Catch 22 was crazy too, but nowhere close to as impactful as 1984.

A fresh Rhythmbox on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS refuses to recognise MP3 files because it needs to install “extra software”, and that doesn’t work because the “Main Server for India” which is the default setting as the source for Software Packages. I have just started installing ubuntu-restricted-extras from the main Canonical server and it seems to be working fine. I hope it does though.

Despite all of this, what really blows my mind is VLC. VLC somehow just works. I ran sudo apt-get install -y vlc and once VLC was installed, I can play any normal format with it: MKV, MP4. The file could have any of the available video and audio codecs, and it would work just fine. It’s too bad VLC doesn’t have a counterpart that would maintain music libraries like Rhythmbox does. That would be such a hit, it would be exactly like iTunes, but a whole lot faster!

POST #20 is OVER