Tuesday 16 February 1999


Pic of the day: Civ2, desert scenario: The strategy of setting the Germans and Japanese against each other succeeded beyond expectations.

Well, last night (late night here) I tried the chatroom at GabGabs. She's not bluffing about her typing speed, which I guess could come in handy if you write for a living. I, however, am bluffing about my typing speed. Among people who have seen me typing, the general reaction has been amazement that a male would type that fast. That's as long as they don't notice just how many of those clicks are on the backspace key! Even on the best of days, I transpose letters or hit two keys instead of one. So while I'm a quick drafter, I'm a slow writer. I don't want to make some horribly embarassing mistake in pubic, if you see what I mean.

So I have stayed out of chat rooms, and I never even downloaded an IRC client. I used ICQ for a short while, but mostly messaging. Those who have actually chatted with me on ICQ probably noticed the way spelling errors popped up and immediately disappeared again, like quantum fluctuations, the Uncertainty Principle applied to typing.

So how can I have been playing MUDs? Text based, mostly? The fact is, I had probably given it up early on if not for Mud clients, such as Zmud and the one I've used, Gmud32. These let me define aliases and triggers, predefined macros. In addition I rely heavily on "body language" in the form of socials, words that expand into a pre-defined action (such as "yawn", "stretch", "ruffle" and "nibble"). You can get surprisingly far with tools like that.

And now for something entirely different: The death of Swedish singer Björn Afzelius, from lung cancer. Afzelius is probably not well known outside the Nordic countries, as (unlike many Scandinavians) he did not discard his mother tongue in hope of world fame. (Or to hide bad lyrics, which is probably more common.)
Afzelius was highly loved and respected despite being a crimson socialist. His political activism was however not the fight of the strong working class hero, but the fight for the battered child, giving a voice to those who were cast down and forgotten. At times his communism looked more like Jesus than Marx. But Afzelius was also (perhaps mainly) known for his love songs, which suited his voice exceptionally well.
Like so many great artists, he came across as a lonesome and struggling soul; yet with an inner strength that might have come from himself but perhaps from his interaction with the public. He acted like a man who respected, even trusted, his audience. And even under the shadow of death itself, he continued his relentless work, making songs that he must have known would only be published after his death.
In more than one way, a voice has fallen silent. Even to those (like me) who sometimes shudder at his political beliefs, he was a man of bravery in a world where such a thing was thought obsolete, and a man true to himself in a society of bland conformism.

See Chlorophyll Girl in Rosa's Wardrobe.

My other diary pages:
Monday 15. February
Sunday 14. February
Saturday 13. February
Friday 12. February
Thursday 11. February
Wednesday 10. February
Tuesday 9. February
Monday 8. February
Sunday 7. February
Saturday 6. February
Friday 5. February
Thursday 4. February
Wednesday 3. February
Tuesday 2. February
Monday 1. February

Visit the Diary Farm for the diaries I've put out to pasture until they buy the farm:
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998

I welcome e-mail: itlandm@online.no
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