Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You Can Really Taste The Grape.

Anime fans, please just fucking stop it.

Alright? Enough.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's the Magic Disguised as Science of Christmas.

So then - The Christmas Who. Previous years have been less than stellar. This time around though, pretty good. For those of you that tend to watch this sort of thing via computers, there will be very minor spoiling.

David Morrisey - great. Really great. No winking, no campiness. It's a proper performance in Doctor Who. Apparently possible. Who knew? Dervla Kirwan not so much, but she has far less to work with. Still, the greenscreen gets chewed.

Giant fucking steampunk Cyberman? Fuck yes. Don't get me wrong, it's preposterous, but for scale and sheer appropriateness for the episode it gets a resounding whoop and an arm pump.

That will be all, internets.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Comic Fun, With Your Friend, Jesus Christ

I just can't even begin to comprehend the sheer awesomeness on display here. But I do have to share. Be warned though - reading these cartoons, even with adult supervision (snide remarks), can make you more stupider. It does at me!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Calamaties, Various.

Music is dead. This killed it. I'm not even going to embed it, because I don't want it staining the purity and integrity of this fine site. I'm not even going to apologise, because for once it's something fucking dreadful that I didn't do.

In other news, I've been trying to enjoy Fable 2, but am failing because the game is so utterly wretched in so many ways. It tries very hard to make you like it in the beginning - it has decent combat, is beautifully presented, and does a reasonable job of expanding on the story of the first game.

Here's the kicker - it has no emotional depth whatsoever. My character is married. I cannot remember her name. She repeats the same lines as all the other characters in the game, in the same voice. She is always happy, though she hasn't seen me in a year of game time, but 40 coins are deducted from my account each day. It is preposterous.

Interaction with the other characters boils down to standing in front of them and jiggling. If you jiggle well, stuff happens. Or so I am told. I haven't really noticed. You strut and belch, scream and fart. Not a single line of dialogue issues from your character, but you could break wind for ten hours if it amused you.

They have designed a beautiful world and populated it with flatulent mannequins. Fantastic.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear Sir.

No comment from me, just glorious spam, exactly as I received it.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Fever.


There's always a choice.

Sound Advice.

Simon Pegg has some good points to make. For the record, I've yet to see this show, but I'm reliably informed that it's winging it's way towards me.

Take All The Precautions You Want.

Looking through a PowerPoint presentation for a product we're selling this morning, I came across something that was genuinely alarming. A little background: this is a product for shrill Daily Mail-reading parents who think their kids are going to be sodomised by Bebo, right through the screen. It was full of facts and figures designed to alarm, amongst which was this:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Everything She Says Is A Punchline.

It's been obvious for as long as she's been on the national scene that Sarah Palin is a buffoon, a cretin with little to no plausibility as an upright-walking human being, let alone a candidate for vice president. Now there's this little gem.



Firstly, one very obvious point. The scientific community is international, it's work is peer-reviewed and made available to other scientists the world over, so for the most part where research is taking place is irrelevant. The second more crucial point is this.

The common fruit fly, Drosphila Melanogaster is probably the single most important model of genetics currently available to researchers. So much of what we know about gene expression as a whole comes from research on this tiny insect, and it is vitally important work that underpins research on any species. Our knowledge of Hox genes, large groupings of genes that control development of large strctures such as body segments, comes from research on fruit flies. Even prior to the discovery of DNA, it was research on Drosophila that showed decisively that chromosomes were a vector of heredity, work that won the Nobel Prize.

As for the idea that this work does not serve the public good, that's plain wrong. We share many of these genetic traits, because we (whisper it) have a shared genetic heritage with every other creature on the fucking planet. You want advances in medicine? Make nice with the Drosophila.

This woman revels in her ignorance, positively basks in her fundamental lack of awareness of the world. Worse than that, she is representative of a strain of people, certainly not limited to America, for whom a lack of any sort of intellectual curiosity in their public servants is seen as a boon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sorry, Al.



In light of the news that Alan Greenspan himself has given up and said that the Neocon free market philosophy has failed, it seems churlish of me to point out that he has a face like eighteen scrotums nailed to a monkey's skull.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Incentive.

Just as an aside to all the ranting, some comedy genius. Stick with it. I promise it's worth it. Apparently literal takes on videos are what the kids are doing these days. I can live with just this one.

Slandering Epidexipteryx.

Yet another of those non-transitional forms that creationists keep talking about. A feathered lizard is always 'too lizard' or 'too birdlike' to be 'truly transitional' if you're batshit crazy.

I wonder if this one is either too much like a bird or too much like a sauropod? I wonder if confusion between sauropods and tetrapods will cause another one of those 'little misunderstandings' that passes for an answer from creationists?

I wonder if the fact that it has feathers but no wings will be seen as significant?

I wonder if the fact that it has both a beak and teeth will be seen as significant?

I wonder if the fact that it demonstrates sexually-selected characteristics in it's exaggerated tailfeathers (so very common in modern birds) will be seen as significant?

I wonder if the fact that it has the tree-climbing claws, as you would expect from the arboreal precursors to creatures with powered flight, will be seen as significant?

I suspect that, just as before, anyone capable of rational thought will see this as a wondrous example of the many splendid things evolution has thrown at our feet. And I suspect that there will be a small fringe element in flyover country flinging out their usual crap as to what constitutes a transitional species. I'm sure there are more than enough people who will claim to be 'experts', and weigh in.

Furthermore, I am certain that these people have enough money and enough followers to drag this out for years. But all that provides them is an opportunity to spend their money on nothing whatsoever, and anyone with half a brain the persistent joy in knowing that these people take such fierce pride in being demonstrably, totally and utterly wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Still, There's Always John.

And Another One.

InJesus.com (No Sniggering At The Back).

Why haven't you been posting anything you (well, three of you) cry? Here's why. Too scared. Cannot come out from behind sofa.

That these people are able to breathe, let alone type is nothing short of miraculous. Fear teh witchez!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Justifying The License Fee.

Not an actual video, just a screen grab of the second thing to make me throw up in my mouth a little today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Probably Too Far This Time.

Sometimes people at work send me some fairly dreadful pictures. And sometimes I make them worse. Here, for your education, edification, and most probably consternation:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sorry, Could You Repeat That Please?

So there are some pretty shitty politicians in Britain.



And there are some pretty shitty politicians in America:



But really, nothing beats the sheer shittiness of Australia's politicians. Be sure to read the whole article. The quotes from the witnesses are priceless.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wrong, In A Splendid Way.

Right. So. This thing.

I'm not sure if it's the greatest thing mankind has ever done, or a sure sign of the end times. Comments please.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What's That Under The Bridge?

They're up to 700 comments. People still don't get it. Suddenly support for McCain starts to make sense.

And God Said Unto Man:

Never gonna give you up.

I was taken in by the antispore site. We all were. But it turns out that the site's creator is, in fact, a DCL.

The true purpose of the site has been revealed. And it is glorious. Poe's law, otherwise known as 'spending 6 months convincing Andy Schafly you're as mad as he is' in all it's genuinely infallible wonder.

Addendum: Even though the author put in a full verse of Rick Astley's classic 'Never Gonna Give You Up' and referenced Poe's law, i feel it necessary to direct you to the post in question. Look at the comments. Post fifty is yet another attack on the author, starting with the phrase "First of all, are you serious?".

Let me answer that one. No.

Scroll down through the comments. It goes on for a while. No-one seems to be getting it. Maybe the rickroll is just too subtle. But really, this is another prime example of John Gabriel's Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (a theory as accurate as Poe's law):



Post 111 (to get to which you must scroll past the phrase 'Rickroll' about 50 times) starts: "First off, are you really that stupid?" And so it goes on. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And On The Eighth Day, God Facepalmed And Yelled 'Crap! Irony!'

Clicky.



Apparently there are people out there who know how to build a website with no idea of how Google Ads works. Ah well.

And if you want to read a man rail against a game in which an omnipotent creator makes life from nothing and claim it is 'anti-Christian' with apparently no irony whatsoever, you can see it here.

I Promise To Stop Soon.

As an infrequent blogger with four (I think) female readers, I find this profoundly disturbing.



If you don't have five minutes to spare, skip to 2:58 and listen to the nice lady. But I'd suggest watching the whole thing, as The Daily Show is probably the sanest perspective on the world currently available.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Gusset.



Clickthrough. Read the text. Glow softly with pure joy.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Cursory.

Right. A couple of things.

1. Sarah Palin. Someone who thinks the world is only 6000 years old pressing to drill for more fossil fuels is the funniest thing I've heard in a long, long time.

2. It would be wrong of me not to direct you to the sweet zombie action to be found here. It's the trailer you want.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Note For Potential Insurers.

I'm tired of photoshopping Mowbli onto things. Here's a new game. Anyone who feels desperately compelled to sell me insurance, just all of you get together in a big circle around me. I will have a machete. Anyone with enough fingers left to type up my details at the end of five minutes can sell me insurance.



And the very best of luck to you all.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What It Says On The Tin.

Zombie dating. Yup.

Zompocalypse: The Comic!

If you use Stumbleupon, never, but never add 'comics' as something you want to browse. You get sites about actual comics, but you also get the absolute worst hack webcomic shite.

It doesn't matter if you can't draw, just stack two circles on top of one another in MS Paint and away you go! People will think it's charming and homemade! You definitely don't need jokes, only those bullshit hacks who make money money from their comics bother about shit like structure and punchlines.

Here's my guide to making a webcomic:

Friday, August 22, 2008

That Meaty Harvest.

For some time now I've been promising everyone who reads this thing that whatever floated to the top of my spam filter would once again be pressed up against your screen like so much face at the window.

Without further ado then, some moist, if not entirely fresh, spammy treats for y'all:

Don't get lost in her eyes because of small dimensions.

Or impossible geometries, presumably.

Tell them about the honey

You must. It is fucking imperative.

Have wild nights of love back again to life.

Despite appearances, the message was not selling sex zombies.

We have everything to cure your masculinity.

Good. It was beginning to itch.

Unemployed To Be Used For Soup

If you vote for Cameron.

Be ready go come anytime

That's why we had the flap installed in the kitchen door.

All the women will be in awe when your manhood shines like a star

What? I mean, what in the name of Jesus Trevor Christ?

Do you want to be King of sweet babies?

Categorically no.

And finally, not a tagline, but I did receive a message from a man by the name of... Kenny Jesus. And I'm glad I did.

Please, Stop Calling.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

At The Cair-funn Whare-huss.

I have been phoned perpetually by representatives of Carphone Warehouse, all wanting me to extend the free insurance policy I didn't sign up for. This has been going on for nearly a week, despite each and every one of them swearing blind that it would not happen again, in any of the up to five times a day I have been contacted, and it's starting to bother me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Yarrp.



You're not getting an explanation. Or an apology.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Le Retour.

I'm back.



Aren't you glad?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Enjoy.

Speakers on full, if you please.



My work here is done.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

That's that.

So then, The Apocalypse. I hope you didn't have any plans, because apparently Israel is ready to leap into action if it 'feels threatened'.

Just let that sink in.

We're fucked. When they feel threatened? It's Israel. They always feel threatened. It has a lot to do with the threats. Who would have thought putting 7 million Jews in the Middle East would lead to shenanigans? Really, you just couldn't see it coming.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In The Details.

From George Bush's July 4th speech:

“Thomas Jefferson understood that these rights do not belong to Americans alone. They belong to all mankind. And he looked to the day when all people could secure them. On the 50th anniversary of America’s independence, Thomas Jefferson passed away. But before leaving this world, he explained that the principles of the Declaration of Independence were universal. In one of the final letters of his life, he wrote, ‘May it be to the world, what I believe it will be — to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all — the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.’”

And what Jefferson actually said:

“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.”

Spot the difference?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Did You Know Your Brain Does Nothing?

Ok, here's something I hadn't heard of before. Non-Materialist Neuroscience.

I need to find some books on the topic, because this is Ding-dong, zipp-eh-dee-doodah crazy. Good times.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What's The Conservative Take On Special Sauce?

Last one. Promise.

Note the level of detail, and attempts to simplify and codify. Magnifique!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Occasionally Abandoned In Vague Murk

Alone In The Dark is the most frustrating game I've ever enjoyed. It's packed full of really good ideas, is pretty damn atmospheric (until someone speaks), and generally shows more ambition than almost anything in the last two years. Unfortunately, it's about a year away from being finished.

First up, the title is just plain wrong. Point one: You are rarely alone. Point two: It is rarely dark. Even putting the darkness settings way down to 'emo bedroom', it is still pretty well illuminated for the most part, and you have a full and luxuriant view of the horrible monster chewing your face off.

The plot and voice acting are absolutely atrocious. The writers seem to have confused swearing with mature and well-written dialogue. All the characters swear constantly. It's like it's been writeen by a bunch of 15-year-old boys (as opposed to most videogames, which are written for that demographic). It's genuinely painful. It's particularly galling because there are moments of brilliance in the presentation, particularly the graphics and score.

The plot then. The main character has amnesia. Duhn duhn duhhh!

What dark secrets will be uncovered? I am fucking gripped from the onset by this original and bold premise! I realise that, as a group, videogame characters suffer more head injuries than the average person, but this doesn't justify the prevelance of this default crutch for bad writers. Suffice it to say, it's a very clumsy attempt to bring the character from the original, 1920's set games into the present day. Precisely who this panders too, I am not sure, because fans of the original games released nearly 20 years ago are not that desperate to see the character returned. Most people playing games back then, and bearing in mind that these titles were niche even then, who is being targeted for this?

Anyway, the rest of the plot. Basically, Lucifer has decided he's going to come back to Earth. Unfortunately for him, your character is some sort of immortal ghostbusting MacGyver. The whole game involves improvising weapons and puzzle solutions from whatever you can find lying around. Again, unfortunately for Lucifer, he seems to have come back on prom night, meaning the streets are scattered with cars just loaded full of booze and duct tape.

The bugs are incredible. Given that the physics engine in this game is one that has been the industry standard for about five years now, to break it this badly requires a serious commitment to dodgy coding. Minutes before sitting down to write this, I watched as a hot dog cart started to mysteriously, and with no external force, roll towards me. Then it exploded. At one point, all the objects within 15 feet or so of my character started very slowly to float upwards. There has been nothing quite as funny as Boiling Point, in which the developers once proudly announced they'd fixed the bug that made all the leopards in the game float at treetop height, but it's pretty daft nonetheless.

It's barely possible to control the character a lot of the time, and yet the combat almost redeems the game. The idea that you can combine most of the items into the games into impromptu weapons means you're always scrabbling for something to use to defend yourself - and it really sets the game apart from anything else on the market. The fact that you can just set nearby detritus on fire to ward of enemies means that there are a genuinely huge number of emergent tactics available to you, and the enemy AI almost copes with whatever you do.

It's not enough to rescue the game, and it's sad to think of what it could have been, but it's interesting and certainly not dreadful. I did get it for free though.

Bloor? Or Ooasis?

From generic Rock'N'Roll nihilism to "Hey you kids, with your drugs."

10 Years. That's all it took.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Radical Leftist Perspective.

I'm in a spiteful mood, and so pointing out the manifest flaws in others is just what I need to balm my wearied soul. So then, to Conservapedia, where wonders are ours to be had.

It was Ben Goldacre that reminded me of the fun to be had with Conservapedia, in posting this link. Please, please read it in full, because it's the funniest thing you'll read all year.

It's either incredibly brave of them to post the dialogue in full, or Andy Schafly genuinely doesn't understand just how badly he's been taken apart here. He also clearly doesn't understand what citation is, and has confused cited data for arrogance. In his second letter he again asks for data that is publicly available to be made available to him. If I ever get rich, the first thing I do after getting a big TV is to pay a guy to follow Andy Schafly around with a swanee whistle.

Shall we go with a little bit of pseudoscience first? This is a good one. I like this. It's a wonderful example of the fingers-in-the-ears "La la la, I'm not listening" approach so vital to 'creation science'. Make shit up, don't give a reason.

A little further leftfield, have some dinosaurs. Everyone loves dinosaurs, right? Everyone including Adam and Eve, it would seem, as dinosaurs lived in harmony with man and other animals in the garden of Eden. And of course, talk of dinosaurs leads to talk of that other children's favourite, dragons. Despite being cited (oh, the irony) in support of the 'dinosaurs done lived wit humanz and shared their sandwiches' hypothesis', they're referred to as mythical here. Funny that. So dragons were dinosaurs, and so were unicorns. Settled? Good. Moving on.


The only thing that would make dinosaurs more awesome than being dragons and unicorns


How about my old friend Jack Thompson? The Conservapedia article on him is rather brief, despite his being a very vocal proponent of conservative values. Wikipedia is a little more detailed. Amazing that a positive spin on Jack should be significantly shorter than a thorough take on his behaviour.

Of fuck it. I'll just through a few more insane links at you and we can be done here. This one is lovely. I've noticed that so much gun crime here. It's everywhere! And of course, I wholly buy into the idea that a deactivated gun cannot be reactivated. After all, it's pretty fucking hard to make or buy a firing pin.

Here's a page that ponders what to do about witchcraft. Here's a lovely essay. And here's the death of irony.

Gah. Enough. I can't wade through this shit any longer. So, in the spirit of cooperation that should apparently be outside of my egocentric leftist ways, what's your favourite page? Links below, if you please.

Prevenge.

Well, that's it. We're fucked.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Would You Like To See My Nightgaunts?"

From a park in Russia, by all accounts:



Not as good as this though:



Our dark lord form beyond all time and space spends a lot more time lurking in the bushes than previously thought.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meet Bob.

In one of the most fantastic pieces of shrill idiocy yet displayed in politics (it's an election year, no-one's short of examples), Senator Gayle Slossberg wants GTA IV legislated against because it contains a rape scene.

Problem is, it doesn't. She made it up. And everyone knows it. Doesn't stop her though. She says the only reason she can't confirm it's existence is that she's not good enough at the game to reach it.

This is a classic case of what I like to refer to as 'Bob The Magic Goblin' syndrome. If you are going to say something is true because it cannot be disproved, check first that your argument doesn't dissolve into undignified slop when it's subject is replaced by the words 'Bob The Magic Goblin'. Just becauase no-one has any evidence of it's existence doesn't mean it's not there of course. We're likely to come across new fundamental particles in the next few years. But if you have no evidence whatsoever, making bold claims, be it on the street or in the US senate is a bad idea.

Bob The Magic Goblin. Effective against 99% of known media scares, new age cures and deities.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rant.

Maybe I'm oversimplifying here, but a courier's job is not particularly taxing on the brain. You pick something up in one place, put it down in another, traversing the intervening distance as you please.

Except that it seems not to be. The last three things I've had delivered have turned up damaged. The one we at the Little House That Could are waiting for at the moment has had a hefty surcharge applied to it to ensure it's delivered in the evening, when it's vaguely possible to be in to collect it.

So they tried to deliver during the day. Imagine my surprise.



The contents of the Amtrak vending machine, yesterday.


So I'll say it here. Amtrak (for 'tis they) are cretinous weasels. Typing 'Amtrak + Useless' into Google brings up a lot of results. One that was in the top ten seemed to assert that their drivers involved themselves in exceptionally complicated acts of congress with farmyard animals. I am in no position (you'll be relieved to hear) to confirm or deny this, though I am strongly inclined to agree.



After a hard day breaking and losing people's stuff, Amtrak employees like nothing more than to relax with a delicious glass of lead-based paint. You can taste the lead!


The bottom line is, if someone cannot tell day from night, I certainly do not fucking want them to be driving.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wha-huh?

Now this exists, and the world is just peculiar enough to tolerate.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Quality Journalism.

Oh, the Daily Mail. How I love you so. Here, the Daily Mail show how our very ever so very very brave (GOD BLESS THE QUEEN) boys in the RAF have destroyed and Afghan drugs nest. Where they were turning cannabis into heroin. Take a look - the quote's just below that picture of a Harrier in flight (designed to pop an erection in middle-aged little Englanders).

If this is true, then the RAF have just destroyed the fucking Philosophers Stone. Even as an abuser of nothing stronger than cheap Mexican lager, I really do find the right-wing "Argh! Drugs!" approach to be a good source of cheap giggles.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Makes Sense.

My output at work has been less than impressive:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

'Rithmatic.

From the daily show, on the topic of evangelical Christians voting for Obama:

Jon Stewart: “There’s talk that 40% of evangelicals will go with the Democrat [on Election Day]. When did the evangelicals lose their values?”

Ralph Reed: “I don’t think that’s supported by the polling data. I think if you look at most of the general-election polls, McCain’s getting about 60 to 65 percent of the evangelical vote.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Engage Hyperrant.

Right. This is should really be three posts, but I'm tired, and frankly you don't deserve it. Item one on the agenda: Barack Obama. Well done, sir. Hilary not giving up at this point: pretty damn funny. She'll still be trying to secure nominations next February.

Item number two: I just rewatched Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, AKA Kenneth Branagh's grotesque egotistical wankfest. It is a preposterous shambles of a movie. As a director, Branagh seemingly considers melodrama to be 'a deft touch', and so wanders past it, down the road marked 'mawkish oblivion'. The result is a soap opera with zombies. Usually I would be in favour of such a thing. This must be an off day.

Item number the third: apparently, atheists have no sense of decency. That goes without saying, really. The thing I really want to know is, what is this ceremony, and how much would it cost to have one performed on my sofa? I have my own matches, and it's despoiler is genuinely far more unholy than a couple of amorous goths.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Reality Sickens.

Because you asked for it:







If everyone would please be careful what they say in future, this need never happen again.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Moment.

John Gray is apparently one of the most well-regarded philosophers currently published. Still, I find it hard to read this without stumbling across a few of the old classic right-wing arguments.
  • Science as a uniform discipline? Check.

  • An absence of doubt as integral to the scientific method? Check.

  • Evolution as 'ideology'? Check.

  • A deliberate misunderstanding of theory and theorem? Check.

  • A 'belief' in evolution as tangential to fascism? Check.

Of course, they're all nonsense, but he continues through the usual well-worn anti-intellectual paths for a while (Morality without religion? Impossible!), and of course, his arguments are inherently Judeo-Christian. Why give to conscience anything else? But that's not the problem here.

This man earns his living as a philosopher. He is both published (regularly, in book form as well as article) and a teacher at LSE. That he should present such appallingly weak arguments should be a cause for concern. An example:

"Promoting Darwinism as an intellectual orthodoxy - a creed rather than a provisional hypothesis - these writers renew the old quarrel between science and religion. Though controversy has been intense, it can hardly be described as having made any large intellectual advance on the debate that raged in Victorian times."

I have never wanted more for the written equivalent of a slide whistle. Let's pretend for a moment that the remark is not vapid nonsense (that is to say, the discovery and understanding of DNA, to name but one small step made in the last hundred years, should be thought of as a trivial thing). What 'intellectual advances' are we supposed to have made? The fact that the majority of scientific discoveries, and here I do mean quantifiably, and of all time, have been made in the last fifty years seems to have escaped this man. That they were meant to be set as some vast scheme to disprove religion is a nonsense, and they were never put forth, initially at least, as part of that debate. That they continue to weaken the hold superstition has over the human race is a blessing, but the idea that that is what they have been working towards is precious little but a right-wing fallacy. In Gray's case, though he has always been demonstrably right-wing, you have to wonder what he imagines scientific endeavour to be. Is the quest for knowledge deliberate counterpoint to his musings? From this evidence, he would certainly seem to think so.

The term 'provisional hypothesis' is something I always appreciate when it comes up in a rant of this nature. To call evolution a 'hypothesis' is to misunderstand the nature of scientific inquiry. As previously stated, Mr. Gray is a philosopher, and so I have to hope that he understands what qualifies as a hypothesis. A hypothesis is either untested, or in the process of being tested. Evolution is a theory. The most tested theory in history, in point of fact. Genuinely remarkable amounts of work go into it each and every day. Have a problem with gravity? Call it a hypothesis - after all, God could be holding you down. But know this - gravity, the theory of gravity - hasn't had one-thousandth of the practical work conducted on it that evolution has. That certainly doesn't make it a hypothesis, much less one one-thousandth of a hypothesis.

Here's another memorable quote:

“Just who has imposed on the suffering human race poison gas, barbed wire, high explosives, experiments in eugenics, the formula for Zyklon B, heavy artillery, pseudo-scientific justifications for mass murder, cluster bombs, attack submarines, napalm, intercontinental ballistic missiles, military space platforms, and nuclear weapons? If memory serves, not the Vatican.”

Not Gray's own words, but ones he feels suit his arguments quite well. Again, the need for a slide whistle is profound. Poison gas and barbed wire? No - not work of the Vatican. Work of organised athiests? If you want to believe that, then quite frankly you can fuck off right now. Two things that were amongst the many horrors to come out of the trenches of WW1. An atheist invention? No. How does that even merit an argument? It's genuinely pathetic.

High explosives? Again, I'm pretty sure that wasn't the vatican. The first modern high explosive, TNT, or dynamite, was invented by Alfred Nobel, renowned scientist and philanthropist. It was designed to make mining operations safer. What a cunt.

Zyclon B was created under the auspices of Nazi Germany, led by known Catholic, Adolf Hitler. Of course, Hitler held whatever religion served him best at the time, but you could play this game all day. Most of these things were the works of single men or women, working for a company or government, with precious little idea or control of how their inventions would be used.

Let's play another game. Who covered up organised paedophilia amongst priests in the US and the UK? Who endorsed the Nazi government of Germany? Who organised witch hunts from the 14th through 16th centuries? Who denies resources to help prevent the spread of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa? Whose agents have beaten women in Irish communities? Who has systematically persecuted people whose only crime is to have known more than those persecuting them?

Going beyond the Catholic Church, of course Northern Ireland, where I was born, has seen an grotesque amount of bloodshed in the name of religion. It can't have escaped many people's notice that there has been a certain amount of trouble with non-Christian religions of late (not that it would bother Mr. Gray - after all, his discourse is not against religious persecution, but is explicitly pro-Christianity). Then you have the Crusades, anti-Jewish pogroms across Europe from the middle ages to the middle of twentieth century, persecution of Muslims in Palestine and across the world, honour killings (which are socio-religious, but require religion as justification). Stop me if this gets old.

Isn't the blame game fun? Seems to me as though we could play for hours.

The idea that this short list of things that are not ostensibly Christian constitutes an argument for Christianity is hilarious. These things are no more Athiest (we're getting a capital letter too, spellcheck be damned) than they are Christian. It's a standard of modern politics - the argument that's there to be read and accepted, never questioned - but it should never be one of philosophy.

These are the piss-poor arguments of a man who's already made up his mind - dangerous territory for any philosopher, particularly one chasing tenure. It's going to take quite a lot more to convince me.

Try harder.

Not Bioshock.

Peoples of the internet, hello. I've been drinking for nine hours. This makes me incredulous. I was wrong about the last Doctor Who. There were not bees, but there may have been wasps.

With that in mind: "I chose the impossible! I chose - The Libwawy!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sonic Death Monkey.

By now, you know that cyborg monkeys have dropped us to 2nd place in the food chain.

I'd wanted to write something about this in my usual witty and erudite style. Unfortunately, someone else got there first.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Words Fail Me.

The 28th of May, 2008, and apparently this still qualifies as news.

UPDATE: Sadly, CNN have changed the headline. Originally it was 'Aide accuses Bush of using 'spin' in run up to Iraq war'.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Well Fahkin' Street.

Possibly the best use of 'street speak' to date, discussing the finer points of Nokia 3G compatibility:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Human Tetris.

This cheered me immensely today, though if you can sit to the very end of it you are a better person than me.



When I can squeeze out the words in a sensible order, I'll write something about Indiana jones. Short preview: so angry.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Indiana Jones Rant

So, on Thursday night I watched new Indiana Jones film. This is going to be an angry, spoiler heavy review. If you wish for the experience to be preserved, I suggest you look away now. Those of you in the mood for bile, come back after the poster.



A little context is required for my first concern. One of the trailers was for Kung Fu Panda, a film that is being marketed solely on the fact that it has no discernable merits whatsoever. I was still on a trail of thought that started with 'Surely no-one wants to watch goddamn comedy animal movies any more' and was heading to a way of using a predilection for the things as the basis of a humane euthanasia program, when Indy started.

With comedy CGI animals.

Not so good. I'll get the CGI problem out of the way first of all. There is fucking tons of it, it's very badly done, for the most part, and is incredibly intrusive. I wouldn't have minded so much if the pre-release hype hadn't explained, over and over again, that there was going to be a huge focus on practical effects. This was a lie. A big blatant one. It's a big problem, because it really prevents Crystal Skull
from feeling like an Indy film.

There seems to be a strain of protest online blaming George Lucas for this. Which is preposterous. There are so many people out there claiming to see his grubby, ILM-coated fingerprints all over certain scenes they seem to be forgetting that they have no way of discerning this, and also that Spielberg is not exactly averse to using it himself. The idea that you can single out the bits you don't like, shrug and say 'Well, it's that George Lucas, innit?' strikes me as beyond preposterous.

The next problem is that, just like Temple of Doom, the film suffers for a lack of Nazis. Few things can be described as worse off from the absence of fascism, but right here is the exception that proves the rule. I'd have been happier with a weird jungle-dwelling cabal of aging Nazis (with head-in-a-jar Robo-Hitler) than the muddled communists that serve as the bad guys. Two main flaws. The first is that the America presented is one suffering under the peculiar scrutinies of McCarthy and his ilk, and there's no doubt left as to this being A Very Bad Thing. But then, if the communists have infiltrated the army, then it's kind of justified. It's meant to be pulp adventure - it simply doesn't support such a muddled message.

If the Russians were cackling Red Menace-style caricatures, then it would fit. But they're not, so problem number two rears it's ugly head. They don't have any character whatsoever. Nazis can be boo-hiss bad guys, and it's fine. Modern audiences won't accept that from the (lest we forget, non-combatant) Russians. So they're not inflated stereotypes (which I genuinely believe a film like this needs, or at least something approaching it), but they're not human either. As a result, they're simply fodder (in a couple of occasions this is literally true).

At this point, I feel that I should balance this out. The cast are all pretty good. Harrison Ford still clearly is Indiana Jones, there's no problem there. Shia LeBoeuf is even pretty decent. This surprised me, as I'd only seen him in Constantine and Transformers which didn't give me a whole lot of hope for him. The rest of the cast all fit their purpose in small and underdeveloped roles. They're not great, but they never really get the chance to be. One big character problem for me was Ray Winstone's comedy lag. He's supposed to be ex-secret service and ex-MI6, but he's shit. He's utterly incompetent. I get that he's meant to be a comic foil, but really, if that's the case then it wouldn't have been too much of an ask not to set him up as someone incapable of walking two steps without falling over. That would work. Don't make him superhuman twice over.

Cate Blanchett suffers too. Her character is fine, and she acts well (occasionally wandering accent aside), but really she's a sidekick in want of a moustache-twirling villain to stand behind. There's just not enough there to hang a movie off. She never really feels like a palpable threat. There's also a horrendously underdeveloped character point about her being psychic, but this just drifts in and out of the story as required.

The aliens (told you not to read on) that form the centre of the plot may as well not be there. There are a great many interesting things that could have been done with them. For some reason, 13 alien skeletons, when placed in an aztec centrifuge, become one live alien. One live alien that doesn't really do anything, it just serves to have fire shoot out of the bad guys eyes. Essentially, what's described as an advanced race that provided the entirety of human knowledge before a certain point in history (something that might warrant a certain level of explanation) acts only within the bounds of the film to ensure that the bad guy gets a suitably Indiana Jones-style death.

As always in an Indiana Jones flick, the bad guy must perish because they overreach. There's always been a sense that you shouldn't peek behind the curtain, that it'll always be the downfall of whoever and yaddah yaddah. More than anything here, I was disapointed. It would not take much to develop the aliens here. They are supposed to have crossed the stars and what have you to bring knowledge to the human race. Why do they then kill someone off for wanting to know some poorly-defined something?

This last (I promise) point is probably one that is only a problem to me. These aliens are meant to have provided knowledge of architecture, irrigation and so on to the films pre-mayan culture, and been worshiped for it. In mythology, those gods that provide knowledge to mankind are known as culture heroes, and occur throughout many strands of mythology (Prometheus, Hermes, the Japanese god of agriculture whose name I'm not going to look up just to appear smart on the internet). Typically these figures will be trickster gods, and will have taken this knowledge from other gods for mankind's benefit. Now, the fact that they missed this is something that only I care about, but hey - instant backstory. Better than having this ancient interstellar civilisation serve only as bad guy incinerators.

Basically, when all's said and done, the problem here is that they trampled on my inner child, and I can't really handle that. I wouldn't say that people should avoid it - there are a couple of moments where the old magic is there - but I can't see how anyone could come away from this less than disappointed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A warning.

If I hear one more person get some fairly basic scientific facts crucially, mind-fuckingly wrong today, I may herniate through sheer rage.

If it happens on the news again, you may hear a rather wet pop. This is an indicator that you should duck and cover.

Setting Myself Up For A Fall.

This is extraordinarily good news. Not only does it relocate an important character in the Marvel pantheon back to a time when America had some sort of idea about when combat was morally justifiable (though a newfound love of it does seem to have come with a dramatic increase in the speed with which it will be engaged), but it's also perfect for the character.

Not to mention the fact that a period piece Superhero flick is something that a lot of people who are me have been clamouring for. Basically, a fleshed-out version of the flashback scenes in The Ultimates would be good enough for me.

Of course, there's no word on director or casting yet. Personally, I think Ridley Scott should be making this. Though there's every chance he doesn't.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shambling Inadequacy.

Sat at my expansive desk at New Job, I like nothing more than to piss the company's practically limitless bandwidth up the wall streaming music all day. I'd been without a DAB radio for a while, and Old Laptop, whilst a masterpiece of design that stands up to this day, was full of loose change and spiders where complex computer components should be, and so wasn't really up to the task.

Finding myself in possession of Unnecessarily Swish Computer as part of New Job, I started listening to BBC 6 Music again. This was a station I used to love. Lots of exciting new music, good presenters who were both entertaining and knowledgeable, all good stuff. Somehow though, in my absence, the dribbling font of inadequacy that is George Lamb crept in.

If you ever listened to Mark and Lard on Radio 1 about ten years ago, you'll know the sort of show I'm talking about here. Canned sound effects, phone-ins, endless gibbering. At least with Mark and Lard they showed that they had nothing but contempt for the format, and actually tried to get decent music onto Radio 1, something that would be impossible now. Still, it was infuriating.

George Lamb is so much worse. He revels in the vacuous shit that he pumps out. He has cronies (two who gurn and chuckle at his every feculent utterance, and a producer who sounds as though he should be on suicide watch). He shows utter contempt for the music he's meant to playing, because all he really wants to do is educate the masses as to the merits of Jamaican Dancehall. That's fine, but it should be on at two in the morning, because 6 music is the whitenest, middle-classingest radio station you could possibly imagine, and quite frankly it jars next to the Arcade Fire.

Perhaps the worst thing about it is that he knows that he's shit, but he thinks that if, every now and then he claims that it's ironic, his entire career takes on the form of sort of gigantic meta-textual joke the likes of which the world has never seen before. His inadequacy is, to him, the route to true genius.

He's not solely to blame for this. His Handler, Lesley Douglas is the one who brought him in. Amazingly, she also has ties to the talent (never less appropriately used) agency that manages Georgie boy. They also manage Dermot 'Oxygen Thief' O'Leary, who is also getting a slot on a station she manages. But don't worry, it's all above board. As was his recent Sony award for best newcomer. If the reports are to be believed, Lesley was on the judging panel.

Not to worry though. All this quasi-legal nepotism is in a good cause. Apparently, there weren't enough women listening to the station. Now, Lesley says this is because the shows were too smart, and women need some eye candy. On the radio, that most visual of all media. That's it, the justification for fucking up my morning is that this imbecile seems to think that women are dumb. By essentially changing the format to exactly resemble the Chris Moyles show (for those unfamiliar, it's an unfunny man grunting dispassionately for 4 hours - pretty much like a night in the pub with me), purely in order to lure these imaginary cretins to her station.


Lesley in her secret volcano base, yesterday.


I think this is closing in on being the longest post I've ever written here, and it essentially boils down to the fact that these two goons have forced me to switch off the radio for three hours in the morning. I'll leave the final word on the matter to someone with less decorum than I.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Romance.

Something I found in a bored five minutes of tapping 'stumble':

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cartoonish Supervillainy.

Fantastic Four 2. Just like the first one, it was kinda inept, but fun. Actually, that's unfair. It's much better than the first film, it's just that it's wrong in most of the same ways. Most of which can, in turn, be forgiven. There is one slight problem that needs sorting, however:

Doom:



Not Doom:

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Italics, You Say? Overused?

One thing tonight's Doctor Who proved beyond a shadow of a doubt is that just because something is entirely (and I do stress this, entirely) predictable, that doesn't mean it's not fun.

Next week: Bees!

Cheap Yucks.

The supermarket was like a jungle today.



Which is why I had the machete.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Unexpected.

Once again, it's movie night. A brief one this time, as all I want to say is: The Punisher should never, under any fucking circumstances whatsoever, ever, ever, ever offer to clear the plates away after dinner. There seems to have been the slightest misunderstanding as to the nature of the character.

Targeted Marketing.

It wasn't me:


But I kinda wish it was.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Yeah.

Guess which headline was my favourite:



Now that's journalism.

Public Service Announcement.

Iron Man is a fairly splendid movie. Possibly the best Marvel adaptation yet. Watch it, make sure you stay to the end of the credits. Good times guaranteed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Movie Night.

Today marks the launch of the acclaimed violence and social fabric dissolution simulator, GTA IV. I would dearly love to report that I was sat playing said lawyer-baiting abomination, but I am not. I placed an order for it with a certain well-known online retailer, one I happen to fucking work for, and they have failed to deliver it to me on time. I have been to every shop that might possibly sell it in this drab little town, and they have all run out. I am, in short, fairly savagely put out.

I must find another way to occupy my time. So, as promised, it's movie night. Tonight's film will be The Golden Compass, something that I've studiously avoided thus far. The combination of crippling disappointment, a love for the source material, a genuine hatred of the Americanisation of the title and cheap, cheap booze leaves me singularly unqualified to provide an objective review.

Shall we begin?

0.30s: Staggeringly crude exposition.

This continues for some time.

8.14: They seem to have decided to exaggerate the role of the Church in the story, by bringing in a pantomime villain character.

51.10: This is just toss. Pure, unadulterated shit. The combination of depression and boredom means that I can't derive even an iota of twisted pleasure from it.

104.00: Vomitous pile of inadequacy.

1.13: She can't act.

1.32: Horrible, sanitised, unfinished, poorly-written weasel squeezings.

1.34: Artless, graceless, witless.

1.40: Over.

Genuinely horrible, and not in the least bit funny. Sorry about that. I'll try some Boll next time.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Things It Is Not My Turn To Do.

  • Hose down the prisoner.

  • Check for poison.

  • Regulate the telecoms industry.

  • Evacuate the area.

  • Quell insurection.

  • Defrost the squid.

  • Activate the device.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bothersome.

A warning. Death Proof is a staggeringly dull movie. Quentin Tarantino has lost the plot - his fatal error seems to be in thinking that other people find his eccentricities as inherently charming as he himself does. Net result: 2 1/2 hours of in-jokes and references to his earlier movies. Everything else hangs from those precarious hooks.

It's also maddeningly slow. Three-quarters of an hour pass before anything happens. Then another set of protagonists are introduced, and the whole process repeats itself. It was boring the first time. Second time around, it just feels maddeningly self-indulgent.

I don't mind Tarantino's quest to prove himself the biggest film nerd out there. I will even defend the 'Superman' monologue in Kill Bill. I don't mind the patchwork of styles in his movies, I don't mind that every character will inevitably speak in the same fucking style. I can even let the foot thing slide. In short, what bothers most people about him doesn't really bother me. Death Proof is just really, really tedious.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It's Up To You.

Given what some of you folk have said, my savaging of shitty movies brings some light to your drab lives. So. Then. Suggestions.

For the full-on Wicker Man experience on another movie, make your suggestions below. I will give consideration to them all.

Reasons To Be Cheerful.

Things that are currently leading to a bouyant mood:
  • William The Fucking Bull will be directing the Hobbit.

  • This song. It's the happiest miserable song ever.

  • The song 'Voodoo' by Spiral Beach. There's no good version online, as apparently some people still cling to such outmoded concepts as 'copyright'. Trust me though, it's brilliant. There's a crappy live recording on Youtube if you absolutely must.

  • This song.


Oh, and this image:



Yes. Geeking the fuck out now. I apologise for the tone, I know it'll have come as a shock to most. I promise the next post will be a particularly bilious spillage.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Devil Valley Celt.

It would be remiss of me not to, at the very least, provide a link to this wonderful story. I do hate to be remiss.

The worst thing about this story is that it's about a guy attacking a bunch of Welshmen with a length of metal tubing. I can't help but feel that this is my subconcious, made flesh.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Any Colour You Want.

There has been precious little zombie-orientated news here of late, and I can only apologise. Profusely.

I watched Black Sheep, and it's essentially everything you could expect from a movie about zombie sheep (and were-sheep), even if it's perhaps not everything you might want. It's funny, but not Braindead funny. It's clever, but not Braindead clever. It's gory, and I'm sure you get the idea, bright buttons that you are.

It was always set up as a spriritual succesor to Peter Jackson's gore epics, not necessarily the brightest move. Because, while it is a pretty good film all told, they seem to have been shooting for a 15 (or whatever the backwater equivalent is) and are just not prepared to invest in the sheer volume of high-velocity innards required to satisfy the sort of people that are the habitual audience of such films. Add to this some fairly unlikable characters, and a fundamental failure to grasp the fact that, just for two minutes of act three, your everyman / underdog hero must morph into Arnie circa The Running Man, and you have inevitable dissapointment.

Perhaps I just need to learn to switch off. Or start drinking like I used to.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Quadradactyl in a Pentadactyl World.

I have royally fucked up the middle finger of my left hand. It is swollen and gross. If I look like I'm swearing at you, I assure you that this is not the case, merely a crude byproduct of swollen joints.

Unless I'm kissing said digit and screaming 'This is all for you!'.

Then you can assume I'm swearing.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Whale Oil Beef Hooked.

Seriously, fuck off.

Bravo.

I fucking told you. I am victorious, and full of tremendous powers.

The coronation must be due any day now.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Speaking of Half-Finished Tripe...

You might remember that a while ago I asked for the help of my loyal readership in navigating the choppy waters of the internet. And you might also remember not lifting a fucking finger to help me. So, I hope you're happy that I decided to use my newfound technologies to watch Torchwood.

BBC iPlayer is a hilarious thing. It's basically what everyone expected digital TV to be when it was first mooted, albeit in a viewable window the size of a small postcard. I do think that it's a genuinely brilliant thing, and so I feel a little disappointed in myself for only having used it for Torchwood. But then, as previously discussed, the blame lies squarely with you.

I originally abandoned watching the show a couple of episodes into the first series, and assumed that it would have maintained the same trajectory it had set out on. I fully expected, a full series on, that the folks of Torchwood 3 would be fighting (sexy) space crime using nothing but their genitalia. That was not the case, so chalk one up for pleasant surprise.

The episode I saw was called 'Out Of Gas' 'Fragments', and those of you that are vaguely culturally literate will already have gathered that it takes place as a series of flashbacks. In the midst of horrendous accident (and explosion set off by the malicious little cube things from Terrahawks), the history of how they all got together as the happy all-singing pansexual brigade of alien-fighting misanthropes. It is exactly the same structure as the aforementioned Firefly episode, but is written with less than a fraction of the elan.

At this point you might be thinking: "Torchwood? I've some puppies for you to kick if you need an easy target." But hold on. It (as is rapidly becoming standard in these rants) wasn't all that bad. Given that I genuinely was prepared for a show in which the most glamorous people in all Cardiff lined up to felate John Barrowman while disinterestedly waving a Luger with whichever hand they weren't using to cup, it was pretty good for the first twenty minutes. Cap'n Bigcoat's drunken ride through time with steely Victorian lesbians was genuinely entertaining. It all trailed off a bit after that though, until James Marsters appeared, playing a character called Peter Fanservice. He looked a bit like a pirate. But a holographic one. Which, by pirate standards, is pretty lame. Long story short - Torchwood is worse than most shows, but better than botulism. It has picked up somewhat.

As if to balance this unceasing generosity, we now come to The Simpsons Movie. I avoided this in cinemas, because I don't take disappointment in the cinema with anything resembling grace. My cries of anguish during Transformers gave birth to a new universe.

I finally picked it up, as it is now very cheap on DVD. This is because it is shit. It's shit of the highest order. There are no jokes per se, just a frantic rush to get a succesion of minor characters shoehorned in so they can have a tiny, unfunny character moment before they vanish again.

If anyone would like a copy, let me know. Otherwise I'm going to grind it up and sprinkle it on my cereal.

I'll be taking those puppies now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Spark of the Divine (Intervention).

This is obviously tragic news. It's certainly not the sort of thing that would wrench uncontrollable laughter from somewhere dry and deep in my decrepit frame. And definitely not the sort of thing to ellicit wild jackal howls of delight.

But you've got to admit, it's pretty funny.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Onion is Funny Again.

Very probably true.

Pre-emptive retributions.

Have any of you wronged me recently? Like stolen all my cattle, for example, or burned my township to the ground?

If so, click here and we'll consider ourselves even, okay?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Sound Advice.

Mutineers Need Not Apply.

Due to an unfortunate volcano-related accident, the position of chief minion is once again open. To be in with a chance of attaining this desirable position within The Organisation, simply answer this question:

Now that I have a computer that works, what's good on the internet? Assume for a moment that I've been living a backwards existence with a 500MHz processor and a schizophrenic wireless card for five years. What's good in the world of Not Text?

Oh, and I've already heard of YouTube. No smartarses, thangyewverymuch.

Oi, Grendel! 'Ave some!

Continuing in the tradition of being impressed by movies of which I have previously been pretty damn unsure, I recently watched Beowulf. Now, before I go too far, I wasn't that impressed. But it wasn't a clusterfuck, and that's something.

The main reason I found myself watching it was I was interested in the adaptation of legend into contemporary storytelling. Modern audiences, though pretty fucking shallow for the most part, will not accept the 'that's just how it happened' nature of storytelling in myth. Mythological characters rarely have a compelling or even vaguely believable psychology. They're often not even really archetypes, tending more towards amalgamations of human experience. This is where Beowulf fits, as a morality tale about those who strive for glory.

In the film Beowulf, while he is still the skilled warrior of the poem, is an unreconstructed braggart. Great, fine. In a society where word-of-mouth is the only way for information to travel, this would be a great way to have a legend form. But, and this is a big but, even his own men think he's full of shit. And here we come to the main problem with the film. In trying to turn mythological characters into actual characters, the writers have left the story wholly unbelievable. Why would his men follow him on a lunatic quest for glory when they think he's a lying toerag? There are plenty of these gaps of logic, and they generally occur around the points in the story where the writers have failed to ally the story they're compelled to at least vaguely try to tell with their interpretation of Beowulf's character. It doesn't entirely break the movie, but it's distracting, because if you have made fundamental assumptions about how someone behaves, it is not acceptable to go entirely against those assumptions because you are constricted by the original story.

It's quite a pretty film, though has the usual glassy-eyed staring that CG characters tend to suffer from. This might just be rose-tinted amnesia, but I'm sure some of the characters in The Spirits Within looked better. There's also some really obtrusive and annoying (virtual) camera work. The director is clearly too enamoured with his toybox to actually use it properly. It's as though Orson Welles climbed into his crane with a bucket full of Pixie Sticks. It zooms, swoops and dives all over the place for no reason that I can discern, and it is desperately annoying.

With all that said, it wasn't a bad film. There is some genuinely great design work in it, which counts a lot more for a CG movie than it would otherwise. It's well-paced, and plenty of the vocal performances are strong, though I can't help but think it would have been better for a cast of unknowns, especially with all the actors providing faces and performances. Suffice it to say, the idea that all that's keeping you from seeing Ray Winston's digi-bollocks being a shader setting is quite disconcerting.

I seem to be having trouble summing this up. A lot of small petty things annoyed me. I couldn't believe the motivations of many of the characters. There was a lot of unnecessary reference to Christianity replacing the old Norse religions. Grendel, for some fucking reason, spoke 11th-century Anglo-Saxon in 5th-century Denmark. And yet, I enjoyed it.

Sorry.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yeah, It's a Picture of a Hairy Guy.

Firstly, the remake of The Wolfman looks damn cool. This cool, in fact:



Secondly, 30 Days of Night would seem to be quite good. Pallette and general tone remind me of John Carpenter back when he was good. Characters seem slightly more than 2-dimensional, which is not bad for a horror movie in which everyone is almost certain to die. It even has Dracula references (there's a Renfield character) that do not suck. The vampire designs are original and compelling. So far, so good.

Imagine the noise of a comedy slide whistle. I can't believe anyone can listen to this shit and lap it up. The worst thing about this pretty damn shitty administration is that they have categorically proved that you can simply tell a great many people what you want them to believe, and they will believe it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Unsplendid.

So, um, yeah.

Not much more I can say about that.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Back.

Hello there, internets, I am returned.

So, it's been a little while. Not to worry, I know for a fact that both of the people that read this got by in my absence. Still, the usual cursory update is yours for the taking.

I have left Old Job (Goliath Books) and started at New Job (amusing nickname to follow.) New Job basically involves mining for internet. Which means, given the gibberish I tend to put up here, that I am now Signal/Noise neutral.

Various other things have happened, but as per usual, if you're reading this you probably already know about them.

Coming soon: videogame euphemisms!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just the Ticket.

These will go spledidly with my new pants:



I will be the most dapper semi-dressed man at the ball. Until they throw me out for wearing nothing but boxer shorts and an oversized bath towel festooned around my shoulders as a cape.

+2 Pants of Fucking Awesome.

Because I like to share:



I must possess these delightful artefacts.

Thought for the Day.

I have a strong urge to buy a pet and call it Hitler.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Informations (Addendum).

I have more in common with Madonna than previously thought. We have both made very bad films.

Son of Spam.

Fresh from my inbox: Largish Penis Garland.

Monday, February 11, 2008

You Probably Didn't Hear It Here First.

After many years of grotesque, cowlike servitude, I am free. This is good news for me, as I was less than fond of both my job and abject poverty. It is good news for my employers, who were not fond of me.

So yes. Freedom...

No.

Aaaargh! Aaaargh! Aaaaargh!



All better now.

Powerful Informations.

Things I have in common with Madonna:
  • I used to have a large gap in my front teeth.

  • I didn't used to have an English accent.

That will be all.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Staggeringly Obvious.

I've sat and watched the entire series of Nathan Barley this evening.

It has done me no good at all. But it is very funny.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Intimacy.

I work with a man called Michael. Through a series of excercises designed to foster a sense of mutual trust and respect, I have come to learn that Michael views me like this:


Michael knows and appreciates the fact that I view him like this:



It's a beautiful thing.

The Claw.


Work is getting to me a little bit.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Big in Japan.

Just click the link. You won't thank me, but hey, I don't care.

And whilst we're on the output of that peculiar country, I grabbed Rez from Xbox live arcade today. One of the notable things about it's release on PS2 (I nearly said 'original release, but my inner Dreamcast fanboy punched me in the duodenum) was that, in Japan at least, you could acquire something called a 'trance vibrator'. Yeah.

This was a small piece of black plastic that you were to put in the small of your back. It pulsed in time with certain beats in the game, and the pad would vibrate in time with others. Since Rez is sort of, kind of, a music game (amongst many other possible descriptions, many of which would require me to invent adjectives on the fly) this apparently did add something to the game, though not always as the manufacturer intended. I would say that the article linked is not safe for work, but frankly, no-one reading this really has a job. If there is any chance you might be reading at work, don't click. Just repeat the words 'logical conclusion' over a few times. It's essentially the same effect.

So now it's out on the 360, with a rather neat addition. Any spare pads you have lying around can take on the function of the trance vibrator. It's intended function, that is. It's unwieldy enough having one of those things wedged in the small of your back, I can assure you. So that's how I spent the first couple of hours of this morning. One pad jammed in my back (not completely unpleasant, but definitely not working the knots out of my aching muscles), one balanced on my feet. About an hour of wierd, trancy, shooty, fly-y, schlorpy (told you) gaming, with pulsing Xbox pads strapped to me.

It can only get less odd from here.

Oh God! Oh Jesus Christ!

Wicker Man remake. More for my sake than anyone's, I need a chronicle of this.

2.48. Rural. Cage seems pensive. His wig is not the best.

4.18. A huge truck hits a car full of creepy people. The overall effect is comical. Cage is coming to the rescue, but I sense failure is on the cards. I see it written on his stupid face.

9.45. A joke is made about a lack of plot. It sucks.

13.34. Cage charms an old man into flying him out to Summersisle. Edward Woodward could fly his own plane, and he didn't need no stinking thirteen minutes of exposition.

16.44. Bags can be mysterious and funny.

17.50. Modern-day Willow appears. She's annoying too. She appears smitten with Cage, usually a symptom of being struck about the head and neck with a large rock.

19.28. Bees!

24.08. The Wicker Man is mentioned. The Wicker Man is never mentioned in the original. Cage loses his self-help tapes.

28.43. Cage falls through some rotten wood. Overly-dramatic music fails to fuck off.

35.00. This film is profoundly boring. I think one of my kidneys just shut down.

37.15. Big fucking crows! Just. Big. Fucking. Crows.

47.56. There's a dead kid in the water! But it's just a dream! Or is it? Yes! Cage has more forehead than before. Also: The Radio is dead!

54.00. I have never felt the absence of folk music so keenly.

56.35. Bees! Anaphylaxis! Epinephrine!

1.02.35. Misuse of the word 'Celtic'. It is correctly pronounced though. This is the highest praise I can muster so far.

1.05.39. I'm starting to hallucinate. Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee are micturating upon Cage. An endless stream, yet he never quite drowns.

1.10.19. Bees. Cage is also hallucinating. Mine's funnier.

1.11.37. "How'd it get burned!? Howdiditgeburned!? HOWDAGABUAHRRNED!"

1.13.03 Bearded lady. But the beard is all made of bees! Whatever will happen next?

1.16.15. Cage is just attacking children now. I knew this day would come. Also, somebody killed the pilot. Cage's wig is giving up. He's more forehead now than man. Fuck this.

1.20.02. Really, fuck this.

1.22.04. Cage is in a bear suit. He's abducting a child. He's knocked out three women so far. Fuck this.

1.28.20. The worst acting I have ever seen from Nicolas Cage. Con Air and Face/Off included.

1.33.00. They burnt him. The film is dedicated to Johnny Ramone. I can't imagine he'd have been pleased.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Bull.

OK, so this at the rumour stage at the moment, but Guillermo Del Toro directing The Hobbit is about the only good thing that could come out of Peter Jackson not directing The Hobbit.

In no particular order, some reasons why Guillermo Del Toro is fucking great:
  • He can work with Wesley Snipes and still come out smelling of roses.

  • He's made two of the least sucky superhero movies to date.

  • He fills his movies with gigantic clockwork howdads - for no particular reason I can discern.

  • He's obsessed with using the same pallette Goya used in his 'crazed and yelling' days.

  • His name translates as 'William The Bull'. William the fucking Bull! It's the best name ever!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Novelty Stationery Items

Clearing away the straggly remains of Christmas from my place of employ today, I found myself at the mercy of a small but insistent voice at the back of my head.

"Now you can really get a good run-up.", it said, apropos of nothing.

"I wonder what that means?" Said one of the more actively-conscious chunks of my psyche. "It couldn't be... oh. Oh, God."

It turns out my subconscious wants me to play Assassins Creed with the customers. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this novel form of digital violence (I can think of one person likely to read this who hasn't at some point sat and watched me play this, so this is for you) it essentially involves you running around, and climbing over, various ancient and allegedly holy places in an effort to find Bad Men and stab them in the throat with the pointy end of the stabby thing.

Now, whilst I couldn't do all the climbing, I can run pretty damn fast. I don't do this very often, because of various complex and intertwined factors (my size, a lack of any desire to). One of the ways in which you introduce Bad Men to Mr. Stabby is by running at them, jumping, placing a knee on their spine or stomach (dependant on angle of approach), and driving Mr. Stabby into their neck. I (on the suggestion of my apparently deeply impressionable subconscious) feel that this is an area in which I can truly excel.

They never should have given me a pen.

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Usually I can't really stand this webcomic, but today I demand that you pay attention.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Obvious Fact of the Day.

No shit.

My morning espresso, on the other hand, has made me the adonis you see today.

Oliaginous Transportation.

On my way home from work, I saw the morbidly obese man who sits in the window of Clowns cafe cycling. It was like The Third Policeman as filmed by David Cronenberg.

In case that's not clear, I could only see about a third of the bike. Try to guess where the rest was. How it was still functioning as a mode of transport, I haven't the first idea.

Shiny.

I don't know what this is yet, but it's from Team Ico, so I know that whenever it's on the shelves I'll be buying it and a PS3.