Posts from 25th July 2004

Jul 04


Do You See2 comments • 116 views


my mum took me to see thunderbirds are go! when i wz eight, and says she sat rigid w.boredom thru the entire thing – i can’t see why!! it wz on c5 this afternoon, and i watched it avidly: it is a searing michael moore-style indictment of the bureaucratic complacency of the 21st century military industrial complex (security and safety measures surrounding the zero-x mars mission spacecraft are lamentable) and a powerful argument in favour of indie inventiveness, intelligence and mobility (ie the tracy family business) against the sloth of the corporate state (cf comments on zero-x mars mission), as well as an indictment of thoughtless xenophobic technological imperialism (the zero-x opens fire at the rock snakes on the surface of mars, thinking they are geological formations, and they wake up and retaliate violently) (VIETNAM METAPHOR AHOY!!??)

i had a special-edition magazine as well, sadly long lost: glossy photos from the film plus behind the scenes interviews with all concerned, and pored over it intently (i think it might have bought when i wz ill, i associate the red of supermarionation explosions and booster-rockets w.feverishness and nausea): intently enough that there were no scenes during today’s showing which i did not remember exactly, colour, staging, mise-en-scene etc etc

what i had forgotten, tohugh, wz the sheer oddity of the extended dream sequence, where alan – who has missed a night of R&R at a club – has a hot date w.lady penelope at the SWINGING STAR, a slinky club actually in space, where CLIFF RICHARD and THE SHADOWS are performing (in uncannily accurate puppet-form) (haha it is actually “cliff richard jr”, so prophecy failed them a bit there in re i. his eternal boyish looks well into the 21st century) and ii. his eternal childless bachelorhood ditto): the song itself is kinda grebt in its loungecore countryish beatlish softened elvisish way, but it’s the dreamness which is best: the group perform standing on a giant guitar floating in space, and the whole fantasy sequence ends with lady p. mocking alan for his inability to perform – ie jump the gap between the spacekerb and the pink rolls: goaded, he attempts it and ends up falling falling falling…

the little-brother-left-out meme is smart, given the likely age of viewers who wd enjoy the movie, but this odd sexual edge, how they played it and THAT they played it, that gripped me today – there’s also, a bit earlier, a scene where a shy and huffy young alan being flirted poolside by a bikinied tin tin (she throws a beachball at him from in the water, to get him to play; but he is all wrapped up in a cardigan despite the heat and rattles his magazine grumpily)

(it also occurred to me that the entire reason they are hiding out on tracy island is that jeff t and brains are lovers in a future where stonewall never happened, but i wd not push this angle in respect of visible evidence)


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 648 views

Tharg The Mighty’s Mega Plan was first announced in 2000AD sometime in 1982 or 1983, in amidst the usual upcoming new story hypes. Judge Anderson was getting her own strip – exciting stuff! A new Nemesis saga – excellent! But what was this? THE MEGA PLAN was on its way – blimey! What could it be? Tharg was being very secretive – all he could say was that this was the biggest, most thrilling thing ever to happen to 2000AD, and that it was going to be very special indeed.

What could it be? A new story? More colour? A whole new comic? A – be still my beating heart! – Judge Dredd film?* No clues. And over the next few months mentions of the Plan died away somewhat – but then, finally, just when it seemed forgotten, in Prog 403 the MEGA PLAN was unveiled.

And what was it? A single. By The Fink Brothers. Who turned out to be a couple of moonlighting members of Madness. Big 2000AD fans, they had decided to do a side-project electro record (not an uncommon move in the mid-80s, it seems to me) and based it on the comic, calling it “Mutants In Mega City One”. Tharg devoted a front cover and an inside page to the release, and then never mentioned it again – the silence probably not unrelated to the fact that it stalled at No.50.

But here, rescued from the abyss of time, are the Fink Brothers. (MP3) I’m reserving comment on the track’s quality, but it’s a little slice of comics history.

*(I rather like the Judge Dredd film we actually got, as it happens. But it’s fair to say mine was the minority opinion. That, however, is another post.)

This is from an article

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 560 views

This is from an article about the charts published in the NME for June 19 1982, by Paul Morley. The article had a big impact on me when I read it – not in 1982 (no prodigy I!) but when I happened on the issue for 10p in a second hand shop, sometime in the 1990s. I think it had an impact on several other people too.

Is it still relevant? Maybe – the charts are a very different thing now. Is it still a good read? Oh yes. I’m aware I’m overstepping copyright lines by re-presenting it but I don’t believe it’s been reproduced anywhere else. Needless to say if anyone with a vested interest in the piece wants it removed I will take it down right away. Meanwhile I thought readers of this blog might be interested.

Click here to read the full, scanned Morley piece (be prepared to squint!).

The Square Table Speaks, The World Listens (sort of)

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 404 views

The Square Table Speaks, The World Listens (sort of)

A bit of the video for ‘Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy’ was briefly aired on the news segment of CD:UK yesterday. Course, CD:UK’s track record at breaking North American artists isn’t that great (see Fannypack, FeFe Dobson), but on the other hand I saw the Fannypack album in the basement of Mister CD for a fiver once, so it ain’t necessarily so bad…

The video itself appears to feature Big & Rich partying down on a bridge while wearing some very large feather boas. It’s not as funny as the new Dizzee Rascal video. British rapper = sexy beefeaters, obv.