Posts from 26th November 2004

Nov 04

It’s that time of year

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 326 views

It’s that time of year when ‘pub awards’ start to be handed out. Will the Freaky Trigger collective be giving a pub award? Yes they will, just as soon as we think of a sufficiently preposterous scientific way of judging it. However, some names are already jostling for space in the frame. One of them is the Shakespeare’s Head in Islington, hymned on this publog recently. We’re delighted to report that this particular boozer has just boosted its chances of getting our award in dramatic fashion.


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


the horror! the horror!!!
Stourbridge Scene Special with guests:

>> The Wonder Stuff’s Miles Hunt
>> Pop Will Eat Itself’s Clint Mansell
>> Ned’s Atomic Dustbin’s Jonn Penney


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 196 views



Nearly all of the news about the Ukrainian Election Crisis

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,078 views

Nearly all of the news about the Ukrainian Election Crisis has been has been predicated on the tug of war between east and west and a Putin vs Bush new world order being played out in White Russia. No-one appears to have picked up a much more significant aspect to this escalating domestic crisis.

The next Eurovision Song Contest is in the Ukraine. They have six months to sort this electoral crisis out, otherwise a grand tradition will be destroyed. It is particularly harsh as this years winner, Ukranian Ruslana, had the best song in years (not to mention Xena-esque outfit and dance routine). With its Eurovision firendly “shi-di-ri-di-duy, shi-di-ri-di-da-na” lyrics coupled with Adam And The ANts style percussion it swept the boards at this years event, in a manner wholly unlike either of the candidates in the recent Ukrainian election. Vote Ruslana and her Wild Dances, and put this civil war to death.


Do You SeePost a comment • 1,275 views

SPECIAL ZELDA EDITION GAMEBOY ADVANCE SP in gold with the Triforce EMBLAZONED on the top bundled with The Minish Cap!!

My palms are quite frankly ITCHING with desire. Must resist urge to check my bank balance…

News feed: Million-dollar supercar stolen

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 331 views

Million-dollar supercar stolen

It even has a homing device!! I guess the ‘jackers knew how to turn it off…


Do You See1 comment • 862 views


Would you like to play a game?

WarGames did. It played with the fear that the western military is a self-absorbed doomsday machine whose only job is to drag the world into annihilation. It toyed with a grim technophobia, as offices and bedrooms were invaded by green screen monitors and giant floppy discs, and the only people who could control them were irresponsible teenagers. It teased with the idea that the cutest person in the class would seek out the nerdiest and nod earnestly as they initiate World War III. And it could do all of these things because it was right for its moment. Because it was 1983.

The best way to understand this film is as a primary source of its period, when home computers were still unusual and glamorous, and so were the people who used them. The fear of nuclear war informed so much then, from electioneering to stand-up comedy, that its effect on the contemporary culture is difficult to overstate. The world was making exciting advances and yet was doomed at the same time – there was a unique, if lightweight, flavour of promise and foreboding, and for all its flaws, nothing captured this in the way that WarGames did.

And flawed it surely is: the army are buffoons who let teenagers infiltrate their nuclear operations bunker, the story halts and has to restart itself mid-way through, the climax is a computer persuading itself that war is futile by playing noughts and crosses. Script, acting and direction all waver.

So be careful with this uneven gem. Its accidental genius is that its themes and aesthetics, even its existence, are flush with the essence of its time – simply remembering it can be a sentimental pleasure. But like the real computer games of that era, its shortcomings glare when revisited.

It’s a strange game, nostalgia. Sometimes the only winning move is not to play.

Pete Baran says:

Tic Tac Toe in the UK is Noughts And Crosses. This threw me a fair bit when I first watched WarGames, as I had not worked out the “obvious to a five year old” fact that it is possible to always force a draw. If I took anything out of the film (apart from Ally Sheedy being rather hot) it was aburgeoning interest in game theory. Especially the bit that would get my parents to buy me a computer so I could play games on it.