Posts from 21st November 2006

Nov 06

I WAS A GOBLIN: Pierre Menard, Dungeon Master

FT3 comments • 2,123 views

The Saga Of The ExilesAfter playing Dungeons and Dragons and other games for a couple of years, I found myself firmly on the ‘storytelling’ side, not the ‘point-scoring’ side, of the gaming divide. I also had precious few people to play with and – equally discouraging – no stories to tell.

This resulted in an odd interval in my gaming life, where I put a lot of effort into using the roleplaying game medium to recreate other people’s stories – books I had enjoyed. At the time I was 13, perhaps just 14, and reading a huge amount of science fiction and fantasy, so this is what I draw inspiration from. At school, the group of mostly novice gamers I’d assembled was subjected to a campaign based on Julian May’s time-travel science-fantasy Saga Of The Exiles. Back home, my friend Sam was treated to what amounted to a walkthrough of Gene Wolfe’s Book Of The New Sun.


MIDDLE OF THE ROAD – “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep”

FT + Popular68 comments • 20,524 views

#301, 19th June 1971

Dead birds scream as they fight for life

One of the great, endlessly rediscovered truths of pop is that there are rhythms so addictive they make content irrelevant. “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep”, a song about an abandoned bird performed terrace-chant style by a choir of buzz-voiced irritants, does not quite achieve this, but its handclaps and glitter beat is propulsive enough for them to almost get away with it. Certainly the reputation of “Chirpy Chirpy” as an all time pop crime seems unfair – “it’s moronic”, “it’s repetitive”, cry the detractors*, and it’s not that they’re wrong exactly, but their objections miss the point: the problem with the song is that with a bit less twang on the voice, and a bit more thunder in the drums, it could have broken through annoying into awesome.

*I researched said detraction online and found one marvellous comment box claim that “CCCC” is a song about the Vietnam War! Another great truth of pop I think is that EVERY song recorded between 1967 and 1972 is on some level (usually that of Interweb maniacs) about the Vietnam War.


SCI-FI FOR KIDS: it begins (ft.GUESS MY THEORY slight return)

Do You See + FT + The Brown Wedge/5 comments • 1,026 views

dateline angel: just spent half an hour wandering round wonderin WHAT STARTED ME on SF at all? some possibilities…
i. dr duck and the duckleks (sole ref on web = mex10000000) — i remember only the climax of one ep (bcz i wz bein babysat at someone else’s house and she was eager to get off and wd not let me watch till the END OF TITCH AND QUACKERS chiz)
ii. dr who obv
iii. fireball xl5 (always known in our fambly as FIVE-OH LEX-O)
iv. lovely lovely BLEEP AND BOOSTER — the only good thing off blue peter, a NON-animated cartoon of individually drawn panels plus narration…


BBC Reports BBC Getting Tube Station

Blog 7 + FT19 comments • 1,932 views

Two new Tube Stations? Well one new station and one new name. Shepherd’s Bush, on the Hammersmith and City line is to be renamed Shepherd’s Bush Market, one assumes for the sensible reason that the Piccadilly line Shepherd’s Bush station is about a mile away and causes a bit of confusion. All well and good.


Christian Bale: IN FISHNETS!

Do You See + FT2 comments • 1,904 views

ZatannaWhat has this charming young lady got to do with the terrific film The Prestige. Couldn’t I have found a picture of Scarlett Johanssen to illustrate some point about the movie instead, rather than this fishnet, top-hat combo? Or maybe the ladies would love Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. IN FISHNETS! No, Zatanna is here (she’s a comic-book character – of course she is called something like Zatanna) to illustrate the key point of The Prestige. THEMATIC SPOILERS AHOY: LOOK AWAY NOW*.