Posts from 1st June 2004

Jun 04


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 350 views

OMG WTF!!!: Worthy but flawed ‘guide to online lingo’ from US Missing Kids centre (it’s a .pdf file). The idea is for parents to be able to ‘crack the code’ of their kids’ logged online chats and so find out if they’re up to anything dodgy. The only thing is, the centre has scrupulously avoided any acronyms which might be a bit naughty – so old standbys like LMAO and WTF are replaced by Laughing My Socks Off and What The Heck. Of course it’ll be the overall context of a given chat that sets of parental alarm bells rather than any specific terms used, but this still seems to me to be erring on the side of decency.

(NB: “OTM” hasn’t made it.)

No acrobatic sex please

TMFDPost a comment • 190 views

No acrobatic sex please, we’re CROATIAN!


Do You SeePost a comment • 593 views

I’M STUCK IN THE WALL! HELP! I’M STUCK IN THE WALL! Am I talking about the episode of Angel where Cordy moves into an apartment haunted by the ghost of a boy who was bricked up inside a wall by his mother for snogging the wrong girl? Am I talking about someone trapped in a 14 year old boy’s bedroom just after he’s bought his first Pink Floyd record? Thank the little lord baby Jesus no, not that. I’m talking about FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS. And in particular, the scenario when you try to get through a door, and find yourself blocked up against a polygonal wall. You rotate the joystick desperately to get back out but all there is is that DARNED WALL on all sides of you, you’re claustrophobic, you’re panicking, and oh look, you’ve just been shot in the back. GRATE.

Popular press (hem hem if you call EDGE magazine ‘popular’) maintains that one of the best games of all time = Goldeneye for the N64. You play A SECRET AGENT huzzah, and run about with a gun. You see THROUGH THE EYES of the agent in question, so like in all first person perspective games, you have a ludicrous GUN pointing out in the middle of the scream like a metallic WINKLE pointing erectly round every corner ready to SPURT OUT it’s bullets of DESTRUCTION to the blooming enemies who just won’t leave you the heck alone, will they? Maybe it’s because I’m a gurl but FIRST PERSON PERSPECTIVE IS RUBBISH. You have no idea what’s going on behind you (NB I guess this only matters if you play rotters like ME who keep shooting you in the back), confusingly and horrifically rendered walls and surfaces mean you could keep running about in circles in a narrow alleyway for you have NOWHERE TO LOOK to get any perspective of where on earth you could be and those guns!! Ludicrous!! Perfect Dark for the N64 has a particularly ludicrous “loading the gun” animation, complete with BEEFY ARM MUSCLE action, oh yes, it’s like I’m IN THE GAME NOW, yeah right. But confound it all – I think I’m never going to see what the popular press (see earlier disclaimer) prosetylize about with Goldeneye et al, and that frustrates me! A viewpoint to a game shouldn’t be such an overriding flaw that I simply cannot get to grips with it!

Anyway, this is all the fault of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the f#cking Gerudo guards. It’s not ONLY that I can’t find the last prisoner, it’s the sheer amount of fanny dangle with the guards in the courtyard – stealth in games is ALSO rub, but seeing as no-one has made me play “Metal Gear Solid” (WHAT DOES THAT MEEEAN?) recently I’ll save that for another post. Cheers all!

The Post-TV Diaries: Part 1

Do You SeePost a comment • 460 views

The Post-TV Diaries: Part 1

Well, it’s been about two months now. Taking the fact of our aerial breaking as a sign, we decided to give up television. And I can now be found waxing lyrical to anyone who will listen about the benefits of a TV-free life.

It’s not all easy though: last night I started to dream TV. An entire crap soap opera (well a pilot episode at least) sprung fully-formed from my sub-conscious, starring Nigel Havers as a floppy-hatted geologist, Sally out of Home & Away as a young oil heiress, and, predictably, Stephanie Beacham as her bitchy stepmother currently controlling the company and destroying important geological sites in the process.

Implications for my general mental health aside, the presence of an old character from Home & Away (lost to me for even longer than most programmes since it moved to Channel 5) raises a particular worry – for as a TV ‘abandoner’, like someone going blind as opposed to being born that way, I do have TV memories. And those memories will undoubtedly continue feed into my language, my identity, my perception of the world, and seemingly my dreams… But with no new TV ‘experiences’ to replace the memories, will I become a walking anachronism, stuck forever in a world of Friends, Frasier, Sex and the City, Big Brother 2003, and The Office, talking a language that nobody else can understand?


Popular37 comments • 10,080 views

#105, 6th August 1960

It began as a lad’s joke – one of the band saw a girl he fancied, “she gives me quivers in me membranes” he would tell the rest. It began as a riff and a baseline jabbed out in thirty minutes. It began as a B-Side. The marvel of pop (and the reason a biographical approach seems so lacking sometimes) is how circumstances as drab as these produce wonders.

“Shaking All Over”‘s first seconds announce it as something special. A lash of electric guitar carves an arc in the silence; as it ends a prowling bassline begins. This music has charge and real threat: the marvel lies in how that charge affects the singer. In a sense “Shaking All Over” is a premonition of the Stones – English boys turned wild by rock. But Mick Jagger sang as a predator, focusing and using his lust: Johnny Kidd feels the same energies but he can’t control them. He sounds haunted as well as hungry, stricken by desire, body in disobedient spasm.

There has been nothing like this at No.1 before; certainly nothing British. Close to perfect, its only great flaw is the showy drum roll and solo that rounds it out, effectively dissipating the spooked energy “Shaking All Over” has built.

FT Top 100 Films 91: AFTER-LIFE

Do You SeePost a comment • 916 views

(This film is Japanese and therefore whether or not there is a hyphen, a space or it is all one word is variable. Its actual title is of course in Japanese.)

So your dead. What next? It may all depend on what you believe in, it may all be moot. What After-Life suggests is a theology free heaven of your own creation. You die, you end up in a halfway house that resembles an old school and some counselors tease your favourite memory out of you. A memory which, once filmed (and old school filming here) you will review for eternity.

After-Life is a film about memory, about looking over our lives and accepting it is over. It steers clear of a lot of the what ifs its own scenario throws up. What if you have no happy memories. What if you have no memories at all. But it does have a plot which deals with people who refuse to chose a memory. You end up working as a counselor (or clean up after them).

Hirokazu Kore-Eda the director plays this with a straight bat, often slipping into a snooping documentary style to cover the counseling session. There is a worklike efficiency in the memory selection, the sixteen year old girl is told to reconsider when she picks a memory of going to Disneyland. Is it because the counselor has heard it so many times, is it because she thinks it is just a snap memory without emotional consideration – or is it because it will be hard to stage? In the meantime there is a gentle storyline about one of the counselors who died forty years before and has been waiting for his true love to die to tell her something. It is not just a film about death, it is a film about any kind of loss.

After-Life appealed to me because as a non-religious meditation, but also as an exercise. It asks you to play the same game. But it also looks sumptuous, has a rather nice storyline and is clever. Not just for anyone who has lost someone, also for anyone who has ever lost something (even a dinosaur).

Horse Vs Greyhound race!

TMFDPost a comment • 1,533 views

Horse Vs Greyhound race! Hurrah for sporting gimmicks!

As the current FT top 100 films suggests

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 287 views

As the current FT top 100 films suggests, there are two principles available on which to base lists of cultural artifacts. You can be arbitrary, and pretend to be being something else, or you can be arbitrary, and admit it. James Wood, reviewing Randall Stevenson’s vol. XII of the Oxford Literary History of England in the LRB wishes the author had taken the first option, when in fact he has taken the second. Many of his comments on the gap between academic and literary writing, and the decline of a generalist culture of criticism, seem fair to me, although he neglects the parallel rise in half-baked theory-saturated critical slop prevalent in almost all criticism not directly intended for wider public consumption (Baudrillard this, Nietzsche that, Deleuze the other: step forward denizens of the blogosphere!). But his fundamental point seems to be that Stevenson has not made the kind of value judgements which would consign his own work to history pretty sharpish. His preferences appear to be made fairly plain in the book, at least so far as one can judge without having read it (thirty quid!!) and Wood duly regales us with them (complaining when Stevenson does not judge, then complaining when he does?), suggesting that one author at least realises that there is still some room left for the aspiration to neutrality, with attendant confessions of partiality. I’d be sorry if Stevenson relies as heavily on the lame old critical supermarket trope as Wood suggests he does, but surely the very point of a book like this is to try and be inclusive (and let history judge) rather than lay out a personal top 5/50/500/whatever. (Stevenson as Chuck Eddy, or even Robert Christgau, rather than Nick Hornby?)

Twilight Of The MP3Blog?

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 302 views

Twilight Of The MP3Blog?: Yousendit, the file transfer service which became the hapless vehicle for many of the new blogs, is no longer offering unlimited transfer of under-10MB files.