Posts from 5th September 2005

Sep 05

The Ker-azy World Of Anti-Nazi Comics

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 896 views

German comic which teaches kids how to fight Neo-Nazis, the non-violent way. Such as the following:

In the first edition, Andi and his friends challenge arch-villain Eisenheinrich and his gang, who dress in neo-Nazi clothing, hate foreigners and distribute far-right music at school, to a game of basketball, which invariably the skinheads lose.

This does beg the question, what would Andi do if the skinheads had won the game? Shave his hair and don a brown shirt?

Good old British comics of course, like Battle & Warlord, taught British youths much the same thing. Except it was just Nazi’s that were being fought, and said comics did not exactly eschew violence.

The Ker-azy World Of Art 2

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 176 views

The Best Painting In Britain.

Looks like a bunch of scribbles that someone spilled a pot of dirty paintwater over to me.

THE FT TOP 100 TRACKS OF ALL TIME No.80: Public Enemy – “Fight The Power”

FT + New York London Paris Munich/3 comments • 1,507 views

Public Enemy – “Fight The Power”

Steve M says:

Clearly I picked this because I was worried there wouldn’t be enough rockist rap in the list. I still think this is their best and most succinct single, although I know the general consensus would point to any of the three before it. The street sound of Summer ’89, this reference run deep into the ground by its gratuitous use in Do The Right Thing. The track is presented in that movie as some ultimate, towering concoction of black punk, following two years of consolidation and growth by the most exciting band in the world at that point.

It feels a little busier, more infectious and, perhaps crucially, more Pop than their other anthems, with the production unit and MCs on peak form. Containing arguably Chuck D’s most famous lyric (Oh, NOT an Elvis fan you say?), he wins sympathy from me as even today I know friends equally indifferent to the stature of John Wayne. Other great lines are strewn throughout. Another highlight lies in Chuck bitterly stressing that Bobby McFerrin’s message of ‘don’t worry be happy’ amounted to nothing more than denial, for D’s target audience at least, and simply wouldn’t do. How they got away with this level of fun-hating lyrically whilst attached to some of the funkiest party music of the time is the real skill of the act.

I often miss the rawness and maximal approach that came with so much hip-hop at this time as things have moved on since then in more ways than one. This represents well though the point where their message managed to capture maybe their largest universal audience yet, before being drowned out forever by the far greater demand for bitch/gun/money-obsessed gangsta fantasies (N.W.A. etc.) as opposed to dour b-boy political aspirations, regardless of how def the jam. It’s also the last track on their last truly great album and a fitting ‘exit theme’ as a result.

Blog rendered (not quite) pointless by thread 2

Blog 7Post a comment • 334 views

Yet again an ILx thread seems to be doing what we planned to do here. Namely the “Local myths & Legends – tell us yours” thread from Matt DC which has no end of spooky happenings to keep the acolytes of Charles Fort busy.

The Ker-razy World Of Art 1

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 294 views

Woman slashes Lichtenstein picture “Nudes In Mirror” in a German Art Gallery. Not due its racy comment mind, and as you can see, it is not exactly the most erotic picture in the world. Rather she knifed it because she thought it was a copy.

She had to be really, really sure you would think. Really, really, really convinced. Nevertheless it does not excuse her actions, she could have instead maybe written a letter to a newspaper. Nevertheless one imagines the insurance company will investigate closely, and if she is right, one imagines the charges will be lessened. Watch this space.

Twister: Moves

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 417 views

In the fast moving world of children’s toys and games, the humble board game is often seen to be a dying breed. How can the fun provided by slipping, sliding and breaking your nose on a plastic mat in Twister dare to compete with the joys of the arcade.

Like this: Hello Twister Moves.

Its the Dance Dance Revolution of board games, taking the classic Twister Formula (being told where to put your hands and feet, vinyl mats, falling over and breaking your nose) to the sounds of some “wicked” pop DJ’s. You listen to the CD, the DJ plays tunes and tells you where to put your hands on your individual mats, and so on, via 144 great pop tunes (including the exclusive Nick Cannon track “I Could Do That”). Any semblance of twisting ones anatomy around other is gone, as is the surprise of what to do considering the CD’s don’t change. One would imagine therefore that said CD’s would date horrendously. Which is probably apt because any teenage girl who learnt how to dance from Twister Moves would probably be a horrendous date.

The Crazy Game With The Action Contraption

TMFDPost a comment • 1,294 views

Is that how they used to advertise Mouse Trap. It rings a bell with me anyway. Anyway, a trip to the nephews for his birthday rustled this game up as a present. And it has changed from my youth. Not only have the graphics been slightly more cartoonified, there seems to be a few tweeks to the game play, to improve what was previously a potentially interminable endgame*.

Tweeks include a sop to the number of players. In the old days, when played with four people, the add a piece squares would be hit by the second straight, leaving you ages before you actually got to unleash the trap. But the most significant change is the addition of cheese. I think most games would be improved by the addition of cheese, however these cheeses are sadly cardboard in nature. Nevertheless when gained they allow you to roll the dice and move someone else’s piece. Thus increasing the chances that you would be on turn crank, and they would be under the trap. Not increasing it by much (1/6), but the odds of both being in the right place in a two player game were 1/18, which given probability, was a little bit frustrating.

Of course the Helping Hand bit still doesn’t work properly. And the stairs are now blue. And six year old children still do not understand the concepts of
a) enough
b) losing gracefully.

*Yes, I know I am talking about Mouse Trap, and I know that a game of luck does not really have an endgame per se. It does appear that the main job of Mouse Trap’s device is to distract you from the completely arbritrary nature of the game.

Pigeon in BIG DOVE shock

Blog 7Post a comment • 439 views

While we wait for the 23 most unexplained things to happen, Ananova can always provide us with tales of superstition. It really is not unexplained how a homing pigeon ended up in Nigeria – anyone can mistake Telford for Nigeria (similar balmy climate). Nope, it got lost.

However what is unexplained is how anyone can think the rats of the air, the shit-and-go culprits of Trafalagar Square could be sacred or a Big Dove.

Kronenbourg Premier Cru

Pumpkin Publog15 comments • 2,476 views

What kind of sucker would buy Kronenbourg Premier Cru? What kind of idiot would be taken in by its frosted blue bottle? What kind of snob would fall for the pretension that “Kronie” has a ‘Premier Cru’ anyway? What kind of buffoon would fail to check the abv (over 6%) and thus not realise that ‘Premier Cru’ in fact means ‘nasty spesh lager’? Surely not somebody with half a decade’s experience in marketing?? Groan. :(

Red Or Dead Eye

Do You See1 comment • 290 views

In a world populated by overblown blockbusters, the simplicity and directness of Wes Craven’s Red-Eye…

No. We cannot praise a film merely for cutting out what might be called the extraneous fat of the standard Hollywood film. It is instructive perhaps to watch such a film, so we can see what we are losing, but the film must be judged on its own merits. It is true that you get out within an hour and a half and this can always be regarded as A GOOD THING, but lack of motivation for the bad guy, coupled with characters so sketchy they barely have lines drawn in them does not suffice. It is also the second film I have seen in a week where even scant knowledge of the plot of the film completely arses up the first half hour.

The good however? This is probably the closest we have come to an Ordinary Joe (or Ordinary Jane) action movie, where the lead who survives is no more talented, strong or specially trained than you or I. The reason it pulls it off is Wes Craven’s stint as a horror director. He is used to having female leads, and the Last Girl paradigm is one he uses in a wholly different setting here. Indeed the last act is pretty much just a scene from Scream without the mask. Certainly we get the much lampooned (by Scary Movie) running up the stairs and throwing stuff down at the bad guy scene not once, but twice. WITH THE SAME STAIRS.

The joys of Red-Eye is its simplicity, and that it never outstays its welcome. Rachel McAdams is good (if too toothsome) for the plucky heroine, and Cillian Murphy possibly seals his fate at never playing a good guy ever again. Especially when he starts channeling Jack Nicholson (bad acting, good fun).