Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[via Lying in the Gutters]

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Monday, April 28, 2008

[via Pharyngula]

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to give the disabled the same benefits as the pensioners get each year especially the fuel allowance.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Uphold the principle of 'Net Neutrality'.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to force isp's to abandon plans to make content providers pay for elevated speeds on there network.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to support the campaign by Terry Pratchett and the Alzheimer's Research Trust for a drastic increase in public funding for dementia research.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Revoke the VAT-exempt status of the Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc.

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Ken Livingstone yesterday offered to give his Tory rival a job and train him as a future mayoral candidate, in an extraordinary last-minute bid for Tory votes.

Oh for fuck's sake. It doesn't matter that Boris would be unlikely to take up such an offer, it's that Ken made it. What on earth for? Does he seriously think there are Tory voters out there saying "you know, I'd like to vote for Livingstone but the only problem is that that would mean Johnson would lose", or would think "Hmmm, Livingstone in 2008, Johnson in 2012, yep, sounds fair to me"?

That's the problem when you're faced with a choice between the lesser of two evils, at the end of the day they are both still arseholes.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Please feel free to ignore the last fifteen seconds (unless you're the sort of arse who would vote for the BNP or UKIP)

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[C]space - DRL10 Pavilion, Bedford Square

[C]space - DRL10 Pavilion, Bedford Square
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers
Found this lurking in Bedford Square this afternoon. It's a striking thing, half shell, half stage, and it has a blog.

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(I wrote this yesterday but, through some strange twist of fate, it didn't get posted until today. No, I don't understand why either. Personally I blame The Master. Or the Bad Wolf)

I am, as you know, incredibly well-balanced and supernaturally slow-to-anger. But today's Evening Standard is just taking the piss, wining and dining it, then leaving it in a strange part of town where the buses don't run and the taxi-drivers are all rapists (apparently).

The Evening Standard is known to be 'Fair and Balanced', in the same way that Fox News is 'fair and balanced', namely massively right-wing, xenophobic, borderline racist and making a living by making sure it's readers know all four thousand ways they are currently fucked and how they will die tomorrow with the house they live in not even worth the value of a bag of Birds Eye peas. As befits a newspaper it has taken an aggressively partisan side in the London Mayoral elections with an almost daily barrage of front-page headlines about how Ken Livingstone's campaign is being run entirely by members of Al Qaeda (I wish I were exaggerating and, to be honest, I am, but not by as much as you might think) and that Boris Johnson is a brilliant incisive thinker not seen since the death of William Gladstone, which is a surprise to anyone who's actually ever heard him talk as he's always seemed to be a berk that can't even follow an autocue.

It's no real surprise, Livingstone and Associated Newspapers have a long hatred of one another, which led to Livingstone's stupid comparison of a Jewish Standard reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard. Well done Ken. But even so, the Standard surpasses itself today. 'Mayor Talks of Boris Win', 'I'll start work on my book says Livingstone', 'He gives Tory rival advice on what to do first', 'Fears of poor turnout among Labour voters'. I'm not a Labour supporter, though I'll admit that by temperament I'm probably closer to them than I am to the Tories or Cameron's New Tories. But this sort of thing, making it look as though Livingstone has or is ready to throw in the towel is highly prejudicial. The Standard have fluctuated on a daily basis between whole-hearted support of the blonde-haired fop and just thinking he's great, they were the only ones to have an official poll that somehow gave Boris a double digit lead over Livingstone when all other polls had them either neck-and-neck or within a few percentage points.

Andrew Gilligan, who we all remember from the Hutton Report into the death of Doctor David Kelly was described as unreliable and had to leave the BBC has written almost daily essays for the Standard on the evilness of Ken and the wonderfulness of Saint Boris. Presumably he doesn't see it as a conflict of interest that, after leaving Aunty, he got snapped up by Boris Johnson to work for the Standard. Today he sees fit to launch a broadside against Ken on the grounds the mayor cannot be trusted and lacks credibility. Again Gilligan doesn't bother to mention that perhaps he is expertly placed to spot this because he has been judged to be lacking both in the past.

So today I filled in my postal vote. To my annoyance I found myself forced to give my first vote to Ken, not because he's the best candidate but because he's the best out of the two horse race he's in with Boris. The political disengagement in this country seems so complete that most Boris fans don't seem to pay much attention to the numerous hustings that their hero didn't manage to make it to or the fact that when he did turn up they might wish he hadn't. He'll have another opportunity to put his foot in it on Question Time tonight, a show which few people bother to watch. Ken supported Sir Ian Blair over the Mets shooting of an unnarmed, non-violent Brazilian that they couldn't be bothered to check wasn't an Asian suicide-bomber, he supports the intense disruption that bringing the glorified school sports day of the Olympics to this city, despite the fact that the money to pay for it is being taken from the pockets of Londoners like myself. Yet he is still better than Boris Johnson, who has never managed to run anything, who has a habit of thoughtlessly abusing whole sections of the community, who wants to spend millions of pounds replacing one bus fleet with another that will be less able to be used by parts of the community and who otherwise doesn't seem able to talk in any great detail about why he wants to be mayor or what he'll do should he get it. He's kept at arms length by the Cameron cabinet because they know that if the Conservative Party wants to look credible they can't have Boris bumbling around in the background and who they must really be hoping doesn't become the mayor because he'd end up being exhibit A in why people shouldn't vote Tory at the next General Election.

What's worrying is that there seems to be e general feeling of not voting for Labour because of things like the Iraq War. As someone who was anti-war it's galling for me to say that Boris shouldn't ride into the mayorship because of discontent over a war that Livingstone didn't support. It would be the last laugh of Tony Blair if he has a situation where the entire country turns on his party once he leaves and all the institutions he created turn blue.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adaptations are funny old things except, sometimes, when they are supposed to be. There's a TV company who's name I can't be bothered to look for, who have adapted Terry Pratchett's Hogfather and The Colour of Magic/The Light Fantastic . The Hogfather adaptation was actually pretty good and it was presumably the success of that that got them the second gig. TCoM ? Not so much. It read as though it was adapted by accountants, who priced every scene and joke so excised stuff based on cost and not whether the pun was amusing any more. There were some incredibly belaboured scenes, and not in the 'David Jason visual humour' department alone. A short scene in the book which introduces ancient barbarian Cohen the Barbarian takes only a minute or so on screen but is done in such a way that it feels much longer. I wonder whether part of the technique for these is to write the screenplay based on the constraints of time, money, cast and then go back through and drop in the jokes from the books where possible, rather than the other way around. A good few years back Cosgrove-Hall did animated versions of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music , the former was very faithful and dull as ditchwater, the latter fun and IIRC, took a few more liberties but still had the story to heart.

BBC7 have a few audio Pratchett treats to celebrate the fella's 60th birthday. From what I remember the adaptation of Mort falls into the 'leaden, dull' category but Small Gods is great fun, not least because of Patrick Barlow as the tetchy and currently-incarnated-as-a-pompous-tortoise god Om. It's brilliant acting from the man who gave us Desmond Olivier Dingle and is one of the many criminally under-appreciated comedians in this country. I haven't heard The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents yet and will be interested, especially as David Tennant is involved.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

The National Archives Podcasts are somewhat pedestrian and recondite, but the episode on Joe Orton from about a month ago is worth a listen, an explicitly queer perspective on the handling of his papers and diaries after he was murdered, even if it does sometimes slide into an attack on his agent Peggy Ramsay and his first biographer John Lahr.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Guys, here's Tad's top tips for dealing with the women in your life....

Ignore them, bribe them, don't argue with them...

Here we go again.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Alan Moore, Alan Moore...

Oops, done that one.

An interview from last month, mostly stuff that fans know already, has a few bits of Moore reading from his various works, a reminder that he's still working on that novel 'Jerusalem' and a few seconds of dancing.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Uwe Boll Will Quit Making Movies with One Million Signatures.

Ladies and Gentleman, we finally have a chance to rid the cinematic world of a cancer. Uwe Boll the German director behind such horrid video game adaptations as House of the Dead, BloodRayne, Dungeon Siege and Postal, has recently admitted that he would retire from making movies if enough people want him to stop. When FearNet mentioned to Boll a petition online signed by 18,000 people requesting that he cease making films, Boll responded that "18,000 is not enough to convince me." So how much would be enough? "One million," Boll said.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Marry Our Daughter. One of those sites that makes you think "I really, really hope this is a fake."

[via Linkbunnies]

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[via Stop Boris]

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Monday, April 07, 2008

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to (1) Introduce a time limit within which the HMRC (aka Inland Revenue) is required to advise employers to cease making student loan deductions once repayment is complete and (2) for HMRC to be charged the same interest rate on excess deductions as they charge on student loans..

Proper content coming soon. Right now I am tired and must sleep. Go 'way.

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Dick Grayson and/or Harvey Dent ..in a story where amnesia leads to sex

DC Universe Characters - Clichéd Porn Situation Generator. I swear they are using this to write the comics these days.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

"No Jeremy," < eyeroll > "we did not pray together"

Tony Blair demonstrates exactly why Alistair Campbell once told a reporter 'we don't do God'.

Now that we know that Tony Blair really is quite religious indeed I wonder whether this would have had much of an effect on the last five or six years if he'd been open about it? The rantings of deranged Islamists aside, would the public have been even more against a war that could be shown to be a new Crusade? Would Labour have done any worse in the last election?

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