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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Round Pup

We'll not lie to you its been a crap old week. Various stuff has taken its toll including my first copyright strike on Youtube and various stuff with relatives which although I won't talk about, will say isn't great.

On the plus side I managed to find something which I've been looking for for ages.  A parody of Walk Like an Egyptian by The Swinging Erudites called simply Walk With An Erection.  I am easily pleased and to be honest, am expecting this to suck balls.  I saw this at a bootsale about 10 years back along with some other stuff (someones Neo Geo Rom collection plus Neo Rage to play on my then wreck of a PC).

Copyright cunts again.

To be fair its full title would be retroactive copyright cunts.  Two claims including All4Media and Orchard Music have filed copyright claims and that tipped it onto my first copyright strike.  For further info it takes about 10 copyright claims to gain your first strike.  This involves filling in a damn fool questionnaire and watching a copyright is wrong message which I think involves the happy tree friends.  We also had a video removed which, we would have done anyway.  (We went too far TBH, never mix clips of TOWIE  with home made porn music).  Incidentally we own the copyright to the music so we uploaded a dub version with home made artwork.

Orchard music are representatives for Jappo and Lancinghouse and I suspect a lot of the other ID&T artists,
yeah I was surprised to see that as well.

Hing Hon Soundfont.
Hing Hon in the front, cat not included.

This is sampled from an especially cheap and nasty synth that you got with certain mail order catalogues, and quite possibly market stalls and boot sales.  It contains 8 instruments and 3 drum samples, and crucially for us a headphone port so we can sample the sounds.  We may improve this with better samples of the main instruments so I'll not be uploading it just yet.  We'll take samples of some of the soft bends you get, there's more details here for those interested, but for the impatient, you can trigger some crazy sounds by holding down two of the instrument keys, and playing the normal keys.  Organ and music box is quite nice if I remember correctly.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Horrible answers to difficult questions.

Instead of the usual round up of stuff.  We have a variety of statements to ask (directed at noone in particular).
They are often unpalatable questions mainly about religion but one is cultural and regards demographics in my local area. We'll split them over a couple of posts so you don't get bogged down.

 I hope you don't take offence but in case your all fired up to take offence, take a look at this video first and then come back with an open mind.

Question 1.
If Stephen Lawrence lived and died in the same circumstances today, due to demographics, he would be more likely to die in black on black related crime than as a result of a racist attack.

There is a current, ongoing court case, based on new DNA evidence found through new sequencing techniques, which means that this is headline news again.  I can't point fingers or accuse but what  I will say is this, in true CSI style we will let the evidence decide if they are guilty or not and leave it to the lawyers to bicker over whether its legitimate transfer evidence or contaminated in storage. 

For those uninitiated with the incident, the original crime took place in Well Hall in 1993, and was a totally unprovoked racially motivated crime.  Stephen was stabbed twice with a 12" knife, and despite there being several eyewitnesses, the case collapsed and the main suspects were acquitted.  The Daily Mail calling the main suspects murderers and threatened them to sue for defamation.  There is a plaque set in the ground to commemorate where he eventually collapsed and died. It is under video surveillance and woe betide anyone who messes with it.

Fast forward 18 years and a lot has changed.  For once the BNP isn't as strong as it was here, thanks mainly to the closure of the BNPs bookshop in Upper Wickham Lane.  I've blogged about this before, but mainly it wasn't a landmark to the right for local folk, just a squalid little house with blue shutters that took up space that could be used for regular housing or retail.  I'm not sure how or indeed why it was closed in the end, I have memories of seeing a news report that it was structually unsound and had to close, but that could be just a bad memory.  Anyway in the prevailing 18 years our demographics have changed completely. 

When I was little, there was precious few non white people here, and those that were were almost exclusively asians.  There was a largeish community of  Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis something that wouldn't change to about mid 2000's, and only a few folk from the Afro Caribbean community.  To be honest, Stephen Lawrences murder wasn't the only racially motivated killing in our area.  There was also Rolan Adams* and Rohit Duggall, but these have been largely forgotten about and are never mentioned, ever.

In about 2004 - 2005 we started seeing more Africans appear along with Eastern Europeans.  Lewisham always used to be the place where there was a large Afro Caribbean stronghold and over time they moved into the surrounding suburbs especially Thamesmead and Plumstead.  We also, due to this change in demographics, got a lot more black on black crime, with a few kids murdered in gang related crime.  There are probably still some racists here, you'll never totally eradicate that sort of mindset, but they are definitely less of them around.  As an example, most of the places I new as a kid including the Coronet Cinema in Woolwich, are now Evangelist churches, which shows how much the population has changed over time.

So in short, due to population changes, Stephen Lawrence would, if he was a teenager today, be more at risk from black on black violence than racist attacks.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Round Up time again

I'll not lie to you this post is largely updates from hell, and a bit on Children in Need.  At least my chest infection is finally beaten, Yay.

Looking through old gaming magazines we found an ad for a game shop in  Trading World. This is about the first confirmation in print that I've seen stuff from Trading world.

Now this is odd, I can't actually remember blogging about this, though I must have done so here is a recap for those who missed out.  For the uninitiated, Trading world was in the early to mid nineties, a small market stall place that dealt with all sorts of places.  There was a few game stalls that dealt with either computer stuff (we saw the Amiga Version of Giana Sisters running here) and possibly the place above that dealt with console stuff.  They had a few TVs running stuff, mainly Cyberlip for Neo-Geo and Super Ghouls 'n' Ghosts.  They really did only have a small stall but was packed with goodies.  Actually they had Marchen Maze running so its probably a part of  that entry.   After a while Trading World closed and became a Primark.

(We were right, looking through this, its part of the Marchen Maze Entry.  Oh as an added bonus they used to have NES games in a little wooden cabinet at the back too, they had Legend of Zelda in its Golden box). 

No need for Children in Need.

This is largely horrible, but we have a telethon here called Children in Need.  If you wonder why we have such venom about helping hapless kiddies its because its trailed for over a month before hand gathering steam before it kills all before it.  The whole non optional you must donate, rather than leave it up to you, rankles with me especially.  I have no interest in helping kiddies or donating to a charity that I have no interest in, and when  that is trailed endlessly or invade other programmes to ask celebrities to donate, well thats just evil.

For instance Terry Wogans show has a lot of middle class folk paying out a lot of cash for pointless bollocks, such as a trip to Downton Abbey or to live inside a shoebox.  These are not small sums either but £8-10 grand, just to simply to say we've done that and get one over your neighbours.  In fact you could level this at comic relief too, that goes on too long as well.   On the night it'll be hideous shit like the cast of  Eastenders doing minstrel songs or Newsreaders pretending to be Lady Gaga.  Sorry thats not entertainment that just makes my skin crawl.

I'm not some tight assed git who doesn't donate, if it involves puppies or kittens I'm liable to punt 10p toward them.  I buy music and books in charity shops, and spend my £15 annually to the BCSS and more for their seed list.  Its just that I despise the constant hard sell the BBC does, month long juggernauts of advertising, earn your spots, I'd rather it earned them a kick up the arse.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Pins and Arcades

Hello we are still coughing up our brains, this chest infection is tenacious and yes we are on antibiotics for our sins, 4 pills a day, you can read up on what I'm on here for the terminally curious.  Oh and reading its list of stuff to cure, its also used in clearing up Syphillis.

Special When Lit.

For some reason we now get PBS in the UK, (why its only Americas answer to BBC2 / 4 stuff we already have).  However looking at this we do appreciate a decent channel for documentaries, Discovery and its many offspring don't really cut it now, maybe they should go back to showing Beyond 2000, instead of infesting a good documentary with awkward cut scenes.  Oh and Neo Geo-graphic is no better with its infinite shows about Jesus.  Apparently Jesus was a Raisin and that is that.

Anyway PBS not only get away with it by being Americas BBC4, but by showing a show on Bonfire night of all things a documentary about Pinball.  You wouldn't think it fun but the assorted collectors, players and designers anectdotes and recollections made the show.  I never knew that most of the first print run of pinball cabs were shipped to Europe due to sheer demand.  I only remember seeing one original cab and I think it was a Monte Carlo in a bar in Cyprus of all places, so can well imagine that.  They interviewed a total pinball nut, whose house was totally dedicated to pinball, he looked like a geek version of Chong but was totally awesome.

It was'nt all pinfans, they took a good look round Sterns factory in Chicago (home of Pinball and house music) where they were hand assembling Pirates of the Caribbean tables and possibly the one pin that got me more into pinball in a big way.   (Not so much that I'll have a real cab, but if I see a real life cab abroad or home I'll punt cash into it.)  Their boss is pretty much what I expected a real boss to be and seems a joy to work for.

A few of the old designers looked like they were originally mob related including one that looked just like a Vic Reeves drawing of a gangster. They were bemoaning Pinballs demise in relation to the rise of the arcade game.
Apposite really as both are doomed now, to big ride style games and the occasional cab harking back to the good old days.  Pinball and the arcades are doomed, we've blogged before on losing the Troc and Various arcade games down at the Leisure Casino or Casino Leisure.  To be honest we've lost an awful lot of places and not just pinball which was tied into pub culture here, (my first go was some dudes replay from the Sublime Addams Family pinball in a pub about 18 years back).

When I think of the arcades in and around Woolwich, Herbert road had a few for us Poly boys out on lunch (bastard hard to do now they've shut the old school and moved to Thamesmead about 2 miles away). For lower school kids (our school was split into two sites) there was an excellent place opposite the Waterfront that had excellent stuff.  A fishing Pinball and a sit down Chase HQ greeted you.  When you got inside there was Megablast, a Galaxy force cab and a Buggy Boy, further down was the main draw before Streetfighter 2 came on the scene,  Golden Axe and yes people really used to talk about playing on it before Streetfighter crushed all before it.  They had a Vimana and an Exvania cab too but no one ever talked about playing those.
 Later when we used the Waterfront leisure centre for games, me and a mate used to pony up lunch money to play King Of Dragons.  Like I said it was halcyon days and if you wished to emulate then MAME, RAINE, or FBA would be an excellent starting place if only to see what we have lost.  Pinball is well supplied in Visual PinMame a mix of Editor and Emulator, so noone has an excuse to miss out on our golden years.