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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Banstead Junk Tour.

We are once again testing the edges of just how far a one day travel ticket can get you, and armed with a treat of the MSG mesemb show at the community center there, well I decided to go.

Looking at the map it seemed so easy, just find the right community center and head there except I have a bad track record with South London.  An ill fated interview for a factory job in Summerstown left me walking around endlessly trying to find the place, (on the plus side they had a decent record shop which had Phuture We are Phuture so snapped that up) I think you'll know how this would end up.

True I didn't find the place but thats not my fault, I did the preparation and crucially didn't pick the right community center which remained stubbornly closed.  Even worse, seeing photos on my Facebook wall of it looking ace best is the real kicker.  However it wasn't a total bust, Banstead itself is quite a nice little town halfway between Sutton (which I only briefly stopped off at) and Epsom (home of Chriddof as well as Horse racing).  It reminds me of a smaller Orpington for those who've been, and have about the same amount of Charity shops too.

I didn't get a whole lot but I did see some excellent stuff there.  First of all is a strange CD by Anna Homler, a mix of improvised singing that sounds half African / half Japanese in places and synthesizer.  This is my new favourite thing ever, due to the sheer tribal oddness of it all.

Saw another CD of kids songs with some suspect cover art.
A badger shagging a tortoise.
Just what is the offspring of a Badger and a Tortoise.  I dread to think.

Also the retards at Answers In Genesis have some DVDS featuring the Creation Adventure team.  Its billed as a Jurassic Ark Adventure but as I didn't get this will have to surmise its all about Jesus.

Edit I missed a trick here as they are absolutely hilarious, check this review here.

Finally went up town to see if I could pick up the new Aphex Twin album Syro (yep and still can't think why Bond Street HMV is still in business, its bastard awful).  Cutting through the backstreets and eventually came out in Green Park to see a black lady walking down the street with nothing but some body paint and some strategically placed backpacks to preserve her modesty (you could still see her arse though).

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Anita Sarkeesian and the Edgeification of gaming.

You were supposed to see a little bit about Community Pom a super rare PS1 game in my last post but like a doofus forgot all about it.  Some people kinda say it looks like the bastard offspring of Zelda and Secret of Mana but to me its more like the town from Harvest Moon bolted onto SOM as the colours are more muted than Zelda's ever were.

Whatever it is, your character in this is a small girl with her hair in bunches and looks to be armed with a bug net. The sheer joy of writing that, and watching it play out, seems to fly in the face of Anita Sarkeesian and her whole women on the periphery never main character whine shtick and Social Justice Feminism against games and gaming as a whole.

I've been attempting to do a YTP of the whole Feminist Frequency videos kinda like Insector did for Michael Rosen back in the day.  It means I have to listen to a whole bunch of Anita Sarkeesian talk about gaming about tropes vs Women and about advertising and sexism and edit it to say something funny. Even worse trying to keep eye contact (for an autist that's truly painful) and do the whole ironic sexist thing of not staring at her chest!.

Mainly I'll be here to destroy the video Retro Sexism and Uber Ironic Advertising Give it a download and join in if you want.  But first a quick digression into Edgeification.

For those who aren't English we have a games magazine over here (from the bastards at Future Publishing) that seems to do nothing but suck the life out gaming.  Its called Edge and if you want to know why I read Retrogamer and would rather I get my news from sites like Siliconera then this argument sums it up. I used to buy it regular back when it was good around about when the PS2 came out it had a few articles and wasn't afraid to look back and smile (oh and Mr Biffos column helped a lot in this). Then the articles changed, from dull developers to indie gaming, (when they talked to Phil Fish about Fez) they tried to scholarise when it should have just stuck to being entertaining.  I gave up in the end when they got rid of their excellent Nintendo wall planner that was in their Xmas issue, so now I just read it in Smiths.

Anyway review time and our first clip is Mikes Hard Lemonade ,an alcopop named by Beavis And Butthead it has some poolside hotties and a few lame attempts at pick up lines. The Fosters Radlers ads do it so much better and am agreeing with Anita on this only because the guys are douches.

Second clip time, and its Twix, something about some do with a bloke staring at some girls while his wife gets the baby out of the car.  Be honest its a damn sight better than our twix adverts and its left biscuit vs right biscuit bollocks, and anyway if you really want jokey sexism then I'm surprised she didn't flag up the Yorkie ads.

Third ad and its Coors time in the spotlight as a numbskull gets a call from his equally dull friend about venting and convinces his wife to go and see him (its OK its for beer). I guess its portraying women as idiots and the only equivalent that I can currently go is that daft coffee ad from nescafe (you know pretends to go out in the pouring rain for barista style coffee).  I could point out a shed load where men are portrayed as idiots, but the Maltesers advert where the two women make the two sleeping guys cuddle makes me cringe. Put it this way if you can reimagine it from a female standpoint you wouldn't get away with it but if its two guys well hard luck.

Finally some bell end in a camper van is talking bollocks at a hula doll for Carls. Jr burger chain.  The whole advert is painful to listen to, I don't know enough about Hawaiian culture to know if its being patronised or if flicking a hula doll whilst trying to eat a burger is sexist or just bad table manners but, its a shit advert, a life sucking bastard of an ad.
In fact I've saved my best to last to counter this. This is probably the most sexist thing I've seen, some guy getting changed on the beach has his trunks stolen by an old ladies dog so they can ogle his ass for Bertolli margarine and apparently as its women on men its OK.

Finally as I've gone on long enough and as I originally found this in Edge so encapsulates the whole thing, have a link to Napple Tale a platformer where most of the programmers were women.

Edit have at thee with some photos.
This is Old Edge, Old Edge is good.
Ghost Sarkeesian

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Nitpicking Chasing Shadows with a busted ankle.

Thanks to me twisting my ankle at work, you'll have two (yes two) posts this weekend.  It happened Monday afternoon as I was walking back to the van I stepped into a hidden ditch that effectively fucked up my ankle and sent me reeling.  Decided to go to our local hospital and get it checked out and being lucky with timing, was seen straight away.  An X ray and a long old wait for the results to come back meant that I had a torn ligament and soft tissue damage.  They gave us a crutch to get around and zero pain relief, the plus side was two days off work and a chance to kill off what remaining brain cells I have left watching the Scots vote on independence and the increasingly dire threats of leaving the union (essentially Armageddon even though no one is quite sure what the union confers in this day and age).

Which is where Chasing Shadows comes into its own.  It stars League of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith as a high functioning Autistic cop bumped from homicide and seconded to the Missing Persons Bureau.  He works with Alex Kingston who Dr Who fans will know as River Song, but she really shines in this, as they have to work together to solve cases of missing kids and murder.  There is also more ex Dr Who alumni in Reeces boss played by Noel Clarke, he was Useless Mickey from the Ecclestone era who for those that care about such things, and I really don't like him as he comes across as an arrogant cunt.  I don't really know any of the characters names but Alex Kingston's onscreen mum is played by Lynda Barron and she has a serial killer obsessed son who also seems to be on the spectrum as it were.

There are a lot of Afro-Caribbean actors in this which jarred me for about the first half hour,  until I got to see where Alex's character lived.  Up on Greenwich Hill, that clock tower in the town center is unmistakable. There are a shed load of West Africans in the borough and when I realised it was set locally I sat back and really enjoyed this.  Which leads us into a few problems with geography and stuff.  As its two, two part drama's the end of part one has them raiding a few spots in Woolwich to catch the killer.  First of all, although Woolwich is a shit hole our DLR station is brand new and entirely below ground so that shot where its above ground is wrong (maybe some rail nerds can work out where it was). Secondly most of our housing stock isn't that badly run down so where they apprehended the killer is totally wrong, though on second thoughts it could be either Woolwich Common or Morris Walk, which are rough enough to qualify.

There are a few errors in the current two parter as well.  There's a nice shot of the council offices / Woolwich library and he gets a 53 bus outside to ride it to the end of the line (which you can do and please do its a nice journey via Blackheath and New Cross).  However he ends up near Southmere Park in Thamesmead and as any fule kno, the 53 terminates on Plumstead common and isn't a single decker.

Southmere Park used to have  a cracking bootsale in which I got a sampler for my Amiga back in the day and both Strings Of Life and Tears cheaply.  They also had a guy selling LCD Gundam and Godzilla games once but I digress.

The last episode is next Thursday and is well worth a look despite a nit picking local ripping into it. I think its scheduled for release on DVD but if you can find it on ITV player or for download give it a go.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Holiday. Cornwall 2014

Haven't been to Cornwall in ages, so thats why there was no post last week.  My aunt has a cheap Arnova Tablet and brought it with her, so far not really impressed with small scale surfing, but Android seems nice enough to work with so might get one of these simply to get into mobile gaming.  Wondering if there are rom sites for APK files and a sandbox program to run them :)

On the other hand though Cornwall is nice and for balance have been checking what I wrote 4 years back when we were there last.  We didn't go to Heligan or Eden Project this time just a few towns around the general area.

The place we stayed at is a small campsite called Meadow Lakes and is a mix of farm and fishing spot. We had a charming holiday chalet and a pretty good view of the surrounding landscape and blood red super moon which was cool.  Farm itself confines itself to a children's zoo, with a mix of goats (two a brown pigmy goat and a massive white one) pigs (always entertaining) and free roaming chickens (oh and a big black cock which I've always wanted to write down). There is a really old pony and rabbits too but they weren't the least bit entertaining.  Best of all farm cat, black and not giving a fuck about anything, on our last day there he caught a mouse and proceeded to walk back along the track acting like he was ten feet tall.

Other stuff includes a small shop, a heated pool (outdoor and not too deep) a wifi area / childrens place because of patchy wifi, and a playbarn that had air hockey, darts a cocktail MAME cab (not on) crane toy and a pool table.

Best of all is a skittle lane which reminded me of Hen A Pippa from The Childrens Channel.  It was a mix of cartoon chicken and live action. The only thing I can remember is that she substituted an egg for a skittle ball to hilarious results. Even worse there was a white chicken ranging round who looked just like her.

I also got to see my first live Ice bucket challenge, which looked all for the world like what we used to call a wet tee shirt contest back in the day, sadly didn't have my camera for that. I know its for charity and that but ice water plus black top = win.

Trips out.
We went to a few areas including Fistral Bay in Newquay, Truro and St Austell as well as visiting my dad's cousin in London Apprentice.  Newquay had a nice record shop called Edges which we picked up a K Alexi album, it also doubles as a comic shop and sells DVDs so worth a visit if you are sick of surfing.
It also has some cracking views of the bays from the cliff top.

St Austell is largely all hills, and has a few decent charity shops, including I've heard a soon defunct PDSA and a bookshop too.

Truro is the main city of Cornwall and has all the big shops and that, its got a nice cathedral and a nude statue of a drummer in its main square.

There were also some minor trips to visit my relatives too including a nice pub in Tregony with decent fish and chips (and an old guy and his mum with some wonderful Shelties on a lead).

TV. Because my cousin? brought her two kids over to see our chalet, we had to watch CBEEBIES, which I've always written off as utter cock but there were one or two shows which were worth a look. Grandpa in my Pocket which I'm sure was a comic in the Dandy, is a show set in Southwold, Suffolk.  It stars James Bolam from the Likely Lads, who with his magic hat can shrink down to tiny size and save the day.  A bit tiresome for grown ups but OK for little ones.

Far better is Abney and Teal, a charming old school style cartoon, that genuinely harks back to the stuff they showed in the 1980's. Abney is an odd looking bear thing whereas Teal is a hyper excitable girl, the episode I saw had them making porridge with endearing results.

Also full props for Canimals, an utterly bonkers South Korean show that they showed on CITV. The one I saw had a chameleon stealing froot loops from a scatty rabbit.

On that note, Soulless Peppa Pig will wish you goodbye.