Monthly Archives: October 2011

Beep.. beep… beep…. beep….. beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

The warning signs were all there – I’ve seen enough episodes of Casualty to know what’s going to happen. If you’re dicking about, someone, at some point, is going to fall through a conservatory/get hit by some cars/otherwise get fooked up.

There I was, dicking about with files I shouldn’t have been dicking about with on this very laptop. I was trying to do something, and doing something required… well, dicking about. Did I mention I was dicking about?

Safe to say, the wrong thing was moved, the even wronger thing was replaced and the wrongest thing was deleted. One restart later and this – my workhorse, my rock – was dead. Flatlined. DOA. An ex-laptop. Shuffled off this mortal (computer) coil.

But why dial 999 when you can perform surgery at home? That’s something I’ve always lived by. Well, no – that’s a lie. I’ve not always lived by it at all. In fact, nobody should live by that philosophy as it’s stupid.

Oh wait – it was a hasty metaphor for the ‘surgery’ I was to perform on my cadaver of a lappy. The hands were washed (“grounded”). The surgical tools removed from their sterilising chamber (“found my toolkit”). Theatre was in session.

And might I say, I’m damn good at this stuff. Everything electrical I’ve tried to fix in my life has ended up fixed. Everything I’ve tried to upgrade or otherwise augment has worked.

Well, aside from that one pad that just wouldn’t stay fixed, but shut up. It was a tosser that deserved to die (“be sold on eBay”) anyway.

It’s had me thinking I might just start breaking things on purpose so I have to sit around tinkering and fixing them.

Though that would be really fricking stupid, so I probably won’t.

Anyway, the computer lives again. Even if it is some kind of unholy zombieputer held together with voodoo and hope. LIVE! LIIIIIIVE!

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Gervais, mong and about 800 words about it

I know you’ve been waiting for some kind of opinion on this whole Ricky Gervais saying ‘mong’ thing, what with me being both a prolific social commentator and the kind of person you all turn to for the base on which to form all of your own opinions. So here are some words.

A bit back – I can’t be arsed checking exactly when – Ricky Gervais, ‘the best comedian in the world’, decided he was going to come back to Twitter. He left a bit bit back – I can’t be arsed checking exactly when – for some reason – I can’t be arsed checking why. He came back and he started using the word ‘mong’.

Mong, if you’re not aware, is a disparaging term used to make fun of people with Down’s Syndrome. I used to call my brother a mong when we were kids. He would call me a mongoloid from Mongolia. Everything would be ‘mongy’ or ‘monged’ or ‘mong the merciless’ or whatever else.

Basically, it’s a word I know of and a word I used a lot in my earlier days. Still do, sometimes, very rarely, and when my brain isn’t thinking. And you know why? Because it’s still not a very nice thing to say.

Now, Gervais is saying he’s ‘reclaiming’ the word… yeah, you’re just as black as those that reclaimed nigger, or just as gay as those who reclaimed faggot and queer. Definitely exactly the same situation there, and certainly not just a man shouting a word because it gets a reaction from people. That’s not an argument, it’s not a leg to stand on – it’s a lie. It’s a hasty protection constructed to deflect criticism and make people think ‘oh, it’s all a hilarious ironic jokey satirical humorous take on society at large, the taboos we all face on a daily basis and our general humanity, as well as the changing face of morals and what is acceptable through the ages’.

Well, that or it makes them think they should call people who disagree with Gervais a mong.

There has been a defence mounted of ‘freedom of speech’ and whatever else, and to echo Richard Herring – I’m all for that. I’m all for talking about anything and everything. I’ve gone on before – very recently in fact – about how everything is funny or nothing is funny.

But that doesn’t mean it’s funny just because you say it.

When I was a kid saying mong I said that word because I knew it wasn’t a nice word to use. When I said it it was because 1) it wasn’t swearing so I was allowed to say it, and 2) it was mean, nasty and insulting. Just like whenever my parents were out of earshot I would swear, because I knew it was bad, I knew it would draw reactions from those around me.

I knew it would get attention.

Just like now when I make jokes about questionable subject matter, from paedophilia to racism and everything inbetween – it’s to get a reaction, nothing more. I know why I do it, and I don’t defend it as being some higher cause I’m pursuing.

I don’t lie to myself, I don’t lie to my fans, I don’t lie to those that try and question what I’m doing and I don’t spend my time – with the massive influence I have – trying to make people restart using a word that had fallen by the wayside with good reason.

I’m going on a bit here, but it has annoyed. I’ve long held the belief that Ricky Gervais isn’t as talented as people think, and his shock-schtick wore thin pretty much the first time I heard it. It’s never done with subtlety or class. There’s never anything clever about it – it’s just saying the words. There’s never any deeper meaning to it – it’s just trying to get a reaction.

That’s simplistic, cynical and – worst of all, from a comedic standpoint – lazy. If you want to ‘reclaim’ the word mong, do so in a way that has some intelligence and point behind it, not just because you’re the loud kid begging for attention. I wouldn’t want to have to shout you down as a faggy, mong-faced nigger now, would I?

But hey, what does my opinion count? I’m not worth millions and in loads of films and stuff, so clearly everything I say and think is irrelevant.

This’ll do for the send off:

Oh, and those slating Herring for his Hitler Moustache routine are brilliant. It couldn’t be further from an attention-grabbing stunt if it tried (alright, maybe it could be a bit further, but you get the point):

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Rantington McRantley XIV

I think it’s finally happened – I’m all ranted out. At least for today.

Whereas in a normal day I will have at least one rant, on average 12, today I had at least 12 rants, probably more like 43. Nothing I was ranting about actually mattered, obviously, but then if what I was ranting actually mattered it would probably make me very sad, rather than just angrier and angrier.

Whether it be people having the Wrong Opinion, people having the Wrong Opinion or people having the Wrong Opinion, there seemed to be plenty to get het up about today. I was especially narky at the person who had the Wrong Opinion.

The Wrong Opinioned idiot.

Fortunately I am not one to hold grudges, apart from against people who deserve them (you know who you are, and you probably don’t read this so I can probably call you what I want and you’d never know oh the feeling of power that’s just washed over me is incredible… but I won’t because I’m nice).

What this means is that while tomorrow people will still be walking around having had the Wrong Opinion at me today, I’m willing to let them start again and re-Wrong at me tomorrow. This allows a fresh rant and to keep relationships both spicy and interesting.

I might even have a minor rant about the Gervais/mong thing tomorrow. Bet you and the millions of other readers of this very important blog can’t wait!

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A JOKE

Here is a joke I saw on Reddit, as found by some other schmo in the world. It is all you get today, but I think it is more than enough as it is exactly the kind of thing that makes me laugh:

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ILLUSTRATORS: thanks

The illustration push of yesterday yielded instant-ish results. Unfortunately I live in a world of instantaneous communication, and as such I am very much of the mindset that people who wanted to be involved should have responded within seconds.

SECONDS.

Unfortunately, while we do live in a world where I can tell the entire world I am currently cooking some food and have decided against doing exercise for the second day in a row so I can play more videogames don’t you judge me, we don’t live in a world where everyone is always online and always paying attention to me.

THEY SHOULD BE.

Regardless, I had a few nice offers from people who can draw to help me out, but the responsibility has fallen to someone who got in touch the fastest. I won’t reveal his name (it’s Richard Morgan), but I will say he’s a bewildering tit and I still remember the surprise/joy that time when I didn’t know he was in Leeds and he just ended up stood at the bar next to me in the club we were in.

HIGH FIVES ALL ROUND.

Anyway, this might still all go tits up. He might be shit. I might be unreasonable. We might both forget about it and do more important things, like not exercise and play videogames.

BUT I’M MAKING PROGRESS.

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ILLUSTRATORS: ASSEMBLE!

Okay, so I want to get something going with the kids story I wrote forever ago. It’s been sitting there not having anything done with it since that tiny child read it on a website and nobody looked at it. So I’ve been thinking.

I had a lie down though, so I’m alright now (joke stolen from The Chuckle Brothers).

The story is written. It is short, it is for younger readers to read to themselves with the aid of a parent, or for a parent to read to their young kid/a group of kids. I don’t know why I’m explaining the concept of a book for kids, I just feel like I’m on your Dragon’s Den or whatever it is, so I have to present this as a business thing.

I need artwork. I need illustration. I have a particular style I can draw in, but it’s really not very good. In fact, that’s what the style is called: shit. I need someone who can draw cute, goofy-looking animals to put on the pages. Think Bullseye from Toy Story and you have an idea of the kind of goofiness I mean.

I want you to draw for me. I want you to illustrate my words and make it better than it is. And when that’s done, I want to publish it. I want to self-publish it and try and sell it or something. How? I don’t know.

It will take money to do all of that. I could try Kickstarter.com, as that seems a great place if you can draw people in with the product. Or I can sell most of my shit and see if that makes a dent in the cost.

Basically, right now, at this moment in time, I want to get on it. I want it done, out there and something I can actually smile about and be proud of.

So… can… can someone sort it all out for me please? I haven’t the faintest idea of where to start.

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Bullshit

Some film has just come on that I’m about to turn off – it’s from the late 90s, so is obviously about The Gays. Everything from the late 90s was. Anyway, some bloke, surprise birthday party, he asks ‘how did you even get in touch with all these people?’ I instantly think ‘stupid, Facebook innit’.

Then I realise how recently the whole social media thing came about. Does that make me feel old? Probably not, no. But it does make me chuckle at how piss easy everything is now. It was hard enough the ex not having a phone when we first started going out. It was mitigated by Facebook existing. Difficulty without that? Difficult.

How did people even talk back then? They must have used some kind of tin and string combos, or carrier pigeons, or just shouted a bit more than people do now. It’s clearly the only way they could do it. I can’t see any other way.

Even though I clearly remember those days and know how we ‘coped’.

Blah blah something nostalgic, something barely touching on being deep or smart, or whatever else. Blahaahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Yeah, too late for this, forgot to do it in the day, can’t be fucked. Basically Facebook makes it easy to get in touch with loads of people for parties. That’s about it. What a point to make.

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Can I write for South Park please? Thanks.

I watched the Comedy Central mini-documentary thing on South Park earlier. Basically it offers an example of what it’s like creating an episode of the show – compared to other animated shows, which take months to make an episode, South Park takes six days. To do everything.

That’s something worth documentary…ising, I’d say.

What struck me as odd, watching it and seeing Matt & Trey doing their thang, was how much more it made me like them. I already like them an absurd amount, but watching them stress their way through the Human CentiPad episode damn near left me awe-struck.

My mancrush has grown.

It wasn’t until watching the doc I realised how few and far between their appearances in things like this, in interviews and whatever else are. They’ve never slapped themselves on everything and anything just to get their faces out there and voices heard. Dare I say it, they actually seem to have integrity.

And the bit where they’re talking about dropping acid then going to the Oscars is brilliant. So much disdain for Hollywood.

[wistful sigh]

Anyway, the most interesting part was clearly the writer’s room. I want to work there. I want to be in that room, shooting the shit and trying to make people laugh so these ideas get put in a stupid show that I genuinely love. I’m guessing you just send in a CV and they hire you, right?

What’s that? You have to have experience and a proven comedy track record? Baws. Ah well, I’ll just do my own thing. Who wants to write a sketch show with me?

I’m not joking.

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Hell Boat 2011

Here’s something that makes it easier than thinking of something new to write: something that isn’t being used at work! Yaaaay!

It’s not all champagne cocktails and all the free hookers you can eat in the rock ‘n’ roll world of games journalism. No, things do sometimes go wrong, stop you from actually doing your job and – as a result – negatively impact on the level of coverage you, our readers, receive here in this very magazine. Sony’s Hell Boat 2011 event (not the official name) was one of those very Things That Went Wrong.

We were meant to be playing a dozen or so PS Vita games – some not present at TGS – as well as having time with the developers to chat with them about their titles. Oh, on a boat. In Tokyo. It was meant to be over by 9.30pm. It was meant to be organised in some way, shape or form.

What we were left with was about six games, some of which we weren’t allowed to play and the rest of which were GamesCom demos that we’d already seen months earlier. The interviews? “Not enough time.” Mainly because we were running about two hours late, thanks to shocking disorganisation and outright lies about ’25-minute’ bus rides (that actually took 90 minutes). Getting back to a hotel at 1.30am, when you were meant to be back at 10pm, when you have to be up to catch a flight at 5am, when you were meant to come back with a lot of great stuff for the mag, when you actually come back with nothing through no personal fault… yeah. It makes you wonder why you bother.

But hey, at least Tokyo Bay was pretty.

So we’d like to send our thanks out to Sony for arranging the biggest waste of time this publication has ever been involved in. It’s had a negative impact on the magazine and, as such, the content we can deliver to you, our readers. Well done for that.

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NOT PAYING MUCH RENT YEAH

It’s one of those things that’s blatantly obvious to anybody who pays any attention at all (me, people I know), but it still takes a report from a known public charity to make people sit up and take notice of the facts. Yes indeedy, rent is unaffordable for many people in the country.

Who’da thunk it? Well, like I said, me and people I know, as well as a lot I don’t. Why would we know this? Because rent is obnoxiously high wherever you try and live, at least in 75% of cases. I just made that figure up, by the way. There’s no Shelter-Science behind that.

Unfortunately I can’t claim to be in this group of people. While I spend too much of my wage on rent, my rent isn’t actually bad for what it is. In fact, it’s borderline good. Thems the benefits of having a private landlord who is marginally insane, I suppose.

Though he can evict me at a moment’s notice and probably doesn’t ever have to give me my deposit back or anything.

Anyway, I’ve decided to set up a handy guide to help you all get the cheap rent you deserve. Unless you don’t deserve cheap rent, or your parents or someone else pays it for you in which case you get nothing from me. NOTHING.

1.       Can you afford the rent?
If yes, move to question 2. If no, abandon all hope.

2.       Is it a shithole?
If yes, abandon all hope. If no, move to question 3.

3.       Do you really need to move that much? I sort of like your current place and don’t want you to break up the whole arrangement everyone has right now – I know it’s your choice and I’m being selfish, really, but I’m just trying to look at it from a different angle.
If ‘shut up Ian’, you win! If ‘huh?’ I WIN.

With this help you will all be able to get better places to rent. FACT.

I was going to do something ranty about shit landlords, but I got sidetracked by Inspection 12 and Picnicface. Soz.

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