Category Archives: Prattle

Mooooon rivvvver

I just read the front page of the Grauniad website and it depressed me somewhat so I thought I’d listen to some music then I found out Andy Williams had died and he did Moon River and I really like that song shut up don’t judge me we once sang it in music class in comp and it was good and everyone was impressed with our barbershop quartet style also I sang it for an ex once but she didn’t like it I should have known it would never last.


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Operation NewRig is go go go

I claimed, I promised, I begged, I tried to save, I did save a bit, I planned, I read, I re-read, I didn’t understand, I tried to understand, I still didn’t understand, I told it as a stupid story as if anyone would care: yes, I’m finally doing the new PC.

A combination of savings, if you can call them that, and some extra cash this month as a result of just sitting indoors doing work all the fucking time means I can afford the computer. The parts. The bits and bobs. The everything.

So it will come to pass that my confidence in my ability to put computers together – I know what I’m doing, I was trained by the best (ish) – will be my downfall and, rather than just frying a few resistors with static shocks or whatever, I’ll actually burn three quarters of this house down.

You know what? As long as the room next door burns down – with or without Captain Slammington McTalkloud in there – I’ll be happy. Ecstatic, even.

Which reminds me: I must download Ecstatica at some point.

Yes, I’m spending £850 on a PC to play a 20-year-old game on it.

Here’s an example of my Yorkshire logic: I started the savings thing to save to buy things, like a new PC or a holiday (that’s an important point). On withdrawing these savings in order to fund something, like a new PC (see the link to the original point?), I suddenly got The Fear and decided I did not want to spend this money because ‘what if I need it for something I’m actually saving for?’

Like a new PC.

Fuck you, brain.

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Why do I play?

Hi I’m Ian and I play videogames a lot. I’ve done so for a long time, since before I was six years old and we got an Amiga (Christmas 1989, BOOM). It came with Night Breed and that gave me nightmares, and I remember a demo of Champion of the Raj that my mum played a lot even though I’m pretty sure it was just one level on repeat.

Anyway: I like games. But they’re my job and, naturally, when something becomes a job you lose some of the spark that made you love them in the first place.

But in the last month or so this spark has been rekindled. In fact, it’s got a bit out of control and is now a decades-old family-run furniture store type of inferno.

Too soon?

Because all of a sudden they’ve gone and brought out some fucking brilliant games, and it’s reminded me what I love about them. It’s something that’s summed up so excellently in the book This Gaming Life, by someone far better at the games writing thing than I am Jim Rossignol.

Basically the point is put thusly: games are made purely to kill boredom. That is their purpose and their function. Boredom is a horrible thing that every single conscious living creature has to contend with. Boredom can seriously damage your brain – or at least lead to things that damage it. Games keep it active – stop it from, well, being bored.

Note I’m not saying they’re intellectually stimulating, because in the (mainstream) most part, they’re not. But boredom is a disease that needs to be eliminated. Why do we do anything? There’s the basics: eating, surviving, crapping, that sort of thing. But everything else we do? It’s to stave off boredom until we die.

Games fill that gap. And right now games are filling that gap so well I’m going to have to stop doing other boredom-killing activities just to fit them all in. I might stop eating too, just to free up a bit more time. I can play while crapping though, so that’s fine.

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Conservation consternation

Conservation is an important issue in the world. It just is. I think. At least. But there are times when you raise that wry eyebrow and wonder quietly to yourself just why they bother with some things.

If a species of plant or animal is dying because of its interactions with humans, I think there’s a duty to do something about it. Mainly to stop killing shit for no reason, or so you can wear its bollocks as earrings to cure your tinnitus or whatever insane bollocks it is some people do.

That’s fine. That should be easy, but it tends not to be because fuck an animal’s habitat: WE WANT TO BUILD MORE SHIT. Hmm. Idiots.

But back to the eyebrow: some things you do wonder why they bother. Why they want to help preserve this, or look after that. Why the Wanking Dingo of southern Sumatra is worthy of saving when it only has half a stump instead of legs and communicates solely through masturbation, which it can’t actually do because it has stumps. Why would you bother saving that?

You wouldn’t, but that’s mainly because I made it up. But you get the point.

Cloning long-dead species? Yeah, I can dig that. Wooly mammoths, dinosaurs, sabre-tooth tigers – awesome. Unleash them on the populace, kill a few useless twats, everyone has a laugh.

But something like the dodo? Why bother? It was shit first time around, it’d be shit if we brought it back. And some plants? Who cares? Plants are shit, they don’t even learn tricks.

Apart from the Trick-Learning Shrub of northern Sumatra, of course, but we all know that’s in danger because it’s the main food in the diet of the Wanking Dingo.

I should probably go back to bed.

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Red faces

I really don’t get on with seeing embarrassing situations unfold. Even if it’s a band I intensely dislike, for example, being dicks about something on stage, I can’t bring myself to get enjoyment out of seeing it go down. Because it’s embarrassing. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t like that.

It must be similar to why I don’t like horror movies or rollercoasters or something. I don’t like being scared: the rush does not excite me. So I just don’t like it. I also don’t like seeing others embarrass themselves.

It’s clearly why I don’t like The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm as much as I probably should. I get little in the way of enjoyment from these uncomfortable situations.

It’s weird though – I don’t think I personally get embarrassed that easily, so why it affects me in such a negative fashion when it’s happening to others I do not know.

I should put that C in GCSE psychology to good use and find out why it is.

That, or just sit here playing Borderlands 2 because I’m really hungover and this is a lame-assed topic. BYE.

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Wrist action

I have naked wrists for the first time in a long time, and it’s weird.

I don’t consider myself one for jewellery, beyond the misguided attempts to rock a gold chain. My brother ruined that by buying me a Mr T-sized fake gold chain. Naturally it didn’t ruin it for me by pointing out the error of my ways and showing I was a dimwit who looked like an arse, no. It ruined it by making my neck go green from wearing it too much.

Ah, to be 12 again. It was a mixed up childhood.

But yeah, not really a person who can successfully wear trinkets. But I’ve always had stuff on my wrists. Plastic bands that were there so long they eventually just snapped – I think they’d fossilised. A wristband that said ‘Evil Ian’ on it that a girl nicked. Numerous festival bands. Even sometimes those temporary bands you get from clubs to say you’re allowed in, at least for a couple of days.

Oh, and watches.

My watch was broken the other week, and yesterday I took off the two Groezrock bands because… well, just because.

Now I have naked wrists. It feels wrong and looks even wronger. I will have to get them tattooed with something so they’re never naked again.


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There must be more to this

I really would like to be able to switch off for a bit: to not constantly worry about things that teeter on the brink of being in my control in the slightest sense. But I can’t.

In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, but then in the grand scheme of things nothing matters. In fact it was decided with a colleague on the walk to work this morning that everything does in fact tie itself up nicely at the end like a good film or TV show.

Not necessarily when you die, of course, but in hundreds of thousands – or millions, or billions – of years when everyone and everything there is ceases to be on this earth. If we’ve gone beyond this planet? Fine, wait a bit longer until the entire universe collapses in on itself and everything becomes nothing, and nothing becomes everything.

Then all your loose ends will be tied up. So nothing matters, or something.

Still, it doesn’t stop my brain from worrying. It doesn’t stop me from always being switched on; from being unable to properly relax at any point. Things are always there at the back of my mind, eating away and pissing me off however they can.

And you have to stop and think: why do we do this? A job I like does this to me, so I wonder what I job I hated would do. We, as people, in the majority, aren’t made to work like this every day – we aren’t made to serve, to repeat tasks, to be bored, to just get on with functioning in a glorified slave-driven economy until we expire. That’s just not what people are about.

We should all be running around fields or some such shit, chasing balls and shitting in ditches and… oh, wait, I’ve gone and got people mixed up with dogs. My mistake.

As you were.

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Guns don’t kill people, I DO

It’s going to happen: the new PC is going to come soon. After years of planning I’m finally going to just splurge what little money I have in one orgy of spending probably next weekend before realising I’ve spent too much, bought the wrong parts and have lost my screwdriver.

But hey, I’ll be doing instead of just researching, which is what that post on Reddit I didn’t read today said to do.

Anyway, natural segue, let’s talk about giving the police guns.

Or not. Let’s just talk about how I feel about guns.

Yeah, that’s probably easier.

Basically, I’m terrified of them. I want to shoot them, but only in a controlled, firing range-style situation. Other than that, I want nothing to do with them. I would like every firearm in the world to be melted down and fashioned into a rather fetching piece of jewellery, but I know that’s reasonably unlikely to happen.

If you gave guns to all the cops, I wouldn’t want to go anywhere near them. I bumped into a machine gun copper in Leeds train station once – literally bumped into him – and it terrified me. Irrationally, I know, as it was ‘OH GOD WHAT IF IT HAD FIRED WHEN I TOUCHED IT’ kind of stuff, but still not a feeling I like.

Anyway, the BBC thing, also linked on Reddit, is something I’ve read and is a good read. Especially for the view from Louisiana, where their sheriff entirely misses the concept of having a wider context to his viewpoint. Fat moron.

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Stuck in the past.. ish

On Sunday I went to see a band I last saw in 2005/6, who also split up around that time. I went to buy a tshirt but had to leave early because we needed to catch our train, meaning I missed out on getting a shirt in size medium, a size I used to wear 10+ years ago.

Today I listened to a new Green Day song then had to immediately listen to a 20-year-old Green Day song repeatedly to empty my mind of the shit the new one had put in there.

Once I’ve finished writing this nonsense I will be playing a remake of a 14-year-old game in order to review it. I will also probably be playing a game that has the visual style of an Amiga game from the early 90s.

I just ordered a new checked shirt, the likes of which I have wanted in my life since I was a tiny child and actually enjoyed the concept of lumberjacks without any homoerotic undertones. Or overtones.

I watched the entire first series of a TV show through Sunday and Monday. It was aired in the early 90s. Something called Twin Peaks.

I just glanced up from my computer and saw a joystick resting on my speaker. Joysticks are some of the oldest forms of controlling videogames, and I bought the speakers/hi-fi about 12 years ago.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say, but it’s clearly something to do with the fact I am resolutely stuck in the past.

Time to beam these signals wirelessly through the air to put them on a public weblog where hundreds of people will read the words I write before sometimes leaving comments here or on a social network where millions are brought together through mutual acquaintance or interest, before using a digital distribution service to load up a game I haven’t paid a penny for and will never need physical media in order to play on my 42-inch high-definition television, oh, wait a second, I’ve just received a message on my phone with a link to video and the internet in it which I can access all of on the same device.

Oh, I’ve just killed my stuck in the past argument. Damn.

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Red Dwarf X: They’re Really Fucking Old Now

Red Dwarf X. Ten. The tenth series. They’re counting Back To Earth as the ninth. There is a tenth series of Red Dwarf starting at the beginning of October, on everyone’s favourite ‘there’s nothing else on’ channel, Dave.

Had you told me this back in 1999, when the eighth series finished, I would have bit your hand off. In the good way. I disliked the seventh series, but I was a teenager so I still watched it a shit-ton and ended up liking a fair few bits of it.

New Kochanski was shit though.

The eighth series wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t very good either – and the end of it: Rimmer kneeing Death in the balls before running away – had me laughing quite hard. I wanted more.

Ten years later, they made Back To Earth, which felt like… well, it was shit. It wasn’t terrible – there’s a lot worse stuff on BBC Three, for example. But it killed any enthusiasm I had for a new series.

Then, three years after that, there’s a tenth series of Red Dwarf.

I have watched this show all my life. I still consider the first six series funny, which I am aware is an unpopular opinion with many who go “WAAAAH IT LOOKS CRAP WAAAAH IT ISN’T FUNNY WAAAAAH” but they can shut up. It has made an indelible mark on my life and my sense of humour, and I am becoming more like Rimmer with each passing year.

But dear god man, have you seen how old they look? It’s terrifying.

Maybe it’ll be great. Whatever happens, I’ll be watching it. Because for smeg’s sake, it’s Red Dwarf – how could I not?

I meant to write “I thought the series was deader than A-lined flares with pockets in their knees”, but I didn’t. So there you go.

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