Tag Archives: THE PAST

Re-doing things good, like

Well, they’ve only gone and done it. All my fears, all my trepidation – it was all for nought. The new series of Red Dwarf has just aired – well, the first episode – and it wasn’t shit. It was, in fact, pretty good.

Not amazing. Not hilarious. Not life-definingly brilliant. But actually good. With jokes in it that made me laugh. Even the reaction on Twitter seems to be mainly positive, though I’m not sure if that’s because people actually liked it or just because I’m in an echo chamber of people who share similar opinions to my own.

Next up: the revival of Bottom. If they get that right (make ridiculous double entendres, hit each other with pans, come up with brilliant names for off-screen characters) then this year will be an interesting one. Because it might actually be one I remember as ‘pretty good’.

They’ve brought back one of my favourite shows and done it well, they’re bringing back another one, they’ve brought back my favourite game of all time and it’s [embargoed opinion you can figure out from the tone of this blog], they even brought back Coco Pops when we demanded it. Oh wait, that wasn’t this year. The point stands though.

Don’t be so foul.

Ah, Bottom humour.

I don’t think I have much else to say. I’m happy about British TV comedy for the first time in a long-ass time. I should write some.

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Nostalgic nostalgitron 9000

It would be nice if you could have parts of your brain surgically removed. I know you can, but I mean specific parts that do specific things. I know you can that too, but I mean I wish I could have my nostalgia gland removed, or at least turned down.

Also yes, the nostalgia gland is real. I just realised.

It’s annoying how easy it is to get lost in nostalgia. Part of the reason I’m writing this is because I’m nostalgic for the days when I could do good blogs, and nostalgic for the time I did a blog on nostalgia.

Another part of the reason is thanks to my recent trip up to Leeds for the first time in over a year. There I saw friends from my past, stretching back to about… hmm… just under 20 years or so. Shitballs. No wonder I’m such a nong, having known Mike for so long.

It’s nice and all, and flicking through some old magazines recently has given me that wonderful warm feeling you get in your belly, but it’s dangerous too. I’ve been feeling it a lot recently – too much – and it’s getting to the point where I crave things be like the past again. This is ridiculous and wrong, but my brain – the nostalgia gland – is working overtime recently.

It’ll pass, as all things do, then I’ll be nostalgic for the days when I was nostalgic about things. But for now I’ll just crave the ability to do nothing but play games like Vandal Hearts all day while laying on the floor and it not giving me ridiculously achy joints.

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Sometimes nostalgia works

Nostalgia is a powerful tool, and is something I have a great love for – and affinity with – as well as a great distaste for. At least for those who wield it incorrectly, for the purposes of seeming wacky with past-o-knowledge or… *shudder* for marketing.

Nostalgia has its issues though – and while you can’t really blame them on the beast itself, it is still fair to highlight that it can be an utter bastard when wielded alongside the human brain. You will remember something, and you will consider it a grand thing, a wonderful thing from the past, when things were cheaper, and you didn’t feel you were going to be mugged at the drop of a hat, and there were less Tories in power.

A better time, so surely a better thing.

And then you go back to whatever it is: you re-visit the town you holidayed in with your family; you listen to that album again; you mix up your accidental cocktail concoction, only this time on purpose.

What happens? The town is testament to the death of small businesses and the rise in crackheaddom; that album is unlistenable shit and one of the instruments is a fucking piccolo; your cocktail tastes like beans mixed with toothpaste (because it is).

You realise your brain has made you seem quite the fool with a bit of help from that utter bastard that is nostalgia. They’re both laughing at you, mocking your stupid face for thinking any of this stuff was ever going to be as good as you remember it.

But then, sometimes, when nostalgia is feeling in a good way and your brain isn’t quite awake enough to play tricks on you (like the shit it is), sometimes things are just like you remember them. And you are happy. And you feel warm. And you blow cars up with rockets and machine guns.

Today I played Twisted Metal 2 again. And it was good.

(I am aware this entry is painfully similar to a couple of others I’ve done (search ‘nostalgia’), but shut up. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for it. Oh, and I’m not defiling that image with my face. Go to XKCD and look at more.)

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FHM used to have funny captions. No really – that’s the subject.

Men’s magazines are tawdry little rags, full of the kind of half-literate nonsense you would expect a talented bunch of writers to have to dumb themselves down to in order to get their point across to their target audience (I’m not allowed to be overly critical, as I know someone who writes for Zoo and he’s alright, and I write for a magazine aimed at 14-year-olds). They are, not to put too fine a point on it, a great deal of shit.

But! Yes, I’m going down the but route (haha, like “butt”, like they would feature in a lads mag hahaha), but not for the reasons you may expect. I enjoyed reading some elements of FHM in my younger days – articles about the FBI sniper, for example, I still remember as they were genuinely very interesting. Loaded had Office Pest, which is the basis of a surprising amount of my humour, now I think about it. Zoo and Nuts didn’t exist then. Ah, better days.

But no – my defence is of one particular element: FHM’s captions. Whichever sub they had working on those things was a fucking genius. You could be bored of staring at Gail Porter’s arse, tire of whichever Danny Dyer of the day was taking up valuable page-space or simply not care about their surprising attitude towards male grooming (i.e. they actually gave a shit), but flicking through any issue you would be able to pick up dozens of captions per issue that were genuinely, guffaw-inducingly funny.

I have to write my own captions, and I try to be funny with them, but nothing for me has ever come close to some of the wonderfully observed, downright funny things written in FHM during ‘the past’. Subtleties in images would be picked up on and used as the basis of jokes you had to actually think about, inanimate objects would often be involved as characters in the image and they just made me laugh. Stop making me justify myself. Check out Zoo and Nuts these days to see pale, pale, pale imitations of the glory days. I’d say check FHM, but I have no idea what it’s like anymore.

So yes – well done, caption people of FHM’s past. You made me laugh. A lot.

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