Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That Show I Like Comes Back in Style

Been watching a lot of Twin Peaks. Which is nice as I managed to snag a R2 copy of the Twin Peaks Gold Edition (which despite being a gold edition doesn't have all the extras from the Season 1 discs but it does have loads of other stuff like second season, all the outtakes and even finally a complete set of the coffee ads).

In the meantime I discovered an awesome Black Lodge simulator (click on the sycamore grove and don't take the ring unless you want to leave!)

Oh, and Tibet.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lost Interest Galactica

Spoilers ahoy, so if you're watching either Lost or Galactica, prepare to get spoiled.

I'm getting a little jaded with Lost and Galactica in their latest seasons. Lost in particular is getting silly and the show has just moved too far beyond being about a struggle to survive on a strange island into some inexplicable James Bond/Sci-Fi thriller for my liking. Sayid is now James Bond, the annoying guy Ben is still alive and a bunch of the main cast are all trying to get back to the island. There is some sort of weird time-travel thing on the island and they've introduced a new cast of scientists and marines who are on a ship. Except nothing's been explained yet.

Battlestar Galactica is similarly getting a bit long in the tooth. Somebody should shoot Baltar. I could believe that after being forced to deal with the Cylons on New Caprica and being 'abducted' he would somehow survive the mob justice and impromptu executions that claimed most of his underlings. I could believe that in his big show trial he got off – to be honest after the closing arguments of Apollo I'd have let him off. However his name should still be mud. He's been seen canoodling with cylons and let's be honest it's a bit suss he survived for months on one of their ships. What I can't believe is that he is inexplicably now the head of this bizarre monotheistic god worshipping cult (in a society used to worshipping the Greek pantheon) that is based on the Galactica and populated primarily by nubile young women all too eager to service him in Baltaresque ways. Is he a good guy? Is he a baddie? Am I supposed to feel sympathy for him? He seems to be doing exactly what he normally does, lying, sleeping with sexy women and talking to the ghost in his head that now resembles him. Are the Cylons baddies? I mean they did nuke 13 planets worth of humans, and Baltar was unwittingly complicit. His complicity did come out under some truth drugs last season and was pretty much ignored.

By Season 4 it seems like the conflict is getting rather stilted. Apollo disagrees with Adama and takes a stand, humiliating him for the billionth time. Apollo disagrees with Roslin and takes a stand, humiliating her. Roslin fights with Starbuck. Starbuck acts like a loony and pisses everyone off. There's yet another mutiny. The Cylons start blowing each other up. Where's it all going? It seems like people are fighting with themselves purely for the sake of it. They've also revealed characters as Cylons who could easily have sabotaged the fleet anytime in the last 3 seasons. Clearly that's not the plan – but it is getting a little old. Fortunately this is the final season – so hopefully it'll all make sense.

Oh and for the record my bet is the final Cylon is Roslin.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


It's official - Neil "I don't look like David Schwimmer Steve" Gaiman is disturbing - here's a graphic novel version of his short story Babycakes I just listened to over lunch break. Urgh...

Have to admit, he made his point nicely.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Problem with Susan

I've been listening to a fair few interesting audio books. Finally after years of not bothering I have begun listening to the Silmarillion. I've also got the complete Chronicles of Narnia to listen to at some point, having listened to radio dramatizations of Prince Caspian and the Dawn Treader (amusingly with Sylvester McCoy as Reepacheep).

I'm planning on hitting the Last Battle soon, though to be honest I didn't like it when I read it as a child. Aside from its apocalyptic overtones which make it unlikely to ever be adapted it's probably the first book I thought of as being "a bit gay" to be honest (though as a child I probably didn't use those words). I vaguely remember King Peter turning up inexplicably and a fair bit of boy-on-boy (platonic but I was 9 remember) kissing at the end.

Worse it turns out almost all our beloved main characters from previous books have died horribly and are now going to "true" Narnia. The thinly veiled Christian allegory is laid bare, which is fair enough, but it's a pretty horrible way to do it in my opinion. The Last Battle really didn't need to be written.

Of even more discomfort is the fact that Susan does not appear in the Last Battle, having refused to attend the "Narnia Reunion" that resulted in everyone else dying horribly in a train crash. Apparently she is "no longer a friend of Narnia... she's interested in nothing now-a-days except nylons and lipstick and invitations". Again rather troubling in what was for a 9 year-old me a very very uncomfortable read.

Apparently I was not alone - as when more recently I started working my way through Fragile Things, a collection of short stories by Neil "Does Not Look Like Ross From Friends Steve" Gaiman I came across his story, the Problem of Susan.

I should point out you can read The Problem of Susan online. It's a well-written story but like a lot of Neil Gaiman's non-kiddie Stardusty stuff it's rather disturbing (particularly the image of the White Witch literally riding Aslan) though it does paint a rather sad picture of poor Susan.

Also he does seem to take the rather disconcerting view that Susan didn't go to Narnia because she got interested in sex and boys, rather than what I read to be being interested in ephemeral trappings (makeup and so forth). Me personally - I like to think she would've mended her ways and gone to "true" Narnia in the future. After all heaven without your friends is like being locked up in a small room with your friends forever.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Die Ticket Man, Die!

Got my first parking ticket yesterday. Paid £2+ for 1.5 hours under the glare of the parking attendants who were doing a good impression of sharks in Leicester's city centre, obviously to take advantage of the bank holiday. Seriously I passed 3 of them on the main street at one point.

Sadly I took 1.6 hours to get back to car and found a ticket on my windscreen. A massive missive was contained in the ticket explaining my ticket expired at 2:51pm, the attendant had checked my car at 3:02pm and I only turned up at 3:05pm. He was still standing there, where I'd left him 1.6 hours ago, but as these people are remarkably unreasonable once they've written you have a ticket I merely vowed vengeance on him and his sires and drove off.

In short - I'll be walking into town from now on. It's a lot cheaper!