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Seasons on the sofa…

Seasons on the sofa…

imageThe era of binge viewing is well and truly upon us.
With DVD box sets and streaming services like Netflix popping up all over the internet, there’s no longer any need to wait a week to catch the next thrilling installment of whichever blockbuster TV series you are currently obsessed with, in fact if the temptation becomes too much you can watch all thirty episodes in one weekend.

In the same way that I’ve (more than once) enjoyed Twin Peaks, a total immersion experience.

Sometimes, because of the way shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad are hyped, with spoilers, speculation and fan theories on every culture and genre TV website, watching the entire season in one go is the only alternative to walking around with your fingers in your ears, going; “La La La La La I’m not listening.”

Regular readers of this blog will know that I don’t own a computer so, short of laboriously downloading episodes one at a time to watch on my phone or tablet, I’m limited to buying whole series on DVD or Blu-ray, which is how I’ve been watching the aforementioned Game of Thrones (accompanied by the “La La La…” method, to combat friends with satellite TV) and the highly entertaining, if slightly daft, Grimm.

But recently I’ve taken to trawling our local library’s collection of TV box sets and, since Rhonda was never much of a TV watcher in the States, I had no problem finding something she hadn’t seen before.
Although, as I’m sure you know, revisiting any type of entertainment, be it music, movies, or TV, in the company of someone who hasn’t experienced it before, can add a new perspective to something you previously thought you knew well, so I was perfectly happy to re-watch anything I’d enjoyed in the past.

Which is why we’ve spent most evenings for the last month or so, watching at least a couple of episodes of probably the best crime drama series ever made.
And the conclusion of this post will be my attempt to convince as many of you as possible to discover it for yourselves. Or rediscover it if, like me, you thought you’d had all you could get from it the first time round, because believe me, it’s well worth another watch.

I won’t keep you in suspense for long, I wonder how many of you will guess right…

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Arts, Personal anecdote, TV, Twin Peaks

 

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One liner Wednesday…

It’s better to have loved in Lost than to have never survived the plane crash.

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 

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Colour me childish…

Rhonda reminded me at the weekend that I have a birthday coming up soon, (that she had to remind me this, shows my enthusiasm for arbitrarily celebrating another 31,536,000 seconds as a passenger on a spinning ball of rock, but that’s beside the point) an “event” that will mark the beginning of my fiftieth year of continuous breathing.

That’s 1,576,800,000 seconds, should you be interested.

I’m sure most people will tell you that they don’t feel their age, after all, nobody likes to think they’re getting old, whatever their own personal definition of being “old” is and I’m certainly no different.
In fact I’m pretty convinced that I’m still about 25, and that’s only in my overall outlook, the me that lives in my head can’t be much older than fifteen, judging by the nonsense that passes for my internal monologue most of the time and that has always seemed perfectly natural.
I bet if you really think about the way you communicate with yourself in the privacy of your cranium, you’ll realise you too are largely at the mercy of your inner child.

This is of course something we should all celebrate and be eternally grateful for, because if it wasn’t for the ability to see the world through the eyes of a child occasionally, where would the wonder go?
We need that childish naïvete and innocence sometimes, just to enable us to live in the world and not go mad.
We need to be able to just forget we’re “grown-up” for a while and indulge the big kid in all of us.
This doesn’t mean that having a childlike view of things makes us immature, juvenile or stupid, it just means we can enjoy exercising our intellectual faculties on a different, maybe more instinctive level.

And one of the best ways to channel our inner kid is watching a completely unrealistic, fantastical and unfeasible science fiction movie or TV show.
Because the genre title alone, Science Fiction gives you a get-out from the get-go, letting you suspend your disbelief and cynicism and allowing you a guilt free two hours of wishing you could fly an X-wing like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, or beat the crap out of zombies like Alice in Resident Evil.

So imagine my amazement this morning, when I read that one of the recent greats of British geek TV and cinema, the creator of Spaced and Shaun of the Dead, Simon Pegg, has said in an interview that he thinks our fascination with all things sci-fi has dumbed down our culture and society and made us all “infantile”.

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Simon Pegg – Don’t make me laugh, I’m trying to look intellectual.

This from the bloke who not only gave us two grown men miming slo-mo gunfights on television and a film about a couple of geeks meeting an alien on the way to a sci-fi convention, but who is also in the process of writing the next Star Trek movie, which I’m sure will once again feature him giving toe-curling comic relief in his role as Scotty, not to mention the hopefully excellent Monty Python spin-off, Absolutely Everything, which, would you believe it, prominently features comedy aliens.

Here’s the trailer.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t look like the sort of film that’s going to be shown in art house cinemas anytime soon, (In his interview, Pegg singles out such classics as The Godfather, Taxi Driver and The French Connection as being films that we could intellectually engage with. The Godfather? Art house? Really?) nor do I think that many of the movies that were likely to have influenced him in his youth were all that arty or cerebral.
I may be wrong, he might have spent his formative years watching nothing but Fellini and Bergman films while he stroked his wispy adolescent beard.
But I doubt it.

Simon Pegg’s argument seems to be that when you come out of a modern blockbuster, having watched two hours of robots kicking the shit out of each other in the Pacific, teams of superheroes fighting aliens, or presumably even Sandra Bullock dying of boredom whilst floating in space, you haven’t had much of a mental workout.
Although I don’t believe I recall the scene in which Don Corleone challenges a rival mobster to a sudoku tournament to settle a turf war, or Popeye Doyle quoting Nietzsche at a suspect as he beats a confession out of them.

Let’s face it, most films boil down to some kind of morality tale: Good vs Evil.
Star Wars is just a western in space, Guardians of the Galaxy could just as easily be the Dirty Dozen and Pegg’s own Hot Fuzz, well, that could be any number of buddy movies, all the way back to Butch and Sundance.

So I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he’s fighting his way through some kind of early-onset, inverted mid-life crisis that makes fun people dull.
Then again, there’s just as much chance that he’s taking the piss, in order to promote his latest not-very-grown-up film.

Either way, I don’t intend to grow up anytime soon, no matter how many times I go past the same flaming ball of gas.

I shall leave you with two full movies to enjoy, one by Ingmar Bergman and the other by John Carpenter.
See which one entertains you the most…

And remember, stay childish everyone. ;~}

[Simon Pegg’s picture stolen from Google]

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Arts, Films, News, TV, Video

 

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The blog now leaving from platform two…

Greetings.
I hope you all had a successful and hangover-free new year.
For myself, since boxing day I have been – and still am – suffering from a particularly virulent form of flu-like unpleasantness, coupled with a nasty chest infection.

I did attempt to go to work last week, on the first day back after the Christmas break, but I felt so dreadful that I came home after just three hours.
For the next few days I diligently drank plenty of fluids, ate all the right foods, and blanket-bombed the germs with cold remedies, decongestants and ibuprofen, all to no avail. If anything I felt even worse by the end of the weekend, finally giving in and going to the doctor on Monday to beg for antibiotics. He cheerfully informed me that there was indeed “something nasty going around”, managing to imply that any other details would be beyond my medically-untrained ability to understand.
Or maybe he just didn’t know.

Whichever it was, he wrote me a prescription for amoxicillin and gave me a week’s certificate for work, helpfully saying; “It would probably go away on it’s own after two or three weeks, but I expect you want to get better don’t you?”
Well, yes that’s why I came to see you, you’re a doctor.

Anyway, the result of this enforced house-arrest is that I’ve had nothing to do but sit under a blanket, alternately shivering and sweating, whilst reading or surfing the net on my new tablet.
You’d have thought that this would be an ideal excuse to knock out a whole batch of blog posts, but when it feels like someone has poured warm glue into your sinuses and stuffed any remaining space in your head with cotton wool, the creative process tends to grind to a halt.

By yesterday however, my brain – if not my other organs – had recovered sufficiently for me to attempt some sort of writing so
I took the opportunity to look into something I’d been interested in for a while.

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There is a website that I’ve followed ever since I got myself online a few years ago called io9 (tagline; We come from the future) which posts daily updates on science, science fiction and fantasy, space and astronomy, and loads of culture and media stories in the same vein.
What I have always liked about the site are the discussion threads that accompany the articles, populated as they are by a community of quick witted, occasionally snarky and frequently very funny commenters.
I’ve always fancied having a go at commenting on the site and I have now discovered that in order to do so (and also to comment on other Gawker Media sites), one needs to register on a blogging platform called Kinja.

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This is all new to me so I set up a profile – which was simple enough, logging in via my Facebook account – and straight away managed to start a discussion on an io9 post about upcoming sci-fi TV shows.

In case you’re interested, here’s the article I commented on. You may need to scroll through the comments to find my screen name (dalecooper57). To expand the whole conversation, click the little square icon next to the number of participants.

CLICK THIS LINK.

This alone gave me some considerable sense of achievement, internet novice that I am, but now I needed to investigate the blogging side of this new platform.
Their useful help section informed me that my blog profile would display the articles I commented on, along with any posts that I cared to publish myself. I assume that the only people who will see these posts will be fellow Kinja users who decide to follow me or people who click through to my profile via discussions that I comment on.

Having said that I also have you, my lovely readers to rely on.
So if this new side project takes off I shall post notifications on Diary of an Internet Nobody with links to my Kinja blog, in the same way as I have with previous guest posts for other blogs (apologies to Lanthie and Matt at Life Cherries and Ramblings of a semi-mad man, I’ve been neglecting my duties of late, I’ll get round to writing something for you soon)

So with that in mind, I’d like to share the first post on my Kinja blog, (which is currently self-titled) introducing myself to a whole new community.

May I present: In at the geek end…

Please take a look round the site and tell me what you think. (Sorry about the brain-frying gif at the top of the post, I did think better of it after posting, but I can’t work out how to delete it)

And if anyone has any experience of Kinja, any and all advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks.

[Logos taken from Google images and used without permission]

 

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A long, strange and tenuous trip…

At last, we are finally reaching the end of the road to nowhere, so to speak.
After nearly a fortnight of bending connections until they almost snap, digging out nostalgia-packed video clips, classic albums, movies and TV series, there’s just seven more degrees of separation between now and the finish line.

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Whether or not you’ve sampled the delights I have provided for your festive delectation thus far, (and don’t forget you can always come back at a later date – The Tenuous Lynx is the gift that keeps on giving) I for one have really enjoyed this link marathon.
Not only has it given my brain a daily workout, but I’ve found all sorts of stuff I’d forgotten about or haven’t thought about for years, and that alone has made it worthwhile.
Call it self-indulgent, call it contrived, but if I have introduced just one person to something new, interesting, funny or thought-provoking then frankly, my job is done.

So without further ado, let us start at the beginning of the end.

The previous leg finished at The Unbelievable Truth, David Mitchell’s Radio 4 panel show, so;

Mr Mitchell appears on Channel 4’s 10 O’clock Live alongside comedic ranter extraordinaire, Charlie Brooker.
Here he is, holding forth on the state of British politics in 2013.

Also on the show is ex-Kenickie singer Lauren Laverne, who provided guest vocals for oddball dance boffins Mint Royale on this joyous slice of quirky pop – Don’t Falter.
Mint Royale were also responsible for remixing the vintage Gene Kelly number, Singing in the rain, something much of the UK were almost certainly not doing this year due to the extreme weather conditions and flooding we experienced.
Flood (aka Mark Ellis) is a prolific producer, writer and sound mixer who has worked with bands as diverse as New Order, Sigur Ros and The Killers, as well as mixing this year’s new Depeche Mode album.
And here it is in all it’s dark glory – Delta Machine.
Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode famously died (after a drug overdose) and was revived, much like this candidate for happy ending of the year 2013 – The dead woman who woke up after giving birth.
They both came Back to Life and back to reality like Soul 2 Soul did in their funked-up hit of the same name in 1990.

And for our very last link in the tenuous chain, we end with a couple of cartoons.
Everyone loves a cartoon at Christmas, am I right?

Soul Eater is a series of Japanese Manga comics which has been turned into amine cartoons, screened on TV in the West for the first time this year.
Coming up is the first episode, and then for the finale of Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of Love, it’s followed by a true classic of the manga oeuvre, the movie, Fist of the North Star.

All that remains is for me to say that I hope you’ve enjoyed tagging along on this oddity of odds and sods and to thank Ho once again for bringing the Tenuous Lynx to life with his exclusive artwork.

So after 13 posts and 177 links, I’m caging the Lynx and replacing Tina in her display case.

Until next time…

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Diarist’s dozen…

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Yes it’s day twelve, the penultimate trip down the tangent trail towards today’s tenuous target.
We start off by sampling a slice of psychedelic space rock, then our journey continues via some gloriously jangly pop and an inside look at one of the year’s nastiest new TV characters, to finish off with a wealth of audio amusement.

On our last outing we ended by paying tribute to the great scientific minds that helped us to find and identify that pesky little particle, the Higgs boson. So I thought I’d start this first leg of the home straight with an album by one of my all-time favourite bands;

Hawkwind named their 1977 album after some more subatomic particles and you can get your very own dose of cosmic radiation by listening to the whole thing right now – Quark, Strangeness and Charm
And where to go from there but to This Charming Man by The Smiths, fronted by Morrissey.
English actor David Morrissey has had great success in the States this year, playing new character The Governor in zombie thriller series The Walking Dead
…which stars another Englishman abroad, Andrew Lincoln, who had his first walk-on part in up-to-the-minute satirical newsroom sit-com Drop the Dead Donkey..
…which was co-written by Andy Hamilton, creator of Hell-based radio comedy series Old Harry’s Game and presenter of an irreverent documentary on the history and myths surrounding his lead character, The Search for Satan.
Hamilton is also a regular guest on BBC Radio 4’s “antidote to panel games”, the fabulous I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue, now presented by Jack Dee.
But here’s the classic line up, with late, great jazz trumpeter and national treasure Humphrey “Humph” Lyttelton in the chair, recording the show in front of a live audience.

And I’m keeping to the radio comedy theme for my second-to-last choice of 2013 best bits, mainly because I love it and partly because not enough people listen to comedy on the radio nowadays, despite the fact that many of our most popular TV sketch and panel shows started off on the airwaves before making the move to the small screen.

This show is presided over by a man who is no stranger to TV himself, David Mitchell, who has graced this list once already.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Unbelievable Truth.

Enjoy, and I’ll return with the final episode of Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of Love tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Humour, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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TENuous out of ten for effort…

We’re in sight of the finish line now. Only three more posts to go after today before I call time on my day-to-day data daisy chain and normal(ish) service can be resumed.

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So yesterday I finally managed to shoehorn in a David Lynch link, in reference to his latest musical output (which I hope you enjoyed) and whadaya know but the starting point in today’s multimedia maze is a little town in Washington state, near the Canadian border…

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In hindsight, of the many past and future stars to appear in Twin Peaks, Lynch’s soap-noir masterpiece, one of the most amusing turns is given by soon-to-be heartthrob David Duchovny as transvestite DEA agent, Denis/Denise Bryson.
Duchovny later made his name as conspiracy fixated FBI super nerd Fox Mulder in The X-files, opposite sceptical sexpot doctor, Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson
…who starred in this year’s riveting psychological thriller, The Fall, playing a detective hunting a serial killer in Northern Ireland.
The Fall is also the name of gnarled, incoherently shouting, alternative national treasure, Mark E Smith’s continually evolving, legendary Manchester band.
Legends of the Fall is a film starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins
…both of whom star in Meet Joe Black, in which Pitt plays death, finding out about the living…

…as opposed to my next movie highlight, World War Z, in which he tries to find a way to bring the undead back to life.

Don’t go away, I’ll be back tomorrow with the pen-penultimate episode…

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Films, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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