Updated Every Weekday!
Since my horror movie sequel collection is becoming rather dry, I've decided it would be a good idea to diversify in my movie reviews. To that end I'm introducing a new series of reviews for yet another obscure genre: the Erotic Thriller! Yes, Friday nights have lately seen me watching Channel 5 late at night with a notepad, pen and suppressed gag reflex. Our first jaunt into this wonderful world of cinema is a tale called 'Dead by Dawn', which is an artful and highly intelligent story of a Tibetan monk's journey for acceptance in the Yorkshire Dales. Ha ha. Actually it's about fat people getting laid. Go read my review here! Or alternatively, read this review here! It's the same review, but you could read it backwards if you like!
Now then, since my Friday article typically means I don't have to write so much for the update, I'm just going to use this space from now on to throw in a few odds and sods. First of all I wanna share with you this sketch of mine depicting the dread pirate Articulate Jim from the Search for Something, which I made by scribbling with a blue biro on a sketch pad.
I don't know what happened to the nose! Possibly some attempt at shading that went horribly wrong. Oh well. I have other sketches I might show you.
I'm gonna finish up Friday updates in future by giving you all an assignment to complete before Monday. Your first assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to get hold of a copy of 'The Reefer Song' by Mindless Drug Hoover, in MP3 or CD format, I don't really mind. From there you can either:
1. Learn the song and play it on acoustic guitar in a crowded city centre, OR
2. Somehow get it played on a PA system or local radio.
For extra credit do either dressed as a hippy. Good luck!
I opened the morning newspaper today to soak in the events and daily happenings of the ever-buzzing world, and I find one page has been devoted to that bubbly queen of pop Britney Spears. I skimmed it for a second, made a funny little nasal sneering noise to illustrate my disregard for modern pop music, then turned to the funnies. Then I quickly turned back and read the article more closely, sensing an opportunity to slag her off on my webpage for the benefit of all nine people who read it. Apparently, she confessed to the American press that she drinks, smokes and - joy of joys - has had sex. She also stated that none of this really matters and it isn't anyone's business, which explains perfectly why she felt the national press should know.
For many, this revelation has been met with a resounding 'well, duh'. I mean, look at her. With those dresses she wears she's doubtless been devirginised by approximately fifteen squillion air molecules and dust particles already. But that's not the point. The point is that she complains that it isn't anyone's business whether she's had sex or not.
This I take issue with. It's none of our business whether, I dunno, Professor Stephen Hawking has had sex or not, and it's none of your business whether I have had sex or not (unless I have some life-threatening venereal disease and you, the reader, happen to be my doctor, in which case I could do with some more happy pills), but neither I nor Stephen Hawking have forged an image and a career around a claim that we haven't partaken in the mattress mambo. Stephen got his image and career from being smart and disabled, and I don't actually have an image or a career. Britney, however, HAS forged an image and a career around celibacy so I think if it turns out she's been fibbing all along, then it IS our business.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of the girl Spears, my taste in pop music restricted utterly to pre-1990, and frankly I couldn't care less whether or not she's been poked with someone's truncheon of love, but being the immense humanitarian that I am I'm concerned for some of her fans. I mean, think of the internet wackos who write web page upon web page defending the myth of her unbroken hymen; once they hear about this they'll be back on the street corners trying to sell passers-by empty fast food boxes and yelling about Jesus. Think of the religious types along the American Bible Belt.
JUNIOR: Maw, kin ah buy the latest Britney Spears sin-gull?
MAW: No Junior, ah kinnot allow yah to expose yo'self to the music of Satan's undercarriage.
JUNIOR: But maw, she's a virgin who done said she won't be gettin' no jiggy-jiggy 'til she gets hitched!
MAW: Well, that's alright then, as long as yah beat yo'self over the head with yo' buy-bull after yah listen to it.
JUNIOR: Ah love yah, maw!
What's going to happen to poor, toothless, banjo-playing Junior when it turns out his fantasy girl has been given it up the sticky pink speedway? He'll be shipped to Alaska and whipping himself with sticks until the cows come home and his mother will no doubt start marching in front of record shops with all her inbred pals holding picket signs and demanding Britney be publically burnt along with all the abortion doctors and free-thinking people.
She also made the revelation that she tends to drink too much. As soon as I read that I had a vision of her waking up the morning after giving the interview, clutching her temples and saying "Christ, I hope I didn't do anything stupid last night."
To mark the August Bank Holiday everyone in the house is suffering from varying symptoms of the common cold. We're up to our ankles in used tissues and the raucous coughs of sore throats fill the air. So while I sit here trying to dislodge a particularly stubborn bit of gob from my oesophagus, I thought I'd do a little update on the origins of the common cold and what you can do to avoid it.
THE COMMON COLD: A RETROSPECTIVE
The cold virus was born in Connecticut, USA, to Hank and Joanie Virus, a well-adjusted suburban couple. Up until the age of thirteen young Cold was a seemingly normal microscopic organism, if a little withdrawn and unsociable. He received good grades in school but didn't have many friends. Then, one day after school, he walked in on his parents arguing over his father performing ritual virgin sacrifice in the kitchen, and blamed himself for their subsequent divorce.
Cold's grades started dropping dramatically. He became apathetic and unruly in class. He started hanging out with the bad kids like Rabies and Leprosy, playing truant, drinking grown-up drinks, smoking heavily, a non-stop orgy of bad behaviour that culminated with him at the age of 19 getting his fourteen-year-old girlfriend Rubella pregnant at her request. Rubella decided to cry rape when she got wise to the fact that she could get away scot free and become the victim if she did so, and poor young Cold was jailed for ten long years.
When he emerged from prison, having been beaten and buggered almost non-stop because of his pretty-boy looks and tight behind, Cold was not a pretty sight. A bristly black beard covered his chin, and his single-cell body was a veritable underground railway map of scars and bruises. He tried to search for work, but few employers were interested in hiring a virulent disease with a criminal record. A victim of the cruellest system of all, Cold drifted for a while before once again hanging with a bad crowd in the backstreets of New York City. Under the instruction of local gang leader 'Doctor Pepper' he took part in a string of robberies, drug deals and gunfights with rival gangs. By the time he turned 33 he had an impressive rap sheet longer than his nucleus. Finally Cold gunned down two civilians and a police officer in a bank robbery that went horribly wrong, and he was forced to flee.
He joined the crew of a pirate ship sailing around the Atlantic, his skill with a cutlass and ability to make people's noses go all stuffy for several days impressing his captain - Captain 'Boinko' McTavish, for it was he - sufficiently to be made First Mate. Sadly, one day while docked in Southampton, England, he drank so much in the local tavern that he fell under a table and the rest of the crew forgot him when they sailed away.
Cold tried to make a living as a petty crook, but he had no understanding of the way these things went in the UK. Eventually he forged papers and dishonestly got a job as a quantity surveyor in Milton Keynes. He held onto this job for a few weeks before it became apparent that he couldn't tell the difference between a quantity and a tiger's armpit, and was swiftly 'let go' in company downsizing.
Cold drifted around the country for a while, lost and almost constantly drunk, lodging in various hostels and houses for no more than a couple of days at a time. His last known address was my house. Bastard never did his own washing up.
HOW TO AVOID THE COMMON COLD
- Hang lots of citrus fruit around your doors and windows. Vitamin C is deadly to Cold, so he will more than likely leave you alone if you take this precaution.
- If the citrus fruit doesn't hold him back, remember that the common cold can't enter your house unless you invite it.
- If the common cold is inside your house and you believe he intends to infect you, take advantage of his love for detective dramas. Point dramatically at something behind him and say 'Look, it's Inspector Morse!' when he turns around, pull his underpants over his head and push him out the door. Remember to wear gloves when you do this.
- If none of these techniques work, you could always blat him over the head with a baseball bat before he has a chance to infect you.
- Alternatively, if he is in your house, simply move as soon as possible and leave no forwarding address.
And there you have it! All the information you need to keep away from the common cold. Must be off now, everyone in the house has to get together and decide who's the least affected so we can send them out for tissues and satsumas. See you tomorrow!
So, it's 2002, and you're probably wondering where our glorious future of technological paradise is. I'll tell you where - it's in Japan. But I'll bet you're also wondering where the apocalyptic nightmare future of man ruled over by the machines is. That's around here too. It's in the universities of England.
Recently, university professor Kevin Warwick implanted a microchip in his arm and was hailed as the world's first cyborg. Call me a bitter old cynic if you like but I always thought there was slightly more to being a cyborg than having a bit of metal jammed in you. By that token everyone who's ever tried to use complicated farm machinery while drunk is a cyborg. Hell, I have a silver crown on my front tooth, I guess the committee that decided Kevin was a cyborg would say I was one too. Hey, cool. Now I can get the cyborg discount at Dixon's.
Before the robot intelligentsia start sending me letter bombs, I should point out firstly that I was being ironic in the previous paragraph, and that I do know that there is more to this microchip in Kevin's arm than that. Apparently in conjunction with a fancy device he wears on his wrist, he can also make a little robot arm on his desk imitate the movements of his hand. Sorry, I'm afraid I'm still a little underwhelmed here. Sure, now he can use a robot arm that could be used to go into dangerous environments to do important work, and could very probably pinch a girl's bottom from across the room without fear of retribution, but as far as I know from following the technological press, doesn't that technology already exist somewhere? Like that robot thingy they send into burning buildings? Kevin's only going to impress me when he can make his robot arm mix drinks or play Things Ain't What They Used To Be.
It's still not really how we imagine cyborgs. Be honest now. He has a little chip in his arm, that's it. In our imaginations cyborgs are guys with a big piece of metal on their face and egg whisks where their hands should be who go around hinting that resistance, where applicable, would be quite pointless. Dogs and cats can now get implanted with microchips that contain information on who owns them and stuff, do we call them cyborgs? Nope. We call them mewling little shits when they piss on our carpets and if we give them a kick we can be safe in the knowledge that they're not going to take control of the microwave and chase us round the room with it.
What worries me is that some day Kevin is going to realise what a crappy cyborg he is and start trying to remedy the situation. How long 'till he puts another microchip in his other arm so he can have the matching pair? Then maybe a couple more in his legs? Maybe replace his entire brain with a Pentium IV 2.5Ghz processor? It's all fun now stapling washing machine parts to your body, but how long before he ... you know ... crosses over? How long before his thought processes go from "I wonder if my wife has finished the shepherd's pie yet" to "I wonder if the skin being I cohabit with has prepared my evening sustenance"?
Mark my words: it's only a matter of time. If a car mechanic or a mime artist became a cyborg it wouldn't be so bad, but Kevin Warwick is a UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR. He TEACHES STUDENTS.
Kevin: "Alright flesh - I mean, class - for tonight's homework you must write a 2000 word essay on why humans are squashy and inefficient, and how individual thinking is evil and wrong. Then implant a hair dryer into your flimsy organic skull."
Students: "WE ARE THE COLLECTIVE. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. WE ARE AS ONE."
Kevin: (laughs evilly, then eats a baby)
Sure you mock me now. But in twenty years time when we're working in the same chain gang, mining 24 hours a day with no breaks while members of the Warwick Collective stand ready with electric cattle prods, I will turn to you and whisper "I told you so" before I am killed for talking and ground up for your dinner.
So, FullyRamblomatic.com's been running for a whole week, last week's updates have been shoved into the new archive page, and all seems to be going well! Now if only I could get a bit more traffic my way so I could start begging for money. Oh well. Let's see how we're doing on the humour site checklist.
about work (done!)
Right, Wil Wheaton, then. Ex-Star Trek. Been getting a lot of slack for running a website about his daily activities and it's become rather fashionable online to slag him off. After all, doesn't it take a special kind of moron to take a role in Star Trek? I mentioned in my article entitled 'The Role of the British in the Star Trek' that ex-Star Trek actors tend to find themselves on the great celebrity slag heap, forced to take roles in dodgy TV series and 'erotic thrillers'. That is, when they're not making guest appearances at science fiction conventions where acne-laden fans fawn all over them drooling saliva and pus onto theirr nice clean Starfleet uniforms. What a fool Wil Wheaton must be, eh? And he was doing so well in Stand By Me, a role I think he was very lucky to get. Appearing in any other film based upon the writings of Stephen King could have been the end of his career, unless it was the Shawshank Redemption, but frankly I can't see Wil's boyish looks being beaten up and buggered in the laundry room. Or rather, I can, but I'd rather not.
(Hardcore Wil Wheaton haters please stop reading)
OK, let me just clarify a few things here, because I'm hoping to get some traffic from Wil Wheaton's site with this article. I know it's fashionable for humour sites to kick Wil Wheaton in the kidneys while he's down, then string him up for all to see and paddle his botty with oars and carpet beaters, but I'm going to make a revolutionary statement.
I kind of LIKE Wil Wheaton.
I LIKED Wesley Crusher.
I didn't say this very often back in the day when everyone was watching Star Trek: TNG, because I found that vocally expressing a fondness for the lad was a highway to ostracision, beatings and quite unnecessary speculations as to my sexuality. In the light of day I sat with the others laughing and pointing and saying things like "Hey look, he's only got one facial expression! Fwa ha ha ha ha!" but unofficially, and behind closed doors, I found myself identifying with the character and wincing every time Patrick Stewart shouted at him.
If we're going to slag off someone from The Next Generation then can't we all agree that Riker was the true git of the series? With his smug little grin, bristly beard and chubby cheeks he looked like he was wearing a vagina on his face. And I hated the way he chased tail all the time. If they were trying to make him into a sort of interstellar James Bond, then they succeeded, if we're talking about the Roger Moore years. God, he was such a twit. Timothy Dalton should have done more films. Don't you think he gave Bond a more human touch? Sometimes he didn't even try to put his tongue in women he'd only just met.
Sorry, I'm getting off the point. That point being that Roger Moore was a smug pile of poo in a white tuxedo who should have been nutted by Glaswegians and then jumped on gleefully by sparkly-eyed primary school children.
No, wait, that wasn't the point. The point was that kissing Riker must have been good practise for cunnilingus -
Damn, no, sorry, the point was that I don't think Wil Wheaton was the complete prat we all thought he was, even if he did only have one facial expression ('slight worry and alarm', coincidentally the only facial expression most Gerry Anderson puppets have) and acquired a leech to the bollocks in Stand By Me.
So if you're reading this, Wil, then I want you to know; for all the slack you get, for all the roles in bad TV series and TV movies you take and later regret, for all the times I and my peers single you out as an easy target for laughter and chastisement because of the rather cosmetic removal of an 'L' from the end of your name, just remember that you were Wesley Crusher, boy genius and thief of my heart. And if you ever see Jonathan Frakes at one of those sci-fi conventions, you can tell him about the vagina comment if you like.
(Hardcore Wil Wheaton haters can start reading again)
Boy, that Wil Wheaton, eh? What a prat! Ha ha ha ha! I'm gonna sign off now and go and have a good laugh about how much of a prat he was. Bye!
material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw