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Right then, here we go. One review of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film. My business in this country is therefore concluded. One week to go!
I've never seen the film 'Cherry Falls', but I understand it's about a murderer who only kills virgins. Question is, how does he know? Does he inspect their hymens or make them take a polygraph test before he kills them? If he chased a couple of virgins into some house and discovered them frantically fucking in a cupboard, would he snap his fingers with annoyance and wander off, dejected? I wouldn't think you'd be able to bring yourself rapidly down from your murderous rage just for the sake of consistency. Just a thought.
Seems the wasp population in my house is beginning to die down, either because of the encroaching cold weather or the vile white goo my dad's been shoving up the drainpipe where the nest is (oddly Freudian, now I come to think about it). I don't know how they get into my room from the wall outside, but they manage it somehow, and I have to wield the slipper of righteousness in showing them who's boss. One of the cheeky buggers actually got inside my bed last night, so I picked it up and threw it across the room just to show that I wasn't an easy lay.
I'm not saying I like the little cunts, but I think I may find myself missing them when they're gone. Smacking a wasp out of mid-air and watching it fly across the room with a final, despairing buzz before thumping heavily against a wall and landing in a crumpled heap was something of a rare delight. It was a whole lot more wholesome than smashing them against a wall or window, as that tends to leave a stain.
I think I have discounted the possibility that I might have gone mad. The new theory is that everyone else in the world has gone mad except me. I know this is traditionally what mad people think, but I'm wondering if they had a point.
Why do people insist there has to be a 'meaning' to life? Life evolved by accident! It's so damn obvious. Now, admittedly, life evolving to the point it has now is an extremely unlikely occurrence, probably far beyond what would normally be considered impossible. But here's the thing. It took billions of years from the time the universe began for life to appear, and another few billion years to evolve sentience. And the universe is a pretty big place. What I'm saying is, given almost infinite space and (if not infinite) certainly indefinite time, any and indeed every possibility comes about eventually. So the evolution of life was inevitable, and it took a suitably long time. If we did have some ultimate purpose, don't you think we'd have come about a little earlier?
I understand that life is directionless and without purpose, but I get through it by living life to the full, spreading happiness among my fellow man, and cutting myself.
Homosexuality is against nature. Note that I never said homosexuality is in any way evil or immoral, I say it's against nature because it literally IS. Why? Well, (a) nature demands the conjunction of the male and female entity in order to continue the species, and (b) the colon was only ever designed with shitting in mind. Therefore, against nature. Homosexuality is a rather bizarre quirk in the genes and a terribly impractical one at that, so I don't see why it needs so much representation in the media.
I have this lump on the back of my neck which smells a bit like poo.
Right then. Pretty soon I'll be leaving this green and pleasant land to a new life of copious sweat and shrimps in relation to barbies, 12000 miles from my current position. Australia. Australia, where the winters are warm and the summers can destroy a vampire in .2 of a second. Australia, the land of opportunity, if you happen to be somehow involved in the sheep industry.
Maybe I've got a sort of rose-tinted view of the place since I currently can't stand it in England any longer and my girlfriend (and ergo sex) is over there. But it would be nice to have a change of scene. These words will no doubt come back to haunt me when I'm slapping on suntan lotion with a garden trowel, but for now I'm raring to go.
Not that there aren't things I'll miss about the green, green grass of home. As societies go, there are few more open to mockery than the United Kingdom. I'm not sure how bilious I'll be able to get if I actually start enjoying life, so just to make sure I'd better devote the rest of this article to discussing an observation I made this morning.
Every road sign in this town (Rugby in Warwickshire, for lovers of detail) has a little sticker on the back reading, sometimes in red, sometimes in black lettering: "THIS SIGN HAS NO RESALE VALUE".
Now, call me a cynic, call me a fuckwit, call me Jocasta if you're weird, but I would have thought that a sign reading "DO NOT EAT" on an electric fence would be more useful than that little notice. I would say our town is full of either overly cautious roadsign makers or colossally stupid thieves.
There are only two kinds of people I can think of who would want to steal a roadsign, and saying that it has no resale value isn't going to stop either of them. The first is students. Students steal roadsigns so they can put them on the walls of their plague pits, while soaking up taxpayer's money and braying obnoxious laughter. The other demographic that would consider stealing a roadsign is SMACKTARDS. Smacktards steal roadsigns because the pretty red colours hypnotised them, or because they're hungry. And most of them don't get as far as actually stealing the sign, as once they've acquired the appropriate tools and figured out how to use them they've forgotten what it was they were supposed to do and begun bumming each other and hooting.
Consider a road. A road and all the things one generally finds on a road. Picture a road you saw on your way to work, say. Got that picture in your head? Good. Now, make a top ten of everything in that picture you'd consider stealing. Would the signs even get into the list? The cars would go first, obviously, then the bikes, then, I dunno. The railings would probably get on there. And the bulbs in traffic lights, if you wanted to make your very own disco. I don't know what your personal preferences are, but I think I'd be scraping the double yellow lines off the tarmac before I turned my attention to the road signs.
No-one would steal a sign and rub their hands with glee at the thought of massive profit. Frankly, I can't imagine that any diabolical character in a big coat would be seen on the streets of a city offering to sell road signs to passers-by. Although it does remind of that joke where the thief goes up to someone and says "Wanna buy something that fell off the back of a lorry?" and proceeds to sell them a number plate.
So, I finally got to see the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. WHAT A LOAD OF OLD (cough) no, sorry, this is not the time to start small-mindedly slanging the thing. The time for that is Friday, in my full review. In the meantime, I'm going to digress a bit. Y'see, there are two characters in the film, one of whom is invisible, and the other immortal. And that got me thinking back to a thought that occurred to me some time ago, that being: which is better? Invisible or invincible? Unseen or unkillable? Transparent or... terribly difficult to harm?
At various periods I have fantasised about being both. I know they both traditionally come with disadvantages, but I really feel I could live with them (something which HG Wells' Invisible Man said to himself and which later came back to haunt him, I think). But which would be most advantageous? Let's pit them against each other in a variety of everyday situations and find out! Whoosh!
1. Out on the town
Invisible Man: Assuming he's running around in the nude, a crowded town centre is the Invisible Man's playground. What will it be first, knocking off people's hats? Kicking small dogs? Stealing large sums of money? Brutal rape? The world is your oyster! However, when you've simmered down and you have to do the week's shopping, things are not so simple. People in the supermarket will only see an unattended trolley pushing itself around, and may take it upon themselves to filch your tinned plums.
Immortal Man: The immortal has no immediate advantages over his fellow man in the town centre and as such can't have as much fun as the invisible man. Although if someone did filch his tinned plums, he would be able to deliver violence without fear of consequence.
Winner: Invisible Man
Immortal Man: Generally falls in love only once in his immortality career. His one true love, a woman he feels he can be with forever. They marry and settle down in a little house somewhere in the wilderness. For a while, everything is OK. Then she starts gradually to age, a grey hair here, a laughter line there. The immortal can only sit and watch, remaining at his youthful best forever, as the love of his life slowly fades away and dies, clutching her hand throughout. The immortal then spends most of the next few centuries in a really foul mood.
Invisible Man: "Susan, I've been watching you from afar for many months now, and I cannot remain silent any longer. Your eyes flash fire into my soul. The slightest glimpse of your radiant smile causes my legs to grow weak and my heart to pound. I want to say I love you, Susan, and I beg for your hand in marriage."
"Who said that?"
Winner: Immortal Man. He may get his heart broken, but at least he gets something out of it.
3. Going To The Cinema
Invisible Man: Not only does he get in free, but he can sit wherever he likes and can be sure he won't be obstructing anyone's view. He just has to make sure he doesn't eat too much in the way of snacks, as that may lead to reports of a floating ball of half-digested popcorn and Coca-Cola hovering above one of the seats.
Immortal Man: The immortal man has to pay for everything like everyone else, and while watching historical films, he finds himself compelled to shout out corrections, having lived through most of the periods depicted. He is eventually removed by management.
Winner: Invisible Man
4. Performance In Bed
Immortal Man: Being approximately a million billion years old and lived through a whole horde of different civilisations and periods, the immortal man has experience on his side. He's probably bedded a number of women equal to the entire population of Norway, and you know what they say practise makes! He could probably induce orgasm in a sex partner using only his eyebrow and a cocktail stick.
Invisible Man: Invisibility doesn't really help or hinder the man in this department, except for the fact that a woman fucking an invisible man is the most hilarious sight ever.
Winner: Immortal Man
5. Fashion Sense
Immortal Man: Most immortal men dress perfectly sensibly in accordance with the current time period, give or take a few bullet holes here and there, but there is a certain breed of immortal who stubbornly only wears ancient clothing from the time period he was born in. This is stupid, as it makes them easier to spot for the evil government scientists.
Invisible Man: Since any garment would compromise the invisible man's advantage, he must spend all of his time running around au naturele. But really, haven't we all wanted to free ourselves of the stuffy insistence on society's part to wear clothes? Good on the invisible man, he is a true free spirit in this prudish world. The only drawback is that he has to live in a country with a warm climate, or else become a very frostbitten free spirit.
Winner: Invisible Man
6. Going Insane
Invisible Man: It's largely accepted that going insane is a well-known consequence of being invisible, whether it be because you're being ostracised as a horrible freak or because you can't sleep very well when your eyelids are transparent. For whatever reason, when he flips out and starts murdering people, there's no-one better qualified for sneak attack. Trouble is, it only takes luring him into a room where the sprinklers are on, or chucking dust all over him, and suddenly he's just a ordinary bloke with no clothes on.
Immortal Man: The immortal generally goes mad when living unchanged for so long while everyone else dies just gets on top of him. When he does go snooker loopy, he's got remarkable free rein, since the most anyone can do is imprison him, and if that happens he can just wait for the prison walls to crumble and rot away. Something tells me, however, that no-one could keep up batshit insanity for eternity. I figure maybe after 10000-odd years he'd grow bored of being mad and just go back to working at the local Co-op.
Winner: Immortal man
So, in conclusion, it's split right down the middle. Both have their own individual strengths. The invisible man can't survive a volley of gunfire, but the immortal man can't hide in a ladies' changing room. Live and let live, I suppose.
It's funny how things mutate, isn't it. I'm thinking of anime, here. Quite a while ago the Japanese instigate this massive Americanisation which involves embracing all sorts of wacky technology and developing a distinctive style of animation. Then the Americans begin to imitate Japanese anime, which itself is an imitation of American culture. It's a fascinating process.
Japan as a culture fascinates me, and not just because you can get dirty panties from vending machines and watching their television can cause your brain to explode. It's the cartoons that engage my interest most; I find it really wacky-ass that every single Japanese cartoonist draws in exactly the same way.
The western obsession with the Japanese style is kind of mad. It seems that everything released from Japan automatically becomes cult viewing across the Pacific (cult viewing in this sense meaning 'geeks watch it'). The Japanese could release detailed anime videos on the wonders of inserting brittle glass rods into the penis, and there'd still be fat blokes in black Neverwinter Nights t-shirts ordering it. Fuck, they probably have.
And that sort of brings me to what I really want to talk about today: Hentai. Now, hentai gets a pretty bad press, or 'rep', as they say in the ghetto. This is generally because of the popular interpretation of 'hentai' to mean 'underage girls being stuffed in every orifice with oozing green tentacles while tears stream down their faces in those funny little river things'. This is really not fair. It's like saying that all Austrian people with moustaches are Hitler. Tentacle hentai is only one small facet of a larger media, and for the most part hentai only depicts perfectly ordinary sexual acts between consenting partners. Admittedly they tend to be underaged more than is healthy, but they try to disguise that sort of thing in English translations, so at least they know there's something wrong with it.
I'd like to address someone personally. I'd like to address the chap who does those reviews of hentai games over at Something Awful. Yeah, he's got as much chance of reading this article as I have of stepping through a portal to the far future and discovering a magical kingdom where all the people have breasts on their foreheads. But look, this guy puts great effort into raggin' on Hentai games with his righteous indignation turned on full blast, all the time moaning about how his journalistic integrity demands him to play these games and suffer so. Well, I challenge thee, Mr. Hentai Game Reviewer Man. I throw down this gauntlet here: I say that no-one who claims to loathe hentai games would play so many just to appease the nerds who would read your review. I say that you play hentai games because you like looking at pictures of tits!
Hentai, like furry porn and 'Busted', is something no-one ever admits to liking. And there's really no reason to be ashamed of it. Okay, it's porn, but everyone likes porn. Okay, the content is sometimes questionable, but so is South Park, and everyone likes South Park. Okay, so it can be pretty fucked up at times, but no more than most stuff that comes out of Japan. No more than 'The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty' by A. N. 'I swear to fucking God I'm not Anne Rice' Roquelaure, and everyone likes ... Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who likes that book, but you get my point.
Well, here goes. I LIKE those areas of hentai which depict acts that aren't illegal or sexually deviant. I LIKE seeing pictures of tits. I LIKE to drop momentarily into a little fantasy world where everyone is beautiful and blowjobs are offered in return for fixing the sink. And why not? I'm 100% red hot hunk of man, and all men like watching boobies jiggling around, when they're not lifting weights, grunting and messing around under the bonnets of expensive cars (the men, that is, not the boobies). So there. I've said it. I like hentai. Poo on you.
Yes, I have just done the internet equivalent of shouting 'I AM A FREAK' in the middle of a crowded shopping centre, but in a way, I feel oddly fulfilled now I've got it off my chest. So I feel more fulfilled than that Something Awful reviewer fellow. Just admit it like I have, mister! You'll feel so much better!
material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw