Monday, December 13, 2004
Saturday, December 11, 2004
We had a late license at the bar last night. I normally work Sunday nights, which is like working at the cholera wing of some WWI veterans hospital, suffice to say it's not very glamorous. I was expecting all-out debauched Friday-night carnage like the last days of Sodom or something. As always I was slightly disappointed, as it all proceeded in a very civilised but fun manner. Thankfully I had set the video to observe the sublime Friday night Channel Four comedy experience that is Peep Show when I got back. Oh to have a 'Super Hans' action figure which attached crack pipe!
I've always loved Channel 4, as a source of perverse madness--I fondly remember the illicit thrill of catching a 'Red Triangle' movie or a RuPaul cable show at some odd hour of the morning. Friday night rocks on Channel 4...until about 12 am when it all takes a nosedive and you get something like Snow Patrol live in concert, it's as if Ch4, my childhood friend, is sending me to bed! Then after 1am, there's fucking snowboarding and skiing. C'mon Ch4, know your audience! The people that like that kind of extreme sport shit aren't up at 3 am drinking 'Good King Wencesles looked Stout’ and hoping that there's going to be a documentary about Troma films or Bettie Page or something. No, the sort of people who like snowboarding are off on the slopes with impressionable ladies who think that strapping a plank to your feet and falling down a mountain is somehow impressive. Don't get me started on Ban This Filth a show that shits on the noble tradition of Eurotrash.
Anyway, I'm off now to see Blade: Trinity, for my sins. I've heard awful reviews but that's hardly stopped me from spending an hour and a half in the dark listening to loud bangs and people in leather coats hitting things before.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:26:00 PM
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Up there with other phrases that make the average modern life a misery—"last orders at the bar", "It’s not you, it’s me", "except for viewers in (insert your area here)"—must be "press 'X' to enter side seat".
Some explanation for my hatred of this phrase may be needed. I have, after much mental stress and fleeting moments of carnage-inspired joy, finished Halo on legendary. Halo mostly consists of shooting things with various cool weapons, which rocks, the last level ‘Warning: Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Convicts’ consists mostly of getting pasted by all comers as you drive through a soon to be vaporised space ship in a dune buggy style vehicle called the Warthog which handles like shite*, keeps toppling over and seems to always land with its side seat next to you. With every second counting (before the fusion reactor of the Pillar of Autumn explodes with a temperature of one hundred million degrees!!!), the time it takes to discover you’re in the wrong fucking seat, see the horrible phrase "press 'X' to enter side seat" and get out and run around to the driver’s seat seems like aeons.
Getting into the side seat of the Warthog is like saying to all Covenant and Flood "Come ye with your needlers and shotguns! Because I’m a fucking idiot and I’ve just sat in the side seat where I can neither drive nor operate the gun turret, I’m sitting here as if on a stationary little golf cart in a lion’s den wearing a large novelty top hat made of meat".
*Check it out, I can’t even drive but I’ve watched Top Gear a few times and this is the short of crap they come out with.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:02:00 PM
Monday, December 06, 2004
Feck! Christmas is yet again creeping up on us like a black cat that rifles our pockets and plies us with booze. On Saturday I began to think about Christmas shopping and attempted some leisurely browsing in the various emporia of Norwich, bad move! I was slightly hung over after consuming some of Labhaoise’s boyfriend’s brother’s festive homebrew, ‘Good King Wencesles looked Stout’. The narcotic effects of homebrew had been proven previously when said brewer and Cambridge canoe maker fell asleep half way through a bottle of my ‘Lorcale’. He had repaid the favour in full as I dozed off after only a few mouthfuls of his Christmas concoction, half way through The Mystery of the Batwoman DVD. Needless to say I did not discover what the mystery of the Batwoman was, as I similarly do not usually discover the mysteries of nonbatwomen.
Anyway, the Cornish pasty eating shopping masses of Norwich can sense weakness and as nature abhors a vacuum any slightly fragile shoppers can easily get crushed. Especially in the Works, a place that is easy to wander into yet impossible to escape, one is trapped by their 'art' books section pondering whether to get a certain book in hardback that you already have in paperback, you never know when you might need a spare copy. Ducking into an arcade, I found solace in a toy shop, where, among the action figures and similar plastic objects of desire, I observed a large portly gentleman in a Punisher T-shirt, Black trench coat, and 'Frankenboots' (beloved of Goths). He was deliberating with his troll-like missus which big plastic gun he should buy. As far as I could gather, he was judging the plastic guns by such criteria as size, realism and what noise it made. I think one can a take a comic-inspired look slightly too far. God knows what vigilante-inspired sexual shenanigans this couple get up to behind closed doors? I shuddered to think but my bad aul brain pan was way ahead of me and I already had before I tried not to--suffice to say it wasn't pretty.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:14:00 AM
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
One of my missions at the bar is to have stuff playing on the TV that will make people drop their drinks in horror as they ask—‘What the fuck is that?’, it is my slight revenge for being forced to watch endless hours of sports, the bane of my life. Things I have forced patrons to watch include Sliders, Quantum Leap and Village of the Giants.
On Wednesdays, I always have the TV switched to MTV Dance at 12pm to observe the incredible (or is it intolerable, I don’t quite know which) ‘Carmen Electra’s Hypermix’. To those who have not experienced this hellish tableau, it consists of an hour of bad music played on a beach where scantily clad women ‘bump n’ grind’ with scantily brained men.
This could be the mating dance and subsequent dying throes of an alien race (lots of Zoidbergs, perhaps). Perky creatures of sinew and smiles clad in DayGlo bikinis shake it like the proverbial Polaroid picture flanked by trunk-wearing lumbering beasts of bulk and brawn. All this is overseen by Carmen (who puts in about 3 minutes of ‘work’ per hour), and DJ Scribble, who is safe from the horrors in his little bamboo paddock. In her dulcet tones, over trash techno Carmen hollers: “Welcome to the Florida Keys. Where it’s all about DANCIN’ and HOOKIN’ Up !!!”. The girls, at least, can dance, the blokes at these things all look like Frankenstein-created monsters, not noted for their dancing skills.
After the hypermix has done its turn, MTV Dance unleashes a daylong parade of stylish perversity. As a self-appointed monitor of the bizarre, I’m trying to figure out what’s up with this ‘perverse turn’ in modern dance videos. I can sense it’s probably something to do with a line of thinking that one can be as sexist as Benny Hill, as long as it’s done “ironically”.
I don’t know.
I lost my moral compass some time ago and then a taxi ran over it. As I have discussed previously, there is nothing like the surreptitious thrill of listening to the likes of Peaches on one’s Walkman while wandering around polite society, except perhaps foisting some of the following on the general public.
Michael Gray: I can’t wait for the weekend to begin
Benny Benassi: Satisfaction.
Eric Prycz: Call on Me
Armand Van Helden: My My My
Khia: My Neck, My Back (Lick it)
Basement Jaxx: Plug It In.
Wouldn't you know, someone more qualified than I has already come up with a more comprehensive list of sleazy vids!.
I’m sure these videos are also meant to be shocking. Oh for the days when I could be shocked. Would that I had 'eye scrubbers' to erase the things I've seen...then I could go and watch them again.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:42:00 AM
Friday, November 26, 2004
I recently saw Colin Powell on TV complaining about illegal elections in the Ukraine, I wasn’t sure If he was condemning them or offering advice on how to orchestrate them. Speaking of political matters (don’t worry, I won’t do it often), I would like to propose a term named after John Bruton, one my great nation’s less successful Taoiseachs--this is the Irish name for a Prime Minister, which BBC journalists insist on pronouncing as if they had just been punched in the throat with a glove filled with gravel. A member of Fine Gael (one of the slightly more right wing main parties in Ireland), he was in charge from 1994-97. Throughout this time, I forgot about him actually being Taoiseach completely until I would accidentally catch a glimpse of his gurning visage on TV. His main talent seemed to be seal impressions.
To ‘do a Bruton’ then, in light of our current situation vis-à-vis the barely literate hominid in the White House, would be ‘to empty the mind of any thoughts that a person leading a country actually is’—when you think ‘President of the United States’ just mentally substitute the trustworthy person of your choice be it Martin Sheen, Denis Haysbert, or Susan Sarandon. Personally, I see Christopher Walken as.an.EXCEcellent…leader. If enough people just don’t believe Bush is the president then perhaps he’ll get the message and just wander off into Middle America somewhere to shoot at varmints from a pick-up truck while hollerin’ at those fancy city folks with their ‘books’.
Posted by Lorcy at 6:01:00 AM
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I was in the gym the other day —I go occasionally in an attempt to curtail the ravages of my dissolute lifestyle—and saw a delightful young Norwich couple that would be known as ‘chavs’, in the parlance of our time. They had lovely matching love bites. These weren’t just matching, they were uncannily identical: in size, consistency, colour and position. How was such arcane magic achieved, I wondered? Did the first biter have a go, then, as the first love bite formed into a nice purple blotch, trace over it with tracing paper? Was this painstakingly achieved outline then placed on the neck of the second bitee so the second biter can have a go? Was a stopwatch used so that the consistency was just right? Anyway, the sight of this couple with their sports accessories, distinctive jewellery and barely disguised violence toward each other had me thinking that once you become aware of Burberry hats and clown pendants they become ubiquitous. Clown pendants are insane—they’re like action figures dipped in gold. A Stephen King novel about a haunted clown pendant that chokes its owner cannot be far away. I saw a shire horse pendant yesterday and imagined a demented ‘clown riding a shire horse shooting at a rag doll with two jewel encrusted gold Uzis’ pendant…must call Argos and see if they're interested.
What about us geeks? Where’s our pendants so we can ride the crest of this cultural chav wave. Fear not dear reader(s)*, I have taken it upon myself to design an exclusive range of ‘Geek Pendants’, see below and be the envy of your lab/library/science fiction book club.
*Delete as applicable.
Posted by Lorcy at 7:48:00 PM
Posted by Lorcy at 7:21:00 PM
Monday, November 22, 2004
How eBay works:
eBay seller: "I’ll sell ya this broken stick I found in hedge for 1p"
Me: "Why would I want a broken stick for a penny?"
Someone else: "Wow! a broken stick for a penny! I’ll give you 5p for it!"
Me: "Mmm maybe it’s worth having a broken stick some random person found in a hedge I could spend 10p on it..."
(Repeat as necessary until the last minutes of auction)
Me (thinks): "Must get that broken stick! Have to buy something I was totally unaware of until very recently and suddenly it’s a really important thing that will dramatically enhance my life.
(upon opening post three days later)
Me: "Why the fuck did I spend £50 on a broken stick someone found in a hedge?? Oh well, at least I’ve ‘won’ something".
*a note on Irish slang, this is not meant to be 'Gee' as in 'Gee Whiz', as some Norman Rockwell imp would say upon getting a fudge sundae from a soda jerk, but 'Gee' (with a hard 'G')as in 'Gee bag'--such slang always looks worse written down. For instance, text can never do justice to the comedic musicality of the Northern Irish phrase 'cunty bollix', or the delicate, playful lyricism of 'I'll knock yer fuck in!'...delightful.
Posted by Lorcy at 11:56:00 AM
Saturday, November 20, 2004
Friday, November 19, 2004
With apologies to Thomas Alva Edison, writing a PhD is sometimes a case of 1% inspiration and 99% procrastination. The latter includes such vital prewriting performances as desk tidying, book stacking, keyboard cleaning, staring and gibbering. Cleaning out the email inbox is another vital procrastination tool. While doing this today, I came across the URL for the great blog of one Karl Whitney, latterly of UEA and now of University College Dublin. Whereas I’m a young whippersnapper at this sort of thing, young Karl’s an old hand, having written for The Guardian and such. He is also a close personal friend of one Tony Danza, who IS the boss whatever his friend Christopher ‘You can blow wit' this’ Walken says. I have also been procrastinating by ringing up my local Royal Mail delivery office. (‘local’ as in about five miles away over uneven ground) to track the whereabouts of my bulk lot of She-Hulk comics, which I won on eBay. Which She Hulk? Savage She-Hulk or Sensational She-Hulk? I hear you ask! Well…some issues of both. Unfortunately, the voice on the answering machine sounded like an old man chained to a cave wall being forced to record his words onto a wax cylinder, fearful that this demonic, new-fangled recording device would steal his very voice! So I fear for my She Hulks and what the lads in the post room are doing to them.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:38:00 AM
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
In the comments, 'Anonymous' has rightly asked ‘Who is Jimmny Homunculus?' Who indeed. I’ve dug up some information on Jimmny’s family tree but have also created an artist's rendition of what he could look like. Note the airtight nodule he is placed within. His gibbering guff is sufficient to power the hollow flagellum within the gooey matrix of wee Willy Gates’ Ethergut©, which some refer to as “The Internet”(I hear it might catch on, they allow anyone to publish guff on it.)
There is a bit of a Jimmny Homunculus in all of us, however. It's that tiny figure waving from the shore when the tides of sanity have ebbed away. It’s the voice in your head that says, upon hearing fireworks, "Yikes! Armageddon! I’ll be prying my next meal out of a dead man's hand and will have to fight off flute-playing rats and wisecracking telepathic dogs to get peace to eat it". It’s the voice that says: "Cool!...maybe that’s a UFO", every time you see a plane at night. It’s the voice that asserts: "Maybe this is a really good idea!", before every idiotic thing you’ve ever done. Jimmny is all these things but perhaps most importantly he’s just a funny name to write things under, as ‘The Life and Times of Lorcan T. McGrane’ would be either too mundane (or horrific) for public consumption.
Posted by Lorcy at 11:45:00 PM
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I was going to post on the head-wrecking antics of my pernickety bar customers, but that can always wait. More pressing news awaits, however, as I am just back from a sneak preview of The Incredibles . In contrast to the audiences at the sort of guff I normally go to, it was odd to be in a totally packed cinema. Growing up in Monaghan, I saw Robocop 3, and the sequel number matched the attendance. Suffice to say, The Incredibles rocked more than a flying Robo. Although the characters’ powers are superficially similar to existing superheroes (Tom Strong, Invisible Girl, Reed Richards, The Flash, and Iceman), Brad Bird and co have managed to create standalone superheroes that exist unproblematically in their own universe. Nods to comics are pleasingly obscure: superheroes getting sued reminded me of Dwayne McDuffie's great Damage Control, which concerned the poor construction guys who have to rebuild cities after superhero battles. What The Increbibles excels at is reproducing believably on screen the type of Kirbyesque ‘huge monster trashing whole streets while various characters buzz around it using their distinctive powers’ covers beloved of The Fantastic Four. In fact that adaptation will have its work cut out for it to render the FF’s powers believably in a live-action context.
I did warn this blog would get geeky, God help us all when I get started on She Hulk!.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:54:00 AM
Sunday, November 14, 2004
Yaaay! Having just received one online comment already, I am taking this as carte blanche to infect the old Internet with more of my ramblings.
I’m not saying my campus is bleak, but it was used as a location for a post-apocalyptic movie and does have its eerie days, like Sundays when I work one of my shifts at the bar. As a PhD student, you’re on campus all year round and semesters don’t exist as such. During the summer it’s deserted and one gets the feeling you'll bump into Adrian Tripod, but come September, thousands of students descend like a chattering alien race. In these periods, a Walkman is an essential item to drown out the constant pretentious babble, like overhearing someone defining Synaesthesia loudly and wrongly in a coffee bar.
I love the secret soundtracks produced by listening to music in this way. Although not as bad as that fabled ‘C’ Nathan Barley, I am usually thinking of some kick-ass and as yet unmade movie like Judgement on Gotham or Marvel UK’s transdimensional technology thieves The Warheads.
Anyway I usually walk around campus with a wry smile, because I’m usually surreptitiously listening to songs like this, which I have compiled below in a sort of sleaze song compendium:
Peaches: Fuck the Pain Away
Add N to (X): Plug Me In
Electric Six: Naked Pictures of Your Mother
Tuscadero: Latex Dominatrix
Goldie Lookin’ Chain: You’re Mother’s Got a Penis
Lucy Bogan: Shave ‘Em Dry
Barrel House Annie: If It Don’t Fit (Don’t Force It)
Phyllis Dillon: Don’t Touch Me Tomato
The Moldy Peaches: Downloading Porno With Davo
Ween: Mister Richard Smoker.
Beck: Sexx Laws
Lunachicks: Butt Plug.
Pulp: Pencil Skirt.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:12:00 PM
While adding a comment to the very funny and perceptive blog of a certain Corneilious over at It’s Shite Being Scottish, I inadvertently created this blog to vent my ramblings on movies, sci-fi, comics and general geekdom. Not only has he introduced me to this blogging lark, but through his fervent evalgelicalizing of a certain black box, I have recently been experiencing the jittery 'Joy of Halo'. Halo is less a game and more a pleasurable disease of the nervous system that Cronenberg himself would be proud of. With the release of Halo 2, observe any Xbox owners in your vicinity and be on the look out for such symptoms as ‘Halo Eyes’ (very bloodshot and twitchy around the lids) and ‘Judder Hands’, (digits constantly moving as if using an invisible Xbox controller). After a post-pub session of Halo on ‘legendary’ last night I found to my distress that my dreams had an ever-present Needler scope superimposed on the proceedings. I should really cut down on my Halo time, as someone doing a PhD on superhero movies, I hardly need more geek strings to my bow.
Posted by Lorcy at 6:24:00 AM
On the way back from the shops today, I walked past a lady scooping up some shite and putting it in a plastic bag. This would be treated as insane behaviour if she did not have a (barely controlled) Labrador with her. It struck me that every time I walk past someone walking a dog they are scooping up shite and putting it in a plastic bag and then carrying it around. It’s almost as if they really liked doing this in the first place and then decided to choose a pet that would facilitate carrying around crap on more regular basis. The dog may have sensed my not being a dog person as he made a reasonable attempt to leap up and bite me as I passed. Thankfully the fecker was muzzled. Then the dog owner looked at me disdainfully like it’s my fault her dog’s nuts, and I’m thinking to myself ‘lady, I’m not the one with a small bag of shit in my pocket!’.
Posted by Lorcy at 1:43:00 AM