Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Carmen Electra's HyperShite!!

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
Kelis: Milkshake
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.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Get yer ‘Brut-on’.

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’.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

(Chav) Love Hurts...

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.

Pimp my PhD!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Gee Bay*

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".

The End

*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.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Sleep deprivation: A drug of choice?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Procrastinate Now!

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.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Jimmny hurtles from sense to whimsy at a fair old speed disregarding reason and taste

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Who he is and how he came to be...

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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Incredible Sneaky Peek

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!.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Walkmans and Wry Smiles

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.

Needler Dreams

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.

Small bags of crap

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!’.