Thursday, August 27, 2009

So... that Ben Chatham game..

It's coming on, but quite slowly. Not in the grand scheme of things, but in the standards of games that are made in a month and aren't terribly good. I say 'made in a month' and that was the original intention solely so that it could be entered in a monthly contest - it could end up later than that. Especially since it turns out the deadline wasn't actually the end of the month as I originally planned for, and the game thus won't go in the actual contest.

I'm hoping I do make it by the 31st though, because the more I look at it, the plot of the game is quite poorly thought out and I don't really have anyone to blame aside from myself and my decision to write it all during train trips and not thinking things through. Also I've worked out cheap ways around animation (the old 'explanatory text' gambit, along with a lot of characters who just stand around) The end result being a very Chatham-quality product, the only real excuse I can have being that I threw it together in a short time whilst also studying, falling in and out of illness and staying up ridiculously late nights for some extra sporting frustration.

What I'm getting at is, as with most things I create, I'm worried it will be terrible and not worth the effort. But, as has already been established the connection with Chatham is a handy get-out-free clause, though one I'm hoping not to have to rely on. Must write some funnier material...

And, to pad out this entry, a sample of the actual writing I've banged on about - in the simple form of the prologue text:

When the horrible truth of the foreign dangers Earth faced were uncovered, governments around the world knew action had to be taken. Covert organisations were drafted from the best and brightest of the world and given unassuming titles - the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, Torchwood, the British Rocket Group, Projekt Valkyrie, Delta Red and Asio 2.0 They operated in grave secrecy and gave their all to ensure Earth's safety, facing incredible odds and no recognition for their triumphs. They are the true heroes of the modern age.

Meanwhile, a drunken unemployed archaeologist named Ben Chatham, who happens to have faced more abductions than any other man on Earth, is dispatched by the government in 'Operation: Delta'. Their mission? They don't have one - they're just an MP's money laundering front that claims to fight alien invaders.

However, not everybody realises this. What follows is the story of how Ben Chatham defied the odds to follow their mission through to the bitter end, with only the bare minimum of illicit encouragements.

I need to try and set it up a little for people who don't know who Ben is, you see, and I can't just put a link to his Wikipedia page in the game...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why happy people shouldn't follow sport

Imagine, if you will, a fifth series of Blakes 7 with, for once, a beautifully scripted arc. The writers are Terry Nation, Chris Boucher, Tanith Lee, Robert Holmes, Andrew Smith, and Barbara Clegg, plus some guy you haven't heard of to do the finale. David Maloney's back as producer, the stories are a revelation to watch. Because of recent work as jewel-thieves on the side the budget is five times that of Star Wars per story. One episode features location work on the moon, just because they can.

The stories make you weep in joy at the sheer brilliance of them, the arc is not intrusive, but still keeps you on the edge of your seat. Servalan finally fucking dies, in a manner much akin to Blue Womp from Double The Fist. Dayna is given some more characterisation and Soolin takes her clothes off. What's more, it all builds up to a spectacular finale!

But wait... the final episode is ... everyone is out of character. There's an in-story reason for Vila to be recast as a bald midget with Tourette's syndrome wearing nothing but a red loincloth. Soolin is killed off before the story even begins. Everyone seems to carry the Idiot Ball for the episode, nobody can shoot straight and characters are killed off for no reason at all. Travis comes back from the dead! Orac catches a virus that makes him rap all of his dialogue to David Bowie backing tracks! Avon is revealed to have powers of superhuman strength that he's never used until now! There are aliens who look like giant cocks, and Tarrant communicates with them by controlled licking of their flesh! It has NOTHING to do with the arc AT ALL! Who the fuck is Joe Medina and why the hell did he get to write the most important story??!?

Ah, but he was the one who found about Maloney's jewel-thievery and blackmailed the production team to give him his first ever professional writing credit - in THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY so he could REEEEALLY show off. And no script editing, because he didn't need any. And he'd handle the design himself. And his mate Chip would get to play Travis.

The result is the complete opposite of Terminal - when the head of drama happens to glance at the TV set and vomits in rage, cancelling the show immediately and sentencing David Maloney to life imprisonment with the emergency powers vested in him by the UK's new Standards for Appalling Television Shows. Incidentally Eric Saward flees the country.

What I'm trying to do here is to illustrate how ridiculously over-the-top any TV show failure has to be to come near to emulating the complete soul-crushing horror of sports. Anyone who read my predictions will see how very, very wrong I was about the Ashes decider. Indeed, that B7 metaphor up there is a far more accurate retelling.

We lost the Ashes.

We lost the Ashes.

We lost the Ashes.

We lost the Ashes!


At the moment I envy so greatly people entirely ignorant of cricket, who cannot grasp the enormity of this spiritual shitpile choking and enveloping my very soul. The worst thing is I know that, ultimately, this isn't important at all - it's a contest over a replica antique perfume bottle with some burnt twigs in it for fuck's sake! - but I've been so caught up in the drama and excitement, looked forward to this for so long... everything that seemed sensible has been snatched away from me with the maximum possible snatch.

Even looking back, it makes little sense. We made 6 centuries to their 2. We had the top wicket-takers for nearly the entire competition. We had a better spinner. We were the number one team in the world.

Sadly, we were outcaptained and outselected. You will note that my predictions say that it was a near certainty that Nathan Hauritz would play at the Oval. Notably, everyone else said that as well. But... he didn't. I forgot that Ponting likes to stick with a winning team, like it's some sort of talisman. So Stuey Clark, a bowler I love in any other circumstance, was on the field. And Marcus North, our back-up spinner, took 4 wickets. The blatantly inferior shower-forsaking freak Graeme Swann took as many in each innings. Seeing as they both bowl the same style, I am going out on a limb and saying that if Haury had bowled he'd have taken 10 from the match and topped the fucking wicket-taking chart. Of course, I can't say that now because we'll never know.

We were also outmanoeuvred by some very negative tactis, which I won't go into because it's the sort of thing that the Poms lable as empty whinging no matter how legitimate it is. At the same time, there is a deal of sense to it, as I might be as snake-like as Strauss if I had such a band of no-hopers to lead to victory. (Seriously... the surfeit of talent in the English team is what makes this SO HARD to accept!)

We were the victim of critically unfair umpiring. North hit the ball with an edge you could hear from China from outside off before it ducked back into his pads and was given LB off an appeal that never should have happened. Before then, as usual, he had looked the Rock of Gibraltar and so had Simon Katich, the pair looking set for a 150-partnership that could have saved the series. Next innings rolls around, and all of a sudden Asad Rauf is mister fucking eagle-eye, seeing air between Jonathan Trott's bat and the ball which nobody else can. The commentators called this a 'good decision' endlessly, despite nothing to say there WASN'T an edge, based off a snick from the ball hitting Trott's pockets, which presumably contained some maracas. Okay, he mightn't have been out, but what right did Rauf have NOT to give that out? There was a sound, there was no gap between bat and ball, it was caught and you gave a terrible one to the other side. Tell that fucker not to wax his bat some much and throw him off the fucking field.

Incidentally, that fucker ended up scoring England's second century ever and is now worshipped as some sort of God, in spite of the fact that for most of the morning he was a shakey as a constipated junkie in a cold outhouse.

We were also victims of a pitch from hell. Oh, if Ponting had won that toss how different things would be. On Day One it was playable. On Day Two it was wearing away and became a spinner's paradise. Day Three, it deteriorated even more and was flat. But by then it was too late.

I can't go into the 2nd Australia innings because I didn't even watch it. I have developed a sixth sense for when there's no point watching any more. I had a bucketload of hope after Katich and Watson smashed 80 off their first 20 overs, that the two of them would get the tons they craved and wear away at the poms' confidence until they were quivering wrecks. I switched over to SBS for about 20 seconds after Stephen Fry, and I knew it was all over - "Perfect start for England, both openers out" - *CLICK*.

I knew that was it. We wouldn't survive that night. I don't know why exactly, I just did, and lo and behold when I log onto Cricinfo I see I've called with agonising accuracy on that occassion.

Australia is no longer the world's number one cricketing nation. We are no longer the world's number two cricketing nation. We don't even get a bronze turkey. We are FOURTH. Just edging ahead of the Blind Hedgehog XI whom we shall be challenging at Bag Interior Oval and the outlook isn't promising. Soon even Bangladesh will be challenging us.

My dad's analysis - "Everyone in Cricket Australia needs to be sacked. From the bloke who opens the door up."

Not sure I'd go quite so far, but if nothing else there's proof that letting David Boon and Merv Hughes, chairpersons of the Moustachioed Pisshead Gentlemen League, control the selection panel is a very bad idea. Ponting should probably lose the captaincy, too, as he's proven time and time again that he can't select a team nor set a field with any degree of intelligence.

Sorry this isn't funnier. My heart is bleeding tears right now..

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ashes 5th Test Predictions

My last bunch of rambling was completely meaningless, as it turned out, the English were still utterly destroyed because they are an incredibly negative people as I should have remembered. Their first course of action was to shape up the team. My ideal line-up would look thusly:

1. Andrew Strauss
2. Alistair Cook
3. Mark Ramprakash
4. Jonathan Trott
5. Paul Collingwood
6. Matt Prior
7. Andrew Flintoff
8. Stuart Broad
9. Graeme Swann
10. Steve Harmison
11. Monty Panesar

For the obvious reasons that that would be one shithouse team for us to easily steamroll and, what's more, there were plausible reasons for all of them to be fielded... except Harmison. That's pure wishful thinking. I know this because the Poms were bright enough to leak documents from the team detailing the batting line-up that they will be using, and thus giving our boys nearly a week to watch videos of Trott's batting performances and work out the best way to systematically destroy him with soul-crushing assaults on his manhood to ideally scar him out of a career in cricket FOREVER MWUHAHAHA!

I'm not really evil, you know.

Incidentally, this is the second time that the English have left sensitive documents in their changing rooms during an Ashes campaign, following the incident in 2007 where they left their entire 'batting plan' portfolio lying around in.. the MCG if I remember correctly. Humourously this led to Sir Ian Botham accusing Aussie players of breaking in to the rooms and stealing them off the players rather than say, a janitor doing his job, who is probably the bastardly cove behind this latest scandal. Why must these cricket grounds be kept so clean?!? English cricket shall never survive such scrutiny! And who's the bastard who has Ravi Bopara's iPod? He can't bat at all without Eye of the Tiger playing!

*Ahem* The bowling line-up of the English team is up in the air at the moment, as is the Australians, because nobody's looked at the Oval's pitch. It seems to be in a sort of Schroedigner's Pitch state, actually, with complete uncertainty over whether it will support spin or pace. Of course, Graeme Swann has proven to be a fixture of the English side due to them setting the bar lower than for Hermes Conrad's olympic limbo challenge in Futurama, but they have already showed themselves willing to play two spinners in Cardiff so Monty Panesar's Flying Circus isn't out of the question.

Pleasingly, Flintoff is a certainty - without Pietersen the English have lost the only other player who can bat confidently against the Australians, and also undoubtedly their best bowler. Because of this they have announced that he will be playing no matter what condition his health is. Likewise, Flintoff has stated that he doesn't care about any namby pamby stick-it-in-yer-mandy, uptight, greasy, grimey, brown-nosing, toffee-bollocked, "Run this up my flagpole and salute it whe-hey!!" recommendations from t'doctor about overdosing on pain killers, he will inject what needs to be injected and, what's more, he will LIKE IT!

Setting aside the tear-jerking beauty of a man willing to kill himself by overdosing on performance enhancing drugs when he's unfit to play to protect his country's honour (I guess Flintoff was making a pillow out of the white feathers he'd been sent before that decision or something..) this opens up the possibility of Flintoff having a horrifically painful breakdown on field, resulting on himself retiring hurt and the poms being left one down for the rest of the match. This is, naturally, what my father and I are most looking forward to as even a possibility. The more hubris and pain, the better.

No, it's not really evil, you see. We want to seem hurt but... only in this match. He can get better. He's only going to play for India from now on.. well another painful injury during the ODIs would be nice too.. in a non-evil way.

What I've been saying here is basically no matter what, England won't have a strong team. The batting order has been looking feebler and feebler over the course of the series. With the made-of-willow Ian Bell at first-drop, followed by a debutant and the personification of the adjective 'ferrety' Paul Collingwood at number five there shouldn't be any serious challenge for our bowlers. The line-up will be either Johnson, Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Clark or Hauritz in the latter's place - as everyone would expect. If I had to choose I'd say Hauritz has the job. I will eat the tastiest of my hates if Brett Lee jogs onto the field without a bottle of gatorade in his hands. In between sobbing at the realisation that WE'VE LOST THE ASHES!

Barring that disaster, it's hard to see a way in which we can lose. Our side has outplayed their's in soooo nearly every game. My prediction is for a win, and a bloody good one at that. Outside chance of a draw, which ends the series with the same result. The Ashes will stay in their new ancestral home - hidden in Janet Howard's biscuit tin.

Hey, we're the fire brigade, we've come to burn your shit

It's suddenly been an eventful few days. Firstly, I fall with ill health once again. Then I have a coughing fit so fierce I wonder if I am going to either die or break a rib (in the end it was neither - just a bruised lung. What have I got to complain about?) Then I go to a doctor for the first time in over six years, surrendering myself completely. And then the fire brigade takes over our property for a day-and-a-half. Oh, and I've got a brand new baby boy cousin, I've infected the rest of my nuclear family and we had the power cut off today.

My trip to the doctors isn't particularly remarkable material, save going prepared with a good book to read (in this case the book being Asimov's Foundation and Earth) and actually discovering that my illness has made me so weak that I was actually asleep in the waiting room, so drained from the experience of sitting in a car for 30 minutes that I wasn't able to read a fucking book! Even so, it was a good measure to take as bizarrely the waiting room, unique among all I have ever seen, did not have so much as a solitary Woman's Day. While you're waiting for your appointment to begin half an hour later than it's actually meant to... examine our curtains. Look at the same crap 'motivational posters' you see in every public place. Think mean-spirited, xenophobic thoughts when you read that she got her doctorate from The University of Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg. And, for the most fun of all, watch that slowly ticking clock.

In fairness, ridiculous waits are such a universal aspect of health care I didn't even register it enough to make the faintest of complaints and she was a very good doctor, if somewhat absent minded in her manner of not giving me a prescription until I actually asked for one. It was also notable that when she gave me the routine examinations, she only took the briefest of glances in my mouth before recoiling in horror and mumbling "Yes, you've certainly been coughing a lot.." Now I know what Jenna Jameson's check-ups are like. Baddum-tish.

After coming back from the doctors we saw that somebody had set a fire on a windy day and didn't think that much about it. This is burn-off time after all, and living where I do you actually want fires to get started - this burns off the scrub, twigs, leaves and other natural kindling to leave the ground mostly bare in a certain radius around you. This means when you reach the real fire season in Summer, unless there's a Black Saturday fireball-inferno, there won't be enough fuel for any malignant, roving bushfire to reach your property.

So we were a bit surprised when the fire brigade showed up in force. Not THAT surprised, understand, because the fire was next door (but entirely under control) and we are just about the only people in the valley to have a road up the ridge to where it was. The former chief actually marked us on the map as a potential base for bad fires in the region which was... eh, not the best news for reasons to be explored right now.

Over the space of 24 hours the fire brigade chose to ignore our existence as the actual owners of the house save for their first arrival, and drive up our hill with well over a dozen fire trucks and also the largest fucking bulldozer I've ever seen to give our roadworks a massive makeover. Even though at no point was there any danger they've gone all over the property at 70+ kph, giving no notice at all about when they have been planning to show up and not bothering with communication - they seemed to end up using our land as a shortcut to cut across the ridge, because the numbers of trucks that went up and came down never seemed to tally in the slightest. At one point we were told that they meant to spend 'a week' on the hillside. A WEEK? I've no idea if this is still the plan.

The real interesting part is where they decided to set fire to 50% of our property, which is often seen as something of the opposite to a fire brigade's usual purpse, to stop the spread. Okay, we could have done with a burn-off but their approach was rather heavy-handed. This also led to my dad, being the most able-bodied person in the household, have to rush out with a big fire rake to try and make his line of defense to protect mum's lovingly cultivated aboretum of native trees on the fenceline. This prompted the exchange of the night, when a fireman said into his walkie-talkie that "The property-holder is taking measures to not burn the fenced-in trees". Imagine that something behind a fence would be protected! And 'property-holder' , don't you love that flattering name? It sounds so wonderfully temporary.

In retrospect this entry comes across as painfully middle-class. Maybe I should blog about proper spouse-beating techniques next week...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Announcing the Ultimate Ben Chatham Adventure

Of course when it comes to Ben Chatham the standards for ultimacy are set quite low, unless we're talking about the ultimate pile of crap - with obvious occassional exceptions from the reasonably dedicated and highly inventive occassional Chatham authors.

Sorry, gotten off track. I, Jared Hansen, am making a computer game featuring Ben Chatham, Kyle Scott and Katie Ryan doing what they do worst - investigate alien invaders.

The obvious question is "Why the fuck are you doing this???" and there are two very simple answers:

1) There's a competition to make a game in a month that would act as a setup for a series, and sadly Ben Chatham was the second thing to come to mind. (After Shadowrun, which I realised I would never be good enough to do properly)

2) Making a game is something I've wanted to do since I was about five years old and I've spent some time looking into it. Even so, my first effort will inevitably suck. That's why choosing sucky subject matter is a handy move, because every deficiency in this rushed and simplistic project can be said to be a deliberate homage to the 'by-the-crotch-of-the-jock' style in which the canonical Chathamverse tales are writ. (or 'wrought' if you prefer)

As these sprites should well attest, it isn't as if it's going to be a waste of undue effort:

In fact, eagle-eyed readers familiar with this blog may even notice the Ben sprite is one that I've had on my computer for well over a year for my own nefarious reasons..

Truth be told my concern at the moment is being unable to make the deadline in roughly nine days' time, because I have been fairly slack in terms of putting it together, focusing a lot more on writing the thing. But the process shouldn't take long going off previous experience, especially considering that the game barely has any real puzzles. What's held me up is, unusually, not TAFE work but the fact that a mystery illness seems to be slowly killing me, though cruelly interspersing me with days where I feel perfect and thus think I'm 100% cured.

My main regret is spending so frigging long in Flash creating some cool-ish 'intro' cartoon graphics which I ended up ditching completely because, simply put, I realised that what I had written was monumentally unfunny and the graphics didn't really suit anything else.

That said, here is Flash Ben for your amusement.

Yes, the fact he has an Apple is a mindless 'Take THAT!' against the acolytes of Steve Jobs by suggesting that Ben is one of them. With apologies to Stephen Fry and the late Douglas Adams, obviously.

There may be updates, but I'm not sure given that I've barely been able to write anything interesting about it just now...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Guess who's back? Back again

Obviously there are few things as mind blowing as hearing that Tom Baker will actually be playing the Doctor again, in an audio story after throwing roughly three Amazonian rainforests presented to him by Gary Russell into the bin. And kicking Russell in the face. Before throwing a cow at him. And insulting his manhood in Doctor Who conventions for a full decade. Oh, yes, you don't want to fuck with the T-Bone.

Of course, reading further into the story once you've scraped your jaw off the floor or recovered from some form of squee-induced heart attack or, heaven forbid, fangasm, or maybe even in the case of this blog's dear friends Larry Miles and Alan Stevens a full on ragegasm, you would find out that this isn't quite all that. Firstly, it is not with Big Finish but the BBC - a small detail, I know, but the BBC themselves only have Ghosts of N-Space and The Paradise of Death to their credit along with PMG's first 'new series' if you extend it in broader terms, which doesn't really inspire much confidence.

Add to this that instead of there will be five stories in a New Series style arc released once a month on CD. Who would they get to craft this beautiful arc? Why of course, you'd get Paul Magrs.

PAUL MAGRS? It's impossible for the guy not to be given work, clearly. If he ever walks into a brothel with vacancies they'll be wrapping him up in fancy silk dresses and punters will paying through the nose for a night with the lovely Pauline. He's some sort of job-magnet in any circumstances regardless of qualifications.

I'm not saying Magrs is a bad writer, but he's a long way from the best. His post-modern leanings are something he clearly has trouble leaning in - even when he's creating something of a serious work by his standards he can't help making characters deliberately shallow or idiotic to unrealistic proportions to lampshade some aspect of DW he finds hi-hi-hilarious. Or he won't bother with any sort of reality at all. Most of his books left people scratching their heads wondering what the fuck the point of it all was, and recently he's shown a good knack for writing audios that fandom finds in roughly equal measures dull or rage-inducing.

Worse still, compounding his desire for silliness is what seems to be a confusion of how to integrate that humour into certain circumstances. The Zygon Who Fell to Earth has an abundance of characters and situations that are clearly meant to be implements of humour, but in practice fail to actually erupt into humour at any stage - making the bit where said implements of humour tear a poor woman's throat out just plain depressing rather than shocking as was no doubt the intention.

Of course, The Stones of Venice is a real masterpiece and if you tear out the last couple of pages Verdigris can be counted among the best of the tie-in novels - he lectures on English literature for god's sake so the bloke's no muppet, he's just so wildly experimental that he's inevitably inconsistent.

For these reasons, I think of the established writers out there Magrs would be the choice least suited to writing this project. I'd put Gary Russell, Allan Barnes, Gareth Roberts, Steve Lyons and Rob Shearman well ahead of him. Probably the oft-maligned Dave Stone as well for his ability to intertwine silliness with epicness into a magnificent self-loving monster.

All that said, Paul Magrs may well be the only author crazy enough for Tom to work with, so it's understandable on at least one layer.

However.. Mike Yates as the companion?? It worries me that the Beeb were either unable to get anyone actually from his seven year tenure, or decided that the Pertwee pseudo-companion who has undergone quite a bit of ribbing on fandom's part over his questionable sexuality and inept heroics was the best one to bring in to give Tooth-and-Curls support.

In short: good news, with a chance of "Awww, god, why did it have to be this way? WHY??!?!?"

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ashes 4th Test: Three-Pronged Analysis

EGO: Clark there, conceding 16 from the one over. As much as he conceded all day yesterday. And yesterday's bowling was absolutely shit to begin with. What do you have to say to this one, Id?

ID: Kill.

EGO: Kill what?

ID: Doesn't matter. Something has to die. Preferrably someone. With lots of blood.

EGO: I see. Well, it's still looking like an Australia victory-

ID: No.

EGO: No? They're over a 100 runs in front.

ID: Let me introduce the concept of nomenclature to your arse, luckily for you in the less violent possibility - a VICTORY is impressive. This will be a win.

SUPEREGO: He has a point there. Field Marshall Wellington famously carried the day of the Battle of Fuente d'Onoro in 1812, but yet when he listed his victories-


EGO: Even so, the point stands that from your viewpoint, the most desirable outcome is also the most likely here.

ID: You know what my most desirable outcome is? Some fucking Munich Olympics action here. Right on the oval. I don't care which side - the fuckers in blue have no right to bat like this and the fuckers in green have no right to bowl like this. BRING ON THE RED!!!

EGO: Some people would say that calling for homicide of everyone on the field would be somewhat overboard.

ID: When did I say just on the field?

SUPEREGO: I would be one of those people, Ego. At the same time I won't say that the death penalty shouldn't be administered, but if it is it should be with the full backing of the International Cricket Club.

ID: Seriously, while you're there a few pop shots in the change room wouldn't go astray, hypothetical terrorist gunmen..

EGO: The ICC should decide who is executed? Doesn't international law come into this?

SUPEREGO: They're cricketers. They knew what they were getting into.

ID: A bit of rape never goes astray, either.


ID: Hey, I'm an Id! What do you expect? Think you're better than me, without your sex drives?

SUPEREGO: The evidence does seem to follow that line of thinking through. After all I'm unable to express myself when debating in such clear terms-


SUPEREGO: -that I'm very able to provoke a -


SUPEREGO: -response. QED.

ID: I'll cue your e.d, prick.

EGO: Going back to the game, Id -

ID: Do you want to know my top ten of players to be killed? Because I drew it up while you were talking.

EGO: No, I was hoping more for an elaboration on your desire for sanctioned/unsanctioned homicide today. Australia are well in the lead. It is unlikely England have any chance of winning the game - assuming they work off the lead they'll still have some hardwork to build a score up that is greater than the smallest figure Australia have ever been dismissed for and even then failure is near certainly a given. In comparison, Australia need 3 wickets to win the match. There simply doesn't seem any reason for death at this early stage.

ID: Well, firstly I would like to draw your attention to the fact I am mostly made up of a combination of socially unhealthy urges and mindless rage, which will colour most of my opinions the colour of VIRGIN BLOOD.

EGO: Noted.

ID: But, the most important fact is that Australia have failed to capitalise massively.

SUPEREGO: How do you quantify massive?

ID: Huge is the size of my dick. Massive is eight times that.

SUPEREGO: That's well less than a foot - doesn't seem like a shortcoming.

ID: Oh ha ha.

SUPEREGO: I fail to see humour in precision math-

ID: SHUT THE FUCK UP!! Anyway, you go in with a 350-run lead, setting them up for THE LARGEST HOME DEFEAT IN HISTORY you need to capitalise. Today, all bowling has been uniformly terrible, they're a long way ahead of that. It just isn't a test match win if the momentum is swinging their way when the axe is meant to come down.

EGO: Momentum doesn't equal a win.

SUPEREGO: Not even by the equations Einstein drew up for his Theory of Everything. Oh, how the mescaline flowed that Summer..

ID: You're thinking short term! If we know one thing about the Poms - and we don't, because we know they're thick-witted, stoic, depressing, the most negative people on Earth, relentlessly arrogant yet self deprecating and generally walking domino piles of mother issues and complete self delusion covered in mid-life crises from the day they are forcefully ejected from the womb... with the exception of maybe one or two quite nice ones we know online (Hullo Miles!) - it's that they take little things to heart so easily, because they lead empty lives as every independent film they've ever made tells us. Fuck I hate the Full Monty.

SUPEREGO: Robert Carlyle is brilliant.

EGO: So, you're saying just as they treat a Draw as a Win, this defeat will not actually register as a loss in emotional terms.

ID: No. I'm saying YOU FUCKED IT UP AUSSIES! You grabbed the bull by the horns and raped it's arse off - and made me jealous! Dear god I'm horny.

SUPEREGO: That much is visible.

EGO: Yes, please, it IS hot in this commentary box - but not that hot.

ID: Hey, I'm an ID okay? You have a problem with it then don't ask me on. You're lucky I'm wearing pants at all.

SUPEREGO: As we have established, you currently are not.

ID: Okay, then you're NOT lucky are you? Go cry into your soy bran, you fags, because if you take it any further I might just stab out your lucky charms.

EGO: Now, Stuart Clark was the bowler you insisted had to be on the side for, well, months.

ID: Yes.

EGO: He is on the side now, he took three wickets for seven runs in seven overs in the first innings a remarkable score even for the mighty Jimmy the Blind Solid Silver Bitch Stockopopolis III who, among many other things in his colourful career, discovered Clark as an orphaned infant on the outskirts of Sydney uni whilst in his wolf form and suckled him to the age of two whereupon he reverted to human form and acted as his bowling coach -

ID: And you won't read THAT in Wisden!

EGO: - at the time your words were, and I quote, "Holy shit I orgasmed a shotgun shell watching that crazy shit, will he be my life partner willingly and if the answer is no are there any aphrodisiacs powerful enough to force the issue".

ID: I'm there was more swearing in there and at least one reference to Stalin.

SUPEREGO: I would again like to point out that yourself raping him for eternity seems to be an unfitting reward for quality bowling from his perspective - and also hinder his efforts to actually play regularly.

ID: Again, Id here. Higher thought functions not my strength. I concede you may have a point there, but it's irrelevant because for Clark the offer's OFF THE TABLE!

EGO: Yes, because this innings his economy rate has been up around five and he's still wicketless. As we said 16 off one over.

ID: He should never play again. Ever. If every other Australian test cricketer is stabbed by an angry fan, which is a high likelihood at this point, he should be forced to commit suicide with cyanide capsule just like Rommel.

SUPEREGO:'re following Hitler's example now?

ID: I'd argue that he followed mine in the first place, but this isn't the time or place. His bowling was of such quality to make me vomit in blind rage. If any of my doubtless many illegitimate offspring were to bowl like that in my presence I would get 1950s on their arses. I know I go hot/cold on a lot of players, but Stuey's left me so cold I think my balls have dropped off and a foot may need to be removed. Frostbite? Soon it'll be suspended animation. Ponting needs to take the initiative. Grab a double barreled shotgun and invite him round for a look at the currently deserted building site behind the members. Lunch break's coming up and there's no shortage of black armbands in the team kitbags it's a plan with no drawbacks and should get us back on track.

SUPEREGO: You are of course talking about murdering a man in cold blood.

ID: My blood only ever runs at boiling point, you fucking noob! God, always naysaying! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?

EGO: We want your opinion-

ID: YOU CAN'T HANDLE MY OPINION! Son, we live in a world where we play games and those games' honour has to be protected by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Ego? I have a greater psychosis than you can possibly fathom! You weep for Clark and you curse the English! You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know! That Clark's death, while tragic, will probably save 50 runs! And my existence, while grotesque, and incomprehensible to you, saves lives! Whilst taking slightly more. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in that crowd! You need me in that crowd! We use words like 'Fuck', 'wtf', 'fuuuuck', 'kill', 'death', 'everybodywillbedeaddave!' We use these words as the backbone of a life spent killing something. Or anything. You use them as a punchline! I have neither the time, nor the inclination, to explain myself to a man who writes and reads a blog using the motivation that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said 'lol', and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a rifle, and meet me at Kensington! Either way, I don't give a wooden fucksickle what you think you are entitled to!

EGO: Well I guess that clears it all up. Oh, and it looks like Stuart Broad has brought up his half century.

ID: Fuck this, TV GO BOOM!

SUPEREGO: Surely I don't need to point out we shouldn't allow him guns.

EGO: Well it's a bit late for that one...

(The basis of truth - I was psyched for tonight's play. Then the bowling was so bad I stopped watching. I. Stopped watching. The Ashes. It takes a bit for that to happen. We have almost certainly won the game, but I am currently dreading a freak loss... and I'm not brave enough to check CricInfo)