Saturday, September 26, 2009

So... who sucks?

I just read an article praising South African pig-human DNA crossbreeding experiment gone horribly wrong (and part-time cricketer) Jacques Kallis to the high heavens to the point I found it nauseating, so of course immediately did an exact phrase Google search for "Jacques Kallis sucks" to get a different viewpoint. No results.

On a hunch, I did a Google search for "Ricky Ponting sucks" - 1,080 results. This then made me think - who does the internet deem to suck the most.

"Steve Fielding sucks" - unthinkably zero results. I guess it's small-country politics... does this line of thinking carry through...

"Robert Mugabe sucks" - 5,920 results! Seems a bit of an understatement of course..

Matthew Yglesias » Mahmoun's Style Robert Mugabe sucks. Musharruf sucks. Putin sucks. Castro sucks. They all suck regardless of whether ...

On a similar vein "Gaddaffi sucks" - just 3 results. His popularity isn't doing too badly in spite of his hour-long speech in which he blamed the CIA for creating swine flu and demanded 7.77 trillion dollars in unmarked notes in a brown paper bag. Though he isn't testing too well with this bloke:

Colonel Gaddafi wants to 'abolish' Switzerland - The Something ... 3 Sep 2009 ... gaddafi sucks the dick to whoever can provide him with wealth or weapons so he can keep his retarded system intact... # ? Sep 03, 2009 21:04 ...

When I think of African dictators, I think of James Gandolfini. My therapist is working on that. He only gets 1 suck, though - I guess everyone's too scared of getting whacked. What about his cousin in Jolly Old England - the Rt Honourable Gordon Brown?

Whooo, best one yet! Gordon Brown gets a mighty 32,800 results. After all, the poms know a lot about what sucks, having invented about 40% of it.

Speaking of which, let's see how much love the Poms two best cricketers, Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, pretty much the ONLY guys they have to be respected internationally, are getting courtesy of the intaweb...

Well, Freddy comes off clean. But Pietersen - no such luck. 44 hits, including:

Who The Fuck Is Kevin Pietersen? – blog – coda.coza 16 Sep 2007 ... I would love to punch Kevin Pietersen · Kevin Pietersen se p035 · Kevin Pietersen Sucks. And that's that. I'm off to watch the rest of the ...

Also a Facebook page solely dedicated to his suckage.

Would they even attempt the unthinkable...

Good God, 8 hits for "Tom Baker sucks"! YOU MANIACS!

While we're on Doctor Who... here's one I think will set Google off..

335 for Russell T Davies sucks. Okay, he gets off lighter than Mugabe, that at least is a relief. Creepily only 2 less hits for "Matt Smith sucks" when the guy hasn't even appeared on screen. (Though, to be fair, there is a slight aura of suckage in the air...)

Hmm, the world of music now... knowing both the eloquence and patience of musos, I'm sure there shall be very few results..

Icehouse - 228
Danny Elfman - 1,120
Mozart - 1,910
Limp Bizkit - 2,960
Morrissey - 3,030 (just for Spara)
Creed - 4,630
Wolfmother - 5,030
Eminem - 5,340
The Rolling Stones - 5,540
Ben Lee - 8,670
Hinder - 8,710
Nickelback - 9,300
Tom Petty - 17,400
Ben Folds - 22,000

Hey, sayWHAT? Benji-boy, my favourite musician of all time hands-down comes ahead of all those other losers in terms of musical suckage. This...cannot BE! I shall be seriously unhappy if some popular bands don't come a ridiculously long way ahead of him...

Jimi Hendrix - 25,000
Radiohead - 31,600 (just for Spara)
Bob Marley - 35,300
Linkin Park - 46,100
The Foo Fighters - 51,700
Bob Dylan - 84,900
The Beatles - 477,000

Ah, glad that's sorted.

I guess this message of this is, in one sense that the internet has no sense of scale because you can't argue by any stretch of the imagination that The Beatles are worse than Gordon Brown which is itself worse than Robert Mugabe.

The second thing is that it's safe to ignore anybody talking about music anywhere on the internet... but then this is admittedly something I've thought for quite a long time.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Internet is for Porn!

Ahh, Ninemsn, your redneck journalism just rakes in the gold, doesn't it? Is there any outrage in the house?

A German heavy metal band popular with teenagers has caused outrage with the video clip to their latest single showing the musicians taking part in graphic hardcore pornography.

Firstly, the band in question is Rammstein. As to myself and many people I know, we would regard the following words as questionable: 'heavy', 'popular', and 'teenagers'. Sure, Rammstein was a bit of niche thing with guys in my year at High School and the next couple of years below but, hey, according to my calendar/driver's license, we aren't teenagers any more. Ignore that fact, though, as otherwise the key scaremongering point of the article will be ruined.

Also, 'graphic' and 'hardcore' are very relative terms, aren't they? Especially when used in this context. Oh, my dear internet the sights you have shown me. Let this be said, and you can quote me on this: if the video does not clearly show cock than I shall be severely disappointed.

The video for Rammstein's song "Pussy" shows the band members engaging in a variety of sexual acts with women, interspersed with shots of the group performing and waving the German flag.

Well, they ARE German. What did you expect?

While the band have not shown the video on their website, they link to a pornographic site where the clip can be watched.

Yes.. thus leaving the choice to the user.

Aside from a warning of "nudity and sex scenes" on the webpage, there is no control to prevent teenagers — who make up a large portion of Rammstein's audience — from viewing the video.

Newsflash of the century: that is all the control that exists to prevent anyone from going to any website. If they click ENTER (18+) or choose to lie and say they were born in 1901 from a drop down menu before pressing okay it means the exact same amount of effort. What can they do - install a plug-in that carbon dates your frigging retina??

And heaven forbid that teenagers should see porn. Why, if it wasn't for Rammstein showing them the way they'd never cotton onto the lark...

Adolescent psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said there was little difference between the video and the usual pornography available on the internet.

Or the usual pornography available on pop-up ads on nerdy sites, for fuck's sake. The internet and porn are so intrinsically linked I'm clueless as to why this is deemed worthy of an article. Hell, music videos and porn. I've got a clearer idea of Rihanna's lady bits than those of my former girlfriend.

"It highlights the need for parents to do three things: one is to make sure kids have the computers in a public place, have an online filter, and have parents monitor what their kids do online," he said.

"Also, please ignore the fact that I've only just given one thing"

"The best monitoring of all is shoulder-surfing, so regularly checking what kids are looking at online."

On this topic... I've heard the phrase 'parent over shoulder' before. Who the fuck does this? I guess if your kid is, like, eleven or under, in which case I would barely let them surf the internet but I can understand entirely. My parents have never gazed over my shoulder, apart from the occassional unsubtle way of hinting they want the computer. They really couldn't care less. The only word I've had on the matter is "Look at... 'that stuff' if you want but not on my machine" from my slightly embarassed mother after seeing Windows Media Guide throw up a picture of Beyonce in a completely non-revealing dress.

Incidentally, LAN cables are brilliant.

When my hypothetical, probably never-will-exist boy comes of age, (ie 12-13) he gets his own comp with broadband hook-up and I give him the Peter Parker speech. "Son, with this great power comes great responsibility. From now on, whatever you want you shall find in the space of five seconds. If you want Battlestar Galactica Vodcasts, they are yours. If you want .pdf back-issues of The Phantom, they are yours. If you want the entire Doug Anthony All-Stars, they are yours. If you want their discography, then that can also be yours. If you want to pay for music, that is also an option but please do not shame me with that knowledge. And, of course, if you want to find women coupling with eels it will take no effort at all. Btw, you find any really hot clips put them in the shared folder for me.."

Yes, I am left-wing and kind of weird. This has been established!

But heavy metal and sex have always gone hand in hand, according to QUT professor and author of The Porn Report Alan McKee.

"It's explicit pornography but it's a generic hybrid, so it's pornography but also a music video," he said.

"It would be X-rated if it were released on DVD in Australia."

Which incidentally means that the DVD would be illegal in all states (but not the territories) because are laws are quite draconian. Assuming that the video does not include 'golden shower(s), application of candle wax, spanking, or fisting' as the OFLC says, in which case NO HUMAN BEING SHOULD EVER WATCH IT LEST THE DEMON SPAWN DEVOUR THEIR SOUL!!!!

Seriously, spanking? How come Britney Spears videos are legal?

Professor McKee said the video was "juvenile, lowbrow and obsessed with sex, but that's not a bad thing".

Thank you for that vindication, sir!

At the tail of the article is a quote that amazes me, for the umpteenth time, that you can be a journalist in this country whilst doing considerably less research than I do by myself purely out of curiosity..

The clip is directed by Swedish filmmaker Jonas Akerlund, who has made videos for hit songs like "Beautiful Day" by U2, "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga and "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera.

Akerlund had previously attracted controversy for the video he made for The Prodigy song "Smack My Bitch Up" with allegations it promoted violence against women.

No! The song was controversial for supposedly promoting violence against women - of course, it's the prodigy who needed a catchy phrase to loop endlessly over techno beats and just decided to go with "Smack my bitch up - wah!".

The video was controversial for containing nudity, vomiting, excessive drinking, violence (strictly against men) and a sex scene with a prostitute purely from the first person. The irony was that most reporters decried the video as massively misogynistic, depicting women as sex objects for men to fight over and conquer, which just ended up proving that they hadn't watched the entire clip as the very last second shows the protagonist looking at a mirror, which reveals to the audience that it was actually a woman all along.

Seriously, Nick Pearson, MSN, do some fucking research.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Month is a Long Time in Cricket

My spirits have been lifted, and hopefully those of the rest of the country, by the results of the ODI series. Recently, we have had a terrible one-day team. The team, in fact, has barely changed. However, nobody had seemingly noticed beforehand, that England's one day team was even worse. No incompetence on our own part seems to give them a start.

Who could have seen what was to come? We won the first game by 7 runs - which not to put too fine a point on it, was bugger all. The bowling was only just up to scratch and there was some shakey batting mostly from Michael Clarke (which he admitted) and some terrible running from Tim Paine who began the series as a ring-in with a duck from an over of deliveries - more time was spent talking about the problems in Australia's game rather than the weak display from England, and the consensus was very much that this series was a pitched and open contest between the two ginger-headed stepchildren teams that were off-shoots of the world's greatest Test nations. (If you ignore the darkies, of course old boy) Some of the English viewers were even optimistic that they could take this piece of silverware as well.

Those poor suckers.

The next game was a 39-run victory, and all the better because for the first of three times in the series, we left the English even unable to bat out their 50 overs. After that - a terrific 6 wicket victory featuring a century for Cameron White. THEN a crushing seven wicket win off the back of a hearty five-for from Brett Lee to seal the series. Follow that up with another century innings and another breezy win and suddenly people are talking about England getting the worst ODI series defeat in the game's somewhat-proud Packer-tainted history.

When I was watching the cricket through worn and bleary eyes on late, late Thursday night/morning I saw ten overs of batting under siege from such luminaries as Sidebottom, Anderson and Masceranhas leave us with two wickets down for just over 40 runs. As far as I could see, that was it. The script ran thusly - Paine, out for 30 from 85, Hussey out for 8 from 27, White and Ferguson both Retired Hurt after exploding in gratuitous showers of gore from the ridiculous pressure on them to save every frigging game of the series.

Luckily, I'm not the guy who writes the script in cricket - it's probably the dude who does the WWF - and instead Paine made his maiden international century with bucketloads of class, Hussey made his first half century in this millenium and White and Hopes combined with such force they insisted that the rest of the team refer to them in the dressing rooms as Super Sloggio Bros. before buying matching scarlet and bright green jumpsuits.

297 runs. Alright, that's good stuff as a peroxide-blond intellectual luminary and occassional AFL footballer in pink shirts once said - but still, did the Poms have The Eye of The Tiger?

No, they did not. They had such a deficit of big cat ocular organs, in fact, that they crashed and shuddered their sorry arses to the third-heaviest home defeat in their history, 111 runs short. Who the hell would have thought at the start of the evening that England would face such a milestone, and that David Gower and Ian Botham would leave the commentary box to comb Manchester's streets for a suicide booth they could get a two-for-one deal in?

This is so good, you could mistake it for being a consolation for losing the Ashes to these peanuts, but of course it is small potatoes in comparison. Even so, the sweetness of an England defeat is an incredible thing for an Australian fan, and at the moment I'm on a steady flow of English collapses.

The aboslute, no-doubt-about-it, best thing about this? The Champion's Trophy begins pretty much within the week. And the Poms aren't allowed to change their squad at all. They know now they have a dud team - and are stuck with them. They're taking a water-pistol to a machine gun fight, and I for one am hoping that they finish absolute last.

Friday, September 11, 2009

5 years of Dollhouse Spoilers

I wanted to see if I was alone in my solace, and I was confirmed that I indeed was when I Googled a certain phrase and found one result, which was the result of a complete coincidence in sentence construction much to my chagrin. And so, allow me to say it now so that any similarly afflcited souls may find themselves guided to this site where they shall find, indeed, no matter how differently it may seem, You Are Not Alone.


Or, to put that in a slightly different way


And, just for the sake of keeping all bases covered


Obviously, it would be rampantly hyperbolic and loser-ish to say that a TV show could make me consider suicide, but at the same time in the aftermath of watching the most anticipated DVD extra ever , the 'missing' episode of Dollhouse (until last night one of my top ten favourite shows) I was reminded of Kevin Smith saying recently that all entertainment is is a tool to distract us from the fact we're about to die. E1 was... like leukeamia to that effect on me, I was so horrified at what it did. In the wake of suddenly being told I had a job interview and feeling on top of the world, this one fucking episode shattered that entire effect that our culture has gifted me with, the ability to consider death as irrelevant. I was depressed for the whole day. Before after and during watching two episodes of Scrubs that I'd never seen. I couldn't even bring myself to finish watching what seems to be the best Ashes to Ashes episode ever, because I was just imagining myself decomposing slowly in the chair, a fucking corpse with a short lease on life the bank manager of the universe is wanting back now.

Okay, I'm going over the top here. I hope. But... fuck man. I've never had a negative reaction to any TV show this bad. It's so deconstructionist it's made me think of TV as just meaningless filth that I am engorging myself on like a river of brain-arsenic. Is that what you were thinking, Whedon? Is that the way you get more ratings?

At some stage I guess I'll need to talk about the episode itself rather than just describing the sheer awfulness of it and setting up the mere fact that I watched it to explain all my oncoming failures in life Arnold Rimmer-style. But there's a trouble there. A certain regular reader may have an ongoing interest in DH, and not want to read spoilers. But E1 IS spoilers. It's nothing but.

And, see, there is actually a reason for it. It turns out that this episode was written when everyone was convinced that the show would be axed and soon. So... Joss decided to condense fucking five seasons of character development and action into 50 minutes of television. So much of it that when you actually watch it all it becomes completely meaningless. Get ready for the spoilage ...

Alpha dies, Dominic comes back, Ballard and Echo escape, Victor's body gets stolen, Adelle takes on Rossum, Rossum somehow get Topher to replicate Alpha's remote-wipe technology, this technology is used to call every house in the world and program whoever answers to kill everyone, Topher goes mad with grief, Claire gets with Boyd before he disappears, everyone becomes badass rebels with assault rifles, Claire loses her scars, Caroline becomes a messiah, Victor somehow gets his body back and gets with Sierra, everyone gets tattoos, Ballard and Caroline don't get together, Mellie dies, Penny from Dr Horrible's Sing A Long Blog turns out to be alive, and Whiskey ends up braindead and probably dead as well.

Wow, don't you feel a whole lot better knowing all of that? No?! My word, how is that possible??? Don't worry, though, we don't get to see whether Caroline kills Adelle or not. Thank god for that one bit of ambiguity. That mystery can keep me going for YEARS!

Until now, DH has been a good constant for me. I know Doctor Who will always have dud episodes, and Fringe made it clear from the start that it was too cheesy to be a truly great show yet is excellent junk food for the mind, the writers from Scrubs need to cut down on the meth and a solid episode of Ashes to Ashes is really the freak occurrence. But DH had a great, well-written episode every time. I always finished it feeling satisfied.

E1 is a fucking slap in the face to me. It does a complete 180 on the shows themes, takes all the characters and bitch-rapes them in the blink of an eye. It doesn't even build on any hints of what we saw earlier. Nothing in the show says that Rossum corporation wants a giant army of soldiers. Nothing says that humanity is about to end. Nothing sets up Caroline as a messiah for the human race. No, this is five years of stuff dumped on us suddenly.

I don't care if Whedon thought his show was about to get axed. So fucking what? End it on a finale that works on a few levels. You know, like Omega did. The type of ending that leaves you wanting more. This... just introduces a lot of shit that's never been hinted at in the show, and then resolves it. It doesn't fit anywhere in an arc or the mythos in general.

My big hope was that this was going to turn out to be a weird epsidoe that would make sense in a few season's time when we suddenly realise "Ohhh, that shit episode was just what would have happened if Adelle did that instead of this ohhh it makes sense now!" Nope. Whedon's come out and said that was the future. The world does get destroyed.

A final episode is meant to keep you wanting to watch the show. This did the exact opposite. I never want to watch DH again. I couldn't care less. How can I laugh at anything Topher does when I know he's going to turn into a tragic, gibbering halfwit? How can I be worried for Paul Ballard when I know he lives another nine years at least? How can I enjoy Adelle's wit knowing that she is responsible for the destruction of the human race? How can I be amazed at the plot twists that Whedon has given me with absolutely no setup at all?

The worst thing is that in pure technical terms of what has gone on the script for 50 minutes of television drama, independent of an actual TV show, there is nothing wrong with the script. Well, aside from a minor plot twist in the framing narrative that makes no sense at all which I can't be arsed to explain at all. Now, because it is, on that one level, faultlessly written it rubs it in worse. People who just like to see writers be clever, which unsurprisingly seems to be 98% of the Whedon fanbase, are all over this and don't even care about how retarded the idea is. But it also lets me know that... this could have been good. There is no real reason for it be so terrible to the series as a whole other than Whedon's paranoia that his show was going to die.

Again, I feel the need to apologise for the supersized scale of everything that I've said in this review, but I have never known such strong feelings toward any show before. What can I say about something that's nearly put me off an entire medium?

Interestingly, I'm now back where I was seven years ago, with a complete dislike for Joss Whedon rather than the loving respect I had until 7.35 last night. To close this entry here's something I wrote to a friend at that tender age, when he kept trying to force Firefly on to me, stricken by memories of a crap Buffy episode:

Oh, yes, I GREATLY look forward to watching Firefly. You simply cannot understand the leviathanic scale of my longing to see it. You cannot comprehend the ease of which a simple mention of Joss Whedon's name throws me into a cataclysmic orgasm over thoughts of his insurmountable genius. YOU WILL HAVE NO CHANCE of understanding the lengths I went to creat a shrine to Whedon from nothing but flimsy sticks and dental floss. Why? BECAUSE I LOVE HIM! Yes, that's right, I have fallen uncontrollably in love with Joss Whedon, this man who has given so much to the artistic world of the Planet Earth, and who I will never let die, as I have decided not to donate my body to medical science at all, but straight to the Whedon estate so that Mr Whedon can continue his existence past his life-expectancy which is not worthy of a man of such unbridled genius as he, and I will breed many children, so that once my body has also expired they may take up the all-important mantle of ensuring that the Northern Star of Wisdom, the burning bright light of Whedon's imagination shall continue to glow for all eternity, so that he may continue to serve us all. All worship Whedon or die, for if you cannot appreciate his magical works, you are not worthy of life.

BTW I was being sarcastic.

Ah, how my droll wit has nurtured. Weird that in that email I actually mentioned the technology that is a key part of Dollhouse, too...

Anyway, somehow I get the vibe that this would be the wrong time to finally watch the copy of Children of Earth that I've got..