October 31st, 2012
Note 4 – Empty Space: A Haunting
It’s important to read new M. John Harrison novels while on holiday. No other author is able to describe with such alarming clarity the necessity of escaping yourself.
Harrison’s latest novel Empty Space is the conclusion of a trilogy of science fiction novels that started with Light in 2002 and was continued in 2006′s Nova Swing.
Like both of its predecessors, Empty Space presents the reader with a future that dazzles with the romance of a thousand yesterdays: women who’ve chosen to be rebuilt with the “Mona” package, but who base their look on that of Marilyn Monroe; virtual fantasy lives that play out like an episode of Mad Men drained of all sex and drama (until, of course, that sex and drama forces its way on in there); covert action groups who, with their lattes and general sense of boyish intrigue, can’t help but remind you of the sort of spooks you’ve never quite managed to catch out of the corner of your eye; Harrison manages to make all of these fantasies gleam briefly in the pages of this book.
This is an exhausted vision of the future, but it’s still a vision of the future for all that, one that sees past the ever-present apocollapse and on to a possible reality that’s like right now stretched out some more. Whether that seems like a hopeful vision or a dystopian nightmare is very much up to you.
October 18th, 2012
June 17th, 2012
Guest post by Hollistic Tendancies
Finally someone asks the question that needs to be asked. “You guys, are we seriously going to let the guy with the police-sketch face of a rapist tell us what to do?”
The Veep’s daughter comes to visit, and that Selina starts out by describing this as Parental Ground Zero is a good indication of how views this special relationship. “God, today is like the perfect storm,” she snarls when told her daughter will be there in two hours.
“Tell her I’m canceling the lunch that was supposed to prove there is nothing more important than Catherine, because something more important than Catherine has come up.”
She’s quiet; people talk over her and make perfunctory attempts to talk at her which only provide a painful juxtaposition to their immediately switching gears and ignoring her hesitant replies. She’s taking an experimental theater course and wants to get a dog based on a photo that makes Amy say “It looks astonished, like it’s attached to jumper cables or something” because she thinks “it’s cute.”
June 10th, 2012
Guest post by Hollistic Tendancies
“I need you all to make me have not said that. I need you to have make me unsaid it.”
Ah, here in episode 2 of Veep, we The Thick of It fans are in familiar territory: this could have come from the episode where the press conference had to be about nothing.
And yet, this is again very definitely America.
May 25th, 2012
My first thought upon hearing that Armando Iannucci was making a Thick of It-esque show for America was YES! Awesome! Because I love The Thick of It and, even though I’m from there and thus know what it’s like, I love America.
My second thought, of course, was how are they going to fit in all the swearing? There aren’t going to be any “we’ve negotiated for 100 ‘fuck’s per episode” type rules on that side of the pond. Even if it is HBO. The BBC has people on the Today programme say “cock-up” like it’s official government terminology. I don’t think America can compete with that.
Of course this is not the only thing different about America. Here’s how the Veep travels:
Police cars and police motorcycles, sirens blaring, lights flashing, a row of big black bulletproof versions of the strangely bulbous American SUVs that everybody drives. We’re clearly not in the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship any more!
March 31st, 2012
For those of you who don’t know – probably all of you - some of us Mindless like Mad Men a whole lot, and I think now that the new series is underway it might be time to get my thoughts down about it. The general format of these posts is presently undecided, so it’s difficult to give you an idea of what to expect. Whole screeds, mini essays, round robins with the other Mindless – all are possible. Whatever, these posts will be dense, but hopefully enjoyable if you’re familiar with the show, and, I’m sure, in some cases even if you’re not.
March 1st, 2012
This photo is from what I think was the last ever photocall the Monkees did, on what I think was Davy Jones’ last visit to his hometown of Manchester. I was about three feet away at the time.
At the show that night, Davy Jones made a joke that he made every night of that tour – “I used to be a heartthrob, now I’m a coronary”.
February 11th, 2012
It was the end…but the moment had been prepared for.
January 1st, 2012
I’m sorry I’ve been absent from posting for a month, but here’s a xmas mix for those who enjoy such things (click Amiga Mountain).
Although there’s tracks from years gone by in there, there’s also a great deal to love from this year too. It’s a shame everything I enjoyed couldn’t get a look in, but I just don’t believe in making mixtapes that last much longer than sixty minutes. From the biting cold synths of Pye Corner Audio’s November Sequence to the scuzzed-out wooze of Hype Williams, the thrumming desert horror of Ayshay and the complete and utter big-up-yer-bogle rudeness of Jam City, the year’s best music is pretty well represented here. Hope you enjoy and forgive me for the cobbled together nature of the whole thing and the fact that, well, it sounds too quiet on my computer and too loud on the headphones – it’s my first time using Audacity and I’m in the Isle of Man for New Year’s without a sound expert scientist like Gary Lactus to nag.
The Beegees – Until
Roly Porter – Caladan
Pye Corner Audio – November Sequence
Jean Claude Vannier for Yves St Laurent
Hype Williams – You Little Nothing
Amy – Ramirez
Cold War slow dance 1979
Omar S – Night Over Comption
Inga Copeland – Trample
Sand Circles – Midnight Crimes
Innercity – The Bells of Backworld
Ayshay – Warn-U
Julia Holter – Goddess Eyes
Rangers – Airport Lights
Machinedrum – Now You Know The Deal 4 Real
Jam City – Aquabox
December 19th, 2011
What do you get if you cross Doctor Strangelove with The Thing From Another World?