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The Life of The World To Come, Part One

Those of you who know my musical bent will probably know that I am sucker for concept albums. I am also a huge fan of The Mountain Goats.

The Life of the World To Come is The Mountain Goats' most recent album, themed around several verses from the Bible, most of them dealing with death and the afterlife. It also features substantial string sections arranged by none other than Owen Pallet (a.k.a. Final Fantasy, a.k.a. violinist for the Arcade Fire; composer of a concept album based around the 8 schools of magic in old skool DnD).

Track OneCollapse )

Track ThreeCollapse )

More tracks when I get time to write them up :)

Good post up at Hugo Schwyzer

About men's role in feminism and the problem of reforming toxic masculinity, a subject I've been thinking about lately (and which I know quite a few of you have already, too).

You know you've got your values wrong...

...when the Daily Mail has an opportunity to criticise you for your disgustingly lenient treatment of the BNP.

Anton Vowl's already there with why this is, of course, the shittiest form of hypocrisy.

I'll have more on the bastards at the DM and media in general in a bit.


Well, the tabloids may have decided that they want women to get cervical cancer, and the world may have decided that it's OK to drug and rape a child so long as you made some movies that some rich people liked, but!

You could watch Charlie Brooker's Gameswipe and forget about that for at least 50 minutes.

And never ever watch the ten o'clock news

Fun and Philosophy

This is the best £1.88 that you'll spend all month.

Get it while it's cheap! Or, you know, you can play a really long demo, for free. For serious, if you're one of those folks that think games have nothing to offer us as a medium for art or storytelling - then play this. Or just play it anyway. Tip: y'might want to turn the difficulty right down - I needed to.

I plan on writing up a proper review of Immortal Defense when I get the chance, but in the meantime here's the opening to an article, building up to a review which I wrote a draft of for the Escapist.

Cut for the unavoidable pretension of treating games as artCollapse )

Oh Damn

I have a job!  In Oxford. In publishing!


Slight snag: I need to start on the 21st September. And it's only for 6 months.

Don't suppose anyone knows / knows of any good places / people to rent accomodation from? I'm looking for anything that's not too far away from either town OR Oxford Business Park, which is where I'll be working.


Happy Mother's Day!

No, Seriously.

Tower of Love and Peace:
Stay Away!

What is this new geekery?

Things have been differently lame as of late. And, what do I do when things are differently lame?

Make something which amuses me!

If you dig this sort of thing, or know someone that would, feel free to pass it around. Help with video encoding so that the end product doesn't look like pixel soup? Also good.

I played video games in a drunken haze

I slept too LONG!

I just finished watching Evil Dead III: Army of Darkness. Firstly: it's a cult classic incorporating Medievale Tymes and the living dead. If you haven't watched it then why are you still here? Go. Secondly: throughout the final fight between Ash and Evil Ash
(3:20 onwards here) something was bugging me about Evil Ash's costume. Surely I'd seen it somewhere before? And then I realised - I had. This knowledge makes The Christmas Invasion just that much better.

And it's absurd

Pretty NEET

So, I signed on today.

The whole thing was pretty bleak. Beforehand, I don't think I'd fully realised that I'd made the stark transition from the blissful lifestyle of the non-employed  to the rather more subversive world of the unemployed.

Throughout, I couldn't shake the lingering impression that I was stealing from the underprivileged, although that notion is clearly silly.

Finding a job has been awkward. It seems that there are very few jobs in radio production to begin with, and even fewer when you think about staff cuts almost everywhere in the industry coupled with the triumphal march of diversity. Unquestionably, diversity is something we should keep campaigning for in the workplace, but I can't help thinking that when a graduate from a top tier university starts entertaining the possibility of - for want a better phrase - disabling himself, then something is seriously wrong.

I did, for a while, consider finding employment in something lucrative but unrelated to the industry where I really wanted to work. This was shot down in spectacular fashion thanks to a series of interviews for various PR and sales positions. "Yes, I am money motivated", I would lie through my teeth, my mind darting back to previous episodes of The Apprentice, whilst trying not to sound too much like Michael Sophocles. "I want to make money for you, and money for me." But when I witnessed first-hand the whirr and grind of the...psychological machinery in these places I was pretty horrified. Now, you may think I'm over-exaggerating. But I defy anyone to meet Masseo, a diminutive Italian man whose job is to sit on the phone all day - lying unstoppably to people he's never met; hungering perpetually after that elusive, intangible Commission - and not, imagining yourself in his place, die a little inside.

In much much better news, I received my history results, and got a first. I was pretty chuffed. Though, how I managed to score higher in the extended essay which I rushed so hard I almost had a breakdown as opposed to my thesis is testament to how odd the marking system can be.

I spent a fantastic couple of weeks here with sangre_fria . Whether she had quite as much fun as me is questionable, dragging her around the wonders of Bromsgrove as I did, but I'm pretty confident she has a great time regardless. One of the cultural sumps hotspots we visited was none other than the Black Country Museum (motto: "Reminding the young'uns how grim life was down t' mine"). All in all, the place was pretty interesting, and the re-enactors there were well informed and friendly folk. I did, however, have a rather unpleasant experience with the local delicacy. Thinking to introduce my guest to culinary history by means of example, and perhaps simultaneously to invite a wry smile at a linguistic disparity, I partook of the famous Black Country dish: Faggots.

Seriously, NO-ONE TOLD ME IT WAS OFFAL. Well, not until I'd eaten the bloody things, then we all everybody else had a hearty laugh about the whole affair. Ah well. I live to tell the tale.

Cornwall, which I visited last week, was lovely and sunny. The local ice-cream, made by Roskilly's, is possibly the nicest (English) ice-cream you will ever chance to eat, so I recommend visiting their farm and restaurant if you're ever down in the Lizard peninsula.

Well, looks like I have to catch a train, so I'm off. Time, once again, to sample the heady delights of my native Birmingham.

In my world, the colour  red doesn't exist.
This must be... my tears.