Pour some sugar on me

Now, if you know me, you know I like music videos, possibly too much. I watch them all the time, and get really aggressively pretentious about them. If that kind of thing annoys you, you should definitely stop reading this entry. Currently making the rounds (apparently via Waxy originally) is Pour some sugar on me, by boyband Townsend covering Def Leppard. At first glance, it appears merely an awful video for an awful song: it parodies hair bands, but at the same time firmly including every single boyband video cliché in the book: the matching outfits, the all-white room, the really really bad choreography. But looking closer, I can't help but think maybe the director was having a laugh at their expense. The video is a nested set of parodies: a parody of hairbands inside a parody of boybands, nested inside a television set being watched by other people at home: if not to drive home the point that it's nested, what's the point of the sequence being set inside a television? Likewise, the...
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Hellboy

Summary: good popcorn movie. Go in with low expectations, and you won't be disappointed. The effects are excellent, and that's really what Hellboy is all about: big, gothic eye-candy. If a many-tentacled monster is not your idea of a good antagonist, avoid this movie. The fairly predictable plot is lacking somewhat in a climax: it attempts to have about five, but instead of leading you from wonder to wonder they all lead you waiting for the even bigger climax around the corner, which never arrives. The acting is surprisingly good for an action movie, and the dialogue manages to avoid any of the cringeworthy cheesiness of Van Helsing, for example. The action was giggle-worthy in a few places, and I like silly movies that make me giggle. The mythology and the unabashedly dark nature of Hellboy himself are nicely fleshed out, as well as his strange adult/child persona, alternately a cigar-chombing, beer-guzzling lout and a timid child, writing unsent love notes and eating milk and cookies. Much is...
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It's that day again.

It's that day again.
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"What's the most visually interesting thing on this menu?"

Well, there's been a big gap in my blogging, mainly because life's been too busy in the real world to find time to write about it. This was a good weekend though; Popstarz was fun with a big group of ex-Warwick peeps plus London peeps. My night bus took a million years to get back however (mainly thanks to a numbnut without a ticket who decided if he just stood there being an asshole long enough the driver would get tired and drive on. 20 minutes later he was disappointed.) Despite not having had much sleep as a result of the night bus, Saturday was fun. A picnic in green park, followed by coffee, followed by movies (The Bourne Supremacy, which I thought wasn't bad, just dull), followed by drinks, all in the excellent company of Thom, Ian and Tarrant, although they really need to get out of the habit of referring to friends by their ID on OUT. Oh, and the site now has a music log on the bottom-left. Now you can know exactly what shit I listen to! Update: The Bourne Supremacy was so dull, I got...
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Love is all around

At my funeral, I hope it will be said that twice as many people turned up as expected. I hope people will wear bright colours and remember to laugh. I hope there will be a sing-along. I hope people will tell dirty jokes at my wake, and that it brings together people who should see each other more often. I hope people will hug more than cry. Then I will have achieved something with my life.
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Enough already!

Today I received 3,000 pieces of spam, in a single day, to a single e-mail address. Aaaargh!
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My precious...

Soon, my precious will be here. Soon...
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Code, a play

Phew! It's finished. Nearly 13,000 overly pretentious words for your consumption. This is what has been eating up all my blogging time recently, so I hope you consider it worth it. Yours in a choice of formats: The original text file As PDF, including a preface and explantory text (recommended version) As a Word document, for those with Adobe-phobia. Should work in OpenOffice.Org et al. As quick-and-dirty HTML exported from word, for those who can't ever be arsed to leave their browser. Please let me know what you think, by e-mail or in comments :-) Update: accurate criticisms received so far: Arthur C. Clarke does, indeed, want his book back. But all creativity is synthesis of absorbed information into new forms, so if you were totally unable to discern my influences I'd be surprised and probably disappointed. But I believe it's sufficiently original to stand on its own. The beginning is dull, because it's so obviously just there to set up the scene, which is contrived. But there's a...
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Birthday weekend 2004: Mission Accomplished

Woo! Another fabulous birthday weekend achieved, despite a near-total lack of pre-planning on the part of Mr. Abson and myself. In brief: Friday night clubbing at (inevitably) Popstarz was followed Saturday by a brief shopping excursion (love my new coat) followed by sitting on Clapham Common in the rain, followed by a great deal of fortuitous meeting up in tube stations, followed by extended picnic shopping at Sainsbury's followed by a picnic on the porch in the drizzle at my house, followed by drunken conversation/tickle-fights/music-snobbery indoors for more than 7 hours, followed by clubbing at Ghetto (G: you still have my top!), followed the next day by much sleep, then a wonderful coffee bar in Notting Hill with a charming Argentinian waitress, then upstairs for a ridiculous meal consisting mainly of cocktails, coffee and chips, then a pub. In other words: I've had a busy weekend. Many thanks to the hard-core who came, and stayed, and stayed, and stayed. As more and more people come to...
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Downtime

The Seldo.Com family of websites was unavailable for 24 hours yesterday, because of an underground fire in Baltimore, apparently. Isn't the global Internet a wonderful thing? Normal service is now restored; no data was lost in the process. Update: Oh, the permalinks on my RSS feed were wrong for some reason. They've been fixed now. Sorry about that.
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London in September

The air is crisp, the nights are dim but not dark, the parks are cool and breezy. Squirrels play on the grass like they were trained to frolic picturesquely. The coffee warms you nicely but you don't break a sweat, and you can bundle down into your coat, but it's still warm enough to hold hands. Streetlights glint off polished cobbles in a way that would make a movie lighting technician ache with longing while a warm voice sings a song by the Beatles and strums a guitar. The moonlight mixes with the reflection of the London eye in the Thames and in the middle of Embankment Bridge the traffic noise dies away and is replaced by the steady sound of rushing water sloshing around the base of the pillars until a saxophonist starts busking mellow jazz. Paris may get all the publicity, but don't forget: London can be romantic.
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Resign, Rumsfeld

In continuing evidence that the US administration is in fact run by completely fucking crazy psychos, on September 10th Donald Rumsfeld audibly equated Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, twice in the same 20 minute period: "The leader of the opposition Northern Alliance, Masood, lay dead, his murder ordered by Saddam Hussein, by Osama bin Laden, Taliban's co-conspirator..." and then "Saddam Hussein, if he's alive, is spending a whale of a lot of time trying to not get caught. And we've not seen him on a video since 2001..." Forget the oil conspiracy, forget the Iranian spy who fed us fake evidence, forget the Bush family's urge to finish what they started in the Gulf War. The reason we went after Saddam instead of Osama may in reality be that these idiots can't tell the difference between the two. "Oh, that's Afghanistan? So what have we been invading? Oh, damn." At least the conspiracy theories made sense...
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Pulling out of Iraq

In an e-mail conversation yesterday: it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Pulling out would probably cause melt down in the region, but it may well be heading that way anyway. I think they should stay, having started off on this ill-concieved adventure they should at least try to rectify the situation - but I don't know how and apparently neither do they and in the mean time many, many more people are dying and the situation certainly isn't getting any better... but to pull out now would be devastating to all concerned. See, this is a problem we've discussed before: what do the insurgents want? Polls have shown that the majority of Iraqis welcomed the invasion and even think things are better now than they were before. The insurgents, damaging as they are, are a minority, and they're not even a coherent minority: Some of them, such as the dude who holed up in that siege in the shrine, are transparently just making a power-grab in the upcoming social order. He's a world apart...
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Smallville: the obsessive line-by-line

The first episode of the new season has arrived! Oh frabjous day! There's loads of spoilers after this point so if you're planning to see it STOP READING NOW. This review style is shamelessly stolen from Television Without Pity, including calling Jonathan Kent "Bo" and giving it a grade at the end. This is too much fun not to do. This episode is all about the Naked Clark. This is by no means a bad thing Nice reference to Lois' previous chain-smoking 1980s persona. I'm liking Lois so far: she's pushy and annoying, the way a Lois should be What is Lex doing in Egypt? Shades of comic-book inconsistency Loving the red blanket. Good idea. Totally loving the butt-shot of Clark. And so is the Chinese grandmother. This show is ALL ABOUT HIS ASS It's amazing how Paris looks a lot like Chicago with bad props New love interest is pretty damn cute. But there's way too much plot exposition in this conversation. What is Martha reading? Oh, Huck Finn. Good "come back to haunt us" reference. Chloe is dead....
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Hero: the mini-review

Spoilers start right now. Stop reading if you haven't seen it. You have been warned. So, undeniably, that was a really pretty movie. The use of colour is gorgeous, the costumes and landscapes excellent, the special effects -- with the notable exception of the hordes of very obviously animated arrows -- extremely well done. The alternate stories worked well. This was not a bad movie, in fact it was a good movie. It was just a difficult movie to take seriously, unless you have a very deep understanding of, and have bought completely into, the Chinese cultural mindset that gave birth to the film. Here's why I couldn't take this movie seriously: Emperor: I have worked out that you are going to kill me, but I am so full of fucking honour that I'm not going to call the guards because your story has moved me so much. Jet Li: And I am so full of honour that instead of laying waste to all your guards, like I've been doing all the way through the movie so far, I'm going to sit here and get shot by...
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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...

Get ready to turn and face the strange, people. I'm switching web hosts to site5, so expect some turmoil and a few hours of downtime, probably this weekend, when I finally get around to migrating all of your sites over. You won't lose any data, and hopefully all your usernames and passwords will remain the same. The new host has five times the store space and ten times the monthly traffic, you can all upload pictures willy-nilly once again!
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