Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Fool on a Hill Fort

More of my travels. Today's innovation is the inclusion of background music. The eagle-eyed amongst you will recognise the hill fort in question as being the same one where I ended my 'Walk in the Hills' last year.

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The music is from Free Sound Track Music, a site which has some rather good free tracks available to download for use on amateur films like this. Recommended. Anyway, I've already got another film cued up, and I'll be editing together some footage I shot today at some point soon. So brace yourselves for more!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

All You Can Eat

Well, we're back in the 'fact imitating fiction' department with a recent story in The Guardian about a German restaurant which is advertising for people to donate 'spare' body parts for them to serve up to 'cannibal' diners. This all sounds suspiciously like a story called Suburban Cannibals I wrote for The Sleaze a few years ago. This featured a cannibal restaurant in London, where diners could pick their meal from a group of unfortunate prisoners held in a cage in the corner, who would then have various limbs cut off and cooked. It's nice to know that someone is reading my stuff, even if it is a bunch of German cannibals. Perhaps I could get in touch with this restaurant and ask for royalties. That said, they aren't actually proposing to cut bits off of live subjects. Obviously. Even in Germany that might just be illegal. Mind you, by asking for body part donations they could well be encouraging every self-harmer in the country to lop bits off of themselves. Depending on what they pay, they could even be encouraging a spate of illegal organ snatching - unsuspecting victims could be drugged in seedy bars, only to awaken in an even seedier hotel room, minus a kidney or a couple of lobes off of their liver.

What is it with Germans and cannibalism, though? If ever there's a story in the papers about cannibals, you can guarantee it concerns Germans, whether it is restaurants serving human flesh or cannibals advertising for willing victims on the web, (then eating their penises). Is urban cannibalism their new signature crime? I mean, there does seem to be a trend for national crimes: the Belgians seem to favour child abductions and murders, the Austrians like a bit of kidnap imprisonment and incest, whilst the US specialises in serial killers. I'm not entirely sure what our favourite type of crime is in the UK. Drunken thuggery? Actually, we do seem to have a penchant for murdering prostitutes, whether it is by strangling them in East Anglia, or shooting them with crossbows in Leeds. Maybe it's a heritage thing. After all, Jack the Ripper was doing it back in the 1880s. Getting back to the cannibalism, it never seems to have really taken off in this country - we're British, damn it! It's one thing to bludgeon someone to death, but a gentleman would never eat them, for goodness sake. Not without removing one's hat first, at the very least. That said, I can actually think of a couple of cannibal killings in the UK in recent years. But it never caught on. Nevertheless, it remains a popular subject - the story I mentioned earlier still gets a steady flow of traffic. So much so that I've been toying with an idea for another cannibal story, perhaps based around that awful Come Dine With Me series on Channel Four. Time will tell if it's a viable story idea.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

On The Beach (Part Two)

As threatened, here's Part Two of my recent excursion to the coast. As with the first part, it makes little or no narrative sense. But there are lots of nice shots of the sea crashing onto the beach. Oh, and there are some beach huts near the end...

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Well, I hope you enjoyed 'On The Beach' Parts One and Two, because over the next few weeks there's likely to be more where that came from! I shot a whole load of stuff today, I just need to edit it...

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Destination Loon

Being off work has given me the opportunity to catch up with some ancient films being shown on daytime TV that I'd otherwise forget to record, (and even if I did record them, I'd probably never get round to actually watching them). Yesterday it was Destination Moon from 1950. It's an age since I've seen this, and I'd forgotten what a thoroughly miserable piece of cold war propaganda it is, which shouldn't really be surprising, considering Robert A Heinlein's involvement in it's script. Quite apart from it's patronising approach - a dumb technician character who, despite being a communications expert, doesn't seem to understand the principles of rocketry, let alone basic physics, exists purely to be lectured by 'smart' characters, for the benefit of what the producers clearly think are an equally stupid audience - it seeks to promote the fantasy that only private enterprise can possibly drive scientific progress. Just like it apparently drove the war effort, according this film, anyway. "But the government picked up the bill for that", protests one character, when plans for a private moon shot are outlined. "They will this time, too, once they see that it's successful", another character reassures him. Dig those crazy fifties capitalists - expecting the taxpayer to bale them out. Nothings changed there, then.

The only role of the government in this film is to continually frustrate the project with red tape and unreasonable health and safety concerns. I mean, what's wrong with testing experimental nuclear reactors close to populated areas? By the end of this farrago I was left thinking how disappointed the film's makers must have been when it turned out that the real US space programme was entirely government sponsored. Which isn't surprising, as private industry was never going to take the risks, let alone bear the massive costs. It is also highly unlikely that it would have been able to properly co-ordinate and manage such a massive undertaking. At the end of the day, there was no obvious profit to be made. Which is precisely why scientific innovation is rarely driven by private finance. On an entirely unrelated note, good to see the Con Dem nation's Defence Secretary Liam Fox taking a moral stance - he's been condemning a computer game that allows players to take the role of the Taliban in an Afghanistan simulation. I'd be more impressed if he'd condemned it for promoting violence, full stop. However, he apparently has no qualms about people being able to pretend they're British or US soldiers, mowing down Afghans. Before leaving our good friends in the coalition, I'm disappointed to see that David Cameron hasn't followed any of my suggestions for naming his new daughter. When he said that he wanted her to have a name associated with Cornwall - where she was born - I e-mailed Number Ten to suggest 'Pasty' or 'Ginsters'.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On The Beach

Well, I'm on holiday again and, to celebrate, I thought I'd present another of my movies. This one returns me to the scene of my first film - 'A Walk on the Beach'. Today, when I shot this film, the weather was even rougher than the first time around. So, I give you 'On The Beach':

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Hopefully, these two minutes or so, condensing an entire afternoon, convey the conditions on the beach today - crashing waves, howling wind and foam everywhere. I've still got quite a bit of unused footage, so stand by for more non-events on the beach!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Daughter of de Sade

A rainy afternoon resulted in me dusting off another over looked gem from my DVD collection, the low budget 1967 kinky horror romp Daughter of de Sade:

Unfortunately the title is slightly misleading, as this concerns the exploits of the niece of the famous sadist who seeks to take revenge on those she believes were responsible for her Uncle’s downfall. Sadly, the film has no sense of period or location, both apparently dictated by the availability of sets and costumes, rather than any concern for historical accuracy. Hence the action unfolds in a back lot representation of Victorian London, regardless of the fact that this has nothing to do with the real de Sade. The makers also seem unable to decide whether this is a gothic horror movie or a period porn pic. Ultimately, It is this uncertainty that makes the film somewhat disappointing, as the horror is never really developed whilst the erotic elements are weak and come across as cheap titillation - selling itself on the fact that the protagonist is a young woman who gives people a damn good hiding with a whip.

Nevertheless, good use of lighting and camera angles do succeed in giving the film a superficial gloss. Unfortunately this simply serves to emphasise the failings of the script and story. Further problems are created by the use of stock footage from an abandoned 1965 Vincent Price project - Most Evil Man - for the flashback sequences of he Marquis himself. These reveal production values even lower than those of the framing narrative! Also, Price’s obvious disinterest in the project (he thought it to be his worst film and tried to prevent the use of this footage), is all too apparent.

The film’s premise of the young niece - aided by her Uncle’s friend - seeking revenge on the man who betrayed de Sade, whilst far from original, at least holds the promise of an entertaining drama. However, the creaking plot mechanics - involving bringing down the betrayer’s family and friends in order to taint him with scandal - are as tedious as they are laborious. Moreover, the sub-plot whereby the heroine falls for her adversary’s son, who turns out to have a dual personality, was reminiscent of the later Hammer film Hands of the Ripper. This romantic sub-plot also fatally slows the narrative and strips the leading character of her edge. This, along with the complex revenge plot and highly eclectic dialogue, detract from the film’s Sadian highlights, which involve the heroine giving a bloody good thrashing to various leading members of the establishment. However it must be said that the climax, involving the beating of Prince Albert in order to break his high German morals, and the ever escalating sadistic obsession with punishing prim Victorian London, is well staged and deserving of a better film.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

A Dog's Life - and Death

"We never put down a healthy dog". This slogan for a charity which rescues and re-homes stray dogs set me thinking when I saw it in a newspaper the other day. I mean, if they don't put down 'healthy' dogs, does that mean that when they get really fed up with one that absolutely nobody wants to take off their hands, they make it 'unhealthy', so that they can knock it off? Seriously, do they smack it over the head with a brick, so that it staggers around foaming at the mouth and bleeding from its ears? After all, if you saw a dog in that state, you'd agree that the kindest thing you could do for it would be to have it destroyed, wouldn't you? It would quite clearly be a 'mercy killing'. Actually, hitting it with a brick might be a bit extreme - breaking one of its legs with a baseball bat, so that it limps badly, would probably be enough to justify having the furry bastard put down.

Obviously, people might get a bit suspicious at the number of dogs suddenly suffering from fractured skulls and broken legs - not really the sorts of injuries you'd normally expect canines living in a dogs' home to get. A solution would instead be to use these 'problem' animals in illegal dog fights. Let's face it, that's probably what's really going to happen to a fair proportion of the dog's supposedly 'rescued', anyway. They're going to a good 'home' all right - a wire cage where they're regularly poked with sticks to make them more aggressive. Anyway, bearing in mind that the dogs in question are probably vicious bastards, they'd probably enjoy being involved in dog fighting. If they win, they'll have made some money for the dogs' home, if they lose, they'll probably be so badly mauled that they'll have to be put down. The dogs' home will be able to deflect suspicion by saying that the animals had been injured in a fight with another dog at the home. This has the added bonus that it gives them an excuse to put down another dog on the grounds that it is dangerous. But of course, this is all just idle speculation and I'd like to emphasise that no dog rescue charity would ever deliberately injure its own charges, or get involved in illegal dog fighting. Although they might want to think about it.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Interruption to Normal Service

I had all sorts of ideas for posts for today, but I'm afraid that, when push came to shove, I just couldn't muster any real enthusiasm for any of them. Consequently, I have no post for today. There are all sorts of reasons why I just haven't felt like writing today - I'm about to take some time off work and I'm more focused on that than anything else is probably the main one. I also received some surprising news about a friend today which has left me feeling slightly non-plussed, (if that's the right word). Being the 'silly season', there's been nothing in the news to inspire me. Today, for instance, it was dominated by A-Level results and the tiresome annual debate over whether they're getting easier. I'm also more than a little pissed off with regard to traffic patterns over at The Sleaze again.

As I predicted, because of the presence of the word 'sex' in the title, the latest story there helped push traffic up to levels I haven't seen since the beginning of the year. Today, traffic, (primarily Google traffic), abruptly collapsed. It's like a switch was flipped. I'm sorry, but these are simply not normal traffic patterns. Popular new stories don't simply get traffic for precisely twenty four hours, then vanish. It's as if someone has decided that certain sites are only allowed a certain quota of traffic every week or month. Clearly, The Sex Assassins was threatening to exceed that. And it's no good going on about the site being over-reliant on traffic from Google. As long as Google dominates search, webmasters have little choice. So there you are - the reasons why I couldn't be bothered to write a proper post today. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed tomorrow,

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dumbing Down

"New One Show host has massive boobs!" So the Daily Sport helpfully informed me the other week as I was buying The Guardian at my local newsagent. How nice it is to see the great British press engaging with the issues of the day. To be fair, though, the Sport has never really pretended to be a proper newspaper. The rest of our tabloids, however, have no such excuse. Of course, the Sport could have been simply stating a fact, as I try to avoid watching the One Show, regardless of who is presenting it. Vacuous is too kind a word for it. Anyway, getting back to the original point, (more or less), now that Richard Desmond, proprietor of The Daily Star, and other, less sleazy titles such as Asian Babes, has bought Channel Five, maybe we can expect it to move in a similar direction as our tabloids. Perhaps I should start sending them my programme ideas, like 'Celebrity Tit Wank'. That said, they have announced that they are dropping Ian Wright from Live From Studio Five, which is surely a move upmarket. Unless they replace him with Timmy Mallet, that is.

Anyway, changing the subject completely, The Sex Assassins is finally up on The Sleaze, delayed by several re-writes. The first third came together easily, but the latter two thirds were problematic - all the material was there, it was just a question of finding a way to assemble it that felt right. I'm reasonably pleased with the results. I'm hopeful that having the word 'sex' in the title and several mentions of the word 'porn' in the text might generate some traffic. Sadly, that seems to be the only way to get anything out of Google these days. Anyway, on another administrative issue, you might have noticed that the comments have been enabled once again on this blog. Blogger's introduction of a new spam-filtering function for comments has made managing them a lot easier, so I decided to give them another chance. Don't abuse my 'generosity'!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Blood Money...

...or how to create a controversy. So Tony Blair's decision to donate all the proceeds from his book to a sports centre for injured soldiers is controversial, is it? Only, it seems, if you are a news reporter. When I first heard this reported on the radio, (on Radio One's lunchtime news), the reporter simply told us that 'some people might find this controversial', in light of the fact that Blair had sent some of these soldiers to war in Iraq in the first place. Notice that 'might' in there - at this point, they were pretty much admitting that this just the reporter's opinion, and that they had no evidence to back it up. With each succeeding news report, the 'controversial' aspect of Blair's donation was emphasised ever more vehemently, with the newsreader urging people to give their views on this 'controversy' online. A more blatant attempt to stir up a fake controversy on a slow news day, I've come across in quite a while.

As the afternoon wore on, they started quoting some of these opinions. Well, one of them, it seemed - someone going about how it was just 'guilt money' to salve Blair's conscience over sending 'our boys' off to an illegal war. They kept promising us a full report on the early evening bulletin, implying that there was more to come, an overwhelming condemnation of Blair, even. Sadly, there wasn't. Come the early evening bulletin, all we got was a repetition of the tired old 'guilt money' line. They did at least try to balance it with an ex-soldier who had served in Iraq pointing out that the military don't get a choice where they fight, and accept injury as an occupational hazard. Indeed, far from being controversial, Blair's donation appeared to be being welcomed by everyone involved in the rehabilitation of injured servicemen and women. To hear such lazy reporting on the BBC is disappointing, to say the least.

I wouldn't have minded so much, but they didn't even try to explore any of the issues raised. I mean, even if Blair is only making this donation to assuage his assumed guilt - so what? Aren't most charitable donations, at least in part, made for similar reasons? Don't we all give to charity in order to satisfy our consciences, even slightly? By giving to a good cause, we feel we are then relieved of any obligation to worry further about, say, famine in Africa? Aren't we really saying 'look, I've done my bit by giving five quid, so I don't have to think about the fact that a major causal factor in third world poverty is the exploitation of poorer nations by the affluent West in order to maintain our consumerist lifestyles.' Indeed, as long as we stick a few pounds in an envelope every so often, we won't have to consider making fundamental changes to the unfair global economic system. But obviously, Tony Blair is different, isn't he? He's a war criminal, after all, isn't he? That's another statement the BBC allowed to go unchallenged. God knows, I have real problems with Blair and the 'dodgy dossier, and I opposed the war in Iraq from the outset, but it really is going too far to try and label him a 'war criminal'. Sure, he may have misled parliament in order to take the UK to war, (a serious enough offence in itself), but to try and put him on a par with the likes of Adolf Hitler is a travesty and devalues the whole concept of war crimes. let's get a grip people, and try to keep things in perspective.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sky's the Limit

Well, silly season seems to be in full swing at last. Whilst we don't seem to have any new alien abductions and crop circles appear to have vanished, but we've had the Ministry of Defence releasing yet more of its 'UFO files'. That gave the media something to fill a few pages - yet more reports of vague things which people might or might not have seen whilst coming home from the pub. Did Churchill get involved in an encounter between RAF bombers returning from a raid in World War Two and UFOs over the English Channel? Probably not. I think there might be something in the records if this sort of thing was ever discussed at cabinet level. Besides, by that stage of the war, Churchill was more worried about the threat posed by exploding inflatable Nazi sex dolls. Still, it all distracts the great unwashed from Cameron and Co's destruction of the UK economy.

In another development which must surely be part of the silly season, Rupert Murdoch is trying to stop Skype from registering its name as a trademark in Europe, because people might confuse it with his Sky TV outfit. No, really. That's actually happening. Apparently they've done some research and found that many people would, indeed, confuse an internet telephony service with a satellite TV broadcaster. I can only assume that their sample was composed entirely of cretins. Or, as I prefer to call them, Sky subscribers. Of course, the fact that Sky also offers broadband and telephony as part of its TV packages has nothing at all to do with this bizarre development. Anyway, as ever at this time of year, The Sleaze is doing its best to contribute to the silly season. I've already got the first of our seasonal stories up - Fiend With the Tabloid Brain, which I still think is a great story, even if you bastards have all but ignored it - and I'm currently working on another one. As the only things which seem to generate traffic any more have the words 'porn' or 'sex' in the title, this one will be called either 'The Sex Assassins', or 'The Men Who Stare at Porn'. That should do the trick.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Suspicious Behaviour

As if on cue, following my moans about the media's misrepresentation of people who enjoy solitude, today I find myself characterised as a terror suspect by the police. Apparently the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a radio advert for the Anti-Terror Hotline which encouraged people to inform on their neighbours if they engage in suspicious behaviours, such paying in cash or keeping their curtains drawn. I freely admit to doing both of those things. Cash payments make it easier to keep track of outgoings, I find, and tend to discourage impulse buying. As for the curtains - well, blinds, in my case - my front room looks directly out onto a pathway. Like most of my neighbours, I've grown tired of having people peering through my window as they walk past, so I keep my blinds shut at the front most of the time. Ah, but you would say that, wouldn't you? Would undoubtedly be the response of the ad's makers. Plausible sounding covers for terrorist activity! We all know you are really building bombs in your front room, weirdo!

To make things worse, I exhibit at least one of the 'suspicious' behaviours highlighted in in another ad in the series which the ASA approved for broadcast - I like to keep myself to myself. Clearly, I'm such a dangerous fanatic that I'll have to turn myself in - will i get a reward for that? To make this whole fiasco worse, the radio station which these idiotic pieces were broadcast as Talksport - which is listened to by exactly the kind of idiots who would take them as an invitation to go round and burn their neighbours' houses down. In reality, of course, I have nothing to worry about. Nobody is going to take me for a terrorist, even if I am reclusive, pay in cash and keep my curtains drawn, as I'm not Asian, Arabic or a Muslim. Just so long as you are white, you are OK. Even the lynch mobs can tell the difference between evil terrorists and weirdos. They might string you up for being a suspected peadophile, mind you...

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

All by Myself

My misanthropy is getting worse. The other day I found myself hiding behind the sofa so as to make someone think I was out. I really do hate cold callers. Even when I know them. Especially when I know them, actually. After all, it's much easier to tell some sales person for a double glazing company that you've never met before to 'Sod off', than it is to tell somebody you know the same thing. I mean, just because I don't want to see people I know, doesn't mean that I necessarily want to offend them. Just avoid them. People who know me really should have grasped by now that they should always give me fair warning before trying to contact me, and really shouldn't approach me unexpectedly - if they happen to see me on the street, for instance. If they want to speak to me, they know which nights I'm likely to be in the pub, and which pub. Don't misunderstand me, it isn't that I don't like spontaneity, I just prefer it when it's my spontaneity. In order to further the illusion that I'm the master of my own destiny, I like to be the one who decides to do something different. And, to be honest, I'd rather be doing something different on my own. There's less complaining and no chance of being diverted into doing something I find boring, just to humour someone else.

It's like I've said before, I just don't really like people. OK, I quite like a few of them, on an individual basis, but I find them hard to take en masse. But that's the trouble with today's interconnected world, where everybody is telling everybody else their 'status' and updating them as to their 'mood', people have forgotten the simple joys of being alone. That's not the same as being lonely. Unfortunately, the media tend to confuse the concepts of 'alone' and 'lonely'. Only the other day I saw some twaddle about the authorities in Japan being worried about the number of young people who seem to prefer to stay at home, on their own. Why is that characterised as being odd behaviour? Quite frankly, looking at the state of the world today, as portrayed by the self same media, staying at home seems to be the most sensible thing you can do, what with all those murderers, perverts and rapists out there, not to mention the imminent breakdown of society which will follow the economic crisis. But really, why is a desire for solitude strange? To be alone with one's own thoughts is surely something to be welcomed. But then again, perhaps that's what scares so many people - the idea of having to enjoy their own company, as they really don't like themselves. Not a problem I suffer from. Obviously. I'm quite comfortable with myself. I look forward to being able to spend whole days not speaking to anyone, not having to observe meaningless pleasantries, or endure the opinions of idiots. Paradise.

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Monday, August 09, 2010

Paint it Blue

Another delve into my personal DVD collection reveals this low-budget Brit farce from 1976:

One of three films to have carried this title - sadly it is not the dark, uncouth 1972 police thriller from France, or the amusing 1980s movie about a London students' residence. No, this is the dire 1970s British comedy that, even for that period, is scrapping the bottom of the bottom of the barrel. You will probably never have seen it unless you have been sat up watching Channel Five late at night, probably hoping that some of those 'erotic thrillers' they show might actually be erotic, or even thrilling. Paint it Blue, a tale of farting, would clearly dearly love to be a Carry On film, with well scripted lines delivered by a professional cast. Instead, typical of many 1970s Brit comedies, it has a slapdash approach to scripting with no real inspiration, relying on crude sexual innuendo. The result is as embarrassing as watching your parents get down and boogie at a wedding disco.

The plot meanders all over the place, which would not be a minus point if it actually strayed into something funny, rather than jokes and set ups that even a school boy would find puerile. To be fair, there are some truly funny points in the movie, but they just serve to underline how bollocks the rest is. The plot revolves around British troops caught behind enemy lines in WW2. A predictably rum collection of misfits, they include one Private Parts, (yes it is that bad ), played by the late Jack Douglas, who has terrible wind and keeps giving away their hiding places with his farting. (Flashbacks to his training predictably show his tent exploding when someone discards a cigarette). However, Captain Knackers (Jim Dale) finds that it is an effective means of gassing the enemy and thus ensures that a bunch of comedy German High Command generals are convinced that the British have a new weapon.

Dale's character realises that this guff is their ticket back to base, and recalls, in the film’s only truly hysterical scene, how Nelson and his men destroyed a French man'o'war at Trafalgar through lighting their farts. The scene of cannon ports opening to reveal a bunch of flame spouting British backsides is quite brilliant, as is Nelson’s death from sucking the flame back up his rectum and combusting his insides. This whole sequence has subsequently been lifted by better films, including Farts of Gold 2: Farts of Fire. Other redeeming sequences are of a melting Tiger tank, (well actually a British Cromwell tank with swastikas on it), and a Stuka taken out by precision follow-through.

If you are a fan of this period, and really cannot get enough of Jack Douglas and his jittering spastic impressions, (cut from Carry On Emanuelle after complaints from disabled organisations), then by all means purchase this DVD. If not, then avoid it, or the distributors will only be encouraged to release more rubbish instead of the more deserving movies that somehow never get onto the video shelf.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday Night Musings

I finally managed to see that hitherto unscreened episode of You Have Been Watching, when it finally aired on E4 the other night. This was the 'crime special' which Channel Four, in their infinite wisdom, had decided to postpone from its original showing, which coincided with Derrick Bird's gun rampage in Cumbria. Now, I naturally assumed that this postponement was due to the fact that the programme contained some kind of controversial content related to gun massacres - Charlie Brooker machine-gunning the audience, for instance. Having seen it, I'm left mystified as to Channel Four's actions. There really wasn't anything offensive or controversial about - unless you include Angela Lansbury talking about OAP sex, that is. But that's the trouble with TV companies these days - too eager to pander to the "Oh, I've never been so offended in my life" brigade.

Still, speaking of offense, I've finally managed to get The Sleaze more or less back on schedule, with a new story posted this week - Fiend With the Tabloid Brain. A neat little story - I think, anyway - which has so far been roundly ignored by readers. That's the thanks you get for writing anything slightly different. Whilst we're talking about administrative stuff, the eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed that I've switched the comments off on this blog. After I foolishly laid out, (once again), the policy for comments here, that particular post was immediately spammed with the kind of comments I'd just made clear would be deleted. Obviously, I deleted them. However, the spammers seemed to take my guidelines as a challenge, and stepped up their efforts on subsequent posts. So, I've decided that if they won't play nicely, then I'm not going to let anybody play. I really don't have the time or the patience to deal with these idiots. So, in the unlikely event that you want to leave a proper comment - tough! Take it up with the spammer twats.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

One is an Outspoken Sort of Chap

If there's one thing I find more objectionable to the Tories being bastards, it is when they pretend to be concerned about social issues, human rights or international justice. Even though they are quite patently still being utter bastards. Even more objectionable are the number of so-called 'liberals' and 'left-wing intellectuals' who fall for this bollocks, and continue to try and defend Cameron and co. In reality, of course, all they are doing is trying to salve their own consciences and justify their own abandonment of Labour and subsequent support for the Liberal Democrats at the last election. Just this week we had turn coat John Kampfner - one of those 'left-wing intellectuals' - trying to reconcile his support for the Lib Dems with the fact that it had resulted in a Tory government. Quite laughably, he continued to try and cast Labour as the villains, (it was all their fault for disappointing him, apparently), and had the nerve to describe the current government as 'so far, so bearable'. Really, John? Really? Bearable for who, exactly? Middle class journalists who aren't facing a catastrophic loss of income when they're made redundant as part of this government's spending cuts? Middle class political commentators who don't have to worry about Lansley's proposed destruction of the NHS, as they can afford private health care?

A recent example of the middle class liberal/left's continued infatuation with Cameron came during the PM's trip to India, where, in-between running around with a begging bowl to try and get some cash from a former colony to try and compensate for his own government's lack of investment in the UK - he publicly criticised Pakistan for its alleged support of the Taliban. "That's just what we need - a straight-talking Prime Minister when it comes to foreign affairs", cooed the left/liberal bloggers. Yeah, straight talking. His comments would have been a lot more impressive had they not been made in India whilst he was trying to cadge money from them. Less straight-talking, more embarrassing and ill-considered attempt to impress his hosts by running down their regional rivals. But of course, by doubting Cameron's motivations, I'm just one of those knee-jerk reactionaries who can't get out of the past and abandon 'tribal politics'. Oh do fuck off! Politics is meant to be confrontational. Different political parties are meant to represent different ideologies. Let's face it if - as these proponents of the 'new politics' would have it - we all agreed with each other, then we might just as well have a one-party system like the old Soviet Union. But it's all about compromise, the likes of Kampfner and other coalition apologists would argue. Yes indeed, compromise of the sort we see in the coalition - remind me again where the 'liberal' bit of their policies can be found? The sooner the Lib Dems and their friends accept what everyone else can see - that they're just a political fig leaf there to deflect attention from the Tories' usual evil machinations - the better. Until then, shut the fuck up.

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Festival Season

That's 'festival', not 'festive', season. Even I'm not going to start moaning about Christmas in August. Although it definitely does start earlier every year. There was a piece in the news only the other day about how some shop or other in London had already put up its Christmas display - in the middle of bloody summer! But I'm not discussing that today. I feel it only proper to wait until at least September before going on about Christmas. But this is August, and the Edinburgh Festival is almost upon us again. Now, regular readers might recall that last year I floated the idea of some kind of Sleaze-themed event for the fringe. Well, I'm happy to announce that, for two nights only, I'll be presenting my one man show - 'I Was a Sex Pest From Outer Space' - at a top fringe venue. Yes indeed, on 19 and 20 August I'll be appearing above the lounge bar of the 'Lamb and Shank', on the corner of Cock Lane and Cupid's Alley in Edinburgh. It kicks off at nine-thirty each night, admission five pounds, (two pounds fifty for pensioners), payable at the door.

So, I'll expect to see you all there for a fantastic evening of fun and frolics. Or perhaps not. You'll be amazed the number of people who believe me when I tell them that I'm going to spend my Summer holiday later this month performing at the Fringe. Perhaps that could be the basis for a future one man show? I could make like Dave Gorman, and spend an hour boring people rigid with a Power Point presentation about how many people I deceived into believing I was appearing at the Fringe - the punch line being that I am performing a one man show in Edinburgh, like, right now! But those suckers I 'fooled' are still the butt of the joke because this is a different show than the one they thought I'd do! A double dumb ass on them! Anyway, getting back to the point, the truth is that I've never been to Edinburgh in my life, for the festival or anything else. One day I really must visit the fringe - as a spectator, not a performer. In the meantime, I'll just continue with what I'm now going to claim is a piece of performance art, and just pretend to be performing a one man show there.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

The Burial Mound

video

You can tell it must be Summer - my bloody films are back with a vengeance! This one is interesting simply because I created it using the 'Automovie' function on Windows Movie Maker. After choosing a 'style', the application took my chosen clip, (three and a half minutes of me wandering around an Iron Age burial mound), and edited it down to just over a minute, adding in various wipes, dissolves and fades to cover the edits. Interestingly, it didn't just cut the clip down, it also rearranged some of the sequences. I'm not sure that it actually makes much sense anymore, but I was pleased enough with it to further restyle the opening and closing credits, (which it also automatically adds), and add a soundtrack, (a 'sample' of 'Black Sabbath' by Black Sabbath - notice I use the term 'sample' to try and weasel my way around copyright issues) .

I think it important to note that this film was created with proper Windows Movie Maker, as included with XP and Vista, rather than the abomination known as Windows Live Movie Maker, which is included with Windows 7. The latter is an incredibly oversimplified version of the product, which includes no timeline for editing, ("too confusing" according to Microsoft), and doesn't include anywhere near as many effects and transitions. It also doesn't have the 'Automovie' feature. Having just started using a Windows 7 laptop, I found myself having to download the original Movie Maker in order to properly edit any of my videos. A word of warning, this version of Movie Maker apparently won't always run properly on Windows 7. Luckily, you can download it, along with a neat installer, from here. It's worth doing if you want to edit movies properly on Windows 7.

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