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Rants and Ruminations: Interstella, Star Cellar

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I was the heir to the Branson fortune of Non-Honey, honey based products such as, ”Honey, I can’t believe it’s not honey”, ”Honey are you sure this isn’t honey?” and ‘‘Honey, I’m definitely  sure this is honey, you lying fucking bitch”.

The year of my birth was said to be the pinnacle of human civilization. Wars were ended, friends were made and everywhere smelled faintly of stale, sweet popcorn. My conception was, unusual to say the least as I was actually grown inside a cannonball, which was a popular custom at the time.

Two individuals, each of different genders, would ejaculate lovingly inside the ball before nodding, giving a faint shriek, then sealing it up for the next eleven years.

Inside the cannonball I became a patron of the arts, spending weekends at the local theater and encouraging the despondent youths to turn away from gang culture and find purpose on the stage. However this whimsy ended when my cannonball was fired and launched thousands of miles into the air at breakneck speeds. Yet as I flew over the English countryside I felt no anger, no remorse for what was lost, as I had convinced myself that this world needed me. Moments later my cannonball fell open after striking Stonehenge.

My morning routines began with unabashed acts of self-love. My release, forceful and timely, would propel my duvet onto the ceiling with a great gusting force. Where it would remain glued to the roof above my bed for several hours. I’d then open the window to catch my morning intake of oxygen. One or two deep breaths is normally enough to suffice my and entire day of activities. My medically unique respiratory systems has been a mystery of the universe for many years.. Scientists and doctors had kept me in underground labs for decades until they became convinced that, I was in fact, the messiah, and so they began worshiping me in a cultish fashion.

However I soon bored of the routine rituals and daily virgin sacrifices, so I left to start my own nightclub in the East end of London. The next few years were a daze of ketamine driven parties and indulgent soirees. Nobel peace prize winner, Jimmy Carter and his entourage of Jazz Goons frequented my establishment. This is where I became familiar with the Jazz-Funk scene, otherwise known as Junk. To say the least these groovy new tunes blew my mind. So much so I immediately suffered from an aneurysm which paralyzed my right arm permanently. Yet I still toured with Jimmy and the Goons for several years, acting as a backup vocalist and occasional trapeze dancer.

In 2004 I died, yeah did I not mention that? What a twist hey!? It’s like finding that this has all been written by the woman who got killed in desperate housewives that one time.

I died ticking off the last item on my to-do list. Here is the last page of that list.

  • Stop relying on whimsy and profanity for comedy
  • Stop relying on the list format for comedy
  • Stop relying on apologetic self-awareness for comedy
  • Simply stop…  

As I ticked the last box and felt my heart began to shrink a familiar Crow landed on my fingertip and said, ”PB, you have been a loyal friend to the Crow folk and I have one final quest for you… A war has broken out between the Shrews and the Lemurs, as an arranged marriage has led to blood feuds.’

Tutting softly I pinched shut the tiny beak of my dear friend and said, ”I’m sorry, but a battle between Shrews and Lemurs is simply too wacky. What? Are they killing each other with kale or something? Get fucked you little Crow cunt.”

With that I puked on his head and died.

Although I died alone in a deserted pub toilet, the ripples of sadness echoing out across the universe. Mother’s held their children, not knowing why, old men quietly huffed with tears in their eyes, and the Crow-Folk watched helplessly as the Shrews and Lemures, massacred each other with kale.

I guess I can’t say anymore, so here’s a picture of some sick.

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Don’t watch Interstellar.

-PB

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Let’s Rant ‘Bout: ”I’m sorry, but your opinion is in the minority”:

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Authors Note: Bare with me as I regress into illogical preamble and madding, irrelevant thought.

It was a woozy weekday evening and the light was a hazy autumnal brown. I hadn’t eaten all day and the pit in my stomach began to plunge my work ethic as low as the v-cut on Kelly LeBrock’s dress.

I had been aggregating a collection of Heinz salad cream sachets for months, delicately storing them above a loose fitting roof tile. It was a mischievous form of entertainment that kept me from sustained periods of unbearable boredom. I’d imagine, years after my absence this collection, ripened and rotting with the smells of broken enzymes and bubbling fats.

It was a grotesque, evil image that removed me from the mind numbing mundanely of filing. Cardboard boxes towering higher than my own head each held documents that were so important and held so information that one person could absorbed it all. So they just had to be shoved carelessly onto cramped shelves and left forever in a dark room.

I watched a spider dance around a web of shining thread imagining my own life as a Black Widow. I’d sit lazily on the fringes of my Spider friend’s webs, eating their bait and complaining about my bad back. I’d insight hateful comments on twitter over the Spider government and talk about my xenophobic hate against the False Widow Spider and the rising number of Oak Processionary Moth immigrant workers taking good honest English homes and jobs.

I’d click on link bait articles that furthered my preferential beliefs that I am in fact the image and likeness of God and the world does in fact revolve around me. I’d make a Tumblr blog and write about how soft we are on women, calling for harassment on all public displays of progressive thinking while harking on about privilege. I’d write as a white male, militant atheist stuck in the friend-zone and reblog gifs of jiggly boobs and cartoon cats.

I’d copy wistful quotes onto Instagram pictures of sunsets and bastardize Francisco Bulnes with an elite sense of political centrist snobbery. Because anyone with any real political ideals is easy parody but in my almighty grace I’d end up punching down and already demoralized groups.

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Makes my eyes seep with the pus of glorious angst ridden tears. Better put some Blink 182 in my tape deck.

All dissenting opinions on my own beliefs can and will be ignored because I’ve found myself in a space that encourages preference. The systems that our social media uses focus on our preferences and disenfranchise us from engaging with things outside those circles. Facebook makes you ‘’like’’ things, there’s no wiggle room there. It’s a binary system that enforces binary beliefs. Either its good or not.

It’s become the grammar of the internet, this dichotomy of binary appreciation. Youtube, WordPress, Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit and almost every freaking blog under the thinning atmosphere of our suffocating planet including this one! There’s been this push for us to strip our preferences down and brazenly wear them like scout badges. Big business has always wanted to aggregate the perfect, marketable profile of you for the sake of specifically targeted ads, and guess what? You’ve been doing that job for them. You’ve aggregated the perfect footprint. The perfect, saleable picture, the white man in his thirties that drives a ford car and watches the Simpsons and likes pictures of dogs and now he’s being sold a Simpsons dog lead and seat covers for his car. 

This, rant, this preamble, this concern for the grammar of the internet is all borne from one disturbing comment I read.

”I’m sorry, but your opinion is in the minority’

I sat dazed for a moment trying to decipher the meaning behind these words. There must be something. People valued it. It was highly rated and many replied, agreeing with this dismissive statement. At the time I was trying to write about cynicism, specifically my own. I was reading through my own text and comparing it to the horrifically scary online disinhibition effect. A reaction where, because of the internet’s lack of social restrictions and inhibitions that are otherwise present in normal social interaction individuals are able to peruse in and out cynical, hateful behavior without the fear of any kind of meaningful reprisal.

That’s why we get this spiteful brew of cynicism from our web going hours. Like the consequences written by Jean Baudrillard when he discussed hyperreality in Mass culture as a set ”of ritualised signs of information, with no actual content.’’ Just because someone can discuss an issue doesn’t inherently mean they are capable of doing so and more often than not they fail to even frame their argument, causing a growing web of straw-man conclusions to develop along the recesses of more informed debate. This sort of baggage is ultimately more harmful than good and personifies that ‘’disappearance of intensity’’ in dialogue described by Baudrillard.

What’s most disturbing about this statement, ”I’m sorry, but your opinion is in the minority’‘, is that it frames the opinions of those who are not represented by the majority as invalid. It invalidates all discussion that’s separate from the general consensus. Now of course this statement isn’t adhered to in any fashion by the journalistic press, at least those with somewhat reputable standards. Yet it’s still growing and expanding as a more common belief and the scary thing is that people haven’t even noticed.

We now live in tiny preferential realities where we can design our own truths and easily surround ourselves with things that prove those truths. Yet it’s just an aggregated fantasy, like my collection of hidden salad cream in the rafters, a day dream to seep the mundanity of real life away. To distract us from the real issues. The piling boxes and paper work that surrounds us and gobbles up every complex thought we want to explore. It’s a lot easier just to live that fantasy, to hit the like button. To exist in a world without challenge.

-PB

Let’s Rant Bout’ 4PM: Maybe A Drink Will Help

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4PM? More like Bore-PM, amiright? 

Jesus, I like pretentious shit, I’ll be honest, I’m a giant sucker for it. Yet 4PM manages to straddle the line between gaudy crap and godawful, insensitive issue waving with all the nobility of a shit eating fly. So in short, it’s not my normal cup of pretentious shit.

It’s a story about drinking, and I use the word story lightly, mostly because 4pm is very happy with ditching the story and any brevity it may have had for some very bad gamified moments. Also saying it’s ”about drinking’‘, suggest the game is even capable of framing that argument, which is sadly not the case. I’d actually say it makes the subject and character far too comical, which isn’t a great thing to come away with from a supposedly ”gritty” slice of life.

I’m not doing anything controversial here, 4PM isn’t exactly a popular gem, well maybe with the slightly less informed pretensions shits like me. Yet what irks me the most about these complaints is how wrong they are. You know what it’s like, right? That feeling you get when someone’s complaining about the same thing you are but doing it wrong? Then, you’ll find yourself defending the subject just to try to re-educate those feckless fools you call your friends. You see most complain about the ”mechanics” of the game, and how it, ”isn’t even a game”, and can I just say here that limiting your scope of what can and can’t be in this medium based solely mechanical tropes is deafly dumb. I mean that’s the equivalent of saying a song can’t be a song if it doesn’t have any cowbell…

It completely removes the game from the discussion, so before you can even talk about its merits or flaws you have to wrongly convinced yourself and others that it does classify as a ”game” under whatever constantly unflinching definition you happened to see it as. Which is a shame because I actually like a lot of games that feature this lack of ”mechanical” interaction.

Let’s talk briefly about Dear Esther. Remember that little gem? Well I do, it wasn’t perfect I give you that, it was pretty though, and sometimes it could throw an emotional punch. Assuming that the semi-randomised audio synced up nicely. Sure there wasn’t more too it from a player’s perspective except from mere observation. Yet I found that kind of a fitting allegory to the present state of first person games. That stories in this genre are so detached from the player. The only worth we have in them is our mechanical involvement, and removing that just highlights that detachment. Normally we’re just a character’s tool, distracted by the shiny lights of shooty gun guns.

When all that noise is taken away you’re left with a very poor product that’s inadequate at conveying a story at best and plainly frustrating at worst. It’s an empty and far more shallow means of experiencing a story that might have been better served as a movie, or a book, or even a radio play. Sure I don’t think this allegory was intended by the Dear Esther developers but it’s still a rather fantastic play in spite of its controversy. Basically it’s a big swinging pendulum dick tattooed with the phrase, ”games are fucking amateurish”, in foul, septic stinking letters.

Dear reader don’t think I’m being a contrarian in a vain attempt to feel superior to everyone and everything, please don’t think that, because it’s true, so you can save yourself the speculation.
I won’t defend my words, I mean what is there to say? I hate video games? No I just hate the way people wrongly hate them and wrongly praise them. In fact most of my time is spent with video games. So don’t jump on that white horse because it’s already reserved for me.

Anyway I feel like I’ve rather neglected Bore-PM in this post but in truth there’s just not a lot to say. There’s not a lot of anything in this game. The VO, animation and writing is so laughable bad I constantly expected the Stanley Parable narrator to jump out of the wall with a witty deprecating remark. Alas nothing happened, the drinking was there, and sure it was decent enough at displaying the idea that ”sometimes people drink to much”, and yes I’m sure some do. I know some who do, heck sometimes I even do, but is this game really going to be what I relate to? God I hope not.

It can’t frame an argument, can’t recognise what to gameify and what not, has no concept of writing, and wrongly advertises itself as a game about ”choice”. Because we all know that choice equals agency right?

The only thing you’ll experience with 4PM is a depressing walk down a failed project, with deep unresolved and conflicting issues too big and taunting to tackle.

It would be more enriching to get colostomy.

-PB

Rants and Ruminations: Slugterra and Bananas in Pajamas

header-bananas-in-pyjamasI’m a grown man, so naturally I commit a great deal of time watching and complaining about children’s TV shows. Anyone who has ever been a child, which I assume is most of you, will have experienced the joy that was saturday morning TV. We’ awoke, blurry eyed, only to run down stairs to consume a bowl of sugar and milk as we glared at a glossy tv screen with complete disregard for everything and anyone else. This became quite common practice for most, so much so that advertisers took note. Gone were the ads for health insurance and born were the awful garish ads for blocks of plastic carved by some poor deprived Chinese man. Yeah have fun with that toy JCB Timmy, you little entitled prick! Nevertheless a few gems shone through the crap, there’s the classics like Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo, then you have modern almost surrealist stuff like Samurai Jack and that Courage the Cowardly Dog thing. 

Yet as with all things shit prevailed the most. I mean who in their right mind actually liked Pokémon? It was the worst most contrived and cheaply made show I ever had the displeasure to experience. People complain about the constant contrivances in The Simpsons that exist to preserve the status-quo, but let me tell you, Pokémon became the goddamn master of that skill. No matter what the characters did, they remained immovable, unalterable. I know kids dislike change but there’s a thing called a bloody character arch! It’s usually used by most writers, you know, to provide some evidence that things are moving forwards, or at least create the illusion that they are. Yet Pokémon said no, Ash, Misty and Brock we’re the one universal constant to ever exist. Stars may collapse, reality may reform, but Ash will forever remain thirteen years old.

Yet I digress, my knowledge of the Pokémon franchise is at least ten or more years old, I’d suspect the latter. Even so, with all my quandaries with cartoons today I still find myself drawn to them. Perhaps I just like shouting, perhaps I have too much time on my hands, or perhaps I just enjoy the absurd. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I think they are kind of important. I know it sounds feeble-minded, self opinionated rubbish but the truth is that Kids are very impressionable little buggers. What they consume when it comes to TV and media might just be more important than what we consume in all our ‘adult‘ serious shows. As much as we’d loath to admit it. That’s why I suppose I’m so interested in the subject, very few criticize children’s tv unless it’s in some fruity Mumsnet non-offensive, non-critical manner, or either in some Daily Mail tabloid-esque ‘it’s all corrupting their little minds’ approach. It feels like we can’t have a reasonable, adult discussion about it. We can’t discuss the tropes, theory and techniques used in these shows or even look at the where they come from. We never seem interested to see where the ideas for kids tv stem from, yet we’re still so ready to criticize what ideas stem from them. I’d imagine that one of the reasons for this is that it would require an in-depth knowledge of the subject, and as we all know grown ups are far too enlightened to take away anything whimsical or edifying from a plebeians’ cartoon. So with that in mind, let’s have a little talk about it, and not be a sensationalist whore.

Sensationalist whoring: Bananas in Pajamas

Banana in Pajamas is a pro socialist message corrupting our youth! It’s eroding the foundations of our democratic society by exposing our own children to destructive communist propaganda! This is bullshit, Banana’s in Pajamas was once a wholesome show about two homosexual fruits living in an apartment together. It was a simple, they’d go up and down some stairs and then something completely unimpactful would happen and the process would repeat. Yet it’s all changed to bloody computers! They’ve gotten rid of the cutesy sets and handcrafted costumes to sell out the very nature of the show to political whore waving their flag of equality and camaraderie. One episode featured both of the Banana’s getting stuck out on the sea slowly being dragged out by the tide. Then some shit eating little Mouse that’s obviously an allegory for the downtrodden, small, seeming unimportant proletarian of modern society squeaks, ‘Hey let’s work together to build a raft and save the Bananas!’. Well bullshit I say little mouse! This isn’t your house, this is a democracy, and I’ll exercise my right to a Randian lifestyle whenever I damn well please, and you know what? If those two sentient fruits are stupid enough to get themselves lost at sea so be it. It’s called natural selection for a reason my friend. 

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The NRA’s Agenda: Slugterra

Well the NRA and their all-powerful reach finally land their  claws in our children’s hearts once again! We might as well be training them to snuff their fellow-man by letting them continuously punch AL Gore in his bloated testicles while they recite aloud their favorite memorised chapters of Mein Kampf. Slugterra is perhaps the worst, most pro-gun message on modern television I have ever seen. Here a group of jazzy teenagers have pet ‘slugs‘, an obvious reference to a bullet; that they battle with each other, by I shit you not. Shooting their friends out of said guns. Yeah these slugs are sentient, loving creatures that these people call ‘friends’ and all they are valued for is for their use as ammunition. What a twisted hellish world Disney has envisioned.

Not only does this show personify bullets as cute companions but it also willfully condones the abuse of animals. Of course no one gives a flying shit, at least the characters don’t. They show no remorse towards the tenuous torture their putting their ‘pets‘ through. Well at least until something bad happens, and at that point it’s a bit to late. Did you ever get pissed off when Ash from Pokémon would cry over the Pokémon that got hurt in his care? Did he really have the right to do that?  He didn’t really have any qualms until that very moment, he didn’t seem to even notice the other Pokemon that he fell in his murderous wake. It was only when the writers realised the monster they created needed a little humanity did they force him to snuff a tear. Well I’m sad to say but Slugterra is equally as awful, although it feels even more dodgy as these kids are hardly old enough to be out of diapers let alone act as gun slinging heroes. The worst thing about it is that is no consequences in the show. Their gun-toting adventures are never criticized as dangerous or destructive or even worth any serious worry. Yet maybe this is what Disney wants? A group of young, impressionable kids to pick up guns and show them off to their friends. I don’t see anything that could go wrong!

Or perhaps its a conspiracy, perhaps Disney is trying to inflate gun crime to make the world seem indifferent towards your existence, or even destructive. Then when you’re broken and twisted, scared to go outside what’s your one escape? Yes wholesome Disney movies, The Little Mermaid, because you know it, and it’s nice and warm and it gives everything a purpose and point, you fragile jub-appetite man-child. You spineless monster, you’re everything that’s wrong with the world and then some.

Cartoons might have made us as kids, but the kids they made were shit.

-PragmaticBrick

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Bonus picture because prettehs.