Invictus Games: UK Versus USA
Apr30

Invictus Games: UK Versus USA

When Barack Obama and Michelle Obama challenge Prince Harry with respect to the upcoming Invictus Games he brings out the big gun in response…...

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American Reflexxx: Mob Violence And Gender Confusion
Jan02

American Reflexxx: Mob Violence And Gender Confusion

You know what it’s like. You’re following some random links on random Tumblr sites looking for 1980s-style neon gorgeousness (don’t ask me why) when you find yourself somewhere called Sleazeburger and during the scrolling you notice a comment from someone asking about a film. And then you follow the link in the answer. And then you spend a little over 14 minutes gawping at something mesmerising and distressing, captivating, and mind-reeling. American Reflexxx is a movie featuring that Tumblr site’s owner, performance artist Signe Pierce, and filmed by Alli Coates in 2013. It was supposed to be a short film featuring Signe in stripper gear, neon shoes, and a reflective mask strolling along Myrtle Beach in South Carolina; something pretty, something futuristic cyborg-like, in a tourist destination in the heart of conservative America; it was probably expected there’d be stares, maybe some comments, photos from phones; it was probably not expected that a crowd would form and that both verbal and physical assault would take place. Oh, so naive. There’s some interesting time-dilation editing in the movie which helps to make Signe Pierce’s cyborg seem that much more alien amongst the humans. And, interestingly, it’s very difficult to come away from this video with anything other than bad feelings towards those humans as their behaviour to the alien is distressingly… well, human. The initial interest in the sexy giant very quickly gives way to uncertainty over gender. Unable to truly know whether Signe is male or female or something else entirely the instinct becomes to assume she is wrong, and therefore bad, and therefore a threat, and therefore scary. Adrenalin’s a hell of a drug and it will either trigger a fight or flight instinct but when you’ve got the safety of the herd around you and the threat has no obvious weapons a fight with the protection of numbers in the mob is probably the result you’re going to get. I mean, you’d like to think people could think rationally, perhaps think it’s a model doing a photoshoot or even the art piece it is, show some interest maybe, then go about whatever it was they were doing before, but forming into a mass of bullies is certainly an option too. The video features Signe getting sprayed with water, someone trying to trip her, and someone cowardly pushing her from behind to the floor where she suffers a cut. In each case the person assaulting the alien is a woman. A raised reaction to a perceived raised threat from a potential rival perhaps? Or women are just naturally violent in South Carolina? I’ve not been so I don’t...

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Sympathy For The Devil
Dec30

Sympathy For The Devil

The August 1979 publication of Heavy Metal magazine (volume 3, issue 4) contained a comic strip – or, in its own words, a Songsaga – set to the lyrics of the Rolling Stones track Sympathy For The Devil. It just so happens that despite the annoying tendency for students at university to sing along with the music it remains possibly my most favourite Stones track and since the magazine is available for viewing on the Internet Archive I thought I’d reproduce the imagery from that publication here. Heavy Metal v03 #04 Story concept: James Waley Adaptation: James Waley & Gene Day Pencils: Gene Day Inks-lettering: Bill Payne Colours: Martin Springett And, if you want to sing along...

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Dec22

Neil deGrasse Tyson Talks Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It’s become something of a tradition that famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson – how famous? He’s about 0.85 on the Professor Brian Cox scale level of famous – will take to Twitter to discuss elements of some current big thing and describe the science behind it, what’s right, and what’s wrong. Deflategate? He talked about it. Eurovision Song Contest? He talked about it. Proposed acquisition of 99p Stores Ltd by Poundland? He talked about it after converting the currency to those quaint dollars and cents they have over there. As you probably know unless you’ve been in a cave following a terrible spelunkung adventure (in which case thanks for popping by this site first on your escape from the darkness) the Star Wars universe just added a new movie to the collection in the form of The Force Awakens. I wrote a review about it. Recently. Here it is: Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Review. It’s a big thing – the movie, not my review – and that means Neil deGrasse Tyson popped up on Twitter and told anyone who would listen about the film. The scientist’s remarks about the new Star Wars film are...

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The Space Gamer Artwork
Dec20

The Space Gamer Artwork

Available on the Internet Archive is a number of copies of The Space Gamer, a publication mainly aimed at science fiction role playing games started in the mid 1970s. There’s something very endearing about looking at some of the earlier issues with their very amateur, hobbyist-run looks and feel and I especially like the pen-drawn artwork that breaks up the print in the...

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Star Wars: The Premake
Dec19

Star Wars: The Premake

John D’Amico has made a shot-for-shot remake of the original Star Wars movie using clips of films and TV programmes that all predate the science fiction classic’s creation in 1977. Star Wars: The Premake from John D'Amico on...

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