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Messages - Tjm86

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Off Topic / Re: This is the News!
« on: 05 July, 2022, 07:37:45 PM »
Hobson's choice:

- the Tories limp on under Johnson, digging themselves further into the mire and teaching two generations what it is like to live under their governance thus guaranteeing their future eradication but at the cost of the potential damage wrought in the process:

- Johnson and his minions are ejected from the party, sparing the nation the damage they might cause but at the cost of giving some degree of credibility to a party that is justifiably named ("Toraidhe" - plunderer / thief (thanks to our Emerald cousins)).

Personally I'd rather the first choice.  This is the third Tory government I've lived through (not counting New Labour) and by far the worst.  The thought of the next generation of Tories taking lessons from this crowd fills me with utter dread.

Off Topic / Re: This is the News!
« on: 02 July, 2022, 04:24:22 PM »

Of course the latest rumour around Johnson is that he has allegedly impregnated his hairdresser. 

I find it very hard to believe that Boris Johnson has a hairdresser.

That seems to be the general consensus in the Twittersphere.

Off Topic / Re: This is the News!
« on: 02 July, 2022, 11:18:58 AM »
To be fair it has been widely covered albeit not quite the same way Private Eye has.  The Times and Mail managed to get themselves plastered all over the news for running part of the story about Johnson and Symonds at the FCO.  Then they both withdrew the story from later editions / web editions.  The result was that far wider coverage was given to the story.

Of course the latest rumour around Johnson is that he has allegedly impregnated his hairdresser.  Needless to say this is totally unsubstantiated and significantly lacking in credibility (Johnson .... hairdresser ...) but does turn up if you do a Google search.


Off Topic / Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« on: 01 July, 2022, 06:54:18 AM »
TBH I'm with you on Rowling.  Personally I don't like the Harry Potter books largely because I find them fairly derivative, full of tropes lifted from other writers and somewhat bloated.  That's me though.  I would rather read the likes of LeGuin, King, Pratchett or Stross.

What is annoying is that this whole debate is obscuring some of the issues around equality that still massively affect women.  Harping on about trans women assaulting 'real' women (sorry for phrasing it that way, if someone would like to suggest a better phraseology I'm all ears) ignores the far greater threat of Violence Against Women and Girls posed by men. 

The statistics on that issue are truly terrifying.  The infamous Sarah Everard incident is just a tiny part of the problem.  The number of incidents that makes it to trial is small enough and dwarfed by cases that are abandoned as victims give up on the authorities.

Again though as IP points out, trans individuals are just as likely to face the same sort of treatment and attitudes from the police, if not worse.  So the debate and rhetoric do a fantastic job of dividing two groups that share much in common with regards to discrimination and inequality. 

Off Topic / Re: One Quick Question....
« on: 01 July, 2022, 06:37:42 AM »
Jim makes some valid points but I would also add in that there is the psychological dimension of font choice to consider.  There is actually quite a bit of research out there into this issue. 

So 'attractive' is also related to issues around purpose, audience and context.

Off Topic / Re: TV Adverts that make you wish for death.
« on: 01 July, 2022, 06:33:15 AM »
Alcohol ads?  Hmmm.  Well, smoking ads have been banned pretty much everywhere due to the health risks involved.  A quick google search turns up these little gems though:

[all figures per annum]

Smoking deaths: 100 000        Drink related deaths:  6 600

So it looks like the smoking advertising ban is thoroughly justified.

Then a bit of a further dig into some of these figures:

Cost to NHS -            Smoking £2bn            Drinking   £3.5bn
Hospital admissions - Smoking 450 000       Drinking   1 100 000

There is also the matter of how drink is involved in domestic violence, child neglect and abuse, sexual assault and violence, criminal damage and general assault.  Issues that naturally are not relevant to smoking.

So is there a case for advertising bans for alcohol?

Film & TV / Re: The Lazarus Project
« on: 28 June, 2022, 07:22:19 PM »
Started watching it this week.  To be honest it kind of loses steam every once in a while but overall moves along nicely.  The one thing that it does have going for it is a very dry, sardonic wit.  There are so many cracking lines ...

"How does it [the time machine] work then?"
"You got a degree in quantum physics?"
"Er, no ..."
"Not a lot of point in me trying to explain it then, is there?"

Never seen Ultraviolet and couldn't get on with Slow Horses.  This however, works well.

Prog / Re: Prog 2288: Law versus Claw
« on: 27 June, 2022, 05:39:10 PM »
I'm going to agree with the general consensus on this one.  Some good bits ... Dredd was, for my money, one of the better ones they've managed.  More 'old-school' Mega City weirdness and chaos than trying to be hip and 'down with the kids' ...  Pandora perfect was as bonkers as always.  Definitely the highlight.  The FS worked well with some nice ideas to spin out given time perhaps?  A 3-riller possibly? 

Lowborn High really does feel like it's trying too hard.  Would be interested to know how it got a second outing given that its first wasn't amazing.  This one was such a blatant Potter rip-off its amazing Rowling fans didn't take 5 minutes off from panning Emma Watson to complain.  When you consider how lacking in originality the Potter books are ...

Scooter and Jinx is one I definitely don't get either.  It's hard to put my finger on it but there just doesn't seem to be anything to it.

Bit of a mediocre offering this time then.  Sorry. 8-(

Prog / Re: Prog 2287: Grinders Keepers!
« on: 21 June, 2022, 10:59:29 PM »
My thing is this.  I started reading Tooth at the age of 7.  Back then I was about the target age.  45 years later things have moved on.  I would however like something of Tooth to survive.

In the roughly 40 years since I started reading Tooth the changes have been phenomenal.  We've had the halcyon days of the early 80's with Apocaplypse War, Rogue Trooper, Nemesis and Strontium Dog.  We've also had the dire days of Mark Millar's Robo-Hunter, Big Dave and the Summer "offensive" (yes, it was). 

Since Rebellion has taken control we've had so much quality it is unreal.  Yet an awful lot of it has been aimed more at the same market that Crisis once targeted.

Re-gened might be hit or miss but what I love about it is the effort the creators go to to find a voice for the generation that I was decades ago.  The fact that they're trying to mine the creative seam we all love whilst finding a whole new lode is laudable. 

The success rate might be variable but then again the same can be said for the prog.  Look back at recent issues, it hasn't been an ecstatic response.  That said, it still beats most American publishers hands down.

Off Topic / Re: The Black Dog Thread
« on: 17 June, 2022, 07:11:26 PM »
Given that I quite often suffer from "Foot-in-mouth" disease, I tend to exercise extreme caution when someone discloses a bereavement.  A simple "Oh, I'm sorry.  How are you doing?" tends to be quite a safe way to handle the flow of such conversations and point in the direction of any appropriate follow up. 

Sorry to hear that you're not having the best time of things right now either, Funt.  Know what you mean about crap birthdays.  TBH I find them hard / annoying.  Then again I think that is the legacy of boarding school when a birthday was the perfect opportunity to really f*** you over (well, a bit of a special reason ... not like some of the bar-stewards ever really needed a reason ...)  Has caused disagreements in the past.

Can also relate to catastrophising and isolating.  Particularly when the cascade kicks in.  Hope you are able to ride it out and we catch you on the flip side.

The 'big boys' have certainly settled into a very safe routine when it comes to output but DC did go through quite an interesting experimental phase back in the day.  Their alternative output does contain some fascinating hidden gems.  They also benefit from being incredibly cheap if you track them down.

Wasteland is one for the horror / surrealist aficionados.  Short run of short story collections with David Lloyd featuring as a regular artist.  Very much in the 'disturbing and thought provoking' mold and well worth a butchers.

Spanner's Galaxy is a fairly formulaic chase 'mystery' but good fun all the same and with plenty to keep it going.

Another enjoyable little series is Tempus Fugitive.  As the title suggests, time travel features quite heavily along with plenty of aerial action.

Marvel's short-lived Open Space is another short story anthology with some reasonable little tales, including one illustrated by Steve Yeowell.

I'm a great fan of Alien Legion.  Stroman's artwork is superb and the core concept is a cracking one. Very much in the VC's mold. There are some interesting characters to keep things going, especially Jugger Grimrod who merited his own one-shot illustrated by our very own Mick McMahon.

If you are a fan of Colin Wilson's Rogue Trooper artwork then I would recommend tracking down a copy of his Rael: Into the Shadow of the Sun graphic novel.  Its the first of a trilogy originally published in French but only the first volume was ever translated.  If you're French speaking then there is an obvious solution there but it works fairly well as a standalone.

... and obviously related is Martha Washington by Millar and Gibbons.  Dark Horse's Life and Times of Martha Washington contains the full run of stories and the slipcase version is up there with DC's Absolute Editions.  Both creators on fine form so its well worth it.

Presumably we don't need to mention Luthor Arkwright, Marshal Law, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Akira, Y the Last Man or Transmetropolitan?

Off Topic / Re: Thought Police: Are we allowed to query 'woke'?
« on: 13 June, 2022, 06:11:20 PM »
The way I see it, adopting the form of address someone requests costs nothing and is nothing more than common courtesy.  Doesn't really matter if it's gender, rank or qualification.  I'm also disinclined to judge anyone's views of themselves since my own is so f***ed up anyway so who the hell am I to judge.

It feels a little bit right now like there is an intersection of confected and real issues.  Women are concerned that efforts to address inequalities affecting them still have a long way to go and that transitioning individuals are creating new challenges.  Given the scale of misogyny, sexual assault and violence against women there is a significant proportion of women that are struggling with the presence of individuals who are only part way through transitioning in their 'spaces.'

Some of what makes it to the press though appears more inflammatory, stoking divisions further with lurid tales.  That is not to say that they are always untrue but certainly there is a lot of sensationalisation.  The issue of changing spaces, saunas and so on is probably top of the charts here.  The extent to which sexual predators claim to be transitioning to gain access to women only spaces for their own purposes is hard to guauge.  Arguably there have been incidents but whether it is as widespread as is inferred ...

Then again I wouldn't be surprised if the trans 'community' (yes I know, it's about a coherent a whole as we are here ...) was more than a little annoyed with some of the more extreme views being espoused.  Same as with any group really.  There's a lot of work to go in terms of acceptance in these cases and feeding the rabid elements of the British press is not really helping matters.  Then again, how much do such rags reflect reality?

Other Reviews / Re: Battle Action Special 2022
« on: 11 June, 2022, 06:57:10 PM »
They're in Gosh! Comics on a high shelf where customers can see but not reach them, because they're not actually going to start selling them until Saturday for some event (a signing I suppose).

They are.  You can preorder them from Gosh! Comics.  That's the option I've gone for.  Same with the new Luthor Arkwright.  It was a bit of a close call as I'd rather have the Dark Horse edition than the Jonathan Cape one that we seem to be having now.  Having a signed Bookplate edition sealed it though.

Mind you, given how the pound is tanking at the moment, I'm not completely surprised that the US edition is less likely over here.

Prog / Re: Prog 2285: Royal Blood
« on: 11 June, 2022, 06:39:37 AM »
'An Honest Man' [...] at the final part of the Kyle Asher trilogy?

OOOH!!!!!  Now I need to take back much of what I've said about this arc.  Didn't realise it was part of a series of stories.  Although Niemand is a bit cagey on the denouement of this arc in an interview.   (with news of a return of Chimpsky BTW).
Now intrigued to see how he's going to land this one.  Given that so far it has followed a seemingly predictable narrative it would be fair to say that this has been pulled off with panache.  An interesting use of narrative expectations.  Certainly has made me reappraise my thinking about the story.  8-0

Prog / Prog 2285: Royal Blood
« on: 07 June, 2022, 06:06:24 PM »
Dredd – pretty predictable so far.  Nothing that stands out as a surprise.  Question then is how the finale pans out.  Is Asher going to be written off as a character or will Niemand pull out some last minute twist?  Well, enjoyable as it has been …

Terror Tales: Wunza – lot of effort for the final pun but not the worst we’ve seen in a while and certainly better than last week’s FS. 

Hope: In the Shadows – another episode that doesn’t really go too far.  Where is this tale going?  If that’s a question that needs asking then that is not a good sign.  Sorry.

Brink – another talking heads episode but starting to tie together with previous threads.  A lot of this run has linked back to the very first run, few more than this though.  There is a sense though of foreboding.  Revelations of the sort trotted out here pretty much always end up with a body count.

Fiends of the Eastern Front: 1963 – should really be retitled “Fiends of the Eastern Front – hope you haven’t read Stross’ Laundry Novels.”  Trevallion on art has definitely been the redeeming aspect of this run.  Previous runs that have dug into the back-story of Constanta worked far better.  Setting up a future scrap between Constanta and Dee …  Maybe we’ll be surprised?

The last few progs have seen a bit of a dip in quality, haven’t they?  More mediocre than hideous, certainly.  That said, there are strips and writers here that have delivered far better in the past.  There is a sense of predictability, recycling of old tropes or a general lack of coherence. 

Then again this is not completely surprising.  Not to mention that the highs of the prog set incredibly exacting standards.  Artistically the prog is faultless right now.  In terms of writing though it is not exactly the top of these writers’ games …

On the positive side, it's about 2 days earlier than I expected given the jubilee boll**s ...

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