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Messages - Tjm86

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Fair point, I'll concede that one, Shirley.

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 22 September, 2021, 08:39:34 AM »
I've mentioned before that I would like to see a Star Wars Graphic novel partwork and some time ago I was informed that there was one in France. 

Interesting question to be sure.  TBH it feels a little at the moment like Marvel is going all out doing it themselves now that Disney owns the IP.  They seem to be working their way through a lot of the old Dark Horse stuff in addition to their own old material.

Seriously?  I thought it was a hell of a lot of effort for a rather painful pun myself.


Off Topic / Re: Life is riddled with a procession of minor impediments
« on: 20 September, 2021, 11:28:02 AM »

Given my advancing years, it's more like Men Beehiving Baldly.

I'll get our coats...

You might want a hat too ... it's getting a bit nippy now ...  ;-)

Games / Re: Dredd COD Cold War.
« on: 16 September, 2021, 01:00:43 PM »
Is it about imagination or is it about growing awareness / harnessing the penetration potential of a well-established game?

In fact I would suggest that this is potentially an imaginative response.  Rebellion have taken the opportunity to leverage COD as advertising for the Tooth IP.  Who knows where this might lead?

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 15 September, 2021, 06:05:27 AM »
Philadelphia Experiment was a blast to me when I was very young, but after rewatching recently, it was rather mediocre B movie with dumbfounded (happy) ending.

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it was amazing stuff, or even close to being so ... It's 90 minutes of brain candy.  The sequel is a bit of an odd beast.  Taking a riff on Man in the High Castle but without the depth.  If you ever do catch it then it is worth dialling expectations down to the basement ...

Books & Comics / Re: Whats everyone reading?
« on: 14 September, 2021, 09:12:19 PM »
Well, nipper's class are doing work on Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo.  Thought I'd give it a look so that I at least have some idea of what she is likely to be working with.

What to say.  For a children's book it is remarkably well written considering the subject matter.  There is a subtlety to it as it deals with themes around British pre-war society, class structure and family ties.  Then as it gets to the war itself there are shades of Charley's War or Pat Barker's Regeneration.  It tries to convey the rollercoaster of emotions that squaddies faced in the trenches while connecting it to the individuals themselves who fought.  More importantly it subtly tackles the thorny issue of the use of capital punishment by the British Army.

The vignette's at the start of each chapter lead the reader inexorably to the conclusion.  There is quite a contrast to those in Reynolds' House of Suns that did not really seem to connect with the rest of the story.  Instead Morpurgo uses them to lead the reader down the path he sets out before using them to stunning effect at the end.

It is easy to see why it would be chosen for students to work with.  It provides a powerful but highly accessible narrative with which to explore the experiences of those who fought in the early stages of the war.  There is no jingoism but nor is there the castigation that sometimes surrounds debates about military leadership.  Perhaps it is more because it focuses on the familial relationships to try to convey some sense of the impact, echoing the words of the old song:
and did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
in some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
and though you died back in 1916
to that loyal heart you're forever nineteen
or are you a stranger without even a name
forever enshrined behind some old glass pane
in an old photograph torn, tattered, and stained
and faded to yellow in a brown leather frame

This is one novel that is highly recommended.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 14 September, 2021, 10:13:24 AM »
The Hidden

80's sci-fi thriller.  It's about tracking down an alien psycho that is on a crime spree on Earth.  It's a pretty decent film. 

To a certain extent the 80's feels like it was a bit of a golden age for that type of film.  There seem to be a slew of films that didn't capture the popular imagination but actually fare fairly well.  For guilty pleasure you'd have to count the first Philadelphia Experiment film.  Then there's The Quiet Earth.  Slipstream deserves an honourable mention.  The Last Starfighter.  Moon 44.

Mind you, when you consider some of the stuff that was being made for telly at the time ...

News / Mike McMahon Apex Edition - October 2022
« on: 12 September, 2021, 09:04:28 AM »
Looks like the fevered speculation is coming true.  Down The Tubes is reporting the publication of the McMahon Apex Edition!

TBH I've been in two minds with the Bolland edition, not least with some of the responses in some quarters.  This one though .... especially if it carries some of his Block Mania stuff!

If this were to carry on then I would dearly love to see an Apex Edition of the Apocalypse War.  That would be a dream volume.  Something I doubt will ever see the light of day though.  :-(

Prog / Re: Prog 2249 - Her father's PSIs
« on: 12 September, 2021, 08:38:55 AM »
I think you've pretty much summed up how I felt reading this week's prog, Colin.  As I often observe though, the prog at half strength still beats so much else out there.  The whole concept behind the Dredd tale was an interesting one and I'm surprised it hasn't been done before.  It just felt a bit rushed overall. 

My big concern with the 3riller is that it felt a little like testing the waters for a longer series.  That being the case, there were some interesting aspects to it.  The artwork carried the tale well, there are hints of depths to the tale that could be teased out and it was reasonably well paced.

On the downside it didn't really feel like it was bringing anything new to the table.  Echoes of Carver Hale, Red Seas, American Gods or any one of a number of tales featuring pantheistic conflict.  If it is going to return then this is something that needs addressing for me.

As for Jaegir, well, what has not already been said?  Coleby's artwork goes from strength to strength, doesn't it.  This feels like a teaser to something far more substantial and it has most certainly whetted my appetite for more!  Of all the attempts to find something sustainable out of the Rogue Trooper ashes, this really has been something of a treat.

As for next week ... well, is that a McMahon cover I see before me?  Scarlet Traces is back!  Out with the Out!  Tidy ...

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 10 September, 2021, 07:03:59 PM »
I'm not sure America is quite at the same level as the likes of Iraq or Afghanistan but it is definitely a disturbing trend.  Right now it seems like America is a little too chaotic for that.

If anything this is more of Trump's legacy.  As you say, the make up of the Supreme Court has been tilted dangerously to the right.  State legislatures have definitely been taking advantage of that fact.

You can just imagine the response though in many of those states to Biden's announcement this morning about vaccinations. 

Books & Comics / Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« on: 03 September, 2021, 10:47:34 AM »
In this case I'm not convinced its anti-semitic. From what I've read (and not necessary from reliable sources so please correct me if I'm wrong here) the 'rats' being chased down by Bolsanaro are caricatures of his political opponents, none of whom are jewish ...

I would agree that the Bolsonaro image is more concerning for its seeming support for a highly questionable politician.  The anti-semitic angle is less conspicuous but based on reading around this issue back when everyone was going nuts about anti-semitism in Labour I can see where that reading is coming into play.

This latest incident does, to my thinking, give credence to Ewing's interpretation.  The ambiguity in the Bolsanaro image almost comes across as gaslighting ...

Ewing seems to have done his level best to distance himself from this in no uncertain terms.  Presumably his scripting did not include the details that Bennett seems to have added.  Possibly his response has been muted to allow others who arguably should be responding more robustly to take responsibility. 

As for the question of whether boycotting is 'cancel culture' ... well, it has a long history (although disturbingly the government seems to want to make it an offence) and can be quite effective.  You'd be hard pressed to find many Sun supporters in Liverpool to this day by all accounts. 

Cancel culture is more about denying legitimate voices a chance to speak because you disagree with them really, isn't it?

Books & Comics / Re: Al Ewing statement on Immortal Hulk’s Joe Bennett
« on: 03 September, 2021, 08:29:55 AM »
The image appears on this thread here:


It's similar to the mural that Corbyn got into trouble for commenting on.  The nature of the smaller figures is the reason it's being labelled as anti-semitic with standard tropes being used.  When you add it to the 'error' in the window display in IH #43 then, as Funt says, you really have to question how genuine Bennett is being.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 02 September, 2021, 04:54:39 PM »
... many parents and politicians see school as a place to provide free child-care first, and education second.

To be honest, for a significant number of parents / kids in this country now, 'education' as a purpose of school does not even fit in the top 100 ...

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 31 August, 2021, 07:20:53 PM »
Seating changes daily. And we already know Alpha (let alone Delta) spreads throughout a classroom sized room within a few hours. With the eradication of masks abs bubbles (no reason to drop the latter in primaries, but many have already switched to whole-school assemblies), it now feels inevitable that everyone with a primary aged kid will have a much higher likelihood of catching COVID within months at best. Notably, Williamson has already shifted the blame for this to parents for not testing enough.

To be honest most schools have long had a 'seating plan only' policy to make life easier.  Assemblies have been done via Teams / Zoom for the most part with some whole year group assemblies outside during the fine weather.  Our daughter's school is keeping masks in communal spaces  but limiting use in classrooms.  To be honest now that I'm out of teaching (Praise The Lord!!!!!) I'm not quite so clued up but there does appear to be a shift toward trying to 'normalise' as much as is practical.

Given that Scotland has seen an uptick with their schools returning it is probably fair to say that England and Wales will see similar developments over the next few weeks.  To be honest though last year the majority of cases in our school were down to community rather than school transmission.  As you say though, Williamson is trying to shift the focus as ever.  Then again how many people ever pay attention to him?

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