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Messages - Frank

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Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 02 December, 2019, 06:01:06 PM »

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 02 December, 2019, 05:50:14 PM »

As far as I know, Davis was prepping for a completely separate attempt to team Judge Dredd with Batman

This piece, by Brian Cronin, says the first attempt fell through because IPC didn't think Batman was a big enough deal, but I've also read (can't remember where) that Wagner & Grant were livid when they discovered Sanders & Co. had tapped Moore to write the first attempt. So Wagner was helping Davis prep for a Judge Dredd/Batman crossover he (and Grant) would write.

Grant says he and Wagner struggled with an initial attempt at what would become Judgement On Gotham that was very serious in tone, focussing on the difference between Justice and Vengeance, before scrapping that draft and writing a comedy instead. So the Wagner, Grant and Davis book could have been very different to the Bisley one we eventually received.

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 01 December, 2019, 04:20:13 PM »
The next time we talk about it I compare it to the music video African Child from the movie "Get Him to the Greek"

It's Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 01 December, 2019, 03:13:43 PM »
Interesting how Tribal Memories as an (at the time) total 80s Liberal "woke" political story feels as wrong to you as all the unreconstructed "Ay Caramba!" that the new creators were quick to either parody (I hope with Morrison/Millar), embrace (Ennis) or resist (Milligan, here).

Aside from unsubtle writing, the charge here seems to be that a couple of white guys shouldn't have created this story. Which is a point of view.

The broader, more general idea that outdated attitudes make any work difficult to enjoy on its own merits is problematic, to me, since - as you point out - what's woke today is hate speech tomorrow, and Rey is doomed to burn on the same bonfire as N***** Jim.

Andy B - No, mate I mean the origin name, Rachman, a slum landlord, doesn't have any thematic resonance for a pain junkie

General / Re: Space Spinner 2000AD
« on: 01 December, 2019, 01:46:33 PM »

Sunday drop works for me.

Now coverage of Bad Company II is finished, I'd like to unhelpfully point out that 'Derancine' is called De Racine, which, at the time, I assumed was a reference to a French poet I was unaware of, but which I've since realised is probably just a contraction of the word deracinated.

'Rackam' is called Rackman, a play on the name of the infamous London slum landlord. Neither name seems appropriate to the nature of the characters, so I assume Milligan was just using words he liked the sound of as the jumping-off point for creating a character.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 30 November, 2019, 05:07:14 PM »
As the saying goes, "Yougov is the only accurate poll, all the others are outliers."

Was May unpopular?  I know she was despised in the lefty liberal bubble of social media, but so was Cameron.  I keep seeing the claim bandied about - by those on the left - that she was more popular than Thatcher and Blair at their peak, and she did deliver three million more votes than Cameron managed.
And Johnson is supposedly more popular than that?  At some point we may have to admit to ourselves that we might be getting what we deserve.

I'll stick with my original choice of less unpopular to describe Johnson in relation to May. She got the wee bounce you'd expect for any new leader when she first took over from Cameron then crashed precipitously as soon as she announced the 2017 election and had to get out in front of the cameras.

Johnson's mysterious allure is as lost on me as it is on the many idiots he's pumped and dumped (and the unquantifiable number of children resulting from those couplings), but Tory (and Labour) support has only increased since Sturgeon & Swinson locked lips and gave Johnson a massive election *

But Jezza hasn't closed the gap in the way polling showed in 2017. Barring intervention from The Ghost Of Christmas Past, Doc Brown, or Vladimir Putin, it looks like the most the opposition can hope to do is limit the size of Johnson's majority and, therefore, the kind of Brexit deal he will get through the Commons.

* I still think Jezza only caved in to their demands to bankrupt me. He couldn't afford to see a general election being called against his will, and Sturgeon will make out like gangbusters, but Swinson was either deluded by ego or manipulated into signing her own death warrant.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 30 November, 2019, 10:38:45 AM »
I see the Tory's are doing the old 'its too close to call' rouse they use every election, but hey it works  :( 

Polling's an art, not a science, and it's too far away from Dec 12th for things not to change a little, but this methodology produced the most accurate picture of the 2017 election result: Tory majority.

It seems too generous to me. I don't think anyone's changed their mind at all in the 2 minutes since we last did this. The only change in the calculus is that - for reasons that are entirely lost on me - Johnson's a much less unpopular leader than May.

Assuming YouGov's forecast is a bit too generous to the Tories, Johnson should only win the kind of majority* that was predicted for May before she self-sabotaged her campaign.

Labour's problem seems to be that whatever new support they've gained since 2015 is concentrated in large cities they were winning anyway, rather than the fish market and mothballed car factory towns where everyone's old enough to remember Bernard Manning on telly.

I'm in a constituency where the SNP and Tories both have more than double the vote share of Labour, so a tactical SNP vote to minimize the size of Johnson's majority is the only realistic option. There are a number of sites which help you see what the best chance of doing the same in your own area might be:


* Predicting seat wins is too difficult for a layman, but the balance of the popular vote in YouGov's poll looks suspect, to me. Tories and Labour were neck and neck 2.5 years ago. Like I say, I don't think anyone's changed their minds about anything in that time, so the spectacular collapse in Labour support/turnout (or huge increase in Tory support/turnout) required to produce that swing doesn't make sense to me. Maybe it's been long enough dor the Lib-Dems to have lived down the shame of the Coalition years and become a repository for protest votes. I'm speaking from inside the bubble of Scotland, where there's 100% unanimity that Johnson's a fucking fanny, so I can't possibly have any reliable insight into what it is about Johnson that seems to speak to something inside the hearts of (some) English voters

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 29 November, 2019, 08:24:45 PM »
This has aged well.

Neil's got Johnson on tomorrow.

If he can't handle this line of questioning, you can see why he's not keen on facing Weetabix Head:

https://youtu.be/-6PxJg3rgD8 *

* Keep watching right to the end, to see the wee face he does, like he's just survived an ordeal.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 28 November, 2019, 01:00:09 PM »

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 27 November, 2019, 04:28:10 PM »
Instead of watching Scorcese's latest white boy crime-wank movie I checked out Dolemite Is My Name, an Eddie Murphy vehicle based on the life of African American stand-up comic turned movie star Rudy Ray Moore that seems both a natural fit for Murphy, and a natural choice for the biopic treatment, and while it hits all the usual notes, something is a bit off about it and it was only near the end that I twigged that it's not a biopic of Moore, but of Dolemite, Moore's onstage persona.
When the movie starts, Moore isn't a young, gifted comedian but a flabby, over-the-hill journeyman, and his big break doesn't come from a producer taking a chance but from Moore stealing material from hobos and freeloading off his aunt to publish a record.  The film's story isn't that Moore was a genius but that he got lucky with the right material at the right time, and then never actually became any better as an artist or saw out any grand vision, his victory comes from finding a shallow validation in his cult status among an African-American community literally abandoned to the inner cities by white people (as explained in a brutally-unsubtle minor turn by Bob Odenkirk doing his best not to channel Saul Goodman while delivering what are clearly Saul Goodman's lines).
Biopics are tricky because if the subjects are alive or have a legacy maintained by an estate, the movies tend to be flattering and safe, but this isn't flattering at all.  Moore certainly doesn't come across as a bad person - he doesn't do drugs, beat his wife or abandon his kids - but he also doesn't come across as particularly interesting or even that good in his chosen profession, he's just a man who succeeded through the work and/or indulgence of others with more talent or wit but who in the end gave back more than what he took by ultimately becoming a part of the African-American folklore he cynically stripmines to achieve success.
The pacing seems a bit off, but it's otherwise quite enjoyable.  If nothing else it was nice being reminded that Wesley Snipes can actually act and doesn't just parody the tough guy act he was peddling in the 1990s.

I noticed Dolemite last night, when I was looking for The Irishman like a junkie waiting to score. I'd read the fantastic reviews but managed to miss the information that it was a Netflix joint, so that was a pleasant surprise.

You offer an entertaining and original perspective, as always - it's next on my list.

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 27 November, 2019, 04:22:30 PM »

November 27th is the day everyone's an


Couldn't miss the chance to catch it on the big screen last week. An indulgent masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless. Pips Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joker for movie of the year.

The luxurious running time means Scorsese doesn't have the control and mastery of the material that he enjoyed on Goodfellas or Raging Bull. Then again, if you told me you had a three-hour edit of either of those films I'd slam your head in a car door until you turned it over.

This feels much more like Wolf Of Wall Street; a series of wonderfully realised studies for a painting presented for exhibition alongside the finished piece because they have considerable merit in their own right. And the extra running time allows the story to avoid some of the glibness of those (incredible) movies.

Ray Liotta collecting his newspaper on the porch of his witness protection home in Nowhere is a great end to Goodfellas, but The Irishman would have shown you Henry Hill working at his boring job for forty years, his retirement and eventual death. It's just such a protracted end sequence that distinguishes the film from a Greatest Hits set and emphasises the film's concern with finality and mortality (i).

Although death and endings are constant themes throughout the film thanks to a blackly comic version of the on-screen information in Brink, where whenever a supporting character is introduced the movie freezes and a caption informs the viewer exactly how and when they will eventually meet their (invariably violent and bloody) end.

No cast members survive to join Sheeran in the rest home, but the film thinks they're the fortunate ones. You probably have to be eighty to make a film that argues the only meaningful choice we have in life is how we feel about and respond to watching everyone we know die (ii).

Rather than playing Hoffa, Pacino's playing Al Pacino (iii), in the same way that Scorsese's making a Martin Scorsese film, which is fine because they're both great at it. There's a scene where Pacino makes a life or death decision seated beside a lake - you don't put Pacino in the lakehouse accidentally or without realising its significance.

Plemons, Cannavale, and Graham represent the next generation (X and Millennial) of actors who, if the movie industry - not even what Scorsese grandly termed 'cinema', but just the movie industry - still existed, would be playing the roles that De Niro and Pacino once did, but who have done their signature work on telly.

Link Prime's exactly right - this is an indulgent but wonderful film. It probably won't be Scorsese's final movie, but it'll feel like a fitting end to a career once he's dead - tying up a body of work in the same way Endgame capped-off the MCU - and it makes a beautiful farewell to an entire era of movie making and popular culture, too.

Check the name of the film on the marquee:

(i) If you're interested in watching this film to witness De Niro restored to the beauty and vitality of his youth via the miracle of CGI de-ageing technology, you'll be disappointed. DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci look like men in their seventies wearing hairpieces and eyeliner. They've dialled De Niro's age back ten years at most, even when he's supposed to be in his thirties. Everyone's too old to play these roles - there's one scene where Pesci introduces DeNiro as 'the kid I was telling you about' and you look around the screen to see who the kid is supposed to be - but if you were fine with a black Miss Moneypenny or a female Iago - and I was - then that isn't going to bother you.

(ii) The film's concerned with the end but also how we ended up in the place we are now. It's the story of how the (white) blue-collar members of post-WWII US society knowingly conspired in corruption, operating a sort of double-consciousness that allowed them to go along with the lies American society is built upon as long as the lie benefited them and they felt the liar in charge was on their side.

From its (sub)title - I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES - onwards, the film's about a society based upon saying one thing and meaning another, knowing fine well that everyone knows exactly what you actually mean. Pacino's character dies because he doesn't understand what people are trying to tell him because they never say what they actually mean and he's been telling lies for so long he doesn't believe anything he's told.

Sheeran's baby boomer daughter Peggy, who works in a bank, understands the lies and sees the corruption but her only response is silence and to (literally) put the shutters up. By a coincidence, I watched an episode of South Park last night in which protesting white nationalist truck drivers were replaced by Alexa, their chant of 'you will not replace us' figured as pointless protest demanding the return of a world that has passed into history.

(iii) Or maybe Sil from The Sopranos, which is like accusing John Lennon of imitating Liam Gallagher. Van Zandt turns up as a lounge singer in a pivotal scene, sharing screen time with Pacino, whose performance in Godfather III he memorably parodied in The Sopranos. This film boasts more Sopranos cast members than you could shake a stick at, which, considering that show made a conspicuous point of hiring Goodfellas alumni, creates a dizzying spiral of self-reflexivity

Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 27 November, 2019, 10:40:13 AM »

November 27th is the day everyone's an


Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 26 November, 2019, 11:43:41 PM »

You're my brother from another mother, Doc:


Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 26 November, 2019, 09:31:03 PM »

Neil's got Johnson on tomorrow. The poor twat must be absolutely shitting himself.

Off Topic / Re: The Political Thread
« on: 26 November, 2019, 07:51:03 PM »

And people thought Sturgeon came out worst from her encounter with Andrew Neil last night ...


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