Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I've Been Thinking About

The new Gladiators

At the moment, my laughable Internet connection is being slowed to a near-halt by a rudimentary but inexplicably bandwidth-intensive Flash advert for the new re-upped version of the Gladiators, featuring a hetrogenous manbaby dubbed "Atlas". It is on a web page I am obliged to keep open, so I am being repeatedly treated to a jerky vertical panning shot of what must be the biggest homo in history since Quentin Crisp mistook a pile of growth hormones for Smarties, and went on to devestate Coventry.

Above: Penis. I have seen this approximately sixty
times in the past 30 minutes.

Atlas is a mountain of chemically-induced musculature, utterly hairless apart from a lustrous golden-blonde head of hair framing the pinched, underdeveloped face of a Down's sufferer. A nightmare vision of the average British worker after an energetic program of interbreeding with Schutzstaffel officers following a Nazi victory. Or maybe Gerard Depardieu's mongoloid bastard, forever consigned to a sound-proofed attic to prevent an outrage.

It's a shame Atlas is a typical example of our Gladiators. When you compare our lot with American Gladiators or pro (guffaw) wrestlers, one can't help but notice something of a disparity in how representative of their nations the two groups are. Steroid-pumped, ridiculously dressed trailer park scratchings to a man, American Gladiators and wrestlers are unmistakeably American. There is no doubt as to which genetic bargain bin they have been fished out of. Conversely, our Gladiators are anonymous airbrushed cyphers apparently hand-reared for lack of personality traits and thereby potential offensiveness to tedious busybodies, and this new crop of 'em are actually dressed up as Italian people.

Rumour has it that in the mystery-shrouded past of ancient Albion, (okay, when my older brother was a kid) we had our own proper televised wrestling, which featured homegrown, morbidly obese arse-kickers like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. These men were real salt-of-the-earth Englishmen, clad in enormous Union Jack leotards and subsisting on a diet of beer batter and pasties. You could look at these men and really see something you recognised from your everyday life. They were your overweight uncle with an unsophisticated sense of humour, or a lorry driver or serial killer. People you could identify with. I wouldn't give the Gladiators a showball's chance in hell against the old guard. They'd be sat upon.

If we were just allowed to harness our two greatest natural resources - abject lunatics and extreme violence - we could do a damn sight better than these airbrushed nancies. If the world does indeed rest on Atlas' shoulders, then we are fucked as soon as he works out how to wank and lets go of the globe.

John Darwin's Bogus Journey

Or, to give him his proper media-bestowed title, 'Canoe Man'. Seriously, with all the fucked-up aspects of the John Darwin 'saga' to choose from, the media latched onto the bloody canoe. Not the hilariously half-hearted attempt at faking his own death, not the deception of his children, not the amusing irony of the surname that the clot shares with one of history's most revered intellects. No. Darwin is Canoe Man. Or at a stretch, Back-From-The-Dead Canoeist. Anne Darwin gets even worse treatment, being referred to exclusively as Canoe Wife, ensuring that her legacy in our collective memory will be the fact that she was married to a bloke who was really, really bad at pretending to be dead. In only a few months, the word 'canoe' has cropped up in headlines more times than it does in an entire year of an Inuit's social calendar.

I find myself wondering what they'll do when they get out of chokey. I fully expect them to gravitate towards reality TV (see Neil and Christine Hamilton for precedent), and naturally John's talent for failing to die in a canoe will make him well suited to one of the eight billion shows that feature a tropical island inhabited by thick shirtless cunts with an unwarranted sense of entitlement. Either that, or he'll find work as a really shit superhero - Canoe Man©! The innocent need not fear, as long as their peril happens to be occurring on or directly adjacent to a sufficiently deep body of water!

Anyway, the media shitstorm has died down a lot, because THIS husband and wife team of death-faking, fraud-committing HOODLUMS had a plan for everything... except GETTING CAUGHT! And now they're paddling off... all the way to the COUNTY JAIL!

I'm Sheriff John Bunnell, and these are the World's Most Poorly Executed Scams.

New X-Files Film

Yesterday I happened to stroll into a shop, whilst looking for some muscle oil for my incredible physique. Also on my shopping list was a copy of Gorgeous Yet Masculine Bastard magazine (to see if I was on the front cover yet again), some double-plus-sized condoms (although most men of my size prefer to use a length of fire hose with a knot tied in one end) and some beautiful-woman repellant spray (they're like moths around a candle lately). I discovered, however, that I had in fact wandered into Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue, London's premiere cult entertainment outlet for total sadsacks and virgins. Before I laughed in all the stupid nerds' faces and did not at all go downstairs and purchase the special double-size finale edition of Garth Ennis' Dan Dare comic series, I noticed that the shop was being visited by none other than Chris Creator, the carter of classic sci-fi series The X-Files. He was there to promote the new film, which critics are already hailing with such terms as 'humdrum', 'lackadaisical', 'pabulum', and 'insipid bog-quality pap that fell out of Michael Barrymore's distended anus'. One critic has gone so far as to say he will kill every tenth man who buys a ticket.

Naturally, I threw a breeze block at Carter, scoring a direct hit to the forebrain that so lazily vomited forth the final few unwatchable series of The X-Files, and now a film which looks just as poo. Don't get me wrong, I haven't seen it or anything. I didn't need to, because the trailer told me all I needed to know. Yes, The trailer for the new X-Files has the rare, unwanted honour of being the single most unappealing piece of marketing of recent times. It is the pure diametric opposite of the Watchmen trailer. Its evil twin, if you will, complete with dodgy 'stache.

Hey what's this? A bunch of very cold people in a field of snow! And look, there's Gillian Anderson, who admittedly still looks absolutely gorgeous, and David Duchovny, who looks like he belly-flopped into HMS Invincible's huge deep fat fryer after the final season and fucking well stayed there for the past six years!

I couldn't find an image that adequately conveys Duchovny's new-found
rough-as-fuckness, so here is a computer-generated artist's impression
of him another six years into the future.

Seriously, what the hell happened to him? This bloke had better have been mainlining heroin every day of the intervening years until filming started, because I honestly can't think of any other valid reason why his face looks like what happens to your fingers when you stay in the bath too long. Give it another couple of years and he'll be able to carve out a lucrative career as a stunt arse for Keith Richards.

Anyway, back to the horrible trailer. It seems an FBI agent has gone missing under spooky circumstances, and the only ones that can help are the agency's two most embarrassing, hilariously accident prone goose-chasers, Stan and Ollie. Sorry, Mulder and Scully. But this mystery may prove too impenetrable even for them, so it's a good job they've got this man on hand to render assistance:

Yeah that's right, the Big Yin is a major player in this film.
"But wait," I hear you cry! "Billy Connolly is awful!"

And I reply: "I know! This film's going to be SHIT!"

So yeah, we have lots of snow, a pudding-faced Mulder and Pamela Stephenson's significant other as a psychic paedophile priest, who follows in Sean Connery's footsteps as a Scottish actor who disnae bother wi' tryin' tae dae an accent for fear of being branded a teuchter ba'heed.

Add to this the fact that several fairly major elements of the show's story (I refuse to use the term 'mythology' because I am not Wiki-sodding-paedia) seem to have been discarded without mention, and the general Intrigue-O-Meter© reading of the film's plot comes across as significantly lower than a below-average episode of vintage X-Files.

So yeah, if that's the most exciting footage they can cobble together for a trailer, I am not seeing this film until it shows up on ITV1, ham-fistedly edited for swears, with the news in the middle of it. Happily, a much better X-Files film was released this May, and as a bonus it had Indiana Jones in it.

The London Zeppelin

Ah, Zeppelins. A society can be judged on how it treats its Zeppelins. And I judge our society to be lacking something fundamental. For so many years, they have been relegated to flogging Goodyear tyres, and those little blimps can hardly hold a candle to the massive aerial cruise liners that used to hang effortlessly in the air whilst still giving battleships size issues. There might still be a booming airship industry today, had they not become victims of bad PR ("oh the humanity!" will do that to a product) and the increasing pace of life which favoured smaller, uglier but quicker modes of transport.

But ah! What's this flying over my house? Daily? It's only a sodding Zeppelin isn't it! And it's a Zeppelin NT, built by the Zeppelin company, thus completely authentic. Granted, it's a svelte number that doesn't even approach the size of its lumbering forebears, but it's a bloody good start and it could easily beat up the goodyear blimp. Rides over London are available, starting at the bite-your-fist-expensive price of £189 for a half hour flight. Ow.

Zeppelins tend to feature a lot in speculative 'what-if' sci-fi stories. This is because they are a great lazy visual shorthand to show that the history of your alternate world took a left turn where ours took a right. Oddly, nobody ever chooses to depict their tangential universes by giving all their characters Sinclair C-5s. All too often, the airships' presence is gratuitous rather than logical, like in that Dr. Who episode where the bastards are everywhere for no apparent reason. Another such offense crops up in somewhat-recent FPS game Turning Point: Fall of Liberty, where New York finds itself beset on all sides by NAZI BATTLE ZEPPELINS, despite the game being set in (an albeit alternate) 1953, where the lumbering beasts would survive for roughly an eighth of a second if attacked by a couple of tiny supersonic jet fighters. I'm all for Zeps, but I hate to see them squandered in such a lazy fashion.

Back in reality, a further glimmer of hope seems to exist in the Manned Cloud, a 'floating hotel' proposed by a French designer as a low-emission method of air travel. On top of having just the best name ever and being designed by a French mental case, it also looks like a massive flying whale, which will add to the irony factor when I buy one, outfit it with a Pyroclastic Vengeance Cannon, and descend upon the Japanese whaling fleets like a divine wind. Bonsai! I think.

George Carlin Died

I have only one thing to say about this unacceptable turn of events. To quote George:



Claudy said...

Excellent post, sir.

Another point about the new X-Files movie... wait, no, you covered that it is going to be SHIT. Yes, that was it.

Mr Jerky said...

Chris Carter got what was coming to him.

Billy Bullshot said...

I would have got my guitar out and done a Townshend to his stomach. And I wouldn't have dialed 999 afterward, either.