Lily Allen only hates pirates because her dad looks like one

Well I think I speak for all the not-entirely-legal music downloading community when I say “Oh fuck, Lily Allen’s weighed into the piracy debate“. I think she might have been panicked by International Talk Like a Pirate day. Lily says, and I quote:

“music piracy is having a dangerous effect on British music. but some really rich and successful artists like Nick Mason from Pink Floyd and Ed O’Brien from Radiohead don’t seem to think so.”

Seeming to imply that the evil rich overlords of music are indifferent to the suffering of mediocre musicians. Hm, I can’t imagine why Lily would be bothered by the trials of the bland, the mundane, the humdrum purveyors of beige music. Not at all.

I’d just like to point out here that while it’s certainly not ideal for the desperate muso, I should imagine that any musicians who’d genuinely be pushed over the poverty line by their sales dropping are probably saving a fortune on their own music collections by Limewiring the shit out of that bitch. In fact the only people I’d say should be concerned about the loss in profits are the cocaine dealers of the semi celebrity pop idol winners.

Not that I’m claiming torrenters are guiltless. It is taking somebody else’s work without paying the requested fee – which is pretty unreasonable for something which, when all is said and done, is entertainment. At the very least it’s impolite. The point, however, is moot, and not one Lily should be worried about. The people with a real stake in this are the pushers, the dealers, the recording industry gods like Sony and EMI who’ve built up a massive advantage over the competition. Although they’ve certainly got the resources to construct a new medium that works for both artists and consumers, it’s never going to be quite as profitable for them as the status quo.

The current situation is, as far as I can see, simply massively influential bodies clinging by the fingernails to a dying medium that has been paying their amphetamine bills for decades. Artists weighing into the debate are simply footsoldiers who have been convinced they have something to lose. Chill out, Lily. There’ll always be teenage chavs. I don’t think anyone can say that the current setup is particularly great for anyone save the suits who run it.

The simple fact is that these megalithic entities have been acting like such pricks to artists and fans alike over the years, they realise nobody would give a shit if they turned up their heels in the wake of the revolution. So they use puppets, like Lars Ulrich, Patrick Wolf and, indeed, Lily Allen, to promote their cause. The visionaries who can see the change in the wind are capitalising on the situation; you only need to see the sales figures on In Rainbows to realise that even if “pay me what you like” isn’t a sustainable paradigm, you can certainly capitalise on that kind of shenanigans.

The future belongs to the innovators. Imminently, a new way of distributing entertainment will be demanded; Big Music’s leverage is slipping. Without it, compromise will be needed to bring customers and artists into their fold. Possibly after someone’s explained the concept of compromise to them. In the meantime, fresh blood, the Spotifies and the like will be surging ahead, becoming new giants, earning the right for the next decade or so to be total and complete arseholes.

Just a quickie.

In a month in which I’ve posted no, count them, NO articles, my readership has skyrocketed to a massive 33 views per day. What’s the secret?
I’ve had a massive influx of searches for “Doctor Manhattan Blue Penis”, presumably coinciding with the release of Watchmen on DVD.

So I’d just like to add: PENIS PENIS PENIS MICHAEL JACKSON MEMORIAL DISCOGRAPHY PENIS.

That should do it.

“Too soon”, volume one in an inevitably long-reaching series; In Which Flopsybuns Delivers A Fairly Inappropriate And Hypocritical Eulogy.

I’ve been playing with Google Insight today.  True to its name, it held a few surprises for me.

Not least that the fourth most popular Google in the UK this week was “google”.  Come on, country.  Get your act together.  I’m not the most organised, or even conscious person, but I’ve never asked someone to their face where they are.  I suppose it’s the next logical step in windowlickery from hunting for my glasses when they’re on my head – so long, sunday afternoon, I’ll never see you again – but on a national scale I can’t help but feel this is unacceptable.

Even more depressing is that seventh worldwide rising search is Jade Goody.  The press blitz of coverage of the “tragic” pseudo-celebrity was inevitable, and even the fact that the usually level-headed Guardian gave it front-page reportage stimulated little more than a stifled groan.  The press can’t account for this kind of showing though.  There’s only one logical conclusion; people of the world are actively searching for news on… her.  I’m not going to be overly unkind here.  A woman is dead, and her genuine family and friends are grieving.  They should stop reading here.

Jade exemplified a subculture of consumers who want nothing more than fame and attention, at the expense of dignity, privacy and wellbeing.  It’s worrying that so many people desire it so badly (he said, typing into his unpaid weblog), but ultimately understandable compared to the mass hysteria and schadenfreude that possess those who follow them.  My own theory is that these reality stars give the public the opportunity to feel superior to some of these glamourous characters, and illustrate that it could really be anybody – and in being the everywoman, Jade excelled.

Her eulogy and tribute is loud in the press this week, not so much on the lips of the people in my own experience.  Maybe this unequal treatment is because her presence in the zeitgeist was the pure result of the media and PR insisting she was interesting, rather than genuine relavence.  I’d like to believe that the british tabloids felt some twinge of regret at the way they publically treated a human being, though she was nowhere near the least deserving or worst treated of the victims of ravenous and unscrupulous journalists.  I’m fairly certain though that they were just bleeding the last column inches from her life.  Jade Goody lived to be a celebrity, and died famous.  Now let’s all move on, and read a little less Heat magazine.

Bootleggerybloggery – A golden stream of seven (7) of my favourite mashups

Okay, it’s not a stream.  Titles are harder than they look.  I have listened to some good mashups and put them in a list with a number of the things in the title, because people like to know how many things they are going to read before they read them.

    Shut up on a blue monday

  1. ComaR – Shut up on a blue monday
    Rihanna vs. New Order
    One of those mashups that’s just unescapably right when you hear it, and also has been making me dance like a great big gay for some time now.  The better the mashup, the more humiliation it subjects you to.  That is the rule.
  2. I kissed the nobodies

  3. Yold – I kissed the nobodies
    Katy Perry vs Marilyn Manson
    I’ve got a slightly guilty love of both these artists, so this makes me very happy. You might have to engage brain to find it though, because hotlinking is naughty.  Worth listening to some of Yold’s other tracks while you’re there though, he/she/it is a very talented man/woman/robot, even if this does go on for ever so slightly too long.
  4. This town

  5. This Town – DJ Le Clown
    Blues Brothers vs Sparks
    It’s hard to see how a coupling like the Blues Brothers and Sparks could go wrong.  Admittedly a little more Sparks in the mix would be nice, but then I’m not the Clown, now, am I?  For optimum enjoyment, listen whilst fleeing from several hundred police cars.
  6. Busy Fuckin in the Bushes

  7. Busy Fuckin’ in the Bushes – DJ Schmolli
    Oasis vs Sean Paul vs Fergie vs House of Pain vs Faith no More vs Kelly Clarkson vs Jay – Z
    Oh come on. This one gets in based on pure volume of artists used, with bonus marks for Fuckin’ in the Bushes. It doesn’t even sound as cramped as some mashups using two or three songs. Hats off, Schmolli, whatever the fuck your name means.
  8. Psyche Encore

  9. Psyche Encore – ComaR
    Psyché Rock (Fatboy Slim Remix) vs Encore
    I’ve never heard of Psyché Rock before, and I’d be prepared to put it down to ComaR being a French man who is French, except it’s a Fatboy Slim mix of a 1964 track so I’m not narrowly horizoned, I’m just badly informed. And it is in fact big in England, since it’s almost exactly the Futurama theme song. Do you like Futurama? Do you like Jay-Z? You’d better.
  10. Guns Up Your Life – PingPong
    Guns Up Your LifeGuns n Roses vs Lisa Stansfield vs Pussycat Dolls
    See, this is why I love mashups like I love ham salad sandwiches. Lisa Stansfield is the food group that I would never eat unless it was combined with other, more palatable foods. Admittedly, vegetables are food you need to live, and Lisa Stansfield is almost the diametric opposite of that, but nevertheless. She goes well with hammy, hammy Guns n Roses.
  11. prodigy_cover_outnow__400x400Thunderstruck Thunder – PingPong
    Prodigy vs ACDC
    Since I’ve not heard heard the Thunder track on the Prodigy’s new album (and Spotify fails pretty hard on certain artists), I can’t vouch for how much of the thickly-spread acid bass funk on this mashup is down to PingPong’s considerable talents. I can tell you though that it’s very very good, and anyone familiar with Invaders must Die should know that Thunderstruck Thunder beats the shit out of it and steals its lunch money for drugs.

Honourable mention:

The Ghost That Feeds
Nine Inch Nails vs Ray Parker Jr.
The best mashup of either The Hand that Feeds or Ghostbusters I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately vanished from where I got it from, you can allegedly still download it from the NIN remix page, linked from Nathan Chase’s blog. God bless you, Reznor.

Turning White Trash into an art form

waynejeffery19767777Wow, I’ve got a favourite link of the week.  Sexy People is a “celebration of the perfect portrait” although the definite article confuses me since as far as I’m concerned they’re all golden.  It was gleaned from Graham “You might know me from writing sitcoms like Father Ted, Black Books and the IT Crowd” Linahan’s blog, which is the first useful thing that’s come out of my Twitter account.  Although being mysteriously and personally blocked from subscribing to Stephen Fry’s feed was a bit of a dickslap, especially since everyone else on Twitter is following him and now I can’t keep up with the gossip about what hot beverage he’s currently drinking.

I watched the Watchmen and made a tired pun about it

dr-manhattan-3Watchmen finally hit UK cinemas last week, and my contemporaries and I made a pilgrimage around the weekend to see it (in the biggest motherfucking cinema I’ve ever seen, seriously, what’s the deal with that?).

After a modest period of casually asking each other what we thought of it (british to a man, can’t show too much uninvited enthusiasm) shit-eating grins broke out all round, and happy fanboyism commenced.  In case you haven’t heard, it is good, and faithful to a degree I didn’t think possible.  Alan Moore is a writing deity in my book, but he’d do well to stop grumbling about other people paying him multi-million-dollar homage and start complaining about the people who watch the damn thing.

I’d wondered how public opinion would regard Watchmen; western culture doesn’t deal well with pragmatism and mixed motives in its news reports, let alone its entertainment.  If hell froze over and the mature themes in Watchmen – a comic that muddies the waters of morality around terrorism, murder and rape – weren’t censored or omitted, how would the stupid, cow-eyed masses of the public react to it?  Condemnation?  Dare I hope for a reconsideration on the unsympathetic reactions to what we are told to regard as criminals?  I was beginning to fear for British tabloids‘ readership.

I needn’t have worried.  Rather than discussing the plot and characters, the blood-spattered smiley has been supplanted in the hearts of the population by a giant, glowing dong.  Transfixed by the shiny (helmeted) objects, the media pundits narrowly avoided discussing questionable morality and instead fixated on Doc Manhattan’s freely swinging member.  You’d think that in light of recent events, radioactive cocks would be a sensitive subject in the UK, but noooooo.

I do love how, although taboo in most circumstances, unrestrained wangers are considered more suitable for public consumption (steady now) than questioning the moral status quo.  Still, at least my Comedian badge is bona-fide geek cred, right?

Puzzle Quest Galactrix – the thinking gamer’s domestic abuse

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I’m conflicted about tagging this as a game review.  Because I’m not completely sure that’s what Puzzle Quest is.

It masquerades as a simple Popcap-esque brainteaser, a little casual gaming sundae laced with sprinklings of RPG-element crack to drag you in.  Any friend of mine will tell you I’m a total slug for RPG games, and I do love a good DS-based casual puzzler (plus god knows I loves me some crack).  So what’s the beef bringing the savoury spoilage to my delicious ice cream metaphor?

Well, it’s a tasty treat, but critically, it’s by no means a fair one.  It repeatedly occurs that I’m grinding my opponent into dust only for the random tiles replenishing the board to trigger some chance hurricane of destruction that maxes out the enemy’s special move gauges, gives the cunt seventeen turns and I lose my shields.  This isn’t a bloody game, it’s a device by which I repeatedly provide my opponent a stick with which to batter me.  It’s like playing a game of football where every five minutes the referee declares the opposition striker gets to kick you full-on in the balls, and you’re not allowed to guard.

This is repeated ad infinitum, until I’m developing the gaming equivalent of battered wife syndrome.  Knowing that any given move could cause the game to smack the shit out of me, I’m paranoid about making any move.  My stylus shakes indecisively over the game board, obsessive about preempting the vicious onslaught – but if I don’t choose, I don’t get beaten, right?  On some level I recognise that at some point playing Puzzle Quest I have fun, but I consistently come to the conclusion that the only winning move is to put the DS down and make myself a sandwich.  Which feels like cheating, because a sandwich is a winner every time.

The most annoying thing about these games is not that they’re bad.  Rubbing dog shit around inside my underpants doesn’t make my life a misery – because lacking any incentive, I just don’t do it.  Like an abusive spouse though, the good times with Puzzle Quest are good.  That glorious weekend at the beach.  The time it got me a Mining Laser for valentine’s day.  But then, the dinner’s not on the table, and I’m getting my face battered with a sock full of loose change.  By which I mean mine tiles and a damage multiplier.

So is Puzzle Quest a good game?  Yeah, I suppose it is, in the same way (to make the standard internet comparison) Hitler must have been a charmer – because there’s no way he’d have got those minorities gassed if he’d scrimped on the gameplay.

Or something like that. Anyway, play it for a bit, and tear your own fucking hair out.  You don’t need me to tell you this shit.