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    Sunday, 27 September 2009

    I Have Seen the Creature That Will Eat My Soul


    Holy fucking shit. I love animals as a general rule but this is one creature so horrifying that we need to get everyone on earth to band together, get a shit ton of bazookas and then hunt down every single last one of these hellcreatures and destroy it with extreme prejudice.

    Then burn the ground and salt the earth to make sure it doesn't rise from the dead, which I presume it can do and already has done based on how this godforsaken demonbeast looks.

    Meet the Creature That Will Eat My Soul (aka. The Madagascan Aye Aye Lemur):

    What. The Fuck. Is. That. You know what, I don't care. Fuck you, nature.

    Wednesday, 16 September 2009

    Me Vs Dan Brown

    Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol, has just been released and I, like so many others, went out to the book store to grab my own copy. I think it's because I enjoy the overall journey despite the prose being riddled with annoying quirks that sometimes make me laugh unintentionally or jar me from the novel's reality.

    These quirks include: Cliched / cookie cutter opening sentence; massive overabundance of unnecessary details; lame dialogue; recycled characters / events / situations; horrible metaphors and similes; incorrect word usage; extremely obvious "twists" and, really, really bad descriptions of characters.

    Yet here I am, with the new book in my hands. And even more annoyingly, I know I'll probably enjoy it. Unless it turns out that this is another book about a worldwide conspiracy involving an ancient mystical order of thousands of members that actually consists of only two people. If that happens I will set this book on fire and never, ever buy another Dan Brown novel.

    To celebrate the release of The Lost Symbol and in honour of Mr. Brown's success in the face of adversity, I give you my imagined version of Dan Brown's first draft of his next novel, "The Lost Artefact of Ambiguousness".

    Archaeologist Peter Oldman listened in horror as the horrible beeping sound clawed at his ears like a rake claws at a pile of dry autumn leaves. He knew with the certainty that Howard Carter must have felt when he descended the steps of tomb KV62 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings that he was going to die. I am, thought Peter Oldman intrinsically, going to die.
    In front of him, strapped to several bricks of C4 explosive, plastic binder, plasticizer and taggant chemicals 2,3-dimethyl-2,3-dinitrobutane was a mobile phone. He knew with an absolute yet completely unnecessary to the plot or current action certainty that the phone was a Nokia N95 with a 332 MHz processor and 64MB of SDRAM.
    The ringing stopped as suddenly as a stop sign appearing out of the fog on a foggy day and a voice crackled through the speaker.
    'Hello, Mr. Oldman,' the voice sublimated. Oldman had never heard the voice before yet somehow knew he had heard it every day before now.
    Peter gasped, 'What do you want with me? I've told you everything I know about the Lost Artefact of Ambiguousness.'
    The stranger, who called himself Zekal'Mor rather than his real name, even in his own inner monologue, because it would keep the audience guessing about his identity for another three chapters, laughed strategically.
    'Isn't it obvious?' Zekal'Mor asked in an unintentionally rhetorical way. He paused while he thought of some incredibly cliched dialogue, then added, 'I want you to die.'
    Before Peter Oldman could deposit another thought, the hot heat of the explosion's explosive inner sanctum disintegrated him completely, leaving behind nothing but ash.

    Symbologist Robert Langdon frowned at the ancient manuscript in front of him. Showing a careless disregard for the irreplaceable and incredibly fragile document that one would expect from a highly celebrated University Professor, he held the parchment up to the light.
    He gasped. 'This is the Symbol for the AAA - the Alliance of the Artefact of Ambiguousness.'
    Although this was a good time to explain what his comment meant, it was an even better time to awkwardly describe Robert Langdon's physical appearance because it is important to give a detailed description of any male characters as soon as they appear in your story.
    Langdon was not traditionally good looking though he did look oddly like Dan Brown and almost every woman he met in the course of his stories found him attractive. He wore a charcoal turtleneck sweater under a tweed jacket, which was completely coincidentally the author's favourite ensemble. Strapped around his wrist was a Mickey Mouse watch to tell rather than show the reader that the protagonist had some endearingly strange yet harmlessly inoffensive character quirks.
    'What is it?' Spanish astrobiologist Elizabeth Enriques enthused quizzically.
    She had dark hair and her gunmetal grey eyes sparkled with a deep intelligence that was never really utilised or evidenced in the context of the story except to solve one or two minor puzzles that access to a google search engine could have solved in 20 seconds because her role in the narrative was actually just to listen to Robert Langdon's verbal diarrhea about symbols and junk.
    Rest assured that Elizabeth was ambiguously but extremely hot and was an expert in bikram yoga, which was not at all relevant to the plot of the novel but would lead to at least one uncomfortably sleazy exchange of dialogue between Elizabeth and Robert at the end of the novel in which it would be "implied" that she could finally use those skills for something worthwhile - in the bedroom.
    Behind them stood acclaimed philanthropist Anders Grange, a powerfully built 45 year old man with silver hair, who stalked the room like a timberwolf, back straight and proud and on two legs but totally like a wolf at the same time. Grange had been Langdon's best friend since their childhood, despite not having been mentioned or referenced at all in any of the previous three Robert Langdon books.
    When Anders spoke, his voice was far away yet disturbingly close. 'I have heard of the AAA. They are very old and powerful,' he reminded. 'The legends say they possessed an ambiguous artefact that granted them power over life and death itself.'
    His voice was suddenly as wistful as a blade of grass waving in the sunlight and implied very subtly that he would ultimately turn out to be the sole bad guy responsible for the supposedly global conspiracy.....

    Friday, 4 September 2009

    Chaos Theory

    The mirror is dark and still. I look down at my own reflection and see the familiar face staring back at me, pondering, thoughtful. Behind me a thousand suns rage and fight back the unending night, breathing fire and light into the void. But I am so far away and so very, very small. To me, they are pin pricks of light through a heavy blanket.

    For a while I watch them glimmer and twinkle in the dark mirror. They are beautiful and powerful and ancient beyond imagining. What world's have their light illuminated? What creatures have basked in their heat? How many have gazed up at them and marveled at their majesty?

    In my hand is a pebble, small, rough and porous. I toss it into the air, watch it spin end over end, hurtling briefly towards those distant stars before it is rudely pulled backwards by gravity's constant hand. It plunges into the cold, still water like a knife, and disappears. But its passing leaves a mark. Ripples on the water that disturb my mirror and make the stars dance wildly in the tenebrous sky.

    The ripples are unpredictable. The way they make the stars dance even more so. Yet in the chaos, there is a beauty that is as stark as it is unexpected.

    Writing a novel is very similar. You begin with a plan that is organised and sensible and perfect but then something strange happens. The characters who once fit so neatly into your little plan begin to breathe and grow and sometimes, just sometimes, they whisper to you. They dislike the boxes you try to put them in, or the words you want to put into their mouths.

    They have the audacity to suggest, even demand changes. So you make that change and it ripples outwards, backwards and forwards across space and time, leading to even more changes. To new places, characters and events your neat plan never imagined. And the really scary thing is, you can't be sure where they're leading you until you're there.

    So my four precocious orphans are treading a different path now to the one I first planned for them to walk along. I can see the end now, in the distance, but it's as far away as those blazing lights in the darkness. I don't quite know when we'll get there, my traveling companions and I. But I'll let you know when we do.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2009

    Top 10 Changes Disney Will Make At Marvel

    The announcement that none of us have been waiting for has arrived: Disney is buying out Marvel Entertainment for a sweet $4 billion. Both parties seem adamant that this will not lead to changes in Marvel characters, story lines or franchises but seriously, does anybody really believe that? We all know that Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen corpse isn't going to stand for that.

    Here are the Top 10 changes Disney is going to make once they sink their puffy white-gloved mouse hands into the House of Ideas:

    10. All homosexual characters are to be instantly killed/written out/undergo sexual orientation modification. The Human Torch will no longer be allowed to "Flame on!"

    9. All upcoming Marvel movies are to be recast with Zac Efron in the leading role, irrespective of actual age, race or gender of the hero in question.

    8. The Punisher will no longer punish criminals. Instead, he will now punish literacy and numeracy deficiencies in toddlers. Punishments far less likely to involve extreme death and dismemberment.

    7. Stan Lee to be cryogenically frozen and placed next to Walt under the Pirates of the Caribbean theme ride at Disneyland. Whether he likes it or not, motherfucker.

    6. Almost every female X-Men character's appearances will be "creatively reimagined" to resemble actual women rather than anatomically impossible turbo-whores. Comic nerds everywhere expected to cry, threaten to boycott the X-men comics and then not actually do anything about it.

    5. All future Marvel films to include at least three musical routines set in a High School, regardless of whether this is appropriate to the film's storyline or setting.

    4. Spider-Man to get a talking squirrel as a permanent sidekick.

    3. Spider-Man's name to be changed to "Bedbug-Man" because kids hate spiders. (Yet somehow do not find the idea of a gigantic half-human duckman with a speech impediment walking around without pants fucking disturbing)

    2. The Avengers will now more regularly avenge through the avenging power of musical theatre.

    1. Disney franchises will be re-released as "hip" comic characters with new origin stories in the following style: Mickey Marker was once an ordinary, geeky teenage boy. Bitten by a radioactive mouse, he developed the proportionate speed, strength and cheese-loving senses of a mouse! Having learned that "With lame powers comes no responsibility" he now fights crime and intolerance towards white middle to upper class people everywhere!