Saturday, May 6. 2006
'It has been five years since the notoriously media shy and overly mysterious band have pierced our airwaves with new material. After cries that ‘Lateralus’ was to be their last release for many years and possible in-band-tension rumours as many of the members have broke away temporarily to pursue side projects, it was a relief to hear that Tool would reform and push the envelope farther yet again.
Sunday, April 9. 2006
There are many words one can use to describe the anomaly known as James Inman. ‘Stand-up Comic’ is one such phrase, ‘Rural Punk Gen-X Anti-Hero’ is another. One might also refer to him as a ‘Recurring Alcoholic’ or ‘Angry Middle-Aged Man’ - yet whatever James is he certainly loves to torture himself, and in so doing can occasionally manifest “Genius”.
Continue reading "Book Review: James Inman - 'Greyhound Diary'"
Friday, April 7. 2006
'You know something is up when a film like V For Vendetta is a box office hit. Adapted from a series of graphic novelettes (i.e., comic books) written by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd, the plot is set in a dystopian future Britain where "the Party" rules, dissidents are rounded up, the Koran is banned, and the threat of terrorism keeps the ruling elite firmly entrenched in power. From his underground lair, "V" is a kind of futuristic Scarlet Pimpernel, who strikes out at the regime – destroying the Old Bailey in a spectacular pyrotechnic display – while reciting sonnets from Shakespeare and wooing a beautiful girl whose fate has been delivered into his gloved hands. He wears a mask – a sardonic visage reminiscent, at least in my mind, of Cyrano de Bergerac – and as the plot unfolds so does the origin of his vendetta against the Powers That Be: he was tortured and disfigured by the regime's renditioners. As he kills those responsible for his agony, one by one, the viewer is led toward the denouement: a reenactment of the Guy Fawkes legend, in which the modern-day incarnation of that early-17th-century English subversive succeeds in blowing up Parliament and sparking a revolution.
'The right wing hates this movie, and it isn't hard to see why: it explodes all their pretensions about being the party of "freedom," and it pretty clearly parallels the hypocritical cant of the War Party as it pretends to battle "terrorism" while engaging in a campaign of state terrorism that far surpasses anything a small band of amateurs could possibly hope to dish out. They must find particularly galling a subplot in which evidence emerges that a deadly series of biowarfare attacks attributed to "religious fanatics" (and we don't mean George W. Bush and Jerry Falwell) turn out to be the work of a sinister cabal inside the government – the perfect excuse for a crackdown. All of this – economic collapse, political turmoil, the dictatorship of "the Party" – is clearly identified in the film as the product of a series of wars, stretching from Iraq to Syria to Iran and beyond. I was particularly intrigued by references to "the former United States of America," and hints of a future history in which imperialism has drained the once mighty U.S. until it is a pitiful husk of its former self, crippled by economic dislocation and embroiled in civil war.' (Antiwar article).
Wednesday, February 15. 2006
Whilst I've never been a great enthusiast for Microsoft products, I've equally never been a huge supporter of the current Mozilla Firefox fad that seems to be taking the internet community by storm. Sure, the tabbed browsing is sweet, but other than that the browser seems a little ropey to me, having a tendency to mess with the overall design of certain websites whilst eliminating a number of aesthetic features such as customised scrollbars and the like.
Fortunately, last week, Microsoft released their first public beta of Internet Explorer 7, and I have to say it makes Firefox look like an incomplete college project. Tabbed browsing is included in the new IE7 along with a wonderful new security feature to eliminate phishing.
Whilst it is clear that Microsoft have once again pilfered all the good ideas from their rivals, they have equally, at least, finished the job off properly with the most streamlined version of Internet Explorer yet.
You can check out the new beta version of IE7 here, however, you might want to hack round the Security Certificate if you're running a ripped copy of Windows XP. Microsoft, like a company desperate to send itself to the grave, have prevented the browser from being installed without first passing an online certification check.
My advice is to download an already hacked copy of IE7 from a reputable BitTorrent site if you happen to be one of the many millions who opted not to pay through the nose for your operating system.
Monday, January 9. 2006
'Dr. Allen Greenfield's long out-of-print classic, Secret Cipher Of The UFOnauts, and the first release of its suppressed sequel, Secret Rituals Of The Men In Black, is now available from Manutius Press, in conjunction with Lulu (www.lulu.com), the world's fastest-growing provider of print-on-demand books.
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