It’s Comfy Between Dystopias!

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale reminded me how much I love dystopias.  In fact, this list of dystopian films serves well as a jumbled-up 50 Greatest Films of All Time.   It’s got it all: Orwell, Vonnegut, Dick… WALL-E.

In The Handmaid’s Tale the ingredients for the dystopia seem to have been picked from two different places: the past, which provides sexism and theocracy, and the future, for its abundance of leaky chemicals and annoyingly meltdownable nuclear power plants. Obviously the present (which means the 1980s for Atwood) must still feature holdovers from the past (e.g. Iran, Catholicism, and also sexism, racism and homophobia in the work place) and some ominous glimmers of the future (e.g. DDT, Agent Orange, and nuclear accidents such as Three Mile Island). But it would make little sense for someone to read about one dystopia from within the context of another.

Or would it? Continue reading “It’s Comfy Between Dystopias!”

Philosophy is Dead! Long Live Philosophy

It made me choke on my breakfast this morning to read the declaration from Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow that the subject I’ve taught for the last two years, and which I intend to study this coming year, is dead:

“[On questions concerning the nature of the universe]: Traditionally these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics.” (‘The Grand Design’, 2010)

I hope that tomorrow I don’t discover that psychology has fallen too, or that mathematics is suffering from an upset stomach. Continue reading “Philosophy is Dead! Long Live Philosophy”

BREAKING NEWS: Internet “not keeping up with” Abe Pindish

The entirety of the world’s online media is failing to generate new material at the rate needed to satisfy Mr. Pindish’s modest surfing appetite, according to reliable sources.   Tech correspondents, futurologists, film reviewers – and even editors of long-running whimsical web comics – have come under heavy fire today as a close friend of the man described their efforts as “just not good enough.” Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS: Internet “not keeping up with” Abe Pindish”

Reviews vs. Reflections

[I have only just realised, after writing this whole post, that this is really just a PR plug for a podcast I’m involved in, ‘The Proof is in the Podcast’.  Feel free to just go straight to the chitter-chatter first.]

There are clearly many forms of writing which have become well established over time: The Novel, The Short Story, The Poem etc.  We know these forms, so we know what to expect e.g.  we know that a short story can probably be finished whilst travelling on The District Line between Earl’s Court and Tower Hill – with a twist hopefully kicking in somewhere near Monument.  Now, just another one of these forms, which has become quite as ubiquitous as the others, is The Review (a poor example of which I sort of ‘coughed up’ down below).  And I have to confess that there are some aspects of reviews that I just don’t get. Continue reading “Reviews vs. Reflections”

Review of ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’

You obviously have to be wary with games linked to film franchises, but then again why take any risks these days when metacritic can all but guarantee 90% satisfaction?  More generally, you should be wary about making any assumptions, and here I made the false assumption that this was linked to a film franchise in the first place.  It’s actually linked closely to the original comic book and animated TV series, I am told.  This is good, because you’re just ‘being Batman’, you’re not ‘being Christian Bale being Batman and doing all the things you already know he’ll do because you’ve watched the film, like, five times’. Continue reading “Review of ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’”

Launch Party! Update

Sadly the Launch Party! has been cancelled. Instead, why don’t you read about Jam?

Fruit preserves are fruits, or vegetables, that have been prepared and canned for long term storage. The preparation of fruit preserves traditionally involves the use of pectin as a gelling agent, although sugar or honey may be used as well. The ingredients used and how they are prepared will determine the type of preserves; jams, jellies and marmalades are all examples of different styles of fruit preserves that vary based upon the ingredients used. (From the all-knowing Wikipedia).