Wednesday 30 April 2014

You think just because I'm fake-smiling I won't throw you down a flight of stairs?

Today I tried something different and watched some trashy television shows, so now I'm going to reward my adventurous spirit by drinking some beer at the end of this busy day.

I'm going into that wedding to beat this man in front of God and everyone he knows

I wouldn't say that I dislike Black Box, as that would be inaccurate and lazy of me seeing as English is a wonderfully diverse and colourful language with which to blog and there are much better and more descriptive words like "hate" and "despise" out there for my use, Black Box being one of those shows that in my younger days would have had me wishing misfortune upon its makers not because I needed to chill out, but because I thought it unfair that they should profit in life through a combination of the kind of shameless creative plagiarism where a viewer with a memory that extends to last week can simply tick off in their brain where each and every plot point, character trait and even name comes from  while watching (Homeland, House, Millenium, Perception, Do No Harm, Grey's Anatomy, Crisis - the list is quite extensive as a great deal of feces is strewn across Black Box's wall) and then marries all that with the glorification of misanthropic adolescent behavior that typifies all those television shows that make you want to throw your shoe at the screen in the hope it will defy the laws of physics and travel through the television and eventually hit the characters on the head and the only thing that stops you isn't a sense of proportion but the fear of having to buy a new television because while you really do hate them that much, these shows do not actually make you any dumber.
But it isn't just that Black Box's worldview is hateful, it's also plain old terrible as a piece of television programming in itself, often resembling a pantomime crossed with a mid-90s music video in how it glamorously portrays the soft-focus effects of bipolar disorder as little more than impulse control failure that leads to kinky sex, like a thirteen year-old girl was told to watch Homeland and then create Grey's Anatomy fanfiction based upon her understanding of what she just saw, its breathy-voiced protagonist flip-flopping between personalities even before she actually has any kind of episode, but all told, I think what really got me was my calling that the main character's niece was really her daughter the actual moment her niece was introduced to the viewer, and being proved right forty minutes later when it was dropped like it was supposed to be a twist rather than creative strip-mining from another recent tv offering (Crisis) that you can see coming a mile off because nothing about what you are seeing is original, creative, or interesting, it's just rote tv production for the most undemanding of viewers.
While "shit" still seems a perfectly appropriate word to describe Black Box, after my hissy fit upstairs about writers not making the barest of efforts, I feel it only fair to rub two braincells together and offer "smegma" as perhaps being more accurate, as it conjures up images of something not so much inevitably and naturally excreted in its own time and course as it is congealed into being through a lack of care and attention.
Black Box is a smegma of a programme and I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

Monday 28 April 2014

I'm talking about waking up one day and realising you've wasted your life chasing stupid dreams

So the workshy layabouts of the country are to be taken to task and prevented from getting something for nothing and are to do a real day's work - no, millionaire MPs expenses aren't being cut and no, they're still going to use unpaid clerks to do the work that MPs are paid (less than) "chickenfeed" for, and what is going to happen is instead that the definition of the word "voluntary" is to be redefined to better align with the thoughts of the incumbent stewards of where the bar is set for policy - and yes, that is a torturous turn of phrase just to be able to use the "bar stewards" pun, but you've read the blog before, you know I don't have high standards - if anything it's your own fault for expecting better, and besides, it's not like I'd be entirely accurate if I used the term "elected representatives", is it?  The current lot are neither.
Not that this approach to the unemployed affects me personally, I eventually discovered after being sent on several "help to work" courses (an oddly-named enterprise as they neither help nor supply you with work), as it turned out that I shouldn't have been sent on them at all seeing as I was registered as a carer for an elderly member of my community - registered with the Social Services, no less, so the right hand has literally no idea what the left is doing, or - and I realise that this is a crazy suggestion with no basis in any kind of fact - "help to work" is not meant to help anyone, it is meant to punish the unemployed simply for being by making them jump hurdles of petty beaurocracy, and by "no basis in fact", I of course mean "I and many others have already been told this is the case to my face by employees of the local Job Center" but don't worry, I've not really gone political - I don't give a fuck how quickly we run this third world shithole into the ground - and I am merely making a point about bad tv and shite music like I always do and here it is: the poor are the enemy.
Our television is filled with dramas about the struggles of the rich and the middle classes, our music is filled with odes to the excesses of wealth, our comic books are full of super-powered rich people battling socialism - and every time a new working class family is introduced to Coronation Street, the viewer grumbling begins, every time someone writes a song about the dispossessed they're dismissed as a Billy Bragg-type loser, every time a superhero gets a real job they can't hold onto it because for various reasons it is beneath them or otherwise not to be - remember that time Buffy got a job in a burger restaurant and the fans said it was the weakest point in the series despite it being the closest representation of their own experience they'd seen in a mainstream tv show?  A show about a superhero fighting monsters from popular culture is more of a representation of young adulthood than actual television programmes about young adults... well okay then.
Everything we are exposed to in our culture paints us as the enemy and we can't really be so surprised that Dave "murderer" Cameron has turned on us in his ongoing quest to look like he's clued-in with the consensus experience and not just a millionaire out to smash-and-grab what public services he can for himself and his rich mates before he's kicked out in 2015, which I think we can all go ahead and call right now, though I don't bar a miracle on his behalf as it seems to be the season for it if the baffling canonisation of Pope John Paul II is any indicator - I thought you needed to perform a miracle before you could become a saint, and call me old-fashioned but I don't think "making generations of sexual assault survivors disappear" really counts.

Why no I did not get laid this weekend FUCK YOU.

Friday 11 April 2014

When we support each other, all of us become stronger

I think there is actually a proviso in the rules of Cricket for just such an eventuality as depicted above, but being a human living in the year 2014 I have no way to be sure, as no-one can tell the truth from the folk tales these days, Cricket being seen by most of the British population as an urban legend much like Black Shuck and the CHUDs of London, though there's a lot of evidence to suggest that Cricket was actually played in the British Isles as recently as the 1950s.  It's worth pointing out that it's just as likely this evidence is anecdotal, based on glimpses of the sport on television which were most probably episodes of Doctor Who, but I decided to use Cricket as a bit of British flavor for the J6 strip as non-Brits still think it's a real sport played there, much as they believe that Scotland still has a dinosaur living in its largest lake.  Not that I'm knocking non-Brits - in this part of the world, it's still believed by many that the American Bigfoot isn't extinct, and that Texas isn't part of Mexico.

After the two weekend strips, I think that's the last we'll be seeing of J6 here on YFaN, though I think the blog itself is coming to the end of its useful life anyway and will shortly be taken to the knackers yard and turned into whiskey money.  IT'S WHAT HE WOULD WANT.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

Thursday 10 April 2014

There's no such thing as "man flowers"

Nearly done with this turkey now.  I'll miss being able to post every day, but won't miss waving my failures at the world.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Go wash up - you all stink of money

I'm genuinely sorry to see Maria Miller go, as if you have come to hate them as much as I do, she was the best thing that happened to the Condems.  I thought she'd hang in there a bit longer, because Lord knows she gave no indication of shame or contrition, only acknowledging the growing public ill-feeling towards her when she made a late attempt to send her aides to sow a desperate conspiracy-theory story painting her detractors as a cabal of bitter homophobes in the Tory press pushing a non-story upon the great unwashed, a conspiracy she continued to push even in her long-overdue resignation letter and which her boss Dave Cameron - some sort of quango appointee, I assume, as he doesn't seem to have been elected by the public to his current office - responded to with an open admission that she was investigated for other expenses wrongdoing but, hey - those didn't come to anything so she mustn't have done anything wrong even that time she definitely did do something wrong and was forced - forced - to publicly apologise to parliament for it.
The entitlement of the establishment throughout the whole affair - not just from Miller, but from Cameron who makes a clumsy attempt to move the goalposts even after the final whistle - is telling, and shows the assumption they work from that public money is their money and that their jobs as public servants exist not to exercise the will of the electorate (fair play they already admitted that when they failed to win the confidence of a majority of it), but as a kind of Rube Goldberg machine which they have to play with in order to find a way to funnel that money into their own pockets.
Miller was an albatross who was dragging the Condems down just as sure as she was being dragged kicking and screaming towards her own resignation, and it's a damn shame she's let them get off as scott free as she herself has, citing even in her goodbye missive that she isn't actually going very far from the teat of public money to which she is entitled to suckle upon.  All that remains now is to see what unelected position within government she is rewarded with.

Tuesday 8 April 2014

You better go be the best goddamn investment banker this city has ever seen

Haha it's almost like I have no clue what I am doing.

Crisis - a tv show about the kidnapped kids of the American elite being held hostage to the plans of  a CIA operative with a Long Game that's unveiled over the course of the season, a female FBI agent must blah-de-blah-de-blah.  It's by-the-numbers stuff for a 2014 tv show, and not a patch on similar efforts like The Blacklist.
The Blacklist - ex-CIA operative with a Long Game, female FBI agent, blah-de-blah.  Unlike Crisis, there's effort made to present an identifiable format with a villain-of-the-week framework, as James Spader's intelligence broker manipulates the FBI into taking down a list of his customers and competitors while insinuating himself into the life of a seemingly random agent.  Spader does a very watchable smarmy sociopath and the rest of the cast is good even when working with some pretty leaden stereotypes, though the season arc peels back the layers of the onion faster than is usual so there's some brisk character development unusual for this kind of episodic telly.
The Following is a show which stars Kevin Bacon as Kevin Bacon, a hard-drinking maverick with nothing to lose who defies the conventional methods of the FBI in pursuit of a charismatic serial killer as he plays by his own rules, except when he breaks them because he doesn't play by anyone's rules - not even his own.  It is high camp stuff and not to be taken seriously - which I admit may be a redundant observation as I have already pointed out that it stars Kevin Bacon.
I have no idea what Continuum is supposed to be about - there, I've said it. It started out as a sci-fi show about a copper from the future pursuing terrorists into the past, but then it just sort of milled about for a season and a half before becoming dull and scattershot.  I suppose someone must still be watching it, I'm just not sure why I am.

Monday 7 April 2014

Don't do anything that affects anything

The internet is abuzz today with chatter about the return of everyone's favorite fantasy series that - because just enjoying something for what it is isn't enough these days - doubles as a keenly-observed allegory of the struggles of - and ultimate irrelevance of - the poor in the face of rich white people's monopoly of the mechanisms of social order, complete with the expected outrageous and leftfield turns of fortune for plots and characters alike that drop like bombshells into stories and leave you unsteady.
I speak of course of Lifetime's Drop Dead Diva, a show about rich white people who love money.  Rich, white Christian people who love money (the series mythos is rooted in Western Christian theology), whose central protagonist's karmic donkey-punch comes when she is prevented from being skinny and blonde and has to work for a living - a nightmare scenario, I'm sure we can all agree.

Also some gay shit about dragons and elves is back on TV, but I'll only watch that when I run out of shows that matter.

Friday 4 April 2014

We take what the bear doesn't want

Yes, that's right, 2014, supervillains didn't always get exploded at the end of stories in firey deaths borne of their own hubris, once upon a time they just went to jail.  In my day we had to make do with Superman movies where he didn't kill people, I tell you, it was like the dark ages or something.
Anyway, that's enough from me for this week, threadbare though my written contributions to the blogosphere were, hopefully we'll meet on the other side of the weekend.

Thursday 3 April 2014

There's a really creepy guy who works in my liquor store but that doesn't stop me going in there four times a week

Flipped that first panel at the drawing stage for some reason that escapes me, creating a counter-intuitive flow between the direction of the visuals and the direction in which the English language reads, but there's probably manga nerds looking at it thinking "this single panel is the only one that's been done right" shortly before going back to fapping themselves stupid over how the publishers of Naruto have really retained the artistic and cultural integrity of a story about a kid in a boiler suit kicking people in the face for 4000 pages.
I HATE MANGA NERDS but paradoxically I still love manga deeply as the pages of Manga Mania were a formative artistic influence.  Along those lines, Chris Sims has a great anecdote about weeaboo nerds that's worth a read.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Priests don't do what he did - they know that God's watching

Very thin panels today, thanks to big fat panels yesterday.
 In my efforts to not be a jerk and keep things "all ages" and inoffensive, I dropped the final balloon from that last panel Just In Case, but if you were wondering, it was the lady tutting and saying "don't be racist," which was the worst thing in there so I'm probably doing okay.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

You'll end up spending every dollar you make on jewelry and skin-tight leather pants

I was going to make this post about how I got a paying job, but I thought better of it when I realised April Fool jokes only work when they have at least the vaguest air of plausibility.  Instead I'll do a review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

It's alright.