Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Media Shenanigans
In one of those mergers wot happen with increasing regularity these days, Linux and Goblins is subsumed into Old Rotten Hat, where my 'stylings' will appear on an occassional basis. I may continue posting to Linux and Goblins, if only to keep the URL which will surely be required by some web design company any day now. That's the way it works I believe

Monday, August 16, 2004

Movie Reviews
Bicentennial Man:
In which Robin Williams, or a robot who looks like Robin Williams, lives for 200 years and ends up looking like a human, talking like a human and falling in love with about five generations of the same family. The two hundred years is a handy device because it means lots of people can die. Every time we need a dose of mawkish sentimentality, hey presto, slap a subtitle saying "16 years later" on the bottom of the screen and god bless him, there goes little golden Robin waddling off to twitch his eyebrows over another deathbed until a tear forms in the eye and the hairs on one's back stand on end.

Just a few tiny issues with this film. Why does he have to walk all over america to find his soul mate? what the fuck is that all about? everyone else is flying around in cars but poor robin seems to have no method of transport available to him other than his own two legs. so off he goes, for ten years with a little robot rucksack. until 16 years later... etc etc.

eventually he gets to look just like robin williams, rather than a bit like him (this is an improvement?), becomes "a man" in every respect, settles down with the fifth generation as discussed above, and eventually is legally declared a man by a black, female judge. you can see the logic. flying cars, fine, but don't stretch credibility by having a white and/or male judge for god's sake. this is hollywood.

meanwhile over the space of two and half hours we are 'treated' to interminable scenes in which sam neill and his offspring keep going back to lawyers to find out about robot rights, and a tedious extended 'motif' about the robot not being able to tell a joke, which at least makes it a true-to-life likeness of robin himself. file alongside Patch Adams and Jack as examples of this great actors finest work.

Operation Dumbo Drop:
In which an elephant on a parachute is dropped from a plane over Vietnam, accompanied by a number of actors only fleetingly acquainted with the concept of dignity. At one point, with a lock on the gently descending elephant in question, the viet cong / chinese general announces "let him go. i didn't join this army to shoot elephants. certainly not ones that fly".

I only saw the last ten minutes of this film but no more was required to convince me. I mean come on; an elephant on a pallete!. and his parachute doesn't open, so ray liotta has to free fall after him and open it manually! yes, keanu reeves did that in point break, but that was patrick swayzee, not an elephant. the two can't even be compared.

I recently read the extraordinary autobiography of Graeme Obree. Apparently the film of his life will not be made due to a shortfall of a poxy million quid. no wonder i don't bother watching films anymore. Obree's book is fantastic by the way, highly recommended.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Mobile Phone Boggle
it's the game that has got them all talking! Them being myself and the other people inside my head, everyone else is decidedly lukewarm about the idea of mobile phone boggle. However, i believe it will take over the world.

Rules: with your predicitive text switched on, what is the longest word you can write when following the rules of boggle. ie you can only move to an adjacent button, whether horizontal, vertical or diagonal.

this sounds simple but mobile phone boggle (tm) wrecks your head when you start trying it. there are three letters on each key, think about it. another variant is trying to write the longest sentence (that makes sense) using spaces according to normal boggle rules, or not (that's a third variant).

'mobile' is bogglable, as is 'mobility'. but lots of long words aren't. which is odd.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Good Morning, Good Morning
An open letter to Tom McGurk:

Hi Tom,
Is there any particular reason why you repeat the phrase "good morning" at the beginning of your show? If I met someone in the street who behaved in this way I would almost certainly conclude they were a couple of swallows short of a summer day, if you get my drift.
Apart from anything else it makes you sound like the safety announcement on Irish Ferries: "attention, attention" (perhaps this was also your work?). Either way I imagine it must be an influence, although the insistence on sticking doggedly to the same formulaic greeting must also owe something to Ms. Finucane and her charming "and a very good morning to you".
I await your response with interest.
best regards, BEST REGARDS,
Tom Farrell

any response and i will let you know.
bertie ahern has STILL not responded to my questions about nial ring using oireachtas stationery.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

As featured on Desert Island Discs. He was a legend enough already before picking the theme from Dad's Army as one of his eight pieces of music, perfect for relaxation whilst tucking into "A Pelican at Blandings". 

Good site this, I rarely hear the programme itself but the web equivalent can quickly confirm that Gordon Ramsay is (as I always suspected) a total fuckwit - he picks that Bryan Adams shite for christ's sake, the one about the bloke with the arrows (not Bristow, the other one). Nigella Lawson's choice is unbelievably trashy for a posh bird, which for some reason gives the whole thing a sexual frisson. no doubt entirely intentional.

'Terrorism Leaflet'
And to think we laughed at Joe Jacob and his iodine tablets. Turns out the man was ahead of time and even more practical than we supposed. Faced with the prospect of terrorist attack and devastating carnage, over in the UK the Home Office has done what every government organisation does best and produced a  leaflet.

What is it with the public sector? Their response to almost any eventuality or difficulty is a leaflet. And the front of said leaflet is always crammed with various distinguished personages taking credit for DOING SOMETHING (ie producing this leaflet). Of course it doesn't stop at the leaflet - oh no. Rest assured there will be accompanying tv adverts and a billboard campaign. As long as we have something to keep the PR wonks busy we can survive any emergency (even all out nuclear war - vis 'Protect and Survive').

Now when I was a lad during the blitz, did good old Winnie spend his time writing leaflets? No he did not. He got an actor to speak to us on the radio while he hid in a bunker sodomising the cabinet (possibly). Now that's what i call leadership.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Trooooooon. I love golf. it doesn't love me as the well-worn joke goes but i can live with unrequited in this instance. I even love golf on the telly. I'm even, EVEN one of these people who likes peter aliss. What i am less keen on is wathcing Ken Brown reading a booklet about the wildlife at Royal Troon, ostensibly as part of the BBC's coverage of the open.

what is it with the bbc and the Open? they are not so much going over board as capsizing the whole boat in a wave of steve rider's jism. it's a golf tournament guys. CALM DOWN. i doubt the bbc are reading this, but just in case:

1) The 'build up' show. what is that all about? Sam Torrance intoning 'let battle commence', visiting golfers in their houses (something that is never EVER going to make for good television), and an unseemly determination in every relevant interview to make Americans pretend it is the biggest event of the year for them. Who is this programme for? people who don't know anything about golf? are they likely to be watching?
2) Dozens of commentators. So many they literally don't know what to do with them. AND SOME OF THEM ARE WOMEN! Every tom dick or harriet is sent off around the course to breathlessly recount what we can see for ourselves on the screen.
3) Seve. Seve Seve Seve. "he play good shot. he pleased i think".  "eez hard sometimes to play great golf". "he play bad shot. he miss hole". "i reduced to this for one last pay cheque".
4) Ken Brown. Like almost every commentator going this guy thinks he is Sid Wadell and the result is embarrassing. "he needs a needle of confidence from a haystack of doubt" etc. Give it up Ken. I liked him more when he walked around the greens playing pretend putts, that was rather enjoyable.
5) computer animations of the holes. what is the point of this when they have actual film from the helicopter. it recalls itvs decision to show the driver's view of a grand prix circuit using "formula 1" off the playstation. why? WHY WHY WHY?
6) That silly golf cart that Steve Rider sits in, in his silly trousers being all buddy buddy with the golfers, most of whom pretty obviously detest him, and who can blame them. this is of course ANOTHER opportunity to pester foreigners into saying that the Open is "the biggest tournament in the world(tm)". It seems to be all he cares about, i suppose if the country's best hope is Monty you need to take your national pride where you can....

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

LUAS Update
For the benefit of Greg, whoever he is, it costs €2.00 one way into town from Sandyford. Search for LUAS on google and you'll find a page that includes a 'fare calculator'. From Sandyford to Tallaght (in a big circle if you think about it) is €2.40.
Of course you have to park your car and pay some exhorbitant amount if you are using it as a "Park and Ride" facility, which undermines a lot of the benefit. Speaking of which, wasn't it great to see clamper vans quite deliberately targetting football fans who had travelled down for the Ulster final last Sunday week? Most of the cars they clamped weren't even in anybody's way, but I suppose as a revenue earner it was a no-brainer. Who cares about the family from Donegal returning to their car at 7 o'clock to find some corporation cunt looking for €150 and presumably making them wait an hour for the privilege of setting off on a drive that is bad enough anyway never mind in the aftermath of the capitualtion of their joke of a football team. We at Linux and Goblin care, that's who.

U2 CD Theft
Ah yes, Linux and Goblins, i remember this. Is there anyone daft enough to believe this tissue of lies vis the theft of a few U2 songs in France? What a tragedy eh, 2 years work lost just like that. It does beg a few questions about productivity levels in today's pop combos, but at least it gets the papers talking about U2 which is kind of handy isn't it. It is genuinely sad to see a supposedly quality newspaper falling so easily for a desperate and piss poor publicity stunt like this.
Aside from anything else the story doesn't make any sense. These mythical 'bootleggers' could just wait for the album to be released before ripping it off couldn't they? What difference does it make if they get hold of the thing a couple of weeks early? And more importantly, what exactly are the French police doing interviewing hairdressers about a CD that "may simply have been lost". Maybe the Gendarmerie are so over-staffed they could help track down my copy of bright orange bright yellow by the Go betweens, a loss that has cost me LITERALLY 20 euros. My wife is suspected, so the interview process need not take long.
If I was a French taxpayer, if such a thing exists, i would be insisting the police focus on more pressing matters like the shape of british bangers and the flavours used in cheese and onion crisps.

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