Cards Against Humanity is now available in the UK.
GODDAMN FINALLY THIS IS THE BEST NEWS
Cards Against Humanity is now available in the UK.
GODDAMN FINALLY THIS IS THE BEST NEWS
“Little girls are like old cats. If they don’t like you nothing on Earth will make them pretend to.”
― David Mitchell, Ghostwritten
I thought KiC stood for Kent in Culture, but I can’t actually seem to find what it stands for. Regardless, it was a set of awards judged by journalism industry professionals and awarded (partly) to the writers for the UKC’s paper, InQuire. I received awards in two categories - ‘Best Article’ and ‘Best Writer’ (the last individual award was for newcomer, which I wasn’t eligible for!). The ‘Best Article’ award was for my article ‘The Rise of the Indie Genius’, which is somewhere here on this tumblr, or on the InQuire website.
Here are the comments from the judges!
You entered the category of InQuire Best Article, which was judged by editor of the i, Stefano Hatfield.
Here are two articles from the last paper. I won both awards for ‘Best Writer’ and ‘Best Article’ at the Kent in Culture 2013 awards. Pretty neat!
I am tempted for your offer.
I like to draw comics of dumb jokes.
Hey! So I was in the paper twice this week, check out my articles if you like! One’s on books I like, the other’s on video games that people like, even if they’re bad!
Edit: I realise there is a picture of Goldeneye for the ‘bad games’ section. While I mention it in a different context to the ‘so-bad-they’re-good’ games, it appears the editor did not pick up on that…
NEW FAN-FILMED BLOC PARTY VIDEO
This official video for, Truth, the best track from Bloc Party’s latest album, was filmed at the band’s recent Earl’s Court show. It uses footage from more than 200 fans using the Vyclone mass filming app. That’s a lovely idea, but it just doesn’t really make for a great video in this instance. In fact, it all just leaves you feeling a bit seasick with all the wobbly camerawork. A pity. CS
Hey, I was there for this!
My Aliens: Colonial Marines review in the paper! Advertised on the front page and all!
So I tried out writing ‘automatically’. Comments as ever, appreciated.
Gently the night sleeps
The bass of artillery
Out fly the dogs
To their masters’ beds
Or clubbed to death
For a studded collar.
Scattered with shattered snow
Worn thin with footsteps
Gently the night sleeps
So here’s a poem because it’s been a while, and I was, as they say ‘feeling it’. As ever, comments very welcome.
In Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut takes the reader on a whirling journey through historical fact and science-fiction, questioning whether literature that regards history can ever appear truthful.
Vonnegut addresses the idea of truth in historical texts by satirising it to an extreme. His protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, suffers so badly through World War Two that when he attempts to piece the fragmented memories together, he comes to believe that he is travelling through time and being abducted by aliens.
Pilgrim’s surreal encounters with the tralfamadorians are as blackly comic as they are symbolically resonant. Vonnegut uses the inability of Pilgrim to convince the world of his abduction as a parallel to the alienated feeling he experiences, as well as the way society will fail to truly recognise the horrific truth of his time during the war. Vonnegut’s metafictive first-person framing chapters, directed directly at the audience, plus his use of Billy Pilgrim as the focus of the novel, recognise this as well, with Vonnegut’s own experiences mediated through a pseudo-realistic character in order to avoid questions of his truthfulness. This results in the novel oscillating between fiction and reality, much as Pilgrim does, with the author’s presence leading the reader to recognise elements of truth. By doing so, Vonnegut makes the reader consider whether somebody’s recounting of their experiences during World War Two (such as being abducted by Nazis) could ever be perceived as ridiculously falsified as of somebody being abducted by aliens.
Vonnegut’s black humour is rampant throughout the novel, with the recurring phrase ‘So it goes’ used after each mention of death one of the novel’s most famous features. The phrase is loaded with socially-critical resonance, as it appears after the death of individuals, thousands of people and even after the death of bubbles in a water-glass. In such a manner, Vonnegut again satirises the view that war leads society to see of war-related death, in that it is just like normal death - something that cannot be helped.
The concepts of fate and free-will are heavily discussed in the novel, with Vonnegut both condemning the controlling power of war and celebrating the realisation of post-war freedom. However this freedom comes at a price as Pilgrim, a synecdoche for those who took part in the war, cannot be free afterwards, hurtling backwards in time not just to relive the horrors of war, but to question whether his very existence was predetermined to lead him to such horror.
The book’s wit and tenacity for detail create a paradoxical novel, a narration that forces you to both laugh and cry. Vonnegut blesses the reader with realisation of their freedom and quality of life, but juxtaposes it with the merciless facts of war.
Vonnegut brings the reader to understand that, through elements both in and out of their control, they are fully human to keep carrying on, to laugh at the glacial unstopping of suffering and cry at that which they could’ve changed, if only they’d known. ‘So [life] goes.’
TUMBLR EXCLUSIVE: THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS AND GREAT AND YOU SHOULD READ IT.
Or y’know, read the review, then comment and tell me what you think - then do the above!
Mills’ debut novel The Restraint of Beasts is a darkly comic tale that questions the ideas of freedom and work, while capturing the mundane day-to-day life of manual labourers.
The narrator in Restraint has his apparent power as the new foreman of a fencing firm undermined by his crew, who work when and as hard as they want, and his boss Donald, who presents a thinly-veiled allegory of totalitarian control.
Mills presents everyday life as recognisably dull, while twisting the stereotypical fantasy of a labouring grunt of killing their boss into a series of “accidental” murders. While the narrator, Richie and Tam can’t regain their power over the constricting forces of work completely, the suggested unconscious desire to kill those who restrict them (Mr McCrindle constantly observes and Mr Perkins complains when the group pursue more than one job at once) is obvious. The presentation of these murders as a latent rebellion against controlling forces is then juxtaposed near the conclusion of the book, as Donald’s blasé mention of the death of another worker shows a suggestive contrast in which death is used to retain power over others.
The simplistic style of writing throughout the novel is used to great effect, with repeated symbols and actions expressing to great effect a continuous grind of labour. The slow churn of the plot not only sets a realist foundation for the more obscure happenings, but also shows the slow evolution of the narrator as he comes to realise the enjoyment in being a bit more laissez-faire. Mills keeps his positive portrait of freedom fairly balanced however, as a less-than-subtle suggestion that what you keep buried eventually catches up to you.
Mills’ wit is extremely dry and the no-frills writing accentuates the dark comedy, as murders and death are treated with the same straight-as-a-post approach as menial tasks such as building a fence. This black humour also creates a sheen of strangeness over the story, and as characters become more and more suggestively dark – such as the butcher who asks for a seven-foot fence to restrain ‘beasts’ – the use of plain language and colloquialisms keep the novel funny, but with a resounding depth. One could even read an anti-statism message into more analytical readings of the novel, with Mr. Hall a possible representation of a controlling state establishment, or ‘Town Hall’.
All in all, Restraint is a hugely enjoyable read. Unsettling, hilarious and relatable, Mills succeeds in both observing the state of labourers (particularly with suggestions of foreign workers, albeit a tad further away than Scotland) and subtly mediating his criticisms of the system that employs them. The groundwork concerning issues of freedom, rural social hierarchy and the restricting force of labour is laid here, and can be seen clearly to flow into Mills’ next and perhaps best well-known novel All Quiet on the Orient Express.
Mills is at once clever and simplistic, allowing a novel that builds its fences in perfectly straight lines of social commentary with solid grounding in symbolic and realistic resonance. You just don’t have to work yourself to death to get there.
Trying to give writing like a madman in monologues a go. Considering narrating it then posting as a clip. If you have any opinions, please comment!
The atmosphere is a grey expanse, as if somebody had been painting it white and had forgotten to clean their brush out from blackening the night sky and hearts of racists. I draw the curtains, patches of which fall out and leave shafts of light bladed through the dim dust. I leave the patches on the floor, so that the mice can tog up their hole behind the VCR.
The armchair sits in the corner, and I sit into it. The seat grumbles like a great sack of leathery stomach, and I wonder if it’s hungry. Remembering that yesterday I split some beans into it, I figure that it must be me that is hungry and stop trying to ram a Jammy Dodger under the armrest. I take a bite of the Dodger, immediately recognising the taste as being a misplaced replacement urinal cake instead, and throw it onto the carpet. It crumbles and bubbles amongst the fibres.
I extend a leg from my boxer shorts. The shaft of my cock is pasted against it with sweat, and reveals more of itself from my underwear as I straighten the limb, like some sort of bizarre James Bond gadget. What’s this Q? A hidden knob end, Bond, and for God’s sake try and return it in one piece this time; don’t go playing around with it for no good reason.
My toes fondle each little nipple of the television’s control panel, before caressing the power switch. There’s an ejaculation of light and sound into the room.
On the television frame a man has mistaken his tongue for a tumour and removed it. The Daily Mail told him too much Oxygen causes cancer. He hyperventilated and fell terminal. The microphones poking from the gathered journalists bruise his cheekbones. He waggles the stump in a red fleshcave of chokes. The translator next to him communicates that the man has started a national campaign to end the sale of newspapers spewing filth. There is a pause, while the man furiously gapes with an empty mouth. The translator stares down his throat, before turning back to the crowd. His story will be in The Sun next Tuesday, he explains.
Growing tired of attempting to tonsil-read the man, I playfully suggest to the television to show something new with a stroke of my protruding big toe. It complies, with a suggestive little fizzle as the screen flickers over. The nature channel shows monkeys picking fleas from the teeming hair of other monkeys and giving piggybacks to their defenceless young. Wiggle wiggle. An elderly lady in judicial robes mediates a mother and daughter who are bloodying each other’s faces with swings of glued-on nails. Tweak tweak. The politics channel shows politicians squatting up and down as they fling statements and statistics at the onlooking opposition, who respond by enthusiastically searching with one hand through the F-section of the thesaurus and tippex budget spreadsheets with the other. Prod prod. A romantic film in monochromatic shades, a man gently undresses a woman. Her top is removed, her white breasts with solid black nipples hanging, and he begins to rub his tips down her back. Not masseuse massage tender strokes instead ape peeling orange scratches and tears.
Exhale. Hand slides down edge of chair. Rip. Slice. Crust. Cold metal.
I bring the barrel around, and stare down it. It stares back, hollowed eyes that run back to two glimmering pupils. Oo, it says, with awe. O, O, for the love of God. Oh, for the love of not-God, just do it already.
I feel a heat in my mouth. Mistaken toothpaste tube for Deep Heat taste. I pick my brain for ideas on how to describe the feeling, finding it hard when my mind is everywhere. Everywhere on carpet ceiling cracks in leather chair. I pick my brain from seams, crumb-speckled.