Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Against My Better Judgement...

Well, against my better judgment I actually sat down and read Dan Brown's first Robert Langdon novel Angels and Demons. Why, oh why, please God tell my why I decided to put myself through the excruciating torture. It was the most disgusting, disappointing drivel it has ever been my unfortunate decision to read. It was brainless, unbelievable and completely formulaic.

I am not alone in my contempt, hate and disgust for Dan Brown. Here are just some criticisms his writing has received in the past:

  • The acclaimed author Salman Rushdie called The DaVinci Code "a book so bad it makes bad books look good," and stated that "Even Dan Brown must live. Preferably not write, but live."
  • Stephen Fry has referred to Brown's writings as "complete loose stool-water" and "arse gravy of the worst kind." In a live chat on 14 June 2006, he clarified, "I just loathe all those book[s] about the Holy Grail and Masons and Catholic conspiracies and all that botty-dribble. I mean, there's so much more that's interesting and exciting in art and in history. It plays to the worst and laziest in humanity, the desire to think the worst of the past and the desire to feel superior to it in some fatuous way."
  • In his 2005 University of Maine Commencement Address, best-selling author Stephen King put Dan Brown's work and "Jokes for the John" on the same level, calling such literature the "intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese." (These are harsh words coming from the man who writes most of his books coked out of his brain! And there was no excuse for IT. Sorry Stephen King.)
  • The New York Times, while reviewing the movie based on The DaVinci Code, called the book "Dan Brown's best-selling primer on how not to write an English sentence".
So you see, I am most certainly not alone. I had to laugh at the review the San Francisco Chronicle gave the book when it came out though. It read as follows: "A Breathless Real-Time Adventure; exciting, fast-paced, with an unusually high IQ."

I really hope they had a blind, deaf dumb crack team of monkeys at typewriters for a comparison to that statement of IQ. I'm pretty sure I have indoor plants with higher IQ than Dan Brown displayed in that novel.

My joy came however when fellow Llama lovers described Dan Brown as the Anti-Christ and compared The Da Vinci Code film to the travesty that was National Treasure. Check it out here at The Llama Butchers . ehehe, thinking about that film still makes me laugh. MacGuyver returns! He also made a brief comeback in Andgels and Demons, as we were meant to believe that Robert Langdon could survive a fall of kilometers out of the sky, beating an anti-matter explosion, and landing in the Tiber River, holding only a piece of tarp. Yes that's right folks, next time your plane crashes, fear not, as long as you have your trusty tarp! Yet still Robert Langdon comes up short, since we know MacGuyver would have needed nothing but a piece of chewing gum and a paper clip. Suck on that Robert. Your tarp is inferior.

Anyway, the conclusion to my story is simply this: Don't for the love of all that is holy pick up any of Dan Browns books if you wish to keep any semblance of sanity.

Instead, go out on the town for a night of binge drinking, take heaps of drugs and maybe step into an amateur boxing ring and get beaten around the head a few times. I'm pretty sure you'll have more brain cells left after doing that for an evening than reading any of Dan Brown's novels. I challenge you to prove me wrong!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Where did the llamas go?

Well guys, as you may have noticed (if you use blogger) they have just attempted to upgrade to BETA.

Unfortunately with all the new developments the old template that I designed didn't work anymore, so I've had to use this boring blogger one for the time being until I get around to making a new one. And lets face it, I'm lazy, so it probably won't happen any time soon.

Until then you'll have to deal with this boring blogger one...

The main problem I was having was that it simply wouldn't let anyone post on my blog. The blog itself worked fine, but if you tried to publish a comment it took you back to the comment form with some shitty popup about post-data.

So yeah, here it is. The new and unimproved llama pen.

I want my llamas back... :(

P.S. The colours are going to be pretty fucked up for a little while, since they saved the post colours from my old blog. Bah. Stupid blogger.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Welcome To Totally Lame Things to Put in Your Blog - O - Clock

Big thanks go out to Megan to introducing me to more totally lame blognesses...Even just the name gives it away. The website is named Girls-Only Blogthings. Honestly, who wants a girls only anything? I hate girls. Unless they're hot. Then they're ok. I like pretty things.

Just kidding, girls aren't so bad one on one. I just hate them in groups. (Yes Ben, you're very clever, it DOES sound dirty :P). I'm pretty sure that there should be some ultra evil sounding collective noun for whatever constitutes a group of women....

So anyway, this girls-only blogthings-thing tells me that I am as follows:

You Are Chocolate Ice Cream

Dramatic. Powerful. Flirty.
What Flavor Ice Cream Are You?

Ok, three cheers for you if you can tell me what the hell that means!!! How is chocolate Ice-Cream Dramatic, Powerful or Flirty? I was always under the impression that it was the favourite ice-cream of people who were too uninventive to think of anything else to try, or too boring and picky to stomach anything else. How can you pigeonhole people into the core ice-cream flavours? For intance they didn't say anything about me being fiery - ice cream with a dash of chilli perhaps? Come on people, get inventive. And EXPLAIN YOURSELVES? I still maintain there is nothing even vaguely dramatic, powerful or flirty about chocolate ice-cream; the favourite of the masses.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Too Much Metal For One Hand

VATNAJ├ľKULL GLACIER, ICELAND—In an emergency session Tuesday, members of the Supreme Metal Council strongly condemned the increasing use of the metal hand sign in lay society, claiming that its meaning has become perverted by overuse.

Enlarge Image Metal Council Convenes To Discuss 'Metal Hand Sign' Abuse

Elders of the Supreme Metal Council examine amateur-video evidence of what they are calling "a worrisome trend."

"The metal sign, or 'sign of the goat,' has all but lost its impact as a token of respectful recognition for something truly 'rocking' or 'metal,'" SMC president Terence "Geezer" Butler said. According to Butler, members are upset that their sacred gesture is being used to acknowledge and celebrate "favorable but clearly non-metal events."

"We have all heard the reports of people using it to greet their in-laws, or after starting their lawn mowers with a single pull," Butler said. "But recently it was brought to our attention that someone used the gesture in a Texas convenience store after snagging the last box of carrot cakes. This simply won't do."

Formed in 1972 and comprising 12 of the most revered leaders of the metal community, the council meets annually in its majestic hall atop Vatnaj├Âkull, Iceland's largest glacier, to discuss metal affairs. The SMC convened for a special session after Nikki Sixx, Overlord Of Glam Metal Affairs, was sent hard photographic evidence of metal-sign abuse across the nation. Sixx's fellow high priests said they were "shocked," calling it "one of the most serious affronts to metal's integrity since the rise of rap-metal in the late 1990s."

"I remember a time not long ago when the Devil Horns were reserved for only the most righteous of person, deed, or riff," Grand Elder Lemmy Kilmister said. "To see someone throwing the horns to his mate at the launderette because the clothes dryer came to a full stop just as he finished reading his copy of Circus... It breaks my heart."

Nodding in silent agreement were council members Adalwolfa, a curvaceous Frank Frazetta-drawn Teutonic she-warrior magically brought to life by the council, and the spirit of slain Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Compounding the problem, Sixx said, is the fact that many people who use the sign are not recognized members of the Metal Roster, the list of true metal acolytes engraved in medieval calligraphy on gleaming pages of steel.

"This man here, who invokes the sign merely to indicate his joy that his microwave popcorn is done: He is not metal," Sixx said. "We have it on good authority that he prefers the music of Tim McGraw and that the magic word of 'Zoso' has never passed his lips."

The council discussed several harsh punishments to deter further metal-sign abuse. Paulo Pinto, bassist for the Brazilian thrash-metal band Sepultura and Overlord Of International Metal Affairs, suggested that the hand of a suspected signer should be immediately cut off. A contingency of death rockers from Gothenburg, Sweden recommended that any sign abuser, or anyone who is not sufficiently metal, should be forced to eat his severed hand while having his eyeballs burned with a superheated metal crucifix, and then be slowly skinned alive.

More charitable members, such as former Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine, suggested that "a helpful list of guidelines could educate others, allowing them to distinguish between metal and non-metal occurrences."

"A lot of people who incorrectly make the sign have traces of metal in their hearts and minds, they just need the proper direction," Mustaine said. "Remember that many are outcasts and losers. To punish them further is to destroy the future of metal."

Until the council decides what course of action to adopt, Butler said he believes that a simple rule of thumb will help reduce the incidence of metal-sign abuse.

"If your head is neither banging nor thrashing, you should not be throwing the sign," Butler said. "It's that simple."

Yet, in a later interview in his private, skull-bedecked chambers, Butler expressed the concern that the problem has grown too widespread for even the mighty SMC to solve. He said he worries that metal standards have been on the decline for so long that few have any clear idea as to what is metal and what is not. The SMC has experienced deep ideological rifts in the past that have affected its ability to make strong decisions, most notably during the lengthy trial and eventual sentencing of Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who was indicted in 2004 on charges of cutting his hair, pussing out on Napster, and contributing to the original motion-picture soundtrack of Mission: Impossible 2.

"To this day, there are many on the council who deeply resent the presence of [Poison guitarist] C.C. DeVille,'" Butler said. "In fact, so do I. Despite our differences, the council still remains the sole arbitrator of all things metal. We must get through to those who wantonly abuse the sign of the goat. They must be informed that watering down the sign's meaning will result in serious consequences."

Should the abuse continue, Butler said the council "will defer the matter to Satan."


Thanks to The Onion for this wonderful, wonderful article. If you get the chance, check it out. It's very, very funny!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hope Is Emo

It's amazing how much the meaning of a word can change, to take a page from Hope's book.

I'm one of the original Emo's. Yes, you may all think right now of a sad girl with black hair, dark make up, tight jeans and a black tee-shirt who may on occassion supplement the outfit with tacky jewellery and gaudy, flourescent colours intermingled with the black; with this in mind your thoughts would be erroneous.

We of the original Emo generation are simply vest wearing nerdy white kids. We did wear the stove-pipes, but we introduced the fashion of the diamond vest and the horn rimmed glasses. That's right folks, for the last two years you have been riding on the Emo coat tails for all your fashion needs.

These new Emo kids are just goths who couldn't go the whole hog and stole our genre. lol. But seriously, I'm not bitter at all. I still love my Emo music on occassion, and I still wear my vests, and if stovepipe jeans make me Emo then so be it, because you know what? My legs look fantastic in them :P

All that said, a huge thanks goes out to Nick for introducing me to this absolute Gem. Poor hope. I hope my life is never ever this dismal or, you know, "I could just go swim in fromeldahide with the squid."

Visit here, to see all the glorious Hope Is Emo Episodes. I guarantee, they will make you laugh...or cry....or, you know, whatever...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Reliving The Music...

People don't give their old CD's enough of a spin any more. I have just rediscovered my love for bands that people hardly ever hear of any more but who have made some absolutely stunning music.
The first of these bands for me recently has been The Beta Band.

The Beta Band formed in
1996 around Edinburgh musicians Steve Mason (vocals, guitar) and Gordon Anderson. Their sound is very diverse. They mix a perfect blend of bubblegum pop, rap, and just good old rock with some ambient electronic sounds and instrumental interludes. It's a very raw sound, and rather whistful, but it's very effective.

What originally got me hooked on these guys was my favourite film High Fidelity. Their best album is without a doubt The Three EP's which is just what the title suggests, the coming together of their 3 ep's onto one disk. The Song Dry The Rain will blow your mind.

The second band that's on high roation on my CD player at the moment is another band from the 90s named Primitive Radio Gods. Nothing in particular got me hooked on this band other than the fact that they wrote a brilliant, brilliant song that you all have probably heard at some point name Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand from their debut album Rocket. Along with the song Spawn by the band George I think it's one of the most perfect songs ever written, and the rest of their music is certainly not disappointing, although perhaps a little more rocky than that particular song.

Not so happily, most of their commercial success relied solely on the success of Phone Booth in the Jim Carrey film The Cable Guy, but if you get the chance listen to some of their other stuff it is well worth it. They use a lot of samples, and use them effectively. Their sound is strong without being overwhelming, and for a change it's actually nice to listen to music that makes you feel good. This album (Rocket) really will. While many of the songs are heartfelt, the mood surrounding it is overwhelmingly good.