Media Break: 26/08/2015

Here’s what I’m watching, listening to, reading etc. at the moment, in an article which I plan on posting at least once every few weeks:

  • Health’s “Death Magic” is still brilliant after however many listens: a massive improvement over much of the rest of their career (as they have discovered tunes). Recommended.
  • Tangentially related: Alice Glass has released a solo single called “Stillbirth”, produced with the aid of Health’s Jupiter Keyes. It’s industrial, angry, wrenching, emotionally draining and yet compulsively listenable – a real shout along. It bodes well for more, especially when compared with the unmemorable post-Glass Crystal Castles material.
  • The John Grant single, “Disappointing”, isn’t. Has a lovely duet with Tracey Thorn too.
  • Looking forward to the New Order album, and the ability to still frame Fury Road. (Article about Fury Road is coming up, along with one contrasting the Nolan Batman films with the Arkham games.)
  • I have Netflix at the moment, and by far the best original show I’ve seen so far is Bojack Horseman. A brilliant study of celebrity ennui, as handled by anthropomorphic animals. Fans of Venture Bros and Archer should look in. (Also, the Comic Sans-O-Matic tie in web site is nothing short of genius.)
  • The Great British Bake Off. Because. Plus University Challenge and Only Connect.

Let’s start again

I started The Hard Sell as a way of trying to write more often, and it was a success for a while. Like so many other things, it fell away when I went into full time employment; but also out of ennui at my own and at the general British political situation.

I have kept up tweeting, mostly, but Twitter isn’t really conducive to long form discussion. And I feel that’s been hurting the writing that I do in my spare time.

This blog has been defunct for a surprisingly long time. I feel that it’s probably time to bring it back, but with some differences: mainly, the new version of the blog has a distinct purpose. I intend to post media reviews, discussion of things that I find interesting, pieces about writing, and probably some more of what worked best on the old blog.

I want to have a way I can get used to writing again, and I feel that this may well be it.

The revamped blog is called Flickering Frame. A restyle focused around the new name will be forthcoming; I will not be removing or editing any old articles, but the new ethos should be happening from now on. I intend to post at least once per week and should post more often. It’s time to start again, and see what may happen – and I hope that those who read me will find it worthwhile.

Let’s start again, and do it right.

A dilemma.

Am I wrong for wanting to see Star Trek as soon as possible? The trailers and the interviews have been encouraging, the new Enterprise is plain cool, I like the idea of Simon Pegg as Scotty and Sylar as Spock and then I think about it and realise that, from the information I know…

  • It’s time travel, again
  • The gimmick this time is that it’s destroying the entire Star Trek universe as we know it, except for Enterprise. I repeat: Enterprise is apparently valid continuity for the new Trek movie. If you’re going to retcon out a series, why couldn’t it be that one?
  • And this means that retcons Picard out of the universe as well.
  • And DS9 too, and even the first few series of Voyager.
  • It’s written by the people who ruined Transformers (excepting Michael Bay).
  • It’s at least partially a variant on the age-old ‘Starfleet Academy’ idea, which was repeatedly rejected during the Berman era as a lame idea.
  • And how can the tech difference…

…and so on, goes the reasoning side of my mind. But the geek side just goes “new Star Trek, cool spaceship, MUST SEE.” It feels wrong, somehow, but I’ll still go – eager in the hope it won’t suck as much as it sounds. And when I find out, I’ll get back to you…

For your convenience

A little frustrated right now: not only have my Radiohead tickets been held by Special Mail Service (the people who posted my passport to the wrong address a few years back) with the reference number I need to arrange redelivery spoken once by an automated voice over my mobile with no pen handy and no physical evidence they’ve been, but I’ve got a parcel from an online vendor sent through Initial Citylink which they failed to deliver.

I didn’t get carded, but a check on the tracking system told me that the parcel had attempted delivery; I call Citylink and they tell me that they don’t card in “secure” doorways (although mine isn’t very secure, and neither FedEx or Royal Mail have a problem carding me at all). This wouldn’t be a problem normally because Citylink open their depots quite late and I expected to be able to quickly go to the one at South Gyle (a number 22 bus away) and pick it up.

But there isn’t a South Gyle depot; it closed two months ago. They’ve moved to Livingston. As if that’s efficient for the Edinburgh area; it makes it inaccessible to anyone without a car or a tolerance for long, roundabout journeys on First Bus. And since I’m at work all day and since Citylink won’t change my address over the phone to my workplace my best hopes of getting the parcel are leaving it with my neighbours, which I’ve gone for as the least worst option.

There was an article in the Guardian business section yesterday about Citylink making large losses and dealing with it by… closing depots. Which will make people hate them more and try even harder to avoid them. I certainly won’t make the mistake of buying computer kit from a Citylink-only vendor again; and that without a bad experience before.

(And Radiohead, why SMS? You know they suck from the discbox experience; mine took way over a week to get here. Why continue with them? Why?)