Leaving On A Jet Plane Part…You Know By Now

Off to Chapel Hill again tomorrow. Expect lots of fancy pictures with my new camera, extended meandering blog entries, and lots more! Meeting back up with friends, drink experiments, electrical experiments, and Chapel Hill Comics.

Byeee!

currently playing: James Taylor – Carolina in My Mind

Why I Have The Best Sister Ever!

My birthday present (early, as I’m flying out on Monday):

I'm Going To Take One For The Team

A Wibbly, Wobbly World of Their Own

Today, Time Warner is continuing that policy by releasing "V for Vendetta" – a vile, pro-terrorist piece of neo-Marxist, left-wing propaganda filled with radical sexual politics and nasty attacks on religion and Christianity.

WorldNetDaily! Not a joke! Not a dream!

currently playing: Lemon Jelly – Stay With You

Hold! Hold!

INCOMING SIPHO FROM THE TELEX-A-TRON!

FETCH THE LATEST VIGGY ZUNE FROM CORE CORTEX NINE!

GOLDFISH-7 IS THE HERO! 2-CAT-2 IS THE VILLAIN!

currently playing: Swing Out Sister – It’s Not Enough

The Man In Room Five

(I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers, but I’m going to be talking about the differences between the comic and the film, so if you haven’t seen it, I’d avoid this entry for now)

Firstly, we shouldn’t be under any illusions. V For Vendetta, the comic, is not a flawless masterpiece. As one of Alan Moore’s early works, it is hamstrung by the structural constraints placed on its serial in Warrior, coupled with the final book being written several years after the first two (because of Warrior’s demise). Even the setting of the original story is a little suspect, a failing Moore acknowledged in the introduction to the graphic novel edition and during interviews around the same time - “We had supposed that it would take a nuclear war to make England veer towards fascism. In the end all it took was giving people the right to buy their own council house.” Despite all this, it’s still a powerful polemic, as subtle as a bag of hammers in places, and as subtle as a scalpel in others.

Ever since the film was announced, fans of the book have been worrying about it, especially since early rumours indicated that the film would be set in “an alternate reality where Germany won World War II,” which would have rather undermined the whole point of the story. Oh, and then there was V’s introductory speech, which consisted of him saying a lot of words that began with the letter V.

The bad news is that the speech is still in there, although thankfully, it doesn’t crop up again. The good news is that the WWII rumour was just that, and in fact, the Wachowski brothers have updated the story to reflect today rather than 1982. Instead of a nuclear war, we have a bioterror event that leads a Conservative MP to form a new party, Norsefire, which eventually wins Parliament (the book implies the slight collusion of the Royal Family; the film gives the new leader the dubious title of High Chancellor, suggesting that the WWII rumour may have come from an early draft of the screenplay).

Moore and Lloyd’s version is very working class, capturing the grimy nature of Britain in the early 1980s. By contrast, the film is middle-class; instead of back-breaking and poorly-paid work at a munitions factory, Evey is a seemingly well-paid PA at the British Television Network. Some have said that this weakens V’s point, as most of the characters seem to have reasonable lives, but I don’t think it does. After all, if you weren’t a Jew, you could get on quite well in 1930s Germany, and you could turn a blind eye to some of the measures that were going on around you. As they did.

Some of the changes don’t work - I felt that V’s television broadcast was pointlessly altered from Moore’s more intelligent version, and I was sad that the lack of CCTV camera meant we didn’t get the little girl’s “bollocks!” scene in all its glory (it’s partly in there, but it’s not quite the same). Also, the removal of Fate means that the film has a few extra plot holes (how did V manage to send all the parcels? How did he set the trip in the police file for Finch to find?). Finally, the Shadow Gallery seemed a little pointless - as the censorship of Britain was much less restrictive than in the original (and while I love that Cat Power track, it didn’t have the same resonance as “perhaps the term Tamla Motown” is familiar to you? Obviously not. Hardly surprising, I suppose. After all, they eradicated some cultures more thoroughly than they did others.“)

No punches are pulled in the torture scenes; if anything, they’re worse than the comic, borrowing images and devices from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Valerie’s letter is also handled better than I thought it would be, and the change in Gordon’s character, played by a film-stealing Stephen Fry, results in a much stronger connection between Evey and him, at the expense of some of the father issues explored in the book.

The finale has come in for quite a lot of criticism, and I have to confess that the touch of magic realism at the end didn’t quite work for me, and I yelled at the screen (for which I apologise) for the American-centric suggestion that the Army can be relied upon to have honour (having watched The Plot Against Wilson this week, it’s obvious that we can’t. And if he hadn’t been killed by the INLA, I would imagine that Lord Mountbatten would have played a large role in the original comic). I’m willing to forgive them a bit, though, as producing a blockbuster film that has that ending in today’s climate takes some courage.

So, did I like it? Well, I feel a little compromised by knowing the book. The trailer promises an action-packed film, and this really isn’t (much to the consternation of some in the theatre). At the same time, some of Moore’s ideas about Anarchy have been watered down or removed to make the film simpler - at one point a supermarket is held up by a robber shouting “Anarchy in The UK!”, which is followed by a Cabinet briefing on “the chaos”, sidestepping V’s explanation in the book of the difference. Having said that, it’s still a very interesting message for 2006: “Governments should be afraid of the people.”

currently playing: Johnny Boy – You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve

Death By Whimper

So I’m guessing today is the final cd:uk?

currently playing: cd:uk

"Fate? I Love You."

A list of just some of the Acts that the Government refused to rule out of being subject to the new Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill:

Act of Settlement 1700 Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Bail Act 1976 Bill of Rights 1688 Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919 Church of Scotland Act 1921 Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Claim of Right 1689 Constitutional Reform Act 2005 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 European Communities Act 1972 Freedom of Information Act 2000 Government of Ireland Act 1920 Government of Wales Act 2006 Government of Wales Act 1998 Habeas Corpus Acts 1679 to 1862 House of Lords Act 1999 Human Rights Act 1998 Identity Cards Act 2006 Immigration Act 1971 Local Government Act 1972 Magna Carta 1215 Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975 Ministers of the Crown Act 1975 Northern Ireland Act 1947 Northern Ireland Act 1998 Official Secrets Acts 1911 to 1989 Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1706 Public Order Acts 1936 to 1986 Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Representation of the People Acts 1981 to 2002 Scotland Act 1998 Security Service Act 1989 Statute of Westminster 1931 Succession to the Crown Act 1707 Terrorism Act 2000 Terrorism Act 2006 Union with England Act 1707 Union with Scotland Act 1706 Welsh Church Disestablishment Act 1914.

On the brightside, it would mean that we could wipe out the independence of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Mind you, it would also allow a Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament, suspend the Magna Carta and declare himself King, though. Now that’s a legacy…

Bad Things To Do

…Eating a bar of Maya Gold Green & Blacks before setting off on an afternoon of programming.

My comments are frightening. My code only slightly less so.

Hurrah for the House of Lords once again! You know, I’d have somewhat more respect for the Government if they dropped some of their disingenuous. “Passports are voluntary!” they cry, knowing full well that the amount of foreign travel that Britons do means that they’re really not. And they provide an easy way of filling an unpopular database.

Will the Government use the Parliament Act more than all other previous Governments combined? It’s looking likely.

But, final good news for the day from Newsarama!

DOOM PATROL VOL. 4: MUSCLEBOUND TP
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: Richard Case, Steve Yeowell, Mike Dringenberg, Vince Giarrano, Jamie Hewlett, Rian Hughes, Mark McKenna, Doug Hazlewood, Malcolm Jones III, Scott Hanna, Mark Badger and various.
Collects DOOM PATROL #42-50.
256 pages, $19.99 U.S.

THE PENTAGON MUST BE TURNED INTO A CIRCLE! FLEX MENTALLO! THE MAN OF MUSCLE MYSTERY! THE HERO OF THE BEACH!

wipes himself down

currently playing:

Bus Hates

To whit: discovering that the bus is extremely busy today, to the point where there’s only two places on the bus to sit. One is Not An Option Because Of Not Wishing To Be Creepy, and the other is taken up by a guy whose idea of sharing is to almost fully open his legs, leaving me with a sliver of seat all the way to Oxford.

Boo.

currently playing: Neko Case – Dirty Knife