The Hotspur, October 1944. “GOOD-BYE, DEAD-WIDE DICK!”
Two accidental forays into surrealism by British boys’ paper The Hotspur, which amazingly lasted until 1981. I say amazingly, although on the other hand there were lots of British colonial era things that inexplicably carried on into the 1980s and beyond. Not to mention that The Hotspur‘s first issue had on its cover a plane-sized eagle attacking an actual aeroplane, and came with a free “Black Cloth mask” for no immediately apparent reason, so they definitely started as they meant to go on.
The cover above is almost certainly not referring to the fact that this football player has a feature likely to make him popular with the ladies and about 10% of the gentlemen, but instead that he scores goals by kicking unexpectedly wide. As for how and why somebody decided to counter this tactic by installing a gung ho bipedal elephant in football kit… I’ve got nothing. Dick’s certainly surprised, as you would be.
Perhaps it was the same genius who decided to deploy their centre-forward on the roof of a nearby building instead of on the pitch?
The Hotspur, January 1943. THE ROOF-TOP CENTRE-FORWARD.
… or at least the last word that isn’t from a “slopebrowed weaseldick”
The shrill conspiracy mongering and toxic threats of Gamergate [sic] are the side effects of Western culture, and US culture in particular, finally getting around to saying out loud to a certain type of obsolete man that the rest of us have come to a consensus in which degrading women and denying the rights of sexual or ethnic minorities to equal treatment is not acceptable. Nor should anybody have to endure constant insults and discrimination because of what they are or how they choose to live, or have to see constant, unrelenting and unapologetic images of people like themselves being treated as subhuman. Anyone who thinks that “social justice”– to use the Gamergoatfuckers favourite insult apart from saying they’ll rape or kill you– is a bad thing needs to sit down and shut the fuck up. It’s over, you lost, your time is coming to an end. You just don’t know it yet.
(Incidentally, this article by Arthur Chu intelligently traces back from the current debacle to one of recent history’s other big moments of raging, irrational masculine backlash against uppity minorities seen as threatening to the belief of certain straight white males that they have inalienable rights to the entirety of culture and society revolving around them and their interests; the disco backlash of the late 70s.)
All that said, it is with great pleasure that I present a link to a magnificent diatribe against this rabble of imbeciles/nacent terrorist group by former (American) footballer Chris Kluwe. I know! Not only is it a great piece of prose in its own right, being well structured and cogently argued despite his apparently incandescent anger, it also contains some beautifully vivid insults aimed at anybody who thinks a petty spat about reviews on a gaming site or merely pointing out examples of misogyny in a game you like justifies women (or anyone) being threatened with rape and death, or having to leave their home in fear for their safety. Read the article for context, obviously, but I couldn’t resist making a little shrine to such a delightful explosion of invective. I know nothing else about him but I love this man.
- “A blithering collection of wannabe Wikipedia philosophers, drunk on your own buzzwords, incapable of forming an original thought.”
- “… makes me wonder if lead paint is a key component of your diet”
- “Angry neckbeards”
- “Little Anne Franks, hiding in their basements from the PC Nazis and Social Justice Warrior brigades, desperately protecting the last shreds of “core gaming” in their unironically horrible Liveblog journals filled with patently obvious white privilege and poorly disguised misogyny.”
- “Paint-huffing shitgoblins”
- “Slopebrowed weaseldicks”
- “Basement-dwelling, cheetos-huffing, poopsock-sniffing douchepistol”
- “Slackjawed pickletits”
- “Hemorrhoidal gunt stains”
- “It makes me want to pick you all up collectively and shake you until your rectum leaks out what little brains you possess because YOU’RE SO FUCKING DUMB.”
- “For some reason you think sharing your toys with others is going to make the world explode.”
- “Social ineptitude and too much time spent picturing yourself as the only creature that matters in the universe.”
- “… the mouthvomits you like to pretend are logical trains of thought.”
- “… some script-kiddie /b/tards and conspiracy-nut celebrities gleefully using you as a smokescreen for misogynistic hate.”
- “… apparently you pestilent little toads can’t imagine the concept of friendship.”
- “You don’t even see the complete idiocy of this idea because you’re too busy wargleblargling your face into your keyboard.”
- “Feel free to direct some of that naivete at the actual media, whose job is to cover things that actually matter.”
- “Misogynistic mouthbreathers who get off on making rape threats”
- “Misogynistic creeps”
- “Misogynistic cretins in all their mouthbreathing glory.”
- “Basement-dwelling sweatbeast”
- “I hope you all, every #Gamergater, picks up a debilitating case of genital warts.”
More images from Magic: Stage Illusions and Scientific Diversions, Including Trick Photography (1898). Today we’ll be looking at some terrifying ways in which our great or great great grandparents let their hair down at fairgrounds and theatres, and possibly also had their hair set on fire or torn out by the scalp. Don’t try any of these at home, because even if you really do want to die there are better ways to go than being electrocuted by an artificial horse.
Brace yourselves, nerds. This week it’s an onslaught of vintage computer images from Computers: An Illustrated History by Christian Wurster, published by Taschen. Honestly it’s so interesting and visually arresting (and virtually wordless, as the title suggests) that I could scan almost every page of it, but I’m not going to. I strongly recommend that you buy this splendid book if you like the images I’m posting, just as I suggest you do for the work of any other authors, artists, musicians, or film makers whose efforts I feature here or that you see on other blogs, and just as I also gently suggest that you support me in a small way by buying one of my books if you enjoy this blog.
Anyway, commercial message over, here’s an inexplicable image from a 1984 German ad for the Atari 800 XL.
Caption: “Wow! I just said ‘Man in the Mirror’ and it replied ‘F-3, Passport, page 2, title 4’.”
The text on the screen describes what I initially assumed must be a fictional album, since the details seemed so daft: it says the genre is “jazzrock” and the songs have stupid titles like Mango Tango. Passport was, however, a real German prog rock and (shudder) jazz rock band who did indeed release an LP called Man in the Mirror in 1983. This confirms that the gentleman pictured here really is DJing at one of the shittiest discos ever. Probably best not to even try working out what narrative we’re meant to glean from this photo. Miss Average in Pink getting short shrift and a lecture on Hawkwind when she complains that nobody wants to hear prog and jazzrock at a disco?
Interesting with hindsight that actually playing a whole song as a file directly from a digitised playlist was still far beyond the capabilities of a home computer.
Magus of Locks: Paracelsus, Renaissance polymath. Magus of Wheels: Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary. Magus of Stars: (Sigmund) Freud, psychoanalyst. Magus of Flames: Novalis (Georg von Hardenburg), Romantic/mystical poet and writer.
Le jeu de Marseille is a Surrealist variation on the conventional deck of playing cards. It was created by a group of artistic refugees awaiting evacuation from France in late 1940. The group included André Breton, André Masson and Max Ernst. While they waited in Marseille (hence the name) for their exit visas, one of the ways they took their overactive minds off of the matter at hand– apart from drinking– was to reconfigure the traditional card game using icons more suited to the Surrealist mindset.
The four suits became black locks (representing knowledge), black stars (dreams), red wheels (revolution) and red flames (love). The court cards were transformed into Maguses, Sirens and Geniuses. I don’t know whether it’s odd or deliberate that these people were mostly Frenchmen fleeing the Nazis and yet their replacement for the court is heavy on the Germans.
I think I first read a passing reference to le jeu de Marseille in a book about the structuralist literary micro-genre of Oulippo. As with all of my HD detritus posts, I no longer have much recollection of why I collected as many images of the cards as possible, even though I did it as recently as 2010.
Siren of Locks: Hélène Smith, medium and automatic writer. Siren of Wheels: ?, perhaps Elise von Lämel the Jewish-Austrian philanthropist. Siren of Stars: Alice (Liddell, of Wonderland). Siren of Flames: “The Portuguese Nun”.
“Gaming room at Satan’s place.”
I’m guessing this was originally a 19th century stereoscope image (i.e. you’d look through two eyepieces at photo prints of two slightly different viewpoints) that somebody has converted to anaglyphic 3D. It works, if you have the appropriate 3D glasses. Satan has all the best games.
Hello, men. Haven’t we all at some point wondered exactly how many miniature Japanese coffee cans we could fill up with our fresh, hot urine? Now, thanks to Sega’s “urinal gaming system” AKA Toylet (genius naming, BTW)– from Japan of course– you needn’t entertain any uncertainty in this regard for much longer.
NAISU! Apparently 685 ml is the high score to beat. Beer works very well, in my experience. In case you’re still confused, the idea is that you piss on an electronic target and you’re marked for your accuracy. The more highbrow and cosmopolitan among you may notice that Sega has also managed to hijack and debase Hokusai’s classic prints of Mount Fuji for a coffee-piddling game. There’s a whole kawaii site about Toylet hosted by the Mannekin Pis, which people in Asia seem to be totally obsessed with, incidentally; I remember seeing replicas and souvenirs of it everywhere from Hong Kong to Tokyo. Even if you don’t read Japanese, check out the instruction page for some great kawaii graphics and this page for more gameplay videos, including a euphemistic clash of gushing “milk” between the current urinator and his predecessor at the urinal and the inevitable smutty fanservice game where you try to blow a woman’s skirt up to see her knickers. Japan, I fink U freeky and I like you a lot.
Sega only makes these machines for urinals. Sorry, ladies, you’re out of luck unless you’ve really been practising.
Now you know something about the Toylet, let’s all enjoy this commercial in which Brad Pitt– a serial Japanese advertising whore– shills coffee in miniature cans.
Yeah. After a tough day at the office, Brad likes to chug a can of my wee wee. Well… anybody’s wee wee actually. Fill em up. He ain’t fussy.
Herodotus, 5th century BC:
“In the days of Atys the son of Manes (note: a long time before Herodotus was born, therefore even in the 5th century BC more in the realm of mythology than in verifiable fact), there was great scarcity through the whole land of Lydia. For some time the Lydians bore the affliction patiently, but finding that it did not pass away, they set to work to devise remedies for the evil. Various expedients were discovered by various persons; dice, and knuckle-bones, and ball, and all such games were invented, except tables, the invention of which they do not claim as theirs. The plan adopted against the famine was to engage in games one day so entirely as to not feel any craving for food, and the next day to eat and abstain from games. In this way they passed eighteen years.” The Histories, Book One.
She said she was going to have “a little go” on Angry Birds. In this way she passed eighteen years.
Aaron Staton as Cole Phelps in L.A. Noire “Ken. Cosgrove… Accounts. No, I mean LAPD. So, yeah, Don keeps saying when I tell a story I need a proper ending, and- hey, is that lunch?” (Seriously, 3/4 of the cast of Mad Men are in this thing, even Hildy. It’s slightly disconcerting.)
[I’m discussing the narratives of video games here, in particular their third acts and conclusions: obviously this involves the dreaded “spoilers”. Read this for my full exegesis on the narcissistic stupidity of people who are obsessed with not being “spoiled”; but for now it suffices to say that you’ll want to jog on if knowing how a story ends is likely to make you scream, clutch your pearls and faint.] Continue Reading
Zombies in popular culture have always been placeholders for a barely repressed loathing of the masses. Some part of us believes or fears that most other people in the world are ignorant, they’re unhygienic, they’re easily led and above all that they’re useless mouths; all they want to do is consume without contributing or providing anything in exchange. The zombie genre allows us to sublimate and work through a vicarious holocaust of this surplus humanity.