Mr. Hell

The Terrible Truth about America. Or something.

On there's a thread about THE GRIM TRUTH about how horrible the US is, after someone came across this blog.    

I have no real interest in the subject any more (and I'm coming down with something horrible to boot), but I couldn't resist posting jhubert 's video showing THE GRIM TRUTH about American bread.  :-P

Naturally, I'm not posting it there.  I still remember the flames from last time...
Mr. Hell

Election 2010

The deed has been done.  We are to have an election and this time I'm in the country for it. 

Streatham is a Labour seat, with Lib Dems in second. 

So, who's standing for Streatham?
  • In the Labour corner, we have Chukka Umunna, an employment lawyer (he represents employees nowadays), member of Compass and apparently one to watch. 
  • For the Conservatives, we have Rahoul Bhansali, someone who works for a consultancy and helped Boris Johnson's camapign (suddenly I'm losing interest).
  • The Lib Dems have Chris Nicholson, who always likes to be photographed standing next to a bus.
  • The Greens are putting forward Rebecca Findlay.
  • The English Democrats (who, they?) are putting forward Janus Polenceus. 
Well, I'm not voting Tory or English Democrat, so they're out.  I had planned Lib Dem or Green after Labour's wars, bank bailouts and the digital economy bill, but Chukka kind of appeals. 

I shall have to think about this...
Mr. Hell

Back in Black

Holy crap, the last time I posted here was November!

I blame Facebook and uni - the former makes it too easy to simply post a link and move on, while uni has pretty much absorbed my life.

So, what have I been up to?

Well, the student magazine for one.  After a coup over the Christmas period (the editor left for the night so the Comms Officer deposed him and declared himself editor for duration, we - the writing team - told him to fuck off, he said we needed an election voted by the student council, we said fuck off again, and then the staff were alowed to elect their editor.  We elected one of our own and are already into layong out issue 2.  This is great).

After a year of some limp, unread, thing put together by people in the student office, followed by a semester of writing a not getting published, we feel appropriately proud of bringing it pretty much back from the dead.  We did the impossible and that makes us mighty.

So now I'm sub-editor who writes a little, but edits other people's work and is responsible for laying out the next issues.

The editor and I have also been asked to do a rock/metal show for the SU's radio project.  Awesome.

I've been trying to learn Mandarin.  I say 'trying', because journalism and the mag suck up my time, while not having a speaking partner seriously retards my progress in speaking and listening.  On a confident day I can read a decent amount of stuff in the textbook.  On a bad confidence day, I can't even remember the pictogram for 'is' is (, if you care)

I've been playing The Witcher.  Great RPG that avouds the usual binary good/evil morality (you know, the one where all dialogue choices seem to be 'yes, I'll selflessly help you for no money'/'I want to end this conversation and do something else'/'can you hold this kitten down while I set it on fire?')

I'm not really a fan of fantasy games, especially as they feel like fantasy tourism and mostly play them because that's what's out there, but The Witcher really interests me.  It has blood, mud and difficult decisions, where honour can matter more than blood and, conversely, the attitudes of the time. 

And yes, I do like the sex cards.  The game has a real bawdy element, with the main character shagging pretty much everyone he comes across and it makes me laugh out loud.  Besides, the female characters come across as characters with agency - not just there to be the obligatory romantic side-plot, but already out there doing stuff when you meet them.  Seriously, I spent days trying to decide when I was forced to pick one of the game's two main squeezes - and even then, I made the decision out of necessity, not personal longing (I wanted the red-head).

And, you know, I'm an adult.  I see tits every time the Mrs gets changed and find it disturbing that it's seen as culturally OK for Geralt to spatter the area in blood and gore, but not to be OK with mankind's favourite pastime.

Speaking of blood and gore, I'm also working my way through Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising.  So far I like it; the missions are more involved, there's more talking amongst the squad leaders and items are more interesting.  You can gain corruption (you get better items and new powers if you do) and become a pawn of the obscene powers, but so far I've remained pure to the Emperor. 

I've aso been following ACTA and the Digital Economy Bill after writing about it for the magazine.  I'm quite pleased about my timing, because coverage seems to be moving up, now the text has been leaked and the government's pushing to get the DEB through. 

I'm seriously looking forward to Easter as well.  While Her and I can't afford to do much of anything, I need the time to simply go off and do my own thing without worrying about deadlines.  Last semester I worked myself into exhaustion - and I'd prefer not to do that again.

Oh, and my natural sister's getting married.  Not quite sure how I feel about that one, having barely seen her since ever and as how my half-sister (daughter of my natural father and a whore) will be there...
Mr. Hell

I Am A Passenger

Last Saturday I dropped into central London for a few things; the new Qin book, Thousand Suns: Foundation Transmissions and a Judge Dredd audiobook.

The Qin book is a present so I haven't looked at it, but the TS book is pretty cool. The articles come from new writers so the prose can be a little 'Japanese stereo instructions', but the contents are good enough. And the Dredd CD is awesome.

(in fact, if you want to hear the Dredd one, go here and click on 'I Heart Judge Dredd').

On Tuesday I ended up sitting next to an odious woman. She started off normally enough, complaining about trains, before telling me how it's terrible that polish immigrants who have gone back home can still get English Benefits (yeah, right), and how awesome Australia's immigration policy is. Yeah, right.

I think what finally got me was the part where she said that the Daily Mail was a great newspaper. As a journalism undergrad, I am well aware of how various papers operate, and the Daily Mail does a good impression of a newspaper while still being pretty bad.

Still, her 'everything's gone to the dogs' line got her no sympathy and a comment about how the Greeks used to say that shut her up.

The amusing part was that she was complaining about how badly everything's been privatised and how government chews up money like nobody's business, but her employer was one of the accounting regulars in Private Eye that did very, very well out of consultancy and PFI.

Damn, I was going to go swimming, but it's too rainy to walk there and back...

Globescan did an interesting poll for the World Service. Apparently 19% of Brits think capitalism is irrepairably flawed, while 67% want to see the government take an active role in wealth distribution.
Mr. Hell

Running on fumes

The last few weeks of uni have been taking a serious toll.  Most days I'm out early and not back until about 8-10pm. 

It doesn't help that the Student Council has sat for two seperate four-hour sessions and yours truly covered them.  (It's 'my baby' apparently, which means I'm the only one who knows what's going on/cares enough to go). 

On the upside I've started swimming and intend to go about 3 times a week to get fitter (I've given up hope of ever really being fit and have opted for 'knowing too much' instead). 

The other bad news is that I'm well behind on my Mandarin - a hard enough language without having little things like 'getting articles out' or 'directing my news team'. 

Yes, I have a news team; it's the least popular (and poulated) out of all of them (I'm disgusted at how popular fashion and sports were.  Damn kids today, don't care about nuffin' important).  On the one hand I think it says a lot about where papers are going, but on the other hand I would rather a small team of dedicated people than a large and uninterested one.  

On the upside, I've seen the previews for the new look Vervezine and they're sodding wonderful.  And that's why you get a qualified Frenchman to do these things, who was also sweet enough to bring back a tin of home-made goose fat from his homeland.  Roast potatoes all round!  

Gods, I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Chill out, play a bit of Oblivion, do some cleaning and maybe even do something about that Fading Suns LARP (yeah, right).
Mr. Hell

Seeking Oblivion

It's been a busy month overall.  As joint Features Editor (and still submitting some 6 pieces, ranging from short reviews to a two-page interview with comedian and activist Mark Thomas) I've pretty much been run off my feet, especially as I can spend up to three hours a day commuting.

As such, I have a lot of work to catch up on, which is never fun.  So I'm pulling back by shifting to Sub-Editor for the rag (it's easier to mark other people's stuff than write your own, although the university crisis is still my thing as I'm the only person with a real handle on it). 

My biggest worry is that I'm falling too far behind in Mandarin. 

My method of relaxation at weekends (ie, when I still have to get up early) has been Oblivion.  It's pretty interesting this time round, because I have a better hang of the system, allowing me to drop the usualswordfighter and be a proper fighter, alchemist, sneak and magic user.  It's far more interesting, and hunting becomes a lot easier when you can dispense hunting with a bow in favour of roasting deer with fireballs! 

Seeing as I don't have much useful to say, I'm just gong to link some blogs I've been watching (in no partilular order):
Mr. Hell

Serious Procrastination

I realy took on too much work for the rag. 

So I'm here, posting!

Just wanted to leave this here - Muslim football team refuses to play Gay team.

Also, I've finished the latest Discworld book and it's awesome; a damn sight funnier than the last few and highly enjoyable all round, even though I don't care for football.  of course, with Pratchett it's not really about football anyway; it's about all those little social observations of those who are invovled in football.  Great stuff.

Mr. Hell

(no subject)

Well, last night was fun.  We started off with a tease:

Before moving on to the Dead Sexy Dolls.  They're a good group, with vocals very much reminiscent of Wednesday 13 and some nu-metal, while the music itself was hard, fast and with serious 1950s stylings. 

Then we moved on to the burlesque.  Unfortunately the videos didn't come out very well (they're all speeded up like something from the piston age),  but it was very good.

Then the last band, Spider Babies.  At this point it was late and my ears were ringing, but I got a couple of pics.