“We are in a state of vague American values and anti-intellectual pride” – David Cross (for “vague American values” you can also read “vague British values” or choose the country you think most applicable to your situation)
I was offered a role in a show opposite Katie Hopkins. Sometimes, your brain doesn’t even flirt with the idea of asking what the fee is, it just goes straight into Don Logan mode, “no, no, NO NO NO NO NO NO no, no, NO NO NO NO no no NO!”
Some people suggested I should have said yes and aimed for a carnival of mockery, but it would be pre-recorded, so no control over what makes it to the screen. Also, I believe that by taking part, it is an endorsement of the idea that her “toxic opinions for cash” are a form of entertainment that should be encouraged. The show may…
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Benedict Cumberbatch’s face doesn’t have a good side or a bad side — he’s very symmetrical, says photographer Dan Winters, who shot him for this week’s TIME cover.
“I’m not as concerned as I would normally have to be about where I’m positioning him, where I’m lighting from,” says Winters. “A lot of actors are pretty asymmetrical, and you have to work around that.”
In the cover image, Cumberbatch is seated behind a table, framed by both real and recreated World War II items: a rare vintage Enigma machine, a bomb wheel made by Winters, and more. The setup was meant to capture Cumberbatch as an actor with a nod to his upcoming film, The Imitation Game, says Winters.
“He showed up with a cool and modern retro version of what he wore in the film — something, he told me, he thought Turing would have worn if alive…
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I have always been a science fiction fan.
Many, many moons ago this was something that was accompanied by a shuffling of feet and those understanding glances to my parents that it would just be a phase I was going through.
I blame 2000AD. I am so old I actually read 2000AD from prog 1. At some point it must have occurred to me that these were things to look after so they were always kept neatly and never left my bedroom. The newsagent was under strict instructions to put each copy in a paper bag so that our address would be on the bag rather than the comic (I said this was a long time ago, back in the days of paper boys).
There were few outlets for my interests at the time so I ended up mostly with hard science fiction. Somehow fantasy just seemed to pass me by. I think I was 12 when I tried the Lord of the Rings. Can I share something? I never got beyond the first few chapters. I read the Hobbit some years ago under pressure from a work colleague who couldn’t believe that I wasn’t that keen on Tolkien (that’s ok, he later confessed he’d never seen Blade Runner – but that’s young people for you). As long as I imagined reading it to my niece I could cope with it; main problems were with the singing, and the excessive number of interchangeable dwarves, oh and the bucolic jollity of the shire. I get the war references. I could read it as if it was a set book for English Lit but I didn’t really enjoy it.
As an early teen there was Dr Who on BBC and Tomorrow People on Granada (Google it). I remember Blake’s 7 and all but refusing to go on a school trip to France when I realised that I would miss the very last episode. Mollified only by the thought that my parents would record it for me (audio tape, this was long before VHS in the home) I finally went off on holiday in what might have been my very first ‘mood’.
At fifteen I discovered a shop. I can’t even remember how I found it … maybe at an event at UMIST (so shabby now in recollection but the world hadn’t invented hi definition back then), maybe from an advert in Starburst. Anyway, two busses and nearly an hour and a half from home and there was finally a shop. Odyssey 7 … Oddities Heaven as I sometimes heard it referred to.
Sixteen and I worked Saturdays in Oddities Heaven. I absolutely loved it. After a first stab at Uni I dropped out and completed the year in the store before restarting my degree course. Genuinely there are times when just do not realise how happy you can be.
I studied, graduated and got a job and kept at it even through all the times I hated it. Being a fan didn’t seem to be an option any more, it just wasn’t ‘grown up’. Dr Who had been canned however many years before (and long after I’d found it embarrassing and wouldn’t admit to still watching it). I completely lost track of comics and trends. Pre Internet we got by on Red Dwarf and Star Trek TNG and the X Files, and I began painting Warhammer figures to while away the long hours of nothing between work and bed.
Please insert whatever mental montage works for you to imply passage of time and second husband later …
I started my current job in the summer of 2008. It had never actually occurred to me that the Internet could be a fun place to hang out. I thought it was a work thing, useful for research but not somewhere where you would really want to be. I was introduced to YouTube (Darth Vader working on insurance company claim line I believe) and, I guess, things just went downhill from there. I became a fangirl. Not a fun fangirl. I didn’t hang out and chat – I searched and copied and compiled in a rather organised and efficient manner, I didn’t play I obsessed. At the time I began to live on IMDB, Photobucket, some American gossip sites (ahem, Just Jarred – sorry all) and then actual fan sites. Always too scared to expose myself on line I lurked in the shadows and felt vaguely guilty about the essential emptiness of what I was doing.
Four years ago I got my first Blackberry. I got Twitter, I got Facebook in my pocket. Things got more connected, more distracting and – dare I say it? – more fun. WordPress arrived Jan 2012 (but I haven’t been here that often). I have recently fallen heavily into the recursive hole that is Pinterest. I know these are all just distractions. I know that I ‘should’ be writing instead of falling prey to the time vampire of fandoms. But fandom is nice. It is warm and welcoming and includes all kinds of people who I will never meet, never have to impress and never let down. It’s almost like being back in Oddities Heaven but without the drawbacks of meeting the public and with all the added benefits of Photoshop.
Modern life makes things permanently present, always there to watch, listen to, reread … to obsess about. Technology has replaced the stress of trying to work out what was going on in the background of a hissy C90 tape with the ability to replay – again and again – whatever that scene was that made you feel that strange tingle.
It’s always there. As we learned in Silence of the Lambs we covet that which we see every day. Fandom is a cup cake of tingles. It draws you in, it can feed the addictions you thought you had hidden deep down. It can give you validation when you need it, it can give you new things to covet. So much, so immediate.
Yes, that’s me in the queue for the Desolation of Smaug. I still might not be keen on hobbits or dwarves but a dragon with a voice like that …
Got to go, must be time for me to ship some Johnlock.
Waiting to start the long journey home. No connection so this is just a draft on my phone. A week away. A week where again I’ve annoyed myself by not really getting any writing done. Then, I’m not the most logical of people at times, I mean it’s so obvious a diabetic ME sufferer just has to go on a ski holiday in the Pyrenees.
I come and I look at the sky. I love the sky here – the blue so pale, the contrast with the white on the spines of the mountains. Somehow it feels like potential.
I don’t ski too much now. I’m limited in what I can do because of the inevitable fatigue that follows making too much effort. I am the lazy one on blades, the one who makes a run look like a nonchalant glide as I try not to over-tire quadriceps that, most days, even have trouble getting up a flight of stairs.
Sometimes now I wonder if I should have these weeks. Skiing can be an expensive holiday when you have to stay in places big enough to live in on the days you shouldn’t move. Not for me any more the real skiers hotels of rooms just big enough to sleep in, where they expect you to be up the mountain most of the day and eat like a horse at night. Now it’s an aparthotel with dvds and wifi and space to just do nothing without crowding my other half. In theory I should be writing at these times but brain goes when legs go. Is £1600 worth less than 4 days on snow and 1000 words?
But then there is the sky. And the sky calls me. And those times when my legs work ok, and I have no pain … the feel of gliding, the sound of the snow under your blades. Nothing but the white and the sky.
If you ski in Soldeu, Andorra, next year look out for me. I’m the one in vintage Guantanamo orange Roxy, probably with blue hair, and I’ll still be making it look easy.
… 10pm. Home & knackered. Work in the morning. Tipping down in Manchester. Reality sucks.
I miss me, my brain is not working right.
Some days, it doesn’t matter what I mean to do things just don’t work. I have so much to say I am tripping over myself and nothing comes out right.
Soon all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.
Whoever inventing blogging deserves the Nobel Prize for Procrastination.
So far I’ve spent a couple of hours looking at themes and mostly twiddling with things I’m not quite sure about.
Have I read the tutorials and gone through the walkthoughs? Course not. I’ve always worked in IT and mostly worked with men (or, they were ‘mostly men’ at any rate) so am still at the stage of thinking what happens if I click on this …
And I know I am just talking to myself. That is actually my intention until I’ve worked out how I want to say things.
At least the cat is happy, she loves sitting next to me and watching what I’m up to.