Jack of all trades, master of none
Irvine Welsh and the Trainspotting-verse
Whenever anyone mentions Irvine Welsh, the first thing that probably springs to mind is Trainspotting, followed by Ewan McGregor crawling out of a dank dirty toilet bowl along with a pulsing pounding beat of ‘Lust for Life’ by Iggy Pop (fun fact also features backing vocals, and was co-written by David Bowie) followed by people sprinting down a high street. This imagery is striking, and even the mention of Trainspotting to anyone who has seen it will have them think of a ton of imagery audio or dialogue that comes from the movie. However, like all great movies (in my opinion) they are based on books.
Is the European dream over?
***This article was orginally written in November 2020*** Football has a huge following in Europe and around the world. Most of the world’s oldest (and largest) football clubs come from across Europe’s top 5 domestic leagues. Teams from England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy’s domestic leagues compete every year for millions of pounds in competition money in the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Champions League. Lower leagues from Europe also enter the competition however never really have much chance against these elite teams, nor do they attract as much in the way of revenue or viewing figures. So, it comes as no surprise that once or twice every decade we start to hear the mutterings of a new European competition coming to replace the Champions League. A huge super competition that will see only Europe’s top football teams from across its leagues playing week in, week out. But is that really what we want to see from the future of football??
Hidden Gems: Highlander (1986)
*This article was drafted before the sad passing of Sean Connery on 31st October. An actual worldwide legend, famous for being the first (and iconic) James Bond. A diehard Scottish patriot, who started from very little, who went on to star in some of the biggest Hollywood movies, from Indiana Jones, The Untouchables, to The Rock and The Hunt for Red October. The world is a little worse off for his passing, and his unique accent has made been parodied by everyone at some point, making him famous the world over. This article is in part, dedicated to him RIP.
Comics are for kids…
Graphic novels are comic book issues in a numerical run, bound into a collection covering a story arc. Think of them like this, the Eastenders omnibus you watch on a Sunday, while hungover (best excuse for watching soaps, and the only acceptable time – Peggy still owns the Queen Vic right??) It isn’t a Eastenders movie but it’s cut so it seems like one big continuous episode.. that’s what graphic novels are to comic books. By extension they are still comics, some fans will get a little snobby claiming they are aimed at adults or a more mature audience, but they are the same. It is in this snapshot which explains the dilemma of reading graphic novels, feeling the need to explain or justify it. Graphic novels are without adverts, printed in a higher finish of paper, and either paperback or hardbook bound and more expensive. Contrastingly comic books are cheaper grade paper with sometimes half to a third of the pages eaten up by adverts, fairly cheap, and no fancy binding, so there is a clear difference, hence the snobbery and more adult ‘look’ of graphic novels.
Books: Movies v TV shows
For a long time (in fact probably most of the 20th Century), books have pretty much constantly been adapted into movies. Book rights held by publishers have traditionally been expensive, and to procure the rights to adapt often costs large amounts of money. They can also be cheap, however TV or film studios usually pay little attention to these. Prices can be from $1000 to $100,000, and anything that has appeared on a New York best seller list will cost you upwards of $50,000. Also, these rights to adapt usually only last for around 12-18 months in most cases, so the window of time after gaining the rights to adapt and complete filming is short before they elapse and return to the publisher. Therefore, it is easy to see how expensive a book adaptation can be, by the time actors, directors, film crew, location bookings, set producers, prop makers costs etc are all factored into the finished article.
Sandbox and Openworld Games
Sandbox or openworld games give us the impression of choice and freewill (very Matrix-y) that we can do as we please in this world to get to where we need to be. This is often far from the truth, and we do have to complete objective A or speak with a certain character, or we have to execute a mission in a particular manner before the story will move on. Also, if we fail said mission then we simply fail it, and get reset back to a point in time able to try again. So therefore openworld games, aren’t very ‘open’ and there is often only one/a few choices to be a made to get us onto the next segment of the game so therefore there is lack of free choice or will to be exercised in games other than option A B or C (also very…Matrix-y with the illusion of freewill).
Today is overcast, such as it has been for the last 14 years or so. Sometimes when I think hard, I remember what it was like when the sun shown. Other times I feel like its all in my imagination. That it wasn’t at all how I remember it. Just like when you see an old photograph and you swear blind you remember the living room tv being bigger. ‘Jesus’ I audibly say aloud to myself. Photographs, TVs - what even were they now when I think of it, even memories - what were they now? Nothing more than a frustrating frame to hang around nostalgia for the way things once were.
A Dream of Freedom
Craig lays awake staring at the all too familiar ceiling, the same dream waking him every night for the last 2 months had become incredibly repetitive. It was an almost purgatory, limbo like state. The dream’s always the same. Mostly. Sometimes a little different, but always containing a bull. A jet-black, raging bull you’d see matadors fighting in the rings of Spain and Mexico. In the dream he’d be the matador, other times the bull. Sometimes a floating disembodied conscious with the best seat in the house. Even one time he was the bull, but in his human body while the matador and the crowd were all bulls dressed in human clothes. That one only occurred once thankfully, as when he tried to play amateur psychologist with himself, he couldn’t work out what that dream meant.