Archive for November, 2008

Your weekly address from the President-Elect. (On Youtube.)

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Ok, so, if there were any who still doubted, get thee to a nunnery.  The guy’s a bona fide geek.

Is it ironic that I identify with America’s first black president far more than I did with any of the white ones?

Five minutes to cupcake

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

I realise things may have gotten a bit WATCHMEN-centric around here of late.  Well my friends (in the non-McCain sense of ‘my friends’), get used to it.

Before you hurl forth a volley of abuse as regards the fact that the company with whom I enjoy gainful employment is a film marketing agency, and that I am exploiting this humble outlet as a medium through why to ply my occasionally worthwhile but predominantly wanton trade, I urge you to consider the following facts:

  1. I wrote my university dissertation on Watchmen.  It was full of glorious technicolour plates from the graphic novel, as a result of which (a) I had to borrow the money to print the single copy I was then required to submit on the understanding that it would never be returned to me, and (b) the file was so enormous they deleted it off the University library computer system at the earliest opportunity.
  2. The first password I ever used for anything internet-related was ‘watchmen’.  I still use it for things where no real security is actually required.  Like my online banking.
  3. If either of our daughters had been boys, I would have pushed long and hard to name one of the Rorschach.  However, given that I can’t even get a name as orthodox as Orson past the censors (i.e. my wife), I don’t rate my chances.
  4. Several years ago I attempted to buy the original twelve editions of Watchmen on Ebay.  At the time it surprised me that somebody in Malaysia should want to sell all twelve for as little as $120 USD.  They are yet to arrive.  (Co-incidentally, shortly afterwards somebody stole the rest of my money via my online banking.)
  5. I LOVE Watchmen.  It is undoubtedly the greatest comic ever written, exemplifying the idea that popular culture can be both intelliegent and accessible, and exhibiting the kind of imaginative energy and intellectual curiosity that has the ability to bring colour to the panels of our otherwise monochromatic lives.

So, boring I may be, but a media whore I am not.  Not on this count, anyway.  When I come your way pimping a widget for the next Wayans Brothers movie, then you can call me a toilet trader.  And then you’ll be right.

Stay tuned. Keep watching…

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

UPDATE: [When watching this trailer, I HIGHLY recommend using the fullscreen option. it’s that little box with the arrow in it, on the right-hand side. Yup, that one.]

You may have seen the Watchmen widget adorn these pages before now, but this one’s different. It probably looks the same right now, but plan is that come roughly 4am 1am GMT tomorrow this (Friday) morning there’s going to be one important difference.

And guess who gets to be up at that time in the morning pushing the changes live? ≠)

UPDATE [12.17PM GMT Thursday] One detail you might want to note: that little fullscreen option down below the trailer window. You might be needing that.

UPDATE [00.38AM GMT Friday] Twenty minutes to go, or thereabouts. I’m really very tired, and have lots of switches and levers to operate to ensure this works properly. I think, perhaps, tea.

UPDATE [01.39AM GMT Friday] Cheeky blighters went early.  Trailer was live by the time I sat back down with my brew.  Thankfully, around the same time our widget dev popped up in IM and ushered it live.  All very painless, and immensely satisfying.  Think I’m going to have me a little kip now.  Tomorrow’s hardly simple.

Night all x

I’ll look down, and whisper “No.”

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

watchmenpsoterwalking_0.jpg

Another Watchmen teaser one-sheet, following on from the one I posted lasted week.  This actually reminds me slightly of one of the teasers for The Dark Knight, in which The Joker is standing in the streets of Gothan, the buildings towering over him, his back turned.

I love the fact that teaser trailers and artwork can be uncompromising in this way, using copy lines, compositions and artistic styles that would never make it onto the final signature marketing material.  It’s a chance for the film-makers to tap into the growing fervour of the fans, and to spread a little intrigue amongst the broader audience about to discover Watchmen for the very first time.

The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”…and I’ll look down, and whisper “No.” RORSCHACH

How was it for me?

Friday, November 7th, 2008
obama-richardson.jpg

Barack Obama by Terry Richardson

It started in Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. The first clear evidence that McCain Palin hadn’t agitated and deceived middle America into voting against someone, something, anything but them. (Update: I know that’s a double negative, but then so are they.)

By the time Obama came to speak, he did precisely that. It was a hard-earned rhetorical ejaculation, sowing the final seeds of a presidential pregnancy. An obamagasm. He was all at once the front man, the gospel preacher, and the erudite impressario conjuring optimism from the ashes of Bush’s still-twitching political corpse.

We can only hope that what we witnessed was not the climax of a grand illusion, a sleight of hand conceived to trick a billion eyes into seeing what it they want, what they expect.

It felt magical in places, but there were no tricks. If President Obama is, like so many before him, a marionette, there were no strings in sight, not like the clumsy puppeteering of The Dick and Dubya Show.

Obama addresses his audience as adults, and looks like he means it. He’s good to his word: change we can believe in, enough at least to spend a few days wrapped up in the comfort of new ideas, new possibilities.

Nobody expects this honeymoon to last forever, or imagines that there aren’t seemingly insurmountable challenges ahead. With barely twenty-four hours passed you can already see some of Twitter’s more acerbic commentators choking on the Kool-Aid.

Most of them seems to be missing the point. These celebrations not predicated on the assumption that Obama will govern well, but informed by an intuitive sense that at least the guy on the other end of the rope isn’t going to let go, let alone cut it.

I think more than anything this is an outpouring of relief that the neocons are finally leaving the building, taking a dog-eared edition of the Bush Doctrine with them. This was a dangerous time for America. The terrifying fact of Dubya’s re-election in 2004 alone attests to that.

Whatever problems Obama faces in the next four years, whatever the manner or measure of his failures, an ideological balace has at least been restored, and a change of direction achieved.

I wish Hunter S. Thompson was alive to see the world get loaded on politics again, if only for one night. I’d love to know what he’d have made of this election. They just missed each other, Thompson leaping off the moving bus of history just before it pulled up in Illinois and Barack Obama climbed on, going one way to Washington.

The Good Doctor’s death was untimely in that respect, but history may yet record it as a famous protest vote, marking a true low-water mark for the warped and important values the former (almost) Mayor of Aspen, Colorado held dear. Thompson’s body was dying, but his brain was still turned on and tuned in, right up until it dropped out. (Well, was shot out. But you catch my drift.)

It is also a sad circumstance of history that Thompson never really got to see the internet become the kind of free-wheeling platform he would have effortlessly monopolised.

This revolution was not only televised, it was recorded and uploaded and played back time and time again by millions of people all over the world.

The Obama campaign embraced a wide array of emergent tech and social media, but the star of the show must be Youtube, already ubiquitous in many of our lives but now harnessed to match the evil machinations of master electoral strategist and neocon neuromancer Karl Rove.

History can now repeat itself ad infinitum, without being systemically distorted through the prism of monopolised media. We can watch it at our convenience, with our own eyes, making up our own minds.

How better then to mark the promise of change, than with a website bearing the same name?

At its heart this is a blog. The blog of a President-Elect. Twitter can tell you how instantly this has endeared him to the legion of outspoken and opinionated bloggers he pals around with, who have played their own interesting part in influencing the outcome of this election for the better.

For my part, I may have tried a few dirty tricks, but I think I kept my tongue in my cheek and my feet on the ground. I’ll keep gunning for Obama, and I’m sure politics will become more of an ongoing theme around here, but this is me signing off for Election ’08, and thanking anybody who’s still reading for sticking around.

Here’s a final treat courtesy of the unrelenting Onion News Network:

“We have a lot of work to do.”

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

From the ever-dependable Jed Report.

Race is almost over

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

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http://resistcomfort.com/votetheissues/

Here we are.  Just gone nine, London time.  This time tomorrow we’ll all be watching, waiting and, if any of us have got any sense left in us after the media clusterfuck of the last few weeks, praying.

Not to the ‘God’ Sarah Palin believes in.  He’s a pretty nasty piece of work, who denies rape victims the right to abortion, and lacks the common sense to put 160 million years of evolution between us and the dinosaurs.

No, we’ll be praying to the gods of decency and reason, the same gods who deserted us so completely four years ago.  They’re well overdue a comeback, and tomorrow could be their new ground zero.

A lot’s changed in four years.  We’re not as easy to deceive these days and, as Dubya himself might put it, we just don’t scare so easy.  We compare notes, sharing information, pooling intelligence, and we know to expect the worst from those who proclaim themselves the best among us.

So it is that now, in the eleventh hour, I find myself toying with a perverse image.  I’m picturing all those mercurial McCain spin-doctors, defenders of the indefensible, gathered together this time tomorrow praying that we’ve all critically underestimated the American people’s capacity for latent racial prejudice.

Yup, they’ll know by then that all their hopes are pinned on a dark little secret middle America is more than capable of hiding from itself, let alone the pollsters.  It’s a fault line that runs deep through US society, and one that once had the power to stop an otherwise decent person short of even openly acknowledging a man like Barack Obama when they passed him in the street.

With the polling as it is now, tomorrow will tell us if those days have truly passed, and America is ready to become the world’s first great immigrant democracy, bringing the values upon which the country was founded back from the dead in the process.

Race is not an issue on which this election has been fought, but it is now the only issue on which it can be lost and won.  Here’s hoping that the knowledge of this will make the taste of Barack Obama’s victory even sweeter.

Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I’m doing a can of Red Stripe and working on my election eve post, and up pops this:

Shakespeare called it ‘vaulting ambition’.  Mix it with abject ignorance, and an aptitude for the kind of slash-and-burn rehetoric that gets the farm-hands feverishly sharpening their pitchforks, and you have an insidious little cocktail.

Here’s hoping after tomorrow we don’t see this kind of political poison masquerading as competitive electioneering for many years to come.

This. Fucking. Election. (abridged)

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

This is about the point I came in.

For the full story, check out thisfuckingelection.com.