Monday, July 20th, 2015

miss_s_b: (Self: Tattoo)
On Saturday night I went out for a couple of beers. Of the five beers I tried, all of which were labelled as Pale Ale, in three different pubs, only one was actually pale.

I blame Greene King for this. Their shitey, piss weak, nasty-tasting "IPA" which is neither the strength an IPA should be (5.5 or above), nor the colour a pale ale should be, is none the less cheap, therefore lots of outlets sell it, lots of idiots drink it, and the brewers have thought well if they can call THAT an IPA and get away with it...

If you beer is brown, it's not pale. Pale Ale should be Straw Yellow or even paler. For an attempting-histoircal-accuracy IPA I might accept this, but this or darker is right bloody out, OK? This is not rocket science, people. And the next time I order a "Pale" ale that comes out the pump the colour and flavour of Black Sheep Best Bitter, I'll be naming and shaming the brewer.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
You can't move these days for articles in the right wing press, and even in some Labour outlets, declaring how Labour will never get back in unless they stop demonising the right; I'd like to posit an equivalent theory: that right-wingers, especially those in charge of certain national newspapers, as well as those who have been in charge of the Labour party for the last 20 years or so, don't understand what motivates lefty voters.

Look at what happened with the SNP last general election. The more the rightwing press fulminated about what a disaster it would be if the SNP came close to the levers of power, the more the Scots voted for them, and the more the English said they wished they could. People in this country in general, but especially its lefties, do not like being told what to do. They don't like being told what to do by politicians they mostly detest, and they don't like being told what to do by journalists they trust even less than politicians.

The mood around Corbyn, and the reason his support is snowballing, is intrigued. Everybody who pays attention to politics had heard of Burnham and Cooper; few had heard of Corbyn. He's therefore new and interesting. The EDM about Pigeon bombs just makes him look like he has a sense of humour. He speaks human, unlike any of the other three Blairite clones. And the more the right-wing press and the right-wingers currently leading the labour party squeak about what a disaster he will be and how nobody should vote for him, the more people like him.

I have, actually, been wondering if it's some sort of deep dark reverse psychology in action. Like "we must say he'll be awful, that's the only way to get people to vote for him!" Because, of course, there is also the right wing view that if Corbyn wins, the Labour party are doomed.

I genuinely think that those who say he'll be an unelectable disaster if he wins are dead wrong. The received wisdom that you have to be either Tory or Tory Lite to win only has worked so far, sure. But it's done so by depressing turnout, not by converting vast numbers of voters. Normal People countrywide who haven't voted in years will vote Corbyn the same reason people in London voted Boris in the first mayoral election he stood in: they think it'll piss off the political elites, and they think that'll be funny. Lefties who haven't had anyone to positively vote for in decades will flock to him because he speaks the language of hope, not despair. And it'll almost certainly be the death of the Green party as all those watermelons roll home.

So yeah, if I was a Labour member, I'd probably vote Corbyn, and do it with a song in my heart. And I think all those rightwingers who are encouraging votes for Corbyn because they think it will kill that Labour party are in for a nasty shock if he actually does win. Lucky for all concerned, I'm not and never would be a member of that bunch of authoritarians, right?
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6)The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I loved this. It was very refreshing seeing things from Mo's point of view rather than Bob's; her voice is different from his but no less compelling. She's less jaded, even though she's older and more senior. She's got a vibrancy, and her humour is similar to but not the same as Bob's. She's also authentically a woman; the stuff she worries about is stuff I worry about. The impostor syndrome, the becoming invisible, the dress codes (yes, those who know me, I know I don't look like I worry about those things, but I do. Societal programming is strong).

I loved Mhari seen through Mo's eyes, rather than Bob's. She's become quite an interesting character. And Ramona remains awesomesauce on legs; well wheels now.

The plot is, as usual for a Stross novel, creative, interesting, and had enough twists in to wrongfoot me a couple of times, which is always enjoyable. I'm not going to go into plot spoilers because I don't like it when other people do, but I was very happy with it.

I'm still waiting for that Chekov's Gun of a cat to pay off, mind, which might be sort of a negative spoiler - it hasn't happened yet.

And a final note: the people who are complaining in their reviews that Mo is a "bitch" because she's not totally subservient to Bob and sacrificing her life for him? Clearly didn't read or understand The Jennifer Morgue, which was four books ago in the series. The point Bob realises that Mo is more powerful, more scary, smarter and sassier than him is the point Bob asks Mo to marry him. He doesn't WANT someone who will sacrifice herself on the altar of his manly manness. The point where things start to go wrong in their marriage is the point where he comes into his powers, because it upsets the dynamic of their entire relationship. Seriously, people, stop it with the sexist assumption what woman must submit to man she's married to. Please?



View all my reviews
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Lee)
I've been pretty lax about going to the cinema of late, so I missed this when it was on at the local Cineworld. Happily, I have access to Hebden Bridge, and it is showing at the Picture House there (still on tonight, if you want to go) which is a place I've been meaning to visit for a while, albeit that I'm more of an Elland Rex girl when it comes to small independent cinemas.

So, firstly, the actual cinema: is gorgeous. It has absolutely loads of legs room in all the seats, more than in any other cinema I have ever been in. Neither of my 6'5"+ partners would have the slightest trouble fitting into any seat they wanted to, which is incredibly unusual. Tickets are slightly more than at the Rex, and there's no organ at the front or snogging seats at the back, but it's clean and the decor is your traditional cinema decor, all red plush and gold frogging. The snacks and drinks are reasonably priced, and you can get a cup of tea in a proper cup as well as fizzy pop and stuff. The staff are friendly and helpful, and you get proper old style Pearl And Dean music and idents at the start of the adverts. Oh yeah, and the "turn your phone off" and "don't put your feet on the seats" messages are delivered in the form of twee poetry, which is so Hebden Bridge. I really liked this cinema, so much so that I signed up for the email list and will definitely be going again.

Secondly, the film. Wow. For starters, the visuals: it's absolutely stunningly beautifully shot. Lighting comparable to that in Night of the Demon (which those who know me will know is my favourite film for beautiful lighting ever). There's flavours of the German Expressionist school in there, too. The framing and timing of every shot is so spot on, both the editor and the director have done amazing jobs. The scenes where drugs have been taken by one or another character are as well done as the SloMo drugs scenes in Dredd. The close-ups on the pivotal cat are amazing, and the way the film plays with focus to show you different angles on the same shot is lovely.

Then there's the sound. Music plays a big part in this story, and the songs and music played by characters within the film blend seamlessly with the overarching soundtrack. It's incredibly well-done and immersive. Again, in the drug-taking scenes, the soundtrack works with the visuals, going muffled or muted or oddly loud in all the right places.

Other things... The pace of the thing is slow and lyrical for most of the time, such that when ther is a jolting shock, it's really jolting. The plot is... Well, for the second time today, I'm not going to go into the plot, but it's unusual and interesting and fun. It's a bit gory in places, and there's some sexual nastiness, but nothing that triggered me. It passes Bechdel. The acting is first class, from the elderly drug addict to the jaded prostitute to the terrified little boy; and through all this the titular Girl floats ethereally, like the otherworldly thing she is. Oh yes, and the male lead is so impossibly beautiful he looks like a sculpture. All in all, I would fully recommend this to anyone who is a film geek.

See this film if:
  • You want to see something visually and aurally stunning that will NEVER come out of a major Hollywood studio
  • You want to see some great acting from a range of actors
  • You want to see what can be done with black and white in the modern era.
Don't see this film if:
  • You think black and white films are boring and you can't cope with foreign language movies
  • You want breakneck pace and explosions on a regular schedule.

Scores: Acting: 9/10, Script: 8/10; Technical 10/10. Overall 9/10
If you liked this you should watch: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920), Night of the Demon (1957), Let the Right One In (2008)

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.



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