Archive for April, 2011


Getting to Graps with the Grippling

April 28, 2011

I started attending Muay Thai and Grappling classes about 6 weeks ago and I’ve shown an uncharacteristic commitment to this new hobby that I hope will crossover into other areas of my life. The Muay Thai class is busy and many of the people there I broadly suspect are more into it for the intensity of the exercise than training in techniques to knock fuck out of their fellow man, which is fair enough. There is no sparring in the Muay Thai class due to our being beginners and therefore not nearly experienced enough to not hurt one another. The Grappling class, by contrast, is smaller and is attended only by men. I remain easily the least experienced and least skilled in the class and I know this because the class involves a lot of sparring or “rolling”, as it were, and there really isn’t any other way to teach or learn these techniques without a fully practical approach. I’m humble enough that I don’t mind being utterly tooled every night I attend but I’ve found myself perusing instructional videos online in an effort to improve my technique outside of class and last week I experienced something of a breakthrough when I managed to pull off a move I’d only watched at home.

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American held in North Korea…again

April 22, 2011

"Well, hey there, c'mon in. Welcome to friendly Chosun!"

From the BBC –

North Korea confirms US citizen is arrested

North Korea has confirmed that it has arrested a US citizen and is preparing to charge him with “committing a crime” against the country.

Jun Young-su was arrested in November last year, the official KCNA news agency said.

The US state department announced the arrest on Tuesday and is calling for the detainee’s release on humanitarian grounds.

Here’s a thought, and it’s going to come across as a tad harsh but hear me out, leave him the fuck there. Of course, ask politely for his release but when the Norks inevitably respond with demands for a senior US official to be dispatched to North Korea to talk about it stump up whatever ransom demands they have, hang up the phone.

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The Human Centipede, The Musical

April 10, 2011

The cultural phenomenon that is The Human Centipede scuttles ever onward! A group known as the Chocolate Cake City comedy troupe have adapted Tom Six’s notorious body-horror film from last year into a full-length comedy musical for the stage. It’s all available to view on YouTube at the Centipede Musical channel and it’s a fairly fun parody of the original film, although as an evangelizing proponent of the real thing I will remind readers here that The Human Centipede is plentifully amusing in its own particular fashion. As this is but the latest in a long line of parodies and tributes that have included a porn film, a simple video game and even Christmas tree decorations, I think it merely demonstrates that this ludicrous, twisted little film has gone pretty much mainstream and I don’t think I’m capable of entertaining anymore excuses as to why people haven’t seen it yet. For those who are yet to take the plunge here are the Cliff Notes to my recommendation – It’s really not as graphic or terrible as it sounds. It’s pretty much a dark comedy horror flick. It isn’t A Serbian Film.

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Geek Zodiac

April 7, 2011

A rather talented friend of mine (in collaboration with another talented friend) has created and crafted a rather glorious and original internet gem, The Geek Zodiac.

Follow the link to find out your sign (and click the image there to enlarge).

I got Time Traveler, in the fine tradition of such luminaries as Doc. Emmett Brown, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and The Doctor. Positive attributes associated with this sign are – “punctual, historicist, cosmopolitan” and my negative attributes are – “regretful, distracted, chaotic”. Aside from the punctuality and historicism I think it has me nailed.

This groovy idea is the product of the fine mind of one James Wright (AKA Chuck Spear, Young Mao, Fidel Castronaut) with the finishing touches of design work courtesy of the talents of Josh Eckert.



Lacking Lovecraft

April 6, 2011

I have since discovered that a recent conclusion I came to regarding the highly-influential writer of horror fiction, H.P. Lovecraft, is in fact a long-established observation of the man and his work that has been discussed at length by critics. It makes perfect sense that I should have been beaten to the punch on this, given that he was first knocking out his tales of “cosmic horror” some 90 years ago and I arrived at this conclusion after reading only a single short story. Nevertheless, I’m in the mood to share.

H.P. Lovecraft is an author that I had been meaning to read since around my teens when I first became aware of his work. His influence was strongly apparent in the work of comic book writers that I had begun to enjoy, namely Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, but at the same time I wasn’t in much of a hurry then to read horror fiction. My personal position changed there over the years as my literary tastes broadened overall and it became something of a minor, trifling goal to get my hands on some Lovecraft, a goal achieved last week when I happened upon a Penguin Classics edition of The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories in a bookstore. As the Cthulhu Mythos was the element of Lovecraft’s work I was most interested in, I decided to read The Call of Cthulhu first (and, as of this writing, it is the only story I have read).

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K-Pop Korner: Miss A – Bad Girl, Good Girl (배드걸 굿걸)

April 2, 2011

Mired in something of a blog-bog, and in need of a reliable, accessible escape route, where else to turn but the trusty Korner?

Miss A made their debut in July last year with the rather feisty single ‘Bad Girl, Good Girl’. I have to confess that I’m still struggling with the concept of “bad” when alluded to in Korean pop culture. For the most part I think it denotes a mildly defiant expression of sexuality but a clear definition has proven elusive.

The video here recalls the iconic imagery of Flashdance, with the girls of the group bedecked in quasi-80’s dance clothes, gyrating around the classroom and corridors of what looks like a dance school. Their moves consist of fairly risqué ass-swinging blended with the kind of dismissive flicking of the head and wagging fingers that apparently denote empowered femininity in the K-Popverse, with the notable and catchy parts of the song being the English language lines which bookend it; “You don’t know me/ So shut up, boy”. The phrase “shut up” carries somewhat more weight in Korea than it does in the general Anglosphere, both when used in its hangul equivalent and also when uttered in English, whereupon it is clearly understood by all Koreans. No surprise then that the single became hugely successful and the lyrics proved eminently quotable from Korean classrooms to popular TV shows.

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