Ninety-eight red balloons

dont-look-now-smallA journey into the city recently turned into one of those Mondays of minor irritations and muse-inspiring moments that just sticks in the mind.


It didn’t start well, since my watch strap, the subject of a few recent repair attempts, finally gave up the ghost and snapped. This turned into something of a metaphor as shortly afterwards I literally ran out of time and missed my bus to the station by seconds. Oaths and dark curses were muttered as I waited in the cold for its successor.

After transferring from train to the Metro, a guy got on with luggage but neglected to hold on as the train lurched forwards. He fell against me and trod heavily on my foot. It’s fortunate that I’d neglected to pack my razor-sharp ninja sword that morning, else he’d have been completing his journey minus his head.
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Trumpageddon

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It is 2021 and the Earth is a smouldering ruin. What little remains of human civilization exists in small pockets, stretched across the scarred and barren wastelands of our once mighty cities. Starving, diseased and horribly disfigured, they fight giant rats and rabid wild dogs over the last of the McDonalds‘ still-fresh-looking burger patties.

The apocalypse, so often predicted, had finally come to pass on a date nobody had expected: a rather ordinary Tuesday in February. And it was all down to the chaotic results of the flapping of a butterfly’s wing in an Amazonian rain forest.

Of course that’s not true at all. It was in fact largely brought about by the actions of one man. A despicable orange goblin, with tiny hands and a massive ego. A misogynist, racist, science-denying, sociopathic TV celebrity, with the demeanour and appearance of a sleazy used-car salesman. Donny Trumpet, billionaire sex pest and reality-avoider, had concocted the ultimate con, with the help of his old chum, Vlad ‘The Impaler’ Putanski. And, it was said, it had been partly inspired by a much beloved Christmas movie starring Eddie Murphy.
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The Halbananas hotlist

I’ve noticed quite a few of my fellow bloggers have been doing some nice round-ups of fave movies, TV shows or other popular entertainments. Never wanting to miss a popular bandwagon to leap on, here is my own humble halfbananas listicle of my top five banana-related entertainments. Enjoy.

Movies

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1. Bananas – Woody Allen’s hilarious tale of love, dictators and fruit
2. Pulp Fiction – Tarantino’s fruity masterpiece
3. Bananas is My Business – Carmen Miranda documentary
4. Herbie Goes Bananas -1980 thrillfest featuring the magical VW
5. Banana Joe – 1982 film about a man who grows bananas
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The future is here, almost

albert_einstein_medNew year’s eve is often a time of reflection and even regret, as well as anticipation and hope for the year to come. But we can only live in the present, so as a great sage once said:

“Be not afraid for the future or regretful of the past, for the past was once the future, and the future will soon be the present, until it quickly becomes the past, again. In this way there is no past, present or future. Or something.”

Wise words indeed and ones we can all easily choose to ignore.

We lost many wonderful people in 2016, including some personal heroes like David Bowie. I suspect we also lost a bit of faith in human nature, with the UK’s Brexit debacle and the US presidential election demonstrating once again how the masses can be manipulated by ruthless sociopaths and morally bankrupt media organisations to vote against their own best interests. We now live in a post-truth world we are told, although I’m not sure if that is true or not.

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Saturday night fever

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One reaches a certain age where the thought of a wild night out on the town, crowded bars and long queues for packed and sweaty nightclubs slowly begins to lose its appeal. Over the years we certainly had our fair share of such nights, but then one day you start to see the advantages of a nice quiet, non-crowded living room. No dress code, no queues for drinks or bathroom, very cheap booze and you can be in bed at the end of the evening in seconds rather than endure the awful slog home via night buses or trains.
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Real heroes don’t wear spandex

thorHollywood has a long obsession with heroes, from the early westerns to the latest spandex-clad Marvel super types currently dominating global box offices. They mine common themes of heroism: self-sacrifice, justice and the importance of big muscles when biffing baddies with bad attitudes.

Of course not all heroes rely on brawn – some are brilliant scientists, some are brilliant and super rich and others are just your average Joe/Josephine who got bitten / zapped or otherwise transformed into yet another saviour figure with a bizarre ability and costume.
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Me, me, me!

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There was a survey a while back that showed that a quarter of the American population believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, and not the other way round. This was of course the mainstream view until our old chum Nicky Copernicus upset the apple-cart with his heliocentric model, published in the 16th century. At last the Earth was put in its rightful place, although not everyone was thrilled with this particular advance in human knowledge. There were certainly some major grumblings from the Catholic church. Still, at least Mr C managed to avoid the fate of his defender and fellow astronomy clever-clogs, friar Giordano Bruno, who apparently was just too much of a rebel for the church and had his chestnuts roasted on an open fire, along with the rest of him.

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Vampires! Zombies! Giant killer hamsters!

hamsterHorror has become big business these days and you can hardly have failed to notice the waves of the undead shuffling, flying or bounding across screens big and small. With a plethora of assorted suckers, rippers and biters, horror fans are spoiled for choice when it comes to grisly supernatural thrills.

There are a ton of psychological theories about why we love to scare ourselves silly with these films. But whatever the truth, many of us just can’t help but subject ourselves to what one might call a safe scare. All the adrenalin and terror without any real danger (despite what some cunning marketing people would have us believe).

We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” – Stephen King

What would the creators of Nosferatu or Dracula make of all this ghoulish entertainment? Would Mary Shelly find our modern day monsters a little OTT? Could George Romero have ever imagined we’d become so addicted to the brain-munchers?
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And the winner is…

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There seem to be a fair few awards flying around of late and I have been nominated a few times myself. (The best of breed at Crufts dog show was certainly a surprise)

I always feel chuffed to get nominated, until I remember that some blogging awards require one to nominate up to fifteen other blogs, in the form of a sort of chain letter (or pyramid scheme?) deal. Of course unlike a pyramid scheme, nobody is scamming people to get rich and the intentions are honourable, as far as I know.

This leaves one torn between the nice ego boost of a nomination and the realisation one has to actually find that many other blogs to nominate and contact them all, as well as answering a series of searching personal questions (Favourite Italian biscuit? Most used Klingon curse word?)

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Evilution*

homersapienEvolution has brought about a spectacular abundance of plant and animal life that we are trying our very best to eradicate, perhaps so we can have the planet all to ourselves. Of course the interdependence of humans and the flora and fauna of Earth makes this behaviour slightly baffling. It sometimes appears we are like a cartoon character, sawing through the branch that it sits on. Or in our case chopping down the whole forest.

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