Movies and Their Overcompensating Sound!

I both love and hate watching movies. Interesting characters, thrilling plots and fine acting are all well and good, but whoever’s in charge of the sound ruins it for me. Those fucking sound guys.

Movies have been around for ages, so why hasn’t this aspect been perfected for home viewing? What I’m saying is, why is every sound effect and blast of music so damn loud and the dialogue mumbled? To get important character development and integral plot points I have to turn my TV up to about a million at which point the sound track kicks in and one of the guys who lives up stairs falls through the ceiling. Admittedly, they’re really fat and loud and are as heavy footed as a T-Rex wearing platform boots made of lead, so they’re always falling through the ceiling, but that’s not the point.

Why are the words of various protagonists delivered in barely audible whispers, but the creaking of a door loud enough to make my ears bleed? There doesn’t seem to be a setting to balance this, and by setting I mean a number, I’m not fucking about with overly complex sound systems, I just want to watch movie late at night without convincing the town that WWIII has finally kicked off, but still be able to hear what’s going on. I mean, I know realistically that a gunshot will be significantly louder than someone muttering exposition to someone else and many gunshots will create a bigger racket, but I’m watching Robert Downy Jr. flying around in a metal suit powered by some sort of reactor in his chest and punching a metal armed mopey kid who has been brain washed by Nazis, so realism has pretty much gone out the window.

It’s fine when you’re in a cinema with lots of other people who have paid to see a film so some noise is expected, but what about us people who can’t sleep at night and have angry neighbours?

This is not a flaw evident in action flicks either. I was watching The Truman Show last night at roughly 11:43 PM. Whilst this is unquestionably one of the best films ever made and I’ll fight anyone that says otherwise, it suffers the same flaw. Unable to hear the dialogue, I turned it up until I could just about hear the dialogue, at which point young Truman and his fake dad were caught in a storm, possibly the loudest storm ever. It was a manufactured storm yes, but the point still stands. With each flash of lighting and subsequent bark of thunder I felt the floor shake and my innards vibrate with such intensity my kidneys exploded.

So, I hastily turned it down. Then once the storm was over, I couldn’t hear what the fuck anyone was saying, so I turned it up again. At which point the soundtrack made itself known and the army turned up looking for Godzilla.

I know the composer of the soundtrack and the sound effects guys don’t actually get to appear in the films, so need to make their mark some how, but come on guys, you’re in the credits, is that not enough? We know you’re there and you do a good job, just… shhh.

Why? Why is this so? Why can’t we get sub-settings on films like you get on video games, where you can turn the dialogue up, whilst turning the rest of the shit way down where it belongs? I get that it all adds to the adrenaline pounding experience, but I’m very unlikely to miss important pieces of information if I miss one gunshot. Stop it movies! We get it, you like loud noises, but I tend to watch my films late at night where no one likes loud noises, so I want you to change everything just for me.

Good, now that’s out of my system I should probably go look for a job.

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Where are all the Adults?

Where have all the adults gone?

 

I’m well aware of a large number of recent tragedies and moments of political upheaval that may well go onto have global repercussions, and a skilled writer would be able to generate an engaging an interesting article on any of these things. However, I am not a skilled writer, nor are the large majority of bloggers, yet it hasn’t stopped them. So instead of being another self-important piece on the cabinet reshuffle or terrorist atrocities, where I try and show how politically engaged and intelligent I am, I’m going to write another self-important piece on Pokemon Go.

Being roughly 24-25 (I honestly don’t know, I keep having to text my dad to find out), I existed in what you might call the Pokemon generation. You will notice I refuse to use the accented e. as Poke-Mon sounds cooler, like a Star Wars character. I watched the series, collected the cards, used cleverly worded tricks and promises to swindle my friends out of good cards in exchange for bad ones and even played the games. I used to dream about belonging in the world of Pokemon, so I can leave home at the age of 11 and wander the world, beating wild animals to the point of submission before keeping them in cramped conditions for lengthy periods and occasionally forcing them to fight others. So why, when I heard tell of a new augmented reality game that incorporates the real world and those scientifically questionable monsters, why was I not the least bit interested?

It turns out, it’s because I’m roughly 24-25. I have moved on. Pokemon was a huge part of my childhood and there it remains, for the very same reason I no longer hang out at The Ditch and pretend to be a Power Ranger.

Aside: The Ditch was a place situated between my house and the house of a good friend of mine. It was, as the name suggests, a large overgrown ditch, in which one might find a trolley, or on a good day, the door to a tumble dryer.

This week, I have been forced to endure endless conversations about Pokemon, where to find them and the where the gyms are situated. One heavily bearded “adult” passionately exclaimed how he found an Eve (spelling may not be correct) outside KFC. Grown men and women, with jobs and who pay tax venture out on their lunch hours in the hopes of finding that elusive Pigeott.

Why? Where have all the adults gone? When did we become this nation of the perpetual child? It’s strange, unnerving even. I’m accused of being miserable, pretentious even. I’ve even been accused of trying to ruin everyone’s fun, simply because I don’t get excited over the idea of using my phone camera to see a fictional worm sitting on my desk! Madness! Madness I say!

Someone even tried to defend it by saying, and I quote “It’s good though, because it’s helping me lose weight, because before I wouldn’t bother going out, but now I’m going for walks in the evenings to try and catch Pokemon.” He says this with a serious expression etched onto his features. Pokemon… convincing someone to go outside and walk to combat weight gain? Why is being a fat shit not inspiration enough?

It was recently reported that two people fell off a cliff whilst playing this game. I laughed. Admittedly as I continued to read I felt bad for doing so as they were really hurt, but that’s the news paper’s fault for starting an article simply saying that some people fell off a cliff because they were too busy looking at their phones. Once upon a time this might have featured in a satirical sketch show, but no, so engrossed in this endless obsession of ‘catching ‘em all’ people are walking off cliffs, off piers, strolling into the waiting arms of angry bears, crashing planes and all sorts.

It’s not just the current Pokemon Go fad that makes me feel this way. Recently, the Deadpool film hit the cinemas and people loved them. This comic book adaptation had an 18 rating, meaning it was intended for adults. I’ve not seen it, it may well be a clever dig at the superhero trend and Hollywood’s obsession with churning them out. I did see Captain America 2 not long ago. It was alright, but the story was (if one liked to over analyse) one of post 9/11 espionage and government policy and the changing nature of war and global threats and how we are all at risk of accidentally surrendering power to sinister, totalitarian regimes and organisations in the name of security, this is clearly not a theme aimed at children. It was still Captain America, and one in a never ending list of films about costumed folk beating up badguys in whatever form they come, which adults spent their hard earned money on watching.

Why WHY! Why can’t we just grow up like people did in the good old days, where they reached the age of twenty-two, decided their days of having fun were over and started wearing jumpers?

Because… the good old days.

Nostalgia, that’s what it is. We yearn for the carefree days of playing the Pokemon games, swapping the cards. Nostalgia is a good feeling. But Nostalgia is also dangerous! It’s more addictive than any drug. Just walk into a building and say “do you remember the Crash Bandicoot games?” and watch everyone go mental.

It can ruin lives nostalgia. People get so lost in the past they forget they’re in the present, they don’t see the future charging towards them before it’s too late and they’re dead. I lost my father to nostalgia, I asked him what school was like in the 70s. His eyes glazed over, he let out a long breath as he travelled back through time several decades. He’s been trapped in the 70s ever since. It’s a genuine fear of mine that he’ll try and do something differently and the paradox that ensues would leave me fading out of existence.

“So what do you do that’s so much better than this eh? If you so begrudge free independent people their moments of thoughtless entertainment in a world of constant uncertainty and woe?” I hear the Pokemon Go players screaming.

Well, I drink a lot, and when I’ve run out of money for drinking, I masturbate.

TheFuzzyRambler.

Stupid Manhole.

Stupid manhole. It’s always there on the way to work, this irritating little manhole in the middle of a busy road and as I wait for an aeon (whatever one of those are) for the green man to allow me to cross, I have to listen as car after car clatters across this stupid manhole. Each time it emits a sharp noise that startles and enrages me. Clat-clat, it goes. Day in and day out. I hate it. I hate it so much. Not even sure it classes as a manhole, more a sort of square drain, but manhole sounds better.

This annoyance plagued me this week, no matter where I was I couldn’t stop thinking about this manhole. At my desk, tapping away at my keyboard. In meetings, in the shops, in the pub as I stare at my own gaunt reflection in the dregs of my beer. It followed me around, it wouldn’t let me sleep. I lay there, staring at the ceiling, all manners of grey hues creeping about. I lay there, heart pounding, and sweat sticking my neck to my pillow. I felt like some sort of giant slug excreting a coat of slime. Clat-clat… Clat-clat.

Stupid Manhole.

It was when I was staring at it on my way to the bus stop that I realised just why I hated it so much. This manhole represents all the annoyances, the constant irritations, the anger inducing scenarios that we have no control over. I can’t move the manhole, I can’t get the cars to stop running over it, can’t alter the laws of physics to prevent the noise that irks me so. That manhole, that stupid manhole is life.

Then, unbidden a tidal wave of things I hate and cannot seem to change crashed into the side of my brain, which hurt. It represented petty people in positions of authority. It represented those annoying people you see at the customer service counters in shops, shouting at a poor young girl because they bought an iron and it doesn’t work, and no they don’t have the receipt. Before you know it, they’re making casual comparisons between the customer service lady and Nazis.

Stupid manhole.

Represents the slow decline of the planet’s climate, which despite what the Green Party tell us, we are powerless in stopping. I read somewhere that all the recycling we are doing, all the measures we are putting in place to reduce CO2 emissions are primarily combatting pollutants sent up there in the 50s and 60s, so we have some way to go. Not to mention, that no matter how many tons of coke cans we flatten and reuse, how many jam jars we rinse out and put in our little red bins… America and China are still going mental.

Stupid crappy manhole.

That seemingly innocuous bit of infrastructure represents poverty, corruption and world hunger. We can’t do anything about it, we can’t. We’ve been trying for years and made no headway. It represents the endless stream of pointless shitty little wars that humanity seems intent on pursuing, displacing thousands.

It represents Donald Trump (cunt) and Boris Johnson (slightly less of a cunt, but still a cunt). It represents Isis and the ever present threat that some arrogant turd could blow you away in the name of some deity you don’t believe in, because no doubt they’ve been led astray by mad, petty men in positions of authority.

Fucking manhole!

It represents my own irrepressible anxiety and impotent anger. I’ve tried meditation, it’s a load of shit. I’ve tried breathing techniques and I just start hyperventilating. I’ve tried all manner of pseudo-psychological nonsense. I’ve even had counselling, but I was kicked out my last appointment for questioning her choice of career!

Stupid Fucking Poxy Manhole.

It represents our constant grappling with the notion of our own mortality. The rampaging advance of time, which we are powerless to stop. It represents the very idea that we are all rapidly decaying, charging to the point of expiration on a planet that is dying. On a planet we played our part in murdering.

Clat-clat. Clat-clat.

Stupid manhole.

 

Interview With Some Bloke

The title of this piece started off trying to be a literary reference, because if  you’re not actually intelligent, you can throw in a literary reference and trick people into thinking you are. ‘Ooh, he’s read books,’ people say, ‘he must be filled to the brim with wisdom, let’s pierce him with a hot poker and drink the hot wisdom that sprays out.’

I have of course – as I’m sure you’ve already worked out – tweaked the title of an Interview With a Vampire. Which, on the face of it sounds like an interesting interview. But, what I’ve cleverly done is made it an Interview With Some Bloke, which on the face of it sounds mundane. However, I feel compelled to confess that I am a fraud, as I’ve never actually read that book, it never really interested me, I saw the film once. It was recommended to me by a friend. It starred Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise and was shit. I don’t talk to that friend anymore. In short – what I have done is just exploited someone else’s work for my own nefarious ends.

Fortunately, my blog is read by about 5 people, and most of them think it’s a shit film too so I think I’m alright.

Right.

As I continually express, when I have nothing else of any value to write (and no longer have access to a scanner so can’t upload doodles), I hate my job, it depresses me, and sucks up the majority of my time and thoughts. People often say in these situations, if you hate your job, you need to start looking for another one. As if it is a simple task. This couldn’t be further from the truth. ‘There’s lots of work out there, if you know where to look.’ People say, as though a job is like a wild animal and if you know it’s habits you’ll know the best places to keep a vigil, rifle in hand. THey don’t offer any advice beyond that.

‘It’s easier if you already have a job.’ Is another thing they say. Who are these people? Fucking idiots that’s who. It’s demonstrably harder, as you have less time and energy to devote to the hunt.

The first hurdle in trying to find a job would be in trying to decide what sort of job you actually want to do. Now, that is a difficult question, perhaps the hardest question in existence. What do you want to do? If answered truthfully, I want to get paid to sleep in a little flying pod, invisible to the rest of the world, but able to peer down upon it unseen, like an all knowing being, but thus far this job has yet to be advertised on the World Wide Web.

I can think of a great deal I don’t want to do. My current job for instance. Giving IT support to people I’ve never met, with not even the slightest interest in IT. I don’t care if their computer gets fixed. They can go fuck themselves. I don’t want to be a marine biologist. It sounds interesting, but I can’t swim very well so all the other marine biologists would ridicule me and my papers wouldn’t be taken seriously. Even if I discovered a new species. I’d like to be a doctor, but from what I can ascertain, it’s far too late for that. I’d need to go back and get some specific A levels, and then get into university again, and then do 5 years. I’ll be dead by then, not to mention I’d have no way to pay my rent in the meantime.

So what am I left with?

Anything to do with… Data.

Data analysis

Data entry

Data management.

Data tickling.

Data moving from that shelf to the other one as the builders will be in soon and they’ll need to get to that wall.

I don’t even know what data is? Not really. Surely it can’t all be the same stuff. And yet each job seems to require the same skills. I am not qualified to do any real job, it’s only the ones that seem to specify, a moderately competent twat lacking in any sort of personality where I seem to fit the bill.

So in order to exchange one job I hate for another one, I got some interviews. They were all telephone interviews, which is kind of weird. It’s difficult enough to sell yourself in person, but you can get bonus points by saying, “look I’m wearing a suit.” You can say that on the phone, but they won’t believe you. Who gets suited up to talk on the phone?

Interview techniques? Are there any? I read somewhere, an employer knows who they want to hire from the first sentence.it has something to do with the basest of psychology. Confidence perhaps, an innate understanding of another human being that transcends explanation.

Now, this isn’t true. I didn’t read it anywhere, but it’s a provocative statement. My point is, it doesn’t really matter what you say, ultimately, it’s a bit of a lottery. Do you have the precise experience they’re looking for? Do they like your manner? Do they like your choice of words, your name, the fucking school you went too. It doesn’t really matter how you answer the questions.

My technique thus far hasn’t been particularly successful. When asked to describe why I should be hired I tend to be to make the mistake of going for the truth. Instead of unloading some cliches about how driven I am, how much of a team player I can be as well as being a formidable lone wolf (that’s right a team playing loner, a mysterious outsider who wears his heart on his sleeve and demands to be loved, an oxymoron of the highest calibre) or anything of that nature. I tend to say the following:

“Well, let’s be blunt, the job doesn’t exactly require much intellectual capacity. I should be hired because I can do the job, anyone can, but I’m here so why not?”

Doesn’t exactly fill them with confidence. I just hate it. Interviews that is, they are the most insincere moment in our lives. We adopt a facade, not even a convincing one. We become a character everyone hates, but no one more so than ourselves, and that facade often lingers on if you get the job, it becomes your work character, and the more you have to be that work character, the more it leaves traces of it in your bloodstream. Before you know it you’re more this other character than you are you. And you hate yourself for it.

I didn’t get the job.

Fucking interviews.

Fuzzy Rambler

My New and Improved Coffee Shop

This may seem absurdly melodramatic given the subject nature, but I’m afraid it definitely needs to be said. It is no secret that coffee shops are big business, they have become cultural epicentres of our society where folk from all walks of life congregate to catch up on the recent news, global and social, read books, write things, have meetings and all that nonsense, whilst getting our caffeine fix. We love coffee, it’s sophisticated. There are no longer any shops, just coffee places. Schools have been bulldozed and replaced with Costas. Hospitals have been demolished to make way for Starbucks and your house is soon to be knocked down so they can put in one of those infuriatingly pretentious cafes, where everything is organic and cruelty free and your latte is made by a bloke with a ‘quirky’ beard and haircut or a woman with an incredibly pierced face.

Now, I could get worked up into a sweary tirade at our pathetic existence, the way we cannot go a day without a latte. I could lament the fact that we all gladly spend £3 for a cappuccino (which according to adverts is enough to save an abused child, or a hard worked donkey). I could decry our obsession with Frappenappiatos and various quantities of frothed milk, but I shan’t. Instead, I shall – with almost zero self-awareness – that we need a coffee shop that tailors exclusively to the sad, single losers with no friends.

I.E me.

The first reason for this, is I fucking hate other people’s children.Unless they’re somehow related to me, and therefore have some evolutionary reason not to hate them, or at the very least a social obligation to somehow want to keep them alive, I find them the most irritating creature on the planet. Yes, they are more irritating than the pigeon that keeps me up at 3 in the fucking morning with its relentless cooing. The world is too densely populated, yet people insist on churning out sprog. I shan’t go into that here, as we haven’t the time, nor have you the patience. Also, every time I speak about it I question my sanity.

I am by no means an expert on the human child, but I’m fairly certain that should you ask one what it would see as a pleasant day out, it would not respond ‘Oh, that nice little coffee shop, the one that does the paninis.’To me it is obvious that, to a child, there is nothing more boring than a couple of long hours in an establishment where the primary purpose is to produce drinks children do not like. They get restless, they get bored and they start to fucking run about making endless amounts of noise. They become the definition of little shits, whining moaning, pointing at things or giggling away like the stupid little twats that they are. It is for this reason that I hate them. Their parents are usually of a middle-class persuasion and therefore less than useless, because the middle-classes are raised to believe that whatever happens in life, one must never make a scene. Even if their legs exploded they would politely sit there and wait until someone offered to put them in a wheelbarrow and wheel them to the nearest hospital, before it is turned into a Pret a Manger. So kids run riot, and the parents ineffectually shush them whilst reddening with embarrassment and social unease, making it very difficult for lonely old me to sit in the corner contentedly staring into the abyss.

Then there are babies, the smaller variant of the human child. On the whole, these aren’t as bad in themselves, but modern parents are no longer content in wheeling them around in what is effectively a potato sack on wheels. Now they must have the best all terrain vehicles to transport their child. HUge things with gargantuan wheels, wing mirrors, sat-navs and wide screen tvs. They decide that the best place to take these things are our coffee shops, forming the most challenging of obstacle courses that even the fucking SAS would struggle to complete. And if you dare bump their pushchairs, or look at them in exasperation, they look at you like the scum you are. They pull Tomahawks from their handbags and kill you dead.

New mothers think it acceptable to meet in these coffee shops, they are naive, think they can still have lives despite the little parasite feeding off them. They take their babies and try to chatter away about their school catchment areas, what was on the telly that evening, what Beatrice the nosy cunt of a neighbour has been up to.

‘She’ll get a jar of acid in the face if she isn’t careful.’ They say as their babies start to fuss.

‘That’s if she’s lucky.’ The babies will get louder as their mothers try and pacify them everything to hand.

‘I’d knock her down with my car, then when she’s incapacitated cover her in petrol and set her on fire!’ they’ll continue with that strained and desperate look to their eyes as they try to ignore the fact that they’ve ruined their lives.

All the while making it harder for sad sacks of shit like myself to plot how they’d go about hanging themselves.

Then there are those with friends and families. Those that enter a busy coffee shop when I am at the front of the queue, when seats are scarce, but I am at the front. I have waited patiently, listening to the hiss and whine of the machines. I have waited without complaint as the gormless turd behind the counter fumbles with my change. I am at the front, so I should be fine, there are a few seats left. Then they come in.

‘Ooh, it’s busy, do you want to get the drinks I’ll get us a table!’

Fuck you. Fuck you until you die!

You can’t do that. It’s not fair.

It puts those without friends at an unreasonable disadvantage.

Some times these bastards are old. And seem to use their age as an excuse. Because of their bad legs. But they spot a table and they’re leaping over scattered pushchairs, weaving between bored and misbehaving children, intent on getting that seat before me – who being at the front of the queue – deserves that table. It is my right! Fucking old people, why don’t they have the decency to die like in the good old days.

So in short, I have a dream of a coffee shop in which people like me can get coffee in a place they feel at ease, where they needn’t even make eye contact with another living creature and can contemplate the pointlessness of it all in peace.

And they sell whiskey.

Despise Change, but Hate the Everyday.

Pretentious title I know, but I like contradictory statements or oxymorons, they please me. Anyway, I feel that my obsession with doodles is some what reflective of a low state of mind. Not because they’re ‘out there’ or ‘messed up’ that people often like to claim to be when they’re definitely not, in a vain attempt to seem interesting. More because I tend to doodle most when overly anxious or taken by a miserable bastard kind of mood.

Many figures throughout history, when taken by such a mood create musical masterpieces, or paint glorious pictures or write works that last through the ages. I draw stick men in various situations and try to pass it off as ‘wit’. However, it’s easy to pass things off as wit, you just have to say it with a certain level of smugness or tilt your head to the side a little. Because I no longer have a scanner, I have taken pictures on my phone, and emailed them to myself and then uploaded them here, so the quality will be (as we say in the art world) shit.

Anyway, this piece is called “The Generational Gap.”

20151105_211043

The young and the old are destined never to understand one another . To one, eating a banana is a fairly mundane thing. to the other, it’s worthy of a ‘good ole fashioned axin’.’

This is called “The Hunt For the Loch Ness Monster”

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Turned out to be easier than the scientists first thought. They didn’t even get to unload their fancy equipment. Typical.

“Waiting for a Bus!”

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Because let’s face it, if you were Death, where would you choose to stand? Think of all those OAP’s with free bus passes, it saves him lots of time.

“Bendy Man Walks On Tiny Legs Whilst Whistling a Tune.”

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That’s pretty much it, not all art has multiple layers.

“Pyramid of Necessity.”

pyramid of necessity

The Beatles once sang “All You Need Is Love.” Bet they didn’t have to do a proper day’s work in their life, the lazy bastards.

“An Empty Day”
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I made this partially 3D, so it get’s marks for trying.

I’ll leave you with this. As I have to rely on public transport I spend a lot of time waiting for buses, the below is an angry email which I sent to one bus company. I have yet to receive a reply, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I will see justice served.

From:
Sent: 03 November 2015 20:37:38
To:

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Dear Lord Of All Buses,

I am a simple man, a humble man if you will. I want to do what is best for Planet Earth, which is currently my place of residence. I never learned to drive, thinking (perhaps arrogantly at the time) that I would forego the needless ritual of driving lessons. I did so under the impression that, not only will I have a lesser “carbon footprint” than most, but I would also save money and save myself from wasting hour after hour searching in vain for a place to park.

I have saved no money. Alas, rather than wasting hours looking for a place to park, I appear to be wasting numerous hours of my life awaiting the arrival of your elusive buses. £30 pound a week is no small sum, it is a sum that could purchase me a large amount of flapjack, and I love flapjack. For such a price I expect a good service. Several times your buses have failed to turn up at all, they are almost always late. I assume when creating your time table you take in to consideration variables such as traffic. 5 minutes late is fine, ten minutes is frustrating but sometimes inevitable.  Any more than 25 is taking the proverbial pee.

It is my suggestion, that you either lower your price to better represent the service, or replace all your timetables with a sign saying ‘Your Guess Is As Good As Ours.’

Waiting for many hours for a bus is probably not what Blaise Pascal (inventor of the bus service; if Wikipedia is to be believed – which of course it isn’t) had in mind. He’d be disgusted, and he’s French, he could take disgusted to the next level.

Now, I am not a vengeful man (or woman, you don’t know!) but, if I do not see improvements soon, I will have to come down to your headquarters and defecate upon the floor, with a rather stern expression. My diet is very fibrous, so I suggest – as I suggest to everyone – that you work hard to please me.

Yours Sincerely,

An Anonymous Man (Whose name isn’t in his – or her- email address)