VSX, A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist: Starbuck Powersurge - a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of Viper Squad Ten, a long-disbanded group of stranded timetravelling troubadours, formed to help finance repairs to their time-machine. Now very much stuck in C21...
All text is copyright the Viper Squad Ten blog team 2003-2006 unless otherwise quoted or credited. If we've not credited you properly, please let me know. Throw us a link if you're desperate enough to use this guff...
Dexter Season 4 finale review
Its interesting how a series about the life of a self-managing serial killer can make me weep for the protagonist.
As the episode drew to a close, and Dexter discovered that SPOILER had SPOILER his SPOILER and left his SPOILER SPOILER in a SPOILER of SPOILER, I found myself lost in uncontrollable tears.
Nothing has made me cry so much in a long long time.
I watched it "on demand" without interruptions, then later re-watched bits of a recorded version of the linear broadcast. I'll stick to OD in the future.
FX UK's use of non-signposted ad breaks and REALLY FLICKING ANNOYING VOICEOVERS AND PREVIEWS over the end credits made me want to weep all over again (in much the same way that they made the linear broadcast version of True Blood unwatchable). FX used to be good! When will they learn?
As a result of events both foreseen and unforeseen, until this weekend I'd not been to the cinema in over 3 years. Therefore you could treat this brief review with the same condescension that you would use when discovering that a time-travelled Victorian gentleman has viewed his first colour TV programme only to find that he was watching Chucklevision, but there you go.
So anyway, Inception: Brilliant! Disappointed to see that the popcorn prannocks are still populating cinemas, but the film was engrossing enough for me to ignore their perpetual rustling.
For a film about dreams its certainly invigorated my own. Everything's been so much more vivid! Just this morning I grasped memories from my waking sleep whereby I said to Starbucketta (co-star of this dream) that "I am the architect of this dream, we can do whatever we want in it", before shutting the curtains on the living room and changing its whole parameters. But you don't want to know about that!
Buy anyway, I used to have dreams where anything could happen no matter how dangerous without any prospect of "very bad things" happening (death, for example), the reasoning being that within my dreamworld I was in an incredibly realistic computer game. Game Over? Continue.
The light of my eternal childlike essence has dimmed.
One of my favourite Glastonbury moments, no, one of my favourite EVER moments, was watching Frank Sidebottom perform to a mixed-bag crowd in the haze of the comedy tent, half of them sitting there in open-mouthed bemusement, the other half transfixed in open-mouthed wonder. A lot of open mouths. Or perhaps that was just something to do with the overall Glastonbury festival "atmosphere".
If there was a heaven it would look like the set of Remote Control, Frank Sidebottom and Tony Wilson sitting on the cloud belonging to Gilbert-the-Alien's-voice.
Lost - The End - an atheist's viewpoint
I thought that the finale was an excellent piece of television, right up until they all met in the church above Eloise Hawking's Lamp Post Dharma station, at which point my immediate reaction was horror, then disappointment.
As a proud and sensible atheist I had always feared they were going to go with some sort of lame afterlife / purgatory / limbo explanation (though to go along with the fun of fantasy shows like Lost you have to suspend your disbelief anyway - it never hurt with Ashes to Ashes for example)
But then I reconciled myself with the fact that it was only the "flash-sideways" timeline that is (potentially) heaven's waiting room - everything else that had happened on the island and in seasons 1-5 having taken place exactly as we've seen it; and that Christian Shephard presumably only said what he'd said because he'd been told it. One thing that the series has kept on reiterating is how people will hold on to (and impart onto others) whatever beliefs they have been told, however nonsensical they might be - remember how certain Richard Alpert had been that they were all in hell, simply because Jacob's brother had told him so. And although Desmond appears to know everything that will happen (and in every timeline he exists in) up until his death, again if he's trapped within the confines of his experiences and beliefs then he wouldn't know any better either - he's seen what would happen, so he will work to make it happen.
Although I'd be comfortable within the parameters of the show with the Budhist idea of the survivors going through the door in the church and rebooting in another plane of existence where they would be one level better, I still think that still just a little too obvious.
I "believe" that those who went through the door would simply cease to exist in that dimension, or perhaps with fragments (quanta) of their existence echoing off another Them in another dimension - maybe at a key point (such as when Jughead exploded, or at the time of the Incident when Desmond failed to push the button, or even at any of the many point when the island jumped between positions in time and/pr space). Maybe they would just cease to be.
Or potentially it might return them to the island at some point in the past or future - lets not forget after all that the church was built over a pocket of electromagenetic radiation, and that all these pockets, including the one under the island, are linked.)
This might be a long time in the future in a dimension where the plug remained in place to constrain the island's source, long after the immortals Hurley and Ben had passed on, or possibly the very distant past. It could even be at some point before the island's conquerers - presumably the Ancient Egyptians, though lets not forget the possibilities that time travel, teleportation, and misdirection can allow - had corked the island's power (and lets not forget, this was to retain rather than restrain) - geological upheavals may have somehow created a natural plug.
But whatever. Eloise knew. Whether they would cease to exist, or whether they would return to a dimension where her son would cease to exist, she knew.
Desmond, had once more been conned, and from there so had the others.
# You'd better watch out you gits, 'cos Starbuck's back The Squad have been quiet, but we're on the attack... #
Hmmm. I'd not meant to fall off the map quite so spectacularly. This blog has still been fully functional in my mind - its just not quite made the crucial transition from my brain to Google's servers. I've planned so many "comeback" posts over the last two years. Some of them would have been rather wonderful. And now, here I am, talking to myself absentmindedly, unfocussed, just myself and the bots reading these ill-formed words.
Still its nice to see that old green-brown eyestrain-inducing page template again. I've missed that - an antique from the days before CSS, whether you're talking cascading style sheets or Cansei de Ser Sexy.
For the dwindled audience of those who still care, its not that I've been totally disconnected from blogging over the last few years. Like every other self-publicist I've got myself a Twitter account - http://twitter.com/StarbuckPSurge. As you can see, there's been markedly more activety there than here. A whole posting from last year, for example.
But mark these words (and try to score me highly), Isle be back (Arnie's favourite island).
Talking of coincidence, I'm obviously feeling low level guilt about neglecting my online duties of late. Ideas spill from my brimming head and are lost in the mists of memory, one taut timeline amongst many stretched to breaking point.
I dreamt last night about third daughter. I can't recall what it was now, but no doubt I was checking her blog to see how life was shaping up, something I should be doing for her and for many others. So much must be happening in others' lives, so much to care about. I wish someone would invent Really Simple Syndication. Others' lives might not even be accessible now. So much has been happening in my own life, so much to share from my new life - from Starkid's life.
And today, by another coincidence, the morning after the dream, threed contacted me through Flickr to comment on a photo of Starkid.
I know that coincidence doesn't mean anything, I know that its just the human mind that makes it appear more than it should be, I know that our reality is purely a mental construct, that the present is not even something that is happening but is actually something that has happened and is then reflected upon, I know all that...
Further to THAT, I've managed to precog another high profile death - Arthur C Clarke. Sort of. Well, more of a postcog really, with a bit of paracog as well.
I was lieing in the Bath Friday morning, unaware of the passing of the classic sf author. I was thinking about a piece of music, tying to work out where it was from. I thought it was from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Until I realised that it was from Superman.
A bit later I was watching the film version of the Magic Roundabout, where another piece from the 2001 soundtrack was used. "Hmmm, coincidence", I thought absently.
Late that night I was flicking channels and happened across Damages, just as the Blue Danube was being played. "Wooh" I thought, inaccurately.
The next day I learned the truth.
Clarke was dead. And I was suffering from coincidence and extrapolation again.
So here's one that I made earlier. Or rather, here's one that MIA Co-editor Stu made earlier. Or even, here's something he emailed me.
Just as well, since I can't see myself getting round to my annual music & film review for 2007, considering my 2006 review only came out in September, and since I've not really absorbed much music or film in 2007 anyway.
Manic Street Preachers - Your love alone is not enough (I'm sorry but I really like this song)
Andrew Thompson - What's up
Klaxons - Golden Skans
Scroobius pip - Thou shalt always kill
Best albums - in order at least to begin with
Queens of the Stone Age
Everything Jesu has done this year (and ever forever)
Band of Horses
65 days of static
Nine Inch Nails, Broken Family Band, Klaxons
Best album that I had never heard until this year (so to me it is an album of the year, yeah?)
Most rubbishly disappointing album of the year
(Chemical Brothers came close)
The whole Barcelona "experience", Tool at Brixton, Battles at Koko
Robot Wars on Terror
You may have seen news fluttering across the news wire recently that Professor Noel Sharkey PhD DSc FIEE FBCS CITP FRIN FRSA, Professor of Arificial Intelligence and Robotics, Professor of Public Engagement and EPSRC Senior Media Fellow at the University of Sheffield had been publicising his concerns that terrorists might start using robots to carry out their atrocities.
Well he would say that. The man has a vested interest - Prof S was a judge on the UK version of Robot Wars, for chrissakes. He's obviously missing his fix of BREAK FLUID!!!!!!
Still looking for Osama Bin Laden? Send in Sir Killalot! Need reinforcements against "Al-Qaeda In Iraq"? Send in Hypnodisc, send in Razer, Cassius & Chaos 2.
Tony Blair was right. The world truly has changed. Where's Rex Garrard when you need him?
Welcome Back [Sychic Starbuck]
I've been mentally drafting various "VSX comeback" posts since Christmas now, occasionally punching reminder notes onto my phone when something suitably momentous came to mind. Despite my absence its never been far from my mind.
I'd been meaning to tell you what I've been up to, to reveal in glorious detail the wonderful happenings that have prevented me from coming near this blog.
A hundred and one witticisms have crossed my cortex, but not got as far as my fingers.
But I hadn't reckoned on returning with the following words:
I precognised Jeremy Beadle's death.
Last night. I dreampt about it, hours before first hearing the sad news about Beadlebum.
Or rather, I dreampt about Radio 1 DJ Colin Murray's death (in remembrance the radio station had removed all music and chat from the schedules, leaving just half-hour news bulletins within a sea of silence).
And I happened to catch a few minutes of the ex-R.I.S.E. presenter's show last night whilst washing the dishes, during which he talked about the prank TV shows of yesteryear.
And of course, the small-handed tidy-bearded brainiac Beadlebum was the best TV prankster there ever was!
Coincidence? Selection bias? Pah! Enough of this guff. See you next time / next year.