It’s a Quill wind that blows… and so does journalism

Once upon a time… in my first salaried job… a tired embittered ancient (I guess this guy was forty) started to berate me. When he started on about his twenty years in the job, I said: ‘You’ve not had twenty years’ experience, you’ve had the same six months’ experience 40 times.’

He was trying to force me to adopt the same outmoded M.O. that I’d been specifically headhunted to dispel.

For anyone who’s ever been interviewed by a reporter, it will come as no surprise that automated articles produced by automated software Quill, can produce ‘perfectly serviceable articles’.

Journalists are proud to have ‘paid their dues’. That is, they have to robotically learn the ropes, and any originality or talent becomes trussed up like an oven-ready turkey. They have their who, what, how… in PR they refer to SOLAADS. Again ‘How to write a story’ is so so wrong.

Newspapers can’t fathom why their circulations are falling. It’s simply because they all adopt the same tired tropes, and thus produce tripe. The tabloids are lazy. Firefighters are always hunks, and military casualties were always fathers of one, two, or three. Thus fearsome heroes are rendered formulaic zeroes. If a journalist had written Beowulf it would have read more like Baywatch.

The cliché of the hard-bitten editor is embedded in Spiderman and Superman. J. Jonah Jameson and Perry White are always demanding that someone get an incriminating picture or bring them a story.

The term newspaper hack now summons images of phones – not because they’re smart, or app-licable, but because lazy newsrooms seek salacious stories to fill column inches.

These same short-cuts and short circuits are what have homogenised Hollywood. Scripts are required to adopt a format, so that producers can quickly assess their suitability i.e. familiarity. No wonder audiences grow increasingly contemptuous of movies, and choose to watch HBO.

Ray Harryhausen the creative titan behind Dynamation, retired from movie-making once the studios started pandering to adolescent formulas – that require an explosion every five minutes. While he admired what Spielberg produced for Jurassic Park, he couldn’t see how anyone could get any satisfaction tapping at keyboards. There’s no emotional or physical connection between the action and the outcome.

Spielberg and Jackson, both acknowledged the influence of Harryhausen’s work on their careers. However, given all the technological advances and near infinitesimal processing power available to them, when they attempted to adapt Georges Prosper Remi’s character to the Big Screen, they failed dismally. Because? It was souless. Tintin had dead eyes. His creator was better known by the pen name Hergé – and his TinTin was required to convey all from the same components as an emoji.

Almost every fantasy scene with a visceral visual connection in their movies can be traced back to Harryhausen’s work. ‘The Valley of Gwangi’ is virtually a template for Jurassic Park, but the studios in their infinite wisdom, thinking Gwangi too akin to Gojira, delayed release until the movie seemed archaic. CGI special effects had eclipsed stop-frame animation.

And yet, today, thanks to over-supply and exposure, the effects are no longer seen as special.

Ray Harryhausen used to invest months studying lizards in order to create a reptilian creature (he never once aimed to make a ‘monster’). Had he known, as we do today that Tyrannosaurus Rex was probably covered with brightly coloured plumage, he would have drawn his creatures thus.

As it is, we know what a dragon will look like before we ever see it. Peter Jackson can pad out the first hour of The Desolation of Smaug, but there’s zero suspense. It is the audience who are desolate. But they only have themselves to blame.

Today’s ‘product’ is a direct representation of the end-user’s impatience. Ironically, The Hobbit is a slim volume, written to appeal to Tolkien’s four children. Jackson’s bloated movies are created not to satisfy his audience, but to supply a sequel to the LOTR trilogy. The studios wanted ‘another one of those.’ And Jackson obliged.

Media hacks are now so used to following SOP that the BBC have mimicked HBO’s title to declare their ‘Original British Drama’ – the use of ‘original’ must be iRonic (when branding their digital distribution network, their iDea didn’t fall far from the apple). Apple in turn had to buy the rights for the name iPod – as that wasn’t theirs either.

America has been described as the most over-entertained and under-educated ‘culture’ in the world. Perhaps the American Dream has become a nightmare, or perhaps the cultivated ‘innocent’ image of the Apple Pie disguised the fact that the ingredients were rotten to the core.

When it comes to waste, recycling may be a good idea. When it comes to stories and movies, recycling is such a waste.

In our capitalist society when making money comes before inspiring children, and supply meets demand, perhaps we have to wait for a more discriminating generation. Who will break the stranglehold of ever-decreasing circles, and such shallow gene pools?

It’s obvious really: dumbing down can’t be uplifting.

I’m so grateful that I got to watch Ray while his sun shone.

© Glenn Platt 18th April 2014

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Russell and his burning brand

Russell has got clean, and come clean, can he now cleanse politics?

Russell has got clean, and come clean, can he now cleanse politics?

I wanted to write an ‘Open Letter’ to Russell Brand but that strange Peep Show man who loves picking continuity errors in movies had done that. On a train journey on the Sutton – Milton Keynes line I doodled the bare bones of this yesterday, and fleshed it out this morning… Note to self: there have to be better ways to spend a Sunday morning (I blame the Beechams)… Rusty and his burning brand


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Why are activists anonymous? They are not the outlaws.

It’s strange that the people who are trying to right endemic wrongs elect to hide their faces?

It’s ironic given that many women are forced to hide their faces in the face of cultural tyranny.

This behaviour, skulking in the shadows only supports the falsehood are politicians are mainstream.

I wrote this in 2011 after a visit to Occupy at St. Paul’s… like many failed seedbeds for revolution, the focus was all on what’s wrong with myriad illustrations. No one was painting the broad brush strokes picture of what lay beyond, after we’d despatched what laid beneath. This was open bracket dot close bracket – yeh me too, how come THAT never caught on?

You’ll see the idea, as a ‘sticker’ paints a thousand words: openbracketdotclosebracket_

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The struggle to be the A-gender is the wrong battle to engender

Not your average doormat

Not your average doormat

I really don’t get feminism, or perhaps I just don’t get the/ir arguments.

It’s trite (quite possibly shite) to compliment women on their child-bearing ability… comment on their hips and you’re in, a moment commenting on their hips, next moment a smack on the chops (and there you were expecting a punch in the lips, ‘cos it rhymes).

Danger Will Robinson, I’m diving into the womanly warren of feminism – not seeking to make a Splash! just asking, why do some women fume so?

Equality isn’t actually an issue any more, except for those areas (culturally, geographically or religiously) within which the message sadly still fails to get through.

Possibly the label is not one that gets taken seriously enough simply because it still languishes in that gender-opposite territory.

So, first my thoughts on fuminism to be followed thereafter by my suggestion for a label that doesn’t immediately make you think of orthopaedic shoes and cat fights.

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Can it be a Fair Cop Guv, under this Gov?

All my work, whether for brands, or bands of people, is informed by one philosophy, ‘Don’t label me; enable me.’

After a series of surprisingly encouraging and refreshing encounters with the Police, I was particularly moved by one ‘girl’ of 23, with five years policing experience who said, ‘I have to remind myself it’s the uniform they hate.’

It was clear that the social pressures resulting from Government policies and attitudes (which brew negative behaviours) meant that the people I met only ever got to deal with ‘negative issues’. Thus, the police become indelibly associated with negatives.

Under the uniform, these individuals have the same dreams, hopes, aspirations and, don’t laugh, optimism as the rest of us. And if you saw what they see every day, you’d appreciate just how remarkable that is, and they are.

This was a quick sketch in response to my encounters (which counted for a lot), and anticipated Jeremy Clarkson’s concerns about how the Health & Safety Hi-Viz brigade have diluted the Police brand. Go to Stuttgart and the Police, with revolvers strapped to their hips look like authority figures. Ours look like lollypop ladies… no wonder people feel free to have a pop! So, here we go: Fair_Cop

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Unseen Obscene

There’s a great deal of difference between being alive and living.

Before we shuffle off this mortal coil, it’s important that we align ourselves with the correct polarity, to provide a positive charge.

I’ve been struggling to come to terms with the fact that I don’t have a choice in politics.

How can that be?

I have a choice, perhaps too great a choice as a consumer; but the society that threatens to consume me and my planet doesn’t offer me a solution?

If we don’t confront the problems in politics, then the problems will continue unabated. There’s no serious debate any more on the floor. Just Punch & Judy.

What goes on behind closed doors, in official assemblies, in Parliaments is no concern of ours.

We are not entitled to know. And WE have to confront the truth – we don’t want to know.

That won’t solve anything. The problems won’t go away. We can’t wash our hands of this, because this is our future.

It’s trite to say it’s our children’s future, but it’s true. Do we want to serve them up as fodder to future Governments?

Are our children destined to become grist to their mills?

The Dark Satanic Mills may no longer belch filth into the sky quite so obviously, but our filth is staining the oceans. Our filth is creating the: Unseen_obscene

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USA: pronunciation ‘You Ass Eh?’ and you’d better Beliebe it…

… Bieber’s fans (thy name is legion, or are they just a lesion?)… are supporting Juvie Jubie.

They are imploring the object of their adulation to enter Rehab… the kid’s barely out of diapers.

What the world seems to be blissfully unable to perceive is that God doesn’t bless America. That forsaken nation, had taken liberties with almost every nation since WWII (for the kids out there that’s not Wii) using bullyboy tactics and the umbrella strategy of threats to security to ring fence fossil resources.

Only Russia isn’t in thrall to the US, but while they’re resource-rich – it’s all they have to export. Russia does not iMake anything they can market to consumers.

There was a joke during the middle of the last century:

‘What’s the difference between Capitalism and Communism?’

‘Under Capitalism man exploits man.’

‘And under Communism?’

‘It’s the other way round…’ Boom tish!

I didn’t want to have to be the one to say this, but if we keep turning a blind eye and letting the US have their wicked way with the world… well, we can bend over and hold our ankles and let Uncle Sam do his worst, or we can stand up and be counted.

So I speak now, and will never hold their piece of silver. See here, I’m not a Belieber: You Ass Eh

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Manifestop: the rot

Many moons ago, and rivers crossed since, I owned

My intention was to create a manifesto with, y’know added wo…

… I didn’t just let it lie, I let it lapse, and now disappointingly the new owners have made it some sort of international art portal. It really don’t do what it says on the tin.

This time I’ve registered and it’s time to Manifestop the rot… see if you agree with my terms… Manifestop

A new ‘App’ to save Britain, Democracy and restore faith…

… not a big ask is it?

I REALLY didn’t want to have to do this.

I’m going to throw the document out there w/out further ado, because I obviously can’t do this on my own, and if no one feels as disenfranchised, dispossessed and distressed as I do amidst all the political infighting, or fails to feel my disgust and distrust for these self-serving officials duly elected by our Dumocratic process… then I’m truly as alone as the system leads me to believe.

A sorry state, when all  I can believe is that we have no political choice, no opportunity for change, and that we are destined to watch Britain descend into chaos.

Here’s my App-roach to the whole debacle > Ais4politics

Is this an App-propriate reaction? If you agree and know how the system should work, and have real working knowledge please contact me ASAP. Thank you.

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An appeal for Feminism Lite: FeMinimalism if you will

I’m all for Feminism, anything that keeps the Little lady AKA her indoors occupied?

Too much free time on her hands, and goodness knows what she’d be up to eh?

She might even be looking for saucy second servings, and we all know what happens when the crown jewels and the ball and chain get too familiar don’t we?

Nowadays it’s least said soonest mended, as so many people get at best rather offended, or worst, seriously rattled if you say the wrong thing. AND there are so many wrong things to say, and 50 Shades of confusing sensibilities to ensure offence is taken.

Not only do you have the die-hard feminists now, but you have others called intersectional feminists waiting in ambush at various crossroads, to take things the wrong way (well they are wimmin drivers) and get cross.

There are huge posses, and not a few pussies (these being other people of a sensitive inclination). Some take the moral high ground, but rarely take the trouble to lumber up there. Ooops sorry. Commenting on Fat People is now an offence called ‘Fat Shaming’.

It used to be OK to compliment people on their trim figure. Billy Connolly once said ‘Eat Less, Move More’ and Eddie Izzard opened a similar vein, ‘Stick less food in your gob.’

All these Wotcha! Weight programmes will have to go, what with their subtext about weight loss and the associated health benefits being portrayed as a good thang.

Funny how there’s an obesity epidemic brewing, and an NHS already bursting at the seams seems destined to deal with more people with Diabetes, and other diseases and conditions associated with ‘The overweight’.

Have you noticed how many women, who doth protest too much are strident about being happy with their weight and yet, when they stand, they’re forever tugging at their tops (designer range ‘Demis Roussos’ at Debenhams) or they dye their head a vibrant red, pink or purple (to show their individuality, like fifty-four thousand other ample women – with the added benefit of distracting attention from their ampleness).

The bustle has to make a big fashion comeback soon. There are a lot of women whose booty (that’s botty in old money) would be the perfect fit.

All the old jokes about copulation with larger women are verboten now. We can no longer roll them in flower and look for the wet spot, or ask them to fart and give us a clue. So all men who have seen a few decades, and lacking mobility can’t stretch from Stone to New Age, will have to treat the carpet burns on their knuckles themselves.

The Cave Man approach, though out-dated is actually pretty effective. There are so many pouffes around now, and other effeminate furnishings that heterosexual men can leave them to get all het-up, while we get up off our wobbly arses and give chase. There are still plenty of women who dress in a way destined to offend feminists.

These girls wear high heels and sashay around giving come hither looks and flashing their eyelashes. Maybe it’s Maybelline is obscene in the eyes of the true Feminist. She’s out sharpening her claws on the skull of her last victim.

FTAOD that doesn’t equate to they’re ‘Asking for it’. There’s a strange dichotomy between unreconstituted males and good manners. WE still have ‘em. We risk the glares from sisters who are doing it for themselves when we hold the door open.

It’s true that we unadulterated males (unadulterated meaning we will never pass adolescence) make lots of mistakes. We see a woman dressed to not impress, wearing comfortable shoes, and we assume she sticks her finger in the dyke, and insists on going Dutch.

People of limited sensibility AKA Men, can be identified with a simple test. Show them #LGBT and they’ll immediately think of BLT (not just the guys with dyslexia either).

People of considerable sensibility who do NOT see #LGBT as legit targets for anything should apply the above test regularly. It’s easy for a guy to pretend to be part-guy in order to get his wicked way. And even Neanderthals have access to personal hygiene tools, even if they choose to wear Old Spice first imported by Marco Polo.

And it’s OK. There will always be the girls who grew up with Madeline, and those who ate too many madeleines (those of the heifer persuasion are not rolling around laughing – sadly, as if they were we could scatter flour – as rumour has it that hey fattie bum bums, those sweet sugar dumplings are often grateful).

So there we are. If there’s anyone out there I’ve failed to offend, my apologies.

If you’d like to custom order an insult, or let me know what it is that gets you riled, I’ll try to oblige.

And before it’s too late, I’d like to try and Schmaltz those I may have offended… with excessive apologies and some cheesy compliments (scrupulously careful not to let on that Schmaltz is German for goosefat).

How long before the Big-boned brigade have all products with the word ‘fat’ in them removed from the shelves as they may offend, harass or intimidate people? They’ll have a job. In order to counteract the effects of over-indulgence and processed foods all foods are required to carry labels indicating how much sugar, fat and carbs they contain.

Those of an Overly Sensitive Disposition OSD will always seek politically-correct correction of words that end in man or men. Thus, Firemen are become Firefighters, and Policemen and Policewomen are Police… Oy Vey (another word of German origin) how long before we finish Christian prayers by saying Awomen?

As for me? I’m starting a campaign to have the word manicure changed to womanicure, or personicure, as it’s sexist, and offensive to us blokes who wouldn’t let anyone (not even a real cutie) near our cuticles.

Real men are rough around the edges diamond geezers (blokes who wear sovereign rings don’t qualify, they’re real Bobby Dazzlers like that darts bloke off the telly). Really real men are the ones brave enough to let a woman into their life, and their heart… oh go on then, you rub my back and I’ll rub yours.

The thing is. Real men are authentic, and women lucky enough to land one don’t let go. The old saying, ‘All the good ones are taken’? More than true. They’ve been flipping kidnapped and are duck-taped to chairs, while the Missus waltzes around to Sheila’s, no, Stealers Wheel. Which reminds me…

Gotta dash… the wife’s home in a couple of hours and I haven’t got her tea on yet!;)

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