yeah, so I just checked lj on my phone to see how that last post came out and well, that right there is one of the reasons why I don't really use livejournal anymore. the damn thing can't parse a simple fucking link. jesus.|
I'm still neglecting this thing horribly, but I am actually blogging a|
little bit here and there elsewhere on the internet. I wrote a few things
last year for Trouble With
the group blog of Comic Book Galaxy, but more recently I've been posting
stuff on my tumblr <http://davidwynne.tumblr.com/>. Rather than repost them
here in full like I've done in the past, I thought I'd chuck some links up
Just A Thought <http://davidwynne.tumblr.com/post/272432737>
My To-Do List For 2010 <http://davidwynne.tumblr.com/post/289654054>
My Incredibly Narrow Focus Year In Review Part
My Incredibly Narrow Focus Year In Review Part
Fuck Off Snow - A Christmas Song<http://davidwynne.tumblr.com/post/320024585>
And there's another one that I'm waiting to publish itself (I post there via
email, something that's far, far easier to do at Tumblr than it is here,
hence why I'm using that rather than this). Enjoy.
*(Posted via email which is why this post probably looks like shit and why
i won't be surprised if the links are in fact all fucked up and useless,
because livejournal seems to be basically stuck in 2005)*
Another quick 'n' dirty repost from me tumblr (davidwynne.tumblr.com), |
partly because I think it might find a more appreciative audience here...
Sometimes I just can't help myself. I just HAVE to poke my nose in.
In this particular instance, the target of my nasal intrusion is the
frankly hilarious war of words between one of my internet heroes, Lisa
Fortuner (probably better known as Ragnell- http://ragnell.blogspot.com )
and the proprieter of a comic shop somewhere in the US called Larry's
Comics, one Larry Doherty. The war seems to be over now- the last shots
fired an hour or two ago- and started on Ms Fortuner's blog (see the post
entitled “Clear Communication” and it's follow up, “Current Events”) before
migrating onto twitter, where I have been observing proceedings with
amusement, and even, i'll admit, joining in the heckles from the peanut
Now, this kind of thing is sort of a blast from the past for me- I used to
make a habit of getting involved in these sort of scuffles, but with the
advent of twitter, it's become unnecessary most of the time. But
occasionally there's something that I just find so hypnotically mental-
where the very fact that such a thing is even taking place boggles my mind
to such a dgree- that I am drawn, moth like, to the flame of internet
Of course the involvement of Rich Johnston adds a certain extra frisson of
hilarity to the whole thing for me; Johnston is almost a pantomime villain
in my mind at this point, his behaviour is so ridiculously, publically
slimey and unlikeable. Here's a guy who wants to write comics (and even,
astonishingly, gets paid to do so from time to time)… so he decides to make
a name for himself by running a gossip column, dragging the reputations of
proffessional creators through the mud at every available opportunity, and
spoiling their stories when he can. Of course, in the process, he's managed
to do some good along the way- shaming publishers into paying creators they
owed money to- and while I obviously applaud this, given the rest of his
behaviour, I find it incredibly hard to believe that these actions were
motivated by anything other than self-promotion, since that seems to be the
only thing the man thinks about. I've had (very small) public run ins with
the man myself in the past; I know from experience that he can be so
impressively economical with the truth that he could probably qualify as
some kind of metaphysical chartered accountant specialising in reality
However, that's not why I fel the need to blog about this. Much as I'd love
to throw verbal shit at the Lying Guttersnipe, my target is of course mr
Larry Doherty. What I want to bring up is not his laughable accusations of
libel (he thinks that opinions can be regarded as libelous! Which reminds
me off the time Jeremy Beadle took the scottish Sketch comedy troupe Naked
Video to court for calling him an “arsehole”, and lost), nor is it his sad
and foolish burbling about being “victimised”, and contacting his
No, I want to throw something new out there. I want to bring out another
exhibit in the internet prosecution of Larry Doherty, another little titbit
that illustrates the character of the man clearly, publically, and for all
The main thrust of Ragnell's original blogpost is that mr Doherty is
clearly uninterested in selling comics to anyone other than stereotypical
fanboys. Mr Doherty considers this libelous (hahahahahahahaha oh do excuse
I've just visited the Larry's Comics website. And wouldn't you know,
Larry's Comics has it's very own podcast! “Oooh” says I “I do love
podcasts”. And it's true! I listen to bloody hundreds of the buggers. I
even have a (rather neglected) column at the website for one of my
favourite podcasts, the rather excellent Geek Syndicate. But I digress.
“I wonder if this podcast is the kind of thing I would enjoy” I doth
rhetorically enquire of myself, and the aether. And lo! My entreaty is
answered! For there, right in front of my eyes, is a string of big bright
red letters spelling out the legend “A WEEKLY PODCAST BY GEEKS LIKE YOU!”
“Like *me*?” methinks, now embarrassed at having previously verbalised my
inner monologue, and me at work no less. “Gosh,” my rumination continues,
“a podcast by grindcore obsessed hospital porters who also draw webcomics
and secretly fantasise about one day running away to join the russian
ballet as their finest white swan? Wow!”
Alas, I am to be disappointed. For, a short scroll below this enticing
tagline, I find myself presented with a series of photographic portraits;
these faces I see before me are the uniformly white, overweight, middle
aged, male visages of the eight hosts of this podcast. Okay, that's
*slightly* unfair- two of them look like they're under thirty, and two of
them look like their doctor probably doesn't give them shit about their
Five of them have beards, or possibly six (one of the younger guys looks
like he might be trying to grow one of those whispy little semi pube things
the under 25s often sport).
What a sad little illustration that is. JUST LIKE YOU! BECAUSE ONLY WHITE
MIDDLE AGED MEN READ COMICS! AND IF YOU'RE NOT A WHITE MIDDLE AGED MAN,
WELL FUCK YOU! I DON'T WANT YOU LISTENING TO MY PODCAST, AND I CERTAINLY
DON'T WANT YOUR MONEY!
Now, at this point I'd probably better own up to being white, fat, bearded
and thirty. But here's the difference between me and Larry (or whoever
wrote that caption- although Larry still bears responsibility, since he
seems quite happy to have it front and centre on his website): I don't want
comics to be read ONLY BY PEOPLE LIKE ME. I want EVERYONE to read comics.
When I go to cons, and I see all these young women who have been brought in
by webcomics or manga or twilight or whatever, it makes me very very happy.
I LIKE diversity. I think it's awesome. And it goes hand in hand with that
sentiment that I would consider the behaviour of gentlemen like Mr Doherty
to be absolutely, brain meltingly stupid.
HAHAHA I IZ SCARIN OFF DA GURLS! I IZ PROUD! DIS BOYS CLUB! NO STINKY GURLS
Anyway, yeah, that was it. Toodles.
This is a quick 'n' dirty repost via email from my tumblr. It's my first genuine blog post in months; I think it's fair to say that if you want to keep up with me on the net these days then twitter is the place to do it. I'd love to check in here more often but it's just so massively inconvenient that I do it less and less. I do have the decency to feel awful about all the people I'm gradually losing touch with; not quite enough decency to stop it happening though, it seems.|
Anyway, here you go, a little ramble about how my preferred sound at this time of year isn't the jingling of sleigh bells, but the thrashing of guitars and pounding drums.
You know, it's funny what the changing of the seasons does to my temprament. It's only taken me 30 years to pin it down- although, to be fair, I had plenty of other mental issues to sort through- but there's a definite shift in the gears inside my skull when the weather makes that sudden snap into proper cold around mid-November.
It's a long standing joke in my immediate family that I shave my head as soon as it gets cold. And now I come to think about it, it's true, more often than not. This year's no exception. It's not a conscious decision, and logically I understand why it doesn't make any sense- believe me, I know it as soon as the wind hits the back of my head- but that point when my hair gets so irritating that it absolutely must go always seems to hit once the nights are fully drawn in.
The big shift is my musical taste. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm more than a little partial to ridiculously heavy music. The old chuggity chuggity. But during the warmer months my listening habits are pretty diverse; as well as the Anthrax there's plenty of blues, country, more mainstream rock, experimental electronic music, classical music and so on and so on... this year I went on a little bit of a Malian blues kick, for example.
But once the sun starts setting around four, and the wind gets cold enough that my thumb goes numb when I'm texting, all that other shit goes out the window, and the Napalm Death albums come out. I don't know if it's a reaction to the temperature, a need to keep my base level of excitement up when I'm outdoors (which is where I do most of my music listening, on my mp3 player, travelling to and from work) so as to fend off hypothermia, or something else, but as the christmas season approaches, something makes me want to deafen myself.
This year, as is so often the case, it started with Napalm Death- their excellent Enemy Of The Music Business album was warming my eardrums for a while, before I moved onto their more recent Time Waits For No Slave thanks to my lovely eMusic subscription. From there I found myself drawn to Throwdown, who's latest album, Deathless, is not only awesome, but also sounds almost exactly like Pantera. And now I'm onto Hatebreed. Who, interestingly, appear to have begun a slow metamorphosis into Biohazard on their new self-titled effort.
I've been trying, lately, to pin down exactly what genre of music it is that I like. When I was young, we just called it metal; as I got older, it became easier to talk about hardcore, as metal became increasingly afflicted by highly emotional fourteen year olds with fashionable haircuts who wanted to warble about their feelings. And then emo came along, and suddenly those irritating little shits were fucking up all the hardcore bands as well. Wikipedia tells me that the kind of music I love so much is now known as "metalcore", which makes sense, I suppose.
I can't fully pinpoint what it is that I love about this kind of music. The most common criticisms levelled at this genre are that it's mindless and macho; now, while I shan't deny that this is certainly true of a certain section of the audience, I can't think of many genres of music that ISN'T true of. To level this particular accusation at this music is unfair though. It's definitely muscular, but I've known too many female metalheads (including my beloved) to think that it's gender specific; as for the "mindless" label, well, all I can say is to read some lyrics. For every deliberately anti-intellectual, brutally simple hate mantra, you'll find two or three carefully crafted, highly impassioned excercises in positive, plugged-in, politically charged empowerment. Primal, yes; primitive, no.
As for the simplicity of the music itself, the simplicity is the point. It's not about showing off how well you can play your instrument- if you want that, you need power metal, a genre composed almost entirely of hairspray addicted middle aged men who can't tell their guitars apart from their penises, and masturbate with both constantly- it's about connecting with the lizard brain, about producing a sound that will induce the fight or flight impulse and keep it pumping. It's about making a sound that feels like the gates of hell have opened, and an enormous horde of monstrous beasts are stampeding out of it in your direction. It's about simulating what it must be like to be inside a thunder cloud when lightning strikes.
It's about bludgeoning yourself deliberately in the brain. And I love it.
Oh, and as an addendum:
You know that old chestnut about heavy metal and/or punk rock being right-wing and/or racist? the popular perception that anyone who listens to this stuff is a neo-nazi skinhead or redneck biker?
Anyone who thinks that is not only ignorant, but fucking stupid to boot. Again: read some lyrics. Fuck, look at the bands themselves: a pretty large proporation of the most beloved and influential bands in this sphere are multi-ethnic. Politically, they generally range between straight up anarchist and mainstream liberal. Authoritarianism and war are the traditional targets of the fury that fuels the music, with bigotry a close third on the shit list. there ARE nazi metal and hardcore bands- a lot of the scandinavian "black metal" satanist bands advocate that kind of poisonous shit, and there's a whole underground white power punk scen in the US- but they are very much their own distinct sub-culture, largely rejected by masses who listen to this stuff. I have no truck with that shit, and neither should you.
Just wanted to clear that up.
I swear, I woke up one morning to see a fucking snail on the wall by the bed.|
The new place is on the first floor so it's much nicer. Light and airy, with a lovely kitchen. But it's also a damn sight smaller. Obviously that's lead to some hassle, but I think it's worth it.
Anyway I'm running out of space again. So: be well, you lot. Peace.
13th Sep, 2009 @ 01:33
Long time no see|
Posting from my phone, so this'll be short.
Thought I'd drop in here and give you lovely people a quick update on the adventures of Dave. Cos I miss you lot pretty badly, and this seems like the only feasible way of keeping in touch.
We moved house last month. That's some pretty big news, I guess. The old place had just become unbearable- dark, cold, and damp. (continued)
Testing something, nothing to see here|
So, the walk went pretty well, although Amanda was understandably knackered yesterday...!|
You can still sponsor/donate if you want, in fact I think the justgiving page stays active for a couple of months- see my previous entry for the relevant links. Thank you to everyone who already has, and thanks in advance to anyone planning to do so.
Okay, I need to tell you a story. A true story.|
You all know who Amanda is, right? She's my fiancee. She works in schools, helping kids with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Three years ago she was working in a secondary school near where we now live, as part of a very tightly-knit team of amazingly supportive people. Among them, Amanda's then manager, Liz Curtis.
When Amanda and I got together, Liz was pregnant, and Amanda was really excited for her, as we all tend to be when our friends are about to become parents- even if, as in Liz's case, it's for the third time. There is something about a new baby that brings out the love in all of us... even me, believe it or not.
As the pregnancy neared it's completion, it became apparent that things weren't quite right. The baby had stopped growing, even though everything else seemed to be normal. As a result, Liz and her doctors took the difficult decision to deliver by caesarean section 5 weeks early. Lily Anna Merrit was born on the 24th of April 2006, weighing 3lbs 8oz, despite being healthy in all other respects.
To start with, her growth was normal- but once she reached 4lbs, that was it. She stoppd growing.
I remember the day Amanda came home from visiting Liz and Lily, shortly after the hosptal decided it was okay for Liz take her daughter home. Amanda's joy at spending time with such a beautiful baby was palpable.
Over the months that followed, Lily suffered seizures, and underwent multiple tests and x-rays.
I don't know how long it took for the doctors to finally work out what was wrong, but the eventual dignosis was Mitochondrial Disease, a genetic problem effecting cell function. It's very rare, and varies widely from person to person in it's symptoms.
And it's incurable.
Lily lived for a year and six days.
(EDIT: Okay, this is embarrassing... as anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, my memory is apalling, and when I typed up this post I had my dates wrong. Lily was born on the 24th of August, not April, and so her life was even shorter than I've said- she was just eight months old when she passed away.)
Mitochondrial disease is, as I said, very rare. research into it's treatment is sorely under-funded, and public knowledge of the disease is shockingly lacking. Following Lily's death, it was obvious to Liz that someone needed to do something about this.
So Liz set up The Lily Foundation. Please click the link and read a little about what they've achieved in the last two years.
Today, May 9th is the day after Amanda's birthday. Do you know what she decided to do for her birthday weekend? Well, as I type this, she's halfway through a 40km walk through the South Downs. The walk is in aid of no specific charity; rather, each particpant is asked to choose their own cause and organise their own sponsorship. Amanda, as you will have guessed by now, is walking in aid of The Lily Foundation.
Please click on over to her Justgiving page and sponsor her if you can. She'll be very grateful, and so will I.