Thursday, 24 November 2016

Facebook meanderings

Inconsequential jottings on Facebook in the past few weeks.

Good news. The scientists who discovered graphene have made it into a skin that's even thinner than Donald Trump's.

Hev's been telling me all about the conditions under which Amazon drivers work (from this show I've not seen yet). If any of us who've ever worked for (shall remain nameless) comic publisher over the years told our stories of zero-hour contracts, pay rates that have been the same for 20 years, and being dropped after decades with no comeback... we'd never work for them again would we? (And yet we all still want to).

Here's a comforting quote for all the doomsayers out there:
"It’s 1988 now. Margaret Thatcher is entering her third term of office and talking confidently of an unbroken Conservative leadership well into the next century. My youngest daughter is seven and the tabloid press are circulating the idea of concentration camps for persons with AIDS. The new riot police wear black visors, as do their horses, and their vans have rotating video cameras mounted on top. The government has expressed a desire to eradicate homosexuality, even as an abstract concept, and one can only speculate as to which minority will be the next legislated against. I’m thinking of taking my family and getting out of this country soon, sometime over the next couple of years. It’s cold and it’s mean-spirited and I don’t like it here anymore." - Alan Moore, V For Vendetta foreword 1988

Dear God. Quiet news day in Swindon.
This article (which is real, despite being on a website that sounds fake) says a fair bit about the current "fake news" situation. But I think it has more significance from an American readers point of view, where they've been used to higher standards of journalism than the UK.
Having just read (and started rereading) Jon Ronson's So You've Been Publicly Shamed, I'm slightly fixated by the story of Jonah Lehrer who made up a few quotes which he attributed to Bob Dylan and had his entire career ruined as a result. From the viewpoint of the UK, where our biggest national newspapers regularly fabricate quotes, and tell blatant lies, it's a strange world of journalistic exactitude and moral rectitude that is both enviable and a bit scary.
What I'm saying is, the Denver Guardians and fake news sites made up my Macedonian teenagers are, indeed, a disturbing thing. But look back at 40 years of The Sun and the Daily Mail and you'll see that intelligent people can see through these things. Dumb people have always been dumb people. Mislead them with a few lies about immigrants and taking back control and... well, what's the worst that could happen?

Got an Only Connect for you:
Denis Thatcher (2009)
Sherlock Holmes (1982)
Prince Phillip (2016)
The Fool in King Lear (2008)****
Unsurprisingly, someone's found a book that correctly predicted what would happen this year. Among the big pile of books that incorrectly predicted an infinity of things that might happen this year but didn't. Which helps us not in the slightest, but will shift some copies of a book from 1998 by a dead guy. Yay journalism.

We're only 10 minutes into it, but does Poliakoff's Close To The Enemy stop being bleeding awful anytime soon? So far there's been no dialogue that's not all exposition, and no characters that are more than cardboard cutouts. We laughed out loud at "That must the only toffee apple in all of London".

What is the world coming to? I just scrolled down screeds of Facebook (how do you measure the length of Facebook you just scrolled down?) and not one single person has mentioned you know Who. It's November 23rd, people. Has the favourite programme of my childhood finally faded from memory?
PS: Isn't this the worst Radio Times cover you've seen? What is that typeface supposed to be?

We can only hope Bill Hicks/Garth Ennis* were right, and this is what Trump has ahead of him...
*And the late great Steve Dillon of course

What are the chances? Yesterday, in my comic class, the kids got me to draw this big scary guy from Death Note. I've never drawn him before, or even given him a thought in ages. Today he's on my Facebook. How?

This was a meme doing the rounds:
Four names I get called:
"You look like The Doctor"
"What do they call you?"
The Socks
Four places I've lived
Four things I love to watch on TV:
Doctor Who
You've Been Framed
Top Of The Pops
Old movies
Four places I have visited:
The 1970s
The 1980s
The 1990s
Four things I love to eat:
Fish from a Fish & Chip shop
Hotel breakfasts
School dinners
Baked beans
Favourite drinks
Beer with friends
Beer on my own
Four people I think will respond and hopefully be good fun:
Heather Tweed
Steve Noble (but I caught this contagion from him)
Oscar Harding
Corral Sutherland

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

Feb 15 - Buxton Pavilion Arts Centre Studio 
Feb 17 & 18 6.50pm - Kayal, Leicester Comedy Fest
March 9 - Aberystwyth Arts Centre
March 15 & 16 - Dram! Glasgow Com Fest
March 23 - The Bill Murray, London
Apr 6 - Victoria Theatre Halifax
Apr 8 - Rondo Bath 
Apr 13 - Hexham Queen Hall 
Apr 22 - Swindon Arts 
Apr 27 - Stroud Subscription Rooms 
Apr 28 - Merlin Theatre Frome 
May 1 - Chiddingstone Castle Kent 
May 5 - Artrix Bromsgrove
May 6 - Stafford Gatehouse
May 13 (4.30pm) & May 14 (5.30pm) Komedia Brighton
May 19 - Carriageworks Leeds
June 2 - Eden Ct Inverness
June 15 - Crescent Arts, Belfast
June 17 - Dalkey Festival, Dublin
June 24 - Ludlow Fringe

**** Parts played by Doctor Who. Obviously.

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