Sunday, 28 September 2008

Sunday, 21 September 2008

A Fear of Unflying

I mentioned in my last post my irrational fear of flying. I've discovered that what I actually have is a fear of unflying. Charlie Brooker put it better then I ever could in his weekly Screen Burn article (paper back here)
I'm not afraid of flying. I'm afraid of unflying. I'm afraid of that rare moment when an aeroplane malfunctions and is instantly transformed into a mode of transport approximately 200 times less secure than a Disprin canoe; a chillingly efficient air-to-ground missile intent on delivering you and your fellow travellers straight to the heart of splatsville, no matter how loud you scream into one anothers' ears.
When ever I'm flying a scene from Fight Club comes to mind. The unnamed protagonist (Edward Norton) is sitting on a plane whilst delivering a monologue on how he wishes every plane he's on crashes. The plane he's on then falls apart before Norton's eyes whilst he has a vacant yet expectant look on his face. Every 5 seconds on a flight I'm playing out this scene before my eyes, watching the passengers being sucked out the Easyjet Boeing like the alien & human hybrid at the end of Alien Resurrection.

Talking of Brooker, there's a new series starting on E4 next month called 'Dead Set'. I'm too lazy to explain what it is, so here's E4's description...
Dead Set. Britain has a big problem. The dead are returning to life and attacking the living. And the people they kill get up and kill. But a few people are oblivious to this - that's because they're the remaining contestants in Big Brother. Cocooned in the safety
of the Big Brother house, they're blissfully unaware of the horrific events unfolding outside - until eviction night...
You can view the trailer by visiting the official site. In truth, I'm bored of Zombies. I love horror, and I consider Zombies to be the most terrifying whilst equally hilarious monster going. The problem is, the zombie film really is a diluted genre of late, ever since it was embraced by the mainstream in the decent Dawn of the Dead Remake and the classic Shaun of the Dead. Thankfully, this is written and directed by Charlie Brooker , co-creator of Nathan Barley (great) and writer of the weekly Screen Burn column (see above). So here's hoping it will have the hallmarks of a classic Romero movie, violent (Brooker is an angry man) and funny whilst providing some interesting social commentary/satire.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

FAC 73

I've been wanting to buy a copy of the infamous FAC 73 vinyl for sometime. Factory records assigned each of their releases with a 'FAC' code, FAC 73 being 'Blue Monday' by New Order.

For anyone who hasn't heard the infamous story, the sleeve for Blue Monday was so complex that every copy of it sold lost Factory money. And to make matters worse, Blue Monday was estimated to have UK sales of over 1 million.

As with many anecdotes, this version of events that I was sold by some b-grade music mag was a bending of the truth, a liberal use of artistic license. It turns out the loss was only made on the die-cut sleeve, which were discontinued in favour of the cheaper and actually profitable non die-cut sleeve. Nether the less, any profit from the new sleeve was most likely swallowed by FAC 51 AKA the Hacienda.

I love this story because the whole incident was a perfect example of Factory's approach to the music business - Financially a disaster on a astronomical scale, whilst still producing some of the most important music of the 80s, if not the 20th Century.

I picked up a non-die cut italian import of the sleeve in Barcelona this week and it looks brilliant. The sleeve is 12" version of a 5¼" floppy disk. The only text is down the spine, simply stating 'FACTORY 73'. A code using coloured boxes down the right hand side of the sleeve is translated as 'FAC 73 BLUE MONDAY AND THE BEACH NEW ORDER' (thanks Wikipedia). The italian important has an inner yellow sleeve, which makes the cut outs all the more striking.

I'm off to sunny wales now for a few days in the parent's caravan before going back to work.

PS - I particularly liked the way I nonchalantly mentioned that I purchased the record in Barcelona. In truth I hate flying and generally only leave the country once a year. More on that in the next post I guess.