Tuesday, February 02, 2010

 

Pretty Pictures – and Pretty Intelligent

Welcome to February, a little belatedly as I was utterly shattered yesterday, and to ease you into the new month I’ve prepared a selection of links to sites with pretty pictures – each of which will also insidiously get your brain working. Well, I hope they’ll do so for me, anyway, as I’m still knackered and have a great many things I want to write. Marvel, then, at Jodrell Bank’s pick of the night sky for February, a fabulous Douglas Adams pastiche, several comic strips and something not at all safe for work. Hope it cheers and wakes you up. And, in at least one case, gets you up (not the Pope, then). I might do this again – it’s more fun than reorganising my entire sidebar of outdated links, isn’t it?

February By Night

Jodrell Bank’s monthly astronomy update for what to look out for in the night sky. February’s particularly good for Mars and Italian scooters, apparently. Just such a shame President Obama’s decided we’re only going to look at it all from down here. Meanwhile, Douglas Adams famously imagined a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while lying back in a field in Innsbruck and looking at the stars…

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Daleks

The absurdly gifted Andrew Orton used to have a website full of ‘movie posters’ for Doctor Who stories, some of them very eye-catching and several still saved on my hard drive long after he abandoned them. These days, rather than manipulating simple images in Photoshop (or whatever), he builds CGI Doctor Who and other models to do marvellous things with them. I particularly enjoyed his pastiche of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, mixed in with the first Doctor Who story on which Douglas Adams was credited as script editor. My suspicion is that, unlike the ‘real’ computer graphics of the fabulous 1981 TV series, Andrew has used real computer graphics.

Jesus and Mo

And now onto the pictures that don’t move about a lot, but which might bear some relation to Oolon Coluphid. There were these two blokes down the pub… And they probably shouldn’t be viewed by those of a religiously sensitive disposition. I’m with the barmaid (hi, Jennie!).

Unspeakable Vault (Of Doom)

More blasphemy. Tut. And more on the Unspeakable Pope later (who’s not a pretty picture). A century ago, writer HP Lovecraft decided that horror had become too familiar and, thus, not frightening. He created an unnameable, unspeakable, sometimes unreadable new universe of cosmic horror, stories where the scary things were only glimpsed, weren’t explained, and crushed the investigator like a bug to finish – in the more reassuring tales. Today, what’s new has become old, and many-tentacled, unpronounceable Lovecraftian abominations have become as much a cliché as Dracula was to him. The cuddly cartoon mass-mutilation of the Unspeakable Vault (Of Doom) would, then, have been a pain in the neck to Mr Lovecraft, as the more recognisably “Lovecraftian” something is, the less it is like anything Mr Lovecraft was trying to do. It does, however, make me laugh very improperly.

Adam and Andy

Adam and Andy are a middle-aged gay couple who’ve been together for ever, where one works terribly hard and the other’s lazy, and where neither is as svelte as they used to be. It’s just like another sci-fi link, as obviously they’re in a completely different world to my life. They have a dog, not an elephant! Thanks to the very gorgeous Alex Foster for putting me on to their strip some time ago, too.

Oglaf.com

This one does what it says on the disclaimer page. Yes, the artist of these cartoons started off wanting to make fantasy porn, but found it all too funny. As a result, she goes where the mood takes her and some of the strips, regretfully, are safe for work. Don’t worry – there’ll be more cock jokes along very soon. A tip: if, like me, you start reading and then want to read the whole thing, while each of the strips is funny on its own, many of them build up to punchlines – one might call them climaxes – over several instalments. If you like the first few you read and want to carry on, you really are best off clicking on the “START” page and going on from there, as reading a joke backwards is noticeably less funny.

The Internet is for Porn (and I’m for Colby Keller)

This one also started off as porn and is often funny, but it’s not a cartoon, it’s a porn star’s very engaging blog about his life in the recession. His headline pic on his Big Shoe Diaries is naked, partially obscured by a “Will Fuck For Food” sign; the background to his Twitter account, on which at present he’s fully clothed, is him surrounded by his books. Come on, you like him already, don’t you? Some pages are indeed safe for work, but you’re probably safer assuming they’re not: though he frequently discusses his visits to art galleries and museums, ‘I went there for the art’ may not stand up to close examination when it doesn’t go down well with your system administrator. Look out, too, for mentions of his friend Conner Habib, who is funny, an academic and another very hot films chap. Do you get many of those? Anyway, Colby was recommended to me by a friend in one of those late-night wide-ranging Doctor Who, food and porn online discussions one has, as someone who’s funny, intelligent, and also very sexy, not plucked to within an inch of his life, and looking like he’s enjoying himself. And after a few days of looking at the pictures, you might start reading what he has to say, too.

This particular recommendation is dedicated to Tower Hamlets Council.

In much less wholesome porn news, the Australian legislature are officially a bunch of wankers. They’ve based a new law on mainstream pornography’s somewhat inflated view of breasts, and decided that all pictures of women with relatively small breasts are akin to child pornography. Were all their campaigns funded by the cosmetic surgery industry? ‘Women – buy those implants now or you aren’t a real woman’ isn’t the sort of message you expect an actual law to be sneering, is it? Strangely, they don’t appear to have banned pictures of men with small penises. That sort of porn’s absolutely fine, too, but presumably the Australian Parliament were too busy watching the big boobs to keep their minds on lower matters… Oh, but I’m wrong! It seems female ejaculation is “abhorrent”, too. That’s a law that sounds like it was made by HP Lovecraft, and about as in touch with the real world.


Pay For Pope? Nope

By now, you’ve probably heard about Pope Rottweiler’s latest medieval threats. So I’ll just comment through the medium of Twitter…

I tweeted last night:

Ex-Nazi to visit UK, demand special rights, charge taxpayers £20m for privilege & make gays 2nd class. It’s political incorrectness gone mad!

Then added my simple Liberal message, with a link to the National Secular Society’s petition against paying for him – he’s not in any sense a pretty picture, but he does make a good poster when you click to see all the signatories:

Don’t ban Pope but don’t keep quiet & don’t pay for his tour of hate (sign here)

I joined Twitter less than a week ago, and an evil old bigot telling us how to live our lives and demanding money and laws in his favour has had by far the biggest Twitterbag amongst the people I’m following. Who knew?
Long-term readers may recall that I have limited patience with theocratic bigots claiming that they should have special rights and lashings of gay taxpayers’ cash to be above the law.


Update: Gosh. Thanks, Colby!

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