Web Curios 29/05/15

Web Curios 29/05/15

THIS WAS MEANT TO BE THE SUMMER! Jesus, this would never have happened under a marginally more left-wing Government. Hey ho, I suppose I should be grateful - weather such as this tends to nudge my readership even higher into the two-figure stratosphere than usual.

Anyway, the big news story of the week (or at least the big news story for people who can afford themselves the luxury of quibbling about whether a news story is the biggest of the week or not) is so tedious as to render me almost completely without comment (other than to suggest that the holier-than-thou attitudes of certain sponsors is VERY FUNNY INDEED. You, er, didn't seem to care at all about where all your tens of millions went up 'til this week, did you VISA, you dreadful sh1tbags you? Despite the persistent stench of corruption and greed which has been hovering around that particular corner of Switzerland for YEARS. FUNNY THAT). 

So I'm going to ignore that this week, and instead dedicate this week's outpourings to the man standing next to me on the 155 last night at around 750pm who was very loudly discussing his purchase of (and I quote) "1k of ket, 1k of mephedrone, 1.5ks of gear and 1000 pills". Shout out that man for his CRAZY WEEKEND PLANS. And now, webmongs, come with me into the corner where we'll quickly palm something offered to us by the suspiciously bug-eyed wrongman - is it an upper? Is it a downer? Either way, what comes next will leave you feeling dry-mouthed, uncertain and very, very alone. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 22/05/15

Web Curios 22/05/15

It still all feels quite unreal, doesn't it, this post-electoral landscape, like everyone's just sort of playing at politics and at any moment they're going to turn round and say 'aha! fooled you! we're going to have the proper election now, you can ignore all the made-up stuff that we've put you through for the past 3 months'. Except obviously that's not actually going to happen - this is REAL LIFE, or at the very least a pretty convincing holographic representation thereof, and those lizards at the top of the pile are the ones that WE CHOSE. Crivens.

Anyway, it's been a long week and a longer morning (not technically possible, fine, but that's what it FEELS like) - my preamble therefore is going to be limited to seriously recommending that you check out The Angry Brigade at the Bush Theatre as it's an excellent production, and also that you try and check out Back Down at the Roundhouse if you're at a loose end between now and Sunday as it's also GREAT. That's it. No more. Tonight I'm going to go out and celebrate Fat Bob getting a new job - well done, Fat Bob - by listening to Nils Frahm; tomorrow will doubtless be characterised by a crushing comedown and a sense of almost overwhelming existential bleakness, which by uncanny coincidence is exactly the sort of feelings you can experience for yourselves RIGHT NOW by fully immersing yourself in the rapdily coagulating pool of freshly harvested webspaff that is this week's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 15/05/15

Web Curios 15/05/15

Well, so that happened. This time last week I was just about clambering out of bed, too scared to read the news which would only serve to confirm what I was told (and failed to believe) at 1030pm and then for the subsequent 6 hours on TV. It made me feel like this, in case anyone cares

Anyway, however annoyed you might be that not everyone agrees with your way of how the country should be run - how dare people exercise their democratic right in the wrong way?! - it's OVER. Just be grateful that you don't have to go through the whole sorry experience again in 4 months' time (as you scrape together the pennies to feed the electricity meter and contemplate another week of eating solely at Wetherspoons, inbetween zero-hours shifts cleaning the increasingly poorly-cut cocaine from the desks of the day-traders and asset managers welcome to the futurezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). Yes, it's time to put all that politicospaff behind us and go back to what we all do best - living life in the third person, fixing that shiny smile into a camera-ready pout and presenting an unrealistic and unrealisable version of ourselves to the world whilst inside we cry and cry and cry and cry. Once again webmongs, I'm here to provide you with your (almost) weekly dose of web-based SOMA, helping you forget the past and ignore the future and to live only and ever in the ephemeral glow of the digipresent - SWALLOW IT DOWN AND WAIT FOR IT TO TAKE EFFECT. This is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 01/05/15

Web Curios 01/05/15

And now, the end is near - chin up, webmongs, only a week of this to go (followed by the inevitable horse-trading and crushing realisation that regardless of what you voted for you will, at the end of it all, get what you're bloody well given and like it, sonny)!

I jest, of course, I jest - three cheers for representative democracy, or at least the simulacrum of it we're presented with every 5 years. I don't know about you, but I am VERY ready for this all to be done - perhaps next time around we can just stick the two main candidates in a ring and charge £100 for people to watch on pay-per-view, thus solving the problem of getting a definitive result AND potentially sorting out the whole 'austerity' thing in one fell swoop (NB - obviously I am not a political satirist and should shut up about this sort of stuff, but if you want to see someone getting truly schooled whilst horrendously out of their depth on this sort of thing then can I just recommend you check out Jolyon "I SPEAK FOR THE YOUTH!" Rubinstein getting massacred on This Week last night? Good).

Anyway, Web Curios will be taking next week off due to the fact that I intend to spend next Thursday night / Friday morning shouting at the television, as befits a failed journalist (Web Curios TRUFACT - I worked on the Election Night Broadcast for BBC R4/5 in 2001, and was in the studio with James Naughtie et al all night. Personal highlight was Neil Kinnock, who was there to comment on STUFF, witnessing Peter Mandelson's infamous "I'm a fighter, not a quitter!" speech; Kinnock, who it's fair to say was pretty shtfaced by this point and had his feet up on the mixing desk, offered one, single off-mike comment - "Oh Peter, you effete cnut". Poetry). In the meantime though, webmongs, grasp the Chalice of Internet with both hands and steel yourself to drain it in one long draught - but take care, and try and filter it through your teeth a bit, as it's full of suspiciously organic material. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 24/04/15

Web Curios 24/04/15

FINALLY the election comes to life! Finally some SEXY HEADLINES! It's what we've been waiting for - it's almsot as if the press have blown this #cameronette vs #milifandom thing out of all reasonable proportion because even they couldn't face another week of deathly dull non-reportage of non-policies delivered by non-personalities. Heaven forfend!

Anyway, in a week which has seen some incredible new lows in terms of cheap political pointscoring - really, Ed? Migrant deaths? - let's gloss over all that rubbish and instead focus on....well...not the good stuff so much as just the stuff. Come, Webmongs, and kneel in front of the overflowing content-trough; poise your porcine snouts above the overflowing, neverending conveyorbelt of freshly processed infoslurry, and gorge yourselves on my pre-chewed digicud; and don't worry about the gagging and retching, it's perfectly natural. Welcome, one and all, to WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 17/04/15

Web Curios 17/04/15

So the main news this week is that all the political parties published their manifestos and Buzzfeed didn't, despite my having CONFIDENTLY predicted this for the past 3 years, turn each of them into a gif-filled explosion of cat-based humour called a 'Manifesticle'. THANKS FOR NOTHING, BUZZFEED. Way to make me look like a dick. On the offchance that any staffers there read this, though, there's still time to use this GEM.

Otherwise it's all been fairly bleak and miserable as is standard in the modern world - anyone notice that it's been over a year now since #bringbackourgirls singularly failed to bring back anyone's girls? Obviously though that sort of stuff pales into insignificance when compared to the amount of column inches it's necessary to spaff on the fact that there's a new film trailer out. Obviously. 

Well, sod it all to buggery. The sun is shining, it's Friday afternoon and I get to forget about all this internet crap for the next 36 hours or so. I LIVE FOR THESE 36 HOURS OF FREEDOM. So while I go off and gambol in the sunshine, webmongs, you 'amuse' yourselves with this lovingly prepared selection of links, all of whom want YOUR clicks - choose carefully, and remember that whatever you end up selecting will make little or no difference to the general course of your life, because we live in a largely deterministic universe in which free will and individual agency are largely mythical constructs. HAPPY WEEKENDS!

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Web Curios 10/04/15

Web Curios 10/04/15

JUST LIKE JESUS I RISE FROM THE (ALMOST) DEAD (and, just like Jesus, only about a dozen or so people care when it actually happens)! That's RIGHT, Webmongs! There has been a stay of execution and Imperica is, for the moment, SAVED! Sincere thanks to all of you who bothered to say nice things and pledge cold, hard cash to keep this particular rickety ship afloat for a little while longer. You are all VERY KIND. 

Anyway, enough of the gratitude - as ever, I am expressing my near-boundless love for you all via the medium of about 150-odd links of varying quality, haphazardly 'curated' over the course of the next 6,000 words or so, Which, frankly, if you've ever experienced any of the other ways in which I occasionally express my love, you should be grateful for. 

Anyway, webmongs, let us roll back the stone and peer outside the cave once again, as with newly-refreshed limbs we prepare to leave the security of the tomb for the uncertainty of the potentially hostile territories beyond. Watch out for snakes and mountain lions (I confess that my knowledge of Judean fauna circa 33AD is pretty sketchy, so just go with me on this one) - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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In conversation with... Warren Ellis

In conversation with... Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis probably doesn't need an introduction. However, for the purposes of tidy article formatting, here goes: award-winning graphic novel writer; author of bestsellers Gun Machine and Crooked Little Vein; writer of Red, which became a film in 2013; of Iron Man: Extremis, which became the film Iron Man 3; currently working with Jerry Bruckheimer on a graphic novel adaptation for Fox; and so on. This intro could end up being longer than the actual conversation, so let's get to it and start with the Internet of Things.

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Web Curios 27/03/15

Web Curios 27/03/15

Last night the nation watched RAPT as a man shouted at two other men - THIS IS THE VALUE OF TELEVISED POLITICS. I didn't, though - I was at the theatre watching this instead, which is only on for two more nights but which any and all of you should make time to see as it is genuinely astounding. 

BUT! You don't come here for the theatrical recommendations and 'satire'! You come here for LINKS TO OTHER STUFF! Well, sadly, you may have to stop doing that - we're coming to the end of Imperica's attempt to raise funds and it's looking A BIT HAIRY. Ah well, we've had a time (an actual, real prize to the first person to place that reference). At the very least this is the last Curios until after Easter - what remains to be seen is whether we too will rise, Jesus-like, from the TOMB OF PENURY, or whether none of you buggers will help us roll the metaphorical stone back. 

So on that note, if this does turn out to be the final one of these things, then let me just say - it's been a PLEASURE.  I kiss all of your faces. Especially YOU. 

So, then, webmongs. This is WEB CURIOS!

(Oh, and just so's you know, there's an actual photograph of a penis in here this week (but it's a friendly, non-sexual penis, and it's right at the bottom, and it's all arty and stuff, so shouldn't cause too many issues). Thought I should let you know, though.)

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Web Curios 20/03/15

Web Curios 20/03/15

So last Friday I was in a GREAT mood and then I heard about the Battersea Arts Centre and it rather ruined it - BAC is an awesome venue, it supports some of my favourite artists, and if you can spare £10 for its renovation after the fire that would be ACE, thanks. And while you're feeling generous, you know, there's still time to SAVE IMPERICA, though not actually that long. I feel like Canute. 

By way of exchange for your generosity, let me offer YOU - yes, YOU, noone else, only YOU - the finest selection of this week's 'hand-foraged' (picked up off the dark corners of the web's floor and basically nicked off other people who got there first), 'artisanal' (literally no idea in this context, sorry), 'eclectic' (incompetently arranged) and, occasionally, 'challenging' (bongo and death) snippets from the web. Let me be your Maitre D, webmongs, as you prepare to tuck into this week's splendidly tasty selection of WEB CURIOS! (NB - we do not care about your allergies)

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Web Curios 13/03/15

Web Curios 13/03/15

In a week in which one of the UK's best-loved novelists (it seems a disservice to use the 'fantasy' prefix, frankly, for someone whose talent transcended genre-categories) died, we've also lost two of my favourite websites - both GigaOm and Holy Moly going to the great Wordpress platform in the sky due to people like YOU (and, er, me) expecting to get high-quality writing on the cheap (or, more accurately, for free). It seems ludicrous to segue from the sentence 'high quality writing' to suggesting you maybe consider chucking us a few quid, but I JUST WENT THERE, OH YES!

Ahem. Anyways, here we are once again, ready to spelunk deep into the damp innards of the web - get your ropes and carabiners ready, check the batteries on the head torch and wrap up warm, as it gets COLD AND DARK AND UNPLEASANT down there. As ever, I am your underqualified guide on this somewhat sulphorous expedition - this, webmongs, is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 06/03/15

Web Curios 06/03/15

So sorry about the brief absence - turned out that I had to go to Canada last week to have a really crap time. Observations about Canada are limited to the fact that they love ice hockey, curling, snow and, apparently, stereotypes - never let it be said that I don't bring you insight along with the webspaff. 

Anyway, to be honest I'm not really overburdened with desire to wax lyrical about anything much up top here this week - go and look at the weblinks, and be thankful your legs still work. 

OH, AND DONATE/SUBSCRIBE TO IMPERICA YOU SODDING INGRATES, IT'S THE LEAST YOU CAN BLOODY WELL DO. 

Sorry, that was rude. I do love and appreciate you, I promise. 

This, webmongs, as ever, is Web Curios.

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Web Curios 20/02/15

Web Curios 20/02/15

I'm meant to be getting a train to Brighton REALLY SOON, so don't really have time for the upfront bit today. SORRY. Rest assured, though, that in the absence of anything resembling journalistic standards in certain sections of the UK media, Web Curios is guaranteed 100% to be completely JAM-PACKED wwith stuff filched off other people who found it first (you can't say fairer than that - CURATION!). 

Whilst I go to get rained on at the seaside, you get comfortable, settle down and listen, as this week's stream-of-consciousness internet stylings get dripped slowly into your ear - though whether it's honey or Shakespearean poison, only time will tell. THAT'S RIGHT, WEBMONGS, IT'S WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 13/02/15

Web Curios 13/02/15

I was going to try and write something pithy about banking and tax avoidance, all BITING AND SATIRICAL, here, but then I realised that I simply can't be bothered. Your gain, I suppose. Another week, another procession of mediatards vomiting opinion over every available screen like some sort of hideous, carrot-flecked tsunami of cant. Maybe the commentariat should all go on strike for a week, just to show how much we'd miss them if they were gone.

Anyway, my opinion is as worthless as anyone else's, so ENOUGH. There's more than enough internet to be wading through without getting bogged down in pink buses and unexpected penetrations, so, without further ado, climb into my metaphorical bathysphere and peer out, as we take our weekly trip into the internet's murkiest reaches, where everything looks sort of misshapen and wrong and even the seemingly innocuous has razor-sharp teeth - it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 06/02/15

Web Curios 06/02/15

Thanks this week go to IS(IL? IS? It's very hard to tell) for dragging us once again back to an era in which Ogrish and Rotten were the go-to sites for every teenage boy with a web connection and a morbid sense of curiosity about death (don't, seriously, Google those - truly horrible places, both). Oh, and to Emily Maitlis who set poor old Ed up for the first COMEDY GAFFE of the election (I confess to feeling a twinge of sympathy for Mr Somebody as that interview was going out, though). 

No thanks at all, by contrast, to my laptop which chose to pretty much just die at 11am this morning, meaning getting this thing done's been a bit of a rush. Not that you'll notice, you ingrates. Anyway, time's a wasting and I've got a series of increasingly bitter and futile conversations to have with the strange computermen of Tottenham Court Road - come with me into the multicoloured room of knowledge, webmongs, and lock the door behind you while I ready the assorted, threatening selection of instruments by which I will bring you to the edge of digital ecstasy and beyond (there is no safeword): THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 30/01/15

Web Curios 30/01/15

SAVE DIPPY! GO AND PLAY IN A BALL POOL! Or, maybe, grow up! The choice, as ever, is yours. Still, though, it's good to see that our priorities appear to be in good order as we pass the magical '100 days to go' mark - I reckon one of the party leaders will be asked about their position on the sodding dinosaur (THE BONES AREN'T EVEN REAL FFS) by the end of the weekend. 

Anyway, you're not here for that - you're here to have some words, links and videos for you to stare listlessly at while you wait for the clock to tick round to PUB O CLOCK, so you can undo all the good work you've put in over the past four weeks by drinking three litres of meths to celebrate the end of dry January. Don't pretend that this isn't in part true. Anyway, webmongs, I have just what you need - go with the trenchcoated figure to the dark corner and watch in awe as he shows you the fabulous wares hidden in the lining of his capacious Burberry; just don't think too hard about where all the STUFF came from. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 23/01/15

Web Curios 23/01/15

So, it's GREAT TO BE BACK. No, really it is. The FUTURE is here! Or at least one version of it, for some people, maybe, in a while. For the rest of us, though, the future looks dispiritingly like the past with everyone shouting at each other and shooting at each other and generally being angry and disagreeable. O HAI, internet and global news and society in general - how I MISSED you!

Of course, the quite reasonable response to that whinging is to say 'well, you didn't have to come back, and noone asked you, and noone cares what you think anyway'. Which, it turns out, REALLY IS TRUE! I'm not going to bang on about this, because it would be ignoble and frankly failure / rejection is always embarrassing, but those of you who actually read this and like (or at least don't actively hate) it might want to click here and see whether you want to, you know, SAVE IMPERICA and stuff.

Anyway, that's the last time I'm going to mention that (until the axe is about to fall, at least). HAPPY NEW YEAR, WEBMONGS! Let's put on the gas masks, slip on the hazmat suits and prepare to venture into the long-abandoned warehouse with the eerily-flickering lights which is the internet - who KNOWS what terrifying new THINGS may have bred in there since we last looked in (CLUE: much the same blend of stuff as a month ago, for those of you who are of a nervous disposition). THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 12/12/14

Web Curios 12/12/14

So, after 35 editions and somewhere between 7-10,000 links (but who's counting, eh?) we come to the end of yet another year. Well, obviously 'we' don't - you may have to continue to pretend caring about your meaningless white-collar slavery for another few days yet - but Web Curios is OFF UNTIL 2015! Trust me, you're nowhere near as relieved about this as I am. 

This is the bit where were I a proper writer or chronicler of THESE FUNNY TIMES WE LIVE IN I would attempt some sort of pithy summary of the year just gone, themes and trends I've observed and my tentative predictions for the world that is to come. Seeing as I am neither, though, I will limit myself to saying this - I am tired, webmongs, a fact partly attributable to an overly late night on the sauce but also perhaps the fact that the world is just EXHAUSTING these days. So much stuff, so much anger, so much meaningless cant and rhetoric. 

Which I'm going to proceed to add to below. I'm nothing if not consistently hypocritical. So come with me into the backroom for one last time, take a look at my 'tree' and unwrap my 'presents' - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 05/12/14

Web Curios 05/12/14

It's December. IT'S ALMOST OVER! A few more weeks of pretending to care about our jobs and we can once again swaddle ourselves in the alcoholic fug of needless gluttony to see out another year. Except those poor sods who have to keep working in order to enable the rest of us to swaddle ourselves in the alcoholic fug of needless gluttony, but let's not think about them, eh?

So, as thoughts turn to turkey, fratricide and matricide (for what is more headily redolent of the festive season than the creeping knowledge that you don't actually like your family at all?), let's all roll up our sleeves and grimly suffer through this week's secret santa of webspaff, where the only guarantee is web-based tat - it's WEB CURIOS! 

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Web Curios 28/11/14

Web Curios 28/11/14

To those three of you reading this rather than attempting to shank each other over the promise of a discounted toaster, WELCOME! To the rest of you, I hope your plastic gewgaws bring you untold happiness and that they somehow manage to compensate for the gnawing realisation that all we're doing is trying and failing to fill a society-wide emotional void with objects - no, really, you're welcome!

In a week in which America took a time machine back to 1992, I can't really bring myself to write much up top here - suffice it to say, webmongs, that below this fold exists your weekly dose of webspaff - roll up your sleeves, steel yourselves, and dip your grasping arms into the pot-luck grab-bag; who knows, maybe your fingers will close around some solid WEB GOLD, or maybe they'll be snapped off by something truly unimaginable. EITHER WAY, THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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