Web Curios 21/11/14

Web Curios 21/11/14

So I awoke this morning into a world in which yet another malodorous purple nail has been hammered into the coffin of the possibility of an overall parliamentary majority next year - GREAT! I for one CANNOT WAIT for the political circus to properly start up in January, can you? Oh. 

Don't worry, though, because everything else is GREAT. The economy's screwed again, or at least it will be in short order, we're more and more terrified of foreigns each and every day, and I have a really annoying spot which I honestly thought would be a thing of the past by the time I hit my mid-30s. Frankly it was all I could do to muster the half-arsed enthusiasm to vomit this rubbish out today, so I hope you 'enjoy' it. Come with me now, webmongs, as we venture into the gigantic virtual casino that is the web and spin the near infinite-sized wheel of content possibility...What will we land on? It doesn't matter, EVERYONE LOSES IN THE END. That's right, it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 14/11/14

Web Curios 14/11/14

BOTTOM! SPACE! Regular readers of this thing will be aware that we're no strangers to hyperbole, but, seriously, has there ever been a week in which the web's, and by extension the world's, two biggest obsessions have been on such diametrically opposed points of the cultural/importance spectrum? Don't, any of you, please feel the need to actually answer this. 

Anyway, in a week in which we saw the most incredible maths project of all time finally come to fruition, and in which a very famous woman's posterior was potentially more culturally problematic than you may at first have thought, there's been SO MUCH going on that I've barely had time to blink. Without further ado, then, let's leave behind the airless deathtrap that is space, and the callipygian Ms K, to instead take our weekly trip into the web's wardrobe, as we rummage amongst the coats, rifle through the pockets and wonder whether the chilly breeze we can feel is the sign of a magical world just on the other side of that fur or, and we all know which is more likely, just the first presage of a cruel and unforgiving winter - that's right, Webmongs, it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 07/11/14

Web Curios 07/11/14

PENGUINS!!! CONSUMPTION! LONELINESS! EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION! The massed dancing of the thronging consumer-monkeys to the grinning organ-grinder's shop-floor muzak! Yes, that's right webmongs, it's CHRISTMASTIME!


Except it's not, it's November, though that hasn't prevented the UK from having a frankly pavlovian reaction to this year's inaugural exhortation to spend more money than we have on things we don't need. You know what, I can't be bothered to get angry about it - do what you want, seriously. Follow the penguin on Twitter, buy the dolls, sit there slack-jawed, drooling and uncritical as you bend to the ad industry's whim. I'm past caring. 

Instead, let me recommend that you go and see the Egon Schiele exhibition at the Courtauld, as it's very good indeed and will, if you're anything like me, make you want to go back through every graphic novel you own in order to see exactly how many famous artists have lifted panels from him, and also make you listen to this which is in many respects the most Schiele song ever ('notches in your spine', anyone?).

Patronising, arch reference to the idiocy of the masses? Check! Pretentious reference to London-centric cultural happening? Check! We're all set, then, to take this week's stroll into the stockroom at the very back of the web's information repository, the archetypal cold, dark storeroom into which the broken toys of the web's work get thrust, waiting for their very own Spotty Man to shine a torch on them and bring them back to some semblance of revenant life - it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 31/10/14

Web Curios 31/10/14

Those of you to whom I email this personally will know that I made some reference to hanging out with lizards last weekend. What that actually meant was going to see David Icke at Wembley. I sort of feel I should give a brief overview of what it was like. 

Erm.

It was like going to the Louvre, except instead of pictures there was just a man shouting at you about mad stuff while really disturbing pictures cycled behind him in the background (like the Louvre, I felt very, very odd afterwards). It was 5% reasonably sensible stuff about general structural problems in modernity and capitalism, 40% generic tedious conspiracy theory rubbish (GM food, chemtrails, 9/11 was an inside job, Global Warming is a lie, etc), and then 55% truly crazy, about how we live in a holographic universe and are being preyed on by a race of interdimensional lizard-like beings called archons who have created a  'bad copy' of the universe through manipulation of cosmic energy waves, and who feed on the wavelengths produced by humans. All of this is controlled by Saturn, which is sending manipulative interference to us across space, amplified by the moon which is actually hollow and basically just a piece of radar equipment. All the world's religions are unwittingly (for the most part) worshipping Saturn. Politicians and other 'elites' know this and are often simply puppets of the Saturn lizards who control them into maintaining the status quo or creating situations which will further remove humans from their intended state of 'cosmic oneness' and instead make us operate at the 'wrong' frequency which drags us closer and closer to living in the lizard archons plane of existence.

All of this is OBVIOUSLY true.

Can I just suggest that you don't ever Google ANY of that stuff, ever? Good, glad we've got that sorted. Anyway, webmongs, this week's edition may be suffering some sort of mild psychic hangover from the experience - rest assured, though, that the poor quality of the output is likely be be unaffected. This is probably the only time in which I can promise you that what is to come makes more sense than what I've just written. This is WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 24/10/14

Web Curios 24/10/14

HELLO AGAIN! God, it's good to be back in the saddle, cramming webspaff into every available orifice and then vomiting it out again through my fingers to create the glorious cathedral of temporary ephemera which I erect for you each week!

Ach, no it's not. Being on holiday is LOADS better - just as a passing aside, Lisbon is a truly wonderful city which I can unreservedly recommend - but my one selling point on the contemporary work marketplace is a terrifyingly comprehensive knowledge of 'stuff o  the internet' and as such I need to keep reading all this rubbish to stay employable (and frankly even this pseudo-skill is going to pall soon). With that in mind, then, know that what follows is not just the collected output of some people in the world which I have found and accumulated here for you like some sort of pathetically needy pup - it's the digital representation of one ageing man's struggle for cultural relevance in a world that SIMPLY DOESN'T CARE.

Er, Jesus, sorry, that went a bit odd. Not sure where that came from. In any case, webmongs, pull on the marigolds, do up the pinny and grab the plunger as we prepare to delve beneath the forbiddingly scummy waterline and attempt to clear this week's infoblockage from the piping of our lives - it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 03/10/14

Web Curios 03/10/14

Jam tomorrow (maybe)! Thanks, Gideon! Don't worry, though - if they can rebel in Hong Kong, there's hope for our chances (seriously, the Hong Kong thing is potentially HUGE - take a look at this). That said, though, WHO CARES? After all, it's DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON AGAIN, and the steady cavalcade of consumer distractions continues almost unabated between now and the big, festive daddy of them all. This is probably the last Curios in which there's going to be no mention of people trying to sell you stuff for Chri****s, so enjoy it while you can. Oh, and if I can give you another unwanted piece of advice, if you're in London then do try and go and see this - if you're reading this, you're pretty much bang in the middle of the target audience, and it's a really interesting production (also has the added bonus of seeing genuine incomprehension on the faces of theatregoers when confronted with the concept of Pedobear, which is worth the price of admission alone). 

ANYWAY, I'm off for the next few weeks - until my return, though, slip on this week's metaphorical dark clothing and balaclava and follow me, as we sneak round the back of the internet's house, take advantage of an unlocked back door and creep upstairs to rifle through its underwear drawer and enjoy its collection of special interest photography - it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 26/09/14

Web Curios 26/09/14

It appears that while I was typing this everyone's decided to go bombing. Hey ho. Fortunately, though, Web Curios doesn't really *do* geopolitics and so we can conveniently ignore all those troublesome questions about international responsibility and legitimacy and stuff in favour of pointing at a bunch of stuff on the web in slack-jawed amazement. 

So follow me once again, webmongs, as we venture into the hall of mirrors on the soul that is the internet - what you are about to see is the truest possible reflection of who we are this week, so if you don't like the hideously distorted picture gurning back at you then, well, tough. IT'S WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 19/09/14

Web Curios 19/09/14

So The Union is still The Union, and a whole new generation of young idealists have learned first-hand the unique pleasure inherent in participatory democracy. Does that mean we can talk about something else now, please? Not that it's not been important and interesting and all, but you know that the media's possibly overstretched itself when they're running interviews with the school caretaker who's erecting the polling booths to ask his opinion about his role in the MOMENTOUS OCCASION. 

ANYWAY, that's all over and done with and we can get back to the important bits of life - namely, busying ourselves exhuming this week's half-dried bombs of infoturd from the litter tray of human endeavour. That's right, webmongs, it's once again time to hold your nose and go digging for 'treasure', courtesy of WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 12/09/14

Web Curios 12/09/14

London. Early morning. The camera pans in on a writing desk in a filthy kitchen, covered in a good few millimetres of dust and surrounded by rotting food detritus around which flies are milling in disinterested fashion. A malnourished looking forearm, bearing a nailbitten and nicotine-stained hand, comes into shot, fiddles with the laptop lid, and fires it into life. Through the kitchen window, a hideous parody of the now-legendary batsignal appears in the night sky, showing the silhouette of a hunched, wizened figure, bent over a laptop and moving his arms in jerky, repetitious fashion. Is he typing? Is he masturbating? IS IT BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY?

That's right, webmongs! To the delight of absolutely no one at all, Web Curios has returned from its summer sabbatical. Rested, refreshed and once again prepared to consume more of the web than is strictly healthy so that you, gentle reader, don't have to. Needless to say everything's gotten IMMEASURABLY worse in my absence, so let's not dwell on it. Instead let's strap on the masks, open the sewer hatch and once again go swimming in the stinking rivers of barely-filtered ID which make up this week's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 01/08/14

Web Curios 01/08/14

I was hoping the world would sort itself out while I was away last week, but it didn't. Useless, the lot of you. THAT'S IT, I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I'M LEAVING. Not life, you understand, much as that might disappoint some of you; I'm just taking August off because, quite frankly, I realised that not spending disproportionate amounts of time glued to a screen is actually quite nice. And also because Imperica is CHANGING, of which more here. I'll be back at some point in September, presuming I don't die or have some sort of ludditic Damascene moment in the intervening weeks - hopefully the collection of stuff below will keep you entertained and occupied until then, but failing that I heartily recommend these books to accompany you through summer's dregs. 

So, webmongs, prepare yourselves to be smeared with the last dose of soothing web emollient for a while - close your eyes, and be aware that some of this will sting somewhat (and don't mind the smell, you'll get used to it); THIS IS WEB CURIOS. 
 

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Web Curios 18/07/14

Web Curios 18/07/14

I know I say this every week, but it's truly been a bit of a shocker in terms of 'everything's going to tits' news. The past 48h alone have seen some fairly major harbingers of the coming apocalypse - AND I DON'T JUST MEAN CHERYL'S WHIRLWIND ROMANCE AND MARRIAGE!

Anyway, I don't care because I'm going on holiday. As a result this has been written over the course of an evening and a day rather than all in one go, and is a bit thinner than usual. SORRY ABOUT THAT. Not that any of you read it all anyway, but I can tell the difference even if you can't. Web Curios will be back in a couple of weeks (try and contain your disappointment that it is coming back at all) - in the meantime, though, lie back and try not to gag as I fill you full of web like a goose full of grain and your brain swells with the sheer VOLUME of STUFF that's been churned out this week - KEEP BREATHING, WEBMONGS, AND DON'T CHOKE ON IT. 

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Web Curios 11/07/14

Web Curios 11/07/14

 

God, everything's gone to tits again, hasn't it? Fighting and war and death and surveillance and poverty and strikes and political paedophiles and #AskThicke and being Brazilian...thank God the football's still on for another 60-odd hours so we can continue dosing ourselves with sporting SOMA and try and block it out. 

Right now, though, I don't really care - I'm going to have a very long lunch (sorry). While I'm doing that, though, why don't YOU sit down right here and make yourselves comfortable; let me stick this week's pair of clumsy metaphorical headphones over your ears as you sit back and relax and let the waves of webspaff wash relaxingly over you like a soothing bath, although I feel honour bound to warn you about the OCCASIONAL LOUD NOISES which may disturb your otherwise blissful afternoon's webmonging - EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE JUST FINE, THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 27/06/14

Web Curios 27/06/14

Someone who I have never met described me yesterday as a 'slightly above average internet curator'. I can pretty much die happy - THANKS, JAKE KELLY! Anyway, loads of other stuff has happened this week, none of it apparently so significant as a man with a well-documented history of poor impulse control surprising noone by once again exhibiting exactly the sort of behaviour for which he's long been famed. Nothing else has been anywhere NEAR as important - not even the end of the TRIAL OF THE CENTURY (which I just misspelled by replacing the 'e' with a 'u', which seemed strangely apt), or the fact that people keep on dying in Nigeria with nary a hashtag to console them.

No time for any of THAT stuff, though. Let's focus on social media and other rubbish on the web instead, it's MUCH more cheering. I'm off to get on a plane shortly - Web Curios will be taking ANOTHER break next week, so hopefully the below's going to be enough to sustain you until 11 July.  In the meantime, though, inch closer to the edge, shuffle your toes over the precipice, take a deep breath and DON'T LOOK DOWN - just trust me and jump. The landing's soft, if potentially malodorous - THIS IS WEB CURIOS.  

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Web Curios 20/06/14

Web Curios 20/06/14
Look, come on, pick yourselves up, it will be alright. And anyway, we need to the football to distract ourselves from the fact that those pesky Jihadis don't seem to have received the worldwide memo about shutting up shop and just concentrating on the sport. SELFISH. 

Anyway, it's late and you're all miserable and hungover. Lift your heads, dry your eyes and prepare to drink deep from the suspicious looking bottle marked 'webspaff' which the smiling-yet-sinister man is proffering you; it's guaranteed to wash the bitter taste of tears, defeat, cigarettes and stale beer from your mouth, although its purveyors do fell honour-bound to warn you that there may be side effects and that under no circumstances should it be swallowed in one due to the possibility of all sorts of unpleasant rupturing - CHIN UP, ENGLAND, THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

(NB - Imperica are launching a magazine. It will be £2 a month and it will be packed full of awe and wonder (and, if you're very lucky, won't have me in it at all). To find out more and contribute to the fund (which, let's be honest, would be the decent thing to do) then head over here and read all about it - it'll be GREAT, honest, and you don't want to stop great things from happening now, do you?)
 
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Web Curios 06/06/14

Web Curios 06/06/14
 
I had an opening riff all worked out for this, but frankly I'm writing this from Devon, the weather's beautiful and I've been up since 6:30am scribing this crap, and as such I'm keen to get outside and go and walk on a beach or something. This edition of Web Curios is dedicated to my BRAND NEW GODDAUGHTER who arrived at some point this morning and who isn't, but should be, called Floella. Not that she'll care, of course, but given that I'm likely to be the sort of godparent who only really comes into their own once she's old enough to drink, this will have to do for the foreseeable in terms of LIFE ADVICE and stuff.
 
Anyway, ONWARDS! Gaze with me, webmongs, into the swirling mists within the crystal ball of this week's web as we try and scry some patterns and divine some meaning from what at first glance looks like an inchoate jumble of shapes and colours but which will on closer inspection almost certainly coalesce into some sort of terrifying premonition of a dreadful future to come - THAT'S RIGHT, IT'S WEB CURIOS.

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Web Curios 30/05/14

Web Curios 30/05/14

You know how last week I said we should wait til Sunday before anointing Farage KING OF THE WORLD...? Don't worry, there's minimal politics in here this week because frankly it's been a depressing enough seven days - we're all racist bigots now, it turns out, so let's just move on and try and make the best of it (although, if you'll indulge me, THANKS RUSSELL, YOU TIT).

DON'T WORRY THOUGH BECAUSE THE WORLD CUP STARTS SOON! BREAD AND CIRCUSES! Speaking of circuses, webmongs, let's get this particular freakshow underway - watch as I strap myself into the increasingly snug ringmaster's costume, gasp as I place my head bravely into the malodorous lion's maw which is the web, stuff yourself full of the complementary peanuts I benignly fling at you, and try not to pay attention to the threadbare fittings and general air of sadness and ennui which pervades the whole Big Top (this one didn't really work, did it?) - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 23/05/14

Web Curios 23/05/14

POLITICAL ARMAGEDDON! Or, you know, maybe not quite yet. Let's wait 'til Monday before we get all excited about the demise of Britain and indeed Europe as we know it and start making jokes about turning out the lights when Mr Farage swans into Number 10 next May. I got a bit overexcited by the fancy graphics and Chuka Umunna's BEAUTIFUL FACE last night and as a consequence am far too tired to do anything more than express my fervent hope that whatever political outcome YOU wanted came true, whilst at the same time acknowledging that, based on early signs, if that were to actually be true I would hate most of my readership (I know that reading this may occasionally give the impression that I actually do, but not at all - you have to care to hate, after all). 

Anyway, let's put aside all thoughts of ballots and bigots as we take this week's peek behind the veil - join me webmongs, as we once again attempt to communicate with THE OTHER SIDE of the web. Excuse me as I slip into a trance, and don't be alarmed if I start manifesting ectoplasm - THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 16/05/14

Web Curios 16/05/14

I was really disappointed in the Danes this week. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE ABOUT VOTEMAN? Personally I'm raring to hit the polls next Thursday, if only so as not to be executed with extreme prejudice by the psephologists' answer to Chuck Norris. Otherwise, though, it's been another bleak week in the world of REAL NEWS, which is why I, as ever, chose to bury my head in the massive Sahara of ephemera that is the web (Saharepemera? God that's a hideous portmanteau, sorry).

So join me, intrepid webmongs - consider me your camel, humps replete with knowledgejuice, guiding you through the dunes, dips and valleys of the almost infinite vastness of the infodesert, stopping at occasional refreshing oases of FUN and keeping you safe from the unpleasantly phallic sandworms which we all secretly know roam just feet beneath the surface. THIS IS WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios 09/05/13

Web Curios 09/05/13

I overslept this morning as a result of mild overconsumption last night. Shocking, I know. As a result you're getting even less preamble than usual, for which you should be thankful. I will, though, take a moment to unreservedly recommend to you Red Bastard, one of the most singularly awesome pieces of theatre / performance I've ever seen; it really is that good. If you can get to Bath or Bristol in the next few weeks, do so - if not, keep an eye out for future dates. It made me feel GREAT, which isn't something I can say about a lot of things other than food, booze, drugs and sex, and if that's not high praise I don't know what is.

Hm, that was probably too much information in every sense. No matter, webmongs - come with me now as we peek beneath the skirts of the web this week and find out once and for all whether those Vagina Dentata myths are true - it's WEB CURIOS!

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Web Curios, 02/05/14

Web Curios, 02/05/14

Another week, another cavalcade of real-world horrors which I have unsuccessfully tried to avoid by burying my face in the web for prolonged periods in an attempt to convince myself that this is reality and that meatspace is nothing but a poorly coded simulacrum. Not only that, but I missed Elvis's teeth. DAMNATION!

Anyway, we're all busy people and we've all got things to do - although given that I seem to spend the vast majority of my waking life looking for 'interesting' stuff online that's a potentially contentious assertion. Ho hum. Anyway, webmongs, open your gullets and RELAX as you prepare to let me vomit this week's pre-chewed bolus of concentrated internet into your mouthholes, ready to be digested and, within mere minutes, excreted back into the world as thoughts and opinions and STUFF. That's right, it's this week's nourishing web meal in pill form - WEB CURIOS!

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