Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Speak Your Brain! Part 42. Your cool recent Pop Culture experiences.

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
Flaming footballs, Batman, the World Cup has started!

And, this time, it's in the middle of winter!

Already, England have played Iran, and the USA has taken on Wales.

But is that what's uppermost in the minds of this site's readers?

There's only one way to find out.

And that's to fling in the towel and descend, once more, into the hottest feature on the internet.

It's the one in which the first person to comment gets to pick the topic of the day!

But what will it be?

I'm dashed if I know. After all, common sense suggests it may be art, films, flans, plans, books, bagels, cooks, nooks, crooks, ducks, drakes, pixies, rocks, socks, blocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, larders, Ladas, mystery, mayhem, molluscs, Moorcock, May Day, mangoes, bongos, drongoes, bingo, Ringo, Pingu, Ringu, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, Marvin the paranoid android, Brookside Close, Ramsay Street, Coronation Street, Albert Square, Scarlet Street, Dead End Street, chickenpox, the Equinox, parallelograms, rhomboids, androids, asteroids, The Good Life, the Next Life, pomegranates, raisins, grapes, currants, blackcurrants, figs, waves, granite, marble, marbles, maples, staples, fables, stables, sofas, eggs, pegs, legs, dregs, moons and supermoons, Supertramp, Supertrams, streetcars, desires, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, backpacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, draft excluders, blockheads, blackheads, dunderheads, deadheads, webheads, flowerpots, Bill and Ben, Ben and Jerry, Tom and Jerry, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, doggy bags, bean bags, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, dodos, Dido, Soho, Solo, silos, windows, day-glo, glue, Gloy, Bostik, pancakes, Eccles cakes, Bakewell Tarts, Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, Mr Kipling, Rudyard Kipling, pizzas, pastas, pastors, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Tomorrow People, yesterday's men, Forever People, Party People, purple people-eaters, Blobs, Globs, slobs, Sheila Steafel, steeples, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slumps, sumps, pumps, sunshine, slime, soup, sandwiches, servants, Sultanas, Santana, Sultans, grapes, grappling, grippling or sandcastles.

Or that it may not be.

There's only one way to find out. 

And that's to post the topic of your choice, in the comments section below, and get that conversation off to the cracking start it deserves.


Anonymous said...

Share your latest pop culture experience / observation that you found cool, interesting, diabolical?TV, movies, radio, comics, music, blogs, the sky is the limit! Think of this as “open mic” Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

Black Panther 2 Wakanda Forever has got seriously good reviews! Anyone seen it?

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Mony Mony by Tommy James & The Shondells. I mean, how cool do you want?


Anonymous said...

No, haven't seen Wakanda Forever, Charlie.

Last week I watched Deadpool 2 & Shazam! on tv (because nothing else was on).

Mildly amusing, but instantly forgettable, in both cases.

Nothing has impressed me, recently. However, the Moon Knight trailers were seriously intriguing (Isaac's portrayal of Spectre, NOT Grant), but I still haven't seen it.

When I finish reading, I listen to UFO blogs, almost every night (there's a choice of 70!), but that's only to send me to sleep, when I wake up at 3am(so that's hardly an endorsement!)


Steve W. said...

Thanks for the topic, Anonymous. I'm going to have to think about this one.

Phillip, I do feel that Deadpool 2 is one of the few genuinely outstanding super-hero movies.

A few nights ago, I saw Shazam for the first time. It was a fun watch.

Colin, I've now watched that Cliff video. It was clearly made on the cheap but it's nice to see he still has the body movements of a Thunderbird puppet.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

What's that? Cliff with the moves of a Thunderbird puppet?

Either you've never seen this scene from Thunderbirds Are Go or it's what you're sneakily referencing…


Anonymous said...

Thunderbird puppet??? LOL!!!!

Steve W. said...

Dangermash, I've seen that movie - more times than is healthy for me - but it wasn't what I was referencing. I was merely referring to the fact that the real Cliff moves like a Thunderbirds puppet.

Colin Jones said...

I've seen both of the Deadpool movies and they are enjoyable enough but I think they try a bit too hard to be wacky and zany in the spirit of the Deadpool comics.

Phil, when you say you listen to UFO blogs to send you to sleep do you mean UFO podcasts? I've yet to listen to ANY podcasts except a few made by the BBC and broadcast on Radio 4 as part of the daily schedule.

My only recent pop culture experiences have been 1) watching Jodie Whittaker's Doctor regenerate into David Tennant 2) listening to some tracks from Taylor Swift's new 'Midnights' album including the #1 hit 'Anti-Hero' which is about over-eating apparently and 3) watching Cliff Richard's 'Sleigh Ride' video (as mentioned by Steve).

This month is the 70th anniversary of the debut of the UK singles chart in November 1952 which means the exact halfway point between then and now is November 1987 when 'China In Your Hand' by T'Pau was at No.1 so I've been refreshing my memory of that classic song via YouTube. Not many people realise that 'China In Your Hand' is about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein...

It was a dream she had
On a scheme he had
Told in a foreign land
To take life on Earth
To the second birth
And the man was in command...

Those lines refer to the famous gathering at Lake Geneva in 1816 when Lord Byron challenged his companions to each tell a ghost story and Mary Shelley had a dream which gave her the idea for Frankenstein. The line "And the man was in command" means the new life would be created by Man not by God or Nature. There were two versions of 'China In Your Hand' - the 7" single version and a slightly different, longer version from the album 'Bridge Of Spies' (which I bought) and the album version includes extra lyrics...

And we could make the monster live again
Oh, hands move and heart beats on
Now life will return in this electric storm...

...which is a pretty obvious reference to Frankenstein so it's a pity those lines were omitted from the 7" version of 'China In Your Hand' because without them the Frankenstein link isn't at all clear.

Redartz said...

Hmmmm...I'm actually indulging in two pop cultural activities at this very moment. My wife passed me a book to read (as I just finished "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"). It's called "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter"; so far it's strange but intriguing...
At the same time, I'm giving another listen to Thomas Dolby's "Astronauts and Heretics". Acquired it a couple months ago, and it's becoming a personal favorite...

Matthew McKinnon said...

I'm reading Alan Moore's 'Illuminations', which I'd been looking forward to for a long time.

For me it is a mixed bag. Did anyone else read 'Jerusalem'? Remember the very first chapter wherein the first half is a beautifully written evocation of a dream, then the dreamer wakes and the second half is all jokey and lighthearted? This collection is like that.

There are two or three very beautiful stories, but the rest are jocular and quite lightweight. I just got to the end of the long, long novella about the comics industry, and I really wish he'd just completely walked away from the comics industry in mind as well as body, instead of spending 300 pages reiterating its many, many failings. I'm not saying that in defence of comics, more in that I'd have preferred 300 pages of something else.

I just watched the western 'Monte Walsh' [the one with Lee Marvin], which was excellent but very sad. Also finally watched 'Planet Of The Vampires' for the first time, which really was all that. And Spielberg's 'West Side Story', which was technically one of the most dazzling films I've seen this century.

Anonymous said...

Colin - Oops! - Yes, I did mean podcasts. Here's the 'menu' I select from:


My Taylor Swift knowledge (& modern pop, in general) is virtually non-existent. However, I remember her from Family Guy, when she used Chris Griffin as material for a break-up song!

I never realized 'China in Your Hand' was inspired by Frankenstein. Interesting.

As regards the famous Villa Diodati events, I remember first watching the Frankenstein movie, in which Byron was played by Gabriel Byrne, and being puzzled why Byron kept referring to Shelley as "Shiloh". Later, I found out that this was a reference to Joanna Southcott's prophecy that she'd give birth to the messiah, who'd be named "Shiloh" ( this, despite Southcott being 64 at the time!)

In effect, Byron was teasing Shelley, implying he had a "messiah complex" !

Just thought I'd share that bit of trivia!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Oh boy... where to start?

Spent Veteran's day with my best Army friend checking out used vinyl stores. Didn't buy vinyl but grabbed a graphic album.

"SHOWA A HISTORY OF JAPAN 1926-1939" by SHIGERU MIZUKI. The author/artist apparently a very famous Manga artist born in 1922. The book tells a lot of his personal life growing up too, up to WW2.


Charlie Horse 47 said...


Listening to XMAS SONGS on 93.9 FM which started on 1 November, lol. I'd be curious to know if any of the non-US contingent here can listen to this streaming? Is it blocked? If no, d you hear US commercials?

I listen to UK's Talksport a lot and get the UK commercials if I go direct to the station vs. an intermediate app which feeds in US from all over the USA (silly).

Also, after almost 3 years, the Ukulele Groups are meeting in person again! YAY! We actually sang a Herman's Hermit's "Leaning on a Lamppost!" this past week!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Lastly, Charlie wanted to share with you an interesting presentation from last week by a French (?) man named Damien MacDonald who has just released a large book called "Anatomy of Comics."

The presentation is available at the link below. It is about French comics, certainly much more than Tintin and Asterix, lol!

If you do go to the site (youtube channel for the Federation of French Alliances in the USA) just look for his name.

I learned quite a few things and even snuck in a question, "Why the relative popularity of superheroes in the US vs. Europe."


Anonymous said...

Watching THE X-FILES on Hulu. I definitely prefer the stand-alone ‘Monster of the Week’ episodes. Last night was a good one, with Giovanni Ribisi as a creepy hick punk with electro-kinetic powers (and Jack Black in an early supporting part). The UFO Conspiracy episodes are frustrating. Gillian Anderson is gorgeous and her acting chops are in a whole other league compared to her likeable but wooden co-star.

Watched some recent horror movies, all of which i found relatively well-made and enjoyable, if not mind-blowingly original : BARBARIAN, X and PEARL. BARBARIAN in particular relies a bit too much on the protagonist making absolutely dumb choices in order to keep the plot moving.

On a bit of a vintage MAD Magazine binge at the moment. Wally Wood was positively on fire in the late 50s /early 60s.

We put up our outdoor Xmas lights a week ago. We normally wait til the first weekend of December before we start decorating but this year the missus and I felt like we could use a bit of holiday cheer RIGHT NOW. The tree goes up this weekend.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

ALL - Whilst hunting down old vinyl a few weeks ago, I stumbled into this guys shop in Evanston, IL. Lots of vinyl, lots of books... and "lo and behold" the dude had a spinner rack full of Archies! (Yep RED! ARCHIES!) Exercising incredible self restraint, given my significant other would give me the stink eye if I came home with a ton of comics, I grabbed only a $.12 and a few $.15 all in very nice shape! Man... the nostalgia rush was incredible!!!

BT - Funny you mentioned MAD magazine. Redartz and I attended a Comicon in Rosemont in July and I grabbed "The Worst From Mad" Annual 1964. Got it at cover IIRC - $.50! it was certainly in "decent" shape and good fun.

REDARTZ - I just have to get out the DOLBY album again! I've let it languish far too long. He really was a solid creator.

Steve W. said...

Bt, I too prefer the standalone X-Files episodes. Especially after the first couple of seasons.

Charlie, thanks for the Youtube link. I believe this one will take people straight to the video in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0l62-BwZ4Dw .

Colin and Phillip, the Doctor Who episode The Haunting of Villa Diodati also dealt with the creation of Frankenstein.

Colin, I never knew that about that T'Pau song.

Matthew, is Planet of the Vampires the one that's often claimed to have been a big influence on Alien?

Red, after Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, it sounds like you need to watch Pride and Prejudice And Zombies.

Colin Jones said...

I'm another one who prefers the early X-Files episodes. The series became almost unwatchable in later years when it got completely tangled up in alien invasions, black oil, bees, the smoking man etc...

Steve and Phillip, it's almost like T'Pau recorded 'China In Your Hand' as a song about Frankenstein on the 'Bridge Of Spies' album then chickened out over releasing it as a single because the subject was too weird so they re-recorded it and removed the obvious Frankenstein references. I can't think of any other explanation. The video for the 7" single just makes it seem like a bog-standard love song. I'd have remained completely unaware of the Frankenstein theme if I hadn't bought the album containing the original unedited version of 'China In Your Hand'.

Phil, I don't want to give the impression I'm a Taylor Swift fan. I was just curious about her new album after hearing she'd made music history by holding all Top 10 positions in the US Billboard Hot 100 in the same week. But she writes all her own songs so she's obviously talented and some of her songs are pretty decent!

Redartz said...

Charlie- that's some true self restraint! Any 12 and 15 cent comics are worth snagging nowadays...

Steve- you may be on to something. I could get lost down this rabbit hole pretty easily...

Matthew McKinnon said...

Yeah - and you can definitely see a strong influence on Alien. They’d be a good double bill: the sense of impending doom on the Alien planet, and the way the production design is half the movie.