Category Archives: Movies

Be Yr Own Brain Experiment II

No so long ago, I was reading the final proof of my survival memoir, Stroke, before my publisher Sandstone Press sent it off to the printer. If you can’t wait till January for the – I’m reliably informed – beautiful hard copy artefact, you can get a brilliant deal and receive the e-book before Christmas here. Just tell ’em Stroke Bloke sent you, and leave a complimentary review. 😉

Replacing the original pull quote: 'Wet-yourself-funny'
C’mon, folks. You’re making my book blush!

It’s interesting to reflect on the events of six years ago, now that our lives are in some sort of equilibrium again. Notwithstanding Stroke Bloke Jr’s efforts! And the fact that the big push for Stroke: The Book is in the offing.

[Check out the Apoplexy Newsletter for more wryness and more personal insights.]

Continue reading Be Yr Own Brain Experiment II

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Land Seer

On the bus into Edinburgh’s New Town yesterday, I was reflecting on a short story I’ve been working on, a historical fiction about the Ross-shire Sheep Riots (also known as the – ten-day long – Year Of The Sheep). As the name suggests, it’s set in Scotland. My work tends to be set most often there, or in NYC, or in some imagined hybrid of the two.

Yep, I would wear basically that to work at least once a week in Manhattan.
Where presumably everyone looks like this

Don’t worry – I’m going somewhere with this.
Check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter for a soundtrack while I wend my way. Continue reading Land Seer

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Gold Strikes

I finished that bit on Le Corbusier, the godfather of Modernist architecture. When I said the bit would be more serious and more absurd than last week’s post, I was half-right.

Le Corbusier: Stealth Scot
“Absurd? I’ll take ma open haun off yer face, Sonny Jim.”

Sure, some nuggets of truth are hidden among the 6m 40s of A Story Is A Machine For Living In, but there are plenty of nuggets of sweet absurdity to keep folks engaged.

This got me to thinking about how, sometimes, the medium is the message.

[Talking about absurdity, check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter] Continue reading Gold Strikes

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The Spectre

I’m starting to think in more detail about what I’m going to do for Death Awareness Week this year.

Man, I have *got* to fix my post-1981 Disney blind spot
Everyone’s at it, you know.

I was originally turned on to Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief‘s work when Mrs Stroke Bloke and I attended a Death Café back in 2013.

[Pass the minutes before death below. And if you’re still waiting,
check out the apoplexy newsletter.
]

Continue reading The Spectre

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The Stroke Bloke Shake

In 2006, a psychologist at Cardiff University identified today as the most depressing day of the year. Cliff Arnall suggested that this was due to the confluence of a number of factors, including debts from Christmas overspending, the abandoning of New Year’s resolutions, and low levels of motivation.

So if you were already been super-depressed about having to go through Blue Monday on 15 January, now you must feel really bad.

Barney was mistaken, apparently
I’m quite sure that you’ll tell me / Just how I should feel today

[Cheer yourself up – check out the Apoplexy Tiny Letter] Continue reading The Stroke Bloke Shake

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Twin Peaks

Mrs Stroke Bloke and I finished binge-watching the two original seasons of Twin Peaks last night. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into the minutiae – you know, spoilers. you’ve either seen it or you haven’t.  And if you have, the odds are you probably got as far as we did back in the Nineties. i.e., not very far.

“Not very FAR?!?!”

[Killer BOB politely suggests that you plough on through this blog post, though.] Continue reading Twin Peaks

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Waiting For Gadot

Adam West – the TV Batman – died this week. As a wee boy, I loved Batman, and Adam West’s Batman and his awesome Batmobile and his colourful cast of supporting characters was a huge part of that.

Still annoyed the BBC interrupted the showing of that movie to announce the end of the Falklands War
I mean, how cool is that?!

Pretty cool. But my love for the Batman character has waned in recent years.

There’s more cool stuff in the Apoplexy Tiny Letter.
And thoughts on the new Wonder Woman movie below…

Continue reading Waiting For Gadot

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Saints and Sinners

In the aftermath of my viewing of Argo on the way back from the US, the spy news just kept coming…

Or you.
Not you.

But let’s leave Jared Kushner and his back channels out of it for now. (Oo-er, missus!) I briefly mentioned the recent shenanigans in China in last week’s Apoplexy Tiny LetterContinue reading Saints and Sinners

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Argo

Long-suffering readers of the blog may recall that I’m a sucker for a good airport.

Monet adore le William Gibson, innit?
Ceci n’est pas la Gare Saint-Lazare

Yes, Copenhagen is a good example. But this past weekend, as President Trump stuffed sachets of ketchup into his hand luggage before heading off on his whistle-stop tour of some of the world’s top religious sites, we were at Washington’s Dulles International Airport.

[Did you catch last week’s Apoplexy Tiny Letter? It’s a nice warm-up for this post.]
Continue reading Argo

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Below The Neck

So – two weeks later – I’ve finally reconciled myself to the ending of the live-action version of Ghost In The Shell.

Best chip shop name ever: A Salt and Battery
Final Assault: I promise, no more GitS after today

My question about the Hollywood movie of Ghost In The Shell was:

  1. If the fictional Hanka Robotics has developed a mechanical body, or “shell”, that can integrate a human brain; and
  2. “We cling to memories as if they define us, but they don’t. What we do is what defines us”; then
  3. Why would an anarchist who is rounded up to be a test specimen in a shell choose to define herself by the actions she is ordered to take by the government?

Read on for the “exciting” answer…

[But first, check out the exciting Apoplexy Tiny Letter.]

Continue reading Below The Neck

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