J Bov Explodes Rhetorically


Hulking Adonis-esque God-Made-flesh

Due to my desire for recognition, and in some cases vindication, I’ve been looking around for places that may buy my idiot ramblings. By virtue of the fact that my latest idiot rambling takes the form of a discussion of electronic cigarettes over their analogue counterparts I’ve been thrust into the odd world of ‘health and fitness’ websites.

I’m not particularly either of those things, incidentally; I’m a recently ex-smoker with a penchant for sitting down and eating. By ‘eating’ I don’t mean begrudgingly shoving two unsalted peanuts into my mouth every few days, like the ‘health and fitness’ buffs would have you do, either. I mean EATING; food with flavour and substance. “Do you want barbeque sauce on your massive cheeseburger, sir?”

Yes.

And ketchup on the chips.

And make sure you put pepper on EVERYTHING. Even the salad, which I won’t eat anyway.

In the interest of balance I will say that I take more care with what I shovel into my flapping gob than your average slob who eats McDonalds every day. I move around significantly more than them, too.

That is to say I’m not morbidly obese or woefully unfit. I’m about average.

Which isn’t good enough, apparently. I need to be a hulking, Adonis-esque God-Made-Flesh according to the majority of the places I’ve been looking through. It’s humanity’s biggest regret that we can’t starve and physically abuse ourselves to the point of immortality, but we should at least be at the salad bar or on the cross-trainer trying our best, not just for our sake, but for all the members of the opposite (or same) sex we might wish to fornicate with.

That seems to be the driving force behind all of this bunk, by the by, regardless of its advocates’ chirping to the contrary.

There’s no place for the average Joe who wants to maybe not smoke himself into an early grave, or maybe wants to shed just a few pounds so he’ll feel better when he catches sight of his hideous, twilit, wheezing naked form in the bathroom mirror at three in the morning. Not amongst the sculpted, bronzed Guardians of Fitness.

They are perfect, and they hate you because you aren’t. They may say things like ‘I respect someone if I see them working up a sweat in the gym, trying to get fit.’ but they don’t mean it. What they mean is ‘That foul peasant is going to get his fat-person sweat on our machines. How dare he think he can join our party? HOW DARE HE!?’

As such you’ll find no real, practical fitness advice. It’s all for hardcore gym-rats and presented in the interest of making small tweaks and adjustments to the body they’ve kept in nigh-pristine condition since they were issued with it.

No amount of Echinacea and jogging will fix the flabby meat-sack you’ve been filling for twenty years. You’ve been listening too intently to the Id for your whole life and just because the Ego has finally made its voice heard, doesn’t mean you can do anything about it now.

Sure, you might be able to shed a couple of stone, but you’ll just end up with the excess, stretched skin dangling off you like badly hung curtains made of meat. You’ll never look like the air-brushed, oiled, aesthetically perfect people in the magazines.

Still, chin up, all they talk about is themselves and fitness and how fitness pertains to themselves and their rivals (fitness fanatics don’t have ‘friends’). They’re mostly thuddingly boring and you might not be. It’d be safe to bet that most of them are pricks that have never read a book and wouldn’t know what to do with one if you gave it to them, staring at it dumbly like a cow trying to follow a card trick.

But they look better than you. They could also beat you in a fight.

You should probably just kill yourself, because they win in the end.



[Removed, For Now]

There was a story here.

It’s gone now.

 

I’ve taken it down here because I’ve submitted it somewhere else and I’d prefer it not to clash.

If you didn’t get a chance to read it here, sorry. Maybe you can again in the near future. Or maybe somewhere else. Hopefully somewhere else.

If you’d really, REALLY like to read it just ask me. I’ve got the manuscript knocking about on my computer still.

Fingers crossed I never put it back up here. That would mean good news.

J Bov.



Contraband

A part of Justin knew he’d been spending far too much time down here.

There’s a part of you that becomes accustomed to the low light, even to the smell, but you never fully adjust to the sense of dread kicked out by the dank, narrow streets in the Ciphers.

This would be Justin’s fourth venture to the squalid, labyrinthine sub-city that stretched under modern London. Gouged, scraped and built into the ruins and pits of the old city, it was condemned as England’s shame; London’s blight; a rotting in the foundations of the glorious glass and chrome capital above.

Justin kept his gaze to the ground and hurried on, past tiny one-room squats housing whole families, past food stalls selling dubious meats, past dead-eyed prostitutes and their shark-toothed pimps. There was one place he was trying to get to. One person he had to see.

He’d heard about it from a… well, not a friend per se, but a boy at school.

“Man,” this boy had begun, “this place in the Ciphers, man. They got what you need. The good stuff.”

Justin had nodded, excitement and fear in equal measures making his chest tight. He had noted the directions down in his Pad™ and thanked the boy, then he had never spoken to him again.

He pulled his jacket tighter around himself and ducked down one of the hundreds of identical alleys. He knew this was the one. His previous ventures here had taught him the way so well he could probably navigate it with his eyes closed.

He pushed aside the threadbare curtain hanging over the door and spied the proprietor of the now familiar establishment. A squat, withered elderly woman, her face hardened by long years in the awful underworld. There was nonetheless an almost disarming kindness in her eyes.

“Justin.” She wheezed. “Back so soon?”

Justin nodded, scratching his arm.

“You want the same as last time, yes?” She asked him quietly.

He nodded again, almost frantic.

“I’ll see to that.” She bent with a groan to look under the counter and continued rambling.

“It’s good. But you know that. Can’t get it in the Over-City no more. You know that too.”

She arose finally with a small oblong wrapped in cloth. Justin eyed it with something approaching lust, his fists clenched by his sides as he stepped forwards.

“Now,” as he went to grasp it she whipped it away, a cruel taunt, Justin thought, “You don’t let nobody Upsides know I give you this, right?”

Justin knew the drill, he just kept nodding and staring at the object of his desires.

She finally passed the block to him and gestured to the curtain behind her.

“You got an hour. Then you’re gone.” She intoned as he rushed into the back room.

He found his favourite corner, thankfully unoccupied, and sat in the old, worn leather chair he had adopted as his own.

His hands trembled as he unwrapped the cloth covering slowly, almost ritualistically, and breathed a sigh of relief as he uncovered exactly what he had wanted, what he had needed.

A soft chuckle broke him from his rapture as he glanced across the rather large room to another corner to spot a wrinkled old man almost giggling.

“Hello, Mr. Harris, reading Wodehouse again?” Justin ventured, with a smile.

“Justin! I didn’t notice you coming in.” Mr. Harris hefted the book on his lap so Justin could see the cover. It was Wodehouse indeed.

Justin returned his attention to his own business. He lovingly traced the inlaid words on the object he held.

“On The Road, by Jack Kerouac” he breathed reverently.

Out beyond the curtain he heard the old woman greet a new customer.

“Ah welcome dear. Tell me, how did you hear about the library?”



For Every Day Is Sunday

Ever get that feeling that life is just a procession of Sundays?

Nothing happens on a Sunday, but you always notice when it rolls around.

Maybe because you have a hangover; I don’t drink right now so I don’t know. Maybe it’s the one day you get off work a week; I don’t work right now so I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the sheer electric boredom of a day when nothing ever occurs. One way or another Sunday sticks in your mind like a twisting knife every week.

Perhaps we should do something about it. Perhaps we should designate Sunday to be our ‘Do Something Fun’ day.

Go for a stroll. Call up your friends, maintain a constant beverage intake and play card games for hours. Put on a silly hat and write gentle diatribes about inconsequential things like days of the week. Paint something.

Or maybe we can all sit about on our own, watching documentaries about Pink Floyd and listening to Portishead. Either way is good, I suppose, there’s really no objective way to say which activity is better.

Still, when Sunday rolls around I always find myself loath to do anything.

Then again, it’s not like if I was doing something I would be doing something. Something worthwhile, that is.

But what’s ‘worthwhile’? Good question. No answer. I suppose I could be doing something productive, but since the only productive thing I actually do is write it looks like I’ve got that covered, after a fashion. Except this isn’t worthwhile.

I’m only going to put it on the internet and watch it like a hawk. I should buckle down and get something off to My World Is Clouds for the second issue.

Sunday. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday everyday forever and ever and for all of time.

I need a cup of tea.



[Removed, For Now]

There was a story here.

It’s gone now.

I’ve taken it down here because I’ve submitted it somewhere else and I’d prefer it not to clash.

If you didn’t get a chance to read it here, sorry. Maybe you can again in the near future. Or maybe somewhere else. Hopefully somewhere else.

If you’d really, REALLY like to read it just ask me. I’ve got the manuscript knocking about on my computer still.

Fingers crossed I never put it back up here. That would mean good news.

J Bov.



Grey Pillars of Grit and Mud

Thank you, cinema. Thank you for showing us that you should never give up on something just because it doesn’t seem to be working.

I mean, if you try something in the 50’s and it doesn’t work out do you ditch it? No! You wait until the 80’s and you try it again. If it doesn’t work that time, well it’s probably best forgotten, right?

Nope! Stick it back in theatres in 2010, that’s clearly your best bet. Third time’s a charm, right you shithorns? Third time’s a sodding charm.

But now it seems like the recent rash of 3D films is petering out, with a suitably wounded whimper, presumably to rear its poxy head again in 2040, with a new innovative approach that will be equally pointless and shit as the one we put up with in this round of the 30-year cycle. Less and less new movies are being lauded and sold to us simply because they pretend to have an extra dimension. This is excellent.

I can hear you, by the way, gnashing your teeth and groaning that 3D is brilliant, and that Avatar was so perfect in every way you ruddy well pissed your balls inside out. I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. 3D is rubbish. Was rubbish. Will probably always be rubbish.

Here’s why;

  1.  It only works in cinemas.

Sure, you can get a 3D TV for your house. Of course if it’s not active-3D then it’s awful, so you have to shell out on the glasses, too, and batteries. God help you if you don’t sit exactly where the TV wants you to, as well. “Oh, you want to sit in your armchair? Fuck you; blurry screen time. Boy, I sure wish we had a carefully calculated seating plan like in the theatres.”

    2.  It’s usually stupid, childish and bloody annoying.

The majority of 3D films don’t use the 3D at all. They have the odd thing fly out of the screen at you and it’s so clunky and obviously just for the effect that it breaks the whole movie. I’m looking at you My Bloody Valentine 3D. The whole idea of 3D is to be more immersive, and this kind of thing shatters the illusion to the point where it’s almost comical, regardless of context. Plus, with no physical feedback it really doesn’t matter if something just whizzed by my head; since I’m only picking it up with one sense it registers in my brain in big flashing neon that says ‘NOT REAL’, and any investment I had is gone. Replaced by yawning and a gnawing sense that I’ve wasted perfectly good money and free time.

    3.   Nobody uses it properly.

With minor exceptions, like the underwhelming and dull Avatar, almost all 3D films are simply using the system to charge you more money. Avatar uses its 3D to give depth of field, which is brilliant and works spectacularly. Yes, the odd thing does pop out at you, but mostly it’s used exactly right. Shame about the movie itself, really.

One other exception that I absolutely adore, because it shows a director exploring what 3D could do for movies, is Coraline. Again, the 3D is used mainly for depth of field, but there’s one section that really shows off what the system can do for the art of cinema; when Coraline is entering the other world the dual cameras that are used to shoot 3D are placed ever-so-slightly too far apart, which the eyes don’t notice but the brain registers as being COMPLETELY WRONG, which translates in the cinema to that scene physically causing you to experience a feeling of deep unease. It’s genius.

I could also mention how most 3D movies are ‘post-production 3D’ (meaning they make it 3D in the edit, rather than shooting with two cameras. It’s cheaper, but it looks awful) or that they still haven’t found a way to stop it giving you headaches, but they don’t really deserve their own numerical appropriation.

One definition of insanity is repeating the same action time and again and expecting different results, but apparently that doesn’t apply to cinema. They can keep banging their head against the wall of the padded cell and covering themselves in excrement as much as they like and presumably we put up with it since they keep trying so hard, bless ‘em.

3D films are a failed experiment; they have no place in life; they must be cast out and left to die like the evolutionary dead-end they are. They are little more than awful, grey pillars of grit and mud that blight the landscape of artistry that moving pictures has created and the sooner we can let go of them and get on with making actual films the better.

Ding dong, the witch is dead.

For about 30 years.



Here’s Something Interesting.

I’ve been doing a little bit of work, just for funsies, and trying to turn a partially formed intro to a story into a comic, as I mentioned before, and as I also mentioned it’s very interesting to watch the ideas transform as I move them around.

Hence this image you’re about to look at, which is;

1. The original straight prose intro posted here on my WordPress.

2. The rough outline of how the intro is going to break down as a script.

3. The comic script in progress.

I dunno, I just thought it was pretty neat.

(By the way, this is also up on my Tumblr, among other things that aren’t here. Go there.)