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I consider myself to be ‘Of The Left’ in that I hold with Left Wing political ideals and policies. I do not align myself with any political party (anymore, thanks Labour) and after 5 years of being part of different, purportedly left wing organisations and groups, I have stopped being a part of them too. The reason being is that I have seen how largely ineffectual they are. Most of the groups are mired in internal disputes, debates and discourse that is not only unwelcoming to all but the hardcore but equally never extends beyond this. We on the left…


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You know the score: some inhuman creature that looks suspiciously like a puppet, a wireframe model or a digitally created monstrosity pulled from the depth of the uncanny valley, looks at the lead actor as they cry, or beg for mercy, or plead for their lover’s life, or offer to sacrifice themselves in exchange for clemency on the human race, or whatever noble act the writer pulled out of his backside for the climax of act three, and the beast pauses to stare at the frail representative of our species and says

“You Humans Are Strange…”

Whether its a giant…


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The video games Arkham Asylum and Arkham City are two of my absolute favourites but I didn’t get round to playing Arkham Knight, the third in the series (we do not count Origins), until recently. When I did, I enjoyed my time with the Dark Knight back in Gotham but it paled in comparison to the vastly superior City which is the the jewel in the crown of that series, inspiring many games and their mechanics that came after it as it did. Though Knight wasn’t as good as its predecessor overall, it was actually better in some places. …


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While enjoying looking at people’s Spotify Wrapped they posted over Christmas, something struck me about it. It was when a friend highlighted their preferred genre was ‘Vapour Soul’ saying “haha that’s me”, I wondered, what the hell is vapour soul? I mean I can surmise that its a combination of Vapour Wave and Soul music but… what? While that might sound like a perfectly valid description of some music I doubt the composers thought that’s what it was or what they intended it to be. And when did that genre become ‘a thing’? From these questions I jumped down the…


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I read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code back in 2004 when the paperback came out because it was all anyone would talk about at the time. Before the film had even come out it was a cultural phenomenon, becoming one of the best selling books of all time, only outsold that year by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It had spawned several cash-in documentaries about anything even vaguely attached to the story, attendance at the Louvre had skyrocketed and everyone suddenly had very firm opinions on Christian doctrine. I wondered what all the fuss was about…


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BFI’s ‘Film Forever’ was their plan to invest in film production between 2012–2017. When I saw this title it got me thinking about what ‘Forever’ actually meant. You see the word in a lot of marketing, things like “make a memory that lasts forever” etc, but the sad fact is, nothing lasts forever. All things are destined to decay and cease to exist eventually. We are all aware of this but still use the word nonetheless. It is a strangely unique word in that, unlike words of a similar bent like ‘infinite’ or ‘perpetual’, Forever is more glibly tossed around…


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The 2011 movie Moneyball is the sort-of true story of Baseball team Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane and his assistant Peter Brand as they try to change the fortunes of their ailing team by using a mathematical, sabermetric approach to building a starting lineup. As thrilling a concept for a movie as that sounds, it was the second biggest movie released that week grossing a worldwide total of $110 million by the end of its release. It also received four Golden Globe and six Academy Award nominations that year, including for Best Picture. For me that says everything you…


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In Greek mythology, one of Heracle’s — or Hercules to us Latinates — 12 Labours was to defeat Antaeus, the son of Poseidon and Gaia. As well as being an actual Giant, Antaeus was a giant asshole who challenged passers by to wrestling duels knowing he would win because he was the son of Gods. He also had a secret power that meant while his feet were in contact with his mother (i.e. the Earth) he could not be defeated. One of those passers-by that this arrogant ass challenged was Hercules but Herc wasn’t stupid and when he realised he…


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It could be argued that civilisation revolves around property. The development of human society has depended on the utilitarian idea of mining resources and controlling the land that contains those resources, whether those resources be plants, oils, minerals or even other humans. By claiming ownership of these things by the international law of “I saw the practical/financial importance of this thing first” this form of ownership presents certain problems that humans have struggled to reconcile since we first started thinking for ourselves. The most common of these problems is the Colonial Conundrum of “What do we do with all these…


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“Where someone is claiming to be a billionaire, Brooks brothers won’t cut it” says Michael Caine’s elder statesman to John David Washington’s Protagonist of Tenet. This is one of the many, many lines in that movie that draws attention not just to wealth but how to properly spend that wealth. There are, according to Christopher Nolan’s characters (so one assumes Nolan is briefed on this subject as he wrote the script), right ways and wrong ways to spend your money. “Nine million for a holiday? Where did you go? Mars?” Says poor, blue-collar, CIA agent Protagonist (side note: I hate…

Leo Cookman

Peripatetic Writer and Musician. “Time’s Lie” out now from Zero Books.

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