Korean History Video Game Commentary

I recently posted a video by Seoul-based games company ‘Studio Shelter‘. The video is a ‘faux-demo’ for a video game which tells the recent history of South Korea. A day after it was posted I got a response from the guys at Kimchibytes.com asking for a quick run-down of what was actually going on, so I’ve given it a go.

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Stephen Fry’s letter to himself: Dearest absurd child

I hope you are well. I know you are not. As it happens you wrote in 1973 a letter to your future self and it is high time that your future self had the decency to write back. You declared in that letter (reproduced in your 1997 autobiography Moab Is My Washpot) that “everything I feel now as an adolescent is true”. You went on to affirm that if ever you dared in later life to repudiate, deny or mock your 16-year-old self it would be a lie, a traducing, treasonable lie, a crime against adolescence. “This is who I am,” you wrote. “Each day that passes I grow away from my true self. Every inch I take towards adulthood is a betrayal.”

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George Orwell – A Nice Cup of Tea

A truly great man…who would have been a nightmare to live with.

If you look up ‘tea’ in the first cookery book that comes to hand you will probably find that it is unmentioned; or at most you will find a few lines of sketchy instructions which give no ruling on several of the most important points.

This is curious, not only because tea is one of the main stays of civilization in this country, as well as in Eire, Australia and New Zealand, but because the best manner of making it is the subject of violent disputes.

When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than eleven outstanding points. On perhaps two of them there would be pretty general agreement, but at least four others are acutely controversial. Here are my own eleven rules, every one of which I regard as golden: Continue reading

Philip Roth – An Open Letter to Wikipedia

Dear Wikipedia,

I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all.

Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”

Thus was created the occasion for this open letter. After failing to get a change made through the usual channels, I don’t know how else to proceed.

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Review – A Fistful of Dynamite

A Fistful of Dynamite (Duck, You Sucker!)

Sergio Leone

1971

A wanted Irish Republican and an odd Mexican bandit get themselves, the former willingly and the latter reluctantly, conscripted into the Mexican revolution.

Leone’s last western seems to be somewhat forgotten compared to his four predecessors, which is a shame because it’s better than A Fistful of Dollars and A Few Dollars More. Leone’s style is unmistakable (every other shot seems to be in extreme close up) and Rod Steiger’s performance is outstanding as the bandit with his band of children in tow. The body count in the film is staggering, as are the explosions. James Coburn is as cool as a cat as the revolution magnet John, even if his Irish accent comes and goes seemingly as it pleases. One to watch out for on late night Channel Four