Thursday, 30 June 2011

Footballers' Tweets

Footballers? Thick as pigshit? Imagine that...!

Retro handheld games

Remember these? They seemed cutting-edge at the time, didn't they? And now you can play them all online! Click the image to relive the eighties. (Well, the bit of it you spent playing handheld games, anyway.)

Buttery Biscuit Base

This video went viral super-quickly this week. Not surprising really, it's awesome.

World War II in pictures

Click here to see some incredible photos of the events leading up to World War II... and this is just part one of a twenty-parter, so well worth bookmarking. Amazing, moving stuff.





The Ideal Gift

...presumably available in Robert Dyas. Thanks, JML!

Post-It Ghost

A beautiful little story, this. Click the image and enjoy.

World's fastest guitarist

Slightly mesmerising, this.

360° ski

360° videos are the future. How the hell do they film this?!

Carp Attack

This video has been doing the rounds this week under the heading 'the easiest fishing trip ever'. I'd be more inclined to label it 'the most shit-your-pants terrifying fucking fishing trip ever'.

What Do You Love?

An interesting concept from Google, What Do You Love? is a kind of web-butler to help you find things around your search. Not like Ask Jeeves, but actually useful. Click below to see.

Hitchhiker's Guide: Food & Coffee

Some total genius has been creating entries for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Behold:



Friday, 24 June 2011

24/06/11 - RIP Ryan Dunn

Ryan Dunn died in a car crash earlier this week. If you don’t know Ryan’s work, he was one of the founding members of Jackass, which was originally broadcast on MTV in 2000 and, as you may be aware (because you can’t have missed it all...), spawned a couple of movies and launched the careers of, among others, Johnny Knoxville and Bam Margera.
Jackass has taken a lot of flack over the years from folk who either don’t get it or just haven’t really watched much of it but, in Ryan Dunn’s memory, this week’s JuicyPips will be looking at just why the show is so important.

The most significant thing about Jackass, really, is a point that a lot of people are jealous of: they’re a bunch of guys who were savvy enough to work out a way of being paid to do what they wanted. It’s quite a rare thing in life to have absolute job satisfaction, let alone the weighty financial backing to pursue all of your creative ideas to an absurd degree. Picture yourself in MTV’s offices in the late nineties, saying to the suited execs ‘right, so basically we want to spend a fair whack of your cash on shooting each other with tasers, attaching baby crocodiles to our nipples and shaving each others' hair unexpectedly’. Are you picturing it? Are you also picturing yourself being marched smartly and swiftly toward the exit? The Jackass crew weren’t stupid. They knew that they had mass appeal.

You see, they weren’t just a bunch of irresponsible douchebags. Jackass was borne of a variety of true characters who were all talented and successful in their own right. Bam Margera was a pro skater before the show began, his brother Jess was a drummer, Johnny Knoxville was an actor and comedian, Chris Pontius, Jason Acuña (Wee-Man) and Ryan Dunn were also skaters, Steve-O was a clown, Brandon DiCamillo was a singer... the skillset is pretty broad, which counters any argument that they’re just a bunch of dicks who lucked into Jackass because they couldn’t be arsed to get jobs. And Jackass is an equal opportunities employer! Wee-Man is a dwarf, Preston Lacy is clinically obese and Steve-O is clearly mentally ill... you can’t get more right-on than that.

It’s avant-garde stuff, too. It captured a post-cheese MTV zeitgeist, mixing the growing appeal of lowest-common-denominator slacker entertainment with not actually being lowest-common-denominator. It took a step past reality television to create a kind of ultra-real environment; in an age of superglossy MTV polish in which everything was over-produced to the nth degree, Jackass presented a group of guys who could very easily be your neighbours, filming stunts themselves on cheap cameras. It felt almost like it wasn’t a television show at all - like they would have been hanging out and doing this stuff anyway, and there just happened to be cameras present.
It was also intelligently networked. These days it’s a piece of piss to spread your product broadly across your fanbase and sell in the spin-offs; you just build a decent Facebook page, hook up an engaging Twitter feed, set up a YouTube channel and maybe a Tumblr and you’re away with minimal effort. But in the early noughties, the fact that the Jackass side-projects (CKY [the video series], CKY [the band], Ryan and Bam’s adventures on the Gumball 3000 etc) were able to flourish showed just how effective it was to tie skills – skateboarding, music, whatever – into a programme that showcased them as part of the action without shoving them down the viewer’s throat.

One argument that the critics find it hard to get on board with is that Jackass strongly reinforces the value of family and friendship. This might sound absurd - I mean, you wouldn’t want your kids to ape what they’re seeing on screen and start dropping snooker balls from great heights onto each others’ testicles, or stick Hot Wheels up their buttholes – but think about it: they’re a group of actual friends (not a thrown-together corporate amalgam, but bona fide real-world friends) whose job it is to hang out together every day and have fun. And the fact that their families make so many cameos – Phil and April Margera in particular – shows just how tight-knit their little community is. Their inherent decency created a charming legacy – you can see the same sense of camaraderie in Dirty Sanchez (Jackass’ Welsh equivalent). It’s television that focuses on a very specific notion of minimalistic hedonism, based around the simple and enduring concept of enjoying your life and pushing your own boundaries, regardless of the judgements of society. It was more than merely aimless rebellion. Jackass instilled a spirit of adventure into a generation of bored TV drones, encouraging them to go outdoors and have a laugh with their mates (even if it was just to throw bricks at each other).

So rest in peace, Ryan Dunn. You died as you lived – at enormously high speed, and on fire.

The greatest addiction ever

Do you like coffee? Yes, statistically you probably do. Well, it ain't doing you any harm...

Dear Photograph

We've seen blogs before that show old photos juxtaposed with the subject matter in its current state, but Dear Photograph is a little different. It's almost PostSecret-esque in its sweet, personal nature - click here to see.





Geographically-sensible Tube map

Quite a promising idea, this. (Although it'd be even better if it indicated mileage between stops too...)

Click the map to see.

Dead Island trailer

Two reasons I really like this trailer:
1) They've bothered to storyboard the thing in a properly cinematic way, rather than just going 'it's all about zombies, look at the gore'.
2) How good are video games these days?!



Dark as fuck.

Happy Hot Dog Man

Ladies and gentlemen, the human race is done. When this sort of product exists, there really is no point in carrying on with our meaningless lives. Click the image below, order a Happy Hot Dog Man, then jab it deep into your eye until it touches brain.

Two Boys - 'Can I be your friend?'

Social media in real life. Click here for more info.

FatTwittz

FatTwittz is brilliant. It scans Twitter for people who are whining about being fat, then aggregates them on their site along with the tweeters' profile pictures, allowing you to judge their fatness and tweet a response to them accordingly. It's a whole new world of cyber-bullying...

Click the pic.

Woolite - 'Torture'

Your kids aren't particularly interested in washing clothes. But show them this ad and they'll never, ever want to have anything to do with it.



Genuinely creepy. Who on Earth is this advert targeting...?

Multicolr

This is a lovely little idea. It's a Flickr search tool based around colour; you select a few colours, adjust the percentages you want to see and revel in the beauty of creative commons cleverness. Click below to try.

The worst of E3 2011

Video games are cool. People who try to market them really, really aren't.



Great job, Jeremy!

Charlie Stayt is forgetful

...and it infuriates Susanna Reid. Click the image to see.

Friday, 17 June 2011

17/06/11 - Welcome, Airlock & Holler!

If you’re reading this on the blog, you may not be aware of (or give a toss about) the fact that JuicyPips began as a work-based all-staffer, and you’re probably just here for the outrageous profanity or to see me winding up webuyanycar.com. But if you’re reading this on the work email (and I’m not editing the text to make this appropriate to one or other medium, I can’t be arsed) then the likelihood is that you’re some kind of West London advertising nerd. And if that’s the case, you’re presumably very excited to see all of the new faces milling about Kensington Village; that’s right, not only are the cool kids from Airlock hanging out with us now, but we’ve also got the clever-clogses from Holler. Lucky us, lucky them.
So, JuicyPips is extending the welcome mat – which is a like a red carpet, kind of, except that we got it from Poundland – and offering a guide to life here at the agency. Not a comprehensive one (or even, if I’m honest, a particularly useful one), but I’m buggered if I’m buying you all a drink, there’s frickin’ loads of you. So you can have this instead.

Free breakfast
...is a phrase to warm the cockles, isn’t it? It conjures up images of gaggles of cheery folk congregating in the café, enthused about the day ahead and recharging their batteries after the commute by sharing a dish of eggs and bacon with their rosy-cheeked colleagues. Think again. It’s only the toast that’s free, and only till 9am, and only if you can get in there before those fucking second-floor chancers have stuffed their greedy freeloading chops with our baked goods. Whoever they are. Take my advice: bring your own toaster and plug it in under your desk. It won’t be an HR issue because they won’t know about it.

Pubs
The heart of advertising, as everybody knows, is the liquid lunch, the forgetting-to-go-back-to-work-in-the-afternoon and the charging-everything-to-the-MD’s-credit-card-which-everyone-knows-the-number-for-and-he-has-no-idea. Unfortunately, you’ll almost certainly find that the opportunities for pissing your afternoon up the wall are much slimmer here than they were at your old premises. Unless your last office was on the moon, or in Swindon.
But don’t lose heart. Just because the nearest pub to the office, the Famous Three Kings, is a godawful little griefhole – albeit with a pretty cool bendy-glass entrance – doesn’t mean that West Kensington is a shit place to drink.
I never get invited out for drinks with anyone, so I don’t know what the other pubs are actually like, but people are always talking about them. I bet they’re having a great time.
And of course, there’s the work bar. I don’t understand how it isn’t more busy – it’s bloody cheap and it’s a minute’s walk from your desk. If they paid me more, I’d be there every night. (Actually, maybe that’s why they don’t.) And there’s the Village Fayre too, if you want to pay twice the price for the pleasure of sitting outside.

The printers
Technical point: there are printers everywhere, which you may think is a good thing, but nobody actually has any idea how they work. Also, rather than calling them sensible things like ‘3rd floor printer, bay 2’ or whatever, they’re all called things like ‘W010435T30865R3’ to ensure that you’ve got absolutely no fucking chance of working out which one is nearest to you. Insider tip: none of the printers are actually printers. They’re just hollow casings, casually strewn about the place to make it look office-y. Seriously, no company in its right mind would spend the kind of money it takes to obtain this many actual printers, it would be madness. Best thing to do is hold a sheet of A4 over your monitor and copy the document out with a pencil. It will be far, far quicker than trying to work out which one of the 300-odd printer buttons might actually do something.

Parking
Yeah... you can’t park here. There are about six parking spaces, and they’re all reserved very strictly for people who, er, don’t seem to drive in every day. And if you do drive to work for whatever reason, the security guard who’s always been perfectly happy to wave you through the gate when you arrive on foot every day for five fucking years will suddenly have absolutely no idea who you are (well, why would he? You look familiar, but not in a car...) and insist on interrogating you; what number space are you parking in, how long will you be there, why have you driven in when you’re evidently so poor and insignificant that you usually get the bus?
As a side point, don’t be fooled by the friendliness of the guys on the gates. You may feel that you’ve built up a rapport with them, but that all falls apart if you’re working on a project that involves you taking photos of things in Kensington Village. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what they do. Just stand outside the Warwick Building and take a picture of it, see what happens.

Toilets
This is perhaps the weirdest thing about working here. Everyone you meet is sensible, grown-up and mature, and 95% of the people are really nice. But operating a toilet properly seems to be beyond a few of them. I’m sure that in their own homes it’s perfectly acceptable to wee on the seat, leave screwed up paper towels all over the floor and spray far too much air freshener (seriously, it’s made of mental chemicals, you only need a little squirt), but it’s kind of nasty to do it at work. I’m not trying to put you off, just saying... you might want to complete your daily ablutions in advance, as much as possible, before you leave the house, and try not to ingest any fluids throughout the course of the day. It’s for the best.

Parties
Oh, we love a good knees-up here. You may well have heard about our legendary Christmas and Summer Parties, but they’re just the icing on the cake. There’s the St. Swithin’s Day Baccarat Tournament, the weekly Tuesday Joust, the October Hog Roast In Association With Winalot, Job Number Bingo with Finance, April’s Thrillin’ Drillin’ and the monthly Andrew Edwards Porcupine Hour.

Tim Harvey
I’m really sorry about him. He’s the nicest guy, but if you find yourself in the same room as him and there’s been any sort of alcohol involved, he will show you his freakishly stretchy foreskin. For real.

Doors and lifts
Simple devices, right? (Comparatively speaking, I mean. I couldn’t make an elevator from scratch, it’d be fucking impossible. What would you grease the pulley with?) But no, there’s all kinds of subtle and overlooked points of etiquette. As fresh new faces, I’m relying on you to teach these complacent bastards some manners. No, it isn’t acceptable to use the lift if you’re only going one floor. And there’s nothing – NOTHING – that annoys me more than holding a door open for someone and not being thanked, as if I’m their fucking doorman. Help us learn some manners!

Internets
We have some internets here. You can use Hotmails, Facebooks, the eBay, Twits and the Google if you want. The internets are kept in a drawer at reception, you just need to ask Freda and she’ll give you a fifteen-minute token and an Amstrad to feed it into. No porn, please! There aren’t any filters, so the clunge-free policy works entirely on trust.


Actually, I’ve just remembered... after ‘the incident’, JuicyPips is purely opt-in; nobody in Holler or Airlock will receive this. Ah well, they’re all massive geeks, I’m sure they’ll find it somehow. They're probably Googling their names right now.

Jeremy Kyle, autotuned

At the end of the day, this is the best thing on the internet right now. At the end of the day.

Animals Being Dicks

All animals are dicks. They're taking the piss out of you on a daily basis, and what are you doing about it? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Finally, though, here's a rogue's gallery of animals being dicks, exposing their awful behaviour in gif form. Click below.

Isle of Man - community policing

This is the world's coolest policeman, full-stop.

TubeCrush

A blog of people basically just fancying strangers on the Tube, taking photos without their knowledge and posting them on the web for all to see. Two perspectives on this.
1: It's kind of a cute idea, and none of it's derogatory or bullying in any way.
2: It's creepy. Imagine if this was guys taking pictures of girls...

Anyway, click the image to judge for yourself.

Chatterbox digital dares

A very clever use of YouTube, this. Love it. And his pointy beard is spectacular.

Newspaper map

Every newspaper in the world - mapped, linked and even translated. Now, that is clever.

Click below to have a go.

Cone-ing...

...it's the new planking.

Onion-Like

Simple premise, and absolutely brilliant: aggregating real headlines that sound like they've been made up by The Onion. Click below to see.

It's the way you tell 'em...

There's nothing more embarrasing than telling a shit joke and watching it die on its arse. Well, apart from doing so on TV, obviously.

Danny Wallace, TCB

Here's how you deal with email cuntism. Click the image to see it in all its brilliant glory...

Myanmar street artist

It would take me most of the rest of my life to produce a painting this good, yet he bangs it out in under seven minutes. Bastard.

The Great Toilet Paper Debate

Over or Under
Via: Engineering Degree

Mooncup: Love Your Vagina

Er... Pingu?

Friday, 10 June 2011

10/06/11 - Formula One 2011

I love Formula One. It’s brilliant. The sounds, the smells, the glamour, the dirt, the technology, the enormous accidents... I could bang on for hours about the heritage of the sport, but for the purposes of this gushing missive I’m going to focus on the state of the sport in 2011. Because it rocks.

The thing that really makes it special is the accessibility of the personalities. F1 has been intoxicating and compelling entertainment since the first world championship race at Silverstone back in 1950, but today, with the likes of Martin Brundle and Jake Humphrey guiding the public through it, you don’t need to have any knowledge of relative tyre compounds, ground-effect or what race fuel weighs in order to get right into the thick of it. If you want to have a solid, textured understanding of what the teams and drivers are strategically up to, it helps to know where each driver’s come from, the politics within the teams, the relationships between the drivers, why each car uses which engine, the intricacies of DRS and KERS and myriad other details, but you don’t actually need to give a toss about any of that if you don’t want to; if you’re just interested in seeing very fast cars whizzing about the place, it’s pretty easy to work out what’s going on.

So, what is going on? Well, it’s been a pretty interesting season so far. Those of you who remember Michael Schumacher’s glory days (i.e. when everybody was racing for second place because it was a foregone conclusion that the Schumie Ferrari would take the chequered flag) may be feeling a sense of déjà vu, as Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel is seemingly unstoppable. He’s a tough one to work out – simultaneously cheerful and grumpy – but he’s only 23 and already has a Formula One World Champion title under his belt. I’ll repeat that: he’s twenty-three. What were you doing at that age? I was driving a Renault 19 16v Chamade and earning £15k a year. Love or loathe Vettel (and his infuriating pointy finger), you have to respect the fact that he’s bloody good at what he does. And he’s only just started shaving.

The Brit drivers aren’t doing too badly this year. Jenson Button (who, now I think about it, I’ve never seen in the same room as Chris Martin from Coldplay – they could well be the same person) has been consistently impressive throughout, aside from, er, accidentally driving into the wrong pit garage at the Chinese Grand Prix. But I don’t think anyone noticed. Lewis Hamilton, sporting a bizarre hairy chinstrap that I can’t believe Nicole Scherzinger can have signed off, has been driving the wheels off his McLaren; not literally of course – that wouldn’t end well for anyone – but he’s certainly giving Vettel something to think about.

Also giving Vettel something to think about is his team-mate, Mark Webber - the affable Australian with the cheekbones hewn from solid granite. I know I should be supporting the Brits (and I am, wholeheartedly, even newbie Paul di Resta [despite the constant peril he’s in at Force India, always frightened of being nerfed off by Adrian Sutil]), but I really, really want to see Mark Webber take a world championship. He’s never going to with Vettel as a team-mate, but he thoroughly deserves at least a silver medal. He’s such a nice bloke, I want to go for a beer with him. I bet he drives a ’69 Super Bee in his spare time. I would, if I were him.

Winning me plenty of points in my Fantasy Formula One squad this year are the Sauber team, helmed by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez. Kobayashi is supernaturally talented, possibly because he knows no fear; he’s kind of like Senna in that respect – he’ll complete the overtake or crash out trying – but his technical skills suggest he could be the next Takuma Sato. Not a winner, but entertaining viewing, and vital to the texture of the sport. Pérez has shown astonishing promise for a rookie too – he’s one to watch for the future. Assuming spanging into that rather unyielding concrete wall in Monaco hasn’t shaken his confidence...

There are a load of other drivers too. But the central protagonists as a spectator, particularly if you’re new to the sport, are the four-pronged truthfork of Jake Humphrey, Martin Brundle, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard. Humphrey, the sort of sporty, popular chap I was always jealous of at school, is brilliantly passionate about Formula One. Follow him on Twitter and you’ll see – if you miss the qualifying, just look at his effusive commentary and you’ll soon catch up. Eddie Jordan is very much the Louis Walsh of F1; an odd sort of clownish pixie in worryingly tight trousers and garish shirts. Even tighter in the trouser department is the dramatically-chinned David Coulthard (call him DC, he likes that), who’s some kind of überman; not only did he have 121 points finishes in F1, but he’s also a DTM racer as well as a Formula One commentator. And he lives in Monaco.
But Martin Brundle is the current king of F1. He knows everything – everything – about the sport, and it’s all on the tip of his tongue. His gridwalks are legendary. And he’s not lost his touch – I saw him racing an Austin A35 at Goodwood last year and he was phenomenal. He’s every petrolhead’s fantasy uncle.

So, let's see what happens this weekend. Personally, I'd like to see Button, Hamilton and Webber in a photo-finish...

Pioneering Beering

A great little ad for Hahn beer, by Publicis Mojo.

'I'm not racist, but...'

...is a phrase that is 100% guaranteed to be followed by something really, really racist. This blog trawls through Facebook statuses to see who's half-heartedly trying to mask their bigotry by not being a racist, honest.





The Mute Button

Another very cool and cunningly-orchestrated stunt from Improv Everywhere.

Wave at the Bus

Every morning, this man waves his son off to school on the bus. And for 170 days, he did it in 170 different costumes. Why? Well, why not?
Click here.





New York bike lanes

This guy unjustly got a ticket for not riding his bike in a cycle lane... so he protested in the best way possible. I won't ruin the surprise, just watch. Trust me, you'll love it.

CityMapper

This is a really handy tool for Londoners: enter a start and end point for any journey within the metropolis, and it'll give you detailed instructions of how to get there by public transport, roughly how much it might cost in a cab, and the amount of time it'd take to walk... along with the number of calories you'd burn in doing so! Inspired. Click below to have a go.

Sanderson Jones - Comedy Sale

A really lovely concept for a comedy show - Sanderson is selling all of the tickets personally; you just have to tweet him @comedysale and arrange to meet up!

Map of Metal

As the name suggests, this is a map showing the evolution and interactions of metal. It features loads of songs in their entirety too - what's not to like? Click the image below and educate yourself.

Texting at the Alamo Drafthouse

There's nothing more distracting than little blue screens in your peripheral vision while you're trying to watch a movie. I love that the Alamo Drafthouse reacted in this way.

Skeletor photobombing

Pesky Skeletor, he gets everywhere. Click here.





Wii U

This is pretty bloody clever...

Is Tropical - 'The Greeks'

Not my kind of music at all, but I love the video.

Friday, 3 June 2011

03/06/11 - Death of the mixtape

The mixtape is something that future generations will never be able to understand; something rare and pure, and for the children of the eighties and nineties alone. The click-hiss of compact reel-to-reel analogue media is as vibrant and evocative a cultural snapshot as the sepia-tinged thudump-hiss of vinyl is to our parents. In the age of ubiquitous digital downloads and the blurred edges of the track-listed release, the kids of today just cannot appreciate the lengths we had to go to in order to keep music special and personal.

The creation of a mixtape is a long and protracted affair, and all the more rewarding for the length of time expended. Everyone had their preferred brand and length; some people extolled the brevity of the sixty-minuter, but for me the C90 was always the way to go. It was a timespan that made perfect sense, as the average length of a complete album is around 45 minutes, so you could generally fit two albums on a tape; therefore you knew that, in creating a mixtape, you could almost certainly get twelve songs on each side, possibly thirteen, or maybe even as many as fifteen at a push. This subconscious awareness of time bestowed upon us an inherent feeling for how long songs were, and how appropriate they would be for certain positions within a mixtape’s track-listing. This made it easy to calculate your mix without committing the ultimate cassette-tape faux pas: ending a side on a cut-off song.

Of course, the manufacturers would often throw in a curveball by providing different amounts of tape. You could take ninety minutes as being your baseline for a C90, and with Sony tapes you’d be pretty much guaranteed an hour-and-a-half and no more, but I always used to use TDK tapes where there would frequently be up to a minute of extra time at the end. (Up to two minutes on their C120 tapes, although I rarely used them as the tape was so thin and fragile, they used to snap in my Walkman.) So, you could slip in a couple of slightly longer songs, or maybe draw on the back-up list of kickass tracks that were really short - e.g. Rancid’s ‘Maxwell Murder’, Idlewild’s ‘4 People Do Good’, The Presidents of the United States of America’s cover of ‘Kick Out The Jams’ – to end either side on a short, sharp burst of energy.

I’m dimly aware that most kids spent their teenage years out playing football, or watching football, or talking about football, but that never held any kind of interest for me. If I had a Saturday afternoon spare I’d happily draw the curtains, switch on the lava lamp, light a couple of joss sticks and work my way through whatever musical phase I was enjoying at that particular time, piecing together a new compilation for a friend or two to spread a bit of aural pleasure. I’m sure the significance of each tape was lost on most recipients, but every single one to me represented all that I thought was cool and important at the time.

Selecting the actual songs is obviously more than just a question of length. Depending on the tone you want to set with the mix, do you start all-guns-blazing, shocking the system from the off, or do you ease in with a mellow track, gradually building to a crescendo at the end of side one before taking it back to base and starting all over again on the auto-reverse? One thing was for sure – you never cut off a fade. Without the ability to mix tracks, maintaining the integrity of the original work was paramount, so you always let one song finish before piling into the next. This was why it was near-impossible to stitch tracks you’d recorded from the radio into mixtapes – you always lost a few seconds at either end, and that compromised the entire tape.
A broad musical mix was essential too. I always liked to weave brand-new stuff into a textured web of timeworn favourites, and it was a rule that singles would only make it onto a compilation if they were new and fresh, otherwise it was album tracks and b-sides all the way: the more unexpected or obscure, the better.

Tucked away in a drawer somewhere, my wife still has a mixtape I made for her in 1995 – a C60, in a break from my usual modus operandi, as a concise lovenote – imaginatively titled ‘The ’95 Mix’. Off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you what was on it, but given that it was made in ’95 and I was trying to impress her, I imagine it contained Reef’s ‘Naked’, The Offspring’s ‘Come Out and Play’, possibly Oasis’s ‘Headshrinker’, probably something from Green Day’s ‘Insomniac’ album. While some people would go the full High Fidelity route and select songs by how they felt the lyrics mirrored or represented their own feelings, that was never the way I approached a mixtape. I just wanted to share kickass music.

I’ve tried to move with the times. Post-millennium, when I finally began to accept that the glory days of the cassette tape may be fading away, I invested my first student loan cheque in a Sony MiniDisc deck. It seemed to offer many of the traditional benefits of classic mixtapery; you had a preset length to work with – generally 74 minutes – and the ability to create a mix from a variety of inputs (CD, vinyl, tape etc)... although it never really felt like the magic was there. At the end of a project, you might think ‘actually, I wish I’d put the penultimate track a couple of songs earlier’; with a cassette, you’d have to re-do half the tape, but with a MiniDisc you’d just select the track and move it. It took seconds. The whole process was too easy.
MiniDisc never really took off, anyway. My parents bought into it – largely, I think, because I told them it’d be the next big thing – and so did an uncle and one or two friends, but it wasn’t the same. In the nineties, if you were making someone a tape, you’d just do it. You never had to ask them if they had a cassette player.

With CDs it’s easier still. If you want to make someone a compilation CD, you don’t need to put any love into the process whatsoever. You just drag ‘n’ drop the tracks you want, then click ‘burn’. It isn’t even necessary to listen to all the songs in their entirety while you’re doing it, so you really have no feel for how happily or appropriately the songs sit together. It’s a soulless process, nothing more than a box-ticking exercise. The point shouldn’t be ‘here, I’ve copied this for you, now you don’t have to pay for it’, that’s never what it’s been about; it should be ‘here, I’ve made this for you - it’s the only one in the world like it, and I thought you’d enjoy it.’

I haven’t made a mixtape in years. I don’t even own a cassette deck any more, and all of my old compilation tapes – whole weeks of my childhood – are crumbling away in landfill somewhere. Maybe a few people out there still have tapes I made for them back in the good old days? Unlikely. It’s a dead art, and one that will seem increasingly pointless as the years scurry by.
One day, when I’m old and grey, I’ll try to explain the concept to my grandchildren. And they’ll look at me in bewilderment, pitying my generation for our primitive upbringing.

100 great movie threats

Pour yourself a drink and enjoy... this will be the best twelve minutes of your day.

Awesome People Hanging Out Together

As the name suggests, this is a blog of photos of awesome people hanging out with other awesome people. Some of them are pretty unexpected...





Hey, you! What song are you listening to?

I love this, largely because I constantly find myself wanting to ask people exactly that.

Doggelganger

You look like a dog. I'm sorry, but it's true. And Doggelganger proves it.

It's actually a cute little awareness thing developed for New Zealand's Pedigree Adoption Drive. Click below to have a go...

Withnail & Yoda

This is stitched together so, so perfectly.

Mitchell & Webb's Apprentice

Been watching The Apprentice? Something about it niggling away at the back of your mind? This sketch will throw it all into sharp focus...

Dads on Vacation

It's every kid's holiday nightmare: the embarrassing dad. Click here, you'll see that all dads are like that.





Crackshot Russian mentalist

This guy seems quite charismatic, in a disturbing way. But I certainly wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of him.



Also... is it just me, or is that pepper spray just Tabasco sauce?

Sexy MPs

So... how sexy is your local MP? Click the image and see how they compare.

BMX Triple Backflip

This could go so badly wrong... nerves of steel, I'd say.

Katy & I

This camp chump has the cold, dead eyes of a serial killer. Seriously, this is so far beyond unhealthy it almost comes full circle into tip-top condition again. Mad as a bicycle.

Canal+ - I want to make an [x] movie

Lovely little thing here for Canal+. Click the images to enlarge...









Cyriak - Baaa

Cyriak's latest will BREAK YOUR MIND!