Cheeseburger Gothic

Dark Tower trailer

Posted May 5 by John Birmingham

I tried twice to get into this series of books. Oddly, for the King, they just didn't do it for me. But having seen this excellent trailer I might go back for a third attempt. Thanks to Warren for the heads up.

11 Responses to ‘Dark Tower trailer’

jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5
I know nothing about the show but the first three books in the series are some of my favourite SK work. I recommend persisting as the man in black flees across the desert...

Dave W mutters...

Posted May 5

I saw the trailer and actually thought that it confirmed my long-running rule of not watching King conversions.

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WarDog has opinions thus...

Posted May 5
Saw the trailer yesterday too. I can't wait
It looks like they might have boiled the story down to something a little more forceful than the books.

While I loved some of the books in the series, some of them just dawdled. Like the ?5th/6th? which spent all its time living in the Gunslingers past.

But the self referential parts and the intertwining with the real world was gripping.

It was written over many/many years and was King experimenting with a paid subscription like model. He originally only planned on completing it if enough people signed up. That was scary that we might never get the end of a story we had invested in.

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 5
When I was a kid I found an old copy of F&SF on my parents' shelves that had as its first story this weird quasi-Western thing called "The Gunslinger", which finished with a note that this was part of the saga of Childe Roland on his way to the Dark Tower. (I'd heard of the Roland story, and was old enough to think "heh, kind of cool to be retelling it as a cowboy story".) I was a bit young to take in the whole thing but I remember the *feel* of the story, this quiet, lonely, dreamlike vibe it had that I hadn't run into before. That stayed with me and I remember some of the first serious attempts at fiction that I wrote were also attempts to recapture that feel.

Imagine my surprise when I came across that sequence again after having read Carrie, 'Salem's Lot, The Stand, It and all the rest and realised holy shit, that was King?

Ironically I've never gone back to go through the rest of the books. Might need to mainline them in a hurry before the series starts.

And that opening line is still in my all-time top-five list.

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Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted May 5

I'm quite ambivalent about the King. I loved 'Dreamcatcher' but not the others I've tried. Could not get into 'The Stand' at all. Don't know why.

I'm looking for a new series right now to go alongside my Hugo Award reading.

I'll give this a try - I know others who love it.

jason has opinions thus...

Posted May 8
Go back to The Stand. One of my all time faves.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 9
Probably what bought me here was JB's thinky on The Stand.

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Nocturnalist is gonna tell you...

Posted May 5
Maybe it's time to bring back the Burger book club to tackle the first book in time for the series kickoff?

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Dave W puts forth...

Posted May 6
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

My favourite sentence ever.

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Gilligan asserts...

Posted May 9
I'm about 10% conflicted.

The larger part of my brain that likes shiny things and would pay cinema prices to watch Idris Elba and Matthew MConaughey sitting in a room and occasionally remarking on the weather is super hyped.

The mega-nerd, story purist part of my brain picked out about 4 HUGE departures from the novels that appear to torpedo significant aspects of the characters.

With that in mind, though, I like the idea of an inspired by/based on movie, and see previous comment re; Mssrs Elba and McConaughey.

I'm in.

And in the mean time, if we want to see just how good an adaptation can be, we have American Gods. :)

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NBlob asserts...

Posted May 9
When I first came across the Dark Tower series they didn't work for me, but this looks the goods.
Interesting that projects that get up seem to be the ones that have built in sequels. Bodes well for AoT.

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A boy, a girl, a violated presidential gravesite

Posted May 1 by John Birmingham

From today's ASB:

I had my first school formal on Saturday night, which is to say, my daughter went to hers and I opened the sluice gates on my inappropriately-named savings account and watched my carefully hoarded fortune flood out into the hands of carnivorous dress designers, hairstylists, make-up artists and the guy who invented Uniqlo because at the last minute I learned I’d have to be in the pre-formal photos too.
(Off topic observation. Every dad is a $49.00 late Saturday afternoon panic outfit purchase away from becoming a lifelong committed Uniqlo Dad. Thank you, Mr Uniqlo. Thank you.)
Anyway, the dance was fine. No funny or tragic or tragicomic stories emerged from it. But that is not always the way of things with high school dances, is it? Especially not when you finally reach the very summit of Mt. Dramapalooza, which in Australia is known as The School Formal and in the US as Prom Night

3 Responses to ‘A boy, a girl, a violated presidential gravesite’

jason puts forth...

Posted May 1
I assume the Uniqlo purchase is a tax write off since it was mentioned in the story. In fact the whole formal could be written off if you had a good enough tax lawyer.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted May 1
You're hired.

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Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted May 2
So glad I only have sons....formal outfits are so much easier and cheaper.

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100 Days of So Damn Much Winning

Posted April 28 by John Birmingham

Hard to believe we're still alive, really:

And so we are one hundred days into Donald Trump’s presidency of laughter and forgetting. The laughter is the deranged cackle of an escaped mental patient hiding in the darkened basement of a Stephen King story. The forgetting is inevitable, because who can keep this shit straight? The alternate facts, the Russian hookers, the amateur oompah band of cosplay Nazis winding their way through the White House kicking out the jams on a 76 trombone cover of old SS dancehall favourites, the early morning tweet storms, the gentle tonguing of Vladimir Putin, Kelly-Anne’s shopping network promo for Ivanka’s failing fashion line, Mike Flynn’s sacking, Steve Bannon’s demonic possession, selfies with the nuclear briefcase guy, and family favours and open bribes from the Chinese government and the transfer of the Situation Room to the outdoor dining lounge at Mar-a-Lago. And all of that is just off the top of my head. With a quick search on el Goog I could fill this whole column with a firehose of craziness, the same way that talking baboon’s anus constantly fills our world with a never-ending toxic gas leak of his brainfarts and crazy uncle conspiracy theories.

As John Oliver said. “Trump hasn't said one crazy thing, he's said thousands of crazy things, each of which blunts the effect of the others.”

4 Responses to ‘100 Days of So Damn Much Winning’

balders would have you know...

Posted April 28
Hey JB,

something broken about the link to

from the cheese, it goes to a blank page and feedly its got a broken URL.

happy long weekend

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 1
Thx mate. Sorted.

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jason swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1
If people haven't signed up for Alien Side Boob I would highly recommend you do. I have found it worth every meagre cent just for the huge increase to my vocabulary of insults and abuse. The considered opinion and thought provoking comment are a bonus.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 4
Artisnal rant, it's like what good coffee was 5 years ago.

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BALLS.104 TAKE THAT for data (N*Sync for the eye test)

Posted April 24 into Sport by beeso

The Doc and I talk how wrong we have been already about the NBA, the paralells between WSC and the current debacle happening in netball and how wrong the timing is for a womens sport to be screwing up. Then we laugh at the Knicks again and how even their fans won't buy our Knicks colourway T, before discussing the FA cup, ecenomic terrorism and YOU AIN'T GONNA ROOK US!

2 Responses to ‘BALLS.104 TAKE THAT for data (N*Sync for the eye test)’

NBlob would have you know...

Posted May 4
Excuse me for a moment gents.
Economic Growth seems one of a very few measures of an administration. If our economy booms while other comparative nations' flounder it is cause for celebration. If .Au slumps while Canadians & Kiwis prosper we change tenants @ The Lodge.

It seems that every measure, standard, unit or benchmark is beset by those seeking to manipulate in some way for benefit. Remember the Chinese infant formula milk-powder contamination scam? That was people Optimising a % protein assay. VW taught TDi Golfs & Jettas to recognise the test bench and scam the pollution & fuel consumption tests. Bought a Sunbeam product recently? Nobody else has either. Thanks to Al Chainsaw Dunlop manipulating Corporate Performance measures. GFC was largely clever dicks manipulating credit ratings. For every Standard Measure there seems those who seek to manipulate it to their benefit.

I'm wondering what percent of Economic Growth, as measured by GDP, is new things made by clever people and how much is projections, models, speculative estimations. Like rice collectives in Mao's China It is in the interests of everyone, from entrepreneur to the Government of the Day for the most aspirational estimates to be locked in as firm forecasts. How will decades of cumulative optimism affect our economy?

NBlob puts forth...

Posted May 4
It would seem I dismiss the intangible, as if an idea was somehow less valuable than a thing. It is obvious that a thing of beauty and usefulness is an idea, or many ideas made tangible. Yet they are different. A thing has a reality, that the promise in an idea lacks.

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BALLS After Dark.88 It's not brain surgery

Posted April 21 into Music by beeso

In which Beeso and the Doc review classic Rocket Science, new Goldfrapp and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and get into how Oils ain't oils, politics isn't worth a half eaten bag of chips, vale John Clarke, things that are about 100 metres, Daggumentaries, farnarkling, Goldeneyeing, homeopathy, Beats Mode, spaced jams, the official rapper of white thinkpiece writers on twitter, comeback acts, colour and movement and stupidity. Next week: Spoon, Damien Cowell's Disco Machine and mid-'90s Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes. This, next and last week's albums are on our Spotify playlist (note to self: it's your last week to go back and listen to last week's albums) with our faves of 2017 repping on the After Dark Mixtape.

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BALLS After Dark.87 Everything new is old again

Posted April 12 into Music by beeso

The Battle Of The 'The' Bands (c. 2002), having a stadium rock attitude on a pub rock budget, writing for clubs, dissecting the Splendour lineup and designing festivals for washed-up Gen X parents. This week we review new albums by Satan Takes A Holiday and Pulled Apart By Horses and a 2001 classic by Groove Armada. Next week: Goldfrapp, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears and Contact High by Rocket Science (2001). This, last and next week's albums are all on our Spotify playlist.

You can subscribe on your podast player of choice or listen below

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