Cheeseburger Gothic

OMFG CATCH 22!

Posted February 12 into Telly by John Birmingham

I had no idea this was even in development, let alone as a six part TV series. Directed by George Clooney!

Also I have no idea where it'll run locally, but wherever that is, I'll be there. I fucking LOVED this book when I read it, and six or seven hours of peak TV feels just about right to deliver it to the screen.

10 Responses to ‘OMFG CATCH 22!’

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted February 12
OMG YES!!!

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PaulC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 12
On Stan, apparently. 18 May.

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted February 12
Hell yes, I've added that to my watchlist in Stan.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted February 12
I'm leaning back in bed with a cigarette pre-emptively.

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jl asserts...

Posted February 13
This does look pretty good.

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Dave W would have you know...

Posted February 13
I love this book every time I read it. It probably gets a run through every 3-4 years, like with The Stand. And of course the complete oeuvre of OLAM (Our Lord and Master- JB)...So a movie or tv adaptation scares me, TBH.

Besides, for my money, the ultimate adaptation of Catch 22 was MASH.

But...

Will I try it? Dammit, yes, I will.

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Bondiboy66 reckons...

Posted February 13
I recall trying to read the book circa late high school....and I just couldn't get into it. In fact I disliked it immensely. Some many years down the track I may like it better - I best hie myself to the local library methinks.

I'd try the tv version (having never seen the older movie adaptation either) but for not having Stan on the home telly. Might resort to piracy though.

Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted February 14
Give it another go. I tried at the same age as you and ground to a halt, but had another tilt some years later, roared through it and loved every page.

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Murphy_of_Missouri has opinions thus...

Posted February 13
Right up there with MASH the TV series for how the Army actually operates. The only thing in the same realm is Kelly's Heroes.

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted February 13
EFFING WICKED..

Murph...McHales NAVY!!!!

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An Extraordinary Meeting of the Bounders Club

Posted February 12 into Blunty by John Birmingham

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, to discover a structural inequity fashioned into the very apparel with which our ladies must enclothe themselves.

But I am also quietly relieved, having been originally quite concerned that the repeal of stern but uncompromising legislation prohibiting the escape of lady legs into the public realm would lead to all manner of distraction for any poor fellow momentarily deflected from his daily course by some unexpected encounter with the female undercarriage.

From the Archives of the Bounders Club. Minutes and Proceedings of an extraordinary meeting to address the threat of lady pants.

Gentlemen, it has recently come to my attention that lady pants do not have pockets.

At the Instrument...

9 Responses to ‘An Extraordinary Meeting of the Bounders Club’

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted February 12
When the revolution happens, the designers and tailors who were complicit with the patriarchy and denied us wimminfolk functional pockets in our ladypants will be the first to meet the firing squads.

There are no words to adequately describe the frustration of pants sans pockets, or the deep resentment we feel toward menpants with their voluminous and mandatory pockets, or the rage we feel when we're asked why we cart such enormous handbags with us everywhere we go. Honestly, I can't dress for work or a night out without bringing along some kind of reticule to hold my phone, wallet and keys. Total bullshit.

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted February 12
Oi..Oi!!!!!!!! you lot, I must say gentlemen…and those of the coven. It is with a rather ample drop of trepidation I might add, for I find that trousers, pants, items out of lycra and all other manner of the fem fatal ensemble cladding thee coven members shipped lower extremities are for specific scientifica based or derived factoids. For without exposing myself too much, Its rather easy to define the benefits and you might say drawbacks.
Imagine no pocket bulges and optically tracking the opposite form, boning up and having naught pockets with which to have festooned within survival equipment and thus shrouding the expanding moment. I mean, how might one adjust one’s self in complete anonymity, or for that matter imagine the primary axels left and right wheels being somewhat exposed….my bad, I remember that being a seventies thing and the resulting lower than expected birth-rates.

Where was I?............ Oh yes, afternoons, evening and mornings wandering down the street with your hand in the pocket of the other half, obviously for no other reason than to aid their balance and protect them from nefarious persons. Ummm, “Cough’ not sure if that still PC even the days. How would it be if they worked out that tackle room on hot days has a distinct advantage, might they also discover the wonders of choosing which side you might “ dress on” that ability to swing left or right..such a wondrous thing.

And…… before any objectioners start their coven orientated dribble, I’ll have all know, its known, legislated in our minutes and constitution that giving them the choice is detrimental to male eyesight!.. Jesus…I mean. Imagine not being able to tail gate, look at the swanky Ferrari’s back end and only discover its clad in pockets, laden with rather pretty, but as we know ultimately useless stuff and the chassis is obscured. GAWD I WOULD BLOODY WELL HATE THAT.

I don’t think we should allow them stitched, it’s a slippery slope that one and far better that we have them continued as a mere thought of, built for but not with accessory never to be added.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted February 13
Rumour has it Mz Lorna Jane has been nominated for an Order of Australia, for packaging.

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jason is gonna tell you...

Posted February 13
If women get pockets what happens to those of us whose only function is to carry the spare lipstick in our side pocket. I for one would have outlived my usefulness.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted February 13
The no pockets policy also explains why most young women have a cracked mobile phone screen.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted February 13
Can I take off this dugong suit yet?
It's getting sweaty & stinky in here.
And not in a good way?

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insomniac swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 13
I was with my granddaughter and there was some thing she wanted me to hold, so I said put it in your pocket, and... there was no pocket. I recall thinking that even young girls can't have pockets in their lady pants.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted February 14
The repression starts early :(

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted February 15
Belatedly back from my mission. I can confirm that the Ladies Clothing Manufacturers Union carried a motion put forth by the Pants sub branch.
The motion stated

(i) This meeting calls on all members to enforce a ban on the application of pockets or other such deviations to female pants or pants-like clothing
(ii) This meeting recognises the efforts of the Bounders Club in exposing the corrupt practices of the imperialist oppressors who are demanding pockets.
(iii) This meeting commends the sacrifice of Mr Havock of the Bounders Club in looking at prototypes of be-pocketed female pants.
(iv) This meeting calls on manufacturers to cease their war on women and allow our female comrades to be pockets free.

The motion was unanimously carried at industry - wide workplace meetings of the members. And then we all fucked off to the pub and listened to Redgum and Billy Bragg songs.
.

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The Killer Awoke

Posted February 7 into Books by John Birmingham

Had a pleasant surprise this morning when I found a cheque—yes, an actual paper cheque, possibly delivered by carrier pigeon—in my PO Box. It was from Baen, for a story in John Ringo's Voices of the Fall anthology. I'd forgotten about that piece, and the money turned up fortuitously. The Aussie dollar is in free fall on rumours of an interest cut, and my car rego was due.

So I dips me lid to JR and Baen. (Even though I had to totally murder Tom Kratman and Larry Correia to earn my Del Rey challenge coin).

The book is due out in early March. You can pre-order here. For those who don't know Ringo's Black Tide Rising series, it's a fun zombiepocalypse saga, unusual in having an Australian family as the lead characters.

For my contribution to the anthology I decided to revisit an old favourite, Caitlin Monroe. We join her, as we did at the start of After America, recuperating in a Paris hospital, but this being Ringo's story world, the details start shifting early:

Caitlin took a sip of cool water and closed her eyes for a moment.
She knew this was bad.
Echelon never put anyone in the field without due preparation. But she’d been yanked out of her deep cover run against al Banna’s network and thrown at these wingnuts on half-a-moment’s notice, with a ten-minute briefing and a surprisingly painful shot in the ass of some unnamed anti-viral magic potion that gave her the worst dose of flu she’d ever had.
Caitlin cursed softly under her breath. She had no idea what day it was. No idea how long she’d been out, or what had gone down in that time...

...Caitlin’s hand was throbbing and her head was starting to spin. She desperately needed a moment to herself, to get her shit together. She forced herself to breath slowly. Stilling her racing thoughts. Her flu had mostly cleared. She hadn’t turned rabid. She needed to reestablish realtime contact with Echelon. Overwatch must have arranged for her to jump the line if she was in a private hospital room. She did remember that hospitals were already turning people away when she was in London.
“Eh up? What’s this then?” blurted Celia.
Everyone fixed on the TV screen, where an impeccably groomed Eurasian woman with a perfectly modulated BBC voice was struggling to maintain her composure. “…the quarantine, which was not agreed to by Washington, will be enforced by NATO using all means necessary according a spokesperson from the Prime Minister’s office. Outbound commercial flights are either returning to their points of origin or diverting to Halifax and Quebec in Canada, or to airports throughout the West Indies, where the plague is reportedly nearly as advanced as on the continental US.”
The women all began to chatter at once, much to Caitlin’s annoyance. On screen the BBC’s anchorwoman said that the US president and vice President had been evacuated ‘under fire’ from the capitol. A hammer started pounding inside Caitlin’s head as she watched the reporter stumble through the rest of her read.
“…US forces are heavily engaged at Guantanamo Bay, using heavy weapons on hundreds of naked victims.”
Interesting word, thought Caitlin. Victims.

7 Responses to ‘The Killer Awoke’

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted February 7
I'll say it, having read the post and then looking at the cover art, I really didn't get much further...than re looking at the cover art!!!!!

Prolly un PC or isI it art appreciation?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted February 7
It’s Baen.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted February 7
Wow, the 80s called and wants its cover art back. Although the art explains the House of Del Rey's feud with Baen, no wonder they're getting their authors to murder their Baen rivals

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted February 7
I'm really starting to think , that Caitlin and Captain Jane Willet, my two spanky favs might just well have been replaced!

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Murphy_of_Missouri ducks in to say...

Posted February 7
I never imagined Caitlin looking as good as the ones on the cover.

Oh, and Thank God for Baen.

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Vovchara has opinions thus...

Posted February 11
Tom Kratman wouldn't be a big loss. But if you touch David Weber or Eric Flint...

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HAVOCK21 mumbles...

Posted February 13
hmm, that title. I think, now, in retrospection that its really code...you know, for " HAVOCK's ALARM CLOCK WNET OFF" hence, the KILLER AWOKE!

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Comments

Posted February 5 into House keeping by John Birmingham

Quite a few peeps have emailed and messaged me directly about being unable to comment. I’m aware the comment fuction is wobbly and will probably get some renovation work done on it in the next few weeks, depending on cost. But I’m also looking at a site overhaul and don’t want to burn money on work which I then throw away in a month or so.

4 Responses to ‘Comments’

HAVOCK21 reckons...

Posted February 5
Sheeez. If I can make it work then those that are somewhat disenfranchised with the functionality might want to reconsider their positions.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 5
Mine did a double post a couple of days ago but i was working off the mobile.

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she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted February 5
Perhaps the site has become sentient and is moderating your readers comments based on its definition of the commentee's status as a favourite? If this is the case I welcome our AI overlords, please don't kill me :D

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Naut ducks in to say...

Posted February 5
All my comments are appearing with less wit and cutting insight than they had when I typed them.

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The writers’ room

Posted February 5 into Telly by John Birmingham

I've always had an outsider's curiousity about writers rooms. They've become the standard way of beating out stories for TV, and particular rooms—The Simpsons, SNL—have become legendary beyond the industry. But most writers are solitary creatures, preferring to sit in the dark and pick at their wounds. So how does that play out?
I got to work in something like a writers room yesterday, and will be back there most of today. I can't give up the deets but the process was fascinating. It was similar in a way to what I do in the week or two before starting a new novel. Interrogating characters, pushing storylines out to their logical or more often illogical conclusions, looking for plotholes, asking why this story at this time. But it was half a dozen people in the room, not just me wandering around talking to myself (and the dog, if I can convince to her to stay with a tasty bone.)
It was mentally exhausting, but only because I was being forced to press a week or two's thinking into one day. By the end of that, we'd filled a whole wall with notes on characters, story arcs, themes, antagonists, sub plots and more.
This is TV of course, so as with movies the chances of this story ever being told aren't great; not compared with a book I decide to write. With books its relatively simple because its just me. If there's a trade publisher they dont really get involved until after the first draft is done. If the title is gonna go indie, there's a budget for cover design and editing, but that's the only outside complication. With television and movies, budgets are just one complicating factor. A huge complication, to be sure, but not the only one.
Anyway, interesting day. I'm looking forward to going back today.

12 Responses to ‘The writers’ room’

HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 5
Interesting; just how much rough and tumble is there, would these rooms be able to survive the likes of me or are they full of fragile entities?

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HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted February 5
mmm, crystalline souls would have been better.

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted February 5
They have better mouthfeel when you devour them.

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she_jedi puts forth...

Posted February 5
Writers room as a concept are intriguing and baffling. I can't imagine how you can corral a roomful of creatives together without it turning into a Lord of the Flies type apocalypse, considering the natural state of a writer is to sit alone in the dark picking at their wounds. And then produce something functional and coherent without the deadline whooshing past. Sorcery.

Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted February 5
You might be surprised. I mean, I was. I'm in the early stages of one collaborative project with a bunch of other writers and designers, and the late stages of another with one other collaborator, and they've both been amazing. It's not quite the bullpen JB is talking about since we're not all in the same room and doing more of it virtually, but it seems like there are parallels.

It's certainly a very different experience to working alone, but when everything clicks and someone picks up on an idea you weren't sure about, or a minor side-note on the setting, or what you thought of as a throwaway line, and runs with it in a direction you hadn't imagined, and then you see something in that and bat it back across the table with a new spin, and someone else sees a whole new level to the thing growing out of that that then the rest of you build on in turn... It can be really exhilarating.

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HAVOCK21 would have you know...

Posted February 5
Laughed when I read " FUNCTIONAL" and in a WRITERS THREAD no less......

she_jedi reckons...

Posted February 5
HAHAHA! See? Sorcery.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon ducks in to say...

Posted February 5
I think the trick would be in the person collating the group. Would be a massive advantage being able to put talented people that would work together in the same room. Which might mean not necessarily the best - you get a better result with a group of like minded people vs one massive talent rail roading everyone else into their vision. I definitely work better in groups - i am very slow in my own creative juices or leading a group and work better bouncing off other people in the room and contributing/refining.

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Naut mutters...

Posted February 5
It was 1,000 monkeys with 1,000 typewriters, wasn't it?

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Vovchara would have you know...

Posted February 6
Everytime I hear about Screenwriters sitting in a room and gaming the script, I am wondering, how is it possible that we get more often than not some incohirrent crap as a story in a TV-Show or a Movie?

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Leftarc reckons...

Posted February 6
Would have had some similarities to home. I assume there would have been one writer snoozing under a desk, farting away.
And ready to claim all the credit when it's done.

Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 6
I don't know if the process here is the same as the Hollywood one but there's an interesting old blog post by John Rogers about how credits on writing teams actually gets handed out and decided on:

http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2007/03/writing-arbitration-letters.html

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This pasta will end me

Posted February 2 by John Birmingham

I have a shameful secret. Well, it's shameful to me. I go to restaurants and I order the same things over and over again. The chicken and pork ragu at Vine. The Roman carbonara at Enoteca. The lamb kebabs at The Lamb Shop. Seriously, I eat a lot of fucking lamb kebabs. Sometimes with chips.

But it's that fucking fettuccine carbonara at Enoteca that's gonna kill me. Not by clamping my heart in a deliciously creamy stranglehold and squeezing until it explodes – although there is a fair chance of that – but more likely through frustration.

When I lived in Sydney I used to have fettuccine carbonara three or four times a week at a cheap trattoria in King's Cross. It wasn't silver service dining, but it was pretty good, and reasonably priced at a time when I couldn't afford much more than cheap pasta. Fast forward a couple of decades and the Roman variation served up at Enoteca in the Woolloongabba dining precinct is a revelation. About three times more expensive for starters, but so good I can't get past it, and they can't take it off the menu. Motherfuckers got cut last time they tried.

But because I can't afford to eat there every night, and because it's supposed to be a simple dish, I've tried recreating it at home. The restaurant guys have even talked me through how to do it. It should be ridiculously easy. You boil up some fettuccine, natch. Choose your porkalicious protein, I usually go for smoked speck, which I gently fry in a pan while the fettuccine is cooking. The pasta comes off the boil and get strained. A couple of eggs, sometimes more depending on the size of the meal, are gently folded through, say, a minute after the pasta has come out of the water – otherwise you're a fair chance of scrambling the eggs in the heat. Toss through the chopped up smoky pigmeat. grind over some fresh parmesan. Plate that bad boy up.

It's delish, honestly, even when I do it at home. But I'll be damned if I can get my carbonara to the same thick, heart stopping consistency as the restaurant’s. Seriously. Theirs is not even a sauce. It's more like a gravy. I normally program a couple of hours high-intensity interval training before I eat there and then, like a bear in winter, I don't eat again for months afterwards.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. There is just… something… missing. And I cannot rest until I find out what it is.

10 Responses to ‘This pasta will end me’

Oldy ducks in to say...

Posted February 2
Vegeta? Often the difference between "yum" and "wow"

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted February 2
I'm think I should have added some pasta water.

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insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2
I'd beat together the eggs with cooking cream and fold that through. I'm sure it's a healthier option. Dairy, right?

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Dirk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2
add a little of cheese/parmazan to the meat and gravy and let that simmer for a few minutes. I think that is the trick.

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jl puts forth...

Posted February 2
This sounds amazing.

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balders ducks in to say...

Posted February 4
try adding an extra egg yoke or two and some Parmesan and make sure that there is still some fat in the bottom of the pan from cooking the speck

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Leftarc would have you know...

Posted February 4
Add a little bit of the water from the pasta, has all that gluten in there to thicken up the sauce.

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted February 5
These are all excellent ideas. I will have to eat a lot more of this pasta to try them out.

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Naut has opinions thus...

Posted February 5
Have you been here http://www.kalimerasouvlakiart.com.au/?

If you haven't, happy to take you next time you are in Melbs.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 5
All this talk of pasta is driving me crazy. My better half has to cut gluten out of her diet (medical reasons) and this has flowed on to the rest of us. I tried making gluten free lasagne the other night. The flour just doesn't work the same. RIP (Rest In Pasta)

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