17 May, 2007

Throughout the night, no need to fight...

So, Gordon Brown's officially the new Prime Minister.

I'm awaiting a succession of programmes using that song by The Stranglers, because 'Golden Brown' sounds like 'Gordon Brown'.

... and then a succession of producers getting a bollicking when someone points out that the Stranglers song is about heroin.

On the Game

I used to work for PlayStation. I began in the testing department, playing games to see if they were possible to complete, then trying to break the game by throwing characters off tall buildings, driving cars the wrong way or putting controllers in and out of the machine to see what happens.

About a year after PlayStation launched, we saw our first hint of a game that would become a real cross-over for non-gamers. People who'd never played a videogame in their life suddenly got hooked on the idea of following a pneumatically-impossible woman around a series of caves while trying to avoid her getting mauled by dogs, bears and dinosaurs.

Star of Tomb Raider, Lara Croft became more than an aesthetically preferable Mario. She appeared on the cover of fashion magazines, starred in two mediocre films and became a bit like Hoover - an all-in-one brand by-word for next-generation computer game success stories.

While the games themselves have unfortunately been a little disappointing since the jump to PlayStation 2, the character is still very strong. There's a lot of good will within the gaming community as each new game is released, disappoints, and leaves fans thinking 'Ah well, maybe the next one will reach the heights of the first three or four'.

In the meantime though, they have to endure stupid news items that rely on one major factor of Lara Croft's character. She has big boobies.

Looking at Yahoo today, I noticed a headline that read: 'Busted!' about a police raid on a house where there was a full-sized model of Lara in the window. There are so many headlines one could come up with - some of which apply to the police officers. 'Pair of tits', maybe? 'What a boob'? But 'Busted' is as good as any - and it goes to show that Lara Croft is still as recognisable as ever, despite her previous two releases being a bit sub-standard and leaving everyone gagging for the early days. Luckily, the next release, Tomb Raider: Anniversary looks to be a return to form. We shall see.

In related news, I hear Tori Amos's new album is quite good...

A Little Bit of Politics... but American

I like the Clintons. Bill was working on his electoral campaign when I was in the first year of my degree studies. We were both very successful, though I emerged with slightly less scandal than Bill. Much as I liked him, I really liked his wife. Takes a lot of guts to say to the American people 'If you don't believe him, don't vote for him' and then to stand my him after he's admitted to getting a blow-job from a rather plain intern.

I've just seen this news story about Hilary inviting people to choose her campaign song in her own bid for the American presidency.

Now, firstly, I would imagine the people would want someone who can choose their own song without putting that to the vote, but it's all about engagement, so I can see why her advisors might think it's a good idea. But look at the choices:

U2 - 'City of Blinding Lights'
U2 - 'Beautiful Day'
KT Tunstall - 'Suddenly I See'
Smash Mouth - 'I'm a Believer'
The Temptations - 'Get Ready'
Dixie Chicks - 'Ready to Run'
Shania Twain - 'Rock This Country'
Jesus Jones - 'Right Here Right Now'
The Staple Singers - 'I'll Take You There'

I love that Smash Mouth's 'I'm a Believer' is in there. That's a cover of the Monkees song... as first heard in Shrek... Someone in her campaign has worked out how to attract new voters. She might as well put 'A Whole New World' from The Little Mermaid in there too. A friend suggested she should choose 'Stand by your Man' but that seems more than a little cruel.

Her website's a bit odd too. 'Help make history', it invites. In my mind, this has collided with Richard Curtis's campaign to get rid of poverty to produce 'Make Hilary history'.

Still, she's got a Jesus Jones song in the list - how cool is that? Hope she wins, but the cynic in me doesn't see it happening. The Right will intervene with dirty tricks - you mark my words.

I'd go with The Temptations, myself. Not so much a musical recommendation, more a guide for life.