John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 194: National Cream Tea Day

by on Jun.26, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 194th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, if you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs, are you a member of ISIS?

On National Cream Tea Day we bring you news of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm – a truly barking mad creationist zoo that actually exists. We then discuss the very nature of existence, and then how people pray wrong. We recall the race for the human genome, lament the faults of the wax crayon, and Nick does his amazing impression of John.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

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Rum Doings Episode 193: Go Back Onto Your Lipid Raft

by on Jun.16, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 193th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, is the Queen turning up for the Magna Carter ceremony a bit as if Jimmy Savile’s ghost turned up for the opening of a new ward at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

We begin discussing the Tim Hunt fiasco, which eventually leads to Nick’s decision to run his own island. We dismiss all allergies, celebrate Giles Brandreth, and attempt to discover the identity of a briefcase carrier.

John regales us with tales of the Saltford fete, we wonder at our ever-aging attractions, and ban nose piercings.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Jurassic World: A Review

by on Jun.11, 2015, under Rants, The Rest

Jurassic World is a truly horrible film. Not simply because it’s badly written, drearily directed, and horribly acted, although it is all those things. But because it’s a joyless void.

Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a splendidly fun movie, for all manner of reasons, but key is that it understands one huge thing: dinosaurs are amazing. Jurassic World begins with the premise that no they’re not, that they’re boring, and that we’re all over them. And sinks deeper into its awe-free mire from there.

The park is open, successful, and packed with tens of thousands of visitors. But, we’re told in the opening breath of the movie, people are over dinosaurs now. They’ve seen them, they’re used to them, they need to create something bigger, scarier, more powerful. In some ways it’s a defiant opening statement for the film to make: we’re going to be so much more than that 22 year old movie (no, it’s really 22 years). It’s a statement that its audience is au fait with dinosaur movies, even bored of them. So you just wait folks, we’ll make something even better.

But huh? When did we stop loving dinosaurs? When did we get cynical about seeing them at the movies? That’s not something anyone’s ever expressed. In fact, the reason people were delighted to hear the franchise was back is because it’s been so long since a film revelled in their majesty. Fourteen years since the entirely forgettable Jurassic Park III came out. Eighteen since Spielberg was at the helm. Sure, we see dragons and magical monsters in every other film, but that extraordinary, breath-taking wonder that was felt the first time you saw the family at the foot of a brontosaurus? The rush of watching the gallimimuses “flocking this way”? The utter terror of the velociraptors in the kitchens? Imagine that, but with 2015′s technology! Imagine the wonder!

Jurassic World is a film with the wonder surgically removed. Every character but for the generic impish child is utterly uninterested. It shows little children bored as they ride around on baby triceratops in petting zoos, parents staring into the middle distance. It’s probably a statement about how we’re all staring at our phones as the world goes by around us, or something. But in a film so empty-headed and blunderingly constructed, such social commentary is wholly out of place. This is a film with open contempt for its audience, snootily condescending of the imagined demand for bigger, scarier dinosaurs. And then is about a bigger, scarier dinosaur, that has apparently had its DNA spliced with nearly every other species of animal on the planet.

The plot is so dumb it feels like lying when trying to explain it. They’ve made this super-dinosaur, bred it to be larger, scarier, more exciting than a T-rex for the jaded fools it imagines are watching, and then almost instantly releases it into the island. But there’s also these velociraptors that Chris Pratt has sort of tamed a bit, and there’s this baddie man who wants to use trained velociraptors in the army… oh God, seriously, this is the story. Meanwhile, two children are posted to the island by their mom, Judy Greer, to spend time with her sister, Aunt Bryce Dallas Howard. Aunt Bryce is IN CHARGE OF RUNNING THE PARK, but Mommy Greer is utterly bemused that she’s not able to drop everything and entertain her children for her for a couple of days. How dare she?! But then wouldn’t you know it, just as things start to go wrong, it’s those two boys alone who are inexplicably in immediate danger. It then slides downhill until the finale that defies all credibility.

What unfurls is drowsily stupid. At no point does anyone make a decision that makes any sense. “Keep everyone trapped on the island with the killer dinosaur, because if we send them home we’ll be closed down!” That’s literally the argument made by one character. And every single moment of peril is caused by people being too hideously brainless to ever just go indoors. No dialogue is worthwhile – there’s not a single line in the entire film that works properly. Jokes repeatedly and awkwardly fall hideously flat, met with complete silence in a packed cinema. Even a conversation between two dinosaurs – no, I wish I were kidding – is over-long and boring.

However, the cynical nastiness of the film is a lot more deeply rooted than just in its sneering plot. It also seems to believe that it needs to be incessantly gruesome to keep us thrilled. Except, it goes so far that any 12 year old watching would experience a few sudden moments of really unpleasant trauma, between extended periods of yawning and asking if it’s over yet. Spielberg expressed dismay at how kids had been upset by a couple of moments in the original Jurassic Park. Jurassic World seems desperate to ensure everyone feels uncomfortable. Spielberg had Martin Ferrero get eaten on the toilet, and Wayne Knight scoffed in a car. Jurassic World slaughters in dozens, with scenes where the dinosaurs extensively torture established, benign characters, before tearing them into pieces. It kills and kills and kills, blood splattering, everyone dying with anguished screams in complete terror. It’s miserable.

When the film ended, I felt a moment of genuine surprise when the director’s name came up. I thought, “Why would you deliberately own up to that?” It’s a film that seemed to hate its own existence, and its audience for wanting to see it. And despite the frenzy of deaths, the ever-so-slightly bigger than a T-rex baddysaurus, and the far greater technical capability, it feels a far smaller film than Spielberg’s original. There’s no sense of scale, no presence, no excitement.

At one point, early on, there’s a moment of wit. In an arena designed to look like the whale show at an aquarium, a monstrous aquatic dinosaur is shown off, leaping out of the water to catch its food, then splashing down and soaking the audience. The food being dangled is a great white shark. It feels like a statement, a bold claim that this will be a disaster film that nonchalantly eats Jaws for breakfast. It proves to be a pivotal moment of arrogance from which it can never recover. (And not least because the clunking rigid rubber head of a dying brontosaurus is less convincing than that ’70s robo-shark.)

Oh, there’s so much more to rant about, so many more abandoned sub-plots, utterly irrelevant characters given extraordinary amounts of screen time… but none of it needs saying after the most key problem: it’s a film that’s bored of dinosaurs. Who the hell is bored of dinosaurs?

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Rum Doings Episode 192: Federal Jewish Of Investigation

by on Jun.04, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 192th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, in light of the Britain’s Got Talent fiasco, should all dogs be put down?

Topics this week include Seppastian Blatter’s evil ways, Nick’s failed attempts to guess newspapers from headlines, and a couple of thoughts on Charles Kennedy. We worry about rollycoasters, explain why Toby is so very, very interesting, and Nick realises that being a Conservative makes you a baddie.

Who is the real idiot when it comes to pooing in your pants? Nick explains John’s outfit of a tracksuit and semen-stained top. And we finish with a superb letter from our listener.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 191: Squashed Twins

by on May.21, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 191th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, never mind space – what about the kiddies in the hospitals?

We talk about the universal changing of numerical suffixes, the matriarchy in which Nick finds himself, and Radio 4 plays. (Here’s that good astronaut play.) Nick learns about the greatest thing on television, Tipping Point, we sort-of argue about “trigger warnings”, then rail against the idiocy of “clickbait”.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then we’ll weep the oceans until they flood the lands. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 190

by on May.15, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 190th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, should Miles Cyrus be forced to apologise for her armpit hair?

In a transatlantic episode we talk about the collapse of UKIP, the awfulness of MPspeak, and the flop of 3D. There’s also, out of nowhere, a detailed look at the role of Linux in gaming and the democratisation of development via engine availability. It was Nick’s fault.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes the Tories will never lose again. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 189: I’ve Lost My General Erection

by on May.08, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 189th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, could it be time to label the fad of wearing a suit without a tie depraved?

And so, with heavy hearts, we dissect the madness of the last night, and make our predictions for the next five years. And try to find hope within.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes the Tories will never lose again. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 188: The National Erection

by on May.05, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 188th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, how dare Prince William have named his baby anything other than Her Royal Diananess Diana The Princess Of Dianania?

Instead this is our bumper-length pre-election special! We break down the current polls, analyse the position of each of the parties, assess their policies and laugh at their pledges, before giving our predictions as to the outcome, and instructing you how to vote.

We’ll be back with another episode on Friday to look at the results, and either weep or cheer accordingly.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then everyone will die. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 187: What Do You Call A Circle?

by on Apr.27, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 187th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, is it now time to electrify the Mediterranean?

No, don’t panic, you haven’t missed episode 186. Well, you have, but it’s not yet released. It rather went wrong, but I think there’s stuff to be rescued from it. In the meantime, we ponder if the young people still use Facebook, Nick’s new nephew, and the continuing idiocy of copyright.

Then we set up the ultimate competition: Siri vs. Google Now. This decided, we talk about the election, and especially the role the SNP could play. There’s worry over mirrors and babies, an acknowledgement of the existence of 70s pedos, and then the usual discussion of Justin Bieber.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then everyone will die. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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Rum Doings Episode 185: Insects Are Pretend

by on Apr.07, 2015, under Rum Doings

In our 185th ever Rum Doings, our topic is, do we really need a government?

John begins with an extraordinary confession: he felt a bond with Victoria Wood. We then move on to talking about the Paxman interviews with Cameron and Milliband, because we recorded this just before the proper debates, cos Nick was going on holiday.

We turn to your advice questions, in the second part of our agonising aunt section. First up, what to have for breakfast. Then why not to commit suicide. Nick explains why insects aren’t real, and we give people reasons to live. (For the links to suicide support lines, scroll toward the end of this article.) And we explain who gives better hugs: men or women. And Nick won’t say if he loves John.

If you don’t leave a review on iTunes then everyone will die. Thank you to everyone who has so far – you’re keeping the human race alive.

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @rumdoings. If you want to email us, you can do that here. If you want to be a “fan” of ours on Facebook, which apparently people still do, you can do that here.

To get this episode directly, right click and save here. To subscribe to Rum Doings click here, or you can find it in iTunes here.

Or you can listen to it right here:

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