John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 151: My Bottom Rather Argued That I Shouldn’t

by on Jan.24, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 151st ever Rum Doings, our topic is: is there a God?

We discuss the news of the day, from two days ago, then Nick says something ill-informed about Tourettes. John the talks about the lying ways of grieving parents. We are the most sensitive of all podcasts. Then moaning about how old we are takes place.

Lucy’s spaying comes under scrutiny, and then we talk about the enormous silliness of King and their attempts to trademark the English language. (We make a mistake here (and by “we” we mean “John”) as King’s trademarks for words like “SWEET!” are for their particular bubble writing logos.) And then we stop.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

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 150: Move Over Mr Darwin, You’ve Got Competition!

by on Jan.09, 2014, under Rum Doings

In our 150th ever Rum Doings, our topic is our very special guest star Mr Stephen Fry! So we discuss a leaflet John found somewhere for Reverse Theory. An amazing new book that will change science. We go on to argue about Sherlock, the death of a dog in the Archers, and the holiday potentials of Pangaea.

We mull the lack of boobies on British TV, and then we explain how much we approve of the government and all their excellent decisions. And then things get a little bit political ladies and gentlemen, as we grumble.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

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 149: Comedy Pinnies

by on Dec.17, 2013, under Rum Doings

Episode 149 of Rum Doings is in real life! (And recorded a week ago.) Which appears to encourage us to insult just about everyone. We talk about Dexter’s disappearance, Louise Unmensch, and our ongoing hatred of the blind.

We then have a lecture on Robert Kilroy-Silk, Nick explains how John has ruined his brain, there’s more rubbish about games, and then we move on to Chess 2. Adding to our intolerance of women, the Chinese and the blind, this time we include the Jews.

So, please tell us your best aphorisms. Tweet them, email them, or best of all, leave them as comments below.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

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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5 Reasons Cracked.com Is About To Kill Your Family

by on Dec.11, 2013, under Rants

No one loves making things up more than lazy people, and therefore something something people think Cracked is staffed by murderers and Nazi robots. Well, I’m here to tell you, based on things I’m writing at the moment, that those people might be more right than anyone realises.

I’ve written for a website, as a writer, poster, editor, deleter, scheduler and writer. My work hasn’t won a Games Media Award, but I’ve been around the block, and I can’t help but notice that these days you can’t browse forums about Cracked.com without pretending you’re reading about how they all time-travelled from the Crusades, the blood of Muslims still on their tunics, to write propaganda for North Korea.

So are we heading for an explosion? Short answer, yes. Long answer? Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssssss.

#5. They Kill Pandas For The Noise It Makes

Not to stereotype here, but we can safely assume that everyone at Cracked.com just adores the sound it makes when a bullet or blade slices through the flesh of a panda. It’s not the sport, the challenge, just purely the aural pleasure it brings them as they steal the life from those beautiful creatures. The younger the better, too, with Cracked staff often found crouched outside of zoos where reports of a panda birth have reached them.

#4. The Management Have Gone Insane, And That’s Making Editing Impossible

Let’s say you’re putting on a child’s birthday party, for some reason. Maybe you have a child you love. Well, you can probably be sure that the management staff of Cracked will turn up, chainsaws circling above their heads, as they scream something about how the Dark Lord Morbidor instructs that all innocent life must perish. And to fund this, the budgets at Cracked are out of control. One article on Cracked might have cost upward of EIGHTY TWENTY HUNDRED THOUSAND MILLION DOLLARS. And these costs are stifling all other articles on the site, and indeed on the whole of the internet, as all hastily written bitter rants have to compete with these figures. Even those on a blog written by some guy in his spare room, for some reason. And then there are those guys writing on their blog in their spare room, who can do it for cheap, and how is Cracked.com supposed to compete with them? By spending a millionty more money of course! This all makes sense, and someone’s got to fuel those chainsaws.

#3. Cracked Articles Are Written By Chinese Slave Children In Manacles

Although I’ve never written a Cracked article, nor ever been to their office, I can speak with some authority when it comes to the way their articles are written. Generally a Cracked editor gets driven to the offices, for free, in a platinum-coated Mercedes, where he’s carried aloft the shoulders of Filipino boys, and taken to a room built of gold and caviare. Here he is given wads of banknotes and golden jewellery, while maiden nymphs fan him with rose-scented palm fronds. As he is fed with truffles and cake, an unseen army of enslaved Chinese children are forced to type up pithy lists of search-result-catching topics. Should they not be sardonic enough, the children are beaten to death. Of course, you’ll see people writing positively about Cracked articles – that’s no surprise when every dollar bill in America contains Masonic iconography, depicting the faked moon landings in Dallas, 1963. Why else do you think 9/11 happened to happen on a Tuesday?

#2. You’re Always Buying Flan

Every human being alive has seen an Outbrain link to a Cracked article promising the funniest subject imaginable, only to have the article contain two decent ideas awkwardly dragged out to six or seven parts. You may ask yourself why they’re allowed to get away with that – isn’t it false advertising? Or fraud? Well, SEVENTY FOOT TALL KILLER CYBORGS FROM SPACE.

In the world of writing for Cracked, octopuses control the oceans, bending the watery reality to their will, forcing all other lifeforms to ladder breakdown particle hyphen topography. They’re killing us. They’re all killing us. They’re controlling our minds, making us do what they say. Can’t you see? Can’t you see that everything is a lie, and we’re their puppets? They own us, they make the decisions that decide our daily lives. Everything they write is a trick, and they’re unravelling the internet!

#1. Cracked Writers Are Monsters And They Eat Newborn Babies

All things are the same everywhere, and because one place is bad, everywhere in the whole of everything is bad. I once ate an apple, and it was all mushy and unpleasant, and so all apples are mushy and unpleasant and the whole of the apple industry is doomed. Cracked have published one dreadful, poorly researched and madly fictional article, and therefore all their articles are terrible and their website is doomed and so is humanity. But look, here’s my Kickstarter!

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Dexter Is Missing, And So, So Stupid

by on Dec.05, 2013, under The Rest

One of the oddest and best jobs I have is writing a column for a magazine called The Cat. The quarterly magazine has been going for over 80 years, published by the charity Cats Protection. My column has appeared in the last four years’ worth or so, and until the current issue (which you’ll likely find in that pile on the windowsill in your local vet surgery) has been about Dexter. The latest features Lucy too. If you can find a copy, I really recommend taking a look, because the illustrations they put on my column (called “Walker On The Wild Side, and NO, I didn’t pick that) are just fantastic. We’ve had a couple of them printed on canvas, and they hang on our walls.

Dexter has been missing for three nights now, which he’s never done before. Obviously we’re very worried, and extremely upset, but we’ve done absolutely everything we can, from posters, flyering the neighbourhood, searches, alerting the microchip firm, and contacting local vets and cat homes. I’ve also added his details to the superb Animal Search UK, who use volunteers to look for missing cats in their area. Amazing. You can be one of those volunteers if you want – you just sign up for emails of alerts near where you live.

So, out of sentimentality, while he’s gone I thought I’d post a few of my old columns from The Cat (these are the unedited versions, so expect mistakes). The first couple were based on articles I first wrote here, so I’ve skipped those, and appropriately gone for the third: a piece about how stupid he is. Because wow, is he stupid.

(continue reading…)

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Comment On Indie Game Mag’s Charging For Reviews

by on Nov.28, 2013, under Rants

Indie Game Mag, a print and web publication for indie games coverage, has recently seen a change of management, and a new policy where they plan to charge developers $50 to have their products reviewed. Obviously there has been an extremely negative reaction to this. What’s more peculiar is the incredulous response from the site’s new owner, Chris Newton, who can’t understand why anyone’s upset. He concludes,

“If it offends people that I believe that my writers and editors should be afforded compensation, then I don’t feel like I should apologize for that.”

I’ve left a comment on his post, but it has yet to clear moderation, so I’m putting it here:

This isn’t okay. To attempt to make the argument, “If you object to my charging for reviews, then you object to my paying my staff” is disingenuous and palpable nonsense.

That you encountered other unethical and advantageous sites, who also practice the disgraceful act of charging developers for exposure, is not a justification for doing the same. That’s so fundamentally obvious. “But all those other boys were stealing sweets” isn’t a very effective argument, and I’m quite sure when you discovered your product was being ignored because you weren’t paying unscrupulous sites, you didn’t click your heels together and think, “Well then, where’s my cheque book?!” You’d been screwed over. Your response is to want to screw others over.

I co-run an independent gaming site, which also went through years of almost no income and a lot of struggle. I understand the situation. But there’s never a reason to consider the notion of such an inherently cruel and openly corrupting system as to demand money from the developers whose games we review, because it’s clearly so lacking in integrity. I knew what it was like to not know if our business was going to make it. But that never gave us an excuse to abandon basic principles.

As a gaming site, you should operate an editorial system that selects the games you cover based on your own methods. Not have your content dictated by which indies are willing to buy their way onto your front page. And what are your plans for when the big name indie games come along, who obviously aren’t going to fall for your money trap? Do you plan to ignore the next Double Fine or Introversion or Majong game? Or will you decide that they get coverage even though they haven’t paid? And what will that say about your policies? Screw over the little guys only, or ignore the most popular names in indie gaming?

I implore you to reconsider. IGM will descend from an interesting site championing indie games to one of those vile iOS scam sites designed to take advantage of the desperate. Its reputation will be in tatters. It pretty much already is at this point, and needs a big mea culpa to survive.

I recognise you want IGM to succeed, and I know from experience how frightening and difficult it can be. But back away from this idea. You’re in the wrong, and the site will only suffer as a consequence.

Also, in responding to questions about this from another journalist, I wrote this, which I’ll tack on too:

“Yes, I do think someone could charge for reviews and remain unbiased. If I imagine the scenario where I charged developers for every review I did, I’d still gladly slag off crappy games. I’m not sure how long this business model might work, since I imagine there’s only so often developers will pay for someone to tell lots of people not to play their game. But I can see myself maintaining my integrity in that situation. However, that counts for absolutely nothing, since I would *look* corrupt as hell. And that’s what counts. Who cares if I’m telling the truth about a game, if to absolutely everyone else, those words were literally bought? Those words can never be trusted by anyone but me alone, and thus they’re worthless as reviews.”

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Rum Doings Episode 148: Stop Being So Lazy

by on Nov.20, 2013, under Rum Doings

Episode 148 of Rum Doings is an argument. While we certainly don’t discuss why we’re copying America’s Halloween, we instead briefly cover topics of kittens pooing in sinks, the bitterness of coffee, and then we fight. It’s that one where Nick argues that being offensive is good, and John argues that he should be allowed to express when something is offensive, and then we start shouting at each other.

It goes on for about half an hour.

When it finally ends, John gets around to asking Nick to become a Christian.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes. Thank you to everyone who has – there are some extremely generous comments up there.

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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The 10 Conservative Election Promises They Don’t Want You To Remember!

by on Nov.15, 2013, under The Rest

Scrabbling about Tory HQ, while disguised as an unpaid intern Polish trouser-presser, I found the ten Tory election promises they REALLY want you to forget:

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Rum Doings Episode 147: An Emergency Broadcast

by on Nov.02, 2013, under Rum Doings

Steve Wright's currently publicity shot.

This is an alert from the Rum Doings emergency broadcast system.

Episode 147 of Rum Doings is a crisis late-night recording, after the occurrence of breaking events that could not wait for our irregularly unscheduled programme. While in a pet shop, John heard a brief moment of Steve Wright In The Afternoon on BBC Radio 2. What he heard was of such insignificance that immediate action had to be taken. The Rum Signal was shone onto the sky, and Team Rum assembled in the especially constructed emergency bunker, to ensure this insipid inanity couldn’t go unpunished.

And you can listen to Chris Morris’s Wayne Carr spoof of Steve Wright here.

Then we carried on. Singing into a fan, gargling, dental cheating, David Schneider’s tweets, and the wonderful Eddie Mair and PM.

Please do leave a comment below. I know it’s a pain, since you’ll likely not listen while staring at this page, but it makes us feel wanted.

PS. Other tracks from that Morris flexidisc were the incredible Pixies spoof, and a prank call to Piers Moron.

Steve Wright's actual face.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes.

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 Doing Episode 146: A Limp And Cancerous Language

by on Oct.31, 2013, under Rum Doings

In the 146th episode of Rum Doings, we don’t discuss why people should take the wind more seriously. But we do talk about Russell Brand, because we were told to. And Garfield, castles and why the Welsh language should be dead. There’s a very brief TV review, leading us into a chat about Joss Whedon. Also, Nick is St. John the Baptist. There’s a star available for the best listeners, so listen out for that!

Please do leave a comment below. I know it’s a pain, since you’ll likely not listen while staring at this page, but it makes us feel wanted.

You are of course required to leave a review on iTunes.

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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