Thursday, September 29, 2005

"So...You Pretend To Run Around Killing Goblins?"

And in the past, I was always able to say "no". But not anymore: as of Wednesday, I'm now running a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign at the Uni of Liverpool Gamesoc. So I'm probably slightly geekier than before, but what can I say? I really enjoy roleplaying, despite the social stigma and occasional sociopaths that inhabit the hobby.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Stephen Vs. Student Society Economics

There is, it turns out, nothing like Fresher's Fair to dispel those start-of-autumn blues. As President of the Basement Film Unit (which I don't think I've mentioned here before) I was manning our stall. And we had a very good day, signing up 16 paying memebers and making £51. That would be loads better if we hadn't started out £75 in debt, but at least we're within sight of paying it off.

Also present at Fresher's Fair were the RPG society, complete with one member in a long black trenchcoat and mirrored sunglasses. I'm not sure what's funnier: that he he thought he looked cool dressed like that, or that his sense of cool is stuck in 1985.

Friday, September 23, 2005

They Do It With Mirrors

In many ways Blow Up (which I saw last night at the FACT), is my perfect film, given that it's:

  1. An investegative mystery
  2. An Italian art film
  3. Very, very pretentious

I enjoyed it greatly. It's tough to talk about the plot without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it, but I'll give the basics. David Hemmings is a photographer in 1960s London. Do his photographs show what he thinks they do? This fairly thin plot is padded out with often-hilarious "swinging London" interludes, and sequences of Hemmings driving around. The latter are particularly interesting, as the London that we know was at that time just being built.

Blow Up also gets extra points for confirming one of my long-held suspicions: women are prepared to get naked and wrestle for you, if only you'll provide them with an enormous roll of purple paper.

The film comes recommended to anyone who's read this far.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Students, Students, Everywhere...

The summer has ended, and I'm no longer the only person in the library. There are 18 year-olds all over the place. Coming at the start of Autumn, this can only herald the start of S.A.D. by reminding me of my own Fresher's Week, all of six years ago now. This has not been helped by the fact that I'm trying to put together a compilation of my favourite 1990s band at the moment.

Fresher's Week insanity does help liven things up though. Just now I was cornered in the library by an Indian Professor, who got me to help him out by pronouncing the English alphabet, and then insisted on exchanging addresses with me. What he wants to correspond with me about is anyone's guess.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

To Hell With Poverty! We'll Get Drunk On Cheap Wine!

On Thursday morning, I woke up holding an imaginary phone. I'd just dreamed that I'd got a call from the Uni, telling me that I'd got the job I applied for. At the interview, they told me that if I was successful, I'd hear from them "early in the week". My subconscious was not happy.

On Friday I phoned up the Student Support Services to conform that I hadn't got it. They told me that I had, and that by "early in the week" they'd meant "The letters will be posted Thursday".

I was so relieved that I wasn't really happy. I am happy, though. At £10 an hour I can start making a real contribution to the funding of my degree. I'm a parasite that my parents love, but a parasite nonetheless.

We Can Build You

On Friday, my parents were in Liverpool, because my dad was giving a talk on Gabriel D'Annuzio to the Western Front Association. Beforehand, though, we paid a visit to Port Sunlight.

Port Sunlight is a model community constructed in the 1890s by Lord Leverhulme. There are wide, leafy streets, broad greens, red telephone boxes, and small boys playing with model boats on the pond.

It's as creepy as fuck.

Port Sunlight was built by Lord Leverhulme to house the workers for his soap factory. The corporation employed you and owned your house. Your leisure time was spent in the pub which Lord Leverhulme had had constructed, or in the art gallery which housed Lord Leverhulme's art collection. You worshipped at the church where Lord and Lady Leverhulme still take pride of place in thair massive neo-medieval stone tombs. When you got sent off to die in the First World War, your name was added to the Leverhulme corporation's war memorial.

It's also creepy becuase it's built as a model of an England which didn't exist then, doesn't exist now, and probably never existed at all. This is that England you see in Richard Curtis films, where everyone is middle class and no-one has the poor taste to be black or in favour of higher taxes.

If it ever catches fire, I think they should let it burn down.