Friday, September 03, 2004

Inanity On The Web: Jib Jab, Emulation and U75

There's something very pleasing about the fact that two brothers in a warehouse in Santa Monica can bypass all the major media conglomerates and distribute a millions of copies of a cartoon lambasting Bush, Kerry and the American two-party system through their website jibjab.com. Following on from such classics as "Ahnuld for Governor", Jib Jab’s 'This Land' builds itself as a parody of Woodie Guthrie’s famous song, with both Bush and Kerry in cartoon form flinging parodies of caricatures of themselves back and forth in verse, each claiming the election as theirs. The cartoon ends with a Native American, miserably reminding us that 'once this was my land.' Bush and Kerry both suddenly jump in hugging, with a refrain of 'but now it’s our land.' As malls, sky scrapers and neon signs spring up to block what was a clear blue sky. How Disney.

Ironically, the brothers that made the cartoon are facing legal action from some yokels in Ludlow Music, which holds the copyright to Guthrie’s original. Guthrie was famed for saying those using his material 'without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don't give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that's all we wanted to do." 'Liberal wieners' and 'right wing nut jobs alike' will be fuming at the mouth about this one, whatever side of the US elite gets in come the elections, the Jibjabs seem positive that nothing will change for blue collar America.

Although around for years as an online focus for Brixton residents, urban75.com hit the headlines in 2002. A regular poster called ‘Colinthecop’ who thought "the people of Brixton deserve to be treated with contempt," had riled up its users with homophobic comments. Realizing the political damage being done by some rank and file moran, Brian Paddick (commander in chief of Brixton’s police force) came onto the site to debate cannabis policies, political philosophies and how he could improve relations with the community. Then of course the tabloids got whiff of it. The sun screamed ‘The Odd Bill: I back ANARCHY” on its front page, and eventually exposed that Paddick was gay and smoked dope with a past lover. He got the chop. Since then urban75 has flourished as a site of controversy. Providing reasonable advice on drugs, seriously enlightening discussions on politics and a host of games to piss away hours in the LGs. Bloody student, sees you engage in traditional platformer with a twist. Grant cheques give you extra points, where as spiffs slow you down. Downing Street Fighter rips off Street Fighter to pit individuals from the Conservatives and New Labor against each other in combat, Punch a Celeb lets you hammer the crap out of obnoxious prats. All in all something for us all

Playing pong in java based browsers gets tedious, hence the phenomenon of emulation. With 8b people in the world, thankfully there are some dedicated freaks/scammers out there archiving classic video game consoles and machines. Romnation.net sees hundred of these games archived for you to download and play, some how the UCD Firewall misses out on these. Revisiting some of these games is like leaping back to your childhood. Hours of playing lead me to jettison my brand loyalty for Nintendo in the realization that Mario was a wholly superior game, wonder what the hell was so addictive about commodore 64 games and thank Christ for graphical interfaces over reams of command lines. Games worth checking out: Midnight Resistance (C64), Commando (C64), Catwoman (GBA), Mariokart (Snes) and the Desert/Jungle Strike series on the megadrive.

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Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to antropheatgmail.com

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