The Cut – Issue 12

Here we are again, my lovelies. Three months of linky goodness from Cut Command, beaming out from our transmission tower high on a hill overlooking the biggest town in the UK. We are proud to provide you, therefore, with the finest in Reading material.

Look, come on, four months of lockdown will do a number on anyone’s head. Let’s crack on, shall we? Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.

Let’s start with a litmus test of our likely Readership. Are you the sort of person that would cheerfully read 4000 words on marmalade? If so, congrats, you’ve definitely made The Cut. If not… well, give it a try anyway.

(We issue an exemption to our pal Cav Jam Lady, who is a true star despite her aversion to Paddington’s favourite spread).

Who remembers the amazing clip of Gordon Ramsay preparing pad Thai for a renowned Thai chef? Gordo thought it was a pretty fair job. The chef looked at him as if he’d presented a turd in a bowl, and proceeded to tear a thick strip off in a stunning piece of turnabout telly. Here’s more in that same mood, as Youtuber Uncle Roger is shown a BBC Food clip on how to make fried rice. It doesn’t go well…

We spoke recently on the joys of fanfic and how committed lovers of a franchise can move things above and beyond original intentions. This does not just apply to telly, films and books. Gamers are also known to take up the reins when a RPG in which they’d invested time and heart and soul suddenly shuts up shop. Here is a tale of a love that would not die.

A very fine Daily Grindhouse piece kicked off all sorts of reminiscence in Cut Command this week. Scariest movie moment you saw as a kid? Blimey, where do we start? The biggest freak out we can think of is the vampire shooting out of the coffin in the TV movie version of Salem’s Lot, but that’s the start of a very long list. We’d love to know yours, Readership!

We were moved and fascinated by this piece on TV producer Verity Lambert, which makes clear an uncomfortable truth—women and minorities have to work a lot harder than their white male counterparts not only to get their voices heard, but also to have their achievements properly remembered. As Walthamstow’s finest, John Bull, makes clear, Verity had her hands on the reins of many, many more shows than the one she is mostly remembered for…

In big news for Brit comic fans, the mighty Pat Mills has fired off an all-new, all-thrill project to inject a little burst of action into your day! Spacewarp is a 100-page anthology of linked stories based around a central idea—humanity has been invaded by a sadistic race of super-powered aliens known as The Warp Lords. As with all Mills’ work it’s political, dialectic and stuffed with ideas. It can feel a bit like there’s too much going in every page, but our Pat has always been a maximalist and is never boring. If you’re a 2000AD or Brit comic fan, you’ll need to check this out. More details from Down The Tubes, and an Amazon/ComiXology link below… – Pat Mills’ new comic, Spacewarp.

George R. R. Martin was supposed to be opening the massive Worldcon science fiction convention in New Zealand this week, an event Game Of Thrones fans were looking forward to for a very specific reason. They had long been on his case to finish the final Westeros book The Winds Of Winter, and GRR had made them a solemn promise last year…

But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done. Just so long as the acrid fumes do not screw up my old DOS word processor, I’ll be fine.

Which has led many to observe that the wily old goat knew something was going on and he wouldn’t be able to attend. Well played, grand master. This all plays into a deeper and more problematic issue—that of entitlement on the part of readers towards authors and the biteback when they don’t perform according to expectations. Bookriot has more…

The Situation has caused disruption in so many big and little ways. For our Rob, a major difficulty has been a step-change in the way he writes. He complains:

‘I’m a mobile writer. My weapon of choice is an iPad with a Logitech keyboard that I can sling in a bag and troll off to write. I love sitting in the corner of a pub or cafe a short walk from the house. It feels somehow freeing and the change in atmosphere (as well as the booze and/or caffeine intake) really does spark up my inner word machine. The Situation put a stop to all that. I really hope it changes, because it’s had a much more intense impact on my writing life than I’d like to admit!’

Lithub gives more context to the story.

There has to be a film in this story of a cruise liner that launched only to find it had become a Covid pariah, drifting from port to port, never allowed to dock. We’re struck by how, unlike the crew and passengers of the SF comedy Avenue 5, the people stuck on the ship became something like a family. This is strangely heartwarming.

Some of the older members of the team remember Denys Fisher games. They would take a TV show and loosely base a board game around it, leading to some downright odd results. We were always very fond of the Colditz game. Tim Worthington explores Denys Fisher’s world and highlights the worst and the best examples. Warning—contains some problematic 1970s TV celebrities.

We are delighted to see John Foxx is back on the critical radar with his band The Maths and their latest album Howl—a real blast of sharp-toothed electronica with a guitar-edged bite. The Quietus takes a dive into John’s history with the man himself, who is as charming, erudite and full of stories as you’d expect. Plenty of embedded tunes to enjoy as well. If you like it synthy, get on this!

And finally. Attack Magazine has a great rundown of tracks that sound better if you play them at a different speed to the intended. This is a vinyl thing, of course. The turntable at Cut Command is a direct drive where you actually have to take the platter up and physically move the drive band to a different cog to change speeds, which had led to some interesting experimental mixes (The The’s Hanky Panky sounds darkly funereal at 33rpm, for example). Anyway, lots to hear and enjoy here, whatever speed you choose.

The Attack piece is by reason of its vinyl bias dance music heavy, which gives us the excuse to drop as Exit Music our favourite slowed-down track. As featured on WROB’s Cabinet Of Curiosities, Dolly Parton’s Jolene played at 33rpm seems somehow even more sad and desperate. Which is the mood we all need right now, yeah?

Oh well, we’ll cope. Enjoy the sunshine. See you in seven.


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Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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