Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before. There’s this guy who works with computers, a software developer. As part of his duties, he has to interrogate the equipment, a quality control pass to make sure the program is working within normal parameters. He discovers, or realises, or believes, his particular piece of software is not only over-performing—it has developed a soul.Continue reading The Story Of Sentience
By the time you get this, we will be off on our second team getaway in just over a month. With the potential risk of the Delta Variant (now that’s the title for a seventies SF movie if ever we heard it) threatening to scupper the easement of restrictions, we figured we’d better take the chance while we had it. Therefore, expect a lighter Cut next week.
However, it’s business as usual for now. We’re looking at the joy of the SF ensemble cast, barbecue sauces to die for and how much skill it takes to make a ton of mistakes.
This now here time place yes Cut.Continue reading The Cut Season 2 Episode 24
Sumer is ycumin in, according to the old song. Really? We see little evidence of the change in sessions as yet. If anything, things seem to be going backwards. Still, all this rain is good for the garden, if not for our mood. We hold out hope for a sunny long weekend cos boy howdy do we need to get some mowing done.
This week, impractical devices, violent deaths and a card trick that still stumps all the experts.
Now is the bank holiday. The garden is the place. This is The Cut.Continue reading The Cut Season 2 Episode 22
It fell to Liam Gallagher to sum up the mood of the British public in one succinct tweet.
Exactly. Have you been in-out yet (as opposed to out-out—frankly we find it hard to enjoy a beer while shivering under canvas)? How was it? A bit odd and creepy or a shining, joyous moment pointing the way to a new and brighter future? At the time of writing we have yet to indulge, although a lunchtime session is in the mix. It could well get emotional.
This week, we get a bit noir-y, take a look at a very literal Cold War and ponder the mechanics and logistics behind a one-shot movie.
Pub is the place. Opening time it is. This is The Cut.Continue reading The Cut Season 2 Episode 21
We are yet to have a haircut. We have yet to drink a pint in the sunshine. We are shy and retiring creatures and the news footage of all those people and all that noise has put us into retreat a bit. It will come, perhaps this weekend. After all, we all look like versions of Doc Emmet Brown from Back To The Future now. We celebrate and congratulate those of The Readership who have taken their first steps into a brighter world. We hope to join you soon.
In the meantime, check out one writer’s post-Covid schedule, snag a primer on the weird world of government economics and join us in song as we say goodbye to a legend.
Here in this place, now at this time, you will find The Cut.Continue reading The Cut Season 2 Episode 16
We may, perhaps, finally, be on the verge of a beginning of an end. At least to this phase in The Situation. Vulnerable and aged members of The Cut Crew (yeah, ok, that describes most of us) have been given their microchips and are now beaming all our secrets to a server in Wuhan Province. Whatever gets us back in the pub soonest, right?
In this ep, how political cartoons have always been science-sceptic, all the radio on the planet and a childhood favourite goes prog.
AYE AND GAMORRAH. Here is the place. Now is the time. This is The Cut.Continue reading The Cut Season 2 Episode 8
We made it! Welcome to 2021, the year of hope after whatever the hell that shitshow we’ve just endured was. All is reset, we can begin again as if nothing had happened, secure in the knowledge that the world is now a better, brighter place…
Yeah, alright, maybe not. Nevertheless, here we are at the arbitrary start of a new unit of time measurement. Let’s at least start with a positive outlook, yeah?
We’ll have reports from our film, literature, food and music desks who all have a nod for their favourite thing of the year, as well as some more of the random nonsense you’ve come to tolerate over the last months. Shall we begin?
Now be the time. Here be the place. This are The Cut.Continue reading The Cut Season Two Episode One
The majority of The Cut staff are still embroiled in the annual writer’s assault course known as Nanowrimo (go here if you have no idea what we’re on about). For those of you joining us on this mad journey–we feel your pain, and we know you’ve got this. Enjoy the ride!
This does mean that today and probably next week’s issue will be shorter than usual. Look, we know you’re disappointed. Bear with us, please. The fact we’re able to do this as well as cope with all the other stuff in our bulging schedules shows how much we care about you.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.Continue reading The Cut 📌 Issue 28
We had a link from Wired as the opener this week, on how the work/life balance has become irretrievably skewed (https://www.wired.com/story/how-work-became-an-inescapable-hellhole/ if you’re interested) but we realised you all know this already. So let’s put that nonsense to one side and instead centre up the nonsense you have come to know and love over the last several months.
This week, scary sound effects, an iconic bus route and a really rather funky musical instrument you can all play.
Now is the time, here is the place. This is The Cut.Continue reading The Cut 🗡️Issue 23
Four months. Four! Four whole months! We’ve been pushing out this nonsense for a third of a year now! Are we going to stop? Well, as you read this, prep has already begun on next week’s Cut so we guess the answer to that impertinent little question is NO WAY, JOSIE HAY!
This week we we join in with a bunch of aging ravers, see what an Earth without people would look like, check out film careers that finished before they really got started or ended too soon and offer up yet more stuff in that typical Cut vibrational headspace. If you’ve been here before you know what to expect.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Lockdown livestreams are part of our world now. We connect with our friends through Zoom, check out concerts and plays through YouTube and even do virtual festivals, which have distinct advantages to those of us who are mud-averse. The Guardian looks at another vector in our ongoing virtual communion—livestream raving. The participants are people who remember the first wave, and are really not that bothered about spending time somewhere in a field in Hampshire…
The Simpsons is a series that’s well past its best, but in the golden age little could beat it for the sheer quality of writing and performance. Mel Magazine takes a deep dive into a two minute segment that is still quoted and memed today—the “Steamed hams’ sketch. Aurora borialis indeed…
We are living, according to the science, in a new kind of geological era—the Anthropocene, a time when the principal agent for change in the environment is humanity. But if for whatever reason we were to vanish, what would happen to the planet? What lasting legacy would there be? Livescience has some surprising answers…
We have a big film section for you this week, which seems appropriate as cinemas start to properly reopen with the release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. To start, a look at the sadly truncated career and unfinished projects of an animation giant—the director of Paprika and Perfect Blue, Satoshi Kon.
As a side-conversation to Kon’s incomplete oeuvre, AV Club has a fascinating list of directors who, whatever their promise, only managed to complete one feature. There are some very surprising names in here…
Any list of the best ever film trailer can never come up with a definitive answer. But it does make for a heck of an interesting discussion. My personal favourite? Well, when I was working at a post-production house in Soho in 1999, I was in charge of transferring film trailers to tape for TV ads. In May of that year, one passed into my hands that I watched, then stopped, rewound and called in as many of my colleagues as I could find to show them. It was, I knew, going to be a film that defined popular cinema from then on. That film was The Matrix. Even now, I remember my jaw dropping open in response to what I was seeing. Bullet time was a special effect that no-one had seen before, and I was one of the first people in the country to witness it. Even now, The Matrix remains a favourite, partially because of the buzz I got from that first taster.
So how about it, Readership? Do you have a favourite trailer? Let us know!
Don Corscarelli’s The Beastmaster is admittedly a cheesy heap of 80s exploitation—all swordplay and boobs (male and female) and gore. But it has a loyal following amongst the kids who came of age in that heady time (some of The Cut personnel included). We were delighted to hear that Corscarelli has regained the rights to his movie after years of legal wrangling. But there is a crushing twist to the tale, one which means we should be on the lookout for a particular seven cans of film negative…
To finish this section, a cool little listicle from Bored Panda which does exactly what the title describes. Some pleasingly dark takes in here…
Moving on to the world of tabletop gaming—sadly a field in which we have no expertise. One of those ‘not for the lack of interest’ situations that never happened for us. However, we are interested in gaming as a character and plot creation vector. The new Dungeons and Dragons rulebook has new methods that address some worrying racial stereotyping baked into the old rules. This could lead the way to some much freer and open forms of creative gameplay. We strongly approve.
Oh look, this is just a bit of silliness, but we couldn’t help but be charmed. Do you have a theme tune? Do you walk into the pub with the Indiana Jones music playing in your head? Maybe Cigarettes and Alcohol is more appropriate. Anyway. If you have a soundtrack for your day, then you are going to enjoy this clip as much as we did.
We wrote last week about how graphic and comic techniques can make cookery books a much more straightforward proposition, particularly for the newcomer. It seems that this has been the case for a very long time, as Atlas Obscura notes. For a pre-literate society (or to clarify, one which communicates primarily in pictograms) this approach makes all kinds of sense…
And finally, your Exit Music. It cannot have escaped the attention of an observant Readership that we are all about The Boss here at Cut Central. It would be downright negligent of us, then, were we to let the 45th anniversary of the release of his landmark album Born To Run go unmarked. It’s an iconic work of popular culture, endlessly quoted and covered.
We choose not to go down the obvious route when it comes to sharing a tune with y’all, though. Born To Run is more than its title track. Instead, please to enjoy She’s The One, the closest the album comes to a deep cut. Criminally marginalised, it’s a blast from the urgent piano-led beginning to the full on Bo Diddly-fuelled bangarang of the crescendo.
To put the icing on the cherry, we have a version for you from Bruce and the E Street Band’s killer 1975 Hammersmith Odeon gig, pimp-wear, woolly hats and all. If this don’t put a grin on your face then you already dead, pally. Crank this. It’s the future of rock ‘n’ roll, after all.
We will see you in seven.