We now live in a word where the Utopia series 2 soundtrack is available for purchase. I mean it was released on December the 15th 2014, but this is the first time someone has brought it to my attention.


I was stunned by the music for the first series, it was unlike anything I’ve ever heard before, adding to the show as well as compliment it. I think that Utopia received a lot if stick for going with its own aesthetic but that’s something I admire.  There are musical cues we here all the time now which are all absent from Utopia. Steering towards a Dub style with a heavy emphasis on samples of weird instruments and vocal sounds, it mixed up the format you expect from conspiracy theory/spy action media. Then to do a whole new suite of music for the second series which developed it’s tone as the plots focus shifted was a master work. Its much darker, much more disturbing, and in some instances is barely music, but its a fantastic apocalyptic collection.




Went to see Jon Ronson talk at Waterstones Leeds yesterday. The PowerPoint heavy original presentation had to be abandoned after the computer failed to work in any way or form so we had a mighty question and answer session. The main focus of evening was discussion about his latest book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, a book about people who whether or not by their own hand, have been publicly shamed by us, the mighty public.

As Jon puts it; “We’ve sleep walked into a surveillance society, and whilst we’re all frightened of the NSA or the government but the real monster is people like us”. I’ve been on twitter since 2008 and I know exactly what he means, and I’m not talking about the shambling terror that is Gamer Gate that is you besmirch its name it will come down on you like a tonne of hammers made of solid shit, but its the warriors of the public world that want to cut the biggest slice out of those who offend. For example, one of the people Jon talked about was Justine Sacco who made a fairly ill judged joke on Twitter, which in her mind was meant to be social comment on White privileged, but due to the wooden nature of 140 characters it read like a racist statement and in the space of an 11 hour flight the woman’s life was unpicked by people calling for her public destruction because of this one joke. It can happen to any of us. It could happen to you that anything you say could ignite and having been taken the wrong way will become the stick people beat you to death with. You can lose your job, lose you friends and have your life thrown through a blender because you’ve said something that may be wrong, that may just be ill judged, but does the punishment really fit the crime?

I’ve done it, and if you’re honest you’ve probably done it, where you join the raging crowd tearing at someone who did something bad. Sometimes it feels good, like taking a bite out of a Daily Mail journalist for being a homophobic twat, or holding a political party accountable for what it says and does, but when that rage machine has no target it can turn to anyone.

Its practically a Black Mirror episode.

The Tweet, a new novel by Franz Kafka.

I also got to ask him about going through the Kubrick family boxes. Way back when Jon made a documentary called Hotel Auschwitz, all about the tourist industry surrounding Auschwitz. People would visit, but no one wants to stay. He got a call from a member of Kubrick’s people who wanted to procure a copy of it for Stanley, and he sent it and heard nothing, until after Kubrick’s death where the same Member of his people invited him to the Kubrick house hold for tea. There Jon found that every room was filled with boxes and boxes of stuff, a life’s collection and research for films that sometimes never got made. There’s a library of books at Kubrick mansion all of them biographies of Napoleon collected for a film that was never completed. Spurred on by his wife during his investigations into the Men Who Stare At Goats, a book about Psy-ops and shadowy government military research, Jon asked to look into the boxes and eventually made a movie about their contents.

He found photos of scenery for films and location shots and books and the severed head of the Sniper from Full Metal Jacket, oddly a character who makes it all the way to the end of the movie without ever being decapitated…

I’d love to do something like that.

It was a pleasure to meet Jon and I can’t believe I didn’t get to ask him about his time with Frank Sidebottom.

Are you reading Nameless from Image comics? Its absolutely batshit comic about the journey to Space to stop a huge Asteroid from crashing into the Earth, an Earth in the grip of a psychic sickness driving people into murderous frenzies. Its filled with deeply odd magic talk that can only come from the mind of Grant Morrison, and it has a gritty brutality to the art that could only work in their comic. Its on my pull list at the moment and is hugely deserved of a place in yours. I’ve been buying a lot of single issues, I buy the first issue and then judge whether I want to get the rest of the series, or get the trades, or just ignore it because its a piece of shit. But there are a LOT of strong titles out at the moment. It really is a good time to be a reader. Here are some other things to check out:

The Surface (Image Comics)

Help Us Great Warrior (BOOM! Comics)

Casanova (Image Comics)

Curb Stomp (Boom Comics)

Howard The Duck (Marvel)

Still reading through the weird history of North Korea at the same time. Its a well crafted and easy to read book, and I’m flying through it. As a finalé to this blog post, Eliza Gauger has made a playlist of space related tunes that is the sort of thing that makes me thing of 50Signal plot details and development. I love writing 50Signal.

Google: Von Neumann Probes


See you later, Space Cowboy.