Voxing about Vox

You may not remember this, but 2016 was kind of a wild time. The US election in November, which was expected to be a mere formality before the inauguration of the first female president, instead saw the nomination go to a former reality TV show host who had been repeatedly caught bragging about committing sexual assault. The juxtaposition of these events led to what political scientists refer to as a Big Mood.

Two years later, enough time has passed for the arrival of post-Trump literature, and the first one I laid my hands on was Christina Dalcher’s Vox, a much-ballyhooed bestseller described somewhat confusingly on a front cover endorsement as a “re-imagining of the Handmaid’s Tale”, implying some sort of direct connection between the two works (there isn’t one).

In case my use of the word “ballyhooed” didn’t give it away, I did not like it very much.

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Winter housekeeping

Just a quick note on upcoming blog content.

I had intended to resume Overton Window posts last month, but unfortunately the hospital stay back in October that I mentioned here didn’t go the way I was hoping… in the sense that I’ve been feeling significantly worse ever since (this was not the intended outcome, needless to say).

I’m slowly getting my strength back, but until then I’ll be sticking to one-off reviews and the like. I’ve already got a post about a very bad book lined up for later in the week/early next week so please look forward to that.

The best of Crisiswear

Four score and one year ago, I gazed into the mysterious abyss of late capitalism to bring you the best of WallpaperStore*, a baffling online marketplace serving an audience that I'm not sure actually exists. 

Since then, I've been thinking of doing a sequel to that post, waiting for the right target to come into my crosshairs. Last week, someone in a random twitter thread linked to a website called Crisiswear, and I knew I had found my next muse. It was the section for cowls that sealed the deal.

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The existential horror of CG Pokemon

It was more or less inevitable that someone, one day, would make a live action Pokemon movie. Talk of such a thing has been doing the rounds since the late 90s when the franchise was at its cultural peak, but now it’s finally happening.

And it’s taking the form of…a loose adaptation of a 3DS spin-off where Pikachu is a detective. Voiced by the Deadpool guy.

Huh.

I’ll say this for it, the Pokemon designs don’t look nearly as horrifying in motion as they do in the still images that have been doing the rounds on Twitter. That isn’t going to stop me from making fun of them.

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Let's Read The Overton Window pt. 15: The World According To Glenn Beck (edited version)

Note: this is an alternate version of the original blog post, edited to remove a long discussion of extremely unpleasant topics like rape and abuse. Click here to read the original.

Chapter 31 opens with Noah and Arthur facing off in Arthur’s office. Noah tries to apologize for his subterfuge, but Arthur is suspiciously laid-back about the whole thing, saying that there's no way Noah could have seen through Molly's seductive wiles.

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Let's Read The Overton Window pt. 15: The World According To Glenn Beck

Content Warning for rape and child abuse. You can read an edited version of this post that doesn’t deal as heavily with those topics here.

Chapter 31 opens with Noah and Arthur facing off in Arthur’s office. Noah tries to apologize for his subterfuge, but Arthur is suspiciously laid-back about the whole thing, saying that there's no way Noah could have seen through Molly's seductive wiles.

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Ding Dong, the blogger is dead

And by “dead” I mean temporarily indisposed, which is to say, not actually dead at all.

So remember that big Overton Window post I wanted to get out in a timely fashion? Yeah, that’s not happening any time soon. It’s a big one and requires actual research, which I just don’t have the energy for right now.

Also, I will be going into the hospital for about a week on Friday (relax, it’s nothing serious) and probably won’t be doing any writing during that time. I will, however, have another Ferretbrain post going up at some point this month or shortly after, so please look forward to that. It’s about a very good horror game.

Ronan Wills x Ferretbrain

Ferretbrain has been one of my favourite websites for a long time. Hosting an absolute treasure trove of reviews and opinions, it’s seen me through a lot of boring commutes (and lately, time spent resting in bed).

Last year, I wrote most of a review on the Purge series, which I had to abandon due to Brain Issues. I managed to pull together enough energy to finish it off following the release of The First Purge a few weeks ago, and I decided to submit it to Ferretbrain in order to give back to the site.

You can find the post here. I’d like to contribute more content in future, so keep a close eye on the latest article feed for more of yours truly.

In which I over-analyse two seconds of a Harry Potter trailer

The final trailer for Warner Bros Presents JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (a Wizarding World™ Product) has landed, and it shockingly features a slimy, hideous creature whose inclusion in the movie is both capital-P problematic and a dubious decision from a creative standpoint.

But as well as Johnny Depp, it’s also got a big snake in it. In keeping with the strange and inexplicable-even-to-myself fascination I have with this spin-off franchise, I immediately gave it a look.

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Guest Post: The Ritual & the Ritual

Note: It’s another guest post. It’s still horror-related. We now have ten days to October, aka the Devil’s Month, so this is an appropriate topic for me to keep writing about. Just take my word for it.

I’m normally not the kind of person who consumes different versions of the same story in quick succession. I actually rarely do it at all - if I watch a movie I’ll almost never read the novel it was based on and I tend to choose between an original manga or an anime and then just stick solely with that. There’s no particular reason for this beyond, I guess, having no real need or desire to experience the same story twice.

But I recently picked up Adam Nevill’s The Ritual, a 2011 horror novel that I understand won its author some decent acclaim when it was first released. Just before I started reading it, I happened to notice that there exists a moderately well-reviewed horror movie of the same name that was released last year; wouldn’t you know it, the movie is an adaptation of the novel. Just for a change I decided to read the book and then immediately watch the movie, thinking it might make a good exercise in compare-and-contrast.

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Guest Post: Insane Clown Premise

NOTE: This is a guest post by a friend of The Blogger. There will most likely be more of these, probably on the subject of horror. Think of them as a nice lead-in to the annual Spooktober tradition.

Quite some time ago I attempted to read Stephen King’s IT while working at one of those jobs that are so boring they should by all rights be illegal. The book proved to be a good choice; at this stage in my development as a reader I wasn’t yet tired of King’s fondness for stuffing massive amounts of character backstory into all of his novels, so I had a perfectly fine time reading about the inhabitants of Derry, Maine (of course) in their child and adult forms even before the evil clown showed up.

But then the clown did show up, and…uh.

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Let's Read The Overton Window pt. 10: This is a sneaking mission

We're back from our hiatus! Unfortunately, posting will still resume on a slower schedule, as I'm experiencing new and exciting Brain Symptoms. I'm planning on tidying up some choice pieces of content from my old site and bringing them over, so that will hopefully plug up the gaps.

In case you've forgotten what's going on in The Overton Window, here's a recap: Noah Gardner, rich young PR executive, has entered the orbit of Molly Ross, a member of the goofily-named Founders Keepers, a "patriot" group convinced that America is sliding towards tyranny. Noah actually knows for a fact that this is the case because he was in the room when his dad offered to help some government employees enact a plan that will end with a new world order taking over the country, but he doesn't seem to have processed this for some reason. When we last left them, they were sneaking into Noah's company to look for evidence of the plot at Molly's urging.

Meanwhile, Danny Bailey, another Trapper Keeper and Youtube sensation, has been recruited by an FBI agent named Stuart Kearns, ostensibly to participate in a sting operation looking to arrest militia members who might be plotting nefarious deeds. In reality, Kearns is working with the evil conspiracy and is duping both Danny and the militia chuds into carrying out a real terrorist attack in order to create a pretext for the new world order plot (this hasn't actually been revealed yet in the part of the book we've covered, but it's incredibly obvious).

All that aside, lets get back into it.

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Let's Read The Overton Window pt. 9: www.stuartkearns.com

Programming note: updates will be less frequent for the forseeable future, due to Brain Problems

As chapter fifteen opens, Noah brings Molly to his fancy rich-guy apartment, humble-bragging about how he lives near the Met and all the big embassies because he's such a mister fancy pants. It feels like approximately a month in real time since anything interesting has happened.

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