The Plainclothes Clown

Saving The World From Boredom, One Mind At A Time

Inspector Montalbano
Shadow person
I think I've been a fan of this TV series for about three years now.

The Terracotta Dog, I must admit, is a particularly heartbreaking episode.

Indoor Triffids
Shadow person
So I was with my sisters inside the house where I grew up. There were these weird roots poking through the ceiling; they were moving.

I noticed these small green plants, small succulent rosettes, emerging on the carpet and the upper floor. Smaller ones on the stairs, getting bigger and more developed the further up the stairs they got.

There were two rooms at the top of the stairs, one on either side; the doors opened, and a triffid emerged from the girls' room.

Happy Anniversary, Plainclothes Clown!
Shadow person
Today, ten years ago, I first posted to this blog.

Happy Birthday, Plainclothes Clown! The birthday party's being held in Hypnotic Erotic.

Happy New Year, Everybody!
Shadow person
Have a great time in 2014, folks!

I am probably going to lose the internet connection long before midnight - in 2010 the connection went down at midnight, and at around 23:30 on 2011 12 31. Last year - 2012 12 31 - the net went toes up on me at nine pm.

So this is going to get posted now, 18:00. Just in case.

happy new year from the god-machine
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Siege Mentality Sci Fi SUCKS
Shadow person
So I saw the rebooted Battlestar Galactica last night, and finally got a taste of the First Decade's "siege mentality sci fi" fashion for the first time. What worked well for the likes of Lost was clearly being done for BSG (not to mention Heroes).

All the cautious optimism of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. the cheerful - now considered naive - optimism of the first four Star Trek series and the animated series, and the joy and chills of Babylon 5, had been swept away by executives who wanted Bush-era paranoia, fear and arbitrary, random death, with protagonists happily violating the very laws and principles that formed the foundation of their civilisation, just to survive.

The sheer joie de vivre of the first six Star Trek movies and Gerry Anderson's shows ... unfashionable. This is the fashion we want for you now. Random, spiteful, dangerously corrosive stuff. Yes, it's okay to have an ethical dilemma about shooting down a civilian vessel - as long as you do it anyway. Better shoot them down while it's out there than have to shoot at them when it's in here. Ethics? Let's put them in the dustbin here, because if we keep believing in such outmoded things as liberty and rights, the terrorists will win, so let's give up some of them to preserve our freedom and won't George Orwell be proud of how we've eviscerated our culture with words?

I can see what they were aiming for with Stargate Universe, now. I wondered why SGU's first season sucked so, so hard. I don't think they could have brought it back if they'd guaranteed at least one full-frontal nude scene with Ming-Na Wen in every episode.

Rush should have revealed Destiny's mission right at the start: the script could have called for Rush, or Daniel Jackson, to explain that they'd stumbled across a record in the Ori galaxy that they'd unearthed whilst digging for the Ark of Truth, in which the Ancients had discovered the Structure and launched Destiny off on its mission long before the Ori had arisen, and so on. That way, the teams arriving on Destiny would have understood what was at stake, and they would have worked together as they did when the Atlantis Expedition first arrived in the Pegasus Galaxy.

But no, the execs wanted strife. They wanted fractiousness. They wanted mistrust and deceit. They wanted internal civil war.

Because it was the fashion. Not so much "Lord of the Rings in Space" as "Lord of the Flies in Space."

They tried something different (but just as tacky) with Star Trek: Enterprise; the very thing that they tried to do with Babylon 5 Crusade - a kind of sanitised T&A, with frequent scenes featuring Hoshi Sato and/or T'Pol in their skivvies in Decon or in the shower or, in one memorable case, dropping her lingerie and letting it all hang out in front of Trip - and look what happened there.

I can also see what they were trying to aim for when they rebooted Star Trek with Lost's (and Armageddon's) JJ Abrams, to try and bring it back to the young kids of today, Gettin' Down Wit' Da Kidzzzzz, Goin' For Da Yoof Vote.


I'd like to point out here that, in 2009 when Abrams rebooted Star Trek, we should have been warned when he blew up Vulcan in the movie, because if that was not a symbolic gesture - "I just made logic an endangered species" - what was?

This first decade, going on for a decade and a half, has produced some of the worst science fiction and fantasy for a generation. The worst part about this decade is that, unlike the Seventies - the last crisis era for science fiction, when it was dying on its feet - the genre was lucky enough to have a George Lucas come along and kickstart the genre with the original Star Wars, even as 2000 AD was rebooting the genre over in the UK. And we're lucky enough to have the rebooted Doctor Who, because otherwise we wouldn't be having any current space-based science fiction series at all.

You have to ask: what do you want now, in your science fiction / fantasy / horror? Do you want the fashion of the day / year / decade, whatever the studio executives put in front of you and tell you that This Is How It Is? Do you want something that will be timeless, however naive it might seem down the line, like Star Trek or Firefly?

X-posted to To Scape The Serpent's Tongue, Perchance To Dream, Dreamwidth and The Stainless Steel Blog.

Merry Christmas!
Shadow person
Merry Christmas from The Plainclothes Clown

Hope you all have a good one, folks!


Caganerwatch 2013: Last Minute Roundup
Shadow person
And so, with Christmas Day looming, a last look at the caganers and Christmas fails to have come across my desk this year ...







The Caganer









As the traditional saying goes, Menja Bé, Caga Fort, I No Tinguis Por A La Mort! (Eat well, shit a good deal and don't be afraid of death!)

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Alan Turing - A Royal Pardon At Last
Shadow person
It has been 61 years, but at long last Alan Turing got his Royal Pardon.

Daily Telegraph

Business Insider



So far, no mention of this news on the BBC's page.

AFAIC, they should never have persecuted him in the first place, the homophobic douchebags.

Caganerwatch 2013: There's A Problem With Brighton's Christmas Lights
Shadow person
Caganerwatch 2013: There's A Problem With Brighton's Christmas Lights

And now, for tonight's Caganerwatch entertainment, a short video:-

Caganerwatch 2013: Why No Britney Spears?
Shadow person
I can get you a pic of Lady Gaga as a caganer ...


... I can get you Amy Winehouse ...



Mick Jagger ...

John Lennon ...

Michael Jackson ...

... and Elvis:-

However, I draw a blank at Britney Spears. Can't find a Britney caganer anywhere. I wonder why? It's almost as if there was somebody going around telling people to leave her alone ...


Caganerwatch 2013: Celebrity Caganer Of The Day Star Wars Special
Shadow person
Today's celebrity caganers are all Star Wars-themed.


guardia imperial



I tried looking for a Han Solo, but it looks as if it shat first.

Caganerwatch 2013: Scatty Santa
Shadow person
Even Santa is getting in on the act:-







I guess you'd better have been good this year ...

Caganerwatch 2013: In Its Natural Habitat
Shadow person
Here's a caganer caught in the wild.



Obviously they have to go through an extensive process of domestication before they can be released into people's homes ...

Etaoin Shrdlu, Everybody!
Shadow person
I've been thinking about the greetings people offer to one another on festive occasions - weddings, bar mitzvahs, divorces, house moves, the outbreak of war, funerals - all the happy, cheery occasions. There are just too many different festive greetings to memorise.

So I'm thinking that we need a generic, universal greeting that fits every occasion. A greeting that will always be appropriate, and will offend absolutely everybody.

And here it is.


You pronounce it "eh - TAU - een SHURE -di - LOO."

Make this an essential saying in your arsenal of festive greetings. No more "Merry Christmas," "Yuletide Blessings," "May Baal Be Satisfied By Your Offering Of Virgin's Blood," "Commiserations On Your Loss." Just utter the one-size-fits-all ETAOIN SHRDLU and that is all you'll ever need to say. Instant blessings delivered, whatever the occasion, and it automatically lets you off the hook for having to know the right thing to say to appear civil in public.


You don't have to thank me.

Caganerwatch 2013: Another Caganer
Shadow person
I love these little figurines. Today's caganer is ... Lady Caca.


Caganerwatch 2013: They Didn't Think It Through ...
Shadow person
Well, this one had me rolling on the floor

Caganerwatch 2013: What Is A Caganer?
Shadow person
Every year, I am asked this question whenever I launch Caganerwatch: What, pray tell, is a caganer anyway?

A Caganer (Catalan pronunciation: [kəɣəˈne], Western Catalan: [kaɣaˈne]) is a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighbouring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia, Northern Catalonia (in southern France) and the Balearic Islands. It is most popular and widespread in these areas, but can also be found in other areas of Spain (Murcia), Portugal and southern Italy (Naples).

The name "El Caganer” literally means “the crapper” or "the shitter". Traditionally, the figurine is depicted as a peasant, wearing the traditional Catalan red cap (the "barretina") and with his trousers down, showing a bare backside, and defecating.

These are traditional caganers:-

Caganerwatch will be proud to bring you caganers throughout the runup to December 25, along with - hopefully - a crop of Xmas fails and ingenious stunts.

Here's an example of the kind of caganer you are to expect. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Michael Cackson.


保護 (ほご) - "Protection"
Shadow person
My name translates as "protection" in 漢字. The reading of 保護 is ほご hogo.

I converted 漢字 into a seal. Here.

hogo - kanji seal

Caganerwatch 2013 Begins
Shadow person
Every year, there is always someone who puts up an amusing Yuletide decoration somewhere. This year, it's the turn of this fan of Calvin and Hobbes.




And with that, Caganerwatch 2013 is now a go.

Happy Birthday Owlkeeper!
Shadow person
Many Happy Returns, owlkeeper!

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