Don't forget now: I'll be showing my face, and doing some stuff, at the Centre For Computing History's Retro Comedy Night on March 4th. Tickets are just a tenner - which gets you access to the museum, as well as a show featuring people like YouTube sensation Ashens... and even Ashens himself!
Full deets of this event, and the previous weekend's Teletext Block Party, here.
Also: if you would like to appear on next week's page, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in our occasional Plug Zone - please send your emails for next week to this place here: email@example.com
I'm going to keep doing this until they stop putting bloody hashtags on chocolate - #mybreak
I keep seeing the requests for letters to be sent for Friday on Twitter, but I've never tried before because I either get distracted by something or start thinking my letter shall be passed on over somebody claiming they own a Porsche or something. But this week, I am throwing caution to the wind and seeing what happens.
I am sorry to say I do not remember the Teletext days too well, besides the comic about a worm which may or may not have been your doing. I never did figure out the science/magic behind the Teletext. However, I do like your YouTube stuff. So, I hope that's good enough for a "Hey, you're alright you are."
Should I ask a question? I probably should. Outside of the Vidjagames and Teletext Sty-lee art (Which is nice), do you have any other interests? I like animation me.
But I don't speak of that too often for fear of people throwing daggers at me, demanding I stop watching the show about the talking horses or the one with the lesbians who are also gemstones and watch Party of Five or Home and Away instead.
Anyway, thanking for reading this. Or having your secretary read this to you. However you run your business. Its all good.
Jones of Ipswich
Also, no need to apologise for not remembering the Teletext days. Frankly, it's nice to know that at least somebody who reads Digi2000 isn't blinded by nostalgia.
Other interests? Uh. Well... at the moment, Found Footage pretty much takes up all my free time, and kind of incorporates all the stuff I used to do for fun - like arsing around, and drawing pictures and that. Indeed, back when I was doing Digi I'd spend the week looking forwards to Friday nights, when my mates would come over and we'd make stupid little films.
Sadly, I don't have copies of them anymore, but I will be including some of the original "found footage" - which provided much of the inspiration for the series - of my friends and I acting like idiots at school when we were 15. It's okay though - I've mostly edited myself out of it!
NOTE: We're actually doing our first live action filming for Found Footage next weekend.
Also: did you see the Found Footage Ep1 teaser? Here it is (please share if you can, as it'd be nice to get this seen by as many people as possible):
The turd was bigger than I expected. Much bigger considering I took a BIG dump two days ago. I was especially amused at a nuggety bit sticking to the side of the bowl.
Hehe - it looked like a large prawn. I tried flushing it normally first, but no way was that thing gonna go down without a fight. So I used a leg from the Xmas tree to attempt to attack it.
Second flush: Oh MY, It STILL did NOT go away. I've never had a turd still live after the Xmas tree foot attack. Hmm, I was still very amused.
Now I thought, right, and I attacked it AGAIN. It still didn't go down with the third flush, so I attacked the Surviving Chunk with a vengeance. The Xmas tree foot had shit stuck in it now, so I spent two minutes trying to get it off, I even used a second Xmas tree foot to attempt to get rid of the Shittyness.
A fourth attack on the Chunk killed it off. This was a never before fight put up by a dump. I hope it never happens again. Luckily I kept my head and had the intestinal fortitude to be victorious.
I once stood behind Paul Merton in the newsagent. I've no idea what he was buying.
PS. I loved it when you did "BR-R-RING ME LUCK!" last week. Maybe it could be like a catchphrase for Digi. Please write it again.
Perhaps she should've screeched "Rickkkkkaaaaaay!" instead. Bianca probably would have loved that.
Sorry to say that BR-R-RING ME LUCK! won't be staying on. Maybe we could adopt something else as a catchphrase? Press reveal for a suggestion.
Here is an amusing anecdote about a dog poo:
A colleague of mine - let's call him Colwyn - was walking a dog, and the dog needed a poo. The dog assumed "the position" and proceeded to open the Stargate. A thick, rich brown chub began to emerge, and Colwyn averted his eyes, taking interest in the trees, clouds, anything other than the yawning sphincter delivering its hot, pungent payload.
This unpleasantness, usually over in moments, continued a little too long and the dog remained hovering. Colwyn glanced over at the dog and saw that there was something white mixed in with the brown 2.0, and whatever it was was clinging to the excrement exhaust pipe.
Colwyn realised the dog needed some assistance and, using a poop bag over his hand, gently pulled the mystery item out. He laid it on the floor for inspection, fingering the steaming chocolate log to reveal a sock.
The dog, its poop porthole now once again puckered, saw the sock, this time covered in fart fudge frosting, and decided to devour it a second time. It ignored Colwyn's instruction to leave it, and picked up the sock in its mouth. Colwyn moved to take the sock, extended his hand towards the dog but hesitated when it growled in defense of its fecal feast.
The dog took this opportunity to turn away and devour its defecated delicacy, and Colwyn could do nothing but watch. The dog was fine, and as far as I know the sock was only consumed and shat twice.
Bunty McSad-Pants (@thatbunty)
My long-deceased dog Finn - no relation to your own "fin" above - God rest his soul, used to get carried away on long walks, not realising that he should probably stop trying to poo once his bowels were empty. Consequently, for the entire duration of the walk he would stop every few feet to strain and shake, until he forced at least something out - even if it was only the tip of his colon.
One time, after some considerable effort, he managed to produce a torrent of profoundly liquid diarrhoea, which went all down the backs of his legs. Having to get him home from the woods in the car, I had no choice but to fashion a sort of giant nappy out of a carrier bag, lest I get his mess on my seats.
For a brief moment I felt like MacGyver.
Did you ever have any amusing run-ins with Nick "Angst" Fisher, author of the eponymous teen advice Teletext page?
I always made a point of reading it to see what ludicrous problems teens had - from the guy who decided to stop washing under his fiveskin, and then wondered why it smelled, to the girl who was confused why her plan to shave her pubes into a heart and dye them red for Valentine's Day hadn't gone down well with her "boyf".
Yes: "information providers".
I started writing something political. Then thought, this all seems rather tiresome compared to letters about unimpressive celebrity encounters. So I settled on both.
Nazis? Worst party ever. In the early 90s, we all went to Noel's House instead. He had gunge tanks, Gotcha Oscars, and the giddying prospect of your living room suddenly appearing on national television. It was already wild, and when Mr. Blobby gatecrashed, things went crazy.
I think your drawing caught on because Krang, like Skeletor, was all about grand plans and poor execution. They were here to take over Earth, or Eternia, but endearingly incompetent about it.
Television used to have the answers. Appearing on NTV would earn the adulation of millions. Money worries would be solved by getting through to Grab a Grand. With Mr. Blobby rising up the singles chart, light entertainment seemed poised to take control.
Your drawing was also a refreshing break from jokes about skin hue, hair style, and speech mannerisms. It's not you alone, but the big picture is of adults entering the foetid paddling pool usually reserved for kids who mock those with glasses, lisps, and snotty noses. And boys who watch My Little Pony (once girly, now perverts).
Summer camp was great. There were tears, compounded by a Cure T-shirt that I took at face value, but none for home. It was the first time I played an NES, and almost as excitingly, Noel Edmonds was recording a talent contest - right there with us, in Southsea!
The Most Powerful Man in the Universe can brush off jabs at his appearance. It's harder for Ram Man to do that. Still, if you want me to believe your He-Man gags are just harmless banter, don't also raise furore over his necksist remarks.
Which child wouldn't secretly wish for Noel Edmonds to recognise their talent and make them a star? Riches, fame, and not having to attend proper school. Reality dawned on seeing the mundane marquee by Clarence Esplanade, but on reaching Southsea Castle, there was a flurry of excitement. Noel Edmonds was approaching!
The only solace for Ram Man is that he is not Jam Man. You know, Golly, to use his formal name. Some idiots have appropriated a variation, but they usually drop the first part for maximum offence. Besides, people can reclaim words with a single protest, and banning it would only hurt Little Richard.
We sat on the wall as he walked by, accompanied by a modest entourage. "Hello Noel" I said, and waved, though he neither returned nor acknowledged our jumbled greetings. I assumed that people on television were funny all the time, that it just flowed naturally, as unstoppable as MrPSB's bladder.
In an edition of The Children's Newspaper, dated the 31st of March 1934, there is a short article reporting that all black-faced dolls are now forbidden in Germany "in furtherance of the race purity campaign." It's worth reading the whole page, which certainly challenged some of my other perceptions about 1934, but to summarize, the dolls were objects of affection, not mockery.
Looking back, Noel could have given us a courteous smile, but perhaps bitter experience had taught him dangerous group dynamics. We were nice kids, as we all are, when something terrible happens and you see our picture on the news. I was oblivious to the troublemaker in our midst. Noel entered the castle. He was safe. For now.
Being called cute can be irritating. Affectionate comparison to a cuddly toy is worse, especially one that you think looks hideous. Without wishing such embarrassment on anyone, there were more vital concerns in 1934.
There are several footpaths around Southsea Castle. At least one of them affords views of the sea, Clarence Pier, and visitors on the castle roof. Noel appeared. Our troublemaker calculated that he was within shouting distance.
It's difficult to know how widespread offence at those dolls is today. I used to believe otherwise, but now suspect the narrative was largely developed by academics who hated Enid Blyton. Blame Walt Disney, another person too dead to defend themselves, for my cynicism.
"Noel, my surname's Burke!" This was true. "Oh, really?", Noel shouted back, or words to that effect. Which marked the end of my encounter with Noel Edmonds, if not his influence.
You often mention Disney, so perhaps you've heard of Floyd Norman. Perhaps not - he's kind of discreet and reserved, though that's good cover for a troublemaker like him. You should read his blog, because he's passionate about his work, generous with his experience, and takes no lies. He is also, incidentally, one of the best people to ask about what kind of person Walt Disney was.
Mr. Blobby taught me about mobs. His euphoric reception fuelled self-reinforcing exposure that took him to number one, where the only way was down. The papers dug dirt, like how little the choir was paid, but my nadir was a youth disco. Two of us were straight on the floor, then saw the looks from our peers, and lost the courage to dance for what we believed in.
I wonder if Trump appeals to that same capacity for making monsters. This can be directed at fascism, novelty singles, or novelty fascists. It's comforting to have a Krang, or Skeletor, in charge because you know their plans will never work out. You might not agree that news has long swapped information for entertainment, but it would explain why the entertainer won.
Mr. Blobby also helped teach me to think critically. Most people ridiculed his computer game, even "Movies, Games, and Videos." J Nash, writing for Amiga Power, was the only one to review the game itself: slipshod, but briefly entertaining enough to merit 37%. Which was 32% more than Rise of the Robots in the same issue, deservedly so.
Perhaps dolls also fell out of favour as people carried more baggage. Teddies have comparatively little, at most marmalade in the hand luggage of one immigrant. Turtles have none, and though impractical role models without access to Mutagen, "Shredderville" remains fine commentary on the methods and tragicomic results of authoritarian governance.
Did a slight, surreal heckling incident tip Noel over the edge? I searched for his cancer claims, then wished I hadn't. The facts, if present, lay deep in titillating tales of Twitter spats. Leave those to Trump, it keeps him out of trouble. Like your drawing said to me, look for those who are really in control.
Still, it feels rather unfair to single out your considered and intelligent writing when so many of the letters we receive are about poo, or are a poorly proof-read stream-of-consciousness ramble by somebody with apparent mental health issues.
I like the concept of the Nintendo Switch, despite not being convinced by the games proposed or the technology in the console. Having said that, I think that Nintendo is running the risk of losing one of its strongest selling points - local multiplayer - due to the cost of extra controllers.
While I admit that the Joy Con controllers do offer this, how many games will have good (or comfortable) control when using one? I cannot imagine that something like FIFA would be playable on only one. I have liked my Wii U, but for the last 2 years I don't think Mario Kart 8 has been removed, solely for multiplayer. I am sure that this cannot be the case, but I'm not sure that Nintendo knows what they want 'us' to do with the Switch.
Do you think that the games industry has had any success in conveying the message that violent games, or those with adult content, are unsuitable for children?
On a wider point, is the fact that game violence is more realistic and often human than before make it more likely to have a negative effect on those playing them?
I think there's a will for Nintendo to have a big hit console... but I can't see Switch luring people from the Xbox One and PS4. It remains to be seen whether it can break beyond the Nintendo faithful to appeal to the non-hardcore in the way that the Wii did. That's where it needs to find success.
Violent games? Blimey. Uh... that's a... uh... is that still a thing?
Anyone wondering where the Man has gone? It’s pretty obvious. He’s been hiding in plain sight, pretending to be a comedy actor.
But you might see a few of them in Found Footage. So... I can look forward to about ten people watching that, then.
I was playing the Ghost Recon Wildlands beta on PS4 last weekend and, although I enjoyed it, something became apparent. I go on to describe it thusly below:
These games are getting ridiculously big. They are so big it takes ages to get anywhere. Thankfully there were plenty of cars and bikes you could 'borrow' to get around, and you do have the facility to fast travel between safe houses. However, there was a mission where you had to steal a helicopter and fly it from one place to another. It took ages. Like, a really long time.
And this was just on a single area of the map available during the beta. The full game looks to be several times bigger.
On a slightly separate note, although this was a playable closed beta, there were far too many glitches and daft things happening. I suspect none of them will be fixed by the time it's released next month - this is partly due to the sheer size of the game. How could they possibly test every single virtual nook and cranny and make sure you don't get stuck in a Bolivian crevice (which I did, frequently)?
Also, the birds had sky shadows which made them look like they had four wings. Picture available on request.
In this respect... I'm hoping it might be that the Switch could offer games and experiences which are more suited to having a quick go here and there. I know it's what I'm crying out for. Literally: I'm sat here in tears.
In response to Gaming Mill's illustration of Mario hurling a Pot Noodle at a wardrobe - and Kara Van Park's request for more of the same - please find attached a drawing of Sonic throwing a packet of Super Noodles at a bedside cabinet.
I was in Cornwall once by a big lake and got chased by a swan. I was so frightened of it attacking me I had to drop the pasty I was eating to make it stop flapping after me.
Also, I got an email literally an hour ago regarding the RetroEngine Sigma I won (http://bit.ly/retroengine) - it looks like they're sending me the deluxe version with four controllers. I should be sort of excited about it (I do enjoy playing retro games) but it doesn't really do anything I can't already do on my PC. Oh, I don't own a television set either.
My Smoking Brother said he'd swap it for his radio controlled drone. I told him to throw in four cans of Strongbow and he's got a deal.
I am fit and strong and that is all.
I was going to write you a letter about some nonsense or other, but what with starting back at work, playing Final Fantasy 8 and Train Simulator, and being rude to you on Twitter, I forgot. I guess this will have to do.
BYE FOR NOW