May 13th, 2019

Pretty Smart

Book Review: Permafrost

Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds

There is talk of the Scouring and mobile euthanisation clinics. There are no moral centres in this invariably tedious novella. There is no rare ingenuity and no unbearable level of threat. This novella was full of portentous moments and cosmic ponderings and a climate of irrationalism and fatalism. This had nothing creatively new as humanity faces an existential threat and a ruinous undertaking is planned to save what is left of humanity. This was not morally nunaced. It fact it was scarcely coherent.

Best Line:

“By 2080, we're down to stored rations, the last human generation.”

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Trailers, Quotes & Stuff

'Judy' trailer

The yellow brick road, throwing, shows, sadness, Renee Zwellweger and necking pills. Behind the rainbow, maybe.

'Nowhere Boys' opening credits


'Big Little Lies' season 2 promo


'Swamp Thing' teaser

The accent!

'Bluff City Law' promo

Jimmy Smits is so fat.

Gluten free passionfruit cake – moist.

Wild garlic – nice.

Gluten free lime cake – odd.

Sushi – okay.

The Florida bobcat. How did it get up there?

I want a subterranean swimming pool.

RIP Peggy Lipton.

'Blindspot' renewed.

What are toaster sandwich bags?


I'd try orange blossom water.

What is horse opera?

What is tonka bean icecream or beer sauce?

I want a Eugenia Kim Annabelle hat in straw and grosgrain. I want a pink sapphire, white gold, diamond and zunzite necklace. I want a white gold, diamond and citrine inlay necklace. I want a morganite and diamond cluster ring and a pink sapphire and diamond ring. I want a 16.88 carat fancy intense pink internally flawless diamond.

'Schitt's Creek' isn't funny.

I'll never ever ever ever forgive my ex. I had no idea love could be lost quickly enough. I feel chronically unahppy at the pernicious effects and psychological toll of learning my ex did not care for me.

'The Simpsons' Quote:

Marry her to harvest her organs.”

'Pine Gap' Quotes:

“We like to be listened to.”

“Failures of process.”

'The Irish Times' Quotes:

“Hedge drinking.”

“How many play dates has she been on that resulted in us receiving solicitors' letters?”

“Slow love.”

“Give him all the quality time I can.”

“Contentedly introverted.”

“Valuing your alone time, and staying alone and isolated.”

“Happier now that he has you.”

“One source of happiness.”

“Being labelled in perpetuity.”

“A cynic's caution.”

“Muttering darkly.”

“Being first-rate at something that isn't drinking tins, childbearing or bare-knuckle boxing.”

“Nobody has ever seen anything like it before, because nothing like this has ever happened on earth.”

“I used to watch the old Batman TV series as a child, not realising it was a camp send-up. To me, it was gritty, violent realism, and Adam West and Burt Ward were totally believable superheroes.”

“Determination not to be bound by other's expectations of what her life and realtionship should be.”

“They roll their eyes, signalling contempt for what the other is saying;”

“Fetishise sacrifice and selflessness.”

“Most Noah's Ark toys are full of species that may not survive the Anthropocene.”

“Become an in-joke that I wasn't part of.”

“Look back in horror at the widespread social acceptance.”

“His style of comedy may have long since gone out of fashion.”

“Achieved notoriety.”

“His was a comedy of its time and place,”

“Many of his friends in show business had abandoned him.”

“No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special.”

“Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them,”

Your silent treatment of me.”

“Like to be on good terms with you,”

“Nothing but awful to me,”

“Very failed memories.”

“Operational reality.”

“Monstrously conceived.”

“Appalling lack of nuance.”

“Disown the ambitious.”

“Didn't look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?”

“Contempt for the will of the people.”

“The days before fake tan, contouring, GHDs and Instabrows-”


“Exclusion powers.”

“Creative humiliation.”

“Something terrible will happen to her in their company.”

“Inexplicably tie up some loose narrative thread.”

“Thwarting the will of the people.”

“They think you're morons.”

“Street thugs.”

“Perceived indifference.”

“Terminal for civilization.”

'The Sunday Business Post' Quote:

“Languish in martyrdom and downright contemptuous of those who fell outside his way of seeing the world.”

'Girl In A Band' Quote:

“Got stabbed twice in the street.”

'FTWeekend' Quotes:


“Centuries-old historical outrage – for which archaeological and historic evidence is scant-”

“Norway's sole contribition to world cuisine.”

“You're never given a menu – he simply looks at you, looks at your party then serves you whatever he thinks is best.”

“Democracy could be suspended without notice.”

“The one source of joy and responsbility, in his otherwise lonely, miserable life.”

'The Sunday Times' Quotes:

“No one speaks up for her. Not once.”

“However useless it might be to us.”

“Only four of the people who have walked on the moon are still alive.”

“Media narrative.”

“Little or no genuine interest.”

“Intervene in any meaningful way to resolve matters.”

“Succession planning.”

“Personally victimising series of events.”

“Apocalyptic, messianic theocracy.”

“Dropped dramatically in age, organisation and levels of restraint.”

'RTE News' Quotes:

“Prepare to haul.”

On 'Hollyoaks': Ste's a purposeful hateful stalker. Mercedes and Ste are TPTB's pets who never pay for their myriad sins. Mercedes is a crap mother. Why does she have hooker hair extensions? Why is the racist in the Maaliks garden? Why does Grace wear such ugly clothes? Farrah has chav tattoos and a bad haircut. Why are Ste and the racists in Cindy's house? How do they afford it? Mercedes seals her own fate.

Why aren't Max and Bobby at school? Mercedes is thick. Ste's scurrilous abuse is taking a grim psychological toll on the Maaliks. Imran's thankless and Sid carries on his raucous antics. There's ugly wallpaper. Mercedes is useless. Ste has saisfaction and is incapable of calm reflection. Ste carries on his war of relentless attrition against the Maaliks. Cindy's selfish.

Why is Leela hanging out with Ste? Mercedes loses custody of her stepson. Mercedes shrieks and tries to physically drag him away from his real family. Mercedes is a useless mother. She doesn't even miss Max's dead father.

Best Lines:

“I wish my dad had never met you!”

“You forgot about me. Again.”

“I'm just in the way.”

“Look at some star thing.”

Scary Books

Stranger Things + Our Favourite Thing Is Monsters Reviewed

Stranger Things: Free Comic Book Day:

I only ever watched ep 1x01 of this overrated show. This has ugly art and it leaves one incurious about this show. Then there's stuff about 'Black Hammer' which has more ugly art and a tired WW2 trope. This has a wafer thin pretence of relevance. It's an ignominious failure.

Our Favourite Thing Is Monsters: Free Comic Book Day

So much cross hatching, is this the 90s? This tale of urban blight – I don't get it. What is it about? People have ill-inclinations or something. This was all bitty.

Best Lines:

“They're ladies of the night and you are forbidden from talking to them ever about about anything!”

“The mask people.”

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Movie Reviews: CrackInThe World+FletchLives+John Wick+Landmine GoesClick+PersonalShopper+Painkillers

Crack In The World (1965)

Dana Andres and Janette Scott star in this tale of scientists who cause a global disaster. The Earth is on the cliffedge of potential disaster. It perpetually teters. Scientists have the demon pomposity and endless adoration of themselves. There is bad acting and nobody's extremely distressed at disaster. Something hellish will be unleashed, eventually.

Terrifying stories of what is to come, eventually, are told. They were trauma-informed but did stupid things anyway. It all ends badly as the nukes don't work. TPTB desperately need to stop what they've set in motion. This was awful. Their solution to the nuke they set off is to fire another. What's a radio phone? This was cheap looking. People protect themselves from a nuke blast with red glass. WTF?

Best Lines:

“Save the world. Or destroy it.”

“Insane risk you're taking!”

Fletch Lives (1989)

This was full of sexism and Chevy Chase shouting. Chase doesn't care about a woman dying. There are gay jokes and this was bad.

Best Lines:

“What's the charge?”

“Pissing me off.”

John Wick (2014)

This Keanu Reeves film spawned 2 sequels. Punks piss off the wrong badass. This was a grubby rage frenzy that was culturally inert.

Landmine Goes Click (2015)

3 annoying hikers hike. One stands on a mine cue a crazy boyfriend, revenge ploys, sleaze, death, man-pain and bleakness.

Best Line:

“Dig bitch!”

Personal Shopper (2016)

Kristen Stewart and her one facial expression stares. This was dull and full of mumbling.

Painkillers (2015)

Mischa Barton and Grant Bowler star in this useless vampire tale.

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Sergio Balleseros

Pine Gap 1x02-1x04+Batman 2x52-2x54+Big Little Lies (2017-?) Season 1+Menendez part 2+Gotham 5x01


The weird dude looks for the malware and who installed it. A wife whines. There are chaotic goings on in the sterlised workplace. Things have no apparant connection. There is no exuberance or vitality. A guy plays the idiot. He has a manic quality of unpredicrability. Tragic and terrible events happen. The Yanks sneer at the Aussies. There is an EMP and Chinese hacking. There is no honour and dignity. There is unbearable uncertainity and retaliatory action. People are shameless, arrogant and manipulative. There are counter-grievances. This was okay. There are unfair and flawed decisions and weaponised dating.

Best Lines:

“Months away. If at all.”

“Carefully planned deception.”

“Disturb and distact.”

“Acting like the master of the house.”

“900 pound something.”

“Complex double-thinking.”

“Since when do you watch tv?”


There is a very unpleasant situation. Responsbility is abdicated. People are suspicious. There are special interests. The POTUS rants about Aussies. Kath is the Aussie boss. Whatever people say or do is not to be trusted. Jasmina and Gus hook up. The weirdo Moses is weird. This miniseries is only 6 eps. This was trivial relative dullness. There is a cat.

There is growing wariness of intentions and implicit acceptance of shifty acts. Co-workers spy on each other. Trump is not POTUS in this show but the POTUS is very Trump like. Are the workers really justice seeking? Eloise seems special needs. This is a grim sign of the times. Jacob the boss yells. There is deadly serious serious purpose.

Who is malefic? People do evil things about evil things. There is paranoia and machismo. This was not audacious. This was less interesting. There are accidents, miscalculation and madness. This was not emotionally charged. There are malign influences and societal and familial ties. The workplace is in an unsettled state. People have supposedly noble motives. People's background, upbringing and personal philosophy are investigated.

There is no moral fortitude. There is nefarious plotting and lackadaisical assumptions. Aggravating and wrong things happen. This was of dubious quality. Kath's shouty vile ex lurks. Deeply held beliefs are delivered with conviction and sincerity. There is no integrity or humility. There is a level of resentment. There is goal settling and moral failures and deviousness and unwholesome people.

There are pretentious phoneys and irascibility. There is an appalling and continuing tragedy. There is artlessness. There are brazen enquiries.

Best Lines:

“Look weirdly suspicious.”

“Overtake our position of global leadership.”

“Meaningful statement of regret.”

“Fan the flames of discontent.”

“Feel like they're trusted.”


“Chucking a tanty.”

“Free uni degree.”

“Thought the Soviets would be the enemy for a 1000 years.”

“Learn to love debt.”


Oh Gus. Eloise spews accusations. An employee is berated. This was okay but the acting is bad. There is a secret. Why is Kath so awful? A treaty is discussed. This was oddly enthralling. Moses draws a peculiarly urgent teen girl. There's discouragement of dissent. Blame is appointed. There are grim encounters. This was not wholly unlikely. Nobody is honest or thoughtful. This was not visually arresting. A social emergency is about to erupt.

Batman's Satisfaction

Batman and Robin live in a very closed world. No wonder this show has permeated our culture and imagination. Robin has adverse childhood experiences. He gets insulted and physically attacked by baddies on a regular basis. Baddies affect the social, cultural and economic fabric of Gotham.

A young disadvantaged naff (Robin) fell under the spell of a wealthy charismatic charmer (Batman). Nobody finds this weird. Bruce protects his own interest and status and has the smug insoucicane of a privileged family.

Van Williams and Bruce Lee guest star. Batman sends Robin into the path of baddies who want to physically hurt him. Clearly deranged people walk around Gotham like its cheerful normality. There is po-faced sincerity. Kato says he and the Hornet are both quite flexible. No comment.

The narcissistic sicko du jour is defeated. Robin's provider/caretaker has an irreversible hold over him. Britt Reid makes no comment about Bruce Wayne having a teen boy as his ward. Robin is encouraged to be obliging. He's also consident and forceful. Batman exudes a sense of moral superiority. Sadly 'Batman' at this point was suffering a slide in popularity that showed no sign of stopping.

The malediction Green Hornet and Kato run off and nobody stops them. This was good. There is a decline of civility. Batman has self righteous certainity. What are pink stamps? Batman and Robin have lives lived for virtue. The baddie has dubious behaviours.

Best Lines:

“They musn't suffer.”

“We've never run away from trouble before.”


“Sordid stooges.”

“Masked companion.”

“We know they're heroic crime fighters. They think we're criminals.”

King Tut's Coup

King Tut is normal again and teaching despite being a criminal. Tut goes crazy again. Bruce and Dick wear Roman garb. Dick holds his cloak in front of him for some reason. This was not gloriously silly. Was there a Vietnam mention in this ep? Who is Dick's dance date? The continued existence of the utterly one dimensional aunt Harriet annoys. Tut larges it. This was absurd and astonishingly horrid and uninteresting. Grace Lee Whitney and Lee Meriwether guest star.

Best Lines:

“The first Robin of spring.”

“You flipped a while back.”

“His accursed companion.”

Batman's Waterloo

This was an epic mistake. This show was having a crisis of menaing as badly motivated baddies attack. Batman's opinions are relentless. Nobody is unusually thoughtful, Batman is morally instructive. Baddies have intolerable behaviour. Mundanity is carried out with indefaigable conviction. This isn't utterly captivating and it leaves you constantly dissatisfied. This was utterly useless.

Baddies plan to make good on their promises to hurt Robin. Batman returns with dread inevitability. Robin has an unstable lifestyle. What with nearly being murdered regularly. There is no moral heft. One can see why this show has legendary fame. Gordon mentions his daughter Barbara. Groan. This was putrefactive. Robin nearly gets a birdbath.

Best Lines:

“Fat, lazy and extremely rude.”

“Bat boy.”

“Caped crony!”

“Brat to bat resuscitation.”

“Sickening sidekick.”

Somebody's Dead

This dull show was based on a good book. Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz and James Tupper star. There are stupid people and a bratty teen daughter brats. This was dull failed seriousness.

Best Line:

“I'm not liked.”

Serious Mothering

Celeste's husband is menacing. Madeline wants to put on Avenue Q. Renata bullies Jane's child. Madeline's new husband Ed is awful. So is her ex Nathan. Perry likes coercing partners into unwanted sexual activity. This wasn't good.

Best Line:

“I do not feel supported here!”

Living The Dream

This was boring. There is no emotional punch. The bratty teen goes to live with Nathan. Jane reveals her secret. Celeste has substantial cause for her fear of Perry. Nathan is played by Tupper who was the gorked out David on 'Revenge' - he does tend to play useless tools.

Push Comes To Shove

Universally terrible people are terrible. Celeste is told to leave Perry. This was dull. Perry is very physically violent and increasingly threatening. Nathan's new wife Bonnie is awful. A teacher causes endless issues. Renata loves being retaliatory.

Best Line:

“A college that requires more than a pulse."

Once Bitten

Something is very wrong with Perry. Renata bullies her child. She's painfully insincere. Madeline's youngest daughter needs a slap. This was dull.

Burning Love

This is a sorry saga. Nathan is petty and vindictive. Why did Bonnie marry him? Renata starts a petition to suspend Ziggy from school. Jane gives Renata what for. Abigail attention seeks. This was duh.

Best Line:

“Lucky I didn't kill you.”

You Get What You Need

Celeste lives in dread of Perry. He continues to abuse her in ever more sinister ways. Perry unleashes pure vicious madness. At Trivia Night, Bonnie kills Perry. And it is covered up. This was overhyped mind-numbing dispirting blandness.

Menendez: A Killing In Beverly Hills, Part 2 (1989)

This was dull. A dodgy shrink and his mistress harass the brothers. There is a time jump, exposition, bad hair and incoherence.

Year Zero

Why is Penguin hanging out in a ruined city? Gordon still has blowdried hair. Parts of the city are held by whoever has enough power to hold it. How do they have food, booze and water? Exposition is screamed. Why is Gotham a no go zone? Gordon asks for help, nobody will help. Ed bores. Why doesn't Bruce Wayne use his vast wealth to save the city? Isn't he a high school dropout now? Penguin is awful. A supply helicopter is shot down because people are stupid and awful. Tabitha seems to be dead. Will someone kill the useless Barbara already? A message is sent to Gordon. Why were Alfred and Selina not taken to safety? This was bad. I mean really bad. I've seen 1966 'Batman' season 3 eps better than this.