My Blog – February 2020!

Greetings, Glancers! Without sounding too much like I’m swimming (naked) in a puddle of Glee while (naked) supermodels douse my flesh with 100 pound notes and feed me pavolva by the tit-full, I’m in a good mood. My beloved Liverpool are riding high at the top of the Premier League and although it’s not over yet, they are on course to pick up their first Top Flight English Title in thirty years. Arch enemies Man Utd are hilariously floundering, further proof that Alec Ferguson was the only reason they were ever successful. We are European Champions, World Club Champions, and hopefully in a few months will be Premier League Champions, as long as I haven’t gone and jinxed it.

But none of you care about any of that. What you want to know, what you spend your lonesome nights in bed thinking about as you clutch the duvet to your jaw to keep the darkness at bay, is what my favourite breed of dog is. Nil Desperandum! I am here to shuttle your fears away like so many fleas from a bull’s bollock. I am here, and I am listening. And, only marginally more disturbing, I am watching. So here are some more fiendish conundrums I hereby solve for you via the power of finger-tapping. Observe:

  1. Do you have any siblings?

Yes. An older brother and a younger sister.

2. What do you want to be when you grow up?

What didn’t I want to be? Or what do I still want to be? I wanted to be a paleontologist – mainly because I hoped to find real life dinosaurs. I wanted to be an explorer – mainly because I hoped to find real life dinosaurs. I wanted to be a stuntman, because throwing yourself off bridges and crashing cars looks like fun. I suppose my mainstays have been in more creative outlets – writing, whether that be stories, lyrics, music – yet I do each of those things now for my own enjoyment and sanity while making zero effort to making money from any of it.

3. Who was your first best friend?

Probably one of the girls on the street I grew up on, as they were around before I got to school – if you can have best friends before school. Julie was born on the same day as me, back in ’83, but moved away shortly after we started school together. I still saw her regularly up till University age before employment and all that guff got in the road. Hannah too, she moved away around my fourth year in school and we never kept in touch after that. In terms of actual school friends – Scott, who remained in my class all the way through seven years of Primary school, seven years of Grammar School, and into the first year of University before he dropped out, though we were never really best friends. So that leaves Simon and Kyle – who may well be reading this – my main partners in crime for a good few years. Hiya!

4. How tall are you?

6 ft exactly. I think.

5. What is the least favourite thing about yourself?

Where to begin? I’ve never had a very high opinion of myself. Beyond me being able to talk for days about movies, music, Greek myths… I don’t have much going for me. When I was young I didn’t like how knobbly my knees were and how thin my wrists were – I used to say ‘why do I have useless pieces of fat or flesh here where they’re not needed – why can’t they be transferred over there instead?’ There’s a multi-billion dollar industry now for such vanities. I think I don’t like how passive I am about certain things – about keeping in touch with friends, about making a damn good go at anything with what meagre talent I have.

6. Funniest moment throughout School?

I couldn’t pick one. And many wouldn’t be funny to anyone else, because they involve farts. I remember the boys bathrooms used to have narrow windows about 8 feet off the ground which opened outwards into an adjoining playground – they were directly above the urinals. So of course we would try to pee up and out the windows to see who could ‘make it’. I remember sitting cross legged on the Assembly Room floor in the middle of Morning Assembly (where some guy would come and pray and the Headmaster would deliver his weekly sermon about the value of the Green Cross Code or some guff) and every so often feeling a low down rumble in the put of my stomach which signified an imminent expulsion of gas from my brown cave, praying and clenching and holding it in, but on one occasion someone beside me farting first, which made me laugh, and which of course resulted in me unleashing an ever louder, longer one which quivered from my ass mirroring the laughs coming from my heaving chest. That happened several times. I remember me and Kyle coming back from a trip to Newcastle and both of us just happening to look out the car window and seeing two cows humping – that kept us laughing the whole way back to Ards. That’s probably not School though. Bigger School? Well, I was older and more mature then so… yeah, more farts.

7. How many countries have you visited?

I’m sure I could list them all but I can’t be arsed. It’s not as many as all you gap-year types, but the joke’s on you; I have Google Maps so I can pretend I’m there anyway, without having my wallet stolen by Erik from Duisburg or picking up Herpes by simply being in Venice.

8. What was your favorite/worst subject in High School?

High School? Grammar School, thank you very much. English – favourite. Physics – worst.

9. What is your Favorite drink? Animal? Perfume?

Seriously, what is with these questions. Drink – I don’t know, it depends on what I feel like. Coke or Lilt or fruity tropical breakfast juice or Sake or beer or Kraken Rum or JD. I love all animals – Tigers, any big cat really, and chimps. I don’t know the names of perfumes – they all taste like Grannies.

10. What would you (or have you) name your children?

I have named my children by picking a name and then giving it to them, and then popping down to the council offices and registering it legally. I plan to do the same with my next. Which isn’t what you’re looking for, but tough.

11. What Sports do you play/Have you played?

I have played many sports. I was never good at any of them beyond a period in Grammar School where I was the top lunchtime scorer in our football matches. I played in our School’s Basketball team as we remained unbeaten for two years. My school desperately wanted me on the hockey team because I was apparently a natural special talent. That’s actually a funny (not really) story – my School was known to be led by posh types – it has a Prep School and all the wealthy mummies and daddies would feed their little privileged darlings through and into the Rugby and Hockey Teams. One day for some reason, the Hockey Team decided to have a practice game against all of the people like me who refused to be part of any school team – the outcasts, the lazy, the fat, weak, unfit, etc. In short, the big boys wanted to bully us. Me being me, I was either not going to be part of it, or stick up for the little guy. Proceed to me, single-handedly, absolutely destroying the Senior Year’s First Hockey Team, scoring like 16 goals, making them look like nothing, in probably my greatest sporting achievement. They didn’t know what had hit them. Sadly, they’re probably all top bank executives now, with bored trophy wives and a bit on the side, so who’s laughing? Still me, actually.

12. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?

I have issues with YouTube – it’s such a circle jerk of copycats and is mostly a vacuum of talent where only the worst rise to the top and it allows those who least deserve success a platform where they can showcase the worst of humanity. It’s just like School again then, where the entitled and the most troublesome gained the most attention while the rest of us just go the hell on with things, except now everyone shrieks ‘CONTENT’ every eight seconds. But it does offer plenty of opportunities to weirdos, outcasts… anyone really, to do whatever the hell they want, and because of that it’s great. Of course YT or Google or whoever is doing their damnedest to remove freedom and make it even more shitty and generic, but you still get plenty of gold. I go through phases – I watch Kermode videos regularly for my movie review fix, I’ll sometimes drop in on the Fine Bros to marvel at the State of American Youth, and I keep an eye out for any new ‘Reacts to Buffy’ or ‘Reacts to Manic Street Preachers’ types that are on the go. Recently I’ve been watching Dragons Den clips, mainly because the comments are so funny, and a guy who scams the scammers – Kitboga. And of course Digitiser2000, because it’s still the best thing ever. Some of the people I’ve been subscribed to for years include Vanoss and Delirious – their videos are usually well made and amusing and remind me of my own teenage gaming nights, though they’re not the sharpest tools around and some of the humour is questionable. My boi Dashie. Weregonnalose is the best troller around.

13. How many Girlfriends/Boyfriends have you had?

This is quite the adolescent site we have here – the site I nicked these questions from, that is. Boyfriends – zero. Girlfriends – I don’t know, like five or something? Less than ten anyway. Do we braid each other’s bra now or something?

14. Favorite memory from childhood?

I don’t really have anything specific – probably something from Christmas or just all of the days arsing about with friends after School or during the holidays. It was like being in a coming of age Stephen King book, but with balaclavas instead of Pennywises.

15. How would you describe your fashion sense?

Unchanging. I wear jeans and T-shirts. Usually Band T-shirts, sometimes something TV related. Fashion is entirely pointless.

That’s it – if you have any pressing dilemmas which are impinging on your eight hours a night, ask me in the comments and I’ll get around to curing you. Till then, have a gander at the cornucopia of delights right underneath this sentence.

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a single post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!


Tell it like it is!

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