My Dystopian Life

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The Truth Behind The Film Oppenheimer And Nuclear Bomb Testing

I am seeing all of this hype about the film Oppenheimer, but you know what I am not seeing? An honest discussion about all of the people in the Marshall Islands and in the US states of Nevada and Utah who got sick and died from radiation poisoning due to all of the nuclear bomb testing done by the US Government.

The above PBS documentary is excellent and discusses what happened far better than I ever could. Needless to say the US government knew that radiation was dangerous and tested those bombs near population centers anyway. Hollywood has sanitized all of this and I find it disgusting that they are hyping this like Oppenheimer was some sort of hero, when he in fact was responsible for killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people in Japan, the U.S. and the Marshall Islands . Fuck Oppenheimer, both the film and the man.

I Have Finally Started Work On The Spooky Jacket!!!

This week I have been on a bit of a DIY binge. I finally gathered my courage and started sewing patches onto this jacket. Why was I scared? The fabric of the jacket stretches; it is more difficult to sew cloth patches onto it for this reason. With some help from a box of safety pins I came out of the other side very happy with how it has turned out so far.

This is going to be purely a spooky themed jacket. Because of the black and white striped nature of the jacket I will not allow the colour green anywhere near it; the whole Beetlejuice shtick is very played out and I am not a huge fan of Tim Burton. Most of the patches will be black and white, with maybe a few other colours included. I plan to sew all of the patches on with purple thread because I love the colour and the contrast.

I buy everything myself and all of these patches came from stores on Etsy. It is the best website to find whatever kind of patches you want.

Review: King Of The Dead/The Dark Path EP – Dawnrazer (2023)

Currently listening to this and Dawnrazer has gone in a bit of a darkwave direction with this release. They are known for making exceptional synthwave music so this isn’t really a surprise. It still sounds largely synthwave, but the spooky lyrics and some of the synths sometimes pull it into darkwave territory. I like both darkwave and synthwave so this isn’t an issue for me at all.

My favourite song on this is The Dark Path and I could well imagine a good DJ mixing this song into a set of darkwave. If you have never heard of this band before this would be an excellent release to start out on, because it will ease you into synthwave. It is available here on Bandcamp.

Review: Burn It Down – Maureen Ryan (2023)

Wondering why actors, writers and other Hollywood workers are on strike right now? Then you need to read this book. In it Maureen Ryan, an entertainment reporter, lays out what is wrong with Hollywood and how things need to change in order to move forward.

What is wrong in Hollywood? Rampant abuse of all kinds is rewarded, while those who complain about it are blacklisted and unable to find work in the industry. There is so much abuse detailed in this book that it was emotionally a tough read for me. I had heard about some of the abuse before but I had no idea that it was this bad. She devotes a whole chapter to the production side of the series Lost and what happened on set and behind the scenes will make your toes curl. A black actor complained that they didn’t have enough lines and that their character’s arc didn’t make sense and what happened to them? They were fired from the show.

The studio execs are a huge part of why this keeps happening and they refuse to change their ways. They are almost exclusively older white men, who see nothing wrong with the way things are. As long as their pockets are full of money who cares about people being verbally abused by directors or fondled by staff writers. They will give known abusers jobs because they make them a lot of cash. Remember folks, making money is more important than the basic human rights of others.

What I really love about this book is that she puts forward ideas that could make things change in a meaningfully way. Did you know that there isn’t a centralized place for people to report abuse going on in the industry? That really blew my mind. An industry that literally makes billions of dollars can’t bother to do this simple thing? That speaks volumes as to what kind of people are in charge.

This is a great book that gives you the truth as to what is really going on behind the scenes and it is a must read. With all of that being said, people in the industry deserve to be treated with respect. I stand behind all of the industry people on strike right now and I hope something good comes out of it.

Thoughts On Living With Chucky (2022)

I love the Chucky films. Why? Because they are fun as hell and always a good time. Last night my husband and I watched this and it is definitely one of the better horror franchise documentaries that I have seen. The makers of it very obviously love the film franchise. Sometimes in film documentaries everything is presented too perfectly; meaning that you actually don’t get the real story. Horror film productions don’t go to plan quite frequently and it was cool to see that side of the filming process brought forward up and center. You get to see just how much work it takes to bring Chucky to life.

They speak a lot to Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif and to various people who have been a part of the franchise in one way or another. The one thing that very much impressed me was all of the work that went into creating the Chucky doll and how they refused to use CGI effects. Practical effects make Chucky who he is, and I think if they had chosen the easy route with CGI that it would have killed the franchise. I am not totally against CGI type effects, but they shouldn’t be allowed to take over a film. Looking at you Peter Jackson.

If you are a fan of horror films this really is a must watch; it’s beyond peachy-keen.

Fuck The U. S. Government, Unhappy 4th Of July

I think the last time I celebrated the 4th of July was in the late 80’s when I was a teen, and even back then I knew what was up; the racist Reagan administration sucked and there was nothing to truly celebrate. As of right now the Supreme Court has struck down a law concerning Affirmative Action and is now allowing businesses to discriminate against others for any reason they wish. They don’t like the colour of your skin? They can refuse to serve you now. The United States is very quickly becoming a true fascist state and I for one never want to go there again. FUCK THE USA!!!!!

Killstar Is Going Down In Flames

The other day I mentioned on here about how Killstar has fired all of their design team. Well, that was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is happening within the company right now. Yesterday I received a detailed email from my source about all of the insane crap going on inside the company and how it is affecting their bottom line. I’m usually not easily shocked when it comes to tales of workplace drama, but this is different.

That American private equity firm Bertram Capital didn’t outright purchase Killstar, like I had previously stated on another post. Instead they bought a majority stake in the company when the original owner, Tequila Star, wanted capital to expand and bring the company up to scratch. To say that she made a bad financial choice would be the understatement of the century. She chose a company who have no knowledge of alternative subcultures and it really shows.

Tequila Star stepped down as CEO of the company when Bertram Capital came into the picture, and they placed their own person into that role. They also brought in new heads of merchandising, products, etc.. This was done to restructure the company so that it functioned better. This is what the company needed; structure that worked more efficiently so that things could be run more smoothly. However, that is not what has happened.

Since the takeover the company has been struggling. Why? Because they are running it just like any other business, thinking that the same tactics would work for it that they have previously used elsewhere. In the autumn of 2021 they brought in a new head of product, and it became obvious very soon that she was overwhelmed by the role and had no clue as to what she was doing. Instead of listening to the employees and the fans of the brand as to what was wanted and what would work they ignored all of the advice and pushed for collaborations. Remember that horrid Avril Lavigne line of products that came out that everybody, including myself, made fun of? That was her idea.

That alone proved that they hadn’t a clue about punk, goth, emo,etc… subcultures. The fact that they thought that Avril Lavigne was in line with what fans of the brand wanted speaks volumes. They tried bragging about how well the line sold but it was very obvious that they couldn’t move the pieces because they looked like crap. The recent really ugly Dario Argento line is yet another example. I love Argento’s films but I wouldn’t wear that crap even if somebody promised me £100 to do so.

Then on top of all of this they put the head of design, who had been with the company for over five years, on garden leave and then outright fired her. They didn’t replace her until the Spring of 2022, and the guy they chose had no knowledge or interest in alternative designs. He was totally unfit for the role and was gone after a few months. They then brought in somebody else whom they also let go after only a few months.

During all of this they brought in people to try to structure the design team. Predictably these people had no knowledge or respect for alternative styles and subcultures. They created a very hostile work environment; so much so that some of the people within the product and design teams quit.

What happened next? Tequila Star came out of hiding and is now CEO once more. So, basically she fucked around and found out. I don’t pity her at all because she made some very badly informed financial decisions. Even I know about how private equity firms work and how detrimental they can be to the running of a company. The head of products was fired this past April and has not been replaced. My source thinks that Star has been working directly with the designers since she came back. However, things must not be going too well since the entire design team has been suddenly let go.

So, basically Star is trying to bring the company back from the brink of financial disaster but it really is too little too late. The reputation of the brand has been in the sewer since Bertram Capital came into the picture. Line after line of badly designed cheaply made clothing has been pumped out and it shows. Most of the newer pieces are the same silhouettes as older pieces with just new graphic designs being thrown up onto them. There is no originality taking place which is pretty telling. Also, their homeware range is now mostly brought in from suppliers and is not designed in house.

My source has some theories as to what is going to happen next with the company. Apparently they have lines designed for up to this Autumn, so my source thinks that they cut the entire design team in order to appear more solvent when they try to sell the company to a new buyer. This makes some sense and could indeed be what is happening. Another theory is that they will just hire freelance graphic designers and slap new designs onto the same old silhouettes. Lastly, they might just bring in everything from outside suppliers.

Apparently Killstar is making way less money this year than they did last year so it may be too late for Star to steer the company in the right direction. The only people that I feel sorry for in this entire situation are the alternative people who worked for the company and were shafted.

This entire situation is what happens when you let a private equity firm run an alternative focused company; you lose credibility with you core customers who no longer want anything to do with you and your inauthentic ways.

Forgotten 80’s Bands: Big Country

Big Country is a Scottish post-punk band formed in 1981. The ‘classic’ era from 1981 to 2000 consisted of Bruce Watson on guitar, Stuart Adamson on vocals and guitar, Tony Butler on bass, and Mark Brzeziki on drums. They had their own Celtic tinged sound due to Adamson recreating the sounds and tones of bagpipes in his guitar playing style. Also, the band concentrated on playing melodies rather than just chord progressions which just added to the uniqueness of their sound. In 2001 Stuart Adamson, who had struggles with alcohol, committed suicide. I actually remember crying when I found out because by all accounts he was a nice guy and his guitar playing was stellar. They made music up until his death so they are not a strictly 80”s band, but they were big in that decade and made their best albums then. Members of the band are still touring as Big Country, so you may be able to catch them live.

I don’t think I have seen any younger people mention Big Country online when they talk about loving 80s post-punk bands which is a shame. My aim is to change that!!!!! Below are my favourite 80’s songs by Big Country. By the way, Kate Bush lends her vocals to the song The Seer so you are not imagining it. Enjoy!!!

Fields Of Fire (1983)

Look Away (1986)

The Seer (1986)

In A Big Country (1983)

Where The Rose Is Sown (1984)

Remembrance Day (1986)

Harvest Home (1983)

Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Smash

The Pet Shop Boys have always held a special place in my heart because their first album Please was one of the first cassettes I ever owned as a teen in the mid 80’s. I used to listen to it so much that I still remember the lyrics. I kind of lost interest in them in the 90’s because I was so heavily into both punk and goth music at the time. I didn’t start disliking them or anything like that, it was just that before the internet came into being it was really easy to lose track of bands. So, imagine my surprise when this album was recently released: a 3 CD remastered collection of their singles. I jumped at it because I wanted to own more of their music.

I listened to the first disc very loudly yesterday and I have to say that this is one of the better remastered releases that I have ever heard. Seriously, it sounds bright and clear and so good that the 80’s songs sound very modern and not dated at all. Whomever did the mastering did a very good job. There is no extra bass or added fripperies which personally makes me very happy because I hate it when remastered releases sound nothing like what made the original releases special in the first place.

If you have never owned any of their music this would be an excellent place to start, and if you were around in the 80’s it will bring back lots of happy memories like it did for me.

I Finally Own A Shirt Featuring The Classic Post-Apocalyptic Film Hardware!!!

Let me give you some background as to why I love this film. One of the alternative clubs I went to just over thirty years ago used to play the entire film without sound on a big screen above the dance floor. In fact I didn’t see the film with sound until later on in the decade. It is one of Dylan McDermott’s first films and my god is the dude hot in a post-apocalyptic kind of way in it. Carl McCoy from Fields Of The Nephilim plays a wasteland scavenger and this film’s director Richard Stanley also made the band’s Blue Water video and was the art director for their album Dawnrazor.

Since this film holds a whole lot of nostalgic value for me I have always been on the lookout for associated merch. There really isn’t a whole lot to find out there. I already own some pins of the film but I never thought I would actually find a shirt. By the way I got it from this store on Etsy. I also bought their Blade Runner and Mad Max II shirts and all of them are of a really nice quality. Their designs are pretty unique so if you are on the lookout for a sci-fi/horror film shirt I would check out that shop first.

I highly recommend watching this film because the visuals are stunning and the story itself is actually kind of apt as to what is going on in society right now. It’s timely and makes you wonder whether or not it is worth living after a post-apocalyptic type event. I will be writing a separate post about this film at some point in the future.

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