Portfolio

I really should have a portfolio of my writing. These are some things I’ve written that I’m proud of, and which you can find online.

Music Journalism

Laneway Festival, RNA Showgrounds 2012 (Collapseboard)

I love music but hate music festivals, and I’ve been sent to cover a lot of them. This review is the most honest I’ve ever been about that.

The Go-Betweens: These Things Are Central To Me (Mess+Noise)

An interview with Robert Forster where we go through every song on The Go-Betweens’ best-of one at a time. This felt like a privilege to write.

In Defence Of Chinese Democracy (FasterLouder)

The infamous Guns N’ Roses album and why I love it.

Nickelback, Brisbane Entertainment Centre 2012 (FasterLouder)

Instead of writing contrarian “Nickelback are great” nonsense or just kicking them like everyone else does I decided to write a balanced review. They’re not good, but there are reasons people like them and I wanted to explain that. The end result was that both fans and haters were mad at me in equal measure.

Wub A Dub Dub (The Big Issue)

Explaining dubstep to old people, and young people who don’t get it.

10 Things We Learnt At Insane Clown Posse (FasterLouder)

Writing about why things you hate aren’t as bad as you think: this is my niche.

Album reviews, so many album reviews. I was pleased with my reviews of Melodie Nelson’s To The Dollhouse and Kanye West’s Yeezus.

Video Game Journalism

Save Me: The Symbolism Of Silent Hill’s Save Points (Venturebeat)

This was written for The Escapist, who changed their mind and decided not to publish it. So I put it on Venturebeat and then it made the shortlist for the Game Journalism Prize. So there, The Escapist. (I never did cash the cheque they sent for the kill fee. Not on a point of honour, but because it was made out to “Judy” Macgregor.)

Alice’s Adventures In The Shivering Isles (Zed Games)

This is a game diary. I play one of the strangest games I can think of and do the whole thing as if I’m Alice, of Wonderland fame. Or maybe as if I’m Lewis Carroll and this is the third Alice book, never published for being too dark and weird.

Game Developers Doing It For Themselves (Brisbane Times)

A report on the thriving indie game designers of Brisbane from the annual Game On Symposium. Actual serious journalisms right here.

Hard Targets: What The Reporting On Studies Of Violent Video Games Doesn’t Tell Us (Zed Games)

I talked to Morgan Tear about his attempts to recreate the results of experiments with people playing violent games, and tried to explain why journalism typically deals so badly with experimental results. That one year of a psych degree came in handy after all.

What If There Was A War And Nobody Came? (Brisbane Times)

Playing a massively multiplayer online game after most of those players have left — in this case Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning — can be a haunting and odd experience. I wanted to capture that. A surprising number of Redditors liked this. Possibly because the editor put a pic of an elf in bikini armour at the top.

Film And Television Journalism

A Brief History Of The Third Dimension Part One and Part Two (Brisbane Times)

The story of the cyclical 3D movie fad, and why the film industry keeps resurrecting it.

Television’s Greatest Moment (Brisbane Times)

If anyone’s ever told you they’ve seen the best thing on TV, they’re wrong.”

Fiction

King Of Australia (Voiceworks)

He walked over to the stone, gripped Excalibur below the cubic zirconium and gave it a cautious tug.”

Comics Journalism

100 Comics To Read Before You Die, Or Grow Out Of Them (Rave Magazine, my old LiveJournal)

Everybody should engage on one ridiculous expansive and life-consuming project.

Grant Morrison With Gerard Way (The Brag)

An interview with two comics writers — one the author of Doom Patrol, Seven Soldiers, and The New Adventures Of Hitler, the other the former frontman of My Chemical Romance and author of The Umbrella Academy.

RPG Design

Finally, some tabletop roleplaying games I co-wrote or worked on supplemental material for.

Grimm, second edition (Fantasy Flight)

Children are kidnapped and whisked off to a land where fairytales are real, and everything wants to eat them.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, second edition (Games Workshop)

I worked on Night’s Dark Masters, Shades Of Empire, and The WFRP Companion.

Cults Of Freeport (Green Ronin)

A supplement for Freeport, which is a Dungeons & Dragons setting with pirates and Cthulhu-esque beasts.

Things I wrote recently:

An interview with the Kaiser Chiefs, who don’t like their last couple of albums but still think they’re the best band around.

An interview with Foy Vance, an Irish singer-songwriter who grew up in an American church that didn’t allow instruments.

A set report of OutKast’s weirdly messy reunion at Coachella, which they performed half of inside a ridiculous transparent cube.

image

plinky plonky plinky plonk

wendyroby:

Cite Arrow reblogged from wendyroby

Things I wrote recently:

An interview with We Are Scientists, in which I make them promise to review Australian food on Yelp while they’re here.

An interview with Michael Franti, who it turns out does an amazing Bono impersonation I wish you could hear.

A review of Goat Simulator, which I promise is a real video game and not an April Fool’s joke. I summed it up by saying, “It’s the mayhem part of Grand Theft Auto minus the plot, plus a likeable protagonist.”

This is what it looks like.

(Source: jolteons)

Cite Arrow reblogged from katherinestasaph

matthewjacksonwrites asked: Your post about St. Valentine got me thinking: What's the weirdest existing relic of a saint you know of, and/or which relic has the craziest history/legend?

benito-cereno:

Look, there are a lot of contenders for this title. By definition, relics are MAGIC SKELETONS. Sometimes underwear, or hats. They’re all at least a LITTLE weird.

I considered the Mandylion, which was a towel on which Jesus’s face appeared after the ghost of Jesus wiped his face on it because a guy was sad he couldn’t do a good job painting Jesus. I also considered the amount of Mary’s breast milk that was being passed around in the Middle Ages (a lot) (John Calvin said about the sheer volume of this relic that “Had the virgin been a cow her whole life she could never have produced such a quantity.”

But, no, man. There’s only one that can be number one.

The Holy Prepuce.

Relic-1

Go ahead, google “prepuce.” I’ll waiNO I CAN’T WAIT IT MEANS FORESKIN

This is Jesus’s foreskin.

According to an apocryphal infancy gospel, when Jesus was circumcised, an old woman put his foreskin in a box of oil. This box of oil was eventually what Mary of Bethany (until recently conflated with Mary Magdalene) used when she washed Jesus’s feet with her hair.

Anyway, an angel gave the foreskin to Charlemagne at the Holy Sepulchre, and Charlemagne gave the foreskin to the pope when he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

The pope put the relic in the reliquary in the Lateran basilica, but it was stolen during the sack of Rome in 1527. The German soldier who stole it was imprisoned in the Italian village of Calcata, and he hid the relic in his cell. The village was subsequently plagued by strange storms and a fog made of perfume until the relic was uncovered in 1557, where it was the subject of many pilgrimages.

However, there were as many as eighteen different relics that claimed to be the actual Holy Prepuce all over Europe. The arguments over who had the real foreskin of Christ got so heated that in 1900, it was made a sin punishable by excommunication to even talk about the Holy Prepuce (whoops).

The Holy Prepuce appeared in visions to several female saints. Saint Bridget of Sweden saw an angel appear to her who put the foreskin on her tongue and she experienced multiple orgasms. Saint Catherine of Siena claims that Jesus appeared to her and give her his foreskin as a wedding ring.

Here is the experience of a nun named Agnes Blannbekin:

Crying and with compassion, she began to think about the foreskin of Christ, where it may be located [after the Resurrection]. And behold, soon she felt with the greatest sweetness on her tongue a little piece of skin alike the skin in an egg, which she swallowed. After she had swallowed it, she again felt the little skin on her tongue with sweetness as before, and again she swallowed it. And this happened to her about a hundred times. And when she felt it so frequently, she was tempted to touch it with her finger. And when she wanted to do so, that little skin went down her throat on its own. And it was told to her that the foreskin was resurrected with the Lord on the day of resurrection. And so great was the sweetness of tasting that little skin that she felt in all [her] limbs and parts of the limbs a sweet transformation.

Most of the claimants to being the real Prepuce were destroyed during the Reformation or the French Revolution. The most famous, though, the Prepuce of Calcata, lasted until 1983, when it was stolen. There are doubts about whether any Holy Prepuce still exists.

My preferred theory, however, about the fate of the foreskin of Christ comes from the 17th century Vatican librarian Leo Allatius, who claimed that, like Christ himself, the foreskin of our savior had ascended to the heavens, where it was transformed into the rings of Saturn.

Think of that the next time you gaze into the night sky.

This should be the Mcguffin in the next Indiana Jones movie.

Cite Arrow reblogged from benito-cereno
kierongillen:

Thinking of this today.
This was probably the first comic that the vast majority of the core anglophile comic audience would have seen of ours. It was basically our advert for PHONOGRAM: RUE BRITANNIA. It’s basically the “hello” of both the book, but also me as a writer and (to a lesser degree - he had LONG HOT SUMMER under his belt) Jamie as an artist. Hello, this is what we do, join us.
The odd thing about it, which I was kinda aware of then, but doubly so now is how… confident it feels. This is not nervous, or at least, not as nervous as it should be.
(The actual first issue of RUE BRITANNIA? That was nervous, clearly driven by a twitchy anxious fear that shit we’re going to be found out that we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing.)
Killer Early McKelvie expression in the last panel as well.
Hmm.

Just remembered they sent me a batch of these on postcards after we got to chatting on Warren Ellis’s old forum. I took them around Brisbane’s various comic books stores and left piles on the counters, with permission. Maybe somebody picked up the book because of those? It’s good comics, although both Gillen and McKelvie went on to do even better things later.
They also gave me a badge, which I still have somewhere. That was eight years ago.

kierongillen:

Thinking of this today.

This was probably the first comic that the vast majority of the core anglophile comic audience would have seen of ours. It was basically our advert for PHONOGRAM: RUE BRITANNIA. It’s basically the “hello” of both the book, but also me as a writer and (to a lesser degree - he had LONG HOT SUMMER under his belt) Jamie as an artist. Hello, this is what we do, join us.

The odd thing about it, which I was kinda aware of then, but doubly so now is how… confident it feels. This is not nervous, or at least, not as nervous as it should be.

(The actual first issue of RUE BRITANNIA? That was nervous, clearly driven by a twitchy anxious fear that shit we’re going to be found out that we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing.)

Killer Early McKelvie expression in the last panel as well.

Hmm.

Just remembered they sent me a batch of these on postcards after we got to chatting on Warren Ellis’s old forum. I took them around Brisbane’s various comic books stores and left piles on the counters, with permission. Maybe somebody picked up the book because of those? It’s good comics, although both Gillen and McKelvie went on to do even better things later.

They also gave me a badge, which I still have somewhere. That was eight years ago.

Cite Arrow reblogged from kierongillen
My favourite part of Dead Space was the signs.

My favourite part of Dead Space was the signs.

reallyreallyreallytrying:

if the mcdonalds employee successfully upsizes ten people in a row it breaks the curse and they walk away free

Cite Arrow reblogged from reallyreallyreallytrying

How awful that all these tall, pasty, well-spoken, tea-drinking dudes are sex symbols now. How awful.

Cite Arrow reblogged from luciawestwick
grimelords:

who put lorde, jamie xx and king krule on at the same time? why do that? why put haim and kurt vile on at the same time? chvrches and mount kimbie? who authorised this? if you’re coming to laneway tomorrow let’s hang out and discuss this

Who did you choose in the end? Chvrches and Haim were both great in Brisbane, I hope you got to see them.

grimelords:

who put lorde, jamie xx and king krule on at the same time? why do that? why put haim and kurt vile on at the same time? chvrches and mount kimbie? who authorised this? if you’re coming to laneway tomorrow let’s hang out and discuss this

Who did you choose in the end? Chvrches and Haim were both great in Brisbane, I hope you got to see them.

Cite Arrow reblogged from grimelords

thesinglesjukebox:

VANCE JOY - RIPTIDE
[3.45]


Just wait — in a hundred years, process servers will be known as “process Mumforders”…

Jonathan Bradley: I’m reminded of the former Australian prime minister Robert Menzies dreaming up his own constituency in 1942, one he described as “the forgotten people” in a kind of “silent majority” moment a whole generation before Nixon came along. Menzies concerned himself with “salary-earners, shopkeepers, skilled artisans, professional men and women, farmers, and so on,” mostly because he couldn’t believe anyone could give a shit about the working class without being a communist. “They are for the most part unorganised and unselfconscious,” spake the PM. “They are not rich enough to have individual power. They are taken for granted by each political party in turn. They are not sufficiently lacking in individualism to be organised for what in these days we call ‘pressure politics.’ And yet, as I have said, they are the backbone of the nation.” Within this great self-pitying mushy Australian middle, feted for its frugality and modesty, Menzies saw a dynamo. I hear Vance Joy.
[3]

Alfred Soto: Australia, you’re Mumforded.
[3]

Patrick St. Michel: It’s a last.fm “related artists” list turned into an actual song; nearly every element of “Riptide” is easily traced to some mid-Aughts “indie rock” outfit. Those easy-breezy ukulele strums bring to mind Beirut, while the parts where he raises the intensity in his voice sound like that one guy from Wolf Parade. The cultural references sprinkled in are just an easy way for some collegiate cred (Michelle Pfeiffer — not exactly trending!). Despite the “shadowy” sound of the music, Vance Joy’s language and refusal to say anything straightforward is distinctly twee (I keep coming back to Noah And The Whale). He’s managed to take all these hallmarks and make something that is perfectly pleasant but ultimately feels a bit too stitched-together for its own good.
[5]

Zach Lyon: Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln, Beirut’s last album was called “The Rip Tide”, “Riptide” by Vance Joy is literally a Beirut song from 2006.
[3]

Crystal Leww: This just won Triple J’s Hottest 100 poll. Did “hottest” somehow get redefined to mean “boring and twee and boring” without me noticing?
[2]

Megan Harrington: How serendipitous that Vance Joy would mention “there’s this movie that I think you’d like” because if Zach Braff hasn’t yet commissioned the Shins to soundtrack his latest, he might consider introducing Vance Joy to his audience. “Riptide” is a romantic comedy set to music, but a particular sort of romcom and a particular sort of music. With the Michelle Pfieffer namedrop and the fear of pretty girls and anxiety over singing the lyrics right, Vance is more or less the pedantic male lead that’s cornered the romance market since Garden State. And now he’s not just whistlin’ dixie, but singing it too. As is necessary in presenting this idyll as feasible, Vance Joy is handsome and “Riptide” is the sound I will always associate with running errands in suburbia.
[6]

Anthony Easton: It’s weird that Pfeiffer went from massive fame to a question mark, even absent from the erotics of nostalgia. This tired metaphor and exhausted indie jangle might only be worthwhile for reminding us how much she is missed.
[3]

Scott Mildenhall: This ain’t a movie — there’s no Michelle Pfeiffer — but in a scene straight out of a cult film about pretty American people in which nothing happens, the presence of a lookalike has reduced Vance Joy to a gibbering wreck, providing a ready-made excuse for the arrant nonsense much of it comprises. (“Left-hand man”? And he has the cheek to suggest she might struggle with words?) It’s fast enough to be sort of pleasant (jaunty is what it is) but, vapidity professing feeling, little more.
[5]

Katherine St Asaph: This fucking guy. Can you imagine if you were the girl in the song? “Sorry, I wouldn’t want to start a conversation, I wouldn’t want to take away your agency. I like you and all, but could you be a little more Pfeiffer-blonde? And sing a lot worse, or at least fumble a few of the words cutely while I strum this?”
[1]

Edward Okulicz: Ah this is the song from the advertisement for my health insurance provider I’ve been hearing for months, humming along to the “all my friends are turning green” bit a few times without ever suspecting it was a major hit single people talked about, all the while passing me by. That bit is a decent hook, but the rest of the song is kind of boring and overly precious (“the car won’t start!”), in much the same way as (ugh) Angus & Julia Stone’s ghastly poll-topper. “Riptide” nicely evokes both the coast and its proximal suburbs, so I can hear what’s attracted votes from Australian indie kids who’ve heard this driving to the beach with their friends and sung along. I’m also bewildered as to why people from far-off climes would want to download an awkward beta-male’s flailing in the thick of winter.
[5]

Brad Shoup: The fuck did the Michelle Pfeiffer line come from? I didn’t even realize how much oversharing was going on, focused as I was on the pukulele. But it’s the safe kind of oversharing, like if Elliott Smith got a lobotomy. If you’re not scared of dentists, I don’t wanna know you, man.
[2]

[Read, comment and vote on The Singles Jukebox ]

Angus & Julia Stone were the real winners of this year’s Hottest 100 because they’re no longer the holders of the title for “blandest winning entry”. When their song ‘Big Jet Plane’ came first in 2010’s list it did so by gliding past bigger songs thanks to its unobjectionable middle-of-the-road-ness – it was the kind of song a lot of people probably added to their votes at the last minute when filling out the ballot, but it’s hard to imagine it being the first song on anyone’s list. ‘Riptide’ is like ‘Big Jet Plane’ only more so, a ukulele ballad that is our nation’s Most Shazammed Song not because it’s beloved but because it’s forgettable. Half of those Shazams were probably from people who had already looked ‘Riptide’ up but completely forgot they’d done so, that’s how much of an inoffensive piece of plain white musical wallpaper it is.

[1]

Cite Arrow reblogged from thesinglesjukebox

plushestrumpest:

30secondstocalifornia:

wingscanspeak:

zorobro:

wingscannotspeak:

peetasboxers:

kissyourneck-slitmythroat:

I showed this post to my boyfriend and he tried to take his shirt off like a girl and 

uh

yeah

Out of the 82k notes my post got this is by far the best comment holy shit thank u for being u

So i tried it both ways and uh

i mean how do you do the first one without pulling out all your hair?

this made me laugh really hard….

and it made me realize that girls and boys pull their shirt off differently. /amazed

but seriously I think girls just do the cross arm thing because of HAIR like demonstrated 

So one year, one URL change, and a hair cut later, I decide to try again… FOR SCIENCE! 

Its not science unless you write it down so 

First method:

image
Well done, i guess…

Second:

image
I fucked up

Girls… how?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW WE CAN HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT WAYS OF TAKING OFF SHIRTS AND SO MUCH DIFFICULTY DOING IT THE OTHER WAY

Apparently I take my shirt off like a girl.

(Source: princessveroni)

Cite Arrow reblogged from onlylolgifs