Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Let It Go

Easy now, welcome to the 34th edition of what the Greeks called the “Chaviscum Tragicus” or to what is know to me and the other 5 or 6 people who read it as The Aldershot Woes. An indigestible capsule of festering ignorance and spazza grade literacy… today’s Woe: Let it go!

Like everybody my age I was born in the 80s, and like a lot of other people of varying ages, I remember them well(ish). 2 things which were part of my life in the 80s carried on way past them and in to the early 90s and beyond, one was an irritating cube of frustration which has bested me at every attempt since I first picked it up and the other was well, more of an oblong of frustration that bested me at every chance, I talk of the Rubik’s Cube and the NES.

In around 1987 we acquired a Rubik’s Cube from somewhere, probably a jumble sale and from then on it appeared to haunt my toy box, appearing at random intervals of my childhood to tease and frustrate me, at one point my brother did the trick of moving the stickers and making it seem as if he had completed it, but alas with in minutes it had been fiddled with and was back to being a conundrum block of misery again. I think finally one afternoon during a loft clean out or room tidy we finally destroyed the fiddly bastard which presented a moment of extreme joy but also one of complete sadness as I now knew that I would never complete the blasted thing, cest la vie… One far less annoying and far more brilliant piece of my childhood was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), my neighbour had one before me but a huge part of my life was spent playing Super Mario Brothers, Excitabike, Duck Hunt and the extremely awesome Donkey Kong. To this day I would argue till my last breath that the NES is the best console of them all, mainly because it has led to a generation of people who when faced with any technological problem simply take the offending article, blow it, and try again… if your heart surgeon is in his early thirties, beware!

But why am I boring the tits off of people prattling on about things I liked when I was kid, isn’t this all hideously self indulgent? Well yes it is but I am getting to my vague point. This week I have read 2 stories, one was how a group of mathematicians have crunched numbers to breaking point and found what they call “gods number” the number of moves in which you can complete a Rubik’s cube. They are sure that any Rubik’s cube, with it’s 20 billion-billion combinations can be completed in less than 20 moves… Bullsh!t I say… I know I’ve tried over 20 billion-billion combinations and never got more than a couple of sides done! But alas a group of grown men have spent 20 years compiling the data and they have found that 20 moves or less is all you need to do a Rubik’s Cube… we’re no closer to a cure for cancer but at least the fun has been taken out of the Rubik’s Cube. Yay science.

The other story which tickled my fancy was about a chap called Billy Mitchell from Hickville, America, although he looks like a hybrid of Joe Dirt and Napoleon Dynamite this guy has dedicated his life to Donkey Kong and achieving the world’s highest score (about 70 zillion) he has had an ongoing feuds with a couple of other arcade junkies, but he has overcome the odds and the repetitive strain injuries to earn the crown of “best at Donkey Kong”… the thing is this battle of his has been raging since the game came out in 1982.. Jesus, that’s nearly 30 years, back then I was but a squint in my father eye, 30 years is lifetime it really is and all for Donkey Kong… I just hope no one gets this guy a PS3 and Grand Theft Auto…

These uber dedicated fools and their 30 year crusades to dominate 80s pastimes has led me to think what other hapless mugs are we going to see crawling out the woodwork over the next few years? Are we going to hear about Li Fung Ching, the Chinaman who spent the last 13 years doing the longest Budweiser “Wasssssup” in history? Will we be regaling our office colleagues with the story of Tempest Bedfudge, the New Orleans grandmother with her 45 year old Tamagotchi. Will there be people coming out of the shadows for getting to level 17 billion of Worms on the Amiga 500? Will Nintendo be issuing long service medals and Arthritis medicine to anyone who can take Tetris to level 40,000? How long till we hear about groups of Magic-Eye enthusiasts all going blind, and how long till Suduko fans are all locked up as numbers have taken over their brains? Will we be hearing in 25 years tales of people who have NEVER left Facebook? People right now, that you know, could be embarking on 30 year Guitar Hero Battles that will end only in death (which lets hope comes swiftly)…

The most tragic thing is, this will happen, there are enough Fads and more than enough simpletons and obsessive compulsive savant autistics to make sure of it. So if you find your self unable to walk away from Call of Duty, if you still dig our you old Nokia and have a bash at Snake occasionally and if when you lay in bed at night and all you can think about is your top score on Wii Sports Bowling, please for the love of god, just let it go.



  1. Another gem, I hope you'll be doing this for the next thirty years, I will be eagerly awaiting them.......Oi, hang on!!!??!??

  2. Cheers Hman...

    i dunno about 30 years... surely the internet will be replaced by then, and teh written word will have been replaced with a series of flashing colours and smells beamed in to your brain or summat liek that... i dunno, perhaps techology will regress and we'll have to paint messages on horses and send them across the world to chat... i dunno nothink!

  3. Brightness mate. You're a fucking genius and a half. If you werent from Aldershot you'd be writing for Hollywood dude. But if you think them addicts are fools don't you think some of us be gon addicted to your blog? I mean the way you churn the shit out, and upping your game everytime is really getting me worried. It's like, 30 days now and i'm hooked........

  4. The written (or typed as it is today) word has made a massive come back due to the internet and text messaging, even the illiterate are having a go, just not to feel left out.

    Re best games console.

    For me it was the Atari, I know that it was probably a museum piece by the time the NES came out, which I also had (well my girlfriend at the time little brother did) but the Atari had the coolest of the Arcade games in Space Invaders, Missile Control and the game to kick all the other games butt, Asteroids. Later on it had Frogger (loved that) Pac Man (not my fav') and bogus but acceptable versions of Galaxians and Defender. Shame it never got around to Moon Cresta and Phoenix.

    There's the proof of a misspent yoof all summed up in one paragraph.

  5. DN^5

    No wonder we've got a crappy football team if this is what the kids have been upto since 1980.

  6. Remember playing Donkey Kong and Frogger (my two favourites) in pubs but never had NES or Atari - possibly as was 'too old' for them when they were brought out

    But and this will show the oldies on here, who remembers the first tennis TV game, in black & white, with just the two straight bats and 'square' ball?

  7. Blame Atari, Trott.

    According to them this is what a footy game looked like;

  8. BHB, I had one of those, it was called Grandstand. (or Pong)

  9. We did have a system before the NES my brother had a commodore c-16, it took cassetes and had ganes with awesome covers, but when you put them in they were often the same big block fires little block type things... highly additcive though... also the thing took a age to load teh casettes and it sounded like gravel in a tumble dryer...

    Thanks for the comments, really do appreciate it.. especially your monks... thats niceness right thier man!

    Hman... S to the N to the H to the five!

    been too long mi amigo...

  10. I remember the Commodre and it's predecessor the Vic 20, top o' the range shit. As mentioned on a previous Woe, I had the ZX Spectrum *POS , Jet Set Willy and Manic Mole where the ancestors of Super Mario.

    S wicky N wicky H wicky 5resh!!!

    *piece of shit

  11. An addiction to computer games is affecting the performance of some Premier League players, says a sports psychologist who has treated stars from several big clubs.
    Full story: Daily Star

    see, it's only true if it's in the Star

  12. Ahhh, Duckhunt on the NES, with that huge gun. Cracking game. I had a voice-controlled version of Trivial Pursuit on the Commodore 64 as well.
    C64: What is the capital of England?
    Me: London!
    C64: Pythagoras' Theorem? Incorrect.
    I never won that game.
    I have to say, that I thought the SuperNES was the coolest console ever with MarioKart and Street Fighter 2.

  13. RBA - another classic blog mate. Love em, keep em coming.

    We too had the grandstand two sticks moving up and down which was tennis....then slightly modfied was football and so on...

    My dad bought a ZX81 POS which he made in to this fucking big computer (2k memory) and it promptly blew up...

    He then bought the ZX Spectrum POS - What fun spending 10 mins (probably less but we were kids - 30 secs = 10mins) loading a game using that fucking tape recorder only to find it failed at the last minute.

    Sinclair QL was next (more of a business pc) but boring and shit.

    Commodore Amiga 500 next ........awesome! Kick Off is still the best football game i have played. It may not have the graphics etc but the games i used to have with my brother. Think we played the full match once and it ended something like 46-33.

    I think the reason why we look back with such fond memories is that they still needed some imagination to make them seem real....nowadays the games are sooo real its just sit back and watch.....bit like telly really.

    Saying that i am probably talking out my arse cause i dont have a ps3 or xbox, havent played a console for about 5 years or so.

  14. STGP, cheers fella, and dont worry this whole blog si dedicated to talking out yer arse... its my litterary ethos.

  15. a few years older than you so never had the NES..had this green, little bigger than a credit card size, hand-held "video game" with Donkey Kong Jr. on it...were obsessed with it for dad used to insist on playing it once a day to get to 300 points without losing a life and getting double points for those were the days..

    H2..I had a ZX Spectrum Plus on which we played space invaders..awesome awesome..

    super blog RBA..brought back a flood of memories...good stuff mate.

  16. Classy blog RBA! You're a gem.

    I was born in mid 80's and used to play a lot of brick games on my hand video game gifted on b'day. I still have it and play occasionally. I was introduced to computers only when I reached Class 9th and played a lot of Mario Bros and later on moved to Counter Strike. I have played all versions of EA Sports FIFA 02 to FIFA 10 games. I feel FIFA 05 version has been the toughest yet launched by EA.

    I think it's ones choice to remain addicted, passionate OR just let it go! I would do it for 30 years or 50 years as long as it gives me immense satisfaction at the end of the day.

  17. Cracking blog RBA

    I thought you were older (That's a compliment BTW). Best(most addictive) games from yesteryear were Toejam and Earl: Panic on Funkatron, Player Manager, Resident Evil,Doom on the PS1, Goldeneye and Command and Conquer.

    Sequels suck big time(welllllll, except Tomb Raider 2 which was pretty good).

    Beep klogging mate.