Saturday Morning Brain Drain [17/12/22]

Image via TV Insider

What I Watched: The Peripheral – recommended by many on this site, for good reason. You should watch it. Here is a good review from The Guardian, and here is part of a review from The Verge:

Of all William Gibson’s books — most of which are considered unadaptable for so many reasons — The Peripheral is arguably the most well-suited to the screen as a series. On its face, the 2014 novel comes ready to go with a compelling tale-of-two-worlds premise: rural, small-town America meets a post-apocalyptic, nanotech-fueled London that follows the god-given European tradition of seeking to colonize anything with a profitable heartbeat. It’s got ordinary people getting mixed up in powerful secrets, recognizable near-future technology, and a trademark barrage of Gibsononian terminology — klepts, polts, neoprims — that you pick up along the way from context and extrapolation. The book is considered one of Gibson’s more accessible and engaging works; sure, some of it hasn’t “held up” well over the years, but (and this is a hill I will die on) cyberpunk and its offshoots aren’t genres meant to age like fine wines.

Trailer One

Trailer Two

 What I Read: Posthumous Education, the latest in Drew Hayes’ vampire accountant series. It is well worth starting with book one, although this is book eight. “Much like accountants, fey never forget a debt. Just as Fred is settling down in his new abode, he receives word that a favor is being called in, one he promised to a dangerously powerful member of otherworldly royalty. Bracing for danger, adventure, and unknown threats, Fred is instead asked to take on an entirely different role than anticipated. Acting as interim professor at one of the few universities for supernatural entities, Fred will have to navigate a strange environment, eccentric co-workers, and unenthusiastic students. Yet that alone won’t be enough, for this college has more history than the tales in its tomes.

What I Listened To: Liz Lawrence – California Screaming; Wunderhorse – Leader Of The Pack (@Hannibal); Amy Root – The Knot; and Kacey Musgraves – Slow Burn.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearest DeadSplinterites? What’s new in your world, darling ones?

About Elliecoo 459 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. My week has been so damn busy that all I’ve been doing is watching YT videos on playing CRAPs and Crypto/Crypto fraud which seems to be the same thing (at least you can make money playing Craps.)

    The reason I’m learning to throw them bones is my friend in Cali recommended me to play as it’s basically straight up statistics and with a few “strategies” you can reduce the house edge to almost 0% (but getting there isn’t easy.) Why? I like the intellectual challenge.

    As for Crypto… well, I’m just curious how these guys played alleged not stupid fools like the Shark Tank/Wank’s Kevin O’Leary. You’d figure a scammer like O’Leary would know a scam when he sees one (cough The Learning Company cough) but he’s shown there is no fool like a bald old fool.*

    *I saw his early rise on Canada City TV as a loud mouthed asshole** on the Globe and Mail’s Business News channel.

    **like all alleged billionaires (he’s not) do to waste their time in this case playing stock analyst on Canadian TV.

  2. I watched Amazon Prime’s heavily promoted comedy The People We Hate At The Wedding. I liked it, because it’s fairly mindless and low-stakes and they get some good jokes in. Plus Allison Janney is the Mom of three children (by two different fathers; one gets married and the drama with the two step-siblings provides the plot.) Oh, and you know who else is in it is Ted the hot veterinarian from Schitt’s Creek, whatever his name is. Did you know the actor’s from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories? I googled this while watching because the moment he appeared on the screen I thought, “I know that actor, he played someone’s boyfriend…” My God. That must have been quite a journey, to Hollywood, via Toronto I suppose.

    Anyway, it’s also kind of a love letter to London, where the rich bride lives, so you see her graceful townhouse on one of London’s smart “crescent” streets and there are some nice upscale interiors. It being 2022 the bride is biracial, through Allison Janney’s first husband, and the white son/step-sibling, through the second husband, is gay (where the best jokes come from) and his boyfriend is South Asian, Indian I’m guessing but it never comes up, it just is. The main character, really, is the daughter, Kristen Bell, sister of the gay one and step-sister of the rich biracial one, and she gets off a lot of funny lines.

    Totally worth it, IMHO, if you already have a Prime subscription and want to escape the madness for a couple of hours.


    • @MatthewCrawley Your review is spot-on. I liked the scenery best. There were no witches, wizards, sci-fi themes, murders, or detectives who always make bad decisions, so not totally my cup of tea.

      BUT: The new season of Midsomer Murders has started to drop!🎉

  3. What I watched:  Anthropoid, a 2016 film about the mission to assassinate General Reinhard Heyrich, who was the primary developer of the Final Solution.  The movie was pretty good, a little slow in places, but well acted and written.  It’s a rough watch though, so if you have sensitive eyeballs you may want to skip it.

    What I listened to:  This week’s stop on the best engineered albums of all time brings us to Thud by Kevin Gilbert.  I’ve played tracks by him before on various DUANs, so you may be familiar with him there–but mostly he’s been forgotten by the general populace.  This album, however, is a fucking masterpiece.  Released in 1995, Gilbert was also the producer and engineer, played most of the instruments, and boy howdy could this guy get great sound.  The depth of the bass frequencies, without being muddy, the clarity of the treble, without being screechy, and the punchiness of the midrange, without that godawful honk.  It’s all here in glorious splendor.  Probably the most interesting aspect of this album for me is the fact this is a classic case of how the user is ultimately more important than the tools.  The album was recorded using mostly analog gear, on analog tape, in a home studio.  This wasn’t cut at a world-class room in the English countryside, but at his fucking house in Pasadena.

    To be clear, Kevin didn’t just come out of nowhere.  He’d had a significant career on the producing/engineering/songwriting side for several years before putting out Thud.  He’d worked with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Julian Lennon, Sheryl Crow, and–my personal favorite–was Dr. Teeth’s keyboards in “The Muppets Take Manhattan.”  Gilbert, along with others, wound up having a pretty bad public beef with Crow because of the way she basically threw all of her collaborators, who helped her make her debut album, under the bus.  Gilbert was the primary songwriter and played several instruments on that album, but when Crow was on her promotional interview tour, she claimed to have done most of the songwriting and general creation of the album herself.  Personally, I hated that album because I couldn’t get past Crow’s voice.  She’s got a tone that can cut through steel.

    Anyway, Gilbert was unapologetically “radio hostile”, and this album shows that quite clearly.  It’s not exactly loaded with pop hits, but damn are the songs complex and the recordings beautiful.  Get the best pair of headphones you can find and listen to this album.  Then, listen to it again with your eyes closed.

    Unfortunately, this would be the last solo album he would put out before he died a rather humiliating death, joining the ranks of people like David Carradine and Michael Hutchence.  But, there is a hard core of fans of his work, and dedicated people who knew him that have released other works by Kevin that had never previously been released.  His stuff is good–if a bit inaccessible–and I would recommend this album in particular to anyone.


  4. Another round of good tunes @Elliecoo, I especially liked the Liz Lawrence.

    I also watched The Peripheral and agree it’s a good watch. And I started Welcome To Chippendales. The only thing I knew about the whole Chippendales phenomenon was the SNL skit with Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley. I had no idea that Dorothy Stratton and Paul Snider were involved or that there was a true crime story. Murder is implied, I’m deliberately not Googling to avoid spoilers. I highly recommend it, you’ve never seen Kumail Nanjiani like this.

    I read The Devil Takes You Home by Gambino Iglesias. It’s a thriller, part of a genre known as barrio noir. And it is heavy on the noir. Mario, a young Puerto Rican American, loses his daughter and enters a life of crime to pay off the enormous medical debt. The violence is graphic and includes torture and ritual abuse. And behind it, the harm done in the name of religion, the evils of drug trafficking, racism, and America’s terrible health care system. There is a lot of Spanish in it, some of it not translated but you can get what is implied. It’s not for everyone but I found it compelling.

    I’ve been listening to the latest Daine Coffee LP, With People. It came out in the spring but for whatever reason, I only picked up on it a couple of weeks ago.

    The Great Escape


  5. Watched: Final episode of White Lotus.  Not the way I expected it to end but what a great show.  Can’t wait to see next season.  Sorry @MatthewCrawley if it didn’t end the way you wanted.

    Reading: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.  Like all Sedaris books, it is funny and relatable.  Also, since my daughters are back and serious foodies, I got this book at the library so we can have a dumpling party!

    Listening to:  Back to my ska obsession!


    • White Lotus! I totally forgot. Yes, I watched the finale too, the moment it appeared. I was not disappointed in the ending, quite the opposite, and I really appreciated how throughout the entire episode you kept thinking, without giving any spoilers away, “Could it be him? Or him? Or her? Or him and her?”

      I also need to observe that the genius creator of this show Mike White, its writer, director, and producer, is self-described as openly bisexual and has also described himself as “gayish.” I wonder what his live-in boyfriend thinks about that.

      Not only that, but his father, Mel White, was a notorious and virulent Evangelical pastor and highly trained in the dark arts of mass communication and propaganda. He was also a self-loathing gay man and spent years or decades trying to cure himself. Until one day he fell in love with a man, did a 180, and is now (he’s still alive) totally into the whole gay thing. Sort of like how David Brock went from being this right-wing loon to becoming a left-wing (well, centrist Democrat) deranged pit bull.

      This is all prologue to celebrate the fact that in White Lotus, season 2, over the course of its seven short episodes, you see SO MUCH male nudity. There are two penises (penes? I should know this), one a prosthetic, sadly, but one definitely not, and the bare asses of seven male characters, including a lovely, lingering shot of one of the characters asleep, face down, sheet cast aside. By contrast, the female nudity is kept to an absolute minimum, to the point where you are meant to believe that all women sleep with their partners while wearing tank tops and T-shirts.

      Also, there’s a very minor character who is what a French Gene Wilder would look like.

      10/10, will watch again, probably bingeing the entire series tomorrow. There are so many quick, subtle things I didn’t pick up on during the first run-through, but now know about from my obsessive study of episode recaps.

      • @matthewcrawley Was one of them penii Mr. Pamuk’s!?! I watched all of The Timetraveler’s Wife only to spot it for a slippy second while he violently fell down the stairs. Though the show did feature the rest of his body quite often and inexplicably oily from time traveling.

        • I did not realize Theo James was Mr. Pamuk! That’s most excellent.











          In one scene, the very first episode I think, his character goes back with his “best friend”‘s wife (played by the incomparable Aubrey Plaza) to borrow a swimsuit of his best friend’s. While Aubrey is looking into the bathroom mirror she sees Mr. Pamuk changing behind her right then and there. He is in profile so you see his butt in profile and then he lifts his leg to get into the swimsuit and you see the prosthesis dangling below his thigh. Not since the “Poseidon” overturned in the Med have I been given such a sense of vertigo.

  6. …there seems to be a new thing netflix is keen that I watch called “the recruit”…&…I’m probably going to give in & watch it…it looks like it might be a bit like patriot…which I liked enough to probably say something about me that I maybe ought to be concerned about…either way newbie CIA lawyer gets way over his head in conjunction with an ex-undisclosed-asset threatening to divulge state secrets if not sprung from prison (for a murder charge)…with at least occasional laughs?

    …also…might not be everybody’s cup of tea but there’s a movie called “troll”…pretty sure it would appeal to @farscythe …but possibly to a few more of you folks…moderately daft but fun?

  7. i watched warriors of future

    it has a ridiculous premise,paper thin plot and is 90% shot in hyperactive shaky cam cgi….its also remarkably hard to follow for a movie with a plot you could write on a napkin

    and despite all that it was fun….its not good…or smart…and its probably the only movie ive ever seent that actually has framerate drops in places… know…if dumb none stop action is your thing…or you are high as a kite…i’d recommend it


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