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Monday, July 30, 2007

Book Review: The Man With The Golden Gun

The Man With The Golden Gun was the last full length James Bond novel by author/ex-intelligence officer Ian Fleming, and by then, people had begun to think that the Bond novels had lost their "zazz" due to the changing political climate. No longer were Bond's somewhat sexist attitude to women and racist attitude to non-white people considered as acceptable by readers, possibly influenced by the rise of Feminism, and the American Civil Rights movement.

But still, The Man With The Golden Gun stands as the second last Bond adventure, a Jamaican caper involving a man with a gold plated Colt .45 who is working to sabotage Jamaican crops and make profits off non-existant real estate there. It was also the first Bond novel I had ever read, making it a special introduction to 007's world.

It may not please everybody, but it will please most spy thriller enthusiasts. I give this 8 out of 10 "007 Symbols".

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Small Worlds: A Miscellany

This is my first published book of short stories and poems. It features much of my material that I wrote starting out as an author.

I can't figure out how to put it on, so online purchasers will have to wait for that.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I got a Lulu account is a self publishing site for young authors who are starting out. They also help musicians post downloads of their songs.

I posted my composition, "Microsoft Mixdown", a song made out of Microsoft sounds, on the site with ease.

If you think this post is about spamming for my music career, it's not. It's so much more.

I want to get the word out about this site so that young authors and musicians like me can get a good start in life creatively.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Curses! My Harry Potter 7 has been confiscated!

My mother has confiscated my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows copy because I apparently need to study for my HSC trials. As if having to live with the HSC isn't bad enough, a source of joy and refuge for me has been taken away.

Send your messages of support in the comments page.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

I got my Harry Potter 7 copy!

Book Review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" coming soon, I still have to read a lot of it.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

1980s YouTube Music Video Extravaganza!

Here's a few 1980s Music Video Clips:

Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name"

Poison's "Nothin' But A Good Time"

Phil Collin's "Another Day In Paradise"

Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing"

Enjoy the memories!

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

500 Hits!

We're now aiming for 1000 hits for this blog.

Also, the comments pages are pretty empty right now, and I think I need to get rid of the tumbleweed.

500 hits is a great achievement, hopefully as more things get posted, the blog's comment pages and content variety will grow.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I passed CML

I passed the Moore College Christian Ministry and Leadership exam, with a 50% mark. For me, this is a big acheivement.

I was really surprised when I found out that I passed, because I actually disagree with much of Moore College's theology, and with that, in the question where I was asked about "The main message of Revelation" I wrote "God is a meanie and will smite you".

Nonetheless, I passed, despite theological depression at the time of taking the exam, and I couldn't be happier.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter Ending Spoilers on YTMND! is usually a good site, but now they've plastered the ending to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows onto the homepage. This could provoke homicide rates of YTMND-makers. Do not visit this site until you have read Deathly Hallows, even if you are a regular YTMND visitor, if you do not want the ending spoiled for you. I accidentally got the ending revealed to me, however this did not "ruin" my desire to read the book. But, Harry Potter fans are a murderous lot in terms of spoilers, so please, do not spoil the ending to those who do not want it revealed to them. That is all.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

YouTube Videos: 18/7/07

Just so you don't think I have a political bias, which I might well have entrenched by years of private school education in an anti-establishment environment, here's a satire of Kevin Rudd, the man John Howard is up against. We need to get rid of Howard, and I'll admit I am biased towards that, however is Kevin Rudd the best Prime Minister that Australia deserves?

Here's something definitely not political, to balance out the readership of this blog. It's "The Kitty Cat Dance".

Another video in the "Dancing Cat Genre", set to "Everybody Dance Now".

This is an episode of "Dylan's Couch" which is funny.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

News: July 18 2007

Even a luddite like John Howard should know that he could conceivably get involved in flame wars on the Internet and YouTube, he already got involved in an unnecessary real war in Iraq, don't feel too sorry for Howard though, he probably has L337 Soldiers trained in the battlefields of Counter-Strike Source to combat the "threat" of free speech.

Spoilers only belong on Rally Cars, not on the internet where unsuspecting people can unwillingly get the last Harry Potter book ruined for them! Forshame!

Here's the Labor Party's response to John Howard's YouTube debut.

As you can see, this has features that are distinctive as a Labor Party ad, the same narrator seems to have been used for the voice-over, and John Howard is depicted in a bad way. This does not mean I do not agree with the ad, personally I think it's clever, as this is the first Labor ad I've ever seen depicting Howard as sleeping, compared to the usual sendup of Howard's "Who Do You Trust" catch-cry shown with his nose growing longer.

I'm just explaining this for non-Aussie readers of this blog so that they can understand the context of this ad, so that they can get a good picture of what an Aussie political ad is like.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

On the Matter of Harry Potter and Witchcraft

Now a lot of people will complain about Harry Potter "turning children into wizards and witches", but what we should be asking is: If this effect happens, which books of magic are suitable for children?

Christian theology teaches that all magic is bad, however, people such as Alchemists disagree.

But which arcane tomes are appropriate for your child?

Clearly, the Necronomicon that H.P. Lovecraft made famous, is not suitable for anybody, as it makes people insane upon reading a mere passage. Also, illustrations contained in the Necronomicon would easily traumatise children.

Neither are magic books by Alestier Crowley suitable for children, as these involve rites that the average 10 year old shouldn't be exposed to.

If there must be boy wizards in this world, suitable educational spellbooks must be printed that are appropriate for mortal minds, leaving out unfathomable horrors and summoning of fiends.

But in all seriousness, Harry Potter was not designed to be a How-To: Be A Wizard or Witch, it was designed as a simple Children's story in the form of a metamyth, which was meant to give children the joy of imagination and reading back. It wasn't designed to recruit for Satan's/Cthulhu's/Dagon's/Yog-Sothoth's armies.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

More Educational Ranting

Underfunding of Public Education is also a big problem with the Education system. This is another head of the Education Hydra that needs to be cut off.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Who woulda thunk it? School Testing Is Bad for Students

*Warning: Controversial Political Statement Ahead*

Damn right testing reduces learning. Us students, speaking as a teenager myself, are plagued with exam preparation that takes away time from the actual cirriculum. What we need is more emphasis on the things that need to be learned at school, half of school is about the tests now, and it needs to be stopped. The problem is also in the tests themselves, not just because of the stress levels and pressure associated with them, but the questions are often worded badly and try to trick you.

The 90's was a golden age for students, it was a time when you could read a book for English and be tested on the themes of the text and what you thought of it rather than the language forms and features that clutter the curriculum now. In Australia, Julie Bishop is only one head on the Hydra of the Department of Education, and we need a Hercules to kill it.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Weird News: July 16 2007

They complain about this, and rightly so, but isn't the Big Brother house just as much a Human Zoo of unethical foundations? I'd feel safer in the Animal Zoo, but one must respect the feelings of the Pygmy musicians involved in this.

He's no Buffy the Peacock Slayer. This man is just the real monster for attacking a defenseless bird while claiming it's a Vampire.

I first heard about this on Neil Gaiman's blog, but this was too good to ignore when I saw it on the Sydney Morning Herald site... LOL Badgers...

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is the latest in the franchise of boy-wizard related cinema, and it pleases well. Surprisingly not really scary, but easy to explain to children, it serves as good entertainment for older kids.

Our generation of kiddies is built out of tougher stuff than to be afeared of even the evil Voldemort's sinister appearance in renewed form for the second time in the franchise, frankly I was baffled to notice that none of the juniors in the cinema I saw this in were afraid at all. Perhaps, like Harry Potter, they've learned that even a Dark Lord whose name must not be mentioned can be overcome by courage.

The latest Potter offering will please fans, that is, most of them. Gone are the Quidditch scenes, Hagrid and Dumbeldore are barely present in the movie, however we now get a villain that is far scarier that Old Mouldy-Voldymort ever was, the Margaret Thatcher/Queen Victoria like Dolores Umbridge. This ice queen makes Harry Potter's nemesis whimper in comparison, with cold, old fashioned ways that patronise every one of her students, much satire of the education system is made in her character, and the actress who plays her does a superb job at it.

The pace of this film rushes through the lengthy source material's plot, but in the end you're too entertained by the Weasley Brothers antics and Dumbeldore's Army to care.

Like the film's characters, the fans are growing up, and as we are reminded of what Harry has to face by this movie, you can better appreciate what Harry's ultimate destiny is, Neither Harry nor Voldemort can live while the other survives, as the prophecy goes. A perfect lead up to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book.

I give this film Eight "Harry Potter Spectacles" out of Ten.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Theatre Review: Men At Arms

Tonight I went out with my mate Glenn to see a production of a play called Men At Arms, based on a book in the Discworld series that I love so much. Two Nerds couldn't have had a better night out.

Men at Arms (the play) contains much of the humor of Terry Pratchett's book, with puns, satire, and general craziness that makes the Discworld such a rich environment.

The plot is this, the City Watch have to solve a series of murders, a problem when The Patrician of the city has legalized a certain amount of crime annually through Guilds, even a Thieves Guild exists, because if you have to have crime, it might as well be organized crime...

Alan Moore used a quote from a Roman satire in his graphic novel, Watchmen, which was: "Who Watches the Watchmen?". The Watchmen in Men At Arms may not be too morally corrupt, even the seedy looking Nobby has some good qualities, despite his habit of stealing boots off dead people, but questions are raised about those with authority under the law and the apprending of criminals (there's an "excessive force" joke in it).

The costumes in this production were convincing, and had a lot of charm. Turns out University students can act. Even the puppet "Gaspode the Dog" was convincing as an animal.

The highlight of the play is the appearances of Death, a well loved character in Discworld, in this production, the actor and the special effects to make his eyes glow blue were top notch.

I give this play Nine "Police Badges" out of Ten, with one taken off because it was Three Hours Long or more, but the play needed this length to do justice to the original book. Plus no production's perfect, even superb ones.

Friday, July 13, 2007

New News 14 July 2007

I bet the Ku Klux Klan are the ones stocking up big on "Tintin in the Congo"...

If we can learn to forget, what if we forget to remember what to forget?

I liked it better when The Simpsons were in a town you couldn't visit, but it seemed not so far away... still, now Vermont will get tourist money.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Movie Review: Transformers (2007)

There are a few movies that have defined the cinematic experience of our generation. Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Venus (Starring Peter O'Toole), The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (the recent Disney film), the Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy, the Shrek films, as well as Harry Potter's many celluloid outings (Casino Royale and The Departed get honourable mentions).

Now, there is also, a few movies that have defined the experience of the adolescent male in recent years. 300, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and the Scary Movie franchise, build the foundations of the young man who lives through the Twenty First Century. Knocked Up, I've heard, may well join these hallowed ranks, but I have not seen that yet, but I have seen a different film, which is guaranteed to please the average Joe, jock, and Y chromosomed person of this age.

This film, is Transformers. I'm not talking about the "Transformers Movie" which was animated and released somewhere in the 1980s as I understand it, but I'm talking about the 2007 release, which is in cinemas now, anticipated for a long time.

Depending on what you expect, you may or may not be disappointed.

If you came expecting Shakespearean quality dialogue, and Oscar-winning acting (though it was quite well acted) you will be disappointed.

But if you simply came to be entertained, and riveted by the antics of "Robots in Disguise", you will not be disappointed and will love this film.

Purists of the original cartoon show who liked the original designs for the Transformer Robots, may not like the new look that these giant machines get in this movie, but I felt like I could deal with shiny new Autobots and Decepticons.

The plot is this, the Autobots (the good guys) have been battling the Decepticons (the bad guys) for eons, and now their battle comes to Earth.

This film is at times, inintentionally hilarious, and far from being detrimental to the movie, it adds to it significantly. I dare you to keep a straight face when Optimus Prime says to his Autobot comrade who looks like he is urinating machine fluid on an FBI agent: "Bumblebee, stop lubricating that man". I will not go into the double entendres this presents.

The intentionally funny jokes deliver laughs, good ones at that, which is just as well, as without the humor, intentional or otherwise, this is a very serious film, sort of... but the creme de la creme of the jokes is when the main protagonist's parents catch their son with the door locked, when he is merely trying to hide the Autobots from them. This leads to some "Oh no she didn't" hysterical chuckling. I won't spoil the surprise for you. If I already said too much, let spoilers be spoilers and move on with your life.

I give this film Eight "Autobot Logos" out of Ten.

Theatre Review: Keating! The Musical We Had To Have

Keating! (Yes the title has a ! like Oklahoma! does) is a musical about the Australian politician Paul Keating, and it is a fine musical indeed.

The message behind this song-and-dance journey through Keating's political career is that it is the voters, not the politicians, who decide who stays in the top job of the Prime Minister of Australia, and that John Howard's reign over us for so long has made us afraid to accept any real change to policy by the government. Paul Keating was a visionary who looked to the future, John Howard, was, and still is, looking to the past to make it the same as it was before Keating's reforms.

The songs are memorable, featuring Paul Keating in a tap dance, Alexander Downer in fishnets (a reference to Alexander Downer's participation in a "guess who's legs" competition while wearing a fishnet stocking, opening him to ridicule), Cheryl Kernot's duet with her lover she had an affair with, and a tribute to the Mabo Decision.

Paul Keating's style of politics is depicted in creative ways. The insults he gave the Opposition take the form of a political rap battle, and his charm is shown in him shaking hands with the audience as the Opposition Leaders try to distract their attention.

I give this musical 10 out of 10. It deserves it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Working on my Art

My Art project is coming along, I'll try to put up some pics when it's done.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Working on a Play

I'm writing a Play. Also editing my first book.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Weird News Stories 3/July/07

This is an outrage. Gender is a relative concept nowadays, you need to be careful about the needs of others.

Executions have gotten less deadly already? Surely something must be done!

You could seriously get some decent rent from owning Dracula's Castle, or turn it into a hotel! Too bad the locals don't want that, but you could use it as a museum, or even a bachelor pad...

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Thanks Again for Your Support

Thank you again for your support, 304 hits is a big acheivement for an emerging blog like this.

This time, I'm aiming to get 500 hits, so tell your friends about this blog.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to get some comments, so I can improve this space better and use it efficiently with your help.

Sincerely, Jacob Martin, TeenAuthor.