JmeWhyte

a convenient place for excess thoughts

The Returned succumbs to second season bunkum

Adele likes having sex with zombies, kinkyWaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­h­hhh you know what is not cool? Lazy cliffhanger end­ings. Hello Home­land and your bomb didn’t detenoate bull­shit; Game of Thrones’ two and a half sea­sons of noth­ing ever fuxxing resolves. It’s such a lame device used it in hor­ror all the time: the ten­sion builds and builds until the reveal of what the baddie/evil is, and then you’re like hmmmm acto, this is the same kind of bull­shit again and again.

The Returned is the same — eight episodes of mmmmm this is intrigu­ing, where is this going, the slow build and you’re dying for the pay off and then the dis­ap­point­ment as an extra serv­ing of weak­sauce is ladled on the final scene leav­ing us hang­ing until sea­son two. Wtf lazy lazy bastids.

The execs obvi­ously want to keep this going but why not employ the writ­ers, pro­duc­ers and crew on a new project/story, even if you can’t turn it around as quick.

The sec­ond sea­son will never be as dra­matic as the first because it loses the nov­elty; the slow pace for­given because the story is orig­i­nal and the premise inter­est­ing. It’ll be very dif­fi­cult to main­tain this again — plus the town/dam sce­nario is played out so they have a prob­lem of where to set it and what the anchor will be.

Bet­ter to have just wrapped up the story and gone out on a one sea­son high then drag it out to inevitable dilu­tion — again Home­land is the most recent strik­ing exam­ple of this. Ho hum… shame.

PS: Vic­tor, you creepy angel of death

Despicable Me 2 and date rape?!

Halfway through Despi­ca­ble Me 2, our hero Gru ends up on a date with a bimbo, Shan­non. She gets drugged by the hero’s even­tual love inter­est, Lucy who says, “I guess we should take her home.” They then take her slack body out, make her wave to a cop that she’s ok, and stick her on the roof of their car trussed up face down ass up for the ride home.

Then when they get home, they brake hard and she plum­mets for­ward into another car and ends up legs akimbo upside down. Lucy then says she’s used the drug on a few dates and in the back­ground Shan­non is in the down­ward dog position.

Pretty odd Easter Egg and cer­tainly flew over all the kids in the the­atre. Pretty out there even for the long his­tory of adult ref­er­ences in animation.

The night doesn't end well for her

*Spoilers* Man of Steel Observations *Spoilers*

Please don’t read this unless you’ve seen Man of Steel.

Jesus Christ Superstarman

Jesus Christ Superstarman

Super­man is almost an impos­si­ble story to tell and I’m not quite sure why peo­ple keep try­ing. He can’t be harmed and his one weak­ness is laugh­able. At least the film got it right by leav­ing out all men­tions of Kryp­tonite, but then how do you keep the ten­sion up? In many other sto­ries, you’d sim­ply harm the ones that the hero cares about but Super­man has so few canon­i­cal char­ac­ters that none of them can be sac­ri­ficed with­out severely impact­ing the story. Martha and Lois aren’t going any­where, so then you’re left with only one other option – sav­ing humanity.

This is where the film got a lit­tle weird for me. Rus­sell Crowe spends quite a lot of time telling Supe to be some kind of benev­o­lent despot cum Jesus fig­ure that can show human­ity the way and align the best of two cul­tures. Thing is Kryp­ton is depicted as some oddly North Korean like war­rior expan­sion­ist soci­ety which Crowe seems to pro­mote minus geno­cide – align­ing cul­tures would essen­tially mean Supe fuxxing his way through three bil­lion ladies.

There were also clear nods to faith – a poorly scripted church advice scene, Supe turn­ing the other cheek on numer­ous occa­sions and also help­ing those that wronged him. All of which is cool and all, but Guardian Angel sto­ries are lame when TV series, more so in films. The final Matrix, for all its faults, got the supreme being right – the love story with Trin­ity, her death spurring him on; Django and Kill Bill also got the revenge plot spot-on. The issue with Man of Steel is its lack of tension.

Cookie-cutter bad guy

Cookie-cutter bad guy

The final bat­tle scene could seem­ingly have gone on for­ever, the two con­tin­u­ally smash­ing one another into build­ings ad infini­tum. While Zod’s rai­son d’ être was great, it unfor­tu­nately left him utterly one-dimensional. A bet­ter con­struct would have been for Zod and Supe to argue out their ide­olo­gies and/or at least set up a Mex­i­can stand-off. The one lit­tle bit of ten­sion with Zod’s laser beams does beg the ques­tions why those few peo­ple mat­ter when the destruc­tion before would have surely killed thou­sands? The neck snap was also a strange way to end, even if Supe’s ensu­ing real­i­sa­tion of iso­la­tion was well portrayed.

The film did get a lot right and the ori­gin story was well han­dled espe­cially for audi­ences that had lived through the Christo­pher Reeve orig­i­nal and Lois & Clark – take note The Amaz­ing Spi­der­man. Other great plot choices were the com­plete elim­i­na­tion of the Clark/Supe reporter stu­pid­ity, the omis­sion of Lex and a great dream sequence.

Yet the­mat­i­cally the film was a lit­tle cloudy. Aside from the Chris­t­ian aspects the truly pecu­liar end scene where Supe knocks out a drone and is asked about whether he has America’s inter­ests at heart is com­pletely redun­dant. Was this some kind of dig at the drone pro­gramme and other civil lib­er­ties? Let’s not for­get the Wik­ileaks Julian Assange cameo. All a lit­tle sur­face level and lack­ing clarity.

Redundant

Redun­dant

So to end, a lit­tle about what the film got crit­i­cally wrong –Lois. I reckon about 90% of the scenes she’s involved in make no sense for her to be there at all. “We want to take her on board our ship” – for no rea­son at all, that made no sense.

Why is she on the Her­cules plane at the end too – “It’s up to you and Hamil­ton now” – when her job was to insert a key? I pre­sume that her parts were cut down, includ­ing her dream sequence (and how Zod got in their heads). It’s a shame Hol­ly­wood con­tin­ues to cre­ate female char­ac­ters that are unde­vel­oped and have point­less sto­ry­lines and dia­logue – that last moment where the female sol­dier tit­ters at Supe’s hot­ness, lame.

I guess Zack Syn­der and Christo­pher Nolan made the most of what they had, but it does seem that crack­ing a cred­i­ble Super­man story is yet to be done.

Sometimes it’s nice to be asleep

I met some­one who told me some­thing and now I can’t get it out of my head. At all. It colours every­thing I do, every­thing I think about. When I’m at work, I’m think­ing about it, when I’m out with friends, it con­tin­ues to con­sume me. I used to think about it, a long time ago, then life got in the way. Being reminded of it now has made it inescapable. Maybe it’s about belong­ing, maybe it’s about oppor­tu­ni­ties missed, a sense of iner­tia or maybe it’s symp­to­matic of some­thing deeper, frus­tra­tion of life, get­ting older, the staid nature of things. Either way, I’m not sure what to do -

And then I read Camus’ Stranger.

And, on a wide view, I could see that it makes lit­tle dif­fer­ence whether one dies at the age of thirty or three­score and ten– since, in either case, other men will con­tinue liv­ing, the world will go on as before. Also, whether I died now or forty years hence, this busi­ness of dying had to be got through, inevitably.”

So I now have about 40 years to ummm…

I had lived my life one way and I could just as well lived it another. I had done this and I hadn’t done that. I hadn’t done this thing and I had done another. And so?”

I guess there’s still time to change, find some kind of pur­pose or res­o­lu­tion. Either way, I’ll never see things as I once did.

The disappointing ending of Dishonored, alterate offered

havelockThere is some­thing amiss about the end­ing of Dis­hon­ored. After being dou­ble (dou­ble?) crossed, you stealth up to face those that wronged you, ready for a bat­tle, only to find that Have­lock has killed every­one involved with the con­spir­acy. There was no final bat­tle, no last hur­rah, noth­ing. Just res­ig­na­tion from Have­lock for his actions echo­ing the end­ing of Macbeth.

Before I reached the final room, know­ing that the end of the game was near, I skirted up and around the con­ser­va­tory and found another build­ing. It looked like an area where you would retreat to fol­low­ing the last bat­tle, over­whelmed by loy­al­ist sol­diers with only a plat­form left to make a last stand. I imag­ined that Corvo and Emily would make some last pact and leap to their fates, with the thought that Samuel might be able to fish them out – would have made a nice last scene, Samuel row­ing and reach­ing into the water.

dishonored lighthouse

Any­way, back to the true end­ing, it really seemed like a missed oppor­tu­nity. Through­out the game I’d cho­sen the non-lethal option for each of the tar­gets. At one point when you have to get your gear back, you find Camp­bell con­sumed by the plague left to rot in a base­ment. Here I thought the game was giv­ing me a choice, one last chance to assas­si­nate him. It was at this point, that the game was test­ing me – did I really want to let this guy live, the orig­i­na­tor of Corvo’s cur­rent circumstance.

It was here that I thought another twist was afoot. The rather obvi­ous twist that Havelock/Pendleton/Martin would betray you was clear as day from miles out. But here I thought the writ­ers were ready­ing another plot twist that would have made an inter­est­ing alter­nate end­ing. Since these loy­al­ists were the only ones that told you who to kill, there was no way of con­firm­ing Camp­bell and co.’s guilt. Thus if you let the sup­posed bad guys live through non-lethal mis­sion com­ple­tion , at the very end of the game they would all return and assist you in estab­lish­ing a new régime.

I realise this would mean that Have­lock would have had to have enlisted Daud to assas­si­nate the Empress but it could have worked. As it was, the fact that you can sim­ply pick up a key from a table and open a door to end the game was disappointing.

The world the devel­op­ers cre­ated was bril­liant, I love the way that each mis­sion had a myr­iad of solu­tions, the whole back­story about whal­ing, the harsh soci­ety in which they live, the plague and the author­i­tar­ian land­scape. The mys­ti­cism was also great, though those bizarre husks that shoot acid at you make no sense, and nei­ther really did Granny Rags.

emily dishonoredI won­der if we’ll ever find out about whether any alter­nate end­ings were devel­oped as the one offered just wasn’t pow­er­ful enough. Given you’re this supremely pow­er­ful assas­sin, surely you should be the one to exact vengeance to all involved, not just Have­lock. Plus, once you have Emily, you’re still locked on an island where every­one is on the look­out for you – it was like a freeze frame movie end­ing… dull.

— turns out this is the low chaos end­ing, and that area men­tioned above was in use for the higher ver­sions. guess i’ll have to play through again! —

Idea for a new national lottery

So this is an idea I’ve had for an age — it involves the redis­tri­b­u­tion of the nation’s wealth through a weekly lot­tery. The idea is that each tax­payer is charged £1 per week for the chance to become a mil­lion­aire. In the UK, there are about 30 mil­lion tax­pay­ers and so each week we could cre­ate 30 mil­lion­aires — mean­ing 1,560 mil­lion­aies per year.

If you win you drop out of the lot­tery, if you stop pay­ing tax, you drop out of the lottery.The gov­ern­ment pays no money into this fund — but per­haps they could throw in a few incen­tives — addi­tional prize money, tax rebates if it so desired.

It’s like the national lot­tery, but the ben­e­fit to the gov­ern­ment is that it encour­ages the pub­lic to get on the tax sys­tem. The ben­e­fits to the pub­lic are man­i­fest — £1,000,000 is enough to clear all debts, your family’s debts, set your­self up nicely with a great house, car and could well give peo­ple the cap­i­tal needed to start-up their own busi­nesses (given the banks con­tinue to fail s spec­tac­u­larly at this).

£1,000,000 also isn’t a crazy amount of money. There are many sto­ries of lot­tery win­ners that go broke a few years after their win, so this mod­er­ate fig­ure will force the win­ners to think sen­si­bly about what they want to spend it on. And this is the key, they are very likely to spend the money which in turn will help kick-start spend­ing habits again — think about all those kitchens that will be redesigned, those walls that peo­ple will knock through and so on… These things all require trades­men and so we would drive up the rev­enues of local busi­nesses too.

The chance of win­ning the lot­tery is 1 in 14 mil­lion — this new ver­sion is 30 in 30 mil­lion or 1 in a mil­lion — chances 14 times greater that the exist­ing model. I’m not sure who we can con­tact to make this hap­pen, whethers is HMRC, the gov­ern­ment or NSandI, but if you do read this, spread the idea far and wide — whichever coun­try you’re from.

Also remem­ber these wise words from George Orwell, “The Lot­tery, with its weekly pay-out of enor­mous prizes, was the one pub­lic event to which the pro­les paid seri­ous atten­tion. It was prob­a­ble that there were some mil­lions of pro­les for whom the Lot­tery was the prin­ci­pal if not the only rea­son for remain­ing alive. It was their delight, their folly, their ano­dyne, their intel­lec­tual stim­u­lant. Where the Lot­tery was con­cerned, even peo­ple who could barely read and write seemed capa­ble of intri­cate cal­cu­la­tions and stag­ger­ing feats of mem­ory. There was a whole tribe of men who made their liv­ing sim­ply by sell­ing sys­tems, fore­casts, and lucky amulets.”

If noth­ing else — it will cheer up a few peo­ple each week.

HMV and Blockbuster and the non-shock of their administration

I’m not quite sure why any­one is sur­prised by HMV going into admin­is­tra­tion. They occupy prime loca­tions in cities through­out the UK with these cav­ernous shops that are noth­ing more than ware­houses with peo­ple wan­der­ing about on a lunch hour, after work or when bored on weekends.

HMV There is sim­ply no need at all for such shops these days – not only can every­one buy online, but we’ve also learnt that man­u­ally brows­ing shops for stuff is highly inef­fi­cient. We’ll do it at super­mar­kets, for now, but who has time to do this for CDs, DVDs and games? Cou­pled with the fact HMV were get­ting killed by online prices, it’s a won­der they lasted so long.

BlockbusterWe just don’t need these shops any­more. Block­buster also went into admin­is­tra­tion today and I’ve always been amazed at com­pa­nies that fail to see the way their own indus­try is going. They could have cap­tured the stream­ing mar­ket years ago – deal­ing in com­modi­tized goods when a dig­i­tal ver­sion exists is pointless.

So the death of the high street con­tin­ues, only it’s obvi­ously not the death of the high street. It’s just evolv­ing as always – shops need to start tak­ing rad­i­cally reduces premises where cus­tomers can pur­chase in store or order online there and then. You might even go fur­ther and use your shop as a gallery with barely any­thing for sale in-store. Really any shop that is need­lessly large is under threat – clothes stores will likely sur­vive as peo­ple need to try things on, but book, game and phone stores could quite eas­ily go the same way.

Oh, and that whole stuff about HMV gift vouch­ers not being valid is shameful.

Introducing the universal button layout for games

Okay game devel­op­ers, it’s time you all came together and agreed upon a uni­fied con­trol sys­tem for all con­sole games. Look at the great work the GSMA has done with tele­fony with all their stan­dards — hell even mobile charg­ers are all the same now (bar greedy, greedy Apple). We urgently need to do the same with con­trol sys­tems in games.

Deus EX Human Rev­o­lu­tion is the per­fect exam­ple of this. This crit­i­cally acclaimed game was on sale on PSN for £6.99, an unbeat­able price. So off i trot, down­load it, load it up and die over and over attempt­ing to get to grips with the con­trol lay­out that is full-on broken.

Aim down sight is on the right ana­logue and works as a tog­gle. Call of Duty and Bat­tle­field defined the left shoul­der for ADS. It works well. There is no need to ever change it. Sprint on Deus Ex is top left shoul­der but­ton and not the stan­dard L3. Why was this deci­sion made? Mus­cle mem­ory is essen­tial to gamers, the intu­itive way we pick up the pad and feel instantly at home with a game is manda­tory to con­tin­ued play. Think about how easy it is for you to use Ryu and Ken, you could play a round right now while read­ing this, just remem­ber­ing the cross ups, spe­cials and you’ll quickly notice your fin­gers danc­ing out the com­mands with­out think­ing about them. I’m sure I can learn to play Deus Ex but there are now to size­able bar­ri­ers to this — firstly, I died on a check­point about 15 times on the way out of the lab at the start (it’s on hard, ok! :P) and sec­ondly the prob­lem is com­pounded by but­tons that I’m not sure I have the will­ing­ness to overcome.

Con­trast this with Dis­hon­ored [sic lol]. What appears to be a rather com­plex power sys­tem is made eas­ily nav­i­ga­ble with the ease of the con­trols. I unlocked the pos­ses­sion skill and on the first try dived into a mouse, snuck past the guards emerged on the other side, ready to assas­siante a guard from behind. Every­thing felt nat­ural and this is solely because the but­tons are in the right place.

Deus Ex might not get a replay for a long while.

Remem­bers the lay­out of Oca­rina of Time, it was per­fect and made tra­vers­ing the 3D envi­ron­ments — still fairly new in 1998 — and tack­ling boss fights sec­ond nature.

When sys­tems go wrong it’s bor­der­line far­ci­cal (like Bor­der­lands dri­ving con­trols). The ulti­mate pro­po­nent of this has to be Metal Gear Solid — every­thing is just so con­fus­ing — if you aim, you can only can­cel the shot by doing a mêlée attack. And then there is absolutely every­thing else — here’s Dara O’Briain run­ning through its myr­iad of problems.



Of course you can always mas­ter it — but why do devel­op­ers put play­ers through the ordeal in the first place. It’s like the Bloomberg bank­ing ter­mi­nal — it’s out­dated and inef­fi­cient, but bankers like being able to say they can use the ter­mi­nal even though its inter­face could be rev­o­lu­tionised quickly . We for­give MGS because the rest of it is bril­liant and Kojima had the stones to make MGS2 utterly post-modern.

When con­trol schemes go wrong, they become more mem­o­rable than the plot or any other part of the game. Res­i­dent Evil will be for­ever remem­bered for its atro­cious con­trol sys­tem, the impos­si­bil­ity of walk­ing and shoot­ing, swap­ping weapons with­out going into a menu, and an aim­ing mech­a­nism that was like you were steer­ing a tanker or a very large tele­scope with two hands. It’s so bad, it’s as if they did it on purpose.

Back in the early 2000s, FIFA was an inco­her­ent mess com­pared to ISS Pro Evo­lu­tion Soc­cer. There were early Fifa iter­a­tions where the play­ers’ limbs had dif­fer­ent skin­tones — Michael Owen black arms a per­sonal fave. How­ever when they finally got their shit together, one thing that und­out­edly helped FIFA attract fans from its great rival was that it whole­sale stole the com­mand lay­out. Every­thing from how to exe­cute through chipped through-balls to dum­mies and even sprint­ing. To retain a mod­icum of their own IP they sim­ply swapped the shoot and long-ball but­tons and labelled Pro Evo’s lay­out as “Alternate”.

Call of Duty and Bat­tle­field 3 have defined the FPS lay­out and if you swap from BF3 to CoD you’ll only bring up the score­board instead of spot­ting and knife instead of crouch. These minor tweaks mean swap­ping between play­ing both titles is work­able if a lit­tle clumsy.

So let’s get this done. This is the start of a jour­ney that will set out the stan­dard for games.

The new nor­mal lay­out for Action Adven­ture: FPS or 3rd per­son. Xbox but­tons in brackets.

Square (X) — Inter­act / Cover / Weapon-wheel
Tri­an­gle (Y) — Reload
Cir­cle (B) — Con­firm menu selec­tion / Crouch / Hold for prone
Cross (A) — Can­cel menu / Jump
D-pad — Quick select weapon or skill
Left ana­logue — Move
Right ana­logue — Look (AND WHILE WE ARE AT IT INVERT-Y IS AUTO-ON, DEAL WITH IT)
L1 (LB) — Aim down sight / Lock on
L2 (LT) — Tal­ent / Spe­cial / Other weapon
R1 (RB) — Fire
R2 (RT) — Grenade
L3 — Sprint
R3 — Mêlée
Select — Menu
Start — Pause

Con­tact your favourite devel­op­ers and let them know we need uni­for­mity and if they are
insis­tent on their own style, at least let us gamers reas­sign the buttons.

Homeland Jumped The Shark *Spoilers*

*This post con­tains plot spoil­ers for Home­land Sea­son 2*

You know, I really liked the premise of Home­land; seaon one was great — full of ten­sion, Carrie’s psy­chosis and Saul’s world weary caught in the mid­dle focus on his job to the utter detri­ment of his per­sonal life. How­ever the char­ac­ter of Brody never sat well with me. I liked the is-he-isn’t-he plot but there were too many holes in the story — i.e. Tom Walker goes up to a roof to set up a sniper point, the bad­die cou­ple below get killed need­lessly given the point Walker actu­ally sets up is not over­look­ing an air­field but in Wash­ing­ton. This was just one of many mis­steps the show took as it worked around the fact it had been com­mis­sioned for a sec­ond sea­son. I wrote about the prob­lems with the show in an ear­lier post stat­ing that there would be “no point tun­ing in for Sea­son 2.”

Unfor­tu­nately that has been proved cor­rect. Brody needed to die at the end of sea­son 1 — Car­rie and Saul would have been vin­di­cated in their inves­ti­ga­tion and the sec­ond sea­son could have focused on the hunt for Abu Nazir or other sleeper cells. Instead we now have a plot whose direc­tion has been mud­dled. Much like 24 that couldn’t main­tain its focus on Jack Bauer in sub­se­quent sea­sons, the pro­duc­ers looked to develop other char­ac­ters. Kim Bauer’s var­i­ous mis­ad­ven­tures were beyond insane and now we have Brody’s daugh­ter involved in a hit and run. For­tu­nately the char­ac­ters in Home­land are more well rounded, his wife Jes­sica is great, but things are career­ing out of con­trol — his bud­dies try­ing to catch him for Walker’s death is inane.

This was most evi­dent in the episode, A Get­tys­burg Address, in which an entire CIA squad is shot to bits by a crack team of insur­gents dressed in SWAT gear. Even typ­ing that sen­tence is ridicu­lous and some­thing that would be only at home on shows such as 24 that are will­ful in their depar­ture from real­ity. This is also the point that a lone shark upon the seabed donned a jet­pack and jumped from one con­ti­nent to another, salut­ing pass­ing 747s. Con­trast this episode with the one at the same point in sea­son 1 — the lie detec­tor episode in which Brody cheats the exam and Saul fails. That was a true high­point of the first sea­son in which the seed of doubt that some­one as trust­wor­thy as Saul could be involved. Back to sea­son 2 and Brody is feed­ing info to a news reporter who is send­ing attack dogs to take out threats in broad day­light. Nonsense.

The thing is, once a show jumps the shark it loses its cred­i­bil­ity and rea­son for view­ers to engage in and believe in the premise. It must be very dif­fi­cult for the writ­ers to script a sec­ond sea­son so quickly on the back of the first, but they should have had the stones to kill off Brody. Unfor­tu­nately the pop­u­lar­ity of Damien Lewis has meant that he, as the star, will sur­vive until at least the final episode of sea­son 2. This in itself is a prob­lem as it removes the drama and ten­sions of the dan­geros sit­u­a­tions he gets in. We know he will be ok because he’s the star — think Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds. It’s a shame, because it was a very intel­li­gent show that has dealt with the issues it addresses in an adult man­ner. How­ever, that has given way to rat­ings bait and set pieces ever upping the ante while for­get­ting com­pletely what made the show great in the first place.

Also they know he is a ter­ror­ist and they cut him a deal?! Oh come on!? He’d be in Gitmo for life, not walk­ing about and cer­tainly not a Con­gress­man. Jebus, look up and salute the shark jump­ing high above your head.

The Turnpike Lane Anthem

If you’re look­ing for direc­tions to my house, please fol­low the words below in the form of a lit­tle ditty to be sung in the style of an out of tune washer-woman or Cher Lloyd. May I present to you The Turn­pike Lane Anthem:

Get off at Turn­pike Lane stayyy-ssshunn
For you’ve reached your destinaaayyy-shhuunnnn
And every­thing is rosy and deviiiinnne.

Turn left along the Green Lanes
And mar­vel at the locale
For you’ve truly arrived at Nir­vana noooooowwwww

It’s like a Dick­en­sian novel
As every­one lives in a hovel
Poor and happy that is the only way to beeeeeeeeeeeee

And if you’re lucky you might just hear my girl­friend shout…

Fix the damp,
Get a new kitchen
The bath­room needs to gggoooooo

The area is so shit
It looks just like The Wire
And Wait­rose is afraid to deliver to our door

And though I try to pla­cate her
There’s just no escap­ing Turn­pike is our hooooommmmmmeeee

Oh Turn­pike,
Tuu­ur­rrnnnpike,
Turn-pieee-eeeee-kuh
Laaaaannnnnneeeee

End

Har­ringay seems like the kind of place you move to when you first hit Lon­don, much like in Grand Theft Auto. Every­one is bustling about, there are a huge range of enthic­i­ties here and a lot of fam­ily run busi­nesses. Every­one is friendly and there are a lot of hard work­ing traders here.

Much of the area was built for ser­vants of rich fam­i­lies in Kens­ing­ton and it sure feels that way now, as thou­sands flock to Turn­pike Lane/Manor House to work in cen­tral Lon­don. Still though, can’t shake the thought that every­one would pre­fer to move to nearby Hornsey or Crouch End — I’ll escape through writ­ing a comic called ‘Harri ‘N’ Gay’ about a young boy and his gay guardian learn­ing to obey the Green Cross Code and other coun­cil ser­vices. Har­ringay Coun­cil will love it.