What Created Alex Jones?

Alex Jones, explicit spreader of misinformation and founder of right-wing fake news site InfoWars, is a rabbit hole of intrigue I’d never expected to fall into.

From his sinister doomsday conspiracies to his brain force drugs and survivalist equipment he peddles through his online store, at first his very existence seems like a hilarious riddle.

Why would extreme right-wing media be associated with vitamins, survivalism, and hyper-masculinity? You can see the pattern in other alt-right figureheads like the grunting, nootropic-addled Mike Cernovich (he runs a pro-Trump blog peppered with pedophilia accusations and manliness advice).

The alt-right, Jones included, rallied around Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election.…   [continue reading]

Gorillaz – “Humanz” [ALBUM REVIEW]

Among musicians, and music fans, pop music sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap. Personally, I’ve found the world of pop music across the decades to be a fascinating and enjoyable one. While I zoned out of the pop world for years, I could always rely on Gorillaz to fill that hole. From Clint Eastwood to Plastic Beach (The Fall doesn’t really count), Gorillaz have been a surefire hit-factory. Unfortunately, whenever they would come out with a fresh batch, they’d inevitably bugger back off again for a handful of years.

Everyone knows that Gorillaz are, in fact, a cipher for Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.…   [continue reading]

Juiceboxxx Interview: Freaked Out American Loser, Thunder Zone and Scaling Up

After sailing the underground for the better part of his life, Juiceboxxx still has an undying thirst to move ever onward. He’s made a name for himself with uniquely direct music, and a live show that lives up to it in spades. Each release sees him delving further and further into what the fuck it even means to be alive; sometimes with anger and confusion, others with an optimistic abandon.

This has helped him maintain a dedicated cult audience, who religiously follow his various interesting endeavours. His strong musical catalogue is just one arm of the Juiceboxxx world; a strange place encompassing energy drinks, radio shows, self-deprecating video-blogs and more.…   [continue reading]

Returning to Royston Vasey: Hype for League of Gentlemen’s Reunion

When The League of Gentlemen first ran on BBC Two, it was alienating to a lot of my fellow nine-year-olds. It was through pure virtue of my father’s high regard that its quotes sneakily entered my vocabulary. At that age, the horror mixed into the show by its creators was a lot more salient. It wasn’t an easy watch, but that’s exactly why its nightmarish characters made their way so carefully into my consciousness. However, its humour gave its terror a release valve. Oddly, even at that formative age, the accuracy of their characters to the England I knew was greater than that of anything else on television.…   [continue reading]

Nier, Spoilers, and Emotion in Video Games

Even after writing last week’s spoiler-free Nier review, and despite promising a spoiler-fueled deep dive into the topic today, this article has been scrapped countless times.

That’s because the twists, turns, and entire emotional rollercoaster are impossible to convey in words. Such an experience isn’t even possible outside of a video game, because the player-game interaction is what allows Nier to reach those heights.

I know that sounds pretentious as all hell, but let me try to explain.

!!WARNING!! From this point on there will be spoilers for Nier – if you have any intention of playing it,
please consider getting each of the game’s endings before reading on

nier emotion kaine

Nier takes full advantage of being a game

Nier is an example of how games can truly engage the player in a way that is simply impossible for a book or movie.…   [continue reading]

Kendrick Lamar – “Damn” [ALBUM REVIEW]

It’s always unfortunate when an artist has to follow an epochal album. Considering Kid A in the wake of OK Computer was never fair. Pink Floyd‘s awful Final Cut was doomed after The Wall. Placing Kendrick Lamar‘s previous album, To Pimp a Butterflyin such a legendary ballpark is obvious to anyone who’s heard the record without blinkers. As a result, Lamar’s fresh follow-up was always going to find itself trapped under expectations and heft. Released five days ago, Damn has more written about it in comparison to its predecessor than its own merits.

This is natural.…   [continue reading]

This Machine Loves #Pepsi!

When Woody Guthrie scrawled “This machine kills fascists” on his guitar, it became an enduring adage to the revolutionary minded. He was a folk-singer, far ahead of his time. Richly associated with protest, he foreshadowed the posturing of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Billy Bragg and the rest. Accordingly, his lyrics and music carry as much weight and relation today as they did close to a century ago. That’s why it’s such a shame that he couldn’t be around to help out PepsiCo, leaving us with Kendall Jenner in his place.

Just imagine it. Instead of some modelling mimzy, crooning through crowds with the sincerity of a cold-caller, we’d have Guthrie championing peace like only he can.…   [continue reading]

Nier Review: A Perfectly Flawed Masterpiece

This game – this damn game – is the reason I didn’t publish an article on Secret Cave for more than two months.

I’d planned out at least four different articles for Nier in my head over that time, but none could do it justice. I had to keep playing until I’d reached 100% completion.

And once I saw everything it had to offer, I was at a total loss for words.

Nier is quite possibly the best gaming experience I’ve ever had. I say “experience” because (as with an increasing number of titles) Nier manages to interact with the player directly, completely separate from the in-game characters.…   [continue reading]

Beyond Good and Evil Review: A Proper PS2 Game

Over the past 15 years, I’ve played countless games. From Snake and Space Impact (even the name evokes a wave of nostalgia) to modern masterpieces like Nier and Nuclear Throne.

However, despite having primarily played games on PC (474 Steam games and counting) for years now, there is one console that will always hold a special place in my heart and cupboard – the PS2.

While that’s partly because of the large chunk of my childhood I spent on the console, it’s also because the PS2 has some of the greatest games ever made in its library.

Jak and Daxter (1 and 3), Ratchet and Clank (take your pick), Soulcalibur 3 (stick it 2), Devil May Cry, and the flawed masterpieces that are Drakengard and Shadow of Memories.…   [continue reading]

Adam Volerich Interview: Magnalux Pictures, Anxious Intensity and Existentialism

Adam Volerich is a storyteller. His devotion to such narratives has brought him to develop talents in a wide array of disciplines. Be it through writing, directing, editing, producing or more, Volerich is always able to convey something evocative and interesting. His passion and, self-proclaimed, anxious intensity make him an extremely promising young creative, with an enormous weight to his catalogue. Volerich has no apparent interest in slowing down either, instead pushing ever-forward into new territory.

…   [continue reading]