The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 121 – Steal Cars and Cut a ***** Up

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chat about the Captain Marvel, Doctor Who and Daredevil Season 3 trailers, Henry Cavill’s future as Superman, and Disney’s MCU plans for X-Men, their streaming service, and a female-led show on ABC.

Screentime – Iron Fist Season 2

This week we review the latest Marvel Netflix series, Iron Fist Season 2. We do go a bit into spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet skip 52:52-1:05:38.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam Provenance by Ann Leckie/Archer: Danger Island on Netflix/Spider-Man on PS4
RoseAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge/The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4/Nothing

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 100 – Hot White Content

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chat about the new Black Panther and New Mutants trailers, the predictable Han Solo film title, NeoGAF and the closure of Visceral Games.

Screentime – Top 5s

As this is our 100th episode, we decided to do something a little different and go through some of our favourite films, games and books! We argue about which Alien film is better, and try to out-do each other on pretentious book choices. We both lose.

Nathan also passed on some of his top 5s!

TV Shows
5 – Dexter – Dark series about a psycho vigilante
4 – 30 Rock – From start to finish, absolutely fantastic and hilarious all the way through
3 – Scrubs – One of the funniest comedies to ever grace the small screen
2 – Death Note – In my opinion, the best anime series ever
1 – Game of Thrones – The only show I watch religiously without fail
Films
5 – Snatch – Brilliant London gangster film, I say far too many quotes from this film
4 – Sin City – Love how in sync it is with the comics and portrayed it perfectly onto the big screen
3 – Shaun of the Dead – Was hard to choose this or Hot Fuzz, but this RomZomCom is an absolute cult classic
2 – Empire Strikes Back – Best Star Wars film hands down
1 – Scarface – Love this film, Pacino is amazing in it, story is great and the ending is brilliant
Games
5 – Bloodborne – Completely and utterly immersed in the game like no other games has managed.
4 – Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver – Seriously underrated game, but one of the best stories and voice acting of the Playstation era
3 – Doom – Classic FPS of the 90’s, can still pick it up today and enjoy myself
2 – Chrono Trigger – Another underrated game, may have the storyline of any RPG, but the battle sequences were so advanced for the era
1 – Final Fantasy 7 – Love this game, storyline is amazing, gameplay was fantastic, I hope the reboot doesn’t disappoint

 

And here are Kii’s Top 5 games!

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
This crossover came out of no where. Like wtf are you doing no where but holy hell it works. It works so well and it has no right to. It’s an accessible XCOM style game with stunning graphics and world building. The Nintendo and Ubisoft characters somehow blend together seamlessly to make some great comedy. The first thing I bought on my Switch.

Final Fantasy XIV
I have quite literally spent the best part of my gaming time of the past two and half years running around Eorzea. An MMO with tonnes of flexibility and the impeccable artwork and design of Final Fantasy. I also get to save the world whilst riding a really fat Chocobo.

Mass Effect 2
My first in the series and always my favourite. I loved all the characters on the ship, so much so I’ve named eight guinea pigs after crew members.
 
Stardew Valley
Adorable farming game where you try to become besties with villagers whilst attempting to grow the most epic crops. Many hours spent trying to get the ‘optimum’ farm layout.
 
Animal Crossing
Pretty much any of them but mostly New Leaf. Tom Nook has me by the balls and I’m a sucker for anything I can arrange furniture in. Cue emotional attachment to adorable animal villagers to the point of, if Goldie ever moves out of my town I will rage quit and cry.

 

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam  Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman/Dear White People on Netflix/Destiny 2 on PS4
Ian Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence/Nothing/Destiny 2 on PS4 and Stardew Valley on Nintendo Switch

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Book Review – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Ian likes books. Here is what he thought of one of them.

Odin, who is third, who is wanderer, who sacrificed himself to himself for knowledge and power. Loki, whose misdeeds range from mischievous to murderous. Thor, the strongest of the gods but, it’s fair to say, not the smartest. These are the central trio of Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. Surrounding them a supporting cast of gods and giants and monsters. Always present in the background is Ragnarok, the death of the gods- is it yet to come?

Norse Mythology is a collection of retold Norse myths- Gaiman has worked primarily from centuries old source material rather than rehashing popular versions of the modern era. The prose is sparse, more reminiscent of children’s books of myth and legend than the rich descriptive world-building Gaiman is known for. These are stories- what is told is only what is necessary. Every detail highlights character or propels plot. These gods are not benevolent omniscients- they are human in their wants and desires and virtues and flaws. Capricious and prideful, they barrel through a world that is painted in broad brush strokes. Minor details hint at the endless further stories beyond this collection- what we see is that polished gleam of ice that sits above the surface.

Loki’s children and Freya’s wedding are the stand out tales. Almost every story in the collection could stand alone, but together they form an arc from the beginning of time to Ragnarok, the death of the gods. The Norse universal creation myth is strikingly bizarre in its details, and it is testament to the skillful writing that some of the more absurd aspects never overshadow the underlying feeling of genesis and timeless truth. The ambiguity of description allows the reader to fill in the blanks- we know Loki is handsome, but little else. We know Valhalla and Valkyries, but we do not dwell overlong on specifics.

A gorgeous aspect of these stories is the lack of clear moral lessons. Sometimes the good are rewarded and the evil punished, but just as often the opposite is true- few are the unimpeachable in this world. So often the problems that pursue the gods are of their own devising- and who can judge the gods themselves? A highlight is the tale of Fenris-wolf, so ambiguous a character. Can you truly blame him for his actions?

Marvel have been digging into the seams of Norse Mythology for decades now, and the modern iteration of Loki is arguably one of the most popular characters in their cinematic universe. Reading these myths, it is surprising to see which aspects of character and story have been kept and which have been twisted in this transformation from fireside tale to movie- certainly differences abound (specifically Marvel’s Odin pales in comparison to the All-Father of myth), but there is a comfortable recognition. These are characters and archetypes we know well, and the familiar cadence of myth is a balm. Indeed some of the more boisterous tales are reminiscent of comics in their form- I await the inevitable graphic adaptation of these tales eagerly.

Norse Mythology– this myth, this is a book to sit faithfully on your bookshelf to be plucked at occasionally when only old tales will make sense, this is a book to read aloud by firelight to friends and family, a book to read alone as rain floods the world outside and Ragnarok comes.

I highly recommend it.

Review- Ian Green @ianthegreen

You can pick the book up below!

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 73 – Power Man & Glowy Hand

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!


Download this episode (right click and save)

Big News

This week we chatted about the Iron Fist trailer and the announcement of who is playing the villain in The Defenders, and the trailers for Power RangersBlack Mirror Season 3 and John Wick 2. We thought almost all of those looked awesome. We also chat about Logan, and a few of the games that came out over the last few weeks.

Screentime – Luke Cage

We checked out the latest offering from Marvel and Netflix, with special guest Rose Christopher joining us to chat about Power Man’s first series. We chat about what we thought worked and what didn’t. We do go full spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet skip from 30:00-50:18.

Now Playing 

Adam – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman/Westworld on Sky Atlantic/Bioshock 2 on PS4
Ian – Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer/Luke Cage on Netflix/The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on PC

(Pick up some of the Now Playing through the links and we get a cut from Amazon, or start shopping from here)

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Good Omens

3

This is an article in tribute to Terry Pratchett. He passed away due to his Alzheimer’s illness and a Just Giving fund has been set up in his name: https://www.justgiving.com/terry-pratchett/

 

RIP Sir Terry Pratchett, thank you for all your wonderful work.

 

God moves in extremely mysterious, not to say, circuitous ways. God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”

 

Kit: I’ll start this article by apologising for the lack of the usual Kick Ass Stories last week. I was part the way through writing one when Terry Pratchett’s death was announced. As he was an author who reached out to such a vast number of people, myself very much included, I decided to drop my usual project and write something as a tribute to his work. And as I review stories it’s only fitting I review one of his. My favourite book of his is Good Omens. As it exists outside of the long-running Discworld franchise that he is most famous for, I thought it would be a good way to introduce him to any unfamiliar with him.

This also happens to be one of my brother’s favourite books so he graciously accepted my request to help me out with this article. We thought two people reviewing the book would be more appropriate, to reflect how the book was a collaboration between Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Besides, it shaped both of our childhoods, so it only felt right to do it together. Be warned, whilst the worst spoilers have been avoided…

Jon: …we have occasionally put a foot wrong in our attempts to tiptoe around them, and have, in a couple of cases, decided to jump right onto them, and do a jig with our metaphorical discussion feet.

Kit: Jon, what do you like about Good Omens?

Jon: Well, I find it crazy that this book is about as old as me. Despite this, it still manages to be really darn funny. Every page will have at least one laugh on it. And not in a ‘oh, it’ll put a wry smile on your face kind of way.’ This book will have you laughing out loud, in public, on a train, looking a bit weird.

Kit: It really is a book you can pick up and read over and over again. We have both read it many times…

Jon: …probably too many. I really like how so much is packed into a pretty short book. You’ve got ‘Adam and the Them’, Azriphale and Crowley, the Four Horseman, The Witches, and the Witch-hunters. Five different plot threads, which all tie up neatly together, in just the length of a regular book. As much as I love a sprawling epic, it can be really hard these days to find time for something like ‘Game of Thrones’.

Kit: To jump in, I love how Adam, named after the first human, acts as a midpoint between heaven and hell…

Jon: …reinforced with him nicking an apple at the end…

Kit: …exactly. One of the other things that should be said is how, even though it is a comedy about religion, god isn’t the bad guy.

Jon: That’s a thing I really like. It isn’t just saying ‘all belief is silly’, which is quite a juvenile point to make. It mocks, to an extent, organised religion, and all its fancy frivolousness. But God, the actual Big G, is presented as being all knowing, all-powerful and ineffable.

Kit: It takes religious dogma, and people’s interpretation of it, and keeps its critique on that. In the book, the most evil demons of hell cannot match the evil man can do…

Jon: …just like Heaven cannot match man’s potential goodness. Crowley, the demon, just stumbled onto the Spanish Inquisition, and was shocked by it, but also quite happy to take credit for it. Then you’ve got the different cities that have been claimed by Heaven or Hell…

Kit: …with Milton Keynes, appropriately, being considered a tie between them. It is one of the few books that takes the idea of the bible being true, with fossils being a joke on palaeontologists, and Earth being a 6000-year-old Sagittarius, and thinks through all the implications of this. It is something so rarely done. Take Vampire: The Masquerade, the RPG, where Cain is labelled the first vampire. A cool concept, but the implications of the bible being true are never fully explored.

Jon: …and it does it in a far smarter way than many of its competitors. A lot of things that came out of the 90s asked questions like, ‘what if God was bad, and the Devil was good’. Sure, that has shock factor, but all you’re doing is flipping the roles. All you’re doing is going “Ooh, look at me, I’ve depicted an angel being a prick, aren’t I radical?” Instead, we have a world where all the non-omniscient beings are just trying the best they can, and hoping things will work themselves out in the end.

Kit: Another wonderful touch is how the changes in the line-up of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse show how religion has to adapt over time.

Jon: Pestilence took one look at Penicillin and thought, “ah, screw this, I’m out”…

Kit: …and so he has been replaced by Pollution, an issue more fitting for a time when Climate Change is more likely to kill us than the plague. Or how Famine has modernised by selling diet food. A fan theory I like, which is probably bollocks, is how the Deaths of this book and the one found in the Discworld, whilst having different personalities, have a lot in common. Have you ever seen them in the same room? Obviously not, they exist in different universes…

Jon: …and are fictional…

Kit:…exactly.

Jon: To put my Discworld nerd hat on, it is worth pointing out that in the book Reaper Man, Discworld’s Death is made mortal. Pratchett goes into the idea that this version of Death is just one of many, and it ends, if I remember correctly, with him meeting the multiverse spanning embodiment of all deaths in all worlds, of which he is just a sliver. With that in mind, the idea that these two Deaths are connected is pretty sound. As for shifts in personality, the Death in the first couple of Discworld books is really quite mean, and it takes him a while to become a little more human.

Kit: Just like how Azriphale and Crowley became more human the longer they spent on earth! Good Omens and Discworld are canon!

Jon: Yep! I’ll take the Discworld nerd hat off now.

Kit: I like how the book is divided into chapters, with each one representing a single day, letting you countdown to the apocalypse. You know the apocalypse is coming, but for a while you have no idea how, and then you’re suddenly afraid all of your favourite characters are gong to die.

Jon: And in the end, crisis is averted because Adam is just allowed to grow up, rather than have people try to force their wills upon him.

Kit: In this book, each author plays to their strengths, and it leads to something incredible being created. It sounded like a really stressful process….

Jon: …sending bloody floppy disks back and forth…

Kit: …yet it somehow manages to have one consistent voice, although it is very much Pratchett’s humour that comes through. Gaiman is great at adding a darker tone, but Pratchett nails the humour.

Jon: The comedy does a great job of humanising the characters, making you like them more, rather than just be a way to break from the seriousness. When it comes to the first draft, the rough split of it was Pratchett wrote ‘Adam & the Them’, whilst Gaiman wrote Azriphale and Crowley, the four horseman, and all of that other, grander scale stuff. Gaiman, as shown by American Gods, is great at the epic scale, while Pratchett’s books really shine when it comes to the more intimate and personal. Even Discworld, one of the longest running fantasy series out there, is made up of lots of small, focused stories, rather than a bunch of ‘Lord of the Rings’ style trilogies.

Kit: One thing that is a shame is how there were once noises of a sequel, but it is unlikely that it’ll come to pass now. They did mention the potential title of ‘668: The Number of the Beast’, but when Gaiman moved to America, that was put on the back burner. Obviously, it can’t really happen now.

Jon: It must have been really stressful to write.

Kit: There was a great article in the Guardian by Gaiman about working with Pratchett. (http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/24/terry-pratchett-angry-not-jolly-neil-gaiman)

To wrap things up, if you enjoy Good Omens, it is definitely worth reading more Pratchett.

Jon: I’d recommend Small Gods. It is also about religion but makes other points. It is also stand-alone, so you don’t need to have read the fifteen-or-whatever Discworld books written before it. As for more Gaiman?

Kit: Check out American Gods. More serious, more epic in tone, it really develops Gaiman’s ideas.

Jon: Absolutely. If you made a Venn diagram of these two books, and added a third circle representing Somerset, the crossover between the three would get you Good Omens.

Kit: So there you have it. Terry Pratchett really was a fantastic author. As well as being a great author he campaigned for people’s right to assisted suicide. If you’re interested please check out some of his thoughts on the subject here: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/feb/02/terry-pratchett-assisted-suicide-tribunal

And Finally, the link to the just giving site set up in his name. https://www.justgiving.com/terry-pratchett/

Kit and Jon