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The Collected Letters Of Spank The Monkey, 1998-2006

The classic 'Postman Pat bumming a dog' illustration from the 15/11/2001 LFF Diary. I'll start using new pictures tomorrow, promise Well, that's almost it for the repost frenzy of July 2008. Pretty much every word I ever wrote on the old site is now gathered together here with the more recent stuff. Is there anything I've missed?

I can hear Suze screaming from here, so yes, there's the letters page to consider. For eight years, the Unpleasant Lair published - and frequently responded to - virtually every mail it ever received, including the hate mail and the spam. I know Suze has complained that the move to a blog format with comments has reduced the possibility of anyone writing in about anything. There are things to be said both for and against that: read through the eight years of correspondence archived below and make up your own mind. Enjoy.

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REPOST: Half Man Half Biscuit

'Someone get a message through to Captain Snort / That they'd better start assembling the boys from the fort / And keep Mrs Honeyman right out of sight / 'Cos there's going to be a riot down in Trumpton tonight' (Trumpton Riots) Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 01/12/2005.

It's appropriate that this is the last article in this month-long series of reposts: the life-changing event discussed in the opening paragraphs was the banger up my arse that forced me to rethink a number of things in my life, including the future direction of The Unpleasant Lair. By July 2006, I'd moved my internet operations over to this blog, and the rest you know.

As for Half Man Half Biscuit, they've released just one more album since this review, 2008's CSI: Ambleside. With song titles like Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show, it's business as usual for Nigel and the boys.

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REPOST: War Is Declared And Battle Come Down

26/12/2004, 20:18. View of Manchester city centre, from the top of their spiffy big wheel. Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 17/07/2005.

The article about 7/7, the site's 7th birthday, and the death of my father at age 78. (Just like him to mess up the number sequence for a laugh.) Out of all the guff I've published on the web over the last ten years, this is the one thing that feels the most like a proper piece of writing. And it's the one that probably took the least amount of effort to write (which may have something to do with it).

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REPOST: Wonderfalls

Michelle Forbes as Miranda Zero in the (currently) doomed pilot for Global Frequency. Nothing to do with Wonderfalls at all, I know, but bear with me. Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 03/07/2005.

I think Sky's run of Wonderfalls slipped after, ooh, four weeks from primetime into a post-midnight slot: still, at least it got shown, and we still have the DVDs.

Showrunner Tim Minear has continued to curse any TV show he's associated with: since Wonderfalls, he's seen both The Inside and Drive pulled from the Fox schedules before their time. Meanwhile, co-creator Bryan Fuller is currently having considerably greater success with the similarly whimsical Pushing Daisies.

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REPOST: Heimat 3

There's some debate amongst film buffs as to whether the character of Hermann Simon is meant to be some sort of surrogate for the director Edgar Reitz. While you're making your mind up on that one, here's a picture of the teenage Hermann (Jorg Richter) having three-in-a-bed sex with Hunsruck hotties Klarchen (Gudrun Landgrebe) and Lotti (Gabriele Blum), from the first 'Heimat'. Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 12/05/2005.

All three Heimats are now available on DVD for your viewing pleasure. Edgar Reitz returned to Schabbach again in 2006 for Heimat-Fragmente: Die Frauen, a self-confessed 'footnotes project' assembled from previously deleted scenes from all three films. This hasn't been seen in the UK yet, as far as I know, though a DVD is available (no English subtitles, unfortunately).

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REPOST: Not Available In The Shops

'And THAT'S for XP Service Pack 1!' screamed The BBG Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 01/10/2004.

Having wished Bill Gates out of existence in Nothing So Strange, Brian Flemming went on to attempt the same trick with Jesus Christ in his controversial 2005 documentary, The God Who Wasn't There. The DVD's available from the film's website, and includes a slightly inevitable Richard Dawkins commentary track. Flemming is currently working on a fictional film based around the same premise, titled Danielle.

Amber Benson made a second film in 2006 - Lovers, Liars And Lunatics - which is again obtainable from the website. IMDB claims she's now in pre-production for Drones, and co-directing with Adam "Warren off of Buffy" Busch. They're an item, I believe. Which is funny if you remember Warren and Tara's last scene together on Buffy.

Behn Fannin completed The Television in 2005. He does lots of other stuff apart from making films: see his personal homepage for details.

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