...which could be quite graphic...

The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey first appeared on the internet on July 14th, 1998, launching with a slightly scrappy post about Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan. Which means that today - July 14th, 2016 - this website is now 18 years old. It's mature enough to vote! Not that that would be any fucking use right now, obviously. (In a vaguely related development, this happened ten years ago today.)

Anyway, this page is my low-key birthday celebration. Thanks to all of you for reading, whether you've been here since the beginning or joined in more recently. No plans to stop yet, so let's see how far we can go from here...

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Santa Claus Is A Black Man

If you're still recovering from this week's announcement about Hermione from Harry Potter, then I'm afraid I have some more bad news for you.

However, for those of you who aren't arseholes, The Belated Birthday Girl and I would like to wish you all the compliments of the festive season. Oh, to hell with it, it's Christmas - happy holidays to the arseholes too.

(And special thanks to Carole, who introduced me to this song via the album A John Waters Christmas.)

Hotel Rooms 2014

Names on the framesTaki. Sakura. Ninja.

I spent all of last week in Japanese hotel rooms that had names on them rather than numbers. You'll soon hear a lot more about what happened when I wasn't in those rooms, don't you worry about that.

But the rooms themselves deserve a page to themselves, for this reason: they became the suitably unexpected finale to a year-long wanky art project of mine that ends today.

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Sweet Christmas

Merry Christmas from Spank The Monkey and The Belated Birthday Girl. And from Japanese punk princesses Shonen Knife because, well, you work it out.

Mo' Blogger Blues

FruitiliciousThey say every picture tells a story. Here's the story of that one over there.

Digital photo metadata being what it is, I can say with some certainty that it was taken at 9am on December 1st, 2004, on my way into work. (In an extraordinary twist of fate, exactly one year later I would be shitcanned from that very job after 21 and a bit years, but that's another story.) It's a whimsical blackboard that I spotted by a coffee stand at Clapham Junction station, and it amused me enough that I took a picture of it with my cameraphone.

Nowadays, you'd know exactly how the story would continue: within seconds, I would have shared that picture with everyone else on the internet, until everyone else said FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP IT. But in 2004, the methods you had for doing that were somewhat limited. It wasn't until 5.11pm on December 3rd, over two days later, that I made that image my very first post on what I chose to call The Unpleasant Moblog Of Spank The Monkey.

The Unpleasant Moblog has been running on and off for almost a decade. For the last couple of years, it's been largely off: but recently, circumstances have driven me to go back on again. Let me introduce you to it.

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"Well It's Kind Of Obvious Really, But You Can't Green Screen Sprouts"

It's almost precisely too late to be telling you about this, but Mr Weebl has been responsible for the most festive collection of videos you're ever going to see. In 2012 he restricted himself to a one-off collaboration with Right Said Fred: this year he's been making one short film every day throughout December, and putting them up on YouTube as The Mr Weebl Advent Calendar. It's a task that's forced him to push the boundaries of endurance and sanity. (Not to mention the boundaries of good taste, so be careful with a couple of these.)

Anyhoo, it's the 25th now, so Season's Greetings from me and The Belated Birthday Girl, with thanks to Mr Weebl for driving himself nuts for our entertainment.  


Contains strong language, occasionally very strong, moderate sexual references, and scenes of mild perilOn July 14th 1998, I wrote this and posted it up as the first article on a new website called The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey. (Actually, because of my atrocious web design skills, it originally looked a bit more like this, but let's not talk about that.)

So if you take into account its previous incarnation as well as its current one, this means that my website is exactly fifteen years old today. Thanks to all of you who've supported it during that time, and I hope you'll continue to do so in the years to come.

In 365 days, the site will be sixteen years old, and it'll be legally able to have sex. That's got to be worth waiting for, hasn't it? (Although The Belated Birthday Girl has pointed out that it'll only be able to have sex with websites that are older than it, which could be tricky.)

MOSTLY FILM: Back Issues

This is what two years worth of Sight & Sound magazines looks like in the Digital Archive. Which is all well and good, but I'd paid for 80 years worth.

Normally when I write a piece for Mostly Film, I'll also lash together a quick bit of supplementary material for this site, so I can get in some much-needed cross-promotion. If I've written about a film, I'll throw in some video links: if it's one of my Monoglot Movie Club jobs, I'll give you some travel tips about the country I was in. It's a formula that's worked well for the last eighteen months, but this week initially looked a bit more problematic.

I'm responsible for just under 50% of Back Issues, a new post that appeared on Europe's Best Website yesterday. In the first half, I have a rant about the BFI's new Digital Archive of their magazines Sight & Sound and Monthly Film Bulletin, and how it's virtually impossible to access even after you've paid for it: in the second half, Clio reviews the archive itself, from the point of view of someone who has access even though they haven't paid for it at all. You can see the problem - it's a review of a website, and not even a website that I can see properly. What sort of backup material can I produce for that?

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