Metal Music

You are actually very lucky to get an editorial this week. It took a significant effort of will to prise myself out of the bedroom, where I have been spending far too many hours lately. Much as I’d like to leave it hanging like that [Y’know, those goddamn supermodels just won’t let go…], the real reason is largely to do with two Playstation discs: ‘Music’ and ‘Metal Gear Solid’.

The former is pretty much what its name would suggest; it’s a music generation program which lets you plug together riffs and rhythms into something closely resembling…well, the disturbing thing is, closely resembling about 25% of the charts. Even as someone with no musical training or ability (I gave up the recorder at about age 12), within an hour, I’d come up with something which would not seem out of place at the Ministry of Sound. It’s kinda like the musical equivalent of magnetic poetry: it simplifies things by making the basic choices for you.

Of course, you are somewhat limited: techno it’s good at, trying to create a Strauss waltz or (heaven forbid) country-and-western would be a but more laborious. However, it does allow you to generate your own components and even musical instruments, though without a real keyboard, you’d probably be quicker actually learning to play one. As a bonus, you can also generate pop-promos for them, though these are sadly limited to the sort of flashing lights they usually warn you about at the cinema, rather than babes wrestling in mud [Yes, I saw the thing about Duran Duran on the TV; wasn’t it fab? Ah, the 80’s — they’re the new 60’s…]

At this rate, I’ll be on Top of the Pops before the end of the month. Or at least, I *would* be, if it wasn’t for the alternative distraction provided by ‘Metal Gear Solid’. This game is heavy-duty: you play an 007 type operative called Snake who has to, oh, the usual: rescue hostages, disarm terrorists, kill nuclear missiles [I may have got the last two mixed up, I really should pay more attention. The major step forward in gameplay is that unlike Doom/Quake, it is a Very Bad Idea to get involved in firefights. You die. Repeatedly. It doesn’t help that the control are a little tricky to use; for some time, my major method of attack was to lie on the ground and crawl at my opponents.

Instead, you creep around, waiting for guards to pass, security cameras to swivel the other way, and generally engage in the sort of tedious stuff usually cut from Bond movies in favour of dry one-liners, cool gadgets and the stroking of white Persians. Running away at top speed, for example, is a crucial part of MGS. Yet despite – or perhaps because of – this, the end result is remarkably addictive: albeit with the odd impulse to hurl your Playstation across the room on occasion, but this is merely the mark of a good game.

There are really two options at this point: sacrifice, say, the next month to living a hermit-like existence in an effort to get it finished as soon as possible, or lock it in a cupboard and throw away the key. [The third possibility, playing it in moderation, is clearly ludicrous and will not be discussed any further] But whichever option is chosen, if things are quiet on the TC front, at least you’ll know why…

I was going to devote this week’s editorial to the strange case of the Labour MP caught by the police, perfectly innocently, in a thinly disguised whorehouse. What he was doing in there if he WASN’T having sex doesn’t bear thinking about. Now, that’s what I *call* a fact-finding mission. However, I don’t think there’s anything more that needs to be said — except that like Joe Ashton, it’s time for some more creeping and crawling, I reckon. Only mine is round a nuclear base, rather than to Tony Blair…