Twilight of the Donds…

living deadThere aren’t so many of us any more. We don’t know how much time we’ve got. We’re not quite the only ones left; occasional contact from people like Swawilg or Panthersan shows that there are other isolated groups across the globe, probably holed up in similar places to us – defensible position, source of fresh water, good view across the surrounding countryside, but not too obvious. But it’s a while since we’ve heard from Nilpferd or Maki, Ravi or Deano. The lights are gradually going out… And we know that, sooner or later, they’ll be coming for us too, and we won’t be able to hold them off.

For the last six weeks, or however long it’s been, we’ve been too caught up in day to day events, first dealing with the sheer shock of the world falling to pieces, then desperately scrambling for any means of survival; no time or energy to think about anything else. But things have been quiet recently – a pause in the relentless hostilities, enough for some people to start feeling just a little bit of hope that we might make it through, and even for us pessimists to conclude that we could afford to let down our guard slightly and try to relax. “It’s time,” said Darcey’sDad. AliM and Barbryn, who’d kept the Spill ticking over even in the darkest days, agreed. The Prof, who had all the data, muttered something about Zeno’s tortoise and that so long as the ceremony was always taking place tomorrow and never today, RR could never actually come to an end – but TinCanMan and SOWC sat on his head until he agreed. Ladies, gentlemen and the terrifying zombie hordes of the Guardian management, we present: the Spill Awards 2015.

Event of the Year? Ha! There’s going to be a lot of hollow laughter here tonight – not to mention the cadaverous moans from the other side of the barricades. Narrowly beating the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership, with the signing of a nuclear deal with Iran in third, the Readers Recommend 10th Anniversary Social brought together old lags and newcomers to celebrate past and future glories – back when we were still confident about our future…

Villain of the Year? Again, how different the vote might look if held in January rather than early December: runaway victor Our Spam-Faced Overlord David Cameron might be facing some serious competition from the management of a certain newspaper’s music section – who are probably all secretly Tory-voting lizards who own James Bay records anyway.

Discussion of this topic set Beltway Bandit off on some obscure line of argument that maybe the Grauniad‘s minions are not simply brain-dead agents of cultural destruction after all but might be open to rational discussion. He hasn’t come back. If that was a late bid for Hero of the Year, it’s disqualified for suicidal over-optimism. Instead, it’s that man Corbyn again – a lean, morose figure for hard times – ahead of Nicola Sturgeon and Pope Francis.

On to the cultural side of things, and a fair amount of support for the idea that art doesn’t only reflect the real world but actually predicts future developments: the TV series of the year offers a relentless parade of back-stabbing, intrigue, obscure political machinations and ruthless contempt for ordinary people (Wolf Hall, ahead of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (sinister non-human creature toys with people’s lives) and a tie between Doctor Who and This Is England ’90), while the Film of the Year, beating The Lady in the Van and – in a rare moment of joy and optimism – Shaun the Sheep, is all about death and darkness: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night.

And that brings us to… What was that? Okay, I know it’s windy out tonight, but that… Reckon it’s all kicking off.

Who was out on the eastern perimeter?

CaroleBristol and Mnemonic, and TatankaYotanka I think.

Oh shit.

No, I don’t mean it like that. I’m just afraid they’ve been eaten by now.

Better get on with it while there’s still a chance.

Album of the Year. Three-way tie for third place: Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly; Protomartyr, The Agent Intellect; Young Fathers, White Men Are Black Men Too.

Windows rattling. Thunder loud enough to wake the dead, if they weren’t already roaming around trying to shut us down.

In second place: The Unthanks, Mount The Air.

Drums in the deep…

Album of the Year 2015: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress. Soundtrack to the end of days.

They’re coming…

27 thoughts on “Twilight of the Donds…

  1. Prof: Whatcha mean “it’s a while since we’ve heard from … Ravi”? I even voted and am present here every week and at the RR blogs so much so one guy’s calling me the “ubiquitous Ravi”.
    Ever since you announced them I’ve been wondering how the Spill Awards are handed out. Guess it is knowledge time for me now.
    PS: Pity about the couple of movies that were released after the polls closed. The Big Short in particular is top notch. Even more impressive considering the book is hardly the stuff that is readymade for cinema.

    • Joke? I mean, we’re surrounded by hordes of ravening zombies seeking to destroy a jewel of world civilisation; you just have to laugh…

      • Ever since the Hann Dynasty sounded the death knell just before the New Year I’ve slipped into an active denial mode. Listening to so much new music that I’ve been missing deadlines left, right and centre. [Even as I type this I’m listening to the YT link Toure-Cooder album I posted in Panthersan’s post and on the RR blog.]
        I’d been celebrating 2015 as the year of new discoveries only to find 2016 maybe the Year of Dashed Hopes & Baffling Decisions.
        PS: Ravening zombies at least have a purpose, to kill and spread a virus … but to shut down a good thing without any reason at all is so much more depressing.

  2. Keep strong everyone, the heavy rain and violent winds which have destroyed most of the fences have blown the zombies away too, so we sit in candlelight, remembering the happy times of Shaun the Sheep. Must remember to listen to the album of the year when I can get out again,

  3. Blimey. I haven’t heard our album of the year. Saw the film, met the hero and attended the event though so I’m kind of in the loop here.

    They’re not zombies. They’re very naughty boys.

  4. Having read that lot I’m no wiser who won what, and it has been a topic of discussion hereabout for the last many weeks.
    Could we just have a list 1-5: and the winner is, with the number of votes of course….….

    • Event of the Year 2015
      1. RR 10th Anniversary
      2. Election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader
      3. Nuclear deal with Iran

      Villain of the Year 2015
      1. Our Spam-Faced Overlord David Cameron
      2. Donald Trump
      3. Vladimir Putin

      Hero of the Year 2015
      1. Jeremy Corbyn
      2. Nicola Sturgeon
      3. Pope Francis

      TV Series of the Year 2015
      1. Wolf Hall
      2. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
      3= Doctor Who
      3= This Is England ’90

      Film of the Year 2015
      1. A Girl Walked Home Alone At Night
      2. Shaun the Sheep
      3. The Lady in the Van

      Album of the Year 2015
      1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
      2. The Unthanks, Mount the Air
      3= Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
      3= Protomartyr, The Agent Intellect
      3= Young Fathers, White Men Are Black Men Too

      • One more small detail, I entered ‘Fargo’ for best TV show and it doesn’t show here even though there was at least one other fan, plus The Guardian devoted front page space reviewing every episode.
        Second, for films, I posted The Hateful Eight and The Revenent on the first day of posting and they’ve both disappeared also?

      • Fargo: 4th place, with 13% of the vote.

        The Revenant and The Hateful Eight: nominated by only one person (yourself) so not short-listed – all short-listed films were nominated by at least two people.

  5. Rushing back from a gig (Evie Ladin, she’s very good, playing Bristol on Feb 11 you Bristolians) and finding…I’ve completely forgotten what I voted for. Oh yes, Jeremy Corbyn. Yay! And Wolf Hall, also yay!!!

  6. Entschuldigung, Abahachi, I only made it in time for the video replay.

    I’m so pleased the Unthanks made 2nd place, and Little’Un says “Yay!” for Shaun the Sheep.
    I promise to make a bit more effort to get there if ever another Event of the Year is held during my lifetime.
    And now to continue watching ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’ on my Almightytradingcompany’s Prime trial membership 😉

    Thank you for running this again, despite the dampener over on the Graun.

    • Not a problem; I didn’t put out much advance publicity for this, as to be honest it was a bit of a last-minute decision; I really haven’t felt much like doing it since the announcement of the closure of RR, plus the usual stress in work, but it got to the point where it was getting silly that the results hadn’t appeared. Here’s a hoping for a more cheerful event next time around.

    • Incidentally, talking of possible gatherings, I’m going to be in Hamburg for a couple of days in September for a conference, so maybe we can meet up for a mini-social.

  7. Aba, you’re a star, thank you for doing all this and making it so entertaining.It really does look like Zombie Apocalypse outside tonight, I’m battening down the hatches and the dog’s on standby,

  8. *click of a shotgun being reloaded*

    angryirishpunk appears, standing atop the barricade, his leather trenchcoat – stolen from Mutant Enemy’s prop department when Firefly got cancelled twelve years ago – billowing in the wind. He tosses a glowing cigarette butt into the midst of the oncoming zombie horde, and follows it up with a gently-lobbed bottle of cheap Lidl vodka. He pauses for a moment, silhouetted against the flames, listening to the anguished moans of the crisping undead, before jumping down to stand next to Abahachi.

    “Is it too late to join the party, Prof?” he grins, as something angry and uplifting by The King Blues begins spontaneously playing in the background.

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