CRRRRS 476 The Last of Us

By Roy Mathur, on 2023-01-30, at 23:07:00 to 23:47:45 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show, Listen

Hard Water Itch

I'm still not watching much TV, but a bad night---from a combination of hard water, cold weather, and central heating that's killing my skin and sinuses---led me to curl up on the sofa with The Last of Us. Other than that, I'm still catching up on my reading and haver added a magnifying class to my reading area.

This episode is taped again on a Shure SM7B mic plugged into a Triton FetHead mic booster, plugged into a TC Helicon Mic Looper (for phantom power), plugged into a Sony PCM-M10 recorder. I swapped back to the SM7B because it's smoother, i.e. easier to edit. I am not putting my abused parts though the two days of sodding about with tape I did for the last episode.

Eyes of an Ageing Comic Reader

I've been trying to read a collected volume of a British comic.

The problem is they were originally printed in the magazine format of about 9 x 11 inches, but the publisher, in their dismal lack of any wisdom whatsoever other than the abject worship of the god almighty quid, printed it in the more common, smaller, and cheaper American format of 6.875 by 10.438 inches. This rendered some fine print microscopic, even when exerting eyeball exploding effort to focus. I concentrated so hard, it is a wonder I did not burn holes in the paper. Bastards.

In fact, I am revisiting this comic in preparation for tackling the sequel graphic novel. That sequel is printed on a much larger format, of about 8.5 x 12 and the difference between the two is stark. The format of the sequel is delightful; large enough that you can appreciate the exquisite art and easily read the clear lettering. If you think the size excessive, in older times British comics were even bigger than that, but now we're left only with the Marvel format. That is fine for comics specifically designed for the format, but is a cheap and horrible compromise for older British reprints and I wish publishers would stop this awful cost-cutting measure.

Hence, the presence of the aforesaid comedy size Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass; the remnant of an Open University course in fossils, in which I did rather well, so there. You know what I'd like? Not this giant glass, but the more elegant quizzing glass of an 18th century powdered, bouffant, dandy fop. As well as irritating the polloi, it would come in handy reading the miniscule print on groceries too.

The Last of Us

And so to my cure for insomnia.

Right as we're in the declining stages, but not safely out of the COVID pandemic, but also have monkeypox and H1N1 outbreaks to contend with, screenwriter Craig Mazin, with Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog, bring us this HBO adaptation of a video game.

It's about an incurable fungal infection-based zombie apocalypse. It's a clever premise based on a mutated stain Ophiocordyceps unilateralis; the zombie ant fungus, which terrifyingly exists is a fertile nightmare substrate. The science of mycorrhizal network, the Wood Wide Web, is also bent to fit the script.

On the show, Joel navigates the zombie apocalypse, escaping a fascist police state (aren't we almost all living in one even without zombies?) trying to deliver a possible scientific salvation to a beleagured world where humans teeter on the brink of extinction.

It's clever and engaging writing from the Chernobyl chap, and well acted by Pedro Pascal, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, and Bella Ramsey. The fast zombies are reminiscent of 28 Days Later and World War Z. The devastation and fascism is Escape from New York and The Walking Dead. Trope-wise, we're talking mother nature's a bitch; think Annihilation and In the Earth. The look is helped by the hauntingly beautiful modern digital equivalent of matte paintings of a destroyed world. The Last of Us is also so depressing that two episodes in I bow out and say thanks but no thanks, Craig.

Dungeons and Dragons Open Gaming Licence Follow-Up

Since I reported the Open Gaming Licence fiasco, that had Dungeons and Dragons fans and creatives up in arms, Wizards of the Coast have retracted their cash-grab ruleset licence change plans.

However, there are so many loopholes in the language of their "irrevocable Creative Commons licence" that it would not be prudent for third party tabletop games and content makers to trust them. WOTC can't seem to get this right.


The BBC, as a few unfortunate YouTubers have discovered, is psychotically overly protective of their copyright, particularly Doctor Who.

Even the very short, heavily edited audio clips of classic DW, that are indisputably "fair use" (though we only have "fair dealing" in the UK), would be hard for me to fight, should the giant corporation decide to go for my neck. In such an occurrence, my shoestring operation, having zero access to solicitors, would fold like wet cardboard. So no more audio clips.

And what about images? I don't know, is the answer, but this continued hammering of the fans is self-destructive. It's about time IP holders, like Aunty, learn the difference between theft and critique and cease biting the hand that feeds them with massive free publicity. For gods sake, we fans get the flame alive when the show was cancelled for over a decade!

Is it all gloom and doom? Not entirely. You see, with no content remaining that could upset the Beeb, Hollywood, etc., I can start posting audio up to YouTube again. It's a pain to do this, but if it's a way of connecting with new listeners, I may give it a try again.

Of course, YouTube has this new complicated explicit language clause too because Google is a an advertising company that won't risk that big bag of advertising money. And you know how armchair experts tell us if you don't want to live by YouTube or other so-called free (but not really) social media platform rules, you should buy your own space? Have you read the fine print of your blog, podcast, or video web host? It is full of speech and copyright rules, so good luck with that.

The weaponisation of the law by the selfish or dictatorial or spiteful, with money for great lawyers, is an inescapable blight on the internet.


Remind me to never mention schedules and deadlines again, though I can say you won't have to wait long until the next episode.