Monday, April 19, 2021

Another Tempest In A Teapot

Less than an hour ago, as we were taking a stroll in the evening sunshine, I mentioned to Mrs. Bhagpuss that I really couldn't think of anything to post about today. 

It wasn't a long walk. We went for one of those this morning. This one was just down to the boring horses. I say boring. I say horses. They aren't even there. They're not back from wherever it is they go in the winter. It wasn't for thrills, anyway. It was so we could get some more excercise, not feel like we'd stayed indoors all day long, which we hadn't. It does get to feel like that, though, when it's bright and sunny out and you're indoors with the curtains half-closed, playing video games. 

I was about ready to skip a day, the first this month, but then I checked Feedly and inspiration struck. If you can call linking a couple of news items with some rambling commentary "inspiration". We set a low bar here at Inventory Full. We also talk about ourselves in the third person. Even though there are only one of us. Is only one of us? (Seriously, is syntax the takeaway here?)

The first item was a report on Pitchfork that a Simpsons episode had aired featuring "a depressed British crooner from the 1980s who becomes Lisa Simpson’s imaginary friend". Big deal. It's been a loooooong time since I cared what happened on The Simpsons.

I did once. I bought a Simpsons T-shirt in Paris before the show had even aired in the U.K. It was too small. Of course it was. I bought it in Paris. I wore it anyway. No-one knew who the cartoon characters on my chest were, for a while, which was the point. 

There's plenty of Simpsons paraphenalia in the house. I have several packs of Simpsons playing cards I bought in Barcelona, an unopened Simpsons shampoo in the shape of Homer that's at least twenty years old, a pair of plastic effigies of Marge and Homer still in their boxes. I've played the Springfield video game, read Nancy Cartwright's autobigraphy, listened to the Simpsons' CD in the car...

The first nine or ten seasons, the Simpsons was something of a religion around here. It was family viewing when the kids were stil at school and I taped every episode on VHS. Still have them. Never going to play them, obviously. The Simpsons just went on longer than any of us was interested in going along with them.

You know what I could set to play over that last paragraph? If you could set music to play softly in the background as someone reads the words? (Can't we do that yet? That would be amazing!). This.

And why would that be? Oh, you must have guessed. Who might that depressed British crooner in last night's episode have been? Why, Morrissey, of course.

Not, sadly - or perhaps thankfully - the real Morrissey. If there is a real Morrissey any more. I often doubt it. I sometimes imagine a pod in the basement of his Califonia mansion, throbbing. Wishful thinking.

No, this was Benedict Cumberbatch, playing Quilloughby, former lead singer of The Snuffs. A veritable roman a clef, isn't it? The episode, featuring songs co-written by parodist extraordinaire Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords, has the bequiffed one (as Smash Hits would have put it) doing time as Lisa's imaginary friend.

I haven't seen the episode yet. I don't think it's been broadcast here and even if it had it would have been on a Channel I don't have access to, I imagine. The Pitchfork post comes with two clips which I also haven't seen because "The uploader has not made the video available in your country". I get altogether too much of that kind of thing.

Fortunately, some kind renegade has put up a clip of one of the songs. And it's pretty damn funny.

The title - Everyone Is Horrid Except Me (And Possibly You) - is just too ironic. Certainly too ironic for Morrissey who was not at all amused. That, of course, is what makes the whole thing so hilarious.

Morrissey rarely needs any help parodying himself these days. I recommend reading his rebuttal post in full. You'll find it on his official Facebook page. I just want to repeat that for clarity: Morrissey has an official Facebook page. And he uses it. 

In case you don't feel strong enough (and who could blame you?) here's the choicest excerpt: "...when a show stoops so low to use harshly hateful tactics like showing the Morrissey character with his belly hanging out of his shirt (when he has never looked like that at any point in his career...)"

The post isn't credited to Morrissey. The byline goes to his manager, Peter Katsis. Not that Morrissey would ever fight shy of expressing an unpopular opinion. If only.

That was one story that made me laugh - in a twisted, bitter fashion that felt entirely appropriate. The other, which made me happy for a much more straightforward reason, was the news that Genshin Impact is adding player housing in its upcoming update on April 28th.

The first half of the video is all action and story stuff. I was amused to see the introduction of a new playable character called Eula. Even more amusingly, she doesn't even seem to be the lawyer of the team. That would be the other new character, Yanfei. At 1.32 in the video you can clearly hear Yanfei shout her battle cry: "Inadmissable Evidence!"

The section on housing starts around 2.10 with the appearance of the Serenity Pot. As we learn at the end it's a teapot. A Teapot To Call Home, no less. And it looks very impressive. The MassivelyOP report says it offers players "a variety of different house and realm styles to choose from" in "a personal realm that they can decorate and build upon as they wish".  


I'd live there. I'm planning on it. Customiseable housing is exactly the kind of incentive I needed to start playing again.

There is just one caveat. There's a small codicil overprinted on the housing section of the video that reads "Co-op used to demonstrate effects. The interactive feature for the Serenitea Pot system in single-player is still in development".

That's okay. I can wait. I'm good at that. I had to wait for inspiration to strike before I could write this post, after all.


  1. I think all the new episodes of The Simpsons are now on Disney +. They'll end up on channel 4 in the UK in a few years time I guess.

    As for this episode it was droll but Morrissey's reaction was far, far more entertaining.

    1. He's a fool to himself. It's just a shame he's a fool to eveeryone else as well.

  2. Something tells me that I should watch that Simpsons episode if Morrissey bothered to comment on it.

    And I know that there are more than a few people on my progression raid team that are fans of Genshin Impact; I presume they already know about player housing --but you never know for sure-- so I forwarded that link. They've been trying to get me to play for a couple of months now (as well as Valheim), but I've held off for now.

    1. Valheim is a must for people who like the open-world gameplay of classic WoW and Everquest, I'd say, but it's going to have multiple step-in points as development continues. No need to rush.

      Genshin Impact is very polished and lots of fun but the core gameplay is very different. I like the world and the combat is fine but the progression mechanics don't really appeal to me. Housing, though, is another matter. We'll have to see what the acquisition process is but if it's easy to get then it will definitely stick Genshin Impact on my "always come back to" list.

  3. I don't know who Morrissey is and now that seems rather fortunate! 😃

    1. That's... I can't even process it. I mean, love him or hate him, he's one of the defining forces of late 20th century Western popular culture. His influence is overt and unavoidable - even if you've never knowingly listened to one of his songs (which would be virtually impossible unless you'd never watched television, listened to the radio or gone to the cinema in the last thirty-five years) you will undoubtedly have heard many performers and artists who were directly influenced or inspired by him. It's because his cultural reach was so extensive and powerful that his fall from grace is so painful for so many people.


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