Sunday, 20 December 2009

It's all over bar the shouting.

A historic Xmas number one was hit today. Rage against the Machine - Killing in the Name is the UK's Chart-Topper for christmas week. I just want to list the reasons this campaign was so amazing:

1) The immense feeling of camraderie that a lot of the people on the group feel. At the end of the day, there was no single release, there was no Huge hype machine.

2) This is the first EVER Xmas number one based entirely on digital downloads. That, in itself, is hugely significant.

3) We did this. Us, The People, gave the world an Unexpected Christmas number one. And that is the most significant thing of all.

I'm going to post this one last time to the Rage group. I want everyone who comes here to comment below. Make your voice heard. I want this blog post to be a record of everyone I spoke to, spammed and ranted with on those rage boards. I want this to be our names inscribed in stone. Lets be heard one last time.

Let the party begin.


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

An Open Letter to Simon Cowell

Dear Mr Cowell,

I, Ben Myatt, have been a fan of music for many years. I grew up listening to the sounds of Genesis and Jeff Wayne's war of the worlds. I chilled to Rick Wakeman and rocked out to Nirvana. I am the man who actually bought and B*witched album, and who listens to the mellow Punk sounds of the Bouncing Souls. I own albums by both Robbie Williams and Vanessa Mae. I even owned the So Solid Crew album.

The point of my above statement is to illustrate that I am not in opposition to you for the music you release, or for the image you project.

I am in opposition to you because you, Mr Cowell, have ruined the Christmas Number One.

I remember, as recently as 2004, the Christmas number one race was exciting. it was something to look forward to. That year, Band Aid 20 gained the number one spot. The year before, Gary Jules had beaten the Darkness with Mad World.

For the last four years, every Christmas number one has been an X Factor winner. For the last four years, A reality TV show has decided the most coveted singles number one of the year.

So Mr Cowell, I want you to understand the reasons I joined the Rage Against The Machine for Christmas number one group. And I want you to understand the reasons why, last night, I went onto 7Digital and Bought a Mp3 of "Killing in the Name of."

I need you to realise, Mr Cowell, that despite your opinion of the campaign as "cynical and Silly" this campaign is not a personal attack against you, Joe McElderry or even the X-Factor.

This is a campaign about free will. You have gone on record saying that you "Did us all a favour by Killing the Christmas number one."

You really didn't, believe me. I have been a music fan for ninety percent of my existence on this planet, and the Christmas number one has always been something special. Despite your opinion, we don't all think that every Christmas number one was great, but at least there was variety! At least, when Bob The Builder hit number one, it meant that something different was at the top of the charts.

The same cannot be said of the last four years. For the last four years we have had one weak reality-show-produced singer after another. You say that the Christmas number one isn't important.

We, the people, respectfully disagree.

Whatever the different opinions regarding the song, the fact is, that for the first time in five year, the Christmas number one battle has captured the imaginations of the country. If you don't believe me, the fact that "Killing in the Name of" has been outselling "The Climb" speaks for itself.

This campaign has been featured on News shows up and down the country, It has been featured in National newspapers. It has trended on twitter and crashed the servers at facebook. This campaign has lit up the music industry in a way the X Factor never has. As a result of this campaign, RATM's guitarist, Tom Morello, will be giving a portion of his proceeds to a UK charity

At The end of the day, even if the song doesn't get to number one, the message will have been sent. You can no longer have things your own way. We will fight for our right to party to the music we like.

Lets not make any mistakes, you profit tremendously from that “Unimportant” Christmas number one. That's fair enough. That's your job. But, despite the fact RATM are on your the same label as Joe McElderry, you'll have to forgive us if we contribute to your profits in a different way from the norm. You'll also have to forgive us for raising over £40,000 for Shelter.

At the end of the day, we wish you no ill will. But you tell us, every year with your “cynical and silly” scheduling of the X Factor to guarantee that “unimportant” Christmas number one. What to Buy, and when to buy it.

To quote a line:

Fuck You, We Won't Do As You Tell Us.



The Facebook Campaign Group.

RATM Download Links:


7DIGITAL - £1.19P - track #2

AMAZON - 29p - yes it will count

TUNETRIBE - 49P - track #2 - LIVE version (yes it counts)

TESCO DIGITAL - 67p - track #2

HMV.COM - 79p (careful - this is track #1)

PLAY.COM - 70p - it's the only track on the page

WE7 - £1.07p - track #2

iTUNES - 99p - track #2

Monday, 14 December 2009

An Electric F1 car? MADNESS.

I came up with today's rant after a talk with my Environmental-former-Greenpeace-Activist Wife. Blame her.

The Rules for Next season of Formula 1 have been announced for some time now, and key on the list is the fact that refueling has been banned for the 2010 season. Now, as seen in the previous couple of posts – and to Kimi Räikönnen's detriment – refueling can have some fairly dire results when it comes to accidents.

However, for me at least, the ban on refueling has a far more significant knock-on.

In these days of climate change, global warming and mass panic over the fact that the Earth's polar ice-caps may indeed vanish in the near future, the Ban on refueling can be taken to represent the fact that Formula 1 is finally moving towards a more environmentally friendly method of racing.

F1 has long been criticised for its environmental image. When Honda used the “EarthDreams” livery, they were criticised for 'Greenwashing' their image. Bridgestone were accused of similar crimes when they declared that the green stripes on their tires represented their support for the FIA's “Make Cars Green” campaign.

A nifty trick. In the first case, the Honda RA107 got five miles to the gallon and produced over 138 tonnes of carbon per race. In the second, Bridgestone pushed for the “two-compound” rule – forcing the cars to use multiple sets of tires per race, as opposed to 2005 when they used one set per race. The sheer amount of rubber destroyed in these tires is borderline obscene.

Although, admittedly, the RA107 livery was more of a marketing move than an attempt to make the cars more environmentally friendly, the new rules of F1 are a positive step in the right direction.

While the cars, for at least one season, may be using just as much fuel as before, the nifty trick regarding this is that, initially, the cars will have to compromise in order to carry that amount of petrol.

The knock-on effect being that the cars will have to become more fuel efficient. Through this, we could see the re-introduction of the KERS system. For those of you unfamiliar with F1, the KERS system harvested the thermal energy created by braking the car and put into a battery, this could then be used to give the car a temporary 60 BHP boost in power. Now, that system, for 2009, was abominably expensive, with all the teams dropping it for 2010. However, with fuel space at a premium – none of the teams can afford to compromise their aerodynamics for fuel – Surely it is only a matter of time until KERS makes a comeback to give those cars an edge around the track.

All of this leads to less fuel being used. Those cars have to become more fuel efficient, while staying competitive. The team that makes the most fuel-efficient car will use less fuel. That makes them able to run at lighter weights. That makes them faster.

So what we'll have is a new F1 arms war. In order to make the faster car, they have to make them better at using less fuel. So the next stage is to use less tires. The simple solution here is to go back to using only one set per race. Now the nifty thing about the slick tires the cars have gone back to using is that the pressure is more evenly distributed over their surface – meaning that they break down at a slightly slower rate than the grooved tires that were used in 2005. Of course, this all revolves around the “two-compounds” rule being revoked. Bridgestone make an awful lot of money out of that rule.

However, after 2010, Bridgestone will no longer be supplying the tires for Formula 1 Competition. So, whoever comes in has the opportunity to make a significant environmental impact.

So, what am I building up to here? Well, to illustrate, I want to introduce you to an electric car:

What...? No, not that one! That car blows!

I meant This One:

Now that Sexy beast of a car is the Lightning GT. And it is a fully electric car with a range of 188 miles. It uses KERS to keep its batteries charged up. The Lithium-Titanate batteries have a lifetime expectancy of twelve years.

Words fail to describe how much I want one. And at £120,000, its about 35 times cheaper than the average F1 car as well.

Now, This gives me hope that we will see a fully electric Formula 1 car within my lifetime. And not just an electric F1 car, a competitive electric F1 car. And the first time one of those near-silent electric F1 cars wins a race, the other teams with their Gas-Guzzling cars are going to look at it and go “wait a minute...”

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is where F1 will finally make the step to not only being the worlds Premier Motorsport, but the worlds most environmentally friendly as well.

And that's just what the sport, the fans, and the world need to see.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A new Bendanarama feature.

Since I tend to trawl the internet for random clips, I figured I'd begin a new, and highly entertaining feature on this blog:

Things Racing Cars are NEVER meant to do!

THis week, I went on the internet and found these clips, illustrating that Racecars, deapite having wings, are NEVER meant to FLY.

Firstly, from the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix, earlier this year, Wayne Boyd Shows his piloting skills. Unfortunately, he's still in a Hitech Racing F3 when he does:

And Our classic clip, from ten years ago, at the Le Mans 24 Hours, Peter Dumbreck decided to give his Mercedes-Benz CLR-GT1 a rather unorthodox mid-Track Aerodynamics test:


And thus, as we can see above, Racing cars are NEVER meant to fly.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

My Ultimate Racing Game.

Well, the new F1 game is out for the Wii. Seeing as I don't HAVE a Wii, I'm still playing F1 2005 (and getting absolutely trounced) on the PS2. And since I havent done a blog entry in a while - Primarily because it wasn't until earlier in the week that the Left 4 Dead 2 demo expired - I started thinking about the features I would want in my ideal racing game.

I was very Bored.

I will also note that most of these are probably impossible with todays technology. But its my fantasy, so fuck you.


1) A Race Director mode that doesnt suck.

For those of you who've played Gran Turismo 4, you'll get this one. the Race director mode is completely devoid of atmosphere, consisting of a screen with statistics. Give us an interactive pitwall. It'd be awesome! Plus, imagine the ramifications for multiplayer - You could have teams of three or four, depending on the amount of drivers, with one guy Controlling all the strategy from the pitwall, and the others driving. It would also be awesome to be able to turn around and see the pit stop go ahead in real time from the team principal's perspective. With voice comms, this would be a truly epic way to play.

2) Full race grids for online games.

Come on, this can't be that difficult, can it? I don't want to race 6 people online, I want to race 23 other cars.

3) Qualifying and practice online.

Again, while its possible to have a full enght race online - I can do it on Toca Race driver 3 - generally, there arent any qualifying or practice sessions. Why the fuck not? I guarantee you, F1 Fans dont want to be dropped on some random point on the grid, they want to try and earn pole position. Similarly, if they have to set the car up, they need to know that those settings work.

4) Fuel incidents, and realisitic damage.

Did you watch the Brazillian Grand Prix? Did you see what happened to Kimi Raikonnen? If not, allow me to refresh your memory:

A similar incident occurred to Tony Kanaan at the Indycar race in Edmonton:

Now, given the level of today's technology, surely it cant be too difficult to create fuel incidents like that? it could even be a mini game - F1-05 already features interactive pitstops. Just imagine, trying to get the fuelhose off without burning off the drivers face. And imagine if a car had a fuel leak on track. Your chasing another car. he suddenly starts to slow down, then WOOMPH. Fireball. And then you have to avoid your face getting burnt off. Fun for the whole family.

And whilst were at it, can developers please find a balance between INVINCIBLE CAR OF ADAMANTIUM and EXPLODES IF YOU BREATHE AT IT. F1 cars may be delicate, but they can take more of a beating than Toca 3 allows. Similarly, They are not so tought that you can drive them straight into a wall witbh no damage, as F1-05 allows. Now, I've looked at the fottage of recent games, and they tend to lean towards Explodey. According to most games, bigger damage is better.

No. Just stop. Realisim, please.

5) A balance between hardcore sim and arcade racer.

Admittedly, games are getting better at this, but we do need to find that balance. It needs to have some semblance of a challenge. also, AI drivers that don't stick like glue to the racing line would be great. kthnxbai.

6) AI cars that actually retire, and Safety Cars.

Please. No more yellow flags forever and no more AI cars that react like a brick wall. Have them experience some severe damage, and occasionally bow out of the race. if theres a severe pile up on lap one, have a safety car some out while the debris is cleared in real time. In fact, animate the marshalls clearing the track - it gives the more sociopathic gamers among us something to aim for.

7) Updateable cars.

Make a game with the base model cars for that current year. Then allow people to upgrade them throughout the season. let them put different things on and see what effect it would have. it would be FUCKING AWESOME.

So yeah, thats my ideal game. Its probably not physically possible.

But I'd buy it, and I'm willing to bet, with some of these features, a good portion of you would too.