Dear Mr Morrison,
The People of Western Australia
Disordered Thoughts and Curmudgeonly Ramblings
Dear Mr Morrison,
The People of Western Australia
It has recently come to my attention that filming for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 has concluded and – in what can only be described as an appalling lapse of judgment – director James Gunn has failed to consult me on what retro songs should be used on the soundtrack. It’s inconceivable! What is the man thinking?
In the face of such madness I have no option but to post the songs that should be featured, in the hopes that Mr Gunn comes to his senses. So please enjoy what I am calling the completely unofficial Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol 2.5!
1: Run Runaway – Slade
It’s axiomatic that the opening scene of a Guardians film needs a kickass track and what’s more kickass than the rumbling drums and wailing guitars of Slade’s faux-Scottish anthem about fleeing in terror (and – for some reason -chameleons)? Hell, open the film by having the Guardians fleeing in terror from space chameleons, it’ll be downright diagetic! (Note: I may not actually understand what ‘diagetic’ means).
2: Our Man in London – CCS
Not only does this have exactly the kind of swinging big band sound the Guardian soundtracks are famous for, the lyrics talk about rocket ships and space-age heroes. It’s a natural inclusion!
3: Zero – Alastair Riddle
Is there anything more retro-futuristic than synthwave? Yes! The synthpop music of the 80s that synthwave attempts to imitate! And is there any synthpop more synth or more pop than hand crafted New Zealand synthpop? I say no, and offer this unfairly obscure gem by the David Bowie of West Auckland, Alastair Riddell, as proof!
4: Sugar Baby Love – The Rubettes
Every Awesome Mix needs a love song, and what better than this ridiculous bubblegum confection? Half the lyrics are “Bop Shawady, Bop Shawady-wady” and what could be more Guardians than that?
5: Prologue and Twilight – ELO
This would have worked spectacularly well at the start of Avengers: Endgame where Captain Marvel rescues Tony and Nebula, but the Russos unaccountably chose not to consult me. So I’m offering it to Mr Gunn instead. I mean Mr Blue Sky worked great in Volume 2, didn’t it? You can never have too much ELO!
OK, so that’s just five songs, but they’re five awesome songs, perfectly suited for the final installment of the Guardians trilogy. And on top of that I don’t work for free! If Mr Gunn wants to hear the rest of my suggestions (which definitely exist) we’ll have to strike some kind of deal. Have your people call my people James, I’m sure we can work this out!
As the turning of the year speeds us onward into winter the time has come for me to actually make a post. Don’t expect this to be a regular thing mind you, it’s likely only possible because I’ve taken a week off work and hence actually have the time to think.
Anyway, this week someone on Reddit had decided to compile a list of Adeptus Astartes war cries (yes, I’m on about Warhammer again, deal with it) and helpfully posted the same to the 40kLore subreddit. When browsing through this list I noticed something a bit strange – can you spot it?
In case you’re not an ageing Gen-Xer and the title of this post didn’t tip you off, it’s the war cry of the Genesis Chapter, who apparently charge into battle yelling “In too deep, against all odds brother!”. What immediately startled me about this can best be summed up with the inclusion of a couple of videos…
So, we are being asked to believe that the war cry of the Genesis Chapter just happens to be built from the title of a Genesis song, and a former-lead-singer-of-Genesis-Phil-Collins song?
Now, sure, Warhammer 40k is probably the most plagiarism-guilty IP in human history. It’s cobbled together from chunks of Dune, Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, the collected works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Judge Dredd, the generalised evil of Margaret Thatcher and dozens – if not hundreds – of other sources. There’s barely an original idea in the whole thing. But directly quoting prog-rock lyrics seems a little too on the nose even for Games Workshop. So what the hell is going on?
I started digging. The oldest reference I could find to the alleged war cry is on the Genesis Chapter page on the 40k Fandom Wiki – which immediately sounded all kinds of alarm bells.
Warhammer 40,000 has been a thing since 1987, and since then an absolutely titanic amount of background lore has been generated. Organising it all into a Wiki is the obvious management solution, and as a result there are a number of 40k Wikis on the web. The big three though are Lexicanum, 1d4Chan and the 40k Fandom wiki.
Lexicanum is – in my opinion – the most reliable as it insists that all information must be properly sourced. It can be a bit dry and academic though, being very much the “just the facts ma’am” 40k wiki.
1d4Chan (when it hasn’t gone offline, which it seems to do regularly) is an obscenity laced carnival of memes that – once you scrape off all the hyperbole – is often surprisingly accurate. It’s also the only of the big three to really include meta-information – that is to say info about the history and community of 40k . If you want to understand the hate directed towards C. S. Goto, or know why Matt Ward is your spiritual liege it’s the place to go. On the downside it’s not updated that much any more, and if not tempered with more reliable sources can easily delude new 40k fans into confusing memes and jokes (usually very dated memes and jokes – like those involving Matt Ward and C. S. Goto…) with actual lore (For instance the Death Korp of Krieg are not suicidal and they do not regard shovels to be their ‘cultural weapon’, and you cannot kill Orks by pointing a gun at them and shouting ‘bang!’).
The 40k Fandom Wiki… well, to be frank, I do not like it. Its moderation and sourcing rules are extremely lax – pretty much anyone can post anything they like there and it’s up to other uses to spot and correct it. Which brings us back to the Genesis Chapter…
On February 8th 2011 – yes, that’s over a decade ago folks! – some wanderer of the digital waste decided to have a bit of fun with the Genesis Chapter Fandom Wiki page and made a series of edits to the info box, which I shall display here as a before and after screenshot…
Such wit! Such satire! Actually, to be entirely honest, it’s exactly the kind of joke I’d make, but I certainly wouldn’t go and vandalise a wiki with it!
The joker’s changes were reverted pretty quickly, but whoever did it seemingly lacked the necessary knowledge of Phil Collin’s back catalogue to recognise the war cry as part of the prank, even adding quotes around it to standardise the format. And so it has sat there unchanged for 11 years, spreading through the fan community as the accepted war cry of the Chapter!
I may try to do something about this. Or I may not. All in all I suppose we should just be glad that the Genesis Chapter don’t charge into battle yelling “Billy don’t you lose my number!”