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Keeping them at bay

11 Jan 12 | Re: Horrible-looking robots

I’ve put my finger on what it is I don’t like about the new Transformers films. It’s this: the transformer robots all look like freaky insects. When they’re not being cars or planes, you can see far too much of the intricate robot gubbins inside them, just like a blown-up picture of a cockroach where you can see all the folds and weird cavities where a normal person has a smooth outer skin with a proper, convex shape to it.

I don’t think the freakiness of insects can be underestimated, really. I don’t think that all insects should be eradicated instantly, but I think it’s best if they and us normal humans all keep ourselves to ourselves. I lived in Spain for a year and I coped all right, but I would certainly not want to live in a society devised and run by insects: I cannot even begin to imagine the bizarre nature of a real-life insectocracy, and I don’t think you can either. Nor do we want to. So these robots, with their scant pieces of bodywork and their fussy, in-and-out interior-exterior metalwork, stir something of the insectine in the human subconscious. Except that while insects have the politeness to remain suitably small, the Transformers are unduly large.


This is the main reason why I have no desire to watch three long films about these singularly unenticing talking alien Volkswagen-based life forms.

Duly having watched none of them, I only know two more things about them. One is that they are too loud. The other is that they all have a token chick in them who then wins the FHM 100 Sexiest Women vote in the year the film comes out. (I don’t read FHM, but I love lists and I always like to know which American actress is currently considered the World’s Best Looker.)

Incidentally, these poll results are very revealing about FHM’s readership. Time was when they would be won by the leading lady in some TV show aimed at twenty- and thirty-something adults, like The X Files or The Adventures of Superman. Now they are won by the eye candy in earth’s most brainless film franchise. If proof were needed that these risibly categorised “men’s magazines” are now read entirely by 13- to 15-year-old boys, there it is. FHM, it strikes me, would be a good place to advertise over-branded deodorant and massively multiplayer online role playing games with orcs in them. It would not be a good place to advertise, say, cars, unless to plant the seed of a brand identity in the nascent consciousnesses of those who might be buying new cars in fifteen years.

I wonder what magazines actual men actually read. Q, I suppose, which in its own way is no less depressing.

Posted by MR ROCHESTER at 13:02

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