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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Holidaying in Nazi Germany: Booklet promotes tourism just before WWII

My new piece in the Daily Express

THE aim of this booklet is quite frankly, to persuade you to visit Germany.” Nothing remarkable about that you might think.
With its lovely forests, beautiful mountains and historic cities, Germany is a nice country to visit. 
But the date of the booklet gives one a jolt. It’s 1939 – the year the Second World War started. 
I’ve got a rare copy of the LNER (London and North Eastern Railway) Germany via Harwich travel guide, written by Bernard Newman, urging people to take their holidays in Nazi Germany. 
Yes, that’s right, Nazi Germany. “Make 1939 the year you visit Germany” is probably not the best piece of travel advice that’s ever been given, especially if late summer was the time chosen to go. 
Even so, the LNER booklet is a fascinating read, particularly in light of the dramatic events of September 1939. 
Here are some extracts: 

You can read the whole piece here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

23 to 29 October 2017 Weekly Horoscope

Free Weekly Horoscopes Commencing Monday 22nd October 2017


ARIES (March 21st-April 20th)


Get organised with your plans or you will be unable to spend time with the person who is so much on your mind.  If you can keep this week’s plans simple then you are sure to have a memorable time. For romance to proceed you owe someone an apology, don’t you Aries? Call now to hear why solo business ventures are favoured.

TAURUS (April 21st-May 21st)


New friends through work open up an intriguing new path socially to you. The need to sort out the home could well see you taking a trip down memory lane as you sort through things you’d forgotten you owned.  You are closing one chapter and opening another. Call to hear which signs want to play a starring role in your life.

GEMINI (May 22nd-June 21st)


Flirtations take a turn for the serious and you start to realise just how many choices in life you have now. Have faith in a loved one when deciding where to go this week. The stars indicate they may just manage to impress you. You have lost a lot of faith in people lately but this week is set to see it restored. Call now for exciting news on travel.


CANCER (June 22nd-July 23rd)


Last weeks dramatics reach a climax. You hold all the aces if you stick to truth and not lies Cancer. You appear to be worrying about something that is not even in your control and if you don’t calm down you are going to lose sight and focus of the real problem. Call now to hear why this is the beginning of financial prosperity for you.

LEO (July 24th-August 23rd)


Tests and exams go well at this time. Proceed with confidence. You have what it takes. Sort out the many  personal thoughts that are rushing through your head or you are going to miss out on an exciting offer from a lovely character who is new to your life. Call to hear why joint efforts in work can bring a financial windfall your way.

VIRGO (August 24th-September 23rd)


Younger faces prove expensive. Make sure you know where you want to draw the line with them. Try to be honest to close ones about the changes that you are thinking of making to your life.  How can you expect them to be fair to you if you will not grant them the same respect in return?  Call now to find out with whom your future lays.

LIBRA (September 24th-October 23rd)


Family make an announcement that will shock and please you at the same time. Don’t keep your feelings locked in, this is a great week to voice your true opinion and to get your emotions out in the open.  Aquarians are spreading rumours for the sake of it so be careful what you share with them. Call now to hear which sign is your ally.

SCORPIO (October 24th-November 22nd)


Phone calls and e mails show you a better path to take with your career. A misplaced item must be found before the week is over.  It’s the only way you’ll be able to enjoy this month with a clear conscience.  New paths in work help put the spring back in your step. Call now to hear why I’m sure the past is now behind you.

SAGITTARIUS (November 23rd-December 21st)


What you thought to be firm arrangements may only turn out to be loose ones in others eyes.  Try not to be disappointed if this week does not go as smoothly as you had hoped.  Any setbacks are a blessing in disguise and can show you a better alternative to your future. Call now to hear why everything is happening for a reason.

CAPRICORN (December 22nd-January 20th)


Your element of earth is making it hard for you to adapt to a change which is actually good for you. The romantic revelations in store should make up for any setbacks suffered today, so hang on in there.  Things are not going as planned for a reason and a very good one at that. Call now to hear why children bring major news your way.

AQUARIUS (January 21st-February 19th)


Your ability to look into the future can help you to finally close the door on an old problem. Don’t be mean about the worries that have been affecting a friend over the last few weeks.  An understanding nature can help you to form a friendship that will last for years and not just weeks. Call now to harness the magic that Venus is offering.

PISCES (February 20th-March 20th)


Gambles in love pay off this weekend. Trust in your instincts. For once you can afford to. Close ones that you talk to may have more on their minds than you first realise. You could be crossing the line with what you think to be light-hearted comments.  Scorpios offer fun social choices. Call to hear why your future looks so promising.

More:


Lindisfarne Exchange

During this past summer, we had the pleasure of receiving a Warner exchange grant to Hastings, New Zealand to attend Lindisfarne college. We would like to thank the Warner family, Mr. Gioia, and Mrs. Scholer for this amazing experience. Through our journey from Nashville, Tennessee to Napier, New Zealand, which in total was a 30 hour trip, we were lucky enough to not experience jet lag and enjoy the beautiful sights of the New Zealand landscape.
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View from the plane.


Stepping off the plane, we were quickly acclimated to the mild Hawkes Bay winter. Directly after, we were taken to be fitted with our poppy red Lindisfarne attire. After being fitted we were taken to be introduced to our teachers and various Lindisfarne staff. Noticing our jet lag catching up with us, our families took us to our separate homes to rest, where we were able to watch game 7 of the NBA finals and experience a staple of American culture through the eyes of an outsider.

Throughout our exchange, our families exposed us to a vast plethora of New Zealand culture in our trips to Wellington and Rotorua.
Maori Church
Exhibit from Battle of Gallipoli Museum
Geothermal vent in Maori village
Josh and host Steve in Hobbiton village.
Our time on the ski lift at the luge resort
Another highlight of our foreign experience was participating in the national sport, rugby. Proving to be naturals, we picked up the sport quickly and became contributors to the team.
On the prowl.
Post game picture

By far, the best part of our trip was enjoying the many beautiful sights the country had to offer.
View from Josh's host house.
Wellington city
Lake Taupo
Final Sunset in New Zealand

Again, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Warner family, Mr. Gioia, and Mrs. Scholer for this amazing experience.

The Southport Exchange by Jackson Maradik and Dylan Haselton

This summer we had the opportunity to travel to Southport, Australia to attend The Southport School for four weeks. After arriving we were shown to our boarding houses where we would be living for the next month. Dylan was assigned in the Biddle House and Jackson was assigned to McKinley House. Both houses had a unique group of students from all over Australia and surrounding regions. After settling in, we were given a tour of the school by a year twelve student from Biddle boarding house, James Blok, who explained how things worked at the school and took us to get our class schedules. We tried to fit as much as possible on the first day before bowing out to jet lag in the late afternoon.

Our first full day, we attended classes on a Friday before a weekend with a home rugby match. Every Friday after lunch everyone in the school gathers in “the pit” where the whole school practices their war cries before the game the next day.

Rugby matches are a big deal at The Southport School and are all-day affairs. It is taken so seriously, many of the varsity players go on to play professional rugby for teams all around Australia. The entire school shows out to cheer on their classmates who play every Saturday afternoon.

When we weren’t in class, we would sometimes go down to the beach in Gold Coast which is only a 10 minute drive from the school. The Gold Coast is a large tourist attraction in Australia because of the beautiful beaches and warm weather year round. The main beach we visited was called Surfers Paradise. “Surfers” brought many unique restaurants and shops outside of the general area of the school while offering a view of life in an Australian city.


On the weekends, we would sometimes go out on leave with some other boys at the school and they would show us different parts of Australia away from the school. On our last weekend we made the trip up to the Currumbin Wildlife Preserve where we saw all the native Australian species close up.


The Australians we met seemed to be very interested in the american lifestyle, with frequent questions surrounding the rise of Donald Trump and Gun Control. It was a highlight to explain to them American culture, while learning life in Australia at the same time.
We are very grateful for the opportunity to have gone on this trip and glad to call it the highlight of our summer. Thank you to the Warner family for sponsoring the trip, Mr. Gioia and Mrs. Scholer for organizing, and everyone at The Southport School, especially the boys in each house, for being so welcoming. We will never forget this life-changing experience because we were able to fully immerse ourselves in a completely different culture than there is here in America. We really enjoyed our time in Australia and would recommend this exchange to anyone considering it.

 Jackson with a kangaroo at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

 A view of the Gold Coast

 The clocktower at the school

The view of the city from behind the school

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A picture of the Biddle House

Displaying IMG_1421.JPG




Monday, August 29, 2016

Computer Repair Guy



I have been having trouble with my laptop for a while, I didn’t want to buy a new one as it was only a year and a half old, In computers, that is considered way out of date but it suited me just fine, it was the glitch of it turning off on its own when I would try to go to a web page.

I checked Craig’s list on my phone for someone to help me at a lower price than the rip off shop at the mall, I called the number and the guy, David gave me his address to bring it over for him to look at.

After the few minute drive I was knocking at his door.

“Hi, I’m Luke, I called you about my laptop.”

“Yeah, come on in, have a seat and tell me what your laptop is doing.” David said.

“Well, it shuts down on me allot when I get a pop up and I try to close it and I would like to see if you can clean it up and make it faster.”

“Sounds like a virus, and I am sure I can help you out, can I have it for a couple of days?”

“Sure, it is not doing me much good and is frustrating me like crazy.” I said looking into David’s steel gray eyes.

David was pretty hot, not the computer nerd I had expected, he was tanned and muscular in a natural way, he was wearing shorts and a tank top and I would get a flash of dark arm pit hair occasionally but it was his full lips that captivated me, the corner of the right side would pull up a bit when he spoke separating to show off his near perfect white teeth.

“Write your name and phone number down and I will give you a call when I finish with it.” David said as he picked up a pen and some paper handing it to me.

I jotted my information down and started for the door, David placed his hand on my shoulder as he opened the door, and I pushed my hand out to shake his.

“Cool, thanks Luke, I will have it done in no time.”

I almost forgot about David and my computer until my cell phone rang three days later.

“Hello, Luke? It’s David, your laptop is finished and running as smooth as ever, you can come by now if you would like to.”

“Yeah, sounds good, I’ll be right over, how much do I owe you?”

“Fifty bucks is fine, I really didn’t have to do that much, see you in a few.”

“Great.” I said before hanging up the phone.

I was at his house in about ten minutes and David was out watering the yard, shirtless and looking sexy as ever.

“Hey, you must live close, it only took you a few minutes to get here.”

“Yeah, just over by the mall.” I said as I stared at his chest.”

David walked over squatting near the house to turn off the water, I watched the back of his shorts pull out from his lower back showing me the very top of his ass crack, it made my heart race, I wanted to slide my hand into his shorts and a finger into that bit of a crack.

“Let’s go inside and cool off, it is hot out here and I have been out here about as long as I could without stripping naked and turning the hose on myself.”

“That would be a great show for the neighbors I’m sure.” I said envisioning that in my head.

David laughed as he opened the door, it was dark and cool inside, we sat on the couch while David turned my laptop on.

“What did you find the problems were?”

David smiled at me a bit before speaking, I was at a loss as to why.

“Well, you did have a virus, probably from web sites you may have visited, I cleared the virus and added an anti-virus protection and moved your massive picture files onto a thumb drive to clear out some memory and help speed things up, my face went red as soon as he said picture files, it was porn, gay porn tons of pictures of men, young and old doing all sorts of things to each other and cum flying everywhere.

David pushed the thumb drive into the USB slot on the side and up popped a set of files and David proceeded to show me how to transfer pictures and videos over to the thumb drive. A video of a guy fucking a smaller guy lit up the screen, my face was hot.

“If you store your entertainment on these USB drives, it will save your space and keep it off of your laptop, I especially liked this video.” David said with a smile.

“I’m so fucking embarrassed.”

“Why? I have a healthy porn collection of my own, here I made you a copy on a second USB drive.”

David handed me a blue USB storage stick and closed my laptop.

“That my friend will be fifty bucks, mostly I charged you for the anti-virus I added, and the rest was my pleasure.”

I paid him, shook his hand and gathered up my laptop and the two thumb drives, thanked him and headed for the door.

“Let me know if you have any problems at all, I’m only a few minutes away.” David said flashing that dazzling smile.

“Will do.” I replied.

In the car all I could think about was how embarrassed I was about him seeing my gay porn and him giving me a thumb drive of his porn, probably nothing I’d want to see, I’m not into straight porn whatsoever.

Inside my house, I opened my laptop and started to push the red USB drive into the laptop and look at my porn collection, I was very horny and wanted some relief.

I hesitated and picked up the blue one, David’s porn, I pushed it in and the screen came up to a video, at first a close up of a hot and large cock dangling between a guy’s legs, his hand came into frame and rubbed it to a full erection, wow, gay porn, I took him for a straight guy.

I could hear soft moaning and slipped my shirt and shots off dropping them onto the floor, the guy moved back a little from the camera, then I heard his voice say “Suck it Luke”, I jumped and almost lost my boner, the guy backed away from the camera until I could see his face, it was David, he had made me a sexy video, wow! And he was definitely hot.

David moved near the screen before turning a bit showing me his sexy ass, he did not bend over or spread his ass cheeks but turned back giving me a great view of his cock jutting out from his body.

“Luke, if you like what you see, I will be naked and waiting for you for up to an hour after you left my house, after seeing your porn collection. I knew that you would like a short video seeing me naked, I didn’t want to put any pressure on you. I also didn’t know if you had a boyfriend or were seeing anyone, in that case, you are probably watching this with him and won’t be over, If you are coming, don’t bother knocking, just come in, I will be inside waiting for your stiff cock to fill my ass.”

I looked at the clock, I had been gone for 20 minutes, and ran for the car, I wanted to run red lights as they seemed to take forever to change to green. Finally I pulled into his driveway and hurried to the door, it was unlocked and I walked in to see David standing a few feet away naked, just like he said in the video.

I reached to put my arms around him but he took one hand right to his low hanging balls and thick cock, my hand felt the weight of it and cupped his balls while my left hand roamed his lower back.

David was a sight, very hot looking naked stud that seemed to be a bottom. David pulled the back of my neck toward him, his sexy lips went to mine that chewed softly before running his tongue into my mouth as we walked to his bed.

David pulled my tee over my head and ran his tongue down my chest to my left nipple, his hand went down the back of my waistband and into my ass crack. He unbuttoned my jeans and pulled them to the floor and wrapped his hands around the back of my legs and moved to my brief covered ass.

We had not said a word but David moved his mouth to my crotch and started biting and chewing at my underwear and bulge before dropping them to my ankles.

My cock bounced as I stepped out of my jeans and briefs, I ran my hands over David’s chest and down to his crotch, my fingers circled his cock and balls, but not quite all the way, but I felt as I owned them, he leaned in and kissed me again.

“Fuck me.” He whispered in my ear.

We moved onto the bed, he had prepared by setting out some lube and condoms, I helped myself and gave him a firm push face down onto the bed, I reached under and lifted his hips into the air and could feel his cock and balls dangling in the air between his legs.

His smooth skin was intoxicating, I ran my hands all over his back and thighs, and he had that fresh out of the shower smell and feel.

I moved in behind him and in one firm motion, after adding lube, I pushed my condom covered cock into his ass. I could hear him inhale deeply but I got the idea from his actions and lack of idle chat, he wanted to be taken firmly.

I pushed forward as far as my cock could be buried inside him and leaned back some, looking down at my cock shoved into his ass, I wiggled inside him side to side before fucking him again.

I reached under and felt his manhood, it was more full than before but not completely hard, looking at David’s back while I held his hips and gave him all I had, fucking him hard and deep.

“Fuck me baby, give it to me.” David said.

I didn’t hesitate, I fucked him hard and fast, hammering my cock into his sweet ass

When I was about to cum, I pulled out and peeled off the condom and squirted my jizz over his ass crack and butthole while pushing my cockhead in the sticky goo while I finished cumming.

David flipped over moving his legs to his chest baring his asshole to the ceiling, I slid my finger into his ass and reamed it in and out while I jacked him with the other hand until his man juice splashed all over his chest and face.

He looked so sexy laying there covered in cum, I reached down and rubbed it into his nipples before sucking the spunk from them.

“That was hot.” I said softly.

“No, that was way fucking hot.” David said.

I laid on top of his chest and looked into his eyes.

“I’m hungry, want to go get dinner and a few beers?”

“Yeah, I do.” He said.

“One thing Luke, I am not into dating, I am not looking for a boyfriend, just sex now and then and I like my ass plowed, I don’t mind hanging out sometimes but I am not exclusive, so don’t get attached, let’s go get something to eat.”



We ate a big dinner and talked a bit, seemed that David was into random sex and I could indulge in that for a while but ultimately want a man that I can come home to every night.

David was a fulltime bottom and liked to be plowed a couple of times a week either by me or someone else after we would text to meet, I never got tired of walking into his house finding him naked, sometimes he was on the couch watching TV with his legs spread, in the shower or on his bed, I never knew where I would find him but he was always naked.

Our Time in South Africa and at Michaelhouse: Cole Thornton and Turner Johnson


Day 1:
We landed in Durban at 10 pm after a full 24 hours of travel and met our host brother Murray and his mother, Deborah Finlay. They took us back to their home in the Mount Edgecomb subdivision and introduced us to Rusks and Milo while discussing our respective cultures.


Day 2:
After a good night's sleep and a late morning due to jet-lag, we ate a quick breakfast and headed out to the coast. We spent the day on the beach and at the Ushaka Water Park where we snorkeled, watched dolphin shows and tried Steers, a staple of South African fast food. Upon returning home, we played golf on the neighborhood course and had an ostrich, chicken and sausage dinner.

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Day 3:
The next day we drove around the city of Durban and visited various cultural sites. We spent the afternoon at the enormous Gateway Mall and ended the day relaxing at the beautiful Oyster Hotel and dining at the Bar B Coa restaurant. 

Day 4:
We left early to meet our next host family, the Nortons, who lived in Howick. Rosebud Norton and her son Will picked us up and we bade the Finlays farewell. After dropping our things at their lovely home, we drove through the countryside of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. We stopped at the historic Nelson Mandela capture sight and saw the simple but powerful monument and museum. They then showed us the Michaelhouse grounds and took us go-karting before we came home to enjoy a delicious dinner and conversations.




Day 5: 
On our second day with the Nortons, we go to experience some genuine African shopping at the local market in Howick where we were able to cover gifts for us and our families. That afternoon, we headed to the famous Karkloof Canopy tours. We spent two exciting hours zip-lining through the top of a mist forest while overlooking the midlands. After arriving home, we ate dinner with the Norton's extended family and prepared to go to our last family in the morning.



Day 6 and 7:
We met our last family, the Pitts, and drove to their farm in Underberg. Our two days here were incredible and full. We chased sheep, milked cows and played porch tennis on their beautiful farm in the scenic mountains. On the second day with them we visited Sani Pass in the Lesotho. We experienced a different aspect of African culture and many spectacular vistas. That night, we packed up and headed for our final three weeks at Michaelhouse. 

Our Time at Michaelhouse School:

In our time at Michaelhouse we met a bunch of amazing people and took some amazing classes. Turner was able to explore some of his interest in his Economics and Accounting classes, and Cole could flourish in his History and Art classes. We both participated in sport while we were on campus. Cole played tennis and we both played soccer and squash. Living in Mackenzie House, We met friends that we will never forget and forged friendships that will never fade. 





Game Reserve:

During out stay at Michaelhouse we took three days and went on a safari at the Nambiti Game Reserve at the N 'daka lodge. We went on four game drives and saw a ton of beautiful animals; elephants, buffalo, ostrich, rhino, impala, kudu, zebra, giraffe, lion, and hippo. We also ate delicious food on the trip to Nambiti. 





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Final Thoughts:
Our time in South Africa was a truly unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime trip. We got to experience so many different areas and ways of life, from city to town to farm, all while journeying through the scenic countryside. We met so many wonderful people and loved our stay at Michaelhouse. We definitely recommend this exchange!!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

NIGHT MUST FALL (1964)

Karel Reisz, 1964
Starring: Albert Finney, Mona Washbourne, Susan Hampshire, Sheila Hancock

When a hotel waiter-cum-serial killer, Danny (Albert Finney), impregnates a local maid (Sheila Hancock), he soon ingratiates himself in the household of her employer, one Mrs. Bramford (a perfect Mona Washbourne). He soon wins the old lady over with his brash charm and work; he is hired to spruce up her country home and moves in shortly after, coinciding with nearby police investigations of a missing woman whose body is believed to have been dumped in the river. Though Mrs. Bramford’s adult daughter (Susan Hampshire) takes an instant dislike to Danny, it doesn’t take much time before he has the attentions of all three women, which propels the household towards a violent conclusion.

Night Must Fall is a remake of the 1937 film starring Robert Montgomery, though both are actually adaptations of a 1935 play from Welsh writer Emlyn Williams, who also starred in the lead role during the original stage production (!). While I can’t help but see Reisz’s film as an offshoot of Psycho — whose 1960 release was followed by a swathe of imitators — it’s fascinating to think that the story’s real origins were in the ‘30s, coinciding with a more public understanding of the serial killer phenomenon; primarily in the United States, with such figures as the Cleveland Torso Murderer, Louisiana’s Robert Nixon, and Harry Powers (known as the West Virginia Bluebeard), while Germany’s infamous Peter Kurten had only been executed a few years prior. Night Must Fall actually has curious similarities to Psycho — the origins of both Norman Bates’ psychosis and Danny’s lies in childhood and complicated maternal relationships — but is, at least in some ways, a more fascinating tale as it refuses to explain away Danny’s madness in the final frames of the film. Even Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (also 1960) did not even risk this kind of ambiguity.

And unlike the male protagonists of Psycho, Peeping Tom, or William Wyler’s The Collector (1964), Albert Finney’s Danny is a sexually charismatic figure, one who is able to successfully manipulate and seduce the film’s female characters, who are powerless to stop him even when they know he is up to no good. In this sense, he is far more like the unhinged, violent protagonists of film noir — such as Bogart in films like Dark Passage and The Two Mrs. Carrolls, Michael Redgrave in Secret Beyond the Door, Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill, and Robert Ryan in basically everything — than he is like the cinematic killers of the ‘60s. Finney’s performance in this film is absolutely mind-blowing and it’s baffling to think why critics hated the film so much upon its release. In my mind, he’s always been more of a theater actor, which he certainly was during roughly the first two decades of his career, but if Night Must Fall isn’t proof of his talent, I don’t know what is.

Genuinely creepy in parts — thanks in part to some beautiful cinematography from Freddie Francis, who I’ve already written about extensively throughout my British horror series — this goes much further than a lot of the other psycho killer films of the period without showing any actual blood or violence. There is the suggestion of a headless body fished from the river, a head in a hatbox that Danny keeps as a trophy and occasionally gloats over, and the offscreen murder of old Mrs. Bramson, but the film’s most disturbing scene occurs when the stuffy old matron finally fulfills his wish and plays a game of “stern mother and naughty little boy” with him — a game of hide and seek with the kind of latent sadism and erotic undercurrent that would appear in Robert Altman’s slightly later The Cold Day in the Park (1969). Her refusal to continue the game is what finally breaks his hold on reality.

Part of what makes Night Must Fall such a masterful thriller, in my opinion, is that even though Reisz is upfront about the fact that Danny is a murderer from the opening frames (which the original film is not), it keeps you guessing about where things will end up and, also thanks to Finney’s performance, it’s not really clear just how unhinged Danny is until the film’s final moments. And, refreshingly, he is far from the only character with psychological issues, though many of these are only hinted at or not fully explored. The sense of class-based, economic antagonism — which appears throughout many British horror films of the ‘60s and early ‘70s — adds a palpable sense of tension; in an interesting twist, it’s reported that Mrs. Bramson herself was a servant as a girl and married well above her station. Curiously (SPOILER), she spends the majority of the film in a wheelchair, but jumps out of it moments before her death, adding to the sense that all is not quite right in the Bramford home.

Though it’s received a lot of criticism for being overwrought or even campy, I think Night Must Fall is perfect if you accept it for what it is: a domestic melodrama about a psychopath, rather than an outright horror film or serial killer thriller (and I admittedly don’t ascribe ascendency to any one of the three). Certainly, it should appeal to fans of any of the above, and anyone who enjoys Albert Finney owes it to him to see this at least once. Embarrassingly, it doesn’t have a proper DVD or Blu-ray release, and is only available as part of the Warner Archive collection, though, as always, I’m hoping a special edition Blu-ray release is on the way with a commentary track from Finney himself.

Friday, August 26, 2016

[音樂音效]檢視Undertale的音樂主樂旨以及它是如何影響遊戲敘事 -- 上集

原文轉載自:Jason Yu的部落格 (An Examination of Leitmotifs and Their Use to Shape Narrative in UNDERTALE - Part 1 of 2 )
原作者:Jason Yu on Mar/31/16




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這是關於Undertale的主樂旨以及這些樂曲是如何傳達敘事的文章的上集。
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介紹:
  UNDERTALE是個在2015年九月推出的獨立製作角色扮演遊戲,並且馬上變成我心目中最愛的遊戲之一。其中的音樂輕易地就擄獲了我。如果你還沒有玩過UNDERTALE的話,我強烈建議你趕快去玩。事實上,如果你還沒玩過或還沒破關的話,這篇文章對你來說沒什麼用而且會爆很多雷,所以不要再往下看了,回頭是岸。
  而對那些玩過遊戲的人也不用再多說什麼了。你已經瞭然於胸了。就讓我們來仔細研究有史以來最好的電玩音樂之一吧。
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非音樂家的人要如何閱讀音樂:
  在這整篇文章中,我用樂譜範例來呈現音樂中特定的型式和主題。我知道很多人沒有辦法閱讀音樂。但很幸運地,我認為這些樂譜已經能夠很直覺地看出樂句的輪廓並傳達我想表達的意思。如果你不知道我在說什麼的話,只要記住這點:當音符往上移動,那他的音高就往上;而當音符往下移動,那音高就往下了。如果你可以將這點記在腦海中的話,你應該會驚訝地發現要隨著音樂流動是多麼地輕鬆。
  (最後,為了方便閱讀,我所有的音符都是C大調和A小調...對那些想要完整樂譜的讀者說聲抱歉。)
---
主旋律:
  引述維基百科:「主旋律是個短小、不斷重新出現並且和某個人物、地點、或想法有所關聯的樂句。」或許流行文化中最佳的範例就是星際大戰(Star Wars),當帝國進行曲(Imperial March)響起時,你就知道黑武士要出來了。帝國進行曲就是關聯到黑武士的主旋律。
  UNDERTALE中很多主旋律都符合這三種型態的定義。遊戲中有對應到特定角色、特定地區、以及貫串整個遊戲主軸的概念和主旋律。這篇文章的目標是展現出主旋律在UNDERTALE中不同的使用方式、主旋律是如何影響每個人的遊玩體驗、以及遊戲的音樂是如何發揮出遠比好聽好記的背景音樂還要大的功用。
---
引出「家」的感覺的主旋律:UNDERTALE的主題曲
Home
  雖然大多數的遊戲都擁有一籮筐教人難忘的曲調,但只有一個我們能夠稱之為遊戲的「主題曲」。瑪莉歐(Mario)薩爾薩(Zelda)寶可夢(Pokemon)...儘管這些遊戲有一大票相關音樂,不過我們都很清楚這些招牌大作的主題曲分別是哪些。UNDERTALE的主題曲是這一首
001. Once Upon a Time(好久好久以前)
UNDERTALE主題曲出現在 0:00:
Main Theme


  如同許多優秀的主題,它的強項在於既簡單又多變,我們才因此會在遊戲中聽到許多不同的變化版。事實上,這個簡單的主題是遊戲中超過13首曲子的主旋律,並且在更多的曲子中都有出現。
---
第一個例子就在下一首曲子中:
002. Start Menu(開始畫面)

UNDERTALE主題曲出現在 0:00:
Main Theme


  開始畫面的音樂是將UNDERTALE主題曲極度去蕪存菁,只剩主旋律本身而已。(晶片音樂讓這首曲子不禁讓人回想起Gameboy薩爾達的開始畫面。)
  雖然只有兩首曲子,但對於有經驗的玩家來說,在這時候就會讓他們不知不覺或有所自覺地將這視為主題曲了。認知到主題曲的這一刻很重要,因為這會在玩家的腦中定錨 -- UNDERTALE主題曲現在是這個全新、截然不同、且可能有點恐怖的世界中熟悉的曲調。結果呢,當你再次聽到主題曲的時候,所有和這樂曲有連結的想法和情感都會隨之回歸並且在接下來要面對的全新冒險內容裡重新獲得定義。
---
  在UNDERTALE中,主題曲是被用來帶出「家」以及「安全」的感覺,同時也被用來當做玩家在遊戲中關鍵時刻的檢查點。
012. Home(家) / 013. Home (Music Box) (家: Music Box版)
UNDERTALE主題曲出現在 0:37:


Main Theme


  這是你實際進行遊戲後第一次聽到主題曲。從敘事的角度來看這很合理 --  你才剛被Flowey(編註:遊戲中的壞人角色)重創、闖蕩Ruins區域,如今你終於找到一個安全的地方。再一次地,不管你是有意識還是無意識地認出主旋律,對比玩家才剛經驗的全新體驗,UNDERTALE主題曲的出現加強了熟悉感。吉他輕柔的聲調以及場景祥和的黃色色調都強化了安全的感覺。
---
  在家的場景之後,Undertale主題曲消失了好一陣子,直到接近遊戲尾聲才又出現:
054. Hotel(旅店)
UNDERTALE主題曲出現在 0:20:

Main Theme
055. Can You Really Call This A Hotel, I Didn't Receive A Mint On My Pillow Or Anything(你真的叫這個地方為旅店?我沒有在枕頭上或任何地方看到薄荷)
UNDERTALE主題曲出現在 0:15:

Main Theme


  雖然「Hotel」第一次是出現在Mettaton(編註:遊戲中角色)的廚藝秀之中,但主要聽到這首曲子的地方是在Core之前的旅店。雖然不像家那樣舒適,但在你剛從一個危險的區域(Hotland)遊盪好一陣子後,踏入旅店的那一刻你就可以認定這是個「安全的地方」。理所當然的,罐頭音樂(Muzak)的風格和樂器表現是這場景的不二人選。
  還有很酷的一點是012. Home和 054. Hotel在遊戲中的前後呼應:我們會聽到UNDERTALE主題曲的兩個地點是在第一張地圖Ruins之後,以及最後一張地圖Core之前。【回想一下你在Ruins碰到的敵人(Froggit, Whimsun, Loox)和在Core遇到的敵人(Final Froggit, Whimsalot, Astigmatism)】
---
  接者,012. Home的曲調當然會被概括在New Home裡的071. Undertale之中。所有在Long Elevator (漫長的電梯)之後的東西我都視為「遊戲終盤」,在下集中我們會有一整段探討這塊。
071. Undertale
UNDERTALE主題曲出現在 0:37:

Main Theme


你不覺得這讓你馬上有回家的感覺嗎?
---
主旋律能標記故事的架構、建立連續性、以及打造世界觀
river

  大多數的遊戲音樂(尤其是RPG)會拆分成不同的功用:某特定地點的音樂、特定角色的音樂、隨機戰鬥的音樂。如果這點做得好的話,音樂就能協助特定的遊戲要素(地點、角色、等等)準確地呈現出該元素給人的感覺,而且能讓玩家迅速將這段音樂聯結到對應的地方。這代表許多遊戲中會有風格迴異的音樂,因為大部份的遊戲(或至少這一類的RPG遊戲)都會試著在遊戲中做出大相逕庭的區域,每一個都有自己的特色。就拿超時空之鑰(Chrono Trigger)世界地圖上(編註:英文為Overworld,以下為方便閱讀會用英文)兩個音樂的差異當例子吧:
Wind Scene (600 A.D.)

Ruined World (2300 A.D.)


  UNDERTALE的目標就這點來說是一致的,但讓UNDERTALE獨樹一幟的是,雖然音樂的變化性很大,但音樂素材的實際數量卻是經濟實惠得驚人。
  遊戲中,有時候你抵達一個新區域之時會被一切事物的「新鮮感」震得不知所措 -- 我想到的一個不錯的例子就是在薩爾達傳說:時之笛(Ocarina of Time)中你第一次來到Gerudo Valley的時候(編註:就是沙漠那區啦)。Gerudo Valley的音樂風格和遊戲至此的音樂差異之大(在此之前是管弦樂的天下,一瞬間轉變成古典吉他),讓你瞬間警覺到你進入了一個新的區域。
  在遊玩UNDERTALE的過程中,雖然你的旅途會經歷過許多不同的環境,但你仍會覺得你是在同一個世界中。其中一個原因當然是遊戲很短的緣故,但我認為是因為音樂中足夠多的隱晦暗示讓聽者覺得「喔,這聽起來有點不一樣但又有點熟悉...我會聽到這段旋律是理所當然的。」
---
  在下面這段我們會細看遊戲中不同的區域和支撐它的音樂,以及它們是如何建立連結並強化架構和連續性。
005. Ruins(廢墟)

Overworld固定低音出現在0:00:

Ruins Riff 1




Ruins旋律出現在0:05
Ruins Theme 1


  這段音樂標誌著遊戲的開始。這是第一首沒有和任何特定事件連結的真正背景音樂,它的主題會在遊戲中不斷地被聽到。
  Ruins以兩段相對應的鋼琴樂句起頭 --- 第一段我們稱之為Overworld固定低音的樂句出現在0:00處。固定低音的意思是指一組在音樂中反覆出現的簡單樂句,而我叫它Overworld固定低音的原因是你在接下來的例子中會看到,這段樂句出沒於許多「背景」曲裡,每個區域的主旋律是以這個重覆的音樂形式為底而譜寫出來的。如前所言,樂句的簡單性能引發之後會聽到的多樣性。
  第一個主題才剛被宣告,第二段旋律隨即在0:05處跳出。我們稱之為Ruins旋律。這旋律很容易記住、很優美、而且我們之後會聽到它許多不同的形式。
---
  讓我們先來看看Overworld固定低音和它在遊戲中的發展。
---
Overworld固定低音

  Overworld固定低音不像我們先前談到的眾多主旋律那樣,你不會稱呼它為「旋律」。取而代之的是,固定低音就像是用來畫上旋律的背景基底。因為這個原因,我認為這種主題很容易在音樂之中被忽略掉,這也使得要在音樂中追蹤它們變成一種樂趣。
  為了不要把音樂講得太理論,讓我們看看這個主題的特色吧:
Overworld Ostinato




  我們依節奏將主題拆成兩個三音符的組合。第一個紅色的三音符組合以突顯出主旋律(或主調)的主題。這就像是音樂版的「你在這裡」標示 -- 這能讓聽者知道現在是什麼「調」,也就是do re mi 在什麼調、可以想見音樂會從哪裡開始、以及音樂會在哪裡結束。讓我們稱第一個三音符組合為「建立主調」吧。
  讓我們叫第二個藍色的三音符組合為「三升音階」。這個音型最重要的是它「一二三」往上爬的樣式。這會讓聽者警覺到這個固定低音會在整首音樂中不斷地出現。
---
  現在讓我們來聽031. Waterfall從頭到0:13的地方:
031. Waterfall(瀑布)

  你有聽到嗎?這個主題被擴展出來且一閃即逝,但它的基礎架構都出來了。如果我們將Waterfall的固定低音寫下來,就會很明顯地看到這只是Overworld固定低音的修飾版:(編註:這我直接聽聽不出來,但可以理解XD)
Overworld Ostinato (Waterfall)


  沒錯,這比上次多出不少音符。但如果我們真的去看第一組紅色音符組的話,這也只是將「建立主調」音型往上或往下一個八度而已。接著在0:04的地方,藍色的音符為「三升音階」。如果你傾聽的話這特別明顯 --- 這三個上升的音階特別明顯的原因是 1) 主題是在旋律往上跳之後才出現 --- 音調突然的改變會讓你的耳朵警覺。 2) 這主題的三音符是這整段固定低音的最高點,也就是說它自然會脫穎而出。
---
  但或許我只是挑對自己有利的來講,或只是一場巧合。這也是種可能。直到我檢查了Hotland中的固定低音的音型。
051. Another Medium(另一個媒介)

Overworld固定低音出現在0:00到0:07:
  如果你第一次沒聽出來的話,這次應該會明顯很多了 --- 那個三音符主題根本在瘋狂地搖旗吶喊!讓我們看看Hotland固定低音的譜:
Overworld Ostinato (Hotland)
  再一次地,我們可以看到「建立主調」音型在樂句的上半部,接著是下半部的「三升音階」。又再一次地,因為同樣的理由我們能從固定低音中更清楚分辨出那三個音符。
---
  到這裡為止,這段固定低音也應該要出現在the Core才算合理。
065. Core(核心)

Overworld固定低音出現在0:06:
以下是這段固定低音的譜面 --- 這和Hotland固定低音一樣很容易分辨:
Overworld Ostinato (Core)


---
  所以這有什麼目的呢?當然了,這樣寫音樂能夠省下作曲家一些時間 --- 他能夠利用並再利用這樣的音樂點子,而不是每一首歌都想一個全新的點子。對聽者來說,這讓你有在聆聽一種大型且有架構的音樂的感受,而不是一堆零散的片段。這就是像貝多芬這種作曲家是如何讓聽者能夠在40分鐘的交響樂中一直保持專注的原因 --- 藉由利用及再利用這音樂點子的不同變化、不同樂器、不同和聲、等等。
  在整個遊戲中,這能讓玩家有種所有地區都連結在一起的感覺,而不是散落在各處的部件。不論是以遊玩或是音樂的視角來看這都很讓人享受,所有「環節」都被連在一起並且整齊地打包成一個上下連貫的作品 --- 這就是這段固定低音將遊戲中四個區域綁在一起的成果。
---
  如果Overworld固定低音的目的是要創造出一致、熟悉的背景音樂的話,那麼每個區域的旋律就是要呈現出遊戲進展的感覺。特別是四個區域使用這些旋律的方式顯示出這遊戲的架構是被拆成兩個不同的專題。
  讓我們回到Ruins(廢墟)去吧:
ruins
005. Ruins(廢墟)
Ruins旋律出現在0:05:

Ruins Theme 1


  旋律和固定低音不一樣,旋律天生就充滿了特色,讓我們能夠直覺地想到它並認出它其他的型式。(如果你玩過遊戲的話,你大概已經可以從記憶中哼出Ruins的整段旋律了。)這也代表旋律的變異版也很容易被認出和記住。讓我們看看這首原始版的Ruins是如何在整個遊戲中四處串門子吧。
---
031. Waterfall(瀑布)


Ruins旋律出現在0:27:
Ruins Theme 2 (Waterfall)


引用自:
Ruins Theme 1


  Ruins旋律在0:27的地方出現,和原始版相比速度較慢卻以同樣的方式出場。這旋律在中間開始調子會很Ruins版不一樣,但曲子輪廓和節奏樣式大致上相同。
---
033. Quiet Water(寂靜之水)

Ruins旋律出現在0:07:
Quiet Water


引用自:
Ruins Theme 1


033. Quiet Water是Waterfall的延伸版,將旋律放更慢並簡化了節奏。
---
  從這裡開始,Ruins旋律在遊戲終盤前就不再以主旋律的形式出現在任何音樂中。人們很自然地會問說「為什麼Ruins旋律沒有出現在Hotland或Core之中呢?」,尤其是在我們看到Overworld固定低音的這些痕跡之後。
  這個問題可以在遊戲終盤之前,Ruins旋律最後出現的地方找到解答...
045. NGAHHH!! (呀啊!!)/ 046. Spear of Justice(正義之矛)


Ruins旋律出現在0:34:
Undyne Ruins Melody


引用自:
(Ruins)
Ruins Theme 1
(Waterfall)


Ruins Theme 2 (Waterfall)

  或許你早就猜到了 --- Ruins旋律最後一次出現在Undyne(遊戲中角色)的戰鬥中,並且是她的戰鬥主題曲的一部份,因為她代表了遊戲前半段的結束,也就是Ruins和Waterfall的這半段。這段旋律融入的方式格外地高明,因為它結合了Waterfall版本的音調但卻用Ruins版本的節奏型態。這是Ruins旋律最後一次大放異彩, 理所當然當你擊敗Undyne後並在遊戲終盤之前你都不會再聽到這段旋律(Undyne的主題曲還有很多東西可說,但我們會在下集中談到!)---

hotland

  現在讓我們來看看Hotland中出現的樂句在遊戲後半部是如何發展的。這次有不只一個樂句要追蹤。讓我們一次關注一種吧:
051. Another Medium(另一個媒介)

Hotland 旋律1A出現在0:23:
Hotland Melody 1A
(編註:給看不懂樂譜的讀者:仔細聽背景那有點像人聲的聲音)

Hotland 旋律1B出現在0:37:
Hotland Melody 1B
(編註:給看不懂樂譜的讀者,仔細聽背景出現的尖細聲音)



  我們要追蹤的第一段旋律出現在0:23。它緩慢地上升成為一種景像、一個美麗且令人難以忘懷的旋律,為緊接在後的副旋律(Countermelody)設下了舞台,而音樂也在0:37處正式開始。
065. CORE(核心)


Hotland旋律1A出現在1:02:
Core Melody 1




  在065. CORE中,我們看到了同樣緩慢且飄逸的旋律在1:02處出現。
---
  現在呢,如果Ruins旋律在Undyne的戰鬥中終結的話,那Hotland和Core的旋律也要在Mettaton(遊戲中的角色)的戰鬥中終結才算合理。讓我們來看看吧:
068. Death by Glamour(迷死人的魅力)

Hotland旋律1B出現在0:14:
Mettaton Melody




引用自:
Hotland Melody 1B




  我們能聽到Hotland副旋律(旋律1B)重新在0:14出被拿來引導068. Death by Glamour,雖然被改過但仍然認得出來。如前所言,Mettaton身為遊戲後半部的魔王,他的主題曲共用了貫通Hotland到他之間的所有旋律是很合理的。他會如同Undyne對Ruins旋律那樣地「終結」Hotland旋律。
---
  現在讓我們看看第二個貫穿了Hotland和Core的旋律:
051. Another Medium(另一個媒介)

Hotland旋律2出現在0:52:
Ruins Theme 3 (Another Medium) Transformed


  第二樂句和我們剛才關注的第一樂句完全不一樣 --- 第二樂句來勢洶洶、很強烈、節奏感強。不像第一樂句那樣羞赧、弦樂的音色,第二樂句是一出現就馬上能讓大家注意到的粗壯且強勢的合成音。
065. CORE(核心)




Hotland旋律2出現在0:35:
Core Melody 2
引用自:




Ruins Theme 3 (Another Medium) Transformed


  當然這段樂句也會出現在Core的音樂之中,而且大致上和Hotland的版本沒什麼變動。然而,這段樂句並沒有在Mettaton的戰鬥中出現(因為它已經富含了其他的主題和型式) --- 但我認為因為它描繪出Hotland和Core的關係所以還是值得一提。

---

  ...呼,我知道以上的內容有點太多了。總結一下:


  Overworld固定低音貫穿了遊戲中所有四個區域。因為固定低音是用來當做其他較突顯音樂元素的「支撐用」重覆音型,所以較不容易被聽出來。雖說如此,它的出現會讓聽者不論是有意識還是無意識地感覺到這所有的區域都互相連在一起,並且屬於這個貫徹始終的世界。
  每個區域的旋律互有關聯,要不是有一些較明顯的旋律,不然你在這個遊戲過程中可能會聽到非常膩。結果呢,UNDERTALE有結構性地被拆成兩半。前半段是Ruins和Waterfall,它們共用一個樂句,此旋律在遊戲前半段的尾王Undyne處「終結」。後半段是Hotland和Core,這兩個共用了兩個樂句,其中一個在後半段的尾王Mettaton處「終結」。將遊戲分成兩半部的理論事實上更被 047. Ooo和 70. Long Elevator這兩首曲目證明了,這兩個「嗡嗡聲曲目」分別是在Undyne和Mettaton魔王戰後被撥放。
  「但是,那整個Snowy/Snowdin區域哩?為什麼它在這整段文章中被排除在外?」


snowdin

  這問題很有趣。如果你以音樂的角度來檢視,Snowy/Snowdin是個自給自足、自我完整的小區域。以主題的角度來看的話,Snowy、Snowdin、Shop Music、和Dating Sequence都共用了一個主旋律:一個可愛、快樂的簡短旋律來勾起那種感覺。
017. Snowy(雪白)


開心的主題出現在0:00:
Snowdin Town Theme Var 1 (Snowy)022. Snowdin Town(雪白小鎮)

開心主題出現在0:19:
Snowdin Town Theme開心主題橋段出現在0:56:
Snowdin Town Theme Part 2




023. Shop(商店)



開心主題出現在0:00:
Snowdin Town Theme Var 2 (Shop)
開心主題橋段出現在0:25:
Snowdin Town Theme Part 2


025. Dating Start!(開始約會囉!)



開心主題出現在0:00:
Dating Start!


開心主題橋段出現在0:53:
(加上搖擺)
Snowdin Town Theme Part 2


027. Dating Fight!(約會之戰)


開心主題出現在0:00:

Dating Fight!



開心主題橋段出現在0:13:
(加上搖擺和點綴)

Snowdin Town Theme Part 2




  那麼為什麼這個區域在音樂上要和遊戲的其他部份分開來呢?我認為理由如下:


  遊戲中的Snow區域在敘事上是巧妙地用來強化遊戲的「寬恕機制」(Spare)。

  想想看 --- 對大多數第一輪的玩家來說,他們可能已經在Ruins裡殺了不少怪物,因為他們沒有受到什麼指示說要怎麼應付戰鬥。大多玩家同時也會殺了Toriel,而且可能會因此心情不太好受。接著就來到了Snow區域 --- 這裡的魔王是可愛的狗狗,這裡有個中間種了一顆聖誕樹的友善小鎮,還有這裡的音樂 --- 這些都不斷地提醒你說,對啊!怪物們在這裡也有著豐富且快樂的生活(雖然好像沒那麼快樂)。
  因此,這整個區域的主題(從區域開始一直到和Papyrus的戰鬥/約會,接著在Waterfall前終結卓這個主題)就是被設計用來讓玩家愛上怪物以及它們生活的世界,並且重新審視自己接下來的遊戲中要如何應戰。腦中有了這個想法後,Snow區域和遊戲中其他區域在音樂上的區別就有了完美的解釋,並說明了為什麼貫穿其他區域的固定低音音型和旋律為什麼在這裡聽不到。
---
  在下集文章中,我會討論和角色有關的主旋律以及這些主旋律是如何闡述角色們的個性和關係,同時也會討論遊戲終盤的曲目。在此同時,如果你有任何問題、評論、同意的想法、或你不怎麼買帳的地方...請在下面的留言區讓我知道!
翻譯:XDorz87

校訂:MilkReaver