The Monday survival kit

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From now on, every Monday we’ll put together a Brandish survival kit for your perusal, featuring a DVD, an album, a video game, a book and something 100% free. To help get you through the week…

The DVD – An Inconvenient Truth

A lecture on global warming by Al Gore (you know, the Democrat who almost became President of America, until he was confounded by hanging chads in Florida) may not sound like a gripping way to spend 90 minutes, but, trust us, this eco-documentary is a must-watch. Gore actually makes the viewer care about what we are all doing to the planet (killing it, essentially), and even if you’re not convinced that he means everything he says (he is a politician, after all), the message is a very powerful one. Sell your Hummer now and buy a bike… BUY IT

The album – The Good, the Bad & the Queen, by The Good, the Bad & the Queen

Damon Albarn’s latest project (where does he find the time?) is
a good, old-fashioned supergroup, featuring Paul Simonon (The Clash) on bass, Simon Tong (The Verve) on guitar and Tony Allen (Afrobeat guru) on drums/rhythm. Not a bad line-up, is it?

It’s all quite low-key and moody and English – there’s none of the sense of fun Albarn has when he’s messing about with Gorillaz – but that’s not such a bad thing, especially not in January, a low-key and moody month. We’d still like Blur to get back together, though. BUY IT

The game – Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (for Nintendo Wii)

Wario Ware represents the very best of Nintendo – it’s fun, simple and completely bonkers. It also suits the innovative Wii very well. The game pitches you into a
relentless series of three-second micro games, each varying in theme. One second you’ll have to jam false teeth into a
granny’s mouth, then pick a giant nose, then balance a
broomstick in the palm of your hand. Each game requires you to hold and move the infamous Wii controller in a slightly different way. This is a great, great multiplayer game (perfect for parties), where the emphasis is on fun, fun, fun. BUY IT

The book – Wall and Piece, by Banksy

Yes, it’s a terrible title, but then Banksy, the world’s most notorious graffiti artist (although he’s just an artist now, with his own exhibitions in ‘proper’ galleries), never could resist a bad pun. Despite his anti-hero stance, Banksy is a shameless self-publicist, and this book is a fairly traditional, coffee-table-friendly resume of his best work. Thankfully, his best work is generally very good – and very witty – so we’ll forgive him for the cringe-inducing title. BUY IT

The freebie – Google Earth (for PC/Mac)

If you don’t already have the wondrous Google Earth installed on your desktop, what the hell is wrong with you? Download it now (there’s a new version out) – it’s fricking awesome, and, best of all, it’s 100% free. Then spend hours looking for your house and other places of interest, like Area 51. DOWNLOAD IT