Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Finally, some decent repurposed content:

Communists Now Least Threatening Group In U.S.
WASHINGTON, DC—According to a report released Tuesday by the Pentagon, Communists rank last on a list of 238 threats to national security. "Communists may now safely be ignored," Secretary of Defense William Cohen said. "The Red Menace has been surpassed by militia groups, religious extremists, ecoterrorists, cybercriminals, Hollywood producers, and angry drivers." Other groups deemed more threatening than Communists include rap-metal bands (#96), escaped zoo animals (#202), and Belgians (#237).

Heh. Belgians.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

State makes with the funny:

"Computer? We used to DREAM of having a computer.

We 'ad an abacus made out of some old knitting needles and grandad's teeth, and our dad would put a bit of blue paper in front of it every twenty minutes and then kill one of us, so's we'd think we 'ad a proper Blue Screen of Death, like."

Monday, December 01, 2003

Some Observations From A Brief Sojurn To The Former Colonies, presented in Chronological Order in the Fashion of the Day

Why in God's name don't they let people check in early? There's nothing to do here apart from drink overpriced coffee and dull-eyed people shuffle around - let me through into the hall of wonders beyond the check-in desk, where there's a few decent shops and some comfortable seating.

You know, I don't want to ever get used to seeing people walking around with submachine guns.

Why are Pret A Manger so cheap? They don't taste cheap. Is it a placebo?

TV tells me there are a million enthralling human-interest stories surrounding me at the moment. I'd settle for seeing someone with amusing luggage.

Why yes, that is my teenage self in the passport photo. Indeed, it is highly amusing. How I laughed through those years of pubescent angst.

Goddam Microsoft have spoiled me for air travel. I want Club World, not World Pauper. Window seat might be nice though.

You know, I wouldn't actually travel if I had a cough like that. Much less sit next to innocent, undiseased people who are then trapped next to the cold, unventilating window.

Okay, I'd really like it if you stopped coughing now.

PUT YOUR HAND OVER YOUR MOUTH, YOU INCONSIDERATE BITCH

Why am I watching Bad Boys II? What defect in my personality prompts me to do these things?

Hah! You stopped coughing! You stopped coughing while watching Love Actually! It's psychosomatic! I knew it! I'll kill you!

This stuff doesn't taste nearly as bad as it's made out to.

Yes, that's it, keep coughing. I hope you bring up a lung, millimetre by agonising weedy, yapping, millimetre.

Terminator 4 is a very bad film. I should write to Hollywood and explain that one spectacular car chase doesn't make up for vapid acting, appalling lazy use of established stereotypes and plots that don't even stick to their own reality.

Tell you what, don't bother landing, just dump the damn thing on the runway and let it skid into the terminal. I'm sure those fillings I'm currently swallowing weren't doing much anyway.

Place of address? Shit. Er... shit... er - oh, hold on, they can't check. 34 Maple Drive, yessir, that's where I'm staying. Heh.

Yay, airport welcome.

God, this looks like Nightmare on Elm Street. Surely there can't be anywhere this wholesome?

Basement rec room. Never thought I'd see th- Jesus, that's an enormous TV.


Well, that spun out a little more than I was expecting. Maybe I'll finish it later.
New spectator sport: the sheer, horrible desperation of the music business. I don't like parasitic posting, but I agree with this so wholeheartedly I feel I must record it.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Tee hee. The Washington Post reviewer must be feeling in a pretty lonely place at the moment - specifically, in the director's family. It's only a shame that most of the reviews require registration to read...

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Dead man walking

Well, I know what it looks like now, I suppose. Considerably less momentous than you'd expect, actually, although I'm sure it'll be more significant in retrospect.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003



I think it's time to confess to some strong feelings I've been grappling with since, oh, last Monday.

I take comfort from knowing that I'm not alone:


EDIT: Ooh dear. What I've seen of PC code was pretty sloppy, but I didn't think they'd actually release it in that state. I hope all that "localisation" we're getting before February includes some serious spanner work backstage.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Also

This having been the first weekend in a long, long time in which I haven't had anything to do, I fell to reading and thinking and other things I've successfully managed to tune out over the last few months. I managed to get quite cross about some pretty well-worn themes - society, capitalism, that sort of stuff, the sort of thing that a thousand university arguments are made of but are obliterated once you've graduated and are consumed by them - and I thought I'd write them down here, mostly as an aid to my increasingly ineffective memory and also to let me think things through. I've discovered I have great difficulty internalising Big Thoughts, with the result that insight either pops out randomly (and rarely, I might add) or far too far after the event to be of any use. Writing them down seems to aid critical analysis, and putting them on the internet offers just enough of a chance of exposure that I'm compelled to think about presentation and understanding.

Anyway. I had a "This is undoubtedly deeply unoriginal, but it's not consciously derivative and I need to get my own thinking going on" post lined up, but now it doesn't seem worth saying. I think, perhaps, that's a bad thing. But at least I'm thinking about it.
Big Robot

You should go here. It's the work of talented people.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Picture perfect. Another litigous blow against grammar.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Genesis
Well, it was another fun evening at Yeast Unlimited but, alas, rendered deeply sinister by Kieron and his ever-present notepad. I'm not looking forward to any of it appearing in a comic script soon, but should it come to pass I would like to claim responsibility for the gangsta rap of "Keepin' it Real (Ale)". I'm pretty fucking hip that way. Catch me when I'm thinking clearly and there may be an original comedy-drama serial in it for you...



Sunday, October 12, 2003

And of course it's totally organic

Squirrel, box, computer. Gosh, I wish somebody would make an operating system that intuitive.
Here comes the aaaaaargh

Caution: Aim away from face

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Pull!

"I'm more worried that they would be trigger hesitant..." Oh, good. I can't tell you how much better that makes me feel, knowing that there are psychological programs in place encouraging people to shoot down airliners.
Slow week

ATI screams and threatens press in pale shadow of Bosnian war

Sounds about right to me. I did go away with the aforementioned T-shirt and a fondness for white beer, so it wasn't a total waste of everybody's time, effort and money or anything.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Epiphany

Things I Once Did Scorn But Now Embrace Or At Least Accept:

Circus training
Shop-bought coffee in takeaway cups
The Microsoft Corporation
Owning more than one pair of shoes
Starbucks
The importance of personal grooming
Owning less than three cars
Allotment gardening
Breakdown cover
Shaving daily
The notion that doing a university degree may not be all that beneficial
Comics
Air travel as tedium

In related news, this really would appear to be long, dark teatime of the soul. I've suddenly realised why I haven't missed television all that much since I became distracted over the course of last year is because most of it is utter, utter shit. I've also rediscovered the curse of being sober with nothing to do: my mind works upon itself. The effect becomes more disturbing and the results more worthless with every time this occurs.

See? Much more of this and I'll have to hit the whisky before the voices overwhelm me and I start writing disturbing letters to minor celebrities, or talking in the third person.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Chrissy: Fred Astaire is like your grandad, but with rhythm
Neil: i think you proved humans can communicate by emoticons alone
Kieron: AintItFatFacedAmericansInTheirBasements

That's pretty much been my day. Pathetic, really.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Theya Culpa

I was all set to rant - in a low-key, self-deprecating and ultimately useless fashion, admittedly - about how Hollywood repeatedly throws its toys out of the pram rather than admit that:

(a) Entertainment has developed to the point where there are plenty of alternatives to watching films, no matter how big the explosions are, and thus movies are inevitably going to perform less well. See also: marketing projections the RIAA won't ever talk about.
(b) Most modern films suck.

However, I can't because they're absolutely right on this one. They're just pissed off because the word gets out straight away. Dammit.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The Verdict Was Mail Fraud

You may remember him from such films as these. I'm still quite scared that films like this are produced in the post-McLure era. I mean, Havana Nights?
This means war

Most pathetic advertising slogan ever:
BF1942: Secret Weapons of World War II
"So secret you don't know they exist - UNTIL YOU'RE DEAD"

So that's where the copywriters went when Dolph Lundgren gave up "acting".

Saturday, August 16, 2003

It is my belief that there is a woman outside looking for her cat, which is called Portia. If I am mistaken, then there is a deranged harpy wandering the streets emitting piping ullulations with little regard for people who might, in fact, be trying to sleep.

It would help if I knew which was true, as it would mean I could start working on the defence case now rather than having to wing it when the police arrive.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Shut your mouth

Bring it!

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Brave new world

Up until now, I have blindy accepted the mantra that all things metallic silver (or better yet, brushed aluminium) were the pinnacle of human desire. If this happened to be garnished with blue lights, then it becomes so desireable as to be almost fundamentally blasphemous.

However... I looked up from my bed this morning and noted two PC's of differing sizes, both silver with blue lights. The laptop on one of them was also silver with blue lights. Prominent amid the litter on top of the rest of the desk was a USB drive (silver) Mp3 player (silver, blue screen) , two mobile phones (champagne beige/silver, blue illumination) and a Space Pen.

I am surprised to note that this was enormously creepy. It put me in mind of that bit in Superman II when the harriden sister is transformed into a robot - silver things massing around until they overwhelm you. Definitely time for a bit more throw-me-down furniture, methinks - even that smell will be an improvement.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Richard now has a site and everything. It's very good.

Gaze, despair

Saturday, August 02, 2003

All hail dong_resin:

I think we should arm gay teenagers.
I'm not sure what that would lead to, exactly, but it seems like a good experiment.

and:

Should I really be blacklisted from someone's home simply because I told them "Sylvia Plath was a better cook"?

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

OK, that's quite odd. All external sources ignore the last post, yet it appears here. Is it secret, or merely my bodging the Blogger code?

Let's see.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

There's the rub

Something weird I feel compelled to record: I started dreaming again. This is all the more notable for the fact I hadn't noticed that I'd stopped. The last two days I've woken up from a series of bizarre setpieces, invariably involving people from work engaged in various implausible activities on the sets of well-known film, accompanied by random items from the pit of my childhood memory, and thought hell, it's ages since that happened. Odd. This revelation arrives with the first week of straight drinking I've had for months, thus suggesting my subconscious mind is alcoholic. Which explains quite a lot.

Also, because I'm unaccustomed to having stuff on the internet that's personally relevant: why Kieron likes dancing. My analysis, alas, runs: "that was good. Let's do it again."

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Oh yeah, hi Alec. Hope you had a good time in the States. Shame on you for catching up by looking at this.
Freeman on film

Hmmm. Oddly, I feel I should be overcome with horror at the thought, but I'm not - I think it'd make a great film. They'd have to do extremely well to make it a very good one, which of course they're not - it'll get farmed out to some talentless music-video idiot, will star Jason Biggs as Gordon and will be yet another God-awful exercise in Hollywood failing to understand gaming - but the plot, cheesy though it is, is plenty good enough. Let's not forget, there's the hallowed company of Lara Croft:Tomb Raider, or Resident Evil in the Hollywood annals.

However... both of those films traded heavily on their female stars and raked in a lot of sweaty and acrid-scented cash from immature menfolk. Gordon, bless 'im, isn't exactly a sex symbol, and while the notion of his part being assayed by, say, George Clooney would correct this - and would make it a bloody good film - it's not all that likely, particularly as his post-Solaris career plan is probably headed with NO MORE SCI-FI, SWEET JESUS NO scrawled in blood-red ink. I digress. Anyway, if they (a) avoid casting whatsername from the sequel (a notion I regret even as I type it, as the film won't come out before HL2 and thus my opinion of her will have changed dramatically by them, but, hey, stream of conciousness and all that and actually gosh if that's the case I don't need punctuation ahaha God that's going to annoy me when I read it back again I wonder if I'll actually proof it?) (b) cast someone who can actually act - let's pretend George, or Edward Norton for Gordon, and.... oh, Tommy Lee Jones as the G-man, that'll get some geek cred. Furthermore, they shouldn't neglect (c) having a decent special effects budget. In fact, something akin to Men in Black would go down quite nicely, actually, only with a hefty dose of Alien-style creeping horror.

Actually, yeah. Alien. That's the stuff. Ignore everything I've just written, and think Alien, with a load more weapons, a huge special effects budget, and some properly innovative camera work. Hell, you could even have Lance Henrikssen as Gordon; look at the images (ignoring the airbrushed beauty of the HL2 renders) and there's even a distinct resemblance. Also starring: Tommy Lee Jones as the G-Man, Guy Pierce as Barney, and Christopher Lee, Stan Lee, CliffyB, Derek Smart, Dave McCarthy, Kieron Gillen, Gabe Newell and Simon Byron et al cameoing as Doomed Scientists #64 through #4,603.

Okay, I am quite hung over. But I still think it's doable. If only as a back-page in-joke.

I'm going to go away now.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Good little runner


BERLIN (Reuters) - German customs unwittingly auctioned a car containing 10 kgs (22 lbs) of cocaine, the Customs Investigation Authority (ZFA) in the northern city of Hamburg says.

The Chevrolet estate was originally imported from Mexico and impounded in 1997 after an X-ray revealed it was carrying 54 kgs (120 lbs) of the drug. But that wasn't all. "The software used to scan the car in 1997 was not sophisticated enough to pick up the other 10 kilograms," said Hamburg ZFA spokesman Robert Duetsch on Tuesday. The car sat in storage until being auctioned off last month, whereupon the new owner discovered 11 bags of the white powder stashed in the boot, each weighing around 900 grams.

The man immediately returned to customs with the drugs, which Duetsch said would have had a street value of some 500,000 euros in 1997.

(source)
Brain Food

Woohoo!

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Game on

I think I'll spend more time in the games industry. It's fun in there. And I get to hang - if you'll excuse the expression - with implausibly-genitaled members of the clergy.

I'll also be spending more time at home, because the new place is - get this - nice. I no longer have to worry about filth, flatulence, and flatmates wandering around drunk or naked. Well, in truth all of the above are on the cards, but there's off-street parking and a balcony view, so it'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Word out

My words go on a game box. I am now special. Or a publicity whore - there's some debate.

Monday, June 16, 2003

The truth is out

Comedy genius. At last, I can cast off this feeble human form and reveal my true, multi-limbed, mandible-bedecked form to you puny, puny earthlings

Related: I now have a column in which I have to be professionally evil. My parents would be so proud, if I hadn't thrown them into that abandoned well for having the nerve to oppose me.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Flat out

Well, getting the flat-renting ball rolling was surprisingly easy; all I had to do was hand over two hundred quid to a smarmy bloke in a suit, and in return some people in a call centre somewhere will decide whether I'm worthy of paying them money every month. Ah, sweet capitalism. Assuming that comes to pass, I'll be living with Chrissy, who went to university with Alec but has since become very chummy with Kieron and Jim. Gosh, it's like living in a connected future or something.

Next stop: tell current landlord and flatmates that I'm leaving, and find replacement tenant. Neither appeals.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Your opinions are wrong

A number of people who I respect and admire have announced they actually quite like The Matrix Reloaded. I no longer respect or admire these people.

This is the first time that I've ever felt so strongly about a film in the face of such widespread opposition - usually I take the unexciting but well-reasoned view that films have good points and bad points and the whole experience is monstrously subjective anyway so hey, why should I even pass judgement? Though very unexciting in painfully weak-willed liberal kind of way, it's a viewpoint that makes for a fairly non-confrontational post-cinema experience. In this case, though, I am genuinely mystified at how people might think it to be just so damn good. Are they drunk? Delusional? Have they been overcome by the dark powers of marketing? I can't begin to understand why people can spoon down such nauseating quantities of pretentious navel-gazing, even when it is seasoned with a defence-budget special effects bill. Yes, I know the same may be said of the original, but that was shorter and had fewer sneering European stereotypes in it.

I say this with confidence as I watched the original again last night, so I no longer hate the Wachowskis quite as much as previously. I fear the general sequel-despising problem may spring from the fact I produced a mighty work of scholarly analysis on the subject of The Matrix. Well, actually, it was only a dissertation, and a pretty lightweight one at that, but it had long words and footnotes and everything. I'd re-read it to prove my point, but I have a sneaking dread that it will turn out to be vague, inaccurate, riddled with spelling and grammatical errors and quite horrifyingly pretentious. I suppose that would make it actually quite prescient, but that's hardly the right sort of motivation required to send me upstairs to start dredging throught the varied strata of junk I hauled back from university, which in any case would probably open anew the vague idea that some barely-read textbooks and reams of sloppily-constructed attempts at analysis are not, in truth, in any way representative of three years spent well and wisely.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Bang on

From the yeti:

Today I was rummaging around in my spam-filter folder, and came across an email entitled "HERE ARE YOUR GANGBANG PICTURES!!!". But when I opened the email it turned out to be some complete stranger's gangbang pictures instead (!!). Oh boy, what an embarrassing mix up. Anyway, if you recently got my gangbang pictures by mistake, drop me a line so can get this all sorted out. Thanks.

This is by way of being the cheapest, laziest way of waxing funny.
A meme moment

Everything is ace, apparently.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Reload

Well, I've no doubt I'm not the first person to say this (I've been avoiding the reviews) but The Matrix Reloaded is rubbish. Two-and-a-half hours of the filmmakers disappearing up their own arses. If they'd had an even vaguely competent editor they could have excised the excesses of the monstrously tedious and overlong scenes - the dancing one, or the incredibly useless waffling off-the-shelf French baddie being particular low points - and made things both more entertaining and more enigmatic. One of the geeky attractions of the first film was the huge number of cultural references dotted around the place, but half the attraction was their being alluded to rather being made the subject of a really quite tedious five-minute monologue. The "councillor" scenes had a suspiciously strong whiff of The Phantom Menace about them (although I'll concede this is probably unavoidable) and at least three characters could have been ditched without any consequence at all.

Even the fight scenes were too long, for God's sake.

In conclusion: unimpressed. In absolute abstraction it might be a vaguely OK sci-fi ninja flick, but compared to the precision of the first on it's just terrible.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

I work in technology, I do

From those nice people at NTK....

Readers with long memories may recall Carl Sagan getting
into a similar tizzy about an internal Apple project that
shared his name - until he threatened to sue. Apple's coders
renamed the project's title to "Butthead Astronomer", which
strangely failed to mollify him.

Tee hee. Since I'm referencing them, I'll also point to Bill Thompson's musings on the nature of the blog, which appear to my hungover state to be much more incisive than the similarly-themed comment by Andrew Orlowski over on The Register. I'm troubled by the possibility that this may be indicative of an ongoing assimilation, but The Register does seem to be drifting into conspiracy-theory territory quite a bit these days.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Errata

Oh yes... seeing as Grill has posted for the first time in quite a while, I shall start mentioning names here (something I've initially avoided, but I thought, well, sod it) and see if he ever notices it. Can't tell him outright, see, as that would ruin the thrill of the chase. Oh, and in the interests of character defamation, he's a complete pussy in the passenger seat as well. I mean, yelling like that - they're both as bad as each other. Hail Richard and Beccy for maintaining a clear head.
Use your powers

X-Men 2, then. S'alright. I can't decide whether the highest compliment I can pay it was that Alec wasn't reduced to a gibbering, catatonic wreck (which I nevertheless got to witness first-hand thanks to his frankly over-the-top reaction to my driving) or whether it actually has merit as film. I'm leaning towards the latter, really - there were some nice ideas, lots of explosions, the acting was over-the-top but hey, they're mutants. With that sort of thing informing the film it's a marvel (ahem) that they made it through without descending into self-parody.

Sod it, this isn't entertaining. I'm going to go away and write something really dull, stop listening to this music, and then come back when there's some wit and sparkle going on. For a witty and entertaining read, why not instead try these folks? Currently on hiatus, but they'll be back and there's invariably something worth seeing.

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Look upon my works

Has anything interesting ever been committed to PowerPoint? I suspect that even if someone was attempting to pass on the secret of immortality, the simple act of putting it on a crude, clip-art strewn series of slides would be enough to render any viewers catatonic. Perhaps this is how spies communicate, or something. Ahem.

Monday, April 14, 2003

You had to be there

Well, I find the closing line funny. It's an all-caps vaguely literary chatroom geek thing.

From the often-entertaining bash
Xapz: war soon
Xapz: Maybe tomorrow
Xapz: We've pulled out ambassadors
m0swald: http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Northeast/03/04/iraq.usa.shirt.reut/index.html
Sh0rty: :\
Sh0rty: stupid americans :|
Sh0rty: canada > all
m0swald: my giant american pee pee would rip your canadian-wang-trained females apart!
Sh0rty: :o
m0swald: I'm american, therefore my wang is gigantic. at least, that's what the media tells me
m0swald: not to mention, I'm TEXAN, so it must be doubly huge
m0swald: I assume it's true, too. because every woman I've shown it to has giggled in terror!
m0swald: IN TERROR

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Oh yeah: more work. Hoo boy howdy, more work.
Oh the humanity

Dan: You must remember that as an Oxford Graduate and a Man United fan I am universally loathed without being in any way understood. Well, apart from most ways.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Well written and more entertaining
Boy howdy, am I ever in trouble with freelance work. Not yet, as evidenced by the couple of hours I've just spent perusing websites of varying degrees of perversion instead of actually working, but I will be, oh, tomorrow. Work commences in a minute, but first:

Personality. There's a thing. A highly dangerous thing to my mind, but then of course absence of personality is also dangerous and, more importantly, dull. Personality can be dull, of course, but at least there's some effort going on there and eventually like personalities will be found with which the dullness may interact with. This knowledge is of little use or inspiration when confronted with dull personalities, but it's helpful to keep it in mind.

Anyway. I shouldn't have broken this up by inspecting some internet-based displays of personality, which has not only prompted gaping holes in my argument but also directed me to some entirely hideous personalities, the like of which I hope never to meet unarmed or in front of witnesses.

Anyway: Goddam personalities.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Until I started this job, my irrational habits were confined to fairly conventional stuff like "driving too fast", "drinking too much", and "collecting very cheap but largely useless motor vehicles I have neither the time, money or inclination to do anything with". You know - standard pecadilloes that anyone suffers from, things that have an amazingly high chance of bringing pain, suffering and despair but you nevertheless take on anyway, because you are stupid and lazy. Well, that's my excuse, although this may well be because I lack the intelligence or the energy to investigate further.

Since I've started this job, I've cut down on motor vehicles but the void has been more than filled by drinking too much, which leaves no space at all for the latest sordid compulsion: freelance work. Despite that fact that I lack the time and, far more importantly, the facilities to do it people persist in offering me work and I always - always - say yes despite the fact that I already have a packed schedule of drinking, floor-waxing, cheetah-polishing and God knows what else to do. Thus hours of hair-pulling tension as I sail past the deadline to the polite but razor-edged emails of the commissioner, followed by a faint but inescapable nausea that floods my very being some five minutes after I've finally handed it in as it occurs to me that fuck, I bet that was really rubbish, I mean I've had to really rush it. I must be doing something right as they do keep coming back, but the last one was a biggie and I really do think I screwed it up good and proper. I'm now sat here awaiting the frenzied fury - for this is far, far too important to be merely funny if I've got it wrong - thinking "shit, maybe I should actually spend a bit more time and money on this sort of thing". Except I won't, such is my conviction that I've killed off the source and I shouldn't spend money on it.

Still, at least it should free up some drinking time.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

One of my less savoury habits (which are legion, by the way) is perusing random weblogs. Crass voyeurism aside, this is bad because I take a perverse delight in those that are manifestly the work of fools, because it makes me feel better about myself - I can indulge my desire of omniscience . Although, come to think about it, I suppose that's just another flavour of voyeuristic thought - it seems that one of the major attractions in that creeping cancer of popular thought that is "reality" TV is the "my God, this man/woman/indeterminate is so stupid". Anyway, I digress. I should point out that I delight in those that are the work of talented people as well, but because admiration is invariably tempered by envy it somehow lacks the compulsion of looking at those of lesser mortals, the sort of thing where ludicrously offensive yet massively touchy teenage goths hold forth about why they can't understand people stare at them all the time. Livejournal is a particularly rich seam of this sort of stuff, should you be a conisseur - just click on the Random button on their homepage.

That said, quite often even the most appalling tripe will have some genuine, hearfelt emotion or tragedy behind it, which makes the whole thing if not tolerable, then explicable, and I feel guilty about having intruded on their sadness despite the fact that by throwing it up on the bloody Internet they're inviting censure, derision, and ton after ton of mass-mailed spam. However, every so often I come across something that is so ghoulishly dreadful that I can't help but return to it, like the site of some particularly horrific accident (not that I carry out repeat visits, but that's ooh-look-slow-down-there's-some-blood response is something I've yet to see any human overcome).

Thus it was that I happened upon the blog of someone who, apparently, wants to be a journalist. Or a screenwriter. Nothing wrong with that, certainly, particularly given that I have partially-realised leanings towards both these activities and I'm painfully aware that I'm not, in fact, that good at them. Nor was it particularly misspelt or grammatically inaccurate, thus lending itself the sort of sledgahammer irony meted out to three-year-old "Proffesional Web Design Site!!" by such folk as Something Awful and Portal Of Evil. Dictionary wise it's A-OK. No, the problem I have is that the guy in question is just frighteningly talentless, and he combines this with such a bright-eyed and thoroughly distressing policy of total disclosure it's almost painful to read. I mean, he can string a sentence together very well, but the subject matter is horrific and there's just no knowledge underlying the exercise at all. It's appalling. But compelling. And what's worse, he's amazingly keen and very dedicated, so its almost a certainty he will be writing for money at some point. There is no justice on this earth.

(PS: Should you, dear reader, if you exist at all outside of my fond perceptions, wonder why there's no link, it's because I'm just not unpleasant enough to tie the person to the drubbing I've just given them. Alright, I'm a coward. You'd better send people over here to read this and go "My God, what a dick, etc.)

Saturday, January 25, 2003

This isn't intended as a followup to the last post. I just felt like expressing my sentiments about this, and it's a bit too odd for a group email, you know?

Thus:
Sell poison through use of asinine advertising strategies.

God, but I hate advertising. Advertising and all those who dwell within it. And as for alcohol, well, don't get me started. Again.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

About last night

Alcohol is a thoroughly terrible drug. Not merely in the sense that it rots your liver, destroys your brain cells, makes you emotionally unstable and strips away your carefully-cultivated humanity to leave you, invariably, a much less pleasant person - these are all valid points as to the nature of it's evil, although from the personality point of view it's very much a case of subjective opinion. Not that I become some kind of crazed and offensive loon when I'm drunk - at least, I don't think I do. But therein lies the big problem for me: I can't remember things. I've only the faintest recollection of occasional detail - and that I'm none too sure about, it's very much a case of shapes in the smoke. I wasn't even all that drunk, not by my far-reaching standards. But I was in a good, gregarious social gathering with some intelligent, witty and stimulating people last night, and now I'm sat here, blinking at the monitor with my slightly itchy eyes, very concious of the substantial amount of alcohol still swilling through my much-polluted bloodstream, trying to recall what the hell it was that was so interesting about the whole affair. It may be there wasn't anything; a lot of drunken buffoons gabbing on about nonsensical topics - but I don't know, and it annoys the shit out of me.

It is with the heartfelt dedication of the hungover that I declare that I'm not going to get drunk for, like, ages. And it is with the gloomy self-loathing tone of the inner consciousness that I mutter, sotto voce, that this dedication will only last until this evening. And then I'll fancy a pint. Bugger it.


Monday, January 13, 2003

Dropping off the kids at the pool

What is it that inspires the male of the species to make their toilet the most vile and unpleasant place they can manage? What inspires people to leave the bowl unflushed, littered with toilet paper, and the magazine open on the floor? Are they seeking validation for their existence? Engaged in silent protest? What?

Mind you, the reading material does give pause for thought. Magazines I'd expect - we've no shortage of them, after all - but the only thing that endures is MediaWeek, which appears to be passed from cubicle to cubicle for weeks on end. Perhaps they have it specially delivered for the purpose. I've also discovered a stash of opened junk mail that suggested someone's doing their post in there. Could this be the sinister effects of the time management consultant insinuating its way into our working lives? Best result so far, though: an essay on Venezuala printed out from monbiot.com. We're just so intense round here, you know. I'll route round a group email asking for a machine-washable box-set of the collected works of Tolstoy, complete with wall-mounted chain - that'll impress the investors when they come round.
Blood in your alcohol stream

Andy: Last week i felt constanly hungover, apart from when i was drunk

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

To boldly go

Jim: He went up to the ticket office and announced himself as the most pathetic man in the world: "One for Star Trek: Nemesis, please."

Monday, January 06, 2003

Christ, but do I come out with some nonsense while I'm drunk, don't I? I'll leave it standing as a totem to, er, drunkeness - after all, it's such an unsung condition. Just as well I wasn't sat at a computer roughly 24 hours later, or I'd have probably made some ridiculous pronunciations about the nature of reality and declared undying love for someone. Or, indeed, everyone. Thankfully for my self-esteem and the oh-so delicate sensibilities of the Internet, I played GoldenEye instead. I can't for the life of me remember who with, however. In the interests of tragic rugby-player humour, let it be noted I awoke with an appalling hangover (which wasn't helped by my being squashed onto a sofa of such excitingly modern design that it was entirely useless for sitting on, sleeping on, or apparently doing anything other than forming the centerpiece of an elaborate rite by which the Viking scourge of Ikea might be banished through pagan ritual) clad in a fluorescent road-menders jacket and a Russian Army fur hat, surrounded by numerous bottles that once contained Stella, and one that still contained entirely unwelcome trace elements of Bacardi Spice. Gosh darn it, is that a swell way to wake up.

The day improved, however, when I was given a car. It's jolly nice, which makes a change. Usually when I'm given cars the transaction is carried out under an atmosphere not of charity, but of barely disguised relief that the donatee is saving the £80 it would cost to have it properly scrapped. They then attempt to soothe their conscience pangs at unloading their drive clutter onto muggins me by holding forth in a highly uninformed and insincere fashion about how great it is. In this instance, the guy was quite open about his plans to fling it into the canal if we didn't want it, which was made the nicer by it being quite a robust and totally rust-free specimen of the breed that probably only needs a new battery and some shock absorbers to be Bargain Of The Week material. It's always a pleasure dealing with the uninformed. Well, as long as they're giving you stuff, anyway. The downside is that it brings the fleet back up to 7-and-a-bit horseless carriages, and until it gets a new battery it's joining the other 4 in a state of non-mobility. Or, at least, mobility that doesn't require the entire family and a selection of friends and neighbours popping round to share some fun new expletives and model this month's range of minor skin abrasions (available in great new Red, Brown, Yellow, Brownish-Yellow Shading to Black, Red-Flecked Purple and for, the Extreme sportsperson, Gangrenous Green), tastefully separated vertebrae, and I Can't Believe It's Not Some Kind of Fucking Waterproof Grease That Won't Wash Out, Ever.

I suppose I should at least ditch the half, but the yellow-coated yokels down the tip become dangerously excited when you throw half a Volkswagen into the scrap metal pile. Research has indicated, however, that if we cut it into quarters and throw a mattress over it, then it can be smuggled in and dumped before they realise. Time to prepare some false beards.