Saturday, December 28, 2013

I Can't Say That I Much Like The Mobile Phones

Just got a new phone for Christmas.  It's top of the range - the possibilities are limited only by the outer boundary of the user's imagination.

Having no imagination whatsoever, I'll probably just use it to make calls to people and to bore you all to tears with pointless pictures of myself standing next to celebrities.  Hello everyone, this is me with Sanjay off Eastenders, bitch I'll say to Twitter, while you contemplate the fleeting nature of human existence.  This is a huge leap forward in the dullard's art, if you ask me. 

Me and Sanj go way back.

I can't say that I much like the mobile phones, to be honest. I got one from my employers and all they ever do is call me on it and ask me to do more work on my day off, the swines, and I'm forever at the mercy of Scottish Power.  Where's our goddamn money, you stinking leech, they text me continually.  It's like volunteering to keep a miniature bailiff in your pocket*.

Still, I can now read a book on a bus, a feat that was literally unthinkable in the dark ages before smartphones were invented.  I can also sit on a bus watching TV shows about Californian heiresses getting upset because their siblings disrespected them, which will be endlessly useful if I ever sustain a debilitating head injury.

Once, sitting on a bus could be a rich televisual metaphor.  The actor/actress could lean on the window staring into the middle distance, facially conveying inner turmoil - hopes and fears, regrets, steely determination etc.

These days such a scene would look about as realistic as an episode of Match of the Day acted out by the Thunderbirds, without the main character watching kittens falling over on a WowPhone Fuckteen. Such is the world that we have created.

 "God damn you! God damn you all to Hell!"

*If you type "bailiff" into the Google the first result is "bailiff jobs", which suggests that lots of people are using their Wowphone Fuckteens to seek employment in kicking your front door to pieces then repossessing your Wowphone Fuckteen.

Don't look to me for help though - in years to come, I'll remember that when they came for the Wowphone Fuckteen users, I was playing Angry Birds on my Blingphone Retardo or watching video clips of Thai girls crapping on each other, because I was not a Wowphone Fuckteen owner.

Frogger - An Example To Us All

Horror at the Guardian as one of their bloggers notices that players can hump and kill prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto V.  It's an oddly specific complaint for a game in which you can also kill, like, five billion coppers with a flamethrower then drive over their lifeless bodies in a truck for no reason at all, but we'll let it slide.

So what, we might say?   In Fallout 3 you can blow up a town with a nuclear warhead and wander about a radioactive wasteland enslaving the poverty-stricken, and I've spent hours beseiging cities and executing Gauls in Rome: Total War. 

Go on, I used to cackle maniacally, bouncing in my seat and spraying Wotsit-dust in every direction, Nail some respect into those bumptious, computerised Celts, it's the only language they understand.  I later discovered that they may also have understood Gaulish.

But who now weeps for the Gauls?  Not the Guardian anyway, the dirty hypocrites.  Perhaps if I'd had sex with the Gauls before I crucified them, it'd be a different story?   The eternal vicissitudes of digital genocide - every execution, a minefield of niceties.  O tempora, O mores.

Anyway, our columnist frets - They play at night instead of doing their homework. It's cool to pick up prostitutes. This is how you learn to "be a man"...  but I'm not sure that this is true.  I mostly play during the day, and I learned how to "be a man" by watching old episodes of Columbo.  Nowadays I mostly squint at people over a dinky cigar and mutter about my possibly-fictional wife, before driving off with a Basset hound.

(I don't usually have sex with the Basset hound as a rule, although I admit that if I did, I might consider running him over, to prevent him squealing to the Old Bill.  Nobody ever gets on at Columbo for this kind of possibly horrifying theoretical criminality, I notice). 

Anyway, back on topic - I disapprove of having it away with video game hookers and then running them over.  Down with it, I say!  Games players should all agree to just stick to running them over and taking their money without any transactional sex taking place, like our parents did.

True fact - Frogger never once went with any pros, even though he was around in the eighties, when cocaine and high-class call girls were all the rage.

An example to us all, there.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

All I Want For Christmas Is Woo

Anatomy of a Furore

As the row over gender-segregated seating in certain university lectures rumbles towards its inevitable end with total victory for the press and campaigners, I thought it'd be worth taking a look at how such ferocious internet fistfights are made.

This particular case is an especially daft one, relating as it does to an administrator at some university body or other deciding it'd be a good idea to separate men and women at talks given by glowering, intolerant religious nutters, out of a misguided sense of "inclusiveness".

A wacky plan, but pretty much what you'd expect from the type of academic chuckler who manages events involving fundamentalists who like dressing up like Jedi Knights and arsing on at length about what God does and doesn't want you to do with your genitals.  Since academia really is pretty infamous for this kind of right-on howler, you'd think this would be a straightforward point-and-laugh story.

Not so, for nowadays we have a pre-packed plan for dealing with such treasonous criminals.  Some people pray for this kind of event and grab it with both hands whenever the chance arises, because all they want for Christmas is woo.

If you fancy a bash at this yourself, here are a few pointers on how to take some minor administrator's twatty idea and turn it into an intergalactic confrontation between secularism and The Forces Of Darkness.

Choose your opponents carefully 

The most important thing to consider when selecting a target for a massive hissy-fit is that you should never, under any circumstances, have a go at anyone who wields any actual power.

This makes academia a prime target, since it's notorious for producing vast quantities of woo, especially in the humanities, and because professors and suchlike have no real power outside of their own little fiefdoms.

Other excellent opponents are human rights NGOsallegorical feminists or even a generalised section of society, but beware - all of these people are quite capable of defending themselves, and there is a possibility that they may alert the public to any wildly overblown claims that you make.

The ideal target is one that barely exists in anything more than a symbolic sense.  Recall the way that sections of the media responded to the Rochdale sex abuse rings case: by waving their arms and screeching that they wouldn't be cowed or silenced by the PC Brigade, and that they would tell the terrible truth regardless of the certainly horrendous repercussions Tha Librulz would undoubtedly wreak upon them.

In reality, nobody attempted to silence the Times or the Telegraph or the Express - there was no barrier whatsoever to any of these vast media organisations saying whatever they liked, in whatever tones they liked, whenever they liked.  And yet, there was much back-patting and self-congratulation at the time for facing up to this non-existent, supposedly speech-strangling colossus.

The lesson here is that the best opponent to pick a fight with is an imaginary one.  After all, real people respond to your statements, but fictitious ones never do.

If you must pick an actually-existing gorgon to slay, always ensure that it's some ludicrous fanny of gargantuan proportions; somebody that no sane human being is going to pipe up in defence of.  This will assist you no end if your wails and screams amount to an uncontroversial statement of the obvious.

Of course, it always helps if your target is someone you've always despised, or if they can be said to represent people you've always hated in the first place.

Pick your issue well 

The issue itself is less important than getting yourself onto the side of truth, justice and the American Way.  In this sense, it's actually better if it's some minor procedural daftness or a dodgy statement to denounce, because these can easily be spanked up into an epic battle between secularism and religious totalism.

Remember, something like this seating plan malarkey isn't just an administrator talking bollocks - it's an urgent fight for liberty against apartheid, part of a vital battle against medievalist obscurantism and repression.  Some academic saying something cretinous is not merely a geezer talking nonsense, but the frontline in the great intellectual battle against relativism.

Stop sniggering at the back there, this is a serious matter, damn you.

You're a noble, embattled campaigner who just happens to be a well-paid columnist

All of Europe may have been crushed under the Roman sandal, but there is one village in Gaul that still holds out, and this is you.

Remember, your actual opponent may be some ineffectual tweedy dork, but he represents a great marching legion of all-powerful monsters.  You, on the other hand, are but a single voice and any victories you score are incredible feats of awesomeness.

Here's an actual comment I saw on Twitter the other day, from one of the noisier segregation wailers:

David Cameron has now come out against Uni segregation by gender. Keep pushing, folks. We may just win this.

Yes, with nothing more than your courage and determination, plus the agreement of platoons of opinion columnists and editors and the full endorsement of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, you have somehow triumphed over some daftie who had a mental idea, against all the odds.  Who could've predicted such an astounding outcome?

Strike hard, with all of your power

There's no time for pussyfooting around - strike your opponent with maximum violence immediately because if you don't, he or she may back down before you've had a chance to really get on your high horse and suck some political capital out of the situation.

Plus, if you're an opinion columnist, you'll have to file about some other issue next week, so you'll have to milk this opportunity for all that it's worth while there's still time.

Remember, your new hobbyhorse can be ridden into literally anything, so if e.g. you've been told to pretend to be horrified by a celebrity divorce, for instance, you can just wedge the fucking thing in there at right angles, however incongruous it looks.

And when your triumph arrives...

Do not be modest

Once you've chased off whatever intimidating academic or threatening NGO was menacing the populace, it'd be rude not to celebrate by the internet equivalent of cartwheels and ostentatious badge-kissing.  Whoops and hollers are mandatory, as are cries of In your FACE, you elitist ivory-tower administrator! and so forth.

This is your victory, so enjoy it.  Well, yours and all those countless hacks and politicians, but let's not quibble.

And lastly...

Eyes on the prize, everyone 

Remember, this is but one battle in an ongoing war against whatever it is you usually spend your time whining about.  We can pause for a moment, but you must also issue reminders that whatever it is you were arsing on about has not gone away, and is merely waiting for the chance to say some other damnfool thing or invent a newer, crazier rule.

Take a breath and turn a watchful eye back to the battlefield, for some prick is guaranteed to make a loopy pronouncement sooner or later and when they do, you'll be there to batter them into submission with the twathammer of truth and the lance of getting really, really sanctimonious about things.

Stay vigilant, people.