Saturday, 25 August 2012

So, it's time to experiment with a new weekly blog/commentary style writing format. Snippets of personal and newsworthy observations, compiled in my own inimitable style of verve and bitter misanthropy. This springs from two main driving factors – a lack of funds to buy new reviewable media and a desire to fill your screens with the kind of fetid nonsense I ramble about on social networking sites. I am anticipating either total disinterest or rabid internet applause followed by a promising career in slagging everyone and everything off professionally. Reviews and other articles will continue to appear when resources allow. But let's see how this goes, Bastard-fans! Feedback, as always, appeciated.

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The only thing worse than howling into the void on Twitter, as most people below the rank of Z-list celebrity are, is when your despairing cries are picked up by undesirables. As the spambots slowly become more discriminating and build towards inevitable horrifying sentience, the issue of whether a random question addressed to you is from a pile of recursive code or an idiot human being is a troubling one. Often I have to actually hop onto their profile to determine whether I should report them, block them or abuse them. The more advanced 'bots are now typically filling their feed with a mixture of randomly generic Twitter posts of the “OMG I went out & got so drunk you guys LOL” variety, semi-relevant links to currently trending internet memes and the actual purposeful targeted links through to whatever awful spam they have been constructed to promote in the first place.

Worryingly, this random compilation is perilously close to what your average Twitter user posts. As much as six months ago I had no problems whatsoever distinguishing between a cretin and a spambot, but more and more I find myself agonising over my choice of social antagonism. It is not so much the humanlike behaviour of 'bots that worries me, as the 'botlike behaviour of what are nominally members of my own species. Social media hipsters are the accursed bastard hybrid of mindless microblog fucktard tedium, meme-inspired humour nothingness and unwitting advertising billboard vacuity. Perhaps it is time the spam-constructing supervillains of the world plugged them directly into service. Racks of human servers with bad haircuts and dubstep-infected iPods twitching in the softly-lit darkness as they notice someone referencing a trendy dead celebrity who desperately needs to know how to mourn them via a specialised trendy dead celebrity mourning product, designed by a sub-Apple new media clown with an amazing newbuild office overlooking San Francisco bay.

Still, in the glowing online paradise that is 2012 it's not only advertising code that flings unwanted attention my way. There is a growing tendency for employers to recruit social media specialists to not only promote their company/agency/party but also participate in sometimes-relevant online discussions as and where they find them. I'm not slamming this in and of itself – some of my friends make a living off it.

But one can't help but feel that it is getting out of hand when receiving a targeted message enquiring about the current conversation from a BNP social media expert when referring to the red M&M from the tedious television advertising campaign as a “racist cannibal mass murdering BNP voter and Holocaust denier”. I am delighted to know that I live in a world where proposing that a sentient hard shelled chocolate treat is a fascist monster receives a tentative communiqué from a group of real-life fascist wannabes. However, I am disheartened that the cretins exist in the first place, and that they have decided that Twitter is an excellent vector for their message of national pride and reactionary race hatred. So I suppose it balances out in the end.

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Oh, Todd Akin. You so crazy. Striking me dumb is an impressive achievement, but when you make comments like the following then there's not much in the way of a punchline that can be delivered:

“Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

I mean, he's already done my job for me. It's one long punchline at the expense of the entire human race. Millennia of scientific and social progress, gunned down with relish by this man being an elected representative of one of the most powerful nations on the planet. Ha! Ha! HAHAHAHA.

My favourite bit is “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something.” Yes. Let's throw those awkward facts and millions of horrifically offended rape victims, biologists and empathetic human beings a bone, just to satiate the loony left. Let's just assume, for a moment, that women don't have magical rape defence powers, or that they misfired on one tragic occasion. Let us throw ourselves into that fantasy for a moment. What an awful world that would be, where people are forced into impossible choices by the immoral acts of others. How lucky we are not to live in that world, and to instead live a life of privilege, prep schools and rich white guy politics that makes impossible choices easy for us.

Coincidentally, another example of an impossible choice due to an immoral act might be backstreet abortions vs. unwanted pregnancy, because of anti-abortion legislation proposed by people seemingly incapable of divorcing blustering intangible rhetoric from real-life facts.

However, the actual issue here is that because of all the trauma around the use of the term 'legitimate rape' throughout the week, I felt that I had to change an observation that a shop-window display looked like 'patriotic rape ninjas' into 'patriotic molestation ninjas'. Which doesn't trip off the tongue nearly as well, and is the true tragedy resulting from Akin's bizarre ramblings. Damn you, Akin. Goddamn you.

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I thought I had unlocked a terrifying thought for my generational peers when realising that the prevalence of retro '90s nights for students (the current batch having been born around 1994) means that we are probably only a couple of years away from seeing badly photocopied posters for retro noughties nights. Noughties? 00's? It can't be retro naughties nights, that is something else entirely - afro wigs, parachute pants, Friends haircuts and carkeys in a bowl on the table.

Imagine my horror when informed that such nights already exist in London. Age-based angst and Northern Outrage (a condition best typified by the phrase “Well, they would have that in that there London”) aplenty. It's a clear sign of escalation. I fully expect that by 2015 there will be retro nights exploring the amazing and timeless music of December 2014, which if pop chart escalation also accelerates will just be the sound of Simon Cowell vomiting into a glitter-festooned bucket.

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In my private life I like to fantasise about random strangers being truly awful to me, so I can complain about them later to my friends. It makes for a rich inner life. But inevitably such fantasies come to an end when I either realise that this would make me an even worse person, or when a random stranger is merely bizarre or pathetic rather than awful. So thankyou, creepy 10am drunk, for knocking sense into me with your rolled-up newspaper inbetween repeated statements that it is a nice morning. You live your hideous sham of a life so that my own hideous sham might become slightly more genuine.

These individuals, though they don't know it, are fodder for people like me attempting to amuse others through the medium of self-indulgent hyperbolic bloggery. Even an exhausting trip back from the vet whilst carrying an overweight cat in a huge box designed for dogs becomes worthwhile when confronted with unexpected enquiries from a young woman standing in the doorway of her house, seemingly unaware of the small boy stood next to her and masturbating leisurely while gazing at said cat.

I'm not sure what part of this unsettled me the most. Answering queries about the health of my beloved pet while confronted with such an unfamiliar scenario? The growing painful ache in my arms impeding my usual unflappable social veneer? That the young woman was obviously so used to her child masturbating in public that it no longer registered? Or the sheer inappropriate and un-British nature of the very concept of public masturbation? I decided later that it definitely wasn't the latter, since I wouldn't have been unduly shaken if the young woman had been the one blithely playing with herself in front of me. Though given the presence of the boy, I might have questioned her parenting techniques.

The irony in the situation is that though children publicly masturbating is indeed somewhat un-British, I felt compelled to stay and answer a number of questions in this situation purely from my British sense of unquestioning politeness. And afterwards, my main concern about the incident was that since I had effectively placed a cat in front of a masturbating child I may have inadvertently provoked him to become a furry in later life. As the chaos theoreticians tell us – in Tokyo a butterfly flaps its wings, and years later a masturbating child in York posts LiveJournal images of himself as Swift-tail The Fox while dry humping accountants in badger costumes.

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Right, so the Prince Harry naked photos. Let's get the obvious out of the way first. They are flung round the world by mostly American media sites and news agencies, resulting in a raging (but also fairly dull) debate within the UK over whether UK-based newspapers and other parasites should publish them. Finally, The Sun decides to do so with squeaking claims that since they're already available online, there's no point in not doing so – and furthermore, it's their journalistic responsibility to do so since there's public interest.

If they're already available online, there is no point in publishing them either. They're already there. People can see them if they want them. In publishing them you are giving your public nothing new, just wallowing in dirt like the filthy dogs you are. Well done.

You have a journalistic responsibility to report news, not to give the public what you think they want – which usually translates as whatever will sell the most units. Though in all honesty, I don't know why I even bother writing this. The most cursory correlation of UK tabloids against the concept of 'journalistic responsibility' would drive the average discerning human into paroxysms of uncontrollable laughter that would only relent when the lungs finally collapsed, sucking the diaphragm inwards in a splintering bloody implosion that could only come as blessed sweet release. We are, apparently, lucky to live in a world where newspapers like The Sun are pioneers in the crusade for our moral right to see some rich twat's bum.

Besides, this is ignoring the real problem with the photos. They were apparently taken while P-Harry and assorted guffawing chums were playing strip billiards. Strip. Billiards. BILLIARDS. Fucking billiards. Fuck me. Christ. Billiards.


I can't communicate in mere words how much hypocritical class-driven rage that concept grants me.

A personal message from me to Mr P. Harry follows.

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Let's end this futile charade of blogging experimentation with some things I learned from the erudite and learned master than is television last night. There was a show narrated by Idris Elba (who is a DJ, apparently – the glory of bit-parts in shit overrated sci-fi like Prometheus is thankfully a second career) entitled How Clubbing Changed The World, consisting of a compilation of voted-for-by-the-idiot-public ways in which, er, clubbing changed the world. I gained these gems of infinite knowledge:

1. I can pretty much listen to 'Blind Faith' by Chase & Status on repeat forever. The functioning non-lizard half of my brain tells me it was probably only featured in the show once, but I likely replaced any music I didn't approve of with it – especially since the entire visual aesthetic was basically a version of the video spun out for hours.

2. Idris Elba seems much cooler when he is an extradimensional Norse deity. To be fair, this probably applies to everyone.

3. I really wasted my time being a nerd in the '90s. I should have been out at clubs and raves and Ibiza and bangin' choons and shit like that. I feel like I missed out on an Experience, or at the very least on meeting lots of women with low standards and vast quantities of mind-altering substances.

4. Daft Punk seem to be viewed as true musical visionaries. I always thought of them as annoying squelchy bleep twats in futuristic motorcycle helmets. Huh.
5. Lots of burnt-out DJs seem to think that ecstasy has created a utopian classless society in the UK. It is possible that taking so much E has melted their brains to the point where everything they now experience is like a constant loop of D:Ream playing along to Tony Blair's disembodied smiling face, glowing a soft soothing yellow and tossing them the occasional cheeky wink or seductive lick of the lips. For evidence that the UK is not a classless society, please observe the widening statistical gap between rich and poor and also the concept of FUCKING STRIP BILLIARDS.

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