Saturday, 1 September 2012

Since there was general approval of the first entry in this landmark series of bitterness and despair, the powers that be at Bastard Towers have decided to make this a weekly series. If this strikes you as inherently wrong or actually criminal, please write to your MP/senator/feudal overlord.

* * * * *

It has been a funny old week for the Republican party. Not only have they seemingly been trying to one-up each other over who can make the most inappropriate comments about rape, but their National Convention turned out to make headlines more for Clint Eastwood being out-debated by an empty chair than anything said by Romney or his cohorts.

But the Republicans are easy targets, when has The Bastard ever picked on easy targets? Well, all the time. It really is a lot of fun. But crucially, John Walker has already said what I wanted to say in a much more erudite manner than I could.

So instead, let's pick on some other rich white meat. You may not have heard of Gina Rinehart, but she can buy you. And your family. And your family's close personal friends and pets. She is the world's wealthiest woman, and a couple of days ago she delivered some handy advice for those less well-off than herself.

"If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain... Do something to make more money yourself - spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working... There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire."

That's right, you filthy proles. The reason you're poor is because all your money goes into your revolting habits, or into having friends. If only you'd put your nose to the grindstone you'd make enough money to dictate ludicrous opinions to the public and be the victim of mockery on isolated monkey blogs like this one. It was Gina's hard work that got her where she was today. If by 'hard work' we mean 'being born the heir to an Australian mining magnate'. But let's not do down that achievement in and of itself.

Think of the strain and pure graft involved in Gina's hard-won race as a sperm, grinding its way relentlessly toward her mother's precious egg as Lang Hancock grunted and thrust his hips – the sweat on his brow unconsciously echoing the sweat on the brows of workers worldwide, all of whom were united in saluting this tribute to their labours.

If The Bastard were a lazy writer, he might ignore this obvious humourous parallel to the working classes and instead comment on the basic misunderstanding of capitalism that is inherent in the claim that anyone can become a millionaire. Or perhaps point out the utter vapidity Gina displayed upon blaming “socialist” policies for the gap between rich and poor. Those scheming socialists, always looking to line the pockets of the rich. And if The Bastard were gratuitously offensive as well as lazy, he might also state that someone who looks like Gina might want to keep their nose out of social policy, lest their influence bring about criminal punishment via carbonite freezing and excessive public consumption of weird frog-things from steaming water bowls.

Otherwise she might be the first into the Sarlacc pit when the revolution comes.

* * * * *

It wasn't too long after the last AWCB was posted that the world learned of the death of Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on a celestial body other than our own planet. This seemed particularly poignant given the rush of information flowing to us from the Curiosity rover, trundling over the surface of Mars since August 6th of this year.

Now, I'm sure you'll forgive me if I turn off the funny for a bit. Would you kindly watch this video. It won't take you long. 

Back? Ok. Now. That is footage so awesome that it actually makes me feel weird. My stomach turns, I go light-headed, I genuinely tear up. Video of something we have created landing on another planet. It's so beyond all of my experiences. And yours. And every other person on Earth. It is far, far more important than anything you or I will ever do with our lives.

And the craziest thing about it is that so many of us will glance at it and go "Meh, whatever." News regarding the Curiosity rover is humming by quietly under the radar. Sure, it pops up on TV or in the newspapers now and then if something deemed significant happens. But if humanity had any sense of perspective whatsoever this would be front page, headline news every single day and everyone would be watching it while screaming in inarticulate joy over what we have accomplished.

Newsreaders should be weeping with ecstasy as they describe how we have defied the very laws of physics in order to transmit images of an alien world back to a bunch of gibbering apes who somehow managed to get a functional machine to a planet that is an average of 225 million kilometres away. And we have done this successfully four times. FOUR TIMES.

Watch the footage linked earlier and celebrate. It is mankind landing on another planet. It is science-fiction made flesh. The future is now – we are living it, aimlessly unaware in a parade of celebrity gossip websites and reality TV atrocities. But as you celebrate, you also need to mourn. Not only for the loss of Neil Armstrong, a man who reputedly would tell awful jokes about his voyage to the Moon and follow the awkward laughter with an offhand “Well, I guess you had to be there.”, but for the loss of wonder and ambition in the human race over the last 40 years. Sure, we have problems here we need to fix. Whole heaps of them. Our own house needs to be set into order before we can go traipsing around the solar system with abandon. But surely, if there were one thing that could focus our efforts on a single unified point, it would be exploration beyond our own planet. It is the last great adventure, and the notion that it is one that humanity will embark upon seems to be slowly becoming one of naïveté and futile grasping at straws.

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.”

                                                   -  Neil Armstrong

* * * * *

I have a habit of saying stupid, bizarre or callous things on an almost daily basis. Sometimes these observations hurt no one, but occasionally they are leapt upon as an example of how I am an awful human being.

Example. Earlier this week I attempted to hold court on how I am appreciative of the ability to spell words properly, going so far as to suggest that I may run for power on a platform of criminalising text speak outside of texts and extra apostrophes on signs. Only in Britain, naturally. We might be the only country capable of ignoring moral principles for abstract grammatical values on a day-to-day basis. But in the end I struggled to find a bleeding-heart liberal way I could say that I think that people who can't spell should be slaughtered like pigs.

I know, right? You'd think that would fit right into Guardian columnist rhetoric. I should clarify that I don't think I'm better than people who can't spell, per se. I just think they're utter failures as human beings and should be isolated or destroyed to avoid contaminating the rest of us. In the New Spelling Republic, terror would come by night to drag ppl screaming from theyre homes as illiterate sign-writers swung from lamp-posts nearby. Kaputtegrammatiknacht.

I should point out that dyslexics and people with similar learning disabilities would get pardons, and just have to be put into special camps or something. I'm not a monster, after all!

Sadly, this moderate and well-thought out political treatise incurred some ire. Several hours later, I realised that in reference to this someone I don't know had referred to me as a “bored middle class special snowflake”. Embarrassingly, this was after I had already replied to him with a good-natured but badly-worded pun about a lawnmower that could write novels. I felt that to follow it up with a late rejoinder would not only be futile but also a denial of the basic facts:

  1. I am bored.
    - This week I went through my junk email in an effort to amuse myself with randomly generated titles. I was delighted to discover that Anne Hathaway wanted to meet up for a 'garter strip fuck'. I have replied, but so far nothing. Fully expecting to be able to write a piece for next week's episode on my sexually deviant experiences with Catwoman.

  2. I am middle class.
    - Shortly after my brutal and uncalled-for tirade against the grammatically-challenged, I complained on various social media sites about how many bowlfuls of muesli I got out of a box vs. how many were advertised as being in said box. Even typing that I can feel my hair tightening into a rich boy 'fro and my name transmogrifying into Rory spelled Ruiraigh.

  3. And I am definitely a fucking special snowflake.
    - No argument required here.

My only real defence against this is that my spiteful hatred of pretty much everything is incurred entirely from other people acting even more appallingly than I do.

Last night, as I walked home from the corner shop I was privileged enough to be accompanied on my road by a couple of lads who were performing extremely loud shrieks in an effort to do “an impression of a girl being raped”. They are another fucking species. I swear, they must be. I am physically uncomfortable sharing their DNA.

These moments are almost always poetically timed to run alongside personal ruminations that I should tone down my misanthropy. So thankyou, grotesquely abhorrent chaps. You have played a part in restoring my lack of faith in humanity, which in turn will keep my writing as vibrant and bile-driven as ever.

* * * * *

As mentioned above, I am bored. A lot of the time. This is partly to do with my current state of employment (that is to say, none), but also to do with the ineffable air of jaded cool I willingly radiate at all times.

It is difficult to keep entertained when unemployed – there is only so long one can get laughs from saying things like DESPAIR and FUTILITY over and over again in a dull monotone to a series of blank, empty walls. That's more of a social activity, anyway.

So to liven up the dullness of another day spent at home writing half-truths on job application forms and telling my cat that with great meowing comes great responsibility, I fell down my stairs. I didn't plan to do so, you understand. If I had then I'd have spent the summer at Edinburgh Fringe with a unique and painful form of performance art. Awards and late-night BBC3 comedy specials would lay glittering in my future.

There wasn't even any preamble. I was walking down the stairs, then I was suddenly on my arse bouncing down. I didn't black out or anything exciting like that. It was like a glitch in The Matrix, and also The Matrix hates me. If nothing else, it gave me the brand new emotion of experiencing embarrassment despite there being no one else there to point and laugh. An odd existential shame. First I was born into a hateful, uncaring world. And now this. This torment. There is no God. But if there was, He would be standing over my prone, sore form saying “What a PRICK.” and making politically incorrect belming noises.

I was effectively hobbled for about 24 hours with a nagging pain in one foot that left me unable to do any of the things I never do anyway. And since I listened to some Limp Bizkit of my own free will yesterday, I'm fairly sure I suffered some minor head trauma. The whole experience did jar me enough that shortly afterwards I mistakenly picked up bathroom surface cleaner instead of mouthwash. Realising my mistake before ingesting it may have itself have been an error, since at least with the former I could have had an exciting afternoon at the hospital.

It also led to the discovery that my phone will repeatedly auto-correct 'limp' to 'limo', which speaks volumes of the disconnect between my fetid existence and the hip media lifestyle my iPhone thinks I have.

* * * * *

Out-of-context Bastard Quote Of The Week

New-wave dogsploitation to the max.”

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