Thursday, December 29, 2005

Shameless self-promotion.

RSJS writes:


Excited yet?


Apathy Jack writes:

(from something Warren Ellis was musing on a while back...)

We've all been heroes at some time -- or, at least, I like to think so. We've all looked like heroes, once. We've all felt that moment that should have had a soundtrack. I hope so. I hope you have. I hope there was a time when the mist lifted and the crowds parted and the traffic stopped and someone saw you standing there.

It'd be horrible if you'd never been a hero. It'd be like you'd never been alive.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

One More Before Xmas

Josh writes:

Home is the blogger, etc etc -- did Melbourne, saw the sights, purchased my body weight in duty free Toblerone and got more sweaty in the car ride home from the airport than I did walking around Melbourne all day in 30 degree temperatures. Bloody Auckland humidity. Good to be home though, but that's not what I want to talk about.

We're one year old -- hooray. That's not what I want to talk about, either. As Jack says, blogging over Christmas is a bit sad, so one last Christmas-related post should keep the site ticking over until the new year.

Pop stars doing Christmas carols -- for the sake of fuck. Seriously ladies, if you want to show off your vocal range, try opera -- don't assault us at a time of great stress by releasing Christmas songs in which you invariably stick a minimum of three scales into every vowel sound you sing. I'm looking at you Delta Goodrem. You too, Ms. Carey.

Si-iIiI-ilent ni-i-i-i-i-iiight. Ho-o-ly-y-y niiiI-I-I-Iight -- it's like that bit from Handel's "Messiah" where the entire choir takes two and a half hours to say "amen". Only half a dozen times in every fucking line.

Listen, there's nothing wrong with masturbation -- it's perfectly normal and healthy and Jesus doesn't care if you do it. Just keep your wanking in the bedroom or shower; don't record it and pipe it out of every shopping mall for the entire month of December, OK? OK.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab.
So, today is the one year anniversary of Brain Stab, and it is also a mere five days until the jolly fat man comes sneaking into your house bearing presents. (Note: I am that man. Except by “jolly” I mean “angry”. And by “presents” I mean “nazi raccoons and mice with no concept of fear that I’m going to let into your bed while you sleep”. And by “comes sneaking into your house” I mean “comes sneaking into your house”. But enough of that.) So I’m off. Over and above the fact that blogging over Christmas is kind of sad, I’m also off travelling. See you...

Congratulations -- it's a Blog!

Josh writes:

So today would be this site's first birthday. I'd expound more on this, but I just flew in from Melbourne, and boy are my arms tired!

That in-flight masturbation is a killer.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Hands up mother fuckers…

RSJS writes:

So I want to meet you weird-arsed monkey fucks whose idea of fun is to wave cellular telephones displaying horribly-abbreviated text-speak at my good friend Jack. So I can slap you, you bizarre dead ends in the evolutionary bush.

The reason I presume a legion of people have been doing this is a comment from recent cell-phone user, Jack. Someone who admits to having never given his number to most of his dear sweet friends, like me. He says:

“Most of the people I know with cellphones spell the word “you” with one letter – and yet the predictive text program on my phone assumes that these illiterates are more likely to type the word “enzyme” than “down”?”

Now, Jacko has never received a text from me, and ignores what few he gets from his other friends, the very few who even know his number. So his exposure to these misspellings don’t come via his own telephone, and he is unable to label any of his normal circle of friends (numbering at least into double digits) as vicious you/u spellers given their inability to display their text-prowess at him. So it must be due to random rag-clad sweaty people, in numbers enough to make a clear majority in Jack’s life, flailing Nokias in his hairy face showing their inept thumb-driven “u”-spattered typing on their wee green screens presumably while yelling “Oi” or something equally engaging.

I cannot conceive of another explanation.

Sundry observations while Christmas shopping

Apathy Jack writes:

Observation the first:

As I mentioned a while back, my school has given me a cellphone because that is how we’ll be taking the roll in the twenty-first century. And you know, I don’t think I’ve ever received a more disgusted look than the glare I got from my friend Lily Petals when we had the following conversation:

“Did you get the texts I sent you over the weekend?”
“No, my phone was off.”
“I don’t need to take the roll on the weekends.”

But anyway, going Christmas shopping for the grandparents, so have to meet my brother in town. He insists that I bring my cellphone so he can text me with the place to meet.

When I get the text asking where I am, I want to reply that I’m in the Downtown shopping center. I get as far as telling him that I am Fox Enzyme before completely giving up on all forms of cellular communication whatsoever.

Most of the people I know with cellphones spell the word “you” with one letter – and yet the predictive text program on my phone assumes that these illiterates are more likely to type the word “enzyme” than “down”?

I’m sure the future wasn’t supposed to be like this...

Observation the second:

When you are a munty looking beardo with long hair, and you go up to a counter with Rammstein’s new album and the latest offering from Shakira (the wonderfully titled Oral Fixation vol.2), it turns out that the Shop Drone assumes the Shakira album is a present for someone. It apparently hadn’t occurred to him that I was buying the Rammstein as an afterthought because I saw it going cheap.

Just as well I bought the Ashlee Simpson ‘Boyfriend’ single at another shop, really.

Observation the third:

Despite some libelous rumours started by Josh recently, I am in no way shape or form remotely gothic. Sure I know lots of goths (like Ben - and Josh himself for that matter) but I myself am not one. However, because of my close personal... acknowledgement of their existence, I always scan any members of the trenchcoat mafia that I pass on the street for signs of familiarity.

So I was walking up the road and looking at the little goth walking towards me, wondering why she seemed so familiar. Then, as I got closer, from under the makeup and angst, came a cheerful “Hello, Mister.”

It does the heart proud, it really does.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ho’s Ho’s Ho’s

Apathy Jack writes:

Listen up, Internet: I’ve already been to the Coal Works and got your Christmas present, so it’s time you got mine.

Nicole Richie has just released her first novel, The Truth About Diamonds – a fictional tale about the daughter of a popular musician from the seventies and eighties.

Also, Pamela Anderson has released Star Struck, the sequel to her novel Star, the adventures of a blonde, large-breasted television actress. The sequel continues the fictional tale as the leggy blonde stars in a show about lifeguards and marries a bad boy rocker.

However, I can’t justify spending money on these things – If for no other reason than that I’d have to explain their presence to my flatmates. (And no, hiding them isn’t an option for two reasons: Firstly, they would doubtlessly be found during one of Ben’s regular “stocktakes” of my belongings, which he assures me are necessary for reasons of Homeland Security. Secondly, shutting the door, listening to make sure my flatmates aren’t coming down the hall, looking from side to side just in case and furtively pulling a copy of Pamela Anderson’s book out from under my mattress... I don’t want to be that guy.)

However, if The Internet got them for me as Christmas presents, then you’d be the weird ones. I wouldn’t be reading them because I was a literary pervert – I’d be reading them because you all are literary perverts.

Send my new books to the following address:

Apathy Jack
Follow The Faint Sobbing Sounds


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Books you should be reading number 5 of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto

Tom is from Chicago, and like the city itself, he has broad shoulders. He’s a weight lifter and a marathon runner. Like me, he can see just enough to appreciate the odd human-shaped shadows that approach him on the sidewalk.

“What I like to do is lurch toward the people who are doing everything they can to get off the sidewalk so I can pass. You know, those people who see you coming with the white cane and they flatten themselves against the walls of buildings or jump into the gutter. When that happens, I can’t help myself, and I go into this crab-walk thing, where I lurch right off the sidewalk while flailing my cane. I’ll follow them right into the storm drain like some kind of human train wreck.”

Friday, December 16, 2005

Christmas Dog Abuse

Apathy Jack writes:

Here is a Christmas present for your canine companion that surely counts as some form of abuse...

And, of course, for the true pervert: Doggie Cellphones, because, you know, even your goddamn dog needs to piss people on busses off by making everyone listen to his piercing polyphonic rendition of some Christ-awful eighties song before shouting at the top of his lungs: I’m on a bus! No, I’m on a bus! I’m on a bus! What? I’M ON A BUS!!!

But to make your own Christmas easier, someone has come up with transport involving an alternative energy concept “based on the premise that you and your dog are both going to the same place”.

But, as your Christmas present for the year you get the best story since Cow vs Dogs: Squirrels vs Dog.

Squirrels win.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Goth. Goth!

Josh writes:

Every now and then, the following conversation (or something like it) occurs between me and Ben from Dog Biting Men:

"You know, you're my favourite goth."

"But I'm not a goth."

"Exactly -- that's what I'm talking about."

And subsequent protestations go ignored. Now, unlike, say, Apathy Jack (whose repeated insistence of non-gothhood simply serves to emphasize how goth he is) I really don't consider myself anything more than peripheral to the goth scene. I mean, some of my best friends and all that, but, you know...

Anyway, yesterday my girlfriend needed a baggy T-shirt, so I suggested she borrow one of mine. She reaches into my drawer and pulls out a swag of neatly folded black T-shirts:

"I don't want one that says rude things on it -- how about this?" (picking up a still-folded T-shirt from the pile)

"That's my Preacher one."

"How can you tell them apart?"

"They're all different... shades... of... black..."

Slowly my world began to crumble.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ooooooiiiiiiiinnnkk! Splat!

Apathy Jack writes:

Alright you mouthy bastards, listen up.

Between blogs, the actual media, and sundry people I’ve talked to, too many people who have nothing to do with education have recently have been telling me the merits or otherwise of NCEA.

I figured that I would write something about the subject, but, you know, I’m very lazy, and can’t really be bothered - I only have another eight and a half weeks of holiday, and can't spend them all worrying about school. My time is precious.

So here’s the deal: If you have any questions about how it works (or doesn’t, as the case may be) put them in the comments below, or email them to the brainstab address on the side of the page there, where it says ‘contact’.

I figure my attention span for this will last about a week, so any questions within that time frame get answered.


Monday, December 12, 2005


Josh writes:

My car Knows Things. One of the things it knows is that it was 31 degrees outside when I was driving around yesterday.

You can keep your "meteorology" and your "accepted convention" -- I have two signs that tell me when summer has arrived in Auckland (whichever comes first):

  1. When it's the heat keeping me awake at night instead of good old-fashioned insomnia.
  2. When I get out of the shower and find that I can't actually get myself completely dry due to the humidity.
Number two happened yesterday morning. Subsequent blog posts will consist solely of me complaining that it's too damn hot, until Thursday when I go to Melbourne for a week. Enjoy.

I said enjoy, damnit!

Last Thing About Work For The Year

Apathy Jack writes:

I still have faint memories of my teacher training: Learning a lot about professional standards, boundaries, the appropriate ways of handling things and the like. Of course, at the end of my sixth year of doing this, I realise that none of it was useful.

For example: T’other day, as parents were filing into the Hall for a prize giving, I stood in the middle of the crowd, my hand around the throat of a student, squeezing not hard enough to cut off all of her air, but hard enough to doubtlessly worry the Anti-Benson-Popes of this world, and saying loud enough for the parents to hear: “If the public wasn’t here, you’d be dead!”

During my training, I’m sure they said this wasn’t the sign of a good teacher, but I know better now.

Hell, so long as I continue to get Christmas cards like the following from my kids:

You were the best English teacher ever, even though at times you were threatening to kill us! But I’ll get the spiders on you.

then I know I’m doing my job properly.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Reasons the Narnia books are better than Lord of the Elfmovies # 4

Apathy Jack writes:

Okay, they may all be increasingly obvious Christian tracts, but I’m beginning to think that CS Lewis was onto something.

In The Last Battle, he hypothesises that the battle of Revelations will be fought against people who wear Turbans and look awfully Arabic. Also, that this war will, in fact, be started primarily by the Narnians themselves, after they allow themselves to become ruled by a corrupt thing that looks like a monkey but claims to be a human, and claims to rule with the divine right of the One True God. However, the Monkey is stupid, and allows himself to be manipulated and lead to war by his advisors.

I think there might be something to this...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Today’s entry has been brought to you by the letters Un and Planned, and by the number Parenthood

Apathy Jack writes:

So, the question raised by Close Up today was: are parents within their rights to hire lawyers to fight suspensions and the like handed to their children by schools?

I can answer this: Parents are well within their rights to do so, and I think it’s a great idea. I just ask that they do one thing first:

Spend one week walking around their neighbourhood wearing a sandwich board that bears the legend: I Am A Bad Parent.

I’ve been involved in more suspensions than any of you – and I say that in the full knowledge that a bunch of teachers read this. The experiences I have had in this area have taught me one primary lesson: It’s usually the parents’ fault.

Certainly, the school has to take a level of responsibility – more than they often do – but the kids who get suspended or excluded from my school all have the common feature of unsupportive parents who take little to no interest in their kids’ education until trouble arises, who leave us to raise them until they break rules, in which case the kids and the teachers are expected to share the blame, putting none on the people who haven’t even noticed that Johnny doesn’t take a bag to school in the mornings.

Of course, there are exceptions. I admit that there are kids with supportive, loving parents who still get into trouble. Occasionally, these kids will get in serious enough trouble to warrant a suspension or a stand-down.

Maybe one in every hundred cases is like this.


As for the other ninety-nine who get suspended: I’ve met their parents, I’ve looked at their records, I’ve talked to them about their home lives, and the mantra I find myself repeating in every single case is: “This kid never stood a chance.”

So sure, you can ring the lawyers, immediately after you ring the sign writers and tell them what to inscribe on your placard, because you will take responsibility for the things you have done to your children. You will not hire a lawyer to chase an ambulance to the bottom of the cliff, you will stand up and admit to the world that you have failed, that you should not have bred, and that you are a bad parent.

So shut up.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Reasons the Narnia books are better than Lord of the Elfmovies # 3

Apathy Jack writes:

I started reading The Magician’s Nephew this time last week, and I’m already up to The Silver Chair. This is a much more bearable run than JRR Tolkien’s Guide To Every Blade Of Grass In Middle Earth And The Horrible Minutiae Thereof, or whatever the book was called, which took something like forty years to read.

And yes, I know that, being in my late twenties, I can’t have actually spent four decades wading through that monstrosity, which leads to only two possibilities:

1) It seemed like it took forty years.

2) The book was so long, so boring, and so filled with elves, that it actually warped time around me and two score years passed while I was trying to decipher that bollocks-awful elfsong.

I’m currently tending towards the latter...

Man I’m going to hate it when the movie comes out – that many people dressed as elves can’t help but sully this for me...

I Blame Jesus

Josh writes:

Water into wine.

Wine into urine.

Urine into methamphetamine.

The circle of life continues...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Reasons the Narnia books are better than Lord of the Elfmovies # 2

Apathy Jack writes:

The line:

Now, the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.

Which is going onto my classroom wall next year.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Not enough famine, not enough suffering, not enough natural selection

Apathy Jack writes:

If anyone was wondering why the Narnia books were better than the Lord Of The Christ Awful Elf Movies Which Are Just Tiresomely Long Travelogues Of Wales, then I think I’ve struck upon it:

There’s the scene in The Magician’s Nephew where Aslan sets Digory a quest. Now, here we have the first two differences:

1) The directions of where to go on this long quest are laid out in about half a page of big type, not dozens upon dozens of pages of awful rubbish about elves.

2) It’s not written in Welsh.

But the biggest difference is in what happens thereafter: Digory says (to paraphrase); “Well, that’s halfway across Narnia over stream and under dale, so it will take us a long time to journey there and back again.”

Whereupon Aslan replies (and again, I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t be so bloody silly – here’s a flying horse. You’ll be back by early tomorrow morning.”

Now that is how you write a mythical quest: No dwarves named Faceless Unnecessary Character Numbers 1-9, not an elf to be seen anywhere, and, best of all, it’s all over before you can say “Good fuck, Crappy Magician # 2 has taken over Hobbiton! Won’t this fucking book ever end?”

Friday, December 02, 2005

Currently Watching

Josh writes:

Still thinking about movies. The questions are the same ones that always crop up when I'm thinking about movies: What has Julia Roberts ever done that would justify her being the highest paid actress in Hollywood today? Why do people keep letting Uwe Boll make movies? Jesus Christ, what would have happened if he'd been given Resident Evil? It would have been about Navy Seals battling mutant squid on the moon. With car chases and bullet time.

A while ago now I said I couldn't rant -- just didn't get worked up enough about things. It turns out there's two reasons: Either I'm too apathetic to really get started, or I instantly go from 0 to 100 and my rant synapses just short out. The latter case generally applies to my contemplation of the above questions -- it just comes out "Gnggh! But! Pretty Woman -- fifteen fucking years ago! Moog! Gwaaaaa..." Hardly award-winning prose.

So no extended ranterpatin' from me. Instead, since I'm horribly lazy, the ultimate in blog filler -- movie reviews. Since I'm also mindful of your precious time and bandwidth, they will be Four Word Film Reviews. May contain spoilers.

The World's Fastest Indian - Anthony Hopkins pulls. Twice.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit - "May Contain Nuts" -- a-haw!

Doom - Uwe didn't direct this?

Transporter 2 - Not nearly gay enough.

Serenity - Wash and Book die.

Navy Seals Battle Mutant Squid on the Moon - Doesn't exist, thank Christ.


Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

Yes, I went to Motörhead last night and it was great, thanks for asking, although I probably can't hear you because I am deaf.

Of the warm-up acts I can tell you little since I missed them, arriving, as I did, straight after work at 21:00. They were apparently good, although they played very short sets.

Motörhead say they are the loudest band in the world, they did have a lot of amps and they made a lot of noise, and it was mostly good. That said, I can be fairly sure the sound engineers would have received an absolute roasting.

There were feedback issues every time Lemmy tried to engage in inter-song banter with the crowd which really pissed him off. And one instance of feedback in a song - their trademark song "Ace of Spades" no less - which would probably be the worst thing that could have happened.

This isn't the first time that I've noticed this at the St James. To be fair I've only been there twice, the time before was Nick Cave back in May, but during that show they suffered sound issues as well though not of feedback, just everything blending together and sounding duller (most probably because there were almost a dozen different people playing/singing at once, a thankless task to try and mix properly).

I am unsure as to whether the St James is a venue for loud bands. There just isn't enough space for the sound to dissipate, it just bounces straight back. It's an excellent venue, built for sound amplification, and with two mezzanines you can never be disappointingly far from the stage. But that's the problem, the sound goes out at 100db for only 50 metres before it hits a wall to be reflected back again. Whereas somewhere larger like the Supertop or somewhere outdoors lets the sound go away, never to re-enter the microphones. Speaking of microphones the stage layout didn't help either with microphones in front of two huge stacks of guitar amps, the bleeding of drum and guitar into vocals was unfortunate. I don't know how Motörhead would go doing a TOOL with the vocalist behind or alongside the drums and amps, but no matter.

A rating then? 7/10. The sound has to take a few points off, but they are a kick-arse band and bloody nice chaps, hanging off the stage to shake hands and pass out the usual goodies to fans at the end.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

“Mister, I’ll bet you can’t guess what I want to do when I leave school.”
“You want to be a forensic pathologist.”
“How...? But...? What...? How...?”

There’s something easy about teaching teenage goths...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

That'd be one of those Signs of the Apocalypse I keep hearing about

Josh writes:

There's the bit in Charlie's Angels where Drew Barrymore tries to warn Sam Rockwell that Kelly Lynch is actually the bad guy by spelling out ENEMY on the scrabble board in front of them. The camera zooms in on it, at which point Drew whispers "enemy...", completely defeating the purpose of silently spelling out the covert message in the first place.

In the director's commentary on the DVD, violently enthusiastic director "McG" explains that they decided to add the whispered voiceover later, just to be sure that people got it. He doesn't say as much, but the implied continuation is "because our target audience is that fucking stupid."

They figured they'd better put the whisper in, just in case anyone in the theatre was spotted nodding in comprehension by their fellow movie-goers, who would doubtless then beat them to death on the grounds that "we got ourselves a reader..." And then go fuck their tractor, eat their cousin and marry a possum (or similar combination).

Nowhere else have I seen so blatant an instance of a film making it clear that it thinks you, the viewer, are a drooling moron. I mean, chances are good that you are, but that's not the point.

This is the point: McG thinks you're stupid. Hollywood thinks you're stupid. And that's why they're remaking Revenge of the Nerds.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

“So, ready for your exam?”
“No. I haven’t studied at all.”
“I’ll kill you.”
“Then I’ll come back from the dead.”
“I know how to kill zombies. Destroy the brain. Easy.”
“I won’t be a zombie.”
“I also know how to kill vampires. There are lots of ways.”
“No, I’ll be, like, a Maori spirit.”
“I know how to tramp a house to exorcise a kehua.”
“Dammit, you know too many things. Do you not have a life at all?”
“I’m a teacher, what do you think?”

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

For a while now, I’ve been the only person I know without a cell phone. I’ve always said I’d get one when I needed it, but I simply never have to date. My friends told me that I needed one in order to track down people with greater ease, and in order that they might track me down with equivalent ease. That was never the best argument to use, because the only idea more repugnant than being able to find the people I know wherever they roam is the truly horrible concept of them being able to do it to me.

The weird thing is how much pressure there has been on me to get one. I know a thing or two about being on the receiving end of peer pressure: I went through five years of high school without drinking, four years of university without experimenting with drugs, and four or so years of church without doing a single thing that could be described by even my most charitable supporters as being in any way Christian whatsoever. The flack I copped for all of those combined in no way even approaches the pressure put on me by my friends to get a cellphone.

However, I now have a cellphone.

It wasn’t my idea: My school is upgrading, and all of the teachers now have them as part of a centralised attendance monitoring system – it’s far too complicated to go into detail about...

So anyway, today I lost my pen, and decided to make a note to myself in the form of a text-message – My first ever text-message to be precise.

Now, near as I can tell, this text-messaging that all of my friends have been evangelising to me for years with more passion and fervour than Creflo Dollar at a Benny Hinn event, is, basically, a slower, more fidgety, more irritating version of sending an email.

Now, if all of the cell phone preachers out there had begun your many sermons to me over the years with “C’mon, it’s just like technology you already have, only it takes longer and is considerably more annoying!” then I could have at least discarded your deranged ramblings sooner...

In other news, when I unfurled the local rag today, and saw that the headline ‘Children Traumatised’ had nothing to do with my school, I audibly sighed with relief. I wonder if teachers at other schools have that sort of problem.

Actually, given that I never see their schools mentioned by name in article after article on Auckland’s ever growing youth gang problem, I don’t wonder at all.

(Oh, and to pre-empt this: No, People-I-Know, you can’t have my cell phone number. Because I don’t know it, that’s why not. And because it’s still locked to prevent outside-school use. And because I don’t want you people bothering me - If I did, I would have got a cell phone years ago.)

Victor Rudd : 1901 - 2005

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

The last remaining New Zealand World War I veteran has just passed away, but the whole thing, and the second one, might never have happened at all...

The War Office in Whitehall, 1913

In a war room with maps, charts of Britain, with markers all over them etc are
GENERAL CHAPMAN, C-inC of the army and LORD RAGLAN, Chief of the Imperial General Staff. The door opens and ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET JEFFERSON enters.

RAGLAN: Ah, Jefferson, glad you could get here...something pretty big's come up...sit down.

JEFFERSON (sitting): What's the problem Archie?

RAGLAN: Well...we think the Germans may be trying to start the war a year early...

JEFFERSON: God! (He looks aghast.)

CHAPMAN (equally shocked): I thought they were the only nation we could trust.

RAGLAN: We all did Harry.

CHAPMAN: Dammit all, it's not as if we're short of people to have a war against.

RAGLAN: Well, suppose this damn rumour's true!...are we ready to start a war now?

CHAPMAN: Well, I don't know about your boys Jefferson, but we need at least another six months - we're still short of heavy cannons, two-point-five mortars, trestle tables.

RAGLAN: Trestle tables?

CHAPMAN: For the catering! We've only got six. You can't expect to train a man to the peak of military acheivement and then ask him to eat off his lap. I mean if you spill things on some of those uniforms...

RAGLAN: What about the Navy, Jeferson?

JEFFERSON: We're short on spoons mainly.

RAGLAN: No, I meant weaponry.

JEFFERSON: Ah well, we have fifteen Dreadnoughts at seas and twelve under construction.

RAGLAN: And the Germans?

JEFFERSON: Oh they've got everything: spoons, forks, knives, complete condiment sets...

RAGLAN: Ships Jefferson! Destroyers, Dreanoughts?

JEFFERSON:, the last they told was twelve at sea and nine under construction...

RAGLAN: When was that?

JEFFERSON: Well I spoke to old Tirpitz at a sherry party about a month ago.

RAGLAN: Since then?

JEFFERSON: I haven't heard anything.

RAGLAN: Well, this is what worries me. Intelligence think that the Germans are up to something very underhand.

CHAPMAN: Bloody Intelligence, they never did like the Germans.

RAGLAN: I'm afraid, gentlemen, they're pretty certain that the Germans have somehow opened hostilities without letting us know.

Looks of astonishment all round.

JEFFERSON: How the hell could they...?

RAGLAN: I don't know how, or where, or when, but we must find out and put a stop to it before...(a sharp crump as of a distantly exploding shell)... what was that?

CHAPMAN: Sorry, it was my stomach.

RAGLAN: ...Before the whole bloody country starts to panic ... (He stands up very straight, and gazes heroically out towards the Houses of Parliament.) We can save this war and it can still be a Great War, but if we should fail ... (He looks round significantly.) I need hardly say gentlemen, it could jeopardize our chances of ever having a war with the Germans again ...

Real Groovy tells me that Ripping Yarns will be instore on the 12th of December. Joy of Joys.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

What a lot of lay-people don’t understand is that when you hear one of your students planning her weekend rather than doing the work you’ve assigned her, going up to her and quietly but pleasantly asking how she thinks she’ll be able to dance on the weekend with two broken legs is good teaching practice.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Where Does Meat Come From?

Josh writes:

I remember one time in high school (7th Form, no less) having to explain to a classmate where meat comes from:

"No, you know -- muscle tissue. That's the bit of an animal that we eat -- its muscles."

"Is it? Gross!"

"Well what part did you think we eat?"

"Just the... stuff... you know, the stuff that goes in between all the other bits..."

In his mind, "meat" was seemingly an extra type of generic body tissue that served no purpose other than to be cut out and eaten by humans.

I'm not actually sure what caused me to recall that anecdote recently, although it always does good to reflect that teenage boys are fucking stupid sometimes.

Monday, November 21, 2005

I think it's arson. Yes, someone’s been arson around

Apathy Jack writes:

Fun schoolyard conversations the first:

Walking along the corridor with a student.

Student “I smell fireworks.”
Me “That’s not fireworks. That’s fire.”

Fun schoolyard conversations the second:

Staring idly out a classroom window.

Student “Who are those people? Are they student teachers?”
Me “I doubt it – That one’s got handcuffs clipped to the back of her belt.”
Student “Why are you looking at her arse, sir?”
Me “I was looking at her handcuffs!”
Student “Riiiiight.”
Me “Dammit, there was a time in my life I had to notice things like that!”
Student “Suuuuurrre.”

Saturday, November 19, 2005

November Dog Abuse

Apathy Jack writes:

A slow month for dog abuse – several stories that were either not funny, or just plan nasty, so I ignore them.

However, there is still the odd gem, such as the case of the police dog who was fired for laziness.

“The canine cop took early retirement after bosses at South Yorkshire Police noted his poor motivation and a fondness for making friends with rowdy drunkards, his former handler said Monday.”

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Andy Kaufman Mother Fuckers

Josh writes:

Which motherfucker stole my flow? Eeny, meeny, miney mo.

The "A J Chesswas is a rhetorical construct/soul-less piston-swinging death machine" bit was my idea, damn it. (Read for yourself -- to be fair, it was Paul who first suggested that he might be a robot. I still have my suspicions.)

Oh, the fun I could have had with that schtick -- I had all sorts of material lined up, not trying to dupe the world, just to stymie the good Mr. Chesswas by replying to his comments with refusals to accept his existence. Getting other people to buy it would have just been a bonus. And much easier to achieve than I had thought -- I forget how credulous most Net denizens still are. Duck's quack echoes, anyone?

But then About Town had to orchestrate an elaborate (well, erudite) hoax on the Internet at large and spoil my fun. And take all the credit. Still, they've 'fessed up now, so everything can go back to Just the Way it Was.

This concludes the "blogosphere circle jerk" portion of our broadcast. Normal transmission resumes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Out of sight, out of your mind...

RSJS writes:

So, the snipers who peer through my bedroom window and watch my pale arse as it thrashes in my satin sinkhole of a bed through the long nights of torment are getting angry. Poor snipers, those long-suffering sharpshooting types with their good bladder control and “one-shot-one-kill” t-shirts and guns they probably paint veins down the barrels of when no-one’s watching.

Why are they up in arms? Why are the coordinated squadrons of stealthy murderers that dot or fair city getting itchy trigger fingers? I’ll tell you why: Their lines of sight are being scuppered and skyscrapered.

The wanton development of Auckland into some vast concrete Megapolis is threatening the “cultural” and “aesthetic” lines of sight that dot the landscape and allegedly mean everyone can see the volcanoes that remind our city of its mortality. These ticking lava-filled zits waiting for god’s teenaged fingers to rupture them and squirt hot magma and pus across the metaphysical mirror of heaven. What those who installed these “Sightlines” didn’t mention was that if we can see the mountain, the mountain can see US (As in an emphasis-added capital “us” not the U.S. given the world being ROUND you stupid flat-earth creationist trouser-wearers). Oh yes, Big Brother has been perching assassins across the city atop these defensible positions for decades now and finally anarchists have infiltrated the business armed forces and council commando squads to lofty-enough positions to be able to strike a blow for personal freedom by building towering blocks of unaffordable housing to block out the laser-sights and armour-piercing rounds of the black-clad death-freaks. And the killers are sad. And, I’m told, a bit lame live, which is also sad.

For too long the so-called “Heritage” types have been hiding their desire to control the country and their twisted ability to decimate the population with a word, pretending to be about keeping Aotearoa green while the true bastions of liberty have been pinstriping and boot-strapping up through the corridors of power to use multinational billboards and faceless corporate edifices to break up the natural beauty of the city that is cruelly used to target us all with hollowpoint death from above. I say support the conglomerates who wish us safe in our beds while the Clean Green Killing Machines smoke their hemp trousers and dream of a world where my skull is ventilated with lead. Save yourselves, save your children, ask for a big distracting Golden Arch effigy in YOUR garden today!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sign your life down the drain

RSJS writes:

Signatures are like pissing, it is bad news to stop halfway through either of ‘em. I hate having to restart signing my name when distracted mid-squiggle, you can never get the momentum up again. At least it doesn’t burn like uric acid devouring a soft pink urethra…

And of course, at times people use their warm caffeinated urine to write their names in the snow, further cementing this connection.

It’s a territorial thing, a way to take credit for or control of something. From signing documents to tagging buildings it is the modern equivalent of pissing on a lamp post or in the corners of one’s yard, declaring the urea-reeking spot “yours”. Listen to the pissing sound of a spray-can as some filthy hoodrat scrawls “Teh fuckzor” across some pristine soulless breeze-block wall and tell me this gobshite isn’t dreaming of whipping out his dick and hosing the thing down…

Ah, it always comes down to penises with men, doesn’t it? I don’t see many women needing to scribble in vivid across bus-shelters and shopfronts. And the mechanics of writing in the snow does boggle the mind… this is the bloke’s domain, the Alpha Male lording over all he surveys with a beer in one hand and his cock in the other. Look at what he puts his name on, after all. Like lonely cowpokes branding the arse-end of their cattle? ‘Nuff said. Hell, even the name’s a giveaway. And the insistence on drawing a cock and balls on things, this is straightforward cut-out-the-middleman felt-tip-pen hooliganism. I’d like to say it is the domain of the modern primitive, the slope-foreheaded glue-sniffers in running shoes that will never be run in and bomber jackets that have never seen the inside of a B52, but drawing porn dates back to the Egyptians chiselling cock on tombs of long-dead dudes with their lungs in jars. Or the “celibate” monks of the Dick Ages merrily decorating their illuminated Bibles with a plethora of bodily functions all to honour Jeebers, all the way up to my school days when some poor sod took a story book based on the Praying Mantis that Ate New York and drew monster dicks on all the bugs. The bugs, people. Hairy-balled insects eating skyscrapers. It haunts me.

And yesterday, I saw the ultimate in pointless sign-posting/pissing, on the sign for “The BaseMENt”. For those of you in denial of your arse-hungry urges, the BaseMENt is a rainbow-striped gay “adult” store for all your greasy buttplug needs, and it’s sign consists of a photo of a big G-stringed crotch. And that’s it. Just the shops’ name, and an enormous package glaring at you with lumpy malice like a bunch of grapes wrapped in a hankie.

And on this sackful of walnuts, someone had with shaky Biro drawn a penis, urinating.

Perhaps like the forgers of old and the politicians of new, this pen-wielding donkeyfuck thought by putting his mark on this member he in some way claimed allegiance to its monstrosity, a chance to claim he was that crotch, two foot wide and smooth of bikini-line. Maybe he thought the sign too subtle and needed to educate those unsure of what lurked beneath the cotton. Maybe he just really liked cock. At least we can be thankful he didn’t piss on the damned thing.

Somehow, It Always Comes Back to Killer Robots

Josh writes:

Sex and death are most similar, in that they both go before "bot".

So, I'm sitting in the car wash (which at one point seems to involve being assaulted by the 70s) thinking about my recent exchange with fictional construct A.J. Chesswas on span's blog.

Having judged his rhetoric incapable of having issued from the mind of a real human being, it was suggested that, rather than being the alternative personality of an Internet japester (and really, who would use a fake personality to play jokes in the Internet -- the very thought) he may actually be some sort of machine.

Naturally, my thoughts turned to killer robots:

armies of Chesswasbots subjugating entire continents to their silicon will, flattening all who oppose them with their hulking, steam-powered exoskeletons ... robo-Nazis oppressing all that fall under their mighty pistons.

Awesome! \m/ \m/

There followed a dissertation on the subtle intricacies of the human-deathbot dynamic. It was awesome.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

So, another student accidentally called me Dad.

Unlike the one in my last post, who made the sort of mistake that is surprisingly common at third form level, this one is Year 12. This is the kid who has been in my class for four years – at least one of which she spent industriously trying to set me up with her mother. This is the kid who changed her options at the beginning of the year to get back into my class, the kid who has spent ages with me as the year ends trying to process the fact that, because I don’t teach level three, I’m not going to be her English teacher for the first time ever. The kid that I recently overheard telling her boyfriend that, while he was special to her, he’d have to wait a while before he had the kind of connection she and I had.

When she called me Dad, there was no self-consciousness, no feeling of being shamed in front of her peers. “I called you Dad” she said, curious at her slip rather than embarrassed by it. Then she came up and hugged me goodbye.

I’m the sort of tired that I had forgotten existed, and it really has been a prick of a year in a lot of regards – the students have noticed how exhausted I am: One of them wrote as her goodbye to me on the whiteboard “Stop stressin yourself out man. It’s bad for the health!!” and I got an email from one of my Year 13s saying “i just wanted to ask if you were ok? u didn’t look very happy the last couple of weeks.”

Now that they’re gone, life can start making sense again for a while. But they’ve taken a big part of me with them.

Anonymous said:

Josh writes:

In the interests of keeping this discussion out of the comments thread of an unrelated post, the Anonymous Commenting Conversation shall take place here. I'd prefer to keep them, since there are people who read this who don't have blogger accounts (who leave comments under their name). But to be blunt, they're pissing me off and I am a Vengeful God.

To address the points Morthos made in the other post -- he says:

A comment (well, a good one, where 'good' is either funny or informative) should stand on its own whether you have the context of the person putting it forward or not.

I agree. I'm not saying that anonymous posts are by definition no good, but the ability to post anonymously increases the likelihood of posts that are a waste of time. Having to put your name to something seems to cause people to put more effort into producing something that, well, that they don't mind putting their name to.
...the 'Anonymous' tag has its use. It allows you to put forward a view without necessarily having to own or subscribe to it. It's the equivalent, in many cases, of the Devil's Advocate in the Blogsphere (hate that term);

Or you could just say "this isn't my view, but..." or "if I can play Devil's Advocate for a minute here..." There are plenty of disclaimers a person could use.
if you write something under your own name then people tend to think that you must believe or support it;

Unless you say "this isn't my view, but..." or "if I can play Devil's Advocate for a minute here..." or some other disclaimer
if given the chance to voice the comment anonymously you can throw the idea out there without anyone having to contextualise it in re yourself.

Not quite sure what you mean by that, but it sounds like saying you don't have to take responsibility for what you say. Which is what annoys me about anonymous posting the most: the ability to not have to take responsibility for your words; an ability that is abused more than it is used, in my opinion.

In conclusion, I provide the following (not actually a) syllogism:
  1. Anonymous commenting isn't necessary to write good comments
  2. Anonymous commenting makes it easier to get bad comments
  3. Fuck anonymous commenting.
Out of interest, what are other bloggers' policies/opinions in this area?

Bad News

Josh writes:

I can't be alone in having followed with some degree of sick fascination the case of John Sharpe, who, in March of last year, murdered his wife and daughter in Australia. Here's where things stood when last we heard:

  • John Sharpe kills his pregant wife with a speargun.
  • A few days later, he shoots his 20-month-old daughter. Four times. In the head. With a fucking speargun.
  • He then dismembers the wife with a chainsaw, dumps the bodies, and makes up some story about her running off with another man.
  • The wife's family doesn't buy his story, police get suspicious, and eventually he's arrested and charged with the murders, which he confesses to.
In January of this year he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two life terms with a 33-year non-parole period (a sentence influenced by the fact that he "only showed signs of remorse when he realised he was about to be caught").

And you'd think that was that -- there simply isn't anything left that could add to the horror of these happenings.

But no.

Because now, now it turns out that the reason why he killed his wife may have been...

*deep breath*

...because she found out he was a child molestor.

Thank you and good night.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Less than stellar moments in the field of education, from the last week or so...

Apathy Jack writes:

or: I get very tired around this time of year...


“Don’t you think it’s a hell of a coincidence that this review is almost word for word the same as the review written on the same book by your mate?”
“I’m not a cheater!”
“You’re a lying sack of crap, is what you are.”
“I’m not a sack of crap.”
“You’re fifty pounds of crap in a twenty-pound bag, and you cheated on your review.”


So, one of my juniors accidentally called me ‘Dad’ the other day. Happens occasionally. However, one of the boys hasn’t let her forget it – and is becoming quite tiresome with it: He made a big display of calling me over with “Dad! Come and help me, Dad.”

Normally I’d glare at him, or yell, or some such, but it’s been a very long term, and I’m tired, so as I walk over to him, I say, just loud enough for the whole class to hear: “I don’t know what you think I’ve been doing with your mother that would make me your father...”

Professional? Probably not, but, after the laughter and mockery had died down, this boy was quiet for the rest of the period.


Student 1 “What did we do in class yesterday?”
Student 2 “We had a Roman orgy.”
Me “Well, actually, that would have been a more interesting internal assessment than the rather dry research project I gave you to do.”
Student 2 “Wouldn’t that be a cool thing to appear on your report: Roman Orgy – six credits.”
Me “Yeah, but what if you got a Not Achieved?”
Student 2 “Ooh, that would hurt. Would there be a resit?”
Me “Yeah, but you’d have to rest for a while first, get your energy back up.”


“Here. Here. Here. Oops – Looks like I’m out of sheets. Hold on a second while I go and copy some more.”
“Why did you give him the last sheet instead of me?”
“He’s closer.”
“It’s because he’s white, isn’t it?”


So, for a while now I’ve been lending my little goth sundry books of interest: Dracula, the odd Lovecraft anthology and the like. After she found my copy of Nightmares and Fairytales (my fault for leaving it in the comparatively public domain of inside a closed drawer), I started letting her borrow the various “goth friendly” comics I have lying around – Squee, Lenore, you know the ones. They’ve gone down a treat, and she’s been evangelising them to all of her friends, and even her parents.

Who have now put her in therapy because they’re worried about the things she’s reading.

I’ve managed to mess with students before – in fact, I do so on a hobbyist basis, but having one sent to the brain doctors is a new low in my professional career...


Oh, and I broke out the horse blinders again, which is never a sign that I’ve been sleeping well...


As I’m leaving school the other day, one of my Year 13s catches up with me and we walk together.

She’s in my Year 11 class: The first time she failed was her fault, but the second was a direct result of my school’s inability to retain good English teachers – which leads to a revolving door of people who can’t tell Shakespeare from Bacon. This kid thinks that I’m the reason she is finally succeeding in English. Despite my best efforts to convince her otherwise, she won’t believe that her passing grades are entirely due to intelligence and hard work on her part.

We walk together for a while, and our discussion turns to University. My girl is getting worried: School is over for her in a matter of weeks and she still hasn’t decided what she wants to do.

As it transpires, she simply doesn’t know anything about tertiary education. The subject of university isn’t discussed in her house any more than the subject of walking on the Moon – for much the same reason. We chat about eligibility, about working, about student loans, and the sundry little specifics of her high school career.

As we talk, a light comes on in her eyes. She tells me that she has it figured out: Not her whole life, but the next few years of it. Like I said – she’s intelligent. She thinks fast.

As we’re saying our goodbyes a few days later, she hugs me and tells me that she will be back: She has the next year or so figured out, but would like my opinion on her half-formed plans for life thereafter. A ten minute conversation and her uncertainty is lifted, a blueprint for the future sketched.

Some days it doesn’t matter how tired I am.

Oops. I let a positive “I like my job” post slip through.

I know some of you think these posts are boring, and many of you think I’m being sanctimonious. But here’s the thing: You’re right. As my friends will tell you, I am, by nature, a boring and sanctimonious person. Congratulations, you win the prize. The prize is not reading my posts anymore if they upset you that much. Because for as long as these sorts of moments make up for all of the bad, and talk me once again out of quitting teaching to find a nice quiet retail job somewhere, these posts will keep coming.



That Morthos Stare writes:

United Kingdom Television Welcomes A New Star

You probably know Matthew Dentith. You may have seen him in ‘Classics,’ where he played a young man who dreamt of becoming a Jesuit. Perhaps you saw him in ‘Philosophy’ as the pedagogue who wasn’t exactly bucking the system as bending it to his whim. Now, starting early December, you’ll have to be in the UK to see this rising star in his new Britcom, ‘Personal Management.’

“Matthew is an actor who we’ve been looking to find the right role for.” Killarney Poppet, Esq., Matthew’s agent for ten years now, explains. “He was one of the principals of ‘Classics’ but when that [show] hit its fourth season it started focussing on life after university and he was more of a cameo than anything else. As the mood went from sitcom to drama his character didn’t really fit in.”

It was at this time that Matthew’s character was spun out to a brand new series set at the same University but in a completely different department.

“It just made sense; the former priestly-hopeful now philosophically-wondering character had to go somewhere, so why not Philosophy?” Chip D. Hardstuff, the producer of ‘Classics’ and ‘Philosophy’ speaks out. “We were able to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and get back to those early days of character interplay that we had on ‘Classics’ but intellectualise it.”

The show ran for seven years. Recently, however, Matthew was clearly uncomfortable with the direction ‘Philosophy’ was taking.

“When I first came on board it was very much an ensemble show; we were all postgraduates from different disciplines trying to make some sense of it all. Then, as people went off to other jobs the cast really reduced itself down to a few core people, myself included. Now that we’ve hit the seventh year the producers are trying to get that ensemble feeling going again, and I can’t help but think that I’ve done this all before.”

Renewed now for an eighth season, ‘Philosophy’ will have to do without its sole surviving first season member. In a rare move the character is changing networks and professions with his jump to UK television in the new series ‘Personal Management.’

“I was looking to write my first proper series and key in my mind was ‘What kind of characters are we going to be dealing with?’” HORansome, writer of ‘Personal Management,’ fills us in. “Someone suggested Matthew. It suddenly seemed so very obvious; the whole fish out of water times two. Different job, different location; it’s comedy gold.”

Matthew will be starring with two co-stars in the British-produced ‘Personal Management’ which sees Matthew relocate from Auckland, New Zealand to London, England. Gone is the whole academic side as Matthew will be working as a PA and seeing life from the other side for a change.

“I’m really excited by this move,” Matthew told us last week in interview. “New locations, new ideas; I can’t wait to see what they have in store for my character. And, you know, it’s not as if my influence on ‘Philosophy’ won’t still be felt...”

The show also plans to feature a number of cameos from both ‘Classics’ and ‘Philosophy,’ and some of them are promising to be very surprising indeed.

Filming for the new series starts on the 28th of November with a location shoot at Heathrow airport. However New Zealand viewers will have a chance to say goodbye to the character of Matthew with the telemovie ‘Leaving’ which plays on the 27th of November, which also sets up the new series.

‘Personal Management’s’ season premiere will screen in early January.

-IAN, November 2005

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

So, The Internet often asks me: What's it like living in a flat composed of myself, Ben from Dog Biting Men and Nick from Hangover? Surely such a hub of internet creativity would be sparkling with Waugh-esque wit and Fry-esque frivolity? A given Thursday night in such an electronic Algonquin can't consist of normal, relatively boring people chatting and watching bad television, can it? Surely, says The Internet, their flat is a reflection of their respective sites: Nick drinking heavily in a comical manner, Ben ranting loudly about politics, and Jack rocking backwards and forwards in a corner while weeping openly.

Horribly, The Internet is right.

However, for all those that have wondered what life in this hub of the new media is really like; basically imagine this conversation. All the time.

Kansas to Science: Know Your Role

Josh writes:

I really want to say something about the news that the Kansas Board of Education has redefined science, so that "it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena." (Not to be confused with the current court case in Pennsylvania, where a bunch of parents are suing a school board that's already introduced this sort of ID crap -- see Xavier's coverage over at About Town for that stuff.) But anything I can come up with is either stuff that's already been said a million times over elsewhere or a variation on "gaah! fuckers! arse!"

Maybe it's not a bad thing -- if there had been a few more pixies involved when I studied electrostatics, I might not have dropped out of my Engineering degree...

UPDATE: Xavier has plenty to say about this one, too. I concur.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Bored; Have Some Lyrics

Josh writes:

You are the heart-dotting "i"
In the word "apologize"
Scribbled drunk on a postcard
Sent from somewhere volcanoes are

I am the heart with no name
Airbrushed on the license plate
Of a Subaru that was
Registered in Pennsylvania

- The Bloodhound Gang, "Pennsylvania"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Only Your Doctor Knows For Sure

Josh writes:

HETRACIL - "The most widely prescribed anti-effeminate medication in the United States, helping 16 million Americans who suffer from Behavioural Effeminism and Male Homosexuality Disorder"

What's really disturbing is that I had no problem believing that this could be real, given the number of real pray-out-the-gay facilities and organizations out there. I mean, I wasn't so ready to believe that I didn't immediately check to see if it's a hoax (it is, thank Christ), but come on -- if such a drug really did exist, you know its website would be just like this.

I'd be interested to know what happens when US callers phone the contact number it gives (1-800-ShettyRx). I imagine the Maxim Institute have already given it a try...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Are you people listening? Well, are you?

Apathy Jack writes:

If there’s one thing that would cause me to lose sleep at night it would be people thinking I was making them be wacky. Wacky is not something I would ever willingly be involved with. Wacky people are bad. I frown upon their wackiness. They wear Wallace & Grommit socks and think it’s expressing their wacky personality. It’s not. It’s expressing they’ve got bad socks.

- Danny Wallace, Join Me

Monday, October 31, 2005

That is so 1991

Josh writes:

So in about seven years, when they make the next Peter's Friends/Big Chill, what will be on the soundtrack?

The 90s and 00s (or whatever they decided to call this decade) seem relatively low on generation-defining anthems and fashion gimmicks. While the 70s and 80s were (for better or worse) chock-full of iconic fashion statements, all I could think of for the 90s was:

  • Emo glasses
  • Emo glasses with yellow lenses
  • Irony
Which are essentially all the same thing. Oh, and there was the skirts-with-trousers controversy, too. Is that really all? If you had to pick half a dozen songs that summed up the decade, would you have trouble?

Or, to put it another way:

"Dude, the 90s called -- they want their ______ back." Fill in the blank.

Anything? "Dot-com startups" perhaps? "Ace of Base albums"? "Episodes of Friends that were actually funny"? What?

Maybe it's just because we're still too close to the 90s. Maybe the things that will stick out like a sore thumb in a decade or two are still too tainted with familiarity to be recognizable. Who can say -- answers on the back of a postcard. And by "back of a postcard", I mean "e-mail or in the comments section", because it's almost 2006 for Christ's sake.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

“Do you find you can’t finish the crossword like you used to? Nasty taste in the mouth in the mornings? Can’t stop thinking about sex? Can’t start doing anything about sex? Wake up with a sweat in the mornings? Keep falling asleep during Play For Today?”
“Extraordinary, Doc. It’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.”
“So do I. I wonder what it is.”

You should all go out and watch The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin on DVD.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Letters from the Editor

That Morthos Stare writes:

Over the last few weeks we have received a number of letters from readers concerning activities here at ‘Brain Stab’ central. Some have been amusing, a few offensive and at least one implicitly pornographic. Those letters not snatched up and hidden in bedrooms around the country we reprint below, with our lovingly-crafted replies appended.

Dear sirs.

Young Mr. Mepoc has not written much for your broadsheet in recent months. What has happened to him? Has he become interested in girls? Is he part of the New World Order and no longer has time for informing and entertaining us plebs?

Desperately seeking reason,

Reg of Awatane

Dear Reg.

Let me be the first to assure you that none of ‘Brain Stabs’ writers are in any way interested in girls. Girls are the number one cause of cooties in our generation and the ‘Brain Stab’ staff have, quite rationally, sworn off these disease-ridden pox-hags and, instead, entered into a Spartan-like union with each other. As to Mr. Mepoc’s whereabouts, little is currently known. Some claim to have seen him felling trees in Oregon whilst another witness claims that the Swedish monarchy is hiding him from his former masters. Whatever the case, we are sure that when his current travails are over he will return to amuse us all with anti-libertarian folk songs and paintings from the Algarve.

Brain Stab

Mr. Brain Stab.

Does Morthos think he is funny? If he does, has anyone thought of having his head checked out by a medical quack? My aunt thought she was funny; it turned out that she had rabbis and had to be put down.


Susan Kilgore-Trout, Blackpool


I suspect your aunt had rabbies, not rabbis, although she may well have been a modern woman and who are we to judge? Anyway, rest assured that Brother Morthos Agrippa Octavius Bloodmonster Spittoon Yellow (his full name, currently) does not think he is funny; he is, in fact, a cryptographer for the Bohemian Crown Prince and all of his posts are, in fact, coded shopping lists. Except for the post about the gnats. That was meant to be funny. Pity, really.

Brain Stab

To whom it may concern.

Please make RSJS desist from mentally undressing me everytime I read his posts. The long sentences, the slippery-slopes of his analogies are doing my head in. I can’t cope with some many jokes about the cock. Help me.



Dear sir.

We would apologise profusely for the behaviour of our writers if a) we had any control over them and b) we actually cared about our readership. As ‘Brain Stab - Stab. In. Head!’ is a vanity project with a readership number in the decimal places we consider it your fortune that you have stumbled over our words. Let me assure you, Mr. RSJS, that Mr. RSJS’s posts are amongst the finest in his literary cadre and everyone loves the cock. Especially Mr. RSJS (no offence meant, but take it anyway).


Brain Stab

What is up with this ‘Josh’ character? Does all he do is read the internet and post stories about newsreports? Does he not have a real job? And what’s this I hear about his hot girlfriend?


Rodney, of no fixed abode.

Rodders (I may call you that, may I?).

This ‘Josh’ character of which you speak is, in fact, the latest advance in geopolitical artificial intelligence. Running almost entirely upon a battery made of Nerdelicious soaked in Mountain Dew, the Josh-o-matic 3000 trawls the internet at an amazing 800 baud on three simultaneous channels. He also has a calendar function and can travel through time. As the only real machine amongst the ‘Brain Stab’ staff he is permitted to associate with persons of the opposite persuasion, which is probably where the rumours of ‘hot girlfriend’ have come from. Either that or the cannibalism.

Brain Stab


Why does Apathy Jack hate the world so much? I like flowers. He should to.

Thank you for your time.

Tina, age 3

Tina, dahling!

Jack doesn’t so much hate the world as hate the people who make up the world. And he doesn’t so much hate the people who make up the world as hate the people he has to interact with in the world. Rest assured, he loves flowers. In fact, many is the morning where Jack will wake up and cheerfully tell the writing staff of ‘Brain Stab’ that he going off to make love with the flowers. Those of us unfortunate enough to follow him have seen him happily jump and stomp over paddocks of daffodils, break into nurserys and rend orchirds with his teeth and do improbable acts with poppies and his underbelly. He also likes children... And not for that reason, you filthy-minded kindergarten brat. Back to the cage with you.

Brain Stab

Hey guys.

Why don't I ever post anymore?


Because you are looking after baby. Look after baby. Baby need be looked after. Baby.


Brain Stab

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Here's a Few Things

Josh writes:

OK, so the thing about the cats was bollocks, but this appears to be legitimate: Cows make fuel for biogas train. It's from the BBC and everything:

Still bubbling and burping, and carpeting you with an acrid stench, came the organs and the fat and the guts. Enough, from one cow, to get you about 4km (2.5 miles) on the train.

A tanker collects the organic sludge and makes the short journey to the biogas factory, where the stinking fuel is stewed gently for a month, before the methane can be drawn off.

There's a video, too, which should only be disturbing to those of you hypocritical enough to not want to think about where that last steak came from.

Speaking of hypocrisy, just when you thought Winston Peters as Foreign Affairs Minister was the biggest joke Parliament could play on us, out comes National, assigning Wayne Mapp the position of "Political Correctness Eradicator".

Say it with me folks: Political Correctness doesn't exist. It used to, back when the words meant something. For a while it was something good, then it went a bit overboard, but now all it seems to be is a generic catchphrase, such that "political correctness" now means little more than "left-wing stuff I don't like". Yet here's the National party, sending one of its own off on a quest to slay this mythical beast -- isn't this the party that got all up in arms about people treating Taniwha seriously? Nevertheless, I wish Mr. Mapp well as he departs. Just watch out -- it might be a Boojum...

And finally: Aaahh, that feels sooo good. Surprised it took someone that long to come up with it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

We can read books together, I’ll become clever.

Apathy Jack writes:

So I’m talking to two of my lot before the school production. They tell me they’re bored, and ask if they can raid my book supply.

I take them up to the English department, and lend them various of my books. We then retire to the English Resource Room, where I weigh them down with sundry of the books we have there.

They tell me they won’t get these finished before the holidays. I tell them that I don’t care if they don’t bring them back, so long as they read them. (Most of these books are, of course, not my property, but if you think about it, that’s less reason for me to care about their return, not more...)

As we leave, one of them, arms laden with books, tells me that she had never read a book in her almost sixteen years of life, until earlier this year when I started teaching her and gave her one I thought she might like.

Now, this may be the last thing that the cubicle-jockeys amongst you need to hear, but I really can’t comprehend spending most of your week at a job you don’t love more than damn near anything.

Monday, October 24, 2005


That Morthos Stare writes:

In re that previous matter I was speaking about, here is my at-the-moment reaction to the piece that won the round I was in.

I have been pulled, screaming and inchoate, from my other world to the Earth, Auckland specifically, at dawn, to prostelyse to minds encumbered by a religion clothed as science clothed in education. My brain case throbs with the eaten pain; neurons, long decayed, cry and weep as this bodies vital fluids seek to rejuvenate them. My words, currently chosen as inappropriate, fail to convey the invitality of my work.

(Hover the cursor for a translation...)

Books you should be reading # 4 of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Join Me by Danny Wallace

And I’m not even usually someone who gets bored. I’m a go-getter, a jet-setter, a heavy-petter. I know what I want out of life, and by gracious, I know how to get it. But what I want out of life is usually a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, and how to get it involves nothing more than a short stroll to the kitchen, so I’m not sure if that really counts alongside the achievements of others.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

Of course, I don’t think I’m going completely bugshit crazy, but there are worrying signs.

Over the last few days, for example, I’ve been mentally composing an incredibly in-depth argument proving that the song ‘4ever’ by young Avrilalikes The Veronicas is the pinnacle of feminist empowerment, because it is clearly a response to that dirty bastard Andrew Marvell. After all of the glass ceilings and decades of stilted or outright pyrrhic victories, we finally live in an age where women can threaten prudish men with hurrying chariots and hymen-eating worms and the like.

It’s the times when I convince myself that Avril and Avril (or whatever their names are) are actually intimately familiar with Marvell’s oeuvre and have intentionally written

Here we are so what you gonna do
Do I gotta spell it out for you
I can see that you got other plans for tonight
But I don't really care

as a direct response to and/or conscious revision of ‘To His Coy Mistress’. Those are the times that worry me.

There are more and more of those.

Did you know that The Veronicas wrote tATu’s comeback song ‘All About Us’?

Well, you should have.

Because it’s important, that’s why!

God I’m so tired.

Being an Entertaining Idiot in the Land of the Skeptics

That Morthos Stare writes:

A while back I told the ‘Brainstab’ audience of my soon-to-be triumph in the world of Skepticism; to whit, my forthcoming publication on the possible rationality of so-called paranormal phenomena. Some searching souls asked after the piece, wanting to know when it was likely to come out and whether they could have an advanced look at it. My answers were, variously, soon and ‘That’s an ecumenical matter!’

Today I reveal more, but I do it unconventionally. For that is the Brother Morthos way (which is usually loud, brash and features exploding nuns and ninjas jumping out of windows (Jamaica style).

For the last three years the University of Auckland, under the guise of PGSA (the ‘Black Council of the University of Auckland,’ purporting to be the Postgraduate Student Association) has run a graduate fair called ‘Exposure;’ its purpose to provide a forum where graduates can display their research peacefully. It’s a port of call, a home away from home... Sorry, gratuitous Babylon 5 reference there. ‘Exposure’ is designed to show off graduate research in three ways, those being the visual, the multimedia and the oral presentation.

As a trained public speaker oral presentations suit me just dandy. As a trained public speaker who learnt his trade through Drama training I am also not the perfect candidate for a serious academic seminar. Modern academic teaching focuses on substance rather than style, and style really is treated as nasty infection one should be without. I learnt this last year when I gave an oral presentation at Exposure04 on the North Head Tunnel Conspiracy and How It Relates to Critical Thinking Teaching. Whilst I wowed the crowd the judges went for the very mundane but academically standard presentation and left me only with a USB Flash Drive rather than a replacement iBook.

Woe was I. Flash forward with me now to July of this year, nine months later, where my eventual triumph in academic circles was first realised, vis a vis the Paranormal paper’s acceptance into a magazine of some standing.

Once I had submitted my paper to Dr. Michael Shermer I rather closed the book on that the article. Until such time it was published I really couldn’t do anything with it. As an article under contract I could give it to colleagues to look over but I couldn’t post it on the Internet. I could discuss the contents of the article in classes but I couldn’t really give out the piece to students without the proper attributions, which would only become known when the ‘The Skeptic’ went to press. That part of my life would be, for the time being, over.

Exposure05 was about to change that.

The article, I wager, is the most normal academic treatise I have ever written; it is earnest, coherent and eminently sensible, as befitting its audience. Thus it seemed obvious that if I wanted to re-present it to the world I would have to go all the other way. Make it funny, make it silly and, overall, make it almost non-academic. Think ‘Hard Copy’ rather than ‘Nature;’ ‘Sixty Minutes’ rather than ‘A Brief History of Time.’

Thus the Exposure05 oral presentation was born. I would present the Paranormal paper but do so in a guise that made it an entirely new and original work, yet do it in such a way that it all looked superfluous to requirements when really it would still be, at its core, a piece of fine Philosophy.

Pundits will tell you that educational pedagogical comedy is one of the hardest genres to write. Comedy is not naturally instructive; indeed, there is an article waiting to be written on just how fallacious arguments are persuasive whilst good arguments are not in the context of sitcoms. Educational works are not naturally comedic; whilst some writers can come up with funny illustrative analogies often they precede or are preceded by serious exposition. To turn a serious, originally six thousand word treatise into fifteen minutes of fun, would just be the icing on the cake.

The resulting artefact does not succeed on all levels. It has moments of humour and moments where things should be funny when they are not. I am please to say that the content, the philosophical substance, lurks there, only vaguely emasculated. Some of the argumentation has been replaced by suggestive analogies and much of the terminology has been simplified so that it almost represents what philosophers think but does it in a slightly more intuitive (and thus more prone to error) way. As a piece of Philosophy it is more successful than it is as a piece of Comedy, whilst as a piece of Comedy it likely obstructs the Philosophy from shining through.

Fine and good, you say. But, as you are also wont to proclaim, what does this mean to us, the readers? Well, gentle view, one who has gone this far, you too can enjoy the presentation I gave. Whilst you were unable to be with me the day it was given you can experience it now as a smallish (32 meg) download. In the course of building up the presentation and practicing the dialogue I ended up producing a narrated version of my slides so that I work out the relevant timings of my transitions and where to place vocal emphasis. The following file is somewhat representative of the presentation I gave, and I present it as a delightful prelude to the publication of its bigger brother in ‘The Skeptic’ either late this year or early next.

Science vs. The Paranormal – A Narrated Video (I recommend 'Save As' rather than just clicking the link)

(The editors of ‘Brainstab’ would like to point out, at this juncture, that this might well be the longest case of ‘Here is an amusing video to watch’ that they have had the displeasure to see written on their weblog in many a month. They would like to apologise, but don’t really know how and, frankly, do not really care all that much about your feelings after all. Piss off.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Books you should be reading # 3 of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Namedropper by Emma Forrest

I liked the idea of therapy – it was something I had heard Woody Allen talk highly of. I could tell Manny was worried that everyone would think I was a five-year-old freak because he kept saying, ‘If you have a session that clashes with a lesson, just tell your friends you have to go to Hebrew class.’

‘No way,’ I choked, ‘that’s so embarrassing,’ and every time I had an appointment I’d raise my hand and say ‘Miss Mathews, I have to be excused. I have an appointment with my therapist.’

She’d blush and whisper, ‘Oh, your therapist’ as if ‘therapist’ were actually a code word for ‘Hebrew Lesson’. Teachers are so weird.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Magnetic Mirror of Your Soul

That Morthos Stare writes:

A while back I posted some student poetry from the Ivory Pagoda; here be some more.



Monday, October 17, 2005

Zen Moment

Josh writes:

Blank Tui Poster
Originally uploaded by Brain Stab.
Seen on Symonds street yesterday. Statement against Buddhism or gift to Photoshoppers? You decide.

Friday, October 14, 2005

So, Jack, how was your first week back? (Or: Horse Blinders. Like Equus.)

Apathy Jack writes:


So I was threatening my class that if they didn’t work on a revision essay, I would strangle them with the cord from my radio. Detaching the cord, I stalked around the room to see who was or was not doing what.

Of course I got distracted: The Indians had never heard of the thuggee cult, so I had to spend a while teaching them about their country’s history. Moving on, cord in hand, it occurred to me that one of the slackers had a pony tail so long that I could strangle her to death with her own hair. Tried that for a while before coming to the boy who looked up at me, looked down at the work he had been set, spent only the briefest of moments weighing up his options and said “Better start with the strangling, Chief.”

One of the boys asked if I was going to beat him with the cord. I confessed that the idea had a directness to it that was more appealing than strangulation, and flailed it at him a time or two. Which of course he caught on his cell phone camera.

Of course, this is the kid who, when we were all in over the holidays building the set for the drama production, saw the gleam in my eye when I was using the nail gun. He knows whom not to annoy...


Two of my lot, studiously working on essays, talking as they write...

Student 1 “Last year, I wanted to go to the Santa Parade, but I told my dad that I went because my boyfriend wanted to take me, so dad called him ‘Santa Claus’ for the next year.”
Student 2 “What? Your dad is Santa Claus?”
Student 1 “No, my dad calls my boyfriend Santa Claus to take the piss.”
Student 2 “What about your dad and pissing?”
Student 1 “My dad calls my boyfriend Santa Claus to make fun of him.”
Student 2 “I’ve written ‘piss’ in my essay.”
Me “Alright, you can only do one thing at a time, and for now, that’s an essay. Got it?”
Student 2 “I’m not getting distracted.”
Me “You know those blinders that horses wear to keep them from seeing anything either side of the racetrack? I’m going to get you a pair of those so you can focus exclusively on the essay.”
Student 2 “I’m not getting distracted!”
Student 1 “You know, a box would do.”
Me “Actually, I have a box...”

Then I cut one side off a box and spent the next wee while forcing my student to wear it while she wrote her essay, but that’s primarily visual humour, so it doesn’t blog well...


Dean “I wanted to talk to you about Siobhan.”
Me “Never heard of her.”
Dean “She’s not one of yours. She’s in Ms Singh’s class. But she’s out of her depth. She’s really struggling with the class, and is panicking about the upcoming exam. So I said I’d have a word with you.”
Me “Okay. Well, I have a free period when Singh has that class, so how about I pull her out of English for tomorrow and have a chat with her. I’ll see where she is, and what she needs, then we’ll take it from there as to whether I send her back to English, or whether I do some work with her in that time slot for a few days.”
Dean “That sounds good.”

This is the Dean under whom I worked when I first started at Hoodrat High. He was always at me to knock off the “unorthodox” stuff – a nice way of saying I shouldn’t stick my nose into other teachers’ business. But after all these years, he knows Who I Am and What I Do.

I don’t do it for the validation, but when it comes it doesn’t suck.


The good thing about teaching so close to the drama department is that we always have a soundtrack, be it the repeating tracks the Dance classes are learning steps to, or just the Drama teacher shouting. (I liked it when she turned up – I wasn’t the loudest teacher anymore...) In this instance, choral music.

Student “Is there a Church here?”
Me “It’s the Rapture. God’s come to take away all the bad people.”
Student “I thought he was going to take away the good people.’
Me “Ah. That explains why you’re all still here.”

We laugh together, me and my predominantly Christian Pacific Island students.

Well, I laugh.


Student 1 “Mister, are you a gothic?”
Me “No.”
Student 2 “Of course Mister’s not a gothic. He’s not wearing black nail polish.”
Me “See?”
Student 1 “Nah, I’ve seen the CDs he has in his back cupboard – all rock and stuff. He’s a gothic.”
Student 2 “No, he can’t be a gothic – he’s a teacher, and gothics hate kids. And a gothic couldn’t be a teacher at this school anyway, because gothics hate people of other races, and cultural diversity, right mister?”
Me “Exactly right.”

My flatmate tells me I shouldn’t be encouraging these sorts of ideas...

The class I was informally teaching last term has been officially given to me now. My girl – the one who alerted me to the problems in her class, who got me to come in and take over from the teacher who was buggering things up – said she misses the old teacher: the class may not have learned - or passed - anything, but I’m making them do work, which is far and away a worse option. When I point out that she has to work to pass, she argues that she would rather not work and just accept the failure. She would rather face the consequences of apathy than reap the rewards of effort, because effort takes, you know, effort.

Then she tells me that she’s revised her plans to drop out next year: She is going to come back on the first day of school, and see who her English teacher is. If it’s not me, she’s going back home. But of it is, we keep this one for one more year.

This job kills me some days. But you know, some days, it doesn’t.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

That Morthos Stare writes:

Why Philosophers will Rule the World

We are the original problem-solving discipline. We care about problems and are not afraid to play with a variety of solutions, ranging from quick fixes to deep changes to the underlying structure of reality.

Why Philosophers won't actually end up Ruling the World

I was the only person in the Department who could fix the fridge on level six.

Your Medicine Link for the Day

Josh writes:

Given the title of this blog, I can't really pass up the opportunity to mention this headline, can I?

When asked for comment, the defendant replied "braaaaaiins", before shambling away with both arms outstretched...

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

He's Thrown a Kettle over a Pub. What Have You Done?

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

It's time for an indulgent thought experiment.

What if you were a university and you decided to put together a one year long course of papers in subjects that would be almost universally useful to anyone. Something that people could take that would give them worthwhile skills that no matter what else they decided to do would still come in handy. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Certificate of Usefulness. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Summer School.

PHIL 105 Critical Thinking

Since we are constructing a certificate with the broadest appeal and utility possible it is hard to go past some Philosophy. Everyone encounters arguments throughout their lifetime and would benefit from having a grounding in the skills of making their own arguments better and recognising where other people's fall down. And Morthos has to eat.

Semester One

STATS 150 Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

This course is akin to PHIL 105, but with numbers. It's not too advanced, but eminantly useful.

LAW 101 The Legal System Part 1

Law, like the NZ Politics paper below, affects everyone. I havn't taken this paper myself so I don't know if it actually would be useful to those who don't want to become lawyers, but I like the idea that people should find out how the legal system of their country works.

POLITICS 107 New Zealand Politics

"An examination of who governs New Zealand and in whose interests. Topics include: government formation and functioning under MMP, political leadership, national identity, parties and elections, the role of the media in election campaigns, the place of Maori within the political system, and business and politics." - Who doesn't need to know about that?

ECON 101 Microeconomics

This course provides an introduction to the economic behaviour of individuals and firms with emphasis on output and price determination in the various market structures. Theories and selected applications will be presented. Economics is one of those things that effects everyone, and if it effects everyone it should be in our Certificate of Usefulness.

Semester Two

ACCTG 102 Accounting Concepts

A good grounding in how to manage your money is very beneficial. There are a great deal of self-employed or small-business folk who get lost at GST or Income Tax time, and this paper will help them even if they do just send everything to their accountants.

LAW 101 The Legal System Part 2

Law, like the NZ Politics paper below, affects everyone. I havn't taken this paper myself so I don't know if it actually would be useful to those who don't want to become lawyers, but I like the idea that people should find out how the legal system of their country works.

ECON 111 Macroeconomics

This course aims to analyse aggregate economic activity in the national economy and its interrelationships with the rest of the world. Emphasis is placed on basic principles involved in measurement and theoretical analysis of national output, employment and interest rate, money, inflation and unemployment, exchange rate and open economy issues. Alternative theoretical explanations of key macroeconomic problems and relevant economic policies are compared. The theoretical concepts are illustrated from a range of New Zealand and international applications.


Fuck it, let's let the punters choose one. Unless anyone else can find something that should go here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Model Does Coke! Also, Earth Orbits Sun!

Josh writes:

Christ, are people still talking about Kate Moss inhaling half of Columbia's GDP on camera? I figured the whole thing was utterly inconsequential, but since it still seems to be going, it does give me a chance to wank on about our friend the polite fiction.

Recall that there are three important aspects to a polite fiction:

  1. Everybody knows it's true.
  2. Everybody knows everybody knows.
  3. Everybody pretends that 1 and 2 aren't true.
And woe betide anyone who tears this delicate tissue of lies, for they will become society's scapegoat.

Remember the Mike Tyson ear-biting incident of a few years ago? Boxing is a "sport" that involves two grown adults deliberately attempting to bludgeon each other into unconsciousness; a sport where an acceptable tactic is to pummel your opponent's brows until you open a cut there, and then continue to pummel that cut until enough blood is running into their eyes that they can't see you clearly. And that's when you let them have it. And yet, provided the injuries are restricted to bruises and concussions and nice wholesome internal bleeding, it can safely be thought of as a noble art of strategy and grace, harking back to hallowed days of gladiatorial spectacle.

But to see one of the world's leading boxers perform such an act of animal savagery is to lose the ability to deny that this savagery was there along; that it is, in fact, inherent in the activity. But who bears the blunt of society's disquiet? Who gets the blame? Everyone in the world or Mike Tyson? Let's put it to a vote...

And so we come to today's "news". Everybody knows that models (along with most celebrities) are legendary coke fiends, everybody knows that everybody knows, and everybody ignores it and gets on with their own lives. Until Ms. Moss gets snapped snorting up the nose candy like she was powered by half a dozen miniature cyclones, and suddenly there goes plausible deniability. So who's the bad guy here? Everyone in the world or Kate Moss? Democracy, do your thing...

I mean, don't get me wrong here -- I shed no tears for a psychopathic rapist or the Typhoid Mary of anorexia, but in these particular instances it's clear that their vaguely controversial lapses are focused on with such intensity to avoid society's gaze turning upon itself. It's not that they did what they did, it's that they got caught, and in such a way that they couldn't be ignored.

You know, this may be the most pretentious thing I've ever written. Tell you what -- forget everything I just said and go read Ali Davis on the polite fiction instead. She talks about porn and junk.

Monday, October 10, 2005

October Dog Abuse

Apathy Jack writes:

A fine month for Dog Abuse. In ascending order:

A ransom note for a kidnapped dog comes with stinky evidence...

A man is unjustly hounded (hounded, get it?) for the perfectly reasonable beheading of a dog...

Cow vs Dogs. Cow wins, in one of the most truly magnificent things I’ve seen in a long time...

However, even the cow shots pale (in terms of existential horror, at any rate) in comparison to the one piece of dog abuse that makes even me cringe: Beedogs.

(This is my new favorite hobby – send all your tales of Dog Abuse™ to me via my profile. I’ll love you longtime...)

They Might Be Giants

That Morthos Stare writes:

More important than performing my own material before an audience of two hundred students is finding a legitimate reason to play a full 'They Might Be Giants' song in class. Tomorrow my triumph is complete; 'Wearing a Raincoat' from the album 'The Spine' makes it appearance in the class on necessary and sufficient conditions.

I hope I'm not the only one excited by this.