Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Heh... "Rape-bo"

Josh writes:

Never one to bother with this originality crap when a good idea has already been thought up for me, I thought it'd be an idea to adapt Apathy Jack's latest effort (which you all should have read before continuing with this one) to the medium of comics/graphic novels/sequential art/whatever.

Note: Anyone thinking "comics are for kids" can fuck off right now. Buh-bye.

OK, first of all I want you all to do me a favour: Go down to your local comic shop and get the latest Filler Bunny comic from Jhonen Vasquez. After reading it, one of two things should happen:

  • Blood will fountain from your eyes as you spiral into the depths of insanity, abandoning all faith in the existence of hope, reason or a loving God.
  • You will laugh so hard that blood fountains from your eyes as you to spiral into the depths of insanity, abandoning all faith in the existence of hope, reason or a loving God.
That should put you in the right mood for the rest:

I'm figuring you've all read Transmetropolitan and Preacher, but just in case: Read Transmetropolitan and Preacher (by Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis respectively). Of Ellis' many other series and mini-series, Planetary is probably still my favourite -- his stated aim is to restore some of the wonder and excitement of literary characters that have become stale or forgotten over the years by reimagining them through his distinctive Ellis-O-Vision filters/eye tumours. It works.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan is currently acting as methadone to the Preacher withdrawl I've been suffering since that series ended -- not as much fucked up humour, but the dialogue is right up there with the best.

You may want to sample the various Sin City collections, in preparation for the upcoming movie. My personal favourite is The Big Fat Kill, although That Yellow Bastard does have a certain depressing-as-all-fuck charm.

And while we're talking movie adaptations, you'd do worse than go through the various Hellboy mini-series and spin-offs. Lovecraftastic!

Obviously, when discussing comics you really should read, Alan Moore must get a mention somewhere. Although Watchmen, From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen count as required reading on any list such as this one (if only so you can see what the movie adaptations were ass-raping), my favourite of his works would probably be Top Ten -- Hill Street Blues with superheroes. I swear, his take on the "cop comforting dying victims at the scene of an accident" staple is the saddest goddamn thing I've ever read, and I've read Lucy's Drowning.

So, again echoing Jack, what would you monkeys recommend? The majority of the stuff I've mentioned has been around for a while -- what's out there that's new? My only caveat: Please don't mention The Invisibles -- my greatest fear is one day discovering that Grant Morrison isn't actually fucked up on drugs his every waking moment, and that there exists an unaltered human brain that could come up with that sort of stuff.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Ninth New Sermon of the Neo-Catholic Church

That Morthos Stare writes:

Thank you for inviting me here today. I am going to speak to you about the books of the Bible.

Mostly about how we don’t have enough of them.

The Roman Catholics started it; they added in a load of special texts that some people call the ‘Apocrypha.’ Then the Eastern Orthodox Church added in a few more (probably to make the bumper book of Christian theology bigger and more thumpable). The Ethiopians, seemingly keen to not only expand Jewish Scripture added in not only more books of crazy religious fervour but obviously decided to start a whole new section which I will call the ‘Even Newer Testament.’

We, brothers and sisters, must do more. Not only more, but better.

Which is why Cardinal Darmeus (freshly returned from his adventures in the 23rd Parallel) and I have decided to petition anyone who will listen to add the following texts to the Bible.

One: King Lear - Poor Tom’s a-cold... in Hell!
Two: One Hundred Years of Punch - A pictorial history of Victoriana becoming Post-modernity
Three: Seven Things I know about my Mother... The Giant Robot (to be written) - bound to be a mantlepiece
Four: The Manifesto of Self-Revocation - Already a mantlepiece
Five: The Number 23 (which is to say that we want a page with 23 printed in bold, preferably in Garamond, standing somewhere between the Old and New Testament)

Modern people, especially modern theists, want, nay, need, a modern Bible filled with modern texts that mean as much to them as the current crop of dogma. It’s been near one thousand and nine hundred years since the last book was written and near one thousand and five hundred years since the canon was fixed. ‘Jeremiah’ was all fine and good for Hey-zeus (hmm... Maybe we should add the new, JMS overseen, ‘Jeremiah’ TV series as ‘Jeremiah II - DVD edition) but modern peoples want the wisdom of Paris and Britney, Hunter and Gore.

We need to rise up together as a literary group and reimage the most popular and best-selling book of all time. And find me not guilty of ‘Light Treason.’

The Defense rests.

PS. We could go the other way; get rid of any books with a numerical suffix and reduce the synoptic Gospels down to one (and write John into it). I’m thinking of a 300 page potboiler.

PPS. Not guilty.

Apathy Jack writes:

I remember when I went to Boarders looking for a copy of A Child Called ‘It’ - Dave Pelzer’s harrowing account of his childhood, where he suffered experiences that were, from memory, classified as the third worst case of recorded child abuse in America.

“Hmm,” I thought to myself. “I wonder where they keep the autobiographies?”

Searching fruitlessly for a time, I decided to go for the more general “non-fiction” section.

Couldn’t find that either.

“Excuse me,” I asked the information drone. “Where would I find your biography section?”
“Don’t have one.” Replied the book drone.
“Alright, how’s about non-fiction?”
“Don’t have one of those either.”
“Then where do you suppose I’d find A Child Called ‘It’?” I asked.
“For that book,” he said, looking at his computer. “You’ll need to look in our Child Abuse/Incest section.”

And that was how I learned that Boarders doesn’t have a biography section or a non-fiction section, but does have a child abuse/incest section.

It’s like the dirt just won’t come off, you know.

What was my point?

Oh yeah, you should all be reading more. So, for your edification, here is a reading list:

There is of course the aforementioned A Child Called ‘It’ – one of the only truly upsetting reads I’ve had. This is available by itself, or collected in My Story which is the full volume of Pelzers tale, including the sequels The Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. Reading them all is good for completeness (and a sense of closure), but I must say they drag a little. Pelzer is remarkable for his past, not his writing ability, and as his life gets more and more on track (towards the middle of the second book or thereabouts) it becomes, sadly, a lot less interesting to read about...

Another favourite is THEM by Jon Ronson – subtitled ‘Adventures with Extremists’ it is basically a series of profiles of people like David Icke and the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan who is spearheading a new initiative to ban the use of the "N" word.

Ronson is, by trade, a humour writer, but he knows when to pull back and let the innate ridiculousness of the extremists show through.

Ronson’s second book The Men Who Stare At Goats has recently been released, which is basically THEM applied to a military conspiracy called The First Earth Division, which would be laughable if there wasn’t evidence of holdover ideas from this hippy-era military plan being applied in places like Iraq...

Worth a brief perusal is A Million Little Pieces – James Frey’s autobiographical tale of his time in rehab, overcoming drug and alcohol problems he had since the age of ten. Frey is a brilliant writer who presents some very powerful scenes; I challenge anyone to sit through the chapter where he undergoes root canal surgery - sans painkillers - without flinching.

The book is let down a little by how increasing difficult it becomes to suspend disbelief as the story goes on. While it is human nature to make oneself the hero of one’s narrative, by the last few chapters I was expecting the book to end with Frey being crucified to save Mankind from it’s sins and returning from the dead three days later...

A book I’m now onto my second copy of is Cruddy, by Lynda Barrie. In order to convince you that this book is worth reading, I will simply cut and paste the prologue of the book in its entirety:

When we first moved here, the mother took the blue-mirror cross that hung over her bed in our old house and nailed a nail in it for the new bedroom of me and my sister. Truthfully it is a cross I have never liked. The Jesus of it seems haunted. He’s the light absorber kind. In the pitch-black middle of the night he will start to glow green at you with his arms up like he is doing a tragic ballet. Some nights looking at him scares me so bad I can hardly move and I start doing a prayer for protection. But when the thing that is scaring you is already Jesus, who are you supposed to pray to?

Another damn fine read is, well, anything by Christopher Brookmyre – especially Not The End Of The World, where Brookmyre looks at religious extremism, and A Big Boy Did It And Ran Away, his treatise on terrorism (which earned some small notoriety by being released in the first week of September 2001 with a blurb that boldly announced “Terrorism is the new rock and roll!”).

Brookmyre writes fiction – crime stories which almost always have a smart-mouthed Glaswegian as the main character. He also gets hugely didactic at times, telling you what he thinks about the ills of human stupidity with all the subtlety of a charging rhino. However, his sense of comedic description makes these rants a part of the narrative, rather than an impediment to it.

Also worth a look is The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen. The story of two octogenarians and their three grown-up children, and how life hasn't really worked out the way they thought it would.

Franzen is most famous not for his books (the first two of which came and went relatively unnoticed by the majority of the public) but for being "dis-invited" from Oprah's Book Club, which The Corrections got him into. Despite this, I have to say, the man writes better than Jesus, and this book is an amazing read.

I lent the book to a friend of mine and she read the first hundred or so pages before getting so depressed by the horrible things that happen to the characters that she had to cheer herself up by reading a Sylvia Plath biography.

You just don't get 'depressing' of that quality too often.

Finally, I’ve been rereading a lot of Henry Rollins of late.

Over the last twenty odd years, Rollins has published over a dozen books of poetry and prose, all of which are themed around the same idea as his three dozen or so CDs of music (first with Back Flag then with The Rollins Band) and spoken word: The idea that Henry Rollins is very angry all of the time.

His writing is definitely an acquired taste (which is a polite way of saying I’m pretty certain you’ll like the other stuff I’ve recommended but less sure about this ‘un). Ah, hell, here’s the man himself:

I see walking bombs on the street
Hearts not beating, but ticking
I’m talking about detonation!

Rollins is the master of nervous breakdown writing – words that aid and abet my occasional spiral into hideous dysfunctionality.

For the beginner, I’d recommend The Portable Henry Rollins, excerpts from twelve of his books. In addition to being a good yard stick as to whether you’ll like his work, it also highlights the faintly upsetting fact that in Solipsist, published in the late nineties, Rollins is still dealing with exactly the same hatred and anger that he presents in High Adventure In The Great Outdoors, his first collection of writing from the early eighties. He’s a poster child for rage, not for healthily working through your issues and living a life of contentment.

Hell, I still wince a little when I read the longing description: You are beautiful like demolition.

Anyhoo, the above are the things worth reading. So get the hell away from the internet and read an actual book. Everything I’ve mentioned can be found at any halfway reputable literature merchant – if you’re in Auckland, a trip to Boarders will net you all of these in one go. Off you go – step away from the computer and get some real reading down you.


Now for the interactive part of this: What should I be reading, and why? I want replies from as many people as possible, because I will actually make an effort to procure and read what is recommended.

Two things to keep in mind:

1) To convince me to spend hard-earned hamburger tokens on your recommendations, I may need reasons that are slightly more in-depth than “Dis buk iz teh coolzor.”

2) I’m a grown up, so Harry Potter books and anything with elves in it should, of course, not be suggested by anyone for any reason.

Go crazy wild.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Hitlog Follies, Part Three in a Series

Josh writes:

With our readership temporarily doubled by a mention from David Slack, I thought it might be an idea to present a less prurient face to the public at large than usual, especially with Apathy Jack providing actual reasoned debate to entertain and provoke the masses with.

Things seem to have returned to normal though, so I can feel more comfortable about mentioning that recent hitlogs prove that not only will a search for

male ballsack needle torture

bring you to us, but we are number one in Google when one searches for minge stab and well represented on Yahoo when it comes to throat rape. Things to be proud of, I'm sure you'll agree. Just not the sort of things you air when a bunch of strangers come calling.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fun With Walls

liver writes:

So I have a poster above my sons cradle. It declares that 'CHILDREN SHOULD NOT PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS' I think it's great. It's black,white and red, all strong colours that will help his sight develop. It also emphasises a view that I consider important and may indeed make a 'house rule'

I go to the WINZ office the other week. They have a poster that declares 'THIS IS A NON SPANKING AREA' Goverment employees need to have a sign to tell people to not abuse their kids within their sight. Some people are probably stupid enough to have done so. I find that very scary.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Easter Bunny

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

happy easter

Apathy Jack writes:

So anyway, one of our new English teachers tried to send a student out of class for misbehaving. He refused to go, and when she pressed the issue he overturned his desk in anger. The teacher, sadly, was close enough to the desk that it landed on her foot and broke two of her toes.

Of course, this helps my department’s cred no end, such as in my recent conversation with the new science teacher:

Science teacher “It was horrible. I asked the class to be quiet, and they kept talking. I put the work on the board, and they just wouldn’t do it.”

Me “Your department’s idea of a bad class is where they talk and don’t do any work? In my department the students break your toes! Don’t come to me with what you think are problems...”

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Slappy McGiblets and the Opinionatin' Pants

Josh writes:

As a direct consequence of getting SKY last weekend, I have not yet watched Campbell Live, and since I'd rather staple my groin to a cement mixer than gaze upon Paul Holmes or Susan Wood, I have no feel whatsoever for the current affairs melange as it stands. I'm still going to talk about it though, because this is the Internet, where the only good opinion is an uninformed opinion! Hand me my opinionatin' pants and I'll begin.

Apparently he opened his first show with "G'day youse fullas." As far as memorable lines go, it's no "hand me the keys, you fucking cocksucker", but it'll do, I guess -- it certainly seems to have got people's attention. Then, I'm told, there was some sort of exposé on Chinese motorists buying driver's licences or some shit and witty reading out of Don Brash's biography and would you look at that: three sentences in and already I don't give a crap. Back to Antiques Roadshow. I mean, back to Cartoon Network and professional wrestling.

I'm sure I'll get around to watching John-boy at some stage; he's a wacky monkey who's not afraid to take the piss, and he does have the dreamy Jaquie Brown on side, so he gets my vote. Her new show on C4 works for me, too. I tuned in last week to see Ms Brown displaying unprecedented amounts of cleavage while having her shoes licked by Optimus from the Misfits of Science -- now that's television. Shame about the "Weasel", an annoying fuck who jumps around the stage and hands out the scores while shrieking like, well like a member of that breed of extroverted bollocks that equates volume with humour -- George Dawes he ain't. The identity of the Weasel, much like The Stig on Top Gear, is shrouded in mystery. I choose to believe that in real life his name is Slappy McGiblets and in his spare time he leads a feral existence in the rafters of the Britomart complex, before the C4 people come to tazer him and cart him off to the set.

I also choose to believe that Jaquie knows when I'm pressing myself up to the television and loves it, so maybe you don't want to take my word on that.

RSJS writes:

Bugeyes McGurk goes down.

...his attempts at using his heat vision to burn his way out of the dock proved useless, possibly doe to the high levels of Kryptonite found in most New Zealand court rooms.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Stuff I believe that isn’t so popular:

Apathy Jack writes:

Part the first:

I don’t believe in rehabilitating criminals.

See, I’ve never done anything that warranted my removal from society for the protection of the public. I’m not asking for anything from others that I don’t ask from myself – to whit: Don’t kill anyone.

If you want to live a stable, non-being-raped-in-the-showers-by-some-tattooed-thug-named-Twinkles life: don’t kill anyone. I’m living proof that avoiding murder is surprisingly easy.

Sure, a punitive prison system just turns petty criminals into hardened repeat offenders, so that makes them less safe to be part of society. However, the solution to this is deceptively simple:

Lock them up for longer.

If they never become better people (and of course they get no help or vocational training for this improvement – why should we spend more tax money on them than on their victims? Why do they deserve better treatment than the people they raped?) then they never get out.

Simple as that.

I don’t ask much of you people any more – You don’t have to give to charity, you don’t have to appreciate art or literature, you just need to treat people as you wish to be treated.

If you remove someone’s right to live without harm, then we can assume that is how you want to be treated, and we will remove your rights.

That is fair.

Part the second:

There are only two groups of people who don’t like the new anti smoking legislation: The first group are the people who smoke in my living room when they’re sitting next to me ie the ones who don’t care if they give me cancer. The people who go to a window or out onto the roof to smoke have all said “Yeah, probably for the best.” The people who whinge and moan and bitch usually have to blow a noxious cloud at me to do so. The second group is those non-smokers of a libertarian bent.

So: Only the complete and utter fucking wankers.

Smoking causes cancer.

Cancer: a disease that ravages your body and kills you in excruciating pain by eating you from the inside out.

And you unbelievable bastards are giving it to me.

Here’s the thing: Cigarette smoke gives you cancer – that is a scientific fact. When you smoke around me, cigarette smoke goes into my lungs. QED – you are giving me cancer, when I have done nothing to deserve it.

You fucking, fucking, fucking cunts.

You want to kill yourself, then do so away from me, but do not presume to murder me.

As for the whole “it’s your choice” argument? Well, if you choose to kill me by giving me the most horrifying death imaginable, then please don’t get offended when I choose to bend you over and fuck you up the arse with bunch of razor blades so that you can feel some of the pain you are dooming me to.

I get cancer you fucks, that means you are making my choices for me: not only the choice to live or die, but the choice of how much pain I’m going to die in. So it is not your personal choice, it is you overriding my rights and making my choices for me. Do the maths: If you’re allowed to override my rights qua not dying in horrible pain, I’m allowed to override your rights qua not being fucked in the arse with razors.

That’s fair, so the next time you light up near me, you’d better not be wearing pants.

And for anyone who thinks I’m being a tad self-righteous: Smokers seem to think that they are allowed to choose to give me cancer, but I’m not allowed to choose to ask them not to – I’m not the self-righteous one in this equation.

Part the third:

If you are, say, twenty-five and you do not have your shit together, you can fuck all the way off.

No, further.


Aaaalllll the way.

I am not saying that I have a perfect life: I live in a filthy hovel that somehow manages to be a student flat despite the fact that none of us are students. Of the five others living here, I only like two of them enough to be even passingly polite to. As for work; The teacher in the room next to mine trained under me but is already better than I am. A lot of the evidence points to my life being a clusterfuck of brobdignagian proportions.

However, I have a job, I pick up after myself most of the time, and I don’t whine about things I can change.

Twenty-one year olds have not got their shit figured out; big gold key notwithstanding, you’re still pretty young then.

A few years thereafter, you have no excuse.

Oh, sure, you may very well not have the perfect job, but there’s very little excuse for not having a job. (And let’s be very clear on this: Working towards your Masters in Political Studies is not a job. Right? Good. University is fine, if you know where that degree is taking you.)

When you’re a teenager, it is just bordering on acceptable to whinge on a livejournal about how none of the pretty girls like you and why oh why isn’t life perfect because by God you’ve ironed your anorak and your parents let you stay out past eleven now so you’re a pretty good catch all things considered and if only you could actually talk to a girl they’d find out how special you really were... When you are in your late twenties, well, just No, alright.

And you know, as much as I believe in complaining to anyone who asks, I’m actually getting a bit tired of the following conversation:

“How’s it going?”
“Not so good.”

See, I’m old and my brain hurts. Also, I quite like my life: I don’t need you losers ruining my buzz. When you’re coming up on thirty, your parents aren’t going to sort your shit out for you, and I’m sure as hell not going to either. Sadly, it’s up to you, and the simple reality is that the more time you spend whinging to me about it, the less time you have to actually sort said shit out.

Disclaimer: Of course life has its turbulent patches, and everyone is entitled to have a bit of a whinge come Friday afternoon. But I spend all week listening to teenagers complaining about trivial nothings they think are problems, so the adults in my life had better be kvetching about actual concerns.

Long story short: Shut Up.

Part the fourth:

Should marijuana be legalised?

Of course not – it’s a mood altering drug you stupid moron.

But I’m not a hypocrite – I believe all mood altering drugs with a proven track record of harming people should be banned.

You know.


No, seriously.

If alcohol was discovered tomorrow, the Powers wouldn’t even consider for a second legalising something so stupidly dangerous: An addictive chemical that reduces inhibitions, removes one’s ability to drive and not beat your wife and such forth. I mean, come on now.

Alcohol and cigarettes are way, waaaaaaay more dangerous than any other drug for the one simple reason that you’re allowed to use them in public. In fact, you’re legally allowed to abuse them.

The thing that gets me is the hypocrisy: You can’t rail against heroin and P and LSD while you’re lighting up or swilling a beer.

Hell, anyone who is saying that methamphetamine is a dangerous addictive drug better not be saying so over their morning cup of coffee.

Of course, lest anyone accuse me of being unrealistic: I don’t smoke or drink alcohol or coffee.

And look how much better I am than you.

Coincidence? I think not.

Of course there is the argument that these “social” drugs are less dangerous than the prohibited ones.

My counter point is as follows:

Shut the fuck up you stupid dick.

I could rail about how addictive marijuana isn’t when you compare it to smoking, or even coffee. But you all know this – You just want to excuse your disgusting addictions.

So shut the fuck up dick.

No, really. Shut the fuck up.



Josh writes:

I know it's lazy of me to do two "humourous headline" posts in a row, but damnit, if you don't find this one to be the funniest thing you've ever read, well, I suspect you aren't fully human.

Did I mention that the article contains the phrase "wedding growler"?

Monday, March 21, 2005

Smells Like Jesus!

Josh writes:

Couple Sells Candles That Smell Like Jesus

I think this is one of those occasions when the thing to do is just shut up and let the story tell itself.

Unfortunately, I can't help myself -- "His Essence"? I don't care how nice it smells, all I'd be able to think of is the South Park episode where Cartman forms a Christian rock band by replacing "baby" with "Jesus" in a bunch of songs: "I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus! I wanna feel his salvation all over my face!" I can't help but think that's a bad thing.

Friday, March 18, 2005

So much hate it would break your ribs

Apathy Jack writes:

Great moments in literature # 2, brought to you this week by Henry Rollins, from his book “High Adventures In The Great Outdoors”

In a state of delirium I dreamt that I came upon a female cockroach the size of a girl. She smiled at me and told me to come closer. She kissed me. The feeling of her belly scales against my flesh made me convulse and sweat. We made love. She wrapped her six legs around my back and pulled me close. Her antennas lashed my back. No girl ever made me feel like that before, ever. By morning I was covered with sweat, blood, and a noisome yellow-green mucus. She had my children (twenty of them). They were semihuman in form, could reproduce in weeks not years, and could lift up to six times their own weight. We are breeding. In the alleys in the sewers in the backrooms and brothels. Not a day goes by where my children don’t grow in size and strength. We are everywhere. You try to kill us with motels and poisons. This is snack food for us. You will never rid the world of us. We will rid the world of you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

So, a fifteen year old girl goes home at tea time, but her mother is to drunk to cook dinner. The girl’s eighteen year old sister takes offense at this, so attacks Mum, giving her a black eye and sundry facial lacerations. The girl makes two calls: First to the police, second to her father, to see if she can come and live with him for a while...

The girl is one of my students. Her sister is one of my ex-students. I’ve met Mum a bunch of times.

My brother says he can’t imagine being emotionally involved in one’s work.

And y’know, just some days, I sit back and think about what it would be like to work in a shop somewhere. Some drone job where I get to shut down when I close the door.

I think of the students who come to me for help with their studies because they go through so many English teachers in the course of a year that I’m the only one who they even recognise. I think of the kid in my form class who brought some of her home troubles into class and was told today by the Dean “I will make sure you are kicked out of school.” I think of the rolling fight that broke out between the Indians and the Islanders yesterday. I think of the sentence of community service - with no actual jail time - that was just handed down to the man who raped one of my girls last year. Then I stop thinking.

Been waking up a lot at night recently...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

State of the nation:

Apathy Jack writes:

The Flat:

One of the weirdest parts of living with geeks is what, for lack of a better term, I’ll call fandom hypocrisy.

To explain; The Flat was sitting around a few nights ago watching CSI – an episode that opened with a deluge of water crashing through a storm drain. Being the souls of taste and tact that we are, various jokes were made about CSI: Phuket – Grissom finding the DNA of a tsunami and such forth.

After nought but a few seconds of this, the role-playing-Buffy-fanclub-member flatmate shushed us. Repeatedly, loudly and repeatedly (the point I’m making here is that she didn’t only do it a few times) going “Shhh! SHHH! Quiet! CSI’s on! SHHH!”

However, the moment we were all silent, she began a running (and continuous) commentary on what was happening on screen. “Oooh. There’s a body.” “Ah, CSI have arrived.” “Aha! Grissom has seen a clue!”

I genuinely don’t get it...


So I’ve got this worryingly civic-minded student: Despite fainting the last time she tried to give blood, she signed up when the blood drive came to school again this year, in direct opposition to my concerns about the amount of weight she’s lost recently for no discernable reason.

After two weeks the bruise is only starting to heal from where they popped a vein.

Now she’s signed up to do the 40 Hour Famine.

So what else is there to do? I’m sponsoring her to eat this weekend. Money going to the famine people.

I don’t remember this being mentioned in teacher training. I guess I was away that day...


Sitting at the bus stop after school I look across the motorway at one of the buildings. Its tinted mirror surface has caught the setting sun, and each of the windows is reflecting a blaze of light – reminiscent of nothing more than The Towering Inferno, a dancing conflagration coming out of each window. Except that instead of red and orange, it is the deepest gold, and radiating beams of light like lasers.

“Wow,” I can’t help but think to myself. “This is what the world is going to look like when God sets it on fire...”

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Apathy Jack writes:

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab.
Went to a punk gig last night.

I rather liked it. It was surprisingly staid for the opening acts that I saw (most of my time was, of course, spent outside taking to the Young Witches I've recently met and the small army of ex-students that were in attendance - does no one over 17 go to these things? Not like punk in my day, mind...) but when Missing Teeth started, the mosh pit went into seizure.

The frenetic energy expressed was intense and incredible. I was amazed that there weren't casualties. I saw a contrast that quite fascinated me: There was my friend Mike, old school hardcore boy - pure of body, works out religiously, loses himself in the bush for days at a time just to see if he can, proficient in more martial arts than I've recently had hot dinners, and a decorated veteran of some of the hardest pits the last several years have had to offer. Bouncing off him was Kylie - a fifteen year old I taught last year, small to the point of looking five years younger than she actually is, throwing herself around with as much vigor as her frighteningly tiny body could muster. Both were equally frantic in their expression.

I'm used to goth events, where we get together to interact as a group. We talk, socialise, and generally play the fun game of whatever personality politics are in vogue on the night. On the rare occasions that involves a live band, we stand there and politely wait for them to finish so we can get back to chatting to our friends.

At the Missing Teeth gig, there was no talking. Once you left the crowded street, the noise inside was too overwhelming to even talk between sets. It was not about socialising, it was about expression of energy.

I can get behind that - It is as legitimate a form of bonding as any the goths do - sure, there's less actual talking, but then again, there's less poetry and masturbation...

Friday, March 11, 2005

RSJS writes:

Today's winning headline...

Torn From Yesterday's Headlines

Josh writes:

My sympathy for Apathy Jack grows by the day. I know teaching can be a tough job -- my mother's a teacher, as is my girlfriend (Sigmund who?) -- but how they can work in such stifling conditions, I'll never know. I mean, if you can't lick students' open wounds or get high and moon people, what the hell are you supposed to do?

The Eighth New Sermon of the Neo-Catholic Church

That Morthos Stare writes:

The Prologue.

Many is the time I have spoken loudly and less fondly about the current fashion with placing diaries in the public view. Indeed, the first iteration of the modern 'Manifesto...' contains much to dissuade the faithful on this matter.

I understand the attraction, however; everyone would, at some time, like to express some of their views on matters private in a very public space, especially those thoughts that we really want to voice but can never can begin to form (due to the usual mores and restrictions of decent society).

You all know of what I speak, don't you.

Brother Morthos, in a more lucid moment, once told me that my chief problem was that, as Pope, I speak my mind, and this has lead to a trail of discontinued friendships and the cessation of non-hostility on many fronts. Certainly, it has meant a wholesale reduction of those unsanitary business school-types that used to circulate the New Vatican of the Church and I have no issue at all in corrupting evangelists... Still, those are matters for another time. Still, even I must admit that there are moments where I bite my tongue, sometimes wisely and sometimes not so wisely.

Public diaries give you a second chance to 'Sin(TM).'

And what a chance it is. A chance to tell a select audience that, had you had your wits about you, you would have said this, rather than that. That when someone thought you were thinking A you really thought B. That you wish something else had obtained when the crap hit the metaphorical fan.

Oh yes, important stuff.

I see the point of public bullentins when you go away. I see the (perverse) point of angsting to strangers because you have no friends. I even see the point of further supporting a burgeoning journalistic career. But when you use the public space to air your dirty laundry and to piss off people you either need to do it on a massive scale or not at all.

And now, children, without any further ado, I will read to you from 'Run, Spot, Run.'

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Second Thoughts

Josh writes:

Looks like I may have to do a bit of opinion revising - I hate it when that happens.

First of all, it may be that I spoke too soon about the obviousness of Ronnie the Fruitloop's mental instability. Now we see allegations that his loopyness may be put on. I have to admit, I had begun to wonder a little, as the defence team methodically ticked off every box on the Are You a Nutter? checklist, and now we hear the claim that his hair wasn't even like that before the trial. I guess there'd have to be a good reason why a person would inflict upon themselves a haircut that makes them look like Concord Condor from the Tiny Toons -- beating an assault/murder rap is a likely candidate.

And, in a serious case of "did I just read that?" we see in our mate Garth's latest column:

There are a lot of people, I gather, for whom a car is a status symbol and perhaps having a clutch and gear handle is part of the status; or does fondling the gear handle perhaps have some erotic symbolism for both men and women alike?

Did he just compare driving stick to, well, "driving stick"? Dirty old bastard -- I'm starting to like him.

But enough of the media -- Resident Evil: Apocalypse is out on DVD; I'm off to get me some zombie hookers.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

They Might Be Nazis

Josh writes:

Well, one good thing to come out of the Antonie Dixon affair is that They Might Be Giants' "Particle Man" now makes sense to me. The key is the third verse:

Triangle man, Triangle man
Triangle man hates Particle Man
They have a fight, Triangle wins
Triangle Man

As revealed by the prophet Ronnie, Triangle Man is none other than God, indicating a clear string of biblical allusions throughout the piece. Who, then, is this Particle Man, that God hates him so?

Particle Man, Particle Man
Doing the things a particle can
What's he like? It's not important
Particle Man

Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?
Or does the water get him instead?
Nobody knows, Particle Man

Clearly Particle Man is insignificant man, who is as a dot or speck next to God Almighty. Why, though, does God hate him so? Let's go on:

Universe Man, Universe Man
Size of the entire Universe Man

Obviously, Universe Man is God also -- who else is the size of the entire universe (read: omnipresent)? However, where Triangle Man is hateful and violent, Universe Man is "usually kind to smaller man". Clearly we have a distinction between the Old Testament God, He who tormented Job and rained fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, and the more peaceful, loving God of the New Testament. Triangle Man hates and punishes Particle Man because he is an idolatrous sinner.

At this point, however, things take a much more disturbing turn, with the introduction of Person Man. No analysis is required to discern his identity -- who else but Jesus Christ, the Son of God made mortal flesh, would find it necessary to emphasize the fact that he is a person (as opposed to divine)? The song concludes:

Person Man, Person Man
Hit on the head with a frying pan
Lives his life in a garbage can
Person Man

Is he depressed or is he a mess?
Does he feel totally worthless?
Who came up with Person Man?
Degraded man, Person Man

Triangle Man, Triangle Man
Triangle Man hates Person Man
They have a fight, Triangle wins
Triangle Man

And finally it all becomes clear: Person man is ridiculed and reviled, and Triangle Man, the God of the Old Testament (and notably also the God of the Torah) hates Person Man and beats him up, just as the Jews are claimed to have killed Jesus. "Particle Man" is revealed as no more than a filthy tract of anti-semitic hate speech, and They Might Be Giants as purveyors of the same. Frankly, I suspected all along.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Sundry reasons I gave up trying to write fiction, and became a blogger...

Apathy Jack writes:

This is a piece of dialogue inspired by Josh that I couldn’t find a story to go with...

“I can’t believe you’re going through with this,” Andy said to Roy. “You’d have to be mad, excommunicated and pregnant with lizards to even contemplate such an idea!”

“I’m not pregnant with lizards,” Roy said a little too quickly.

Dialogue from a story about teaching that I’m still going to write one day dammit...

“I won’t give you a lecture.”
“Great! Seeya!”
“Wait! Hold on! This is one of those ‘I won’t give you a lecture BUT’ lectures.”
“Righto. Now, I won’t give you a lecture, but...”

Title without a story...

Christmas in Porn City

I'll never write this because, hell, I have nothing but a title, and a vague notion of a heartwarming true-meaning-of-Christmas story set in a city where every single inhabitant is somehow connected to the adult entertainment industry.

I do think it would be fun to sit down and give some brain-time to the societal structure of such a city. Really, I think all the big stuff would stay the same. It would be the little differences that would be surprising...

Blurb from a story I know I could never pull off...

A normal, ordinary young man heads out for a night on the town. Everything goes according to plan until he is drawn into a web of intrigue and conspiracy by the missing Manic Street Preacher, the world's second greatest stuntman, the AWOL avatar of female sexual freedom, and a gimp of few words.

And finally...

“You’re a chronic drinker.”
“Nonsense!” He exclaimed, putting down one of his beers to gesticulate angrily as he took a swig from the other. “That’s ridiculous!”

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Grudge-Holding Gay Nazi Cows

Josh writes:

Updates to a couple of earlier posts.

I'm not sure what I think of Jim Peron at the Institute for Liberal Values, but I have to respect his thorough, two-part demolition of Judith Reisman's wackier theories (in response to that Sandra Paterson column). Highlights include:

She says these erototoxins make one unable to think rationally. Therefore pornography is not protected speech. But Reisman herself spent years pouring over porn magazines to "analyse" their content. She has viewed, or at least claimed to have viewed, thousands of porn magazines in her "studies". She says erototoxins are involuntary so she presumably wouldn't be able to prevent their formation any more than any other "victim" of pornography. Therefore these toxins must have inhibited her ability to think rationally. And all this time I just thought she was a loon. Little did I know her looniness is proof that her own theories are right.

Not to mention his analysis of Reisman and Co's theories on how the Nazis were all gay. Yes, these people actually claim that homosexuality caused the Holocaust, with "several million Butch... homosexual Nazis" working as guards in death camps. Good stuff.

Also, it's not just monkeys who sense injustice - cows can harbour a grudge. I smell a spin-off...

New this fall! Chimp Justice: Old MacDonald's!

In the pilot episode, a cross-over with the original Chimp Justice series, Officer Bongo is forced to travel outside his jurisdiction to track down the murderer of a bonobo hooker. He must work with Detective Daisy, a hard-nosed Holstein with a heart of gold, still nursing hard feelings over an incident back when the two of them were in the Academy. Sniping and arguments over jurisdiction eventually make way for an easy truce, as they both focus on hunting down the perpetrator so he can be brought to... Chimp Justice!

By the way, here's another instance of that article -- compare the two, and see which one left out the phrase "gay nymphomaniacs"... Yes, I'm still talking about cows.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Not a Well Man

Josh writes:

Dear The Herald,

Yes, we get it -- Antonie Ronnie Dixon is the most comprehensively fucked in the head individual out of all the P-crazed, katana-wielding, bowl-cutted lunatics in New Zealand. Is the relentless stream of updates concerning his headfuck'edness actually necessary? He said he was "the chosen one"; he said his victim was "a sacrifice"; he was ridiculously paranoid and thought the police had implanted chips under his skin -- thanks, but you had me at "mutilated two women with a sword then shot a guy".

And you even render yourselves obsolete by summing up every single one of your articles in a single image:

Frankly, that's case closed for me. I fully expect this picture to form the entirety of the prosecution's case:

"Your Honour, members of the jury:

The prosecution rests."

Yours Helpfully,