Friday, September 30, 2005

Ricky Gervais on things that annoy him:

Apathy Jack writes:

The other thing is the desire to be famous. Famous for anything. These people put more credence into someone who once appeared in ‘Hollyoakes’ than a scientist who’s found a cure for AIDS:
“Who’s the bloke in the white coat?”
“Oh, he discovered a vaccine for AIDS.”
“What’s be been in?”
“Well, apart from a fucking laboratory, nothing.”
“Not got much of a tan has he?”
“Well he’s been in a fucking laboratory for the last six years.”
Oh fuck me, it’s depressing.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Almost the Epilogue of the Ivory Pegoda

That Morthos Stare writes:

'If there are "Jews for Jesus" are there "Jews for Judas?"'


'I'm so bored and lonely these days that I've taken up writing Ashlee Simpson slash fic.'

'Ashlee on Lindsay on Hilary is the shit, man.'

'Mmmh. Sounds perversely erotic.'

'Yeah. Want to read something I wrote last night?'


'No man can be a king unless he is born to it. Any man can be a queen as long as he dressed properly.'


Apathy Jack writes:

Just by way of filling your meaningless little lives with something worth doing, go and read Fell, the latest cominc by Warren Ellis. Sure, sure, for many of you who don't read comics (which is a fine choice I must say) this wil involve going to a comic shop - never a particulary fun experience, however, it is well worth it, as you will be able to see in this preview here - click on each page to see the next. Each issue is relatively self contained, so you don't have to have read the last to get what's happening.

If you're in Auckland, the new issue should be at Heroes 4 Sale in the next few weeks - come in and make Stu the Comic Shop Guy happy - he likes money, and it'a about time I had someone else helping me pay off his mortgage...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

When Memes Attack

That Morthos Stare writes:

I'm in the close of my tertiary education career. Here follow some points of interest to me.


It's incredibly passe to write on the nature of spelling in the works of students (and also foolish; if I complain about the issue someone will point out a number of mistakes in this post alone). The same goes for grammar. Speech, however, is another matter.

'Somethink' has become an increasingly common replacement for 'something.' 'Mattrix' has replaced 'matrix' and, well, the world is your oyster when you are looking for these things. Part of me tells me that this is not a worry; languages change and evolve and our pronunciation today was somebody's headache yesteryear. I am guilty of a whole host of these gaffes, although I have a great and glorious excuse which explains why I can't read things phonetically. Learning Ancient Greek was a bitch.


They are everywhere. God bless you. God bless you all.


If I had impersonated a Dalek in class one year ago today almost all of my students would have had no idea what I was referring to. Today, however, almost all of them did. Everything old is new again; hurrah. Even 'Hitchhikers Guide' references are now contemporary (there is an entire post that should be written on this; I can date my teaching epochs by whether PHIL100 (Introduction to Metaphysics) tutorials know the Majikthise and Vroomfondel scene). I'm no longer odd, just vaguely eccentric in my pedagogy.

Inverting the Cliche

Whenever a class or lecture appears in a film or in an episode of TV you always get what I call 'The Last Five Minutes.' Fictionally, whenever you see a pedagogue on TV they are giving some impassioned speech about the value of their subject to the way the world works. The fiction ignores the umpteen boring hours prior to that moment, which, in all probability, is the last thing those students will hear before heading to their final assignment in the course/class. Prior to the last five minutes the teacher is a boring prat incapable of keeping the students' attention for more than a few seconds.

Still, there are pedagogues who rise to the mantle of walking cliche. This is a good thing; it is one of the few times where the cliche isn't an accurate picture of the world at all. I'd like to think that my team in PHIL105 have become the caricatures that the students wanted but never expected.

'The Last Five Minutes' has lasted seventeen hours thus far this semester. Seven more to go. After that... Maybe never again.

Intelligence and Education

When I started in this gig I thought that education was the most important aspect of a person's self-development. University education was essential in the formation of good people. I no longer believe that.

Education does not make you better. Education is not essential to the furtherment of the species. Humans need sex and they need food; everything after that is just... luxury. Intelligence... Maybe I'm jaded because I teach people far smarter than myself, far more capable. My tutors know the material better than I do. I excel because of style, not because of substance. Intelligence no longer impresses me. Perhaps I'm jealous; I suspect intelligence only makes you feel better when you think you lord it over everyone else. There's a curious pleasure in the notion of sinking into a horde of similarly average intellects come next year. No more games of one-up-manship. No more living fear of being caught in the lie.

Perhaps education does you make you better. Perhaps intelligence is important. I think I just stumbled at the last hurdle.

Still, I've still got my pompous and overbearing personality. It makes me happy.

Intelligent Design

I think I've managed to get three people to give up on ID this semester. I hope Darwin was right, otherwise I and three others have just been condemned to Hell...

Monday, September 26, 2005

No Cock

Josh writes:

So Keith Locke wore a G-string and people are disappointed. In the first real display of bipartisan togetherness since before the election campaign, bloggers from all across the political spectrum are united in their cry: "We want cock". Touching.

That is, the togetherness is touching -- I don't men to insinuate that everyone online in New Zealand wants cock-touching. Some of them do I'm sure, but it's not my place to speculate.

At any rate, the number of search hits received here for pictures of men's penises currently stands at 14. I may make some sort of line graph.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Apathy Jack writes:

One more sleep – or so I’ve been told by the teachers who can still sleep – until the end of term. Sundry thoughts follow:


“There, I’ve done the review. Can I go now?”
“No – I’m not letting you wag until you have done a good job – you owe me that, remember?”
“What’s so bad about the review?”
“Nothing. It’s marvelous in fact. In ten minutes, you’ve hacked out what would take most of these monkeys two days, however, it is riddled with minor errors brought about by your haste.”
“Like what?”
“Like the word ‘conflictation’.”
“Is conflictation not a word?”
“I was sure it was a word.”
“However – because I can almost live with conflictation – my main issue is your misspelling of the word ‘my’ here.”
“Are you sure you won’t reconsider leaving at the end of the year? I have so much work I need to do with you.”
“Maybe I’ll come back for the first term.”
“Why the first term?”
“Something to do.”
“Yes. Come back for the first term.”
“Alri... No! If I come back for the first term, you’ll make me stay all year!”
“Yes. You’re learning.”


“High school, as we all know, is some sort of sick, sadistic punishment of kids by adults seeking vengeance because they can no longer lead the responsibility-free, screwing-around-24/7 lives young people enjoy. What other explanation could there be for those four brutal years of degrading comments, physical abuse, and the belief that you’re the only one not having sex?”

-Michael Moore, Stupid White Men


One of the teachers is leaving, and her fourth formers yesterday presented her with her going away gifts: A piece of shapeless plastic still with the price sticker from the Two-Dollar Shop, flowers freshly picked from the house next to the school when the neighbour wasn’t looking, and a packet of condoms shoplifted from the local supermarket.

At least they care. Reminds me of an old workmate who had spent months trying to corral the Tough Class; she knew she finally had them on side when, after dental surgery, she returned to school with her face still swollen and bruised, and her kids took one look at her and said “Miss, give us a fucking name, and we’ll sort him for you.”


Okay, I can deal with the fact that over two dozen Outsiders with crowbars and bats came into the school looking for a little gang-related settlement to the beef du jour (mmm... beef du jour) – that’s just part of the day job. Hell, the constabulary are still smarting over allegations of tardiness when this sort of carryon very publicly happened at Onehunga High the other month, so when we called them – after making us wait on the line for several minutes – they kindly sent over all available cars in almost no time.

What I can’t deal with is that the press turned up at the same time as the cops.

One day – one fucking day – we’re going to get in the paper for something good.


As of this week, I find myself having to listen to music when I go to sleep (this, in case you were curious) to block out the other noise in my head.

You may not see that as a sign of mental wellbeing, but by this time last year I had been on the Dr Kev for over a month...

Funny on the Intar Wub

Josh writes:

Sorry, am I just some kind of pulsating ignoramus for not having heard of newtown ghetto anger until the author posted comments on this very blog? Nor had I heard of Lucid magazine until this site brought it to my attention. I mean, Russell Brown mentioned it once and everything -- do I live in a hole or something?

At any rate, I approve. The guy's a man after my own heart -- can't draw, but can rustle up a decent punchline when the occasion calls for it. I can relate. Oh, I can relate.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


RSJS writes:

Dave Farrar wants pictures of men's penises.

It would be vastly unfair to suggest this is due to some latent homosexuality, or for reference of what male genitalia is meant to look like, or that he is a petty little root vegetable. So don't make such suggestions, or else.

No alibi, but she does have a lawsuit

Josh writes:

Jack used to run a series called "The Horrible Mirror of Popular Culture" on his old November 9 site. This story probably would have made a good entry -- it's horrible, it involves popular culture, and you could easily get a mirror metaphor in there, given that it's all about personal appearance.

You can read it for yourself, but you won't, because you're lazy, pie-eating Intar Wub keyboard fondlers with the attention span of a coke-snorting marmoset, so here are the main points:

  1. Unattractive woman signs up to go on Extreme Makeover and get made over -- to the EXTREEEME!
  2. Studio flies her out to LA and sets about filming "before" footage.
  3. Woman is photographed in her underwear so they can point out all the bits that are wrong with her that they're going to fix.
  4. Woman's family are encouraged to go on about how ugly she is to the camera. Woman is sitting in the next room while they're filming this, and can hear everything they're saying.
  5. Studio gets back an estimate telling them how long the recovery time for her dental surgery will be. Answer: too long to fit their schedule.
  6. Woman told to fuck off back to Texas with no plastic surgey, only the memory of everyone she knows and loves bad-mouthing her looks for the cameras to keep her warm.
  7. Woman is not too happy about this.
  8. Woman's sister is even less happy about this. Rendered disconsolate by guilt over the hurtful things she said about her loved one (and copious drug use), she commits suicide.
  9. Woman sues fuck out of ABC. Case still pending -- who knows how it'll turn out.

That's kind of bleak, isn't it? How about I even things out by mentioning that in the wee hours of yesterday morning, someone found our site by searching for munchausen by proxy prolapsed rectum. Yes, that's much better.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Josh writes:

Oh, and it's Suffrage Day, too. I mean "it be Suffrage Day, arrr -- the day we gave them scurvy wenches the right to parrrticipate in the democratic process."

Also: avast!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Warren Ellis on film adaptations...

Apathy Jack writes:

When you talk about movies, there’s always that which bookstores live by; the book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore’s best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It’s hard to describe just how much better the book is. It’s like, “If the movie was an episode of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is ‘Citizen Kane’ with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end.” That’s how much better it is.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Apparently there's an election on or something

Josh writes:

I'm not fussed -- as a dirty social democrat and a childless twentysomething (just) who's paid more than he's worth, I'm laughing either way. If Labour wins tomorrow, the country will continue as I like it; if National wins, I get me a tax cut.

To anyone not in my situation who's worried about what will become of them once the votes are counted and the dust settles*, the solution is simple: take out a last minute bet on the party you're not voting for. That way, even if you lose the election, you still win the bet! Sorted.

* Such as my student-debt-riddled, Labour party member girlfriend, who comes close to tears every time I casually mention that there's a chance National will get in and she won't get her interest write-off.

In unrelated news, Black Cocks? Dirty, dirty bastards. Not as dirty as the people who report on them, but still -- dirty, dirty bastards.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tales from a Darkened Movie Theater

Josh writes:

" was one of the pseudogoths in my department, I forget his name."

"Gothy McGotherson?"

"No, that's not it. He's really more Greek than goth."

"Spiro McGotherson?"

Damn Greek Scottish goths, takin' our wimmen...

Today's pointless work anecdote brought to you by the letters W,T and F.

RSJS writes:

So, Bob the Broker sends through a sweaty bundle of paperwork labelled a “PI claim”. What the fuck, asks I? This is no such thing. I note on the sweaty bundle “WTF?” to remind myself to ask this very question of Bob once the blizzard of stapled sheets was pinned down and punched into submission by Teh Filthy Assistant. Said assistant proves they are unaware of editorialising comments from on high and “WTF?” is entered on the global computer networky system of vast intercontinental ballistic knowledge. I am now claiming it stands for “Where’s The File?” referring to the absence of much of the paperwork needed for polite processing of the matter. It is now becoming accepted shorthand in the office. I laugh and cry at the same time making a strange gurgling chuckle-noise like when you drown squirrels in Grape Fanta.

The point is, the claim was not a PI claim. It was an MC or a PL or a ROFLMAO or any number of acronyms but it sure as shit wasn’t PI. To give the barest bones of an explanation, PI is paper-shuffling business types with striped shirts crusted at the bottom from too many lap dances and gold expense account cards crusted with speed along the leading edge from too many late-night negotiations with transgender hookers called “Steve”. Whereas what had been sent in was an MC claim, for burly Scotsmen in skirts who juggle dumptrucks and shit houses. It is the equivalent of claiming for the $50 billion in property damage wreaked by Hurricane Katrina on your pissy Southern X medical insurance.

So I politely say “Pull the other one mate, it’s got bells on” and Bob the Broker said “Bring it, bitch”. All couched in paragraphs chock-ful-o “heretofore” and “apropos” and “what my esteemed colleague seems to have failed to notice pertaining to our valued mutual client and their apparent house-shitting Glaswegian predicament…” The next step is to spell out as one would to a Teletubby “This is what is covered (sound of ruler smacking chalkboard producing Hong Kong Kung Fu puff of dust) and this… (pause to run over to another board) “Is what you’re after” (sound of second board being thrown out window) “which are two VERY different things” (Cue impact of board on passing parent with pram. Hollers of orphaned child added bonus).

Bob was not deterred by the heart-rending squeals from below or the demonstration provided to him. Instead he tells me “Ah, but the wording we agreed to says something different, and I will send it to you”.

The plot thickens, as does my file, and into my inbox drops a policy wording. Still set to show formatting changes. Hmmmm, says I, let’s have a look at this pristine 2-year-old document. Lawks, the wording was modified just ten minutes ago. And look, the deleted information is still shown in this little pop-up box. And looky, the change is in error thanks to a ham-fisted typo and doesn’t strengthen Bob’s argument AT ALL. Oh, dear.

I must say, this was the most incredibly inept piece of fraud I had ever seen. I was too surprised that someone claiming three decades of experience would try such a lame cut’n’paste, leaving Yeti-sized footprints across the work and failing to improve his situation at all as a result. Still a bit gobsmacked that some mouth-breather who had the power of speech was this dim, and this insulting of my meagre intelligence, I rather politely replied pointing out the flaws in his masterful piece of trickery. There were a lot of flaws. I bullet-pointed them. And sat back to receive a shaken apology and a mea culpa and hopefully a little .mpeg of Bob falling on his letter-opener. At the very least I wanted a finger in a napkin.

Instead I got a note stating “Ah, yeah, you could see that, eh? Okay, I’ll fax you the wording so you can’t see what I’ve done to it”. Fax duly arrives, with a mis-typed extension crammed in between lines looking like a child’s attempt to turn a D- mark into an A+. I wanted to cry.

I did not, of course. For I am a Man and we do not cry over the career-suicide of incompetent boobs, we merely dine out on the tales of their idiocy and pass on their written confessions of attempts at megabuck-fraud to the relevant parties. In this case, everyone in my address book. THAT’S what Bob gets for thinking I’m dumber than him. The silly cockholster.

There is no moral here.

Petrol Crisis Solved

Josh writes:

NEWSFLASH! German inventor makes diesel from dead cats!

Koch said the cadaver of a fully grown cat can produce 2.5 litres of fuel - meaning around 20 cats are needed for a full tank.

He said, "I tank my car with my own diesel mixture and have driven it for 105,000 miles without any problems."

NEWSFLASH! Oh no, hang on, he doesn't.
But Koch, 55, said there was no truth to stories published in Bild newspaper Tuesday and Wednesday that suggested he used dead cats as part of the mix for his organic diesel fuel.


A spokesman for Bild told Reuters the story was meant to show that cat remains could "in theory" be used to make fuel with Koch's patented method.

Some funny shit, but the more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got. Said it before and I'll say it again: liberal/conservative my arse -- the only media bias that exists is the populist bias. It says what the people want to hear (most commonly that the world is going to hell in a handcart), or whatever gives the story the most appealing/attention-grabbing spin.

Good example of the former: see Cousin Jamie's post on what happens to good news about the country. Good example of the latter: Bra Wars, the name given to the current textiles trade dispute between the EU and China, which affects the manufacture of all kinds of clothes, but hey -- regular clothes don't provide many opportunities to talk about tits, do they?

Having found an excuse to say "tits", Josh returns to his lair to await the flood of pornographic hitlog search terms. The circle of life continues.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Books You Should Be Reading # 2 Of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

War Reporting For Cowards by Chris Ayres

I noticed the captain looking at my flak jacket.
‘Why the hell are you wearing a blue vest?’ he asked. His eyes moved upward with growing disbelief. ‘And a blue helmet?’
‘It’s, er, Kevlar,’ I replied. ‘Bullet-proof, y’know?’ I rapped my knuckles twice on my helmet and gave a weak laugh.
‘Do you have any idea how many blue things there are in the Iraqi desert?’ the captain replied, his eyes damp with anger.
I shook my head. I didn’t want to hear the answer.
‘Well I’ll tell you,’ he said. ‘There’s one blue thing. And it’s you.’
Trux appeared from behind me, his M-16 slung over his shoulder. He glanced at my jacket, which had the word ‘PRESS’ inscribed on the chest-plate in large, florescent white letters. Then he gave me a playful shove.
‘What th-’ I began to say.
‘I’m pressing!’ said Trux. He shoved me again, harder. ‘Look, I’m pressing! It says here I have to press! What happens now?”
Trux slapped his palm on my back, then nearly collapsed with laughter. I thought I detected an upward curl of the captain’s lips.
‘That’s very funny,’ I said.
‘Whoever gave you that vest, man, I wouldn’t send ‘em a Christmas card,’ said Trux. ‘I think they might want you dead. Why didn’t they write “PRESS” in Arabic? As far as the Iraqis are concerned, that snazzy blue jacket might mean you’re a goddamn general. I hope the Kevlar comes with a warranty.”

Monday, September 12, 2005

For Brainstab's creator and guardian, Josh, and for all lovers of pie...

That Morthos Stare writes:


Click its panelled magnificence to visit its home...

September Dog Abuse

Apathy Jack writes:

When Carl the labrador chased a squirrel into the woods, his owners' only concern was for his quarry. But they should have worried about their dog. Because seconds later Carl re-emerged with the grey squirrel firmly clamped to his neck.

I’m thinking of making this a monthly feature – send all your tales of dog abuse to brainstab or the address in my profile.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Why teaching is hard sometimes

Apathy Jack writes:

My trainee let out a small sigh as she told me about the extra work she was putting in with one of my students in her own time. She said something about it all being a bit more time consuming than she had anticipated.

I dragged her into the corridor, away from the ears of the students.

“I taught the first two periods of today, then I missed interval because I had a student in my room telling me a lot of nasty stuff about her home life. I then spent my free period teaching a class that belongs to another teacher, but I’ve commandeered it because she’s incompetent and the students are not learning. Then I watched you teach, after which I missed lunch because the student who came in at the end of your lesson is making a formal complaint against a teacher and I’m helping her with it. I had just enough time afterwards to write up some notes for you to look at over the weekend. In five minutes my Year 11 class starts, and I’ll have my first breather of the day, because although they desperately need revision time and are almost definitely going to fail next week’s exam, the wagging endemic to Friday last-period means that I’ll probably be sitting on a class of barely ten. You will never have free time ever again, and that is the best lesson I can ever teach you.”

And then I took a breath.


Conversations you never want to have with a seventeen-year old girl you’ve known since she was a kid:

“Do up your shirt, for god’s sake.”
“But it’s cold.”
“How is not doing your shirt up going to make it warmer dammit?”


Kid who I care for a lot – one of the ones I look after. She’s catching me up on how much she hates maths, the subjects she wants to take next year, that sort of stuff. She promises to lend me a CD she thinks I’ll like.

Of course, she adds almost as an afterthought, lending me this CD is conditional on her father not kicking her out and sending her to live with relatives down country. She’s headed home tonight to see if he’s calmed down, or if there is a plane ticket on the kitchen counter.

I didn’t do any farewells, because that would have gone against the positive spin I was putting on things. But it also means that if she’s not at school on Monday, it will be another one I’ve lost without getting to say goodbye.

Why it doesn’t matter that teaching is hard sometimes

So it’s reading time with the Year 9s – they have books and so do I, because you have to model good behavior. One of them looks up from the copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves that she insisted on borrowing from me and scrutinises the copy of Mutants I’m reading.

“So,” she says. “Mutants.”
“Yeah,” I reply suspiciously. “It’s about the human genome, and all of the things that can go wrong with it – mutations and the like. I’d lend it to you, but it’s pretty heavy on the science. How’s your knowledge of human biology?”
“All good.”
“Okay, I’ll lend it to you when I’m finished.”

Amazed and pleased by this as I am, it fades as the day progresses and the Teaching continues. At lunchtime, I’m meeting with a student to discuss some concerns she’s having at the moment, when she sees Mutants sitting on my desk.

“Oh cool! Can I read this.”
“Uh... It’s about biology. Relatively hard biology.”
“I know. I read the first chapter in the bookstore, and it was cool.”
“Okay, I’ll give it to you when my Year 9 finishes it.”

I lose a lot of books this way (by the by, Lily; I’ve lost my second copy of Cruddy to the students, and two more have queue-jumped for that Amy Fisher autobiography you want) but by god the little bastards make me happy sometimes...

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Apathy Jack writes:

So, you people want reasons that I like teaching?

Well, how many of you, in the course of your working week, got to think to yourselves: “Hmm, maybe it finally is time I took steps to shut down the underground Fight Club the students have set up...”

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sturgeon's Law

Josh writes:

Summer slump hits US box office

On account of the vast quantities of shit being produced by the major studios, one assumes. Key quote:

French documentary film March of the Penguins was also a surprise hit.

"In an ideal world, people would say 'OK, we have to think more creatively, we have to think outside the box and come up with new and different things'," said Steven Friedlander, head of distribution for Warner Independent Pictures.

"But I'm afraid what's going to happen is, we're all going to sit in a room and say 'We need more penguin movies'.

"So I don't really know what lessons we're going to take out of all this."

Looks like we're better off staying home and watching TV. Or not.

Stab in head? Don't mind if I do...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Million Little Pieces

Apathy Jack writes:

I can put myself to sleep. This isn’t like my gift of putting other people to sleep, which I do by writing screeds of terrible wank on the intarwub, but rather a defense mechanism I’ve developed after years of waking up several times a night for no real reason. There are two distinct advantages to this: Firstly, when I find myself awake in the middle of the night, I can knock myself out with relative ease. Secondly, if I’m really bored, I can just go to sleep, and, like in the HG Wells story, wake up when I’m the richest man in a tyrannical society, or when there’s some good tv on, whichever comes first.

Anyway, there’s this kid in my class. Precociously bright, and wants nothing more in this world than to not be particularly intelligent. In a vain attempt to get her to read, I gave her A Million Little Pieces. I occasionally checked to see if she had started it, and was always met with the answer that she hadn’t, and I shouldn’t hold my breath because she didn’t like reading.

Then, one morning, wandering around the school, I see her coming through the gates, reading as she walks – nose buried in Frey’s memoir, which is open near the end.

She glances up to see where she’s going, and sees me. Immediately, she closes the book and tries to surreptitiously hide it from my view.

As time went on, I started making progress. She hung with the stoners and illiterates in the class, but after a while, she stopped using them as a shield against work (and a shield they are; most teachers realise the futility of trying to squeeze effort out of the stoner corner), and started making them do the classwork – tutoring them, encouraging them, and keeping them from distraction. Not every day, but more and more, you know.

I knew this kid did not have the ideal life. I met her father, who told me he wanted the best for her. While I knew that this was true, I also knew what had happened to her sister who had not achieved the best – kicked out of home after a silly teenaged mistake when what she needed most of all was the support of her family. But I could ensure that wouldn’t happen to this one – she was coming around; expressing herself in productive ways, doing the work to get the credits, finally admitting to herself that she had intelligence, skill, talent.

I was kind of disappointed when she missed speech week. I mean, I know that kids hate doing speeches, but taking the whole week off – while by no means without precedent – was a slightly more extreme length than I had expected her to go to at this point.

Then I find out – she’s been uplifted from home by social welfare. She wasn’t wagging – she’s been in care.

I’ve got our social worker on the case (and yes, the students at my school are so brutally damaged that CYF have allotted us our own personal social worker) but early reports are that we’re not getting this one back.

For the last couple of nights, my trick of putting myself back to sleep hasn’t been working; I find myself thinking of all of the work I needed to do with this kid. The work that now won’t get done.

It’s a pity I can’t sleep, because last time I did, I dreamed she came back.

Monday, September 05, 2005


That Morthos Stare writes:

My students love me. And some of them love me.


(Click to embiggen.)

Purty Pitchers

Josh writes:

Not sure if he just hasn't got around to mentioning it, or if he's still acting under the delusion that this is the serious blog where we only publish learned and erudite musings on important social issues, but Jellybean has so far neglected to point out that the website based on his exhibition from February is up and running.

Go to to see all of the pictures from the exhibition, squeezed onto the Internet through the use of some sort of funnel mechanism, as is my understanding.

P.S. Spot the Brain Stab contributors -- we're all there (with the exception of Mepoc, whose image cannot be captured on film, I'm told).

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Apathy Jack writes:

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab.

Here are your Hurricane links:
'Finding vs Looting' from Salon.

A somewhat sanctimonious, but also entire right, letter from Michael Moore.

The explanation from the Red Cross as to why they're not in New Orleans - the National Guard will not allow them access.