Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Books You Should Be Reading Number 30 Of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I swear to you that to think too much is a disease, a real, actual disease. For ordinary human life it would be more than sufficient to possess ordinary human intellectual activity, that is to say, half or quarter as much as falls to the lot of an educated man in our unhappy nineteenth century, and especially one having the misfortune to live in St.Petersburg, the most abstract and intentional city in the whole round world.


It’s a bit of a worry how much of myself I see in the narrator of this one – especially as he is a wholly unsympathetic character. I’ve got to admit that I winced when I read: “I had grown so unused to ‘real life’ that I could hardly breathe for the oppressiveness of it.” Yes, I know it’s emo, and I know I need to grow some coping mechanisms, but, hell, that can’t be a surprise to anyone reading any of my posts, can it...?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

Today’s video is Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. It’s become fashionable (and easy and fun) to mock Amy Lee in recent years, but this is a very nice video, and Amy Lee ledge-walking in a city that looks like it could have been designed by Alex Proyas or Tim Burton back when he was making Batman movies certainly goes with the overblown angst of the song. And of course, there are brutalising little touches like the girl in the clown mask that give it just enough of a kick.

By the by - Sound's a bit muted on this one, but it's all there if you turn the speakers up a bit...

(As per usual, linked to rather than embedded because of the drop in quality that comes with embedding.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

Been a while since I whored a music video at you. Today you have Go With The Flow, by Queens of the Stone Age. I have no real idea what’s going on here, but it looks awful purty while it’s happening. A true piece of psychedelic weirdness.

(As per usual, linked to rather than embedded because of the drop in quality that comes with embedding.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

You'd all better be dancing naked around a golden statue of me, I swear to god...

Apathy Jack writes:

Turns out today is international Teachers' Day.

Shower me with praise, you dicks!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Comics You Should Be Reading Number 6 Of Probably Not Many; Comics Are For Children And Retards

Apathy Jack writes:

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab
Nemesis the Warlock by Pat Mills and Various, but notably Kevin O’Neil

Remember the optimistic picture that Gene Roddenberry put forth in the Star Trek mythos: the moment humanity had a close encounter of the third kind, all racism, sexism, homophobia, would end. All of the internecine squabbles that have held mankind back would simply fall away with the humbling knowledge that we were not alone.

Nemesis the Warlock has that as its core message as well: when humanity encounters alien life, it sheds its petty differences and unifies as never before.

To purge the galaxy of weirdoes and deviants in a terrifying new dark age where the word “human” is synonymous with “bloodthirsty religious fascist”.

I remember the first Nemesis story I read – part of a serialised story read out of order in purloined issue I got from somewhere: The story of two humans trapped on a terrifying planet of giant spiders. They were engaged in a desperate struggle to stay alive (a struggle which one of them failed in a spectacularly gruesome way) and to end the nightmarish rule of the arachnid overlords.

I had to read the story several times; I knew all of those tropes, but they were upside down. That story (a pretty bog-standard sci-fi idea by even my ten-year-old standards) just didn’t make any sense if the spiders were the good guys. The more stories I read – where the hero was a demonic figure who breathed fire, and his main lieutenants as the story wore on were a gang of kill-happy robots with an undisguised loathing of humans – the less sense it made to me.

It was great stuff. Still is. The second volume of The Complete Nemesis the Warlock has just been released.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

Me “Back from the Nurse already?”
Student 1 “There was a queue, she told me to come back in ten minutes. And Sir, on my next note, could you not write that I have leprosy?”
Me “Hey, you’ve learned a valuable lesson about reading things when they’ve given to you.”
Student 2 “Sir, what’s the difference between moral and immoral?”
Me “Moral is doing something good, immoral is doing something bad.”
Student 2 (leaning over to the student next to her) “See, Julie!”
Me “For example, you could say it was immoral to ask me a question, and, when I answer you, lean over and say ‘See Julie’ in order to make it look like you already knew the answer but were proving it to your friend; as you’ve done the last five times you’ve asked me something.”
Student 2 “I know... See, Julie!”
Student 3 “Sir, did you find my rough copy?”
Me “No, but to be fair, that’s probably because I haven’t looked yet.”
Student 3 “I asked you about it two days ago!”
Me “And I’m sure I’ll find it the very moment I start looking. You know it will be in one of these piles somewhere. It’s just a matter of going through them.”
Student 3 “You’re lucky you’re such a good teacher, Sir.”
Me “How do you mean?”
Student 3 “Because a teacher who wasn’t so good would probably not be able to cope with the mess you generate. Also, we’d be less likely to forgive you for things like losing our drafts.”
Me “That’s nice of you to say... I think. But your draft isn’t lost. It’s here... Somewhere.”
Student 4 “Sir, do you have any stories by Maori authors that we can read to finish this reading log?”
Me “Not on me, sorry.”
Student 4 “What about that pile of books by Witi Ihimaera on your desk? Isn’t he a Maori author?”
Me “No, he’s a crap author, and in order to become a teacher I had to sign a piece of paper saying I wouldn’t abuse any children; I’m not going to violate my contract by making you read Witi Ihimaera.”
Student 4 “But didn’t he write Whale Rider?”
Me “Yes, which is possibly the best movie to come out of this country; and almost certainly the worst book to do so.”
Student 4 “But can we read him for the reading log?”
Me “Yeah yeah. Alright everybody, listen up: If you still need a Maori author to fulfil the requirements of this reading standard, I have a pile of short-stories by Witi Ihimaera you could read. As far as I’m concerned, that counts as self-harm, but if you’re desperate, you might want to consider it.”
Student 5 “Why so much hate, Sir?”
Me “My hatred of Witi Ihimaera’s writing comes from reading Witi Ihimaera’s writing. Wait and see; it’ll happen to you.”
Student 1 “Sir, can I go back to the Nurse now?”
Me “Sure, here’s a note.”
Student 1 “Than... Sir, I don’t have Tourette’s Syndrome!”
Me “Ah, you’re learning!”

Monday, October 22, 2007

Comics You Should Be Reading Number 5 Of Probably Not Many; Comics Are For Children And Retards

Apathy Jack writes:

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab
The Exterminators by Simon Oliver and Tony Moore

The tagline on the first Exterminators collection likens it to the HBO of the comics world, and, unoriginal though it may be, I can’t think of a better comparison (especially as it was originally thought up as a tv series). The Exterminators is like one of those quirky normal-people-but-hey-look-at-this-spin-which-
makes-it-interesting shows. (So, yeah, if you think those’re played out, this might not be your thing...)

The three collections so far released; Bug Brothers, Insurgency and Lies Of Our Fathers, follow Henry James immediately upon his release from prison, as he gets a job at his mother’s boyfriend’s pest-control firm, Bug-Bee-Gone. However, as James acclimates to his co-workers (driven peculiar by their work with bugs, or did they choose to work with bugs because they were a wee bit funny in the first place...?) he starts to notice things, and it begins to look like the bugs have a plan of their own...

The above link also has directions to a pdf of the first issue, in case you’re interested.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Culture of violence

Apathy Jack writes:


Me “Ow! Ow. Why would you hit me?”
Student “Because I’m seventeen now!”
Me “So?”
Student “So I’m a big girl now!”
Me “All that means is that you can get tried as an adult for what you just did!”
Student “What, do you want another one?!”


Student “Sir! Jasmine hit me with her jandal!”
Me “Now, I’d like you to think about the almost seventeen years you’ve been alive, and your behaviour during that time. Are you saying that this is the first time you’ve been hit with a jandal?”
Student “Well... No.”
Me “So surely you’re used to it by now and can stop complaining to me?”


Student interviewing me for the school magazine “Where were you before you came here?”
Me “Everyone already knows that.”
Student “Right, Hoodrat High. What’s your highlight at this school so far?”
Me “Not being beaten up by any of the girls.”
Student “Haha!”
Me “Why you laughing? That’s a serious concern!”


Chatting to two students; one in my class, one not.

My student (to her friend) “You should see him when he gets angry; he goes all pink.”
Me “That’s not me angry. This is me angry. That’s me enraged.”
My student “How can this be you angry? Isn’t this you normal?”
Me “Yes. Anger is my normal state. Anger is what keeps me upright and ambulatory.”
My student “I think you might have a problem with anger, Sir.”
Me “I’m going to hit you with a chair soon.”
My student “A chair?”
Me “Yeah, back at Hoodrat I’d often walk around with a chair slung over my shoulder. It was my Hitting Chair. I used it for hitting.”
My student “You hit people with a chair?”
Me “Hey, you still have that friend who was in my class at Hoodrat don’t you? Ask him.”
My student “No, I believe you. But I think that just proves my point.”
Me “Right, that’s it, come ’ere!”


Student “Sir, you can’t hit us anymore. We’ll go to the police.”
Me “You’ve got to reach the door first.”
Student “But there are more of us than there are of you.”
Me “Doesn’t matter – you’re going down.”
Student “You couldn’t stop all of us.”
Me “I’m not talking about stopping everyone. Just you. I have no idea how the group en masse would fair; many would doubtlessly escape, they may even bring an end to my reign of terror. But you are going down. Still seem like a good idea?”
Student “Not anymore, no.”

Thursday, October 18, 2007

If you drink and drive, you're probably a Climate Change Denier

That Morthos Stare writes:

There is a scene in 'The Critic' where Jay Sherman reads out an essay on the nature of American film-making on 'English for Taxidrivers' because it guarantees him a larger audience than he would get through traditional channels. In a like manner I'm going to direct you to this article here. If you have (recently) been made to think that the court case in the UK showed that Al Gore's documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth' contained factual errors then you probably need to read it, because you have been misinformed (the article also contains a list of other misinformed people; you can probably join a club or something). If you are true of spirit and mind (or some other such guff) then reading it will make you happier nonetheless.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Slippery Slope

That Morthos Stare writes:

So, on Monday morning the news was 'Peace activists arrested.'

By Monday lunchtime it was 'Terror suspects arrested.'

Monday night: 'Suspected terrorists arrested on firearm charges.'

Today the phrasing is 'Suspects arrested on terror-related charges.'

Terror-related charges?

There is nothing funny to say.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Assault with a deadly sleeping bag

RSJS writes:

So New Zealand has terrorists, eh? Jolly good. Our emulation of America continues, we're one bucket o' fried cheddar away from being the fifty-second state. We even have drive-through (thru?) doughnut (donut?) shops. Bring forth the schoolyard shootings and NAMBLA.

I suppose that given the American's spot o' hazing to introduce them to the wide world of nothing-is-safe-motherfuckers (henceforth referred to as the 911 plane-parking debacle) was done with box-cutters, that masked coppers seizing rucksacks and greasepaint as offensive weapons makes sense. And I guess my sadly-deceased grandmother, were she still alive and sober enough to slur out a platitude, would note "it's better to be safe than sorry", but really this whole matter is quite shortly going to be publicly shown to be about as sensible as the Mooninite fiasco in Boston, Massachusetts.

I don't mean to demean the hard-working anarchists hemping it up in squats and teepees nationwide with a fistful of discarded food and a rag to wash windows with, but this country is pretty dreadful when it comes to fringe radicals changing the world around us. We don't have the numbers for the positive feedback needed to produce a chain reaction. I doubt we could even muster a Springbok riot these days. Witness the recent muddled Damn the Man dozen-man-march designed to show America that hijacking anniversaries for political ends was only good when carried out by a shrill besom wearing a megaphone and push-up bra. So a vast conspiratorial gang of bomb-chucking lefties, Tangata Whenua terrorists and tofu-chugging dissidents just smacks of the wet dreams of politicians, rather than the more likely gaggle of special-interest groups with ambitions and stoner kids with bong-smoke dreams.

What pisses me off the most? The fact that the shrilly anti-authority types touting big-business-powered plots and grassy-knoll-gunmen in the Government trying to disrupt everything from green activists to treaty claimants, might be right in this instance. A good but o' raiding shows the justification for stabby-proof coppers vests, bureaucratic fact-finding missions, a suspension of habeas corpus and probably a cause with a ribbon. I mean, I'm the biggest corporate stooge you're going to find, a greedy fat-cat lapping up the cream squirted from the multinational teats and all sorts of other gruesome mixed metaphors. And to think that my team are so desperate, and worse so stupid as to be caught out behaving like brute squads for their own ends? Fucking annoying. I expect more from my team, I really do. I'm going to write a sternly-worded letter to my MP demanding they get with the program and do a better goddamned job at vilifying their victims before sending the black-clad bovver boys in so the struggling masses yearning to be free can be shut the hell up and we pinstriped wage-slaves can have a few extra percent come Year End. I mean, what am I paying my taxes for?

So, for now, we must watch as yesterday's excitement gets watered-down into tomorrow's defensive posturing, and finally dissolves into next week's thing-the-government-won't-apologise-for and next month's nothing. And watch for panhandling aplenty as a whole bunch of dreadlocked fuckers are going to have to go replace their cargo pants at Doyles Army Surplus.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shoots, Roots and Leaves

Josh writes:

PM: I'm the devil you know - if ever a headline called out for the addition of a comma...

Whichever copy editor let that one pass unmolested is made of stronger stuff than I. Even if I actually liked Howard, the shining comedy value alone would make it more, much more, than I could resist.

UPDATE: From a copy editing blog I frequent: More missing commas.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Comics You Should Be Reading Number 4 Of Probably Not Many; Comics Are For Children And Retards

Apathy Jack writes:

from hell
Originally uploaded by Brain Stab
From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

You may remember the movie version of this Jack the Ripper tale, where Johnny Depp played psychic detective Abberline in a racing whodunit, leading to the big revelation at the end.

Well, the prologue for the graphic novel establishes firmly that all psychics are hoaxers, and by chapter three (of sixteen) we are told who the Ripper is, and we spend much of the rest of the story following him as he dispenses his murderous task.

Paraphrasing a comment Moore once made concerning this movie, he said he was pleased: thousands of movies are made every year that aren’t based on his work, and he never sees a cent, however; the producers of the Depp film made a movie that wasn’t based on his work, but wrote him a huge check...

Warren Ellis once said this of From Hell (wherein; for all you fans of modern sci-fi, he references the old Battlestar Galactica):

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.

This six-hundred-odd page beast of a thing is exhaustively researched – there is a forty-two page appendix explaining story and art references - and it weaves together Masonic conspiracy theories, British history, and compelling pieces of Ripper-lore to build a complex and remarkably compelling read.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Comics You Should Be Reading Number 3 Of Probably Not Many; Comics Are For Children And Retards

Apathy Jack writes:

the stamp collector
Originally uploaded by Brain Stab
Death By Chocolate/Less Than Heroes by David Yurkovich

Yurkovich’s oeuvre is of weirdness in just the right amount, and his two major works have been collected. Death By Chocolate tells tales about, and related to, Agent Sweete, a man made of living chocolate who works for the FBI Food Crimes Division. At turns weird and funny, it also has the truly disturbing story “The Metabolators”, proving that weird and funny can also creep you the hell out.

Related is Less Than Heroes, the story of Threshold, the most boring super-heroes in the world; who live in Philadelphia – not the super villain capital of the world, so spend a lot of their days eating snacks and indulging in their various hobbies. Yurkovich followed this up with The S.H.o.P – Super Heroes of Philadelphia, a surprisingly dark tale about It All Going Wrong.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Comics You Should Be Reading Number 2 Of Probably Not Many; Comics Are For Children And Retards

Apathy Jack writes:

Originally uploaded by Brain Stab
Love and Rockets by Jamie and Gilbert Hernandez

This series is somewhat famous for being a bastion of alternative culture in the eighties and early nineties – especially after a band named themselves after it. Definitive collections have just been released.

The most popular are the works of Jamie Hernandez, chronicling the life of Maggie Chascarillo, a Mexican-American hoodrat living on the proverbial wrong side of the tracks. The early stories are Jamie throwing all of his influences at the page to see what sticks, so, in addition to Maggie walking the streets with her punker friends, she also works for a world-famous mechanic and has adventures with dinosaurs and professional wrestlers. After a while, it (mostly) settles down to Maggie dealing with everyday life. Which (oddly, given my proclivity for wrestlers and dinosaurs) makes it even more compelling. The two “Maggie” collections out so far are Maggie the Mechanic and The girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S.

Despite Maggie’s popularity, I’ve always preferred Gilbert Hernandez’s Palomar tales. Set in the fictional Mexican village of that name, Gilbert’s stories travel back and forth across decades telling the stories of the inhabitants. It is simply a soap opera, but it is moving and affecting, and you come to really care for the characters. I still remember being unemployed, sitting in the public library reading Love and Rockets and my clearest memory is of reaching the end of Human Diastrophism – the final major Palomar story – and sitting there stunned. Magical realism isn’t generally my thing, but I still care for all of the characters from Palomar – they’re realer than many of the real people I know. (Disclaimer: I do hang out with some awful caricatures of humanity...) The complete tales of Palomar are currently available in two volumes: Heartbreak Soup and Human Diastrophism, with a volume of Gilbert’s post-Palomar stories to be released at the end of this year. Go read them.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Not Dead in Any Significant Sense

Josh writes:

Gracious, it's been more than a month -- sick, tired, lazy, having more fun elsewhere on the Internet, etc.

I suppose I should start by saying that I care more about the games of Facebook Scrabble I'm currently playing than anything to do with rugby. I realise that saying this after the All Blacks lost makes it sound a bit like sour grapes, but I assure you it's been my attitude all along. I was actually a little offended at the article in the Herald a few weeks ago that breathlessly informed us that there are actually people in this country that aren't interested in the World Cup, with advice for how these poor afflicted souls can occupy their empty lives while the rest of humanity camps in front of the TV for the next few weeks...

What else? Politics? Look, I know no-one really gives a shit about local body elections*, but for Christ's sake -- the reason Hubbard was voted in last time was the bare fact that he was not John Banks, please God no, anyone but John Banks. Are memories really that short?

And it's been linked to far and wide, but just on the off chance you hadn't heard, Stephen Fry has a blog, in which he provides further evidence that he is the Perfect Human.

That'll do for now.

* I personally only give as much of a shit as is required by the fact that my wife is running for a community board, and even then, I dare say that's more of a shit than most of you combined.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Books You Should Be Reading Number 29 Of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis

The plane banked easy, stepped over the cloud deck, and leveled for Columbus, an hour’s run.
An older guy in a short-sleeved shirt with bloodstains on the front sat in the aisle seat next to mine. He gave me a secret little smile. “You know,” he said. “You know. If you drink whiskey. And I don’t mean a lot of whiskey, just enough to keep the little engines in your head alive. If you drink a bunch of whiskey, you can piss in a cup before you go to sleep. And in the morning all the alcohol will have risen to the surface of the piss. And you can drink it off the top of the piss with a straw.”
“I’ll, um, I’ll certainly bear that one in mind.”
He made a happy noise and stuck out a big hand with caked blood all over the fingernails. “Excellent. I’m the pilot.”


If you remain unconvinced by the above excerpt, the publishers have offered the first chapter free as a pdf document here and there is another chunk up on Warren Ellis’ livejournal here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Health is bad for you.

RSJS writes:

I have been pondering great imponderables this past day, sparked oddly enough by the unexpected demise of a jogger in front of me when I was walking to work on Thursday. Chap keeled over from a heart attack some twenty paces ahead and I got to him in time for his death rattle. Thankfully some passing cyclists stopped to help me with half-remembered resuscitation techniques carried out while screaming abuse at the ambulance dispatch monkeys (thump-thump-thump-breathe-what-do-you-mean-you're-sending-an-ambulance-from-Mt-Wellington?-thump-breathe), but rush hour is unkind to emergency services and between the ambo's delay and our ham-fisted CPR, this poor chap's heart wasn't pumping under it's own steam for about half an hour. The paramedics did eventually coax a faint pulse out of this cadaver thanks to fun with defribulators, enough to risk carting him off in the truck to the nearest hospital. I have no idea who he was, didn't leave my details with any of the paramedics, and honestly don't remember the names of the two cyclists who stopped to help me/him/us. Given the lack of tangible evidence (aside from a bloodstain on a shirt I used to clean up the guy's face, and blood on my clothing is pretty ambiguous, let's be honest – that same shirt now has an eagle-pattern in blood in the shoulder from yesterday's tattoo appointment for example) this whole affair may well end up a half-remembered dream as so much of my twenties are.

Okay, so that's my quite-interesting thing that happened to me this week. And when edited down to a concise paragraph, makes me sound competent and humane. And it is something that when presented in this fashion I'm quite proud of.

But what's interesting to me is how I reacted to a guy expiring at my feet. It's well-documented that people don't like being the first on any scene for fear of making a social faux pas – we seem to fear our own embarrassment more than other people's suffering. But my issue with interfering with others actually extended to wondering the appropriateness of CPR: The gent stopped breathing, and neither I nor the cyclists could find a pulse, but when we started trying to get his systems moving again I had the quite vivid thought "Is this proper? Is this how one should treat a perfect stranger? Just start pounding on his chest and blowing down his throat?" I actually looked at him and hoped he would ask for assistance, so that I would feel comfortable invading his private little walk-towards-the-light moment. No request was forthcoming of course, and so the next fear: being th' dude who just watches someone die and gets maligned in the media for being heartless kicked in, and on with the tit-punching.

The other thing I remember was my initial reaction to seeing the chap, well decked out in running gear, his Italian spectacles cracked on the ground nearby, was that he was a retard. A voice in the back of my head screamed "Down's Syndrome!" and it has been bugging me why I'd think that. And it finally clicked into place: it was his expression, the eyes rolling and dilated looking for all the world like those of a dog fearful of a beating. An expression of animal fear as his body betrayed him. That and his tongue pressed up against his teeth gave him the appearance of someone lacking all higher brain function. I know this sounds harsh but it's true: as this guy kicked off there was no indication of intelligent concern in his eyes, just a base mammalian horror. And I wondered what he saw: his eyes were on me but could he see me? It was bright enough for me to have aviators on, but his irises were fully overrun by his pupils, no wonder people might see walking into a white light...

Which brings me to the next point, does he remember me? I don't know who he is, I might never unless I ring around local hospitals and I don't know I'd benefit from that. But does he remember someone calling to him, asking sir if sir is having an asthma attack? Does he remember the paramedics and the squeeze-my-hand routine? (which elicited no response, but at that point it was the least of their worries – guy's system was so shut down they couldn't even find his veins, which made for a gruesome game of pin the tail on the donkey with a drip) I wonder how one appears to someone whose mind is going to mush, eyes on stalks and soaking up the sunlight, a stranger over you offering assistance – what did I look like? Alien? Angel? Devil? Or was he checked out at that point and having the internal monologue some neurologists think occurs as the body collapses? I guess the metaphysician in me wants to ask him what he saw, what was he looking at, but it's bad enough being the total stranger huffing into his gob and thumping him in the middle-aged spread, but discussing eternal mysteries with him? That just seems... rude.

Anyway, that's what has been giving me pause for thought this week. For those wondering yes, I'll go back to bitching about stuff shortly. As you were.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Apathy Jack doesn't write:

That Morthos Stare writes:

Today’s video is 'The Mesopotamians' by They Might Be Giants. It combines Ancient History and Pop with a charcoal animation style; points everywhere for everyone involved. It's the latest video (the fourth) from TMBG's latest album 'The Else' which feels like an odd follow-up to 'The Spine,' probably due to the professional polish given to it by the Dust Brothers. I've learnt to love it, and you will too, if you know what's good for you.

(As per usual, linked to rather than embedded because of the drop in quality that comes with embedding. Or just because.)

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Richard Burton Effect

That Morthos Stare writes:

Let me get it out of the way first. I did go see Jeff Wayne's latest version of his only hit, 'War of the Worlds' and, yes, I was a little disappointed. When the holographic ghost of Richard Burton is a better actor than the main cast and the singing (with the exception of the Parson's Wife) is terrible-bordering-on-dire then you know something is wrong in the world of stageshows.

And no, I didn't attend the V Movie Marathon. I'm sure it was grand but I had a prior engagement. And I'm not so keen on sleep deprivation anymore.

And yes, I do know the identity of Anika Moa's lesboid ex-lover.

Which is why I want to talk to you all. I'm sure most of you realised that the article was just a PR puff piece designed to get Moa back on the musical map. What was bizarre was that it really did read as if Moa was hitting on the interviewer.

'I like men... but I prefer women,' Moa said, sliding her hand up my thigh and winking like Rowan Atkinson in that Shakespeare sketch he used to do in the days when he was edgy.

Which really sums up the Herald at the moment. A few months ago we had the credulous story that low-level vibrations cure smoking addiction and the week before last the preview of the new play 'Murder by Chocolate' ended up being an advert for Cadburys.

Contentiously, languages shape reality (just as some notion of reality shapes languages) and the discourse within languages feeds back into how language will change and shape our future concepts. That puff piece about Anika Moa (and wasn't it huge and strangely focused on what she was and had been wearing) shows that our standards aren't just slipping, critically, but sliding sideways into a world where such discourses as Climate Change Denial aren't just an affront to good science but seemingly credible spin.

But I digress. Surely the most important question now is whether 'Fall in Love Again' is going to be re-released with the following lyrical changes.

There's a girl in every town
No wonder I get around
I'm seeing me for the first time


After such a cheap joke Brother Morthos was promptly shot in the head until certified dead. The executors of his estate wish to proffer their apologies and promise that Zombie Morthos will not transgress such social mores again.

The preceding paragraph is, of course, a lie.