Monday, March 31, 2008

I see you’ve played knifey-spoony before...

Apathy Jack writes:

So, kid killed himself after a beating by the local fight club was caught on camera, you say?

I have a bunch of stuff to say about this, mostly revolving around the fact that everyone who isn’t me is a retard, but that can wait. Random stuff it makes me think of, though...

We had a fight club at Hoodrat High. When I read that Takapuna Grammar’s group had fifteen students, my initial reaction was something to the effect of “that’s not a fight club – it’s barely a fight ensemble” – Hoodrat’s had dozens of boys. Only three boxing gloves between them, which made things a bit awkward...

I approached the Head of PE at one point and asked him about setting up boxing as a sport, to be told in no uncertain terms that it would be too dangerous. I pointed out that way they were currently boxing – behind the library, whoever-loses-the-coin-toss-only-has-one-glove, and with a sixteen-year-old adrenaline-junkie as referee - could also be construed as potentially unsafe. I was again told that it would be too dangerous, but essentially from a PR standpoint; the students were going out of their way to hide, meaning no parents could see it, unlike setting up a dirty great boxing ring in the gym.

Can you spell ‘plausible deniability’ children?

No, I didn’t think you could. Moving on...

T’other day, all the junior school lurking around the gym after swimming stuff, some of mine decided to stage a fight. The Dean and I watched as their friends filmed their half-assed attempts to mimic a ferocious battle.

The Dean turned to me.

“Sir, do you want to go and remind those ladies that this is not the way students at this school behave?”

I wandered over, and shouted “Oi! You fia gangstas are doing it wrong! For a start, only one of you actually looks like you’re in a fight – the other one keeps smiling! Here, I’ll show you...”

It’s nice I can still give Deans the odd headache – lets me know I'm doing my job properly...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Apathy Jack writes:

Today's music video: the catchy Sirens, by Dizzeee Rascal (I don't think I spelled his named with the requisite number of 'E's just there, but I'm reading A Void by Georges Perec right now, so I have a bit of a blind spot for that letter...). A dark little song about police persecution which could have gone the traditional (and boring) route of having Baddie Cops Being Evil™, goes instead with the much more visually appealing imagery of toffs on the hunt.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Day Today - 28th March 2008

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

Pythagoras Trousers keeps crossing my path, but I am unsure of whether it is a worthwhile read - perhaps I should just bite the bullet but reading some of the reviews it gets maybe not. On a related note, Heisenberg and pals debate God.

Schiller. and aesthetics.

Oscar Wilde. eventually had to stop posing and confront himself.

Once upon a time in France is a very worthwhile run down of the history of restaurants, how Michelin stars became, and of words and places like "Savoy", "Ritz".

Also, belatedly, those who saw The Royal New Zealand Herald's "Viva" liftout on Wednesday would have also read about the very talented Annette Lauder - of Nut and Bee. I commend her work to your attention. As gifts her range of products are superb, and go down a treat especially on occasions such as Valentines Day if you don't want to go down the cliche'd flowers / chocolates route.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Three things

Apathy Jack writes:

Thing Primus

A criminal has been going into banks and supermarkets, hypnotising the cashiers, and robbing the tills while they stand there in a mesmerised stupor.

I’ve been keeping half an eye on outbreaks of the twenty-first century, but this is even better – it’s a 1970’s cartoon. Seriously, in a few days we’re going to see news reports about this guy being caught by a group of plucky pubescent adventurers or a super hero in a badly mismatched costume.

Thing Secondus

Big Bad Wolves, the short film made by local talent-repository Rajneel Singh has finally come to the internet. It is findable here. It is a very amusing, and very dark (and probably not all that work safe) retelling of Red Riding Hood, through a bunch of Tarantino-esque gangsters. Also in the link are Raj’s other works, including a couple of music videos by local artists. Of special mention is The Fanimatrix; a Matrix fan-film that was downloaded a couple of million times when it was first put on the intertubes, making it one of New Zealand’s most-watched short films. (Also, it contains RSJS being kicked in the chest – good fun for all the family.)

Thing Tertius

Scroobius Pip, in collaboration with someone or something called Yila, has got a new track, called Astronaut. Seriously, if you don’t like Scroobius Pip, I don’t think you and I can be friends. Watch:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Books You Should Be Reading Number 43 Of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles

Jefferson Blout is a big, bad-ass cop from the precinct I worked in for all of a year. That is, before I was was asked to leave as a result of a blood test. Evidently traces of alcohol, marijuana, and crank were found in my blood. Traces, hell! At the time I was practically sweating the stuff. They didn't need to check my blood, they could've just sucked on my arm.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Apathy Jack writes:

In the latest dispatches from the front of online essayists: Some of the more suffragettist members of the hysterical sex have started up a group blog called The Hand Mirror, dedicated, one presumes, to knitting, baking and conjugally pleasuring ones husband. We here at Brain Stab wish them all the best in their endeavours to not so much vent their spleens, but to unleash their roving wombs.

Visit their quaint little effort, and pass on my enquiries as to the release date of the eagerly anticipated ‘Girls of The Hand Mirror’ calendar...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Day Today - 20th March 2008

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

Economics and the Rational Actor.

It is easter this week, when Jesus rises from the dead like a Vampire.

American converts are taking a 2,500-year-old faith and making it over in their own image -- self-absorbed.

The Universe - we now know...

All together now with the Monty Python "I'm not dead yet!"

Men can't write - and neither can women.

Finally, since it is a religious weekend, a brief look at how Americans are moulding Buddhism.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Apathy Jack writes:

Today’s music video is Moby’s latest, Disco Lies. Maybe it’s partly because I saw this for the first time on the big screen TV they have in my local KFC to keep the punters docile while they wait to be served, but I haven’t been this happy watching a music video in a long time. Seriously, I think it is impossible to be unhappy while watching this video. Even animal lovers, who will probably be fairly unhappy with the opening scene, will be very happy if they get past the thirty second mark.

Give yourself a three minute present: watch this video.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Day Today - 13th March 2008

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

Ben Goldacre on the inanities of ethics committees. He also puts the call out for horror stories from researchers trying to get their research approved. As someone who has been acquainted with folk on both Human Subject Ethics and Discipline committees I can vouch for them being a rich vein of anecdotes.

Some research from M.I.T. on one of those little irrational foibles that still plague us - "keeping too many options open".

Xiang Yu was a Chinese general in the third century BC who took his troops across the Yangtze River into enemy territory and performed an experiment in decision making. He crushed his troops' cooking pots and burned their ships.

As "Chase Me Ladies! I'm In the Cavalry" would say - Killer Fact!

Among Hungarian Gypsies, equally strict rules apply to brandy: brandy may only be consumed first thing in the morning, during the middle of the night at a wake, or by women prior to a rubbish-scavenging trip.

Rescuing Victorian Britain from the Tories (a bit).

There are many difficulties present in a trip to Mars, the crew's social dynamics and getting back's just make it a one-way trip for one!

A diversion into fiction. On Evelyn Waugh...on Nabokov...

And, Theodore Dalrymple on how the "intelligentsia" manages to shut out any real engagement with social issues...

Complacency and denial dominate public as well as private discourse, and when a little of the unpleasant side of contemporary English reality is allowed an airing, a damage-control exercise swiftly ensues.

..I well remember John Campbell's damage control exercise, instead being a journalist like those on "Hard Talk" and grilling him one-on-one, John decided to have Theodore and 37 other commentators on as well. More heat, less light, as the saying goes.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Just in case I ever need to remind myself...

Apathy Jack writes:

Monday, March 03, 2008

The story of the Minotaur

Apathy Jack writes:

“... and nine months later, she gave birth to a bouncing baby mutant. For what Minos thought about it; as many of your husbands will probably find out, sometimes you can look at a kid, and it just doesn’t look like you, and you know what that probably means.”
“Hey! You just called us sluts!”
“Not... um... yet.”
“That's alriHEY!”