Archive for January 30th, 2008

Personal? Jesus

My thanks to the individual responsible for the beau geste of nominating me for Best Personal Blog in the Irish Blog Awards. I am touched, since this is the first time I can recall ever being nominated for anything that didn’t principally entail some sort of punishment.

I was looking through the last few months’ content, however, and found that very little of it was primarily ‘personal’. Most of it I would classify primarily as ‘political’, though the distinction between the two is a source of much controversy and really not worth boring the pants off people by addressing here.
Anyway, thanks again to whomever done the deed. I’m glad someone likes what I do here.

Decalogues of Dyspepsia

Aww shit. I spent about 25 minutes writing a post listing the technology related stuff I hate, then I go and save over it another post I was writing about the books I’ve been reading of late.

It went something like this: one of the things that stops me from writing more stuff here is that although I am continually gripped with the urge to write rants and lists of complaint, I fear that to give way to this urge would destroy the image I have of myself as a fundamentally rational person.

A purpose of this page is to provide me with a starting point for my own thoughts, rather than their complete expression. My fear is that if I started ranting and complaining about things regularly, I would be unable to stop. My brain would rot and that by age 40 I would be still ranting and complaining, by then as a trenchant reactionary who called for, among other things, mass deportations of immigrants, and sterilisation of the poorest sectors of society. Ranting and complaining would become an end in itself, and the blog would become a hobby, just as some people alleviate the boredom of modern existence by painting watercolours of Manchester United footballers, or line dancing.

Furthermore, I am cautious about complaining excessively because I know that I am in a better situation overall than the vast majority of people living on the planet.

Considering the above, I think: who’m I fooling? Sometimes it’s a bit of a chore finding material of consequence, but if I packed it in tomorrow, I could still end up as an embittered reactionary anyway, and I’d only have the immigrants to blame. And is not complaining somehow going to alleviate the misery of untold billions?

This leads me to think that I should open up the floor more frequently to my own gripes and frustrations. Why should I let the people who spoil your fun do so twice over?

So, technology-related stuff I hate, which contains some of the stuff I had listed in the previous post, but some other stuff too, which may be of inferior quality to some of the stuff I deleted. My hatred has nothing to do with the functionality of the technology, but rather with what people do with it.

  1. YouTube videos with self-important caption sequences, fading far too slowly and portentously, created by individuals with the editing skills of a crow.
  2. YouTube videos with gaudy introduction sequences, often containing the self-important caption sequences mentioned above, but with claims like ‘This music video brought to you by Pannettone Brothers On-line Entertainment Services’, before fading to a taped video off VH1 or a really crappy excerpt of Family Guy.
  3. Technology as protagonist in news stories. The role of technology in the latest humanitarian disaster/terrorist outrage/doolally starlet banged up in mental health institution story. How Twitter helped Gloucestershire residents tell their families on the other side of the country that their carpets were still safe from the floods! How Islamist terrorists have been keeping Islamist terrorist encyclopedias- on their Blackberries! How famous people use the internet too, as evidenced by a comment left by a famous moron on the Bebo site of another famous moron currently in rehab!
  4. How The Internet Is Turning Us Into Base Ignorant Monsters. Or, buy my deeply intellectual book on Amazon.
  5. Technology Is Enslaving Us! Which is why I refused to have a CT scan in order to keep the oppressive machinery of the state out of my brain!
  6. Technology Is Liberating Us! Or, how my electronic tagging device has me back home for Property Ladder.
  7. Cool gadgets! (oxymoron)
  8. Cool widgets! (even more egregious oxymoron)
  9. The Internet is Bad Because it Allows Nasty People to Say Not Nice Things, and Sometimes Inspires Narcissistic Serial Killers, and You Get Lots of Stalkers on It. (The real world is also Bad.)
  10. The Internet is Good Because if it wasn’t for it, People wouldn’t be able to Hear All The Really Important Things Me and the Online Friends Whose Ass I Kiss Every Day Have To Say.

I could go on, but I can’t be bothered.

Guitar Men

I think I mentioned Richard Thompson’s Dad’s Gonna Kill Me before. Anyway, here it is again. Thompson is probably my favourite guitarist.

I always liked the idea of singers who were also demon guitar players. Certainly not in the same class as Thompson, but a cracking guitarist nonetheless, is Glen Campbell. He has a better voice though.

Here he is doing a slightly corny Beach Boys medley. Beyond his stupendous Jimmy Webb interpretations, I don’t think he ever got the material his talent merited. He needs someone like Rick Rubin to help him put together an album.

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January 2008