Monday, June 28, 2004

Buy My Cereal!

Advertisements really do form a low point in current day-to-day human affairs, particularly in the case of television adverts. That's not to say that I don't understand the need for adverts or appreciate this fact, it's just the way modern advertising companies go about it that makes the fruits of their labours so painful to experience. These days, I'd say that there are three main types of television advertisement:

1. The Bearable Ones. These are the ones that don't make you want to scream like a ferret in acid the first time you see them, and might even make you chuckle. They might be witty, clever, or just have some attribute that lends a certain air of coolness or watchability to them. Of course, after seeing this advert repeated a number of times, the novelty will wear off, and they will either become boring or irritating, and the desire to claw your ocular organs out will return. At any rate, it's rare that the viewer will actually be interested in the product that's being sold; the likelyhood is that they just like watching the advert. Until it's repeated three times in half an hour, that is.

Example: That Guiness ad with the surfing and the horses made of waves.

2. The Nauseatingly Irritating Ones. These are without a doubt the most commonplace. Often accompanied by an absurd "theme tune" specially designed by Advertologists to make you projectile vomit, adverts of this variety will try to get you to by their putrid and often totally absurd wares by being as loud, bright, cheerful, stupid or annoying as possible. Perhaps the idea behind these adverts is to assault the viewer as much as possible until all their defenses have been systematically destroyed by the sheer horror onscreen and they'll buy anything that you throw at them. This terror is compounded by the huge number of times this advert will be displayed. Typical values range between twenty and twenty-five times a minute.

Example: The McDonalds advert with the screeching kids that want to know "What's in the Box That Always Rocks". I'll tell you what's in the fucking box. The last shreds of my precious sanity. And a side order of fries.

3. The Arrogant Ones. The adverts that display products that are SO FUCKING BRILLIANT that you, the lowly consumer, are barely worthy of feasting your filthy beady eyes on, let alone owning. These adverts will often be accompanied with a voiceover from some smarmy dickhead quietly (and arrogantly, let us not forget) asserting just how totally fantastic the product is. The advert will most probably be simple in nature because no embellishments are good enough for whatever item is being flogged. These are by far the worst kind. Whilst variety two has the advantage of sheer numbers, a single exposure to just one of these adverts is enough to make the viewer feel violated, both mentally and physically.

Example: Those "Read a Bestseller Every Day" Telegraph adverts. Who the fuck stands in an elevator discussing which issue of a fucking newspaper was the best? Seriously, extract your heads from your rectal cavities, people.

Naturally, these do not cover all adverts, as some perpetrators have special and terrifying categories all of their own, but I do reckon that this covers most of what's on offer for anyone who feels their sanity to be burdensome.

As far as I can tell, the last two categories seem to follow relatively simple formulae for construction. These are as follows:

The Nauseatingly Irritating Ones:

1. Write a "jingle" for the advert. This should, ideally be short and punchy and repeated every two nanoseconds. The concept behind this is that it will destroy enough of the viewers braincells (usually all of them) that they'd be willing to go out and buy whatever godawful sack of shit that your company is selling.

2. Get some actors to be irritating/stupid/very irritating. If this product has anything to do with children even in the slightest, hire some annoying little brats to be very loud. Extra points awarded for jumping up and down like a retarded monkey on acid. Otherwise, hire some adults to be loud instead. Remember, the louder you are, the better your product must be. Punctured eardrums mean people can hear better!

3. Write an absurd catchphrase. Repeat it constantly in your advert, then plaster it everywhere so that the unsuspecting public can do nothing but associate with your product whenever they come across one of the catchphrase's component letters. There is no escape.

The Arrogant Ones:

1. Bend over until arsehole is visible.

2. Thrust cranium upwards into anus.

3. Pick up a pen.

4. Write advert.

5. Get the smarmy wanker to do the voice over.

6. Apply soft green/blue tint or black-and-white.

I hope this has been informative for you. If anyone attempts to put the methods I have described into use, please do us all a huge favour and end your life now. Thank you.

-T

Friday, June 25, 2004

Disease on Wings (and a Side-Order of Fries)

I am not going to talk about football. That would be far too topical. Football is a rather bad example, actually, as I'm not likely to discuss it, topical or otherwise. No, I am going to talk about pigeons.

It all started when the one known as Veins and I decided that we were hungry. Making Ben uncomfortable by attempting to follow him to Hughenden (where he was reported to be meeting a friend of the female persuasion*) is tiring and hunger-inducing work. So, the merry debate as to where to eat began. The final candidates for consideration were Kentucky Fried Fastfoods, or McFastfoods. As the former was closer to where we were at the time, we decided upon it, and made our way over. As we approached the establishment, I paused in my musings on the odds of finding a cyst in my meal** (which I decided were favourable because I was rather hungry) in order to partake in a cursory look into the "restaurant". My companion must have done the same, as we both immediately squealed in horror like the little girls that we are; there was a particularly ratty (and most indubitably heavily diseased) pigeon wandering around the foyer where the food is ordered and collected. Both the staff and the customers (and especially the staff) seemed entirely unconcerned by this event, as if a disgusting and particularly disease-ridden (honorary) rodent that is not only horrible but can also fly turning up in the foyer is a regular, if not daily occurrence and of no particular note. No attempt had been made to shoo it away or indeed do anything about its presence, and the worst thing was that there was nothing stopping it taking flight over the counter and into the nearest vat of fries.

At this point, my imagination broke out of its cage and ran around my mind, tipping over furniture, drawing on the walls and generally terrorising the other occupants. Consequently, I could almost hear someone with a Spanish accent shouting, "Oh no! José, the livestock is escaping! How will we make our delicious burgers now?!" I am imagining a fellow called José, because I am sure that I was once served by a Spanish or Mexican guy in there, and as I do not know his real name, calling him José makes me happy. As for the other Spanish person, what's the point in having someone shouting "José" if it is not done in a Spanish accent?

Anyway, after much loud assessing of the situation, and some gratuitous usage of the phrase "What the fuck," we departed and took our business to McFastfoods, who at least have the decency not to parade the live contents of their burgers by the door.

And now, suddenly, for no apparent reason, I am suffering from some sort of a terrifying Dèja Vú feedback loop. If I don't make it, tell Veins to get his filthy hands off my stereo.

-Thaddeus "B." Glands (The "B." stands for "Good Vibrations"!)

----------
* One cannot be too sure of this, however, as when he offered to show me a photo of her he had in his wallet, he instead showed me a photo of himself.
** I've heard "stories", you see. Listening to these is probably a bad idea, but I refuse to pay any attention to this until someone tells it to me in "story" form.

Future Football Frenzy!

So. This is it. We lost to Portugal in the quarter finals of Euro 2004.

I think first we must have a compulsory rant about how unfair it was:

"BLAH BLAH BLAH REF NEEDS GLASSES BLAH BLAH BLAH GREASY DAGO OILSLICK BLAH BLAH BLAH CHEATING BLAH BLAH BLAH HE WAS OBVIOUSLY BIASED BLAH BLAH BLAH WE WAS ROBBED BLAH BLAH BLAH GREATEST INJUSTICE SINCE MARADONA BLAH BLAH BLAH."

That said, I personally am dreading the events that will take place in two years time. That's right, the World Cup. And not just any World Cup, but the 2006 World Cup. And we all know what 2006 is, don't we, children?

That's right, 40 years from 1966, which is when we won the World Cup. And so, tabloid supporters will work themselves up into a paroxysm of patriotic apoplexy. Sven-Goran Eriksson will be placed under even more media pressure to steer his team to victory. David Beckham will get his mug in the papers even more than he already does. Wayne Rooney will be hyped to the hilt even more than he has been. Pundits will engage in a never-ending barrage of statistic swapping, player rating, and a false sense of importance. "Three Lions" will be re-released yet again, only now it'll be "FORTY years of hurt." It will be fairly safe to say that, at at least one point, the entire hopes and dreams of the English nation will rest on the toes of Michael Owen.

Here's my predictions for the 2006 World Cup:

1. We will get to the quarters, possibly the semis, and then die in flames.

2. This position will not be good enough for the press, who will insist on the resignation of Beckham/Sven/both.

3. It'll all blow over, and we'll be resigned to trying again come Euro 2008.

Oh well.

Football. It's a funny old game.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The below song

as it were.
"Horizon"
And I know I can't play guitar.
Furthermore, not, the last bit isn't supposed to sound like that.

Some song lyrics - I think

Horizon, I think as my plane flies on,
Wings in the sky with my feet on the floor when I,
Paperback novel in my hand,
Why is it

Grand to be lord of all the earth?
You should be proud to rule all you survey
If it was this land that gave you birth,
Then conceal it; We don't want any today,

Apathy can't be the path I take,
If you think I don't care then you've made a mistake when I'm,
Man of the minute, a name in the sand,
Why is it

Grand to be lord of all the earth?
You should be proud to rule all you survey
If it was this land that gave you birth,
Then conceal it; We don't want any today,

When I was a child, I wanted a wooden flute,
(The name of the game is the pain of the wage it's the)
Key to the kingdom of King Canute
and like a

Troll that breaks down it's bridge,
Or a bird that shits on your Mercedes,
I'm a self-defined self-help rejector,
And two fingers to the Ancient of Days.

//Hopefully, a download of this song, and possibly others, will soon be available//

Monday, June 21, 2004

Slept

I wish I - can't think

The world is pretty when - nothing does

She exists when - no-one knows

We are we and I - never slept


I wish I never

Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Argument Against Arbitrary American Amputation

I am half American. Feel free to hate me for this. Feel free, furthermore, to sit and swivel. Anyroad, I was shocked to discover, a few years ago, that many American boys are circumcised, not for religious reasons, not due to deformity, but as a matter of course, after birth.


The primary argument for this spurious, outdated medical mutilation of the alledgedly superfluous flap of flesh adorning the newborn's penis is that if left intact, the foreskin can trap filth and smegma, leading to infection. Well, this is certainly true, but only for members who are not washed regularly. I am sure that many of a man's appendages would require surgical removal if his level of hygiene were consistently this poor.

Is the mere possibility of infection truly reason enough to continue this archaic and dangerous practice? By the same argument, boys direct from the freshly voided womb of their mothers would have their appendices removed, lest they at some time develop appendicitis; or have their vestigial tails cropped, against the day when fragments of shattered coccyx puncture the prostate.

Furthermore, even if ablutively misguided males do develop subcultures in this protective region, there is nothing to stop them... washing there and getting rid of it. Or... circumcising then, when it has become a problem. If the US developed an AIDS endemic, would government nurses visit infected communities and weld latex sheaths onto every new boy? It does not seem quite so implausible when faced with their illogical treatment of this insignificant danger.

It is high time that the needless clinical damage to the most psychologically significant and genetically creative organ of unconsenting male infants is ceased.

It just concerns me that this mindless pre-emption of monsters-under-the-bed that will only appear if the populace fails to maintain basic reserves of common sense is somewhat indicative of the governmental thought processes of my nation.


/Veins

Saturday, June 05, 2004

A Nice Bit of Genre Terrorism of a Saturday Evening

Skinning his knees on the gravel as he fell, Iosaiph realised that he had strayed into a horror story. The blood, lying innocuous on the path bore witness. Because of certain events in the past, he had not shed blood for a good while. The only question that now remained was whether he was protagonist or antagonist, for of his monstrosity there was no doubt.

He was not a short man, but neither was he tall. Shaking off the remnants of a folk song that had entangled itself around his left ankle, the scarred man raised himselfto his true, unnatural height, and sniffed the air. There would be difficulties further along, he foresaw, but with a bit of skill it would come to a satisfactory conclusion.
In the bushes, something nameless and hairy breathed subtle-toothed threats of unspeakable degradations, and so the man moved on swiftly. As he was not in the moood just then.
The trees about were the sepia monochrome of twenty-year-old newspaper, and all the branches pointed in the same direction.
This was to be expected.
What was more, at the end of the path, just visible in the distance, squatted a shadowy construction, simultaneously nebulous and disconcertingly solid. It was quite clearly a house, devoid of ambiguity, and probably filled with gibbous, scabious tebleaux devised by a being devoidof restraint, or, indeed, dictionary.

Something followed behind.

Something Else waited ahead.

Everything was going according to plan.

Iosaiph smiled, and teeth sharper than any teeth had a right to be glinted between lips like twin gashes on the back of a voluptuary. His goal was near. Behind his eyes, an inchoate sigil of depravity and violence churned ,and most likely chittered as well. He walked faster now, through the pain and the silent-grey wood. There was a shadow on the path ahead.

The shadow blocked his way.

"You shall not pass", it shrieked from its gibbet, but a with word from the unkempt and magnificent being before it, the thing shattered into wholeness and flapped off to haunt some other beknighted genre.

The man breathed heavily. Things were moving almost too fast for his splintered manipulations. Feigning mortal terror, he glanced over his shouilder occasionally as he jogged from the maw of the forest to the waiting wings and anticipatory arms of the dark house, all the while trying to ignore the blood streaming from the cuts on his knees.

At the door, hunter and prey paused, picked up a half-brick lying in the ruins of the porch, and nonchalently opened the door with a finesse of duress.

When the horror came for him, pseudopodia and jewellery of infant mortality jangling-

-Iosaiph hit it unexpectedly hard with the aforesaid bit of masonry, hurled its oozing, eerie corpse into the shrubbery, and escaped though the door into the house, beyond the story.

It had all gone rather well, considering.


Sorry about this; Blogger won't let me use MSN Groups because the URL's too long. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 04, 2004

We're all dooomed.

No, seriously.
Read this and then tell me I'm wrong.
At least the weather's picking up at the moment, though.
A bit busy at the moment, but expect a nice long paranoid article later today, or perhaps early tomorrow depending on when I go to bed.
Also, while you wait for updates here, you can always go and have a look at Warren Ellis' Blog - this is the research resource and sort of weblog for the bloke who wrote Transmetropoltan and The Authority. There's generally something interestingly bizzarre over there.
Sorry about the lack of content,
Withiel.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

I really ought to stop staying up so fucking late...

...cos I start writing shit like this.

Now that my good friend Withiel has been plied with enough mind-altering snuff powder to allow me to post directly rather than by proxy (as with my article on the subject of the general desirability of smoking and how bloody good it is for you, and you, and yes, small rumple-haired unattractively-proportioned-faced child, you too), I really should stop staying up this late, because I really have no idea where this sentence was going or how I should finish it.

To the point... am I the only "musician" on this Godforsaken (and therefore, since God "is" omnipresent, NONEXISTENT (Q.E.D.(take that, O mighty cliché-creating theologian phrase-coiners))) nebula of perception that has noticed how much that chap what percusses for the Foo Fighters looks like Kurt Cobain? Irony, anybody?

I think we should be told.

Furthermore, I am somewhat concerned about the direction that popular, and even underground, alternative music has been taking recently.

It all seems to tend towards what is commonly known as "Emo".

The Common or Garden variety of Emo has its roots in somewhat unimaginative punk bands ("Surely not!" I hear ye cry) who cash in on the hormonal angst of impressionable adolescents by tearing out heavy-hearted, self-lacerating pieces on the Joys of Getting Dumped, or Having Your Girlfriend Killed in a Car-Crash, or Being Cheated Upon*, or Coming from a Broken Home, or Missing Your Girlfriend, or Killing Your Girlfriend, or Being Killed by Your Girlfriend who has been Cheating Upon** You Whilst Your Divorcee Parents Get Killed in a Car Crash Moments After Their Joyful Reconciliation When, Just for a Moment, it Looks Like Everything Might Turn Out Okay, But Oh No, Luckily We've Fucked It All Up Again So That We can Sing About It and Make Lots of Money...

The themes are few, but the permutations un-finite.

As enjoyable as Emo is (and what with being a huge closet supporter of the genre myself, I oughtn't throw stones), it is attaining a dangerously high level of general acceptance (haha, phonetic pun). Any locus of sonic mediocrity that wants to make a stain on the world and gain the love and fanaticism of viewers of pop music channels like Kerrang, or even (marginally) more alternative outlets such as MTV2, need only churn out some "heart-rending" "tear-jerker" lyrical nonsense with a repeating treble appogiaturic motif (usually on undistorted electric guitar, acoustic guitar, or piano) over the top of The Emo Riff (perfect V - diminished V - I). And it works every time. And, which is worse, I still like it. Everyone likes it.

Wallowing in your own emotions is one of the few sadomasochistic pleasures still deemed acceptable in polite society. Protest about the anguish of emotional burden all you like, it is nonetheless true that you enjoy the psychological self-mutilation, deep within yourself. I believe it is a worthwhile portion of the Human Experience, for if you have not allowed yourself to indulge in your own mysterious psychological fetishes, or remain virgin to the reportedly less pleasant emotional cruises, you have not truly experienced the vibrant range of existential sensations that, it can be argued, define you.

Bearing in mind my earlier musing on the maintenance of [alarums] Diversity of Thought, you might say that this may well be no bad thing. However, I like my art to exist in a state of constant variety rather than linear temporal variety; having the two in conjunction is, furthermore, preferable to either on its own. To put it another way: I bore easily. When I am done with having my heart-chords shredded by inexpertly-wielded plectra, I want to hear something political, or philosophical,*** or (deity-recently-disproved-by-means-of-debunking-of-oxymoronic-cliché forbid) something upbeat.

It's well nigh 4am now, so to conclude:

I shall ride along with this swell until it reaches my subjective critical mass (i.e. when the level of mediocrity and repetition is great enough to cause me to throw my stereo at the wall) at which point my tool shall penetrate deep into the moving parts of the machine (hur, hur) by boycotting the genre, and refusing to talk about it in public. Experience teaches me that eventually, other listeners too will reach their own breaking points (a long time after I do) and as pressure levels change in the alternative music subclimate, cold fronts will bear down on Emo, and the winds of opinion... Christ, I really do pull some overripe flanging metaphors from my literary armpit.

It's now 04:15 GMT, though dubiously-logically-disproven-pancreator only knows what it will say on the Blog posting time. Perhaps I should bring my, er -- freeform -- essay to a close.

(I assure you, whilst I am a "case" who is "sad" enough to stay up until this un-literarily-logically-debunked-supreme-beingly hour, as well as disproving either my existence or that of any God by some very poor logical deduction from the word "Godforsaken", and, indeed, thereafter refusing to refer to it as anything but "logically-impossible-breast-tumour" or some other such spaff, I am not "sad" enough to make this up. I really am still up, and it really is now... 04:21 GMT. Dawn, June 2nd)


Good morning, I'm going to bed.


==========
*(or "Apon" as Withiel would have it)
**(Apon)
***(Five ducats and a Mars bar to any man who spots an essay I write which does not include the words "political" and "philosophical". Call in now and you may also receive a Lamp Without Oil for seeking out Honest Men, or similar philosophical**** icon)
****(See? There it is again*****)
*****(My apologies for the over-use of Pratchettesque footnotes)
==========


Never take anything anyone says too seriously.


/Veins

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Lost: Loved Family Pet.


His name is Y'knorinox, and we found him in a box on the doorstep.
He is very friendly, and hardly ever picks people up by their shoulders and drops them from a great height.
There may be rewards for information.

Chrism/Homage/Fugue#1/J.C./My Day.

I wander (rather aimlessly) through Palatine dusk, and attempt to recall my middle name. There's probably a moral to all this somewhere. Meandering down a bosky avenue of fractal literary paradigms, a passing gerund tells me, allusively, that "A philosopher being a lover of truth, a man who discovers that there is no truth is no philosopher. Discuss, for a maximum of 25 marks". I pointedly ignore it, and use the aforesaid point to pare my nails, which have become rather assertive recently. Seizing a particularly buouyant clipping, I glide effortlessly through the leaf--mould of history, propelled by one hundered and theree dwarfish pseuds, each with the face of Leon Trotsky. Of course, you only have my word for this, as they're completely invisible.
Before this place grey town woulden be'd.
Is the use of obfuscatorty manguage an atavistic attempt at dereification here, or is it all in truth a pack of lies?
The position of a notional comma in the previous sentence will enable you to know what I mean.
I'm in a loose scrubland at the moment, and my boots are brand new from Wainwrights. It's all red, unless perhaps it isn't.
Before this, there was a grey town, I ponder, before being interrupted by what appears to be a small child's concept of Margaret Thatcher, circa 1987, which is a sort of sphinxy thing with garlic-crushers for arms. In my opinion, it's marginally less alarming than the original. As if from a great distance, I hear the hollow sound of Joh Bunyan rotating rapidly in his grave. I quizzically render the beast harmless with a well-aimed teabag, climb into a waiting non-sequiteur, gun the engine with a razon smile, and by the time you've realised this sentence is far too long, you've missed the bus. Don't dismiss this as fiction, for worse, 'creative writing' (I shudder as I utter the dread words) - and I am talking to you.
If I know you're readingthis, then I seem to know a future event. Which, excluding supreme egotism and phallic arrogance (Doctor Freud to the waiting room, please) means that time dsoetn ndee to be lienra.
However, if you didn't get the point of all that, then the Galactic censor or whatever (I pause to dodge a falling cliché) has got to me.
I decide to write this all down on a rock, which is conveniently flat and sheltered, but can't find my pen, that is to say my bottle-green Lamy. I have other pens, but know only too well the perils of writing in cheap biro.
I sigh, and walk on, pausing only to trip up a bespectacled, robed plagiarism wearing little round glasses. As it falls into an unexpected pit, I permit myself a coherent sentence.
"Before this, there was a grey town, and I have no memory of the transition," I say, knowing the answer all along, but not telling for the sake of form. On the horizon I spy with my adjectiveeye what is almost certainly an eyebrow. Which is a trifle odd.
Then, I find myself in bedand everything's measurable again, most disconcertingly, although not as disconcertingly as the fact that my haircut appears to be rather different than I had imagined it. Jarringly, I recall that to end a pice with the revelation that all preceding was a dream is the ultimate narrative faux-pas, and so quickly formulate some dross about a long and self-improving interior quest before flitting, Puck-like, away, clutching an item of ladies' underclothing.

Out the window, there is a grey town.