Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Corporate Front

I am a part-time barman.

Someone asked me today what the "seasoning" on the "seasoned fries" was. I told them it was the Harvester's marketing bullshit, and that it was just chips. With a bit of cheap salt on.

The duty manager came over and berated me for five minutes, saying that I couldn't refer to the spiel on the menus as "marketing bullshit" in front of Guests (not customers, Guests), and that the seasoning was sea-salt and cracked black pepper. I said there's no pepper on them, and everyone puts salt on chips. They're just chips. She told me that my way sounded terrible, and I said the truth regularly does. She called me unprofessional, and I said that minimum wage doesn't buy professionalism.

Then I laughed at her till she left.

I'm not paid to be Binky the Trumpet-Brained Marketing Coma-Victim's corporate puppet, I'm paid to pour drinks - and only just paid to do that.

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Waste of Good Atoms

I winced, attempting to ignore the mindless blatting of some paint-by-numbers corporate sucktoy that was assaulting my ears, filling the dim and smoky room with a viscous grey sludge that smelt of ammonia, semen and broken dreams. The harpie shrieks coming from the squat, silver and pant-shittingly stylish speakers clawed at the base of my skull as I attempted to focus my attention on the officious looking little turd in front of me who appeared to be under the delusion that his opinion mattered to anyone but him. I was certain that his hideous jacket was lined with copies of his letters to the Daily Mail, and had been trying studiously but unsuccessfully to take a look ever since he had waddled over to me. The terrible noise abated for a time, lurching into a quiet bridge section that been carefully composed to generate as much revenue as possible.

"...and the innocence of our children must be protected! At all costs! Why, my children have never even seen their SIN PARTS, and they're much healthier for it! It is imperative to a child's natural development that they never become exposed to anything sexual lest they become a gay, a liberal or burst into spontaneous pregnancy!"

"Yes!" I shouted, "they'll turn into Foreign Rapists and will violate young women for wearing too little at night! That will teach those SLUTS to have a vagina!" I waved my arms excitedly, being sure to knock a passer by's drink onto the red-faced lunatic in front of me in the process, where it began to simmer gently. In a serendipitous and unusually fortunate turn of events, I would later discover that the drink's owner was the one responsible for playing the CD of mephitic dribble oozing from the incontinently sleek soundsystem. Daily-Mail-Coat continued, babbling from a mouth that covered three quarters of his face.

"Exactly! Modern society is corrupting our young ones with the media's Flagrant Display of people who have in the past probably had sexual intercourse of exactly the wrong kind at some point in their lives! Do you know they even allow people to have genitals under their clothes? The only way to deal with this Vile Corruption of Moral Standards is to ban EVERYONE from any sort of social interaction unless they can prove conclusively that they have passed an arbitrary age restriction! It's the only way we can ensure that our children aren't exposed to the HORRORS OF NATURE without having to put any effort into parenting AT ALL!"

I drew a breath, ready to explain to him why he should test out his idea by crawling into a small box and staying there, but a small gleam in one of his tiny ears caught my attention. Lodged firmly in the earhole was what looked like a metallic earplug. I grabbed what was left of his hair and pulled his head toward me for a closer look as his gigantic maw flapped on. It had tiny letters inscribed on it, which read "Common Sense Filter, Mark IV. Perfect for all your Religious Right needs!" I sighed, and put his head through a window as he let another fresh, steaming Opinion roll out of his trouser leg. The mouth continued to spew forth noise in a horrible jarring rythm that syncopated perfectly with the beat of the sludge music, condemning anyone that was unfortunate enough to listen.

On the way out, I vomited on the hi-fi. It didn't do any permanent damage, but it made me feel a little better.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Firstly, the above is the Rhexis Banner thing. Therefore, you can now advertise us in Pastures New. Shut up - it's minimalist. What do you mean I've been drinking?

Secondly, I have been Away due to Life, but I have now returned and will be posting more often. Also, I have excerpts from The Project which are Fun for All the Family.

THIRDLY:[rhexisMUSIC] is proud to present: "Goblin Logic - An Album in Four Parts, by Withiel". This is a full album, two years in the making, available for free. And it's got pretty cover art and Enya covers. You know you want it.

Monday, January 16, 2006


With one last contortion of dull relief, he dragged his hand limply from his trousers, and shook off the remaining cloudy semen. It seemed to coast through the air, casting still-frame rainbows as the jaundiced shimmer of an incongruous sulphur streetlight fell through the spray.

It landed in a rain puddle. Seperately, like linseed oil dripped into lemonade.

Lemonade. For Christ's unholy fucking sake, it was just a dream! Such a shame that the most picture-perfectly profound situations occur so readily in dreams.

He approached from behind - of course, he had to, because that was where his consciousness alighted: on him approaching from behind. Sitting in front of him. Her back turned, naturally; the couch was, after all, facing away from him. Blueish, the couch. Hazy, the air. Smoke, presumably. Walked past her to the bar. A threadbare beige-tar carpet, patterned with what the casual observer would perceive as a carefully designed Fibonaccic system of nicotine-stained stub marks, although of course it was really an accidental Fibonaccic system of nicotine-stained stub marks. Didn't realise this, though: casual observer. Bar without craic: ceiling low to preclude dancing thereon. Splash marks, now ingrained, never wiped, mainly dark ale, hopefully tomato juice. Probably not, though. Signage on crusted draught taps directed into bar. All ales off. No matter, barman off too. It would seem. Window, but no view: mist. Turning, he buckled at a momentary nightmare vision of a heaving bar full of silent archetypes eating, drinking, archetypes, these people don't actually exist, no, stereotypes, hillbilly-beans, mime-wine, ploughman-ploughman, businessman-spam, horse-amphetamines, lumberjack-crack, buckled, looked up, saw her, vision dissipated like the smoke trailing from her mouth. Her mouth. He longed. Hurt mind. He looked, she smoked. Turning back to the bar, a meanly-measured pint of lemonade had arrived next to a slick of something shiny. Taking the lemonade, he wanted at her. They were alone, he was almost certain, and then.

Lemonade doesn't do that. Side of face wet, stinging. Air consists of dust. Sitting up now, air clearer due to distance from tar-carpet. Hoisting self up joinery to attain bar, his face crumples in pain as tears evacuate his bleeding - no, but nearly - eyes. They-don't-exist laugh at him, he can't make himself heard, and she, she - he won't admit that to himself, of course. Of course not. Of course. Shaking the lemonade and lonely useless longing from his hair, the laughers evaporate like the queer lemonade has from the stain-carpet. Looks again. She half-lies on the couch, fine hair of inderterminate hue hanging independently from her head-face. Smoke curls from her nostril (only one) as she stares pleadingly at him. Half-lying. Shoes on the floor in front of her, half-lying on the couch, blueish. Half-empty pint of same lemonade in a hand, obviously more carefully sipped, half-cut, half-lying, with half-empty pint on blueish with indeterminate and he wanting and she in no fit state but he did it any-.

Mist pushes on him. Lighting a pathetic, damply rolled dog end now. Walking away. Left his shoes in front of the bench. Nobody else in public.

The Earlybird stares down the blackened footpath at the incongruous sulphur glow, like afterlife myths, like goals, dreams, dreams, dreams. Dreams.

The Earlybird catches the darkness, fucking nothings with his hand.

Monday, January 09, 2006

It's not a product, it's a LIFESTYLE.

Hey there. Do you own an iPod on which you listen to the Kaiser Chiefs or Snow Patrol while hacking away at sudoku puzzles in a book endorsed by a national newspaper, all in the comfort of your frighteningly hip friend's even hipper Toyota Aygo? Well then, you need a Motorola PEBL, don't you? Forget that the equivalent Nokia or Siemens phones might have superior functionality for a lower price, those phones don't fit your lifestyle as well. By buying a Motorola PEBL you can join an exclusive clique of people who are just like you! And if you're not like them, GET like them! These are the people that you MUST EMULATE at all costs, or we'll tell all the nice audience how you bought a pair of iPod headphones separately so you could look like you actually had an iPod rather than a pov-spec generic brand MP3 player until you could afford the far cooler Apple product.

But I don't necessarily want to spend -

SHUT UP! Money is no object here. Use this phone in public ostentatiously. Surrender your personality. Look at it. It's just like you, this phone is. It's sleek, and crisp, and smooth, just like yourself. It fits perfectly in with the palm of your hand like you fit perfectly in with the other clones that use it. It even has a tragically hip deconstructionist name as well - PEBL. Everyone (everyone who's anyone, darling!) knows that removing letters for words while keeping their sound is the epitome of cool. So what do you say?

Erm, this Nokia thing looks quite nice -

No it doesn't. That's the sort of phone that lager louts and chavs use. It's the sort of phone that should have a Burberry front and rear replacement cover as standard. If you buy that phone, all your fellow tragically hip friends will leave you and never speak to you again. Your hair will fall out and you'll not be able to bear the touch of a charity wristband without burning up. Also, did you know that if you buy a PEBL right here, right now, not only will we donate £10 to the MAKEpovertyHISTORY campaign, but also, you'll receive 450 free texts per month (while stocks last.) Come on. You know you want to. Also, have you seen our Deluxe Package offer? It costs £20 more than normal and includes FREE vouchers at major high street stores and a FREE t-shirt with the Motorola PEBL phone on the front and back...

But what if it breaks down?

Oh, by the time your 90 day warranty has expired, this'll be totally unfashionable and soooo Five Minutes Ago. You'll need to come back here to buy your next premium lifestyle telecommunications device.

Well, alright then...

Excellent, that'll be £249.99 and 10% of your frontal lobes.

Can I pay by credit card?

Certainly sir. There you go. You made the RIGHT choice. Enjoy your new lifestyle. Well done, and you certainly have been.

(NOTE: Motorola's PEBL is only used as a specimen product here.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Thou Shalt Not Feelgood

This chap saw fit to send a friend request to my MySpace yesterday.


After a mere smattering of research, I have discarded the mitigation that Pastor Joel's feelgood sermons are harmless, innocuous, and genuinely help some people feel better in their lives on the grounds that he has become more than a motivational speaker - he is some people's RELIGION. He is worse than Narnian Christianity, with the same flaws - those of failing to challenge or discuss any of the religion's deepset moral conflicts. What little moral value I see in genuine religions stems from this very internal questioning and reassessment - which allows the faithful to resolve dogmatic conflicts and, more importantly, create their own moral code.

Furthermore, he tithes. Oh boy, does he tithe.

Hypocritical, mind-thieving, greedy, evangelical tumour.

EDIT 06 Jr 06
After further research and much discussion, Withiel and I have decided that our original impulse to Bother Joel Osteen will be ignored. It seems that, although he is a manipulative shit and a con-artist, he is so on a local rather than a global scale; furthermore, his views on women's choice, homosexual rights and non-Christian religion seem almost tolerant (if confused and woolly). All in all, we much prefer him to, say, the pope, or almost any other Christian figurehead. We feel that the more he is allowed to preach his current wishy-washy sub-bullshit, the more believers he keeps from true fundamentalism. Maintaining Pastor Joel, mind-numbing and exploitative though he may be, is the lesser of two evils.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Gods Help Me [Again]

Working in a bar on New Year's Eve will keep me out of trouble, he thought.

I won't have unprotected sex with anyone and immediately regret it, he thought, because I shall be sober and, possibly, working into the small hours.

He was wrong.