Monday, December 31, 2007
I think I'm being punished for it now - we're having one of the hottest New Year's Eves on record. It's been over 40 degrees Celsius (or 100 Fahrenheit) for most of the afternoon. And I can't remember the last time the humidity was so low. It feels like the moisture is being sucked out of my body every time I go outside.
I actually had an episode in a shop earlier when I went in to buy something. The shop assistant said the usual "How are you?" greeting and I tried to say "Fine," but all that came out was a strangled croak. I had to swallow a few times to create enough moisture in my throat to talk.
I don't really make New Year's resolutions. I suppose I could resolve to getting back to writing for this blog properly but I don't really need to. I'm going back to work on Jan 7th and that will put me back in the rhythm to write more regularly.
But it's interesting to look back on the year. My readership fairly exploded, thanks mainly to two posts, the Alli diet pill one and the "When insults had class" quotes. I've had a little bit of attention from media (which may still go somewhere - who knows?) My profile on YouTube has also gone through the roof since the gathering in Melbourne on December 1st.
So 2008 is looking interesting. I want to thank everyone who reads and comments regularly, it's that sort of contact that makes putting time into this blog worthwhile. I hope everyone has a great 2008 and hopefully I'll get to meet a few of you this year.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
What would the Japanese government do if Godzilla attacked?
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
You know how when you're a child everything seems so big and when you go back to visit places from your childhood things can seem so small? There's a particular XKCD comic that sums up how subjective our sense of size is and the difference in perspective that adulthood brings:
And there's a park I know that also illustrates the point perfectly. I shot this video to show what I mean:
Monday, December 24, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
But the trouble with not having to buy many presents is a was lulled into a false sense of security. My complacency means I'm approaching Christmas Eve having done NO shopping. None. Zilch. Nada. My worst effort ever.
I've been spending extra time with my kids this week which has been great but it also means I haven't been able to dedicate any time to shopping. I thought I'd make a late rally tonight by going to the huge mall a couple of suburbs away that's having 24 hour trading. I waited until nearly midnight in the hope it would be relatively quiet.
It seemed like a good idea but the line for parking started about a kilometre away from the fucking mall! I turned around and came home. There's no way I'm putting up with that shit. Having to search for parking for an hour then dealing with huge crowds of desperate people does not mesh with my temperament.
There would have been blood on the walls.
This is going to require some creativity tomorrow. I wonder what people would think of handmade gifts hastily put together from twigs and leaves?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I got 17 video responses in the first 24 hours and many more people are promising to respond over the next few days. The claims for nerd superiority follow a few different paths but for me, the frontrunners fall into one of two categories. They either have MASSES of nerdish goodies (Magic the Gathering seems to figure prominently) or they have some incredible obscure and rare stuff.
Oh, and tattoos. Anyone who gets a really nerdy tattoo scores big with me. If you have the time, I recommend following this link and checking out the responses. They offer some amazing insights and some of them are downright hilarious.
After I uploaded the original challenge video a few people said they wanted to know what the prize was before they dived in. I figured this was fair enough - I probably should have decided on a prize before announcing the competition. So first thing this morning I put my thinking cap on and came up with some possible prizes. And also to prove this would be no easy competition, I made a video giving some more depth to my nerdiness.
It's going to take some sort of super-nerd to out-nerd me!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
And I really do promise to start writing longer pieces again.
Monday, December 17, 2007
And everyone looks like this in the future. Don't ask. And everyone talks really fast too. Because it's the future. If you' can't understand him, that's because you're not from the future. Deal.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
You know what? There are a lot of reasons to get the shits with YouTube. Hell, if you enter "YouTube sucks" into Google you'll find my blog. And a couple of times when people have said they couldn't take certain aspects of YT any more I've encouraged them to take a break and if it ever felt right, come back when they were ready.
But I have no time at all for drama queens who throw a hissy fit because things don't work the way they want them to. They aren't getting the attention they feel they deserve so they throw a tantrum. The message these people send out is clear: you'd better tell me you love me! I'm standing on this ledge and I really mean it! I'll jump! This isn't just some self-indulgent grandstanding to get everyone's attention. I really, really mean it. I'm going to jump!
This post and the attached video are not about any one person, there are too many of these fucking idiots to name. But just for a laugh I'll tell you two people it's NOT about: TheHill88 and JustA11en. Only YouTube tragics like me will know those names.
TheHill88 (Caitlin) has announced she'll be retiring TheHill88 at the end of the year. She said it without drama and gives every indication of making a sincere decision. I got to talk to her at the Sydney YT launch party and she seems to be doing absolutely the right thing. For her. Everyone else needs to deal with it.
JustA11en (Allen) recently took a break. He needed time to think about what it really meant to be on YT and whether all the stupid shit was worth the effort. In his own time he decided to come back stronger than ever. But he didn't throw a hissy fit!
In simple terms, if you were planning to drop out of YT, either permanently or for a break, your regular viewers would want to know why. But this "me me me me me" bullshit pisses me off! So I needed to get my frustration out of my system the best way I know how. And I'm wearing my mask in this video - that's how you can tell how angry I am!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The following video may or may not be a factual account of what happened.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Before I started this blog I made the decision to keep it anonymous (as much as possible). The IT job market in Melbourne (where I work) is small, conservative and gossipy. I planned from start to write some fairly outrageous stuff and I figured some people might have trouble separating the character of Mr Angry from the "real" me.
That, and I thought people wouldn't want to talk to me if they thought they might end up as blog fodder. And who could blame them?
So it was simpler all around to blog anonymously. That worked well for a few months then I decided to complicate things by broadening the world of Mr Angry to encompass YouTube. When I was thinking about how to preserve some level of anonymity while making videos I went back for my college days.
I actually did a theatre degree back in the day (a few more years ago than I care to admit) which covered training in a range of performance styles including traditional Medieval mask work AKA Commedia dell'arte. While I was in one traditional play, a piece that always stayed with me was one done by another group where they used cheap plastic store-bought masks. Cutting the lower jaw out of these masks shows the actors' real mouths and has the effect of making something completely inanimate look incredibly alive.
And so Mr Angry was born. A cheap translucent mask (the visage is based on the actor Clark Gable for the trivia minded) has the jaw cut out and some angry lines drawn on. And the rest is some rather confusing history.
All of which is a slightly drawn out way of saying things are changing. When I organised a gathering for YouTube users in Melbourne I knew my cover would be blown. I had no intention of wearing the mask to a public gathering and so I knew there would end up being a lot of videos of me without a mask (although not as many as I expected - it seemed like there were only about 20 cameras at the gathering and I thought there would be closer to 100).
So, seeing as I was effectively unmasked I thought I'd make a "coming out" video. This was an explanation to any longer term viewers who didn't know my back story as well as an introduction to the thousand or so new subscribers that came my way courtesy of Mr Safety.
Who knows, even the old hands at this blog might learn something new.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I don't know if I'm getting mellower (wouldn't that be a terrible thing?) but the questions seem to be getting less stupid. Astute readers will know that my pet hate is being asked "what are your weaknesses?" Why do morons who ask that question think I'm going to honestly tell them something bad about myself?
Anyway, in this round of interviews one highlight stands out. The interview team were following a smart path as far as I'm concerned. After establishing my basic competence they spent more time focusing on whether they could stand to be around me rather than obsessing over technical details.
This is a small startup so one technical genius who happens to be an obnoxious fuck-up could destroy the company. Whereas a decent, intelligent human doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to make a positive contribution to the company. So we've progressed to a fairly relaxed, chatty stage of the interview when the CEO of the startup leans over to me and says (I swear I'm not making this up):
"Tell me about a time when you really fucked something up."
I like these guys.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I'm decompressing from the weekend. Two major events have come to pass. First, I finally got to meet one of my favourite people on YouTube; Cory Williams AKA MR Safety of SMP Films. Second was the gathering we organised for YouTube users and viewers to get together in Melbourne is finally over.
The first thing we did when Cory landed was make some videos even though he was jet lagged. We had fun playing up the stereotype that Americans don't know anything about Australia. This one is short and sweet:
This one has a longer set-up but is rapidly becoming the most popular video ever uploaded to my YouTube channel:
Cory's "endorsement" of me has meant a doubling of my subscriber numbers in a really short time frame which is both weird and incredibly gratifying to someone as vain as me. Anyway, I'll round off with my video from the gathering at the weekend. I'm almost sure I'm going to start writing regularly again tomorrow.
Oh, by the way, don't watch this video if you're easily shocked. I'm not wearing a mask!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Have I mentioned before that I'm very lazy? And out of shape? I pretty much got a year's worth of exercise crammed into a few hours today. And it feels like my fucking arms are going to fall off. It's almost beyond my abilities right now to sit here and type.
And after months of preparation the big YouTube gathering starts in about 36 hours. Wait a minute, it's actually 2 and 1/2 days not 1 and 1/2. I'm right on the edge of freaking out over this. One of the ways this is manifesting is I've had no sense of time this week. It feels like everything is going to happen NOW. I'm consistently forgetting which day of the week it is. On Monday I thought it was Friday and had a panic attack.
Next week it will all be over. And I'm sure I'll have no idea whatsoever what to do with myself.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I'm trying not to freak the hell out in the leadup but it's hard.
The day of the gathering coincide with the World AIDS Day Concert in Federation Square which is a bonus for us. There will be a lot going on during the day including free concert performances. So I figured some payback was due and I've been helping the promoters of the World AIDS Day Concert, The Burnet Institute with some YouTube promotion for their event.
The centrepiece of their promotion is the "I promise" campaign. It's a fairly simple concept - make a promise to take some practical steps in response to AIDS. This video has been put together featuring some YouTube celebrities and "real world" celebrities to encourage the YouTube community to make their own video promises:
And I thought I'd kick things off with my own promise:
Oh, and I also promise to get back to writing longer and angrier posts some time after this madness has died down. Sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
If you can't continue to give good answers to at least five whys then maybe you shouldn't be doing whatever it is you were planning. It can be a very effective technique. But I'll tell you this much: it wears thin really quick when it's being used by someone who's already pissing you off.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It seems desperation has set in and some really dirty tricks are coming out. The seat of Lindsay is in outer western Sydney and could easily change hands from the Liberals (who currently hold it) to Labor. So in desperation, the Liberal Campaign team decided to play to the lowest common denominator and inflame anti-Muslim sentiments.
They falsified and distributed a flyer that purported to come from a non-existent radical Muslim group. The flyer proclaimed the group unswerving support for the Labor party including quite despicable (and untrue) references to Labor supporting forgiveness for the Bali bombers. Here's a link to a news story including a copy of the flyer.
To his credit, Liberal leader John Howard has unequivocally condemned the tactic. This is in stark contrast to, say, the conduct of GW Bush when Republican operatives have used blatant lies to slander his opponents. But this is still going to hurt him. It just reeks of desperation and for a man who's always staked his reputation on honesty... well, this doesn't look very honest.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
You know that freedom and liberty idea that so many Americans are so fond of? I think it's time to face facts and file that under "not so much". Most rational people expect their government to have all sorts of spy operations in place. Most of us manage to sleep at night by convincing ourselves it's for our protection and as we're clearly not criminals or terrorist, nobody's spying on us.
That tissue-thin layer of self-delusion tends to get torn apart pretty thoroughly when a government official actually comes out and says "Oh yeah, we're totally spying on everyone. All the time."
In a speech he gave in October, Kerr said Americans shouldn't be fighting to protect their anonymity - they should be "changing their definition of privacy". You see, in this brave new world, privacy doesn't actually mean privacy. It means accepting the fact that the government is going to have full access to every tiny detail of your life any time they want. It means being innocent and law abiding doesn't mean "not under surveillance". But we should all take a deep breath and relax because you can trust the government not to do the wrong thing.
It isn't as if it's easy to find examples of the Bush administration unjustly smearing their opponents (even those within their own party). Incidently, a Google search for "Bush administration smear opponent" returns 579,000 results. Nothing to worry about there.
In the good old days of the Cold War and the McCarthy era, a sizeable proportion of people being spied on actually belonged to the Communist Party (or at least went to meetings hoping to score with those hot politically active chicks). Not any more. Ever had a phone call with someone outside the USA? That's all they need to spy on you now.
Actually, I should correct that last alarmist statement. They won't spy on you for a call where the other party is outside the US. They'll spy on you if they have a reasonable suspicion that one end of the conversation is outside the US. And of course we're talking about eminently reasonable people here. What could possibly go wrong with allowing that sort of power without the usual checks and balances?
And this Kerr character is either frighteningly stupid or simply enjoys insulting the intelligence of everyone else. One of his primary justifications for unlimited government intrusion into innocent people's lives is the way some people use social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace. Yes, this is what passes for logic with these twisted freaks. Some people give out personal information online and so everyone should give up all rights to privacy.
I keep wanting to avoid hyperbole and gratuitous references to rape but that's what keeps popping into my head. This sounds like the classic drunken moron's defence for date rape. "Hey, the bitch let me buy her dinner and all those drinks. Then she came back to my place. She knew what was coming next, you can't expect me to listen when she says 'NO' after all that."
But this prick really got me angry when he said "Protecting anonymity isn't a fight that can be won... (stop struggling, bitch!)... Our job now is to engage in a productive debate." Oh yeah, that old chestnut. Don't get angry. Just because the government is violently raping your basic rights and expecting you to say "thank you" afterwards. Whatever you do, don't get angry. Be reasonable.
Do you know why Mr Angry exists? Because it's impossible for Mr Angry not to exist in today's world. Every piece of shit in every country in the world who wants to screw over other people is always quick to say anger is wrong. You need to be reasonable. You need to be productive when you respond. You know what?
FUCK THAT SHIT!
Here's the big secret they want to keep from you: It's OK to be angry. In fact, fuck that too. It isn't OK. It's the appropriate response. It's fucking required. I'm more than reasonable when somebody presents a reasonable proposal. When they're unreasonable I'll resist. And when they want to lie, cheat, steal and destroy the basic rights of innocent people and tell me I'm not allowed to be angry in response?
I. Get. Fucking. FURIOUS!
Monday, November 19, 2007
I thought it was my duty to provide a reminder to those planning on attending to take our warnings about the sun seriously. And while I was doing a location shoot it became obvious what else I had to warn people about: the fucking flies! Federation Square is right next to the Yarra river where the bastard things are probably breeding. I didn't have repellent and they wouldn't let up swarming all over me.
Although I didn't catch it on camera I actually inhaled one of the fucking things! I HATE it when that happens! I made quite a scene, doubled over, hacking and coughing, trying to get a fucking fly out of my throat. The little shit was actually still alive when I spat it out!
Mind you, today's temperature is no indicator of what it will be like on December 1st. Or even tomorrow for that matter. Melbourne is notorious for sudden weather changes. For fans of Kiwi band Crowded House, their song "Four Seasons in One Day" is about Melbourne. The gathering day could be stormy, just as hot as today, even hotter or pleasant and mild. Or some combination of all of those.
People think the talk of rapid changes to the weather here is exaggerated here but it isn't. The record for weirdest day I have experienced here was summer last year. It was really hot, more than 38 Celsius (close enough to 100 Fahrenheit) when a storm front moved in late in the afternoon. This would normally cool things down a bit but the temperature dropped 15 degrees Fahrenheit in an hour. The maximum the next day was 20 degrees lower than the maximum on this day.
So yeah, Melbourne is not a city that rewards you for planning an outdoor event a long time in advance. If there's torrential rain on the day of the gathering the crowd will probably punch me out.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
I can't stop baiting morons on YouTube. I know I should be a better human about it but they're soooooo stupid and it's sooooo easy to rip on them. I've been having a funny experience over the last few days on YouTube since they featured one of my videos on the Australian home page.
It's actually the video I posted earlier in the week where I expressed my amusement at the proposal to crush cars belonging to hoons. Now that it's being exposed to a larger audience all the sad acts who define themselves according to their penis-compensating cars are coming out of the woodwork.
And so I taunt them. I keep saying to myself "just one more, then I'll quit". And then I've done it twenty times without realising it. Ah well, I'm planning to set up a support group for fellow sufferers, Maybe I'll find the cure one day.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Maybe they aren't broken. Maybe it's a deliberate plot. It could be that the government is conducting large-scale experiments to see how the populace will respond to being crushed into a small space while being subjected to high heat and humidity.
If that's the case, you can suspend the experiments now. The results are in. People in that situation get pissed off.
Coming home yesterday I found myself stuck on the tram from hell. Literally, judging from the internal temperature. My mood had gotten progressively worse until it reached the point where I was planning the order in which I would kill people when I finally snapped. Hmmm, he looks easy... she'd be a pushover... I bet his head would pop right off... oooh, he looks tough, I'd better throw some frail bodies between me and him...
I was just about ready to put my plan into action when the tram passed a train station. I took a punt that a train would be less hellish and jumped ship. This turned out to be a good choice - the train was considerably less crowded.
There were a few seats empty in the vestibule of the train but somebody had a bike leaned up against them. These are the type of seat that flip up if nobody is sitting in them so they were flush with the wall, which doubtless seemed like a good thing to the bike owner. I thought I might actually sit in one of the seats that were designed with humans in mind rather than bikes. It seemed like a reasonable plan but it led to the exchange detailed in the following video:
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Because going after these dorks is a sure-fire vote winner ("law and order" never goes out of style) politicians are always proposing new laws to punish these miscreants. Each new edict tends to get promoted as an "anti-hoon" law which has a nice ring to it.
In the news at the moment is a proposal by the NSW government to actually crush the cars of hoons convicted of illegal street racing. I know there are similar laws around the world but I like the twist they're adding to this one. They aren't simply crushing the cars into cubes. They're actually using them for crash tests. And the bit I really like is that they're planning to video the crushing and put the videos online.
That's a good start but I have an idea for taking it one step further...
Sunday, November 11, 2007
And then I tried to set up a wireless router...
Friday, November 09, 2007
Gmail hardly lets any spam through but every day I have to wade through spam in my Yahoo inbox. And it isn't even cleverly designed spam. It is absolutely bog-standard Nigerian 419 scams and messages telling me I've won the Irish lottery. And even when I mark something as spam an identical message gets through later in the day.
And the clueless feebs at Yahoo wonder why Google is kicking their arse from one end of the internet to the other. This is the absolute basics of spam management and Yahoo is failing miserably.
On a slightly related note, I had a funny experience with what I guess I could call phone spam. I've published the number for the angry phone far and wide (0403 069 148) and received a few interesting calls. Yesterday I received one from a chap saying he was calling from Ghana. He was apparently feeling hard done by and was assured I was a generous and caring person. He then proceeded to recite one of the standard spam scripts that Yahoo is so useless at blocking.
I said straight away that I knew the call was a scam and I wasn't going to give him any money or any of my personal details. But he was not easily dissuaded and wanted to keep telling me about how I was the only one who could help him with his desperate plight. At first I thought I'd see how long I could keep him on the line and so cost him money but I soon realised from the low sound quality he was calling via voice over IP. So no chance of sending him broke.
I really wish I had a camera running and was able to record the whole thing because there was quite a comical element to it. My African phone spammer had managed to call just after I had put some dye in my hair. Because of this, I couldn't put the phone right up to my ear or it would have been covered in dye. This, of course, mad it hard to hear him. Plus he had a really thick accent.
So he's doggedly ploughing through his script and I keep interjecting with "Dude, I can't hear you. Or understand you. And I wouldn't give you any money if I could." All the while holding the phone daintily away from my ear to avoid colouring it purple.
Sad to say, it was the highlight of my day.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I say "seems to be" because although that's the number that pops up when I search, it isn't strictly accurate. Some of them are being re-advertised so they aren't all new. Some are being advertised by more than one agency so the numbers are a bit deceptive. And then there's the morons who advertise permanent roles under the contract listings.
This really bugs me. When I've questioned agencies about this in the past they've said they wanted to reach the widest range of candidates possible. Yeah, including the ones who aren't even slightly interested. That makes sense. I decided to call one of the agencies and share my displeasure with them:
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
At a big meeting today it was my job to explain to the various attendees what the As One YouTube gathering actually was. When I described the promotion that had been happening on YouTube, the guy next to me said "Yeah I saw a video about that done by AngryAussie."
The fact that he referred to me in the third person while I was sitting right next to him threw me for a moment. Then I realised. He had no idea I was AngryAussie. When I explained that I was AngryAussie his reaction was amusing to say the least.
About a dozen expressions flickered across his face. What? What are you talking about? You're crazy. Oh, wait a minute. Yeah, maybe. No, but... Do I look like a dork for not recognising him?
It's nice to know that my "disguise" actually works. Apparently I come across differently when I'm not wearing a mask and ranting. Who knew?
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I'm lying in the dark ticking off videos I want to make, people I need to call, information I have to publicise and on top of it all I'm still planning for my trip to LA next week.
Well, at least I have one less thing to worry about now. In the middle of wasting time skipping through YouTube videos (welcome to YouTube, Oprah!) I got an email from my NY contact saying the producer had changed plans. Now they want to shift the interview from LA back to NY and do it in December or January rather than next week.
With any change to a plan there are positives and negatives. The single biggest positive to this change is that I don't lose a week of preparation time just before the As One gathering. I'm sure my partner in crime, SeanBedlam, will be greatly relieved (although he's been nothing but supportive about me going for this interview). Now I can concentrate on one thing at a time. I'm thinking of all positives and negatives of this change:
POSITIVE: More time for me to prepare
NEGATIVE: More time for me to freak out
POSITIVE: I get to go to New York! For the first time!
NEGATIVE: I don't get to see the people I would have seen in LA
I'm sure there's more than that but it's 4am here now and my brain isn't functioning as well as I thought it was. When I started writing this I imagined I had a really long +/- list. Hmmm, there is the possible complication that I was planning to start a new job in December or January. Oh god, and NY is going to be freezing in Dec/Jan isn't it?
Ah well, life is an adventure. I knew I was asking for trouble when I made that "May you live in interesting times" video a few weeks back.
Monday, November 05, 2007
But I need to do more. Now that several people from overseas have confirmed the will be coming I have realised I need to help them. With the local language. Many of them assume they will be OK because they think they speak English. Sadly, some will find they only speak American which is not the same thing at all.
Teaching these people to speak Australian (or Strine as it is know to academics) will not be an easy task. But I am not daunted. I will start with the basics and work up from there. Todays lesson covers two things visitors absolutely must know:
Sunday, November 04, 2007
One of the things Adrian has been teaching me is how to structure my responses. Start with something concise that can fit into ten seconds but be thinking two sentences ahead in case the interviewer asks you to elaborate. While the skills I've been learning will be directly useful beyond this TV interview (I have to start going to job interviews again soon) there's a lot of areas where it would be indirectly useful too.
This was actually brought into focus for me as I was driving home. There are a significant number of drivers on Melbourne roads who are only alive because they haven't run into another driver (literally) who's as stupid as them. These are morons who seem incapable of reacting to what's directly in front of them. Hoping that they learn the ability to plan for what's ahead is a long shot to say the least.
You end up stuck behind these cretins when they slam on the brakes as they reach a green light because they suddenly remember they wanted to turn at this intersection. They come out of side streets without slowing down and just maybe think about looking for oncoming traffic after they've already cut you off. These are the people that I use to justify my car-mounted machine guns.
The biggest concern with these morons is that their idiocy is life threatening when they get behind the wheel. But sometimes they're just plain fucking annoying. The particular brand of genius I was subjected to on this drive was when there were two turning lanes at an intersection they get in the wrong one.
I'm talking about the sort of intersection where there are two lanes for turning right. If you're going straight once you turn the corner it doesn't matter which lane you're in. But if you're going to turn left STRAIGHT AFTER the intersection, then common sense dictates you get in the left lane. Sadly, common sense doesn't seem to be one of the core requisites for getting a driver's license. Because there are far too many morons who clearly think "hey, I'm in the wrong lane, but what could possibly go wrong with sailing across a few lanes of traffic without indicating? Because after all, my convenience far outweighs little things like the safety of other people."
I wouldn't have believed I could have morons inflict this on me three times in one drive but that's what happened. I guess they were very excited at this weeks' meeting of "Morons United" when the chief moron explained this brand new way to fuck people up.
Worse still, these idiots cop an attitude when you dare point out their stupidity. It drives me crazy when they flail their arms about pulling "what's your problem" faces. You're my fucking problem, dickhead. Well, I'll fix them with my new invention: chainsaws mounted on extendable arms at the front of my car. Let them stare at the bloody stumps where their flailing arms used to be until they get the message.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
If anyone is in the LA area and wants to get together, I'll probably be in the mood to party a bit on the night of Tuesday the 13th. Assuming the shooting goes well, that is. If I screw it up completely I'll be in the mood to get so drunk I forget it all. So youknow, either way could make for a good time.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
It also gives me a bit of freedom in my responses when I think the interviewer is asking stupid questions. I don't want to burn any bridges so I'm not actually rude. I never actually come out and say I think the interviewer is asking stupid questions but it's fairly easy to turn things around so they are in the position of justifying why they're asking questions that are so, well... stupid.
For instance, there was the putz I had to see this week who thought he was being really clever. It seems as though someone gave him the book of Microsoft interview questions and he was eager to show off his new "knowledge". This style of interviewing gives you abstract questions that have no relationship whatsoever to the work you'll be doing. Or to the real world.
Proponents say they're trying to see how creatively you can think. Normal humans say it's a waste of time. In my case, the interview went a little like this:
Annoying Recruiter: How would you move Mount Fuji 1/2 a kilometre to the South?
ME: Why would I do that?
AR: Uhhhh, it's a project you've been assigned.
ME: As part of my work I've been asked to move Mount Fuji?
AR: Yes, so how would you do it?
ME: How could that possibly benefit the business?
ME: As an analyst, my first reaction is the project would be prohibitively expensive and take forever to complete. The first thing I'd want is to see a business case that showed how this would benefit the business.
AR: But how would you do it?
ME: That isn't the important question. What you need to be asking is why would you do it?
AR: I just want to know how you'd do it.
ME: But if you can't tell me why it should be done, that tells me there's a problem. As an analyst, I wouldn't be doing my job if I let the project go forward without answering that question.
AR: I'm trying to get an idea of how you'd approach the problem.
ME: I'm telling you how I'd approach it: I'd try to find out why someone wanted to do this. Seriously, even suggesting such an outlandish project tells me that things are seriously out of whack.
AR: No, this isn't a real work project. I gave you an unusual example to see how you'd approach a problem that you wouldn't face in your day to day work.
ME: So what you're saying is the way you're planning to work out if I'd be any good at this job by asking me questions that have nothing to do with the job and could never be of any value to the job?
AR: Uhh, yes.
ME: It never occurred to you to ask me questions related to actual issues I'm likely to face in this job?
AR: Well, this is a creative exercise.
ME: So you're sticking with the plan that finding out how I deal with something useless is more valuable than finding out how I'd deal with something that actually matters to the business?
AR: Well that isn't really the point...
ME: Is it hard to get your job? (extended silence) Wait I've got a better question: If I took this job, would I ever have to see you again? Because I gotta tell you, that would have a pretty big influence on my decision.
I'd like to point out I'm not a cruel man. It was never my intention to reduce the interviewer to tears. But I think with the right therapy, he'll come through this a stronger person.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
While that's obviously tongue in cheek, there's an element of truth to it. My girlfriend for one will vouch for the fact my moods generally have been better since I started blogging. I'm a big believer in the benefits of catharsis. Venting anger in a way that doesn't physically harm someone is a lot healthier than letting it build up until you burst a blood vessel in your brain or go on a shooting rampage.
It's more accurate to say that I wanted a creative outlet. I've always been a pretty good writer and I'm a firm believer that writing is a skill like any other - the more you do it, the better you'll get. So I was actually quite methodical when setting up the blog. I had been working on some material for doing some standup comedy and decided I might get more feedback on what's actually funny by writing a blog. I could test out material here and use the most popular bits in a routine.
Standup is hard. And it doesn't provide a very rapid feedback loop. You get the instant feedback (or lack thereof) from a live audience but if some material doesn't go over all that well you can't really come back the next day and try some new material. With a blog I could try whatever I wanted, see the audience response and try some more the next day.
I made a couple of choices before I even started. First, I was going to do it anonymously. I'm a contractor and the IT community in Melbourne is too small, too conservative and too gossipy to take a huge risk career-wise. So I decided to invent a persona. Honestly, Mr Angry isn't me. He's a mouthpiece for a few things I want to say but more often he's a character who says things I never would myself.
The other decision was to be disciplined and regular with the writing. The name "Angry 354 Days a Year" is not a coincidence. I decided up front to set myself the target of writing at least one post every day for a year. Which I actually managed (just). There were a few close calls but some new content went up every day for the first year.
Since reaching that milestone I've relaxed a little. Now occasionally a day or two will pass without me posting and I won't freak out. Oh and I abandoned the idea of doing standup as well. Too hard. Too 20th century. YouTube killed that idea for me. Only the biggest name standup comedians in the world get a bigger audience than even a fringe player like me can get on YouTube.
Which brings me to the last big reason why I blog. I want to make a career of this. I've been a bit vague on exactly which direction this will take as I enjoy both the writing and the performance side of what I've been doing. But there have been a few positive developments in the last year. I've made a few thousand dollars doing videos for The Fizz on DirecTV (which has paid for camera upgrades and my broadband).
And then there was the New York possibility I mentioned a month or so ago. A journalist with one of the US broadcast networks had approached me about being interviewed for a segment on an upcoming show. For what felt like the longest time it continued to dangle as a possibility with no definite answer one way or the other. Now I finally have an answer. Sadly, I won't be going to New York.
I'm going to LA! Yes, Mr Angry is going to Hollywood. In two weeks. I fly in on the 14th of November (unless something changes). So if you're from the LA area, let me know. I definitely want to catch up with as many people as possible while I'm there. As you can see in this video, I was quite excited by the news:
Monday, October 29, 2007
One thing I don't think I mentioned about the Sydney gathering was I stole a bunch of YouTube shirts. And they're all too small for me. So I'm giving them away. After asking for suggestions on YouTube for what people should do to win a t-shirt, the best suggestion was that they should go to people who do the best promotion for the gathering.
So, if you feel like helping me out, come up with some creative ideas to get the word out. Here's me showing off the t-shirts:
If you're interested, let me warn you: the shirts are really petite sizes. I actually tried on the XL one and I could barely get my arms through the sleeves. And let's not even get started on how my gut hung out.
I have a slightly significant post planned in response to a question Funky Brown Chick left me on voicemail (call 0403069148 in Australia, 61403069148 if you're overseas). She asked me why I blog. A fair question. And since she asked, I've received some major news that makes for a really good answer.
But I'm too damn tired to write it now.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
To give a bit of background: Halloween isn't a big thing in Australia. If you went around trick or treating people would think you're a freak (which, come to think of it, would be kind of appropriate for Halloween). But there's a American food store in a nearby suburb (I think they cater to homesick American expats) that runs a daytime trick or treat event for kids.
The idea is you show up on the Saturday closest to Halloween (which was today) and you go from shop to shop getting lollies. My kids think it's awesome. And this year I decided to dress up with them. So I'm walking down the street wearing my zombie mask, crazy wig and bloodstained, tattered clothing and I'm getting some damn weird looks.
It looked like people were actually scared of me. Because I looked a zombie. In a Halloween event. A really well-publicised Halloween event. With dozens of other people wandering around in costumes. In the middle of the fucking day. And it isn't as if I was lunging around deliberately trying to scare people.
Well... there was this one kid. Little bastard wouldn't stop staring at me. So every time his mother wasn't looking I lunged towards him with my tongue hanging out making gutteral noises. A little harsh perhaps, but I don't take shit from three-year-olds.
Anyway, the whole point of me going out in public dressed as a zombie was so I could make the following video without people staring at me. But they did anyway.
Friday, October 26, 2007
A little while ago, myself and a few other Australian YouTubers were asked to do a promotional video for the launch of YouTube Australia. This was what the "party" on Tuesday was about - it was considerably more a media launch than a party but I met a few cool people anyway so that's OK. The individual videos were spliced together into a promotional video which was featured on the various YouTube home pages.
And the thumbnail that everybody sees is a closeup of me. Which should be more than enough to put anyone off Australia. They even used my tag line in the video description. YouTube Oz, people!
The funny thing is I think they fucked up the editing. They did a pretty logo that I think was meant to be the thumbnail but they timed it wrong and ended up with me instead. More proof that I'm god's chosen one. Another funny thing is the comments. A fascinating collection of stupidity and self-loathing. If you want to lose all faith in humanity follow this link to read them.
The main thing is I had fun. I kept my camera switched off when drunk but here's some stuff I shot while sober:
I'm almost recovered from the trip and the late nights now. Back to the angry.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
For those who don't know Australian politics, here's the background to this video. The first one pictured is John Howard, current Australian Prime Minister. The second one is his deputy, Peter Costello. Howard has been PM for more than 10 years and he made a deal with his deputy to retire and hand over power. Then he broke that deal.
In their public spat, Howard was called a liar for not keeping his word and Costello was called arrogant for not waiting. The rest kind of wrote itself.
I did it in the stereotype election campaign ad style - slow zoom on photos with dramatic music. So what do you think - do I have a future as a political lobbyist?
Saturday, October 20, 2007
So here's a video I did before I got totally knackered from hacking through six months of weed growth.
And that really a number you can call me on. I got it mainly for the YouTube gathering. So I could give out a contact number but, you know, ignore it if I wanted to. I have no idea if anyone actually wants to call me or not but it's a pre-paid phone so it doesn't cost me anything. If you do happen to call me it's fairly likely you'll get voicemail. Which I may use in a video for my own purposes. Don't say you weren't warned.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
In my original draft of yesterday's post, I included an explanation for most of the quotes I chose. I decided to run them unadorned because I thought maybe people might want to copy the quotes into emails and I thought I'd make that easy. So today I bring you the annotated version along with a video version.
I nust love my swearing.
“Fuck is my chisel.” - Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan explaining to an American audience why he needs to swear.
I thought this was the perfect starting point: swearing isn't necessarily gratuitous - sometimes it's weilded with the precision of a tool.
“I say we grease this rat-fuck son of a bitch right now.” - Hudson (Bill Paxton) in Aliens
It was hard to pick just one of Hudson's lines but this one did it for me. Who hasn't felt this way about some yuppie prick who's screwed them?
“You had best unfuck yourself and start shitting me Tiffany cufflinks or I will definitely fuck you up!” - Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Lee Ermey) in Full Metal Jacket
The whole post was nearly Lee Ermey quotes from Full Metal jacket. Swearing was invented for this man.
“Was it legal? FUCK legal! Not nice? FUCK nice! The nation says I’m not nice? FUCK THE NATION!” - Roy Cohn (Al Pacino) in Angels in America
In this quote the character was talking about why he wanted Ethel Rosenberg to get the death sentence. I thought it was (besides being a fine bout of swearing) a poignant reminder of some of the excesses of the current US administration.
“Your mother sucks cocks in hell!” - Regan (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist
She was such a cute little girl but she swore a blue streak when she got going.
“Life does not start and stop at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit.” - Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) in The Big Lebowski
The Big Lebowski is another movie that offered dozens of good swearing quotes but I liked the philosophy behind this one.
“Shut that cunt’s mouth or I’ll come over there and fuckstart her head.” - Mr Parker (Ryan Phillipe) in The Way of the Gun
Besides the sheer brutality of this quote I liked it for that fact that before this movie Ryan Phillipe had been a rosy-cheeked teen heart-throb.
“Fuck me? Fuck you! Fuck you and this whole city and everyone in it!” - Monty Brogan (Ed Norton) in 25th Hour
This is part of a long diatribe where the character says "fuck you" to pretty much everyone in New York. It's an awesome soliloquy.
“Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I’m going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before and I will do it again. I’m going to fucking kill Google.” - Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft
In case anyone doesn't believe this one, here's the source: http://battellemedia.com/archives/001835.php
“You have a look in your eye like you haven’t been fucked in a year.” - Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface
Tony Montana is another one who provided dozens of quality swearing quotes - I liked this one because it was relatively subtle.
“(if you work in advertising or marketing) You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself, it’s the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself” - Bill Hicks
This part of Hicks' routine is hilarious - it goes on for a while and he keeps repeating "there's no joke here - just kill yourself."
“I’ll send you a love letter straight from my heart, fucker. Do you know what a love letter is? It’s a bullet from a fuckin’ gun, fucker. If you receive a love letter from me, you are fucked forever. Do you understand, fuck? I’ll send ya straight to hell, fucker!” - Frank Boothe (Dennis Hopper) in Blue Velvet
I once saw a TV modified version of this movie where they replaced the work "fuck" with "freak". It made Frank's speeches very weird.
“Your mother sucks big fuckin’ elephant dicks, you got that?” - Joey LaMotta (Joe Pesci) in Raging Bull
When Joe Pesci swears, you believe he means it.
“So I say live and let live… Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker.” - George Carlin
From the man who built a whole routine around the swear words you can't say on TV.
“Things are fucked up at the North Pole. Mrs Claus caught me fucking her sister, now I’m out on my ass.” - Willie (Billie Bob Thornton) in Bad Santa
There's something about an alcoholic Santa who swears continuously and indulges in anal sex in shopping mall change room on his breaks that appeals to me.
“Bitch was so fine I’d suck her daddy’s dick.” - Richard Pryor
I used this one as it was one of the few times Pryor opened his mouth and didn't say "fuck".
“We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no-one has ever fucked him!” - Karl Rove, senior advisor to George W Bush
Again, in case anyone doesn't believe this one, here's the source: http://www.ronsuskind.com/newsite/articles/archives/000032.html
“What’s the big deal? It doesn’t hurt anybody. Fuck, fuckity, fuck-fuck-fuck!” - Eric Cartman in South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut
What better way to round things off? Swearing really doesn't hurt anyone. Fuck anyone who says different.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Even Lenny Bruce, the master of profanity, knew how to be subtle. But sometimes subtlety simply doesn't cut it...
"Fuck is my chisel." - Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan explaining to an American audience why he needs to swear.
"I say we grease this rat-fuck son of a bitch right now." - Hudson (Bill Paxton) in Aliens
"You had best unfuck yourself and start shitting me Tiffany cufflinks or I will definitely fuck you up!" - Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (Lee Ermey) in Full Metal Jacket
"Was it legal? FUCK legal! Not nice? FUCK nice! The nation says I'm not nice? FUCK THE NATION!" - Roy Cohn (Al Pacino) in Angels in America
"Your mother sucks cocks in hell!" - Regan (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist
"Life does not start and stop at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit." - Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) in The Big Lebowski
"Shut that cunt's mouth or I'll come over there and fuckstart her head." - Mr Parker (Ryan Phillipe) in The Way of the Gun
"Fuck me? Fuck you! Fuck you and this whole city and everyone in it!" - Monty Brogan (Ed Norton) in 25th Hour
"Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I'm going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before and I will do it again. I'm going to fucking kill Google." - Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft
"You have a look in your eye like you haven't been fucked in a year." - Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface
"(if you work in advertising or marketing) You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself, it's the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself" - Bill Hicks
"I'll send you a love letter straight from my heart, fucker. Do you know what a love letter is? It's a bullet from a fuckin' gun, fucker. If you receive a love letter from me, you are fucked forever. Do you understand, fuck? I'll send ya straight to hell, fucker!" - Frank Boothe (Dennis Hopper) in Blue Velvet
"Your mother sucks big fuckin' elephant dicks, you got that?" - Joey LaMotta (Joe Pesci) in Raging Bull
"So I say live and let live... Anyone who can't go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker." - George Carlin
"Things are fucked up at the North Pole. Mrs Claus caught me fucking her sister, now I'm out on my ass." - Willie (Billie Bob Thornton) in Bad Santa
"Bitch was so fine I'd suck her daddy's dick." - Richard Pryor
"We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no-one has ever fucked him!" - Karl Rove, senior advisor to George W Bush
"What's the big deal? It doesn't hurt anybody. Fuck, fuckity, fuck-fuck-fuck!" - Eric Cartman in South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut
Quality swearing compiled for you at http://angryaussie.wordpress.com
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
But it's still fun to have a go at them. Plus I like giving people tips on how to deal with them. Knowledge is power, after all. The one thing I want to do is encourage people to be angry at the pointlessness of haters. A common (and stupid) ploy haters use is to say hating them makes you a hater. No it doesn't, it makes you a human. This can take extreme forms like when nazis claim that standing up against their racism makes you intolerant. You're intolerant of intolerance, geddit?
So, all in the name of empowerment (and catharsis) here I go:
Monday, October 15, 2007
It seems I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Despite the fact that post was nothing more than a widely circulated list of quotes, it was the second most popular thing I've posted here. Right after the one about pooping your pants. So I have the measure of the internet - it's all about insults and poop. Which plays to my strengths.
While I was greatly enamoured of the classy insults (they're a great change from "you suck!") there really are some people who don't deserve that much effort. The world in general and the internet in particular is riddled with people who just need to be told to fuck off. I got going on this train of thought the other day when some moron swanned through and left an absurdly stupid comment about me not being funny. I'm more than OK with someone doesn't like my approach but it helps if they express this in a less than moronic way.
Plus, this moron made the mistake of saying "no offence, but..." then following up with something incredibly offensive. By all means, say something offensive to me but if you value your safety don't preface it around me with "no offense, but..." That sort of fucked up behaviour will earn you a smack upside your head if I get my way. If you're going to be offensive, commit to it.
It's like some of the morons I have to put up with on YouTube. The most pathetic idiots crop up on my anti-racist and anti-nazi videos. It's bad enough that the world has so many people who are pathetic enough to self-identify as a nazi but even these dicks can't seem to commit to an insult. You'd think if you were confessing to jacking off to mental images of Hitler in the nude you'd have the force of will to give a wholehearted insult. But a bizarre number of these dweebs punctuate their pathetic attempts at insults (usually some variation of "jew" or "fag") with "LOL" or something equally insipid.
Seriously, are these guys the new stormtroopers of the white race or giggling teenage girls?
So anyway, I've been feeling motivated. Motivated to find the best way to tell someone to fuck off. To that end, I've been searching for quotes that feature graphic swearing. I've spent a couple of days picking them up from all over the place (which should shut up the fucking morons who went on about me "stealing" the other list - it's kind of necessary with quotes for them to have been published somewhere else before).
Most of them are movie quotes although there are a few corkers from real world people. Because some of the real world ones are controversial to say the least I've made sure to source all of them. Of course the sources might be lying but I can't really control that. Speaking of movie quotes, I have a question on a matter of style. Say I was quoting the Tony Montana character in Scarface played by Al Pacino. Should the quote read:
"Say hello to my little friend." - Tony Montana (Al Pacino) in Scarface
"Say hello to my little friend." - Al Pacino (as Tony Montana) in Scarface
Oh, and I know that the quote is technically from the writer, not the actor who reads it but don't get pedantic. I'll be posting this collection in the next day or so, if you have some favourite swearing quotes of your own, feel free to lob them my way in the meantime.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
So these interesting times will definitely be challenging. But I side with the blogging bot from the future. This is an adventure. Maybe even a revolution. And I'm all for creating the future - right here, right now.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I've heard that decent humans don't celebrate the death of another human no matter how much they despised them. So I won't celebrate this. But I won't shed tears, either. And as the story mentions he isn't the first Russian spammer to be murdered - those interested in cathartic reading can check out some details here.
As for me, I'm busy getting witness statements swearing that I haven't left the country recently.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
So yeah, I figure that I'll never be a starship captain. And not only because Star Trek is fictional and I need a factual job. It seems every crew from every series are a bunch of whiners. I don't think I'd even be able to limit myself to a phaser set to stun. I'd be handing out photon torpedo suppositories. And I'd tell the really annoying ones I was beaming them down to a planet to explore than make sure I missed by a few million kilometres and beamed them into the heart of a sun.
Although it would make for some great TV.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Allen is a politically conservative christian from the southern USA. He's also a damn decent individual. Open-minded, thoughtful, intelligent and always willing to listen. He's also usually quite engaging and charming and quite often incredibly funny. No, I don't want to have his babies.
I haven't made any secret of my politics on this blog - it's fair to say that I'm the polar opposite of Allen politically. Long time readers with good memories might remember that in the early days of this blog I went looking for some right-wing blogs that were also intelligent, even-handed and thoughtful.
I came up dry.
It seemed all the right wing bloggers I could find were loud-mouthed, ignorant, braying, hateful jackasses. Yes, I know many left wing bloggers are too. As a result I tend to not spend much time on overtly political blogs.
As an aside, if anyone thinks they know of some intelligent right wing blogs that don't spend all their time spraying hate and bile, feel free to tell me about them.
Anyway, this is one of the reasons I like Allen. He's conservative and I disagree with him on just about every substantive political issue. But I respect him. I respect his very human way of relating his views while rarely going for cheap shots. I'm quite a fan of cheap shots myself so I don't mind that he indulges himself occasionally.
YouTube is renowned as a cesspool of the worst, most hateful behaviour on the internet. And that's saying something. So the fact that this is where I found the first conservative commentator that I could respect is mildly ironic. It restores my faith in human nature somewhat that in the midst of the most juvenile morons on the planet I can find someone I disagree with, yet still respect.
Here's the video version of yesterday's post where I respond to Allen (warning: it's about 10 minutes long):
Monday, October 08, 2007
For me, "faith" in the good sense means scientists believe in their results and those who choose to believe in science trust that people smarter than us are doing their best to come up with objectively verifiable data. The best scientists realise that there is unlikely to ever be a universal "truth" but through diligent work they add a few more pieces to the puzzle.
While I think it's insane for a scientist not to have faith in their work and believe in their results, history shows us that many of the most dearly held scientific "truths" will end up being modified or completely invalidated by subsequent discoveries.
From a Joe Public point of view, it simply isn't possible to have a deep understanding of how scientists come to their conclusions. These people spend years (usually their whole lives) specialising in their fields. Reading a 1,000 page book might give good insights into the science behind the latest theories and/or discoveries but you won't understand it in the same way as the scientists doing the work. Anyone who says they do really understand it is either in 0.0001% of the population or they're a wanker. Do the math and you'll see what I think of people like this.
So basically by definition, if we say we believe in scientific principles we believe that based on faith. This isn't intrinsically a bad thing, like most faith it depends how you apply that faith that counts. Personally, I apply it along the lines of "I believe the majority of scientists are acting in good faith; I believe their greater goal is to expand knowledge, not prove they're better than everyone else; I believe the experiments conducted to verify important theories were rigorous, repeatable and peer-reviewed; I believe the best scientists are always asking questions because the currently believed answers might be wrong."
So that's my version of science=faith in a good way. Then there are, of course, those who express their faith in science in what I see as a bad way. I find it mildly amusing when people who claim to be pro-science and anti-religion aggressively attack religion in the name of defending science. Now, I understand the value of an angry outburst but when supporters of science want to argue that following a religion makes you stupid by definition then they're falling into the same trap of zealotry.
I am all for aggressively fighting for the separation of science and religion. The idea that creationism should be taught alongside evolution to "teach the controversy" is utter bullshit. That goes double for creationism's lying scumbag cousin "intelligent design" - I mean, fuck me, just admit you're creationists. It all boils down to "magic man in the sky done it" which, frankly, doesn't cut it as a scientific theory.
You shouldn't "teach the controversy" in science classes because there is NO scientific controversy regarding evolution versus creationism. There is plenty of controversy within the details of evolution but that isn't the same thing. If evidence ever comes to light that displays fatal flaws in evolutionary theory I'm quite confident that the unmitigated bullshit that is creationism isn't going to magically become any less of a fairy story.
I actually understand the impulse to scientific zealotry. If you dedicate your life to learning about the natural world in what you see as an objective way and find yourself having to defend your views against people coming from a completely illogical position, well... Why not simply call them fuckwits and be done with it?
My personal belief is that fundamentalists of any religious stripe tend to be utter morons. Maybe they're not morons in the literal sense of being unintelligent (although a hell of a lot of them most definitely are) but they sure seem keen on crushing knowledge that challenges their "magic man in the sky done it" view of the cosmos. But there is not a straight line of logic between "fundamentalists who try to undermine science are fuckwits" and "anyone who believe in god is an idiot." It can be comforting to think so but it simply isn't true.
Likewise, many supporters of science over religion are loud mouthed idiots who should sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. I've had the amusing experience (more than once) of having supporters of science saying that it isn't possible to be stupid and support science over religion because you need to be intelligent to have a skeptical mind. This is a seductive line of reasoning but I think it has two major flaws.
First, as soon as someone tries to support a position with circular logic (it is what it is because it is what it is) I get suspicious. Second, it presupposes that the people who believe in science actually understand what it is they are supporting. It isn't possible to understand current scientific thinking on evolution (for example) in any meaningful way without years of study. So the scientists dumb it down for us poor schmucks so we have an inkling of what they're going on about.
It all comes back to belief in science being a leap of faith. I happen to believe it's an intelligent leap of faith that respects the logical and rigorous application of scientific inquiry. I also believe that far too much religious teaching discourages and even punishes critical thought. But a lot of demonstrably stupid people champion science over religion. To pretend otherwise is to ignore a huge body of evidence.
My personal favourite is when you refer to scientific zealots and you get someone jumping all over you ranting about how there is no such thing as a scientific zealot. Show me a scientific zealot, they demand! Uh, you got a mirror handy there, champ? Actually, the level of narcissism on display with people who feel compelled to trumpet their intellectual superiority leads me to suspect they have many, many mirrors on hand. But actual self-reflection and introspection aren't their strong points.
Interestingly, I've found you get the same response if you pick on zealous supporters of Israel, Apple and/or Agile software development methodology.
So the fact that I think science (as opposed to religion) is the way to discover the truth doesn't change the fact that I've made that decision based on faith. I also believe science thrives on the questioning of it's conclusions - an area where religious beliefs (or at least religious institutions) tend to not hold up so well. But I also think scientific zealots can be more deluded than religious zealots. At least religious zealots tend to admit what they are.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Then I saw the flaw in this theory. Some of my best friends are people. I do a fair approximation of being a people myself. I realised it wasn't all people who were the problem. It's the stupid people. And I think I know how they manage to be such a problem: we're too nice to them.
Darwinism tells us these stupid motherfuckers should be dead. But we do our best to keep them safe. We protect them. I tell you, not actively punishing stupidity is the same thing as rewarding stupidity. It's time to put a stop to this shit.
So yeah, that's my first step. Remove all the warning labels. Most of these stupid bastards will be dead within the first twelve months.