Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Conspiracy theorists - STFU!

The absurd number of random, off-topic comments I have been getting on YouTube lately from conspiracy theorists has pushed me to far. Time to strike back in the only way I know how - lots of swearing and shouting!
[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=o0AIeN_AxBQ]
And don't take it personally Alan, Despite the fact we disagree on a range of topics I consider you a person who puts forward their views rationally without being aggressive or insulting. Unlike the pea-brained morons I am beset by on YouTube.

Friday, December 12, 2008

YouTube in the news

There's an interesting article in today's New York Times about YouTubers who are actually making a living doing videos. Prominently featured are two of my friends from the site, Michael Buckley of "What the Buck" and Cory Williams of SMP Films.

It's good to see some non-hysterical coverage from a mainstream media outlet, pity the same can't be said for a lot of the people who read the article. The comments from the readers are amusing in their bitterness and ignorance. My personal favourite said :

"Nice to know that someone making amateur Youtube videos (they are a bit entertaining I admit)makes more money than most people I know, with advanced degrees that work 60 hour weeks in offices.

Time to think of a new career path or at least a way to pay off those undergrad and graduate student loans.
"

No shit, Sherlock! If you know people who spent years at university racking up massive debts only to end up in dead end jobs it's fucking obvious they should wake the fuck up! It appears they didn't learn many worthwhile lessons in their studies.

Anyway, this is as good an excuse as any to post a video I made with the fabulously wealthy Cory while I was visiting him in the US recently. Oh, and for those who are interested, I make more like $100 a month from YouTube rather than the $100,000 per year Mr Buckley is lucky enough to be making!

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=1HKCTQ-VOIM]

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

YouTube censorship

So, YouTube have announced changes to some of their policies regarding the content of uploaded videos. Many in the mob are screaming "censorship!" and technically they're right. It does qualify as censorship but it's hardly new - YouTube has always placed restrictions on what they regard as acceptable content. It hardly seems like the end of the world to me and I'm even hopeful that one or two of the changes might actually improve the site.


Breaking it down, YT seem to have two main goals. First is to randomly generate the thumbnail for videos to fight what's commonly referred to as "thumbnail cheating" and second is to remove or at least demote the more "adult" content from the "most viewed" etc. lists of videos.


The change to thumbnails isn't going to generate a significant outcry. For those who don't know, prior to this change, YouTube chose the exact centre frame of video to represent that video as a thumbnail. Once you knew that you could edit your video in such a way that you controlled what would appear in the thumbnail. People have been complaining for years that showing boobies (or the suggestion of boobies or something similar) automatically grabbed a huge number of video views and many high profile YouTubers were accused of gaming the system.


I know from my own depressing experience that this works. My most viewed video was one where I exploited this. Horny desperadoes who were fooled by the hot babe in the thumbnail and/or the deceptive description were instead lectured by me on the perils of excessive masturbation. Two millions views later I wonder why I bothered. That statistic is really depressing to someone who puts a lot of effort into most of their videos (my highest views for non-thumbnail cheating video is about 300,000). It will kind of suck to not be able to choose how a video is represented (a grey blur does not attract many viewers) but if it stops the boobie thumbnails I guess it's kinda worth it. [update: I've noticed YouTube is giving the opportunity to upload a specific image as the thumbnail but they threaten to cane you if you break their guidelines]


The demoting of "adult" content is where it gets interesting. One of the main ways to get your videos seen by new and/or casual YouTube viewers is by appearing on one of their "Most..." lists. If your video is "flagged" as inappropriate then you don't appear on these lists (or the video may be removed altogether) and so your video is likely to get viewed less overall. Admittedly, this has a bigger effect on people who are already reasonably popular. YouTube hasn't said they'll be deleting more videos but they have said they'll be broadening their definition of "adult" and any videos identified as such will be removed from the listings.


The fact that prominently displayed boobie cleavage and booty shaking will disappear from the "most viewed" videos will be a massive relief to most YouTubers. By "most" I mean those not blessed with nubile female bodies that can attract crowds simply by parading around while scantily clad. There, I'm jealous, I admit it. Also to fall under the hammer are videos dealing with sexually explicit topics. No more hot blondes giving instructions for the perfect blowjob appearing on "Most viewed videos".


YouTube have also decided to demote videos with excessive profanity. Oh fuck. Several people have sent me messages asking "Won't this affect you?" To which I have responded "Derrrrrrrr!" After thinking about it for a while, I'm not hugely bothered by this so long as YouTube only "demotes" swearing videos and they don't remove them entirely. Me saying "shut the fuck up" 20 times in 60 seconds may not be the most suitable viewing for children.

There is no shortage of people shrieking hysterically about this. By and large, they are fucking idiots. The drama queens calling for mass boycotts crack me up. "I'm leaving YouTube," they wail, "join me and we'll teach them a lesson." Fucking idiots. If this is a step too far censorship-wise for you then refusing to participate in the site any longer is a perfectly valid choice. But for the love of the baby Jeebus stop being such a fucking drama queen about it. Go. Do it. Stop fucking talking and clamouring for attention and GO!

Go ahead. Leave. You know what the effect will be? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Fuck all. Those hundred people who say they're joining you? They're lying. They don't give a fuck and they'll come back to YouTube simply because it has the videos they want to see. Even if they're telling the truth and they never come back, the effect on YouTube would be zero. The number of people who would give a shit if I packed up and left is statistically so close to zero I may as well have never existed. For fuck's sake, Fred (the number one subscribed person on YouTube) could leave and that would barely be a blip on the radar. The site would continue without noticing and other people would take his place.

So please, all the people proclaiming their outrage at these changes: get your hand off it. I mean it. If you pull your (metaphorical) cock any harder you'll rip it right off. Take whatever action you think is right for you but do me a favour and shut the fuck up about it. Nobody gives a shit. To paraphrase Yoda: "Do or do not. There is no pointless shrieking like a whiny little bitch."

The one thing that concerns me is the likely abuse of the flagging process now that YouTube has broadened what content will be flagged as "adult". This doesn't bother me because of any new standards, it bothers me because of YouTube's established track record. Essentially there is a parade of fucking idiotic decisions in their past and I would expect this to get worse, not better.

To clarify, this isn't about me. Almost none of my videos have ever been flagged (maybe two or three). But I have seen flagging decisions in the past that simply beggar belief. YouTube claims that someone on staff reviews all videos flagged by viewers and only takes action if they decide the video truly breaches their guidelines. Given the number of times I have seen videos flagged that definitely DO NOT breach their guidelines (YouTube later agreed and changed the decision) there is one of two conclusions to draw. One is that YouTube is lying and they don't have any comprehensive review process. Two is that they employ complete fucking morons to fulfil this role.

YouTube NEVER respond to the community. Not even to say "No, you can't have that." But if they were going to listen, I'd like them to respond to these suggestions:

  1. Explain EXACTLY how the flagging review process works. How many flaggings are investigated each day? How many staff are employed to do this?
  2. Develop and publicise a review process for flaggings. Tell people who believe their videos have been unfairly flagged exactly what steps to follow and what response they can expect in what timeframe.
  3. Give Partners the benefit of the doubt. Give them someone they can go to directly if they feel they've been unfairly flagged. If they're willing to put their partnership on the line over it then listen to them!
  4. Give registered over-18 users the option to see flagged videos in the "Most..." lists. Preferably with the ability to filter (e.g. I want to see profanity but not boobies)

Actually, all my suggestions to YouTube always come back to one thing: would you guys PLEASE fucking communicate with us?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Reggie Watts - Fuck Shit Stack

Here's a little moment from YouTube Live (some two weeks in the past now) that I feel compelled to share. Who says swearing indicated lack of intelligence? Lots of people but fuck them - they're wrong.
I wandered around outside the YTL venue quite a bit before the show. Partly because I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing and partly because there was so much to see. And one of the things I saw was the performer I christened the Post-Modern Beatboxer. Because I had no idea who he was and the way he deconstructed language was brilliant. It turns out his name is Reggie Watts.
When I first saw him starting I was dissing him as another bloody beatboxer. Then the lyrics started. He had me at "Yo, where my gerunds at?" Then the swearing started. At that point, I wanted to have his babies.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=fuJw7gx1IsM

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The community OWNZ YouTube

Those who have been paying close attention would know that I christened November "Tube-Vember" due to the large amount of YouTube related activity I had that month. And because I am almost totally unembarrassed by using stupid neologisms.

To summarise: we had a mini-gathering in Melbourne on Nov 15th, I flew to the US for YouTube Live a week later and was in Sydney for the big Australian gathering fo the year the week after that (landed home in Melbourne on Monday). That was a lot crammed into about 2 weeks which ended up feeling like both a long time and a short time.

Long because there was so much activity crammed in there it gave the illusion of much more elapsed time than it really was (this was essentially a year's worth of partying for me crammed into one month). Short because 2 weeks really isn't a very long time. And I would have liked to stretch out the US trip in particular for a month or so.

My one feeling at the end of all this is that it's all about the community. People are fond of bemoaning the lack/death of community in YouTube (I've been know to muse on this myself) but I have to say, the community is alive and well. People who feel like there's no community need to look inwards for the answer rather than outwards. Or better still, piss off as they're clearly part of the problem rather than the solution.

At YouTube Live I met both the high flyers (a significant chunk of the top 20 were there) and the average folk - people I interact with regularly through subscriptions and comments. While it's easy (and a little cheesy) to say the "real" people were the soul of the event I have to say, the "A-listers" I spoke to were universally nice. Even people I didn't "like" were nice. I put "like" in quotes because these were people I didn't actually know but I had formed opinions of them from their activity on YouTube.

I'm still alternately amused, dumbfounded and frustrated with how badly YouTube misses what the community wants. The scale of what they have achieved with a video sharing site would have sounded impossible only a few short years ago and now we take it for granted. They got the hard stuff right and they still don't seem to understand how easy it would be to keep the community happy. And they don't COMMUNICATE! YouTube Live seemed to succeed as a community event despite YouTube rather than because of them.

But still, when I say "OWNZ" I mean the community is the best part of YouTube, not that YouTube has to do whatever some amorphous "community" tells them. YouTube can do whatever they want. Besides, what the community is and what it means will vary from person to person. Communities are like that. It's completely pointless the way some people try to force their interpretation of community on everyone else. Even when they are a part of a community, people remain individuals.

The best advice I can offer is know what you want for yourself and stick to that. If you can't find like minded people then maybe you need to reconsider. Or maybe you simply don't need other people. The idiots who do the bleating about other people not meeting their standards of community behaviour are usually losers that nobody wants to associate with anyway. Leave them to their delusions.

For all its shortcomings, I'll always be grateful for the opportunities YouTube provides. And I know that I'm part of a fucking awesome community.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

My new career

I am seriously working on developing a career change and moving into public speaking - specifically on IT and new media related topics. I picture myself as being the "funny guy" they use to close IT conferences. I've been thinking about this because
(a) I seem to have more first hand knowledge than most people I see presenting, and
(b) I'm a far better speaker than most people I see
And I want some of the money these people are making, dammit! I want to be flown around the world to talk and be treated like I'm an expert! Because I'm shallow that way. I already have some presentation ideas I'm working on:
You're stupid - what to do about it (for management conferences)
Project management - why it's bollocks
IT staff - lazy, overpaid slackers or priceless diamonds you should cherish forever?
Why the latest internet fad is pointless but you should follow it anyway
And a presentation I'd love to give to the music and/or movie business: "You are evil, rapacious scum and your customers will eventually drag you into the street and burn you at the stake"
I'm looking forward to this new career.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Did you miss me?

I feel almost embarrassed at how much I've neglected this blog over the last couple of months. I haven't felt like I've had the right mindset for writing longer pieces and I have this weird thing where I feel that writing shorter pieces is kind of cheating. Which is stupid. I get like that.
Given that I've been posting videos to YouTube almost every day I could simply have posted those here with a bit of commentary. Which I might start doing. Again. But I'm also making plans for a possible career change and writing more would help me develop that. So, in short, there is likely to be much more activity here.
Plus, I'm back from my brief visit to the USA and I didn't get arrested or killed. I have to admit, my paranoia did not subside until I was safely home. At the start of the trip I was simply worried I'd have some nasty run-in with homeland "security" and end up getting kicked out. From then on I was paranoid that I'd lose my gear or myself.
All in all in was a fantastic trip but all too short (3 days in San Francisco and 3 days in Los Angeles). It did fill me with new positivity about YouTube and the people involved. The central part of the trip was going to see "YouTube Live" in San Francisco. The show was actually much better than I expected and everyone I met was really nice - including the people I don't like on YouTube.
I'm not sure if I was star struck or if it was simply sensory overload but being surrounded by a dozen people who each have hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube was a surreal experience. Especially when one of them (Michael Buckley) said he was star struck meeting me.
So I'm going forward with a renewed faith in online "community", feeling creatively charged up and looking for some challenges and new horizons. Watch out, anything could happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

remembrance day

There is a lot of talk in Australia this remembrance day about how Australians place too much importance on the Gallipoli campaign when thinking of World War One and tend to ignore the European campaign that was by far the biggest part of the war. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has caused quite a stir recently on this topic.

This article also has some interesting statistics about Australian troops in WWI:

  • 50,000 served in Gallipoli while 250,000 served in Europe
  • 8,700 died in Gallipoli while 46,000 dies in Europe
  • The fought 8 battles in Gallipoli and 40 in Europe
  • 9 Victoria Crosses were awarded to Australians in Gallipoli and 52 VCs were awarded in Europe
  • The Gallipoli campaign lasted 8 months while the European campaign lasted two and a half years

And perhaps most importantly, Gallipoli was a military disaster while on the Western Front Australians fought under Australian command for the first time and achieved many victories (as much as anything that happened in the horrofic waste of life that was WWI can be called a victory). The AIF only constituted 10% of Allied forces but won 25% of enemy territory, prisoners of war, arms and ammunition. SO it's about time more Australians gave them their due for what they really achieved.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=NOz08MNkwPI]

The quote at the end is from the most famous poem from World War One - "Dulce et Decorum Est"

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Vicar with a potato in his bum

I'm not saying that religious orders specifically attract perverted people. I'm not saying that people who preach morality to others have a disturbing habit of indulging in extreme perversions of their own. But it's really noticeable when it's true.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=WWkrSZ_Yfc8]

An old sketch comedy show in Australia was actually called the Naked Vicar Show - I'm sure they would have had a field day with this. This story has, unsurprisingly, been covered quite a bit in the media. I think my favourite is this collection of stories from The Guardian.

I really don't get people in this situation making up absurd lies - it's obvious what really happened. When you make up appalling lies it makes you untrustworthy as well as kinky.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Dedicated to the disgusting freak at work

As I look back on my history of around 850 blog posts and 750 YouTube videos, I notice a disturbing amount of them are concerned with toilets and/or poo. And I'm not about to stop.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=MMiScJRFSV0]

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Love America

There's an old saying in film making (useful in story telling generally) that goes "Show, don't tell". In short, this means show what's happening in your story rather than explaining it. Having a character actually perform an action is much more powerful than having a narrator describe an action. And this, in short, has been the most frustrating aspect of watching America during the Bush Presidency.
To see Bush over an over again saying one thing and then doing the opposite. To talk about finding those "responsible" for the 9/11 attacks and instead fabricating enemies that suited pre-determined political goals. To talk about making the economy strong when pretty much every action he took fucked things up (and by some miracle the chickens came home to roost BEFORE the election - for the last year or so I though he was going to manage to stave of the economic collapse he had engineered until he was out of office). To hear him talk mindless drivel about "freedoms" while turning America into a police state. A pathetically inefficient, overly-bureaucratic police state at that.
As an outsider it seemed like every fucking lie he peddled was being eagerly swallowed up by a wilfully ignorant populace. It was easy to think Americans had developed a taste for shit sandwiches and couldn't wait to wolf down the next serving. I joked about a year ago when the front running Democrats were a woman and a black man that the Democrats must want to lose. Apparently not :)
That whole American mythology of "anything is possible, anybody can become President" is suddenly a lot harder to disregard. It isn't as if the country (and the rest of the world who are so heavily affected by what happens in the U.S.) are about enter a magical fairyland but this is stunning on so many levels. Seriously Americans, how crazy are you? You can turn 180 degrees from the soul-crushing negativity of the Bush years to one of the most hopeful and inspiring politicians in the world just like that?
And the dude is BLACK! His dad was Muslim! Part of his schooling was in the world's most populous Muslim nation! Holy fuck, whatever pill you people are taking I'll have two!
I have been addressing this campaign quite regularly on YouTube and topic of race has always been part of it. More than one person has had a bit of a dig at me by asking if a black person would be elected leader in Australia. Short answer: no. Slightly longer answer: no fucking way! It's a slightly unfair comparison as we don't have a Presidential system and a Parliamentary system doesn't really allow for a breakout star to rise to Prime Minister in a short space of time. It's possible but far less likely.
But it isn't just that - Australia's indigenous population are by and large treated like shit. Pointing this out is a good way to make lots of non-indigenous Australians very defensive and angry, even people who are largely very reasonable and even progressive. They'll rush to point out welfare and lazy abos burning down their government provided houses and I have learned it's largely impossible to talk to people on the issue if they've made up their mind like that. Seriously, if you're going to go on about how the most downtrodden indigenous race in the world have it so good I see no value in engaging in any conversation.
So you showed the world America. Anything's possible. Hopefully the redemption of the Republican party (and maybe even the rise of third party candidates as a viable option) is also possible. I wonder how long it will take some powerbrokers in the GOP to see the sort of passion Ron Paul (for example) inspired and go "Hey, maybe this hateful shit we've been peddling has run its course - why don't we actually trying standing for something apart from hating people different to us?" With the majorities the Democrats look like having some strong, principled opposition will be vital. Like most political groups, the Democrats have an appalling track record for corruption and ineffectiveness when there's nobody to keep them honest.
Anyway, I'm visiting The US in two weeks (only the dirty, immoral socialist land of California) so I hope y'all are still partying when I get there!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Tube-vember: an angry odyssey

There are so many big things happening around YouTube in November that I'm officially re-naming it Tube-Vember. Shut up, that is not stupid.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OVF2DZsn_4Q]

Dates to remember:

MELBOURNE MINI-GATHERING - Saturday, November 15th at Federation Square from Noon. You don't have to be a video maker or "know someone" to come along. If you just want to meet a few people, say g'day and have a bit of fun feel free to come along!

YOUTUBE LIVE - Saturday November 22nd

SYDNEY AUS ONE GATHERING - Saturday November 29th.

Mr Angry's American Odyssey - I land at San Francisco on Thursday November 20th and I'll be in LA on Monday November 24th until Wednesday November 26th. If you're in/near those places at those time and you know something fun to do and/or you want to catch up - drop me a line.

Friday, October 31, 2008

One Angry Bogan

My mate Daz wants to have words:

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=cuPJs0fL8qA]

Some translations:

Seppo = Septic Tank/Yank/American

Spade work = the ground work you have to do to score a root

Root = intimate relations

Bogan = AKA White trash, Chav

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Listening to my inner voice

I thought I'd share some video rants about work. And how my inner voice helps.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=YoQ0b8joOBw]

Or sometimes doesn't.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=O7BeND2JoNo]

My inner voice is a capricious thing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama - white women are not safe!

OK, I should have pulled my finger out and posted this on Friday while it was still kinda relevant. I don't think I've ever seen an outrageous story debunked so quickly. Mind you, you won't have to go far to find some right wing nutjob or overly-impressionable simpleton who will still wear blind it's true.
I'm talking of course about the mildly wacky McCain supporter who invented an absurd story about being attacked by some black dude who supposedly carved a "B" into her face because he was a "B"arack Obama supporter and she was a John McCain supporter. Not that it's inconceivable in general terms for an attack of that type to occur. White Republicans hardly have a monopoly on being cowardly bullies. It was the specifics that were so absurd.
The story was, in fact, so absurd that for a while I could have been easily convinced that it was a prank and/or satire staged by an Obama supporter. But it appears she really was a McCain campaign worker. By the way, I don't think the McCain campaign had anything to do with this. Their stoking of racist fears is hardly subtle but even they are slightly less insane than this. My personal favourite touch was that the "B" was reversed... kind of what you might do if you were really stupid and looking in a mirror while carving a "B" into your own face.
I believe in mental health circles this is known as "a cry for help".
I found this story on Friday night and couldn't believe the absurdity of it. There was too much material there for me to *not* run with it so I decided to go for a totally overblown satire. Knowing full well some morons would take it at face value. Even though I led the description of the video with "Stupid people don't get satire."
[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=T8kM2KQ-dOI]
And I was also amused by the number of people who rushed to comment in the ensuing hours that the story was untrue. Really? Lucky I had those internet commenters to save me from thinking for myself.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Internet censorship

It's for the children of course.
Last year when an American friend was visiting, he was appalled at how expensive and limited internet access in Australia is. That's OK, I'm appalled too. Because of my YouTube obsession I've gone for basically the fastest service available. It's cable access but the broadband speeds are capped at 25GB. When you're on YouTube and other video sites as much as I am (all right, fine - when you download as much porn as I do) it's dead easy to go over that limit. So much so that I'm constantly monitoring usage so that my connection doesn't get strangled down to dialup speeds.
Oh, and it costs $99 per month.
In other words it sucks. But the new(ish) federal government had promised to go ahead with some much overdue investment in infrastructure so the future was looking brighter. So I was delighted to learn of the government's first major internet initiative. No, wait a minute. Not delighted. What's that other thing I always feel? Oh yeah. Really fucking angry.
Outraged in fact. It seem the government has decided that nobody in Australia is enough of a grownup to deal with all the naughtiness on the internet and so plans to force a mandatory filtering/censorship program on the entire internet.
This is bad on so many level it simply boggles the mind. It's a disturbing level of censorship. It won't work. It will cripple internet speeds that are already shit. And it will be absurdly expensive. And they can talk all the shit they want about "protecting children" and "illegal" content. Any filter they put in place will be trivially easy to get around. But at least they'll have fucked up the internet for law-abiding citizens. Not one iota of difference to criminals but we can't have everything, can we?
This has been my venting topic of the week on YouTube. Here's the ranty version of my thoughts:
[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=j23gK2r525g]
And here's my more rational take on the topic:
[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=eXSvzvQC5v0]
I've been recommending concerned Australians support the EFA and make some noise themselves. It might be an horrific Big Brother/nanny state/police state nightmare we facing but at least we can have a laugh about it as well.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama - who is he really?

Thanks to despair.com here's the answer loud and clear:

Barack Hussein Obama
I am totally over the idiocy, paranoia and hatred being spewed by the anti-Obama camp. And not that I feel like giving any ground to the fucwits who have been drooling this shit but I will clarify the "racist" remark. Of course not everyone who isn't voting for Obama is a racist. But everyone pushing the "terrorist" innuendo and outright smears is either an ignorant, racist fuck or is an evil, soulless, lying sack of shit who is pandering to ignorant, racist fucks.
And speaking of pandering, I don't think people are cutting John McCain enough slack for the way he's tried to calm down the rhetoric at his rallies recently. I saw the video and he seemed to be suffering actual physical pain at the way he had to repeatedly tell people Obama was trustworthy and decent and not some baby eating demon or, worse, an arab. He knows he fucked up and he's decided to take some responsibility for it. Maybe a little late but not near as late as he could have left it.
The big question for me is why did he do it? He's clearly done a 180 degree flip from what he was doing only a week earlier. My theory is that he's looked at the numbers and realised he's going to lose the election. He followed the advice of the evil, ruthless bastards in the GOP machine and gave up all of his standards and sank into the gutter. He followed the advice of the same people who fucked him over with their lies in the 2000 primary race. And it didn't work.
I think he's changed course just so he can live with himself. He spent months abandoning any principles he had in his lust to win. He gave up his soul and got nothing in return. And who knows, this last ditch decency strategy might win him back a few moderates. But given that is really is nothing but the barest standards of decency after months of lies, smears and hate mongering it's almost certainly too little, too late.
At least it shows he hasn't totally passed over into the dark side. He has at least vestigal remnants of human decency. He never deserved to be fucked over by his own party - his time was in 2000. It's too late now. He's too old, too unwell, his judgement is clearly shot and the choice of Sarah Palin as VP is a disgusting insult to the American people. Given the chances of him dying in office are about 110% (with a 10% margin of error in that figure) Palin has to be seen as a Presidential nomination. And neither America nor the world would survive that.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Injury Stories

What was I thinking? I decided to tell a story of the worst injury I ever received - way back in the dark ages when I was in school:

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=1TlVpOLfExo]

Telling a story like that is nothing unusual but I asked people to tell their injury story in return. So now I've spent a few hours being grossed out by people's comments. If you have a strong stomach, check them out yourself:

http://au.youtube.com/comment_servlet?all_comments&v=1TlVpOLfExo&fromurl=/watch%3Fv%3D1TlVpOLfExo

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Obama should have punked McCain

Well, it looks another presidential debate passed by without changing much. From what I've read, these debates rarely have an influence on election outcomes but these ones seem even less likely to as nothing decisive seems to be happening in them.
Interestingly, I've seen a few commentators being fascinated by CNN's use of real time reaction measurement by giving "undecided" voters a box with a dial to twiddle and translating the results into a moving line. It's isn't that I want to deride CNN's cutting edge widgets but we've had that crap for ages in Australia - over a decade, I think. We call it the worm.
The most interesting thing I read about the debate was that McCain apparently deigned to look at Obama this time. I personally think Obama should have punked him as they went to shake hands. I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have laugh if, at the critical point, instead of shaking hands Obama suddenly lunged at McCain as if he was going to hit him just to see McCain flinch.
White guys ALWAYS jump when black guys do that - even if the black guy is a lifelong friend. I'm not saying I find it inherently funny when obnoxious old men shriek like a little girl, fall over and shit their pants. OK, I am saying that's funny. Comedy gold.
C'mon Obama, there's on more debate. Don't let me down!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sarah Palin supporters: shut the fuck up!

I don't know where I got the idea that being reasonable was a good idea. About a month ago, I posted here and on YouTube that I was done with commenting on the GOP campaign in the US presidential race, largely because it depressed me too much (I also noticed upon re-reading that piece that I was talking about if the US economy implodes - I certainly take no pleasure in seeing that part come true). I was even conciliatory to Republicans generally, noting that they have every right to have different opinions and values to me and that doesn't, in and of itself, make them evil or stupid.
Well fuck that. I call bullshit on myself. At this point, the only people still actively supporting Palin fall into one of two camps:
Evil, soulless win-at-any-costs party hacks who couldn't give a flying fuck how much their reckless actions fuck up the world
Slack jawed zombies who lack the basic fucking mental capacity to process the simple fact that Palin is horrifically incapable of fulfilling the requirements of senior executive office
In either case, fuck being reasonable to these people. The sort of stupid responses I have received (particularly on YouTube - big surprise) from the mouth-breathing fuckwits that are still supporting her have clearly shown me that being reasonable is a waste of my time. If these whining little bitches are going to fling insults when I'm being conciliatory then I'll give them something to be worked up over.
I'm still not going to waste my intellectual or emotional energy on them. But I'm going to have a fuck of a good time taunting them. These people are pond scum. They either know they are lying and continue to do so in a completely shameless way or they are too fucking stupid to realise they are regurgitating blatant lies that anyone with an IQ over 75 can see right through. Either way, I'm not wasting my time with logic or debate with these fucking animals. You need at least some basic intelligence or basic integrity for there to be any value in that approach and these slavering hellspawn are utterly devoid of either.
What's fun is that no matter how clear I make it that I'm not interested in their fucked up opinions they'll still bleat. They are too fucking stupid to see the idiocy of their own position and they are too fucking stupid to realise that people are sick of putting up with them. Their aggrieved whining at being told to shut the fuck up is music to my ears. They are so horrifically self-absorbed they are utterly incapable of conceiving of a universe that doesn't place them at its centre. Not even a shovel smacked square in their face would get through to them. Although I'm willing to try.
With an increasing parade of actual conservatives deserting the sham conservatism of the McCain/Palin ticket (often because of Palin) it's obvious what the result of the impending elections needs to be. For the Republicans to lose is not enough - they need to be crushed. At every level of the elections: Presidential, senate and congressional. For the good of the world, America and even the Republican party itself they need to be utterly crushed. The hateful and destructive behaviour pushed by the neocons needs to be relegated to history so the Republican party can actually regain its integrity.
Ron Paul has shown there are still Republicans with integrity. I think he's too old (and possibly too crazy) to run in a future election but hopefully his example will inspire the future direction of the GOP. I'll still disagree with them on most issues but at least I'll be able to respect them.
So yeah, I won't be wasting any of my time or energy on subtle, nuanced political discourse. But I'll sure as hell enjoy yanking the chain of anyone who stupid and/or fucked enough to continue to insist Sarah Palin is anything but the most cynical joke ever inflicted on the American populace. It's time for Sarah Palin supporters to shut the fuck up.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Me losing my shit

Every now and then I really cut loose in a video for the sheer cathartic joy of it. This is one of those times. In this video I offer conclusive scientific evidence that haters are morons and you shouldn't let them bother you.


[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=xC8mQzjpNNc]


This rant actually went on for quite a while and I cut a chunk out for time saving purposes. Then the video was extremely popular on YouTube so I decided to upload the excised portion (I also think it sand up quite well on its own:


[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=8lX_TH3Fcs4]


People often say things like isn't getting that angry bad for your blood presure? In a word -no. This power of catharsis is a great way to lower stress levels. I recommend it to everyone.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inggers and coons in Australia

Inflammatory, who - me?

That'sa actually a strictly factual description of the imortant news story covered in this video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BVGsD0ZeTQ]

A totally true story!

I thought YouTube were censoring this at first because of the title but I guess something must have just gone wrong with the first upload. I bet a few people will be surprised to hear of the existence of a "Nigger" Brown stand and Coon cheese in every supermarket.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This pig needs lipstick

That heading ought to get the Sarah Palin freak squad all wound up. Relax, you uptight dickheads! I'm talking about a pig that actually matters today - Bruce the giant pig.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=SahzvpievwQ]

I swear this story is true. There are even pictures!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Angry Venn Diagram

I am often asked how I decide what to write and/or do videos on. Well the thought process is a complex one. It is executed with mathematical precision. With that in mind, I present the Angry Venn Diagram:

angry venn diagram
angry venn diagram

I do like to offend people but I have to offend the just right!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Campaign advice for John McCain

I've decided I need to be more even-handed when looking at the US Presidential Election. With that in mind, John McCain needs some help. And I'm just the man to give him the advice he so desperately needs.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=-c6nW40ABm4]

Never let it be said that I don't help people out when I get the chance.

Friday, September 19, 2008

This might seem familiar

I've been doing my old trick of using blog posts as scripts for YouTube videos. So these might seem familiar but I hope you enjoy them. This one is me taking this piss out of a job advertisement (thanks to the readers whose lines I used/adapted):

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=EJP3ats7AxE]

And this one is me going off about angry disabled people. This really seemed to touch of some seething resentment against disabled people among YouTube commenters as well.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=9_vwv5eoeVw]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Angry disabled people

Having a run-in with an angry disabled person is a weird experience. If an able-bodied person gets up in my face over something it's rare that I won't lash out straight back at them. But with a disable person, that feels kind of... wrong. Even for me. A couple of examples:
I was going through a doorway at a shopping mall when two guys were walking out at the same time. It was a fairly wide doorway so I didn't see much problem. You know how when you're passing someone you do that thing where you turn slightly to the side pulling your shoulder out of the way so there's more room for each of you? Well I did that as I passed and everything would have been fine if the other guy had done the same thing.
Except he didn't. So we smacked shoulders fairly hard. And he had the nerve to go off at me and start swearing when he was the one who made no effort to get out of the way. So I turned and was about to tear into him when I realised why he was so pissed off. It turns out he's blind. The second guy was guiding him by holding his elbow so the blind dud didn't have to use a cane or a dog to get around. He was wearing dark glasses but I figure we was a wanker who wore his sunglasses inside.
With the help of his friend the blind guy was able to walk confidently and quickly. Which was the whole problem. He was so confident I had no idea he was blind. So it was all his fault for not being more obviously disabled. He should have been more blind.
Another case: there's a guy in a motorised wheelchair in my neighbourhood and he has a very bad attitude. He also seems to have supercharged his wheelchair because I've never seen one as fast as his. He also drives it on the road a lot - I'm guessing that's because he wouldn't be able to open it up full throttle on the footpath. Plus he gets to vent his frustration at the world.
Again, I'm guessing that's his motivation. He's pissed off at his life and is more or less daring the cars to end it. He's faster than pedestrians but slower than cars and he's also hard to see when you're driving and he's zipping in and out all over the place so I don't think it's a stretch to say he's at least passively suicidal.
At first I thought he was a jerk. Then I thought about it and realised that given the lot life has dealt him, being pissed off at everyone and everything is a reasonable response. I know if I ended up in a wheelchair I'd be the angriest motherfucker around. I'd run over people's toes and if they complained I'd back over their foot just to make a point.
"HEY! What are you complaining about? I'm in a fucking wheelchair here! You could drive a fucking truck over my feet and I wouldn't feel a damn thing! Count yourself lucky that it hurts when I run over you. Now leave me a lone you working-leg-having motherfucker!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Taking the PIS

Looking through job ads sometimes depresses me because of the way they commonly spout mumbo-jumbo jargon as if it actually means something. It leaves me wanting to grab the next recruiter who uses the phrase "leverage core competencies" and leverage their core competencies straight down their fucking throat.
But sometimes the job ads make me laugh. Usually because I have a very juvenile sense of humour. Case in point: today I saw an ad for a Process Improvement Specialist in a government department. This caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it's the type of work I do. Second, it was a one year contract with the government that sounded like a complete boondoggle. Hide away in some massive bureaucracy and charge massive consultant fees for a year. Payday!
But most importantly, the acronym for the job title was PIS. Did I mention the part about me being juvenile? I wondered if I'd be able to resist saying in a job interview that the job sounded like a piece of piss?
But if I was going to interview, I'd need to come up with the right jargon. Government departments love their jargon. I considered saying that I thought the role of the Process Improvement Specialist would be to Facilitate the Adoption of Revolutionary Thinking in the department. But they probably spend all their time PIS-FARTing around already and don't need my help for that.
I also cogitated that the PIS might promote Widespread Enterprise Application Knowledge. But that sounded a bit PIS-WEAK. I'm sure somebody can help me with some other ideas.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spring is in the air

We had our first nice spring weather this weekend in melbourne so I took full advantage of it. And I like to share. Not that I'm gloating but if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, this means your summer is just about done. And damn I like my new camera.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=jDoLYH8X43o&fmt=18]

I also uploaded this video to a site called Vimeo where it looks better. Check it out:

[vimeo 1727690]

Friday, September 12, 2008

Last text message from Anne Frank

I’m planning on doing a video of my blog post from yesterday (often they way I do things) and they way I develop my videos is often I play the performance about over and over in my head to get a sense of what delivery will work best. Now you know one of my secrets. In fact, my grilfriend can tell when I’m planning something because I walk around gesturing and mouthing words. I have to be careful not to do that at work. People already think I’m crazy enough.
Anyway, I was thinking about how to play out my “tips for using the internet effectively” points. And I was thinking of ways to imagine historical figures using modern technology. And I imagined Anne Frank’s last text message:
THE NZIS WIL NVR FIND ME! THEY R SO LAME! LOL!
I’m a bad, bad person.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kids today

I was just reading an article titled "On Stupidity" which in general terms is one of a long line of essays and books bemoaning the decline of intellectualism. The article is written by an American Professor of English (I feel for the guy, it must suck being an academic in America these days) and he touches all the usual bases regarding the problems he sees with new students.
It was, however, refreshing how positive his conclusion was. I was fully expecting this to be another "kids today" moan but he acknowledges that young people for all their perceived shortcomings may actually be better prepared for the rapid changes facing the world. This was a relief because I hate it when people reflexively blame everything on young people. I hated it when I was a kid and I hate it now.
If you could find the oldest writings in antiquity, I swear it would be complaining about kids at some point. Daubed on a cave wall somewhere are marking that were the maker's way of saying "What the hell is wrong with kids today? They've got no respect, they never listen and don't even get me started on that noise they call music!" Every single generation has copped this shit and every generation of adults think they have a harder time with kids than the generation before.
The article provides a handy checklist of the shortcomings the Professor sees with his incoming students:
Primarily focused on their own emotions — on the primacy of their "feelings" — rather than on analysis supported by evidence.
Uncertain what constitutes reliable evidence, thus tending to use the most easily found sources uncritically.
Convinced that no opinion is worth more than another: All views are equal.
Uncertain about academic honesty and what constitutes plagiarism. (I recently had a student defend herself by claiming that her paper was more than 50 percent original, so she should receive that much credit, at least.)
Unable to follow or make a sustained argument.
Uncertain about spelling and punctuation (and skeptical that such skills matter).
Hostile to anything that is not directly relevant to their career goals, which are vaguely understood.
Increasingly interested in the social and athletic above the academic, while "needing" to receive very high grades.
Not really embarrassed at their lack of knowledge and skills.
Certain that any academic failure is the fault of the professor rather than the student.
Like I said, his conclusion is very balanced otherwise I'd be kind of pissed off by what looks like a "same old, same old" list of complaints. But I would make two points about that list. First, as I look around me, that list isn't the problem with young people, it's the problem with people! Look at the debacle the "debate" going on around the US Presidential elections is descending into if you don't believe me. Young people definitely aren't responsible for that bullshit.
Second, kids don't exactly have a lot of power over the path they follow to get to university. Kids don't run the schools that fail to provide them with a better education. Kids don't run the media that is consistently doing a disgustingly effective job of dumbing down public discourse. And kids definitely don't run the governments that seem hell bent on fucking up anything and everything that might possibly make things better.
The complaints about digital media and the internet dumbing everything down really shit me to tears. The powers that be are terrified of the idea of information getting out of their control. The internet is one of the most powerful tools for the dissemination of knowledge that humanity has seen. The fact that is can be used to spread trivialities and lies is not the fault of the internet, it's the fault of people pushing lies and trivia.
Like every generation, kids aren't failing they are being failed. Instead of obsessing that the internet is teaching kids to skim and they're losing their ability to explore ideas in depth, educators and parent need involve the internet in the learning process. And for that to work, us old people have to work! It's pathetic to think in a world that is changing so fast education has to be locked into old ways of learning. The idea that the internet can't provide depth is flat out ridiculous. With one click on a search engine you can find thousands of references for any topic. It just requires a little creative thinking to come up with ways to explore depth.
Try these:
Use a search engine to research a topic. You have to use at least three different sources. You can't use anything that shows up in the first 50 search results.
Instead of saying you can't use Wikipedia because it's unreliable (a common restriction), use Wikipedia but you have to reference the talk page for each topic. Explore the conflicts/differences of opinion that are creating edits. Find other sources that back up the conflicting points of view.
Translate a classical text (poem, prose or play) into txt abbreviations and emoticons. Discuss what bits of meaning get lost in the translation. Do you think you can bring through the themes more clearly by using txt and/or emoticons?
Write a MySpace/Facebook/blog for a famous historical or fictional character.
Find someone (a journalist/academic/politician/pundit/blogger) you disagree with but you can still respect what they say/write. Explain why you find yourself able to respect someone's intelligence and/or honesty while still disagreeing with them.
Wow, why am I giving this stuff away? I should be charging some government department a fortune for saving the future like this. If you're a local teacher feel free to invite me in to run a session in your classroom. Actually, no. Don't invite me into a classroom. I'm sure one or both of us would end up being arrested. But feel free to use any of these ideas. I'd love to hear stories of any of them in action.
If you want to see a horrible yet funny vision of a constantly dumbed-down future, watch the movie Idiocracy. It may well be a documentary that slipped through a crack in space/time caused by the Large Hadron Collider. But if things turn out that bad, it won't be the fault of successive younger generations. It will be the fault of successive older generations who fail their children.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Heroin is fun

Heroin is fun*. It really is.
By which I mean, revulsion and fear regarding heroin use are so strong in so many people that even mentioning heroin tends to provoke a strong response. Also, not everyone shares my sense of humour.
Case in point: at work I'm getting one of my many drinks of high-caffeine cola I require to make it through a day. A drone cow-orker feels compelled to comment that this is an unhealthy thing to drink. I get really fucking sick of this type of comment. Usually I'd pretty much ignore it but I decided to respond.
"Well, given that I actually have very few bad habits I think I'll survive. I don't smoke and I rarely drink alcohol so let me have this vice."
She seems prepared to stop with the unwanted platitudes at this point so I probably should have left well enough alone. But she really annoyed me. So I followed up with:
"In fact, if it wasn't for the heroin I'd be leading quite a clean lifestyle."
This little throwaway line leads what I will charitably call an uncomfortable silence. She's staring at me with a look that seems to be equal parts shock, horror, revulsion and pity. I could do without the pity.
The first thought that goes through my head is "She can't possibly think that was anything but a joke. She doesn't have to think it's a funny joke but she must know it's a joke." Then I think about it for a while and realise this is the sort of unimaginative lump who gets all their "information" from nightly current affairs tabloid shows. She is clearly waiting for me to grow horns.
In situations like this, my mind tends to go a hundred miles an hour. I mentally run through multiple scenarios of how this could play out in seconds. None of the scenarios I was imagining were ending well. Every variation of "It was a joke!" had me looking like a junkie in denial. Or maybe a junkie who was getting agitated because he was strung out and in need of a hit.
Then the evil part of my brain took over. The part that thinks it's funny to fuck with repressed people. Hey, whispered my evil brain, if she's gonna treat that obvious joke seriously then go the whole way. Freak her the fuck out. Say something about "watch out for used syringes near my desk". Ask her if she can loan you some money. Or just roll your eyes and then collapse.
That last one started to sound real good. It would have a double bonus of scaring the cow-orker and I wouldn't have to finish the conversation. I could just lie on the floor until she ran away. Approximately three nanonseconds before I put this plan into action she backed out of the kitchen. I didn't hear running but it's distinctly plausible that she was sprinting for safety as soon as she was out of sight.
In retrospect, if you've just told someone you're using heroin, staring at them glassy-eyed until they leave the room isn't the best way to convince them you were joking.
*NOTE: This is not an endorsement of using heroin. If you're stupid enough to think it is then you're too fucking stupid to accept this disclaimer. Let's just go with "I'm a horrible and irresponsible person". And fuck you.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Melbourne graffiti history at gasworks

I teamed up a little while ago with another local who's heavily into the graffiti scene. I've posted lots of videos in the past showing the graffiti around Melbourne but I don't really know any detail about the scene. The guy you'll see in this video goes by the name DurtCityDestroyers on YouTube and he's running a gallery show at a gallery called Gasworks (ut's housed in an old gasworks building) that details the history of the Melbourne graffiti scene.

I'll warn you up front, this guy doesn't stop moving - he's stuck on permanent fast forward!

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=RT1EtM-tJrE]

Oh, and I have no idea what the story is with the bloke in the helmet. Durt said he would explain it to me but I haven't heard from him recently. For anyone in Melbourne looking for something to do, the gallery launch is this Tuesday:

"Grassroots - an urban arts experience"
Gasworks Foyer Gallery
9th Sept - 20th Sept 2008
Launch on Tuesday 9th September 7pm - 9pm

Friday, September 05, 2008

Politics

I don't think I can bring myself to make much more comment on the GOP election campaign. The cynicism of nominating Sarah Palin for VP pretty much indicated the contempt they have for the whole process but the last few days of speeches have made it abundantly clear. I am absolutely at a loss for how to respond to the lies upon lies upon lies being spewed by the neocons and they way their vomit is being eagerly lapped up by their fanatical followers.
Look, I get that the evangelicals who form a small but inordinately powerful section of the Republican base don't respond to logic. They want god, god, god and most seem incapable of understanding that there are bigger and more important issues. In fact I'm sure that they are mortally shocked that I consider the possibility of anything being more important than their imaginary friend in the sky.
I also get that there's a core of the party that couldn't consider voting Democrat no matter what. I truly understand that. To be honest, I don't think I could ever vote for a socially conservative party no matter what else was going on.
I also get that there are people who aren't fanatically aligned to the Republican Party but on balance, they honestly feel that the policies most likely to be implemented by a Republican administration will be of most benefit to them personally and/or the country generally. People have different value systems. I get that. Intelligent people can disagree. This doesn't by definition make them stupid or evil.
But I am beyond disgusted by the behaviour of the people forming the public face of the Republican party. It is one thing to be partisan. It is one thing to attempt to spin things in your favour. But these people are fucking liars. Scum-sucking, shit-eating utterly contemptible lying sacks of shit. If you don't watch The Daily Show follow this link to see some video of these lying bastards directly contradicting themselves.
They straight up 100% contradict themselves. They describe a set of circumstances one way when it applies to Obama (for instance) and they describe the exact same circumstances in a 100% contradictory way when it applies to a Republican (usually Palin). These people are contemptible fucking scum. I am so fucking angry about this.
This is not even put on the Mr Angry mask and make a ranty video type of angry. Every time I play that possibility out in my head I come up with dozens of good lines to scream at the top of my lungs. But it's too serious for that. It frightens the fuck out of me that people do not get how serious this is.
And don't get me started on the stupid bastards who say "You don't live in America - you're not allowed to have an opinion about our president." First off - fuck you! Second, how can someone be oblivious to the impact American politics has on the world? Worse still, the sort of fuckwit who usually goes on about foreigners not having a right to comment is usually the same fuckwit who actively advocates military attacks on anyone they disagree with. Third, if the US economy tanks, the rest of the world gets hit hard. And Bush and the neocons have done their level best to utterly fuck the US economy and lie through their teeth while doing it. It astonishes me the degree of ignorance that exists regarding just how close to total collapse the US economy is.
Also, you guys are our fucking allies! It really hurts to see a country you want to support being led into some truly vile actions by an administration that has devolved into outright criminal behaviour. It's like watch a woman who repeatedly goes back to an abusive partner or seeing a friend slowly kill themselves with alcohol or drugs.
The small saving grace is I don't think it's going to work this time. I think the neocons have been lying for so long about so many things and getting away with it, they don't know any different. But I think enough of the American public is sick of this bullshit. Maybe I'm deluding myself. But I hope enough people are sick of the havoc wrought by Bush, the lies spun by the neocons and the negativity of these fanatical right wingers to kick the republicans in the arse. Hard.
There is a small glimmer of hope that at least some of the media are sick of running blatant Republican lies without questioning them. Time will tell if they actually have any balls or they will run scared at the predictable and patently false claim of "liberal bias".
The false reality being pedalled by the GOP, the blatant lies that are so easily provable as lies, stuns me. I have to assume that enough Americans see through this bullshit. Because we're all fucked if they don't.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Lloyd's is pants

For those who don't know, some incredibly polite people in England use "pants" as an insult. It essentially means rubbish or stupid. In the context of this story, a particular gentleman decided to express his displeasure with his bank, Lloyd's, by setting his account password to "Lloyd's is pants".

And then Lloyds decided to show just how pants they could be...

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=G1ojZbRm74g]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Vice President

I wonder how much longer John McCain can delay announcing his vice-presidential running mate? Clearly he's going to wait until the Democratic convention is over now but I wonder if he'll wait until just before the Republican convention? I did a bit of online checking and people have been predicting the announcement (and getting it wrong) for over a month now. The hot prediction now seems to be Friday the 29th of August with the reasoning being that it will take some of the steam out of the focus placed on Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination.
Oh, and I think Friday might also be McCain's 125th birthday.
It's clear he needs something to make him appear exciting and newsworthy. The Democratic convention has been marked by a series of high quality speeches and that isn't turf on which McCain can compete. It's actually quite painful to watch him try and appear interesting and then compare that to an Obama speech. Obama is without a doubt one of the most inspiring speakers in the modern world. And you know what? If being inspired doesn't matter to you, I don't give a shit.
No, really. Save it. I don't give a shit what you think.
I wonder how nervous it makes McCain to have to follow Obama? Seriously, having to compete with someone who's young, charismatic, eloquent and inspirational when you're a barely animated corpse can't make you feel good. Oh, and John? Stop smiling. I mean it. You're scaring the children. And the adults. That scary death's head rictus that you force out on the advice of your handlers does not humanise you. It makes it look like you're thinking of eating babies.
I want him to hurry up and announce his running mate because whoever becomes Vice-President is without doubt going to become President. Let's not fool ourselves, neither of these candidates are going to survive a term in office. The Feds may have decided the meth heads saying they were going to shoot Obama didn't actually have the mental capacity to carry out their threat but does anyone doubt there's a long line of crazy crackers with guns who refuse to accept the possibility of a nigger running the country? And McCain is looking like a bad re-run of "Weekend at Bernie's". There's no way he'd survive the stresses of office.
So we're looking at the most important Vice-Presidential picks in history. They aren't people who might become President if something happens to their boss, they will move into the big chair when something happens. The reaction to Biden in unsurprising. Some people love him, some people hate him. He seems to have attached his name to some good policies and some bad policies. He certainly has a reputation for mouthing off and being a loose cannon but he also seems to have a good track record of speaking truth to power.
Frankly, the method of attack employed by the Republicans has surprised me in it's stupidity. Biden's a bad choice because he's criticised Obama before. Really? Is there a Republican who hasn't hung shit on McCain at some point? They're practically writing the democrat's attack plan for them. I'm sure the Republicans had scripts of talking points worked out for every possible nominee. They're very good at talking points. Far less useful at actually doing something helpful for the country (and the world).
I think they've been so successful in their manipulation of the media they've become complacent. They continue to treat the public like morons by regurgitating clich├ęs completely lacking in substance because they've gotten away with it so many times. I'm desperately hoping that the American public gives them they wake up call they deserve.
[youtube=
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=naxXOjHJgGU]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I don't like the look of you

Have you ever been in that weird situation where you have to work with someone who looks like someone you don't like? I'm facing that at the moment, by which I mean there's a guy at work who bears a striking resemblance to a person (from the online world) I can't stand. They aren't twins by any means but the guy at work could easily be the younger brother of the online troll.
This has two unfortunate effects. First, every time I pass this guy at work I'm reminded of a fuckwit I'd rather not waste time thinking about. Second, every time he says something I have to fight the urge to respond "What the fuck would you know? You're just some pathetic troll who wastes his days attacking people who are actually trying to do something worthwhile!"
I have a suspicion that were I actually to make that outburst, it would be a career-limiting move.
It actually reminds of a situation I had years ago in a shared house where I really, really, REALLY didn't like one of my housemates. It was pointed out to me that this housemate bore a striking resemblance to the actor Charles Dance. This proved to be a very interesting discovery to make because it turns out Charles Dance gets killed in nearly every movie he's in.
He goes in a satisfying variety of ways too. Sometimes he's shot, other times he's stabbed, blown up, eviscerated by an alien or falls to his death. Hell, in one movie he even had a statue dropped on him. It's incredibly cathartic to watch a convincing stand-in for someone you don't suffer a cavalcade of painful deaths.
This guy actually went from being a source of depression to a major source of entertainment. Any time he acted like a total dick (usually several times a week) the situation could be remedied by whacking on a Charles Dance movie. Followed by a long household discussion on our favourite way to see him die.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

George Bush - president for life

[youtube=
Anyone familiar with my videos will know I'm usually quick to dismiss conspiracy theories as stupid paranoia so you may need some explanation for this video. The dialogue comes from the web site of a group called "Family Security Matters". They're a bunch of right wing nutbags who apparently think the US should nuke anyone who disagrees with them and that George Bush should declare martial law to make himself President for life and ultimately Emperor of the world. Oh, and they have direct links with Dick Cheney.

When their little piece of freakazoid propaganda got wide circulation they were apparently surprised to learn that the majority of the population thought they were fucking nuts. They took the article down after seeing the response but not before a number of websites copied the information.

And if you still think this is paranoid, you might want to look into the presidential order that allows Bush to declare martial law and suspend the constitution.

Personally, I'm working on the assumption none of this crazy shit will come to pass and the coming elections will pass without incident. But I wish they'd hurry up and happen so this nagging fear would go away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I call bullshit on U2

There's a story doing the rounds that claims some new U2 tracks have been inadvertently leaked and found their way online. The way it's being reported, Bono was playing the tracks so loud in his French villa that a passer by was able to record them.

I call bullshit.

We're expected to believe that the record company and presumably the band want to guard these tracks so closely that they've demanded the low quality recordings be removed from where they have appearedonline. But at the same time we're expected to believe that Bono is stupid enough to have these top secret tracks blaring out his window at full volume. Actually, anyone trying to convince meBono is stupid is in with a chance.

This is a viral marketing campaign, pure and simple. It's been a while since the news of U2 releasing music was likely to set the world on fire. But come up with a clever angle: "Wooo, illicit! You can't have that!" and the media are all over it and giving them heaps of publicity.

I'm not saying it isn't effective marketing. I'm just not sure lying to your core audience is a good long-term strategy.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=c2oufRpJfk0]

Monday, August 18, 2008

Internet self-analysis

I've commented/joked before that the internet is essentially the largest human behavioural research laboratory in history. I sincerely hope there are a few PhDs being worked on that analyse the group dynamic we see at play here every day. I'm sure some great truth about the human condition is waiting to be illuminated.
While being immersed in the horror that is the internet is more than enough to make you completely lose faith in human nature, taking a breath now again and stepping back can be very helpful. Even the worst, most infuriating behaviour from morons can help you learn something if looked at from the appropriate angle.
For instance, people's tendency to slip into paranoia and conspiracy theories freaks me right out. From high end 9/11 "truth" whackjobs to the insane conclusions people leap to when interacting on sites like Facebook or YouTube. There are days when I think the majority of the planet have their brains set to a default "crazy" setting - it's the only explanation for the leaps some people make.
It would be one thing if it was only paranoid schizophrenics having conversations with the saucer people who made these crazed dives into deep chasms of illogicality. But perfectly rational people (or people who are good at covering a lot of the time) will frequently indulge in paranoid responses to perfectly straightforward situations. One example is they way people respond to a glitch YouTube has been having recently.
I suspect this actually coincides with the last "upgrade" to Flash as YouTube (like most video sites) uses a Flash player for their videos. Whatever the source, this bug has gone unfixed for way too long (at least a month) What happens is that videos frequently fail to play. When you click "Play" you see a little spinny thing that suggests the video is loading but nothing ever loads - the screen goes black.
Actually, not quite nothing. YouTube make it worse by displaying an incorrect error message: "The video you have requested is no longer available." Speaking as someone who occasionally takes on controversial topics, I am frequently receiving comments along the lines of "OMG what did you say? They've taken the video down! Big Brother is silencing free speech!" Well, no actually. It's just a shitty site with a shitty glitch.
But a LOT of people leap straight to a paranoid conclusion. I've learned to be less stunned by people's tendency to descend into paranoia. Besides, with the US Government making it clear they're indulging in wholesale surveillance of the entire population, CCTV cameras on every street corner in the UK and an internet overrun with idiotic trolls determined to fuck up your enjoyment of life, paranoid may as well be the new normal.
And then there's the tendency of people to lie. Most rational people have a healthy suspicion of authority figures and the media. Great pronouncements of truth have a disturbing tendency to turn out to be self-serving lies. And the internet has been a valuable tool in exposing many of these lies that would have otherwise escaped detection.
Mind you, the internet is also obviously a massive source of the most outrageous lies imaginable. And a horrifyingly efficient distributor of lies. Like most people, I spent a lot of time being appalled at the most egregious lies being circulated. I've spent time trying to debunk some of them. But you know what? Sometimes it's enough to take away the lesson "Wow, a lot of people tell lies. A lot of the time."
I'd love to tear down the houses of lies that the politicians live in. I'd love to expose the venal media hacks who lazily and shamelessly circulate these lies without applying any critical analysis. And I'd really love to make the gutless scumfucks on the internet take responsibility for the vicious lies they peddle. But I can't. There's too many of them. Accepting that simple fact can be incredibly liberating.
I see people lie about petty, trivial things all the time. I see people tell lies that are absurdly easy to prove are lies. Not differences of opinion, not misrepresentations, not mistakes. Deliberate, premeditated, calculated lies. And when so many people do this over completely meaningless things, how much more likely is someone to lie when there is something serious on the line? As much as the liars I've been confronted with online sicken me, they've helped me by ensuring my bullshit detectors are usually turned up to 11.
Just because it's on the front page of the New York Times doesn't mean it isn't a lie.
So the downsides of the internet have actually helped me balance my worldview. Learning those things about human behaviour is helpful. But a helpful lesson I frequently forget is that it can tell a lot about me too. How I respond to negativity can be a very good indication of how balanced my mindset is.
The worst of the negativity is always on YouTube. While I have had the occasional stupid troll on this blog, they're few and far between compared to the cavalcade of idiots on YouTube. I strongly suspect this is because interacting on a blog required the reading and the reading is more challenging than the looking YouTube requires of you. Don't get me wrong - I love the looking. But there's no denying the reading requires an additional level of commitment.
My reactions to YouTube trolls have varied wildly over the last two years, something that may well have a relationship to my mood swings over the same period. I've gone from grinding them into the ground, trading insult for insult until they give up, to having zero tolerance and deleting abusive comments instantly and blocking the worst offenders. At the moment I'm leaning more towards block/delete but indulging in the occasional slugfest when it seems funny.
But I'm very conscious of how much it consumes of my mental and emotional energy. Case in point: a little while ago, there was a particular YouTube dweeb who was really pissing me off. He was going the whole way, indulging in truly insane conspiracy theories about the motivations of myself and other people, telling pathetically obvious lies that weren't even worth debunking. And he would not shut the fuck up.
I spent a bus ride to work thinking of a way to get back at him and came up with quite a good idea for a video. I never go after individual people in videos so this would have been going after his sort of stupidity generally rather than him specifically. But it would have been obvious that I was going after him. And that made me pause.
While I have a lot of fun going after the hater mentality I've been careful not to make it about them. When I have a go at haters it isn't from some deluded idea that I'll make them change - it's a message of support to the other victims of their stupidity. Giving someone the message that they aren't being attacked because they've done something wrong, they're being attacked because their attacker is a fucking moron can really make a difference. It's easier to bear stupidity when you have a sense of solidarity with other decent people.
So I didn't make the video. Yet. I'm still going to make it because it's a bloody funny idea (IMHO) and I think people will enjoy it. But it needs more distance so it's about me doing something funny rather than simply me biting back at someone who pissed me off. The moment I made that decision was incredibly liberating. A huge amount of stress left me when I realised I wasn't letting this mentality control me.
And I didn't even have to say anything to the fuckwit in question. Because they don't count. That is something that I really hope decent people understand. Sometimes, not responding is the most powerful thing you can do. Because then you're living life on your terms, not theirs.
Living well really is the best revenge.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Angry motivational message

Tomorrow is Monday. I'm going to need some motivation. Maybe you will too.

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=RuIJUH8DDjA]

Just call me the angry Anthony Robbins.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Vloggerheads

I'm experimenting with a new site called Vloggerheads. It's been started by some people who cut their teeth on YouTube and while I can't actually speak for the founders the intention seems to actually learn from what's gone wrong on YouTube. And by "wrong" I mean wrong from the point of view of users who create original content. This is an attempt to create a site that actually serves the community of people that create the videos on it.

It's kind of ironic because this site wouldn't exist without the success of YouTube but it's the very scale of YouTube's success that means it hasn't been able to serve the core community of video creators. Or they just don't give a shit and figure people can fend for themselves or piss off. One of the main people behind the site is one of YouTube's early "stars", Paul Robinett AKA Renetto. Here's a promo video he did for the site:

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=KBIi13lP-o8]

That doesn't actually tell you a lot - hhere's the explanation he provided:

"Don't believe the hype... Experience it for yourself.

www.VloggerHeads.com

By Vloggers, For Vloggers. Screw the Middlemen, We are the Media, Viva La Vlogolution

A great community is not only defined by who you let in, but also, by who you keep out. Cyber Stalkers and Harassers, Porn Peddlers and Pedophiles.

Trolls and Scumbags beware... at VloggerHeads, the safety and security of our community is our biggest priority. We've accomplished in a week, what YouTube couldn't do in 3 years... Take out the trash!

If Your interested in receiving an invite, to see for yourself what the future of online community looks like, or better yet, to help shape it into a neighborhood you'd want to move into, please send us an email with your YouTube user name. If you've not posted any videos and have not taken part in this or any other online community, please be patient. We're just in the beginning stages of testing and tweaking and looking for "Lab Rats" 18 or older, with deep community experience and lots of free time!

Thank you so much...

Paul and the entire VloggerHeads community and Crew.

VloggerHeadsEmail@gmail.com"


It may well flame out quickly. It might stagger along for a while and die a slow death. Or it might be something really amazing. I'm willing to spend a bit of time experimenting to find out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm better than you

Every now and then I throw out videos on YouTube I like to call hand grenades. I pull the pin and lob it out there and wait for the carnage. The "shut the fuck up" series were all hand grenades. Basically, I decide on someone who pisses me off and I bait them.

Severely.

The fun thing about stupid people (and everyone who disagrees with me is stupid) is they're so easy to wind up. There's no such thing as being too obvious with some people. You can make it blindingly obvious that you're out to get to them worked up but they can't hold back. I like to think of them as my little puppets - I pull the strings and they jiggle at my command. I'm evil like that.

It's more fun when I used their own stupid lines against them. Like when one of them recently said I wasn't better than him. Oh really?

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=7VEebF_xzSU]

Friday, August 08, 2008

Lazy babies

Damn babies. Lazy little buggers are just a drain on the economy. Set the to work, I say!

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=3j1Lhh38W8k]

And for anyone knee-jerk bleeding heart holier-than-thou moron whoi demands that I say this is a joke: FUCK YOU. It isn't my problem that morons don't get irony. I refuse to cater to morons.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The day I met Apu

I was having a bit of fun at lunch today, sharing work horror stories with a friend. We covered the usual range of bad bosses and horrible cow-orkers and then we got on to interviews. I've complained about job interviews before but one area I've never really gone in to is what it's like to deal with vendors/salespeople.
I don't like to judge by appearances but I have this crazy idea when someone is trying to sell something to a corporate client, particularly when the contract crosses into the millions of dollars, they might make a fucking effort to appear professional. I don't go with a vendor solely because their guys dressed the sharpest but I'm never keen to go with someone who comes across as a total gimp.
Another thought is that a vendor should not come across as a criminal. Just another one of my prejudices. I know it's shallow to make judgements based on how someone sounds but I figure when you're planning to drop a few million you earn the right to be judgemental.
A personal favourite of mine was a guy who talked with a heavy East London accent, telling me about "dis fing" and "dat fing". For fans of classic British TV, think Arthur (Arfur) Daley on "Minder". He's extolling the virtues of his technology and all I can think of is "Holy crap, can't you even be bothered to take the time to pronounce 'th' properly?"
Then there was the day I met Apu. I have a very bad habit of equating nearly every experience in my life with something I've seen on The Simpsons. So when I was seeing a presentation from an Indian guy who had EXACTLY the same hair as Apu that took all of my focus. I didn't remember a damn thing he said. All I was thinking the entire time was "Dude, you have the same haircut as Apu."
Let me make this clear: He didn't sound like Apu (He never said "Thank you, come again" once). He didn't have the same features as Apu. It was just the hair. I became slightly obsessed about it. Did he realise it? Was it on purpose? Had anyone ever told him? Did he think it was a good idea to have the same hair as Apu? Does he not have friends? Does he not know anyone who cares enough to say "you have the hair of a fucking cartoon character! Get it cut!"
Actually, even if the hair was nothing to do with Apu it was still a worry. The thought of this guy lovingly sculpting a massive bouffant each day did not make me trust his judgement. But the idea that he might be deliberately going for the Apu look really weirded me out.
I guess what I'm say is that if you can be easily caricatured, I'm not sure sales is the career for you. Ideally a sales person would be remembered because of their professionalism. Not because they look like a cartoon character or Chopper Read.

Monday, August 04, 2008

YouTube gathering

I swear I'm planning to write something substantive soon. In the meantime, here's a roundup of what happened at the recent gathering of YouTubers I helped to organise in Melbourne:

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=HcFCXP-bjfg]

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=iCKF_0t1PUs]

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=WUwWsTttEQw]

It started with balls and it ends with dick!

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=u2zfco8ad1A]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Going commando

I've been riding to work lately. I decided to take advantage of the fact that for the first time in ages I'm working within a practical biking distance from home. As I'm grossly unfit that translates as about two suburbs or a half hour ride. So I've been riding in when weather permits. By "weather permits" I mean I'm a wuss and if it's raining or looks like raining or has recently been raining I won't ride my bike. Work sucks enough without being cold and miserable when I get there.
I have a few reasons for biking it: health (hopefully gaining a little of), ecological benefits and the fact that although I only live 7km from work the fucked up public transport system means the trip takes at least 45 minutes most days. I think I will dedicate a whole blog post to how fucked up the public transport system is. So, I'm losing some weight, getting to work faster and feeling less stressed. When cars don't try to kill me (another whole blog post).
Anyway, I'm still experimenting with some aspects of the ride. I take my work clothes in my backpack and there are shower facilities at work where I can get changed. I've mixed and matched various pieces of work apparel to discover which ones survive being rolled up in my backpack best. What I have learned is that I shouldn't vary my behaviour too much because every fucking time I change something I forget something.
Today, I came up with a brilliant idea regarding my underwear. I know this is a little intimate but I feel my audience is ready for it. The decision was to not wear any while I was riding. I have to change my sweaty jocks along with my other clothes when I get to work and I thought "Why bother?" I don't wear spandex when I ride so it isn't as if I'd be putting the family jewels on show (the way people decide they have to start wearing fucking spandex as soon as they start riding a bike is worth another blog post as well.) So I thought just wear trakky daks and change into undies along with my work clothes.
It made sense but that one change in behaviour fucked me up! Because I wasn't wearing underwear, I forgot to fucking packing any! So I get to work and I'm forced to face the whole day commando-style! And considering I'm wearing woollen suit pants, it's an uncomfortable experience. Besides the chafing, I hate the swinging in the breeze feeling. So much so, I think I'm going out shopping for some underwear.
Man, I HATE freeballing.

Going commando

I've been riding to work lately. I decided to take advantage of the fact that for the first time in ages I'm working within a practical biking distance from home. As I'm grossly unfit that translates as about two suburbs or a half hour ride. So I've been riding in when weather permits. By "weather permits" I mean I'm a wuss and if it's raining or looks like raining or has recently been raining I won't ride my bike. Work sucks enough without being cold and miserable when I get there.
I have a few reasons for biking it: health (hopefully gaining a little of), ecological benefits and the fact that although I only live 7km from work the fucked up public transport system means the trip takes at least 45 minutes most days. I think I will dedicate a whole blog post to how fucked up the public transport system is. So, I'm losing some weight, getting to work faster and feeling less stressed. When cars don't try to kill me (another whole blog post).
Anyway, I'm still experimenting with some aspects of the ride. I take my work clothes in my backpack and there are shower facilities at work where I can get changed. I've mixed and matched various pieces of work apparel to discover which ones survive being rolled up in my backpack best. What I have learned is that I shouldn't vary my behaviour too much because every fucking time I change something I forget something.
Today, I came up with a brilliant idea regarding my underwear. I know this is a little intimate but I feel my audience is ready for it. The decision was to not wear any while I was riding. I have to change my sweaty jocks along with my other clothes when I get to work and I thought "Why bother?" I don't wear spandex when I ride so it isn't as if I'd be putting the family jewels on show (the way people decide they have to start wearing fucking spandex as soon as they start riding a bike is worth another blog post as well.) So I thought just wear trakky daks and change into undies along with my work clothes.
It made sense but that one change in behaviour fucked me up! Because I wasn't wearing underwear, I forgot to fucking packing any! So I get to work and I'm forced to face the whole day commando-style! And considering I'm wearing woollen suit pants, it's an uncomfortable experience. Besides the chafing, I hate the swinging in the breeze feeling. So much so, I think I'm going out shopping for some underwear.
Man, I HATE freeballing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

666 - The nature of evil

Believe it or not, I've just posted my 666th video to YouTube. Being a metal fan from way back, I decided to do a Judas Priest tribute!

[youtube=http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=wYL-Ox2K_7Y]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Finding a benefactor

I find myself feeling an odd sense of waywardness lately. I have my day job but I hardly love what I’m doing. I’m also in no rush to give it up because it pays well and I don’t find the work particularly hard. Then there’s the bloggy/video maing thing which I do love but pays me approximately the square root of fuck-all. This is hardly a problem of earth shaking proportions and I’m not feeling overly angst ridden about it. Just… wayward.

I have a job that more than pays the bills and a creative pastime that I enjoy. I should be happy. And I am, mostly. I just want more. To be specific, like most online media creators I dream of making a full time living doing this thing that I like to do. Hell, I’m 42. It’s about time I got started on an actual career that I care about.

Thinking about it, I realised I don’t necessarily have to make money from what I do online. I’d happily keep doing this for fun if I had a day job I was truly passionate about rather than simply good at. Oh, and it has to keep paying quite well too. I’m not a fucking charity. But whenever anyone asked me about a “dream” job I’ve always had a bit of trouble articulating an answer.

I came up with the best answer I’ve had for myself today while reading yet another article about how greedy telcos and complicit governments are making more and more moves towards crushing the open internet and replacing it with a gated, controlled system. Like pay TV. Or early AOL. Really fucking horrible in other words. More and more online geeks are getting up in arms about this. If I hadn’t already used “the square root of fuck all” in this post I would use it again to describe how much effect angry blog posts are going to have.

Thousands of angry geeks vs. a handful of greedy (and ultimately self-destructive) companies that have spent millions buying politicians. I wonder how that one’s gonna turn out. But after reading a few other things I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a ray of hope. Our last, best chance is Google.

I’m no Google cheerleader. I think the whole “Don’t be evil” thing is bullshit. Their involvement with China showed that “evil” is a rather mutable concept. But they aren’t a telco. And if the Telcos fuck the internet, they fuck Google. And I don’t think Google is going to stand by and let that happen.

The telcos and entertainment companies that want to strangle the internet have more money than god, which they’ve been using to buy politicians. They’re also greedy, stupid and scared because they have no idea what the future will bring. Google also have more money that god. And they happen to be smart. Very, very smart and their plan is to create the future.

So my dream job is to work for Google, specifically to help with their plans to fuck up the telco cartel. Because I really hate those pricks. And Google pay lots of money.

Or maybe I need to be independently wealthy. Win a lottery or something. Mental note: must purchase lottery ticket to win lottery. This raises your chance of winning from zero to just marginally above zero.