Archive for July, 2009

FB F-Up Part Dieux

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

And anyway what is up with corpse worship?

Let’s do the math. x^k=S. Where x stands for a person’s innate worth, k stands for their lifespan, and S stands for shitness. So most people have low x, median k and high S.

I mean, imagine you have innate worth = 2. And lifespan = 70. Well then your shitness is equal to 2 to the power of 70. That’s a big enough number that Carl Sagan could wipe his, Albert Einstein’s and Charles Darwin’s rear ends with as much toilet paper as it would take to write the number out, assuming you didn’t use very small numbers and only three wipes were required.

So shitness, even in a short life, is surprisingly high, even if — no, especially! — if the innate worth of the individual is initially high. So why do we continue to pretend the dead are unsullied by their asinine living activities? Why pretend they’re perfect? Why not revel in flaws, and demand improvement over the years?

There is actually a more coherent article on the subject here, regarding media coverage of Michael Jackson’s death.

FB F-Up

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

So today I made a Facebook fuckup. I won’t say it’s my first, I won’t say it’s my last.

One of my friends from college has in the past joined some sort of cultish online running cult and there was a member who died and whose death he was lamenting on Facebook. I didn’t recognize that the lamentary post in question was about the death of said dead runner and so I made inappropriate (if you view life as made up of appropriate (i.e. bought) and inappropriate (i.e. unbought)) statements after having not-read the humdrum totality of my old friend’s reflections on his friend’s early demise.

I felt bad for suggesting that said unknown-to-me death might be connected connected to drug-running, when in fact my entire spirit and mind was bent upon making a joke about the relations extant between the word “running” and the phrase “drug-running”. Such a silly connection, but an offensive one, I’m sure.

So why not simply correct me on Facebook? Why not say, “Jeremy, did you read the article I wrote? A good friend of mine died. This is no time for stupid jokes.”

But no, the modern way is to delete and secret-message the writer. We must retain the image of a perfect uncriticised individual no matter the cost.

Dude!

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I wrote my post a week ago… where the hell are my millions of commenters?

I hate the internet. What a mind-wrack. If you’ve got sense enough to pour bits out of a torrent then you wouldn’t waste your time seeking the appreciation of two-bit tweeters. But then again, if you haven’t got sense…

Maybe I can use these people? Oh, who cares.

You know what I want from life? Intellectual exchange with those equivalent to me. Intellectual honesty with those many far below. Oh, wait, what? Have I revealed that I think most people are idiots? Ooops! I apologise in advance for your ignorance.

Signed,

The Harvard Edsukated Wancker.

(Irony.)

Own Child

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Is Medea a great tragic figure or the grossest of anti-heroines? Or is she something I haven’t yet suggested or imagined?

I remember when we first moved to Britain, a long time ago, now, I sat in Becky’s parents’ back room avidly reading Ovid, in translation, my eyes rolling and my breath boiling at his telling of Medea’s murders. I was reading in preparation for the Medieval Literatures MA at York, our boxes were being delivered soon, we had shipped them before making a five-thousand mile jounrey from Boston to California and then to Texas. We had seen so many earthly wonders between those three vertices: gleaming black waters at Glacier National Park, prismatic desert mountains in Nevada, the green abyss of Michigan, the quiet, ancient, alien menace of North Dakota’s flatly rolling nothing. We saw my grandfather in the fresh and ludicrous wealth of Carmel, and, for the last time in this life, as it turned out, in Houston. As we slept one morning in Ruidoso, two neutral blue towers fell.

We flew from Houston ten days later and landed in a London glad of broken cloud — to our eyes, a dreary city scowling under solid clouds. Becky’s mother was alive then, and so excited to have her daughter back, so close to her. She offered to drive us to York, but I didn’t trust her to negotiate the strange highways, and so I drove the rented van carrying our possessions, shipped from halfway round the world, drove the white van up the M1 in October as the leaves collapsed from the trees. Life rushes on and takes us each in its shocking claws and shakes us and feeds us wonders and rips us into pieces like a delight-secreting death-crab.

There was a woman in Houston who — not long after we moved here, or not long before — drowned her many children in the bath. I cannot reckon how that event has haunted me. Cannot enumerate the times I have thought of the tragic monstrosity of that act — its taking place in a physically and emotionally immediate place I’ve left so far behind in time and space. Nor could I name the days I have remembered reading Ovid’s telling of Medea’s murder of her own children as I sat in my in-laws’ house, freshly arrived in my new country, childless then, reading his description of filial and then parental slayings, a few lines long yet never forgotten.

The crab of the universe feeds and eats, the dreamer dreams the universal dream, I sleep, when will I awake?

It Heats Water

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

For some time now I have wondered whether I am having a premature mid-life crisis. Not because I am buying sports cars and dating younger women, quite the opposite, I feel compelled to work hard and drink less and exercise and have ambitions. Recently someone queried on Facebook whether it meant their standards had dropped that they were so excited about putting a new roof on their house, and I thought, no way, that’s awesome.

What the hell is a milysiris?

This morning I stepped into an ice-cold shower — well, I say stepped in, I sort of put my leg in and by the time the water was dashing my ass with liquid snow I leapt out again. I walked to the boiler. It’s dead control face stared at me hopelessly.

No! Not again!

We put this boiler in about a year and a half ago and once before have we seen its stony visage lying lifeless. On that occasion, the plumber who installed it came out, called the technical staff at the company that makes it, arranged for them to come repair it. They came, they examined, they repaired.

The problem was and is with the electronics. The controller they use on these machines is a lemon. This one is having the precise problem the old one had. The strange thing is, I remember the plumber got the old controller working again until the company repair man came to see us. And I remember the way he did that, because it was so strange. After diagnosing the problem over the phone, the technician said, try tapping it in the top left hand corner with your screwdriver, see if that gets it working. He did, and it did. And, this morning, I did, and it did.

Now… that a modern electronic device needs to be tapped to get it working is rather remarkable, I think. The fact that this company is continuing to utilise the same failing controller is typical of manufacturers cutting corners. And the fact that any of this concerns me in any real way is evidence that I’m turning into some sort of crusty old person.

But you see, when you rent, you don’t have to deal with these things. But when you own, you have to pay to fix things that break. But it’s good to put in a new boiler, because then it’s under warranty, and the warranties are long on things like boilers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both situations! In any case it just goes to show that you can’t trust young people. Hip-hop crazed druggies! They’re to blame here — where’s my pension?! Aw, to hell with you! I was in the war…

Trip to the US for Thanksgiving 2008

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

I have been waiting a long while to find the time to get these pictures up, and here they are! They cover our visit to Boston to see Eric (and Boston) and then to Texas to see my parents, many other family members and celebrate the kindly natives who helped our Pilgrim forefathers outlive the red scum who lived there before them. Enjoy!