... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

607: Creepypasta, wooooo-ooooo!

Creepypasta. That's a strange word. It's one of those weird, semi-nonsense internet words that you have nowadays. It's essentially what, in the days of H.P. Lovecraft and his contemporaries, used to be called Weird Fiction. Strange horror stories about monsters, murderers, aliens and technology. Weird. Creepy. Apparently there is something called Copypasta (like Copy-Paste) which is stories copied and shared around the internet. Switch the word Copy with the word Creepy and all of a sudden those stories being shared are off the horrific variety.

Some of them are great, some not so. A lot of them (including the one I wrote, but I won't mention that yet, it's a surprise) are about lost episodes of favourite telly programmes, such as the one about the episode of Spongebob Squarepants in which Squidward finally snaps and kills himself.. Some of them are utterly inspired such as this one, An Egg, which is conceptually brilliant. I won't spoil it but I insist you click the link and read it.

The Creepypasta wiki is a collection of scary stories, some are very much of the internet age, but also posted are public domain classics like Dracula and Frankenstein. Anyway, what I'm getting to is that I have written one, the subject of which was thought up by Scott Ackerman of 'Unrested' YouTube Channel (visit his channel for loads of videos about life in Japan from the perspective of an gaijin American with a healthy nerdy interest in comics, horror, etc).  It's called ALF Autopsy and it describes the first person adventure of a European visitor to Japan who discovers a mysterious old Laserdisc with a horrifying lost episode of the 1980s American sit-com ALF. (The real ALF ends with an awful cliffhanger in which ALF is captured by the government who presumably do all experiments and stuff. The show was cancelled so whatever was supposed to happen was never revealed leaving room for all sorts of speculation.)

Read my ridiculous story here. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

606: kevin, Kevin, KEVIN

My name is Kevin.

Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.
Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.
Hey Ho, It's The Kevin Eldon Show,
It's the Kevin, Kevin Eldon Show,
It's called It's Kevin.

Every week the It's Kevin title theme is slightly different, changes to the sight gags and what have you, but every week, the day after watching the latest episode I am forced to spend the entire day with 'Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. Hey Ho, It's...' etcetera, etc, &c circling round and around inside my head. It's very close to actual laugh-out-loud-and-run-naked-down-the-street mania. At work today I was telling someone about It's Kevin. 'Watch it,' I said, 'It's fantastic.' And then began explaining about the addictive nature of the theme tune and how brilliant/disturbing it is for a fellow Kevin.

A third person joined the conversation at this point having missed the bit about it being a TV show. As I explained how I had this 'Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.' refrain circling in my mind and sang a little snippet this third person began to look suspicious and concerned. It was as if they no longer trusted me and feared I may suddenly leap about the place flinging socks and crushing bananas in my armpits. As though I might suddenly dive forwards and attempt to affix stamps to her recently severed head. 'Erm... was... was this a dream?' she asked. 'No, it's a TV show,' I informed her. The look of relief on her face was stunning: 'Phew, he is not a manic, psychotic, schizophrenic, barmpot,' she thought, but 'Oh, really!' she said. And then she walked away to thank her lucky stars, or whatever.

And then the words in my head change involuntarily:

Hey ho, it's the Jelly Baby Show, it's the Jelly Jelly Baby Show
Hey ho, it's the Sherry Trifle Show, it's the Sherry Sherry Trifle Show
Hey ho, it's a Television Show, it's a Telly Telly Telly Show
Hey ho, it's the Belly Button Show it's the Belly Belly Button Show
Belly, belly, belly.
Belly, belly, belly.
Etcetera, etc, &c.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

605: (I Get) Grumpy When I'm Hungry

… such as when I wrote that previous post about Thatcher. I obsessing over every petty little detail, going over it in my head on the bus home. I had to find a scrap of paper and scribble bits down, repeating sentiments and sentences, in order to purge my mind. I have been meaning to bring this blog back more regularly, not daily like before, but once or twice a week would be nice. It's good to keep a historical record of one's thoughts and about the wider world. With that in mind I wanted to write something about the old divisions this Thatcher thing has brought back to the surface.

The 1980s I was born into was one which despised Thatcher. Hating Thatcher is the nearest thing I have to a religion. I was raised with it. Early memories of anti-Poll Tax marches, my Ghostbuster-themed Poll Tax Buster t-shirt, chants of “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out, Out, Out.” During the inevitable divided Facebook discussions someone pointed out “It as a long time ago, get over it,” which infuriated me (but I don't think I responded to). At the time the person wrote that I was about to have my tea, I was hungry and thus grumpy. I ate then happily clicked to unfollow the discussion.

And now I'm not hungry I can see the truth behind the point. It was a long time ago and I should get over it. Other people were more, much more, effected by Thatcher's unsympathetic destructive tendencies. Should they get over it too? Yes, eventually. Maybe not now, but as soon as possible. Does the country need to get over her legacy? God, yes. The sooner the better. But being unable to get over past wrongs is the cause of so much hate and continued destruction. My wife is from Northern Ireland and she, along with myself and plenty of other people too, wishes that the people from back home who have wronged and been wronged by their neighbours could just try to get over it. To eventually forgive and forget, the sooner the better. Simple to say; so much less simple to actually do, and understandably so.

The more people force themselves to remember the longer these things go on. The problem is when there are reminders all around you: murals and bombings there; Thatcherism, rampant greed, Tory cunts and New Labour here. Ooops, I dropped the c-word. Maybe I am getting a little hungry. I better go and eat something, or I would if Thatcher hadn't taken all my milk (and cheese), yeah right on!

Earlier I said that hating Thatcher was the nearest thing I had to religion. That seems like a bad thing to me. It's an intellectual effort to get over childhood indoctrination, but one worth doing. It's important to get over accidentally or intentionally imposed prejudices and hatreds. Prejudice is never justified, but sometimes hatred can be. Still it's important not to let single view-points entomb you. That's surely an enemy of growth and progress. Now if I can get over past injustices I can concentrate of building a future, and by that I mean I can calm down a bit, have a cuppa and crack on with a bit of creative writing.

604: Thatcher

This is not a discussion about what she did or didn't do, about whether she saved this country or condemned it. The fact is some people love her, some people hate her, some people think it's sick to celebrate the death of an old woman either way.
This is just a defence of those who hate(d) her.

People hated her. Some people (seemingly the majority of these being middle class, English Tories) can't seem to allow for this fact. “What do you mean you hated her? But she saved this country!” It's as though they simply can't comprehend any reason for this hate, as though the anti-Thatcherites are just jealous liars. I've even heard “She crushed the unions” touted as one of the great things she did. I can't understand that logic at all.

To me the people condemning those who celebrate and joke about her death have the same mindset as those who, if transplanted to late 1980s America, would have condemned the likes of Public Enemy and N.W.A. for their lyrics and image. Those kinds of rappers presented themselves as “the black CNN” and their lyrics reflected social situations that were being ignored by the mainstream, middle-class white media. The response of the media was to condemn the rappers for speaking up, for questioning the mainstream myth that everything was OK. The problem was not the poverty, police brutality and racism; the problem was the uppity folk talking about it.
(Maybe this comparison is stupid, I don't know, I'm not an expert. Maybe it's incredibly stupid.)

This mirrors the response to the public outpouring of hate directed at Thatcher, the public joy at her death. In this case the problem is not the things she did to earn that hate (destroying the unions, working class institutions and industries; picking apart society, public ownership, and the welfare state; using the police as private muscle to brutalise protesters, picketers, and the people of Northern Ireland; empowering financial institutions to act with obsessive unrestrained reckless greed; selling off social housing without replacing it; didn't give a shit about apartheid) because all those things were either great or simply never happened. The problem is all those sad sick jealous people with their words and jokes and peaceful actions.

They condemn those reporting the situation (be it American ghetto life, British Thatcherism, or whatever) rather than the situation itself. Those who support Thatcher with their “she made Britain Great again” nonsense cannot see passed their own middle class privilege, just as critics of political/gangster hip hop couldn't. (“I don't want to hear Black men joking about societal imbalance and dead cops.” “I don't want to hear Liberals joking about societal imbalance and dead old women.”) Thatcher viciously attacked the working class and we didn't kill her, we just spoke disrespectfully and made some jokes. The problem is not what we say. The problem is what she did that prompted us to say it.

Those demanding respect be shown her are missing the point. Millions of people have valid reasons to believe she deserved no respect. To deny these people the right to speak their minds, to suddenly silence the jokes they freely made when she was alive, is to deny not just their freedom of speech, but to deny the facts of history and the reality of our current political situation.

Don't get me started on the political opportunism this has inspired in the Tories. The pornographic Tory frottage over her canonisation desperately screams, “Please vote for us, go on, do it, not for me but for dear old Maggie the Great”. Imagine if she'd died under Gordon Brown's Prime-Ministership. Would £10 million have been spent on her funeral? Possibly not. “Well, if all those idiots hadn't celebrated her death they wouldn't need to spend millions on security.” Bullshit.

The people celebrating make their feelings known by buying 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' not by attacking a funeral. If people want to peacefully protest a funeral, especially a publicly funded one for a despised public figure, they should be allowed to and no amount of security should be allowed to interfere. So much is being spent on security because it's been turned into such a bloody rigmarole. Nowadays all big events need security, not just the funerals of horrible people. Give her a small private respectful burial and the costs would be small. Duh.

"Anyone who celebrates death is sick." (Isn't 'sick' a positive word these days?) Perhaps the person who wrote that isn't aware the extent to which she was hated; her death, and the subsequent dancing, has been joked about for decades. Why the hell should that joking stop now that she has actually died? I can see no reason. Just because she is dead we should suddenly develop respect for someone we have despised for so long. I'm not sad, why should I pretend?

To ignore the hate, just because she has died, is to rewrite history – to expunge the terrible things she did leaving us with only the good stuff. Oh, by the way. I'll be cheering Pope Emeritus Benedict Ratzinger's death too when that finally happens, assuming he doesn't simply ascend to heaven to live eternally.

Here's some links, a Wikipedia article applicable to Thatcherists, and some Guardian opinion pieces:
and my favourite:

Sunday, April 07, 2013

603: People at Night

Last night was Saturday. Actually that is not entirely accurate. What I should have said was "Yesterday was Saturday, last night was Saturday night". Or words to that general purpose. Yesterday was Saturday night and I spent it in West Didsbury, Manchester (i.e. The area sometimes unfairly dismissed by twats as not being 'proper Didsbury') playing WWE13 on the X-Box360. Attitude Era! As it approached bedtime I left Didsbury for my bed in Old Trafford. This required getting a bus at around 9.30pm down Palatine/Wilmslow/Oxford Road into Manchester, then changing to another bus on the corner of Oxford Street and Portland Street. By then the time was approaching 10pm.

Imagine my surprise when, despite the late hour, all the areas listed above were swarming with human life. It was almost as if a mass delusion had hit the city whereby thousands of people were suddenly convinced it was daytime and should commence wandering around in the dark when they should have been getting ready for bed. Down the section of Wilmslow Road running through Rusholme, commonly known as 'Curry Mile', hundreds of poor people were suffering under the delusion that it was their tea-time. I saw them through windows sat a tables eating food and laughing and drinking despite the time, around about 10o'clock at night, let me remind you. It was a disturbing sight.

I can only hope and pray that this shocking occurrence was a one-off, an isolated event, because the alternative truly does not bare thinking about it. But let's try. What if this has happened before, or will happen again? People out at night, in the dark, working, eating, socialising, as houses and beds lay empty all across Manchester? Is this a dark portent for a future where humanity roams the earth by moonlight and sleeps during the hours of sun-up? Where vitamin D deficiency is the silent killer as we all wobble and totter around on long bendy bones?

Come to think of it there did seem to be a lot of people struggling to walk in straight lines or even simply stand still unassisted. Some women, and indeed men, appeared unnaturally tall. I, at five feet and six inches, am of average height and there did appear to be a disproportionately high number of people taller than me. Weird. From there it's only a few steps to the tall wobbly nocturnal people becoming the norm and then where does that leave me … ? … I am Legend …

This is a cry to the people of Manchester back through time to last night: Don't give in to the primal urge, that awful voice inside of you commanding you to leave your homes as though it were daytime when you should be sleeping. Pray that this foul scourge does not spread to other cities. Oh, why did this have to happen in Manchester of all places?