Will be away for the next week or so. So, see you guys when I get back!!
Will be away for the next week or so. So, see you guys when I get back!!
You have to marvel at the guts of some people to use a tragedy to further their own cause. And to add such bizarre spins to news stories that you cannot help but be amazed by their brilliance or sheer disregard for that little thing called reality.
I take particular delight in the quote by Jeff Knox, director of operations of the Firearms Coalition when he approach survivor Colin Goddard.
“I would have stopped him,” Knox said. “Because when I went to school, I carried a gun. It was legal; I did it.”
To actually approach a survivor of the horror and having the gall to spew such crap while seemingly blaming him for not being able to protect the rest of his friends because he was not bearing arms. By the way Goddard, had ONLY been shot four times during the incident.
And I thought I could only find entertainment like this on my favorite TV shows. I half expected him to follow up that line with
I watch any one of those random Idol competitions’ audition phase and start feeling good again.
I mentioned earlier that I’ve been catching up on my reading since I reached here. Indeed, the first few months were great, finding good, thought provoking literature at ridiculously cheap prices is like a nerd’s wet dream, or so I thought…
See, the downside for all this is that you can ONLY find good, thought provoking literature at ridiculously cheap prices here. It is extremely hard finding good, brain cell destroying, reality escaping novels or comics here (unless you count the numerous Mills and Boons available, but even I am not that desperate yet).
Even if it has not been apparent thus far, and because I am good and kind and wise and smart, I shall spare you guys the ordeal of me waxing lyrical poetry proclaiming my love for the comics.
Long story short, I’ve resorted to satisfying this craving online, and boy, did am I glad I did so. Besides the wonderful xkcd, my latest discovery is this comic called “FISHTOWN”, which is without a doubt one of the most engaging and deeply disturbing read I’ve had in a long long time… in ANY medium.
Great stuff. Check it out if you have the chance and let me know what you think
Recently, I got to know some people from Kazakhstan.
Yes, the same one made famous by His Royal Hairiness.
Anyway, there’s already been enough PR done for Kazakhstan, so today, I shall talk about it’s neighbour Kyrgyzstan, or rather, part of it…
Now Kyrgyzstan (pronounced: …. ermmm…. let’s skip that for now…) shares her borders with other countries in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. (isn’t that a mouthful?). They were all once part of the Soviet Union and with the dissolution of the Union, they were split up and borders were drawn.
Being an International Issue, I’m sure the people involved in drawing up the borders put due thought and the utmost diligence into dividing up the borders, however even the best laid plans will have some inherent problems, which, in this case is that it does not make any friggin sense at all.
Apparently, there is this village in Kyrgyzstan called Stepnoye (you’d think that after the various “tans” I’ve spelt thus far, I would be more sure of this spelling) where a wedge of Kyrgyz territory protrudes into Kazakstan. The town square, the village cemetery and the village hospital are in this area and some of the villagers have fields there too.
I don’t like to make wild accusations but now comes the part where the I think the borders dividers either
a) have a wicked sense of humour (one that I can appreciate)
b) were high on drugs
Either way, for the villagers to reach this wedge of land, they have to cross the highway running between the Kazak cities of Almaty and Tara. And if that is not wicked enough, the delightful Kazaks decided to plant a checkpoint along the way. meaning that you actually need a passport to get to the hospital and… yes, get buried.
Well done !
How do you get someone who is politically (and generally) apathetic to show an interest in the world around him/her?
Give him friends from people all around the world. As the world becomes flatter and communication technology becomes more advance, it is easier to get into contact with people from all around the globe.
Right now, I have the distinct privilege of being stuck in a godforsaken land with people from all around the region. And in this dang place, there is always time for exchanges of stories through the many cold, dark nights. I believe that there is magic in stories. A good story changes things, changes people, changes reality. So, hearing them talk about having their colleagues and loved ones killed by terrorists recently. Hearing about the survival guilt that one of the only reasons they are alive now is because they are stuck in this god forsaken land. Hearing people worry about how some political protests back home might turn ugly. Hearing them talk about the seeming futility of the political situation. Hearing how useless they feel about being here while their families are stuck in their houses back home with almost no communication with the world outside. Hearing them talk about the anxiety they feel after hearing gun shots in the background during the (no doubt) numerous calls back home. Hearing about the sudden terror and panic that grips them when this fragile connection is suddenly taken away due to the newly enforced communication policy back home.
Hearing all this, it cannot help but change you. Most of us are not extremely active politically, nor are we very proactive in finding out news that “does not affect us”. I might not be able to do much about anything at all. But, I do hope that I can tell a good story and through it, hopefully, change your perspective ever so slightly and find out more about this or this . Be warned. Some of the images for the second link can be pretty graphic.
And why shouldn’t they be?
Or at least my hair does… You see, I finally went for my hair cut after putting it off for the longest time… And the barber, for all his infinite wisdom and constant assurance of giving me a “Soooo-per stylish” haircut, decided that the mop top is the best style for me. People who actually know me should now strive to put that image outta their minds… it’s not a pretty sight, I assure you…
Now, if you thought that was bad, you should’ve seen the next guy…
Anyway, I’ve been putting off this hair cut for the longest time because
1 – I’m using it as a sort of calender… 1 haircut a month means I’ll be home after 6 hair cuts! WOOOOHOOOOOooo!! (please don’t ask…)
2 – The constant water shortages and (completely unannounced) water rationing here means there is a high chance of not being able to wash off those irritating short hair after the hair cut. And doesn’t EVERYONE just hate that feeling? (Incidentally, that is my official reason for not exercising for 2 months plus also… I mean, you MUST take a bath after exercises right? It’s the only considerate thing to do. Imagine the amount of irritation you’ll cause to the people around you…. hmmm… now, THAT might be a reason to start exercising again….)
3 – I think I look better with long hair
Now, as I was saying, I went for my hair cut at 1900H on 11 Jan 08. Take note of the timing. It’s important to the story telling, boys and girls.
So after a 15 minute wait and a hair cut that took around 8 minutes, I was ready to make my payment to the barber at… 1923H. Now, being the resourceful and ever enterprising man that he is, the barber decided to get started on the next head instead of waiting for the nansy pansy guy to fish the money outta his wallet.
So this next guy was getting his hair shaved while I waited around for the opportune moment to make my payment and leave when suddenly….
yup, Electricity Saving Hour kicked in!
Everything went dark, so the barber decided to stop and switch on his (battery powered) television. Having nothing better to do and not being able to make my way back in the dark, we sat together in the dark to watch a short game of cricket. It was kinda nice, just the barber, me and the guy with his half cut hair.
30 minutes later (apparently it’s Electricity Saving Half Hour that day), the power came on. I paid my fare and was preparing to leave when I heard…
the sound of profuse begging behind me. Apparently the barber shop closes at 2000H and so it was closing time by the lights came on again. Being the Time-conscious man that he is, the barber decided to close the shop instead of… finishing the half done hair cut. I am not making this up.
Some threats (from the cuttee) and a whole lot of begging (from the ermm… cuttee too) later, the barber decided to be magnanimous to the Sniveling Idiot who had the gall to expect a Full Hair Cut after closing time and took out his scissors to do a bit of trimming to “even out the hair” of the sod (who had, by this time promised that he would be a Good and Loyal Life Long
slave Customer and all but offer up his virgin bride as a sacrifice if only the Barber could finish the hair cut)
4 snips later, I took a look at the guy’s head and made one of the most important decisions in my life. I shall be good friends with all barbers. You do not want to piss them off. Especially the ones that own battery power television but no battery power shavers or candles.
Not that I am questioning THAT brilliant decision, of course….
When I posted the article about XKCD, I didn’t know how popular and crazy they actually are…
A few days after they posted this….
the search results for the term “died in a blogging accident” spiked from the measly 2 results to (a last count of) 7300….
Talk about skewing internet trends…
And then there were 7301
Now, that’s what I call Love
One that you can totally justify spending totally Inappropriate amounts of time on with the excuse that “I am brushing up on my general knowledge!”
And for those losers (like me) on facebook, you can actually add it as an app and challenge your friends to the high scores. How cool (in an entirely lovably nerdy sort of way, of course) is that???
Yeah, yeah, I need to get a life… and so do you…
Recommended by the Girlfriend
Using 9-11 and counter terrorism as excuses, people all around the world are slowly but surely giving up on their civil liberties and compromising on their basic human rights just to become “safe”. We put up with inconveniences and do not even mind when we have people looking through things that were once considered “private”.
So here comes Director Adam Rifkin (who incidentally, also gave us Monster, one of the most disturbing shows I’ve watched…. they managed to make Charlize Theron Ugly??????!!!) with Look – a show shot entirely using… Surveillance Camera?
The trailer itself is deeply disturbing enough for me… I mean, “the average American is recorded 200 times a day”. Really??? Big Brother is watching.
But is this the Real Deal or just Gimicky Movie Making? Time will tell. Me? I’ll (eagerly) wait to see how this one turns out.
Thank you, Girlfriend
And so they’ve done it. After unmasking him, Marvel finally decided to fuck with more than 20 over years of continuity, and take Mary Jane away from Peter Parker (aka Spider Man). Is it a divorce, you ask? Is it separation? Is it death?
No… Being a comic book (always the bastion of truth and reality), they decided to annul the “Marriage” by… having Peter Parker make a deal with the Devil????????
For the record, the writer Straczynski (whom I have immense respect for) publicly decried the move, saying : “there’s a lot that I don’t agree with, and I made this very clear to everybody within shouting distance at Marvel, especially (the editor and artist for this atrocity) Joe Quesada…” Straczynski (wooooo… you know you really like someone when you can spell this ridiculously spelled name, like Mr Mxyzptlk <dun ask….>) was apparently so pissed by this arc that he threatened to take his name away from the last 2 issues of the arc. You go, boy…
And check 0ut the lame “official” plotholes:
On how to explain why the Devil wants something as lame as a marriage when compared to his traditional currency (the soul):
“But as payment, he wants to wipe all memory of Peter’s marriage to MJ from all but one part of their souls, so that he may listen to those parts’ pain for the rest of eternity.”
As if that is not ridiculous enough, they make use of this “deus ex machina” to resurrect (previously) dead characters, as well as wipe out all continuity issues that they do not like with the MOST RIDICULOUS of reasons.
On the current Peter/MJ situation:
“Peter and MJ had not been married but had “dated seriously for years,” yet she does not know that he is Spider-Man, and that she has moved to California to become an actress”
On bringing back Harry “I am the underachieving, whining and lame Son of Green Goblin” Osbourne.
“Harry Osborn is not dead but has been living in Europe for many years.”
And on one of the BIGGEST comic event of last year, the unmasking of Peter Parker to the world as Spiderman, comes my favorite excuse of them all…
“Although some people seem to recall that Spidey unmasked himself during Civil War, no one quite remembers whose face was under the mask.”
How stupid do they take us for???
And to add further salt to the wounds, the editorial actually reads:
“Any questions? Hey, don’t ask us — we’re new here ourselves! Anyway, the past is past — so don’t look back, look forward, to the next great epoch in the ongoing saga of Spider-Man: Brand New Day!”
That, to me is like saying, “We dun have a clue why we are doing this and we dun care. You still pay money to read this shit, so please, ignore the fact that we are treating you like lil naive babies and continue giving us your money”
There can only be so much suspension of disbelief
The moral of this whole story? If you ask me, this whole thing reeks of editorial mandate at the Merry Offices of Marvel. A mandate that ignores the opinions of all who supported and love the franchise for years. A mandate the sweeps through past promises and defies common sense. More importantly, a mandate that insults the intelligence of its supporters by the smug proclamation: “I know what’s best for you better than you, so shut the fuck up and fall in line like the rest of the sheep”
Do you have “Electricity Saving Hour”
Once a day, from 7PM – 8PM…. when people need the most electricity? Believe it, true believers!
Ok, been back for almost a week already, actually and back into the grind of things…sadly…
The 2 weeks of vacation has been really… eventful. The Girlfriend came over and we traveled around the country.
Over the course of the 2 weeks, we’ve, among other things…
sidestepped countless puddles of spittle, tried to crush the locals by pushing a gigantic rock down a slope, been hassled and conned too many times to be counted, got sweet talked into buying… stone, froze our teeth off, met Buddy Christ and family, played with lil kids with dirty faces (who also happen to have the amazing ability to hold on to the longest strand of snot from their noses without it falling off), saw snow for the first time in our lives, saw the most amazing sceneries in the world, skipped over countless pools of horse shits, marveled at the mixture of 20 different varieties of shit, got drunk on fruit wine, have meals that are waaaay too big and luxurious, squeezed and slept on a bumpy bus to Hell…
You get the drift…
Details will follow… or not…. friends can always ask for first hand accounts.