On the Origin of Faeces

or how I learned to stop worrying and learned to love the shitpost

Unfortunately this article doesn’t contain any fascinating tidbits on the history of memes. I just wanted an excuse to use that title, and show offpractice coding HTML.

We all love a good shitpost every now and then, and at other times too. Even when its inappropriate. Is it natural that society has come full circle to embrace all that mocks, only for the sake of mocking? Is it a devolution of the internet and society, or a coming of age? What is the true meaning of doge?

alright, that’s my job done. Have a good week.

-W

Laserwash automatic car wash review.

As we live in the future it is important to try as many automated things as possible. to misquote Ken Brockman; “I for one welcome our new robot overlords.” one of these is the automatic car wash. Today’s article is purely an attempt for me to justify having paid to go through a car wash.

It is common knowledge that the model tee mini morris car came in any colour so long as it’s black. But why this was so is less well known. It is because the advent of the tire was replacing the shoe as the main mode of human transport. This got shoe shine unions in a right fit and the little orphans demanded something to shine. Hence cars early colour scheme.

“shine your car black guvna!”

Anyway, skip to the future and we have robots to do that for us. I tried one the other week. it was a laserwash 3000 or something, built by skynet purely for my convenience. I don’t know why I like automatic car washes. There is something about those silly big machines that I find appealing. Probably because they’re somewhat futuristic.

That’s probably why I was dissapointed a little with the laserwash. It gave a pretty good flashing lights robo-wash, however there weren’t actual lasers. Pity.

_W

Pokemon Go is the Tomagotchi of tomorrow TODAY

Yo!Yo!mon

Software might cause mass excitement, but it hasn’t formed the same kind of temporary childish fads as hardware toys have. That is, until recently. things like Yoyos, Beyblades, Tomagotchis etc. are these little, relatively inexpensive curios which everyone gets excited about and has a lot of fun with, mainly through riding the hype wave. this hasn’t really happened for software though. Curios which match the requirements exist; snake for instance was a great little mobile phone gem, but it didn’t have hype behind it, you just had it on your phone. Games which were hyped were generally larger affairs. They gradually lost appeal with age as expected or if they weren’t received poorly.

Fads are different. They rely on a bunch of people getting into some little thing in a big way. like how you can go nuts for gravy because its the hip thing all your friends are doing and suddenly you can’t go to school without your gravy sachet. It’s all over in a month or two though. Gravy is no longer cool. This is the pattern with things like tomagotchi’s, magic jumping beans and collectible human teeth, and notably Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go has heralded a new era of fads. It is the first really hyped piece of software which people could be seen carrying around in the street and using. At least it was fun to think you could tell who was catching a Bulbasaur in the park at 3:30am as opposed to who was just texting their dealer. Tomagotchis were physical units, and so were gameboys. Though they were popular, gameboy ownership and use wasn’t so ubiquitous as to lead people to feel like they could tell what people were playing on the street with their handheld. It probably was pokemon though, come to think of it.

Pokemon Go runs on smartphone platforms. These really are ubiquitous. computers are now integrated into our daily physical lives. We carry them with us and use them while talking to people we don’t want to listen to in real life. Because they don’t need us to sit down or go to them to use them. Smartphones really have become social.

Things like tinder and facebook are popular, hyped and trendy. These however have altered the way we live more permanently than a fad. They have coined terms in society such as “social media” and “dating apps.” Terms devised so that, not quite young enough to be milenials, can convince older employers that they really are out of touch and need more “strategic development if they goal to progress sustainability into the future moving forward,” in order to steal someones job.

Angry birds might have been a fad but it was more or less a gameboy game on a phone. I’d say it just about qualifies apart from the social aspect. Pokemon Go was something people talked about going out of their way to do. It was something that people would jump on the bandwagon of, and it was hyped before and after release by the users. People wanted to hang out with people just to go take a gym or beat up that man over there with the brief case who looks like he might have just taken the gym back but could be telling his kids that he’s on his way to their birthday party but is assuming that really worth the risk?

A piece of software becoming a fad opens up a whole realm of possibilities like… damn, now I have to think of something so that I sound like I’m really insightful. More augmented reality? Nah, you’re right. but I guess the running out of steam is another feature of fads which Pokemon Go displays.

I hope the next one is a yoyo app which convinces you to drop your phone. Wait, no, that’s a bad idea.

-W

Das Bootiful

If you’ve not seen it yet I’m going to spoil this film for you, and don’t be all “ooh, I’m not going to watch it anyway so I can read this, you’re not my MOOOAAAWWWMMMM.” you’re not going to get anything out of that kind of rebellious attitude. So go to your room and watch Das Boot!

If you didn’t figure it out, I’m going to review Das Boot, because I saw it on netflix. That’s right, expensive TV. It’s the highly lauded movie about claustrophobia awareness raising professional murderers in the 194Os. The numerical keys are starting to break on my budget laptop, please excuse me.

So on to the spoilage. This movie left me crying like a soggy pineapple in a sinking submarine. This keyboard is just getting worse. Now the escape and DELETE keys are broken. As I was writing, this is the movie that makes people weep for dead Nazi’s. #tearsforfascists. the film perfectly portrays the life of people who do rapid vessel disassembly as a profession. By perfectly I mean entertainingly and by vessel I mean boat. It’s all in the title; “Das” meaning “the” and “Boot” meaning “boat-shoes.”

The characters are lovable, including the Boot, and then they get killed at the end like its nothing. This is why I don’t believe in the vigilante punching of Nazi’s. Not even to get on TV.

The broken keyboard has won. See the movie.

-W

p.s. That polly was right, submarines really are the spaceships of the ocean.

 

A Bug’s Death

“Psst! Come here!”
“I keep telling you, I need to go forage! The dry season is coming soon-”
“Yes and why do you do that?”
“What?”
“Come here!”

She relented. Whatever, might as well get it over with, she thought.

“Do you ever wonder why you work for the queen?”
“I just do, I was born and made to do so.”
“What if you weren’t? What if you’re meant to be one with nature?”
“I’m not though.”
“Here, have some of this, it’ll change your life!”

The crazed worker handed some dust to her with their mandibles.

“Eat it!”
“What? I don’t want to.”
“Just try it and I’ll leave you alone! Trust me, it’ll blow your mind!”

She consumed some of the dust. It was completely tasteless. She looked back, but the crazed worker had run off towards the outer branches. She shook her head and went back to the trail to join the other workers.

The day was good – the trail managed to find a moulting cricket which they quickly dismembered, and she set about taking a leg back to base. However, the encounter stayed with her. Why was she so devoted to the queen? This question became deeply entrenched in her mind by the time she got back to the nest.

“You’re alright, you’re alright, you- oh hey there, why the long face? You wish you were born a guard ant? I mean, I guess it would suck being significantly smaller, weaker and generally less important than me.”

She hated the guards. They were invariably power-tripping whenever a large number of workers were entering the nest.

“Hey, have you ever wondered why we work for the queen?”

The guard turned her head sharply. Other guards were also taking notice.

“What did you say?”
“Well it’s just th-”
“Listen here you insignificant little nothing, we work for the queen. We live for the queen, we die for the queen. She’s the one that gave us life, she’s the one that will continue giving life. Don’t ever let me catch you spouting this independent reproductionist garbage ever again.”
“I didn’t want to reproduce, I just meant-”
“Shut up! You take that back or I’ll cut your head off.”

She’d seen one of the guards completely dismember another worker the other day because it’d been crawling through a trail of another ant colony, so she decided not to take her chances.

“Sorry, I was getting ahead of myself. I won’t question the queen again.”
“That’s better. You can go in now.”

She quickly ferried the leg to the nursery and started chewing it up to feed to the larvae. However, she couldn’t stop thinking about her loyalty. Why was she doing this? And why are the guards, usually so self-absorbed, so sensitive about the queen being disrespected? What if it wasn’t for the best that they were serving the queen? But what else could they be doing it for?

She pondered the possibilities, before it hit her. They were building an army.

But what for? No, that didn’t matter, the important thing was that she needed to get out of there. She didn’t want to be a soldier, and soon it would be too late! All of a sudden, the workers looked alien to her, as she finally saw the truth. She dropped the leg she was chewing and ran out of the nest, and immediately headed for the branches. When she was close enough to the outer branches, she left the trail kicking up bark behind her. Another worker looked on in bewilderment. She turned around. She had to at least try to save one of them!

“Do you ever wonder why you work for the queen?”

But this worker was not as receptive as her. As soon as she asked the question, they ran off. She looked around in panic. The world looked bleak, and a burning pain began in her head. She scratched it, and was shocked to find dust, the very same dust which she had eaten earlier. She was fast losing control. All she knew was that she needed to get to the leaves. She kept following the branch, further out than she had ever been, until she reached a leaf. The leaf looked so clean, so pure, unlike the chaos within the nest. She embraced the middle of the leaf tightly with her mandibles, and looked around. The sun was bright, the world was clear. She closed her eyes, and smiled. She was safe.

Epilogue

Alright, it’s your first day of being a worker, so I’ll show you the ropes. The first thing you need to learn is that the outside world is far more dangerous than the nest. Buddies will die. Eventually you will die too. But, with luck, you’ll make a lasting difference to our community.”

She listened with trepidation, but also excitement. She wanted to be a worker, like the others.

“Hey, what’s that up there, hugging that leaf? Is that one of us?”

Her guide’s voice turned dark.

“That’s what happens when you take shrooms.”

-Z

Wikimotives

Z told me not too long ago about a bit of media that sprung up around a Russian academic who had illegally supplied huge numbers of academic papers for free on the internet. I responded to this information with something along the lines of “that sounds like a more useful but less important wikileaks.”

So impressed was I with this scathing and shrewd analysis I had voiced, that I decided to put it on the blog. You see, I believe that is what people like Assange and Snowden think when they find a juicy piece of confidential sticker. They think,  “How bad-ass would I look if I told this secret to the whole class?” Clearly the reasons, happenings and benefits behind all the things they’ve done are more complex than my off the shoulder cynical assessment. Still, I bet they wanted to release whatever they were given before thinking about whether it might be a good idea or not. Maybe that was even part of the drive to find out a good reason to do it.

I should disclose that I recently found a site called “wikileaks.somethingorother”  by accident on google. I thought ‘oooh!’ and clicked it to find out what kinds of juicy facts it might tell me that I couldn’t access otherwise and then feel super informed. Unfortunately it was full of just a bunch of links to public access government documents of no interest. Like a white paper on plumbing infrastructure for the greater Talbingo area or something. So I was disappointed and now I’m cynical about anything whistle-blowery.

Apart from generate some scandal, I never learnt if there was anything useful that people could do with the information that was leaked. maybe there was some kind of PR pressure that led to citizen freedoms being protected from what ever means the government was using at the time that got leaked. IDK, I didn’t pay much attention. My disinterest informed my conclusion that they probably did it for the glory and attention.

Wouldn’t it feel cool to uncover a conspiracy like that? Let’s face it, the power trip would be pretty sweet.But the childlike excitement of discovery would be better. No wonder Assange looks like he’s got his dick in every pie on every windowsill in the world, he’s a real life Nancy drew.

More importantly, who will win survivor? lol jks, like all issues I bring up here I shall avoid having an opinion and leave it open to a hypothetical future discussion… actually I’m going to say I think their innate humanity let them down and that the whistle-blowers are uncool.

-W

Livin’ in the good old days

 

It seems that a lot of people including myself feel great nostalgia for the good old days which we were too young to have any genuine appreciation for. This can be for something as simple as old timey nineties music I was barely old enough to remember. Alternatively it can be as large as feeling nostalgia for whole ways of life, and I’m sure we’ve all felt this, for say, being a swashbuckling pirate in the age of sail.

Obviously this is obvious, everyone on the face of the planet except anti-torrent legislators want to be a pirate in some way. However, its strange to think that we long for this backward, pestilent, hard life of crime and pain. Still, those romantic notions of exploring the unknown, free from the rule of international law, always win through. The challenge can add to the reward. Humans just can’t be comfortable being comfortable, it seems.

“Sure I was a sex object without basic human freedoms, I wouldn’t go back” says grandma, “but it was ever so quaint, ooh you don’t get cheese dixie dances like you used to…”

The good old days are full of these paradoxical compromises. We strive for a better world so we can be a bit bored and disappointed with it. For instance, we lament the disparity of wealth in the world and yet the image of the eighties corporate playboy washing down the coke snuffed down off a woman’s belly with a glug of grange straight from the bottle is somehow glamorous. It’s all a game I guess, and it’s only fun if someone’s losing, otherwise no one can be winning.

Alcohol was never as fun as it seems it was in the Prohibition era. The crime and danger adds to the thrill. Farming was never as fun as cowboys made it out to be, and that was mainly due to the likelihood of getting shot or lynched for no good reason. Sex in the sixties…well I guess STD risk is the exception to these things, not too nostalgic for the aids epidemics in the eighties, but the drugs were new. I like disco….

All this nostalgia for something we only know from what others tell us about it. It can make us look at the boring old world around us today. Sure we have phones, but they get boring pretty quick. It’s a computer in my hand, yay, time to watch cat vids with it. Drones are cool, but you need a license. Bloody safety. Everything is tarnished with process and bureaucracy. Freedom isn’t real, we aren’t trusted to not kill ourselves, for good reason, but it still sucks. I guess that’s why Americans are so desperate to cling to their gun laws. It’s a personal freedom that they need purely because it doesn’t make safety sense to keep it. It’s a choice they make as adults. They can feel the rules are still their’s for the making.

Despite housing affordability crises, more and more tariffs on booze and cigs and spending more of your life looking at a screen indoors, there is something to look forward to.

Good news, the future will be worse! 🙂 yay, that’s right, all the amazing technology will be drab, all the rules will be stifling, and it will still seem as busy and problem-riddled as ever.

Aren’t you lucky you live now. You’ll be old then, you won’t have to deal with that shit. No, you can just sit around and complain about how you used to be able to drive the car yourself with controls instead of telling it where to go, it was much more fun. And you will be able to rely on the modern medical technology to extend the time you have to tell all the kids how you were so much better than them at their age. Because no matter how shit it is now, it can get worse. So little things like riding a push bike without needing a road license and a rego slip might be the coolest thought in the world to those upstart little future kids.

“I built a billy cart and burnt dinosaur-juice just to cut grass with whirling knifes when I was young” you can tell them. Sparklers and candles, will be tales of the elicit and dangerous activities kids used to be allowed to do. That’s right. We used to take all our nicotine by burning it! Fancy that!!! They won’t believe you. “I remember when they started being electronicalised” you’ll groan. “They were great big things, had to be to hold the battery.”

Getting old is only any good because the world around you is shittier than before. So if you start lamenting the way the world is going, remember that’s a good thing and live up the good old days.

-W

 

Maybe it’s Us…

Remember that episode of Top Gear where they go to America and paint messages on their cars designed to cause as much offense as possible? For the uninitiated, the show’s three presenters were given a challenge (forget the obviously scripted nature of the show for a moment): write messages on each other’s cars which would make the locals damage them as much as possible. The messages proved to be too successful – after being set upon by rednecks who apparently took issue with one of the cars’ messages in support of homosexuality, a local radio station had broadcast their cars’ registration plates as a target for attack, and the crew had to wipe the messages off their cars and get out of Alabama as quickly as possible. It’s one of the most well-known scenes in Top Gear history. I thought it was hilarious.

But what the first person said in the initial confrontation was quite interesting:

person [redneck]: “Now are y’all gay looking to see how long it takes to get beat’ up in a hick town?”

This is the sort of line we’d love to ignore – something that indicates more awareness than we’d prefer her to have. Indeed, I ignored it the first time I saw the scene – I was too busy laughing with vindictive glee at the homophobes who were now getting humiliated on international television. But what she said was, I think, very telling as to the true reason for her anger. Because I don’t think she was angry about support for gays (well … not entirely at least). I think she was angry about the fact that a bunch of people who obviously thought they were better than the locals came and assumed she would be homophobic, and that she was very obviously being made fun of. In short, she was being treated as a ‘hick’. And in that context, of course she’d be angry. Wouldn’t you be angry if people spoke to you with pre-conceived notions of how you behave and think – that is, if you were being stereotyped?

Which is why I don’t understand why everyone who opposes Trump, and I do mean pretty much every single one of us, seems to think there’s nothing wrong with belittling Trump supporters, and then have the face to wonder aloud about how he manages to get so much support.

Now, don’t misunderstand me here. I do not support Trump. I, like many left-leaning people around the world (I believe the right refers to us collectively as ‘lib-tards’), support Sanders, and truly believe he can make a massive positive impact on many of the issues facing America today. And if I were forced to choose between Clinton and Trump, I would choose Clinton in less time than it takes men’s rights activists to feel sorry for themselves when watching the Ghostbusters remake (which takes a unit of time so small it can only exist in a theoretical sense). In short, Trump is, in my opinion at least, bad.

But I can’t help but hesitate when I see yet another article talking about how stupid and ignorant Trump voters are. “I just don’t understand, surely people are better than this” say the smug moderates who continue typing very obviously false attempts at exasperation and benefits of doubt in an effort to look more balanced than they really are. Well, you know what? Maybe it’s us. Maybe we’re too busy typing out our ‘I’m not that right-wing’ insecurities to realise we’re the ones pushing Trump voters away. Doubtless, if Trump does win the presidency, these same people will gleefully type pretend-lamentations of how people are stupid and that society is doomed and that dictatorships are needed, or something. I doubt even blind cave-dwelling salamanders, cut off from the outside world millions of years ago, could be more isolated from reality than these netizens.

At the moment, Trump looks set to lead the Republicans to an abysmal loss. But if we continue treating anyone with a hint of anti-Clinton views as uneducated proletarians not worth listening to, this might change. Hey, at least the smuggers will feel more energised than ever before, right?

-Z

Forget ‘The Political Compass’ – Just Take a Drive

It’s a long-known fact that everyone’s political views, no matter how different, are, in their own eyes, exactly in the centre, or ‘centre-left’ if they’re far-right. But, of course, in reality, this cannot be true for everyone – my friends hated my controversial decision to grow a mullet, so I’d say they’re more conservative than me, for instance. So how does one objectively measure how liberal or conservative a person is, if we’re not to trust their own judgement? Some might point to online tests, most notably The Political Compass, but these tests, whilst giving you a detailed picture of your standing in relation to the rest of the world and the major political parties of your country, take up to fifteen minutes, and will add up to five cents to your power bill. My newly-devised method, meanwhile, gives you a guess that may occasionally be accurate in a mere half-hour, and will cost you nothing provided you’re good at scabbing lifts off people.

You see, a person’s attitude to driving is, actually, quite relevant to their political stance. Let me explain. A forever unbroken rule of driving is that everyone faster than you is too fast, and everyone slower than you is too slow, regardless of your actual speed. However, different people respond to higher/lower speeds differently, and here is where I make my judgement. If one were to see a minivan with tyres thinner than our taxes for Qantas driving at below the speed limit and didn’t mind, I would contend that they are probably liberal-minded, as it shows they’ve kept an open mind to the possibility that different drivers and cars may have different speeds at which they are comfortable. If, however, a driver doing 80km/h in a 100 zone gives a car zooming past at 93 an indignant stare pretending to be dismissive (well that’s what he did to me), I would contend that he is absolutely not open-minded, as he refused to consider looking at the road though anyone else’s point of view.

By the way, he drove a light green Commodore Calais, probably VY model, on the Hume Freeway, near Watsonia in Melbourne, about a month ago. You’re damn right I’m bitter.

This method of political diagnosis has strong implications. For instance, we can now predict the transport policies of either party if they are to become government (since we still have no idea who it’s going to be). If Turnbull comes into power, we can be sure that speeding fines will be increased. I can see him complaining about the slow car already: “This guy’s doing a bad job, his speed isn’t showing any growth….” If, on the other hand, Shorten gets in … things will probably stay about where they are now, actually, because all he’d say upon seeing a slower car is ‘Medicare’, having lost the remainder of his vocabulary during the election campaign. If the Greens got into power though, we’d expect the only proper system of roads, the autobahn, except that they’re against using petrol. It’s a horrible catch-22 for them. So basically, things are going to be bad for drivers in Australia. Sorry fellas.

Oh, and I won’t hide it – woe is the person in front of me who dares to drive anything more than 2km/h below the speed limit. Especially if they’re driving Commodores.

-Z

“Well at Least I’m Better Than Americans”

“Well I just think we should have, you know, some control over our borders.”
“There’s barely any people if you compare asylum seekers to normal immigrants, the economic cost would be completely eclipsed if we started taxing Qantas, or any of the other big companies that pay zero income tax, their qualifications aren’t worth much here plus most of them aren’t allowed to work anyway so losing jobs to them isn’t really a worry, and they’d be housed if we stopped counting houses as investments for negative gearing laws so don’t even try to start about putting them ahead of homeless people.”

I’ve got him. He can’t get around the fact that there’s no reason to support offshore processing. He’s doomed, like a factual piece of information at The Daily Telegraph. Victory is near.

“Haha, at least we’re not in America! They’re gonna elect a guy who’s gonna build a fence to stop Mexicans and “make them pay for it” haha! Bernie Sanders is the only guy who knows what’s up and he’s gonna lose!”

trump

Time to make excuses great again. image taken from businessinsider.com

Everyone has a laugh. All is well again.

What the hell just happened?

Time and again I meet people who use the ‘at least I’m better than Americans’ line to get themselves out of trouble, or just to feel better about themselves. I thought it was just a university student thing, like feeling ‘nostalgia’ for Catdog, or thinking our opinions matter, but it’s not. Fully grown, fully intelligent people still use this line. And other people agree with it. Everyone agrees with it. Hell, American tourists, worried about not fitting in here, agree with it. Forget global warming, forget nuclear de-armament, this line will be the thing that unites the peoples of this planet and bring about world peace. And, frankly, it makes no fucking sense.

refugees

We, the nation keeping refugees in indefinite detention, in order to evade international law, with bipartisan support, are laughing at Trump’s wall. Okay. image taken from looppng.com

Let’s go with this example. Let’s compare illegal immigrants in America with our offshore processing policy. Ignoring the fact that illegal immigrants aren’t refugees, which already invalidates his argument, the number of illegal immigrants in America dwarfs any statistic related to boat people in Australia. According to reasonably reliable estimates, there are as many as 11 million illegal immigrants in America, 8 million of whom are employed, in a nation with 22 million unemployed people. Even if we scale this down by a factor of 15 for Australia’s population, we still end up with ~730,000 people. We in Australia do not and have never had anything even remotely approaching this number of asylum seekers. And in America, it’s actually considered controversial if illegal immigrants are deported, whereas we don’t bat an eye when a student who’s overstayed their visa here gets the same treatment. We are, quite objectively, far worse in this area.

But does that matter? Do people actually care what the facts are when it comes to America? I don’t think they do. No one seems to know or care that America spends proportionally more on medicine than Australia, or that their news programs are required to hire with diversity in mind (have you seen Australian news that isn’t SBS – it’s like looking at a freaking salt lake), or that they recently made gay marriage legal, or any of the (many) other things which suggest that, actually, America is quite a progressive society. We even have the bare-faced cheek to talk about oppression of black people there, when we have the Stolen Generation, a ten-year difference in life expectancy for Indigenous Australians, sub-40% home ownership rates, 1300% higher homelessness rates, and a broad public perception that they complain too much, leading to very little action to solve the issue. None of this matters. They base their view of America on news outlets which I can only assume have their entire foreign crew based in the dodgiest town of Texas, cultivating some sort of hick story so far removed from the rest of the nation it shouldn’t even qualify as a caricature. And they’ve been doing this for years now, conservatives and liberals alike. It’s become a part of our culture, like Vegemite or pretending to watch and/or care about soccer. I don’t think I’m exaggerating here when I say it’s become politically correct to hate America.

bad living conditions

‘Well at least I’m better than Americans!’ image taken from pub209healthcultureandsociety.wikispaces.com

Now, hopefully, you’ll see that this is bad. Hating a nation is getting woefully close to xenophobia. But it gets worse. You see, people have started justifying their terribly callous views to themselves by using this phrase. Want cuts to Medicare? ‘Well at least I’m better than Americans!’ Want to support offshore processing? ‘Well at least I’m better than Americans!’ Want to stop paying unemployed Indigenous Australians Newstart, the only thing keeping them (barely) alive, unless they move to a town where no one’s going to hire them anyway? ‘Well at least I’m better than Americans!’ Love the tax cut that gives $80,000-$87,000-a-year families, far above the average income, more money, whilst introducing work for the dole at $4 an hour? ‘Well. Well.’ By using this extreme-right non-existent nation as an excuse, we’ve been slowly sucked towards the right, telling ourselves that as long as it’s better than ‘America’, it’s okay.

What I’m really saying is that we should all move to America. They’re, ironically, the only ones unaffected by this nonsense, and it’s actually a pretty cool place too.

-Z