A machine answers….

“Hello, and welcome to the mental health hotline …

If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.

If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a voice will tell you which number to press.

If you are a manic-depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press, no one will answer.

If you are dyslexic, press 9696969696969696.

If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the pound key until a representative comes on the line.

If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, Social Security number and your mother’s maiden name.

If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, s-l-o-w-l-y and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y press 0 0 0.

If you have bi-polar disorder, please leave a message after the beep, or before the beep, or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

If you have low self-esteem, please hang up. All operators are too busy to talk to you.


I woke up this ‘morning’, and decided to play Slayer to work out to. I usually play the album ‘Deicide’, because a lot of the songs have a slow, grinding heaviness to them that complements my grunting while doing push-ups (4 in all, 5 on a good day). Today however, I went for the live 2-CD album and heard stuff like “This is a song about Ed, who slept, and danced, with the dead” and it gets you thinking, what crap lyrics. At what point did someone go, “well, this Ed guy, he’s a real bad-ass, sleeping with the dead and all that, but we’ve got to make him tougher. You know what, let’s say he danced with the dead as well. That’ll knock them off their feet!” Another beaut I noticed was “I’ll kill you forever”, like there’s another option!

A lesson in unproductivity

Yes, sign up here, Ladies and Gents, you have the choice of my crash course “How not to work”, or the more lengthy and detailed course “Work: The philosophy of entitlement and anti-establishmentarianism”. Anyhow, all this typing’s made me thirsty, I’m off to Sand Bar.

Blog on blogs

Dr Peter Kawalek, Senior Lecturer and all-round Good Person at MBS, is going to write a paper on action research he plans to conduct into weblogs. Here’s what I mentioned; any thoughts?

Going through my blog archives, a funny pattern emerges. I get the most comments (directly reflecting interest) on those topics where I manage to say something scandalous, controversial, or personal to my friends. If I just write what happened to me that day, interest seems to be zero.

So a canny blogger is one who makes his/her audience react. Reasons for wanting to be react are not uni-dimensional; perhaps the commentee wants to show off, perhaps commenting on your blog is prestigious, perhaps the topic demands reaction, etc.

Storm clouds looming

This morning I awoke to the sound of my Simpsons doughnut clock clucking at me. It was louder than usual, and sounded especially ominous; which, given the mental state I’m in over my dissertation, seems to fit in. Still managed a cheeky snooze though πŸ™‚


It’s coming up to 60 years since the atrocities were carried out in the name of freedom. This 6th of August will mark the day that, 60 years ago, the populations of two cities were subjected to almost total obliteration. I’m not sure where I stand on the “nuclear-free world” question; I do believe that nuclear power is a source of energy that we cannot afford to overlook. That would be tantamount to killing a snake simply because we fear it. However, wouldn’t it be better not to have a loaded gun in the house at all, rather than take the chance that the little kid (or jilted lover) will find and use it? I know, very simplistic illustrations to a complex problem, but it shows how ambiguous I can be πŸ™‚
Surely we should be able to trust humankind to make the right decisions? Well…. look at this.

UN researchers predicted the current food crisis in Niger months ago. But only now, as millions face starvation and images of dying children sweep the news media, has the international community begun to respond with food aid, they say.

?It was very clear from October last year. We monitor this region very closely due to its vulnerability. The warnings were given very early,? says Jean Senahoun, of Global Information and Early Warning System in Rome, a part of the UN?s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Senahoun was among the researchers involved in the December 2004 special report on the Niger food forecast, which predicted the country would fall short of nearly 300,000 tonnes of food ? about 7% of the country?s total need ? before the next harvest in October 2005. The devastating failure of the October 2004 harvest was two-thirds due to severe droughts and one-third due to the locust infestation that swept through West Africa.

Despite the report?s firm recommendations, the spur for aid only came after BBC news footage in Niger was broadcast last week.

In the days of the first appeal, just $1 per day per individual could have offset crisis. But now it will take $80 to save each starving person.

Taken from New Scientist 26/07/05.

I watched Reservoir Dogs again t’other day. I remember how terrified I was of Mr.Blonde when I first saw it, because of his callousness in the scene where he chops the cop’s ear off. But this time I was laughing at his dance steps!!


I heard about this website, yeah? So I went to see it, yeah? Doesn’t work. Apparently you enter your domain url, the application takes a look at your code, and then makes a graphical representation of it, that looks like a tree. Poor Brazilian got shot in London, we don’t want to end-up like America! But as Tinks just said, it’s an ill wind that blows nobody’s way; bicycle sales have gone up!!

Rien sur Robert/Kundera

I saw a great film on BBC Four, a French one called “Nothing about Robert”. There was this crazy girl, as is quite the norm in all French films, and she basically lures this middle-aged intellectual away from his girlfriend, who’s another loon, because she walks up a stranger in the park and asks him for a shag, and then proceeds to describe the affair to her boyfriend. In all this, there was the mention of Kundera, which reminded me that I had bought ‘Immortality’ and hadn’t finished reading it; another book that I kept on-the-go and then forgot about. So I dug it up. A quote from this book is appropriate right about here..

It is part of the definition of feeling that it is born in us without our will, often against our will. As soon as we want to feel (decide to feel, just as Don Quixote decided to love Dulcinea), feeling is no longer feeling but an imitation of feeling, a show of feeling. This is commonly called hysteria. That’s why homo sentimentalis (a person who has raised feeling to a value) is in reality identical to homo hystericus.

By the way, is there a French film that doesn’t have a scene where a group of people sit around a dinner table discussing art and/or literature. And the words existentialist and/or post-idealist are used?

An eventful couple of days.

Well first off, I’ve now got a digital camera! Kodak C340. Half-price at Dixon’s. 5 megapixels, 5x optical, 3x digital zoom, and even a little string-loopy thingy to put your hand through. Went with IT Support and SteveO around Manchester, giving them a bit of training in how to take photos and stuff, you know, technical stuff like composition, etc πŸ˜‰ We saw the start of Manchester Festival, Kwanzaa party and it was highly disorganised at the start. Then we went to Arndale, got my camera, and went looking for things to shoot. Saw a man on a bike with two watches, engrossed in the street drummers. Mike from Punana was there drumming. I caught up with the Kwanzaa party outside my house in Alexandra Park, got a nice photo of a dancer getting a leg up on a cop!


Last night was a DVD fiesta, managed to work through all the 3 Lord of the Rings films, thanks to Peetey (although I’m not sure he knows much about it). I was up till 4am, and had 4 dinner breaks. You filthy pig! The unfortunate thing about LOTR is that there’s too much of Gayboy Frodo and his ‘mate’ Sam Gamgee on screen.

Frodo: Oh Sam!
Sam: Oh Frodo!
(nb. not actual quotes)

And so on and on and on.

The good thing is that there’s big battle scenes, and when they do divert from the original story (which is every other frame, mind you) they’re good enough to include gigantic wolves and suchlike. I personally am quite happy with CGI, and will readily swap plot for action (my Swedish collection bears testimony πŸ™‚ when the fancy takes me.
Anyhow (YAWN) going to see Ioannis soon, perhaps bump around Antonia/Maria’s tonight if there’s plans to go out.