The Horror Of Communication

I was being pestered by irritating music promoters from Greece on MSN because they think that, because I have a Greek name and work for the Official Xbox Magazine, that I care about their concept to link festivals the world over through Xbox Live Vision cameras. While their idea might be fine (I couldn’t care less), it’s a horrible concept that one day all msn, phone and email systems will be linked to a global fast network so that nowhere you go will there be peace, solitude and quiet but only the eternal binging, buzzing and clanking of your receivers. Thank Zeus, the Chinese will have shot down all the satellites by then with their new rockets and reduced the world to a faux-communist wasteland.

Pope-ular Games

Gamasutra – Pope Benedict XVI Criticizes Violent Video Games

In his message, Pope Benedict specifically singles out “commercial competitiveness compelling communicators to lower standards”, continuing: “Any trend to produce programmes and products – including animated films and video games – which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behaviour or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programmes are directed at children and adolescents.”

Video-games are like the bible then, targeted at children who have no concept if it’s real or not, who are subjected to stories about genocide, murder and the inferiority of women. Of course video-games justification is only hedonism, while the bible is justified arbitrarily by appeal to a rabid, jealous god. I do not like violence in video games, preferring the clean conflict of German board games like Carcassone and Settlers of Catan, but will not stand alongside a religion that is horrifyingly hierarchical, has persecuted and massacred throughout history, and in its modern form perpetrates dangerous random doctrines like no-contraception and condemns this stuff. Neither the Pope nor I have clean hands on this particular moral issue so I think he should just butt out.

I do hope he’s reading.

(Angry today.)

Listening to Blue Jam in the office…

Listening to Blue Jam in the office…

…is a very bad idea. Seriously bad. It definitely helps with writing though.

Not as bas as Hillary running for office though, when there are newspapers (and the Murdoch corporation) that have been storing dirt on her since Chelsea was in diapers and Bill was in Monica.

And isn’t Hillary the man’s spelling of Hilary? (Ah, Google informs me that she’s named after Mountaineer Sir Edmund, so it’s definitely more manly.)

The Ultimate Wiener Schnitzel (Vat-Grown)

In 2002 scientists at Touro College in the US removed some muscle from the abdomen of an anaesthetised goldfish and placed it in a saline solution enriched with foetal calf serum.

The muscle reportedly grew by 15 per cent in a few weeks. It was then coated in breadcrumbs and lightly sautéed in olive oil: scientists said that the resulting dish “smelled good”.

Is there any need for this? Quorn is pretty much vat-grown meat, being mainly protein and not too hideous to eat. Let’s pass over Soylent Green rapidly, as it would be a tremendously inefficient way of reclaiming flesh – much better to use our flesh as the material for other things to grow on and feed many than render it down into burgers and feed only a few.

That said, I quite like the idea, if only from a “The Future Is Here” feeling. I like the idea that these scientists, perceived by the public as severe white-coated types replete with clipboards and furrowed brows, are sitting there mixing foetal calf (veal) with lean goldfish flesh to create the perfect white meat, which they then make into the ultimate Wiener Schnitzel. Balls they didn’t eat it – anyone who goes to the trouble of breadcrumbing and sauteeing it is going to squeeze a little lemon over it and ask “Dr Moriarty, will you be having tartare or horseradish with yours?”

(Good quote from Churchill at the end)

Winston Churchill, a carnivore to the core, saw the future of meat back in 1936. “Fifty years hence,” he wrote, “we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”

Charlie Is My Darling

Pepys’ Diary: Monday 11 January 1663/64

This morning I stood by the King arguing with a pretty Quaker woman, that delivered to him a desire of hers in writing. The King showed her Sir J. Minnes, as a man the fittest for her quaking religion, saying that his beard was the stiffest thing about him, and again merrily said, looking upon the length of her paper, that if all she desired was of that length she might lose her desires; she modestly saying nothing till he begun seriously to discourse with her, arguing the truth of his spirit against hers; she replying still with these words, “O King!” and thou’d him all along.

Oh, dear. It appears Charles II was as ribald as cinematic and literary portrayals would have it, and slightly less witty.

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When You Wish Upon A Star

“Blessings of Shitler!” yelled Basil. “Be careful with that thing! You don’t want to attract the wrong sort of attention”. The small zeppelin swayed alarmingly as Smuglon cranked the flux-capacitor up three more points and swung the refracting crystal over their heads. Now, the blinding light from the laser searchlight mounted in the middle of the balloon’s basket struck and was refracted, spilling twinkling light for miles around. Beneath them, the light revealed the stretching desert, sand like chalk dust in the clean light from the argon-krypton laser, marred only by camel tracks. The silence was ghostly and short-lived.

“Here they come again!” cried little Jones, perched on top of the zep’s carapace. Basil looked around, then focused on the west. White specks on the horizon resolved themselves into sweeping dove-coloured wings, dangling candyfloss-coated gyrocopters, all peaceful and white and pure, save for the menacing underslung cannons, all black pig-iron and flaming tar. “Joseph H. Stalin!” said Basil. “Can’t we go faster?” Smuglon didn’t even bother to respond. The popping noises from the solid/liquid transmuting engine were obviously starting to get to him.

As they zeroed in, the copter pilots wailed and shook in the dry night air, the doppler effect producing a chorus of Ave Marias. The wordless cries drifted across the rapidly-diminishing gap. “…Power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise…” they sang. “And they call themselves religious!” said Jones. A flaming heavenly bolt took off the flags above him and he fell silent.

Suddenly, a stream of detritus shot from the back of the engine, through the basket and into the path of the oncoming angelcopters. One, covered in gunk, plummeted to the desert’s floor, skimming the heads of a startled caravan. “Mao sodding!” said Basil “Is it meant to do that?”. Smuglon shook his head, worryingly, and crammed closer to the others in the basket. The intermittent blasts of vapour and junk put paid to two more swarming winged holies, before the rest dropped back, taking pot-shots as they went.

go to bethlehem, act as star for magi. etc, yawn.