Monthly Archives: July 2008

would you like to see some puppies?

Charlie says, arglenarglebargle

Charlie says, 'arglenarglebargle'

For some reason the subject of paedophilia keeps coming up in conversations. I think it’s because the British pronunciation (pea-dophile) is hilarious to Americans. The reference I inevitably drop into the conversation and which subsequently sinks like a depleted uranium canoe is the classic, “Would you like to see some puppies?”

This of course requires some explanation at length. I thought it might be quicker just to post the original public service broadcast (also embedded after the jump). It’s still chillingly relevant. I think the wee boy narrator’s performance is outstanding. I wonder where he is now?

Hopefully not buried under a garden shed somewhere.
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iPwn 2.0

my frontispiece

my minimalist frontispiece

A new model of mobile telephone got released a week ago. The lurking ranks of the fruit-obsessed duly assembled in orderly lines of barely-contained autism, snaking crazy-eyed from the doors of Apple stores everywhere.

I have the ‘classique’ model so don’t get to stream pr0n quite as quickly as the owners of the new device. However I do get the App Store *fanfare* on iTunes to buy new gadgets.

Day one of iPhone 2.0 was a disaster. The engineers at Apple clearly failed to anticipate the demand for the whizzy new gear. To handle the deluge of activation requests these fizzing jerkholes evidently switched on an old Commodore 64 somewhere and drifted off mumbling for another Starbucks. Cue seven hours of dead telephone, iTunes pathetically offering some obscure error and the Apple support forums logging a zillion outbursts from powerless punters.

Anyway. The updated version is slow and freezy. SMS is slow to emerge. Safari locks up and disappears. But look! The shiny apps. The shiny apps you can install over the air, whenever you feel like it.

  • Remote. This is the winner for me, genuinely transforming how I do things at home. It turns the phone into a remote control for your iTunes. And not some crappy 6-button effort, but the full GUI. I actually prefer using the tactile rubby fingerplate to iTunes’ fastidious clicky nonsense.
  • Facebook. Very nice, very useful. Again the iPhone turns out better than the web – it’s easier to get a quick view of what everyone is up to.
  • Google. There’s a lot of cool stuff hidden in the simplistic interface. Even more efficient at fuelling your alcoholism and displaying the nearest bar to your location (type ‘bar’, click ‘Local’).
  • WordPress. Just out today. No control over comments, but the rest is well thought out, and you can work on drafts locally.
  • Aqua Forest. A physics toy like yon Phun. Make some water, tilt phone, watch water slosh around. Repeat.
  • WeatherBug, NYTimes. Good daily info. “Just how appalling is the humidity today Mister Phone?”
  • Jott, Light, Mocha VNC, PhoneSaber, eBay, Aurora Feint. Relegated to the third screen, rarely touched.
  • No Super Monkey Baws. I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

Still no cut and paste though. Ha fucking ha, you eppil cnuts.

juxtapozer

A million years in the monochrome past when I lived in the arctic hellhole of Aberdeen, Scotland, I fervently frequented a great comics shop called Plan 9. In an otherwise remote and conservative city, Plan 9 was a conduit to counterculture. The owner managed to get imports of all kinds of amazing stuff: Robert Crumb, Al Columbia, Optic Nerve (Adrian Tomine), Daniel Clowes, Juxtapoz, Jim Woodring, all these great things that I still love were introduced to me by scouring the corners of this inspiring place and steadily blowing my student loan.

Now some number of years of hard slog later I’m twatting about NYC with attractive ladies and attending cool art openings and dodging just-about-famous people and the like. How do these things come together?

In my absurd pleasure at being even tangentially associated with Juxtapoz magazine. See if you can spot my fizzer over on their site. Shirt by CULT Clothing of Edinburgh. JUXTAPOZER.

Might as well mention I nearly ran over Ethan Hawke on my street again today on my new Vanguard. He was with some heavily pregnant burd and a tatty looking dog and talking what sounded very much like pretentious bollocks.

Houston polaroids 1

On the streets in Houston. The undisputed realm of the motor car. Highways, vast concrete ribbons, arch and bank. It’s hot, the kind of heat that hits you in the face when you open the bonnet of your car after a long drive. Narrowing your eyes against the searing specular highlights, you notice a pattern in the shining paintjobs. Houston is full of muscle cars. SUV, multi-wheel pickup, Dodge, Mustang, Corvette, Exxon, Amen.

divider

You ask a colleague for directions to a sandwich place. You are directed underground to the tunnel network. Bemused, you follow the pointed finger down a flight of stairs and through an air-conditioned corridor to subterranean walkways, where Houston’s pedestrian commerce takes place out of the weight and glare of above-ground, where neglected pedestrian crossings tick their countdowns to green and reigned-in drivers mirror the increments tapping their gas pedals impatiently.

You notice a tunnel map and stop dead. The networks are colour coded. The bright hieroglyphs are backlit on the walls, for all the world like control panels in a science fiction film.

divider

Weighing your chicken sub in the flimsy bag you head back for the office, wondering if your sense of direction will hold with no external points of reference. In the loose mob of civilians and ambling professionals out for their lunch, veering, darting, self-conscious women in loose clothing power-walk their way in a circuit of the tunnel network, loose fists swung comically high to the shoulder for maximum exertion.

divider

Downtown in the Flying Saucer bar the patrons are working on their lists. By sampling one of every type of beer they get a plaque on the wall. The panels and ceiling are covered with coloured plates declaring the alcoholism of the devoted regulars. Over your ale you notice there is no minimum standard of dress; sexy friday-night dresses mix with dirty T-shirts and yahoo shorts with sandals.

The waitresses wear short skirts and Flying Saucer tops. As your glass turns to frothy rings you feel hands warmly grasping your shoulders from behind, and a gentle, accented, female voice in your tingling ear invites you to, “have another one sweetie..?”

divider

In the evening you step out of your air conditioned building into air so warm it makes you smile. Looking south over sparse, low-roofed buildings to the glowing sky beyond, you could place yourself in Greece, or Spain. Turn on your heel, and now the view is the towering digital light-mesh of a skyscraper future. Monoliths standing lazily apart from one another both in distance and in style. The inconsistency of Houston.

codex

You can get all kinds of neato stuff by trawling for torrents. Demonoid (Mac stuff), UKNova (UK TV), PirateBay (films, pr0n), that sort of thing.

One of the self-confessed geekiest moments of my life was enabled by the magic of torrent. If you’ve never caressed a Space Marine, skip this paragraph now.
Over at Wikipedia’s extensive Warhammer 40K section, I found myself in a minor edit war. Clashing with some sapling n00b, I found I was unable to settle a vital dispute over some obscure detail of Tyranid mythology from *nrgh* over twenty years ago. Now I know my memory is infallible (as Stu will testify). If only I had my trusty 1987 copy of Rogue Trader! These kids weren’t even born when I was playing. My geekness accumulated thus:

1. Actually bothering to edit Wikipedia
2. Admitting to ever playing 40K
3. Actually caring about it enough to argue
4. Being pedantic enough to search for the book
5. Amazingly finding a torrent and spending time downloading it
6. On inspection realising that I was completely, comprehensively wrong

Anyway I digress. My learned colleague at work pointed out this rather fine work of art previously only available for bum-clenchingly large sums of cash, but now ruthlessly distributed in bitty torrents for your cheap-ass perusal. It’s the Codex Seraphinianus, and you can download it directly here. It’s a bumper batch of eye biscuits. Once you’ve checked it out there’s some context on WP.

It reminds me of the weird, disturbing coloured angel creatures in Jim Woodring’s stuff. For a cheeky taste of Jim’s most famous creation Frank, there is a really, really excellent don’t-miss-it article describing why it buggers with your mind so. Jim himself approves.