concepts for a buntiful world
Sunday, November 30
grid::brand "He took a duck in the face at 250 knots"
[Title unashamedly pinched from William Gibson's book Pattern Recognition which ties in nicely with our current topic. Read it. It is good.]

There is an evermore increasing pressure on us to brand ourselves. The meaning and purpose of branding has changed since the days of cowboys, but in fewer ways than we might think.

I admit I find it distressing when I see people with the Nike swoosh or Adidas stripes actually tattooed on their bodies, but most people undertake a much more pervasive form of branding every day.

Look at yourself now. How many symbols or logos of companies are you wearing?
Are you happy advertising the companies that you are wearing?
Think small, even your watch has a visible label.
(Labels inside of clothes don't count so much.)

Look at your blog site. Do you brand yourself? Is what you say true?

you've found a seminarian
in her mid-ish twenties
with a mind to play
who lives in termenatorville,
but don't hold it against me, please.

[sorry Kat, just reaching for a quick example]

Do you feel happy allowing people pigeonhole you before they have read what you have to say?

Modblog positively encourages this, what tune is playing? mood? age? location?

Why do we feel the need to answer these questions? They are branding us. Now in many case, like these last two the branding is self imposed and thus not harmful or offensive to anyone.

Most brand are corporate definitions of things, a note of what to expect when encountering a body. It is a message to other users about what to expect, what "sort" of thing you are or what "class" to categorise under.

A brand puts you into a category. I categorise people who wear logo-ful clothes. I pigeonhole people into my personal stereotypes, for example I tend not to get on with people who were a great deal of "sports" clothing. [and I cannot emphasize those inverted commas enough] Clothing that is made by Kappa or Adidas or Nike or Ellesse or any of those other nasty brands.

Brands developed so that cowboys could tell their herds apart. Now companies use it to tell their herds of mindless beasts of burden apart. Plus it is free advertising. I look down at myself. I have a t-shirt that has the new internationalist logo on the arm, and a pair of socks from my old school. That is about as far as I go. I know people who won't wear clothes if they aren't a "label" brand.

Perhaps this is why suits are considered to be smart. Suits don't have brand labels plastered all over them and in fact only those "in the know" are likely to be able to tell where any particular suit came from by the cut. It is the staement of understatement, a statement most people of today have forgotten to make. A king can meet a peon in a suit and both can be comfortable.

The internet contains the possibility to make brands useless. People used to buy branded goods because they knew the quality was better and they were willing to pay for it. Then it became possible to buy good quality stuff at low cost, from non-brand name producers. The brands had to find themselves a new selling point, and they did. One that nobody could beat, so everybody was forced to join. The "fashionable brand".

I still know people who maintain that "their" brand of choice is worth the extra money. Take for one example Gordons Gin, not a giant of the branding companies, but one with an interesting secret. Safeway's [UK supermarket chain] own brand gin IS Gordons gin, just three quid cheaper. It is made in the same factory, with the same stuff, on the same production line, the only difference comes in the labelling.

Is it still worth buying Gordons if you shop in Safeway?

Marks and Spencer [UK dept store] sells jeans which are as hard wearing and in as many varieties of cut as does Levi's.

Is it worth the extra ninety quid?

Do you really want to pay twenty quid for a t-shirt with someone elses logo on it rather than four quid for a plain one? Maybe if the logo is cool, but people buy clothes just for the would have thought that companies should be giving away t-shirts with their logos on so that people will advertise them for free...but no..say the companies. The consumers are stupid enough to actually PAY for the honour of advertising our company.

and we do.

Why do we?
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/30/2003 03:44:00 pm
Friday, November 28
Leaps of thought
People talk about making leaps of intuition, of being on the edge of a discovery and of jumping to conclusions and I have been thinking about this. I think it is all about impetus.

You can be on a roll, point following logical point, hopping from conclusion to conclusion using logic as a balancing pole and then you halt....look around...and you can't see where the next jump leads to, you can't spot your landing space, but you can't saty there looking bacause, like those little blocks at the end of Super Mario Land's earlier levels the ground is falling away beneath you. In ten seconds time you will be back where you began, in the gutter looking at the stars.

There are problems too great for one person to solve, not jumps too great, just myriad dead ends, where there is no next jump, and too many jumps on the right route. Everyone will lose impetus at some point. Nobody can keep up the sustained effort long enough to reach places where we might find fifth dimensional concepts or inuitive style leaps like that.

Perhaps the internet can help us with this. Perhaps if we are able to treat it like a hive mind, a mind where the sum is far far beyond the sum of its parts. With the internet we can open discussion and sustain it provided we have the minds with the ideas.

As one stream falters another can take it up and keep leaping. More than one can take it up and if they happen to venture in different directions they will come to different end points and lead on to different conclusions. Hopefully one of the routes will takes us all the way.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/28/2003 03:15:00 pm
Thursday, November 27
Grid blogging
but first a public service announcement. Watch out for Watch out for the ipods

I have pinched both of these from this blog

Grid blogging sounds like a great idea. Check the title link and think about the concept. I think the idea of a clustered group of people blogging on an idea is an awesome use of what should be an incredibly powerful memetic distribution machine. Each person will have a different (hopefully) view of what the title means and searchers can jump betwixt and between to broaden the mind.

I shall be blogging on the first. (and possibly not until the first)
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/27/2003 02:11:00 pm
War and Peace
is a getting a little tired for me now. I am a thousand pages in and have been enjoying it so far, but what is beginning to bother me is the lack of a plot. I will finish the book, don't get me wrong, and I think that as far as 1400 page long books go it is pretty good, but it doesn't have a plot.

What Tolstoy seems to have done is to set his characters up on a historical background, and then simply go with the history. Pierre turning up in the middle of the biggest battle of the war is mildly amusing, but pretty pointless, it is as if Tolstoy said to himself, "damn, I don't have enough characters in to write about more than a tiny part of the battle, I know I can make Pierre just sit round in the middle watching the cannon balls and wondering what the hell is going on."

As such I am bored by the book, as a historical study of imperial Russia it is beautiful, and as novel it is big and serious, which are always good criteria for being taken seriously. It has pathos and uplifting parts and is, it is true, still packed with little bits of genius that are still relevant today despite an incredible change of context, society and themes.

At the end of the day it is worth reading but be warned, unless you read fast, and I mean really fast, it is gonna take you a couple of weeks solid. The question you have to ask yourselves (punk) is whether you enjoy reading literature that is not immediately rewarding enough. (well do ya?)
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/27/2003 09:41:00 am
Wednesday, November 26
I don't link this with intent to send trolls her way, but I was struck by a post by Jen Speaks titled, "This Makes Me Sad." I thought a few of my regular readers, who don't read Jen, may be interested.

If you must comment at her blog, I implore you to be kind.

LATER: I've now taken the time to read some of the comment thread and it's more disturbing than the original post.

So how do we, who think, reach out to folks like this, who not only don't think but have complete sympathy (patronise me here) for God? It grieves me.

- posted by Buntifer @ 11/26/2003 04:39:00 pm
Tuesday, November 25
I have to agree with something I see on Technically Rachel.
I am not sure it is really the done thing to be disgusted with people's beliefs. I mean, I am disgusted with hundreds of people's beliefs on topics from Pop idol to Hitler, but whenever I bring these points up in arguments people get defensive.

I am about to use the words opinion and belief interchangably because the only difference is that beliefs are more strongly held and less likely to be changed.

"It's only an opinion can't be wrong...opinions are can you say your opinions are better/more valid than mine."

Well I'm sorry but I don't care. Opinions can be wrong, Hitler was of the opinion that the Jews were an inferior race...well I'm sorry but he's WRONG. I don't care if opinions are personal, if you want to take my attack on your opinions as a personal attack, FINE.

My opinions ARE better than yours, that is why they are mine. I wouldn't hold them if they weren't better than anyone elses and you will find it difficult to make me change them. I am always willing to argue and I usually win when defending my points of view. My beliefs are tried and tested and generally fit in according to the scientific method, my opinions are whimsical and ALWAYS correct.

Try this on for size:

Titanic was the biggest shittest waste of money I have ever seen in my life closely followed by the Matrix sequels.

Catcher in the Rye is one of the all time most overrated books, Pulp fiction is the most overrated film and Tarantino is a pretty overrated director.

Simon Cowell is an oxygen thief, as are most of the contestants. The brunette would beat me up if I said all the contestants.

Football is a waste of grass, and footballers are a waste of legs.

In England, since the demise of the Monster Raving Loony Party no political party has been worth voting for. They are all idiots.

Boris Johnson's hair is great.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/25/2003 05:13:00 pm
I eat fast food, although I am currently boycotting the golden arches as a result of their present advertising campaign. (and as a result I am eating better stuff instead, it could be said that "I'm loving it.") anyway back to the main point which is that KFC is horrible. I have only ever had it twice and both times I have been surpirised at the vileness that other people enjoy eating. I have analysed the special coating they use on the chicken with my taste buds and come to the conclusion that it is mostly composed of diesel oil, baby oil, north sea oil, some more oil, baby shit and breadcrumbs. The secret ingredient is freeze dried vomit. I have to walk past KFC every day, they pump the scent from the kitchens out onto the pavement. I love it when bakeries and patisseries do this, the smell of freshly baked bread is close to divine, but KFC!?!?!? The smell of hot rancid chicken fat makes me retch whenever I forget to hold my breath! I'm not kidding it is truly revolting, and so I posit my complete lack of understanding for why and how KFC remains full, despite dumping this odourous toxic waste over the pavement right outside their entrance. It is a great place to do it, all I need to do is approach the doors and I would be puking all over the pavement...still that would smell nicer.

Anyway, for those of you that enjoy KFC...I hope this hasn't put you off.

It isn't as though I give a shit about what I'm eating. I will eat anything, ninety percent of animal corpses are edible, and that other ten percent has been made close to edible by the big M. I am prepared to eat any part of nearly any animal; I have had snails [chewy] and anduillette[bits of pigs intestine wrapped in bits of pigs intestine][delicious] and tripe[slimy]. I want to try brains, although I think it may be illegal to eat primate brains so I shall have to try sheep[CJD here I come] and I bemoan the fact that I have never been able to try frogs legs[although if they tase of chicken I will feel very let down.]

I just don't like the smell
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/25/2003 01:52:00 pm
Monday, November 24
I can multitask...
Multitasking is a very important skill in this day and age, many jobs demand it, although most of them refer to it as juggling for some reason. I can multitask. I was doing it on Friday...having gone to the pub at lunchtime, I was also doing it with a low-level hangover.

I was at war in Utopia, watching my lands very carefully whilst also engaged in two seperate religious debates. I was partaking of the office banter whilst doing enough work not to get fired and worrying about the rugby [all hail Jonny and bollocks to football too] plus I was dodging screwed up bits of paper that Spencer was throwing at me. All in all a fairly hefty set of responsibilities, although few of them actually connected with work, but hey. If they won't give me something worth my time, why should I dedicate my time to it???

God for Harry, England and St George
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/24/2003 08:56:00 am
Friday, November 21
The safety of home
ah...back to the safety of home. Having done the bloground I found I had offended some fundy Xtians which, oddly enough quite upset me. I was edited with an [epithet watch the profanity and name calling] which makes it sound as though I called the guy a fucking cunt or something. For the record, I called him a dumbass...and believe me he is.

Aplogies for the profanity, I am letting go. I then hurriedly went back through comments I had left repairing any damage. Kat I'm sorry I said Outkast are shit...they are, but I don't want to upset you on your own site.

On the other hand, I am having what is shaping up to be a rather good debate on the other fundy string...Jared can kiss my ass, but Chuck seems pretty alright..and he knows his stuff.

I do however have to say frankly that when I ask the question:

are you saying that ANYTHING, (and I really mean anything, from the tame examples of torturing puppies to skinning newly-borns and covering their screaming little bodies with salt) that ANYTHING God chooses to do is automatically good?

I don't expect the answer "yes
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/21/2003 04:01:00 pm
Thursday, November 20
My inner child is ten years old today

My inner child is ten years old!

The adult world is pretty irrelevant to me. Whether
I'm off on my bicycle (or pony) exploring, lost
in a good book, or giggling with my best
friend, I live in a world apart, one full of
adventure and wonder and other stuff adults
don't understand.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
brought to you by Quizilla

- posted by Buntifer @ 11/20/2003 02:12:00 pm

William Gibson
William Gibson wrote your book. Technology
terrifies and delights you.

Which Author's Fiction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

- posted by Buntifer @ 11/20/2003 02:03:00 pm
SOOOO RIght!!!
synapse: because nobody likes a smartarse: "Kill Bill (which we saw in the plush cinema) on the other hand, is just a load, where ‘load’ is used in its onanistic connotation. It’s so internal, so self-referential, that it’s hard to see as anything other than a self-indulgent piece of fluff that nobody except obsessive Tarantino fans will care about in six months’ time. The action shots look nice, but are hardly groundbreaking, original, creative, or engaging. Title cards with 55 different fonts: Big deal. The overblown violence: started amusing, ended up boring. Dialogue: crap, which is sad - Tarantino’s dialogue has always been fantastic, and this is just poor. The pacing: wrong. It’s like every time the movie got going, he threw in another yawner. The black and white stuff wasn’t ‘cool,’ it was pretty clearly a censorship cop-out (blood is less offensive for the censors when it’s not in colour), and the fact that the Asian version shows all scenes in colour proves it. I saw the twist at the end about a second after Uma utters her first line.
It’s not a matter of not ‘getting it,’ cause I get it. I get the whole ‘homage to grindhouse’ thing (pity most of the fourteen year old boys who would adore this film have no idea what the references are). I get the deliberate use of overblown music and tackiness, and I am still sorely disappointed. It’s a drawn-out wank, devoid of Tarantino’s previous genius, and I’d bet money that if it had anybody else’s name on it it’d be widely panned as crap. It’d probably be better if it was tightened up to be a single feature length film, but who could resist that kind of cash cow?
Roll on December; at least I know the Return of the King is actually a good story.
read more..."
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/20/2003 01:38:00 pm
Don't you find that everyone in London is grey?
Was asked to me the other day by a chap interviewing me. Yes, I do, or rather, No, not really but I know what he means. A commuter train is like a cattle truck, chock full of docile corporate livestock. It takes a lot to elicit a response from a commuter and when it has been elicited it generally turns out to be stereotypical or otherwise dull. "Can you move down inside." or maybe a roll of the eyes if the train is late. Now I know that big companies don't want personality, they want people they can underpay, overwork and boss around, but what I don't understand is why people give that to them.

Sure pretend to be docile and dull at the interview, but for Gods sake let yourself go once you have the job! There is a cunning scheme that companies use which involves that very tactic. Most people try that at the beginning but it is kind of catchin, I can feel myself being slowly dragged into the cesspool of mindlessness. Mind you we all are.

Popular culture does that for us. Magazines like Heat and FHM that tell us what to wear and what to say, even suggest what we want to look at on the net and what jokes to tell. These are what are really to blame. We are spoonfed what we know we don't want, and become convinced that really, that is what we want. The programs that tell you what kind of music to listen to, the morning review of the nights television that suggests what to watch, the endless endless advertising that intrudes into our lives wherever and whenever we are. Consumerism runs everything.

but that isn't the problem. Consumerism is based on providing what the consumer wants. The problem is that we are allowing consumerism to tell us what we want, and then it stops being consumerism and starts being producerism. THEY (and I mean that in a Conspiracy kind of way) know that We will buy what they put in front of us. THEY have enough sophisticated marketing methods that they can use to target everyone, even fools like me who believe that we can make a stand against producerism. This is why downloading pirated music is a good idea, it is why Pirates and copies of designer labels are a good plan, because we have to reuse to buy what THEY want us to buy, and if that means cutting off our noses to spite our faces then YES we should do it, because if we can do it for a few generations then our grandchildrens children will be able to thank us for it, for having their noses and the choice to do with them what they will.

It goes like this. Freedom of speech is all important, everyone will agree that. That can be translated into freedom of output okay? Y'all following me so far? Well THEY used to try and control this, but people didn't like it and rose up and overthrew that regime. (kind of) So what THEY did was to go away and find a more subtle way of control. Instead of controlling the output they started to control the input. INstead of running round stopping people from saying things that had occurred to them were wrong with the world/our way of life/their breakfast/jobs/ect ect they started sitting back and watching what people produced when they only had limited input. This has been refined over the years and while it can't iron out all the glitches it does pretty well.

Think about it. They can't always predict what all the people will always do, but they get pretty close to the most of the people most of the time.

Really, think about it, and when I die of "natural causes " over the weekend IT WAS THEM!!!!!
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/20/2003 12:56:00 pm
Wednesday, November 19
Ranting and Raving
I have also come to the conclusion that many people out there need desperate adjectival injections. While they may not be quite as loose as I am, making up adjectives as I go, there are a frightening number of blogs out there with decriptions including the phrases rant/rants/ranting and rave/raves/raving. Now I may even have used the phrases myself once upon a time, and I acknowedge that they have their place in the English language, but NOT as descriptions of peoples blogs. It might be factually correct...but it is boring. I will actively avoid blogs describing themselves as rants or ravings simply because I'm a pedant. Try takign a leaf from one of the blogs attached to this one.

"Babbles Blarney and Bull..."
or "Leading the english language up a darkened alley and fleecing it viciously on the cobbles."

but don't call what you write a rant, or your writings isn't big, it isn't clever, and it isn't cool.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/19/2003 02:25:00 pm
The Blog of the fast approaching middle aged housewife
I am bemused by the preponderance of bloggers who I percieve to be housewives whose middle age is fast approaching. I have been blog snobbing at work and reading tidbits from each of the sites before passing on. I occasionally leave a comment, but what I have noticed is that there is an army out their worthy of mothercare.

So many of these bloggers have husbands who "call to make sure I'm done watching the soaps before he gets home." or "have just got back from dropping the kids off and are going to have to start baking soon."

Here is me thinking that blogging was new wave and radical, or at least confined to us ex-students and the like and yet I see my circle of bloggers writing about as frequently as I bake and these American mothers blogging every day. I am ashamed of my generation, although to be fair they do tend to be writing more interesting stuff. I suppose housewives have more time...maybe the Brunette's mother should take it up.

Anyway, I'm off for now, time to get baking!!!
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/19/2003 12:29:00 pm
Monday, November 17
Special Relationships
England has a special relationship with the USA, much like I have a special relationship with my job, I don't like it, it doesn't like me but I need it to pay the rent.

I was at the premiere of Love Actually yesterday evening and watching the film I couldn't believe how much I wanted England to have a prime minister who was capable of telling Bush to stuff it and stop fucking the world up. We don't have one, but I passed moments daydreaming about a prime minister with some balls.

I reckoned that if Blair was to borrow some of Prescotts bloody mindedness and stand up to Bush publically loudly and proudly then he would walk the next election. I thought that was a fair bet, not that it is gonna happen, but there were people begging to disagree.

Of course I told them to get a proper job and quit cluttering up the streets, but they argued back. They pointed out that the Special Relationship is older than either of our premiers, and has been useful in the past. Britain acts as an information conduit between Bush and Europe, perhaps moderating him and calming him down.

I have several opinions about this. The relationship we have with Bush is one sided, England brings very little concrete benefit to the table. Far from this meaning that we gain from America all the time it means that what we do bring to the table, however good,and however worthwhile, it is dismissed by the Americans and traded for something we don't want. The dynamics of the relationship is that we are the poor friend, joining in only when Bush pays, and being dragged into things we don't want to do because we have no alternative to offer.

What we get out of the relationship is peanuts, and what we put in is our best.

We would be better off witrh a special relationship with Russia or China, because with them we have things to offer them, which means that when we want something in return we can ask for it and recieve it. With America, because we are able to offer so little, when we ask for consideration we get none.

What we really bring to the relatinship is our class, our good word and the weight that the name England still brings to any discourse of nations. America can be seen as the vulgar but rich gentleman forcing himself onto and into a marraige with the upper class but destitute aristocrat that is Britannia. The only problem with this is that we are forced to mediate between America and Europe, we are the conduit for information along which the bad news travels. We, with our much trumpeted "special relationship" are visibly unable to control the whims of Bush and his bandits one iota. Thus the good word, the class that surrounded the name of England fades and becomes shabby, becomes associated with lapdogs and yesmen, with untruths and apologetic lies. Hell it becomes associated with unaplogetic lies and ignorance of the highest order.

When America has dragged itself up as far as it can, in the process dragging our England down it will find itself an equal, and the relationship becomes unnecessary, what we used to offer is no longer needed and England will be cast off, unnecessary and no longer trusted, her name besmirched with the lies and polemic of America, with the grubby empire building of the Bush Administration. No one will trust her, no one will want her, and the special relationship will dissolve into periodic bouts of begging to be allowed back into the global arena, only to be told it's only for the big boys.

Blair may have managed to calm Bush, to moderate his idiocy and to change some of his worse decisions, but it has all been done behind closed doors. We have not been shown our valiant Prime Minister (for he may yet be) fighting for our ideas, we are only shown them shaking hands, with Bush looking stupid and Blair looking harassed. I want to see Blair stand up in front of the public, of HIS public, and tell us that he knows we don't like what America is doing, tell us that He doesn't like it either, and then tell America that we won't go hand in hand with them into the darkness, that we much prefer the light and are pretty confident that the light switch is around here somewhere anyway. Bush is happy to blunder away his subjects lives, but we don't want our boys being shot by Americans...or by Iraqis.

Then we could sit back and watch Bush stutter his way round our lack of support, we could watch Rumsfeldt and co as they told Bush waht to say and we could watch him back down. Then we could stand tall and say "that was us. We saved those lives." and know that it was true. Europe would see that we are not just a yes man for a cretin, that we are not simply nodding and smiling as Bush shoots "the West" in the foot again and then....finally....after all that wemight get some self respect back.

My country right or wrong.
Someone else's country, well that's another story.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/17/2003 06:21:00 pm
Thursday, November 13
I think perhaps I haven't got enough time
I think perhaps my problem is I have very little time to be. Just to be, like meditation, except with no particular end in mind. I have always had time just to be, to be me. When I was younger the only time I had to myself was when I went to the loo, so consequently I spent long times in the lavatorial facilities reading.[Trust me, Kat? When the choice is between socialising with my brother or sitting in my own fart as you so poetically put it, the fart wins.]

At university I had time to myself in abundance, and enjoyed it, but now I have only my commute to myself, which may explain my hatred of commuters, and an hour or so at home before the Brunette gets back in which I usually choose to "do" stuff. Perhaps tonight I shall refuse and simply lie on my back in the lounge looking at the ceiling and being
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/13/2003 01:32:00 pm
The guy sitting next to me at work made some comment this morning about the time between summer and Christmas going too fast. I don't particularly like autumn but I had to agree. The shops don't help it by putting Christmas decorations up on the second of August and playing ersatz Christmas tunes from shortly afterwards.

I mean, it didn't help the crass commercialisation the Christians gave to the ancient Egyptian tradition originating from Isis grieving for her dead husband Osiris in 3000BC. When he died she propagated the belief that his spirit was still alive and had sprung form the dead stump of the tree. She then used to leave presents around this tree every year on the anniversary of his "rebirth", the 25th of December. So hands off Jesus aint yours.

Anyway, back to my original point, that time is travelling too fast. I feel this all the time. I look back over the past few weeks and ask myself what I have done? Bar the weekends, absolutely shit all. I am wasting my life in eight hour chunks. I get into work, and every moment suddenly clunks into an eternity, so I spend the entire day watching the clock and wishing for the moment I can get my coat and begin my journey home.

At the beginning of each day I am wishing for it to be the next day so we will be nearer the weekend. Those halcyon days of university when I enjoyed almost every day are gone, now I get up in the morning to the knowledge that I am going to have to sit through another eight hours of my Boss bitching about how hard his life is....I'll tell you what, for forty grand a year I'll fucking have his job for starters.

Time crawls past as I watch the seconds, but when I looks back over the weeks I can count on the fingers of one hand the moments of success and enjoyment I have had during those times, the moments I have had when I have genuinely been willing the time to go slowly...they tend to be Sunday afternoons.

Time flies when you are having fun, times also zipped by when you were bored shitless for hours and hours waiting for someone to recognise that you are sentient and give you a job which demands a smidgen of your intelligence.

I am going to look back on this year of my life and wonder whether I did anything worth doing at all. (Bar the Brunette, who is always worth doing.)

So far: Nix, Nada, Niente, Bugger all, Nothing, Fuck all, Diddly squat, Sweet fanny adams, Zip, Zilch.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/13/2003 12:52:00 pm
Wednesday, November 12
Commuting: its Highs and Lows
Metro did a list of the top ten things people hated about commuting. No. 1 was walkmen, no.2 was smelly food. Here are five things I like about commuting and five things I hate.

I like the way I can listen to Chopin and then Rammstein on my walkman one after another and get dirty looks whichever it is.

I like seeing other people giving their seats to the elderly.(and doing so myself.)

I like closing my eyes and smiling like I know something nobody else does, and I like seeing other people do that.

I like spotting someone reading the same books, or one of my favourites, unless it is someone I don't think I would like.

I like saying "thank you" to the bus driver, because nobody else does.

I hate other commuters

I hate people who refuse a seat being offered them.

I hate people who shout "Can you move down please" as if they were in charge.

I hate other people's conversations. (hence Rammstein)

I hate mobile phones, especially mine.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/12/2003 07:09:00 pm
English Weather
Having been bombarded with complaints about the weather all morning by those about me I feel honour bound to step to the defence of the British Weather. We have, in this country a variety of weather, from snow storms to hurricanes, even occasionally the odd bit of sunshine. I propose that each form of weather has its own advantages and disadvantages and each should be enjoyed for its own merits.

The sunshine is pleasant to go out in, to dispense with heavy items of clothing and the like and parade around in t-shirts and shorts. It warms the skin and can increase melanin content underneath the epidermis whihc is found by many people to be most desirable. However the sunshine brings with it various risks and disadvantages, the first and least likely to affect many of us is the skin cancer caused by prolonged exposure to ultra violet rays penetrating the ozone layer which release free radicals within the skin ect ect ect. The second is sunburn, rare in britain but a danger nevertheless...forearms are particularly at risk at rock festivals. The third is sweat, now I'm a sweaty bastard at the best of times but when the temperature is high and I am forced to actually do things I find my pores unblocking themselves and pouring out veritable pools of sweaty goodness. The fourth. last final and most disadvantageous of the disadvantages of sun is the tossers who appear with no shirts on and normally oakley sunglasses too. What a bunch of f*cking cocks.

Who can deny the beauty of snow, bollocks to the concept that no two snowflakes are the same, that is a mathematical/statistical myth...sorry to shatter illusions. However the frost that accompanies snow, the white layers sitting on tree branches. The two tonal colouration of the landscape in the country brings an extra life to any colour that does occur. Disadvantages generally involve the city...sluch, grit and the general inablity of the British public transport service to deal with any kind of weather that isn't mentioned in "The Tao of Pooh." (and believe me that ain't very many types)

Rain has its own place in my heart. I find sitting outside in the rain, yet undercover a strangely magical experience. The precipitation falling across my field of vision, and the noise it makes on flat surfaces, coupled to the feeling of being cold and exposed but still dry make me content. A similar feeling is that of feeling absolutely totally soaked to the bone, with drips running down the inside of your collar and down your back, but not caring because you are already that wet, it doesn't matter if you are dancing or if you are simply walking the sensation is one of freedom.

The grey cloudy day ala Birmingham is my least favourite kind of weather I have to admit but it has its own advantages. It tends to be dry, otherwise it would fall under the heading of rain. It also tends to be a pretty bearable temperature, not too hot and not too cold. It promises the possibility of the blue sky above peeking through and closets us onto the surface of the planet. I find I pay more attention to my surroundings when the sky is not worth looking at, except in Birmingham where even the grey sky is better than the architecture.

As a whole, the weather in this country kicks ass. Who would want to live in Florida...its always sunny, except for when your trailer home is being destroyed by a tornado, or Siberia, where apparently its always cold. Britain has none of the extremes but it has all the nice little quirky bits. Plus it is pleasant to be able to expect nicer weather when one goes on holiday. I always find it pleasant packing swimming trunks before I visit a hot country, just with the possibility in mind. What do Florida people pack when they come to London. "Don't forget the raincoats honey...just in case we get the chance to go out in the rain." "Oh I'm so looking forward to getting that english rain..."

- posted by Buntifer @ 11/12/2003 01:25:00 pm
Indifference may not wreck a man's life at any one turn, but it will destroy him with a kind of dry-rot in the long run."
There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference."
Montalvo, Juan

I sit here weeping at the apathy of my readership. I know I only have two of you and those two are the Brunette and my mother, take a bow...never mind. You can't be bothered. Neither can I.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/12/2003 11:42:00 am
Your name of [CENSORED]has created a most expressive nature, idealistic and inspirational, driven with a strong inner urge to be of service in some way that would uplift humanity as a whole. However, there is a tendency to assume too heavy a burden of responsibility for others, which leads to worry and undue concern. People with problems are drawn to you as they recognize you as one who has understanding and gives not only sympathy and comfort but provides also some constructive advice or assistance. You have a generous quality to your nature, but you must guard carefully against giving more than you receive or you will find yourself doing without because you have helped someone else.

courtesy of ms Random Creature over there this site. Name analysis

I'm convinced in the same form as a horoscope it says such nice things about you that you go "body like adonis? stupendously charismatic? as funny as Bill Watterson?...just like me..." Although personally my description is spot on...

What I want to know is if there are any names for which it is not pleasantly complimentary:

Your name of Sharky makes you one of the most revolting creatures this site has to offer. You are annoying, you smell, and you should be stopped from ever breeding. (As if women could ever be interested in your putrid genitalia.) People are drawn to you like the public to a crash site, they love to point and laugh, or occasionally kick your ass or make nasty comments about your personal hygiene. You have obnoxious qualities to your nature but you must guard carefully against being too much of a complete f*cking idiot. Your best option is to shoot yourself, soon, or failing that, hang yourself with salt encrusted barbed wire. Nobody likes you, and guess what? It's your parents fault!

The other thing I liked about names that I recently found out was that there was a chap who came up with another way of testing names. Instead of buying these baby books which suggest names like Charmaine or Keven, Soozi and Maximus, Google your ideas for names. It confirms the age old suspicion that there are different types of people for different names. The author of the article, who was called David someoneorother found that there were distinct groups of Daves and Davids, and that the two rarely overlapped. I know two Davids and they dislike the moniker Dave, I know a Dan and several Daniels...all very distinct, and at least two of them are in my head.

Google Kevin and you get pictures of the local Asbos, google Cecil and up pop people whose second name is probably Blenkinsop. Google Moriarty (my first sons name) and you get some really really geeky kids and lots of Sherlock homes sites...

Try need to Google image obviously...duh!
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/12/2003 08:56:00 am
Tuesday, November 11

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Lo! Who is that, running along the icy wasteland! It is Dan, hands clutching a jeweled meat hammer! And with a bloodthirsty cry, his voice cometh:

"Blood and souls for my dark lord! I slice through beating hearts with God on my side!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

- posted by Buntifer @ 11/11/2003 05:15:00 pm
HP and molecular computers`
A certain multi-national, which for anti libel purposes I shall call HP[ Let us just say that it rhymes with Do let Whack hard] has been struggling to invent molecular computers. Needless to say I can't remember where I saw this and thus can't link to it. It was on reuters technology but ages ago. Anyway, enough preamble.

I reckon that the compnay that comes through with the design for a molecular computer will be the company that forces cyberpunk to happen. William Gibson posits in Neuromancer that there are little cities like Chiba which are beyond the reach of usual law. He talks more about pharmaceutical or biotechnological patents being breached but that is one step further from the beginning.

The beginning is a product which is a great leap in technology which has small production costs and almost boundless use. A molelular personal computer is that thing. They will be tiny and cheap to manufacture, once the initial outlay has been spent, they will retail under patent for hideously huge sums of money and the raw materials are worthless or can be created from worthless things. Everyone will have to have one, after a while it will be necessary to have one. This process starts after the cheap copies start to appear. The more people with one, the more that will have to have one, like mobile phones, the first few are difficult to sell, then it becomes exponentially easier to sell as more people have them.

If HP manage this they will be such a jump ahead of any competition the only real competition that can be put up is a competitor which rips the patent and creates something better using the same technology. At some point there must be a distribution of all information like patents across the internet. Once this happens black clinics like those Gibson proposes in Chiba can spring up, creating patented things outside of patents.

aplogies. I'm writing this looking over my shoulder at work.. Free the People
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/11/2003 03:08:00 pm
More requests which everyone will ignore. Join blogsnob, click on the small BS by the add down and to the right of this. It doesn't stand for bullshit or for blogsite, it stands for blogsnob and that means more hits...theoretically. Since I see that no one has rated or reviewed the site I am sure that this plea will be almost as effective as the last one....ah well back to pissing in the wind.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/11/2003 12:41:00 pm
Monday, November 10
there may be a quote to this effect already, I haven't checked.

Luck isn't a funny old thing, it's a statistical anomaly..

as ever, trying to take the romance out of everything but myself...
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/10/2003 05:28:00 pm
Can I have a show of hands please?
I request comments on the recent news scandal/revelation/totally untrue allegation concerning Prince Charles.

Is he a bender?
Does it really matter if he takes it up the shitter?
Surely that is what servants are for anyway?
At least he's not Prince Edward...I thought they had sterilized him when they realised he was a f*cking prick.

re. His possible status as future monarch:

I am much more concerned with the fact that he is clearly very stupid, coupled to the fact that he looks stupid and listens to the advice of people who are, by the looks of things...pretty stupid.

in the meantime, Long Live the Queen.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/10/2003 01:42:00 pm
Review my blog please
Those of you with eyes may have noticed that there is a link down and to the right of this that links to a site where you can review Concepts of a Buntiful World. I recommend putting your site in the Blogorama listings, for that is where the link doth lead, but also can you please review this one. I don't care if you like it or hate it but the more reviews the better.

There are two now, go it twice!

Cheers people
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/10/2003 08:57:00 am
Friday, November 7
BBC's top 21 'big reads'

BBC's top 21 'big reads'

The Big Read top 21 revealed: Britain's favourite novels - as voted by the public.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks [7]
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres [8]
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller [not read]
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger [2]
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell [not read]
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens [not read]
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling [4]
His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman [6]
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams [5]
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte [7]
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis [7]
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [not read]
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien [9]
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell [8]
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen [8]
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier [8]
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee [6]
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy [so far not bad]
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame [3]
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne [4]
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte [not read]

There are the top twenty one books nominated by the public. I have decided to try to have read them all by the thirteenth of December, which is when the winner is announced.

I have only a half dozen left, Catch 22, Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, Great Expectations and War and Peace.

I have started with War and Peace and am prepared to forgo reading Little Women and Gone with the Wind if I don't have time as I have seen the films and didn't like them very much. I'm rather enjoying myself.

The numbers after the books is my rating out of ten. Feel free to quibble. I have rated them according to enjoyment of reading as an opposed variable to whether I feel they should be in the top 21. For example I don't think Goblet of Fire deserves to be in there but it was an enjoyable read, thus my rating.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/07/2003 11:12:00 am
Thursday, November 6
A Rough Comparison between Aldous Huxley's "A Brave New World" and Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We"
Both books written within twelve years of each other [1932 and 1920 respectively] on different sides of the world, both dealing with similar themes in their own perspectives.

"Brave New World is a benevolent dictatorship; a static, efficient totalitarian welfare state. There is no war, poverty or crime. Society is stratified by genetically predestined caste...The society has no historical dynamics 'history is bunk'...It is a steril, productivist utopia geared to the consumption of mass produced goods." [; Brave New World]

"We" is a dictatorship neither benevolent nor malevolent, simply driving forward. Given that this was written just before the time of Stalin it was probably inadvisable for authors to depict any fictional dictatorship in an emotive sense, given that it could be viewed as being "better" than Communism or a parody of it. The state is not a welfare state, everybody must work, but everybody has their place, and a job to do, a very communist society. BNW in contrast shows us the world of the thirties, lively inconsequential activities driving most people to do what they have to to support themselves.

In "We" the society is stratified not by genetics but by an early regulation of learning and teaching, those children who are promising are given extra tuition, and those who show no drive are left to become the lower class of workers, it also has a strong historical element to the society, however Orwellian its history may be. History is what seeks to drive the people further, to increase their ambition and to spur them on to greater things. Their utopia is more geared to production than consumption however and the creation of mass produced goods.

Zamyatin provides us with a clear view of how the society is ordered, by clockwork rather than with pharmaceutical products. Each citizen has a watch and the time is law. This refelcts somewhat on the therapies of the time. In the West Opium and derivatives had taken a hold of nations' inmates and thier sanity, in Russia they were trying to teach the inmates to work, simply and with the most basic tasks.

Most telling in the two stories is the outsider/insider relationship. In Huxley's BNW the society requires an outsider to see how wrong it really is, someone who has not grown up within the society, somone not under the influence of Soma. This may show Huxley's critical view of Western society as a whole, sucking themselves into a pit of contentness and happiness with themselves and how they live that only an outsider can revolt against. Still today it is the stories of the outsiders in Western culture that grab us, the freaks, the Goths and the Geeks, the social revolutionaries are the ones who don't fit in.

It is possible that Huxley saw the direction the West was taking and was dissatisfied with the attitudes of the public. BNW also points out the West's fear of outsiders, the fear that an outsider might show the Great Unwashed that the way they lead their lives is not the only way and might not [STOP HIM, STOP HIM] even be the best way. On the other page Zamyatin shows in "We" a neglect for the outside world that is most significant. For the law-abiding inhabitants of his city the outside means death and chaos, for the elements that fight for freedom the outside is only that...Freedom. The danger that threatens Zamyatin's society is that of people within who become able to think things which should be unthinkable to them. Their minds spring outside the clockwork regimen and they begin to think for themselves. Similarly the Russia of Stalin was afraid of the outside until they realsied for themselves that outside meant freedom. Zamyatin himself left Russia both before he wrote "We" [lived in Newcastle 1916-17] and then after being hounded by apparatchiks and his work banned left again in 1931 to live in exile in Paris.

I'm ending here, I would need to re read both of them and have them in front of me to go further.
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/06/2003 01:01:00 pm
Wednesday, November 5
little by little, a pixel at a time, the blog becomes better...soon it will dash into a phone box, tear off all its clothes and become...


until then...enjoy
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/05/2003 06:24:00 pm
Tuesday, November 4
don't you think?
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/04/2003 04:05:00 pm
oooooh they itch...
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/04/2003 03:20:00 pm
I've got the mingles.
Now I understand that this is very embarrassing for all concerned and possibly not the topic for a public blogspot entry, but I feel I have to get it off my chest, or in this case, out of my mouth.

I've got the mingles, I don't know how I got them, I don't even know how they transfer from carrier to carrier. For God's sake don't tell my girlfriend, although I swear I must have got them from a toilet seat...or something. I mean, I'm not in the habit of putting my mouth near toilet seats, I can only assume that the mingles can be transferred from the hand to the mouth easily enough to be infectious.

I would go to the doctors about it, but I'm not convinced that there is a cure, and it isn't the sort of thing you want to show some random doctor. I suppose they must get worse, but I still have a gut reaction that keeps me from going. The problem is that I can't find any cures for the mingles. I have checked my book of home remedies, and also the men's health book I have and I have run numerous searches on the net, but I can't find a cure, I can't even find a trace of a cure the medical profession has.

"like a mouthful of sand, rather nasty actually!"

"Now I'm definitely feeling a bit sick but "

"Painful as it is "

These are genuine quotes from people who have suffered the mingles before, but none of them supplies a remedy for this odious malefaction.

I really don't know, there are bits of lime green, and others more a darker browny shade. I am at my wits end and really don't want to give the mingles to my girlfriend, they aren't very pleasant and God knows how she'd react, it's possible she might quite like them, but I'm not convinced anyone could.

Can anyone help? I'm at my wits end...

- posted by Buntifer @ 11/04/2003 01:32:00 pm
Coming soon to a blogspot remarkably like this one...
in fact it will be this one...just as soon as I can be bothered....a rant on the subject of...grk!...aargh!...mmmfmmngle!!

[death of author ensues]
- posted by Buntifer @ 11/04/2003 11:03:00 am

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