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278. Pacific Rim Licked Balls




I don't know where to start with this one to be honest so I'm going to give a quick overview of the plot so we're all on the same page before I start pointing out all the specific things that irritated me with this film.

It's set in the future, at least I assume it was the future, it could be in 20 minutes time... it makes no substantive difference to the plot either way. Anyway in 20 minutes time a huge ass rift opens up at the bottom of the ocean somewhere (possibly in the pacific I wasn't paying attention but given the title it makes sense) out of which pops Godzilla who's not called Godzilla but who definitely is Godzilla anyway (because that's copyright not to mention expensive and the rights are owned by someone hoping to make another weak film in which Ferris Bueller saves the world a second time). So Godzilla does what Godzilla does which is stagger around like a drunken Norwegian in port for the first time in 6 months, pimp slaps Los Angeles and then finally gets taken down a week later, because the only difference between ineffective munitions and effective munitions is time.

They cry and little and then we're told a bunch more Godzillas come out of the rift and fuck shit up elsewhere.  We don't get to see this part but still...

So eventually once they get bored of watching Godzilla stomping on things that are not Tokyo they decide that really the only rational way to deal with the impending threat of generic giant lizard attack is to build a fleet of sweet ass anthropomorphic robots and then cock punch Godzilla who's not Godzilla back into whatever shit heap he originated from.

So far so good right except the stream of Godzillas keeps getting bigger and bigger until eventually they start flinging around the robots like a toddler with a barbie doll she really doesn't like and then the powers that be (whoever the fuck they are) decide that the new best plan is not to bother making giant cock punching robots anymore but instead to build a super massive wall to hide behind. Believe me we'll be coming back to this so don't dwell on how stupid that sounds.

So bottom line is the film ends up with a rag tag team of retired old clunge punching robots conducting a last ditch mission to close up the Godzilla spawning rift, for once deciding to use actual weaponry instead of say making a giant leg with a giant foot on the end to jam in the hole while shouting 'stick that up your time/space hole Jimmy!'

So what's my problem with the film? It sounds pretty sweet right?

Wrong.

I'll try to keep this brief so lets limit this to 5 really stupid things about this film that led to me literally shouting in a high pitched tone while in the car on the way back from the cinema.

1. The Robots.

It doesn't make any sense to use a colossal amount of resources to make a giant robot designed to Greco Roman wrestle Godzilla into submission instead of say using the resources to build more bombers and then bombing Godzilla into dust every time he pops out of his time hole looking to get his drunk swagger one. If you have absolutely decided on building a robot then why make it look like a human. I like human's as much as the next guy but as far as a design for giant fighting robots it's a pretty unstable platform. Why not rock more legs or have swords for legs or just make a giant circular saw and then hover it over the top of the hole waiting to process the next Godzilla that pops out like a Japanese whaling ship waiting to perform vital taste based research into Whales.

There is a reason that when the US military wants to level a compound full of terrorists they use a pretty small bomb attached to a plane and don't simply make a really big really heavily armoured truck and then drive into the compound at speed. I'm not a physicist but it seems to me that in terms of a resources used / rewards ratio, making Fistor the giant Godzilla punching robot is a pretty poor use of resources. Especially as until the end of the film there's no suggestion Godzilla can fly so all you'd need to do is fly 500 feet above his head and twat him with high explosives until he finally dies. Hell you could even go really high and then drop old refridgerators on him.

2. Use of Weapons.

If you do defy logic and make a robot armed with plasma cannons and a fucking sword... at least then don't spend 20 minutes of foreplay punching Godzilla in his heavily armoured forehead and do just move on to using the weaponry you are eventually going to use to win straight away rather than trying to create a sense of peril out of a situation that was manifestly only a problem because you are a tool.

3. The Control Systems.

The film made a really big deal about how the 2 pilots (because 1 pilot was not mentally strong enough) had to go into a state of Vulcan mind meld with each other (except obviously again they didn't cal it that because expensive  copyright and blah blah blah) in order to pilot the craft. Fine so 2 people go in and they each use a hemisphere of their brain and that pilots the craft. Except that that doesn't pilot the craft because when you watch the battles you have to every 20 seconds cut to the interior of the robot where you have two jackasses dressed up like Kryten from Red Dwarf (or later on exactly like Kryten's replacement) Fred Flintstoning the craft along via the medium of Dance Dance revolution. Super Dance Bonus! YAY! If you have to walk the thing and you control the weapons with your hands then what's the point of the whole mind meld wanktronics. While on the subject of redundancy if you can control the robots systems from the control room why not put the two pilots in a pod in the control room and then control if remotely without risking any loss of life at all?

4. The Defensive Wall.

You are building a wall to keep Godzilla from fucking up your shit and that makes sense... kinda. What doesn't make sense is why you'd build this wall all the way around the coast line of your country instead of doing the considerably more obvious thing of building it around the time/space hole that you already know is the root cause of Godzilla and Godzilla related illness. I'm not even going to get into pointing out that even if you did want to build a half mile high concrete and steel wall all the way around the coast line of the world there would be no way there is the manufacturing capacity to do so let alone the physical resources to do it. Why bother anyway when you could just make a massive concrete bung and stick it over the time/space rift itself for a mere fraction of the expense.

5. The Fact That it is Clearly Just Power Rangers

Giant robots fighting giant lizards while the people inside them wear ridiculous suits and refuse to use their best weaponry until after 20 minutes of getting their ass kicked while making overly expressive hand gestures and shouting out badly scripted lines without any apparent emotional involvement. Yep that's power rangers.


The fail... it burns!


photo

Okay I love my iPhone. Not in that kind of 'OMG iPhones are amazing look how shiny it is' (it is very shiny to be fair) but in the considerably more disturbing sense that I get separation pangs when we're apart and there's literally no distance I wouldn't drive to retrieve it if I left it behind or somebody stole it and I could follow them with the where's my iphone app. Much as I love the thing though I am very aware that there are whole segments of the human experience I no longer engage in at all. Some of this things are redundant or the iPhone has simply supplanted, but some of them I miss; some of them were useful life skills that I kind of wish I hadn't lost the ability to do.

Anyway it's been a while and I'm pretty sure nobody reads this anyway but if you are and you didn't already know. I like lists. I bit of a list addict, so here's a list of things I miss since I bought an iPhone and they became no longer necessary.

1. The ability to have pointless arguments about film stars

It's not something most people seem to miss but I'm a man who enjoys his arguments about who was in what film, which bond came first and the such. With the iPhone though, you are just getting into the argument with everybody is chipping in and reminiscing about the films to try and sort the thing out and before you know it the iPhone is out on IMDb you have the answer and the conversation is over. You can't get a really drunken wager going on if you only have 2 minutes to get riled up about the thing you are wrong about. The world is losing out on a rich vein of stupid drunken wagering...

2. The ability to watch foreign films.

I don't watch them anymore. Not really anyway. You want to know why? iPhone is why. I can't watch a foreign film because every time it gets to a particularly plot intensive part of the film (read dull) my hand goes on autopilot I take out my phone and check Facebook. When I return to the film 5 minutes later on I have inevitably missed the core piece of the jigsaw that makes the whole film make sense and when I reach the dramatic finale I just sit there thinking 'Dafuq did I just see?' at which point I google the plot synopsis and read the story (90% of the time I google the plot synopsis in the first 5 minutes anyway).

3. The ability to go further than 10 yards from a plug socket.

iPhone users you know what I'm saying here. The battery life on these things compares to my old Nokia 3310 like I compare to Usain Bolt in sprinting ability. Also why not make it so you can take the battery out Apple? Why not make it so you can take the battery out and carry round a spare? Arseholes.

4. The ability to carry out any non screen based activity for longer than 10 minutes.

My concentration span is now 10 minutes, sometimes a bit more but frequently a lot less. If there's no screen involved it's unlikely I'm going to be able to stick at it for longer without getting sucked back into the interweb via my phone. Thankfully I've recently discovered that I can at least read books on my kindle fire without feeling cut off from the world and or slightly bored. That bit in the meeting where you think I am looking for an old email you asked me about... I'm sneaking in a speed round of Candy Crush Saga...

5. The ability to take directions.

I hear you telling me to go but I'm not listening. I'm thinking about how awesome a saddled T-Rex would be for commuting to work. When you finish talking I'm going to ask you the post code and get there by sat nav after using google street view to work out if it's near a chip shop.

6. The ability to remember what I have an haven't told people.

I didn't tell you about this crucial thing that happened in my life and you are annoyed. I on the other hand am confused because in my head the 'told friends and family' button has been firmly switched to the on position. Then I remember that not everyone checks Facebook and that in fact the only people that regularly do I've never met or met only once.

7. The ability to take directions.

Aha fooled you. I am not losing my mind. The directions I'm talking about this time are not geographical. You'll be telling me the correct way to do blah blah blah and I'll be pretending to take notes on my phone while secretly thinking about how best to zombie proof my house in the event of an un-dead apocalypse. After you've gone I'm going to look up how to do it on youtube from someone I inexplicably trust more than I apparently trust you.

8. The ability to communicate effectively in any other medium than email.

Read your emails people. It's an efficient packet on information that requires no irritation and records what you say like a mother fucking court stenographer. I don't want to talk to you on the phone for 2 reasons: 1 I can't effectively Google the answers to your questions and pretend I already knew them while talking on the magic window to knowledge and 2: because you are going to get derailed and end up making chit chat and I'm going to get impatient and then offend you by hurrying you along.

9. The ability to walk past something I like without taking a photo.

My phone is just full of pictures which I have no idea why I took but I thought would be useful later. Worse half of them were taken on the fly while travelling at speed in a car I was supposed to be driving.

10.The ability to travel outside the range of mobile coverage

If there's no signal... I'm not going.

There are more I'm sure but to be I could be here all day. Basically lets just say that iPhone has made me into an information junkie. I don't care if the information is pictures of cats fighting with lightsabers or wikipedia entries on serial killers. I can't go longer than 10 minutes without having some new input. Unless I'm driving and then I'm using it as an iPod and taking pictures of trees that look a bit like the Faceook 'like' sign.

*photo couresty of stealing a conversation between me and my sister...

276. Whatever Happened to Plates




I'm not sure exactly when it happened but I think it's fairly safe to say we can blame the 70's. Oh sure there were pre-cursors before hand: absurdly huge and inexplicably orange and brown plates, bizarrely shaped victorian moustache cups and the such but the 70's took what had been a strange and un-natural fetish and took it mainstream.

You might be lost at this point. So I'll start at the begginning. In the beginning there was a plate and a knife, or a dagger or a broadsword. Basically couple a dish of some sort with something you could use to stab the things you were eating that didn't conveniently contain a inbuilt bone handhold. Anyway after a while people decided that One plate and one knife wasn't really all that dignified so they invented cutlery and bowls. Pretty soon though we all got bored again and we invented new types of fork shaped like demented squid and then laughed at the people that didn't know that they were supposed to be for eating soup. Eventually the number of plates and courses reached critical mass and in order to stop mankind being buried under an ever increasing pile of crockery the chicken in the basket was developed.

Chicken in the basket. It seems so harmless. Chicken and chips, deep fried and served in either an actual breadbasket or more disturbingly a small pottery imitation of a actual bread basket. That was it though. Chicken in the basket broke the system. Chicken in the basket was the first crack in the dam that allowed everything to go horribly, horribly wrong. Within weeks people were serving seafood in wine glasses and trying to eat molten cheese with a toothpick...

By the time it reached the 80's things were spiraling out of control. No longer contained by the reassuringly functional plate fork system, chefs in the 1980's were free to mess with forces beyond their ken. Food started to be served in all manner of receptacles. Oh sure it started with wine glasses and baskets but like all adictions it grew and grew, relentlessly searching to redesign the plate, making it squarer, larger and less full of food. Seeking to find new implements to put food in, serving food in kidney shaped hospital dishes and lattices made out of other foods all of course artfully covered in rasberry coulis no matter how unlikely to go with rasperries the teaspoon of food in the middle of the hubcab sized plate was.

Nowadays you can't actually find a pub that will serve you food on a plate the way it's supposed to be served. The last 3 pubs I ate at used the following items: a floor tile, an actual size breadboard which was incapable of fitting on the table and finally a stack of 4 plates on top of each other ranging from vast to a side plate. Of course it doesn't end there either. The restauranteur of whatever the hell we are calling this decade can't be seen to serve all their food on just one of whatever domestic implement they have lying around. If you were to serve all your food in one place you'd be laughed out of the buisness. Chicken and Chips on the same Plate? You peasant! In order to preserve appearances today's host has to have at least 1 flower pot full of chips and a collection of thimbles filled with insufficient quantities of condiments. I have no idea what they serve salad in, but that's just because I don't pay to eat salad...

When did flower pots become the approved delivery method for chips anyway? I remember when people used to laugh at KFC for serving chcicken in a bucket as if that was the end of all taste and decency but now it seems they just got there first. It's not even as if it's original or whimsical anymore. I can see how the first few times someone got chips in a flower pot it might have been delightful but now it's just industry standard. Chips come in a flower pots, end of. No argument.

Don't get me wrong I don't actually care at the moment. As long as the chips come in something that gets them to my table and then ultimately to my belly I'm relatively content but Where does it all end though? Think about it, in 4 decades we've gone from serving food on plates to serving food on a floor tile with smaller food beside it in a flower pot and that was in a period when people actually had a concentration span of longer than 20 seconds. What happens when generation 'hold on a sec I'll google it' really gets stuck into rethinking food receptacles? If we project forward at that rate of evolution, and I don't think such an assumption is unreasonable, then in another 40 years will we all be drinking restaurant soup out of an old shoe and using a ladle to eat chips from a toilet bowl filled with the combined food orders of everyone in the restaurant? How quirky and delightful!

...

275. The Gender Pay Gap is a Myth




I'm sure you are familiar with the statistics. In the US women on average earn $0.77 for every $1 earned by their male counterparts. This apparently is supposed to be evidence of a vast conspiracy on the part of men to keep women down. 

I can see how they come to that conclusion. I mean after all just look at the numbers, it's obvious isn't it?

The problem with this is that the people continually using this statistic ignore one very simple and significant part of that statistic which is the part which says 'on average'. The way that figure is arrived at is to add up all the money that men earn in a year and then all the money that women earn in a year and then compare the two as if they are equal; the numbers that is not the sexes.

This is stupid.

In order to explain why it's stupid I'll tell a story. This is a story about me and woman x who for the sake of argument I will from now on refer to as Susan. Susan is fictional by the way, just so everyone knows.

Susan and I start work on the same day for the same pay. We both work doing the same job, the same hours and get paid the same.

On the 5th year Susan meets a handsome attractive fireman with finely crafted abdominal muscles and gets married.

On the 6th year Susan decides to have a baby. 

On the 7th year Susan takes 6 months of maternity leave (gets paid less) and then comes back for the last 3 months of the year full time for the same pay as me.

On the 8th year Susan decides that she misses her baby so takes a reduction in hours so she has more time to be with her family.

On the 9th year a promotion becomes available. I apply for it but Susan doesn't because the position is full time and she hasn't yet got bored of her baby.

On the 10th year I earn my usual salary plus half again as a pay rise for the new job. Susan continues to earn at the same rate as before still on a part time basis.

With me so far?

Now lets convert that to numbers. 

My earnings over 10 years = 9x1 + 1x 1.5 = 10.5
Susan's earnings over 10 years = 6x1 + 0.5 (half year full pay) + 0.125 (maternity pay) + 3x 0.75 (part time salary) = 8.875

The difference is about 16% in the gross pay over the 10 year period and will continue to climb.  

Now there's a few errant factors I have left out such as what would happen if I asked for a pay rise and was given one while Susan didn't push it and so stayed at the same rate but basically you have to admit at this point that the difference between my pay and Susan's pay is not down to unfairness on behalf of our fictional employer. The difference between salaries is down to choices which Susan has made, the choice to have a baby and the choice to spend more time with said baby and to work part time. Hour for hour pay is equal but the hours are not equal.

Taking the gross figures is a basic distortion of reality. It assumes that both sexes have equal priorities and are playing on the same playing field, which is not the case. This is also true of the glass ceiling. It is true that very few women make it to the top of major corporations but when the topic is discussed several key factors are left out. The majority of top level executives from which those positions are appointed are men, most of whom work the kind of hours that make me tired just to think about it. If the pool is mostly full of male it's hardly surprising that it's mostly men that rise to the top of it.

The reason for this is always assumed to be shady, but as I've displayed above it rarely is. The majority of women at the top of the ladder have either no children or only one child. They have chosen to be where they are at the expense of not having a family. The majority of women in general will choose family over career, they will work part time, work lower paid jobs closer to home because they have made the decision that career is less important to family.

I have no problem with that decision. 

How come the only time there is a women's right to choose is when it doesn't conflict with ideology?

If you end up in the situation where the gross pay of men and women is equal then the only logical conclusion to make is that women would actually being paid proportionally more than their male counterparts because what you will be doing is over compensating for life choices. It's patronising to assume that women who choose family over career aren't aware of what this will cost them financially and it's absurd to suggest that women are paid more for the same job to counterbalance life decisions which are entirely theirs in the first place.

I support getting equal pay for the same job and the statistics on that show that the difference, discounting differences based solely on choices made, is between 1 and 2 percent, hardly the epic gap advertised to the world and almost exclusively down to men being more willing to negotiate their salaries than women.

274. A Random Collection of Dieting Tips


Before and after

Oh hello again. It's been a while. Apologies for that but I got distracted by something, it was probably a squirrel or boobs or  maybe a squirrel with boobs I can't actually remember. Anyway life (and a lack of imagination) distracted me and I stopped posting here... again.

So anyway I've been dieting. If you've spoken to me in the last 3 years it's almost certain that it's been the only thing I've talked about assuming that you tuned out the only other 2 topics of Netflix and how amazing It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is. If you haven't been bored by me then you probably weren't paying attention or you genuinely find dieting to be an interesting topic of conversation in which case you should probably consider some form of therapy.

Anyway to cut a long story short, and by way of answering the only questions anybody ever asks the answer to the three questions you are thinking of (sorry folks everyone really does ask the same 3 questions) the answers are: About 14 stone, Because I had a massive crush on someone I wanted to impress and Snack A Jacks.

Okay the last answer there is a bit flippant because I'm not actually convinced that anyone could survive for the better part of 3 years on slightly flavoured circles of polystyrene but as dieting methods go replacing actually food with imitation food with little or no nutritional value has been a staple of my dieting method and, as edible plastics go, Snack A Jacks are top of the evolutionary ladder.

Of course my soon to be patented (just kidding) diet plan is a little more scientific than that so I thought for the sake of everyone's sanity (and so I don't have to try and wing it on the fly when asked at a dinner party *ha ha as if I get invited to those*) I'd compile a list of my top tips for dieting here where everyone could ignore it at their own leisure. A list by Jove! You can never have enough of those:

1. Wear clothes that are slightly too small.

Emphasis on the slightly too small here, nobody needs to see either the side flabs or the bingo wings making a break for freedom but wearing clothes half a size too small is an excellent way of making sure that you make the right decision when you have to choose whether or not you can justify eating a cream cake on the 'pity to waste it' excuse basis. The slight awkward rubbing and near button popping constraint serves as a constant reminder of why you should say no.

2. Don't buy oversize clothes to lounge around in.

Okay so this is basically the same rule being repeated but I can't emphasise this enough. You buy a jumper 2 sizes too big for lounging around in and pretty soon you are wearing it all the time you are at home, then you progress to wearing it out and pretty soon it isn't 2 sizes too big anymore, all your other clothes don't fit and you have to start shopping on the internet because otherwise you force teenage shop assistants to have to awkwardly break the news to you that they don't stock sizes up to baby whale. 

3. Buy aspirational clothing.

Shut up with the clothing already Badham, you are boring us. I know, I know but buying something too small and then aiming to fit into it is a bloody good way of keeping motivated. It also gives you a tremendous feeling of achievement when you eventually do fit into it and is soooo much more satisfying than watching numbers on a set of scales. Clothes are an excellent method of keeping score and also I'm giving you an excuse to go shopping so get the crdit card out and take it already...

4. Aim low on calories and don't count drinks.

1200 calories is the one to aim for ladies (and extremely fat men like me) so if you actually aim for 1000 calories and then ignore coffee and tea you'll end up hitting the target without becoming some crazed frothing at the mouth calorie obsessed lunatic. Seriously life is too short to be getting out a calculator to figure out if you can have a cup of tea or not.

5. Take a day off.

This one is vital as far as I can see, especially if you intend to be dieting for a long time and aren't just looking to lose a few pounds here and there. Take sunday off. don't go batshit insane and start chugging Mcdonalds milkshakes with a side order of fryer grease, but do have a roast dinner, eat a pudding and don't count the calories on it. Basically have one day a week where you eat like you used to eat before the diet because if you try and go completely cold turkey on everything nice to eat you will eventually cheat because it's human nature and will then probably get caught in a spiral of tricking yourself into thinking it's ok to pig out because you haven't eaten a thing for x number of hours where x is an ever decreasing number.

6. Avoid stealth calories. 

Read the calorie count on everything you eat. If it doesn't have a calorie count it is almost certainly baked and therefore inherently evil. Pretty soon you'll find that you actually start scrubbing former favourite foods off your list of favourites as you have realised that they just aren't worth it. I think if I were clever at maths it would be simple enough to work out a formula for this based on home much you like something dividied by how much of your daily allowance it takes up. I'm not that clever sadly. Some foods you think you like just aren't going to make the cut. For me it was pork pies and sausage rolls. I like them I just don't 450 calories a piece like them. That's the thing you see, you don't actually know what you really like until you start having to choose. People who say they like all food just haven't been forced to choose yet. Prioritisaton... that's the key.

7. If you cheat do it publicly. 

Don't lie to anybody about dieting. If you lie to everyone else about how much you are eating then it's a safe bet you are also lying to yourself. It's a pointless activity doing that because you won't lose any weight and you won't win any brownie points for trying because nobody will believe that you were trying. You'll end up depressed and feeling like everyoe is picking on you despite the fact that the only person sabotaging your effort is that fat person in the miror who keeps forcing cream cakes into your mouth and accentuating your double chins in photographs.

Trust me on this one, when you start losing wieght people will give you far more compliments about the weight loss than they ever gave you rebukes about the weight. When I was massive I would have said that the opposite was true but actually on the downslope it's amazing how nice people are. The insults hurt is what makes them more memorable I suspect. Give people a chance on that one and you'll realise that most of the people you thought were just being dicks about your weight are actually just trying to be nice in a dickish kind of way. 

So there you go. Seven pedestrian tips about dieting from someone unbearably smug who nevertheless still classifies as obese. Feel free to print this list out and then stamp on it in disgust.

Right


Fuck this... 55 emails about 55 comments all spam, mostly not even in English.

I didn't want to do it because I quite like random people commenting but this journal is now comments from friends only.

Livejournal you need to get your fucking house in order because these spammers are very fucking irritating and it makes you look like useless cunts for being either incapable or unwilling to get them the fuck off your site...

/rant

273. 5 Stupid Things We All Do




Ok so there are a lot of stupid things that we do on a regular, if not daily, basis and singling out five of them is kind of like having the opportunity to kill all the members of U2 and killing only one of them who isn't even Bono. On that basis I acknowledge the inherent futility of this list and yet am inexplicably going to forge ahead anyway. What makes these things significant to me is not the stupidity of each of them taken on their own, because they aren't really that stupid (on the Darwin scale of 1 to strapping a J Dam rocket to your car), but the fact that they seem to be so omnipresent.

I am loving the big words today aren't I?

Anyway enough literary masturbation. Lets get on with the list shall we?

5. Turning round and round repeatedly while looking for something. 

I do it, you do it everybody does it. Apparently when you have lost something vital that really needs to be found in a hurry, standing on the spot and whipping your body around in a circle like a demented tubby version of Billy Elliot is the go to method of choice for getting it found. I have no idea whether this is in fact part of some ancient ritualistic dance like a rain dance for misplaced paraphernalia but it certainly doesn't seem to be diminishing in popularity.

4. Brushing your finger under your nose just after picking it.

I can't claim the credit for noticing this little quirk as I am shamelessly stealing it from a comedian who is much funnier than I am but, as I can't remember who it was I can't actually credit them. Anyway the point stands that immediately after picking your nose you will involuntarily then brush your finger under it as if to pretend that you were only scratching it. It's a reflex.

3. Bass Face.

When hearing music with loud bass in it you will scrunch up your face in a kind of appreciative grimace and possibly nod your head. Whether the bass in question takes the form of dance music, a Rolling Stones riff or a drum being played by some irritatingly hipsterish faux irish pub band it makes little difference at some point you will do it and will now be hideously self conscious about what you looked like at the time.

2.The Secondary Question.

When asking a question and hearing a response you are unfamiliar with instead of simply acknowledging that you have no clue who they are you will simply ask the question again as if suffering from a hearing malfunction rather than a deficiency of knowledge/cool/education. For example:

                                  P1Q1  "Oooh I like this song, who is it by?"
                                  A        "Skrillex"
                                  P1Q2  "Who?"
                                  A        "Skrillex"
                                  P1      "Oh right" (Has no clue what is going on).

This is universal. If you are not aware that you do it at all then you almost certainly do it a lot more than you think you do.

And the all time dumbest thing we can't stop ourselves doing...

1. Sniffing things that we know are going to smell bad.

Even when you know it is going to honk worse than a taxi drivers armit after a closed window drive through the desert you will still, in spite of all previous experience that it is bad, tentatively poke your nose into the container that once contained milk but now contains a kind of lumpy custard looking substance and give it a sniff. You will then follow this up by gagging and wondering why the hell you felt the need to do it. Sniffing things that smell bad is practically a hobby we do it so often and no amount of eyewatering and dry retching is apparently able to cure us of the insanity.

Feel free to add to the list if you have some of your own but these 5 are my favourites...

272. Marketing Words




I'm sure you all know the words I am talking about and I'm going to say up front that I really hate these things. I did politics at university and they had a very similar attitude to inventing words and then getting snotty when people like me steadfastly refused to use them and government is the same. Why non of these people seem capable of simply using the english language without the need to use a series of unimaginative tropes is beyond me but I suspect it has a lot to do without wanting to be able to sound authorative without doing the actual work required to attain the position.

Anyway I won't bore you with an extended pre-amble as you won't read it and I won't spell it correctly so instead I'm just going to move on and make with the list.

The following is a list of the most overused words (and their actual meanings) in the marketing world the very use of which makes me want to strangle small animals and then use the furry corpses to choke the poorly manufactured shit peddlars to death.

Synergy = It suits me and it probably won't kill you so basically we're a team.
Synergise = Bend over a second I need to stand on your shoulders to look over this fence.
Win-win = I won twice because I made you think you won too.
Strategic = Slightly thought out by more than one person.
Strategise = You need to agree with me so you can share the blame later on.
Proven = It worked more than once and that couldn't possibly be a co-incidence
Empower = Wow you have really pretty hands mind if I steal your rings.
Money back guarantee = You will be too lazy to return this item and we know it.
Ball park figure = I just made that figure up it up to sound good.
Projected sales figures = As above except there is a graph.
Blue sky thinking = You will pay me to daydream
Think outside the box = YOU WILL PAY ME TO DAYDREAM
Brainstorming = You will pay me to draw a chart of my daydreaming.
Imagineer - You will pay me to draw a doodle of my daydreaming.
Stakeholder = Anyone, ever at any time.
Core demographic = The people you think ought to want to buy your stuff even though they don't
Stretch the Envelope = Flog the horse till death and then sell the carcass.
Incentivisation = We know you know our product is rubbish but if we give you 2 of them then one might work right? 
Facillitate = Depending on whether sales of after sales either 'sell' or 'avoid'.
Interface/Engage/Liase = Either pester, in the case of market research, or disavow if in reference to complaints.
Generated some buzz = Someone tweeted about you on Twitter one time.
Viral = Irritating to the point of omnipresence.
Manage expectations = Sound realistic by climbing down a half notch from totally stupid to appear moderate.
Diverse folio = Set fire to everything, something you want to burn down will get it eventually.
Holistic = Basically the same as above except with matched stationery.
Globalization = Hey have you ever considered fucking over your work force and getting your stuff made in China?
There was a paradign shift - I was 100 percent right but they canged something in the matrix so that's why it didn't work.
Streamlined = Either 'same price less product' or 'fewer workers more work'.
Innovative = That problem you haven't heard of that didn't need fixing, we fixed it anyway.

The thing about all of this is that even the people that use these words both know, and openly mock their use and yet they keep on using them. It's got to the point where we expect marketeers (like privateers but with fewer eyepatches) to use these words and we judge their level of expertise based almost soley on the skill with which the effortlessly slip them into conversation. Because after all what are the qualifications required to work in marketing. As far as I can see you need to know this bizarre other language, own a thin pair of designer spectacles and you need to wear a stripy shirt over a pair of suit trousers without ever needing to prove that you have the jacket to match. That is literally it. 


Can you think of another branch of people that can effortlessly set themselves up as professionals with little more than a change of clothes and 5 minutes of buzzword bingo? I mean other than Parliament obviously...

271. Driving Tests




Ok I'm going to confess that I failed my driving test 4 times before I finally passed it. At least I think it was 4 times, it could have been 5 to be honest; after a certain point it gets tricky to count.

Test 1: Failed 5 minutes from the end when panicky cry baby hit the brakes because of lack of spine.
Test 2: Failed 50 yards from test start for same reason. Examiner refused to let me turn around and made me finish the test anyway.
Test 3: Woman in Lada swerved to avoid me for no discernable reason.
Test 4: Missed turning on roundabout and did comedy loop back around only to miss it again.

You know what, lets just call it lets just call it many.

Now before you point and laugh I should point out that I am not in fact a bad driver. I know everybody thinks they are a good driver but empirically given that i have been driving 12 years now without incident and have yet to run over a single pedestrian. Based on this I am going to have to state that in my case it is clearly true.

So why the 4 fails then? I hear you ask in an jeering tone, I'll tell you why... because driving tests are idiotic. The things that they test aren't actually the things that are in the slightest way important. Before you infer that I am just bitter I'm going to supply a quick list of 5 reasons that driving tests make no sense and you can see how I am exactly right on this issue. 

1. The feed the steering wheel gently around method of steering is a horribly inefficient way of steering the car and causes massive, indeed often tree hitting under-steer. Don't listen to me on this though, track down some footage of rally drivers who are frankly very good at avoiding hitting trees and see if they feed the steering wheel around like a man with plastic explosives attached to his elbows. They don't by the way.

2. The fact that the 'Stop' sign is octagonal while possibly interesting on the most mundane level (as in not interesting at all) is not knowledge that should be a condition of passing the test. After all apart from being an octagon it is also bi and red and features massive letters reading stop. It's not like I would see a round sign saying stop and fail to understand the intention because it wasn't the right shape. Anyway correct me if I am wrong but surely lollypop lady stop signs are round aren't they? Does that make them unofficial? Could I reasonably run over and octogenarian because of this lack of clarity?

3. Nobody sensible reverses around a corner. Ever. It never happens.They just drive around the block and come out the other way or use some random strangers drive way and do a half arsed 2 point turn. I can't think of a single time since the test that I have reversed around a corner and I can't think of a single situation where I would be likely to. The only people I see doing it are generally reversing onto a main road in a car so full of dents that they'd be impossible to track with radar on account of not having a straight surface to reflect the waves back. Maybe I should make a stealth car on this principle for the purposes of speeding...

4. Not allowing you to shunt when parallel parking is like telling da-vinci that he has to leave in a smudge mark on his masterpiece where somebody nudged his elbow because if he was competent it wouldn't have happened. Sometimes you need to do a little shunt, it's not even slightly dangerous so why should it count as a fail?

5. Theatrically looking at your mirrors every 8 seconds so that the examiner can see that you are checking your mirrors proves nothing except that you know how to look like you are looking at your mirrors. Ignore that fact that you can blatantly fake observation because they don't actually test it, the more time you spend looking at the rear view the less time you are looking at the front view and what's more likely a crazed psychotic trying to bum your car to death or a deathwish pensioner looking to pick up a penny from the middle of the road in front of you?...


Add to these fully stupid test results the really serious and distracting problem that the examiner I kept getting looked exactly like William G Stewart off of 15 to 1 and the awkwardness that arose from the fact that I told him so and it's a miracle that I passed at all. 
In hindsight it might not have been a good idea to have sworn at him after the first test as well.

270. 50 Shades of Lame




Ladies, you are fooling no-one with this. Sure it might look like a regular book and you might try and pass it off like you are just assessing the style or evaluating the hype but we know. Stop arguing, put that slightly offended proto huff away and confess. This book is porn.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, You didn't actually buy it, a friend loaned it to you, a coworker forced you to read it, Richard and Judy said it was okay, I've heard all the excuses. Just stop. Mummy porn is still porn.

The thing is when you stop pretending that it's not just porn you will be forced to admit that your half of the chromosome's insistence that they don't like porn has in fact suckered you not only into reading, but also into buying a vast number of copies of what is, when you boil down to it a badly written piece written by someone who's highest literary role model is in fact another piece of badly written pap.

And my point? Frankly you can do better. At least Jilly Cooper had the decency to pretend that her characters were posh by dressing them in Jodphurs, calling them Rupert and presumably giving them big teeth. But seriously, Twilight fan fiction involving anal beads? Are you honestly telling me you couldn't do better? In the multivaried plethora of the human imagination is there no-one else that you would rather have dictate your fantasies than someone who spends the bulk of their time pretending that the vampire equivalent of My Little Pony is going to sneak into their room and give them a sparkly ravishing?

Just give up the act already stop pretending that you are above porn and use your porn based spending power on something a little less depressingly shit than this book because, and this is crucial, if fan fic is honestly what you are willing to settle for then there's a fuck load of that already knocking around for free and I am reliably informed that not all of it involves Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy sucking each other's cocks, although there does seem to be a weird pre-occupation with that topic.

While we are on the subject of this book you might also want to stop telling men that you wish they knew how to behave like Christian Grey, firstly because the only thing we know about the book is that it involves S&M and so you probably aren't conveying the message that you think you are, but also because the day I take advice on anything from a Twilight superfan is the day my leg separates itself from my body, moves to California and drive itself around in a VW bus selling peyote from the side of the road.

In future when people tell me they wish men were more like Christan Grey I will tell them that I wish women were more like Stoya and then run for cover as a barrage of hypocritically thrown feminist footware clatters against the premptively constructed defensive barracade that I will be hiding behind. 

Y Chromosome to Double X chromosomes: Check yourself before you wreck yourself.