Friday, November 28, 2008

Eat my shorts

I've stumbled onto the singular last vestige of truth - that all the talented makers of shorts are now dead. They've been attacked, tortured and murdered; those who were not killed were turned into Iscariot-like shadows of their former selves, twisted and bitter, all semblance of colour sense lost in the blood-dimmed tide.

They now make board shorts - once for hardcore surfer skateboarder dudes with big chests, scarred shins and spiky hair - with floral patterns and pink colours. They make them with delicate green swirls, strawberries, and stylish purple blotches.

Is it just me, or is there something seriously wrong with practical mens fashion?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Word of the day

So, I came across this odd word (perhaps not so odd, depening on your literacy level and vocabulary) while looking for the definition of onus. Interestingly enough, onus (not a measure of your level of O) isn't what I'd imagined. My initial thoughts were that onus merely means the "responsibility" as it were. So, "The onus is on you to fix that" would mean it's your responsibility. Turns out, it's far heavier than simple responsibility:

o·nus (ns)n.
1. A difficult or disagreeable responsibility or necessity; a burden or obligation.
a. A stigma.
b. Blame.
3. The burden of proof

This according to The Free Dictionary (TFD here onwards). While looking at that, I stumbled upon (not in the Firefox application sense) encumbrance, and then - fardel. TFD gives the following definition:

far·del (färdl)
1. A pack; a bundle.
2. A burden.

Which I thought was quite cool. For reasons unknown, it brings to mind Mexican food and coffee burros, which is possibly appropriate in the burden sense (those poor donkeys). I guess I like the sound of "The burden of proof", and using some creative license and having a decent story behind it: "The Fardel of Proof" (or maybe even: The Burro of Proof). I like it, though I have no idea where I'd use it without having the fardel of sounding overcomplicated and fancy.


They didn't know.

They couldn't hear me breathing. They couldn't feel my limbs trembling or sense the trepidation or see my eyes flitting nervously left and right. They didn't know that I lay beneath them, sweat trickling and pooling on my lower back, dust settling on my cracked lips, muscles cramping from hours of waiting and decay. They didn't know that I was dead. Then again, neither did I.

They say you never really know until you know. Which is stupid, really, because how can you know? You don't pass through walls. You don't see things they can't. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, there is no tunnel! You breathe, you get hungry, your muscles ache and your sweat pools. How could you possibly know? I didn't, right up to the point where she started screaming.

I guess that's understandable, isn't it? I would scream too if I saw a dead person in front of me, because - what's that? Oh, I said they didn't know, of course. Let me explain (I really shouldn't have to, that's how stories work) - she wasn't there, where I lay waiting. The group of people above me (of which she was not a part) didn't know that I was dead. At least not yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What is wrong with the world?

What is wrong with people these days? It seems to me that the current crop of youth (a term I still use to refer to myself, though I hope I don’t fall into the same behavioral category) have serious social issues.

I’ve never in my life come across so many people who’s ambition in life is to get as much as possible for as little as possible in return. We are the generation of instant gratification, of double whopper super size me’s, of “The world is mine and I shall rape it and plunder it and give nothing back”.

Inflation doesn’t just apply to life in an economic context. It applies to everything. 20 years ago the single teenage stabbing per year on London streets was horrific. The attack and rape of an unarmed child was public outrage. Today, in our HIV infested world, we turn a nervous blind eye to the kids who have drunkenly owned London streets using violence and knives since they were nine years old. We avoid reading news reports of our young boys raping each other on primary school playing fields. We raise “I told you so” eyebrows at the evidence of a failing government and turn the page to read Zapiro’s too-close-to-home cartoons.

People are world fucks – I use that term as a verb, in the sense of aggravated, vulgar copulation with an unwilling, inanimate participant – and nothing is changing. I see young people daily using and using, exploiting, taking, for as little effort as possible. People are too lazy for their own good. They complain about not being taken seriously, about not having everything delivered too them.

If you want something done – do it yourself. Do it properly, and think about what the consequences mean to the next person. Instead of worrying about what Johnny “I wear bright blue skinny jeans and steal road signs all the time” WorldFuck thinks of you, worry about standing up and doing the right thing, and doing it properly.

Alpha male doesn’t mean the guy who has the most money, breaks the most things, gets most drunk, and sleeps with the most girls. It means the guy who stands up and takes control of the situation (not the people) he finds himself in, and executes the solution that most suits everyone. Yes, he may not get instant gratification, yes, he may not directly benefit from his solution, yes, he may be required to spend a little more cash or put in some effort, but that’s the way the world should work. And unfortunately, the same applies to girls – especially considering our oversensitive population’s issues with equality.

We need the youth to take their hands off their Xbox controllers and to make a difference. We need fighters, disciplinarians, hard workers, and doers. I’m sick and tired of the takers and the abusers. I’m going to do things right. Are you?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Divine Comedy

I read this book, Gargoyle (by Andrew Davidson) recently, and it was inspired I think largely by Dante's Inferno. I had heard of The Divine Comedy but never read it (still haven't read it) and knew next to nothing about it. The book got me interested, so I googled it.

I hit the wikipedia link: The Divine Comedy

And it's pretty awesome (provided that the wikipedia page is at least partially truthful. If not, the guy who fudged the wikipedia page could make a living out of the stores in his head) judging by what's there.

I've always been fascinated by the "occult", and I say that to include things like aliens, ghosts, magic, evil, heaven and hell (not in the Bible sense, but in the Constantine sense). The idea of all hell's levels, and the various creatures residing there thrills me.

The thought of a river of boiling blood in Hell excites me, as does the concept of the River Styx (which means Hate, incidentally) and the boatman Charon. Davidson depicts Charon nicely, and it ties beautifully in with the book and the themes.

It's uber cool - so cool I'd considered briefly getting a tattoo with the River Styx or a similar homage to the poem on me, though I'm loathe to get "hate" stamped on my skin for the rest of my life.

In any case, I'd recommend giving both a read (or at the very least, the wikipedia page) to see what I'm on about - it's awesome. Dante was genius; I can feel the inspiration already.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baltho likes.

I pride myself in having an awesome facebook status. I love remembering cold days and hot milo. I like thinking about camping trips to Wells-Next-The-Sea. I enjoy listening to cool names, like Kinvara. I like thinking that I can write. I like thinking that I can write well. I find secret pleasure in finding weird emo stickers for stupid bands and idiotic plays plastered on electric boxes and alley walls and stinky dustbins in secret places in Cape Town. I like it when it's grey.

I like the rain

A small cross hung unnoticed from a telephone wire suspended across the street. Rain pitter-pattered against cool window panes and shiny streets, a soft, almost undetectable mist rising as a result. Fresh air and comfortably cold people, dressed in swanky coats, yarny scarves, and warm boots wandered the pavements, glazing over the funky coffee bars frequented by funky young people. The scene’s black-and-white photo appeal eased into calm Sunday morning as artists and writers ambled towards stationery shops and bookstores to make their living.


Ripples spread outwards as his head emerged from the water. He stood up, the water lapping gently at his waist. His chest was bear, his scars and tattoos visible for the world to see. He stood still, letting the silence take him, the moonlight glinting at the water's edge. When the water had almost stilled completely, he pulled the dagger from his waistband and raised his left arm. Steam rose off the water's surface as he lowered the blade to his forearm. Bubbles churned the water as it heated, the spirits around him screaming silently and frothing around him to enter his body. The blade sliced a two inch long cut in his flesh; blood welled up but did not spill. He let his head fall back as the blackness took him, the feint sound of chains clinking filling his ears. Only one spirit entered, joining the ranks of the others that he had killed.