Book review kinda. Actually rant. Sunday, May 3 2009 

What most convinces me that global warming is real is that those who argue against it usually sound about as honest and trustworthy as a used car salesman.

Ian Wishart released a new book recently, Air Con, all about how global warming is a big big phony. I browsed a bit of it because I like to be reasonably well informed about important scientific matters regarding the planet Earth.

What Ian doesn’t seem to understand is that if you’re going to question the integrity of scientists, it’s a good idea to have the absolute highest integrity yourself. So if you’re going to criticise a scientist for using the word ‘probably’ in their articles, it’s a good idea to not also have used the word ‘probably’ in your own work two paragraphs previously. And if you’re going to quote statistics, put them in context – for example, don’t tell us how many scientists don’t believe in global warming if you’re not going to tell us how many scientists do. Especially if you’ve only just criticised Al Gore for manipulating statistics to suit his purpose – most likely the reader will now be sensitive to how you could also be manipulating statistics yourself.

Radical politicians should never be trusted to talk about science for exactly the same reason that compulsive liars should never be trusted to talk about science.


The Boat That Rocked. Monday, Apr 6 2009 

The casting is great. Nay, epic.

The premise sounds interesting.

But then they say ‘from the creator of Notting Hill, Love Actually and Four Weddings‘ on all promotional material, and suddenly I lose all interest.

Is this really the right time for comfort food? You know, skyrocketing unemployment, riots in some countries, general feeling of unrest, the future’s so dim you can’t possibly wear shades… yes, lets make an old-fashioned Richard Curtis movie! That’ll capture the zeitgeist perfectly!!!

I’m not saying I’d necessarily hate the film if I saw it, but Love Actually turned out to be a tribute to everything I hate about romantic comedies, so I can’t take that risk.

How to get kicked out of a flat. Monday, Apr 6 2009 

Talk really, really loudly on the phone. Every night. For hours. Yell if you need to. When asked to talk more quietly, apologise profusely and then completely disregard the request.

Don’t ever, ever clean anything. Just don’t. Your mother used to do all that for you, why should you start now? Why grow up? Even though you’re in your 30s? In fact, just to hammer home your point that other people should be cleaning up after you, place dirty dishes in the cupboards, in the rack among the clean dishes, or even throw them out the window if you really feel like it. Whatever.

Don’t turn off the stove top when you’re finished with it. Your mother used to do that for you. Forget that it’s a safety hazard. Burn through the filament. Let it burn! Melt the fish slice and then hide it among the garbage in the hope that no one will find it and eventually forget that it ever existed.

Leave the taps running as well. Your mother used to turn them off for you.

Eventually, put some chickpeas in a pan, place them on the stove at full power and go out for the rest of the day. The chickpeas will be burned to a crisp by the time someone gets home, the entire flat will be smoked out, the pan will be burned through and the stovetop will actually catch fire when the pan is removed.

All this time, deny everything. Even though three of the five people in the flat never use the kitchen anyway and the fourth person has been there far longer than you without any of these problem. Also, you’re the only person who cooks curry. When caught out, admit to making a mistake this once but promise it will never happen again and insist that it never happened before.

Before you actually get kicked out, when you feel it’s about to happen anyway, volunteer to leave the flat yourself. Make it sound as if you’ve been driven out by the unreasonable demands of your flatmates – you know, hygiene, common sense and general safety. Just behave as indignant as possible.

Also, your art really sucks. Maybe, in some sort of bizarre reversal of faith healing, you are actually trying to make people go blind?

The time for constructive procrastination is at an end. Friday, Jan 9 2009 

I’m in New Plymouth for my girlfriend’s sister’s wedding. I have no witty remarks to make about New Plymouth. It’s kind of like any other medium-sized New Zealand town. The weather has been nice.

When I get back I’m going to try to start ‘producing’ a webcomic. I spent most of last year thinking about what to do, how to do it, why to do it, where to do it, when to do it, who to do it, all that sort of thing… I pretty much have no excuses any more. No more ‘should I do it this way or that way, even though there is only a minor difference’ questions to ponder for weeks on end. Anything further I can no longer explain away as constructive procrastination.

Random observation: a CD entitled ‘The Word’s Greatest Worship Music’. Can you believe that all of the greatest worship music in the world is Christian in denomination? Apparently no Muslim or Hindu or Jew or Buddhist or Pagan or Unorthodox Toaster-Oven has ever written a worship song of any note whatsoever.

If there had been people in the world sensible enough to insert a ‘^’ symbol between ‘Greatest’ and ‘Worship’ with the word ‘Christian’ above it, there would be a lot less wars.

Flatting. Wednesday, Dec 17 2008 

I’ve observed this law of the universe that where more than four unrelated people cohabit in the same building, one or more of them will always be a scumbag.

There needs to be a name for this law.

Our most recent example of this is the flatmate who stopped paying rent, locked her door and disappeared without telling us. She was so quiet anyway that the rest of us assumed she was just keeping to herself the whole time; no, she was actually digging us into a financial quagmire over a couple of months.


Next person to move in will either be a cannibal or a neo-nazi or an internet troll or all of the above.

Scanner. Wednesday, Oct 8 2008 

“Excuse me.”
“Can I help you?”
“When the sign says 20% of printers, does it include this $79.99 scanner/printer?”
“Yes, that comes down to $63.99. You know, I had someone come in the other day and buy this other scanner/printer for $99.99, and he said he was really happy with the scan quality.”
“Um… this scanner has exactly the same resolution as the one I was just looking at.”
“Uh, yeah! That’s what I was just about to say!”

Sheesh. What is it about computer stores in particular that the salespeople try every tactic to make you spend more money? Even though anyone who wants to buy a scanner is probably going to already know the resolution of the cheapest scanner in store?

I realise I should really have acquired a scanner long ago, but I didn’t have enough desk space for it, and to fit a bigger desk into my room I had to tidy it, and to tidy it I had to work up the motivation… and it’s hard to work up the motivation to tidy my room when it’s easier to daydream about what I’m going to do when I get my new scanner.

BTN: because sometimes things need to be turned into acronyms. Tuesday, Sep 23 2008 

There’s this one thing that baffles me about Sarah Palin. Everyone knows she lied when she said she opposed the BTN, but she hasn’t bothered to try weasle out of that lie somehow. Some politicians would have said they were ‘mistaken’. Some politicians would have said there’s a ‘conspiracy’. Some politicians would have argued the meaning of the word ‘opposed’. Sarah is happy to allow the lie to fester in people’s minds unquestioned.

Maybe she’s just comfortable because she knows the sort of people who are going to vote for here aren’t going to be bothered by facts anyway.

But seriously, how long does it take for three words to become an acronym anyway?

Meanwhile, the NZ election continues to slip under my radar. Where’s the utterly divisive issue that’s supposed to come along at about this time? Or is it just that National is so far ahead we’re not bothering with that this year?

In which I get offensive. Friday, Sep 5 2008 

A new Ricky Gervais DVD has come out with him on the cover sitting on a throne with a crown and assorted other effects of monarchy.

Is there anyone in the world less dignified in their fame? The reason I didn’t finish watching The Office and didn’t bother with Extras at all is that I seriously don’t want to see Ricky Gervais’ head exploding all over the screen, which I’m sure is what will happen if it gets any larger.

I’m a hypocrite, of course, because I don’t have the same problem with Bill Bailey’s bust being sculpted in marble on the cover of his equivalent DVD.

It’s the same equivalent… one sitting on a throne, the other sculpted in marble… but when the guy is willing to stand on a stage looking exactly like this –

– I tend to attribute a marble bust to self-parody rather than, say, narcissism, i.e.

That is all.

Not worth getting angry over, yet I do anyway. Thursday, Jul 17 2008 

God damn I hate the internet sometimes. I’m looking at the comments thread on someone’s blog. The first poster says something short and banal. The second poster disagrees with this banal comment and says that the first poster only posted what they did so they could be the first poster. The third poster picks on some utterly minor grammatical error in the second poster’s post.

Is this… really what life is all about? Why must every three comments on the internet be a three-way flame war? Why can’t people just… let things pass? What’s so great about being the first poster anyway? Why must every minor grammatical inconsistency be commented on? Why don’t people just shut up and get lost?


Bah. Tuesday, Apr 15 2008 

Blah. The way I wrote Pirate Space may have been flawed, but at least it worked. I wrote a whole bunch of random scenes, knitted them together into a story and rewrote the entire thing based around that story.

I’ve been trying to write another novel by cutting out the first part and jumping straight to the bit where I write a novel based around the story. It doesn’t seem to be working. For some reason my creative process involves paradoxes. I need to write before I can think of a story, and I need to think of a story before I can write. And what seems to me like wasting time writing stuff that I don’t intend to print is actually an important part of writing stuff I do intend to print.

I think I’m cursed to write every story twice.

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