Goodbye Bush

22 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

I’m not one to talk about American Politics that much, but I will say this; Evil or not, I’m gonna miss seeing Dana Perino in my news.

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Right, time for a Joke

19 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

Man: “Doctor Doctor, my bum hurts”

Doctor:  “Right, take off your pants, bend over, let’s have a look at it.”

Man: (does so)

Doctor: “My God!”

Man: “What is it?”

Doctor: “There’s a rolled up $20 note sticking out of your bum!”

Man: “What?”

Doctor: “You heard me.  Do you want me to pull it out?”

Man: “Yes!”

Doctor: (does so) “My god!”

Man: “What?”

Doctor: “There’s another one!  A tenner this time!”

Man: “Well pull it out!”

(and so on they go, tens, twenties, the odd fifty, until they eventually stop.”

Doctor: “That’s the lot of em.”

Man: “How much is there?”

Doctor: (counts them up)  “looks like $1995.00.”

Man: “That’d be right.  I wasnt feeling two grand.”

QIYUF # 4: Semantic Shift

18 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Quite Interesting Yet Useless Fact.

Semantic Shift is where a word’s meaning changes over time.  They move, expand, contract, etc, some can mean the complete opposite to what they originally were.  Not that this is a quick thing.  It generally takes a few millenium.

For example, the word Hound now refers to a few breeds of dog, but originally, it referred to any four legged animal.  Conversely, Dog was a type of dog, but over time, it came to mean the entire breed.  Weird huh.

The word Black and the french word ‘Blanc’ meaning white, were originally the same word, but over time, in English, it went from meaning ‘white’ to ‘white like sunlight’ to ‘sunlight’ to ‘sun’ to ‘flame’ to ‘burnt flame’ to ‘charred’ to ‘charred black’ to eventually ‘black’.  Or the other way around; I honestly can’t remember.

It’s sometimes quicker though.  The word gay has taken an unfortunate turn in about 3 generations.  Our grandparents knew it to mean ‘happy,’ our parents knew it to mean ‘homosexual,’ and while that meaning still couns, our generation also use it to mean ‘bad.’

So in about three generations, it’s gone from happy to bad.  That was quick.

Pop Quiz:  Link the phrase to the correct meaning.

1: “He looks so gay today.”                                                A:  “He looks like a homosexual today.”

2: “He looks so gay today.”                                                B: “He looks so bad today.”

3: “He looks so gay today.”                                                C:  “He looks so happy today.”

On Freedom

15 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

Part 3 of why good things aren’t that great (see part 1 and 2 on human rights and democracy) is about Freedom.

Ah freedom, how beautiful a thing you isn’t.

Freedom isn’t an inherently good thing.  It is only a good thing after a lot of qualifications, restrictions, and clarifications are made.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  Freedom for me to do whatever I want whenever I want free from consequences is a good thing, but something tells me you people out there would disagree (with the possible exception of my mum).

So we have this whole convoluted system of morals based on the idea that expanding personal freedoms is a good thing.  It essentially boils down to two types of freedom; ‘Freedom Froms’ and ‘Freedom Tos’.

‘Freedom To’ is easy ‘Freedom to do whatever you want.’

Freedom from is a whole list of things that people don’t like being done to them; Freedom from fear, oppression, torture, prosecution, etc

And all these ‘Freedom Froms’ do is limit other people’s ‘Freedom Tos.’

So before we’re allowed to run off and do whatever we want, we’ve gotta make a list of things we’re not allowed to do, which, in all honesty doesnt sound much like freedom.

The thing is, the list of Freedom froms is set up to stop people from doing bad things.  This is a problem, because ‘bad’ is a loaded concept.  It’s a subjective thing that differs from one person to another, one group to another, one country to another.  The idea of hunting foxes in Australia is encouraged and paid for by the Australian Government.  In the UK, terrorist groups sabotage hunts and threaten hunters…and that’s not to bring up things like gender equality, sexuality, right to life, etc.

The word Freedom is used as a pretense to get other people to be nice, which is a good idea if it wasnt for the fact that the whole concept of freedom is supposed to be moral free.  It supposed to be about making sure people can make up their own minds about their own life, and live it on their own terms, but ends up being about making sure people aren’t dicks to each other.

Not that that’s a bad thing, but for christ’s sake, don’t dress it up in freedom, just call it what it is, ‘stopping people from doing bad things to each other.’

Documentaries

13 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

Documentaries about the history of mundane things are fascinating.

A history of Clothes.

A history of Alcohol.

A history of Blood.

A history of sowing machines.

Fascinating things.  The reason is simple, none of them are so political as to warrant someone glorifying their history for their own ends.  The histories of countries, ideologies, celebrities, politicians, wars, etc are either glorifyingly unquestioning or scandalously questionable, but no one cares about the history of beer, or the history of fridges enough to hide the good bits and put them next to the important bits in a way that shows WHY THINGS ARE AS THEY ARE, because that’s the whole point of a historical documentary.

Political Theory

8 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

Libertarians scare me more than Fascists. At least a paranoid police state cares about what you say and do.

My Most Recent Date

6 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

ME: “So yeah, since I’ve started my current job, I feel my vocab has just dropped through the floor. I feel less…less…”
HER: Erudite?
ME: What the hell does Erudite mean?!? I mean, yeah, Erudite, Verbose, Eloquent, them words.

of cabbages and kings

3 January, 2009 - Leave a Response

The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

Saladin: The Animated Series

29 December, 2008 - Leave a Response

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=wbTZDlfVTTQ

(am still trying to figure out how to embed. If its not there, sorry.)

This is one of your classic ‘non-hollywood’ stories.  A great, kick arse rollicking sword and swashbuckling tale that doesn’t involve a white guy as the hero.  Actually, the whole thing has the Christians as a bunch of religious fanatics hellbent on a holy war. 

BUT THAT DOESNT MEAN ITS NOT A GREAT STORY.

If only hollywood would actually make those samurai epics or kung fu stories or african warrior epics without trying to figure out how to stick a white guy in it, then we might actually have something to watch.

Game Review: Loco Roco

27 December, 2008 - Leave a Response

Never has a game succeeded so much in making the player happy.