Whatever happened to Something Awful?

If Something Awful was completely without merit, there would be no problem. Shit is shit and let’s run this shit into the ground as they say in one of the hundreds of memes that pass for conversation on SA. But SA can be charitable, as when it raises tens of  thousands of dollars for the poor in the USA and elsewhere, it can be justified as when it took on the child pornographers that infest Reddit and drove them out for least a while. It can be an effective critic of far worse entities such as 4chan, TV Tropes and other deserts of the mind. It can even be strangely beautiful – I was one of the many people preparing a Photoshop for a ‘make a ghost picture’ thread, when up popped the very first image of Slenderman, a nonsense monster that spread over the world in a flash and recently drove two teenage girls to try murder another to appease this instant-meal myth. I know that’s a particularly remorseful kind of beautiful, but I still prefer it to most art.

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You will notice that, like Drop Bears, the Slenderman joke started in Australia. Then Americans believed it, and away we go.

At the moment they are coming to the end of a revolution of sorts, it’s petering out in spasms, but still you’re likely to come across entire threads of people saying:

“I’m Gay.”
“I’m Gay.”
“I’m Gay.” at each other like some kind of demented bird call. Which in anyone’s terms is pathetic or infuriating or both. I’m not here to defend it, but to try to sum up what’s been going on in this virtual town of 189,064 or so.

Just before Halloween 2013, the main board, General Bullshit (or ‘GBS’), was in trouble. SA is actually one of the most highly moderated websites around, with probations and bans constantly raining down on the worst of the worst. Probations come for racism, gender slights, tedious trolling, sock puppeting, all the usual sins of online society – if YouTube was run like SA, their comments would be empty. But in this case the effort had been too successful, and the grotesque ball had stopped dead. The punters were unnerved – what was funny? What ribaldry was OK? What insults would be tolerated, and if this was a party – the beer had gone flat.

Halloween evening, new ‘spooky rules’ for ‘GBS 2.0.’ were posted by Zack Parsons, science fiction novelist and admin. No NSFW images, no personal fights, that’s it.

By the time I saw the board a few hours later, a few timid starts had turned into an outpouring of the most disgusting, hateful, childish garbage that anonymous fat young men could pull out of their trousers. To be clear, there was no redeeming quality to it at all. I learned that probably the worst swearword in the United States is ‘nigger’, and they were going to mount that on a flag and march it down main street. Everything had to be burned and everyone had to be smeared with ashes and shit and god knows. I stopped visiting GBS for a while, basically because there was no community to visit.

Other sections of the community carried on as before, a bit like the white flight suburbs circling Detroit. Every now and then somebody would come wandering out of the maelstrom and start the noise in the pet discussion area or such like. They would instantly get banned, without understanding why the rules were different.

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I thought it might go for weeks. It went for months, although after a while the tone was like the Dawn of the Dead – the zombies were beginning to assemble some parody of order, while angrily refusing it. The moderators came back in, allowed themselves to be mocked and be probated by others, sometimes with humour, mostly not. I’ll make a big stretch and compare it to the cultural revolution, when Mao had students attack the professors to keep himself up the top of the power structure.

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I am an imperfect witness, I’m too old, I just wandered around the desolation not knowing why. Some of it was another discussion board, FYAD, leaking out of its pink cartoon cesspit. They do not speak their name but ‘Fuck You And Die’ is probably it. What you see in there is something between a diaper fetish, people who cut themselves for attention and those that think they are Oscar Wilde and aren’t. Everything is ironic, especially typing ‘nigger’. Perhaps the plan was to draw them out? Was it a death wish? Did Zack Parsons want to prove a point? The moderators only know.

FYAD

FYAD in one image

Some time near the new year, softly, the rules were expanded and it became ‘GBS 1.3’. Probations followed. There was grumbling, but maybe everyone was too exhausted to rebel. August 2014, nearly a year later came the message from Lowtax, king of this domain: “Can we PLEASE get rid of all the racist garbage getting posted around here? As we’ve always said, unless it’s extremely remarkably wonderfully humorous, you’re going to get banned for making racist comments. For your health.”

The revolution lasted just over 11 months.

The proudly worst have discovered that while ‘tranny’ is now banned, ‘gay’ is still allowed, not specific to the sexual orientation although that’s in there, but in the school yard sense of ‘weak’. It’s highly offensive, it’s supposed to be. It tests exactly the same water as being ‘punk’ in 1976. But because the punks were at least glamorous, they now have a museum history, where once being ‘punk’ was just as awful as the ‘ironic homophobia’ that’s being thrown about now.

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But who will record the revolt of the ugly fat dorks? I will. I was there for the punks, I was there for the dorks, what difference really?

Swan Upping

I have the task of digitising my old man’s writings. He was a psychiatrist, working everywhere from the prisons to the air force as well as a private practice. He seems to have written about eleventy billion articles going by the folders still to be copied. I can forgive him, because most of the time he was deflating the pompous.

I invite you to enjoy a little excerpt about medical publishing from 30 years ago which shows not much has changed since then. Please extend the reference to ‘Medicine’ to include ‘The Arts And Social Sciences’.


I would like to consider the proposition , commonly advanced, that the material published in medical journals is scientific. Imagine that I am a scientist, and that the object of my study is swans. As a result of some observation and some thought I have formulated the hypothesis that all swans are black. You will note that it is a good hypothesis, not only be­ cause it can be understood by anyone prepared to listen, but also anyone who takes the trouble to inspect swans will be able to refute it, if indeed it is incorrect. Additionally, it motivates us to make further observations of swans: we have science at its best.

In the course of my enquiries I go to the zoo, and there I observe a white swan. My hypothesis is refuted: I retreat, cogitate and then declare a new one, ‘all swans are achromatic’. Once more it is refutable: discover but one coloured swan, plain, polka dotted or even tartan and I must hypothesise again. This, as I understand it, is scientific activity: the construction of refutable hypotheses which are then tested so that we will be led to better ones. We approach the truth asymptotically, but we never achieve it. Remember that a refuted hypothesis may be most useful nevertheless: think, for example, of those hypotheses of Newton which not only still serve us well, but also caused other great minds to work so hard to produce better ones.

BlackSwan

Now let us change tack a little. My initial paper about swans would have been brief and to the point. ‘Having observed a number of swans, it is my hypothesis that all swans are black. I would be grateful if any observations of swans inconsistent with this hypothesis were forwarded to me at the above address.’ The second paper would be no longer. ‘I refer to my previous hypothesis, namely that all swans are black. This hypothesis has been refuted by my observing a white swan. I now propose that all swans are achromatic. Once more, observations to the contrary would be much appreciated.’ Note, by the way, that I regard refutation of my hypothesis as a step forward, not as the destruction of a cherished possession.

Now, I imagine that as I continue my advance into pure science, other papers might begin to appear. First one might encounter: A Portable Digitalised Tele­colorimeter for Examining the Plumage of Swans at a Distance by A, B and C.

Succeeding papers might be a function of the interests of the day – thus we might confidently anticipate: A Search for Endorphins in the Faeces of Chenopis Atra to by D, E and F, rapidly followed by A Double Blind Controlled Trial of Six Beta Blockers in the Arctic Nesting Whistling Swan by G, H, I, J and K, repeated as many times in as many journals as there are permutations and combinations of the authors’ names. There might be a paper on A Special Apparatus and Wetsuit Combined to Permit the Endoscopy of Swans While Swimming: those of you familiar with current literature will be able to invent further titles of your own. Certainly, after a time the literature would become self generating, able to continue even if all swans in the world were to perish. Under these circumstances we might have A comment on the use of non parametric statistics in Duddle­thorpe’s Analysis of Honking Behaviour in Swans, including Cygnus Dolor, the mute swan. And then, A Reply.

Finally, of course it would spill over into other.literatures. Swan Upping: some radical feminist strategies for introducing new therapeutic modalities into the management of high socio­-economic status zoophiles.

Our literature is launched. We can assume that PhD’s and MD’s are already being won and that a portfolio filled with nonsense of this kind may well lead to rapid academic achievement. Before long I shall receive on my desk prospectus, posted direct from Ruritania, inviting me to subscribe to the new Inter­national Journal of Swanology. The first issue will be of some five hundred pages and contain a distillation of the wisdom revealed at the 1979 International Conference. No doubt by coincidence, the Editorial Board of the journal will bear a remarkable resemblance to the list of contributors.

Every article will have the same conclusion – ‘Under standard experimental conditions X num­bers of Y things were submitted to procedure Z. Using statistical procedure A , and computer programme B, it has been demonstrated that there is reason to believe that further research in this area may be beneficial. The authors wish to express their gratitude to Miss Helga Futt for her typing, and to the Cornucopia Institute for their funding’. Meanwhile, no one has produced a coloured swan.

Now what is all this? Science? I think not – rather it is an industry. We have people count­ing things in the hope that some­ thing will turn up, obsessionals who believe that measurements are worthy ends in themselves, plagiarists, pragmatists who see how to get on, masseurs of data and – mixed up with it all – a handful of scientists and savants – diamonds in porridge.

Needle in a haystack

If you find all that uncon­vincing , then let me come at it another way. A couple of years ago I had an illness which kept me busy for a while, and made it necessary for me to postpone many things, of which one was my scrutiny of the literature relevant to my daily tasks. In the long run I found myself confronted with a year’s journals, which in time were subdued. When I finished dealing with them I asked myself what benefit that rather cheerless exercise had produced – in what way was my practice changed as a result of my labours. The answer came readily enough, for there was only one element in it – I was even more concerned about the lithium – haloperidol interaction than I had been when I started. For one year’s reading this was not much of a yield.

But perhaps all that is but a demonstration of my own per­sonal limitations, so let us try another perspective. Writing about psychiatry is difficult. Some of it cannot be quantified at all, like music. It is difficult for pseudoscientists to get a foothold there, for you have to do your own thinking and measurement doesn’t help. Further, if you do happen to write something intelligent or interesting, those programmed to respond to words like double blind and chi square are not triggered and will pass you by. Promotion does not lie that way. However, there are aspects of psychiatry which can be measured with good relia­bility, (let us not worry too much about validity) reduced to numbers, and then spun into webs of factors, variances and God only knows what else suf­ficient to satisfy anyone. From that point of view one of the simple tasks is to investigate the treatment of depression; there is plenty of it around, its subdivi­sions are manageable, and there are some effective remedies in existence. All systems are go: if you wish to start a career in research, start there.

What has happened? In the last 12 months, as part of a quality assurance project of the RANZCP and the University of New South Wales, researchers at the latter constructed a bibliography of the treatment of depression.

The successful treatment of depression requires patience and much tying up of loose ends, particularly in the case of neu­rotic depression. This in turn requires time and one would be reluctant to be comfortable about outcome with less than three months’ observation. Nevertheless, in the 100 acceptable studies, the median time for the duration of treatment, and for the time from the beginning of treatment to the assessment of its results, was four weeks. Only one study in eight had followed patients for the three months or more which any clinician would regard as necessary. Even when the trial was between two effective treatments, the median duration was still four weeks­ indicating that the researchers were more interested in getting quick answers to pharmacological questions than they were to discovering what happened to depressed people. Few of the studies produced data on compliance, a major issue in all pharmacological treatment in psychiatry. I should mention that the paper which produced the best results of all was impeccable in its design and revealed that two chemicals long since departed into the history of psycho­ pharmacology were much more effective than anything else. The firm producing one of the reme­dies had funded the trial.

Large haystack, small needle

I could go on but let me make my point clear. I do not assert that all medical literature is trivial, incompetent or faked. There are numerous papers of wisdom and perspicacity and without them the various disciplines of medicine would stag­nate. What I do say is that an unfortunately large proportion of the medical literature is re­petitive, uninspired and created more for the advancement of the authors than for the advancement of medicine. Further, much of it has very little to do with science.

Moreover, the relevance of much original medical literature to most medical practice is marginal. The more learned the journal the less its creators will be concerned with discovering the needs of its audience, which is why there is a steady pro­liferation of more and more specialised journals. Eventually one reaches a state in which the only people who read a particular journal are those who write it – we have passed from incest to masturbation.

The gap between what authors write about and what prac­titioners do is more noticeable if one looks back at the journals of say thirty years ago. Indeed, as you read them, you will find it difficult to decide what the practitioners of the day did at all. A friend of mine, eminent as a practitioner as well as an editor, once told me that he enjoyed using the library at Harvard, for there the journals are bound with their advertisements still in them. From the advertisements he managed to get a feeling for what was afoot in those days.

JOURNAL OF GENERAL PRACTICE JANUARY. 1984 pg. 11

Down with this sort of thing.

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Pause a moment: It’s a magazine that’s apparently been missing in a warehouse since 1985. On an iPad. OMD is on the cover.

OK, alright, fine. I’ve had my say but the consensus is we all want to go backwards 25 years. Everything since then was a horrible mistake and time to stock up on vinyl and Moogs. I remember some great things that happened over those years, but hey, it’s your party.

And frankly you might be right. Because what else is on offer?

Hear me out – it gets somewhere. My current teaching is in screen and sound production. I just did the lecture about three act structure, Syd Fields’ Paradigm and so on, critiqued the first shot of their documentary as encapsulating the arc of the narrative blah blah. When the kids look me up online to find out what films I made they find a computer game, some ‘video art’ and a bunch of old records. What? Where the hell are my three acts? Rotten old structuralist wanker.

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Last night I was guilting on Derivative Touch. I own the damn thing, and every few weeks get the time to yet again practice Networking my TOPs and CHOPs with a few SOPs here and there to get my rotating doughnut on. Touch is more arcane than the Catholic Church and I attend it driven by the equivalent moral panic. After confession I feel a great sense of accomplishment making my doughnut wiggle. Then the inevitable question – how does this express anything? I can project on a building – how does this express anything? I can track people’s movement – how does this express anything? That’s what makes it so unfulfilling to learn New Media tools (yes, let’s cut the crap – New Media is back out of the coffin) because they exist in an artistic void. No one ever cried over a MaxMSP patch. The tools prefer to exist in that moral void – like scientists working on the atom bomb. You can do things.

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I just bought VENTUZ, which is a live video system for broadcast and kiosks. Other users include FOX Television, NFL, Microsoft. It’s not without a learning curve but it avoids fuss and bother. I can get the doughnut in VENTUZ in a few minutes, because it doesn’t ‘award exploration’ or ‘open ways of working’ instead getting you to a result. The difficulty, the self flagellation, the athletics of New Media are minimised. Straight away you get to the result. And the result is the problem.

Here’s my dilemma. I’m charged with guiding and developing audiovisual coursework for the coming years and I really fucking care about it. It’s been put to me that ‘film’ and its equivalents are no longer the business of a university, music gets handled elsewhere, that ‘electronic media arts’ and the ‘creative industry’ are on the rise. We have ISEA coming up and reading through the programme I find this:

Participants will intellectually and tangibly explore the possible roles that visualisation can play in imagining the future, using this exploration to reflect critically on existing visualisation practices. By adopting emotive approaches, the hope is to elicit new insights into design practices in data visualisation that challenge present representation forms. Participants will use paper prototyping techniques to develop descriptions of personal utopias. These descriptions will be examined in group exercises to mine them for ‘data stories’ – imaginary data sets which exemplify or illustrate their particular utopia. By sketching visualisations for such data sets, we will discuss the language, aims and claims of visualisation processes.

Which I concede is a harsh example. Allow me to wonder aloud at ‘adopting emotive approaches’. Is that like feeling something and acting on it? Who out there wants to tell a ‘data story’? Silly old ‘film’ used to offer personal stories and emotions and I think we’ve again confused process athletics for results. The really weird thing is alongside the obsession with process, there’s anxiety about skills. ‘Participants will use paper prototyping techniques’. Does that seem kind of ‘with one hand tied behind your back’ to you? New Media was rightly faulted for being fetishistic about technology – one definition was that it was anything computer based. At the turn of the century the word ‘digital’ was plunked in front of all and sundry – we slavishly avoid it now, to the extent of ‘paper prototyping’. But the techniques are still there and the highlight work of the festival is 100 percent digital technology – probably made in Derivative Touch. Obsessing over something is bad, whether positively or negatively.

I seem to find myself not too different from the subscribers to Electronic Sound, but I have a lot more hope.

I made a computer game for all kinds of reasons but one of them was to tell a story in much the way my old songs tell stories. I actually don’t care much for three act structure, but I care for characters, personalities, archetypes if you follow that idea. My game had a story about two women; a young ‘project manager’ that strays into weapons manufacture, the other a kind of genie, a spirit that is ‘farmed’ by the other and takes revenge. The story is never made as clear as that, because it’s an opportunity. This is the great power of computer games, to offer a narrative when it suits the player, more like a book than a film.

There are some games in ISEA. None of them have an implied narrative, as far as I can see they’re all variants of geocaching which is studiously and frigidly level design only. What is so distasteful about games?

Look at the main artwork.

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Monumental and architectural, on a scale grander than the human ‘participants’ who are seen like those cut-out people used by architects to flesh out a building design. Constrained, avoiding any display of passion. Driven by data, unlike abstract art which is a distilled act of personal will. ‘Big data’ – the blurring of personalities into a ‘cloud’. The negation of personality.

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Here is Ikeda’s more recent work. The description quietly notes that ‘performers will appear in his piece for the first time’. They are silhouettes but it looks like at least one member of the New Media dares to bring a human back into their data visualisation. Who knows, one day they might even allow a face telling a story. We grow up.

So there’s a clue where to go next. Sure, let’s move away from the rails and the acts and all that linear lineage. The beginning, middle and end don’t matter any more. Syd Field is a patch around old rules, we can throw those rules out. But let’s continue to keep the human scale of film. Let’s not require conflict as the engine of a narrative, cooperation is harder but we can do it. We should allow passion to make a mess. We should not fall into neoclassicism, all white marble and tasteful curves.

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We can say the word ‘digital’, it won’t kill you. Hell ‘data’ is just a cousin.

But at the heart of it is: art is not sport, not athletics. Just because the public purse is often shared between these goals, there is no need to make art festivals into sports carnivals.

OK. Maybe I know what to do…

… upheaval moment …

… and further to that last message the number of pending announcements keep swelling like a, a, something.

I love to give hints and the hint this time is to FOLLOW THE CHICKEN and you should.

Meanwhile look at these creeps.

That one down the bottom right in particular is eminently punchable.

Shaggy Squid Story

So anyway, the other night was the peak night for my head cold. You know that night? The one where the fever is high and you ache and you know that it’s going to be a rough couple of hours and you are going to sweat and fill tissues and flop around. But by morning it will be better because you finally got to cooking the bugs dead. Everyone has a ritual for it, in my case I like a lamp on and all the instruments within reach. Tissues to the left, glass of water, maybe a paperback for distraction. That paperback. Jesus.

So hour three I’m sweating and the fever is on and I’m doing my job interview. Again. And again. I’m awake, but the interview is on.

So where do you think you will be in five years? How do you assure accuracy in your work? Please explain your current research in more detail. So where do you think you’ll be in five years? Can you give an example in your coordination duties where you handled a dispute between students? Your Current Research In More Detail. Five Years.

Desperately I reach for the paperback, which I grabbed pretty much at random. That paperback. Ye Gods.

Sphere, by Michael Crichton. Never again.

“Self insert academic looked out over the obligatory expanse of sea/jungle/moon/cow pats as the plane/helicopter/any damn vehicle ploughed further into unknown territory. A message had been sent from the hidden military base by military commander to summon self insert academic. ‘I wonder why they need a chimpanzee trainer / psychologist / projectionist at this far flung high tech military base that will be hit with a natural disaster on page 100’ he wondered. The military pilot was unhelpful while servile. ‘I’m only a vaguely sketched out cartoon of an airman, sir’, he called back over the intercom. ‘I’m only here to introduce a worrying aspect of the commander, that will become evident on page 200’.

“The attractive but reserved female biologist that happened to be listening came alive at the mention of intercoms. ‘An intercom (intercommunication device), talkback or doorphone is a stand-alone voice communications system for use within a building or small collection of buildings, functioning independently of the public telephone network. Intercoms are generally mounted permanently in buildings and vehicles. Intercoms can incorporate connections to public address loudspeaker systems, walkie talkies, telephones, and to other intercom systems. Some intercom systems incorporate control of devices such as signal lights and door latches’, she pointed out.

“Self insert academic wondered when she was going to crack.”

I think I kept reading but dozed, or maybe I skipped a bunch of pages. It was 3 AM.

“We’ve found an alien spaceship! But more than that, it’s been there 300 years! But more than that, it’s so deep underwater that you’ll have to breathe helium and live in a specially dangerous environment! You think that’s all? Nope – the spaceship is really a USA spaceship from the future! But it’s carrying an alien artefact! Which lets you control reality! And there’s a volcano … no that’s going too far, let’s just stick with being able to control reality.

“The token black guy who was really smart even though he grew up in the streets thought about what you could do if you could control all of reality. ‘Man, I hate eating calamari. I’m going to create a giant squid that’s going to attack the underwater base’ The biologist looked worried. ‘Squid have differentiated from their ancestral molluscs such that the body plan has been condensed antero-posteriorly and extended dorso-ventrally. What before may have been the foot of the ancestor is modified into a complex set of tentacles and highly developed sense organs, including advanced eyes similar to those of vertebrates. The ancestral shell has been lost, with only an internal gladius, or pen, remaining. The pen is a feather-shaped internal structure that supports the squid’s mantle and serves as a site for muscle attachment. It is made of a chitin-like material.”

What the. I can’t read this shit. Putting the book down, I let my mind wander.

So where do you think you will be in five years? How do you assure accuracy in your work? Please explain your current research in more detail.

Stick with it. Read the wretched thing.

“The giant squid attacked the underwater military base, throwing it back and forward like the grey gorillas did in Congo. All the badly sketched navy characters died, leaving only the central characters! ‘This is not a real squid’ cried the biologist! ‘The clues have been placed relentlessly over the last 50 pages! Maybe I should have noticed when other mysterious animals appeared without lungs or mouths!’ Self Insert Academic woke from his 12th unconscious chapter change. He realised something. ‘Maybe this has something to do with the token black guy climbing into the sphere and coming out again with a weird personality change! Let’s create a major anaesthetic out of stuff we found in the medicine cabinet and knock him out.

“They went to the cabinet where a helpful computer listed a bunch of scientific sounding stuff for a page and mixed it up and injected the black guy. The squid disappeared! But the military base was leaking and on fire! ‘How we will we survive another 12 hours in this base with the air running out and a large spaceship parked next to us, filled with air and food’, he thought. He noticed that the biologist suddenly looked beautiful, but there was some odd change in her personality. What could have caused that, he wondered?”

By now, the fever was pretty high. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next.

“Thinking back over the horrors that taken place over the last week, they huddled around the table in the decompression chamber. The token black guy spoke first. ‘This book must never be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Think of the toll the plot holes, awful writing and jargon riddled bursts of exposition could cause to humanity’. The female biologist agreed. ‘We should forget we were ever in this book, we should create a different story, maybe the one with dinosaurs that sold pretty well’. And they all forgot about the sphere” – and I sure as hell wish I could too. As do the actors that got pulled into the movie version. I think every day of their lives they wish they could control that reality.

We have discovered cheesy bump mapped spheres from the future!

Around 5AM I slipped into unconsciousness. I dreamed that J.G. Ballard and Crichton were fighting a battle in hell. Downed airmen tumbling out of empty swimming pools, locked in violent struggle with gangly biological scientists. Each side had their own special kind of assertive blonde female doctor with buried sublimation attacks. The names of drugs were called out across the battlefield, insults known only to the obsessive acolytes that thronged the deserted ancient cities and plazas.

In the morning, the bugs were cooked.

The Job

“Kind of busy at the moment trying to keep my job. Will tell how that goes.”

Sorry, that seemed a bit dramatic, when I just wanted to flag a short absence while writing my application. The job was set up as an emergency hire 5 years ago and the university can’t keep using fixed term appointments because that deprives me of various benefits and so is against rules. But they can’t just switch me over, because of my unusual mode of arrival they have have to throw the position open.

And they have thrown it well and truly open.

It’s not so much that I haven’t earned a chance but it’s likely to end up a bit of a slog against every arts academic that thinks a nice position in Australia would be great move for the family. I can beat 2 or 3 but maybe not all 100+ of them.

So it goes.

If I am successful, then I will keep on doing what I do which isn’t that glamorous but makes the world a little better.

If I am not successful well then I’ve got a whole lot of creative projects on the shelf and a year’s wages banked up while I pick up some other work. Not nearly as bad as some people have had in recent years.

(The birds have been no help this time. They told me that I was getting this job but they have had fuck all to say about what happens next. Mind you they wrote a back story for HH today, so I think that’s what I am doing next year.)

Severed Heads are NOT on Facebook : Final update.

Another fake account. Hell, why don’t people GET IT? If I wanted a Facebook page I’d make one. The only real page is at sevcom.com

Problem is to complain about a fake page you have to join Facebook.
Update: Joined, set maximum privacy and complained.

Update: The person that set up the account has made no attempt to talk with me despite my being very clear that I was pissed. Facebook has a procedure for identity theft which is completely false. You’re told to click on controls next to a time line that don’t exist. That’s seriously fucked up. They DO have copyright set up – I guess they are actually worried about that. So far I have managed to get three images taken down. I hope that the body snatcher gets the message.

Update: Still no response from the pod person. I suspect that they don’t feed this Tamagotchi very often. Sigh. I asked that the rest of the images go (didn’t realise that they were on a Facebook external drive.) That leaves an untidy mess which I’ll have to deny for years to come, damn them.

Update: We have contact. Page is coming down. Good result and reasonable exchange of emails. It was over-enthusiasm. Next week on Batman, the Riddler covers Gotham with a giant tea cosy.

What’s the problem? Well since you asked:

  • If I want to do something I’ll do it. I’m not crippled. I’m not mentally incapacitated. I don’t need you to do things ‘on my behalf’. Just let me make my own decisions.
  • I really don’t like people ‘being me’. That’s creepy. Particularly signing contracts as ‘me’. That’s illegal.
  • I find Facebook repulsive. I don’t have to justify that to anyone, but I find it horribly conformist and a lifestyle template for the normals.
  • I don’t want to trade my privacy to get access to other people. I don’t really want that kind of access.
  • It’s ugly. It looks like some kind of bank. I want my stuff to have my personality, not some bank.
  • Seriously – number 2 again. You’re creepy.

Should have asked BEFOREHAND