Saturday, July 30, 2005

RUBE WATCH: Scott Sala of Slant Point

As previously noted, there’s a tendency among certain types of self-styled political commentators to use the merest sniff of a scandal or atrocity to wheel out once more their own personal market stall of half-baked schemes, and proceed to "I-told-you-so" at tedious length. In the immediate wake of the first London terrorist attacks, the agreeably angry proprietor of Hell Is Other People alerted our attention to a classic example of this phenomenon courtesy of a perma-pouting New York Republican by the name of Scott Sala.

Scott is the enterprising brain behind Slant Point - a bustling hell-hole of right wing news and humour in NYC - and owner of a face like a horse dressed up as Tom Cruise.

But don’t let his equine good looks fool you - he’s a thinker too - and, like many in his chest-beating boys club, he has all the answers. There have been many solutions proffered of late to the age-old problem of terrorism, ranging from carpet-bombing the Middle East to tighter immigration laws and ID cards (as opposed to such lame, outdated ideas as, say, a bit of fucking police work – which as we all know is completely useless) and Scott is not one to let the action pass him by.

Scott’s own solution - outlined in his touching ode to London town - is racism… uh, I mean "profiling". Because nothing prevents against the dangers of communities becoming polarised and hostile quite like when one of those communities (the one with the guns) goes out of its way to hassle the other. It’s a super idea, Scott, really. Super, that is, if your business is recruiting pissed-off young men to assist in terror campaigns.

Elsewhere, Scotty has something to say about the tragic fate of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian electrician shot in the face by British police. Such events, our boy notes, "often split a community into those who back the police and those who defend so-called innocent victims". Hmmm. So-called innocent victims, huh? I wonder which side Scotty is on? The rest of this post is some crap about the "London Fog", and I almost thought it was going to end with a warning to us Londoners to keep an eye out for that old rascal Jack the Ripper.

But enough of Scotty’s wise words. Let’s hop over to the bio section and learn a little more about Scott Sala the man, shall we? Despite being a lifelong Repub, he "decided to enjoy some of the more liberal things in life between high school and my late 20s". As far as I can tell, the "more liberal things in life" could refer to nearly anything - from having gay marriages with aborted foetuses to, well, just not being an uptight self-important asshole about everything - but I guess that all depends on your point of view. Anyway, whatever the fuck he’s talking about here, he’d soon had enough of it, and "began to channel all [his] youthful frustration and idealism into realistic beliefs". Oooh! Take that, unrealistic liberals!

Then there’s some bullshit about how he was always a writer rather than a talker, but to be honest, with a mouth like that who can blame him? It’s like a slow-punctured rubber fuckdoll for caveman fetishists.

The key part of the paragraph is the last line: "I’ve finally been unleashed".

I’ve finally been unleashed. These words chill me to the centre of my spineless, terrorist-appeasing liberal core. No hold on wait... sorry. What I meant to say was: these words made me fucking shoot coffee out my nostrils.

Next up: blah blah blah 9/11 blah blah "political meat" (?) ho hum. Then: "I simply got tired of thinking how wrong certain people were and how much more I could say". Personally, I simply get tired of people thinking how wrong certain people are and how much more they can say, so I guess we’re on some sort of common ground here. For Scott, the opportunity to say more came courtesy of his "professional web skills", with which he started a blog. Yes, a blog, that most technically challenging of formats. Hundreds of thousands of people can now claim to possess professional web skills, it turns out.

We don’t have to read much further before we are reminded of Scotty’s talents, for in the next paragraph he promotes himself to "professional web designer and coder" – the "coder" part presumably endowing him with the know-how necessary to place thousands of those fucking irritating little buttons all over the goddamn place. To be honest, at this point I haven't a fucking clue what's going on with Scott's bio, since we’re learning much more about how awesome his website is – how it’s a "great balance of form and function", for example – than we are about Scott himself. I suppose we’re finding out a bit more about his rampant egomania, but it’s really nothing I couldn’t already glean from the squinty-eyed Zoolander-face on the front page. Which reminds me:

I’m afraid to say the story never really picks itself up again after that. There’s some stuff about how it "was time to take back our country", but since he started his blogging adventures in 2003 it’s awfully hard to tell from whom, since the USA was already firmly in the grip of the greedy, lying, power-hungry theocrats Scott seems to favour. It would be interesting to know exactly what he means right here. And as a professional web designer I feel qualified to ask such questions.

In the absence of further insight, however, it simply remains for me to congratulate Scott Sala and welcome him into the fold. You have been unleashed, Scott - into the Hall of Rubes.


Friday, July 29, 2005

The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

I think it's fairly safe to say that I Am Matthew, a Department-affiliated site of timeless (some would say limited) appeal, is one of the weirder blogs on the hypernet. Part coming-of-age drama, part deranged road-trip-of-the-mind, its dense first person narrative tells the touching and tragic tale of a misunderstood and deeply disturbed naif, desperately searching for love and meaning in a world indifferent, indeed often hostile, to his unique obsessions and autoerotic urges. What begins as the somewhat scatalogical but otherwise unremarkable wank-diary of our wheelchair-bound protagonist soon devolves into a dark maelstrom of twisted psychosexual despair, all told in a bizarre perversion of the English language that can only be described as "Mattyspeak" - a constantly mutating series of tics and outbursts possessing its own skewed syntactical laws and internal logic.

(Yeah okay, so this is a plug, so what? Go on have a look already.)

One of the most remarkable things about the site, however, is the sitemeter - specifically, the record of search engine terms that bring in the traffic. The people who find themselves blindly stumbling from the likes of Google onto the pages of I Am Matthew are, to put it mildly, some really sick fucks.

Consider Exhibit A, below: a list of keyword searches for the last few weeks - I've highlighted a couple that I found particularly noteworthy.

You'll no doubt be delighted to learn that "eyecum" tops the charts every single goddamn time. Who in the name of christ are these people? Who asks Yahoo when they are going to die? Who thinks their mom's cock is nice? And, good lord, the less said about that gaping anus the better...

While ordinary, decent folk like you and I are understandably unsettled by the knowledge that these sort of people exist - and what's more, are web-enabled - I can console myself with the thought that Matty himself (now sadly deceased) would have taken great comfort in all of this.

It turns out you weren't so alone out there after all, Matt.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thank You Racist Assholes

What's that? You don't want to be a terrorist?

Shit, dude, don't you realise there's a war on? Nah, not that war. I mean right here, in these streets, in this very city.

Huh? You're not feeling that whole war thing, eh? Getting on okay with the other guy? Man, I'm not kidding here, the other guy doesn't want you around. You see this shit? And this? You think just because all that bullshit is happening over there that he's not thinking the same thing back home? It's just a matter of time, kid, and the time to act is now.

Still not convinced, huh? Think you're being treated pretty nice? Fair enough, buddy. Fair enough. Catch you later, alright?




Oh hey, it's you again? Whaddy say, my man? Oh shit, what happened your face? You got beat up last night? Well fuck, guy, didn't I tell you it was war? You saw all this, right? And this crazy shit right here? And I know you heard about this poor bastard. Fucking war, dude, no joke. Jeeee-had and shit, motherfucker.

Say what? You wanna know what you can do about it? Oh ho, now we're talking. I know just the thing - in fact, we were just waiting for a cat like you to show up. Why don't you come inside and have a chat with the lads. Yeah, right this way.

And hey, bring that rucksack with you, yeah?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Brand Synergy, Department Style

Once upon a time, a handful of trolls, baiters, cynics and all-round cheeky fuckers decided to consolidate their formidable talents for irritation under the "Rube Watch" banner, setting as their noble goal the exposition of "the threat of rubery worldwide".

In practice, this mainly entailed being absurdly mean and petty about complete strangers, bloated egos, whey-faced teenagers and, occasionally, inanimate objects. Of course, all of this required copious usage of the words "rube" and "cunt" and, needless to say, I fucking loved it.

I am delighted, therefore, to announce that I have succeeded in convincing the stout defenders of the unrube to return from the wilderness. My esteemed guest bloggers are at this moment scouring the scummiest corners of the interweb for the grimmest specimens, and rube watching will begin in earnest shortly. In the mean time, why not check the riotous frenzy of bile and busted links (the spring-cleaning of which will be an ongoing task) known as the Rube Watch archives? I have incorporated the infamous Hall of Rubes into the sidebar on your right hand side for your browsing pleasure.

Yeah alright, so it's old shit, but fuck it: it beats working.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Millennium Prayer

You know I can fuckin’ see you, man. You think I don’t know something’s up? You think you can just sit there eyeballin’ me like I don’t know what you’re thinking? I could turn around any second now and catch you if I wanted, man, and you know you’d look away like a fuckin’ pussy. You always do.

But this day? This day you can stare all you fuckin’ like. You can give me the crook-eye so hard you bust blood vessels and weep like a holy fuckin’ statue, see if I give a fuck. I’m on fuckin’ fire tonight, motherfucker, just you fuckin’ watch me. Tonight I walk into the sun. Tonight I chew holes in the fuckin’ horizon and spit acid in the raw wounds of time and space. Tonight you’re gonna see some fuckin’ fireworks, you fuck.

So go on. Fuckin’ stare. Get yourself an eyeful, you miserable heel, you fucking cocksucker. Absorb it, take it all in. We’ve had our beef, you and me, but this right here ain’t about us any more. Not this day.

You see that storm cloud over yonder? You fuckin’ see that too? You wanna know how this is going to go down? Getting a little nervous, huh?

Well, shit. You ain’t seen nothing. I’ll be leaving in a minute, and you won’t want to see what’s gonna happen next, but you won’t have a fuckin’ choice. You’re going to follow me, right out that door and headlong into that storm. You’ve never seen a sky so black, like the entire fucking earth was being sucked right out into… into where? Go ahead, say it. Not space. Somewhere else, you know where the fuck I mean.

And when we’re out there, in that terrible, terrible mess, you’ll see the furious fuckin’ rain strip the flesh from my body, the lightning gouge my eyes from their sockets. And you’ll see the wind lift my dry bones like dust into the air, and you’ll feel it on your own skin and you won’t know anymore if what you’re seeing is happening to you or to me.

And for a moment you’ll lose it. You’ll feel like every atom of your being is bursting with a white heat, billions upon billions of angry solar flares, ground zero packed into each one of your screaming cells. Oh, it’ll be agony, motherfucker, pure sterile agony. Think razors, think napalm. Think a thousand Hiroshimas in your blackening gums alone, and then realise you have no concept.

And then, after you’ve lost yourself, you’ll lose me. When your eyes turn back into your skull, when you break off that stare, in that moment I’ll be gone. And in the calm that follows, as you collapse on your knees into the dirt, spent and broken, all the pain of all life tattooed with a hammer into your spine, you’ll open your hands and offer them to the quiet sky.

In your cupped palms, a shiny black stone. 14 billion years of dark matter, ripped cleanly from the ether and packed into that cold, smooth sphere. All the power of God, the Devil, Hell, Heaven. The very essence of me.

I am the past, future and present. I am the bleeding mouth and ass of history and the twitching corpse of tomorrow.

I am above disgust. I am beneath contempt. I am hate, and my voice is the voice of your God.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Hating in the Sunshine, Part 2

Man, there was something else I hate about the summer that was gonna rant about, but it’s slipped my mind now. It was right there on the tip of my tongue a second ago, but now it’s gone. I hate when that happens.

Oh yeah, now I remember. Suicide bombers. Suicide bombers going off all over the gaff, that’s what it was. That’s fucking not cool at all. The London Underground is already a heaving hotbed of appalling manners and selfish behaviour, but detonating yourself in the middle of it really has to be the ultimate discourtesy.

The possibility of having your cosmic chips cashed in by a guy with a bad backback is fairly universally disliked, but it doesn’t travel alone, so I thought I’d mention a couple of the other not cool consequences.

1. Cops shooting people dead, five times (UPDATE: "yeah, well give or take few") point blank, in the middle of the fucking train. The full facts aren’t in on this one yet, and may never be, but unless you are one of those gung-ho blogger blowhards who sprouts a patriotic boner-salute every time they read about state powers exercising lethal force, I think it’s safe to say that this sort of thing is no good at all, and would certainly be an inconvenience on the morning commute.

2. The aforementioned gung-ho blogger blowhards. As you might expect, the tie-as-Rambo-bandanna nerds over at Little Green Fuckballs were a fucking treat on “7/7” – declaring war on Islam, and generally abandoning all pretense of not being softheaded fascist cumsocks talking tough and giggling at their own bravery from behind mom’s keyboard – but my prize for the most egregious fuck-knuckle of that day went to the NRO’s Jonah Goldberg. I was sitting at my desk that morning, not more than 500 yards from where they were still pulling limbless bodies from the tunnels, when I read this typically sensitive nugget from the ‘Berg:

"I wonder if this was timed to happen after the Olympic decision. If so, it would also be interesting to know if this sort of thing would have happened in Paris if they'd won -- or New York if we'd won. I kind of doubt it, but if these weren't suicide bombings, it would be nice if the culprits were subject to vigorous questioning to find out. Because if we could convince France that Paris narrowly dodged a bullet, that would be useful."

Oh wow. "Useful". This reminded me of that Seinfeld episode with the boyfriend in the coma, although clearly J-Go had no similar dilemma regarding how long after a terrorist atrocity you should wait before you wonder out loud how best you can spin it to advance your own personal political worldview and get one over on the objects of your petty grievances. Pretty much all the usual suspects of fist-pumping punditry have gone hog-crazy, using the attacks as an excuse to wheel out once more their own pet issues (most frequently the eviiiiil of multiculturalism), but this one made me pretty much shit my whips in rage.

There’s a whole truckload of other pretty hateworthy shit that we can probably expect in the coming months: racist attacks, ID cards, sniffer dogs, and oh, more innocent deaths, I guess. The Harry Potter epidemic among adult humans on public transport irritates me as much as the next guy, but even I wouldn’t advocate blowing up the readers of the new one on the way into work in the morning. At least not until they find out that Dumbledore dies.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hating in the Sunshine, Part 1

Of course, the summer isn't all laughs and smiles and sunshine and waking up on the floor of your friend's bathroom with a damp crotch, oh no. There's plenty to hate about it too. For example, some people don't like the heat. "It's too hot", they moan, longing for the winter when they can moan about it being too cold instead.

I don't mind the heat, but what I can't fucking stand, for starters, are those nasty winged ant bastards that turn up halfway through the summer in mad directionless swarms all over the place. One minute you're enjoying your walk home, and the next there are a thousand fucking bad-ass ants flying into your eyes and hair. Flying fucking ants! It's as if the whole point of evolution is to maximise the potential for extreme irritation. Get out of the goddamn sky, ants!

No More Mr Nice McShot

Oh yeah, I'm tired of being that guy alright. "Blah blah blah how come all the guys in my life are assholes blah blah". Because that's the choice you make, maybe? Because you go searching for drama and complication because you think it makes your life interesting and deep? Well here's a fucking newsflash: the aggressive alcoholic asshole is not the tortured, poetic soul that you think he is - he's just an aggressive alcoholic asshole.

You want torture and poetry? Ask the guy who has to watch you put yourself through this bullshit for no reason and be around and strong enough to pick up the pieces when it inevitably falls apart in your face. That guy could tell you a thing or two about drama, about complication. Sure he could blow up and go crazy just like those assholes you fall for, and maybe then you'd fucking pay attention. He doesn't, of course, but that doesn't mean there's nothing going on in there besides "nice". He ain't as fucking nice as you think - he just ain't an asshole either. You want assholes? Go ahead, take your pick - there's plenty of 'em about. But ask yourself how many "nice guys" you know, and then maybe think about recalibrating your value system, lady.

For fuck's sake.