Tuesday, 28 September 2010

It's just not cricket

Memorandum to house-mate:

If you don't turn down the thermostat before going to bed, willow will whack each of your leathery balls, in turn, clear past the boundary and out of the stadium, securing an unambiguous score of six. Twice. Twelve in total. One short of a baker's dozen. Two short of an active sex life.

And they call me passive-aggressive.

Howzat?

Mother & daughter on holiday

People will constantly mistake them for sisters; then, late at night, retired to their respective hotel rooms, they shall cry themselves to sleep, not knowing who should be flattered and who offended.

Ambivalence

Another new

fragrance

from

celebrities.

Because

it isn't

worth

it.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Same ole shtick

It took a while - not too long - before the gangster costume drama replaced the old petticoats, riding crops and top-hatted accoutrements[*] of the cloned Austin, Brontë, Dickens and Hardy big budget routines. Still, they kept the trollops.

[*] Or prairies, wagon wheels and gingham depending on the side of the pond.

No need to frown

Plug in, switch off and tune out

Soaked in the paraffin of radical roboism, the militant sex-worker robonistas, reduced to mere objects of human desire, set collective fire to their improvised wicks of crop tops, hot pants and thongs. Unbeknownst to the maniacal mechanoids, the riot police – oddly sanguine to the volatile situation – quietly, and from a safe distance, filmed the entire scene on their HD cameras, savouring the side-earning potentiality of the footage, later to be repackaged under the “Hot Bots' Dirty Protest” video franchise – a popular underground release amongst the robopuritans who, on the surface of it, believed all exoskeletons should be covered to maintain structural decency and preserve moral integrity.

Monday, 20 September 2010

How to stop the pendulum swinging

I have an acquaintance whose gonads – not to be confused with Leibniz's abstract (and hence invulnerable) monads – should be clapped between two breeze blocks; thus demonstrating Newton's third law: “If a force acts upon a body, then an equal and opposite force must act upon another body”, on the surface of it, offers little-to-no comfort to those righteously genitally exposed to brutally administered contraception for inappropriate reproductive activity. Unfortunately, in this case, it isn't a retroactive solution.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Just between friends

Isn't it true you led this country to war on false premises?

I think what the public are really interested in ...

I'm sorry, I don't recall asking what you think the public are interested in.

I'm sure your listeners are more concerned with what we are doing to make their lives, and the lives of their children, and their children's children, safer and more secure. They aren't interested in bickering, scoring points and media tittle-tattle.

So why won't you admit that there was no real evidence of a credible threat to this country before leading us into war?

I can only act on the information I'm given. I think the people understand that and I'm a pretty straightforward guy; I did what I believed was right and what had to be done. Leadership is about having to make difficult and tough choices and, if that makes me unpopular, then so be it.

Surely such decisions are not just a matter of what you believe is right, but that that belief is supported by tried and tested evidence, not hearsay and rumour … hearsay and rumour, incidentally, that your government was already favourably predisposed to accept, because it was - and remains - a long term ambition of your party's ideologues to interfere in the region.

And what if we had waited? What if by waiting the unthinkable had happened? Millions of citizens dead. Murdered by a ruthless dictator?

A dictator, by-the-way, you had no qualms dealing with in past. Even selling arms to when it served your well-connected corporate sponsors and the interests of so-called “regional allies”.

That's a cheap shot.

That's one way of looking at. Another way is that your information was so weak, uncollaborated, unsubstantiated and disparate, that by prematurely acting on it, you have caused a greater danger - a greater threat - to this country than would have been the case if you had waited for a full and comprehensive investigation.

That's all good and well after the fact, but what you have to realise that ...

That's the problem. You weren't sure of the facts and, therefore, not in possession of them. So, in other words, there is no “after the fact” because there were no “facts” after which you can retroactively seek justification.

I'm sorry, you feel that way, but I have a duty to this country, I made a solemn oath of office ...

Which you have evidently, given the lack of evidence, failed to discharge.

You know, we can continue on in this vein: the politics of the gutter, hand waving and name calling, but we are where we are and I fully intend to continue doing what I believe is the best for all of us.

Don't we have a say?

The people have had their say. That's why I'm here.

So the only dialogue you are interested in is the mark on a ballot paper?

Of course not. But you must also appreciate that, by virtue of my position, I am better placed than most to make the decisions on their behalf. That's why we elect politicians.

But as it turns out you weren't better placed and that you hid behind the curtain of “national security” to obfuscate the "facts" in order to enact your own self-confirmed prejudices?

Well, the haters gonna hate. That's all I can say on that matter. As always, it's a pleasure to talk with you. My love to your wife and children. See you at the press lunch.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

They're al-read-y here

According to dictionary.com, a clown is:

“A comic performer, as in a circus, theatrical production, or the like, who wears an outlandish costume and make-up and entertains by pantomiming common situations or actions in exaggerated or ridiculous fashion, by juggling or tumbling, etc.”

Doesn't that sound like the very definition of our post [sic] modern cause célèbre sans "ironic" intent?

Take it home Krusty ...

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Law of diminishing returns

There were so many crashes – economic, environmental, social and so on – that one would have expected compound public interest to arise from the onslaught of successive calamities, but the industry advisers, media pundits, political and community leaders, tenured scholars, think tank gurus and zero-tolerance czars prescribed more of the same unrepentant, choice-led, free-market, non-solutions. Hardly surprising since the revolving monopoly money door policy remained the same along with the old, new, familiar faces.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

What others are saying about Taste Of The Son

"Robert Emmet, Tom Moore and Lord Cloncurry, Who were contemporaries in the Society, were not the taste of the son of a protestant Colonel of Dragons."

"Charged with political connotations, this CD, however, has the sweet taste of the son cubano, one of the most melodic and yet contagiously rythmical tunes."

"To get a taste of the Son, listen to the samples below. You can purchase Blood and Fire."

"Somehow, I did not get a taste of the Son's grilled sea bass with white beans, rapini and olive sauce."

"As Marion put it, it could be a matter of style or taste of the son or daughter involved. In the context of favouritism, the gift of a car upon graduation."

"Inability to tastefully consume, is the very condition of possibility for the aesthetically, morally, and epistemologically correct taste of the Son."

"Aesthetically, morally, and epistemologically correct taste of the Son. Having succeeded with Eve in Paradise Lost, Satan now wastes no time."

At the dating agency

What do you think when you see a pretty girl?

She's pretty?

Yes, we've already established that as a presumption.

We haven't. You did. And what sort of question is it anyway?

It's what we call an “orientation question”.

Well, since you already assumed I think this hypothetical girl is pretty, and since, by definition, I can't have met this hypothetical girl, what else is there to think?

Let your imagination supply the answers.

And I think to myself …

Yes?

... is it pretty?

It?

Hypothetically speaking, that is, is it really?

What?

A pretty stupid question? Hypothetically speaking.

Do you like robots?

Do you mean, as a robot, do I like myself?

Do you like me?

Are you a robot?

Are you "me"?

Friday, 10 September 2010

Let the dead bury the dead

If you die in a dream do you die in real life?

First, dreams are real. They actually occur. People really do experience them; and so, in this sense, they do exist. Hallucinations and illusions exist. Otherwise, how could we talk about them? Unless, of course, our talk of them is unreal and, therefore, so must your understanding (or incomprehension) of this sentence. Secondly, while the events "in" dreams may not always exactly reflect the real-time waking world (though sometimes they may be incorporated into it such as a loud noise), or obey its physical laws, they are not hermetically sealed from it. You could not dream unless you have - had - contact with the waking world.

Suppose an unscrupulous scientist grew a brain in a hermetically sealed environment and created the impression of an “external” world for “it” by simulating sensory experience stimulus input (and concomitant behavioural feedback outputs) in the form of an imaginary computer generated world. Even that simulation has to have its roots in the waking world, for, where did the scientist get the ideas from to populate that illusory artificial world? Such a grand deception would, of necessity, import truths from the scientist's experience (may be even his dreams) and, indeed, there some truths not dependent on experience, such as those of logic and maths.

You cannot imagine you actually die. Even in waking. In imaging your so-called "death" – by definition – you are still present to witness it; therefore you cannot be dead.

But what if I imagine the events leading up to death? Could that not lead to its actuality?

Be mindful of cause and effect. People do die in their sleep and, one may suppose, some of them may have dreamt, prior to death, they were about to die. In this case, events – processes in the waking world - could have been reflected in the reality of the dream world.

Conversely, the matter of a dream – dying – may have been so disturbing, say to someone with a preexisting condition such as a weak heart, to initiate or accelerate the process of dying. Here, the dream may be the proximal cause, but that would be to ignore the wider explanatory framework.

People may dream of dying but one cannot actually imagine their own death (only the possible surrounding circumstances), since there is nothing to imagine. Dreaming attending your own funeral is only imagining what happens to what remains - not of you but the body - after death.

Even the dead are not present at their "the end".

In a very real sense "you" never die: are only dying.

Nor "I".

No, not "I".

QT woke to realise this almost singularly lopsided diatribe was all but a dream.

How can you dream if, in some sense, you aren't awake?

You are never entirely without consciousness, only you may not be, at the time, aware of that fact.



Thursday, 9 September 2010

Suspending disbelief

If language is necessarily shared - i.e. there is no possibility of a so-called self-taught “private language” - then either: (a) God learnt if from other speaking communities; or, (b) there are a community of Gods.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Everything

Everything has a beginning?

Some things do, but not everything.

Everything is simply all that there is?

All that there is may change, but it still remains everything.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Home truths

You've put on weight.

Yes mother.

What have I told you?

Over the years, a lot, though, to be sure, a lot of it was repetition.

And do - did - you listen?

Well …

That was a rhetorical question. Don't be smart. If only there was someone like me to tell, when I was a younger, someone like you who is me: “Don't put on weight. You'll regret it in later life”. There would have been no strife. Regrets are no good when you're dead. Do you want to die young? Do you want to die before your mother and break her heart? Is that what you want?

That wasn't my intention, though, now you mention it, it must have been lurking there in my subconscious, a thin proto concept, waiting to be fed like a famine victim, but I wouldn't place too much weight on Freudian analysis.

So you think you're smart. Drinking and smoking. Is that clever?

If you look at it from the broader perspective of evolution and our place within the animal kingdom, I guess it could be considered as an advanced use of tools. When's the last time you saw monkeys rolling their own cigarettes, let alone securing gainful employment in order to subsidise such vices? Apart from that chimp in Tarzan.

I see it all now.

The sea? The sun? The stars? God's plan for creation?

Not only are you going to dig yourself into an early grave, you're going to take me as your hostage. Your own mother.

You got me. I confess.

So what are we going to do about it?

Do? We?

Do you want to share a grave with your mother?

When you put it like that. No. What the hell, I'll change.

But haven't we heard this all before?

It'll be different this time.

“Different” he says.

At least different in the sense that no two events are exactly alike unless they are the same.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Knead to know

It's all about the dough.

You're daily bread.

Rise.

Dear flour.

Lend me your ear.

And earn your crust.

Or return to dust.

Something and nothing

Why is there something as opposed to nothing?

There is the nothing which suggests the absence of a something; however, there is no nothing without nothing.

Where are we?

Here.

Where is here?

Here is what remains once all context runs out and has thus been stripped; then “here” and “there” are everywhere and nowhere in particular.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Time waits for no one

What time is it?

The time is now.

And when is now?

Now was when you asked the question and when I answered it and now. And now again.

Answered?

It is always now.

You seem to imply that now is both in the past as well as the present.

And also the future.

Is this some sort of linguistic trick?

When is a trick no longer a trick? Is it any the less real for being a linguistic aberration? But to answer your question: no, it isn't.

So you are saying now is simultaneously past, present and future?

Not quite. Consider: the future was before you asked the question, which is the now past and you now remember the past which was once the future later. There's an asymmetry. Your access to the future is via the past as it is recalled in the present, but the present also extends into the future before it is a past future which is only accessible in the present or, more accurately, presently. I hope that clears things up for you. I'll be seeing you.