Monthly Archives: June 2006

What’s the worst that could happen?

I notice that another person's online life has fucked up their "real world" existence. A Texan schoolteacher by the name of Tamara Hoover lost her job because their were topless photos of her on Flickr. Pretty dumb thing to do (IMHO) but still, she was topless, not on her knees fucking the school football team. I have to admit, if I was her I wouldn't want to go back to teaching knowing that all the students and staff have now had an opportunity to check out her norks.

It has been suggested to me that this blog could have a negative impact on me and it isn't as if I haven't considered the possibility. For those who haven't guessed (or read what I've posted) the mask is a half-arsed attempt to obscure my identity. Anybody who knows me would recognise me instantly so I'm not sure why I bother. At least random strangers wouldn't recognise me.

I have also been very careful to keep truly personal content to a minimum and obscure the facts a bit when I talk about work. The one that could "out" me is Moroccan Chocolate because I actually used that analogy at work and I think I'm currently the #1 Google result for "Moroccan Chocolate". The IT job market in Melbourne is small, incestuous and conservative. If it became generally known I was a blogger it might make people paranoid to hire me so I'm keeping things pseudo-anonymous. I have to face facts that this will inevitably come up one day so I have made the following decision (see if I stick to it when the crunch comes):

Blogging has opened up so many options to me I am not giving it up. I would give up a job before giving up my blog. At the moment, I am making what is to me a shitload of money. I'm worth it (based on the job market and my experience) bit it's still way more than I ever thought I'd be making. I'm essentially a simple country boy. To get top dollar I have to fight pretty hard and this is where I could face trouble. If I was up against someone of similar experience for a role and they knew I was a blogger who hangs shit on people and the other candidate wasn't, I think many employers would go with the other one.

If all the contract agencies gossiped together and decided I was a risk for high profile jobs, my response would be "fuck you in the neck" if you think I'm knuckling under. I could take a 50% pay cut and still be earning more than people who do way harder work. And if I cut my rate, I'd be competing with graduates and other inexperienced candidates so I think employers would be likely to overlook the blog risk because they'd be getting me at a bargain rate. And I'd get some notoriety for being the latest victim of offline persecution for online activities which would give my blog more of the attention I so desperately crave.

So my pledge to readers is: I intend to keep blogging no matter what. And any fucker thinks they can fuck with me has no fucking idea who they're fucking with!

13 Comments

Filed under Blogging

The Joy of a Break

Who'da thunk slow drivers would touch such a universal nerve? After another day's driving I can report that not only are they slow here, they take "give way" as an optional recommendation rather than a rule. Gotta make up for their passiveness by being passive-aggressive in another field I guess.

It still beats being at work. I was thinking today that I am spared conversations like the following for a while:

Me: How you doing?

Psychotic fuckwit I work with: Well I've been having some family troubles lately

Me: Oh… I hope that works out for you.

PFIWW: It turns out my ex is actually having an affair with my dead brother's widow.

Me: Oh…

PFIWW: It's really tearing the family apart.

Me: Ummm OK.

PFIWW: I thought I was over him but this has set me back and opened all the old wounds.

Me: Uhhhh you know…

PFIWW: How could he do something so cruel and thoughtless?

Me: You know, when I said "how ya doing" I didn't want to hear anything personal.

PFIWW: It makes me lose all faith in human nature.

Me: I don't even know you.

PFIWW: Sometimes I feel like I can't get out of bed to go to work.

Me: You're really freaking me out now.

PFIWW: There doesn't seem to be any point in going on…

Me: Oh hey, my mobile is ringing. It's on silent but trust me, somebody is ringing me. Oh what, you need me right away? Gee sorry, this has been great but I've got to get the fuck away from you as quickly as possible. I mean I have some work to do. See ya! Wouldn't wanna be ya! Really.

I suppose I should point out I haven't had that exact conversation at work. But there are some people who need to work on keeping work life an private life separate.

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Life in the Slow Lane

I'm trying not to get too angry at people while I'm in my home town because I don't think they could take it but OHMYFUCKINGGODTHEYARESOFUCKINGSLOW! I wondered why I used to be so scared of city traffic when I first moved to Sydney – it's because everyone in country towns drives at walking pace! The adjustment you have to make between the two is goddam huge.

I know I have readers who live in real cities (New York, Prague, London, Los Angeles) who have also experienced Australian traffic and they have reliably informed me that Sydney and Melbourne are country towns by comparison. I accept this, I'm just dealing with my surroundings.

My brother finds it hilarious to drive with me. When the lights change and the car in front of me slowly rolls forward, I start ranting because I'd like to, you know, drive at a reasonable pace… something approximating the speed limit rather than 50% of the speed limit. I start shouting and waving my arms (to myself in the car – I try not to actually pick fights with other drivers):

"C'MON! Drive already! It isn't hard to do: first gear, second gear, third gear… get it together you fucking idiot!"

Apparently nobody does this in small towns. I'll have to remember to stick to larger cities on my world tour where all the angry people are.

13 Comments

Filed under Driving

It wouldn’t be an angry blog without angry comments

I'm not sure if everyone who visits this blog reads all the comments, if not you miss some gems.  It seems my anger give my readers license to unleash their own spleen, which is entirely my intention.  The funny thing is how often people feel compelled to apologise for long comments when to me this is the best possible outcome for my blog.  In lieu of a guest blogger (something I might do – drop me a line if you're interested) I provide some of my favourite recent comments:

Provided by Tom, a rant from his friend Chopper:

"Here's why we're fucked in this country, why 'our kind' will always be a tiny fringe group and why these idiots re-elected Bush:

'Yet this voluntarism and this separation of church and state have not ledto religious indifference or religious apathy. Indeed, with the exceptionof Ireland, the United States is the most religious society in the Westernworld. Nearly 90 percent of Americans say they consider themselves religious believers of one sort or another, about 80 percent identify withsome Christian faith, 79 percent believe in the Virgin Birth, 78 percent say Jesus physically rose from the dead, 48 percent claim to have had a "born again" Christian experience, and more than 40 percent of Americans say that they are weekly churchgoers, although those who actually attend church may be closer to 25 percent.

At any rate there is an enormous number of different religious groups, over 1,500 by one count, with seventy-five different kinds of Baptists alone. Even in the face of the relentless "secularization" of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, religion in America still flourishes.'

–Gordon S. Wood, from an article in the New York Review of Books

It's that fucking supernatural Jesus! I just reread (or listened to) the New Testament again and i think it's a really odious document. Jesus himself is not too bad, though he is annoying, but Paul is a big fat dick! Really. He says probably half a dozen times: Slaves obey your masters. How could anyone descended from serfs or servants, indentured men or slaves–and that's most of us–ever call himself an adherent of that particular religion? And there's not one nominal christian in a thousand who actually agrees with even a tiny fraction of what Jesus said or stands for. Big fat fucking hypocrites! God's been dead for a long time and these assholes just don't get it."

Boy is Chopper pissed today or what

From Sandra:

"Ok, I hate to take over other peoples posts, but I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY!
My workplace is becoming more and more toxic. We have a ‘multi-disciplinary’ team. Case management, corrections, medical and psychiatric. More and more the corrections part of the team is treated like brainless baby sitters. I received an e-mail yesterday via the case managers supervisor. I started to send a nasty response back to him, but I remembered that anything in writing can and WILL be used against the writer.
I printed off the e-mail and ask for audience with the superintendent. I showed her the e-mail and told her I was extremely offended by it and told her why. She asked the case manager supervisor to come into the meeting, where we discussed the e-mail and my problem with it.

While I was at it, I also defended the corrections staff. I told them both how fortunate we were to have the people who work day in and day out with these kids. They are dedicated the their resocialization and spend hours every day not only supervising but providing theraputic interventions to help them change their behavior. When kids are leaving and ask who made a difference in their lives and motivate them to change, it is invariably one of these corrections staff. That these guys have a 10 minute break one time a day. And if the case worker needs for them to communicate personally on the behavior of the youth, then that case worker needs to come out from behind their computer, and seek out the corrections officer.
How did the meeting come out? Who the fuck knows. I said what I had to say. The superintendent said she was in agreement. The cw supervisor said he would have a talk with his sub-ordinate. We’ll see. He needs to send her ass to a therapist. "

A classic bit of dirt from the anonymous "REVEALOR":

"The real Jack Marx.

I managed a small band about to sign a major record deal many years ago in Sydney Australia. Just before it was about to happen one JACK MARX a part time reviewer for the free music mag “ON THE STREET” wrote a scathing, nasty and reprehensible live review, stating that the band were stooges for EMI and set up as street credible.

Nothing could have been further from the truth, they were hard working country boys who had played together since early school years. The record company ran a mile and the band never got the chance to release their music. We later found out that MARX had been offended at the gig he reviewed when the singer was paid too much attention from some girl he had fancied on the night, hence a jealous and low act of revenge followed.

Not long after that the ferret left to work for the Melbourne TRUTH, a grubby little X rated paper specialising in sex and dirt, right up his alley.I think MARX has got everything he deserves but be very wary of his confessions to truth, this guy is a certified liar and weasel.Good night and good luck. "

And finally, short and sweet, a fabulous piece of revenge from Range:

"I got woken up on the night of Saturday to Sunday by someone named Jason Green at 04:30 am. He had the balls to leave me a message because I told him to fuck off, after my wife did the same thing. Needless to say, I posted his name on a lot of gay classifieds with  interesting comments and his phone number, which is 514-823-9952. Hope he enjoys his week."

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Filed under Blogging, General Angriness

Mr Angry Vlog Number 5

My old friends the hippies.  I leave you with this as I head off on a 12 hour drive.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Filed under Video Blogging

A thought before bedtime

What is it that makes pedestrians so sure I'm going to stop when they walk out in front of me?  I'm not talking about when they're on a crossing or they have the green light telling them to cross – I'm a great respecter of pedestrian rights.  I'm talking about suicidal fucks who step right into traffic.  I would actually have some respect for them if they admitted they were deliberately trying to commit suicide – it's a pretty good plan.  Sadly, I'm pretty sure it's Darwinism in action I'm witnessing, not any well thought-out plan.

The real prize-winners are:

- walking into peak hour traffic.  Drivers in peak hour are either pissed off about having to go to work or worn out and desperate to get home.  Don't get in their way.

- large crowds who swarm across the road against the light simply because everyone else in the crowd is doing it.  Look up lemmings – there is only one way this is going to end up. – people who walk into traffic at night on a poorly lit street while wearing black clothes.  I call these ones "speed bumps".

Will you people please grow a fucking brain?  I really don't want to run anyone over.  I'd feel bad.  But you know what?  Eventually the bad feeling will go away.  And you'll still be dead.

8 Comments

Filed under Driving, General Angriness

Mr Angry Vlog Number 4

Well, I spent some more time scaring the neighbour recording this one. I might be going away for a week visiting my family which might limit my ability to do vlogs but I will be doing everything in my power to keep up the daily blog posts. In the meantime, enjoy this.

As always, distribute this any way you like. And if anyone ever visits youtube.com be sure to put votes in on my videos and massage my pathetically needy ego. And in case the embed doesn't work again, follow the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HEIVDO3JF8

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Filed under Video Blogging

Punishing Ann Coulter

So it appears scary-almost-beyond-belief nutjob Ann Coulter might be the next high profile person to get nailed in a plagiarism debacle. Rude Pundit has been doing a good job (with the help of some friends) to detail the extent of Coulter's transgressions in her book "Godless" but doesn't seem too upbeat about the chances of her being nailed for it. He may be right, people have been calling her on plagiarism for years to no significant effect. Still, it would be humourous (ironic?) if her career was damaged not by being an evil, screeching, hurtful, cruel witch who deserves to be on the receiving end of the torture she supports but by simply not crediting people whose ideas she stole.

I posted in the deep dark past about how, thankfully, the whole "pundit" thing is nowhere near as big in Australia as it is in the US. The only place it has taken off is in talkback radio. And here's another potential difference between the two cultures (someone who knows US-based right-wing shock jocks better than me might answer this). Would Rush Limbaugh (or whoever) get away with inflaming the youth of a mostly white suburb who felt they were being "invaded" by some aggressive young men of middle-eastern background to the point where a "rally" degenerated into a drunken rampage where idiots in the mob attacked anyone with brown skin along with (non-brown) police and ambulance officers trying to do their job in an ugly situation? If not, Alan Jones is lucky he's in Australia, not America.

If that wouldn't raise eyebrows, how about a conservative pundit getting arrested trying to pick up an undercover cop for gay sex in a public toilet while holidaying in London? (Alan Jones did this too.) Would their career survive after an adventure like this? And would W step in to help one of his mates from Fox News if they got caught doing this? (Bob Hawke, PM at the time, used his influence to get the charges against Jones dropped.) Anyway, Alan Jones is an obnoxious loudmouth who refuses to take responsibility for his actions. So what if he enjoys anonymous gay sex in public toilets. Allegedly. Good for him.

There is one writer in Australia who clearly has Anne Coulter as his role model. I've avoided mentioning him before because, essentially, he's a fucking idiot and I didn't want to provide him with the attention he so obviously craves. His name is Andrew Bolt and he writes for one of the main conservative tabloids here. One thing it doesn't take a genius to recognise is that neither Bolt nor Coulter truly believe the ridiculous shit they spout. Sure, they are strong adherents to the underlying right-wing political orthodoxy but they spout idiotic hyperbole for the sole purpose of attracting attention to themselves and furthering their own interests. The truly evil part of this is that they have hordes of admirers who doubtless take their words as absolute truth.

Like I said, I really don't think Bolt is worthy of attention because it's what he wants but he is good fuel for an angry blog and often he is unintentionally hilarious. At least I think it's unintentional. Maybe it's some elaborate post-modernist prank. This is, after all, the man who saw a sinister plot behind Finding Nemo. More recently he took that rather cynical approach of suggesting Australian residents who don't support Australia in sporting events are unpatriotic. This was in response to the strong support shown for Greece in a recent pre-World Cup Australia vs. Greece soccer match by Australians with Greek backgrounds.

Now maybe I'm the cynical one, but I firmly believe this was nothing but a cheap shot aimed at provoking an inflamed response. Which, of course, it did. I'm not in a rush to support the people who issued death threats against Bolt in response but the reaction was exactly what he wanted and it's disingenuous of him to suggest otherwise. Don't even get me started on how he belittled people for swearing. Fucking loser.

Now, the chances of my humble blog ever being brought to his attention (I have 2 Australian readers that I know about) are very slim but on the off chance it does: swearing does not by definition make you ignorant, you pompous fuck. Spouting cynical, self-serving, inflammatory, stereotype-promoting bullshit is a far worse transgression than swearing. Fuck you in the neck with a thesaurus you cretinous fuckwad.

Speaking of which, that brings me to my proposed punishment for these cynical exploitative shits. Bolt and Coulter should have to fuck each other. Now, Mr Bolt's eyes might light up at this but I said they have to fuck each other. He can go first but then she gets to don a strap-on and fuck him up the arse (c'mon, look at her, you know that's what she's into). And be a bit open minded Andrew – you might like it too.

16 Comments

Filed under Politics

Bad Jobs Made Worse by Bad Managers

One of the things that makes me most angry about every bad workplace I've been stuck in is that certain managers make a conscious decision to treat people like shit. One person can't save a shitty workplace but everyone can sure do their part to not make things worse. And one person can definitely be a cancer that fucks up an entire workplace. Some places are institutionally fucked and will never get better, but that doesn't excuse bad managers. Saying "there'd nothing I can do – that's the way things work here" is bullshit.

It's the riddle of the ages: do fucked situations attract fucked people or do fucked people created fucked situations. I know I've been in crappy dead-end companies where a shitty manager managed to make things worse and I've been in basically good jobs where a psychopathic manager has gone out of her way to fuck things up. The rogues in a good workplace feel worse but that doesn't excuse sadistic managers making shitty jobs worse.

I start to think that management training consists of telling managers all they have to do to control their staff is to crush their spirits. I had a Catholic education so I always picture the devil whispering in their ear: "Go ahead, you know you don't like them. You can't trust them, they're not working nearly as hard as they could be. Look at that one, I'm sure he's blogging from his desk. I bet he's writing something bad about you."

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy – treat your staff like shit and they'll end up surly and resentful. And surly, resentful staff don't work, thereby justifying your attitude that they're lazy good-for-nothings that deserve to be treated even worse. The mistreatment of staff doesn't even have to be anything major: the death of a thousand cuts is very effective. There's a reason torture exists and it has nothing to do with getting positive results. It's the exercise of power for the sake of exercising power. It's showing people exactly how powerless they are before you.

I have this stupid "loyalty" thing going and it's worked against me many times in the past. The downsides range from minor to major and I often question why I bother to show anyone any loyalty, considering how many times I end up getting kicked in the teeth. In the end, my behaviour is for me, not anyone else. It isn't so much a belief in karma, more that I believe if I act in negative ways I have no right to complain about negative outcomes. I'm not naive enough to think that positive behaviour always brings positive rewards but I look at the fuckers trying to drag me down and I simply refuse to descend to their level.

The most egregious examples I can think of for this sort of behaviour in a workplace in my past:

A manager at one job decided "she just didn't like me". In her mind there was no need to justify what she did after that, not liking me meant she could do whatever she wanted to get rid of me. She was enough of a sociopath to actually tell someone else she was after me because she didn't like me and I actually heard her say the same thing about someone else. Apparently you can get so fucked up you don't realise that other people may not share your views. Anyway, I outlasted her – stuck to my work, kept producing results and refused to knuckle under to her. A small victory because she left for a higher paying job but a victory nevertheless.

I was actually hassled on the toilet by a manager once. I was answering phones for a courier company at the time. The workday had a very regular cycle, starting off very busy for the first hour or so as people arrived at their work and started booking couriers. This one day I'm sitting in the cubicle feeling blissful relief and this voice from outside asks who's in there. I was a bit taken aback but the manager wanted to make sure it was me because he thought I shouldn't have left the phones. I had actually waited until the morning rush had passed but he apparently didn't agree. I explained I "had to" go right then (he really didn't want the alternative, stomach cramps had been starting to set in) and his response was that I should have gone before I left home. Ummmm, I didn't need to go two and a half hours ago when I was last at home. I actually stopped responding to him because, seriously, what the fuck can you say to someone when they say something as ridiculous as that?

One that almost made me laugh even though it was fairly serious was when I was admonished during a performance review for not attending a particular social lunch with cow-orkers. I'm amazed I didn't start spitting blood because I was biting my tongue so hard to avoid saying "that's because I don't like them." This one was worse than just the manager ripping on me because the dregs around me apparently wanted me to be more like them. In some workplaces I have enjoyed socialising but more often I don't. Why can't people just accept that? I'm here to get paid not to be your fucking friend. I'm almost never rude to people I work with but honestly, quite often I want nothing to do with them once I leave my desk. Why do some people have so much trouble understanding that?

At some point, it seems many people cross the line from "we're all in this together" to "I'm dragging you down with me." I don't think any workplace is perfectly but some managers seem to make a conscious effort to ensure the workplace is perfectly fucked.

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Filed under Work

Mr Angry Vlog Number 3

Some mid-week madness for you. I'm glad my apartment has thick walls but I'm reasonably sure my neighbours can hear me screaming as I do these. It's only a matter of time before one of them calls the cops. This is from my very early material, some stuff I intended to try out in a standup routine. This was intended to be "fish out of water" type humour, highlighting the small but angryfying differences between spoken English in the US and Australia. My goal was for a high-flying Hollywood agent to see it and give me my own sitcom.

It could happen.

As always, spread the word however you see fit if you like. Embed it on your webpage, email it, tell people it's you, I don't mind. I just want people to see it.

OK, getting some weird error messages as I try to post, so in case the embed doesn't work, here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VrmzuEOcq0

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Filed under Video Blogging