Monthly Archives: April 2007

Just a smidge stressed…

I learned something at work today – I don’t communicate as well as I think I do.  I had a few stressful hours trying to clarify some rather complex issues.  The other parties involved were  intelligent people and, in fact, I quite enjoy working with them.  But the difficulties I was having were really stressing me out.

I think I might actually do one of my more serious posts on the topic of effective communication now I’m thinking of it.  But not today.  This video shows me releasing my stress today:

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I, for one, welcome our insect overlords…

So have you heard about how people are freaking out about bees disappearing?  Nobody knows for sure and some weird theories are floating about.  I don’t know what’s happening but fortunately I know somebody from the future who can give us the answer from his vantage point…

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Crime Scene Investigation

I’ve noticed a tendency for people to try to make their lives, and more specifically their work, seem more exciting than it really is.  Usually, this desperate attempt to appear interesting simply highlights how fucked the person’s life actually is.

I remember years ago I was working in the IT department of an insurance company and there was a new finance system being developed that was code-named “weapon”.  I’m sure the dweebs who thought that one up did it because they imagined they would sound cool chatting up some girl in a bar saying “I work on weapon development.”

Another example I can think of was some scumbag ticket inspectors on a tram one day.  As an aside, I fucking hate ticket inspectors.  And parking inspectors.  Don’t waste my time saying “I’m just doing my job.”  That defence didn’t work in Nuremberg and it won’t work with me.  About six of these wankers were in “plainclothes” on the tram I was riding when all of a sudden they synchronised the revelation of their inspector badges they’d been concealing on a lanyard under their clothes.

I had a ticket so they couldn’t hassle me but I couldn’t stop laughing.  It seemed like they had watched too many episodes of “Law and Order”.  They thought they were some sort of hardcore undercover cops the way they did it so seriously.  I don’t think they appreciated my mirth.

On a similar note, check out this video showing what the dickheads in my local council are up to.

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Knowing when to give up

I’m open to discussing topics with somebody who has a different viewpoint.  Sometimes I even enjoy a full-blooded argument.  I like to think that lots of people are capable of learning and moving beyond their existing mindset.  But some people are just fucked.  Utterly beyond hope of redemption.  I’ve decided it’s important to know when to give up on people.

Witness the asinine display I had to put up with at work today.  The substance of the disagreement isn’t important, what matters is there was a disagreement.  The other party was female, not something I thought was important to the argument but she seemed to find it progressively more and more important.

The argument had reached a stalemate, the discussion was going around and around, showing no signs of moving anywhere near a resolution.  It hadn’t become heated yet but I was detecting a bit of an edge creeping in and decided discretion was the better part of valour.  In short, I didn’t need this sort of shit at work and was going to let it go.  This led to the following exchange:

ME: How about we agree to disagree and leave it at that.

SHE: That is such a typical thing for a man to do!  Trying to shut me up in such a condescending way.

ME: How is that condescending?  I’m respecting the fact you have a different opinion and I’m choosing not to force my opinion on you.

SHE: What you mean is you think I’m wrong.  You think you’re right and I’m wrong.

ME: Well, yeah.  I think my opinion is right.  Isn’t that the definition of an opinion?

SHE: It’s the definition of a typical arrogant male, thinking you’re always right and women are always wrong.

ME: In this particular case I think I, as an individual, am right and you, as an individual, are wrong.  I hadn’t framed that in any gender-specific way.

SHE: Why can’t you admit you’re wrong.

ME: Well, you haven’t convinced me I’m wrong. 

SHE: I bet you don’t think any of your opinions are wrong!

ME: It may surprise you to learn that I hold very few opinions that I think are wrong.  How many of your opinions do you think are wrong?  Why would anybody cling to an opinion that they think is wrong?  That’s crazy!

SHE: So now you’re think I’m crazy?

ME: I didn’t think that before, although I’m getting there now. (OK, I know I shouldn’t have said that but at this point my mental censor had gotten sick of this crap, packed his bags and gone away.)

SHE: Why did I even think I’d be able to get you to see any sense?  Men are always this way.

ME: When were you planning to talk sense?  If I’m going to see any sense you’ll have to show some first.

And then the shrieking started.  If only I’d given up five minutes earlier I would have gone home with my eardrums intact.  Lesson learned.  Pick your battles people.  The way these morons cluster together I’ve started to think their stupidity might be a contagious disease.  So don’t waste your time grappling with morons.

You might catch stupid.

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Sheryl Crow can shut the fuck up any time now

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about writing a series about people who should shut the fuck up.  God knows there are enough people out there who need to have it said to them.  I’m normally one to favour calm, reasoned argument (yes I am, shut up!) but sometimes it would be really cathartic to scream in someone’s face: “Shut the fuck up!”  So that’s what I’m doing.

 The tipping point for starting was Sheryl Crow’s ridiculous and widely derided suggestion that people should be limited to one square of toilet paper when they use the toilet.  Another YouTuber made a video about it and asked me to respond, asking “doesn’t this make you angry?” 

Hell yes it makes me angry.  The idea that from now on any conversation with a global warming skeptic will have to start with five minutes of “No, I’m not saying you should be forced to only use one square of toilet paper,” seriously pisses me off.  I’ve already heard the defence that “it was just a joke,”  and it has no effect on how angry I am.

Guess what Sheryl?  Your music is shit and your jokes are worse.  Saying something that mind-numbingly stupid will haunt environmentalists and conservationists for years to come.  You’ve provided the idiots on the right (and, to be fair, the intelligent people on the right) with bucketloads of ammunition.  You’re officially their new mascot.

The YouTuber I was referring to uses the name JustA11en (I think his real name is Allen).  He is a conservative and a global warming skeptic.  He’s also intelligent and prefers well reasoned argument.  He took Crow’s statements at face value because there was no indication he should take them any other way.  It’s bad enough to give people like him such an easy target but the idiot fringe are out of control. 

Rush Limbaugh is saying “But it was not a joke.  This has been on the wacko environmentalist list of ’50 Things to do to Save the Planet’ since the late eighties” (that’s a quote from his website).  The fact that Limbaugh is spouting such an idiotic lie should not be a surprise (what the fuck is he even talking about? What environmentalist list?) but Crow set the standard for idiotic statements.  Here’s a tip for Sheryl Crow (and for anyone who isn’t a comedian): use irony sparingly.  Far too many people don’t fucking get irony. 

Stephen Colbert can do irony because he has created a finely crafted character.  Anybody who isn’t a complete idiot can basically pick that Colbert is essentially saying the opposite of what he truly believes most of the time.  You’re not Stephen Colbert.  You’re not even Rich Little.

 Just shut the fuck up.

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April 25th – ANZAC Day

Lest we forget

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No talking in the toilet – video version

Well, yesterday’s post seemed quite popular and I have to admit, I liked it too.  So much so that I decided to do a video version of it, which I present now for your viewing pleasure. 

Before the video, a quick note about the “truth” of my posts.  I’ve mentioned before that pretty much everything I write is “inspired by a true story” as they say in Hollywood.  Life is so fucked up that I rarely have to fabricate something completely.  I usually change enough specifics of the story to preserve my anonymity.  Sometimes I make changes to make a point more clearly.  And sometimes I make changes to make the story funnier.

In yesterday’s case, the sandwich incident happened pretty much exactly as I related it.  The inappropriate toilet conversation did not actually happen, it was inspired by some incredibly inappropriate toilet conversations I have been subjected to in the past.  I did bump into Mr Big Sandwich in the toilet and I almost made reference to the sandwich when he talked to me.

Luckily for me, my brain was unusually alert and warned me “No, don’t say that!  That would sound very, very bad in this environment.”  So I didn’t say it.  Then the sick part of my brain took over and thought “hey, that’s actually pretty funny.” 

And that’s how blog posts are born.

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Why I avoid conversations in public toilets

A broadly accepted rule of male toilet etiquette is “no conversations” or at least keep conversations to a minimum.  The reasons behind this should be self-evident.  There are situations where I have my penis in my hand and I’m comfortable having a discussion but they are usually more intimate than a public toilet.

I had an experience during lunchtime today at work that illuminated the importance of this rule yet again.  Before describing the offending conversation, some background is in order:

I planned to toast a sandwich for my lunch today, using the sandwich press in the communal kitchenette.  A cow-orker arrived to do the same thing with his ready-made sandwich as I was still in the process of putting my sandwich together.  He was prepared to wait until I had finished but I said not to worry, the sandwich press was big enough for two sandwiches and we should do it at the same time.

My confidence was soon shown to be misplaced, however.  He was using thick bread and lots of ingredients that made his sandwich twice the thickness of mine.  He put his sandwich in the press and wandered off, then I compared my sandwich and realised I couldn’t toast it properly – the top of the press wouldn’t even touch my sandwich while his monster sandwich was in there.

I decided I might as well wait for his to finish toasting before starting mine.  To pass the time I decided to avail myself of the facilities and have a slash.  By coincidence, Mr Big Sandwich was in there at the same time and he chose to break the “no talking” rule.

“Great minds think alike,” he says.  “Toasting sandwiches at the same time and taking a leak at the same time.”

“Yeah,” I responded, “but I should have gone first because yours is so big mine wouldn’t even touch the sides after you got in there.”

Let me just say this: no amount of explanation is every going to convince the bloke who walked in just as I uttered that sentence that the cow-orker and myself were not recounting some sordid extra-curricular activities. 

So once again guys: no talking while standing at the urinal!

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The Angry News – The kinky principal

I never really liked my high school principal but that’s because he was a jerk.  I never had to put up with anything like the principal in this story though.  I haven’t done an angry news bulletin in a while but this story is made exactly for me.  This is the sort of story that needs to be brought to a wider audience:

News source: http://www.zwire.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=18225218&BRD=1699&PAG=461&dept_id=566374&rfi=8

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The Noisy Neighbour

I’m going to trouble you for a little insight today readers.  What would you do if I was your neighbour?  I don’t mean that literally, as in you, yourself, knowing what I’m actually doing here.  I mean pretend you’d never heard of Mr Angry then one day you heard your neighbour screaming in what sounded like an insane manner.

Most people would probably ignore this at least for a while.  But what if it kept happening at semi-regular intervals?   Ranting and screaming.  Every now and then you could pick out what the neighbour was saying and they seemed to be wishing all sorts of violent retribution on a range of people.

Then suppose you actually asked what was going on.  And the neighbour said: “Oh don’t worry about that, I’m just being Mr Angry.  I put on a mask and shout a lot.  Then I video that and put it on the internet.  Nothing to worry about.”

I only ask because I suspect my shed is not particularly soundproof and my neighbours may be able to hear pretty much everything I do when I make videos.  Given that one of the previous tenants was shot in my shed (not fatally and I only found out about this after moving in) the neighbours may not be too well disposed to craziness in the shed.

Fun and games.

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