Monthly Archives: April 2007

More on apologies

Or should that be moron apologies?  Since writing my piece the other day I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about the way people apologise.  One particular type of apology that has been happening a bit lately and really pisses me off is when public figures do or say something that they realise after the fact is deemed socially unacceptable.  This usually takes the form of hurling racial epithets and the big examples from the last year are Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and Don Imus.

When will one of these people stick to what they say instead of backing off in a desperate attempt to cover their arse?  When it’s blindingly obvious that, from what they say, the celebrity in question doesn’t like, say, black people… why don’t they just say so?  So long as they aren’t actually inciting or committing violence (and admittedly this may well be the case sometimes) why can’t they just say it?

“You know, I really don’t like black people.  They make me uncomfortable.  I don’t know any, I don’t hang out with them and I feel like they blame me for things that aren’t my fault.  I don’t go out of my way to hurt black people but when they get up in my face it pisses me off.  I’ll stop saying ‘nigger’ when all the rappers do.”

***NOTE***  The above is not actually my opinion.  I’m simply extrapolating from some people’s outbursts what I suspect their true feeling are.  All the same, feel free to leave some ignorant comment labelling me a racist.  I enjoy laying into fuckwits.

Mel Gibson I find kinda funny because although he did the obligatory apologies at first for his bizarre, drunken anti-semitic rant, in more recent interviews he’s essentially said “I’ve already apologised for that.  Get over it, what’s your problem?”  And, despite the fact that the bizarre rantings of his father and the church he belongs to tend to support charges of anti-semitism, I tend to think that blaming Jews for your drinking problems points more to insanity than simple Jew-baiting.

Michael Richards I find more pathetic than anything.  He was clearly out of his depth and in his stress and frustration he lashed out in a rather vile way.  I suspect he’s no more racist than the average white person prone to muttering “stupid nigger” in traffic but his public grovelling made me feel more than a little sick.  A slightly more honest response would have been:

“Those guys were really obnoxious and were ruining my act.  They weren’t respecting me as a performer and I didn’t feel like respecting them as people.  I knew I had the power position and I could really hurt them by calling them niggers.  I didn’t think it through and I lashed out, now I’m gonna pay for that and I probably deserve to.  I tried to turn it around into a Lenny Bruce thing but I couldn’t get it together.  I don’t think I’m a bad person and I don’t have a problem with black people but if people don’t want to forgive me for fucking up then I guess I’m screwed.”

Don Imus just flat out pisses me off.  This fucking blowhard was doing what he always does and comes out with a pathetic “I said a bad thing but I’m not a bad person.”  He’s free to think and say whatever he wants but when he’s employed by someone else they’re free to sack him.  He’s a long way from being the worst of the shock jocks but from what I’ve read he should have been sacked earlier.  Some right wing conspiracists actually believe he’s the canary in the coalmine – with his scalp taken the dreaded liberal conspiracy will go after some of the seriously big right wing names.  We can only hope.

Anyone who’s been paying attention to my writing would know I don’t advocate the banning any type of speech but Imus was in the commercial marketplace – that’s what led to his downfall.  Whether or not his employers were truly morally outraged by what Imus said, advertisers were pulling the plug so Imus had to go.  I have to seriously doubt that the broadcasters themselves were troubled by what Imus said – isn’t that the sort of shit he’s expected to do?

Of course it may be that I’m simply deeply cynical.  The fact that I see their “apologies” as nothing more than a desperate attempt to protect their commercial interests could be a reflection on me more than them. 

Maybe I should apologise.

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300

Mr Angry presents for your viewing pleasure that blood-soaked, digitally enhanced, homoerotic fantasy spectacle inspired by the legends of Ancient Greece.  Oh wait… that’s the other 300.  This is my 300th video on YouTube.

This is the condensed version of what I’ve been doing since around Christmas: videos 200-299.  Even though it’s condensed be warned, it still runs for 18 minutes.  It’s an interesting insight into how many different ways I can say “fuck”.  Yes, my juvenile sense of humour compelled me to include swearing in the majority of the 5-10 second grabs you’ll see in this compilation.  Enjoy.

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We don’t apologise

My friend Adrian and I have a rule: we don’t apologise.  It helps that we’re actually pretty unlikely to do anything serious enough to warrant an apology but some people feel compelled to apologise profusely over trivial things.  Our rule was born out of an incident where we were supposed to arrange to catch up but both of us were overtaken by events and got too busy to follow it up. 

Lo and behold, a month passed without us getting in contact.  When we finally did catch up we did start out with a little awkward conversation:

“Wow, we suck at following through, don’t we?”

“Yeah, we’re bastards.”

Then we put it behind it and said fuck it, let’s not waste time apologising.  In case you’re thinking that’s me being a heartless bastard again, those were actually Adrian’s words.  It’s actually remarkably therapeutic – knowing you don’t have to dwell on things and can focus on what’s ahead rather than what’s past.

Like I said, I think the success of this approach is predicated on a level of trust that nothing too horrible is going to happen and I don’t think it’s applicable to all situations.  For instance, I wouldn’t try this approach with a lover – the boundaries are different and there’s a different level of intimacy so when you screw up an apology is often called for.

But I really get pissed off at people who apologise all the time.  Particularly when it’s done as a reflex and they’re actually not all that sorry about it or at least they don’t plan to expend much energy making sure it doesn’t happen again.  They start pouring out their overdone apology as a reflex and they expect me to say “that’s all right” as a reflex.  And you know what?  Often it really isn’t all right.  What I really want to say is:

“That happened because you’re a fuckwit.  If you spent less time apologising and more time working on not being a fuckwit, then you’d have less to apologise for.”

I like to be helpful like that.

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The Final Connection

I got the final connection in my new home this morning – the bright and shining cable that brings me Pay TV (hurrah! I can watch the Daily Show and Colbert Report tonight!) and high speed internet access.  Now I might actually get around to connecting my PC.

My first goal if all goes well is to finish editing my 300th YouTube video.  Yes, you heard that right, I am so devoid of a life that I have actually used a significant chunk of the last year to create 300 original videos for YouTube.  I’ve posted somewhere in the region of 200 of these to this blog which makes for a decent chunk of the 500 posts over the last year.  My god, 500 blog posts and 300 videos.  For no good reason.  It isn’t as if I get paid for it. 

Actually, that isn’t strictly true.  I’ve been paid (and I assume I’m going to continue to be paid) for doing stuff for The Fizz on DirecTV and that never would have happened without YouTube.  So who knows?  Maybe there’s more return than the shallow gratification my ego gets from knowing that people are watching my ridiculous shenanigans (closing in on half a million video views) and a significant proportion of those people are enjoying what I do.

The 300th video will be similar to the ones I did at the 100 and 200 milestones  – a short grab of each of the videos from the past 100.  I’ve already done about 70% of the editing so I’m hoping to post it in the next day or so.  I have fun seeing how many swears I can fit into the compilation (believe it or not, I don’t swear in every video).  Hopefully you’ll have fun watching it.

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Time And Relative Dimensions In Moving House

The title of this post is a little joke for Doctor Who fans.  The Doctor’s primary form of transport is the TARDIS which stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.  The dimensions of time and space don’t follow expected rules with the TARDIS – it’s able to travel through time and it’s bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside.

Anyone who has moved house will see where I’m going with this.  The normal rules of time and space do not apply when you are moving house: 

  • Every time you think “this will take about another hour” you’ll be lucky if you’re done in six hours. 
  • Every time you think you have enough boxes it will turn out that you have less than half the number you need. 
  • And every time you think “this is the last load of stuff I need to cart around to the new place” there will be more fucking stuff that you missed.

And how is it, that even though I’m moving from a smaller place into a bigger place, it seems like all the crap is never going to fit into the new place?  It’s all finally in now but it’s piled up all over the house.  And I want to put it in order but that’s hard to do because the furniture and storage units aren’t in their proper places but you can’t put the furniture in the right places because of all the goddam boxes!

The only possible answer is that the cosmos itself is against me!  The very laws of times and space are being twisted just to screw up my life.

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Black Friday

‘s Black Friday and some luck has finally gone my way – I have electricity in my new house. I won’t actually have internet at home until next week so you may not hear much from me this weekend.

Until that’s all sorted out, here’s a quick Friday th 13th video. I’m not particularly superstitious, but I happen to be in possession of a tie that seems to have dark powers…

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Testing the air

Strange goings-on afoot at work today.  There’s this weird little device chugging away making a noise that sounds sort of like the air filter in a fish tank.  There’s a sign attached saying it’s testing air quality so I guess it does kinda work like a fish tank air filter.  This is probably linked to pretty much everyone in the department getting sick recently. 

I’m the sort of person who actually feels less secure when he sees overt security measures in place.  There’s a major Synagogue near my place that employs security that look like CIA spooks (I like to call them “Jews on patrol” – not to their faces).  They look the real deal: suits, earpieces, talking into their sleeves. 

Some people would look at them and say “phew, these fine lads and ladies will keep us safe.”  I look at them and think “holy fuck!  Has there been a bomb threat or something?  Why the fuck are these guys out in the street?”

So when I see something testing the air, I don’t think “I’m glad they’re looking after us.  I think “Oh shit, I’m going to die – we’re obviously being poisoned.”

Actually the really cynical side of me thinks the sensor will be deliberately set to produce a favourable reading so they can tell us all to stop being hypochondriacs and get back to work.  So I have a plan.  I’m going to get my sickest cow-orker to cough gobs of phlegm straight into the sensor.  That should overload it and make it look like we’re having an outbreak of bubonic plague.

I’m expecting the health department to shroud the whole building in plastic sheeting any second now.

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Moving is bullshit

My house move enters its final phase tomorrow with my girlfriend’s stuff being moved into the new house and electricity (theoretically) being connected so we can actually live in the new house.  The electricity connection remains a theoretical possibility because the bastards were meant to connect it last Thursday but didn’t do it.  And they didn’t do anything helpful like tell us they didn’t do it – we had to find that out for ourselves.

At the start of a four day weekend.

What a wonderful surprise that was.  And the rat bastards responsible for it weren’t answering their phones until Tuesday.  The emergency number wouldn’t do anything about it because they handle emergencies not connections.  And they really didn’t care how much my life had been fucked up.  And I wasn’t surprised on Tuesday morning when the connection company didn’t give a shit and blamed it on me.

The whole setup is made harder because the electricity supply is broken up into “wholesalers” and “retailers”.  Only a retailer can book your connection but only a wholesaler can actually make the connection.  This cosy little setup lets the fuckers blame each other when they fuck things up.

The same bullshit happened with my cable connection for internet and pay TV.  Responsibility for this is divided between Telstra (phone/internet company) and Foxtel (pay TV).  So when I want it switched off at one place and switched on in another they say this required a tech to visit which means a two week delay and a $100 fee.

I point out this is bullshit because the cable connection is active by default, they just have to start the connection and billing remotely.  I know this because I’ve been through this before and all the fucking tech did was plug a fucking cable into a fucking socket in the fucking wall.  I might be slightly dim but even I can manage that alone.  What was the response to my complaint?

Telstra: That’s a Foxtel policy, we can’t do anything about it.

Foxtel: That’s a Telstra policy, we can’t do anything about it.

These fuckers think they have plausible deniability and when you call them out on it they simply repeat stock phrases from scripts and refuse to actually respond to what you’re saying.  When the dust settles on this move I have an active letter-writing campaign planned.  The evil sacks of shit will ignore the letters of course but I’ll feel better for writing them and getting it out of my system.  I just need to find some heat resistant paper so the letters won’t burst into flames as I compose them.

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Best shows at the 2007 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

While nominating anything as the “best” is subjective by nature, and therefore horribly inaccurate, here are my recommendations for this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival.  While I’m in disclaimer mode, I’ll add another point: it’s obvious that I can’t know about all of the hundreds of shows in the festival so if any diamond in the rough feels unfairly slighted by being left off my “best of” feel free to contact me and try and convince me why you are best in show. 

Also, the big names don’t need my endorsement (their shows are probably sold out anyway) so I’m mentioning acts more in the “up and coming mode”.  Mind you, if anyone famous sent me free tickets I’d plug their show.  I’m a shameless whore.

Danny McGinlay – Star Spangled Bender

Previously featured on this blog (click on the “Melbourne Comedy Festival” tab at the top of this page to see the videos), Danny is premiering his new show at this year’s festival.  Armed with his copy of “U.S. History for Dummies” and his own experiences travelling the USA, Danny explores 500 years of history in an attempt to answer such unanswerable questions as “how does that same country that votes for George W Bush give us the Simpsons?”  Go along and try to stump him – he’s not just funny, he’s encyclopaedic. (at the Stork Hotel in 504 Elizabeth St, Melbourne)

Dave Bushell – Dirt, War… & why I don’t eat the fishies

This man breathes history.  In his new show, Dave outs members of his own family as actual Nazis, implicates himself in Princess Diana’s death and admits he probably has mad cow disease.  Dave was nominated for Best Newcomer in the 2006 Festival and his show at last years Fringe Festival was also a huge success.  Check him out in the videos section as well. (at Forty Five Downstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne)

Dave Thornton – Euromission

I had intended to get some video features from Dave as well but never got around to it.  I did however check out his show in last year’s festival and he was bloody hilarious.  His show this year is based on his European odyssey where he visited every country that had won the Eurovision Song Contest title.  How could he possibly fail?  (at Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton South)

Miss Rochelle’s School for Very Naughty Girls

OK, the title says it all.  If that doesn’t hook you in, I don’t know what will.  Seriously, go check out the video with Benn Harrison under the “Melbourne Comedy Festival” tab – Miss Rochelle is a force to be reckoned with.  An improvised show (and isn’t it always fun to watch performers risking life and limb by improvising?) with a new mystery every night this is definitely a one of a kind show.  And it promises lots of hot hockey action! (at Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton South)

Richard McKenzie – In Mint Condition

I’ve got a soft spot for someone who builds their show around all the things that make up nerd life.  Richard explores comics, movies, role-playing, online worlds and more.  So put on your favourite Star Wars tee, grab your 20 sided die and maybe even get a taste of Richard’s humour first by checking out the videos previously featured on this blog. (at the Portland Hotel, 115 Russel St, Melbourne)

Sammy J – Cyclone

I haven’t featured any videos with Sammy on this blog although I did blog about his show during last year’s festival.  My girlfriend and I decided to check out his show after bumping into him handing out flyers on the street (we decided to reward his hard work) and we weren’t disappointed.  Sammy won “Best Newcomer” last year so we weren’t the only ones who thought he was funny.  Cyclones don’t hit Melbourne very often so this is a special event. (at Melbourne Town Hall, cnr Swanston & Collins Streets)

Tommy Dassalo – The Third Guy

Everybody remembers that Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon and most people know that Buzz Aldrin was second but who remembers the third guy on that mission?  Tommy brings history’s forgotten faces to life and furthers his own quest to avoid being a forgotten third guy himself in his new show.  Tommy is widely touted to be huge one day so see him now (actually, right now – go look at the videos on the feature page) while he’s still medium sized.  (at Melbourne Town Hall, cnr Swanston & Collins Streets)

So that’s my recommendations for now.  With all the chaos of moving house I probably won’t get to see as many shows as I’d like but if I hear of any more gems I’ll let you know.

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Things you don’t want to hear…

… as you move into your new house:

The neighbour practicing the drums.  Heavy metal style.  Loudly.  And badly.

Faaaaaaarrrrrrrrrk!

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