Monthly Archives: November 2007

Yard work sucks

Seriously.  I fucking hate yard work.  On top of everything else I’m doing, I’m trying to prepare for a kid’s party on Sunday.  And it looks like we’re in for a few days of torrential rain so I had to get out and mow the lawn and trim the edges this morning before the storm set in.

Have I mentioned before that I’m very lazy?  And out of shape?  I pretty much got a year’s worth of exercise crammed into a few hours today.  And it feels like my fucking arms are going to fall off.  It’s almost beyond my abilities right now to sit here and type.

And after months of preparation the big YouTube gathering starts in about 36 hours.  Wait a minute, it’s actually 2 and 1/2 days not 1 and 1/2.  I’m right on the edge of freaking out over this.  One of the ways this is manifesting is I’ve had no sense of time this week.  It feels like everything is going to happen NOW.  I’m consistently forgetting which day of the week it is.  On Monday I thought it was Friday and had a panic attack.

Next week it will all be over.  And I’m sure I’ll have no idea whatsoever what to do with myself.

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Filed under General Angriness

World AIDS Day “I promise” campaign

One of the reasons I haven’t been posting every day lately is I’m on holidays.  The second reason is I’m absurdly busy.  Seriously, I’m far busier on this holiday than I usually am when I’m working.  The biggest thing (for those who haven’t been paying attention) is the YouTube As One gathering this Saturday (December 1st) in Melbourne’s Federation Square.

I’m trying not to freak the hell out in the leadup but it’s hard.

The day of the gathering coincide with the World AIDS Day Concert in Federation Square which is a bonus for us.  There will be a lot going on during the day including free concert performances.  So I figured some payback was due and I’ve been helping the promoters of the World AIDS Day Concert, The Burnet Institute with some YouTube promotion for their event.

The centrepiece of their promotion is the “I promise” campaign.  It’s a fairly simple concept – make a promise to take some practical steps in response to AIDS.  This video has been put together featuring some YouTube celebrities and “real world” celebrities to encourage the YouTube community to make their own video promises:

And I thought I’d kick things off with my own promise:

Oh, and I also promise to get back to writing longer and angrier posts some time after this madness has died down.  Sometime in the next couple of weeks.

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Filed under Video Blogging

Designed by a 3 year old

Have you ever heard of the five whys?  I came across it in a business context, the idea is when trying to find the root cause of a problem if you ask “why” five times you should identify the real issue.  In the course of my work, identifying business requirements, the idea was that each proposed requirements should hold up to five whys.

If you can’t continue to give good answers to at least five whys then maybe you shouldn’t be doing whatever it is you were planning.  It can be a very effective technique.  But I’ll tell you this much: it wears thin really quick when it’s being used by someone who’s already pissing you off.

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Filed under Video Blogging

Anti-Muslim race baiting in the Australian elections

Well, the Australian federal elections are on Saturday and the incumbent Liberal government has been staring down the barrel of a crushing defeat for a while now.  I always feel compelled to point out to overseas readers that the Liberal party are the dominant conservative party in Australia (given the generally understood meaning of “liberal” in political terms).  Anyway, they’ve been trying every trick in the book but they’ve been unable to dent the popularity of the opposition Labor Leader, Kevin Rudd.

It seems desperation has set in and some really dirty tricks are coming out.  The seat of Lindsay is in outer western Sydney and could easily change hands from the Liberals (who currently hold it) to Labor.  So in desperation, the Liberal Campaign team decided to play to the lowest common denominator and inflame anti-Muslim sentiments.

They falsified and distributed a flyer that purported to come from a non-existent radical Muslim group.  The flyer proclaimed the group unswerving support for the Labor party including quite despicable (and untrue) references to Labor supporting forgiveness for the Bali bombers.  Here’s a link to a news story including a copy of the flyer.

To his credit, Liberal leader John Howard has unequivocally condemned the tactic.  This is in stark contrast to, say, the conduct of GW Bush when Republican operatives have used blatant lies to slander his opponents.  But this is still going to hurt him.  It just reeks of desperation and for a man who’s always staked his reputation on honesty… well, this doesn’t look very honest.

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Filed under Politics, Video Blogging

Give me liberty or give me… ?

Add to the long list of people who need to shut the fuck up: Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence in the US.  God knows what power that title actually gives him in what spook agency but his principal role seems to be letting the American people know they’re utterly fucked.

You know that freedom and liberty idea that so many Americans are so fond of?  I think it’s time to face facts and file that under “not so much”.  Most rational people expect their government to have all sorts of spy operations in place.  Most of us manage to sleep at night by convincing ourselves it’s for our protection and as we’re clearly not criminals or terrorists, nobody’s spying on us.

That tissue-thin layer of self-delusion tends to get torn apart pretty thoroughly when a government official actually comes out and says “Oh yeah, we’re totally spying on everyone.  All the time.”

In a speech he gave in October, Kerr said Americans shouldn’t be fighting to protect their anonymity  – they should be “changing their definition of privacy“.  You see, in this brave new world, privacy doesn’t actually mean privacy.  It means accepting the fact that the government is going to have full access to every tiny detail of your life any time they want.  It means being innocent and law abiding doesn’t mean “not under surveillance”.  But we should all take a deep breath and relax because you can trust the government not to do the wrong thing.

It isn’t as if it’s easy to find examples of the Bush administration unjustly smearing their opponents (even those within their own party).  Incidentally, a Google search for “Bush administration smear opponent” returns 579,000 results.  Nothing to worry about there.

In the good old days of the Cold War and the McCarthy era, a sizable proportion of people being spied on actually belonged to the Communist Party (or at least went to meetings hoping to score with those hot politically active chicks).  Not any more.  Ever had a phone call with someone outside the USA?  That’s all they need to spy on you now.

Actually, I should correct that last alarmist statement.  They won’t spy on you for a call where the other party is outside the US.  They’ll spy on you if they have a reasonable suspicion that one end of the conversation is outside the US.  And of course we’re talking about eminently reasonable people here.  What could possibly go wrong with allowing that sort of power without the usual checks and balances?

And this Kerr character is either frighteningly stupid or simply enjoys insulting the intelligence of everyone else.  One of his primary justifications for unlimited government intrusion into innocent people’s lives is the way some people use social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace.  Yes, this is what passes for logic with these twisted freaks.  Some people give out personal information online and so everyone should give up all rights to privacy.

I keep wanting to avoid hyperbole and gratuitous references to rape but that’s what keeps popping into my head.  This sounds like the classic drunken moron’s defence for date rape.  “Hey, the bitch let me buy her dinner and all those drinks.  Then she came back to my place.  She knew what was coming next, you can’t expect me to listen when she says ‘NO’ after all that.”

But this prick really got me angry when he said “Protecting anonymity isn’t a fight that can be won… (stop struggling, bitch!)… Our job now is to engage in a productive debate.”  Oh yeah, that old chestnut.  Don’t get angry.  Just because the government is violently raping your basic rights and expecting you to say “thank you” afterwards.  Whatever you do, don’t get angry.  Be reasonable.

Do you know why Mr Angry exists?  Because it’s impossible for Mr Angry to not exist in today’s world.  Every piece of shit in every country in the world who wants to screw over other people is always quick to say anger is wrong.  You need to be reasonable.  You need to be productive when you respond.  You know what?

FUCK THAT SHIT!

Here’s the big secret they want to keep from you: It’s OK to be angry.  In fact, fuck that too.  It isn’t OK.  It’s the appropriate response.  It’s fucking required.  I’m more than reasonable when somebody presents a reasonable proposal.  When they’re unreasonable I’ll resist.  And when they want to lie, cheat, steal and destroy the basic rights of innocent people and tell me I’m not allowed to be angry in response?

I. Get. Fucking. FURIOUS!

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Filed under Politics, Video Blogging

Blazing heat and flies – it must be summer in Australia

So after months of planning, it’s now less than two weeks to go until the As One gathering for YouTube users here in Melbourne.  And right on cue Melbourne has delivered a reminder that it might be a hot day.  We’re in the middle of a three day stretch of mid to high 30s temperature-wise (that Celsius! 90-100 Fahrenheit for those not good at conversion).

I thought it was my duty to provide a reminder to those planning on attending to take our warnings about the sun seriously.  And while I was doing a location shoot it became obvious what else I had to warn people about: the fucking flies!  Federation Square is right next to the Yarra river where the bastard things are probably breeding.  I didn’t have repellent and they wouldn’t let up swarming all over me.

Although I didn’t catch it on camera I actually inhaled one of the fucking things!  I HATE it when that happens!  I made quite a scene, doubled over, hacking and coughing, trying to get a fucking fly out of my throat.  The little shit was actually still alive when I spat it out!

Mind you, today’s temperature is no indicator of what it will be like on December 1st.  Or even tomorrow for that matter.  Melbourne is notorious for sudden weather changes.  For fans of Kiwi band Crowded House, their song “Four Seasons in One Day” is about Melbourne.  The gathering day could be stormy, just as hot as today, even hotter or pleasant and mild.  Or some combination of all of those.

People think the talk of rapid changes to the weather here is exaggerated here but it isn’t.  The record for weirdest day I have experienced here was summer last year.  It was really hot, more than 38 Celsius (close enough to 100 Fahrenheit) when a storm front moved in late in the afternoon.  This would normally cool things down a bit but the temperature dropped 15 degrees Fahrenheit in an hour.  The maximum the next day was 20 degrees lower than the maximum on this day.

So yeah, Melbourne is not a city that rewards you for planning an outdoor event a long time in advance.  If there’s torrential rain on the day of the gathering the crowd will probably punch me out.

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Filed under Video Blogging, YouTube

My addiction

I think it’s time I came clean.  I have a serious problem with addiction.  I’ve tried to give up but I haven’t been able to kick it.

I can’t stop baiting morons on YouTube.  I know I should be a better human about it but they’re soooooo stupid and it’s sooooo easy to rip on them.  I’ve been having a funny experience over the last few days on YouTube since they featured one of my videos on the Australian home page.

It’s actually the video I posted earlier in the week where I expressed my amusement at the proposal to crush cars belonging to hoons.  Now that it’s being exposed to a larger audience all the sad acts who define themselves according to their penis-compensating cars are coming out of the woodwork.

And so I taunt them.  I keep saying to myself “just one more, then I’ll quit”.  And then I’ve done it twenty times without realising it.  Ah well, I’m planning to set up a support group for fellow sufferers,  Maybe I’ll find the cure one day.

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Filed under Video Blogging