A trip down to the shops.
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Mole-hills out of Mountains.

Is that nagging headache refusing to go, even when taking non-prescription pain killers?
Well, maybe that's because the headache is a symptom of something else, something far more fatal than a mere dull, throbbing pain. A swelling brain has similar symptoms to a mild headache, but a burst head is not uncommon, especially for those who use computers for more than twenty minutes a day. When the eyes start to feel sore and begin to bulge slightly it is already too late, and the usual cure of extreme, abundant trepanation will only result in brain-leak, an event not dissimilar to pouring pureed mushrooms through a colander.

Could that itchy, dry patch of skin just be the spot you missed with the moisturiser last night?
Of course not, it's more than likely that it is something far worse. Vibo-Lobo(Deviant Strain) is a virulent form of flesh-eating bacteria that is spread through contact with small electronic devices; devices such as mobile phones, remote controls, computer peripheries and musical greetings cards. Once this liquefying mould has taken a foothold on the skin it is only a matter of days before the victim is nothing more than a gelatinous smear on the bed sheets, like a clotted ejaculation. There is no known cure for this scourge that is laying waste to thousands of young, healthy technophiles and imbibers of the Vibo-Lobo(Psuedo-Deviant Strain) rich bacterial "health" drinks such as Yakult and Actimel.

Are those sore joints just a mild form of RSI caused by too much typing over the past day or two?
Statistics clearly show that the chances of this being the simple explanation for those annoying twinges are not good. It has long been known that door handles are an increasing cause of a previously rare form of muscular wastage disease. The design of L-shaped door handles as found in most job-centres and council houses require the right-handed user to contort their hand in such a manner as to lead to the risk of untwisting the genetic strands in the wrist. DNA can be thought of as a double spiral, rising up like a staircase, but the stairs can be considered as being populated by consecutive elderly men and women climbing without the aid of a stair lift or a Zimmer frame. One wrong move could lead to a disastrous cascade of incontinent charity shoppers, tumbling like dominoes that stink of old wee. In genetic terms this cascade is an irreversible collapse, beginning with a dull ache, but ending with total death in five out of every three people who fall victim to this virulent, handle induced genetic modification.

Is that tiredness you feel just a symptom of the late nights over the past week?
The first sign of body-inversion syndrome is mental and physical fatigue, much like one would experience after a day of grave robbing, or a shift in a brothel. Body-inversion is a slow and painful process that begins with simple fatigue, but spreads to a rectal prolapse, and if it were to end there then it would be an easy enough job to stuff it back in a clean up the mess. Unfortunately a total body-inversion goes on to a much more gruesome conclusion, bowels, lungs and eventually bones slide from the sphinctoral orifice, pulling the person inside-out like a nylon stocking in the hands of an angry rapist. The discovery of more and more flesh-heaps slopped on furniture where once a young, active person once rested before a sudden, explosive body-inversion. The cause of this messy syndrome has not yet been found, but it is thought that looking at regular shapes of more than five sides increases the chance of such an inversion by upwards of 800%.

So, are you going to turn inside-out, experience a burst head and unravel at the genetic level whilst being slowly ingested by a bacterial plague?
The short answer is yes, but don't be disheartened by the agonies that will befall you in the few short hours of life left to you, it would be such a senseless waste. My advice would be to experiment with as many types of drug, be it alkaloid, opiate or cannabanoid, after all, you never know. It might cure you, but even if it doesn't you aren't likely to be in much of a state to care.

Thursday, December 11, 2003
Is this the right room for an argument?

There is an old saying that goes:
Arguing on the Internet is a bit like running in the Special Olympics, even if you win you're still a retard.
So what is the psychology of the mind intent on an argument on an Internet forum, message board or other such medium that allows responses to be recorded? A recent incident, found here, has revealed some rather interesting behaviours, hypocrisies and stupidity. It isn't important to know the ins and outs of the argument, merely that like most arguments it began with one individual insulting another, as simple as that.

Once the first shit was lobbed it didn't take long for the dynamic of the argument to get into full swing and fire was returned, the two factions each splitting off into three main groups, the three 'argument classes'.

(I) The Instigator/Respondent.
This includes the one or more people responsible for starting the argument in the first place, the ones who fired the first volley of mud, the initial barrage. These people are the backbone of the disagreement, without them the argument has little purpose and will usually fizzle out rather than proceed to its natural crescendo. The respondent to the argument is also to be found in this class, although usually they are morally better than the official instigator. When the argument has continued for a small time, usually two pages in forum terms, this is the time that the main crux of the argument has been swept aside for vicious snipes and satisfying put-downs, and the initial point raised has been lost, then everything revolves around the personalities of the instigator and respondent alone.

(II) The Cheer-Leaders.
In every argument there are onlookers, after all, what would be the point of making such a spectacle if nobody were there to see it? It is natural for these onlookers to fall into sides, either on the side of the instigator or the respondent, backing up whatever claims are made by the founder of their side that are agreeable to them and dismissing from memory those that are not. Cheer-leaders are not simply fans though, nor are they an audience, cut off from the main action; they are far from being mere spectators in the stands. Cheer-leaders are the most vocal of the instigator/respondent’s following, pouncing on errors and paradoxes in their opponents' contributions to the argument like a crack-whore with a punter. Mostly with reason cast aside they continue to bolster the main contenders of the argument, not letting a single mistake slip through their net, like a dredger, raking as much muck as they can find. The cheer-leaders are the main body of the argument and it would seem a sparse event indeed if they were not around.

(III) Occasional Prodder.
The prodder is a sad specimen in most arguments, throwing their two penneth into the vomit-bucket every now and again, but usually only once. Some are on the side of the instigator, some on the side of the respondent and some claim no allegiances whatsoever (although this is a lie, they merely wish to appear impartial), but even if their point is a valid one, even in the eyes of reasonable people, it is usually brushed aside and viewed with little importance, no more than it deserves. The argument as a whole would be little changed by these prodders' absence and so they can continue to be safely ignored without any worry.

There is of course the 'silent majority', but as they contribute even less to the argument than the prodders they deserve only derision and will only ever be mentioned fleetingly in this essay from hereon. It is important to realise that there is a small-known fourth argument class that has been only recently discovered, but the insignificance of those who belong to this class means that it would be an insult to the sciences to put it alongside the other, well-recognised classes.

(IV) These 'People'.
Well, what is there to say about these rejected offerings from the diversity of the human gene-pool? It is certainly not a coincidence that Mervyn Wright and his bemused wife Christine are there under their chosen pseudonyms of Scorpion and internetsusie respectively. It is also far from coincidence that their posting history shows a prolonged absence from the forum, only to return when there is mud to sling like the trollish behaviour we have come to expect from such a pikey duo. This group is unique in the argument classes insofar as even when their minds are put together they cannot even challenge the IQ of a potato, a trait that produces some rather interesting results in a verbal altercation. Naturally grammar and punctuation are things of the past, and a sentence that makes sense is often a rarity; you can be sure they pronounce ask 'axe' when speaking. Reasoning with the unreasonable is like talking to the deaf, even after beating them they still can't hear you, and it is much the same when trying to reason with the members of this class, although a beating would probably be helpful nonetheless. Whatever happens this group is no doubt rich in possibilities for further study, but for now we shall reject them, as society has rejected them, satisfied that so long as they remain confined in one place their sub-normal ways will not spread far.

The standard Internet argument has a very common pattern, rarely deviating from a path worn well by numerous passer-bys, and it leads to a common end in the majority of these textual battles. The content of each argument is unique in the posts made, but it follows the pattern explained below predictably. An Internet dispute can be thought of as a wave, and the different parts of the wave have been named and defined by Internet behavioural scientists in meticulous detail. We will be glossing over much of the detailed ideas that have been discovered, but the gist of the anatomy of an argument will at least allow you predictive ability in nineteen out of every twenty one disagreements that erupt into a quarrel on the World-Wide-Web.

(Stage I) Wave Foot.
The toe of the wave rushes towards the beach under the impulse of the instigator's comment at the very moment that the offending post in question is released, in electrical form, all across the internet, much like a type of written VD. At this point the height of the wave has not been decided yet, and it is quite possible for the wave to be no more than a ripple, but as soon as the respondent it is intended for replies the rise in height of the wave becomes rapid.

(Stage II) Wave Face.
The rate of increase of wave face, height of the wave face, and ultimately the peak of the wave are dictated by the cheer-leaders. The more abundant and more vehement the cheer-leaders then the greater the increase in the wave face, and also the greater the peak height attained. The length of time that this stage continues is directly proportional to the number of cheer-leaders multiplied by the rabidity of their nature. The beach is getting closer now, holiday makers wondering what the dark speck on the horizon is. The bathers are the silent majority (scum that they are) gawping with their mouths open at the force being unleashed before them and thundering closer every second, rising higher and higher above them resulting in several nervous soilings.

(Stage III) Wave Crest.
The foaming and broiling peak is becoming unstable, thrashing forward and thundering downwards into its climactic conclusion. Insults are being thrown back and forth between the instigator and the respondent with abandon, no longer worried about social niceties, willing to say whatever they can to tip the balance of the affray in their favour. At this phase the bathers on the beach are screaming and running for their lives in a futile scramble for safety. It is also at this point, and at this point only that a prodder can make themselves noticed as opposed to getting drowned in the rising face, and then only if they are well practiced and naturally skilled in the art.

(Stage IV) Wave Break.
The bathers are ripped and tattered by the surging force of the insults being parried, their own sensibilities left a quivering mass, littering the beach like discarded tampons in the surf. The argument has no more power, all ammunition used and smoking guns quenched by the receding water, the wreckage and bodies all that are left in its powerful path, cleansing, like a purifying rain on the foul streets running with raw sewage and other forms of unpleasant but easily rinsable waste.

(Stage V) Wave Dissipation.
The waters that were forced inland by the altercation dissipate, flowing into rivers, streams and returning to the sea, taking many of the bodies with it. This surge has power, but nowhere near as much as the previous stage, the Wave Break stage, the ability the wave had for levelling landscapes now neutered, only able to tug at the loose corpses rolling in the flowing water. The argument has reached a kind of stability, neither side a winner and the memory of the dispute leaving a permanent mistrust deeply seated in both parties, the occasional snipe being thrown back and forth but with much less vehemency than before.

All good things come to an end, and it is the same when it comes to Internet arguments. Once everything has been said, once slurs and slander have been bandied about from both camps and the wave has finally broken and dissipated then things can return to a state of normalcy, although naturally there are a few underlying tensions left as the argument has not and can not be won. Eventually the argument may be forgotten by most who took part, but it is indelibly imprinted as a record on the Internet for all our children, and our childrens' children to read. How proud they must be to know that their ancestors found it important to put into words that forum A was better than forum B, in fact stressing that forum B is shit and only occupied by imbeciles is sure to make them look back on us with fondness and respect.

Naturally arguments are dynamic creatures, evolving according to their content, although the average argument follows the pattern stated above with incredible accuracy. It should be noted that in the extremes there are some arguments that continue to escalate to the point of dead rats being sent to respondents and instigators, envelopes of anthrax, even human excrement arriving on the doorsteps of those involved. Deaths have not been recorded yet due to arguments begun on the Internet, but if the fourth class of arguers expand any further than they are already then we can only hope.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
An apple a day...

Dear Reader,
   If you find the pain and suffering caused by institutionalised torture perfectly acceptable (like in Iraq), if you find the idea of keeping people in a perpetual state of agony and misery is your moral high-ground, if your hate for your fellow man is so deep-seated that you would rather people died in agony-filled death-throes than live and let die then I urge you to read no further. If, on the other hand you believe that dignity is an arbitrary human right that should be afforded to all, and that nature's cruel fate need not condemn us all to the likely grisly end we all have coming then it is you to whom this letter is intended.
   You may already be familiar with Doctor Harold Fredrick Shipman, but if not here is some background. Harold Shipman was convicted of fifteen counts of murder at Preston Crown Court on the 31st of January, 2000, the victims all being patients of his before they died. What happened on that day was a travesty of our proud justice system, one that has convicted innocent and guilty alike over the years.
   In the court-case during that fateful January of 2000 the jury bowed to the greater knowledge of an expert witness in the form of a doctor, the first of many hypocrisies in the long drama at Preston. Doctor Shipman himself is a doctor, and as such he was an expert, but did the court recognise this fact? No. Many of the jurors have taken the advice of a doctor, yet when they heard that Harold Shipman was a doctor they took no heed of his defence testimony. A classic mistake made in many cases tried throughout the country.
   Doctor Shipman administered diamorphine to the fifteen people he was convicted of murdering, but he was not to know that he would be caught. The press called him a butcher, but consider this; they called Jack the Ripper a butcher. The people that he administered his special type of 'care' to were old anyway, and who's to say what kind of suffering they were about to undergo at the cruel hands of fate?
   No doubt there will be those out there who would complain about the alterations to certain wills naming Harold Fredrick Shipman as a beneficiary, but what would you pay to stop the agonies searing through your body in a couple of months time? As an N.H.S. doctor, Harold Shipman could not charge for his services at the time, but a bequest was allowed, and so his patients would surely be happy to part with this token if they were still alive today. On top of that, there are those that would pay a lot of money in cash for a syringe full of diamorphine, yet Harold was prepared to wait for months before getting paid for the healthy dose he administered to those fifteen patients as their estates lay in probate.
   How can we stand by and watch a respected doctor condemned for his knowledge, like a witch-hunt in Salem he was hounded and tied to the stake, the kindling already smouldering beneath his feet? Only if we are monsters could we allow this travesty of justice to go without comment, or donation. For your two pounds a month Doctor Shipman can end the potential suffering of half a dozen elderly men and women before it has even begun. For your two pounds a month Harold Shipman can buy a pint of beer, and enjoy it's nutty, full, and creamy flavour. Two pounds a month can help Doctor Shipman purchase more 'snout', syringes and beard-care products such as 'Just-For-Men Gel'.

You know you want to give generously.
Fellow doctor, Vic Jameson.

All donations can be sent to:
Doctor Harold Shipman,
Hospital Wing,
Frankland Prison,
County Durham.

Thursday, December 04, 2003
Shiny Happy People

They swarmed into Poland like George Bush on a mission. They occupied France like they were unwashed French peasants themselves. They bombed London in a way that would make the IRA proud. They even pioneered rocket technology in a bid to blow people up in more and more ingenious ways. Even with all of that said we must remember that the German army, under the Nazi party did some rather unpleasant things too. With so much muddy water under the bridge, a bridge blown up in order to stop the invasion of allied forces over the Rhine; it is not surprising that the German people have a less than positive image in certain European countries. Unfortunately Adolf Hitler made for a rather poor ambassador for Deutschland, and his undesirable facial-hair just made matters worse, along with film propaganda in the form of 'Allo 'Allo, created to make a mockery of the French Resistance movement.

Each country has its own stereotypical image of the Germans. In Britain they are seen as fat, bier-swilling, sausage-eating, lounger-stealing, unhumourous anal-retentives. In Italy they are seen as pompous, erectile dysfunction suffering, brash, coarse, obnoxious urine-drinkers. The Spanish go even further; they paint a picture of the average German as a Horse-headed, child-eating, tri-testicular, ample, glowing, homosexual, red balloon. Ultimately none of these stereotypes fit the image of the actual average German citizen, as thorough research by the Whitehall ministry for Germans has shown, and the idea that most Germans you will meet on the street are three bollocked, piss-swilling bummers is severely out of date, if indeed it had ever been true at all. On a side-note it is interesting to know that Spain has the highest clown to happiness ratio in the whole of the European Union.

The modern German man is quite different from his female counterpart in many ways, genitals being just one of the multitudes of variances. All men in Germany are DJs, spinning happy-hardcore tunes for the masses to take drugs to, and to explore the avenues of mental-state, swimming in their own artificially induced sea of self-pleasure. The Audi they own is regularly taken up to five hundred miles an hour on the autobahns, but only at the weekend. Every German woman is a porn star, paid through the nose for performing numerous and varied acts of sexual debauchery for the satisfaction of internet-users worldwide. All German women are called Steffen and specialise in scatological productions for underground video companies, occasionally crossing the threshold into what may be considered unpleasant viewing for the over-pious. Dungarees are the national dress and human-flesh is the most popular dish in the now proud Germany.

Clearly this shows that a reappraisal of our prejudices needs to occur to bring them in line with these new European standards, but the way in which this should be done is currently being debated in the European courts, with two major sides to the argument. One side claims that a leaflet campaign followed by heavy television advertising is the only way to get the message across, but there is an alternative view that is currently in the process of being initiated. The current plan for spreading the word about the German by the German people is an old idea known as Blitz-Krieg. No longer will they be considered a warring nation intent on nothing but total-domination, but a reasonable people prepared to stand up for their national identity, and don't you dare think that it's otherwise.

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