Monday, October 31, 2005

Runny noses; sunken cheeks

Amphetamine usage is a double edged sword. Sex when intoxicated is greatly enhanced by the limitless stamina and desire that speed produces. A man can virtually go all night before hitting the big 'O'. Unfortunately with heavy and prolonged use the exact opposite can transpire during chemical free sexual interactions - premature ejaculation. Just writing those two words makes me shudder.

Of course, this is not really a problem of great consequence for me in light of the fact that it's been nearly a year since the last time I was with a girl. But, a couple of my friends have freely admitted to snorting a pre-date, midweek line or two in order to provide insurance against sexual disaster, should they get lucky.

Now that is just fucked up.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Happy Fitzmas!

I love the smell of indictments in the morning. Now, finally, the Republican deceit begins to be exposed.

The significance of I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby’s indictment goes far beyond the already serious implications of a regime willing to breach national security. Questions will now be asked. Why were the Republicans so desperate to ’out’ someone that contradicted them on their evidence of WMD in Iraq? Surely if the evidence was compelling any dissent would be refuted by its certainty. This goes far beyond retribution and the vindictive nature of conservative politics. This goes straight to the heart of the monumental blunder that was the invasion of Iraq.

I predict that this is just the beginning. Karl Rove is in continuing legal jeopardy. There are some serious questions facing Dick Cheney. The president is looking like a ventriloquist’s puppet minus the guiding hands. With the Republican party showing all the symptoms of a dying beast, I think that we're going to see the light of truth shone upon the bleached bones of further skeletons residing in the dark, dark recesses of the Republican closet.

And what an amazing character Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be. There was no grandstanding, no hyperbole; he conducted himself throughout his investigation with dignity and intelligence. He evokes images analogous to Atticus Finch.

A happy Fitzmas to all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Politics, Pundit style

If you get the chance to click the link you should read this fantastic bit of political illumination by the Rude Pundit. His post concerns the by now much covered case of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. I was particularly tickled by his likening of the Bush regime to a speeding driver:

"Let's say you're drivin' along the highways and byways of America, big fuckin' America, with its wide fuckin' roads, and everyone on the interstate is goin' ten, twenty miles an hour over the speed limit. So, shit, why not, you do it, too. Then you see the highway patrol car two seconds too late, and you are nailed, say, doin' 85 in a 65. Speedin' ain't the worse thing you can do when you're drivin'. Drunk drivin', runnin' a stop sign, there's lots of shit that's worse. But the trooper pulled your ass over for speedin'."

You see team Bush is now going to attempt to sell the story that 'everybody does the political dodgy dance, ergo why shouldn't we?' Uh, well, just like when you get caught driving at 100kph in an 80 zone only to discover that you're still guilty even if all the other drivers around you are speeding as well, you will probably find that you’re still guilty of criminal politics even if you think it’s all been done before.

But the Pundit's fantastic metaphors don't stop there. What happens if the heat, upon booking you, wants to check the boot of your car?

"Now, let's say you've got a dead hobo stuffed with baggies of heroin stashed in your trunk. And the cop wants you to step out so he can search the vehicle. First of all, you have learned a valuable lesson: if you've got a hobo corpse stashed in the trunk, do not speed. But now you've only got a couple of choices left to you: you can try to whack the cop or you can run. But either way, at this point, you are fucked. Once the trunk is popped and the stench of rotting hobo hits the cop before the visual, you are finished. And, really, there's no one to blame but your hobo-killin'-drug-transportin' ass that just had to fuckin' speed once too often."

Who knows, maybe whilst checking that boot, our friendly constable will find, oh, I don't know, a body bloated with the stench of lies, deceit and treachery perpetrated in order to construct an unneeded, destructive war based on greed and bigotry?

But even if you don’t like all the noisy politics; even if you think old Don should quit yammering on about these events which he knows nothing about; hell, even if you’re a conservative and think that George Bush is the savior of all creation you should still go over and check out the Rude Pundit. He is one of the most entertaining reads out in Blogdom.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The STAT exam

I sat the STAT exam Saturday morning. Aside from a few pre-exam nerves things seemed to go reasonably smoothly. I completed all the questions in the time allotted, and I felt fairly comfortable with the answers that I chose. Some last minute heart palpitations arose when I checked over the test and realized that I'd miscalculated a few of the graph questions, however I took to them with an eraser, like a bar-fly to a bowl of complimentary peanuts, and with much muttering, cursing, foot tapping and chin scratching I rooted out the offending errors one by one. There is, however, the distinct possibility that I changed perfectly good answers into completely incorrect ones, but there is no point thinking about that now.

For a bit of background on the STAT (the acronym actually stands for special tertiary admissions test), it is a test designed to allow adults with a desire to return to university a chance to prove their intellect by answering questions in a multiple choice format. In all there are seventy questions and punters are allowed 2 hours in which to complete them. Most people would probably think: Seventy multiple choice questions, that can't be hard, right? Not so, unfortunately. A single question on the STAT can contain three pages of graphs, written information, tables and codes. As you can appreciate, time is of the essence when you have to read, comprehend, and respond to three pages of jargon in order to answer just one question. About five thousand people shuffled into the hall at the Caulfield racecourse on Saturday to tackle the dreaded STAT; about twenty minutes into it approximately half that number had left in defeat.

There are two components of the STAT, these are quantitative (math) and verbal (English). Fortunately, I chanced upon a great preparation course which I've been enrolled in over the last six weeks. The prep course can't really make you any smarter, but it does give you an idea of the minefield you're going to walk into. It was also good in that it was held at the university that I've applied for next year, allowing me a chance to check out the facilities and suss out the campus lifestyle. I love the look of the place. It is surrounded by lakes and gardens and I can picture myself sitting on its expansive green lawns, musing over the day's lessons. It will be refreshing to think, really think, for the first time in years. Breaking free of the nullifying effects of corporate drudgedom should prove to be a breath of fresh air. But for the time being these are just dreams and I'm getting a long way ahead of myself.

I'll get my results mid November.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Fuckhead

I just re-read my last post. In it I used the term 'two twins', which is a tautology.

I just made it onto my Friday Fuckhead list for the 2nd time.

And today in sport...

Channel 10 news just reported that birds imported over here from Canada have tested positive to the avian flu virus.

I wonder if this is the result of a vendetta secretly held by one of my Canadian blogging contemporaries?

In other news, I've taken the day off work to study. I've completed one practice exam so far and I plan to do two more this evening. I got 99% on the one that I did today; hopefully a positive sign that I won't screw up tomorrow.

Thinking about doing the real thing tomorrow makes my palms sweat and my head itch.

Thanks Sam, Livi and 'anonymous' for the good luck wishes.

Oh, and I can't help liking that cheesy pop song by those two twins; the one that goes something like: 'Come on baby we ain't gonna live forever. Let me show you all the things that we could do. You know you wanna be together. And I wanna spend the night with you.'

I hate myself so much for liking it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Exam countdown

3 Days to go.

I'm getting nervous.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Rain (or how a pure liquid becomes a stagnant pool)

I'm continually frustrated by my inability to produce anything of worth. I have ideas that I think are worthwhile; my mind even sometimes journeys to a plain that I find impressive. But, when it comes to articulating those ideas I'm encumbered by a horribly under-fed education, a lack of time for contemplation and, let's face it, a lack of talent.

Picture, if you will, a massive funnel. Its wide open mouth is looking heavenward, gazing towards the blue skies of knowledge. At the bottom of the funnel is a tiny, almost nonexistent hole. As the skies give way to the dark thunder heads of stormy fact, a deluge of enlightenment rains down. The open mouth of the funnel, which is my mind, manages to catch a significant portion of the deluge: philosophies, theories; the liquid drops of thought. Unfortunately the funnel's thirst far exceeds its capacity to ingest - the water is unable to pass through its narrow throat.

A frustratingly small drizzle of thought manages to get through, and ends up as the petty meanderings that make it into this diary.

What then of the slowly filling funnel? What if its contents spill? Madness?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Fuckhead

WASHINGTON. During a press conference on Thursday Whitehouse spokesman Scott McClellan was called to answer questions on a recent Q&A session that the president held with some troops currently serving in Iraq:

'QUESTION: How were they selected, and are their comments to the president pre-screened, any questions or anything...


QUESTION: Not at all?

MCCLELLAN: This is a back-and-forth.'

The day after McClellan's denial, video footage, appearing to show US troops being prepped for an interview with the president, came to light. This reveals McClellan's earlier claims that the troops weren't replying with scripted answers to be completely fraudulent.

There should be legislation in place that makes it a criminal act for any public official to make a statement that they know to be patently false or misleading. Obviously national security concerns would be an exception, but this was a propaganda stunt to boost the president's flagging popularity (recent polls show the president's approval rates at 29%).

Scott McLellan - Friday Fuckhead? You betchya!

Quotes from Talking points memo

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Some sage words

'But the leaders of the free world
Are just little boys throwing stones
And it's easy to ignore
Till they're knocking on the door of your homes'

Elbow - 2005

Chasing down the Don

For years there has been much speculation as to whether Don Quixote is fact or fiction; myth or reality. There have been sightings, but so far there has been no hard evidence. Last night I received these pictures which I'm submitting as further proof in the hunt for the real Don Quixote.

Photo 1: This appears to be the tattooed shoulder of the mythical Don.

Photo 2: Apparently the Quixote creates a lair which is made from a wall of books and CDs. This photo, taken in the very burrow of the beast, appears to reveal a CD stand: damning evidence of his existence.

Photo 3: The Don is known to roam the underworld with a ferocious lackey. This fearful picture appears to show just such a ferocious fiend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Resolution #45

Purpose: to eschew my capitalist, consumer heritage.

Method: I'm vowing henceforth never to buy food from a fast food chain again. Additionally, I'm going to avoid buying retail clothing. It will be all vintage threads for me.

Why #45: because the number 45 sounds official and important. The number 45 makes it sound as if a lot of weighty resolutions have gone before it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Piercing the illusion

Your body can sense many things in the external world of illusion. Your nose can smell the pungent body odor of your neighbor on the train, your eyes can discern the sparkle of a gem, your fingers can slide along the soft tickle of silk and your ears can tune in to the rocking sounds of Bloc Party. Yep, there are a million senses out there for the human vessel to extract from the world. I'm proposing that the thoughts and emotions that we feel are, in fact, senses as well.

What do we know for certain about the senses that we perceive? Well, for one, we know that we're not part of those senses. If we can feel that silk or if the sound of music can inspire us to picture ourselves in the shower as the lead singer of a rock band (yes, I do this when listening to music as I'm lathering up) we know that we're not part of that sense that we're observing. If you look upon the Mona Lisa you know that you aren't the Mona Lisa. If this holds, as I think it does, for thoughts and emotions, what then are the implications? Perhaps we aren't our emotions or our thoughts either. Perhaps there is something more. Maybe such an insight is something that will allow a person to transcend mundane concerns. I think that we are not that which we can observe and by definition we can look upon our hurt, our pain and our misfortune as distant objects, and in so doing they cease to be meaningful to us.

Is this a soul that I'm talking about? No, not necessarily. I'm not attempting to conjure a Christian construct. What I'm talking about is an immovable, indomitable, impassive recourse towards reason. What I know is that I've plunged the depths, I've crept into some truly dark places; I have, in fact, found my own version of hell in this world. But every time I find myself lost in the hellish chasm of my inner demons, when I find myself lost in the forest and the wolves are closing in, each and every time this happens I manage to rise again, and every time I'm slightly more tempered by what I've experienced. In some sense feeling pain, becoming one with misery, exploring the darkness itself shows me that there is something within that can't be touched. My psyche can be stained, my mind blackened by thoughts of desolation, but there is something in me that remains, and will remain, unspoiled.

I don't know what all this means as yet. Perhaps it's just the product of a weekend spent in relaxation, starkly contrasted against the drug fuelled madness that is the norm. Either way it's kind of fun to be thinking clearly.

And the thought floats away

I always think of my blog entries when I'm away from a computer. Sometimes, when I have access to the materials, I'll write them down. A case in point was today: walking on my way to work, enjoying the sunlight, I had an epiphany that I wanted to capture. But, upon arrival to work this morning I got caught up in the mundane hustle and bustle of the office grind, and my idea, like an embattled ship getting smashed this way and that by the turbulent tides of an ocean storm, was lost, sunk, never again to resurface.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday Fuckhead

The other day Melbourne water police discovered the floating body of a dolphin at Eastern Beach, Geelong. Autopsy later revealed that the dolphin had been stabbed to death. This has not been the first such slaying; over the last couple of years several dolphins have been shot, stabbed and speared to death for no apparent reason.

Such a magnificent creature, gentle in its dealings with humans and undoubtedly intelligent: murdered. Nothing should really shock or upset me anymore, but this certainly did.

Give me five minutes alone in a locked room with whoever did this. Five minutes, and I'd help them to understand the error of their ways.

Whoever did this is today's Friday fuckhead.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The mating dance of Don Quixote

In the twilight of summer, with the Winter's skeletal hand knocking upon the door, the pungent odor of sex floods out into the world of insects and somewhere, amongst the leaves, amongst the cooling nighttime foliage of a dying season, the male mantis raises its head with interest. Stalking with alien, spasmodic movements, the mantis sets out in search of the irresistible aroma of Venus. Emerging from the vegetation, his member gorged with green mantis blood, he sees her. Casting a magnificent figure in the ghostly moonlight, the female mantis perches upon a branch. At the sight of her the male begins to rock his head side to side in gleeful anticipation of the sexual feast (little does he know!) that is soon to come.

What follows is an intricate dance, with much fluctuation of antennae, and followed by the male's slow deliberate approach towards the object of his desire. For her part, the female is largely docile waiting, no doubt, with the bemused thought that females of all the species have had over millennia: quit the act, and show me what you've got! The male, being a male, is completely oblivious to the thoughts of his lady friend. He continues his macho display flexing his abdomen and posturing wildly. Eventually mutual rubbing of antennae occurs until the female, slick and wet with lust, strikes a beckoning pose and the male seizes the opportunity by mounting her and plunging his serrated joystick into mantis heaven.

Without even the opportunity to finish the act, without, even, the experience of smoking a cigarette to accompany post coital bliss, the male mantis will die. In a bizarre and cruel irony it is necessary for the female mantis to decapitate the male in order to induce ejaculation. The male will literally 'lose his head' in the course of his amorous adventures. Often the female will cannibalize the corpse of her unfortunate partner as her lover's body provides a great source of nutrition for her, now pregnant, body.

It sucks to be a male mantis.

In the club, a coked-up muscle boy struts in a hilarious bulging bronzed mating dance. He has scented the sweet smell of womanhood. As the music thumps he'll flex and pose as if through his amphetamine haze he's picturing himself, waxed and oiled, competing in a bodybuilding contest in Zurich. Bounce, bounce, bounce; first left peck, then right peck will expand then deflate. As he pouts, frowns and tries to look as serious as a funeral for a friend the plight of the mantis starts to seem rosy.

The fluorescent pink bum-bag upon his waist is the tragicomic icing on this anabolic (beef)cake.

The female punter on the other hand seems to judge this behavior with the same cool insight as her mantis counterpart. Sure, she’ll shake her booty to arouse the male, but she will, at least for the most part, maintain a sense of calm control in the face of this sweaty vulgar display. Fortunately for the male of this species the female has no desire to snack upon his brains. Climax will more likely be reached with Viagra than with the plunging of mandible into grey matter…

Where am I heading with this?

I've made a startling and slightly embarrassing self observation. When I'm catching the train or tram, when I'm sitting in a coffee shop or enjoying a few rays in the park, I'm almost invariably reading a book. It is inevitable that at some stage I'll smell the pleasant chemical scent of hairspray, or perhaps the breeze will carry in it a hint of perfume, its sweet gift tickling my nose with nostalgic reminiscences of lovers long gone. And if it isn't a smell, perhaps I'll see a flash of skin, a nicely formed behind or the shiny luster of auburn hair. What I'm trying to say is that -just like the ill-fated mantis or the misguided would-be-Spartan - I notice girls. I notice them in all their glory and I love them in all shapes and sizes. I'm subject to the same animal instinct as our muscle bound friend. The mantis’s susceptibility to the dangerous charms of his mate's pheromones is not only his burden to bare.

This, however, is not my humiliating observation. I feel no shame in acknowledging that 'da booty' gets me going like every other man out there. No, what I realized today is that I must exhibit some sort of courtship ritual myself. As the mantis jiggles from side to side, as the hulk wobbles his pectorals to the beat of the music, so, too, must I do something, however unintentional, to show off my sexual receptivity. This is where the embarrassment comes into play, for today I discovered my own little dance - a dance I'd wager I've been tapping out for a long time.

Remember when I said that I'm almost always reading a book on the train? Well, today a stunning girl boarded on my journey into the city. She was dressed in those retro thrift store clothes that I love so much. She exuded funk. With jet black hair, and eyes the deep blue of Scottish lakes, she was sent to me by some time machine straight from my teenage wet dreams. Never wanting to make a girl uncomfortable, I'm a very careful observer of the opposite sex. I'll only steal furtive glances at a girl, and only then if I know that she isn't aware that I'm doing so. It is when their attention is focused my way that my personal dance is revealed, and I know this because today when the raven-haired beauty glanced my way I caught myself as I raised my arms slightly, flexed my hands at the wrist, all so she could see... the title of my book! It would appear that I've somehow developed the notion that women will be attracted to me on the basis of prose. The Gulag Archipelago is my insect jitter; Kafka is my pelvic thrust; Oscar Wilde is my form of flexing and posing. The realization came to my attention this morning, but it didn't come alone. As knowledge of my personal courtship ritual dawned upon me the awareness that I'm a very strange man crept in as well.