Ever wonder why BA students get paid out by everyone else?

May 27, 2005
I present the latest research project being undertaken by the University of Queensland’s Centre for the History of European Discourses:

The Anal Imagination: Psychoanalysis, Capitalism and Excretion, By Dr Alison Moore.

I kid you not.

Some quotes from the abstract

…the acrobatic farting routine of Joseph Pujol at the Moulin Rouge in 1890s provoked a nervous laughter of a kind altogether unique to late modern capitalism…

…In the time span from the music of Mozart played in the courts of Europe to the melodious virtuosity of the Pétomane, something had changed in what the anus was understood to symbolise…

…The Anal Imagination examines Freud’s vision of anality as the key to money-orientated bourgeois class identification, in light of a broader history of excretion and consumption in nineteenth-century Europe…

…The Anal Imagination proposes that the bANALlity with which the subjects of excrement and chocolate history are often approached is itself indicative of a nervous avoidance that is testimony to the psychoANALytic metaphors presented in this book.

I did not change the capitalisation. ^

I would be interested in finding out how big her research grant was.

But hey, at least she has a sense of humour.

Have a nice day.


Star Wars and politics: Get over it

May 23, 2005

And while I’m still in the bitching mode, it seems that some people in the States are getting quite worked up over the anti Bush innuendos of Episode III, especially regarding Anakin Skywalker’s warning to Obi-Wan that ‘if you’re not with me, you’re my enemy’, a reference to Bush’s ‘either with us or with the terrorists’ line. Two points:

  1. Personally, I found that Episode III has more parallels with the rise of Hitler than Bush. There were Stormtroopers in both cases too 😉
  2. Does this mean we get to have lightsabers?

People should get over it. It’s a movie. A visual spectacle. Don’t let politics get in the way of having a good time. Have a nice day.

Schapelle Corby

May 23, 2005

Her teary face has been on television almost every night for months as she awaits the judge’s verdict. Prime Minister John Howard has said that he ‘feels for the girl’. Channel 9 even had a ‘Chapelle Corby Special’ on Wednesday night, in which viewers were able to vote on whether they though she was guilty or not; even though most voters have no access to evidence, witnesses, or even a basic understanding of the law. Not only was this a disgusting display of exploitation for commercial gain, it trivialised a serious situation where an Australian citizen faces life in prison. Even Russell Crowe weighed into the debate, asking John Howard ‘what if it was your daughter?’

Why? Why has this 27 year old Gold Coast former beauty student suddenly caught the hearts and minds of the Australian public? Why won’t Channel 9 ever do a ‘special’ on the Bali 9? Why didn’t John Howard ‘feel sorry’ for David Hicks? (Ok, because he’s a Jew-hating Jihadist wanker, but still)

The answer’s simple. Ms Corby is young, pretty, and a cry baby. Australians see her as the underdog, fighting against what is perceived as the corrupt Indonesian courts, in what the media plays out as the ultimate David and Goliath struggle. People don’t care about the facts. People are drawn in by emotions; the pictures of Ms Corby crying in court, pleading to the judges to be set free.

She was found with 4kgs of marijuana in her bag. This will land her in court in any country, not just Indonesia. Yet the media seem intent on portraying the Indonesian courts as corrupt and trapped in the Middle Ages; one where you are guilty until proven innocent. From my limited legal knowledge, the Corby trial seems very open and fair. In Australia, a similar case will be heard in the Magistrate’s court, where the verdict and sentencing will often be decided by one judge and no jury, whereas Ms Corby’s trial involves three judges, none of which have ever been accused of corruption. The evidence given by John Ford, the Victorian prisoner who overheard a conversation in prison, would be considered hearsay and inadmissible in an Australian court, yet he was allowed his time on the bench during Ms Corby’s trial.

Australian citizen Nguyen Tuong Van is awaiting execution in Singapore for drug possession. Rachel Diaz and Chris Vo are both awaiting trial in Hong Kong for trafficking. Where are the nightly news reports about them? Is it because they’re not white? The media and the general public should leave Ms Corby’s trial alone, and let the court take its course of action. Because unlike Big Brother, the court’s verdict is based on facts, not public opinion.

Find answers, I must

May 17, 2005

‘Lord Vader?’ ‘Yes Master?’ ‘Rise.’

As I’m writing this, millions are queuing outside local cinemas around the world, to catch the final installment of the Star Wars Saga. In a rare occurrence for the prequels, reviews have generally favourable too. I’m excited. But after recently watching the original trilogy again, plus Episodes I and II on the weekend, there are a few plot points I hope Mr Lucas will clear up in Episode III. If anyone out there can enlighten me on any of these, please do not hesitate. It’s keeping me up at night.

  1. What exactly happens to Jedis when they die? Why do some vanish, while others’ bodies remain? During the battle on Geonosis, there were several dead Jedi bodies lying on the ground after being struck. There was even a shot of Obi-Wan checking the pulse of one of the fallen. Qui-Gon Jin didn’t vanish when he was killed be Darth Maul, and was cremated; as was Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in Episode VI. Yet, when Obi-Wan was struck down by Vader in Episode IV, he vanished, as did Yoda when he died.
  2. Who exactly was Obi-Wan’s master? In Episode V, while unconscious in the ice cave on Hoth, Luke hears Obi-Wan’s voice telling him to seek out Yoda, the Jedi who trained him. Yet Obi-Wan was obviously Qui-Gon Jin’s apprentice.
  3. Does Anakin Skywalker have a father? We first hear that he didn’t have a father; that the midi-chlorians created him. But in Episode II, Anakin bitterly described the way he was being treated by Obi-Wan as ‘He’s just like my father’.
  4. Princess Leia and the force. Darth Vader described Luke as a disturbance in the force’. Given that Leia is Luke’s sister, why wasn’t Vader able to sense a strong force from her after she was captured and tortured?
  5. R2D2 and C3PO: How come neither of them recognised Tatooine when their escape pod crashed there? R2 first visited Tatooine on Queen Amidala’s ship, while C3PO was created there. Both of them would also surely know who Luke’s real father is. Do they have their memories erased somewhere between Episodes III and IV? Even so, why didn’t Luke’s uncle and aunt recognise C3PO after purchasing them from the Jawa traders? C3PO was working for them after Anakin’s mother was sold to Lars Owen.

That’s it for now. I feel like a such a Star Wars nerd. Actually, a Star Wars nerd wannabe; because I wouldn’t have to ask these questions if I was a true Star Wars nerd. Have a nice day. May 19 5:00pm Update: Just got home after seeing Revenge of the Sith. I can say that only question 5 was partially answered. Oh, and how was the movie? Three words: Fan-fucking-tastic.

What is emo?

May 15, 2005

The term itself comes from ’emotional’, and more specifically, ’emocore’ (emotional hardcore) music. While originally referring to hardcore punk rock; this definition is somewhat hazy as bands such as Jimmy Eat World and Linkin Park have been labeled ’emo’. Indeed, most music out there is ’emotional’. Even that song where the singer apparently enjoys a night consisting of ‘bouncing in da clubs with the bitches and hos and then busting caps into yo ass yo nigga z yo mama’ may somewhat be considered emotional.

However the emo subculture, a recent phenomenon, is easy to describe. We’ve all seen emos around. Some of us may even have an emo friend or family member. They’re the angst-driven teenagers with their dyed-black hair and black glasses. They complain about the lack of understanding and listen to bands who no one’s heard of. Emos are an offshoot of the 1970s punk movement similar in their rejection of conformity (the obvious irony to this is lost on most emos, and punks for that matter) and the seeking of attention. They differ from punks in that emos are generally more interested the issues and problems they face themselves, rather than those of society. Punks once complained about the oppression of lower classes; whereas emos are more interested in writing poetry on suicide.

There are several telltale signs that someone is emo.

  1. No sense of shame. This is the single most important aspect of an emo’s character. Emos will get looks from people as they walk down the streets. Indeed, attention seeking often is the reason one decides to take up the way of the emo.

  2. Self control. Emos never smile. Especially not in public, where people might think they’re (gasp) happy. Times of happiness are often spent alone (which will be most of the time). When these times come, they would let out just a brief smile, take a deep breath, and then sniff some onions in order to get their eyes watery (it’s a nice effect).

  3. Fashion sense. Emos often wear tight fitting fitting jeans and t-shirts. Shorts reveal too much leg which, in turn, may show some character. T-shirts must be one emblazoned with some weird statement like ‘kittens cry when doves fly’. Since an emo cannot show emotion in public, the hair must reflect this. It must follow a trend, but not look as if it is. Therefore, it is dyed all black, and must at least one eye covered by it (to shield from the cruel, cruel world). The key is to remain obscure when really secretly hoping to be noticed by everyone.

  4. Communication. During a conversation, an emo will often quote song lyrics, which may of may not have anything to do with the topic of conversation. Example,

      Me: ‘How you doing?’ Emo: ‘I don’t know, life really sucks. Sometimes I wonder if I should slit my wrists. Not like anyone would miss me anyway. Me: ‘Life sucks yeah?’ Emo: ‘Don’t let anyone change, I know life hurts, But you’ll make it there somehow…’

  1. Guitar. Emos always have guitars, regardless of whether or not they know how to play. It must only be an acoustic guitar, as electric ones are too happy sounding. Bass guitars, while low sounding and symbolic of the depths of their souls, are not quite artistic enough.

  2. The journal. An emo’s journal is their lifeblood. It is carried everywhere to write lyrics when the inspiration of how much life sucks strikes. There are a few rules though: all rules of diction, tone, pattern, and style are ignored; and subject matter is limited to three things: how dark the world is, how heart broken they are, and a combination of both. The emergence of weblogs has only encouraged this.

  3. Music. Lastly, an emo’s taste in music is not related to how good the music is, but rather the popularity of the band. An emo will only listen to bands that are unknown. Once they have been discovered, or can afford to use a recording studio, they have ‘sold out’. Emos will also often start bands, whose name is usually three words long and start with a ‘The’. Words like ‘theory’, ‘project’, and some type of ‘Day’ are common.

And no, I am not emo. Can’t you understand that? No one understands. I don’t even know if people read this. Because no one cares. I feel like I’m drowning. Now where did I put that Dashboard Confessional CD…

Have a nice day.

The Meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything

May 6, 2005

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (great movie, may need a few viewings to make complete sense) a race of pan-dimensional hyper intelligent beings disguised as mice construct a supercomputer, Deep Thought, to calculate the answer to the Ultimate Question. After seven and a half million years of pondering, Deep Thought provides the answer: “42?.

Super intelligent being: “Forty-two!? Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million year’s work!??

Deep Thought: “I checked it very thoroughly and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem is that you’ve never actually know what the question is.?

A more powerful supercomputer, Earth, was then constructed to find the ultimate question, but the computer, mistaken for a planet, was destroyed by the Vorgons to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

But anyway, after scouring the net, ’42’ may not be that ill-contrived after all:

  • If you flip 42, you get something which resembles ‘2b’. So the meaning of life is ‘to be’
  • There are 42 letters in ‘answer to life the universe and everything’, including spaces
  • Google says so
  • There are 42 Laws of Cricket
  • 42 is 101010 in binary which is the * (asterix) as an ASCII character. In pattern-matching * is often used as a “wildcard” symbol that matches any string. This is ironic, since 42 is the answer to “life, the universe and everything
  • ‘Four’ and ‘Two’. Fortuitous?
  • Jesus was the 42nd generation from God’s convenant with Abraham
  • There were 42 little flag-shaped windows in the original Microsoft Windows Logo
  • Elvis died aged 42
  • There are 42 known Mersenne prime numbers
  • If you add up the numbers on a dice (1+2+3+4+5+6), you get 21. With two dice, you would get 42. That is, ‘two dice’ = ‘to die’
  • Two dice is a ‘pair of dice’ = ‘paradise’
  • It’s possible that Deep Thought made an error in his calculations, and the real answer is 43 which in hexadecimal is expressed as ‘2B’

Coincidence? Most likely. But still, what a good way to kill some time!

Some sources: Deep Thought, Wikipedia, BBC Guide: The Ultimate Answer

Have a nice day

One more on VSU

May 2, 2005

Shadow Education Minister Jenny Macklin: “Students could simply not afford to pay for services such as child care, health care, food, entertainment, sporting clubs, accommodation advice and counselling, which were subsidised from union fees…” Translation: “We should force students to pay for serivces, because they simply could not afford to.” Idiot.