Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Selfie

Self-deprecation and I post the selfie with the comment:

"I look old..ha ha."

It's been 15 minutes and no one has left a comment telling me I don't look old. It's lucky this is not what I'm after. This is not why I posted this. 

I took that picture of myself looking like the kind of person who would have no reason or interest in taking a picture of myself. In that picture I look like someone who would never care what they look like, whilst at the same time, and by pure coincidence, look like someone who spends hours worrying what they look like. 

I may look old, but not as fucking old as the majority of people my age. 



Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Weymouth Oblong

An American fridge the colour of an old swan will stand solidly within the tiny waves of Weymouth Bay. Once it has been there for a couple of weeks it will disappear overnight.

Someone will write a letter to the Echo about it going - not out of concern - but as another opportunity to reference their disdain for the lasers.

Dear Dorset Evening Echo,

I notice there has been a great deal of discussion about the American fridge that appeared without explanation in Weymouth Bay, and its subsequent disappearance. For the record, I strongly take exception to certain people's insinuations that it was damaged or removed by paddlers. I can assure you as a paddler myself, we have no interest or capability of getting that far out, even in tennis shorts.

I cannot say that I am particularly bothered about its "removal", but I do at least give the fridge some credit for actually having physically existed, unlike certain multi-coloured lasers beams I could mention. Why the council continues to bombard a precious natural resource like the sea with what I consider, weapons, is beyond my comprehension.

Yours sincerely

Sebastian Binary
Name and address supplied.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Modern Computing and Chris Packham's Lounge


Before the internet came along, it was generally accepted that the only people who would use computers in their leisure time would be "enthusiasts". But with the dawn of computers doing interesting things like sending smileys, showing pictures of naked people (I remember having to look at wire-frame naked people back in the eighties, you had to use your imagination, it wasn't all done for you) and breaking news stories about cats, technology is no longer just the preserve of the ginger bearded. People who watch operas even have a twiddle. But these non-techy people wriggling their manicured toes in the pond of technology still seem to intuitively understand one important technological principle: computers are binary.

Trip Advisor demonstrates this well. As of 20/11/2014, not one single review, all of which use a scale of 1-5 stars to indicate your assessment of a service, has been assigned a score other than five or one stars. Every hotel and restaurant in the world is either embarrassingly perfect or embarrassingly embarrassing. People are either cock thrustingly enamoured with their pork chop or upset to the point where they push their plate aside, cut off their own penis and demand the chef cook it medium-rare as a replacement.

It's not just Trip Advisor that is blighted with this all or nothingness, the Daily Mail website article comments section has equal binary spiting. Except in the Daily Mail you only normally get one side of the argument and that side will invariably be the one that supports the supposition that, "everything is shit and it's foreign people's fault and if you don't think that you're part of the PC brigade". Brigades are very bad things to Daily Mail readers. It would though, take just one brave commenter to destroy the whole binary philosophy of micro-computing. Type, "I can see both sides of this story," hit "send" and we would have the next technological leap! Balanced computing.

This can't happen of course. Computing and that that sails on it are, and always will be, inherently binary. Anybody stupid enough post a comment suggesting that both sides of an argument could have merit would be castigated:

SteveFromLeeds - 1 hour ago
Maybe there's merit on both sides of the argument?

EnglandIsNotEnglishExPat - 1 hour ago
How can there be two sides to something? Only scitzo's think about two different things at once. Does SteveFromLeeds have kids, does the council know he's a scitzo?

NonPCWhiteGuy - 1 hour ago
I notice with interest that  SteveFromLeeds (if that is his real name), makes no mention of whether he's black, Asian or Chinese?.

The question of whether artificial intelligence could ever fully replace human intelligence is often talked about. Maybe this will happen not by computers thinking with nuance and consideration, but by humans continuing along the path of being definitely sure about everything, no matter how little they know about it. The average person has no more idea about whether there is too much immigration in the UK than what the colour of Chris Packham's living room walls are. In fact, if somebody asked me what the colour of Chris Packham's living room walls were, I would either tell them, "I don't know" or break into Chris Packham's house, I wouldn't just get angry and type in, "off-white".

Sunday, January 12, 2014

In a flap

Sometimes you need a flapjack. There is no metaphor here, because if there is one thing that cannot be used figuratively it is a flapjack. I'm not reporting something here, I am telling you that this is the way it must be. If you need to make an overarching point via the medium of analogy use football matches or a paperclip factory, or Belgium, leave the crazy fudged up oats alone.

Sometimes you need a flapjack. It was such a day today. The centre of Bristol has jettisoned its Chandos sandwich shop, has thrown the woman with the Salted Monks by the Watershed into mythological memories. You are a man surrounded only by pretzels. Only by pretzels. People really want to sell you pretzels. They carry plates of pretzels around offering you free sample after free sample after free sample. The world has produced too many pretzels and the pretzel foot soldiers are hungry for battle. In a few years they will be tired and disillusioned as happens in every war, but for now they only want your blood, they want it sucked out of you so they can force pretzel into its space. You will be a spongy pretzel filled doll, empty of your previous passion. Don't let them make YOU pay for their over enthusiastic knot-shaped dough baking.

I'm not saying I couldn't find a flapjack, that I couldn't have walked in to any newsagents and picked out some plastic covered dry shadow of flapjack. But we both know, me and you, that that can never be enough. That it can never feed that hunger without humiliating itself. It's Emmerdale not Coronation Street, it's Chevy Chase being filmed in the shadows of Apocalypse Now 2. I stand in the centre of Broadmead a camera sweeping around me as I turn violently searching for the smallest hint of quality flapjack aroma. The street preacher who has never had a whole sentence consumed by anyone ensures us that, ",HE will take away your sin," and I know now what I must do. I must leave this place and walk for 23 minutes to Cotham Hill, because the pretzels haven't got that far yet. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Post Office


I join a line. I’m a position. I’m near the back or I’m almost there. At one point I’m in the middle and I become absolutely nothing.

There’s a shout: “Turn”. We all jump 180 degrees to face in the opposite direction. Those that were at the front have to start all over again and those that are now at the front are experiencing something happening far too quickly.

“Counter number 5 please”

She asks me if she can help. It seems too little too late, but I don’t tell her that. In fact I fake enthusiasm while she hands me form after form after form.
I’ll come back later with them.

My dinner doesn't understand me


Many people have eaten pork. Some famous, some not so famous. It’s the non-famous pork eaters that are perhaps the most interesting. They don’t have the distractions of fame and fortune. Thus, eating pork becomes something akin to becoming married to a person or catching a train on your own for the first time.

Potatoes are always there of course. Lurking in the background with a flask of coffee and a copy of Metro. They’re content to play second fiddle to Mr Pork today, with the full knowledge that long after everyone has become tired with that attention seeking pig-death, they’ll be still being invited to the plate night after night to look after the children and produce “art” on an iPad.

To finish off there’s the green beans. Let’s all pretend we’re happy they’re there. Let’s in fact pay them extra attention: talk to them about their job. Discuss how motorways should be wider and longer and altogether more satisfying.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Egg

There's no particular point to it.

No point, just expect it to be there don’t you.

You expect it?

And it’s a disappointment if it’s not.

What every time you see a bald person you’re disappointed that they have no hair?

I am.

But what happens if it’s the same person you see again and again, are you disappointed each time?

I am.

So if you meet someone, and they have no hair on a Wednesday, and you see them again on the Thursday, you are again disappointed on the Thursday?

I am.

Surely your expectation at the second meeting is that they would continue to have no hair and because of that logic it can’t be a disappointment?

It can be.

How?

It’s hard to explain things to people who aren't born to listen. 

Are they supposed to buy a wig before they see you the second time?

If they want. It’s their head.

I think the act of buying a wig is disappointing.

Well, it’s a matter of self-respect.

Wearing a rig demonstrates self-respect.

Wig not rig.

That's what I said and you know it. You think wearing a wig demonstrates self-respect?

It shows you realise there’s a problem.

I don’t think it is a problem.

Well you wouldn’t would you. What with what you get up to.







Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Closing Ceremony

The stadium lights shimmer against the ornate curved edges of a national treasure’s bosom. She stands proudly in front of the fake London Eye and rests lightly against her lectern.

Hugh Edwards steadies his eager Welshness and whispers with hushed authority into his commentator’s microphone: “Katie Price”.

“The author”, Trevor Nelson adds as if we need introduction.

“Bambie’s hair extensions were beginning to need attention…”

Price has started. Her authoritive reading casting an audience of 80,000 spellbound. She reads on for five minutes from Angel Uncovered – her third and my favourite of her novels. The camera pans slowly around the excited crowd, many of whom mouth along the familiar prose as Katie reads.

Controversially she chooses to next read an extract from her new novel Literally Naked Ambition. A decision that draws Hugh Edwards to admit he is a little surprised.

But whilst some of the crowd would have rather have heard more from the classic material, the goodwill won by the greatest athletes on this planet, papers over any tiny little cracks.











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