Replicas / Metamatic pastiche

Wobbling through life... as you do.

Get pissed, have a laugh, sod the clique.

Pac-man - a timeless morality play.
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
Pac-man was not the first non-shooting video game (that accolade goes to Pong, as all true aficionados of the genre know). It is, however, the first video game with a philosophy and a moral.

When you play Pac-Man, you eat small, digital dots and are persecuted by four ghosts - Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. Why do the ghosts chase you, though? They do not chase one another.

The chase you because you're different to them... You're a Pac-Man - the only Pac-Man. And they are all ghosts, picking on the different one. And that's not all. If you notice the way the game plays, the ghosts do not chase you independantly. They actually gang up on you, and corner you in the maze, like school bullies cornering an unpopular child.

Pac-Man, however, can turn the tables on these evil fascist zombies - he can take a Power Pill and eat them all up. And upon taking the Power Pill, there are two ways one can approach the effects: One can use them as an opportunity to consume dots without being hassled by the ghosts - who become frightened and run away from you - or you can seek revenge, and actually chase them down and eat them, upon which you are awarded a few hundred points, more points for the more ghosts you eat up.

But there's a twist. If you chase the ghosts for too long, the begin to flash. If you continue to chase them, they turn back into ghosts - and if you catch a flashing ghost at just the wrong moment, it destroys you and ends one of your lives. And when you do catch the ghosts, what happens to them? They turn into disembodied eyes which fly back to their base and are reincarnated - as non-frightened, very angry ghosts who go right back to chasing and killing you. The hunted becomes the hunter once more. And your own lust for vengance has only sped up the process, and made things worse. Just like in [insert troubled nation here].

And that's the truth about Pac-Man - it is a moral game which demonstrates the evils of prejudice and the futility of revenge.

And also the evils of drugs. Seriously, Pac-Man, you've got a problem.

EDIT: For an alternative explanation, which even has it's own t-shirt...

It's not just a scam... it's an M&S scam!
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
If Marks and Spencers or Harrods or any other top department store made a scam, it would be virtual currency. It has no intrinsic or traditional value, is backed by no government and creating units of it actually destroys value (in the form of computer time and electricity)

It's inconvenient to the user as it takes hours on end to get started - and the "exchange rate" with real money fluctuates violently as the only way it can appreciate in "value" is when used by speculators to create a financial bubble, making it completely useless to buy and sell things - for instance the "value" of Litecoin a few months ago was 16 cents. Today I am informed it is $25. Also I read that it takes several minutes for transactions to be processed and of course, there's always the Prisoners' Dillemma, which Paypal solves by guaranteeing some transactions and forcing you to use your real ID, so that fraudsters can be traced.

That said, it probably has a little way to go before it collapses completely. So probably it is still possible get rich quick - but not for long.

Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
So Pride was interesting. For years, I have been foiled by events ranging from rain to capitalists to opportunistic xenophobes - and it's finally my time to shine. So why was it so underwhelming?

On the one hand I can totally see the point and it's a really really good and positive thing, on the other hand, apart from sleeping with members of the same sex, I just plain didn't have that much in common with most of the people there - it was a bit like marching with all the other tall guys in town, or all the people who have brown hair.

Of course, no-one ever got persecuted or murdered on account of hair colour, but I did feel like a bit of an exhibitionist at times. I had this very bad home made cardboard sign that said "BI PRIDE" and I thought "What am I, bragging?" On reflection though, I suppose Pride is about being out of the closet, and I was there for all the people who are in the closet right now. And that's a good and worthwhile thing to do.

I got stuck behind the militant activist bloc as well which really irritated me, as all I wanted to do was have a laugh and hang out and maybe meet men, and all they wanted to do was rant and rave about Russia and unfair immigration laws and stuff. Which is totally what it's all about of course - they just seemed like people who could never, ever relax and taste the ice cream, enjoy the fact that we were mainstream now and have won the argument. I suppose that's a good thing, eternal vigilance being the price of freedom and all that - but I don't see anyone being upset about how massively commercialized the whole thing has become -to the point where one year, they actually charged admission!

There's also this really annoying assumption in the gay culture that you have to look and behave in a certain camp way, which I personally find really offensive and annoying.

You might not know this, but to be gay, it isn't enough to be sexually attracted to members of the same gender. You also have to have an outgoing personality, have to be sexually aggressive (T-shirt of the day: "Some men have cunts. Get over it!"), you have to be either very effeminate or very masculine, and you absolutely must cling to poor taste in clothes and music. And that person just isn't me, that is a completely fake demographic dreamed up by homophobes and ad-men, and it irritates me to see people play up to that stereotype. And of course, if you don't behave like this, you are a Bad Gay, as that is called being Straight Acting and it is BAD. Not that the above stereotypical laffs ever put anybody off coming out or anything. Oh no.

FFS, it doesn't even work as a way of recognizing other gay people; for a while now it's been trendy for a lot of straights to act gay (for some reason), which makes things quite awkward if you don't really get on with the gay scene as my gaydar is now irretrievably busted forever. Which is why I've started going to events like PRIDE. I just never felt the need when the gay scene wasn't so crappy - in the 90s and noughties, every weekend was Pride as far as I was concerned.

Highlight of the day: Popped in to the marquee tent to visit a straight friend who was doing the Green Party stall (the Bi Visibles didn't have a stall - just not quite visible enough, I guess) and noticed a Liberal Democrat sign placed just below eye level. Ah, I thought, the Shame parade, for people who are ashamed of their political orientation. It looked abandoned apart from one lone, very sad looking Liberal Democrat staffing the stall, which was politely, yet utterly snubbed by everyone present. People just walked right past it. Warmed the cockles of my heart, that did.

If only my stupid camera had worked....
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
I would now have the BEST YOUTUBE VIDEO EVER. Stupid default settings!

Chased around like Tom And Jerry
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
I have just been chased around the block by a naked, crazy man after making a perfectly reasonably request to turn down the noise at 1.30AM.

I don't know which one of us should feel more humiliated. (I think him, mainly because he had a TINY cock.)

This really is turning into the shittest year ever.

Welcome to friendlytown. Don't forget to pay your friendly tax and keep things friendly!
11th hour
If you thought Dredd was bad-assed, you'll love JUDGE MINTY and his adventures in the Cursed Earth. I AM THE LAW, FUCKHEADS! 20 years, Iso-cubes!

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Conscious descision to chill
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
I'm making a conscious descision to chill the fuck out. No-one is out to get me, I'm just a bit intense, and this is probably the best time to do whatever has to be done. It is summery summertime and there are all sorts of nice things to do to distract myself and novel quack therapies to try out as well.

It's quite painful, but it's been worse and I have good people around me. And I'm basically very lucky when you get down to it. I can get food and water, and I have a nice enough place to live. I don't have to walk for miles or be treated like a peasant or have sex for money. I don't have to fight in some horrible war. I have a lot of freedoms that many people in the world would kill and die for - and have done. I can do things that would get you executed or jailed for life in some countries and not be hassled.

Hell, I'm not even trapped in a loveless marraige or a saddled with a ton of kids or a horrible job.

Things are actually really good for me. Morally, I should try and enjoy it. Yes, my stupid brain tries to fuck things up for me, but that doesn't make me a bad person. I'm clever enough to work on it so that I get some enjoyment out of life, and I'm almost over this monumental strop I'm temporarily in, and I will also get over the underlying dissapointment / sadness in time. It all starts with making a conscious, deliberate descision to feel better about stuff, and that's what I'm going to do, and then I will be fabulous.

Why do people pretend they like me in the first place?
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
OK. I get that I'm a horrible bastard.

I get that I'm short tempered and crazy. I get that I take things too seriously. I understand all of these things.

So why, for God's sake, do people ever pretend that they like me in the first place? It's not a State secret that I'm an asshole.

Why would someone who struggled with being a good friend repeatedly say that they liked my company and wanted to hang around with me - and make plans to do so? Why would someone tell me they would "rather saw off my own arm than knowingly cause you pain" then a couple of weeks later turn around, say they didn't want to know me any more without even meeting up to talk about it, and to add insult to injury, sign off with "sorry for the pain of ending"?

Why would someone bother to butter me up with compliments and flattery, then when they had what they wanted (whatever the hell that is - I'm completely worthless, remember), ditch me on the strength of an email argument? It would be like me buttering up a tramp and then telling them to fuck off because they smelled of meths.

Noisetwat FTW!
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
On top of my life turning into an episode of For Fuck's Sake, What The Hell Is Wrong With You People?!?!?, the neighbours are in "noisetwat" mode and the council's Noise Pollution arsewits are being especially obstructive and bureaucratic. If you want to have an extremely loud party in Bristol, go ahead as there's fuck all anyone can be arsed to do about it - you have to phone up a control room, wait for the recorded message bullshit to finish (45 seconds or so) and then wait up to several minutes for them to pick up - while you're *already* in the system and therefore already paying through the nose just to hear a phone ringing off the hook.

But you don't get to make a complaint or speak to someone when they finally answer - they have to log your call and phone you back. This can take several hours, and in the past has taken until the following day. And then when they do eventually talk to you they do everything possible to give you the brush-off - and if after ringing off you realise that you do in fact have a letter and Form 51-Xb-5 from them and try to call them back... that's right, you have to go through the whole miserable process again. Complain and they simply cut you off.

So if you have a noise complaint, take some Valium and shut up. You won't get help, they'll fuck you off, and it will be worse than if you didn't bother calling them at all.

Cold as charity...
Replicas / Metamatic pastiche
A lot of people give to charity at around this time of year, so I just thought I'd make a post saying DON'T. (it started as a snarky reply to a snarky comment, but I figure I'm better than that...)

Personally I'd be wary of giving to any charity. A lot of them are downright frauds and the whole sector is riddled with dodgy practices such as workfare, exploitation of volunteers, chugging and driving out high street competitors (Oxfam in particular is notorious for this and many independent retailers have been driven to the wall by unscrupulous "charity" shops).

Also, it turns out that some of these guys get more than half their money from the government and are often paid to soften us up for their policy ideas, in other words lobbying the public for the government and not the other way around.

One charity in particular - Alcohol Concern - really is little more than a lobbying arm of the Department of Health. Calling itsself "the national agency on alcohol misuse", it at one point got about 58% of its income from the DoH, though apparently this had finally been cut as of 2011.

Don't get me wrong, there probably should be a government subdepartment that deals with the alcohol problem, but it's a bit dishonest to claim it is an independant organisation when it's so heavily state funded. According to this Graun article the voluntary sector gets about 37% of its income from the State.

And then of course there's all the rather nasty little outfits that exploit the poor, little more than modern day workhouses that get paid through the nose for making serfs out of the unemployed, who have better things to do than be dragooned into working in a charity shop or doing hard labour in the countryside (like look for work, for instance).

The facts are in - charity doesn't help cut poverty, it helps people feel good about giving to charity. Don't waste your time on it. If you want to help the poor, give cash to street people or work on a soup run (the government hates soup runs because they make 'em look bad and hand out food to the homeless gratis) or get involved in politics and make sure this shower of Big Society scumbags never get elected to any post above the level of dog-catcher, ever again.