Sleeping Under Enon

solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris

Because debating over Twitter is virtually impossible…

@DaveGorman : I’m using the version of the Oxford Dictionary that came with my Kindle. It says ‘a humorous or malicious deception’. For the sake of being über nerdy, we’ll use the Oxford English Dictionary Online:

An act of hoaxing; a humorous or mischievous deception, usually taking the form of a fabrication of something fictitious or erroneous, told in such a manner as to impose upon the credulity of the victim.

The definition is ambiguous in terms of intentionality on the part of the ‘hoaxer’. For example, I may explain to someone the current affairs of the world and impose on them a world view which is utterly negative without intending to. As communication is an active process (it requires a speaker to try to communicate something & the listener to interpret what is being communicated -what I say and what is heard are two different things), a person may unintentionally trick someone into believing a falsehood. I might say to a friend ‘I was with my girlfriend last night night and put my meat sauce into her pie’, which he might take to mean that I was talking about sex, when in actual fact I was merely trying to tell him about my secret recipe sauce that I added to my girlfriend’s meal which I thought really brought out the flavors of the dish.

Paul Chambers was charged with ‘sending a menacing electronic communication’. The fact that a non-threatening/menacing tweet was construed as menacing by the judge when in fact it was ‘innocuous hyperbole’ (according to Paul Chambers) means the message was deceptive (what was communicated and what was intended are at odds with each other), and the fact that it was of a fairly trivial nature (no-one at the airport took it seriously and no-one was harmed, except maybe Paul Chamber’s anonymity to the general public) -and that the intent of the tweet was a joke (& went on to spawn the #Iamspartacus movement which, at the very least, I found amusing)- would make it mischievous/humorous rather than serious/upsetting/etc. Of course that doesn’t make it a good hoax, by any means.

Saying all that though, I have my doubts that the person at the BBC who tweeted the original message we’re debating over never intended any such discussion or slant on the meaning of hoax 😛 (I assume hoax just sounds more ‘flashy’ -and less wordy- than ‘trivial tweet that somehow generated unnecessary controversy’)

Background information for everyone else:

http://twitter.com/#!/asleepunderenon/status/6819400875253761

http://twitter.com/#!/asleepunderenon/status/6828742483644416

http://twitter.com/#!/DaveGorman/status/6854574161793024

 

Updates:

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/740mt6

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/d6a7c952f846ae8f8577141f5e90361b


Are You A Real Vampire?

 

Tom Cruise as Lestat in the 1994 film Intervie...

This poser has nothing on trve kvlt vampires. For real. Image via Wikipedia

 

Note: This post should have been up ages ago (hence the huge delay). It was going to be put up on Vampires.com but as it’s been ages I’m just putting it up here now and then I’ll link to it on Vampires.com if it ever gets posted there. You’ll also note this post is significantly longer than usual.

Given that I’m quite clearly a multi-talented kind-of-guy, not only can I review films but I can also review people. And as this is a site all about vampires (ed: which will ring true if you’re reading this on Vampires.com, less so if you’re reading it on my blog), what better type of person to review than vampires? I won’t, however, be discussing Dracula or Lestat but instead will be focusing on the non-fictional vampire (though the definition of vampire in this case is being stretched rather thin). While Twilight (I’ll be reviewing the others some time in the future for those who are interested) ruined my fondness for vampire films, I’ll now, for this one-off article, be turning to people who have spoiled my interest in vampire culture; ‘real’ vampires.

I could sum up my view of this issue as follows: Just like Edward Cullen doesn’t come across as mysteriously sexy, people claiming to be ‘real’ vampires do not come across as anything other than the goth equivalent of the cock-end who wears underwear outside their trousers and claims to be a super hero.

One might be tempted to think along the lines of ‘live and let live’. After all, there are bound to be people wandering around thinking all kinds of stupid things and, at the end of the day, believing you’re a vampire isn’t the most harmful thing to think. That’s all well and good if you aren’t, like me, allergic to, what scientists have termed, ‘truly stupid crap’ (it’s crippling, I assure you). Not only that but what is particularly frustrating about websites like this one are that they (without the slightest hint of irony) rally against ‘posers’. That is, they’re perpetuating a sort of ‘in-crowd’ mentality amongst themselves, feeling they can sling abuse at people who are sullying their good name. It’s like watching hardcore Linkin Park fans rant about manufactured boy bands. Just like those asshats that feel it’s their duty to scream at you for falling short of ‘god-like’ on an online game, pontificating tr00-kvlt vampires have made themselves ‘fair game’. Which I guess would make me like (Vampire Hunter) D, if you replaced the sword with a keyboard and the symbiotically inhabited hand for a….well, a hand.

Maybe you yourself are one of the lowly blood bags who are blissfully unaware that there are those who think they’re one of the undead, in which case let me help to fill you in. Firstly, ‘real’ vampires don’t claim to be undead, presumably because that would be a genuine supernatural characteristic and is much harder to seriously claim than, say, being clever (see criterion #4). In fact, there are no interesting claims being made at all. If you thought that Edward Cullen verged on being a truly rubbish creature of the night, you’ll be even more disappointed to find that ‘real’ vampires, by comparison, are as dexterous as a paraplegic and as mentally alert as a coma patient.

How are we supposed to spot these fiends? Thankfully, ‘real’ vampires have spelt out the criteria you need to meet if you are to join the Super Best Friends a ‘real’ vampire. These include the following:

  • having bad lighting and shit insulation in your bedroom (criterion #20)
  • being a self-important commuter (criterion #23 & #24). For anyone in England, this means ‘being from London’.
  • having irises (#28)
  • hanging out with people as socially inept as yourself (#30)
  • pissing people off because you’re busy whining about how your steak isn’t rare enough (#38)
  • making sure you get your 5-a-day (#8 & #11)
  • still getting asked for your ID when you’re in your early 20’s and trying to buy alcohol (#6)
  • coming from a broken home (#5)
  • and possibly my favourite, being disliked by your toaster (#33)

Clearly anyone meeting the above criteria are not of the human race. Although why I can’t get this image out of my head when reading pages like that is a mysterious mystery.

But fear not, mere mortals! Just like there are people claiming to be the new-age nosferatu, the world is also populated by ‘real’ slayers (Seriously). Although unless a lot of this slaying is covered up by The Man, it seems that the most blood that has been shed during this great supernatural war has been from a desk that was unfortunate enough to come facetoface with ‘Hacky’. So it’s probably best not to seek shelter from a slayer in times of need. Or at all, ever. For anything.

Brilliantly, the disclaimer on the site points out that “Any individuals who are or who know someone who has taken the information from this site to cause harm to themselves or others, [should] take action by properly alerting the authorities”. So you’re more than welcome to tell everyone you’re Van Helsing, so long as the most that you slay is your dignity. In fact it’s probably just better to just buy the first couple of seasons of Buffy and quench your need to kill the cold ones through cathartic means. Or, stop pretending you have a calling to kill vampires. One of the two.

Maybe all this could be used for a new Blade film? One which could proudly boast ‘Based on a true story’. OK, so maybe you’d have to replace Wesley Snipes with Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon and cast Sheldon’s friends (bar the hot one from 8 Simple Rules) as the vampires. Admittedly you’d also have to make the evil vampire plot something along the lines of a dastardly attempt to make the general population aware of their superiority via a shitty Geocities website. Sure the fight scenes would be non-existent, but at least there’d finally be a film about REAL vampires and not ‘poser’ vampires like Lestat and his ilk. In fact, I’ve already scripted a potential dénouement:

Blade: #knocks on the front door of a typical suburban house, a woman answers# ‘Hello Mrs Sanders, I’m here to speak to Dave?’

Mrs Sanders: ‘Oh hi Blade! My, haven’t you grown since I last saw you! Come right in, don’t mind the dog. He’s just in his room, might want to leave your coat on as it’s a little chilly up there. Will you be staying for dinner?’

-Background music -something by Celldweller-

Blade: ‘No, this won’t take long’

#goes upstairs and goes into Dave’s room#

Dave: ‘Gah! So you made it past my hell-hound Cerberus and fought your way past my Guardian She-Bitch!’

Blade: #draws Hacky# ‘I’ve seen what you’ve tried to do, calling for a vampire revolution. Take down the website or this will end badly for you’

Dave: ‘Dude, what’s with the knife? Wait, isn’t that a letter-opener? Anyway, I totally just got the new Halo game, wanna co-op?’

Blade: ‘Oh cool! Yeah, let me just go ask your mum to bring us up some cola’

It’s a work-in-progress and I currently have no studio backing. But, you know, give it a few months.

In a way it’s rather bleak that some people have to go to such inane lengths in order to feel good about themselves. In another way, it’s an utterly misguided form of elitism that deserves the ridicule it gets. I was going to conclude this topic on a bit of a neutral note to try and balance it, until I scrolled through this page. The bit that got to me was at point #3, where it suggests the best way of getting human blood is to ‘find an emo’. In the site’s own words:

People talk bad about emos but truth is they don’t care about cutting themselves, and they like the attention that a real vampire wanting that blood will give to them

I guess this is a somewhat more serious tone than I would otherwise take, but as I support the ‘To Write Love On Her Arms‘ charity on this very blog (please do take a few minutes to check out the Social Vibe app on the right hand side of the page) I feel that I should raise this point. Self-harm, although a popular topic to mock (I’m by no means saying it can never be funny; there are some hilarious jokes about it on the net and I firmly believe that anything can be made fun of), is a serious issue and to seriously suggest that people who do it need the attention of these fuckwitted misfits in order to feel good about themselves is a level of egotistical wankery that I previously thought was only populated by people who own Apple products. Brushing off all instances of self-harm as nothing more than a pathetic means of getting attention is akin to claiming people with lung cancer just have a bit of a chesty cough. 20-25% of people who die by suicide have previously been admitted to hospital for self-harm; suicide being the fourth leading cause of death & sixth leading cause of ill health & disability of those in the age range of 15–44 (World Health Organisation, 2000). And there you were thinking I couldn’t be informative as well as an asshole.

Right, I’m off to go play the latest Castlevania so I can replay the vampire levels and pummel the scrawny bastards with my crucifix-shaped Swiss Army knife until my eyes bleed.

Innocent drinks & Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber at the set of "How do...

I'm not entirely sure I could write something nice about him even under pain of death. His face looks like a child has drawn their nightmare into some butter whilst his body looks like the rest of the tub and his personality is about as appealing as cuddling a giant wasp made of syringes and battery acid (do not get me started on The Phantom of the Opera). Image via Wikipedia

Hoover, Coke, Windows & Pritt sticks are all branded products that have become synonymous with the product itself. Virtually every company in the universe wants this for their version of the crap they’re selling as it pretty much guarantees market domination. All well and good, even if it’s usually the case that the monopolizing product is usually a steaming pile of shit that is only really top of the market because they aggressively cock-slap the competition into oblivion (not that any of the above mentioned stick out for this). The metaphorical nails-on-a-blackboard becomes a physical reality when companies that are quite obviously never going to dominate the market try desperately hard to wheedle their way into common parlance, kind of like the guy who doesn’t say a single word to anyone at a party and then tries to add everyone who went on Facebook.

The one which I noticed most recently, that instead of making me want to continue to buy their product made me want to call them a bunch dick-holes on the internet, was a packet of crisps from a company called Tyrrell’s. I just happened to buy one of their packets of crisps (which, quite apart from their marketing, were just a bit rubbish anyway) and read the back of the packet out of sheer boredom as I was early for my seminar. This is what it said:

At Tyrrell’s we enjoy food & we enjoy life: something we often refer to as ‘Tyrrelling’. Have you been Tyrrelling recently?

Generalizing somewhat, but if anyone said they’d been ‘Tyrrelling recently’ they are, most likely, made of cardboard and in need of a thoroughly good kicking. Or just put them out in the rain so they go all soggy. It’s this kind of ‘We’re a lovely bunch of chaps’ marketing which makes water boarding seem like a preferable way to wash your hair. The company that most sticks in my head when it comes to making products that insist on having a ‘lovely chat’ with you when all you want to do is get on with your sickeningly boring life would be Innocent, the company that most resembles a flock of Mormons (with less of the Jesus love-in and more of the ‘So sweet it’d be better for your teeth to brush them with industrial files’ banter). I will add in at this point that I really like their smoothies (even if their drinks are just slightly cheaper than my tuition fees).

Out of curiosity, does this kind of marketing actually work? Is anyone (who isn’t possibly schizophrenic) under the impression that Innocent are their chums? Does reading their informal and somewhat childlike messages generate a warm, fuzzy feeling inside and then incline them to sign over all their worldly possessions for just one more bottle of fruit pulp, as if they’re a Green Party version of a smack addict? The kind of people that go skiing a lot, discuss the relative merits of Banksy and buy as much food as they can from a farmer’s market, even if the farmer’s had grown the vegetables in their own shit and the ‘pork’ actually from unfortunate ramblers?

Whether this is a better, or more palatable, marketing strategy than those favored by companies forever chasing buzzwords like ‘cool’, ‘hip’ and ‘fresh’ is like trying to decide whether you’d rather be strangled to death or hung. I think what I’m getting at is that I don’t want companies trying to be ‘chummy’ with me. I have enough hassle trying to be sociable with real people, let alone try and have some kind of weird love-in with a group of people whose sole purpose in their lives is to flog me their drink I could make myself if I weren’t so sodding lazy.

If, Innocent, you want to be my friend, then don’t charge me for your drinks. Or if you do, don’t try and make me give you all my life savings for the privilege of getting a sip of your health nectar. In return, I’ll make you a nice cup of tea if you ever pop round. And no, I will never pop round to yours because you live in London and I’d rather write something positive about Andrew Lloyd Webber (he looks like a serial killer who’s been put in a microwave for too long) than come to London.

Quite how I went from ranting about crisps no-one has heard of to seemingly writing a letter to a maker of smoothies, I’m not entirely sure.

But it must be because I’m so wacky and looking forward to hearing from the really great good stuff that is out there just waiting to be cuddled. So if you’re one of those super nice people (we here at this place call them ‘sneople’) who would just love to chit chat over the phone we’ve decorated as a rabbit hugging a sheep (we here at this place are ALWAYS calling it our ‘ring ring rheep’), then give us a buzz  (to fit in with colloquialism, we’ve painted pictures of cutesy bees on all our phone lines because we’re lovely. And slightly homicidal). Alternatively, PLEASE KEEP TO YOUR SHITTY SELVES & SEND US ALL THE MONEY YOU WOULD OTHERWISE BE USING TO KEEP THE BAILIFFS AT BAY.

We’re a little bit mad, us. (PLEASE LOVE ME)

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