Thursday, 31 January 2008

JonaBlog: An Emo Guide to Taking Self-Pictures

Boys:

-Remove your t-shirt for 25% of your self-portraits. If you're fat then you're clearly not Emo and this guide is not for you. You also cannot be Emo if you have blonde hair (unless you dye it black first. However, bleached sections of jet-black hair are acceptable) or belong to any social strata other than the caucasian middle classes.

-Hold your camera aloft, pointing downwards. Tilt your head upwards, ensuring that your fringe is covering one eye, and that you have applied enough eye-liner to the visible eye to show up in monochrome. It is preferred that you have a source of light placed to one side, especially for your topless pictures where it will illuminate your lithe frame and any tattoos that adorn it. For added contrast between light and dark, make sure your piercings catch the light. If you do not have any piercings, then you are not Emo.

-Look moody, as though the pressure of being you is about to crush you at any moment. Remember to pout.

-Take several dozen pictures. You will not be sifting through these pictures for the best: ALL OF THEM will be uploaded to your social networking site of choice and placed in an album with the faux self-deprecating title of "I'm Such a Poser lawl". You don't care that you're uploading 200 marginally different pictures of yourself. You're hawt and you want everyone to tell you that. But remember to reject all compliments given to you by visitors to your page, because when you look at yourself, all you see is hopelessness and woe staring back at you in skinny jeans.

NOTE: It is preferred but not demanded that you apply a black & white effect to your photographs. Pain shows up better in monochrome.

-Follow these steps any time you make a change to your appearance, e.g. shifting the direction of your fringe or getting a new tattoo, to keep your friends abreast of how you don't define yourself through appearance.

Girls

The procedure is basically the same, however female Emos should take note of the following:

-Chubby girls are allowed to be Emo. Your chubbiness is the root of your pain.

-Obviously, you will not be topless when taking your picture. That's just obscene. Instead, your aim is to take an intimate photo showing how fragile and vulnerable you are underneath all that hair-dye and eye-liner. To this end, you will wear a slightly too-large top, with one sleeve hanging off your shoulder. It is preferable that a bra-strap is NOT visible. Bras are slutty. You are sweet, misunderstood and vulnerable.

-You will face the camera and make the most of your shoulder-flesh without angling it too high. You want to look casual. Props are good: feel free to take pictures of yourself holding up a CD or with an ironic cuddly toy of some sort. Hello Kitty or Emily the Strange are good choices. A female friend is also an acceptable prop, as long as you lezz it up a bit.

-Remember to pout and look pained. Perhaps think of a boy who doesn't love you back to fuel your anguish. Or if you are chubby, just think how terrible it is that no one will see through that fat mess of mascara and nose-rings to the real you underneath.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Music Downloads: An unfinished philosophical essay

This essay has been inspired by the following story:
( more here: http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article3033364.ece )

“A Minnesota jury has ordered a woman to pay $222,000 (£109,000) for sharing music over the internet, in what has been hailed as a landmark ruling.
Jammie Thomas, a native-American who works on an Indian reservation, was ordered to pay the six record companies suing her $9,250 for each of 24 songs they focused on in the case. The sum is equivalent to about five times her annual salary and is expected to force her into bankruptcy.”

This essay will concern itself not with the legal technicalities of the case, it shall be assumed that Thomas did indeed violate the letter of Minnesotan law. Rather, it shall examine whether it is possible to construct a rationally sound defence of such practises and thus whether laws ought to be changed to reflect this.


I shall begin by dismissing an argument which is often raised, but which I believe lacks sufficient merit to warrant further investigation.

Firstly, there is the argument that the price of C.D.s are unreasonable and thus record companies have only themselves to blame. This argument I think is relatively easy to eliminate without much discussion. No matter what the price of music, it cannot be said that we have a right to own music which we do not produce. As with any luxury product, simply not being able to afford it (or believing the price to be unreasonable) does not justify stealing it. If I can’t afford that Ferrari I’m not justified in stealing it, I have to buy a cheaper car. If I can’t afford a car, then I have to use public transport or walk. Yes it may be the case that music costs too much (though this has recently become highly debatable given online music stores offering songs at much reduced prices and established bands like Radiohead offering their albums for whatever their fans are willing to pay) but we are not justified in stealing something, just because it is overpriced.

It occurs to me however, that the analogy of buying a car may be slightly flawed.
There is perhaps a difference in what is happening when I download music illegally and when I steal a car.
Downloading a song creates a copy of the original so to speak, and gives me possession of this copy.
This is in marked contrast to stealing a car, which adds to my possessions, but deprives the rightful owner of the use of his car.

If we see theft as wrong exclusively because of the element of depravation, then it cannot be argued that the song’s original owner is being deprived of the song since it never leaves his possession.

It could of course be argued that what the owner is being deprived of is the money which he would have received in selling his own copies of his work.

At this point I think, a divergence occurs. If I would buy a piece of music, but I choose instead to download it, in order to save money, then I am still depriving the music’s owner of the money I would have spent on the piece of music.

However, we can imagine cases where this is not so. Perhaps I had no intention of buying an album, I merely like one of the songs and I am not (nor would I ever be) willing to pay the price of a full album just to get to listen to the one song I like. Perhaps I do not care for the majority of music enough to ever spend money on it.
If I would not have bought the music anyway, then I cannot be said to have deprived the artist of anything.

Thus perhaps we can justify illegally downloading music on the basis that as long as we buy what we would have bought regardless, no deprivation is occurring (perhaps it might be argued that we are in fact adding to the artist’s revenue if a download makes us want to buy an album we otherwise would have ignored.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

A Curtain Falls

Alas, imaginary reader, my time as commander in chief of this blog grows short. The darkness is encroaching, my breathing draws tight, and ITV have edited the footage together in such a way as to make it look like I've already relinquished control of the blog.

I'd like to think that I've achieved something in my short editorial something. Certainly, my contribution to the blogosphere has been at least as impressive as this man's contribution to culture and the arts. At the very least, when Brian takes the reins again following his 3 weeks spreading syphillis around Europe, his high-brow natterings are going to seem that bit more impressive by comparison to the rest of the detritus that currently litters this page.

But I have his username and password, and if things start to get a little too sophisticated, I may well sneak in and lower the tone again some time.
Click me!

Combining the above with the wake of the recent spat between Russia and Britain following the former's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the man accused of murdering Alexander Litvenyenko and leaving a trail of radiation droppings around Britain like a pigeon from Chernobyl, and the growing tensions with the US ("If you get to park your missiles in Poland then I get to tear up this treaty!"), one could be forgiven for thinking we're headed for a follow-up to everyone's favourite cold war... The Cold War.

With this in mind, I'd like to suggest the following monickers for this conflict, should it escalate into such. These provisional titles have not been approved by Hollywood marketeers who understand which sounds are soothing to the collective public ear.

-Cold War 2: War Colder
-Cold War With A Vengeance
-Cold War 2: Electric Bugaloo
-Cold War II
-Cold War 2: Sub-Zero
-Live Free or Cold War
-Cold War 2: Absolute Zero
-George Dubya Bush and the War of Coldness
-Merchant Ivory's A Colde War
-Chilly Conflict

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Bluffer's Guide To Sport

As part of the community service order imposed upon me for the recent indecent exposure incident (alas, my cries of "It wasn't my fault entirely, your Honour, those nuns kept egging me on" fell on deaf ears), I have been requested to write a short pamphlet that will benefit society in some manner. To this end, I have elected to write a brief bluffer's guide for my fellow homosexualists to help them understand some of the subtle nuances of the world of sport. When I say sport, I am not talking about the fields of competition with which my brothers may be familiar; such as figure-skating, PGACA (Professional Gossiping And Character Assassination), men's diving on Eurosport or shopping, but rather the more macho pursuits which we gays normally struggle with but may from time to time find ourselves having to discuss e.g. if trapped on a mysterious island where time moves at such a ponderously slow pace that all avenues of conversation need to be travelled for the sake of one's sanity. For the benefit of all who spend many a night sleeplessly worrying about ending up in such a situation, I present The Homosexualist Bluffer's Guide To Les Activit├ęs Sportives:

1. Tennis.
Tennis was invented in 1996 by Sir Reginald H. Tennis. Stars of the field include Andre Agassi, an Antipodean from Wales who played for his return from exile to the penal colonies of Australia in the 1998 Imperial Tennis Contest, wherein the prize awarded is the opportunity to seek a boon from the monarch him/herself. Alas, despite his conclusive victory, Agassi's unkempt appearance caused the Queen to balk, and she refused his request for freedom based on consultation with her advisors, who informed her that should she be seen to condone Agassi's choices regarding personal hygiene, the consequences for the realm would be most dire.

2. Cricket
Cricket is a game wherein Englishmen play to defeat some colonial plebs or something. You may be familiar with The Ashes, a cricketing event between Britain and Swaziland wherein the combatants play for the cremated remains of King Edward-Preston XIII. The Ashes are said to increase a man's libido seven-fold when injected into the right thigh as part of solution also containing egg white and meta-amphetamines. The competition was embroiled in controversy in 1987, when Lord Thoroughbred Dictum claimed that cricket's governing body, the International Cricketeering Association Of The World, routinely topped up the Ashes every forty years with cremated hobo remains. Lord Dictum failed to provide any substantial proof for his claims, which were dismissed by all when it was revealed he was an opium-fiend who had difficulty pleasuring his ladywife.

3. Basketball
This sport is essentially a jumping game where players attempt to take possession of a ball, made from highly condensed elastic bands wrapped into a sphere. The ultimate aim in this sport is to become so good at it that one is offered an endorsement deal with Nike or Adidas to the tune of several hundred million units of the American currency, known in the vernacular as the “Vespuccio” or occasionally, the “Dollar”. In exchange for a large quantity of Vespuccios, the sportsman agrees to lend his image and name to the International Sportswear Giant In Question, to sacrifice his first born, and to join Satan’s army in the time of the reckoning. The ISGIQ (pronounced “Is-Gweek”) recoups it’s investment by having it’s products manufactured by Indonesian Overtime Pixies, who happily work long hours for miserable wage rates because it is the wont of their species to do so.

4. Curling
This physically and mentally demanding sport remains something of a mystery to me, despite extensive research on the subject. However, I am confident in speculating that the purpose of the game is to match the position of the stars in certain constellations by sliding one’s stone-like object (known as a “stone” or “bit of granite”) along the ice, towards the target area, and using the powers of one’s mind to stop it in the relevant position. One person on the team is deemed the “squirrel” and it is the squirrel’s duty to sweep any dust or minor obstructions out of the path of the bit of granite. This is due to curling’s origin among the Inuit people, who used it as a means to talk to the gods (specifically Makhatomet, goddess of bits of granite and contraception) and viewed the stone as a sacred object which had to be kept clean, hence the need to vigourously sweep the path before it.

5. Midget-Blasting
Midget-blasting is an extreme (or “Xtreme”) sport, similar to curling, except in place of a bit of granite, players slide a midget (or any available small person if no midgets are present) along the ice. In addition, in midget-blasting it is customary for the squirrel to smack the midget across the skull with the broom once he or she reaches the relevant position in the playing field, in order to prevent him getting up and ruining the arrangement the midgets are being slid into. It is thought that midget-blasting arose among atheist Inuit folk who still desired the adrenalin-rush of normal curling but needed to differentiate the activity from religious ceremony and into sporting activity.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Reader's Digest Version

Presenting the entire BTVS saga (yep, in it's entirety. There was NO Seasons 6 and 7, dammit) as told through the medium of classified ads.

Buffy Season 1

Lonely British Gentleman seeks young lady for exciting evenings in front of dusty old tomes and general killing of the nasties.
Girl Next Door seeks new best friend.
Young lady seeks brooding undead beefcake for sexual tension and meaningful glances.
Teenaged Everyman, prone to self-deprecating humour, would like to meet something to hump.
Bitch seeks heart.
Decrepit centuries old vampiric scion of evil is seeking boy (8 - 12) for prophetic mutterings and prom night excursion.
Inactive Doorway to Hell for sale; preferably to vampiric scion of evil. One previous owner; sadly passed away following encounter with young lady.


Season 2

Lonely British Gentleman seeks outgoing computer science teacher. Gypsy origin a plus. NS.
Young lady wants romp with undead beefcake.
Undead beefcake seeks arteries.
Computer science teacher with gypsy origin seeks love and untimely demise.
Adventurous couple seek undead beefcake with appreciation of demonic stonework for late night shenanigans.
Girl Next Door seeks quirky boyfriend for walks in the moonlight.
Bitch With Heart seeks Everyman for clandestine gropings.
Everyman looking for something to hump.
Adventurous couple and undead beefcake seek end of the world.
Notice! End of the World cancelled due to untimely loss of undead beefcake and absconding of adventurous couple. Refunds available.


Season 3

Mayor Wilkins would like to thank the citizens of Sunnydale for their support in the recent mayoral campaign!
Girl Next Door seeks gradual empowerment.
Everyman seeks something to hump.
Bitch With Heart seeks rehash of redemptive storyline.
Bad Girl available for work as hired goon. Skilled in administering bodily harm, both actual & grievous, and wearing leather pants.
Undead beefcake, recently returned from the… undead, is looking for fresh start in new city following graduation.
Quirky boyfriend seeks storyline.
Young lady wishes to notify citizens of youth rally against proposed mayoral policy of destroying the world. May get bloody. Minor characters should not expect to survive.


Season 4

Abrupt ex-demoness looking for something to hump.
Everyman wishes to cancel standing order for classified ad.
Government initiative seeking volunters for exciting experiment. Contact UC Sunnydale's Dept. of Nothing Suspicious Going On Here, Please Move Along. We will provide the limbs.
Unemployed British Gentleman with spacious housing has room to offer. Undead British Gentlemen preferable.
Confident Girl Next Door offers subtext-laden talks for Unconfident Girl Next Door.
Young lady seeks plank, 6 foot 2 with boyband hair, for nailing and using power tools on.
One half of adventurous couple looking for anger-management and all the best lines.
Half demon/half man for sale. Comes with Windows XP, 80GB Hard Drive, 256 MB RAM, nVidia Matrix Rip-Off Graphics Card and all the software you need to run a total psychopath.


Season 5

For Sale: Death. Unwanted gift.
Airhead offers reward of brain-sucking for lost keys. May be in the form of snivelling brat/plot-device.
Abrupt ex-demoness looking for gradual appreciation of humanity.
Snivelling brat WLTM emo-kids for self-harming and general whingeing.
Confident Girl Next Door continues to grow in power. Seeks like-minded individuals for chanting in Latin.
Everyman and British gentleman seek plotline.
One half of adventurous couple seeks last hurrah before having his character watered down into shadow of former glory.
Obit. Young lady plunges head first off of shoddy scaffolding in lightning storm. She saved the world. A lot.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Not the Nine O'Clock News

All the news of the past fortnight, for anyone who has been living under a rock. Or inter-railing.

In Britain, all they’ve really been reporting on is the fact that that the country is basically underwater. For the past two weeks. This means that every news broadcast requires that the it place it’s reporters waist-deep in water while they ask a traumatised local if they think the flooding is connected to global warming. Unless you’re Sky News, in which case there’s no way in hell that Kay Burley is standing in flood water after what it’s close relative, The Ice, did to her last winter.

You’re fairly with it regarding the whole Russia/Britain diplomatic spat. While they say it’s been caused by Russia’s refusal to extradite the prime suspect in the Litvenyenko case (ALL things come back to Litvenyenko. For example, the flooding in Britain has been caused by a weather-control device he was sent to Britain to destroy.) the truth is that it all stems from a politico joking that “In Soviet Russia, diplomat expels you!”.

Also making the news repeatedly, Britain-wise, are a number of revelations about TV phone-in/texting competition irregularities, including an awards show on ITV where the public were asked to vote for the winner despite the fact it’d already been chosen (Ant & Dec are said to devastated that the meaning inherent in the first two words of People’s Choice Award are pretty moot as a result), and a number of incidents on the BBC where they used production staff to pretend to be the winners of various competitions. No one has yet answered the question of just what happened with the prizes in these competitions following the fake victories.

On this side of the Irish sea, the three most noteworthy stories have been, in no particular order:
-Bertie and his financial affairs, a matter that no amount of investigators will ever reach the bottom of considering that Mister Ahern’s mentor was one Charles J. Haughey. The man at the top certainly learned from the best when it comes to financial obfuscation and inexplicable memory-loss.
-The Rachel O’Reilly murder case, which caused shockwaves around the country when justice was actually served (despite the trial nearly collapsing at one point when some idiot left documents the jury weren’t meant to see in a room used by the jury) and the murdering bastard got life (i.e. a minimum of 30 years).
-The Rostas family, a clan of over fifty Romanian gyppos, who came over here, not to take our jobs and our wimmen, like most foreigners, but to take our roundabouts. Having set up camp at the Ballymun rang-dabaht (as AA Roadwatch would probably pronounce it) in Dublin, they were deported earlier this week when the Government realised that we had to take tough and decisive action to show these gaijin devils that we will not tolerate the colonisation of our roundabouts. Clearly, we have learned our lesson from the plantations.

Other news in brief:
Plastic bags now cost 22c, cannabis makes you a lot more likely to be psychotic and/or schizophrenic, some twonk at Nasa attempted to sabotage a shuttle for reasons unkown, Jordan has named her new child Princess Tiamii, the Americans dislike Victoria Beckham as much as we do but they kinda like David, phone-masts don’t give you psychic powers OR brain tumours, JK Rowling has begun work on Something New That Is Not Harry Potter, MySpace has purged 29,000 sex offenders from it’s site yet still refuses to do anything about the far worse problem of the emo-kids writing bad poetry and taking pictures of themselves pouting with their eyes obscured by chemically straightened fringes, everyone taking part in the Tour de France is a dope-fiend, the new Mr. Spock is REALLY hot (and a former Hero of the Week to boot), aaaaaaaand President Bush handed power over to Cheney last weekend while he got his ass probed. Again.