skyline vs. plausibility

I wanted to put down a few pre-emptive thoughts on Skyline. Caution: the website is slow. Which is appropriate, because in this day and age slow = bad and (this is a bit like premature ejaculation in terms of the point of this post) Skyline = bad.

Let me just point out that I haven’t actually seen the film. So I am willing to concede that these points may be null and void. This is merely to make some observations based on the trailer.

#1 The In-General Fucking Retarded Nature of the Plot

Remember Cloverfield? Yeah, me too. Sorry for reminding you. I enjoyed the bit in that film where Marcetta (was it?) exploded. That was a good laugh. I may have run around throwing water-balloons filled with Ribena at people and shouting, “We’ve got a bite!” for a couple of days after that.

The rest of the film was on the Jimmy Savile side of the ‘twattishly stupid’ line.

And it looks like Skyline might just be about to make it an idiot threesome. A Savile sandwich. Whatever you want to call it.

#2 Is C Constant? Not According to Skyline

You’re familiar with C. You may not realise it, but you are. It’s the speed of light. And it’s constant. Well, it may not be, according to João Magueijo, who – I’m willing to concede – knows a lot more about this than me.

However, I doubt that the writers of Skyline are familiar with him, or his excellent book Faster Than the Speed of Light. The point is that the general consensus is that C is pretty much constant, at least in this area of the universe at this moment in time.

In August 2009 a message was sent into space farther than we ever thought possible.

Well. Space. We don’t know how big it is, so far as I know, although we do know a minimum value. So it’s already pretty dumb to say “farther than we ever thought possible”. I mean, how far would that be, exactly?

That’s the least of my worries. The maximum rate of the transportation of information is C. Teleportation, you say? Well, there is evidence that even entanglement struggles to allow us to transmit information faster than C. There was a New Scientist article about this that you can go look up if you’re interested. I can’t be bothered.

So how far could this message have got? Let me put it plainly. It was sent about a year ago. So it could only have gone one lightyear.

That’s less than a quarter of the way to the nearest star.

Perhaps the aliens live in our cosmic backyard? They are like giant evil Dyson Backyardigans. That would make it slightly more plausible that they received our message.

Except a) they explicitly live further away than we ever thought possible (Seriously, how far is that? A squibdegillion miles?) and b) if they did live within one lightyear of us they would presumably have noticed our extensive radio-wavelength broadcasting some time ago.

#3 They Eat Humans

So they have the necessary technology to traverse longer distances than we ever fucking well thought possible (Seriously, I can’t get over that one: what about fucking infinity? Infinity to the power of infinity? How fucking far are we talking here?) but they can’t synthesise protein? Also, they can digest and live off Earth’s organic matter, which, need I remind you, has throughout the history of the universe been further away from them than we ever thought God-damned possible?

Come the fuck on.

The only vaguely plausible reason for aliens turning up and being hostile is a) it was all a big misunderstanding (by the way, my money is on this one for being the actual plot-line) or b) they want to nip in the bud the puny threat that we offer. Independence Day style.

And need I remind you that in Independence Day, the aliens were immune to our second-most potent weapon, the nuclear warhead? Although our most potent weapon – the hideous sight of Jeff Goldblum, who frankly looked better as a fly – was just enough to do the trick. Mainly thanks to Apple, might I add.

If aliens with the power to travel distances further than we ever thought possible decide they want to destroy us, they will very much succeed. And they won’t fuck about. They will probably just create a black hole in the middle of the planet, or bathe us in truly vast quantities of gamma-ray radiation, or something even more wondrously destructive.

More to the point, we will not be their primary food-source.

* * *

I would say I look forward to finding out which of my initial worries the film actually deals with, but I don’t. I don’t look forward to it in the slightest. I look forward to it less than we ever thought possible.

a.k.a. I will not be seeing this movie.

Update: I just bothered to check Wikipedia and found out that it was Marlena, not Marcetta, in Cloverfield. La-de-da.

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the bitch is black. sorry, back

So, I’m just back from a little jaunt to Cologne. Without my laptop. And as I sure as hell wasn’t going to pay roaming data charges, that meant no worthwhile internet connection to speak of.

a.k.a. Sorry I’ve not written lately. I know how much you guys need me.

However, this is not the point of my post. What and who I do on my holiday, and how I do them, are none of your business. (Hint: it may have involved crotchless tights, a strap-on and a ball gag.)

I want to tell you about my Hallowe’en.

Yes, that’s right ladles and jellyspoons: I insist on including the apostrophe. Do you write couldnt? Wouldnt? Oclock? No? Well then why the fuck do you write Halloween?

As you all presumably know by now, I have few friends. So I wasn’t going to any party. And I sure as hell wasn’t going to indulge in the filthy American monstrosity that is “Trick or Treating”. What the fuck is that about? I have an idea: how about “Trick or get the fuck off my doorstep before I fetch the Globals?”

I jest, I jest. I did once put a razor blade into a toffee apple, but that was only to prove that it wasn’t an urban legend and that there were fucks sick enough to actually do it (hi!). On the whole I am totally down with TvTing.

So down with it, in fact, that I sort of indulge in it myself. If from the comfort of my own home. Here’s how it goes down.

I light a bunch of candles around our front hall. Big, church-style candles. I leave the lights on, though. I put a pumpkin lantern outside the front door to let people know that I’m with the whole spirit of the event. I string up a bunch of fake cobwebs, and all that. And crucially, opposite the front door in the hall, I put a table with a bunch of sweets on it and a sign saying “Help yourself! If you dare…”

I leave the door slightly ajar. Kids come up to it and ring the bell. When they do, I – hiding in the living room – pull the door open with a string. We haven’t oiled the hinges for a while, so it creaks.

Inevitably, the dumb little shits come in. They’re cautious, but in they come calling, “Trick or treat!” Nervously.

When they’re a decent way in, I flick all the lights off, play a blood-curdling scream on the hi-fi, and jump out with our 17” chef’s knife in hand, dressed as Jason Voorhees.

The kids shit themselves.

I would tell you about November the 5th, too, but all there is to say really is that it rained. Oh, shit, I’ve just told you. Okay, let me rephrase:

Now let me tell you about November the 5th. It rained.

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continental conspiracy, i think

Speaking of Marcetta has reminded me of something. Specifically, something that annoys me. A lot.

So, she is a little Fiat. Made in Italy. Not a bad little car, for the most part. Except for one thing. The indicator lever is on the left.

If you’ve only ever driven continental cars, and you could certainly be forgiven for that, then perhaps this has never even occurred to you. It will now. It will annoy you continuously.

Let’s imagine you’re coming off a roundabout. You’ve slowed down; now you want to speed up. So you need to change gear.

Also, since you’re coming off a roundabout, you want to indicate. You do indicate when you come off a roundabout, right? Because if you don’t, then let me tell you: I fucking hate you.

No problem, you think. Car manufacturers wouldn’t be so stupid as to force you to control both indicating and gear-changing with the same hand. After all, they’re both important functions. Far better to have gear-changing and the wipers controlled by the same hand, with the other dedicated to indicating. After all, how often do you need to change gear and urgently get your wipers on? That’s right: never.

And you know what? Car manufacturers aren’t that dumb. They’ve thought of that. But they are very, very lazy.

Continentals – and Yanks, for that matter, although God forbid you buy an American car – drive on the right. Don’t ask me why: it’s just one of these things that they insist on doing, just to be different to Britain. Whatever.

Of course, if you’re driving on the right, you’re sitting on the left of the car. So you’re right hand is controlling the gear stick. So the indicator control needs to be on the left.

When that car’s imported to Britain, do they leave the steering column on the left? No, no they don’t. In fact, they go to the presumably quite complicated length of shifting it to the right.

Do they go to the incredibly trivial length of swapping the indicator and wiper controls? No they do not.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why – when I can actually afford a new car – I will be buying Japanese.

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your five a day

Just a brief little story for you, about how I heard the dumbest thing ever yesterday. Literally, the dumbest thing ever. And I am literally using literally literally in this case.

So, I was out at the grocer, buying some veg. And this girl and her boyfriend were looking to buy some fruit. It sounded, from the brief snippet of conversation, like she was maybe starting a new healthy diet, or something.

Anyway, they were browsing away, and she picks up this bag of apples. And her boyfriend says,

“Oh, get that. Look: it’s one of your five a day. There’s a sticker.”

(You might at this point think that the dumbest thing is that they needed a sticker to tell them that. You’d be wrong.)

“What, the whole bag?

(There it is.)

“Because I’m not going to eat the whole bag just for one of my five a day.”

Let me clarify: this was, perhaps, a 2kg bag of apples. Maybe 1.5kg. We’re talking a lot of apple. The sort of volume of fruit that wouldn’t see you shit straight for a week.

Seriously, people: how the fuck do you not get how this works.

* * *

As I was driving home from my little visit, this douchebag pulled up right behind me and tail-gated me. I was tootling along at a perfectly reasonable pace (i.e. – 60mph on an A-road) in my little Fiat, Marcetta. Yes, she’s named after The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Well done if you got that.

Eventually he went speeding past. He had gone about 40 yards further when he ran into a tractor hauling some ridiculous and very wide contraption. He couldn’t get past – it was doing, maybe, 25mph. I, meanwhile, pulled off the main road and onto my drive.

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the vagaries of modern tech

I should like to take this opportunity to apologise to my devoted legion of fans. No post, for two days! I dread to think what this must have felt like. But I’m not going to get entirely “mea culpa” on your asses.

Now, I confess that I was to blame for the first day’s dearth. I have no good excuses except that I was busy that day. You don’t need to know why.

Yesterday, though, was not my fault. On the contrary. I was all lined up for some serious blogging sexiness. But was the internet ready for that? Oh no. No it was not.

In what I can only assume was an elaborate ruse to foil my quest for followers, it decided not to exist for the day.

I’m told that it was actually to do with wind. One of the main servers was down, or unreachable, or something. What a preposterous load of shit. How the fuck could wind possibly affect the internet? Were they talking about the solar wind?

The real reason can only be this: the internet is an uppity shit.

It makes sense. We rely on it for so much, these days. It was only a matter of time before it started getting something of a God complex. And that time is now. Expect random outages. Expect it to only deliver pictures of LOLcats when you search for pussy. Expect it to flood your inbox with spam.

Oh, wait, HOLY SHIT. That’s exactly what it already does.

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wasted youth

Holy fuck. I have spent all day on my Xbox. I guess this might be why I don’t have a job. Oh, wait, that’s because even the service sector doesn’t want degree-qualified employees, never mind an actually worthy company.

Anyway, you guys should look out for me. My gamertag is SpannerTampon4. Hit me up if you ever spot me.

Did you see it? Or did it go past you? Let’s re-run: my gamertag is SpannerTampon4. I think that is a damning condemnation of modern society right there.

What, you thought the 4 was just there for the fun of it? Like I had a choice? Let me tell you: that 4 is not an optional extra. I had to include it. Why?

Because at least three other people in this world wanted the gamertag SpannerTampon.

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an anecdote for you

I gather it’s a bit of a thing, across the pond, for Democrats to have One Republican Friend. Initially I struggled to see why this was such a big deal – did they think it was funny? It’s not. But then it clicked: having a friend must be a very rare and special occurrence for a Democrat. Props to them that they’ve actually convinced a Right-minded human being to spend time with them.

Just so any Democrats reading know: I am not volunteering my services in this regard.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this story, although it will perhaps give you a context for it. I want to tell you about My One Racist Friend.

Generally I don’t like racists. On account of the fact that I don’t really enjoy the company of fucking muppets, and let’s be honest here: anybody who thinks that skin colour is a useful means of evaluating another person’s worth is clearly a fucking muppet.

My One Racist Friend certainly is. But every now and again he comes out with something truly marvellous. From the most gnarled, aged vines drop the best grapes, or something like that.

I don’t know if he turned racist after we had become friends. More likely he was always racist, and I simply realised too late.

Anyway, I was out with My One Racist Friend and his girlfriend. She’s nice enough, but she’s not funny. I mean, Michael McIntyre is probably funnier than her. I’ve seen backdrops work a crowd better. If she did stand-up, the best part of the show would be the mic stand.

What with the American elections looming, we were discussing US politics in general, and Obama in particular. Thinking it would be a crowd-pleaser (I assume), the girlfriend drops this stinker:

“Do you smell what Barack is cooking?”

That was a funny line. In 2008, when Barack himself said it. Whatever: not wanting to leave the girl hanging, My One Racist Friend pops this in his best Morgan Freeman voice:

“Yup. Fried chicken.”

He’s a funny cunt.

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