The angst-o-rama of earlier is abating...slightly... but here's the skinny, as reported in an e-mail to my darlin' Mel earlier on...
Sorry I was in such a foul mood today...I didn't really feel like explaining
while other people were in the office, but I spent all morning basically
re-typing somebody's 12-page resumé, which was boring and frustrating, because the software'd crashed and I lost about two pages of it and had to re-do them.
Compounding this, running into Nancy (ex-girlfriend I don't like) last week led Scott to feature her as his column subject this week (she's still quite active in the English community, and part of lots of committees and groups and blah blah blah)...so while I was toiling away re-typing this totally pointless document that nobody needed and there was no point in even doing -- 80% of it was English in the first place, so "translating" it was a joke -- while I was doing this, Scott was talking a desk away to the girl that dumped me and trashed my self-confidence, listening to her list off all her achievements so he could give her a half-page of glorification in the paper tomorrow.
All of this led me to wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life,
retyping other people's resumés and renovating a house instead of doing, well, interesting stuff, and a very bad mood.
Matt Shepherd 13.12.02
Putting the Id back in idiot
Just finished typing 4,500 words of Pfizer resume. Basically, a long, long, long list of publications that the most boring, tedious, bloody irrelevant person in the world has published over the last 20-30 years of her bloody boring, irrelevant life. Christ almighty, the only thing more boring than neurologists is...nothing. There is nothing more boring than a career neurologist.
This is the first time I have ever hated my job.
Matt Shepherd 13.12.02
Talk About Comics :: View topic - Gun control
I was listening to the news last night, and apparently Canada's gun control law, being 500 times over budget and rather unweildy, is in danger of being shuttled off. And I say, "dag nabbit."
Listening to proponents of the law blither away with weak defences of it, I felt they missed the core component of gun control that I really like:
If something can enable a real stupid person to kill me from over 50 feet away, I'm all for keeping track of it.
I mean, you could throw a rock or a stick from a few dozen feet, but you'd have to rely pretty heavily on (a) surprise, (b) luck, and (c) your ability to hypnotize somebody from a great distance, making them completely unable to duck. Rock- and baseball- and knife-throwing all require a fair amount of skill and/or chance, and none of them usually travel faster than the speed of sound.
I've also read a bit of history in my day, and never have I run across somebody going on a "bow-and-arrowing spree" or a "rock-throwing spree" or a "pointy stick rampage." The gun (and pretty much any other explosives-using device such as the hand grenade, land mine, and Pumpkin Bomb, if you're Green-Goblin-inclined) is the only way I can think of for a card-carrying lunatic to do me in without me getting some sort of half-decent shot at defending myself.
Let me paint two parallel scenes here:
Scene One: Madman with knife decides to attack me.
Me: "Golly. That fellow with the knife seems to be walking over here rather briskly, and foaming around the mouth. Perhaps I should kick him in the groin, or run away, or prepare to defend myself, or call the local constabulary."
Scene Two: Madman with gun decides to attach me.
Me: "Golly. That -- arrgh!"
I think that pretty much sums 'er up. Granted, there are lots of legitimate uses for firearms, such as, um, putting down Old Yeller, and killing the man whose wife you're sleeping with on a hunting trip and making it look like an accident. Come to think of it, there aren't really a lot of uses for firearms except for blasting away at unsuspecting wildlife, which is something else I could really do without.
Those who oppose the gun registry generally oppose it because they say it's an infringement on their right to own firearms. In secret. It's an infringement on their right to cache lethal killing devices in their basement. Just in case, you know, there's a big secret-lethal-killing-device party over at Joey's house and you don't want to be left out. Why the heck SHOULDN'T I know who in my neighbourhood has firearms? At least then I'll know who to smile at.
Matt Shepherd 13.12.02
Talk About Comics :: View Forum - Killroy and Tina
More post-Sept.-11 brouhaha on the Killroy and Tina boards...full thread above under "Upside Down."
Here's my mad meanderings:
I'm writing from New York City, where the general consensus is that the attack last year constituted a casus belli -- for those of you who aren't familiar with Latin or nineteenth century geopolitics, that means a cause for war. We were attacked by an organized entity who will, unless harried and pursued, will continue to wage war against us. There is no effective diplomatic response, especially if one wants to have safety and security in the short term.
Your points are all good, and well-taken, but I'm afraid I have to differ from New York's concensus view (were you polled?).
I'm not familiar with "just war theory," nor nineteenth-century geopolitics, so you'll have to bear with my wooly thinking, but my problem with your primary statement is this:
Terrorism isn't war. It's terrorism. As Noam Chomsky said, "War is two armies fighting." The idea that war has been declared on America is an unfortunate misunderstanding...war hasn't been declared. War is a state of conflict between two defined groups, and only one group is so far defined: America. By re-defining terrorist acts as "war," the Bush administration is attempting to define the opposing side in the "war" as "anybody that doesn't like America." It takes two to tango, and by saying that "America is at war," Bush is free to roam the Middle East and force people onto his dance card. Spoooooky.
I also have a very personal take on the situation...which goes like this.
Essentially, a bunch of nuts who hated America's foreign policies blew up some very large buildings. America retaliated by bombing the country where a percentage of these nuts and their alleged leader lived (not governed, just lived) "back to the stone age," destroying said country's system of government and creating a new one that was more to their liking.
I live in Quebec, Canada. We have a fair share of nuts, too, very few of whom believe that violence is necessary for Quebec's just and destined separation from the rest of Canada.
It's not hard for me to extrapolate this situation thusly: Quebec separatist nuts blow up a large building that, to them, represents the oppression of Canada's federal government, killing lots of people. Said federal government retaliates by carpet-bombing the hell out of the entire province, killing thousands and thousands of people including, oh, say, me.
They then hunt down and kill the provincial government and set up a new one.
Something about this falls neatly into the "bad idea" category for me.
The extrapolation of the "war" argument is "all those who might harm America must be hunted down and exterminated regardless of any innocents that get killed because they happen to be in the way." Which starts tending away from "war" and more towards, well, "Crusade." Which brings to mind, oddly enough, the last major wholesale slaughter of the citizens of the Middle East by Christian Westerners...funny, that.
Matt Shepherd 12.9.02
Boy oh boy, I've been waiting a while for this. Y'know why? Because from this day forward, people will have to refer to last September 11 as SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH, TWO THOUSAND AND ONE, and maybe that'll mean people won't bloody name-check it so much.
Point two, just for clarification:
Being in a building when somebody blows it up does not make you a hero. It does not make you an angel. It makes you a victim, absolutely yes, but y'know what? As far as I'm concerned, working in the World Trade Center actually elevates your odds of being scum by about 300%. People that worked in the WTC were probably not, let's face it, saints. Odds are good most of them were materialistic greedheads and officially Part Of The Problem. 3,000 people dead? Statistically, a few were most likely rapists. Definitely several mysoginistic bastards in the bunch, perhaps even a murderer or two. Were any of them thieves, charlatans or uncharitable bastards? For Pete's sake, it was a building full of lawyers and stockbrokers. Take a wild guess.
But now they're heroes. Because a building fell on them. Hoorah.
Well, hooray for September 11, 2002, and the growing awareness that maybe America As A Whole Had It Coming. I wouldn't wish such a horrible death on anyone, but if the Yanks are fool enough to let Dubya charge off to war in Iraq, they're gonna get more. A lot more. And I for one won't be surprised an eensy weensy bit.
Matt Shepherd 11.9.02
CIA World Factbook 2001
Just checking out the CIA World Factbook to confirm that the official languages of Togo, Benin, Ghana and Guinea are French (a translation gig at work -- do you translate Ministère de l'Eau or not? You don't if the French is the proper name, HENCE you have to know what the official language of the country is...)
Just for poops and giggles, I decided to see what the CIA was saying about Iraq these days.
404-PAGE NOT FOUND.
404-PAGE NOT FOUND.
Holy crap, the CIA have already erased Iraq from their &?%$ Worldbook.
Bingo. Up comes Iraq, and all is well with the world.
It was funny, though, wasn't it?
Well, wasn't it?
Matt Shepherd 6.9.02
Back again! And READY TO RANT!
This'll cross over to I Shall Rule This Planet, for you continuity fiends.
So, for work, I had to watch to translate a hunting video last night, and HOLY FUCKING SHIT, my conviction that all hunters should be rounded up and well, shot, is stronger than ever.
It's porn. Really. Think about it: a short film with bad production values and worse music, aimed at giving frustrated men vicarious gratification. Exploitative and entirely focused on trophies. And penetration, in a sense. Lots of "money shots," too. Cheap, nasty, straight-to-video porn.
The thing that really bothered me was the hunting methods. These guys travel all the way to the Yukon to kill a moose and a bear. How do they do it? They HIDE BEHIND A FUCKING TREE, SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY FEET AWAY, and SHOOT AN ANIMAL THAT HAS NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON. Very sportsmanlike, guys. What's next? Gonna lay a few land mines on a deer run? Hey, how about you get your buddies to (a) tranquilize Mike Tyson, (b) cut his arms and legs off, (c) tie him to a chair, (d) gag him, (e) tranquilize him into a coma? Then you can walk into the room, punch him in the stomach, and go to a bar and have beers and talk about your big fucking fight with Mike Fucking Tyson. Fuck, why don't you eliminate the middleman? Go dig up some fucking corpses and punch them a few times? Or run over crippled schoolchildren in a bloody tank? As long as you can do it from an obscene distance with no personal risk of any form of injury to yourself on a totally unsuspecting animal, you're a big man, aren't you?
Did I mention that they shot the bear from across a river? Hiding behind a tree, 650 feet away across a river. Jesus Christ.
So anyway, the movie ends, and our hero René has killed a large moose and a large grizzly bear, probably ejaculated several times into their dead-and-cooling mouths, and is heading back to Quebec with his trophies. "Hey, see that bear? I shot it from 650 feet away with a Remington while it was taking a dump. I'm a big fucking man. Maybe next year I'll buy a fucking SCUD missle and take out a beaver dam."
Please, somebody. Teach the bears to shoot. Or give me my own double-O license and my own high-powered rifle to act as the "animal's advocate." Even child-rapist-drug-dealers get defense provided for them; I think a moose deserves at least that much. Get ready for some instant karma, you cowardly fuckheads.
Matt Shepherd 5.9.02
SWEET BABY JESUS, NO.
Matt Shepherd 25.6.02
John Muir Exhibit
A perfectly beautiful word from a book of short stories I'm publishing for a friend; a senior citizen who wants to finally get this book out.
By context, I figured it was sort of a fog, but according to the link above, it's a type of thick, freezing fog that rolls off the sea and implies that a storm is on the rise. I'm doing the 24-Hour-Comic project today, and I think the haar might work its way into it.
Matt Shepherd 22.6.02