My Blog Now Has.... Fish??

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Why I Hate Fun

If you think I'm turning into a grinch and complaining about the idea of having fun, you'll be disappointed. I'm talking about the band, Fun. And no, I don't really hate them; if you read my previous posts on One Direction and Train, you'll see I'm being very overstated in that regard. I don't hate Fun, I have one particular gripe with them. No it's not the use of auto-tune, or how bad they sounded when I heard them live on TV. It's one particular sentence in their hit single, 'We are young'. The line goes:
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home
You may not realise it, but that sentence is an abomination. The problem comes from that 'and' masquerading at the beginning of the second line; it wrecks the sentence. I'll explain in more detail. In English, we have simple sentences, and then we have clauses inside those sentences. You can break them up into units of thought to make it clearer. So when this is broken up we get 'by the time the bar closes' as a separate phrase; that leaves the 'if' hanging- what completes that 'if' clause? 

It should be completed as 'so if... you feel like falling down'. But it's not, because there's a ridiculous 'and' in the middle of the line which makes it read 'so if and you feel...", which is utter nonsense. It's not like the 'and' is particularly important to the line- it could have been a syllable left out. But no, they had to go and break the English language. And the fact that no one notices this annoys me even more. Talk about reinforcing bad habits! And that is why I hate Fun!

Q.E.D.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Snoooooooooooooow

For some of us in the world, snow is not the most common thing. For others I'm sure it is, and is quite annoying or boring. But as for me down here in New Zealand, I had managed to go 20 years of my life without actually getting a proper experience of snow. This, of course, had to be rectified. So last Thursday, somewhat on a whim, Victoria and I decided it was time for another road trip to Mt Ruapehu- this time to see the snow. We went down at Easter but the Mountain was bare then- though still rather cold. It was anything but bare this time...

Our trip started out at about 7 in the morning, on a crisp, clear winter day. I drove the first leg of the trip, through Matamata down to Taupo (I'll link a map of all this later). We were pretty sleepy at the start so it wasn't too action-packed, although there was some overtaking- I avoided this when we were stuck behind a police booze bus. We stopped in Taupo for brunch at a nice little cafe, with award winning pies. Nom. While we were there, Victoria asked how to get to the nearest supermarket; the lady there proceeded to direct us and finished it by saying, "It's called Pak 'n' Save" in her most patronising voice. We wondered if we seemed like tourists or country folk; either way it was quite funny.

So we headed to the supermarket, stocked up on lollies (which made me a bit sick later...) and other supplies for lunch. This was followed by a toilet stop down by the lake, which presented some photo opportunities.

It may not look like it, but I actually had no idea there was a rainbow there. I just enjoy that pose!! But Victoria got the shot right and it looks great! This was not the last rainbow we would see that day. Victoria took over driving and we headed down to the mountain, via the Desert Road. Along the way, we listened to Gotye's album Making Mirrors and then some of Muse's Origin of Symmetry, and also read some of The Hobbit to each other. Throughout this we were tailing the rainbow and at times it seemed only a few metres away from us. Unfortunately, we never did find that pot of gold.




At this point it started to get quite exciting for me; there were clumps of ice/snow along the desert road and this was the first time I really go to see it. It was all very exciting at the time, though later it seemed quite meagre. Soon the central plateau loomed up on the horizon and we caught sight of the snowy peaks. Lovely and picturesque! There weren't many clouds that day, but there were a few big ones circling the tops of the mountains. That meant snow. Exciting!


 When we reached Ohakune, the petrol was getting a little low; I'd had a little snooze at that stage and had just woken up when Victoria asked if we should stop for petrol. We decided to fill up at National Park instead, but when we got there the station was out of 95, which my little car runs on. The guys at the station were less than helpful, but we decided to put in $20 of 91 and go with that. 

So then we headed up to the mountain; all the roads were open but the ski fields were closed- all the more snow for us! We drove past the Château, where some folks were playing in a bit of snow- we decided to keep going as far as we could. We drove up and up the long, winding, icy road, which fortunately had just been ploughed. When we got to the top, all the car parks were covered in snow, and after a bit of searching we finally managed to find somewhere to park. Then it was a question of wrapping up as warmly as possible and heading out for my first time in the snow.

It was very windy up there; so much so that you really had to turn your back to the wind or get pelted in the face. As you can see, we were wrapped up pretty warmly, but even then it was freezing. I made the mistake of wearing fingerless gloves, which meant my poor fingertips almost froze off. Luckily I did manage to get a few photos. We ran around in the snow for a bit; it was quite firm but if you stamped hard enough it would push through. Victoria tried to make a snow angel but it failed pretty hard. 

After a bit of that, we decided to head back to the car to thaw out for a while. Then we drove down the mountain a bit, until we found another place to park. The snow was softer here and after a few steps we realised we were in over heads- or at least, up to our knees! Stepping on it was liable to send your foot sinking all the way down, prompting some ungracious manoeuvre on your part not to fall over. We managed to exctract ourselves from this, and quite suddenly a snowball fight broke out. I have to say I won, though ask Victoria and you'd hear otherwise. Anyway, that was really fun but we were soon frozen again and got back inside to defrost. This was all an amazing experience for me, which I think is really cool. It's a shame when something like snow becomes mundane and regular, because it's something to enjoy and have fun with. It must be a pain when it's heavy and creates problems, so I'm glad I got to enjoy it in small doses!

After this excitement  and a lunch break, we decided to head back home- not that we didn't enjoy it, but we'd come for the snow and we'd seen the snow- and the drive was part of the experience too! Plus we didn't want to get back too late, so we headed back, through Taumarunui. This provided some tension when we realised we had 40+ kilometres to drive with not much fuel. Fortunately for us, the town before it, Manunui, had a petrol station. By this stage I'd been driving with the petrol light on for some time, so I was so relieved when I saw it that I drove onto the other side of the road in excitement. I managed to regain my composure and drive in; my shoes and socks were wet from the snow, so I walked in bare foot, only to remember I had painted toenails- Victoria's doing. The look I got from the rugged country blokes in the store was priceless. But I got my petrol, which made me very happy!

So with that we headed back home; unfortunately we couldn't avoid Hamilton this time and so were subjected to its many roundabouts and lack of attractions. But we got back to Auckland before 9pm, which was a pretty good effort all things considered. It was an amazing day, an amazing experience and a great trip! I can't wait for the next one! 

Here's the map if you'd like to check it out: http://goo.gl/maps/bJJl 

I LOVE SNOW!!!
Q.E.D.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What's This, What's This?

Woah guess who hasn't blogged in a while? I feel like I say that every time I come to write a post now. Damn. It's true, I've rather neglected this old dear. I miss the days when the first thing that came to my head after I did something or thought of something cool was "I should put that on my blog!" I guess now I actually talk to people about it... Looking back I can probably track the times when I was loneliest and least happy by the amount of blogging I did. So I don't really miss that. And it's not like the world really needs to know what I think about anything. But it's fun, I've always enjoyed so I shall endeavour to do when I like, and not feel bad about it when I don't. Also I think the new blogger interface is terrible, I hate it, and it puts me of writing and generally using it. Please change it back!! 

So anyway, was I going to say anything interesting? No, probably not in the post. The main point is that I AM ON HOLIDAY! Yay! It's absolutely crazy, yet seemingly universal, how once you get on study leave for exams EVERYTHING becomes amazing and entertaining; you have to play every game, watch every tv show, every movie and read every book. I've certainly had that. I went through 2 seasons of Game of Thrones in 2 days each. Now I have no more Game of Thrones to watch. Sad face. But I have the book now; my flattie lent it to me a few days before my first exam. That was pretty troll, I must say. But I have avoided reading it until now. I might just do that now. I've also watched all but the latest episode of Sherlock, which is amazing, and started watching Friends because, well, it's Friends isn't it? I love it so much. But I also have to practice for singing competitions. Damn. At least I'm on holiday now, yay!!

Catch ya soon!
Q.E.D.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why I Hate 'Train'

Ok so again, I don't really 'hate' this band but I thought I would pick up on my 'I Hate One Direction' thing I had going. As you may have heard, Train have had a recent hit with the song 'Drive By'. It's playing on the radio a lot and I do quite like it. Unfortunately I had another one of those moments when I listened to the lyrics and was slightly horrified. Here's why:

Ok so firstly, the guy singing sees this girl he had a one night fling with and wants to get back with her. That's fair enough. What is disturbing is the line:
"you moved to west LA or New York or Santa Fe or wherever to get away from me"
Wait, what? This person moved to a different city and a different state just to get away from him. That's not creepy at all! And the fact that he doesn't know where she went suggests very strongly that she didn't want him to know. Now this guy wants to get it with this girl who clearly thinks he's a creep/stalker/fiend and he thinks she will want him as much. That's weird. He tries to make it out that he was the one that left her but clearly she was the one that drove across country to get away from him.


Secondly, he says some weird things like:
"Just a shy guy looking for a two-ply hefty bag to hold my love"
 Serious? You're comparing this girl now to a rubbish bag? That's a sure fire way to get the girls. It has some serious serial killer connotations there that make it even dodgier- not to mention that when he sings it, it sounds to me like "hefty bag of hoes"... Some other weird lines include "I didn't need you until I came to", which (ignoring the sexual double entendre) sounds like she knocked him out or something. No wonder he was "scared as hell"! "They don't like it sue me" is also quite troubling, this guy clearly has in mind the law being involved already. And while "Mmm the way you do me" isn't the best line in the history of song writing, it also makes it out like this was a continuous thing, when it clearly sounds like a one-off, possibly consensual encounter. I don't know how he thinks they could possibly "skip the how you been" and just get together; it seems fairly clear he has mental problems.


So yeah. Think about it. This song is quite weird. You'll thank me next time you hear it no doubt.


Q.E.D.

 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

ATTENTION: Spoiler alert!

So many of you will (and the rest of you should) know that Christopher Nolan's coup de grâce The Dark Knight Rises is due to come out this year. Quite coincidentally, it's coming out the week of my birthday!!! So naturally I'm pretty excited about it. But what's more interesting is my theory about how the spectacular trilogy is really going to conclude! 
Note- if you have only a cursory knowledge of Christopher Nolan's films, go away, watch them all, and come back and read this. You will be doubly happy- that you understand what I'm going on about and you got to see some awesome films!
Prepare yourself. Your mind is about to be blown.

First of all, it will be revealed that Bruce Wayne is not Batman. Bruce in fact is his brother. His twin brother. Just because you never saw them together, doesn't mean they're not two different people. But that's not all- he doesn't have just the one brother. He has three brothers. Yes, there are four Christian Bales running around. Where do the other two come in? That's right, they're magicians. One sees the gallows, the other gets to live out his life with his little daughter. Their Nemesis, Hugh Jackman, manages to hide his adamantium claws and convince people that he does not have any doubles, despite having a very convincing one (not to mention all the dead copies of himself) in none other than Robert Downey Junior. Who then tries to make a move on his doppleganger's old assistant, Scarlet Johansson, only to find she's much more than he can handle. In fact, she works for a guy with one eye, who regularly deals with snakes, mad Germans avenging the death of Snape, Kahuna Burgers, young Jedi and a host of coincidentally connected comic heros. The Iron Man then decides he is much more suited to solving mysteries. 

Michael Caine raises all theses young Christian Bales; he goes by Alfred and Cutter, and just to throw everyone off the scent, the two non-batty Bales take on the name Alfred. He has long since retired from the crime jobs, after that job in Italy and now has a son, named Cobb. He teaches him much that there is to know about infiltrating dreams and the possibilities of inception. Cobb eventually outstrips his trainer and mentor (ring any bells Batman?) and finally though tragically succeeds in inception, on his own wife, who somehow will crop up in Gotham city. When he succeeds a second time, the results are equally disturbing. The once professional Robert Fischer descends into madness and eventually turns into the evil Scarecrow, who comes to torment Batman and Gotham City. His architect Ariadne moves to Minnesota and has a teenage pregnancy; and Arthur goes back to his  rooftop, before he and Eames join in on the Gotham hotbed.

While Cobb is in limbo, however, his mind plays out a series of fantasies where he is a U.S. Marshal, a con artist, an undercover cop, a gang member, a real Romeo, a pilot, and even one where he is on a rather large boat that rather tragically sinks. Thereupon he (Jack) washes up on a beach, in limbo. At which point Geoffrey Rush, Kiera Knightly, Orlando Bloom and co turn up looking for a Jack in limbo, only to discover they are not in Davy Jones' locker but in fact his rucksack.

Anyway while this is going on, young Buck Wayne (you think of a better name) is being trained by Liam Neeson- not only a ninja but also a retired CIA agent, a Jedi, and a Jesus Allegory Lion- while Bruce is swanning around being a little bit psycho. Rachel eventually changes more than just her hair colour (try her entire person!) and has a brief try as a baker, but when Will Farrell leaves her to report the news, her heart is literally blown to pieces. Her brother Jake doesn't take it too well, and gets a little brokeback with Heath Ledger, which drives him to become a dangerous criminal psychopath. Meanwhile he gets with Anne Hathaway (let's not even bring old Bill Shakespeare into this) who is driven to catwomanry..ness?

Morgan Freeman watches over this all, pretending not to be God, despite being not only everyone's default picture of god but also their general narrator's voice. Gary Oldman has a brief foray into wizardry, but that doesn't go so well for him as his angsty godson is worth more trouble than good. Somehow everyone loses their short term memory and the polaroid industry has a brief boom, before Trinity convinces Constantine to get his devilish friend Al Pacino to get his father Marlon Brando to get the gangs to quieten down. Then the entire cast of Ocean's 13 robs the Gotham Bank while Hugo Weaving invites all the Elves, Transformers, Agent Smith copies and hoards of people in Guy Fawkes masks to come to Gotham for the hell of it. 

Ok this is getting silly. Insert Graham Chapman Major-General scene here. But you get the picture!!! So there. Sorry for spoiling the surprise, but I'm sure it will still be amazing!!

Or maybe he is Batman and he just does some awesome stuff. He is Batman after all.

Q.E.D. 



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Why I Love Hating One Direction

So it seems I struck quite a chord with my last blog piece. Some people took a while to work it out- fair enough, I guess not everyone thinks in the weird way that I do and looks for literal meanings of lyrics! But quite a few people agreed, and one person added the fine comment: 
"also if you told her she was beautiful then from then on she would know she was beautiful because you told her... making her no longer beautiful and thus defeating the whole point and leaving you with some ugly girl. gutted."
Eloquent and incisive. Thanks Mike for that! I'm annoyed I hadn't thought of it, it's such a good point! But what was more interesting in all of this is that I soon discovered my article was a big hit on google under 'i hate one direction' or similar. Perhaps it's limited to NZ and my computer is a bit biased, but friends have confirmed I come in on the first page of hits! Which is pretty funny I think! I don't really hate these guys or anything, it was only ever a friendly stab at them for some silly lyrics!

Anyway several people had noted it was my first post in a long time. Which is true, I haven't been blogging much lately. Boo hiss! I've been pretty busy with University and suddenly finding I have a life to live and all that- pretty amazing!! Since I last posted I've moved out of home and am living in a flat in Ponsonby. I grew a beard and shaved it off. And I'm still very lucky to have my wonderful girl. So yeah, life's pretty cool but very busy! But now I shall endeavour to keep up the writing!! 

*waits for yells of delight*

*cricket chirp*
*tumbleweed*

But yeah. Keep an eye out!!

Q.E.D.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Why I Hate One Direction

Yes, I know there are many reasons, and I'm sure you have your own. But I bet they aren't my reason. So it's pretty hard to listen to the radio at the moment without hearing their song 'What makes you beautiful'. It's not a bad song; it's a catchy tune, nothing wrong with it; I can see why it's done well for them. But it bloody well annoys me so much every time I hear it because of one line in it. No, it's nothing to do with images of beauty or the rather cliche hair whipping references; it's the line "that's what makes you beautiful" stuck on the end of the chorus.

It annoys me. They've just spent the whole time explaining to the girl that she is clearly beautiful and just doesn't know it. Great, excellent, fine with that! But now you go and say it's because she doesn't know she's beautiful that she is beautiful? My paradox sensor just exploded and imploded simultaneously. That's frickin impossible guys! If she's only beautiful because she doesn't know she is beautiful, she needs to be beautiful before that which is impossible because you get stuck in an infinite loop. Mathematicians' and logicians' minds would explode if they heard this song; but there's not much chance of that thankfully. 

Think it through, and your mind will boggle. It's just a ridiculous thing to say. And for that alone, I hate One Direction. 

Q.E.D.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Harry Potter: Discrimination, Assisted Suicide and Nazis

I watched the final Harry Potter again the other night, and it brought to mind something that has been bothering me about it. Let me state now that I very much enjoy the story, both the books and the movies, and I have nothing against it whatsoever. What interests me though is people's reactions to it. I don't mean the people who obsess about it to extremes, that's perhaps just harmless fun. To me it's the lack of analysis that people put into the world behind the story, which is only quasi-fantasy. Obviously if your story is set in a completely alien or fantastical world, you can pretty much do what you like with everything and just say that's the way it is.

But in Harry Potter, the interesting thing is it is set in a contemporary setting, in or around actual places and people in our world. We need to take a moment to think about this; these people are humans, like you and I, and they are therefore very similar to us apart from their innate ability to do magic. Therefore they can be reasonably compared to our society, culture and ethics, which is where it gets fun. 

Take for example the way Wizards interact with humans. For the most part they ignore them and get on with their lives. But when you actually think about it, they do more than just passively ignore them. They go out of their way to hide from them, to keep their magic secret and not share any of its potential power and resourcefulness with them, using the all-too-helpful excuse that it's for their own good. And what happens when muggles see or discover something wizardy? They literally wipe their memories of it. That's more than just passive hiding isn't it?

To add to this, there is a definite feeling of muggles being second-class citizens. There's obviously the whole debate between pure-blood wizards and those born from muggle families going on through the book, and it's nicely resolved in favour of acceptance of everyone. Everyone who has wizarding powers, that is. You see, it's only because they somehow gain these powers that these muggles are accepted. The rest of them? They are basically treated as trash, or objects of amusement. There are the odd wizards who are very nice to them but their treatment in the series is as somewhat strange people who are poking their noses into things they shouldn't.

So basically, non-magic muggles are treated as second-class citizens. They are stopped from seeing or benefiting from anything magical- why? Just because the wizarding world doesn't want to share its power. Obviously muggles would be jealous if they found some people could do magic and they couldn't, and that would lead to problems. But how do wizards deal with this? They take the cowards way and hide, rather than deal with problems and avoid bigger ones in the future. It's a rather totalitarian approach to society.

Take the example of when the muggle Prime Minister is met by the Minister for Magic. The way his character is written is deriding, but his treatment by the wizard is equally bad. Here we see that the wizards only ever turn to the muggles when they actually need something from them, and treat them like dirt. It's pretty rough when you think of it. 


What all this is getting to is the fact that inside this world, which is made out to be an extension of the real world we live in, there is evidently a complete lack of human ethics in this particular branch of society. And it astounds me that people don't pick up on this. Just because it's fantasy fiction and magical, doesn't excuse the fact that the author is suggesting our society could be inhabited by people who are above our ethical code and treat us like second-rate human beings. Ponder that.


But the biggest thing that really gets me is one of the final revelations in the book. When Snape dies and leaves Harry his memories, we find out the real reason behind why he killed Dumbledore. He was old, ill and going to die sometime, and so it was ok to kill him since it worked out well for everyone. Wait, WHAT? Are you serious? Is JK Rowling actually justifying assisted suicide? I can't bring myself to understand how no one can be bothered by this. This character is made out to be a villain until the very end, where his villainous acts are all made good by this revaluation. But that's the point- his acts looked villainous before, because they were. He killed someone. You can't justify that by any human moral code.


The problem of course is that it is set against the backdrop of this large scale war going on, where lots of people die anyway. And we all know that ethics and morals largely get put aside in war time. But this is different; it's not in any battle, not in self-defence or anything. It is a completely contrived situation whereby the can gain the most out of helping a dying man commit suicide. That just doesn't stand up to human ethics. And yet it's been sold in millions of copies, immortalised in blockbuster films and hardly a whimper has been raised. And that bugs me.

Like I say, I have nothing against the books and I quite like everything about them. I am more worried by society's (lack of a) reaction to these issues above. It goes to show how little we might need to change for people to abandon their morality and ethics in favour of something more enticing- which is pretty much what happened in Germany circa 1935-45. Yes, sorry I just compared JK


Q.E.D.