Splenetically yours Spleen started out as a deposit
for occasional essays about political things. It was a strong
for an old fart's reading room.
A medical study last year told us that people
who write about their frustrations live longer. Writing is a way of relieving
stress. In this case, the boffins are not wrong.
Casting an eye over Spleen tonight, I could
be around for a bloody long time.
So come in and have
a butcher's. Here's my elixir of youth: Spleen.
By the way, I would just like to say to Cameron,
Ishihara, Hashimoto, Exxon, Shell, McDonalds and careless drivers, Hummer owners, and all your
friends: fuck you all, you're ruining a beautiful planet.
I should have posted this two weeks ago — or maybe it's in time for the assumption.
Also, should have made the blue drool blob piss yellow but who would have guessed the president elect would be caught out for playing bizarre water sports with Russian prostitutes? Yes, we should have guessed that would happen, but we didn't.
So, a happy new year question to Psipook's readers: What will Donald Trump be caught out for next? Fucking a pig? Nah, that's been done to death.
Oh, what's that sound? Oh, it's you. Yes, it's safe, you can come out of your hobbit hole, little hobbit.
Yes, Littleshire has been made safe.
The Sun is shining righteously. All the brown people are gone. There's a pot of Elvish gold outside your door which fell by a fair-minded wind.
Best of all, all the Eurorcs have gone back to the smoky undemocratic wastes of Brussdor.
It is I, wizard Boris Faragedalf, and I confess I have made this land a utopia by magic. I waved my magic wand and made it so — fancy that! Fancy a fag and a pint?
Yes, come out … Oh, it's you, Fraido Muggins. Yes, little hobbit, fear has been banished from the land and so have your other enemies: reason and humanity.
Oh look, the folk of Littleshire are having a fete to fete their fine victory. There's morris dancing and dwarf tossing, and various wholesome activities to do with sheep and pigs and wellington boots.
That smell? That's the smell of roasted fatty-eurocrat, you know, the animal that's been eating all the food you've grown and traded to him for so many years — what a foul, greedy beast! And just desserts, don't you think? We've got it turning on a spit.
Oh, yes, like I say, you are snug in your hole in the Shire. Why, I can see rose vines growing on your nose, even as I speak.
Winning gold in Olympic yawning
The Olympic Games is one of the most boring and futile spectacles yet invented by humans, so the approach of the last day will bring no dismay.
Every four years the best athletes in the world join together to compete in running, jumping, and falling over while their non-running, non-jumping, non-falling over compatriots ecstatically cheer them on.
My, what a fuss those compatriots kick up, painted and draped in the national colours, cheering, waving flags as if it were an Olympic sport of its own. The fans don't seem to be celebrating that their athletes are the technical best at running, jumping, and falling over, but that they and their nation are innately, inherently the best in the most absolute and fundamental way possible; that they are racially, culturally, morally, naturally, spiritually, genetically superior to everyone because of their abilities at running, jumping, and falling over.
Each victory, near victory, or humiliating loss being greeted with such emotions, such screaming, cheering, crying, and raised arm salutes as to suggest that all this running, jumping, and falling over actually matters to the universe and everyone in it on a very fundamental level.
Never mind that the victors and losers are separated by microseconds, by millimetres, by quantities of time and distance that cannot be measured by humans alone, that require the most sophisticated of machines to calculate, the kinds of machines that normally would be employed measuring the amount of gravitational shift caused by a butterfly flapping its wings on a small planet orbiting a star the other side of the galaxy. In other words, amounts that normal people shouldn't give a fuck about.
And never mind that the winners in four year's time will be from totally different countries which makes the nationalistic hoopla look as silly as it is.
The Olympics are thought to have been first held in 776 (when, sensibly and mercifully, there was only one event) so you would have thought that in 2,792 years people would have noticed that the outcomes are a wee bit arbitrary.
Bill Murray tweeted that every event should include an ordinary person as a measure
Every Olympic event should include one average person competing for reference.
and that's a very good idea because Michael Phelps just swam the equivalent of the distance from my house to the end of the street in the same time I could walk it; well, I just pulled a bogey the size of a rat out of my nose: where's my medal?
And the Olympics are a very, very expensive exercise in futility indeed. The stadiums in this year's games cost millions that could have been better spent on drugs in Rio's favelas — which is entirely the Russian team's approach to the games.
For all the energetic running, jumping and falling over, let's not forget that the games are celebration of obesity because each run, jump and fall is branded with the Coca Cola and McDonald's logos, purveyors of fine sugar, fat, and heart attacks. Eat enough of this stuff and you too can run, jump and fall over — or at least fall over, and at this top-flight level, one out of three is pretty good.
Then what about the International Olympic Committee itself? Committed to building a better world through sport, or as the rest of us would call it, rampant bribery and corruption. Given the amount of money that's being sloshed around on Rolexes and little girls, cheering the Olympic athletes is a lot like cheering the gunmen during the St Valentine's Day massacre.
However, there is one mitigation of the games, and to be honest it's a pretty big mitigation, one reason to actually feel a bit grateful, and that's a prompt to go to YouTube and remind ourselves of Eddie Izzard's vision of the stoned Olympics.
Now, do I get any kind of medal for this rant?
August 20, 2016
British comedy at its finest
There's a new farce in town and it's hilarious.
The story so far: as a result of an internal squabble, the government of Britain calls a vote to decide whether to leave the biggest, most affluent trading bloc in the world. This triggers the most divisive and rancorous campaign anyone can remember. Both sides try to outdo each other in telling outrageous lies. Nationalism and racism stain the air. A woman is murdered. In a painfully close vote the nation chooses to leave the trading bloc. The prime minister resigns but refuses to trigger the legal process that will actually take the UK out of the trading bloc, whose top dogs are now telling us to hurry up and piss off. The media reports that large numbers of people now regret their vote, didn't know it would actually be counted, thought they were protesting at something but didn't really know what, and even ask if they can change their mind. Google reports that the top five search terms in the UK in the day after the vote were all questions about what the EU actually was, suggesting that millions of people had voted without knowing what they were voting for. Three million people sign a petition demanding to have the exact same vote they just had.
Nationwide, there is a spike in racist incidents. It turns out that the referendum wasn't legally binding anyway, and since the police are investigating the ruling party for electoral fraud in the general election, the legitimacy of the government and the referendum are in doubt. Politicians run around looking for a way to back peddle or just pretend the whole thing didn't even happen, while the leaders of the victorious leave campaign back peddle on their promises on funding the NHS and on immigration. The same clique claim they would negotiate a deal with the EU that would give the UK the same benefits and terms of membership without actually being members, and a flock of pigs were seen fluttering overhead. The opposition party gangs up on its leader and attempts an internal coup. Scotland insists on another vote for independence, pretty much guaranteeing the break up of the UK.
Oh, yes, high farce in the best British traditions of Ealing comedy and as surreal as Monty Python. I can't wait to see what happens next but, for sure, this one is set to run and run.
June 26, 2016
Trident: corporate America milks British cash from nationalist woodies
According to reports, Carter has said that the UK needs to keep its Trident nuclear missile system. In words that will rub the woodies of British conservatives everywhere, he explained, that Trident enabled Britain to "continue to play that outsized role on the global stage that it does because of its moral standing and its historical standing".
Yup, Britain is a big-boy country and has big-boy friends like America, and should keep its big-boy toys.
Trident costs a bomb
"It's important that the military power matches that standing and so we're very supportive of it," he added, causing the martyrdom of uncountable pairs of patriotic underpants.
My first reaction on reading this was that if America wants us to keep Trident, America should fucking pay for it.
But the reality is that Britain is paying America for Trident. Of course Carter Ash wants Britain to feel big about keeping its nukes: corporate America has made a fortune out of Trident and with its renewal will make another fortune out of it.
Trident is going to cost the British taxpayer £31 billion pounds in the next procurement programme with another £10billion set aside for the inevitable cost overruns. (Some sources put the cost at £100billion.)
The US doesn't want the UK to keep Trident because Britain looks good in it on the world stage. The US wants us to keep Trident because it's a big, fat cash cow for Lockheed and the US military-industrial complex.
Let's be clear about this. That's the better part of £41 billion going directly from the pockets of hardworking British taxpayers into the pockets of stinking rich foreign corporations who deal in death and destruction.
Surely I don't need to point out that this massive displacement of public money into the trousers of makers of weapons of mass destruction is happening at a time of Conservative-imposed 'austerity', in which we are seeing the NHS underfunded and sold off by stealth to more corporations, in which the poor and the vulnerable are having their support taken away while being demonised, while rich privileged people whose family businesses don't pay tax are telling us we have to 'balance the books'. Please tell me I don't need to point all that out.
New improved Trident missile system — artist's impression.
Stop and ask yourself, given your lifestyle, can you afford to be donating money to rich people? That's what is going on. (It's not just arms companies we're funding, it's private providers of what used to be public services like the DWP, prisons, health and schooling. But this is another posting of its own. Watch this space.)
And, hang on a minute: with Ash Carter's comments about Trident, could the greatest democracy on the planet be interfering with the democratic processes of its bestest friend?
Well, look at it like this: Carter has chosen to speak up for renewing Trident just ahead of a big debate and vote in parliament on the future of Trident.
Now, there's not a coincidence.
Could the fine, upstanding patriotic woodies Ash Carter is rubbing belong to the very people who are going to vote over the future of Trident? Fuck, yes!
Trident has nothing to do with security or stature.
Trident has everything to do with bloating the coffers of multi-national corporations.
Carter is massaging these small British dicks into compliance with his corporate sponsors.
Is Trident a matter of the UK's outsize standing in the world? No, it's more a matter of outstanding fraud.
Travelling at the speed of purple: the design secrets of the 500 Type EVA Shinkansen
By AN O'Bergine, special correspondent for purple things, Osaka, Japan
Poster colours: purple is the new black — and so is black.
So have you seen the ads for the very new, very fast, Shinkansen train? They are all over JR stations at the moment.
The thing 500 Whatever Shinkansen, the 500 Type EVA Shinkansen. Woo hoo! Coming soon to a station near you and departing just as fast.
I thought the advertisement was for a new SF manga or something, because it features purple spaceships looming at you out of a sexy black background.
No, turns out to be ads for trains, for chuff-chuffs, as such.
OK, it's not your Thomas the Tank engine sort of chuff-chuff. The 500 Type EVA is purple and silver and bears a dramatic green flash. And it wears a helmet and apparently it also transforms into a giant robot that fights evil or perhaps other less purple trains.
No, really, that's what the advertisement seems to be saying.
And did I mention that the train is purple? Yes, very, very purple, and it's very sleek and aerodynamic and thrusting in appearance. Fast and thrusting — as a spaceship should be, and indeed the thing looks like it will be zooming up and down Japan at SF speeds.
So, what does EVA stand for? It must be Excessive Velocity, Actually.
To be honest, it doesn't really look like a train. It looks like, well, the aforementioned spaceship-cum-evil-battling robot. Nothing looks like what it's supposed to these days. Engineers and designers are letting their imaginations run away with them. Or letting their imaginations run away with us.
You can see the engineers around their design table asking each other what this train or rocket or missile or space liner or packet of biscuits should look like if it's not to look like itself, and they are stumped. Making it look like Snoopy is one option, but making it look like a train or a rocket or a missile or space liner or packet of biscuits never is. So, what should it look like?
A packet of biscuits.
Then one of the engineers happens to glance inside his trousers for inspiration and goes 'Hey, what about this? Let's make it look like masculinity itself. Let's make it look like a thing!'
'I bet no one has done that before,' says his colleague. 'Let's do it.'
That's innovation for you.
But thing doesn't work, does it. If you really copy what's in your trousers, you end up with a train or a packet of biscuits that looks like a docile worm, one that dangles upside down in dark places. You can slap the thing up a bit, of course, but then you get something that looks like a startled worm.
No, this is where the engineers move to giant, hurtling, engorged purple, which is so much more compelling than anything like a train or a packet of biscuits or a docile worm. Unwary members of the public may even fall into the trap of believing that this represents something actually to be found in the underpants of an engineer.
The subtext of course, the unspoken story here is: I bet the girls will line up to ride on this thing — wey-hey!
Not a pale worm, exactly .
This is incredibly important to engineers. They labour under a certain disadvantage, you see. Their disadvantage is that they are engineers and they speak in terms of stress loads and coefficients and velocities and bland little acronyms that they think are hilarious because no one but other engineers understand them. In short, engineers cannot be understood by anyone except other engineers. This doesn't do much for your social life, and especially not your sex life.
And they do not stop to ask whether purple is appropriate or wise because they know that if they build it, they will come. And if they build it to look like a thingy out of a manga, they will come in their droves.
On launch day, everyone gets excited but rather than breathless girls lining up to ride on the purple thing, you've got boys with acne, wearing anoraks lining up at the end of the platform to take photos of it and the engineers can't figure out what went wrong.
And so it's back to the drawing board.
And that's technology and design and male sexuality for you.
Didn't take long to sort out, did it.
These passengers were specially designed for use with the 500 Type EVA.
This is a screen grab of an online ad for a game being touted in the only country to have been nuked.
PsiSpleen coverage of GOP primaries
Supporter demonstrates size of Drumpf-Trump's penis
The revolution begins in his right hand
Exclusive: That David Cameron-Xi Jinping meeting — the real issues
David Hameron and Xi Jin-pig
Exclusive: That David Cameron-Xi Jinping meeting — what they really talked about
Thanks to Chris Storey for the Cameron-Xi joke.
Exclusive: That Jeremy Corbyn-Xi Jinping meeting — what they really talked about
What really happened to the Titanic?
The terrible and sinister truth about the fate of the RMS Titanic. Will you ever trust anyone again after reading this?
Edward Snowden's revelations about blanket spying by the USA and UK on their own citizens and the citizens of the world have been met by the apologists of snooping with the mantra: If you are innocent you have nothing to fear. But is that true?Read on.
October 13, 2013
Brain food Here's Japan's scariest, most horrifying and silliest zombie movie.
Watch and pee yourself.
Zombie Time was created by Guy Page for an art college application. I expect the college will have hired Mila Jovovitch to keep him away.
September 8, 2013
Today, the Psipook team was taken by a sudden urge to find out what the current popular search terms on Google were, so all 12,000 of us logged on to Google Trends.
A bearded Jeremy Paxman worries about someone's cat.
The first term that came up was "Jeremy Paxman beard".
This was the wee small hours of the morning UK time, which gave us the impression that the population of Britain was laying awake worrying that Jeremy Paxman might have grown facial hair.
The search term following that was "Erwin Schrödinger" which gave the impression that the portion of the British population not worrying about Mr. Paxman's beard was anxious for the wellbeing of Mr Schrödinger's cat. Is that moggy alive or dead? We really must know.
Well, you can trying Googling it.
August 14, 2013
The NSA would like to remind you to smile when they are spying on you through your webcam.
Indiscriminate surveillance is a pretty thankless task and it would help the spooks get through the day if the people they were watching showed a little enthusiasm.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Those Weed sites in full Psipook isn't the only site in this universe, (No, really!) There are several associated sites and in lieu of any meaningful content on this site, here are some links.
Out quite a while ago
In the last post on this site, about 1847, I claimed that Chris Page's collection of short fiction, Shorts, was being re-published in paperback under another title. And so it came to pass, not that readers (hi!) would have known by reading this site because I completely forgot to mention it.
Anyway, Shorts has been re-published with extra stories and stuff under the title Un-Tall Tales — oh, look! There's an advertisement thing for the book just to the right of this text. Yaroo.
I am putting up a pair of sites dedicated to my publications: one to Weed and one to Shorts. Shorts, meanwhile, is being renamed for the paperback edition. More news here when that is sorted. http://chris-page.com/
Weed the novel is now out in paperback. What's Weed? Check here to get filled in. Already one of the Weedy cognoscenti? You can see where to get a copy of either the paperback or the e-book here.