Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Thor the Bore

Okay--for the kind of movie it was, I guess it was okay. Actually, that's not true, because when you think about the kind of movie it was--which is to say, one based on a comic book--I can think of at least two others that were significantly better, being V For Vendetta and The Watchmen.

Now, to be sure, Thor the comic book makes no political or social commentary (neither did the comic, I assume, since I never read it), so the movie isn't expected to either. It can't even bring itself to accurately reflect the Norse mythos.

I went to see it because I was intrigued by the talent behind it: Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman and Kenneth Branagh (director) are all winners in my book. And I can honestly say that the individual performances were fine. In fact, Anthony Hopkins deserves some kind of award for credibly delivering lines that were less than inspired. I mean, The Lion In Winter this was not, despite the wintery frost giants and all the talk of kings and political manouvering.

On the other hand, Hopkins could read the phone book and it would sound like Shakespeare.

But the plot was utterly predictable, and so linear, so straight, that at this very minute, that plot is driving its kids to soccer practice in a mini-van.

The 3-D effects were kinda cool, but I found them occasionally distracting. I would be looking at one part of the screen thinking, "Oh, that's an interesting texture," and have to remind myself that there was a cosmic battle occurring.

The best line of the flick (in my humble opinion) is spoken when Thor's divine friends show up in their faux-Norse armour in the middle of a New Mexico town. A townsman says, "Is there a Renaissance Faire in town?"

Ha ha on the SCA.

Also, I was delighted to sit through the credits in order to catch a glimpse of the magnetic Samuel L. Jackson, setting us up for the next installation in the series. Jackson is incredible, and I would watch him read the phonebook, too, only I suspect it might sound less like Shakespeare and more like, "Albert Spechko lives at 123 Maple Lane, motherfucker! Why am I reading this fuckin' phone book? Bitch, order me a pizza!"

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

You Gotta Be Kidding!

So guess what arrived in the mailbox today?

You'll never guess, I swear.


No word of a lie! That crazy bitch still hasn't informed her lawyer that she is living somewhere else (probably with her rapist husband). It's been three months since we threw her out!

This time we're not even bothering to call her to tell her it's here. It's just going in the mailbox as returned mail.

Fuckin' crazy bitch. Get organized already.

Monday, 9 May 2011


I don't know why I bother to argue/discuss things with the women at work as often as I do, which isn't very often. Most of the time, when someone (especially Two Clowns) says something stupid or which I know to be an historical or factual inaccuracy, I just sigh to myself and whisper the mantra, "Let it go."

But occasionally I think, "Here's an opportunity to educate someone!" And this almost always leads to disappointment for me.

Like the second time Princess Anne ventured to talk about the "Paki dot." This is an expression I find really offensive, smacking as it does of racism and ignorance.

But people get defensive and pissy when you attack them the way you might initially be inclined, so when she said "Paki dot," most recently, I turned to her and said as neutrally as I could manage, "Do you know what the 'Paki dot' is?"

"No," she said, to no-one's surprise.

"It's properly called a bhindi," I explained. "It is an ancient and sacred symbol of a woman's marriage to her husbnad, which in Hindu tradition, is not just for this lifetime, but for all reincarnations. It is a time-homoured symbol of a woman's maturity and represents that she is able to take her place in society with the rest of the adult females."

And I said all this because I think it is not enough to simply condemn racism and ignorance; it is necessary also to educate.

But Princess Anne wasn't impressed. She doesn't say "Paki dot" anymore, but that's because I obviously find it offensive, and not because my words had any effect on her. Alas. I can't say I didn't try.

Then on the morning of the Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, a discussion broke out regarding who will be the next Queen of England. The Cub thought it would be Kate Middleton, obviously confusing a wedding with a coronation.

"The next Queen of England, will be Prince Charles's wife," I said.

"No, it won't" said a woman so despised in the office that she is referred to variously as Fucking Bitch, Cunt or Hitler, depending on who you talk to (and no, it's not Teeth). "Camilla won't be Queen because she's been divorced once before."

"So has Charles," I said. "Diana didn't die while married to him. You think they'll deny him the throne because he divorced?"

"Oh, no, he'll be King, but they won't let her become Queen," said the Villified One.

This is just bullshit and I started to get a little impatient. "According to the Ascension Act of 1759, the Heir Apparent's wife must become the Queen when the Sovereign dies. It would require the changing of the British Constitution--which is not likely--to wrangle the scenario you are suggesting."

Now, I confess, I made the year of the Ascension Act up out of the thin air because at that moment, I couldn't recall the precise year. But I do know, from my various readings on the Queen and her lot that I am right. And it effectively shut the WalMart girls up, but only because I outgeeked them. It has become rampantly and abundantly clear to me that people like the sound of their own voices (hence blogs like this one) and will happily blather on stupidly regarding topics they know nothing about.

For example:

Last Thursday in the lunch room, Yvette and Two Clowns--for reasons I can no longer recall--were discussing post-mortem disposition. Or, what happens to you after you die. This might have come up as a result of me saying I can't bear to think about being cremated (weird, I know, but I can't).

"You know," said Two Clowns, "your hair and fingernails continue to grow for three months after you die."

"I heard four," said Yvette.

"Actually," I said, "this is deceptive. It's not that the fingernails and hair are growing. What is actually happening is that the extremities--your nose, toes, fingers and scalp--are dessicating, thus giving the illusion of growth. But really, you're shrinking."

"That's not correct," said Two Clowns bluntly, and gave me this superior, condescending smile that immediately make me want to kick her in the chin.

"If you do some rudimentary research," I replied reasonably, "I think you will find it is, in fact, true. I've done a certain amount of research on this subject."

But the dead silence in the room suggested that neither Two Clowns--supposedly a woman of accomplishment and education--nor Yvette believed a word I said. I dunno; maybe it's more fun to think of your hair and nails growing in the casket even though it's not physically possible BECAUSE YOU'VE STOPPED METABOLIZING, and this would become obvious the second you applied any kind of logical thought to the matter.

But it's becoming increasingly obvious to me that they just see me as some kind of geek possessed of a vast wealth of esoteric and/or useless knowledge. And they're right. Most of what I appear to know isn't exactly practical knowledge. I just don't understand how or why they choose to live in ignorance.

People: I just don't get 'em.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Fuck You, Clown!

So, earlier this week, I was having an issue with a settlement that wouldn't compute. And since this was a driver pay-cut off (read time-sensitive) and since Two Clowns's sole responsibility in the office is to fix rates and shit, I had the distinct misfortune of having to work with her on this.

And I'm okay with that, since these guys work as hard as I do for a living and deserve to get paid. And the company pays me a certain amount of money to bust my hump a couple of times a month to fix these problems and meet these deadlines.

What I don't appreciate, however, is having Two Clowns approach my desk and greet me with the words, "Okay, Shorty."

On the other hand, it's the most truthful thing she's said all week, so I shouldn't complain.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Drama Mama

Since I cannot bring myself to talk about the federal election, I will vent my spleen by bitching about Teeth.

As regular readers will know, Teeth recently attended a funeral back east. She has taken every opportunity since then to describe the various hysterics that occured, from who was invited (thus incurring the widower's wrath) to the self-indulgent carrying-on of some younger members of the family who couldn't be arsed to call grandma for the last two years of her life.

And Teeth will relate these stories to anyone that will listen, from her podmates and colleagues to anyone she gets on the phone. She's gotten a lot of mileage out of this funeral, which is clearly the most dramatic and important thing to happen to her since the development of orthodontia.

So I wasn't really surprized when Yvette emailed me yesterday to tell me that Teeth posted a card in the staff room, thanking the company for the lovely flower arrangement they sent to the services. Included with the card was a photo of said arrangement alongside the mother-in-law's casket.

Some of you more forgiving types might be thinking, "What's the big deal?", but I, for one, feel that a photo of the casket is

a) over the top
b) personal and private, and
c) one more way to remind us that SHE WAS AT A FUNERAL, YANNO, AND IT WAS REALLY, REALLY SAD.

Also, Yvette announced to the staff room during our break that she doesn't believe the Americans actually killed Osama bin Laden. Her argument is that for starters, they buried him at sea which is, like, a dead-giveaway, cuz it happened so fast. And secondly, she points out, how many people "over there" look just like him? It coulda been anyone.

It does no good to point out to her that, in strict accordance with Muslim tradition, a body must be interred within twenty-four hours of death (these people live in a hot climate--this makes sense). Nor will she listen when you tell her that burying him at sea deprives his followers of a pilgrimmage site. And on top of all that, how stupid would the Americans (especially President Obama) look if next week, bin Laden were to release a "Ha! Ha! I'm over here, next to Waldo!" video?

(Thanks to Aaron for the Waldo reference.)

And Two Clowns was no help at all during this discussion. Her contribution was, "I was in the Canadian Navy for seven years. As far as I'm concerned, his burial at sea was too dignified and better than he deserved."

"It does us no good to descend to the level of our enemies," I said, reasonably, but she went off on a vitriolic rant about what a shitbag bin Laden was, blahblahblah.

And I'm sure that the burial at sea disappoints Teeth, too, because now she can't attend the funeral or post pictures of the casket.