Tag Archives: idiocy

Crekt spelink

Okay, if they’re not native English speakers then fair enough – it’s a mistake that could be made. But if we’re talking born and bred British here then… no hope.

How do you not just spell ‘clear’ incorrectly, but also not notice you’ve done it? How do the people you’re working with not notice you’ve done it? How does a stupid, stupid mistake like that get through?

I’ve made mistakes – probably two in my whole life, maybe two and a half – but I have never painted a large instruction on the floor and misspelled it. That would be the last thing I would want to happen. Also the letters would be really big and I would have a plan ahead of time as to what I was going to write there. Meaning it would be quite hard to eff it up.

But then, I suppose I listened at school, read books and paid attention to getting things right. One, because I enjoyed doing those things and two, because I didn’t want to end up painting large instructions on the floor as a job.

No disrespect to the people who do it as a profession, but… well, actually I might just disrespect them because I feel like it. Plus it’s likely that you all get paid a lot more than I do anyway. So what does that teach us? Mainly that not listening and not caring about being educated lands you in a better financial position than someone who did listen.

Something like that, anyway. Keep klear.

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Believing in my beliefs

I’ve gone on before, ages ago, about how I don’t believe I’m a good writer. Not really. But this shocking lack of self-assurance on my part doesn’t end there, with something else I’ve been reminded of over the last few days popping up. I’m not even sure if I believe or feel what I believe and feel.

I’ll tell others and I’ll tell myself something – I think all the women should be welded to hammocks, for example. I’ll make eloquent, aggressive or combi arguments about why I believe this. I might even make a good point every once in a while, like how the constant guarantee of comfort is a price many women would want to pay.

But that wouldn’t stop my mind from thinking ‘there’s no way you actually believe this you twat, you just want everyone dead’. It happens with a lot of things I say and a lot of beliefs I claim to hold. Constantly questioning myself – not even in the way I’m looking for assurances that I do indeed think what I think, just in the way that my mind has to run deliberately contrary to everything my mouth says.

But then other things happen where your beliefs are truly challenged, and understandably so. The rioting, of course, has provoked many reactions from many people – I’m not going to comment on what others have said, as it’s their place to say it. But I warmed my own cockles when I realised that under these rather extreme circumstances – and be in no doubt: just because I’m not in an affected area doesn’t mean I can’t have a passionate reaction – even under these circumstances my beliefs held firm.

I applied logic I believed, I applied reason I believed and I have come to conclusions I believe. They will change – I know this for a fact (clue: opinions are capable of changing. Please learn this, the internet). But I told myself something, and myself replied ‘yeah, I know’. It made me feel good about myself.

I like being self-absorbed, get over it.

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Dear children: adults are actually shit

As I get older it becomes easier to see that adults are, in fact, idiots. We all are. We’re not these super-people to be revered and idolised like we think growing up. If anything, we’re stupider than kids because we won’t accept new, different ways of thinking. Instead we prefer to stick with what we know. Why? Because it’s easier.

I read something recently – I cannot remember where – that made this point. It talked of how amazed the writer was as a child that his dad could manage to get up, get ready for work and navigate all the way to his office without getting lost or being late every single day. He thought that was the work of a superhuman, and that adults just never made mistakes.

Then he grew up, and realised that yes – we are all idiots. We all get lost, fuck up or turn up three hours after we were supposed to be there.

We don’t actually get better at life, we just get used to doing it in a particular way. Routine becomes commonplace, making it look like we’re more competent. But what happens as soon as something is introduced to rock the boat – even slightly? Anarchy. Chaos. Burning churches and dead dogs. The end of days.

I remember missing my bus a while back. Three people died as a direct result of that.

Growing up really shouldn’t have this whole line of thinking behind it. You don’t get any better as you age, you just get more lines on your face and accumulate more things to be sad about.

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Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Spurred on by one of the usual inane Reddit threads, and because I’m a bit rushed doing lots of things this evening, I have been thinking of things I was told or taught as a young ‘un that I didn’t particularly realise were bollocks until I got older. And even then it might have taken me a while to realise.

First up is superglue. That sticky bastard stuff that regularly ruins as many lives as it purportedly saved during the Vietnam War (or was it Korea? THERE’S NO WAY I COULD POSSIBLY FIND OUT) is something I am very wary of even to this day. No, literally – actually genuinely to this day. See, I was raised with the belief that contact with the stuff was basically a slight step down from a death sentence. It wouldn’t kill you, but it might as well have.

Enter today, and I had to fix a broken shower head holder. Using superglue. Guess where this is going. I still have dried glue all over my fingers, but I certainly haven’t been permanently stuck to anything, nor have I died. Yet. There’s still a chance, though.

Then there’s the hot water boiler majiggy back at my dad’s house. I don’t remember when and I don’t remember who told me, but I do remember at some point I was told not to touch the boiler, located just below the clean towels, as it would electrocute me, or burn me, or hurt me in some untold fashion. I believed this and I avoided ever touching it, terrified any time I dropped a towel on it or my hand strayed just a little.

It honestly, actually, genuinely, properly, really took me til I was about 20 to touch that thing. It was fine. Did I mention it was covered in a cushioned material to make sure people touching it wouldn’t burn their hands? Yeah, that’s the level we’re dealing with here.

But the one thing that I had the fear of death drilled into me about I have never got over still haunts me to this day. I am still genuinely scared of them, and I honestly don’t think I will ever use one in my life, mainly because of my pa’s incessant warnings (and numerous fire brigade videos). Chip pans. I will have absolutely no regrets if I go to my grave having never used one, such is my weariness of those fire-breathing motherfuckers.

Though, if I do ever use one, it will likely mean I go straight to my grave. They were invented by Satan and perfected by Hitler.

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I’ve tried, but I’ve failed

I’m not willing to admit defeat just yet, but I can feel it getting closer. It’s there, behind me. I can feel its presence. Hear it breathing. But it hasn’t taken me down, and I won’t go down easily. I honestly don’t know if I’ll prevail – I’ve been trying to make things work out for months now, but I just don’t seem to be making progress. But I will not give up. Ever. Until I am dead, possibly. Or until I give up.

I’m talking, of course, about touch screen controls for more old-fashioned games on the iPad. Specifically, Speedball 2. The kinds of games that need a joystick/pad and buttons to play, and so have them overlaid on the screen you are playing on. I just can’t do them properly.

I’ve had the iPad for a couple of months now and I’ve tried all manner of games. Tilt control ones annoy me but if they work well enough, it’s okay. Those made with touchscreens in mind from day one are, naturally, nigh-on perfect. Though I do find my massive gammon hands getting in the way a bit much. But it’s those that rely on an old-fashioned input method that just screw me up, and try as I might I just can’t get it perfect.

I’m not a douchebag from the planet Idiototron IX – I can play these damn things. It just doesn’t feel right. I need clicking, resistance, physical boundaries. Without all of that, I can see myself living a very lonely life, ultimately dying unfulfilled and forgotten.

No, wait – I can see myself remaining unconvinced by the ‘overlay’ control schemes on some iPad games. That’s what I meant.

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Patronising idiocy relating to video games in newspaper “shocker”

Some of you may have seen this article on the Torygraph today, where writer Harry DeQuetteville tests the shocking argument that video games aren’t just for kids. Now, I’m not about to tear into this like so many others will in far better fashions. I’m not going to question the logic of a 35-year-old being so hopelessly out of touch with reality it makes him seem 30 years older than he is. Nor am I going to highlight how he utterly misses the point of why LittleBigPlanet was a step forward. I’m not going to blindly comment on these things, because I’m not the same as him, basically.

I don’t claim to take the path of most resistance and always put a shitload of research into everything I write – especially here – but I know enough to not make lazy commentaries on things, relying on ancient stereotypes to back up my points. Even if I do also like Heavy Rain. This isn’t my point, anyway. I’ve got bogged down.

What I do take issue with is how DeQuetteville seems to make Call Of Duty: Black Ops out to be the shining example of video game glory. He appears to, at least, use the reasoning that it sells millions of copies and makes billions of dollars (“it” being the COD series, in this case) and is therefore the best example of the medium.

Now, would he or any other writer really take that point of view when it comes to other media? Would you write an article about how Avatar grossed a shitload of money and is therefore the best example of the genre? Does Dan Brown set the standard for authors across the world, purely because millions buy his books? Matchbox Twenty sold 20 million-plus records, does that mean they’re in the top few bands ever to grace this earth? I think you see my point.

I understand the ignorance. I accept it. There are many things I am ignorant of, hard as that may be to believe. But wilful ignorance? Nah. Surely it’s basic, irrefutable logic that just because something sells a lot that doesn’t make it the best example of the thing? Surely that’s just basic smarts?

Though I suppose that wouldn’t fit into the whole “we all still secretly think games are for idiots and kids” thing the whole article gives off, even with its “I learned my life lesson” ending. And to think, I once said the Torygraph has decent games coverage.

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Arguing: it’s weird (more so when you’re an idiot)

Arguing is weird for me. See, on one hand I can go at it full-on, lose my rag at the slightest of stimuli and rant about nothing in particular for minutes on end. While going red in the face. But on the other, a lot of the time I actually can’t be bothered arguing, and will simply say something along the lines of “yeah, whatever” and forget about it.

I say ‘weird for me’, it’s likely the same for a lot of you. But yeah, whatever.

Earlier today I found myself in a “yes it is” “no it isn’t” argument with a colleague. He was asserting that Manchester was closer to Bournemouth than London is. “No, my poor fool, it isn’t,” I confidently responded, “I make the trip to both quite often and it’s clearly not the case.” I then decided to hit him up with FACTKNOWLEDGE, stating “the train to London takes two hours, whereas the one to Manchester takes five. What do you think that means?”

Alright, so maybe I wasn’t as erudite as that, but I did make that point. It may or may not at this point have devolved into a back and forth of yeses and nos, truth be told.

But then I realised something strange. I was being looked at funny by the other two people present, and both informed me I was actually wrong. What fresh madness was this? Was I to believe that there wasn’t just one, but three fools standing here in front of me? I was flabbergasted. Really, I was. So much so that I chose to use the word right there. Manchester is clearly further away from Bournemouth than London is.

And that’s when it was explained to me that I had misheard the initial colleague, and he was actually saying what I was meaning to say. My constant cry of “yes it is” had been backing up my apparent strongly-held belief that London was in fact further away from Bournemouth than Manchester.

Arguing is weird for me.

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My issues with Reading. No, wait – reading.

I’m rubbish at reading. Well, I’m not rubbish at reading – I can read quite well, and reasonably fast. Though not as fast as ‘Freak Eyes’ Anna, my darling girlfriend. She could read War and Peace in about 20 minutes, such is the speed of her eye-to-brain-to-comprehension mind-matrix. BUT! I mean this as in I am rubbish at the process of actually sitting down with a book and reading it.

When I get going, fine – it’s generally going to get read. Unless it’s shit. Or unless it’s Naked Lunch, in which case it’s just going to take me about four months to force myself through it and not enjoy it*. But I have a box over <– there somewhere full of books, about 75 per cent of which have never even been opened.

I suppose it falls back to my other commitment issues which I hilariously covered ages ago, in that I find it very hard to start something new. Once it’s up and running, fine – but it’s that initial push that I just can’t give myself a lot of the time.

Anyway, I was prompted to write this shocking confession because there’s a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian sat right next to me. It’s only been here a week, but I can just tell it will be here next week, and the week after and not get touched. Either that or I’ll just move it.

I am, as they say, ‘a bit of a nong’.

*Anyone who says they enjoy or understand this book is an idiot, a liar or possibly both.

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Common knowledge and the ‘death’ of PC gaming

I dislike common knowledge. The perception that something is correct merely because so many other people say it. It’s like the Wikipedia curse, whereby something isn’t true until it has a citation on the site – then it just so happens a news story pops up mentioning the (as-yet uncited) ‘fact’, which can then be used as a citation on the Wiki page. A self-fulfilling prophecy – as well as being something we were taught about at journalism school. Yeah for learning.

Anyway, I think common knowledge tends to travel similar paths – if something is repeated often enough, people don’t think they have to check it for it to be true. If so many different people are corroborating the story, how could it not be true?

What prompted me to think of all this may surprise you (or may make you not want to read on, as it’s about video games) – the ‘death’ of PC gaming. Apparently PC retail sales have been on a downward spiral for years, games just don’t sell anymore and the system as a platform for games is on its last legs.

This is something most often repeated by those who pay no attention to the PC market, or those who feel like being excessively lazy with their coverage – they might not usually talk about games, for whatever unbelievable reason that might be. But the result is the same: the casual observer comes to think the market is small, pointless and dying.

This might actually be true when it comes to retail – I’m sure PC sales have fallen through in that last few years. But rather than chanting of the doom of the market, a simple bit of paying attention or looking around reaps knowledge rewards. Steam – my mortal enemy – has millions of registered users across the world. You download it to your PC or Mac and immediately have a world of hundreds of games open to you – buy them, download them, play them. Simple.

Let’s look at right now – there are 1.6 million people online with Steam at the time of writing. This changes throughout the day and this number is actually quite low. Let’s pluck a figure out of the air and say 0.5 per cent of people online right now will buy a game. So that’s what – 80,000? Not bad for a day of sales, really. Except that won’t be the day – that’s my imaginary, conservative figure for the number of people online right now. Add into this the Americans waking up and logging on later today and you have a lot more potential.

The problem is digital distribution sales like these aren’t released in a handy batch of figures to show the world, so it remains ‘common knowledge’ that PC gaming is dying. It just seems strange to me that it’s considered to be dying when I’ve bought more games for PC in the last couple of years than I ever, ever did before.

But yeah, anyway, I lost my point somewhere. Common knowledge: always question it.

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Learn how to cope with bags, dickheads

*It’s that time again where I go off somewhere and can’t put pictures up here. Or, well, I can, but none of them will have my face on so they’re a bit shit. OH WELL*

I’m going to do a quick on here, as I have a train to catch in a mo and though I could do it during the five hour journey (plus an hour for other bits of it, meaning six hours), I want to get it out of the way. That’s right – this is how much I care: I’M GETTING YOU OUT OF THE WAY SO I CAN CONCENTRATE ON OTHER THINGS.

Ahem.

So I have a lot of bags today, waddling around with them and looking like a bit of a numpty. On getting onto the bus this morning I was able to place the bags down on a seat, return to the driver and scan my travel card, before taking my seat with my bags. Simple, yes?

So why is it so hard for people to function when they’re carrying one thing more than they’re used to? Why can’t they cope just because the bag is ever-so-slightly heavier than they’re used to? Why does one idiot with a few (admittedly heavy-looking) bags have to slow my journey home down by about four whole minutes? It’s not It’s A (fucking) Knockout – you don’t have to keep these things balanced, or on you at all times. Stuart Hall isn’t going to commentate at you in a whimsical, yet derisory, fashion if you have the presence of mind to briefly abandon your things while you sort something out that needs to be sorted.

And, to be fair, you’re unlikely to be robbed in that split second. Well, that last bit is only true in Bournemouth, to be fair. Manchester – where I’m headed – they don’t even wait for you to put the bag down before they rob you. Bastards.

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