Tag Archives: nazis

The Nazi rabbit hole

It’s a dangerous rabbit hole, Wikipedia. You can disappear down it for minutes, hours, days, even weeks. Probably more, though I’ve been lucky to avoid that so far.

Normally it’s fine. You can live with getting a bit of an obsession with something and reading up on a ton of information that’s only about 70% reliable. That’s nothing bad, it’s not embarrassing and it’s sometimes even useful.

But wherever you start on it, there’s a 43.5% chance you’ll end up on something related to the Second World War. And once you’re there, you’re going to end up on the Nazis. And that’s where it gets dangerous.

Not for any dodgy reasons of course. Reading about the Nazis isn’t a bad thing, nor is doing it something likely to convince you ‘they were a bit misunderstood’.

But it’s still dangerous in that someone might walk in and see you have fourteen tabs open about Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, the Afrikacorps, Erwin Rommel, the Eastern Front, Nazism and occultism and numerous others.

They might see this and think “why is he reading about Rudolf Hess, Heinrich Himmler, the Afrikacorps, Erwin Rommel, the Eastern Front, Nazism and occultism and numerous others?”

It’s a fair thing to wonder.

The problem is, it’s all so bloody interesting. Just reading about Hitler’s cabinet has kept me going for the last three days. Then you click on a name, and a link, and another name, and another link, and you learn about 4,900 men, women and children ordered murdered in revenge for one man being assassinated, then you feel a bit sick and play some videogames (involving killing), then you go back to it, then you laugh at the wedding photo with Hitler doing a photobomb, then you realise you’re watching a WWII documentary on TV right now and…

Shit. This rabbit hole’s deeper than I thought.

An absolutely fascinating period in history, of that thar be no doubt.

Also: today I watched Tangled. It’s really good. 7/10

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Facebook or Google+? OH IT’S THE FORMER

So, judging by the fact I’ve been on it a few months and have done nothing of note beyond struggle to figure out how to add an image (clue: stop using the Android app, start using the proper version), I think it’s safe to say Google+ has done fuck all for Ian’s social networking habits.

It was supposed to be the chosen one – it was supposed to bring balance to a privacy-obsessed world of people scared that the evil overlords at Facebook would steal our very souls. It was supposed to be amazing in every way, and all clean and shiny like all the things Google does.

You know what? It probably does all of that. But I wouldn’t know, because I’m busy uploading hundreds of photos to Facebook. Even though that means they own them and I’m breaking the law for taking them in the first place, or something. Even though it’s run by literal Nazis and is powered by the burning of orphans, and all the money they raise goes to funding the “Wasn’t The Holocaust Hilarious” stageshow.

Even though that’s all the case, I’m sticking with it. Because it’s where my friends are, and they’re the idiots who want to see these photos. So that’s where they’ll go. And that’s where I’ll leave them untagged, because I’m lazy. So when Facebook does decide to steal all the pics and use them for its own nefarious needs – my face turned into a Swastika, or something – at least they won’t be able to put a name to the faceflag.

Or something.

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The writer’s workshop

A lot of trawling and procrastinating last night lead to the (misguided) belief that I need to write more… things. I’m talking short stories, flash fiction, things that come in at less than 3,000 words and you’ll be lucky to net more than $30 for were it to get printed. But I don’t know where to begin. It’s not like you start at the beginning and the rest just happens – and even though that’s the case I still can’t come up with a beginning.

With that in mind, I’ve opted to unleash some openers I’ve been working on. While this has taken over my life for what seems like forever (read: an hour or so), I’m ready to let you all in on these testers for the world of fiction that awaits me.

“Once upon a time lived a Nazi. He was big, fat, smelly and nasty to all the children in the area…”

See, this one doesn’t work as I can only think of the word ‘area’, and that’s a terrible word to use. ‘Region’ is even worse. Still – it’s a fine main character for the fantasy genre and an inventive opening gambit, so at least it’s something to work from. I just need to sex it up a bit to really grab the attention of people. With that in mind, howsabout this one:

“I walked swiftly into the office, barely paying attention to the uncomfortable surroundings I had thrown myself into – here was a man you could safely describe as ‘monied’. I made my way through the vast, oaken office to where the body lay, still harbouring a faint look of surprise in his otherwise glassy eyes. It only took a cursory glance at this champion of industry to see how he had met his maker.

There was no doubt about it: he had been bummed to death.”

See, while that’s a sexed-up intro, I can’t help but feel I’m just ripping off Raymond Chandler word for word. I mean, I’d try that with Bukowski but he wrote from personal experience, so mine would come across like this:

“It’s hard to grow up right when you’re living in a comfortable, small town on the outskirts of a safe, clean, major city in the north of England. With parents like these: financially secure; caring enough to help deal with any problems that arise; not too controlling that you’re not allowed to do anything; the kind who keep the cupboards consistently stocked with tasty treats – it’s even harder.”

The main thing it’s missing, in being a Bukowski rip-off, is the sense of poetry to the prose. I mean, I think the content is on a par with the suffering that ugly bastard went through – Swinton = Skid Row, clearly – but I just don’t have the literary faculties necessary to craft the language like the wino wordsmith did. Other than that, I’d say it’s a solid 7/10.

Maybe one day I’ll be good enough, but right now I’ll just have to settle for being a poor imitation of everyone else in the world. I am Legion.

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