Archive for April, 2013

Bad fish

April 29, 2013

Apparently some evil Finn sent a bunch of vlogging Texans some Swedish-Finnish cuisine: a can of hapansilakka/surstr√∂mming, “sour herring”, which is an experience pretty much like you would expect canned sour Swedish horror-death-fish to be.

The Texans didn’t seem to like it.

(The original copy of the video is probably on Liveleak, not Youtube; but Youtube embeds nicely.)

(Originally saw this video embedded as a side item on the site of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s biggest newspaper. Every Finnish news outlet basically functions like a fansite for the fandom of Finland: every mention of the F-place from outside the native/fan circle gets noted as a sign of Finland going up, up and mainstream like Twilight and Harry Potter.)

Observations on a pink shop

April 23, 2013

Because I’m easily bored, I happened to go through the catalog of a sex toy shop. This was interesting, because my personal approach to these things is roughly as in a George Carlin quote —

Jerking off is all I need. You know what I mean, folks? I ain’t gonna double my money; fuck that shit. I just jerk off, wipe off my chest, get up and go to work.

— so I wrote down some random observations:

  • Isn’t “girl pussy” redundant?
  • There can be no context where “sand” is a word you should want in the name of your product.
  • Maybe this is my bias, but to me “Vulcan” means (a) Greek god of volcanism and other burning ejaculations, and (b) the Star Trek race of Spocks. Neither screams “pinch that at my genitals!”
  • Some of these… things… must be gag gifts. Or something you buy, wave around uncertainly, and then leave in the kitchen drawer when you move out. Or something you hollow out, sure in the certainty that if somebody finds your monstrous latex thingumbob, they won’t be first thinking, “I wonder if it has something hidden inside?”
  • There’s something called a “vibrator tuning kit”. Not tuning as in music and good vibrations, but apparently as in adding all kinds of side-wangs to it. The whole idea fills me with horror; I don’t want to know if there are glue or screws involved.
  • Most of the products are easy to understand; but about one in ten makes me go “Where do you put that thing? What… do… what, ‘place your penis between the rollers’?”
  • I’m not sure how to feel about the bolded claim of “200 thrusts per minute!” I’m not sure if this is how you should market these things.
  • Also, glass dildoes. (Dildos? Dilda?) If I was a woman, I would not put one in myself in a million years. Nothing whose failure mode is “sharp glass slivers everywhere” would be going in my hypothetical ladyparts.

I feel like I could make a crack about the price of some of those things, but I’ve bought stupidly expensive books and lots of frivolous electronics; I’m not in a position to crow about what others buy to make themselves feel good. It’s just a whisper-thin difference of culture that you occasionally see a sneering news item about love doll owners rather than about hard-core bibliophiles. And, really, book lovers collect such greedy, overlarge harems that they go beyond any excess of sex toys. (“Books? Can’t find anyone to talk to, right? And that many books… overcompensating for something, am I right?”)

Plus, since I hate the kind of people who think life should be austere, harsh and PG-rated, I really rather like the idea of there coming, eventually, a day when the tittering has faded away and a mixed group can gab around the watercooler, not about their phones, but about the sex toys they’ve recently bought.

Not dead

April 22, 2013

Not dead; just lazy and preoccupied.

Partly by thesis twitchiness — it’s in the hands of the people who will say if it is worth sending to the opponent. It should be; all of the four papers are published and thus can’t be transparently shit, and the introductory part is… uh, bland and brief.

Partly I’ve been occupied by teaching; the department thought that my prolapsed schedule could be funded by making me teach: now (for the first time!) this meant actual lecturing and not just TA-work. Lecturing has been fun; I’ve been trying to channel a mixture of Extruded Lecturer Product #3 and George Carlin. (Trying to channel Bill Hicks would not work.) Time — the thirteenth of next month — will show if I’ve managed to make anything stick in the heads of the little ones.

A lot of spit, probably.

Thirdly, my mind’s been partly occupied since January by yet another Erisian holy book. As usually, weird crap is easy; weird crap of quality takes a lot of polishing. At the moment the turd is 691 pages in 6-by-9-inches size, a lot of it recycled from the previous two books, and over a hundred pages is just quotes, one per page. (One might be Sappho, and the next Ernest Kline.)

For a while now I’ve been stuck stealing mythology: rewriting Aesop’s fables and writing a really odd twenty-five-page version of Snow White (representative sentence: “This last cry was because Snow White kicked him in the head, and he himself tumbled into the empty pit.”) and, er, a really horribly id-written version of Little Red Riding Hood with too much blood, gastric juices and general deviancy for me to be blogging it just yet.

Instead, here’s a random imitation of Brothers Grimm. (A problem with this mode of storytelling is that I, as a modern reader, start getting paranoid as I write. Like, “does fairy-queen sound homophobic?”, or “wait, no, ‘she touched the children’ sounds really bad. I wasn’t going for that. I wasn’t! Rats! Hamelin! It’s all ruined now!”)

* * *

The Fairy-Queen and the Woodman’s Children

A brother and a sister, the children of a poor woodman and his wife, were playing in the forest when a fairy-queen approached them. She was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen, and she wasn’t wearing any clothes at all.

“Are you the children of the man who cuts down trees?” she asked, and the children said this was so. “Tell him to cease”, she said, and vanished.

The children were scared, and told their parents nothing.

The next day, as they were playing at the forest’s edge, within sight of their hut (for they were scared), the fairy-queen appeared again, her eyes as pale and cold as her flesh, her lips and nipples red as blood. She again told the children to tell their father to cease the cutting down of trees. She vanished, the children ran inside, and could not tell their parents, for they were overcome by fear and shame.

The next day the children did not leave the hut, but stayed inside as their father went to cut down trees, and their mother went to wash laundry in the river. They kept the door shut, and the windows covered; but as they turned towards the hearth the fairy-queen was standing there, tall, pale and terrible in her beauty.

“You did not tell”, she said.

“Please”, the boy cried, “we were scared!”

“And ashamed!” the girl moaned.

“He would not believe us!” he said.

“It’s our livelihood!” she cried.

“It is more than that”, the fairy-queen said, looming over them, her hair spreading behind her like a great pair of wings. “You did not speak because I put a spell on you, a spell so you could not tell of me to your parents. Do you know why I did this?”

The children only wept.

“Because the trees your father cuts down have no voice either.”

And she touched them both, and they lost their voices.

Then she vanished.