15 September 2011

No bananas for Plato

Kaspar say when he were rilly young he crave adventure so he go to Balaclava. He do the spellings so I know I got it right. Balaclava is near Sevastopol.

'There I am making the Grand Crimean Central Railway. I am that which you English people call a navvie'.

'I aint a Inglish people'.

'I beg your pardon. Are you only borrowing that nose and mouth? Are you speaking their language only for a time?'

'I want coin,' I say, hoping to end talk that turn sly.

'What are you desiring coin for, liebling?'


Kaspar reply to me, 'Plato is saying that there is only one thing for which all coin should be exchanged, and that is wisdom'.

Prolly Playtoe never et a binarna.

- 'Halfie', in Hokitika Town by Charlotte Randall, 2011

14 September 2011

Heaven and hell to merge services

It has just been announced by a joint panel of representatives from both above and below that Heaven and Hell are to merge many of their services in an attempt to reach budget targets set by their respective bosses.

According to a press release, admin and some policy roles currently supporting both Saints and Sinners are to be cut back with many positions merged into one service.

The aim is to continue delivering the complete heaven/hell experience to those who arrive but reduce the amount of paperwork required for the process [...]

The statement said the proposed amalgamation of the policy divisions of heaven and hell would bring a more robust approach to the development of guiding documents. It cited the Ten Commandments as a classic example of great policy writing.

"There are only 10 bullet points in the entire document. They are succinct, devoid of waffle and easy to understand. The mission statement developed by those managing hell is also sharp and to the point. Terms like fire, brimstone and damnation are very evocative and clearly represent the nature of the experience awaiting those heading that way.

"Merging these two different messages into one brief directive: "Good or Evil - You Choose" then syndicating the concept to a reality TV programme will reduce staffing costs and boost profits."

- Terry Sarten, Wanganui Chronicle, 28 August 2011

08 September 2011

Children's face paint

Waiting in line for the boats, our children rub their chins in the dirt and push their foreheads against our feet. They roll around on the ground and shout obscenities, then run in circles, screaming nonsense, while we play with the car keys in our pockets and gawk passively at the boats. Typically, we don't allow our children to misbehave this way. However, we do our best to understand. Their faces are in pain.

Our children's cheeks begin to ache as they wait in line for the boats and continue to ache until their faces are painted at the Frost Mountain Picnic. We've come to understand that all children are born with phantom cat whiskers. All children are born with phantom dog faces. All children are born with phantom American flag foreheads, rainbow-patterned jawbones, and deep, curving pirate scars, the absence of which haunts them throughout their youth. We understand that all children are born with searing and trivial images hidden in their faces, the absence of which causes them a great deal of discomfort. It is a pain that only the brush of a face painter can alleviate, each stroke revealing the cryptic pictures in our children's faces. Any good parent knows this.

- Seth Fried, 'Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre', in The Great Frustration, Berkeley, 2011

03 September 2011

Thor only knows

Special effects seem to muffle rather than quicken [director Kenneth] Branagh's interest, and, besides, there is no CGI in existence that could cope with the difference between [Natalie] Portman, a practicing sylph, and [Chris] Hemsworth, who looks to me like six and a half feet of corned beef. At one point, he takes his shirt off, and she stands beside him, a bit dazed, with the top of her head not quite parallel with his nipples. At the end - and I am giving away no secrets here - they kiss. But how? Is he holding her up, with her little toes kicking his kneecaps? Thor only knows.

- Anthony Lane reviews Thor, New Yorker, 16 May 2011