Sunday, July 6, 2008

the difficulties of silence

after four days of (almost) total silence, i have realised a number of things:

- speaking is a very hard habit to drop. the corollary to this being that remaining silent requires a surprisingly large amount of concentration. i've spoken, on average, three times a day since the operation, all at times when my attention has been directed elsewhere; unexpected conversations, djing, world of warcraft... yeah, i know. i also tend to sub-vocalise sentences i'm working on while writing; it's the only way i can make them... go and be... the right.... thing

- it is impossible to keep up with a multi-person conversation when you are trying to write down your contributions. best just to sit back, relax, and be mistaken for a semi-retarded relative.

- you start to get an insight as to where you fit in to normal conversations. unless you're one on one with them, most people will talk around you, as if you aren't actually there. this means you gain awareness of how people function in your absence. fascinating. also, frustrating. i have so many witty things to say. so many.

- it's almost impossible to articulate complex thoughts while trying to write your way into a conversation. it just takes too long. if it can't be said in 6 words or less, it's probably not going to get said. conversations also tend to be very one-sided with a straight up question-answer format. like a laborious tv interview with a not very interesting subject.

- if you can't speak, people start acting as if you can't hear either. makes me wonder if deaf-mutes are actually deaf, or just too polite to point out the fact they can hear to all their loudly speaking friends and family.

- i've barely left the house, because the concept of actually interacting with other humans seems like far, far too much effort. just 4 days of me, old lucasarts games, a stack of books longer than my thigh, and the sweet, non-judgmental, endless internet.


1. the global rich list: punch in your annual outcome and bam! out comes your position on a global scale. if you're from australia and you can slip below the top 10% then you're really trying... nicely, it's designed to encourage charitable gestures, so if you're higher then you thought, perhaps it's time to get involved. by having trace amounts of money invisibly sucked from your bank account. the satisfying charity.

2. nietzche family circus: continuing in the spirit of the garfield randomizer, this pairs a random panel of the sickeningly trite family circus with a random quote from the sickeningly bleak friedrich nietzche. wonderfully surreal.

3. and dragging that brow back down to the depths provided for by the intersection of japanese television and youtube, we have a dog dressed as godzilla fighting it out with a monkey dressed as ultraman. i have to confess, when i first read about it, i expected more.

4. food special. for no other reason than the fact i somehow ended up with three food links one after the other... maybe i was hungry

- the top 10 foods only america could have invented: pretty self explanatory, but to paraphrase martin amis from his exceptional novel 'money', "you know how they say the french eat to live? well the americans eat to die". this is a philly cheese steak. it's a point of pride to use the lowest quality meat possible. so you don't really know where the stringiness of the cheese ends and the stringiness of the steak begins.

- 101 picnic suggestions: a far more salubrious list from the new york times. as dan pointed out, this is the kind of list you like keeping close to you because it makes you feel better about the fact you'll never cook anything that detailed. but you know, if we got the urge, the list is there. and some of the stuff does sound really nice. and does seem really simple.............. nah.

- the fallacy of use by dates: possibly the most interesting thing ever to have come out of the typically maligned UK daily mail, jonatahan maitland goes on a 14 day journey beyond the printed use by dates of various foods, and finds that it doesn't really affect him at all. who would've thought. and yes, he does eat this bread, albeit after toasting it thoroughly first.

[EDIT] as per chris' instruction, here's the spicks and specks crew dissecting elvis' after dinner snack of choice, the fools gold sandwich. simply hollow out a loaf of white bread, slather it in a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jam and then fill it with a pound of bacon. then just sit back and watch your arteries congeal. apparently 'the king' got through two of these a night. at 10 pm. after dinner. anyone else hear the one about his love of deep-fried steaks?

5. and finally super bingo. if you enjoyed powerthirst and powerthirst II, then you'll thoroughly enjoy this. given that it was made by the same people. and works on exactly the same style of 'take this, motherfucker' humour. of course, if you didn't, this may just confuse you.


in other news, i've also started contributing to the somewhat ambitious, a vaguely nerd-themed blog (well, it emerged from triple j's nerds of a feather segment) with a sideline in oddities and general humour. go check it out.


Chris said...

You know, you should do a search on YouTube for the Spicks and Specks episode where they discuss the Fools Gold sandwich... it's estimated to have 8000 calories in it =)

Conor said...

You might also enjoy the smooth flavour of meatwater.

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