Angry Robot

Elections '04

Election over, with just about the best result an NDP fan could hope for, as our favourite left-wing wacko party seized 19 votes and thus “the balance of power”. Look, NDP got 15% of the vote and 19 seats, whereas the Bloc got 12% of the vote but 54 seats! That kind of nonsense will change, if Jack sticks to his plan and makes proportional representation the precondition for supporting the liberal minority. In the smaller numbers, the Greens scored big enough to get financing for the next election (which according to the law of averages with minority governments should be less than two years away). Also, more than twice as many people voted for the communist party as for the libertarians – and that’s not counting those who voted “Marxist Leninist”. But votes for the Marijuana party dwarfed all the commies put together.

Don't quit while you're ahead?

Okay I didn’t need to read this study (thanks for nothing, leuschke). It’s great to know that quitting smoking at 30 adds 10 years to your life, but horrible to learn – at least for someone who recently quit, like myself – that quitting at age 40 adds nine. So sacrifice, on average, one year of old age for an extra 10 years of delicious, delightful smoking? Or endure a decade of unrequited yearning in order to buy an extra year of drooling, pants-shitting life in the Journey’s End retirement community? I DIDN’T NEED TO KNOW THIS!

The War Against Rock

This is a war we can win. In fact, we may have already won. Agents from rap,
r n’ b and pop (and to a lesser extent country) have worked together and
rooted out the rock networks from the charts, clubs and the hearts of the
fans. Rock is dead!

(By rock I mean blues-based, electric-guitar-centered music, typically performed and
composed by the same band. By “dead” I mean no longer culturally relevant, like jazz. By “is” I mean “is” [I think].) Look at the <a
href=””>Billboard top ten:
there are two rock acts, Slipknot and Hoobastank; one of which is a
borderline novelty act and the other I know nothing about.* Avril Levigne is
an example of non-rock: all the attitude of rock, without all that rock!

Charts alone don’t say it all; things can be non-profitable but still influential. Rock is not one of those
things. The rock market as it exists now consists of:

Also, there is the indie-rock market. Sorry to burst our bubble here, but
indie-rock as a cultural force is about as powerful as fans of Magic: The
Gathering. It’s a closed circuit, a soliloquy that no longer informs any
other field. Like jazz, or “classical.” More evidence here.

The age of rock is over. Not that it’s a good thing. Hip hop and its
retarded little sister R n’ B have taken over, and with precious few
exceptions all they have to say is “hey lookit me.” The guitar has been
replaced. Some would say by the piano, and look for a return of the golden
age of songwriting. It would be more accurate to crown the computer our new
overlord. But all that doesn’t matter: my point isn’t that rock fans should give up and start worshipping Squarepusher or something. Listen to whatever you like. All I’m saying is: rock is dead.

*since I drafted this, Velvet Revolver debuted at No. 1 in the top 10. I’d say they fit in the has-been section, wouldn’t you? However, it fucked up my paragraph to mention it up there, so here we are.

Cutlery-related Idea

Edible fork.

And knife and spoon, I would assume. But not too edible, or the meal would have to come with ten of each.

Hot Giveaway!

Anyone want a Gmail account? I’ve got four more to give away. If you’re on hotmail or suchlike, you might look into it as a replacement. Leave a comment or send me a mail.

Orchard on the Conservative Party

If you’re a Canadian considering voting Conservative on the 28th because you’re pissed off at the Liberals, please read this. It’s by David Orchard, who almost won leadership of the PC party, and he’s not voting Conservative.


HOLY SHIT IT’S THE GREATEST SONG EVER you know the one it goes “Puerto Rico…ho” and that’s IT. Over a slamming beat. Steve Reich would be proud (maybe not). I have vague memories.. .barely hearing it, not able to clear it from my head, like it was a fantastical reverie, a feverish dream of a better place, a place called… PUERTO RICO. You can hear a sorta-remix here, some discussion of the samples here, but more accurately you’ve already heard it somewhere magical, in your special place, deep inside.. the dream the miracle the unbeatable Puerto-Rico-Ho that lives inside your heart.

Virtual Exercise

Does anyone want to take this to the next level? That shit is basically an exercise bike with a gamepad built in – as if that’s any easier than using your regular gamepad while on the bike, but anyway. What is needed is 1. a bike that outputs as a peripheral controller (like this), and 2. a game made especially for that peripheral, as trying to control, say Space Invaders via foot pedals is just fuckin’ weird. Many would say “just go outside with a real bike”, but the odd time the weather’s bad, there are too many cars, you get sick of the regular trails, and/or it’s winter. Besides, in my books fantasy always beats reality: you could be biking on Mars, or through the human body, or while firing rockets at SUVs or bin Ladens or whoever your enemy is this week.

War on Anything

Aw shit, we’re actually LOSING the War on Terror. No, bin Laden didn’t just take over the White House, it’s just that there were more terror attacks in 2003 than previously admitted, possibly the highest amount in 20 years. I noticed in a recent speech about Iraq that Bush was decrying “terror and violence”. I guess “terror” isn’t what happens when a militia takes over a city, it’s “violence”, fair enough. But technically, Mr. President – and if we’re going to start the War on Violence you should know this – you can only win the War on Violence if you stop fighting. So you might as well surrender, you’ll win.. Argh… anyway, I propose we declare a War more winnable:

  1. The War on Shame
  2. The War on Racoons and Seagulls
  3. The War on War Metaphors
  4. The War Against Age
  5. The War Against Shitty Ads with Breakdancing in Them
  6. The War on “Entertainment Reporters”
  7. The War on Ashton Kutcher
  8. The War Against People Who Just Quit Smoking and Suddenly are Rabidly Anti-Smoking
  9. The War Against the Font “Comic Sans”
  10. The War Against Rock

Ad above urinal in the Cloak

Come on now. Some scumbag breakdancing is really gonna sell that truck to me? “Man, that truck has attitude. Just like me. I like me. I like attitude. I like that truck.” (apologies to Don Simpson)

On the "Obesity Epidemic"

There was a “fitness expert” on the teevee explaining that diet should be 80% of the focus of your weight-loss regimen, and exercise the remaining 20%. You have failed humanity, “expert”! Let me put on my fucking expert pants here for a second. When you look at the history of humankind, have we ever had an obesity epidemic before? No, quite the opposite. In fact, chubbiness used to be a status symbol because it meant you could afford to laze around all day doing jack shit. Did previously, healthy generations of humanity have drastically different diets in terms of carbohydrate intake? No way – the Romans were all bread and pasta, and barely ate meat. Were they fat slobs? No! They didn’t have cars or videogames, and they marched around everywhere conquering the shit out of everyone. In other words, EXERCISE! How fucking obvious is that? Now that people only get out of their cars to stare at monitors, well yeah, they’re all fat. I love bacon and all, but I refuse to accept it as a health food. I refuse to believe that by eating bacon with every meal (and avoiding that horrible ‘bread’ stuff), I will miraculously shed my excess girth. No, kind sirs, you eat bacon with every meal and your fat gut will secede and form its own person. You’ll be watching Oprah wondering why you get dizzy when you reach for the remote, and your new gut-self-blob will be gradually growing arms. Go out and conquer someone you lazy slob!