Saturday, March 29, 2014

10 Things Future Generations Will Learn About Us.

Chances are that sometime in the distant future there will be cyber-archeologists. Talented technicians who will shift through the detritus of data that still exists from the early days of the dawn of the digital age. Like the iron age, this was a time when mankind embraced a new technology and ran with it. By trawling through this information they will be able to piece together snap shots and theories of how we live now. What might might they discover about us? Let’s take a look back at ourselves...

1. They were obsessed with cats. 

Like the ancient Egyptians the denizens of the early 21st century seemed to worship cats. They shared images of cats playing pianos and were continually asking cat-based questions. “What kind of cat are you?” , “What is your cat trying to tell you?” and “Wait until you see what this cute cat does next - share on Facebook to view”. Cats held a special, almost mystical place, in the hearts and minds of all social media outlets. 

2. Before the universal “Yr” there existed two different versions.

Language is always changing. Before text speak there was a much more complicated version of the English language that included words such as “YOUR” and “YOU’RE”. Even more confusingly, there were as many as four different versions of “THR” -  “THEY”, “THERE”,  “THEIR” and “THEY”RE”. The exact meanings of these variations are lost in the mists of time. 

3. People used to pay to see movies.

Believe it or not studios used to spend millions (sometimes billions) of dollars making movies.  With special effects and “actors”. What’s more, people would then pay money to view these. This was before the days when we all just viewed everything for free and downloaded our own content. Why anyone would rather watch two hours of film making when they can just watch two minutes out of focus footage of someone lighting their farts is a mystery.  

4. Having no talent was actually a job.

Incredibly people with absolutely no discernible talent were able to make millions of dollars. Generally this involved a combination of being an heiress, or appearing in a sex tape, or having simply have said something amusing on a TV news show. Eventually these  non-talents ended up marrying someone with talent or becoming a DJ (a task that eventually, in the future, monkeys were trained to do). 

5. Plates of food were extremely important for some reason.

In the early 21st century humankind took more photographs of plates of food than anything else (except cats). This was symptomatic of a sociality preoccupied with food. Humans were either overweight or underweight or simply bouncing between the two. Also there was a section of society (mostly young males) who photographed food once it had been processed by their digestive systems. The exact reason for this is still unknown.

6. They loved to share.

Humankind loved to share their lives with everyone. They wanted they world to know that they were eating a sandwich. Or that how much weight they’d lost. Or endless dull photographs of their children. The world seemed to be obsessed with documenting and sharing everything. While a scarce number of photographs were taken on the moon, millions of photographs were taken in bathroom mirrors. In fact, they were so wrapped up with photographing and documenting their lives often humans never actually saw the concerts, events, weddings and funerals that they attended. Unless it was via some blurry footage that appeared on their social media pages a few days later. They were so busy sharing their lives with others that they forgot to enjoy it themselves. 

7. In order to become a musician you needed to have musical talent. 

Believe it or not there was once a time when musicians could actually read music, they could play instruments, they sang without the aid of autotune and they wrote their own songs. They didn’t need a corporation behind them and they didn’t even need to be attractive. Good songs, performed well was all they needed. They didn’t need the sponsorship of a soft drink or to appeal to twelve-year-old girls. Once upon a time musicians were driven, simply, by the desire to make music. Also, incredibly, people used to actually pay to buy this music.  

8. People used to vote.

Before the world became so utterly disillusioned with politicians, people actually believed that voting made a difference. They discussed politics and had views. However they simply threw away a right that hundreds of thousands of people before them had fought and died for. They refused to believe they could make a difference because a handful of half-witted celebrities told them so. This paved the way for our current kind and benevolent overlords. All hail the corporations and their venerable CEOs! 

9. People believed that posting a picture or sharing a link was the same as donating money. 

Hard to believe we know. Millions of people believed that posting a photograph of themselves was the same as actually opening their wallet and giving money to a charity. It gave them a form of satisfaction and it made it look as if they were doing something when it reality they were nothing at all. They enjoyed the hollow illusion of feeling like they were helping. This is probably why now, in the future, we have no tigers and cancer is still a major problem. 

10. People believed anything. 

It’s true, in the past any information that appeared on line - no matter how preposterous - would be held up as fact. Reading something on line immediately made it real and people would quickly start evangelizing about it. Vaccinations cause childhood obesity. A nuclear bomb went missing in the 1980s and no one ever found it. The voice of Bart Simpson is a girl. Staring at a cat will cure restless leg syndrome. There’s going to be a Jar-Jar Binks spinoff movie. They believe it and, by god, they shared it. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Free Holiday you say?

I just had a random call offering a "free holiday" I told the dude with the American accent that the person they were calling was in hospital fighting to stay alive. I got all excited and told them that the "free trip" was something to live for. Where could I pick up the tickets? I don't believe it the prick still kept trying to sell me on their bogus offer. Then I told him this wonderful offer was making me think twice about turning off the life support. Where could I pick up the tickets? He still kept up the hard sell. I told him I was also dying and this was a shining light in a year of darkness. He still kept up the sell. Then I explained that our kiwifruit farm had been destroyed in the recent earthquake. And that our dog had contracted feline AIDS. I explained that this win felt like a turning point. He still kept it up. Then I pretended to put him on hold. When I got back to him I said the police were at my door and had discovered my meth lab. I asked if I could call him back and he asked when he could call me back! I pretended to ask the police when would be a convenient time and reported back to say I was going to be in prison for a very, very long time. Finally, the guy gave up.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Dishonorable Man

So recently I received this message on my Facebook account. 

I'm on Facebook as Nicholas Finlay Thurston Ward. It was the early days of bookface and it told me to input my whole name I really didn't know how to change. It seems that Mr Kozah didn't look at my whole name and assumed my last name was Finlay. No worries because, as I was to discover, Mr Zozah, Attorney at Law, wasn't a man who paid a great deal of attention to the details. 

So I set up a separate Gmail account got started with my correspondence with Mr Kozah.

Seems legit. Although I'm not sure what a western union transfer has to do with using my account to access the late Mr Finlay's unclaimed millions. Still let's go with it. However if  Mr Kozah thought he was going to have an easy ride he was sadly mistaken. 

Mr Kojak seemed unflustered by my illegal plutonium importing.  

I set up a dodgy online account to use with this under the name of Nicholas Finlay. Again totally unconnected to anything that could come back to the real me.

They fell for it!

And so ends my dealings with Mr Kozah. Sadly his email seems to have been disabled. I do hope he's okay. I'm donating his money to the RSPCA you'll be happy to hear. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sometimes stories run us down in the street.

I happened onto this photo on the inter web. I can't remember where. It was from a series of old black and white photographs that had been beautifully and lovingly colorized buy some clever artist.

Chances are the people in this picture are long since dust but look at their faces and their expressions. I especially like the way they're all looking at the camera. At us. With such casual detachment. Even the driver.

There's a story in here somewhere I know it. I just have to find it. As a writer this is something that happens to us time after time. If we go looking for stories they will hide from us. If we relax and open our minds they will, instead, seek us out.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Conversations I have while I'm driving...

When I'm driving I often find myself having conversations with other drivers. they can't hear me but it helps me cope with a huge numbers of pinheads out there who have, by some administrative error, a drivers license.

I thought I'd take this moment to share some of the one-sided conversations I have.

"Oh you accelerated and got to the red light before me. Shall we just wait here for the next five minutes?"

"You're overtaking me on the inside? I'm sorry I'm not going to let you in. I know this makes you angry but it pleases me."

"You're blocking the way to two petrol pumps while you buy cigarettes. That's just delightful."

"The lights turned red so you immediately hit the horn? I'm not in a hurry so I'll just take my time shall I?"

"You're driving right up my arse? That's my cue to slow down to a crawl."

"I'm guessing you don't know where you're going? Weaving back and forth around the road and braking inexplicably is really putting you in my good books."

"In my country we have certain crazy customs around driving. Maybe you should look them up."

"Look at you you got one car in front while we're stuck in rush hour traffic. Well done."

"Reversing out into traffic without looking? How's that working out for you?"

"Oh well I guess your organs will keep someone worthwhile alive in the long run."

"Congratulations you must be so proud."

"Good driving!" 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The demon printer has met its demise...

So the chap came from TVNZ to film it. It was my idea that Dad could run over it in his 1915 model T. It seemed fitting to despatch the evil printer by destroying it with something that is almost 100 years old and still works. Given the printer is over 2 years old and NEVER worked. 

Dad had the bright idea of pulling it to bits with chains. So we rigged it up and it worked a treat. 

But I did have to finish it off with a pick axe. 

This is a picture of a very happy man...

So it's all over the demonic printer is gone and the public got what they wanted.

I was finally over. 

Or so I thought...

After the  show screened I was sitting at home on my own and there was a knock at the door. 

When I opened it there was no one there but this was sitting on my doorstep.

Well played whoever did this. Well played.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

And it's over...

My out of control auction for a demon printer that got over a million views is now over.

And - YESSSS - the winning bidder wants it destroyed.

We'll be on SEVEN SHARP tomorrow night. Keep watching.

The saddest thing is I didn't get to say goodbye. Thanks you we had fun.

Stay gold.