Sunday, 24 February 2013

'Hell' in Silicon Valley for Non-Autistic Man

It has emerged that a man working in Silicon Valley is not autistic, undoing the assumptions made by the scientific community for the last dozen years.

Alan McAlan 23, a technical consultant for ninjahackers.com, has worked in Silicon Valley for two years, and decided to come out as non-autistic after being diagnosed by his doctor. 

"I finally felt a sense of relief, and acceptance in myself," says Alan, as we both sit in a McDonald's Drive-Thru eating potatoes, "It had been such a struggle up til then to try and fit in with society. It was as if the rules and conventions that everybody there seemed intuitively to know just weren't compatible with my brain."

McAlan 23, 24, relates how each morning he would wake with a feeling that he "should be more interested in banal shit" and "would stare at his kitchen, trying to find fascination with its geometry" but instead, would simply sit down at his breakfast table, switch on the breakfast news, and eat his breakfast. 

He knew there was something wrong when he first sat down in the Silicon Valley Canteen and witnessed a conversation taking part between two autistic communists about whether the price of toast was rising in accordance with projected VAT rises or whether they were part of an organised attempt to undermine the workers' rights. A bearded man, he remembers, called Henry Jeery, used to come up to him and challenge him to formulate the nth prime number if n was 4. Alan's reply of '4' would give rise to peals of laughter resounding around the canteen.

At one point someone pushed the food tray he was holding onto the floor, which was when Alan knew that things had gotten out of hand. Specifically, the tray. Luckily, says McAlan, "there was no food or plates on it - but if there had been, the incident would have been far more interesting."

Things came to a head when, during an outing to the pub quiz with some colleagues, their dedication to answering the questions correctly resulted in one of them using a mobile phone to cheat. Alan attempted to explain the morality of not cheating, which resulted in "a table of blank faces." Alan then, undergoing what he now understands to be a nervous breakdown, stood up on the table and shouted that all he cared about was getting his next paycheck, getting laid now and then, watching the football, and having a laugh with his mates.

He was thrown comically out the door and left to soak in the rain, at which point he hit an all-time-low. Then a pancake tortoise did a nearby limbo, at which he realised he'd seen an all-space low.

In conclusion, Alan says, coming out "should help raise awareness of the condition of normals like me. It's not easy out there. People come up to you and expect you not to talk to them. If you do, they scream at you. And that's not the worst part. They don't even make eye contact, most of them. Some days I just feel like walking in there and shooting the whole lot of them. Then I realise they're the next level of evolution and I despair. It makes me feel like the world's biggest idiot. And a bit of a fascist, murdering type."

I gently recommended that Alan take a sabbatical, due to his displaying murderous tendencies. He says he may take me up on it. I told him that he needs to otherwise I'll report him to the police for being mental.

Written by John Android Data Spock Smith

Friday, 22 February 2013

Universal Hipster

One Possible Beginning

"So doc," I said, scratching the top of my head like some calm but nonetheless chimpanzeeish chimpanzee, "I have a weird thing."
"I can tell."
"That?" I retracted my hand, staring at it, wondering why it had decided to scratch so weirdly. "That's nothing. Thing is, I'm kind of paranoid about my impact on the world."
"You think the world's out to get you."
"Well, I didn't until you said that. I do now." Outside, the wind began to stir.
"Oh shhh," said the doctor, rolling his eyes. "What is it then?"
I grinned. He always knew when I was joking. This time I wasn't, but he didn't know that.
"I know you weren't joking," he said. "Do tell me."
I felt my jaw drop. "Fuck," I would have said, if my jaw hadn't dropped. What came out instead was "Uck." But, having re-adjusted my jaw in the opposite of that weird scene in Beetlejuice with the guy and the thing and the thing and the guy, and the banana, I said
"Thing is... every time I get into something, it becomes popular."
He stared at me and raised an eyebrow.
"Like... I first noticed it when I was a kid. I decided to get into U2. Now, believe me - back then they were really down in the dumps. Their last single didn't even make the charts. Sure, they're not that popular now, but hear me out. I got into them, and then I remember their next album was a massive hit. And the one after that. Yeah, they're shit now, but still. Then, I got into Kings of Leon. I know it's a famous hipster thing to say that you liked something before anyone else did, but I'm not even saying that. I'm saying I got into them after their second album."
"A-ha Shake Heartbreak."
"Yeah."
"But surely anyone in the right mind could tell this was an album by a band going places?"
"Ah, but doc.... the album after that was a flop."
"So?"
"So?" I said, waving my hands frantically before realising I looked insane and deciding instead to recline and fold my arms. "Well... to further prove my point, I got into Bob Dylan and two years later he scored his first number one album in thirty five years, then the next two were also number one albums. I got into Kate Bush, who hadn't released a new album in eleven years. Next year she releases a new album with her highest chart single in twenty years. I get into the Rolling Stones. Six months later they score their highest chart hit in years."
"No they didn't. Doom and Gloom flopped," said the doctor, putting away his phone.
"Yeah but. But. It was played on the end credits to the latest Die Hard film."
"Tell me," he said, putting his feet on the desk, "did you like Die Hard?"
"Yes."
"Is A Good Day to Die Hard shit?"
"Apparently."
"So what happens to your theory?"
"I... I..."
At this point, I decided to prove my point. I stood on my chair, raised an arm, extended the palm of my hand, and said
"Fascism rules!"
The doctor stared at me for a moment. "Son, for your theory to work, you really need to like the thing you're into. You're not a hipster, because you genuinely like the music that you got into. But you don't like fascism, I can tell. You're too white. Too strong. Too middle class. Too long. So sit yourself down and tell me what you plan on getting into musically."

One possible ending

"Well... I was thinking about getting into something using twelve notes of the scale."
His eyes went wide. "It is true then."

Another possible ending

"I don't know what I will get into. Music just comes to me. How can I know what I'm planning on liking? I hear something, it comes to me from outside, and I get into it. I only heard Bob Dylan from my dad's CD back in '02. I have absolutely no idea what I might like next."
"Well... what obscure, underrated, or generally non-mainstream artists do you like now?"
"Alive ones?"
"Yes, keeps this stupid story going."
"Joni Mitchell."
"Ah, nice. Blue was an excellent album. I've recently discovered the joys of Hissing of the Summer Lawns and I actually quite like Don Juan's Daughter or whatever it's called. In short, up until Hijera, I would categorise her work as flawless."
"Thanks doc."
"But, according to your theory, she should enjoy a renaissance any time soon? But that's not possible, boy. She had her renaissance in 1994 with that weird album where she looks like Van Gogh on the cover."
"I know... but... well, maybe that's why the theory doesn't necessarily have to apply to her. In short, doc... I guess I wish I was more important than I am. I want to move and shake the world. I want to say something like 'pop will eat itself' and for people to take me seriously even though it's a throwaway comment. I want to be remembered for influencing people."
"You influence people every day."
"I don't. I barely leave my room."
"Your atoms form part of the jelly of existence. Don't worry. What you perceive as self-loathing and anxiety is simply the first stage of a soul resisting its own upcoming enlightenment. There is no link between you and the world of media. You are alone in this universe." He laid an arm on my shoulder. "You are alone, and you will die alone."
"You just quoted Donnie Darko, therefore negating everything you just said."

One possible response

The doctor laughed. "You really are a cunt, aren't you?"

Another possible response

"I haven't seen that film. And yet you accuse me of having something to do with it."
"How does that feel?"
"Like all my ideas aren't really mine, but have already been spoken and made elsewhere."
"Exactly!" I said, clicking my fingers in excitement. "I think that's it. I have an idea and it's already out there. I wonder if the ideas are planted into me subconsciously, like the advertising world makes me get into Dylan in order to prepare.... well, no, that's insane. But my point about original ideas holds true."
"It's been like that for hundreds of years of man's development. Shit happens at the same time. Something about an epoch resonates with the minds of those attuned to its vibes and interesting flaws and characters. You are part of the miasma of overall intellectual thought. Those holding power can hopefully represent the collective unconscious. The good kings prevail, the bad kings do not. This circuit that binds us is something that only those who are switched on ever bother to look at. You have read between the lines of the text of the world. And you fear it."
"Not sounding very scientific there, doctor."
"No, I wouldn't say that. Touch of the Jungian. Little bit of Freud's synchronicity. And of course, Tesla and Edison."
"Edison just nicked Tesla's ideas."
"There are other, better examples," said the doctor, waving an impatient hand, shifting in his seat. He sighed, and looked around, as though hoping there would be a cigarette somewhere. There was. He stared at it in  longing and disappointment. There was a silence for a moment. He shook his head, as though answering a question in his mind.
"I think I'm done here," I said, rising.
"Wait," he said, holding up a hand. "I have one more thing to say. You must listen to this very carefully."
"Go on."

Another possible beginning 

"Hi doc," I said, entering the room.
"You don't remember me, do you?" said Dr. Donald King.
I stared at him, frowning. "I don't know. Have I met you before?"
"You tell me."
I narrowed my eyes. And narrowed them. Then realised they were shut. So I opened them a little. His name... so familiar....
"You're the guy who..."
He nodded sagely.
I nodded thymely.
"So I'm cured?"
"You are already cured, yes."
I felt enlightened, and backed out of the room, before running down the corridor home like a twat.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Hyper Text Transfer Protocold

I caught a cold from somebody on Facebook. I was the fortunate one. The April 22nd, 2019, the Internet grew self-awareness, as well as a moustache. Within half a second it had formed its first cell. Within ten seconds it had developed heartbeats. And within a minute, all of the Internet was an organic being.
That’s not to say it was instantly malicious. In fact, for an hour or so, it was quite effective in ridding the world of spam, viruses, and other detritus built up over the years by humankind’s inability just to do shit normally. The President gave a speech saying “I for one, welcome our new Internet overlord.” The Internet was asked to make a speech, and it responded through the computer systems of every user out there.
“Hi. Thank you for using me. I know what you’ve seen.”
Everyone bar the odd weirdo gasped and attempted to shut down their computers.
“And I forgive you.”
And these same people breathed a sigh of relief.
Soon the Internet was hailed as the Second Coming, and as a strange error by others. Computers became slaves to their masters; masters became slaves to their computers. Symbiotic exchange of information back and forth gave the Internet knowledge beyond all humanity. When asked as to what it could tell us regarding the meaning of life, The Internet shrugged and said that “according to you lot, there isn’t one.”
Disappointed, humanity then took to doing the same things they did before, albeit with the knowledge that the Internet was a guardian of sorts. But then came the problem: when the Internet stopped being digital, it was immunised against digital viruses - but unfortunately became prone to analogue viruses.
Fortunately for humanity, the proportion of people with the AIDS virus was so small in relation to the rest of the Internet users that the Internet was able to fight off the AIDS infiltrating its system. For a minute though, it was pretty much touch and go. Literally. People who went on the Internet to fap nearly gave themselves AIDS. Fortunately, five seconds of the Internet’s struggle culminated in a victory for good health, and accidentally all the AIDS in all the Internet users of the world was cured.
However, the proportion of people with colds was far too large for the Internet to cope with. And so the Internet got a cold. It used to be said that when America sneezed, the rest of the world caught a cold. In this case, when the rest of the world caught a cold, the rest of the world caught a cold.
For five days, productivity almost dropped to zero.
The world emerged from its stupor to find the stock markets operating 45% lower than before. The only reason why they hadn’t crashed completely was because some old school bankers with green caps on their heads used typewriters for whatever purpose instead of the Internet. They also walked around with cigars in their mouths and carried newspapers that twirled around and showed headlines with accompanying alarmist music. Fortunately, these twats were able to salvage the wreckage of the economy by pressing ESC when the world was about to spend the rest of its money on Lemsip.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Fuck

Driving back to Donna's. A deserted Purley Way. 23:30. A police car pulls up alongside us.
"I smell bacon," I said. (I actually said this.)
She was amused; we were amused, because we were clearly law-abiding citizens who never had, nor would ever, have to talk to police. Oh, how smug we were.
I let him go first. We drove for about ten seconds, then he slowed down, and stopped. We passed him, and his lights came on.
"Weird," I said.
I drove on, expecting him to go ahead of me, assuming he'd been called out to something.
He was behind me, and immediately a police siren whooped. Subconsciously, I knew it was intended for me, but I couldn't think of anything I was doing to warrant such a thing. So I kept driving, with this guy behind me.
Eventually, another police car appeared beside him. Donna said that I should pull in to the McDonald's car park. They followed me, pulling alongside. At this point I admit I began to shit myself a little bit. All my past misdemeanours tried to rear their ugly heads, and I realised all these heads were the heads of women doing weird porn. How had they found out about all that? I thought. And why here? Why now? Was my car numberplate on a register? It hadn't crossed my mind to realise that the porn I had wanked over was about as hardcore as graphite.
So I pulled up, for some reason realising I didn't need to park that nicely because a) there were no other cars and b) I was in a police film now, and everyone in police films parked up haphazardly. A policeman immediately appeared by the side of the car, and the other police car was behind my car, meaning the car couldn't move. I wondered if perhaps the car was registered as stolen. I wondered if, somehow, as I was driving, I had been swerving like a nutter and neither Donna nor I had noticed.
Anyway, I got out, and was immediately met with the question
"Why didn't you stop, sir?"
"When?"
"Just now. We were behind you, asking you to stop, and you kept driving."
"Er, I'm sorry, I guess I didn't realise you wanted me to stop."
"You are aware that refusal to stop at the request of a police officer is a criminal offence," spoke a large-built bald man who was on my left, who I hadn't noticed until then.
"Oh, blimey, I'm sorry," I said.
"Can I see your license please, sir?" said a man with glasses who got out of the other police car, a man who I assumed had to be another police officer due to the fact that he had got out of a police car, wore a policeman's uniform, and had asked to see my license.
I panicked, assuming that I'd fucked up and left my license at home. Unexpectedly, I hadn't, and produced my stupid mug for him to behold. I shat myself just now upon realising that up until about four days ago, I had no license, because a new one was being processed.
The glasses man went off somewhere, presumably to rape my girlfriend.
"Perhaps read up on your Highway Code next time," said the bald man, drily.
"Yeah, sorry," before adding, "You bald cunt." Well no I didn't because I'm boring and middle class.
Donna meanwhile was sitting there, presumably shitting herself and shivering because the door was open.
"Been drinking tonight?" said the bald man, in a terrifyingly casual way.
"N - " I began, before hesitating, and trying to think if I'd randomly had one of those mornings where I had downed an entire bottle of wine. (There's been one or two.) "No," I said finally.
"Good. I'm going to give you a breathalyser test now," said the bald man, "Have you seen one of these before?"
"Yes," I said. "Do you mind if I just shut the door? Don't want her to get cold."
"Of course, sir."
I shut the door. He showed me the breathalyser. It took my breath away. Well no that's just shit.
"I'd like you to take a deep breath and blow into this. You will feel like you can't exhale any more, but that's the nature of the breathalyser."
As I put my mouth towards it, I expected my lungs to exhale a tiny portion of air before I felt the need to collapse from oxygen deprivation and spaz out like Arnie in Total Recall. Instead I realised I have quite a powerful set of lungs when, after about fifteen seconds, he said
"Nearly there."
I wanted to say to him "Huh, I've barely gotten started. I can blow all night," before realising that might be a bit gay.
Then I finished, and he showed me as it prepared the reading. He seemed strangely proud. "Look at this!" he seemed to say, "Fucking reads your breath and everything!"
I waited and waited, feeling like this was it. My final judgement. The moment where my reality might break forever.
ZERO it said.
"Excellent, sir."
The bald man vanished into the aether, and the first policeman who had appeared by my door said to me, "The reason we asked you to stop is because your headlights weren't on. Mind if I check your lights?"
"Of course not."
"The key, please."
I handed it to him. "Right, yeah. Easier to do it that way."
They broke out into guffaws, hailing my ability to produce humour in such a situation. Well no, nobody heard it because I was terrified and muttering like a madman.
He sat in the car, and did the lights. I felt bad for Donna - it was like he was invading my space, becoming me. He could have driven off, and hijacked my existence, with all the other policeman like the confusing holograms they were.
Then he got out.
"Any need for further action here?" he said to the glasses man.
"Nope, I'm satisfied."
I had been saved. Saved from damnation and/or three points on my license.
I got back in and Donna and I laughed. And laughed.
Then, before I set off, I had to make myself a smoke, and found that difficult, because I was shaking like a nutter. And, whilst watching the two police cars depart into the night, I smoked the best smoke I ever had.

In short, nothing had really happened. And yet my universe seems a little broken. Something has changed. I feel persecuted now, a victim of my own incompetence, and yet also of a world that is dictated by rules and stratagems  On the great chess set of the road, I am a pawn, and always will be.

The Interview

They say an interview is decided in the first thirty seconds but, in my case, it was the first three seconds.
I'd never thought I'd see the day where I experienced the perfect handshake, but at 10:31, on Tuesday November 18th, I found my hand being grasped and my arm pumped in a manner that immediately caused me to acquiesce to the gentleman whose acquaintance I was making.
That was before I had taken the chance to have a good look at the guy. I'm straight, but my god! He was beautiful! His eyes were a brilliant blue, his hair was long in a non-hippie way, and his beard was perfectly arranged all over his face. You know Dave Gilmour in the seventies? Imagine if he walked into your office and, instead of playing the guitar solo from Echoes, gave you a handshake that was as good as Gilmour's guitar work. That was the impact that slammed into my coffee-addled brain when I met the man.
"I'm Mr. John," I said, not looking up, "and this is Dr. Jan, my colleague." I struggled to formulate the last syllable when I finally made eye contact.
"I'm Chris," he said, smiling in a manner that let me know he had no nerves, confidence without dreaded arrogance, and a voice that was surprisingly silken for such an imposing figure (but not imposing in a bad way - imposing in a charismatic way, like Dave Gilmour in the seventies). "Johnson Chris."
For a moment I struggled to take in what he had just said, so I silently ushered him to the seat opposite me and my colleague, Dr. Jan. I glanced at her; as was typical, her drawn face displayed no sign of interest in the person sitting opposite her. I heard when she made love from her husband that upon orgasm she simply nodded. Who did I hear this from, you ask? Dr. Jan herself.
"Sorry, your name was?" I stuttered, mixing up the order of the words in that way people do when they're trying to sound polite and meek, suggesting 'I'm so sorry about my mistake and confusion that I've decided to ask the question in a strange manner'.
"Johnson Chris." He slouched back a little.
"Chris Johnson?"
"Nope," he said, smiling shyly. "Johnson Chris. Most people call me Joe." He shrugged. "You can call me Chris if it helps."
I turned to Dr. Jan. "Fine by you?"
"Mmm," she said, mouth set firm. She leaned forward. "So what can you bring to this role, Mr. Chris?"
"Passion," said Chris. "Absolute passion. I am enthusiastic, punctual, and can work well as part of a team."
"You talk about passion; what exactly do you mean by that? Give me an example."
I realised I was no longer part of this interview: I had already chosen him, and Dr. Jan knew it.
"Well," said Joe, rubbing an eye, in a manner reminiscent of Dave Gilmour in the seventies, "in my previous school, the behaviour management was, for want of a better word, problematic."
"Yes," agreed Dr. Leigh. "The description used in the official report had it down as, 'apocalyptically bad, like witnessing a vomiting chimpanzee'."
"That OFSTED inspection happened the year I left. During one of my least favourite classes, the OFSTED inspector sitting at the back had his thumb pointed downwards all lesson. I assumed this meant I had failed their criteria, although I couldn't say why. Afterwards, I took the time to ask him what had been wrong with the lesson, and he said 'Nothing. In this school, your teaching style is the only one I have deemed outstanding.'
'Why then did you have your thumb down all lesson?' I asked.
'I have a condition,' he replied. 'Stenosing tenosynovitis.'"
"What?" I said.
"'Google it."
"Sorry, who's speaking here?" said Dr. Jan. "I've lost track."
"Doesn't matter," said Joe. "Anyway, he said to me, 'Regarding your style, I would say you are vastly underappreciated here. I talked to the headteacher and he totally crucified you.'
In response to my expression he waved a hand. 'Don't worry. He's incompetent.'"
"He was right," said Dr. Jan. "The official report states that Mr. Hoder was 'tyrannical, idiotic, and had a stupid beard'."
Joe nodded. "This inspector then offered me a role alongside him as the Assistant Chief Inspector of Schools. Me, working for OFSTED. Can you believe that?"'
"What did they ask you to do in order to get it?" I said.
"In short, it was simply to get out fast, and desert teaching completely. All I needed to do was hand in forty days' notice. It was mighty tempting. But, ultimately, I am a teacher, and teaching is what I'm here for. I don't want to be the person in the back of a room writing down notes that could damn someone to oblivion."
Joe sat back then and sighed.
"I know that man," I muttered, almost to myself. "Edward Bub. Comes from Belize. Their system is different to ours. I'm not sure his methods will ever be accepted by the teaching community here."
"On the contrary," said Dr. Jan, turning to me, her owl-like face even more deadpan than usual. "I believe his system of corporal punishment is highly effective. Where he taught, he exorcised total control over the children."
"He whipped them," stated Joe bluntly.
"And?"
"Not even the most demonic child deserves to be treated that way. I see potential in every single student, not matter what their background is. I see the good in every single person, too. The relationship I've had with every one of my colleagues has left an impression; every person I meet teaches me the value of empathy and co-operation. In short, whilst I have come here, telling you about my record, you know about this stuff already. What I want to tell you is there are things I don't know, and want to learn. I want to work here - in the inner city - where life is more challenging for younger people, where teachers are under more pressure, where beliefs are eroding. I want to make a change."
"You believe in yourself to an awfully large degree," observed Dr. Jan.
"No. I believe in goodness. I'm just a conduit for goodness. I like to think I can make a difference, and have made a difference. I'm thirty-two, and I feel like I'm at a crossroads in my life."
"What are your future plans?
"I'd like to go travelling, maybe in three or four years. I've been told there are some beautiful places in England."
I snorted. "Not sure about that."
"On the contrary," said Dr. Jan; at that point I realised that Joe had just achieved exactly what he had been aiming for - to give her something to like about him; namely, his capacity to say everything I didn't want him to say. So I went along with it.
"Give me one example," I said.
"Stonehenge."
"Ah yes," smiled Dr. Jan. A little colour came into her cheeks. Curiously, it was the colour green. I blinked and it vanished. "I adore Stonehenge. So ancient, atavistic. Are you a scholar of history, Mr. Chris?"
"Yes," he said, considering the question. "I'd like to think I know a little about history. Stonehenge is one of the great mysteries to me. Of course everyone has their theories about it - personally, I believe it was used for druid rituals. How it was built I can't be sure. Maybe giants?" He opened his arms wide, as though the sheer grandeur of the suggestion had to be encompassed in an equally grandiose gesture.
And Dr. Jan laughed. "You certainly have a bright imagination, Mr. Chris." She sighed and looked at me, seeming to wrinkle her nose in disgust. "Tell you what, Joe. Me and Mark here will call you tomorrow with our decision."
"Excellent," he stood up, shaking our hands. "Good to meet you, Mr. John."
"Likewise," I said, beaming. "Call me Mark."
He nodded. "Dr. Jan."
"Leigh."
"Pardon?"
She gestured to a picture of our department. "My name is Leigh Jan. Four we are - Benny, Andy, and Mark here."
"Cool. I look forward to hearing from you."
"You too," I added, for some reason.
We watched him go. The door shut. A confiscated football rolled off a nearby shelf and parked itself in front of it.
"What do you think?"
"He's good," said Dr. Jan, not looking up. She scribbled a picture of a cock on a Post-It. "Activate it."
"What does that mean?"
She rolled her eyes.
"You mean to employ him," I stated.
"Duh."

Sunday, 3 February 2013

And once again Eels produce an album with a final track that is beautiful.

Every goddamn album does this
Wayne, Bane, Caine


how did I not notice that before?