Sunday, 31 October 2010

Dalek Domestication: Teething Problems


Caption: THE ORDINARY WORKING CLASS HOME OF A MIXED PAKISTANI-CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE. IT IS FRIDAY. WIFE IS LAYING THE TABLE. SHE'S ABOUT 40-ISH. MIXED ALONG THE HOUSE ARE TOUCHES OF ISLAMIC INFLUENCES. A BRASS GOD ON THE MANTELPIECE. A PARROT IN CAGE ON STAND. A STUFFED DOG BY FIREPLACE. A GRANNY IS DOZING BY THE FIRE. THE WIFE HUMS A TUNE. THE DOOR TO THE ROOM EXPLODES, AND THROUGH IT COMES A DALEK WITH TURBAN ON AND A FOLDED UMBRELLA HANGING FROM HIS SIDE. WOMAN DOESN'T TURN ROUND.

Dalek (Pakistani accent): Hel-loh, Dar-ling, I-am-back.
Woman: You are late tonight.
Dalek: The tubes were full of comm-u-ters.
Woman: How did you get on then?
Dalek: I ex-ter-mi-na-ted them.
Woman: Oh, no wonder you're tired.
Dalek: Yes, ex-ter-mi-na-ting is hard work.
Woman: Never mind, I've got a nice cup of curried tea for you. How's Mr Banerjee?
Dalek: I ex-ter-mi-na-ted him too.

DOG IN THE GRATE BARKS 'WOOF, WOOF, WOOF'. DALEK POINTS EXTERMINATOR AT HIM. SHOOTS. DOG EXPLODES.

Dalek: Put him in the cur-ry.

SECOND DOOR TO ROOM EXPLODES. A TWO-THIRD SIZE DALEK WITH SCHOOL CAP ON COMES IN. IT AIMS AT A VASE ON MANTELPIECE. IT EXPLODES.

Woman: Johnny, have you finished your homework?
Boy Dalek: Yes. I de-stroyed it.

HE POINTS EXTERMINATOR AT SLEEPING GRANNY.

Woman: You've exterminated granny!
Dalek: Put her in the cur-ry.
Parrot: Hello, sailor...Hello...

SHOOTS PARROT IN CAGE.

Dalek: Put him in the cur-ry.
Woman (to camera): Now you know what's wrong with this country.

ANOTHER EXPLOSION AS TV SET OR SOME OBJECT BEHIND HER EXPLODES. AS WE FADE OUT THE TWO DALEKS DESTROY VARIOUS OBJECTS: CLOCK ON MANTELPIECE, VASES, LAMPSTAND.

— Spike Milligan 'Pakistani Daleks'

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Jeunesse Doree

It’s a beautiful world we live in
A sweet romantic place
Beautiful people everywhere
The way they show they care
Makes me want to say
It’s a beautiful world
For you

It’s a wonderful time to be here
It’s nice to be alive
Wonderful people everywhere
The way they comb their hair
Makes me want to say
It’s a wonderful place
For you

Trip Tysch Pshaw

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Timing

I don’t want to die now,
I’ve still got a headache.
I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache,
I’ll be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it.
— Arthur Dent

In Two Minds

There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face.
— William Shakespeare 'MacBeth'

Monday, 25 October 2010

Gender

In those days, spirits were brave; the stakes were high;
men were real men, women were real women,
and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real
small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

Cha Cha Cha

Tea for a ménage à trois.

Infinitely Viewable

I think that films or indeed any art work should be made in a way that they are infinitely viewable; so that you could go back to it time and time again, not necessarily immediately but over a space of time, and see new things in it, or new ways of looking at it.
— Peter Greenaway

Crystal Refraction

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sceptic Blank

How can I tell that the past isn’t a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
— Man In Shack Who Rules The Universe

I only decide about my universe. My universe is what happens to my eyes and ears - anything else is surmise and hearsay: for all I know these people may not exist. You may not exist. I say what it occurs to me to say.
— Man In Shack Who Rules The Universe

But it’s folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know if they exist.
— Man In Shack Who Rules The Universe

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Intelligence

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he’s achieved so much: the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But, conversely, the dolphins believed that they were more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons.

Friday, 22 October 2010

David Attenborough Hiding Behind A Tree

Whorf Angling

It is, of course, perfectly natural to assume that everyone else is having a far more exciting time than you. Human beings, for instance, have a phrase which describes this phenomenon: “the other man’s grass is always greener.”

The Sheltinack race of Broopkedren Thirteen had a similar phrase, but since their planet is somewhat eccentric, botanically speaking, the best they could manage was, “the other Sheltinack’s jupleberry shrub is always a more mauvey shade of pinky russet”. And so the expression soon fell into disuse.

And the Sheltinacks had little option but to become terribly happy and contented with their lot - much to the surprise of everyone else in the galaxy, who had not realised that the best way not to be unhappy is not to have a word for it…

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The President

The president’s job - and if someone sufficiently vain and stupid is picked he won’t realise this - is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it.

Who Governs?

The major problem - one of the major problems - for there are several - one of the many major problems with governing people is that of who you get to do it. Or, rather, of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarise: it is a well-known and much lamented fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarise the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made president should, on no account, be allowed to do the job.

Three Recognisable Phases

The history of every major galactic civilisation has passed through three distinct and recognisable phases: those of survival, inquiry, and sophistication. Otherwise known as the ‘How’, ‘Why’, and ‘Where’ phases. For instance, the first phase is characterised by the question: “How can we eat?” The second by the question: “Why do we eat?” And the third by the question: “Where should we have lunch?”

The history of warfare is similarly subdivided though here the phases are retribution, anticipation, and diplomacy. Thus, retribution: “I’m going to kill you because you killed my brother.” Anticipation: “I’m going to kill you because I killed your brother.” And diplomacy: “I’m going to kill my brother and then kill you on the pretext that your brother did it.”

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Side Effects

The major problem which the medical profession in the most advanced sectors of the galaxy had to tackle - after cures had been found for all the major diseases, and instant repair systems had been invented for all physical injuries and disablements except some of the more advanced forms of death - was that of employment. Planets full of bronzed, healthy, clean-limbed individuals merrily prancing through their lives meant that the only doctors still in business were the psychiatrists - simply because no one had discovered a cure for the universe as a whole, or rather, the only one that did exist had been abolished by the medical doctors.

Then it was noticed, that like most forms of medical treatment, total cures had a lot of unpleasant side effects. Boredom, listlessness, lack of - well anything very much, and with these conditions came the realisation that nothing turned, say, a slightly talented musician, into a towering genius faster than the problem of encroaching deafness. And nothing turned a perfectly normal, healthy individual into a great political or military leader better than irreversible brain damage.

Suddenly everything changed. Previously best-selling books such as ’How I Survived an Hour With a Sprained Finger’ were swept away in a flood of titles such as ’How I Scaled the North Face of the Megaperna With a Perfectly Healthy Finger But Everything Else Sprained, Broken, or Bitten Off by a Pack of Mad Yaks’. And so doctors were back in business - recreating all the diseases and injuries they had abolished - in popular, easy-to-use forms. Thus, given the right and instantly available types of disability, even something as simple as turning on the Three-D T.V. could become a major challenge. And when all the programs on all the channels actually were made by actors with cleft-palettes, speaking lines by dyslexic writers, filmed by blind cameramen, instead of merely seeming like that, it somehow made the whole thing more worthwhile.

The Living

Too busy. Never think of other people. The living are all the same.
— Zaphod Beeblebrox IV

We have a saying up here: “life is wasted on the living”.
— Zaphod Beeblebrox IV

The Motto Of The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints Division

Share and enjoy
Share and enjoy
Journey through life with a plastic boy
Or girl by your side
Let your pal be your guide
And when it breaks down or starts to annoy
Or grinds when it moves
And gives you no joy
‘Cause it’s eaten your hat
Or had sex with your cat
Bled oil on your wall
Or ripped off your door
And you get to the point you can’t stand anymore
Bring it us, we won’t give a fig.
We’ll tell you…go stick your head in a pig.

The Total Perspective Vortex

The Universe, as has been observed before, is an unsettlingly big place. The fact which, for the sake of a quiet life, most people tend to ignore. Many would happily move to somewhere rather smaller of their own devising, and this is what most beings, in fact, do.

For instance, in one corner of the Eastern Galactic Arm lies the great forest planet Oglaroon. The entire ‘intelligent’ population of which lives permanently in one fairly small and crowded nut tree. In which tree they’re born, live, fall in love, carve tiny, speculative articles in the bark on the meaning of life, the futility of death, and the importance of birth control, fight a few - very minor - wars, and eventually die strapped to the underside of some of the less accessible outer branches. In fact, the only Oglaroonians who ever leave their tree at all are those who are hurled out for the heinous crime of wondering whether any of the other trees might be capable of supporting life at all, or indeed be anything other than illusions brought on by eating too many Oglanuts.

Exotic though this behaviour may seem, there is no life-form in the galaxy not in some way guilty of the same thing. Which is why the Total Perspective Vortex is as horrific as it undoubtedly is. For when you are put in the Vortex, you are given just one, momentary glimpse of the size of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation along with a tiny little marker saying, “You are here”.

EBTPOS

Body debit means you press this card and it debits all your molecules from where you’re standing and your body goes into credit somewhere else!
— Zaphod Beeblebrox

The Wave Harmonic Theory Of Historical Perception

Reason not withstanding, the universe continues unabated. Its history is terribly long and awfully difficult to understand, even in its simpler moments which are, roughly speaking, the beginning and the end. The wave harmonic theory of historical perception, in its simplest form, states that history is an illusion caused by the passage of time, and that time is an illusion caused by the passage of history.

Engaging With Robots

Shut up, Marvin, this is organism talk.
— Ford Prefect

Organic life-forms have no sense of fun.
— Robot Dancer

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Communication

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses.
He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.
The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services.
He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?".
The operator says "Calm down. I can help.
First, let's make sure he's dead."
There is a silence, then a shot is heard.
Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

Trap For Young Minotaurs

Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Medium Is Not The Message

A flying saucer creature named Zog arrived on Earth to explain how wars could be prevented and how cancer could be cured. He brought the information from Margo, a planet where the natives conversed by means of farts and tap dancing.

Zog landed at night in Connecticut. He had no sooner touched down than he saw a house on fire. He rushed into the house, farting and tap dancing, warning the people about the terrible danger they were in. The head of the house brained Zog with a golf club.

— Kilgore Trout 'The Dancing Fool'

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Choice Words

Give every man thy ear but few thy voice.
— William Shakespeare 'Hamlet'

No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing.
— William Shakespeare 'King Lear'

When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.
— William Shakespeare 'Richard II'

Hinayana

It

It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.
— William Shakespeare 'Hamlet'

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Nothing Is Real

Nothing is something
just as
black is a colour
and
surprise is an emotion

Ill Locution

Give thy thoughts no tongue.
— William Shakespeare 'Hamlet'

Leviticus

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
— William Shakespeare 'The Merchant Of Venice'

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Evil Live

The evil that men do lives after them;
the good is oft interred with their bones.
— William Shakespeare 'Julius Cæsar'

Saturday, 9 October 2010

More Past Than Future

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
— William Shakespeare 'Richard II'

We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.
— William Shakespeare 'Henry IV Part 2'

Friday, 8 October 2010

… And Vice Versa

There's many a man has more hair than wit.
— William Shakespeare 'A Comedy of Errors'

When The Mode Of The Music Changes

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.
— William Shakespeare 'The Merchant of Venice'

Cry Baby

When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools …
— William Shakespeare 'King Lear'

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Common Ancestor: > 1 Billion Years Ago

Wings Of Desire

Happily Ever After

Hansel and Gretel are alive and well
And they're living in Berlin
She is a cocktail waitress
He had a part in a Fassbinder film
— Laurie Anderson 'The Dream Before'

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sunday, 3 October 2010