A Fascinating Look Into the Mind of a Mass Murderer

Mother Jones has an article about the motivations of the Aurora mass shooter titled 5 Chilling Pages From the Aurora Mass Shooter’s Diary Debunk a Favorite NRA Talking Point. Their main point is that it’s debunking the the NRA rhetoric that mass shooters specifically choose gun free zones for their attacks.

I’m not sure that it’s safe for MoJo to debunk this claim based on a sample size of one, but this article is worth checking out because it links scans of James Holmes’ diary. 36 pages of unadulterated psychotic bliss. The 5th page even has a large headline announcing it as “Insights into the Mind of Madness”.

It’s a fascinating read. Shame it’s missing some pages, and I’m not sure if certain pages have been left out because they were blank, irrelevant, torn out, or had sensitive information. But it’s the sort of thing that will be of interest to psychologists and historians and even writers, so if there’s more to be seen, I’m hoping it gets released.

Heathen Zine Available For Purchase

A year ago I produced a physical zine called heathen. Problem was I had never distributed it far–basically, I gave copies to a couple of friends, and then kind of sat on them since (figuratively speaking of course–you’re not going to get copies that smell like my arse unless you pay extra).

Well, now I’ve decided that I am going to push these out to the world. I was originally going to write a book, but I have so many things to say about religion that I just never seemed to ever get it done. It probably doesn’t help that I am to procrastination what Elvis is to Rock’n’Roll and cheeseburgers.

This website was part of my motivation to get my work out there, and to motivate me to actually keep writing. So here you have it. I give you access to the physical copy, the PDF copy, and the Amazon Kindle edition.

They are DRM free, and if you are really quick, you can use the coupon “BYJINGO” on my store here to get the PDF free. 10 copies are available to be claimed, and the offer expires on Friday June 5th. I’ll leave the exact timezone in which that takes effect a surprise for the reader.

If you like my ranting and raving and carrying on, then please share this around, and it’d be grand if you could leave me some glowing 5-star reviews on Amazon. 😀

Are Parking Wardens Really Evil?

An article on Stuff about talking about parking wardens in Wellington city, and indicating that they are being given quotas of 3 tickets per hour that they “have to issue”.

Let’s look at this objectively, and I say this as someone who just got a parking ticket last week (I’ll let you guess who was at fault–spoilers below).

First, I believe it’s reasonable for an employer to have some kind of performance metrics for their employees. When your employees are wandering around the streets all day and are not sitting in front of managers, team leaders, or other staff, how do you determine whether you’re getting your money’s worth? How do you stop them from spending half their day at a coffee shop, or in a video arcade, or just going home? A goodly number of people are useless bastards and if they can avoid doing work, while still getting their employers to pay them, then they’re golden. It’s a minority, sure, but those people ruin it for everyone else.

In this politically correct social climate we have to suffer, the useless bastards know that it’s hard work for an employer to fire them. It’s costly to train new people, and it’s an expensive process for employers. So if they can avoid it, and if they can find a blanket method of ensuring staff are pulling their weight, they’re surely going to favour that.

Second, I believe these metrics are probably based on what should reasonably be expected for a day’s work. I’m fairly confident that the reason those numbers are where they are, boil down to the fact that most people are self-centred, entitled wankers and can’t seem to grasp why laws should apply to them.

At one of my previous workplaces, we had carparks at the back of the building which were 24×7 tow-away areas. We had staff that were on call who needed space to park in for after-hours work. Which were quite regular. One Sunday I had a prat of an old lady park there while she did her shopping. There were signs up clear as day–even for those with poor sight–that it was a 24×7 private park. Yet here she was, figuring that because it was Sunday and she was old that she had a moral right to park there. She arrived just as the tow truck driver did, so I let her fight it out with him.

It’s not just the youth who have a skewed sense of entitlement. Perhaps she was more upset that she had been caught, or perhaps she was mad because she was going to be late to bingo–I don’t know. But she was unjustifiably ropable.

If we have parking wardens going all over the city and we can expect each of them to give out a minimum of 24 tickets a day, then I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s because too many people are parking illegally.

As I mentioned earlier, I got a ticket last week. We have some carparks behind work, one side is all day free (which fill up very early), and the other has a 2 hour time limit. I got in a bit late and couldn’t be arsed parking down the next block where there are more free all-day parks. I figured I’d be out within the two hours and that I’d move the car then, but I figured wrong. I got stuck in a longer meeting than normal, and then had to go take a shit, so did all that first. And when I got to the car, I had been ticketed. Congrats to me, I’m a lazy dummy. Was it the damn parking warden’s fault that I had parked illegally? No. In fact, she was still there giving out other tickets to lazy dummies, so I wished her a good day and moved my car.

Accept your ticket with some fucking grace and use that as a lesson.

It’s the same as speeding tickets. It’s not revenue gathering because they’d get no revenue if people didn’t speed. That’s how you can get them where you think it’ll hurt–stick to the speed limit, or read the posted signs that tell you how long you can park and they won’t be able to gather any revenue off you ever again.

How is that a fucking complex mathematical equation?

Western Media Helping Disseminate ISIS Propaganda

There’s a great article on AlterNet explaining how the western media are doing more to help ISIS spread their propaganda than ISIS could on their own.

I think it’s true about the trolls being helped by morons, but why do modern media outlets do this? Are they actually pushing some agenda, or could this simply be explained by a desire in a digital age to be the first ones out with a story? The early bird catches the advertising dollar.

If sucking idiots into reading stupid shit wasn’t so lucrative, I’m fairly certain the major media outlets would stop doing it. Look at how over the last year or so, more and more sites use teaser headlines. You know the sort: “I thought it was a regular banana, but what she did with it next! I’m amazed!” or “It looked like a regular fluffy bunny. OMG! I can’t believe it!” Clickbait we call them. People will click on them because they must have their curiosity sated.

Traditionally, newspapers and other publishers are used to working in a different paradigm. They’ve been used to pushing information out to their audience, but now with the net, readers pull info and they do so from global sources. By that I mean that people aren’t restricted to one daily newspaper any more. With the Internet, we have the luxury of visiting several news sites all around the world. We select which channels we want to receive, whether those are visiting sites directly, or whether we are following RSS feeds, or twitter feeds, or Facebook pages, the list goes on.

The consumer pulls news from a variety of sources, and the most interesting headlines are what will attract the most eyeballs. It’s a competition. If you’re the first on the block publishing something juicy, you will get more viewers. People will see it early and in turn they will share through their channels. More eyeballs. More visitors to your site means you are earning more from advertising revenue. So it seems that it’s preferable to post an article with minimal fact checking and maximum hype as early as possible. You can always post an apology later. Which of course means a whole lot more visits to your page, both from apologists and from those trying to figure out how genuine you really are. All of whom generate revenue.

 

Cyclists

Sometimes cyclists like to tell us that other road users are the most hazardous things on the roads. But sometimes, like today, I can give two shining examples where the opposite is true.

Although it’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen cyclists riding two abreast on a narrow shoulder on the motorway, forcing motorists to slow down dangerously, or riding on the line marking the shoulder rather than in the shoulder, today I encountered two rather special cyclists.

On my way to get my lunch today, the first was a gentleman who looked for all intents and purposes homeless or destitute. I was crossing the road, and seeing that our paths might collide if he followed his present trajectory and velocity, he decided to shout out to me, “HURRY UP YOU FAT CUNT. I HAVEN’T GOT ALL DAY. I GOT THINGS TO DO.” I wasn’t dawdling. I was crossing the road at a good road-crossing pace, and I happen to be fat. These two factors appear to have combined in his mind into something that offended him greatly.

I thought to myself, “sir, you’re just being a jolly big scunthorpe.” And a small part of me–the irrational sociopathic part that I do manage to keep in check most days–wanted to push him off his bike, smash him in the face with it, and then slowly remove each and every spoke from his wheels and insert them into random orifices of his body. Heck, while I’m being so artistic, I’d probably invent a few new orifices specially for him, or turn him into a sculpture of Pinhead, my favourite Cenobite.

But no, instead, I slowed down and walked backwards, back into the middle of the road, forcing him to slow down and curse me and my winter cake storage unit some more.

That’s fine, he probably had a bad day, or perhaps hadn’t had his coffee yet, or maybe his wife divorced him, or his dog got cancer. I won’t judge him without knowing him.

Perhaps life was being particularly horrid to cyclists today because on the way back to work, not 10 minutes later, another cyclist at the very same crossing–and one who looked decidedly more businessy than the last fellow–also decided that slowing down for pedestrians wasn’t to be a part of his destiny. He sped past me, and almost smashed into a 300 year old lady on a mobility scooter who naturally, was taking her time. It takes the oldies a while longer to scan the horizon for hazards, and it takes them longer to pick up speed and be on their way.

Just a little bit of patience surely wouldn’t go amiss. Even if you’re on your way to an emergency, slowing down for that 4.5 seconds will save you a lifetime of walking funny when the person you do cross isn’t as socially amicable as I am.

Anti Muslim Bus Ads in the U.S.

Reading this article on Al Jazeera about anti-Muslim bus ads being legally allowed by a judge, makes me wonder how long before we see anti Christian bus ads. I thought I would get the ball rolling with a few ideas.

  • Slavery is normal. It’s in the Bible.
  • Sell your daughter as a sex slave. It’s in the Bible.
  • Stone your children to death if they don’t obey you. It’s in the Bible.
  • Don’t wear clothes made of mixed materials. It’s in the Bible.
  • Women are worth less than dirt. It’s in the Bible.
  • Your God will gladly commit genocide just to prove he’s God. It’s in the Bible.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies are something that have been with me for most of my life. I’m talking about the band, but the band had such an impact on me because of emotions I used to feel, and listening to their music and their songs over the years has been very therapeutic.

Yes they’re facetious at times, and yes they sing about morbid topics (I Saw Your Mommy), but their lyrics and their message is a powerful one. To me growing up, that message was, no you’re not alone. You may feel like it now, and you’ll struggle, but you’ll get through it. And there will always be someone out there ready to help.

The stuff I went through felt like the end of the world to me then, but now, after decades of hindsight, I realise that my struggles paled in comparison to others. Others even who are very close to me. When I was in my 20’s, a close friend of mine committed suicide and the music helped me get through it. It seems odd to someone who doesn’t know their music, but it helped me understand. I’d regret not being there enough for him, as did many others in his life, some of whom were much closer to him than I was, but the music showed me the mental turmoil he must have been going through. And it was enough to understand where he was. I think it’s helped me be there for others later in life.

Continue reading “Suicidal Tendencies”

Ridiculing Stupid Beliefs – Does it work?

Fascinating article on the anti-vaxxer movement and how it should be ridiculed. I wonder why, as in the example of the KKK, this doesn’t work for religion in general. They have silly rituals, beliefs, and customs, yet ridiculing them often strengthens their individual beliefs. A default reaction seems to be playing the persecution card. The anti-vaxxer movement appears to be a lot like religion in that they honestly think they are protecting themselves and their children with their beliefs. That’s a hard thing to shake out of someone. They’ll get defensive, or they’ll form segregated communities.

In general people don’t really want truth and logic. They want their own beliefs enforced, which is why they form little clubs and cliques (from online forums to churches). The more retarded their beliefs, the more they appear to want re-enforcement. Of course, the natural extension of this zealotry is to force it on others because their way is now clearly the best way and they’ve got a whole lot of people confirming it.

This video from Penn and Teller really says it beautifully. But do people care? Continue reading “Ridiculing Stupid Beliefs – Does it work?”

Amazon vs Hachette

Never thought I’d admit this in public, but I agree with Amazon in this Amazon vs Hachette debate. EBOOKS ARE WAY TOO OVER-PRICED. Considering that there are no printing and distribution costs, and considering that you can’t just loan your ebook to friends, can’t read them for extended periods without having power nearby, can’t sell them to a second hand store once you’re done with them, you can’t use them for toilet paper, you can’t burn them to keep yourself warm, and you lose access to your entire bookshelf if you lose your device or it gets damaged until you can afford another. And even then, there have historically been issues with migrating some books between devices depending on the whim of the publishers. Or what if you’re sick of that type of device and move to something else? Or what if you’re sick of Amazon, and want to start buying from someone else? What happens to your old library?

Is there a difference between electronic and physical books? Does that change their value for you? It sure as shit does for me.

Whenever I buy an ebook I feel bad because should I ever want to lend it to someone, I can’t. My parents always taught me to share, but modern media publishers are doing their best to make that illegal. And all the while they’re crying poverty, they are fucking creaming it. With extra thick whipped cream topped with the ripest, most delicious cherries, and a side of Cadbury’s Flake (the crumbliest, flakiest milk chocolate in the woooorld).

With ebooks, you don’t own a product—you’re just licensing a reading copy. Seriously, if you don’t understand that last sentence, re-read it and let it sink in. This is only a little better than borrowing a copy from the library.

This makes their value to me very low. Anyone selling an ebook for almost the cost of a physical book can go jump on a cactus. Anyone selling an ebook for over $10 can go ahead and take off their pants before jumping on aforementioned cactus.

Basically, I’m of the opinion that Fuck Publishers. Fuck them in the eyehole. Traditional publishers are fucking dinosaurs (hence why I tend to call them Publishaurs), whether they be print, music, or movie publishers. In a modern world, they don’t add as much value as their percentage would otherwise indicate.

I feel bad about writers who are stuck in the middle, but my sympathy only goes so far. Many are stuck in the mindset that the publisher is necessary for distribution of content and marketing. They’re not. This is the 21st century, and anybody can self publish to a number of different sites with the click of a couple of buttons. You can even use Print On Demand and get people physical copies without any publisher involvement. And between social media sites like Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, and blogs, marketing is easy. Sure, it resembles work, but if you’re not prepared to work for a living, then stop bitching about how hard life is.

I support self-published authors, cartoonists, bands, artists, and movie makers 110%, 150% if they go to the effort of producing a physical product. I’ve bought music from many bands, local and international, and I’m prepared to pay a little bit more if it’s self-published. Physical books are fewer and fewer these days, as I just don’t have the room for more of them in my house. So for them I’m shifting to digital. And I’m finding the majority overpriced. Even $7-8 I find too high in most cases, especially for books that are decades old, that the publishers have made more money from each format shift. And now with digital, these are just cream for the publishers. Yes, the authors will get their share too (hopefully), but the publishers have not done anything significant to warrant this extra income. For the shift to digital—especially for older work—the publishers should be reducing the prices and giving the bulk of the revenue to the writers. What’s even better for the publishers is that they will have dozens or hundreds of titles listed, and will be making a good percentage off all of them, while the authors may only have a handful each at best.

If you want to publish something—anything—then go ask Google how to do it. You can sell it for cheaper, and you get to keep all the money, not give it out to people who are rich at your expense.

Or ask me, and I’ll exploit you for a far smaller percentage.

Repeat Drink Drivers

This article about a repeat drink driver struck a chord with me.

I hate it when people humanise these bastards. Oh the system failed him and didn’t help him address his alcoholism, boo fucking hoo. Some people actually just don’t fucking care, and flout the law intentionally because they know the people behind the system are such politically correct pussies, and that fuck all will happen to them.

Also, apparently he’s been to prison 33 times. I wonder if they meant jail. Maybe actually throwing him in prison would help.

Here are my ideas for repeat drink drivers.

  1. The sentence goes up exponentially with each repeat offence.
  2. Crush the vehicle they were using. OK, some might be using stolen cars, but for those who own the cars or are borrowing family vehicles, this will have a direct and immediate financial effect. Fining them won’t work because we will let them pay the fines off at $5 a week. But if their car is destroyed, and their friends and family know they are likely to lose their own vehicle, they will be less likely to loan them out to recidivists.
  3. Make them watch videos of children getting hit by cars over and over and over and over and over again.

But don’t you fucking dare humanise them. Oh, I hear you cry, but alcoholism is a sickness and they need help. Fine, go help them, but do it while they are locked up and away from society. They lost their rights to be treated like humans the second they hopped into a car and put innocent people at risk. Repeatedly.