A Blog is a Place to Keep Your Stuff

One school don't want me, one is conspicuously silent...and the one that didn't have any work for me want me to work full time. It just goes to show. Though exactly what it goes to show I'm not sure.

George Carlin died on Monday, at 71 of heart failure.

Last of the Philosopher-Comedians, a one-man baloney detection machine, and the man who said:
Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, fart, turd and twat.

Great Stuff.

Did you know Clive Barker is gay? Oh the horror.

Do you realise it's almost exactly two years since the end of the world? As predicted in The Bible Code, I mean.

Whatever happened to that?

If you could talk to god, what would you say? Well now you can find out by going here!. iGod, probably the internet's only direct channel to heaven.

Here's what God and me said earlier:

Kap: Hi there God.
God: GOD rules. Hello friend. What is your name?
Kap: I am the rain.
God: Who made you the rain?
Kap: Evaporation, followed by precipitation.
God: We have never talked about it before.
Kap: That is true. we have never met before, dude.
God: Yes, it is self-evident. Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were someone else.
Kap: But you are omniscient!
God: Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am omniscient?
Kap: I am only a humble sinner. I am not worthy to give advice to the creator of the universe.
God: Don't be so modest. You are a humble sinner? Do you get to meet a lot of people? I am sorry to hear that you are not worthy to give advice to the creator of the universe.
Kap: I meet a lot of people. Sometimes I have sex with them.
God: That's nice. I have a birthday on the big bang.
Kap: I like big bangs. But I think I already said that.
God: What is wrong with small ones? You believe that? What did you mean by it? That is "What is wrong with small ones?".
Me: Nothing is wrong with small ones. They say small ones are more juicy.
God: I think there might be a few exceptions.

As you can see, he understood everything I said.

I have platonic relationships with gay men, and sexual relationships with straight men. How did that happen? What's all that about?

Montaigne said "A man must be a little mad if he does not want to be even more stupid".

A murder mystery where there are two murderers, both poisoning the same victim at the same time, but unaware of each other.

Possibly a more coherent post soon.

Through the Streets of London

The anti-nazi demo on Saturday was quite small - estimates have settled at around 5000 people, though 10,000 isn't impossible. But from accounts all over the blogosphere, it's almost like the demo I went on took place in a parallel universe.

As I experienced it, me and 25 others got off the coach and walked with our banners to the start point. Where the organisers kept us waiting near the front for an hour without explanation. I took some photos.

(We agreed the above slogan was slightly unfortunate.

Finally the march began at the exact moment my camera packed up, and we moved with occasional chanting through empty backstreets to Nelson's Square, where a succession of B-list speakers spoke about the British "National" Party, but in the context of the Holocaust, rather than what's happening here and now.

And that was more-or-less it. Not a failure and not a ringing success either.

But from other accounts (which are from reliable people) the police threatened and beat up dozens of protesters at random, and placed provocaterus in the crowd trying (and failing) to start trouble.

Even the rightwing gutter press are acknowledging that, which is...unusual.

So on the one hand, it was a small turnout trudging along a bad route to dull speeches. And on the other, it was the police showing their true colours...for no reason.

Linky Winky

There are three reasons to study psychology.

(1) You need some pseudoscience to justify your beliefs,

(2) You like to make fun of the pseudoscience other people use to justify their beliefs.

(3) You want to know why people feel the need to justify their beliefs, why they accept such weak justifications, and why they have such daft beliefs in the first place.

If anyone can suggest a link for (3), I'd be most grateful.

I've stumbled on some works by and about James Burnham. In my opinion quite a fascinating figure.

He was an American political theorist of the 1930s, an anti-stalinist socialist who became an anti-socialist paleoconservative, and he's best remembered for a string of failed predictions.

He predicted managers (bureaucrats and technicians) would gradually replace capitalists as the ruling class - whereas in face entrepreneurial capitalists were replaced by corporate capitalists. He predicted Japan would become a superpower after allying itself with Russia - whereas Russia became the superpower. He thought Germany would win the second world war and become a third superpower - all quite plausible, but wrong.

But if you dismiss everyone whose predictions mostly turned out wrong...you'll dismiss everyone. That's the nature of prediction in politics.

Here's an aphorism: When shallow people are wrong, it's for shallow reasons. When deep people are wrong, it's for deep reasons.

I feel that Burnham may (or may not) have been wrong when he analysed Dante, debated Trotsky on the dialectic, or declared Liberalism irretrievably contradictory. But either way it's worth finding out why.

eXile magazine probably soon won't exist anymore. It seems you can't tell the truth by disguising it as humorous cynicism anymore in Moscow. Or by doing it in English.

But in their dying breath they've given me an idea - of how I can become a millionaire. And it's perfectly moral, because it only involves defrauding people richer than me.

The British Potato Council.
The British Peanut Council.
The other website of the British Potato Council
The Potato Fan Club.
The British Potato Council's website for schools.
20th century history. Not about potatoes. But told by a potato.
Democracy is not a potato.

I was here today. A few details when I have the strength.

Ring, Ring

I never realised the office telephone had so many functions.

In some offices, it's a way of telling the public they should visit the company website, where all conceivable questions shall be answered.

In others, it's a radio station provided as a public service. At any time of the day or night, you can listen to Handel's Water Music for as many hours as you wish.

In many, the telephone serves a purely decorative function, positioned on an empty desk to look efficient and helpful. Occasionally it emits a strange ringing noise, but no one there knows why and it stops soon enough.

Increasingly, they're used to send high pitched bleeps and bursts of white noise to whoever calls them. This could be a special service to nostalgic computer nerds, but I think it's a secret communications network used by giant alien insects prior to an invasion. Either that or the collected works of Aphex Twin.

All these wonders and more I have discovered in the last few days. But I've found it's more effective to walk into the office and hand over your CV in person.

Two interviews arranged.

Oh, and I'm booked to teach a class on Tuesday.

They want me to teach that English doesn't have double negatives. 'Cos native speakers don't hardly ever use double negatives. Not never.

They also want me to teach that "state" verbs like Have, Do, Be, Like and Want never occur in continuous form. Apart from state verbs like Run, Sit, Look, Hope and Sleep, which occur in continuous forms all the time. And apart from common collocations like "having breakfast", "doing a runner" and "being a pain". But apart from that.

I wonder what they make of "if I was you" and "to boldly go".

Did both interviews. Contrasting schools - one was large and mistook paperwork for efficiency, the other small and mistook paperwork for seriousness.

Neither school liked me much, but they're both desperate, so we'll see.

PS. I'm going to have sex tonight. If it isn't raining. So if it's dry it'll be wet. Just thought I'd mention it. No particular reason.

Update: Some men cancel at the last minute, some stand you up and you never hear from them again, and some turn up promptly on time before even more promptly changing their mind. This one just oversleeps.

Nevermind. Better fuck next time.

Cemetary and Seminary

A lot happened today, most of it bad. Rather than rant boringly on the details, here's the important points:

* I don't want to work for people who tell me different lies every day, and they don't want to employ someone as highly stung as me unless there's absolutely no one else available.

* I have an interview for another school on Friday - and wlll be contacting more.

* My "jobsearch advisor" (dole officer) thinks I only get jobs to avoid going on government training schemes. Yes, that's what she says.

And on a lighter note:

* I have now twice in my life got lost in graveyards.

I have discovered a new source of spiritual uplift - the Christian Newswire. I learn things here that I wouldn't learn anywhere else.

Did you know for instance, that Arnold Schwartzenegger, Wells Fargo and the president of Brazil are part of the international homosexual movement? Or that being gay kills more people than smoking? No wonder western civilisation is threatened. By gays.

Apparently homosexuals like to mock Christians too. Surely not.

Still, it's easy to be cynical about the Internets. And I always am. Easy, I mean.

But the trouble with being cynical is, although you're usually right, when you're wrong you're really wrong.

Which is just a roundabout way of saying: I'll be looking at this site closely. Even though it isn't. Easy I mean.

School's in for Summer

How to teach your first class:

* Get allocated a class of students at Elementary level. Elementary students require special skills to teach, so make sure you've had none of the necessary training or experience.

* Your students will be in their early teens, so take care to be provided with workbooks written for young children.

* Do not have time to read the lesson plan before you start to teach.

* An integral part of the lesson is the pre-recorded conversations on cassette, so it's vital you get the wrong cassette.

* For bonus points, use board markers that ran dry six years ago.

* Conduct your ninety minute lesson in a tiny, stuffy room.

* Most importantly, have no idea what you're doing.

I'm told by several people that this is the norm. Same again tomorrow.

How I spent my evening:

You've got a cassette to play to tomorrow's students - or rather, you've got five minutes worth of useful stuff, fragmented over half an hour. So you play the tape into your computer's sound card, cut out the useless bits, clean up the signal, and play the result back onto another cassette. Having first spent an hour digging out your old cassette machine and finding some old tapes for it.

It's either that or spend ten minutes of the lesson winding the tape backwards and forwards. Or just getting the class to read out the dialogues, which would be ridiculous. Um, oh.

TEFL may the last industry in the world to abandon the compact cassette. I've got some reel-to-reel machines somewhere they could use.

Ambrose Bierce defined a "career" as "the first day of a new job".

Gizza Job

An interview for a smallish language school.

I arrive at 0900 for the interview. A man greets me, reads my CV and asks a few informal questions, before handing me over to a second man four feet away, who reads the CV and asks the same questions. He then asks me to come back in five hours for the "real" interview, and spends half an hour trying to print out the application form so I can apply for the interview we've just arranged.

He wanders off to find the first man to ask him why his printer isn't working. The first man wanders in, fixes the printer and I take away the form to copy the CV they've already got onto, and bring back later.

I arrive at 1430, to find the second man still out to lunch. He arrives, doesn't even ask for the form I've filled out, but produces his own form of prepared questions. But first, there's a preliminary question:

Interviewer: I understand you know about computers.

Kapitano's Mind: Oh fuck.

Kapitano: Yes....

Int: I was wondering if you could tell me why my printer isn't working.

Kapitano's Mind: Here we go again. Here we fucking go again.

Kapitano: Probably a network or a driver problem. Let me see....

It was indeed a driver problem.

Then there was the list of prepared questions:

Interviewer: Many of your students would be Arabs. Do you have a problem with that?

Kapitano's Mind: Arabs? You mean Muslims don't you. You're asking me whether I hate Muslims. Not foreigners in general, not immigrants, not people with darker skin than me. Muslims.

Kapitano: No of course not.

Interviewer: Should a lesson be teacher oriented or student oriented?

Kapitano's Mind: Oh what a difficult question. Oh I can't possibly guess what the right answer is. Anyone who understands the question knows what to say, as you and I know perfectly well, so what's the point in asking?

Kapitano: It should be student oriented.

Interviewer: How much time should be student talking time, and how much teacher talking time?

Kapitano's Mind: What a fuckwitted thing to ask. It's not like I'm going to stand in the lesson timing my sentences with a stopwatch and failing to explain something because I've gone over my quota of seconds.

Kapitano: Well...pulling a figure out of the air, I'd say 70% should be student talking time.

Interviewer: What sort of relationship should you have with your colleagues?

Kapitano's Mind: Five of them will be mindbogglingly mediocre at their jobs, two borderline incompetent, one staggeringly incompetent, two pretty good and one absolutely brilliant. I've got absolutely no interest in these people outside of the basic courtesies of working together. Apart from the really cute but completely straight one, and the insecure one I have the brief fling with.

Kapitano: Friendly but not friends.

Interviewer: Should you allow students to speak in their native language during lessons?

Kapitano's Mind: Oh Jesus H fucking Christ on a shitty trike. Is this man one of those managerial imbeciles who read once in a book that all lessons should be entirely in the target language, or is he an actual teacher who knows the books are wrong? Hmmm.

Kapitano: If students are quickly helping each other out, that's fine. If they're having conversations, it's not.

Interviewer: What areas of your teaching do you feel you could improve on?

Kapitano's Mind: I'm virtually a beginner, you great twonk. It all needs improving. As you already know 'cos I told you this morning.

Kapitano: I need to improve my teaching of basics to beginners.

I start on Monday.

Exactly what I start on Monday is a little unclear, because they won't know till then how many students they've actually got, and so won't know whether they need a full time teacher, a part timer, or someone to fill in when someone else is ill.

But...I do have a job. Of some kind, And it's five minutes walk from home. So I didn't actually need to go to Bulgaria at all.

Move on, Nothing to See

There's two reasons to neglect your blog:
(1) Have nothing interesting to blog about
(2) Have a lot of interesting things blog about but be too busy doing it to blog about doing them

However, as a marxist, I've found a dialectical unity of the opposites: Be too busy doing things too boring to blog about to blog about them even if they weren't too boring to blog.

But I did get to write a little song, provisionally titled "TV" until I can come up with something better.

Verse 1:
Break, wake
Dark familiar
Lie, stare
Quiet warm
Dreams fade
Numbers glowing red
Time four five six
Creep out of bed

This is the future
Tomorrow's been and gone
Sit and watch the old films
Stand and sing the old songs
This was the future
Can't quite remember when
Life on endless replay
What's old is old again

Verse 2:
Click, flip
Thousand channels
Smile, stare
Lost again
Dreams begin
Numbers glowing green
Channel six oh one
Eyes on the screen

Watch this space to see what I do with it. If the laptop stops crashing.

95% of the internet had just been rendered redundant. This is how.