At the End of the Day

mesmile In tonight’s mixed bag, a one-way conversation with software, and an open conversation with myself. It’s a 100% guaranteed sexism, ageism, feminism, Islamism free zone with – hopefully – minimal onanism.

Warning: may contain traces of technophobia. Produced in a factory also processing Nutty Trumpery & Silly-Billy Hillaries

“A script isn’t working, what do you want to do?” Microsoft asked me for the 439th time this morning.

“Shoot the author?” I always feel like replying…..but of course you can’t do that, because the Microsoft Monologue forbids it.

I mean, how the bloody hell do I know? It’s like asking the postman whether he wants to continue with cold fusion research, or just cancel the budget. But it’s the sort of thing that pointyheads write….those people I increasingly see as pointlessheads.

Another one they love is ‘Something Is Not Right’. Ethereal plasma balls are emerging from your pc screen, and Microsoft’s finest is ‘Something Is Not Right’. As Allied troops poured down the Normandy peninsular, did Irwin Rommel – waiting in the Pas de Calais – wire his generals, ‘Etwas ist nicht in Ordnung’? Seems unlikely to me.

Talking of the War, yesterday I encountered the Enigma Machine that is the Gab password page. Twenty-four hours on, I’m still there. First, there are no password format guidelines on the page. So after trying dogbonce245/Tminus8 – and being rejected for the twelfth time for ‘incorrect password format’- I googled ‘Gab password guidelines’. There they were, hiding away on the site….which you can’t navigate fully until you’ve had a password accepted.

Second, these are the guidelines – be close to a lavatory if you have sensitive bladder syndrome, and remember, I’m not making this up:


  • If the password gets through, it’s not safe enough
  • The best password is one using Egyptian hieroglyphics, pixie dust and mirrors
  • Ordinary characters to be found on western keyboards are invalid: we said special, dummy
  • If we say P7^^sx<<\°°°/çU#{3nN is invalid, deal with it. Don’t whinge.

Those last four are mine, but they might as well be Gab’s. The case continues.

As the years pass, and needing a fix matures into choosing the right strength of Fixodent, the fantasy that one might be Robert Mitchum, Robert Redford or even Robert Pattinson fades and then evaporates in the heat of all those mirrors radiating surface-of-the-sun honesty.

On reflection, I haven’t been a fan of mirrors for years. Not since, ooh, I’d say around 1995. Before then, they were ok: I could still pass for worldly and lived-in. Laugh lines, crows feet at the eyes, Man of Mystery – that sort of thing. Now the feedback is more world-weary and worn out, I’m less keen on engaging. Mirror, mirror on the wall/one day soon I hope you fall.

I am now just 16 months away from the end of the seventh decade – not a place I ever expected to be. There were various reasons for this. By 1962, it looked as though nuclear Armageddon was going to wipe us all out anyway. By 1992, various other things had been added to the list – AIDs, the China Syndrome, Avian Flu, Climate Change, Yuppies – so it still looked bad from where I was sitting. In the corner, a bucket on my head, reading a copy of Protect & Survive. I went from being a glass half-empty kinda guy to a glass very full then very quickly empty sort of person.

Another problem with being young – this time completely unrelated to the real world – is that, although one might die dramatically in a Porsche Spyder or while single-handedly saving the world from multiple asteroid attack, you are just never going to die from things like, for example, decrepitude: the belief system is ‘It just isn’t going to happen to me and that’s my final word on the matter now godoyer room, Death’. I often say this: denialism of personal decay is so ubiquitous and 99% constant, it’s a piece of piss for millions of people to deny that Hillary Clinton is a delusional, power-mad and mendacious drone freak, while Donald Trump is merely a pussy-compulsive, populist infantile megalomaniac by comparison.

And yet….and yet. Where there was once a man listening to Purple Haze, there is now a herb enthusiast nurturing purple Sage, while wittering on about how many varieties of Rosemary there are. A chap who has gone from dashing to dapper with nowhere near enough equally interesting stages in between. A fellow who finally understands the point of Othello, but – although more mellow – keeps forgetting the French for yellow, or the English for glycine.

It’s coming to all of you, suckers. Think on it before the bugger arrives – but in the meantime, enjoy a chilled weekend: we all deserve it.

Earlier at The Slog: Do de Funky Math, man