The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

November 2004 Archive


November 01, 2004

I'm not a very religious moose, but as it is All Saints' day today, I thought it was a good a day as any to think about the great mooses that have left us and reflect a bit on the transience that all living beings on this planet have to deal with.

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 03:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Some people apparently think that the Firefox logo/icon is in particular bad taste and have filed an according report in the Firefox bug database. And they seem to have a problem discerning pandas from koalas. Oh well, never mind. Ming Hong Ng has a longer list of nonstandard bugs in Mozilla.

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 11:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


November 02, 2004

A particularly nasty TrackBack spam attack took out The Aardvark Cooks and The Evil Empire on Saturday. What's interesting is that the attack came in two waves: first, there was a small attack on Wednesday with about 4 Trackback spams each, which contained only random characters (and hence nonexistent URLs), and then a massive attack of over 200 pings on Saturday, for a porn site. The attack was in fact so massive that I had to take the sites offline to clean things up.

What's slightly disquieting is that they attacked my two smaller weblogs, but not this one. As a precautionary measure I have installed MT-Blacklist and hope this will help against future attacks, but I fear it'll only be a matter of time until they can bypass that, too — the random characters that were sent first might have something to do with that. Also, each of the 200 spam pings seemed to come from a different IP address, so they're either spoofing IP addresses or they're now using viruses for this kind of thing, too.

Somehow I don't think Professor Kari's prediction that the Internet will collapse within the next two years is all that far-fetched.

Posted by Horst at 12:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

It's a true shame that the USA is as large as it is, and has as much economic power and nuclear bombs as it has, because otherwise I wouldn't care about today's US presidential elections any more than about elections in some banana republic, where rigging the elections doesn't have an impact on the entire world.

Quiz 1: What do the following countries have in common: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Russia, Georgia, USA?

My guess for the result, by the way, is that George W. Bush will win with something like a comfortable 55% majority, simply because after I've read a few articles on US voters' attitudes, it seems to me that Americans would rather vote for somebody they know but don't like, than for somebody they like but don't know. Either these articles I read are just nonsense, and I hope they are, or the American mind works in strange ways.

Quiz 2: What do the following countries have in common: USA, Somalia, Iran, Congo?

For those who understand German, the (conservative) Austrian journalist Hans Rauscher has recently written two very sharp comments on how the Bush regime changed America: "It's not the America we knew" and "America, the prisoner of a radical sect" chronicle the USA's swing towards political and religious fundamentalism over the past few years. A brief quote translated into English:

Emissaries of the Bush government, who travel through Europe on a regular basis and seek contact with opinion leaders ... [start] fiery sermons that all follow a similar pattern: "old Europe" is dead and gone, Asia is the future, we take care of it, and why aren't you Europeans more like us, for example, why don't people in a christian country like Austria pray more often? — This would have been unthinkable four years ago.

For a more sober, meticulously researched, yet infinitely more depressing look at why today's elections are so important and at the same time also terribly irrelevant, read this and weep.

In related news:
You speak through me, God, not the other way round! Is that clear?

Posted by Horst at 02:53 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


November 03, 2004

The Hole

The Hole
A typical Hole.

Previous episodes in this series: The Cement Mixer | The Japanese Pickup

The Hole is perhaps the strangest of all the predators of the Greek country roads. Contrary to the other predators, the Hole is completely stationary — or so it appears, because they still seem to appear in the most unexpected places, and the more you try to steer your car around them, the more you will end up right in the middle of it.

Still, stories about moving Holes are probably myth. Typically, Holes just sit in the country road, patiently waiting for victims that will drive into them. They are particularly dangerous at night, because of their near invisibility.

Holes vary greatly in depth and width, and they are known to grow over time. Some are so small that you can safely ignore them, some are so big and deep that your car will sustain heavy damage if you don't manage to avoid them, and the bad thing about Hole-inflicted damage to your rental car is that the full-risk insurance contracts on Greek rental cars always contain a clause that they will not be liable for damage (a) to the underside of the car, or (b) if no second car is involved in the accident; in other words, Hole attacks are explicitly excluded.

This means that if your rental car is damaged by the attack of a Hole, you should try to convince the driver of a second car to crash into yours so that you don't have to pay for the damage. Or you could park the car in a convenient position so that it becomes the prey of another predator such as a Cement Mixer. This, however, may involve a lot of red tape, so it's better to stay alert and constantly watch out for Holes as you drive on the Greek country roads.

Posted by Horst at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

I played this song (MP3, 3MB) on my computer at the office today, and my colleague came in, heard only the final bars of it and asked me, "is this to get into the mood for the US election results?" She thought it was some kind of American folk music.

I laughed and explained to her that, no, this was not an American folk song at all, quite on the contrary, it's a late 19th-century socialist song from England, so no, this had nothing to do with the US election.

After a while I wasn't so sure any longer.

Posted by Horst at 11:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)


November 04, 2004

Eric Frey in Der Standard (my translation):

For the next four years, America will be governed by a man whose legitimacy is beyond doubt. They also cannot claim that they have been misled by Bush. Four years ago, Bush ran for the office as a "compassionate conservative" who promised to unite the nation through moderate politics. This time, there was no doubt about his extremist conservative intentions.

This is a reason for concern. The Americans have accepted Bush's message that the country is at war after the 9/11 attacks and have confirmed their self-proclaimed "war president" in office. Thus they are supporting the policy of paranoia that has alienated the rest of the world. They have re-elected a president who wants to fight the complex problem of Muslim terrorism solely with military means, who has strained relationships with allies to the limit, and who has turned the United States into the face of the enemy for a large part of mankind. America will continue on its unilateral course and possibly spread the diffuse, but risky "war against terrorism" to other countries. Bush was not punished for the obvious fiasco of the Iraq war, into which he dragged the country by telling untruths. One can now safely assume that this political and psychological state of war will continue for a very long time.

anonyarena (an American) on The Fall message board:

Mark E. Smith predicted a 2nd Dark Age back in the 1970s and here it is. ... This truly is THE FALL.

It's THE FALL of all civilization of every kind. Optimism is a worthless, useless, emotion now. If we do not come to grips with our depression, we will lack the insight required to survive the impending doom that is, at last, unavoidable now. We can't go groping in the muddled darkness, saying things like "Now the Republicans can fix their own mess." Have we been blind for the last 4 years. The Republicans have no intention of "fixing" their mess! The deliberately and intentionally plan to inflate the mess, to deepen the deficit, to expand the war, obliterate dissent, allow, permit, and encourage terrorist actions to kill us, and utterly destroy the economy by creating and enshrining two classes. One of the multi-billionaire super-elite ultra rich, and one of desperate poverty stricken whose lives will be so dismal, no word will be able to describe their ruin.

Also check out the reactions over at Craig's BookNotes, which show that not all America is Bush.

Voices from the British press:

And from the Daily Mirror, arguably not Britain's highest-quality newspaper, comes this question.

Posted by Horst at 11:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


November 05, 2004

Megan sent me this via e-mail (no idea where it's from):

Jesusland vs. Canada

Or, if you don't believe in red and blue and prefer shades of purple, maybe it's more like this:

Purple America

Update: Check out this site for even more election maps.

Posted by Horst at 07:39 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

My God (QuickTime, 22 MB, 14 minutes). From this DVD.

Posted by Horst at 07:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


November 08, 2004

And this is not really moose content, but it is certainly weird: The Inflatable Reindeer Appreciation Society. While I agree with them that "wearing antlers is sexy", I'm not really sure just what they are doing with all those inflatable reindeers... [link via SWR]

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 01:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


November 09, 2004

Yo La Tengo: Today Is the Day Camper Van Beethoven: New Roman Times The Fall: Interim Mirah: Advisory Committee Hayden: Elk Lake Serenade
Windsor for the Derby: We fight til Death Laura Veirs: Carbon Glacier Tanya Donelly: Whiskey Tango Ghosts The Fall: Slates Mirah: Come on Miracle

Well, since last June anyway. More details here.

Posted by Horst at 12:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Ugh.

Posted by Horst at 11:45 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Ronnie O'Sullivan

For some weird reason, a while ago I suddenly became hooked by the Snooker broadcasts on Eurosport. Which means I'll be glued to the TV set for the next few days, as the 2004 British Open in Brighton has just started yesterday.

Get hooked too by watching Ronnie O'Sullivan's maximum break from the 2003 World Championship (requires RealPlayer). Amazing. O'Sullivan is also favourite for the British Open, but he expects a "tough test". We'll see.

Posted by Horst at 11:54 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)


November 10, 2004

XXXX GALUMPIA ADULT XXXX
WARNING: THIS SITE CONTAINS IMAGES

You trust me, right? Then go to this site and click on the thumbnails. [via Gloria Brame]

Similarly brilliant, from the same people: The Royal Family: "Sit back and enjoy this unique portrait of the Royal Family relaxing at home. Roam from room to room exploring the Windsors' private quarters." Requires QuickTime.

Posted by Horst at 12:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

As predicted only last week, my weblog is currently under serious attack from a variety of spammers using all sorts of tricks to get their URLs into my comments and trackbacks. The attacks started only last Sunday — I had wondered about the surge in visitors, but then noticed my comments had been spammed into oblivion:

Stats peak as spammers visit

(I assume the spike in page views on Thursday was a preliminary scan of my site; this would be consistent with previous attacks.)

MT-Blacklist does a decent job of cleaning the spam up, except that I overlooked two legitimate comments in the long list of comments to be deleted, and two comments by Nathan and Armin are now lost forever. Sorry. If you still remember what you wrote, uh, please write again.

However, MT-Blacklist seems to be totally useless when it comes to blocking the spammers from posting their garbage to my weblog, and even tricks like changing the name of the comment script don't help any longer — the last attack (the second one today) occurred only one hour after I had changed it.

I'm thinking about possible solutions for this situation, and I fear it might involve having to change my blogging software, which is something that I don't find particularly exciting. Or close comments. Or close down the weblog. Or send the spammers to Fallujah.

Interestingly, I always get attacked by spammers a few days after I write about them. Do they employ search engines to find their victims that way?

Posted by Horst at 11:12 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)


November 11, 2004

So I was in this Running Sushi restaurant and I had just sat down and started eating rice balls when I noticed that the two young women only 2 chairs to the left of me had to either be working for Weight Watchers, be on a diet themselves, or suffer from some serious eating disorder, because all they were talking about the entire time was the amount of calories in each of the items that was passing by on the conveyer belt. Each of them. They even went as far as to calculate the calories of each portion of the same kind of food according to its size. Along with the three-fingered chef serving cevapcici in Badgastein, I am ranking this among the weirder things I have witnessed in restaurants. I felt compelled to watch just what kinds of things they actually took and ate (taking into account what they were talking about, probably not a lot), but I knew I would have been unable not to observe them all the time. So I decided not to intrude into their privacy and concentrated on my own sushi, thus never finding out which food matched their calorie criteria.

Still, I wondered, was a Running Sushi restaurant — you know, the kind of place where the food just passes by and you can eat all you want until your organs give up on you and you end up in hell for transgressing against the Deadly Sin of Gluttony —, was a Running Sushi restaurant the right place to go for people who seem to be on some sort of diet?

Anyway, they left when I was about half way through my meal and I was really happy because by that time I, too, had begun to worry about the calories in what I was eating. And then a woman came in. She was heartily welcome by two women already sitting 2 seats to the right of me. She sat down, and immediately, the three of them started talking about calories.

I have read somewhere that the most recent and extremely fast-growing kind of eating disorder is orthorexia, or the compulsion to eat healthy food to such an extent that people stop eating altogether because they can't find anything that's healthy enough for them. And I always thought my (admittedly somewhat neurotic) phobia of sneezing delicatessen salesgirls made me some kind of real-life Monk.

Posted by Horst at 08:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)



November 12, 2004

Yes. If you are a regular reader of this weblog, you may have noticed by now that I have certain kinks and I have certain phobias. Sneezing delicatessen salesgirls (and if you are confused why I'm coming up with this topic now, I mentioned them only yesterday) belong to the phobia category, although strictly speaking, it's not the salesgirls themselves that I am afraid of, but rather the cold viruses that they tend to spread via whatever they are selling.

I wonder why there isn't some kind of law that expressly forbids anyone with a cold to sell non-wrapped groceries — if you remember, I mentioned the bakery of death a while ago as a particularly bad example. Some shops now seem to have introduced some regulation that people working behind the delicatessen counter have to wear plastic gloves as a hygienic measure, but I ask you: is there a difference whether a salesperson touches people's money and their own runny noses with or without plastic gloves? I for one don't really see much of a difference. Actually, I find the bare hands more hygienic, for at least they should feel compelled to wash their hands more often.

Just one of the things I fail to understand in shops. A further mystery is why one particular bakery chain is training their sales personnel to talk like robots. More about which later.

Posted by Horst at 11:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


November 14, 2004

Breaking the usual Sunday silence to report the result of the Snooker British Open: John Higgins won in what was a true high class match. I've seen John Higgins score high or even maximum breaks a couple of times before, but apparently he hasn't won a ranking tournament in three years. It seemed only fair that he should win, even though Stephen Maguire was pretty much his equal for much of the match.

Click here for coverage of one of the high points (QuickTime, 16MB).

Posted by Horst at 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


November 15, 2004

Haldur wearing his new moose necklace

I am currently facing a serious fashion problem: my dear friend Olga gave me this wonderful wooden moose, and I thought it would be really cool to wear it as a necklace. However, the response to this fashion statement has not been particularly positive: Horst said that only girl mooses wear necklaces, Elchi said the moose looks like a child's toy, and Marsu says I look like I've just escaped from the Pratersauna — a Viennese establishment which is really hard to describe if you haven't been there yourself; just let me tell you that wearing one, or even two golden necklaces seems to be obligatory for male visitors.

So I'm really caught in a dilemma here. What's a fashionable moose to do? Listen to what his friends say, or carry on wearing my moose necklace, even if I risk making a fool of myself? What do you think?

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 08:34 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


November 16, 2004

Of course not. Fighting in Fallujah has been over for several days now. And Iraq has been at peace since W. Bush declared the war over on May 1st, 2003.

In the meantime, Reuters reports that so far, 38 US soldiers and 1000 insurgents have been killed in Fallujah. They don't report anything about non-insurgents though, nor anything about how those who pull the trigger decide whether the person is an insurgent rather than a non-insurgent.

Posted by Horst at 10:22 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


November 17, 2004

Sigmund Freud

Last week I was invited to a party where, as usual, I was the only librarian present, so, as usual, I was quite unable to spread my wisdom about cataloguing rules, strange entries in the subject headings norm database, or even Dublin Core metadata. What made the party really weird though, was that 90 per cent of the people there were psychotherapists. Which made me somewhat uncomfortable. Not only did I find myself in an appartment crammed with two psychotic cats and about 70 people of which 67 were total strangers, but the fact that every single sentence I was saying might be prone to deeper analysis was something of an incentive to look deep into my glass and ponder over the effects of alcohol on my metabolism.

"Hi, nice party this, don't you think?"
"What makes you say so?"
"Well, the drinks aren't bad, and even though I don't know anybody here..."
"I see. Do you often feel lonely?"

The cats, by the way, weren't really psychotic. Just imagine you're a cat and then suddenly one evening there are two humans per square metre in your otherwise spacious appartment, playing weird music and making all sorts of noise, and I assure you you'll also erratically dart through the room at breakneck speeds, jump unexpectedly over sofas and sink your claws deep into anybody who happens to stand or sit in your way. It's only natural.

At some point, one of the hosts' friends, a musical genius (who, as I noticed with some relief, is also balding now even though he's substantially younger than I am) did a musical performance with post-rockish, highly associative (and admittedly cool) music, to which they projected slides that were remarkably reminiscent of Rorschach tests. The cats watched the slides with great interest, but I wasn't sure whether this wasn't part of some large-scale psychological experiment and felt a slight bout of paranoia coming up.

And then I noticed that all the women present at this party seemed to have a similar body shape. I'm not good at describing people, but compared to the women I see at work and on the streets, all of these female psychotherapists seemed to be, well, petite in a stocky kind of way, not at all overweight, but not sporting that trendy anorexic look either. I debated this with S, a friend of mine who had showed up in the meantime, and also an odd one out as she's a teacher rather than a psychotherapist. She claimed that all of them looked perfectly normal for women in their early-to-mid thirties.

I pointed out that the problem was not really one of weight, but rather of size and proportions, and that the women at this party were completely unlike what I was perceiving as "normal". I said that I considered her to look normal, and that at 5'8" she was considerably taller than any of those psychotherapist women. S had a look around, noticed that she was indeed the tallest person in the room and stopped contradicting me. We then started pondering on the effects of body shape on the choice of profession, a discussion whose scientific value may have been somewhat distorted by the contents of our glasses.

Anyway, at some point one guy started screaming chansons in French, accompanied by the musical genius on accordion, which made the cats only more psychotic so that at some point four sharp claws ended up in S's right thigh (I had ducked just in time). When the guy started murdering Jacques Brel's Le moribond, getting neither the tempo, nor the lyrics, nor the irony right, my eyes started to water. It could have been due to the gruesome rendition of the song, but as I also felt some asthma coming up, it was probably just my cat allergy. I emptied my glass, said goodbye to the picture of Sigmund Freud, and left.

Posted by Horst at 11:02 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)


November 18, 2004



November 19, 2004

  1. No matter how many items you have on your Ikea shopping list, you always end up with twice as many items in your shopping cart.

  2. The blueberry tart, once my favourite at the Ikea restaurant, has been undergoing several changes over the past few years, each one making it worse than before. With the last change they finally succeeded in making it perfectly inedible.

  3. To Haldur's delight, Ikea is no longer selling the "Gossingen" moose (the one that looked like it had been shot). To Haldur's horror, they are currently serving moose ragout at the Ikea restaurant.

  4. Murphy's Law of Ikea: They always discontinue the one particular colour of Billy bookshelves that you have in your apartment.

  5. The decorators at Ikea stores do not use the enclosed Allen wrench to assemble the furniture.

  6. Visiting an Ikea store twice on two consecutive days can have severe physical and mental side-effects even if you are using the Ikea walkthrough [courtesy of Matthew] and is not recommended.

Posted by Horst at 11:10 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)


November 22, 2004

I just finished remodelling my guide to Indian restaurants in Vienna (German version | English version). Apart from some much-needed updates (5 restaurants deleted, 2 new ones added, 1 relocated), most of the changes have been subtle; however the only way I could think of to get rid of the long list of all restaurants on one page was the current popup window solution, which I guess some people won't like. Let me know what you think.

Posted by Horst at 03:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Haldur with moose cushions

I love it when Horst goes to Ikea and brings home just the right home furnishing accessories that a moose needs to feel at home.

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 04:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)


November 23, 2004

Once again, my two other weblogs The Aardvark Cooks and The Evil Empire were bombarded with a total of over 800 Trackback spams over the weekend. The irony of it is that due to a configuration problem in my Movable Type installation, sending a Trackback currently doesn't trigger a rebuild of the entry in question, so all of those 800 spam pings were sent in vain — not a single one of them was actually visible on any of my pages.

I removed them nevertheless. Thanks to my newly-installed anti-spam measures, it took only about 2 minutes.

The pages they linked to all look like link farms with no actual porn content, and oddly enough all the links on these pages point to pages which redirect to Google. What's this about then?

Posted by Horst at 12:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

I always felt that I didn't have my creativity under control. I guess that's normal to some extent — I suppose most people just can't sit down and be creative on demand. No matter whether it's about writing stories or designing web pages (or writing weblog entries, for that matter), I've never been a person who can create a steady flow of output, it's always been a case of short, intense, and sometimes quite random bursts.

A while ago, I've begun writing short stories again. I hadn't written a single short story during the past ten years or so, and now I suddenly have ideas again, which is not bad at all. They also develop well; they start out with a small idea that just keeps growing into all the details until it's finished. I like it when it works like this.

But then there's this odd thing, and I've had some of my friends lift their eyebrows or voice surprise over this, and it's the fact that I'm writing about things that readers of my previous stuff don't seem to expect, or understand, and that I myself am somewhat surprised about. The first two finished stories are both rather violent — the first one is about thugs, Russian roulette and a rather graphically described attempt at murder, and the second story led one reader to ask me whether I was into S/M, and another to comment on allegedly mysogynist content. I felt this was weird because I don't think it has anything to do with either (quite on the contrary, actually), but I agree that both stories are very different from what I've written before.

The strange thing is when you write stuff like that and realize that you didn't know you had this kind of thing in you, and it's not about positive things like love and happiness and all that, but something infinitely darker. It's like something is writing you, and producing good stories too, but it's a surprise to those readers who thought they knew you and your writing by now, and an even bigger surprise to yourself, as you realise that you yourself thought you knew yourself and your writing by now, but quite obviously didn't.

Posted by Horst at 11:42 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)


November 24, 2004

Bah

Even though I sat next to Jane Perrone on the panel during the BlogTalk conference and smiled nicely at her all the time, she has not listed me on her list of weblogs The Guardian likes. I hate it when people are incorruptible. If you are looking for new weblogs to read, check out the list, though. It's good.

Posted by Horst at 11:46 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Santa Gnome

I realised only today, when I was walking past this shop window, that Santa Claus is really just an overgrown garden gnome. Which explains the stupid "Ho ho ho" part.

Posted by Horst at 05:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


November 25, 2004

We don't celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Austria. Well, some expats do. Like Mig, who starts feeling like a pervert as he prepares his turkey and thinks of Condoleezza Rice. Hilarious. Read it now, especially if you own a mobile phone.

Posted by Horst at 11:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

William S. Burroughs

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.
William S. Burroughs: A Thanksgiving Prayer. [thx dd]

Posted by Horst at 11:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


November 26, 2004

I'm currently working on the second revision of a newly-written short story, and it made me think about difficult endings, because (duh) the ending of this story has turned out to be particularly difficult.

Happy endings are easy. I suppose that's why most Hollywood movies have them. We all have a fair amount of wishful thinking and longing for happiness or harmony within us, and so unless you aren't a disgruntled tech support person in some outsourced call center, or a civil servant who is witnessing the kafkaesque machinations of bureaucracy first-hand, happy endings will basically write themselves automatically. without any further intervention on your part.

Sad, or even tragic endings, are a lot more difficult, because you are required to plunge a fictional character whom you know really well and have probably even grown attached to, into the abyss of bad fortune, and that can be difficult even if the character is a perfect villain — I for one always feel sorry for Macbeth, even though the guy is a ruthless murderer.

Open endings may be easier, even, because sometimes all you have to do is write an ending, good or bad, and then simply delete it. It's the easy way out for writers who haven't really decided which of the two is the better option, so they leave all the work to the reader. Cowards.

What's really tough though, and what I'm struggling with on this particular story, is an ambiguous ending, where you describe something and it's possible to interpret it in two entirely different ways. That's really tough, especially if you kind of prefer one of the two options as you are writing it, but really want to keep the other option as well for the reader. I don't know how many times I've rewritten the frickin' last two paragraphs of this story, and while it seems to be getting better, I'm still not entirely sure that the ending really is ambiguous.

A famous critic called William Empson once stated his theory (which I think is bollocks) that you can distinguish a literary text from a non-literary text by the fact that the literary text is ambiguous, i.e. open to interpretation. He even wrote an entire book on the subject, entitled Seven types of ambiguity. At the moment I feel I could really use his expertise here.

Posted by Horst at 08:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)


November 29, 2004

Swimming Moose

More moose content in weblogs!

Posted by Haldur Gislufsson at 09:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


November 30, 2004

The other thing that spoiled that psychotherapists' party for me a bit (apart from that dreadful rendition of that Brel song) was that at some point it suddenly hit me that the 70 other people there probably didn't even know it yet, but this was most likely the last party like this they would ever go to. This suddenly cast the Shadow of Darkness over the wole event and made it somewhat more difficult to enjoy myself.

No, it was not because they would die in terrorist attacks, nuclear war or the end of the world as we know it, but simply because it was very likely that by this time next year most of them would have children.

I'm in my late thirties, and I've seen it happen to too many of my friends in their early thirties: around the age of 32-34, all of them disappeared in that void that we call "family". No more partying, not even a night out at the cinema anymore. They had all promised things would continue as before, how they would get babysitters and stuff, but fact is that it either turned out they were much too worried to leave their babies in charge of a babysitter, or they never seemed to get one when the need arose. Can't even blame them.

Now the people at that party were all in their early thirties, slightly below the age that all of my child-ridden friends were when they had their first children. And if you watched the couples closely (and there were almost only couples present), it was so obvious that the first child was only around the corner. This was definitely the last party for them.

I discussed this with a friend of mine, the one that had invited me to this party, and she agreed that it was most probably true; in fact, she said, she knew that quite a few of the women who had been at the party were already pregnant.

They say that one of the spooky things about life is that you never know when you have sex with a woman whether it's the last time or not. It was even spookier to be at that party and be the only one to know that this would be the last party that they would be having like that in a long time.

Posted by Horst at 09:51 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)



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