What’s it been? Venting (4/5)

Tuesday 6 March 2012, 12.15pm HKT


FROM PART 3

This is another tl;dr instalment. Woe betide you if you forego reading it, for it contains a number of broadsides that may actually affect YOUR blogging activities.

* * *

VENTING

This is the right time to speak up.

Normally I don’t like to hit back, not especially at blogs anyway, since, as a renegade blogger myself, I know full well how brain-damaged the whole exercise can be.

But man has his limits, as Detective ‘Dirty Harry’ Calahan once put it.

____________________

A little about my personality

You need to know something about me first so you know overall why I’m venting here:—

Be surprised to learn that I’m actually a Type A personality.

You’d never thought so just by the way I mostly carry on, but many people actually think I’m a milquetoast (a timid, unassertive person for those unused to americanisms) because of the way I let things pass 99% of the time.

That is, until they get up my nose long enough. Then they find to their terror that I have a high-velocity explosive temper with a physical speed and agility to match.

  • That sociologist on Job No. B08045 received my ‘hairdryer treatment’ at 50% capacity and, boy, was scared fartless.
  • That pushy sonofabitch salesperson who tried to sell me barely existent 100gsm-weight coated woodfree paper for US$1,500 a reel (double the market spot price) got a faceful of my 75% temper and almost felt he was being garrotted with No. 3 Piano Wire.

But 99% of the time, I just let it be. Pushing back isn’t automatic even for Type A personalities, you know. Type A’s aren’t psychopaths. Many Type A’s are really patient, easygoing people — so that Type A/Type B theory can go straight into the dustbin.

My life is one long emergency and I don’t have the time or energy to go ballistic at the slightest provocation. I leave that to the great masses of uncontrollable animals elsewhere.

‘They are what they are’

Intellectual discussions don’t normally scare me — not even those well outside my education or training. Trust me, I’m no intellectual. I’m an educated man but I can’t speak intelligently about the habits of others engaged in intellectual discourse. But then again, if you’re like me,** just about nothing should scare you.

** A chopper biker, legally trained, mum telling you to wear long hair after she died, 37 months on crutches, two months in a neck brace, and 114 years of printing legal documents for government-approved financial scams IPOs.

Personally, I’m not terribly fond of intellectuals or academics, especially the more egregious types. They are what they are, as the Italian phrase puts it rather well. I take their facelessness at face value, enjoy their foggy and oracular discussions for what they’re worth, have a larff, and move on.

Not to bottle things up

People who know me even for five minutes will know I’m not the type who holds a grudge against anyone — for sure not over the Internet — mainly because I operate on two principles:

  1. outlive them so I take pleasure in seeing them squeal and die before I do
  2. die early myself so I don’t have to breathe the same air as they do

However, I tend not to bottle things up. Yet I’m not exactly disposed to implement advice like ‘Don’t hold back’ either.

Truth is, I’m 88% easier-going than 95% of Type A personalities, 77% of lawyers, or 51% of bikers (of the motorcycle variety).

____________________

A little about 1.67%

Like I mentioned in Part 3 already, I’ve been following some 300 blogs and mailing lists of all types (via email, naturally) for (much, much) more than a year — and only 1.67% of them manages to upset me. But it’s out-and-out 99% upset.

They’re only blogs, right?! What the hell?!?

You’d be surprised just how talented some bloggers are at disruptive behaviour. You’ve got to hand it to them to actually get others to lose their rag over the Internet.

Out of my 300+ follows:

  • around 50 on language, grammar and/or linguistics
  • maybe 25 on various countries or other languages
  • maybe 25 on China
  • a dozen or so on Hong Kong
  • the rest are on cool stuff that pleases me (food, drink, bikes, chicks, cats, graphic arts, travel, music, gigs, news, porn, etc).

Certain issues need to be addressed regarding 1.67% of those blogs.

Tense humour and ‘the pits’

My biggest source of dismay and consternation (in a word, distemper, in the English literary sense, not the biomedical one) have been:

  • linguistics sites or blogs
  • China-watching or related sites or blogs

At the meeting point between those two, the worst has been

  • China-related linguistics blogs or sites from inside China written by foreigners who think they are ‘Chinese’

While I admire their confidence and knowledgeability in their own spheres, I do not admire their tense humour and the inanity of their commentary.

(I can handle racism, I can handle lack of humour, but I just can’t handle tense humour.)

It IS truly amazing that the Great Firewall of China hasn’t managed to stop those blogs from invading out onto us. Not one bit, given that that firewall has the ability to practically block sunlight.

‘They are the pits’ is my John McEnroe’esque assessment.

____________________

A little about linguanophiles

If you care to pay any attention at all, linguistics, translation studies and pedagogy (education) are highly rigid and rigidised fields.

Of the lot, linguistics is the most rigid and rigidised.

The most hotly contested (and heated) debates in academia today are in linguistics, which fact should help you infer the type of people who populate that field.

Read the sidebar for the key reasons for intellectual rigidity and rigidisation.

____________________

A little about comportment

The most galling thing on many of those lingo blogs is the way the bloggers and their regular dogpile of commenters actually go to extremes and deliberately exclude newcomers or those who simply hold different (though often non-dissenting) viewpoints.

I’m reminded of someone’s insight that, if The Establishment feel so fearful and threatened by a 76-year-old retired gynaecologist like Ron Paul (the American politician), there must be something seriously wrong about your turf.

Offensive antics

One of their more offensive antics is the blogger and his (usually it’s a ‘his’) favourite commenters collude behind the scenes, so to speak, to plot a comment dialogue done in such a way that’s deliberately littered with arcane technicalities that newcomers or uitlanders cannot possibly join in.

If you’ve ever been to boarding school and have constantly been abused there (not sexually, I’m embarrassed to say) or have been handed purposely designed ‘aggro’ as I have been, it becomes extremely easy how to figure out who’s colluding with who. Over time, it becomes second nature and you could do it ‘by remote,’ so to speak.

‘Uncooperative’

This pattern of bad behaviour is not one-off. It’s frequently seen in just about every academically related blog and Facebook thread that I’ve ever visited or got sucked into. The same takes place with some regularity on sites and Facebook groups that discuss sociology, translation studies and pedagogy (education).

Indeed, I myself have been solicited by some lingo bloggers or Facebookers to do just that against some unsuspecting victim. “Give ’em a break,” I say to these characters, “We’re still young enough to do that.” And then they brand me ‘uncooperative.’

Shaken to the core

I’ve been following a variety of linguistics, language, translation, sociology and pedagogy sites for well nigh on 10 years on a regular basis — in addition to having handled their authors for print publications for roughly the same amount of time. The same repertoire of antics are repeated time and time again. I’ve learnt to time it when antics start kicking in.

It’s disgusting. It’s offensive. It’s highly prejudiced. And these people aren’t even aware that they’re doing this themselves.

I lose my rag, and I really do have it in me to tell them to f@#k off, go to hell, and don’t come back.

Any inherent faith inside you in the goodness of people easily becomes shaken to the core because of seeing or knowing that.

____________________

A little about grace, if not face

The English aristocracy are famous for their grace — the ability to make a person feel really welcomed.

Clearly, the people who run blogs about linguistics, language, sociology, pedagogy and translation studies did not know how to learn that.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Such swell intellectualism, and yet ignorant of these simple rules:—

The Golden Rule
Treat others as you yourself like to be treated.

The Silver Rule
Don’t treat others in ways that you wouldn’t like to be treated.

Not unless you’re a sado-masochist, in which case you WOULD enjoy begging to receive pain whilst also enjoying being refused it.

Try mine:—

The Naked Listener’s Malleable Copper Alloy Rule
Go easy on those who think, speak, eat and shat differently than you do because they don’t necessarily have your loaf, gob, eating irons or your porcelain shatware.

____________________

A little about face-off

Sometimes there’s just no way out.

The Naked Listener offers some timely advice:—

The Wax-On/Wax-Off Maxim
“That is the way I do things. If you don’t like it, then find me a driver who WILL comply with the way I do things.”

The English Displeasure and Reprisal-in-Kind Rule
“If my presence here is not up to your standards or expectations, I would appreciate it if you be so kind as to step away from your cheese and crackers for a minute and tell me directly what your requirements or particular preferences are for my presence to be acceptable.”

And remember this:

“If you tolerate this, your children will be next.” (English proverb)

____________________

Your question now must be, why continue with them?

That question is perhaps easier to answer if you care for broadly aimed broadsides in the next part.

____________________

UP NEXT IN PART 5: BROADSIDES

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Keep Calm/Screw Calm via Sarah C. | “I have nothing to say” via Cascade Web Development | Good Habits/Bad Habits Signpost via Marketing Leadership Council | “Once we hit capacity…” via Eddie Codel/Flickr.

I plead forgiveness, only if you’ll do the same

Wednesday 8 February 2012, 7.14pm HKT


SOMETIMES I GET WEIRD EMAIL commenting on my posts that, frankly, most normal people would just comment in the posts themselves.

Here’s one I got earlier today (with typos intact):

“You will need to plead for foregivness from the masses of folks upon whom you have imposed hurt, damage, degradation, and dismissal of their hopes.”

This was for the article ‘The Naked Listener’s top 10 lifehacks for the first time jobhunter or employee (Part 1).’

The message headers indicate it originated from here in Hong Kong, but the commenter chose to disguise himself or herself under the pretend name of Jennifer Backer.

I don’t mind the complaint or rant or whatchamacallit. But why not just comment on the bloody post itself?!?

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

How to bottle things up inside (part 2)

Sunday 21 August 2011, 1.39pm HKT


YESTERDAY had been one almighty bad-hair day for me. I wear a ponytail, so you can imagine. Don’t argue — it really was bad.

* * *

Pushin’ n’ shovin’ n’ sweatin’ n’ yellin’
n’ payin’ through ya’nose

I get one life, and one life is all I get in this world. It’s not the life I paid for, but it’s a little late now to do anything about it, short of a drastic Subscription Termination to Life. I’m crazy, but not that crazy.

Ever tried walking through a sea of people in a 33-degree heatwave? With car exhaust thick as overnight leftover vomit hitting you in the face? And noises assaulting your ears 360°? You’d want to beat the living daylights out of anyone who daringly suggests there MIGHT be no global warming. You’d seriously — very seriously — be tempted to stick that ice lolly straight into someone’s eye socket and watch the victim die very slowly and painfully so that victim may understand that not wearing your favourite colour today was a sin.

Hannibal Lector or Michael Meyers or Jason Vorhees doesn’t even come close to the mild psychopathic tendencies I was having yesterday.

And if you had to pay $56 (US$7.18) for 200 grammes (7 ounces) of shite-rate German brawn (that’s jellied meats), or $14 (US$1.79) for a 750cc bottle of warm fizzy mineral water, you can forgive me for wanting to bring out my pair of blackwood nunchakus and beat the guts out of nicely behaved little children while their analogously badly behaved parents look on (if they’re paying any goddam attention in the first place). In broad daylight. Whilst wearing a fluorescent yellow sports jersey and mottled, off-white, summerweight cowboy boots, lovingly made in Texas.

* * *

Taking it out on innocent parties

There being no other business on the agenda, I move to proceed to the rant and unjustified fingerpointing.

* * *

Lee: he's tidy, he was

Any Texans out there reading this? Yes, yes, I know, your average temperature statewide is 92°F today and you’ve got muggy humidity and all that. But y’all don’t have as many pee’pl as we do — and if you had that many, your state is ginormous so they ain’t packed like sardines beans in burritos like we do here. So you fine folks can shut yer gob ovah thar. My Neville Chamberlainesque reply: you’ve never had it so good.

Get out the coldbeer (that’s correct Texan English) and bring out your concealeds (that’s short for ‘concealed weapons’ for you gormless, gun-controlled countries) and pick off a couple of closet vegans or closet teetotallers.

I wear genuine Texas- and Tennessee-made cowboy boots since the age of 12, but mostly I have the greatest respect for your General Robert E. Lee (plus getting hit with Robert E. Lee jokes for most of my life), so ahm ent-tye-tuhl’d to single out Texans for MY bad behaviour today. Shoot me. Bring out your concealed — see if I caremister.

* * *

United Kingdom! You can shut your gob over there too! Your riots were bad — we saw them on TV — we feel for you — but it’s your own damn fault. Quit whining and whinging. We’re still furious with you for ditching us back in 1997.

Wimpy in Huddersfield, one of few still remaining in the UK

You let in fundamentally brain-damaged religionfags into your country instead of taking in fundamentally greedy Hongkongers who can help you corner the whole EU economy. You forgot how to build empires. Your loss. Nuff said.

You’ve still got your UB40’s (unemployment relief) and your NHS (free healthcare) and your basically unarmed (but unbrained) constabularies (police).

But your entire education system runs on the criminally overpriced tuition fees that you forcibly extract from international students whilst not even paying the common courtesy of furnishing them (or your own selves) with mind-numbing Latin and classical Greek lessons or your perverse (and perverted) English History lessons about how Richard III was more evil than Lord Darth Vader.

Your maths still suck. Worse, your French suck despite being only 30 miles away from France itself and your kings and queens have more French blood in them than most Frenchmen have.

You, too, United Kaaalingdom, have never had it so good, but you totalled your country for no good reason:

  • allowed Wimpy (the burger joint with ‘table service’) to practically go out of business by the 1980s
  • ‘corporatised’ all your pirate radio stations
  • denatured or otherwise castrated all your Teddy Boys and flower-power hippies
  • hair-transplanted your skinheads
  • blinged-up your Mods
  • besuited your punks
  • disco-ised your New Wavers
  • desensitised your emos and goths
  • gentrified your Cockney and East End Londoners by turning their turf into Canary Wharf and other assorted banker fiefdoms
  • educated your nice English country girls and scene girls to become Sex and the City bitch-sluts instead of the endearingly traditional English ‘scrubba’ whore-sluts much loved by all anglophiles
  • make everybody want to be bleeding New Yorkers
  • have no Britrock anymore — they’re all bleeding indies who all sing off-key
  • defringed (or mainstreamised) your NF into the BNP
  • americanised your centuries-old infantry regiments
  • allowed straight people into the Royal Navy
  • trained the RAF in American style so it now only knows how to bomb friendlies
  • allowed non-hooligans into the Royal Marines and the Parachute Regiment, so bovver boys now run amok in the streets, setting fire to old ladies and create riots in several cities
  • let Swann & Edgar (the department store in Piccadilly Circus) liquidate in 1975 and turn into HMV (or something) and that’s seriously unforgivable
  • let Bourne & Hollingsworth in Oxford Street turn into a cheapo shopping mall
  • let Dickins & Jones in Regent Street to fail into oblivion
  • turned Café Royale into a bling-bling contest venue
  • broke up your wonderfully late and obtuse British Rail into dozens of wonderfully late and obtuse independent rail services so no one knows where to get tickets anymore
  • done ‘f.a.’ for SheffieldNewcastle-upon-Tyne and Tyne and Wear
  • incorporated the former county of Westmorland into Cumbria without asking our say-so
  • your feudal-sounding quarter sessions and assizes are no more, but your Crown Court couldn’t even hold a dim light to the TV series of the same name
  • shambolised your education system by ditching GCE O- and A-levels and replacing them with crap GCSEs, NVQs or whatever the shite you have there now
  • you’ve dissed your polytechnics by turning them into universities
  • you still haven’t cleaned your Tube!
  • your Oystercard is hopelessly out of date before it even came out
  • you’ve practically sacked all your bus conductors of Indian and Pakistani extraction so we can’t make fun of them anymore, and bus conductors nowadays don’t know how to answer back viciously (like the Indian/Pakistani conductors could) without causing a riot in the process
  • you binned all our favourite London buses (the ones with the open back ends) and replaced them with petrol-pissing new models with mediaeval-looking automatic doors that are shite and dangerous for little old ladies and rowdy drunken hooligans
  • screwed up the House of Lords so badly that your aristocrats all want to be CIA operatives based in New York City or L.A.
  • you’ve binned us in 1997 whilst leaving 3½ million of us still holding British-of-a-kind passports

I’m from a little place called Great Britain,
But I don’t know if I love or hate Britain,
These words upon my page written
Are things that make and break Britain.

(Chorus, “Great Britain,” by Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip)

Ye Olde Hong Kong Flag

I know so — I grew up in your flaming country too. I’m more English than your Englishmen and more Scottish than your Scotsmen.

I’ve no beef with Irishmen (because green is one of my favourite ink colours).

I’m head over heels with the Welsh mainly because they’ve given me wonderful phrases like “that’s tidy, that” and “I accidentally the whole bottle” with its oh-so-subtle missing verb that’s literally decades before those phrases became popular on the Internet. So bloody there.

Quit mucking around and fix your bleeding country for five minutes at least. If you can’t do that, dig Chamberlain, Churchill, Teddy Heath and Harold Wilson out of their graves — they can’t do any worse than this Cameron-Clegg personage. You’ve had John Major, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown having done more damage back-to-back than the Luftwaffe had ever hoped to do, and you’ve got brain-damaged politicos ‘doing in’ the remaining bits. Srsly, this is serious business.

And your BBC World Service makes Disneyland look like a serious source of news.

Oh, the riots? Sayonara to the Olympics, baby!

* * *

You’d better run for cover too

Australia: You can thank your lucky stars I’m letting you off, solely and exclusively on the strength of your country having people like D.G. Mattichak Jr, who is one of my favourite bloggers/commenters.

Communist/socialist countries: Take notes from Bear Grylls. Learn to drink your own orificial fluids. The Free World is in a deep fix right now, they’re already drinking their own, thank you very much, so they can’t spare any for you yourselves for a few more years. Cope on your own, please.

Middle East: Stop squabbling, children! You’re running out of food and water. Put your energy instead into finding a food-and-water solution. Or go back to eating dust. Your choice. Choose wisely. Derp.

Rest of the world: GO BIG, OR GO HOME! Have more bearing before you come back. Stop sucking up to these bankers. It’s your money! If they want YOUR money, YOU call the shots! What are you, chopped liver???

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2011.

Images: General Robert E. Lee via The Latin Library ♦ Wimpy Restaurant in Huddersfield via Wikipedia ♦ Flag of Hong Kong 1959 via Wikipedia.

Amended 22 Aug 2011 (fixes to typos, etc).
Updated 15 Oct 2011 (link fixes). 

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