Category Archives: misc

7 reasons why I refuse to be Pope

I apologise sincerely but I hereby publicly make myself unavailable to be the next Pope. This may come as a shock, but any votes submitted by cardinals with my name on it should be torn up.

There are many reasons why I’ve made this decision, but in true Catholic style I’ve picked the best seven.

  1. My Latin is caca.
  2. I am not an adult virgin or even an adult-virgin — by which I mean I’ve had sex with at least one adult.
  3. I think The Bible is the basis of Christianity.
  4. I’m too young, born in 1984 A.C.E… so young I don’t even write A.D.
  5. Of course I agree that child rapists should be discreetly whisked away and sequestered — to prison.
  6. I hate condoms as much as the next guy; but like the next guy I hate dying of AIDS even more.
  7. I don’t want my infallibility to be public knowledge.
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Perlustrating asseverations: the finale

perlustratingThis is the final instalment of my and Mathew McGann’s back-page column for Woroni. The editors decided to make the last issue of 2012 a creative edition with stories, poems, artwork, etc. Our column didn’t really fit in so here is the lost episode of our ridiculous, adbsurdist exercise in extrapolation with an appropriately foolish title: Perlustrating Asseverations. This final instalment takes the wordiness and haughtiness to new levels by being self-referential. There’s a lot of this kind of thing:

wielding teaspoons and hardened biscotti, as they too follow the slippery slope towards mass carnage, closing with inappropriate Latin acronyms as they scald the faces of their interlocutors with reasonably hot cappuccino. [..] QED

The other articles in the series can be found here.

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How to sound dumb to smart people

Reading this article by my friend Zoya Patel, editor of Lip magazine, about people who use the word feminazi, I was reminded of something I used to tell my students about the language they chose to use in essays (though it applies to any written or verbal communication). I told them that they could, if they wanted, use pseudo-formal language, the kind that the police use when talking to the media. The sergeant will say, “Police apprehended the individual”, instead of: “We arrested him.” I told them that this sort of language would make them sound smart to dumb people, and dumb to smart people. It was slightly elitist, slightly unkind, but I thought it was a good line and maybe even true.

The same goes for something like the word feminazi. Zoya was worried because:

The term feminazi is obviously a patriarchal construct, designed to create a view of feminism as being extreme, threatening to the status quo, and generally ridiculous. There’s no better way to negate the power of a movement than to create a view of it as being both unnecessary for society, and generally ludicrous. If every feminist who dares to speak out against sexism is treated as if she is being a hysterical woman speaking out of turn, then of course the legitimacy of what she may be saying is negated. It’s a clever move, patriarchy.

True, no doubt, but anyone who does care about language or truth recognises that feminazi is a ludicrous term. In fact, that goes for anything with Nazi appended to it. Continue reading

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