Land Down Undead

Land Down Undead

After a furious stint of hard work I have finally released my Zombie Comedy Backpacking Guide to Australia: Land Down Undead. It is out now on Amazon for Kindle and as a paperback. I will follow with other eBook formats in a few months.

“Why would anyone want to write a Zombie Comedy?” you might ask.

Or

“What is a Zombie Comedy?”

Well, those are both interesting questions, both of which I find myself answering a lot. In a sense zombies were always about comedy, they are shambling brainless relics of humanity with one thing on their minds: eating your flesh. Zombie films are in a sense a combination of slapstick humor with grotesque imagery. We are transfixed by the sheer stupidity and hopelessness of the situation.

At some point in the history of zombie literature the connection with comedy became more explicit. A film like Shaun of the Dead, revels in the slapstick aspects of zombie movement and behavior. The film Zombieland, uses zombies as an excuse to make humorous observations about modern society. The film Fido, uses zombies as a vehicle to do an amusing spoof of the cross social-class love story. The many books of Max Brooks use zombies as a vehicle to perform an intelligent and amusing critique of the state of modern society and global politics.

These are all fine example of the emerging high art form of zombie comedy. Call it Zomedy, Zomedie or Zom Com. It offers a chance to take this world, twist it slightly and see what pops out.

The Backpacker’s Guide to the Land Down Undead is my own addition to the genre. A brief and whimsical tale about the shallow world of zombie tourism in Australia.

Buy Land Down Undead Now for 99 Cents

YangGuiZi (洋鬼子)

While in China I produced a track that I think will spawn an entirely new genre of Chinese white gangster rap. Bring the beat back.

I sold my soul to Twitter

In a more elegant time I might have made a pact with the devil so that I could play a mean slide guitar riff. In our world I have to choose between facebook or twitter, both of which have the devil licked when it comes to controlling your soul.

Endless dialogue rages on in both places, people post, and post, and comment and star, and like, and retweet and post irritatingly positive quotes from dead people who never had accounts on either service.

“Why do we do all this?” you might reflexively ask yourself. Or if you are one of the few who stand in the sidelines, you might be screaming “What are you narcissistic morons doing?”

The truth is it is more probable than not that you are actually already on facebook now, playing in the walled garden, and you only stumbled on this because someone posted it. That is the big ugly fact of facebook, it won, it has done what AOL tried and failed, it has created a curated internet. And we use it simply because experiencing the web through the lens of our friendship network is either more useful or fun, I am not yet sure which. Will we ever know which of these is the truth?

If facebook is still here in 10 years then I would err on the side of usefulness, otherwise,… well it was an entertaining way to spend 100 billion dollars.

As for me I have walked over to the twitter side, it is even more shallow and narcissistic than facebook, with a cult of personality culture, and frivolous follow and unfollow ethic.

But there is a certain kind of honesty to the open shallowness of twitter. No one on twitter thinks it is anything other than narcissism, and they still read things that don’t exist only inside twitter. People come back to twitter for a moment of entertainment, but they are not trapped there, it is a game, it doesn’t have your photo albums, or your videos, or your friend’s birthdays or farmville. It is just people talking, joking, bullshitting, flirting, and desperately trying to be famous or sell stuff.

So I sold them my soul, I don’t need friends, I need followers.

The top ten things that drive me stark raving mad about the iPhone

The top ten things that drive me stark raving mad about the iPhone

Lists of things you love and hate are naff. I know that. I still want to write one though. That is because I live with my iPhone every day. I have for years now. I use it to write articles. I write music with. I draft stories. I converse, I read, I play with this thing. So let me preface this list by saying I love this thing. These are the few things that I think are decidedly poor choices in the design of an overall great device.

Hopefully, a bored apple engineer will stumble across this list and then I will get the perfect device.

1) It auto-corrects its to it’s, as if the former simply does not exist in the English language.

2) Even when I added ‘its’ to my custom dictionary, the iPhone still auto-corrects its to it’s.

3) The browser renders in such a way that it doesn’t remember where I am in the text when it gets around to loading images. This means my attempts to read online articles are punctuated by constant re-scrolling to the point I was reading.

4) When I press the stop loading to prevent the browser reloading a page that is already visible, the render engine sets the whole page blank. I am prevented from changing my mind and continuing to read what is already loaded.

5) The YouTube application does not cache videos. Why ?

6) The YouTube application does not let me re-watch something I just watched without downloading the entire video a second time from the start. This makes me livid.

7) I have no control over how much data can be cached by the maps application. This means I cannot pre-load data before going into areas that have exorbitant data roaming costs.

8) If an SMS fails to send, the phone is not smart enough to try again when I get a connection. Numerous messages have goon unanswered due to this absurdity. It is really simple: once I send it, I want you to fucking SEND IT as soon as you can!

9) I am prevented from combining typing with pasting text in certain widgets. For example, in the phone application, if I have copied a number into the buffer, and I need to first type in the international code, I am not allowed to paste the number after what I have typed. What I typed gets completely overwritten. The only way around this is to open the notepad, type the international code, then paste the number, then re-copy the combination of the two and return to the phone app. This makes me want to raise Steve Jobs from the dead so I can kill him personally.

10) In addition to the above. If I have a phone number in text, then I press and hold to copy. All I get are options to call that number or add it to a contact. What happened to copy? Copy is what I want to do most when I press and hold. Of course sometimes I will want to copy a phone number. Like in the above case when I am trying to get around another defect in the OS design.

10) If I am downloading an app into the phone and I press the icon to ‘pause’ it, when I press it again to un-pause the download starts again from the beginning. This also drives me crazy. Why is it so fucking hard to start a download again from the point at which it was paused? Why for fuck’s sake ?

I do love my iPhone though.

Show me the Luis Vuitton

I am wandering through a mall in Berlin watching some cashed up Russian tourists paying up big for some Luis Vuitton bags. It is such a brilliant scam, mass produce some bags with a fancy label and over price them and sell them out of exclusive up market looking stores, and you can even con money out of Russian gangsters. Genius.

The Good Old Days

Have you noticed how some people (particularly the elderly) love to begin their diatribes of opinion with platitudes about how things are getting worse, how people are losing their values, we are surrounded by moral decay, and so on and so forth. For some reason these expressions get replicated by every generation, they go unquestioned in our daily conversations. It is as if we have all accepted the cultural premise that somewhere in the past there was a utopia that has been slipping away from us ever since. This elevation of the past is present in most political ideologies. It is most obvious in conservatives who morn the ending of the clean and pure social perfection achieved in the 1950s. However, green and left wing people are just as likely to make utterances in support of ancient hunter gather societies and their apparent nurturing of mother earth and all her children.

Let’s get one thing straight people. The past is mostly a horrible, sickly, place full of amoral people doing whatever the hell the could to survive. What little morality existed, was mostly imposed on them by self-serving delusional religious tyrants, who did so for their own gains. The present day level of human conscious interest in taking care of other people and the world around us is a luxury we have only been able to afford since the vast majority of people in the developed world became rich and educated. The world is a better place to live now, for most people, than it ever has been.

A Poem

Ahh the good old days,
when racism was acceptable and women couldn’t vote,
and you could go out bashing poofters on the weekend,
everyone thought that was pretty funny.

Ahh the good old days

Self Confidence

Overheard conversation on a train.

“I am just sayin mate, that you have to be careful showing to much confidence in yourself. You know, when someone knows how good the are it rubs of badly on some people.”

“I’m not like that mate.”

“Nahh look mate, you’re not listening. You are, ok. It’s just how you are. Look I don’t mind hanging out with ya. But not everyone likes how you know how good you are.”

“I’m just confident mate, that’s all.”

“Yeah, well, not everyone is like that, ok”

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