Monday, 30 April 2012

Interlude: 1

Scurferens is taking a break for a couple of months. In the meantime, please enjoy these interesting facts about your least favourite blog.

The very first episode of Scurferens was written in a police cell after its creator was arrested under the 2007 Violences Against the Human Act on a charge of 'causing bodial injury to a man or woman in view of three or more witnesses, one of whom is still receiving therapy for a childhood trauma relating to events of a similar nature and is consequently unable to watch boxing, cage fighting or other full contact sport (including, but not limited to, rugby, sumo wrestling or gougeball) without becoming very quiet, causing others present to enquire as to whether anything is wrong, so that the witness will reply: "no, I'm fine, thanks"'.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Back Off, Man, I'm A Nihilist

Right, so we took a little unscheduled break for Easter, but that's okay, you don't mind, because:

1. It was Easter
2. We took advantage of the time off to check out the Philosophers' Union AGM

And let me tell you, never have we seen a sorrier bunch of people - a dribbling, broken shower of pedantic narcissists (and not in a good way). But more of that later.

The agenda at this year's meeting was dominated, of course, by the imminent war between astrology and Aries. Much of the day was lost to debate over what form such a war might take, and whether it would really even matter, with a clear divide emerging between the materialists and the idealists.

"But this war will be completely abstract. No-one will actually die!" Pause the video.

Look at that handsome face. Sil Prickering there, an interesting fella, and a shining example of the philosopher's unhappy condition. I mean, really, can you blame them for being so fucked up?

Because you see, Dr Prickering recently underwent a sort of Damascene conversion. Overnight, his entire worldview was utterly transformed, some might say for the better.

Heh not in the cut-throat world of philosophy, it isn't, heheheh.

Until just a few months ago, Prickering was a leading light of the hard determinist school. Not a happy outlook, you'd think, but it suited him well - he's been published in nine languages, the kids love him, he's a real firebrand and a favourite on the media circuit.

"The fate of the universe was already decided at the precise moment of its inception!"

"But what room does this leave for free will?"

"IDIOT! There is no free will!"

But then, a flash of euphoria - and it really was just that, a white light, like a visit from God - a formless belief he still cannot account for, whose origins he cannot place: mankind has free will.

And what does it mean for a man like Sil, when all of a sudden his every belief is turned on its head? Even leaving aside the inevitable personal crisis, what a dreadful, cataclysmic event for a man whose very livelihood depends on those discarded beliefs!

Now, we've all suffered embarrassing climb-downs after changing our minds about this rock and roll combo or that brand of hair conditioner, but just imagine!

Imagine! Those vehement, late-night arguments that you mounted so passionately in the public houses of your destruction... Imagine that they'd been preserved, printed upon tens of thousands of pages of books and papers. Imagine you'd won awards for them. Received sexual favours for them. BELLOWED THEM INTO THE AWED, FLAWLESS FACES OF SMALL-TOWN-BRED FRESHERS, MOIST PANTIES AND THIGHS RUBBING AND PARTING, RUBBING AND PARTING, EVER SO GENTLY PARTING. They part for you, Sil. They part for you.

What is Sil to do? Must he swallow this bitter pill, start afresh, green, to hoots of derision from all sides? Or should he strive to continue his work, through gritted teeth, commit hundreds of hours further to arguing a case he no longer believes in? Would he rather be a joke, or a liar?

"Hahaha! Welcome to the real world, Prickering. Look around you - do you think any of us believe what we're saying anymore? Jesus, we're all middle-aged, pretending like we still hold beliefs we formed in our twenties, man! Half of us don't believe in shit anymore! What took you so long?"

"Yeah, chill out, Sil. Here, I got you a pill, dude."

"Yo, fuck that! I wanna see Prickering chug the keg!"

YYYEEEEEAAAHHHHH! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG! CHUG!

"Aw, man, the pussy in this place is off the chain, man, we gonna bang that shit tonight!"

And you can see it all in Hot & Wild Frat Parties Vol 32: Dr Prickering Gets In Trouble With The Ethics Committee

Stream or download the full video only at PhilosophersGoneBad.com

Monday, 2 April 2012

10p Rote Cons Agenda

And regret, Aries. You're going to be feeling a lot of that too. And let me tell you, you're an idiot.

If you need an emotional reflex to dissuade you from repeating past mistakes, then you're even more pathetic than I thought. Just stop making mistakes. What are you doing with your life? Get a grip, Aries.

You might want to take a lesson from the esteemed physicist Professor Lordson Monday. There was a man. Did you ever hear about the time he returned home from screwing some hot chick to find a bunch of stupid kids in his house, wrecking all his shit? What do you think you'd do in that situation, Aries? You'd probably cry and post something emo on the internet. But what do you think the Professor did, after kicking those stupid kids out of his home? I'll tell you what he did: he took positive action. (Positivity. There's a word to keep in your shit head. Remember it.)

Anyway, so Prof Monday, he thought to himself, I'll teach those stupid kids. And that's exactly what he set out to do - literally teach them, in a language he knew they'd understand. He sat down at his computer and produced an experimental Flash game with a powerful message about not just letting yourself into other people's houses.

After two months, he'd barely left the house, he'd been suspended from work and the hot chick wasn't returning his calls, but he didn't care. His masterpiece was finished.

Unfortunately, the kids didn't understand. The game got an average rating of one star on Newgrounds.com and less than favourable reviews:

"wtf is this sh*t?"

"Cr*p graphics, cr*p music, cr*p game. Sorry man, this just sukced."

"lol I misaed the jump over moat into the guys house and got eaten buy th shark"

His plan had failed. But did he waste time wallowing in regret? No, he didn't, Aries. He sat down and figured out his next move.

At the edge of town was an old-style windmill - no longer functioning, just a local feature, something for the tourists to gawp at, but soon to burst unbidden through the leathery membrane of history, as the centrepiece of Professor Monday's most astounding act of derring-do.

Working nights, Monday brought his engineering skills to bear in secretly transforming the windmill into an amazing flying machine. By the time he'd finished, three months later, he'd lost his job completely and the townsfolk were starting to get suspicious. But the Prof had bigger fish to fry.

The windmill was loaded with supplies and many of the neighbourhood's pets lured inside. Having performed his final checks on the machinery and killed all the animals by injection, Professor Monday cast off into the clear blue sky and set course for adventure.

The wreckage was found two years later, at the bottom of a ravine just a few miles out of town, along with the mangled skeletons of fifteen assorted household animals, Prof Monday and two unidentified teenage girls. Strewn across the ground were hundreds of pornographic magazines, about thirty novelty massage devices of various descriptions, a case of vegetable oil, two packets of jammy dodgers and eight tins of Heinz Spiderman pasta shapes. Professor Lordson Monday had clearly died as he'd lived: in the most awesome way possible.

He'd had no time for pointless soul-searching - he just did stuff, and to hell with the consequences. And do you know what, his lovely little Flash game received a critical reappraisal in the wake of his untimely death, and now has a score of 2.5 on Newgrounds.com. So it just goes to show, doesn't it?

I beg you, Aries, if you take one thought away with you today, please let it be this:

Do I - that is, Aries - really want to live a life speckled with the jismic crustplates of regret, fear and hatred - like the barnacle - or would I rather live, as Professor Lordson Monday did, in the manner of the baboon - bravely, fearlessly, untroubled by conscience or reason?

Crunch time is coming, Aries. You just better be ready is all I'm saying.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Butterflies And Ribs

Aries
21 Mar - 20 Apr
K, you're going to be feeling a lot of negative emotions today, Aries. Lot of anger, lot of hate. Naughty Aries. These are the forbidden emotions. Hate is for bigots. Rapists. Murderers. Many of them feel love too, and joy, but that's not important now. We're talking about hate. There is never any justification for hate. Come on, just because you're an enlightened liberal, doesn't mean you should be afraid of blanket assumptions. Fear breeds hate, remember?

If hate weren't a bad thing, then why would people be all, like, "yeah... if you hate someone, then you're just no better than they are, man"? Think about it, yeah? If you hate, like, some bloke who got into your house one night when you were away and slaughtered your entire family in their beds, then you're just the same as him. You might as well have been there with him, hacking your own flesh and blood to pieces. Why would you do that? That's mental.

If you succumb to hate, then you lose your humanity. There's no room for hate in the spectrum of human experience because hate is ugly and humanity is beautiful, man, like a snowflake on a tiny black kitten. Like a troll in a ball gown made of spun glass. Like an amazing windmill that's taken off into the air, piloted by an eccentric professor with a menagerie of dead animals.

Helpful or harmful, your actions are unimportant, Aries. What matters is what's in your heart. Why don't you have complete control over your subconscious? The rest of us do, don't we, guys? What's wrong with you? Why can't you be more like us? You should probably just take all that hate that's inside you and direct it right back at yourself, because you're a piece of shit.

Better run, Aries. We're coming for you. We can't have people like you messing up our happy world, where negativity is denied expression, and misery is punished with huge, penis-shaped fists of love. Better remove yourself, Aries, steal yourself away, far from us, where you can't infect us, or I swear to God, when we catch up with you, we'll tear you limb from limb.

Go now! Your feelings are repugnant to us.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Sean Robots

Hi. I hope you don't mind, but I thought I'd try something different this week. I've been doing a lot of soul-searching over this, whether to share what I'm about to share with you, and it occurred to me that some of you have been reading this blog for a long time, I feel we've grown together, and in all honesty, I feel very close to you. So I think the time is right for me to step out into the spotlight and reveal something of myself to you, the reader, whom I cherish so dearly.

When the Artist makes a decision to drastically change direction, it's not done lightly. Over time, the audience rightly comes to expect certain things of him or her, and to suddenly break from these expectations could be seen as an abandonment, a betrayal of the sacred bond between the Artist and their audience. But if the audience truly loves the Artist, as I believe you love me, then surely it should be prepared to let them go free?

The Artist craves freedom. Artists are special people, with a unique and important role to play in society, and they mustn't be bound by the constraints to which the ordinary are subjected. The Artist's soul is as delicate and precious as the wing of the moth. Have you ever seen what happens when you try to hold a moth by its wing? Don't break the Artists' wings. They need them to transcend the petty concerns of ordinary people, to fly away and seek wisdom and beauty.

Take the example of Sam Peckinpah. Peckinpah initially conceived the ending to Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia as a punchline of sorts, in which it was to be revealed that El Jefe's compound was just 15 miles south of the titular Garcia's burial place. Realising that so much of the journey that had cost himself and so many others so dearly had been unnecessary, Warren Oates' protagonist Bennie was to burst into laughter in front of El Jefe's gates, finding at last the redemption he had been seeking. In fact, the redeeming power of laughter was originally intended to be the central message of Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia.

However, friends, associates and backers expressed doubts, reasoning that such a film would only further alienate Peckinpah's already dwindling audience. His vision crushed, his beautiful moth wings twisted, Peckinpah dutifully returned to the themes of misanthropy and nihilistic despair for which he had become known. Ten years later, he was dead.

- - - - -


What I want to share with you today is a poem. Poetry is a dangerous endeavour, and the Poet a courageous figure. In writing a poem and giving it to the world, the Poet is essentially making him or herself naked, to be pored over by the audience's eyes. Tiny, piggy, greedy eyes. Ugly, leering faces. The Poet undresses so that the world might be able to make sense of itself. There is no overstating the bravery of this sacrifice.

For 18 months now, I have given you laughter. And as the great Peckinpah himself would concede today, had he not been destroyed by people like you, laughter is a tremendous gift, one for which I'm sure you are grateful. But I feel now that the time is right for me to evolve as an Artist, to be taken seriously, to produce Important Work. And so I hope you too are ready to expand your horizons, to evolve with me and fully appreciate the breadth of my vision, the exciting new fruits of my creationspace.

Behold.

Song Of The Toilet

Guttural vocalisations
cut through the particles
of an air choked by the molecules
of your fragrant rejections.

Jesus, what have you been eating?
Arse-coughed germs of passed sins
into the lungs of the gathering,
reluctant witnesses to your heavings.

Not good enough for you,
but good enough for the rest of us,
we, the open mouth
that receives your morbid cargo.

I thank you.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Multi-Coloured Rimathon

Last Night's TV
reviewed by Jennel Croles

Okay, I hold my hands up! I was initially scathing about C4's new docusoap A Pirate's Life For Me..?, but three epsiodes in, I have to confess - I'm hooked!

After narrowly escaping capture last week, the Feared Pirate Moll Frichter has been giving some serious thought to a career change. A sensible move in any case, but with Transport for London's recent offer of an amnesty to all who promise to renounce piracy, now would be the time. For Moll, however, there are deeper reasons.

"My heart was never really in piracy. I just sort of fell into it after I left uni, thought it'd do until something better came along. But then I found I was quite good at it, kept getting promoted... Before you know it, years have gone by. A story familiar to many, I should suppose. Yea, daily the big, shitty net of comfort is dragged through the stagnant waters of our society, sweeping up and pacifying young, ambitious individuals whose talents would be better deployed elsewhere. And it's too late to do anything by the time they've come to their senses. They have Ko Phangan in October to save up for."

So what is it that she really wants to do?

"I always wanted to do abstract dance. Ever since I was a little girl, nothing has ever given me as much joy as the feeling of pure movement."

How well do you work with choreographers?

"I prefer not to. Choreography is an external influence which corrupts the purity of the process. I can't really move in a prescribed way. I have this kind of freestyle thing going on. I like to just close my eyes and allow my body to do as it will. I have an internal choreographer - innocent, primal, the choreographer of the aeons. I like to just feel the shit."

I'm sorry, but this company adheres to the very specific vision of its founder, Meat Philips: He's The Greatest Dancer. We have strict aesthetic principles. I'm afraid there's no room for freedom here.

Her next move, out of necessity more than choice, was to join the band Failstate, who have been praised by NME for "the intensity of their lyrics (I've got a problem in my head / So I'm just gonna lay in bed). Fuck Andrew Motion, this is the poetry of the modern youth. Failstate are made of WIN".

Their career ended just three weeks later when NME decided to throw its full weight behind a nascent grindcore revivalist scene emerging in the Bispham area of Blackpool ("Blackpool Rocks!"), proclaiming "feckless, unreconstructed indie-rock" (such as that made by Failstate) dead. Pitchfork, sadly, never took an interest.

What choice, then, has the Feared Pirate Moll Frichter? What choice but to return to piracy, with ever greater zeal, with a fire burning in her belly, with a rage that torments her waking hours and gnaws at the edges of those that should be spent sleeping?

O art world, what hast thou wrought? Now a darkness is laid upon this land. Now the air is thick with dread, from which there is no shelter, no sanctuary. Now heads hang low, trust and fellowship unaffordable luxuries. 20 miles tall stands Moll Frichter, and all live in her shadow.

O art world, your expectations, your whims, your arbitrary norms - these things are anathema to art's practitioners, who long for a freedom otherwise denied. Moll Frichter is your creation, art world. And she's your greatest yet, well done, I love it! So powerful.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Free Me From The Tyranny Of The Beat

Today we shall be talking about choices.

Theme tune
Choices for me, choices for you,
So many kinds of choices that we can do.
Do you choose evil, or do you choose good,
Or do you, like most people, tend to make your moral decisions on an ad hoc basis, balancing your desired outcome against whatever ethical concerns you may have, where conflicts occur? (eg, "I take a strong stance against vivisection. However, I also have a serious illness. Do I take these life-saving drugs, knowing that they've been tested on animals, or do I sacrifice my own life on a point of principle? Which option has the greater benefit
(I survive the illness/I die, albeit with a clean conscience) after accounting for its cost (I eventually kill myself in a fit of self-loathing/I die, albeit with a clean conscience)?")

Here is a famous example of a dilemma. A bus pulls into a station (not a major one, really just a concourse in a built-up commercial area, such as a city centre or suburban entertainment complex - a bowling alley, a multiplex cinema, an acceptable Tex-Mex restaurant).

The bus is driven by noted pirate hunter Rear Admiral Holpous Quigg, and waiting at the stop is the Feared Pirate Moll Frichter, who - presumably enjoying a day off - carelessly climbs aboard without first taking steps to identify the driver. Quigg promptly arrests her and has his clerk see to the administrative particulars.

As he is about to pull away, Quigg - a fastidious sort - takes a moment to check his wing mirror for approaching traffic. He sees another bus, driven - if you can believe this shit - by the Feared Pirate Moll Frichter, who sees him in turn and speeds away. What the actual fuck?

Thinking his prisoner has escaped, Quigg orders all hands on deck and is about to give chase when his first mate points to their charge, still in irons and sitting passively on the back seat.

At first baffled, Quigg soon reasons that he has inadvertently arrested a future iteration of Frichter, who exists just a few minutes ahead of her present self.

What should Quigg do? The future Frichter is guilty of the same crimes as her slightly younger counterpart, but as she is not of our time, she cannot technically be held culpable in the present. It is likely that only Quigg would ever be aware of the true nature of her capture, but he will have broken the laws of both man and physics, which would no doubt lead to some fucked-up shit. If, on the other hand, he seizes his moment and arrests the Frichter of his own dimension, he will be transgressing an unwritten but nonetheless sacred maritime code forbidding the arrest of more than one copy of any given pirate within a 24-hour period. You will have heard this type of dilemma referred to as Quigg's quandary.

Some clever dicks often point to a tacit third option: simply let both Frichters go. But they are, frankly, pissing into the wind, as this age-old conundrum is, in fact, a trick.

Attentive readers may recall that the paperwork has already been completed and faxed over to the nearest port authority. Quigg therefore has no choice but to drive back to the depot with his prisoner exactly as described in the report: "1 qty. Feared Pirate Moll Frichter, appearing very slightly older than expected."

But wait now, let us consider this in more detail. Because if the Frichter from the present managed to escape... then she is, at this very moment, a free woman... which effectively negates her future arrest, which is now in the past... meaning...

Our hero's shoulders droop as he looks forlornly to the empty back seat. Ah sorry, old Quigg, I fear that you are shit out of luck! No doubt there shall be a great many questions for you to answer upon your return to St. Kitts.

Hey, I don't make the rules. Don't have a go at me.