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17/5/2003: How the Free Software Foundation is reponsible for ruining my prospects

A short missive this week, as it is crammed in between revising for my upcoming AS-level in psychology (exam in 96 hours), which I have been propehcised to fuck up, and an important episode of ER on Sky One.

But more to the point, it is crammed in between an extremely short revision session for said exam. You see, three days ago, our PC melted down. I tried to ignore it, but the tide of family members beating a path to my door to complain that "the flag with the clouds behind it won't go away" just wouldn't abate. So, I directed them to my installation of SuSE Linux also on said PC, and told them to find their own fucking way around it, as I was busy!

Two days ago, I started up said Linux install, and found that I saw a malicious-looking penguin, and a message, which had words like "critical," "fatal," "panic," "oops," and, most importantly I suspect, "no INIT." Well, fuck me if BOTH of my operating systems didn't just melt down within a day of each other. Again, I tried to ignore this fact; I reasoned that since nobody in my family is computer-literate in any serious way, they'd chalk up the fact that all they could see was a comical Antarctic creature to their own incompetence. Alas, no.

After beating off a second stream of complaints, I decided that the easiest thing to do, owing to the fact that my copy of Windows was, ah, creatively acquired, was to wipe out SuSE, and start over building a working, minimal Linux. I found a website telling me just how to do so ( if you're interested,) and set about following their instructions. This was about a day ago. Revision had somehow slipped my mind.

This morning, I woke to find that my carefully structured script, supposed to be assembling my system, had inexplicably died in spectacular fashion. Page after page of minutely-spaced text mocked my ability to write a shell script, as it spouted nerdly bollocks, for which I had to spend considerable time searching for a definition. This was 6 hours ago.

3 hours ago, I was stuck in much the same place, as each time I ran my script, it would beep loudly, and tell me something was missing; something else needed to be downloaded. Well, my Linux-under-construction didn't have a web browser yet, so off I would tootle back to the COPY OF WINDOWS I NO LONGER HAD.

An hour ago, I returned from leeching off my neighbour's internet connection, CD full of stuff I didn't understand that ended in .tar.bz2. The text scrolling past the monitor is benign, as far as I am able to tell, and the penguin looks curiously self-satisfied.

30 minutes ago, I realised that I hadn't written an update yet. Furthermore, I had put absolutely no effort into any of the revision that I promised myself I would spend most of the day doing. My neighbours would've been quite surprised at my request to write crap for some guy in Warwickshire, if it weren't for the fact that no-one was home.

30 seconds from now, I'll finish writing this article, only to hear my neighbours returning to drag me to be brutalised by all one of our police force. God willing, they'll remand me in custody beyond the next 96 hours.

16/5/2003: Jason ... In Space!

I'm sure you'll all be terribly thrilled to hear that I reviewed Jason X this week.

15/5/2003: Blergh

Woke up this morning feeling like I'd just smoked fifteen marijuana cigarettes and eaten them afterwards, but without the positive effects. My throat is so sore my eyes water every time I swallow. I feel so light-headed I keep wondering why the moon seems to be wearing my ears. I have a head cold, so forgive me if this article seems unusually bizarre. I'm a bit groggy this morning.

Remember this little chap?

On the bright side, however, it means I get to stay at home and stare at a computer screen all day as opposed to go to work and stare at a computer screen all day. And as nasty as a head cold is, it at least doesn't affect my ability to type. So, here I am. And for want of something to write about this morning, I have just returned from attempting to watch daytime television. I managed five minutes before being forced to switch off, but even five minutes is enough to formulate an opinion. A hateful, unwanted opinion.

I found myself watching what is often loosely described as a 'talk show', so called because people talk in it. It is this same naming system which led to cooking shows first being called "kind of walking around stirring things shows" and sit-coms being called "load of people doing unfunny things while loads of other people laugh like they've been stuffed full of illegal drugs shows". As I turned on this talk show, I was just in time to watch an unassuming fellow sit in a sofa looking pleased with himself. Words along the bottom of the screen read "My Two Wives!" I was certain this encounter with daytime television was not going to end well.

Sure enough, two women materialise from either side of the stage; one skinny, one porkbeast. They immediately approach each other, but before we could put up our hands to protect ourselves from flying blood and skin fragments, they give each other a nice friendly hug. It took a few seconds for me to realise that the fat woman didn't intend to consume her rival (BLARG) and the two sat either side of the man on the sofa.

Now, the presenter noticed at this point that the sofa was a little too small, and expertly avoided saying "Sorry, we didn't think one of your wives would be so fat." Another chair arrived, and the man diplomatically takes it.

Here is what I gathered from the ensuing question and answer session. Mr. Man had evidently been married at first to the monster on the right, but then met the American lady on the left on the internet. He told his wife that he was off to the States, divorced her, and married the other woman within half an hour of meeting. So I guess he didn't have two wives at any one time, and the strapline was lying to us. Anyway, it transpires that the fatty, who was suspiciously agreeable to the bloke's plans, came over to America to visit her ex-hubby. Now, call me an insensitive fiend, but that sounds a little like desperation. Is she so starved for companionship that she's willing to pursue her EX-husband across the pond, someone who two-timed her with a woman who was, at that point, little more than a string of words in his instant messenger?

Of course, this is dancing around the real issue. The person I felt most sorry for in this situation was the presenter. Here she was, trapped in daytime hell, forced to ask polite questions to emotional cripples in the vain hope that maybe one of them will throw a chair and make her as popular as Jerry Springer. And she was so desperate to provoke some kind of negative reaction, asking endless questions like "How did you feel when he handed you the divorce papers? How could you just sign them like that?" or "When he was bouncing up and down on his new bit of fluff's tits, how did you feel when he asked you to bring them a selection of snacks and cocktails?"

You could sense the fury in the poor woman as her guests kept the tone civil. I could picture her at the meeting for this episode. "Hey, this guy divorced his fat wife to run off with some American bitch he met on the net, let's bring them on. Maybe they'll kill each other!" Imagine her face falling when those two women hugged.

Maybe there was some element to proceedings I didn't watch, like maybe he was under some ancient voodoo curse or the American woman was actually that chick from the Tia Maria advert. I'm afraid I didn't give the show much of a chance, as I switched off as soon as the woman's American accent began grating against my nerves.

So, that was my magical journey into the world of daytime telly. I trust you have learnt something valuable today. Tune in tomorrow when I record exactly how many jars I was able to fill with phlegm this afternoon.

14/5/2003: Euro Peeing

So, it seems this is going to be one of those updates about current events that always seem to begin with the word 'so' and a comma.

So, Brussels have come up with a little thing called a European Constitution, which will unite all of the European Union into a single superstate, governed by a single government. There may be a problem with everyone speaking different languages and hating each other, but seemingly insurmountable problems have been solved in the past. Like Mount Everest, or making a film based on the Lord of the Rings. Europe is set to step into a new age of peace and togetherness.

And all I can say is, it's about fuckin' time.

Now, I understand a lot of British newspapers are up in arms about having to share a bench with dirty Frenchies and Krauts. You know what, Fleet Street? Go fuck yourselves. Go fuck yourselves with great big handfuls of nuts and bolts. Really big industrial ones. We're talking about uniting the squabbling governments of Europe, and you're upset because we might 'lose our national identity'. I thought we were over this stage. I really thought we had come to terms with the fact that we're no longer the greatest country in the world. If we go along with this we, as a continent, will probably be big enough to stand up to the US, and you're upset because the Queen will have to be kicked out? Maybe this would've seemed stupid in the 1920s, but some of us are in huge jingoistic denial.

I know in the past I've been known to be a little jingoistic myself on this site, but more recently I've looked upon things in a fresh light. I'm not proud to be British. It's not like I hand-picked the country and authorised my immediate conception by purebred Brits. As far as I can see, we're a bunch of violent, pompous xenophobes, and our history is littered with examples of us being the biggest fuckers in the universe. In other words, we were America before America was America.

I mean, look at all the similarities:

- Garish flag.
- Kept invading countries.
- Imposed our way of life upon said countries, saying we were improving them.
- Have a head of state who is a lot less powerful than they think they are.
- Population full of inbred rejects convinced they're a higher order of being.

Maybe that's why our government is so quick to ram their tongues up the backsides of America; we're just happy that our offspring is following in our footsteps. Well, it's time to hang up the bulldogs and lay off the fish and chips, 'cos we're ready to take the first vital step to a single world government, which should be one hell of a lot easier to conquer at some point. I mean, every government we've voted into power recently has cocked everything up, why do we think a European government couldn't do a better job?

And as I mentioned before, a combined European country will be big enough to stand up to America. Being the unchallenged monster of countries is warping their minds. They're going mad with power. Okay, maybe invading Iraq was the right thing to do and maybe it wasn't, that's not the point. The point is, America did it without UN support and without good enough motivation. They did whatever the hell they liked and there was no-one who could do anything about it.

Let me put this another way. Imagine the world is a playground. An obnoxious little kid is going around saying he's got a big baseball bat which he will use to hit people with. He transparently does not have a big baseball bat, or he would have used it by now. You are the biggest kid in the playground. Would you (a) point out that the little kid does not have a baseball bat and give him a slap, or (b) break both his legs, shoot him, then go shoot his family and everyone he knows?

If you answered B, then move immediately to America. I'm sure you'll get on with the Bush administration famously.

13/5/2003: Inside Out

Firstly, I apologise for the lameness of the Angular Mike strip entitled 'Karaoke Night'. I was not myself. Oh yes. Not quite myself.


Forget universities and libraries, the tops of Tibetan mountaintops and secret government think tanks. I have discovered true genius. It lies among the company known as Intel.

Why are these people geniuses? Because they developed cheap and effective computer chips for our home terminals? Ha ha ha no. It's because they somehow found a way to get their stupid little logo and jingle played every time someone says Intel Pentium Processor (BONG, do doot do dooo!) on television. Everything from Gateway to tinned haddock, if you mention the phrase 'Intel Pentium Processor' (BONG, do doot do dooo!) then the whole advert has to go on hold while the logo and jingle get played.

How the hell did they manage that? More to the point, what the hell for? Are they such egotists that they have to threaten to sue anyone who mentions their name and doesn't play the thing? Are there so many companies in the world called Intel manufacturing things called Pentium Processors (BONG, do doot do dooo!) that they have to remind us which particular one every time they're mentioned? It's a case of narcissism taken to a whole new level. Are they really so intent on playing up the quality of their product that they have to have the name accompanied always with a fanfare?

You'd be surprised how easy it was to find this image.

I'm still wondering how they got all the other companies in the world to agree to this. Do they really have a team of genius attack lawyers who will mercilessly rip a company to shreds if they dare to utter the dread phrase 'Intel Pentium Processor' (BONG, do doot do dooo!) without the appropriate ceremony? I've known demon lords who will allow themselves to be summoned even if you pronounce their name wrong in the incantation.

More likely, it was probably a case of dumb luck. They got hold of some guy from Gateway or PC World or whatever and said, "Look, we think our product deserves more recognition than all the other silly competitors, and furthermore have our heads lodged up our backsides, so every time you mention the fact that your computers have our processors, we want you to play this little jingle that will make people scratch their heads in wonder."

To which the PC World marketing guy would say, if there is any justice in the world, "Fuck you."

And the Intel people would say in response, "Dingo bingo meltdown splat," as they are all smacktards.

But while driving home, the PC World marketing guy unexpectedly drives head on into the back of a lorry full of wasps and is stung half to death before leaping out of the vehicle, off a bridge and landing in a beartrap.

On hearing of this, the Intel people suddenly leapt to their feet and said, "Aha! You see what happens when you offend the mysterious voodoo powers of Intel? Now you must play our crappy jingle whenever you mention us in any medium anywhere!"

And while most people realised that the Intel people were making empty threats, and that the unfortunate PC World employee was more likely to have angered the Gods somehow in an unrelated incident, they went along with the Intel smacktards anyway. Just to be safe.

That's my theory, anyway. I know one should probably take it with a pinch of salt, but at least one part is true: the Intel people ARE all smacktards. I have conclusive evidence of this. If you had the power to make people play a little film every time they mention 'Intel Pentium Processor' (BONG, do doot do dooo!), why stop at a crappy little tune and bit of graphics? A more effective marketing move would be to have someone saying "These processors are really, really great!" in place of it. Or perhaps "(Random Competitor) licks the shit from the hairy sphincters of women who work in Oxfam shops!"

So, in summary, the people who make Intel Pentium Processors seriously need to have some common sense kicked into their lilywhite testicles. I'd do the job myself, but I just bought new shoes, so

[Regretfully, this article must be curtailed, as Yahtzee was immediately struck by lightning when he forgot to include the little 'BONG, do doot do dooo!' after his last usage of the phrase 'Intel Pentium Processor' (BONG, do doot do dooo!). Intel's legal team have already named him as the defendant of a $5,000,000 lawsuit, and the trial will take place as soon as they're finished learning the alphabet.]

12/5/2003: Insert Pun Involving Angles Here

Today, for the delight of boys and girls alike, a trio of new Angular Mike comic strips. I would write something else, but concerning being arsed I'm afraid I cannot.

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All material not otherwise credited by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw
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