Friday, 19 April 2013

Finito

Well this is it!

Two years after the first TheMindWordsOfDarren comes the final instalment.

Hhmmm, what to say, what to say...?

Blogs themselves are a funny old thing as a medium.  Given that Blogs are basically diaries much of the time, it's encouraging to see that all the technology we have at our disposal hasn't caused everyone to develop the attention span of a pitbull being taught algebra in a playground full of shrieking children.

Commenting on stuff, the sharing of opinions/wisdom/recipes; it's all out there in the Blogosphere and whether badly written, eye-searingly gaudy or wilfully antagonising, they provide another level of insight into a time when never has so much information been recorded or available.

So yeah, keep it up, don't stop tapping away but remember to leave the keyboard once in a while or you might end up with nothing to say...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

It's All Geek To Me!

Geeks, nerds, dorks, bookworms:- Whatever they're called these days, people who are engaged in perfectly harmless activities are often labelled something along these lines.  But what is a geek?  One on line dictionary describes them thusly:-

geek [geek] Show IPA
noun Slang.
1.
a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders.)
2.
a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.
3.
a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.
Origin:
 1915- 20; probably variant of geck  (mainly Scots ) fool < Dutch  or Low German gek

geek·y, adjective
 
Let's break it down shall we?
 
Explanation 1 seems to imply that geekdom is entirely made up of those with any level of interest in the use of their PC.  This seems more than a little out of date.  Given that government stats (in the UK at least) state that around 75% of homes has a computer in the place somewhere and so this means that personal computer ownership is no longer geeky or that most western countries are in need of a name change.  If this is the case, I want to 'bagsy' Norbertland for Britain.
 
I haven't seen anyone referred to as a nerd solely for owning or even knowing about computers during my time so I'm going to have to assume that oddly, the meaning lifted here from the on line dictionary actually pre-dates the Internet.
 
Meaning 2 goes for the throat a bit by declaring the as yet undefinable geek as a 'dislikable person'.  Well, that's quite the declaration!  Sure, geek is still a term that can be use derogatorily but I've never personally known someone be declared unlikeable because they're a nerd.  Besides, this is also a meaning that seems to take the point of view of someone who might have a dislike of lack of understanding of said computer enthusiasts comings-and-goings.  Very curious as I'm quite sure this definition would be the completer opposite of someone who actively calls themselves a geek, therefore lending itself to be somewhat biased but why?
 
Also, overly intellectual?  Can one be such a thing?  That's like saying - out of context - too rich or too funny.  How can there be a ceiling on cleverness?
 
Okay so meaning 3 is where the dictionary editor here totally looses it.  Apparently the nerd is
a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts, as biting off the head of a live chicken.
 
Let us, at this point, decide what the term means today.  Though hardly the most reliable source of information, Wikipedia (at the time of writing) informs us that there is no one catch-all figure of Poindexterism any more, stating that there are:-

Science geeks, Math geeks, Computer geeks, History geeks, Sci-Fi geeks, Fantasy geeks, Comic Book geeks, Video Game geeks, Board Game geeks, Music geeks, and even Sports geeks.
 
That's right y'all; sports geeks.
 
I would your honour, suggest that football fans fit very nicely into the notion of the geek being a person that escapes into their subject matter at the expense of their 'real life'.

Perhaps these days geekdom is relative, sometimes in direct opposition to the subject of their derision yet often quite closely linked.  Lager drinkers might think real ale supporters are geeks; On line and tabletop role play gamers might look down on their live action counterparts; soccer fans label anyone that owns a book as 'one of them there readers.'
 
The conclusion?
 
We're all geeks then.  Anyone who likes anything does so to a more or lesser degree than someone who likes another.  Better that than be the poor sod that can't find value in anything at all.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Kommons Kombat

Politics eh?

It's often cited as one of the things one shouldn't bring up in casual conversation for fear of upsetting a potential friendship, relatives wedding or meeting of the local coven, depending on whether or not you're from the Lancashire.

I confess to being a latecomer to the table, generally hiding my lack of interest behind the gossamer thin excuse that there's nowt you can do about 'em anyroad.

The thing of it is that as I get older, I'm actually finding politics and the world of the MP more and more interesting.  From the utter disbelief and exasperation at seeing my first House of Commons debate to the almost daily bunglings of the various MP's as they fall foul of zip wires, bigoted northern pensioners and their own expense receipts.

The trouble of course is that a bunch or grey men in grey suits are, on the surface of it, all too forgettable.

Of course all political parties employ 'spin' but the greatest example of this may well be unintentional.  When, to pick an example entirely at random, an MP hits the headlines because he may or may not have called a bobby a filthy plebeian, many people will be encountering this character for the first time - or at least think they are.  They may also come to realise that they don't even know which party said MP is presently in the employ of.

Sure they sometimes wear a coloured tie for the less discerning amongst us to work out who the goodies and baddies are (or baddies and less baddies for a more accurate picture) but I say lets go a step further.

Organisations such as Marvel, the WWE and them what make Mortal Kombat know the power of the easily discernible character.  Imagine how many more might tune in if a roided out Ed Milliband came to the commons debate to try to slam a servo-assisted mechsuit wearing David Cameron through a big pasting table whilst his back benchers held up placards with questions on them.

Voter apathy could easily be combated at the next election by a series of increasingly powerful politicians in brightly coloured costumes engaging in battles near the London Eye or outside Windsor Castle.

Having to bulk up, create special weaponry or seek out irradiated animals to get bitten by might stop these little scamps getting themselves into trouble and would also force the broadsheets to look a lot more like my beloved comics.

In fact, if this doesn't happen, I might go back to being an ignoramus.