rant

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.

The Boy With His Finger In The Dyke

I know, I know. This blog hasn't exactly been a busy buzzing and whirling of interesting anecdotes and stories lately. That's because I had to spend all my time in stomping the verbose crap and filthy links out of the comments section. I've been spending all my time on training the spam filter to make the distinction between friends with good humour and @#!%§ fully automated drivel spewing vomit volcanoes who assume that I need powders and pills to get a stiffy. I do not need such chemical assistance, thank you very much - quite the contrary I would say. Through the power of day-dreaming and association, I can go from any innocent object or idea to a philosophical reflection on massive bossoms jumping up and down in a wobbly sort of fashion in under two seconds. So get lost with your crap and don't come back for the next fourty years or so!

Dumb And Dumber

This morning a couple of students entered my train compartment and planted their bums next to me and in front of me. The two girls started – or rather continued – a conversation that involved a lot of volume and words, but was as devoid of intelligence as the election campaign of the US conservatives. I almost ate my newspaper in chagrin as Princess Loudmouth at the opposite side of my table started explaining in detail who of her friends fucked whom in all the detail and description you’d find otherwise only in the bubbliest of soap opera’s. The Marquise d’Echo-Brain at my left side feigned utter disbelieve to gather every last juicy detail.

Then they started about school. It seemed they were all students of the Brussels Film School. That may sound impressive at first, but from my observations I’d say that a lobotomised egg can pass the exams there. Some highlights:

  • The girl in front of me said ‘Borat’ was a great movie. Nothing wrong with light entertainment but you’d expect a more critical vision of a would-be professional in the moving images.
  • All three of them were complaining that they had to see ten films in the film museum in Antwerp or Brussels, but all these historically important films that they showed were soooooo boring and they found nothing of their taste. Apparently there is no Jerry Lewis retrospective running at the moment.
  • The subject turned to software, an important instrument for coming movie-makers. But Princess Loudmouth was soooo confused because of all the formats (MPEG, QuickTime, etc.)
  • She also asked if the others had the ‘Adobe’ program. Adobe is not a program, it is a firm with a lot of graphical software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, the PDF-reader/writer Acrobat and yes, a film-editing application called Adobe Premiere.
  • To top it all off, Princess Loudmouth found Google too difficult to handle and said that installing a program was just too complicated for her. Yes, that’s right. Don’t waste your time on acquiring basic computer skills. Hollywood is eagerly awaiting your arrival!

By the time they finally got off the train, I wrote an entire script for ‘The Brussels Chainsaw Massacre’.

Capitalist Pigs

I’ve read and article in the newspaper about a new bank that’s coming to Brussels. They advertise for unethical investments. That’s right, ethical investing is for pussies! Invest in pollution, no-one cares about the Kyoto protocol. For people that aren’t afraid of quick decisions, we advise investing in wood from the tropical rain-forests. Don’t wait too long, because those forest are almost gone! Landmines are a growth market too, legs outnumber anti-personnel mines a hundred to one, so buy your shares today! Or how about the lucrative sport brands that let their shoes, footballs and clothing produce by children under 10? You can’t beat the competitiveness of child labour! And this weeks special offer: cluster bombs. The Israeli Air Force and Army have fired every last stockpile into Lebanese territory, so you know they’ll have to buy-buy-buy LOADS of new stuff in the coming months. Now don’t you miss this unique opportunity.

I can’t believe ‘banks’ like this still get a permission to operate. They should be banned, together with their clients.

Communication Breakdown

I was already grumpy to begin with, when I returned home from work yesterday. It had been a long and tedious day. Not that anything went wrong, but it was just a very long and very tedious day.

When I got home, I turned on the TV to listen to the news while I pealed the potatoes (Wiener Schnitzel on the menu). Alas, no sound, no vision. Or rather, a short message telling me that there’s something wrong with the digital signal and that I should call the cable company.

So I walk to the phone with a deep sigh. It was just one of those days. And it wasn’t going to get better, because the phone didn’t work either. It was working, because there was text on the display, but there was no signal. It started dawning on me what could be the problem, and I quickly ran upstairs to start up the computer and check my theory. And indeed, no access to the internet.

Luckily, we still have cell phones and for once its battery wasn’t empty on the wrong moment. So I called up the helpdesk of our provider (Telenet), pressed 2, then 1, then 3 and then waited for half an hour listening to a stupid tape claiming that an operator would help me in just a moment. Robo-woman also mentioned that I could find help by surfing to their webpage. You stupid recorded woman!

Finally I got a human voice on the line, and I explained my problems in detail. He made me run some tests, and then decides there’s nothing he can do. He’ll have to send over a technician.

Fine’, I say, ‘when can he come’.

He asks me if I want him to come in the morning or in the afternoon.

Neither’, I say. ‘My wife and I both have to work, you know.’

No problem, we’ll just rip you off for a mere 15 € and send someone over in the evening. I comply, what else can I do. In my mind I see my anorexic piggy bank wither and roll over on its side to die with a long, gurgling cry.

A bit later my wife returns home from the horse-riding centre, and she empties the mail box while I explain her what’s happened. ‘No television for two days’ I conclude.

Hold on’, she says as she finds a note left behind by a Telenet technician. It says: ‘Our technician presented himself at your door but there was no-one at home. So he cut your connection in your absence as you requested’.

Wait a minute, we never requested such a thing! With steam coming out of her ears, my wife (who’s a solicitor/lawyer for those of you who just tuned in) grabs the telephone and puts the poor woman on the other line before the verbal equivalent of a firing squad. Sensitive as I am I cower away to the kitchen.

So apparently, the couple from which we bought the house almost five months ago asked Telenet to cut their connection. We buy the house, register it, ask Telenet to install a modem, two phone lines and a digital recorder with TV connection, change our subscription and pay a year in advance for all these connections. And THEN Telenet sends over a technician to cut the line of people who don’t live there anymore, as is clearly indicated on the bell that the guy had to push in order to find out if we were at home or not. When I call the helpdesk, they didn’t know about this request, which means that they don’t work with a centralised database with all their customers information. I imagine they have this big board hanging on the wall with thousands of post-its. Once in a while someone takes a post-it and does what it says, without knowing if its still relevant.

I always thought something like this would happen, because although they have very high speed internet connections, if Telenet can make an administrative blunder the size of which would leave Kafka himself dumbfounded, they shall do so!

 

End of rant, please continue. Nothing more to see here people!

Pointless Violence

A couple of months ago, the generally rather peaceful people of Belgium were frightened out of their peaceful dreams by a murder. A seventeen year old boy was murdered by two Polish youngsters, stabbed to death during the short fight that ensued when he and his friend refused to hand over his iPod. What frightened people was that it didn’t happen in some back alley in the dead of night, but in Brussels Central Station, one of the busiest railway stations in the country, smack bang in the middle of rush hour. Thousands of bystanders couldn’t prevent the incident or bring Joe back to life.

A couple of weeks ago, an 18 year old Belgian boy walks into a store selling guns and arms, and buys himself a small arsenal. Then he sets off for a walk trough the historical centre of Antwerp, shooting at anyone with a brown skin. He wounds a woman of Turkish origin and kills another Malinese woman. She was babysitting a two year old Belgian girl, which he also blasted to pieces. He was stopped when a police officer shot him in the belly. He acknowledged later that he had racist motifs.

Last Saturday, a 54 year old man was kicked to death on a bus in Antwerp. A group of youngsters were fighting on the bus, and he tried to intervene to calm things down. His community feeling was not appreciated; all the youngsters turned against him and started to kick him. When the bus stopped, they ran away and subsequently the man suffered a fatal heart attack.

The media call this ‘pointless violence’, but it seems to me all violence is pointless.

People are getting the impression they’re living in Iraq, and in line with an old Belgian tradition, they feel the government(s) should do something about it. But maybe they should look at what they can do, such as giving their children an education and not expecting that the school and the state raise their children. Or try to help when it’s needed instead of pretending they’re hard-boiled in front of the cameras.

Terrorist Toddlers

It is said that the general population in this part of the country – the Flemish part that is – is turning into a bunch of sourpusses. This means that everyone thinks he or she is the most important person in the world and thereby entitled to do whatever (s)he wants, while the fellow countrymen should abbey all rules to the very letter. If not, they are liable to prosecution.

Cell Phones For Dummies

A couple of days ago I got stuck in that twilight zone of numbness that takes over your television between 6 and 8.30 pm. A camera crew that wasn’t the slightest bit interested in the global war on terror or the financial scandals in Japan followed a social worker who was supposed to help children with learning problems.

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