Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vizsla Flashback - Drunk Texts from Batman

We've all been there, so this is in no way about judging.

However, reports have come to light that it is not just we, the every-dog on the street who are susceptible to sending an ill advised text message after having a couple of drinks*.  According to reliable sources, no less than Batman himself falls into that very trap on a regular basis.

*Seriously, why is there no app to lock texting if it detects that you're drunk?

Thank You, Internet, for making it possible to find a picture of just about anything

Consider the following examples of...

 Drunk Texts From Batman
Names listed as they appear in the BatCel

You can occasionally tell what Batman has been drinking just from the mood of the text.  For example, Tequila clearly makes him mean...

 Hey AL, get here quik, i ned your help burying a prostitute.
HA!!  You totaley fell for that didnt you DUMBASS!  LMBAO!

Shall I take it that you require the services of a taxi to return home this evening sir? - ButlerNumeroUno
You shud have seen ur face!!
You can't see my face, sir.  We're miles away from each other -  
Shut up and send me a fukin taco.
I'm on my way -  

Whereas you can always tell that he's been drinking bourbon when he becomes inappropriately sentimental...

U kno, u r totally the best.  Serriously.  U're Awesome man
Um... Thanks.  Where are you? -  
Boy, (Wonder)

No, reelly.  I totalley love u man.  Totalley.
Maybe we should be done crimefighting for the night... -  
Boy, (Wonder)
Reely.  Im gunna tell everybody man.  I totalley love U.  I'm gonna tellevrybody.
My nam is Bruce.  And I luv Dick!
Please tell me you're not driving. -  
Boy, (Wonder)

In contrast, a beer-drunk Batman appears to just get a little silly.

knok knock
Who is this? -  
E. Nigma

No, u r supposd to say who's there.  Illtryit agan.  knock knock
 Who gave you this number?-  
E. Nigma
Ur not doin it rite!  Knock knok!!!!
<sigh>  Fine.  Who's there.-
E. Nigma
I'm bateman, bitsh!
 You're Jason Bateman?-  
E. Nigma
Nooo!!!  Batmaan!!  Geez.
 You do realize you just totally gave me your phone number-  
E. Nigma

And Gin... well...
Hey baby.  Check THIS out...
Oh My God, is that a picture of your... Oh for Christ sake.  Seriously?????-  

Seriously.  Maybe he should have just stuck with the Batsignal.

Until next time.  Same Bat Time, Same Bat Texts.

-Vizsla Out

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Oh Universe, I Can't Stay Mad at You...

For the last few months, as my ever decreasing output here can attest, my relationship with the Universe as a whole has been best described as 'Not Awesome'.

Transcending the usual level of 'Life is nothing but one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead*', which I think most of us are more or less used to by this point, since sometime around June the Universe has been showing me a level of vindictiveness which would usually indicate that it had come home early from work one day and found me having sex with its wife.

*If I might quote Homer Simpson 

It was therefore with some surprise that I was greeted yesterday by a surprising number of goodwill gestures from the aforementioned universe, almost as if I'd bumped into the Universe at a party thrown by a mutual friend and spent the entire evening having it say to me, 'Hey, you and me... we're still cool...  right?'

It began as I got into my car to head into work.

For those who aren't already aware (and why on Earth would you be) I've been working a couple of additional side jobs lately in order to make a little extra money.  One of those side jobs involves receiving  tips (And I'd completely forgotten how pleasant that is, btw.)  What was less pleasant was that I'd completely misplaced about thirty dollars in tips last week.  I'd pretty much written the money off, since that's not even close to the worst thing to happen over the summer.  But then Yesterday morning as I opened the drivers side door to my car I was greeted by a small wad of cash which had apparently slipped out of my pocket and fallen into the space between the seat and the floor.  I can't imagine how it could have been there all that time without my having noticed it, so I'm assuming that this was the opening salve in my day of apologies from the Universe.*

*And for the record, 'I'm sorry, here is a small pile of money' is NOT the worst apology in the world to receive.  Use that information how you will.

The next apology came when I arrived at the parking ramp.  I hadn't mentioned it (in that I haven't written a column in almost two weeks) but for the last week and a half there has been a new car stealing my space every single day*.  A tiny, smug little electric blue Toyota Scion.  Sitting in my** spot, glaring at me to say, 'Look how compact and in tune with youth culture I am.  I'm specifically designed to appeal to Millennials who have nothing better to do than destroy my day by taking my parking spot while posting selfies on Instragram and doing something on Snapchat which I suspect is sexting but I'm not entirely sure because I still don't really understand what Snapchat is except that I think it's about boobs.

*Followers of the great Grey Sedan debacle of 2013 will understand the seriousness of this offense.

**Not actually my spot in any legal or contractual sense, I've just been parking there a long time.

But yesterday the smug little Scion was not there.  I had my spot again.  The world once again made sense.

Then I received a long awaited rebate check in the mail.

And so on, and so on, my day became one long reacharound from the greater forces of the universe, all seemingly hellbent on apologizing for all the wrongs of the last few months.

I swear to god, at one point I actually heard the Universe say, 'Come on baby.. I've changed.  I'm different now.  I'd never hurt you like that again.'

OK universe.  Maybe.  Just maybe. I might be willing to try again with you.

But I'm going to need jewelery first.

It's about standards.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vizlsa Flashback - This is Literally a Dilemma

Recently there was a great deal of hue and cry across the Internet (which is fair enough as that's pretty much what the internet is for.)

However, as opposed to the usual topics of hue and cry (Religion, Politics, and Ben Affleck) this time the H&C was coming squarely from the folks who care deeply about language.  Which meant that for once most of it was spelled and punctuated correctly, which made a pleasant change.

What began it was this; The Online Oxford English Dictionary - Gold Standard for Scrabble players and pedants alike - updated their definition of the word 'Literally'.  After giving the correct definition of the word they appended:

'informal used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true:  I have received literally thousands of letters'

Which many, if not all of us, took as confirmation that the good people at Oxford were finally saying, "Fine.  Screw you all.  You can just make up your own shit from now on - we're out." before cracking open a bottle of expensive bourbon that they'd been saving against this day's inevitable arrival. 

And it's hard to blame them really, what with the state of spelling and grammar these days.  Perfectly respectable columnists starting paragraphs with conjunctions and leaving participles everywhere.  It's chaos, people.  And stop clubbing, baby seals!

But* - and it pains me to admit this - that's how language ALWAYS changes.  

*See - I did it again.  And I don't even feel bad about it.

After all, at the end of the day Language is nothing but a mutually agreed set of basic rules that we've all signed on to so that we're able to communicate with one another.  As long as we all understand the new rules, does the fact that it's a new rule really matter? 

Additionally, one has to consider why we have an Oxford Dictionary in the first place.  Is the job of the Oxford Dictionary to be correct, or to accurately relay how people are using the language?  (Obviously the answer is 'both', but in cases like this where it feels like you have to pick one or the other, what's a poor online repository of knowledge to do?)

It's not like we all got together around 1550 and took a big vote as to whether or not we wanted to keep using noun declension.  We just sort of stopped doing it.  And if there had been an Internet at the time then the message boards would be chock full of people posting 'Thou art misusing 'doth', moron.'  (if you're interested in this sort of thing you should totally google 'The Great Vowel Shift' which is not only really interesting, but also sounds pleasantly naughty.)

Or, for an earlier example, consider the following scene - set in Britain in the early-ish 1st Century.

ROMAN 1 (Rory):  Well, we've just about finished writing up contracts so that we can control these Saxon folk

ROMAN 2 (Steve):  I don't think they're Saxons until 4 or 500...

RORY:  That's not important right now.  

STEVE:  Sorry.

RORY:  The problem I'm running into is that they don't have a written alphabet, so I'm just sort of mushing it into our alphabet

STEVE:  Sounds good, what's the problem?

RORY:  Well, their language uses a lot of that 'th' sound that we never ever use, and we don't have a letter for that.

STEVE:  Hmm.  Well, don't they have that short series of Runes that they occasionally use?

RORY:  Hey - yes they do.  And there's one that they use for the 'TH' sound that looks a bit like our letter 'Y'.

STEVE:  Well, why don't we just use a 'Y' to represent the 'th' sound.

RORY:  I don't know... isn't that going to confuse the hell out of people a few thousand years from now who'll think the word 'the' was pronounced 'Yee' because of this decision?

STEVE:  Don't talk crazy, Roranicus.  Our empire will last forever.  Now let's go get a drink of water from our lead-lined aquifer.

And so forth.

Point of the story - Language changes all the time, and it's almost always for some stupid reason (like, say, a generation of people deciding to remain willfully ignorant of what a fairly simple descriptive word means).  That's just life.

It is worth noting however that the good folks at Oxford did manage to get the last word in.  They closed their entry with the following - 

"This use can lead to unintentional humorous effects (we were literally killing ourselves laughing) and is not acceptable in formal English."  

Allow me to translate what the good folks at Oxford are really saying there.  'People use the word like that.  They sound like idiots and are wrong when they do so.  But they still do it.'

Well Played, Oxford Online Dictionary.  Well played.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hey, Ancient Greeks, Who's the Real Victim Here

I was thinking the other day about Prometheus.*

*The Greek Legendary figure, not the vaguely disappointing movie that sadly failed to have proper Aliens in it.

For those who were never deeply unpopular 12 year old boys - and feel free to be all smug about it now - Prometheus was a Titan.*

*The superhuman creatures who came before the Greek gods, not the vaguely disappointing football team from Tennessee.**

**That's American Football - Which again can be loosely described to the rest of the world as playing rugby while dressed up as a robot.

The main crux of the myth of Prometheus is that he stole fire from the Gods and gave it to Mankind, thus enabling us to become an independent thinking species.  It's actually pretty analogous to the myth of the Garden of Eden, in that in both cases the God in question wanted to keep mankind ignorant for their own good and someone else intervened, gave mankind knowledge, and was punished for it. This is an interesting statement on the long held view in some religious circles that all knowledge is inherently dangerous and therefore evil.  See, it didn't just start with the FOX network.

Where was I...

Oh.  Right.  Punishment.

So, Prometheus did us a solid by giving us the gift of Fire, and for doing so he was punished by the Gods.  Specifically, he was chained to a mountain in the Caucuses and every morning an Eagle* flew in and tore out his liver and ate it.  Every night his liver grew back.  Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

*His name was Ethon, apparently

Now, the immediate response to this is of course - Ow.  That sounds painful.  Both the tearing out AND regrowing.

But I think that both we and the Greeks are overlooking the real victim here.

The real victim is clearly Ethon.

Think of the poor guy.  Every single day he gets up, spreads his wings, maybe has a nice cup of eagle coffee and says to himself, 'Self, today's going to be an awesome* day.'  Then he flies out over the Caucuses, glorifying in the morning sun.  He swoops.  He soars.  He... looks down and sees Prometheus.  Again.

*Yes, Ethon is voiced by Chris Pratt in my mind.

Here's a rundown of Ethon's internal monologue each morning.


Self, Today's going to be an awesome day!
Man.  What a great nights sleep.  I feel like a million bucks!
I sure do love the way the morning sun shines on my Aerie!
What a great morning.  Everything is awesome!
Hey, I should totally put that Tegan and Sarah song on my iPod...
Man, it feels awesome to fly through these beautiful mountains
I wonder if there are salmon in this part of the world?
I'd love a salmon.  That sounds yummy.
Hey, what's that down there on that roc...

Oh you have GOT to by F**KING kidding me.


How many times???  How many???

No.  I'm just not doing it.

F*** You, rock guy, and F*** your liver too.


NO.  No, I'm just not going to do it.

Maybe one more pass over that valley...  
You know... Just to make sure he's still there...

Yup... still there....

Jesus H. Not Going To Be Born For 4 Thousand Years Christ.



Over and over again.  Every day.  You think your job is repetitive, think of poor Ethon.

Then, a bit later on, Hercules rescued Prometheus.  You know how he did it?


It could not be clearer who the real victim is in this story, and it ain't the guy chained to the rock who was perfectly aware of the consequences of his actions, oh no.

We're sorry Ethon.

We're so sorry.