To Night

Posted by Dan | Posted in Mental Health, Writing | Posted on 13-09-2012

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These are our underground days.

Lukewarm seduction while
fleeing fleeting feelings
passed around like disease.

Pain as welcome as elation;
all we crave is something
to remind us our hearts still beat.

As the numbness sets in –
rigor mortis of the soul –
Tomorrow is discarded
to allow for Tonight,

where we fuck our futures away.

Breaking News: Christians Offended

Posted by Dan | Posted in Religion, Writing | Posted on 12-04-2012

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This ‘news’ article was originally published on MediaWatchWatch back in 2009. I’m on a mission to dig up some of the stuff I’ve had published across the internet and collect it all into one place.

I was dead chuffed when Ariane Sherine, founder of the original atheist bus campaign and editor of The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, tweeted about it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Communicating with the Welsh

Posted by Dan | Posted in Pedantry, Rants, Writing | Posted on 08-01-2012

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Something I wrote back in uni to annoy my patriotic classmates.

When asked recently about the size of my stewed-end lawn I was a little baffled, but replied it was adequate given the accommodation, although my hydrangeas were a bit off-colour and the border was having a dampening effect on the overall ‘feel’ of the garden. The speed at which the conversation ended – followed by numerous odd glares, and an eventual discovery that I had actually been asked about my student loan – reminded me that the Welsh are a very unique people: and not just for their love of rugby and inexplicable pride about living above some very old coal. Quite why you’re expected to pay to enter Wales, but not to leave the place, has got to be one of the great wonders of the world. I mean, only a die-hard ‘Where’s Wally?’ enthusiast could see the appeal of paying to embark on a game of ‘Where’s Llanedeyrn?’ (with bonus points if you can work out how to pronounce it).

In their native tongue, it seems the Welsh have no words for anything less than 10,000 years old. Listen closely and you’ll distinctly hear, “Mae hi’n flich llach iawn in-ter-net ac hoffi hydd achy recording stiwdio…” Some would go as far as to say the Welsh don’t actually have a modern language: it’s just English with an abundance of y’s, w’s and salivating noises thrown in to disguise it (I firmly believe the leading cause of Welsh weather to be the amount of saliva in the atmosphere).

But the Welsh language I can handle (not understand; just handle) – my problem lies with something far worse: the Welsh accent. The Welsh accent can be divided into 3 major segments: “Yur”, “butt” and “izzeh” – but venture around the country and you’ll encounter a wide array of regional greetings, ranging from the formal – “a’iite spaaa” – to the more casual “owz bruv – gor’ any weed?

“Izzeh” tends to follow factual statements, such as:

“The Eiffel Tower is in Paris.”

“Izzeh?

“Yes… it is.”

Ah, izzeh?

I can only assume this is derived from the English terms “is it?” and “it is” – the meaning of the latter dominating the definition of the former: a prime example of an English phrase being reversed to make it seem more Welsh, and transforming it into an unnecessarily elongated version of “OK” rather than an actual question. Oh, and after nearly decking a guy for comparing me to a stubbed-out cigarette end, I learnt that “butt” is a popular Welsh greeting among people of the Valleys.

I’ll stop moaning in a minute, but not before I get to “yur”…

This is the epitome of Welsh-endorsed confusion. Within this one word is contained every vowel and single-syllable word conceivable. ‘Ear’ becomes “yur”; ‘year’ pronounced “yur”; ‘here’ – “yur” ; ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ – “yur” ; Yup, yes and maybe – all become “yur”. Keep in mind continuity in dialogue is maintained through a constant use of ‘I’, ‘by’, ‘like’ and ‘yur’ and you see how the Welsh are the only race in the world capable of quite credibly saying:

            “A’iite butt.  I yurd yur movin’ down by yur next yur?”

            “Yur. Bu’ you yurd my mewsic like, yur’ll yurt yur yurs like inneh.” *

 

To which the only response I can muster is… “izzeh?”

 

 

 

* English translation of above conversation:

“Hello my good sir, how are you this fine day? A little bird told me you might be moving down to the vicinity of our humble abode next year. Might there be any truth in this rumour?”

“Why yes indeed, old chap. But I might hasten to add that you’re already familiar with my musical prowess – perhaps my moving down might be somewhat painful on your ears at times?”

Teddy Mohammad

Posted by Dan | Posted in Religion, Writing | Posted on 08-07-2011

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This satirical article was originally published on UnNews back in 2007. I’m on a mission to dig up some of the stuff I’ve had published across the internet and collect it all into one place.

For those who don’t remember the original story: basically a teacher in an Islamic country let her class name a teddy bear, so a lot of Muslims felt it only fair she have her head cut off. No, I’m not kidding. [Story here]

 

Mobs of Atheists Demand Decapitation of Teacher Over “Richard Dawkins” Teddy Bear

OXFORD, ENGLAND – Hordes of enraged Atheists have swarmed the walls of the Sudanese Embassy in Oxford in retaliation against an act of unforgivable heresy in a local primary school earlier this week.

The act is believed to have occurred during a Darwinism lesson, taught by Sudanese supply teacher Muhajiin Fatwa, when it is alleged a pupil produced a teddy bear from his rucksack. While this in itself is not normally a punishable offense within the United Kingdom, controversy emerged once the teacher asked the bear’s name. According to witnesses, the boy replied “His name is Richard Dawkins. I named him out of respect for Dawkins’ condescending attitude towards religions which take insignificant events far too seriously and are thus detrimental to the progress of the human race.” Astonishingly, and out of blatant disrespect for the religious rights of Atheists, Ms Fatwa neither confiscated the bear nor beat the child savagely, both of which any true British person would have done immediately.

While naming a boy Richard Dawkins is considered respectful among Atheists, allowing a woman to live after she has learnt the name of a teddy bear without interjecting is strictly forbidden and, as decreed in Chapter VI of The God Delusion, “punishable by rape, beheading and being crushed to death by Salman Rushdie novels.”

Atheists have already begun beheading people who may or may not have had any connection with the incident. Fundamentalist A.N. Wilson, wielding a burning torch and clutching the head of an infidel, made the following remark: “BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT FREE THOUGHT.”

The case continues.

As the pupil in question was male, the boy was alleviated of all guilt and is expected to receive Ms Fatwa’s possessions if the demands for her execution are met.

 

Sources

P.Mohammed “Some bloke named Mohammed, commenting on the day’s events“. Jesusandmo.net, Nov 30, 2007

Tolerance Teddy “ToleranceTeddy.com”. toleranceteddy.com, Dec 01, 2007

The trouble with drinking your problems away…

Posted by Dan | Posted in Writing | Posted on 25-02-2011

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When the news came
I blitzed it fast
drowned my thoughts in Gentleman Jack
and hammered the survivors who tried to fight back

hand in hand with Jack Denial’s
we killed the memory
before it could draw its first breath

now it’s funny
(as in unusual)
because what I ought to know
I merely suspect

like I woke up too fast from a nightmare
and some of it still lingers
I’m looking for that necessary clarity
before screaming

but it’s gone
I avoided that sensation
that firm kick to the back of the knees
has been scratched out of my memory

but I still have the grazes

and now I’m here collecting
the shards of last night
like a drunk dreamer
working out which pieces are real and remain

I find the emptiness first
echoing too loudly to ignore

the regret is still there
for not showing you more
when I had the chance

when I find the jealousy I apologise
for mistaking it for fiction for so long

the rage is still there
oh yes, the rage is definitely still there

and, although I’ve yet to find it
I know the truth is still there, somewhere
because for all the things drink can erase
I’m sorry to say that truth is not one of them