Category: Front Page

Living Arrangements

Living Arrangements

Housemates, can’t live with ’em and casual labour laws that favour business interests means you can’t live without ’em. Back in the day, I lived in a big one in the Valley with a rotating ensemble cast of about 7-8 other people and innumerable guests. It was a vile flop-house full of degenerates and one of my fondest memories. That said, living with that many other people has its challenges, and these challenges eventually caused me to snap. What I wrote came from a specific time and place in my life, but is applicable to any time and place where directionless adults cluster for warmth.

I wrote this in 2012 when my recent sobriety meant I could suddenly smell everything. It will apply to people you know. It will apply to places you’ve lived. It may even apply to you. It is

An Open Letter to Housemates

Dear Filthcunts,

                         I get the feeling that writing something about keeping a space clean and the amount of cleaning I do is going to give my parents a laugh. If you are acting on their behalf then I say, well played, and to my parents I will remind them that I will outlive you and in doing so shall ignore all your burial wishes and sell you to a necrophile collective to buy expensive action figures. Remember that the next time you feel brave enough to try something like this.

Should that not be the case, I do need to make an appeal. I will start by admitting that I do enjoy cleaning. It is a simple pastime that has a clear goal and a demonstrably positive outcome and that cannot be said about much else in existence. That said, when I have to do 20 minutes worth of cleaning before I can even begin the actual-goddamn-fucking-cleaning it makes the process feel like the punishment I would receive for pissing of some Greek god or something. Every time I neared what appeared to be an end I’d turn around only to discover another mountain of plates or pots or pans turning what should be an exercise in goal-reaching into the same endless series of meaningless acts that forms the rest of human life. This is not fun for me. In an effort to alter this situation I have come up with a series of tips that will make everything a lot easier for everyone.

An actual person with other stuff to do is cleaning up after you.

This is probably the most important reminder I can give. I clean the kitchen and most other aspects of the upper-house (more on that later). I am guessing that most of you have been operating under the assumption that this job has been getting done by helpful elves or some kind of Classy Santa who tidies share houses in exchange for fancy nibbles. The latter is something that would never have occurred to me had not someone left out Brie and Toast last night. This is obviously to placate Classy Santa, a mythical character of Finnish and Japanese heritage, but I would still advise putting it on a table and not the floor. Also if you really want to follow tradition you need to use those store bought miniature toasts. Using shitty substitutes just makes Classy Santa angry meaning you will get a visit from his friend Fondleshitz who never cleans and just shoots warm caviar at your from his grundlefont.

Don’t just leave your stuff where you were.

Skyrim won’t play itself, I am aware of this and I am sure your fifth or sixth playthrough to see what plot differences occur between your Nordic warrior and Vampiric lesbian is an important use of your time. So I completely understand that you have decided not to clean whatever you were using. That said, unless you are chasing the dragon in an opium den or are a poorly programmed NPC there is little excuse for just dropping or leaving whatever you were holding exactly where you were holding it. You all manage to shit in the toilet so consider the leaving of stuff around a bit like shitting your pants. If you put these things in an area where I can get to them they will be cleaned, leaving them about the house like some kind of Easter Egg Hunt at the home for Disobedient Little Cunts is irritating and slows the cleaning process.

Rinse and Stack

Like anything else, cleaning is something that can be done wrong. The other day, after cooking custard tarts, the vessels that held said tarts were filled with water and then just abandoned. I understand the intention and the idea behind it. Someone has evolved from elf worship to cargo cult and has semi-understood the process enough to add water to the dirty things. Thank you for your help now go play with your legos. See, leaving custard tart to stew in water for a day or two doesn’t actually clean any of the material away. The result was not pleasant. It reminded me of the documentary I saw on crime scene clean-up crews, how they have to go into apartments where an old shut in has been dead for months and find him having died and dissolved through his couch and into the carpet. This was like that, if I had bronchitis and coughed everything I could into a jar with some rice crackers then let that sit in the sun for an afternoon I would begin approaching the consistency of what I was dealing with. In future, run water over it then stack it to the side where I will deal with it later.

Don’t hoard kitchenware.

This is more for the sub-C.H.U.D’s than anyone else so I will now address them.

DEEP TIDINGS, DOWNLINGS, HOW IS THE LOWCITY TODAY? FORGIVE ME FOR WRITING IN ENGLISH BUT AS YOUR TONGUE SOUNDS LIKE THE BLEATINGS OF A SACRIFICED GOAT PASSING THROUGH AN OPTIMUS PRIME VOICE CHANGER HELMET I STILL LACK THE VOWELS TO ATTEMPT EVEN A PHOENETIC TRANSLATION. I KNOW NOT WHAT REASON YOU SEEK TO ACQUIRE THE CUTLERY OF THE UPMEN, AS THE AGREEMENT I CAME TO WITH THE BENEATHOIDS HAS CLEARLY STATED THAT YOU MAY COME AND GO AS YOU PLEASE AS WELL AS UTILISE ANY ITEMS YOU MAY NEED. EVIDENCE SUGGESTS YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO BUILD SOME KIND OF CATHEDRAL OF CROCKERY AND MOULD TO AN OLD HYPO-FLOORIC DEITY BY THE NAME OF HWOARULTHIEKIANIITEOZLEKEPTHOTHTIC.  WHILE I RESPECT YOUR RIGHT TO PRACTISE YOUR FAITH AND EVEN RESPECT THE WORKS OF HWOARULTHIEKIANIITEOZLEKEPTHOTHTIC, MAY HIS MEAT INFECT US ALL, THE TOWERS OF SKYWORLDER MATERIALS YOU BUILD ARE BECOMING AN INCONVENIENCE. PERHAPS WE CAN ORGANISE A TRADE WHEREBY YOU BRING ALL THE USED ITEMS UPSTAIRS FOR ME TO WASH AND I STOP SHITTING IN YOUR AIR-HOLE WHENEVER SOMEONE ELSE IS USING THE TOILET. THIS WAY I WON’T THINK I HAVE CLEANED EVERYTHING ONLY TO DISCOVER YOUR DANK CHASM HOLDS A THOUSANDFOLD MORE CHORES FOR ME TO DO AND YOUR LIVING SPACE WILL SMELL LIKE THE SWEATY, FOOT-ORGY IT SHOULD AND NOT MY MORNING DISCHARGE. THANK YOU, AND MAY THE SHADOW ECLIPSE THE BRIGHT ORB, BLESSINGS BE UNTO THE DAYHATERS.

This house contains, at last count, approximately fourteen and a half people and so it has the ability to get very messy very quickly. By keeping these tips in mind I will be able to continue doing, for free, something that most people have to actually pay someone to do. Now with that said I am going to put someone’s toothbrush in my bum.

By Gabe.

Retrospecticus: Season Two

Retrospecticus: Season Two

Season two is done! Huzzah, now only 30 more to go! I want to die, but now I have a good reason. Boy, things are on the up-and-up.

Season two is a major change from one, and not only because it’s closer to a full series run. Gone are the haunting Clasky/Csupo interpretations of human physiognomy, we now have the full modern Simpsons look that lasted until the HD era. The change is not entirely complete, though, as there’s still some weird character designs floating about, but these get pruned over season 3. The lines are black, the characters are mostly on model, this is The Simpsons look.

Similarly, a lot of character becomes settled over this season. Grampa, Patti and Selma, and Principal Skinner emerge as strong narrative anchors, and the Burns/Smithers relationship finds its awkward home. Lisa and Bart see the last few gasps of their immaturity this season. Bart’s childhood vulnerabilities are used for great character stories before being lost to archetype. Lisa’s character survives longer, but the version of her that is very much an 8-year-old child and not a teenager in one’s body gets a few last moments.

While there were some standouts, the series wasn’t all that funny. There’re some episodes with good jokes, but nothing of the wall-to-wall quotables and gems that later seasons become known for. This took me a bit by surprise, but, in retrospect, it shouldn’t have as I seldom rewatch anything prior to season 4 for a reason. I chalk this up to growing pains. The patterns settling leaves them in a vulnerable state. One can’t play with something until the paint has dried.

Writing it has been a mixture of challenging and fulfilling. It’s odd to think that my primary income is now writing these (PAY ME), as that technically makes me a professional writer which decades of crippling depression taught me never to expect. Keeping the pattern up was hard, though, through a combination of genuine writer’s block and having to job hunt. With the second part gone, I can sort of focus, and I’m getting better at teasing discussable elements out of the stories.

Each is, by design, very focused and tends to leave a lot unsaid. It hit me early that I can’t do a completely deep dive on each one as A: that would take forever, and B: there are enough episodes that what isn’t said in one can be said in another. So, if you feel some element or another wasn’t covered, that is probably why. I’ve also gotten into the habit of adding images, either to add to a point or, particularly in the case of the cover images, for fun. There booming artistic field of Simpsons remixes, shitposts, has reminded me of how individual animation panels can be fascinating things to look at. The 4 stills of Homer realising Bart has mailed his letter to Burns are harrowing, but the whole moment takes less than a second.

 Christ, I have got to get these things done faster, though. At this rate, I’ll still be doing these when I’m 60. Hopefully, these will be hugely successful by then, like that Harry Potter podcast, and I will be celebrated as the world’s foremost Simpsons knower. This is unlikely, and I will die alone, celebrated by only a small number of passionate loons. That said, if you want these to keep going, or at least want me to be able to eat, the minimum Patreon of one whole dollar a month helps. I pay $5 to it just to comment mean things on Aaron’s posts sometimes, so I don’t think it’s a big ask. I won’t lie, subsistence living when I could be on 80k teaching is wearing thin, and money to live on will help get these things happening on a weekly basis.

I will keep a few free, a selection from each season once it’s done, as taste testers you can share with people. Feel free to argue over which ones are the best/funniest/most interesting. In the meantime, I’m working on formatting the section a little better. Mostly so there isn’t a fucking infinite pit of them to scroll through. It’s just a risky hassle with these digital publishing things, as they can be less than user friendly, and changes can fuck things up.

Until then, season 3 approaches! I’m looking forward to this, as we are getting close to the creamy centre of the series.

Yours in only slightly regretting doing this, Gabriel.

Great Episodes

Brush with Greatness.

This is a fucking classic, probably one of the few that is worth adding to the regular rotation. It’s got a great plot, it’s excellently told, it has a great finale, and there are jokes all over the place.

Treehouse of Horror.

This is mostly off the back of Bad Dream House, as there are just so many great jokes packed into 6 minutes.

Bart the Daredevil.

A bit like Brush with Greatness, this is a complex mix of character, and expression. It falls behind the others through fewer great comic moments. That fucking cliff fall, though.

Bart gets an F.

A great character episode. It’s hard to feel real sympathy for Bart as he’s either a narrative tool, comic foil, archetype, or cunt. This story is about a 10 year old boy, and he is beautiful in his vulnerability.

Shit Episodes

Bart vs Thanksgiving.

Fuck this episode. Bart is a piece of shit and is rewarded for it. His parents are right, and the show punishes them for it. This is a staggering miss from a narrative perspective, a meaningless blip from a character perspective, it isn’t funny, and it’s fucking annoying.

War of the Simpsons.

The show couldn’t manage the tone shift of making one of the main character’s comedic faults into a real, grotesque fault. Few could. General Sherman winking at the camera is hideous. Grampa B story saves it from absolute relegation.