Seven Dirty Words

George Carlin passed away.  He was one of those comedians that my Dad used to watch up late with my Uncle Dave when we were kids. Dad never let his ‘young ladies’ swear and there’s no way we were allowed to see any adult type shows on the tellie when we were little.  Sometimes we’d sneak down the hallway and lay low where we could see the TV but Dad and Dave would be laughing so hard they wouldn’t notice us.  I remember seeing the ‘Seven Words You Can’t Say on TV’ sketch – I’m not sure how old I was and I think it was from about 1976 but Down Under we were always so far behind the times I doubt it would have hit the TV when I was that little. I remember being wide eyed and going ‘Um-ah!’ at all the naughty words but mostly I remember seeing my Dad laughing his arse off with his lopsided grin and tears rolling down his cheeks 🙂


Ketamine? You can’t give horse tranqulizers to a midget!

I watched a strange movie tonight – “In Bruges”.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, the trailer makes it look like a comedy revolving around some criminal hitmen types that are hiding out in Bruges and while there were some truly bizarre moments that you can’t help laughing your arse off at for sheer absurdity (eg: when Ray comes back from his date and describes it to his mate Ken – fuckin’ gold).

But it also had some pretty hefty content for a comedy the hitmen being emotionally distraught and not coping with their chosen profession  – Ray (Colin Farrell) is all wrung out over his first hit going pear shaped and the other guy Ken (Brendan Gleeson) doesn’t seem to be coping either with his years in on the job even though they originally appear really nonchalant about it all.   I know we all laugh at deadly serious situations all the time it’s one of those ‘Pain + Distance = Humour’ things but a lot of the themes running through the movie were anything but funny and the twists and action stuff in the second half gets pretty messy.

There were some absolute fantastic dialogue and really witty one liners here and there which I always enjoy.  So yeah… death, cocaine, medieval history, dutch hookers, a film crew, an American midget, a clock tower and a half blind ‘gay’ skinhead petty criminal….  

“Two mankey hookers and a racist dwarf… I’m going home!’

That just about sums it up really 🙂

Shit happens…. comment or warning?


I’ve never been one to overly personalize my car – my Rav had one little sticker on it that read ‘Citizen of Lochac and I never felt compelled to surround myself with personal stuff in the car.  Strange people who insisted on keeping stuffed animals in the car or heaps of stuff hanging from their mirrors alway kinda puzzled me… mostly because I’m not one to enjoy the clutter (well to be honest it makes me twitch).

But since my motor vehicular misadventure last Novemeber I’ve been feeling very uncomfortable on the road and have noticed that I’ve been wanting to make my car somehow more ‘mine’ that I had previously bothered to.

I have some schexy personal plates and I’ve been keeping an eye out for a nice tasteful sticker or two that might contribute to making some sort of intrinsically personal statement about my current mindset on the road which would hopefully capture my understandable fatalistic paranoia of late and maybe with a well chosen motif would also communicate sentiments such as… “STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME YOU FUCKING INCOMPETENT C-WORDS WHO SEEM INTENT ON TRYING TO KILL ME!! … or something to that effect you know.

But upon reading this research (below) I am wondering if I’ve crossed over from not just confident and unaffected by the road/traffic to potential road rage time bomb waiting to go off.  In fact come to mention it, I think it’s not a metaphysical speculation it’s already been demonstrated when I nearly ripped some little Pizza Hut delivery a new arsehole off for cutting us off in traffic a few weeks back :S

Bumper stickers reveal link to road rage

Car adornments betray a territorial mindset.

Bumper stickers such as “Make Love, Not War” and “More Trees, Less Bush” speak volumes about a vehicle’s driver — but maybe not in the way they might hope. People who customize their cars with stickers and other adornments are more prone to road rage than other people, according to researchers in Colorado.

The number of road rage incidents — bouts of aggressive driving such as speeding or tailgating, or confrontations with other motorists — has risen dramatically in recent years. In 1995 the American Automobile Association found 12,000 injuries and 200 deaths were linked to US road rage. In 2008, the numbers are estimated to exceed 25,000 injuries and 370 deaths, and many more road rage incidents, especially those that do not lead to injury, go unrecorded.

Psychologist William Szlemko and his colleagues at Colorado State University in Fort Collins wondered whether increasingly crowded roads might be contributing to rising tempers. The volume of vehicles on US roads has gone up by 35% since 1987, whereas the road network has swelled by only 1%.

In humans, as in many other species, overcrowding leads to increased territorial aggression, and the team suspected that this was what was happening on the roads.

What are you driving at?

Szlemko and his colleagues quizzed hundreds of volunteers about their cars and driving habits. Participants were asked to describe the value and condition of their cars, as well as whether they had personalized them in any way.

The researchers recorded whether people had added seat covers, bumper stickers, special paint jobs, stereos and even plastic dashboard toys. They also asked questions about how the participants responded to specific driving situations.

To keep the participants from realizing that the team was collecting information about aggressive driving, questions such as “If someone is driving slow in the fast lane, how angry does this make you?” were interspersed with decoy questions such as “What kind of music do you listen to in the car?”. Szlemko’s team used a pre-existing scale called “Use of vehicle to express anger” to diagnose the presence of road rage in their participants.

People who had a larger number of personalized items on or in their car were 16% more likely to engage in road rage, the researchers report in the journal Applied Social Psychology1.

Territorial disputes

“The number of territory markers predicted road rage better than vehicle value, condition or any of the things that we normally associate with aggressive driving,” say Szlemko. What’s more, only the number of bumper stickers, and not their content, predicted road rage — so “Jesus saves” may be just as worrying to fellow drivers as “Don’t mess with Texas”.

Szlemko admits that he is not entirely surprised by the results. “We have to remember that humans are animals too,” he says. “It’s unrealistic to believe that we should not be territorial.”

Precious little research has previously attempted to explore drivers’ territorial feelings about their cars, says psychologist Graham Fraine at Queensland University’s Transport Policy Office in Australia. “This work clearly demonstrates that people will actively defend a space or territory that they feel attached to and have personalized with markers,” Fraine says.

Szlemko suggests that this territoriality may encourage road rage because drivers are simultaneously in a private space (their car) and a public one (the road). “We think they are forgetting that the public road is not theirs, and are exhibiting territorial behaviour that normally would only be acceptable in personal space,” he says.

Although the finding will probably help psychologists to identify and potentially prevent road rage, the discovery may apply to other situations besides motoring. “I am curious to see if there is a correlation between marking other types of territories and other forms of aggressive behaviour,” says psychologist William Wozniak of the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Indeed, a brief glance around your office may reveal the most territorial individuals by the number of personalizing objects present on their desks.

  • References

    1. Szlemko W., et al. J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 38, 1664-1688 (2008). | Article |

Hands make everything better.

I’m part way through watching a movie called ‘Then She Found Me’ with Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Matthew Broderick and Bette Midler in it.  It seems fairly run of the mill kinda drama that you just know is going to work out sweet for everyone – cos that sort of sappy movie always does.  I’m just over half way into the story and the main character is having an ultrasound at around 10 weeks of a much wanted pregnancy…. and I’m looking at the screen and even from just the quick glance they included in the shot I could tell that she was about to be told by the OB/GYN that the pregnancy had spontaneously aborted (miscarriage) and… well I had to turn it off.   😐

It seems like every time I think I’m over this shit and I push it to the back of my mind .. something comes along to throw it right up front and center again.  Am I EVER going to be able to be exposed to these sorts of things and not have an emotional reaction to it?  It’s been shit nearly two and a half years since I had my last IVF procedure and since the car accident last November I have had to come to confront the dreadful realization that I am in no physical condition (between the massive increase in daily pain and the ridiculous amounts of medication that I’m on) to be able to carry a baby to term even if I were to able to achieve a viable pregnancy.

This is fucked…. why won’t it just go away.