A SCANNER DARKLY
Dick, Philip K. (Doubleday, 1977, ISBN 0385016131)
My grandfather bought the Volkswagen in 1968. He imported it direct from Germany and shifted the steering column over to the right-hand side.
A year later man set foot on the moon. Continue reading
I lost my first wallet in 1998. To replace the driver’s license I needed to book an appointment, pose for the replacement photograph and then tram back in to collect it two weeks later.
When I lost the next one in 2001, the delay had lengthened to three weeks. Continue reading
ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN FOR LYNX DEODORANT
At some point we seem to have accepted that, as peasants, if a bank or other large company imposes on us a penalty fee, for instance for paying a bill slower than they’d like, that as long as the company does it following the company’s own rules, we should find it fair for them to charge it. The historian of the future must see us as sufferers of Stockholm syndrome – as forlorn hostages who’ve somehow come to feel they owe something to their captors.
Have we forgotten how we got here? While you and Daisy ran hand-in-hand in the garden, ecstatic in the rain, they set about to laying claim to all the best flowerbeds and fencing them off. Now they charge you for the flowers and have convinced Daisy’s mother that if you don’t send seven a week, you don’t respect her. The Shamshiel they’ve posted at the gate doesn’t even have a flaming sword, just a valium of meaningless apologies. Continue reading
GIFTS DIFFERING: UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY TYPE
Myers, Isabel Briggs & Myers, Peter B. (Davies-Black Publishing, 1980; ISBN 089106074X)
The clock showed three when the speeding person made his move. He’d stalked me since two, prowling around the edge of the conversation, waiting to detach me from the herd. The need to verbalise his jumbled thoughts to some listener beat like a fever behind his eyes.
I knew a carnivore when I saw one, but the room’s shadows made him almost invisible. I think the Goths who decorated the place must’ve concocted them on purpose. Draped in costume-shop gloom for the occasion, their apartment looked like a Tim Burton exhibit realised in eight dollars of black and purple crepe paper. When I looked away for a twinkling moment, he pounced out of the shadows. Continue reading
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE
Foundation Publications (1997, ISBN 978-1885217721)
A few years ago I attempted to rent advertising space in The Bible between the Old and New Testaments. I created a website for a fictional business called ‘Prince of Databases’ at:
I then emailed The Gideons International, who print and distribute Gideon’s Bible, at email@example.com: Continue reading
Dir. Vincent Gallo. Perf. Vincent Gallo and Christina Ricci. Cinépix Film Properties, 1998. Film.
I revere Vincent Gallo’s film Buffalo 66 as a work of genius. From the outset, the film seizes our attention through its humour and stunning photography. Buffalo looks like Orwell’s bright cold day in April when the clocks struck thirteen. Gallo’s flurrying delivery leaves us in hysterics.
At first, we despise his protagonist. After heckling her away from the
payphone, Billy mooches phone change from the tap dancer and then sneers at her in return.