February 13th, 2004


I am Filled With Hate and Scorn.

Ticket Inspectors are a rare form of scum. In Sydney, they wear a grey uniform that is a cross between the not trained enough Security Guard and the honest to goodness can't be corrupted no more Police Officer. This has resulted in the Inspectors having an inflated sense of importance that manifests itself in a swagger through the isle, a casual flip to open the ticket booklet when caught, followed by a grave expression that allows the individual to sense the righteousness of the Inspector in his duty.

During the week, as I travelled to and from the Course of Boring Stupidity (for which I was not being paid to attend), there was a surge of train delays and issues due to driver's refusing to work extra shifts. The media thought this was fantastic, and played it up as a classic case of Government mismanagement, but someone must have forgot to tell them that the Sydney railway service has failed to run on time for decades, and that the trains around peak hour are always packed and have long been considered some sort of punishment, because to me there was absolutely no difference in the trains on both days. (though in fairness, I did miss the gas explosion or whatever it was one night.)

However, there was one difference, and that was the Train Inspectors, or as I like to call them, the Grey Scum. With the supposed delays and problems, they were out in force, standing around the ticket gates of Central in a image that reminded me of the classic seventies film shot of a Police Force armed with shields and bats and ready to go break some heads and lines. These the Grey Scum lacked, but you could see their beady little gazes running over the passengers and thinking, What we really need is some bats to bloody them all up.

That's the kind of scum they are.

Lacking their bats, they would instead break out from the line in groups of four to eject people who looked suspicious: teenagers hanging around in the openings or the homeless. Selective ejecting, because neither of them bothered me, while the Can You Help My Christian Charity people irritate constantly, and the sad image of the long term unemployed selling a magazine while wearing a bright yellow vests that highlights that their sagging, aged bodies and broken spirits exist now only to stand in the public and sell the Big Issue.

I woke up this morning hating the world. I will have to go out shortly into it. What I need is a gun.

The Doctorow Paper.

yes, that is cory doctorow's paper taken from here. it's pretty interesting, but a fucking bastard to read off his site as total text, so, mostly for myself, i linked it up here to be able to read. i also cleared out the hypertext bits and so forth.

as i've said before, i didn't really get into doctorow's book down and out in the magic kingdom. i read it on the site, liked the first twenty pages or so, and bought myself a copy, because i wanted to support doctorow's experiment. it's a fantastic idea, and if he can harness it... well, then surely others could too? (though an argument could be made that doctorow's unique position in the net world is what has allowed him to do this, but still.) the book as a whole went in different directions to where i wanted it too, and i was just frustrated by the whole murder mystery in the background. i've been told that if i was more of a techno geek, then it would have meant more, i could have referenced it to linux and windows or some sort of shit and so on and so forth, but since i am not said geek, the argument is more than a little pointless. i was pleased to support the experiment, but i won't go back for the second novel, despite it's funky title.

but what doctorow says interests me. this won't be a surprise to people who read my little comments about downloading, and so i'm going to go off, read this article even more, and then come back to this.