Friday, July 22, 2005

Antony Mouse is...

...on holiday for three weeks. Be good while I'm away.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Antithesis of Apotheosis

To achieve any degree of reasonable success in sociometric ascension demands a certain cold ruthlessness, a dispassionate detachedness. And these are not, as promised in the previous post, the opening words of The Sociometric Star's Code for Success. My poor, dear readers, you who have been looking forward with such keen anticipation to reading the Code - what a disappointment this must be! But allow me to explain my reasons for its postponement (or perhaps even cancellation?!), and perhaps you will find it in your hearts to forgive me.

The crux of the problem is this: I appear to have developed - suddenly, inexplicably - something not unlike the human psychological phenomenom of a conscience. Now a conscience, as rather elegantly suggested in the title, has absolutely no use whatsoever to a sociometric star. It is vitally important not to become too attached to one's personal select peer-group known as "friends". The time will come when an opportunity for further sociometric ascent presents itself, and any hesitation in swiftly and efficiently discarding of former friends (i.e. due to a troublesome conscience) can have disastrous consequences, and could ultimately cost one their sociometric career.

I should, therefore, have known better than to allow this ridiculous conscience creep up on me. Had I been more wary I could have nipped it in the bud. Yet I barely even registered it had a hold on me until a few days ago, when its symptoms became frighteningly apparent. It happened when I sat down at the keyboard to write up the introductory chapter of
The Sociometric Star's Code for Success. Upon touching the keys to shape the first few sentences, I was shocked to discover that I felt an uneasy prickling of guilt and even a hint of self-doubt.

You see, I am immensely fond of my current friends, and, even though I realise that this affection for them is merely a temporary illusion, I cannot help being hesitant in publishing the
Code online, for all the world to see. It is silly I know, but this would be too much like admitting to myself that I really am a manipulative and callous, albeit remarkably talented, individual. Of course, I know this already in my rational mind, but there is always a stubborn part of me closer to my heart that likes to pretend that I am genuine and sincere in my relationship, that this friendship means something more. Utter nonsense of course.

Nevertheless, I have to admit I have been sorely tempted many times to quietly retire from the sociometric arena, to rest in blissful indolence and enjoy the friends I have on a more long-term basis - even if they are not suitable company for a sociometric star. But, so far, I have managed to resist this siren's call every time it lures me. Just as well really, as otherwise I would still be cringing on the bottom-most rungs of the sociometric ladder.

I do hope this unnatural phase of sentimentality passes. It is mildly worrying. I mean, I even caught myself the other day wistfully wondering what it would be like to be a normal teenager, who knows nothing of sociometry and all its subtleties, to whom friends are just friends, who simply exists - and who probably can't even
spell apotheosis, let alone explain its meaning. Can you imagine?!

They do say ignorance is bliss, of course, but I fear in my case it's much too late for that. If you don't know what apotheosis means, lucky you; for the less ignorant, I can offer only my condolence. Good night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Mid-Exam Hiatus

Antony Mouse is currently in mid exam-season, and regretfully has little time to devote to bloggery, or indeed any other pastimes. However, plans are being made for a new blog project - "The Sociometric Star's Code for Success" (refer to post entitled An Intellectual's Guide to Intellect) - and this should be online in its early stages for July.

I do apologize for seemingly having to abandon my blog when it is yet so young, but I assure you that I will return and have no intention to permanently neglect my blogging duties.

Looking forward very much to continued blog-sharing with you all in the near future,

A. Mouse

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In the Interest of Avoiding Public Humiliation

I try to eat a banana a day, because they are a rich source of potassium, which is a vital mineral for maintaining good bodily health. However, this does not mean that I do not loathe the horrid things. Make no mistake about it: I detest them, I really do, despite their boast of being one of the world's most popular fruits. You know how we're always being threatened by the media that, in a few years, bananas could become extinct thanks to over-enthusiastic selective cultivation? Well, to put it bluntly, for me that day can't come soon enough. At last I'll have a perfectly valid excuse for not having to eat them daily.

They really are the most ridiculous of fruits. So absurdly ridiculous that I'd be embarrassed to ever be seen with one. It is partly their bright yellow colour, partly their bizarre shape, partly the rubber-duck texture of their skin, that provides them with their distinctive child-like mood. They most certainly are not the fruit of choice for style-conscious consumers (with the possible exception of the ever-eclectic Gwen Stefani; bananas are of course featured in her song "Hollaback Girl" ), and look more at home in a cartoon than anywhere else, what with the slipping-on-a-banana-skin cliché and all. Even the very name "banana" sounds like something coined by a two-year-old, and the widely-known phrase "to go bananas" (i.e. to go mad) does not exactly help its reputation on the path to sophistication.

Alongside all of this, in my mind, the whole banana-eating experience is linked inextricably with baby-food, due to both the sweet, mild flavour and mushy texture. I believe it is a popular flavour for baby-food in any case. In fact - bananas really are just like baby-food shrink-wrapped in a convenient rubber-style skin and held together with those nasty stringy bits. All of which does nothing to make them any more appealing to me.

Conclusion: in order to evade derision and humiliation, bananas are definitely not something for the more dignified amongst us to indulge in publicly, and are probably best eaten with furtive caution in the privacy of a locked bathroom. Then again, given their status as a phallic symbol, perhaps it would be prudent to avoid being spotted entering a bathroom banana clutched in hand, for fear of sparking rumours of a somewhat more - excuse the pun - fruity nature...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

An Intellectual's Guide to Intellect

What is it exactly that makes a person, let's say - oh, I don't know - a person like me, for example, intelligent? On the surface, I think it must be my extensive vocabulary that betrays my brilliant mind, and we mustn't forget my talent for using the words in a correct manner. Too often, it seems, people come across an impressive-sounding word and then go out and use it with little thought to what it actually means, simply throwing it into a sentence for purely aesthetic reasons which can sometimes produce eyebrow-raising results, to say the least. And naturally my grammatical structuring is both varied and near-impeccable. However, communication is by no means everything. There are plenty of intelligent people, I am sure, who are not particularly gifted in this department.

It is the ability of applying one's full mental potential to whatever challenges one encounters that I believe plays a key role in true intelligence. Using myself, again, as an example: I personally find that I consistently need to draw upon every ounce of intelligence I possess merely in order to remain sociometrically afloat in my peer-group environment. (That means, for all you idiots out there, that I need to use my brain to keep myself popular, surrounded by friends - and miscellaneous, more amorous, admirers.)

Look, when it comes to being a geek I tick all the right boxes. Take writing a blog for example - something far from de rigeur in popular adolescent culture (by "popular" I mean... well... don't get me wrong, blogs are popular amongst teenagers... just not the popular teenagers - no offence guys). But no-one need know that I am a secret geek. I am not so naive as to use elaborate speech in conversations with my peers - that is strictly against the Sociometric Star's Code for Success, something I wrote myself which is, ironically, taboo in the very subject that it concerns.

So if you're a geek and unhappy about it: take heart. As long as you learn to use your intelligence to get what you want (and providing you are an intelligent geek) then you'll swiftly rise above the hoi polloi. Looking good doesn't hurt either, but I guess you poor sods can't help being ugly. Oh, and I'll make sure that I post the Sociometric Star's Code for Success some day; you'll need the tips in there.

In the mean time, try having a flick through a dictionary and see if you can memorise a few new words. Their meanings might come in handy too.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Next, Please..."

See that pale-brown bar at the top of the page? The one with the Blogger logo in the left corner and a "Next Blog" button in the right? I think it's called a NavBar or something. And like some fellow bloggers (see Blurred Clarity) I have been experimenting with it, or more specifically, with its "Next Blog" feature, clicking it from time to time to see what random blogs I stumble across.

And boy, have some of them been random.

Many of them are simply set up to advertise things ranging from tooth-whitening services to cheap airline tickets. Sad affairs, which don't make the slightest attempt to make themselves look even mildly interesting but just - wearily, one somehow feels, as though they know deep down that they're merely putting potential customers off - try to bombard the viewer with as much cut-and-dried product/service information before the "Next Blog" button is hastily clicked and a new blog - sweet relief! - takes its place.

Or perhaps not so sweet relief.

Because chances are that the next blog belongs to some poor suicidally depressed soul who likes to indulge in writing dark and desperate poetry which, to make matters worse, is often - dare I say it - of rather inferior quality.

Then there are the countless blogs which I am sure would be very interesting but are, alas, written in some foreign language which I am not fortunate enough to be fluent in. Extremely poorly written English blogs, which quite often at first glance do not look like English in any case, fall into this category also, since they are equally, if not more, incomprehensible.

Even to mention one class of blogs embarrasses me, though I am sure we are all familiar enough with them. I am talking, of course, about those crude, lewd and really quite rude pages, often accompanied by pictures of equal merit. I mean, I'm no prude but - really! I was quite shocked by some of the material that I discovered. At least - if sex must be the primary subject of a blog - it could be done in a witty, intelligent and sophisticated manner, as demonstrated so admirably by the celebrity blogger Belle de Jour (see Diary of a London Call Girl).

However, by no means let me discourage you from experimenting with the "Next Blog" feature. There are a few good blogs out there if you take the trouble to look for them - an excellent example is this one - and, who knows, you might strike lucky occasionally.

On the other hand, you might be disastrously unlucky and find yourself Meandering and Musing with a Middle-aged Man in Mimico and his Moody daughter Meagan (see MMM). Which - I warn you in advance - could quite possibly put you off blogs for life...

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Little Bit of Dogmatism

Years ago, when I was into Enid Blyton novels, I wanted a dog. I pleaded and begged and grovelled, desperate for an adorable puppy to love and cherish, a dog like Timmy in the Famous Five or something along those lines. But my parents were adamant - no, they said firmly, every time I brought the subject up. Which was often. Over a long period of time - several years in fact.

Today, on the other hand, I really do not want a dog. Haven't done for quite a while. More trouble than they're worth, what with all the exercising, feeding, training, etc. - and plus I think it's disgustingly unhygienic to have animals in the house. It really is. So I was quite happy really that my parents were strictly against getting a dog, because now I finally appreciated why they didn't want this burden; now I shared their opinions on the brutes. Or so I thought. Because, of course, as soon as I was firmly established in this anti-dog frame of mind - yup, you guessed it - we procured for ourselves a puppy.

The puppy arrived only a matter of days ago, and I made myself quite clear from the start that I didn't want to be involved with the thing in any way whatsoever - I didn't want the dog, therefore it was the responsibility of the rest of the family, not mine. But already, after, like, three days or something, my mother ordered me downstairs this morning to play with it - play with it! How on earth was I meant to know what to do with the darned creature? It just tried to bite me every time I made a tentative attempt to pet it, and was completely unresponsive to the toys I threw at it. Was it meant to be enjoying itself - more to the point, was I? Not my idea of fun. It's not even very attractive, and so it's hardly much of an accessory either.

And
it smells. Ugh.