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whos more boring


Sweet Valley High and its world of model-perfect teens with boring romantic intrigues never interested me, but unfortunately I was an omnivorous reader and the books were often around. It’s much the same way I ended up reading a lot of V.C. Andrews at the supermarket.

The general plot of the books was ‘vanilla kids pout and date, with occasional forays into mild drug use’ (seriously, try reading these character descriptions – you’ll start seeing pastels and mayo float before your eyes), and yet I can barely remember any specifics. Those that I do probably say a lot more about me than the books:

1) Elisabeth and Jessica go off to college. Elisabeth experiences actual human emotions and starts snacking on cookies when she feels lonely. Jessica’s trashing it up like one assumed she’d always do when the leash was loosened. Cut to – Halloween. Elisabeth tries putting on the same costume she’s always worn, because she and her sister have always been a perfect size 6 (actually written repeatedly like it was a character trait). But OH NO, she’s too chubby to zip it up! She immediately dumps her cookies into the trash and resolves to be more actively social and not snack anymore. And with that all her problems related to crippling self-doubt and loneliness vanish, and presumably she returns to her perfect size 6 after three workouts.

2) Elisabeth takes a ride with her ‘bad boy’ boyfriend (he has a motorcycle – again, this should not be a character trait but in the bland softness that is Sweet Valley, it counts). They take a spill and Elisabeth, not wearing a helmet, lands in a coma. When she comes out of it, she acts just like Jessica! This creeps everyone out, because the twins’ behavior is diametrically opposed! You can’t have two ‘bad’ girls, you need a ‘good’ one for this entire thing to work! I do not even remember what happened but assume another well-timed bonk on the noggin restored Elisabeth to her dull, perfect, bookish state.

3) There was some spinoff series of Sweet Valley Kidz books where they solved crimes and reality took a holiday. This one had a foot in dull normality as it started with a class trip to the zoo, but quickly took a left turn when Elisabeth got bonked on the head (again) and the rest was a blatant, self-referential rip-off of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’. There was a magic rainbow bridge, talking mice, and direct quotations about doing impossible things before breakfast. I was reading this in a dollar store, and my parent offered to buy it for me. I said nah, speed-read to the end, and instead got a desk doodad filled with red sand where you turned it upside down and as it fell the sand formed a pattern. It was so rad*.

*It was actually a piece of crap, basically one of these but with a star pattern, and yet even now I stand by my youthful decision as that hunk of plastic was far less crappy than the book.

Inspired by this amazing compilation of least-popular baby names, I dug out previously beloved themed name lists found in the earlier days of internet searching. Lucky us, they’re still up.

child names


gothiest names
From the full-service ‘Name That Goth!’ page, circa 1996



hippie baby names

hippy baby names
From ‘HippyLand’, the site that still hasn’t settled on a definitive spelling of ‘hippie’.

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Furaikigunhissy white cat


dub_droid-rhonda1bowie cat



Avogadora_in_her_human_formblue kitty

Prince Demand (yes, it’s actually Prince Diamond, but I’m going with the videogame variant, which is a badly dubbed French version of a Japanese-only release translated by fans into English for play on SNES emulators. There’s a lot of weirdness with language here. Rhonda’s actual name is Dumble, and while I can’t even think of how they got there, it doesn’t matter because Dumble is ALSO a great name for a cat.)

Prince Diamondkitty bling

Planet Nemesis (ok, that’s actually a level, not a villain, but it IS an excellent cat name. You could call him Nemmy for short!)

planet nemesisthey stalk by night

Crystal Tokyo (also a level name, and nearly a David Bowie instrumental song name.)


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venn diagram


To clarify, James Brown claims to be a sex machine, while Gary Numan lives in a mental universe where these machines have run of local parks.

Also: why would anyone build a rape machine? Wouldn’t that be like building a stab-bot or Strangulatron 5000 – a bad idea on paper and getting worse moving forward?

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I have no idea what I might have typed in to get these ads, but for some reason Facebook now thinks I am all about Hulking out. Apologies in advance for some of the the tininess, but I know not where the larger versions of these ridiculous images come from.

It started with this, a fairly standard Photoshopped Ryan Reynolds, still within the parameters of human possibility, accompanied by a query asking how serious I am about muscle mass.


I did find the original image of this, for comparison:


Then these two monstrosities popped up one after the other:


What is more hilarious, the ponderous expression of the first guy, or the sheer physical impossibility/arm immobility of both their anatomy? Wait, no, it’s how tiny both their heads look in comparison to their giant racks!

The only mass I currently care about is how many Solar units it takes to kick off a black hole via the Schwarzchild equation, Facebook. Are people really into this? I mean, I know people are interested in achieving large muscles, but just like there are several ridiculously idealized female forms, is this actually an ideal held up for guys?

The Annual Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

Yes, these are the questions to ponder sitting around the table with your family, tearing into a turkey leg. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wait, one more from the above-linked article – look at this guy’s worshipful expression:
The Annual Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

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