Silly


Queen Willy has been recently doing a bit of work for a company that provides balloons with slogans printed on them. After seeing some examples, it occurred to me that there really is no circumstance that can’t be improved with a festive slogan-bedecked balloon. I hereby offer a selection of examples as substantiation of my claim.

I mean, look at that! A scary sinister situation instantly transformed into a party atmosphere! And likewise:

Hahaha. Hello Kitty takes the curse off anything, right?!

Riffing on the most recent Cow post, something that other rubber vendor might consider:

And if it’s a merry brightening of a religious event that you’re after, well then the local church fete really can’t go past this kind of thing:

Any kid would be happy to go home with a balloon like that! Thinking on it, religion is just so damn gloomy all the time. It needs LOTS more balloons.

Criminy, it’s addictive. Once you get started…

UPDATE!

Loyal Swedish Acowlyte Magnus sends in this excellent cheering-up.

Thanks Magnus! Cowpokes: send in your effort too, and I’ll stick it here in the main post!

Yesterday I was blissfully unaware that I was living in dire peril of Saurians chipping my heart. Today, the scales have fallen from my eyes. Yes, my friends, the Infernal Saurians want control of you, and they will stop at nothing to get it.

Not only that, they want to chip your heart and things. I don’t even want to contemplate what that ‘and things’ means. It sounds too terrible to be true. Suffice to say, if we all join forces with cosmic-people.com (WARNING: SANITY-SAPPING RAINBOW ALERT) a colourful future of unchipped hearts is ours!!! How do we do this? With a petition, of course.

The success of which will assure us of a world peopled with Aryans in tunics sporting garish tastes.

Beam with love! And may Ptaah radiate his Rainbow Blessings upon you all!

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Thanks to the ever-vigilant Hugh for finding this one.

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Violet Towne and I sometimes like to venture out on the weekend to one of the many places in Melbourne-and-surrounds where we might take in some of that magical stuff which is given the name ‘art’. One of our very favourite such venues, the TarraWarra Museum of Art is not even too far from where we live, and it was there we trundled last Saturday to experience their ‘Sonic Spheres’ exhibition, “an assemblage of contemporary Australian visual artworks engaged with music, sound and voice”.

TarraWarra, a privately funded public visual arts gallery, is one of the few of its kind in Australia, and is a purpose-built art museum situated among vineyards in the Yarra Valley. It’s a lovely place. It always maintains a high standard of exhibition and as is usual, our visit there provided an appropriately diverting & thoughtful hour or so. But I am not, Faithful Acowlytes, going to pontificate on art in this post, something for which I can sense palpable gratitude out there in Cowland.

No, what I want to talk about today is the survey which were handed upon our arrival at the gallery, and which we were asked to complete on our departure.

In my experience, surveys can be divided into two kinds:

1: Surveys where the point is to find out something useful.
2: Surveys where the point is to get a bunch of diffuse and obfuscated data that can be read in any way the surveyor chooses.

You know I wouldn’t be writing this post if it was the #1 variety that VT and I faced, pencils ready, at the end of our visit. I wish I’d snaffled a copy away for accuracy’s sake, because I will unfortunately have to go from memory as I attempt to draw you a picture of the confusion that beset me as I tried to answer as truthfully as I was asked.

The first portion of the survey annoyed the crap out of me because it was full of the kinds of questions that tried to stick me in a pigeonhole as a certain kind of person:

•Would you consider yourself the type of person who visits TarraWarra art museum?1

Thinks: Well, no. I got lost on the road, saw the sign that said ‘Art Gallery’ and thought I’d come in to see if glimpsing a Pollock might refresh my sense of direction.

•Do you like to be among the kinds of people who visit TarraWarra art museum.

Thinks: No! I wish they would jolly well stop those people from coming here, so me and my friends could come instead.

And so forth.

But then came the section that was the kind of thing that makes my Grumpy Old Man antennae start waving around like those of a grasshopper on acid:

•If the TarraWarra Museum was a person, would you say it was (check all that apply):

Charming

Entertaining

Outgoing

Interesting

Intelligent

Acowlytes, I was forced to scribble my incredulity on the page at this point. When the creators of a survey decide that by anthropomorphising an institution this will help reveal something useful about said institution, they’ve ventured well into cloud cuckoo land and thrown away their compass.2

The problem with even beginning to attempt to sensibly answer the questions posed above, is that you are on EXACT LOGICAL FOOTING with the following:

•If the TarraWarra Museum was a person (check all that apply):

Would you ask it out for a drink?

What colour eyes do you think it would have?

Should you give up your seat for it on a bus?

Do you think it would be appropriate dinner company for the Fire Station, the Public Library and the Chinese Restaurant?

It doesn’t matter how I try to frame it, I can’t see any possible way that any quantity of answers to this kind of question can provide data that might be helpful in making your art museum a better place – or even a controllably different place, for that matter. There is simply no sensible yardstick by which to measure things. Should the majority of respondents determine, for instance, that if the TarraWarra Art Museum was a person it would be charming and intelligent with a dash of insouciance, what the hell are you going to do with that information? Bash that damned insouciance out of it by removing the sand-blasted glass panels on the gift shop doors? If you thought TarraWarra-the-person was a little short on, oh, charisma, say, could you correct that by installing some crazy paving at the front entrance? You can, I trust, see my perplexity with this scenario.

And really, if you just can’t see your way around it, and you really must anthropomorphise your Art Museum, at the very least allow your respondents to have a creative personal say:

•If the TarraWarra Museum was a person:

Other (please use your own words, or make a drawing):

I imagine the TarraWarra Museum as a somewhat eccentric spinster with a penchant for French rosé. It has a good, if slightly peculiar, sense of humour and prefers chairs that face the window. It laughs a little too loudly and self-consciously at other people’s jokes, has a morbid fear of stick insects and visits a distant cousin in Ibiza every couple of years out of a misplaced sense of familial obligation.

At least reading the results of the survey would be entertaining. They might even make an amusing artwork.

  1. These questions were all couched in the wonderful ‘sliding scale’ terms that we are now so accustomed to seeing in these types of surveys, which only serves to cause me to want to unfailingly answer ambivalently in order to confuse the people trying to get some kind of useful result. If you’re asking a direct question, think about what that question should be, phrase it in a way that matters, and accept candid results. What is it with this confounded equivocating?! []
  2. Needless to say, the survey presented no check box options on this question for ‘Boring’ or ‘Irritating’ or Pretentious’ or ‘Eccentric’. You can see, I surmise, the inherent brainlessness of this pursuit. []

What do you get, Faithful Acowlytes, if you take one big frakking Pile of Stupid, and then multiply it by another big frakking Pile of Stupid? Give up? You get this article (kindly pointed out to me by dinahmow) called ‘Trituration Proving of the Light of Saturn’ on a website named Interhomeopathy. Or, to speak technically for a moment, you get a Great Mountain of Steaming Horseshit. What we’re talking here Cowpokes, is astrology meets homeopathy.

I know you just can’t wait.

In brief, the ‘Trituration Proving of the Light of Saturn’, provides a detailed account of a group of people chopping up lactose powder that has been exposed, via a telescope, to the light of Saturn, and then attempting to discover the ‘homeopathic effects’ of the substance so prepared.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The method employed to gather this data involves the process of homeopathic ‘proving’. In case you don’t know what that is (and why would you, really?), it involves a bunch of volunteers dosing up on the material in question and then writing down any and all kinds of shit that occurs to them. By processes unfathomable, that shit is then distilled into less shit, and whatever that shit is, the homeopathic remedy is the opposite of it. Got that? No? Well, I can’t say as I blame you, but there it is.

What we have here, in essence, is an outpouring of inebriated hogwash so profound as to make the documentation of Special One Drop Liquid look like Einstein’s ruminations on the Photoelectric Effect. Only I fear that unlike the SODL proprietor, the people behind TPLS could not be technically labelled clinically insane. Frighteningly enough.

To give you a flavour, from the convenor’s notes:

The trituration process began with lots of giggling and silliness; and throughout there was talk of getting high, stories about getting high. Senses were distorted.1 One prover kept seeing smoke rise from the milk sugar as she ground and scraped.

And to think some people say there’s no science in homeopathy!

The conversation kept circling back to pizza: “Any food in the universe can be better with cheese… One prover demonstrated a seductive way of eating a sandwich.”

Oh, to have been a fly on the wall.

The timekeeper had tremendous difficulty keeping track of the time for the grinding and scraping of the remedy throughout the entire process.

Yeah, I can see how this would be challenging. I’m experiencing something of a time-dilation effect just trying to follow it all.

Head pain over eyes. Sharp pain right temple. Pressive pain right temple.
Head ache over left eye.

I’m with you, provers! I’m getting a head pain just reading about it. That shit sure is powerful.

The female provers especially experienced a great deal of itchiness: Head, nose, eyes itchy. Head itchy. Back itchy, breasts itchy, thighs. Waves of itchiness in various parts of body, especially head.

YES! YES! I too have an itchy head. Right inside my head, where my brain is, specifically the part of the brain that tries to understand how a group of evolved hominids can be so mind-numbingly daft. It’s so itchy I want to stick a knitting needle through my eye cavity in an effort to scratch it.

And on, and on, and on it goes, in an elliptic waffle of hippie noodling that just makes me sad that these people were snorting the fumes of lactose rather than inhaling the spores of some kind of exotic fungus. From all this, it is concluded, somehow, that the Saturn-exposed milk sugar…

…might be effective for accident-related trauma, bone and nerve damage.

Yes, that’s right. Not that it might cure itching, or inhibit cheese cravings, or headaches or giggling, but that it might be effective for accident-related trauma. How they reached that conclusion, I have no fucking idea. It’s simply boggling that anybody can think there’s actual medical value in this whole process.

I know you’ll be right there with me, loyal Cowmrades, when we tune in next week for the next instalment of this astonishing adventure: Beneficial Effects of the Light from Uranus on Unicorn Rainbow Powder.

Please, someone wake me up.

  1. This is probably the most accurate assessment in the whole debacle. []

This cartoon came to me in a dream.

Atlas brings to my attention this news over on Den of Geek, in which Lucasfilm producer Rick McCallum is interviewed about numerous matters, including a forthcoming live-action Star Wars TV series.

Yes, that’s right. It’s MORE Star Wars, Jim, but apparently this time it’s not as we know it.

Mr McCallum, speaking about the challenges in getting the show into a new era of television, dropped this little bombshell:

It so unlike anything you’ve ever associated with George before in relation to Star Wars. Our biggest problem is that these stories are adult. I mean… these are like ‘Deadwood’ in space.1 These aren’t for kids.

Star Wars as Deadwood in space? O..k..a..y.. I think I can picture that…

  1. I’m not at all sure that Mr McCallum has seen Deadwood []

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