Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cut Throat Razor Shaving

Once in a while we get a visit from Gene. He comes and talks to the youngsters and they sit spellbound. He tells them about all sorts of things ranging from his Native American roots to revisionism. He tells them about how his parents were servants to the rich. How his father, although a servant, was such a good cook he was quite in demand, which in turn made for Gene moving about a lot, seeing a lot of things and a lot of places. He tells the kids about how the rich are fleeing the US for the Caribbean, at the moment, evading the US economic collapse to come. As the only English teacher, nobody questions whom I invite and why. We love listening to Gene.

Gene started his talk today, which was going to be on the subject of propaganda and critical thinking, by showing the kids his way of shaving. He uses the old fashioned straight razor due to, according to him, numerous advantages. It gives a smooth shave he recons and it is environmentally friendly, in that it is not a disposable. He calls it a straight razor but tells us that in the UK it is called a “cut throat razor”. He is very set on claiming its safety, but says he doesn’t recommend using it when one’s in a hurry. He refers to the Polanski-fim Repulsion where a murder was committed using the straight razor, and he adamantly claims it would make a useless murder weapon. At it’s outmost it might be good for a Chelsea grin.

Most of the boys are just about to set of on their shaving venture, and I know that for at least for a couple of them the straight razor is the only option. Cool! Gene has offered to teach them the technique, and also if any of the girls are tempted to use it on their legs he is willing to help.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Will Bad Case Hypochondriacs Worry About Fictional Disease?

There sure are some very weird mental disorders about. There is the Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy where a carer brings about an illness to his/her protégé in order to attract sympathy and so fulfil emotional needs. There is the Alien Hand Syndrome where sufferers feel they have no control of their “alien” hand which so acts totally independently. There is the very creepy Body Integrity Identity Disorder where people feel the need to amputate perfectly healthy limbs. Anyway, that is just too horrible to think about, so let me get to the point. I was thinking about Hypochondria, which is a pretty mild disorder compared to the ones I have just mentioned. I was wondering if anyone could have such a bad case of hypochondria that they would imagine they were inflicted by fictional illnesses, such as the ones below:

- Foaming Sheep Sickness. A Disc World disease caused by eating green mutton.

- Petrifold Regression from Dr Who. Sufferer slowly turns into a stone block, similar to fossilization.

- Space Mumps from Red Dwarf. A disease which causes the sufferer's head to swell to the size and shape of a cantaloupe. When the disease "breaks", the swelling explodes.

- E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease. Monty Python. Sufferers say words in the wrong order, and sometimes the wrong word completely. And the thing about saying the wrong word is a) they don't notice it, and b) sometimes orange water given bucket of plaster.

- Boneis Eruptus from The Simpsons. A disease "where the skeleton tries to leap out of the mouth and escape the body".

- Electro-Gonorrhea from Futurama. Also known as "The Noisy Killer". Supposedly contracted during sexual intercourse between humans and robots.

- Gingervitis from South Park. The offspring of two people with a specific recessive gene who inherit it from each parent will be "ginger", meaning that they will have pale skin, red hair, and many freckles. In a class presentation on "gingers" Eric Cartman refers to this condition as Gingervitis and additionally claims that these children "have no souls" and cannot be exposed to sunlight.

- Jigsaw disease from Judge Dread. Terminal disease that causes random parts of the body to spontaneously vanish.

- Tumorsyphilisitisosis from Family Guy. A fake fictional disease which causes extra nipples, which look remarkably like pepperoni, to grow and then fall off.

- Vaginitus from South Park. A disease where if you don't eat meat, you get little sores all over your face, which are actually tiny vaginas, and if you don't get it taken care of, you turn into one big vagina.

Omg! The pure thought of that last one would turn anyone carnivorous.

This compilation of fictional diseases was made possible by yet another great list from Wikipedia: List of Fictional Diseases

Thursday, March 01, 2007

To be Contrafactual on the Fictional

During my first lecture of History at Dalarna University, our lecturer Lars Berge warned us, as historians, never to indulge in contrafactual history. This would be something designated for the Science-fiction Department, rather than the History such. Of course he was exaggerating slightly; this was his style though, and I’d allow him to exaggerate as much as he ever wanted, as nobody gave such dynamic and interesting lectures as he did. Incidentally his doctoral thesis would be on “The Bambatha Watershed: Swedish missionaries, African Christians and an evolving Zulu church in rural Natal and Zululand 1902-1910”.

What I am about to do right here could not be classed as contrafactual history, as the story I am about to put a “what-if” perspective to, is a made up story in the first place …

My thesis is: Lord of the Flies - “Might this be what had happened, had the aircraft filled with young choir boys never crashed”