First blog update on Spam Karma, WordPress development and Spam in many months, and a crucial one at that. Being notoriously verbose to the point of irrelevance, yet with lots to say today, I have tried to provide a telegraphic sum-up below, feel free to skip and go straight to the parts you may care about (hint for the busy ones: the plot thickens mostly around part 6 and 7).

1. How well is SK2 stopping spam currently?

Pretty damn well, thank you.

2. What’s wrong in the peaceful Kingdom of SpamKarmia then?

A new breed of Evil has been summoned and is threatening to breach in.

3. How evil?

Very Evil… and powerful.

4. Won’t anybody show up and save the day?

Doubtful…

5. Is there really nothing you can do?

Of course there is.

6. Then why aren’t you busy doing it, you lazy bastard

Here is why: …

7. You wouldn’t leave us to die here, would you?

Watch me.


And now for the details:

It’s official now:

Years after losing its Will-pay-$8-for-it status, falling more recently from Maybe-if-it’s-on-discount-at-Blockbluster’s to Might-download-it-one-day, the James Bond franchise is now being downgraded to If-the-only-other-inflight-movie-has-got-Adam-Sandler-in-it status. Ranking any lower than that involves the use of torture or massive amounts of psychoactive substances as a mandatory condition for viewing.

Let me list a few of the reasons, per my recent viewing of the latest two-hour long necrophiliac gang-bang over Ian Flemming’s corpse to date:

  • Perennial intro sequence. Appears Bond… riding the wave… on. a. surfboard. Do I need to go through the foot-long list of why this is wrong on so many levels? I can only expect the next movie will see him shooting villains from his skateboard in between two half-pipes.
  • A few random series of explosions later, we get treated to, without a doubt, the worst massacre of a James Bond theme ever. Sung by a vocoder loosely assisted by Madonna’s flailing vocal cords, this song makes Tina Turner’s sub-Shirley Bassey performance a work of art by comparison.
  • By then, the average viewer already wants to take his eyes out with a dull spoon. Mind you the movie hasn’t even begun yet.
  • It is still unclear whether Madonna’s useless cameo, a few scenes later, was payment or retribution for her earlier vocal pummeling. Either way, she once again proves her uncanny ability to destroy celluloid and ruin scenes with a mere few seconds of her appearance on screen. I guess we should only be thankful the producers talked her out of doing the embarrassingly fake British accent she has instead been serving journalists ever since.
  • On the stilted acting front, the battle is fierce, Halle Berry wins, but only by a thin margin.
  • Concluding the paroxystic fight of your movie by any variation on the “die, bitch!” theme, uttered by the plucky hero/heroin, is OK. In the fucking 80’s.
  • Even accounting for mandatory Evil Genius’ Factor of Unexplainable Stupidity (e.g.: spending 3 hours explaining one’s evil plot instead of just shooting the hero), tell me exactly why would one ever name his Grand Evil Project after the most widely known tale of Rise and Fall in recorded History? Was “Project Miserable Failure” already taken?
  • The naming and oh-so-unexpected failure of the Project, along with its 3-mile wide blinking billboard of a metaphor, should give an idea as to the level of subtlety injected in the story altogether.
  • Another two or three episodes and the next movie in the franchise will be released as a mere adaptation of the eponymous videogame. Oh wait, it already is.

In other news, word is that the doomsday machine in next episode will be powered by the corpse of Ian Flemming, rotating at supersonic speed inside his grave.

The French blogging community is currently abuzz following announcement that a high school principal, whose blog had reached a fair amount of popularity in its time, had been officially revoked due solely to his blogging activities.

Now, a few of you are probably incensed at such blatant disrespect for civil liberties, all the while wondering how you say “first amendment” in French, while others will object that employers are free to do what they want and getting dooced nowadays is hardly newsworthy stuff.

Here is where both would be wrong and what makes this situation very particular:

First off, being a school principal in France means being directly employed by the government as a civil servant (the infamous fonctionnaires). This work status implies an incredible number of particularities, both advantages and constraints. For instance, such employment cannot be terminated for any reasons other than gross misconduct on the part of the employee who is otherwise guaranteed a job for life. On the other hand, working for the State and being, in essence, representatives of the State, employees are held to what the French call “devoir de réserve“: an obligation to remain loyal to the State’s institutions and not harm its standing by one’s declarations or actions in public. Doing so being the one major ground for losing your job and status.

Ironically, this ground for termination, commonly used in countries where average work contracts do not require anything more than a notice anyway, would land any private company foolish enough to use it here in very hot water (ever heard of French labor laws? They make US HR execs wake up in a puddle of cold sweat in the middle of the night). If you are the government, though: it’s ok.

Will you help a homesick gaijin cum starving Parisian student get back with the food, drinks and music he loves?

Any assistance on where to find the items below, subject to reward in the form of a free homemade dinner (sexual favours to be considered on a case-by-case basis only).

Bonus points for stores conveniently located close to 6th arrondissement (yea, yea: anything will do, but just in case).

  • Rice cooker: will soon die of starvation if I don’t get one. Was told to check out Chinese grocery stores… Haven’t seen any at Tang Frères… Specifics, anybody?
  • Fresh shiitake mushrooms: Japanese grocery store rue St Anne only carries the dried kind… Also sure the Chinese have that: how the hell do you say “shiitake” in Chinese?
  • Fresh kinugoshi tofu: Same as above (only have very bland vacuum-sealed stuff). Tell me somebody in France is making fresh tofu out of all these GM soybeans.
  • Yellow curry paste: address of a cheap Thai grocery store anybody? (Please don’t reply “somewhere in the 13th arrondissement”: have you seen the 13th arrondissement on a map lately? it’s big).
  • Cranberry juice: WhoWhat does a girl need to do, in order to get a proper Cosmo around here?
  • Glock 10 mm. or S&W .44 in working order: to be used as teaching material in my upcoming class: Neighbouring Relations 101 – “How Much Noise is Too Much Noise at 3 in the Morning?”.
  • Used audio amp & speakers: cheapness is of the essence here, seeing how I recently unloaded 30k yens of audio material on miscellaneous friends and not about to do the same here in six months.