a.k.a. The Long Overdue Life-Update

The three people still reading this blog on a regular basis (two of which possibly paid by the Chinese government after some bizarre translation mix-up convinced them I was a dangerous political dissident to be monitored) might have noticed the lack of substantial news on this blog for quite a long time. OK: even less substantial content than usual.

I also realise that the lack of proper context as to my whereabouts made a lot of past blog entries somewhat puzzling. If this can make you feel any better, I am pretty sure that my own genitors have had only the faintest sense of my exact location, occupation or plans, ever since I was last sighted, putting a finishing touch to my grand World Domination Plot Master Thesis.

In fact, it took all that time for the plan set in motion nearly a year ago to finally reach its final stage (tonight).

Darth Vader and Leia Poutine and Timochenko

Presented above: female head of state confronting her nefarious neighbour’s imperialist views. Also presented above: Darth Vader and Princess Leia.

It must be my medications, but when I saw this illustration of a French article on the current gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine, I immediately thought of another political squabble, in a galaxy far, far away (photo credits on the right: AP/Alexei Nikolsky).

Why you should never use Chronopost if you fancy your packages getting delivered on time. or at all.

Thinking of mailing a package or urgent document from France? You might naturally be inclined to pick French transporter Chronopost: after all, they are the official offshoot of the French Postal Services and you can use their service through any French post office. OK, if you have any experience with the latter, and their dysmal record in both regular and special mail delivery, knowing that they officially “recommend” Chronopost wouldn’t be a big boost in their favour, but still, the point is: they are the default, ubiquitous, choice for parcels in France… marginally cheaper than DHL or Fedex and much more conveniently located.

Over the course of those past three years in Paris, I have done my best to avoid Chronopost and the French Post: never ever relied on them for anything critical, whenever I could help it.

And when I couldn’t help it… well they never once fulfilled their promise. I’ve had “Express 48h” delivery brought over to my doorstep, 3 weeks late and half torn-out, relatives to whom I’d send birthday presents abroad would get them a month after their birthday (that’s despite paying $100 for a pocketbook-sized parcel), I’ve had to go pick-up packages at the local delivery point countless times because “Recipient not at home at time of delivery” (never mind the fact I’d have been sitting by the door all morning and had my cellphone number printed on the delivery slip)…

To sum it up, out of about a dozen interactions with Chronopost during my time here, I don’t think they’ve held up their end of the contract more than once, twice at best.

Don’t you think?

I mean, the alcohol, the drugs, the neverending nights of feral sex, the uninspired blogging… it gets old, really.

Alright, so maybe not the booze, drugs and sex part. But the blogging part: definitely. I don’t mean the part about writing inane crap that nobody in their right mind should care about, in between two intense navel-staring sessions. I don’t think I’ll get tired of that part any time soon (I’m trying though). I mean, the sterile format that this blog has come to follow.

Oh, trust me, I am very aware of it. Sure, I have many excuses as to why my posting rate has dwindled to the levels of Bangladesh’s strawberry production on a bad monsoon year… Work, life, love (or pursuit thereof), happiness (idem) etc. But we all know there’s more to it. Truth be told, blogging here bores me, most of the time. There are a couple reasons for that, chiefly among them are:

  • This blog started out on the wrong foot.
    When I decided to open my first self-hosted online space, it started as a bastard mix of for-friends-only (“hey guys, long time no see”) news reports and travel-journal (“lookee all the whacky things they have here”)… Both rather boring genres in the long run, neither something I really felt like doing much. But I have been pulled toward these roots ever since.

  • It is read by all the wrong people.
    Quite expectedly (although I originally never intended it to be), this has become the place where all people who either have invested some DNA into me, or were court-ordered to stay at least a continent away, come to get their life update on Dave. Knowing that both your genitors (hi Mum! hi Dad!), extended family, past love interests (and potentiall future ones) are all reading this, puts a serious cap on any attempt at spontaneity.
  • And therefore… I write elsewhere.
    Yes, I know, it hurts, but I have been seeing other people. In other locales, other languages even. Usually with completely different style and contents. Don’t even try to search the web: believe me you won’t find it. Those other writings are all that this isn’t: personal, fun, hyperbolic, unauthentic, uncensored etc.

Then why bother?

Good question. I suppose because this still serves a purpose for some writings, in some contexts. Also because I hate giving up. And closing that blog before I turn 50 would feel like giving up.

But things need to change. Not sure what, but they do.

Still working on details. I technically have about 10 days before the official 5 year anniversary of this blog. Do not expect grand announcement or sudden changes, just be warned.

Sorta.

Picture google_results_dave.png

I have only one ambition in life.

Well… Two ambitions, but the other one is more of a long-term goal. For now, I just want to become the first search result on Google for my given name. This in itself being a crucial step in my larger world-domination’s plot, since we all know Google controls the world already.

As it is, I already have pole position for my old ‘dr Dave‘ moniker. But, and you read it here first, I am hereby setting in motion the switch in online identity from ‘dr Dave’ to just plain ‘Dave’.

No, I wasn’t sued by the American Board of Medicine, or any equivalent local institution. Beside, that Honorary Ph.D. in Curse Removal and Sexual Healing from Kinshasa’s University of Black Magic is all but legit.

However, crazy as the idea may sound (I have a hard time believing it myself), I might one day not too long from now be a bona fide doctorate student: it is likely that my honorary ‘Doctor’ title would by then confuse many people (not that it hasn’t already) which was never the intent. Hence the shift to unambiguous, simple, likable ‘Dave’. I’m guessing there are only a couple millions of us out there, someone has to be the one.

So, how are we doing on the Google front? Well, guess what: not so fucking bad!

Six, if you count them, six people (or things) are standing in the way to intercontinental online stardom.

Of course, I could rely on the quality of my content, my shining bright personality and ever-increasing public appreciation to slowly climb to first place. But I know better.

Instead, I have devised an infallible 6 Steps Program that shall shortly take me there, whence I will finally be able to rest and contemplate the world at my feet, laugh and move on from that Internet fad once and for all.

Please allow me to develop. Note that for obvious reasons, I cannot allow my now mortal enemies any extra link publicity and you will therefore have to Google their websites for yourself. Do it while you still can:

Don’t mind me saying so, but I would make one incredibly bad lawyer.

When I argue my cases, I can’t stay on track, I digress into oblivion, and whenever possible, jump on the most hyperbolic formulations, usually for my sole petty amusement, at great cost to the convincing potential of my arguments. Also, while I certainly love spending hours dissecting the law, I tend to focus on its spirit, and shun its letter altogether; a luxury I understand no sane lawyer could ever afford.

Yet, I have opinions (bet you hadn’t noticed), and I sometimes discuss them. I sometimes even discuss them with actual lawyers, pretty eloquent [French] bloggers at that. A while back the conversation wandered over to the topic of intellectual property. At the time, I did a pathetic job of exposing my somewhat moderate, if slightly provocatively formulated, views on the matter…

Then recently, while reading up on entirely unrelated matters, I stumbled upon a small text by Mr. Jefferson that happened to sum up most perfectly the essence of my thought on this.

The most basic courtesy would call for me to write this post in French, as I am after all reporting and threading on a discussion I had in French, but the quoted material is in English and there’s been a real dearth of pompous highbrow rants on this blog, so I hope my original debater will overlook this unforgivable faux-pas and not hesitate to respond in whichever language he may prefer… Anyway, here is what this famous American communist close to my heart, had to say on the topic of intellectual property:

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody.

“The Writings of Thomas Jefferson”. Edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, 1905