What’s this film called?

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This is quite possibly the most pointless thing I will ever write. So… Enjoy!

When I go abroad, I love to watch foreign telly. Even though I have very little idea what they’re talking about, I enjoy seeing the differences between our superior British TV and their inferior outlander television. Think hetheth etheth etheth from The Fast Show. But more than that, I’m a language-lover, and so I just enjoy hearing authentic foreignese.

I recently went to Budapest. One night, I sat up till the wee hours (that’s Scotch for “small”; I was in Scotland recently, too) watching a film. I enjoyed it. Even though it was complete bollocks. But I have no idea what it was called and therefore I cannot do my obligatory post-film ritual of looking up every little thing about it on IMDB.com. This is now driving me to despair.

If I explain the film to you, Dear Reader, will you please psychically intuit its name and let me know? I will reward you handsomely. Behold! 100 Hungarian florints!

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No, seriously: I will send you this coin if you tell me the name of the film (I’m not joking). A whole hundred! I swear it by the old Gods* and the new.**

So, the film then…

  • It was evidently a German film dubbed into Hungarian. It was like a crap German rip off of Hot Shots!. Yes, when you thought the spoof genre couldn’t get any worse: ladies and gentlemen, the German spoof.
  • The lead character: white guy, long dark hair, slightly chubby, glasses. He mostly had a Rambo-style headband, but earlier in the film he was wearing a leather jacket.
  • In one scene, a girl officer is crying, and the ?General offers a hanky from his sleeve. Except it was a series of multi-coloured hankies linked together like a clown.
  • In the same office but ?a different scene (I don’t remember now; I was tanked up on Goulash at the time), random people from nowhere start pouring into the office and laughing at the protagonist. One guy dies from laughter and his ghost carries on this cruel spasmodic audible thoracic diaphragmatic contraction-based mockery.
  • There’s an oriental-looking bad guy with a dodgy ‘tache.
  • A Predator is hunting them and at one point invisibly slays the protagonist’s foes so that everyone, including the protagonist himself, thinks the protagonist is possessed of some psychic mage-like powers. This Predator eventually takes off its suit to reveal himself as __PLOT SPOILERZ__ a sexy female Vulcan.
  • In one scene the bad guy is speaking down the phone to a guy who is copying the words down. Reveal: the guy on the other end of the line is SAT NEXT TO HIM. Like, lulz.
  • After the protagonist (getting tired of typing this word already; how about “pr’ag”?) succeeds in his mission, they pour a trophy full of medals over his head. And he gets the girl. Wahey.

And that’s about all I remember. Good bye.

 

Footnotes:
*YHWH, Allah, Zeus.
**Britney Spears, Jordan, Tom Hardy.

© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry

Bryan & Idoia’s Wedding 1: Ceremony

I’m quite a private person. I like to keep certain things to myself; I didn’t even tell my work colleagues that I was getting married. They found out whilst I was away. Hilarity ensued upon my return: But.. you got… whuh!?. But despite that, I’m quite proud of the wedding me and my wife managed to arrange. And so, whilst I’m too shy to share it with any actual humans, e.g., my work colleagues, I feel free to share it with you netizens.

Below is a video of the ceremony filmed by gag producciones which I’ve put on my YouTube channel. I hope it gives you pleasure and maybe even some ideas for your own wedding.

Enjoy!

Now my nose is at it…

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I turned thirty years of age a few days ago. No sooner had I got my GP to sign me off work with depression than I saw the monstrosity above.

But you’ve always had a face, Bryan, you might remark.

But that’s not what I’m referring to, oh Observant One. Rather, I am talking about the distinctly WHITE hair extruding from my nasal cavity (you can even see it in this crappy webcam shot!).

WTF!? I didn’t even know your nose hairs could go grey!

Thanks for that, God. Next you’ll be telling me that your pubes go grey and your genitals shrink with age, too.

Subtitle Failure

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I enjoy the stationary bikes in the gym. They’ve got a little telly built in, and I normally watch subtitled BBC news for half an hour or so whilst pretending to pedal hard. I don’t know the science of how the subtitles work: I have no idea if it’s automatic, or there’s a little man frantically typing, or what, but there are some epic fails. Here’s some that’s just happened. You shouldn’t laugh, really, as some of the topics are so serious, but the macabreness of it is what makes it funny in a way (Oh non-existant God, forgive me!)

We were told how a mother is coping with her “thick little boy” who is sick in hospital with “rain cancer”…

On a beheading of a journalist by a grisly terrrorist group, we were told that the scene was “offal — — offal — — terrible“.

“The clear message that President Obama Dave Rahm Moscow was … Dystonia is a member of NATO…” So back off our dear friend Dystonia, Mr. Putin! (or our Prez, Mr. Rahm, will get you!)…

A company was referred to “as the biggest employer in the area with around 1000 Mormons in the pipeline — — more in the pipeline”

And that was just the  really stupid ones in the last half hour! P.S. Google “bbc news subtitle fail” for t3h lolz. Also see here!

 

featured image from http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2014/02/03/1226816/430688-813609d4-8c58-11e3-836d-02ea2adb9f0a.jpg

© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry

FILM REVIEW: The Secret

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FILM REVIEW: The Secret

2/5 Bryan A. J. Parry

I don’t normally review films that aren’t new. But I just saw a film that was so outstanding, so unbelievable, and which moved me so profoundly, I just had to share it with you. I had to share… The Secret.

To coin a word, awfulsome: awesome in its awfulness.

Wow. Just… wow. Incredibly bad. I mean, what the heck!? I watched this at the behest of a colleague, and, sorry — WTF????? The fact that I’ve been reduced to the untermensch language of initialisms should show that no human words can express what this “film” is. A bestial scream of agony would probably articulate it well.

Firstly, how on earth did they manage to stretch literally one sentence into an entire ninety minute production???? “Whatever you think about will happen”. I kept expecting them to follow this sentence up with something, anything, but by the fifth minute I had already given up hope. Unreal how little substance there was. A 90 minute exercise in paraphrase. But people vehemently swear by The Secret, claiming it really works. Perhaps they believe this garbage because they’ve been brainwashed by hearing the same phrase, paraphrased, around six thousand times. Simple psychology; repeat the same thing over and over (and over) again, and you tend to start to believe it.

Secondly, how has this become a “phenomenon”? It’s very badly made, and totally ridiculous. I mean, where do I begin?

  • Laughable special effect “whoosh” flourishes every five seconds. Twinkly sounds, soft lighting that looks like it was added on Windows Movie Maker.
  • Talking heads/Experts who all look beyond insane: wild stare-y eyes, incredible haircuts, ridiculous teeth, and so on. It’s like the guests are meant to be a spoof. I’m surprised they didn’t just get Armando Ianucci, Peter Serafinowicz, and that guy from Garth Merenghi to play the parts instead.
  • And who are these guests? I mean, Google some of them and you’ll see what I mean. What. The. Eff!??! Crooks and fringe lunatics.
  • And what is with those titles: “metaphysician”, “visionary”!?!?!

WTF!!?! Sorry I keep saying that, but — WTF!?

The writers are surely having us on and rolling around in laughter behind the scenes, rubbing their diamond-encrusted ring-wearing hands, and spluttering “schmucks!”.

Some additional lowlights:

  • If you visualise cheques in the mail, you will literally receive cheques in the mail. No need to set up a business or get off your arse at all! But just so you don’t get carried away, the film-makers sagely advise us that we may still get the occasional bill apart from the cheques.
  • Medicine is useless. But chanting “cancer, cancer, go away” will surely destroy all metastasized growths.

I mean, sorry, The Secret was so cheap, so badly made, so idiotic, so ridiculous in every respect, the only thing this “film” deserves is the following sentence from me: whatever you do, please do NOT use “the secret” to attract free copies of “The Secret” to you…. (‘cos then they wouldn’t make money out of you) Deary me.

One fellow reviewer (on Netflix) said the following, and I think it’s hard to argue with him:

Sadly I wasted an entire 4 minutes of my life watching this utter tripe, before my own senses started to shut themselves down. Licking wasps or poking a massive bear in the face would result in less pain than having to sit through anymore of this new age, mumbo jumbo, hippy hokum. To Netflix: Can we introduce a rating system which allows us to score garbage content lower than 1 star? We could use this waste of hard drive space as a bench mark. For example, a terrible film would awarded 3 “The Secret” Turd Piles??

So why not one star, why two? Because it was so genuinely insane in every respect that it was actually marginally entertaining. And, despite the triteness of it, there is a nice core message: positivity of mind breeds further positivity. But it’s still turd.

 

featured image from http://www.bevanjameseyles.com/storage/post-images/thesecret.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1408047178455

© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry

Rationalisation Measures

plainenglishNOTpngThe company that runs my workplace is changing. The new company recently sent a document through to all staff. This is such delightful gibberish that I just had to share it.

Restructure
CENSORED* will be a clustered model which may result in the requirement for less staff to undertake certain jobs where rationalisation can be achieved by combining roles and responsibilities or due to the terms of the contract resulting in the requirement for less staff in certain areas.

Wow. I mean… wow. Words fail me. There’s so much wrong with this sentence — and yes, check it out again, that is one sentence! Some lowlights:

  • 46 + word long sentence
  • “…clustered model…”
  • “…where rationalisation can be achieved…”

And the document just goes on and on.

But to be fair to my (new) company, this type of language is standard. But standard or not, it just isn’t on. There was a genius quote in the Evening Standard** by Lucy Tobin recently. She’s slagging off email etiquette, particularly that of employers(!) I want to share one of the zingers she comes out with:

This is what happens when managers who learned “how to deal with people” in a two-day module at business school are released into the community.

!!! Brilliant! And I’m keeping a clipping of this article for future students (and bosses!): yes, I’m an English teacher.

So, back to where I began. Instead of the, frankly, offensive drivel that my new employers splurged into my inbox, how about this?

Restructure
We will group CENSORED*. We may lay some people off in some areas, if we can, because it is cheaper to get two people to do three people’s jobs.

My version isn’t the pithiest or the best you could come out with. But that’s the point: I just splunked that off, but it is still shorter and makes far more sense. It also doesn’t patronise people with nonsense euphemisms like “rationalisation” and “combining roles and responsibilities”.

So there we have it. In other news, here’s the Plain English Campaign’s website.

This article first appeared in slightly different form on 14th August 2014 on my language blog Wrixlings

Notes:
*Company and work location deleted.
**Tuesday 29 July 2014, p15 Comment.

© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry

Scotland’s Referendum: Aftermath

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Phew!

Scotland has decided to remain a part of the United Kingdom, and rather convincingly too: 28 councils ‘no’ vs. 4 councils ‘yes’, 55% ‘no’. Thank <<insert mythical being here>>! But, as the BBC keeps telling us over and over until the words have now lost all meaning, “a vote for ‘no’ is also a vote for change”. So here’s some serious pros and cons as I see it now that Scotland has voted ‘no’ to independence.

PROS

  • The Union has been saved — for now!
  • A record voter turnout of 86% has permanently re-invigorated the democratic process forever until tomorrow when it will be business as usual.
  • I won’t need an EU passport that they won’t check anyway because it’s the EU should I travel to Scotland in my life which I never have done so far even though I am thirty years old because it’s so cold and dreary up there and it’s cheaper to go to and stay in Malta or Spain from London than to Scotland which is ridiculous really but there you go…

CONS

  • The new Union Flag that I invented is no longer needed. I have been deprived of my latest and GREATEST accomplishment.
  • We’ll probably end up having this whole referendum again within the next 15 years (think Quebec 1980 and 1995).
  • Spain will carry on pretending to be democratic whilst actually overriding the will of the people at all times, and feel justified in doing so. To the point, Spain will now have greater cause to deny the Catalan people an independence referendum of their own. The cause of national democrats, like myself, has been dealt a blow.
  • The UK is stuck with Alex Salmond forever, it would seem.
  • We’ll probably end up re-awakening the Northern Irish question, possibily ending in a vote to see if Northern Ireland should stay as part of the UK or become a part of the Republic of Ireland (perhaps in some kind of concessionary Hong Kong-China style relationship). THEREBY resparking violence in Ireland.
  • English nationalism and resentment will likely bubble up again, due to the bending-over-backwards to appease the Scots, with more demands for more powers for England… probably resulting in England leaving the United Kingdom, or else England itself breaking up as every city and town decides it wants more and more powers.
  • The UK will likely now not leave the EU or get a better settlement for the UK (due to the influence of Labour and Scotland).

…wait. Why was I pro-union, again? Oh, shit!! Can we do this vote again please, and this time really irk the Scots so they vote ‘yes’…

© 2014 Bryan A. J. Parry