Saving Private Dusty

Like any place in the physical world the Internet has dark corners, seedy venues where the misfits hang out. One such place is 4chan‘s /b/ imageboard. Don’t go and look at it. It’s not a nice place to hang around. There are very few posting rules, and it regularly features extraordinarily deviant porn, gore, racism, and obscure sub-culture references. Yet this oddly fascinating cess-pit is full of surprises. The amazing creativity of the place, for a start: most popular and widespread Internet memes originated on /b/, including LOLcats. It is the primordial soup of the Internet, and you’d be advised not to drink it with croutons.

This weekend, the assorted anons of /b/ did something quite wonderful. A deranged coward of a teenager in the USA videoed himself abusing his cat (a smart grey boy called Dusty, with the most appalling expression of terror and woe). He posted those videos to YouTube. /b/ found them, pooled resources, identifed the culprit and located him, and then bombarded his local news channel with demands for follow-up. The news station contacted law enforcement, the abusers were arrested, and the poor cat is safe at the vets.

The alleged abuser’s alleged details are scattered around the Internet, in case you feel like taking a look. Just google “Kenny Glenn”. (Or, for now, click here – and see if you can spot my cat Naughty’s cameo appearance!)

/b/'s cat, Dusty

/b/'s cat, Dusty

Say what you like about the anarchic charnel house that is /b/, but you do not fuck with their cats. After all, these people invented Caturday.

Sea food

On Wednesday afternoon I had a meeting with some clients in Macau. The plan was to eat some tasty vittles and swill down some vinho verde and a bottle of port at Clube Militar after the meeting, so I wanted a return ticket on a fairly late ferry. The boats were unusually full, and the only seats available on the 11:30pm ferry were in “first class”. It’s not much more expensive than the ordinary tickets, though, and I’ve never tried TurboJet’s first class, so I handed over the money.

Well, dinner at Clube Militar was great (although it is a bit annoying that the restaurant is open to all-comers but the bar is members-only), we demolished insane amounts of port, and then weaved back to the ferry terminal. Infer what you will about saunas, casinos etc, but I’m afraid in reality absolutely nothing seedy or decadent took place at all. It was, after all, a work night.

Ensconced in first class on the boat, I was surprised to note that, even late at night, they serve food; not half as surprised as I was when I inspected the food, though. Here it is:

tastyfood2.jpg

Because the picture is not 100% clear, I will explain what you are looking at. This is a bowl of tuna mayonnaise, served on a generous bed of lumps of apricot; and a blueberry has been impertinently wedged into the top. In other words, it is random food.

The next day, I cheerfully related this tale to a friend, and to my chagrin she immediately topped it. Apparently in a restaurant in Tian Ta (somewhere in the mainland), she and her American friends had rejected some sub-standard dishes and asked for something decent to be brought to them. It would appear that the Chinese chefs had retired to the kitchen to derive logically from first principles a dish that would please young Americans. They were served with: fried chicken, drenched in ketchup, liberally smothered in coconut and topped with some cake sprinkles. Not only is this definitive “random food” but even better – there is a picture!

tianta_sm.jpg

Apparently it all got eaten.

It’s a miracle!

I have a message for all the people who see Jesus, Mary the (alleged) virgin, or the name of Allah on their toasted cheese sandwiches, pomegranate pips, or bathroom door woodgrain.

dogbuttjesusjz4.gif

Pareidolia.

Or to put it another way: in a sufficiently large set of random data (e.g. the universe) you will find whatever you are looking for, pretty much all the time. Think about that before you base any more decisions on it. Thanks.