On Marmite

Love it or hate it. (Picture by celeste hodges on flickr, used under CC Licence)
Love it or hate it. (Picture by celeste hodges on flickr, used under CC Licence)


Last Wednesday, I did something I hate with a passion I usually reserve for Marmite or Mirror of her Dreams, and I resigned myself to the beige inevitablity of registering as unemployed with the Department of Work and Pensions


Marmite is made from boiling down raw evil until it becomes
*concentrated* raw evil, then carefully extracting any goodness though a chemical process, concentrating the result, and putting the final product into black jars so that the sunlight doesn’t cause it to dissolve.

Also, mixing Marmite with holy water causes an explosion which witnesses say can only be described as “Like matter and anti-matter“.

Nobody has yet tried either staking marmite though the heart, feeding it lemons or stealing its socks.


It doesn’t just taste bad, it contaminates every implement that goes within 10cm of it to a degree that the next thing you use it with *will taste of marmite*

and gods help the fool who uses his marmite knife next on the butter.


I wouldn’t like Marmite dressed in a golden lid, and I wouldn’t like it if it had secondary sexual characteristics you could see from space


(To a (now) ex-girlfriend) : The simple thing is that, light of my life, Marmite is ikky. Marmite is a blot on the spec of a culinary horizon of spreads that rises over the mountains of “It’s All Mine” Real Chocolate spread, though the wastelands of peanut butter, around the small puddles of sandwich spread[1] and flooding the valleys with a sheen of golden syrup glinting lightly in the sunset.

Somewhere out in this metaphorical landscape is a pit of thick black/brown liquid that occasionally goes “gloop” horribly, it’s only claim to fame being a brief appearance in a movie starring David Bowie.

Marmite is the anti-spread, a single gram of it dropped into half a kilo of butter will render the entire pat useless for consumption by all those with more than one single properly functioning taste bud. Marmite is the very definition of evil, it’s very colour a signal to nature to stay the hell away from it, nothing edible can be that colour. It’s smell can drive grown men out of a house, it’s taste causes ducks to swim *away* from bread. Even it’s makers admit that you can make circus-freaks of the people who eat the stuff. It is Wrong, purely and simply. And the fact that you, darling, eat the stuff just confirms how good your taste in things is.

Now. if you’ll excuse me, I’d better start running.

And today, a gift from a friend who I’ve known for a very long time:


I love my friends. Mostly.


Thanks, Supermouse.

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Unfinished II

More draft entries that I never actually posted. A continuing series

(Mostly haven’t posted. I have occasionally cannibalized this archive for pithy quotes on facebook)

On Doctor Who: Really? You think that being the primary organisational figure for a fandom which is occasionally so very far up its own arse that I’m almost positive it proves the existence of at least one TARDIS is going to make you *less* likely to resort to sarcasm?

On MRAs in fedoras: When you have earned your place along side, rather than assuming one above. When you have internalised that friends is not a demotion. When you cease to see the ‘conquest’ of women as a record of your own personal worth. Then, when you have done all these things and regained the respect of those you have discredited, dismissed and disenfranchised. Then, you should give me BACK my HAT.

“Problematic”: Lets Tumblrize this a bit. Putting people on pedestals is objectifying them, and the sanctimonious glow with which all of the “Moffat’s failed to live up to my social expectations” essays are lit with is objectifying, it’s treating people – flawed, imperfect, human people – as things that *should* be perfect. Doctor Who isn’t perfect, and it should do better. It does damn well for what it’s trying to do, which is to be a program that kids watch on Saturdays with their parents. As a geek-centric self-consistent universe designed for adults to inspect to the tiniest detail, it’s imperfect. For a show this pilloried it’s got a heck of a following, and as an instrument for social change, it’s not doing quite as well as Queer as Folk. It could do better, yes, but to demand absolute perfection from any single human being and then being shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, when they snark right back at you is to stand tall upon your incredibly high horse and bellow forth that being an arse on the internet is what tumblr is *for*.

On bombings: When the IRA where bombing London, my dad was working there. That’s my enduring memory that resurfaces when things like Boston are reported, the occasional evenings (and there are more of them in my memory than there were in reality, because I was between 9 and 11 for most of it) watching Ceefax, listening to the news. A brief gap after the explosion reports while we wait for the phone lines to clear enough for my dad to phone home. A brief, terrifying gap.

On tumblr: Long has the internet sought the holy grail of innovation: The ability to punch people on the nose though the internet. Long have they sought its boon companion: The ability to hug people over the internet. Today, however, I want the button that sprays them with cold water and bops them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper and says “No, Bad. Self destructive behaviour possibly due to a feedback loop of it granting attention. Sympathy for your plight, but *bop* no.” Sadly I think that’s a bit nuanced to go over the internet.

Travel: I quite like getting up early. I enjoy the quiet world of cities at 4am, the distinctly unbritish camaraderie of the morning commuters, and – when I can – the bit where getting to work early means being able to leave early and have more evening. In addition to all of these, I enjoy the bit where a first class train ticket at 5am is half the price of a standard class ticket at any other time, and the fact they’ll give me free tea and breakfast at the same time.

Politics:I have an engineer’s approach to government, which is a common failing in people who work as engineers. I believe that systems should be in place, that structures should exist to make the best path easy, and the path against the will of the country to be hard, but not impossible. Right now the whips have a tight rein on their party member’s funding, and therefore their loyalty; the parties have dogwhistles for their blind supporters; and too few people with too little accountability beyond the next election cycle have control of the whips and the parties.

More Politics: Civilisation is built on farms. It’s built on the idea that if you spend your time making food, I can spend my time building houses, and you get a house and I get some food. We’ve developed further than that – and I say that as a contributing member of the computing industry, which exists primarily to organise information and interaction with it to enhance your working and home life, about as far along the line of “you get a house and I get some food” as we’ve yet progressed – and we’ve build a society on the idea that the people doing well can support the people not doing so well. The American right tend to call that Socialism, but I prefer to think of it as human decency.

Still more: The recent PCC elections have been loudly hailed as being a symbol of how low democracy is held in these United Kingdoms, and there have been a lot of articles on decisions being made by those who show up, and how people have forgotten what Democracy Means, complete with capitals, and that it is much more than turning up every four years to vote, and that we were losing the true meaning of Democracy as if it were the spirit of Christmas, and if we all found it we could all get giant turkeys on Christmas Morn. God Bless Us, Every One.

On.. I’ve no idea: It’s been hundreds of years since the last of the magic vanished from the Prime, and hundreds more since the last of those who could create it died. It used to exist, and plentiful, but it was too dangerous, too unpredictable. The substance was a blank tile in the scrabble rack of existence, a dollop of syrupy dissolution to lend fluidity to the solid rules of science, a shot of make-it-work-anyway. If the only thing stopping your dreams coming true was a minor impossibility? There was magic.

On the future: “This is Easyjet flight EJ-1701 now landing on Martian Colony Five, our airport just outside Atlanta, USA. Shuttles will be provided by NASA. Eventually. In the meantime we recommend our “Common Cold” upgrade for anyone venturing into the outside world, and to be careful of the red weeds.”

Right. Out with perfection, in with published.

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