Is the age of hyper-narcissism and social media addiction turning us all into self-obsessed, attention-challenged zombies?
Can we really call it social media if we’re ignoring our friends, partners and everyone around us to swap gossip, videos and memes with virtual strangers we’ve never met?
If an actual vampire (or zombie) invaded our homes and attempted to separate us from our blood or brains, we’d probably have one or two objections (the first probably being they don’t actually exist). But when the parasitic monsters are invisible and we welcome them in, what chance do we have to keep ourselves safe? Like a tick or a vampire bat, they numb us while they go about their dirty work. Maybe it’s us who are the real suckers?
Try this weird amazing trick for a flat stomach!”
The vampire-zombies – including massive corporations like Google and Facebook – are using knowledge gleaned from psychology and the world of gambling to hook us on this digital crack. And they combine it with clever technology to steal huge amounts of our time, attention and data and sell it for obscene profits. They are like friendly uncles who keep you amused, while secretly emptying your safe, picking your pockets and stealing all your private info.
As a kid I was ever so slightly geeky, and rather obsessed with space. My parents, always keen to support my quest for knowledge, bought me a telescope one birthday and I used to spend many an evening gazing up at the moon and the stars in awe. Eventually hormones kicked in, and my interest in heavenly bodies shifted somewhat closer to home.
There are approx 300 billion stars in our galaxy. And there are more than 200 billion galaxies in the known universe. So, doing a quick bit of maths, there are a shitload of stars out there. And although not all of them support intelligent life, a heck of a lot of them surely must.
Of course whether ours can be said to do so is increasingly debatable in the age of Trump, Brexit and the ongoing spectacle of a race seemingly intent on bringing about its own extinction. On the plus side, Donald Dumpf is a gift to comedy, although in the minuscule cluster of neurons that passes for his brain, he probably thinks we are laughing with him and not at him. How deluded can one person get? Continue reading →
It is 2021 and the Earth is a smouldering ruin. What little remains of human civilization exists in small pockets, stretched across the scarred and barren wastelands of our once mighty cities. Starving, diseased and horribly disfigured, they fight giant rats and rabid wild dogs over the last of the McDonalds‘ still-fresh-looking burger patties.
The apocalypse, so often predicted, had finally come to pass on a date nobody had expected: a rather ordinary Tuesday in February. And it was all down to the chaotic results of the flapping of a butterfly’s wing in an Amazonian rain forest.
Of course that’s not true at all. It was in fact largely brought about by the actions of one man. A despicable orange goblin, with tiny hands and a massive ego. A misogynist, racist, science-denying, sociopathic TV celebrity, with the demeanour and appearance of a sleazy used-car salesman. Donny Trumpet, billionaire sex pest and reality-avoider, had concocted the ultimate con, with the help of his old chum, Vlad‘The Impaler’Putanski. And, it was said, it had been partly inspired by a much beloved Christmas movie starring Eddie Murphy. Continue reading →
I’ve just about recovered from the shock of seeing our American chums (or the half of them that bothered to vote) elect an evil clown as president. Coming not long after the Brexit fiasco, it feels like all the rules of the universe are now open to question and anything is possible. Tomorrow my bus driver might be a duck, the sky may have turned green and all the fish could be strolling around town in tiny berets, affecting a French accent and taking selfies in front of Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid.
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
It’s one of those periods when whole nations seem to go a bit gaga and do something that had just months earlier seemed inconceivable. I took the news quite badly, and I’m not even an American citizen. But my US chums on Facebook and WordPress seemed equally aghast. What new folly had they sunk to? Were they, as one cartoon suggested, competing with Britain for the ‘dumbest nation’ title? Continue reading →
There was a survey a while back that showed that a quarter of the American population believe that the sun revolves around the Earth, and not the other way round. This was of course the mainstream view until our old chum Nicky Copernicus upset the apple-cart with his heliocentric model, published in the 16th century. At last the Earth was put in its rightful place, although not everyone was thrilled with this particular advance in human knowledge. There were certainly some major grumblings from the Catholic church. Still, at least Mr C managed to avoid the fate of his defender and fellow astronomy clever-clogs, friar Giordano Bruno, who apparently was just too much of a rebel for the church and had his chestnuts roasted on an open fire, along with the rest of him.
“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now..”
So sang Freddie Mercury in the Queen hit “I want it all”. And from what I heard, he probably got a lot more than most of us.
Of course we all want stuff. Some of us want fancy stuff – our own pyramid, a gold yacht or a helicopter made of chocolate.
Some of us want simpler and more meaningful stuff – good relationships, inner peace and a sense of purpose (or, for confused dolphins, a sense of porpoise?).
And of course some of us just want another bag of popcorn and the return of Game of Thrones / The Walking Dead.
I imagine if you were a criminal in a chain-gang on the run, the thing you’d want most would be some good solid bolt-cutters and a place to lie low. But few of us will experience that situation – although, incredibly, chain-gangs have been reintroduced into some US prisons recently. Most of us have some degree of freedom to go where we please, and make our own choices, within reason. Continue reading →
The agonising wait is over at last! Here are the winners in the very first ever halfbananas awards.
There are so many amazing blogs out there, it’s hard to keep up. I hope you enjoy discovering some great new ones, and if you’ve won a coveted halfbananas award, congratulations!
The dedicated awards committee have tried to recognise the best examples in various categories, but inevitably there will be lots of other fabulous blogs that missed out this time around. But never fear, there will be more awards, accolades and virtual pats-on-backs coming soon. Let’s spread the love people!
I look forward to seeing all the lucky winners and honourable mentions, at the lavish Hollywood party I will be hosting, assuming awards condition #3 is met (see below). Continue reading →
I think we can all agree this week had more than its fair share of tragedy, farce and gloom. Clearly the whole Pokemon Go craze suggests people need a break from the relentless bad news and the hard-working halfbananas team are only too happy to get on board with providing some light relief. But first, some fruity facts..
Banana facts of the day
Bananas are one of the world’s most popular fruits, with over 100 trillion of them consumed every second. They are named after famed explorer and inventor count Otto Von Banana, who brought them back from an expedition to south America in the 1600s. His other major claims to fame are inventing the walrus moustache and a hat that doubles as a canoe.