GetOuttaMyFace-Book: The dawn of anti-social networking

SEATTLE: Sykik Technologies (creators of Lookout Express, a hate-mail application) have announced the public release of what they're hailing as the first ever large-scale anti-social networking service: GetOuttaMyFace-Book. The service offers a host of features that allow a user to articulate the sheer magnitude of his/her loathing for a specific person or community, or humanity in general. GetOuttaMyFace-Book promises its users a world where there are no rules or pretences, where they're free to throw insults at people they don't like, and where they can even participate in a bloodless fistfight to 'discover once and for all who the pillow-hugging sissy really is'.

GetOuttaMyFace-Book Logo

Shirley E. Will, CEO of Sykik Technologies, says that there's a very real sense of rage sweeping across the online world, brought on by the mindlessness that frequenters of social networking web sites are subjected to on a regular basis.

"We're just capitalising on that anger, stoking its flames and giving people a place to release it in its full glory. There's a real market for anti-social networking, and that's not even a bad thing. GetOuttaMyFace-Book, or 'Goff-Book' as the cool kids are calling it, gives you that much-needed outlet that lets you yell at people for something that's not their fault. We all know how satisfying that can be."

When asked about how she planned to capture market share from the likes of Facebook and MySpace, Miss Will hastily replied that Goff-Book was not a replacement for these services. "Quite the contrary, in fact. We want people to get so tired of Facebook that they'll give Goff-Book a try. We need Facebook to survive. Think of it as the relationship between Windows and anti-virus software."

Electric Fence

Goff-Book is built on a set of constructs completely opposite to those found in run-of-the-mill social networks. For instance, instead of a friendly 'wall' where your friends can leave you messages, you're given an 'electric fence' that 'electrocutes', i.e. insults, anyone who tries to post anything on it.

Popular third-party applications designed for Goff-Book include LocustVille, a game in which you play a scheming antihero who develops new ways to destroy farms that arrogant characters lovingly maintain. In one campaign, the player can release a plague that among other things, turns all the cows on a farm into dishes of beef sauté.

Goff-Book helpfully organises all your contacts in a foes-list that you can expand in several ways. Given your e-mail ID and password, one option automatically imports the e-mail addresses of the people who promise to make you rich with minimal effort and to increase the effectiveness of your genitals. It then sends foe requests to the selected users, like the one shown in the image below. 

Foe Request

Perhaps the most ambitious (and a slightly weird) option encourages you to 'make new enemies' by connecting you to a random stranger's profile and letting you express precisely how far up their posterior you consider their cerebrum to be.

For many, Goff-Book may be a welcome break from the increasingly dull and sappy world of social networking. One user who preferred to remain anonymous told the Loony Bean that he had opened a Goff-Book account after Facebook informed him that one of his friends (imaginary quotation marks with fingers here) had found an overly cute homeless iguana wandering a fictional island and requested that he provide said creature with shelter."

Facebook Iguana

This is what an iguana looks like", he said with some heat, showing us a photograph of a rather hideous reptile. "It doesn't have imploring eyes the size of saucers as Facebook seems to think. Seriously, would you want to adopt one of these?"

Real Iguana

Several other users were more displeased with services like Twitter that they say, fail to block useless, offensive tweets that no one could possibly want to read. The recent onset of the Football World Cup has been greeted with slanging matches on the popular microblogging site, in which one side endeavours to prove the sportive supremacy of their team, by engaging in a verbal assault regarding the dubious parentage of the players on the opposing team.

"And it doesn't stop there either!", according to another frustrated Tweeter. "How many pseudo-suicide tweets from crestfallen Argentina fans can you stand before you actually start wishing they were dead? We're decent human beings as a rule, but there are things out there that cross our limits too. Things that make us want to have people to vent our frustrations on. You know, some virtual brain-bashing here, a little choke-you-until-you-turn-blue-and-die there..."

Sykik describes Goff-Book as the long-suffering Facebook user's way of saying, "No, I don't want your teddy bear or the two-dimensional flowerpot you oh-so-thoughtfully sent me on my birthday. I don't want to know what you've been growing on your virtual farm. And for pity's sake, quit poking!"

Let's face it: we all have our moments where we want to claw someone's face out, but can't because it would be considered impudent. GetOuttaMyFace-Book may well prove to be a viable solution in those moments.

(My apologies to Mr. Affleck. But I do want you to know that you suck. Please leave comments, everyone - I like reading them :) )

So long, and thanks for all the beans


No, it's not goodbye yet. The Loony Bean has been inactive for so long I'm sure a lot of you have forgotten what it even is. You guys deserve better.

And better is exactly what you're going to get! Ladies and gentlemen, introducing my new blog, The Loonicon!

A brand new blog. And yes, hopefully, I'll be able to update it every day.

The Loony Bean will return, I just don't have a concrete timeframe in mind :P

Halos for sale!

THE PEARLY GATES: Heavenly Enterprises (Stock symbol: GAWD), the only known business concern headed by a superhuman entity, has unveiled a new line of celestial fashion accessories aimed at recruiting new believers. The highlight of the release is the halo, a floating disc of radiant light designed to be worn over the head, previously available only to shareholders, posthumously.

Tentatively priced at $99.95, this marvel of divine engineering is surprisingly inexpensive. The halo uses a novel suspension technique to hold it in place over a customer's head. A microchip embedded in the device constantly recalculates the co-ordinates of the wearer's skull and uses a motor to adjust the exact position of the halo accordingly.

Heavenly Enterprises has, however, refused to reveal the source of the light within the halo, labelling it a trade secret. It did admit that the device requires neither external power nor batteries and would remain luminous for 'all eternity'. The halo also comes with an intelligent illumination adjustor that automatically adapts to the surroundings, turning the brightness down to minimum if it senses people trying to sleep.

St. Peter, the Managing Director of H.E. stated that the company hoped to attract new followers with its latest release. He spoke to the Loony Bean:

"People don't swallow that turn-the-other-cheek nonsense any more. What they really want is something they can touch, feel and show off. They need something that makes them feel important. Sure, teaching folk about love and flavourless salt worked - like a thousand years ago. People have access to the internet now, and they're up to their eyebrows in philosophy.

"We used to be the intellectuals a millennium ago. These days, [if you] try to tell people about Creation, they'll throw string theory and quantum mechanics at you. No, our unofficial company policy is now 'give 'em goodies to shut 'em up' "

The halo is available in five glorious colours: Original Orange, Celestial Cyan, Graceful Green, Valorous Violet and of course, Popular Pink. Heavenly Enterprises is also planning to offer downloadable designer themes once the market really explodes. Other products in the accessory line expected to be popular include attachable angel wings and gold-plated harps. H.E. has not revealed whether the wings will actually grant the wearer the power of flight or whether they're merely decorational.

Heavenly Enterprises has come under fire from the All Saints' Union for offering what the latter called 'symbols of morality and divinity' for sale. The union staged an almost ridiculously non-violent protest outside the Pearly Gates earlier today.

"We had to sacrifice our lives and everything we held dear for the privilege of wearing one of these", said a spokesperson for the group, pointing at his own beaming halo. "Anyone can get one for a measly hundred dollars now. Have you ever gone hungry for a week so that the pigeons outside your home might have food? I didn't think so. That's the kind of selfless deed that Simon 'The Rock' Peter wouldn't understand."

With over one billion customers, Heavenly Enterprises is the world's largest distributor of wisdom and philiosophy. Founded over two thousand years ago, it had origins as humble as most of the world's leading corporations today - unable to afford an office, its ambitious entrepreneurs first set up headquarters in a carpenter's workshop. Though H.E. enjoyed a noteworthy customer base in its first thirty years, the breakthrough that elevated it to the big league came after a hostile takeover by a rival company based in Jerusalem. Its meteoric rise in popularity since then has often been compared to that of Google (which had an equally unimpressive beginning) in more recent years.

H.E. also seems to have run into legal trouble with the name of their product. Microsoft Corporation, makers of the immensely popular first-person shooter, Halo, has threatened to sue if H.E. launches its device under the same name. Several alternate labels have been suggested, 'Orbi-Glow' the most popular so far. Heavenly Enterprises cannot afford a lawsuit of this scale due to a complete non-availability of lawyers to defend their case.


A bean-lover has just ordered his very own Orbi-GlowTM. Observe how it has transformed the Village Idiot into a sanctified version of his misguided self, giving him a saintly and benign appearance.

Incidentally, you should also check out his other posts - they're insanely insightful, intensely intellectual and entirely entertaining :)

(Après-post: It's 2:19 am, and I'm absolutely exhausted. I'm afraid I'll only have time to blog once a week from now on. I can only hope you guys understand.

I'd like to thank Anamika from iThoughts for throwing me a 21st birthday bash despite having no more than a vague notion about when my birthday actually is :P

Oh, and Happy Independence Day, Indians! )

Death of an idea

Cracked orbs of purest white
    A makeshift mountain, their tomb
Stare up, lamenting their plight
    In a soundless wail of gloom.

Lost in a forgotten cave,
    A plotline burns in neglect.
Yet the embers from its grave
    Inspire the poet's respect.

"The authorities agree -
    The fittest merit survival.
Thus Darwinian decree
    Forbids your revival."

Regret is brushed aside,
    Misgivings turned to vapour.
With passion as my guide,
    I put my pen to paper.

A cynic's narrative
    Imposes reinvention,
Rendering imperative
    A break from convention.

Shall villainy be rewarded?
    To a credulous simpleton,
A painful fate awarded,
    That may not be undone?

A momentary flicker
    Of fresh fabrication
Evaporates quicker
    Than a poet's dedication.

Another sphere of defeat,
    A ball of potential curled,
Is tossed to its hilly retreat
    Remains of a godless world.

(Après-post: I know I haven't been very regular with posts or comments lately. I'm sorry, but deadlines have tightened their sinister grip on my throat to a level that makes it impossible to deny their existence like I usually do. But I have seen the error of my ways. Reform is imminent.)

Elections: Free, fair and fun.

NEW DELHI: In an effort to promote free and fair elections, the Supreme Court has just discarded the secret ballot system in favour of a much more intuitive process: the game of rock-paper-scissors. All future contests for a seat in Parliament shall now enjoy the transparency of the popular diversion.

The court's decision was made public on Sunday, when the Chief Justice spoke to a select group of reporters, the Loony Bean's political correspondent among them. When questioned about the rationale behind the move, he said:

"Elections in this country are rarely free and never fair. It's not the country's fault - it's the system. People can't be trusted to vote. Period. Most people vote at random anyway. Half of 'em don't even know who they're voting for.

"The average voter arrives at the polling booth, and thinks 'Well, I've got the ink on my finger anyway, let's have some fun now. What kind of a name is Jedediah Fariskiller? I'd rather have Prakash Goldsmith in office. At least he doesn't sound like a homicidal maniac. And I like his election symbol - the chainsaw.'

"So you see, all we're really doing is making their decision for them. The net impact cancels out and we get the exact same results anyway. It's much cheaper and it saves a hell of a lot of trouble. If we're looking for equality, then randomness is the way to go - and what simpler way to decide than rock-paper-scissors?"

For readers unfamiliar with the concept, rock-paper-scissors is a game of chance (and arguably, reflexes) played using hand-gestures. The Chief Justice claimed to have heard of the game from his grandson (who learnt it in pre-school) and was immediately enamoured by it. Speaking to the Loony Bean, he claimed that on losing seven games in a row, he had been struck by the unbiased nature of the contest. Authorities from the pre-school refrained from comment, though the judge's grandson was far from reticent on the rules of the game.

"Rocky beat scissors! If you get scissors, Rocky punches. And paper beat rocky! But don't mess with scissors! See? No? You're stoopid."

When quizzed about how the system would actually be implemented, another judge from the panel said, "We haven't worked out all the details yet, but the elections are likely to proceed in a knock-out fashion, so that anyone who loses a match can wait for another five years to compete. The individual matches may be best-of-three, though."

"This will mark the end of vote-bank politics. No more will the people of India be subject to empty promises. You can't be tricked if you can't vote. It's democracy at its finest."

The court ruling has sent shockwaves around the country. Several prominent politicians responded to the ruling by exhibiting their own personal hand-gestures, not all of them part of the original game specification. The public, however, has largely applauded the move as the time saved by not voting will allow them to speculate about more vital issues such as the connubial lives of their favourite Bollywood icons.

(Disclaimer: You know the drill. No offence, no responsibility... yada, yada, yada)

The Great Ride of China

BEIJING: The Chinese government has constructed the world's longest yet cheapest roller-coaster ride using the Great Wall as the underlying structure. Stretched out over more than 6,500 kilometres (or 4,000 miles), the Great Ride of China is expected to become a major tourist attraction in the near future.

The President of the People's Republic of China officially inaugurated the Ride on Monday in Beijing. In the press conference that followed, he cited the general lack of interest worldwide in China's cultural heritage as the primary reason for the move.

"People simply don't appreciate how much of a big deal the Great Wall really is. They don't get why it's one of the seven wonders of the world. Oh, they can gawk at the Taj Mahal all right and ramble on for hours about how it's a monument to love and so forth, but when they hear of the Great Wall, they're like, 'It's a wall. I have a wall around my house. So it's a really long wall. Pass the ketchup.'

"Well, that's going to change now. We expect tourism to soar once the world discovers the value for money that we offer. We have appointed trained guides on every coaster car to explain China's rich and diverse history in exquisite detail to tourists as they enjoy the ride of their lives. Who says education can't be fun?"

The Great Ride also promises to be an efficient and fast public transportation system. The Wall connects the eastern part of the country with the west, passing near the city of Beijing. The chief engineer in charge of the project said:

"The true genius of this venture lies in its cost-effectiveness. We incurred none of the pointless expenses that laying rails across the country would have involved. We didn't have to acquire land or turn millions of peasants homeless. The infrastructure was just lying there and it's been there for a thousand years. And like all things economical, it will proudly bear the tag 'Made in China'."

The inaugural ride was taken by a group of Buddhist monks who maintained that they had just been liberated from their vows of silence and been given a well-deserved break from the monastery. Unconfirmed reports state that following the ride, the same monks claimed to have attained nirvana and professed their newfound belief that the Buddha was a silver-tongued hypocrite of bovine descent.

The government has also announced plans to construct a themed amusement park to go with the Ride. The venture promises to provide lucrative opportunities to thousands of unemployed Chinese clowns and anyone willing to dress up as a Pokémon character in general.

But the Chinese Ministry of Tourism has even more plans in store for the refurbished Wall. Taking advantage of the fact that the Great Wall of China is the only artificial structure visible from the moon, the ministry wants to attract potential tourists from outer space. A representative of the ministry spoke to the Loony Bean:

"Have you seen the Earth from space? There's an austere, lifeless look about the place. It doesn't look like somewhere I'd want to land and have a beer with the locals if I were an extra-terrestrial on an inter-galactic quest. We need to reveal our fun side to the little green critters. And we have just the thing. Think neon signs, only on a planetary scale."

While the initial views on the Ride have been largely optimistic, only time will tell whether the project shall succeed in attaining its rather lofty goals. For though the Wall has survived more than a millennium of punishment from beyond Chinese borders, it remains to be tested against mortification from within.

(Après-post: I'm sorry if I've hurt Chinese or Buddhist sentiments in this post. You guys need to learn to laugh at yourselves. And yes, I know Pokémon isn't Chinese.

Credits: The inspiration for this post was an insightful discussion I had with my friend Shalini about how you could walk from one mountain to another along the Great Wall. She's planning to go to China later this year. Wish her all the best, folks :)

In case you're wondering about the pretty new badge, I earned it by revealing one of my darkest secrets in the PostSecrets project on this excellent blog. Not for the faint of heart. )

Caveman files patent for the Wheel

STOCKHOLM: A 50,000-year old caveman recently found embedded in ice has filed a patent application for the wheel. He claims that he invented the ubiquitous device fifty millennia ago while chasing a squirrel down a hill. When he was defrosted in early April of 2008, biologists around the world were stunned by the fact that the caveman was still breathing, let alone aware of his rights and willing to pursue legal recourse to defend them.

The obviously resourceful cave-dweller, christened 'Leslie' by the admiring research team assigned to him, astonished the world further by mastering the intricacies of speech in just over a year. His first words were reportedly 'Me go by Grok. Leslie gay'. However, the oldest living human being had another thunderbolt up his sleeve.

On Monday, the newly reborn troglodyte, in a press conference, demanded intellectual property rights for his supposed invention of the wheel. Grok stated that during his short trips outside the laboratory that had become his temporary lodging, he had noticed countless unauthorised uses of his invention. He professed himself deeply hurt by the experience. However, he declared, he was not hurt enough to forget and forgive. In a move that has left the world flabbergasted, Grok, with the help of a team of lawyers assigned by his lab, filed a patent application for the invention of 'the Whirling Hand-made Equipment for Elliptical Locomotion', or the WHEEL.

Meanwhile, policy-makers and businessmen have called the revelation outrageous and denied the possibility that Grok would ever be granted the patent.

When asked to make a statement, the CEO of General Motors said, "It's a farce worthy of those Area 51 morons. That's the last time I laughed as hard as this". Observers reported that the vein protruding from his left temple as he said this did indicate that he had been laughing rather explosively.

In an exclusive interview with the Loony Bean, our celebrity caveman asserted that he had made the future-altering discovery while in pursuit of a rodent of the genus Sciurus whom he labelled 'exceedingly pesky' down a hill at the age of 32. We quizzed him about the exact circumstances of the find. A transcript of the interview is included here:

Interviewer: Could you introduce yourself for our readers, please?

Grok: Me Grok. Me make wheel.

Interviewer: Mr. Grok, let's get straight to business. Your claim is nothing less than sensational. The wheel, as I'm sure you've been informed, has become an indispensable tool for the survival of mankind. Several would-be celebrities have already made similar attempts to patent the coveted invention. All of their claims have been discredited. What makes you think your application will be accepted?

Grok: Grok come from cave. Wheel come from cave.

Interviewer: A valid point, Mr. Grok, but how do you propose to convince the world of the veracity of your statements?

Grok: Grok speak logic. Grok beg judge. Then Grok get club. Work with mammoth, work with man.

Interviewer: Erm, yes. Could you tell us about your moment of inspiration?

Grok: Grok chase Chippa down big hill. Me not see bad tree-trunk in way. Grok step on trunk and rrroooollll (Draws a circle in the air). Grok no catch Chippa. Grok break bones, but Grok learn.

Interviewer: Remarkable. I'm afraid we're rather pressed for screen space. Mr. Grok, would you care to send our readers a message?

Grok: Keep read Loony-bee. It have good shit.

Interviewer: Thank you, Mr Grok. We at the Loony Bean wish you success in your search for scientific justice.

The potential ramifications of Grok's application, if accepted, may well plunge the world into yet another economic crisis. There is hardly an industry today that does not use the wheel in some form or another, and if the patent is accepted, they'd all owe the caveman royalties. Grok, on the other hand, is all-set to lead a highly comfortable second life.

(Disclaimer: Any actual laws related to this have been happily disregarded in this post. I don't know the first thing about patent law, and I don't intend to learn :P)

About this nutcase

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A thoroughly confused blogger with imagined Multiple Personality Disorder and delusions of usefulness. Yeah, he has issues.