We just got reconnected to the Internet, switching service from the decrepit, wheezy Westnet to slick, fast national telecom company Telstra. It’s a noticeable improvement. We were supposed to get recconected on Thursday, but the dude showed up at the wrong time so it was rescheduled for today, which was why I had to spend eight hours last night using Chris’ computer to do some research for assignments that were due today while the grey fingers of dawn slowly crept above the horizon. It’s now 2.00 PM and I’m going on 27 hours without sleep. Hurrah!

So let’s recap some things that happened during my absence.

I just watched the Biden/Palin debate on ABC, and it was somewhat disappointing. Judging from her TV interviews I was expecting a catastrophic but entertaining trainwreck, but Palin actually kept it together fairly well. She didn’t actually give any coherent or sensible answers, of course, but she stuck to the aw-shucks small-town hockey-mom persona that is her main strength and came through without any major fumbles, apart from fucking up McKiernan’s name.

Quick aside: why on Earth do Americans find the idea of an average Joe president appealing? Why do they have this concept that well-educated, intelligent professionals are “elitists” who can’t be trusted? You have no business being President. You don’t know how to be President. And that’s why we don’t want anyone like you to be President. If you are in doubt of this, examine the last eight years. The last thing America and the world needs right now is another redneck yokel seizing the reins of the world’s most powerful warhorse, equipped as it is with nuclear firebreath and a vast army of the Midwest’s underprivileged teenagers.

Anyway, Palin’s stance throughout the debate can mostly be summed up as “Doggone it say it ain’t so joe folksy rural charm aw gee willikers mainstream liberal media MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK MAVERICK.”

Biden did a great job. “Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere” was an ice cold burn, calling out her bullshit on McCain being a maverick was great, and the bit where he choked up was fucking magnificent. If he’d actually failed to hold it back, and cried a little, he would have looked weak. But he didn’t. He kept his composure and it was brilliant.

Moving on from the farcical notion that Sarah Palin is fit to govern Alaska, let alone the United States, let’s discuss my personal life some more. The reason I have been so busy this September, failing to update End Times even once, is that I had prac. Fucking prac.

2008 is my final year of university, and I signed up to a work experience unit that would see me placed in a workplace related to professional writing for six weeks, two days per week. I then proceeded to be completely lazy about finding a place to work and ended up in one of the least desirable places: a local government office. I’m not going to say which one. I doubt they’re much different anyway.

Have you seen the movie Fight Club? You know the dead, exhausted look that Edward Norton has in his eyes whenever he’s in office scenes?

i no longer remember joy

That was exactly how I felt for the duration of my 96 hours in that sterile labyrinth of cubicle walls, computer monitors and coffee mugs. By the end of my first week I had decided that I would rather slam my dick in a car door than ever work in an office of any kind ever again. God himself could not deisgn an environment more supremely devoted to crushing every molecule of the human soul.

And rush hour! Fucking rush hour. Why on Earth have we designed our cities so that we all live in these distant suburbs and spend an hour sitting in a river of cars every morning, and an hour going back up the same river every evening? It’s the most monumentally inefficient system imaginable. How do people do that five fucking days a week?

Furthermore, the work I was doing I had zero passion for. It was all media releases and funding applications for trivial community charity organisations. Which is great, sure, but I don’t care. Every now and then one of my co-workers (who were all very nice people) would say, “So, how are you finding local government? It can be pretty interesting,” and I would reply, “Um – yes! Yes, very interesting indeed. I have no urge whatsoever to locate a firearm and spray my brains across the keyboard.”

It was certainly a useful experience, though, in the same way that a vaccination is a useful experience. I am now more confident than ever that I do not want to do what I have spent the last three years being educated to do.