Post Singapore (I)

21st of February, 2010 – Transit Day

3:07pm (New Zealand time)

Well, I’m on the flight to Melbourne and I’ve just wasted near two hours on (yet another pointless adaptation of ‘The Portrait of Dorian Gray.’ Colin Firth was, to use the vernacular, “well wasted” on the part of Oscar Wilde, whilst Dorian himself never really had the gravitas of an old man in a younger body; Matt Smith’s sixty seconds as the Doctor at the end of ‘The End of Time’ was much more convincing.

The trip, thus far, has been uneventful. The officials at Customs were fascinated by my long name, and I caused a minor hold-up in proceedings when another of the officials was called over to appreciate the epic length of my name. After that I just spent two hours waiting for my flight, and, as usual, I was unimpressed by the fact that if I wanted to access the internet I was going to have to pay for it. Why we/they can’t offer free access to people who are travelling overseas I do not know.

Also, the only real food option inside the Departure gates is “Burger King.” To use an acronym: WTF?

Oh well. I really shouldn’t be complaining; I’m going to Singapore to hob-nob with the intelligence community. It’s just that I don’t like the travel part of travelling. All that endless waiting, the terrible food and the forms. Oh, the forms you must fill out. Just RFID me already and scan my cavities for prosperity.

Hmm, kinky.

Missing the now former FHG; aside from the memories of writing this paper when we were together I’d also have an ally in the contemplation of how ridiculous travelling all the way to Singapore for a one-day workshop seems, in the context of Life, the Universe, Everything (especially the planet).

Right, time to queue for a bathroom (another delight of travel) and then I might risk some ‘Fringe.’ Either that or a doco about some conspiracy theory.

4pm (Melbourne time)

I probably sounded a bit grumpy in that last entry and I really shouldn’t be giving that impression. Oh well, if I used smileys more often this would a) sound more joyful and b) probably would destroy any semblance of ‘good writing’ my prose still has.

In Melbourne now, and I’m waiting to board the flight to Singapore. Although this isn’t Sydney Airport (nor Hawaii), I’m still prepared for the ‘LOST’ aircraft disaster. The island’s magical ability will cure me of my stammer and my kerotoconus, as well as making me viril and capable of tan.

Yea, verily, good times will be had by all, until I get killed off by the smoke monster a few minutes into episode three.

I need to start looking over the papers for the workshop. I’ve read through and annotated Axel’s paper but the others… I had thought I might do that on the first leg. Now it’s going to have to be the second leg.

I think I want a bath on my arrival.

4:47pm (Singapore time)

Well, almost half-way to Singapore and I’m listening to Weird Al on the entertainment system. There’s actually an incredible selection of material on it, and I’m content to watch and listen to rubbish. I mean, Weird Al is all okay and all that, but surely I could be listening to something more… relevant? No, no know where I’m going with this, either.

I did listen to some Gin Wigmore. I knew her father (not well, but still), you know.

In other ‘rubbish I have spent my precious time on this flight over,’ ‘Jennifer’s Body’ is pretty mundane. Megan Fox really isn’t so much an actress as a beautiful trestle table people want in their films. Amanda Seyfried; now there’s someone to have a wet dream over.

But I digress.

‘Jennifer’s Body’ is a Buffy homage several years late, and Joss Whedon’s quirky dialogue, although equally false, sounds much more nuanced than Diablo Cody’s.

In other news: I have a new skill; I have discovered that I’m adept at leaving my seat when sweet treats are about to be offered. And, gods above and below, the stewards don’t want to give them out if you’re not seated.

(I didn’t chase my ice cream down, but I did stand up and try to get the steward’s attention, which she did not like. I mean, it’s not as if I shouted out ‘Gascon!’ Well, not that loudly.)

Right, finish off this episode of ‘Fringe’ and then it’s time for some critical theory about rumours.

Midnight (Auckland time)

I want to sleep but I can;t quite get off. Nervous energy, methinks.

Also, too much water. The OCD is getting me again.

Reading papers. Learning a lot about Malaysia and forming some interesting thought as to how I might fend off criticisms of my take on rumours. There is an awful lot of talk about false rumours and politically endorsed rumours in these articles and I’m not sure I want to classify them as rumours proper. I think they’re both cases of the pathological form of rumours; if the rumour has been endorsed or is known to be false, then rumour-mongering is going on, rather than rumouring, I’d really quite prefer to keep rumours to some kind of social grooming behaviour.

Also, am I suffering from e-mail withdraw? I think I am and that’s disturbing. It’s been less than a day…

This new notes doesn’t deserve a timestamp (if it did, I’d call it 7:09pm (Singapore time); some of these papers also define rumours as being merely unofficial information, which I don’t think is helpful.

1:56am (Auckland time)

I’m hoping that, in an hour, I’ll be on the way to the hotel. Headphones on the entertainment system have broken on me. Can’t concentrate on heavy-duty reading so have resorted to skimming over a ‘Fortean Times,’ which makes me a feel a bit guilty (I like my FTs and don’t like to think I’m not paying them my full attention). Still, now (once again) only one issue behind.

Also, elf needs food, badly. I hope I can get a bowl of chips sent up to my room when I arrive. I’ll eat those, run a bath and then take some sleeping pills in the hope that I’ll be sleeping like a well-trained baby.

About to be told to shut down this computer, so I’ll say fare thee well. I suspect that, if the hotel gives me free internet, I’ll be checking e-mails in no time. The quality of my replies; well, that may not be stellar (and if the e-mail I am expecting has come through, I need to be as pure starlight).


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.