Friday, July 31, 2009

Easter, 1916.

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


A twelve year old girl was raped, and her life, we surmise from experience, is forever altered and made more difficult. We don't know who raped her. It's not our business to know, but we all hope dearly that the rapist is brought to justice by the authorities, and that the girl is given every chance to lead a happy life.

Inexplicably though, two years after the rape, her own mother catapualted this horrible crime into the mainstream by taking her daughter on to a popular radio program, hooking her up to a polygraph machine, and broadcasting the event across the airwaves.

Knowing what transpired seconds later, this poor fourteen year old's comment, "I'm scared... it's not fair," sends chills to my bones.

She was questioned about her sexual experience, by both the hosts and her own mother, and confessed to being raped, something which her mother already knew. In shock, the radio host, stupidly, for a second, tried to carry on the skit, something which he now regrets.

His pathetic defence of people 'using this to get at him' is beyond my tolerance, and he is a pathetic knob of the highest order, but he is not the rapist. He is a fuckwit, but not the rapist.

The mother has failed, too. We innately understand a mother's role in human society and, hell, in the animal kingdom, and she has failed. She has failed to 'mother' her daughter properly. But she is not a rapist.

Somewhere, there's a rapist, who raped a twelve year old girl. The police have said the only thing that has made sense to me in this whole sorry affair thus far: That they will investigate the rape claims.

The angry mob have lit their torches and armed themselves with pitchforks and are marching on 2Day FM's offices to call for Sandilands' blood.

This is what it has come to. The spotlight. The glare. The celebrity. We make them, we take them down.

I think, personally, the world is better than it used to be. I have an old aunt who was raped at 14, at rifle point, and she had a baby - she adopted it out. The rapist was a local boy. He became the local butcher. She bought her meat from him, for years. He'd occasionally throw some extra snags in. There was no police action, there was no counselling. But at age 70, she confessed that it has 'troubled' her throughout her life. I bet.

Go back to the cavemen. They allegedly clubbed women over the heads to get sex.

I think, generally, the world, the western world in particular, is getting better. People are coming to trial. Rape is no longer 'boys being boys' (it never was, but it was often brushed off as that). We're not standing for what used to be swept under the carpet.

But where the modern world is failing is what's commonly known as the 'cult of celebrity'. There was always an obsession with celebrity - read Plato's 'Last Days Of Socrates' and you'll see it plain as day, all the obsession with the famous guy and how he had his fans as well as those who wanted to bring him down (and ultimately succeeded).

But back then, and now, this obsession with the celebrity is shooting the messenger. The celebrity is just a messenger. It's all he/she ever has been, and we shoot at them - a lot quicker these days, given the speed of information flow.

The cult is here to stay. There's got to be something in our wiring that not only creates supernatural gods to cling to, but also the Icarus's, the mortals approaching godliness, ie: the celebrities. And just like Icarus, the story is best when he falls to the ground. Whether it be Socrates, Kurt Cobain or Kyle Sandilands, it's the crash to the ground that we somewhat yearn for. Unless we include this yearning, we are missing a large slice of our understanding of any event.

Icarus fell from the sky not just because he flew too close to the sun, but because we were shooting at him.

Make no mistake, the 2DayFM story is now more about Kyle Sandilands than the girl, her mother, or even the rapist.

On some weird, fucked up level, I feel sorry for the cunt.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Secret Shame

No, it's not Fleetwood Mac - I've already confessed to that one.

The other day Lewd Bob outed himself as a MasterChef fan, and from my high-horse in my ivory tower and other cliches, I scoffed hard and loud. Reality TV? Bah. It's beneath me. I'm better than that. Much, much better, and youse are all philistines and plebs for succumbing to that garbage.

But who am I kidding? I have my own christmas pie. See, I'm mates with this high-art musician, a nerdy intellectual Jewish chick with perfect pitch who's hot as, and anyway, a few months ago, she confessed to me that she has a thing for US cop shows, and somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind suddenly crap US cop shows were validated.

With the power of Foxtel subscription, I tried them all. CSI: Whatevers, Law & Order: Whatevers, Without A Trace, Cold Case, even fucking Monk. I hated them all. Especially 'CSI: Miami' - what's with that guy, with his lopsided glances, creepy drawl and sunnies too-small? I kinda liked Law & Order: Criminal Intent the first couple of times, mainly because of the main guy, Vincent D'Apostrophe or whatever, but then he started to shit me because he was way too insightful, and anyway, I detected a pattern... whodunnit? The first person they come across, that's whodunnit.

But there was one I fell in love with, and now I cannot get enough of it. NCIS. Oh, how awesome is that? It's so.... slick, and tidy.

I'm totally in love with the character of Ziva, the Mossad chick (though I was upset to find that the actress ain't Israeli), I want to hang with Abby, DiNozzo and McGee, and I want Gibbs as my uncle or something. I know I know, it's all so staged and the speed of their forensic research is the stuff of science-fiction, and you can play a vigorous game of 'count the cliches' with every character, but, I can't help it, I fricken love it.

Oh the shame.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How Long Have I Got?

I was in my roof recently. It's not something I do for pleasure, in fact it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was laying insulation batts and let me say this: it's very bad for your health.

Firstly there's the dust. The dust that had been lying there since the house was built in 1935. The dust that was laced with mercury, ammonia and other popular carcinogens of a bygone era. Who could forget the famous Windsor paraquat scare of '39? It wormed its way deep into my lungs despite the mask and laid itself down quietly in the dark recesses of my retinas. It was black and foul and surely deadly. It had me coughing, spluttering and spitting before the first batt was in place.

During a particularly crippling attack of gasping, I spotted a misshapen lump in the feeble light of my 25 watt bulb. I picked it up, held it close to my face, shook it and finally, still unsure, tasted it. Of course! It was lead! A roof isn't a roof without a generous smattering of lead. Moving further into the darkness I found several broken pieces of our old friend asbestos. Lovely. This project was really going well.

Upon entering the roof I'd been more worried about the fibreglass particles from the batts which I knew would enter my bloodstream via the numerous scratches and splinters I'd surely receive from the ageing joists, and which would undoubtedly lodge themselves into my bronchioles and alveoli via my heavy, panicky breathing. It was all this and more. After 20 minutes my forearms were covered in angry welts of allergic reaction. My scratching, although somewhat satisfying at the time, appears to have left me severely scarred. And the large, painful red spot on the back of my neck could only be caused by the bite of a redback.

So I've enjoyed my time here at TSFKA, almost as much as my time on this earth. Nice knowing you all. I'm going for a whisky now and then a little lie down from which I probably won't wake up. The lesson: avoid manual labour at all costs. It'll kill you.

And yes, Perseus, you can have my matchbox cars.

Take that, you Nazi rotter!

Not a battleship.

When I was ten or so, I saw the 1960 English film Sink the Bismarck – possibly as part of the “cheap films for slow Sunday afternoons” series Channel Nine used to run out many, many years ago.

I remember being powerfully impressed, to the point that I walked around for days after saying things like “hard a-port skipper” and “Nazi rotters”*.

It was therefore with mixed feelings that I watched it again last night and I have to say it holds up quite well. True, there’s not much brooding introspection but like The Dam Busters made five years earlier it’s a ripping yarn of decent chaps whose stern exterior hides a breaking heart, just itching to give Johnny Nazi a bloody nose.

Also, hot chicks in naval uniforms**.

Well worth checking out, if you have access to a movie store specialising in obscure British films.***

* Possibly to the annoyance of my long-suffering parents.

** Did I mention it had hot chicks in naval uniforms? ‘Cause it did.

*** As I do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Man is born to suffering as the sparks fly upwards.


In one of those amusing ironies with which life is replete, I took the Boy to his first AFL match – the last quarter of the Essendon/Richmond match at the “G” – only to have the Dons play like a bunch of drunken stumble bums and go down like a sack of wet wheat.

Still, he enjoyed – in the following order;
* The train trip into the match,
* Chasing the seagulls going into the ground,
* Discovering the seats at the ground go up and down,
* The players were also on television,
* Chanting “Essendon *clap, clap, clap* Essendon, *clap, clap, clap*”,
* The actual match,
* Chasing the seagulls going out of the ground,
* The train ride home,
* Chanting “Essendon *clap, clap, clap* Essendon, *clap, clap, clap*” all the way home from the station.

I haven’t the heart to tell him Essendon actually lost.

I’m hopeful he will ultimately take away two important life lessons from this, namely;

A) Barracking for a football team and voting Labor leads to a lifetime of heartbreak and
B) Seagulls are remarkably stupid creatures and deserve to be chased.

Damn you Perseus.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My roses aren't looking too flash either.

O rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night
In the howling storm

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy,
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Also, a book review of Affinity by Sarah Waters.

Lesbian shenanigans in a nineteenth century London prison ends badly for many.

Well worth a read.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A List

There's an outside chance that this list comprises my favourite songs of all time. I didn't allow myself to double up on any artist, the song must be at least 5 years old and they are not in order:

Golden Brown - The Stranglers
Roadrunner - The Modern Lovers
Sally MacLennane - The Pogues
Oh My Lord - Nick Cave
Blitzkreig Bop - The Ramones
Space Oddity - David Bowie
Hey - The Pixies
Randy Describes Eternity - Built to Spill
Sick of You - Lou Reed
Kiss Off - Violent Femmes
Dogs - Pink Floyd
Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
My Way - Frank Sinatra
Sympathy for the Devil - The Rolling Stones
Shady Lane - Pavement
I'm Waiting for the Man - Velvet Underground
Marquee Moon - Television
Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot - Grandaddy
Pig - Sparklehorse
Blue Monday - New Order
A Day in the Life - The Beatles
Spanish Caravan - The Doors
Ramble Tamble - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Buddy Holly - Weezer
Bonnie and Clyde - Serge Gainsbourg
Jockey Full of Bourbon - Tom Waits
Jeepster - T-Rex
Boy with the Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
Great Leap Forwards - Billy Bragg
Parklife - Blur
Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
Cannonball - The Breeders
London Calling - The Clash
Close to Me - The Cure
Rock n Roll is Where I Hide - Dave Graney
Telegraph Road - Dire Straits
Anything, Anything - Dramarama
I Don't Want to Go to Chelsea - Elvis Costello
Los Angeles - Frank Black
Up With People - Lambchop
Heart of Gold - Neil Young
Holland, 1945 - Neutral Milk Hotel
Take the Skinheads Bowling - Camper Van Beethoven
Luck - Paul Kelly
Kodachrome - Paul Simon
Rise - PiL
The End of the World As We Know It - REM
People - Silver Jews
Bigmouth Strikes Again - The Smiths
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Dear God - XTC

That's just if you care, that is.

A very large painting indeed

Amusingly, the above image is very, very small.

Many years ago the soon-to-be Mrs and I embarked upon a whirlwind tour of Europe and North America (which ended with me proposing in a restaurant in San Francisco – which is entirely by-the-by).

Large parts of the trip consisted of dragging the poor woman to points of interest from obscure aspects of European revolutionary history.

“Ooh look, Inez. It was at this very café in 1792 that the French revolutionary leader Marat suffered from a dose of food poisoning caused by a dodgy snail. Quick, quick, take a photo.”

It also involved us stuffing ourselves with as much culture as we could bare.

Which brings us to the Louvre and The Raft of the Medusa, painted over 1818-19 by Theodore Géricault. It shows the survivors of the wreck of the French frigate Medusa at the point of rescue, having survived being adrift for 13 days and enduring such horrors as starvation, cannibalism and the 18th century equivalent of Gretal Killen.

The thing you should understand about The Raft of the Medusa is that it’s big; very, very fucking big, the size of a large wall with most of the figures painted life size.

This isn’t a nice, polite painting – this is a painting that says “look at me you cunts or I’ll fall off the wall and crush you”.

Same thing with Picasso’s Guernica.

I do like art with balls.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2005, 2009?

"Freddy" Flintoff seems rather pleased with the outcome

Late at night at Lenin House, the phone rings.

Me: “Hello”

Ponting: “Ramon, Ricky Ponting here.”

Me: “Punter! How’s it going?”

Ponting: “Could be better. Look, comrade, we’re in a bit of a hole here and I understand you’re a dab hand at spin. Could you come over and help the boys out?”

Me: “I’ll be on the next flight Punter.”

Ponting: “Thanks Ramon, you’re a mensch.”


Me: “You useless, fat idiot.”

This is shaping up to be the best Ashes series since 2005. The Second Test was an absolute cracker; tension, drama, the prospect of an unbelievable Australian victory until Freddy Flintoff came roaring in with the seven devils of hell behind him.

I’m almost vomiting with excitement*.

Bring on Edgbaston!

*Yes, Squib, excitement.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Man on the moon

We recently had a space party for LittleSquib's 6th birthday. Note my pathological Bree Van de Kamp attention to detail


Pull-out invites with 3D paint rivets


Our dvd played NASA space footage on the telly on mute while a thumbdrive belted out a space compilation:

Bad Moon Rising (Credence Clearwater Revival)
Black Star (Radiohead)
Far Out (Blur)
Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (Carpenters)
Dancing In The Moonlight (Thin Lizzy)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me (Elton John)
Drops of Jupiter (Train)
Goodbye Milky Way (Enigma)
Farewell Rocketship (Children Collide)
Outer Space (Freezepop)
Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
My Star (Ian Brown)
Kelly Watch the Stars (Air)
I lived on the Moon (Kwoon)
Spacewalk (Lemon Jelly)
Life on Mars (Bowie)
Man in the Moon (Voice of the Beehive)
Man on the Moon (REM)
Moonshadow (Cat Stevens)
Wandering Star (Portishead)
Rocketman (Elton John)
Sleeping Satellite (Tasmin Archer)
Space Oddity (Bowie)
Starman (Bowie)
The Whole of the Moon (The Waterboys)
To the Moon and Back (Savage Garden)
UFO (Sneaky Sound System)
Under the Milky Way Tonight The Church)
Walking on the Moon (The Police)


A helium astronaut, stars, and a Saturn pinata in the lounge room

A **zipperobe TARDIS and outer space (made from garbage bags) in the spare/guest room

Gingerbread astronauts and rockets

Fruit rockets and cheese star biscuits

Zappo the Alien, another Women's Weekly classic, right up there with Princess Shazza

Loot Bags

Note that the badges on the loot bags match the cake (how deranged can one person be?). Contents: freeze dried Giant Sandwich, mini Mars bar & Milky Way bar, chocolate space sticks, glow-in-dark stars, spinning UFO top, earth marble, space jokes, astronaut figurine


Included alien mask making

LittleSquib was dressed as a dalek

One of her presents was 'I can be a Space Camp Barbie'. Space needs more pink

Squiblo wore a retro rocket scarf

* The decorations stay up for BigSquib's sci-fi space party at the end of the month
** For overnight guests to hang their clothes in

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not again...

A spokesperson for Jemaah Islamiah has claimed responsibility for this mornings sadistic attack on innocent civillians. I have obtained the statement...

"Me good Muslim. Allah akbar. Me make bomb machine. Me make bomb machine make boom boom on infidel in hotel. Allah akbar. Me make jihad on infidel Jew and US imperial devil, so me blow up high-rise Sodom-house Ritzy in Jakarta and send Jewdevils to Barzakh. Allah akbar. Me in Jemaah Islamiah. We just like boy scouts, but we no have campfires, we to have dynamite by trucking loads, and we no have Queen of England for she porn of Jewsatan. We make cookies just like scout boys. We have prophet who love us from heaven and shower us with love and non-homo kisses, just like we shower English-jew-freemason-pope-satan with gunpoweder. Me kill western jew goat, allah akbar. Me love mothers and sisters and we must to have Sharia law for world so mumma and sister may be free of jew torment and be free to wear burkha and hijab and never be seen or ejicated. Me kepp making bomb machines til world make world muslim paradise with no jews and no Americans. Me make jihad, which mean to struggle to kill everybody that no agree with us. Some Muslim brothers say this not jihad. They say Jihad is just to struggle with love of Allah and be commit to love of Him and it be not to kill people. But they dumb Muslims in pocket of Jews. Jihad means to kill YOU. Allah akbar. Below picture proof of Gods love for Muslim."

Ooh, a pirate poem!

I was at the pub.

Some velvet Mary slinked on past and took my pirate hand, and
In’ The Gents’ she tucked on my pieces and parts
And while the band played ‘The Caliban’, we fucked.

And then she cooed some old weary tune
About, “Oh, the grog, the grog, it’s due,”
And we flushed her undies down the bog
And the band ended up playing ‘til One
- thank God.

But this Mary, turns out, had a fella ‘Fat Jack’
Who got sobered and angry and confused,
So I got the Hell right out of that pub
And out to the safety of the town
‘fore Jack brought the fury down upon me.

There in the gutters of Piratetown some weird old bastard
Picked me up, emptiness and all, and took me in to his home.
I rested on that cunt’s couch that took me in.
I knew his face from somewhere past,
He may have been my Dad.
If he wasn’t my Dad he was my Priest
But that Christmas Eve I said, “I am too pissed
To give one Holy flying fuck who he may be, or is.”

The couch was holey and Holy and wholly ruined
With spills and remains and waste.
It stunk like old-things,
But old-things that are made profoundly great
By their aching and ageing,
Like trees, plonk, paintings.
And above the headrest was a painting of that fella
(who may or mayn’t be my Priest or Father)
Looking younger and curiouser and sober.

A stately portrait of the Queen of England
Hung like a halo o’er the heath.
Offenbach bled from the stereo, the cunt,
And a cat pissed on my feet.

His daughter was real.
Some pokey pirate chick with a tattoo of Dante’s Inferno
On her tit who licked my belly by the weird cunt’s fire
And that’s how I spent Christmas Eve in ‘95.

The couch was pink, did I mention?
The daughter jumped on
The couch sang a one-note song with springs tuned to the note of E
- we sang along.

The pink couch held me tight in its withered pink arms
As I held the daughter in my pirate arms
But the old cunt never came in to Preach to me
(though the Queen of England saw right through me)

And then we slept, we slept for minutes,
I dreamed the beach had died.

The pokey one, the chick, she had no name.
She had no name.
She woke me from that dream where the beach had died in my arms.
She held me to her bosom.
I knew not how this would play or end,
Or whether she intended anything at all for her and me
(Did I owe her father a fee?)
But fuck me if she wasn’t everything my dear mother
Warned me against.

Offenbach! Shit.

I bolted.

I ran to the sea because I’m a pirate, you see,
And I was glad that the beach was alive.

I collapsed in a heap,
(I’d had little sleep).

“I am alive,” I thought, “And so is the sea
And so is the beach and so is every hideous sea creature
And they’re singing to me
Jingle Bells, jesus god bless their song,
They’re singing fucking Jingle Bells right up at me.”
- I sang along.

A shiny gold sovereign awaits the lucky TSFKA reader who can identify the author of this poem. **

Unusual conditions apply.

**Shiny gold sovereign may not exist.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Australian. Oh dear.

The Australian's latest columnist "Why I want to bite Kevin Rudd in the head".

Very interesting and well written piece, looking at the troubles over at The Australian, on the Australian internet magazine Inside Story.

The only comment I'll make is to replay Julia Gillard's crack - something along the lines of "If The Australian published yesterday's football scores, I'd still want to double check".

And is it just me or is Janet Albrechtsen increasingly looking like she's about to go postal in the ALP caucus room with a butter knife?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille Day! Huzzah!

I want one of those hats

Today (or possibly tomorrow, depending which side of the International Date Line you’re on) is Bastille Day; the rockinist day of the French Revolution when a Parisian mob stormed the ancient fort of the Bastille in Paris and liberated four forgers, two "lunatics" and one "deviant" aristocrat.

This was the pivotal point of one of the most important political developments in modern political history, with the Revolution giving birth to the terms “left wing”, “right wing” “reign of terror”, the use of the red flag to symbolize popular revolt and the era of mass politics.

It also gave birth to the popular revolutionary toast “here’s to the day when the last king is strangled with the guts of the last priest’.*

The vast choral works composed for the Revolution are also thought to have influenced Beethoven, especially the final movement of “the glorious Ninth”.

My French history lecturer at Uni attributed the early victories of the Revolutionary Armies to the fact that their opponents were used to professional soldiers who – as it were – fought by the rules and the sight of several thousand ragged lunatics running at them screaming “death or liberty” caused them to run away.

Very fast**.

It’s also recorded that when Chinese Premier Zhou En-lai was asked what he thought of the Revolution, he responded “it’s too early to say”.

You’d be tempted to add “fuck Zhou, what the fuck does that mean? Jesus comrade, lift your game or you’ll be brutally purged”***.

*Possibly not a moderate.
** Although he may have actually said "caused them to shit themselves".
***But you wouldn’t.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Sports Wrap

What an awesome sporting weekend!

First up, The Ashes, which came down to the last few overs but unfortunately ended in a draw. There's players we can point fingers at, such as Michael Hussey, whose sacking I was calling for pre-tour and managed only three runs. But, although he proved again that he is one of the best batsmen ever, Captain Knucklehead for some reason decided he'd put Marcus North in for a bowl when England were nine wickets down and we only had a few overs left. The English tail poked and prodded North all over the Welsh countryside and managed to see the day out. The ghost of Dylan Thomas laughed at us. Siddle was on fire, Johnson, though bowling erratically, was still capable of taking off their heads, but no, Ponting, with his inbred Tasmanian low IQ problem, put in a part-timer and we end up with a draw. Ah well, at least there was some argey bargey... I missed it but apparently Johnson and Siddle got their backs up and were hurling abuse at the pommy batsmen. Johnson went chest to chest with Pietersen and after Siddle whacked a player with a bouncer, he sledged him for getting medical attention. That's the spirit.

Tour de France was also awesome, though Cadel Evans got fucked up the arse by a group of nine breakaway riders who refused to let him ride with them. I couldn't be bothered explaining the nuances of this - tactically its complex and unless you sit and watch the race it makes no sense, but know this: Evans was fucked up the arse after attempting one of the bravest moves in recent Tour history. He probably won't win the Tour because of it, but he will take home the moral victory. One thing I do love about Cadel Evans is that like Ian Botham, when interviewed, he avoids sporting cliches and actually speaks his mind. He could have said "Oh, that's racing, I'll just have to concentrate on the next stage..." but no, he said of the incident, ""Ah ... I just get so sick of being told: 'Why don't you go in an early breakaway? Why don't you do this? Why don't you do that? You'd think anyone in the Tour de France would let me go in a breakaway, and then when they get into a break with me ... they carry on like three-year-olds with their tantrums.".

The footy was also fantastic. Though Richmond appears to be tanking and wouldn't beat the Lorne Under 12's, it's exciting to see some of the younger players show a bit of dash. Though we like our footy players with names like Barry, Ian and Kevin, the next generation of Tiger stars are called Trent, Jayden and Robin. Pooncey names, but exciting prospects. I've never actually said that of Richmond for 25 years... And Ben Cousins? Wow. Fucking starring. We at least got that one right at Tigerland. Geelong losing was also intriguing to watch. Yes, they were missing half their stars, but even so, it's Geelong. You just assume they'll win, but now they've lost two in a row. Some are calling their demise, but I'm going the opposite. Hear this: They will be unbeatable in September. Also, the Hawthorn v North match was the best one to watch because it was like the 1970's. It hailed, the players were covered in mud, it was low scoring... Awesome. Finally, Barry Hall gave up. I'll miss him. It was like having Vyvyan from The Young Ones on the Swans team - mindless violence was always an option, and that was half the fun of watching Swans games.

In other news: Mark Someone, an Australian, won some car race thingamy. I'll leave it to ShitBMX to comment rapturously on that piece of triva. And at the pub last night for Mermaid's 20th birthday, I got into a game with some locals where you had to think of film titles and change the last word to 'cunt'. So, The Bourne Identity becomes the Bourne Cunt. Dead Poet's Cunt. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Cunt. Full Metal Cunt. For some reason, the game spread across the party and it was played for hours with much enthusiasm by all. This is the reason one should never make any life decisions when drunk.

Friday, July 10, 2009

War, and the pity of War

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds, -
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved,- still warm,- too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

I know Blackadder made a crack about the “the suffering, the horror, the endless poetry” but I have a soft spot for Wilfred Owen.

Poor bastard died a week before the war ended.

In life, as in poetry, timing is everything.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Go Away!

Isn't this lovely.

Wouldn't you think these arseholes would just go away? The only people they appeal to are fucking cunts. The party is made up of fucking cunts. They are all fucking cunts.

I'm calling for all members of Australia First and anybody who supports them and anyone who says 'I don't vote for them but I think they have some great ideas' or anyone who says 'I'm not racist, but...' or anyone who is anti-immigration just because they don't like foreigners or anyone who thinks all Muslims are terrorists, or all Aborigines are no-hopers or all Asians are drug-smugglers, to be transported on crowded, diseased, rotten timber ships, to a specially designed island made of dogshit and drunken teenagers' vomit, somewhere in the southern ocean. There, nobody will want to migrate to your country, you slime-bags.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Let us now praise Senator John Faulkner.

Senator John Faulkner is a man of many talents.

He’s from the left of NSW politics and survived, which proves he is a man of some talent and passion and also has the hide of an elephant.

He was one Labor’s best performers while in opposition and his intelligence and skill during Senate estimates hearings was wildly discussed by Canberra watchers.

His early performance as Special Minister of State in the first Rudd cabinet was admirable and he introduced many important reforms which, if passed into legislation, will go a long way towards making the Federal Parliament more transparent and accountable.

But most importantly, I’m told he’s an absolute fiend on the dance floor.

Also - Senator Penny Wong's not wrong!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Myf gets stiffed.

In what could be described as a “surprise to few” Myf Warhurst and the other one, the greasy fat cunt, what’s his name, Peter something, have been given the arse finish up on air from “dick rock” radio station Triple M.

The Herald Sun notes;

Guy Dobson, head of content at Triple M's parent company, Austereo, yesterday said the pair would finish up on air on Friday July 31 with a new show expected to be launched this year.

Triple M breakfast hasn't resonated with our audience, so we're going to work on creating a brand new breakfast show that is different to everything else on offer in this city and one that is aligned with the Triple M brand," Mr Dobson said

The show “hasn't resonated with our audience” eh? Well, durr.

Why they thought the few remaining hipsters who listen to Triple J would switch over to said “dick rock” station just because of Ms Warhurst’s “zany rock chick” shtick when they had a perfectly good d-grade “zany rock chick” replacement in Marieke Hardy is beyond me.

Happily Ms Warhurst is an ABC mate and I’m sure she’ll be looked after – possibly doing the drive programme for Radio Burnie; the ABC equivalent of internal exile.

But Myf, here’s a hint. Never believe your own bullshit.

As for the other one; the greasy fat cunt, what’s his name, Peter something - who gives a fuck.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Why? I really want to know.

Why do people watch reality television? Is it voyeurism? Is it a desire to see the underdog win? Is it because they think they might see real talent, or real personality? Is it an opportunity to rub one's hands together in glee at the traumatic politics of a group of people from diverse backgrounds coming together in a high pressure environment? Is it to see people succeed? Is it to see people lose? Is it because there's nothing else on and books, music, films, conversation or rooting aren't an option? Fucked if I know. What I can say is this:

Up until recently I had never, ever - and I mean it sincerely - I really never have, I promise, seriously, without falsification, embellishment or exaggeration, watched an entire episode of a reality television program. Never. Ever. Never had the desire. Never had the interest. Never thought I had the time. However...

I somehow got caught up in the MasterChef brouhaha. I like cooking. I'm interested in it. I cook at home. I cook reasonably well, if not a little conservatively. And despite the myriad cooking show options available, I found myself tuning in. Sure enough, after a few episodes, I was hooked. I know everyone's names, I have favourites, I have enemies. I wish for the demise of some, the success of others. I get tense prior to eliminations. I scoff at bad meals and cheer for the great ones. I plan my own dinner to be ready on the dot of 7pm, so I can sit with the missus with plates on laps and watch the whole drama unfold. And talk about it as if we personally know the contestants. As if it was of great importance. As if the future of mankind depended on it.

The thing is, I see it for what it is. I know how these shows are made. I understand that it's all contrived to maximise ratings. I know there's the token Asian, the token spunk, the token black man. I hate the incessant repetition, I hate the bad editing, the melodrama and the cliches. I hate the hypocrisy, the product placements and the inane and superfluous semi-host (er, the 3 judges are men, better get a woman in there, even if she is vacuous).

But I watch it anyway. Religiously. What have I become?

Friday, July 3, 2009

At long last! The tractor poem!

The role of the Soviet tractor, as previously advertised, will be played by an American tractor.

There will be no refunds.

Snub nose, the guts of twenty mules are in your cylinders and transmission.
The rear axles hold the kick of twenty Missouri jackasses.
It is in the records of the patent office and the ads there is twenty horse power pull here.
The farm boy says hello to you instead of twenty mules—he sings to you instead of ten span of mules.
A bucket of oil and a can of grease is your hay and oats.
Rain proof and fool proof they stable you anywhere in the fields with the stars for a roof.
I carve a team of long ear mules on the steering wheel—it’s good-by now to leather reins and the songs of the old mule skinners

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thriller vs Purple Rain

Jackson could dance, oh yes, and his film clips were well produced and engaging, but in Year 8 / Year 9 at the time of Thriller's release I was more a Prince fan than a Michael Jackson fan. As far as black solo artists were concerned, young teenagers at the time had to pick one in a Holden vs Ford manner. I was in the Prince camp. Purple Rain was guilty of self-aggrandising twaddle, and the film was fucking shithouse, but I dunno, the music had edge. So just like St. Kilda vs Geelong this week - two unbeatable titans up against each other - allow me to pitch these two mammoth records against each other.

First Quarter
'When Doves Cry' vs 'Billie Jean'

One is about a relationship breakup, one is about a false relationship and paternity claim. Both have random 'yeeep' and 'hoo' squeals to punctuate the lyrics.

Both rely on a very basic thump-shuffle beat with stripped back music in the verses, then a catchy singalong anthemic chorus. However, once we get past the first chorus of BJ, there's not much to look forward to. It just stays the same, unless you happen to be watching the film clip where you have the moonwalk to look forward to, whereas WDC has the arpeggio synth build up in the final verse and chorus.

BJ has more vocal range, but WDC has better lyrics. WDC also boasts a more global theme (we've all had relationship failures, and not so many paternity confusions).

Winner: When Doves Cry

Second Quarter
'Let's Go Crazy' vs 'Beat It'

These are the more upbeat rockier songs from the albums. LGC is about living life to the fullest and being a bit reckless because yo' gunna die 1 day, and BI is about trusting in your own strengths and not letting yourself be bossed about. Both reasonable themes for a song.

BI is a very tidy pop-rock song, again with the polished film clip with great dancing. It's got a great stupid chorus that 14 year old boys can sing along to while punching the air, and with it's kind 'gang in da hood' feel it's delightfully rough n tough, while still being safe.

LGC is kinda more sleazy than tough, and Prince, obviously keen to show off his music talents, muddies the song with way too many instrumental quirks, but where he gets an edge on MJ is with the 'sermon' at the start complete which church organ (and that distinctive Prince beat kicking in after about 45 seconds) and that awesome fucking outro where his guitar solo is so fucking rock ... Led Zep and Hendrix would be proud to have composed it.

In body, maybe BI wins the battle, but as a whole piece, LGC wins.

Winner: Let's Go Crazy

Third Quarter
'Thriller' vs 'Purple Rain'

Though they are very different musically, they need to go head to head because they are a) The title tracks and b) The epics of each album.

Thriller is about monsters in the dark (with sexual undertones) and PR is about trying to keep a relationship together.

Yet again, both with the epic choruses, but Thriller is to dance to, where as PR is all about swaying your cigarette lighter in the air.

As a lighter-sway song, PR does the trick, and 'Purple' rain is an intriguing visual, but when it comes to intruguing visuals you can't beat monsters comin' at ya in the dark. Add to that, even I remember being totally hooked on the Thriller film clip when I first saw it in its entirety (I would've been about 13).

I'm not such a big fan of the Thriller chorus though... it's a bit lame after such a good build up, but then again, Purple Rain goes on just a little bit too long. Prince made his point early, and gives us nothing more other than endless chorus repetition.

Winner: Thriller

Fourth Quarter
'The Beautiful Ones' vs 'The Lady In My Life'

This is the battle of the slow love songs. Both are boring as batshit and ruin both albums. These are the ones you skip over. Lyrics are also awful.


And I Will Keep You Warm
Through The Shadows Of The Night
Let Me Touch You With My Love
I Can Make You Feel So Right
And Baby Through The Years
Even When We're Old And Gray
I Will Love You More Each Day
'Cause You Will Always Be The Lady In My Life

From TBO:

Paint a perfect picture
Bring 2 life a vision in one's mind
The beautiful ones
Always smash the picture
Always everytime
If I told u baby
That I was in love with u
Oh baby, baby, baby
If we got married
Would that be cool?
U make me so confused
The beautiful ones
U always seem 2 lose

Which is worse? I'm not sure. Both should be arrested. Both of them go for an excrutiating 5 minutes as well. But, I'm going to have to give the nod to Prince, mainly because he at least gives us that sonic boom-beat to hook on to during the song, and if you were going to have a shag while listening to these two songs, you'd probably go Prince because he at least sounds like he knows what he's talking about, whereas MJ is not convincing as a Romeo figure.

Winner: The Beautiful Ones


Obviously, Jackson's presence in world culture is bigger, and his influce on music history is also a lot bigger - he is largely responsible for the so-called 'RnB' genre that sullies pop music today, with its vocal gymnastics, compulsory dance proficiency and lame, lame lyrical content. But on music alone, Prince wins in my mind.

But I would like to point out that back in 82-84 at High School, there were other pop artists that were comparable. Madonna, obviously, but whack in Culture Club and Duran Duran as well, even Frankie Goes To Hollyood, The Police, and of all of the above, in hindsight, FGTH had the most innovative sound.

But let's also not forget that I grew up in Australia, and I tell you this (and Lewd Bob, who went to Generic High with me may agree): no bands at our school were bigger or more adored than Chisels, Oils, INXS and Angels. If they weren't in your Top 5, you got beaten up.

Mid-week history lesson.

The foreign policy of the Soviet Union between 1928 and 1933 is commonly described by historians of the era as “third period communism”.*

The thinking of the boys** at the Comintern was that western society since the revolutions of 1917 had moved in three distinct phases; the “first period” of the initial revolutionary challenge, the “second period” of seeming capitalist revival characterised by the boom of the 1920s and the final “third period” characterised by the Great Depression and the rise of fascism.

The thinking was that fascism was the “final stage” of capitalism and that as the mask began to slip, more people would embrace the revolutionary policies of local communist parties. To that end, local communists were instructed to bring down democratic governments, even if it meant collaborating with local fascists.

The comrades did as instructed and, to take the example of Berlin, worked happily enough with the Nazis to bring down the local Social Democratic state government.

Gee – didn’t that work out well?

These cunts have form when it comes to backing the wrong horse.

* And unofficially described to me by an historian at a party as “a fucking disaster for all concerned”.

** You note I don’t say “the boyars at the Comintern”. Marvel at my restraint.