Friday, December 31, 2010

A cooling PSF.

"Is Frosty playing in the fifth Test?"

Given it's stinking hot here in St Petersburg-on-the-Yarra, I thought I'd post a very cold Poetry Slam Friday.

You might want to skip over this one, EMS.

Next year, comrades!

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A very special, non Christmas, PSF.

"I've been dead for 46 years and I still have more teeth than Shane MacGowan"

Last night as I slept
I dreamt I met with Behan
I shook him by the hand and we passed the time of day
When questioned on his views
On the crux of life's philosophies
He had but these few clear and simple words to say

I am going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

I have cursed, bled and sworn
Jumped bail and landed up in jail
Life has often tried to stretch me
But the rope always went slack
And now that I've a pile
I'll go down to the Chelsea
I'll walk in on my feet
But I'll leave there on my back

Because I'm going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I'm going, I'm going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Oh the words that he spoke
Seemed the wisest of philosophies
There was nothing ever gained
By a wet thing called a tear
When the world is too dark
And I need the light inside of me
I'll walk into a bar
And drink fifteen pints of beer

Because I'm going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing
I am going, I am going
Any which way the wind may be blowing
I am going, I am going
Where streams of whiskey are flowing
Where streams of whiskey are flowing
Where streams of whiskey are flowing

Well, what a long, strange trip it’s been.

See you on the other side comrades and a very Merry Christmas*. Especially to EMS who, at this very moment, is crouched over a heater somewhere in London muttering “cold…so very cold”.

*Or is it “Happy Christmas”? I can never remember.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Some thoughts on Sydney.

Sydney Carlton. Not Sydney, Australia.

Just back from the Harbour City with some ill-observed, intemperate observations.

• Honestly Sydney people, would it kill you to dress with a bit more style! Wandering around over the three days, it looked like everybody shopped out of a Ken Done catalogue. Sheesh!*

• I never stopped sneezing. I must be allergic to Sydney.

• Your customer service sucks, ranging as it does from cheerful but incompetent to surly and incompetent. Surly I don’t mind, but incompetent really gets my goat.

• Here’s a hint to Sydney taxi drivers. If I book your cab and say “take me to X please, I’m from Melbourne and I’m a bit vague about directions”, thrusting the street directory at me and saying “I don’t know where that is, can you look it up?” will result in me saying “I. Don’t. Know. I’m. From. Melbourne.” Only crosser.

• On the plus side, The Boy reckoned your double-decker trains were ace!

Other than that, I had an swell time!

* To counter this, I wore my “slap me, I’m from Melbourne**” outfit which consisted of black jeans, white Triple R tee-shirt and black leather-jacket.

** Nobody slapped me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Ten

Prahran Coles, Friday around 10.

My top 10 albums of the year are:

1. Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record
2. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Before Today
3. Woods - At Echo Lake
4. Beach House - Teen Dream
5. The Walkmen - Lisbon
6. Black Mountain - Wilderness heart
7. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
8. Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
9. The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt
10. Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

Honorable mentions go to Charlotte Gainsbourg, LCD Soundsystem, Local Natives and Of Montreal.

Biggest disappointments and/or the most boring records go to Interpol, The National, Spoon, New Pornographers, Grinderman, Band of Horses, Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire.

The following is Helicopter by Deerhunter. It's not the best song on the album but it is a terrific album. Lead singer, Bradford Cox, has Marfan Sydrome, which gives him an awkward, gangly appearance. Joey Ramone had it to.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday rant instead of PSF

There will be no Poetry Slam Friday tomorrow as I will be in Sydney with the family*.

In lieu of this, I present a passage from Paradise Updated by Mic Looby.

All of it is a pretty good read but this passage just struck me as a wonderful piece of writing for some reason.

The anti-hero, Richard Rind, is in some hellish, third-world airport reflecting sourly on the “independent travellers” streaming past him.

And all the while, barging past, mocking him with their exuberance, fresh-faced travellers revelled in the tedium and red tape. The fools. This was the nonsense of travel. This was the great lie. Travelling for pleasure was a contradiction in terms. Not that he expected those braying backpackers to understand. They finished school yesterday, and now, brimming with credit-card-fuelled bravado and decked out in the latest, skimpiest wash-and-wear wonder-garments, they were off to somewhere foreign to get drunk and have orgies, because that was what all their friends did. Well they could rut all they liked. They’d learn.

I do like some invective.

*Hey Kettle, it looks like the Sydney public transport ticketing system kind of sucks. Can you confirm?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You Want What?

You don't need a rice cooker. Dude, use the saucepan.

Well, it's almost Christmas. I don't believe in God and, by extension, I don't believe some guy called Jesus was his son (or brother, nephew or any other relation). Nevertheless I celebrate Christmas and give in to the commercialism of gift giving. Of course, we could all decide to stop giving presents and just buy ourselves something that we actually want. But the mere suggestion would probably make me a Scrooge.

There's something noble about the ever revolving wheels of commerce, at least when it relates to the supply of and demand for stuff we actually need, but the concept of buying shit that nobody needs kind of reeks of ignobility. Yet we all do it, for ourselves and for others.

Perhaps we should return to a pure, subsistence lifestyle. Just grow the food we need, build our houses out of sticks and occasionally milk a goat. Live off the land.

Yes, let's do that. Who's in?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Emily Dickinson really should have gone out more

"Couple of jars? Tonight? That would be grand!"

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro' endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When "Landlords" turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove's door –
When Butterflies – renounce their "drams" –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Julian Assange piece I really didn't want to write.

I haven’t written anything about the current who-harr about Julian Assange because, I suspect like most of the English-speaking world, I’m thoroughly sick of hearing about the pompous twerp.

What I do find disturbing is how large sections of the so-called “left” are currently rampaging up and down this country about how the allegations about Mr Assange are a sinister CIA plot and how the Australian Government has failed “to protect him”.

Given Mr Assange is currently living in the UK I find it difficult to work out how exactly we’re supposed to “protect him”*, other than offering consular assistance at the court proceedings – which we have done.

Still, this hasn’t stopped some insisting that requiring Mr Assange answer questions from Swedish police about sexual assault allegations is somehow a sinister CIA/Swedish Government**/feminist/Social Democrat plot to something, something.

Given the complete absence of said CIA plot, the next step by some now appears to smear the women making the allegation – as this article in Salon magazine notes.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I rather thought several decades of left and feminist thinking was to encourage women to make complaints to the police about sexual assault – unless of course it involves a high profile “anti-imperialist”.

As Salon notes;

Wow. Admittedly, I don't have as much experience being a feminist as Wolf has, but when I see a swarm of people with exactly zero direct access to the facts of a rape case loudly insisting that the accusation has no merit, I usually start to wonder about their credibility. And their sources.


*Given Mr Assange has been remanded in custody in the UK and currently has the assistance of 70 billion lawyers, you could make an argument that he’s pretty damn-well protected now.

**And isn’t it remarkable how Sweden has morphed from “social-democrat paradise” to “hellish hell-hole run by the CIA. And feminists. And probably Julia Gillard".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Tribute to Johannes Kepler - Not a Cunt

"I'm going to tell Galileo about soon as I finish my special fried rice."

A day is the time it takes the Earth to complete one revolution on its axis. A year is the time it takes the Earth to complete one circuit of the sun. There are approximately 365 days in each year. More accurately there are 365 and a quarter days. That's why we have a leap year every four years, to catch up to the antics of the cosmos. However that's a slight over-compensation so every hundred years, despite it being a 'fourth' year, there is no leap year. This, however, is a slight under-compensation, so every four hundredth year, despite it being a 'hundredth' year, is a leap year.

So 1900 was not a leap year, but 2000 was.

I dunno who made the definitive decision that the Earth year is exactly 365.2425 days long, but I'm certain that figure would not have been arrived at if not for my favourite mathematician/astronomer Johannes Kepler, who described elliptical orbits and was not a cunt.

And it's a proven fact* that anybody, including Jonathan Coleman, born on 29 February is a cunt.

What, me worry?

Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal is also not a cunt, but he most certainly is bizarre. This video is rated PNFK (Probably Not For Kids):

* Possibly not a fact.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cats! And cricket! Something for everybody!!


If at some time over the next few weeks, you find yourself making the following statement;

Of course, we should keep in mind England’s catastrophic collapse in the second innings of the Adelaide test four years ago,

and your friends nod sagely and say “yes indeed, good point”, then it’s perfectly possible you’ve been watching far too much cricket.

Or you have weird friends.

Probably both.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A very special "my back feels much better, thank you for asking" PSF.

"Damn, I think I've dropped my keys in the water!"

Last night I lay trembling
The moon it was low
It was the end of love
Of misery and woe

Then suddenly above me
Her face buried in light
Came a vision of beauty
All covered in white

Now the bell-tower is ringing
And the night has stole past
O Lucy, can you hear me?
Wherever you rest

I'll love her forever
I'll love her for all time
I'll love her till the stars
Fall down from the sky
Now the bell-tower is ringing
And I shake on the floor
O Lucy, can you hear me?
When I call and call

Now the bell-tower is ringing
And the moon it is high
O Lucy, can you hear me
When I cry and cry and cry

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekend Retrospective

Cousin Ted Finds a Turd in the Yarra

The Election

Well, you know what? I've always hated the Liberal party, have never voted for them and would generally throw a turd into any small gathering of its supporters, but could not give even the smallest fuck that Brumby's government has gone (with all due sympathy for those who have lost their jobs).

The state coalition didn't really provide much of an alternative - it was more a case of Brumby losing it than Baillieu winning it - but Ted has always been labelled a moderate, doesn't appear to have any Kennett-like tendencies (this was the main instigator of my turd-throwing antics during the 90s) and is my second cousin once removed. I might even start calling him Cousin Ted. So, you know, whatever.

The Cricket

The first test was an odd one. Hat-tricks, double centuries, bad backs, poor catching. The Gabba wicket resembled a runway, the bowlers on both sides lacked penetration and Tony Grieg continued to make factual errors every third sentence. Adelaide offers little more to the bowlers - possible less - so perhaps we'll see 5 straight draws this summer. But for fuck's sake, drop Mitchell Johnson and Marcus North. What the fuck else do they have to do to lose their spots?

The Water

While it continues to bucket down outside, flood the Yarra and render my path to work totally inaccessible except to carp, my hot water system decided to pack it in on my 11th wedding anniversary recently. And what a pathetic race of people we've become when we are so reliant on hot water and can barely function without it. Boiling water in kettles and saucepans in order to fill the bath may seem like fun to the uninitiated but, I'm here to tell you, it ain't. Fortunately the plumber took all of 7 minutes to replace a part so small it couldn't be seen with the naked eye. He did, however, manage to charge $400 for it.

The Song

Woods is a lo-fi band from New York who, as far as I'm concerned, produced album of the year in 2009 with Songs of Shame. They followed it up with this year's At Echo Lake. This is Death Rattles:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sod Movember, I'm launching "Pundit-free December"

Lorenzo Medici. Happily his views on the National Broadband Network or the Victorian election are unknown.

I’m currently reading a history of the Medici family and its role in the often turbulent history of Florence but quite frankly, reading the history of the McGuirk family and its role in the often turbulent history of Upper Bumcrack would be preferable if the alternative was to read every single pundit/opinion leader/analyst/dickhead-with-a-keyboard piece that currently seems to infect every single media outlet these days.

At some point during my enforced convalescence (and it may have been around about the time when the really, really strong painkillers kicked in*) they all began to blur into one; a multi-headed hydra with an opinion of the National Broadband Network, Julia Gillard fashion’s sense, the Green preference deal and cats**.

What rage! What passion! They storm the heavens and defy the Gods***! They vent and plead in The Drum and The Punch and The National Times and Crikey, these great and good who have the inside story and know what exactly needs to be done.

And yet.

The net effect of reading too many of them seems to produce nothing but nausea and confusion****.

What do they add? Do any of their pieces add to the sum total of knowledge in the world or at least in Canberra? Or are they all a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I’m going for the latter.

* You know that point? Where you start to smile at strangers? That point.

** Cats and dogs! What’s the deal there?!

*** Although obviously not the ones with the Kraken. Because if you defy the Gods and they have a Kraken, you’re kind of fucked.

**** Or maybe it was just the really, really strong painkillers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I was going to post another cricket PSF, but I was worried Squib would get cross*.

O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
Instead, here's a solid, rolled gold classic.

Rather like Peter Siddle's hat-trick yesterday!

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing; what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

* I'm a bit frightened of Squib.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Classic Song of the Week - 2 Versions

I'm a weird cunt

John Fogarty and Creedence Clearwater Revival are ace:

But Screamin' Jay Hawkins wins for being a real fucken weird cunt:

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm back comrades! Did you miss me?

"Honestly, I could eat a bowl of alphabet soup and shit a better media release than that!"

I’m back, but my back still isn’t 100 per cent so I’m stalking the halls with my trusty walking stick*, snarling at people who get in my way**.

In fact, based on my recent experiences, I’m writing a screen play about a brilliant, grumpy cunt with a walking stick and alcohol and drug issues.

I’m thinking of calling it Brilliant, grumpy cunt with a walking stick.

Catchy, eh?

* And this isn’t one of those wimpy aluminium walking sticks you see about town these days. This is a good, solid lump of wood that says “get off my front lawn, you kids”.

** Which I tend to do anyway. But now I’m got a reason.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jackson's Bollocks?

Genius, wallpaper or a product of the cold war? You decide.

"What the fuck's that?" asked Lee, shuffling into the lounge room. "And what's it doing on my fucking sofa?"

"No idea," said Jackson, squinting at the painting and rotating his head 90 degrees anti-clockwise. "Could be a forest I suppose."

"Doesn't look like a fucking forest to me," said Lee, taking a seat opposite the painting. "Looks like a series of poorly constructed telegraph poles while a fire burns out of control."

"Well that's something," said Jackson as he stood up and turned the picture upside down. "Now whatddya reckon? Better or worse?"

"No fucking different. Same that way, same the other way. What the fuck were you doing last night?"

"I'd had a few drinks."

"No shit!"

"And I just started flicking paint at a canvas."


"Well it looked a lot better when I was drunk."

"Give us a fucken drink and I'll be the judge of that."


It seems the embedding has been disabled for this video but it's worth watching on youtube (once you click on the video a link will appear). Ripper song, boring video that looks like a Windows Media Player auto background.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Your Preference is, well, Your Preference

The Legislative What?

God Almighty, again with preference deals.

For those of you outside Victoria, and for those of you inside Victoria who are comfortably huddled under a rock, there's a state election campaign raging, well, stuttering along, in this state at the moment.

Inevitably there's talk of preference deals with the resurgent Greens. The news this morning is that the Greens are apparently directing preferences to the Liberals. The Greens have refused to officially verify this.

But here's the rub:


Just because it suggests something on the how to vote card, doesn't mean you have to do it, even if it's the how to vote card of your preferred party. The media, even the ABC, just keeps rolling out the same line about 'preference deals' and 'directing preferences' which confuses many voters about where their votes are going. YOU control your preferences, not any of the parties.

Now, carry on.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Drunk Boys

Me, my mate and some guy we just met

The first alcoholic drink I ever had was at 15 or so. A friend and I raided his parents' liquor cabinet, and filled up 2 empty stubbies with a bit of this and a touch of that - much like in the opening sequence of the Milton the Monster Show - and, holding our noses and resisting the urge to gag, drank that rocket fuel like it was going out of fashion which, let's face it, it never will (or always has been, depending on your perspective).

We evolved to drinking vodka down near the railway line near our local station, purchased usually by me cos I looked the oldest, before heading out to a dodgy local disco. Then it was Fosters Lager because, for some strange reason, we thought it was cool. It ain't cool. Island and/or West Coast Coolers were a part of the culture in those days too. Some friends even drank fruity lexia from the cask.

Now on top of this, I also recall wearing acid wash jeans, thin striped shirts and thin leather ties. Usually at the same time. Quite a picture isn't it?

These were the shameful days of stupid drunken antics, occasional fights (often with each other) and pashing equally drunk girls.

There, the segue is complete:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"You buy the Sunday paper on a Saturday night"

Tom Waites. Not John Donne.

Or in this case, for health reasons, Poetry Slam Friday on Thursday.


Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou'art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy'or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

Backs are cunts!

I have strained a muscle in my lower back* which has somewhat soured my normally sunny disposition.

The worst thing – apart from the constant, agonising pain – is that every single passing moron on the street or on public transport, after seeing me hobble past, feels compelled to pass on their own, ludicrous, pet theories.

For example.

Passing moron: “Hurt your back, eh?”

Me: “Yes”.

Passing moron: “You should see my naturopath/reki healer/spiritualist/yoga guru. My boyfriend/girlfriend/aunt/uncle/flatmate/person from the internet saw a naturopath/reki healer/spiritualist/yoga guru for their back/chest/head/dick pain and they were fixed right up.”

Me: “Thanks. I’ll chase that one right up once I can move without screaming.”

It’s just as well that I don’t have a cane – yet – as I would be sorely tempted to beat the living shite out of them with it.

*From reaching into the fridge to get a beer, if you must know**.

**There you go kids. The lesson we learn from this is alcohol is indeed bad for your health***.

***Either that or put the beer up higher.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Eastern Snake-Necked Turtles

Avoid these filthy fuckers at all costs

Driving through driving rain out of Mansfield towards Jamieson on Saturday afternoon, I was forced to veer out of the way of some sort of slow moving animal life form nonchalantly crossing the road. Realising it was a member of the usually fairly innocuous turtle family, I swung the car around and pulled over next to it, in order to help it avoid an untimely and messy demise at the hands and tyres of a speeding fool in a pick-up.

I hurried over to the turtle - an Eastern Snake-Necked Turtle as it turns out - as it quietly removed its head, legs and tail from view by, as you might've guessed, withdrawing into its shell. I picked it up, peered inside (noticing it had closed its eyes in a clever attempt to overcome the perceived danger), and placed it in long grass as far from the road as I could without scaling the fence of the adjacent farm. As I began walking back to where I'd parked, somewhat satisfied with the outcome, I became increasingly aware of a terrible smell, which seemed to gain intensity as I approached the car.

"What the fuck is that smell?" asked the Missus as I seated myself in the car.

"I don't know," I confessed, wondering where it was coming from.

"Oh Jesus Christ, that's disgusting!"

"What is that smell?" asked the kid, screwing up his nose in the back seat. "That's disgusting!"

"I know! I don't know what it is!" I protested, bringing my hands to my nose in order to sniff them, on the increasing suspicion that the smell was somehow related to the turtle.

"Oh Jesus Christ!" I screamed, aghast. "It's all over my hands! It was the fucking turtle!"


"Oh, that little fucker! He must've crawled through sewerage or something."

"Well you can't stay in the car like that!"

I jumped out of the car and wiped my hands on the long wet grass by the side of the road. Predictably, it achieved nothing. So I was politely asked to ride in the car with my hands protruding from the front window which made it pretty difficult to drive. Once we reached our destination it took several hours of scrubbing with various soaps, detergents and antiseptics to rid myself of that diabolical odour.

Once I was satisfied I no longer smelled like a bucket of shit, piss and vomit that had been left in the sun for 6 months and had been infested with filthy blowfly maggots and trillions of maladorous bacteria, I did some quick research into the turtle. Here's an extract from Wikipedia:

When it feels threatened, this turtle (the Eastern or Common Snake-Necked Turtle) will emit an offensive smelling fluid from its musk glands. This trait gives the turtle one of its other common names, "stinker."


Here's Charlotte Gainsbourg and Beck with Heaven Can Wait:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another poem about London. Not about cricket this time.

"I'm going out on the turps tonight with EMS. Don't wait up."

Earth hath not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! The very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two books I won't buy (and one I have)

It should be obvious by now that the internment without trial at Guantanamo Bay of David Hicks and the appalling conditions in which he was kept were a shame and a blot on the western legal system.

Terrorism boy should have been tried by a civilian court and done twenty years in a civilian prison.

You have to wonder about a process that takes a man that volunteered to fight for one of the most odious movements on earth, undergoes high-level training in various aspects of terrorism, sends hateful anti-Semitic letters back home to his dad and still manages to make him a hero in the eyes of some.

Oh and Dave has declined to answer any questions about his book or do any interviews (as far as I'm aware).

Sorry Dave old stick - no money for you.


And talking about self-serving, self justifying memoirs, in the blue corner we have one Howard, John Winston.

As I have observed elsewhere, the idea that I (or indeed, anybody else) would shell out our hard-earned on a book penned by a man that could bore for his country is, to put it mildly, laughable.

Why publishers continue to think there's any money to be made from this sort of guff is beyond me (cf The Costello Memoirs), However, for those keen on knowing the general gist of Lazarus Rising, here's a brief summary as wot I have gleaned from the extracts published thus far.

Howard: "You're a cunt, Costello."

Costello: "No, you're a cunt."

Howard: "No, you're a cunt."

Costello: "No, you're a cunt."

Scintillating stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

And finally, it is therefore with a degree of relief we come to a book that I can thoroughly recommend.

For those not in the know, Triple R is a community based Melbourne radio station that has managed to stay on air for 30 years, thus preventing at least two generations of Melbourne listeners from going STARK RAVING MAD from the shit the commercials and Triple J have pumped out for our amusement.

The great thing about Radio City is that the author, Mark Philips, has avoided the temptation to provide a sanitised version. All the hatred, back-biting, factionalism and general brouhaha that goes on in any volunteer-based organisation is presented in all its blood-spattered glory.

And it's also a cracking read.

Well, that's all for this week. Join me next Wednesday when I ask the question; which author would win in the "Gage 'o' flamin death" - George Orwell or Leo Tolstoy?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bullshit & Song of the Week

What's made of iron and gets dipped in curry?

Jesus Christ I hate it when companies advertise products which claim to be healthy when, in fact, they're not. Marketing products such as Special K, Nutri Grain and Milo as healthy foods is misleading, inappropriate and, quite simply, fucking wrong.

When spruiking Special K, Kelloggs target women with implictions that they'll get thin and miraculously obtain long, slim legs if they eat that shit. Special K is not made with wholegrains and therefore has very little fibre, contains 14.5% sugar and 536mg of sodium per 100g. It's not healthy, it's not nutritious and, incidentally and editorially, it tastes like shit.

Nutritional Value*: 2/10
Taste: 1/10

Nutri Grain is aimed at young boys and men. The implication made through the marketing is that they'll grown up to be fit and healthy or, if you like, 'iron men'. Fuck off, you creeps! It contains 32% sugar, 600mg of sodium per 100g and also contains highly processed grains which severely lack in fibre. They actually add vitamins and minerals. They add them! Isn't it easier to use healthy ingredients in the first place? Like corn, oats and wheat? Kelloggs, you are a bunch of cunts.

Nutritonal Value: 3/10
Taste: 5/10

Then there's Milo. Marketed in a similar way to Nutri Grain, it contains 47% sugar and 10% fat. They also add vitamins and minerals and, like icing on the cake (or milo on ice-cream), they use palm oil and have a track record of doing so**. It's not healthy but at least this one tastes ok.

Nutritional value: 3/10
Taste: 7/10

There are many, many more products that fall neatly into the above category. "Breakfast bars" for example.


Meanwhile, here's beardo legend Steven McBean from Black Mountain with some real rock n roll:

* Personal ratings subject to bursts of anger.
** Palm oil is an ecologically unsound ingredient which is grown in areas of cleared old growth forest in Malaysia which continues to reduce already fragile Orangutan habitat. They also use palm oil in Kit Kats.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A value for money PSF today.

No, no, it's Beazley. With a "Z".

Far from crazy pavements -
the taste of silver spoons
A clinical arrangement
on a dirty afternoon
Where the fecal germs of Mr Freud
are rendered obsolete
The legal term is null and void
In the case of Beasley Street

In the cheap seats where murder breeds
Somebody is out of breath
Sleep is a luxury they don't need
- a sneak preview of death
Belladonna is your flower
Manslaughter your meat
Spend a year in a couple of hours
On the edge of Beasley Street

Where the action isn't
That's where it is
State your position
Vacancies exist
In an X-certificate exercise
Ex-servicemen excrete
Keith Joseph smiles and a baby dies
In a box on Beasley Street

From the boarding houses and the bedsits
Full of accidents and fleas
Somebody gets it
Where the missing persons freeze
Wearing dead men's overcoats
You can't see their feet
A riff joint shuts - opens up
Right down on Beasley Street

Cars collide, colours clash
disaster movie stuff
For a man with a Fu Manchu moustache
Revenge is not enough
There's a dead canary on a swivel seat
There's a rainbow in the road
Meanwhile on Beasley Street
Silence is the code

Hot beneath the collar
an inspector calls
Where the perishing stink of squalor
impregnates the walls
the rats have all got rickets
they spit through broken teeth
The name of the game is not cricket
Caught out on Beasley Street

The hipster and his hired hat
Drive a borrowed car
Yellow socks and a pink cravat
Nothing La-di-dah
OAP, mother to be
Watch the three-piece suite
When shit-stoppered drains
and crocodile skis
are seen on Beasley Street

The kingdom of the blind
a one-eyed man is king
Beauty problems are redefined
the doorbells do not ring
A lightbulb bursts like a blister
the only form of heat
here a fellow sells his sister
down the river on Beasley Street

The boys are on the wagon
The girls are on the shelf
Their common problem is
that they're not someone else
The dirt blows out
The dust blows in
You can't keep it neat
It's a fully furnished dustbin,
Sixteen Beasley Street

Vince the ageing savage
Betrays no kind of life
but the smell of yesterday's cabbage
and the ghost of last year's wife
through a constant haze
of deodorant sprays
he says retreat
Alsatians dog the dirty days
down the middle of Beasley Street

People turn to poison
Quick as lager turns to piss
Sweethearts are physically sick
every time they kiss.
It's a sociologist's paradise
each day repeats
On easy, cheesy, greasy, queasy
beastly Beasley Street

Eyes dead as vicious fish
Look around for laughs
If I could have just one wish
I would be a photograph
on a permanent Monday morning
Get lost or fall asleep
When the yellow cats are yawning
Around the back of Beasley Street

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your day's viewing on Ramon TV

6:30 Kids’ Korner
All your cartoon classics including; Piss-weak Ant, Angry Cat and What’s that Smell. Warning: strong language, violence, horror.

10:30 Cricket
Live from the Gabba in Brisbane, the First Test in the Ashes series. True, the actual match doesn’t start for a month and all you’ll see is an empty oval and the occasional seagull but it’s still more interesting than The Circle.

6:30 News
News from around the globe and Tasmania.
Warning: strong language, violence, horror.

7:30 Meet the Press
Join your host Ramon Insertnamehere from the beer garden of his local as he flicks the hard questions and cigarette butts at journalists who annoy him. Tonight – Fran Kelly.

8:00 Get Fucked!
Wacky hi-jinks with Australia’s boganist witch. Tonight, Samantha accidentally turns Darren into a Jim Beam and coke and a carton of Winnie Blues. Again.

8:30 Everybody loves Perseus.
Join Australia’s most lovable love-gumby as he fucks up another date.
Warning: strong language, violence, horror.

9:00 Huntsman 3-D
Drama, 2010. Starring Tilda Swinton, Leonardo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves.
Warning: strong language, violence, horror, grammar.

10:30 Overnight
Join us as we replay the 2005 Ashes series.
Every. Single. Ball.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A very special London PSF for EMS

How I long to be drinking near there.

Unfortunately it's all about Lord's cricket ground.

It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though my own red roses there may blow;
It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though the red roses crest the caps, I know.
For the field is full of shades as I near the shadowy coast,
And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host
As the run-stealers flicker to and fro,
To and fro: -
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago!

It's long been my wish to have a beer in a pub near Lord's when a Test match is on.

Perhaps, one day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Neptune Enters Uranus

I was doing my usual, slow, art gallery-style wander through Chapel Street Bazaar recently with my son. You have to walk slowly in there. Lots of great stuff to look at. Nothing anybody actually needs of course, but nonetheless a fascinating journey through the history of records, glassware, tin pots and trilbies.

While the kid was pressing his sticky hands against a glass display case containing action figures of a bygone era such as Bugs Bunny* and The Smurfs**, I eavesdropped on the following conversation between an employee and the flakey proprietor of a similar, but much smaller, knick-knacks shop located just up the road in Windsor:

CSB Employee: How's Mathilda*** working out?

Flake: Oh you know, she works really hard, she's great with customers, she's really pretty, she's smart, I really like her and she really likes me but, unfortunately, I just found out she's a Capricorn.

CSB: Oh?

Flake: Yeah, I'm going to have to find someone else. I don't get along with Capricorns.

Flake's interviewing technique clearly needs refinement.


Here's song of the week. It's from Blur legend Damon Albarn's 'virtual' band Gorillaz. I'm quite partial to vocalists who sound like they're singing via a trans-oceanic pipeline. The album includes appearances by a number of guest vocalists including, surprisingly, that grumpy old cunt from The Velvet Underground Lou Reed.

Wari, this one is ok for 9 year olds (I think - what do I know about 9 year olds?) unless he/she is particularly fond of jellyfish.

*May not actually be an action figure.
** Certainly not an action figure
***Names have been forgotten changed.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saint, Saint, Saint. Oi, oi,oi.

St Brendan, who sailed to America from Ireland in a leather boat. As you do.

It was too much, I suspect, for even previously level-headed media outlets like the Age or ABC to ignore.

Local girl Mary MacKillop gets the big tick, having performed the requisite number of miracles and becomes Saint Mary MacKillop in a star-studded deeply religious ceremony in the Vatican – to be covered ad nauseum by the Australian media.

Why we’ve suddenly taken such an interest in this mediaeval conjuring trick, as opposed to shunting it into the “wacky news” section is mostly beyond me.

As a keen amateur scholar of Christian theology, I’m pretty sure there’s no justification for saints in the New Testament* and as an equally keen (and equally amateur) student of Christian history I’m also pretty sure the creation of saints was generally used as a branding exercise to strengthen the influence of the Papacy – and in the process giving the big tick to a fairly ghastly collection of bigots, thugs, bigamists, nut-jobs and theocrats**.

But I don't include Mary MacKillop in the above collection as she was, by most accounts, a pretty good egg.

We’re also  told constantly that we have to “respect” people’s religious beliefs.

Well, as I think I have observed elsewhere, bollocks to that.

The only thing the religious*** should expect in a secular democracy is the right to practice their religion in peace.

Everything else is icing on the mitre.

* There’s no justification for bishops, popes or the Vatican Bank either, but that’s pretty much by-the-by.

** And the occasional harmless nutter, but there’re pretty much in the minority.

*** By which I include Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and that ragged madman down my local who keeps shouting about spoons.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Song of the Week: Meet Me in the Basement

The fuck did you say?

Just to annoy Melba, have a look at this article on quackery. Must get myself one. Incidentally, I went to primary school with the guy who wrote the article.

In other (bugbear) news, let's assume the Collingwood players are innocent until proven guilty.

Following is a happy little instrumental video from Broken Social Scene with a very subtle political message. See if you pick up on it. The album, by the way, is brilliant. Buy it. Now.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Words What I Hate

Did he just say key deliverables?


This word makes no sense. Judging by its usage, it presumably means fearing homosexuals or a general disdain for homosexuals.

Homo as a prefix, from the Greek, means 'same'.

Phobe from the French (also Greek Phobos and Latin Phobus) means 'fearing'.

So what can we conclude? That homophobe, literally translated, means fearing the same. Of course in common usage it usally means fearing the opposite. Another example of the English language's arcane evolution.


This is, of course, a derivation from alcoholic. Unfortunately whoever decided to first use this term believed that using a part of the word 'alcohol' (i.e. the 'ahol' bit) in this new word, was a good idea. Of course, alcoholism and workaholism are usually unrelated, if you ignore that they may occasionally overlap. Adding 'ic' to the end of alcohol came to mean being addicted to it. So I propose we change workaholic to 'workic'.

"That Johnny, always leaving the office late. I tell you, he's a workic."

Works for me.

Also see 'Shopaholic'.

Corporate/Management Speak

Key Performance Indicators
Key Deliverables
Revert Back (into what?)
Reflect (think)
Scope (money)

Here's an extract from an email a friend forwarded to me recently:

We are hoping that some of these discussions explored the on-the-job
experiences that you will be engaging in to stretch your current abilities
and ease you into new capabilities, as well as the coaching opportunities
that you will actively seek to receive constructive feedback so as to grow
your strengths even further.


Any noun wrongly used as a verb

"He medalled."

Look out for it during a Commonwealth Games broadcast near you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

He what!?

Jonathan Franzen. Does he take his glasses off when he puts on the blindfold?

I’m a sucker for a decent red read as the next alcoholic* but in the past I’ve tended to shy away from so-called “blockbuster” novels, such as Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections as I suspect I either won’t understand it, won’t enjoy it or might run into some hideous geek from a Book Club while buying it

That said, I also enjoy a good bureaucratic fuck-up, so I was rather amused to see this story about Franzen’s latest novel Freedom.

The story notes

Tens of thousands of copies of Freedom, the new novel by bestselling author Jonathan Franzen, have been recalled after an early draft of the book was printed by mistake.

Best-known for his bestselling 2001 novel The Corrections, Franzen has received a tidal wave of hype in Britain and the United States for Freedom, with one reviewer calling it the "novel of the century".

But publishers HarperCollins say the version of Freedom released in Britain last week contained dozens of mistakes.

"It was a typesetter's error. The books have around 50 punctuation and spelling mistakes. The typesetter sent the last-but-one version," a spokesman confirmed.

Readers with the botched copy of the book can exchange them for new ones by calling a special hotline "and we expect the new edition, including the final corrections, to be available early next week," the spokesman said.

Now obviously, I suspect people who received the faulty version will hang onto it on the off-chance of making an absolute motza out of it later but what really had me scratching my head was this comment.

Freedom - the story of a dysfunctional American family - was a labour of love for the author, who at times he wrote blindfolded and with earplugs to overcome crippling writer's block.

Now the earplugs I can understand, but blindfolds?

However Jonathan Franzen is an award winning and highly praised novelist and I am not, so I thought I’d give it a crack.

Ckfjgpdpf kfoodiir fjjjtkjelocfpototridkrir ofgofidrp fffoirptpgpgiririeopotiiri fff;

Once I get to the required 500 pages, I might send it in to the Man Booker people.

Wish me luck.

*Which is obviously why I tend to avoid Man Booker winners.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The evil of owls revealed!

"I and all my filthy owl friends voted for that nice Mr Abbott"

I would like to be that elderly Chinese gentleman.
He wears a gold watch with a gold bracelet,
but a shirt without sleeves or tie.
He has good luck moles on his face, but is not
disfigured with fortune.
His wife resembles him, but is still a handsome woman,
She has never bound her feet or her belly.
Some of the party are his children, it seems,
And some his grandchildren;
No generation appears to intimidate another.
He is interested in people, without wanting to
convert them or pervert them.
He eats with gusto, but not with lust;
And he drinks, but is not drunk.
He is content with his age, which has always suited him.
When he discusses a dish with the pretty waitress,
It is the dish he discusses, not the waitress.
The tablecloth is not so clean as to show indifference,
Not so dirty as to signify a lack of manners.
He proposes to pay the bill but knows he will not be
allowed to.
He walks to the door like a man who doesn’t fret
about being respected, since he is;
A daughter or granddaughter opens the door for him,
And he thanks her.
It has been a satisfying evening. Tomorrow
Will be a satisfying morning. In between
he will sleep satisfactorily.
I guess that for him it is peace in his time.
It would be agreeable to be this Chinese gentleman.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Song of the Week: Bright Lit Blue Skies

That's how you drive a Sandman, people!

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
is the name of the band. But it's really just Ariel Pink (probably not his real name). He's one of those lo-fi guys I can't help but applaud. He sounds like he's just stepped out of 1978, which is great because so did the yellow Torana SLR-5000 (1978 model) and the Holden Sandman (1978 model). Oh how I loved the Sandman. Those glittering beach scenes featuring large breasted women in bikinis and long-haired surfers riding impossible curls and at night donning Crystal Cylinders windcheaters while stoking the driftwood fire on the darkened beach.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I thought this was supposed to be fun?

Elizabeth wondered if she'd perchance gone overboard on the strings of pearls.

I really did. I had no idea it would be this stressful. And it's still a year away!

All of the bridal magazines and websites I have read have said there's really not much to do in the first 6 months, except book the venue (which we did back in December before we were even engaged), and start researching the sorts of things you want. I thought I was being ridiculously organised by even sending out emails to my preferred suppliers this early.

Turns out, I am not freakily organised. Every single supplier came back saying they already had other enquiries for that date, or in the case of our photo booth supplier, that they only had one booth left (which was fine, since I only wanted one). I had to madly start making bookings yesterday just to secure my top-tier suppliers. So far, I've booked the videographer, hair and makeup artists, photo booth and cake maker, and am about to book the photographer. I'd love to book the transport, but I can't seem to find anywhere in Brisbane that has more than one classic Rolls or Jaguar. I don't particularly want mismatched cars.

I've just finished hemorrhaging money from the kitchen renovation/house decorating. I thought I'd be able to rest for a bit. Apparently not. The money hemorrhaging has begun again. *sigh* I'm also starting to think I have woefully underestimated the budget I would need. The reception, videographer and photographer are pretty much taking up the whole budget, and I still have the dress, cake and honeymoon to think of, let alone all of the other little costs! I think I'm going to have to raise it by $15k. And that includes doing the flowers and invitations myself, as well as not having much in the way of decorations at the reception (the venue is pretty enough, and I don't see the point of having cut flowers everywhere).

Do any of the ladies here have any tips on how to make this all go more smoothly? I am totally freaking out right now, wondering what else I need to do this month, before the suppliers I want are totally booked up for my date.

Friday, September 24, 2010

PSF (A Painting and Poetry Fusion in a Red Wine Jus)

Hey Leo, can you smell something burning?

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Physicists who rock!

Sorry about that Niels.

It’s been a quiet week here at Spin Towers, so I’ve been looking over some old TSFKA posts.

In the one about Christian Doppler*, I noticed that I promised a post about Niels Bohr – a promise I never delivered, for which I apologise.

So here goes.


Niels Henrik David Bohr (1885-1962) was a Danish physicist who made fundamental contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics.

Hope that clears things up.

Also – can we please stop talking about the Commonwealth Games? The only reason why we care about the Commonwealth Games is that we can beat other sporting super-powers** in a contest nobody else in the world gives a flying fuck about.

Also also - there will be no PSF tomorrow as I will be on holidays.

Feel free to talk about me when I'm gone.

*You must remember that one. That was when Alex came out as a chick.

** Like Scotland.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

There. Are you happy now, Puss?

A complete fucking shambles all around

I've been working my way through Peter H. Wilson's 851 page history of the Thirty Year's War, Europe's Tragedy.

Although I'm only up to page 255 and the war hasn't even started yet, I think I'm confident in saying that it probably won't end well.

The other lesson we can all take away is; religious nutcases + heavy weaponry + great power rivalry = start panicking now.

It also involved something called "the Diet of Worms".

For reals.*

*Oh, stop snickering down the back.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Song of the Week

I love this guy. Quite an earnest young lad, sure, but he belts out a terrific ditty and for a Swede he sings pretty good English. He calls himself The Tallest Man on Earth. I'm pretty sure he isn't, although he remains seated throughout this clip so it's a little hard to be sure.

As far as I know Robert Wadlow still holds this record. I remember Wadlow from the torn blue 1976 copy of The Guinness Book of World Records I used to pore over as a kid. It included a pictorial representation of Wadlow standing next to a series of others (from memory it included the shortest woman ever recorded (who was referred to as a midget), an 'average' man (who I'm proud to say at 5'9" was, and still is, shorter than me) and a 'pygmy' (one of English's finest words as it contains no vowel - along with rhythm)).

A Pygmy (note the trademark breast-size variance and inappropriately sized G-string)

I might roll out a song a week - my own title urges me to - or I might not. This one is a live version but it's pretty faithful to the album version. The whole album is good so buy it if you wanna. I love the line "I plan to be forgotten when I'm gone".

Warning: Shoddy camera work.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Culture! On a stick!

"The handkerchief industry?! Don't get me started on the handkerchief industry!"

Towards the end of his Orwell: The authorised biography Michael Shelden talks about Orwell’s final days before his death from tuberculosis in January 1950.

He discusses some of Orwell’s last notebooks, in particular where the author remarks – calmly – on his fatal illness. Sheldon says

He was always analysing, always standing to one side and observing, trying to make some sense of this life. Perhaps, before the end, there was time for one last analysis, one brief thought about the final adventure. Whatever it was, it does not matter that it was lost. The voice remains. I can hear it. It begins, ‘Curiously enough…’

That’s some fine writing. What I particularly like is that the author, just once, towards the end of the book, comes out from behind the curtain (so to speak) to talk to us directly.

It was once said of Orwell that “he couldn’t blow his nose without moralising about working conditions in the handkerchief industry”.

The book itself is an absolute cracker of a read about a man who could be, shall we say, a trifle prickly.

Oh and it's also Yom Kippur.

I trust you're all out there, atoning.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Bali Report

Could you point me in the direction of the postcard rack?

The Missus, the kid and I returned to Melbourne on Saturday from a week in Bali. We had a lovely time thanks. While there, I pondered the place, its inhabitants and visitors.

Bali has a bit of a reputation as an Aussie bogan destination (rounding out the top 3 with Phuket and the Gold Coast). This is partly true. There are many Aussie bogans there. Many. Barreling through all cultural convention sporting Bintang singlets, board shorts and braided hair. Fortunately, the vast majority are confined to either Kuta or Kerobokan prison. And it's easy to avoid them.

Like in all countries, the best thing to do to avoid the tourists traps and the bogans is to actually turn down a side street once in a while. Or travel to some village or town that isn't listed in the glossy pamphlets or the Lonely Planet. Or hire a bike and pedal through regions seemingly unexplored by western tourists. This is greatly rewarded in Bali as there is an abundance of brilliant things to see: isolated beaches, fascinating Hindu temples, food markets, fishermen, farmers, mountains, volcanoes, rice terraces, jungles and monkeys. And people just going about their business.

This man wasn't in Lonely Planet but we found him anyway

Now I'm not suggesting that we didn't live it up to some extent, or that I'm one of those hardcore travellers who sleeps in some rat infested shack on a lonely beach smoking joints and only eats food cooked by a wizened old Balinese man who speaks no English other than 'Mister' and makes a mean nasi campur. In fact we stayed in some lovely hotels with pools, restaurants and laundry service. After all, we had a 5 year old boy with us whose ideal holiday consisted of playing with his action figures in the shallow end.

A monkey considering a dive with a 5.5 degree of difficulty

There are some annoyances. Mainly the hassle factor.



"Tomorrow maybe?"


"Good price."

"The price doesn't matter if I don't actually want one."

"Best price."

"Again, irrelevant."

"Where are you going?"

"I wouldn't consider that your business."


"We just did this."

And then there's the laborious haggling.

"One hundred and fifty thousand rupiah sir."

"How about 70 thousand?"

"No sir. I cannot make money at that price. 100,000."

"80,000." (Going through the motions.)

"Oh sir, my last price is 90,000."



Why can't they just put a price on it?

The locals react to poor haggling skills

Interestingly, during the return flight, on September 11, I managed to watch a documentary on the September 11 terrorist attacks on the in-flight channel. This included various shots of planes smashing into buildings. Fortunately my son was busy breaking records on Angry Birds.

You put your left foot in...the pot

Some important issues raised by The Boy while I was shaving

"Can I have some shaving cream?"

"Why do they call it 'shaving'?"

"Where do the whiskers go when you shave them?"

"Why don’t you grow a beard?"

"Did you have a beard before you were married to mum?"

"What would happen if you went to jail for 100 years?"

"What would happen if you went to jail for a thousand years?"

"Is a thousand years a long time?"

"Can I have some shaving cream?"

This was among some stream-of-consciousness musing along the lines of what would happen if the cat developed super-powers*

*The conclusion reached was that this would probably be a bad thing for all concerned.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A very special "awwwwwwwwww" PSF

"Sod that, where's my feckin' breakfast?!"

Cat! who hast passed thy grand climacteric,
How many mice and rats hast in thy days
Destroyed? How many tit-bits stolen? Gaze
With those bright languid segments green, and prick
Those velvet ears - but prithee do not stick
Thy latent talons in me, and up-raise
Thy gentle mew, and tell me all thy frays
Of fish and mice, and rats and tender chick.
Nay, look not down, nor lick thy dainty wrists -
For all thy wheezy asthma, and for all
Thy tail's tip is nicked off, and though the fists
Of many a maid have given thee many a maul,
Still is that fur as soft as when the lists
In youth thou enteredst on glass-bottled wall.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What a long, strange trip it's been.

"Suffer in yer jocks, Tone."
So. It ends.

Some thoughts – for the last time – on what it all means, if anything.

First thing, there’s no reason why the current arrangement in the Federal Parliament can’t work and work well. Hung parliaments have lasted substantial terms and delivered good results elsewhere in Australia (including Jules’ home state of Victoria) and if anybody can make it work, it’s the Wonder from Wales.

Second, the suggestion already running in sections of the media that “the arrangement is already under pressure” is complete and utter crap. The independents have made it quite clear that they will only vote for confidence and supply motions; everything else will have to be negotiated on the floor of the House. This will, of course, mean disagreements from time to time – as it should be.

Third, the Liberals will never accept this.


In their cold, reptilian, brains they are convinced of the utter rightness of their cause and if they can force election after election until the electorate gets it Right – then so be it.

Fourth, ignore all the guff about “legitimacy” or “number of votes”. The long standing convention in this is that the party that can form a majority on the floor of the lower house has the right to form government. That’s it, the end, finish.

And lastly, I have no idea how this will all pan out; it could fall over in three months, it could last three years. Anybody who says they can predict what will happen is a fool and a dick-biscuit.

And the Red Flag is flying once more over Karl Kautsky House.

Thank you.


I know this post is already getting ridiculously unwieldy, but this is too good to ignore

And in particular this passage;

A large proportion of the Coalition vote base believes there is one and only one acceptable outcome in politics – theirs. And it is this zealotry that will explode.

The temptation for the Opposition to continue to exploit this belligerence, as they so successfully did in the lead up to the campaign and in the campaign itself, will be overwhelming. When all that stands between the Opposition and a new election – a new chance at *power* - is one scandal, one stuff up, one member of parliament changing – the attraction of flicking the switch to rhetorical overdrive for effect, and righteous indignation to incite their masses, will simply be too great. No distortion will be too large, no lie too audacious, no accusation too brazen.

And they will be ably assisted and their supporters commercially exploited, by the leadership and opinion section of The Australian – not to mention the curmudgeonly Lesser Scribes infesting the sewer end of the News Ltd tabloids and that growing group of feeble minded cowards at the ABC whom appear to have lost any capacity for intellectual autonomy when it comes to independently assessing the dynamics of Australian politics.