Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well strap me vitals, another year!


As this blog staggers towards its third birthday, it’s usual at these times to say something gushing and faintly maudlin like “This blog couldn’t exist without the enthusiasm of all the writers and contributors. It’s you who make it special.”

So I will.


This blog couldn’t exist without the enthusiasm of all the writers and contributors. It’s you who make it special.

And after a year of (often furious) discussion about politics, sex, religion, bad science and owls I think I can speak for us all when I say there was one thing we can all agree upon.

And that is that Laid was actually pretty shit.

Onwards and upwards, comrades.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Midweek Rant

"Abbott doesn't believe in climate change but he's offering tax cuts!"

What the fuck's the matter with swinging voters? Get a fucking opinion. Have a philosophical angle. Do they take absolutely no notice of the three years of government and opposition policy and only tune in during an election campaign, when politicians start offering personal incentives and are even more full of shit than usual? They should be voting on greater philosophical and political questions rather than waiting for which side's going to give them a bigger hand out.

For fuck's sake. Pick a side.


Channel 10. What a bunch of arseholes. They roll out The 7pm Project under the guise of 'news', featuring comedians pretending they know shit about stuff, a few doctor types with 3 day growths and square jaws and Steve Fucking Price. Then they think "well, now we've got Steve Price, let's also dumb down George Negus and give him a Today Tonight style show and, while we're at it, hell, let's give that old fact-distorter Andrew Bolt his own show."

His. Own. Show.

What the fuck.


I bet PJ Harvey isn't a swinging voter and doesn't watch Channel 10 cos she's ace.

Monday, May 23, 2011

This just in; Bible-basher fails to understand Bible

"End of the world, eh? Better get some pints in then."

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Matthew, Chapter 24, verse 36.

The brouhaha over the failure of The Rapture to arrive on time has got me a bit puzzled, given that the Bible says quite explicitly that nobody knows when the Second Coming is due*.

Given that most of the people concerned about this tend to be a bit – you know – religious, you’d assume that they’d be familiar with the actual Bible.

But it seems not.

Mind you, The Rapture is very dodgy theologically speaking, dating as it does from 17th century American Puritan** thinking and isn’t an important part of other Christian faiths.

Still, it’s all been a bit of a laugh, unless you’re one of the poor schlubs whose parents spent your entire college savings on the grounds that there wouldn’t be much point after 21st May.

In that case, it’s probably a bit of a pain in the bum.

*Except God, of course.

**And weren’t they a fun bunch.

Weekend Wrap

Haven't done one of these for a while, and there's good reason for it. You see, I had to stop blogging, because, well, I had nothing to say about anything important, or if I did have something to say about something important, what I had to say wasn't important. In the absence of brevity of thought, I resorted to blogging about my girl problems which I tried to tell myself was cathartic, but really, it wasn't. It was tabloid blogging at its worst, attention-seeking trash, but when I hit the 200+ comments mark on some of my more outlandish weekend wraps I kept at it; letting you all into my ludicrous bachelor life and the stupid situations I got myself into.

I can't remember exactly which blog it was, but at one point, when bemoaning my latest dalliance with the 3-year-long on-again off-again Ponygirl, some bloggers here decided to barrage me with insults and humiliations. "Pathetic loser" was the general tone of the comments, which I took to heart, because I didn't feel like a pathetic loser at all. In fact, I felt good about myself, even though things weren't going as I planned or wanted. And so to avoid further insults, I stopped blogging about it.

But, it's been about six months so I thought I'd update you on my girl-situation.

PONYGIRL: Haven't spoken to her since October and she can get fucked and I loathe her. There was an incident... I was thoroughly depressed for about 3 months.

SONGSTRESS: Became a good friend, somewhere in amidst all that. We catch up monthly, and talk weekly. She's now dating another somewhat-rockstar who some of you will know (well, you might know the band if you're JJJ inclined, but he's not the singer).

PONYGIRL II: You don't know her, but she's a girl who happens to have the same name as Ponygirl. She picked me up at a gig. She's 20, and was my lover for two months (Dec-Jan) and because of the 21-year age gap there was no way on Earth I was going to blog about it, because you were all going to yell at me.

MISS MIRROR-ME: You don't know her either, but she's a 30 year old who listens to 774, likes footy, drinks coffee and red wine, smokes cigarettes, reads literature and poetry, wants babies one day and has no interest in back-packing, ie: a mirror of me. We went on four dates and it just fizzled. I was a little upset, but then, even though we had heaps in common, for some reason, our conversation was always awkward, so it didn't really matter. She was into astrology anyway, which I think is a sign of retardation, and according to her sister, I apparently wasn't 'blokey' enough for her. Still, she was a nice girl, and we occasionally chat.


Stranger things have happened but I can't name one. It was early March and I had to head to Melbourne for 5 days and needed a house-sitter. I asked around town and someone said, "Oh, Legs 11 is back from Canada and is staying in a hotel room for a couple of weeks before moving into a house. You should ask her!" Now, Legs 11 was a girl I knew from around town a couple of years ago. She lived in my town for a year. I always referred to her as 'that cute chick with the great legs", but I never spoke to her beyond "Hi there". After a year of ogling her, I decided to ask her on a date, but just as I was about to do that, I heard that she had quit her job and was moving to Canada, so I gave up on that.

A year later, and suddenly she's back! And so, I asked her if she could house-sit for a week and she was keen. She came around to check out the house so I could run her through how to feed the cats and play a DVD and all that. I offered her a wine. We drank two bottles. Then we got on to the port. At 1am we went skinny-dipping, and, well, aside from a bit of status confusion in the first few weeks, we've been an 'item' ever since. Yes indeed, strangely enough, and at the expense of entertaining blogging, I appear to have a girlfriend. It sunk in over the weekend when I realised we keep toiletries and pyjamas at each other's house.

Legs 11 is 29, likes kayaking and gossip mags, doesn't smoke, hates footy, watches Glee, wants to get married in a Catholic Church, wants to climb Everest, can't cook and listens to Lady Gaga and other pop acts. We have NOTHING in common.

But wait, that's wrong. We do have a lot in common. You see, the advice nobody ever gave me was this: Having social, religious, political or artistic things in common means nothing. What matters is having emotional, moral and temperamental things in common. On that, we appear to be perfectly aligned. Hell, even our sleeping patterns are aligned. We both had happy childhoods. It's these intangibles that make it so perfect, for now. So much so, that her blog-name has been promoted from Legs 11 to Andromeda 4.0 (Andromeda for short). Wish me luck.

In other news, GO TIGES!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Memoirs of William John Wills

"Burke Couldn't Organise a Piss-Up at a Brewery"

The following are extracts from the diary of William John Wills who tragically perished with his companion Robert O'Hara Burke while searching for an inland route from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

20 August 1860

And we're off. A long way to go still. Burke reckons it might take a year. Maybe even two. Wish he'd told me that before we left. I was hoping we'd be back by Friday. Probably going to miss the start of the cricket season. I've been working on my outswingers.

21 August 1860

Slow going. I suggested to Burke that we should jog. He said we'd be tired by lunch. Speaking of lunch, I'm looking forward to more of that salted beef. Delicious!

30 August 1860

Burke's been acting strangely. Last night he had an argument with his hat.

6 September 1860

We reached Swan Hill. I mentioned to Burke that it seems to be already well established. He said everywhere we'd been so far has already been settled. Annoying. I'd been making maps. I asked why we didn't start from here.

20 September 1860

Burke's really starting to annoy me. He's the worst bushman I've ever seen. Last night he accidentally set fire to a camel.

12 October 1860

We reached Menindee after nearly 2 months of travelling. Apparently the mail coach does it in a week. If I'd know that I could've posted myself some food. This salted beef seems rather high in sodium.

18 October 1860

Crossed a small creek today and Burke sunk. King pulled him out and Burke pretended he'd meant it. There was an eel in his pocket. We ate it for afternoon tea.

26 October 1860

I've been walking behind Burke for weeks and I conclude his pants are too high. No one wears them like that anymore. I wore them like that back in '53.

11 November 1860

We reach Coopers Creek. Still haven't set foot in territory unchartered by Europeans. Burke tripped over a horse and landed on a bullants' nest. He was badly stung and ran around shouting obscenities at King. King was brushing his teeth at the time and humming old show tunes. He didn't notice.

20 November 1860

Still at Coopers Creek. Burke is starting to move his neck like a camel.

5 December 1860

Burke has taken to drinking his own urine. King pointed out that we still have plenty of water.

16 December 1860

Burke decided just four of us would set off for the Gulf of Carpentaria. Him, me, King and another bloke who I only noticed for the first time this morning. And only because he shat on my boots. Pretty annoyed with that. I pushed him onto the fire and Burke immediately began roasting marshmallows. Don't now where he got them. What else is he harbouring?

3 January 1861

I swear I saw something moving in Burke's beard. I mentioned it and said he was was just readjusting his lips. A likely story. Whatever it was it had a tail.

11 January 1861

Burke's been complaining of sore feet. He's been wearing his shoes on the wrong feet since we left Essendon. King and I have been giggling about it for months.

18 January 1861

Burke's been randomly placing bits of cheese in his beard. Definitely something living in there. Fucking duplicitous Irish cunt. And where the fuck did he get the cheese?

29 January 1861

Burke claimed we were lost. I asked how we could be lost when all we were doing was heading north. King pointed out that we were always lost because nobody had been here before. Burke got confused and asked a swallow for directions.

9 February 1861

Reached the Gulf of Carpentaria. Yay! There was a swamp blocking the way to the ocean but, you know what, close enough. We'll just tell them we made it. King put a scorpion in Burke's trousers this morning. Hasn't been a reaction yet. Not sure why.

10 February 1861

Turns out the scorpion had died. I think Burke squashed it when he sat on a rock to eat his salted beef. Must find another one.

14 February 1861

Valentine's Day. King slipped a love letter into Burke's back pocket. Burke was furious and didn't let King use the shovel for the rest of the day.

15 February 1861

Fuck it's hot.

18 February 1861

Burke finally realised his shoes were on the wrong feet. Seriously, what a fucking nonce.

25 February 1861

I snuck a peek at Burke's diary. Every entry referred to his underpants and how well they fit. He has no fucking idea how to punctuate.

2 March 1861

Getting hungry. All I've eaten for the last 3 months is salted beef, snake and grubs the local aborigines gave us. Burke has supplemented his diet with dirt.

7 March 1861

I saw something move in Burke's beard again. Tomorrow I'm going to make a grab for it. Burke bumped into a small hill today while looking for firewood.

8 March 1861

King tackled Burke to the ground and held him down while I rummaged through his beard. Nothing. Burke didn't seem to notice.

25 March 1861

Burke gave the fourth bloke a terrible beating for stealing his porridge. He spent a lot of time lining up each slap and yelled 'rissole' with each blow. Where the fuck did that cunt find porridge?

30 March 1861

Burke squatted for a poo but forgot to pull his pants down. How King laughed. Burke was distressed and tied King to an emu.

10 April 1862

Burke shot the last horse. He'd been aiming at a cockatoo in a nearby tree. We ate it anyway. King did the butchering and distributed the meat. Burke had trouble cutting his piece before realising it was the saddle.

17 April 1861

The fourth bloke died today. I thought about eating him but didn't mention it. King suggested we dig a grave with Burke's dessert spoon. Burke ate a sock.

21 April 1861

Finally returned to Coopers Creek. The camp was abandoned. They'd left us some food buried under a tree. Fucking salted beef. Was that a joke? Turns out they'd left that morning. Burke finally ate his other sock.

4 May 1861

Nothing for it. Burke has gone mad. Tried to climb inside a camel to sleep. The camel was visibly shaken and refused to eat.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

the sad demise of cross-hatching and moustaches and even cross-hatched moustaches

"I do not like your hat"

I had a story in an anthology that was launched last night. Of the 19 people I invited to the launch, only *two made it. After all, why would anyone want to go to an event around the corner with free booze and live music and comedy? I did tell some people, don’t feel obliged etc but I didn’t fucking mean it. Obviously

This is why books make the **best friends. They are easy to understand and we get along nicely and they take me to places like a dram shop in 19th century Paris or collecting candlenuts and breadfruit on some Polynesian island

I’m currently reading The Three Musketeers (new movie out soon). Somehow, it’s a children’s classic which means there are publishers who believe today’s child will read and understand a book in old fashioned English about political turmoil and romantic intrigues in 17th century France, 710 pages long. Optimistic!

I love it. Let me show you why

“Come, then, let us go,” said he. “Ladies, do not disturb yourselves; only give me time to kill this gentleman, and I will return and finish the second verse.”

* maybe I need lucky door prizes at my funeral?
**and frogs

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"I want the finest wines available to humanity, I want them here, and I want them now!"

"Maybe we should order something over dessert?"

One of the more annoying items in the Saturday Age of late is an unbearably cutsie piece called “The Good Life, lunch with…”, whereby a journalist I vaguely recall interviews some luvvie with nothing much to say at a restaurant I can’t afford.

Inevitably in the article, there’s some twee line about how the journo and guest decide “to be incredibly naughty and order a second glass of wine”.

A second glass of wine?!

Sweet Jesus!

If I was lunching on the Fairfax expense account, I’d be half way through the second bottle of red* before entrĂ©e was over.

In the unlikely event I ever feature in “The Good Life, lunch with…”, the piece would run something like this.

“I met the enigmatic blogger Ramon Insertnamehere in the beer garden of his local, where he was wreathed in smiles and cigarette smoke.

“I ordered the salad and Ramon ordered a roast chicken larger than his head.”

You get the general idea.

*But only the second most expensive bottle. I’m not a complete monster.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Religion in State Schools

I Would Like to Offer a One-Sided View of Religion to your Vulnerable Children Please

Some bureaucratic cock wearing snazzy trousers with a sharp crease down the leg in the Victorian Education Department recently decided, with legal advice*, in the case of religious instruction in Victorian primary schools, that the word 'may', where it appears in the relevant legislation, actually means, wait for it, 'must'. Wow.

No it doesn't. Never has.

In short, the department has decided that if a religious group (as long as it's the Christian religious education provider Access Ministries) approaches a state primary school with the offer of religious instruction, it 'must' be take up by the school.

This is regardless of whether the principal, the teachers, the parents or, indeed, the students, want it or not. Irrespective of whether there are kids of other cultures, religions and backgrounds at the school which, you would have to think, would be the case 100% of the time. Christianity may well be the dominant religion in this country, but it hardly represents a cross section of society. At least those members of society that I hang with.

There's no compulsion to teach kids about any other religions, let alone teach them anything about the lack of scientific basis for the existence of supernatural beings. At least not until these kids have a dedicated science class. Even then, I doubt the average science teacher would be as passionate about atheism, assuming he/she is an atheist, as a fundamentalist Christian nerd is about Christianity.

Religious Instruction under these circumstances is to be taken in the main classroom for half an hour per week, as a normal part of the curriculum. Children do have the right to 'opt out'. But where does this leave the very few children** who do opt out? Another class is generally not provided for them. Often, I understand, they're made to sharpen pencils, run errands or sit reading books by themselves. They're made to feel like outsiders while the majority of the class remains under the formal learning umbrella.

Imagine how difficult that decision is for the parent who wants to opt their child out. The child wouldn't want to opt out. Especially at the age of 5 or 6 where all they care about is sitting next to their best friends.

This is a totally unacceptable situation. That children are given a biased view of religion. That they're being indoctrinated into Christianity regardless of background. That the parents who feel strongly enough to avoid their children undergoing indoctrination by Christians (whether it's because they're Athieists, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or for any other rational reason) are made to feel like second class citizens.

So much for our secular society and the division of church and state.

My son attends a primary school where religious instruction has apparently never been offered and, according to the principal, who is very much against the idea, is extremely unlikely ever to be. This is most likely due to the demographic of the student population***.

So for now my son is safe from such gross misrepresentation of reality and generally unfair beans. And if it does ever happen I plan to sit in on the session and ask hard questions****.

* Possibly Dennis Denuto
** History suggests that most children don't opt out
***Migrants, weirdos and smarmy artists
**** Such as "Please explain Epicurus' Paradox"

This just in - Waterworld still shit.

You're a baldy git, Costner.

You know those films, those big budget flops that mature over time and become half-way decent.

I’m here to report that I watched Waterworld on one of the digital channels the other night and it was still shit.

The cat wandered in half-way and you could tell by the body language that even she thought it was shit.

So I stayed up until Dennis Hopper appeared, then went to bed.

Verdict – it was shit.

Apart from Dennis Hopper

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Loathsome clerico-fascist dead.

Even as we speak, hoards of loyal readers of The Age/Sydney Morning Herald are putting pen to paper about the death of Osama bin Laden to write to the papers claiming, variously, that the death was “murder”, that he “should have faced trial” and that “violence never solves anything”.

Sharper minds than mine have dealt with these issues already but just for the hell of it, here’s my two-cents worth.

It was murder/he should have faced trial.

Personally, I would have loved to see the bastard hauled off in chains to court but that was never going to be a realistic option. The US troops involved in this were apparently given instructions to take him alive if possible but I think things had reached a state where it was unlikely bin Laden was going to stick up his hands and use the Arabic equivalent of “fair enough Guv’nor, you got me bang to rights, I’m coming quietly”.

There was an exchange of gunfire, during which bin Laden was shot dead. I fail to see how this was murder.

Violence never solves anything.

Well, sometimes it does – it certainly did for the fascists pretty good in 1945.

As Obama said in his speech announcing bin Laden’s death, “the American people did not choose this fight” and at the risk of repeating myself, bin Laden chose to attack the US and other western countries not for their vices but for their virtues.

The fact that bin Laden despised the west for its (relative) free, open, secular nature shouldn’t be forgotten.

He wasn’t that fond of Jews or women either.