Friday, August 29, 2008

Sorry Dennis, Costello the Yellow isn't going to run

The Mad Monk is at it again with a piece coming up in Quadrant magazine, describing Peter Costello as the Liberal Party's "best political asset".

Tone writes

"So much turns on whether he recovers the will to serve, which so clearly (if understandably) wavered in the aftermath of the last election.

"Only Peter Costello can decide whether to carry the tag of 'greatest prime minister Australia never had

Tone, Tone, Tone, get over it sweetie. Costello ain’t going to run, not now, not anytime in the future. He said in November last year that he would be leaving the Parliament “at some time in the future” and nothing has changed.

The sooner the Libs get over their Messiah complex, the better.

The divine Ms G also weighs in with a choice crack

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined the fray, calling Mr Costello's upcoming memoirs "a book with spine from a politician without one".

But the best putdown comes from “Michael” in the comments section.

If costello is the best asset they have its time to blow out the candles because the party is over.

Michael, I salute you sir. You can come over and write for TSFKA anytime.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wow, A Diet That Really Works! Not.

I have to make myself more handsome.

There are three women in my sights.

1. Artemis, recently discussed here at TSFKA, who although still 'kinda seeing' a floppy vegan, is in regular contact and is coming down with a girlfriend of hers to stay with me not this weekend but the next.

2. Helen of Troy (formerly referred to as 'Chryseus', but that's too obscure) who has recently left a 3-year relationship and I am attempting to be 'there for her'.

3. Pony Girl from the Mallee Desert, discussed on my other blog, who has just returned from overseas without her boyfriend and is now freshly single but living in the Mallee Desert.

All three are mid-20's.

I have such a low opinion of myself these days (because of my age-related looks)that, inspired by the recent works of Christopher Hitchens, who, in Vanity Fair, embarked on a 12 month 'beautifying' regime, I've decided to somehow make myself more handsome by becoming healthier.

But I'm stumbling at the first hurdle. I'm 6 foot tall and weigh 68kg, and even that low weight is distributed poorly. For the past 2 weeks I've been doing weights and stretches and crunches and power-walking almost every night in an attempt to not just build muscle, but gain weight. The problem is, I'm not gaining weight because food just isn't my thing. I LOVE food... once, maybe twice a day. I eat big, once a day. But breakfast is not part of it. I get up at about 7am, and don't feel hungry until 11am. Not just that, I feel nauseated at the thought of food until 11am.

How the hell do people eat breakfast? How do I create an appetite for it?

Lunch and tea is no problem - I eat like a horse. But if I'm to put on weight, good weight (ie: not beer / junkfood weight) I have to eat breakfast... and snack during the day.

Any ideas that aren't "quit smoking"?

In the absence of youthful good looks, I need at least a fit, buff body if I'm to have any chance with these damsels.

A thing of beauty and a joy forever

This is my God, now.

The Insertnamehere family has finally joined the digital age, with the arrival of our new set-top box.

The exciting world of digital television awaits; repeats of year-old documentaries, SBS, Father Ted.

I haven’t felt this excited since the last Federal election.


Father Ted!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Useless goose finally goes


In breaking news, it’s been announced goose-in-chief Andrew Jaspan is leaving the Melbourne Age.

Two points.

Firstly, I can’t say I’m really sorry. The man was a clown who didn’t understand Melbourne and filled what should have been Victoria’s leading broadsheet with dodgy bloggers, opinion pieces from his mates in the English media and political writers who seemed to have difficulty understanding how politics actually works in this country.

Secondly, I predicted this some weeks ago.

Please consider Ramon’s Shit-hot Political Consultancy Group for all your political consultancy needs.

Remember – we prevent you from sounding like a clueless cunt.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

They're calling this news now, are they?

This is one of the most deeply depressing pieces I’ve read in an Australian newspaper for some time (and I read the Sunday Age).

The articles starts

SINGLE women, if you want a man in Melbourne, you'll need to leave bayside Elwood and head to the bachelor hot spot, Footscray

and more or less continues downhill from there.

In his latest book, Man Drought and Other Social Issues of the New Century, demographer Bernard Salt explores the man drought striking single women in their 30s and worsening through life, and the "sheila shortage" for men in their 20s.

Based on 2006 census figures, the book investigates the chances of love in a capital city, where women seek work and culture (and men), leaving men tied to farms and rural jobs

Based on some deeply dodgy analysis by professional wanker demographer Bernard Salt of data now two years old, it purports to be a piece of journalism – which is why I presume they put it in the middle of the news pages (page five*).

It is, of course, nothing of the sort. It’s a free plug for Salt’s latest book – a book, let me again add, already two years out of date.

I’d say this is a corruption of the Age’s news values but quite frankly, what news values?

If they think this sort of dribble is news, then I’m glad I got out of the journalism caper.

*Not to be outdone, the Australian whacked it on page three. Jesus wept.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nobody Will Remember Me When I Die*

I woke up the other day and realised I'm not a collector or a buff. I wish I was one or the other.

There's that show on the ABC, 'The Collectors' or 'Antiques Something' or something... can't remember, anyway, I've watched it a couple of times and envied those people who collect things. It doesn't matter if it's tourist spoons, china dolls, ashtrays, stamps, ceramic frogs or Monopoly Boards; they have a reason to shop, and they are easy to buy for, and they have a life's work, as such. The only thing I've ever collected is regrets and ex-girlfriends (the two feed each other).

Then there's people on 'Einstein Factor' who are buffs on a topic. Any topic. They know a lot about something. I don't. I know a little bit about a lot of things, but I'm not an expert on anything. I've racked my brains trying to work out what my 'special subject' is. Stagflation is one possibility. Richmond Football Club 1980-2000 is another. Maybe Shakespeare, or Greek Mytholology, but my knowledge doesn't stack up against people who have spent years studying these.

Is it too late at 39 to start collecting something, or studying something to become an 'expert' in it?

Does anyone here collect anything, and what is your Einstein Factor topic? **

* If that's not already a title of a song by Morrissey, it should be.
** Gee, my post and and questions there are all a bit ABC talkback, isn't it? I should have known better and said 'cunt' a few times.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Long To Reign Over Us

In other Olympic related comment, in today's Age some bloke called Barry Everingham has called for a new Strayan flag.

I accept his offer:

I'm obviously not a designer, but there's method in my visual spasticity.

1. The blue is the same as the blue of the current flag.
2. The blue is to represent the ocean surrounding our country, as well as the night sky.
3. Green and gold are more identifiable with Australia.
4. The green beside the blue represents our green cities and forests along our coastline.
5. Green represents our respect for the environment.
6. Gold is the desert in the centre of our country.
7. Gold also represents our warm inner hearts, and our wealth and riches.
8. It is simple for kids in primary school to draw with crayons, unlike our current flag and many of the proposed new designs of our flag.
9. All the best flags around the world are the most basic. It shouldn't be designed by a graphic designer otherwise it becomes too messy and 'fashionable' only for the time it was created.

Or something.

Maybe the whole thing could rotate 90 degrees, and maybe colours could be of equal width or something.

I even toyed with circular green and gold to make it look more like an island in a sea of blue, but it looked like a target.

I think it's terrific, but if they get rid of the monarchy I'll spew. I'm all happy for a flag change, but I'm also happy for the monarchy to stay as it is. The day we cheer a bureaucratic President is the day we've lost our Australian-ness. Better to have a state leader who lives in another country breeding corgis that we can whinge about, than have some Dick Smith-like character replacing her.

Insert abuse in the comments section.


I've darkened the blue to make it more like the original flag, and made the golden centre more like the one from the Aboriginal flag, as per Louche's suggestion that we should acknowledge their heritage.

Conceptually it;s the same, but this one's a bit prettier I reckon.

Olympics 'not all about sport' shock!

Honestly, you lot.

I go away for a couple of days to try and beat Blogger into submission and when I come back it’s all cyber-kissie face and typing one-handed.

Get your minds out of the gutter comrades.


The real reason why I’m writing is this breathless report in today’s Age.

The paper notes

AUSTRALIAN Olympic athletes have been paid five figure sums not to appear on a rival television show as bidding wars for exclusive access to medal winners turned nasty yesterday.

One competitor who has really earned the big dollars is world recordholder Stephanie Rice, who has agreed to sign a two-year deal of around $800,000 with Channel Seven, which is the Beijing Olympic broadcaster.

But Channel Nine, which has the Olympic rights for the next Games in London in 2012, has been aggressively pursuing its own signatures

Really! Imagine that! Television networks are ruthlessly pursuing Olympic figures worth millions of dollars in advertising revenue - paint me pink and call me Pope Benedict.

Why anybody pretends the Olympics is primarily about sport is beyond me. It’s a rolling celebration of greed, corruption and fat-headed stupidity.

It also has its dark side.

But I do like this quote from an anonymous industry source

"This is unprecedented, the level of desperation, the underhandedness and ugliness that went on," a source said. The wheeling and dealing followed big ratings for the Olympic coverage and an insatiable appetite for the inside stories of the stars”.

Translation: “Their cunts got in with a bucket of phat cash before our cunts could”

Also - Stephanie Rice, goth or not?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Help a n00b out

In exile, Ramon Insertnamehere curses his lack of internet smarts.

Some of you may have noticed the absence of any comments from me recently, with their characteristic mixture of pithy advice and abuse, on this blog,

This is because, for some reason, Blogger has declared a fatwah and won’t let me comment.

I can post OK, as you can observe, but every time I try and write a comment I either get a “done, but with errors on page” or “javascript: void (0)” message thingo.

Now, “javascript: void (0)” did initially have a rather lovely Pinteresque quality about it, but quite frankly, it’s getting tiresome.

Is there anything I can do to fix this myself, as I’d rather not involve the Department’s computer bods.

Or must I be like Napoleon* in exile on St Helena, outcast and forgotten, brooding over past wrongs and devoting my time to writing a series of self-serving memoirs.

This is not an opportunity to slag me off while I can’t reply, either.

*I mean of course Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, not the Napoleon who used to comment on TSSH.

Guinea, Guinea, Guinea! "Oi, Oi, Oi!"

Tomorrow night, Sally McLellan runs in the final of the women's 100m hurdles. She was one of two Strayan athletes (along with Craig 'Buster' Mottram) I predicted would have a shot at a track medal at Beijing. Good luck to the plucky 21 year old Queenslander.

But no such luck for the Guineans I'm afraid. Meet Fatmata Fofanah:

In Heat 5 of Round 1 of the 100m hurdles, Fatmata Fofanah took to the track.

I've done some research. Fatmata was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone (another oxymoron) in 1985, but at some point, she and her parents Mohamed and N'Sira moved to the USA, presumably for a better life.

In 2004, she finished third at the Indoor Scholastic Nationals in the 60m hurdles in her junior season and also won something called 'The Colgate' title in the hurdles. She then received All-American honours at the 2007 NCAA Division event in California, and came 4th (in a speedy 12.96) in the 100m hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

She studies International Affairs at Georgia Tech.

She was fast, but not quite fast enough to make the USA track team, so, for the second time in her life, she changed nationalities and became a proud Guinean and was chosen to represent her newly adoped country in this event.

Obviously, she has devoted most of her life training to get into the Olympics - you must surely be pretty determined if you're willing to become a Guinean just to compete.

I watched her heat. Naturally, I had never heard of her before the starter's gun went off. What made me think Fatmata was worthy of posting is that the poor girl fell at the first hurdle... and that's not a metaphor. She ran 15 metres in about 3 seconds, and that was it. That was her entire Olympic contribution.

So when we watch Phelps, Bolt and all those bogan 'Golden Girls' bathe in their Olympic glory, I ask you to consider, just for one second, Fatmata Fofanah and the thousands of other Olympians that failed miserably.

I wish her luck with her International Affairs course.

(Photo from USA Today - Fatmata Fofanah falling at the first hurdle, thus shattering the Guineans dream).

Here's an even more poignant shot I found:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nine observations about Mr Ed Kuepper and one about me.

1. The man is a certified musical genius. I defy anyone to find a dud Ed Kuepper album.

2. True, some of the Laughing Clowns material may be considered sub-optimal but I have no time for this sort of hair-splitting nonsense.

3. Together with Chris Bailey, Ed Kuepper was one of the most important figures in the early punk movement and as such, his influence is still felt today.

4. He is also widely regarded as one of the grumpiest cunts in an industry largely populated by grumpy cunts. I remember watching him perform on Rockwiz. I can’t remember who he was performing with, but she was almost pissing herself with excitement about performing alongside the legendary Ed Kuepper. Ed looked as though he was being checked for piles.

5. Everything I’ve got belongs to you starts with the line “I have designs on you that come from dirty books”. How classy is that?

6. He always looks really, really grumpy.

7. I saw him play at the old Prince of Wales some years ago and he had a different guitar for just about every tune. Now that’s perfectionism.

8. Black ticket day is just about the perfect song for driving.

9. He’s also got an East German Volks Polizei armband. Cool!

10. I’m beginning to think my habit of washing down my anti-depressants with a glass of red wine each morning is maybe not such a good idea. Maybe I should switch to white.


Blogger informs me that it "hates me and wants me to die" and won't allow me to post any comments.

Still here comrades.


Blogger is a cunting cunt.

I feel like Helen Keller here

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lewis, Lewis. Oh! Boy! Away I go....

It is well documented that I love the footy, but it is less well documented that my actual favourite spectator sport is Athletics. I was once a handy 800m runner but I was never going to be world-class, and at age 19 I had a choice of pursuing athletics or pursuing women in smoke-filled bars and I wisely chose the latter. But my love of the sport has continued and I am an armchair expert.

Let me tell you about Tamsyn Lewis. She is the second fastest Australian woman over 800m ever (and will probably become the fastest ever in the next couple of days). She is also the 3rd or 4th fastest ever over 400m which is not even her chosen event. She is the reigning World Indoor 800m Champion and has won 9 out of 9 Australian Championships at 800m. She can run the 800m in under 2 minutes, I couldn't even cycle that fast.

So why do people hate her? For starters, there was the public spat with Jana Rawlinson (nee Pittman) but Tamsyn was well within her rights on that one. They were competing against each other in a 400m and Jana said, "I'll win because there's no competition," and Tamsyn responded with, "I'll give you competition, bitch" and actually beat Jana in the race. Then she came out last week and said that she knows she'll be running against people on drugs - and in doing so, enraged the IOC and IAAF, even though she was saying what everybody was thinking. Add to that Australia's bloodlust for Gold Medals. She's a failure because she's only about the 10th best in the world. Her other crime is that she's a bit hot. It's what I call the Kournikova Syndrome... "How dare you be that sexy but only be the 10th best in the world! You're a charlatan, bitch!"

Give her a break, seriously. She's a fucking good athlete.

So I say to whichever sports journalist wrote this blurb in today's 'The Age':

1.10pm: Women's 800m, Tamsyn Lewis and Madeleine Pape
There's nothing like a dignified silence, and Lewis is nothing like a dignified silence. Lewis is a medal chance in the get-your-excuses-in-early sprint. She had a flyer last week, claiming she would be running against "drug cheats". Let's hope "good Tamsyn" triumphs over "evil everyone else" - except Pape.

I say, "You are a cunt."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cooking with Ramon!

*Ring, ring*

Me: “Hello, Ramon here”.

Julia Gillard: “Ramon, Julia Gillard here”

Me: “Jules! Comrade! How’s it going?”

JG: “Oh, not too bad comrade, not too bad, what with me being the acting PM and everything. Look, I’m after your advice.”

Me: “Fire away”

JG: “I’ve got a big dinner party coming up. The boss and Therese are coming around for a bit of a nosh-up and I know you’re a wiz in the kitchen. Any tips you can pass on so I don’t make a complete arse of myself?”

Me: “The secret to great cooking is to reach a comfortable level of inebriation early in the afternoon and stay there. I like to have a bottle of Coopers Ale to hand while assembling the ingredients. It calms the mind and cools the head. Peel a potato, have a beer, get the peas ready, have a beer, that sort of thing. Then, just before you serve up, I like to gulp down a couple more belts of the house red.”

JG: “Cripes, thanks comrade. Last time we had them over, Therese knocked back a whole bottle of cooking sherry and spent the rest of the night groping Kev under the table. It just got embarrassing; Tim and I didn’t know where to look.”

Me: “Happy to help Jules. Anything for the Party.”

JG: “You’re a mensch, Ramon.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This delta is full of silt

Delta Goodrem in full voice

Delta Goodrem is gracing our shores with her Believe Again tour.

The original title of Please, please, oh God I’m so desperate. I tanked in the US and my career is in free-fall was rejected by the record company execs as “not snappy enough”.


The above picture is of the Nile Delta toad and not the popular musician Delta Goodrem.

The error occurred because the sub is a slack cunt.

We apologise to the toad and her family.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ramon's 14th Nightmare

Enough political la-de-da.

The unbearable lightness of Complex Shit

Sometimes you can be too ironic and monumental for your own good, as evidenced today by this story from The Age. Artist Paul McCarthy had been purportedly "subverting the complex landscape" according to the Paul Klee Centre's website with his giant inflatable dog turd piece entitled 'Complex Shit'. Problem was, the Complex Shit was picked up by a high wind, snagged a power line and damaged a greenhouse before landing in the grounds of a children's home.

One wonders if the inmates of the children's home now have what psychologists might call a shit complex caused by the errant Complex Shit?

Who knows? Only time will tell.

Georgia On My Mind

For my 40th birthday next year I have planned a 2 month trip through Ancient Greece. My plan was to start in Athens and catch up with friends (I lived there for a couple of years in the 90's), then head to Thessaly where I would take the Argonauts' journey from Thessaly to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece. In Colchis, I had planned to volunteer at an archaelogical digging site for a week (probably doing their dishes), then make my way to Turkey to get to Troy, and from there, take Ulysses' journey from Troy to Ithaca.

The problem of course is that Ancient Colchis is these days known as 'Georgia' and the Russians are currently bombing the fuck out of it.

It's hard trying to make sense of the news reports. The Southern Ossetians, though technically Georgians, identify more with Russians (I'm guessing they are Orthodox). They were claiming some sort of autonomy so the Georgians sent some heavy-handed troops in to suppress the rebels, and in return, the Russians sent in 42 Billion soldiers and an apocalyptic army to a) protect the Southern Ossetians, b) Potentially invade the whole country of Georgia for the hell of it (you know, "While we're there") and c) Piss the whole world off.

Both the Georgians and the Russians have ruined my holiday. Cunts.

It is hard to predict what is going to happen. The US, who are good mates with Georgia, are making a bit of noise but they ain't sending anybody in to actually do anything. Instead, that suave-as-fuck French President Sarkozy and his hot, hot missus are heading over there for 'talks', presumably with Putin and his bevy of hot, hot mistresses.

All I know is this: The Russian Revolution fucked everything up. Ancient Colchis was a paradise and now it's Stalinist rubble, and if it gets blown off the face of the Earth by an angry Putin it won't matter because Medea, the Amazons and the Golden Fleece were all destroyed long ago by 20th century political lunacy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Petty vindication is still vindication

Some weeks ago, I speculated where Jesus would bat if he played for the Australian test team.

Perseus pooh-poohed this idea and stated Jesus would be a stoner and wouldn’t even watch the match.

Well, I was right and Perseus was wrong, as Dr Abraham Terian points out in this article in the Age recently

Quoting from his Armenian source, Terian says the gospel relates how Jesus, at the age of nine, had been apprenticed to a master dyer named Israel in Tiberias, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

"Jesus is instructed to watch Israel's house and not leave the place while the master goes away on a tour to collect clothes to be dyed. But no sooner has Israel left the house, than Jesus runs out with the boys,'' Terian says.

"The most amazing part of the story of the nine-year-old Jesus playing a form of cricket with the boys at the sea shore, is that he would go on playing the game on water, over the sea waves.''

So, who’s the better theological scholar now then, eh?

Nyeerr, nyeerr.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Barry Humphries is a c*nt.

I believe the bid is against you, sir

The Age continues its slobbering adoration of a man who was last faintly amusing in 1971.

Its European correspondent, Paola Totaro*, reports on Barry Humphries' delivery of the Arthur Boyd lecture at the Australian High Commission in London.


Readers with a queasy disposition may want to avert their eyes as the following Age article contains shameless brown-nosing, sucking up and purple prose.

Ms Totaro writes

Barry Humphries, razor-sharp and resplendent, has delivered an arch, long-distance rebuke to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd over his role in the artistic fracas over photographer Bill Henson's images.

My first question would be – what role, dickhead?

As I recall, Kruddy was asked what he thought of Bill Henson's photos of a young girl on display in a Sydney gallery. He said he didn’t like it. End of “role”.

Why any journo in their right mind would think this was a story is beyond me.

Mr Humphries draws on all his fabled wit to reply.

But asked afterwards by The Age for his thoughts on the state of artistic debate in Australia and the Henson controversy, Humphries raised an eyebrow and delivered a characteristically acidic broadside: "Oh yes, yes, I followed it. What did I think? It reminded me that the Prime Minister is from Queensland," he said.

"Oh yes, that is on the record … I might add it also made me glad I'm Church of England."

What a cunt. What a mean-spirited, reactionary cunt.

Kruddy is from Queensland and therefore must be a moron. What a knee-slapper Baz.

I can’t wait to see what gems he’ll produce if Julia Gillard becomes PM.

*Paola Totaro, during her stint as the Age’s European correspondent, has produced nothing memorable, interesting or well written. I’m sure a glowing career awaits for her at Fairfax.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let the ignoring of the Games commence!

Emperor Constantine I also failed to give a shit about the Games

Well, the Olympic Games are about to commence in Beijing and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the prospect of completely ignoring them.

Let’s see – do I have my “Fuck the Olympic Games” kit ready?

Crate of Coopers Ale stashed away in the shed – check.

Boxed collection of Futurama DVDs – check.

Three-volume history of the Byzantine Empire – check.

Looks like we’re ready to rock and roll.

Don’t imagine, however, I’m opposed to all aspects of the saturation coverage the Games will get – this is a golden time for the spin-doctoring community.

Kruddy could announce the creation of an Australian Soviet republic, the compulsory sterilisation of all conservative voters and invasion of New Zealand and the punters would say “yeah, yeah, whatever you say Kev. Does anybody know the results of the third heat in the high-diving?”

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Date From Hell

Dating blogs are a dime a dozen and are mostly if not wholly pedestrian at best. But I think I have enough angle on this yarn to warrant a post.

(All pseudonyms, obviously)

There’s this chick called Spinach who we met at band gigs – she was one of our most dedicated fans. Over the years we became quite friendly with her, so much so that these days she’s considered a ‘fifth Beatle’ of the band. She organises our myspaz site, does our merchandising, is our photographer and so on. She’s the nearest thing we have to a manager. Through Spinach we met her little brother Biff, who is now actually in our band. Then, being that our manager and a band member are of the same family, we got to know their extended family quite well, including their parents and their rather beautiful older sister Artemis, who is 25 years old.

When I first met Artemis more than a year ago I was smitten, but she had a boyfriend so, you know, whatever. That, and I’m too old for her anyway, but I can always fantasise. When she became single, the most handsome member of my band, Scrapper, made a move on her but failed and I thought at the time, “Well if Scrapper can’t pick her up, I’ve definitely got no hope.” She got a new boyfriend anyway. Girls like her don;t have to wait long.

But about three months ago she became single again and I spoke to Spinach and I said, “I’m thinking of asking your older sister Artemis out. What’s your advice?” and she said, “Absolutely not, no way, you have no chance.”

I let it go.

But then two days ago I came into possession of a spare ticket to The Breeders concert. I thought, “Right, I’m going to put this ‘man the fuck’ up business into action. I’m 14 years older than her, she’s stunningly beautiful, her little sister said I had no chance but I’m going to be a man and ask her anyway.”

The phone conversation went like this (edited, but facts true):

Me: “What are you doing tomorrow night?”
Artemis: “Going to a MIFF film with a friend.”
Me: “Oh, I was going to ask you on a date to The Breeders concert.”
Artemis: “I’ve never heard of them.”
Me: “90’s rock band, spinoff of Pixies. They’re good, but oh well.”
Artemis: “I’m so flattered you asked though so I’m going to say yes. What I’ll do is, go out for dinner with my friend anyway, and then go to the concert with you. Wow, I’m really flattered.”
Me: “Are you kidding? I’m more flattered that you said yes!”

I was ecstatic. Oh I had manned the fuck up alright. Straight after, I chopped wood, ate my steak rare and then looked for broken down cars to fix.

Last night, I met up with Artemis at the pub where she was having dinner with the friend that she had dumped. The friend was nice, and laughed saying, “Oh, so you’re the guy she’s dumped me for.”

Then they said, “We were talking, and we’re thinking that if it’s okay with you, we’d like to come down and stay at your seaside cottage for a weekend at the end of the month. Care for some visitors?”

“Sure!” I said, now totally pumped because not only did I get the date, she had now booked in a weekend visit to my house!

“I have a good feeling about this,” I thought, and I was as happy as I’ve been in ages.

But ten minutes later, this happened (unedited):

Artemis: “Oh by the way, when we come down, we’re both vegetarians, is that okay?”
Me: “Of course. I used to be a vegetarian myself so I’m all cool with vegetarian cuisine. Vegans are harder to deal with.”
Artemis: “Oh I know, Josh is a vegan and it’s really difficult at times.”
Me: “Who’s Josh?”
Artemis: “My boyfriend.”
Me: “..............”
Artemis: “Yeah, he’s only been vegan for a short while. He’s seeing how it goes.”
Me: “.............”
Artemis: “I hope he gives up, personally. How can anyone live without cheese?”
Me: “..............”
Artemis: “Are you okay Perseus? You look suddenly pale.”
Me: “................”
Artemis: “Perseus?”
Me: “................”
Artemis: “Perseus?
Me: “..................”
Artemis: “Perseus?”
Me: “..................”

Art, for f*cks sake.

It is universally acknowledged that arts prizes are a foul con, a swindle to deceive the gullible and make a shit-load of money for the winners.

The Mann Booker*, the Vogel, the Miles Franklin – high profile crap one and all.

Now it seems some biffo has broken out around the Blake Prize, described as “the nation's top prize for religious art”.

Apart from the inevitable “what, we have a prize for religious art now?” I suspect the most common reaction will be “oh, for fuck’s sake”.

The Age notes;

It is understood that one of the Blake Prize judges, academic Christopher Allen, has resigned from the panel over his vehement objections to Sydney artist Adam Cullen's work. The triptych shows Christ on the cross with the inscription "only woman bleed", inspired by a line from an Alice Cooper song.

Mr Cullen goes on to say

"All the other entries would be of a Jew on two bits of wood. It's a very left-wing, almost pseudo- femme, artwork. How can he be offended?"

Come again? How can it be “very left-wing”?

Christ clutching a hammer and sickle would be very left-wing. Christ driving the money changers out of the temple might be very left-wing. A girly Christ is not.

Get your hand off it, wanker.

The paper also notes

Among the more provocative works is a picture of Melbourne party boy Corey Worthington as Jesus.

"Jesus was crucified to pay for the sins of man, and Corey was crucified by the media to pay for the sins of the MySpace generation," said Sydney photographer Dean Sewell, who created the image.

This old shtick again. Whack an image of Christ on something and bingo-bango it’s a “provocative work”.

Whack an image of Mohamed on something, however, and you have angry mobs burning down the Austrian embassy in Islamabad.

*I’m prepared to make an exemption for J.G. Farrell’s The Siege of Krishnapur, which was an absolute cracker.

Oh and Midnight’s Children. But that’s it

Monday, August 4, 2008

You can no longer call him Al.

You would always find him in the kitchen at parties

In what publicists are describing as a "shrewd career move" writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn has died, aged 89.

I've wrestled with Solzhenitsyn on and off, lo these many years. The main thing I took away from One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich was "gee, these gulag things don't seem to be much fun" while August 1914 was very, very, very long - and I've survived Tolstoy.

As usual when a writer dies, the focus will be on their works rather than the less pleasant aspects of their personalities. Thus I would expect Solzhenitsyn's contempt for the modern, secular west, strong authoritarianism and anti-Semitism won't get much of a jersey.

I suppose winning the Nobel Prize often hides the fact that the winner can be a bit of a prick.

And talking of pricks, for fuck's sake Costello shit or get off the pot.

This brooding Hamlet act is getting really tiring.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Huzzah! Age publishes most pointless column EVAH!

Hats off to you, Mr Jaspan!

For some time now I've been watching the slow decline of the Melbourne Age as it lurches from beat-up ("OMG! Bay dredging will kill little fishies") to beat-up ("OMG!!! Aussie troops hurt in war zone!!!!!!!!!!!") and as a constant procession of brain dead dimwits (Tracee Hutchinson, The Two Sams, Clam) delighted us with their stream of psycho-babble postings.

But now, in today's op-ed page, their latest offering is the icing on the turd.

Shalom Auslander writes , at some length, that many people write nonsense on the Interwebs.


The really baffling thing is that Shalom Auslander isn't even a home-grown nuffie. The paper had to import this nonsense from the Guardian, itself home to the "OMG!! Clerico-fascists are killing us and we deserve it" style columnist.

I urge you to read Mr Auslander's piece. Everything else you read after will be Shakespearean in comparison.