Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rowland S Howard


Sage advice, I'm sure you'll agree.

I was dreaming in my dreaming
of an aspect bright and fair
and my sleeping it was broken
but my dream it lingered near
in the form of shining valleys
where the pure air recognized
and my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
that the people / have the power
to redeem / the work of fools
upon the meek / the graces shower
it's decreed / the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
and bending low as if to hear
and the armies ceased advancing
because the people had their ear
and the shepherds and the soldiers
lay beneath the stars
exchanging visions
and laying arms
to waste / in the dust
in the form of / shining valleys
where the pure air / recognized
and my senses / newly opened
I awakened / to the cry


Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
like cream the waters rise
and we strolled there together
with none to laugh or criticize
and the leopard
and the lamb
lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
to recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
god knows / a purer view
as I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you


The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power ...

This time of year also makes me stabby as I am inevitably approached by morons who ask me “are you making any New Year resolutions?” to which my reasoned response is “no, do I look like a fucking cretin”?

However, as a public service, I offer this observation.

Avoid Atavar.

It is made by James Cameron and is therefore shit.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Twenny Ten

The Year We Make Contact With Common Sense...Or Not

It was bad enough when everybody celebrated the beginning of the new millennium a year early in 2000 - rather than celebrating the last year of the old millennium - but when people started calling the years 'two thousand and something' it really, really pissed me off (along with numerous other pedants).

We've always called it 'nineteen' something, or 'eighteen' something. 'Nineteen Eighty Four' for example. 'Eighteen Forty Two'. 'Ten Sixty Six'. So why were we suddenly calling it 'Two Thousand and One'? Why not 'Twenty Oh One'? Like 'Nineteen Oh One' or 'Sixteen Oh One'.

I hereby move a motion to call next year (the last year of the first decade of the new millennium) 'Twenty Ten'. Not 'Two Thousand and Ten'. At the risk of labouring the point, we didn't call it 'One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ten'. Anyway, apart from historical precedent, my preferred option contains fewer syllables. Why wouldn't you do it? In this age of texting and tweeting abbreviations (God help us) it makes sense. Doesn't it?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A very special PSF.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ** that is to be.

Without coming over all Myf Warhurst*, seasons beatings to you all comrades.

See you on the other side.

* Whom I hate and want to die.

** I put that bit in to annoy Pers and Melba.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No. 1

There's this bloke called Kevin Barnes (above) in the US who releases a lot of music in various guises, most of which is unlistenable bog. Oh, he's done a couple of half-decent songs, but most of them are rubbish. "Oh, look at me, I can use twelve different pop styles in the same verse.... I'm a genius!". No, you're not. You're annoying.

But anyway, one day in 2006, with nothing but a synth, a loop pedal and a notebook of stream-of-consciousness lyrics, Kevin Barnes created 13 minutes of perfect music.

In my mind, this is so far the best track of the 2000s that it is twice as good as the next best.

I've explored you with the detachment of an analyst
But most nights we've raided the same kingdoms
And none of our secrets are physical

It goes for 13 minutes so it's not on YouTube, but luckily some chick put the whole song on her blog.

The winner is 'The Past Is A Grotesque Animal' by Of Montreal, and you can listen to it here, but listening to it on a blog will not do it justice. If you can, buy the original on CD and play it loud. The album is called 'Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?'

(Prediction: Obtuse-A and possibly RandomGit will be the only two who will like it (aside from Lewd Bob, who I know likes it... in fact, he got me on to it in the first place)).

Not gay at all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Put that thing away, Lev Davidovich!

Leon Trotsky, root rat!

Reading Bertrand M. Patenaude’s extremely interesting Stalin’s Nemesis: The Exile and Murder of Leon Trotsky I came across a letter that Trotsky wrote to his wife Natalia in July 1937.

Since I arrived here, not once has my poor cock stood up straight. It’s as though it doesn’t exist. It’s also resting from the stresses of these days. But in spite of it, I myself am thinking tenderly of your old, dear cunt. I want to suck on it, shove my tongue all the way inside it. Natalochka, my dear, I will ever more strongly fuck you with my tongue and with my cock. Forgive me Natalochka these lines, it seems it’s the first time in my life that I write to you like this.


Trotsky was then 57 and had just finished an affair with Frida Kahlo.

I don’t know whether to be impressed or repelled but mostly I find myself thinking – how on earth did he find the time?

I mean, here he was, being chased by Stalin’s secret police across three continents and he still had time to be concerned about his dick.

It’s also sobering to realise that in the extremely unlikely event somebody writes my biography, my most intimate correspondence with my wife will mostly revolve around whether we should have Thai or pizza tonight for takeaway.

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No. 2

Electrelane were an all-chick band from England who inexplicably disbanded after four great albums when they were at the height of their popularity. What the hell's wrong with these bands? Why the hell would you split up? What are you going to do? Work at a bank? You're fucken rockstars, it's the ultimate job!

Anyway, they're awesome, and are on high rotation on my stereos. They perform a kind of 'drone-rock'. Think Nico, mixed with Neu!, mixed with Stereolab and Sonic Youth, or something. Many of their songs stick to one or two chords, they get into a groove and work the hell out of it. This then becomes the best driving music. It is perhaps an indication of how much driving I do (living so far from Melbourne, but having so many reasons to go there) that this song is high up on my list, and Electrelane is so appreciated by me.

The song is from their second album 'The Power Out' which came out in 2004, and it's a classic drone rock piece. A fan has made a video for it, and I'm glad that s/he chose driving footage because that's where the song makes most sense.

A note: As I have mentioned before, I hate saxophones, and here I have my second best song of the 2000s featuring a sax solo, but, as you will hear, the performer treats the foul instrument with the contempt it deserves. Also, musically speaking, the way the sax comes to its finale just as the synth comes back in is one of those 'moments' in music that make me melt... Gee I love rock music.

The songs is called 'Only One Thing Is Needed'.

They got it going on alright.

(Sound quality isn't so good... please buy the song)


Monday, December 21, 2009

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No. 3

Gogol Bordello, a gypsy punk band, win my 'band of the decade' award for producing three incredibly strong albums as well as a stack of side-projects all of high quality (though I tend to squirm when I think of their stint as Madonna's backing band).

Based in the US, the band is made-up predominantly by eastern European immigrants, most notably the lead singer and chief songwriter, Eugene Hutz (of Romani extraction... his family went on the mover after Chernobyl) who you may know from his brilliant acting performance in the film 'Everything Is Illuminated'.

The music is very high energy, incredibly theatrical (as you can tell from the live clip below) and perfectly irreverent. I get a bit bored with all this introspecdtive rock music. These guys just have a lot of fun, even when they are spouting political messages.

Though most well-known for their 'hit' Start Wearing Purple , the song I have at No. 3 is called '60 Revolutions' . I reckon I've played this song and jumped around the house about 400 times in the past few years. It's infectious, and the arrangement is awesome. The last half, when the go-go girls jump in and he changes languages is some of the best folk punk ever made.

It's loud and brash, but I hope you can watch both clips below (the first being the a live version showing the band at their theatrical best, the other being a bizarre fan video with the original recording. I couldn't find a You Tube version with decent sound, so if you're going to buy one song in I-tunes today, please buy this one and hear it in hi-fi).

60 revolutions per minute
this is my regular speed
So how do you want me to live with it?
How do you want me to live with it?
Without ringing all alarms!
Without overthrowing czars!
Without emptying the bars!
Without screwing with your charts!

I'm gathering new generation
That's gonna stand up to it
To this karaoke dictatorship
Where posers and models with guitars
Boogie to the shit for beats
I make a better rock revolution
Alone with my dick!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Poetry Slam Friday

You do not always know what I am feeling.
Last night in the warm spring air while I was
blazing my tirade against someone who doesn't
me, it was love for you that set me

and isn't it odd? for in rooms full of
strangers my most tender feelings
writhe and
bear the fruit of screaming. Put out your hand,
isn't there
an ashtray, suddenly, there? beside
the bed? And someone you love enters the room
and says wouldn't
you like the eggs a little

different today?
And when they arrive they are
just plain scrambled eggs and the warm weather
is holding.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000's: No. 4

I've already posted a live version of this song a few weeks ago, but here is the original recording with what I presume is another fan video.

I might actually get some purchase from Patchouli and Puss on this one. There's not much in this stunning song to dislike. It's eerie, sad, romantic, powerful and adept all at once. The first time I heard it I was blown away by its sentiment and gradual musical build. It starts great and then just gets better and better.

It's by Beth Gibbons (from Portishead, who I was never fussed about) and someone called Rustin Man. The song is called 'Funny Time Of Year' and I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh Gawd, this old chestnut.

One of the great markers that the holiday season is upon us is the numbers of bored hacks writers in the Sunday papers churning out pieces about what to do and not to do at the “office Christmas party”

For those completely clueless, said writers produce gems like “drink in moderation”, “don’t wear revealing clothes” and “don’t goose the boss while shouting ‘let’s re-create Operation Barbarossa, you saucy minx’,” and so-on and so-forth.

Even more painful are the humorous takes on what to do and not do at the office Christmas party, as witnessed by The Dev in the Age today.

Therefore in keeping with the clich├ęs of the season, I present the Ramon Insertnamehere guide to what to do and not do at the office Christmas party.

Don’t fuckin go.

For those who do work in an office, consider your co-workers for a moment.

Aren’t they the most insufferable bunch of arse-clowns you’ve every come across? I mean, you’d rather go wild on gin with Tony Abbott than spend a minute more than you have to in their malodorous presence.

Sweet Jesus.

For those of you who work from home, however, this is the perfect time to drink all those bottles of Polish vodka you’ve been storing and make abusive calls to the Pope while wearing a reindeer costume.

You know it makes sense.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No. 5

Racing through now...

You were hoping I'd get through this list without Melt-Banana weren't you?*
Not likely!

But give it a shot. The last 45 seconds of this delighful little pop song sounds a little bit like, well, a song. You might like some of it.

Play it LOUD. Go on. It's less than two and a half minutes...

It is called 'Blank Page Of The Blind'.

*Except for Obtuse-A, who may very well have been hoping the opposite.

(NB: I do prefer Melt-Banana's medley of First Contact With Planet Q / Warp, Back Spin, but because it is technically two songs, it didn't make the Top 10 - below is that medley, but the dickhead who made the video missed the last minute of the second song. Funniest bit is in the comments bit where someone has written: "AHHH OMG WTF IS HAPPENING?! SOMEONE HELP ME!!! -falls and dies- ).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lewd Bob's Top 20 Albums of 2009

Woods - Songs of Shame

As Perseus pointed out recently, I like compiling lists. And since we're talking about music, and it's almost the end of the year, allow me to temporarily interrupt Perseus' top 10 songs of the 2000s with my annual list of top 20 albums of the year.

Let me perhaps increase the interest of this post by offering a free copy of Lewd Bob's Best of 2009*. Each year I compile a double CD containing my favourite tracks from these top albums (plus many more!). I am willing to give away 10 copies, which means much printing, burning and anguish over track-listing.

The first 10 people to state their interest, will receive one.

Steve McBean from Pink Mountaintops wondering how he'll dress for the photo shoot

Here's the list:

1. Woods - Songs of Shame
2. Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love
3. Built To Spill - There is No Enemy
4. The Thermals - Now We Can See
5. AC Newman - Get Guilty
6. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle
7. Beirut - March of the Zapotec
8. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
9. Atlas Sound - Logos
10. The Antlers - Hospice
11. Islands - Vapours
12. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
13. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
14. Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, The Commuter
15. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
16. Swan Lake - Enemy Mine
17. Girls - Album
18. The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath
19. The Felice Brothers - Yonder is the Clock
20. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic

With apologies to Cymbals Eat Guitars, Art Brut, Volcano Choir, Wilco, Dirty Projectors and a few others. Their tracks may still, however, make the CD.

Jason Lytle in his bedroom: "Mum, I'll be down after I skol a beer!"

*This assumes there are people out there who actually want one, and who are, further, prepared to provide me with their postal address.

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000's: No. 6

Shut up. I like folk-punk.
'Flannigan's Ball' by Dropkick Murphys.
The song is not about the environment, or about how we should love one another.
It's about a party that ends up an all-in brawl.
Guest vocals by Spider from The Pogues.

Lyrics ace.

In the town of Milton one
Brian Flannigan battered away till his money was spent
Then he hit a big one and felt like a man again,
Bought a three decker with two floors for rent

He threw a big party for friends
And relations at a grand old place called Florian Hall
And if you'll just listen I'll make your eyes glisten
To the rows and the ructions of Flannigan's ball.

Six long months I spent in quincy,
Six long months doing nothing at all,
Six long months I spent in quincy
Learning to dance for Flannigan's ball
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Flannigan's ball.

Free beer on tap and wine for the ladies,
Ziti and sauce for mark porzio
There were faheys and bradys,
Mcauliffes and daleys courtin the girls and dancing away.

Brian tully sang out in his finest form,
The patron's responded and I lead em all
I'd spent 6 months at Forbes Academy
Learning to dance for Flannigan's ball


The boys were hammered the girls were hearty
Dancing around in couples and groups
An accident happened to Dennis Flemming
Put his right leg through miss Finneran's hoops

This gal she fainted and cried bloody murder,
Called for her sons and gathered them all,
Christopher swore he'd go no further
Till he had revenge at Flannigan's ball


In the midst of the melee
Miss Collins fainted - her cheeks by now were as red as a rose
Some of the boys decreed she was plastered
Had a small drop too much I suppose

Young Scotty Jenkins so big and able
Saw his fair colleen stretched by the wall
Tore the left leg from under the table
And smashed all the dishes at Flannigan's ball

Boy oh boy now this was a rumble myself
Took a lick from mean Ricky Green
But I soon replied to that fine introduction
And gave him a terrible kick in the spleen

Talent the piper nearly got strangled,
They squeezed on his bellows, chanters and all,
The girls in the middle nearly got trampled
And that put an end to Flannigan's ball

Ah, the innocence of youth.

Sunday afternoon was mostly spent wrangling The Boy (aged five), The Boy’s Best Mate (also aged five) and the Best Mate’s Younger Brother (aged two).

While resting in the living room nursing a quiet beer planning more diversions for those young rascals, I overheard the following conversation floating in from the back yard.

The Boy: “Look, look, a centipede, coming out from that rock.”

The Boy’s Best Mate: “Wow! Kill it, kill it! Hit it with a stick!”

TB: “Hang on, I’ll get a brick.”

There followed some scuffling and the sound of muffled thumping.

TB: “There.”

TBBM: ‘Is it dead?”

TB: “I think so. Its head come off.”

TBBM and TB (together): “Cool!!”

That and asking the Younger Brother several hundred times if he needed to go to the toilet was probably the highlight of the weekend.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thanks for reminding me, Bob.

Thinking back now,
I suppose you were just stating your views
What was it all for
For the weather or the battle of Agincourt
And the times that we all hoped would last
Like a train they have gone by so fast
And though we stood together
At the edge of the platform
We were not moved by them

With my own hands
When I make love to your memory
It's not the same
I miss the thunder
I miss the rain
And the fact that you don't understand
Casts a shadow over this land
But the sun still shines from behind it.

Thanks all the same
But I just can't bring myself to answer your letters
It's not your fault
But your honesty touches me like a fire
The polaroids that hold us together
Will surely fade away
Like the love that we spoke of forever
On St Swithin's day

This always remins me of every single relationship I've fucked up.

Oh, and

St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair

Hope that clears things up.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Abbott's Front Bench

Alex, in a recent post:

Dr Insertnamehere, what's your take on Abbott's new front bench...?

So Ramon can make an informed comment, I've included here a recent picture of Abbott's front bench, just prior to afternoon tea:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No 7

Why I love this song...

1. Great use of strings.
2. The sentiment is beautiful.

Alexander, our older brother
Set out for a great adventure
He tore our images out of his pictures
He scratched our names out of all his letters

Our mother should've just named you Laika...

Come on, Alex. You can do it!
Come on, Alex. There's nothing to it!
If you want something, don't ask for nothing!
If you want nothing, don't ask for something!

Our mother should've just named you Laika...
It's for your own good
It's for the neighborhood...
The neighborhood!

Our older brother bit by a vampire
For a year, we caught his tears in a cup
And now we're gonna make him drink it
Come on, Alex. Don't die or dry up!

Our mother should've just named you Laika
It's for your own good
It's for the neighborhood...
The neighborhood!

When daddy comes home, you always start a fight
So the neighbors can dance in the police disco lights

The police disco lights
Now the neighbors can dance!
The police disco lights
Now the neighbors can dance!

I present at Number 7, 'Neighbourhood #2 (Laika)' by Canadian hit-and-miss stars, Arcade Fire.

It was never a single, but luckily someone made a clip for it anyway as a school project.

It's just like Crikey. Only we say "cunt" a lot more.

With a federal election likely in the middle of next year the team at Australia’s 126th most influential blog, The Site Formally Known As, is gearing up to give you the country’s hardest hitting political coverage*.

TSFKA political editor Ramon Insertnamehere said the site was chock-a-block with drunks and layabouts some of Australia’s finest political analysts.

“TSFKA’s unparalleled election coverage includes reporters from across Australia with a special correspondent in the nation’s capital**,” Dr Insertnamehere said.

“In addition, our resident Texan Pirate Goth will be bringing us all the colour and light from some Godforsaken shit-hole out in the sticks.

“I’ve put all the preparations in place; the shed is full of beer, the anti-depressants are in and the local pizza place is on speed-dial.

“I’m confident the TSFKA’s unique combination of inaccurate bullshit, drunken ramblings, sneering, shouting, bleak political hatred and cribbing from better informed blogs will provide our readers with all the election information they really don’t want.”

The first The Site Formally Known As election special will be out as soon as I can be arsed.

* Or possibly not.

** Your mum lives in Canberra, doesn’t she Kettle?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good. Now can we fucking move on?

Not the "controversial St Kilda triangle".

In news that will mean little to those outside Melbourne, the “controversial St Kilda triangle*” will now not go ahead.

My attitude has always been “build the fucking thing, don’t build the fucking thing, I don’t care, can we just get to the latest cricket score” but for some reason the Age and the local ABC convinced themselves that all of Melbourne were desperately concerned about a patch of waste land** in St Kilda.

Ask them why and you usually got some guff about “St Kilda being Melbourne’s lounge room***”.

This might be a north-of-the-river thing but my response to the whole “Melbourne’s lounge room thing” is – is it fucking bollocks.

St Kilda, in my opinion, is an over rated shit-hole**** and I don’t give a fat rats arse about the “controversial St Kilda triangle”.

And a warning.

The film Bolt is not a documentary about conservative writer Andrew Bolt but is instead a kid’s film about an animated dog and his wise-cracking feline companion.

The cat has all the best lines.

* That’s the way they always wrote it, the “controversial St Kilda triangle”. Sheesh.

** Possibly the waste land that inspired TS Eliot. Or not.

*** You may indeed have a lounge room filled with several hundred overrated restaurants and several thousand shrieking yuppies. In which case, your lounge room is considerably larger than mine.

**** Sorry Melba.

Monday, December 7, 2009

PQ's Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No. 8

Who doesn't like epic and apocalyptic Oz Rock?

You shoulda heard it live. A huge song. HUGE. Particulalrly back when Blixa was still in the band, you know, being Blixa and all.

Here it is... "Oh My Lord" by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I am a sentimental old lefty.

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: "Bread and roses! Bread and roses!"

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women's children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for -- but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler -- ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life's glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Boxing: WTF?

''Everyone who doubted me, shove it up your bottoms, you don't know shit … to all the critics that bagged me, you don't know jack shit"


Australian Danny Green (pictured) smashed American Multi World Champion Roy Jones Jr in 90 seconds last night. Smashed him. Beat him to such an extent that the referee called it off before the end of the first round.

Good on them. I don't care if they want to fight each other, if they want to break each other's noses and damage each other's brains irreversibly in a fit of testosterone-charged violence. I actually quite like watching top level boxing and I certainly don't think it should be banned. But why the hell would you do it?

I like the theatre too. The mutual respect hidden behind the inevitable weigh-in face-off at the press conference where they shout inarticulate half-sentences at each other.

Ape-men, acting out man's most primal instincts, i.e. to fight each other. Once upon a time - in stone-age times - winning a fight was rewarded with the right to rule the clan, and the loser was shunned. Now, both participants get shitloads of money and the winner, a fuck-ugly belt.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Perseus and Bob Make a Film - Day 1

At 5am on Monday morning 7 disparate individuals headed out into the dry Victorian countryside around Little River. There, they bickered and argued for endless hours over every shot, every detail and every grimace recorded on camera. They were linked only by a common interest in making and/or watching movies.

It was their first day of shooting a short film about betrayal, greed and extreme violence. Here's a picture of Perseus driving a Valiant just prior to his character - Sinister Gangster - topping a hapless hitchhiker.

Perseus looking for the 'go' button

It wasn't all fun and games as several people contracted sunburn, everybody was required to eat 2 pies for lunch and coffee was difficult to procure in the region. Little River had missed the coffee revolution.

Shooting outside an abandoned house, Perseus was required to act.

Perseus requesting the make-up girl

There were many dangers encountered such as erratic drivers, speeding trains and the local redneck community.

The crew wondering what the red button does

I've included an art shot because it was the best I took on the day.

Fanta and Perseus heading to their trailers

It was a 14 hour day complicated by slow driving, rising tides and precarious cliffs.

Perseus doing a Clint Eastwood while a crew member tries out for the Birdman Rally

I lost my voice during the day as a result of shouting obscenities at everybody at every possible moment.

Bob ruing his inability to shout at the sound guy

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Half priest, half goat, all man!

Ladies - form a queue!

I might write something serious about this - when I stop laughing.

The really amusing thing is that Malcolm Turnbull has already provided Labor with all the lines they need in the coming months; viz a "far-right, unelectable rabble that stands for nothing".

And consider this comrades; Perseus goes very quiet with his posts and Tony Abbott becomes the new leader of the opposition.

Coincidence? Probably.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Say it ain't so, Joe!


In breaking news that fat bloke from the Liberal Party frontbench, what’s-his-name, looks a bit like that fat bloke from the Labor Party, Joe something, Joe Hockey, that’s right, seems to be shuffling a bit closer to his long held ambition to be captain of the Titanic leader of the federal Liberal Party.

Mr Hockey told an anxious collection of over paid hacks from the Press Gallery he was preparing himself mentally for the challenges ahead.

“Every morning when I get up, I strike myself repeatedly about the head and neck with a large stick with nails in it and stick my hand into the toaster,” Mr Hockey said.

“I reckon if that doesn’t get me used to leading the Party, then nothing will.

“I was contemplating having a cold shower each morning, then frying my genitals in a red-hot frying pan but that was a bit too much like Tony Abbott for my liking.”

Meanwhile Mr Abbott has announced a bold new strategy for taking the fight to the Rudd Government.

“My first act as Leader will be to seek out and destroy the pernicious heresy of Protestantism and revoke the Edict of Nantes,” Mr Abbot said.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some pyres to get ready.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, remarked “honestly, you couldn’t make this shit up.”

Friday, November 27, 2009

Prose Friday

(Prize for whoever picks the novel without Googling...)

Chapter One

I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I
believe my liver is diseased. However, I know nothing at all about my
disease, and do not know for certain what ails me. I don't consult a
doctor for it, and never have, though I have a respect for medicine and
doctors. Besides, I am extremely superstitious, sufficiently so to
respect medicine, anyway (I am well-educated enough not to be
superstitious, but I am superstitious). No, I refuse to consult a
doctor from spite. That you probably will not understand. Well, I
understand it, though. Of course, I can't explain who it is precisely
that I am mortifying in this case by my spite: I am perfectly well
aware that I cannot "pay out" the doctors by not consulting them; I
know better than anyone that by all this I am only injuring myself and
no one else. But still, if I don't consult a doctor it is from spite.
My liver is bad, well--let it get worse!

I have been going on like that for a long time--twenty years. Now I am
forty. I used to be in the government service, but am no longer. I
was a spiteful official. I was rude and took pleasure in being so. I
did not take bribes, you see, so I was bound to find a recompense in
that, at least. (A poor jest, but I will not scratch it out. I wrote
it thinking it would sound very witty; but now that I have seen myself
that I only wanted to show off in a despicable way, I will not scratch
it out on purpose!)

When petitioners used to come for information to the table at which I
sat, I used to grind my teeth at them, and felt intense enjoyment when
I succeeded in making anybody unhappy. I almost did succeed. For the
most part they were all timid people--of course, they were petitioners.
But of the uppish ones there was one officer in particular I could not
endure. He simply would not be humble, and clanked his sword in a
disgusting way. I carried on a feud with him for eighteen months over
that sword. At last I got the better of him. He left off clanking it.
That happened in my youth, though.

But do you know, gentlemen, what was the chief point about my spite?
Why, the whole point, the real sting of it lay in the fact that
continually, even in the moment of the acutest spleen, I was inwardly
conscious with shame that I was not only not a spiteful but not even an
embittered man, that I was simply scaring sparrows at random and
amusing myself by it. I might foam at the mouth, but bring me a doll
to play with, give me a cup of tea with sugar in it, and maybe I should
be appeased. I might even be genuinely touched, though probably I
should grind my teeth at myself afterwards and lie awake at night with
shame for months after. That was my way.

I was lying when I said just now that I was a spiteful official. I was
lying from spite. I was simply amusing myself with the petitioners and
with the officer, and in reality I never could become spiteful. I was
conscious every moment in myself of many, very many elements absolutely
opposite to that. I felt them positively swarming in me, these
opposite elements. I knew that they had been swarming in me all my life
and craving some outlet from me, but I would not let them, would not
let them, purposely would not let them come out. They tormented me
till I was ashamed: they drove me to convulsions and--sickened me, at
last, how they sickened me! Now, are not you fancying, gentlemen, that
I am expressing remorse for something now, that I am asking your
forgiveness for something? I am sure you are fancying that ...
However, I assure you I do not care if you are....

It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to
become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an
honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life
in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation
that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is
only the fool who becomes anything. Yes, a man in the nineteenth
century must and morally ought to be pre-eminently a characterless
creature; a man of character, an active man is pre-eminently a limited
creature. That is my conviction of forty years. I am forty years old
now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is
extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is
vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely
and honestly I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows. I
tell all old men that to their face, all these venerable old men, all
these silver-haired and reverend seniors! I tell the whole world that
to its face! I have a right to say so, for I shall go on living to
sixty myself. To seventy! To eighty! ... Stay, let me take breath

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank Kautsky it's Thursday!

Zemiro, J. 126 (not out)

Well, it’s Thursday and I could almost vomit with excitement.

Exciting fact number one. The first test against the West Indies kicks off today, with the prospect of months and months of Test cricket on the television. Yay!

True it’s not The Ashes but meh – you can’t have everything.

Exciting fact number two. The Mrs and I are off to St Kilda tonight to attend a live taping of Rockwiz.


Julia Zemiro!!

Test cricket!!!
Could life get any better? I think not!

If, when you’re watching this Rockwiz episode on the television, you hear somebody in the audience shout out “Julia, I love you! Open the batting for Australia!!”, then that’s probably me.

Getting a bit excited.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A gift for Ramon

I was trawling through the photos of my trip when I came across this one. I was tempted to buy one of these cute pinecone creations for Ramon, but everything in the picturesque town of Fussen was exceedingly expensive.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Science rocks!

The other day I received my free H1N1 (swine ‘flu) immunisation, thanks to the Australian Government.

This was a good decision and I would urge people who can safety receive this vaccine to do so, for a number of reasons.

One. Although the H1N1 virus has not caused the same number of deaths in the western world as it did in Mexico, this is still a still a relatively new virus and we have no idea how it will mutate and whether it will become more virulent. It therefore makes sense to be vaccinated now, rather than later when the next ‘flu season arrives in winter.

Two. The more people who become immunised, the greater the “herd immunity”. Briefly stated, the more people immunised, the less the likelihood that the virus will become widespread in the community – which in turn reduces the possibility of a pandemic and death.

Three. It’s safe. The H1N1 vaccine uses technology that is proven and has been operating successfully for a number of years. True, it does use a small amount of a mercury-based preservative called thiomersal to prevent growth of bacteria in vaccine. However, thiomersal has a very long safety record and the levels of mercury in the vaccination are not sufficient to warrant concern. Thiomersal is not used in the MMR jabs – despite misleading nonsense from the antis.

So, there you have it.

Next time you’re talking vaccinations and somebody says “oh, but of course you know it’s not safe” you can say – with some confidence;

“No, no, no, you’re wrong and stupid and evil. Shut yer nonsense before I stab you in the eye.


*Not recommended by most medical authorities**.

**It is, however, recommended by me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Adventures of P and H - The Denouement

Hugo realising he misplaced an apostrophe on page 700

“Hey, that’s my t-shirt!” shouted H, grabbing the yellow medium from P. “You know I haven’t made my numbers this week and you’re trying to steal my stuff!”

“I don’t give a fuck whose t-shirt it is,” snapped P. “Take it if you want. You think I want more fucking t-shirts?”

“I have taken it and even if you wanted it you couldn’t make me give it back.”

“But I don’t want it back. It’s a moot point.”

“It is fucking not moot. You know you’re not as strong as me and you’re not prepared to admit it.”

“Pretty much everyone’s stronger than me and I don’t give two fucks.”

“You do give two fucks. You’d like to be stronger.”

“Not enough to actually bother doing anything about it. Anyway, I’m faster than you.”

“As if that matters."

“Well why does strength matter?” said P, straightening up, having folded his 400th t-shirt of the day. He sealed his fourth box with brown tape and pushed it across the table to Rancid. Rancid carried the box to the warehouse where the trucks would pick them up later that evening.

“Fucking hell,” said H. “You finished your fourth already?”

“Yeah, because I don’t stand around whingeing about everything all day like some fucking moron.”

“I haven’t even finished my third.”

“Oh well. I’m off. I’ll see you back at the flat.”

“Don’t go yet! Help me with the rest of mine and then we’ll finish quicker.”

“What do you mean ‘we’, white man? I’ve finished mine and I’m going home for cigarettes and a bottle of wine.”

“You selfish cunt!" creamed a suddenly panicky H.

“Fuck you.”

“When’s fucking Vince arriving?”

“Vince? Who the fuck’s Vince?”

“Your mate, Vince.”

“I don’t have a mate called Vince. I don’t have mates for that matter.”

“Fuck off. You know, Vince. The cunt who fucked up the lighting during my play.”

“You appear to be senile.”

“Oh, not Vince. Arne!”



“You mean Earl?”


“I don’t know when he’s arriving. Sometime between March and December he said.”

“So he’s really narrowed it down.”


“I bet you can’t read Les Miserables in one sitting,” said H suddenly, putting down his newspaper and looking across the filthy room at P.

“Why the fuck would I want to?”

“I didn’t say you’d want to, I just said I bet you can’t.”

“Of course I could. Anyone could. As long as you’re allowed to get up for food, water and a shit.”

“Ok, you’re on.”

“What do you mean? I’m not going to do it.”

“You just said you would!”

“Balls I did! I said anyone could do it.”

“You couldn’t.”

“Of course I could, fuckwit. But who could be fucked?”

“I’ll put money on it.”

“How much?”

“A hundred bucks.”

“Not enough. It’s days out of my life.”

“No it isn’t, you’ll be reading classic literature. You want to read it anyway don’t you?’

“Yeah, in my own time, relaxed, without you watching over me.”

“I won’t watch you.”

“How will you know I’ve done it?”

“I’ll quiz you on it.”

“Two hundred bucks?”

“Ok. Go!”

“Go? You want me to start now? I’ve got work in three hours.”

“How long do you think it will take?”

“I dunno. Fifty hours.”

“Are you an imbecile?”

“It’s 1000 pages!”

“No it isn’t!”

“At least.”

“Let me get it.”

H left the room and returned directly, clutching the penguin classic edition.

“It’s 1232,” he announced.

“Well, even if you could read a page a minute, that’s 1232 minutes.”

“Well calculated.”

“Which is about 20 hours.”

“Uh huh.”

“Am I allowed to sleep?” asked P.

“No. And anyway, I reckon it’s a minute and a half per page at least, maybe even two. It’s small writing.”

“So up to forty hours! I can’t do that without sleep!”

“Just read fast.”

“I might die.”

“I’ll allow naps. Three one-hour naps. But you have to finish in thirty reading hours. That’s the bet.”

“Two hundred?”

“Yep. The only breaks are for the naps, eating, drinking, pissing or shitting. But try to piss and shit at the same time.”

“So with each break you’ll stop the clock?”

“Yeah, it’ll be like time out.”

“Ok. I’ll start on Thursday when I have three days off.”

“Ok. Do you think Lou will arrive soon?”

“Lou? Who’s that?”

“Your mate Lou from Melbourne.”




“Jesus Christ, I gotta go to that fuckhole of a factory tomorrow and fold those infernal fucken t-shirts,” cried H suddenly, throwing down his empty can of beer. It settled amongst a pile of identical cans. “What a fucked up job.”

“Not me,” said P, cracking open another can. “I got three days off.”

“Yeah so you keep fucking telling me you fucking clock.”

“Yeah except I’ll be spending it reading fucking Hugo.”

“You don’t have to.”

“Whaddya mean? You bet me two hundred bucks!”

“Yeah, but you don’t have to.”

“Oh, what’s the alternative? Hand you cash and drink beer for three days?”

“That’s what I’d do.”

“Well I don’t have two hundred to spare. I can’t afford to lose the bet so I’ll have to read it. Wait a minute. How will you be able to ensure I stick to the rules?”

“Fuck the rules! What difference do the rules make? You either read it over thirty hours or you don’t. I’ll be able to decipher that in the quiz. I know the book intimately.”

“Fucking nerd.”

“When are you starting the read-a-thon?”

“Tomorrow morning first thing. I want to get a good night’s sleep before I start. I’ve bought a heap of coffee and cigarettes, I won’t drink, and I’ll fucken show you what a fucking intellect I am.”

“Intellect doesn’t enter into it, cock. You read it or you don’t. You don’t have to understand it. Just relate the plot in detail.”

“Well, while I’m reading the fucking tome I may as well appreciate it.”

“Fine, whatever.”

“Have fun folding t-shirts, you cad.”

“Suck this, fuck-top,” concluded H, flopping his dick out.

“That repulses me.”


“Let’s go,” said P, slinging his bag over his shoulder. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah I’m fucken ready,” answered H, stubbing out a cigarette on P’s copy of Les Miserables and picking up his bag.

“Hey, it was a good bet, a real contest. Well done. A fine challenge! Your mistake, however, was to believe that I’d take two minutes per page. A miscalculation to be sure but them’s the breaks.”

“Fuck off.”

“Look, I’ll spend some of the money on stocking up the beer fridge when we get to Rhodes.”

“You’d fucken better, you ball-less hack.”

“You’ll get over it, piss-face.”

“What time’s the fucken ferry leave?” asked H, shaking his watch which hadn't ticked since 1987.

“In two hours so we’d better fucken hurry.”

“It’s just over at Pireus. Seven kilometres away.”

“We’d better get a cab,” decided P.

“Hey, what if Evan arrives when we’re away?”

“Who the fuck’s Evan?”

“Evan! You never know who I’m talking about you dim-witted rake!

“You mean Earl?”

“Yes! Earl!” shouted H.

“I’ve left a note and a map with Maria.”

“But he was expecting to work at the t-shirt factory wasn’t he?”

“He knows nothing about the t-shirt factory.”

“I told you numerous times.”

“Even if you did, which you didn’t, why should I have told him?”

“Making small talk?” suggested H.

“Anyway, he can get work at the restaurant at Rhodes. Much better job.”

“Washing dishes?”

“Think of the women there.”

“T-shirts pay better,” pointed out H.

“I’d rather eat shit than fold another t-shirt. He’ll thank us for it.”

“Alright, let’s get going you pin-dicked wonder.”

Friday, November 20, 2009

This isn't going to end well.

My young love said to me,
My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you
For your lack of kind"
And she stepped away from me
And this she did say:
It will not be long, love,
Till our wedding day"

As she stepped away from me
And she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her
Move here and move there
And then she turned homeward
With one star awake
Like the swan in the evening
Moves over the lake

The people were saying,
No two e'er were wed
But one had a sorrow
That never was said
And I smiled as she passed
With her goods and her gear,
And that was the last
That I saw of my dear.

Last night she came to me,
My dead love came in
So softly she came
That her feet made no din
As she laid her hand on me
And this she did say
It will not be long, love,
'Til our wedding day

Dead chicks, eh!

Always trouble.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rules for Safe Flying

Captain Ardoz cops a fine for parking on the nature strip

Please be aware that flying is much safer than driving a car. Many more deaths occur through standard usage of earthbound vehicles than through normal usage of aeroplanes. Planes rarely fall from the sky or crash into objects such as buildings, mountains or other planes without a rather grand explanation.

Please also note the following list which outlines several other means of dying which are statistically more likely than death by flying:

- heart attack
- earthquake
- snakebite
- the use of power tools
- industrial accidents
- suicide by various means
- watching The Nanny
- shooting
- stabbing
- backgammon*

However, to further minimise your chances of the termination of life while on the aeroplane, please adhere to the following rules. These will also enhance other passengers' enjoyment of the flight:

1. Do not jump from the plane at any stage, unless it is still on the tarmac and preferably stationary or moving at a very slow rate.
2. Do not shoot any pistols, revolvers, rifles or other firearms or detonate any ordnance of any kind while in the cabin. If a bullet must be fired, please ensure it lodges in a seat, a passenger or the food cart.
3. Do not eat the fish, even if the stewards encourage you to do so, or indicate its safety by eating a bit first.
4. While in the cockpit, please avoid touching buttons, switches or the pilot unless specifically instructed to do so by the pilot or somebody wearing his hat.
5. Do not attempt to open a window as these are usually fixed. If the plane gets hot, try fanning yourself, fanning the person next to you or removing articles of clothing, preferably your own.
6. Do not attempt maintenance on doors or windows, even if they appear to be malfunctioning. Opening doors can be dangerous and should only be done under strict supervision and preferably only for a short period of time at cruising altitude or by a two thirds majority of business class.
7. Do not fly in an aeroplane piloted by a child, a drunk or an animal. If the plane is captained by a woman, it is usual to enquire whether the plane will need to be reverse parked.
8. If the pilot appears to be distracted (e.g. eating popcorn, reading non-aviation magazines or studying the aeroplane's instruction manual), you should assume the 'brace' position for the entirety of the trip.
9. Do not attempt to 'pop the hood' as this can cause immediate depressurisation.
10. If the plane crashes in water, be first to the door to ensure a good spot on the raft.
11. If the plane crashes on land in an isolated location, collect any food available to ensure you will not have to eat other passengers.
12. Do not play any sports during the flight, especially football, rugby and javelin.
13. If the passenger adjacent to you is snoring with his/her mouth open, do not be tempted to pop peanuts into his/her mouth, as he/she may be allergic.
14. Do not bring dangerous animals onto the plane unless they have their own ticket.
15. Do not rub up against any other passengers if you have a contagious skin disease.
16. Do not invite fascists, dictators or tyrants such as Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini onto the plane, as they tend to upset others.
17. If a doctor is called for, don't pretend to be a doctor, paramedic or pharmacist if you are not one. If you are a doctor of meteorology, mathematics or literature, these are almost certainly not the types of doctors required. In the rare case that a patient is dying of lack of understanding of the weather/trigonometry/the complete works of Pushkin, your services may be required.

Have a pleasant trip and thanks for flying Garuda.



* factually incorrect

Monday, November 16, 2009

PQs Top 10 Songs of the 2000s: No.9

I like The White Stripes. Particularly their first three albums when they were more about rockin' out and singing about 'my baby' and gettin' it on and all that shit. Since then, they've got a bit earnest for my liking. But two of their early songs, 'Fell In Love With A Girl' and 'Let's Build A Home' were shortlisted for my Top 10 but neither made it. They did get into the Top 40 though.

That could've been a blow for old-skool lo-fi two-piece drums n' guitar rock music, but enter, at No.9, the band called No Age.

No Age are the same lineup as White Stripes. Drums and a guitar, and that's it. Like White Stripes, they rock out (though where White Stripes have that blues influence, No Age seem to have come via the artcore/grunge school), but beyond the similarities end. White Stripes are cool, hip, stylish. No Age are dags. They're just two suburban kids, rockin' out.

They have a couple of EPs out and one album that was released in 2008 called 'Nouns' and it is fucking awesome. It's rock, it's punk, but it's also very lush and soundscapey. They have found a 'sound' that suits them, the way they play, and the result is one of the best albums of the decade.

I think what I love about the band is their everydayness... I grew up in the 'burbs and I like rock music. It's like they are what I wished I was, or something.

The song I have put in at Number Nine is Eraser, which is Track 2 of the the Nouns album. Track 1 is a kind of noise piece, so this song heralds the rest of the album. It's like the gateway to the masterpiece.

I have included below two videos, and I urge you to watch them both.

The first is them performing the song live on a TV show. They actually do a pretty poor version of the song, like, really shit, in fact, if you watch it you'll think 'how the hell did he put that at number 9'? But the background story of the performance, as you will see, is interesting, and you do get to see them totally raw.

The second video is the actual videoclip, where you hear the song as it appears on the album, so really, if you could only be bothered to watch one, watch the second clip... which, by the way, wins my 'Best Videoclip of the Decade' award. It is a strangely beautiful video.

Here is the first video, where they play it badly.

Because the second video is issued to You Tube by the record company, I can't embed it so THE CLIP IS HERE.


Oh, and Weekend Wrap. Got a kitten. 6 weeks old. Male. Meet Lord Byron:

Is it gay to own two cats when you're a single, neat male?

The Dutch

Nigel Powers:
There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.

I happen to quite like the Dutch. I like their bread, tulips are my favourite flower and Amsterdam is a fucken great place to kill an hour. And it's not just the drugs, although I did smoke a reasonable amount of hash there when I passed idly through in 1992 on my circuitous way to meet Perseus in Athens. It's the canals, the streetscapes, the buildings. The cafes in Jordaan, the pubs of Leidesplein, the buzzing markets full of useless stuff nobody needs. The people are friendly, they cycle everywhere, they speak excellent English - much better than my Dutch - and the beer is outstanding, despite the mediocre but ubiquitous Heineken.

So what did the Dutch do to provoke the ire of the British? I mean, let's look at the following examples of English idioms, most of which are at least vaguely derogatory:

"In Dutch with the wife." Implying that Dutch women are ball-breakers? Perhaps. I particularly like this expression. Almost as good as "In the doghouse".

"Dutch courage". Courage obtained from drinking. Does this infer the Dutch are wimps, and only gain courage from drunkenness? Probably.

"To go Dutch." To pay for one's own meal. Surely a shot at the alleged cheapness of the Dutch.

"Dutch tilt/Dutch angle". A tilted camera angle, particularly in film. Are the Dutch so drunk they can't keep the camera steady?

"A Dutch Act." Suicide, which is often regarded as cowardly.

"Dutch Auction." Effectively an auction where the price goes down instead of up. It's a twist on the supposed stupidity of the Irish. (Incidentally, you think the Irish are dumb? Scotch finger biscuits.)

"Dutch Oven". Sure it has culinary connotations but, let's face it, it's all about farting in bed and pulling the sheets over your girlfriend's head.

"Double Dutch." Shit that nobody understands.

Not to mention quite a number more, however dubious, on this list.

I love the Dutch, but I love the English language more.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Adventures of P and H, Part 3

“Whose dog is that?” asked P, taking a seat opposite H and cracking open a beer.


“What a fucken ugly mutt.”

“He’s not so bad.”

“It’s the ugliest creature I’ve ever seen!”

“What about that creature we hauled in when we went fishing?”

“I question whether that was a creature.”

“Yeah it looked more like a turd with eyes.”

“What’s his name?”

“Did we name it?”

“Not the turd, the dog.”

“Oh. Mustard. Well, that’s the translation.”

“So he won’t answer to mustard?”


P sipped at his beer.

“Did you know that Brent Walker pulled off a horse?” he asked.

“Pulled what off a horse?”

“Pulled off a horse.”

“Where to?”

“What? He pulled the horse’s cock.”

“What for?” asked H.

“To see if it would cum.”

“And did it?”


“Huh. I thought you meant he pulled it just once, rather than repeatedly.”

“And you’re not surprised that he pulled off a horse?”

“No, I’ve met the guy. Seems like something he’d do.”

“I guess so.”


“Look at this bloke,” said P, nudging H and indicating a German backpacker who was the t-shirt factory’s latest employee. The German was working at a hell of a pace. “He’s going to make us look bad.”

“Nah. That pace is unsustainable.”

“He’s been going at it for a while.”

“I’ve seen cowboys like this before. They fold like crazy for a couple of days then burn out suddenly. Nothing to worry about. He’ll be back in Frankfurt by Friday.”


“You ever had warts?” asked H, studying the palm of his hand.

“No,” answered P, stabbing at a typewriter he’d bought from the Kalamaki market for about three dollars. It had no S. He uzed Zs inztead.

“I think I have one on my hand.”

“That’s too bad.”

“I’ve had them regularly over the years. I know what to look for.”


“You know I once had warts on my anus.”

P was suddenly listening. “What was that?”

“I had warts on my anus. A cluster.”

“I’m not interested, you dirty pig.”

“Yes you are, you stopped typing.”

“I have writer’s block. Did you get fucked by a man with a warty cock?”

“That’s what the doctor asked, although somewhat more diplomatically. But no. I have this habit of scratching my arse in my sleep. I made the mistake of doing it while I had a wart on the tip of my finger…”

“Not listening anymore.”

“…and the anus, unfortunately, is an ideal breeding ground for the virus. It was more than happy to take up residence and proliferate. I thought I had anal cancer for a minute.”

“How did you get rid of them?” asked P.

“The doctor tried to freeze them off with liquid nitrogen.”

“Tried? Did he miss?”

“No, he nailed them but it didn’t work. So then he had to cauterise them.”

“Cut them into four?”

“No, dickhead, burn them.”

“Did it hurt?”

“Of course it fucken hurt! He burned warts off my arsehole!”


"Look what I bought, “ said H, holding up a box.

“What the fuck is it?” asked P. “A box?”

“Yes, it’s a box. Was the box included in the price of the transaction? I should hope fucking not. It was provided as a gratuitous added-extra. The contents, you see, would have been difficult to transport in any other way.”

“Well what the fuck’s the contents?”

“Allow me to show you, my ludicrous associate.”

H opened the box, placed his hand inside and revealed a turtle, its legs slowly floundering as he turned it over.

“What’s that?" asked P. "A terrapin?”

“What! Are you insane? Who guesses terrapin?”

“Well what is it?”

“What do you mean?” asked H, forgetting that he was still holding the turtle.

“I mean, you cretin, what the fuck is it?”

“Are you toying with me? Have a fucking wild guess!”

“A turtle?”

“Oh, you’re a genius! Perhaps I missed the part where you obtained your marine biology degree.”

“Why do you have a turtle?”

“I have two turtles,” answered H, revealing the second one. “I intend to call this one Raskolnikov.”

“Which one?’

“Doesn’t matter. Um, this one!” He held up the turtle in his left hand. “You can name the other one.”

“Raskolnikov II.”

“Surely you should’ve called him Razumikhin.”


“You can’t just call the other one Raskolnikov II!”

“Why not?”

“It’s unimaginative, uninspired and it shits me.”

“Too bad. You told me to name it. Anyway, what do you mean 'should’ve'? If anything, I should have called it Porfiry Petrovich. Or maybe Sonya!”

“Either of those would have been good! Even Dunya!”

“You can’t annul the naming. Deal with it.”

“Fucking hell. When’s your buddy Ertapp arrive?”

“Firstly, dickwad, I don’t have buddies. Secondly, his name is Earl. Thirdly –and for the last fucking time – I don’t fucking know!”

“Well the t-shirt factory needs more workers.”

“You got shares in that fucking place?”

H looked down at himself, his filthy clothes and the sparse nature of the flat.

“Yeah, I have a share portfolio.”

I used to have a car like that.

Childe Harold, wondering where he parked his car.

Did ye not hear it? -- No; 'twas but the wind
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet --
But, hark! -- that heavy sound breaks in once more
As if the clouds its echo would repeat;
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before!
Arm! Arm! it is -- it is -- the cannon's opening roar!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How about I define scrotectomy instead?

I know the media is probably beating this story up somewhat, but I am stupid enough to bite.

For one thing, I don't know how a group called Define Statutory can possibly say they are merely "draw[ing] an analogy between rape and competing with another football team." How on earth does "define statutory" even fit into that? They are clearly referring to statutory rape. I just don't know how anyone can ever possibly think having sex with someone without their consent is ok.

Which reminds me of a conversation I had with an ex-boyfriend's brother once. We were at a restaurant for dinner. He had just finished reading in the news that a bunch of guys had been convicted of rape. He was outraged about it. Apparently, these guys were all soccer team mates of the girl in question's boyfriend. Wait, I'll reword that. Girl who was raped has boyfriend. Boys who raped said girl were all on said boyfriend's soccer team. Right. Now, apparently the boyfriend had gone out for a bit and the girl was asleep on the bed. The remainder of the team proceeded to "digitally rape" the girl, etc (I'm not sure how far they got). She woke up, wondered what the fuck was going on, and told them to stop (or something similar, I'm sure).

Now, the reason this guy was outraged was because... wait for it... the girl didn't say no before the guys started!!!! I looked at him wondering if he was joking. He wasn't. I told him that while she hadn't said no, she certainly hadn't said yes.

"But she didn't say no!"
"That's because she was asleep! She didn't say yes, either!"
"But she didn't say no!"
"Ugh! SHE WAS ASLEEP! She couldn't say no! But she didn't say yes!"
"Well, what's the definition of rape, then?"
"Are you serious? Sexual acts with someone without their consent!"
"But she didn't say no!"
"Oh my god, you're a fucking idiot! SHE DIDN'T SAY YES!!!!"

Anyway, I couldn't get as angry at this loser as I wanted to, courtesy of being in the middle of a busy restaurant. I ended up just refusing to talk to him for the rest of the night and pretty much every other time I saw him.

I don't get it. What sort of mentality must you have to think this sort of behaviour is ok? What kind of mentality must you have to form a Facebook group espousing your beliefs that rape is ok? And even if it was all just a joke or something, it still doesn't show very good character.

I resent these kids most because they're making me sound like my parents: what is with kids these days??

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

'1993: A Tale Of Three Cities'. Introduction.

I kept a diary between 1992 and 2004. Every single day was catalogued. Not in any deep way. "Tooth hurt. Had soup. Worked all day. Watched news. Bed." That sort of thing. Even if it was momentous or exciting it was still written that way. "Up at 4am. Became Buddhist monk. Long ceremony. Meditated. Bed at 8pm."

Now, you think I'm a love gumby now. You shoulda seen me in 1993, the year I turned 24. I was right amidst the 'All The World's A Stage' 'sighing like a furnace' stage. Right in the thick of it. I was in and out of love at the drop of a hat or the turn of an ankle. It also happened that in 1993 I was getting short stories and poems published all over the joint, I finished a novel, I lived in three cities (Athens, Copenhagen, Melbourne), lost my best friend, was imprisoned in a war zone, had an affair with a popstar, got mugged, and yes, became a Buddhist monk.

Life has been far more sedate ever since.

So, my plan is to serialise / novelise my 1993 experiences, and much of the inspiration to do this has come from Melba's 80's Diaries (which if you haven't read, I urge you to... particular if you were sentient in the 80's). But whereas Melba gives us her diaries verbatim, I'm going to attempt to post mine in standard current-day Perseus style.

I will of course change most names, but, I will post photos! I figure that's safe enough. Furthermore, there are four real names I will use, because they are celebrities / noted people in the public sphere (eg: Helena Christensen) and it makes it more interesting. There is a fifth name I am toying with using... the popstar I had the affair with. She's only famous in Greece, so it might be safe to use it, but, you never know. I need to think it out.

It might take more than a year to actually complete this task. I might give up on it if it's not working. But, I'll do my best to make it as salacious as possible, and although I may change some names, I assure you, everything is true.

I have to decide on the format. Present tense? Past tense? How will I introduce characters? I will decide over the next week, but by way of introduction, allow me to show you to the tiny apartment I was living in.

You can see two couches. Well, when you removed the cushions, they were in fact two beds. I slept on the one on the right, and my best mate Richie Swain (who will be one of the main characters) slept on the one facing the camera. The window above Richie's bed is at street level. That is, the apartment was underground. It was a tiny, tiny flat, but happened to be in the most affluent section of Athens: Kolonaki. It's where the rich people and celebrities hung out, and we lived in a beautiful apartment block filled with merchant bankers, successful artists and diplomats. It's just that we lived underneath the block... with Kenyans, Egyptians and Albanians. Whole families of them cramped into tiny flats. The cleaners. The janitors. All praying to Allah in the corridor at inappropriate hours.

Cramped as it was (and dark), we loved it, because we were two bohemian kids from the Melbourne suburbs living in the city of Athena, Socrates, Percicles, The Acropolis... the birthplace of philosophy and democracy. Hell, we even lived in Ploutarhou street... (English: Plutarch Street!)

Richie had a job singing with an opera company (as well as taking masterclasses in opera singing), and I was working as a stage-hand with the same opera company, as well as freelancing around Athens doing any job I could get my hands on, and writing novels and poems. Because we were illegal immigrants (our visas expired ages before) employers could get away with paying us well under-award money, but so long as we could pay the rent on this small dingy flat and scavenge enough food, cigarettes and grog to keep us going, we were happy. Mind you, we had discussed living in Athens when we were fifteen years old, and sure enough, almost to our mid-20's, we were doing it. Well, he had been doing it for three years, and this was my second time around (my first Athens sting was in 1990). But on this second stint, I was even toying with the idea of never leaving. Athens had become home.

Here we are in late '92, celebrating the arrival in the mail of 'Mattoid', an Australian literary periodical I had a short story published in.

Jeez. What's with my necklaces? How embarrassment.

My 1993 diary/novel will begin soon... I figure I'll just post when the mood takes me.

I'll start with waking up in the New Year after a massive night of debauchery at one of Athens' many punkrock clubs, at which Richie Swain fell down a set of stairs, then got vomited on by some chick (wearing my trenchcoat), after which, they pashed.

We had been living happily in Athens for about a year already, but things were about to get complex...

Chapter One coming soon.

Girl, 12

Based on a true story:

Boy, 14: I wonder what would happen if I got my dick out.

Girl, 11: Out of where?

Boy: Out of my pants.

Girl: Do you need to wee?

Boy: No, but I have this evolutionary and totally instinctive desire to get it out.

Girl: Well I don't care, whatever.

Boy removes penis from trousers.

Girl: Jesus Christ, what the hell is that?

Boy: My dick.

Girl: Is that what they look like?

Boy: It's what mine looks like.

Girl: Shit, it's fucking disgusting.

Boy: Fair go! I bet your dick is ugly too.

Girl: I don't have a dick.

Boy: What do you have?

Girl: A front bottom. And it certainly doesn't have those revolting hairs around it like yours.

Boy: What the fuck's a front bottom?

Girl: A girl's penis.

Boy: I don't even know what the fuck that means.

Girl: Whatever.

Boy: How do you piss?

Girl: None of your business.

Boy: What would you think if I put my dick in there?

Girl: What the fuck for?

Boy: I dunno. See if it fits.

Girl: Yeah, whatever, I don't care.


Girl, 11: Mum!

Mum: What?

Girl: My belly's starting to get bigger.

Mum: Show me.

Girl reveals belly.

Mum: Oh my God! You know what this means?

Girl: No.

Mum: It means we're going to have to cut down to five meals of Maccas per week.

Girl: Aw mum!


Girl, now 12: Hey, Boy.

Boy, now 15: What, Girl?

Girl: The doctor says there's a baby growing in my tummy.

Boy: In your tummy?

Girl: Yeah.

Boy: How the fuck did it get in there?

Girl: How the fuck should I know!

Boy: Did the doctor tell you how?

Girl: He said my mum would tell me.

Boy: Yeah, your mum's pretty smart.

Girl: Yeah. She knows the price of everything at the supermarket.

Boy: Cool.


Dad: Whose fucken baby is it?

Girl: Mine.

Dad: But who else's?

Girl: Nobody's.

Dad: There must be someone else.

Girl: There isn't, I swear.

Dad: Jesus Christ. Get me a bourbon and coke will ya.

Girl gets Dad a Woodstock pre-mixed can while he lights up a Winnie Blue.

Dad: That's better. So, who the fuck did you sleep with?

Girl: Last night?

Dad: Last night! Anytime!

Girl: Golly.

Dad: Who the fuck's golly?

Girl: My gollywog!

Dad: Oh Jesus Christ, you fucking little shit! Mum! She's going to have a black baby!


Uncle Glen: She was always a good girl. She's the best shot in the family. She could hit a tin can from forty paces. Fuck me if she didn't know how to rope a steer. Christ, who the fuck's going to plough the back paddock now she's knocked up?


Auntie Gladys: She was always trouble. Always had a thing for the boys. God knows I slept with boys at 11, but I made them shoot their filthy stuff into the dirt. Girls weren't stupid back in my day. I didn't have my first kid 'til I was 15.


Midwife: Push!

Girl: Push what?

Midwife: Push the baby out!

Girl: what with?

Midwife: It's ok, there it is, it's a boy!

Girl: Thank God, Dad woulda killed me.

Boy, 15: What's his name?

Girl, 12: Rawlings.

Boy: Cool. What do you think about getting its ears pierced?

Girl: He's booked in for Thursday.

Boy: Awesome.

Midwife: Would you like to cut the cord?

Boy: Fuck that, I'm going out to get pissed.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why yes, I'd love to give you my opinion

Perky Sounding Chick Who None-the-less is Probably on Minimum Wage and Really Doesn’t Want to speak to another Dickhead.

A baking hot Sunday at Karl Kautsky House when the phone rings.

Me: “Hello”

Perky Sounding Chick Who None-the-less is Probably on Minimum Wage and Really Doesn’t Want to speak to another Dickhead (PSCWNPMWRDWD): “Good afternoon sir. I’m from Newspoll and I’d like to ask you some questions”.

Me : “Certainly. Do you mind if I put the phone down for a sec?”


I then put the phone down and run around for thirty seconds making yippee, woo-hoo noises, mainly because I love opinion polls.

Having finally found somebody who is employed to listen to my opinions, we have a very enjoyable chat; the highlight of which was when PSCWNPMWRDWD asked “Thinking about the opposition leader, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with his performance?” and I answered “Given I regard Mr Malcolm Turnbull as a gibbering buffoon, I’ll put that down as ‘dissatisfied’,”.

I always describe myself as a “swinging voter*” in the somewhat forlorn hope that some flunky in Liberal Party HQ will say “My God, the swinging voters think Malcolm is a gibbering buffoon. We’ll have to axe him at once.”

Happy, happy thoughts.

Fuck, I love opinion polls.

*I am not a swinging voter.