Wednesday, September 30, 2009

As part of Squib Week...

Now in badge form!!

The other day The Boy was admiring my Julia Gillard badge, kindly provided by Cde Squib, when the following conversation ensued.

The Boy: “Who’s that Dad?”

Me: “That’s Julia Gillard, Boy, the Deputy Prime Minister.”

The Boy: “Is she nice, Dad?’

Me: “She’s very nice, Boy.”

Long pause.

The Boy: “Is she a friend of Kevin0Seven, Dad?”

Me: “She’s a very good friend of Kevin0Seven, Boy.”

Even longer pause.

The Boy: “I like Julia Gillard, Dad.”

Me: “I like her too, Boy.”

Squib, I think our work here is done.

What the?!

I just received this flyer in the mail.

I seriously cannot believe a company in this day and age would be so blatantly racist. I've sent them an email to tell them so.

Incoherent Rant

There's an article in today's 'The Age' about a woman who tried to breastfeed her child on a Tiger Airways flight, only to be told to cover up by one of the hostesses.

The pivotal moment of the article for me was:

Mrs Ward said she told the attendant that she had a right to breastfeed, but was asked again to cover her baby because a man seated near her ''might not like to see it''.

''I said to [the man], 'Does this offend you?' and he said, 'No, not at all.'

The man sums up what I suspect is the view of 95% of us. No, we are not offended by breastfeeding. There may be some that are slightly uncomfortable, some may even be squeamish, but, I imagine they are in the minority. The rest of us have a 'whatever' attitude. Hell, the kids need their milk. Beats having a screaming kid next to you on the airplane / in the cinema / at the shop.

1. There seems to be in general Australian society these days some sort of workplace-driven set of things that are considered offensive but ironically do not happen to offend anyone at all. They are offensive only in that they are said to be offensive, but I don't know of one person that is offended by them. Breastfeeding is one. Swearing is another (maybe not 'cunt', but, let's say, 'shit'). Cleavage is another. Dress-sense is another.

I know, it all depends on what industry/environment one is in, but I'm talking very generally.

What's more, people will be offended by these things in the workplace even though they may not be offended by them the second they walk out the door. "Oh, you can't say 'bullshit'", the woman may say to the bank-teller, even though that same woman may say it herself all the time. There's every chance that the hostess on the plane wouldn't care if her sister was breastfeeding at the kitchen table, but, because it's in the workplace, suddenly this thing that does not offend her, offends her.

I told a client recently that her idea was 'stupid' and she laughed. But, a work colleage looked at me afterwards and said, "You shouldn't have said 'stupid'. You should have played it safe and said something like, "I don't believe your concept has a viable outcome." I threw a copy of Don Watson's 'Death Sentence' at her and claimed my right to speak plainly... to speak and act like a normal human being.

Maybe it's our Englishness (even an Aussie without any English blood adopts / retains elements of Englishness that most of England even gave up on years ago).

Foucault has a lot to answer for. We're not just muddying the language in order to appease a non-existent fringe element, we're muddying behaviour.

If you want to breastfeed your child, do so. Nobody really cares.


A few years ago I woked at a company with about 150 employees. The Maltese receptionist wore, in summer, low lying tops, thus revealing some cleavage. Not slutty, but a bit revealing. She wasn't slutty in herself either. She was a really nice girl and was popular amongst the staff. Anyway, one day, the HR woman told her to not to reveal cleavage any more. I happened to be talking to the HR woman later and this was the convesration...

HR: I had to tell Receptionist to not wear such revealing clothing. It was awkward, bit it had to be done. She's so nice, and she was really embarrassed.

Me: Did someone complain.

HR: No.

Me: So why stop her?

HR: Well, it could be deemed offensive.

Me: By who?

HR: Clients, perhaps.

Me: Did a client complain?

HR: No.

Me: She's been here more than a year, she's a brilliant receptionist, clients come in all day... nobody has a problem with her dress sense, and yet, you have now made her feel bad.

HR: But it had to be done!

Me: Why?

HR: Because you can't dress like that in a professional environment.

Me: Why not?

HR: Because it's not professional.

Me: Who says?

HR: Umm... society.

Me: Who?

HR: Society!

Me: But we're society. Her colleagues, and our clients, and none of us have a problem with it.

HR: But they might.

Me: But they don't!


(May I emphasise, it's not like she dressed like a hooker. There was just a bit of cleavage, and indeed some of the management women dressed far more seductively, but because she was 'the receptionist' and at the front desk of the building, a different rule seemed to apply for no apparent reason).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Melbourne Festival, Finally

The Melbourne Festival is one of those annual events I steer well clear of. Everything costs way too much, I've never heard of 99% of the artists, it's elitist and ridiculous and made up entirely of artists that seem to work in some chasm between 'avant-garde' and 'classical', a chasm where only other like-minded artists hang out and there's not an audeince or a fan to be found.

Until now.

I heard yesterday that my favourite band in the whole world, Melt Banana, are playing at The Victorian Arts Centre as part of the Melbourne Festival. Melt Banana are a Japanese 'noise' band... not for the faint-hearted.

I understand that there's many festival junkies who attend these up-market shows, and will trust the festival organisers to provide blue ribbon art acts, like some Russian weirdo in a tuxedo who plays a cello out of tune for some reason. Just as much fun as seeing my favourite band will be the fun I derive looking at these regular festival-goers faces when this act comes out:

And here is a taste of them live:

I shall attend this event and provide a review, which will mainly consist of what comments I hear from the black-tie arts brigade on their way out of the theatre.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Act II, Scene 1

(Scene: A bar in Brunswick Streeet. Perseus (in a suit) and Suicide Girl (in glamour grunge) are drinking cocktails.)

Suicide Girl:
(to be read in a strong, outback Aussie drawl)
"I grew up on a pig farm, that's just what I am, and I got expelled from a couple of schools and at 17 I was a rousabout, a jillaroo you see, I grew up on quarterhorses, and that's when I fucked me back up and got addicted to painkillers which ended me at rehab when I was 18, and I haven't touched a drug ever since, and I mean any drug, oh, except for pot, I have like two drags of a joint about once a year and that's it, but then I worked at the slaughterhouse for about a year, that was good money but it was tough, but I was tough because me step-father taught me to box, like, he used to make me put on the gloves and he knocked two of me teeth out and broke me nose but I learnt to fight and I'm grateful for it cos I've had to get into a couple of punchups at pubs, there was one bloke who was groping my arse and I said one more time mate, one more time I'm warning you cunt, oh I hope you don't mind me saying cunt cos I say it a lot, and anyway, he touched my arse again so I turned and punched him so hard in the face he didn't get up for about five minutes, but really, I'm a bit of a pacifist and turned into a bit of a hippy, I was such a hippy and so I'm this odd mix of pig farmer and hippy who does glamour-grunge pinup modelling and works in admin for a porn company but really you might think I'm a bit stupid and unsophisticated and wild but last week I just drank too much and I'm so sorry I'm just not a good drinker and I'm usually in bed by 9pm with a science or history book because that's all I'm into apart from death metal and you know I've been nervous all day about this date but I'm glad I'm here I like this bar I did a nude shoot on that couch and it's really nice here and how cute is that waitress? Don't you just want to fuck her, and speaking of which, how about we go back to my place now because I think I need to fuck you right now."




Honestly, I didn't know whether to propose marriage or run for my life.
Follow up date next weekend.
Oh, and she had vaginal piercing. That was weird. And oddly arousing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Dot Special

Someone in the Weekend Australian Review recently panned Dorothy Porter’s The Bee Hut, saying that many of the poems were simplistic (you don’t need a doctorate in the Towers of Mani to understand them), repetitive (quick, someone tell *Homer et al.), and lacking in luminosity (hello, it’s a book not a Dolphin torch)

As they say on TSFKA, one man’s Bukowski is another woman’s Blake. I think Porter’s poems are more shining and lyrical than Apollo’s lyre. This book is grouse, peoples

I can't give you a whole poem, due to copyright, so I’m going to read some of my favourite lines from The Bee Hut. (Please turn off your mobile phones or I will shoot you)

Because I love synchronicity, I will start with this:

How can I write
On water?

Do the fish
Do the giant squid


Every poet wants to write the poem
that penetrates
with the ice-cold shock
of the Devil’s prick.

The poem that will fuck you awake
or kill you.

(from THREE SONNETS, I. Is it not the thing?)

and all my living
and all my dead
run up my arms
like squirrels.


No poet
dead or alive
should rot
with their parents.


We were never married, Dido.
Believe me, I’m sad too that you can’t
sweeten me and I can’t comfort you.


Starched hospital gown.
Frozen present tense.
Why am I smelling


* as in legendary ancient Greek epic poet, not as in yellow dude with doughnut

Thursday, September 24, 2009

An award for bravery in the face of ridicule and scorn (along with silliness and absurdity)

It gives me great pleasure tonight to award the Kingotis Memorial Thread title. The following decoration is bestowed individually upon Perseus and collectively upon all the commenters on TSFKA for their role in pushing Perseus' 'Weekend Wrap' thread to an all-time high count for TSFKA and for reminding all of us of the ancient glory that was TSSH.

Congratulations everyone. Wear this specially-commissioned MS Paint art with pride.

And also for reaching 150 posts, a special display of the inaugural Kingotis Memorial Thread award has been approved.

In other news, I'll be posting a Poetry Slam Friday tomorrow in place of Ramon (if there are no objections).

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


A national disgrace!

It seems that a giant squid – let’s call him “Jim” had a friend, another giant squid called “Bert”*.

Jim had arranged for Bert to attack a ship some months earlier and now Jim feels that Bert owed him a ship attack.

“Sure,” said Bert, “there was a ship I attacked earlier but it didn’t really work out. I can set you up with the ship to attack if you like. I’m sure it will be up to it.”

Now, I for one am appalled that giant squids are pimping out ships for their friends to attack. It’s disrespectful to the ships.

I much prefer the approach they have in Sydney, with a small group of professional giant squids meet in quiet groups to find similarly minded ships.

It’s so much more dignified.

* Not their real names, obvs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bollocks, Part Two.

An article from yesterday’s Australian on-line reports on the latest Newspoll.

The paper notes, in tones of deathless surprise;

Kevin Rudd's dominance of the Australian political landscape is still going strong according to the latest Newspoll.

Despite recent revelations of the Prime Minister’s expletive-laden tirade against factional leaders and fears world leaders will not be able to strike a deal at climate change talks in Copenhagen, Mr Rudd remains the nation’s preferred prime minister according to voters surveyed last weekend by Newspoll

Well durrrr.

Did anybody seriously think Kruddy using a “full and frank exchange of views” in a private meeting with some Labor Party backbenchers would do anything other than make him even more popular?

Did nobody remember the “Rudd pissed in strip club shock” which pundits confidentially predicted would “seriously damage the opposition leader” but everybody else thought “yeah, bloody legend”.

The level of political analysis in large chunks of the Australian media continues to baffle me.

Now, let us resume laughing at Perseus.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend Wrap

An old friend of mine Melody once said to me, “You know, these situations you get yourself into... you do realise they aren’t normal, don’t you? You say, “Oh, these things happen to everyone,” but they don't. They only happen to you.”

This is one of those stories.

It’s a long ‘un.

My band played Saturday night. It was our first gig in nine months, and although we were a bit underdone and nervous, it went off perfectly. There was a big crowd and the dancing started from the first song. Awesome gig, we were rockstars.

But, as with every gig we do, there were adventures. Girl adventures. This story has four girls in it.

1. Suicide Girl
2. Mormon
3. Miss Flatmate
4. Horse

We have a new band member, Fanboy. He’s been our biggest fan for years, and has come to just about every gig and over the years we became friends with him, good friends, and indeed, we also adopted his extended group of friends (which in turn lead me to people like Miss Artist my sometimes lover that Melba doesn’t approve of, and Artemis). He was always part of our stage show anyway, in that he danced like a friendly maniac right up the front, but he also happens to be a talented musician and so we have added him to our line-up (we’re now 8 piece).

A few months ago, I hooked Fanboy up with my neighbour The Mermaid and they had some sex. I told him afterwards that he owed me sex. He happens to be very handsome and has strings of women chasing him, and I demanded he fix one of them up with me to return the favour. I was happy to bottom feed... to accept his rejects. He has a long trail of broken hearts. He’s a lady-killer. So anyway, he gave it much thought, and came up with an old lover of his that he has remained friends with – Suicide Girl. She was actually a real Suicide Girl and to this day works in the porn industry (soft-porn... in admin). But, she’s also a farm girl originally, and you all know I have a thing for farm girls.

So, we met about half an hour before the gig, and Fanboy had certainly chosen well for me. She was attractive, had some sexy pirate tatts, was fast-talking and fast-thinking, witty, shared a ciggy with me and we hit it off perfectly. After about twenty minutes of chat, this was said:

Me: Well, I have to go because we’re on soon.

SG: Before you go... you do know that Fanboy has, you know, planned to set us up?

Me: Yes. The plan is that we were to meet briefly tonight, then report back to him during the week, and if we both like each other, he’ll give out the mobile numbers and we can take it from there.

SG: Yes. So, what will you report?

Me: That I really like you, and would like to take you on a date. So, just warning you, that’s the message Fanboy will get, so a date offer will come, probably midweek.

SG: Well, I’m just warning you, that the answer will be yes.

Me: Wow. Cool.

SG: Yeah, I’m happy with this. So, umm, do I have to go to him now and ask permission to kiss you?

Me: That’s probably the rule, but we could bend the rules and cut out the middle man.

SG: Good. So, wanna kiss?

Me: Alright then.

(Insert snog).

I then left to do the gig, feeling fantastic. I really liked her, and got a snog, and the promise of a date. I liked her so much I was already trying to work out how to tell my Mum my new girlfriend was in the porn industry.

Anyway, she was going to hang around for the gig, but then had to go to some party a bit later, so, that was where it was supposed to be left.

She danced a bit during the gig, and we made eyes.

After the gig, I did all the catchup stuff with friends that had come, as well as meeting new fans and all that took about an hour. So it was about two and a half hours since I had kissed her, when Fanboy came up to me and said, “Hey, Suicide Girl decided not to go to the party. She wanted to hang out here with you instead because she really liked you, but I haven’t seen her for half an hour. Have you seen her?”

“No,” I said, all excited that she was still at the pub, “But I’ll go look.”

I found her. In a dark corner of a little booth. Straddling a guy. His hand was up her skirt. I looked closer. I knew the guy. A doofus called Doofus who is friends with a chick called Miss Flatmate (soon to be introduced).

I stormed back to Fanboy and yelled, “She’s having fucking sex with Doofus in that booth. What sort of fucking skank have you set me up with? Fail, Fanboy, fail!”

“What the fuck?” he yelled, and ran into the booth and gave her what for. She was drunk. Doofus was drunk. Fanboy made them leave the pub and told her that she had let me and him down. Exeunt Suicide Girl.

Fanboy was hugely apologetic and started talking about some other girl he’d set me up and he was apologising over and over but I was not impressed. I was yelling at him for showing poor judgement.

Enter Miss Flatmate.

Miss Flatmate is Miss Artist’s flatmate, and although they were childhood friends they are now arch enemies. They hate each other. Though Miss Artist is my sometimes lover, I stay out of their disputes because over the years I’ve gotten to know Miss Flatmate pretty well and I like her. And she’s hot. She’s a dancer.

Miss Flatmate said, “What’s all the yelling?” and I said, “Your mate Doofus was sexing up a girl that I’m supposed to be going on a date with next week!”

She explained that Doofus was very drunk and that he was throwing himself at every woman there, including her, and that made me feel even worse, because Doofus was acting all drunk and sleazy and Suicide Girl had thought, “Yeah righto, I’ll have a piece of that.” Tramp.

“Don’t feel so bad,” said Miss Flatmate, “I’ve had a hell few weeks with men. I’m over it. In fact, I don’t even like being here at this pub. I’m going home.”

“You’ve had no luck with men, and I’ve had no luck with women. How about I crash in your bed tonight?” I said in jest, because of course it was jest – she’s my sometimes lover’s flatmate and enemy.

“Yeah sure,” she said laughing, “I’ll leave the door open.”

The she went.

Fanboy returned to me. He had with him his date for the night, Leggy. Leggy seemed nice. It was their first real date and she was doing her best to impress his bandmates. She said to me, “We’re going to Cherry Bar later on, when the pub closes. I have a friend. She kinda looks like a horse. She has a long face. But don’t let that put you off, because she’s hot. And, she likes men in suits. I’m pretty sure she’ll go for it.”

“A horse, ay?” I said, “Well, as long as Horse doesn’t get my hopes up then start sexing with some other guy two hours later... sure, I’ll meet her.”

It was midnight.

The pub had turned into an 80’s bogan rock nightclub and everyone was dancing and having fun. The pub was still packed.

At about 1am, a man and his girlfriend approached. They introduced themselves, congratulated me on the band’s performance and made chit-chat. Then they exposed the real reason for their visit to me.

“We have a friend, and she had told us about your band. She really likes your band, but has never met any of you, and she was a bit nervous about coming up to speak to you, so we’re going behind her back. Will you come and say hello?”

“Is she single?” I asked, rather rudely.

“She sure is,” he said, smiling, because obviously that’s where it was headed, “And cute.”

And so I went and met the friend, and she was pretty cute. A shorty, but nice eyes and face, and wonderful cleavage which was on prominent display. 31 years old. We got chatting. And, because I was a little drunk (and so was she) the conversation very quickly got into things. I have this habit of asking big questions when I meet strangers. I’m no good at chit-chat. I’m likely to ask their name, and then the next question is something like, “Do you fear death?”, or, as was the case here, “Did you have a happy childhood?” For some reason , people always answer me these probing questions. This girl was no exception. She grew up in Melbourne in a strict Mormon family, and did indeed have some qualms about her upbringing. She said she was the ‘black sheep’ of the family, and has not followed through with her Mormonism, but, she did concede that it’s hard to de-program oneself if one is brought up a certain way, and she still had Mormon ‘traits’. Alcohol was clearly not one of them though, and we had a couple of drinks, and next thing I know we’re snogging.

We danced and snogged, plus occasionally returned to our respective camps, then met up again and snogged some more.

3am came, and the pub was shut. Fanboy and Leggy said to me, “Well, are you coming with us? Horse is at Cherry or Pony, not sure, but we’re heading that way. Are you coming, or are you staying with the Mormon?”

I put it to Mormon. She said, “Let’s go around the corner and kiss some more so I can think about it.”

We went around the corner, down a dark street and found a bench. We sat and kissed, but because there was nobody else around, it got a bit ‘R’ Rated. Nothing was undone or unzipped, but hands were pressed against fabric in strategic positions. Sex was on its way.

“Righto,” she said, “I’m inviting you back to my house. I live just around the corner.”

I said goodbye to Fanboy and Leggy. Fanboy apologised again for the Suicide Girl disaster, and off they went.

I walked with Mormon back to her house.

We got in her house.

Then... it got WEIRD.

She said, “I’m going to freshen up in the bathroom, and get out of this costume. Please, wait for me in the loungeroom,” and she pointed me that way.

I got in there. It was attached to the kitchen.

On the walls were posters. Band posters. My band’s posters, dating back a while. Not other bands... just mine.

My band is not famous, at all. We are respected within our genre, but the genre is small. There’s only five or so bands in Melbourne that do what we do, and we’re the oldest of them all. We have a handful of fans and we know them all by name. We put on great shows, but release awful recordings. We all have day jobs and won’t be giving them up. As far as I knew, nobody, you know, collected our things.

I was sitting there thinking, “Well, this is kind of weird. Spooky. But, well, she seems harmless. Maybe she’s just shy. Look on the Brightside... she’s a fan of the band, and now she has the lead singer in her house. Oh, there just has to be sex.”

She came back out, freshened, in a singlet that revealed more of her ample bosom. She sat next to me.

Me: I see you have our band posters.
Morm: Yes, I like them.
Me: How long have you been coming to see us play?
Morm: My first show was the launch of the second album.
Me: That was eight years ago.
Morm: Yes.
Me: And you’ve been coming to see us ever since?
Morm: Off and on, depending on where I am. But always as often as possible.
Me: Umm, have we met?
Morm: No.

I sat there, dumbfounded, then thought, ah what the fuck, and started groping. She groped back... a little, but I could sense something had changed. She said, “You liked my cleavage?”

“Sure did,” I said.

“I’ve never done that before.”

“Done what?”

“Displayed my cleavage in public. I always cover them up. Always. Tonight was the first night ever.”

I thought (but didn’t say), “Yeah, and look: You picked up the lead singer of your favourite band.”

We kissed some more, but she was becoming distant. I could feel it. I decided to rev things up a bit and started fumbling with her pants and top, but she stopped me. I am a gentleman in these situations.

I said, “Look, I’m not sure what’s happening. This whole night is weird. Umm. Please, don’t feel compelled to have me here. I obviously want to be here, and what’s more, I want to start taking off your clothes, because you’re hot, and really nice, and intelligent. But, I’m not going to pressure you into anything. If you’re more comfortable with me leaving, just tell me, and I won’t begrudge you. My car and all my stuff is at The Violinist’s house, and it’s also walking distance. I have a couch for the night there.”

She didn’t answer, but instead started kissing me again. I kind of rolled on top, but gently. I went for the pants again, and she said, “Umm...” and I knew that was not a good ‘Umm’ and so I rolled off. I took a breath. She looked concerned. She then said, “I’m really, really conflicted.” And I thought all of a sudden, “Maybe she has a boyfriend, and he’s overseas or something.” She clearly fancied me, and she did invite me back, but something was stopping her.

Then she said, “I don’t do this. I’ve never done this.”

Then it hit me.

Mormon traits.

Oh my God.

I held her, and said, “I understand.”

I stood up.

I fixed my clothes.

I said, “It’s best I go now.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“I’m sorry, too,” I said.

I gave her another cuddle, and then I was out the front door, about ten seconds after my erection was out the front door.

By now it was 4:15am.

The poor girl. But, there was no point me staying. I was in a state.

Being in such a state, I got my second wind and tried calling Fanboy. I figured I’d go meet Horse, but it was going to voicemail (unbeknownst to me at the time, his battery had gone flat).

It dawned on me that I wouldn’t be going into the city. Too much time had past. They could be anywhere. There was nothing left to do but to walk to Violinist’s house (about a 25 minute walk).

So there I was, a 40 year old man, walking by myself through the back streets of inner-city Melbourne at 4.30am. Tired, lonely, sexually frustrated beyond belief. A wretch in a 3 piece. I got to the Violinist’s.

I texted Fanboy, just in case. I said: “It didn’t work out with the Mornon. I’m at the violinist’s. Bring me the Horse!”

There was no reply.

I collapsed on the couch (which was covered in cat hair) and fell asleep, in my suit.


At 11am Sunday, Fanboy texted me. Here is the text:

“Got this message from Suicide Girl. Had to forward it to you. Fw: Girl meets boy. Girl likes boy. Girl kisses boy. Boy disappears. Girl meets new boy. Takes boy home. Boy pukes all over girl. Girl made a terrible mistake.”

I don’t believe in kamma, but I do believe in amazing coincidence. Doofus spewed on her. Good.

I spoke to Fanboy, and he was apologising even more. “I’m so upset with her,” he said, “And I’m really sorry she did that to you. I can’t explain it. It’s not like her. Anyway, I spoke to her, she feels terrible, and wants your mobile number. Can I give it to her?”

I said yes.

Sure enough, a text came in later... “Hi, it’s Suicide Girl. I feel terrible about last night. Please call me.”

I texted back and said, “I’ll call you during the week.”

I have to think about it. See, even though she did that, she did get spewed on... and was I any better? I went with the first pair of boobs that approached me. And, well, Suicide Girl is not my girlfriend. Why did she have to be monogamous to me after we just met? Is agreeing to a date the next week implying that you can’t pick up anyone else before that date? And, well, we did get along well. Really well. And she was a beautiful kisser. Oh, what to do? Do I go on a date?

But, in finishing, here’s the punchline.

Miss Flatmate called me in the afternoon.

“I just woke up,” she said.

“Oh cool, that’s a good sleep!” I said.

There was silence. I was waiting for her to speak. She called me, the onus is on her to explain the nature of the call.

“What happened to you?” she said.

“What?” I said.

More silence.

“I left the door open,” she said.

What’s that term Ramon uses?

Ah yes.

Love gumby.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A not entirely appropriate response to the wedding post.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself

Families, eh Pers!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Modern dilemmas for these troubled times, Part One.

Over the weekend I plan to watch Downfall, the harrowing 2004 German film, detailing the final 10 days in Hitler’s Berlin bunker before the Red Army shoots the place up.

The moral question I want to put to the TSFKA brains trust is this.

Should I;
A) Watch it while eating pizza and drinking beer?
B) Watch it in a mood of sorrowful penance?
C) Shut the fuck up and watch the Goddamn film already?

I’m sort of hoping for option A, but I’m prepared to be guided by the collective wisdom here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cooking with Uncle Frank.

William liked cooking but the lessons with Uncle Frank were getting a bit weird.

Uncle Frank was a squat, balding little man with a strong Yorkshire accent; nobody knew why as he had lived his entire life in Thornbury. A firm believer in homeopathy he kept a Shetland pony overnight in the spare bathroom and smelled faintly of dung.

Each cooking lesson began with what Uncle Frank described as “the traditional abusing of the eggs” whereby Frank and William opened the fridge door to hurl oaths and abuse at the unsuspecting chicken by-products.

The main part of the lesson then usually consisted of William attempting to master the finer points of French cuisine as Uncle Frank shouted instructions from behind a door of tempered steel for, as he explained, “safety reasons”.

Today, however, was to be different.

“Lad,” said Frank proudly, “today we make pound cakes”.

Pound cakes, queried William.

“Pound cakes”, said Frank “hundreds of ‘em. In that way we can understand t' true nature of t’ pound cake.”

William thought Uncle Frank reminded him of that Asian bloke from the Karate Kid – provided the Asian bloke from the Karate Kid looked like a squat, balding Yorkshire man who smelled faintly of dung.

The following week William took up bass guitar lessons instead.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Boy, after this build up, it will be such a let down... Anyway, here goes:

The Drive To Adelaide

My Dad is on crutches because he broke his foot, and Mum has nerve damage in her calf as well as chronic back pain. Neither are very mobile, and yet, neither can sit still. I was like a parent, driving two naughty children on a long journey. They bickered, they fidgeted, we had to keep stopping, they were hungry... And yet, it was actually fun, sort of. We drove as far as Stawell on the first night, then on to Adelaide the next morning. The Western Highway is like the Hume used to be... single lanes, and going through towns where one gets to eat locally made pies.

The Hotel

Fantastic. The bathroom floor was heated! I recommend Grand Mercure at Mount Lofty. The food wasn't bad either, and they had lots of hot looking staff. And the view from the rooms was awesome. When we got there, there were five cop cars and lots of serious looking cops wearing gloves. We thought there had been a murder (and I thought, "That's be right... Adelaide." But no, it was just a workman who had a heart attack and fell off some work platform and died. The staff were all coy about it, but I flirted with the receptionist and got the true story.

The Night Before Dinner

This involved me, Mum and Dad, my sister (mother of the bride, who I'll call Bindy), her new boyfriend SuperJohn (he cooks! he renovates! he can talk on a wide range of topics! he's wealthy! we love him!), my old Aunt and Uncle, and my sister's old workfriend Dutchy, who is about 50, and is a divorcee. We discussed plans to deal with my feral nephew the next day, but also, I noticed that Dutchy rubbed my Mum up the wrong way on various matters.

The Hairdresser

Much to my Mum's horror, there was a hairdressing appointment made for all the women in the bridaal party as well as family, first thing in the morning, in central Adelaide. Champagne included. Mum has short straight hair, and doesn't drink. She wanted to sleep... so, she was a little cranky. I was designated driver. Anyway, in the car, my sister Bindy was playfully teasing me because I was Mum's 'pet', and I was saying that the youngest son, particularly if he is the only son, will always be the pet, and it was all good-natured fun, but then Mum pointed out that Bindy was Dad's pet and he loved her from the second she was born, and we laughed. But then, out of nowhere, Dutchy said to Mum, with a degree of venom, "Gee you talk a lot of shit Mrs. Perseus." There was silence. What do you do in that situation? She's my sister's best friend, so she should say something, but I'm the son, so I should say something, and Mum is small, old (70), tired and frail. But, as I pointed out, Mum was cranky, and in the past year I've noticed that she's just saying whatever the hell she wants about anything. And she's starting to swear. So, Mum turns to Dutchy and says, "You think I'm full of shit? When I met you, all you fucking talked about was fucking Jilly this and fucking Jilly that. Fucking Jilly, that's all that came out of your fucking mouth, so fucking shut up about me talking about how much I love my children." It was awesome, and Jilly couldn't back-pedal fast enough.


So while the girls had their girly hair session, I went on a brief exploration of Adelaide. I went down the cafe end of Hindley Street and sampled some okay coffee at a few places (Felici the best, plus it had Melbourne newspapers), peered in the independant record stores, found the old synagogue, then went to the Art Gallery. Saw a few good pieces - an Arthur Boyd one called 'Figures By A Creek' or something was very good, but just when I got to the really cool stuff (European 17th-18th century) I got the call to pick them all up.

What Tie To Wear

I took four options, and I'm sure you were all waiting desperately to find out which I was going to choose, and the answer was 'the green one'. I also parted my hair on the side for the first time since 1977. It's apparently 'the look' now. The hands belong to my old Aunt, who was the only other person of the whole sixty guests at the wedding who smoked. As such, I spent most of my time hanging out with her.

(Of my Dad's 178 photos, this is the only one of me. I wish I could have posted a better one, just in case some hot chick is reading this...)

My Nephew The Butcher Part 1.

As much as we want to be at my niece's wedding, all of our family were in a way dreading being there because of the fact the bride's brother, my nephew the Butcher, was going to be there with his wife and child. He hates us. All of us, except his two sisters who he tolerates. He hates his mother. He hates his grand-parents (my parents). He hates me, because when I attempted to broker peace, I said in an email that he needed to 'fucken get over it' and he has since threatened to bash me. Mind you, of all the nephews and nieces, he was the pet. It kills us. Anyway, he turned up with his father (my sister's ex husband), his uncles from that side of the family, and his wife and child. And I was the fucking usher, who had to show him to his front row seat. I did the right thing. I approached. I said "Hi Butcher," and he said, "Hi Uncle Pers," and I thought, "Well, so far so good," so I put my hand out to shake, and he refused. Oh well, I tried. I said, "You're in the front row on the right," and that was the last I spoke to him for the day.

The Ceremony

The Bride was fifteen minutes late. I said to the singer (an old school friend of my niece), "So, you know when to start singing?" and she panicked and said, "No! No I don't. Help! HELP!" So, it was my job to go find the bride, who, when seeing me down the corridor asking when she was coming out, replied, "The singer KNOWS when to start," and I said, "No, she doesn't. I'm staying here." So I ended up being quite handy, holding doors open for the bridal party, and giving the singer the 30 second standby cue. Then again, maybe it would have been better if I didn't, because she sang "Take My Breath Away" to a midi-backing track... not in the right key. I have concealed the singer's face with some expertly applied MS Paint.

Here Comes The Bride

I picked this photo because it's blurry and dark.

Pre-Dinner Drinks / Butcher Part 2

The ceremony was at 3pm. The official pre-dinner drinks (ie: when the bar tab starts) was 5.30pm, so there was two hours to spare, and we all convened in the hotel bar. It's the worst thing about weddings. Why do people getting married torture their guests so? Can't they just get married at 6pm so we can go straight to the fucking dinner? Anyway, there was us at one end, the Butcher and his gang at the other end, and all the Jews in the middle. I caused a stir with old Aunt Esther (who must've been 90), because the waitress was handing out these cone-shaped things and I bit into it and it was a prawn. I saw old Aunt Esther about to take one and I thought, "Oh no, the matriarch who has come all the way from Israel for this wedding must surely be kosher," and so I ran to her, grabbed her hand, and said, "Watch out Auntie Esther, it's prawns!" and she said, "I know! Yum!" and ate it in one mouthful.

Then, it all turned bad. My sister's ex husband approached. He was there with his new wife. But, we hold no specific grudges. He said to my sister, "Listen, I think you should go to your son and at least say hello. Make an effort." Now, she was taken aback, as she 'made efforts' for about three years and eventually had to give up, but, she figured, well, maybe he's said something to his father, and maybe he would like me to approach. So, my sister walked over to the other side of the room, went up to her son and said, "Hi mate," and he yelled at the top his voice, "Fuck off! FUCK OFF!" We left the pre-dinner drinks and consoled my sister for an hour.

The Reception / Butcher Part 3

Tne Butcher's father and paternal uncles and one aunt were all horrified by what he had done, and although they are the estranged part of our family, they all came up and apologised to my sister, and even me and my parents. But, my sister was largely inconsolable, which was sad, given it was her daughter's wedding. Not only that, she hated her dress, and was only wearing it because my niece picked it out and insisted she wore it. My sister thought it was too revealing, and too blue, but what do you do when your daughter is getting married and wants you to wear something(here is my sister and my niece, later in the night)

But two things brought her back to life. First of all, she made a beautiful speech that received a standing ovation, such was its power (though, The Butcher walked out as it started). Second of all, she was angry at herself for doing what her ex-husband wanted (that is, telling her to approach their son). And so, although she's one of those 'always-positive, say nice things' type of people, she cornered her ex-husband as he came out of the toilet and said to him, "I've wanted to say this for three years: I hope you have a rotten life and I hate you." Then she felt better. But, I tell you, if it wasn't a family wedding, my Mum, who was still cranky, would have stabbed The Butcher's eyes out with a fork.

At one stage, my Mum said, "Oh, I'm so tired. What time is it love?" I said, "A quarter to eight Mum." Then, she asked again a bit later. "Twenty past eight Mum," I said. "Fuck," she said. It was indeed a very long day.

The DJ played

Grease Lightning
Nutbush City Limits

Because there is a law in Australia stating that these songs must be played at all weddings.

Best Man

My highlight was the best man's speech. Fucking awesome. He was a friend of the groom from flight school, and, well, he was a little drunk, and not the best reader, nor the best speechwriter. You know, like the kids in class that when it's their time to read out loud you groan because they read slowly and terribly. I think someone must have told him that the best man had to 'roast' the groom, because his speech was like this, in complete monotone, "I wondered why... he wanted me... to be best man... event... I mean, even... even though... though he has only known. Me for two years. I guess it is because he is fat. And stupid..." (insert pause, all silent in room, except for the sound of me suppressing laughter). "He is late. To everything. Never fly. With him... he sometimes forgets to put. The landing wheels. Down. Because he is stupid..." (insert pause - silent in room again, except I am about to burst). "I was told. The best man's speech must be the same length. As the groom's proo... pree... prowess. Umm. In bed. So I will be brief." (insert pause).

It went like that for fifteen minutes, and I loved every second of it.

The Drive Home

Did it in one day, with parents, then I drove back to Lorne, saw my mate's lights on, thought I'd go for a drink, others were there, got drunk, and ended up going on a date with a girl I met there. But that's for another blog post.


In conclusion, my niece, hopefully, enjoyed her wedding. She is lovely. I wish her and her husband well. The fact we struggled to enjoy the wedding day was not her fault. Families, ay. It's a fucking battle keeping them together some times. Grudges can run for generations... People generally are respectful at funerals, but it's weddings where it all comes out. Someone needs to perfect the system.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Some PSF filler before Pers' wedding post.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slow Blog Day Filler: A Story About Some People I Know

P bowled into H’s flat in the suburbs of Athens. H had been living there studying how to yodel without breathing, and P was joining him to study how to live in Athens without purpose. Between them they owned twelve books, a slab of beer and a lamp.

“Jesus Christ, P, you fucking lick-spittle. How did you get here?’

“I fucken flew in one of those new-fangled aeroplanes, you dud,” said P, taking a seat and cracking open a can of beer H had hurled at him from the kitchen. “What have you learned so far?”

“That the bottle shop is less than a hundred metres from that couch.”

“Good information, that’s a fact.”

P looked around. The flat was sparsely furnished.

“Is the landlord a bastard?”

“He’s a woman called Maria,” answered H. “Lives on the ground floor."


“You know, I could’ve picked you up from the airport,” said H, scoffing a handful of peanuts and offering the bowl to P. P couldn’t reach and H made no attempt to accommodate him. He placed the peanuts back on the arm of his chair.

“You don’t have a license!”

“License! Bah! This is Greece!”

“But you don’t have a car either.”


They took long draughts of beer.

“So, you got work for me?” asked P.

“I told you already, I’m folding t-shirts at a factory.”

“What sort of factory?”

“A fucken t-shirt factory, you out and out lesbian!”

“Well, I thought maybe you folded uniforms or something.”

“Fuck that. I’ve told you in my despatches that I fold t-shirts. You get paid for every box of a hundred.”

“How much?” said P, noticing a green smear on the wall behind H. The smear appeared to be moving.

“Far below the minimum wage which I suspect they don’t even have.”

“So it is the minimum wage then?”

“It fucking may as well be.”

“So can I work there?” asked P, taking another gulp.

“It’s a shit job.”

“But I have no money.”

“They shouldn’t have let you into the country.”

“It’s Greece!”

“Correct,” said H, considering. “Ok, yes, you can fold t-shirts assuming you have previous experience.”

“I fold my own.”

“That should do.”

“Good. When do I start?”

“Tomorrow. You just rock up. No-one knows who’s who. Just stand in line and start folding.”

“Good. Hey! Remember L from Generic High?”


“You know, the guy that fucked up the lights during your play in year eleven.”

“Oh that cunt! How could I forget?”

“Why is he a cunt?’

“He fucked up the lights!”

“Jesus Christ that was five years ago!”

“It was an important scene. I was going to yodel Oh Suzanna, beginning the first few notes in pure darkness. Rather than waiting for me to begin, as scripted, that dick-nosed wombat brought the lights up as I was walking onto the stage! Lucky I’m a fucking professional or who knows what might have happened.”

“He was drunk,” protested P.

“Yeah, who wasn’t? Anyway, what about him?”

“He’s in Europe somewhere as we speak. He’s going to make his way here and sleep on the couch. Have you got work for him too?”

“Yes. He can fold fucken t-shirts like everyone fucken else!”


“Well, you stodgy fuck, what do you think of the job?” asked H, flicking a bug off the t-shirt he was about to fold.

“It’s not too bad,” said P, admiring his latest fold. “You’ve been exaggerating.”

“Well, my ridiculous friend, wait until you’ve folded your thousandth t-shirt and tell me that.”

“It’s therapeutic.”

“No it isn’t, it’s horrendous. It’s mind-numbing and I fear I’m losing valuable fractions of my intellect with every fold.”

“At that rate you’ll be out by lunchtime.”

“Ha fucking ha.”

“It’s alright. They let you smoke. No one hassles you…”

“You’ve only been working for two fucking hours, you skinny twat.”

“Well you asked me what I thought. I can only report back on those two hours.”

“You could guess about the future.”

“Oh for fuck’s sake.”

“When’s your friend Mike arriving?”

“I don’t know anyone called Mike,” said P, returning to the fold.

“Your fucking lighting friend!”

“L? I don’t fucking know when. Why, do you love him?”

“Do you know how many girls I’ve fucked?”

“No, not interested. Do you count your sister?”

“Well if I had a sister, and if I’d fucked her then yes, she would technically count.”

“I suppose. Unless she didn’t want it.”

“What are you saying? That I raped my sister!”

“You don’t have a sister!”

“Oh yeah. Fuck off.”

“How many girls have you fucked?”

“Three. If you count my cousin.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A grand day out.

There’s a park just down the road from where we live that The Boy and I sometimes go. Sometimes we walk, with his little hand in mine and sometimes he takes his scooter – belting along at a rate of knots.

Last Saturday was a perfect Melbourne spring day, not too hot, maybe some rain in the air.

We get to the park and The Boy says;

“Just sit on that seat Dad and don’t move unless I tell you.”

So I sat on the seat and watched him race over to the climbing bars. There were a couple of other kids his age, watched over by dads with faces that suggested they’d seen a bit too much of life than was good for them. The kids all played happily together in that mysterious confederation that all small boys seem to understand while I watched.

Some young men and women, probably in their twenties, kicked a footy around while another group playing with a Frisbee.

After about an hour we walked home for dinner.

If I was a pompous nuffie like – say – Helen Razer or Clem Bastow*, I’d work something in like “and then I realised how truly lucky I was” or “and I then realised we’re all the same underneath” or some other sick-inducing homily of the style the Age seems so fond of these days.

But I’m not, so I won’t.

*Or if I was Catherine Deveny, I could slip in “and then I realised, God’s a cunt”.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What-ho, comrades.

The Mrs, who is a woman of rare good taste and breeding, presented me with the complete boxed set of Jeeves and Wooster for Fathers’ Day.

For those of you who are living like bugs in cultural slime, Jeeves and Wooster is a BBC series from the early 1990s featuring Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as his man servant Reginald Jeeves and as such is one of the most prefect television series ever made in the history of the world.

What really makes it is the casting. I can’t imagine a better Jeeves than Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie is exactly how you imagine Bertie Wooster as you read the original stories.

Go out and watch this series now.

Trust me; you don’t want to be lying on your deathbed thinking “I know I’m incredibly rich and famous. I know I was captain of the Australian Test team while simultaneously working as an international porn star but I never watched Jeeves and Wooster when that weirdo Ramon recommended it back in 2009.

“Oh woe, woe and lamentation” and that sort of stuff.

Is that how you want to end your days?


I thought not.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Art Appreciation

A triptych I saw at the Prado in Madrid. The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.

Discuss (because I am lazy).

And as much as I hate to list it as a source, Wikipedia has some interesting close up details.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week From Hell Pt. 1

My niece, Princess, is getting married next Wednesday, in Adelaide. There’s already three things wrong with that sentence... one, my niece gets married before I do, two, on a Wednesday, three, in fucken Adelaide.

Oh, but it gets much worse.

Her mother, my older sister Bindy, divorced her husband Mr. Air Force about three years ago. He left the air force eight years ago and took up a lucrative job with an international airline which involved living about a third of the year in an Asian city, and, as my sister discovered five years later, he had a girlfriend over there – like, a whole other life, virtually married. They had a cat and all. When she discovered this, she of course booted him out. He ended up flying this woman out to Australia and marrying her once the divorce came through, and my niece’s wedding this week will be the first time our family have to confront him and his new wife. They will be on a table over the other side of the room.

But it gets worse.

My sister Bindy has three children to Mr. Air Force. There’s Tomboy (21) who is ace. There’s Princess (25) getting married, and there’s The Butcher (27), the eldest child. When my sister booted her husband out, The Butcher went off the rails. He just didn’t cope, and, for reasons none of us understood, he sided with his father and blamed my sister for the whole affair – and developed a speed habit. It also coincided with him getting together with a young woman called The Typist who has all sorts of mental illnesses and won’t socialise. He refuses to speak to any of us. We have tried and tried to reach out to him but he won’t return calls, emails or anything. He only speaks to his father, and sometimes, Princess, but only briefly. Anyway, as it happens, he not only married The Typist, they have had a kid. My nephew has a child and I don’t know its name. Him, his wife and the child will all be at the wedding, also at a table far away from us. He has told Princess that I am not to go near him or he will ‘belt’ me... and why? Because I sent him an email about a year ago, and told him to ‘fucken get over it’ (whatever it was).

It gets worse.

I was going to take a date. There’s a local girl I haven’t mentioned here yet, but, anyway, we’re, you know, hanging out, a bit. Miss Darwin is her name. She was excited about driving to Adelaide with me for a couple of nights in a luxury hotel, and having a chance to wear her best dress, but, I now can’t take her. Why? Because my Dad broke his ankle - his accelerator leg - and can’t drive. Mum won’t get on a plane (she did once, and had to be restrained. She asked to be let out, mid-air; she insisted on being let out) and so I have to drive Mum and Dad to Adelaide. I couldn’t put Miss Darwin through it. First time meeting my parents, and she’s stuck in a car with them for 20 hours? Oh no, oh no. So, I’m now dateless at this wedding.

It gets worse.

Princess is marrying a nice young man who she has been dating since they were both fifteen. Childhood sweethearts, never been with anyone else. Yeah, like that works in the long run. Oh, and he’s from a rich Jewish family and our cash donations are going to look miserly, no matter how much we have scrimped and saved. He’s a nice guy though – he’s a pilot. I get along better with him than I do my own niece – she’s a psychologist, a control freak and conservative as all Hell. And she votes Liberal. I love her, she’s my niece, and we get along pretty well, but I have to admit, I prefer hanging out with her when her bloke is with her. She and I just don’t have much to say to each other about the world.

It gets worse.

Princess has talked of nothing but this fucking wedding for almost two years now. Bridezilla is an under-statement. Every second of the two day ‘wedding festival’ has been so meticulously planned that none of us are allowed to breathe unless it is sanctioned by Princess. She even checked what colour my tie would be (because it had to match the menu design or something) and I just know I’m going to be in big trouble when she sees I am not in a blue and white tie. This is not a wedding, it’s bootcamp.

It gets worse.

I have a lot of work on and this four day round-trip will force me to play catch up for quite some time, and it’s on a fucking Wednesday (because they wanted to get married on 09-09-09) and for fuck’s sake, it’s in ADELAIDE.

The food better be good.

See you all in a week, when I will post Part 2 - the report.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Poetry Slam Friday with Drinking References

washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
will see the doctor,
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
"yes, it's boring,"
I tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
something is
walking across the
oh, it's just
my cat

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Memories of holidays past

Everyone has a smell, taste or sound that is guaranteed to trigger evocative memories from their childhood.

For some, it’s the smell of the beach, from Summer holidays past when the whole tribe would pile in the Kingswood wagon the day after Dad finished work and head to the beach before it got invaded by grey-haired antique shop owners and Texan inspired goth pirates. For others, it may be the song on the stereo when you finally got your hand up Michelle Petersen’s jumper.

Today I encountered a new one.

My family and I are currently on a short sojourn in the wilds of Williamstown Victoria, before a return to Manila to pack everything in boxes so we can move back to Canberra. Got it? Simple.

Today, in order to keep the young Fadlets happy, we took a quick trip completely across the city to go and ride Puffing Billy. It’s a steam train, my son loves Thomas the Tank Engine – too easy.

I spent the first seven years of my life in Melbourne. Most of my immediate family are in Melbourne. The Catholic side of my family account for most of the population of Melbourne that isn’t Jewish, Greek or Sudanese. We spent many, many holidays around Melbourne and Victoria, even after we escaped the family to move to Canberra of all places.

Sitting on the window sill with my legs hanging out the window watching the scenery chug by was great. Memories of doing the same with my family started flooding back - particularly of Dad dropping us off at the station with Mum and then magically appearing in the car to wave to us at every crossing.

Then, it happened. A fucking cinder in my eye… and another!

Fuck! Get it out!

This was the trigger of which I speak. Suddenly, the real memories shouldered their way in, pushing the other, nicer ones out of the way. The only REAL reason we ever went on Puffing Billy was for my parents to lull us three boys into a false sense of security before dropping us off in Emerald with the bogan relatives from hell, so they could spend a week in Queensland. That week was spent with the Australian equivalent of the Griswald cousins in the first Vacation movie.

I now remembered… God, I remembered!

So fuck you Puffing Billy! And your fucking Thomas the Tank Engine sales points!!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my first TSFKA outing.

If you're creative, get stuffed.

And they're not even chainsaws, eh Pers.

This article from the UK satirical website The Daily Mash pretty much sums up how I feel about arts festivals in general.

Sociologist Charlie Reeves said: "The Edinburgh Fringe has become a sort of 'gobshite kettling', a way of temporarily containing viciously self-confident Oxbridge graduates who are nowhere near as talented as they think they are but will still end up getting 500 grand a year from the BBC.

"He added: "If only the Metropolitan Police were there to batter them all with sticks."


The Melbourne International Writers’ Festival has recently ended and the whole odious pack of international “celebrities”, schmoozers, schleppers, schnorrers, schmiels, posers, punters, pundits, putzs, bloggers, book club members and Wendy Harmer can now piss off to whence they came.

I like fine literature as little as the next man but there’s something depressing about writers’ festivals with the usual suspects of authors performing like dancing bears to people who are either desperately thinking “Jesus, I really need to have a piss – how much longer will this pompous dickhead drone on” to people who realise with a sinking heart that the author who they loved the most is a monosyllabic bore in real life.

I can think of no finer place for compressed idiocy (apart from Crikey) than a writers’ festival. The attendees (and perhaps the organisers) like to think they’re taking part in the grand parliament of the mind but you get more intellectual banter on an episode of Rove.

What should be something exciting and vibrant becomes an exercise in unit-shifting.

And the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is shit well.

PS. talking about things arty, who’s doing PSF tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Everybody knows I’m a Labor man, but I’m no fan of right-wing pinheads like John Della Bosca.

That said, the story that ran in the Daily Telegraph about his six-month affair was bullshit and I doubt very much if a similar story would have appeared in the Melbourne media.

The rough rule of thumb in the media used to be that unless this sort of guff was obviously interfering with their ministerial responsibilities or it was obviously hypocritical (a strong “family values” MP conducting an affair), then what an MP did – as long as it was legal – was his or her business.

I fail to see how the story in the Tellie meets either of these criteria.

True, the woman alleges Mr Della Bosca was neglecting his duties, but this is based largely on hearsay and innuendo. And I can’t recall Mr Della Bosca making a big song and dance about “family values” but I’m prepared to be corrected.

What I do know is that the Tellie has form when it comes to dodgy news stories; witness “I can’t believe it’s not Pauline Hanson – oh wait, it isn’t” and ‘UTEGATE – the email that could bring down a Government Malcolm Turnbull”.

This seems less than a legitimate news story and more like the latest chapter in the Tellie’s “War on Everything Labor”.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tim Holding On?

As you're probably all aware - at least the Victorians amongst us - Tim Holding, State Minister for Water (among other things) has been missing for 2 nights on Mt Feathertop where the temperature has been as low as minus 7 degrees.

I hope he's ok. But I think it's clear what's happened here. Those opposed to the north-south pipeline, or perhaps those opposed to the desal plant, have waited for the opportunity for Tim to take a break in the country, kidnap him and remove his testicles with blunt shears.

A wild conspiracy, or the very clear and obvious truth?

Perhaps we'll never really know. But one thing's for sure, the guy's cold.