Friday, October 29, 2010

Another poem about London. Not about cricket this time.

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry Dave old stick - no money for you.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And it's also a cracking read.

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bullshit & Song of the Week

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

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

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

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

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

Nutritonal Value: 3/10
Taste: 5/10

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

Nutritional value: 3/10
Taste: 7/10

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


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

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

A value for money PSF today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Your day's viewing on Ramon TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 15, 2010

A very special London PSF for EMS

How I long to be drinking near there.

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

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

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

Perhaps, one day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Neptune Enters Uranus

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

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

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

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

CSB: Oh?

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

Flake's interviewing technique clearly needs refinement.


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

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

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

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything else is icing on the mitre.

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

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

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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Song of the Week: Meet Me in the Basement

The fuck did you say?

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Words What I Hate

Did he just say key deliverables?


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

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

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

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


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

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

Works for me.

Also see 'Shopaholic'.

Corporate/Management Speak

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

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

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


Any noun wrongly used as a verb

"He medalled."

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

Monday, October 4, 2010

He what!?

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

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

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

The story notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the earplugs I can understand, but blindfolds?

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

Ckfjgpdpf kfoodiir fjjjtkjelocfpototridkrir ofgofidrp fffoirptpgpgiririeopotiiri fff;

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

Wish me luck.

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

The evil of owls revealed!

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

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