Monthly Archives: March 2009

The lights are off and there’s nobody home

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If you’re like me you learned every lesson you’ll ever need in life by watching Saturday morning cartoons. And anything you needed to know about quixotic missions, spiritual resistance and the perils of working with ACME explosives you learned from watching The Roadrunner Show. Wile. E. Coyote. Genius. Indeed. Anyone who, when faced with the realization that the plan he has spent all day constructing has badly misfired and has sent tonnes of Arizona boulders raining down upon him, trusts his survival to the tested response of a ladies parasol and a placard saying ‘help’, is a genius in, if nothing else, comic timing.

And, with Earth Hour having just completed it’s rolling wave of 60 minute black outs across the world, I am reminded again of Coyote holding up that umbrella meekly against the oncoming destruction. With the consensus of the world’s scientists and climate experts now telling us that the dangers of climate change are real, near and require immediate action, the best we can come up with as a response is to turn some lights out for an hour. One hour? This is a gag right? Someone is taking the piss? Are we serious?

Australian Minister for Environment and the Arts, Peter Garret (whose portfolio does NOT include climate change. No, that delicate role has been entrusted Penny Wong, a parliamentarian of soulless discipline and efficiency who, unlike Garrett, does not have an uncomfortable history of showing a conscience, something wholly incompatible with a job whose main purpose is to maintain an open dialog about the critical importance of addressing climate change whilst simultaneously doing nothing about it.), commented that while the actual climate benefits of an hours darkness were negligible, the sheer number of people involved sent a powerful message.

To whom, Peter? Ministers for the Environment, perhaps? Maybe in between approving pulp mills, signing off on de-salination plants and playing rock gigs, you could find the time to actually listen to these people, because some of them no doubt handed you your well paid job by taking part in a little thing we call democracy. Whatever.

I guess a lot of people will be waking up today feeling pretty good about themselves for taking part in the monumental task of switching off a few big ticket items for an hour; knowing they were a part of something bigger than themselves that has given voice to the myriad environmental concerns dominating the news. Good stuff. Now, if we’re all quite done with that we really need to get back to digging that big round hole – the Chinese are on the phone and that brown coal ain’t gunna excavate itself out of the ground now is it?

And for another year we can go back to the important task of making the world a better place. Like ensuring that the Sydney Opera House of fully illuminated at 3.30am on a Tuesday night. Or that the rats in the Colosseum have enough light to scuttle by at 4am on a Wednesday night. And that the Pyramids of Giza suffer not sleeping beneath a dark desert sky on a Thursday.

Not sure about you, but if it means staving off the end of the world, I could probably cop a little more than a single hour one night a year with the lights out. Meanwhile, pass me the parasol…

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Phoenix Descending?

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Joaquin Phoenix. Is he serious?

Either he is or he isn’t. Either way, this stuff is solid gold.

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Swinging from the velvet rope

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An all in brawl outside a nightclub in Melbourne; a horrific death in the middle of Sydney airport, and the same tired old scape goats are wheeled out to bear blame. Bikies, alcohol, racial tensions – throw a dart a cliche board and you’ll find a reason why these two events, and many other acts of brutal violence, occur every week. Are they serious? Even a cursory glance at the facts surrounding these and other egregious acts will turn up the same common denominator: bollards.

For too long has society skirted around the issue of bollards in favour of laying the blame for social chaos at the feet of the soft targets. Sure, it wins votes and keeps the AM radio stations buzzing, but it isn’t solving the problem. While the tabloid press busies itself dragging another bouncer or Lebanese gang member over the coals, bollards remain standing with impunity at ticket booths and people are dying.

Defenders of bollards – let’s call them the Bollard Lobby – will claim that they are merely functional structures designed to hold ropes that ensure public order. Interesting. There is another functional invention designed to hold ropes and ensure public order and it’s called the gallows.

Everywhere you find bollards you find the potential for wild violence – nightclubs, airports, cinemas, banks, carnivals, aquariums. Why not just put a machine gun in the hand of a angry monkey, feed it chili and amphetamines, and drop it into a primary school?

Hopefully, this time, our leaders will see fit to avoid the spin and address the problem. After all, didn’t we risk our lives queueing up to vote for them?

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Anything you can do, Aikido better

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They say you should never meet your heroes because the effect is always disappointing. Good plan. Here’s something else you might wanna steer clear of – jumping on to YouTube and checking out whether your one time white middle aged martial arts hero is on there playing slide guitar in a blues band, invoking the vernacular of slavery, and generally acting like he is speaking for all black men within 100 cotton pickin miles of the mighty Mississippi. Because, if it’s Steven Segal you’re looking for, there is a horrifying chance that’s just what you’re gunna find.

Seems like only yesterday that Stevie was content to smash skulls, collapse lungs and generally unleash mayhem to the cheers of millions. We had some laughs, they were good times. That was before he started a campaign of aggressive lobbying to the Tibetan community to have him recognised as the reincarnation of a highly esteemed lama. (Research note: which long dead spiritual entity does Richard Gere have his eye on…?). But to be fair, you know, if Tibet wants some high profile support, it’s gotta give something back. That, even the Dalia Lama would agree, is karma.

Then came the energy drinks – Steven Segal’s Lightening Bolt. These are the world’s first drinks to contain Tibetan Goji berries. This is a fact. Assuming you discount any drink that any Tibetan may or may not have made with said berries across the last thousand years or so, it’s a fact. But ok S-Man, you’re an action hero, we can wear that. It makes sense.

But with the music, Steven, are you serious? Coz this is pretty bad stuff. Like, really bad. OK – try to imagine four guys lining up on the mats of the Music Dojo. One is Good Taste. Another is Talent. The other two are Shame and Racial Sensitivity. Now imagine Steve in the middle of them doing what comes best – BANG! WHAM! SMACK! All down, taken out in brutal and blood-curdling fashion by the new Mojo Priest.

That’s the good way to experience it. Here’s the other way:

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Doing God’s Good Work

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In Brazil, Archbishop Jose Cardosa Sobrinho has received Vatican endorsement to excommunicate the mother and doctor of a nine year old who sought an abortion after falling pregnant after being raped by her stepfather. The perpetrator of the rape will suffer no such expulsion from the church because the Vatican, in it’s infinite mercy, sees the abortion as the greater crime . Some club to be a part of this Catholicism, huh? Are they serious?

Seems the Holy See is on something of a roll at the moment. Having recently brought Nazi Holocaust deniers back in to the fold in high level positions and being dragged through courts across the world for the sexual abuses of it’s priests against their congregations, treating a nine year old victim of rape as a criminal seems a pretty good next step in upholding the values of Christ’s teachings.

Good work guys. I’d love to sign on but I’m kind of busy running PR workshops for the Taliban right now. Maybe next year.

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View from the Top

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American International Group – aka AIG – aka American Feeding Trough of the Obscenely Wealthy – has been amongst the largest beneficiaries of the US Government’s bail out plan. But even in this time of global economic catastrophe the scale of the package thrown AIG’s way is staggering. $168 billion, to be precise. That’s BILLION. With a B. Taxpayers money all of it. Taxpayers who, thanks to rich guys in suits driving American institutions like AIG off a cliff, have lost their jobs and their retirement funds.

So if you’re one of these said rich guys and have recently slacked your thirst by drinking so deeply from the well of capitalism that it has dried, cracked and shattered, what do you do when the government hands you the biggest novelty cheque anyone has every written to be put towards trying to prop up the company whose complete destruction you have so ably overseen? Well, if you work for AIG you hand out performance bonuses to you and your mates valued at around $AUS168 million.

Um…are they serious?

Yes, you know they are. The top executive bonus this week was over $6 million, with at least a half dozen more pocketing over $3 million. Try to imagine the feeling of being a US taxpayer who has no employment left and just the smouldering ashes of their once healthy looking retirement fund having to foot the bill for those responsible for it all whilst they still lavish themselves with obscene bonus fees. Lucky there ain’t a whole lot of guns in the Home of the Free, isn’t it?

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Sisters douchbagging it for themselves

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Boys, wanna feel simultaneously good and bad about yourselves? Pretty simple – just log on to http://www.hotchickswithdouchebags.com. A quick stroll through the litany of muscle-bound super-tanned clowns on display here will be enough for you to issue yourself a firm pat on the back for being a well-evolved and decent bloke. A equally swift glimpse at the women they’re hanging out with will have you questioning every weight you never lifted, every act of decency you ever committed and every tribal tattoo you never got.

Such is the conundrum of females.

We’ve seen these guys. Anyone who has been to a summer dance festival knows all about them. They’re part of the group that looks like someone slipped the entire cast of 300 a pinger, issued them all with bumbags and aviator sunnies, and unleashed them into the non-Spartan-soldier community. These are the guys that make you wonder whether the dinosaurs did in fact ever die out, or whether there is suddenly a range of beauticians with facilities adequate enough to spray tan and wax the balls of brontosauruses.

But just a moment here. Because the douchebags, horrendous though they are, are not actually the point of the site. No. The main story of this site is the hot chicks and the fact they they have actually hooked up with these guys. Ladies – are you serious?

If there has ever been a publication in any era, on any platform, under any title that better underlines the fact that us guys really do have absolutely no idea what women want, this is it. There is not a single bloke on this site who, if given the opportunity and handed the baseball bat, you wouldn’t pummel to death with it. And yet, there they are, in all their buffed up, eyebrow-plucked, homo-erotic glory, with girls hanging off them like they were the tiny decorations on some over bench-pressed, collar-popped christmas tree. What the hell is going on here??

What are these girls thinking? Is one of the unfortunate medical side effects of breast enhancement suddenly finding these bone heads attractive? (Mental note: develop graph that charts Pamela Anderson’s cup size with the douchebag she is at that point married to. Kid Rock would appeal to provide evidence of medical theory). Does global warming have women so freaked that they are hooking up with the blokes as able to defend their food supply as they are of working in a yoke all day to plough fields? (Research note: has Keith Urban ever been spotted in a yoke?)

Whatever the theories on this, it has never been any different and it will be. The best any boy not a part of the evolutionary oddity that has crossed man and a condom full of wallnuts is continue to consider that ‘any chick with a bloke like that isn’t one I would touch anyway’. Best of luck with that.

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