Monthly Archives: April 2009

So the Wheel Turns….

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UK auto program Top Gear is on the verge of something of a make over following claims the show is neither female nor ethnically ‘friendly’. And it’s not just the gags of host Jeremy Clarkson which are bearing the brunt, its the entire production staff which, it’s claimed, is made up almost entirely of men. With new laws mandating a greater diversity of race and gender in the UK work place, Top Gear is being made to look retrospectively selcetive in it’s hiring. Oxford’s Dr. Louise Livesey claims the TV program suffers “entrenched, institutional sexism”. M-Hm.

Are they serious? Do they really think that if these claims were in any way of any interest to anyone that Top Gear would be the largest automotive TV franchise there has ever been? Or that roughly half the weekly audience members week to week would be women? Do they really think the show could be exported and franchised to as many ethnically diverse TV screens across the world if it was viewed as non-inclusive? Have these miserable clowns taken a look at a ‘traditional’ automotive program, magazine, website, expo, or even film lately? Top Gear works so well precisely because it is so inclusive! There are no bikini clad women draped across the bonnets of sports cars; no red neck pig shooting lunatics tearing up the outback with guns strapped to the roof; no serious discussion on which mag wheels look “full sick” and which are “for bitches”.

If Top Gear were a niche auto program this conversation would not have been heard. Because a group of three blokes (four if you count the Stig who, for the purposes of this rant, we will assume is male; but who knows? Coz they don’t actually know, do they? They just assume it’s a white male.) have struck upon the formula that people want and love they are examined as sexist, ethnically intolerant cavemen. Who are these people that profess to speak for the women and the multi-cultures? Who are they to assume that because a Pakistani viewer doesn’t see a Pakistani host that he is incapable of enjoying the program?

The fact that these three idiots (four if you count the Stig who, for the purposes of this rant we will assume is an idiot; but who knows?) are grown men acting like children is what gives the show its appeal. Seriously, people, go invent your own auto show that boasts a hosting smorgasboard that looks like a Beneton ad and see how you go. maybe you’ll be just as funny, just as cool, and just as loved. Best of luck.

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Money for Nothin’

Lonnell Worthy, resident of, it will become apparent, the USA, broke his ipod. Naturally, this requires a lawsuit. Naturally, this lawsuit is disputed by the insurer. natually, Worthy takes this to a higher authority. Which has lead to Worthy now suing the Bank of America for the loss of his playlist. Which he values as $1 trillion dollars. Yes, that’s trillion. Is he serious?

What, exactly, is on this playlist? Songs from the future? The instructions of how to get through the front door of Area 51? The exact words one needs to utter to have Scarlett Johannsen marry you? (Note: Steal Ryan Reynolds ipod). Coz if it’s just music, even all the music ever recorded, I’m pretty sure a trip to JB HiFi can get that sucker filled up again for well under $1 mill. With change.

We may, of course, be missing the point here. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the playlist. It’s not even about the irony that the words require3d to make Scarlett Johannsen marry you are actually a secret which is guarded behind the vaults of Area 51 (Epiphany note: Ryan Reynolds either has unfettered access to Area 51, or is an alien. Either way, steal ipod). It’s the fact that dropping your ipod and smashing it does not naturally give you a case for lawsuits.

Having said that, if you can get $1 trillion out of the bank of America, you’re pretty much alright with me.

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Jean Therapy

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are they serious?

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The Idiot’s Guide to Growing Mushrooms

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Like everyone, I forget stuff. Where I left my keys; doing my tax; what that repeated cost for internet downloads is on my credit card bills. Lots of stuff. It’s the way it is with me. And maybe that’s why I don’t work for the United States National Nuclear Security Administration. That and the fact that it sounds like there’d be a lot of paperwork. And that you probably can’t hang back on a Friday night and get hammered with the crew. And that pressing CNTL ALT DELETE might accidentally wipe Venezuela off the map (note: Venezuela has had more Miss Universe winners than any other nation on Earth so if you wanna fire something out of a cannon at them, don’t make it a warhead. Make it me). And myriad other reasons including, though with no greater emphasis than the other reasons, that I am not, in fact, a trained nuclear scientist.

But that’s me. Fortunately America’s vast nuclear arsenal is overseen by smarter people. Unless, that is, you need to perform an urgent and critical upgrade of your Trident nuclear missile stock that has been in storage since the late 80s. Yeah, if that’s your job, you got a problem. Seems this little task – a clerical matter, really – has had to be delayed since nobody at the NNSA can remember how to make the component of the weapon that needs rejuvenating. All those who knew have moved on and, since the whole thing was so top secret, nobody wrote anything down. Ah….are they serious?

This again proves that the world will endĀ  neither with a bang nor a whimper but with someĀ idiot forgetting to close the door behind him. Right now there is a whole heap of massively destructive nuclear weapons sitting in silos in the US that need a tune up and nobody knows where the mechanic is. It’s kind of like owning a classic Citroen – great fun to have, but if something goes wrong, who the hell are you gunna call?

Let me guess – there are no women working at this joint, right? Just you boys? Thought so. Women don’t have the stomach for weapons of mass destruction. Much more inclined towards organising, efficient record keeping, maintaining order, and generally ensuring things like, say, detailing how the weapons actually work, are done properly.

Seems there is only one logical solution to this predicament and that’s getting them all onto a B52 bomber, heading for the Middle East, and wait till some raggedy tribe parked their camels in the way of a pipeline. Seems to work ok for getting rid of other weapons. Meanwhile, there’s this thing we’ve had for some time that generally makes things easier. It’s called “writing”. Give it a go. Might come in handy.

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The Other White Meat

When you’re an albino life isn’t all white parties and seeing the world through rose coloured lenses. This is especially true if you happen to live in Sub-Saharan Africa where it has recently been discovered that albino people are being hunted and killed for their body parts which it is believed adds extra potency to black magic (don’t say it). Now lets just give that sentence a second going over – albinos (people, that is) are being hunted and killed for their body parts (correct) which is believed to add potency (eye of newt suddenly proving hard to come by??) to black magic (don’t say it).

Now, far be it for this blog to poke fun at anyone’s belief system – some believe in praying to a single almighty god will provide salvation; others practice a lifetime’s meditation to seek harmony with the universe; others, let’s call them Tom, await the space monsters to descend and whiz them away to Xenu. It’s their business. But when you’re chopping up our pink eyed brothers and selling their necks on a card table at the Mombasa Street Market of a Sunday – are you serious?

With the value of the body parts growing the black market (don’t say it) trade in albino body parts has increased and desperate circumstances in which these guys find themselves in is ever more perilous. Recently a 13 year old girl was hacked to death by machete-wielding men in Tanzania, such are the market forces unleashed when local witch doctors discovered that convincing the local warlord that he can enjoy swinging an 8 hour baseball bat erection courtesy of pinch of albino powder, he could have the shiniest Mercedes in the village . Good times.

It’s not all bad news. The Tanzanian Albino Society – funded by the UK based Action on Disability and Development group – has recently launched an awareness program which seeks to educate albinos on their rights. Just in case they weren’t aware that expecting not to be chopped up and boiled into stock and sold was a right which was in their possession. Sometimes that stuff is in the fine print.

Whatever. Albinos in Africa are now increasingly forced to seek shelter in safe haven set-ups across countries such as Kenya as the murder rate increases. Yet another good news story from the world of religious make believe.

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Bi-Polar?

A woman jumped into a polar bear enclosure at a zoo. She serious?

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Three Quarters of the Whole

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Another Summer has come and gone and we will again wave goodbye to the time of year in which suburban men in their middle and late 30s make the fashion statement that says the pale and hairy lower shin is the most attractive part of their bodies. And how do they advertise this prime piece of flesh? With three-quarter length pants of course; fashion’s fabric-based equivalent of an open wound.

In Europe, boys graduate from shorts to pants with puberty, leaving behind forever the un-shapely sight of the male pin (Research point – could the annual revealing of the well waxed and supple male leg explain the popularity of European cycling?). In Australia we’re a little more laid back, but in an environment in which a man may feel slightly under-dressed in a short but too hot in a pant, the ideal compromise has been found. Take these bad boys out to market in a wide range of colours that span the spectrum from beige to tan, and you’ve got yourself what those in the fashion industry like to call a “trend”.

Are they serious? Yes, and what once seemed nothing more than a nervous moment of speed wobbles on Fashiom Highway is now a permanent fixture on the landscape. Three Quarter Pants ain’t going nowhere, not if the dead-eyed blokes carrying the shopping bags and trailing behind their wives at the local DFO on a Saturday arvo have anything to say about it. And the don’t.They’re too busy wondering in which of the 800 pockets running down the side of ech pant leg they left their smokes in. Or asking themselves whether the lady wife will pick up another pair of short white socks that so perfectly compliment the pants because, after all, the missus knows fashion. Or maybe hoping that the hot young shop girl in Susan noticed the bad-ass piece of shin he was throwing her way.

However ridiculous these look we can at least console ourselves that if these bozos are wearing pants that are only three quarters finished its the bottom part that’s missing, not the top.

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