Monthly Archives: May 2009

A Week on Planet Earth

It comes to light that on that island of paradise, Bali, locals are keeping mentally ill relatives in cages and in chains. And without hair braids. Are they serious?

Local artist commemorates 20 years since Tiananmen Square massacre by suggesting that the famous image of a man holding up the route of tanks that try to get around him looks a lot like a dance (Nut Bush? Car Wash? Squashed Chinese Man?), puts the image on loop, and adds music. This is her tribute. Is she serious?

Kim Jong-Il. Is that guy serious?

Japan ‘creates’ glow in the dark monkeys. Yes, it can be extremely difficult to find your monkey in the dark. And yes, this is going to make monkey wrestling night friendly. And yes, it means i can finally read a book by monkey light, but otherwise, are they serious? (Note: quite obviously glowing monkeys is the best idea in the history of the world let alone the most effective use of technology, but it was a slow news week for this blog).

Yo Gabba Gabba! I’m the only person that had no idea what this was. Thought it was the latest gang call emanating from Western Sydney. Apparently not. Has something to do with kids and music and some other stuff I don’t get. It’s the new best thing ever. Are they gabba gabba serious?

Kim-Jong-Il-R (image: Yo Gabba Gaba waves to the children)


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Campaign off the rails


It’s hard to remember a worse campaign going to market than the new Metlink Good Karma one for Melbourne’s public transport system. The concept behind this is that those that buy tickets for travel will receive good karma, whilst those that do not will suffer an equal yet malevolent cosmic payback. This message is conveyed in a series of hilariously poignant creative executions that include a bloke on a golf course smouldering after being struck by lightening and a woman who is unwittingly walking into the office with her skirt hitched in her underwear.

Are they serious? The guys who left half of the city standing on platforms at peak hour in 40 degree heat across the summer are lecturing the public about a clean conscience. The crew that haven’t had a train run on time since the Great Depression but can throw together a positive press release faster than a track can bend in the heat – or was it the cold – are dishing out advice about honesty. Those whose “laws” are enforced by roving packs of trench coated sociopaths are running campaigns about community spirit. The Springfield monorail consortium has more credibility.

That’s just the background. What about the campaign itself? Whilst your checkout the website, re-resplendent during load time with the swirling tie-dye colours synonymous with Indian spirituality, bear in mind that what you’re about to see earned some “creative” about $150k a year (plus parties). Once in you’ll meet the Karma Llama (no, not a Tibetan monk, but a real llama. Awesome!) who will be your guide as you meet various travelers who, as a result of either buying a ticket or not, will be rewarded or cursed by the cosmic movements thanks to the karma that pervades our public transport. (Oh man, just wait till you read the hilarious high jinx that befalls fair evaders!).

It’s appalling stuff. It’s embarrassing stuff. Sure, conductors may well have been made up of any asylum inmate that could fit in a green knit, but at least they sold the tickets. Metlink, why not tell it like it is: fare evasion will lead either to a free trip across the length and breadth of Melbourne, or will result in being tackled to the ground by inspectors who think they’re Dirty Harry, having your head punched in, and being hit with a $150+ fine. It ain’t pretty, but at least it’s honest enough to earn some karma points.

Check it:

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National Carrier Left Red Nosed


Here’s one that combines two of Australia’s great loves: Qantas and clowns. No, the national carrier has not designed an extra tiny plane that will transport dozens of clowns direct to the circus. Nor has it, despite a cavalcade of calls from the public, mandated that all clowns should be made to travel on flights separate to other passengers or, if an alternate flight cannot be found, on the outside of the plane strapped to the underbelly of the fuselage. Nor has the airline had the good taste to finally disentangle itself from Red Nose Day.

No, though any or all of the above would be better for the travel industry. Seems that last week a Qantas flight traveling from Darwin to Sydney was forced to offload luggage prior to take off when concerns were raised about weight. This means that passengers arriving at their destination where met with the desolate spectacle of an empty baggage carousel. Well, not entirely empty. One piece of luggage survived. That of a particular passenger. Yes, a clown. Are they serious?

This is the PR disaster the clowning fratenity simply cannot afford to have, and one that will have conspiracy theorists chafing at the bit. But are they really so wrong? How is it that the luggage or ordinary, hard working Australians containing sunscreen, boardies and cargo pants are simly discarded of, whilst an imitation 19th century doctors case boasting a fake bottom and holding colourful hankies, white face paint, doves and machine guns, somehow makes it through? Any ideas? (Note: Presence of machines guns not verified.) (Note: Unverified machine guns could have belonged to doves.) (Note: Presence of doves not verified.)

Evidence suggests that on the morning of 9/11 there was not a single clown in either the Twin Towers or the Pentagon. Co-incidence? In Israel’s recent bombing of the Palestinian territories, does anyone recall hearing about the fatality of a single clown? Me either. Very interesting, isn’t it? Whatever is behind this, Qantas has got some explaining to do. Until then passengers will have to merely sit back, keep their terror in the upright position, and hope that when the flight his turbulence its the oxegen masks that fall from the ceiling and not rubber chickens.

Afterword: Such has been the response to the previous clown story that this blog will attempt weekly to update readers on any global clown related news. Please feel free to submit leads and related information on this serious topic. The world needs to know.

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Prison: the Smile Killer

An article on the front page of Sunday’s Herald Sun entitled “Corby Crisis” related the story of how celebrity prisoner and 2024 Ralph magazine cover girl Shapelle Corby had been rushed to hospital with, believe it or not, depression. Are they serious? This news, is it? Couldn’t they find the picture of the moon landing down there? You know, from 1969 when it ran on page 15.

If I was the responsible parent of a child in prison in indonesia and the local paper was using her face to move units on a lazy Sunday morning when only a light read on the toilet is wanted, I’d be pretty cranky. Not quite sure how I would feel if I were a Corby. Stoned, I guess.

If there are any experts out there who know whether depression is a usual bi-product of doing 20 years in an Indonesian prison, I’d love to know. Does the 40 people in your cement bedroom sharing a bucket toilet while eye-balling every one in there and wondering which will be the one who stabs you in your sleep for the sake of a cigarette and a bic pen lifestyle get people down at all? Really? Hm, there you go. Who knew? Oh that’s right, the million or so Victorians reading the HS of a Sunday.

Anyway, can’t be all bad. The sea breeze; the hair-braiding; the meeting of new people from all over the world and hearing their story while telling your own (twenty years? that’s tough. boogie board? are you serious??). Let’s hope the Herald Sun is simply over-stating the facts when it declares Shapelle is suffering from something as harsh as “depression”. No doubt, updates will follow.

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Sweet Sue’s Canned Whole Chicken



There is no hunger great enough that this could possibly considered as food.


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Telling Porkies


Has anyone got a straight answer for me about Swine Flu? Am I supposed to be freaking out? Or not giving a shit? Should I have suspended my morning ritual of ‘slapping the bacon’? Or is it business as usual? Can someone fill me in here?

A month ago the Grim Reaper was selling tacos and wearing a sombrero down in old Guadaljara and I was loudly calling for the immediate carpet bombing of all of Mexico (Salma Hayak doesn’t actually live there anymore, right?) and the enforced closing of the Guatemalan border just to be safe. Honduras I had as yet no formalized position on, but it was coming. Whatever, the point is I was pretty sure that this was the pandemic my dad had been warning me about for 20 years. The one we had to have.

Well, two weeks and three dead Mexicans in my basement later we were apparently all in the clear. If you happened to be one of the three people in the world with stock in face mask shares (yes dad, very clever aren’t you…) it’s been intense. Otherwise, the great pandemic alert of 2009 seemed a pretty big waste of TV time.

Unless of course you switched on across the weekend to find the closing of Melbourne schools and the isolation of children. Are they serious? What’s the go?? Do I stay indoors? Do I carry on as normal? Do I get into the mask market? Is this the peak? Do I stop riding a pig top work? I don’t know? What are we meant to do??

Bird flu, swine flu, mad cow. That pretty much covers off my diet. Not really fearing Tofu Ebola I gotta tell you. Given the main carriers will probably be well educated inner-city types, we may at least get some well articulated information. Meanwhile, I guess the best thing to do is ignore it, carry on chuckling at the “black president – pigs flew” email gags, and hope that a day off work is mandated as soon as possible.

PS – some people, lets call them ‘dad’, seemed strangely pleased with the arrival of swine flu. “Here it comes”. “This is it”. “… 50 million people in the 1920s”. Are they serious? What exactly is the prize for getting that one correct? Agonizing death? Your family wiped out? Bring out your dead? Very good, you were right, mind if I die now? Fear not pandemic spotters – there’s soon to be another just around the corner. Don’t tell me the monkeys aren’t working on something…..

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Gagging for a Laugh

There’s a particular annoying age at which all kids think they’re funny. I suffered it (don’t say it). It involved shackling my parents feet to the lounge room floor whilst I executed the comedy shows i had laboured over for anything up to minutes to perfect. Impersonations, sight gags, circus tricks, mercilessly attacking my audience of two with personal and/or racial slurs, puppetry of the penis maneuvers, biting one-liners of satirical savagery – yes, my shows had it all. But here’s the thing: nobody ever gave me a TV show. You know why? Because i was a child whose jokes weren’t any good. (Don’t say it).

Now I’ve just been watching Rove. The reason I am no longer watching Rove is because my feet are not, in fact, shackled to the lounge room floor. Are they serious down at Channel 10? This guy is appalling! When I die am I able to take my Rove receipt to the heavenly accountant and claim the 20 minutes watching that tripe just took from me? Coz there is literally a million ways that time could be better spent. Chewing light globes springs to mind. Licking the road. (I know you’re all considering the fact that blogging this is not one the million better ways. I know you are, coz I am too).

So average is this guy that he arrives on a Sunday night not as a solo performer – in spite of the fact that the product bears his name – but armed with a battalion of quote-unquote comedians who are there either for the sole purpose of propping him up with decent humour or to make him look better by virtue of the fact these these clowns are the only other entities in broadcast comedy who are less funny than he is. I don’t see Letterman rock up with a comedy posse late at night. Nor Jon Stewart. Nor Conan. And why would Conan? He’s a fearsome warrior who walks this world alone.

What’s going on here? TV comedy used to be something I could laugh at. Wasn’t so long ago there was a man with his arm up the arse of a pink ostrich that was comedy gold. Yes, I’m talking about you Dr. Harry. And come to think of it, what ever happened to Ozzir Ostrich? Seriously – get some decent gag writers or get off my television, little man!

(CV attached)

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