Monday, December 20, 2010

You Can't Handle The Truth

Assange is out of prison, at least for the time being, and that can only be a good thing for the generation of entertaining media. Wikileaks at the least has been entertaining both in its content and the reaction it has stirred amongst world leaders and journalists.

As a far as ground breaking journalism, the jury is, much like in Assange’s sexual assault charges, still out. Is Australia really shocked to discover the Julia Gillard had her eye on the top job well before that fateful night in late June this year. We are even less shocked by the news that Afghanistan “scared the hell” out of Rudd during his Prime Ministership.

I would be more shocked to discover that he was not scared. Rudd does not strike me as the type of person who would have got into many school-yard fights let-alone organise them. Of course he felt in over his head. I suspect there may have even been an occasion or too where the events in Afghanistan caused him to wee a little in his pants. I like the idea that our national leader is scared of military action, and think the world would be a better place if more world leaders were the same. In fact do we not refer to leaders who are not scared of war “dictators”? The very leaders the democratic west is willing to go to war against in order to dispose.

Now that Assange is out on bail, will he continue to break the hard-hitting stories. The world needs to know.

Was Hugh Jackman hitting his head on a lighting rig during the taping of Oprah’s Sydney show an accident with the breaks of the flying-fox either not being activated or being faulty or was it in fact an assassination attempt, orchestrated by the Queen of Television herself? Was Oprah fearful that Hugh Jackman was indeed a bigger star than herself in Australia and felt the uncontrollable urge to eliminate her opposition.

When Joe the Cameraman aka Shane Warne uttered the now infamous 1999 cricket sledge Can’t bowl, can’t throw” the world thought it was directed at then Australian team mate Scott Muller. Assange may now be ready to release to the world that it was actually the draft of what was to become Cricket Australia’s mission statement “Can’t bat, can’t bowl, can’t field”. Credit must therefore be given to the current Australian selectors for choosing a team that will indeed fulfil their mission. Unfortunately it is just not cricket. Even Pakistani book makers are struggling to understand what is happening.

Wikileaks is known for the staging the release of it correspondence. The big question is when will they release the documents declaring that the laughs on Two and a Half Men” are a real as Bert Newton’s hair?

Children aged around 10 years are all clinging to the edge of their beds to hear whether or not Father Christmas is real. Do not even get Wikileaks started on shopping centre Santas! How can there be so many or is Santa more like God than we realise and his omnipresence does enable him to be in every shopping precinct in every city around the world, even in those countries that do not recognise the benevolence of jolly old man in red.

Assange if he and his organisation were the crusaders of truth that the proclaim to be would divert their energies from embarrassing international diplomatic cables. Instead they should be finding and releasing the secret recipes for Coca-Cola and KFC herbs and spices. And Pringles, what the hell is a Pringle. A recent court ruling in England declared that a Pringle was confectionery (yes this is an issue that required legal intervention) as it did not contain enough potato for it to be classes as a crisp/chip.

On second thoughts, when it comes to Pringles, some things are better left a mystery.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Save the Cows

Save the Cows!

Daylight savings starts again this week which means that the talkback radio stations will be clogged with people complaining that it will fade their curtains make their external paint discolour or even worse start to crack and peel and farmers will argue that cows stop producing milk.

If you subscribe to these arguments then I suggest that you stop reading now as you are sure to find the rest of this article too complex as I will use multisyllabic (long) words.

Daylight savings is a misleading title, as we are not adding more daylight hours, there is still 24 hours in every day. Daylight savings is simply a renaming of the hours. When Alecia Moore became the artist we know as Pink she did not create an Alecia-saving, she merely changed her name. Daylight saving is that simple.

For 5-6 months per year many countries and states rename the hours of the day. It is not a complex code. 9am becomes 10am, 10am becomes 11am, 11am becomes (this one is tricky) 12 pm or 12 noon, and so on.

Yes it is correct to say that the number of daylight hours during each day does increase during the summer months, however this has nothing to do with what each of the individual hours is actually called.

Climate-change zealots may argue that daylight savings is at least partly to blame for global warming. The same time that we change the clocks, the days get longer, and the temperature starts to rise, therefore the changing of the clocks must be to blame.

This logic defies logic. It ignores the most basic of science that due to the rotation of the earth on its axis and the position of the planet in relation to the sun during its annual orbit.

Please indulge me as I address the issue of the bovine mammary drought supposedly brought on by the adjusting of the clocks. I am not a dairy farmer but I do know that they can not tell time. I do not want to describe a herd of cattle as simple but there understanding of time breaks down to sunrise means wake up, be milked, and then alternate between eating and defecating until sun set at which point they enjoy a repeat of the milking process before sleeping through to the next sunrise.

This is an animal that will readily line up behind its fellow beasts at the abattoir to be slaughtered. Walking through the doors only to have its neck cut and its guts dumped into a sluice before it can even utter moo to a goose.

This is not an animal that is likely to look at a watch and turn to its mate “hey Daisy, what are we doing being milked now, it is 6am?”

“6am Betsy, it feels more lie 5am”

“That’s it, I refuse to to produce any more milk until this is sorted out. I am calling the union!”

It is not a saving of daylight hours. No-one is stock piling daylight, saving them up for a rainy day. Though it might be useful to have a spare hour or two. We have all had times at work when we wished there was an extra hour or two in the day to get some tasks complete.

I would like to see a system similar to that for solar power in homes, where power generated that is surplus to need can be sold back to the grid. I would hope that my extra hours could be given to someone with a terminal disease. The organisers of the Delhi Commonwealth Games would have loved an extra hour or two. With a population of over 1 billion people. If every Indian citizen donated just one hour each, the organisers would have obtained an extra 125 years to build and rebuild the foot bridges and stadium rooves.

Queensland living up to its reputation for being a relaxed and laid back people do not enter into daylight savings. Their children do not have any trouble getting to sleep, their wallpaper is maintaining its colour, their timber decking is not cracking and most importantly their cows continue to produce milk.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good and Bad Secrets

The Stig has been revealed following a high court challenge by the publisher of his soon to be released autobiography, HarperCollins. On the pronouncement of the courts decision a spokesperson from the publishing house declared it a victory for free speech. Others might say it is a victory for party poopers.

The Stig is none other than Ben Collins. As well as his role on the BBC show Top Gear as the mysterious Stig, Mr Collins has also paid his bills by undertaking the stunt driving for Bond, James Bond, in a number of Bond films. It is somewhat incongruous that a man who has made his career secretively pretending to be someone else now wants to publish his autobiography. One can only hope he used a ghost writer.

Unfortunately the executives of HarperCollins seems to have forgotten one of the most basic lessons of childhood, there are good secrets and bad secrets.

A good secret is daddy giving his child a lollipop before dinner and saying “it is our secret, because mummy thinks it will ruin your appetite.” Uncle tom giving his neice or nephew his special ‘lollipop’ saying it is “our little secret”, that is a bad secret.

Keeping the identity of The Stig a secret was a good secret, it was, dare I say it, even a little bit of fun. People in bars and lounge rooms and bars the world over have been discussing and debating The Stig’s true identity for almost a decade. Now, not. Now it is just a driver in a white racing suit.

They did not reveal if he also played the character of Chandler on the long running sitcom Friends. Apparently this is not a story of sufficient public interest.

In the rules of law this might now set an unfortunate precedent, unmasking costumed characters; Humphrey B. Bear, Fat Cat (taken off air because the gender identity of this character was considered ambiguous and therefore confusing for children – removing the head may have solved this problem), sports mascots, Easter Bunny and Father Christmas. How disappointed will the children be when they discover the Paddle-Pop Lion is just Barry, the smelly guy from sown the street.

We should not stop there, it is time to finally reveal the two biggest secrets of our life time, the 11 herbs and spices used by the Colonel when he created his finger licking fried chicken recipe, and Coke (the cola beverage not the hallucinogenic powder). Actually the recipe of coke the powder should also be made public. It should not matter how many synthetic chemicals artificial colours and flavours are included in any of these three secretive recipes. The population the world over already knows none of these products have any nutritional value or any ingredient that could even be classified as foods. We know that the pleasure the body receives from consuming these products will be short lived but the guilt and uneasy feeling that follows will last a while, despite that we consume copious amounts of them on an alarmingly regular basis.

It is of course debateable wether these recipes constitute good or bad secrets. I can only hope that Colonel Sanders, Dr John Pemberton or every Columbian do not want to publish an autobiography.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vote 2010

Tony Abbott is staying awake campaigning for the 36 hours leading up to election day. All sounds a bit creepy, especially for those people living in marginal electorates. Would having the mad monk tapping on your window at three in the morning really increase the coalitions chances of winning? Forget gay marriage, I want to know what each parties policy is on political stalking. And do we as a nation want a Prime Minister that spends the first days on the job napping on the couch in the Lodge. If we wanted that we would vote for Jeff from the Wiggles.

If Tony is having that much trouble sleeping, perhaps he should try sitting through television coverage of his own election campaigning. It would put even the most ardent insomniac to sleep in minutes. In fairness the campaign from any other party would have the same effect. 2010 could go down as one of the most embarrassing and dull era in Australia’s political history.

After 6 weeks of campaigning I am none the wiser as to what any political party’s policies actually are. I know what they are not. Only because that is what the other parties have concentrated on. Labour has told us what the Liberals will not do if they get into office. Labour has told us what the Greens will not do if they get the balance of power in the Senate. The Liberals have told us what Labour will not do and that Kevin Rudd is upset. The Greens have told us…actually what have the told us? They must be following the old adage “if you can’t say something nice then do not say anything at all.”

But back to K Rudd. Really the man who lost his job, is upset. In fact I believe the removal of Mr Rudd from the office of Prime Minister is an action Labour should be exploiting during this campaign. At a time of need the party proved their decisiveness and willingness to take action, or – if it pleases – move forward. Liberals on the other hand have a long and recent history of not being able to make the tough decision. Howard and Costello bickered like school children for years. With neither of them being able to act decisively the party lost the next election with one of the largest swings in Australia’s history. After the 2007 election the Liberals then again demonstrated their inability to make a decision and stick to it as they changed leaders three times in just over two years.

Is there still a coalition? Are the National Party standing in this election, they might be even more silent than the Greens.

There are over 30 parties vying for the public vote this election. Add a comment to the bottom of this blog if you can name five parties not mentioned in the text.

The Sex Party win the prize for the best name of a political party. Unfortunately for its members, whilst everyone dreams of having a sex party, it is only a reality for a small minority. This may be a good thing. I do not want to live in a country where it is mandatory for men to have a pencil thin moustache and the national anthem is nothing more than a bass riff.

It is a sad sign for our potential Members of Parliament that the most interesting aspects of the election has been the leaders of the two major parties debating about if and how they want to debate each other and the “journalistic” outbursts from former Labour leader, Mark Latham.

When it comes to investigative journalism, Mark makes an excellent Chaser style ambush stunt. Perhaps this explains Abbott’s desire to stay awake for the remainder of the campaign. The only thing worse than Tony appearing at your window would be Latham barging through your bedroom door to ask a question that proves nothing more than the fact his still a little bitter about never becoming Prime Minister himself.

Bring on 21 August, not because I am wanting to vote but because I just want the campaigns to be over. The lack of policy content, the vacuous slogans and catch phrases, the endless parade of Julia Gillard impersonators of varying ability, it is enough already. Even political commentators like Andrew Bolt who make a living out of over analysing political rhetoric and assigning unsubstantiated meaning to the non existent content of speeches must be suffering from election dysfunction from the 2010 campaign.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Star Signs

Without admitting that I actually read women’s gossip magazines I would like to point out that it is hard to tell where the articles stop and the star signs start.

Mel Gibson

Although you sometimes wear your heart on your sleeve, it is time to be more guarded. Emotional outbursts may get you into trouble. Relationships will sour, beware a woman’s scorn.

Bec Hewitt

Whilst once a bright star within your youth, age and responsibility will see it starting to fade. Your self belief and exaggerated sense of importance means you are unlikely this for yourself. When it comes to details about your personal life, less is more.

Julia Gillard

You have perhaps enjoyed more success than you expected. Without tireless hard work your success could be short lived. After extreme highs can follow extreme lows.

Tiger Woods

Remember your kindergarten teachers’ wisdom. “Look with your eyes, not with your hands” and “it is always nice to share” . It is also possible to get too much of a good thing.

Lawrie Oakes

You will be entrusted with many secrets. Consider carefully what you choose to do with this information as your actions may have serious repercussions on many people on whom your livelihood relies.

Jennifer Anitston

You will continue to struggle with relationships and regret past decisions. Are you in love, are you ready to start a family? These questions will continue to play on your mind. It is time to be more decisive, do not fear commitment.

Adam Liaw

Congratulations, you have had your fifteen minutes of fame, but it is only the beginning of your journey. You will have to continue to work hard if you want to have your cake and eat it too. Now is the time to make the most of new career opportunities.

Kristy Fraser-Kirk

Having been hurt in the past, relationships are proving to be complicated. You are right to seek retribution. Remember that the law is an ass and might come back to bite you on the very arse you are trying to defend. Whilst it is great to be demonstrate your assertiveness beware that going for too much may turn your biggest allies into enemies.

Olsen Twins

You have definitely made the most of being thrust into the limelight early in life. You have demonstrated your ability to make astute business decisions. Your friends and family are concerned about your choices in your personal life; relationships, substance use and nutrition. These personal misfortunes will not prevent you from living your life publicly.

Hey Hey It’s Saturday

You are natural entertainer, it will be easy for you to rest on your laurels. It may be time to look after yourself, so take time to have a break and rest. Realising it might be time to stop the thing you love does not have to be and end, don’t be afraid to take a risk and try new things

Prince Harry

Whilst you life may contain an endless string of controversies you will achieve more good than harm. Do not be disheartened by playing second fiddle, the reduced responsibility will allow you to follow your heart. Do not worry about finances, they will look after themselves. Only undertake the work that you feel a passion for.

Justin Bieber

While enjoying the party, even as the guest of honour it is rude to overstay your welcome. In conversations remember that although you think your life stories are exciting others may find them somewhat common if not mundane. You have plenty to learn so make less noise to give you time to listen to people with more experience.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ring Ring, Why Don't You Give Me A Call

Airlines have admitted that mobile phones do not have any affect on aeroplane navigation equipment or any other equipment for that matter. Virgin has already stated that mobile phones will soon be allowed to be used on international flights. Not surprising considering the parent company also operates a mobile phone network.

I am pleased that science has won out and that this propaganda has finally been corrected. I am disappointed that I will now have to listen to people conducting inane conversations at annoyingly loud volumes.

We all now have to look forward to endless hours of people yelling at unseen friends that “No I can’t hear you. I am on the plane. What? What? No, I am on the plane, we just took off. What? I can’t hear you. I am n the plane. What? It keeps dropping out? What? I am n the plane?”

Then there are the ring tones!

On the upside in-flight sales of alcohol will increase dramatically as fellow passengers attempt to drink themselves into a stupor to survive the cacophony of digital noise.

In Europe the trains have mobile free carriages. Is anyone that important that they cannot be contacted for a few hours. If there is something that critical happening in your life that you are expecting to have to make numerous life or death decisions then perhaps now is not the best time to be travelling.

I wonder if phones on planes will be like smoking. Originally smoking was allowed everywhere on board. Then there was the segregation of smoking and non-smoking. Over time it was understood that even if sitting in a different section of the plane that the comfort and enjoyment of some passengers was disrupted by the smoking activities of others. Now smoking is banned.

No phones.

Go ahead use your phones.

Actually the phones are annoying (more accurately the people who use the phones are annoying) so stop using your phones.

Now all I need is someone to explain why I have to leave the little blind on my window open for take off and landing. Even if the cockpit did have a rear vision mirror I do not think the pilot will be able to see much of value from my seat at 32F. Someone once told me that the blinds are left open so that if the plane crashes it is so rescuers can see into the plane and safely determine the number of casualties and deaths.

So the air crew are actually performing some aviation-type of last rite. Now that we can leave our phones on perhaps we can just register our numbers on boarding and rescuers can just call us and see who answers.

This can also double as a triage process prioritising their medical requirements. Anyone with “Crazy Frog” ring tone goes to the bottom of the list.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Proud Australian

A Proud Australian

Commentators tell us that we should be proud of the Socceroos performance at this years’ FIFA World Cup in South Africa. I am a little confused about exactly what I am meant to be proud.

Am I meant to be proud that Australia successfully argued to change its zoning so that qualification into the finals has been made easier because we now only have to be one of the strongest teams in the weakest region?

Should I be proud that in their first game of the tournament the Socceroos let the Germans walk all over them on a scale unseen since Austria let the Germans dominate them without even the hint of a fight in the 1930s?

Can we be proud that arguably the world’s best goalkeeper, and current Australian ‘keeper let through 6 goals in the tournament?

Is Australia proud that its best and most famed player only played 20 minutes of the entire tournament?

Will the history books show the nations pride that the team’s two best strikers only scored one goal between them?

Was I expected to experience a sense of pride in our strikers scoring individual red cards in successive games resulting in subsequent one-match bans for each of them?

Have our standards dropped that Australia is proud of its team winning only one match throughout its short-lived role in this year’s World Cup.

Are we proud that the Socceroos played at a level equal to the insipid motivational farewell speech delivered by then Prime Minister, the day prior to their departure from Australia to South Africa - a Prime Minister who in turn proved to be as successful as the team he farewelled, and who like the team will be forced to see out the end of his tournament from the benches?

Am I allowed to be proud that although three weeks later, without an election that the Socceroos will be welcomed home be a different Prime Minister than the one who wished them well.

Do we forget all the lessons that history has taught us and be proud of and Australian performance that is worse than that of the New Zealand national team?

I am a proud Australian. I am proud that I live in a country where our national team can perform so inadequately on the world stage in a sport we by and large care very little about and that we can still be proud of the performance.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Germ Warfare

I can remember when the best cleaning products available for domestic use was described as being “hospital grade”. For all those times major surgery was being performed on kitchen counters across the country.

Now they kill 99.9% of germs. I wonder if the products have changed or just their description. Like marshmallows and jellybeans are now advertised as 99.9% fat free. Of course it is hard to contain fat in a product that is made up of only two ingredients; sugar and colouring. The recipe for jellybeans and marshmallows has not changed just their labelling.

Are the hospital grade cleaning products the same and just the labelling changed. Or are the products we use in our homes to clean up minor spills when plating up our Masterchef inspired gourmet char-grilled corn fed beef fillets with steamed julienne root vegetables and a side of garlic mash (what once used to be meat and three veg and we never “plated up” it was just simply served), are these cleaning products now even stronger than those used in hospitals?

Next time someone is planning a stay in their local hospital as well as their pyjamas and a book to read should they also be packing a bottle of Spray ‘n’ Wipe?

What is the 0.1% of germs that no one can kill? Is it just one super germ that will one day try to take over our planets like the next big Marvel Comics villain? Hollywood producers will try to convince the US military to load up the armoury on their fighter just with Domestos and Pine-0-Clean.

The whole world will be left wishing that Hussein’s stock pile of weapons of mass destruction included chemical weapons.

Of course it could be the exact opposite, he remaining 0.1% of germs left un-dead by the cleaning products are friends of the humans. If so I would like to keep one as a pet. I would get a female one and call it Germane. We would go everywhere together.

Do you think the 0.1% of germs left are lonely now that all of the other germs are being killed? This could be the beginning of the biggest ecological disaster to strike this planet. With no natural germ predators the remaining germs could run rampant across the planet. Of course with no other germs to breed with their global dominance would be short lived.

Do not worry about trying to plug the ruptured oil pipeline off the coast of in stead we should all be fighting to cap the unnecessary spillage of germ lives. Instead of storming flotillas attempting to break through the maritime blockade of Gaza our politicians should be declaring their outrage at the attack on germs floating in the spills on our sinks, benches and floors.

The demise in germs runs parallel with the increased incidence of ADHD, asthma and allergies. Coincidence? The chemicals are harming humans as much it is germs. Affecting our respiratory and digestive systems, leaving defenceless children have unnatural reactions to quite natural phenomena. The body, if allowed to do its thing, is designed to cope with impurities if given a chance to build up its resistance. It is like alcohol. An underage party goer consuming the amber liquid for the first time, after just a couple of drinks s/he will be feeling quite ill, whilst a seasoned alcoholic can drink for hours before it shows any visible negative affects. Same with germs.

As for ADHD if the parents spent less time cleaning and more time parenting engaging with their offspring, saying no occasionally then perhaps this epidemic of “uncontrollable children” might be taught some control. This generation who can not concentrate or respond to discipline can of course sit for hours obeying the rules of their favourite computer game. With no fear of germs either. Have you seen these games, they are dirty!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sex in the City 2

So the second movie in the Sex in the City franchise is about to hit our cinemas. Does that mean the girls have not got any in the ensuing years between these Hollywood releases? That is quite a drought.

Despite the fact the women are in long-term relationships the romance and intimacy is still alive and kicking. Travelling to exotic international locations adding new notches to their hotel room bedposts.

I saw neither the first movie nor the original television series. Hand on heart I have never even seen an entire episode. I do not know the names of the characters. The only actors name I know is Sarah Jessica Parker but more because of her desire to live out her personal life on the cover of tabloid magazines. That and that her appearance makes her a perfect substitute for Camilla if she ever found herself being driven through a French tunnel.

Charles could maintain his love of horses. He could replace his Consort the same way soap opera writers swap actors to maintain character when an actor does not renew their contract. There are a few questions that go unanswered before society loses interest.

I am just hoping that if there is a third instalment that it becomes more realistic following the lives of these four women as they settle down with their families, taxiing kids to sport and dates, cleaning, long nights on the couch. It could be called Celibate in the Suburbs.

No time for romance or sexual dalliances, as their days are filled with mundane routines. Picking up dog pooh off the back lawn, arguing with kids over eating the vegetables and doing chores, arguing with their partner over the bills and whose turn it is to take out the garbage. The busyness of their lives effectively eliminating their respective libidos.

Mr Big (thank you Wikipedia) is impotent with male pattern baldness. Instead of meeting up with friends for salon makeovers and coffee they support each other visiting the clinic for a variety of cancer screening exams.

High label fashion with stiletto heels and matching cutch bag will be replaced with a mix match of off the rack clothes (which ever was clean and relatively ironed when they dressed) sensible shoes and a handbag big enough to be a suitcase. They need it that big because a woman must be prepared for an emergency. Bottle of water, crackers, sweets for the kids, change of underwear for the kids, maxi pad, book, shopping vouchers, keys toys that were confiscated during a recent car trip, complete range of makeup note pad and biro and something that looks as though it might once have been a cake of organic soap or a piece of organic cake.

Instead of going to shows, flitting across the America and Europe for romantic rendezvous they are on school field trips, emergency trips to the KFC drive thru when they have run out of time to shop, cook or both. Holidays are now focussed on caravans and theme parks.

Their meaningless conversation about dieting, shopping, celebrities and love lives will change to meaning conversations about what Oprah has told them about dieting, shopping, celebrities and love lives.

As SJP confusingly said in an interview promoting this second film, Celibate in the Suburbs could actually be a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The many faces of Kevin Rudd

Kevin was swept to power in 2007, in part on the back of allegations that he had previously visited a famous New York gentlemen's club "Score", thus proving that he was an average bloke. Like all politicians he admitted that he had been there but denied that he ever inhaled
In one of his first actions as PM, Kevin got in touch with his inner Aboriginal, apologising to Australia's "stolen generation". His first and arguably only true moment of leadership. Ever since then he has been on walkabout - literally being Australia's most traveled PM.
Rudd has opened many "War Cabinets". Unfortunately he has based his leadership on the American war machine. Start with a big bang but with no real plan for the long term. Eventually everyone just realises that it is over budget over time and with no real opportunity for victory.
Unfortunately many of Rudd's policies have been shelved. Perhaps demonstrating his skills as a librarian and archivist in readiness fora career change. Here he looks a lot like Mrs Doubtfire - something else that although big when it first came into the public consciousness it too now spends a lot of time on the shelf as over time it was shown to be a lot of talk with only rare moments of interest but largely just considered an entertainment oddity.
In an attempt to connect with the "average Australian" Rudd resorted to colloquialisms. As a true-blue Aussie he spent many days shaking his sauce bottle

Kevin has also demonstrated his mastery of the English language, using phrasing such as "detailed programatic specificity" to explain policy detail. Sounding more like a thespian, Kevin should be informed that just like a Shakespearian play most Australians neither understand nor care about its content.
Kevin convinced Australia that he would be the perfect negotiator with the Chinese government on the bassi that he spoke Mandarin. Rio Tinto may not agree.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Take the piss

Piss; urine, wee, pee, water, widdle, leek, call it what you will it is the warm yellowish (hopefully) and surprisingly sterile liquid waste expelled by the body through the urethra. It is also the basis of many sayings in the English* language both derogatory and complimentary.

On the piss; consuming vast quantities of alcohol in the form of beer. Beer being the “piss”. The lower quality beers often live up (down?) to this reputation and actually taste like the very urine after which this saying is based.

Pissed; after a night of being on the piss one is often referred to as being pissed. Legs and often the brain appear to have turned to liquid, and the words spoken while in a pissed state are as useful to a conversation as the waste material excreted through the urethra is to the body.

Pissed off; angry, often not enough to actually take action but definitely enough to yell abuse and tell everyone around exactly how you feel and that if you could be bothered you would absolutely beat up the person to whom your pissed state is aimed.

It is to be noted that after a night on the pissed one is sure to get pissed which will invariably lead to getting pissed off with someone or something just moments before one tells them that you “love yous all”. Finally one will slowly slip into a state of unconsciousness only to wake up either needing a piss only to realise that they woke up too late for that.

Pissy; often used to describe women who whilst not showing open hostility are still making it known that they are not happy usally make short, sarcastic and derogatory comments.

To take the piss; has nothing to do with medical urine samples or a medieval surgical procedure on the bladder nor does it have anything to do with urophagiacs. It is to poke fun at someone, in a demeaning manner to have fun at another’s expense. Like a old fashion celebrity roast but without the celebrity or the underlying kind nature. It also rarely happen with the piss taker or takee wearing a tuxedo or evening gown.

What a pisser; no, not the most common exclamation heard during the Mardi Gras celebrations, simply a reflection on an exceptionally humourous moment of taking the piss.

Piss in one’s pocket; is alarmingly a highly positive action, complimentary, ego stroking, with a hint of “sucking up” or “brown nosing.” While the receiver may at first welcome the compliments, if someone is really pissing in one’s pocket then it can become awkward, embarrassing and annoying. Much like the effects of someone actually pissing in one’s pocket. No-one enjoys having to swim through someone else’s urine to find their loose change or car keys. If you do ever find your pockets full of urine remember to take a moment to reflect of the gymnastic ability required to receive such a feat.

Pissing down; whilst never heard during a television weather broadcast, it refers to rain, heavy rain/

When it is pissing down people are likely to get on the piss which will start in good humour during which time many people will both take the piss of someone else whilst at the same time have their own piss taken. As the drinkers become more pissed it is inevitable that one of the group will piss in the pocket of the most dominant member of the group. That person is likely to get a bit pissy after a while which will lead to them becoming pissed which, if the person with pockets now full of piss is not too pissed will beat the shit out of the person who is in their pocket. When the fighting starts the person being beaten up may just wee themselves – just a little.

*Other languages may also have similar urine based phrases and sayings but I am not a linguologist, sorry.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quiet Please

Why does the crowd at a tennis match need to be quiet? Golf is the same, why? It can’t be concentration as the noise and movement of the crowd does not appear to adversely affect the performance of the world’s best in any other sport. Lawn bowls may be the exception.

Crowds are always quiet during lawn bowls but considering the average age of the spectators it might just be as a result of their medication or a little nanna nap.

Tennis and golf though there is to be no noise, no movement. Golf the ball is not even moving towards the golfer. It is just sitting there at there feet. As long as the crowd is not trying to squeeze their head in between the knees of the golfer as s/he lines up to putt then it should not really matter. Stop looking at the crowd at the top of your backswing, look at your feet. This would have prevented a lot of Tigers current problems.

In tennis the advertising boards are much higher than the players ensuring the crowd is not directly behind the players, just like a sightscreen in cricket. The sightscreen is only there for the batsman. The fieldsmen generally do not have any problems seeing the ball in the field (with exception of the current Pakistan team) as it comes either straight at them or plummeting from the sky. The ball passes the backdrop on thousands of people in multiple coloured clothing watermelons on their head, doing the Mexican wave and yet the fieldsmen can still see the ball to pull of some of the most spectacular catches, sometimes using nothing more than their bare hands.

A tennis player with the assistance of a racquet can’t do it.

At the same time the tennis players cry poor wanting ever higher prize money. Prize money requires sponsorship. Sponsorship requires spectators. Players want the cash hence want the crowds and do not want any evidence of the crowd’s presence.

That might just explain Venus choice of flesh toned underwear for her quarter finals match. With the crowd out of sight out of mind obviously she forgot that people would actually be watching. The flesh undies appeared almost invisible as her designer had done the perfect job in colour matching. Unfortunately as the game continued the sweat line created an unsightly “crack”. Surely a code violation?

Talking of women’s tennis if they want equal pay they should have to produce equal play. This is not a question of quality but quantity. Men play best of five, the women only best of three. This means women must win two sets in each match to progress to the next round whilst men must win three sets. Women should therefore only receive two thirds of the pay. This may well explain the screaming in the women’s game. It is all a ruse to convince the administrators that they are putting in the effort. I say if so much energy was not wasted in screaming (and it is clear that they are just faking it) then they would still have the stamina to play to five sets. Another reason to allow the crowd to clap and cheer or like international football/soccer burst forth in song – to drown out the orgasmic orations of the players.

In the IPL 20Twenty cricket there are prizes for the fastest bowl, highest score, biggest six etc, in cycling it is for sprints, king of the mountain, line honours. In tennis I would like to see prizes for the fastest match, fastest serve, longest rally and loudest scream. If the organisers are not going to control it they should embrace it.

The presentation of the awards would fit in perfectly. Sponsors take the microphone, inanely declaring their love of the sport, the fair competition and outstanding display of talent (not you Venus) before announcing the winner. The crowd never listens to the speeches at these presentations, which are always received with deathly silence. Just what tennis players need. They need all the concentration they can muster to hold up the novelty cheque.

(c) Darren Freak 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Australia Day Preparation

Australia Day is soon upon us and the countries media have already started stirring up the controversy of the arrival/take over of Indigenous lands by British settlers and convicts. Is the controversy real or is it just a desperate attempt by print and broadcast media to generate news on a day when the only other news is an overweight drunk bloke wearing nothing but Australian flag boxer shorts burning the sausages.

What is the controversy? Sure the new arrivals did not form a treaty with the indigenous peoples as they were supposed to instead they killed. Wasn’t that what happened when Aboriginal nations ventured into the territories of neighbouring nations? No one can tell me that their spears, boomerangs and hitting sticks were only used to kill native fauna. Are we yet to uncover the rock paintings that depict a treaty between theses nations marking out boundaries between lands?

It is also not lost one anyone that the Australian Government deploys huge resources to prevent the arrival of boat people and then contain those that do slip through the net and yet the first government officials arrived unannounced and uninvited to this country on boats.

So the media tell us that the community divided between those that see Australia Day as a celebration of the beginning of the country and those that see it as the beginning of the end. Personally I don’t think the majority of people care either way. It a day off, that is to be spent eating and drinking with friends listening to The Hottest 100 with the one day cricket match on television. If anything the day is a celebration of the first meal of the year that does not contain left over turkey or Christmas ham.

I would have thought that a traditional Australia Day celebration would have been quiet appropriate for the Aboriginal population. It is groups of people getting together eating random bits of meat that have been cooked over a fire, wearing clothing that more often than not only covers the wearers genitals, and getting intoxicated.

To be fair the beverage of choice may have changed after settlement but, if koalas can get drunk on the oils of native eucalypt species there is no way that Aborigines did not discover an intoxicating substance or two for use in celebratory occasions.

The fun police are out in force already warning about. The New South Wales constabulary are calling for only light beer being on sale on Australia Day. Understandable because there has never been any crowd unrest at major sporting events around the country since the introduction of light beer. No pitch invasions, no fights, no offensive behaviour, no flairs. Restricting beer sales to only light varieties will only add to the binge drinking problem.

If people are determined to get drunk then they will. If alcohol content is reduced they will simply drink more and drink it more quickly. It will also increase the sales of slabs of full strength beer in the days leading up to Australia Day. We have all seen the panic purchasing of milk and bread in the lead up to Easter when the supermarkets are going to be closed for a couple of days, resulting in some stores running out of stock. Imagine the stampede if beer sales were restricted.

The humble sausage is also under attack. They are too fatty and too salty. A high fat and high salt diet is bad for your health. It is just ONE day people. Has anyone ever died from a sausage overdose, from over consumption of one day? A stomachache sure, but that is more about the quantity. Nutritionists are always concerned about the fat and salt, when are they going to question the lack of recognisable meat. Don’t get me wrong I love my grilled sawdust, sinew, gristle and hoof. It is just that ever now and then I would like my sausages to contain some actual animal flesh.

Queensland police are also calling for increased penalties for antisocial behaviour by people draped in the Australian flag. Just fine people for wearing the flag. It is not a cape! A cape could help the republican debate as no-one can agree on a model for the presidency. I say scrap the presidency altogether. Give the Head of State an Australian flag print cape and call him/her Captain Australia.

The people wearing the Australian flag come from all cultural backgrounds ironically and unfortunately end up fighting with people from other cultural heritages. Ironically many of these cultures originally came to Australia fleeing the racial tensions of their home countries.

If it was not for the injuries and property damage it would be quite amusing watching migrants fighting over who is more Australian, with Anglo-Australians arguing that because they are all from migrant backgrounds that none of them are truly Australian anyway.

It is just like the Indigenous people’s claim that the Anglos are not really Australian… Oh, so that is the controversy.

Ok, so can’t we just all agree that the friendship got off to a bit of a rocky start and try again? Nothing a few burnt snags wrapped in slightly stale bread can’t help us overcome.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010, I'm hysterical

According to the media the India is hysterical about the murder of an Indian male in Melbourne. Australia is hysterical about a satirical cartoon printed in an Indian newspaper. Is anyone surprised in a world where the news services are more interested in the emotions than the facts of any story? Even then it is not the actual emotions or even multiple emotions. Modern media can only cope with one emotion at a time, in the case hysteria, and they will tell what emotional response we the viewing/reading public should experience.

Reporting has become so subjective that news has become current affairs, current affairs has become gossip and gossip has become monopolised by and exaggerated flamboyant American homosexual stereotype. Ironically satirical talk and news shows have become the most reliable source of factual news.

The media loves hysteria even in the absence of any frenetic activity. As we start a new year and possibly a new decade (there is no room to entertain the decade debate here), I would like to suggest some “news” items that we will be told are of great importance regardless of actual significance.

• A performing artist with a reputation of substance use will die. The artists will instantly become the best ever performer within their chosen genre despite any previous reviews to the contrary. Any legal, social or personal challenges the celebrity faced whilst living will be forgotten as quickly as the media scrum forms outside the medical centre to which the body was taken. The public will of course be expected to proclaim never ending love, and hold candle lit vigils even though they have never met the person and having limited knowledge of their performing or personal history.
• A politician will have an affair. This is shocking, even though it will have little to no bearing on their performance as an elected official (if anything it might actually make an improvement) Are we meant to be shocked that they are having an affair or simply that they are having sex? Politicians are like parents. We are all sure that they have all had sex at some stage in their lives but we do not want any details or any hint that they are still having sex.
• A burglar who, in an opportunistic crime, steals a child’s bike will not make the news at all.
• A burglar who, in an opportunistic crime, steals a disabled child’s bike will be labelled cowardly, callous and brazen. The public will be told to be disgusted and to be over come with heartfelt sympathy. This emotion is to more intense if a burglary in the days before Christmas net the thief a families presents. The feeling of surprise is also required in this instance. I am always surprised that the media is surprised that theft at Christmas time results in the steal of Christmas presents. Despite insurance covering the cost of stolen properties the media will enjoy telling of the public outpouring of generosity in buying replacement objects. We will be told to shed tears of joy at this eventuality.
• Australians serving in wars will die. This is terribly sad and reason for withdrawing all troops. The death of “enemy” combatants is a celebratory news story. The death or injury of innocent locals trying to live an ordinary live within the war zone is either unfortunate or simply forgotten.
• An international disaster whether it be natural, terrorist or human/mechanical failure will only truly be devastating if an Australian lost his/her life in the disaster. Without the Australian connection the disaster which my have affected or ended the lives of hundreds of thousands of people will otherwise be reported as a mere moment of interest.
• A human rights atrocity will be reported, we will of course be offended. Politicians on our behalf will be called on to vent our collective outrage. As such they will condemn the action and in the worst cases place diplomatic and trade restrictions. We will now feel relief that the strongest possible vocabulary was used on official government letterhead, and our consciences can be clear
• Parents will be made to feel guilty. What ever they are doing it will be wrong and have the potential to lead to death, learning difficulties social ostracism or even worse, obesity. The reason for this guilt will of course change weekly (if not sooner) and will soon contradict itself. Wearing hats as a child can lead to baldness in old age. Wearing hats keeps the brain warm leading to higher IQ.
• Any public event is exciting, spectacular and the most fun one could ever have. The fun one can have at any particular event is exponentially proportionate to the level of sponsorship the reporting media outlet has committed to said event. Like a musical where all of the characters burst forth on a seemingly spontaneous yet amazingly choreographed song and dance number complete with 6 part harmonies, the crowd in the back ground of any live cross to an event will cheer or sing or dance or laugh or clap or all of the above just as the journalist finishes their report. In the case of morning television, despite the report telling of large crowd numbers, the camera will show an excited crowd that contains only 20 or so people who look more like they are out for their morning constitutional than attending an event. This group of 20 people will also clearly be the only people in the vicinity. It is exciting!