The white-footed hack
How difficult can it be, being a half-hearted hack?
You don't even need an opposable thumb.
And you can lie down on the job.
Pfft, what's she been carping about all week?
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
How difficult can it be, being a half-hearted hack?
You don't even need an opposable thumb.
And you can lie down on the job.
Pfft, what's she been carping about all week?
What happened? When did Australia Day become National Bloody Barbecue Day? It used to be a non-entity of a holiday and an excuse for a long weekend and that was that.
When I was a kid, I did like Australia Day. That was when Adam was a lad, in the days before compo claims and public liability wankery, when Adelaide used to have a Birdman Rally. The Birdman Rally was ace. It even used to be televised. A mob of wallies would build things with wings and take a flying leap off the end of Glenelg jetty. The person who went the furthest got a prize. The most creative bit of crap with wings got a prize. It was hilarious. There were heaps of entries and there was always some dickhead who'd just dress up as a duck or Mr Percival and jump into the water. There were people who went to huge amounts of trouble to make dragons out of beer cans and string that used to break apart in mid-air or as soon as they hit the water. There were even serious entrants who built mini hang-gliders that were designed for distance rather than amusement value. It was arseloads of fun. I loved the Birdman Rally when I was a little tacker.
Apparently, they still have Birdman Rallies in Moomba and other places, but not here. Some bloody killjoy made jetty jumping illegal because people kept breaking their necks. Pfft. That not only destroyed the Birdman Rally, it buggered up the Greek blessing of the waters as well. Now all the Greek lads have to walk gently down the ramp, taking care not to slip on the squishy bits, step cautiously into the water and wait for the cross to be tossed in. Dull, dull, dull and duller.
But, as so often happens, I digress. We were talking about Strayaday. For a good 15 years after the Birdman Rally was shot in the head by the number crunchers, Australia Day was sort of like Labour Day: a good excuse for a day off in the Land of the Long Weekend.
Then a few years ago, things started to turn weird. We were no longer the Land of the Long Weekend. We became Straya. Spontaneous barbecues started to break out all over the country. Sam Kekovitch started banging on about stuff that was "unAustralian". Strayan flags erupted from people's shoulders like huge, silly wings. Newspapers felt obliged to run front-page photos of people wrapped The Flag without the least sense of irony. This morning's Traumatiser had a perfect example. There was a girl in bathers, there was a flag, there was water. That just symbolises Straya, doesn't it? The poor bloody photographer was probably forced to take a meat pie with him as a prop, just in case The Flag wasn't quite Strayan enough.
I can't pinpoint when this happened. When did this bizarre display of patriotism break out? Was it at the same time as we all turned into McDonald's barge-arses and forgot how to cook? Was it when pub meals went super-size and you got chips with everything but had to pay extra for salad or veg? Or was about the time our lovely Federal Government decided refugees were evil, dirty people who would try to drown their children just so they could worm their way into our great country? Is that when all this blasted national pride hit? Just when we had the least reason to be proud of ourselves? Whatever the case, it seems to have taken over Anzac Day as well. Every good little Strayan has to go on pilgrimmage to Gallipoli or walk the Kokoda Track. They bang on about doing for The Diggers and remembering their sacrifice, but it's doing nothing but cheapening their memory.
I don't feel that much national pride, to tell you the truth. Yes, this is my home and I love the land where I was born, but there are far too many days when I'm ashamed to be Australian. That would be when I hear another story about our Government sticking its head in the sand and refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol. Or when I think of poor bloody David Hicks and all the other Guantanamo Bay inmates sitting there, slowly going mad in solitary confinement and orange jumpsuits. And any time I see John Howard's smarmy, self-satisfied little face, purporting to represent me when he says the "War on Terror" is a good fight.
Australia is the beach at the end of my street. That's the Australia I love and I'm proud of. On this, our national day, I would like to give all of those other things, all of those Strayan things, a hearty Fuck You and wish that they might choke on their patriotic lamb chops.
In fact, why don't we just move the whole damned celebration to the 4th of July and be done with it, y'all? Bring back the Birdman Rally and maybe we'll talk.
1. You may not be able to see your own arse, but other people can
Apparently, you shove a candle up his bum.
Yes, it's life-size
What's better than one resin tortoise? Two resin tortoises, of course.
Avoiding these gifts is like trying to hold back a tsunami. Just make a pile somewhere out of the way.
This has been a community service announcement brought to you by the letters "F" and "O" and the number "shiteteen".
Labels: random rants
Boyos, take it from me. Chicks fear a few things in life. Finding a new hairdresser and purchasing new togs are two of them. For some reason, I chose to do both of these things to myself within the space of two days.
There are more blokes than chicks in town with waxed legs. Believe me, I kid you not.
Ah, Tour Down Under. For non-Adelaide people (ie, most of youse what is sane), this is a cycle race. Our premier (Jedi - this equals "governor"), Media Mike, likes to think that our cycle race is about to take on Le Tour de France. Ha. Sadly, Media Mike is wildly delusional and also thinks that he can catch arsonists. But that doesn't mean that this isn't a fun ol' Adelaide time. Yeehah and all.
Frankly, I have no interest in cycling. I haven't been able to love it much since that Nasty Incident where I was trying to avoid looking at a really annoying neighbour and ended up pranging my Malvern Star up the back end of a stationary Ford Zephyr when I was 11. I was chewing grape-flavoured bubblegum at the time and (allegedly) my neighbour said, "Here's where it happened! Here's her gum!" So, bikes and me = not that friendly.
I do see the benefits of the Pretty European Cycle Boys, though. They're very picturesque. Toned boys in lycra, even if they're not that tall, are a distinct enhancement to any streetscape. Adelaide is a far cry from Paris, but a PECB brings one that little bit closer. Eh, bonjour! Tu es un bien barraque! Voudrais-tu coucher avec mois, ce soir? Non? Meh! Va te faire foutre!
I used to work in Victoria Square, which, apart from being courthouse-central in Adelaide, also happens to be home to the Tour Village (ie, a lot of tents) and the Hilton Hotel (where most of the PECBs stay). I'd drag my sadly unglamorous arse into work in the mornings and there would be piles of PECBs at the cafes, downing coffee. You have to pity the poor little bastards, even if they are built like jockeys and wearing athletic socks and Nike slides - coffee is the only drug they're allowed.
But it doesn't matter if one is out of the CBD (yes, Adelaide DOES have one!) because one can still get an eyeful of the PECBs in the 'burbs. I live by the beach and if one gets one's fat arse out of bed early enough in the a.m., one can see the PECBs training. For some reason, they prefer to ride by someplace purdy. Buggered if I know why. I'd way rather train in a place that was known for carjackings.
However, sometimes one can be gypped. Like this morning. I was driving to work and went, "Phwoar! PECBs!" But it wasn't really a pelleton. Instead, it was just bunch of wannabes. Even worse, some of the wannabes turn out to be chicks. You have no idea how this challenges one's sexuality.
"Phwoar, look at the PECBs! Oh, CHRIST! Chicks! Noooo! Really, I wasn't attracted to their arses at all! No! It's not my fault! How the hell am I supposed to know? They've all got shaved legs! Sob!"
Sadly, January is also the time when any wanker with a pushbike gets the thing out of the shed. You never, ever see so many cyclists in Adelaide as during the Tour. Suddenly, it's cool to risk death. Suddenly, people forget that Adelaide drivers are among the biggest pricks in the country, and will run a cyclist off the road before breakfast without even batting an eyelid.
So, hurrah for the cycle race. It's over on Sunday or something. Bah, humbike.
I love a good test, don’t you? It’s so much fun. The South Australian police and transport bastards must have heard, because they developed a great one that we can all take, if we try hard enough. Well, not really. We shouldn’t try to be eligible for this one.
I've just demolished a bowl of vanilla ice-cream with caramel topping and I'm all sugared up and ready to take on Part II: the ickle durls. (Anyone still interested? First visit? Read yesterday's to find out what's going on. I'll wait until you get back.)
Labels: sbg names
I've said it before and I'll say it again. In fact, I should just make a recording. What the hell is wrong with people?
You may have noticed from my sidebar that I have a very, very slight obsession with inappropriate baby names. I'm sorry to say that the problem has reached plague proportions. For every nice, normal name like Nick and Jack and Holly and Eva, there are five nasty, shallow bush grave names like Shaniquwaah and Blayde and Jayden and Keshani. Giving a child one of these names condemns him or her to
There are variations on the SBG theme, including the trailer trash name, the ghetto name and, for the girls, the stripper name. All are cruel and unusual punishment.
Every January, Hatch, Match and Dispatch puts together a list of all the names that have been given to children the year before. The 2006 list came out on Monday, but I hadn't had a chance to get to it until today. (Bloke cleared out for foreign climes yet again this morning (sniff!), leaving me with plenty of time on my hands). It didn't make for pleasant reading, people. Here we go with the boys:
There were the usual crimes against spelling committed by people who wanted their kids' names to be different and creative (but who just end up sounding like they have adenoid trouble or a slight brian injury): Baqer, Bay-Lih, Aksel, Adikus, Coopa, Danyall, Deazal, Dontae, Frayzah, Harrysen, Huntar, Jerramy, Jaymz, Keilghe (I think this is supposed to be "Kyle"), Linkin, Lokhlan, Maqenzee, Pheonix, Rivah, Xavaeir.
The ridiculous hyphenated and grocers'-apostrophied names: Alex-Zander, BJ-Basil, Cam'Ron, Cornelieu-Ioan, Indi-Oaklen, Jiley-Kim, Marc-Marwen, Maximillian-Claudius, O'Che, Shah-Fred.
Lord of the Rings (or just sound like they belong there): Balin (and Eowyn, Arwen and Pippin in the girls' section).
Star Wars (ditto): Anakin, Krillin, Rith, Tjeryan, Zarich, Zaak, Zixin.
US soap opera names: Chance, Moss, Reef, Rayne, Storm.
The people who think if they name their kids after someone famous, they'll follow in their footsteps: Beckham, Bonn, Bradtke, Brock, Bryson, Hendrix, Jamiriqui. (Thank Ford no-one called their son Irwin.)
Dogs' names: Butch, Banjo, Bosco, Kaiser, Kip.
The kids who are going to be teased mercilessly and will end up with eating disorders: Ador, Best, Florian, Fatonah, Linus, Mabil, Milo, Medwin, Trumby.
The kids whose parents obviously made up their names: Ashkan, Acelin, Caeydin, Braithan, Danthra, Corrado, Deontae, Dreyse, Eraynd, Jachin, Jaikye, Jaityn, Jaxton, Jharlei, Jibril, Kaiji, Navid, Naysan, Rhylan, Tayton.
The people who chose geograhical names for their children because they sounded so exotic (but since they don't own an atlas, they don't realise when they've mis-spelled them): Boston, Brooklyn, Cypress, Dakotah, Denver, Harvard, Jarva, Kairo, Rome, Yyork.
The people who don't realise that names from mythology, ancient history and Dickens often don't work now: Ajax, Hadrian, Hector, Jethro, Judah, Loki, Lucafer, Moses, Odin, Serafeim, Socrates.
There were the ones that came straight from the ghetto: Jamayne, Jyrelle, Kyrelle, Lamine, Lethaniel, Nashawn, Shakielle, Shayden, Shayaan, Tashawn, Tyrique.
And the ones that sounded kinda cool because of their connotations, but are nonetheless ridiculous: Blade, Jazz, Jet, Justice, Krush, Kouger, Maverick, Ocean, Radman (yeah, rad, man!), Rocky, Zephyr.
And then there were the real champions:
Aramis I don't care whether you named your kid after the Musketeer or the aftershave. It's a crap name and he's going to get beaten up. Often.
Apostle-Paul "Appy" for short?
Aryan Whose daddy's a white supremacist, then? Aww, cootchy-cootchy-ziegheil!
Bless Maybe he can hang around with Aryan and be a calming influence.
Dazza Are his friends going to nick-name him Darren?
Django Could this be a euphemism for the happy 'baccy? As in, "Don't bogart the django, man!" Either that, or the catch-cry of a super hero named Ebonics Man from a '70s Blacksploitation film.
Eagle Strange how no-one ever calls their kid Magpie or Lice-Besmirched Pigeon. That would work.
Fox And why doesn't anyone ever call their kid Ferret or Dung-Beetle? Oh well. At least little Fox and Eagle can play soccer together after they've finished torturing kittens and burning down the school.
Gemtree Well, I like gems and I like trees, so...
Mazin Please, oh please, tell me this is not an abbreviated version of "Amazing". It's a boy's name, so the middle name can't be Grace.
Rathanak Klingon for, "Why, no thank you, I don't belive I will have any pudding this evening".
Oz Great. The inspiration here was either a lame Judy Garland movie or that sweet, funny US prison show. Destined to be beaten up at school.
PJ Were they sending the birth certificate by telegram? Did they have to pay by the letter or something?
Rommell See Aryan, further up. Deutschland, Deutschland, uber alles...
Safari Le sigh.
Shikane Er, don't racing cars go through these?
Tahkoma Bletch. Sounds cancerous.
Taine I believe this is a polite term for a skid mark on a pair of Y-fronts.
Taltos Let me guess, you love Anne Rice's books, right?
Tekin And your husband was big on video games? Gosh, I'm psychic.
Tresor You named your son after your favourite perfume. Wow. I'm... speechless.
Viva Hmm, I know I've heard that somewhere before. An Elvis song maybe?
Vegas Oh, yeah! Now I remember! I hope that Viva and Vegas become friends and meet an open-minded girl named Las when they grow up.
Vissarion A little-known but extremely powerful treatment for planter warts. (Ooh, let's paint a bucket of the stuff on Philip Ruddock and see if he'll vanish! If it works, we'll buy a 44 gallon drum and go to work on John Howard, Amanda Vanstone and Alexander Downer too.)
Zainul Is it just me, or is a fairly bad idea to give a child a name that rhymes with "anal"?
Zebulon Just spray on the Zebulon and bam! That taine is gone!
Oh, holy hell. I don't think I can go on. I haven't even got to the girls yet. If I don't slash my wrists tonight, I'll finish up tomorrow.
Why, oh why, are people so unkind?
Edit: Oops. I just went back to visit the Apple Barrel and realised that since I popped in this morning, people have been talking about crazy kids' names there all day. Sorry, Audrey - I didn't mean to copy!
Labels: sbg names
Gay people have way more fun than straight people. How do I know this? Gay advertising is so much more entertaining than the mainstream rubbish.
Comedy gold! Why don't they put stuff like this in mainstream publications? Are straight people really that easily offended? I'd pay extra to go to a dentist who never asked whether I had any kids yet.
Further in, we have an ad for water: "Pump me all night". Nice. Next page? Two extremely toned arses advertising Austrian Airways with the words, "No butts about it, we've got great packages."
A few more pages in, there's an ad for a deoderant called Naked. Of course.
I just couldn't find a thing to wear.
By this point, I was starting to feel very jealous, but then I reached the art exhibition ad on page 46. Suddenly, I was not jealous at all. But I was very, very sober:
The chairs! Take pity on the chairs!
Page 53 is advertising something called Sanctuary. I'm not sure what it is, but it's for when your "muff" is "feeling tuff". Um, excuse me, but how does one know if one's muff is feeling tuff? Does it start demanding tequlia laybacks and trying to pick fights with Hell's Angels?
On Page 61, there's an ad for a place called Hairstop, with a "Cheeky Mardi Gras Special - Pay for one cheek and get the other cheek on us." Apparently, this is valued at $300. (Why does it cost $300 to wax one bum cheek when legs only cost about $35? Wouldn't an arse be fairly easy to wax? And isn't that exploiting the pink dollar?)
Seven pages later, we have a full page ad for a nudey beach on Mykonos, complete with some boys wandering along in the buff. Page 70? Cocksox, of course.
And this is just the ads! The shows and exhibitions and parties look even more fun! Mardi Gras advertising is da shiz. I'm feeling pretty damned gypped with the mainstream junk, now that I've seen this. It just doesn't look like they're even trying to be witty or amusing, compared to this stuff. As an example, have a look at what I pulled out of an envelope full of rubbish in my letterbox today:
Who ordered the shaved chihuahua?
I think I'll have the guy on the train, thanks.
It's hot and it's just going to get hotter. Before Saturday, I mean, not in a "global warming is here and we're all going to die" sort of way, even though we probably are. Oh, Ford, who died and made me Bono?
Here's one I prepared (and drank) earlier
And it's easy. Because I lovesyouseall, and because ThirdCat once expressed a scrap of interest, I'm going to share my carefully-guarded mojito recipe. All you need is Havana Club (or any other white rum), limes, fresh mint leaves, sugar, ice and soda water. Oh, and a glass and a mouth, but those are usually fairly readily available.
The only difficult part may be finding something to use as a muddler. I use my rolling pin, bequeathed by my grandmother and also very useful for making gingerbread. I believe you can also buy small lumps of wood from sniffy saucepan shops staffed by Prue and Trude lookalikes, but no-one wants to have to go there. A sturdy wooden spoon would probably do quite nicely.
Ah, all the ingredients for heaven in a glass
Give it a good scrunching with whatever nubby wooden implement you have nearby. Smell the mint and the lime? Mmm. Knock in a healthy shot of Havana Club and a handful of ice-cubes and top it up with cold soda water. Give it a stir to distribute the sugar and finish it with another lime wedge and a mint sprig.
That should probably be "You're whit stupid".
A few weeks ago, one of the Guardian Books Blog contributors wrote a post about not liking things that one is expected to like. I can't find it now and I can't remember who the contributor was, so I'll just have to hope I'm not plagiarising him/her all to buggery. The upshot of the post was that there are some things that you simply can't admit to not liking if you wish to be taken seriously. So I thought I'd make a little list for your jeering pleasure.
I hate James Joyce with a passion
There. Said it. Ulysses was one of the most miserable reading experiences of my university life. I coped with Dubliners and found A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man mildly annoying, but nothing cold have prepared me for the horror of Ulysses. I disliked it so much that I sold it. Bloomsday leaves me pale and traumatised at the thought of Joyce buffs the world over merrily scarfing kidneys and Guiness.
I suppose I should be thankful the lecturer didn't add Finnegan's Wake to the curriculum as well. I understand that it makes Molly Bloom's punctuation- and grammar-free rant seem clear and concise.
The Coen Brothers leave me cold
Another one of those ol' sacred cows. Thinking people love the Coens. Well, I hated Fargo. It was just so damned predictable. If you hire petty criminals to kidnap your wife so you can collect the ransom from your father-in-law, there's a fair chance that things are going to go arse up, though I will admit that I didn't see the woodchipper coming. But Frances McDormand's accent annoyed me and I wanted to give William H. Macey a good slapping.
I found Barton Fink incomprehensible and not even George Clooney could incude me to watch O Brother, Where Art Thou? That said, I didn't mind Miller's Crossing, but that was only because Gabriel Byrne was in it. Even then, I don't think I'd bother watching it again. Sorry, Coen Brothers, but that's more strikes than hits. I'm afraid I'm voting you off the island.
I don't get Stanley Kubrick
Bloke and his mates love Kubrick. They adore 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think watching it is like being licked to death by a sloth.
"Open the pod bay door, Hal."
"Sorry, I can't do that, Dave."
Repeat ad nauseam. Add some flickery lighting effects and a bunch of monkeys.
I like Vietnam War movies, so I don't mind Full Metal Jacket and I can see why The Shining has a cult following, but Dr Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange just don't do it for me. Give me a good monster movie or some of Peter Jackson's old schlock films any day.
Opera, musicals, ballet and modern dance bore me senseless
The pain threshold is very low here. Perhaps I just don't have much of a concentration span. Oh, look at a the pretty moth! Sorry, what was I saying? Oh, yeah. Musical things and dancey stuff. I know I'm a philistine, but I just can't do it. The last time I saw any modern dance, ADT was still called Australian Dance Theatre and Meryl Tankard was the supremo. From the look of that particular show (the name escapes me), all the dancers had been having a collective tantrum over who would get the solos, so Meryl rounded them up and said, "Don't fret, my darlings - you shall ALL have solos!" It made me want to injure myself just to get away.
As for musicals, I can't even sit through all of My Fair Lady or The King and I, and Moulin Rouge made me want to slash my wrists after 10 minutes. You can keep The Boy From Oz and the bloody silly Lion King.
Oh, and if someone could manage to set fire to that dirty great white Cirque du Soleil tent, I'd be much obliged.
Brad Pitt is not attractive
Yeah, yeah, wash my mouth out. Sorry, he looks like a scruffy little guttersnipe. Angelina (who is known in our household as "Crack Whore" for the simple reason that Bloke thinks she's a bit of a all right) can keep him. Give me Hugh Laurie or Clive Owen any day.
Jamie Oliver is a prat
I can't tell you how bored I am with Mr Naked Chef. I don't care what he has to say about school dinners, or whether he takes miserable little street kids and turns them into miserable little apprentice chefs, or whether he has the biggest, bestest restaurant in the world. He's a wanker. Anyone who accepts 15,000 pounds to put Heinz Baked Beans on their restaurant menu and is then mortified when people find out deserves everything he gets.
Bono has a lot in common with Jamie Oliver
Sure, I don't mind a bit of U2 from time to time, but a very small bit. I started to turn on Bono last year when he enlisted that caterwauling horror Mary J. Blige to help butcher One. I was thoroughly bored with U2 by the time they finally played in Adelaide, especially since everyone in the world seemed to be going and spoke of nothing else for a week beforehand. When I heard that the guy sent his private jet to collect a hat he had forgotten, that was the finish. You have no right to bang on about saving the planet when you pull stunts like that, old sport. Go and stand in the corner.
Goat's cheese tastes like crap
I know I'm supposed to appreciate goat's cheese, but it smells and tastes like creamed sweat sock. Just give me a chunk of cheddar and a Jatz biscuit and leave me the hell alone. Oh, and while we're on the subject of food that I should like but can't stand, oysters au naturel have the texture of chewed-up snot. If you want me to eat them, you're just going to have to cook them.
I realise that for an Australian, admitting this is sacrilegious. It's even worse to be a journalist who doesn't like beer. I really have tried to like it, just like I've tried to like coffee and red wine, but I've finally given up. I just can't stand any of them.
I guess that's enough to keep you smirking at me for a while. When you've finished jeering, though, make me feel better - tell me some things that you feel like you're supposed to like, but can't stand.
Labels: random rants