Friday, 31 October 2008


I was planning on posting a colossal dummy spit about what a thoroughly crappy decade this has been so far …

Maybe next week. Depending on what happens next Wednesday, maybe not.

In the meantime, this song popped up on my IPod yesterday as I was walking home from work. This is the live version …

From ?, Cassandra Wilson, “Harvest Moon”

Thursday, 30 October 2008


The music industry’s equivalent of an albino blaxploitation Freddy Kruger is threatening to scare the world shitless again by poking his horribly deconstructed visage back into public view to squeak out some daggy old tunes in a pretty desperate and transparent attempt at shoving some moolah back into his much-depleted coffers.

God help us.

“Bad”? “Dangerous”? For fuck’s sake, the guy’s about as “bad” and “dangerous” as Don Knotts and those anemic gyrations of Jackson’s would make a St. Vitus afflicted Wiggle look hot by comparison.

I've never owned a copy of Jackson's "Thriller". Not even a single off it. Or anything else he’s done. Well may people say it's the biggest-selling album of all time or whatnot, but you couldn't sell one to me if it had a pair of tits growing from it or projected a hologram of Scarlet Johannson wandering around my living room stark naked …





Well, maybe you could sell one to me if it projected a hologram of Scarlett Johannson wandering around my living room stark naked, but I wouldn’t listen to it …


I can’t think straight right now.

Come back tomorrow.


Peter van Onselen has "edited" a "book", a large chunk of which was "written" by faceless men and women on behalf of men and women whose faces we’re familiar with, but who are incapable of writing their own material. He's also "edited" a "book" that is supposed to reflect contemporary, that is, current, Liberal Party ideology and future directions but has, instead, "edited" a "book", a large chunk of which is just recycled weasel words and cliched newspeak dating back to the 1980's and '90's.

Van Onselen is an Associate Professor in Political Science. He says about the book "if he ever takes on a book of politicians' essays again", he will be more vigilant. "If ever a book publisher is going to find out whether any publicity is good publicity, this will be the test of whether that phrase is true," Dr van Onselen said.

Here's a heads-up, Peter - If you ever take on a book of politician's essays again, pay attention boy. You're dealing with bloody politicians, not individuals of honesty, integrity or professional ethics. And no, I am not being cynical just for the sake of smartarsery. You are not dealing with people who got where they are today by being forthright, upfront and straightforward in their dealings with others. You make a study of politics, Peter, don't you know this already? Are you naive or just stupid in this regard?

Secondly, consider yourself bloody lucky a publisher expressed an interest in this slim volume of political bubble-and-squeak speak in the first place. Publishers do not take on such projects with the expectation of reaping great gobs of cash and reams of publicity in return. It’s more an exercise in goodwill for the sake of maintaining an historical record of the time rather than an exercise in the excitement of publishing and edge-of-the-seat book launches. If it were not for publishers who are prepared to lose money on publications such as this with the hope of making up the loss from, say, the latest “sword ‘n’ sorcery” epics, our “historical record” would be left in the hands of fish ‘n’ chip wrapper hacks like Andrew Bolt and his crotch-fiddlin’, dribblin’ one-tooth ilk.

The libraries and the halls of academe are grateful for such volumes as yours Peter, but the publisher is waiting to see, after two royalty periods (12 months), what the damage is going to be as far as (a) the possibility of recouping any advance that may have been paid (b) will retailer returns be copy by copy or by the palette, and (c) can they pulp what stock is then left or dump it below cost to a wholesaler or library supplier so they can make room in the warehouse for something of substance that people may actually want to read.

It’s a 280 page book for $36.99 about people who are really, really bad at losing and haven’t shut up about it for almost a year. And your publisher now finds that some of the content may be older than you are, Peter? And not correctly attributed?

I don’t think your publisher would regard this as “good publicity”, Peter. In fact, I imagine they may be more than just a little pissed off right now, mate.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008



From Talking Point

Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama by Greg Sargent - October 27, 2008, 5:18PM

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents ...

... "They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."

The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. "It was like at least 40 people," the daughter said. "People thought the script was nasty and they didn't wanna read it."

A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that "at least 30" workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.

"We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger," this worker said. "I wouldn't do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting."

This worker, too, confirmed sacrificing pay to walk out, saying her supervisor told her: "If you don't wanna phone it you can just go home for the day."
And they did. Bloody terrorists.

You can listen to McCain's "robo-slime" here.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Kevin Smith has "made" a new "movie".

It's called "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" ...

From "Variety" ...

"Fifteen to 20 newspapers rejected ads for the pic, while Boston and Philadelphia ran them without "Make a Porno." Salt Lake City's Larry H. Miller megaplex, which played "Tropic Thunder" and "Sex Drive," warned in advance that it would not book the movie -- "on moral grounds," says Faber."

"Family" "First" "Senator" "Steve" "Fielding" has yet to be reached for "comment" on whether He will "permit" screening of this "entertainment" in the temple that is our "country" in the "forseeable" future, however, a "spokesperson" for the "Senator" confirmed today that He remains "committed" to "vigorous" examination of any and all "material" that may "include" "adult themes" potentially “unsuitable” or “unfit” for viewing by "adults".

“Senator” “Fielding”, added the “spokesperson”, now reserves the right to confer or withhold the status of adulthood on or from whomsoever He chooses.

Somewhat surprisingly, “Senator” “Fielding” is not a “horse”.

These days, He’s the Emperor.

From 2008, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”, Trailer, directed by Kevin Smith


Monday, 27 October 2008


It’s Friday afternoon after work. You’re at the supermarket to pick a few things up. You’re in the “12 Items or Less” checkout lanes. There are 3 of them. Only 1 has a person behind it.

Oh my, look at all the people in this line, you think to yourself. Oh dear, I’ll be here for hours, you think. Frantically, you spin your head this way and spin your head that way looking desperately for a queue that isn’t a queue, something that will deliver you from the injustice of having to spend … oh, 5 minutes of your life, your precious, special, extraordinary life, in a situation so banal, so beneath you, so not deserving of your valuable and valued time in this squalid little supermarket shithole full of queues.

Oh my, you think to yourself, I wonder where the other 2 people are? Slacking off, most probably, you think. Can’t they see us all waiting here? Can’t they see ME waiting here? Who do they think they are, keeping us all waiting here while they fritter away time doing God-only-knows what but I bet it’s certainly not work, you fume, your eyes narrowing to little rifle-slits and your lips twisting themselves into two snarling ribbons like a couple of shagged out flatworms. The only person they do have is taking an awfully long time with things, isn’t he, you think to yourself, not taking much notice of the fact that everyone he’s dealing with insist on buying their 2 or 3 items of goods for a grand total of $7.87 by using EFTPOS and getting some extra cash to go, thanks, ta, oops, wrong number, I’ll swipe that again.

Oh, here comes someone now, you notice. She looks rather harried, and is wiping her hands, most likely from a quick dash to the mall rest-rooms for a much-needed waste-expulsion and subsequent ablute*.

Well, you think to yourself, that’s understandable, I suppose, fair enough. Though you’d think they’d call up a relief for such circumstances, wouldn’t you? I mean, look at all these people just stuck here in this horrid line! And all because someone went to the toilet. What is the country coming to?

Anyway, there are three checkouts, where’s the third person, then, hmmm?

Of course, you haven’t really noticed that the third person has been stuck out of sight at the cigarette counter for the last ten minutes patiently trying to explain to the brain-dead dingbat on the other side that the 2-for-1 special only applies to 2 items of the same thing and that no, you can’t get 2-for-1 for 4 bucks when you’ve only got one of the things that are on special and the other thing you have is a half-kilo block of tasty cheddar which sells for about 7 bucks by itself, so no, that doesn’t count, I’m sorry, would you like us to go and get you another box of Chicken-In-A-Biscuit, ma’am? … No, ma’am, the cheese isn’t on special. It’s the biscuits that are on special …

Oh, there’s the other person, you notice as you inch ever closer to your destination. At the cigarette counter.


I don’t know why, you think to yourself, I don’t know why the smokers get precedence in service over those of us who look after ourselves and take care of our health. Surely, they should be the low priority when it comes to attention. I mean, shouldn’t they? It’s only right.

Oh, look. Here you are. At the checkout Well, at last. After all that wait and bother.

Honestly, if you were a person of temper, you’d have more than a few words in their ear about this appalling state of affairs, leaving us all waiting here for so long with so few people to take care of us. Given the prices they’re charging these days, I can’t remember the time I last had a decent piece of meat, but given the prices, you’d think they could afford to put a few more people on, wouldn’t you? Why, they must be making a fortune …

But no, not being a person of temper, you won’t say what's on your mind. Not so much as a peep.

Instead, you’ll take your little bag of hard-queued for goodies and go home to spend the rest of the afternoon sprinkling ground glass into your husband’s "Just Right" before he gets home drunk from the pub again.

*Not a real word.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Raise the flag, touch yourself ...

From 2008, Directed by Trish Sie


When I first heard on the weekend that Guy Ritchie had (allegedly) said of Madonna that "she looked like a granny and couldn't act", I bust out laughing and went on giggling for the better part of the morning. He must have been saving that one up since "Swept Away".

Some people, however, tend to take a rather bleaker view of Granma Madge’s
comings and goings, finding in them portents of darker, dimmer days to come ...

2:42 PM Kim Says:

Armageddon will be a wonderful time indeed. No more of this filthy, immoral conduct or the ones condoning & perpetrating it. The whole thing is sickening, & it seems the more nasty, immoral, untrustworthy & debauchery manner in which folks behave, the more the world loves them. Good & decent true Christian people do not take delight in such filthy, destructive behavior. Madonna looks like she's over the hill, very oldish, like granny-like nowadays but still has never changed her immoral filthy spirit inside. Her heart has always been like black coal, in that it can never be washed clean. I feel badly for her children & Cynthia's children. I could care less about A-Rod and Madonna. There will be news within the next year that "they are no longer seeing one another". And to the first answerer above, you feed right along with what the world loves to see, promiscuity and taking much delight in the senselessness and degradation of this entire situation saying Madonna is hot. Satan certainly has a grip on the weak-minded and truly disgusting ones.

Filthy. Immoral. Sickening. Nasty. Immoral. Untrustworthy. Debauchery. Filthy. Destructive. Immoral. Filthy. Promiscuity. Senselessness. Degradation. Weak-minded. Disgusting

Sheesh, Kim, they’re only getting divorced, not buggering orphaned black babies with silver-studded strap-ons and taking happy snaps of the doin’s …

Meanwhile ...

“Madonna’s 1965 stage acting debut as Mary Magdalene in her hometown church’s nativity play prompted horrified members of the small Michigan congregation to hastily organise a demon-expelling intervention in order to aid in the relief of any further community suffering.”

Tuesday, 21 October 2008


My published contribution to the Sydney Morning Herald letters page of October 17, 2008 …

“Not only did Malcolm Turnbull think up
"all the good ideas" (October 16) that Kevin Rudd has being putting into action lately, he also invented the internet, Microsoft and Google, put unmanned spacecraft on Mars, walked on the moon, cured cervical cancer and won World War II singlehandedly. Not bad for a bloke who started out in life as the son of poor black sharecroppers born in a cardboard box on the lip of an active volcano outside downtown Vaucluse.”

On reflection, I think “born in a cardboard box in a Vaucluse tarpit” may have been a better choice to make at the time, but nobody’s perfect.

Monday, 20 October 2008


- So, what I need is the field where I input the income, and the master code definitions which are held there, and it should be split as per the percentages from that master file that’s over there ...

- Yes.

- Which is good. I have all those input fields. Thank you. It's just that ...

- Yes?

- When I input some input into the input field which is where one should input the input, it gives me an error message, "Numeric input not allowed" ...

- Uh-huh.

- Well, the only thing that should get inputted there is a numeric.

- Oh.

- You see?

- Are you sure you're not doing anything wrong?

- I'm staring the fucking thing in the face as we speak! It wants a numeric! That's why the field is called "Amount". So I gave it a fucking numeric and it now says it doesn’t want a fucking numeric but that’s the only fucking thing that should be there! A NUMERIC! … How can I be doing something wrong when there's only one bloody thing to be done and only one bloody way of doing it?!

- I see.

- Can you look into that for me, please?

- Yes.

- Thank you very much.

- [-Click-]

- Fuckstick.

Friday, 17 October 2008


Meanwhile, on the other side of the world …

Crisis? What crisis?**

It doesn’t take much more than that to get
a sense of perspective about all this crap people are forever whining about, their sense of entitlement to things that many would regard as manna from heaven. Listening to these millionaire, middle-aged men in thousand dollar identikit suits flap on and on and on interminably about how everything’s thoroughly fucked but none of it was their fault but can we please have a few gazillion dollars to get us over this rough patch …

What a load of crap.

Just jump, you silly fuckers.

Leave us in peace to enjoy some of the simpler pleasures in life.

For example …

From 1973, The Staple Singers “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)”

**Photographs by Toaf's Missus, Vasco Pyjama


"Watch me store nuts in my cheeks and make like a squirrel. For my next trick, I bite the black finger. Nom, nom."*

*Cross-posted from Blogocrats

Thursday, 16 October 2008


According to Miranda Devine, women don't like cut-snake crazy Sarah Palin because she's ... a woman.

I have a feeling, just a feeling mind, that many women don't like cut-snake crazy Sarah because
she wants to take ownership of their wombs and insist that, even if they're raped, even if they’re raped by their own fathers, well goshdarnit, it was probably all their own fault anyway, and, dagnabbit, they should have the chil' cause that's what the Lord would want and if they are raped and the police have to do a forensic test, cut-snake crazy Sarah will send those women a bill for police services rendered.

I wonder if cut-snake crazy Sarah would think it a good idea to allow the rapist the right to bond with the child they're responsible for? Family's family after all, and next to God, guns, apple pie and mom, what would become of a child without a full set of folks?

Gay, most probably.

However, I have this sneaky suspicion, just a suspicion mind, that many women don't like cut-snake crazy Sarah because she's something of a piss-puddle in the Gobi when it comes to the depth-of-thinking department and also, she's just a fucking cunt.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


Someone should make this movie ...


In the not-so-distant future, post-zombie plague-sickness, the last zombie on earth finds itself hounded and harassed by hordes of uninfected humans who, having enjoyed popping zombies in the nut willy-nilly for nigh on a decade, have become consumed with a rabid blood-lust all too typically and historically human.

Aided and abetted by members of the outlawed activist organisation PETZ (People for the Ethical Treatment of Zombies), our zombie fugitive (whom we shall name Fredd, a one-time hairdresser to the stars of a popular, if not quite critically acclaimed soap, "Our Neighbourhood") is shunted from hiding place to hiding place as his allies bravely, perhaps foolishly, attempt to preserve the last of his kind, fighting against time to find Fredd a willing (or not-so-willing as the case may be) mate so that Fredd and his half-caste offspring may be reintroduced to society and learn to take their proper place alongside those of a non-zombie, non-undead persuasion.

For the lawmakers of the land had once, many years before, decreed that if they were provided iron-clad proof that zombies were capable of reproduction, reproduction being a gift from God, then their status as "undead non-citizens" would be revoked and they would be duly regarded from then on as simply "undead" and be issued with temporary citizenship until such time as they could learn a trade and become productive contributors to a faltering economy.

Even though Fredd has a somewhat disconcerting habit of chowing down on the brains of those members of PETZ who's do's he's just cut and fluffed (and expressing an appropriate level of remorse for acting on his baser instincts and impulses thereafter), our valiant activists, not easily discouraged or diverted from their passionate desire to see Fredd “git it on”, set about abducting various ladies from various walks of life to see if any of them hit it off with our zombie hero before finally settling upon one Ladybird Bishop, a fine female human specimen drawn from the ranks of the minor, but quite influential political party, "For God & Family".

Believing herself to be chosen by God for the sacred, if not quite understandable purpose of giving life to the undead, Ladybird reluctantly agrees to offer her services to PETZ on behalf of Fredd in order to serve her higher power. A date is set for the act of conjugal frivolities ...

However, as the day draws near, the baying crowd of (by now) quite unhinged humans have discovered Fredd's hiding place and begin to close in ...

It’s a race against time as PETZ personnel and Ladybird Bishop frantically explore every possible avenue and resource in order to stimulate Fredd’s rather reluctant and long-dead member to rise to the noble and holy purpose for which it was no doubt intended before it turned a darker shade of puce …

© Ross Sharp, 2008**

**Hell, someone might just take the hint and do this. After all, someone made a movie called
“Zombie Strippers” didn’t they?


1. Someone should write these books -

"Don't Play With Your Poo at the Table - The Retards Guide to Etiquette"

"The Hole You're In - Buggery for Dummies"

2. An old joke that's new to me -

Q: What do elephants use for vibrators?
A: Epileptics.

3. When I saw this cartoon, snot shot out of my nose and people looked at me funny.

4. And I’ll never eat frankfurts again …

From 2008, Banksy “Sausages” from
The Village Pet Store & Charcoal Grill

Monday, 13 October 2008


Editors of The New Yorker on "The Choice" ...

"We cannot expect one man to heal every wound, to solve every major crisis of policy. So much of the Presidency, as they say, is a matter of waking up in the morning and trying to drink from a fire hydrant. In the quiet of the Oval Office, the noise of immediate demands can be deafening. And yet Obama has precisely the temperament to shut out the noise when necessary and concentrate on the essential. The election of Obama—a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of twenty-first-century America—would, at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. His ascendance to the Presidency would be a symbolic culmination of the civil- and voting-rights acts of the nineteen-sixties and the century-long struggles for equality that preceded them. It could not help but say something encouraging, even exhilarating, about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama."

If Barack Obama becomes the next President of the United States in November, I'm taking the day off to spend it dancing around my loungeroom playing loud music and getting drunk.

**This is where that "no atheists in foxholes" thingy applies, I think. So I'm claiming exemption from non-belief for the next few weeks. Just in case.


The Herald Sun's bargain-basement J.J. Hunsecker** seems to think that simply because a whole bunch of people believe Sarah Palin to be certifiably insane that that's no reason not to put her in charge of a whole bunch of very important things. J.J.'s a mite peeved that nasty folk like myself keep picking' on poor ol' dumb, cut-snake crazy Sarah. So what does J.J. see fit to do? He hauls out an interview with a left-wing Canadian politician whom he declares dumb/dumber as proof positive that teh left also have their fare share of brain-dribbling Forrest Gump types ...

Now, J.J., lift your head up from out of Rupe's lap for a bit, wipe yourself, take a swig of Listerine and pay attention, child -

1. Canada is not an American state, J.J.
2. Canada is a different place, J.J. It's up there. Above America. It's another country, actually.
3. America is not Canada, J.J. America is a different place. Below Canada. Down there.
4. Sarah Palin is standing for election in the United States, J.J. Not Canada. Okay?
5. Canada has fuck all to do with it, J.J. No elections there, J.J. They's hap'nin' in the Ewe-Nahted States, boy.

Look J.J, if it's idiots you want, every political party at every level of government in every country on the planet have more than their fair share of brain-dead dingbats in them. Always have. More so now.

Y’see, that's where all the brain-dead dingbats go these days, J.J. Into politics. It's the only “profession”, other than sport and the music industry that will have them. As well, I understand there are some pamphlets that masquerade as "news" papers that often hire the logic-disabled as a community service.


As you were, boy.

** In order to properly honour and acknowledge J.J.'s vast audience of admirers, I shall now affix any post concerning his readership and himself with the tag "Crotch-Fiddlin' One-Tooth Farm-Animal Arse-Bandits". Credit where credit’s due, I reckon.

Friday, 10 October 2008


Look, we’re all screwed, okay? And given the way people are talking you’d think we were heading to a fate as supporting players in a fiction by Cormac McCarthy set in the 9th circle of hell. But, until that time comes …

Fuck it. Let’s dance …

From 2001, Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Live at Carhaix, France


Thursday, 9 October 2008


From the ABC's "7.30 Report", October 8, 2008 ...

KERRY O'BRIEN: And yet the local wisdom that has emerged from America's credit crunch, its sub-prime crisis is that our problems, whatever they are, are nothing like theirs. That the sub-prime crisis has been a very dramatic collapse in the housing market.

PROFESSOR STEVEN KEEN: Incredibly dramatic. And the reason was, the sub-prime was about lending to money to people who had a record of not repaying it and claiming it could make money out of doing it.

Which was a classic American scam and its now falling apart, of course it's not just in the hands of the poor Americans, but in the hands of the scam merchants as well.

So, that's something that is peculiarly American. But at the same time here our debt levels here are in fact slightly higher than those in America.

In 1940, David W. Maurer, a Professor of Linguistics, wrote a book entitled "The Big Con", a non-fiction study of the con-men, grifters and swindlers who thrived throughout the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. Those who may be familiar with the George Roy Hill film "The Sting" may be surprised to know that the "big con" pulled by Redford and Newman on Robert Shaw's character was, in fact, a real scam, and Maurer takes the reader through the details of how this scam, among many others, was set up, the marks baited, hooked, reeled in and relieved of their cash. It took a hell of a lot of work and, while the people who pulled these cons may not have been the affable rogues as portrayed by Redford and Newman in the flick, they weren't exactly murderous sociopaths either. They enjoyed and took pride in their work and their talents and, reading the book, one can't help but feel admiration for their extraordinary inventiveness, imagination and ability to pick out the gullible, greedy little freaks, wallets stuffed with wads of cash, who would've happily stabbed their own grandmothers for a chance to make a few wads more.

These marks deserved to lose every damn nickel they'd ever flipped. In this, one finds oneself rooting for the swindlers. Colour? They had it in spades - handles like Limehouse Chappie, the Seldom Seen Kid, Devil's Island Eddie and Ocean-Liner Al among others. And Maurer, as a linguist, hauls out the lingo of the times and lays it down - stories of ropers, shills, sharpies, the cackle-bladder, the rag, the shut-out, the wire, and the pigeon drop among others. If this stuff weren't actually for real, you'd swear it was a Runyonesque fiction with additional dialogue from Raymond Chandler, delivered in the voices of Jimmy Cagney and Eddie G. Robinson.

The book's in reprint, and you could do worse for a way of spending some cash than grab a copy and give it the once-over.

But times change, and the nature of the con and the con-men changed with them. Roles reversed.

Government’s legitimised them, politicians curried their favours and their company, journalists lauded their so-called achievements, all and sundry drooling over them like hyperactive puppies upon hearing the rattle of a leash and the word “walkies”.

And so, the louche, lizard-eyed low-life’s of the legit shell-games that played out every day on the so-called “free market” found themselves highly in demand. And the colourful turns of phrase that used to mark the swindles of olden times faded like cheap flock wallpaper only to be replaced with an entirely new shill’s song –


Roll up! Roll up! It’s money for jam, folks! … Bring your own crackers!

The crackers came in droves …

And waiting for them, there was
Dickie “Fastbucks” Fuld.

Fastbucks surveyed the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of his homeland’s teeming shore, the homeless and tempest-tossed, the poor, the downtrodden, and somewhere, somewhere deep inside the sucking sinkhole of shit that had always served his sewer soul so well in the past, so faithfully, he clasped his hands with what he thought may have been … pleasure? and the atrophied muscles of his sallow face involuntarily jerked themselves into a crack of something that he dimly remembered as a smile … a rictus grin would do, hell, who’s fussy?

Fastbucks gathered his crew and the order went out …

“Boys … It’s time for The Big Con. Get to work.”

Damn, these guys were good. Fat Fannie and Freddie the Freak hauled in marks like minnows and Fastbucks tied it all up - the rag, the wire, and then, the Shut-Out, Shut-Down.

They’d pulled it off. The Big Con.

Meanwhile, having realised they’d all been played for the lamest of the lames,
the marks blew their brains out in their cars.


There’s this movie, see? It’s called “The Blindness”, okay?

And look,
Julianne Moore’s in it. Aside from being an exceptionally talented actress, Ms. Moore’s quite easy on the eyes too. Quite the stunner, in fact.

Here’s a pic to feast your optics on …

Now, that bats my lashes every time, whaddyareckon? Huh? HUH??

Anyway, this moving picture is based on the premise that some thing or other has caused the world’s population to go blind. Hence the title. “The Blindness”. Only, Julianne Moore’s character doesn’t go belly-up in the peepers, she can still see ‘round corners, up hill and down dale, a hunnert-an-twenny-twenny vision.

What? You want me to draw you a picture? Fuck off.

So, anyhow, when all these folks go dark in the head, they also go a bit whacky and start fucking each other about and gettin’ nasty an’ stuff.

Here’s a trailer so you can see for yourself …

What’s that? You can’t?

That’s a shame, ain’t it?

So. Let me get this straight. You can’t see the fucking movie, but you’d like to have a whine about it because it makes out that blind people like fucking each other about and being nasty an’ stuff?


And you think you speak on behalf of some community? No, you don’t. You speak for your own self and a tiny, teensy-weensy noisy handful of other twitchy little fuckers simply because you’ve bugger all else to do with your time but root about trying to find stuff to bitch about. Like these retards over here.

What’s that?

“The National Federation of the Blind condemns and deplores this film, which will do substantial harm to the blind of America and the world. Blind people in this film are portrayed as incompetent, filthy, vicious, and depraved. They are unable to do even the simplest things like dressing, bathing, and finding the bathroom.”
Hang on a moment, sunshine. Read this … Some fella in Vancouver by the name of Pete McMartin wrote it. He thought the movie was crap, but …

“That, I thought, was over the top, if not just wrong. The public image of the blind, I'd say, is one of downright admiration and empathy. The blind are empowered in our society, not demonized. I also thought the federation's objection to blindness as a metaphor for depravity was silly because it had either misread it, or not read it at all.

Had she read the book, I asked.

No, she said, she hadn't.

Had she seen the movie?

"I personally don't want to see the movie. The idea of it makes me sick."

Big irony here, of course: The federations' protests will draw people into the theatres to see what all the fuss is about, whereas if they had ignored it, it would have, believe me, come and gone in a week.

But the book, I pointed out, has been around much longer. It was written in 1995, and translated into English in 1997. Why hadn't the federation protested against the book's publication then?

"That's a good question," Lalonde said, one she didn't quite have an answer to, though she thought a movie's ability to reach a larger market might have something to do with it.

In other words, a Nobel Prize-winning author's novel, which I have read, and which has been read all over the world, is so negligible as to be not worthy of the federation's scorn. It's just words, after all”
Did you read that?

You didn’t?

Well, maybe you can just feel your way through it. I’m sure you’ll get it eventually.

Mind you don’t hit your fucking head on your way out.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008




A bloke I used to work with sent me this photograph today. It’s from my last job a few years back.

I’m the one standing up. The other bloke was our I.T. Consultant/Programmer.

The look on my face can accurately be taken to mean …

“Yes, I checked that already. And that. And that, too … You haven’t got a fucking clue what you’re talking about, have you? You have no idea whatsoever, have you? For this, we pay you a hundred bucks an hour? … No, I checked that. Yes, I did that as well. No, I did not do that. Do you honestly think I would do that? … Jesus fucking Christ, is it time for lunch yet? … If you waste any more of my fucking time with this witless babble, I’m going to bash you to fucking death with a hammer. Wanker.”


Typically, in any given month, I may send one or two letters to the SMH. Sometimes, none at all. Occasionally, they get published. Rarely, however, do I fire off two in a week. This one was sent off way too late in the day (about 4pm) to be considered for publication, but it’s in response to Tran Duong’s letter of October 7 which I mentioned yesterday …

Dear Editor,

A letter from a 14 year old (Letters, October 7, 2008) defending Bill Henson? My God, will wonders never cease? I was under the impression that, according to so many so-called experts, anyone under the age of 18 was so gobsmackingly, uncomprehendingly stupid and easily led that they were incapable of figuring out what shoe to put on what foot on any given day. I was under the impression that people under the age of 18 got their simple jollies from doing things like sniffing chairs, snapping bra-straps, telling customers to f--- off in coffee shops, flushing their parents life-savings down the toilet or getting paid squillions for stuffing everything up for the rest of us by failing to do their allocated chores.

Silly me. Perhaps I was confusing these young folk with some other sector of society.

Ross Sharp

And with that, I have nothing further to say on the matter.

Just thinking about it is killing valuable brain cells I should keep in reserve for random acts of binge drinking.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


I have 2 superannuation funds.

One is the industry fund I’ve been in the last 8 years (extent of the damage as yet unknown as their annual report has been delayed due to a merger or some such thing).

The other is a fund whose television advertisements feature
a bloke who became quite famous for his ability to either throw balls at wooden sticks or hit balls with wooden sticks. Which is quite a talent apparently. In 2001, some old fella whose name escapes me for the moment stated that the greatest living Australian ever was some other fella who used to hit balls with wooden sticks for a living way back in olden times.

Fuck, here I was thinking all I needed in life was a real job when instead I could’ve honed my skills in school hanging about in paddocks belting balls with wooden sticks and making a zillion and gittin’ it on with some blonde chick with big tits like all the other wooden stick-and-ball men seem to do.

Didn’t I tell you I was a loser?

Anyway, I started full-time work in 1976, so I’ve not had the, ahem, “benefit” of compulsory super for a fair whack of my working life. If I retire at 65, that means I’ve now got a bit over 15 years left to rack up some money to live on. The way things are going at the moment, I reckon I might see 3 or 4 decent weeks of living after almost 50 years in the workforce but, after that, it’s dog food and a thatched humpy under a
water tower somewhere out Burra way, I guess.

At least it’s shady. And when you look up, there’s water vie- … oh … no, that’s a leak.

So here’s how wooden stick-and-ball-man’s fab fund has worked out for me this year …

Opening Balance at July 1 2007: $67,210.88

Tax Credits Received: $263.09
Change in Market Value: ($11,675.74 )
Add Income: $184.09
Less Ongoing Fees/Expenses: ($1,334.18)

Closing Balance at June 30 2008: $54,648.14

So, I’m down to the tune of $12,562.74. Which is 18.69%.

Twelve and a half grand. Fuck me.

Here’s how the fund is allocated …

Cash: 4.1%
Aust. Shares: 77.2%
Int’l Shares: 17.5%
Property: 1.2%

Now, what shits me is, apart from the “fees” which are ridiculous, is that late last year I was thinking of rolling this fund into my current one. The fees are far lower, for one thing. But if I had chosen to do that, wooden stick-and-ball man’s fund would have charged 15% for the privilege.

Thinking that was a bit rich, I decided to leave it as is.


The only reason I had this fund in the first damn place was because I had a bunch of small super balances from casual jobs I’d done, as well as my full-time job at the time (from which I’d just resigned back in 2000 after 10 years) and someone I worked with then recommended I go see his financial advisor to sort it all out and put it all in one basket.

Which I did.


And here’s another thing – from 1990 until 2004 I worked for non-profit, non-government agencies which are, traditionally, low-paying. Or, to be a little blunter about it, those cunts pay you shit. It’s only been these last 3, almost 4 years now, that my salary has come to represent what I feel is commensurate remuneration for 25 years in my particular field of “expertise” and my age.

I have no fucking idea what to do. If I rollover this fund, they’ll take another 8 grand in exit fees. And with what’s going on at the moment, it’s probably lost another couple of grand the last month or two.

What’s left would represent what my annual wage was 10 years ago. One year’s worth.

So, if I die when I’m 66, I’m laughing. All the way to the bank!

If there are any left in business, that is.

From 1931, Bing Crosby “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?”


I wish David Marr had chosen not to write a book about the so-called “Bill Henson case”, I really do …

Nevertheless, I’ll
buy it next week when I’m financial (God, I hate monthly pays. Making 23 bucks last a week is quite a challenge, that’s for fucking sure). My feelings on this matter haven’t changed one jot since it first erupted, and they’re not about to change now.

Accordingly, I read Marr’s piece in the SMH yesterday, avoided Devine’s (you don’t have to click that link to know what you’ll find) and, when it came to reports on the news and those so-called “current affairs” programs (Bwahahahah!), I just punched the mute button.

Fuck ‘em. Far too much time can be wasted listening to the rattlings of imbeciles and, as a result, one’s brain can begin to resemble a coagulant of sticky white noise in a
rancid fog. We all have far, far better things to do than pay attention to the addled ravings of Yosemite Sam wannabes like Whoopin’ Bill Heffernan, one of the most thoroughly repulsive strung-out streaks of political pelican shit if ever there was one.

A letter in
yesterday’s SMH by Kerrie Pierce caught my attention, especially this bit …

“The question is not whether Henson's image is pornographic.However, there is no question that it is sexual in its portrayal. The question is whether we, as a society, believe a child of that age can truly give informed consent.”

Which prompted my response (unpublished) as below –

“"However, there is no question that it is sexual in its portrayal", writes Kerrie Pierce (Letters, October 6, 2008). Sorry to disappoint you, Kerrie, but I've never seen a 12 year old in life, or a depiction of one in art, either naked or clothed that has ever made me think of sex or sexuality. If there are people who do think like that, I would suggest those individuals have a level of emotional immaturity and sexual infantilism far, far inferior to that of any of the models in Mr. Henson's work.”

And today, in the SMH letters column comes this, from 14 year-old Tran Duong of Bankstown …

“Is Bill Henson really that bad? I'm a 14-year-old. And I say: to hell with all of you making decisions for another child who is not yours. I am happy for N. She is beautiful and innocent and there is nothing wrong with showing that off. Is she being violated or mistreated? No. She has her parents' permission; she understands the consequences of what will happen should any school mates recognise her, and yet she has done it anyway.

The reason Henson's models do not wear clothes is so the audience can see the complete beauty of the person. By wearing clothes, models are selling something else and the whole conception and purpose of the photograph is lost.”

Tran …

Thank you. Thank you so very much.

Friday, 3 October 2008


I've recently come into possession of an iPod Shuffle, one of those tiny little player things no bigger than a thumb-joint. I won it in a competition at work, and it's the first such gizmo of its sort I've owned. I’m not really big on gadgets. Mostly, they break down and just piss you off or they sit around in drawers and cupboards for years gathering dust until you need to pack them into a box when you move.

Anyway, a couple days ago, I loaded this gadget with a bunch of cd's and tracks from home and I've been listening to it on my way to and from work.

So far, I've got 227 songs on it and it's only half-full. I've seen cockroaches bigger than this bloody gadget. How do they do that? But I'm convinced. It's a good gadget. And, as I didn't have to pay for it, that makes it even better.

Also, I think it may come in very handy when I'm up the pub trying to have a quiet drink. Strangers may think twice about striking up a conversation about some fucking game or other if they see I'm otherwise plugged in ...

"Who do you think's going to win the big game?"

"What game? Is there a game on? What of? Chess?"

One of the albums I loaded was "La Llorona" by
Lhasa De Sela, and this live clip is a stunning version of one of the most beautiful tracks from it ...

From 2006 (?), Lhasa De Sela, “De Cara a la Pared” (Live)

Thursday, 2 October 2008


"Like Wally the Green Monster, Baxter the Bobcat, the Mariner Moose and other giant furry creatures who accompany major-league baseball teams from game to game, Palin is the adored mascot of the anti-fiscal crowd. Her actual performance as mayor and governor counts for little beside her capacity to keep the fans happy during the intervals between play, which she does in the style she developed as mayor of Wasilla and then perfected in her triumphant gubernatorial campaign in 2006 ...

... What is most striking about her is that she seems perfectly untroubled by either curiosity or the usual processes of thought. When answering questions, both Obama and Joe Biden have an unfortunate tendency to think on their feet and thereby tie themselves in knots: Palin never thinks. Instead, she relies on a limited stock of facts, bright generalities and pokerwork maxims, all as familiar and well-worn as old pennies. Given any question, she reaches into her bag for the readymade sentence that sounds most nearly proximate to an answer, and, rather than speaking it, recites it, in the upsy-downsy voice of a middle-schooler pronouncing the letters of a word in a spelling bee. She then fixes her lips in a terminal smile. In the televised game shows that pass for political debates in the US, it’s a winning technique: told that she has 15 seconds in which to answer, Palin invariably beats the clock, and her concision and fluency more than compensate for her unrelenting triteness ..."

Read the full article. Palin is spectacularly creepy. She may not be smart, but she appears to have the type of focused rat-cunt cunning so typical of the contemporary political sociopath and aspirant. The type of person who, crashing rather than crashing through, would happily take you with her to the bottom of the wreckage. Raban also looks back at her reign as Mayor of Wasilla ...

"She abolished its building codes and signed a series of ordinances that re-zoned residential property for commercial and industrial use. When the city attorney ordered construction to stop on a house being built by one of her campaign contributors, she sacked him."

And what happened in Wasilla as a result of her fiefdom? Raban observes ...

"Present-day Wasilla is Palin’s lasting monument. It sits in a broad alluvial valley, puddled with lakes, boxed in on three sides by sawtoothed Jurassic mountains, and fringed with woods of spruce and birch. Visitors usually aim their cameras at the town’s natural surroundings, for Wasilla itself – quite unlike its rival and contemporary in the valley, Palmer, 11 miles to the east – is a centreless, sprawling ribbon of deregulated development along a four-lane highway, backed on both sides by subdivisions occupied by trailer-homes, cabins, tract-housing and ranch-style bungalows, most built since 1990. It’s a generic Western settlement, and one sees Wasillas in every state this side of the 100th meridian: the same competing gas stations, fast-food outlets, strip malls and ‘big box’ stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Fred Meyer and Home Depot, each with a vast parking lot out front, on which human figures scuttle with their shopping trolleys like coloured ants, robbed of their proper scale ... Wasilla is what inevitably happens when there are no codes, no civic oversight, no planning, when the only governing principle in a community is a naive and superstitious trust in the benevolent authority of the free market."

And we thought George W. Bush was the worst. If this woman comes to the White House, we're fucked. Frankly, given the way Raban writes about her, if this woman comes to the White House, John McCain won't live to get much older.


Jon Stewart from the Daily Show. Sending a message to "belt-bucklehead" via a conk ...


My published contribution to today’s (October 2nd, 2008) Sydney Morning Herald ...

In future there will be no such thing as full-time retirement, a former treasurer once said. Now there will be no such thing as part-time retirement either, by the look of it. Perhaps as well as maternity leave, the Government could start insisting employers offer staff funeral planning options. We won't be going anywhere in a hurry.