Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just Asking

OK, so you know those people who are all like, "Wow, Prince William is nice, isn't he? We can't have a republic, we love Prince William too much, cos he's GREAT!"?

And you know those other people, who are sometimes the same people, who are all like, "Hey, we can't have a republic, because our system of government works so well and if we didn't have a hereditary foreign monarch performing a purely ceremonial role on the other side of the world, it would all collapse because look at like Cuba and the Congo and stuff, they're republics and they're awful so if we didn't have the Queen we'd be like that!"?

You know all those people?

I just had a question about them:

Are they, like, retarded?

I mean, have they suffered massive head trauma at some point? Did their mothers drink a lot during pregnancy? Is it a genetic thing? Were they dropped as babies? Did they fall in a pool and lose consciousness for five minutes?

Are these people walking around wearing helments and knee pads? Do they go to special schools and work in sheltered workshops? Are they on government pensions due to their inability to make a living in normal society?

If you see these people in public, are they always walking into shopfront windows, thinking there's nothing there? Do they stare into mirrors for hours on end, trying to make friends with the nice person inside? Do they burst into tears on trains because they can't figure out how to open a broadsheet newspaper?

Do they squint in confusion at the Quick Crossword? Do they complain about the menus at McDonald's being too confusing? Do they quote the Herald Sun letters page at dinner parties?

Do they sit backwards on horses? Do they get stuck in revolving doors? Do they take half an hour to buy a train ticket from a machine? Do they get migraines from trying to follow the plot of Adam Sandler movies?

Do they watch Adam Sandler movies?

Are they, like, absolute irretrievable fucking morons?

Is there any other conclusion to come to?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do I never STOP?

I know this blog excites you, and I know you go all gooey over Gather Around Me, the blog and podcast I co-host with Cam Smith.

But imagine if I had ANOTHER blog to thrill you all with!

And imagine if that blog were devoted to reviews of movies that don't actually exist, but which should!

Wouldn't that be amazingly wonderful?

YES, I imagine you are screaming loudly, startling family and co-workers.

HERE IT IS! Make This Movie, a blog for people who watch movies and believe there is a better way.

First review on the site: Random Acts Of Blindness, starring Jeff Bridges

Enjoy! Then come back here and enjoy some other stuff!

I just realised...

In my last post I wrote "Intellectualism is not my god."

That was a bit of an odd thing for me to write, surely?

Friday, January 15, 2010

In Case You Hadn't Heard

Yes, The Rue McClanahan Hour is no more. Due to a disagreement with Triple R management - we thought we weren't disgustingly offensive and irretrievably unfunny, and they disagreed - our radio show was canned after two episodes. We apologise, since we do know there were people who were actually enjoying our little stint Make sure you tune in to Triple R from February on in our timeslot, every Monday 7pm Eastern time, as the Lime Champions will be back, and that's a quality show.

I won't go into too much detail as to the details behind the canning, suffice to say there were irreconcilable differences.

BUT the Gather Around Me podcast starring Ben Pobjie and Cam Smith continues, and there is a brand-new one, in which the Triple R "Kerfuffle" (call-back) is discussed. Go to Gather Around Me both for downloads and hilarious bloggettes.

Do not listen if you don't like hearing the word "rape", or you have a soft spot for hypothetical cats.

Should you be craving even more of the squeezings of my brain, check out my first newmatilda article of the year, in which I tackle the important and delicious issue of whaling.

This is a wonderful read. As "scepticcritic" says:

How can you consider yourself any sort of authentic political satirist when you group ‘black people’ in a separate category from ‘humans"? If you can’t even respect the diversities within your own species I doubt you can do much for the whales.

And as you read the article, maybe you'll ponder that question. WHY?

Furthermore, there's my latest review of weekly doings for the ABC, in which are discussed koalas, farmers, starvation, sailing, Indians, earthquakes and zany Christians.

To get the man in the street's typical reaction to this piece, why not ask "david hicks":

There is a lot that is hugely distasteful about this article

You're a fine one to talk, David. Glass houses, my friend, glass houses.

Or consider the opinion of "Crepitus":

I think Miranda Devine sums up Ben Probjie when she calls him "puerile".(Click on Ben's CV)

Judging from his article, I would add "unfunny and irrelevant" but then I have never heard of Ben till now. He has some work to do if he wants to become relevant and be taken seriously as a comedian or satirist.

To scoff at the Haitian catastrophe is heartless. He had nothing worth while to say about the whaling issue on which he is biased anyway. Does he really want us to go to war with Japan over blubber? Sounds a bit like the War of Jenkins Ears.

OK, firstly, I can't really match wits with those who would agree with Miranda Devine. Intellectualism is not my god.

Secondly, what the sulphur-crested fuck is with people who don't like my articles being unable to spell my name. My name which is ON THE GODDAMN PAGE THEY ARE READING AT THE TIME THEY ARE COMMENTING. I mean, this isn't someone hearing my name and being unable to determine the correct spelling. This is someone who is incapable of directly copying down six letters in a row.

And why do people put an R in my name? I've never understood that? Do they assume I must actually have the terribly common everyday name "Probjie" that most people know and love?


Anyway, much as I have never belittled rape victims, Muslims or the mentally ill on the radio, I have never scoffed at the Haitian earthquake on the ABC website. Read closely and you'll notice this fact.

In fact, you don't even have to read that closely. Just don't be a cretin.

That aside though, I am pretty irrelevant and unfunny. Luckily I have a weekly appointment wherein I sexually gratify the entire ABC board in a disabled toilet in Box Hill, so my job there's pretty safe.

With newmatilda, it's mainly the high-grade heroin I mail to them that keeps on the site.

In summary: spell my fucking name right, for Christ's sake. It's really starting to piss me off.

And now, on a lighter note:

I'm a FATHER, guys. Don't you realise how much the criticism hurts my children?

Friday, January 1, 2010

There WAS a Year Zero!

Seriously, there was! Or at least, there COULD have been.

Snooty pretentious people like to sneer at those who would say 2000 is the start of a new millennium, or 2009 is the end of a decade, by saying, "Well, there was no year zero, so the decade/century starts at whatever-01, so blah blah blah".


The idea that there can have been no year zero depends on one counting years the way one would count, say, magic beans, that is, start at 1, then 2, 3, etc.


We are counting years here, and not just years, but years since a supposed person's birth (we are aware that the said birth probably never even happened, and even if it did, it didn't happen at the point the calendar's dated from, but that's the conceit it's based on, so let's go with it).

And what do you do when you count the years since someone's birth? You say "Mr X is ONE, when he has finished his first year, not when he is starting it.

In other words, in all of our lives, there IS a year zero - the year from our birth up to our turning one year old.

And there is no reason not to suppose that, say, the year 2010 marks, not the start of the 2010th year, but the year following the END of the 2010th year.

That is, the number attached to the year indicates the "age" of the world, counting from 0, not the progressive year. In just the same fashion as somebody who is 50 is living in their 51st year, and the 1900s were the 20th century, it is entirely reasonable and consistent to say that 2010 is the 2011th year.

Now of course it's all arbitrary anyway, and the starting point of our calendar was just plucked out of the air, but the fact is that those who claim "there was no Year Zero", "the millennium began in 2001, not 2000", etc., are relying on making a grand statement that sounds unassailably rational, and will therefore not be questioned. Since, once questioned, the grand statement is found to be entirely without evidential backing, and the stater to have not a leg to stand on. The entire argument is a house of cards, waiting for clever people like me to blow on it.

There is absolutely no reason there can't be a year zero. The assertion that there was is just as sensible as the assertion that there wasn't, with the added bonus that it accords with our natural human sensibilities to see a year like 2000 as a milestone, rather than 2001.

Incidentally, the only reason people are really kicking up about 2010 not being the start of a new decade is that 2010 is not blatantly enough a change from 2009, especially since most people are still pronouncing it "Two Thousand and Ten". It's a lot easier emotionally to accept 1990 as a new decade following 1989 - 80s to nineties - than it is the seemingly non-existent distinction between nine and ten.

Tell your friends!