Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Answers: It's What I Do

For countless millennia, folks have asked the question: Which is the best city in Australia?

What do you think?



Of course, what YOU think couldn't matter less. What matters is that I have handed down my own judgment, the definitive last word on the Sydney-Melbourne rivalry.

Head over here to find out just which city is Australia's best, assuming that we're not counting Yass.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

You are so GROUNDED!

So apparently, a team of "evangelical explorers" have discovered what they believe to be the remains of Noah's Ark.

"It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it," Yeung Wing-cheung, a member of the team said.

Ninety-nine point nine percent certain.

That it is.

Noah's Ark.

They found some wood on a mountain, and they are 99.9 percent certain that it is Noah's Ark.

That would be the ark built to house two of every animal on earth, gathered into one place in ancient Palestine to escape a flood that COVERED THE ENTIRE PLANET.

Hey, "evangelical explorers"!

Alms! Alms!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate your support. Today I am making a plea for you to turn that support into something to help me realise a dream.

Here it is: I want to put up a show in next year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This has been an ambition and plan of mine for some years, and frankly I am sick of seeing year after year pass me by, and festival after festival go off without me in it. It's annoying, and it's frustrating, and eventually the practice of sitting around looking at other people doing something and grouching "I could do better than THAT" becomes a little sad when you're not giving it a go. There must come a point when one must just do it, or give up the dream. I do not intend to give up.

The show - at this stage named "Ben Pobjie's Funeral" is planned out, partially written, and, modesty aside, potentially a right corker, with lots of musings on life and death, social commentary, invective against irritating people, and jokes about Jesus and animal sex and stuff. What you're used to from me.

But the problem of money now presents itself. As anyone who has read one of the seven hundred newspaper articles about struggling comedians which are printed every year around Easter knows, it's quite expensive to mount a comedy festival show. It runs into the thousands, with little hope of earning it back for the enthusiastic newcomer.

And it's money I don't have. My not-having is, I admit, largely my own fault, having chosen against all respected professional advice to have children, including, madly, twins. I blame myself entirely for this impetuosity, but the fact is, the kids are here, and they're not going to go away just because I want to crack some funnies at Trades Hall.

And so, with a due sense of shame and remorse, I'm asking for your help. That's the purpose of this group. Begging is a terrible thing, but I am doing my utmost to ensure that those who donate will get SOMEthing for their trouble.


In a bald, blunt sense. give me money. But wait! There's more!

Firstly, anyone who gives anything will be acknowledged at showtime. Anyone who goes to the show will be informed of everyone who helped the show become reality. Any donation, from one cent up, gets you a spot on the list of Official Sponsors of Ben Pobjie's Funeral.

Now, there are several ways you can help out monetarily:

Buy something from my Zazzle shop. At, you'll find Ben Pobjie merchandise. This includes both festival-specific stuff, and also, for those who prefer something less promotional, other stuff, with quotations from my work, Handy Latin Phrases and Guanacoman merch, etc. There are t-shirt and hats and mugs which are awesome and you should buy, but also badges, magnets, key-rings etc., which are much less expensive of course. Everything bought sends a percentage to me, and anything earned from the merchandise goes to the Festival Fighting Fund. So that's a way you can help out and get something that hopefully you think is pretty cool. As is...

Buying a book or CD. At you'll find my books for sale, Handy Latin Phrases and The Adventures of Guanacoman. You can buy them and again, give me royalties. OR, since they'll be coming from the US, you can order them direct from me. From me, a book costs $20. Any revenue from these, again, will go to the Fighting Fund.

Or for $15, you can get my CD, Hypnoprophet, featuring my sort-of-legendary live set performed at Blue Velvet last year, and all my sort-of-beloved best-known spoken word pieces.

To get a book or CD, email, and you can pay via that address on paypal, or via bank deposit to:

Ben Pobjie
BSB: 303-672
Acc. no: 0037222

Or naturally just give me the money in person if you meet me, and I will hand over your goods.

Those are of course the details for any donation you might make - if you do, make sure you tell me so I can put you on the sponsors' list.


should you make a bigger donation, there are EXTRA inducements, so to speak.

For example, if you want a CD or a book, but want to pay $30, I'll personally autograph it for you. WITH REAL INK.

$30 WITHOUT buying a CD or book will get you, if you so desire, a personalised recorded message of your choice, to be used as a ringtone or a voicemail message, or just something to scare friends with at slumber parties.

$50, on the other hand, will see me write a specially dedicated poem or story JUST FOR YOU, which I will give you in text and audio form for your lasting enjoyment.

More than $50? Well, very generous of you - let's negotiate as to just what I can do for you.


Well, look, I don't expect people to throw money at me, especially because I know most people don't have a lot to spare. That's why I want to give you something for any money you do spare, and also why I understand people might not be able to. But if you could help me out anyway, that'd be great. If you could spread the word to your friends, show them my work, ask them to join the Facebook group "Get Ben Pobjie To The Comedy Festival, show 'em the merchandise, encourage them to join the Pobjie Army and help out, that'd be wonderful. If you know any people or businesses that might like to sponsor or invest in a new comedy show, that'd be great.

And those of you who are poetry and comedy bods organising nights and rooms and gigs etc, if you think I might be suitable, or if you know someone looking for talent who you could recommend me to, that would be awesome too. Looking for paid gigs obviously, but anything to help raise the profile would be great too. Any income from public performances for 2010 will go to the Festival Fighting Fund.

Also, if you can join the Facebook Group, in order to build up the public campaign, you can be my friend forever and ever!

But most importantly, if you read this blog it's because you like my work and you want to SEE this show happen. So a really huge thing you can also do to help out is, if you are at all able, actually go watch the thing next year, and also keep on spreading the word so a lot of other people will want to go see it too.

So there's my plea. I hate asking for help, especially financial help, but I'm looking to do something special here, and I do need help. I love you all, and thank you for your support - financial, moral, and all other kinds.

Keep checking back - there'll be more merchandise added to what's on offer currently, and as time goes by there'll likely be more books as well, and gigs that I hope to see you at.

Thank you for your time, and hopefully your willingness to not just roll your eyes at my fundraising efforts with a cry of "How freaking lame is THAT?"

Lots of love,


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Am Very Racist

So anyway, my latest article at newmatilda is right here.

It is about population policy, and includes phrases such as:

"obstetric dystopia"

"plentiful feral camels"

"take to it like a duck to breadcrumbs"

"the little buggers can swim"

How do I tie it all together? You'll only know if you click on the link!

But more important is the massive controversy that my article has inflamed among at least two people, due to the use of the phrase "Why are you being such a girl" in the introduction. Because according to "swivel35":

Substitute the “n” word for “girl” up there. See? You’d never get away with that nor could you even begin to call that satirical.

I have, indeed, become guilty of racism by word substitution. For example, elsewhere in the article, imagine if you substituted the "n word" for "seafood" in the following sentence:

if we boost our population growth we too can have a thriving electronics industry and a predominantly seafood diet.

That's even WORSE! I mean, "why are you being such a nigger?" is mainly offensive due to its incomprehensibility, but it is distressing to me to discover that I inadvertently advised my readers to eat black people.

Sorry readers!

Just so you can safely avoid this kind of accidental racism, here are some other phrases which you could not get away with if you substituted the word "nigger" for the word "girl":

"I prefer the intimate company of men to that of girls"

"I have four children - two boys and two girls"

"I have to take the girls to netball practice"

"See that girl in the straw hat? She looks pretty stupid"

"Fell In Love With A Girl is one of my favourite songs"

"I think there are distinct educational advantages to be gained by separating boys and girls into separate schools"

"I contracted AIDS from a girl I knew once"

"Girls should all go back to Africa where they came from"

"Stop these goddamned girls getting ideas above their station, strutting about the town, drinking our liquor and raping our womenfolk, damn dirty girls"


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So GENEROUS of you!

Apparently the Pope has forgiven the Beatles

Phew! What a relief! I bet the Beatles had been pretty worried for the last 40 years, not knowing whether the Pope would let them off the hook. What with the Beatles being all such devout Catholics and all.


Not sure the Beatles ever actually ASKED the Pope for forgiveness, did they? Hmm.

Perhaps the Pope had the Beatles confused with this guy:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

From the Herald Sun 11/4/10

Exciting news about Aussies abroad:

AUSSIE top model Nicole Trunfio (below) has auditioned for a movie that is set to star Hugh Jackman.

New York-based Trunfio, 24, has been taking acting lessons for three years with plans to hit the audition stage more than the catwalk.

Great news for Nicole! And certainly very plausible, right? Let's read on...

"(The film) is based in the future. It ’s a movie about boxing robots and my character is Russian," she said.

I can't help imagining an abandoned warehouse, with a handwritten sign reading "AUDITIONS FOR GENUINE HUGH JACKMAN MOVIE HERE - TOP MODELS WELCOME".

And inside, three chubby men with a camcorder and a used mattress.

The Problem For Today

The Problem for Today is this:

Refugee Policy.

What is wrong with refugee policy? Well, here is the thing: a lot of debate circulates these days about whether the government's refugee policy has "failed". Fair enough? Of course. But when you're discussing whether something's failed, you must decide what exactly success would mean. And the thing about the refugee "debate" is this:

It has been entirely based on the premise that the purpose of refugee policy should be to stop people coming to Australia on boats.

This is why the debate goes like this:

"Has the government stopped boats coming? If not it has failed!"

"Wait, no! The boats come for other reasons! Therefore, it has not failed!"

You see? Government and Opposition argue over whether the policy has failed, but on both sides exists the tacit understanding that the reason we have a policy is to prevent boatpeople arriving.

But WHAT IF this was a false premise?

WHAT IF refugee policy, ideally, was not aimed at simply stopping boats?

WHAT IF refugee policy's success or failure could not be judged purely by numbers of boats coming to our country?

WHAT IF refugee policy, in fact, should have as its primary concern the protection and welfare of refugees?

WHAT IF the Australian government decided that it would calibrate its policy toward the end, not of stopping the boats, but of achieving the best outcome possible for the greatest number of desperate, dispossessed, and fearful people of the world?

WHAT IF every time the Opposition screamed, "THEY DIDN'T STOP THE BOATS! WE WILL STOP THE BOATS!" the government calmly replied:

"We are not primarily concerned with stopping the boats. Perhaps someday, when the number of boat arrivals comes anywhere near even remotely posing any kind of threat to sustainable population levels or our way of life, we might have to adjust this approach, but for now, we consider it far more important to bend all our efforts towards helping people who have suffered hardships and terror far beyond what most of us here in Australia could fathom. For now, we will do our utmost to ensure that genuine asylum seekers are identified, protected, and assisted with settling in the country that so many Australians have worked so hard to make attractive enough for people to give up all they have and risk their lives to reach. For now, we will work on educating the Australian population on actual facts, such as the tiny number of boatpeople who actually come here, the circumstances in which refugees find themselves overseas, and the total and indisputable legality of anyone claiming asylum on foreign shores. Should you, in Opposition, wish to pursue electoral success by appealing to the worst instincts of people, by spreading fear, racism and xenophobia via the propagation of lies and distortions of reality, go ahead. We believe most people are intelligent, decent and capable of rational thought, and we choose to appeal to these qualities in our attempts to remain in power. Do your worst; we will do our best."

What if that?

Haha, only kidding! As if!