Saturday, August 28, 2010


Terrifying news has reached me: British travel firm Miles Morgan Travel are planning a cruise to commemorate the voyage of the Titanic, on the 100th anniversary of the original trip and following the same route.

Let me repeat: on the 100th anniversary of the infamous trip that claimed over 1000 lives, following the same route that led to utter catastrophe, Miles Morgan Travel will be sending out their ship the MS Balmoral. There is only one way ro respond to this news:

OH MY GOD SHANE VAN DYKE WAS RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You MANIACS! Why didn't you LISTEN????

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh yeah, and another thing

What's with the Australian National Retailers Association being worried about the "uncertainty" of the election, because it might affect people's shopping?

Are there people out there going, "Oh dear, we don't know who the prime minister will be next week - better hold off on buying those sneakers just in case"?

Musings on a Sort-of Election

So, election day having passed, as we wait out the six or seven months it will apparently take to decide who is the not-very-legitimate prime minister of our country, allow me to let you in on a few thoughts and observations.

Firstly, anyone who says things like "the Australian people have spoken, and said they don't want either party" or "the people have said a pox on all their houses" and variations thereof, should really, really, really STOP.

No, the Australian people did not "decide" to have a hung parliament. Apart from the informals, every single person actually voted for someone. WE all decided we DID want someone to be in government. I guarantee you there were no votes counted for "I want both parties to almost get a majority but not quite so they have to negotiate with independents". Trust me on this: people who voted Labor wanted Labor. People who voted Liberal wanted Liberal. People who voted Green wanted Green. People who voted Family First wanted a lobotomy.

The media commentary on this election seems to be suggesting some weird conspiracy where all the voters got together and divided up their votes - "You all vote Labor, you all vote Liberal, you guys in the middle vote Green, let's screw 'em right up!" This did not, in fact, happen. Those who voted for a particular party did not do it in the hope that enough people would vote for ANOTHER party so as to ensure the party they chose did not achieve a majority. Everyone just voted for who they wanted, and not enough people wanted either side. It's just MATHS, people.

Do you think we WANTED this, mainstream media? Bitch, please.

Secondly, an informal vote is NOT a donkey vote. An informal vote is one where the ballot paper is filled out incorrectly, or not filled out at all, or where the voter drew little caricatures of 18th-century English playwrights in each box. Informal votes are not counted.

A donkey vote is one where the voter, rather than numbering the boxes in order of their own preference, simply writes "1" in the top box and numbers them in the order they appear on the paper. Donkey votes ARE counted, because they are legitimate votes i.e. NOT INFORMAL.

Therefore, anyone claiming this election had "an unprecedented number of donkey votes" or "Mark Latham urged everyone to cast donkey votes" needs to be informed of their own ignorance, and possibly lightly slapped, particularly if they're a political journalist and should fricking well know better.

Thirdly, it has been brought to my attention that Bob Katter is a significant figure in the determination of the next government of Australia. Bob Katter:

"I mean, if you could imagine 20 or 30 crocodiles up there on the roof, and if all that roof was illumination, and saying that we wouldn't see anything in this room because of a few croco-roaches up there," he said.

"Are you telling me seriously that the world is going to warm because there's 400 parts per million of CO2 up there?"


No, seriously, what?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In the meantime

But for now, given the country is aflame with political speculation and election fever, I feel the best thing I can do for you is distract you from it all with some funny comics that come highly recommended:

Try Kate Beaton's Hark! A Vagrant for the absolute apex of hysterically funny Canadian history-themed cartooning.

Check out Lit Brick for superbly weird renderings of the content of the Norton Poetry Anthology.

Hit up Dinosaur Comics for possibly the funniest comics ever written. Also Canadian, like most good things in life.

And try Family Man for dark Gothic tales of wolves and 18th century Germans. Read from the beginning, then get to the end and get frustrated it only updates once a week.

So anyway, that should keep you pretty occupied till this whole unpleasantness is finished.


Goodness me, I can be a bit lax with blogging at times. It is, sadly, a function of the necessity to write great whacking reams of stuff all over everywhere else, that blogging can be neglected. Hopefully you're still following my adventures at The Drum, where my thrice-weekly election analyses will come to an end on Friday, but my weekly wraps on all things current will continue post-election.

And hopefully, you will at least mull over the idea, if in Melbourne for the Writers' Festival, of heading in to the salubrious surrounds of the Toff in Town for Liner Notes on September 4, featuring the songs of Fleetwood Mac, Charlie Pickering, Clare Bowditch, Hannie Rayson, Emilie Zoey Baker, Sean M. Whelan, Alicia Sometimes, Michael Nolan und mich - gunna go off guys, for serious. If I recall rightly, details are in the events listings to the right.

But ah, the election. Just three more sleeps till the AEC comes down our chimneys and leaves a new prime minister in our stocking! Aren't you EXCITED? It really is thrilling, the whole country is consumed by punditry, commentary, anticipation and generalised disgust.

At the aforementioned Drum you can see how I handle the issues, and how a whole bunch of other people do too - like Crabb (be still my beating heart), Uhlmann, Berg, Eltham, Hardy (be still again), Milne, Ellis (wacky!), et al.

But you can see more all over the shop. The journos, the bloggers, the analysts and the nutbags are out in force and the commentariat is full to bursting. I recommend Crikey (specially the blogs of Possum and Pure Poison), Larvatus Prodeo, A Nonymous Lefty, and of course Antony Green, the thinking woman's irrepressibly unnerving sexual fantasy.

(the unthinking woman's irrepressibly unnerving sexual fantasy is me)

ALSO! Check out for podcasts re: the election. Better yet, join the Gather Around Me Facebook group, and subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an instalment! It's so easy, with the power of interconnected tubes!

I guess what exercises ME about the election is the terrible uncertainty of it all. In 2007, everyone knew Rudd was going to win, and by 7.30 the night of the election it was all over. In 2004, Latham threatened a few months before the poll, but by the big day we realised Howard was going to romp it in. Same in 2001 - 9/11 made it a clear cakewalk. Maybe 1998 was different, but that's ancient history. This year feels, if boring and appallingly predictable in every other detail, at least fresh and original in its closeness and difficulty to tip. It looks like counting will go all night, and we might not even know who won by Sunday morning.

And if we do, if somehow one side somehow crushes the other beneath its boot, that will only be all the more surprising for defying the predictions of squeaking tightness.

So I cannot wait till election night, when I shall rug up nice and warm, channel-surf like a madman, and twitter like the obsessive-compulsive attention-junkie that I am. Hope I'll see you passing by.

And we shall finally find the answer to the question that has bugged us so long: Will people REALLY vote for Tony Abbott? Like, really? Seriously, dude? Tony ABBOTT? Really?

Hooray for democracy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Professionalism: How To Do It

In exciting developments in my life, I recently acquired what we call in the biz an "agent". This has changed my life. It will probably not change yours, but it's not always about you. Basically what this means is that should you, my reader, be wanting to make any kind of book-related inquiry, for example if you're a publisher or summat crazy like that, you should contact Pippa at Curtis Brown: - she'll be handling the bookish side of my quest for world domination from now on.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What IS the Fuss About?

I don't see why everyone's getting so worked-up and PC and huffy and lame and sissy over Alannah Hill's comments about David Jones ex-CEO/sex machine Mark McInnes. All she said was that she wished he had touched HER up, and who can blame her? The man is a FOX. ANY woman would be grateful to be harassed by him. Am I right ladies?

Oh, you KNOW I'm right! And Hill (pictured here in one of her own creations)
was just saying what we're all thinking: i.e. "Whoa girl, way to blow your big chance!"

Hell, I'm a GUY, and I want to be harassed by Mark McInnes. For one thing, how good would it be for your self-esteem? Imagine knowing that you were harassment-worthy! Self-worth: through the roof, baby! In fact, I've always wanted to be harassed, by anyone, really. So many times at social functions I've tried to lead the conversation around to the subject of harassment, hoping the object of my affection will try it on.

In fact, ladies, don't you think it's time to stop calling it "harassment"? Isn't it time we used the correct term: "flattery"? Jesus Christ, Kristy Fraser-Kirk, learn to take a goddamn compliment. Take a lesson from Alannah Hill, and maybe then you'll learn to conduct yourself with a little class, a little grace, a little of what the French call "laissez-faire".

Because trust me, Kristy, all this "ooh I'm so sensitive don't touch me there no I'd rather not have sex with you right this minute thanks" nonsense is no way to land yourself a husband. And today, a nation is shaking its head at YOU, the girl who had the chance to engage in intercourse with a man who was both good-looking AND rich, and who turned it down like some kind of lesbian or something. Who turned down what pretty much every men's magazine informs me is every normal girl's dream.

You tell her, Alannah, Girl don't know what she's missing.

Chicks, man. Am I right?