Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Bargain!

Hello there.

Would you like to know a way to be entertained and delighted while also contributing to a worthy cause?

Oh good.

Then here is Fault Lines. It is an ebook collection of short pieces by some special writers and also me, put together by the estimable Matt Granfield, to raise money for the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan and New Zealand. For a $10 donation, this charming publication - including my story "Themroc van Harryhausen, Gnu Buster" could be yours!

Go ON!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's Time

In fact, it's past time, don't you think?

My friend gnomeangel has started the campaign, perhaps you should get on this bandwagon before it's too late!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Do Drop In

I'm sure you remember the exciting news about my book, Surveying the Wreckage, which will be released next week and which you can order NOW from

To celebrate the exciting news, we're having something of a bash, a "launch" as I believe it's termed. Drinks and merriment, books for sale, presided over by the lovely and talented Clem Bastow and also I will be there. It will be such fun and I do hope you'll join us, Tuesday the 29th March, at Trades Hall, Carlton.

ALL the best people will be there!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It Is Very Exciting

Do you like to read books? Do you like to laugh? Do you like to support struggling semi-writers? Do you like to make me feel good about myself?

Do you like to do ALL OF THESE THINGS AT ONCE?

Amazingly, YOU CAN. And you can do it SOON!

Because my first book, Surveying the Wreckage, which collects the best of my work for New Matilda from 2008-2010, is available for pre-order NOW! Published by Aduki Press:

Is this not thrilling? You can buy the actual physical artefact as kings did in days of old, or you can get it as eBook. The LUXURY OF CHOICE!

Also, on Aduki's homepage, see how you could win a FREE copy of Surveying the Wreckage, by nominating your favourite or least favourite piece of wreckage from the Rudd Years. Either use the tag #surveyingthewreckage on Twitter, or comment on Aduki's Facebook page. The best five win a free copy!

Survey with me today!

I'm so excited!

Exclamation mark!

Monday, March 7, 2011

One for the Ladies

On International Women's Day, I think it's important that we share some really great news about women, and how it's now become easier than ever to judge them purely on their physical appearance in a nice, polite way.

The Daily Telegraph brings us the feelgood story of the year, the news that women will no longer be compared to fruit, but instead to dead painters.

I mean, if you're a woman - and if you are, I just want to say, WELL DONE, you're a real trooper - you know what it's like to be called a pear, or an apple, or a banana, or a nectarine. It's humiliating. But what's the alternative? Just call women fat ugly hogs? Well, yes, that would solve everyone's problems, but you know, feminism, am I right?

So it's good that underwear brand Triumph (underwear companies: nature's philanthropists) has stepped up to provide an elegant solution that will fix everything: name body shapes after painters!

You see, throughout history women have been facing the same problem: how to get others to use nicer words when assigning them categories based on how fat they are. Finally their prayers have been answered!

Here is a quick guide to the new categories, as designated by the International Society For The Designation Of Nicknames For Body Shapes, which as you know is the body which legislates for body shape labels and metes out punishments to those who use the wrong ones:

"Pear-shaped" is now to be known as "Botticelli"

"Hourglass" is now to be known as "Rembrandt"

"Well-proportioned and carrying weight around the middle" (i.e. "Apple", or "gooseberry") is now "Rubens" - Rubens painted chubby chicks, so this will be good for their self-esteem.

The "Raphael" body shape is the one men like, with the little waist and big boobs - what used to be known as the "Jessica Rabbit" or the "cherry tomato".

The "da Vinci" is the one that's all flat and skinny.

The "Matisse" is the one where you're slightly uncomfortable being photographed in your underwear.

The "Pollock" is the body shape of women who have recently had a tin of paint poured over their heads.

The "Picasso" is the body shape of women who have been cursed by gypsies.

The "Whiteley" is for women who are addicted to heroin.

The "Van Gogh" is for women shaped like mental patients.

The "Dali" is for melted women.

The "Kahlo" is for women shaped like Mexicans.

The "Michaelangelo" is the shape of men who are dressed as women.

And of course the "Ken Done" is for women shaped like prostitutes.

You'll get an idea of how it works from the picture below, which is of a "Pro Hart":

Isn't it great? With these labels, women now have the CONVENIENCE of knowing exactly what box they are in, with the RELIEF of people only implying their physical flaws rather than spelling them out explicitly!

This is known as the "Feminist Ideal", and it's appropriate on this IWD 2011 that we celebrate, finally, the end of sexism.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Want to feel good the natural way?

"David Avocado Wolfe, a world authority on superfoods, says"

Oh whoops, stopped reading.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Liberals: The Hidden Tragedy

This post was inspired by a tweet I happened to tweet not that long ago. Many people wonder, just what is wrong with the Liberals? I think I have the answer.

The answer is this: they are bad people.

When I say this, many people think I mean they are "bad people" in the way Hitler was a "bad person", or Eddie Leonski the Brownout Strangler was a "bad person". But no, I make no such judgments. I simply mean they are "bad people" in the way that Eddie the Eagle was a "bad ski-jumper" or Coco the albino gorilla was a "bad harpsichordist".

That is, they are bad at being people. They try hard, but they lack the essential skillset for being a human being. It's not really their fault: it's a lack of basic training. It's a little bit embarrassing watching them trying to be people, really: they come to it with such gusto, but they fumble and stumble and flail about and make a total hash of the job. It's hard to watch, isn't it? It reminds me of the time I tried to swim the 50-metre breaststroke at my school swimming carnival. At least I had the good sense to get out of the pool at the halfway mark, after everyone else had finished and I'd spent 25 metres bumping into the lane ropes. Unfortunately these Liberals and their supporters, they just keep bumping into the lane ropes, hoping against hope they'll get the hang of it. It's sad, really.

So please, don't be too hard on them. Don't judge them or harangue them, don't curse their barren ethical sensibilities, their shattered moral compasses, or weaselly little faces. Be kind, show some understanding, and make a generous donation to the Association For The Advancement Of People Skills For Liberals, which raises money to provide training programs so that Liberals can learn to be human beings like the rest of us. Without urgent action, the future is going to look like this:

PLEASE! Take action now! Give till it hurts. Because it's going to anyway.

On Theatre

There has been much discussion this year of the merits or otherwise of the plays of David Williamson, with luminaries such as Jason Whittaker of Crikey's Angry Theatre Review Department, Annabel Crabb
of the ABC's Reviews of Reviews Department, and even Miranda Devine of News Ltd's Miranda Devine? Seriously? Department, weighing in with their opinions on whether Williamson is a national treasure or in fact if he is another thing which is not. Given that most people think of me as a combination of Devine, Whittaker and Crabb divided by three and averaged out over the duration, I think it well-behooves me to take a stab at analysing this peculiar cultural institution to decide beyond all doubt whether it's worth doing.

I am in a uniquely well-qualified position to comment on Williamson’s plays, since I have never seen any of them, which makes me totally unbiased. I have, however, seen a bit of Don’s Party – the bit where Graham Kennedy is nude – and two bits of Emerald City: the bit with the hose, and the bit where Ruth Cracknell laughs. So I have a good overall feel for the vibe, while lacking the dreadful baggage that comes with knowing what I am talking about.

The simple fact is that David Williamson is the greatest playwright this country has ever seen except for maybe Eddie Perfect or that other one who nobody remembers. However, it is unfortunate that despite this, Williamson has degenerated from a theatrical giant to a sad and pathetic parody of himself who embarrasses us all not only with his writing, but his very existence on the same planet as decent people like ourselves. How did it come to this, that the most brilliant genius ever is now retarded? The answer is probably that he was never very good anyway and the first part of this paragraph was wrong, or possibly it is more complicated than this or perhaps not. Let’s examine the issue at length and with a clear sense of which sections of the community are stupider than us.

First of all, there can be no doubt that Williamson is popular, so doesn't that make him good? Almost certainly yes, but then again he's definitely bad, so this theory doesn't hold water. Or does it? Williamson himself certainly thinks it does, writing an elegant article in which it holds water as much as the next pitcher or small jug. Of course, we should take his opinion with a grain of salt, or possibly even an entire shakerful, because naturally he would say that, wouldn't he? Yes he would, because he's the one who profits from the erroneous perception that he is any good at anything.

But then why do people go to his plays? Because they're idiots? Yes, and no, is the answer, or answers, to this question, or questions. While it's true that everyone who goes to the theatre is an idiot, it's also true that I don't know much about art, but I know what I like. And what people like is David Williamson, and if a play is entertaning, what more do you want? Nothing, that's what, and the whole reason you don't like the plays is SNOBBERY.

Snobbery is what people do when they are scared to like popular things because they won't feel special. But what I would say to them is, you're special just the way you are and you don't have to hate beloved playwrights to be it. Or alternatively, you're not special and never will be so shut up. Either way, stop doing snobbery at people, especially at David Williamson, who is trying to chronicle our times in a way that is accessible to the average theatregoer and also Bob Hawke.

If Williamson doesn't do it, who will chronicle our times? Mungo MacCallum? Don't make me laugh.

How long do we have to put up with cultural elites denigrating our icons, and non-elites denigrating the elites? It is a vicious circle, a snake eating its own tail, much like Williamson's new play, "Don's Snake Eats Its Own Tail", in which Don and his friends gather at his house to watch the telecast of the NSW state election in blackface.

Why does this play work? Because it is RELATABLE.

Why does it not work? Because every three minutes the entire cast sings the national anthem and scurries about the stage squeaking, which puts a crimp in the narrative.

But maybe Australians want crimps in their narrative, or perhaps not. Who can tell? Almost everyone, it is not difficult. That's the whole problem: thinking that complicated issues are quite beyond the grasp of the wider population, just because they are.

The point is, why don't we actually ASK theatregoers what they want from a play? Well, why would we? Theatregoers are stupid: they go to David Williamson plays. But maybe we are stupid for judging them. It's hard to tell, but maybe we could have a stab at it by going to see one of these plays for ourselves. We won't though, because we're not stupid. But that doesn't mean that liking David Williamson makes you stupid, it might be other way around or maybe a bit of both. One thing's for sure, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Or to the left. It all depends which leg you put your trousers on with. As examined in Williamson's play Trousers, in which Andrew, a suburban lawyer, falls in love with a wild ape with hilarious consequences.

In a way Williamson's plays are a wild ape, and we are suburban lawyers, and Miranda Devine are hilarious consequences. But on the other hand, what about Barrie Kosky? What does he think? Perhaps this white lion can tell us:

But let's not pretend anyone has all the answers. Except Williamson, who has been in theatre for over 40 years and knows his way around an orchestra pit. But is an ability to read maps the only relevant criterion for a great playwright? Surely not. You also need a pen. Maybe it's Williamson's lack of a pen that has made him so bitter in Don Parties On, in which I am reliably informed there is a forty minute monologue on Viagra.

Still, it must be said that he puts bums on seats, an aggressive behaviour for which he should surely seek treatment, but cannot because he has no time due to his contractual obligation to write twenty nine plays every year and occasionally go on Q and A to show everyone his eyebrows. It is a busy life and he has no time to think about up-themselves wankers who only like plays if they have full frontal nudity and interpretive dance sequences about cowboys raping geese. Although do WE have time to deal with the delusions of an ageing halfwit scribbling down his random thoughts, sticking them to a piece of cardboard, dousing it in petrol, setting it alight and calling it a play? I don't know if this is what Williamson does, but I assume it is.

When it all comes down to it at the end of the day and all things considered in a broad sense, it is certainly true that Williamson's work, while popular, is preternaturally bad, while it is also true that nothing that is popular can be THAT bad, since people don't pay money for bad things except when they do, but then that is the exception that proves the rule, or in some cases, disproves, which only serves to emphasise the basic thrust of my crux.

So Williamson: Living Legend Of The Theatre, or Tired Old Hack With A Stupid Ugly Face? A bit of both, most of neither, and most of all, 110% of everything at once.