Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So You've Created Human Clones: A how-to guide on identical twins

1. DON'T PANIC: The automatic reaction from anyone, upon seeing that they have spawned two creatures of identical appearance, is to scream at the unholy horror of it all and claw their own eyes out. There is NO NEED for this. Go for a brisk walk and calm down.

2. Be kind to yourself. You are definitely going to get them mixed up at some point. Don't beat yourself up over this: it is not your fault for being unable to tell the difference between your children; it is the children's fault for looking so alike. Just remember that children don't really understand anything that's happening until they're about six, and if in the preceding period they accidentally get their names swapped, no harm done. Alternatively, have one of them tattooed.

3. Do NOT dress them alike. This is very important, although there are exceptions: for example, those parents who would like the world to think of them as complete knobends may like to dress their twins in matching outfits.

4. Don't worry about them running into each other: latest research indicates this won't cause them to fuse together into Siamese twins.

5. Allow extra time for all public activities: you are going to be slowed down by the strangers who will stop you every two minutes to ask questions like "Are they twins?" and "Aren't they gorgeous?" and tell you long pointless stories about how their sister has twins.

6. Twins only have half a stomach each, so you won't need to buy any extra food.

7. Introduce them early to the eerie phenomenon of sympathetic twin-pain transference. Twins like to fight, so it's important to make it clear as quickly as possible that if one twin hurts, the other twin is going to hurt too.

8. Be PREPARED. You will notice, the first time both of them walk at you at once, calling your name, how much this resembles a zombie apocalypse. This can alarm the unwary parent: do NOT keep a gun in the house.

9. Be AWARE of their whereabouts at all times. They will on most occasions, when let loose, immediately stagger randomly off in different directions. Implanting tracking devices in their brains should help you keep tabs on them.

10. Know that they will be incredibly CUTE. Be vigilant at all times against their powers of cuteness, and remember the cardinal rule of parenthood: NEVER TRUST A TWIN

This post in honour of my own girls, and my most beloved grown-up clones, Jo and Shelley. Happy birthday ladies.

Monday, May 21, 2012

WORLD AFFAIRS! with Guest Blogger Kathy Lette

World affairs have always been a passion of mine - in fact, I've had affairs ALL AROUND THE WORLD, right? The ladies know what I'm talking about. But seriously, we live in a time of great international turmoil, and it's up to all of us to become better informed about the events that shape our lives. After all, most people believe that UNESCO is a new supermarket chain, am I right? So it's up to people like me and their clever writing to educate folk, and I'm great at educating - just the other day I taught Geoffrey how to do the dishes! Wowee!

Right now one of the greatest concerns facing the world is the Greek economic crisis, and it's no wonder they're in trouble, what with all the money they spend on plates! Whee! The real trouble is they can't pay their debts, which is a problem any woman can understand - how hard is it to pay off the credit card after getting a new pair of shoes, ladies? And what this means is they might have to default on their debt, which is always difficult - anyone who's married knows how hard it is to figure out whose "default" it is! This could result in Greece being expelled from the Eurozone. That probably doesn't sound like much of a big deal - most people probably think Euro is what coxswains yell out on the river! - but it really is, because that kind of financial contagion could easily spread here, a lot like crabs, and we wouldn't want Australia to get a nasty itch "down there"! Know what I'm saying ladies?

I mean look, I've always thought economics is a lot like having sex with Clive James - boring and depressing and taking up far too much space in the papers - but actually it has quite a big effect on lots of our lives, because without economics, we'll have no money, and without money how do we buy lipstick right girls?

Another big issue in world affairs is terrorism, which is a problem around the globe, although if they really want to see terrorism they should meet my mother-in-law!


Anyway, terrorism is a major problem, because a lot of people in Muslim countries want to blow us up, and who can blame them - have you seen the clothes they have to wear? I mean, get some colour into your frocks, girlfriend!

There's a lot of debate about the best way to deal with terrorism - personally I'd make all the terrorists meet my mother-in-law! Oh...wait...I already did that one didn't I? Anyway, many people think we should continue waging the War On Terror, which I'm all in favour of - let's start with those shoulder pads that the young girls wear nowadays! They sure terrify me! Oh sweetie are you a lady or a linebacker, is what I ask them! Talk about terrorists! Which we were, weren't we?

Yes, the War on Terror - what's the best way to go about it? Should we try to reason with them - any woman knows how hard it is to reason with a man when he's ready to explode! Or should we take a harsh line, including military action and torture? And any woman knows how effective torture can be - how else could we get our men to buy us jewellery! It's a difficult dilemma to resolve, a lot like whether to say you've got a headache or say you've got herpes.

But is it as big a dilemma as climate change? At our house we know all about climate change - the air gets really chilly every time I ask Geoff to set the table! But global warming is a serious issue and is caused by human emission of greenhouse gases, and I bet all the ladies out there know just how toxic gaseous emissions can be, especially when he's in bed, right? Oh men, what are they like?

But really we do need to take action on climate change, and it's difficult, because there'sso much misinformation out there - that's why most people think the greenhouse effect is what happens when your tomatoes are too small. And most people think tomatoes being too small is what happens when you take too many steroids. And most people think a steroid is something you play on an Atari! But I digress.

Point is, if we want to save our earth - and sometimes I wonder if we do, I mean men have pretty hairy backs - we need to take action NOW. I was discussing this just the other day at our place with our good friends and houseguests Julian Assange and Tim Flannery and Germaine Greer and Jose Ramos-Horta and Bob Geldof and Kofi Annan and Aung San Suu Kyi and Hillary Clinton - though with that hairdo she should be called Hillary ClintOFF, right? - and we all agreed that catastrophic climate change was less than desirable, a lot like a man who expects a roll in the hay after a day of not vacuuming the sofa.

Because after all, if we don't take care of the planet, what will be left for our children? Not that they'd notice what was happening to the planet what with all their iPod headphones and things, right? So it's up to use to take action before the earth becomes more inhospitable than Cher's vagina - hi-yo!

Look, there's plenty of world affairs I could run through for you - for example, sex: why do men think foreplay is how you start a game of golf? And feminism - most young girls today think Andrea Dworkin is a character from The Hobbit! And America - most Australians think Obama is what you say when you find out it's raining outside, but then again, once you go black you never go back right girls? I'd bunk down in those Baracks any old day! Right?

But time constraints prevent me from analysing (ha!) any further, so I'll say goodbye for now, and remember, STAY INFORMED!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Most Befuddling Puzzlement

I am, I confess, confused. I was reading, as is my wont, Andrew Bolt's latest musings on the mores and manners that shape us as a people, in order to get a feel for the zeitgeist and become better-informed on the trends and dominant paradigms in our post-structuralist community, when I came across one certain article entitled:


Now I found this interesting, as a fan of news, and I naturally read on to discover exactly what said hypocrites were doing to gay men and women. Beating them with sticks? Tripping them with wires? Hurling insults at them which can be very harmful because as Cher said words are like weapons they wound sometimes?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered none of these were the case. In fact Bolt was not exposing a worrying social trend of roving hypocrite gangs attacking stray gays at all, but rather commenting on a philosophical tug-o-war. To wit:

CONTRAST. In March, Australia's Human Rights Commission boasted it had entered a float in Sydney's Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in "its campaign to allow same-sex marriage".

No fuss.
Last week, a board member of Victoria's Equal Opportunity Commission signed a petition "to oppose moves to 'same-sex marriage' ".
This time: screams, protests, outraged media and a resignation.

Ah, I saw the complaint being put forward by Australia's most-read columnist. He is actually complaining about the hypocrisy exhibited by so many members of the Australian left, in that they will happily acquiesce, or even applaud, when the Human Rights Commission engages in activities to promote human rights, but when a member of an Equal Opportunity Commission speaks out against equal opportunity, they howl in protest.

And it is indeed fair enough that Bolt - who has dedicated his life to exposing hypocrisy and humbug in all its forms - should highlight the inconsistency here, that so-called "politically correct" folk only protest against discrimination and people whose beliefs and actions are diametrically opposed to their jobs, but refuse to utter a peep against anti-discrimination and people who believe and act in accordance with the purpose of their positions. How, Bolt asks, pithily and with style, can the modern Left so fervently celebrate inclusiveness while utterly refusing to celebrate bigotry? What is it with the Left and its repellently brazen embrace of equal rights, so at odds with its fascistic opposition to unequal rights? How can one say he is in favour of equal rights if he opposes equal rights for inequality?


So in summary this was a very well-written article. But there is one part that troubles me, and I'm hoping that with your help we can unravel the mystery it poses. At one point in the piece, Bolt writes:

"After all, broadening the definition of marriage is not a question of equality, since gays are as free as anyone to marry anyone of the opposite sex."

Which is fine. As I am not a Leftist I am not trying to repress his freedom of speech, so write that sentence as much as you like, Mr Bolt, says I. But it raises a conundrum for me, which is: why did he write it? I am always interested in first causes and motivations, so the question of "why" is very important to me. My curiosity rages - there must have been a reason he wrote that sentence, and I've narrowed it down to the most obvious possibilities. I welcome any further suggestions in the comments.

Bolt wrote that sentence because:

a) He had recently suffered a severe blunt force trauma to the head, but was on such a tight deadline he had to complete and file his column prior to seeking medical attention.

b) Having suffered a crippling bout of writer's block, he sought to release the artist within via use of powerful hallucinogenic drugs, not realising such substances can have deleterious effects on one's perception of reality, causing the taker to believe in non-existent objects, sounds, or logic.

c) Bolt had recently triggered an ancient curse which caused him to swap bodies with a nearby five-year-old, and was forced to write a column using the mental capacity and personality of the child.

d) Bolt was toasting a fallen comrade in arms immediately before starting work but, unable to find any liquor in the house, had instead drunk several litres of lead paint.

e) Bolt is a merry prankster playing funny jokes with his readers by seeing if they're savvy enough to spot such sentences even when they are cloaked in the guise of something written by a functioning adult human being.

f) Bolt's parents were closely related by blood.

g) Bolt does not exist and is simply a nom-de-plume for a team of trained elephants who write his column by periodically sitting on a Macbook.

h) Bolt is very very very very very stupid.

Those are the potential explanations I've come up with for why he might have not only written the above but actually allowed it to be published in an actual newspaper, but I know there might be more. What do YOU think, readers? Let me know!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Am Quite Proud

To have won a little prize: to wit, the Sydney Writers' Centre award for Funniest Post in the Best Australian Blogs 2012 competition.

The award was won for this post on the blog you are even now reading.

Congratulations to the other winners, especially Best Blog winner Eden Riley, and my pal Anna Spargo-Ryan, who won Best New Blog.

All the winners are detailed here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Choose Your Own Adventure!

The story so far: you are an aspiring teen kickball player whose brother is not home by six. Armed with this information, you choose not to call Harold and instead accompany local halfwit "Lauren" to the docks, where adventure awaits...if you CHOOSE it to!

What happens next? It's up to you! Listen to the latest Gather Around Me Choose Your Own Adventure: The Terrorist Trap instalment, and decide what to do!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The TROUBLE with Government

Do you know what the TROUBLE is with our so-called GOVERNMENT?

It is that the GOVERNMENT is out of TOUCH.

Everywhere ordinary Australian CITIZENS are gathering around their water COOLERS and having conversations about the ISSUES which affect them PERSONALLY. These are ISSUES like:

- the high cost of living
- how much it costs to live
- the price of things
- prostitutes
- how much money you have to spend on items these days
- the modern problem of life being expensive
- Cabcharges

But the GOVERNMENT does not UNDERSTAND these issues, because the government has no WATER COOLERS, and they are in CANBERRA, not the inner WEST where real people LIVE.

The government, in fact, thinks that LIES are FINE, because only LIBERALS object to them. So when ORDINARY people say, "hey government stop LYING", the government says, "this must be the work of LIBERALS!" This is a very OUT OF TOUCH thing to say. Also, they government believes the cost of LIVING is fine, and ordinary Australians need to stop WHINING, even though as Australians we have RIGHTS. If the government was IN touch instead of OUT of touch, it would KNOW this.

These are the issues the GOVERNMENT thinks are important:

- shaking the president of America's hand
- taxing the air in our Coke cans
- destroying wealth
- having sex with Bob Brown
- assassinating each other

These are not things the PUBLIC approves of. But as an ORDINARY Australian who works for NEWSPAPERS I am here to tell the PUBLIC that the GOVERNMENT does not care what it approves of because it is out OF touch.

The trouble is that the GOVERNMENT has never had a proper JOB. People in government don't WORK like you and me, they have STUPID jobs like union OFFICIALS and LAWYERS and political OPERATIVES who never see the sweat of their own hands upon their brows.

Here are some jobs that REAL Australians who UNDERSTAND issues have:

- journalist
- opinion writer
- television pundit
- coal miner
- royal watcher
- water cooler maintenance operative
- commentators
- steel worker
- John Farnham

Here are some jobs that POLITICIANS have:

- politician
- idiot who will one day be a politician

Is it any WONDER these people are out of TOUCH? The Prime Minister has never spoken to a NORMAL person in her entire LIFE. She has not even spoken to a marriage CELEBRANT because she won't get MARRIED and she has never spoken to an OBSTETRICIAN because she does not have CHILDREN. I have children and I can say that it gives you a PERSPECTIVE on life that people who don't HAVE children and are pathological LIARS do not have. That is WHY I am giving this free ADVICE to the GOVERNMENT based on years of EXPERIENCE as a real Australian with functioning SPERM.

I am sure the FAT cats in Canberra will dismiss this hard-hitting and HONEST article as simply another case of LIBERALS, but all I want is for the government to get in TOUCH with everyday battlers and REALISE just how much we HATE it when politicians LIE to use about how they paid for their SEX workers, and when they ask their ASSISTANTS to shower with the door OPEN. If the government does not stop being out of touch SOON, all our shower doors will be open and we will vote in the LIBERALS because at least they are IN TOUCH WITH US.

Please LISTEN to me, I am a JOURNALIST (see above).

A politician being IN TOUCH with ordinary Australians

One Hour One Life

Of course as you know depression is something I comment on from time to time, and I've just written a piece for on the difficulties of talking openly about depression.

That piece is part of a campaign is running in conjunction with Lifeline this month, One Hour One Life. Click on the link to find out all about it - basically there'll be a series of stories about depression and mental illness, in aid of a new Lifeline service, the Online Crisis Support Chat. This goes live on May 8. An hour of time on the chat service costs around $31, and Lifeline and are looking for goodhearted folk such as yourself to stump up a little spare change to help connect people in need of help with someone who can give them some.

It is, I reckon, a pretty great cause, and I'm pretty proud to be associated with it.