Sunday, July 31, 2011


You probably know that Masterchef - or as it is known in my world, #masterchef - has entered "Finals Week", the week when we get down to the nitty-gritty, come to the crunch, and are struck about the head and shoulders by the rubber on its way through to the road.

For a poignant description of the opening of Finals Week, check out my Sunday night recap here.

But in addition to that piece of - yes, no false modesty here - genius, I am also celebrating Finals Week with a COMPETITION!

A competition I tried to run before, but nobody entered so it didn't really work out. Hopefully it will work out this time.

The competition revolves around my sort-of-a-hit book, Superchef!

Specifically, it revolves around the recipes contained in the book: recipes like Myst's Apple and Cabbage Puree; Esther's Stress Water; Steve's Cyanide Noisettes; Tenielle's Suburban Parma, and many more.

What I want YOU, my faithful readers, to do is:

1. Choose a recipe from the book.

2. Make that recipe.

3. Take a photo of the results.

4. Send that photo to

All photos sent in will be published on this very blog, and the BEST efforts - as judged by an expert panel comprising me, my wife, my son and maybe my friend Cam - will receive a very special prize: a SIGNED COPY of my anthology Handy Latin Phrases, known among "fans" who I just made up as "the Pobjie bootlegs".

This early opus of mine contains such works as "The Black Cat", "The Man Who Looked Like a Fish From Certain Angles", and "Franz Kafka, Grocery Boy", and is a rarity in Me-lore.

So there is the contest, and it is just waiting for you eager beavers to get in the kitchen and start entering. Here is an example of the sort of thing you might submit, a beautiful example of Tenielle's Suburban Parma:

So what are you waiting for? Get cooking, and you are in with a chance of not only fabulous prizes, but GLORY!

Friday, July 29, 2011


ARIES: You are feeling uncertain and nervous about a major decision you have to make soon. It is time to relax: you are actually hallucinating about this major decision; it doesn't exist. In fact you've been locked in the same room for the last eighteen years. Chill out.

TAURUS: Your impetuous nature often gets you into trouble, and this week will be no exception, as you will find yourself killing between six and eight innocent people. You should probably organise an escape route now.

GEMINI: It's appropriate that you sign is "the twins". This week you will mostly have people stare at your breasts a lot.

CANCER: You are an enormous failure. If the phone rings, don't answer it. It's your mother calling to tell you she hates you.

LEO: You've forgotten where you parked your car. It's on the blue level, row 8. Also, one of your close friends is poisoning you. Can't tell you which one.

VIRGO: Everyone goes through moments of self-doubt in their lives, times when they're not sure if they're doing the right thing or if everything will work out. Except you. You carry yourself with invincible self-confidence, which is odd, because you suck.

LIBRA: This week you will be eaten by a whale.

SCORPIO: Financial matters are on your mind. So much so you probably haven't even noticed the spider laying eggs under your skin.

SAGITTARIUS: You will meet the love of your life very soon, but will waste the opportunity because he will look at you on the bus and you'll think he looks like a rapist so you'll get off at the next stop and walk two hours to get home. He'll probably kill himself from the disappointment, but whatever, you know, as long as you feel good about your unresolved trust issues, right?

CAPRICORN: This will be a week of big sandwiches for you. On Wednesday you will eat an egg and bacon one that will literally cause you to ejaculate in a crowded food court.

AQUARIUS: Maybe you should try a career in the music industry? Acrobatics isn't working out for you.

PISCES: You have toilet paper on your shoe.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I Am A Delicate Flower

In all honesty I do not mind when people say I suck. If I'm in a good mood, I laugh. If I'm in a bad mood, I cry quietly to myself in the privacy of my own home. But I don't, as it were, "object" to their opinion, or cry "How DARE you?" Because of course it's just a matter of taste, isn't it? It would be wonderful if everyone loved me, but I know that's not going to happen, and if someone thinks I'm painfully unfunny or woefully untalented, that's their opinion and there's no point getting indignant about it. It's entirely subjective, and one must accept that when someone says, "You suck" it's as true for them as "You're hilarious" is for someone who...thinks you're hilarious.

So that's all fine. I'm not saying I enjoy being insulted, and to be honest if you think I suck I'd rather you kept it to yourself rather than tell me personally, but you have every right to say it if you think it.

However, being actually misunderstood is a different thing. Being accused of doing or saying things that I haven't done or said is a different thing. Being characterised as something I'm not is a different thing. And that, I confess, pisses me off a tad.

In the distant and not-too-distant past, I've been accused of being a misogynist, a racist, a rape apologist and prejudiced against or uncaring about people with disabilities, among other things. I know I'll probably continue being accused of these things, because I'm not going to change the way I write or the way I joke for the sake of those who accuse me of them. But, as much as I'd love to say that stuff bounces off me as ineffectually as "You're not funny", it doesn't. It angries up my blood.

Because those things are not a matter of opinion. They are simply not true. Not at all. Not just untrue, they're abhorrent, opposed to all I stand for, and to a great extent they're attitudes of which I've personally and professionally always tried my utmost to represent the antithesis.

All of which is to explain why, if I get accused of these things, I will be angry. I will be furious. And I will not necessarily respond with a sweet and friendly demeanour. Not that you don't have the RIGHT to go throwing about ignorant accusations - it's just that I also have the right to give you the bollocking you deserve for it.

So yes, I am a delicate flower. I have many faults I will readily admit to - please do not think that if you try to lumber me with ones I don't have, I'm going to smile and nod.

After the break: Stupid Pet Tricks

Monday, July 18, 2011


Piggybacking off a Twitter conversation, I just want to ask some questions about the carbon tax. They are hypothetical questions I am interested in the answer to. Also, they are hypothetical questions about YOU. What would YOU do? This is quite important to remember - it's always annoying when you ask hypothetical questions and people say "Oh it's not really like that though!" These are my hypotheticals - just go with them! I just want folks to think about the way they think.

Question 1: If you were a prime minister, and you'd promised not to introduce a carbon tax, and then discovered that only by introducing a carbon tax could you actually hold on to government, what would you do?

Of course this question is all about the desire for power. As prime minister, you've probably worked pretty hard to get in the position you're in, and holding that position is fairly important to you. Having achieved your absolute ultimate life goal, would you be willing to give it up for the sake of not breaking a promise?

Question 2: Repeat the situation in question 1, but add the detail that the alternative government is one you honestly believe to be terrible.

Here the question of power takes a nobler turn. Would you happily give up power for the sake of your reputation, if it meant sacrificing not only your own ambition, but the good of the nation? If you were sincerely convinced that your losing government would be disastrous for the country, would you be happy to relinquish it because it would be "more honest"?

Question 3: If you were prime minister, and had promised not to introduce a carbon tax, because you thought the country did not need one, but later became genuinely convinced that the country DID need one - either by reading some new literature, or hearing a new argument from a fellow politician, or just through reflecting on things and having an epiphany - what would you do?

Here we see competing notions of "what's right". Is breaking a promise wrong? Maybe. But what if breaking your promise is the ONLY way to achieve what you see as a necessary outcome? Would you see keeping your promise as more important than acting in the country's best interests, as you saw them?

Question 4: Let's run question 3 again, but once more add a detail about the opposition. What if you not only believed a carbon tax was necessary, but were convinced that if you didn't introduce one right away, it would kill the chances of one being introduced for some time? That is, because you knew that waiting for electoral approval would see you lose government, and you knew the opposition would not allow a carbon tax, and you knew that once they were in government, the policy would be dead and buried on their side, and on yours because of the fear of future defeat? What would you do? Would you "do the wrong thing" for the sake of "doing the right thing"?

Question 5: If you were prime minister, and you'd promised not to introduce a carbon tax, but you WERE intent on introducing an emissions trading scheme in future, but you discovered that thanks to vagaries of politics, there was no way of achieveing an ETS in the future without first bringing in an effective carbon tax - what would you do? Would you refuse to introduce the carbon tax on the principle of promise-keeping, even though it would sabotage your actual policy, which you HAD always stuck to?

Question 6: You know the drill. Would it change your answer to 5 if you knew that abandoning the carbon tax and keeping your promise would scupper, not only the tax, but any chance of a trading scheme or price on carbon in the foreseeable future? If you knew that the opposition was intractable, and believed their policy was antithetical to what the country needed, would you hand them power knowing that what you fervently believed in would be buried?

Question 7: Would you rather go down in history as "the do-nothing with integrity", or "the deceitful high-achiever"?

And finally, just for a chuckle:

Question 8: If you had a policy that was not a tax, but had many aspects which functioned in a tax-like manner, why would you be so mad as to stand before the public and tell them it was a tax when you didn't have to?

You can answer or not, but do have a think about it, ok?

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Are you a geek? I certainly am not, and yet I will be lending weight to the noble geek cause this week, at Trades Hall. The Dungeon Crawl, to raise funds for the good people at Vignette Press to publish their Geek Mook, will be at the Bella Union Bar, this Thursday, July 21, doors open from 7pm. I'll be one of those brave souls engaging in...something. Role-playing? Sword-fights? Honey wrestling? Something like that. Should be HI-larious, anyway.

Fuller details here, do come along.

Check out the sidebar for other upcoming gigs, as always.

Friday, July 15, 2011

How Carbon Tax Made Me An Idiot

(NB: this piece is dedicated to Erin Riley)

For a while now, I’ve been increasingly convinced of the need to have an opinion about various subjects such as politics, in order to be a normal thinking human being. But I was torn: my belief in thoughtful, sober reflection and reasoned argument as a path to enlightenment made me lean towards having intelligent opinions, while my love of reading tabloid newspapers and listening to talkback inclined me more towards the gibbering imbecile end of the spectrum.

It was a difficult decision, made more so by the enormity of the consequences. I knew that whether I decided to be smart or stupid could determine my future career prospects, the course of my intimate relationships, and how loudly I could talk on trains.

But with the announcement of the carbon tax, the decision was made easy – the only possible response was to become unbelievably stupid.

To be honest, to call it a “decision” is almost a misnomer: the announcement of the carbon tax really leaves those of us who desire to avoid the unexamined life with no option: it is a compulsion, a calling, and yes, a duty, that we transform ourselves into morons, for the good of our country.

It happened almost without my noticing it: I was just toddling along the day after the carbon tax announcement, and suddenly I realised that for the last three hours I’d been telling people that the tax wouldn’t decrease temperatures by a single degree. Not just like that, of course: what I’d actually been saying was, “Did you know the so-called carbon tax won’t lower temperatures AT ALL? Do you? Do you know? So much for ENVIRONMENTALISM!” Sometimes I’d poke them in the chest.

And it felt liberating. I knew I’d followed the correct path. If I’d decided to be intelligent about the carbon tax, how could I ever have derived the deep emotional fulfilment that can only come from inserting “(dioxide)” into sentences? You have no idea how satisfying it is to do this – you should try it. If you thought it was fun complaining about the carbon tax, you will be practically orgasmic once you start complaining about the carbon (dioxide) tax. That’s why Terry McCrann always seems so happy.

Quickly I began to expand the scope of my idiocy, exploring the creative possibilities of using the word “socialism” in as many disconnected contexts as I could possibly think of. I found that once you get into the swing of things, “socialism” can mean anything, really. Pricing carbon, taxing the rich, giving money to the poor, taxing the poor, giving money to the rich, preferring market mechanisms to a command economy, being a woman – all these and more are socialism, once you make a true commitment to stupidity. I’m hoping that in time, I’ll be able to call every policy of every political party socialist without even breaking a sweat.

Of course it’s not that simple, being an idiot. You can’t just scream “socialist” and expect to be taken seriously in the stupid community. You also need to say things like, “the carbon tax will completely destroy our way of life” and “we need an election NOW to get rid of the worst government since Federation” and “I am the shadow Treasurer”. If the carbon tax really riles you up, you can go the extra mile and start delving into advanced mental degradation, for example: “Carbon dioxide isn’t a pollutant it is a necessary element for life on earth”. Not that you want to over-reach. It’s wise to warm yourself up, stretch your stupid-muscles with some thank-god-for-Tony-Abbotts and we-shouldn’t-move-before-the-world-doeses before you go the full Thank-God-we-have-Andrew-Bolt-to-stand-up-to-the-Green-groupthink.

Not that you have to stick to an anti-Green line. That’s the beauty of the carbon tax – it gives us scope to be idiots in any direction we choose. You can call up 2GB claiming that Bob Brown wants to put 90 percent of Australians out of work, or you can call up 3AW claiming that the carbon tax will create six million new jobs in geothermal energy and Great Barrier Reef curating. It’s up to you! As a matter of fact you can do both of those things – it’s the advantage of choosing stupidity over intelligence, you don’t need to be consistent at all (refer to discussion of socialism, above).

And so I’ve found that the carbon tax has really allowed me to be me, to free the spirit within, to release the latent intellectual atrophy that had been inside me all along. Much like a baby bird who, taking its first tentative steps out of the nest, suddenly finds itself able to swoop and soar and slam headfirst into windows, I am finally able to express myself as nature intended. To leap like the salmon, to run like the gazelle, to ride a tractor like Bob Katter. I am free to stand on the rooftop and cry to the world, “Yes! I am stupid, and I am proud! Furthermore the earth has not warmed for 12 years!” I am free to write letters to newspapers. I am free to refer to wealth distribution without even the slightest sense of irony or shame or basic understanding of reality. God, life is sweet when you’re a dullard.

It’s only been a few days, of course – barely time to form an opinion on the carbon tax at all if I weren’t so stupid – and I foresee a lot of strong, enriching dumbness permeating my life moving forward. I see myself poring over graphs and declaring “see? It’s a myth!” I foresee writing pompous and lengthy political analysis pieces about the government’s inability to sell its policy. I foresee tuning into Channel Ten on Sunday mornings a lot. I foresee quoting Ian Plimer. I foresee feeling powerful pangs of sympathy for people earning over $100,000 a year. I foresee saying “Ju-LIAR” and spending the next 20 minutes touching myself with pride at how witty I am.

It is indeed a golden age for the idiot, and I’m grateful to Julia – oops, I mean Juliar, ha ha! – for allowing me this opportunity to realise who I really am. Stop this great big new tax, remove this illegitimate government, STOP LYING, and up with morons. Join me, stupid brethren, and together we will make this country a true paradise for all of those of below-average intelligence and below. It’s time to stand up against this unjust tax and the people of normal intelligence who want to discuss it. Jump on board, idiots!

We can start in the comments of this post.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


Today Julia Gillard reveals the detail of her Carbon Tax and Economic Destruction Laser Policy, under orders from her boss Bob Brown. It is very important to have the detail so that Tony Abbott can decide whether he is in favour of it or not in a rational and fair-minded way and not at all go running around screaming like a meth addict on fire.

And before we decide what we think, we need ANSWERS. To some QUESTIONS.

Questions LIKE:

1. What is a carbon tax?

2. Could you repeat that I didn't catch it?

3. Fuckin' carbon, how does it work?

4. If you tax carbon, isn't it true that Coca-Cola will be illegal?

5. Why do you call it a carbon tax when in fact it is a carbon dioxide tax and also why do you call it a carbon tax when in fact it is a Nazi plot?

6. Isn't it true that we need carbon dioxide to live and if we had lots more we would all be sexy giants?

7. Bob Brown is gay, right?

8. How often will the carbon tax be cleaned and checked for woodworm?

9. Under a carbon tax how much will it cost me to eat a cake?

10. Under a carbon tax how much will it cost me to milk a cow?

11. Under a carbon tax how much will it cost me to build a submarine?

12. Why institute a carbon tax when every day China builds a new volcano?

13. How often will the carbon tax indecently assault my daughter?

14. Why are the Greens in charge of the country when nobody likes them?

15. What sort of compensation will be available for me since I only eat jam sandwiches at the moment and am very cold?

16. Why do you hate coal? It is good. Don't you know that?

17. Under a carbon tax how much will it cost me to become an astronaut?

18. Who is hotter, Sarah Hanson-Young or Kate Ellis?

19. Wouldn't it be better to have a policy of direct action like for instance we could buy a really big air conditioner?

20. Isn't it true that under a carbon tax steel will not be a thing?

21. How many carbon taxes will there be per household?

22. If I have solar panels, what the hell, am I right?

23. Why do we even NEED a Great Barrier Reef?

24. Under a carbon tax, how many members of my family will be stoned to death in the annual lottery?

25. Is it true that Julia Gillard is a woman?

26. I have a rash. Why?

27. Under a carbon tax, how much will it cost me to bake a strudel?

28. Under a carbon tax, how much will it cost me to have my genitals surgicaly enlarged?

29. Have you heard that the Greens carry ceremonial daggers everywhere and are swornd to defend the honour of Ahura-Mazda?

30. Under a carbon tax how much will it cost me to suffocate deer?

31. Why does the government want to turn our great country into this:


Monday, July 4, 2011


"Has feminism gone too far?" asks noted intellectual and pantsman Bob Ellis in his latest think-piece. Perhaps you would care to offer your answer on this. But be warned, before you do, your answer is stupid, because you are not as clever as people like Bob and me and possibly Kim Beazley.

It is important to ask whether feminism has gone too far, because if it HAS, we need to take action to prevent good men being ruined by accusations of things they didn't do, and also things they did do, because isn't being accused of something you did the cruellest injustice of all?

As Ellis points out, feminism is out of control when even a good man like Lord Byron is forced to die in Greece just because he was an incestuous pederast - how much longer must we endure these time-travelling feminists destroying the history of Romantic poetry? What's next? Feminists arresting Alexander Pope for raping quokkas? It is only a matter of time and I hope you are happy Naomi Wolf.

The point is, all the famous people who have ever raped anyone are GOOD MEN. Why do feminists hate GOOD MEN? Why do feminists prefer bad men, just because they bad men are not pederasts or rapists or Bill Clinton? It's like, "Oh yeah, John is a good man, but he raped me, so I'm going to get all thingy about it and destroy his excellent political career. Because I hate good men!"

Is that really feminism? Wouldn't a TRUE feminist, a decent, honest, dedicated feminist, LIKE good men? Wouldn't they want to build a better world and realise the occasional sexual assault is a small price to pay for economic stability? Wouldn't a TRUE feminist spend her time working to make women less nasty and evil, rather than constantly destroying Greece's economy in sympathy with stupid prostitutes making outrageous claims in inverted commas?

Yes that's right, Germaine: you ruined Greece. Thanks a LOT.

Let us not forget the original meaning of "feminism", from the Greek "femi" meaning "women" and "nism" meaning "should shut up and be grateful".

Hasn't feminism gone too far when not only Oscar Wilde, but also Winston Churchill, are accused of being big gay people? Why are feminists so anti-gay? And so anti-left-wing? Winston Churchill, John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger - the list of progressive left-wing warriors who have been ruined by feminists' insistence on being total dicks is literally endless. And by literally I mean not literally. It's a literary device, idiot, look it up!

I remember when feminists knew their place. I remember when you could have a decent conversation with a feminist without being accused of raping her ears and being smuggled into the Hague with not even enough time to pop your ears. I remember when feminists knew the value of a good scone. I remember when feminists were happy to stay in the kitchen, incubating their eggs. I remember when feminists took a threat to ruin their careers if they wouldn't get on their knees in the jocular spirit in which it was intended.

What happened, feminists? Did you get bitter because you couldn't find a man? I understand. It's hard being ugly, isn't it? But just because you're ugly doesn't mean you should persecute GOOD MEN just because they are GOOD MEN! It is getting to the point where a man can't even squeeze his secretary's breasts at a Christmas party without being dubbed a "predator". It is getting to the point where a man can't even indulge in a good-natured bit of spiking a girl's drink and then having sex with her while unconscious and filming it and broadcasting it on a public website and then writing "HA HA HA" in black artliner on her boobs and then stealing her handbag and then masturbating into her fridge without being labelled a "pervert". Even if he is a GOOD MAN, he must wear this tag forever. Even if he is a poet. Even if he is Shakespeare. Even if he is a promising junior minister in a Labor government. Why do feminists hate promising junior ministers?

Is it because feminists don't have penises? Do they hate penises?? I think they're jealous. I was in a bunch of feminists the other day, and I showed them all my penis, and I could tell by their looks of disgust that they had an innate hatred of penises. Penises are a natural thing, feminists! Love them! After all I don't hate vaginas - I like them even though they're gross and they scare me.

Feminists, I don't want to fight. I don't want hostility. I think we can reach a mutual understanding between the women of this world, and the actual human beings. All we need is for feminists to imagine a world without poetry. A world without literature. A world without progressive politics. A world without media-friendly Labor politicians. A world without right-wing conservatives who are actually left-wing if you know them like we do. A world without good men.

This is the world we are in for if we continue down this path of accusing every single famous left-wing man ever of raping women and liking little boys. Right now, 90% of good men are in jail for rape, while Bill O'Reilly and Hitler run around free.

Here is the deal, feminists: If you can stop accusing us of sexual misdeeds, stop trying to ruin our careers just because we have strong passions and enormous physical magnetism, stop attempting to have us thrown into jail for no better reason than the fact we have committed a crime, stop suing us for every petty little grope and trivial assault we might commit in the course of good old-fashioned horseplay - if you can do all these things...

Then we will continue advancing society, ensuring economic and political stability, producing wonderful art, and being nice to women most of the time unless we're drunk or feeling a bit frisky.

Is it a deal feminists? Can't we go back to how things used to be, when men were men, and women were women, and it was only you who had to be ashamed of that fact?

Hasn't feminism gone too far? Can't we roll it back a bit? Isn't it time to admit that basically, men are pretty good, no matter what they do?

Look into your hearts, feminists - assuming you have any - and try to find it within yourselves to stop bitching.

Because seriously, it is REALLY killing the mood.