Saturday, September 30, 2006

Grande Finale

For years as Carlton struggled through the celler of the AFL ladder, Sydney has been my surrogate team to get excited in the finals. But that was when sydney where underdogs, never viewed as contenders, last year they snuck in to the big day with last minute snaps and clinched the deal with a dramatic mark. This year they were defending champs and mercilessly crushed the dreams of up and coming teams like fremantle with their boring style of play.
There is a very bad person inside me, indeed inside all of us that was delighted at seeing Barry Hall crying after the siren went. I sympathise of course it must be terrible for him, I imagine he's beating himself up at the way he just choked and choked badly yesterday when all look to him for leadership.
I did actually feel bad for Goodesy and Kirk and all the Sydney contributers that actually gave us a contest after the second hand, but what does Barry Hall get paid to do? lead mark and kick goals. He fucked up and missed out on the chocolates, lost his self belief to after marking a few times within range to handball off to some dude who got taken to ground by West coast defenders.
In the end all he had to do was kick another point.
So the game wasn't as good as last year that had pretty much all you could ever ask for in a grand final and I'm out of surrogate teams which means carlton will have to fucken pick and pick well and maybe even win 5+ games next year to keep me going.
I went to a party that didn't really go off yesterday but better than that was a crowd of people that actually cared. Again the bad person inside of me was made powerful by their heartbreak so I enjoyed myself none the less and gorged myself too so it was infact a pretty awesome day.
But this has to be said of football, it is truly truly a great sport. Between it and basketball you truly have everything. There's room for soccer too of course. But the real threat to AFL is the duty of care the sport has to it's players. Footy is becoming basketball slowly. High possession handball games, the Adam Goodes rule that turned the ruck into a basketball tap out the rules are being changed anually to reduce the chances of getting injured in a full contact sport.
Now for me contact sports are like wr, I'd rather sit on a comfy couch and heroically watch from a safe distance and let them poor folk put their necks on the line (hey who wouldn't) so don't accuse me of trying to be macho, but special provision needs to be made so contact sports can exist. Players need to be aware of the injury risks and then choose if they want to partake or not.
Sports stars are human beings too but the reduction in risks of the game is making our great game boring. Even simple shit like kicking to contests, 90% of marks now are from clean cut little chips. Football is going to become more like netball if something isn't done to pit player against fucking player.
The fact is that in basketball a 'non-contact' sport where fouls are handed out for any rough play, fouls still happen all the time. It's still a physical showcase of athleticism.
Now I have heard shit about netball being underserved and how little the national netball team makes compared to AFL and equality and shit. But the simple fact about netball is that it is a fucking shitty game. The few times I ever played it I was Goal Defence or something. The Goal shooter had the ball and she was shorter than me so I stuck my hand up to block her. The ref moved me back so I couldn't block her anymore. Nor can you jostle them out of the way. Infact watching most people having a crack at netball you realise what a counter intuitive game it is. The real reason netball recieves so little support is that it is marginally more of a competition than aerobics.
The real question is why doesn't WAFL recieve as much support, or televising. I recall in highschool the girls footy team having just as many spectators and just as much support with the added bonus of fewer tools in the team.
But I don't need to justify any sports as being really valid at the end of the day if you can make a paypacket out of a recreational activity you deserve to laugh yourself to sleep at night.
Or in Barry Halls case cry yourself to sleep on your million dollar pillows.
It was sweet to see Sydney defeated by stoppages in the end, beaten at their own dirty fucken game, maybe they'll sit back and say maybe we should opt for some risk and break our game open a bit, elsewise they'll never truly be dominant. But this has to be said, a 1 point margin is a rare thing in footy, it's rare in basketball, it's common as fuck in soccer and about as common as nil-all-draws and resolving the world cup in a penalty shoot out which just shouldn't happen. There will be measures put in place to hopefully change this shitty way of settling the match, but in my opinion replacing the penalty shootout with a quick draw shoot out may be better. The player that misses their oponent is shot dead that way they don't have to be spat on by italians or stabbed by argentinians, the blow is swift and fatal instead of something that makes a traitor out of you to your country and keeps you up at night for the next four years.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Soundtrack to my Life

Blogging in the fucken morning, so I'm back to this. Seriously I'm ready for daylight savings I'm waking up before my alarm goes off by a clearer margin everyday, the scary part being that my alarm goes off at 6 in the AM.
I caught up with marc one time who coordinates rew activities and is one of those people that needs to be alive to keep the concept of 'humanity' alive. We caught up at Mekong and while he went to the toilet I took the opportunity to pay the bill up. He was really embarassed until I said in wise tohm mode 'don't underestimate how generous it is to accept someone else's genorosity' which is a lesson hard learnt for me by hanging around Omar, who will not let me cut a bruise off my apple nor cut up my own apple when I'm at his place because he's got all this arab hospitality going. I always want to be treated like I treat people in my house which is to point in the vague direction of where things are and let people help themselves, that's hospitable enough for me.
That being said sometimes it sucks to be a wigger, I've been helping Rio a bball mate with an assignment and I got one up on the hospitality stakes by paying for a meal the other night, absentmindedly not realising how I had shamed him by placing him in my debt, which although I felt good aboot myself I also felt bad aboot myself.
Anyway Rio solves this by inviting me to the movies on a free ticket.
A free ticket to 'step up' the film that you expected 8 mile to be. And by that I mean a movie about rap battles staring Eminem had to be shit, but when I saw it it was pretty quality, belivable characters, well acted and setting really put you there.
'Step up' is 8 mile except instead of Eminem you got some wigger back up dancer as the main character. The shots are all poorly framed and the actors are acting to a standard lower than Home & Away. Everything was fake, every shot unnatural, the interplay between the characters was terrible. The premise was sloppy and Rachel Griffiths randomly turns up in this film camping up her role as a conservative director of the arts school. It was pretty much a Disney summer camp themed film.*
So in the end the girl gets to have a job as a choreographer and the marginalised white guy gets a scholarship to arts school. This film although it has performances at the same level as snakes on a plane it is no snakes on a plane. It just makes snakes on a plane look all the more on another level to any film you've ever seen.
All that being said riding there and riding home I really felt the loss of my ipod, these movie characters when things get emotional or anything.
And that's just what an ipod is for us living in reality it's the soundtrack to your life and I had recently made a playlist called 'liquid happiness' that had all the music I needed for a duke awesome spring day but alasness my ipod worked one minute the next it died in my hands. I plugged it in, rebooted it but it was dead. Like Usama Bin Laden without the speculation dead.
So my life has been hollow and empty without it.
So when you think about all the suffering in the world, global warming, Ugandian humanitarian crises, Thai coup's, Donald Rumsfield, Muscular Dystrophy and Evermore. Well you can just add tohm's broken ipod to the list.

*except of course Heavy Weights the Fat Camp extravaganza that is pretty much the best daytime tv film you can ever hope to cop on a sickday.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

what do i look like a comedian?

So morley decides to tell me what comedy is all about huh? well he probably should, he's the one betwixt the two of us that gets up there and does it. Infact I couldn't really find much to bring up to argue with the points he made on his site, half way through I thought I'd trump him with the Andy Kaufman arguement, now there was a man who was much less a comedian than an artist, Man on the Moon is such a great fucking film everyone should see it if you don't know who Andy Kaufman is.
Essentially Andy Kaufman was Yoko Ono who got confused for Steve Martin. The really amazing thing about Kaufman is he could economically sustain himself. He did some things that were funny but you couldn't say why, he did other things in his acts that were deliberately boring, offensive and generally designed to fuck with the audiances head. I wouldn't call him a comedian or a comic because essentially at the end of the day it was all to entertain him. It was all about the reaction, you know like agreeing to be a party clown for the bosses kid's party and then just turning up at yourself and informing the kids that Ronald McDonald is dead.
For the record my post which is the second one before this one, wasn't meant to drag out into a big thing on comedy but rather was about the freedom of art. At no point did I suggest it was economically viable. Infact the great thing about the 21st speeches I cited as examples of things I enjoy is that they had a captive audiance.
I've had one experience at Standup when I was 16 and I know when you are starting out a) you ca't pick your audiance, and they don't know you. You may wanna hit them with some political satire but they just want some Rodney Rude pissas.
b) you don't have long, there's simply not the room to fuck with the audiance, you've got an MC deciding to the side of you whether they think you're funny or not and they get paid to cut your act short and rescue the dying crowd.
c) in Australia hamish and andy's idea of 'policies week' has about as much irony and inventiveness as you can get away with in a commercial setting (which is more or less none at all)
I guess the thing that frustrates me most is people I regard as having talent, going pro and ending up with less talent. I got a few friends I've tried to collaborate with over the years in whatever context and been disgusted as they tone themselves down, imitate the proven formulas and manage to take all there potential and everything unique they have to offer and bin it.
By the same token most often the ones that are pushing the boundaries in my experience are the ones that simply cant pull it off because of a distinct lack of talent. These people are easy to recognise by the words used to describe them 'kooky, zany etc.' and always recommended by the friends that press their lips to your arsehole.
I will say this, I watched the insight special on Australian values and they did real in some comics to contribute to the discussion. Now a lot of people contributing cited an Australian value as 'willing to have a laugh at ourselves' or 'take the piss out of ourselves' which is true in the form of the cultural cringe which probably defines the most succesful comedians of recent times the Dave Hughes' and going back to our most successful export Dame Edna Everage.
But anyone who has travelled has probably experienced the very specific conditions we place on 'taking the piss out of ourselves' namely that other contries have views and perceptions of Australia that our own media run propaganda doesn't capture. The most poigniant example being the Simpson's Trip to Australia.
I guess most people were expecting something like the Sydney Olympic opening, portraying our beautiful cities, our unique artists and our diverse culture. But it wasn't the case, Australia was portrayed as a backward paddock nation full of cheap crap and convicts.
The point I would make is that Australian's don't like to have the piss taken out of them at all. Only stuff we aren't insecure about. Ignorant bogan opinions are funny because they give us a sense of superiority. But when Paul Keating says something hilariously insightful like 'Australia is in danger of becoming a bananna republic' we don't find ourselves laughing and infact bottle it up and vote in a bitter vindictive government to fuel the denial.
And that's probably what I really like in comedy. I mean it's hard to stand up in front of an audiance, it makes you feel like you got real small balls. But it's even harder to show everyone you have real small balls. Not many people truly expose it all and in comedy and art brutal honesty is where people take it to the next level. Where there's more going on in your head than the 'that's funny' response. I use to have an idea of taking a photo of my dick and balls and general scrotum area and getting it printed onto the front of some white shorts I could wear around. I hope imagine some would have found that funny, some clever, some disgusting, some stupid. That's art.
If you want to make a living doing comedy, by all means please the crowd by whatever means necessary. When you make a name for yourself. Like Andy Kaufman, people like me can pay to go see you because we have expectations, as opposed to a crowd in some comedy club that don't know you and aren't a captive audiance.
I might be 1 in 100 that would enjoy going to a theatre and there not being a play on and I wish in Oz there where places that did shit like that. There probably are please post if you know of any.
So that's that, is it comedy, is it art?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Today I got introduced to the new girl in logistics, I was introduced as tohm to her and I forgot her name the moment it was said, something I'm getting better and better at doing. Something I'm getting sick of doing is explaining what I do. The dude from logistics showing the new girl around didn't know what I do, and I had to step in and articulate for him, I do whatever the Sales Manager, Director or Assistant to the Director tell me to do and failing that, whatever I want to do. That's right try having 5 bosses yourself and telling people what you do. You'll never manage. But it's actually how I prefer to work, any given day I can switch betwixt three departments and work autonomously on anything I want. Which would work even bettter if my 5 bosses didn't assume I was busy. This means most of the time they bypass me and get some other shitkicker to do the work I could do in half the time and to a higher standard (on account of me spending half the time on it).
Anyway that being said two things happen in September for me. Work get's busy, it get's really busy. Season hits and I find myself running three sales campaigns whilst having to explain all the random campaigns to the accounts departments and then having to come up with reports to determine if the campaigns actually do anything. It's a roundabout way to work, unfortunately people expect me to do all the busy work I do to fill in the winter months. cept I don't work overtime because I want to live a life that has balance and doesn't revolve around work. As such I foster stuff to do outside of hours. So inexplicably like a wall of flaming fire I find myself busy from go to fucken woe.
I'm not complaining it's good to go to work and look at the clock three times: once at 10 when the reports should update, next time at 12 when I realise I should go to lunch and the last time at 4:55 when I pack up my desk ready to go home.
But tonight is a night off, I just have to repair a slow leak in my bike tyre. I;m determined to do nothing else. And that's unusual for a Tuesday but Zaman gave me Ramadan off our lessons.
So that's it tonight I'm going to do, fucken nothing and I'm gonna love it. Just park on the couch and watch some TV.
fuck yeah.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

you are Art

Starting the zine has been a cathartic experience for me. Sure writing scripts is a creative outlet, but it's also fucking work too, I mean with TV scripts there's a shape you have to fit it too. Furthermore if you want your script to see the light of day you have to bring other people in.
A story though. At Bryce's 21st he had arranged for me to speak, and the line up was the delightful spud and then shon-shon and me the bum to cap it off. So we were all huddled in a corner and Spud made a speech that I thought could not be beat, it was basically a list of inside jokes that was three pages long. One could have assumed they were prompting notes of amusing incidents except spud forgot to elaborate on any of them so it ended up having all the impact of a brownlow vote tallying (surely the worlds least captivating night of television) it was all '...Jenny Peters, yes we all remember Jenny Peters...and the Eric Clapton phase, who remembers that...' but nobody did or if they did it would be like 1 in the list of 20 that Spud read out. I thought it was just fucking awesome for a speech. I laughed all through it.
Shona's speech was actually good in the sense that people who would have thought spud's speech was incromprehensible and poorly planned would think Shona's was charismatic, natural and entertaining and I have to agree, it was enjoyed by all. I did much the same only I waffled for about 20 minutes and then sat down.
Then a girl got up and made a speech better thn Spud's infact it was pretty much the best speech ever. It was shamelessly sycophantic and emotional and intense. I think all present were uncomfortable and it was entirely out of left field. There were tears from the speaker who declared Bryce 'my soulmate' and the clarifying statement 'some people say Bryce is an artist, but that's not true Bryce is art'
It was the fucking best.
In theatrical terms it would be called absurdist. These two phenomanally different speeches betwixt which lay two relatively normal speeches.
Now as Bill Cosby would say 'I told you that story so I could tell you this the pudding', Morley got screwed over a couple of weeks back and I was talking to him on messenger yesterday about being a comedian which is pretty much an entreprenuership anyway but I was talking about gig's I would enjoy and one was just to go to a comedy club and see morley talk about his failed relationship* in an outburst so depressing in it's intensity and so fucking emo and out of control it is enjoyed by nobody, I would love to see that. It smacks of performance art something I keep telling people I am at parties.
Another one was to book into a club frequented by African Americans and being white just copy Dave Chappelle's material including gratuitous use of the 'n' word. I mean it would most likely be dangerous to health but I would see the amusing irony in removing the irony from the racially charged humour those guys use. In fact you wouldn't even have to have Afro-americans in the audiance it would just probably be better to be hated for it than have some fucking rednecks in the audiance agreeing with you.
That's the end of the second story that went nowhere and I told yous them because art that I enjoy is usually not enjoyable by the masses, and by masses I mean people whose year sounds like this 'From April to June I watched big brother, then from July to now I've been watching Australian idol' in that I like art where stuff isn't immediately apparant, where the artist likes to fuck with you by telling a long story that doesn't go anywhere.
Like my dream of being invited to be key note speaker at my old highschool one day and telling a joke for 20 minutes then sitting down without delivering anything remotely resembling a punch line.
At ryla a dude called AB apparently on the bus I wasn't on spent a bus trip explaining the rules of a game they were going to play to help pass the bus trip but the explanation of the rules ran for the duration of the bus trip and the game was never played. That's fucking hilarious.
My 'zine aint like that but it's the fact that art is at it's fundamental level undefinable and thus devoid of any rules that makes it so liberating. So I guess you can say that a tv script is and isn't art.
My zine for me though is along the same lines as this blog. It's about not hiding, in a sense it will be one long uncomfortable 21st speech. Except it will make less sense, be full of inside jokes and furthermore it will be illustrated.
I've been doing a lot of research into the drawing aspects of the illustration because for the first time in a long time I'm actually trying to push myself to a higher level. Having said that I found this site called cgfocus looking for pictures of the maxx's Mr.Gone and like youtube wasted an hour jumping from folio to folio. I also noticed on Harvard's site he has all these links to artists and I thought.
That's a whole side I almost never show about myself these days, my artistic influences. Probably because I haven't done anything artistic in So long. I'll revamp the fucken blog soon though. Promise.
Anyway, so there's this Police officer standing on a corner and it's his first day on the job. He's thinking of the instructions given to him: you are on duty for four hours, you can patrol four square blocks from the center of williams st & david street. Every hour you must complete your parol twice and you can stop for coffee if you like. Oh and one more thing don't give any kids any change for the wishing well.
The last instruction had the police man perplexd particularly since he was not told why. Anyway his first walk around the blocks passes without incident and he splits a 5 dollar note at a coffee stand. He walks around the block again for the second time that hour and buys a bagel, he's thinking about whether he will do enough walking to counter all the fat he's putting on in his new post when an old lady asks him to help find her car.
The lady is obviously a little deranged but he walks with her nicely as she inspects every white car to see if it is hers. Eventually the cop get's a call over the radio, apparantly the old ladies husband is looking for her as she wandered off while a kid was asking him for change.
Anyway the old couple are reunited and the policeman sits down by a fountain. He is only sitting there for a minute when a kid says 'excuse me sir, can I have some change to throw in the wishing well?' and the policeman says 'what wishing well?' and the kid says 'this fountain, if you throw coins in and make a wish it might come true, I wanna make a wish but I don't have any coins.'

*my councillour said a failed relationship is not the failure of a person.


Last night I was meant to go out on a bachelour's night, not a bachelour party but just to go out and try and pick up women at random bars, sort of like doorknocking. And you know that's like a one off event for me and my social circle rather than every friday night. I was kind of looking forward to it because most of the time I don't see the point to going out and having a good time by spending money in various bars. But if you put a shitty premise on it like a competition (pub crawl) or some faux cultural event (st patricks day) I love it.
Anyway nothing happened so instead I switched on the Fremantle vs Sydney game. Now as a Carlton supporter this year I have kept myself emotionally distant. I can still pump my fist when I see eddie betts sneak a goal that has to be goal of the year but on the whole I locked my heart up from the battering it would recieve and have watched close to no fucking games this year.
So tohmmy-come-lately switches on during the preliminary finals. I was watching the melbourne games because my housemate Liam supports them but now they are gone.
Sydney play so boring though, for that is what I watched last night, they played so boring I fell asleep. I was going for Freo too.
But anyway it occured to me that Friday has become my weekly night off. Every week follows the same reliable pattern. I fill up the first 4 weeknights with stuff so that by the time I hit friday I start watching footy and fall asleep on the couch. Then saturday I go cycling and again head out in the evening and sunday sleep in then go out to play basketball and catch up with someone I didn't manage to last week depriving myself of sleep heading into monday.
The problem is friday is nobody else's night off so I end up feeling excluded.
PS. Callie if you're reading this I will not be pyking on you next friday.
But the whole thing puts me in mind of a Mr.Show sketch I watched yesterday about two guys that get into a fight in a bar in chicago and the bad mouthing goes on so long they end up married, seperated and reconciled, whilst telling eachother constantly to eat shit, go fuck themselves etc. in the end one of them dies and the other goes 'my life'
That's how I feel on a friday 'fuck where did that week go?' it's good to be busy, but I'd rather be busy and have the time passing sloooooowly like summer vacations in primary school. Vacations were something I stopped enjoying post my parents expecting me to use my vacation time to work full time in a factory or a kitchen and if I didn't I'd have to sand and paint picket fences. I guess I'm to blame because you couldn't claim you were having a 'vacation' from school when you did no work in school.
Anyway I just want some time to chase seagulls and shit.

Monday, September 18, 2006


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

Calvin Coolidge 30th president of the US

Convincement by Concussion

Yesterday at 1.30pm I noticed I hadn't woken up yet, and that I'd been 'working' on the same sentance for 10 minutes. I shambled up to my manager Andrew and confessed oddly 'I think I have concussion' the whack so to speak had been from an intricate and clever faint playing basketball on Sunday afternoon. I guy with a clear shot at a layup converted it into a pass that because of the superfluity of the manouvre I wasn't ready for and simply copped a blow directly to the head.
I also broke or didn't break a joint in my right index finger. It doesn't really matter because there's nothing I can do about it.
I'd never been concussed before so I just thought I was tired and had a headache. When I went to the doctor he confirmed I had concussion and my mother suggested I might have hepatitus in the height of her anxious paranoia.
But now I am at home taking sick leave due to my short attention span and waiting to see if my condition improves so hopefully I can get out of a brain scan.
So I clicked onto wikipedia, because it is a news service I actually appreciate. Unlike the constant headline news bar across the bottom of existing news shows of which one can watch up to 5-10 hours of news and investigative journalism. Wikipedia has about four news headlines of newsworthyness that rotate in a new headline once a day on your average news day.
Day mcfucken day I said day a lot in that last sentance.
So I read about yesterdays news which was Pope Benedict, I read the quote of offense which was quoting another one and while flicking between cartoons this morning (something I do to stimulate my mind and avoid the news in the morning) I did pick up the latest islamic reaction to the statement the offending quote was:

Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

Which a) you could immediately argue is hypocritical given the Spanish empires method of spreading catholicism to South America for instance, the Spanish Inquisition also could get a mention in the good old days of torturing heratics.
b) the lecture was about the relationship between faith and reason. Now if one was going to argue that the Islamic interpretation of god isn't bound by reason one would have to be coming from the perspective of a religion whose God was bound by reason and had to act in a consistent and reasonable way.
But the funny thing is some groups reactions to the blasphemy of the statement is to violently target the pope and his 'western allies' and not stop until all the world bows down to islam. Which isn't a quote and comes from good old reliable old channel 7 but seriously is nothing but a precise example of the criticisms raised.
For every fucking islamic group declaring jihad's and earmarking prominent figurehead s for assasination you will (if you look hard enough) find two things i) prominent red neck westerners proclaiming to 'bomb the shit' out of 'them' and ii) perfectly reasonable muslim's having to defend their religion and identity because of the media portrayel.
And if you think about it 'reasonably' if you were a muslim and sent a letter to Today Tonight outlining your plan's for peaceful dialogue and diplomacy between all nations it probably wouldn't get shown whereas if you sent a letter outlining your plans for jihad and terrorism you can bet it would get on the air even if 100 of the other kind of letters went through.
Why? Because from a marketing perspective you only choose information that agrees with what you already know. Everybody knows that Islam is a violent religion. The news reports it monthly. It is a perceptual cage.
The only way to change peoples mind is to force them to behave in a different way or attach a message to the 'perceptual cage' that is add to what everybody already knows rather than try and change the perception completely. Islam suffers politically from having no single heirarchy or authority. Mohammed's prescriptions for how he and the Koran are to be treated as opposed to Jesus' loose and liberal terms denoted to Paul mean of the two religions Catholicism has been able to run a much tighter political institution.
But enough of that I had to check out Father Bob MacGuires' reaction to the statements so I logged onto his blog for the first time in a long time and didn't find any reaction at all which is probably a good one half the time but I did see
this and it was interesting. It put me in mind of Arundhati Roy's arguement about the 'anti-american' label that was a convenient condition . It touches also on this bullshit suggestion of 'Australian values' that are going to be introduced to gaining Australian citizenship. One Kim Beazley is dumb, Australian values are going to be impossible to define, think about it particularly when we can't acknowledge any wrongdoing in the past we are not going to find any consistent set of values. It would be much easier to define what Australian values aren't but even then still difficult. I guess you could say we don't smile on people who eat their own young, that's definitely not an Australian value, eating our own young. We are quite happy to steal a generation, we don't like entreprenuers, we're pretty cowardly, we like gambling and drinking...the whole suggestion is useless.
It is simply to protect a boring and stale culture that is under threat: anglo culture.
I personally think Brunswick is made more interesting by having stores where every sign and every package just about has arabic text. I work with people who's english is as good as my Japanese and it is a welcome change.
Furthermore it harks back to a dumb fucking arguement about flags I had, Sylvia told me what colours in a flag meant. Which was to say only red white and blue had meanings, yet she seemed to think these values applied to all the flags of the world that's why Brits, Australians and Americans got on so great, whereas I recall China's flag indicated all sacrifice and no wisdom or bravery or some shit.
Values are universal, there is not a place in the world you can go and kill someone's kid and spit in that someone's eye and have them love you for it. Frankly I find the notion of 'being Australian' ridiculous. It's a man made Geographical boundary and nothing more. Well more than that 'Australia' can be disconnected from the land all together and just be a society I was born into and charges me membership fees via tax and has a built in education system. If the new values are just 'act like you were raised here' that would be more acceptable, like Apu when he is trying to fake his American citizenship in the Simpson's episode.
If your at a party and the crowd that turns up isn't quite yours you can shut down in a corner somewhere and talk to the one person you do know (I do this a lot) or you could make the conscious effort to intermix, intermingle (I do this occasionally) and before you know it your narrow social sphere has evolved.
Australia's greatest threat isn't terrorism or a corruption of values, infact a professor from America said the Koran needs to be taught in Australian schools so people can actually understand what it is about, and in my opinion it's the same shitty religious text as held by every other religion on equal footing with the bible just below the Baghvad Gitta and the Buddhist sutras. If you want real incomprehensibility try Zen Koan's.
No Australia's major threat is irrelevance. It is becoming one of those little island nations nobody ever thinks about like well like all them little pacific island nations.
At the moment our glorious political leaders seem to be putting measures into place to turn Australia into one big RSL club and you can imagine what that will do for tourism.
Or we could have a mixed bag of people, new words getting introduced to make up an actual 'Australian English' on microsoft word and maybe even greater consumer choices and styles out there.


I was watching top gear today, and a random thing set off a random chain of thoughts in my head that I thought was worth writing about.
It was triggered by a dune buggy type vehicle the top gear guys were bashing around a paddock having great fun and the chasis bore a resemblance to a plane called the 'mad mouse' I saw at an airshow in ballarat when I was a kid. The plane was an ugly ungainly piece of shit but I remembered the name because it was distinctive. (an early lesson in marketing for those who choose brands that don't mean anything like f14) I remember that because my Nana asked me what planes I saw at the show and what Papa's favorite was and I said it was the 'mad mouse' even though I'm pretty sure he hated that one I just couldn't remember any of the other planes.
Anyway that's what I thought about and when it comes to it. It's one of my only memories of Papa. My dad's father, he died when I was 8 and I didn't know at the time that he had been deaf all my life.
So my father's father drifted out of my life without me ever really knowing who he was. He was the first to go too. When you think about it, my dad's Y chromosome is has to be his and thus also has to be mine. He's literally half of me and I don't know a thing about him (apart from the fact that his name is norman) most of what I do know was read out in his Eulogy by my cousin Suzie.
I can't say I regret not getting to know him better because I was fucking 8 and he was the first person I knew to ever die. Before that I didn't realise anyone I knew ever would.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What becomes of Young Liberals when they grow old

It is very easy to argue something from a nice comfortable distance, like palestine vs isreal. But it may not be wise, this is what I woke up to this morning: '...Menze are you calling me a dole bludger? answer the fucking question? just because I don't earn much and get support I'm a dole bludger.' I was confused to say the least, I thought I was listening to SYN and suspected one of my housemates of retuning my radio during the day though they'd have to be game to step into my room in its current state.
But it was SYN, the great thing of course about SYN is choice, kids push the buttons they can make a show what they want it to be and you'd be surprised how often that doesn't include the shit other stations may push on people. But it has it's downfall when it comes to young liberals that all they want to create with their youthfull energy is some bullshit talkback show during the graveyard shift on SYN.
One group I am not afraid of is the young liberals, a story. I was walking through the melbourne uni campus which is odd because I have never been a student there. I ran into vaggy a friend I have not seen in a long time and at that time had also not seen in a long time. People were gathered around because of the nelson review or some shit. Anyhoo I asked vaggy what he was up to and he replied 'wanna punch a young liberal, what a pack of cocksuckers' or someshit to that effect.
And it's true, I mean at the time of the nelson review we also had the pending iraq invasion and like most educated people at the time you just sat back and watched with powerlessness as the US administration rolled lazely into a war we never had any prospect of winning and no justification whatsoever. Infact Bill Hicks ripped into the first gulf war so insightfully that it really was a case of fucking up twice in the exact same way.
So what makes young liberals fucking tick?
I mean they won't be of any use to anyone in the future because our exorbitant debt driven economic growth and underpinning resource economy is due to fall apart along with the liberals current style of politics designed to retain power on an election by election basis. That's not to say I'm a fan of the Labour party, I would be hard pressed to ever think of a life as a private citizen that wasn't more attractive than public servant so getting politically affiliated has little interest to me.
But young fucking liberals? what the fuck?
The dude who had called himself menzies was just moronic, he offered the angry caller I woke up to a 'way out' which consisted of 'do you really want to start this arguement? because I will rip shreds out of you.' threatening way out. Except a student that contributes nothing productive to the economy and drains his parents disposable income cant really talk about dole bludgers because they concentrate the 'burden' of inaction on a particular family. That is I am assuming if 'menzes' didn't invent some phantasmical patent of such value to society he could now kick back and feel free to judge.
After cutting off the caller and playing a classic song that was the themesong to reagans discrediting of socialism via the tearing down of the berlin wall. (Something David Hasselhoff has possibly recieved more credit for than US foreign policy) menzes proclaimed to be frustrated with the last caller and the 'stupidity of the arguement'
which I read as 'the fact I was scared and my balls shrank up because I don't really argue I just dogmatically recite shit I've heard my wealthy parents say' and in melbourne I've noticed you get a different type of wealth to ballarat. In ballarat the wealthy kids might have got dropped off in slightly better cars and worn oakley's still tools but hey at least they had to intermix with reality. Here you don't get that, you get people that have never met someone who voted for labour.
So when you come up against someone who lives your arguement and feels passionately on the other side and exposes your naive assumptions that 'people should just get a better job' your balls shrink up and you feel impotent and stupid and afraid.
What I find young liberals don't seem to get is that once or twice a year the news show a story of some member of the public getting angry, throwing an egg or booing and jearing a polly.
They don't show the fact that almost every politician wherever they go that's proximate to the public is accompanied by a bevvy of security guards at all times. Because some of the decisions they have to make will be unpopular.
Young liberals are of no use even to the liberal party itself. They have already put themselves in the 'crazy' department amongst their peers, are generally not likeable enough to ever run for a seat and their recitation of dogma means they probably are never in contention to advance enough to get some exposure to policy making and influence public opinion.
So why the fuck do they do it? It's ghetto gang mentality. The simplicity of fucking not having to think, you can simply tow party line. I cunt fucking stand people who don't argue, but just recite shit. it's like thinking you can be a chess champion by memorising a whole bunch of moves. The major chess champions look at the board in general and only think in terms of the next couple of moves.
Chris Rock summed up the gang mentality best 'what kind of person has made up their mind before they've even heard the issue.' which is a young liberal.
I imagine when a Young Liberal grows up less people lisen to them than now. Or they work low class jobs and hate arabs.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Police Checks

Nobody really believes in rehabilitation, nobody really trusts you to disclose your past. Furthermore, society is a club we are born members of and only really stand to lose that membership.
I have to get a police check done and you know I have no prior convictions. I even have to simultaneously get a 'Working With Children' check done even though my volunteer is 40 years old. Had I prior convictions I wouldn't be allowed to volunteer my time. I probably wouldn't be able to get my job who knows.
I thought about the old days in a lot of countries you were marked as a criminal, by a tattoo on the forehead or eyelids, a hand cut off etc. Making you instantly an undesirable. If you are a sex offender you have to take out an add in the local papers and introduce yourself to all your neighbours as a sex offender.
There is no possible way you could serve your sentance and rehabilitate and go on to pick up the pieces of your shattered life.
Now a lot of the checks make sense. Like you probably don't want a peadophile to become a day care center worker. And you probably don't want an imbezzler doing the books for you at work.
But if it means taking an intelligent offender and stripping him of all pursuits in life he/she may find challenging and then expecting them not to turn to a more stimulating life of crime the system starts to fall to pieces.
A thief who stole a piece of bread in the old days after having their forehead tattoed may have found their only option was to become a strangler or brigand in the outside. A judicial system that saves money and makes criminals worse rather than better.
I'm not sure where I stand on it. After reading Shantaram I think the Penalisation faced by most criminals may not be the most productive approach. I'm not even sure what punishment achieves. In the ideal world conditioning would be such that felons most likely would request a punishment as part of their rehabilitation process. But mindless imprisonment? I'm not sure what it achieves.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Appreciate yo'self

Tonight I went to FLN's community networker evaluation night. A community networker is a home tutor by the way, except they are called a community networker. It was awesome, except some people were sluggish in the way they articulated. I always get annoyed when people say 'I don't really want to talk about it...' followed by ten minute explanations of what 'it' is and why it's so difficult to talk about it.
But being annoyed is nothing to me, it is like mosquito, nothing! haha!
Anyway it was great to meet up with 3-4 'generations' of community networkers in one place. But a common experience between a lot of them (and I could relate as well) was that even though one of our functions in being involved with refugees is to promote a more positive image and actual experiences which the media is not good at doing. Sometimes we don't like to talk about it because people condescendingly tell you what a good person you are.
i do and I don't get this. Yes I don't percieve the activity to be as much of a personal sacrifice as they percieve it to be. No I find it quite useful that people can have doubts that I'm not a complete arsehole.
But more to the point, you do nobody favours by not graciously accepting admiration, the emphasis is on graciously of course. But seriously, people do seriously admire people for all kinds of things, and saying 'it's nothing' is like saying 'you on the other hand are a really bad person' instead just recommend people to get into it maybe even say they would be really good at it.
One of the volunteers had roped their mother into doing it. thumbs up.
Be nice serve the first slice.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Snakes on a plane

This film does not dissapoint. It delivers exactly what it promises. Samual L Jackson delivers one of the greatest lines ever. One of the most convoluted and ridiculous films I've ever seen it has to also be one of the greatest.
This isn't one of those hyped up films like titanic or blues brothers 2000 or ID4 that is a shit film spending millions to pretend it is good. Snakes on a plane is a film about snakes on a plane. And it's very shit and very good. So go see it. Unless you can't stand gore and violence then it's probably a bad film for you.

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I put down the phone after talking to my sis' mum (Madoka so you know that sentance does kind of make sense) and even though pinning down Madoka to talk on an archaic landline is proving more difficult than I had first anticipated the way it's ploughing through the credit on my phone card is such we should be able to have a 15 hour conversation when I finally dp.
I can't help but smile, and chilax after speaking to Madoka's parents. I know it sounds crazy but it really feels like I'm coming home. Again when I finish my zine (sorry my friends that have deserted me to international greener pastures) that may be explained for you. But to give an evasive explanation Japan was the first place I ever went where my family name meant jack shit and I could define who 'tohm' was.
Anyway I'm getting excited about this going to China and Japan. I also ran out of books to read (which is an outright lie) what I meant is light fluffy books to read I will plow through Henry George's Progress and Poverty in my own time but I just need something to space out on the train before work each day as part of my relaxation overhaul.
So what is lighter and fluffier than a history of ninja or samurai? Well a lot really. And furthermore the book I wanted to buy wasn't there but I noticed a book called thug. Now I know from my studies that ninja are theorised as being late descendants of the Thuggee strangling cult. So I decided to buy this book instead. Whilst sitting in the car with Bryce (i didn't have the balls to request he turned his mobile off while we went for a walk on the beach in the spirit of relaxing exercise) I flicked through the book to see what I had actually purchased. And you know what the photo section had images that were practically begging to be shown to white children to scare them off foreigners forever.
There was also a graphic picture of the death sentance by elephant trampling handed down to some thuggies much more graphic than this picture:
Jerry Lewis can say he is funnier than this
So anyway this may be the first book I have ever been scared to read. Expect another post shortly Iffin I be up at 2 am with night terrors of thug stranglers.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Happy Birthday Magical Unicorn

Every year for the past 5 (6?) years I send a birthday card to Japan that is too late for the 6th of September which is of course the birthday of 'my wife' Yoko Kimura. Yoko is not actually my wife in fact I hear from her once every couple of years or so. She's just a girl with beuatiful canine teeth that stick out perpendicular to the others so her lip curls around them and measures in at a massive 146cm tall and says my name 'tooooooMuuuuu' in a shrill but unique way, I cant tell if I'm anoying her or impressing her when she talks to me.
The marriage of course was never consumated, we are really just disfunctional pen pals and in the end I'm not even sure why I send her a card every year except that I've been doing it every year and the thought of stopping kills me, if she even notices at all. I dunno. But I do it,
So happy birthday Yoko my magical unicorn who doesn't exist but does and how many people do you know that have met a unicorn?*

*or a horse with a sword on it's head.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Princess Di

On hearing Steve Irwin's death I was spun out. I actually thought about his kids. And you know to simply have your life taken by an animal. Such an impersonal way to die.
When symbols get destroyed like Steve Irwin or the World Trade Centre it can really befuddle the whole image you have of the world.
I will remember though that I was at work. Working on my resume. My resume is so awesomely interactive now I just want to apply for jobs left right and centre.
I'll have to link it up some time.
I'm just too stupid to learn how.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I hate Malaysians

Another late night, another catch up and tossing the coin between Beijing and East Timor to go to next year and one country that will never be a contender is Malaysia. I was sitting in Omar & Harvards kitchen while they were incisting I should know Vincent from IH without actually describing him apart from being a Malaysian guy.
Omar was pissed at me because COMMON had lured us into another shitty function where people corner the palestinian and treat my athiest views with confusion and open hostility. Omar being such a nice guy though feels bad breaking a commitment.
But fortunately we had the perfect allibi, Harvard wanted to go to Vincent's party but didn't want to go alone because Bob the adulterer was there.
I did my impression of Malaysians 'What you Doingggg lah? In malaysia we eat food at night, we pour the tea from up here lah down into cup lah.' this was what I expectd from the party but not what I really expected because in my head I know Malaysians aren't really dumb animals, they can be pretty cool, like Harvard and Steven but the group dynamic is hard to take, I'll be the first to admit at IH we had big problems with the Australian population too but never so blatent as pulling up a 12th chair to a table of 8 to aviod sitting with Australians.
Anyway I wanted to go to the party so I could call Bob adulterer, since he's a christian fuck. So Omar, Harvard and I headed on down to their buildings function room (wtf). There was a big malaysian flag and Omar and I were I think the only non malaysians which I already know is a lie because Nathan is ABC and and I think from memory there could have been some Singaporeans there.
We ate and it is always cool to meet people who have forgotten my name, it happens amazingly not often to me so I enjoy the novelty.
I recognised Vincent straight away and you know Malaysian parties are something else. The catering is all over the place from Roast lamb to pizza to curry to noodley shit in a bowl. The music is terrible. The women are hot but as a whitey you know there's no chance so there's no point talking to them, ironically I probably earn more than everyone in the room and still not rich enough. but it was cool to actually be the only white dude at the party and I never plucked up the balls to call Bob adulterer or ask about his sex life like I didn't know.
I guess in the end is I didn't care enough but I was left pondering something:
How the fuck do Malaysians resolve personal differences? I just cant see Harvard or Bob playing the manly art of biff they're too impotent and it seems all they can do is pretend that eachother don't exist.
Don't get me wrong I am highly cowardly and will do anything to avoid a confrontation but if cornered I wuld always try to be at least inappropriatly funny about it.
Anyway I had a good time it was a pretty interesting shindig. And once you understand that Malaysian segregation isn't personal, they don't mean to do it it's simply a complete fear of the unknown and unlike Aussie's travelling abroad the motivation is different, Malay's are here to study not experience a new culture due to a racist and inefficient university entrance policy back home. So I got on really well.
But back to me, I'll get all calculassy here and write a post within a post regarding my name and attitude towards it:

{About a year ago I dropped the name I had adopted which is 'tohm' I just stopped using it but I recently put it back into my resume, I have been writing out my zene which I am really excited about but finding myself for the first time ever having to rewrite and edit shit and proof read which I have never ever bothered with before. In it I talk about choosing a name for myself and that's what tohm was, I started writing my name as tΩ in vce to sign my art. I had adopted Ω from physics to be read as ohm but people turned out to be more educated than me and read it as omega my home room teacher called me an artistic wanker when she had to sign off that I'd been using my student diary. So eventually I spelt my name out as I had intended it to be spelt with a superflous 'h' and tohm became my name from then on. I think I even put it on a couple of tax returns which was dumb.
Anyway my intention was to change my name to tohm and drop my last name completely allowing to eventually be called 'the artist formally known as tohm' or tafkat for short but I really liked tohm because, nicknames have never ever ever managed to stick for more than 20 minutes and I always have just been tom so tohm was a good play on that aspect since in effect it wasn't a name change at all. But by the same token you are given a name when you are born and then you become someone, so whilst my actual name tom is pretty meaningless to me, tohm was a name I had become.
The reason I never got around to changing my name legally was A) laziness and 2) whenever I mentioned my plans to Janice she would look at me with these sad puppy dog eyes.
But I have started using it again and it'll probably take another 2 years before people start writing my name tohm again but whatever what the fuck. Once my zine is out you hopefully will get to appreciate the whole craziness of it all}

So you can imagine my excitement when people have never heard my name or forgotten it because I can just slot a name in there. And to these Malay aquantences I had not seen for years all they know me as is tohm. Except i hate to pronounce the superflous 'h' in tohm (it is actually pronounced tom) but whatever a man can dream and at the end of the day they are only Malaysian international students just another resource that can dry up on Australia leaving us an economic cripple*.

*Saw Peter Costello this morning talking about NSW and VIC being on the verge of a recession! Wow! And right after a property boom. When will you fuckers learn**

**I actually don't want to be a fecetious 'I told you so' land tax reformist since most of us will never actually own property or will be ruined by a market correction shortly but seriously how many times do you have to go through a boom bust cycle before you question why the cycle is necessary?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Melbourne is Today it is not my future

What an emotional evening last night was. In fact I didn't cry then but I think I am going to right now, I am as I'm typing this.
Okay that was fucking weiwd. Anyway what happened was I got off the train at Flinders street and Andy & Jerry got up to great me. And Jerry was down. He was all tense and sad and sighed a lot and I assumed it was because he was leaving Australia. But I assumed wrong, it was because he'd learnt his ex had a new guy which was a shock to me because I thought his ex had been a long time gone.
It's a killer to see someone go through the sadness. And real sadness too. He was sighing and struggling not to cry at dinner. Andy and I did all we could do and kept natural. The food by the way was super.
He kept clenching his fists and was stressed out so I suggested we go for a walk into the botanical gardens. There were three girls who'd stripped down to their underwear and were playing in the fountain at 10pm at night and that was a pretty cool thing to see.
We sat in a chair and got away from the noise and the bustle because I remembered that that used to help me be sad in a calm way. It seemed to work.
Jerry plans to write a book called 'Melbourne is Today it is not my future' about his experiences here in Melbourne then study to become a mechanic. (?). I do love Jeremy so it breaks my heart to not just have to say bye to him but see him so sad, particularly when he's been so vital a source of support for me.
Andy on the other hand had asked out some Korean girl in an uncool manner and got rejected. Having recently been rejected myself (what the fuck was I thinking I keep asking myself) my heart went out to him too. He said he felt 'pretty low' and that 'now he was a loser' he used to introduce himself as average joe, but Andy is anything but, andy is hot. Andy is a hot hot man and I don't envy anyone who has to date central asians, you need fucking money man and the rest takes care of itself. Andy asked me if I had any cousins.
This is what me being Jesus McDude said to them: 'All you can be is the best you you can be, and the rest will take care of itself guys. You gotta be happy and sexy being Andy. You gotta be happy being Jerry and don't envy anyone else their girls because if you have to be someone you are not for a girl you love, you can't be happy guys. I'm not going to stop wearing girly knee high socks to improve my chances with girls in general, I want to improve my chances with a girl that's cool with knee high socks.'
Anyway the discussion then turned to my candy stripe knee high socks and who can be sexy wearing them, I could apparently but Jerry could not, Andy could with the right attitude, then we admitted that Jerry could with the right attitude.
Then I bought Andy an ice cream and we strolled into the gardens and just relaxed together.
I'll miss Jerry who calls me his brother. But it's not really the end it's the beginning since soon Jerry and I will control the Pacific.