Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fear is a dish best served with Sago pearls and a big arse straw

SHUZAN held up his staff and waved it before his monks.
"If you call this a staff," he said, "you deny its eternal life.If you do not call this a staff, you deny its present fact. Tellme just what do you propose to call it?"

Hello Blog, when was the last time I spent some quality time with you. I mean really sat down and talked it over? Well tonight my other plans fell through and I don't want you to feel like you are on the rebound but, I've been neglecting you of late.
Sure I can pump some words, some thoughts into you and expand and grow you, maybe attract some new readers through random searches. But it's still all about me and seldom about you.
And you, the reader, when was the last time I addressed you directly. Actually acknowledged your presence instead of treating you like some voyuer I secretely new about and allowed to watch me undress.
Because really I should be reaching you, you in some way should be relating to whatever you read here. And if you don't like it you learn as much about yourself as something you do like. You see and feel my perceptions, particularly those of you lucky or unfortunate enough to be committed to words, here in my thoughts, I noticed you, I percieved you, I thought about you.
I'm thinking about you now, infact. You the reader of these words as I write this. And now we both thinking almost the same thing: 'what do you (I) look like to me(him)?
Because rest assured I've never really seen you as you see yourself now. Which makes me think, what do I look like. What do these words sound like through your eyes, through your active memory which will escape into your mind?
But this isn't really a conversation is it, I feel your involvement, I'm just not hearing it. I'm clumsily creating the rest of this post. No don't do that it's wanky, you're a fucking wanker, you come all over yourself. who said that? fucking wanker.
Anyway I've been reading SHATTERDAY a collection of Harlen Elson short stories. The preface described something very profound that I think you'll enjoy, blog post, reader. I think it because I enjoyed it, I guess you could call it a recommendation, a testimonial, a reference but he was talking about conversation itself and what on television passes for it back in the 80's. He was talking a little pretentiously about how a story creates itself, and how whilst reading one he'd just finished to a lecturehall full of students he had the realisation 'I want my mother to die' and it was one of those sickening shameful thoughts, that occur in the space between obligation and suffering.
And he felt like he should feel he was a monster but realised it was undeniably true of him. His mother was waiting to die, not enjoying life and that as a result he wanted her today.
Now this got me thinking, I'm probably more at ease with such thoughts as this because I don't aspire to some universal truth of moral behaviour. In fact I don't really believe in family obligations. I believe in knowing oneself.
but Shatterday is meant to be a dedication to all those dirty little thoughts that make us human. All the selfish, self pitying thoughts we feel ashamed of and try to conceal the existence of from others.
Others not like us, I assume of you my reader, my blog. My blog shamelessly publishes everything I write.
But really conversation should be about finding these fears and bridgeing the gap between two parties. Not a cuddle fest, just honest.
And honestly, I worry when I don't lust after someone other than my partner, I think it would be easier if my aunt was dead, people with a sense of entitlement I get a kick out of seeing them feeling deprived. I'm furiously jealous of other guys, there are people who's opinion means a lot to me, some people remind me of the worst parts of myself and it makes me sick.
I mean you could call it emo, but I don't think I'm really emotional about it. I'm not even ashamed, because I know the very ability for you to like or dislike such things means you've stumbled across such stumbling blocks as well.
And I guess hence the relevance of the Koan I kicked off with. You take something and name it, its the lazy way to understand something, its okay to name something, it just doesn't stop there. nor does it restrict its nature or capacity or potential. It just is. I'm all for giving up the bad fight against the isness of the business. Aren't you? that's why you're here right?

I am not alone it seems

Although I swore privately to my self I'd stop publishing any of my three rhetorics (god does not exist, music is shit now, vce is a joke) in pursuit of more thinking, I came across this article today that I guess is a newspaper cutting but also may cause someone to object to my reproducing it if you do I'll gladly remove it.
Anyway here it is:

The trouble with Triple J
Michael Tunn, former Triple J presenter, writes:

Triple J Staff are probably scratching their heads at their worst performance in the ratings since before they went national.

Yesterday's Newcastle result, which saw a near halving of its audience, finally means the argument that Triple J is more relevant for regional audiences than the city is laid to rest. Triple J rated just over 6% in Newcastle, in their last big regional test in Darwin they rated 5%, in Adelaide their Audience has halved, and in most capitals they are drifting down the bottom of the pack.

Does Triple J care about ratings? And should it actually be worried? Well the answer is yes and no. Triple J really shouldn't care about its overall audience, but it should care about its 15 to 24 year old numbers, as that is it brief. And its performance in the demo, well it's been beaten by MIX, which targets 35 plus women. In short, the answer is YES.

Why is a station with Mariah Carey and Madonna in its play list beating a Youth Station in its own territory?

The answer is simple. Triple J doesn't know young people and has made little attempt to get to know them. A bunch of aging hippies are trying to guess what young people want and they are obviously getting it very wrong.

In my home town, Dance Station Fresh, a volunteer-run youth community station has twice the listeners of Triple J, and all they do is play dance music. It's not that hard to play music that appeals to young people. But Triple J, in its ivory tower at 700 Harris Street in Ultimo, sees no reason to respond or adjust to its target.

Triple J believes it sets the agenda on what is cool. Every year it becomes obvious that they don't. That's when the Hottest 100 votes are counted, and a song played on commercial radio rather than Triple J grabs the gong, a pattern that's been repeated every year this century.

Compared to its older sister ABC Local Radio, Triple J has not managed to home in and target the very people who need a radio station for just them.

The Arguments that nova (which isn't on air in Newcastle or Darwin) has taken its audience don't measure up, since Nova is also struggling at the moment. Neither does the argument that the iPod is making Triple J irrelevant; iPod sales are actually up in the 35 plus demographics too, but you don't see ABC Local Radio dropping like a dead duck with bird flu.

What are the answers for Triple J? As an ex-employee, who was there in the days when Triple J was Number One in its target demo, it's really quite simple.

Stop being scared of being mainstream, there is still a gulf of difference between Triple J and everyone else on the Band, narrow it down, play a song because it appeals to your audience, not to the tastes of a desperately aging staff trying the maintain the coolness.

I remember the program director of Triple J three years ago announcing the success they'd had in preceding year: "All the staff are happy". Pity the audience isn't.

anyway add this to a recent article/interview in the Age's green guide about richard kingsmill and it seems momentum may be building around this.
both articles diverge and converge about what exactly the problem is, Tunny says it isn't mainstream enough. The greenguides article talked about the organisational heirarchies, and the penchant for Aussie hip hop in the playlist alienating the over 25s.

I take from both, but I think that Kingsmill ultimately needs to face the fact that the one thing even he can't defy is age. Triple J was all about being raw and as such his experience may be his downfall. At 40 he is definitely the old man of the company, the one that will probably be shown the door before he has wisdom enough to walk through it.
I mean sure he may love the station but three-four years ago he could have successfully left for another station anywhere and not have had a ratings drop on his watch.
As for mainstream vs alternative, I've lost my right to judge that contest. I'm simply out of the music scene, but I agree that there is a huge questionmark hanging over this over 25 group. I mean they are the jjj fans that preferred listening to tunny over watching tv. And tv is worse now big brother is on. It's allright for 'youth' to have a limited scope, sufficiently limited to say 16-25 yo or whatever but after that where do they go?
Where do you go between 25 and 50? where you start listening to talk back.
Like Sasaki Kojiro throwing his scabbard away before having Musashi Miyamoto smash his head in with an oar in Japan's most famous dual - triple j throws away listeners it worked so hard to get.
Man the commercial stations may have something in their '80s, 90s and today' slogans. The drive for new music doesn't mean you have to throw out the old. If it did what the fuck is Kingsmill & Rosie doing there.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Nudity is Always Funny

I've got to hand it to my brother, he and his mate being cheapskates hired a Hyundai Getz a shitty Korean two door and proceeded to head from Adelaide to Alice Springs. And overtook 4x4 after 4x4 cautiously heading over corrugated dirt roads.
And furthermore almost every photo they took on their trip had my brother in the foreground naked, back to the camera with arms outspread.
I always had a problem with having photos taken whilst on holiday of people standing beside some random monument just smiling at the camera. But then I thought, it personalises a post card. Otherwise in this age of ebay, I guess you could just buy postcards from all over the world and pretend you'd been there. But if you really want to get personal Parky, go nude. Go on, do it for the team.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

life long learning

Sometimes there's no avoiding getting dumped. But if you are going to get dumped, do it right. Miki took a stupid job 4 months ago, one that pays $700 a month, has hours of 5:00am to 10:00pm (with the occasional meeting) 7 days a week with no public holidays.
And as such she fills guilty that she can't devote me the attention I deserve, and If you knew Misaki you would not doubt that this was an issue for her. But it isn't such an issue for me, who possibly had more foresight into what this shitty job would involve.
And that's my advice to you all, never let someone dump you on your behalf. I feel like a monster but I got brutally indignant with her and as such highlighted that if I was having problems with the relationship, then it is my responsibility to do something, and furthermore only I can know how I feel.
Which leaves no room but for someone to admit that they aren't really doing it on your behalf but that they infact have the problems, feelings that require action and none of this set you free bullshit.
Which is a big difference in recovering from a failed relationship, if you are going to get closure make sure their aren't any deceptions in the mix, and particularly self deceptions.
Because often before making a decision you should actually get the facts, way up the costs and benifits, ignore your feelings* (controversial but I'm sure many will attest feelings aren't unfortunately reliable) and consult all the stakeholders. I am genuinily grateful I have a girlfriend that will raise her concerns with me.
I don't know if it was too late but she did seem reassured and we cruise on, for now.
If I can hold on another two months she can once again be overcome by my dollar dazzler smile.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Big Ben

Yesterday I stumbled on Ben Wallace Jersey's I thought I'd missed out on. But I bought it, black and red chicago, this video makes him look like a prolific low post scorer but he is in fact a defensive specialist on the rebound and blocks scene.
Anyway I gotta go work out try and fill out this jersey of his.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


A thought occured to me the other day. Yesterday infact, whilst on the tram. Earlier in the year I'd hopped a tram and was sitting next to some young professional dude. Inspectors got on and this dude starts to sweat, so I just gave him coins to buy a ticket and thereby saved him a fine. It could have been an act of rebellion or just a nice thing to do.
Anyway earlier this month my bike died, on account of me destroying the crank bearings and I was faredodging a train home. The police busted me no less and then used their discretion to tear up my fine. Karma? maybe.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

death by masculinity

Although just three weeks ago I bought stockings from a store and told the store attendants they were a present for my girlfriend but wore them the next day, I have recently cracked and become obsessed with masculinity.
The catylyst was talking to my friend in Perth whom recommended that after basketball I buy some Musashi protein powder and 'drink as much of it as you can without vomiting' my doctor in training friend Amrish described said advice as 'weird'
But to my masculine ears it makes a lot of sense. Trying to drink as much protein as you can without vomiting is an incredibly manly thing to do.
Similarly whilst arguing with my new coworker Ante about what hidden costs there are or aren't to cycling, he suggested I drink glucose to replenish my knee joints.
And I thought 'that sounds like a good idea'.
So I've lost 5 kilos since I started training for running again but plateud out, largely because I jacked up my metabolism and then I would eat worse than ever to sate my appetite.
You know you are on the path to fat bastardom when you order something extra from the menu on top of a value meal/combo.
So if I just drink pure protein I can cut out the unnecessary carbs and fat and become truly glamorous. Snacking on the occasional bit of glucose.
If only Miki's voice didn't constantly ring in my ear with her lecture about 'fresh begetables'

Slam Dunk makes me teary

To be fair to Harry Pottter fans, who are really no worse than Mike Patton Fans except that the subject they are fans of is less intrinsically cool and far far more popular, when I am in borders it is usually a brief perusal of the Historical Autobiography section, or a business book (so lng as you avoid Donald Trump, books with purple on the cover and anything on real estate you can find some real good reading there) and more often than not purchase something, then I head to the graphic novels. I used to read all the batman ones, then exhausted almost all of the western comic book universe without any significant updates and I maintain, DC, Marvel, Dark horse and Image still produce a greater diversity of artists in comics and in general more variety of styles. Possibly for a ratio of published works versus no of artists a much more frequent innovater of comics than Japan.
But Japan has such profound cultural respect for the genre, the medium. Formulaic though the drawing styles may be, the story telling is on another level. I really hope to produce some kind of hybrid one day, if I ever get my first fucking zine done.
I had a beautiful journey though, for a short time Vagabond the manga serielisation of the life of Musashi Miyamoto was published in the western comic book format. That's where I got into it, but rather than buying the comic I just bought Musashi's book, the book of Five Rings.
Years later I discovered Borders stocked Graphic Novels with the bonus of not wrapping them in shrinkwrap so as to prevent anyone from reading them. This surprisingly lead to me buying far more graphic novels of batman than I ever did at stores that did shrinkwrap them.
But Vagabond never/seldom appeared on borders shelves. One day though I picked up 'Slam Dunk' just to settle my curiosity as to why anyone would buy a manga about a sport, not people struggling with the responsibilities of being a superhero, gradually worn down by years of trauma tacking a toll on their fragile psyche's. just a fucking sport, just a fucking game.
I recognised instantly the main character as being virtually identical to Musashi in Vagabond and realised it was by the same author/artist. Similar to the first time I saw Misaki, reading Slam Dunk I knew I was seeing something, my mind nor eyes could just not discern what it was exactly that I was seeing.
And then this small comic book, singlehandedly reignited a love afair, infact if anything did that 'love is blind' shit where it pointed to something I'd always had but never appreciated, never gave in to the depths of my love: basketball.
My love of the game. Slam dunk became the first ever manga I was determined to own in entirety so my children could read it when they were young.
I read most of the series before I bought it. But ended up buying it because I got so emotionally involved in the game that I would be moved almost to the point of tears in a store. Like recieving really bad news in an inconvenient place, to find yourself ambushed emotionally amidst heartless consumers.
I started buying it to read alone in the comfort of my room. I bought each successive book in increasing frequency, then tonight, I have no more so I thought it prudent to write about it here.
I guess I've got to peg that up to the dream list, write a manga that moves people. I've already decided I'll invest in the more expensive Vagabond series when I can, although it may take some years before it is finished.
It probably tells the Book of Five Rings more visually than I can even imagine though and borrows stylistically from zen ink paintings which is bordering on lethal innovation for a manga artist.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Climate Change highlights what a shite system Democracy is

I recently attended the True Cost Economics Forum, an event arranged by prosper to further the cause of resource rentals and geotaxes. The topic of main discussion was Climate Change, largely Carbon Trading vs Carbon Taxes.
Now in the panel I sat on we just neglected to quantify the cost of Climate Change and really discuss caps or targets. The academic panel though discussed that any policy put fourth by both major parties is a joke as the Labor party (the only one to suggest a target or cap) is far below what's necessary to prevent a 3 degree change in climate which would have catastrophic impacts on the world.
Whilst they discussed many positive things and other solutions it seems most people remain blissfully unaware of the true impact of climate change and what is necessary to be done. Most people who aren't in the UK or EU it seems. That although have had both a failed Kyoto protocol and failed Carbon Trading scheme are in fact going back to the drawing board right now instead of what is happening in Australia and the US which is starting to talk about whether we will act or not.
Now the first disheartening thing to happen was that the political panel in which political candidates from Labor, Greens and Democrats which is why nobody from the outset in their right mind should vote for the Liberal party.
But all three walked out of the forum straight after their contributions where over. Now politicians as fundamentally representatives in nature should sit down and listen to actually learn something at these events.
Now in a decision making process, generally in order for it ever to succeed, the stakeholders need to be consulted if you want their support and you want to come up with the best solution.
Now every Australian has a vote in the upcoming election. But we represent a very vry small percentage of stakeholders in the decision we are making on climate change policy.
And this seems to be the pint in which people are ludicrously in denial over. We collectively seem to think we can decide for ourselves. Like over the long run they will respect our sovereignty to unbalance the worlds entire ecosystems from our national boundaries.
At some point some countries will get pissed off with our lifestyle choices and decision to deprive other nations of a future and, it will get ugly.
That's the truth. People in Europe once they fix up their own shit wont look to kindly on China & Australia trading in coal to their detriment.
It has to happen because like it or not this is a decision that effects the broader community.
Fucking democracy is so childish. I miss the mongols.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Social Utilities

I joined facebook, and after the initial excitement of having friends eagerly seek me out and some actual traffic in my msn email account for the first time in a million years.
But every day the line of people eager to be my friend diminished. When I wanted to reciprocate I had trouble remembering who my friends were, or discovering they were cooler than me by not having a facebook account.
Anyway it goes with out saying, by blocking people from shamelessly announcing their lack of tast and blindness for style such as myspace celebrates it is tolerably good. But I have to say, its true I am barely interested in photos that don't have me in them. Especially if you are in Mexico and not taking photos of yourself with charros and senioritas and pinatas and shit.
So I've come crawling back to you my love. My blog, a celebration of my prejudices and ignorances and revealing conceitedness.
But it is much easier to post photos on facebook.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter: Revenge of the Nerds

Or rather demise of the nerds, may be more appropriate. Or desperation. Anyway the easiest counter is to point out how phenomenouly popular the whole Harry Potter movement is crossing Age gaps and cultural barriers. 15 copies a second or something and only slightly less publicised than the Howard biography. Yeah they'll be queing up for that one.
Anyway what I wanted to say about the whole thing is 'why?' why do people line up at midnight? why do people dress up as wizards to buy a fucking book whilst standing in a queue? I guess the answer to that is: for fun. they are indulging in the sheer fantasy of it all.
But what upsets me is the sheer mindlessness of it. I'll get around to it eventually, reading it I mean. But why the urgency? and where's the reserved judgement in such mass movement. The one book that needs no reviews, that moreover no reviewer's opinion is relevant to sales is this series.
But the last book was pure gobshite, the one before it a noticable decline. It reminded me of an article on the craft of TV writing which said 'viewers don't tune in to see a new show, they tune in to see the same show as last week' which as illogical as it sounds make perfect sense on further examination.
Harry Potter fans want to read a book that gives them exactly what the last book gave them, they can't just reread the last book it doesn't work anymore. If people could wipe their memory banks and leave themselves a list of recommended reading you'd never sell a book again.
You know they are good books, except JK I feel betrayed what she originally promised, that Harry would grow up with the readers, or maybe she's savagely out of touch.
I mean Harry is 16 in the series and still hasn't said 'cunt' 'fuck' or 'shit' words a grown up 16 year old should be using 3 times a day, 78 times a day and once every sentance respectively.
He hasn't had his bits touched yet but some slurry despite his popularity in the school. He lives in a boarding house yet there have been no masturbation scandels yet. In fact the fact that he has been in a bording school since 12 or 13 or something should have had him dropping big words, dealing drugs and getting suspended in book 1.
Killing students is what makes it grown up? unless you live in 'the hood' or isreal or someshit student deaths aren't a real issue kids face in most highschools apart from the occasional teen suicide or more frequent alcohol related death.
At the very least the students should be calling god a mother fucking son of a bitch for taking away a kid in its prime.
Yet judgement wise evidently there are a whole bunch of people who concede it doesn't really matter if the books good or not, they'll buy it anyway because they are too emotionally invested. worse than that, they have faith the book will be good.
See I would have felt dicked off if I'd bought Order of the Pheonix or The Half Blood Prince because I would have felt JK had taken me for a ride.
Particularly Order of the Pheonix as the 'filler' book that achieved nothing at all.
And as someone who has little faith in conclusions being the best part of any story I'm in no rush to see the end of the series.
And the fucking 'spoiler' mentality, surely a book that is good should not rely on its 'twist' twists are clever but nowhere near as clever as just writing a good valid story.
As a hater of the Fight Club twist, the most unnecessary twist in movie history in my opinion that actually detracts from the brilliance of the message of the film leading up to that point, possibly the inspiration for adaptations 'the 3' if someone had told me before hand I probably still would have been surprised and delighted by the raw dialogue of the film and not really cared.
Same should go for Harry Potter or any book released. A similar thing happened with 'Deep Blue Sea' in interviews, a monster movie about sharks the cast in interviews would hush up interviewers that asked them about the death scenes because apparantly unbeknownst to anyone the point of seeing a monster film is to find out who survives.
Bullshit, just as the point of reading Harry Potter isn't to read a gimmicky death scene, (none of the ones that have featured so far have packed any real punch anyway) its the fucking story, the fantasy of reading about a highschool so far from your own and hoping a kid you may or may not relate to gets more lady action than you did in highschool.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


After 3 months of momentary panic, Zaman recieved his visa meaning this countries authorities no longer hold the threat of sending him home. For the first time in years he can leave Australia to visit his family and he can finally apply to have his family reunited with him here permenantly.
I don't know how much I helped in this process, suffice to say he met with me regularly to read, speak and practice his english. To understand what was being sent him in the mail and to maintain contact with the wider community.
I probably learnt more from the process than he learnt off me. When he told me had the visa a huge wave of relief washed over me, so much so I couldn't believe I'd lived with it imperceptably for so long.
Which is to say the anxiety only flared up at convenient times, mainly when meeting with Zaman and the rest of the time it was buried deep at the back of my mind.
It simply confirms for me what heartbreak lies in store for people whose whole lives are dedicated to working with refugees and development projects and the strength it takes to do it anyway. Which is to say, heartbreak is nothing to be afraid of it can be overcome more easily than a lot of other conditions out there.
Which leads me to my new student whose attitude is so much the polar opposite of Zaman she doesn't even realise she is a student and has no real drive to learn.
Yet unlike Zaman I am involuntarily stuck with her as one of my two new wards and I am here to say all that shit about the importance of making a good first impression: its all true.
Now easy option for me is to just let people manage their own careers and blindly blunder into mediocrity and bitter unfulfillment without surrendering my own competitive advantage, but as Shaq will testify, no team exists for one player, the player exists for the team.
From the outset my new protoge offers a limp ass handshake, couches all her statements with 'it seems... it appears that... we may be able to...' for fear of making mistakes. Is highly risk averse, and in a million different ways broadcasts her inexperience to the world.
Not just that but has a general strategy of trying to be nice, which is nice and they are a lovely person. But with daily gifts and offerings undermines her own basic entitlements to help and instruction and doesn't actually contribute to getting the job done.
So chronic is this girls niceness it actually makes me want to slap her in the face. There's nothing wrong with being nice, but as a strategy for career progression it doesn't add much value. For example, I can feed myself pretty good (or badly) as a grown fucking man without the need for a coworker on a lower salary to be buying me snacks and treats throughout the day. What would really help me out is if they handled some of the tough calls for me and freed up some of my time so I could work on important projects instead of the mundane urgencies of customer service.
It's very hard to answer calls and eat a chuppa chup at the same time.
I just have no idea why this girl wants to work. She seems to really just want pats on the head for being a good girl without doing any actual work.
Statements like 'oh good they want to speak to Ante instead of me. that's good' just doesn't realize how naive she comes across.
So the question is: How the fuck do I undo 23 years of being socialized into a nice complacent girl in 2 months?
I don't know, this is far more daunting than being responsible for a refugees english instruction. If I had the choice I would teach Zaman 8 hours a day every day of the week over being dumped with such a chronic pushover.
The payoff is of course probably one of the richest learning projects I will come across in my career, success even moderate will take me a long way in my own development.
I guess I've got to start with the handshake.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another thing private schools screw up

Infact whilst private schools are the prime culprits, this issue is perhaps a complex generational phenomena I can't understand but probably has its roots in the practice of living vicariously. This is easiest to see in people my age out of an Asian Tiger Economy. Namely the hobbies of my university res buddies from Malaysia were almost like a poor impersonation of some 'western' stereotype. They were: going to church, playing tennis, playing classical piano. They just hadn't adopted the meat and three veg dinner preference which isn't really surprising as its hard to tell a lie to your own tastebuds.
When I asked why it was you could through almost any malaysian at a piano and they'll tap out a rachmaninoff, Harvard told me it was common as 'our parents don't want us to miss out on the opportunities they never had.' To condescending me there's something kind of quaint and primative, perhaps naive in believing what makes Europe and the US great is classical piano, christianity and tennis. But to bring it back to the subject which I have not actually got to yet this vicarious practice sighting opportunities is what I feel is possibly to our detriment as human beings similar to the now complete abscence of children playing in the street, tree climbing thanks to the wonder of Investigative Journalism and Litigation.
That is to say, my parents grew up in the 1970's and got higher ed. My dad at university and Janice at teachers college. Both saw value in education, thus their priority in sending myself and my siblings to 'good schools' for our education was winning a ticket to university.
But what 'good schools' my parents and just about every parent going fuck up is risk.
I had an epiphany when studying financial planning, and then again when training the new graduates in my department.
One at a time, financial planning (I have to say I am not qualified to give financial advice mother fuckers) there are a couple of main asset groups for any investor: cash, fixed interest, property and shares. Now profitability increases over the long term from left to right, cash your only real risk is that the interest on your savings will be less than the effects of inflation through to shares where a company liquidates and you as an unsecured creditor lose your contribution to the company. That being said there is a direct relationship between risk and return, generally it follows that the greater the risk the greater the profit potential.
No risk, no profit.
Okay keep that idea in your grey matter, training graduates. I am having immense trouble getting through to one of the new staff to 'go ahead and make mistakes' it just doesn't register. In my view its the most efficient way to learn though as from my experiences it's much easier to remember what you did wrong than remembering the whole correct procedure. Plus I want them to take some risks, suggest improvements and gamble once in a while, a robot follows a procedure I want thinking individuals to work with.
But its fucking hard, and this got me thinking about finincial planning because I thought 'this one if we risk profiled them would be risk averse' and this piqued my interest because I was thinking about the various challanges of recruiting. Any finincial planner has to profile a clients risk tolerance because you can't just put a persons life savings in international shares because in the long run you know they'll return the greatest profit but the client loses ten years of their life staying up at night thinking about losing their money and calling you the financial dvisor every ten minutes to ask if you saw the latest downturn in the share price.
It doesn't work.
Jeepers this is a fucking complicated nowhere post you've committed too tohm.
Sorry for the fragmentedness but if you look at some generational phenomena you start to build a picture of risk fucking up the education system and the potential of every young person in Australia.
Financial planning again, the problem with financial advisors (I think I've said this exact thing before) is that most of them live in the burbs and their clients are their children. And they have no qualifications nor any real understanding of investment, risk or the economy. They just tell themselves and their children to 'buy property' causing big economic distortions that will be a headache for someone. Property is incorrectly called a 'no risk' investment by most mum and dad financial advisors. It's true that in the long run property prices will go up, however people forget several features of property, its most important benifit is 'psychic income' that is people feel generally pretty wealthy and secure with property, which needn't be the case in reality. But there's other downfalls such as, boom bust cycles can be ruinous, property is indivisable (meaning you can't just sell a couple of shares to pay off a credit card, you have to sell the whole property) it can be cheaper to rent than mortgage and generally most of all you can make much more money through investment in shares.
But the overwhelming thing about the 'Australian Dream' is that its a risk averse dream, people believe it is safe as houses. Now the recent property boom has been driven by: Retiring Baby Boomers financing their retirement through investment property, Insufficient supply of well located property in inner city and coastal areas, relatively easy access to credit combined with negative gearing.
Its in a large part generational though right? Now similar to the views on property are the views on university degrees, their is surplus demand for uni degrees than their is supply of A) jobs and B) uni places.
Furthermore, whilst uni degrees may have been the ticket to a good salary back in 70's it isn't when the majority of your generation hold a degree. In the 70's a uni degree was a point of differentiation (the fundamental source of competitive advantage) but from the 90's onwards this strategy had been so widely adopted it became the norm. Nothing wrong with that, it raises the standard of education however, where we all go wrong as a human race is the risk attitudes.
Uni degrees are popular because they are percieved to reduce the risk you will live out your days unemployed. This is true, it also however reduces the risk that you will become phenomenally wealthy and never have to worry about money again.
And this is what is forgotten about risk in our education namely secondary system. A sink or swim approach to education will allow some students to sink, but it also allows some students to learn how to swim. And if swimming is the metaphore for 'educated' then what private schools do is stick you in floaties and tow you along behind a speedboat. In other words in its desperation to win more parents over by reducing the risk for them, it actually removes the education.
What is being paid for? uni places. This is the be all and end all of private schools. Enter scores in the most part are the desired outcome. So if the thing that determines the Enter score are exams you teach the kids to take the exams and nothing else, anything else is a waste of time, you may give the student a better insight into the issues and an independant way of learning, but they may not have the capacity of abstract thought to apply that learning to the exam. So you pour your resources into studying the exams, how the questions are set, what the criteria are, what past exams have asked etc. subject selection is important too, which subjects get scaled most generously (in VCE) and then more or less pick the subjects for your students literally or give them very little choice in subject selection.
I've been over the workings of private schools before but the important thing is this by specifically limiting the field of study to only that which is required to pass exams, the risk of obtaining a bad enter is reduced, but so too is the risk of producing an active thinker.
Observe, most of the wealthiest people, the statistical outliers in the world got their money through entreprenuership, namely they owned their own business risked dough and experimented on new practices and products. Although they own property this is usually the afterthought, not the source of wealth. On top of this most of the most accomplished people in the world have less to do with wealth and investment they sat around working on an idea for ten years earning shit willing to risk it all including ten years for an idea.
And then the observation that a lot of the 'owners' of the world are not university educated. Even those that do have been rare exceptions and leapt out of the relatively riskless salaried job to invest in their own business, something you need an ABN for, not qualifications.
And thats where it all falls down, the stakeholder in highschool is taken to be the parents because they are shelling out the money (but its the students life) furthermore a University is really a stakeholder for the secondary system because they are relying on it to identify the best candidates for its program and thus the ENTER determining process should not be openly distortable.
And the private sector (and to a lesser extent) public sector are stakeholders for the Uni education system because they want Universities to produce the best candidates for jobs that they can pick from, infact businesses and corporations are the primary benificiaries of the education system as they absorb mot of the risk in their income promoting activities and thus take most of the profit from employees endeavors.
As such the education system is looking really to the most irrelevant people, I read in a GW article that the largest source of stress now is obsessive parents not problem students or even office politics (why are teachers so fucking stupid) but really if there was anyone to ignore it was parents, risk averse parents desperate to distort the employee market by trying to reduce the riks for their child. And again its worse than just education as now there are lindfills worth of material on how to rort a job interview, resume etc and decieve an employer into hiring you.
Really corporations and businesses need to step up and say to Uni's stop sending us these spoonfed dipshits that won't take risks and need criteria and instruction on everything (which Uni thankfully remains a sink or swim environment mostly though I have heard hearsay that some uni's instruct lecturers not to fail international students, those cash cows, this was backed by a report that english standards are unnaceptably low for many international admissions) we want someone to make our jobs easier, not more time consuming. Then Uni's need to say to secondary in words much like this "you dickfuckers, stop throwing dumbasses into the 'best candidate pool' or we'll switch to surprise tests, which just test general intelligence, psyche profiling and learning capacity instead of standard fields of study motherfuckers, our customers are complaining." and then high schools can start saying to parents "well I'm sorry mr and mrs dipshit, but although we could teach your dumb monkey of a son to sit an exam and get a good result, he'll never be a genius its just not in his genetics and he'll probably perform mediocrely at best in the business world." and then hopefully mr and mrs dipshit can have the chutzpah to do what they should have done and sit down with dip shit juniour and say "well son what do you want to be, what do you want to do with your life? what do you enjoy doing? what would make you happy?" and dipshit can say "I want to work in real estate!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Young Talent Time

If you haven't been listening to SYN breakfast radio you have been missing out. I have been listening and I have been missing out on sleep. I mean fuck can't we all agree just to start our day at 10? fuck.
Anyway I just wanted to say I dig these kids on SYN's breakfast program get cereal, and they have their last show tomorrow, I mean the show will continue but the hosts wont, and in its own way, thats kind of cool too. I mean they are on to a good thing but they'll churn through hosts and not let the show stagnate either.
Plus if I wasn't getting paid there'd be only so long that I was willing to get up at 5am every day.
Anyhoo, I couldn't put my finger on what it is that makes me think this breakfast crew is particularly good, possibly the most enjoyable since the McDermott and Mikey Robbins days of my youth on triple j, though I now dislike both as comedians. Mikey you ruined the bouncing man act!
Anyway I couldn't put my finger on it until I watched what was possibly the worst episode of Spicks and Specks ever. My housemate is a fan of spicks and specks and I would rather sit on the couch than do anything productive with my life. The shows redeeming qualities are Alan and if they manage to get a good guest and not a total douche like the dude from Augie Marsh that was on. Miff makes me angry she gets paid at all (and furthermore along with Jay and 'the doctor' are the funky cool faces of jjj now, what the fuck?) and Adam Hills I believe Morley summed up as smarmy and talantless.
I just don't know whats going on with casting, I wouldn't have thought it hard to find, someone more rock, someone more comedian, someone more likable than adam hill.
Anyway, I take the role of the guy who yells out swear words at the TV and now the Wednesday double feauture of Shane Borne and Adam Hills is my swearingest swear fest.
But it clicked, last night it clicked ABC has the same problem I do/did? We are both trying to recapture the glory days of the early 90's where alternate rock took over the world for approximately 2 years.
Whereas the get cereal crew from SYN they are just themselves and that's what being cool really is.
Specifically, Spicks and Specks last night had a section where Adam Hills danced and the contestants had to name the dances, a departure from normal proceedure? yes. funny, entertaining or worth the time? no. But the subtext I sensed was that somewhere, producers, contestants and all in the studio were having the proud thought "you don't see this on 1 vs 100" maybe patting themselves on the back thinking "that really looks spontaneous" and combined with a few set ups like the mood music of mna mna and singing mna mna with the panel it came across as totally trying to pretend that Adam Hills and perhaps on a broader level Spicks and Specks and on a broader level yet the ABC is perhaps a little more off the wall, a little more raw, a little more cutting edge than it is.
Infact after they dedicated two or three minutes to Alan reenacting the Madman shuffle something that probably was spontaneous but more importantly not actually entertaining. The only feeling I was left with is, this whole experience is like going to poorly attended, birthday party of somebody you don't like on a night when you'd rather be doing something else and you all gather round to sing happy birthday but in your heart there is no joy, only pitty.
And to be fair, this was a particularly bad episode of Spicks and Specks, normally it follows the formula they have Dave O'neil or Peter Hellier or Hamish McDude, all dissapointingly commercial comedians that tend to do well on the show and the questions are straight forward and somebody says something funny.
But the tragedy is that I get a feeling that someone out there is proud of the worst episode of spicks and specks being somehow what tv should be all about, A Dead Poets Society standing on desks type of craziness.
Get Cereal is much harder to analyse than something bad. You know what I like about it, its a schoolyard conversation made public. Tim Brown is one understated comedian, Bryce explained how he had sort of this secret following from Kicking behinds, his mind is fragmented and sharp and he uses cunt strategies when debating Kiara who can talk, Kiara I gotta give props to as a female host for a being able to get a word in between SPK and Tim brown and fucking just be funny. Maybe a little too dominating but it works. And SPK is just a lovable nerd, funny in his own right but such a good dynamic that is totally like the schoolyard group dynamic that made going to school bearable. Smart-arse nerds, that's what I like, not trying to quest after a holy grail of alternative culture. It doesn't try to promote its own credentials, it just is what it is. There spontaneity is just bringing a paper in and talking shit about the articles, and then they talk to the many volunteers SYN has to create their own distinct programming, and some interviews and thats it. No radio dramas, no impressions just talking shit.
Anyway they have their last show as hosts tomorrow and listen in, especially if your an ABC producer looking for ideas.

Monday, July 09, 2007

They found me...those fuckers

The above video perfectly captures my sentiments if not my literal response to articles on "leadership" in my school magazine.
I have moved 3 times since leaving high school and my parents twice. So I thought I was pretty safe, but when I found a shrinkwrapped slim magazine in my post I had assumed it was from Proz Oz a magazine I generally don't get around to reading but don't mind recieving because its worthwhile.
Yet to my horror I see a little fucking arian child missing teeth smiling out at me and me thinks. My god, my fucking god. They have tracked me down, there litterally are people with nothing better to do than keep alumni informed about the goings on of a school.
The thrill an old collegiate gets from reading about the volleyball and lawn bowles premiership team (although to be fair my team never took the lawn bowles title back in the day) but really the real horror of it all is the shitehouse spin spinning out of the bullfuck mouths of the staff editorials or maybe you could call them 'edutorials'.
Namely writing not one but 5 articles on what staff have learnt about leadership from an expensive consultant.

Now going to a private school is great, particularly a small sized community oriented one. Your peers are just regular folk, the lessons aren't noticably different from the public school ones (I went to a decent public school as well) and otherwise its just a regular school with less strikes.
Except EXCEPT how these fuck bag schools market themselves, you've seen the adds in the Good Weekend and the Age. things like 'Carey: Success comes standard' and 'Wesley: Success wears purple' and sickening Saab like slogans.
And this is exactly what my school does. I mean I know the cashcows are wealthy social climbing cocktard balifornians that own all the successful fast food franchises in Ballifornia, aka people dumb enough to be convinced my old school is somehow ivy league, but seriously the kids don't want to be marketed as preppy boy hitler youth. They want to be cool. I mean half the students are spud farmers and the other half kids that got expelled from actual exclusive private melbourne schools.
Where's the articles on 'what it means to be a wigger' and 'Drug busts in the boarding house' the school captain shouldn't be writing about leadership but about where the best places to masturbate in the boarding house.
Stop marketing your students as subhuman filth like in the video above. Because the real truth about private schools is how thoroughly unimpressive such students are.
And we know what happens, they go to Uni, push their binge drinking to new extremes, partake in a couple of milk challanges and eventually emerge as relatively well adjusted individuals.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

300th The Honey Trap explained

I feel better. Nothing like pulling down some boards and a few steals and blocks to clear everything up. And since this be my 300th post in the spirit of true disclosure as was my original intention let me get into my specific problem which is not that my shoes are still soaked from thursday.
And this Mr. Rogers, Wilson my hat wearing mysterious neighbour, is a douzy for a blog because this problem in all probability is entirely in my head.

I'm feeling guilty because of an attractive coworker that I am attracted too. Now in my head I understand a few things - namely the following in the following order:

1. I have a girlfriend I very much love called Miki that I'll be staying with in Japan in a couple of months time. She is a similak honey, mayomustardaiyonaise hot and incomparable (in theory/sentiment) to even a milk honey, and on Black Sheep's standard I really only deserve Strobelite honey's. So from the outset don't even think that being attracted to someone is in any way a wise option.

2. There is a massive chasm between love and attraction. Love has a basis in a relationship, it is a sharing of concerns. Attraction is the desire to get a load off.

3. I have an undercut, my teeth are yellow and black and I smell bad. Thus I'm not exactly Hasselhoff right now, I don't have anything to worry about.

4. I'm not a cheater, my cross country instincts kick in even when intoxicated, and I run (waiting for the green pedestrian crossing man to tell me it is safe to cross the road of course).

So all up I should have nothing to worry about, it's just in my head it doesn't sit so pretty being attracted to someone, and let me make it clear, we aint talking emotional affair here either, there's no shared jokes or even reciprococity. I just have trouble sitting next to someone hot.
But I figure I've sign posted pretty well using masculine defensive instincts. I have declared I have a girlfriend, she has been my fucking computer background for the past 3 months.
But see maybe and this is where I start to make this problem in my head bigger - maybe I talk about her too much, communicating insecurity, thus subconsciously communicating that I am attracted to someone else.
And more than that let's talk brutal reality, undercut and everything aside I am ironically super confident at the moment because I am dating a similak child, and I know confidence is attractive, so maybe my confidence and insecurity is making me unwittingly attractive.
And I usually smell of sweat combined with damp laundry smell due to my laziness on the laundry cycle and dedication to the bicycle.
SO what if I'm sending all these pheromones out there, and here's the killer: if there's one thing I learnt from my ex it is this you can't compete long distance with pheromones example, you could luck out and manage to write a sonnett on par with an unfinished Jeff Buckley single and send it across the ocean to your partner and then they walk into the office the next day and some dude says 'you like banana's' and he is getting all pheromone on her and he wins, hands down motherfucker.
Pheromones are deadly to the unwitting, they completely skew all rational perspective.
If you are weighing up the pros and cons a list may look like this:

get to hook up with someone new.

hurt someone I love
lose the respect of my peers
enter any new relationship as damaged goods
lose my integrity
reviled at work
hated by my own family
lose half my estate
break my mother's heart
never get my CD's returned
never get to talk to my partner again
lose our mutual friends
establish poor precedent with new partner
invite poetic justice
expose myself to STD's
vulnerable to retaliation
and so forth...

If you are wondering why any rational animal still manages to make the wrong choice all the time, pheremones is the answer. pro's actually reads:

get to hook up with new person.
hormonal paydirt.

and that paydirt is pretty fucking compelling on a subconscious level. Also known as thinking with your penis. Except girls are also quite capable of this and probably less suspicious of what's going on due to negative stereotyping.
So I end up resenting Misaki because she's not putting any fucking pheromones in an envelope or emailing me daily with them, and I get suspicious that despite trying to indirectly declare my loyalties this Milk minx can be all pheromoning me all the time, making me uncomfortable.
So let's add another notch as to why I am so uncomfortable with myself - I am paranoid that it's all just me, just in my head. That said exponent isn't attracted to me, isn't deliberately pheromoning me, so I can't say anything like 'Hey! stop that. No, hey! I said that's enough.' because it's all on a subconscious level.
So I can't really lay down the law, can't say 'My name is tohm and I am misaki's vagina and nobody else's, ya hear.' and I feel guilty because I'm attracted to someone else.
Yet oddly, I understand that attraction is natural, I have no problem using softcore pornographic material for use as a masturbatory aid. I don't feel guilty at all. In fact I've drawn filthier stuff than you can find on the internet in Brenton and I's filth-off glory days so I freely admit I'm sick in that regard. soft core, hard core porn I'm all cool with that.
So why feel guilty that I be attracted to a coworker? because I haven't been offered anything I can't say no? but if I did something to obviously cool down the kitchen such as fire staples at her for an hour or two, I can't think of a more adolescent way to declare you are attracted to someone.
And if in case you hadn't figured that writing about this on my blog is my sure fire way to make sure I don't do anything stupid let me clarify that I am firmly dedicated to camp no means no - because of this simple explanation:

miki, me & x (anonymous incase they google themselves):

If I jump ship -

miki loses me.

I lose miki.

x gains me (but on balance of probabilities we will lose eachother due to the unclean start)

and that is what we call a lose-lose strategy. so just don't cheat, ever, it is lose-lose that's the simplest way I can explain it. Just never, no circumstances ever (apart from a bigomous marriage entered into willingly by mormons).
Free love, its all bullshit it just doesn't work that way.
What I am doing is being honest and saying I'm attracted to someone else, and this probably wouldn't be a problem if I could earn an income and choose who I spent the majority of my hours in close physical proximity to.
I could cleanly break off with miki, give myself time to heal and then attempt to make moves, except that Misaki is such a blindingly obvious keeper, on account of her ability to make me feel good, support me emotionally, laugh, sing, smile, instantly win over all my friends, move gracefully, compliment people she has only just met, show an interest in everything, express herself emotionally, sacrifice herself willingly, and all manner of things I could express ad naseum.
All this other one can do is pheremone me and shit. For fucks sake first impression was saying I look like some Australian Idol contestant.
Which isn't to say I don't like her. She's perfectly nice, if I was single I wouldn't have this problem that I dub 'The Honey Trap'.
Because it gets worse, see since I told work I was leaving they have been acting suspicious - one week after resigning I recieved a promotion. Now they employ some honey pot to sit next to me (in reality this wasn't intentional, they needed someone and she probably blitzed the interview process by Terry's recommendation).
But my dark twisted mind really is just craving flattery, attractive people trying to crack onto me, work trying to trap me into staying all that shit. It leads me to logically conclude my problem is entirely in my head.
Plus I know the natural order of things, I'm not meant to have dilemma's like this, I'm lucky to have a Sexual Chocolate Honey, let alone a Similak Honey, that means Voltron Force is pleased with me from the heavens. I should be the guy that struggles to pick up because I say I'm buying women's underwear for my girlfriend then wear it the next day. Nobody's attracted to me, ain't nobody gonna push the stop button on the elavator (thank god there's no elevator at work).
I lean towards thinking - all I really crave is to reject somebody, to take the moral highground, to get on my high horse and lecture people about how foolish they are to think they can tempt me with immoral behaviour.
It's probably why I feel good now after basketball - being able to swat some shots out of people's hands that didn't think I could play. Defense motherfuckers, its called defense.
Anyway I'm glad I shared this with you. And maybe you even learnt something too, eat the pudding Mr. Cosby.

p.s. Incidently if I do manage to do something stupid after having posted this I give you permission to just, go ahead and hock a big flemmy lougie into my mouth when I'm talking to you, I won't fight back so really go for it.

p.p.s. I listened to 'Millions of Peaches' on repeat the other night, it really is an awesome song, fond memories when you just repeat it and repeat it on loop as hopefully morley and mr.john will attest.

Friday, July 06, 2007


This film is safe for fans to see. It's really fucking well done.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Oh Me of Little Faith

I really can't write women well, and I suspect Bryce has his own pretty interesting views on how women talk/think etc. And as such we probably need some kind of woman to brush up our scripts so as not to make a cringe fest for women, similar to: sex and the city - where a guy had different deoderant sticks under the basis that they were 'different smells' that would never fucking happen, or rarely fucking happen at least because for the most part 'scents' are one of 2 options 'good' or 'bad'.
But I digress, I rode home in the fucking rain, which is to say it doesn't really piss me off that much its quite beautiful, but fucking wet and this took place last night. And I had assumed that Bryce's plans to stage a reading of our scripts had fallen over like Boris Yeltzin (Snap).
But I was wrong in my assumption, and it's great to be crammed onto the same couch as talent. Furthermore as I desperately tried to ride as quickly as possible to Bryce's digs it was like the Super Sentience Zoltar wanted us to make this thing happen as I cruised through green light after green light and effortlessly flew uphill on my rickety bicycle.
I got to say I'm getting pretty excited about the collaboration, which is a problem, Bryce and I pick up these scripts so infrequently now that we laugh too much at our own work, and decide we actually like the scenes we are trying to remove.
Oh well, love to you all.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


For once when I say Mixtape it won't be refering to basketball. I'm making a mix tape at the moment to send to misaki, featuring my vocal stylings courtesy of Rod's handy ipod voice memo accessory.
It's going to be awesome as I've replayed the scene in my head a hundred times. No 'I love you for your stupidness' from Misaki this time, it'll all be from the heart.
The last two weeks have been the busiest of my fucking life, or work life. Carole and I have become a two person show carrying the entire load of our normally double department whilst having the demands of our two new staff to train up.
And its great, it is the greatest. Why oh why did we stop recruiting new blood into the company for 2 years, why oh why did we ever stop the PSP program? these questions are rhetorical of course, or are they?
Anyway, that's what be up hence no blog postings no returning emails and no child maintenance payments. sorry!
It's been a long time since I tried to convince myself I could work productively between 6am and 8am in the morning. Ah VCE what a joke you were.
300th post coming up, I'll try and do a decent job, I think I'm doing a decent job of writing decent posts unlike the Simpsons, just end already give us something to celebrate.