Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Weekly Carlo: This Human Rights Commission pro-human rights bias is truly incredible

Hello loyal readers! This is day five since I began my Brave and Inspirational Internet Commitment to blog every day!

Now, rather than waste your time with a *whole new* blog post filled with *all new rambling thoughts and rants* and *attempts at jokes* and all those things you have come to hate whenever you click of one of my posts in the vain hope maybe *this* time it will actually be enjoyable, entertaining and informative, I have decided to share with you all my latest weekly "Carlo's Corner" column that I write for Green Left Weekly!!! WOOHOO!!!

And I can this weekend post The Weekly Carlo because I like to talk about myself in the third person in blog post titles as if I am important! Anyway, enough about me, here's something by me!!!

Carlo's Corner: Human Rights Commission's bias towards human rights is just unbelievable

It seems there is no end to the incredible bias facing the poor, beleaguered Tony Abbott government. 

If it isn't an ABC journalist daring to ask a government minister a question they don't like, it's the Human Rights Commission releasing a report on the plight of children in immigration detention centres that even the most impartial observer would have to admit shows a distinct and unmistakable bias in favour of respecting human rights.
Full article 

Yeah, I am pretty generous, I know, sharing that with you, like, for free! You can even read this other ting I wrote at the news satire site The (un)Australian yesterday called Teenager Right To Shout 'I Wish I'd Never Been Born', Climate Scientists Say. Wow! Don't thank me, just buy me a beer some time, via the Pay Pal button on the right hand side of the blog!

'When the Devil is all around, got you crawling on the ground...' Here is a BONUS random clip by South Carolina's awesome country folk duo Shovels and Rope at the Grand Ol' Opre! I AM SEEING THEM NEXT THURSDAY IN SYDNEY!!! 

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Daily Carlo: The facts blow 'alcohol-fuelled violence' claims away so let me buy boooze post 10pm you bastards!

Day Four of my Daily Carlo plot to blog every day and here is my fourth one! I am on fire!

I never thought I'd make it so far! To be honest, when I launched this new Carlo-Internet initiative on Tuesday, I was far from convinced I'd still be alive by Friday, what with my "lifestyle choices" that have been described variously as "less than optimal for living a long, healthy life" and "how the fuck is he still breathing?"

But I think what has got me this far is definitely my new fitness regime. Yes, thanks to the NSW state-wide 10pm closing time for all bottle shops, I am now in better shape than ever! What with my constant sprinting the bottlo at five to 10 every fucking night! captures the struggle.

But asides from possibly being the only thing stopping my body from total collapse, what possible good does this 10pm shut down do?

I mean, I don't want to repeat myself here. I have already pretty decisively exposed these lock-out/shut down laws in NSW for what they truly are: a plot to give James Packer even MORE billions via his "magically excluded from the lock-out laws" Star Casino, and now I am just waiting for the Walkley Award it shall inevitably earn me.

But still... there may been some of you out there, who just REFUSE TO LISTEN and STILL think maybe this shit is about "alcohol-fuelled violence"... which is an argument I have NEVER understood.

Like, obviously I get there is violence involving people who are drunk in our society. Christ, I know there is drunken violence. The fucking Daily Telegraph WON'T FUCKING SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

But what the violence has to do with being drunk has never been clear to me.

Because, and really this is an area in which I feel I have some expertise, I have never noticed that getting drunk leads to any particular increase in violence. Or "king hits". Or "coward punches". Or whatever the fuck the Daily Tele, whose journalists are famous for their sobriety, are banging on about now.

Like, I have been very drunk many times in many pubs. God knows how many. Over many years. I mean, I like getting drunk. And I like pubs. 

And yet I have somehow manage to refrain from king hitting a single bastard (and fuck knows I've been in pubs with many people just begging for a decent king hit) . 

In fact, I had seen no real violence at all of any note in any pub until I went to Darwin in 2013 (for a comedy gig for a refugee rights group, so you know, thanks government for torturing innocent people, otherwise I'd have never gotten the chance to see the NT!) 

While there, I ended up in some dodgy bar on what they like to call a "main road" in Darwin, drinking with Robbo, who lives up there, and Conehead, who came up for a trip.

Suddenly, at the table right behind us, these off-duty soldiers launched, with no warning, into a brawl that sent beer and chairs flying and only my rapid action in securing our table's beers prevented them joining the sea of spilt booze spreading across the bar room as bouncers rushed over to try to separate two furiously wrestling soldiers, trying to kill each other over God knows what.

Whatever it was, it was clearly not an issue easily resolved, because an hour later, as we sat out on the tables on the footpath, we could see two sides on the road squaring off, headed by the protagonists of the brawl inside the pub.

They stared each other down and shouted abuse before finally fresh kicks and punches started flying in a kinda pathetic half fight in which each side displayed its incompetent failure to actually get a kick anywhere near the other while seemingly imagining they were just like Jean-Claude Fucking Van Damme... 

And you watch that and get a sense of just how horrific it must be to be a poor fucking peasant in Afghanistan or Iraq occupied by these numbskulls, whose only form superiority is their fucking heavy weaponry.

And you know, it was hard to draw the conclusion that the problem here was they had just drunk too much. I mean, they clearly had -- but so had I!

I had just performed a fucking stand up set in a city thousands of kilometres from Sydney to about 20 people as part of an ill-advised, failed and totally well-meant attempt by these activists to "reach out" to Darwin's redneck community to explain why "blow up the boats" -- a solution advocated to me beforehand by a local -- was perhaps a bit problematic, you know from a "let's not murder innocent people" sorta perspective.

So you had better fucking BELIEVE I was drinking. And yet somehow, I managed NOT to be involved in an all-in-brawl. Maybe I just have incredible self-restraint, or maybe, I dunno, the whole "drunkenness leads to violence" thing is utter bullshit.

Turns out there is some solid evidence behind the "it's utter bullshit" view.

Yes, ABC News ran an article headlined "Alcohol-fuelled' violence not caused by alcohol but by 'macho' culture, anthropologist Dr Anne Fox says", that states:
Amidst the introduction of one-punch laws and lock outs, the main concern has been the so-called alcohol-fuelled violence that goes with drunkenness. But one anthropologist believes it is not a result of the booze itself. 
Dr Anne Fox has specialised in the study of drinking cultures in countries around the world for the past 20 years and has been looking at Australia and New Zealand ... 
"Australians, like many other people worldwide, have a very pervasive belief that alcohol can transform your behaviour, that it's a transformative substance, that somehow there's this genie in the bottle that can make you behave a certain way," she told PM's Mark Colvin. 
"Alcohol - as all of the scientific literature shows, which we've reviewed very extensively in the report - cannot be considered a cause of violence. If it was, we'd see uniform levels of violence among all drinkers." 
Countries such as Iceland consume more alcohol than Australia but report less violence. 
"They have a stronger culture of preloading, they have 24-hour bar opening, they even have high rates of gun ownership, but in Iceland there is almost no recorded violence," she said. 
"It's simply not a violent society and they have no belief that alcohol causes violence, and therefore you really don't see any violence in Iceland."  Most of Southern Europe follows this pattern, according to Dr Fox .... 
According to Dr Fox, alcohol "cannot hijack someone's better nature and make them violent" and the term alcohol-fuelled violence is not accurate. She said the focus should be on the causes and triggers of violence itself ... 
"Your inhibitions are just social rules. Anthropologists for decades now have been finding through international cross-cultural studies that the way you behave when you're drunk is mostly the way that your culture teaches you to behave," she said. 
"You can see across the world that people behave very, very differently, despite being morphologically similar human beings and drinking the same amounts of alcohol." 
She said Australia has a macho culture. "We see that it's not so much the patterns of drinking or the levels or consumption that determine how people behave, but other features of culture that are magnified through drunkenness," she said.

YEAH!!! So fuck off with your "alcohol-fuelled violence" bullshit! And most of all... LET ME BUY SOME FUCKING TAKE-AWAY BOOZE AFTER 10PM!!! FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! 

Of course, no one could disagree that the violence used to justify these laws is terrible. There is clearly a problem in our society -- but it is cultural problem not a booze problem. the problem is the macho culture and its ever-present twin -- misogyny.

And not only is blaming alcohol for this missing the real culprit, it is way of avoiding even acknowledging the problem. And this isn't just alcohol, but drugs in general -- as the somewhat ridiculous scandal involving a whole lot of rugby league and rugby players apparently enjoying putting coke up their nostrils shows.

It really says something about the nature of our society and how fucked up our priorities are. Here we have charges and claims centred on the apparently shocking that a bunch of professional sports players enjoyed cocaine at such events as a players bucks night and a post-season booze cruise.

You might think that is something of a personal matter, at most unfortunately a legal matter due to draconian failed drug laws. But no. This threatens to tear apart an entire club, the Gold Coast Titans, and ruin the careers of more than a few players -- despite the fact that some of these players have already been involved in scandals involving far worse actions or allegations.

Rugby player and code-hopper Karmichael Hunt, at the centre of the coke scandal, faced sexual assault allegations in 2008. No dent in his career. Greg Bird, suspended by the Titans over cocaine charges, was found guilty of violently assaulting his girlfriend. His career continued.

You can rape and bash women seemingly without a worry in rugby league, but don't enjoy a recreational drug in your own spare time or you are done.

The irony is it is this kinda pathetic hypocrisy that makes drugs and alcohol so essential to fucking survive this goddamn world in the first place.

Alcohol and drugs can worsen existing problems, but I see no reason why those of us who manage to drink and not punch must be punished. We all relate to alcohol differently... the song below, by that glorious Texas country singer Hayes Carll, sums up my relationship with booze perfectly.... less violence, more pathetic failure at life.

I keep knockin over whiskeys
no ones laughin at my jokes
they got me spinnin round in circles
like a tin can in the spoke

When i left town this mornin
with a smile upon my face
ahh babe i swear i never knew
I'd end up in this place...

So. My fourth Daily Carlo. Don't thank me, just buy me a beer. Via the Pay Pal button on the right of the blog. I promise that after drinking the beer, I won't hit anyone, unless you specifically request it.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Daily Carlo: 'Aint it nice to be fighting on the winning side?' Syriza, Rojava, the Wanderers and SHOVELS & ROPE NEXT THURSDAY!!!

Well, holy fuck, this is Day 3 of my new Internet-Carlo Sands related initiative, the widely lauded Daily Carlo in which I pledge to blog EVERY MOTHERFUCKING DAY, and I have somehow I have made it three days out of three!

A truly remarkable milestone, and to celebrate, I thought I'd try something different. I thought I'd point out a few good things happening in the godforsaken world for a change!

Amid our seemingly inexorable descent into barbarism -- with terrifying climate news, our own fucking government torturing innocent children then seeking to destroy the woman who dare report the facts, and the fucking Smurf pricks at East Sydney Bling FC sitting a full five spots above the Western Sydney Wanderers on the A League table -- it seems humanity could sure use some cheering up.

Well, just call me Mr Cheery, coz this year has already involved some pretty impressive wins that push in the opposite direction.

Let's just start with the stunning victory of the left-wing party Syriza in Greece's January 25 elections, the first election of a radical left government in Europe since the 1930s and a decisive kick back against the austerity polices causing extreme humanitarian crisis.

Now I know what you're thinking: what the FUCK is the radical left doing wining anything?

The far left should, by rights, be on inner-city street corners with stalls people avoid or in inner-city pubs complaining about all those other leftists on the other stalls. I mean that's the left, yeah?


'Holy fuck! The left WON something!' Syriza supporters celebrate.

And yes, I know the Latin Americans have been doing this kinda thing, electing radical left governments and defeating elite attacks for, like, years already, but for fuck's sake, that's them! I mean, if all followed the ways of the Latinos, we'd suffer collective liver failure in a week.

But then, as if like one victory for the global left was not enough, the next fucking day the revolutionary Kurdish-led liberation forces finally decisively repelled the ISIS siege on the town of Kobane in Rojava, where a profound experiment in genuine, direct democracy has been underway!

And then, and this is without a doubt the most glorious win of all, Western Sydney Wanderers put aside their dismal A-League season to start their Asian Champions League title defence with a stunning 3-1 victory over J-League heavyweights Kashima in Japan!!!

Despite being forced to wear especially shit ugly away jerseys, the Wanderers won 3-1!!! Goal scorers Mark Bridge and Yojiro Takahagi celebrate a glorious win for all humanity!

And then, as if that isn't enough sheer glory to celebrate... brilliant country folk act from South Carolina, Shovels and Rope, are playing in Sydney NEXT FUCKING WEEK!!! ARRGGHHHHH!!!

'Four big wheels, American steel. Pouring gasoline on the killing fields' Shovels & Rope are coming!!!

'Though we've never met you've captured my heart. I love you like gunpowder loves a good spark...'

Now, yes, sure. I can already hear all the nay-sayers. Yes, I know the limts of each and every one of these victories.

Yes, the new Syriza government has already been blackmailed into accepting some serious compromises that block key chunks of its program in the short term -- though how much is debated.

And yes, despite heroically beating the fascists of ISIS, there are legitimate questions as to how long the relatively isolated revolutionary cantons of Rojava can hold out against competing pressures of the Assad dictatorship, ISIS terrorists and Western imperialists.

Plus, despite our glorious win in Japan last night, the Wanderers don't just sit last in the A-League with just eight points from 16 matches, we face the crucial derby The Enemy Of All Humanity that is Sydney FC on Saturday missing Spiranovic and Poljak due to suspnsion and Santalab and Cole due to injury, which a somewhat unnerving prospect to say the least.

Worse of all, I have it on good authority that, having played their Australian gigs, Shovels and Rope plan to leave the fucking country, rather than stay here, permantly, in my basement, playing constant gigs.

But Jesus... sometimes... well sometimes... well... to quote the classics, by which I mean to quote Shovels and Rope... aint it nice to be fighting on the winning side?

'Aint it nice to fighting on the wining side?'

It is, Shovels and Rope! It really is! And no need to thank me for bringing a bit of happiness into your otherwise pathetic and utterly depressing lives! You can just buy me a beer! Courtesy of the Pay Pal button on the right-hand of this blog! WOOHOO!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Daily Carlo: Science developing a 'sober up' pill? WHAT THE FUCK? WE PAY GOOD MONEY TO GET DRUNK!!!

Well this is Day 2 of my latest Internet-Carlo Sands related innovation -- the Daily Carlo, whereby I blog at least once a day  -- and it has already been a runaway success! In the sense that this is Day 2 and I have managed a second post, which is really pretty amazing.

In today's Daily Carlo, however, I bring some terrible news: The Murdoch press is reporting science is working on developing a "sobriety pill" that could "prevent serious levels of intoxication".

What the FUCK, SCIENTISTS? What THE FUCK are you doing??? Why the HELL do you think we get drunk if NOT to eradicate, at least temporarily, the terrible scourge of sobriety?


We LOVE being seriously intoxicated!

Jesus. It is not cheap, you know, getting drunk, Not these days. Booze prices are through the fucking roof, and they insist on making it as difficult as possible to actually consume, what with their fucking "lock out" laws and NSW-wide 10pm closing time for all bottle shops.

Jesus fuck, given all the effort we have to go just to achieve "serious levels of intoxication", you'd think you'd get some respect for effort. But no. No respect. It is shameful.

"Oh but things like the lock out laws are there because they care about alcohol-related violence and alcohol abuse and they really care for our health," I hear you suggest over your fucking alcohol-free mocktail, which just goes to how a lack of alcohol rots the brain.

Because what with all the fucking health care cuts and privatising public health this government is launching, the idea these pricks "care about our well-being" is a more ridiculous joke than Andrew Bolt's claims that "sickening ABC bias" is "destroying Tony Abbott".

No, what they really care for, and this really could not be clearer, is helping billionaire James Packer to make as much fucking cold hard cash as possible, and if he can make it in socially destructive gambling industry, bled from ordinary people in an outright shakedown, then all the better.

AND GUESS WHAT? The *key* winner of the lock-out laws in New South Wales is.... The Star Casino owned by James Packer!!! WOW WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE FUCKING GUESSED???

Last August, the Sydney Morning Herald wrote:

[T]he Star has been a major beneficiary of the NSW government's liquor reforms. The laws, in effect since February, prohibit patrons entering pubs and clubs in Kings Cross and the CBD after 1.30am and stop bars serving drinks after 3am. The lockout zone ends at Darling Harbour, which makes the Star exempt. 
"We couldn't get in anywhere else so this is our last place to come and go," said 18-year-old Melissa Abarca. She and three friends, all from Wollongong, aren't here to gamble, though they concede they're likely to have a flutter. 
None of the group has been to the Star before and they are visibly relieved when informed it contains a nightclub where they can dance. "We would have liked to get in to an actual club but we're here now."
This kinda shit, where our lives are play things for the super-rich, is precisely why we fucking get drunk! They are putting all these resources into how to sober us up and not into the important things, like how to solve climate change or building a time machine to go back decades and shoot Kyle Sandilands parents... and then they wonder why our desire for "serious levels of intoxication" only fucking grows! 

And quick...

I just hope that this is a classic Murdoch media beat-up, like that one about how the murder of three Muslims in North Carolina by an Islamophobic bigot was just about "a parking dispute" or that Miranda Devine is a "journalist".

I mean, Jesus fuck.

And yes, sure, heavy drinking and drunkeness comes with consequences.We know that. But we are not just consenting adults capable of employing free will, we also forgive alcohol because we love alcohol. As gypsy punks Gogol Bordello explain so well in their love letter to booze below.

Am sorry some of us given you bad name
Yeah, oh yeah, 'cause without you, nothing is the same
Yeah, oh yeah, I miss you so every time we breakup
Just to hit a higher note every time we makeup
And you know that I'll pick up every time you call
Just to thank you one more time
Alcohol, alcohol...

That is another Daily Carlo. Don't thank me, just buy me a beer courtesy of the paypal function on the right-hand side of the blog. Please. Just thinking about that goddamn sober pill makes me thirsty.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Daily Carlo: 50 years ago... on Malcolm X and goon bags

Anyone could tell you the world is in pretty bad shape. The latest climate science is horrific, global inequality and poverty keeps rising and the Western Sydney Wanderers are languishing at the bottom of the A-League ladder with just eight points from 16 games.

So I figured something had to be done and I had a long hard think about what the world truly needed right now. And I concluded: more Carlo Sands on the internet! OMFG! OF COURSE!

But then I thought, how I am going to give the world more Carlo Sands on the internet? And it struck me! I HAVE A BLOG! I may almost never use it, BUT I HAVE ONE!!! THE SOLUTION TO THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS IS AT HAND!!! I WILL BLOG *EVERY DAY*!!!

And so I hereby launch my latest Internet-Carlo Sands-related innovation: The Daily Carlo. It is self-explanatory, I will blog about *something* every single day, more or less, give or take the days I am too hungover and/or drunk to type.

I just can't believe no one has thought of this before! Sure, plenty have maintained daily-updated blogs, that is not new, but not FEATURING CONTENT BY ME! Wow, it is just so obvious now I think about it, it is a miracle no one has beaten me to it!

I expect them in general to be short. Probably very short. Coz I am a fucking busy man. But here we go!!! THE FIRST DAILY CARLO!!!


In My Daily Carlo Number One I wish to acknowledge two *very* important 50-year anniversaries for humanity that must be marked: the assassination of Malcolm X in the United States and the invention of "cask wine" -- ie the goon bag -- right here in Australia.

One of the truly great revolutionaries, activists and human beings of the 20th century, African American anti-racist fighter Malcolm X was assassinated 50 years ago on February 21, 1965, probably with active police complicity.

Many of the issues he raised -- of systemic inequality and racist violence, remain pressing issues today.

Malcolm X was one of the all-time great public speakers because he spoke directly, articulately and without any compromise to the victims of the system, as one of the victims of this system, and in doing so helped instill pride, knowledge, awareness, courage and determination in the victims of this system to stop being victims and collectively resist their oppression.

Although he started out as a very successful organiser for the Nation of Islam, which, through a theologically bizarre interpretation of Islam, blamed the "white devils" for racism and abstained from the civil rights struggles of the day, in the last year of his life Malcolm X increasingly saw the global capitalist system as the enemy of humanity and the need for a broad-based mass struggle of all oppressed, whatever their skin colour, to win liberation.

As can be seen in this clip featuring extracts from his 1964 speech to the Oxford Union in England.

And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you’re living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there’s got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built ... And I, for one, will join in with anyone—I don’t care what color you are—as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.

And the second anniversary, as the ever reliable NT News informs us, is that this year marks 50 years since cask wine was invented! YES THE GOON BAG IS TURNING 50!!!

Happy birthday, goon bag!

The NT News explains:
THE humble cask wine may have caused countless hangovers, but it holds a proud place in our nation’s history and today it reaches a major milestone. It’s one of South Australia’s little known inventions, created in the 1960s after riverland winemaker Tom Angove searched for an alternative to the half-gallon flagon...
Here are some little known facts about ‘the cask’:
• Invention was patented in April 1965
• It was inspired by the flexible packaging of old goat skins that stored wine in biblical times.
• Angove was inspired to store wine in a plastic bag and store it in a box.
• The ‘airless flow’ of the cask is why the invention is genius; wine comes out, but no air goes in. Therefore the wine doesn’t become oxidised.

 A Big Cask to celebrate cask wine.

But it hasn't always been easy, what with the crypto-prohibitionists and their "complaints" about the "cheap and nasty" nature of goon. In just 2011, there was a campaign to essentially ban cheap goon by means of heavy taxation that would cause its cost to quadruple! IT WAS INSANE, OUTRAGEOUS AND I BLOGGED ABOUT IT HERE!!!

Thanks in no small part to my campaigning on the issue, the goon bag survives to this day, as does the gloroious Australian invention -- one of the few contributions of which our nation can be proud -- the party game of Goon of Fortune!!!

Goon of Fortune.

And, is this my first Daily Carlo, well... I suppose I'll give you all a very special treat! Here is some dodgy footage of the first time I ever performed stand up, in a wild, unfocussed and rambling set that included yelling quite furiously and insistently on the government plot to take our goon away! IKR? Don't thank me, buy me a beer -- via the pay pal button on the right of the blog! GO ON! DO IT!

'This is a fundamental attack on our way of life!' From the very start, I used the medium of stand up to pose the big questions.