Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Jesus and the Devil discuss recent developments

[The Devil is in Hell. His phone rings, seeing who it is, he answers with a roll of the eyes]

DEVIL: Hello Jesus.

[Cut to Jesus in Heaven on the phone trying to smooth talk]

JESUS: Lucifer, mate, howyagoing down there?

DEVIL: I know why you’re calling and the answer is no. If he dies, we're NOT having him.

JESUS: Oh come Luce, he’s CLEARLY one of yours!

DEVIL: I don’t care, there’s NO WAY I’m going to let a bloke with hair like that anywhere near my lake of fire. That thing catches light and the whole place goes up!

JESUS: Now you’re being ridiculous.

DEVIL: I've got an aesthetic! I'm not letting some jumped up failed salesman get the coal furnace grate on the Eighth Circle gold plated!

JESUS: Well we can hardly have him run around up here trying to get planning permission to turn some clouds into racially cleansed tower blocks. And Dad will have a fit if he gets a KFC drive through put in. Plus his best friend is already down there! You know, that Jeffrey guy, loves jets.

DEVIL: I dunno...

JESUS: He’s not even that likely to die. Unlike the thousands who’ve died due to through his administration’s denialism and psychotic profits-first approach in a wealthy nation without a functioning public health system, he’s getting the absolutely best care accessible only to the rich and powerful in a stunning example of the US’s descent into a dysfunctional oligarchy!

DEVIL: Oh don’t get all political on me, Mr Hashtag Bernie Would Have Won. I tell you what. If he dies, we’ll take him on ONE condition. You get Mike Pence.

JESUS: oh cone on you know we can’t stand those Bible bashers up here! They’re always “Leviticus this” “Sodom and Gomorrah that” and I’m like READ MY FUCKING SERMON ON THE MOUNT! But OK, you take the orange baboon and we’ve got a deal. 

DEVIL: Good doing business with you [hangs up] Pompous prat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

QUIZ: Are you John Lee Pettimore from Steve Earle's 1988 hit 'Copperhead Road'?

There's quite a lot going on in the world right now, but one "hot topic" -- as any a brief glance at social media will tell you -- is the sometimes controversial question of "identity". 

So if you've been asking yourself big questions about exactly who you are and how you fit into this world, this quiz could help you answer the most fundamental of questions: Are you John Lee Pettimore from Steve Earle's 1988 hard rock/outlaw country crossover hit song "Copperhead Road"?


Is your name John Lee Pettimore?

A) Just like my daddy and his daddy before!

B) No, it's Lars.

C) What? Why are you asking me this?

Has your family ever been involved in the bootleg moonshine trade?

A) Everyone knew my granddaddy made moonshine. My daddy too, until the accident.

B) No, my father and his father were tax collectors, as am I.

C) What kind of question is that?

Are you from the US state of Tennessee?

A) Yeah Johnson County. Not far from Knoxville, though you hardly ever saw granddaddy down there, as he only came to town about twice a year.

B) Actually I live in Helsingør, which is a town of about 50,000 people in eastern Denmark, just a short ferry ride from Sweden!

C) What?

Has a member of your family ever bought 100 pounds of yeast and some copper wire?

A) My grandaddy did!

B) No, what an odd question.

C) No, what an odd question.

Did your granddaddy ever had a run in with the revenue man that may have been responsible for the mysterious disappearance of said revenue man?

A) Nothing was ever proven.

B) Definitely not as my familiy have worked for the Danish tax office for generations. We find the suggestion of foul play against a fellow revenue collector disturbing to say the least!

C) What's actually happening?

Did your daddy ever drive a big block dodge?

A) Yep. Bought it at an auction at the Mason's Lodge. Though that was before the accident. They say you could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road.

B) No my family have always driven Volvos. Say what you will about those Swedes, they can make a solid car!

C) These questions are getting weird.

Did you serve with the US forces in Vietnam?

A) I volunteered on my birthday. They draft the white trash first round here anyway. I did two tours of duty.

B) No, Denmark was not directly involved in the US conflict in Indochina, although while the general public view in Scandanvia was against US policy, the Danish government was not as outspoken in opposition to the conflict as, say, the Swedish government was. There were a lot of factors behind this, such as more right-wing forces governing Denmak at the time. However I'm not really sure what relevence the geopolitics of Scandanvia in relation to US imperialism in the 1960s has to do with this quiz.

C) What the fuck is going on?

Have you ever grown cannabis for commercial gain?

A) Look, I came back from the Indochina conflict with a brand new plan. Moonshine's yesterday's news, these kids want a different high. So I took seeds from Colombia and Mexico and planted them up the holler on Copperhea...actually, I'm not sure I should be telling you this. Last thing I want is some fucking DEA choppers in the air! Not with my PTSD! Any narcs reading this, keep in mind that I learned a thing or two from Charlie, don't you know!

B) No I find Denmark's national tax office pays well enough to avoid the need for recourse in the illicit drug trade. I mean yeah I smoked a bit of pot in my uni days, who didn't? 


Has country musician Steve Earle ever written a commercially successful cross-over hit about your life?

A) Hey! That bastard owes me a shit-ton of royalities for that song he had in the 80s! I'm telling you now, that prick'd better stay away from Copperhead Road!

B) Steve Earle? Didn't he have that hit years ago about Tinfoot Avenue or something?



MOSTLY As:  You are John Lee Pettimore and Steve Earle owes you a lot of royalities.

MOSTLY Bs:  You are Lars from Helsingør in Denmark and not John lee Pettimore. To be honest, I'm not sure why you even did this quiz.

MOSTLY Cs:  You are in the grips of a major identity crisis. You don't know who you are, where you are, or why. This stuff is actually really important so for your own sake and the sake of those who love you, I urge you to get professional help.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

This cat just offered the purrfect response to Essendon's Joe Daniher for his game against the Eagles


This cat will judge your onfield performance
Judging Joe Daniher.

There is a lot going on in the world, but some things never change. Such as the sheer frustration of watching Essendon's star forward Joe Daniher kick for goal.

It was something that had been missing from Essendon fan's game-watching experience for a long time. On August 27, against the Eternal Enemy of Humanity that is Hawthorn, Daniher took to the field in the Bombers geurnsey for the first time in 467 days. It wasn't clear this day would ever come, not just because of recurring injuries, but reports Daniher wanted to leave for the Sydney Swans,

Yet there he was, showing Bombers fans just why they love to see Daniher in the red and black -- taking huge marks and kicking big-goals to spur Essendon to an historic second half come back so brilliant you could FEEL Jeff Kennett's head exploding through the psychic waves of the universe. It was glorious.

Then, just days later, against the West Coast Eagles, Daniher showed why it is so fruastrating to see Daniher in the red and black. He took big grabs, create a target all day, and utterly shanked every shot he had on goal in an inept display you'd be embarrased to see in a six-year-old as Essendon lost the game by failing to turn onfield dominance into scoreboard pressure (as the experts say).

Well, one Essendon fan had had enough! After what felt like Daniher's 20th miss (it was actually just his third) NC/DC (short for "Night Cat/Day Cat"), looked up at me from the couch and said clearly: 

"I am not watching any more of this match."

'I'm not watching another minute of this game'

"Why?" I asked, pointing out there was still enough time on the clock for the Bombers to chase down the Eagles lead should we finally start converting a few chances.

"WHY?" was the dismissive response.




"Because Joe Daniher just missed AGAIN! BORING!!!"


"Oh look at me," he said, starting a mocking impersonation of the key forward. "I'm Joe Daniher on the lead!"

'Look at me! I'm out on the lead!'

"Oh look I just a spectacular grab! What a brilliant mark I just took!"

'What a brilliant mark!'

"But now I have to go back and take the kick. On no, I'm all a-tangle!"

'Now I'm all a-tangle'

'Oh look at that, I missed again!'

'I missed again!'

"That's why I've stopped watching YOU IDIOT! We can't win with goal kicking like that."

'We can't win if we squander chances like that, you idiot.'

And with that, looking smug at having summed the game up, NC/DC promptly took a nap.

By doing so, NC/DC saved himself the pain of watching what remained of that frustrating game.

And now, in just one hour, Essendon are going to play again, taking on Geelong. Let all Essendon players know that NC/DC will be watching. DO NOT FAIL THE CAT AGAIN!

NC/DC will be judging you, Essendon players


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Footy Frenzy has ended but you don't have to wait till Friday to enjoy the commentary!

We are all upset at the temporary end of the AFL's "Footy Frenzy", where by 33 games were played in just 20 days! And while the AFL is back on Friday, and another bout of frenzied game playing isn't far away, it has still left a gaping hole at the very centre of human civilisation.

Worse, it's left us with little to distract us from an out-of-control pandemic with no obvious end point, ecological collapse and Sydney FC winning the A-League premiership for a record fifth time, which has been set out in all known religious texts as the clearest signal of the End Times.

The loss is far less watching mediocre games whose results are beyond doubt by half time, with the few close games largely due to both sides finding ways to fail to kick goals with a level of skill previously only seen on the Australian left. 

No, we all miss the Channel 7 commentary. So, having provided a basic script last week to allow people to not have to watch the game to get their shot of "BT action", I post a new script below so you don't have to miss out.


Both sides have everything to play for

And we’re away!

Great second touch

Touch wasn't clean enough

Beaten by the boundary line

[obscure stat]

It's pretty even around the stoppages

Almost a throw

He's normally a good kick


Not his best effort there

And that's not a good kick

And he slots it through

They set sail again

Just bundled him out the way

A bobbling ball

And that's a miracle goal!

[Blokey banter -- "You'd have got that one wouldn't you Kingo?" "Oh not sure about that Bingo, I reckon he's been practicising those in his back yard"]

Happy to take a bit of time

They're just slowing things down

They're travelling well

[obscure stat]

And just a minor score

They're keeping them in it

Bundled him out the way

He's found the boundary line

Defence doing their job

Some friendly fire

They're grimly defending

Great effort not to give away the free

They've have done all the scoring this quarter

Hugging the boundary line

And it's touched on the line

[obscure stat]

It's within his range

He's missed the mark by a fair margin

Got the better of him that time

Served it up to him on a plate

He needed a kind bounce

He just holds it up

Oh! He felt that!

[blokey banter like "I reckon you know about hits like that eh Kingo" "Oh I don't know about that Bingo, but I reckon I copped a couple of them from you back in the day" (blokely laughter all round)]

It's a real arm wrestle

It's evenly poised here

And they hit the front!

This game's got everything!

He's taken a screamer!

And the goal umpire doesn't move!

Don't go anywhere!

Might have got away with one

Clever use of the footy

And they are back in front!

Who's gonna stand tall?

Heard the umpires call, he's gotta go.

Happy to see it over

[obscure stat]

They stream forward

Just blazes away

A bit of an up and under

Crowd getting a little restless

He's battling hard

A lot of time on the clock

[obscure state]

They've started to even up the numbers around the ball

This will be interesting!

Goes across the face

He'll be disappointed in that

They've just got a sniff here

A low scoring affair

Just over a goal in it

He's missed a sitter!

It's a chaos ball

They've just gotta go here

[obscure stat]

Bounces unkindly

Kicks into space

He should have swallowed that

The next five minutes crucial

There's a bit of feeling in this

[Blokey banter about how "Kingo" didnt mind a bit of a push and shove in their day.]

And who else!

You wouldn't expect anything different from him!

They're hunting in packs!

They're just hanging around

They've clawed their way back into it

And they can go!

And he's picked his pocket

And he makes no mistake!

That's what makes this game so great!

And didn't the crowd love it!

That was on the back of some forward pressure

This game just keeps delivering!

To ice the game..

And that'll just about do it!

What a great advertisement for our game

There are a lot take aways from this tonight

...will be very happy to walk away with four points

As for... it's back to the drawing board!

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti playing footy
Making it into contests when you're thinking that he couldn't
Arms like Arnie and hair like the predator
Just when you thought he couldn't get any better-e



Monday, August 10, 2020

Now you don't need to watch! AFL commentary provided free of charge right here!

We're in the midst of of an AFL "Footy Frenzy", as the recipients of $10 million hand out of taxpayers cash taken from COVID-19 relief funds put it! Yes they are part way through playing 33 games in just 20 days in a  mad race to finish this weird, plague-interupted season and hasn't it been an absolute feast of mediocre skills, dire games and umpiring so bafflingly irrational it makes Donald Trump look like Dr Spock.

Actually watching all these games in their entirety gets pretty draining, even nothing else to do. So I've decided to help.

Let's face it, the only reason anyone watches a game these days is for the sheer quality on offer from the Channel 7 commentary team. 

Imagine a game commentated by wits such as Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward and Dorothy Parker (relegated to occasional special comments as a woman of course) and you barely scratch the surface of what is on offer.

Luckily for you, I've curated the commentary into one easy to read piece that covers any game -- so you no longer have to torture yourself watching insane interpretations of the holding the ball rule, forward 50s so packed with players they are like a pub in a posh suburb mid-pandemic, nor wonder what percentage of players on the ground have committed serious sexual misconduct. 

No, I provide the comments culled from real games in a stunning testimony to just how much time on your hands you actually get amid the collapse of human civilisation. This is only a small selection of phrases culled.

Just insert which ever team or players you want.


A win for either side here is crucial in the context of this season

And we’re away!

He gets a hard won ball

Kicks down the line

But only as far as …

That’s a terrible turn over

You can’t do that there

Who'd be a coach?

He makes no mistake!

And they’re off to a flying start!

Appeals for a free are ignored

And the umpire says he’ll have it How was that not a free, BT?

Kicks an up and under

They’re just controlling the tempo here

I don't think he had any prior there

Dropped on he should have taken

Looks to buy some time

Umpire says it travelled the required distance

And that's a poor finish

They’ve let them off the hook

And they'll bring it away

Did well to keep it alive

Got away with it

The fans letting the umpire know they don't agree

Well I'm not sure what that was for

Fair call, BT

A golden opportunity

And that's a bad let off

Who'd be a coach?

Big ball to win here

He's taken out of it

Too unselfish there

I’m not sure about that one, BT!

...is front and centre

Hits him on the chest

Familiar territory for him

And the goal umpire doesn't move!

One against the flow

His team needed that one!

He's up and about this quarter

Got away with one there

...and off hands

And he sees it over the line

What do you think they've got to do here BT?

This is a big moment for…

He needs to go back and slot this

And he makes no mistake!

A bit of push and shove

Umpire let’s it go

He's wrapped up in the tackle

And they'll throw it in

Saved by the siren!

They've started well this quarter

Clean hands

Not a great finish

He'll be disappointed in himself

That's a clever kick

They're on the back foot here

He's got nothing to kicked to

Looks up and sees nothing

He just needed to lower his eyes

They've had enough chances

Next goal here is crucial

Could have almost had a shot

Slides a little hand ball to...

They hit the front!

And it's very much game on!

And aren't the crowd just loving it!

Too true BT!

A good pair of hands

What's he got? He's got plenty!

Ad tnhey hit back quickly!

He's dragged off it

A little overzealous on that occasion

And that is a harsh call

I'm not convinced he had prior there

Kick was ill directed

A bit of a chaos ball

Should've held onto that

Kept his feet and did that really well

A centring ball

Slots it through!

We've got a game on our hands!

They need a quick response, BT

Numbers out the back here

...will be breathing a sigh of relief

An interesting stage of the game here

The next goal is crucial, you feel

And that's a bad miss

He won't enjoy watchin the replay of that one

Who'd be coach?

And straight away they are made to pay!

He’s on fire!

They’ve blown it wide open

A bobbling ball

Made him earn it

Played it well

Told to go

It's a penetrating kick

And look who’s lurking!

And he doesn't miss those ones!

They're hanging in there

The next goal is crucial in the context of this game

He's instantly claimed

The umpire let's it roll

And the ball's taken over

Very much game on

A long bomb

And that's happening way too often

He’s having a quiet night

I think you’re right about that on BT.

Made him earn it

That hurt!

There's a bit of feeling to this game BT!

And it's on just before three quarter time!

They want to be careful they don't do anything stupid here

That was dumb

He's gifted them a goal on three quarter time!

Who'd be a coach?

He won't enjoy watching replays of that

The tribunal will have its work cut out this week!

The game is hanging in the balance

Brilliant hands

He makes it look easy

We've got a game of footy!

The viewers at home would be absolutely loving it!

Can they manufacture something here?

Finds some space

Strange sort of kick

Spirals it out to the wing

Which way will it bounce?.

He's got an acre to work with

It's a long way back from here

Takes him on

Can they find a way out

Not much ahead of him

But only as far as...

Desperately need the next goal

They've just to to wheel and go

Time's not on their side

Seconds keep ticking

They've got to roll the dice here

And he's taken an absolute screamer!

This to seal it

That's game set and match!

They get a late one but it's too little too late

What a game!

And didn't the crowd love it!

Lived up to its billing!

What an advertisement for our game!

A cracking start to the round

… Will be very disappointed with that result

They had their chances

But taking nothing away from…that was a quality performance

They've sent a message to the rest of the competition… LOOK OUT!

And don't go anywhere coz we've got MORE FOOTY coming up right after the break!

Picture this, a paper boy
He stands outside a Collingwood hotel
On his back black and white
He hums a tune I've learnt to hate so well

Is there anywhere you'd rather be
Than with me at the MCG
And if the Saints get done again
By Christ, I couldn't care...

Weddings Parties Anything from when Melbourne people could actually go outside and even watch footy games in person, thus missing the Channel 7 commentary.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Hungover at Dan Murphy's

I want to write a lot more, of whatever type, but can't make myself so a friend gave me a topic, word lengths and deadline, and I immediately wrote this story. The topic is "Hungover in Dan Murphy's", which was great because they say write what you know. It should go without saying that every word below is true.


I was very hungover in an aisle in Dan Murphy's. It’s a strange experience as you’re trapped in Hell, surrounded by Heaven. 

Bottles that normally look so inviting, when hungover just look like they contain toxic brews poisonous to the human body. Which, of course, the bastards do. Yet the mind remembers even when the body revolts. Those liquids offer Heaven. Used properly, of course. I won’t make last night’s mistakes again, even as I struggled to recall exactly what they all were.

This being 2020, I was wearing a mask. Its main advantage this morning was less keeping in coronavirus as the overpowering alcohol fumes that passed for my breath. No virus could survive in there, so the biggest hazard was I’d pass out from the trapped fumes. Still, breathing it back in might even pass as hair of the dog, though it wasn’t working to judge from the way each part of my body was insisting it was mortally wounded.

I rounded the corner and saw a young couple just as one said to the other, “honestly forget face masks, some people should be made to wear bum masks, the amount of shit they talk”. The other sniggered and agreed it was a fair point. I may have too if my brain wasn’t frozen stuck fast, lest a cell make a sudden movement and send waves of pain through my skull.

Which made the timing of what happened next unfortunate. Just behind the couple, a large swirling portal appeared next to the row of passion pop bottles. A large red tentacle emerged suddenly and snatched the startled couple back through the portal, which promptly vanished. 

I stood there for a while before finally, gingerly, looking around. There was no one else in the shop but a bored guy behind a counter on the other side of the store, looking in the opposite direction.

This was not ideal. Was what I’d seen real, or had my feverishly hungover and possibly COVID-riddled brain (were hallucinations a symptom?) invented the entire scene, possibly as payback for all the red wine with beer, whisky then more red wine and then gin (I think) I subjected it to last night?

There was only one thing to do. I walked up to the passion pop aisle and decided a couple of bottles of ultra-low priced bubbles were definitely called for.

I took them across to the bored server, who scanned them and let me press my card against the machine, muttering that if I got a six pack of beer as well, I could get a stubby holder with the logo of some alcohol brand as a special deal. 

I was less interested in a new stubby holder than in the blatant fact he gave no indication he’d seen a portal or a tentacle or a couple of young 20 somethings disappear to God knows where.

I could have mentioned it. I could have asked him if he’d ever seen magical portals open up in the store before. But low-wage work is a drag at the best of times, and when you add the economic downturn shedding jobs everywhere right now, I decided not to add to his stress. 

After all, if it wasn’t real, he had no reason to worry. If it was, then he’d probably be scared enough to abandon his post, leave the store and lose a badly needed job. Assuming he escaped with his life. No, let him scroll his phone in an ignorance I was already envying.

As I walked outside, the late morning sun hit my face flush on. I grasped the passion pop bottles tighter -- I was going to need them to make this pain disappear. 

I stopped to take a breather from the exertion of walking 10 metres from the counter and sat on a seat I prayed was not infected and thought about it. This was exactly the sort of shit that 2020 would pull. Unprecedented bushfires, an out of control global pandemic and the sudden appearance of menacing portals with human-snatching tentacles. 

Still, I thought, at least I don’t live in the US. There, tentacles emerging from portals would probably be defended by Trump so long as they disproportionately targetted minorities. He’d probably try to contract the portals to do “security” at voter booths in November to assist with voter suppression plans.

Somehow I made it home alive, a miracle given my hangover let alone the threat from unexplained tentacle-porthole snatchings. Then two things happened.

One was that I drank a bottle and three quarters of passion pop and passed out on my couch in the early evening before waking up at midnight feeling worse than the morning.

And the other thing was that I never saw a portal, with or without a tentacle, ever again. But as all of us who survived know, given what happened next in that accursed year 2020, that was the least of the planet’s worries.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Look, I don't know, but maybe we should have overthrown this entire fucking system before now

I think we can safely say that 2020 is going exactly as well as you'd imagine 2020 would go if you hadn't, in advance of 2020, overthrown the psychopathic, self-destructive monster that is capitalism with a rational system that seeks to put the needs of people first.

A lot of people are doing it really tough right now, in so many places. Personally I'm lucky, I got great odds at the start of the year on Nick Kyrgios doing something sensible, so I'm sorted. 

Some may say "you can't blame COVID on capitalism", except that you sort of can. I mean obviously this is an entirely unpredictable event, except for the fact it was predicted. Naturally, this being an entirely rational system, the predictions were ignored and the wealthiest nation on Earth slashed funding for pandemic preparations.

There is no question the world has been turned upside down. Things are so wild and crazy that the Australian Coalition government even started paying unemployed above the poverty line. It's really that nuts.

Imagine saying that would happen at the start of the year. They'd have given you a kindly look and said "please come with us, we have a place where you'll be safe" then injected you full of Lithium and locked you away for your own good.

Naturally, they are trying to take it away. They say higher unemployment benefits are "putting people off" from seeking work.

There's a slight issue with this, with there being 12 unemployed people for every job vacancy. And that's without even taking into consideration the fact the official stats are blatantly wrong and the reality is worse. (I know, I can't believe they'd lie either.)

Why stop at "finding non-existent jobs" as impossible things the unemployed aren't doing? I also blame the current JobSeeker rate for unemployed people not flying to Pluto, running a marathon in 60 seconds or inventing a COVID-19 vaccine two months ago and stopping this madness that's threatening to restrict my God-given right to destroy my liver in pubs and not just at home, the goddamn lazy bludgers.

Anyway, I have it from a reliable source these dole bludgers just spend all day on their phones anyway. My mate's the guy at Centrelink who monitors its call waiting times and he has the hard data to back it up.

At time of writing, Melbourne has gone back into level 3 lockdown. Possibly the worst thing about this is all the jokes us Sydneysiders want to make about Melbourne, but are way too nervous to coz our return to lockdown is just one bureaucratic fuck up away.

Meanwhile as Australian governments continue their deep and unabiding commitment to detaining brown people, some rich people win exemptions from quarantine. Proving that, a seemingly endless stream of irritating TV ads nothingstanding, we are not all in this together except in the sense we all share the misfortune of inhabiting this planet at the exact moment as the fucking Arctic is being ravaged what the scientists are calling "zombie fires"

I'd never heard of a "zombie fire" before either. And while I've no idea exactly what it means, an undead brain-eating fire is not exactly a very reassuring image, even if it was ravaging a place well known for bushfires, like all of Australia, and not, like... THE FUCKING ARCTIC. Which is where we keep most of our ice. Or we did, until the Rise of the Zombie Fires.

It's in this context that news cam that Australia had won a new award: we are now the world's largest exporters of fossil fuels. It just goes to show, with some vision, drive and a bit of gumption, you can achieve anything, even the end of the world.

It is this kind of thing that allows us to keep a sense of perspective about the COVID-19 pandemic. As bad as it seems now, things are going to get so much worse as the consequences runaway climate change increasingly hit. It's gonna make Mad Max look Utopian.

I dunno. Maybe not overthrowing this system and installing an entirely new one was a mistake. 

Anyway, here's a song. I was going to choose something Apocalyptic by Tom Waits, like "Earth Died Screaming", but I don't know if it will exactly help anyone sleep so I've gone for "I think You Outta Try Whiskey" duet by Canadian country singers Cob Lund and Jaida Dreyer. It is off Corb's new album Agricultural Tragic and it's a lot of fun. It's got a great "Johnny and June" vibe to it. 

"I think you outta try whiskey, babe"

"Well I think you outta try gin!"

No need to fight, you are both right.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Granville loses its MP and a true account of the mean streets of Clyde

As if there wasn't enough terrible news in the world today, Granville's state MP Julia Finn has stepped down from the NSW Shadow Cabinet over branch stacking allegations.

I am not happy. This leaves those us Granville residents without any voice at all in the NSW Labor Shadow cabinet. It is a big blow.

It's no coincidence that these allegations come at a time when powerful forces have made clear their desire to silence Granvillian voices.

I personally give no credence at all to these allegations. I've never met Julia Finn but I do know Granville. Manipulating the rules of the NSW Labor Party to inflate your local branch membership so as to gain political advantage is simply not what we do here. 

I've lived here for over a year and I've never seen any branch stacking. Either the branch stacking happens very discreetly or these are straight up lies by those whose anti-Granville agenda is well-known.

Some will say that now, at least, Julia Finn has more time to spend tending to the needs of her constituents, no longer distracted from high flying, high stakes world of the NSW Opposition's cabinet meetings. Maybe. Who knows, she might even find time to recruit actual humans to the local branch now. Anything is possible in these unprecedented times. 

Now I am Granville till I die. I have "2142" tatooed across my heart.

But... well with all the heat we've been getting with this unseemly branch stacking scandal (I've heard property prices have dropped) ... well I thought there can't be any harm in checking out the neighouring places. Just to take a look.

And so on this day I set out to do something I had never done before. I would walk eastwrds to Clyde Train Station and there, I'd cross the train lines to the northern side, and walk streets of Clyde that I had never done before.

This was as far as I'd ever gone before:

On the other side was unknown territory. Forget branch stacking, did they even have Labor Party branches?

I walked forward with trepidation. I had to stop half way across to gather my courage.

It was when I began my descent on the other side of the tracks that I began to grasp just why these streets had such a notorious rep:

Look I'll not deny the sign caused me pause. But it takes a bit more than the threat of entering Kelly Country to scare me. I used hangout with the Kellys back in the day. In fact I was known as the "Fifth Kelly", like with Stu Sutcliffe and the Beatles, only I didn't die of a brain haemorrhage but was kicked out of the Kelly Gang for excessive drunkardness. Which, if you ever saw how those bastards drank, you'd realise was a big achievement.

Anyway, if you walk closer you can see those red splatters on the wall aren't actually exploded blood splatters at all. They are actually just leaves! Look:

So I made it. I walked a free man into that barren wasteland that lies just east of Granville and west of Auburn.

I have seen more welcoming places to be honest.

I have read that as the suburb is just industrial these days, and no one actually lives in Clyde any more.Having seen how mean Clyde's houses are, I'm not surprised.

And I don't know what Clyde is hiding, but security is out of control! This place is protected by a flying jeep driven by a ghost child!

And I don't know what they dump in this body of water, but it's called Duck River and I didn't see a single duck. It's very suspicious.

Still, you can get all your cement needs met in Clyde, so it's not all bad.

But the strangest thing I noticed about Clyde was that, while in Granville the berries on our trees are red or sometimes green, here the berries were purple.

Or yellow.

This was very unnerving. Of everything I saw, it was these strange berry colours that made me realise something was not right.

I had to get out of there and I moved quickly, not raising me head to notice what I can only assume were an increasingly bizarre array of colours, like brink pink or off-white with magenta spots.

Finally, I made it onto Granville land and headed straight to safety.

At the end of the day, whatever problems Granville faces, I think I am far better here, where it is relatively safe. Plus it turns ot the Granville elctorate takes in a large chunk of Clyde anyway.

Still, a nice day.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

On Statues (Or 'Me and James Connolly')

I don't think I ever really thought about statues until I was 19.

Backpacking around Europe, I'd arrived in Dublin. Walking around the city centre, I stumbled across a statue of this proud looking bloke with a big moustache, the quote behind him declaring, "The cause of Labour is the cause of Ireland. The cause of Ireland is the cause of Labour."

I grew up in Australia. Here, the statues are what seemed to me an endlessly bland array of colonial figures.

So what THE ACTUAL FUCK was this?

I read at the statue, or maybe elsewhere in Dublin, about James Connolly being a trade unionist, socialist and republican who died in an the 1916 Easter Rising insurrection against British rule.

Seriously WTF? A statue to a trade unionist, just by itself, was totally foreign to me. I'd never seen one in Australia. I mean, trade unionists organise the downtrodden against the powers-that-be and the powers-that-be build the statues... don't they?

But this guy wasn't just a trade unionst ...but a socialist? Even more, a revolutionary who was executed for leading an insurrection against British colonial rule??? My beer-addled teenage brain was trying to figure out WHY a statue would be built to such a person.

It was obvious I knew fuck all about Irish history and politics. I had a vague idea they had grievances with the British, and I kinda liked their folk music and Guinness. Especially the Guinness.

But I never knew their grievances could run so deep that in the centre of their capital they would erect a statue to a socialist revolutionary who had died trying to overthrow British rule by force of arms.

I was shocked, coz I also quite liked English-style ale. Did I now have to choose?

The Easter Rising museum in Dublin provided a basic introduction to the 1916 rebellion Connolly helped lead. I was introduced to the profound and moving Proclamation of the Irish Republic that Connolly helped draft.

I should point out, I wasn't a stranger to such revolutionary documents and their role on mass struggles. I had been to South Africa in the immediate aftermath of the end of Apartheid, when Mandela was first elected president, and the ANC's Freedom Charter was everywhere. It has a lot in common with the Proclamation, but is even more detailed in its radicalism.

But still... to walk through some European nation, which culturally seemed not a million miles from my own (alcohol abuse especially) and see a statue of a revolutionary socialist was gobsmacking.

In truth, as I now know, the statues I grew up with were not actually bland colonial figures at all. They were psychpathic mass murdering white supremicist colonial figures. Which, say what you will, isn't bland.

That's the great magic trick of Australian history. It presents itself as paint-drying levels of boring. Nothing happened, bar a gold rush, the Eureka Stockade, Ned Kelly and then 100 years later a prime minister got sacked.

That was about all we learned at school and predictably every single student was convinced there was nothing more boring in the Known Universe than "Australian History".

It is a clever trick to use dire boredom to distract from a huge decades-long, multi-faceted Frontier War and ongoing genocide. Most students never looked too closely coz we were too busy yawning.

Australia's statues tell a story that is fascinating, if monstrous. They are monuments to the true nature of this nation. They repesent figures associated with the violent and bloody dispossession of the First Australians.

What struck me about the Connolly statue was this was commemorating a figure who died rebelling against the British Empire, and the statues where I was from were all of representatives of that Empire.

That the Irish state that emerged from the 1919-21 War of Independence against British rule bore no resemblence to Connoly's vision was not really the point. That statue told me, in literally concrete form, that a different and better world had been fought and died for, and that this struggle was important enough to commemorate for future generations.

Statues are visual depictions of what values your society holds. What moral compass guides your society? What principles does it hold to?

So when I see people in Britain upset at the statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol had been dumped in the sea... I think this says an enormous amount about them and their society.

As it does about those who want to "save" the statue of pro-slavery general Robert E. Lee in Virginia in the US.

As it does about those upset at the fall of a statue in Belgium to King Leopold II  -- the butcher of the Congo.

 As it does about the snowflakes up in arms about some grafitti on statues of James Cook in this country.

And on Ireland, it's not that they never had statues to figures representing colonial power. For many years, right up until 1966, Dublin was not just home to statues of republican heroes like Connolly... but also "Nelson's Pillar", a homage to British admiral Horatio Nelson.

It towered over Dublin until one night in1966, it was blown up by a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army.

That statue was just granite. Here are seminal Irish folk group The Dubliners singing a jaunty little tune about the incident.

Monday, June 08, 2020

These clips of J. Cole and Janelle Monae might give some clue to why the US has exploded

I don't really get what is happening in the United State right now.

I simply cannot see what in the US's history of genocidal dispossession of its original inhabitants, wealth built by slaves, violent suppression of post-slavery Black people to keep them second class, violence unleashed on super-exploited workers fighting to improve their conditions with anti-union terror common place, growing imperial machinery to use violence to impose your interests the world over as a bloodstained super-power, a campaign  of disruption and murderous violence against Black radicals, the collapse of post-war prosperity and extreme rise in inequality and general suffering as the top 1% grow exponentially richer all the while the judicial system imposing extreme violence against non-whites, also often the poorest, grows too, and the out-of-control system wrecks havoc on the planet causing worsening extreme weather that disproportionately affects the poorest everywhere including the US where it is an opportunity to ethnic cleanse Black areas in the name of "gentrification", worsening persecution against migrants whose cheap labour underpins the entire economy, and the undemocratic, corporate-owned electoral system blocking any sort genuinely pro-people movement to express itself institutionally all the while people's living conditions keep worsening and there isn't even basic universal health care, then a deadly pandemic breaks out and the government does fucking nothing to help its people with the virus killing Black people disproportionately and yet more deadly violence against Black people could give us any sort of clue this explosion was coming.

Talk about blind-sided.

Still I guess it hasn't entirely come from nowhere. These two songs from the US I have found myself listening to, one after the other, when thinking about US state violence against its people, espeically the ones with black skin.

The first involves heartbreak, the second defiant fury, The second follows the first.

The first is by rapper J. Cole, performed on Late Night With David Letterman in 2014, in the aftermath of Eric Garner's murder (among many others). The second is by neo-soul singer Janelle Monae and everyone else from her own record company Wondaland.

'All we want do is take these chains off'

'Say their name...'


In unrelated news, Black people are shot dead with impunity by police in Australia too. Aboriginal country singer Kev Carmody produced this haunting yet matter-of-fact tale of the cold-blooded murder of Aboriginal man David Gundy. And unrelated to this tale is the outbreak of Black LIves Matter protests in Long Bay prison today.

Terrorists dressed in uniform
Under the protection of their law
Terrorise blacks in dawns of fear
They come smashin' through your door
You're not safe out there on freedom street
You're not safe inside the "can"
For their shotguns and their stunt gas
They're licenced to drop you where you stand

Check out Warrioirs of the Aboriginal Resistance on Facebook.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist Part 2

Read Part 1 or you will be very lost

The Adventures of Carlo and Leslie: The Tale of the Roller Skating Archaeologist



CAPTION: A desert island.

[On a sand-covered beach with one palm tree for shade, Carlo and Leslie sit in their now sandy Napoleonic-era uniforms.]

LESLIE: I suppose you’re happy now. To be so far away from Belgium where there ACTUALLY IS booze…

CARLO: [looks intently at a coconut] How long does it actually TAKE for these things to ferment?


CARLO: [stands up and yells at the coconut] FERMENT YOU BASTARD!!!

LESLIE: You won’t even like fermented coconut. It’ll just remind you of that fermented horse milk we were forced to drink back when we rode with Genghis Khan.

CARLO: OH GOD! Genghis! All I wanted was a fucking beer!

LESLIE: As you insisted very loudly. God knows  I don’t mind running, but an enraged Mongol horde gets up quite a head of speed.

CARLO: The man had no vision! I tried to tell him! All of this conquering and subjugating and establishing the largest contiguous land empire in human history is one thing! But you want to think big! “Genghis, mate,” I said, “you wanna go invade New Zealand! In about 800 years, they’ll make the Lord of the Rings trilogy there and THINK of the royalties!”

LESLIE: He just kept insisting “what’s New Zealand?” He never understood your strategic genius.

CARLO: AND HE NEVER BOUGHT ME A FUCKING BEER! Now it’s all come flooding back.

LESLIE: Can we concentrate on getting off this island? It’s getting quite serious, there’s sand on my coat!


LESLIE: Well maybe you should be. Did you hear what that archaeologist said on the plane? Their army is led by Boudica!

CARLO: [shocked] The roller derbying archaeologist? [shudders] She once shoulder-checked me in the queue for the bar … I couldn’t walk for months.

LESLIE: This is far more serious than we feared. What the HELL is Duz thinking?


CARLO: Do you think this coconut has fermented yet?

[They are interrupted by a rumbling sound in the distance.]

LESLIE: [looking up] What’s that?

CARLO: [jumping up] Are we saved? IS THERE BOOZE?!

LESLIE: [squinting into the distance] It looks like Robinson on [squints] a flying goat!

CARLO: That fucking stoner?!? [slams back down on the sand in disgust]

[Robinson flies in and lands his magical flying goat next to them on the sand while smoking a large joint.]

LESLIE: How did you find us?

ROBINSON: I had a dream… plus I attached secret tracking devices to all known archaeologists. [Pats back of the goat] Jump on!

[Leslie gets on, followed by a reluctant Carlo.]

ROBINSON: You’ll be needing a drink.

[He hands a bottle of some spirit in the direction of Leslie. Carlo snatches it and greedily skulls it then finally hands the bottle to Leslie, who tries to drink from it but finds it empty.]

ROBINSON: Let’s get you to Brussels to stop this convention.

[He takes off into the sky. Leslie and Carlo holding on for dear life.]

ROBINSON: Oh no, it’s the Flying Archaeologist Roller Derby Army!

[An army of flying roller derby women takes chase, with jet-fuelled rollerskates and roller derby costumes and helmets. Boudica is in the lead.]

BOUDICA: [Flying up alongside the goat] Going somewhere are we? Maybe planning a quick trip to Brussels? [she takes aim with her skates] Be careful of any … unexpected turbulence!

[Boudica fires lasers from the back of her skates and Robinson steers the goat to dodge it in time. Other flying roller-derby soldiers start firing their skates and Robinson spins round to produce a bong-laser, firing at the attackers. The soldiers twist and turn, firing and dodging as a battle ensures. Leslie holds on desperately as Carlo wildly swings his machete at random rollerderby soldiers. Eventually, the goat starts to pull away and Boudica pulls up, raising her hand to stop her troops.]

BOUDICA:  They get away this time, but we’ll meet again! Onwards to Brussels and world domination! [She laughs manically.]


[Robinson, Leslie and Carlo walk down the footpath of a Brussels street as mad traffic shoots past. It’s raining.]

CARLO: Why does it ALWAYS FUCKING RAIN in Brussels?

LESLIE: It doesn’t always rain. There was actually a day on record in 1736 where it merely drizzled a bit in the morning.

[They walk past the famous fountain with a statue of young boy holding his penis as he pisses water. They are so engrossed with stopping Hell on Earth that they don’t notice.]

LESLIE: So how do we get there?

ROBINSON: You have to cross the road.

[Carlo and Leslie look at the wild traffic and back at Robinson]

LESLIE: Are you sure?

CARLO: Where’s the flying goat?

ROBINSON: Killed when a rogue 4WD rode the pavement.

CARLO: Don’t they respect the rules here?

ROBINSON: Oh no, they just make them. [points across the road a hugely ornate medieval Gothic building] There’s the convention centre. Now [looks at watch] I’ve got another flying goat to catch. If I’m quick I can still make Amsterdam by the time the coffee shops open.

[Robinson leaves as Carlo and Leslie stand and watch the 4WDs flow past.]

LESLIE: So… how do we cross?

[Carlo starts to speak when a bunch of bicycle riders stream down the footpath toward them, scattering them on to the road, forcing them into a mad dash as 4WDs nearly hit them.They stumble onto the opposite footpath.]

LESLIE: Oh like that.

[They look up at a towering and opulent building. A small printed sign on a glorious looking door reads “Archaeologist Convention: Artifacts And Global Domination”.]

LESLIE: Well we’re here.

[They look in the open door inside a huge hall filled with seated convention attendees. A middle-aged man in a cheap suit addresses them from the stage.]

ARCHAEOLOGIST: I hope you’re all enjoying this year’s very special Archaeologist Convention. We’ve been very privileged to unveil a whole array of incredible new discoveries, thanks especially to our wonderful benefactor, Mr Duroyan.

[Attendees applaud politely.]

CARLO: [Watching from the door] THAT BAVARIAN BASTARD!

ARCHAEOLOGIST: And we have saved the best for last, a truly remarkable new discovery that is certain to change the very course of history itself. And to unveil it for us all, we have a very special guest, one of the giants of the archaeology world, it is my incredible honour to welcome to the stage... Amy!

[Crowd applauds loudly as Amy walks on stage in a conservative-looking suit, wearing glasses. The crowd gets to its feet and cheer, trowels waiving in the air.]

LESLIE: It's Amy! Boudica’s archaeologist alter-ego!

AMY: Thank you very much. It’s great to see so many familar faces out here [she looks straight at Carlo and Leslie peering in at the back and gives a knowing smile]. And now to unveil the discovery that will FINALLY give the academic field of archaeology the respect we deserve!

[The crowd cheers wildy again, trowels waving.]

AMY: Now to hand over the goods... Duroyan!

[Applause and trowell waving as Duz walks out, dressed a bit like an Afghan peasant and carrying a small, unimposing wooden box.]


LESLIE: He’s actually going to do it! We have to stop him!

[They rush into the hall. On stage, Amy takes the box from Duz.]

AMY: Finally it is ours! When I open this box, Hell on Earth will be unleashed and ARCHAEOLOGISTS WILL REIGN AS FORETOLD IN THOSE INDUS VALLEY SCRIPTS WE PRETEND WE CAN’T DECIPHER!

[Cheering and trowel waving. Carlo and Leslie arrive on stage.]


[Duz puts up his hand and mouths “hold on”.]

[Amy opens the box. Leslie and Carlo declare “Oh shit!” as huge clouds of red smoke billow out of the box, then there’s a crack of lightning and as the smoke clears, Lucifer stands there with horns, a forked tail and hooves instead of feet, wearing a red coat and holding a red trident.]

LESLIE: It never ceases to amaze me just how right popular culture got the Devil.

LUCIFER: [sees Carlo] Oh, hi Carlo! Long time no see! Say… isn’t it your shout?


DUZ: It’s OK, I didn’t just sell this to archaeologists without a plan. I knew opening the box would unleash Lucifer and so I prepared the special brew we used last time. All we have to do is throw it over Satan and he’ll be sent straight back down to Hell. Now I left it just over…

[Duz looks in Carlo’s direction as Carlo gulps from a mug.]


LESLIE: Carlo, did you just drink the magic potion we need to use against the Prince of Darkness to stop him unleashing Hell on Earth and a thousand year reign of archaeologists?

CARLO: [wipes mouth] I thought it was one of those Belgium craft beers.

DUZ: YOU IDIOT! This is the invasion of Persia all over again!

CARLO: Come on! Alexander the Great left without me!

DUZ: He couldn’t get you out of the pub! You kept muttering about the $5 happy hour and how the covers band were rocking!

CARLO: They were awesome! I didn’t like their version of “Dirty Old Town” though.

DUZ: In their defence, it’s pretty hard to play when your machete is pressed against the singer’s throat while you shout at them to play that poetic yet gritty take on life in a post-war northern English industrial town. It was all he could do to screech: “It’s the 4th Century BC, I don’t know what a gas work wall is!”

LESLIE: Decent effort though. But reminiscing about all the places Carlo was too drunk to invade isn’t going to help us stop the Evil One from unleashing unprecedented pain and misery on all humanity!

LUCIFER: Hey, I’m standing right here!

LESLIE: I meant Amy.

CARLO: Hold on… [he starts to gag] That brew’s gone down even worse than Belgium craft beer! Don’t worry, I think I’ve got this! [He rushes at Lucifer] HERE’S THE DRINK I OWE YOU SATAN!

[Carlo projectile vomits all over Lucifer, who screams in horror then disappears in a puff of smoke, leaving behind only a sick-covered cape.]

CARLO: [holding his stomach] That feels so much better.

AMY: You will pay for this! [to the crowd] ARCHAEOLOGISTS! ATTACK!

[A hail of trowels rain down on the stage as Carlo, Leslie and Duz dash to safety. They emerge out the back of the building, then round to the main road. They rush into the chaotic traffic, causing wild beeping and swerving. They somehow make it to the other side, and stand with hands on knees, breathing heavily. The enraged archeologist mob wave trowels and shout from the other side of the road, the traffic a roaring unpassable ocean they can not cross.]

DUZ: [Dusts himself off] Right. To the pub! My shout with the proceeds of the sale!

LESLIE: [shakes his head] Why didn’t you just tell us that was your plan?

[They walk off as a couple of trowels flung from across the road fall nearby.]


[The pub. Duz is now dressed as an Irish farmer and is setting three pints of Guinness on the table where Leslie and Carlo sit in their Napoleonic uniforms.]

DUZ: [sits] I told you there was a pint of Guinness.

CARLO: [lifts pint] You might be a Bavarian bastard but I never doubted you!

LESLIE: [sips] It tastes even nicer as proceeds from yet another besting of the Prince of Darkness.

CARLO: [Decent gulp] Oh I love beer.

DUZ: We know.

CARLO: But there's times when I think about ALL the beer I’ve drunk over all those years...

LESLIE: So much throughout all history.

CARLO: ...and I think that if I had all that money I spent on beer … just imagine how much beer I could buy!

LESLIE: Quite a lot, definitely. Even taking into account inflation and rises in alcohol taxes, that's still an enormous amount of purchasing power.

DUZ: You could finally stop harassing other people to buy you beer all the time.

CARLO: Oh no! Just coz I’d be rich would be no reason to give up my favourite pastime!

LESIE: [raises hand] Hold on.

DUZ: What?

LESLIE: I swear I just heard roller skates.

[They all listen. Nothing happens.]

CARLO: Ah it’s just the lack of whiskey getting to you! [He stands up, machete in hand] I’ll go sort that out.

[As he walks off, the unmistakable sound of someone rollerskating nearby is heard.]