Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Even Rob Schneider was ashamed

I guess look back on 2008's highlights. I shook my brain for hours, but as we all know it was a pretty quiet year where nothing much of any significance really happened. Not a year to make the history books that's for sure.

Of course, with one exception. An exception that shook the world.

As anyone not from the planet Neptune knows, there was an extremely significant event that occurred around two months ago that grabbed the planet's attention. There were tears, laughter and disbelief.

It took to the very pinnacle a member of a long downtrodden sector of society.

Yes, in a blow for hardworking, unrecognised pub musicians everywhere, Wes Carr was victorious and crowned Australian Idol 2008.

Readers of this blog may not be aware, as I was not, but in all of the excitement about the unprecedented situation of an Australian Idol winner with a small amount of talent, there was another vote around the same time that flew under the radar.

It has been brought to my attention recently that apparently there was a presidential election sometime in November in the USA.

The news surprised me, as I had assumed the US had done away with such things to free up time for the corporate elite to concentrate more fully on persecuting the immigrants who do all the shit work; filling jails with young Black men who then do even shittier work for free (thus making decent headway into reversing the outcome of the Civil War); and destroying the world economy.

But no.

Apparently they actually had a vote and so hated are the Republicans, and so so ludicrous their candidates for Rulers of the World, they didn't even bother trying to steal it this time.

Desperate for change, the the US voters elected a Black man to oversee the Empire that has been killing Black people since its inception. The world is a strange place, sometimes. Perhaps they feel direct experience will help with efficiency.

Still, people seem relieved to see the back of the last guy.

It wasn't just that he was a war criminal responsible for millions of deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, torture all over the world, or a massive shift of wealth to his super-rich friends ("his base").

Hell, that is expected. Not for nothing did US intellectual Noam Chomsky observe that if every US president since WWII was tried according to the principles at the Nuremburg Trial, they would all be hanged.

It is that he was so fucking incompetent at it. Seriously, the only thing he got right during his entire years was when he ducked in time.

If there is one thing the better off sections of the US cannot stand, it is an incompetent representative of the ruling class whose policies of extending imperial rule have failed ingloriously. Failure makes the US look foolish. And an Empire does not like to look foolish.

A very common complaint by many Americans during the reign of Emperor George Bush II was just how damn embarrassed it made them to be Americans. Especially when traveling to Europe. (The Europeans are also imperialists, of a less successful variety. But they pride themselves on a certain sense of style.)

Many US people who can afford regular overseas travel, have been, in ever greater numbers, speaking out about how ashamed the Bush regime has made them.

I have personally always been a little disturbed at the tendency of people in the wealthy industrialised nations to express the shame whenever the government installed through a farce of a democratic process, whereby two parties with identical policies, backed by the same oligarchic corporations and endorsed by the mass media owned by the oligarchs, proceed to do commit some shocking act of gross oppression on, well, on the oppressed.

What the fuck were you expecting?

We saw the same phenomena in Australia with the Howard government's inhumane and racist immigration policy, which they merely continued from the preceding Labor government. This made many middle class liberals ashamed to be Australian.

Which always raised the question: why now? What pride is there in a nation founded on genocide that was always governed for the rich?

I never saw the point of feeling shame about a government I never voted for, supported or expected to be anything other than utter bastards. But, perhaps I just have no shame.

Just how hated Bush had become was brought home to me when, after the elections, US "comedian" Rob Schneider was on an Australian talk show hosted by that bloke who used to play Uncle Arthur and he spoke out bravely about how embarrassed Bush made him to be an American when traveling in Europe.

Like so many of his compatriots, he explained was forced to pretend to be a Canadian or even an Australian (cue a basic phrase said in an bad Australian accent that received inexplicable laughter from the studio audience).

How bad was Bush? Even the star of Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigalo was ashamed.

As if the initial Deuce Bigalow outing was not terrible enough, Schneider also stared in the sequel, Deuce Bigalow, Euopean Gigalow, that featured a promo poster of Schneider with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the background, cleverly positioned so it appeared to be emerging from his groin.

When Schneider visited Europe, he was less ashamed to be known as the bloke who pretended, in order to sell a truly crappy film, that the the Leaning Tower of Pisa was his penis than he was of George Bush's presidency.

That is how terrible Bush's crimes were.

And, of course, with the election the US voters struck a blow against prejudice and did something unprecedented and inspiring — something few believed was possible in this day and age. They handed the most powerful office in the entire world to one of the most marganisled social groups.

Yes, stunning as it may seem, President-elect Barack Obama is a smoker.

Bush made even Rob Schneider was ashamed.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

We are a majority; plus booze cheaper than water? I take back bad things said about the British...

Well NSW Premier Nathan Rees seems determined to continue his assault on drinkers.

His government's latest brainwave - because clearly fixing the actual problems in this state is just too big a task - is a lockout of drinkers at 2am. To stop alcohol-related violence.

Great idea. Throw drunks onto the streets simultaneously at the same time. That will do wonders for reducing anti-social behaviour.

For a government on the verge of total collapse, struggling to survive against a tidal wave of public hatred, this is a strange move indeed.

The reason is simple.

Binge drinkers make a decisive majority in this state. A poll in the Daily Telegraph, fountain of all truth, proves it.

A poll it carried out revealed the obvious: "Almost two thirds of Sydneysiders are regular binge drinkers".

Be careful, Mr Rees. Binge drinkers vote.

And, as we usually vote hungover, we are especially grumpy.

Take us on at your peril.

In other news, regular readers will note I said some things that were less than flattering about the British in a previous post.

It has been brought to my attention that there is actually certain aspects to the Mother Country far more progressive than I had imagined.

True, the old Empire committed genocide wherever they set foot on land, sure they continue this proud tradition in Iraq and Afghan, and it cannot be denied (except by the British legal system) that they stole an entire nation from its inhabitants so the Yanks could have a military base in the Indian Ocean from which to bomb the uncivilised in the Middle East.

However, their supermarkets also sell brand-name alcohol cheaper than water.

A thoroughly progressive measure when you consider the severity of water shortages in many parts of the globe.

It may be argued they have to drink more than the rest of us to cope with being British, but I say regardless, it is to be applauded on environmental grounds.

In fact, water shortages are a major problem for Australian cities. It may be argued that the biggest problem is big water guzzling corporations that pay fuck-all for the privilege.

That may be true. But it is still imperative that we all do out bit.

This blog demands similar measures be adopted in this country.

And not simply for reasons of water conservation alone.

Yet another news report brings more disturbing news. Investigating Australia's "booze wars", provoked by the government's attack on "binge-drinking culture", the Associated Press reveals disturbing news that reveals the true situation of Australia's useage of alcohol is far worse than the government imagined:

"Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia say the country's per capita consumption fell in the 1990s and has held steady since."

That's right. In fact, Australia ranks a mere 34th in the world! We rank better at the Olympics for fuck's sake!

What the fuck is wrong with this country? We used to be proud to drink like a fish, not swim like one.

What is the point in swimming down one end of a pool, just to turn around and do it again? Jesus christ, if it was really that important to swim down to the other end of the pool in the first place, at least take the time to stop and celebrate with a drink to make it worth your while.

Seriously, people hail Australian medal-winning swimmers. I say they bring our nation into disrepute.

We even drink less than the British, according to the World Health Organization.

And no wonder, when they can by discounted home-brand booze "for as little as 23p per can", while with ever increasing prices and heavy taxation, to have a decent session these days requires Australians to take out a mortgage.

Oh the shame of it all!

Of course, I don't want to claim all is fine and dandy in the Mother Country.

No. Their government is no more a friend of the drinker than Rees or Rudd.

Naturally, the step forward for all humanity that is cheaper-booze-than-water is under threat.

"New laws ... will ban pubs, clubs and shops from `irresponsible' price promotions."

What else are we to expect?

Nothing good can exist without motherfucking scum trying to take it way.

That is how late monopoly capitalism functions...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

‘Burn the fucking thing down!’ The Nation Blue - the rational response to late monopoly capitalism

It's a crazy ol' world isn't?

Thankfully, we have The Nation Blue.

Their take on the world around them? “We want to burn down your town down. We're want to burn your fucking whole town.”

Quite right too. Why? I have already provided ample evidence.

"The streets are screaming help me. Burn the town down. Burn the fucking thing down!"

Could not have put it better myself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No, I don't think Bobby Sands would like a chicken supper, actually

November 2 and Spring is in the air! Flowers and thoughts of a wide variety of situations involving Johnny Depp and a bottle of absinthe are abundant!

At least in our hemisphere.

In the Northern hemisphere, it is deep into autumn and winter is gathering momentum for its miserable assault. And few places ever seem as miserable as Belfast.

Which has always posed the question in my ever inquiring mind: what the fuck do the British want with that place anyway?

Sure, it is up there in the global stakes of quality wall mural art, but at least half of them are not exactly flattering to the British crown.

"Sure it says 'British scum fuck off' but check out the quality strokework involved."

But surely this is all ancient history, Comrade Sands? Wasn't there some kind of piece of paper signed about a decade ago that committed everyone to put down their guns and dance around in a giant circle of love chanting "oooommmm" while Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley handed out daisies to school kids?

Well, the lovefest hasn't been going to well of late, for the simple reason: The British ruling class are fucking bastards.

And, if there is one thing worse than the fucking British, it is a fucking wannabe Brit.

Ie: Ulster unionists.

The sharpest political analysis of this bizarre situation of a bunch of Irish people desperate to be British was provided by Ali G.

Ali G: Is you Irish?

Unionist politician: No, I'm British.

Ali G: So is you here on holiday?

I mean, who the fuck actually wants to be British?

At best, the Scottish and the Welsh sort of reluctantly tolerate the situation. The English really don't have much choice in the matter — and have you seen how miserable they look?

Why don't these loyalists in Northern Ireland want to be part of some cool nationality, like Jamaican?

Or, come to think of it, what about just being Irish, seeing as that is where they actually live.

Who the fuck doesn't want to be Irish?

Everyone loves the Irish — they drink all the time, sing rowdy songs and write great plays.

The Irish gave the world Guinness and St Patrick's Day parties. The English have given us cricket.

The Irish gave us The Pogues, the English presented us with James Blunt.

Even the best English musicians, like The Beatles or The Smiths, all have Irish heritage.

The Irish have produced brilliant writers and personalities, like Oscar Wilde, James Joyce and Bernard Black.

True, the Irish also gave the world Bono, but there is always a wanker in any crowd.

I just don't fucking get it.

And the thing is, each to their own. Who am I to judge these people's weird English fetish?

But there is no need to impose being British on a fair chunk of a completely different nation. That is really just cruel.

Now, I know what you are thinking. That is all well and good comrade, but it is what a majority in Northern Ireland want.

Bullshit it is. It's called a gerrymander, or just plain fucking cheating.

You try to win a pool game with a trick like this one, you end up with a fucking cue in the face.

“No, that's right. You're on bigs so you start with seven balls, I am on smalls so I have three balls to sink. What do you mean, it's totally fair!”

Supposedly “majority loyalist” Ulster in the north has nine counties. To manufacture a majority of people who like to pretend to be British, the Northern Ireland statelet only took six Ulster counties. And even then, the British-freaks only have an outright majority in two of them.

To quote the ultimate source, John Lennon: "Well you claim to be a majority/you know that that's a lie/you're really a minority/in this sweet emerald isle.

(And while we are on the topic, how much fucking better is John Lennon's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" compared to U2's song of the same name?

"How loooong, hoooowwww looonnng must we sing this song?" I don't know, Bono, how about you shut the fuck up right now, you pointless, whining, arrogant piece of shit?)

The end of armed conflict was a good thing, but all the rhetoric aside, the Good Friday Agreement that involved getting together to chant oom and/or share power between unionists and Sinn Fein in the six counties that Britain seems so reluctant to just admit are actually in Ireland, could only have been a pretty basic compromise at best.

Why? The British ruling class, as I believe I mentioned earlier, are fucking bastards.

Which, after a long digression, brings me back to November 2.

The British government thought it would be just a wonderful idea to have a military parade through the streets of Belfast on this no doubt already quite miserable day.

You see, the Royal Irish Regiment had just returned from occupying Afghanistan and Iraq, and holding down the natives just like in the good ol' days - before all the savages got funny ideas about governing themselves. Hooray!

A good ol' military parade to celebrate a bit of "keeping the savages in their place"? Who could possibly complain?

Well, maybe the entire fucking nationalist community that suffered close to four decades of brutal military occupation by the British Army, including by the very regiment that was to hold a party on their streets.

The death toll of of the Nationalist and Catholic community at the hands of the occupying troops tops 400 people.

Bear in mind, this occurs after the formal end of British military occupation of the six counties.

My source in Belfast inform me there was no less than four separate protests on the day. (I can't reveal my source, but her code name is "Clancy-pants". And I can't recall having seen her sober.)

The largest protest was organised by Sinn Fein near the military parade. A peaceful demonstration, it was headed by family members of those murdered by British troops.

So, how did the loyalists respond?

Bottles, brioks and bigotted chants, while the police stand by.

And what is it with tough-guy bigots and baldness? What are they, scared of nits?

It isn't in the footage, but the loyalist mob also took to chanting the delightful ditty, "Would you like a chicken supper, Bobby Sands"?

Bobby Sands (no relation) was the first of ten republican prisoners in the concentration camp of Long Kesh to die on hunger strike in 1981.

Now my first thought was, naturally enough, "what a bunch of disgusting bigots".

But then I thought about it a bit more, and thought "no, give these people a chance. Don't just jump to the worst conclusion."

So I figured, well, I mean they are clearly not altogether bright, perhaps they simply haven't followed the news over the last 27-odd years. Perhaps they never heard Bobby Sands had died, or even about the hunger strike.

Maybe they thought he was still on the blanket protest in H-block and, in the interests of healing the wounds of the past, figured the offer of a decent feed would be seen as a token of good faith and a willingness to move forward, together.

Then I saw the bottles flying towards those whose family members were murdered.

No, just fucking bigots.

So below is my response. It is also for the Iraqi and Afghan people, who, last century, both drove the British Army out, only to see the fucking scum return, tagging along after the new Empire.

go on home, British soldiers, go on home. Have you got no fucking homes of your own?”



It appears I have been badly misguided.

This article from the British Daily Mail, that's the paper that supported fascism in the '30s, reveals the truth of the situation, headlined "Riot police called in as protestors led by Gerry Adams mob British soldiers during Ulster homecoming parade".

It is obvious what has happened. That video on Youtube of the march I naively posted is just some sort of fenian trick.

As always, the Daily Mail have it right, never trust the Irish.

Monday, November 03, 2008

'Drink motherfucker, drink!'; or an alternative way forward for the NSW Labor government

Nathan Rees is a desperate man.

For reasons entirely outside his control, he has somehow ended up premier of New South Wales. It must have come as quite a shock.

He got the gig because he is basically the last NSW Labor politician still standing who hasn't been been charged with corruption, assault or child sex offences.

Actually, there was a small number of others, but they are hated for attempting to force electricity privatisation on the state in the face of overwhelming opposition, including the NSW ALP's own state conference.

Then there is the trains, the schools, the hospitals, the push to privatise ferries, the selling of the state to developers, the refusal to pay essential service workers a decent wage and severe attacks on civil liberties.

All of which have created a crisis so deep for the Labor government, that they handed the reins to some guy no one had ever heard of in the vain hope we wont notice he is from the same gang as the rest of the bastards that have made our lives a nightmare since the mid '90s.

This government has only survived recent elections by running a campaign amounting to "But have you seen the opposition?"

Poor Premier Rees.

With Labor having copped unprecedented hidings in by-elections, how does he respond?

Naturally he goes after drinkers.

Premier Rees "could not believe what he saw on Sydney's streets when he headed home late on Saturday night after his Labor Government's thumping at the ballot box".


He said: "The exhibitions of public drunkenness that I saw were mind-boggling … it's getting silly, binge-drinking".

Oh dear.

The article, which reports that Rees is "known to enjoy a drink", notes that "not everyone involved in the debate was convinced by his sudden discovery of the issue of alcohol-related violence".

Gee, is that so? Could it really be a cynical manoeuvre by a desperate politician to jump on the latest moral hysteria bandwagon that costs nothing in a desperate attempt to save a rapidly sinking government?

Surely not.

Let's face it, Rees has to do something and its either bash binge drinking or fix the trains and schools.

No governments' AAA credit rating has ever been threatened by a press conference called to condemn excessive drinking. (If only because no one is ever going to heed a morality lecture from a member of the NSW Labor Party, thus ensuring the government's badly needed tax revenue from alcoholic beverages remains perfectly safe.)

Now, I have had my say on this question of binge drinking hysteria. I wont repeat myself here.

What I will say is this.

Premier Rees, you are wrong. The evidence is not on your side.

You may be satisfied with a few smug headlines for the cheapest of political stunts bashing the easiest of victims (drunks, who can't even stand up to fight back).

However, if you want to save your stinking government, you may want to consider a strategy reversal.

How about doing something radical and promoting policies aimed at increasing citizen's happiness?

I know that isn't the style of the NSW Labor government, believe me, I catch trains. But how about a clean break with the past? It's the only way you'll save your skin.

So here is my radical plan.

Instead of bashing drinkers, how about going out of your way to promote alcohol consumption?

That's right, a new study has shown that the happiest people are those that drink every day.

"The index, based on a survey of 2,000 Australians in April, found that those who drink up to three drinks a day are far happier than those who never drink.

"And the wellbeing of 18- to 25-year-olds - the key binge drinking demographic - remains high regardless of how many drinks they have."

The unhappiest? Apparently, "people who did not drink at all had the lowest wellbeing of all".

What a shock.

Now I would have thought this was pretty fucking obvious, but in this day and age, so low have we sunk, that it actually requires some poor bastard to go around with a clip board and ask people to discover the bleeding obvious.

Yes, shocking as it may sound to the crypto-prohibitionists in the government and media, people consume alcohol because it makes them happy.

If you really want to survive, Premier Rees, may I suggest a change of tact.

In the interests of our collective well-being, how about, rather than lectures on the evils of some newly discovered binge drinking culture, getting out there and touring the state's pubs and bars — sticking your head in each one and shouting "Drink motherfucker, drink motherfucker, drink!".

Or, perhaps for the higher class wine bars, jumping in to shout "Scull, scull, scull! Yeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!"

You could even invest in an advertising campaign to raise public awareness. I have a few suggested TV ads below, utilising some good ol' drinking shanties by the Poxy Boggards.

First up, and straight to the point, here is one whose central message is the apt "I'd rather have lager than life". And who wouldn't, with public services the way they are in this state?

"For life without liquor is to no avail/so bring me lager for life!" could be Rees's re-election slogan.

A second option is this one below, which hammers the crucial issue: "Bring us more beer!" This one has the advantage of its chorus featuring a long list of various types of beers that people can order, one after the other.

A third option (below) goes for the tried and tested "shock" option. Like those horrific smoking ads featuring blocked arteries and tarry sponges, it brings home to the average citizen the terrible consequences that face "That strange motherfucker who doesn't like beer".

Among other things, his own dad disowns him, his wife divorces him and his son changes his name. And why wouldn't they?

And finally, my personal favourite: "I wear no pants". I include this one if only because, as close observers of this blog will note, I often don't.

Such a re-election strategy beats the hell out of the now quite weary "But have you seen the opposition?"

Because the answer is we have. That's why we drink.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And the bastards actually expect us to live in this god forsaken city

Yes, Sydney.

Good god.

"Socialism or barbarism" said Rosa Luxemburg early last century. Well, a quick trip around Sydney will leave you will little doubt who won that particular battle.

Luckily, you don't actually have to do it yourself.

Here is a wonderful blog called
Tetherd Cow
that has done that for you.

And summed it all up.

Brace yourself for the Bad Public Art of Sydney,

And keep a special eye out for the "Newtown bins" section.

What scum.

Short of fullscale rioting, the only solution I can see for those of us condemned to this hellhole/"modern metropolis" ends at closing time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Therapists help rich through crisis: In the good old days, they fucking jumped!

Where have I been all this time since my last post, people have been begging to know.

Well, you can stop the letters, emails, petition campaigns, video blogs and late night windowsill serenading. Especially the last one. Yes, I am talking to you, Johnny Depp.

Discretion dictates I cannot say. I will simply note I have been off performing an invaluable service to humanity.

Or so I had hoped.

Let's just say that it involved calling in all my wide-ranging contacts in the high world of finance and whispering advice (they all consider me their personal guru in financial matters as, like everyone else, they don't have a fucking clue how it works) in the ears of each one, "It's all fucked! Sell! Sell! Sell"

Standing back to watch the stunning effect as mammon crashed and burned, I waited patiently for the right moment.

Then, one by one, I did the rounds: "It's all fucked! Jump! Jump! Jump!"

It appears my plan to exterminate the parasitic greed-driven scum of a global ruling class in one fell swoop has been foiled.

By therapists.

I should have fucking known.

If there is one form of life that is lower than the vultures that prey on the carrion of bad debt, having bloated themselves to bursting feasting on what was once the economies of the Third World, while shamelessly eying our superannuation as a nice dessert, for whom the world's economies are nothing but a giant casino in which to drunkenly shout "double on black!", well that life form is the little leeches who are paid to make these vampires feel a little better about an existence whose only justification could be some kind of twisted historic mission to make Hitler seem like a misunderstood hippy.


Or "wealth counsellors" as it seems they prefer to be known.

Fucking scum.

Loses drive titans of finance to therapy

My personal favourite bit is when one of these "wealth counsellors" makes the startling observation that these stock brokers "don't get a lot of sympathy from people right now".


Cannot imagine why.

It is not that we hate them. Hate involves emotional involvement. More like cold-hearted disppasionately despise the useless pricks.

And want to see them do the decent thing for the first time in their selfish lives, take the lift to the executive suite of their skyscrapers and, looking down carefully to make sure they don't take out an innocent pedestrian with their tumbling-to-doom sack of shit body, JUMP!

Humanity has a new enemy. Take a good look people. Below is "wealth counselor" Mr Jim Grubman.

You have beaten me this time, Mr Jim Grubman, if that really is your name. Next time, Jimbo, next time...

You wont even hear me coming.

Carlo Sands will win.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Alcopops tax increases drink sales — a victory for all humanity


Despite the crypto-prohibitionist assault, The People have successfully resisted!

We all know about the multi-faceted attempts to crack down on a supposed binge drinking epidemic in this country, led by the youths.

One key way was a government tax on alcopops.

In response, research reveals that alcohol consumption per person has increased.

Not just that, but that sales of harder liquor have dramatically climbed.

The irony is, far from discouraging a healthy culture of binge drinking, the sole achievement appears to be one that is thoroughly progressive and this blog loudly applauds: it encourages young people to learn to drink properly.

No more downing this gloryfied red cordial, onwards to decent drinks like whiskey and gin!

About time.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fuck you, pilgrim

Yeah well here in Sydney we were overjoyed recently to play host to a wonderful sounding event by the name of World Youth Day.

Sounds lovely, we have hundreds of thousands of young people marauding around the streets of Sydney. Sounds fucking great.

By which I mean, "Jesus christ, I wish I could afford a plane ticket out of this god forsaken overrun hole, no way I am flying Qantas".

But it gets worse. Who would have thought, in this day and age, something getting worse?

They were all fucking Christians.

Yes here is an event organised by and for the ultra-conservative right wing of the Catholic Church, headed by former Nazi, former head of the modern day inquisition, former collaborator with Central American death squads — the infallible Pope Benedict XVI.

The clergyman formerly known as Ratzinger, which sounds like a "truth in advertising" KFC burger.

World Youth Day was a giant tax-payer funded propaganda and recruitment fiesta for the far-right wing of the Holy Church. Headed, as it is in Sydney by a bloke called George Pell who has declared himself, and you can't make this stuff up, a climate change sceptic.

This guy, Sydney's cardinal, believes that this invisible bloke called God created the world in six days. And there was this woman about 2000 years ago called Mary, who was a virgin, but after being impregnated by God, gave birth to God's son, Jesus.

Jesus could walk on water and turn water into wine. He died, but rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven, which is a magical paradise where those who believe this tale get to spend eternity.

What is more, in order to show your devotion to the immortal miracle worker, followers eat his flesh and drink his blood via magically transformed wafers and wine.

Now, Pell is fine with all of that. No problem whatsover.

But, he informs us, he is sceptical of climate change.

About which there is a growing mountain of hard concrete evidence, dating back two decades.

For climate change doubters, I suggest you try going ice skating at the North Pole this Northern summer. Hint: take floaties.

So, basically hundreds of thousands of young people were going to descend on my god damn city for World Youth Day.

Well, okay I can't say I was altogether pleased. But, I mean, you know, at least it is just one day, right?

The fucking no good lying scum bastards!

World Youth "Day", it seems *actually* goes for six whole days, July 15-20. God is supposed to have created the entire planet in that time. Don't these people have anything better to do? Like praying to God to get working on creating us a new planet pronto?

It is really hard for those not in Sydney for this period to actually grasp what it meant to have the city literally taken over by the pilgrims. Because this was arranged by the state government and paid for too, hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars handed over for the visit.

Some misguided sinners wanted to protest the pope's stance that condom use, which could save millions in Africa from contracting HIV, was immoral, that homosexuality was a sin and abortion even more so.

Now, I would have thought the eternal damnation that no doubt awaits those who participated in this event would have been punishment enough.

The Church was apparently not willing to wait for divine retribution and got the state to introduce laws that made it a crime punishable by a $5500 fine to annoy a pilgrim.

For fuck's sake, what doesn't annoy these people? Some protesters wanted to go up to pilgrims and hand them condoms. That, apparently, was going to annoy them.

Their repsonse wasn't a rational one of, "Are you serious? For free? You mean I don't have to go the fucking chemist and find other things to buy to make it less embarrassing? Do you have any more?"

No, they found it annoying. Seriously, you just can't please some people.

This situation, unsurprisingly, caused something of a rebellion among Sydney people. The "annoyance" law, which could have conceivably extended to t-shirts people wear that might be offensive to a pilgrim, was widely condemned. The fact that it was introduced by a decrepit, despised, utterly corrupt state government hated for turning Sydney into a police state to host a major war criminal at APEC last year did not help.

It was even struck out by the federal court after activists, from the NoToPope coalition, contested it, as a violation of freedom of speech.

And the irony! It only truly hit home once the pilgrims started arriving.

Annoying? Jesus christ, there were pilgrims absolutely everywhere — they took over whole suburbs and packed out trains.

They constantly sung Christian hymns and songs extremely loudly, while clapping.

They also drove around in gangs hanging out of cars shouting "Jesus loves you!" at people.

Resistance took different forms. Most notable was the 1500-strong protest against the reactionary anti-gay, anti-women, anti-safe-sex policies of the pope.

However, there were plenty of other, less publicised acts. In one suburb, the local community had a brawl to prevent pilgrims destroying their local park by turning it into a campsite.

A friend tells of coming across a tale of a couple of women who, once they heard the annoyance laws had been defeated, spent the day following pilgrims around singing Christian hymns but with obscene lyrics.

Same friend swears he saw a woman get on a train packed full of pilgrims wearing a t-shirt saying "Suck cock for Satan".

I saw two guys at Redfern Station having an intelligent conversation until a train came up with pilgrims. When the doors open they went up and yelled "Piglrims! Where are you from"


"Wow! I've seen the OC!!!"

"Yah!, Wow!"

"Yeah... The OC!!!!! Marissa Cooper!!!!"

"Yah! Yah!"

Then the train doors closed and they went back to their intelligent conversation without the US pilgrims realising that a game had been played with them.

Some of these people bring their fucked up politics with them too.

Another friend came across some of their propaganda lying in the street.

It was from a right-wing Catholic US group about need of support for young people who suffer from Same Sex Attraction (SSA).

SSA is a big problem, and those who suffer from it need love and moral support. Above all, they need our prayers. Oh, and as sign of love, they should be tortured, via "aversion therapy", to cure them of their affliction.

Some of the signs that your child might be at risk of SSA include not fitting into to well established gender stereotypes. A girl who doesn't like dolls, a boy who does, for example. For such messed up youngsters, love, prayers, and in some cases, torture are most certainly called for.

One sign, the pamphlet informs us, that your son is at risk of suffering from the curse of SSA, is not enjoying sports and/or having poor hand-eye coordination.

Boys, the pamphlet adds, who don't like "rough and tumble" play with other boys are also high risk SSA cases.

Which seems ironic, because common sense suggests the exact opposite.

Going by this logic, if I was to say, "I would really love to have a couple of rounds of some good 'ol rough and tumble with Johnny Depp" that is presumably good healthy sign of good, old fashioned hot blooded heterosexuality.

However, if I add the clarifier "...if only I didn't suffer from such poor hand-eye coordination. I mean, I wouldn't want anyone to suffer an unfortunate and unpleasant injury", only then would I be considered a little suspect and a potential sufferer of SSA.

It is to the particular pilgrims who came to spread this line that I dedicate the title of this post.

Now, it should be pointed out, in the interests of balance, that not all Sydney-siders considered WYD to be such a bad thing.

Brothel owners, for one, seem extremely pleased, reporting a 20% increase in traffic over WYD's duration. They hadn't experienced anything like it since the 2000 Olympics.

“Look inside, look inside your tiny mind, no look a bit harder. Coz we're uninspired, so sick of tired of all the hatred you habour.”

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The South Pacific Rugby Club — rest in peace old comrade

I am sorry I haven't posted for a while, especially since these are dark days us drinkers are ... well drinking through.

The seriousness and stupidity of the attack on the right to abuse yourself with alcohol has been so extreme it has left me a little stunned. Four drinks is binge drinking?!? Jesus christ, four pubs maybe, as a friend of mine, who should know, put it.

I'll take that up in good time. I have established a Facebook group entitled "If you think four beers is binge drinking, you should get out more" that should be joined, if you haven't already. In a mere matter of weeks no less than 90 people have joined.

Yeah! To get a sense of perspective, that is about four times more than my Give Stephin Merritt a Nobel Prize for Clever and Witty Songwriting group has managed to join in around a year.


And, through this group, I have waged a mortal battle (to the death!) with an anti-drinking bastard (was he lost?) on the "discussion wall", as these things are called. (His name is Luke McDermott, and if you know where he lives, please let me know.)

It goes without saying I won.

But, while I work up the energy for a serious counter-offensive to the federal/state/cop/media assault on our fundamental right to get wrecked ("I will determine what I drink and the surroundings in which I drink it"), I thought it might be useful to find strength by harking back to a different time and place — a place where binge drinking was not just welcome, but the entire fucking point.

Yes, I am talking about the great, late South Pacific Rugby Club, affectionately known to all as the Southpac, in our capital city of Canberra Town.

Don't flinch.

The Southpac did not just tolerate, or even encourage, binge drinking. It was binge drinking.

It doesn't exist any more, no doubt the prevailing political winds were far too frosty for it to survive. Some tame and lame club has taken its place in the centre of Civic, and we are all a little poorer for its passing.

The Southpac could have entered any competition for "seediest drinking hole". Opposite God's Gift to the Drinker (known as The Phoenix), it was a regular retreat when that establishment had closed.

The best thing it had going for it was it was open when everything else was shut. Sometimes, that is what counts.

Advertised with neon lighting, it was down a series of ripped up, stained carpeted stairs.

The Fijian bouncer would not let you in if you were wearing torn jeans or otherwise ratty clothes, which was really quite ironic when you considered the state of their establishment.

They had standards, you could not get in unless you were a member. Membership was difficult to get, you needed a full $5, which would give you a year. Then some big Fijian bloke would take your picture and print out your card. The pictures would always be the same, it would turn you into a dodgy looking bum/serial killer.

But not just me, everyone.

You inevitably looked really wrecked. It was a bit like the camera was a time machine – it photographed you on the way in the way you looked on your way out.

The Unknown Drinker

Then you would enter its dark and dingy premises. And what a sight it was. To your right, a few dozen pokie machines that ran all day and night. To your left, about four pool tables, in various states of disrepair, all in a row before, past the cigarette machine that specialised in eating your notes there was the glowing lights of toilets best avoided if you had a particularly weak stomach.

Straight ahead was the wooden dance floor, with a cage for the DJ at its front. An actual wire cage, to protect the poor bastard. The worst of the top 40 dance tunes played incessantly while a disco ball sent it flashing multi-colour lights across the planks.

The pokies were home to the most desperate layer, with the odd gaggle of students putting in their dollar coins "just for laughs" and giggling when they got a $5.50 return.

The hardcore drinkers/regulars tended to congregate around the pool tables, attempting to maintain some dignity playing on its treacherous, cigarette-pocked top. Generally, this layer of serious alcoholics kept a bemused distance from the dance-floor crowd, who grew in number on Friday nights. Far from the middle-aged public servant alcoholics of the former, the latter tended to be late-teens furiously pounding the wooden dance floor.

And, past the dance floor and pool tables, there it was. The bar.

It was cheap and it was nasty. Who would have thought that combination could coexist?

There were more than a few stories claiming poisoning resulting from the club never cleaning its beer pipes. And it is true, sometimes, at a certain time of the early morning, a jug might have a certain strange smell about it. Rotten eggs.

But, on the upside, they never, ever refused you service.

The Southpac and binge drinking. Yes.

The Southpac was famous for its binge drinking rules. Knowing and paying proper respect to its core cliental, it rewarded the heavy boozer.

It was famous for its deals. Standard on any given night would be, say, between 9pm and midnight, 2-for-1 beers (already pretty fucking cheap) and $2 shots or spirit with mixers.

But, going back even further, I am assured by older hands that they even had a deal so explicitly tied to binge drinking that they gave a free drink for every 10 you consumed. The law eventually stepped in, the story goes, and quashed that one.

But perhaps the most notable of all its binge drinking specials was the one it maintained for a while: every Thursday, between 8 and 9pm, drinks were free.

Entry that night was $1 for students, $5 otherwise. It is not hard to imagine, if you have been to Canberra, just how popular such an offer was. Especially as it was followed by its 2-for-1 deal with two buck spirits.

Full is one way to describe it. Full of young flannel-wearing rednecks would be another, equally accurate, statement.

It was completely packed, with a huge queue to get the free drinks.

There were two types of drinks you could get: a schooner of beer or a schooner strange red shit involving some kind of alcohol. The exact details of what the alcohol was, to say nothing of the contents of the red mixer, was never made clear. It was mixed in a giant plastic basin at the bar, from which the bar person would scoop up a schooners worth for the lucky customer to consume.

For the hour of free drinks, you were only allowed to get two drinks, per person at a time from the bar.

This meant that the hour was spent with people in a giant queue in front of the bar that stretched all across the wooden dance floor, pushing back into the pokie machines.

People would queue, get their two schooners of beer or strange red shit, and then go to the back of the queue. They would drink their two drinks in the time it took to get to the front again and the process would repeat until the offer ended.

During this entire time, off to the side of the queue, a big Fijian guy in a bad shirt would play soft rock classics on an electric guitar over backing tracks.

It was an odd gig, playing to a queue, but he didn't seem to mind. "I like pina colada!" he would sing, and people would swing strange red shit in the queue.

The hour would suddenly end and the queue over the dance floor disappeared, transformed by a DJ playing top 40 dance tracks to now quite smashed students. As drinks were still ridiculously cheap, that was not a situation about to get any better.

It was an odd dance floor, because it had just been home to an increasingly drunken queue, spilling strange red shit everywhere. The wooden floor was sticky enough to make dancing extremely difficult. You would put your foot on the floor and extreme effort was required to raise it again.

On the upside, it was a great equaliser. It made even the finest booty shaker look like a member of the New Zealand All Blacks.

On one of these nights, the always dodgy toilets got even dodgier. You needed to keep your wits about you to avoid the ever-growing piles of bright red-coloured vomit on your way in.

Oh the Southpac, will we ever see the likes of you again?

There was one night that brought home to me what the Southpac was truly about. That made me realise the fundamental truth that they really did not care how out if it you were, as long as you had the capability to get to your wallet, you were welcome to keep on boozin'.

To understand this night, you need to understand something particular about Canberra. As boring and dull as it no doubt is, this is mitigated by the fact that its key university, the Australian National University, at a certain time of year (late autumn) grows, on its grounds, an ample supply of magic mushrooms.

Thanks to a hippy friend, I happened to know what to look for and where to look for them.

One night at the Phoenix, I had eaten a few of them while drinking (as is the only way, they go very well with beer) and offered them to drinking partners Bazza, Tory Sexpig (as he likes to be known) and Dan the Man (who featured in an earlier tale).

Tory and Dan looked to me for guidance in terms of how much to consume. Unfortunately for them, I had eaten mine about half an hour before and the affects were kicking in. I kept telling them to eat more, before I finally burst out giggling.

They stared stony faced at me as, laughing uncontrollably, I tried to inform them they had consumed too many. Not just that, but the dire consequences would be a severe bout of diarrhea, as had afflicted on me in a previous experience. They stared at me with a horrified look that was a mixture of fear as to their fate and something between bemusement and anger at my cold-heartedness in encouraging their mushroom consumption, only to collapse into a fit of laughter at how much they were about to suffer.

Well, plenty more beer was consumed at the Phoenix and at closing time, home was not on our minds. The Southpac beckoned.

Being a Tuesday night, we were more or less the only customers they had. However, we were very good customers indeed.

As Dan the Man was the only of the crew involving me, Bazza and the Sexpig to have what could be considered decent, regular income, it was his job to, with an increasing stagger, approach the bar for fresh rounds of gin and tonics.

Positioning ourselves at the pool table nearest the toilets, we attempted to play pool.

Dan, for one, was insisting that while he might be a little pissed, the mushrooms were not working for him at all.

"I don't feel anything. You know you hair is so beautiful", he said, running his fingers though it gently. "These pool ball colours are so bright and cool!"

"You don't feel anything?", I asked, but he was busy holding his hand up to the light and slowly moving them about commenting, "Look, they are like sausages!".

"Your turn at the bar, Dan".

"Oh, okay". And off he would stagger.

Dan is a big guy and he wore a long black leather jacket. He could drink a fair bit but drank very quickly, meaning when he was drunk it was hardly subtle. He had gotten so drunk on top of being stoned that he was almost horizontal as he approach the bar. And still they served him unquestioningly, placing our drinks on a tray, which would require one of us to rush up and assist in carrying.

At one of these adventures to the bar, Sexpig stood next to me and watched in marvel. "I can't believe they are still serving him!"

We proceeded to play our game, but it was Dan's shot and we couldn't see him. I found him on a chair at the edge of the empty dance floor starting out at disco ball lights jumping around.

"Your shot Dan."

"Look at those colours!"

Every now and then, Dan would declare he was leaving, as he did have to get up for work early and it was already the early hours of the morning. He would stagger gently in the direction of the exit, looking like Laurence Fishbourne in the Matrix from behind, and with a big wide, soft grin on his face from the front.

As he was the guy with the cash, I would go after him, stop him and suggest maybe one more. He would grin and say "Okay!" and slowly turn, stagger to the bar and return with fresh drinks for all.

The nights fun was ended very suddenly when Dan, for reasons that will forever remain unknown, pulled out and threw away some plug near our pool table that turned off all the lights in the near empty club.

As it was, from memory, a total of us and the staff, there really wasn't anywhere to hide.

We made a rapid exit up the stairs and, our g + t's still in our hands, right into the back of a cab that took us away to Dan's place to await the morning, where we stared at the stars from the balcony and Tory scared the fuck out of me by getting Dan's genuine samurai sword out and waving it around demanding a fight.

That was the South Pacific Rugby Club. It was an experience unlikely to be repeated -- not with the Moral Police governing us.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rudd's honeymoon over? Let's ask Tex Perkins

There is a certain amount of media commentary these days speculating that Labor PM Kevin Rudd's "honeymoon" with the "electorate" (that is media-speak for us) is over.

When Kevin Rudd was elected, he had a key quality that won us/"the electorate" over.

He wasn't John Howard.

And for that, we loved him.

But you know what it is like. We were on the rebound from a bad relationship. We needed to get away from John and Kevin was there.

But would it last? Do we/"the electorate" even have much in common with Kevin?

After all, polls suggested we want troops out of Iraq, he wants to keep hundreds of them there. We are not big fans of the Afghanistan occupation, Kevin is increasing our involvement.

We just *cannot stand* climate change, and, while he swears he hates it to and even signed Kyoto to prove his love to us, it is becoming increasingly obvious he isn't really actually, you know, doing much about it.

He *says* he is serious about climate change, but he just *wont commit*. It is clear he has strong feelings for the coal industry. He should just admit he loves them.

It isn't as though we are saying he can never see the coal CEOs again. If he wants to meet up every now and then for coffee, that's cool, we wont get jealous.

But, if our marriage is to work, he really has to stop sleeping with them.

Then there is the mixed messages he has been sending us about Indigenous rights.

First, he seduced us with the apology, and then the two-timing, no good scumbag went and kept up the racist, apartheid-imposing NT intervention!

Then there is how he swore to us that he was totally dumping Work Choices and it was all over, while he has actually been quietly keeping most of it anyway!


So — is the honeymoon over? Let's hear what Comrade Tex has to say, put to the cool slide guitar of The Cruel Sea.

All I can say is I always said this marriage was never going to work.

The only reason the marriage survives at all is the lack of any decent alternative. Maybe it's we built one.

Another beer?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cops declare war...

An article in today's Sydney Morning Herald that sounds the drums of war.

"Police chief call for war on drunks" it is headlined.

Yes, it is another "campaign to combat binge drinking".

Yet again those of us who enjoy the odd binge drink are being blamed for a wide array of societies ills.

This moral hysteria is being pushed by cynical politicians looking for a cheap populist card to play. The story goes that all of a sudden, out of the blue, binge drinking has become a problem in Australian society.

Just read that last sentence again, if you can, without laughing.

I mean for fuck's sake, Australia's first colony, in NSW, had prime minister whose biggest claim to fame was his breaking of the record for time taken to consume a yard glass of beer.

Australia. Binge drinking. A new phenomena?

Jesus fucking christ.

TO get a sense of perspective, and some actual *facts*, check out this article from the Age that I blogged a while back.

This happens every half a dozen years or so. Suddenly the media start reporting that — shock horror! — teenagers are getting drunk. From there, the rest of us fully grown adults become the problem too.

Yet again, it seems it is fashionable for politicians and pigs to beat the prohibitionist war drum and launch an assault on our right to use and abuse alcohol.

"Prohibitionist"? That is a bit extreme, you say.

Fuck off it is. First, they came for our alcopops...

That should have been the first warning, what ever our personal opinion is of the alcopop phenomena.

(And I personally find it appalling. Kid's today don't know how easy they have it. Alcopops is just plain cheating. Today's teenagers get to go straight from lemonade at their primary school parties to alcoholic lemonade at their high school gigs.

We didn't have alcopops in my day. We had to fucking force ourselves to drink beer. We had to develop a taste for it through hard struggle. It wasn't easy but it was character building.

But what do today's pampered youth know of that? They get binge drinking handed to them on a sugar-coated plate.)

The point is, an attack on any drinker is an attack on all.

And, sure enough, the attack grows.

Here we have the bloody NSW police attempting to extend the assault on booze.

However, the South Austraialian pigs, according to the article want to go *even further*, with the SA police commissioner even raising the spectre of... ending happy hour!

For christ sake! How have we sunk to this point where such a sacred institution could even be questioned?

And they want to take away 24-hour pubs. Shift workers, to say nothing of 24-hour alcoholics (who have rights too), would lose out badly.

What are they targeting here?

SMH writes: "The campaign, led by the NSW Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, addressed what he called a `drink to get drunk' culture..."

Holy shit. The bloke leading the charge doesn't even realise the *whole fucking point* of drinking is to get drunk.

Why else would you consume an alcoholic beverage? Water, after all, is free.

*This* is prohibitionist logic. You question the right to drink in order to enjoy the intoxicating properties of alcohol (ie: to get drunk) you question the very basis of alcohol consumption. Next thing you know it is fucking Saudi Arabia and women aren't allowed to drive cars and you lose a hand for stealing.

And their justification? God is it pathetic.

Here is Scipone: "Seventy-five per cent of all engagements that NSW police have are as a result of alcohol. That is a pretty telling statistic."

Right. "Engagements" with police. What does this even mean? Seventy-five percent of all marriage proposals? I know I'd have to be pretty blind drunk to accept one from a member of the NSW police force.

Or does he mean abuse and/or assault? In which case, stop blaming booze. Maybe NSW police officers are just fuckwits and just *maybe* it takes the average punter a couple of bevvies before they have the courage to point this out to a copper.

Here is another telling statistic: 100% of all incidents of police brutality occur at the hands of the police. That is a full 25% higher incident rate — so go fucking declare war on yourselves.

You declare war on me, Scipone? Well I declare war on you, motherfucker.

Don't even *think* of walking into the Shannon...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh, the irony!

Well, it has to be said that in the circumstances, Russia was the lesser evil victor at Eurovision 2008.

For while there it looked like that atrocious Greek entry might walk away with the prize. At least the Russians put a bit of effort in and included a rollerskating dancer — a bit of class to drive home the emotion of the power ballad.

It was also good to see the lead singer leave the top couple of buttons on his shirt undone. Showing a decent bit of your chest is a great way to symbolise devotion to love indicated in the lyrics.

But, oh the irony.

Having exposed the Great Balkan Scam in my previous post, this year a Balkan country actually came up with a performance truly worthy of winning Eurovision. It was hands down the best thing on all night. It actually *deserved* the fullest support from other Balkan nations, and indeed all European people's with any appreciation of culture and art. And it didn't fucking win!

I am of course, talking about the brilliant entry from Bosnia and Herzegovina. This isn't the performance from the final, which was even better. Why does the chicken not feature in more popular music?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Eurovision, V.I. Lenin and the Balkans scam

It is that time of the year again. It is Eurovision.

The final is screened on SBS on Sunday. Time for the annual Eurovision Party.

It should be a time for celebration. Such a explosion of culture and talent from the best Europe has to offer!

And Israel.

People wonder why Israel is allowed in. One theory is to let the US have a shot at one of the art world's great prizes via a proxy.

Another, which I personally both subscribe to and defend, goes right to heart of the Great Zionist Dream.

It is simply this: The Jewish state of Israel acts as a "bulwark against Asia" and an “advanced post of civilisation against barbarism” .

It is only fair, therefore, that they should be able to participate in Eurovision, seeing as Israel is an "hournary European" nation, proven by its willingess to impose on those "barbarians" whom Israel is a "bulwark against" on behalf of "civilisation" a good ol' European style medieval siege.

We can only wish the honorary Europeans the best of luck in Eurovision, just as we wish them the best of luck in their attempts to deal with the problem of being surrounded by hoardes of ungrateful, barbaric, suicide-bombing, evil, anti-civilisation, pro-feudal, freedom-hating, irrational just plain nasty bad guys — sometimes called Palestinians.

Israel does need all the encouragement it can get in these difficult times.

The key problem it faces, one which threatens its very survival as an exclusively Jewish state, is that the Arabs just keep on breeding.

South Africa shows how difficult it is for a small minority to rule over a large majority. The problem isn't hard to see. Some of Israel's finest minds have explicitly raised it.

For instance, former Knesset member Yossi Sarid recently compared Israel to South African Apartheid, noting: “One essential difference remains between South Africa and Israel: There a small minority dominated a large majority, and here we have almost a tie."

"But", Yossi warned, "the tiebreaker is already darkening on the horizon…"

Sounding the alarm, Yossi argued bluntly that the "Zionist project will come to an end" unless something serious is done "before [Israel is] visited by a fatal demographic plague.”

Taking the threat of a plague of Palestinians very seriously, I have personally made a submission that is right now being debated in the Knesset (where I have a few friends and a certain influence, among particular circles).

My submission argues that there is a convergence of interests between the needs of Israel (re: the ever-breeding Palestinians) and much of the rest of the world.

We have hundreds of millions faced with the threat of hunger, all the while the very existence of the bulwark of democracy and civilisation in the heartland of barbarism is darkened by a coming a demographic plague!

The solution is simple.

Due to its general humanitarian principles and just plain "big heartedness", Israel will ensure that all adult Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are looked after.

(The Occupied Territories are strangely misunderstood by some people as to mean "occupied" by the Israel, as opposed to the truth of the situation — which is that this land is in fact occupied by the Palestinians who are blocking the creation of a Greater Israel , as promised by God himself. Thankfully, in God's name, this land is being taken back one settler at a time, UN resolutions be damned.)

However, kindness only extends so far and Israel's generosity naturally has its limits.

At a time when food riots are rocking impoverished countries the world over, here is a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

The solution is obvious.

To both pay for the upkeep of the burdensome adult Palestinian population in the territories the Palestinians occupy, *and* so the poor masses in other countries may also be allowed ready access to meat, all new born Palestinian children should, at the age of one, be sold as food.

In this way the global food crisis may be alleviated and a final solution to Israel's problem of what to do with a few million interlopers in its God-granted lands may be achieved within a generation or two.

And, as an added bonus, it will end all these hopeless, pathetic attempts at "Peace Accords", therefore ending a large number of pointless airplane trips by all sorts of international bureaucrats.

This will, in one fell swoop, eradicate the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted by such futile flights, thus helping combat the deadly threat of global warming.

A win-win-win solution.

Where was I?

The problem with Eurovision.

This gem of a show, which has added so much human development, is at risk of being turned into a farce, a mockery of a competition.

I am talking about the seemingly ever growing number of Balkan states and their insistence on all voting for each other at Eurovision.

In this disgracefully nepotistic way, last year's "contest" was "won" by Serbia.

What a travesty of justice.

What a crock of shit.

Everyone knows the prize belonged to the Ukraine.

It is just plain cheating. No one else has a fucking chance.

Oh sure, you say, other regions do it as well. Those Scandinavian types all vote for each other too.

Yes, but they aren't forming new countries every year for the apparent purpose of ensuring the Eurovision title stays in the regions hands.

This year, as well, a decisive step towards a new nation occurred in Kosova.

Plenty of commentators were very quick to allege that this whole Kosova thing is as a plot by US imperialism to divide Serbia, which misses the essential point. It is clearly a gambit aimed at securing for the region even more Eurovision votes.

This mutual rigging of what was once a proud competition occurs despite the fact that, until recently, these nationalities were busy all killing each other, which is the apparent reason they fucking formed separate countries to begin with.

It seems they unite for the important things.

Now, as anyone who knows me will tell you straight up, I am all in favour of the right of oppressed peoples to national self-determination, up to and including the right to separate and form a new, self-governed country.

But no right is absolute.

If you can't use the right to form your own nation-state responsibly, if you are just using it as a trick to win Eurovision, then maybe you don't deserve the right at all.

All I can say is V.I. Lenin, who did more than anyone to formulate a consistent and principled Marxist position on the question of national oppression and the right to self determination, must be rolling in his grave.

For shame! Carlo Sands does not approve.

None the less, I will be attending the Eurovision Party, as the host has promised Cuba Libres upon entry.

Monday, April 14, 2008

It gets worse...

Clearly my open letter to The Shannon Hotel has failed to have the desired effect.

Someone suggested nailing to the front door, Martin Luther-style. Something has to be done, because things go from bad to worse.

I walked in last Sunday evening, and — oh good god I wish to hell I was making this up — in front of the jukebox that usually seduces us with Kenny Rogers words of wisdom was... a fucking live jazz band.

Fucking middle class, white males in their mid-to-late twenties looking ridiculously smug and wearing fucking stupid hats.

Playing jazz.

In the Shannon.

Now, I know they are trying to go for a better class of customer, but seriously, hiring a jazz ensemble is degenerating into self-parody.

There they were on the stained green carpet — the bass player, keyboardist, bongo player and jazz drummer. Uttering inanities like: "It's great to see you all here, down at The Shannon!!!"

A sentiment most certainly not returned.

Then, and this is where it gets really horrible, they would proceed to actually play jazz.

Don't get me wrong. I am not against live music in the pub. The Shannon has something of a tradition of it.

However, it usually involves an acoustic guitar and lots of drunken shouting about whiskey in being in the goddam' jar and kissin' yer love by the factory wall. When that belle's down from Belfast City, that is.

Seriously, this is the first live music act in The Shannon's until now quite proud history to not offer up a version of Ordinary Man. I honestly don't think they even knew how to play it.

As that song exists on permanent jukebox rotation, there is little doubt in my mind that a thorough investigation into this incident (which, at the very least, is called for) would establish that the time from start to finish of the jazz ensemble was the single longest time period in The Shannon's history without Christy Moore's classic tale of working class suffering at the hands of Thatcher being played.

I just don't know what can be done. I am rapidly losing hope. If my plea remains unheard, I may have no choice but to consider escalating the campaign.

A threat to liberty anywhere is a threat to liberty everywhere, as Martin Luther King Jnr once said.

Let us also not forget that he also said: “Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable”.

I have no wish to cause unnecessary trouble or any harm to innocent lives.

However, let this be noted — if the next time I walk into the once great Shannon Hotel, I find a motherfucking jazz ensemble between me and the jukebox, then I cannot be held responsible for the consequences.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dear The Shannon Hotel: You've changed

This is an open letter to The Shannon Hotel. I can only hope that my voice reaches at least one sympathetic ear within The Shannon establishment, someone who will listen to my plea and seek to act on it, by whatever means are necessary.


Dear The Shannon Hotel,

As you know, I have been a loyal customer for many years now, even before I lived in Sydney.

I remember the days when I would come up from the "Australian Siberia" (what crimes saw me exiled to Canberra I of course cannot mention in decent company) for day-long meetings of the Central Committee of the Beer and its Role in Human Development; or Where Karl Marx Went Wrong in His Assessment of the Motor Force of History Society.

And, with the inevitability of one of those iron laws of history, The Shannon would be the port of call to recuperate from the intensity of the polemics and factional wars that mark any organisation dedicated to such an important cause.

In those days, a beer garden, free BBQ on Sundays, and a secluded upstairs area with pool table where all sorts of deals could be concluded in privacy — this made you the loved place you were.

That was before all the renovations.

They have taken some time, haven't they?

Not that I ever complained. Hell no! I stood by you. Because I believed in you and everything you stood for.

And when I moved to Sydney, I made you my de facto home.

The reasons is simple.

You, The Shannon, have been defined, more than anything else, by the absence of other people.

Whereas others recoiled in horror at that stench of urine that did pervade your premises for quite some time, I rejoiced!

Because, like any decent pesticide, it kept away forces that stink much worse — the scum of society.

Which, of course, is most of it.

The Shannon Hotel has been called many things, but a cool nightspot for young happening things has never been one of them.

Your chief charm was that, of the tiny numbers who knew of your existence, the majority went out of their way to avoid you.

Oh the peace and quiet! Oh the joy those days held!

You've changed, man.

I hate to be the one to have to say it, but it has to be said. Consider this an intervention.

These days, your "renovations" are pretty much complete. The place is officially "upgraded".

And, against all expectations, this move appears to be working in its bid to actually get human beings walking through the door.

Now, on any given Friday or Saturday, The Shannon Hotel is full of youths.

And good god, is it horrible.

When I started this blog, my very first entry was an ode to you.

Now, no longer can it be said that The Shannon "is a fucking great place for your modern alcoholic to get away from the mobs of marauding young people with their pierced toenails and stupid ring tones, and enjoy a decent drink."

I have nothing against crowds per se. The Phoenix Hotel down there in Hell, finest pub known to humanity, is often full.

But of the right sort of people.

The Shannon too, on rare occasions, would be packed out. But of drunks. (Or Irish people, as they prefer to be known).

But you invite the average punter and you invite in the average fuckwit.

You get drunken young men who proceed to sexually harass any female under 90 years of age within a 75 metre radius of them.

You attract people, you get scum.

We had to fucking flee your premises the other night, so harassed was a female friend when we were just trying to FUCKING PLAY A GAME OF POOL!

This was in The Shannon.

Hell, The Claire, just off Broadway only five minutes walk and full of students? Well what else would you expect?

But The Shannon? God help us all.

It isn't that I don't approve of attempts to make the place better. I like your new beer garden, I really do. It is quite pleasant out there.

And yes, I know. The Rose and the Lansdowne have more people on a Friday or Saturday than you do.

But that is not the point. (And, while we are on the topic, at least the Lansdowne offers a cheap $5 meal deal for it's customers. Apparently. So I have heard.)

But this is not about them. Seriously, if the Rose offered to jump off a bridge to attract the cool young brigade that take up space with their delusions that they aren't actually irrelevant pieces of shit that get in the way, would you do it too?

I don't blame you for seeking new custom. I understand. We've all got bills to pay.

But c'mon! Don't go selling your soul!

We had something. We never cared for the outside world. With the Guinness flowing and the dart board free, we fucking rocked.

Just think about that.

Yours in abuse of alcohol,

Carlo Sands

Fermenting revolution: How to drink beer and save the world

The following is a review by one Benjamin Dangl.

This gentleman, whose writings I have followed with some slight interest, has, until now, mostly concerned himself with the Latin American revolution, especially the social revolution that is developing in Bolivia.

I mean, for fuck's sake, as if the Bolivian masses, having survived 500 years of genocide without his assistance and now on the march forward against the imperialists and their assorted running dogs, actually need this diversion of Comrade Dangl's attention.

Now, finally, and to his credit, Comrade Dangl has turned his attention to the key issue that faces the proletariat within the imperialist nations: Beer.

His review below.

Brewing Trouble: How to Drink Beer and Save the World

By Benjamin Dangl

Review of Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, by Chris O'Brien

Beer, like so many other products, is largely in the hands of giant corporations. Therefore, drinking beer can often enrich the same systems of power we as activists are fighting against. Fermenting Revolution: How To Drink Beer and Save the World by Christopher O'Brien is a book about how the people can take back the brew and join together in saying, "If I can't drink good beer, it's not my revolution."

... Interested in changing the world through drinking? Fermenting Revolution can serve as a kind of bible for the beer activist that's bubbling inside each and every one of us.

In Fermenting Revolution, O'Brien presents a people's history of beer, allowing the reader to feel connected to beer activists centuries ago ...

Full review

Bravo Comrade Dangl, bravo!

Carlo Sands approves.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The true story of why I have never been to Brazil

I get asked this question all the time. Especially from all my Brazilian fans.

Well, the true story is, I did once very nearly end up in Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro to be precise.

To start this story, I have a confession to make. I don't believe I have every made it before, at least not on this blog.

I know rumours have been circulating for some time. And yes, I can, with a heavy heart, confess they are true.

I did grow up in Perth.

And I can confirm that Perth is barely one step up from a graveyard when it comes to looking for a "good night out".

Perth pubs tend to divide into two categories: those that cater for rednecks (decreasing in number) or white-collar yuppie scum (taking over everything).

One horrible offshoot of this is that Perth has a sizeable Goth community, made up those horrified by everything else around them.

I understand their grievance, even if I cannot approve their solution.

I mean, I'm all for people's right to freely choose their own fashion statement/sub culture. But, I mean c'mon on, unless you look like a) Johnny Depp or b) Helena Bohnam Carter — and you happen to be staring in a film being directed by Tim Burton — I really don't see the point.

That aside, there is little in Perth.

If you live in Kensington, as I may or may not have (why the fuck do you want to know?), then sooner or later you will end up (unless you are one of those weird teetotaler freaks) at that bastion of faux-Irishness that is Rosie O'Grady's (South Perth franchise).

I may or may not have been drinking there one evening (you demand a lot of information don't you?) with a friend (or so I thought).

We got talking to some white-collar worker who hated his job and was drinking to forget it.

He was determined to buy us whatever drinks we wanted, as impoverished bums. (Art students, I think, at that stage of our degeneration).

My so-called friend was going through a weird "health kick" that involved not destroying himself with booze at every opportunity and left early because he had to "drive home".

(Last I heard this guy got married — you see where that sort of attitude leads you?)

Anyway, our new found friend (let's call him Jason because it rings a vague bell) was propped up at the bar and keen to adopt us as his drinking partners for the night, happily plying us without whatever booze we desired.

He was also something of a prat.

If, for example, racial politics happened to come up in the natural course of conversation and you happened to say something perfectly obvious like: "Well, I don't think Aboriginals are incurably lazy alcoholic scum of society, but I do think they are subjected to systematic oppression", he would reply with a drunken lean forward, a raise of the eyebrow and, on a number of occasions, a point of finger, as he declared: "Touche!"

He also regaled us earnestly with tales of his past life as a DJ on Adelaide FM radio.

I mean it hard to imagine anything lower on the social ladder than this (and he was in Perth drinking in Rosie O'Grady's) but he seemed quite proud of it.

He told us stories of the Beastie Boys coming into the studio and being completely obnoxious and smoking cigars — and just how cool that was (fair enough).

He also insisted on talking to us about Miles Davis and the significance of jazz.

Like I said — a fucking prat.

But, like I also said, he was buying the drinks.

With my so-called friend fleeing from the free drinks (for fuck's sake), the two of use were left holding up our respective end of the bargain. I laughed, oohed and generally fawned as required, and he kindly kept the gin and tonics flowing.

At a certain point he decided we should go and try and "pick up some chicks". (Insert vomit here).

This being Rosie's in fucking South Perth on a fucking Tuesday night, it wasn't exactly a likely proposition, but he was buying the drinks so I wasn't about to cause any trouble.

The inevitable disasters followed, but he never seemed disheartened. I loyally followed, looking embarrassed and awkward, but clutching my g + t with what was genuine gratitude.

The more we drank, the more the concept of just, you know, escaping from Perth. and all these petty things like jobs that pay rent, took hold of us.

He was determined to go to Rio.

I tried suggesting Amsterdam ("It's got everything you could possibly need!"), but it was the middle of winter in Europe and his heart was set on sun.

Plus, it was his credit card.

He was determined, "You gotta come with me, it's all right, I gotta credit card. We'll hang out on beaches, drink rum and try and pick up!"

After the pub closed, we retired to his apartment just down the road, where, on his balcony with Crown Lagers in hand, we sought to make our plans reality.

He actually called a taxi for the airport, with the plan of stopping of at my place on the way to pick up my passport. (As I still lived at home, this would involve not waking my parents, a difficult task given the state I was in).

We suffered our first setback when he realised his credit card was back in the pub, now well and truly shut.

We started planning our break in.

However, I think our plans were ultimately scuttled by him passing out.

Which, in hindsight, was probably for the best as he did have to go to work in just a couple of hours.

I think I slept on his couch for an hour or two, let myself out and made my way home.

And that is real the story of how I have never been to Brazil.