Friday, December 24, 2010

It's fucking Christmas, pass the fucking booze

Apparantly, it's Christmas time. There is only one thing for it. A true country Christmas...

"Mum got drunk then Dad got drunk at our Christmas party..." Robert Earle Keene provides the guide to surviving this goddamned ode to the dysfunctional family system and insane consumerism killing the poor, godforsaken planet.

And you might as well listen to this song from the Mighty Stef, toosimple because I'm in a Mighty Stef mood.

"They say way down in nelligan's, they say there is a ship wreck for every soul in heaven and for every soul in hell. For power, greed or money, do not sail the devil's waters, for on the devil's ship, the devil rings the devil's bell..."

Monday, December 20, 2010

We want blood...

"We want blood! (we want blood), We want blood! (we want blood), let the scarlet red river turn our cities into mud..."

Finally, someone has stood up and said what needs to be said. And that someone is the great singer-songwriter from Dublin, The Mighty Stef (born Stefan Murphy).

The Mighty Stef aims his rough-as guts, drunken, impassioned, bluesy musical guns at the Irish government and calls them out for what they are: fucking lying thieves.

Having turned those parts of the Emerald Isle not still occupied by the British into a happy hunting ground for corporate plunderers (corporate tax rate lowered to 12%), when the good ship Corporate Plunder ran aground, the good people in the Irish government gave them 70 billion euros.

I mean, seriously, they gave it to them. It was not a loan. They wont have to pay it back. Just "there you go, you cheeky scamps, don't spend it all on lollys".

And these are the sort of people who wouldn't give a beggar a buck in the snow.

I mean, I was personally a bit strapped for cash a year or two back and I asked Brian Cowan himself if he could lend me a few bucks for a few pints in his nation's lovely pubs.

Well, the reply I got from his personal secretary's staff clerk's assistant's secreatary is not printable even on this blog.

Hell, I was only trying to do the bastard a favour. The economy clearly badly needed a stimulus package to get it back up and running and nothing stimulates an economy like a Carlo Sands' drinking binge.

But no.

But a bunch of goddamn fucking thieves in suits who fucked the economy up in the first place give him a call and next thing you know its 70 billion pounds from the public coffers straight into the veins of the profit junkies.

And it all gets blown on debts and speculation. Soon as they get the cash, it's straight down to their dealer round the stock market and whole sad and pathetic cycle starts again.

With the cash not being spent on anything *actually* productive or useful, far from saving the economy, it drove it further into crisis. Unemployment has tripled since 2007, numbering hundreds of thousands. Wages are 20% lower than three years ago.

Mass migration, that terrible feature of Irish history that has foisted morbid, miserable Irish folk songs on innocent people all over the world, is raising its ugly head once more.

And, after it all, the government has found itself a little strapped for cash.

The solution? Pay for the bailout of the parasites by squeezing the fucking people that *actually* do something useful in society, that actually produce something of social value: brewery workers and bartenders.

And the working class in general, they were just the first that came to mind.

The problem is it wasn't even the government's cash to begin with. It was money provided by taxpayers.

And the rich in Ireland generally don't pay taxes (do they Bono?).

So the government gives the rich the working people's cash. Then, it makes up the balance by making the working people pay even more.

It follwed this up by slashing billions out of social services, cut funds to education and hike up tuition fees, slash public sector jobs, reduce pensions and increase taxes for ordinary people.

But that was still not enough, because the Irish government claims it still can't pay its loans to... the FUCKING BANKS.

The solution? Well, "dear banks, get fucked" is the one understandably that struck most Irish people, who polls say back a default.

Instead, the government went crawling on its knees to the International Monetary Fund and European Union and got 90 billion odd euros in a loan at high interest rates, in order to burden the Irish people minus the six counties claimed by Britain with *even more* debt it never asked for. (But don't worry, the six counties claimed by Britain are having to pay for debts racked up by the British government for handing billions of euros to British banks.)

And in return the cash, the government will lose economic sovereignty and hand the running of the day-to-day economy over to IMF and EU bureacrats *and* commits to implementing *further* savage spending cuts and other neoliberal austerity measures - of the sort that helped cause the fucking crisis in the first place.

This, you might think, may make people angry. Well, the government is on the verge of collapse an some 100,000 protested in Dublin on November 27 at this state of affairs.

The Mighty Stef goes further: "Let the downtrodden rise with a fire in their soul many times do you need to be told? We want blood!"

How to organise such a thing? I made some general suggestions on the issue of how to make the streets run scarlet red with the blood of the ruling class, followed by what may be best described as a "colourful" discussion in the comments section, in my post Could *this* be the wall?

But the practicalities are largely to do with Australia and the Irish people will have to find their own solutions. And, indeed, their own walls.

The Mighty Stef has rightly raised the issue and got the ball (if not yet the heads) rolling. And this from a man whose previous experience of protest songs was this effort in response to Ireland losing a football match to France in the "Hand of Frog" scandal.

But I like the Mighty Stef in general. Rough, raw and drunken... Irish, in other words. If you want to hear some more, here are three song suggestions (though I could list more):

Death Threats: "It's getting to the stage I guess I always knew it would, where I can't walk down my street. I'm getting death threats here, death threats there from everyone I meet..." Carlo Sands can relate, especially to the empty beer glasses in the film clip.

Poisonous Love: "I'll return, your jewelry, I'll return your keys. I'll return your records and your poxy DVDS. I'll give you back your innocence that you blindly gave to me, and I'll sink you to the bottom of the sea..." The Mighty Stef shows the mature way to deal with a relationship break up.

Waitin' round to die: "I came of age and I met a girl in a Tuscaloosa bar, she cleaned me out and hit it on the sly. I tried to kill the pain, I bought some wine, hopped a train..." The Mighty Stef teams up with Shane MacGowan to cover Townes Van Zandt's classic.

Or you could just get on with the task of spilling their blood.

"Coz I've heard all the lies that I'm ever gonna wanna hear... we want blood!" Accoustic fury this time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Alcohol: a love song (part two)

Ealier this year, I published a post entitled Alcohol: a love song. It was about what I described as "one of the great all-time love songs — an ode to a tempestuous but profound love affair".

The song in question was Gogol Bordello's "Alcohol". It remains untouched in its raw passion and commitment to love, whatever the consequences.

It may not be matched, but loyal readers of this blog deserve a sequel. It comes courtesy of North Carolina outlaw country outfit Bourbon Crow, from their first album in 2006, appropriately titled "Highway to Hangovers".

Bourbon Crow take their country seriously, as any decent person should. They have deep respect for the outlaw legends, such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard.

And they know that every country song worth anything is marked by referrence to one thing above all others: booze. Not uncommonly, booze is coupled with heartache. Hell, in Haggard's classic Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down, booze *is the source* of the heartache.

(I realise country music is renown for its relationship with misery, but that is truly the saddest song I've ever heard. I discuss it in my post Merle Haggard, country music and a dystopian nightmare that speaks to our deepest fears.)

Bourbon Crow stand, swaying unsteadily, in this proud tradition.

And they have produced a fine ode to alcohol, in which they defiantly defend it against the slanders poured on it ("and you get all the blame") and defiantly declare their love ("Alcohol is awesome, so fucking awesome").

At times like this, with serious suggestions of raising the drinking age to 21 in this godforsaken country, we need such public stances more than ever.

Still,it is not going all the way of the prohibitionists. An important victory was scored recently when the City of Sydney was forced to back down on enforcing a midnight closing times on pubs.

This is an important victory, if only because I could not have otherwise been in Petersham's Livingston Hotel on Saturday morning at 5am trying to convince some bloke I just met from Kent that I was an Argentine in order to try and pick a fight over the Falklands.

So, listen to this song with a drink to celebrate our victories and to remind ourselves why we fight the bastards trying to stop us drinking.

"As far as I'm concerned, AA stands for alcohol... is awesome"

Alcohol is Awesome

Dear alcohol last night we had a ball
i lost my left shoe
don't worry i don't blame you
your my best friend
there til the end

i love the the way that you taste
you put a smile on my face
and you get all the blame
as far as im concerned
A.A. stands for alcohol is awesome

all my friends are worried about me
they say i need a meeting
they say i got a problem
i don't have a problem
they said thats half the problem
and you get all the blame
as far as im concerned
A.A. stands for alcohol is awesome

alcohol is awesome
so fuckin awesome (keep repeating)

and you get all the blame
as far as I'm concerned
A.A. stands for alcohol is awesome

alcohol is awesome
so fuckin awesome (keep repeating)

If you want more Bourbon Corw on the importance of being drunk, there are a few more songs:
Alcohol Express ("Yes it's true, alcohol I love you")
In the Mood for a Drinkin' Song ("My girl has left me and my money's almost gone... and I'm just in the mood for a drinkin' song")
Ol Whisky Mountain ("I got this ol' guitar and a bottle of jack. I've got no plans, but I've got no regrets, so line 'em up bar tender, aint even started yet")
A Dead Body ("I'm too drunk to dig this grave, I've been drinkin for 17 days, and I'm livin the American dream, a dead body and the bottle of beam..." - this one truly sums up Carlo Sands' life)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The cruellest spam and most outrageous slander against alcohol ever... PLUS a way forward proposed

Not fucking true!

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today on a particularly evil piece of email spam involving one of this nation’s biggest liquor store chains, Dan Murphy’s:

Liquor retailer Dan Murphy’s has been hit by a hoax offer that claims friends and family of the business can buy alcohol at a 30 per cent discount.

The Woolworths-owned liquor seller confirmed there is a flyer circulating online that advertises the fake discount. The retailer warned consumers on its website that the offer is not valid.

“To avoid any disappointment, please be aware that a hoax flyer is being circulated that did not originate from Dan Murphy's or Woolworths Ltd,” the company said. “THIS OFFER IS NOT VALID.”

A fucking hoax! The spammers have gone too far. There are some things you just don’t joke about and cheap booze is one of them. Not in this country. Not with this alcohol tax regime (combined with profiteering scum alcohol industry involving the likes of ... Dan Murphy’s).

What makes it so much more hurtful is that it is not as though this type of thing is not badly needed! The news is bad for alcohol on all fronts.

The mainstream media maintains its ceaseless flow of biased anti-drinking propaganda. The SMH today contains possibly the most outrageous story yet, entitled “Binge drinking puts young women at risk”.

You read it, expecting horror stats of brain damage or inflated livers, but no... The risk?

“Heavier drinking is exposing young women to increased risk of sexual assault for which male perpetrators routinely escape blame, a government-sponsored study has found.”

There you have it, fellas. It is young women drinking that is to blame for men sexually assaulting them.

Really, young women should just fucking stay at home where they fucking belong and do nothing so unladylike as enjoy a fucking beer. And then men would not be tempted to rape them.

Now, does anyone else recall the flood of outrage when Sydney Muslim cleric Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly made the following offensive comment about how women dress: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat?”

The question is what is the difference between excusing rape on the basis of women dressing in a way that provokes it and excusing rape on the basis that a women brought it on herself by being “too drunk”?

Consider this comment. The SMH reported that, in response to this study, “Trish Worth, chairwoman of DrinkWise, said there was a need for Australia to reshape its drinking culture”.

That’s right. Rethink its “binge drinking” problem. Because if there has been a rape, it is quite obviously all this damned drinking that is to blame.

It is like we have suddenly been transported back to the 1950s and the mainstream media is rehashing the plot lines of propaganda films such as “Reefer Madness!” — only instead of the demon weed we have FUCKING BOOZE!

Rethink its binge drinking culture? Here is a small suggestion from Carlo Sands, feel free to accept or reject it: How about ... you’ll laugh at this, no doubt it is just a silly thought but I’ll throw it out there ... how about ... just give it some thought ... rethinking a culture that allows men to think they can rape and sexual assault women???

I know. I’ve always been a radical. But don’t just dismiss it out of hand as the ravings of a mad Bolshevik. Give it some thought.

What about rethinking a culture that, when a young woman is assaulted, a study finds “victims of sexual assault were more likely to blame themselves and alcohol and exonerate men”.

Well, it is quite clearly booze’s fault, isn’t it, because the study says “young women often used alcohol to ‘transgress social norms’ of being female, then found themselves drunk and prey to the sexual advances of one or more young men”.

Right. Drunk and “prey” to sexual advances from men.

Carlo Sands is not now, nor has he ever been, a young woman. But I am going to take a stab in the dark and say young women don’t need to be drunk to receive sexual advances from “one or more young men”.

There is, of course, a difference between being prey to sexual advances that may be unwanted and actually being assaulted. And to be assaulted, a young woman does not need to be drunk or sober, just at the mercy of a rapist.

And if a woman is raped, it is not because they are drunk. It is because the rapist made the decision to rape them.

Now, why would a rapist do that? If I may go out on a limb here and make another radical suggestion (I know, I’m fucking sounding like fucking Trotsky addressing the fucking Petrograd Soviet on the question of storming the Winter Palace), but maybe the problem here is not how much the man who commits the assault has drunk, nor how much the woman who is assaulted has drunk, and maybe it is NOT ABOUT FUCKING BOOZE at all!

Maybe the problem is misogyny.

Maybe the problem is deep-rooted sexism in society and in our culture that gives too many men the assumption that women are objects to satisfy men, and they are, or should be, a man’s property, and they are beneath men and that men have a right to take advantage of them.

Both booze and the young women who enjoy consuming it are innocent. Young women who are sexually assaulted don’t bring it on themselves because of what they wear or what they drink. They have a right to wear or drink what they like.

“You can't knock em out, can’t walk away. Try desperately to think of the politest way to say, ‘Just get out my face, just leave me alone. And no you can’t have my number’, ‘Why?’, ‘because I’ve lost my phone’ ... ‘Please fuck off. No, it’s not going to happen, not in a million years’.” Lily Allen (with a great film clip made by young wommen at St.Angela's Sixth Form in east London) on the pressing question of how young women should, while out drinking, deal with arseholes making unwanted sexual advances. Presumably, SMH thinks whatever the arsehole may or may not do, the young woman in question had it coming, what with the explicit setting of this song in a pub and everything.

Beyond my heart attack-inducing rage at the SMH piece, my point is: this is is just the latest, if one of the more offensive, series of attacks on drinking. It all works to creates the atmosphere for such proposals as the one from the City of Sydney to close all pubs at midnight.

The result of all of this? Media and government hysteria notwithstanding, the tragic news has come through: Alcohol consumption has dropped for the fourth running year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported.

It is in this context that this fake offer has been made. It is undoubtedly cruel to get drinkers’ hopes up in such a way, only for them to be so horribly dashed after a drinker has made the effort to stagger or crawl to the nearest Dan Murphy’s bottlo.

But let us not only blame the spammers. Much responsibility lies with Dan Murphy’s too. The prices in these liquor stores are too high!

It is ridiculous, the way beer prices, especially, are going through the roof.

I know the capitalist gangs in control of liquor production and distribution will blame the government’s taxes. And they have a point — they are ridiculously high. Why should our livers pay for their system of corporate welfare and the privileges of the bureaucratic and political class?

But, if that is solely to blame, then I ask here, before the world, why will these liquor giants not open their books and allow society to see for themselves their profit margins?

In a matter so crucial to society’s function as access to alcohol, society must be in a position to ensure it can be accessed in a fair manner and not left to the whims of those whose minds are only on profit, not on the drinkers’ well being.

Let us collectively decide what would be a reasonable return for these companies!

And any company in the liquour industry caught abusing their position and engaging in excess profiteering should be NATIONALISED and WITHOUT COMPENSATION! Then we can begin to create a network of alcohol production and distribution under collective control and for the collective interests of the drinkers.

If one good thing may come from this cruel trick, let it be that these questions are posed before society.

In the meantime, Carlo Sands blames both the spammers for raising false hopes, and the liquor giants and government for creating a situation so unfair that these tricksters can prey on our hopes and dreams. To all of them, I dedicate the following song by a group of Welsh rock legends...

“But there’s no — no truce with my fury... you stole the sun from my heart.” Carlo Sands saw the Manic Street Preachers play on Monday and they rocked. They played this song and Carlo Sands jumped around almost as much as a much mascara-ed Nicky Wire.

Monday, November 15, 2010

In lieu of my Google ads so cruelly taken from me, here is a special offer from Carlo Sands to my loyal readers who love Tom Waits

When I discovered the terrible news yesterday that Google had disabled my Google adsense account and taken away my beloved Google ads, I felt a crushing sense of disappointment that I would no longer be able to offer my beloved loyal readers so wonderful an array of shopping opportunities.

Google, in its wisdom, has found Carlo Sands in violation of its so-called terms of agreement.

It doesn’t explain. These giant corporations never do.

It merely accuses my blog of generating “invalid clicks” — clicks on the ads done not with the intention of genuinely checking out the products on offer, but merely to generate cash for the blogger.

I mean, as if! As if the glory of my google ads was not the reason for their runaway success! Why would my loyal readers not be attracted to the ads?

Oh, the offers! A common one was “Alcohol treatment”. Who does not wish to be treated with alcohol?

But there was so much more. Let me quote from the ultimate source: myself.

In a recent Letter to a reader on the crucial question of google ads, I pointed out what was on offer:

...from "Beer" to "Spirits" to "Alcohol" to... all sorts of things.

Sometimes they go all left field and the ads will offer a range of seemingly random things, such as a series of NGO jobs: "Teach English", "NGO jobs", "NGO jobs in Kenya", "NGO jobs in Bangladesh".

There is always choice on offer, such as the time the two google ads on offer where "Humanitarian aid" and "Un humanitarian aid".

Choice is what this blog is all about and I am proud to provide ads that allow people to decide for themselves whether to help or hinder the less fortunate.

My personal favourite, though, was one automatically generated by my last post about Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, which offered "Pirate Treasure Chests". I really think you cannot ask for more than this.

And yet Google would have us believe that some of the clicks on such wonders were “invalid”!

Well, what a joke!

I actually think my ads were the victims of their own success. So enticing with their offers of “Alcohol treatment” and “Un humanitarian aid” that the clicks seemed illegitimate.

Now, my mass fan base are of course my first concern in this matter, but I should like to point out that Carlo Sands has suffered too.

Google disabled my account owing me 92 bucks! The fucking god damn thieves. Google says it has given that cash “back” to the advertisers in question!

Well, Google, you fucking owe me $92 and I here by declare before the entire world that Carlo Sands shall get it. I shall, in the first instance, use your appeal processes and point out the fundamentally injustice that has been committed.

I mean what utter scum. Never trust a corporation, that is the lesson I’ve learned the hard way, though I guess I could have just learned it from Joss Whedon or the entire rest of humanity that happen not to be a major share holder and/or executive board member of the top 200 corporations that own this fucking planet.

Google... it starts wars in Central America and it steals your fuckin ads...

It hurts, it really does. I loved those ads. They were my reason to keep on going, knowing I could offer them to my legion of fans, knowing it was a way Carlo Sands could give something back.

Seriously Google, why didn't you just steal my heart too when you nicked my ads, coz what use is a heart so badly broken?

Google has as its unofficial motto: “Don’t be evil.”

I fucking kid you not. It is on Wikipedia and everything.

The fucking irony...

So, I would like to try and make it up to my fans with a very special offer. A free live album from God himself, recorded in Amsterdam in 2004.

This offer of free Tom Waits really is the least Carlo Sands can do.

So, check out this site:

Follow the easy to assembly instructions and you'll have yourself a few album — but be quick, the offer is going to run out sooner or later.

There you go, loyal fans. An *entire* album worth of live Tom Waits songs. Some 22 songs all up. Includes many favourites from his then just released brilliant album Real Gone.

So... I can't offer Google ads, at least until my appeal is accepted or Google somehow sees the error of its ways... but I can offer you free music from the Greatest Fucking Singer-Song Writer In The Entire Fucking World Ever.


Now, while we are on the topic of FUCKING Google, below is the delightful Manic Street Preachers with the closing track from their latest album Postcards from a Young Man. A song written about Google, entitled “Don’t be Evil (Just be Corporate)”.

(I am off to see the Manics in just a couple of hours, I mean I don’t like to boast, but I fucking am...)

“The sickos and the bullies praise your name. You've enriched their lives with pleasure and fame. As a corporate as the suits you won't wear, as stupid as the jeans you tear, as evil as the pretense you care, God save us all from Satan's stare... Don't be evil, just be corporate. Fool the world with all your own importance...” The Manic Street Preachers give Google a well deserved kicking. Did I mention I’ll be seeing them in a couple of hours?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No can do this, no can do that, what the hell can you do, my friend, at this ‘community festival’?

“Where there’s a music shall be comin’ out of every car, there is a silence all over downtown. Where community celebrates shall be aroused,I walk the sterile gardens where life is on pause ... No can do this no can do that, what the hell can you do my friend, in this place that you call your town?”

I swear to god Gogol Bordello have been to the annual Newtown Festival. I turned up today to what is self-described as “an iconic Sydney festival, creating an annual community celebration of creativity, diversity, sustainability and inclusion”.

What a load of utter bollocks. I mean, you could argue it is bad enough being in Newtown and that the wanker quota could not but go through the roof. This is true, but misses a bigger point.

Seriously, I mean, for fuck’s sake, why is it that *everything* in this fucking society gets fucking fucked up?

Fucking Newtown fucking festival, you fucking approach it and the streets are hot and packed and there are fucking pigs everywhere (which is just fucking unhygienic) and the cafes are in ceaseless competition with barbeques offering sausages in a roll that cost them probably 30 cents each for $3.50 and I found one offering them for a mere three bucks (though the manager conceded the smokey taste came from never cleaning the BBQ, so they no doubt save on labour costs).

And you approach the “festival” and dodge the pigs that occupy the centre of the roads leading to the park and you get to the park and are confronted with the fact the public fucking park is fucking surrounded by a three metre high fence and there is only a narrow fucking entry point and there is a fucking *queue* to get into a public fucking park!

And you look closer as you approach and realise the fucking entrance you have no fucking choice but to fucking use, along with hundreds of other fucking people at the same fucking time on this hot fucking day, is fucking infested with festival officials with buckets insisting you give a gold coin “donation” before you are allowed enter the *fucking* public *fucking* park!

And then you realise that *beyond* the officials with their buckets and their stupid fucking stickers to stick on those who “donated” lies the official security forces in strong numbers and they are fucking stopping every poor fucker with a fucking bag and searching it for fucking booze so that every single poor bastard who has braved it this far has absolutely no choice but to join a long fucking queue to buy overpriced fucking beer inside the fucking grounds.

And the fucking security that fucking swarm all over the fucking place are fucking keen to ensure no fucking unauthorised fucking material gets distributed or, for that fucking matter, no *authorised* material gets distributed in an *unauthorised* place. (“I’m sorry sir, you have to return to your designated stall area.”)

And it is too fucking hot and there are too many fucking people and it is like a fucking traffic jam on some corners and you can’t fucking move and the only free stuff being handed out are fucking DOG TREATS! What the fuck am I going to do with dog treats?

And, let us not forget what this is: a fucking “community” festival in a fucking public park! Why are their security officials swarming every fucking metre of it throwing hissy fits if you fucking breathe out of line? **

Why are the so many fucking pigs, including the surreal sight of pigs on horses, whose horses take the opportunity to fucking *shit* on the middle of the path in the middle of the stretch of fucking food stalls?

It has gotten worse over the years. I remember a few years back, sure it was overcrowded and too hot, but at least the public fucking park was not enclosed by fucking three metre high fucking fences so you have no choice but to join a queue just to enter the fucking place so the fucking pricks can search your bag to ensure you get price gouged every time you want a fucking drink.

Which, in the circumstances, is straight away and constantly.

And you could distribute or sell newspapers without being harassed outside some officially designated little fucking ghetto at the far end of nowhere.

I am sure there were many nice things going on and some good stalls and tasty food and decent bands. But if I had stayed long enough to find out, there would have been at least one unfortunate machete incident and I just don’t need that kind of trouble when I’ve got drinking to do.

As a great man once said: “The drinks were few and the people were many. It was everything I expected and less! I’m never going outside again, unless I need some place to throw up.”

“I guess you can’t expect much from the hometown. Well, I don’t know if you can even call it your own...” Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz makes the point accoustically.

** It is worth pointing out that the security official that broke the news to Carlo Sands that he should cease his attempt to sell Green Left Weekly on a shady corner in the middle of the *public* park was actually a really nice guy forced to do so by his boss, who was clearly embarrassed and in disagreement with his orders. The first time he came up and asked whether the paper was official material, and when I told him we had a stall looked overwhelmingly relieved and asked, for form’s sake, where it was over the other side of the festival. I had no idea where the proper GLW stall was so just said yes, which he was more than happy with.

But a minute or two later, even more sheepishly, he returned, completely apologetic, and said “I’m, sorry its my boss, he says you have to distribute material in your designated area”. And then he said, with real spite, “It’s fucking ridiculous!”, thus saving me the effort. Embarrassed, he told me he loves the good work Green Left does, and then conspiratorially, lent towards me and said: “Just sell on your way back, just walk around and sell ... I didn't tell you that that (wink)”

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day of the Meerkat: a damn good band

“History doesn't happen its made. How much did you get paid today? A city stops when met by a thousand cops. Black and blue lines are crossed and justice is a battered word...” Day of the Meerkat perfom "History Doesn't Happen Like it Used To" at the Gaelic Club.

Carlo Sands was pleased to get to see Sydney band Day of the Meerkat at the Live Red Art show at the Marrickville Community Centre yesterday. It has been a while since I saw this intoxicating mix of hillbilly rock live.

Day of the Meerkat are aptly described at the Band Next Door blog in this way: “Some wild form of raucous and rough stuff is what Day Of The Meerkat are known to do best, and for now, they are one of the best.

“Something which is suitable to drinking those cheap beers at the danky pub in your inner city bohemian land.”

This is a practice, the blog argues and Carlo Sands agrees, that “should be revived in this land of boudois venues and heavily legalised way of having fun”.

“Day Of The Meerkat is that band to save us from it all!”

The clip at the top is a performance of “History Doesn’t Happen Like It Used To” from the band’s May 22, 2009 launch of their EP Dirty Tricks on Sinking Ships at the Gaelic Club in Sydney.

The song is about the 2007 APEC protests and the way Sydney was turned into a police state during the forum attended by war criminal and then world emperor George Bush. (I remember seeing the Meerkat playing at the post-APEC protest party and benifit gig.)

I was there at the EP launch at the Gaelic Club. It was a great show, Carlo Sands was down near the front dancing as only Carlo Sands can: very badly.

In fact, if I recall, I was sick as a dog that day and drugged up with codeine. The only sensible solution to this predicament was to drink as much beer as I could before the gig, during the gig and after the gig.

In the audience shot at the end of the clip, in may be possible to grab just a glimpse of a notoriously secretive and rarely seen in public Carlo Sands, but about that I can say no more.

Day of the Meerkat perform at the Gaelic Club in May last year. Carlo Sands was out there somewhere, drunk and dancing poorly.

Sources close to the band have informed this blogger that the Meerkat have an album due out next month. Included on the record is the song below, “Bird on the Windshield” — of which I am a fan and got to see performed live yesterday.

"You were right, I was wrong, I was nuts all along." Carlo Sands approves.

NOTE: You can download (for free or a donation) Day of the Meerkat’s songs from their first two EPs here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A reply to a reader on the question of google ads

I received a note from a reader of this blog that raised some very serious questions - nay allegations - in relation to the service provided by the blog of google ads for the readers' shopping pleasure.

These said ads are in my humble opinion - and it is my fucking blog so my opinion is what fucking counts - one of this blog's most attractive features.

(Asides, that is, from my profile pic in the top right hand of the blog. I am told I remind people of a famous film star. I don't see it myself, but then I have never been a fan of Tom Hanks.)

There are so many advantages to the google ads, which you will find at the top of the blog just above the post.

A key one, besides the cash Carlo Sands earns, is the wide variety of automatically generated ads. Everything from "Beer" to "Spirits" to "Alcohol" to... all sorts of things.

Sometimes they go all left field and the ads will offer a range of seemingly random things, such as a series of NGO jobs: "Teach English", "NGO jobs", "NGO jobs in Kenya", "NGO jobs in Bangladesh".

There is always choice on offer, such as the time the two google ads on offer where "Humanitarian aid" and "Un humanitarian aid".

Choice is what this blog is all about and I am proud to provide ads that allow people to decide for themselves whether to help or hinder the less fortunate.

My personal favourite, though, was one automatically generated by my last post about Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, which offered "Pirate Treasure Chests". I really think you cannot ask for more than this.

Some, it seems, disagree.

It is really hard to please some people, and Carlo Sands received the following disgruntled letter from a reader not at all satisfied with the results of clicking on a google ad.

I provide the letter below.

* * *

Dear Mr Sands,

I was perusing your most excellent blog whereupon I noticed a Google ad for "Binge Drinking". "Don't mind if I do", I thought to myself, and clicked, expecting a bounty of alcoholic options to be arrayed before me.

What I must ask you now is this: What are you playing at? What in the blazes do wedding photography, Floriade and Bob Jane T-mart have to do with binge drinking?

I expect you'll claim innocence, blaming Google or somesuch. I say this will not stand.


A disappointingly sober fan.

* * *

Calling the quality of Carlo Sands' google ads into question is no small matter. If the implications of this letter were true, it would be serious business indeed.

However, Carlo Sands feels greatly wronged. And therefore allow me to publish the following Open Letter to a Reader on the Crucial Question of Google Ads:

Dear A Disappointingly Sober Fan (and I agree it is a great disappointment to find you in such a state),

I mean, for christ's sake! Take a good look at yourself, Disappointingly Sober!

Most people in this world are too damn poor for google ads and you are whining that the one you clicked on didn't present you with choices you consider adequate!

Oh the shame of it.

Allow me to state what should be blindingly obvious: if you, Disappointingly Sober, require the assistance of google ads to partake in the joys of binge drinking, then I dare say you are doing it wrong!

What you do, for future reference, is walk to the fridge and/or cupboard, open the door and consume all the booze within.

Should such spaces be empty, then you open the front door, having picked up your wallet from wherever the fuck you said you liked to leave it in that pointless meme, and walk to a pub and/or bottle shop.

Then you buy as much booze as the contents of your wallet allow and drink it.

Now, can google ads play any role in this process? Yes, in two ways.

First, look at the wedding photography that so drew your ire. I mean, seriously look.

Keep looking. Avoid the temptation to avert your eyes or scratch them out. Do this for a good, say, 15 minutes.

Now, don't you feel an overwhelming urge to drink as much as you can as quickly as you can?

Try it with Bob Jane T-Mart. Maybe it wont work for you, but I gotta tell you, a Bob Jane T-Mart catalogue sure sends me running to LiquorLand for their strongest brew every fucking time.

The second way it assists is it generates cash for Carlo Sands and Carlo Sands spends that cash on booze.

He may be willing to buy you a drink out of the bounty, but not of you keep acting up like this.

Grow up, Disappointingly Sober! Stop blaming Carlo Sands and his google ads for any state of sobriety you find yourself in, get yourself some decent fucking booze and fucking DAMN WELL DRINK IT!!!

yours sincerely,
Carlo Sands

P.S.: Thank you for your support.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wherever people long for freedom, Johnny Depp is there

Yes, it is all over the media.

The Greatest Actor of His Generation turned up at a British school in full pirate regalia after a young fan wrote to him seeking help to stage a “mutiny”.

“Beatrice Delap, nine, wrote to Captain Jack Sparrow — Depp's character in the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies — asking for help with an uprising against teachers at Meridian Primary School in Greenwich, south-east London”, said.

“We are a bunch of budding young pirates and we were having a bit of trouble mutiny-ing against the teachers,” Delap wrote. “We’d love if you could come and help.”

Recognising that surprise is of the essence in a successful insurrection, Depp gave the school just 10 minutes notice of his visit in response to the call for assistance in the students’ liberation struggle.

Panicked, the school establishment called a hasty assembly, into which Depp strode in full pirate regalia, accompanied by four pirate offsiders. The students, we are told, burst into applause.

No doubt this ovation was also accompanied by many cries of “Long live the revolution!”, “Fourth graders united shall never be defeated!” and “To the wall, teacher scum!”

However, corporate media accounts omit any reference to such chants.

Despite the element of surprise, it turns out there was a turncoat in rebel ranks. Addressing the rebels, Depp was forced to advocate a tactical retreat: “Maybe we shouldn’t mutiny today because there are police outside monitoring me.”

This was a wise tactical move. With the forces of reaction mobilising their repressive apparatus against the rising in advance, the rebels were surrounded. A hasty rising in such circumstances could only lead to a bloodbath.

And a heroic but failed rising is of no use to anyone — unless you’re Irish, perhaps.

Far better to keep the powder dry, regroup, gather the forces, strengthen preparations and prepare to launch a successful insurrection tomorrow.

“So we’ll mutiny, take over the school and eat lots of candy till our teeth fall out.” Depp expounds the rebels’ action program.

Now there is more to Depp than his role as revolutionary leader. He also directed and starred in the clip below for the Shane MacGowan and the Popes song “That Woman Got Me Drinking” — an ode to the noble art of mending a broken heart with huge quantities of booze. (Of course, this features Shane MacGowan before he sold out and got his teeth fixed.)

“She said she’d always love me, she said I’d be the one. Now look at the way she treats me, just like a piece of scum. That woman’s got me drinking, look at the state I’m in. Give me one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten bottles of gin.”

From assisting primary schoolchildren in their bid to throw off their oppressors, to directing a clip celebrating binge drinking as a legitimate response to heart ache, to completely failing to win an Oscar despite being the greatest actor of his generation and despite Tom Fucking Hanks winning two... it seems there is truly nothing Johnny Depp cannot do.

And here, on this very blog, Carlo Sands has been kind enough to provide, in one single post, no less than two clips featuring Mr Depp.

And I do this entirely free of charge, purely out of passion for my work.

And all Carlo Sands asks in return is you have a look at the google ads kindly provided at the top of the page for your shopping pleasure, check them out, and, if you see anything like, give them a good click or two.

You'll find if you refresh the page, google kindly provides an entirely different set of ads — feel free to check them all out!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Some good news for a change

Oktoberfest beer festival in Taybeh, occupied West Bank.

It can be hard to find good news is this god-forsaken hellhole of a world.

When I look in the papers these days, two things repeatedly send that shiver of horror and disgust up my spine: the latest Western-backed Israeli crimes against the dispossed Palestinian people and the latest crypto-prohibitionist assault on our right to drink to forget the world right here in this grand nation of ours.

But there is some good news amid the horror.

I like the October 5 Sydney Morning Herald story pasted below because it is about beer. And Carlo Sands likes beer.

I like it because the story of the Oktoberfest festival in the Palestinian West Bank town of Taybeh is about enjoying beer in the face of far greater odds than drinkers in this country could dream of.

And I like it because anywhere people defy the odds to get pissed is a victory against the anti-drinking elements everywhere.

And by "anti-drinking" elements, I don't mean those who don't drink. I mean those who seek to stop others drinking. Usually, such people drink themselves, the selfish fucking hypocrites.

In the story below, a Muslim Palestinian, who has never tried the beer, says she thinks "the festival is a good thing".

A large number of Muslims are like my friend Conehead - their poison is coloured green. Like Conehead, they do not judge others for the intoxicants they use to deal with this insane world.

The Israeli authorities, on the other hand, no doubt drink like fucking fish. But Israel has made it near impossible for Palestinians in the West Bank to enjoy some booze themselves.

The West Bank having been militarily occupied by Israel since 1967, its only brewery was only opened in 1995 thanks to the small easing of conditions Palestinians lived under as part of the Oslo Peace accords.

The article below details the difficulties the brewery faces trying to operate under Israeli occupation, with the free movement of goods and people denies, with endless militarty checkpoints and checkpoint closures, and the heavy costs bringing in needed goods from Israel.

And it is not just military occupation. More and more Palestinian land in the West Bank is being annexed for illegal Jewish settlers. All sorts of Jewish-only roads and other forms of infrastructure are taken up by the settlements.

Also, water is diverted to the settlements, making it scarcer for Palestinians. No doubt this is an extra impediment and cost to any Palestinian who may wish to brew beer in their own fucking country.

Despite these formidible obstacles, the article explains, such is the passion for letting Palestinians enjoy a few fucking beers that brewery owner Nadim Khoury works 16 hours a day to get the stuff out.

What a fucking hero. This is a good news story indeed.

It is inspiring. But there is a scary side worth considering: if they were to set this festival up on any of the 180 streets in places such as Kings Cross, Redfern, Surry Hills and Newtown that the authorities have now declared alcohol-free-zones, then the cops could seize the booze and fine those involved $2200 each.

The SHM article:

There was meat grilling on barbecues, children with painted faces, stalls selling crafts and cakes, a stage for live music and even the odd priest wandering about. Everywhere people were clutching glasses of beer in the afternoon sun.

Welcome to the annual beer festival in the West Bank, specifically the village of Taybeh, home to the only brewery in the Palestinian territories.

Around 10,000 people were expected to attend the weekend's Oktoberfest, which would have made it the biggest since the event began in the Christian-dominated village.

It is a mark of the festival's success that it was crammed with food stalls doing a lively trade to Palestinian families (both Muslim and Christian), diplomats, aid workers and tourists.

But it was the eponymous beer itself, briskly selling at 10 shekels ($2.80) for a half-litre glass, that was the star of the show.

Made without additives and using water from the spring of Ein Samia - ''delicious'' in Arabic - it was slipping easily down the throats of thirsty visitors.

Business, according to the brewery's owner, Nadim Khoury, is booming despite the obvious difficulties of operating in an overwhelmingly abstinent Muslim environment. The brewery faces ''many obstacles - religion, culture, occupation, closures'' plus a prohibition on advertising alcohol, Mr Khoury said.

''I'm on my feet 16 hours a day to promote the beer, going door-to-door, bar-to-bar, hotel-to-hotel. It's not easy in this part of the world.''

The firm started brewing beer in 1995 in the optimistic years after the Oslo accords. When the second intifada started in 2000, the brewery faced a crisis.

But output has since tripled to 600,000 litres a year and there are plans to expand. A non-alcoholic version of the beer for the Muslim market has made a good start, said Mr Khoury. He would like to see an end to the expensive ''back-to-back'' system of moving goods from the West Bank into Israel.

The beer has to be unloaded from Palestinian trucks at checkpoints and reloaded onto Israeli trucks, often involving long waits in high temperatures.

At the festival, two young women are listening to a Brazilian band. Nibal, 22, a Christian Palestinian, enjoys drinking Taybeh beer, but Samah, 24, a Muslim, has never tasted the village's famous product.

''But I think the festival is a good thing,'' she says.

Beer on offer. Half a litre costs about $2.80. Even in the West Bank under Israeli military occupation, despite the high costs and difficulties of importing goods, despite the scarcity of beer, it is still cheaper than under Australia's aclohol taxation regime.

On a Redfern street, these would be confiscated.

Israeli settlers are yet to take all the water. There is still enough for a few draught beers.

Looks like it tastes good. But, like, hang on! Aren't, like, Palestinians all, like, woman-oppressing Muslim extremists? Why is, like, a young woman drinking beer in public? We haven't been, like, fed bullshit propaganda have we? Surely not.

Life's greatest joy: sitting around drinking beer.

That guy has clearly enjoyed his Oktoberfest. Lucky he isn't on a Sydney street, lest he be arrested under the noticeably drunk laws introduced last year.

All in all a rare, badly needed good news story. And good news calls for a celebration. And that means its time to drink some booze.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

As nearly seen on 60 Minutes

I have long been aware this blog has fans in important places. It attracts the crème de la creme of the Australian, indeed world intelligentsia. True leaders — doers, not just thinkers.

The movers and the shakers (and not just with DTs).

So you can only imagine how disappointed I was to get an email from someone from 60 Minutes telling me she “loved the blog” and wanting a chat.

The first I heard of this strange episode in Carlo Sands’ life (you can refer to yourself in third person if you are famous and Carlo Sands has decided nearly being on 60 Minutes counts) was an email from one of the administrators of the “Who is Carlo Sands?” facebook group that posed the obvious question: “what the fuck?”

The administrator had received a message via facebook from 60 Minutes seeking help in tracking Carlo Sands down.

A few thoughts occurred to me: this was someone's idea of a joke; 60 Minutes were planning an attack on binge drinking and figured a few cheap shots at a proudly alcoholic blogger would score easy points; or possibly it was about that cake recipe from Conehead the Barbituate I posted, even though I clearly specified it was for educational purposes only and, if you really wanted to bake it, to use the non-THC strain.

I didn't have to ponder too long, as I discovered 60 Minutes had sent Carlo Sands a message too.

There it was in my email account, which I rarely check as only spammers and fake hit-collecting sites seeking "link exchanges" ever email Carlo Sands, with the official Channel Nine logo at the bottom: "Dear Carlo, I saw your blog and would love to chat with you about it..."

It struck me that whatever 60 Minutes wanted, it was unlikely to be good news for Carlo Sands or the much-maligned binge drinking community.

But, curious, I sought more information. Sure enough, I got this response: "I’m working on a story on alcohol and the push to change legislation, cut opening hours etc

"I’m looking for someone who can defend those who like going out and drinking. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be you but I do love your blog. I’d love a chat on the phone if you have a minute…"

Well, it is true the attacks are increasing alarmingly.

The propaganda comes first. Salvation Army released a widely covered report aimed at proving kids today are all out-of-control drunks.

Even god damn mX got in on the act with a stunning front page story on September 17 that purported to reveal shocking evidence of damaging “memory loss” among youth due to binge drinking.

But the free Murdoch rag then shredded its credibility by quoting some “expert” speculating an increase in youth dementia rates “could be because alcohol is more readily available and affordable”.

What the fuck? More readily available than where? Saudi Arabia?

It is certainly not more readily available or affordable than times gone past in Australia. Anyone who thinks it is should read my post and the comments on it about the now-demised South Pacific Rugby Club in Canberra and ask themselves what odds such an establishment has of existing in today’s anti-booze atmosphere.

More affordable? Jesus, with taxes ratcheted up, the only way you can afford a few schooners these days is to apply for a mortgage.

I gotta cousin who has moved to Dubai and says booze may be harder to get, but it's a damn sight cheaper. Our god damn livers are being taxed to death.

The propaganda sets the stage for action. The September 17 Sydney Morning Herald reported the City of Sydney Council had declared 180 inner-city streets "alcohol free zones".

The cops will have the power to seize alcohol and issue fines of up to $2200 for those drinking in public within these zones.

Drinking in public is legal in New South Wales - asides from the now-proscribed areas.

Then, and at this point I nearly decided to just end it all now than try and live in such a horrible fucking world, came the news of a push to force pubs in Sydney to close up for the night at... GOD DAMN FUCKING MIDNIGHT!

Midnight! I mean for christ's sake.

I am not saying it is necessarily bad thing to call it a night and stagger to the train station at midnight. With a few good hours of drinking behind you, it can often be fine.

But not all the god damn time.

No, there are some nights, they happen to us all and to some of us quite frequently, whereby midnight is just not enough. More drinking is needed.

This is especially the case if, for reasons outside your own control, you started drinking late. Reasons such as work.

Some people work late. Some are fucking shift workers. Their right to cope with the mind-numbing, soul-destroying horrific job they are forced to do to pay the fucking rent by drinking and then drinking some more is under attack.


These attacks are too serious not to take any opportunity to resist. My duty was clear: I gave the journo my mobile number.

When she called, she started by asking a whole lot of impertinent, but predictable questions, such as: was my name really Carlo Sands, or else who was I? What was it I did?

She probed and took a guess I worked in the media. She claimed this was because I clearly knew how to write (has she fucking seen the typos on this blog?), but really I think it is simply because stats show almost no one drinks more than journos.

She asked me questions about what I thought about booze and binge drinking and the new laws. Then she got to the point.

Most media, she said, would do the standard youth binge drinking and alcohol-induced violence story. 60 Minutes brilliant idea for a different angle was this: How about they filmed "me and my mates" on a night out drinking, to show a different side, that people can go out and drink and joy themselves without causing or getting into trouble.

A 60 Minutes cameraman and producer would simply tag along, film it and try and not get in the way.

Note: Nothing was said as to who would pick up the tab.

My first thought, again, was: Has she read the fucking blog? She wants a night that *doesn't* end in messy chaos?

I am not saying I don't have such nights, but I try and keep pretty quiet about the fact.

And I was certainly not thrilled at the idea of such a night being fucking broadcast on national TV! Carlo Sands has a reputation to uphold.

My second thought was: it's a set-up. Whatever we do, we'll have no control over how 60 Minutes presents it. Commercial current affair shows specialise in that shit.

I suspect that wasn't the plan at all. For one thing, they would have offered to pay - to make it more attractive and ensure we got shitfaced. I suspect 60 Minutes did just want a different angle.

Now, Carlo Sands is willing to do whatever it takes to resist the crypto-prohibitionists. I have no problem doing whatever would give me a national TV audience to that end.

Hell, I reckon they should take me to a pub, fill me up with beer and film me ranting about crypto-prohibitionists in an extended live-to-air special feature that ends sometimes after 2am.

But convincing anyone else it is a good fucking idea to let Channel fucking Nine film them getting pissed is a different matter.

It isn't so simple to say to someone: "Pub? Just for one..." ("Just for one" is code for "Till we stumble out at closing time and try and find another venue open for more").

"Oh, by the way... 60 Minutes are going to film us."

I told the journo I'd give her an answer the next day.

There were those who strongly advocated taking up the offer. Whatever happened, it would be amusing.

But almost without fail, such people were safely in another city. (Though there was at least one offer to fly in to Sydney for the event - I make a point of never using people's real names on this blog so let us just call him "Ben".)

In the end, almost no one actually in Sydney was willing to take a public stand and get pissed on the telly. I had no choice but to say no.

60 Minutes would have to find some other alcoholic to con his friends into letting a comercial current affairs show stick a camera in their boozed-up faces for a night.

Yes, Carlo Sands’ one big chance at glory, at showing this god-forsaken country just how it should fucking be done, at smashing the crypto-prohibitionists with one big televised binge... it has come and it has gone.

It could have been Carlo Sands' one shot at the big time, at fulfilling a life’s dream: getting pissed on prime time TV.

Fuck, I need a beer.

“Now he’s spilling whiskey and learning songs about a one that got away”. Tom Waits captures the tragedy of those who nearly made it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nothing to fucking see here

A profound analysis of recent events.

Nobody watched nothing talk about nothing while nothing gave answers about nothing and nobody replaced no one to give more nothing than ever before and nothing pledged nothing and no one waved and shouted about nothing in a bid to win nothing from nobody.

And nothing happened and nobody won.

But at least the nothing is 100% recyclable and, in this day and age, that, at least, is something.

In other news, Justin Bieber got hit in the head by a bottle.

"Ow? That didn't feel good." The Labor machine empathises with Justin Bieber.

If you really need more, I guess you could check out Green Left Weekly. or if you are really looking to get a serious in-depth persepctive, try this lovely set of charts from Townsville. Its graphic depiction of the hat question is particularly illuminating.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More crucial election news: must see video

"Ooww? That didn't feel good."

Without doubt, the most exciting news so far in the Australian federal elections 2010, scheduled for August 21, was released this very morning.

Finally, previously suppressed footage from a concert featuring so-called singer and Devil Child Justin Bieber being attacked by a brave hero in the crowd has been made public. Ninemsn tells the story:

Video footage has emerged of tween pop star Justin Bieber being attacked with a water bottle onstage.

The 16-year-old "Baby" singer was performing at a concert for US radio station 107.9 The End in December last year when a concertgoer hurled the object at him.

"But yeah, I just wanted to see everybody because I love you guys," Bieber says, before the bottle hits him in the head.

The crowd can be heard gasping as Bieber turns his back and clutches his forehead.

"Ow, that didn't feel good," he says.

"I don't know why she just threw that at me."

Ok, now Justin (or should I call you by your correct title "Spawn of Satan Sent to Destroy All Culture and Enslave Us All"?), let me tell you something. You know when you got hit in the head? And when you said "ow?" you made it a question?

That type of thing helps explain why someone threw the projectile and they aimed straight for your head.

That and the fact you had a microphone in your hand and were clearly threatening to "sing". That was a dangerous provocation.

It is inspirational footage, but the feeling remains this video represents yet another missed opportunity in this election campaign. An empty vodka bottle would have been much more effective, especially if filled with petrol and a rag and then set alight.

Still, in this campaign, when the offerings are a mad monk in budgy smugglers or a faulty robot with multi-personalities who can only move forwards - both of whom being determined to destroy all life on Earth - you take what you can get.

From now until August 22, the best advice your faithful blogger can give you is turn off your TV whenever the news comes on and just watch this clip over and over again.

PS: Don't forget the google-ads just at the top of the page. Every time you click them, a Justin Beiber CD dies.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Have you heard there’s an election on?

If I can’t vote for killing Justin Bieber, it’s not my election. And they call this a democracy.

However, we all do still have some freedoms they are yet to strip away. We can unite and click the google ads at the top of this blog!

Oh, the rich and powerful don’t want you to, make no mistake about it. They would have you believe it is *impossible*, at the current hit rate, for Carlo Sands to actually ever *earn* the 150 bucks required for google to bother sending him a check any time before the coming climate apocalypse destroys the planet and, with it, the requirement for Google to send Carlo Sands a check.

That is because they are scared! Sure, the amount earned over a year or so so far has barely reached double figures, but remember what Ghandi said: first they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they give you a check for $150 bucks and you go out and get pissed!

Don’t let them fool you! Take a stand! Click the ads!

Dare to struggle, dare to click! If you don’t click you lose!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The best fucking poem fucking ever fucking written by fucking anyone

It is my considered opinion, avid clickers on the google ads kindly provided by my good self at the top of this blog, that John Cooper Clarke, “punk poet” and the “Bard of Salford”, is a fucking legend.

I have already drawn attention to one of his more charming poems, entitled “Twat”. And there are plenty more delightful ditties to be found on his website.

But more than anything else, Mr Cooper Clarke should be celebrated as the writer and performer of indisputably the Best Poem Ever Written By Anyone Ever.

Now, I can hear the cries of my loyal google-ad clicking fan base. Yes, Carlo Sands is also a poet.

And, yes, my masterpiece, I Kill You Now Fuck Off And Get Me A Drink, was one of those rare pieces of art that totally redefined a genre, revolutionised an art form and was so ahead of its time that time travellers from 2750s feel like backward hicks when they stumble across it.

It is true it was an important, if controversial, piece of work that bravely tackled such taboo subjects as the practice of yelling at corpses that fail to bring you a beer. Which, in my experience, is pretty much all of them.

But, if my more fanatical supporters will permit me to say so (and seriously guys, maybe you should relieve a little of that passionate energy with a few google ad clicks), it still falls short of Mr John Cooper Clarke's “Evidently Chickentown”.

Put to music by his Invisible Girls backing band for his 1980 album Snap, Crackle and Bop, featured briefly in the film clip to the Joy Division song “Transmission”, and played over the closing credits of an episode of The Sopranos, "Evidently Chickentown" is really fucking good.

It presents the most vivid picture ever provided in word form of what it is *actually like* trying to live under late monopoly capitalism.

Inspired by the wonders of working class life in northern England in the late ’70s, it describes life for ordinary people in the “developed” world everywhere.

It may also have served as inspiration of a sort to a post of mine entitled “Dear Motherfuckers” — but I warn Mr Cooper Clarke now, he wont ever see so much of a cent of my google ad revenue.

“The reason I like to do this number is, quite simply, I can't do this on TV. They wont let me do it on TV because last time I did it, the beep operators sued for repetitive strain injury. Also, my swear box doubles as a high-yield pension scheme.”

Evidently Chickentown

The fucking cops are fucking keen
To fucking keep it fucking clean
The fucking chief's a fucking swine
Who fucking draws a fucking line
At fucking fun and fucking games
The fucking kids he fucking blames
Are nowehere to be fucking found
Anywhere in Chickentown

The fucking scene is fucking sad
The fucking news is fucking bad
The fucking weed is fucking turf
The fucking speed is fucking surf
The fucking folks are fucking daft
Don't make me fucking laugh
It fucking hurts to look around
Everywhere in Chickentown

The fucking train is fucking late
You fucking wait you fucking wait
You're fucking lost and fucking found
Stuck in fucking Chickentown

The fucking view is fucking vile
For fucking miles and fucking miles
The fucking babies fucking cry
The fucking flowers fucking die
The fucking food is fucking muck
The fucking drains are fucking fucked
The colour scheme is fucking brown
Everywhere in Chickentown

The fucking pubs are fucking dull
The fucking clubs are fucking full
Of fucking girls and fucking guys
With fucking murder in Their eyes
A fucking bloke is fucking stabbed
Waiting for a fucking cab
You fucking stay at fucking home
The fucking neighbors fucking moan
Keep The fucking racket down
This is fucking Chickentown

The fucking train is fucking late
You fucking wait you fucking wait
You're fucking lost and fucking found
Stuck in fucking Chickentown

The fucking pies are fucking old
The fucking chips are fucking cold
The fucking beer is fucking flat
The fucking flats have fucking rats
The fucking clocks are fucking wrong
The fucking days are fucking long
It fucking gets you fucking down
Evidently Chickentown

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Morrissey is all Kevin has left now

“I’ve been stabbed in the back so many, many times I don’t have any skin. But that’s just the way it goes.” Morrissey sings Kevin Rudd’s life.

Yes, Morrissey’s Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself is actually about the music industry.

But Hunter S. Thompson once summed up the Australian Labor Party perfectly when he said: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs.

“There’s also a negative side.”

It may be about Morrissey’s own experiences, but this song from the master of misery’s 1994 album Vauxhall and I is the lament of fallen Labor leaders everywhere with its chorus: “You’ll never believe me so — why don’t you find out for yourself? Then you’ll see the glass hidden in the grass.”

Mark Latham wrote an entire, vitriolic book with that simple message — he could have saved some trees and a lot of time and just posted a link to “Why Don’t You Find Out For Yourself” on YouTube to his Facebook page.

Former NSW premier Morris Iemma is now wondering the streets of Sydney shouting to to all and sundry about Mark Arbib: “I told you all! He knifed me, now he’s knifed Kevin! I told you all but you wouldn’t listen!”

This was the very clear message from the man who took over from Iemma, Nathan Rees, when the factional headkickers that run NSW Labor did him in last year. They did him in and his replacement, Kristina Keneally, would be their puppet.

Then they'd do her in too — we’ll find out for ourselves.

Of course, this is what cynically brutal hatchetmen with no loyalty to anything accept power and their own petty careers do. They sit in Vietnamese restaurants in Kingston with two phones and a list of names and they stay there until they have the numbers to bury the hatchet into your back.

Which in Rudd’s case was before the entreas arrived.

Each of the whining Labor leaders knows this full well because that’s how they got the job themselves. Installed by number-crunching headkickers, they never seemed to believe it would happen to them.

Then they found out for themselves.

Julia Gillard’s turn will come, as it must to all.

Thats what you get for being a greedy, power-mad puppet with no principles, willing to serve any cause and argue any case in pursuit of feeding your own bloated ego with delusions of a grand chapter awaiting you in the history books.

When, in fact, you are nothing but a jumped-up petty salesperson for the rancid oligarchy that the actually rules this fucked-up country. Whose interests are actually administered in government by overpaid, faceless, unelected bureaucrats while the politicians keep themselves busy with grandstanding, press conferences and knifing each other.

Therefore, while we are on the topic on whining rock music, Radiohead kindly provides the right response.

“You do it to yourself, just you, you and no-one else. You do it to yourself.”

Don’t forget to check out the array of google ads at the top of the page.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Songs for Kevin (or: let's save money and just let Clive Palmer elect our leaders)

“I've never seen a night so long, when time goes crawling by ... The silence of a falling star, lights up a purple sky ... And I'm so lonesome I could cry.” Seasick Steve gives his rendition of the Hank Williams' classic, looking just like our fallen PM will after a decade of drinkin' to forget, with a chaser to kill the pain.

Christ, it was a sad sight that press conference. Kevin Rudd in tears after getting dumped as Dear Leader before his first term even finished after enjoying record approval ratings for almost the whole time since we threw out that other fascist Johnny Someone.

It was hard not to feel sorry for the little guy. He got brutally knifed by a political machine uglier than a local council-commissioned public sculpture on the theme of “Harmony”, and more brutal than a Mafia gang that’s just discovered a snitch who not only ratted to the Feds but also claimed the Don’s breath smelt.

Then I remembered that not only did Mr Rudd utterly fail to confront the somewhat urgent threat of runaway climate change, despite calling it the “greatest moral challenge of our time” and the mounting evidence of impending catastrophe.

No, much worse — he also declared war on booze.

The little fucking weasel.

Now I don’t like to boast, but I gotta say: Carlo Sands called it.

Hell, I called this one two years ago with an insightful, razor-sharp comment piece entitled Rudd’s honeymoon over? Let’s ask Tex Perkins.

Now, it goes without saying that Carlo Sands is never wrong. Sometimes, however, I am ahead of my time.

Some may argue that my call that Rudd’s “honeymoon” with the Australian people was over, coming more than a year-and-a-half before his record-levels of popular support began to seriously erode, was a little hasty.

I, however, prefer to call it prescient.

So what went wrong? How did Rudd go from record popularity to being the first Labor PM ever dumped by his own party before his first term even ended?

I think the history books will clearly record the seeds of Rudd’s destruction lay in the ill-fated decision in his first year in office to run a campaign declaring four standards drinks (that’s less than three stubbies!) to be “binge drinking”.

This alienated him from both the public at large and the Labor party machine. I mean, have you seen how much those factional headkickers drink? No wonder they knifed him with such glee.

But there were clearly some other, if secondary, factors at work.

Rudd basically continued the same policies as the former Howard government in all key areas. But most of all, his failures on climate change cost him big.

The serious slide in Rudd’s popularity coincided with his government’s decision to dump its proposed “emissions trading scheme”, which it had been touting as the solution to the threat of total eco-destruction.

Environmentalists actually pointed out the ETS itself was just political window dressing that not only would not reduce carbon emissions, but would actually make the problem worse.

But that is neither here nor there. The decision to dump it as soon as it became a “hard sell” revealed Rudd for the unprincipled, power-hungry weasel he is. It made him look cynical, hypocritical and totally untrustworthy.

Plus, the climate issue is kinda urgent.

But worse was to come for our wowser PM.

Desperate to make up lost ground and searching for an issue that would prove popular and make him seem like he actually stood for something more than his own career, Rudd made the ill-fated decision to seek to impose a quite modest “supertax” on the extremely wealthy large mining corporations currently enjoying record profits.

The 40% tax only kicked in once the profit rate exceed 6%, was bound up with continuing subsidies to the sector, was full of loopholes and was going to be used to cut the corporate tax rate overall from 32% to 28%.

But my god did the billionaire shriek like a three-year-old whose favourite teddy got washed down a sewer.

These principled men, who like to whine about “economic blackmail” should any of their workforce dare engage in industrial action, immediately threatened to bring the country to its knees with a coordinated “capital strike”.

They went on telly to deliver their snarling threat: Dump the mining tax or thousands of jobs get it!

They immediately embarked on a well-funded media campaign, with attack ads promising all life on Earth would come to a screeching halt if Rudd wasn’t stopped.

Seeing a chance to get the Liberals back in, the Murdoch media and shock jocks jumped on the bandwagon.

Suddenly it was 1951 all over again and the Communists were coming to eat our babies.

Rudd, weakened by his “binge drinking” and climate disasters, was in no position to withstand the assault.

Even if the multi-national corporations failed to exactly win public sympathy for their plight, they caused enough unease and fear to ensure Rudd’s poll slide worsened.

With an election just months away, the Labor machine didn’t need to be told twice. Rudd was dumped and the mining shares rose at once. Gillard’s first move was to sue for peace.

As the saying goes, it's all fun and games until someone tries to tax the mining giants.

I must admit, it does make me wonder whether all the effort of getting 20 million people to vote is just an inefficient waste of our time and hard-earned taxpayers money.

Surely it would be much cheaper and time-efficient to just get the Business Council of Australia to hold a straw poll on who should hold the keys to the Lodge. Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt could be granted a vote at the council when the question arises, just so all key stakeholders have a say.

That way, the rest of us wont lose an hour of valuable drinking time one Saturday every three years and the good businessfolk can ensure the corporate tax rate is set at the responsible, investor-friendly level of -75%.

In the end, Rudd managed to alienate both his own social base and the extremely powerful forces that actually govern this godforsaken country. The generals moved in for the kill and the coup was quick — if disappointingly bloodless.

It is a shame the our new Dear leader wants to suck up to the Evil Forces Threatened All Life on Earth (known as “miners” in the press for some inexplicable reason, despite never having fossicked for anything more than a hors d’oeuvre that fell under the table at a cocktail party to celebrate another record breaking profit return).

But, to date, she is yet to announce her policy on booze. Therefore, Carlo Sands withholds his judgment.

As for Mr Rudd, all that’s left for him is to redeem himself in true country music style. He must now take his guidance from Merle Haggard.

“I got swingin' doors, a jukebox and a bar stool. My new home has a flashin' neon sign. Stop by and see me anytime you want to, coz I'm, always here at home till closing time...”

If Kevin Rudd had any dignity or self-respect, this is how he would spend his declining years.