Guess who’s back.

This has been a long time brewing. The subject matter is one I never intended to discuss, but a recent conversation with Siv Parker has brought the issue to the point of personal detonation, so shall I rant. For the record, Siv is one of the most outstanding advocates I’ve ever met. She happens to be black, though I’d class her as a champion of humanity as opposed to merely an indigenous spokesperson – honourable enough as that is.
The backbone of this dummy-spit is personal, so in the interests of full disclosure and an inherent unwillingness to inflict painful boredom I strongly advise you to stop reading now. Warn others to do the same for the sake of all that is good and holy.
Some time ago I wrote a piece for King’s Tribune. It was angry and sorrowful, written on my final night in Vietnam. I had developed a deep and abiding love for the country. It had not only provided me with the love of my life, whom I had recently married, but blown me away with the warmth and sincerity of its inhabitants and convinced me to regard the place as something of a spiritual home. I would trade my Australian citizenship in a second to live in Tam Dau, or Vinh Yen, or Hanoi if it came to it.
The aforementioned piece bemoaned the uniquely Australian preoccupation with the mundane, as opposed to substantive issues worthy of true indignation. In the course of that particular rant I purposefully drew a tasteless analogy involving a silicate and an orifice I have since learned exists solely to be lovingly admired with the aid of a hand mirror. True to form, and sadly thrusting my gist into incredulous mouths on my behalf, a certain spanner-resembling portion of the online community railed against the words in euphoric ignorance of the argument. My editor caved to concerted pressure and censored the offending paragraph. A first, I believe. A published rebuttal would have been my choice, but when dealing with people who think a caps locked ‘fuck you’ is a reasoned response, she didn’t really have much to work with.
Jane copped the worst of it. I was left with an even split of the morbidly unhappy, those who view soap as a capitalist plot and a few reasonable people who argued their case in a reasonable manner. OK, that’s a lie. There was one reasonable person.
Of all the barrage of dickhead there was a resplendently standout moment, a singularity of gross lack of self awareness that actually hurt me. It came from a woman who regards herself as something of feminist royalty. I won’t name her as she embezzles enough oxygen already. Also, we have friends in common. Finally, I don’t want to toss the intellectually impoverished a buoy. She’ll have to forage for ideas elsewhere.
The comment was a throw-away. It wasn’t worthy of a screen capture, so I’ll paraphrase it as ‘he went to Vietnam because he couldn’t marry a real woman’, which is a pretty fair rendition. I’d now like to address that remark comprehensively.
First, you call yourself a feminist yet women other than Australians are less real? Less worthy? You fucking sad little failure. You are to feminism what Deveny is to atheism.
Second, my wife speaks three languages. She is an accountant with a business degree. She runs her family’s numerous companies. She could buy you with her pocket change. I don’t know enough Vietnamese yet to appreciate her in her native tongue, but she uses English with a concision, originality and humour I am yet to read in anything you’ve written. In fact, you’re a dead set bore.
Third, I followed her from Australia, where she was studying, to Vietnam. I did this because I had fallen deeply in love with her. She met me at the airport in a simple dress and was the most beautiful vision I had ever seen, an ethereal beauty that one only ever gets to witness once if they’re supremely lucky. I was looking at the love of my life. I had no idea of her family’s wealth, or of how I would be accepted as part of said family. I have uncles, aunts, grandparents who opened their hearts and hearths to me. Their acceptance matters very much. Their money doesn’t.
Fourth, fuck you. I’m rich and have a beautiful wife who teaches high impact aerobics and yoga as a hobby. She is simply better than you. Hell, she can do the splits against a wall while negotiating a discount on a shipment in progress, using the bill of lading as leverage. She uses her spare time to tutor my son in English.
What the fuck are you doing besides whine? What do you actually contribute to anything?
I stopped writing because I didn’t want to subject my wife to racism. You know what? Fuck it and fuck you racists. Bring it on. If you’re lucky you’ll only have to deal with me. My wife will spit your bones out, you cowardly sacks of shit.


Concern.org – Because You Care

Here at Concern.org™ we understand that you’re a simmering cassoulet of sadness, gin and unrealised potential. We’re here to capitalise on your seemingly limitless reserves of brooding resentment by allowing you to express your often misdirected outrage without having to do anything meaningful, like actually protest, sign real petitions or compose your own thoughts in a coherent manner. We realise your time is important to you and that clicking links takes time, so we have crafted an electronic uber-petition to allow you to address all your grievances at once, safe in the knowledge that it will promptly disappear into the ether without having been read by anyone, let alone tabled in parliament.

We have chosen to target the General Secretary of the Workers’ Party of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea because a) he is getting a lot of press and therefore provides decent link-bait and b) because he’s exactly as likely to read and act on this as anyone else:

Dear Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un,

I am writing to urge you to take action on behalf of the decent people who think like I do because I am having strange and powerful emotions. I have taken moderate to deep offence because [select from the following]:

  • Somebody said something on a radio program I don’t listen to
  • Somebody wrote something in a publication I don’t read
  • JULIAR
  • There are too many characters in Game of Thrones and I am confused
  • Homosexuals
  • Heterosexuals
  • Their ABC
  • I am woman, hear me petition
  • Americans
  • I just like signing stuff
  • Brown people are a bit frightening
  • I am in an emotionally unfulfilling relationship
  • Helen Fucken Razer
  • Other
  • All of the above

I hereby demand that you address my concerns in a timely and apologetic manner or I shall be compelled have more emotions. Please don’t force my hand.

Earnestly,

[Sign in via Twitter]

[Sign in via Facebook]

  • [tick to re-tweet to show how seriously you take this matter]
  • [tick to post to Facebook because you are really not fucking around here]

Support Concern.org™ by purchasing a Concern™ Troll keyring made from genuine recycled photographs of unloved middle children. All proceeds go to producing feel-good Youtube clips featuring one or more of the Daddo brothers.


Last Writes – How GetUp and I parted ways

I wouldn’t have bothered recording this, but it seems timely, given Geordie Guy’s lovely smackdown of GetUp over the internet filter. One can only hope that there is a growing trend away from rubber wristbands and spam electronic petitions.

In this spirit I present my final correspondence with GetUp. It wasn’t written for an audience and is produced verbatim. I considered going all David Thorne, but honestly couldn’t be arsed.

Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2012 17:57:33 -0700
From: info@getup.org.au
To: heath.cxxx@xxx.com.au
Subject: Dear Woolies: Do better, regards Heath

Dear Heath,

At the shops we’re all thinking carefully about the purchases we make. Is this good for my health? Is this the right price? Have animals been treated ethically and workers fairly? The list goes on.

But sometimes the impact companies are having in our communities is hidden. Take Woolworths, for example. They promote themselves as a family friendly grocery store, but they’re also the single biggest poker machine operator, taking money from the most vulnerable people in our communities.

We can do something about that. Here’s the plan.

Print off this short letter.

Sign your name and add any personal comments you’d like to include.

Put it in your shopping bag, purse or wallet, for next time you’re shopping in, or near a Woolworths store.

Deliver the letter to Woolworths staff at the checkout and politely ask them to pass it on to store management.

http://www.getup.org.au/woolworths-special-delivery

By working together, we can deliver thousands of letters to Woolworths stores across the country. That’s an avalanche of letters that will run from neighbourhood stores right through the company to get the attention of the board and CEO. When Woolworths hears that stores across the country have been receiving thousands of thoughtful, passionate letters from GetUp members they’re going to take notice.

This isn’t about causing a scene, nor getting angry at Woolworths staff — we know it’s not their fault that Woolworths invest in poker machines, and many are on our side! It’s not about boycotts or protest — and you don’t even have to be a regular Woolworths customer.

It’s simply about hand-delivered notes asking Woolworths to do better by our communities. Please print out your letter now, or if you don’t have access to a printer let us know and we’ll send you a copy in the post:

http://www.getup.org.au/woolworths-special-delivery

Thanks for all you do,
GetUp

PS – This is really important right now because it’s just a month until Woolworths hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the company to discuss our pokies reform proposals. 257 fantastic GetUp members, who are shareholders of Woolworths, have forced the company to hold the meeting, so now we need to ramp up the pressure. Let’s make sure the Woolworths manager in your local area passes on this message: their customers and community want Woolworths to do the right thing by our communities. That means sensible limits on the amount of money problem gamblers can lose on Woolworths poker machines. http://www.getup.org.au/woolworths-special-delivery
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you’d like to contribute to help fund GetUp’s work, please donate now! If you have trouble with any links in this email, please go directly to http://www.getup.org.au. To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here. Authorised by Sam Mclean, Level 2, 104 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.

From: Heath Cxxx (heath.cxxx@xxx.com.au)
Sent: Thursday, 18 October 2012 12:21:47 PM
To: Getup (info@getup.org.au)

Dear GetUp,

Here’s a thought. How about campaigning for matters of genuine importance? You know, like tax exemption and unfettered government funded access to schools for multinational child-rape corporations? Or perhaps draconian anti-prostitution laws that drive the sex industry underground and create a spawning ground for human trafficking from Asia? You could go straight to the heart of the matter and draw attention to the Arrow foundation and its poisoning of democracy by stealthy infiltration of parliament on all levels with well coordinated and heavily funded (again, by the taxpayer) placement of religious fundamentalist candidates.

What if, just bear with me here, what adults choose to do with their own money in their own time is really none of anybody’s fucking business and the last thing Australia needs is more regulation of individual behaviour? I know. Crazy, right? The thought that maybe you are not the arbitrary authority on what is best for all? Better wrap that thought in some plain packaging quick smart. What would the children make of it? Think of the children. The. Fucking. Children.

I really got behind your organisation in the beginning. I thought it was a good thing. It saddens me to watch you dilute into another dim collective wowser tosspottery club.

Yours in disappointment,

Heath.

From: Info @ Getup (info@getup.org.au)
Sent: Wednesday, 24 October 2012 12:37:37 PM
To: Heath Cxxx (heath.cxxx@xxx.com.au)

Hi there,

It sounds like we’ve got a different point of view on this issue. If you’d rather not recieve GetUp updates, you can unsubscribe here:

http://www.getup.org.au/unsubscribe

Also, please refrain from using profanities in future communications with us.

Sarah for the GetUp Team
E info@getup.org.au W getup.org.au

Be the first to hear about new campaigns: follow the GetUp blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Pinterest.

PS – If you feel passionate about this issue and would like to make a donation in support of our continued efforts, please click here to go to our online donations page. It’s the small donations from people like you that help fuel the movement and make our work possible – thank you.


Thank you ACA

Before this week I had nary a clue of how to put together a news report. I wasn’t a journalist so, strangely, it had never occurred to me to want to learn. Fortunately ACA came to my rescue and saved me from my own ignorance. Now I am a qualified producer. Offers may be submitted to my people. If lunch is done satisfactorily you may indeed be lucky enough to procure my skill in elevating your deadbeat, flagging wankfest into ratings gold. Let me tell you what I can do for you.

 

I take a camera crew into an area that doesn’t see them often so that passers-by are suitably impressed. I get a low rent hack to make small talk among the locals. Maybe hand out a few mars bars and cans of coke to garner their trust. I think of something that might frighten them (some have this pre-planned, but I’m like the John Coltrane of current affairs production, so I like to riff on the vibe of the day). Then I get the hack to ask a few leading questions based on misinformation, record the lot, and edit out any response that doesn’t suit my narrative. Intersperse some footage of an interview with someone of monumental stupidity who is also afraid of what they don’t know or understand, and Bob’s your marauding Asian rapist uncle. Story filed. Await Walkley.

 

On occasion this may cause backlash among leftists, literates and the marginally self-aware. Should this occur, I merely return to the scene of the crime scoop and accuse a bunch of other people of the prejudice I displayed in producing the first story. They naturally refute such heinous allegations and hey presto! Balance restored.

 

All that’s required now is to have my head muppet show the divisive, hence newsworthy, nature of my own beat up exclusive. Game over.

 

I owe it all to ACA. Should you wish to solicit my services I’ll be in my waterfront penthouse, wearing a scarf and indulging in a well-earned beverage.

 


A Day in the Life of Gerald Hindrance – Soldier of Truth

Ever wondered what constitutes a typical working day of one of the most elite of the media elite? Wonder no more. I have valiantly taken it upon myself to venture behind the scenes to transcribe the real reality of the daily battle for truth against the army of the rest of you. What follows is not for the faint of heart and should be read only with the understanding that you are explicitly advised not to read it. Any spelling or grammatical errors are entirely the fault of the scribe and not the subject:

 

 

6:45am:                Catch the alarm on the first ring. I’ve still got it. There’s no snooze button in the war against sandal wearing leftists. Today is going to be a good day. I don my slippers and robe, fastening the belt carefully with a half hitch. I pause briefly in front of the mirror to ensure both sides of the belt are of equal length and that the collar of my pyjamas isn’t protruding in an unsightly manner, and am horrified to find my hair in unstatesmanlike disarray. Fortunately it’s nothing a lick of my tortoise shell comb and a few ordered passes can’t correct and anon I’m en route to the kitchen to make a nice pot of tea.

 

7:07am:                After some deliberation I’ve selected a tea befitting my mood. I scoff at those who drink coffee and refuse to allow any in the house. Mother brought home some decaffeinated international roast sachets after attending a CWA meeting once and there were some stern words spoken by yours truly, I can tell you. We’ll have none of that socialism by stealth around here. Chinese green tea is even worse. How can they call it green tea when it’s consumed by reds? The thought strikes me as witty and insightful and I make a note in my diary to contact my colleagues to discuss coming up with a phrase about something that looks green but is really red. This is how my mind works – razor sharp and ever alert. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one past old Gerald. 6:30am for instance, or perhaps even earlier.

                               

                                This morning’s tea is Earl Grey. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Gerald,” I hear you say, “but Earl Grey isn’t a morning tea! It’s best suited to the afternoon!” and I would be compelled to concede that you are correct, learned and adoring reader. English Breakfast is a much more respectable choice, but between you and me, sometimes I like to live on the wild side. I bet you didn’t expect that little glimpse behind the curtain of mystery that enshrouds Australia’s greatest intellect, did you? Well buckle your seatbelt because there’s more to come. Sometimes I even have a biscuit with my tea before breakfast. I like to think that minds like mine aren’t constrained by the same rules as you ordinary folk. I remind Mother of this all the time.

 

7:24am                 I begin my preparation for the day ahead. I am listening to Radio National while watching News 24 on mute with subtitles for the hearing impaired. Sometimes if I squint I can pretend that the radio is in fact the soundtrack to the television. It might as well be because I’m sure these leftists are all issued the same daily talking points. I make a note in my diary to contact my colleagues and have them mention that in the next daily electronic mail memorandum of talking points. Razor sharp. I don’t know how I do it. I catalogue a few spelling mistakes in the subtitles and put them aside for use in my planned correspondence with Mark Scott later.

 

8:19am                 I collect the daily papers from the front yard and head to the Institute™ to begin work. The journey generally takes about two minutes as the Institute™ is conveniently located in a converted granny flat in Mother’s back yard. Sometimes it takes longer as the latch on the side gate is somewhat rusted and can in cold weather be infuriatingly recalcitrant. This is why I always leave a few minutes earlier than I need to. Tardiness is but a short step from whale music and injecting rooms, and as Director of the Institute™ I must set an example for my employees. The fact that I don’t have any employees is something I see as immaterial. Standards are standards. The Institute™ is the nation’s leading collective of superior intellects. It has a brass plaque and printed stationery. It will not be mocked.

 

9:00am                 The day’s journey begins. I have a porcelain dog I call Margaret that I keep in a bed I have fashioned from a Bata shoe box and wood-grain patterned adhesive paper. This morning, as every morning, she has been roused from her slumber and is now occupying her habitual position on the desk beside my personal computerised workstation. I talk to her often and sometimes I pretend she talks back to me. I even record her opinions in my much lauded weekly electronic publication which showcases the inferior intellect of everybody I don’t agree with. This is funny on many levels because she is porcelain, and therefore not a real dog, and even if she was real, dogs can’t talk, and even if they could talk, they could hardly hold an insightful opinion on the failings of leftist media, could they? I know, it’s a scream, isn’t it? They aren’t really Margaret’s opinions at all. They’re mine and I just pretend. It’s what we intellectuals refer to as a literary device and it’s very clever. What’s more, I am so clever I use two literary devices. [It’s about time I got some recognition –Ed]. Try doing that with open-toed footwear.  

 

                I have established my telephone dial-up connection to everyone else’s personal computerised workstations and have made an orderly pile of today’s newsprint publications in order to begin cross-checking them against the electronic versions that I have delivered to my monitor. I will of course begin, as I do every morning, with the Guardian on the Yarra – that’s what I call The Age. It’s a very clever joke and my friends never get tired of it. I’ve selected a red Kilometrico disposable 1mm ball-point pen with which to mark inconsistencies and errors. I used to favour an Artline 8mm felt tipped pen, but I found that the ink seeped through the paper, causing confusion. On one occasion I mailed a 1,500 word electronic letter to the editor of a publication I shan’t, through grace, name, drawing his attention an error that didn’t actually exist, but was in fact seepage from my highlighting the misuse of the word ‘your’ on the preceding page. How we laughed that day, Margaret and me. The editor indignantly claimed that I was in the wrong until I pointed out that my error couldn’t have occurred without his ineptitude in printing the error of the preceding page. The correspondence is detailed in full in my electronic publication, issues 124-237. [Failure to reply is clear forfeiture of position. We showed him! – Ed.]

 

10:00am               Tea time. The morning has proven quite productive so far. I’ve sent an electronic letter to my friend Andrew, pointing out some misspellings and questionable grammatical choices on his web-log. I know he works for a rival organisation, but essentially we’re on the same side, and I am nothing if not the paradigm of professionalism. It gets a little tiring doing this every day, but Andrew seems to appreciate it.  I’ve also written to Piers and advised him it might be wise to stop denying the existence of carbon dioxide until my colleagues at another Institute™ finalise their latest research and publish the appropriate brochure. The price of the pursuit of truth is, after all, eternal vigilance.

 

12:30pm               Lunch. Today I’ve packed cucumber and Nutella sandwiches. I could journey home for lunch of course, but I worry what sort of an example I’d be setting to the employees. Also, Margaret frets if I leave the Institute™ through the day. I’ve spent the remainder of the morning watching Media Watch on iView. Mother doesn’t let me watch it in the house anymore owing to an unfortunate incident wherein I accidentally used a permanent marker to draw horns on Jonathon. The television screen is now barely smudged, but Mother now insists that my finger gun and ‘pew pew pew’ noises are distracting. It is most unfair. I wrote to Mark Scott about it and await his reply.

 

5:00pm                 Home time. Time flies when you’re corresponding with Bob Ellis. What a cunt.

 

6:45pm                 Bed time. I have some concerns about Margaret and was considering returning to the Institute™ to check on her but Mother doesn’t like me traveling after dark. Instead I’ve had a nice cup of tea and listened to three tracks from the latest Susan Boyle album. I dare not listen to more as experience has shown it disturbs my sleep and can create unnecessary embarrassment in the morning. Mother is entertaining a guest from her dancing class. He’s obviously quite inept as I can hear all manner of banging noises and Mother yelps intermittently. He’d better not be wearing sandals or I will be having stern words in the morning. We don’t like those types around here. Why can’t people wear decent shoes?


Misogyny and Homeopathic Language – A Brief Rant

Again I find myself drawn into the periphery of an argument I don’t want to be part of. It’s not like I have no horse in this race – I do. We all do – it’s just that the core of the argument is better addressed by more learned people than me. That said, I’m getting fucking shouty at my twitter feed as I watch people I love and respect embrace the stupid.

My complaint? The PM misused a word in a well overdue but somewhat overrated speech that has become famous globally. The guardian of the sacred key of Australian language at Macquarie decided to expand the definition of the misused word to encompass the PM’s meaning. Because, you know, language evolves. I’ll get back to that in a minute. Now the word is bandied about like some sort of wildcard bailout of every lazy argument ever. It is wrong, and fuck you all for raping the language I love.

Some context: I’ve just spent three months in Vietnam, attempting to learn the language. It is a concise, ordered dialect that is poetic and beautiful because it is imprecise. Ca phe sua is white coffee. Sua ca phe is also white coffee, but it is also iced yoghurt with coffee flavouring. I’m convinced that Vietnam is still poor because of all the returned drinks at coffee shops – not from tourists, but natives. I could cite countless other examples but I’m lazy. My point is that English is arguably the best and most beautiful language on Earth because its ungainly growth has fostered a precision that doesn’t exist in most other languages.

I’m a fan of evolution insofar as one can be a fan of a scientific reality. It sounds kind of stupid really. How many people are a fan of gravity? I’ll rephrase. I’m a fan of the theory of evolution, which explains evolution eloquently through precision of language. What I am not a fan of is devolution, the homogenization of thought and the homeopathic distillation of words to the point where they become meaningless. Equating misogyny with sexism is a fucking travesty and undermines no cause greater than that of feminism.

Before everyone gets their depend in a twist that a man dared to mention the ‘F’ word, let’s have a think about what we’re trying to achieve. Are we striving of a truly egalitarian society or are we looking to germinate some fuckwitted gender war? I don’t really care either way. I’m a middle-aged white guy who pulls a healthy six-figure income. If I’m the enemy then knock yourselves the fuck out. Nobody I know is lifting a finger to stop you.

What I’m talking about is the abuse of language. Misogyny is shooting a girl for wanting to be educated. It is spitting on an eight year old for dressing like a ‘slut’. It is ‘honour’ killings by fathers that hate their daughters for not being as stupid as they are. It is killing babies because a girl isn’t worth as much as a boy. It is throwing acid in the face of a woman who rejected the advances of a human-shaped turd. It is bombing an abortion clinic. It is denying condoms to women most likely to be infected with HIV. It is hatred of women.

I have many words to describe how loathsome Tony Abbott or Alan Jones is. They are beneath contempt. They are sexist sacks of shit. The public record speaks for itself. They are not misogynists. They’re just idiots. Classing them with true misogynists is offensive to those that have genuinely suffered. It’s saying the person who threw acid in a woman’s face is no worse than Tony Abbott. That’s wrong.

Misusing words damages one’s ability to utilize language for good. I feel embarrassed for you who seek to debase our shared vocabulary through repetition and misuse. Get the fuck out of my language and take your fight up using semaphore or Kermit arms. If all else fails put a fucking #hashtag on it. Just get off my lawn.


Letter to my local MP, Mr Tony Burke.

Dear Mr Burke,

 

I am writing in frustration and desperation regarding the plight of my friend Austin Mackell. Austin is a freelance journalist who has been covering the uprising in Egypt. He is facing 5-7 years in prison for doing his job. The Egyptian authorities have charged him with bribing people to strike, which is patently false, and simply disproved. He is a freelance journalist. He has no money.

 

I’m asking you, no, begging you to speak with our new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Carr, and get him to intervene on Austin’s behalf. I also ask for you to push for the resettlement of Aliya Alwi, who faces the same sentence for acting as his translator.

 

Please lend your voice to this issue. It’s wrong for us to leave fellow Australians at the mercy of military regimes. It is wrong for us to allow anyone to be at the mercy of said regimes. Like Bahrain, but that’s a discussion for another time. Please, please help.

 

Kind regards,

 

Heath Callaway


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