Lies, Damn Lies, and Cashing in on Labels That Don’t Quite Fit

In the past few days I’ve read more words written about Melinda Tankard Reist than any human should be forced to endure in their lifetime. I have been water-boarded with inanity as article after blog post after tweet clarted down from the rank ether of God’s irritable colon. It’s not that the subject matter is aesthetically repugnant to me, although Dancing Baby Jesus knows that it is.  It’s just that to my addled and admittedly twisted brain they have – almost to a letter – spectacularly missed the fucking point.

By now we all know the story. Sunday Herald article blows smoke up the pencil sharpening cloaca of Australia’s self-appointed queen of the fun harpies. Dr Jennifer Wilson asks a couple of sensible and pertinent questions of the author of said piece, who responds (maturely, and to her credit) by agreeing that she had made an oversight in her article, but one made on the assumption that everybody already knows her subject is a God-molesting wingnut. The Tankard (props to Fiona Patten for the nickname) does what she does best and threatens legal action for defamation. Online world completely embraces its true essence.

What followed was kind of like one of those unpalatable scenes from a Japanese home production where everyone wants to land their wad of perceived wisdom on the stars of the show. It’s a free speech issue. Wait, it’s a feminist issue. No, hang on, it’s all about religion. Or Censorship. Or Bratz dolls. Or something. I’m not saying that these aren’t all factors, or valid points of discussion. I’m saying that these are peripheral to the real meat of the issue, the reason Wilson was right to ask what she did, and the Tankard responded so disproportionately.

Money.

Let’s just clarify a small point. This poor victim of scurrilous enquiries into her motivation has gone to great lengths to ensure she is portrayed as a ‘campaigner’ for female rights. Ignoring the ugly dichotomy inherent in that proposition, (others have covered it much better than I could, or would wish to,) let’s just look at that word ‘campaigner’. It’s a nice, strong, positive word, emoting visions of some lone underdog waging the good war against the amoral establishment. It certainly sounds much better than ‘lobbyist’, which carries the sinister overtones of someone acting as a mouthpiece of the aforementioned establishment, wielding influence and cash to achieve results favourable to their employer. Melinda Tankard Reist petitions politicians to vote for or against legislative change, as suits her agenda. She browbeats and intimidates businesses into conforming to her will. As has been made apparent, she’s prepared to use legal muscle to silence criticism from the general public. She is a lobbyist.

Now I don’t personally know more than a couple of lobbyists, but I’m pretty confident it’s a job that needs a pretty healthy cashflow. It certainly takes cash to hire a high-profile legal defamation specialist, so my question is this: Who’s paying your bills, Melinda?

As for why I ask, well, that’s pretty simple. The Tankard affects me directly. She lobbies to have things banned or removed from sale. I would like to decide whether I buy a coffee mug, or a t-shirt, or watch a movie or whatever. These are my choices to make, not hers to make on my behalf. Strangely, our tastes are probably more similar than dissimilar in this regard, but I wouldn’t presume to speak for others. I’m not qualified to do so, and unless MTR is as coy with her qualifications as she is with her affiliations, neither is she. When it comes to serious issues like abortion and birth control, it is vital that the public is informed as to who’s really pulling the strings. Keep in mind she’s dealing with impressionable children who may not be able to discern that she is possibly acting in the best interests of the Kooky Guardians of the Sacred Concrete Box or some such lunatic fringe cult, as opposed to theirs.

Of course I could be entirely wrong, but be damned if I’m wrong for asking the question, or if Dr Wilson is. What I do know is that The Tankard isn’t representative of some ‘new movement’. Her ilk have been around forever, burning books and music, acting to remove our right to decide for ourselves where we draw our pleasures, or what we are allowed to view as art. They have historically come from a position of power and money – the sort of money MTR wouldn’t seem to have at her personal disposal.

The Tankard’s recalcitrance in dealing with what should be a straightforward issue is telling in itself. If she proceeds against Dr Wilson she’d better be prepared for a long fight, because I’m throwing my hat in the ring as well, and I’m more than a little confident that she’s biting off more than she can chew. Something tells me that I am only one of many, and the dyke make well be crumbling around her fingers. The big danger of the Streisand effect is not the increase in publicity. A narcissistic self-promoter craves publicity like air. The danger is that people will start turning over rocks and uncovering scurrilous activity that had hitherto evaded sunlight. Surely any true moral champion embraces the light of scrutiny? Surely.

Time will tell. The dance is on. Caveat Emptor, swingers. Where’s my waitress?

 


Never mind the Baracks – Here’s the flaccid media

Don’t we just love a good pageant, swingers? It doesn’t matter who or what it involves. It could be a visiting retinue from house Kardashian, the Queen, or any one of a multitude of the irrelevant privileged. Provided we get to line the streets and turn out some pomp, we’re happy little campers. For a country barely older than Colonel Sanders, we sure do love our ceremonies.

One would struggle to feign surprise, then, at the collective obsequiousness with which we greeted the OMG POTUS when he deigned to stop over for a few hours on our fair shores on his way to somewhere more interesting. We have a history of sycophancy. ‘All the way with LBJ’ wasn’t just a slogan, it was a personal directive to sitting members.

So I expected what we got in many ways. The tearful ecstasy of schoolchildren and backbenchers, the heartfelt rendition of ‘I loves you Porgy’ from Julia Gillard on the rusty trombone, Tony Abbott demonstrating that his brain is indistinguishable from colonic irrigation; no surprises to be had there.

What did surprise me was the utter testicular vacuum displayed by the press. Here was the chance for a serious journalist to make their mark by posing serious questions. What did we get? Nothing. From anyone. The coverage was so lacking in substance it was almost anti-matter. One could expect a certain level of ineptitude from some key players. Michelle Grattan managed to get the best day’s sleep in years. Laurie Oakes was undoubtedly sitting in his office, waiting for the president to make an appointment. Andrew Bolt & Alan Jones were detained by federal police at the border and were forced to sleep in their rig – they cuddled. Janet Albrechtsen was busy having rough sex with a stapler. Piers Akerman doesn’t know where he is and would like to be taken home in time for Upstairs Downstairs.

As for the rest? They should wither in Massola-esque shame.

 

So for the sake of every journalist who has wasted their parents’ money paying for their useless degree, I have a couple of questions for you to write down. You know? The ones you didn’t ask:

  1. Mr President: You have vocally supported the uprisings in Egypt and Libya now that those dictators no longer serve American interests. Why haven’t you given the same support to the people of Bahrain, who are fighting the same fight?
  2. Mr President: How can you lecture China on human rights while Guantanamo Bay is still operational – two years after you pledged to shut it down?
  3. Mr President: Will you seek to extradite Julian Assange and charge him in a military court? If so, will you also seek to extradite responsible parties from the Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian, and New York Times? If not, why not?
  4. Mr President: What exactly does our renewed free trade agreement curtail? Every previous agreement has shafted Australia completely. How is this different?

     

There you go kids. That should be enough to get you going, or at least cause you to reflect on your gutlessness. Do you wonder at all why people with real jobs think you’re crap?

 


8 Things I know About Teh Gheys

“A bigot” writes David van Gend, “is someone who refuses to see the other point of view.” A nice theory, but it’s unfortunately demonstrably false. Any sane person will refuse to concede that the world is hollow, that human activity is not affecting the climate, or that humans were spontaneously created from potting mix and spare ribs. The reason they would take this view is that in each instance there is overwhelming proof to the contrary – enough so that anyone who clings to these beliefs can be safely regarded as a window-licking moron.

Such is the calibre of argument presented against marriage equality. Like the issue of climate change, those clinging to their position do so through irrational faith, and continue to (ever more shrilly) parrot talking points that have long since been discredited completely. David van Gend has repackaged all of these same tired chestnuts in a fresh wrapping of confected concern. It’s old, it adds nothing, and I can’t be bothered revisiting the arguments that have proven him wrong, time and time again.

So instead I figure I’d enlighten the interwebs about a few apparently little known facts about same sex couples. This is obviously hitherto unheard of knowledge, so you are hereby sworn to secrecy under penalty of the Scissor Sisters, or similar forms of torture:

FACT #1: Homosexuals can’t have children by accident. Even with their drugs and their dancing and lattes, they have to make a conscious decision to breed. They are, in fact, hampered at every turn by adoption agencies and fertility clinics run by nice Christian organisations. This of course is at odds with the accepted wisdom that the community is built on the back of the Minto Mum, and the truism that the best way to locate a single woman in Woy Woy is to look for those pushing the prams. Teeth are a matter of personal preference. Apparently the sacred ‘family unit’ axiom is negotiable.

FACT #2: Homosexuals are statistically more likely to have tertiary education and high paying careers. They are more likely to be able to provide for a child in their care than the majority of parents. This is in no way proof alone that they are capable of being decent parents – one need only look to Alan Jones to see the flaw in that argument, but fortunately most aren’t self-loathing mouth breathers, so the danger is somewhat mitigated.

FACT #3: Homosexuals don’t hate people for being heterosexual. It’s true. Unfortunately the reverse does not always apply. And this, good folk, is the crux of the biscuit. The main thrust of the argument against marriage equality is the hatred of the ignorant directed toward those who do not wish them harm. Those that rail against gay marriage through fear of it debasing their own union are losers who lose. People so insecure about their own marriage don’t deserve to be in one. They probably don’t deserve soap or cutlery either, but I can’t do anything about that for now.

FACT #4: Ted Lapkin is an idiot. Not only is he an idiot, he’s a multifaceted idiot. He manages to be wrong about everything all at once. Quite a feat when you think about it. Even Andrew Bolt occasionally manages to be right due to the law of probability. For Lapkin to be so consistently wrong he must put in a monumental, unwavering effort – the sort of dedication that wilfully bypasses the tap when thirsty in order to drink from the toilet. Commendable if you go for that sort of thing.

FACT #5: Homosexuals are good at love. Perhaps because they’ve been told most (if not all) of their lives that they are incapable of true, ‘beat your wife’ kind of intimacy, they seem to work harder at loving. This is of course very bad for children. Children are allergic to love, and have been known to break out in Pell rash from overexposure. There’s a phrase in the church for the love of children. It’s called ‘Relocation to South America’. It’s not exactly the same sort of love we’re talking about, but they can’t really tell the difference.

Which brings us to FACT #6: Homosexuality isn’t paedophilia. It isn’t bestiality or incest. It is homosexuality. That some people can’t tell the difference says much more about them than it does about anyone else with a passing understanding of English, psychology, or common bloody sense. Homosexuals don’t rape your dog. I can’t speak for all News Limited bloggers on that one.

FACT #7 PETER GARRETT MUST RESIGN because PENNY WONG CAUSED RIOTS IN ENGLAND or SOMETHING.

FACT #8 Some people are paid by interfering tosspots to speak up about issues they have no understanding of – simply because they have a fan base that struggles with the concept of a spoon.

I leave it to others to draw their own conclusions regarding David van Geld’s tiny mew in the dark. Did he add anything at all to what should be a non-debate, or did he just cry into his weet-bix like another whiney nobody? I’d say history will decide, but a week from now Davey will just be another forgotten stain on the wall. The rest of us are playing well past this sort of nonsense.

 

Disclaimer: I am heterosexual. I have poor dress sense.


How low can you go? Ask the Herald Sun.

Not since Greg Jericho was outed by a petulant rag have I seen such a blatant misuse of ink as the Herald Sun managed to achieve today. I’m speaking of the call for the sacking of Andy Blume, a tram driver and something of a twitter celebrity.

As far as twitter goes, I’d call him a friend. He’s constantly rude and inappropriate. He’s offensive. He’ll show you his dick if you ask nicely. He’s bloody funny and has a huge heart.

Andy was not targeted because of anything to do with his work. He was marked for summary execution because he is critical of a rag that fails every conceivable test of journalistic integrity. Perhaps it would help to put this into context. This is a newspaper that has published calls for the assassination of the Prime Minister, that has wilfully published disinformation regarding the science of climate change, and seemingly encourages its morally challenged staff to accept bribes in return for favourable editorials. If Australia had a worthwhile media regulator, the Herald Sun would be fined out of existence. Alas, we don’t, and the blight continues. People buy this piece of shit every day, naively believing it operates within some moral framework that dictates the news can’t be fabricated.

Andy, on the other hand, has worked for a decade at his job, probably obnoxiously. Nobody has died on his watch, so we could fairly call him competent. It would take the longest of bows to draw the same conclusion of his current detractors.

Oh, and by the way Wayne Flower, you cur, If you want to out others expect the same in return. You’re known now.


Death in the Ring. Beauty lived here.

The poets breathe shite. Age doesn’t endow us with additional skin. Rather it peels us, whittles us like some sad balsa onion until we are nothing but bruised core and aching resentment of the fluidity life once afforded. We grow bitter, but it is not due to any hardening of the heart. It is due to the helpless recognition of our vulnerability to the many ravages of time. Our lost opportunities. Our lost love. Our fading capacity to experience truth. Our scream against the inevitability of beauty falling through our fingers, forever to mingle with the mountains of regret at our feet.

There is nothing glorious in your Death, Daran. It was ignoble and undeserved. You should have died in battle, or in love, or on stage. You deserved a painful, bloody death, befitting a warrior fool. A prince of crazy. A stupid and glorious poet. We rained on people in our day. We were fire and shit and anger, flowers of the killing fields. That day has passed with you, and the fire with it. Like many who stood beside you, I will never burn as bright again, but oh, how we burned then.

The muses who commanded us, resplendent and perfect in their beauty, we will never know again. The brute force of our song forged of hurt and hope, we will never know again. Our anger, our violence, our will for destruction – all faded. In those times we crafted the men we became from raw experience, and the brutal pain of error.

Brother, you were a dangerous and potent force. You would not ever be controlled. You drove me mad, or perhaps I was mad already. I loved you then, and I love you still. For the ocean of change that we have traversed, and the change that is to come, I am grateful to have walked beside you. Goodbye, my friend. It’s been quite a journey.

Vale, Daran Pratt.

 

 

 

 

 


Pornography -The View from My Pants

This was originally written for King’s Tribune. You should read it there, because there are heaps of things way cooler than this to read as well.

 

Q and A has received a fair amount of criticism of late, not least from the Tribune’s very own Justin Shaw. While much of it may have appeared fair and reasoned at the time, it can now be revealed that the writers of said criticism are terminally deluded, and seek to maliciously mislead you gentle seekers of truth.

‘On what basis does he make this claim?’ I hear you ask, as, dear reader, you are so often wont to do. The answer is simple, and undisputable.

On Monday, May 23rd, Q and A gave us the finest moment in Australian television history – possibly of all time, but certainly since Miranda Devine’s left nut popped out when she pulled her Basic Instinct move on Barrie Cassidy from the Insiders naughty chair.

I speak of course of the moment when Gail Dines uttered those three magic, oft misunderstood words, Arse To Mouth. There was silence in the streets as a whole nation collectively battled their gag reflex, or searched frantically for somewhere to offload the mouthful of sick they had just acquired. It was a thing of true beauty. Should I die tomorrow, your humble scribe will consider his life to be complete.

For those unfortunate souls who missed this exquisite little nugget of WTF, a little background information is required.

Some folk regard Gail Dines as a prime example of the Fun Police. This is not the case. Gail Dines is the Fun Mossad, assassinating pleasure with unbridled lethality.

Her mere mention of the word ‘erection’ is enough to render any mortal man incapable of having one, often for months afterward.

Her place on the panel was in keeping with Q and A’s long running policy of ensuring that the sanity of other guests is counterbalanced with at least one raving wingnut. This compliments the show’s other policy of rounding up as many mouth breathing Young Liberals as they can prise away from Mummy’s computer in the false pursuit of ‘audience balance’.

And rave? Boy did Gail rave. Gail raved harder than a metrosexual with a Hello Kitty lunchbox full of disco biscuits.

I find there is something almost awe-inspiring about watching a moral crusader in full froth. Perhaps it’s the sheer tenacity of their fervour, or their idiot child-like comprehension of life’s complexities. Most likely there’s an element of sheer relief that I can manage to get through a full day without becoming outraged at what someone else chooses to do for fun, something I doubt Gail has managed to do since she was four years old.

You see, like all true nutters, Gail knows what’s wrong with the world, and she knows exactly how to fix it. Actually she didn’t really get around to the latter, but the former certainly seems to revolve around arse to mouth.

In Gail’s World™ pornography is bad, mmkay? Apparently it was invented in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and ever since has been destroying our capacity for happiness, intimacy and something something. Our children now progress straight from Marco Polo to the uncontrollable urge to sodomise each other with garden implements. All men who watch pornography are diseased and women who watch it are actually men, or self-loathing Jews, or something something. I’m sure you get the idea.

Much hilarity ensued on twitter, and not a few thought provoking conversations carried on long after most of us had showered to wash off the bukkake of wowser we had just endured.

It occurred to me then that as deranged as the performance had been, it was not wrong (in the way that picturing Nicola Roxon giving a hummer is wrong) merely misguided, and dangerously naïve.

I don’t presume to speak for all men. That would be presumptuous. I do, however, have a penis. It is a very good looking penis and I call it Captain Winkie, but that’s a conversation for another time. The good Captain grants me the right to speak for myself on the issue of how men view pornography; certainly with more authority than some harpy who was weaned on pureed capers and wasabi.

Similarly, I know women with vaginas. They’re my favourite kind of woman. They can also speak for themselves. (The women, not the vaginas; though I would definitely take the advice of a talking vagina. Again, I digress.)

So here’s my perceived wisdom on this delicately nuanced subject. I seek to set the record straight, at least in my own terms, and for the sake of people I know: Pornography is a form of graffiti. Occasionally it can be beautiful, but mostly it just dirties the place up. Somewhere in between the tawdry and the artful is a form of communication that has been with us forever, and holds some attraction for all of us.

I enjoy watching images that reflect my own admittedly vanilla tastes. Provided the tastes of others don’t cross the boundary of criminality, I have no problem with them.

People – especially women – are sometimes exploited by the makers of pornography. It’s iniquitous and we should be talking about it, but we can do that without prefacing the discussion with an assumption that all men are violent, hate-filled slaves to their own penises.

As I write this the Perth Sexpo is ramping up in the centre opposite my apartment. Couples are indulging in the sort of behaviour that brings Gail Dnes out in hives. They seem happy, and sexually charged. They are leaving with their showbags of carnal depravity and going home to their apparently dysfunctional lives, hand in hand. They are kissing, touching and being flagrantly enamoured with each other in public.

They are obviously yet to learn of the depth of their perversion. I for one am fucking glad for that, and if I was capable of praying, it would be for Gail’s overactive bile duct to rise up, detach and lodge itself in her throat. Or something something.


Osama bin Handy

And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for?

  • Country Joe and the Fish

     

Osama bin Laden is dead. That’s it. Ten years of bloody war staged on the pretext capturing purportedly the most dangerous man in the world. Ten years of swarms of CIA operatives scouring Afghanistan yelling “Marco!” and he turns up in the Pakistani Playboy Mansion, less than a kilometre down the road from one of the largest military bases in the country. I’m sorry swingers, but I’m having a bit of a WTF meltdown.

Reports are coming in faster than you can channel-surf as not flocks, but storm-clouds of seagull-journalists descend on Abbottabad (and I seriously can’t believe I haven’t heard a joke about that yet), relaying essentially no information, but taking nice pictures of the wall around the compound. What information does slip through the competence filter is largely contradictory. As I write, the latest news is that bin Laden was not armed, but was resistant to capture, and that his wife attempted to attack the crack troop that confronted them both. She was shot in the leg, he in the head and chest. Who the fuck staged the operation, the US Navy Seals or the Victorian Police Department?

Apparently the CIA has known of his whereabouts for months, long enough at least that they could build a replica of the compound to practice their assault, by some accounts. Yet for all their practice they were unable to capture an allegedly unarmed man and bring him to trial. This should give one pause for thought. The last excuse I heard for the war in Iraq was that we’re bringing democracy and establishing the rule of law. Some example for the kids you’re setting there, Obama. Summary executions are bad if you happen to be any nation but the US or Israel. Not a good look.

So why would we want a trial? Why would we want to put this man, accused of the worst act of terrorism to ever be carried out on US soil, on the stand and make him answer for his alleged crimes? Perhaps to find out if he’s really guilty. That’s what democracies do apparently. The message sort of got lost during the Bush years, but we’ve been told there is (or was) no greater threat to ‘Our Way of Life’ than this malnourished Mungo McCallum look-alike. What is so wrong with the US legal system that he couldn’t have faced due process, and had his guilt or innocence determined by the court? I’m wagering on an utter lack of evidence and the need for a bump in approval ratings for a beleaguered president. I’m not suggesting that bin Laden harboured no malice toward the West. I’m claiming that we will now never know whether he was really behind anything.

That bin Laden was never brought before a magistrate is a cause of abiding shame. It makes a fraud of the supposed rule of law, of any (tenuous) claims of a moral imperative. The West, The East – we’ve been uniformly finger-fucked – all because some idiot wants to keep his job.

It’s all a bit late to talk of this now, though. Bin Laden has apparently been buried at sea, which rules out recovery, let alone an autopsy. We have witnessed a spontaneous outpouring of emotion from the American people matched only in its nationalism and religious fervour by every other whack job, evolutionarily stunted theocracy on Earth. I’ve seen people whipped into ecstatic states before. They fall into two classes – former girlfriends and dangerously deluded idiots. Watching all of the US turn into Alabama rates as one of the scariest things I’ve had the misfortune to witness. America – land of the free, world champion of democracy. Shoot the fucker before he opens his mouth. Namaste.