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Lonely Canberra

A few weeks ago travel guide, The Lonely Planet, visited town to film an episode of ‘Bluelist Australia’, an ‘alternative’ tv travel show. Their itinerary included a couple of gigs (The Cashews doing a guerilla show and Dahahoo’s CD launch), a bike ride with the Rat Patrol and a visit to the Gorman House Markets.

Word has it the episode will screen on SBS on Wednesday 6th June at 8pm and it’s just possible they could include a few pictures from the Backyard Backanalia in it, a release form having popped into my inbox a little while ago for that purpose. Not being all that familiar with contracts, I have to say I found it rather amusing. I quote:

Owner hereby grants Lonely Planet Television (“Producer”) and their respective parents, successors, licensees and assigns, the right, but not the obligation, to incorporate the Film Footage/Video Footage & soundtrack/Still Photograph described above (the “Property”) in any manner The Producer sees fit in the Producer”s film or video production presently entitled “BlueList Australia” (the “Production”), and to use and authorize others to use the Property as so incorporated in the Production in the distribution, sale, licensing, marketing, advertising, promotion, exhibition and other exploitation of the Production in all markets and media (whether now known or hereafter developed), throughout the universe, in perpetuity. In full consideration of all rights granted herein, Producer agrees to pay to Owner, and Owner agrees to accept, a license fee of ZERO DOLLARS.

I don’t know. Should I push for a 50% increase in my fee?



Well today is world no smoking day, and I wonder what you did about it, if anything. I woke up at around five this morning without my usual allocation of cigarettes, not because I intended for that scenario – it is merely a result of having an unmanageable life, and evidence of poverty. Notwithstanding that I decided TO GO WITHOUT, and proceeded to stay in bed asleep (something that is really hard when your not sleepy, and want a smoke).

I eventually crawled out of bed at about quarter to seven, after turning over more times than a croc at a banquet as well as enjoying the five minutes of” occupation that masturbation brings. Attempting to be positive I manufactured some breakfast and deposited myself in front of the telly and pondered my position, whilst watching the clock and telling my mind to forget how long it (not smoking) has been and how long it will last.

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Scary Stuff

Is the Bush Administration the worst ever or the best ever? As disastrous as the last seven years have been, one must grudgingly admire the ability of Karl Rove and others for their ability to turn a sow’s anus into a silk purse, to lead the American public and media along by the nose and to progress an extraordinary and radical series of reforms (ie. tax cuts for the rich and destroying the public sector) in the midst of a ruinously expensive and damaging war. In a recent article I wondered whether the Bushites had a plan behind the plan. Perhaps Thom Hartmann has unpicked it…

The Republican Plan For 2008 Begins Today
by Thom Hartmann

It”s difficult to watch Democrats play checkers while Republicans play chess with Iraq. It”s particularly difficult on Memorial Day as more Americans and Iraqis die. But the Republican Party has been playing politics with Iraq since the day after the Supreme Court installed George W. Bush in office in 2001, and they have no intention of stopping now. They may have borrowed some techniques from Richard Nixon, but they have no intention of repeating his mistakes.

The political calculus being pursued by Karl Rove and the Republican Party with regard to Iraq and the 2008 elections is a simple four-step process:

1. Shift “ownership” of the downside of the “war” and occupation of Iraq to the Democrats.

2. Begin to wind down American involvement in the occupation of Iraq no later than mid-2008.

3. “Claim victory and get out” of direct combat in Iraq by the early fall of 2008.

4. Win big in the 2008 elections by having “won” a “war.”

Please read the rest here.


New Gubba Mints

You’ve Gotta be Joking!

John Howard (on the morning news):

I know it may have seemed, over the last six months or so, that the government hasn’t responded to global warming as fast as it could have.*

The last six months, little Johnny, have been a veritable hurricane of activity relative to the previous ten years of inaction, obfuscation, denial, negligence and/or wilful dereliction of duty.

Tony Abbott (also on the morning news):

I think the Australian public likes to flirt with a fresh face.*

The honeymoon is over, Tony, and with Labor extending its lead in a two-party prefered poll this morning to 20%, the bun is in the oven, the picket fence is freshly painted, there have been a few tiffs but they’ve been quickly and amicably resolved and the make-up sex is rocking.

*or words to that effect.


For Sale: Business

Employment Service Provider with 1400 staff, ongoing government contracts. Must sell before federal election due to husband’s overweening ambition. Prospective Prime Minister’s spouses need not apply.

Whatever Happened To…

Are you missing out on the important news? Are you, for instance, unaware that a new DVD rental store has opened in Nowra? Or that beach use has dropped by 50% in the Shoalhaven? Are you interested in a ground floor investment in a new regional telco? Or do you miss Johnboy’s editorial largesse on RiotACT, hanker for more of his pithy observations, or simply wonder what sort of rag he’s writing for now? If it looks a bit drab, give him a chance. He only started on Monday.

Update: Johnboy revs up.

60 Minutes Plumbs New Depths

Channel Nine’s ’60 Minutes’, which has exemplified the demise of television as a medium of anything but fluff, snuff, soft-porn and sordid commercial interests, was in typically shameless form last night, screening an interview with David Hick’s wife and children.

They were ignored, largely forgotten. In all the hand-wringing, all the furore about David Hicks, how often did you hear about his family. About Bonnie and Terry, the little kids he left behind.

In all the 60 Minutes-induced ‘furore’ about this family, does anyone mention that it was the US Government, with our own Government’s complicity, that kept Hicks away from his children for five unnecessary and unnecessarily cruel years?

Hicks was no doubt watching on tv as his children were depicted, standing a ‘safe distance’ from his place of confinement, discussing their feelings for their father.

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Letters from Prison #14

Letters from Prison


Hello mate,

How’s it going? I hope you had a great Father’s Day. Well, another week gone! Only six weeks on Tuesday. I am getting excited. It will be fantasic to finally walk out the front gate and leave this place behind. The screws moved me back upstairs so, since being in gaol, I have been in seven different cells and had 13 cellmates. You’re not going to believe who my new cellie is. N- C-. He knows A- B- and A- H-. He gets released in a little over a week so I will have a new cellmate (which will make 14) before I leave. My leg is a little better but the doctor won’t let me go back to work. Also, I’ve got an abscess on my tooth so my face has ballooned with the infection. I am on antibiotics and it should go down in a few days. But at the moment I am the brunt of jokes (Quasimodo face, Cheeky, Gumball, Kojak, etc). I was also getting hassled about my leg & not working (Hopalong, “I should join the O-limp-ics”, the worst one was tampon – in work for one week and out for three). I am taking it all with a grain of salt (the last one WAS pretty funny).

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Where Would We Live?

Some people may have bridled at Paul Keating’s recent suggestion that Canberra be abandoned as the national capital, not least John Howard at whom the remarks were no doubt directed, but there are reasons for taking the idea seriously, running out of water being one.

After a while toying with the idea, I was struck by a realisation at once terrible and wonderful: if Canberra became a ghost town (as it surely would if government moved away), where else could I possibly live?

The great majority of Canberra residents would probably rejoice. Let’s face it, most people only come here under sufferance for work or study, enduring Canberra’s many perceived faults sullenly while wistfully scanning the job ads in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wangaratta…

Those who find themselves here after five or more years generally fall into one of six camps:

1. The Public Service Grey, distinguished by their grey palour, lives in an absurdly big house in a suburb like Weetangara, is a mid-level manager on the verge of a nervous breakdown, has a spouse, an ex-spouse, three children, two step-children, a massive mortgage and a massive sense that life has somehow left them behind in an empty suburban nightmare.

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The Aussie Attacks

“The head of the Christ is God,” just as “the head of a woman is the man.”

So says ‘What Does the Bible Really Teach’, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ booklet, also noting that wives can tactfully disagree with their husbands, but must submit to the husband’s final decision. Thank goodness Jehovah’s Witnessers don’t vote.

Now we know that the wife of the prime minister-in-waiting would not willingly conform to the way the unions want staff to be employed. And if the first lady of Labor embraced the Government’s workplace reforms they obviously were not as bad as the unions, and Julia Gillard, claimed.”

So says the editorial of The Australian this morning, claiming that Labor’s attacks on employers using workplace reforms to screw down employees’ wages and conditions has come back to bite them on the bum.

I’d like to say that Work Choices has created conditions in which even ‘good employers’ will take advantage of the new laws. How could they not, when all of their competitors are doing the same? But in the case of Ms Rein (and not Mrs Rudd as Mark Vaile repeatedly named her on the Sunday program yesterday), what relevance would it have?

Ms Rein, as far as I know, could be a penny-pinching fascist who treats her staff like peasants in the field. She is not, I suspect, a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and is therefore probably not operating under the direction of her husband. She may ‘tactfully disagree’ with her husband about industrial relations policy and might even have voted for the Libs. Shock bloody horror!

To suggest that this puts the mockers on Labor’s industrial relations policies is to suggest that the Libs policy on internet porn is corrupt because Janette once wanked to sexysex.com. And it’s strange, this attack, when the Liberals have already conceded that Work Choices has had ‘unintended results’ and needs a make-over with accompanying multi-million dollar ‘re-education campaign’.

Therese Rein will sell the Australian parts of her business because of conflicts of interest that would inevitably arise from tendering for contracts from a Labor Government. End of story.

Rudd Will Say Sorry

ABC televised today the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum giving Australia’s Aboriginals citizenship. What at first seemed like it could be a pretty boring affair (despite the comical off-topic ramblings of one elderly veteran from the campaign) gained sparkle with a performance of ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’ by Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody and Troy Casser-Daly and then went off with a bang with a speech by Kevin Rudd.

In between, John Howard made a statesman-like speech, meaning he didn’t say ‘nyah nyah nyah you stupid Aborigines’, but merely mumbled some meaningless platitudes while bragging about how much money the Libs were throwing at the problem. Howard was not amongst friends, his reception was frosty, he had nothing to offer and he went and sat stiffly through the remainder betraying no emotion other than his now permanent inner dread.

Rudd began talking about the importance of symbolism and it was immediately obvious what he would say. On winning office, the Labor Government would move immediately to make a formal apology to Australia’s Aboriginal people for the many wrongs that have befallen them.

And then some words about symblism being empty without action, partnerships between government and grassroots groups and a plea to Howard that, whoever wins government, they begin to work collectively towards giving Aboriginal people an equal opportunity in this country.

Howard did not give him the thumbs up at that stage.

Postscript: Apparently Kevin Rudd Sucks. Advertising heavily on a web site near you.

Chiffon #32


I am here on what can only be described as a beautiful day, sitting at my mind writing and it occurs to me that not everywhere is she as beautiful as what is coming in my window. I am thinking of course pebbles on remote beaches and through the streets of third world poverty, ravaged settlements, throughout this country as well as this town, indeed, vast expanses of the planet, they do not have the sun shining, there is no silver lining in their clouds, they do not sleep! A friend of mine he once gave me this piece of advice in the form of a statement. He said and I quote ‘However, you get that!’

I am amazed that there even seems to exist a ‘pros and cons’, a ‘does it or does it not’ argument in relation to global warming and, in the light that there is, indeed, an argument or no argument, an inherent danger exists in letting the one party, the government, who have the biggest conflict of interest, lead any kind of repentant action.

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Gertrude #33 – Hobbies

Gertrude's Diary

Wow!Three weeks in a row.This has to be a new Gertrude record.If you”ve been reading regularly for a while, then you”ll probably be curious to find out how my various hobbies are going. Work:(Oops!Note to self:Mustn”t think of work as a hobby; not the serious commitment that employers are looking for.Gee, I hope the Glorious Leader isn”t reading this.)All right, scrap that one.

Learning the Organ:Published in the 1970″s, the Yamaha Electone Organ Student”s Manual is a complete course of 60 songs that takes the learner from the elegant simplicity of Merrily We Roll Along, right up to a stunning special arrangement of I Could Have Danced All Night.Even though I”ve had the organ a couple of months now, I”m still stuck on number 12, Que Sera Sera.Is it just me or does anyone else find these songs singularly uninspiring?And I do have to be careful, because I have an impressionable young child around.I cannot begin to tell you of the horror of practising song number 5, only to have Wildflower start singing it in the bath.“Kumbaya, my Lord, Kumbaya””??.NOOOOOOOO! [Read more →]

The Loadedog Diet

Anyone who knows me personally would attest to the svelteness of my figure which, despite advancing years, retains a passable likeness to images of famine-struck individuals from Eritrea, Ethiopia and the Melbourne Fashion Show.

Never having considered being a skinny freak as anything of an asset, it didn’t cross my mind that people might want to emulate me, but apparently it is so, as the following email I received from a secret admirer will attest;

Dear Loadedog

You’re a skinny bastard, that’s for sure. Do you eat anything or have you got worms or what?

Yours sincerely


How can I refuse? So, without further ado, let me present:

The Loadedog Diet

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