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Revenge, Small But Sweet

One of the few tiny good things the Liberal Government has done in its ten years of otherwise uninspiring government is the establishment of the Do Not Call Register. A quick trip to their web site will see your phone numbers registered and thereafter you won’t receive any unsolicited phone calls, except for those from charities, political parties, religious organisations, stalkers and a few other exceptions.

That’s what’s supposed to happen, no calls, but I registered about a month ago and have received two calls since then. I went to the trouble of complaining about the second one, which you can also do on the web site, and received an email in confirmation which stated:

The Do Not Call Register legislative requirements are new, and the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is trying to assist industry to fully understand their obligations under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 and the Telecommunications (Do Not Call Register) (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard.

Well of course, it’ll take a while for everyone to catch up with the new rules and integrate their technology with the Register, yada yada, although nothing would assist compliance as much as a conviction or two hitting the headlines. Perhaps the people I complained about are shaping up as a test case. The letter continues:

However, ACMA has received a number of complaints about the abovenamed organisation and is currently undertaking formal action to monitor the organisation and gather evidence to support a full investigation. An investigation will take some time as obtaining probative evidence of alleged breaches must be done carefully and can be a lengthy process.

The company in question, Mobile Communications Brokers, acts for one of the major telephone companies. Clearly the latter are smart enough to put themselves at arms length from such operations, and it will be interesting to see how far up the chain prosecutions reach.

So, get thee on the register and then enjoy your own small but sweet revenge at one of the greatest scourges of humanity.


Emergence @ The Street Theatre, 2-4 August, 2007

Emergence @ Street Theatre

Viva Iraq!

As an Australian who is mortified by our support of the illegal invasion of Iraq, I would like to offer hearty congratulations to the Iraqi soccer team upon their triumph in the Asian Cup. Ironically enough, Iraq was partly responsible for Australia’s demise in a dismal post-World Cup performance by the Aussies. A modicum of justice perhaps?

That Iraq’s current jubilation could lead to the unification of a country torn apart by a civil war overseen by an empire as callous as it is incompetent is perhaps a bit too much to hope, but anything that brings joy to the Iraqi people in the midst of a darker than usual moment in their tumultuous history is worthy of a celebration.


CHIFFON #49. Chiffon Dreams On


I am presently sitting listening to Sanji de Silva.. This gentleman has quite an ability with his guitar and Dylanesque treatment of his lyrical expression, which I put into the genre of love songs and I assume they are mostly inspired by his personal goddess and their progeny who I have observed in concert on dad”s back.

This is not what I was going to write about.

Have you ever had dreams, not just in your sleep dreams, but fantasies about the nature of an adventure or even just an adventure? I will tell you of a dream that I think is good value. The last idea I had came out of a yearning to revisit the past. There was a period of my life when I wandered Central Australia. Not really wandered. More subsisted.

Unless you have been there, you can”t gain a reference point from which you can start to appreciate this country and its long history referred to as the dreamtime.

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Cross Country Walking Sucks

Many years ago, when I was younger, fitter and possibly a bit stupider than I am now, I decided I wanted to walk from Sydney, where I lived, to Canberra. I packed up a backpack, caught a suburban train to Picton, and set off down the old Hume Highway, a cloud of flies and the occasional car swooshing by my only company.

At nightfall on the first day, I stumbled into Bargo, went into the local pub, had a few beers, got talking, ended up at some party somewhere with a bunch of drunken yahoos and slept in a caravan nearby, losing my grandpa’s old akubra in the process. The next day I made it to Mittagong and that’s where the footslog ended. I figured I’d learned everything there is to know about intercity walking, which is that it’s hard work, boring, lonely and the flies never, ever leave you alone.

Thus I have enormous respect for Amy Banson, who recently walked from Brisbane to Canberra and is now setting off from Perth, again to Canberra, this trek being aimed at raising youth awareness of depression and other mental illness.

Gertrude #41 – Humility

Gertrude's Diary

I wrote something mean and I have to pay the price.” I’ve abused my gift, and now I’ll have a sick feeling in my stomach and writer’s block until I’ve undone the hurt.” That’s the inevitable consequence.

So”instead of a few light-hearted observations, I’ll have to meditate on the nature of humility,”transgression and forgiveness.” Bummer.”

Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Idle Speculation:”Creativity is good, but not when you apply it to real people.” Even if you do have insight and information about someone, to speculate on their behaviour places you in a position of arrogant false knowingness.” No one can ever truly understand another’s”motivations,”and nor should they really try.

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Zwish: Hey You

Local band, Zwish, who were guests on Insatiable Banalities #63, sent me an email yesterday advising they have completed a music video for their song ‘Hey You’. It involves mainly gratuitous pole dancing and car washing scenes. Unfortunately for facile male viewers like moi, the ‘talent’ is not that attractive, and the ladies in the band, who are definitely spunks of a high order, make only a cameo appearance.

On the other hand, credit to them for not stooping to the lowest common denominator. And on the other other hand, how about I just shut up and you play the video. Just quickly however, I’ve decided to make a new category called ‘Music Video’, which this post, and any others featuring local bands’ music videos will go in. We’ll scour the airwaves for what’s available, but if anyone would like to submit a video, feel free.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/NCwJkT8er0c" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Coffee Bitch #22. Cafe In The House

Coffee Bitch

Four beans

Cafe in the House

I invoke the right of Parlay!

Wandering into Old Parliament House under scrutiny of the anti-terrorist security guards, the smell of an old building envelops me.

Paying admission is unnecessary if you’re here for the coffee I’m told. Nice.

I walk through to the rear courtyard and find Cafe in the House. I am greeted as I enter by the Maitre De, nice, guided to a table in the winter sun, nice. Coffee arrives promptly, nice.

These people are really nice to their milk, it is obvious in a seamless meld with bean oils. Smooth as. The coffee is elegant but not eloquent.

I spend some time guessing what flavours the beans spoke of when they were fresh roasted…

We are left with a great and proper blandness not unike the Menzies government.

No water, no ashtray. Cute courtyard.

Benefit Gig Defrauded – A Sad Story

Andrew Denton’s interview with Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson (Enough Rope, ABC, Mon, 9.30pm), a cautionary tale about drug addiction, didn’t really grab me until Jamieson spoke about ripping off his band mates to buy Ice.

My thoughts immediately turned to a story I’d heard earlier in the evening about a local fellow, well known in the musical community, who has allegedly done a bunk with the proceeds of a benefit gig at the Pot Belly Bar in Belconnen. The beneficiary was a young musician named Yo who was badly injured in a car crash some time beforehand and whose bass was smashed. Approximately $1000 was raised, enough to buy a pretty good bass guitar one would think.

After several months, the fact that the funds were missing came to the attention of the other organisers and the fraudster was given till yesterday to make good with the funds. He has not done so.

We’d like to believe he was just ‘borrowing’ the money and not intentionally ripping off, not only the beneficiary, but all the people who put time and energy into the show, not to mention the punters who believed their money was going to a good cause. It’s not as if he thought he could get away with it, surely?

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CHIFFON #48: A Wagg in Wagga


I was curious as a result of having a conversation and hearing someone refering to standards and I thought about foodstuffs and the various standards such as health, ingredients etc.. and I wondered what ‘home style’ means.

Homestyle conjures up the right image for me but whose home are they referring to and what style is peculiar to whichever home? And what exactly does one hundred percent beef mean? I only ask as I have never seen beef in paddocks. I know what I am supposed to imagine when I hear the word beef, but if you ground up what you see in a paddock, what we call a cow, would you eat it with sinew, bone, gristle, organs as well as blood vessels being pulped and packaged as a burger? Of course that doesn”t happen really.

I recently went to the Riverina to a little town, and it is, although it has a population which categorizes it as a city of small town people. A thing peculiar to country towns I am familiar with is a propensity for following the leader downhill. I am referring to the role played by these communities in fabricating or at least supporting fabricating bullshit so as to help this multi-national denutritionalise the food industry whilst at the same time appearing to be at the forefront of caring..

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Nuclear Winter News

Fans of now-defunct glam rock duo, Nuclear Winter, whose enduring fame was secured in the early nineties down in the also defunct Gypsy Bar, will be pleased to know that Jason, the duo’s indefatigable singer, is alive and well and still wearing feather boas and ripped tights.


We received the above photo from him recently, in a lipstick kissed envelope, along with some charming praise of our flat-mate’s hair.

Playground @ Tuggeranong Arts Centre


27th and 28th July, $20/15, 6293 1443

The New Black

For quite a while I’ve been having an argument with myself about the colour scheme on Loadedog, wondering if the black background is off-putting or hard to read or whatever. I look at white sites and feel like they’re so clean and wholesome and good. Opening them up sometimes it’s like a heavenly choir sings a sacred chord. But not anymore.

I just received an email from a buddy telling me about a fellow called Mark Ontkush who wrote an article speculating that, if every Google search page was rendered in white on black rather than black and blue on white, the energy savings world-wide from CRT monitors using approximately 20% less energy would amount to 750 megawatts a year. Interestingly, Google has responded with a black version, called Blackle, which lacks all but a basic search, but is very black.

For my own part, having a black site has probably saved the world around 50 watts or so, and counting, so nyahh to all you pristine, energy-hogging, white sites. Nyahh!

UPDATE: Then again, maybe it’s all a crock of shit.

The Exciting New World of Prostate Examinations

I’m turning forty in a few days. Officially that is. Unofficially I’ve unilaterally changed my birthday to October when the weather is better, so friends and family can expect an invite in a month or two.

A while back I mentioned to Sharkie that on my next birthday I would go to a doctor and have a ‘physical’ to see how my body was coping with 25 years of immoderate living. She wisely interpreted that as a well-meaning but in no way binding resolution and took it upon herself to book me an appointment at the hip city clinic, the one all the junkies, trannies and sex workers go to. They’re not accepting new patients, in case you were wondering.

My last physical examination was at school in England, age eleven. The only thing I remember was the female nurse tugging down my pants and giving my testicles a little fondle. All present and accounted for apparently, but back to the present.

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Ordinary Australians fear not. Numerous terrorist sympathisers are putting it about that the Federal Government is abusing its anti-terror laws for political advantage and denying natural justice to Haneef Mohamed. But do you really think they’d be messing around with someone’s life like that if they weren’t sure he’s as guilty as sin? That would be un-Australian and un-Liberal and un-democratic and just plain un-believable.

On the contrary, it is Haneef Mohamed who has made his current treatment inevitable by un-Australian behaviour such as: a) having distant family members who are criminals, b) giving away a sim card and c) having a photo taken of himself and his wife standing in front of a tourist attraction.

Before you go scurrying to delete your whole photo archive, remember that Haneef also looks damningly like a dark-skinned devil in the only grainy black and white image available of him since the story broke, so don’t delete nice photos of yourself not in front of tourist attractions. If you happen to actually resemble a dark-skinned devil, perhaps consider an extreme make-over (a la Michael Jackson?), or just quietly leave the country while the going’s good (make sure you get a return ticket, you can cash it in later).

Clearly nice white-skinned people have little to fear, as do those with no family whatsoever, and if you do have family, you can easily eliminate them as a factor by never communicating with them or giving them anything.

I hope that sets your minds to rest.