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The Sport of Crims

I once used to associate with a professional punter, the sort of bloke you’d see wandering into the Commission Room at Randwick or Warwick Farm, an unassuming fellow who had accumulated millions from his hobby, who might bet three or four hundred thousand on any given day and who supported at least a dozen ‘colleagues’.

He was a rare breed, not a systems player, although he used computers to arrive at an extraordinary array of punts on each race, but all underpinned by an immense knowledge of the form stored in a brain good for not much else, an idiot savant of the Sport of Kings if you like.

He’d had his battles with the Tax Office and won, they couldn’t tax his winnings because they wouldn’t credit his losses, but they didn’t know about his minions and the millions he has paid them in cash over the years to spy on the trainers, gather the inside goss, run bets to the bookies and a variety of other tasks. Income/Payroll Tax? Super? Workers Comp? Forget it.

He, and people like him, are among the many currently ‘suffering’ as the Australian racing industry grinds to a halt. And while we can have sympathy for some, the milliners, the stable boys, the caterers etc, all innocent collateral damage of an apparent quarantine failure, it’s difficult to engender any warmth for an industry that has always been a refuge for scoundrels and offers little of real value to our society.

Horse racing has acquired a classy frock, pays the government a healthy bounty, sells a lot of hats, champagne and turd-stain remover, but perhaps we should look closely at those ‘benefits’ and compare them to the costs, environmental, social and economic. In the next few weeks and months, Australia has a chance to try life without racing. There may be more food in some hungry little bellies. There may be a reduction in the bankruptcy rate. The vast majority of people probably won’t notice the difference. And think how many apartments you could build at Randwick alone.

Tom Woodward @ Hippo, Thursday 30th August, 2007

by Alegria

“She takes no prisoners” so speaketh Jesus, as he sheds a little tear for his sweet girl, pickin up the flowers she dropped or threw somewhere in Canberra. Meanwhile, I”m just hoping he will look my way as he sings such things. You know how it is. Maybe I am one of these old souls, the more mesmerized than fresh-faced fouls, who even sung along. Or am I just going deaf? We move forward to a closer stool that sits smack in front of a huge speaker and I think: it”s a strange and conflicting thing, this performing while people laugh and drink and project their voice over sounds you the musician so tenderly produced. This young, now more traveled, now hairier Tom, plays on regardless and creates unconsciously(?) a tension that struggles and wins. Fading in and fading out, turning in and then pushing out. Just when we think we are about to loose him to some melancholy meandering he pulls through with a sputtering shout! “Santa clause is sweatin like a pig about to be slaughtered” and we are in no doubt. This is a man who doesn”t mess around. He”s writhing about and screaming from within and it”s a pleasure if you catch the wincing grin. So soon? The journey is complete in what feels like a very short hour. For those of us who know his songs he gave us plenty of new material to muse about, and sang an old folk tune so convincingly well and spectacularly Woodward strong! So follows on his friends from Melbourne, Floyd Thursby I believe. A smooth two piece suite that were worth the listen, but came out by measure “normal” after the first act of the eve.

CHIFFON #57. A Cross Against Calvary

Chiffon

Hullo,

It has not gone away and I am fucked to know what lesson life she is teaching me what?

I received a bill, a demand, the other day, a final demand for another one hundred and sixty dollars give or take. This cynical reminder of my experience at O’Conner House, a detox-come-rehab situated on the grounds of Calvary hospital (where did they crucify Jesus?), arrived a week after I was last in Wagga where I gave them a ring as it was their birthday celebration. I rang to say hullo and let them know I was traveling along quite well thank you very much.

The gentleman I spoke to on the phone I recognized as the same worker who I had annoyed with my unique brand of intelligence whilst I had been there and I had heard that he had taken stress leave as a result whilst I was there (I thought he had a cold). I could detect an irritation in his voice so, having finished with the pleasantries, I bid him farewell. It was also this gentleman who wrote me a receipt for all the money I owed as I was quoted one price and informed of an increase in fees in my third week however an agreement was reached.

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Johns Used Drugs. So What?

Rugby League star Andrew Johns, busted with an ecstacy tab and fessing to having used recreational drugs throughout his career, is all over the news at present, the Today Show crew feasting on the story in an orgy of platitudes.

No-one will mention one of the inescapable conclusions of the affair: if Johns can perform at the very top of his field for ten years without being involved in any unsavoury incidents (unlike an unfortunate proportion of his peers) while taking the occasional trip, smoking the odd spliff, snorting the odd line etc, then maybe recreational drugs aren’t as bad as the ‘War on Drugs’ crew would like Australia to believe. I exclude Ice from this observation. Ice is scary.

Also ignored is the connection between Johns’ drug use and his mental health. While many are convinced that taking drugs leads inevitably to mental illness, the ‘reefer madness’ scenario, it is more likely that most drug users already suffer some degree of mental dis-ease and turn to drugs as a form of self-medication, avoiding in doing so the stigmatisation that comes with diagnosed mental illness.

Australia’s public attitude to drugs verges from the irrational to the hysterical with heavy doses of hypocrisy. If Johns was in danger from his drug taking, it was because they are illegal and unregulated. Legalise them. Regulate them. Tax them. Treat drug use as a medical and psychiatric problem. Teach people about the real dangers of drugs (as opposed to the unsubstantiated scare campaign material). Pour money into mental health services. Let’s start doing things that haven’t been tried and failed.

The Today Show crew, who frequently turn up to work looking like they’ve been clubbing all night and joke about their excessive partying at awards nights and such, should thank their lucky stars they aren’t held up to the same scrutiny and standards of behaviour as the football stars they patronisingly tut tut.

Coffee Bitch # 27. Biscotti Gelato, Queanbeyan

Coffee Bitch

Four beans

The Front

Queanbeyan you are saved.

Perched at the entrance to one of the downtown malls is Biscotti Gelato. Drowning in a sea of bogan with attitude, Coffee Bitch washed up on the sidewalk gasping for life. Voila!

The faint aroma of an espresso drifted into my olfactory sensibility.

So I ordered and was promptly served with a half-decent coffee and a complimentary cakette. I sat gazing at a couple of empty car parking spaces. Amazing.

What you have here is bar cafe with extreme prejudice. O!

The Biscotti crew manage this miracle with a small catering-size machine. Biscotti rocks.

CHIFFON #56. Opening Time

Chiffon

Hullo,

Since realizing other people (namely no one in particular) read my little ditties I am challenged to see whether I could effect a change. I have noticed a pattern of preference being exhibited by our morning T.V. hosts who repetitiously pedal their perversions throughout the programs, obviously unaware.

For instance if the cooking segment on the channel ten morning show, Nine AM, was a pub you might be led to conclude they were a bit compulsive-obsessive about the wine increment. This seems to be as integral to this segment as heat. Why can’t they explore the world of fruit juices, coffees, teas and or water which I hear in most developed (and under developed) eating cultures is preferred and a requirement with a meal.

And why David (a father albeit somewhat neurotic) do you insist on allowing yourself to be manipulated into portraying a male in a kitchen, able only to selfishly drink and eat, much like the family pet?

You are always wingeing about the heavily taxed society we live in, SO, it might be prudent not to consume unnecessary and heavily taxed products such as alcohol, mazzeratis and the like. Have you got balls or are they just tease tickles?


INSATIABLE BANALITIES #80, Andi and George

Present: Jim Boots, Ben Drysdale, Graham Sorrelle, Nik, Danny, Bash, Gash.

Andy, George, Matt and Nick

Our guests are Andi, George, Chris and Matt.

Click Play Audio to play podcast. Click here to download

If you’d like to download the podcast, you can do so from RiotACT by clicking here.

This link is for people who have podcasting software which you can find here.

Recorded on Monday 20th Aug, 2007

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Spong Does Canberra

I’d never heard of Bishop Spong, but when a dear friend told me a bit about his teachings and that he was coming to town, I felt strangely compelled to go, possibly partly because I harbour unclean thoughts about my friend, as you do. For the similarly uninitiated, John Shelby Spong is a retired Anglican Bishop from New Jersey and liberal theologian.

Reports that the Sydney Anglican Bishops were quietly frothing about Spong’s appearance at the Commondreams Conference spiked my non-conjugal interest in the affair, and so it was that I was whisked off to the Albert Hall on Tuesday night, the moon midway through Zeus’ ring of fire… or something like that, and me having neglected to take a cigarette lighter with me.

Ordinarily this isn’t a problem as there are normally a few smokers around to give you a light, and approaching the entrance I was comforted to see quite a few people standing outside like smokers do these days, only to realise on closer inspection that they were all staring at the sky… and not a glowing fag end in sight!!

Bishop Spong

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Mutiny on the Liberty

General Gonzo jumps overboard – another officer bails before the mutiny bites. The good ship Liberty, battered and listing, drifts rudderless in turbulent waters. Chain, the Captain, glares balefully at the waves, the empty decks silent but for the foamy wind and the shrieking of the ship’s monkey, aloft in the rigging.

‘Frigging in the rigging there was fuck all else to do…’

‘Fuck all indeed,’ thought Chain.

The mutineers, formerly intimidated by the Captain’s ruthlessness, have smelled the fear that ripples through him and abandoned the decks to make their plans. The futility of the mission has become apparent to all but Chain… and the monkey, whose grasp of English is remarkable for a primate but insufficient to grasp the finer nuances of a war on the world.

‘Fuck ’em all,’ muttered Chain, still gripped by the certainty that propelled him to pursue his grand adventure. The winds, the currents, the pirates, the sea monsters… were all these his doing? Can he be blamed for the mystifying failure of the world to embrace his reign of… his greatest fear ran its chilling slimy course up his back bone. Can the Gods have abandoned him?

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Spectacular! @ The Basement

Spectacular

Julia and The Deep Sea Sirens, Australian Kingswood Factory, Haunted Attics, Green Tree, Pete and The Pelicans.

He’s Crazy as a Coconut

“You do not suffer from any mental illness. Rather, you are a psychopath driven by a hatred of women.”

So said Justice Cummins in sentencing Peter Dupal for the brutal murder of Mersina Halvagis.

psy”cho”path (s”‘k”?-p”th’) n. A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse.

I for one am feeling much better knowing that being a psychopath doesn’t mean I’m mentally ill. I was actually considering seeking some treatment but I think I’ll spend the money on finishing off my dungeon instead.

Clitoris Lickers Unite!!

Graffiti
Find something worth living for (how? why?)
or find something worth dying for
or else just fuck about like the rest of us

Gertrude #43 – Patriot

Gertrude's Diary

To demonstrate your knowledge of our splendid history and culture, please answer the following multiple choice questions:

1.” Australia was settled by Britain as:
a)” a penal colony.
b)” a venal colony.
c)” a holiday destination for British backpackers.
d)” a joke.

2.” In the Australian vernacular, what is POETS day?
a)”A day to celebrate poets.
b)” A day for everyone to write poems.
c)” Friday.

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Band Photos #8

Band photos

CHIFFON #55. Chiffon Unvalidated

Chiffon

Hullo,

I must quickly give you an update of my experience of Conflict Vietnam, a computer game that I recently found myself conscripted to. After wandering around the compound with a grenade, I finally found someone to talk to. They were one of the locals and told me their name, which was Charlie. As luck would have it that was the same as the name of the company that I had to report to.

We chatted a while but he had to go as he said he was working. I continued wandering aimlessly around however the continual blasting of the cannons reduced me to a state of shock, shellshock they call it, so I was sent home and discharged.

Now I have to inform you of the new Austcare advertisement on the telly. You would remember my observation concerning their first ad. They have now remade it. Same add, same message, same village, same fresh water pump. The star seems to have received coaching and or a valium as his voice does not hit those high pitches as obviously or as frequently as in the first add (did I mention he also possesses a pair of crutches).

Now this is the thing. Why is money being spent on promoting this man, the helping face of Austcare? What message are we sending to Aussies, indeed anyone? Could it be that Austcare, who would say they are under funded, are actually funding their admin/publicity machine with donations?

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