Thursday, August 31, 2006
It's easy. Just go up to a person in the street you don't recognise and introduce yourself.
They will very likely be looking for somebody they don't recognise, too; so you'll have something to talk about.
The only circumstance in which this will not work is if you have previously agreed on the time, date, and place to meet up but find out later that you have both agreed on different times, dates, and places.
Although one way to avoid this is to deliberately make a mistake, and turn up at the wrong time and the wrong place.
This method might even be successful if they turn up at the wrong time and the wrong place, too.
Are they black? Make sure you do not notice this, as that may make you racist.
Are they male, or female? Again, make sure you do not notice this as this would make you racist. Everything does, nowadays.
Most people who frequent the internet are either socially maladaptive, geeks, stalkers, or murderous psychopaths (hey, Mum, look at my blog!) If the Person You Have Previously Only Known From The Internet is one of these people, a word of warning: they may be a little unusual.
Pay no attention to any photographs of stalkees, severed limbs, etc, etc, they might have.
You wouldn't want to make them uncomfortable.
Once you have failed to recognise them, meet them at the right location, or at the right time, notice their personal characteristics, ethnicity, sex, or sociopathic tendencies, you might like to fail to agree to share a cup of coffee or a beer with them, in one of the many fine cafes in your vicinity.
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." 11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?...15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." 16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." (John 4:10-16)My favourite is this passage on 'Fisting and Gods will':
So there you go.
So far we have only discussed a husband fisting his wife, but some couples may wonder if it is appropriate for a wife to fist her husband if he enjoys anal stimulation. In most cases, a wife indulging her husband's desire to receive light anal play is not problematic in the context of a healthy sexual relationship. A wife may even anally penetrate her partner with a strap-on dildo if he enjoys this, and if their respective roles as husband and wife are secure outside of the bedroom.
However, because of the intense nature of the act of fisting and the degree of surrender and submission involved in being fisted, a couple should first look deeply into their own hearts and pray for guidance as to whether it is wise for the wife to fist the husband. They should undertake this only if their relationship is such that the husband can assume a submissive and passive role during a sexual act, while afterward still maintaining his role as the spiritual head of the household and leader in the marriage. Our article on Christian BDSM also addresses this issue.
(From a comment at Harry Hutton's site.)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Well, what was that kid's name?
Nope, not there yet.
P.B. Shelley once said that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. That's all well and good, but what about our poor legislators? Who cares for them? I say: Legislators are the unacknowledged poets of this world! Eh? Eh? How do you like that?
Is dandy too.
No, still not there.
I was at a party the other day, and who should come up to me but a brain surgeon who happens to be in the papers at the moment? He said to me then, "So, you're a writer, eh? Well, I think I've got a book in me - what do you think about that?" But I had a reply ready. "So," I said then cheerfully, ""You're a brain surgeon, eh? Well, I think I've got a brain in me!" That showed him!
Later I had a rocket scientist come up to me and say the same thing. "They tell me you're a writer. Well, pal, I've got a book in me!" But that didn't worry me! I immediately snapped back, "Well, it just so happens I don't think you're that clever. I think tomorrow I'll have a go at your job. After all, it's not rocke... oh."
I really must stop going to parties, it depresses me so.
But the bar man lacked
No, no good.
People ask me, why do I write poetry? I tell them, it's for the children! It's for the looks of joy smeared over their grubby little faces when they discover poetry for the first time! Or at least a hint of a smile. Something, anyway! Although, to be honest, chocolate does a better job at getting smiles on their faces than poetry. Or possibly chocolate-coloured prozac. I know this from painful experience and a process of trial and error with my own children.
If you would like to contact your local parents and teachers committee, I am available to speak at schools.
There are, of course, those who would claim that poetry is worthless. I mock them! I spurn them, as the lowly inhabitants of earth are spurned by some God or minor deity! The poet is a figure of vaulting, Promethean passions, of Titanic ambition,
Who will attainHe is omniscient - omnipotent - in the sway he holds over human souls, a veritable Ubermensch among supermen! I wrote a poem which neatly illustrates this:
The very brightest heavens of invention!
The cow is of the bovine ilk (I think)I'm still working on it - but take THAT, sceptics!
One end is moo, the other, some
form of lactose drink.
Monday, August 28, 2006
COMRADE STALIN'S UNDERWEAR!
Now, you have no excuse: you can keep the image of the Great Leader right next to your private parts, all day and all night! Items in our range include Engels 'Saucy Lingerie' range, our popular 'Comrade Marx for your Parts' line, the 'Brezhnev Bra', the 'Kruschev's Knickers for your Knockers', and the 'Gorbachev G-string'.
Images are reversible, so you will literally have NOTHING separating you from yourself and the Eyes of the Mighty One!
Pulling up at Brunswick Station, this rather weird couple hops in. Both had glasses; both directed toothy leers at the rest of the train. He's a baldy, wearing a huge greatcoat probably to hide the fact that he's a small guy. She's got one of those weird, plastic red hairstyles, with perm: she goes over and slides into the only availabe seat, he walks up beside her and turns towards her.
She slides her hand into his hand. But she doesn't stop there; her hand keeps on sliding up his and into the open sleeve of his great coat. It creeps up and up, right into the folds, until even wrist is lost in them. Then they stay like that, almost completely motionless, until they appear to have always been that way. It's almost like they don't have hands, but that the join between his arm and her arm is a weird kind of ganglia from which the rest of their bodies branch out. They don't even look human anymore. Occasionally, either his head, or her head, or both, swivel to and fro while they continue to leer peculiarly at the rest of the train.
It was revolting and mesmerising. I couldn't look away. When I leaped off the train at North Melbourne, I think they were still at it.
Nothing like a bit of weirdness in public to start off the day. Really hits the spot.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
For the paltry sum of almost-thirty dollars, I've churned out about 100 copies of my 16 page zine, and like the crazy poet that I am, I'm giving them away for free! Anyone want a copy?
Swearing is included, and just a little violence (but with an ethical point! that makes it all right!)
I'll mail it out to anyone who's interested. My email address is
I'll send it out to your workplace, or PO box. Wherever you want, I'm not fussy.
I'll be back in a little while. This weekend has been interesting; I went along to two writers' festival events yesterday, and may have more to say on them a little later. Can you spell 'YUPPY'? I think I've run into a shitload of them already, and the festival is practically OVERFLOWING with Fairfax papers! (Just this once, I'd like to see a Herald Sun literary festival. I still maintain that it is the best and most entertaining paper in Melbourne, if not exactly the most accurate).
I've also had the excellent good fortune to meet up with the wonderful and witty Rachel Hills (I would say she's sassy but she might murder me for using an outdated gender stereotype - in a sassy way, obviously) - freelancer for the Sydney Morning Herald, and Vibewire volunteer. Rachel Hills to be next editor of the SMH! Has a nice ring to it, I think. Or should that be editoress?
Is it poor form to end a blog post on a question?
Thursday, August 24, 2006
'To womb do I owe the pleasure?'
'I need to go to the bath womb'
'The Germans wombed the English in World War II - so the English wombed them back.'
'It's wombing cats and dogs out there.'
'It's such a nice day womb.'
Nobody will notice your surreptitious phrasing, and pretty soon, you will have succeded in making the word an item of everyday conversation: people will drop it into sentences all the time womb!
INTERNATIONAL INTOLERANCE ASSOCIATION
Goal: To divide people of all nations, creeds, sexes, and ethnicities!
Slogans: Everybody - fuck off!
Strength in adversity!
Bringing misanthropes from across the world together!
Unfortunately, I think the Australian Democrats may have already put those campaign slogans into practice.
Continuing in this vein, another political grouping that could have some success might be the 'Racists Against Sexism'. I know, I've mentioned the idea before, but I think it might attract some of the more earnest Young Liberals out there:
RACISTS AGAINST SEXISM
Goal: Uniting the much-neglected Ku Klux Klan demographic to fight against modern gender-based discrimination.
Slogans: Pure-bred Anglo-Aryans of every sex, fight against gender-based discrimination.
So discriminating, we even discriminate in our discrimination!
Another approach we could take would be to attempt to appeal to everybody. We'd dub our party:
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE LIBERAL LABOR MOVEMENT
Goal: Working furiously to make great achievements in the field of excellence!
Slogans: Moving boldly backwards.
Climbing the ladder of opportunity to reach the plateau of consequence
Making sure that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This generally seems to be the approach taken by the major parties, albeit with somewhat shorter names.
The following whimsical notion occurred to me when I was on the train this morning; it merges three separate tendencies in modern politics: utopian, liberal, and autocratic ...
THE LIBERTARIAN AUTHORITARIAN PARTY
Goal: Making everybody happy - by force if necessary.
Slogans: Free choice is not only good for you, it's compulsory.
Human rights are a privilege - not a responsibility!
You are perfectly free to do exactly what we tell you.
Strategies: Redefining 'happiness'to make it closer to our political goals.
It strikes me as a little bit funny that some modern political groupings - Economic Conservatives, Political Conservatives, and Environmental Conservatives - could never find things to agree on. I thought in this next party they might be able to find some common ground. It's goal is so generalist and all-encompassing that it should appeal to everybody:
Goal: Preserving things, in general, and everything, in particular.
Slogans: Out with the new, in with the ancient.
Whatever it is, we want more of it.
Seeing as conservationalists seem to spend most of their time signing petitions - and conservatives seem to spend most of their time writing letters to the paper (activities which sound suspiciously similar to me) - I thought that the only thing I could do was give the International Conservationarianismalismists a form letter, where they could simply fill in the blanks:
I am writing to let you know that I am deeply opposed to the destruction of the ____________. As you know, ____________ is a precious resource that should be left for our children, and if we do not do everything we can to protect ____________, then it will be lost for all future generations.
I thought of several other ideas for political parties: Obesity Australia (Slogan: One man, one vote, one bag of chips); The Party for World Domination (Slogan: Do you think it would happen if we asked everyone very nicely?); the Liberal Hegemonists, and the 'Stalin Had Some Good Ideas Party' (but the Socialist Alliance seemed to be way ahead of me on that one). Then there was the Anti (Insert phrase here) Party, who would be against everything (a very sensible political stance, but for the fact that they would also be strongly against themselves); the Regressive Party, the Arty Party, the Tarty Party, and even the Party Party - the latter being a political grouping of people mostly concerned with having fun.
It was then that I realised - having used the words 'political' and 'fun' in the same sentence - that I had probably committed an oxymoron, so I thoughty I'd better stop there.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Saturday, August 19, 2006
But the question is, what hat is being used and how is the tipping done?
As to the hat, is it a dashing boater, or a casual cap, or a regal tiara, or a generous Fedora? Is it a formal hat, like a Yarmulke, or a hat signifying military rank, such as a helmet; or a casual hat, such as a cap - is the hat-tip, in reality, a cap-tip? Is it long, like a top hat, or a chef's hat, or a witches or a dwarves hat; is it neat, like a bowler; or worn and tattered, like a much-loved beanie? Is it a Panama, a Stetson, an Akubra, a beret, a Porkpie, a Jester-hat, a Cloche, a bonnet, or a golf hat, a felt hat, or a straw hat?
And as to the tipping: is it a casual, quick doff; or a peremptory lift in acknowledgement of a person you neither like nor dislike; or is it merely a brief touch to the brim of your hat? Is it a gentlemanly bow, terminating in the sweeping of the hat from your head, scraping the ground in the process; or is it a single finger, cocking the brim of your hat to a slightly different angle, a fashionable sniff in the general direction of a person you do not care for? Is the hat tip a tilt, a flip, a dip, a lift, a flick, a sweep, or a knock? Is it, perhaps, the swooping of a Fez from your head in a ceremonial flourish, or the cheery elevation of a Trilby from your crown in acknowledgement of your friends and equals? Is the tip of the hat used to open a conversation, or close one?
Finally, and also importantly: in what circumstances is the hat being tipped? Is it at a tea-party, or in the jungle, is it being tipped while fighting ninjas in the streets of New York, or while at work in the office?
Different circumstances call for different tips of the hat to different people at different times.
After all, you wouldn't want to be fighting ninjas in the streets of New York while at the same time swooping a Fez from your head in ceremonial flourish, in cheery acknowledgement of your friends and equals. That would be astoundingly insensitive ...
Watch this space for updates!
I have to say, this is an excellent idea. I can't tell you the number of times I've come into work the following day several hours before I am due to leave work on the previous day, or departed work on the previous day several hours after I am due to leave for work on the following day. It's all very tiring, and it makes me feel as if I have to be in two places at once - or in the one place two times over, if those two times are at the same time and that place is not. Inevitably, the lunch hours are complicated, and they involve me organising not to go to lunch on the previous day at the same time as me arriving at work on the following day, and so on.
Inevitably, there will be opposition to this revolutionary new concept of the 24-hour working day from the Howard Government; but that is because they are evil; and they only make laws - not anything we are under any obligation to follow.
Following the announcement of the 24-hour working day, I await other great events: the running of the 30-second minute by an athletic tortoise, and the measuring of the two-mile metre, by an exceedingly pedantic cartographer.
Following the conversation at work, I had a think about it, and realised they were actually discussing the 24-hour working week. Now that's crazy talk!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
A certain boy of tender years had an even tenderer disposition towards creatures of the bug-and-beetley kind. He was a member of all the best international beetle societies, including the 'Avuncular Aphid Admirers' Association' and 'The Bug People'; and he subscribed to all the important bug magazines and beetle circulars. He would lie awake at night leafing through these august journals reading articles with titles like 'Bug You!' and 'Bug You Too!', and letters that began 'We always hear people talk about 'When the Pigs Are Flying', but do we ever hear talk about when the Flies are Pigging? Hmmm?'
It seems that one evening, this young scholar was leafing through the beetley magazines and nitpicking (literally as well as metaphorically) as was his wont, when what should he discover in his bed but a bug. A bed-bug, no less - a splendid example of Cimex lectularius!
His happiness knew no limits, his joy was unconfined, and his cup runneth-ed over. Immediately, he began to stroke and pet and kiss the bed-bug, and fondle it, and make it feel at home. He placed it in a glass cabinet which he kept for such eventualities, furnishing it out with a bed-bug bungalow, a bed-bug boudoir, a bed-bug bath, and other items of comfort and ease. Every day, morning, noon, afternoon, and night, he would visit the bed-bug, and feed him titbits of choicest meat purchased from the finest, most respectable restaurants, while reading it tracts from his favourite bug magazines.
Nourished by these foods, the bed-bug grew beyond its means, or beyond the boys means, at any rate. One night, while the boy was sleeping, it leapt out of its bed-bug boudoir and its bed-bug bungalow, and devoured the boy, bed and bunk all, before slouching off down the street to devour a few items of architecture and become involved in the Hollywood film industry, which had a thing for gigantic bug movies at the time.
Moral: It is better by far to let the bed bugs bite than to let the bug bite beds.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
A quirky Lenny Henry character invaded my home yesterday and took several of my personal items. It was all very distressing. I know I'm not supposed to identify him as a quirky Lenny Henry character, but these are the facts. And I'm not the only one; a friend's wife was attacked bhy a quirky Lenny Henry character in the park, and several other friends have been bashed and beaten up by gangs of roving quirky Lenny Henry characters while on their way home from work. Data suggests that crime by quirky Lenny Henry characters is on the rise.
On the other hand, it is true that it is unfair to single out quirky Lenny Henry characters in the media; I'm sure that the vast majority of quirky Lenny Henry characters lead peaceful and ordinary lives, doing whatever it is that quirky Lenny Henry characters do. Some, perhaps, are continually bursting into weirdly accented songs, or doing stand up routines about growing up in a Jamaican family, or doing presentations at the Commonwealth Games or before her Majesty, or whatever else it is that quirky Lenny Henry characters do. It is true, also, there are many quirky Lenny Henry characters who may be from disadvantaged backgrounds, and may be unable to live up to their full potential as quirky Lenny Henry characters. Surely there must be something more we can do to help these quirky Lenny Henry characters become fully functioning members of society. And I must admit that, for every quirky Lenny Henry character who commits a small violent assault or robbery or murder, there are others who are just as bad. Why, think of the whacky Benny Hill characters stealing women's underwear in the park, or the bumbling Tommy Cooper standover men, who have been involved in many serious cases of Aggravated Cutting of Neckties or Premeditated Egg-squashing-on-people's-foreheads! Yes, the problems of society are complex, and we must not blame the quirky Lenny Henry characters for everything!
Perhaps we simply need to acknowledge quirky Lenny Henry characters and thank them for being what they are. For instance, I had an interesting conversation with a quirky Lenny Henry character the other day. "How wonderful," I said to the quirky Lenny Henry character in question, "It must be to be a quirky Lenny Henry character! I'm grateful to know you!"
The quirky Lenny Henry character looked at me for a moment, grabbed my face in both hands, and began to shout at me, "I. AM. NOT. A. QUIRKY. LENNY. HENRY. CHARACTER. I. AM. BLACK. AND. PROUD. YOU. DUMB. WHITE. CUNT!"
Shortly thereafter, he smashed me in the face and left.
What was he trying to tell me? Who knows. But I feel certain that if we listen to these quirky Lenny Henry characters and what they've got to say, things will get better. In order to progress as a society, we must acknowledge the many problems and difficulties quirky Lenny Henry characters face.
- The Guardian, Monday.
A typical quirky Lenny Henry character. What are the complex historical circumstances that make such quirky Lenny Henry characters more likely to engage in anti-social behaviour?
Frilly knickers, flannels, frocks, fuck-me socks,
Herringbone, haberdashery, and assorted habiliments;
Jungle-greens, 'jammies, jeans,
Linen, long-Johns, loincloths,
Plumes, plummy pants, poofy pillows, pink panties, pabouches, pyjamas, paisley, pashminas, plisse, pyjamas (see also: 'jammies)
Stockings, skivvies, skirts, singlets, satin,
T-shirts, tablecloths, turtle-necks, tuxedos, tea-towels, Trilbies, togs,
X-rated items of various types,
Zephyrs, zabutons, zebra stockings, and RaZZamataZZ!
Monday, August 14, 2006
There I was, at the spinet, noodling away at a little vamp for an old church hymn called 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring', when who should walk in but Freddy "GeeGee" Handel. GeeGee to his friends, Freddy to you. I knew GeeGee from way back, since we'd worked the courts down in the Bohemian town. He was a real fine organist - one of the best.
"Joey," says he, which was his way of saying Hi, how are you?
"GeeGee, my man!" I said. "What's a Bohemian like you doing in a no-good place like this?"
Turns out GeeGee had news; they were playing some gigues down at the Dukes. We called him the Duke because he was one, you understand. Only, they were short two men for a few nights; would I be able to come along? Well, I had not much else to do and no place else to go, so I said alright. Turns out he'd got quite a line-up there, some top-range stars, including Corelli, Vivaldi, Pachelbel, Albinoni and even Jos 'Dizzy' Desprez. Called themselves 'The Mannheim Sinfonia All Stars' and MAN! - were they doing some whacked-out shit! GeeGee would say go; and they'd pull out some three, four, five, even six-part fugues: real heavy stuff. GeeGee says jump, they say, how high?
So pretty soon, the Duke and his folks were looking pleased, and GeeGee turns to me, says, "Hey, Joey baby. Whyn't you come up on stage 'n show 'em what you got?"
So I jumped up there, and started working the crowd on the Hammond Pipe Organ, doing Gavottes, Minuets, as well as the odd Cantata. I didn't have too much new stuff, but I didn't want to lay my old shit on them - so I pretty much made it up as I began, and went on that way. That's how it was in those days.
Well, the show went good and the Duke and his boys got up to leave. We decided to take a breather and do a few more sets, just for the crowd.
There was one kid there called Dizzy. He was real smart, an up and comer from Flanders or somewhere, but weird: real weird. He was from GeeGee's brass section, and he had got this crazy horn. It had a curl in it, and I think he said it came from France. Anyway, GeeGee and me and saw him there in the corner, smoking something out of that horn of his. Pretty soon he turns to us, and says, "What do you think this horn's for? Music?" So we go over there and joined him.
I still don't know what was in that horn, but it tasted good. Pretty soon, we were all laughing, and GeeGee turns to me, and says, "Joey, my friend - what are you doing with yourself these days?"
So I answer him back, "I don't know, GeeGee. I'm getting pretty tired of all this polyphony stuff, perpetuo moto, ossia, con moto, Da Capo al Fine, all the time, all the time! I want to live the jive, man, I want to talk the walk!"
"What are you saying?" asks GeeGee then.
"I want to be a poet," I say.
"A poet!" says he. "Well, la-di-da, Mr Shakespeare!" But then he sees I'm serious, so he goes then; "Well, let's hear some of your business, word man."
So I get up on stage, and GeeGee and Dizzy get into a groove on the basso continuo, and I start scatting to the audience, telling them the wisdom:
Don't want no oratorio,
Biblical allegory, no,
Classic history, no,
No, baby, no.
Just give me Antonio
Corelli, and Pachelbel, Jo -
My own Broadway show!
Schu be do be dop bop
Schu be do be bop.
Schu be do be dop bop
Schu be do be bop.
So we go on this way for a while, and when I'm done, GeeGee ups and asks me, "Man! JS, that is some crazy scheissen you got there. Just what do you say you call it?"
And I say, "Baroque and roll, baby. Baroque and roll."
GeeGee was going to get me to play again, the night after. But his guys came back, so that fell through. I don't know if I'll give words a go again. Words are words, you know what I'm saying? But fugues are where the real money's at. Polyphony, baby, polyphony!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Nonsequitur, the most notoriously unknown person in the world, was born two days before his birthday, and adopted his genetic parents several days afterwards. He is young for his age and, at being 1.32 metres tall, shorter than most people of his height. His two brothers are named Ipsofacto and Ergosum: they are both girls, which occasionally prompts the greeting "Gentles and Ladymen" from him when addressing them.
He once had a dog but it died.
UPDATE! - I checked my 'Possible Characters for Novels' series on google. It seems Nonsequitur here - my fourth possible character - is actually my 5th possible character, as well.
Hey, it's in keeping with his character, at least.
My favourite so far is Lobelia Pintsquip.
"The weather is wonderful. I think I might clean the bathroom."
Taken apart, they seem innocuous; put together, they seem to have no logic to them whatsoever.
Here are some alternative versions of those two sentences that seem somewhat more logical
- "The weather is wonderful. I think I might go for a walk."
- "I am a masochist. I think I might clean the bathroom."
- "The weather is wonderful. Purple monkey dishwasher."
I mean, really! Cleaning the bathroom?
Saturday, August 12, 2006
SMELL: It smelled like hospital breakfast. (I stayed briefly in hospital as a kid after, I think, a particularly nasty attack of eczema, and some hospital smells have stuck with me ever since).
SIGHT: Almost walked past it, it blended in with the scenery too well! Always a good sign. Also, extremely disshevelled inside - books falling EVERYWHERE. Posters of philosophers and what not glared at me as I walked up the stairs. The books weren't really ordered particularly well. He'd even left a customer sitting on the floor amongst the scattered romance novels!
SOUND: They had some of that annoying melancholy jazz music playing that you get so often in bookstores - that sort of thing depresses me SO MUCH. To be fair, it was Jim McLeod's Jazz Track, so he may have had ABC Classic FM on all day, and I just happened to walk in at the wrong time.
FEEL: I'm not the sort of person that goes feeling up books, thankyouverymuch.
Except when in the privacy of my own home.
TASTE: I recommend you take a little mustard along with you, otherwise the paper's a little dry.
Not all of the books were to my taste, though I did like the copy of Galaxy sf magazine they were selling (had a sci-fi story in it with the inviting title of 'Femworld!')
I came away with a book of parliamentary anecdotes by Fred Daly, and some James Thurber short stories.
Recently read, also, has been War of the Worlds. I read this as a child, but I could hardly remember anything about it; it was only on viewing the Stephen Spielberg film mid-last year that I thought about getting the book. I'm surprised I didn't get traumatised by the book as a kid; because it bloody scared the shit me as an adult. It's basically about an attempt by psychopathic aliens to genocide the entire human race out of existence, and goes into lucid, graphic detail about this war against the human race:
The flying people on foot and in vehicles grew more numerous every moment. 'Black Smoke!' he heard people crying, and again 'Black Smoke!' The contagion of such a unanimous fear as inevitable. As my brother hesitated on the doorstep, he saw another newsvendor approaching him, and got a copy forthwith. The man was running away with the rest, and selling his papers, as he ran, for a shilling each - a grotesque mingling of profit and panic.
And from this paper my brother read that catastrophic dispatch of the Commander-in-Chief:
'The Martians are able to discharge enormous clouds of a black and poisonous vapour by means of rockets. They have smothered our batteries, destroyed Richmond, Kingston and Wimbledon, and are advancing slowly towards London, destroying everything on the way. It is impossible to stop them. There is no safety from the Black Smoke but in instant flight' ...
I'll be moving on to Wells' The First Men In The Moon next, which I loved when I was a kid.
Of all the Wells novels I've read, I have to say the one that sticks with me is not really a novel at all; it's a novelette. The Time Machine, which is just one hundred pages long, but spans millions of years, from the present day to the end of the human race. It's a little like When The Sleeper Wakes, in that it gives a glimpse into the future for humans, but Wells makes his 'Time Traveller' a bit of a nutter, the original mad scientist. After discovering a world war some fifty years into the future (he's from the late 19th century), he pushes like crazy for millions of years into the future. He discovers a world where the human race has actually split into two human races (I wonder what the PC mob would make of this?), the effete but useless Eloi and the savage Morlocks, who enslave the Eloi for their own personal gain. It's a curious combination of socialism and evolutionary theory: sociology meets biology. Because it's so far into the future, Wells doesn't really have to worry about his predictions coming true or not; he just to sit back with his 'Time Traveller' and observe the novel as it unfolds.
What really stuck me with this book, I guess, are the grand details; the portrait of a world in decline (the chapter where the time traveller walks through an abandoned museum amongst decaying artifacts is amazingly spooky); the kind of 'fin de siecle' life lived by the Eloi; the bizarre glimpses into the post-man world, populated by gigantic insects, and presided over by a dying sun; and the outrageous sense of adventure for it all. A great start to the SF genre.
So, what's everyone else been reading lately?
SHIRE NONSENSE UPDATE! Girthy goth girl wearing not very much speaking to a non-descript guy at North Melbourne station yesterday: 'I'm from Norwickshire' 'Is that near Northumberlandshire?' 'No, closer to Leicestershire'
I missed out on the next couple of sentences, but I wouldn't be the least surprised if they'd gone on to mention Cheshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, Jonathanshire, and even Abubakarbashire.
Oddly enough, I was a little bit disappointed when girthy goth girl mentioned to the guy that she was looking for a house at the moment. Girthy goth girls flat-hunt like the rest off us? I thought they were creatures of the night, above such mortal concerns ...
EXPLETIVE UPDATE! Fucking hell, almost missed Doctor Who!
RIDDLE OF THE DAY UPDATE! When do you get a Long Short Queue?
Friday, August 11, 2006
Mr Obergeen, of Berwick, Melbourne, left his toupee in the cupboard overnight - to find that it had grown into a human head!
"I was shocked,"says Mr Obergeen in a shocked voice. "You'd expect a head to grow hair - but who expects a wig of hair to grow a head?"
Over a course of weeks, Mr Obergeen tried, and failed, to get the head to talk; but all it seemed to be able to do was growl and bite the hand that fed it. It has been handed over to the authorities.
"A Rare Occurrence"
"Toupees growing heads are quite rare," confirms Professor Arthur Schmarthurs, Wigiot, of La Trobe University. "But not unknown. Given the right conditions - a cool, dry area, placed out of direct light - and the toupee is able to bloom!"
Professor Schmarthurs adds that there are tens, if not hundreds, of other recorded cases of wigs growing into human heads throughout history.
Words of Warning
However, the Victorian Department of Health has this warning: "Growing your own human head from a toupee might seem like a fun idea, but should be avoided. Human heads are not easy to tame, and may attack your children or pets. Also, if they do not have a body of their own, they will lead miserable, unfulfilling lives.
They are best taken care of in a zoo or at a local RSPCA."
Mr Obergeen chuckles in agreement at this, shaking his head as he tells us the story of how the head once attacked his dog.
"Who knew that toupees could go wild?" he laughs.
The Case of the Pants
According to Professor Schmarthurs, there are "plenty of similar cases in history"
"In Bavaria," he says, "One young lady left an old pair of pants in the cupboard, because she was going on a diet. When she came back, she found that they had grown into a MALE torso - and a pair of legs!"
In a more recent case, in Montreal, Canada, a pair of cufflinks, overnight, miraculously sprouted into a pair of hands that could play Chopin on the piano!~
And somewhat bizarrely, a leash left in a dungeon in Scheisschloss castle in Austria for a month - sprouted into an S and M mistress!
Mr Obergeen's toupee-and-head is now on display in the Melbourne museum.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
If interviewees ever wonder at the placid smile on Martin Martins' face, it is not that they want to know his secret. In his line of work - human resources - he is merely a major non-entity, a leading figure in a field of not-very-muchness.
For the secret of Martin Martins is quite simple: that, for his entire life, he has never once farted. The urge to make gaseous expulsions and odorous emissions from his increasingly vast and various orifices remains with him; indeed, over time, the urge to flatulence has gradually attained volcanic proportions, and it is only through a titanic exercise of self-will that he is able to suppress this desire.
It is this basic power over the various gaseous forces at work within his own body that gives him such a sinister complacency in interviews. Indeed, such is his self-control, that when others fart in his presence, he will barely register a reaction. An evanescent shadow of greed, hatred, jealousy and desire will flit over his eyes. 99 times out of 100, his interview subjects will simply misinterpret this look as meaning that he likes them.
Curiously, for a person who rose to his current position of power and influence through various accountant positions, Martin Martins' has difficulty counting. He spent most of his time as an accountant signing forms.
He devours sausages whole - one ever night. He has a revulsion of pins, scissors, thumb tacks, knives and forks, and other sharp objects (and future events will prove him right).
Sometimes, when he lies naked in bed, he will observe the gastric forces at work within his own intestines, move up and down his chest in subterranean waves, probing here and there for a new entrance: he knows it is only a matter of time before they find one.
And then, hot and uncomfortable, he will fall asleep, dreaming of dancing naked through a field of buttercups with Julie Andrews in his arms, after a team of panting beagles ...
Monday, August 07, 2006
BRING! BRING! BRING!
Tim: (Picks up phone) Hello? Hello?
Telephone: (Digital music.)
Voice: Mr R---?
Tim: Oh, hello.
Voice: Mr R---?
Tim: Sorry, B---s not here right at the moment.
Voice: Could I speak to Mr R---, please?
Tim: What was your name? I could tell him you called.
Voice: ... I'm sorry, I can only tell that to Mr R---.
Tim: A number, perhaps?
Voice: I'm sorry, I can only tell that to Mr R---.
Tim: Just what company are you with, anyway?
Voice: I'm sorry, I can only tell that to Mr R---.
Tim: I see.
Voice: .... (Silence) ...
Tim: Well, goodbye mysterious telephone person!
Voice: That's alright.
Looking back, I guess I shouldn't have bothered after hearing that digital music at the start. Either that, or have put in several (or several hundred) more expletives into my conversation ...
Feel the need to think and write? Get a diary. Don't feel the need to think and write? Get a diary anyway. It will be an excellent incentive to your aim to nonphilosophise and unwrite! Every day, you will open the diary, and stare at all the things you haven't thought, and therefore haven't bothered to write down.
As the years proceed, and you continue to make great achievements in whatever it is that you do apart from thinking and writing, you will wonder how you ever made it anywhere without your diary!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
This smile is not to be trusted.
Charnel scenes in Hollywood today, when Julia Roberts' famed smile broke free from her face and went on a rampage.
Julia Roberts could only look on in expressionless horror, as the psychopathic smile that had once adorned her face wreaked a path of death and destruction through Hollywood.
At the house of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the smile attacked Paltrow's left hand, biting off her pinky before flying at Chris Martin's throat. It had to be attacked with fly-spray before leaving!
Over the next four hours, the smile continued to terrorise Tinseltown, biting out Tom Cruise's eye, taking a chunk out of several of Arnold Schwarzenegger's pectoral muscles, and attempting to chew its way through Patrick Stewart's head into his brain.
A weeping Julia Roberts alerted Hollywood police to the unfolding tragedy, but since her mouth and smile were gone, she found it difficult to talk.
After several moments of meaningless mumbling, Roberts finally managed to get her message across to police by writing it on a notepad they gave her.
While the police frantically tried to locate Roberts' smile, it continued to beat a bloody path through Hollywood's best and brightest, attacking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Ben Affleck, Joss Whedon, and Freddy Prinze Junior, and even Woody Allen.
The sinister smile was only stopped when Steve Buscemi's trademark 'I-know-something-you-don't' smirk leapt from his face, and locked Roberts lips in a desperate duel, tongue-tying it while police arrived.
Roberts' smile is being held for questioning by police. The rest of her is free to go.
If you or a family member have been traumatised by Ms Roberts' smile, you are urged to contact police on 911 immediately.
|TIMELINE OF TERROR:|
9.12 AM - Roberts' smile, spying a passing Jennifer Aniston, leap from her face and attempt to accost the star.
10.00 AM - Paltrow and Martin attacked.
11.00 AM - Roberts contacts the police.
12.15 PM - Smile roams at large through Tinseltown.
1.00 PM - Tom Cruise, Schwarzenegger, and Patrick Stewart attacked.
2.33 PM - Smile still at large. Attacks several more movie stars.
3.05 PM - Buscemi's smirk bravely wrestles Roberts' smile to the ground.
3.16 PM - Police arrive. Roberts' smile is taken away for custody.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Can't say the same thing about my mother. For some reason, she's got the wild and crazy idea into her head that I should join an accordion orchestra, and find myself a beautiful young accordioness. Just like that! As wild and crazy ideas go, this was almost good as my mother's other suggestion - that I should become romantically involved with people on the trams. (Now let's see, will it be the drunk spewing in the corner, or the bogan kicking down the door?)
Sometimes my mother can be a very odd person.
UPLATE UPDATE! - After seeing Sarah Silverman around about midnight last week, I went and saw another MIFF film this week, Brothers of the Head, starting about 9.30. Basically, a film about siamese twins who end up making a punk outfit. A shockrockmockumentary, if you like.
DUCK YOU UPDATE! - What the hell is a chicken doing in a duck post?
CROUCHER UPDATE! - Rachel's still in hospital, and apparently she's taken to posting cranky letters to bitter old university feminists. Bring it on!
Word is, she'll probably be out early September.
CAFFEINE UPDATE! - Tea, Tony ... er ... T?
GET HOFF UPDATE! - Swaywatch!
PS - UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE! - It's shockrockmockumentarycommentary!
I would like to suggest a more modest past time that I have of late been indulging in: that of sending a letter to the editor.
It all began one lazy Saturday afternoon, several months ago, when, in a capricious mood, I took a clear A4 sheet of paper, printed out the letter -
- folded it up, and placed it in a yellow envelope and posted it off to the newspaper that very afternoon.
About a week later, I received the following response in the mail:
A fair question, I thought. And so, over time, my game of a Saturday afternoon turned into a pleasant method of whiling away a quiet weekend; I would print out and neatly enclose in an envelope a letter from the alphabet, occasionally punctuated with an exclamation mark, full-stop, ellipsis, or some other simple grammatical device to make my point clear.
On one occasion, for instance, this was my memorable conversation opener:
To which editor replied:
Bemused, I asked:
Over time, I hope to graduate from single letters to double letters, and then from double letters to whole words. But that is far in the future. My hope is that, by sending the newspapers an ample supply of alphabetical items, I will replenish their diminished stocks, and thereby revivify the moribund art of newspaper publishing, making it, once more, a proud and noble tradition. One must be careful, of course. If one sends in too many stocks of the one type of letter, then newspapers are likely to accrue stocks of sinister acronyms, such as the SS, or the KKK.
But, as I say, that is all far in the future. Until then ...
Friday, August 04, 2006
Well, from the forecast, it looks like the next 3000 years on the European continent will be both freezing cold and hot, wet, and wild, so get your umbrellas ready!
The morning will be dry and chilly, with the slight chance of a mini-glacial age.There's also
a strong possibility that, out of the mists of time, you'll get several showers of Indo-European barbarians. I must stress, it will be quite trying for all you indigenous Pictish, Basque, Semitic, Ural-Altaic, and Etruscan residents of the European continent, so please take shelter! Not to worry, though; after a little slaughter and genocide, things will return to normal.
For most of that early part of history, there'll be some slight turbulence, with feuding nomadic tribes of Romans, Celts, Grecians, and Persians. These won't develop into any immediate storms, although they may be the cause of some future turbulence.
Moving to the Mediterranean region, it seems like you're in for some sunny weather! The dawn of civilisation is about due in your area, and a torrent of barbarians from the east will bring with it a fresh trickle of ideas from which you'll draw inspiration!
There'll be several pressure troughs in the Middle East, which may at some time develop into serious instances of instability. The Egyptians will come down on the Persians, and the Persians will come down on the Grecians - so get out your umbrellas!
And we're not sure about this one yet, but word is from the Bureau of Meterology that at some point in the early-to-mid 1st millenium, the Roman Empire will fall. I must stress, we're uncertain about this, but we're putting it out there for all you Latin types!
The continuing turmoil in the Mediterranean will, it seems, will eventually eclipse the dawn of civilisation and cause a new Dark Age to fall over your areas - and eventually over the whole of Europe! But not to worry - soon enough, you'll emerge into the summer climes of the renaissance!
Moving on to the Rainfall chart: here's what some of you Europeans can expect!
In Carthage, you can expect your city to perish in a Rain of Fire.
In Britain, you're in for some tough times. Firstly:
- the Celts will reign over the Picts;
- The Romans will reign over the Celts;
- The Anglo-Saxons will reign over the Romans;
- The Normans will reign over the Anglo-Saxons.
Plus, several light showers of arrows and swordxs from the Vikings, Spanish, French, Dutch, Germans ... but we're getting ahead of ourselves here.
- Rome will fall 2 or 3 times to the Celts and the Germans;
- And Pompey is in for a volcanic eruption or two, with a rain of lava and ash! Umbrellas out!
Coming up after the break: Islamofascism presented as a sports report, with 'Fatty' Bin Laden!
Thursday, August 03, 2006
The proper study of mankind is man. - Alexander Pope
I was thinking about this conversation at Nails' joint:
When you become an atheist you become your own god. There is nothing more comforting than to live and die by your own determining.
I still don't see the point of being your own God. I mean, who would you have to blame the next time you were smitten with boils? You'd have no-one to turn to but yourself. I don't really see why any believer would depend on God to get things done, anyway; I'm pretty sure the people who built the cathedrals didn't just sit around waiting for a notional entity who may or may not exist to do the job for them. No, as far as I can see, the point of God is, pretty much, that God is the point. Whatever that means.
Still, one of the nice things about being your own God is self-worship, which makes you feel good, even if it is entirely useless. I decided to give it a crack myself, just to see what it was like ...
Setting Myself On A Pedestal
In this exercise, I attempted to place myself on a pedestal so that I could look up to myself as a deity while looking down on myself as a lowly wretch. This was difficult at first, but I achieved it by keeping my two feet firmly planted on the ground, while reaching down and lifting them both up onto the pedestal with my hands.
Unfortunately, the pedestal turned out to be wobbly, so after several seconds of me gazing adoringly up at myself glaring imperiously down, I fell up onto myself.
Note: I think I need to go on a diet, as I had difficulty pushing me off myself.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Setting My Own Destiny
God, as we know, is omnipotent arbiter of all that was, is, and will be in the universe. Man, on the other hand, is an intelligent, independent being with a free will of his own. As both omnipotent God and independent, free-willed being, I had the unique opportunity to set my own destiny, apart from the horrible caprices of a vast and indifferent deity (apart from myself, that is.)
As God, I immediately set down as my fate that I would take over the universe. However, as man, I obviously had a different idea, as I preferred to lie down on the couch and watch the television. Outraged at my impudent refusal to do the bidding of Almighty Me, I immediately decided to punish myself: for I, the Lord my God, am a Vengeful God.
However, I am also a just and loving God, so I decided instead that my destiny would be to lie on the couch and watch the TV. After a few seconds, I discovered that I wasn't watching the TV at all, but fantasising about a cute girl at work. Curses! Foiled again!
I guess, at this point, I could have changed my destiny to win her love, but for some reason, I had begun to doubt that I would have achieved this. Even if I was omnipotent.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Becoming One With the Godhead
In all religions, Man longs to become united with God. In my religion, this seemed a rather easy task, as I was my own God. However, every time I moved towards myself to become united for eternity with myself, I found myself moving away towards someone else.
In the end, I had to give it up as a bad job.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
As you know, one of the most endearing characteristics of God is his habit of sacrificing himself for his worshippers. As God of myself and worshipper of myself, this pleasing duty fell to me. You'd have to be fucking mad if you thought for one moment that I was going to kill myself just to please myself, however. The only way I'd do that is if I'd be around to enjoy it, and I'd probably be too busy being dead to do that.
Instead of God sacrificing himself for people, I thought, why not people sacrificing themselves for God? So when my flatmate got home, I asked him if he'd like to top himself for me.
Unfortunately, he just looked at me strangely, and asked if I'd paid the rent.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Death and Destruction!
There's nothing man and God likes to do more than have a nice war. One group of Gods will fight with another group of Gods, polytheists will fight against monotheists, monotheists will fighty against other monotheists, Muslims against Christians, Jews against Muslims - not to mention the various types of polytheists squabbling amongst themselves.
Shortly after becoming my own God, I got into a dispute with myself over whether I was Many or One. Outraged at such blasphemy, I picked up a sword and rushed at myself.
Over the course of the next hour, I enacted the wars of the Hittites v. the Persians, the Persians v. the Greeks, the Greeks v. the Romans, the Romans v. the Egyptians, the Egyptians v. the Babylonians, the Babylonians v. the Assyrians, the Assyrians v. the Byzantines, the Byzantines v. the Turks, the Turks v. the Germans, and the Germans everybody. It was all good clean fun, and not a little pleasing to Me: for I, the Lord My God, am a jealous God, and I do like a little bloodsheed, ooh, yes I do!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The Temptation of Myself
One of the most difficult aspects of self-deity, I found, was being at once the Just and Omnipotent deity who set moral laws, and the timid wretch whose duty it was to follow these laws, however imperfectly.
Clearly, as an Omnipotent God, I could do anything I bloody well wanted; obviously, as a worshipper, I had to do exactly what I was told to do. Matters soon came to a head over a chicken pie:
An Ethical Discussion with Myself:
Tim: Clearly, this chicken pie is Good, and I should eat it forthwith!
Tim: Puny human! Hold back thy hand! For that chicken pie is high in cholesterol and congealed fats, yea, even in MSG! And I forbid it thee!
Tim: (Quails) Forgive me, Lord, for I know not what I do!
Tim: Arise, wretch! For I forgive thee thy faults!
Tim: (Licking lips) Oh, your mighty magniloquence, it does look delicious, doesn't it?
Tim: Turn thy head in the other direction, worm! Or else, I shall smite thee with a thunderbolt!
Tim: O Lord, I know what you're up to - you'll steal it when I'm not looking!
Tim: (Quietly) He's a smart cookie, this one (Aloud) Silence, mortal! I'll show you! (Throws pie out the window)
Tim: O Almighty, why did you do that? Now I'll never get lunch!
Tim: I ... don't ... know!
Tim: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani!
Tim: What does that mean?
Tim: I don't know, I can't speak Hebrew ...
Now, I don't know about you, but I think I came out of that pretty well ...
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
On the whole, I enjoyed being my own God, but I don't think I'll take it up full-time. It's far too likely to cause a chronic case of schizophrenia.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The internet: a bunch of deaf people in a room, shouting at one another?
- I do love a good shitfight, and that's pretty much what's gone down at Sternezine in the last two days. The post that provoked this shitfight, by the way, is a corker: elegant, eloquent, and very, very funny. Tim Sterne's an exceptional writer, so if you haven't read Sternezine yet, why not start now?
- For some random reason*, the Comic Mummy is in New York, and she's blogging up a storm!
- Now linked: The Spin Zine, an occasional net publication by one of the best Aussie bloggers, Darlene Taylor. Some pieces of mine should be published in it - and one of them will be inspired by this post, by the marvellous Ms Jellyfish!
* 'Random' for the purposes of alliteration.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
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- Grata Non Persona
- Inward, Christian Soldiers
- Geek Amnesia
- Extracts From the Journals of a Minor Comic Poet
- Ideologically Appropriate Sartorial #1
- An Observation
- Proper Gander
- Ways To Amuse Yourself #6
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- The Boy and the Bug
- A Recently Reported Case of Lenny Henry Ism
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- J S Bach, Bohemian
- Possible Characters for Novels #4: Nonsequitur
- Two Sentences That Don't Make Sense
- Impressions Of a Bookstore
- The Discontents of the Book
- More Update Update!
- Toupee Grows Man!
- Possible Characters for Novels #3: Martin Martins
- Telephony and the Gentile Art of Abuse
- Writing Tip
- What the hell are you smiling at?
- Update Update
- A Letter To The Editor
- The History of Europe Presented as a Weather Repor...
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