Archive for the ‘So it goes’ Category

Overland to post-race-riot Osh

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

It was pitch dark and minus 10 when we left Murghab for Osh – dropped to minus 16 within a few minutes of leaving town.  The car’s heating was fucked so we had to keep the air con on high to stop the windscreen freezing up.  It was a right hand drive car converted to a left.  The process had broken the air vent controls, so it was freezing air on the windscreen, face and feet until the sun got hot enough – four hours in the end.

Crossing the border was easy on the Tajik side.  Bored 18 year old conscripts threw sticks for their alsatian while someone woke the bloke who could speak Angliski up to ask: “Did you buy drugs in Tajikistan?” and glance in my bag briefly enough to demonstrate how easily the Afghans must be moving their opium up the road.

The Kyrgyz border boss wanted money.


Raggamuffin and a rap battle beats Laneway festival. Easily.

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Laneway festival never took off.  There’s no better litmus test of if an event really gets going than whether the festival cockheads start ruining it.

They seemed trapped by the event’s cool reputation and the lack of FUCKIN’ PARTY! bands.  The cockheads couldn’t unleash and I couldn’t cope with the boys in matching fluro singlets and tights not shitting me – no one was comfortable.

And the sound sucked.  And it rained.  And security kept making people put their cigarettes out.

The next day however, couldn’t have been better. (more…)

google cares, China doesn’t

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Google isn’t picking a fight with the Chinese government, it’s using a righteous excuse to duck out of a market the company never had a prayer in.

Sarah Lucy at is arguing that google was failing in China and are attempting to get a bit of cred back in the west by having a swing at the Chinese government on the way out. You can almost smell Richard Gere’s approval.

Google is now a verb in English and so embedded in our culture that people start to assume it must be the same everywhere, but the Chinese won’t give a fuck about seeing it go.

Like a baby stillborn…

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Abbott being pisstaken by Kerry O’Brien on 7:30 had the twitterers and journos engrossed. No one else noticed.

On A Current Affair Tracy Grimshaw destroyed him with a rude superiority. She taunted and belittled, goaded him to blow up and confirm himself as an aggressive misogynist, for an audience who don’t know or care what the word means.

There was no twitter traffic about that, clever people don’t watch ACA.

I did and it was tragic to see a man who has achieved a position of real significance and stature in Australian life having to tolerate such treatment, but it sums up his still-born leadership: he isn’t in charge, he’s a source of ridicule.

He uses bizarre language –  most people aren’t fanatical or obsessive about ideas,Tony isn’t ‘theological’ about them.

He looks like a cancer patient, having obviously lost a shedload of weight. He’s fucken strange, and the public don’t like that. Grimshaw derided him as a weirdo on one of the only two current affairs shows with large audiences.

Kerry O’Brien will engage him in fierce argument and expose the inconsistencies in his policies and arguments. Tony is clever and eloquent and may perform well in that environment, but everyone who watches will already know who they’re voting for.

Tracy Grimshaw finished him, she highlighted who Tony Abbott is in the eyes of the general public.

Kevin’s a nerdy fella, but that makes sense, people understand nerds, they’ve been around them.

What the fuck is Abbott? Bloke looks like a wierdo. And that is the kiss of death in Australian public life.

Farewell year 12s

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

When the year 12s leave they often play up on their way out the door. The private schools talk about “muck up day” in their vaguely old world manner, in city-fringe state schools it’s “fuck shit up day”. (more…)

The art of joke telling: same rules, applied differently

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Two boys are kicking a football around on a park in inner Brisbane when a Rottweiler jumps the fence, runs in and grabs one of them by the throat and starts throttling him.
His friend thinking quick, grabs a loose paling off a nearby fence and…. (more…)

Malcolm Turnbull-Clinton and the ethics of neo-cons

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Malcolm Turnbull’s handling of Godwin Grech during the ute-gate farce is another example of the way that total, amoral expediency has replaced ideology in conservative politics.

The George W Bush era of American politics will be remembered for the Karl Rove-inspired notion that winning is everything; that the ends will justify the means at all times in politics.

The Howard government endured a nightmare first term in office that culminated in the loss of the popular vote. They were incompetent because the ideology they brought to government was entirely incompatible with the core values of Australian society which are less mateship and the diggers than universal health care and the right to social welfare – Australians like having a government big enough to look after them sometimes.

Having a small businessman’s zeal for the free market and gross self-interest was never going to appeal to the Australian electorate so the conservatives had a serious problem. (more…)

A different religion on a Sunday

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Sydney based teams in Australia’s National Rugby League often complain about the heat they encounter when playing night games in Townsville in winter because temperatures reach the mid 20s.
In Madang, Papua New Guinea games run all day Sunday and the midwinter temperatures consistently hit the 30s. The crushing humidity means the lightest shirt is soaked through with sweat in minutes.
A one kina entry fee (around 50 cents Australian) gets you five or six games of rugby league – “The Greatest Game of All” as the half painted mural on the clubhouse wall declares.
The plank bleachers have corrugated iron roofing that shelters the punters from the sun and provides something to whack when celebrating a try or big play.


Best view in the house

The first of three A grade games starts at 2pm with Madang North Raiders taking on Brothers. Every Christian denomination you can think of is doing business for souls, minds and bodies in New Guinea but has a religion ever achieved ubiquity like the Catholics with Brothers footy clubs?
The hot, wet climate ensures a soft ground and grass that grows in front of your eyes. When the ball is kicked into the ingoal it disappears in long grass – the dead ball line seems to operate on an honour system.

P1000303 (more…)

ANZAC “spirit”

Friday, May 8th, 2009

The Death of ANZAC Day

A week ago my nieces were taught at school that ANZAC Day remembers, “when the Turkeys attacked us and we won”.

My mother was teaching a class the same day, assisted by a teacher’s aide wearing shoes painted with Australian flags.

Between the southern cross tattoos and the stickers stuck to every second motor vehicle we’re being sunk with hollow ocker patriotism. (more…)

Sikh Games

Friday, May 8th, 2009
There is nothing on earth as dignified as a Sikh gentleman

There is nothing on earth as dignified as a Sikh gentleman