Thursday, October 31, 2013


Just as the church has made people feel guilty about sex, the diet industry has been very effective in making people feel guilty about one of life's other great pleasures - food.

It's simple marketing - make people feel bad about themselves and then offer them a product which makes them feel less bad about themselves. Milk is bad so here is reduced fat milk. Chips are bad so here are some that are baked not fried. Butter is bad so here is I can't believe it's not butter.

We have bought in to this concept so much that even junk food is marketed to arouse feelings of guilt. Watch an ad for ice cream and you'll hear that their "wickedly indulgent" product is a "guilty pleasure" and you must "give in to temptation".

Having played the guilt card very effectively for the past thirty years or so the marketers now have a new weapon. It's the word "clean".

In the past year or so I've heard a scary number of people say how they are "eating clean". Obviously this implies that many foods are unclean, which is a totally stupid yet very powerful concept. Jews, Muslims and Samuel L Jackson's character from Pulp Fiction all just don't dig on swine "because the pig is a filthy animal". Chinese bbq pork from Tim's in Chatswood is however one of the most beautiful things in the wold and they are all missing out. 

Clean is an incredibly emotive term. One of the first things we hear as children is our mothers hysterically screaming "don't put that in your mouth, it's not clean". That's probably fair enough when it is a dead cockroach you found under the refrigerator when you were two years old. But do you really need to hear that voice coming back into your head when you are 36 years old and just want to have an Iced VoVo?

There is nothing unclean about Iced VoVos and we should all be able to enjoy them in their full fucking glory without feeling guilty or dirty.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sebel Kiama

Dear Sebel Kiama,

I recently spent a night in your establishment. At around $300 for the room I was looking forward to a little luxury. Unfortunately I was disappointed on a number of fronts.

1. Single ply

My nether regions have become accustomed to a certain level of comfort and the harsh scratchy feel of singly ply toilet paper was a true shock to my system. Let me ask you this. If you were to invite guests around to your home would you bring out single ply toilet paper? Of course not. Why? Because they would all think you were a cheap arsehole with no concern for their arseholes. 

2. Ceiling tiles

Ceiling tiles are usually only found in depressing places. Cheap offices, public hospitals and the RTA all offer this particularly uninspiring design feature. Walking down a hallway with ceiling tiles makes me recall feelings of visiting an elderly relative who has recently had a body part surgically removed. It doesn’t really scream sophistication and luxury.

3. Hideous artwork

Clearly your artwork was chosen by a vision-impaired accountant. How else could this monstrosity end up on the wall? Civilisation has been making beautiful artworks for millennia and from all the available options you somehow selected a big angry red blob. Notably the artwork was unsigned because the “artist” was no doubt ashamed of their crapness.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Boob guns

Today Facebook adjusted its policies so you could show someone being beheaded on it. Show a boob however and they will be quick to pull that thing down.

Is Facebook is owned by the Taliban?

Why is a nipple considered so confronting it warrants censorship yet extreme violence is just dandy?

What happens if someone posts a video of a boob being cut off?

What's their stance on boob guns?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Disaster porn

Natural disasters are horrible things but I think there is a part of all of us that are quite impressed by them. After all, Mother Nature can put on a pretty spectacular show.

Disasters have all the elements for great TV. There are visuals that no amount of Hollywood CGI could match. There are heroes. There are human interest dramas. There are lots of nerdy statistics.

This bushfire has gone on for five days, making it pretty much like a game of test match cricket. Like test match cricket there have been days where not much has happened. When there is a lull in the action, the statistics come out. We know the wind speed, we know the number of hectares burnt out, we know how many sausage sandwiches have been served to the firefighters, we know this is the worst bushfire since 1956.

Bored of this increasingly dull 24 hour news coverage we start going for the fire. We love it when things break records and surely this one can do better than the 1956 fire. Our inner pyromaniacs feel the need to see lots of big flames and cars on fire. Plus we think that when the big fire comes through in 2048 we can be the old codger being interviewed on the TV going "nah she's bad, but she's not as bad 2013. That one was bloody 'orrific".

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I don't get it

The politicians keep telling us how expensive it will be to combat climate change. I just don't quite understand why.

You can have a set of solar panels installed on your roof and they will pay for themselves in five years time. After that you are getting free, clean energy. If that can be achieved on a small scale surely it could be done on a much, much bigger scale, even cheaper.

Looking at the websites domestic solar installations cost from $2500. Obviously it wouldn't cost as much when you aren't paying retail price for panels. Installing them in a field would also no doubt be easier than having people climb up on a whole lot of roofs and hook each system individually up to the grid.

If it costs about $1000 for panels that would cover one person's energy use, then we can have the whole country going green for a grand sum of $23 billion.

That may seem like a lot of money, but the government can borrow that pretty damn cheaply. Currently the government is issuing bonds at 2.25% which means the interest bill would be a piddly $450 million p.a. Just like the domestic systems they should also be able to pay for themselves over 5 years.

So why do we have some dumb direct action policy that doesn't actually seem to be taking any action?

Saturday, October 12, 2013


$13 for a beer is wrong. It is an affront, a piss take. It is what is wrong with this country - particularly the parts where hipsterism thrives.

Foxtrot is a (painfully) hipster bar with a closed door and a twee little sign out front showing foxes dressed in suits. It occupies a crappy old low rent building that may have been an Italian restaurant in the 1970's. You sit on crappy old garden furniture, no doubt collected from a council clear up.

You order a single tap beer and it costs you $13. Sure, it may be a boutique wanker beer and it may be served in a brandy glass, but that's no excuse.  The low rent building doesn't justify such a mark up. The crappy council clean up furniture doesn't justify such a markup. The stupid picture of fox in a suit does not justify such a mark-up. Can anything justify $13 for a beer?  

Damn you hipsters.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Violent entertainment

People talk about today's violent movies and video games corrupting our youth. I think it goes a little further back than that. The first song I ever learnt was about a knife-wielding farmer's wife who dismembers body parts from a trio of already disabled animals. It was a strangely cheerful song.