Friday, 23 November 2007

Stop Denying It. The Television Already Dictates Your Schedule To You Via The Television Guide...

It took me a while to work out what was going on but I've finally clicked.
My television has become that annoying person at everyone's office who keeps running over to insist they have something hilarious to tell you or show you.
They've always had the 'you will never believe what happens next time on Generic Drama' advertisements but now their cheese has slipped completely off their cracker.

They have a television show which is entirely comprised of showing us clips that they've found on YouTube.
That's the whole show.
Oh apart from some awful banter between some idiots who came to their position of fame and prestige by either appearing on Big Brother - dear God when will it stop - or from hosting another stupid game show type thing where they ran 'challenges' similar to the intellectually stimulating endeavours that participants on Big Brother apparently had to go through. Both shows were introduced to fill the vast gaping hole in people's lives that were left when actual Big Brother went off the air.
We aren't even able to browse the internet by ourselves any more without someone else showing us how or for what. The television is jiggling up and down by our elbow telling us that we just have to watch this video of a kitten wearing a tiny hat because it's sooo cute!

The very next thing likely to be brought to that section of the public that has been broken by the Reality TV assault is going to be a television show hosted by the same range of 'basket short of a picnic' hair-gel addicts where they just sit there and read out humourous email 'forwards' that they've found online.
You think I'm joking don't you.

It's only a matter of time before you flick on your TV one day and there's just a close up of one of these goons just sitting there grinning at you. There will be options on your newly customised remote control so that you can have little conversations with them via multiple choice options that flash up on the screen.
It will no longer be enough to watch people fart arsing around sunbathing, swearing at each other, sleeping, blobbing about in the hot tub or hooking up in grainy night vision camera sight.
Society will slowly become unable to actually relate to people they haven't been able to watch like stalkers and will need to simulate a relationship with these people they 'know so well' and gradually the actual people that they meet will seem less real than these 'press button friends' and they may discard reality entirely in favour of Reality...

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Our New Religion...

Clutch your petition - or application form - close to your chest with your hands respectfully clasped. Keep your eyes down. Wait in line.

Did you know that this beautiful building was designed by the same man who designed St Patrick's Cathedral? Note the gentle arches of the ceilings and the windows. Is it just me or can you smell frankincense?

Shuffle forward. Tread gently on the marble floors. Don't raise your voice. This is the Cathedral's little brother - he might tell.

People stand in gilded booths to hear your sins, accept your sacrifices and grant your prayers. You can recognise them by their ceremonial dress. People move aside when they walk the floors. Only they can intervene on your behalf with those above, those who judge, bless and condemn.

If you look up, examine the curve of of the ceiling, the pillars that hold the roof at its correct height - look only to offer your awe, don't get cheeky. The line moves, follow it.

Belief is not the loving arms of the Father. It's fear of being smote from above. Real belief shakes you to the core and keeps you awake at night. Real fear brings you back time and time again, grateful for anything you can get. Real fear is this loan application. Are you afraid? Sensible of you.

It's your turn, offer up your supplication. Mumble your way through the liturgy.
"I have a steady income and will have no problem with repayments. As you can see I've listed my car as collateral...?"
Your intermediary listens with half an ear to the familiar words and either nods their head "Amen", shakes it ruefully, or begs a moment to pray to The Manager for advice.
You have been heard, you have been judged, they have your signature, now if you would just check your soul at the door we'll be done and you can go.


The Gothic ANZ Bank on Collins Street was designed by the Architect William Wilkinson Wardell.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Observations From The Bottom Of The Bottle

When I write something when I'm drunk - that I am of course convinced is passionate, insightful or mind blowing - I think my handwriting is graceful and fluid, melting from the pen onto the paper. When I wake the next morning in a mercifully darkened room and I can see that it looks more like the work of two mice, one standing on the shoulders of the other as they both try to work a pen.
You can even see the bits where the mouse on top has his lost his balance and sent the pen skittering when he tried to haul himself back upright...

* * *

I'm watching a funeral home ad and I know I'm drunk because I'm substituting the kindly pragmatic looking spokesman's dialogue in my head and am absurdly amused by it.

"You got dead people? Yeah, you get that. Better get rid of them before they stink up the joint. Call us, we'll respect your dead people like all get out. We'll respect the hell out of your dead people!"

* * *

You know that you're drunk when you start thinking that you need to make announcements that run along the lines of "Listen! Listen everybody! Mashed potatoes are fucking delicious!" and you actually expect this to be a revelation, for people to turn to each other in wonder and say "Shit! She's right! Mashed potatoes are fucking delicious! How come I've never realised exactly how delicious until today?"
It's not my fault!
I'm absolutely murdering a bottle of Cab Merlot at the moment and this Shepherd's Pie is fucking delicious. Probably something to do with the mashed potatoes...

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

November - The Novelling Month...

Well in accordance with the prophecy and also my whimsical ambition to one day write things with words 'n' stuff I am this year participating in the whirlwind of manic typing which is NaNoWriMo.

Considering my complete inability to plot unless I am in the midst of a project this has been an act of faith that has so far yielded 8102 of the 50 000 words that you are required to write between the 1st and the 30th of November in order to succeed!

I'm still going to be trying to post things here but they may be a little frayed around the edges as the majority of my brain will be dedicated to making sure that I get this done as
a) once I've committed to something I am somewhat obsessed with actually seeing it through and I don't want to fail in a hugely public way and
b) I've got a stupidly huge deadline at work that I also have to pull some overtime on!

And now I'm off to sit in a cafe, inhale some caffeine and furrow my brow in concentration!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Things Are Turning Ugly...

Australia: not exactly full of water.
We've always seemed a little taken aback by this, even though from the moment our European ancestors sauntered over and called dibs, the place has basically been desert with some green trim around the edges.
We cultivated great big 'just like home' gardens and parks, put in swimming pools and grumbled cheerfully about mowing our lawns whilst our children played on slip-n-slides during the summer.

Now we're somewhat parched what with this drought that seems like it's been going since I was born.
The bushfires are getting worse, the water catchments seem to be doing well to be in the double digits and we've got water restrictions finally ensuring that we don't do ridiculous things like hose down our drive ways because we're too damn lazy to use a broom if they get a bit mucky.

We still don't seem to have gotten ourselves quite figured out yet though, we're still clutching at straws like building a big old pipeline to get water from one region with very little water to another region with very little water. A slightly less strict set of water restrictions is in place in Melbourne - cos they're a big complaining block of votes - which is causing much grumbling in the country as the farmers wonder how long it'll take the yuppies to realise that the country needs the water to grow that food that turns up in the supermarkets. Also, hot tip CBD young professionals, milk comes out of cows! You don't want to hear where eggs come from but water is involved in them arriving in your breakfast as well!

So things have been a bit tricky as we try to adjust to actually being sensible about water after a couple of centuries of having our fingers jammed in our ears as we sing the la la la la I can't hear you song.

There has been much argument over who needs what water, taxes vs higher water prices to encourage people to use less water, fines for all sorts of things, not being allowed to wash your car in your drive way unless it's with grey water (collected from washing machine rinse cycle or from a bucket in your shower) etc etc etc and some raised tempers and voices on the issue but we've officially stepped into the realm of the incredibly worrying.

We've had a water restrictions inspired murder.
A sixty-six year old man was watering his garden.
A younger man walked past the garden and protested.
The first man wasn't moved to alter his behaviour by Ranty McPasserby's words.
Ranty McPasserby punched the grandfather to the ground and kicked him until the older man suffered a heart attack.
We now have water restrictions rage.

We have already started giving each other the squinty suspicious looks as our attitude has quickly become 'if we can't water our vegetable gardens when we like why should the neighbours get to?'
There are special phone numbers for the 'concerned citizen' to call to let the local council know if someone is watering out of allowed hours, you can have your water allocation slowed to a trickle if you use more than your allocation or disobey the restrictions, we have swiftly become a self-policing water state but I never thought we'd get to water vigilantes quite this quickly.

Whilst I am fairly certain that a good chunk of our population will eventually have to go back to where their great-great-great-great-great-grandfathers came from as the country will eventually be hard pressed to support us all; we're not at that stage yet.
If we just stop being wastrels and idiots we'll be able to hang about here for a while yet.

My family has only had to mow our backyard lawn four times in the last six years, none of the kids born in the last five years or any time after are likely to be allowed to run about under the sprinkler on a summer's day, every time it rains people start hugging each other in the street and re-enacting Singing In The Rain; we know things have changed. Permanently.
But the fact that something like this has happened at this stage of events has me worried for what the future may hold. Has anybody read Frank Herbert's Dune?

The really tragic thing is Ranty McPasserby had his times wrong and a family is short a father and a grandfather as a result

I'm A'Ready!

"The zombies are unlikely to eat your brain, because you'll be too busy using it against them. You're not 100% prepared for a zombie attack, but you're smart enough to improvise under pressure. Since you know that one reckless mistake could end it all, you'll be extremely careful about every move you make. You'll defend yourself with whatever you have available, and your creative solutions might just keep you alive. Humankind is lucky to have you on our side."

How encouraging!
Now to finish customising those monster trucks and to have the final fitting for my lightweight body armour!