Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Political Litter

Australian politics has a new litter, and like all infants they are getting into trouble as they explore their new world. Just like all new born they (hopefully) will learn from their mistakes. Toddlers learn that stove tops are hot by burning the tips of their fingers and realise that eating bugs might make you ill, only by trying to eat bugs.

The Palmer United Party senators are only weeks into their new parliamentary roles and the PUPs are (hopefully) learning through playing. Just like a child eating bugs, the problem is what is coming out of their mouths.

Every litter has a pecking order and Clive Palmer has proven that he is the biggest and most dominant of the pack. Primarily he struts around showing himself off to everyone without really doing much, however when he gets going watch out. Like all good pack leaders his best defence is attack as we saw in his recent appearance on Q&A when he let the world know what he really thought of Chinese political and commercial leadership.

Like a good pack leader Clive also knows how to pick a fight or walk away. To mix the metaphor he knows when to hold ‘em and knows when to fold ‘em. He has proven his willingness to mercilessly attack others who he thinks are corrupt, China, the Australian Electoral Office basically anyone who might get in the way of his personal ambition. But when a media outlet scrutinises his own business dealing he rips of the microphone and storms out of the interview.

Though it is quite fitting that the dominant member of this litter used the word "mongrel" to describe others. Hello pot...kettle speaking.

Jacqui Lambie is the media’s darling because just like and insecure puppy who barks and yaps for no obvious reason there is no guessing what will come out of her mouth and once she gets started, she does not appear to know how to stop. The Australian public knows way too much about her romantic life and her preferences in men. She is Chester to Clive Palmers’ Spike. (Warner Brothers cartoon reference) Busily agreeing with him and supporting everything he says, Senator Lambie just seems desperate for attention and approval.

Senator Wang, is the odd one out, whilst clearly part of the litter is showing signs of being capable of surviving on his own. He is often out exploring things by himself, this may be in part that he lives in Western Australia. Lets face it WA is just so far away. Like any litter of PUPs, Wang is definitely getting some value out of being a member of the pack in the Senate.

That must mean Glenn Lazarus is the runt of the litter, sure he is there but no-one really notices him. Has anyone really heard from him? Like all runts everyone will briefly give him a few minutes – out of pity – but no-one wants them for their own pet. Everyone wants their PUP to be a little stronger and playful.

Finally there is Ricky Muir who although a member of the Motoring Enthusiast Party seems to have left his own den to suckle at Clive Palmers ample teat. The MEP was never going to sustain him into a second term in the Senate. In fact they appear to have lost their satnav and are just driving aimlessly hoping they will still arrive at the destination. His staffers are bailing or getting kicked out of the car, with three-including the most senior advisor-already terminating their association with Senator Muir. Apparently it is safer to try and hitch-hike home than stay in the car, with the dog.
What this litter of PUPs needs is a good mother who, whilst allowing freedom to explore and learn for themselves will also discipline them and set the example.

Unfortunately the example is being provided by Tony Abott whose own lists of international embarrassments are too many for this blog. If only his mother was muzzling him occasionally.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What is real?

source: Getty images
Katie Ritchie, Australia’s favourite television daughter, along with husband Stuart Webb has had her first real child – a yet un-named girl. The country is all secretly hoping that “Sally” is somewhere in the mix.

I say real because somewhere between leaving Home and Away in 2008 and returning in 2013, Ritchie’s alter ego Sally Fletcher also had a daughter. It must be a weird inside out sense of déjà vu for actors who experience significant milestones on stage or screen before it occurs to them in their personal life.

One upside for Kate is that Sally had sex with Heath Ledger.

One can only imagine what it was like in the Culkin household the first time Macaulay stayed home alone. His parents hiding the paint cans, thumb tacks, hot irons, blow torches, broken Christmas ornaments and electrified doorknobs. His older brothers Shane and Kieren would also be wise to lock their bedroom doors.

It is also no wonder Miley Cyrus is now singing naked on wrecking balls and twerking into the laps of strange older men whilst performing on stage. This is symptomatic of post traumatic stress syndrome caused by discovering that Billy Ray Cyrus is not only your TV dad but also your dad in real life. Disney May be the happiest place on earth but it is only pretend.

Haley Joel Osment of The Sixth Sense fame must be relieved when attending funerals, that he is no longer the only person in the room seeing dead people. Has he ever attended a John Edward performance? Appropriately Osment and Edward must be kindred spirits. Osment knows what it is like to think he can communicate with the dead and have no-one believe him.

Having started with Home and Away it feels appropriate to end with Neighbours. Kylie Minogue first came into Australia’s entertainment consciousness as Charlotte in The Henderson Kids in 1985 before joining the cast of Neighbours as Charlene in 1987.

It also appears that Australian writers have limited imagination in naming female characters. This is no surprise, in a country that has such creative names for its states and territories as Western Australia – for the state in the west, South Australia for the area of land in the south (though interestingly there are states further south) and Northern Territory which is not surprisingly north.

In real life has Kylie ever had to help protect a piece of land from ruthless developers? Or was this all rehearsal for surviving the ruthlessness of music producers and gossip columnists?  Her mechanic skills I am guessing fell to the wayside as quickly as her accent when she relocated to England. Perhaps now she can only repair fake cars.

Monday, August 18, 2014

AFL Finals Predictions

The footy finals are looming which means its time for some finals predictions. My predictions relate to topics covered by the countries media.

I predict we will get to witness the annual media reports, from journalists who are clearly clearing their desks ready for holidays over the off season. Sit back and enjoy the media recycled from every past footy finals season. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Brownlow Medal
There will be pages written on who is most likely to win and who should win. Yes these can be two different things. Like every year writers will again pontificate on the bias of umpires towards different teams and players – yes Eddie McGuire we know that this never works in the favour of a Collingwood Player – and the disadvantage some players face due to the position they play. Apparently defenders never win awards.

There will also be the inevitable discussion on players that are not eligible to win the award because they were found guilty of breaking the rules by the tribunal. Everyone agrees with the general rule relating to the award being for the Best and Fairest, unless of course it is a player from the team for which they barrack is affected. Then of course the rule should be changed in time for this year’s Brownlow Medal Count. The media love this debate, even in years when it is realty a non issue.

Each year the ethics of teams who are of no chance to make the finals will be questioned. Did they tank to get better draft picks the following year? OR in real terms…did they do everything they could within the rules to increase their chances of winning next year’s premiership.

Teams at the top of the table are not immune from tanking claims. Did the club rest its best players in games in the last game or two of the home and away season, when the outcome of the game was not going to have any impact on the make up of the finals? Or in real terms…did they do everything they could within the rules to increase their chances of winning this year’s premiership.

The mediocrity of Collingwood in 2014 means that Eddie will not have to answer to such claims this year.

A key player will be suspended for one of the finals teams throughout the finals series or, god forbid, for the grand final itself. Journalists will have conniptions about the severity of the penalty on the player and the team. Journalists will argue this point with a veracity and sincerity that is normally reserved for discussing the crisis in the middle east. This conversation will contain little, if any, reflection on whether or not the player should have just followed the rules in which there would not have been any risk of suspension in the first place.

The AFL is contractually obligated to host a certain number of finals at the MCG. As this is a financial contract it is clearly more important than the agreement in place with the teams  where the higher ranked team in each final gets a home game.  Of course for Collingwood (Eddie can relax), Hawthorn, Richmond and Melbourne football clubs the MCG is the home ground.
This is sure to be an issue in the 2014 finals series with up to five of the eight teams  being non-Melbourne based.

What is reported regarding this issue will of course be dependent on the state in which the articles were written. If Melbourne media had their way all finals would be played at the MCG. Actually Victorian Media would create divide the competition into 2 American-style conferences to ensure that at least one Victorian team makes the grand final.

At lest one key player is sure to get injured and be at risk of not being able to play in the big game. This is what a journalist’s wet dream is made of. Endless discussion of the injury itself, the medical response and recovery, what it will mean to the team structure, could an opposition team exploit this.

The team and player themselves will remain tight lipped, despite this being the standard response from every team and player throughout the history of footy final injuries, the Australian media will see this as a sign of conspiracy and only lead to an increase in the conjecture.

In most cases the player will make a “miraculous recover” and play in the final leaving the commentators with two options. If he plays well then he is a hero, if he plays poorly he has an excuse and was brave just to get on the field, a hero.

The only injury for Collingwood this year will by Eddie with Collingwood’s early exit from the premiership season.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who's At The Arse-End Now?

Paul Keating before becoming Prime Minister, famously described Australia as the arse end of the world. As an Australian I was obliged to take offense at the implication. Now the world has evidence that all Australian’s were justified in their vehement objections to the claim.

A crater has been discovered in Siberia more. It is a hole in the earth’s crust measuring in excess in 18m diameter. The most plausible explanation is that it is due to global warming. The Serbian soil, which is permafrost, contains millions of tonnes of methane is defrosting.

Methane, is the gas produced as a bi-product from the decomposition of natural matter.

The release of the methane as the earth thaws is creating volatile gas pockets, which as it mixes with the salt and water may explode.

That is the earth has farted.

The crater is literally the earth’s arsehole. Anus.

Found in an area named Yamal which translated means end of the world. How prophetic!

As much as I feel sorry for Siberia, it is a proud day for Australia. Germany as winners of the 2014 FIFA World Cup would have been feeling on top of the world when they went to bed last night only to wake up to discover they are actually too close to the world’s bottom for anyone’s liking.

Conspiracy theorisst are out in force, as one would expect. Was it a meteorite, is it proof of alien invasion or – my favourite – the entrance to hollow earth. If the latter was true what will this mean to New Zealand tourism?

The island nation currently enjoys the tourism boom created by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, based on J.RR. Tolkiens books of the same name. People flock from all around the world to see the home of “middle earth”. Now if the theorists are correct, the tourists could not be further from the truth.  Siberia is 17,800km north west from New Zealand. And  it boasts not only an artistic impression but the actual entrance.

Forget about Virign Galactic lets wait for Sir Richard Branson’s next entrepreneurial venture Virgin Gastronomic, taking the people with too much money for the once-in-a-lifetime experience into the rectum and lower intestines of the earth.

Sounds a bit shitty to me.

I want to put forward a new theory Perhaps earth is , in reality, a giant egg. Earthquakes and volcanoes and tsunamis are nothing more the result of the unborn foetus moving inside the shell. This hole is the first real break in the shell where what ever creature the planet has been incubating for millions of years is ready to hatch into the wider universe.

An elephant’s gestation is 95 weeks. Imagine the size of the beast that needs an egg with a diameter of 12,742km and  a gestation period of 4.45million years.

It is more comprehensible to believe the earth just farted.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014World Cup Final Germany v Argentina Live Blog

13 July 2014 10.15pm Join me for the live blog of the 2014 World Cup Final. Well live via my television in Australia thanks to SBS. Game time 5.00am (AEST).

14 July 2014 4.48am The anthems have been sung, if it means anything the German one was a more tuneful song, whilst the Argentinian anthem did song more like a chant sung by football fans during games.

5.00am kick exactly on time, the ultimate in reality TV and they are sticking to time - see that MasterChef and The Voice? They are running to time!

5.02am Free kick to Germany. Mueller is down, and despite the lack of injury is staying down to ensure the free kick. Result? Nothing. Streaming out of defence Argentina have the first shot on goal. Result? Nothing.

5.05am Today's referee Nicola Rizzoli has started the shrugging and waving of his finger, the official language of this year's World Cup. It appears there is no dispute that can not be resolved by shrugging and waving a finger. When the game is over perhaps Rizzoli could sought out the Gaza Strip by waving his finger around a bit.

5.08am Eight minutes into the game and Messi has yet to consume the very being of the SBS commentator, unlike previous games where he was the sole focus regardless of what was occurring on the pitch. According to the commentators he has been omnipresent. This would make hime the Messi-ah. God.

5.12am Back to the game. Germany make a cross towards goal. Klose is in the air for the header. Result? Nothing.

5.14am Free kick Germany. The referee completes his live ground art. Everyone is in position, the Wall are protecting their manhood. The kick, result? Nothing.

5.16am Kramer is down after cracking his head on Garay's shoulder. And he did it without biting, Suarez...just saying.

5.19am I may be a little tired but I think the commentator was just pontificating over which player has golden balls? Apparently there is a trophy for that. Is that what is also represented on the FIFA World Cup Trophy a player in a defensive wall holding his golden balls? I always throughout is was meant to be a football. My mistake.

5.20am Argentina have the first real attempt on goal. One on one with the goal keeper. Result? nothing.

5.23am Neither of the coaches appear ready for a game of football. Argentina's Sabella Alejandro , in his suit is ready for a business meeting. Germany's Loew Joachim, more casual, just in his short is ready for a dinner party or a walk on appearance in Bold and the Beautiful. And neither of them emblazoned with sponsors' logos. Another missed opportunity from the 2014 World Cup Final.

5.28am Yellow Card! Schweinsteiger for clumsy defence. Though the replay shows he barely touched him.

5.30am GOAL! Oh no Higuain of Argentina was off-side. NO GOAL. Result? Nothing.

5.31am  Kramer is off. Bit of a limp. On his way back to his apartment to take food from his neighbour, Seinfeld.

5.32am Lavezzi is down. Tripped. The contact was on his lower shin. He went down holding his knee and face! Must have been a shooting pain. Oh no the whistle is blown for the free kick, and he is miraculously healed. Must have been the hand of the Messi-ah. God.

5.33am  Another yellow card to Germany this time it is Hoewedes. An errant foot to the knee of his opponent.

5.34am Corner Argentina, Result? Nothing.

5.36am  Romero saves a goal. Great diving dave. Sure Germany was off-side but none the less a great save. He is now up and follows the referees lead by showing his annoyance of what occurred by wagging his finger at people.

5.39am Argentina miss another chance. Neuer makes the save but the ball gets away from him for a second shot. Result? Nothing.

5.41am Mueller is not happy, not sure if it is because of the awkward tackle he received or that his injury faking was not rewarded with a free kick. Either way the referee has had to step in and do some close up and personal shoulder shrugging and finger waving to calm him down.

5.43am Germany cross, Kloser is in the square for the header. Result? Nothing.

5.45am  Two minutes of extra time. Germany corner. Result? Another corner. Second corner, Kroos curls it in. Hoewedes makes excellent contact with a flying header. Result? Nothing. The ball hit the post.

5.47am That's half time. 0-0. Nothing. Germany have had 65% of possession and more importantly have 2 players in the scorebook. Albeit with yellow cards. At least they are trying.

6.03am The players are back on the pitch. A substitution by Argentina. And we are away again.

6.05am  Argentina have another great chance for goal. Result? Nothing. Off-side again. I know the off-side rule can be confusing but surely by the time you are playing in the world cup final you know how this quirk of the game works.

6.06am  Messi has a shot on goal. Result? Nothing. Not even God can break the deadlock.

6.10am SBS commentator has just described the German DNA as attacking. Seems historically insensitive.

6.12am The follow up comment is that the German mid-field is "impish" Game of Throne reference? Seems appropriate for a tournament where players have gone down screaming of injuries (that proved to be nothing when the free kick was awarded) like they were extras in the Red Wedding. Yes I am looking at you Arjen Robben.

6.16am Neuer has just taken out  Higuain. Fist on the ball, knee in the ear. Free kick Germany. Why not. The closest we have come to a real injury. Result? Nothing.

6.18am Klose has a shot on goal for Germany. A Header straight in front. Result? Nothing.

6.20am Aguero gets the corner for Argentina. The kick, into the square and result? Nothing. Brazil must be sitting back watching this thinking, at least when we play goals are scored.

6.23am Argentina are in the scorebook. Finally. Mascherano is yellow carded for a crude tackle from behind. If only he was in Game of Thrones, where crude tackles from behind are welcomed by naked buxom wenches.

6.24am The scorebook is open again for Argentina, another yellow card. This time for Aguero. Yellow cards are coming thick and fast like goals against Brazil.

6.27am Messi-ah has been quiet so far. Argentina must be wondering if there really is a God.

6.30am Kroos is getting a bit angry with his opponent. Nothing that can't be fixed by the ref's shrugging and finger waving. Rizzoli, always the international diplomat.

6.33am SBS commentators have a wet dream as God finally takes a shot on goal. Result? Nothing. Another case of premature exclamation. I think I am going to start looking a cats on the internet.

6.37am God again, result? Nothing. My god my god why have you forsaken me? Still no divine intervention.

6.43am Ah cats trying to jump onto things to only misjudge their abilities and end up on the floor. Hilarious. What about the final? Don't worry, nothing happened.

6.47am  Klose is substituted and his 2014 World Cup campaign is over. He scored 2 goals for his country throughout the 2014 tournament. In the final? Nothing.

6.49am  Three minutes of additional time  before we are forced into 30 minutes of extra time. Score a goal, someone, anyone. There are not enough cats playing pianos to get me through another 30 minutes of this. Messi, if ever God was to answer a prayer, please do it now.

6.52am That the end of normal time. Result? Nothing.Back shortly for extra time.

6.57am Beginning of extra time, captains and referee shake hands again. This time without exchanging little flags. My fingers and toes are crossed for anything to happen something. Germany has a shot on goal, Result? Nothing?

7.05am Argentina continue to find ways to not score. Just how big do the goals need to be? Just a little tap over the goalkeeper's head was all that was needed. Instead? Nothing. If this was a game of cricket the commentators would be doing a seagull count.

7.13am Palacio has one hell of a rat's tail. With all of the money he would be earning playing football surely he could afford a good haircut. And that is the end of the first half of extra time. Result? Nothing.

7.17am  So we are into the final 15 minutes of playing time for the World Cup 2014.

7.20am  Schweinsteiger is down with a knock to the face, and it is a real injury with some blood running from a small cut under the eye. The ref takes the offending Argentinian player to one side to wave a finger or two at him. That settles everyone down again.

7.24am Mario Goetze has a shot on goal for Germany, Result. GOOOOOAAAAALLL. Super Mario.  113 minutes into the game and finally someone remembers why they are there. That could be the game.

7.28am Messi has another shot on goal and maintains Argentina's unblemished record, this time putting the goal onto the top of the net.

7.33am Messi-ah has the free kick. This is the time for the foot of God. Can God work in mysterious ways? No. The result? Nothing.

7.36am The whistle has blown and the game is over. After 90 minutes of regular time and 30 minutes  of extra time and Germany win the World Cup for the 4th time 1-0. First European win in South America.

7.51am The Germans are now claiming the spoils of victory, randomly picking women out of the crowd. Laying on the ground and getting the women to sit on their groin. Oh wait these might be wives and girlfriends. That said the groin straddling could wait for the hotel room. or at least the change rooms.

7.54am Joseph Blatter is on the podium to present the tropes and the crowd responds in one voice. A resounding boo.

7.55am Manuel Neuer wins the golden glove trophy - which does look like they have amputated and gold plated Mickey Mouse's hand. It turns out God has golden balls - no wonder Christianity is so popular. The officials receive their medals. Everyone hates the referees, in every code of every sport. They still get a better reception from the crowd than Joseph Blatter did.

7.58am God leads the Argentinians up to receive the losers prize. A medal. They could not walk up to the podium any slower or get off of it any quicker.

8.01am And now for Germany. A hug and a kiss from Angela Merkel and then a medal that looks remarkably similar to the one received by Argentina. All that time and effort and the winners and losers all get the same thing. Except the women. Germany got the women.

8.04am Germany hold up the trophy and start bouncing like Hugh Jackman at an awards show.

Thats it see you in Russia 2018.