Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

Chris Franklin, where have you been all my life?

January 28, 2012


and “Jack Off Australia”


Final Xmas kitsch

January 7, 2012

The stories we need to tell ourselves (and others) about ourselves…

Australian kitsch

January 5, 2012

Goodbye Granddad

Poor old Granddad’s passed away, cut off in his prime,
He never had a day off crook – gone before his time,
We found him in the dunny, collapsed there on the seat,
A startled look upon his face, his trousers around his feet,
The doctor said his heart was good – fit as any trout,
The Constable he had his say, ‘foul play’ was not ruled out.

There were theories at the inquest of snakebite without trace,
Of redbacks quietly creeping and death from outer space,
No-one had a clue at all – the judge was in some doubt,
When Dad was called to have his say as to how it came about,
‘I reckon I can clear it up,’ said Dad with trembling breath,
‘You see it’s quite a story – but it could explain his death.’

‘This here exploration mob had been looking at our soil,
And they reckoned that our farm was just the place to look for oil.
So they came and put a bore down and said they’d make some trials,
They drilled a hole as deep as hell, they said about three miles!
Well, they never found a trace of oil and off they went, post haste.
But I couldn’t see a hole like that go to flamin’ waste,

So I moved the dunny over it – a real smart move I thought –
I’d never have to dig again – I’d never be ‘caught short’.
The day I moved the dunny, it looked a proper sight,
But I didn’t dream poor Granddad would pass away that night,
Now I reckon what has happened – poor Granddad didn’t know,
The dunny was re-located when that night he had to go.

And you’ll probably be wondering how poor Granddad did his dash–
Well, he always used to hold his breath, Until he heard the splash!!

Australian Citizenship Test – hilarious

August 28, 2011

This is roll around on floor laughing your ass off material, this is…


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Film Review: Crocodile Dundee

August 20, 2011

Watched this for the first time since, well, 1987 or so. What a set of myths it taps into/sprays around!

The Rugged Outback hero, a bit of a conman, but with a core of competence too.  (Most Australians live in towns or cities).

Tarzan, pure of a state of nature, going to the big city where the confusions of race and gender and class don’t baffle him for long. (After the ‘now that’s a knife’ scene, Linda Kowslowski’s character actually references Tarzan)

The Fugitive healer, who teaches a woman What’s Important (and saves her from life with an effete journalist).

That this was such a huge hit says/said something about a) the jokes (which were relatively funny) b) Australians’ need/wish to see themselves as Dundees and c) The wider world’s desire for these kinds of myths, I guess.

Best stuff I ever read on this was by Meaghan Morris, in her wonderful collection “The Pirate’s Fiancee

Citizenship Ceremonies

January 15, 2011

I read this and thought it was funny.

The next step is a citizenship ceremony which I had imagined to be quite an emotional, identity-shaping event until a friend did hers and described a very amateur, polystyrene map of Australia sticky-taped to the wall, and watching Tasmania slowly peel off and fall to the floor as the mayor made his speech. If something similar happens at mine Ill laugh, and everyone else will too, for that is what it means to be Australian – not being too up ourselves, and having a laugh, and not taking things too seriously. And I should really learn the words to Advance Australia Fair, but it seems a lot more Australian to not know them.

From “Who am I?” A zine about identity
Phiona Stanley

Waltzing Materialism

January 7, 2011

I, materialistically, bought a book today, with the stunning title “Waltzing Materialism”. Written by a guy called Jonathan King, it was published in 1978.

Here’s the blurb-
“Here at last is the book that tells Australians who they really are. A controversial insight into our apathetic, greedy, intolerant attitudes which have developed as we scramble madly to make a fast buck and surround ourselves with possessions. Lazy and overweight, we have deluded ourselves that we are hard-working outback heroes.
The myths we have about Australia are here exploded for all time. In their place we have the real Australians characterized by such popular expressions as: I’m all right Jack… I’m getting rich quick… I’m getting my share of it… No worries, mate, all beautifully illustrated.

I will, of course, be reading and reviewing it…

Book Review of Comrades by Dominic Knight

December 29, 2010

“That’s ridiculously naïve, really,” Sunita said, raising her voice. “Haven’t you read Graham Richardson’s book Whatever it Takes? You guarantee your win by any means, that doesn’t involve being arrested, and then, only once you’ve got the gig, do you have the luxury of thinking about principles. If you lose valiantly, you’ll be watching from the sidelines while worse people, with worse principles, pass worse policies. There’s no such thing as heroic defeat in politics, Ed. There’s only defeat.
Page 59

Dominic Knight’s “Comrades” is a very funny and astute novel of student politics that hinges on just the question above – if you do “Whatever it Takes” to get “into Power”, will you still have the desire, ability and credibility to achieve your goals, or will the horse-trading and back-covering and triangulating never stop?

Knight, one of the founders of “the Chaser” sets his comedy at the University of Sydney in the year 1999 (and therefore has to write a disclaimer, since he was there, then). “Ed” is the outgoing Labor President of the Student’s Union. Sunita is the ambitious but-perhaps-not-quite-solid-class-warrior who wants to succeed him. To do this she must first win the Labor nomination, then defeat a strong campaign from “the Trots” and various clever and not-quite-illegal attempts at, well, ballot-rigging from the Liberals.

English or American readers, more used to “First Past the Post” elections, will need to pay close attention to the short section that explains “preferences”, since they are the key driver for most of the plot/characters’ plotting.

Knight keeps the plot moving along nicely, and though sometimes the character are a bit too articulate for plausibility, you do warm to them. Liberals will probably feel that “their” candidates have been thinly drawn or caricatured, but having met one or two, I’d say Knight has fleshed them out more than they deserve!

As befits a campus comedy, all – even the ‘hero’ – are mocked.

After a solid hour’s work, Eddies’s books, papers and clothes were almost tidy, and he’d carefully arranged a few books to look as though they’d been randomly dumped on his bedside table. Noam Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent had been left open to identify him as a committed leftie intellectual, but his well-thumbed copy of Ben Elton’s Stark was also on display to show he had a sense of humour. He’d wanted to include a female writer as well, and had opted for The Beauty Myth, not only to show he was a feminist, but that he wasn’t superficial when it came to women. Despite the presence of Naomi Wolf’s book, though, the entire bedroom was an exercise in appearances.
Page 176

(If I have a quibble with Knight in the entire book, it’s that it was Edward S. Herman and Chomsky wot wrote Manufacturing Consent)

It would be lovely to see Ed become a kind of Adrian Mole figure (though he is by no means that ‘pathetic’). Knight could follow Sue Townsend‘s lead and use his characters as a tool for comment on the State of the Nation. We could see Ed and Sunita/Sunny involved in the machinations around the defenestration of Kevin Rudd, and the horse-trading around the 2010 elections. We could see them neck deep in the Constitutional Emergency of 2013… but, of course, I’m getting ahead of myself…

Keith Windschuttle found still fighting culture war on remote tropical island

December 27, 2010

I love the Chaser, what little I know of it. Dominic Knight’s “Comrades” was great fun too.

Anyhow, there’s an inspired piss-take of Keith Windschuttle and the Culture Wars.

Searchers say they have found controversial historian Keith Windschuttle living on a sparsely populated atoll in the Pacific Ocean, apparently unaware that the culture war has been finished for years. While they are yet to contact the scholar directly, his dishevelled form has been spotted in heavy jungle, and rescue parties have found apparent attempts to construct a rudimentary think-tank. Survival experts say his food supplies have run out, and he may be surviving on pure spite.


Has anyone forwarded this to Mackenzie Wark?