06/05/2016 § 2 Comments
Tuesday night was Budget night. It was about money. Some of that money is the amount of money smokers will have to pay ($40 a pack, folks). But smokers need not get upset. All that tax is a tidy little nest egg to pay for their eventual medical expenses. Call it emphysemasuperannuation.
Critics have labelled it another tax on the poor. It saddens me to think people choose to deprive their children of food and other necessities because they need their smokes. Sometimes, with limited cash, they have to choose between their kids and their addiction. And sometimes the kids come second.
So I think it’s time all smokers (not just the poor ones) gave up.
Easily said. But although it’s not easily done, it can be done. And maybe this hefty hike can be the final motivator.
I say ‘final’ because smokers are being pushed toward giving up all the time. No smoking in restaurants, then pubs, then covered areas, then some outdoor spaces. There’s fewer and fewer places to enjoy a slow, relaxing puff. You duck outside your own home for the sake of family members and the neighbour complains. Pardon the pun but it’s a drag.
And what is the motivator for youngsters to take up smoking? We can’t blame advertising anymore. Is it still cool? When I was at school, people would fit in one of four categories.
- the hard working study types
- the sporty ones
- the artists and musicians
- the cool kids
Groups 3 and 4 were fairly well represented with smokers. But things are different now. Any one person can easily identify with all four groups. And you can be cool without smoking. So why?
I was talking with Zac last Saturday. He asked about this blog and why I haven’t written anything for over two years(!). I really have no excuse. So here’s a pic I took of him.
16/03/2014 § Leave a comment
Just how efficient is Justin Bieber’s self destruct mechanism? Will he be following in the footsteps of Lindsay, Brittany, Amanda et al anytime soon? Or will fame and fortune usher* him through his current difficulties leaving this present phase a mere blip of notoriety on the spray-painted Bieber landscape?
And it is a phase. He may sometimes be a pratt, a misogynist, a wigger and a tool but he’s young. He’s still in the process of consolidating these aspects into a whole which will eventually define his character.
If he implodes first, however, we may never get the chance to care.
Cue transcript from last week’s deposition:
Lawyer: Do you know Usher Raymond IV?
Lawyer: Do you know an individual entertainer by the name of Usher?
Bieber: Yeah. Usher. That sounds familiar.
Lawyer: Isn’t it true that Usher was instrumental in starting your career?
Bieber: I was found on YouTube. I think that I was detrimental to my own career.
Look, I’m more than happy for Biebs to have a long and happy life as an entertainer. All the best, mate. What I object to is this fancy he has for being recognised as a street artist.
It’s not right that, on a mere whim, he should use his fan base and a hungry media to don the artist mantle. Visual artists should have a talent for it. And they should also have something to say. Bieber’s street art shows evidence of neither.
These were done by Biebs and his entourage at the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast last November. I’m sure he thinks they are every bit as good as anything Banksy has done.
The hotel said at first that he did it without permission but, after thinking about it for a day or so, they put on their Facebook page that he asked and they agreed. Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tait, said it was in public view and should go. He offered to send a council graffiti clean-up kit to the hotel for Biebs to pick up. Long after Bieber had left, the battle between Tait and the hotel raged on.
So here is what I want to do. I want to be a Biefitier. I want to take some cans of spray paint and travel the world in the footsteps of the Bieb.
Wherever he has worked his street art magic I would deface and instantly devalue it. I would go to the Gold Coast, to Rio de Janeiro and beyond. And the world would be a better place.
*see what I did there?
06/02/2014 § 4 Comments
Last night ITV drama Broadchurch won Best Drama at the Broadcast Awards. On the back of that story I read that the US is doing a remake, currently filming in Canada.
The series was critically acclaimed and widely popular and there will be a second season. If you haven’t seen it you might be tempted to binge watch and get up to speed. Hold that thought. Allow me to caution you with a spoiler filled summary of the crazy, wacky world that is Broadchurch.
A young boy is murdered and a new detective inspector comes to the sleepy seaside town of Broadchurch to find the killer. He’s a crotchety misanthrope with a bum ticker living under the shadow of past failures. It’s a part written for an overweight man in his sixties played by a skinny 42-year-old. His assistant is a workaholic who doesn’t spend enough time with her family who, whenever someone tells her she’s a workaholic and should spend more time with her family, takes time off and spends it with her family.
Let me just pause for a moment to say that the cast is magnificent. Brilliant performances all round. They are so good that you start watching and the promise that it will be good television is strong.
Maybe we mistake the promise as actual good television. Trust me it’s not. I suspect they blew the budget on actors and compromised on writers.
So who do we meet in the village?
The grieving mother takes a lot of screen time doing sad and not much else. Two characters are having the obligatory affair. A woman finds her long lost son who when told that she is his mum tells her to go away so she does. A nervous priest stays up late at night and we learn that his secret is a pretty good understanding of computers although he doesn’t get to demonstrate it. A man claims to be psychic and have important information but no one believes him which is fine because he isn’t and doesn’t. The townsfolk decide the shop man is a pedophile but he isn’t really.
Now, on to the major plot points.
Cocaine and a large some of money are found in the boy’s bedroom (I kid you not). Could this be much bigger than a simple murder? It’s not. He just happens to have cocaine and a huge some of money in his bedroom.
It is very important that the boy’s skateboard be found but one of the characters keeps it hidden in a cupboard for no reason. When she eventually hands it in, it offers no clues whatsoever.
Shop man says he saw the boy arguing with the postman. The postman denies it. Who is lying? We never find out because it has nothing to do with anything.
The newspaper journalists with the irrelevant romance do all the detective work and by the end of the series you will find the police have done absolutely nothing to solve the crime.
Eventually the murderer – who could totally have got away with it – calls the police and tells them where he is. They go to get him but he changes his mind and runs away. After a chase (no more than fifty metres worth) our detective inspector has a heart attack and is admitted to hospital. He discharges himself and everyone says he’s crazy but he is determined to crack the case. He doesn’t. The murderer calls again and they go to his house where he confesses and is arrested.
I am hoping season two does away with crime altogether and the characters just sit around eating chips. As for the US version, I expect it to be identical except for two differences. It will be twice as long and all female characters will be played by leggy blondes.
11/09/2013 § 5 Comments
Our newly elected member, Lucy Wicks was at Gosford station today thanking commuters for their votes. Or, in my case, it felt like she had come to gloat.
I could bore you with politics and the campaign and the results and do a big long venty post mortem. But I won’t. I will just offer one observation.
She’s kind of hot.
Let’s see if when our new PM stands up to speak in the lower house she’s sitting behind him for a bit of parliamentary eye-candy.
04/09/2013 § Leave a comment
I was driving along yesterday and the radio played a tune by Roots Manuva. It’s not a new tune but this was the first time I had actually listened to the words and they made me lol. I did, I lolled.
I have put the lyrics at the end of this post for anyone who absolutely must know. Feel free to read. And feel free to stop reading before you reach the end.
I wonder how Mr Manuva’s fans can be fans. Surely, a teenage kid knows they can do better. Even without Roots’ online rhyming dictionary of choice they could do better.
In years to come, the grandchildren of Roots Manuva fans will ask why this generation didn’t have any poets. The old ones will hang their heads, gaze at their slippered feet and say: “We did. We just didn’t listen to them.”
Guns, bitches, hoes, crack
Death and disease, and a baseball bat
STDs that have no name
Down at the clinic with a face fulla shame
Russian Roulette with a naked flame
Dangerously slow but in the fast lane
A big nose bleed and a bag of cocaine
Just got the news about the tumour in my brain
Just don’t care so we sniff it all the same
Caught my best friend sleepin’ with my girlfriend, Jane
Now I’m thinkin’ of a way to get them slain
Assassins for hire, they shall get paid
Two-G, Three-G, whatever it costs
None of those fools shoulda got me crossed
I’m just about ready for some treacherous thing
Hand grenade on the plane looks another Dunblane
Mass murderin’, brains on the floor
You’re dead ’cause I said you shouldn’t live no more
You done and made me lose my cool
Where’s my tool? Who’s the bigger fool?
Road rage, pavement rage, all kind of rage
You’ll be lucky if you get to see some old age
Every other day’s a good day to die
Best be careful, if you’s love your life
You don’t know nothin’, you don’t see nothin’
You don’t be nothin’, you don’t do nothin’
But we all got to be something and somebody
But everybody here can’t be that rich
You know the saying’: ‘life’s a bitch’
I got my finger on the trigger with a nervous twitch
Keep your mouth shut, help me dig this ditch
Don’t you be a stupid bitch
I took a blunt knife and cut a piece of my heart
That’s my sacrifice, my wayward device
It sound mad though, my self-mutilation like
Doctor Foster and his very first patient
The gods ain’t happy ’cause man is praisin’ himself
Plannin’ to get to heaven with that earthly wealth
Blood money, grudge money, nobody budge money
Mass futility, souls on the guillotine
Meantime I unravel, callin’ Jimmy Saville
Come fix my epitomy I’m bitterly the bitterness
15/04/2013 § 2 Comments
Lost Roxy posters were put up around my local area about five months ago. Why are they still there? Are Roxy’s owners hopeful or just lazy?
I hope they don’t leave the task to some local council worker. Taking down these posters would be a good way to acknowledge and accept that Roxy’s not coming back. Closure.
I remember driving past one of these posters in late December and my daughter said: “I don’t know whether to feel sad for Roxy’s owners or happy for the kid who’s getting her for Christmas.”