Halloween Vs Guy Fawkes

Remember, Remember the 5th of November? Once we had Cracker Night. It was banned over 40 years ago in Australia. (Read more here.) No other festival has emerged in the Aussie burbs to excite kids,  promote random outbursts of minor anarchy or foster neighbourhood interaction like Cracker Night except, perhaps, Halloween on 31st October. 

Halloween vs Guy Fawkes

Halloween is not an Aussie tradition. Nor do we celebrate the Hispanic Day of the Dead. The DAY OF THE DEAD to me means election day. Nevertheless, we know all about Halloween. We’ve watched American TV series for yonks. The tradition has dripped into our conscious thoughts like strong brew filter coffee. But we do not celebrate Halloween.

A few midget ghosts and ghouls have knocked on our door over the years. We’ve had to scramble around the house to scratch together some suitable treats including muesli bars and loose change. One time my daughter, then 18 years old, opened the door to three 15 year olds dressed as half-baked and bedraggled jailbait fairies.

‘What do you want?’ my daughter asked,’drugs, booze or cigarettes?’

Many a full moon has risen and ebbed since then and now Halloween has managed a ghoulish foothold in Oz. This year, in one suburb of Melbourne, neighbours left a balloon and instructions in each letter box in the neighbourhood. Willing participants were asked to put the balloon on their letterbox at Halloween so that little trick-or-treaters could knock on their door.

Halloween in OzPhoto Courier Mail

No drugs, booze or cigarettes are involved, but lots of squeals of excitement. And why not? It may not be our tradition, but it gets the kids outdoors and away from their screen-based lives. And, more significantly, it engages the local community.

Halloween for kids in Orlando

Of course, we’d have to make Halloween our own. So bring on the Aussie spooks and Okker skeletons, along with ghosts and ghouls girt by sea because no one can remember the 5th of November.


Last night I was the 2nd speaker in a debate arguing for the affirmative on the topic THANK GOD for AMERICA. Apparently, it was meant to be a  serious debate. My talent packed team lost on points, possibly because – Ooops! – we thought it was a humorous debate but we won over the crowd. Here is my contribution :


Kerry Cue Debate 2

Stage Bomb Prank or Me-Me Porn?

Gen Y (Gen X or Gen Whatever) Outrage! Lumping a vast cross-section of humanity into a vile yet bland stereotype is a form intellectual sloth. Yet, every now and again someone puts their hand up to represent the vilest extremes of their generation.

Yesterday, it was Gen Y Gold Coast citizen Genevieve LaCaze’s turn.

Screen Grab Yahoo sport

Screen Grab Yahoo sport

LaCaze, 25, who by the way came 5th in the steeple chase at the Commonwealth Games, stage bombed Kylie Minogue’s performance at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

 Athlete Genevieve LaCaze invades Kylie Minogue’s Glasgow Games show, The Guardian, 4 AUG 2014.

Some commentators complained that LaCaze would not like it if Kylie ran onto the track while she was competing. This analogy is not even close. How would LaCaze feel if some unknown school kid ran beside her on the track, not only marring her performance but the entire race?

But LaCraze wanted her moment in the media. She told her parents to watch the closing ceremony. Her look-at-me antics have gone viral. This is Me-Me Porn. A Media-hyped Selfie posted to the world.

Why get annoyed? Because we paid for this narcissistic ‘photo op’.

Or, as WAJohns commented on the Guardian website ‘Why is it always an Aussie dickhead?’

Good question.

A bird? A plane? An Ozzie Mozzie Zapper!

My first book was published in 1983 so – add old timers accent – ‘I been ’round this here old place a long time’. The following event is one of the oddest experiences I had in the world of publishing. That is, if you don’t count, being ‘heckled’ by Barbar The Elephant at the Sydeny Writers’ Festival.

superboy     2You may think I’m merely a mild mannered reporter. But, dear reader, I have fought a ‘superhero’ battle. It all began years ago when I wrote a book for kids titled ‘How to save the world before breakfast’. Subtitle ‘A magazine for young superheroes’. To cut a long story super-short, D.C. Comics kindly explained to my little Aussie publisher that they owned the word ‘super heroes’ and we could, to cut through the legal jargon, bugger off.

I immediately imagined the D.C Comics legal team was comprised of escapees from Krypton who, having discovered a loophole in the this-planet-will-explode contract,  had escaped early in rockets and re-established themselves on the planet Legalon producing a race of Super Lawyers who were taking over our Solar System by suing the pants off every creature in the Universe.

Suffice to say, a barrister-type friend who, in his legal regalia in a high-wind did look quite Batmanish, pointed out that D. C. Comics were right. They owned the words ‘super heroes’. It was not a copyright matter. It’s a trademark!!!! So my publisher pulped the first book cover and I changed the subtitle to ‘The hilarious first addition of the Superkids Magazine’. And so the book, which gave advice on ‘How to select the right cape for you’ and ‘How to keep your hair neat in a cyclone’, was eventually published.

Read Full article published Herald Sun 14 JUL 2004 also The Advertiser (SA): A bird. A plane. An Ozzie mozzie zapper


Michael O'Donnell  20th Rein 14th Batt, 1916

Michael O’Donnell
20th Rein 14th Batt, 1916

My Great Uncle MIchael O’Donnell was killed at Bullecourt, France in 1917. This is the story about a young man who was Court Martialed 3 times, held with enemy prisoners and  finally allowed to go to war following a Senate Inquiry.

It is also a story about duty, loyalty and honour and how much we Aussies have changed today.


Michael O'Donnell  Postcard 1911 Remembering 1910 March Melbourne to Bendigo

Michael O’Donnell
Postcard 1911
Remembering 1910 March Melbourne to Bendigo

The sound that distinguishes Anzac Day from others is the bugle call. The solitary call of the Last Post reverberates down the generations as a mournful cry for the loss of war.

In the First World War it was the loss of so many young lives and for what? A toehold on some peninsula, a futile charge into no man’s land? The loss swept into every Australian household. Mothers lost their sons.

Young women lost brothers, boyfriends, lovers, husbands. And for fathers, adding to the pain of loss, was the bitter aftertaste of guilt summarised so succinctly by Rudyard Kipling, who lost his own son in that war:


“If any question why we died/Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

Yet the generation of Australians who served in the First World War had qualities we no longer possess and this is our loss.

Read Full Article here: Echo of the Bugle

Read Edited article published in the herald Sun Anzac Day, 25th April, 2007: Echo of the Bugle

It’s a Long Way to the Top when You’re Getting Old

Rolling Stones Daily Mail UKWith the Rolling Stones recently cancelling their Australian Tour, I was reminded of an article I wrote in 2002 about aging rock stars.

Of course, old rockers should keep on rockin’. Mick Jagger won’t be taking up making bedtrays with matchsticks anytime soon. But Bob Dylan, for instance, can’t go on singing ‘Knock knock knockin’ on Heavens Door’ when half the audience is worried that God may answer. So I rewrote some songs for old rockers with age appropriate lyrics:

Walking the Dog

Rewritten for The Rolling Stones

Granny back

Dressed in black

Silver hair all down her back

Thick hose, bunion toes

She got the pension and she can go


Walking the dog

I’m just a walking the dog

Retirees have time to do it

They’ll show you how to walk the dog

C’mon now C’mon


Rewritten for Ozzy Osborne of Black Sabbath

What you get and what you see

Um..dah..dah..dah…is it me?

Um..dah..dah..um…in vein

Dah..dah..um..dah..dah something. Cocaine?

(What was again it Sharon?)

Published Herald Sun (Groupies! When your 64?) 3 August 2002, The Advertiser (SA). Read full article:It’s a Long Way to the Top when You’re Getting Old

Bimbos 4Eva

To Fiona Connolly,


Yours Magazine

Dear Ms Connolly,

YoursMag Feb 2014You claim your new magazine, Yours, from the Bauer stable (Women’s Weekly and Woman’s Day), is aimed at women in the 50+ demographic.


What does YOURS offer us?

More recipes, more gardening hints, more celebrities????

Bingo the lot!  But wait. These celebrities are old. You wheel out the old standards including Michelle Pfieffer (55), Sharon Stone (55), Nicole Kidman (46), Jerry Hall (57), Olivia Newton-John (65) etc. But it gets worse.

Christie Brinkly 60+ club 1Women’s mags have been pushing the skinny  big-boobed blonde bimbo stereotype since we were 16 years old. Now we’re 60 and you’re still doing it. See ‘Welcome Chiristie Brinkley to the 60+ Club’ (left).


We’re meant to be Bimbos 4Eva.

You seem to forget women 50+ threw out the home & hearth stereotype for women years ago. We burnt our bras. Elbowed our way into the workforce often before equal pay was ratified in Australia (1975). We’ve reared children, which meant for many, post-divorce, supporting ourselves.

Meanwhile, you claim ‘We’ve spent the last year listening to what women like you …… want to know more about …..

Could Yours be aimed at the Geriatric Barbie Demographic?

Could Yours be aimed at the Geriatric Barbie Demographic?

Apparently, we want to know more about Pineapple Chutney, Homeopathy for dogs, Sexual Intelligence, swallowing our anger, loving ourselves and recipes for Date & Walnut Loaf (Could Tuna Casserole be just around the corner?).

Like all women’s mags that chortle the ‘love yourself’ mantra while providing 300 pages of how to change yourself, Yours, offers  makeover tips to flog products such as Immortelle Brightening Moisture Mask. Cost? $82. What do you get for your money? Wrinkles that last forever?

Honestly, if any anti-wrinkle cream actually worked we wouldn’t need the stuff as we’ve been applying this goop for over 40 years.

Or store your makeup brushes. Who needs 12 makeup brushes? Dame Edna?

Or store your makeup brushes. Who needs 12 makeup brushes? Dame Edna?

There are, of course, some lovely articles about some lovely ladies of a certain age, but whoever thought we should make a lovely cutlery roll out of a gingham tea towel should have her eyes stabbed out with a fork. Firstly, we are the generation who can – in varying degrees – sew. Secondly, we were a generation who were, too often, denied an education in useful subjects like maths and physics and taught instead how to embroider a linen tray cloth or cross-stitch a hessian peg bag. We’ve had to fight for the right to be treated as intelligent beings. Don’t mess with us. And finally, how dim-witted do you condescending 30-somethings think we are? If we really needed to take cutlery on a picnic, we’d simply wrap it in the bloody tea towel!!

If, you, Ms Connolly, a 30-something (Crickey) Editor, think you can patronise our generation, forget it. Go burn your booster bra, Ms Connolly. We’ve been through this before.

We’ll define ourselves, thank you very much, as we have at every other stage of our lives. And one more thing, we don’t give a rat’s what you or any other age-group thinks.


Classic Kerry Cue piece on brainless women’s mags : Abracadabra