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

ANZAC DAY 2014

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.

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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:

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“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

Snowblind

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,

Editor-in-Chief

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.

Really?

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).

OMG!

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.

Cheers

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

My First Day at School Ever

It is easy to forget how a 5 year old thinks. The world looks totally weird to a 5 year old. In 1997, when this article was first published, I received many letters from junior school teachers saying ‘Soooo true.’

kid going to schoolI wented to school today. ‘Cos I’m big. I have a big bag for school. My mum she put my lunch box in my bag and said ‘ Don’t forget to eat it.’ But I won’t eat my lunch box. That’s silly.

 I have a school hat. It’s big. It goes down to my nose. And I have to put my head back, right back, to see things.  And I falled over my bag. But you’ve gotta have to wear your hat because ‘otherwise you’re dead.’ That’s what my sister says. But the teacher’s they don’t wear hats. They’ll be dead soon.

 When we gotted to school my mum wouldn’t let go of my hand. Ami from my kinder was crying.  But I’m big. I can do big jumps. I can do wrestling. I can punch dragons. I can. My sister. She’s Grade Free. She says ya can’t punch dragons ‘cos they will barbecue you with one breath.  But you can punch dragons. When they’re asleep.

 My school is called St Hello Wishes. And it’s big. It’s more bigger than Africa. But my school hasn’t got lions because they eat people. But teachers think there is lions. Because that’s what the teacher says when you go to school. She says ‘Get in a lion boys and girls.’

Get in a Lion, Kids published Herald Sun (24 Jan 1997) and as The First Day of School, The Advertiser (SA 27 Jan 1997). Read full article: My First Day at School Ever

Also, for kids starting High School see: Sometimes It’s the Class Clown that Performs Well in Life

Oz Day: It’s a Looney Land for Me!

Australia is a scary place. Backpacker murderers, poisonous snakes, killer mozzies, big bloody bats dropping out of the sky, Danni Monogue and bad haircuts. 

From Charming and Colliding Blog

From Charming and Colliding Blog

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It is a cruel, harsh and unforgiving land. So have some respect. This Australia Day look up from your iPhone, turn off the tellie and take those earbuds out of your ears. You cannot afford to turn your back on this country for a minute.

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I love a psycho country

A land of badass plains

Of whacko mountain ranges

Sick droughts and random rains

I love her weird horizons

I love her aggro sea

Her tarty mad bitch manner

The looney land for me!

Pscho Oz published in The Canberra Times 26/1/2011. Read Full article here.