What constitutes a real memory?


What we’re gonna do right here is go back, way back, back into time … After 40 years collecting dust, I stumbled on that line (from the 1972 hit song Troglodyte) in the cramped attic of my memories when I started to write this article. The association is obvious because today we’re going back in time to look at the influence of television programs on your memory.

I want you to rummage in your own dusty attic of curiosities to answer this question. Do not Google it. What is your favourite TV show of all time? Dada da-da-da dada – that’s thinking music. This show was your must-see show, the one you cancelled all appointments to watch. Now you would click record on your hard drive. Once you couldn’t miss the show. If anyone in the room had a heart attack during that show, they had to wait for your attention. Some things in life are sacred.

Read more @ The Canberra Times 3 APR 2013: What Constitutes a Real Memory?

In Search of an Aussie Hero

SkippyWhy do we Aussies get so carried away with the word ”hero”? On the one hand, any Aussie, who has won a garish plastic trophy or a middling beribboned medal in, say, the South Poowong Rugby League or the Synchronised Gargling at the Pub Pong Olympics, is a hero, a bloody hero, mate. We don’t care if he does drugs, takes bribes or wins Dickhead of the Day by running around naked with a lit firecracker up his bum; if he wins and gets away with it, he’s a hero, a bloody hero.

On the other hand, what with the droughts, the fires, the flooding rains and being girt by sea and all, we Aussies do need heroes and, thankfully, these men and women turn up at the worst of times and earn their pat on the back. So the job description for the occupation of Aussie Hero ranges from ”drunken yob” to ”risking your life for others”.

Meanwhile, if we had a Heroes Hall of Fame, you would hear the echo of your own footsteps as you walked down a hollow empty hall that boasted three inductees: Don Bradman, Phar Lap and Ned Kelly. Not one of them risked their life for the benefit of mankind or even saved a stray cat from up a gum tree, but they are heroes, mate. We respect our VC winners. But we don’t put them on a pedestal. Name one. So drunken yobs, dickheads, bushrangers, batsmen and a horse are our heroes.

Read more @ The Canberra Times: In Search of an Aussie Hero 

Goodbye Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam PicJulia says so. Politicians insist. Even former prime minister Paul ”you scumbags” Keating claims it’s time for Australia to embrace Asia.
Unfortunately, we’re a little stumped to know how to do this exactly, as so few of them seem to play football or cricket.

Top marks to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, of course. But China is a problem. If only China played cricket, we’d get on like a house on fire. Why can’t Indonesians play more tennis? Why can’t Filipinos play, say, lawn bowls? We Aussies aren’t that fussy. We’ll watch any sport.

Of course, there is a menacing hidden agenda in this Asia push. Before we can throw ourselves wholeheartedly at Asia, we’ll have to take one huge step for Aussie kind and give up the US. Giving up the US will have its plus side. There’ll be fewer wars. Really. Can you imagine Australia announcing all by itself ”Excuse me Iraq, we’re going to invade.”
As for Afghanistan, we can’t even spell it, let alone find it on a map.

Read more @ The Canberra Times 21 Nov 2012: Goodbye Uncle Sam

There Are an Awful Lot of Idiots Out There

Idiots Article-20120925182037598141-620x349Sorry. This hasn’t been planned. I haven’t even thought about it much and, to be honest, I’m quite busy. But the time has come. I can no longer ignore the situation so, with reluctance, I have decided to take on the job of Ruler of the World or, to use my exact title, O Revered Great One, Ruler of the Earth, All Its Dominions, Territories and Subjects, All Its Mountain Ranges, Verdant Lands, Icescapes and Savannas, All oceans, Lakes and Rivers and Fishes of the Seas, All Animals of the Land, Birds of the Sky, and Creepy Crawly Icky Things and Any Other Living or Non-Living Thing Herein Not Specified.

Children. Children. What is to be done? Firstly, any of you currently active in squabbles about YouTube clips and insults to your religion or demands to behead the infidels, pay attention. And, any of you protesting to uphold freedom of speech or currently engaged in acts of drone-warfare against goat herders, please take note. If you believe in one God – of any persuasion – then you must realise, no matter which way you look at this situation, when God in his infinite wisdom made the world, he also made idiots. It may have been an oversight, but there they are.

Read more @ The Canberra Times: There Are an Awful Lot of Idiots Out There

Hissy Fit Nation

That’s it. Right. I’m over it. I’m not putting up with this idiocy anymore. If I have to deal with this nonsense one more time – just ONE more time – I think I might take an axe and smash … no, not an axe. I’ll pepper spray them… look, you can only take so much of this ridiculous, mind-numbing incompetence before you snap. Snap! Just like that!

Damn! That feels good. What’s my problem? Nothing really. Everything, maybe. I was just practising being a Drama Queen. Have you noticed that we Aussies have turned into a nation of hissy-fit throwing Drama Queens? Even if you’re not a main contender, the other 22 million Aussies are up for it. There is always someone on the tellie, in a crowd, in a shop, in a restaurant or in a queue somewhere, who is annoyed, outraged, spitting the dummy, stamping their feet and/or generally getting really pissed off with the service, the government, the universe and everything.

Full Article: Hissy Fit Nation

Anarchists R Us

Happy little campers around the world have set up tent cities or, as in Australia, mini-Global Villages in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street anarchists. Entertaining YouTube clips show a passing parade of blood-smeared zombies, dread-locked jugglers, wide-eyed babies in pushers, sign-totting anarchist nana’s, unshaven rough-necked unionists with megaphones, thin, wispy-bearded, hand-knit-jumper-wearing vegans, red coated trombonists, Che Guevara flags and hand-made protest posters everywhere.

Full Article: Anarchists R Us

Hens Behaving Badly

Weddings. I’ve been to a few: traditional, hippy, Greek (Vows were pledged in Greek then translated. The feminists gasped when they heard the word ‘obey’), Italian (400 guests seated at trestle tables in the local town hall with little boys in suits running and skidding on the polished floor boards), on a farm (with mooing cows. It was more an ‘I moo’ than an ‘I do’.), in a restaurant (my own wedding), at a registry office (The bride was 8 months pregnant and wore black), in a church with Millie the Golden Retriever as a bridesmaid, a B-team wedding (Married the week before, the couple dressed up again for a party with the B-team guests. We got the B-team speeches too!) and more.

Full Article: Hens Behaving Badly

Generation Whinge

‘I’m driving in my car … I turn on the radio … Dada-da-da … something, um … You’re a liar … Da-da. Ooooo! FIRE!’ All right. I’m no Bruce Springstein. I was driving in my car, radio on, and turned off to the world when I heard voices. Natasha Stott Despoja was being interviewed on the ABC. She said she loved hearing people like demographer Bernard Salt explain distinctions between the generations. And I quote. I have to write ‘And I quote’ because I nearly ran off the road when I heard her following statement, so I podcast the interview to check the facts.

Full Article: Generation Whinge

Holy App

You have probably heard about the new blessed iPhone/Smart Phone App called ‘Confession: A Roman Catholic App’. Developed by three young US tech-heads with the blessing of the local church, the App provides a step-by-step guide to confession for Catholics. The age-specific, sin check list includes questions like ‘Did I tattle tale or sulk?’, ‘Am I chaste?’ (That’s a little olde worlde. Young readers will have to Google ‘chaste’. It’s not chased or chaffed.), ‘Have I been guilty of masturbation?’ and  ‘Have I been guilty of a homosexual activity?’ So it’s a user-friendly Sin App for the time-pressed sinner.

Full Article: Holy App

Psycho Oz

Australians all let us freak out

For we are spooked you see;

We’ve a scary land, we don’t understand;

Our home is so creepy. Our land’s red heart is sort of weird

There’s freaking nothing there!

We cling to the coast, a British outpost;

Freak out Australia, yeah!

How is it that yet another national disaster has hit us and we are, yet again, shocked, stunned (like a mullet, I guess), and wandering around in dazed disbelief? What is it about our short-term/long-term memory loss that we have forgotten, willfully or accidentally, that it has all happened before? Is this, perhaps, some form of widespread Aussie Alzheimer’s?

Moreover, what is it about our market-driven, managerial-cliché muttering mentality and our spin-swallowing, nanny-state, needy attitudes today that we think we are in control? Have we learned nothing from inhabiting this wide brown and savage land for 200-plus years or, in some cases, 40,000-plus years? We Aussies are cot cases. Honestly.

Full Article: Psycho Oz