September 17, 2004

election erection!

If you’re anything like me, and let’s assume that you’re exactly like me, you have ELECTION FEVER! I’m so pumped about this upcoming federal election I’ve had to do some stomach crunches every time I think about putting numbers in boxes. Yesterday I tore a glute after filling in the postcode on an envelope.
As an informed and enthusiastic voter, I feel that my duty this week is to bring you a guide to the major political parties in this election.

I’m super pumped about the Australian Labour Party.
Every since his comrades started force-feeding Mark Latham dangerous amounts Zoloft, he hasn’t fought anyone. However you can tell that if he becomes the Prime Minister, he’s just going to FUCKING EXPLODE in Parliament, just like that guy in Big Trouble In Little China. There’s nothing better than putting a button-down psycho in a high pressure situation. That’s going to kick so many arses.

The Liberals
I’m so psyched about the ALP/Liberal tag team that’s been going on since the 1980s. It’s like if The Undertaker and George ‘The Animal’ Steel were buddies and they pinned the entire WWE, past and present, every few years.
The best thing about the Libs is their pro-death stance. If you think about it, Vietnam was ages ago and the first Gulf War was basically a bunch of guys pushing buttons. Where is the material for highly entertaining vigilante characters, such as every character ever played by Charles Bronson? The way things are going we’re gonna have kick arse heroes for a hundred years.
The real genius is that, under the Libs, basically everyone is a baddy and so each week we have another super villain— tougher, stronger and with a cooler costume than the last. It’s the shiznet!

The Nationals
Have you ever seen Walker: Texas Ranger? That’s loosely based on the adventures of the Nats. Man, those rednecks fucking RULE! They just walk around in their overalls, shooting stuff, protecting their “kin” (which I think means “moonshine”) and solving sibling rivalries with cricket balls. Parliament needs more mullets and moustaches, so I trust you will vote accordingly.

The Democrats
Once I was in a student political meeting and I met a woman who said she was a Democrat. I offered her a lolly and she took it. I turned around to give one to a communist and then when I turned back she was gone. Then I found her purse where she had been sitting so I took it back to the address on her driver’s license. Her dad said she had died in a car crash fifteen years earlier and the same scary ghost thing happens during every federal election.
More ghosts in Parliament!

The Greens
Greens are the ninjas of parliamentary politics. They should be renamed ‘Silent Fury Clan’ or something. They’re like, “Oh, you want to cut down this old tree? Heeeeya!” Then there are fifty people chained to it with another hundred taking on steroid amped cops, just like when Monkey Magic pulled out his chest hair and blew on it (a technique Bob Brown has been trying to perfect for years [nudge, nudge]).
For those of you who think that the kick arse factor of the Greens is pathetically low, let me remind you that Dr. Bob Brown once had the COMPLETE SHIT beaten out of him with a tyre iron by some lumber jacks and to this day he just stares down the barrel of a camera and says, “Bring it on— I’m Bob, fool.”

playing in my headphones

Sitting In My Car — Slick Rick
Starship Trooper — Ozi Batla
Kiss — Prince
Camel Toe — Fannypack
Laura — Scissor Sisters
Notorious Trick — Go Home Productions
Cold Hard Bitch — Jet
Several Times Defined — Gold Chains

September 10, 2004

my dream date with helen

That interview with a Job Network Provider I talked about a couple of entries ago had a very strange outcome.
As is my usual tactic, I cancelled the appointment saying that I had some temporary work. I got a stern call back from Helen saying that I hadn't gone to an appointment in nine months (oops) and that if I didn't go that day they would cut off my payments.
So I rescheduled for 4 o'clock that afternoon. I turned up half an hour early, hoping to catch her in a busy period and so lessoning her apparent resolve to make my life miserable.
I was surprised to find Helen was actually quite nice. At first she had confused me with someone else, and asked me what it was like to "taxi my mother across the state". I thought this was some snide metaphor so I snapped back, "What the hell does that mean?" In other words, I was preparing to play the psycho crim. The she realised I was somone else.
She explained that there was limited space in the office and that we'd have to go to her desk. I was immediately struck by how disorganised she was, so I decided to quickly revert to "sincere job seeker" mode and overwhelm her with my initiative (aka "fibs and fabrications").
I showed her a bunch of stuff that I had written that was published recently and told her I was going to Sydney to do work experience and look for jobs. She was very impressed by this.
To cut the story short, she got me out of doing Work for the Dole in the medium term and said she'd just call me every few weeks to see how I was going.
Fuck me, this was the latest chapter in an absolute dream run I've been having with Centrelink lately. The last two times I've handed in my form, there has been no-one else waiting in line. I went straight to the desk, handed my form over, it was stamped immediately and I was sent on my way. I was literally in and out in less than one minute.

September 06, 2004

"it's window time"

I'm up late writing. About an hour ago, I heard something over my already loud headphones. There was a guy trying to kick down my neighbour's door. I figured if he succeeded I'd run downstairs then. I took some notes of what he was saying and then some of the questions asked by the cops when they inevitably arrived.

Corey Feldman
Why would anyone open the door to someone saying they're going to kill them?
"Open the fuckin' door or I'll kill ya!"
"You're fucking dead! Aaarghhhhhh! Dead!"
"(Silence)...It's window time!"
[cop] "What's the problem?" [guy] "He touched my sister the fuckin' dog. (Crying) I'm gonna kill him. (Wailing for ages in a disturbing high pitch)"
[guy to cop] "I swear man, I'm not on drugs." [cop]"How much choof have you had today?"
"I just need to go home."

Death by stereo!
[songs I'm listening to this week]
Notorious Trick - Go Home Productions.
Swan Lake - Mike Ladd.
I'm Seein' Robots - Kool Kieth
Kings Lead Hat & Executioner of Love - The Dirtbombs.
I'm Good - Blaque.
Triple Trouble - The Beastie Boys.

September 02, 2004

preparing for work

Life on the dole was going along swimmingly until I got a letter from Centrelink informing me that they had arranged an interview for me. My first thoughts were ‘hopefully it will be with someone of the calibre of Sulu from Star Trek’ but then I remembered that interviewing superstars was what I do for The Brag, being consistently humiliated and undertaking pointless busy work was what I do for Centrelink. Given my writing style, it’s understandable how I could confuse the two. The word “interview” in Welfarese translates roughly into “jump through hoops or we’ll cut off your payments, you piece of shit fuckface.”
At Centrelink’s request, this week I will formulate my employment goals and prepare strategies for my interview, which I will share with you.

Part One: Employment Goals.
Lead singer of The Dirtbombs.
After hearing their song ‘Underdog,’ I decided that when I grow up I want to be Mick Collins from The Dirtbombs.
I spent an afternoon practising looking cool with sunglasses on and striking the most awesome poses in all of rock’n’roll. I feel that

sad clown painting
my success in this area of “rocking out” means I’m in with a shot should the job of being Mick from The Dirtbombs ever become vacant.
Sad Clown Model.
The main problem with this goal is my lack of surplus capital. I own neither a comically small dog nor festive clown attire, but when I put my mind to it I can look extremely dejected. I figure I can do some sort of TAFE course by using the Training Credits I received by participating in constructive Work for the Dole programmes such as ‘Comic Power’ (where we were supposed to make an inspiration comic about being on the dole. We didn’t.).
Maybe I should bypass this whole Centrelink officialdom altogether. Perhaps I should go underground, skill myself up with some martial arts and fight other warriors. In between tournaments I could rescue girlfriends from street gangs, as every kung fu based computer game demonstrates is the reality for modern-day ronin.

Part Two: Interview Strategy.
The Crazy Man.
It’s amazing how reasonable government bureaucrats become once you’ve soiled yourself in public. Another approach is to treat any and all questions asked as a free form word association test.
“So, how does coming in five days a week to write a resume and pretend to look for jobs sound?”
“Potato water fountain baby miner.”
The Sincere Job Hunter.
A line of attack that should yield results is to play the social climber down on his luck. I have found in the past that if you quote Centrelink propaganda, punishments will be less severe.
“Why yes, I feel that career counselling will help me identify my skills and interests and the types of work for which I may be suited.”
The Scary Crim.
This is hard to prepare for and basically can backfire. Then again, the risks taken can pay handsome dividends, such as the custody of your dignity.
Make unusual amounts of eye contact and declare that in the past your income was mostly cash-in-hand, but since the crackdown on heroin importation/ decriminalisation of prostitution/ death of Gangitano, work has dried up. Every time you are asked to do degrading activity, say something vague like, “Oh no. I don’t think that would be a good idea. That would make me very frustrated. That would be unfortunate for all involved.” Then laugh like a hoarse jackal.

for those about to rock

I make it a general policy to never print/publish any of those whacky things that make their way into your inbox, but this is so completely legendary that I felt it should be circulated. For those of you that aren't aware, Scotch College is an elite private school and Jeff Kennett is the reactionary former Premier of Victoria.

This speech was given by Victorian crime writer (and outspoken public education activist) Shane Maloney to an assembly of boys at Scotch College.
He had been invited to conduct some workshops on writing (which he did) and then to speak to the larger gathering (he was given no guidance on what to speak on). Needless to say his speech caused quite a stir, with some of the teachers and boys being very indignant.

Address to Scotch College by Shane Maloney
When I first received an enquiry about my availability to come and talk at this school, I was naturally reluctant. After all, this school has little to recommend it in the eyes of the wider community. Historically it has been simply a machine for the transmission of inherited privilege. (At the height of the Great Depression, for example, when many Australian families hardly knew where their next meal was coming from, Scotch College was the largest private school in the British Empire).
It is a place where boys from middle class backgrounds are sent to improve their material prospects and to reproduce the values of their class, or where the boys of insecure parents are sent to fulfil the distorted ambitions of their fathers.
child in cop uniform
Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?

When I think of Scotch College, what comes immediately to mind are the values and actions of its most prominent Old Boys. I think of the scene I saw on television after Scotch Old Boy Jeff Kennett used his power and his philosophy to close down the only high school in the state specifically dedicated to the education of young Aboriginal people. How students from that school came here and stood at the gates and how your Principal went out and told them to go away.
I think of your old boy, David Kemp, the federal education minister, giving millions of dollars of public money to enhance the marketability of schools like this one justifying his actions with statistics and arguments that he refuses to apply to the needs of the 70% of Australian families who CHOOSE to educate their children in the democratic and equitable environment of government schools.
I think, too, of the newspaper reports of the violent behaviour of some of your students and the quick readiness with which these boys were defended and excused in the courts by their adult class allies. For these reasons, I was initially reluctant to come here. On the other hand, I thought ‘Well, all this is hardly the fault of the current crop of students’.
It is not your fault, after all, that your families decided to institutionalise you. It is not your fault that your mothers and fathers elected to place you in the emotionally distorting and educationally deficient environment of an all-boys school.
It is not your fault that your parents lacked sufficient confidence in your personal maturity and ability to respond to the opportunities offered by government school education, and Australia has one of the best systems in the world, by the way, despite the relentless propaganda to the contrary by the vested interest of the private school lobby. Right now, you are the victims.
Later, of course, society will be your victim, and will suffer from the attitudes with which you are indoctrinated here. But who knows? Just as prison does not always break the spirit of all who are incarcerated there, perhaps you will not turn out to be a burden to society.
Perhaps when you leave here, some of you will even manage to Contribute to the wellbeing of this country.
I certainly hope so.
But just to hedge my bets, I will be donating part of my fee today to the campaign for public education.
Good luck with your studies and thanks for having me.