Thursday, October 7, 2010

You forgot 'panopticon'

I've been utterly silent lately because I'm writing a lecture and a literature review and editing someone's Masters thesis. But all this homework reminded me suddenly of my undergrad days ... (man, I wish I had a pipe to smoke while I reminisced) ... basically, it reminded how I pretty much three rules for writing a successful (read: passing) essay
  1. Start with a funny story. Always gets the fingers moving, the brain lubricated. Make it funny, wake the tutor up. Throw in a swear or two.
  2. Crack the half-way mark and you're pretty much there. This is where the story comes in. Nothing eats up word limits like a nice long story about some shit you did when you were ten. This 'half-way' mark also works progressively. If you're half-way to half-way, hey! You're practically half-way there! You've broken the back, now you just gotta tear that sucka home. Refer back to that story you started out with you're pretty much almost a third done.
  3. Use the word 'juxtaposed'. This should have been at number one. Once you've managed to slip that baby in, you're reeling in the distinctions and hitting the pub. This also works for 'conflate', 'hegemony', 'ideology' (of course), 'stereotype' (that was in the title of half of the courses I did) and my personal favourite: 'palimpsest'. Always had to look that one up, but it was worth the extra 5% that I normally needed for pulling an all-nighter, sleeping in and missing the 9am hand-in time.


  1. You forgot rule #4: proof reading.
    In your opening paragraph, you missed a word.

    Looking for dictionary now to look up palimpsest.

  2. Huh?

    Now I'm looking for a dictionary to see what this "proof reading" is.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32