Sunday, August 31, 2008

On Bribie Island if someone is wearing a company-issued name tag it is perfectly acceptable to call them by their first name every day for over a month without ever introducing yourself.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Forewarmed forearms.

By now all three of you will have noticed that Kath of Blurb from the 'Burbs has been working on the blogging equivalent of a full-length marathon and is nearing completion. With barely a stumble and never a missed beat, she has been taking us on a heroic personal journey: Appreciative August. One post for every day of August aimed at appreciating the things in her life which deserve the high accolade of a full-length blog about them written by her of the words and cocoa. From family members to geographic locations, the good times, the hard and the silver linings she swiped from the bad like a tread-mill tramping thief in the night, Kath has conquered them all. And these were no Ninja-style concentrated blogettes, every day found us with a new in-depth essay on the massive and the mundane. By my ummahhstimation there's at least 30,000 words there - all focused toward a single goal: the improvement of writing via the difficult route of not making snide remarks about things she's seen in the media.
Kath, I take my hat off to you. Well done.

You have inspired me.

Kind of.

In the opposite direction.

This isn't a piss-take, but next month on Writing has been declared Single Sentence September. I will be posting every day, Kath-style. One sentence. And one sentence only. Per day. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that my sentences can turn into paragraphs, so there will no lack of content, but I'm also aiming for "interesting".
How? Wait and see.
What? I said: wait and see.
Why? Will you just shut up already?
Where? Over there, behind those sheds. Count to a hundred and we'll come and get you. But no peeking!

You have been warmed.

Update: Please go and read the final post for Appreciative August. It all makes sense.

GTH - Adam Y takes the points and the smiles for merely referencing that racist little WB frog doin' the dance that ruined the unknown building worker. 10 points to The Other other Sam if he starts his own blog - it breaks my little heart to see all those carefully hotlinked names going to waste every post. I had never even heard of 'Tales from Fat Tulip's Garden' until Moify showed it to me during a Youtube nostalgia binge.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thing a thong!

This song isn’t one of my favourites. It isn’t by a favourite band, it doesn’t ever feature on my favourite playlists, my iTunes playcount tells me that before tonight, I’ve never listened to it all the way through ...

To find out what song I’m talking about, please visit where I’ve been asked to write the weekly rave about a special song. Which obviously doesn’t seem that special from the above description, but trust me, I pull it back in fine style.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Child Abuse

Those of you following my birthday invitations will be aware that I am staring at thirty like an SBS cooking show: interesting, slightly unfamiliar and inevitable. But I know some sick sick child abuse when I see it. Watch this video.

Fkn sik bra!
Or, as one of the esteemed Youtube commenters put it: "... dat is prpr sick! fck da queen m8!!!!!" (katiomou)

No, actually. It's not prpr sick. It's neither sick, dope, jiggy, mad, def, fat, phat, tight, stylin' nor "kewl". It is, as another, more astute Youtuber, Windowpenis, put it: "
Blatant fake. The vidya's pretty convincing, but the description on the site tries way too hard and can't be anything other than some goatee'd viral marketing prick trying desperately to relate to the yoof of today."

Kingtag is a single page site containing the above video, two screen shots and a short textspeak proclamation:
"wnt 2 c da queen but she waznt @ her crib. dun dis 4 da $$$ check on dis 2 graf dis film tag n hit buck pal n tagged it up prpr. nunaya can tuch KT!!!! i iz getin a G 4 dis shit!!!!"
To give your index finger 3 seconds more of respite from the onset of RSI-induced arthritis later in life from mouse clicking, I'll spoil it for you by telling you that the "dis" "King Tag" refers to is the MySpace page for "One of the COOLEST films of the summer!", The Wackness.
The movie itself is nothing to speak of. Watch the preview below. Or don't add to their view count and read on.

The ingredients can be found in the front of The Great Big Book of Movies For Idiots. Turn to the "American Tweenagers" section, skim through the section on Exploiting The Insecurities Inherent in Every Childhood for Financial Gain, find the recipe for Coming of Age Story and follow the simple recipe:

1. Traditionally cool setting - New York. (Los Angeles is also acceptable). Young people need to feel that the "cool" place they are being shown is definitely that in order protect themselves from true individualism and unpredictable consumer patterns.
New York has an established history of individualism and "cool" attached to it and therefore is a safe plot investment.
2. Urban (read: de-blackified black) activity - graffiti. Co-opting black culture from trends begun in black ghettos in the '60s, '70s and '80s is necessary to ensure again that your young, mostly white audience feels as though it experiencing "cool" without actually having to endure the upheavals and danger associated with the free-thinking and antiestablishment self-expression of hip-hip, graffiti, rap, breaking, skateboarding etc. To this end, black culture has been carefully re-named "urban" in order to include white teenagers and their pocket money. Use the word "urban" as often as possible.
3. Unknown young male actor carefully chosen for resemblance to current day's heartthrobs' style - Emo. Ensure that this actor is sexy without being sexual, straight and adept at urban activities (see above). Under no circumstances may he possess any identifying markers of minority groups (Central and South Americans, Asians, homosexuals, Jews, Eastern Europeans, etc). Nervous teenagers need to be reassured that they are identifying with someone who may play an outcast, but who will never truly be one.
4. Adult behaving differently to play mentor - Ben Kingsley, smoking bongs. Preferably a British actor, male, white, etc. 10% more interested in the sex-life of the main male character than would be appropriate for an unrelated older male. Have them engage in "young" and "cool" activities (drug use, above-mentioned "urban" activities, etc). Never a father-figure, always a teacher.
5. Utterly stylish young girls in leading female roles must never be allowed to star in anything ever again. - Young female audience members can see changing styles from film to film (and consume them accordingly) but without the low-fiscal-returns of static role models and identifiable actors.Young male audience members experience the vicarious thrill of watching sexually attractive females on screen without having to relate to or be challenged by these females (who they are threatened by in real life). Keeping young males from identifying with females as more than objects will result in poor fiscal returns and negative outcomes for the multi-trillion dollar Industries of Attraction and Extended Boyhood. Men interested in and committing themselves to deeper relationships with women spend less on attracting those women (from cologne to clothes to cars) and also less on items which replace the company of women (electronica, cars, collectables, etc).
6. Spray liberally with essence stolen directly from indie youth films which have done well recently - The oddball retro modern realism of films like Juno and Napoleon Dynamite will buff out the sheen of a well-designed marketing campaign and provide a filter for the consumer-driven messages.
7. Blend. Ensure that main character experiences love and second base. Screen. - Avoid controversy in the film, but ape it in the marketing, both direct and viral. Remember to use the word "urban"

There is nothing wrong with making a movie, squealing "urban" at every opportunity and completely expunging black people from the narrative so that nervous white American teenagers will spend their money on it. To paraphrase Bill Hicks, we will all be paying a higher psychic price, but the world needs shitty films too. Even just as an example of what is but should never be.
My problem is with the casual child abuse of marketing. When marketing is done well, it's like John Howard: still evil, but you can at least learn from it and how to resist it. When it's done like this, it's like a flasher. One minute you're wondering why that pale-skinned fellow is wearing a coat on a nice day like this and the next you're wishing you'd never asked.
Viral marketing has become as ubiquitous and pointless as junk mail. I first saw the above video on The Age website, for crying out loud. "Graffiti artist appears to tag Buckingham Palace". The Age video didn't work, so I hit Youtube, wondering what these young film makers were up to, genuinely hoping that it was a wind up for a film, instead of a dirty, yucky viral marketing campaign designed to expose young people to child pornography before they're old enough to recognise that their own tools of self-expression were being used against them to take their money.
I was disappointed.
The whole carton of caboodle, from the nose-blow-by-numbers movie to its inherent racism to the MySpace page to the textspeaking King Tag plugging for the graffiti competition which amounts to nothing more than free advertising for the film, stinks like a room full of people with marketing degrees whiteboarding things they've heard and read about "young people" in order to design a product which bring in the maximum bottom line.
It's ascusting.

GTH - River takes it away with the unbelievably astute observation about how long it takes to get a decent latte out of the machine when I'm pushing the buttons. Jolly good show.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What a blast!

As you can imagine, I am an absolute bastard to work with. I never just do my job and smile politely. I'm always up to something strange and disconcerting: making an odd face, lying, breaking stuff,* doing a half-arsed job, teaching new employees to do half-arsed jobs and saying all manner of creative, artisticky things to cure the three Panadeine boredom of performing menial tasks that I'm convinced monkeys could be trained to perform if people didn't mind risking the odd louse in their latte.

If you are reading this and don't work with me, here's a slice of life around Franzy, Baristero Extraordinaire:

I use a lot of chocolate powder. We use it to make hot chocolates and we sprinkle it over cappuccinos. It is atomically fine, does not obey gravity and consequently, gets everywhere. If you were thinking "in between the clean cups and on the milk bottles", you were right. If you were thinking "down every moist orifice a person possesses", you were more right. Have a biscuit. I know the biscuit looks just like the spent coffee grounds from the group handle, but you'll notice that I've put it on a little plate with whipped cream on top and cinnamon sugar all around. It's coffee flavour. Try it!
Anyway, because of This Generation's Asbestos, frequently I am to be found, crouching behind the counter, tissue wrapped over finger, attempting to expunge the
chunky, chocolaty build-ups from my nose. This exchange is recorded verbatim.

Chef: What are you doin'? Havin' a cry, mate?
Me: No, man. I'm picking a winner. It feels like I've got a skateboard up my nose, grommet and all! (sniffs)
Superviser: What's he doing?
Me: It's massive! (sniffs again) Jeez, it's like a loose storm shutter! Bang bang bang!
New girl: Yuck.
Me (Blows. Examines.): Oh no.
Superviser: What?
Me: So sad.
Chef: What?
Me: He didn't make it. Poor little bugger.
(shows tissue) Still born.
New girl: (wide-eyed silence).
Me: I should have had that abortion when I had the chance.
Superviser: Franzy ...
Me: Oh god, it's got a little spine and rudimentary organs and everything. I'm calling him Steven. (To New Girl) What's the date?
New Girl: (Too traumatised to talk)
Me: What's the date?
Superviser: August twenty-first.
Me: Not any more it's not.
Chef: Why?
Me: Today ... is Steven's Day. (sniffs, sheds a tear). Do you want to hold him? Just for a moment?
New Girl shakes her head.
You've got coffees up.
Me: Guess I'd better wash my hands then ...

Just yesterday I lifted a garbage bag full of coffee grounds only to have it split open and spray everywhere because I was spinning the bag around to make a tie at the top. Just before closing. On the supervisor's last night. And the day before that I dropped four wine bottles on myself.

GTH - Points to Adam_Y and The Ninj for "hairless pygmy-foot" and "400m Thunderbird Impression". This GTH actually had an extremely tenuous link to my old birthday invitation which should probably see Adam take the gold in the tie-break, but because I'm an Australian judge, I'm just going to mess things up for all the colonial powers out there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A comment on Audrey's abortion post

I've been reading Audrey's excellent blogs on abortion and women's rights and the massive fuckbags who congregate around the abortion debate like gravid blowflies over a dentist's chair, dropping nascent maggots into your open mouth while your nerve-endings get drilled.
I find it pretty difficult to become too upset about these foolish fools, partly because abortion isn't a controversial issue for me, but mostly because women like Audrey and Colleen Hartland are already out there, fighting the good fight with more heart and information than I'll ever have.

But one aspect of the pro-choice camp gives me pause every time I hear it. Not until it was articulated by Audrey, an then reiterated by a commenter, Lycanthrope, on Audrey's latest post, that I figured out what troubles me about the whole debate.

"We men will never know the dread of unwanted pregnancy, nor the confusion or gut wrenching decisions surrounding the choice of whether to terminate the pregnancy or not."

True, we don't, and never will, have the physical experience of unwanted pregnancy (and, by all accounts, will never want to either). But I think men do have a huge fear of unwanted p
regnancy in our sexual partners, precisely because the decision is out of our hands.
Once a sexual partner (one-night-stand or loved wife) announces she is pregnant we have two outcomes and two choices from each.

1. She decides to terminate the pregnancy. The man's two options are:
A. Relief. He didn't want to be a father at that stage in his life and he's glad the woman made the right decision for herself and for him too.
B. Grief. He believes abortion is wrong wrong wrong. He ruins his own life and perhaps the woman's with guilt and rage. No way would he have offered to raise the child himself, but he will never again be able to stand by his heartfelt beliefs about abortion, women's bodies, sexuality, life and religion ever again because he helped kill a child.

2. She decides to keep the baby. This is where it becomes interesting. The man's two options are:
A. Terror. He doesn't want to be a father. He wants no part of the life he helped create and because of this he is either going to honour his minimal legal obligation of financial support for the next 18 years or become a slimy criminal, dodging responsibility and any semblance of true manhood for the rest of the child's life. He will have to get used to the fact that someone who could and should love him as their dad will probably either outright despise him or at least feel troubled about his existence and maybe relationships in general for their entire lives.

B. Resignation. He tries his hardest to be a good father - supportive, caring, attentive and present. But it's not how he pictured it, especially if his relationship with the woman doesn't last. He always wanted any offspring he had having two loving parents who were there for them; not one who wanted them, despite the feelings of the other, who didn't, but made the best of it anyway because he didn't have a choice.

Those are a man's options for an unwanted pregnancy when contraception fails.

I'm not attempting to make a case for letting men have a say in abortions.
I will never be convinced that abortion is anything other than the woman's choice alone.
I'd just like to think out the man's side of the abortion story, because how are we to be men if we don't talk with and
understand women? Lots of the pain listed above could have been avoided if the man had talked with the woman before having sex, because if a man is to have any self-respect he will take responsibility.

And now, to lighten the mood somewhat, or completely ruin it all together, an old favourite from the slightly-misleadingly-titled Sinfest.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bigfoot: BUSTED

I'm sure you've all been paying extremely close attention to the latest unfolding saga of Bigfoot. Famed Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi claims to have in his possession a dead bigfoot and is holding it in a freezer. The creature is said to have stood 7 feet and 7 inches.
This was my first clue.
I am a bigfoot believe
r. I enjoy the idea that there are many amazing and interesting things hiding under rocks, in basements and behind magazine racks that humans are yet to discover. I'm sure 327 will have some kind of science-based problem with this, but he's travelling the werld right now and so right of reply is probably playing second fiddle to right of passage at this time.
Anyway, this bigfoot smells wrong to me. No, not from here. The "undisclosed location" isn't on the island (although it probably could be).
My second clue came when the DNA tests came through. One of the samples was 96% opossum and the other was human. Ringing any bells yet, people?
Three days before the DNA test news broke, another, less-remarkable, sadder event occurred: the world's tallest woman,
Sandy Allen, passed away at age 53.
She was 7 feet and 7 inches tall.
She was a human.
She may or may not have been wearing opossum fur at the time, but those grave-robbing bigfoot hunters would have gotten it somewhere.

GTH - This was actually just my hand of fury scorching the Royal Brisbane from the face of the earth. I know they save lives but how reasonable are you supposed to be after five days straight of "I'll put a note on your chart and there will be someone here in the morning. In the mean time, just try to hold on ..."
Points go to Kath and Ninja for their amusing stories and to River for creating a new meaning for the picture. No points to Other Sam for playing around with the URLs too much. Maybe it's time you started your own blog dude ...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

You know you're on Bribie Island when ... (No. 3)

... getting hospital treatment for eczema is an all-weekend merry-go-round.

Comparisons: Adelaide vs Bribie Island

Fully-operational day-time outpatient dermatology clinic specialising in eczema and psoriasis. Check in at 8am. Check out at 3pm, home in time for tea and biscuits. Experienced staff, etc.

Bribie Island: Hour-long drive down to the Royal Brisbane Hospital on a Friday afternoon after being told that the best chance of securing the state's single dermatology bed (yes! One!) is to be admitted via the emergency department and weasel in from there. Wait in emergency department breathing in that sterile fug of boredom, depression and pain, scratching your skin off, while every type human being limps in with a sore foot and gets called up. Immediately. No waiting. At least half of whom seem to have your first name so that when they call out you get hopeful for about three tenths of a second. No liquids because the drink machines have been inexplicably switched off. As the evening wears on, the dregs of the Ekka start waddling in. 'Got pissed, fell down'ers start taking up the few seats with their showbags and over-sized plush toys.
Finally get an emergency short-stay bed, four hours after arriving. Walk past literally dozens of empty beds on the way to an empty ward. Restrain yourself from asking why the fuck we couldn't have had one of those beds three hours ago. Have your prescription medication taken from you without question by nursing staff. Get uneasy night's sleep while husband drives home.
Visited by husband next day and the two of you manage to convince everybody that they should probably give the prescription meds back.
Pay $45 for four days of "free to air" television to pass the time in between refusing the "food" and running eczema-care tutorials for nursing staff until Monday when all the dermatology consultants return from golf.

Did you spot the difference?

Been watching the Olympics? Have I got an amazing Olympic fact for you. Inspired and infected by Blue Milk's excellent post "
White babies saving the world, one nappy at a time", I've started watching a lot of other ads for that kind of assumption. No, I haven't even been watching The Gruen Transfer because we don't get Channel Two. Anyway, I digress. Olympic fact:

Did you know that middle-class white women are the only reason we play sports as children?

I'm sure that if you looked into it, they probably would be a driving factor behind a lot of Australian Olympic medals, but does this ad make anyone else roll their eyes and stomach linings? Where are the dads? Where are the kids who aren't too re
tarded to make their own fruit smoothies at 4am? Where are the coloured people? And when that clumsy buttface bumps his own breakfast-making mother aside while she's preparing his breakfast, why the fuck doesn't she grab him by the scruff of the neck, pull his ear off and chuck that in with the team's fresh geggies? A smile too much for an over-grown, over-indulged penis in a leotard? Let's see how hard you row with a pair of tongs up your tights.

I suspect this commercial has a lot to answer for where modern feminism is concerned. As far as I can read it, all of these mothers are the unsung heroes. However, they are heroes because of the things they are doing (preparing meals, playing taxi, putting up with insolent children) and definitely not because of the things they aren't (forging careers, sleeping in while male parent does the driving, teaching junior how to prepare their own meals, doling out some lessons in manners, actually winning medals themselves, etc). As far as Coles is concerned, women are there to cook the meals, drive the car, get trampled on and clap about it. None of the women in this film are depicted even talking. ie. "Jesus H. Christ, Charlene, it's fucking freezing out here! Let's go an get a coffee and a paper and come back when the girls have finished training."
No, according to Coles, acquiescent motherhood is the highest possible peak of achievement a woman can reach, and the only one.


In other news ... I have removed all references to my place of work (hereafter known as "CC") after a man came in on one of my days off mentioning this blog. Didn't know the guy, didn't want to. Went home, googled, deleted, prayed. Their are still a few cached pages around, but they don't return as high a search ranking as previously. I will ask all commenters to refrain from mentioning the CC by its fully searchable name from now on. Thanks.

GTH - Points go to Neil for the mental image of Mavis the Masked Midget going through or garbage and to Ninja for a) referencing The Wombats so stylishly and b) having a kid. New GTH rule: Have a kid, get a point. From now on. No retrospective children allowed.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Even those homicidal reality show contestants had heard it

This is what I wore today on our scheduled appointment with the high priestesses of skin (dermatologists) at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. This isn't a post about Mele's Medical Mayhem. This is about ... well ... The Juxtapositional Nature of Elitist Humour in an Australian Regional Setting (see Adam? The Flowfield Unity affects all!). And snobbery.

The difference between The Island and the Royal Brisbane Hospital is that on Bribie, everyone just reads the shirt and continues staring
blankly ahead. At the Royal Brisbane, people stare, frown, double-take, even smile. The lady at the newsagent who sold me our copies of New Weekly and Australian Top Gear drew the ire of her boss for cackling so loudly.
"No happiness at work," grunted her superior, in semi-seriousness.
"But it's! You see! The llama! And the little picture!"
hooted the young lady before releasing a satisfied sigh. "Ahh ... it's just funny to me on so many levels ... that these people ... they just ... they just don't appreciate ..."

I know that there have already been a couple of posts that point towards two increasingly obvious facts:
1) Bribie Island is a cultural wasteland, populated by gentle, white folk whose whole lives are shaped by bland food and commercial television.
2) Mele and I are massive toff-nosed, chin-in-the-air, holier-than-though, elitist snobs and living on the island has thrown this endearing little foible into sharp relief.
Everything is groan-worthy, if not sneertastic in its drollery.

The two-screen, tin-shed cinema, the adorable Bribie Twin, is little more than a creche for the elderly with its infuriating policy of "Nothing Over M 15, Nothing Later Than 7pm".
The pub food is all prepared from the same recipe book: "Deep Frying on a Budget".
There are no decent book stores within cycling distance (the one book store deals mostly in gardening, new age and war).
There are no ethnic restaurants anywhere. Indian Brothers doesn't count because the proprietors appear to be neither Indian, nor brothers. The Chinese restaurants definitely do not count because the Chinese food here is so bad it peels little splinters from your very soul. I had it once. The lemon chicken was like a deep-fried thong covered in fluorescent yellow treacle. Never again.
The fish is all off.
The monthly markets all sell detective novels and carefully-archived lever-arch files of thirty-year-old Grass Roots magazines (sorry, Mum, I would have bought it and mailed it to you, but I was already too deeply into the role of Bad Husband - refusing Mele a house plant by citing the pre-eminence of edible versus decorative household greenery on our weekly budget).
Everybody smokes all over their kids. Even the unborn ones. No one bats an eye-lid at the dozens of heavily pregnant women buying cigarettes, smoking cigarettes, giving cigarettes and lighters to their surprisingly-dexterous-for-sufferers-of-foetal-nicotine-poisoning offspring to hold while they waddle into the supermarket to buy more cigarettes.
The local IGA doesn't stock mustard. They will sell a pregnant woman three packs of Holiday 50s, but I can't get anything spicy to put on my luncheon meat.
As my boss at The Club declared on a recent slow Saturday night: "This is a bloody hick-town, isn't it?"
I bitterly agreed.

That said, bear in mind that these are the ginned-up musings of a middle-class humanities post-grad student who has never lived outside a capital city or experienced anything other than privilege, love and luck for his entire life. All hardships have been overcome, all heartbreaks have been educational, all worst moments are slowly being converted into cash. I even order lattes with nary shudder nor shame.
I know the snobbishness and colonial sniggering will undoubtedly continue ("I say, Mele! Look! That one's using a fork!"), but I was a little surprised recently when one of my work-mates hadn't heard of post-punk rockers, Joy Division. No, don't nip off to Wikipedia just yet, bear with me.
Before I go on, I have an important question to ask of you, the reader. You. Reading this sentence right now. I'm asking you:
Have YOU heard of Joy Division? Think carefully. Yes or no.
Got your answer?
Now click on these blue words and journey to the very bottom of this page where I keep all the links and histories that you've probably never even seen before because I like this blog to read like a wide book, rather than an easy-to-scan blog. Silly me. I'll change it soon enough.
Now VOTE. I'll wait for you.

Back? Great.
I want to see how well-known they really are. I assumed that everybody had at least heard of them or were familiar with their most popular song 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'. It's even included on The CC's blandtacular musak CD. But no one, in a staff of at least ten people ranging in age from 16 to 46, had heard of the band or could identify my off-key, Kermit-The-Frog-on-cream-chargers warble version of Love Will Tear Us Apart.

Be honest now. If you've never heard of Joy Division, but are familiar with Love Will Tear Us Apart, I will count that as a "yes". If you have no idea what the fuck I am banging on about, even after clicking on the sample, then you are a "no".


And, speaking of culture, here is a little ditty for you along the lines of 'Bananaphone'. If you have heard 'Sorta Dunno Nuthin' before, but haven't heard 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' you are a very confused personality with many questionable priorities. Call your mother. She is worried. Either that, or stop calling her so much, she needs her personal space.

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