Saturday, 15 September 2007

Politically Correct Comedy

There was an episode on Kath & Kim recently where the foxy ladies waded into the election debate. Brett gets fired from work under the new Workplace Relation laws, and Kath snaps "Bloody Howard!"

I was amused to read a comment from a reader in a newspaper that asked whether comedians knew that everytime they bought into a political debate, they lost half of their potential audience, and therefore they should stay away from it. It was bad stuff. His wife had tried watching Kath & Kim, but after the Howard comment she'd been turned off for good.

It's a pretty hard life out there for comedians. I guess some whiner is going to get there next and tell them that sitcoms which extol the virtue of the rounded happy family turn off all those people who are single or who had unhappy childhoods and don't agree, and that's bad stuff, and really shouldn't be done.

So I tried drafting a POLITICALLY CORRECT SITCOM scene:

Brett: I've just been sacked.

Kath: Bloody .... I mean, not as balanced as I previously would have thought of him before you were sacked, Howard!

Kim: Mum, that's not noice!

Sharon: I'd have to agree with Kim, Mrs D. May I please have one of those low-fat, sugarless muesli cookies that's good for your cholesterol and helps lower your calorie intake and battle obesity, Mrs D.?

Kath: Ok, Sharon.

Brett: Although I was disappointed with my lot I do think that there is a lighter side to this.

Kath: Philosophically speaking I think you may be right. Perhaps I was to harsh in my judgment. Howard may be a son of a female dog but he may also be one of those floaty white things that plays harps in heaven. It's all got to do with perspective, don't you think?

Kim: I think you're right Mum. It's perspective.

Brett: Either way you can't be bitter because as a useful Australian citizen I would have to contribute by finding gainful employment not being a dole bludger.

Sharon: Way to go Brett! Gee, these cookies are good, Mrs D!

Kath: How many have you had, Sharon?

Sharon: Ummmm ....

Kim: Never mind ....

(All put arms together and sing "mateship ... mateship ... mateship" with the sounds of panpipes in the background, and Sharon's chomping)

I would say this is definitely a .... joke.

Monday, 10 September 2007

I guess a case of do as I say, not as I do?

In today's Daily Telegraph:

Don't be selfish:
have kids

Pope's blunt message

Friday, 7 September 2007

Wonka Wisdom

I must say I must be the coolest person ever. Or at least close to.

I just received my Borders Shortlist (sign up at the Borders Book Webpage ) and I found out they were celebrating Roald Dahl's birthday, which is on the 13th September. And you know, that makes for a whole lot more interesting stuff in a newsletter than celebrating APEC.

F'rinstance, they listed four top Dahl books. Matilda, The Twits, The BFG and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. That's great, though I would have a hard time not squeezing in The Witches there too. I can also say I just read Esio Trot recently and I have a great image of tortoises all over a living room that is pretty darn cool.

Then there was the Wonka Quiz.

I got 100%. 10/10. I am officially a Wonka master! Unfortunately I don't win a Golden Ticket but I have my self respect and a huge ego now, even bigger than when I wrote my last post.

I can say I am one of those people who knew what Hair Toffee does and what happened to Prince Pondicherry and which flavour bar the last Golden Ticket was hidden in. I am officially Wonka Wise, Scrumptiously Sage, Chocaliciously, Scrumpliciously Cool!

This day is one I have been waiting for all my life. Joyous!

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Baby Games

Over on TimT's blog he's pining a bit for kids' game shows and giving us the latest rundown on the Einstein Factor for kids.

While there's Australia's Brainiest Kid, and the Einstein Factor For Kids, and It's Academic! (for schoolchildren teams), and Australian Idol for younger people who don't want to be kids and put on so much makeup that they look older than me, I think we're missing out on many of the fine possibilities in reality, game show and TV sport production that could be aimed at children.

What about "I want that Mummy!"

How many little kids have found themselves bitterly disappointed with their families and the parents they've been born to, and been absolutely sure there's been a mix up at the hospital? This is the Perfect Match for Kids. Children behind a door and ask several possible parent couples questions. Can Dexter the Robot pair up who is the more likely Mummy and Daddy for this child? Maybe there WAS a mix up at the hospital! At least they may be going home with a more suitable parent couple ... or at least out on one date with them to test them out ...

Or the Bratz model - "I want THAT, Mummy"

Select the 12 top tantrum tossers in the country, and bring them to a showdown in the local department store or supermarket. Trot them down the aisles and see who can wear down a professional actor, posing as a Mummy, the fastest. Who will give in first - Master Mummy, to the screaming fits for marshmallows and Lego and a baby Ipod? Or the Master Tantrum Tosser to threats of no Wiggles concerts for the next three hundred years ... stay tuned!

Baby Sumo Wrestling

If obesity is such a problem in this country, why not celebrate and take advantage of it rather than hide it and be ashamed of it? Ya know what I'm talking about.

Isle Of Ignoramus

Recently, the International Committee On Citizens And Immigrants came together to discuss a serious matter seriously, not just swap Iced Vovos and sushi recipes.

Previously, citizenship tests had been discussed. Some countries had them, and some hadn't. But many were thinking of taking them on. These included a test of random questions, which could include anything about the food and sporting history of the country to which were the Prime Minister's underpants of choice that day. Some countries accepted you if you got the latter question right, some expelled you if you did. Others included language proficiency tests, criminal history checks, and tests by large highly trained sniffer dogs. This was a matter for contention, as some countries did not think body odour ought to be a factor taken into account in whether you were a worthy citizen. However, an overwhelmingly number believed in it. "If a person stinks, the country sinks," chanted the supporters.

But this seminar, it was found that not only did many applying immigrants fail basic "sample answer" tests for citizenship, but the ones who had been born in a place failed miserably too.

The Australian representatives put forth their side:
While the committee was forced to accept multiple answers for some questions, ("Who is the Opposition Leader of Australia?" Kevin Rudd, Peter Costello, the ABC; "What does the "W." stand for in "John W. Howard"?" Winston, Wanker, Worst PM, "What is Australia's official language?" English, swearing, texting; were all considered acceptable, were some examples) applicants did terribly, and many citizens even worse.

The panel scratched through a bundle of tests who wrote that the Australian of the Year was "really cool - I watch each week - I will audition next year and make my dreams come true and by the way I love you Marcia and I hate Dicko!!!!!!!! xxxxxooooo!!!"

The International Committee showed several humiliatingly similar stories, such as people who had searched for Condoleeza Rice in the grains section of their supermarket.

It was then that it was decided to set up an Isle of Ignoramus. This may take some time as it as realised this may have to be a rather large Isle.

Those who could not show basic knowledge of their homeland would be shipped to Ignoramus - unless they could apply successfully, meeting the standard requirements of a citizenship test, to some other country.

Ignoramians would be supplied with basic water and shelter. It would be a jungle isle, so they could easily pick fruit and hunt for food. There would be some nice yummy cockroaches to eat should they get the urge for something more substantial. They may find nuts and berries, and possibly, if they were lucky, a cocoa bean to sweeten the whole thing up.

Courtesy of the International Committee a library would be set up on Ignoramus. There would be a limited number of books, texts and so forth, on various countries and cultures, but certainly enough information to study and pass a sample answer test, should an Ignoramian wish to improve his or her status in life. It may be necessary to share or fight for such resources, but this would show the will to learn - or the ability for those on Ignoramus to learn civilised ways and negotiate win-win situations.

Twice a year, Ignoramians would be given the opportunity to resit a citizenship test for the country of their choice - if they wish. Should they pass they would be allowed to leave Ignoramus.

The Committee thought the idea a resounding success. Now, the only question remained - where should they put Ignoramus?

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Infuriating bits of technology

A laptop has been frustrating Mr Coffee lately.

Laptops are very good at that. They are very infuriating creatures, because just as you are getting cross, and dancing about the room screaming, "I'm going to kill you if you don't do exactly what I want you to do - now accept this password/load up again!" they remain very composed. They don't react. They don't even blush. They don't say a thing. They just keep waiting for you to get crosser. Unfortunately I fall for that trick a lot and start crying and say things like,

"WHY? WHY? WHY DO THIS TO ME? Say something won't you?" It increases my blood pressure no end and I often end up rattling the computer which doesn't do too well for its functioning.

This is not uncommon. In fact it is VERY COMMON.

There are, perhaps you are unaware, every day people who are dancing about their computers screaming at them, and the computers don't scream back and the people get cross at them for not screaming. On the other hand if they did scream back they'd probably die of a heart attack. So it's kind of like a Catch-22.

Jack Yardley, 27, was dancing about, screaming at his computer, when he could take it no longer.

"If you don't do what I want you to do I will throw you off the flipping Gap!" he screamed.

The computer considered Yardley mildly.

"Insolent beast!" Screeched Yardley. he pressed some more keys. He fiddled with more cables. He turned the computer on and off. Nothing more.

"I can't take this an more!"

Yardley grabbed the laptop, and ran off to the Gap, and with a bloodcurdling scream, he threw himself AND the laptop off it.

It was a first, and the story made headlines.