Saturday, May 28, 2011

All In Fucken Italics

“He’s a good bloke. Fuck!”

“Not saying he’s not, mate. Just saying he doesn’t know who he is. It’s not a great trait, ya know?”

“‘Doesn’t know who he is.’ You sound like such a pleased cunt when you say that. Just ‘cos you, fucken, found a brand of pants you like - you reckon you’re heaps ‘aware.’”


“You do! You’ve fully got a compendium under your bed with your personal brand guidelines written down... All fucken journal entries, titles all written in italics: ‘Do I use the word “dude” in Tweets?’ ‘Should I commit to never wearing shoes without laces, ever again?’ You’re a toilet, mate. You’re a toilet with a journal about his own personal brand guidelines - and that’s not a great trait. Is it?”

“My voice doesn’t sound like that.”

Friday, April 29, 2011

Trying to write like Stan - Part 2

What Stan’s version of a ‘gym’ is.

Dimly lit. Neat rows of dumbells and brown medicine balls, ascending left to right according to weight. A kettle, but no sink. There is a hand-drawn ‘No Smoking’ sign, and also a full ashtray,

In the toilet, men project browny-yellow arcs onto porcelain. The basin is tiny - the kettle has to go sideways to get under the tap. You can never get it more than half full before it spills. Like a public bar’s gents, there is no mirror.


“Whattta think?” I said. “Thoughts?”
“It was okay.”
“I didn’t like the mirror bit. Describing something by what it’s not - he just wouldn’t do that. You’re trying too hard.”
“So I’m a tryhard?”
“Yeah. You’re a tryhard.”

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Trying to write like Stan - Part 1.

You and Stan aren’t talking about the same ‘gym.’

“Just because certain words mean certain things to you, doesn’t mean it's the same for everyone else. We all lead different lives.

In Melbourne a sauna's a brothel ya know? In Adelaide a pint is only the size of a schooner unless you say 'imperial' - anyway - In Hervey Bay a schooner's a fucken boat. Different things, signifiers.”

He paused to light a cigarette.

“Fucken. If you pissed yourself, I’d say you’d pissed yourself.” He said. “Doesn’t mean Stan'd say it like that.”

I stared at my chewed up thumbnail. “What would Stan say?”

“He’d say that you’d ‘done a piss inside your pants.’”

“Then what would he say?”

“He'd say you're a twit.”

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jesus. I know that guy.

I know Jesus.

He’s from the Northern Beaches. He wears jean-shorts - not cut-offs, proper shorts - and Reef sandals. He mostly hangs with the new-age Christian crowd. We have mutual friends from high school.

Every time I bump into him (once every year or two, usually at a house party) I’m in a group conversation where I’m saying terrible things about people or internet sex tapes or the word ‘cunt.’

He always goes all polite and quiet. I think partly ‘cos he doesn’t have much to add, but also ‘cos he doesn’t want to seem uptight and godly. It’s unfortunate - my funny swears are wasted on him.

He’s a hard person to talk to. I always want to bring up how fucked Everything is, but he doesn’t relate to my cynicism - and I end up having to backpedal. EG:

I saw Rodney last week.
James: Fucken Rodney! How is he? Nice bloke!
Jesus: He's great man! Was really nice to see him.
James: Yeah totally... He’s about 10% evil though, hey.
Jesus: -
James: You don’t see that? He’s way too sincere I reckon. There’s gotta be something wrong with him. Like, a 15 year old girlfriend or something.
Jesus: Um, really?
James: Nah nah, he just has no real backstory. Throws a bit of a ‘moved to Darwin’ vibe, you know?
Jesus: -
James: Like, for example, I wouldn’t be suprised to hear he had, like, fully assaulted someone in the past.
Jesus: You heard that?
James: Nah, I just made that up as an example.
Jesus: Umm, I don’t really-
James: Sorry, forget about it. He’s a really good dude. I’d love to catch up with him soon.
Jesus: Cool...

Different wavelengths I s’pose. Fucken’ Jesus, you know?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Single-minded proposition.

I started working as an advertising creative a little while back. It changes the way you think about things, advertising. The general aim is to reduce messaging to a simple, single-minded idea or proposition.

EG1: “This ute is unbreakable. Even if an animated cow and a bull were having sex in it, it still wouldn’t break!”

EG2: “All low carb beers are for girls. Except this one.

Once you’ve done this successfully, you can pretty much say anything. You can even use a Joanna Newsom song! Often, I forget that the whole world isn’t as single-minded as I’m frequently required to see it.

Here is one of those instances:

So, I was walking to work - past the Mosque on Commonwealth Ave. It was during Ramadan, so there were heaps of Islamic families hovering around. It had a similar buzz to the morning teas that happens after a service at my Nan’s church - except no biscuits or cordial.

I felt smug: ‘Look at me. It’s a lovely day, my pants are rolled up, and I’m genuinely enjoying the cultural diversity that surrounds me!

I crossed the road, and continued into Hyde Park, where, in addition the usual stuff, I noticed a bearded man doing a wee on the base of the War Memorial. My pace slowed as the significance of what I was saw set in.

All of a sudden, I began internally using my Bachelor of Arts:

“Woah - that is VERY unacceptable. Both my grandfather’s fought in that thing. You DON’T piss on the War Memorial.”
“That’s true. But look at the dude - he probably doesn’t even know where he is. After all, he’s got his dick out in public.”
“Is it wrong to sneak a look at his face - to try deducing his a) level sobriety and b) ethnicity? I mean, it’s way harder to condemn people of different circumstances- Shit... I’ve gone and confused myself.”
“He’s almost definitely mentally ill and/or drunk. The situation’s way more sad than anything else. I’d leave it at that.”

Suddenly, a dude walking behind began saying stuff to the urinator: “Fucking disgusting... It’s some raghead c---... The c--- deserves to die.”

This shocked me, as even at a glance, the guy definitely did not appear to be of middle eastern origin. “Wow.” I thought. “What’s worse? Pissing on the War Memorial, or saying that sort of stuff to a person?”

I turned around to see a white male in a suit, saying that stuff into a bluetooth headset.
Relief washed over me. The universe had provided a catalyst.

Single-minded proposition: Don’t wear bluetooth headsets.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Chat Roulette Killed My Blogging Steez

Originally published in full on The Vine
To experience Chat Roulette, click here

So, I keep a Word Doc entitled ‘Writing-WIP.doc’ open at all times. This is where I write my weekly blog posts. During the course of the week I type bits Here and There, usually culminating in a collection of words I deem suitable to post.

However, this week was different. I was introduced to I am not very good at explaining things, but basically, it is a place where you video-chat with strangers/their penises. They are sometimes (often) masturbating.

Every time I started writing some paragraphs, I’d get a nervous feeling in my stomach. I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure this feeling was telling me:

You are about to minimise the Microsoft Word window.
You will open a new Firefox tab.
You will type, then hit enter.
You will spend at least 20 minutes here.
Your feelings will be kind of hurt when dudes give you an annoyed look, then cut you off.
Your most meaningful interaction will be when you exchange corresponding East Coast/West Coast hand gestures with a white guy wearing undies and a motorbike helmet.
You will, briefly, wish that you were a hot chick.

This process was repeated at least twice every night from Tuesday to Friday. Each time I came back to the story I was writing, the weight of the online world had crushed me, I could not continue.


I’m not either na├»ve nor clever enough to have a definitive opinion on the latest(ish) social network ‘thing’ (excluding Buzz, I s’pose). The only thing I’m certain of is the enormous amount of annoying existential outcry/debate that will be generated.

These will be divided into many categories, which I will generalise into two:

1. Earnest bloggers/thinkers who get all academic and web 2.0 about everything.

These people range from a little bit tiresome, to a little bit The Worst. Their articles always have those full-sentence titles with terms like ‘Debunking’ and ‘Unpacking Communities’ and colons and semi-colons and shit.

Alain de Botton will Tweet about how everything is pretty sad but also pretty not sad too. Everyone will agree.

Furious discussion will rage in the New Media until Chat Roulette is deemed mainstream and boring, which is usually the exact day the SMH run a story about it.

2. On the other end of the spectrum is the dismissive ‘get a life’ types. They refuse to do Twitter ‘cos it’s 'just like Facebook statuses' - Chat Roulette doesn't stand a chance.

Them: ‘Why would I want to just look at guy's dicks? It’s disgusting.’

Me: ‘Don’t you find it interesting at all? I mean, like, that you are just connected face-to-face with complete strangers?’

Them: ‘I have A LIFE with ACTUAL FRIENDS, I don’t need to talk to look at some psycho on the internet.’

Me: ‘Do I need to debunk this for you again?’

So in conclusion, all I have really said is that the extreme attitudes to Chat Roulette/anything online at either end of the spectrum are annoying... In hindsight, this is not very insightful.

We know nothing more about Chat Roulette or its role in the zeitgeist than we did at the start of this blog post.

There’s only one thing for certain. I’d rather feel nervous all the time and look at internet dicks than watch Good News Week. I mean, what a bunch of dicks fuckwits, right?

Some Translated Quotes II

Originally published on The Vine
Read the first Translated Quotes

"Stay off our beaches!" Said the Southern Cross tattoo.

"Something with the same effect as your Nan saying 'fingerblast'." Said Judith Lucy.

“A general statement about life that men aged 20-35 will hopefully relate to.” Said the beer brand.

“A general statement about life (Ft. V-neck t-shirts) that men aged 20-35 will hopefully relate to.” Said the low carb beer brand.

“Braggy article, [ad for bad Euro fashion], braggy article.” Said Monocle Magazine.

"A temporary solution to a permanent problem." Said the keys to a brand new Porsche Boxster.

“A band name that is either a single noun or includes a reference to surfing.” Said Pitchfork.

“Poorly researched, swear-y feature about [insert subculture] in [insert developing country].” Said Vice Magazine.

“A string of facts about my life in short, stupid sentences.” Said the sportsperson’s ghostwriter.

“Something boring that may be critically acclaimed.” Said Dave Eggers.

“You’re feeling nostalgic for an Australia you weren’t even alive to see, aren’t you?” Said Eddy Current Suppression Ring.

“I live in Newtown.” Said a greying rockabilly fringe.

“I live in Newtown, with my partner, who is also female.” Said jeans with no back pockets.

These are my favourites from the readers of! (Thanks guys!)

“He's made a lot of peace in a fortnight.” Said the Nobel Prize Committee

"Two completely unrelated words or syllables." Said band names of the 90s.

"Comment aimed at desperately trying to create awareness about ourselves and the umbrage we've taken rather than actually standing up for XYZ cause." Said XYZ Rights Activist Group

"It's really nice to talk to you again, but as soon as my cooler friends show, we're back to ignoring each other again, right?" Said a Cricketer’s Arms regular.

Offensive AND Irrelevant.

Originally published for The Vine

Ever since I started writing in this (somewhat) more public forum, I’ve begun feeling The Pressure. When you go to post something here it basically asks you ‘is this offensive?’ and ‘is this relevant?’

In my previous experience, a good piece of writing combines offensiveness and irrelevance in a way that doesn’t require two seperate questions. A better measure would be to ask ‘will this upset Peter Fitzsimons?’ (I don’t care much for Peter Fitzsimons.).

So the fall out of what I will call ‘The Peter Fitzsimons Debacle,’ is that I have three – perfectly offensive and irrelevant – articles completed, but nothing to post here.

Luckily for me, I carry a dictaphone everywhere I go. This way I can record the conversations I have with friends when I ask, ‘is this offensive and inappropriate?’

Here are a few of these Conversations:

“Did you read the story I wrote for The Vine yet?”

“I did.”


“Well the title was relevant – ‘Farewell Conan.’”

“Yeah, I wanted it to be topical. I was even thinking of putting a picture of Conan O’Brien there, so people would know to click my story.”

“Then why did you write Schapelle Corby fan-fiction again, James?"

"You said 'write what you know.' Don't say crap like that then be all 'oh my God, why would you do that!'"

"There's no such thing as being '200% naked,' by the way."


“I just don’t think you should be putting up stories about you punching pregnant women. It’s a bad look.”

“It’s pregnant WOMAN – singular. And I didn’t actually punch them. I just wanted to.”


“I don’t get it. What about this story is ‘postmodern’?”

“Let me tell you a little something about postmodernism, friend.”


“Postmodernism is like a book. A book that talks about writing itself, and also tells a combination of true things and lies."

"Did you just go to a first year philosophy lecture or something?"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Translated quotes.

"Extremely confrontational and disturbing grab at attention, of which humour is the intended byproduct." Said John Safran.

"Smug smug [Aboriginal word] smug [traditional landowners] smug." Said John Butler.

"Something very funny, for a female." Said Tina Fey.

"RT @myotheraccount: Something funny I said before." Said the self-promoters.

"Remember Merrick & Rosso in like, 99? A bit like that." Said Scott Dooley.

"Another Monday, another public apology for the gross sexual misconduct of others." Said David Gallop.

"Something inspired but obvious in a newly gentrified suburb." Said the (sydney) magazine.

"My own appropriation of Richie Benaud's voice, but with swear words." Said The Twelfth Man.

"Slightly irritating, but infallibly accurate prose, y'all." Said Carles.

"Slightly irritating, and irrelevant prose." Said Sam de Brito.

"A joke in the same realm as 'man's voice raising an octave after he is hit in crotch.'" Said Rove McManus.

"What it was like growing up as a druggy hardcore kid with Catholic guilt, in a way that makes you wish you were there." Said The Hold Steady.

"A series of statements and interviews that make it quite apparent that I don't really 'get me' yet." Said Ruby Rose.

"Cute reference, cute reference, cute reference, cute reference!" Said the bike-riding girls of Surry Hills.

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc sagittis tortor nec est aliquam vitae egestas tellus ornare. Sed tempor justo convallis lacus ornare dictum." Said Andrew G.

"Heaps boring description." Said Tim Winton.

"The same thing I said on Glass House three years ago - made to sound spontaneous by my desperation and visible anxiety." Said Wil Anderson.

"Lifted directly from AAP, but with a fresh spelling mistake of our own." Said SMH online.

"Come hang with me on Sunday, or you will burn for all eternity." Said the new wave of Christian teenagers.

"SEO." Said the earnest social media expert.

"LOL." Said the earnest social media expert.

"A stack of longneck bottles with some ironing boards and crap I found welded all together." Said a Contemporary Artist.

"Lateral humour inside layered meta-narratives, all the while apologising for being so self-conscious of everything that has come before us." Said McSweeneys.

"Something down-to-earth as I casually wander by. Probably around Five-Ways." Said Hugo Weaving.

"(Complete silence since '08)." Said Samantha Brett.

* Did I miss anything? Feel free to add them in the comments.
(This is my first attempt at 'crowd-sourcing content.' I feel a bit weird.)