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Sunday
Sep082013

#AusPol - Federal Election, Australia

For those who voted for "CHANGE" - which of these do you want to change? 960,000 new jobs since 2007, interest rates fallen from 6.75 to 2.75. Those low income earners who deserve a tax break, got it with the raising of the Tax Free Threshold - that's the VERY definition of helping those at the bottom.

Our economy has grown 13% (the US 2%) Inflation contained at 2.4% and a AAA credit rating.

Comprehensive education reform. World envied Disability care and Dental & Mental Health reform - it's like we give a shit about our vulnerable?! Anyone who thinks a price on carbon is a bad thing - you really must go and live in China - just for 6 months or so. The NBN, the abolition of WorkChoices and a minimum wage that American's can only dream of.

That stuff? THAT is the stuff you want to CHANGE? I'm truly asking. Please help me understand...


 

Tuesday
Aug202013

Yes We Can! vs Oh Fuck, Do We Have To?

It is with the utmost dread and ennui I drag myself towards the inevitable upcoming farce...

It's been a topic of morose conversation amongst my friends for the last month or so. Australia's Federal Election is set for Sept 14 Sept 7th (really Kevin the week made SUCH a difference? You petulant dick) 

During the lead up to the 2009 American Presidential Election all hopes rested on the dusky shoulders of a handsome young secret Muslim, who insisted that "yes, we could in fact do that good thing". I was SO excited. Along with most of the eastern and western seaboards of the USA. After eight soul-punching years of George and Barb's youngest mouth-breather throwing his Army toys around the Middle East, everyone so badly wanted to believe the O'Berma chap. His campaign ran for three million years, he trumped Hills (which seemed unthinkable at the start - Hillary for 2016!) and then gloriously and very ceremoniously Barack Hussein was swept into office. The pomp and circumstance played a nice background anthem to the cross-cut shredder Dick Cheney was filing things in to.

The gloss fell off, a couple of years later.

Conversely, here in Australia two years prior to Barry's first go, a fat faced bi-linguist called Kevin (really? Kevin? He's not an unattractive lesbian called, Merle?) said 'I will give my absolute best, I've given it my absolute all. In that spirit I am proud that I am talking about me. I. I. I me and I me, I." He promised to do so, henceforth, in place of John Howard. Eleven long years of a Howard government had made for a stagnant, mucky political pondscape - Kevin won because he wasn't, John. And he promised he was almost certainly 80% algaecide.

The gloss fell off his wagon, REAL fast.

Turns out, Kevin's a bit of a whiney bitch! Rudd became the first Australian Prime Minister to be removed from office by his own party during his first term. Julia Gillard amply took the reins. Giddy up, Ohstraya!

Kevvy took the turn of events, so well. He retreated to the bench and plotted and schemed and connived. He stamped his foot and stuck out his bottom lip, for THREE years. Undermining his own party until he got his way again. Then the shrivelled penis took the oath of office again, in July 2013.

Voting is compulsory in Australia. Compulsory voting means that every eligible Australian citizen (18 years or older) is required by law to enrol and vote. If a person does not vote and is unable to provide a 'valid and sufficient' reason, a penalty is imposed. Incase you were wondering, a 'valid and sufficient' reason does not encompass "Cause he's a dick and he scares the shit out of me."

Normally, it's pretty straight forward. The Liberal (the Libs here are the opposite to the American Liberal) jerk off or the Labor party candidate? But not this year. This year we have a choice betwixt. Tony Abbott, a man who wants to drive us back to a 1950's Westinghouse Utopia. To give you an idea of the mindset - ponder these gems which have clattered from his lips;

* ‘Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.’

*  ‘Bad bosses, like bad fathers and husbands, should be tolerated because they do more good than harm’

*  ‘What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…’

As IF housewives are listening to him anyway?! No, they're much too busy in the kitchen, without shoes on, getting pregnant...

So, obvs from the tip of that iceberg I can't vote for that sprig of donkey feces. Not without sustaining a spectacular crushing skull injury before the poll. Nor can I in ANY conscious vote for the petulant attention whore Rudd, who's only goal is to get his own way. So - what's left por moi?

I'm not voting Green - I'm not voting Sex Party - I'm not voting One Nation although, O.N poster child, Pauline Hanson is Michelle Bachman style nuts - which I normally enjoy in spades! But we're talking about a an actual leader for my birth country. Being a two party preferred system, any off-party votes will count as preferences for one of the above two dick ponies in some way. So, no say I. You damn nosepickers, get off of my lawn!

Husband o mine - the American-Register-To-Vote-If-You-Feel-Compelled (and aren't a minority in some states but that's another story) asks, "if you can draft people for the military why not draft people for parliament?  The honest, smart ones avoid it in the first place."

This is part of the reasons I love this guy. He thinks outside the box. It's genius! No you can't be a politician. Why? Because you WANT to be a politician! 

So, now that Pandora's Box is open - who WOULD I want as Prime Minister?

Armando Iannucci Ok, he's Scottish for a start. And he only wrote The Thick of It & VEEP because these people exist FOR him to parody in the first place. But a VERY sweary PM is something I can totally get behind. Plus, he's prolly touched Chris Morris as least once or twice.

 

 

Magda Szubanski. Funny, smart, out. What's not to love about Lynn Postlethwaite as PM? Very nothing! I said love, I said pet, I said love, Vote 1 Magna!

 

 

 

Ooh, John Clarke! Oooh, that would be nice, wouldn't it? He already knows how to interview like a politician. Plus, funny, plus so smart your brain is a bit embarrassed to be in his orbit. PLUS, lovely! Oh yes, I want this one. Make this happen, someone. Thank you.

 

 

Jack Andraka. Ok so this kid is 15 years old. And he's from Maryland in the US and he oh you know, just developed a new, rapid, and inexpensive method to detect an increase of a protein that indicates the presence of pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer during early stages when there is a higher likelihood of a cure. You know, kid stuff. He's 15. Fiff. Teen. He kinda makes us ALL look bad. If he can work this diligently in the pursuit of something utterly amazing then I don't care if he raises my taxes, let THIS kid be PM.

As Lewis Black* once said, "Politics is an expensive way of making sure all the most questionable people are in one place where we can keep an eye on them."

I'm off to work on my primary school renderings of a comedy dick n balls cause that's what I feel forced to scrawl on my ballot this year. I Shall Be Voting Informal - Vote 1 Donkey.

  

I know, I know, it could be worse. I could be in Egypt. Or Russia. Or Syria. Holy shitsnacks, does that stuff break your heart into a million pieces.  But no, My Suck is the choice between a draconian twit or a simpering narcissist. I guess, I've really got a phat pile of nothing to whinge about after all....

Who'd you fancy to have in charge?

fahey ox

 

*I could be wrong about the Lewis Black attribution. Unlikely but could be, very wrong. 

Monday
May202013

Abercrombie & Bitch - guest blog

Hi there, this time I've been lucky enough (nepotism) to guest blog (not a euphemism) over at the VERY funny, super depressing and waaaaaaaay smarter than here, blog. Why We're Doomed.

 

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO, Mike I've-Got-A-Head-Like-A-Kicked-Ham Jefferies caught my eye.
Click the above links to read about the subject of my ire.

And while you're over there, have a look around WhyWereDoomed. That guy over there who puts it all together, well, let's just say he's priddy and smart enough for marryin'!

Unlike this spectudouche, Mr IGAHLAJKH Jefferies.


Til next time.

fahey, Doomed's 1st wife x


 

Wednesday
May012013

I Win At Having Kids (or I Could Have Been A Lemming Mother)

 

So here's something they don't ever fully prepare you for... the oneupmanship and overacheivingness of the other parents. Wow. It's proper full-on! And my favourite part, insidious and creepy like unchecked arse cancer.

Lemming Mothers I call 'em. All lined up. All ready to fling themselves and their offspring off the cliff if you say your kid can.

It starts EARLY. Like totes early. Like while you're still in hospital trying to come to grips with your swollen milky jugs. "How's he feeding?" she asks, smugly.

"Sitting up using utensils." you lie.

"Sleeping through the night yet?" says Lemming Mum, while she breastfeeds twins, simultaneously.

"He's barely 24 hours old..." you sputter, as you hook up the breast-pump backwards, through your tears.

But she's not listening. She's only asked to lead to her next proclamation.

"Tarquin was sleeping through at nine minutes old." She looks you right in the eye. "We're so blessed." then she changes sides with such prowess you don't even get a glimpse of her gnawed on nipples.

What can you say? "Sleeping through, already eh? Hmmm, I hear the mentally ill sleep a lot too," is what I chose.

Don't worry, they don't hear you. The nurse who's dropped a tray of tiny baby bottles did though. She gives me a thumbs up as I shoved another wilted cabbage leaf in to my nursing bra...

Lemming Mother has moved on to the next flustered bag of hormones. "Hi, how's she feeding?" It goes on. And on. And onnnnnnnnn

Admittedly, I should be used to it by now. My kids are 6 and 4 and the three FULL days of breastfeeding I did with my two are long forgotten (you never forget) mammary memories yet I still find the existence of Mother Lemming, confronting.

Most recently we encountered her when Mo bought home Boris, the Kinder Toy to spend a few nights. Boris arrived in a bag that contained a folder filled with pages documenting the visits he'd had with some of the other kids in Mo's class. What we learned from this exercise is some of Mo's classmate's mothers LOVE to scrapbook. They love it hard and they take it capital S, seriously. Four pages of the creative art of added photos, memorabilia, journaling, and embellishments. To be perfectly frank, Boris'd had the shit art directed out of him! 

 Hilarious B, to whom I am betrothed said I should just slip a blank DVD into the folders pocket to intimidate the next mother. Hilaire! Mo and I settled on a comic strip kind of thing with photos and hilarious prose. Take that, Georgia's unfunny mother with too many different kinds of pinking shears and stamps!

The competitiveness is in full force at sporting events, where you expect it. Football mothers scare the shit out of me and not just because they're toothless and drunk. The tennis coaching fathers who've taken a leaf from Damir Dokic's book and the Laurie Lawrence like enthusiasm poolside during the "just get your face wet without having a meltdown" pre swimming lesson classes is all there. But you know, you expect it there.

My girlfriend confided an hilarious story to me not so long ago about one of these Lemming Mothers in her kid's class. She'd directly asked Cindy*not her real name what level reader her Prep son was on. Cindy*her name doesn't even start with C had been subjected to almost a year of this crazy woman's incessant quest for oneupmanship so she'd refused to engage. "I have no idea?!" "But you must! You must know what level he's on!" Crazy Lady insisted. "Nope, no clue." lied Cindy*she's more a, Tori "It's on the small sticker on the back of the book!" screeched Lemming Woman. "Meh." said my friend. The next day Cindy noticed that Lemming was standing back. Soon, Lemming's child approached Cindy directly. "Hi Harry's mum, what level reader is Harry on?" "Level 14, Ethan. How are you this morning?" She tousled his hair and he ran back to his mother. All was quiet across the playground until Lemming Ma heard from Ethan. She stood upright and spat. "What bullshit, ullshit, ullshit!" she said out loud.  It echoes up here in the hills. 

It's not in the baby books. It's not on the parenting websites but you should know. Forewarned is forearmed and you can have fun with them as Cindy*Cindy IS her real name, you know :-)  and my B have suggested.

Are YOU a Lemming Mother? If not, I bet you know one.

fahey x

Wednesday
Mar272013

MICF ~ How Does One, Do One?

                       

   *This is an updated post that goes out in April. It's Comedy Festival Time.

It's that time of the Gregorian calendar again. That time of year when Melbourne's inner city is awash with Leunig Flags, a higher percentage of talented Street Performers and Desperate People thrusting hard worked for fliers at you. Fliers that you're just going to throw in the bin. Admit it. You horrible, terrible person you.

Every year I hear the same thing. EVERY year I try to shout from the rooftops.

You Guys : "Who do I go see?  There's so much on. Tickets are so expensive, the comics must make an absolute fortune!"

Me : "GO and see TWO local shows - someone you've NEVER heard of for every hardcore, heavily promoted International/National act. And, about the money thing...."

Simon Munnery, Flym-MakkerTo answer the first question, MY TOP PICK is always the same - go see Munnery, even if he's not here, go see Munnery.  Simon Munnery is not for beginners. He's an out there on his own comic, sailing through utterly uncharted waters.  He does it all with one leg in the boat, the other in an elaborate donkey suit, but this is no ordinary donkey - this donkey sells real estate while he turns ordinary household objects in to mineral rich homewares.  Or something WAY better than that. One of the most beautiful reviews of ANY comedy show I've ever read was for Munners. "If you want to see what other comedians will be doing in 5 years, go see Munnery now."  That about sums it up. (can you tell I think he's a bit ace?) 

And I'm deadly serious about the TWO LOCAL SHOW caveat. Which bring us to the money thing... There is a perception that local comedians get paid to put on a little 'skit' (my favourite word for comedy production), go drinking with their buddies all night then sit around enduring endless self congratulating breakfasts in the morning.  Let me hose the untruth off that for you.

Putting on a little skit, for a month takes a LOT of work.  A lot of work and a LOT OF MONEY. You see, the majority of the acts present for MICF are risking their OWN bank accounts, personal lives and sanity. You don't just rock up to the Town Hall in March and put a sticker on the door of the venue you'd like to play in. Although this is a policy I'd like to initiate.

Eddie Pepitone, Solo Show 5th April. (See program)

No, the work starts about October the year before. You fill out your MICF registration and find the $500 you need to register your show.

Let's keep a running tally, shall we?


Registration, $500


This is of course a show you have already written the bones of, at the very least. You need a show title and 60 word synopsis. You need good quality show images.  (I think this guy is the best. James Penlidis) Lets call it a conservative $500 for the shoot, then more to get your stuff Art Directed and on to a poster and printed... but I'm ahead of myself. A great image is going to help. You're not going to get away with that pic of you and your bestie drunk on the beach at Surfers, but professional images which relay the tone of your show. There are going to be HUNDREDS of images/posters vying for spots on lamppost, walls and cafe racks. Most of shows with a much bigger budget than yours so how are you going to stand out? 

*poster costs, assuming you've done most of the art work yourself, or you have a friend who's handy with photoshop/adobe. Let's call it $1,000. P.S., do you know the difference between semi gloss, matte, and universal gloss paper? Do you need A4 A 3 or A1 size posters?  Have you thought about postcards?

Rich Fulcher - Tiny Acts of Rebellion


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 


Now you'll need somewhere to put on your little dog and pony show and unless your Dad's got a barn, you're going to want a centrally located CBD venue. Town Hall venues are prized hubs. Being IN the Town Hall does NOT always translate to ticket sales but you're still going to want to be there. Conservative estimates for the venue and tech - oh yes, you'll need someone to run your lights, sound and whatever else you've skillfully woven into your increasingly elaborate pastiche. Conservative estimates will put that charge at around $1500 a week for one of the smaller 30 - 50 seat venues.  The bigger the room, the more the cost.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 


Dave Callen - The Psychology of LaughterIt's getting a little flop-sweatish now, isn't it? Ooh! Don't forget your Entertainment Liability Insurance. You don't want your confetti cannons going off early and taking out a pensioners eye.  Or your mic stand to fall off the stage and kill a Seeing Eye Dog. Let's guesstimate, $350 (it's been a while and I can't find any receipts of the insurance we've had to buy) but that seems tame.


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350


Advertising! How are you going to let people know your tiny little show is on, in amongst the throngs of Hughsies, the heavily promoted International acts and the locals being produced byToken?  To be honest, you're not. You're going to rely on Word of Mouth but you're still going to buy a little advertising space aren't you? Buying ad space translates to editorial space. (you're buying ad space, the paper are 'giving you' editorial space). A 1/8 page, a 1/4 page, a 1/2 of full page ad?  How much money have you got to burn? You can spend anything from $500 for a tiny corner in something like Beat or InPress for the run or thousands on a Herald Sun 1/2 page. We'll call it a conservative $800 for advertising and flyering - the aforementioned standing outside your venue handing out those precious posters/postcards/flyers you had printed as a way of luring people into your show after they see the show they wanted to see is sold out? You can do that yourself or pay/beg/blackmail someone to do it for you.

Debra Batton, Catherine Magill - She Knows Too Much


Registration, $500
Photography, $500
Printing, $1,000 
Venue & Tech, $6,000 
Insurance, $350
Advertising, $800 


If you want a publicist, you can hire one now. If one has room for your show. It's gonna cost ya. $2,000 is a very conservative estimate.

 

Let's have a closer look at those locals, in particular. How many of them realistically make a living from stand up? If your guess is in the double digits, you're very probably wrong. SO, if you want to put on a show, you're going to need to take time off work. You won't have time to wait tables, or nurse, or be the funny accountant.  You've got some holiday time coming up - best use it. Insert your own lost wages estimate here. $Umpty dollars.

Frank Woodley, Simon Yates - InsideOk, so there are hundreds of shows to choose from. The tickets cost anywhere from $10, Tight Arse Tuesday tix to $45 for (example) Wil Anderson or Judith Lucy & Denise Scott.

Well, you're thinking. Let's shoot at the centre of that range and sell 20 tickets a night, that's $440! See, you guys are raking it in! TicketMaster take half that ticket cost as their fee. What?! Hmm, still $220 a night, where do I sign up! Let's also look at the guesstimated average audience size for a local (unknown quantity) show is on a good night, 10 people. 10. I'm being generous here. It's only going to be 3 or 4 some nights. Have you dampened your trousers yet?

As the MICF website says, "Producing a show involves everything from organising venue hire, marketing and publicity, travel and accommodation, sourcing props and equipment, budgeting, ticketing, obtaining insurance and licences and much more. As part of your registration, the Festival provides information packs and workshops to assist you, but it is up to you to make it happen."

Harley Breen - Some Kind of SomethingMICF is an amazing festival. If not for it, I would not have had 3/4 of the life experience I've had. I would not know who Simon Munnery was. Or Daniel Kitson. I wouldn't giggle every time I heard the words, "Rapper with a baby" (curse you, Rich Fulcher!) I would not have smeared chocolate cake on Adam Richard's head (ok, that probably still would have happened, just not in front of 3000 people) nor would I have laughed so hard at Bill Bailey that I hawked up a lung. I'd also probably not have the sight of a bare chested Sam Simmons smashing taco shells into his pigeon frame burnt into my retinas, nor would I have... ok the rest of that sentence is now redacted. You know why, Festival of 1998...

It's SO important that you get out there and support local acts. They're literally selling their souls for you.  Go see Harley Breen, go see Jennifer Wong. Go see Geraldine Hickey and why not make a night of it and see Wes Snelling and Kate McLennan - their show is held IN a hotel room!  Come on! I know you're probably already planning on seeing Wil Anderson, why wouldn't you? He is brilliant but please, take a chance and see someone you've never even heard of. 

They've got an average of $8,000-$10,000 on the line for you. Can you even imagine doing that for the love of your job? You can't, can you? And don't think, "oh I can just see them in October after all this festival stuff has died down." You can't. Festival is special. Festival is very often the only time of the year you'll see any one of these comedians do a solo show of 1 hours duration, packed to the gills with lights, props and a small Bolivan Lizard (WHAT a show!). Go. What are you waiting for?

fahey xx

(a tiny selection of those acts you really need to squeeze on to your wish-list)

 

Geraldine Hickey - Love Or A Slab Of Fudge

Jennifer Wong is Spineless Kate McLennan & Wes Snelling - Standard Double

Lessons With Luis - Famoucity

Ross Daniels - Graham Clone, The Future Is Incorrect Sam Simmons - Shitty TriviaSlutmonster and Friends