Beyond the soft palate



Laibach “Smrt za smrt (Death for Death)” Live at Henry Le Boeuf Hall, Bozar, Brussels, February 9 2016.

In collaboration with RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, mixed choir, Slovenian composer Anže Rozman (orchestrated arrangements), and conductor Simon Dvoršak.

If you only listen to one piece of music today, make it this one. You will have no need of anything further. Staggering.



Suzi Quatro with “Warm Leatherette”

You may find yourself wanting to listen to this several times …


Patrick Stewart sings cowboy classics, and wins the internet for 2016  …

You can purchase “P. Stew’s Cowboy Classics” here

All proceeds to International Rescue Committee to assist crisis-affected families in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere around the world.



Jacked up on marijuana, she drops acid and is screamed at by a hot dog.

This is a 1969 educational film from Lockheed Aircraft. The horror. The horror …


Amanda Chantal Bacon, owner of American cult juice bar Moon Juice

“At 8am, I had a warm, morning chi drink on my way to the school drop off, drunk in the car! It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter, and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralisation and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy.”

Wake in Fright Pleasance


Richard Cooke from The Monthly ….

“The federal government says it will consider backing Kevin Rudd for a top United Nations job if the former prime minister puts his hat in the ring.”

That’s not just a top job, but the top job, the full Kofi Annan. And you can feverishly check the date all you like, but that news item is from the Year of Our Lord 2016. It is Julie Bishop offering that support; Labor are on board already. Kevin Rudd has bipartisan backing to become head of the United Nations. The United Nations of Earth.

If you haven’t seen Kevin Rudd, let’s recap. The two-time former prime minster isn’t just an arsehole, he’s the Dalai Lama of arseholes: the kind of arsehole that comes just once in a generation, mystically identified from childhood, then goes on to fulfil the ancient predictions of a sooth-sayer by how showing much of an arsehole he is. One of the difficulties Julia Gillard suffered as prime minister is that she was never allowed to disclose just what a titanic, unworkable arsehole her predecessor was.



From the letters page of “The Age”, July 22nd, 2015 …

The last time I took a helicopter to a Liberal Party function was during the Vietnam War. – Les Anderson, Woodend



Written by Ken Morris and originally posted on the Facebook page of  the Anglican Parish of Gosford

“Hello world.

Nothing about this young man’s [Zaky Mallah] appearance on this show [Q&A] worried me. Nothing about his reply to the Minister worried me.

What did worry me was the assumption that a young angry Muslim man could not be making a good point badly, he could only be making a bad point well.

This assumption was evident immediately from Tony Jones and confirmed by subsequent commentary and media, including an interview with the Muslim Waleed Ali.

You need to take a very stilted view of his amateur communication to derive some sort of threat. Angry with the Minister’s dismissive opportunistic and melodramatic role abuse, Zaky got hot in the head and tried to explain that it is precisely that kind of automatic dismissal without adequate facts, that feeds the radicalisation of some. He stated this in the positive present tense as an actuality. If he had had media training (like everyone on the panel) he might have stated it in the future conditional and with a qualification. (‘It is statements like the Minister has just made that could see radicalised young people make the mistake of going to join ISIL.’)

I have read the transcript of his trial and I find nothing to indicate that he was acquitted of previous matters on a technicality. On the contrary, I find the court’s record of this young man’s life profoundly sad and moving. He was orphaned early and got gradually onto the wrong side of the tracks where young men (of many cultures) develop, through experience of authority, a mistrust and anger for it. He developed a specific attitude towards ASIO and immigration officials when he was denied a VISA to go back to his country of origin to attend a wedding and to meet the woman who had been selected for him according to custom, as his wife. (The custom being that both parties have a right of refusal of each other.) Things went from bad to worse and he served a term in gaol for the threats he made.

I have been meeting young men like this throughout my life as a youth worker. They are angry at their parents, angry at police, angry at teachers and angry at everyone who crosses their path. But their anger is not the sum total of their humanity. It is a symptom of a combination of events, misplaced elements of temperament, unmet attachment needs, immature emotions and the unpredictable lighting of a fuse. And yes, rarely…once in a thousand times, it is a symptom of something I can’t really identify…that looks like pure evil.

What we saw on the program was a tiny microcosm of how I think some radicalisation happens. This damaged angry young Muslim man was confronted with a Christian white power figure who, without access to anything other than, as he admitted, a vague memory (which was wrong), pronounced that young man’s guilt and announced his punishment of banishment from the country Zaky says he loves. In front of a national audience, and without a shred of shame. It was a shocking and appalling display by the Minister.

And so a nation bears witness through the lens of our now-distorted view of people like this young man. We respond as Germans responded to young Jewish men in 1939. We respond through the prism of the lies we have been told and the stereotypes we have been fed. We couldn’t hear his humanity because his Muslim-ness was shouting too loudly at us. To our bent minds when Muslims get angry they don’t speak more truth, they only speak more terrorism.

I am ashamed of this country at the moment. I am ashamed at the (mostly) white, suited, male, middle-class politicians from the LNP/National/Labor coalition who now rule this country with one mind, informed by the bigotry and cruelty that they all fostered in us. I am ashamed that we have become both blind and deaf to fundamental truths. I am ashamed that, in the quest for the populist vote of misinformed xenophobia by ‘stopping the boats’, we have also managed to stop up any remnants of our national spirit of empathy and compassion.

Legislation that by-passes the oversight of the courts to condemn someone on the basis of ‘intelligence’ is wrong, but will be passed because it supports the oligarchy of the powerful on both sides of politics. Intelligence of course, is the same unblemished reliable kind of truth-telling that assured us Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and Dr Muhammad Hanif was a terrorist. Intelligence would be the commodity that completely failed to observe that a man named Man Haron Monis, whose madness and violence was hardly a secret, was still walking the streets…until he took people siege and ended two innocent lives. Intelligence is the raw data for drones carrying death. Intelligence resulted in Guantanamo Bay water-boarding.

It’s lucky I’m a white Christian middle-class male saying this. If I was a young Muslim boy the foot of the ABC and the nation would be down my throat by now.”

I have nothing further to add, beyond “Well said, that man”.


This guy on that guy …

And then there’s this guy …

Once we had Prime Ministers who were men. Now we have a mouse.

A mouse who roars …

Indonesia believes Tony Abbott may be deliberately inflaming tensions between the two countries for political reasons and to allow his government to continue turning back asylum seeker boats …

… Government spokesman Agus Barnas said Mr Abbott’s blunt comments in Davos about sovereignty ”will only worsen the prospects” of trying to normalise relations.

”It may be [that Prime Minister Abbott is deliberately making inflammatory statements] because he’s tied to his campaign promises,” said Mr Agus, the spokesman for co-ordinating security minister Djoko Suyanto.

”Maybe he is also receiving big pressure domestically, but turning back boats is not the answer, because that only benefits one party, namely Australia.”

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s special adviser for political affairs, Daniel Sparringa, agreed Mr Abbott was being deliberately provocative. “He has done more damage than good. Such a pity.””


Happy ‘Straya Day. Might be the last one.


In 1969, ATM’s first came to Australia.

There were, however, a couple of minor restrictions …


Miyoko Shida from the Spanish television program, “Tú Sí Que Vales” (“You Can Do It”).

Prepare to hold your breath …


Via Buzzfeed

Sir Anthony Hopkins sends Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston a letter. The letter has been confirmed genuine by Hopkins’ publicist …

Dear Mister Cranston.

I wanted to write you this email – so I am contacting you through Jeremy Barber – I take it we are both represented by UTA . Great agency.

I’ve just finished a marathon of watching “BREAKING BAD” – from episode one of the First Season – to the last eight episodes of the Sixth Season. (I downloaded the last season on AMAZON) A total of two weeks (addictive) viewing.

I have never watched anything like it. Brilliant!

Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen – ever.

I know there is so much smoke blowing and sickening bullshit in this business, and I’ve sort of lost belief in anything really.

But this work of yours is spectacular – absolutely stunning. What is extraordinary, is the sheer power of everyone in the entire production. What was it? Five or six years in the making? How the producers (yourself being one of them), the writers, directors, cinematographers…. every department – casting etc. managed to keep the discipline and control from beginning to the end is (that over used word) awesome.

From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.

If you ever get a chance to – would you pass on my admiration to everyone – Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Aaron Paul, Betsy Brandt, R.J. Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Steven Michael Quezada – everyone – everyone gave master classes of performance … The list is endless.

Thank you. That kind of work/artistry is rare, and when, once in a while, it occurs, as in this epic work, it restores confidence.

You and all the cast are the best actors I’ve ever seen.

That may sound like a good lung full of smoke blowing. But it is not. It’s almost midnight out here in Malibu, and I felt compelled to write this email.

Congratulations and my deepest respect. You are truly a great, great actor.

Best regards

Tony Hopkins.

Can’t argue with that.


Malala Yousafzai with Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show”

16 astonishing minutes with an extraordinary 16 year old.


Appending this article from MacroBusiness on the “Rise of the bullshit job” is this comment

Gunnamatta says: August 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Its all bullshit when you think about it.

I came out of the Federal court years ago with another young lawyer and we looked at each other and said ‘this is all bullshit isnt it?’

He did the honorable thing and took off into 50 acres of Tarkine Wildrness chowing down on mung beans for twenty years. I just opted for different bullshit.

I ditched law for industrial relations and sorting out agreements and intractable issues for some of the largest employers around. The issues that invariably drew the most heat were the ones I had earmarked as ‘bullshit’ and it didnt matter whether it was the Union side or management side there was always loads of ‘bullshit’ in the equation. Chat with line managers and most often they wanted to chat about ‘bullshit’ the ordinary mug punters would want to bring up issues too, or union officials, and they were all ‘bullshit’.

More than once I was offered some very good gigs but always held off with a little man in the back of my head saying ‘this is bullshit’

One day after resolving some particularly gnarly issues for one outfit involving a psychologist I shared a beer with him and basically downloaded my thought that it was all ‘bullshit’ – he told me he thought it was nearly all bullshit but that I should drop what I was doing and go and see if there was anything out there I thought wasnt bullshit.

I ended up working in TV business news media and print media (mainly bullshit) in Europe and the mid east and working offside for finance and investment types making sure their bullshit is tailored to the bullshitees (as we used to refer to them).

Eventually I come back to Australia and find a whole society sucking up ‘bullshit’ every time it turns on the TV or radio, opens up a paper. Then I look at politics and think to myself ‘those men (and women) are talking bullshit’

For sure the powers that be have cottoned on to the fact that idle thinking types represent a danger. Their response has been to either make sure the populace is dumbed down or to make sure they are so deeply in hock that they will put up with loads of ‘bullshit’ just to service the debt. Uncle Rupert has cottoned on to the fact that if you spread the ‘bullshit’ far enough then everyone thinks it is normal.

Of course we have bullshit jobs.

Its Bullshit. Bullshit everywhere. Bullshit in the home straight by 8 lengths. Bullshit bowling a marathon spell from the Members and and Bullshit carving up the opposition with hard ball gets in the middle.

Management is bullshit, strategy is bullshit, 95% of the people you will ever meet are bullshit in the context in which you will meet them.

The one thing I will be explaining to my son and daughter is the view it is all bullshit, and why I have bent over backwards to avoid immersing them in it, to give them an out from the bullshit should they want it, in circumstances where they dont have to pay a bullshit ransom to some rent seeking bullshitter who think is they have a right to impose a bullshit tithe on others.

A bullshit free world. That is something to dream about.

I wish I’d written that.


Aaron Paul, aka Jesse Pinkman from “Breaking Bad” on “The Price is Right” from 1998 …

… After watching him bounce down the stairs, I half-expected him to yell, “YEAH, BE-YOTCH!!”


Kate Bush, who turns 55 today, with “Babooshka” from a 1980 German television programme …

Lucky double-bass.


Deborah Harry, who turns 68 today, explains the origins of The Pogo to the Americans …

Lucky pogo stick.


Via GetUp

Meet Sunrise’s ‘panel of experts’ on matters of sexism: Alan Jones, Michael Costa and Kochie.

You really couldn’t make this stuff up.


You could, but nobody would believe you.


Andrew “Whistler’s Motherfucker” Bolt, Australia’s most “controversial” columnist notes the death of Hazel Hawke

“She seems to have been a nice woman:

HAZEL Hawke, who was a popular first lady as the former wife of Labor’s longest serving prime minister Bob Hawke, has died.

Sympathies to her family.”

That’s it. The whole blog post. Not even a link to a formal obituary. Or a photograph.

It’s the mainstream blogger’s equivalent of “meh” or “what-ever“.

It’s everything one needs to know (if indeed, one needs to know anything) about Andrew Bolt’s “character”, for lack of a better word …

Proster chamoole.*


*Yiddish: Low-class shithead.


Jeff Bliss, an American student from Duncanville High in Texas, unloads on his “teacher” for being slack …


This young man, I feel, would make quite the brilliant teacher himself. And his delivery is perfect. A little James Franco, a little Crispin Glover.

What’s not to like?

Four stars, Margaret.

On another subject entirely, this piece from former Liberal Party member, Andrew Elder on Tony Abbott, “the bullshitter”, as Elder calls him, is essential reading …

“Tony Abbott is not his own man. There is no link between what he says and what actually happens. You can calibrate your assessment of him on the basis of what he says, and do so fairly. I don’t care how David Marr or Mia Freedman feels about those descriptions, or about the following as it regards their (former?) profession. To come up with unflattering assessments like those about Abbott you need to free yourself of the mushroom-cultivation techniques that pass for media management. Media management only works if people believe what’s in the media, and when content-providers link their words to what actually happens. It breaks still further when you have a man who will generate “wall-to-wall blah-blah-blah” simply to attract attention. You kill it by refusing to engage.”

Abbott is not just a “bullshitter”, he’s a complete fraud.