Universum Student Test

Hey guys!

I don’t often advertise on this particular blog, but this is important.

Universum, a major company which works alongside organisations from around the world has recently unveiled their annual survey for university students to undertake. By completing the ‘Wet Feet Career Test’, students, who are uncertain of their future career paths, will be able to know their career profile and discover which jobs are right for them.

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In my spare time I am working as a Student Ambassador for the Australian survey. I believe this is an important endeavor because in the coming year, many university students may not be able to find themselves a job. Making the right career choice can be one of the hardest decisions, and this survey will assist students in finding the career that is right for them.

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For university students in Australia, the survey can be undertaken here: http://unisurv.co/1010auss14

I wish you the best of luck.

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What is the Australian writing scene like today? Is there a bright future ahead of it? Or is its future shrouded in eternal darkness?

 

‘There has never been a better time to become involved in the writing industry in Australia.’

Those were the words that were once said to me by a lecturer at university back in 2011. Now, the comment made by this particular educational professional was very broad and did not take into account many existing factors. The comment did not make any reference to what genres or styles are at present most acceptably chosen by publishers. The comment also did not make any reference to the self-publishing industry.

Writing in general is also not the most economically powerful field in this country either. Less than five known Australian authors are involved in writing alone. All of the others have additional jobs, the likes of teaching and editing because they are unable to earn as much wealth from texts alone as they can from undertaking additional occupations.

Fact: In the past year, more books by self-published authors were sold in Australia than books published by professional publishing organisations. This statistic alone makes clear that there is considerable strain on publishers from self-published authors who are generating popular texts that the general public wish to read.

You can almost imagine that all those publishers who rejected manuscripts which have gone on to be self-published are shaking their heads in frustration in regards to all of the money they could have made from such writers.

Book establishments in Australia are drying up faster than our water catchments, but is that any reason to rationalise why the publishing industry has become so incredibly difficult to enter into? With the sudden expansion of e-readers and other like devices, you would imagine that publishing industries would be more willing to accept writers because of sites the likes of Amazon and Google that are making a fortune selling texts online. If people were having difficulty attempting to procure hard copies of texts, the simple and easy way to acquire these texts online should be having the opposite reaction than what it apparently is in Australia.

Moreover, the comment stipulated at the beginning of this post also did not take into account the factor that writers who have never been published find it incredibly difficult to have their first manuscript accepted. Publishers in general are unwilling to take risks on writers they do not know. Very few publishers accept work from unsolicited writers, many wishing for a literary agent to submit the work on the behalf of the individual writer. Literary agents have a significant amount of pull in the industry, and their general appreciation of one’s work holds significant merit in the industry.

Of course, just because you submit a manuscript to a literary agent does not instantly mean that your chances of being published automatically change for the better. Initially, one must enquire as to whether or not the literary agency wishes to receive their manuscript. If yes, in most cases they will only wish to receive a small portion. Then, upon reading what they received, if they like the piece they will then ask for the full manuscript, and if they like that, then and only then will the agency begin going through the process of looking for suitable publishers. Of course, it is then up to the publisher as to whether or not your text is successfully published – quite a fair few ‘ifs.’

On top of this, if you wish to acquire the help of a literary agent, it is best to consult them before you send your manuscripts to publishers. If you send your work to all of the publishing houses you can find, then consult a literary agent after you have been rejected by every publishing organisation available to you, then the literary agents will have no luck in helping you. Solicited work or not, publishing houses will not accept work they have previously rejected.

Today, Text Publishing, Sleepers and Puffin are three of only a few publishers willing to accept unsolicited work.

On top of this, there are only a few variants of work that publishers are often willing to consider. I was told back in 2010 that Sci-Fi and Fantasy are two of the greatest genres that one can write about because they can be broadcast to a large amount of people globally. That may be a fact, but most Australian publishers are interested only in contemporary fiction. In layman’s terms (I initially didn’t know what ‘contemporary fiction’ was), fiction that is set in the current time, basically 2013 to around 1960, bare maximum.

Science Fiction and Fantasy is very rarely looked upon with excitement by Australian publishers, and only a limited few literary agents are willing to accept such genres.

Additionally, short stories are also negatively viewed by the industry. In university, I was told how short stories are always going to be popular because unlike a novel that can take up to and over a week to complete, a short story can be read on a plane or a train ride, or even whilst waiting for a class, and can be completed in that short time frame which makes them very edible for readers wishing to digest some entertainment.

Apparently, neither the universities nor the publishing houses are in communication with one another, else lecturers and tutors would be explaining to their students something completely different than what they are currently telling them.

Unfortunately for me, it seems that I am one of those writers that decided to commit to the two styles of writing that are most unaccepted in Australia – short stories and science fiction. Even poetry is looked down upon like poison.

‘Very hard times in the (writing) industry full stop, but for short stories it’s a very dark time’ – those are the words used by a literary agent I contacted not a week ago when enquiring about a certain project of mine.

According to Text Publishing, and I am assuming this is the same for a majority of publishing houses in Australia, in the past they have had considerable trouble attempting to market short story collections and anthologies of poetry to the general public.

What I find most unappreciative in the publishing sector is that these rules on genres and styles only apply to unpublished writers. As soon as you have successfully had a text published, no longer do these rules regulate what you can have published. One example is the well known Australian author Andy Griffiths, who in 2010 had another short story collection published by Pan McMillan. Funnily enough though, Pan was expressly telling people on their sites and in their articles that they were no longer accepting short story collections. What they should be saying is this; we will not accept short story collections from anyone, unless you are a published writer and a known quantity in the industry. This double standard is unfathomably annoying and downright appalling for those of us wishing to become a part of the industry.

This would no doubt explain why self-publishing has become increasingly more popular over the last ten years. Now, I have nothing against self-publishing. In fact, everyday I think I am one step closer to just giving up on big publishing houses altogether and going at it on my own like a majority of other authors have.

However, I always enjoyed the idea of being picked up by a major publisher because of the advantageous benefits that would come from their publishing houses; they have access to PR professionals and marketers to help sell your text to a wide portion of the general public; the name of the publisher holds considerable merit; additionally, I always believed that one could garner more attention with a published text, or at least acquire more attention faster than if one were to go down the self-published track.

On top of this there are the editors who can professionally proof your work and make sure there are fewer errors. There are errors in every single book, but one might imagine there are fewer in a text published by a major publishing house. I myself may have in the past worked as an editor, yet even I do not have complete faith that I could find every spelling and grammatical error in my piece.

I guess at the end of the day it comes down to what one feels is most beneficial – if you self publish then you are in full control. You do indeed become published, but not in the stereotypical; sense of the word. Also, you are in control of your own promotions and need to put in your own money to have your manuscript published online. If you manage to attract the attention of a major publishing house on the other hand, you do not need to supply a dime, and all of the hard work is done on your behalf. However, at the end of the day, any literary agent will take between 20-30% of your profit when your text is signed to a publisher. The question remains – is being signed to a major publishing house so important that you will pass up the opportunity to self publish? Is being published by a major publisher really all that it is cracked up to be when self-published authors can be just as successful, if not even more so in some circumstances?

What are your opinions?

If you happen to live in Australia, do you agree with what I have written? What are your experiences with major publishing houses and literary agents?

If you happen to live outside Australia, what are your thoughts on the publishing industry in your countries? What are your experiences? Can you compare the publishing industry to Australia’s, or is it entirely different?

Doom3 BFG Edition – is this the Biggest Friggin’ Game in the Doom franchise?

 

Last week in Australia, our shores were graced by the arrival of no, not more ‘boat people’, but by Doom3 BFG Edition, which comes equipped with the original Doom, Doom2, Doom3, the mission pack, Doom3 Resurrection of Evil, and a new campaign consisting of eight levels titled ‘the Lost Mission’.

Doom3 in itself was a terrific action shooter that went out of its way to make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, and boy did it succeed! The high definition reboot of the action classic is graphically sublime, and cannot be faulted in any way with the seemingly stupendous visuals that it throws at you in every frame. The in game movies have been beefed up along with the general gaming experience to fully immerse you within a realm that has been graphically redefined.

The monsters look absolutely terrific, and some, especially the Pinky Demon seem especially grotesque in their appearance.

The sound is in your face, exploding out from the speakers with an unrelenting fury as it envelops everything within the vicinity.

Moreover, the game itself has not been changed, so gamers will be able to expect all that they once endured and suffered at the hands of Hell’s demon spawn to once again suffer some more.

Suffering is the right term though for those of you who think I have lost my mind. Playing the game on Veteran – I had forgotten just how difficult it could be. It is easy though – as long as you don’t get hit by anything. After a couple hits you’ll find your character lying on the ground with his legs and arms in the air, so you need to be extra vigilant whilst exploring the UAC Mars Facility for the enemy can come from everywhere and anywhere.

There is also the fact that id decides to teleport in a demon or too into a room if you fail to leave in an unspecified time frame, or you decide to begin retracing your steps in an attempt to find some health or are looking for the cabinet that wouldn’t open before because you failed to have the right combination.

However, one will not suffer at the hands of the boss monsters. As one will recall, the boss creatures from the Doom games are never that complicated – all you require is ammo – you can never have too much of it. From the original Doom, in which you blasted the Spider Mastermind a couple times with the BFG to make ‘im blow up till now, the bosses of Doom have never offered the worst challenge imaginable, and most of them (minus the guy at the end of Resurrection of Evil, unless you have the strategy down) will be taken out on your first attempt.

The multiplayer experience moreover for those enjoying the game on console is strictly for online multiplayer, so don’t expect to go round fragging your friends in a split screen game.

However, id compensate for this by allowing the original 2 Doom games to come equipped with such a function.

Yes, Doom and Doom2 can be played on all platforms now, which is really impressive, although don’t go expecting the graphics to be any better than they once were. Hailed as the greatest graphics ever conceived back between 1993-95 when the games were originally launched, now they seem rather obtuse in comparison to games of today, but the fun they will provide has not at all been extinguished. What’s more, both the Doom games come equipped with all of the add on packs that were conceived, so for Doom you have all four original terrifying episodes, and for Doom2 you are granted the ‘No Rest for the Wicked’ game as well.

What is a little upsetting for the biggest Doom fans might be the fact that Evilutions (which wasn’t exactly the best Doom game ever) and the Plutonia Experiment (or, as I like to call it, the hardest Doom game ever – people may remember a secret level filled with Cyber Demons!) are not included in this limited edition reboot.

However, as previously mentioned, the multiplayer is capable of allowing gamers who experience BFG Edition on console the ability to either play the campaigns co-operatively or in a death match via split screen. Massive Doom gamers will no doubt remember the fun that Doom multiplayer provided back in the day – I mean, it was what, the first ever game that allowed people this opportunity?! That fun has returned and is exceptional!

It feels incredibly fun to once again blast your enemies away in these original Doom conceptions, although at the same time the music and the sound of all the items respawning is no doubt capable of making your brain turn to juice as you slowly but surely lose your mind.

I guess the only negative feature of the original games is the weapons – the keys to select which one you wish to use are incredibly fiddly and never will you properly get used to them, which becomes especially annoying during a massive fire fight. If that’s not enough, not all of the weapons are in the order they once were on PC all those years ago – you would expect the Super Shotgun to come after the Shotgun? Nope, it comes in as one of the last weapons.

However, do not let this little addendum cause you dismay; the original games are just as fun as ever before!

Moving back to the Doom3 series, although Doom3 in itself looks fantastic (although once or twice you can see something’s a little off but that happens in all games), when it comes to Doom3 Resurrection of Evil you can clearly see a difference when you start to play – it is as though whoever was involved in rebooting this particular campaign into high definition lost their passion after being involved rebooting its predecessor.

The graphics in game do not look quite as beautiful, and the cinematics – they have not even been changed. These parts of the game, of which there are quite a few mind you, look exactly as they did back in 2005, which isn’t all that bad – but when you compare it to Doom3 you can clearly see the graphical differences and feel a slight ping of disappointment.

Again, when playing Doom3 and its sequel the keys to switch the weapons can be a little annoying, but less so in these particular games than they are in the originals. Upon acquiring the special artefacts found in either game, these can be accessed just by pressing the left button on the D-pad, although it is annoying when the game fails to register your pressing need for the artefacts and so decides against giving them to you – often resulting in a rather unpleasant death.

As for ‘the Lost Mission’ and the eight ‘levels’ of entertainment that such a campaign provides – I’m sorry, but I have to ask – what’s the point? This particular campaign will take you less than two hours to complete on Veteran difficulty, and the supposed ‘levels’ (hence the reason why I put such a word in quotation marks before) are incredibly minuscule – in fact to even call them levels is a downright insult to the levels in the other Doom3 games which are by far larger in size than what you shall experience in this campaign.

In this new campaign you find yourself in the shoes of a member of Bravo team after this small militarian group were attacked by ravenous demons in the Empro Plant. Waking up to find you only have half your health left, if you are anything like me, you begin by thinking ‘what’s the point?’ (as previously stated).

In Doom3 and the sequel, the games both focused on you bringing a stopper to the invasions that had taken over the base. The objective, as you will find later on in the second level, is as follows; a scientist is in need of your assistance. Believing himself to be the only person who has survived the invasion, he needs you to be a good boy and go into what he calls ‘the other realm’ (why can’t he just call it Hell?) and switch off a teleportation system there that is still online and linked to the UAC Mars Facility. Worse still, the demons could use it as a means to travel directly to Earth! Good times!

Much of what you shall find in these eight levels look to be rehashed from the Doom3 experience. Segments in the Empro Plant and the Mars City Underground will leave you with great feelings of déjà vu, and the secret ‘Exis Labs’ that is supposed to be capable of bettering the Delta Complex upon completion looks exactly on several occasions like sections of the Delta Complex that it is supposed to be bettering!

A couple sections in the game are new, including running around, trying to hopelessly find the code to the cabinet with the double barrelled shotgun in it; fighting a couple of the enemies that appeared in the mission pack; the updated looking teleportation units, which look considerably impressive mind you, and at one point using the ‘Grabber’ to send energy from one pylon to another (think Portal, but less challenging).

When you eventually do find yourself in the midst of the ominous ‘other realm’, this I have to say does look very different from previous experiences in the Doom3 games – if anything, it looks a lot like Hell did back in the original Dooms, which classic fans will no doubt be impressed by. The final boss is nothing special though, but the big bastard will have you on your toes on a few occasions, but as long as you run and gun you will eventually prevail with very little injury on your first attempt.

All three campaigns for Doom3 furthermore will take you less than ten hours to complete on Veteran, however, don’t do what I did and play them all one after the other in a row, else you might find that you suddenly become Doom3’d out!

Long story short – you simply must buy Doom3 BFG Edition as to partake in the HD Doom3 campaign. The multiplayer aspect in the original Doom games is an additional reason to add this game to your collection, whilst the rest of the Doom experience seems a lot more like random bits and pieces that will mildly entertain you if you have nothing better to do.

All in all, a quick little appetiser to entice you for Doom4, which is supposed to come out on the 31st of December this year, but who knows? What can be said about id is that their games are always long awaited and very fun, with no bugs to speak of. However, never have they been really good at keeping to their schedules, i.e. Doom3 – meant to come out August 2004, then September and then October, and then eventually came out mid 2004. And don’t even get me started on Rage!

In summary:
8/10

-Doom3 graphics are sublime

-Doom3 cinematics are beautifully articulated

-Doom and Doom2 multiplayer is fun

-Doom and Doom2 graphics remain unchanged

-Doom3 Resurrection of Evil graphics seem less than exceptional in comparison to Doom3

-Doom3 ‘the Lost Mission’ seems pointless and trivial, yet flawlessly presented graphically

-Doom3 multiplayer strictly online

-Switching weapons is a lot like putting a red hot iron down your trousers – it’s a risky business

-Many levels, but rather short in all

The Birds…but this time Mr. Alfred Hitchcock ain’t there to direct ‘em

 

This week I came to one conclusion – a Magpie quickly changes from been a docile, well behaved bird, to been a sex crazed loon.

Last Wednesday I took a walk through the park just outside my house. I saw the male Magpie. The male Magpie saw me. Both myself and the male Magpie saw each other. We greeted each other with insecure nodding of the heads as a bird of nature and a citizen of one country would do.

The Wednesday past of this week was a little different; I saw the male Magpie – and then he flew in my direction in its vain attempt to knock my block off, before proceeding with this strategy several times over before I had officially left the territory the little guy had carved out for himself.

Now, for those of you who are not Australian and are reading this piece thinking ‘what in the blazes is a Magpie?’, allow me to provide to you the answer. The Magpie is a bird, yes, very good description indeed. And now you know – no, I’m joking, allow me to elaborate. Basically, they are beautifully decorated in black and white smooth features and make quite vibrant noises in the mornings as they wake. They are carnivorous, and in the eyes of some are quite hideous, but in the eyes of other’s such as myself are actually really beautiful. Come Spring time however, the male Magpie becomes aggressive. Yes, he is now officially in heat, along with all the ladies, and the blokes what to prove they are awesome by attempting to kill every other life form in the vicinity of the ladies to ensure their dominance over the sectors they choose for themselves. It is for the good part of the entirety of Spring that any beauty that male Magpies once had is all but reduced to nil – they are violent, enraged, sex crazed creatures that will do anything to remove you from their realm.

However, over the past couple of years I personally found a strategy to bypass this violence, which is the reason behind this post – how to prevent been swooped by your local Magpie. Now, this has worked twice for me. It is also incredibly dumb – but it has proven effective. In 2009 and 2010 I used this stagey, In 2011 I simply avoided Mr. Magpie period – which is also a good strategy – but can become quite time consuming.

My way of dealing with Mr. Magpie…let him swoop you – and let him hit you. Preferably not in the eyes for that is where they have been known to go for – but a good hit in the back of the head should do the trick.

Now, I do suppose you are shaking your head right now thinking how much of a dope I am. Perhaps. But after hitting you, Mr. Magpie has proven his authority. He has hit you and proven his masculinity. He attacked you and won, and all the ladies will love and respect him for it, allowing him to have a bunch of baby Magpies in the future – who will grow up to hate you come Spring time too. Good times!

So there you have it – how to deal with your local area Magpie. It really works! Well, it isn’t entirely tested, so if he hits you and keeps trying to do so, well, I can’t be held liable. I again would like to say – this is quite foolish, so unless you, like me, have zero per cent brain, zero per cent integrity and zero per cent care in the world, you shouldn’t do it; perhaps you ought to simply avoid Mr. Magpie.

Your choice people!

Global Warming? How do you spell that again? C-L-I-M-A-T-E C-H-A…

 

This piece contains some coarse language.

For anyone living in Australia, you would now know one hundred per cent how it feels to be afflicted with the ‘carbon tax’ (queue the spooky music…du, du, du, du!). For any readers who are not Australian and just read my last sentence and thought ‘eh?’ do not be alarmed! Allow me to quickly explain what the carbon tax is…

The carbon tax is a form of tax orchestrated by the Australian Labor Party and the Greens which has been a work in progress for roughly the past couple years and has only now come to fruition. It is also a tax that was supposed to never occur, but funnily enough the politician who made such a bold statement seemed to forget she made that promise…immediately after becoming Prime Minister…

The Carbon Tax is generated to supposedly bring down carbon emissions of larger companies and to basically teach the wider Australian community that carbon ix bad, and less carbon is good. Items that contain no carbon, or do not harm the environment do not acquire the tax, which is supposed to cause the people of Australia to buy these products rather than those that contain carbon – and the tax that is now mandatory with it. However, just like girls and chocolate, we know carbon is bad for us – but in the end we just can’t seem to get enough of the products that contain it.

I do believe it was in 1997 that the Liberal Party were involved in instigating the GST (General Standard Tax, although I don’t think I needed to say what that acronym means…), which was applied to a large monopoly of items and to this very day still is. The Carbon Tax is much like this, and after been introduced last week, has already begun to plague the public, especially small business owners, who fear that they will be forced to pay more for their supplies, which includes anything from fresh food and groceries to household appliances.

Although don’t ask me how a banana or an apple or a bit of meat on a slab that up until five hours ago was going ‘mooo!’ is in any way capable of nefariously affecting our environment. Simply put – why is fruit been taxed? Why is meat been taxed? I know a cow when alive eats and farts grass all day – but an innocent piece of red meat? What did it ever do to hurt anyone – except for bleed in the car on the way home…hate when that happens!

However, the PM has issued money to all Australian residents to help pay for the newly initiated tax. The allotment supplied however depends on whether a person is single, whether they be a couple, or whether they be a family with kids. Basically, a person may receive anything between $70 to around $400 per month is it? I’m not really down with the figures, but this grant is supposed to assist with paying for the tax, which almost seems a little redundant if you ask me. I mean, why tax something, only to help people pay for it? Then again almost everything seems to be on the verge of being taxed. Should only be glad that the air we breathe and the carbon dioxide we breathe back out does not come with a charge. No, sorry I spoke too soon – I think that is been implemented next week.

Amazingly enough, last time I checked the mining industry was not been taxed, and at the very start one of the whole ideas – was to tax the mining industry!

Now, with this said, I think it’s obvious that I am not a fan of the ominous Carbon Tax and am therefore not gonna dance up and down the street supporting the damn thing. However, if I am to look at this tax without personal bias and loathing, I do believe there are some possible efficacious reasons behind its introduction, rather than simply malicious ones.

FOLLOW THE LEADER!
I do believe it was at this year’s climate change summit that PM Julia Gillard spoke to other countries about the growing need to save our planet from the villainous enemy that is carbon. Basically, she was laughed out of the show for suggesting such a thing. Why? Do not other countries want to save the world? Maybe…but why take advice about saving the world from a country that can’t be bothered saving it themselves?

If Australia begins a carbon tax and shows how it is reducing carbon emissions by limiting the spread of major companies and their use of such a source of power, then other countries may be inclined to follow suit. It’s all fun and easy for Australia to sit back and say to other countries the likes of America and Asia and Europe that they ought to consider taxing carbon emissions, but if Australia is not doing the same thing, then why listen. That’s like saying to a friend of yours ‘walk through that mine field to collect our tennis ball’, whilst at the same time you yourself are not going to accompany him in and risk being blown up just as he is. That’s the thing – this whole carbon tax could blow up in our faces.

I guess in this sense Australia is being the guinea pig. Probably a good idea. If Australia puts its money where its mouth is for once in its life and takes the first step in a mature direction, the other countries of the world may step up to the table and do the same thing.

Doing the right things costs nothing. Well, in this case it does, but it will be worth it in the end if everything is successful. Well, I hope so, otherwise not only will we be drowning in carbon emissions, bankruptcy, people and political bull – but we’ll be broke as well!

BUILDING AN AWARENESS AGAINST THE CHANGE IN CLIMATE
Who really cares about climate change? Who really cares about global warming? They are both one and the same, funnily enough. Except the latter sounds far nicer than the former.

Yes ladies and gentleman the elephant in the room has officially been spotted. No, no, not the same sex marriage elephant, that poor little guy was hunted down to extinction. That’s what happens when you have a government filled with homophobes. And not the elephant in regards to migration and asylum seekers – I do believe that one was been trafficked across the ocean when its ship capsised and drowned. No, I’m talking about the one in regards to carbon emissions!

By having a carbon tax, the Australian public get something from it – what? A bigger bill? Well, that too, but I am talking about the unavoidable discovery of climate change. It cannot be ignored again now that a tax has been promulgated and has been officially revealed to the Australian public, and carbon has been visualised as the horrific monster that it is. And even though at least half the country is talking about how much they hate the friggin’ tax, at least they are still talking about it, right? Right?

If Australia builds up an awareness of the carbon emission issue, then other countries will be able to see it for what it is; a worldwide pandemic that ultimately threatens to devastate our way of living if we do not do something about it immediately.

However, in all fairness our planet is already so far fucked not even Heaven herself could save us. But if we lucky and are still able to stop the hands of time from ticking, then we would have saved our future generations. The only problem is they’ll be broke cuz their families wasted all their money paying for the carbon tax…

HELPING TO SAVE THE WORLD
Inevitably, if the scientists and the PM are correct and the carbon tax is going to ultimately save our asses, then that in my view would be reason enough for the tax to be successful. If it works, and is proven to be effective in fighting the issues with our changing climate, then it will be of great interest for other countries to instigate. Upon a majority of countries in the world initiating such a (what could be sometimes visualised as) drastic movement against the changing climate, then we will effectively be getting somewhere with the preservation of our future.

The real change will begin when countries like China, who have a carbon foot print that makes Godzilla’s look immeasurably miniscule, begin to come to the table. Australia’ population is roughly 25 mil. America’s is a couple hundred mil, and China’s is well into the bil+. My point? 25 million people can’t honestly cause as much carbon damage as a country with a couple hundred million, and a country containing a couple hundred million people can’t do nearly as much damage as a country with a good billion people running around inside it.

So the PM may charge us for our carbon footprint, but even if we continue this for the next couple hundred years or more and Australia effectively reduces its emissions by 50%, 75% or hell, even 100%, it is going to do sweet not much at all if every other country just sits back and continues to use and abuse what they have. The world ain’t gonna be saved just because one country decided to tax carbon and reduce emissions. We are only doing this for our pathetically tiny part of the world. The other countries need to look out for their own, and if they don’t, then all our lives may well be lost.

Very recently South Korean scientists made the discovery that Minke Whales are yummy. Maybe tomorrow another South Korean scientist will come to the realisation that something needs to be done about the carbon emissions of the world. All it takes is another country to step up to the table and announce the same thing the Australian PM has for the statement to be better heard.

Now, I will admit, true, I have complained and have taken umbrage at this whole carbon tax fiasco, but the reason I am so concerned is simple. Australia is a small country and I become concerned when someone changes the biscuits that I have with my afternoon coffee. A change in the way I spend my dollars of course will be considerably more dramatic in my life. Also, I may believe that the world is drowning in its own carbon fumes, but that don’t mean I have to enjoy the idea of forking out an extra few dollars each and every day.

AN ANSWER TO THE ECONOMIC RECESSION?
Yes, why the hell not! Most of the world is drowning under the issue that is the economic recession, especially in Europe. Think about it…if European nations begin to tax people on carbon, that could be one way to boost the amount of money governments had.

I know when I first heard our PM talk about the carbon tax I initially thought it was just another money raking scheme that she had concocted out of thin air to gain a little extra cash on the side. Well, in my defense against such ignorance our PM does seem to give herself and her municipals a pay rise every second week, which mind you, comes out from the rate payer, which explains why our bills have miraculously increased by almost 25% over the past couple months alone…so why not ask the people of this country for a little more money in the disguise of a tax that addresses something that cannot be seen. That’s like making a tax against ghosts.

But like I have already said I actually believe that carbon is an issue that needs to be resolved, and maybe our PM legitimately cares and is the right lady for the job to lead our country into the future. Only time will tell.

What I can say however is that although our PM likes to swear up and down that our country has the best economic situation in the ENTIRE WORLD and believes this to be true to such an extent that she bragged about it at a summit not too long ago where the economic recession was the primary topic of discussion. I guess the PM simply forgot that little Queensland was attached to our little country. Well, it only takes up a good fifth of this country of ours, so it’s understandable that it is very easy to be dismissed. My point is that Queensland is 12 billion dollars in debt. Maybe that simply slipped the PM’s mind when she was discussing our great Australia’s debt situation was? Here, the carbon tax could be a good way to help soothe the situation, and I do believe that politicians in Queensland have suggested the exact same thing. But of course, those politicians, they will gain a little bit for themselves – let’s not lie. An extra buck in the pocket is always great.

So with that said, if the carbon tax cannot help our country’s be rid of any carbon issues – perhaps it could help with many of the economic ones that keep sprouting out from the ground like Lemmings.

CONCLUSION
Either way we are for the moment stuck with the carbon tax. Now, I am yet to consult my little crystal ball, so I do not foresee what will come of such a tax, but I can say that if it helps this little blue and green planet of ours from staying little, blue and green – why the hell not allow its longevity, along with our own in the process?

This is Naughty Nefarious, signing off

Broken, Done or Dying? Actually, just Dead!

 

Contains sexual references and coarse language.

Weird title? Not really – it basically describes how I will inevitably feel if everything goes belly up in regards to the current girl of my dreams; Elisha. Yes, back on this topic, and I decided I would dedicate an entire post to this subject matter, so if you do not want to be bored to tears by the soporific ideas of some love depraved love struck anti-hero – I suggest you flee immediately!

Now, some themes and ideas I have brought up in previous posts may come up during this topic, but that is just because they are directly tied in with this subject matter.

Now, I have mentioned before and I will say it again; I suck at deciphering the codes that women use. I have found that women emphasise less with vocabulary, and more with physicality; basically, they say more with their faces than with their mouths. I however could not interpret an ‘I love you’ from a ‘go screw yourself’. Hence I don’t ever act on anything in that regard. A woman could give me the ‘I fancy you’ look, and I would be able to interpret that as easily as I could fly to the moon using nothing more than a jet propelled pack constructed from tissue paper. A woman could give me the ‘I think you’re a douche’ look, and I would probably interpret that to mean the exact opposite, but still not act on my ideas from fear that I am wrong. Yes, fear, it can be a very powerful ally. It is also the one bitch that prevents you from getting anywhere in this world.

What I personally would like, is for women to go up to guys and say what is on their mind, rather than giving them a look from a distance. I can’t translate what intense and frequent gander’s means, or what raised eyebrows or smiles are meant to signify, or what bared teeth and a tongue sticking out is supposed to represent. What is so difficult with just walking up to a bloke and saying what is going through their mind? I of course mean all this in regards to relationships. I don’t mean, go up to a guy if you’re thirsty and say ‘I like diet soft drink and I’m gonna go get me self some’. No, I mean go up to a bloke and say ‘hey, I think you’re as hot as magma’ rather than staring at a guy from across the room.

I read once on the Facebook page of a Miami psychologist that apparently 92% of all men would rather women make the first move in instigating a relationship. 92%? That is a big friggin’ percentage! With my views, I probably make up 65% of that entire statistic.

That would be the benefit of women making the first move – there would be no more looks. They would do the talking rather than ogling blokes from a distance, and I would be in a finer position for it. I would for one, not be in the fine mess I am now, for if Elisha liked me – she would have said something. Or has she? That is the problem, for when women are not looking at blokes, they are insinuating ideals in their dialogue and behaviour. God, if women wrote a dictionary on their codes and their looks and such, I would be so much happier for it. Then I could look in the little book (it would probably be a huge friggin’ book) when a woman pokes her tongue out at me and say ‘oh, that means she either wants to lick me genitals – or she hates my rotten guts. Oh, she’s winking at me, and giving me the finger- yeah, she totally hates me.’

On top of interpretation of codes and hidden messages and the like is, of course, the competition. The problem is that men pursue women, not the other way around, which would be another benefit of women making the first move. So all women have to do is sit back and watch the potential lovers come up to ‘em. Men need to actually be the potential lovers, which is somewhat more complex. I believe that women often do not notice many blokes until they make contact and ask them out. Until that moment, a woman may know a bloke exists, but will see him in a neutral fashion because women are better at being friends with blokes than blokes are at being friends with women.

At high school, the only real competition are other high school students, and it is very easy to prove yourself better than the rest. Actually, it’s not, but if you can’t win on that battlefield, then you are gonna die alone, afraid, and a virgin when the real fighting starts. How come? Out in the real world, and by ‘real world’ I mean post high school, which is as real in the dating game as it is ever going to get, all of the women are now like free range hens, pardon the comparison. All of them are now on the market for all the men. Most men in their early to mid twenties are attracted to women in the same age group – women in their early to mid twenties. The problem? Men in their thirties, forties and fifties are attracted to women in the exact same age group! Hell, I’ve seen my father who is breaching sixty checking out friggin’ teenagers! He’s married BTW, and I dunno if that makes it better or worse.

Women are, and always have been attracted to older blokes. So, those guys in their thirties and so on have a much higher chance of gaining one of those young ladies than a bloke in his twenties does. How so? Older men are better equipped economically, professionally and sexually (as in experience), and are better equipped with transport and accommodation too. Would a woman be more interested in that? Or in a bloke in his mid twenties who still lives with mummy, has a job that pays about fifty bucks per day rather than five grand, has a wooden car with a wooden engine that when started up wooden go, and whose sexual experience ranges somewhere between nil and not much. Yeah, real attractive – my arse! (I was not describing myself just then, FYI).

Of course, the next issue after communication and competition are standards. Every single woman has the image of the perfect man in their minds eye, and if you do not fit that criterion, then you have already failed before the relationship has officially begun. Now, this is one section that I do know about. You see, the woman of my dreams has a blog. I ain’t gonna provide the link because I don’t want other blokes going over there, thinking she’s a fox and stealing her right out from under me! I’m already having enough trouble right now without adding any more to my list!

How so? Well, apart from issues with communication, there was my intro…the first day we met was at university during a Media Management in Public Relations class. Yes, the girl of my dreams wants to be a PR consultant of sorts. Well, PR consultant or no PR consultant, an intro is still an intro, no matter which woman you are attempting to woo. So, as for my intro – I get out of my chair, take two steps forward, trip over a chair that some bastard has left out, and nearly break my neck and flatten the girl of my dreams in the exact same moment. Yeah, real smooth. Lucky for me I grabbed hold of the table, and lucky for me it did support my weight, else that would have been the end. No, I ain’t fat, but those tables at university…you barely have to look at ‘em and they wobble. Falling on ‘em – hell, I would not recommend it in the future.

Moving on…So, I am going to provide a couple quotes from her blog to explain what she is after. Elisha’s dream man needs to be a chef, an electrician, a mechanic and a carpenter. He needs to be capable of changing a light bulb and the water in the car, and additionally needs to be skilled in child care.

Of these areas, I have potential in cooking, in changing the light globe, child care and…awwwwwwww fuck! A mechanic? I don’t even own a car! An electrician? A carpenter? Fuck me! No, she won’t be doing that any time soon! Not with the pathetic resume that I have to offer.

But wait, what is Elisha’s opinion on the subject matter. Here is a quote from her blog; ‘So wherever my future husband is, I know he will have these skills and if he doesn’t, I know that he will learn these new skills so we can build a life together.’

Okay, so perhaps things aren’t completely over yet. I do however have to learn the skills and prove myself competent in them to ensure a successful relationship. But a carpenter? I don’t want a carpet! I would rather have wooden floors! (I realise carpenters do not work with carpet – this is my sick idea of an ironic joke).

Additionally, Elisha had this to say; ‘I don’t have any preferences on how my future husband has to look. But I do have an impressive checklist of what qualifications he must hold before even considering wanting to marry me.’

So, basically, if Elisha chooses to be with someone, they could be friggin’ hideous, that is what this sentence is saying.  An impressive skill set? She wants the fuckin’ impossible! She wants fuckin’ superman for Christ sake! Also, I’m not saying I want to marry this woman, but I would like to have a long term relationship, which is looking less and less likely to occur with every paragraph I write of this post.

Adjunctively, Elisha has mentioned in the past to me that she is a strong believer in the Christian religion. I am an atheist. Is that going to spell doom and gloom? Wait a minute, if we were to get married…does that mean the wedding will take place in a church? Could I even go to church? Hypothetically, let’s just say God is real 100%. I’m an atheist, I walk into church – will He smite me down with lightning? Or will I spontaneously combust and catch fire from the spells and hexes placed across the church to prevent people such as myself who are inevitably doomed to end up in hell from entering? Oh no, perhaps I should call this whole relationship thing off…this is just far too strenuous. Second thoughts, Elisha is far too foxy and amazing to give up on just yet…moving on.

On a more serious note, returning to the views on Christianity, I want to know one thing. At the start of 2011, Elisha mentioned she was a virgin. Yes, quite the thing to admit to, but she did. Being a Christian, what is the chance that she believes in getting married before you know, having rudey nudey’s/ the deed/ a roll in the hay/ the time of our lives/ how else could I put this without putting it any other way? I am not asking this question because I am a sex crazed loon – not at all. I would just like to know where she stands. One friend of mine has decided to not have sex (oh my God, I used the word!) before getting married, and although she is a Christian, she is not as strong a believer as Elisha is.

Any other issues? Well, there is of course location. Elisha has said in the past that she wishes to go to London for a year, and to go around the entire world. I intend to stay at uni to obtain my masters, so I will be unable to accompany her if we are in a relationship. That is the thing – I do not want a long distance relationship; I want a long term one, which is completely different people! At the moment, this same difficulty is in effect. How come? Elisha lives in Darwin. I live in Melbourne. For those of you who do not live in Australia, let me give you the geography.  Darwin is located at the top most centre point of Australia. Melbourne is located in the lower most right section of Australia. There is a cool few hours of flight time in-between each state, with a massive desert smack bang in the centre. Elisha is only in Melbourne whilst she is at university, and since every semester is only twelve weeks in length (and during the week off Elisha flies back home), that provides me with very little time. Quite the issue it would seem…

The other problem would be that I am infatuated with her. And, I am sure anyone reading this right now knows how it feels to be infatuated with the one woman/person you cannot live without – it is friggin’ horrible! I realised I had feelings for her last year, but I did not make a move. Why not? Was I chicken? No, that was not it. I simply thought she was in Melbourne just for the year, and I would never see her again. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how I view this, she did return this year. I did nothing again, not because I was chicken, but because I came to this conclusion; do not do anything until the last minute, the last minute being the first week of the final semester we would ever experience together at university. That way, any awkwardness that comes from me finally admitting to her my feelings will be relatively less difficult than it would be if I mentioned the way I felt earlier on. So, if everything goes belly up, then we will only have to experience eleven weeks of awkwardness rather than an entire year’s worth.

What awkwardness am I referring to? People go to university to study. They spend a shit load of money to do so. By the time I am finished, I would have a racked up a bill that probably extends to that of 100 K, if not more. I mean, my masters course alone will cost 42 thou, and who knows about the doctorate!

At high school, people can quit at any time, whilst people who attend university attend such an institution because they want to. They wish to gain an education – they do not go there to get hit on by fellow students. If they wanted some dufus flirting with ‘em, they would spend their life in a bar. So, by waiting until the end of university basically, that limits the amount of awkwardness that could very well come from such a situation. I think…

The problem with this plan is that I cannot move on from the way I feel until I confess to Elisha my feelings cuz that is the kind of guy I am. I need to verbally convey them to the woman in question, and then, if nothing happens, which is quite the possibility, I will be able to successfully move on roughly two weeks later. If something happens, well, that would be absolutely beautiful, but I always plan for the worst, and hope for the best, but do not expect it to ever come to pass. Due to the fact that I cannot move on, I have to endure these painful feelings. Yes, they are terribly, terribly painful. You see, at the moment;
I want Elisha
the way a heart needs a beat,
the way lungs need oxygen,
the way a bee needs pollen,
the way a plant needs the sun.

I want Elisha
the way a shark needs the sea,
the way a lion needs meat,
the way earthworms need moisture,
the way rich red blood needs cells.

I want Elisha
the way a gun needs ammunition,
the way a hunting knife needs a clean,
the way an army needs a captain,
the way a country needs government.

I want Elisha
the way a husband needs a wife,
the way Cupid needs an arrow,
the way true love needs to survive,
the way moist lips need to be kissed.

Okay, sorry about the shotty poetry, but I felt no other way to explain myself nor my feelings.

So basically, I still have a few issues I need to go through…

…before I go however, there is one last question I wish to pose…back in March, Elisha mentioned in conversation that she was going to cook with someone she referred to as her ‘lovely’. Now, who might this ‘lovely’ be, cuz she never went into specifics. Lovely husband? Lovely partner? Lovely boyfriend? Lovely mother? Lovely father? Lovely family member? Lovely friend? Lovely teacher? Lovely dog? It would have to be one friggin’ awesome dog to know how to cook, let’s put it that way! Also, the post I took the information about her potential future husband? She typed that up in April, one month after mentioning this dinner. Any ideas? No? Yes? No?

I guess I will find out when I see her next…if I see her next…

Well, here’s Naughty Nefarious once more, signing off, and hoping for the best. See you round…

…and thanks for reading!

BTW, Any material acquired from Elisha’s blog is copyright of the original writer.

NBN – (un)Naturally Boring Numbskulls

 

The NBN – the National Broadband Network is what the government is attempting to roll out. Beginning by updating small towns in the middle of the Whoop Whoops with this new supposed high speed internet, this next generation advancement in internet technology is, according to the Prime Minister, going to put Australia on top for high speed internet. This, coming from the same Prime Minister who says Australia has the great economy in all the world, yet Brisbane is several billion dollars in dept? Interesting…Adjunctively, the PM may never get to see her project come to life, cuz if the PM gets kicked out in the next election, it may be cancelled by whoever takes office next. I mean, the NBN has been in the works since 2007, and less than what, 2,000 homes in a country of 25 million people have gained the ability to use this technology over the past five years? Billions of dollars have been poured into this project and those involved in its orchestration have complained and pulled out and new people have been called in. I guess some people doubt the PM’s ability to successfully integrate the software into the country. Of course, after the home isolation fiasco, can you blame ‘em? (for those non-Australians treading this, the ‘home insulation fiasco’ was a scheme instigated by the Prime Minister in which all insulation companies were given the ability to place new insulation into the homes of people. All these home with the new insulation in ‘em, subsequently burnt down due to shit insulation. That is the Australian government for you – ‘we care’ they say…yes, they care so much that they try to kill you in your sleep!) Supposedly by the year 2015, a cool 200,000 people will have the ability to use this high speed internet. I won’t probably be living in Oz by the time the entire country is fully up and running, and by then, the NBN will be so far out of date and the Americans will have an internet so far more advanced that the very mention of the NBN will bring about hysterics of laughter rather than plans for national domination.

Of course, the whole meaning of this post was to state my pros and cons on the subject matter of this technologically advanced system. Positively speaking about the software, my current internet, no offence, but it is pretty friggin’ pathetic. It cuts out frequently, and when that doesn’t happen it automatically shuts itself off, forcing me to sign back in. I have a contract with Optus – it’s a wireless dial up connection with a 5 Gigabyte plan with costs around 50 bucks per month. On top of these issues, the internet takes so damn long to load pages that I could have designed them personally by the time they have loaded, and the internet is so slow, that on occasion, if it managed to become any slower, I would be travelling back through time. I could argue that this occurs because the Optus tower where we pick our connection off from is also shared by Telstra. So, anyone on either of those two plans, using either the internet or their phones are bouncing around the same data port. Basically, there would be an awful lot of people trying to connect to friends, family and the internet at once. However, it would be worse if I was with one of the other companies. Virgin, 3, Vodafone, Chariot and Dodo all use the other tower. Imagine trying to get a connection with one of those companies in my neighborhood. You’d be lucky to even download a kilobyte before the internet died on yer due to the prioritising of other customers using more juice than you are. I should be glad I at least got piss poor internet service cuz the other companies might not offer me any service at all.

Basically, if and when the NBN ever comes into the works, it may very well be able to sufficiently boost the internet connection that I have to work with now. But since the PM ain’t prioritising major cities, towns or suburbs, and since like I said, I may not even be living in this country when the day the NBN is 100% turned on, I may never get to know how much of a success, or potential flop, the entire scheme is. For that, perhaps I should be glad. You see, on a negative side (apart from the fact I’ll be old and grey by the time the NBN is on), the government have stated (but governments, especially the Australian one always lie) that the NBN will change how everything works. If that is true, then that in itself kinda freaks me the hell out. I like the way things are running now without having them change. I mean, people of previous generations felt the development of mobile phone devices and portable music players and the like have been huge leaps forward in the advancement of technology. I never felt it was. Such came naturally to me, and that was probably because I was born in the time when technology is continuously changing at an incredibly rapid pace. However, what the NBN is emphasising, seems like a substantial leap forward, and if that ever comes to pass, then the older generations and I will have something in common.

I do not like the fact that those responsible for the NBN’s promulgation are stipulating how the project is going to alter life as we know it – how shopping, work and life in general are going to be dramatically changed with this technology. Now, they are yet to actually be specific about such generalisations, but what I have heard thus far seems pretty mind blowing. I look at my life and the way I live it, the way I work and the plans I have for the future and I base them on the technology today and the opportunities that are available to me. The way the NBN designers are talking – it sounds very much like the past is going to be terminated and a new future will be brought in and ultimately change everything that I believe. Now, I am all for an advancement in technology and I believe change can indeed be good – but the NBN is making it sound as though that change will be instantaneous – a bit like Skynet. Plug it in, and suddenly, everybody’s dead. That is what the NBN sounds like. Plug it in, and watch the world that you know vanish and a new one be erected before your very eyes.

I can only hope when and if the NBN does come, the change is more subtle. But like I already mentioned governments lie. Besides, most people in government office cannot tell the difference between Twitter and a toilet seat, so what the hell do they know about the NBN?

Looking towards the future and beyond, this is Naughty Nefarious, signing off once more.

Is communication dying?

 

Communication is a market that is continuously changing. Where once people spoke and wrote in a particular way, now it has adapted to the next generation, as it will for the next after it. But it isn’t really the spoken word that is the focus of this piece, but the written one. According to recent surveys of people in Melbourne, it was theorised that around 40% of the work force could not read or write. Now, if we were not living in a country where there were schools every few blocks, I would find that to be a rather average statistic. But because we live in a country that actually offers education, I am quite surprised at this statistic, which has grown considerably over the years. Perhaps the general notion of this is that if the government who preside over the state, country, or what have you, are unable to care about such a subject, then so shouldn’t the people who live in the country. I mean, if the government do not see grammar, spelling and reading as a priority for its people, then perhaps it no longer is, and thus, those in the work force skip out on what once was a necessity.

I remember back in year 11 when I was in literature class, a couple students walked past and made the comment ‘only losers read’ in regards to everyone taking the course. If this is the view of a majority of the people, then it is quite obvious as to why such a statistic has come about. Basically, the end point I would like to make is that basic reading and writing does not require too much intellect, right? I mean, how any brain cells do you need to formulate words onto paper and successfully read sentences off from it too? However, if intelligence dies, then technically, we die too, and I would much rather remain alive. So technically, I am proposing that writing and reading should be prioritised, instead of being underrated by so many people. I only say so many people because if 40% of the work force can’t read and write, yes perhaps some had no choice in the matter, but the ability to improve oneself is always available to them, how many people in society as a whole are afflicted with this disease, and believe me when I say, unintelligence is a disease. People conform to the social norm, and if one day there are more people who can’t read and write than those who can, who are people going to side with? All they need to do is take the step. 40% is not far off from 50%, which I fear could very well be the statistic come the next decade. If we live in a country where the work force is suffering such an issue, then what is the statics for the society in general? How many of those 25 million people in total find it impossible to read and write? Bearing in mind the statistic was just for Melbourne alone. Quite a scary thought. In a state of what, seven million people (?), the amount is quite significant. It is just quite odd that in a country with clean water, electricity, proper housing developments, a stable government (I use the term stable very loosely), and what the government is bragging to be a triple A credit rating – why the hell do we have such shitty statistics for reading and writing? What is wrong with reading and writing, and when was this thought injected into society that it was only for the losers? What kind of government allows its education to go unchecked to such a degree that it supposedly gets everything sorted but the education sector?

In a world where if you are unable to fathomably (is this even a word) communicate then you are basically gonna be unable to be incorporated into any sector of society, communication being a key aspect of the human condition. I mean, why were we given tongues, lips, and a mouth? To eat, yes. To taste, yes. If you’re romantic you could say to kiss those we love most dearly. But, we are also given such equipment to talk. If all that comes out from one’s mouth are unintelligible sentences that are not properly formulated into coherent patterns of thought, then who in their right mind is going to bother prioritising you as the kind of individual they want supporting them in the work place?

Of course, I feel one of the major reasons behind this breakdown in communication practices is just pure human laziness. Technology has given way to aid us in every single thing we do, so all we really need to do as a species is sit back and let technology do the work for us. The same goes for communication, with technology adapting and enabling us to communicate over long range distances and such which is all really great and productive, but somewhere along the line people began to act lazily in this respect. For instance, the use of abbreviations and the deliberate shortening of sentences. Whenever we do this kind of stuff, are we not saying ‘screw you’ to the world of communication and every single lesson we ever learnt? I mean, 2day in society, whr is it dat we r lerng 2 write in da sam manr we r doing so via txt lik sirvises? I don’t c teachrs teechng dis theorem in clas, so why is it been used in socity so regularly? Y do we communic8 in such a manr as to 4get our basic teachngs? Hell, curnt wrd sftwar is allwng us 2 get away wif such communic8ive erors by not pikng up on ny of em wen we r typng. So, wat 1nc strtd on mobil dvices, has movd 2 reprt wrtng + othr such pecs of wrtn wrk. Da profsnl wrld has basicly been releg8td 2 an obsoleat ideology bcuz nobdy wishs 2 use it anymr wen it is easir to simply use wat may hav 1nc been intrpretd as the increct methd of communic8ion. Wat knd o socity alws 4 da misuse of communic8ion? Aparntly tis 1!

Now, I personally have a problem with spelling and grammatical errors. I cannot stand to see something that is amiss in a document but that was just the way I was educated, or raised. It’s shame that such is not the same today. Teachers are taught that near enough is good enough, which is quite the opposite from a couple decades back when anything but the most flawless of accuracies was considered worthy. However, who will care in the future if everyone today is now priding themselves on not doing anything to solve the issue with communication? In the future it will be pointless of me to make a post like this because the damage will be so far entrenched within our society. Now, I guess one could ask ‘well, why don’t you do something about this mister?’, and I would argue ‘many have come before me; people of action, who have been continuously shot down time and time again. It would seem however that the government sees education as an issue that is quite worthless in comparison to other such areas. People can protest about an issue, but rarely does that change the way a country will react, especially one like ours where the government listens to its people as regularly as it sends space shuttles to Mars.

One fear of mine is books in particular. Now, I will admit it has been several years (2005) since I last read a book for fun. I know a few people who still do so (the number is 3), but will there even be a book industry in the future? People have argued in the past that there will always be people willing to read books. They said the same thing about newspapers, and now we live in a time where more people access their news online rather than in paper based format and it has been theorised by some that the days of the newspaper are numbered. Perhaps reading will not die out, but evolve to compensate for the changing environment. I however fear the day when I might open up a book which begins like; ‘Adam wnt 2 da br 2 acquir sum alcoholic bevrags 4 da dinr he had pland dat night in which his prnts, of whom he had not seen in a numbr of yrs wr cumng ovr 2 meet his galfrend Natalia 4 da 1st tim since dey had bgun datng back in Septembr of ’08.’

A friend of mine enjoyed the Baby Sitters Club, Goosebumps and the Harry Potter franchises and recently finished the Hunger Games. Would she have received as much satisfaction from these worlds of fiction if they had been written in short hand? In the future when they are reprinted, will they be written in the same style as produced above? I for one hope not.

This, as always, is but my opinion.

Naughty Nefarious, signing off.

Am I Australian?

This piece contains the following: coarse language, sexual references and horror theme (involving hair). You have been warned….

BTW, to any Australian who might happen to read this, allow me to apologise beforehand. I think perhaps on several occasions I might take our society off and make Australians seem, I dunno, like a bunch of raving psychos perhaps. Well, I hope that is not the interpretation orchestrated within this piece, but if that is the way my words are interpreted, allow me to apologise. But in my defense, which is pretty shotty I’ll admit, is it not better for an Australian to attack (?) the Australian way of life than have an outsider who knows our culture as well as they know the planet Neptune analyse us? Well, here goes…

…Am I Australian? Of course I am, what a stupid question, but that is not my point. Yes, I was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, as were my parents and the seven generations of my family that came before them. So yes, ethnically I am indeed Australian, but my question evolves more along the lines of the cultural dynamics of such a country.

So, what makes an Australian, Australian, and do I have such qualities? Well, according to a Robin Cook novel, whose title eludes me, he explained how all Australians; wore shorts, idolised Ned Kelly, and their hero was the kind of guy who would dress all in khaki. I would assume this to be considerably inaccurate. One, I don’t wear shorts. Two, I idolise beautiful women, and only wish they’d do the same unto me. And three, my hero? Well, to be perfectly frank, in my mind I am the number one super hero! So, what would I put in this interpretations stead? Well, even though I have lived in this country for a cool 23 years, I would never go so far as to call myself someone who properly understands the cultural atmosphere of such an environment.

First off, I would explore beer. According to the stereotypical norm, Australians are notorious for drinking beer, and are supposedly the largest consumers of such a product. The quintessential larrikin Australian bloke is always seen with a beer in hand, a six pack beside the BBQ, and a giant beer gut that extends a few feet out from the rest of his body. Problems with this assertion? Well, for one, I loathe beer. I hate it to such an extent that those nerds who invent new words, would have to come up with a brand new word to describe how much I detest beer. Me? I’m a wine guy myself, or perhaps port. Nothing short of a stereotypical bottle of wine will ever pass these lips, and if the letter ‘b’ begins the product, or the liquor inside looks remotely like the evil product that, like the antagonist from the Harry Potter novels shall not be named, it is not drunk. So, no to beer. Also, no to barbies. No, not the dolls…BBQ’s. Such a piece of equipment is believed to be what all Australians use to cook their dinners. And their lunches. And even their breakfasts. The stove? Huh, not for the colloquial Australian my friend, no, it is the barbie all the way. Well, I do suppose I get bonus points from having a barbie. It is however covered in so much dust and grunge and filth from the fact it has not been used since the days the Tyrannosaurus Rex still walked the Earth. This however don’t exactly score me anything in the cultural department.

Third – the Australian accent. This is quite possibly the second most quintessential thing an Australian needs to earn such a title. Shouldn’t be too hard to gain, I mean, one should have one from the moment they are born in such an establishment. Me? Not really. Odd, since like I mentioned, my family have been living here since the first fleet arrived, and that is no joke. My father’s relatives all those years ago – one of them was arrested for stealing bread, true story, no lie. So, if my relatives have been around all this time, you would imagine that I would have an accent? No, apparently not. In fact, some people (half of whom I wouldn’t trust with a stapler) have said that my accent sounds somewhat similar to that of a Chinese or Middle Eastern accent. But what do they know? Might have something to do with the fact that my voice is just very, very DEEP! So, no points in this area of necessity. Damn, if I were in competition here, I would be falling short.

Food. More importantly, lamb. This is seen as the essential delicacy in this country. The Chinese have fish. The Americans have McDonalds. New Zealanders have fish and chips. Australians – we have lamb. Beautiful, little, white lambs, who frolic through the meadows laced with beautiful red and white rose petals. They munch upon the green, green grass. They bleat under the gorgeous yellow sun. And then they have their legs hacked off and thrown onto someone’s plate. Me? I hate lamb. I love lamb when they are alive and bleating. I don’t like them when they are lying on my plate, its mutilated, decrepit cadaver looking back at me, smoke wafting off from the flesh that was, up until a few hours before, covered in white, silky wool. I used to live on an acreage when I was very, very young, with a couple sheep on their too. Ramsey and Blacky their names were. Ramsey was the lady – all she liked to do was eat grass, and probably smoke it too when we weren’t looking. Blacky, the bloke, all he cared about was Ramsey, more importantly – her vagina. Luckily for us he had, rather unfortunately for him, his balls removed upon purchase, so, no baby lambs, otherwise after a couple years the ratio between sheep and human would have been 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 3.

I’m not a big fan of ham either, which is meant to come in second from the lamb. I personally enjoy beef, or chicken, and when I do purchase beef, I go for the heart smart stuff, which is supposed to have very little fat. You try telling those who hand it out at the shops though. Sometimes there’s more fat on a 250gram packet of meat than there is on a humpback whale. Moving on though…

…Swearing. Yes, swearing is considered something that Australian’s do quite frequently. Almost every person I know cannot go five seconds without using one of the three major profanities, which I will not list. Why? Well, I personally don’t think I use profanities very often. On occasion, yes, but I just don’t have the time for them. I would like to think that perahps…oh my fucking God! I just fucking spelt fucking ‘perhaps’ wrong! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Oh, maybe I do swear. Wow, that’s a lot of curse words. I have never seen anything so beautiful in all my life!

Music. Yes, I enjoy such an aspect of life, but it is the variations that are most notable. If I were to make an assumption based upon most of the people I have been unfortunate enough to meet, I would say that most of the people of my generation have an infatuation with rap music. Every time a car drives by, rap music is pumping out through the stereo. That, and according to the news, a hail of bullets. Every time your neighbor throws a grossly oversized and incredibly loud party – rap music is pumping through the subwoofer’s of the stereo. Every time a guy with an MP3,4 or iPod walks by, rap music is heard pumping through the speakers. My point? Wherever you go, rap music seems to play a crucial part in contemporary Australian society. The problem? I would rather burn in the fires of hell – the fires reserved for the most nefarious of individuals than listen to rap music. There is no such word that I can find to describe how much I detest rap music. Simply put? I fuckin’ hate it, which apparently puts me at odds with the rest of my generation that cannot seem to get enough of it, and I truly mean that. I really, truly, deeply, unconditionally, unrealistically, unbelievably, unfathomably, incalculably, intoxicatingly, immeasurably, with a passion loath rap music!

Whilst on the subject of ‘entertainment’, the next subject up for discussion is Australian films. A true Australian it would seem hates Australian products. I enjoy watching Australian films. When I was younger, I used to ignorantly believe like most people that I know today that Australians were unable to decently create a good film. Once I turned twelve however, I began to worm my way out of such a belief and came to the conclusion that although Australian film finance companies have less green on hand than what American and other film companies do, this does not necessarily mean they cannot create a good feature film. Funnily enough, back in the early twentieth century when the development of films had commenced, Australia was the largest contributor of films in the entire world. Then Hollywood found its druthers and cancelled the Australian cinematic chain forever. But here’s some additional things I know – I was the only person in my entire last year of high school to have seen all three Mad Max films – some people didn’t even know there was a franchise called ‘Mad Max’. I found this to be utterly atrocious. I’ve known Americans who have known of the franchise for crying out loud! Additionally in my performance writing class at university, I was the only person to have seen the likes of Undead, Daybreakers, the Tender Hook and Sleeping Beauty – the other thirty odd or so students hadn’t even heard of the titles, let alone seen the films. Quite disturbing if you ask me.

As for clothing? Shorts are seen as been the fashionable accessory of clothing according to advertisements and the like. Me? Well, if you follow the information from the previous paragraphs it is obvious that everything is downhill from there. The last time I wore shorts I was in primary school. Since then, I have worn jeans. Except for the occasions when I didn’t, but even during those occasions, my legs were not graced by the likes of shorts. No, this has nothing to do with the fact that there is more hair on my leg than flesh. In fact, I think there is more hair on my entire body combined than flesh. Yes, that’s right folks. I make gorillas seem bald, in fact the film, Gorillas in the Mist? It was filmed in my shower. Well, not exactly, but it might as well have been, which leads me to my next point. Hair. Many of my friends (the guys I mean) have no hair. I don’t know this fact from peering under toilet lavatories and perving on them whilst they did their business in the shower. No, they simply talk about it. And so do the women who have seen the men when their clothes were no longer on their person. Now, I don’t know if such a thing comes from the fact that they have grown up to look very much like the day they first came into this world, or if they simply shave it off. At high school I went through a phase, many of them actually, where I changed my hair style frequently. My facial hair remained the same in which I had chops on either side of my face for quite a while, and a goatee on my chin. This did not go down so well with the ladies. Apparently, the women of today in this particular hemisphere, on this particular continent want their men to be bald – at least on their bodies. Now, I ain’t taking a razor to any other part of my body that is not either attached to my face or the top of my head, which might explain why some women never give me a second look. Perhaps they can just sense the hair. Safe to say, if they were to run their fingers through it, they would probably never get them back. Now, I’d have no problem with a woman being permanently attached to my person – but they might. Considerably in fact. I found out, quite quickly, that if my mother had given birth to me in the early seventies, I would have lived through the eighties rather than been born at their conclusion. My point? The eighties was the time for hair. Women loved it, and the hair loved them. Boy have times changed.

Now, this next point I intend to make may seem kind of racial – well, it is, but I don’t mean in the sense that I intend to talk about ‘race’. I mean, some people may consider me to be ‘racist’ after saying such a thing, so allow me to make this point as delicately as I can. I believe I have mentioned in the past that I was the only person in my high school year with an Anglo Saxon last name? In my university classes I am often the only person on the class roll with an Anglo Saxon last name too. Perhaps in a couple classes here and there a couple other names join mine in such a genre. My point? And I do have one…is that perhaps the key to been Australian is to typically not be Australian at all! We live in a multi-cultural society, which the government frequently refers to as an amazing aspect of this continent, so technically, if you are not adding to the wide diversity of cultures within the society I would suppose that you simply are not a part of it period. The days of the Anglo Saxon I personally sometimes believe are numbered. I’m not saying we’re going to be murdered. I’m just saying that eventually we are perhaps going to be bred out. That is of course if parents of children who are not Anglo allow their children to actually have a relationship with an Anglo, which from my experience is as likely as wings sprouting out from my back due to the overall strictness of their cultures. In fact, I’d probably go so far as to say that in a few years time, the Australian Anglo Saxon may very well join the humpback whale, polar bear and white tiger on the world’s endangered species list. Now, I’m not sure if this next point is pertinent to the present subject or not, but I do believe it highlights the point that Australia is filled with cultures that are not quintessentially Australian. Year 10, high school geography class. We are given a task; look at an atlas and discover the countries listed on the piece of paper. First person to do this successfully will be able to leave five minutes early as reward – quite the reward if you ask me since geography to me was as gratifying as running a cheese garter over my testicles. Suddenly, a student calls out ‘Sir! What is that oddly shaped country in the centre?’ The oddly shaped country he was pointing at – the one that was supposedly in the centre – what was it exactly? Australia.

So, basically that is all the essential features apparently which are necessary to build a true Aussie. Well, I get points for having a barbie. And maybe for the swearing. But apart from that, it would seem that I am about as Australian as an American French Fry. Is that wrong?

Sometimes the Heart is Stupid

Sometimes the heart is stupid? Well, I think so anyway. Now, I am going to take some time out here and talk about something a little different than the topics I have filed across this desk recently. Wait a minute…I don’t know why I am explaining myself. After all, this is my blog I can talk about what I please!

I know that a stereotypical masculine bloke is not meant to talk about ‘feelings’ and other such romanticised ‘drivel’ as I am sure it is visualised to be. So if you want to read a blog post that contains VIOLENCE, SEX, COARSE LANGUAGE and other such features, well, I’m afraid, this particular post ain’t gonna cut the mustard.

Recently, and by recently I mean today, I lost my opportunity to be with the woman that I have come to really enjoy. Now, I realise ‘enjoy’ isn’t a very powerful word when establishing a woman one likes, but please, allow me to explain myself, and to do that, I have to begin from the start.

The young woman’s name is Elisha. What I will say, not to give away too many details and allow the whole world to know exactly who she is and all, is that she lives in the Northern Territory, in the capital city, which I have forgotten the name of…well, I’m a great Australian. I live in this country and don’t even know the friggin’ capital of one of its eight states. Yeah, eight! Not fifty like America! You would think eight would be easy to remember! Thank God I don’t live in America, otherwise I probably wouldn’t know the city that I was living in, let alone all the rest! You’d think I’d remember. Anyway, she came to Melbourne to study at university and that is how we met.

We were thrown together into groups in two separate classes during our first semester, both of which were PR, the primary study she’s undertaking, whilst mine’s creative writing. I instantly thought she was physically attractive; she has gorgeous dark hair which is shoulder length and shines under the luminescence from the lights above. She has light brown skin, partially from her heritage, and partially from the Northern sun, and a strong Australian accent. She has this amazing smile with these flawlessly bright white teeth, which combined can light up a room, and her laugh. Well, don’t get me started, I mean, I live in this country and I am not a fan of the accent. In fact, I never actually gained an Australian accent and I’m eighth generation Australian! Anyway – her laugh, right? If she was not beautiful, then her laugh alone would certainly make her so. I recently wrote a piece asking if people did laugh out loud anymore or if ‘LOL’ was the only term ever used in response, and I can tell you – her laugh, it is the reason why I wish ‘LOL’ was never used. It’s terrific to listen to, for it never sounds fake and always flows so realistically. And her body? Well, I’m gonna try and keep this PG, so how ‘bout I say it’s pretty good and leave it at that. She has a nice sized chest too, but I’m not saying that I wouldn’t like her if it was small or non apparent. I’m not saying my tongue drops out of my mouth and I start panting uncontrollably, droll rushing out from the corners of my gob every time a hotty with big boobies comes waltzing passed, not at all. I’m just saying it’s a nice plus size, and half of her clothes seem to exaggerate it and make her cleavage look as though an entire army could fit in its centre.

Now, going back to the part where I thought she was physically attractive… well, you see, there’s the rub. I have this rule. I do not date people I work with, or people I go to uni with. So I didn’t do anything for quite a while. We became quite friendly, and nothing more over the weeks, and trusted each other explicitly when it came to the instigation of work and trusting one another to edit and critique it to a professional standard. We laughed at each other’s jokes, and often at the other’s expense as well. Closer towards the end of the semester I did try something though, you know, to see what she thought of me…I placed my hand behind her on the top of her chair where she rested her back. No, I didn’t yawn when I did so, I just threw it there, and she quickly moved position to ensure she was nowhere near the chair immediately after I pulled such a move – not a good sign I do believe.

Okay, so now we move on to the second semester. Still, nothing is happening. Until the sixth week….Elisha comes up to me and asks for assistance. She is to present an oral presentation on PowerPoint the following week and knows I am to do the same thing, and asks me if I can help her. I agree, and we spend the next couple minutes talking, which we had not had much time to do for a little while now, before she leaves me to sit with her friends. So I send her some info that can help her. She never used it, but that’s beside the point. At the end of the message I wrote down this notation; if you use any of the information provided I might need to ask you for something in return. Dinner, maybe?

In semester one I had told Elisha when I helped her that I did not do things for free and that I might ask her for a favor, and I was playfully, and subtlety, calling it in. Well, maybe subtle is putting too fine a point to it. Unsubtle, perhaps?

Come week seven… she takes one look at me as she enters the tutorial where we are to present and whispers to her friend as she comes to sit near me ‘I think he likes me’, indicating towards me, and Elisha quickly steers her friend far away from where I am sitting. Anyway, I manage to do my presentation first, and give away some chocolates for those who answer my questions that I have for them correctly, and when Elisha comes I offer her a chocolate and she’s not interested in the kind I am offering. She makes the note however that she is nervous and hates giving oral presentations. So I put my hand on her shoulder, give it a squeeze and say ‘you’ll be fine gorgeous’ and leave.

Now, two weeks go by and I do not see Elisha in class. Suddenly, she appears, week ten, and as I walk in she says ‘Hello’, rather formally, and looks anxious as she does so. She eventually moves to the front of the class where her friends choose to sit, but for the rest of the class she keeps looking back at me. Actually, I’d say that she spent two thirds of the class looking at me. Not angrily or anything like that, just, plain looking.

Come week eleven, and we are in another class. I had recently asked her if she had wanted to come to a book launch that I had been invited to attend. She says ‘no’, friends birthday she says. The launch is moved two days in advance. I ask Elisha again, and she says ‘no’, her excuse – friends birthday. Again? Twice in one week. How many friends can she have? Are they pouring out of the wood work? I however manage to find two friends of mine willing to come. Elisha in class apologises for being unable to attended, and I reply ‘nah, don’t worry about it. I found two chicks who are able to come with.’ ‘Oh’ says Elisha, her eyes narrowed a little as she looks away, ‘okay’ she continues, the smile that had being plastered on her face having faded as her face seems to drop for but a fraction of a second as she temporarily loses control, before redistributing the smile she had once worn across her face to mask her emotions. Was she jealous? Hard to tell. I asked a friend of mine, a woman at the time, and she had no response for me.

Now, the year ends, the new one begins, and I find we do not share any classes together. Come week eleven, Elisha says ‘hi’ to me as I leave the campus, out of the blue. She was standing alone in the car park, waiting for her friends, and I am quite surprised, and I am almost certain that my ‘hey!’ reflected it too. Week thirteen arrives, today actually. We are to share  a classroom together. I decide upon a plan. I wish to ask her if I can speak to her for a second and then confess to her that I believe I like her. My chance – what did happen to it? Elisha and her friends take off before I can implement it, and now…where is she you might ask? On a plane back to the Northern Territory and far away from me for the next eight weeks.

So, there is our history. Now, what did I mean about ‘believed I liked her’ and that I ‘enjoyed her company’? Well, like I said, I have this rule, where I don’t date people who I go to uni with. Now however, I would break that rule for her and only her, and I was ready to tell her that today. And for all I know I only like her because I may not be able to have a relationship with her. I mean, one of us would have to permanently move to another state to have a proper relationship. On top of this, it just might be the fact that I liked her as a person and as a friend, and the fact that we don’t share classes anymore makes me feel as though I lost her, and to get her back I concoct wild feelings in order to do just that – get her back. Of course, I would also have kissed her if she had let me. Does that change anything? I would have told her that I liked her, and that I should have told her right from the very moment I ever saw her that those feelings were always with me.

But the thing that bugs me, is that everything I saw could have being a masquerade. I might have believed that her looking at me meant she found me physically appealing. Hell, she could have just so happened to look in my direction a couple times and maybe I exaggerated it in my mind. Or perhaps she was looking at something else instead of me, or someone else. Maybe there was somebody else she found attractive? The fact she interpreted my ‘dinner’ line to mean that I liked her and my belief that she felt the same way and wished that it was true may have been nothing more than a wrongful error of judgment on my behalf. Perhaps her looking jealous was for a completely different reason. Maybe she was just depressed at the time for personal issues that she was having difficulty resolving? Perhaps…perhaps…perhaps…I could go on all day about any and all false misinterpretations that I made to justify the ridiculous idea that she felt something for me which further justified my want, no, my need to tell her how I felt.

That is why the heart is stupid. It wants want IT wants and it will do almost anything to get it. Even lie, the little prick. I mean, what right does the heart have to throw a person’s emotions around willy nilly? To make them fall in love with a beautiful exotic babe from outer state who they have no hope in hell of ever being with? Does the heart get off on hurting its owner? Maybe the heart is just a friggin’ arsehole, and the user is its little bitch being constantly played the fool?

In an un-cruel world, I believe it should be the women who make the first move. I mean, they might toss a signal or two around, and it might all be false interpretation by the bloke. Or they might not pick up on it period. Fact of life – men are idiots. I apologise blokes who might be reading this. I know, I can’t be all that smart if I can’t figure this shit out on my own. It would just be great if the woman would come up to the guy they like and just say it, without making physical gestures or other such nonsense. On top of that, I don’t even know if she’s taken. I realise, you don’t know until you try, but I would rather know before I go in like a shark for the kill. I don’t wanna be left stranded on the beach after the discovery that the woman I have been crushing on is dating the next gen boyfriend and laughs at my insult to be her man.

I also realise that the bigger loser is not the one who tries and fails, but the one who fails to try. I just don’t know what is expected of me in this circumstance. How do I know what is what?

Do I love her? Yes, I would say that I do. I think about her often. I like all of her qualities, except for one or two of her friends, they gimmie the shits.

Do I want to spend my life with her? I don’t know, but I would like to be with her. To hold her in my arms at least once. To sleep with her – not sex, not immediately at least, but to just lie down together in bed and feel her head on my chest and to listen to her breath as I wrap my arms around her and keep her warm at night as the moon hangs in the cover of the darkened night sky outside the window as the moon light drifts across her silly exotic skin. I also long to kiss her crimson lips, and feel the warmth of her face as I gently brush it with my hands as I grab her ever so gently as to pluck her lips once more.

Do I go to the Northern Territory to talk to her? Spend a cool grand flying over to the other side of the country to speak to a woman whom I have feelings for, even though I have no idea where she lives and couldn’t tell the streets of her fair city from Adam. I could get lost, broke, and in all likelihood murdered.

Do I write her an e-mail, confessing my feelings? And if I do so, by what address? One that she would recognise as being my own, or a pseudonym that she would not recognise?

Or do I wait eight weeks for her to return, which she might not do, and confess to her then my feelings, and hope she has not found a lover during her time back home, if she doesn’t have one already? I mean, beautiful women do not stay single forever. A woman who looks that good and who is that amazing to be around must have at least a couple hundred other blokes salivating over her too.

I am, I am just at a loss. And on top of that I am exhausted. If anyone could help me out of this mess, I would be quite appreciative.

This is Naughty Nefarious, signing off ladies and gentleman. Good Night.