BY THEOLOGY AND CHRONOLOGY CORRESSPONDANT JAZZ TWEMLOW
Tomorrow at 3 a.m. the clocks in NSW will be going back one hour as part of daylight saving, to make our evenings brighter and generally make our days more pleasant. In a similar vein, all religions will be setting their clocks back 1 millennium.
“We found that having our clocks set to 2012 was causing too much friction. All the things we say, our ideas, they somehow seem out of place. Putting the year to 1012 will put religions back in sync with their correct timezone,” said the Pope’s spokesperson, Federico Lombardi.
The new move has been met positively from people on both sides of the religious divide. The religious are happy that they will no longer have to deal with scary ideas “like the truth, and facts”. “Christianity can go back to not even needing its own version of evolution - ‘Intelligent Design’ - as the theory of evolution wasn’t even around in 1012. We can just go back to genuinely believing everything was made in about a week, and being content that this is actually a good explanation.”
Atheists are also welcoming the move, as they were getting continually frustrated by religion’s refusal to acknowledge 21st century advances. Now when religious people make statements that are utterly incongruous with modern thinking, it can be safely ignored by saying “It’s ok. They’re from the year 1012.” The move will also allow for more scientific progress as pro-lifers won’t be able to protest against stem-cell research owing to the fact that, due to their timezone, it will be illegal for them to understand what a stem cell actually is.
Teenager, and fundamentalist Christian, Geoff Wilkinson Jr, a resident of Sydney, said he “can’t wait” and that “there’s so much I’m looking forward to. Did you know that in the 11th century they had ‘Biblomancy’, which was a kind of divination by just randomly selecting verses from the Bible? In 2012 we can’t do that because we’d just get laughed at, but now that we’re changing the clocks to 1012, there’s all kinds of utterly ridiculous nonsense we can fully embrace that would make us look really stupid in 2012.” Geoff added that, despite the fact he would only be allowed to live to the legal 11th century life expectancy of about 37 years, it was a sacrifice worth making if he was allowed to throw stones at “fags and lezzers”.
Experts in the field of human anthropology predict that there may be a tricky period of adjustment while people get used to using a wooden abacus with Hindu-Arabic numbers, but that “at least they won’t have their 11th century beliefs challenged by something like the presence of an iPhone, or golf balls, both of which were invented long after the birth of their religions and thus pose a threat to the notion of their gods’ existence.”
World leaders are currently looking at the possibility of relocating the “Eleventh centies” to a small island, with the possibility of a new location being chosen on proposed reality TV show “Dark Ages: Survivor”.
There’s more to naming your band than just picking a noun and adding “The”. Chief Music Correspondant Danny Yau gives new bands some free SEO consultation.
In horse racing, there is a name registry. This international body, a group of no doubt highly awesome men who I imagine look and dress like the cast of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, make sure that no two horses have the same name. That’s why horse names are so awesome. Like the three time Melbourne cup winner Makybe Diva, whose naming story is now one of the best trivia questions ever.
And so why do we have a band called Cults?
I know almost nothing of this band. They might be quite good. But their wikipedia page tells me they are a) an indie pop band and b) from New York. So, already a target for much derision. I know one other thing about them. They’ve never heard of the Cult.
Maybe you’ve never heard of the Cult either. They are a British hard rock band that had a big hit with a song called She Sells Sanctuary. Their singer, Ian Astbury, was also the Jim Morrison replacement for the Doors Of the 21st Century. The Doors of the 21st Century, which features two members of the Doors, were sued for using the word Doors in their name and are now known as Manzarek–Krieger.
So Ian Astbury probably has a good band name lawyer in his rolodex. Look out, Cults.
And before you start saying that ‘The Cult’ and ‘Cults’ are two completely different words, let’s just imagine a world where there is a band called the U2s, the Coldplays or Beatle. And Cults is close, but there are plenty of examples of direct lifts. Two bands I have played in – The Hummingbirds and the Reservations, have new bands out with those names. Bastards.
There is a practical disadvantage too, in this day and age. Searching for band names on Google, Spotify, Amazon etc will only bring up your competitors. Sites like Last.fm can’t handle duplicate band names at all. Perhaps this is beyond those bands, as they clearly lack the ability to use Google correctly.
But there is another reason that I hate the name Cults. It’s because it’s such a terrible serach term anyway. In recent years we’ve seen a wave of bands with minimalist names that are impossible to find. San Fran band ‘Girls’ are the top offender. I love the band, but just try searching for them. I heard they were touring and I tried to google ‘Girls Sydney Dates’, and I almost breached the Electronic Communications Policy as set out by my workplace. To add insult to injury, their album was called ‘Album’.
Musicians are creative people. And creative people need boundaries. The horse people, they also look out for similar names, and they also reject bad names (although possibly only names in bad taste or outright rude). But a board that tells bands that their name doesn’t cut it and to go back and try again could lead to some wonderful band names. Like Makybe Diva.
Courteney Hocking resides in Melbourne but as a comedian and writer she’s always got one eye on our cousins up north….
The defining moment in Saturday night’s Queensland election coverage was watching Antony Green sit on the end of the ABC panel, face twitching with his usual Rain Man-esque excitement, repeating over and over: “They’re gone, they’re gone; they’re all gone as well”. He was like a commentator live at the side of the Titanic, watching the seats slip from Labor’s icy grasp into the deep, dark ocean of the LNP.
It was obvious from the outset that things weren’t going to go well for the ALP. But just how historically bad things went, who (aside from an adrenalised Tony Abbott fresh from the bike convoy of no conscience, pumped up on scare mongering and Gatorade) could have guessed just how bad it would end up? Queenslanders were cross with Anna Bligh for selling off the family heirlooms without asking and her party was fighting an “It’s Time…To Turn Back Time” groundswell from the LNP after almost 20 years in power. Worst of all, Bob Katter had come out all guns blazing with his Australia Party and we all know that the closer you get to the equator, the more madness from old dudes in hats seems to make rational sense.
Now the dust has almost settled on the worst election result for Labor in living memory (well, aside from when we voted Kevin Rudd in but that was a different sort of mistake). As of Tuesday morning, with 25% of the votes still to be counted, the LNP hold 72 seats, while the ALP with a swing against them of over 15%, now hold… six. Six seats. A cursory Google informs me that the only game requiring six players is Resident Evil 6, which ironically happens to be the very one Queensland ALP now has to play. The LNP have been seriously rejuvenated by their new leader Newman (which must always be said with a Seinfeldian fist shake) and without a bicameral system to keep their ambitions in check, will no doubt take to the task of running the state with great vigour and cries of “unprecedented mandate”.
Queensland can now look forward to using the Great Barrier Reef as the Great Restaurant Fish Tank, several months of people like Joe Bloody Hockey drawing breathless comparisons between Queensland and Juliar’s fate, and all the other states getting together to see if it’s legally possible to force Queensland to secede. But really, it’s just a matter of time: elections and huge eye-bleedingly painful losses to new leaders come and go in a relatively predictable cycle, which I’m sure will serve as some comfort to the 45 (45!) ALP members who lost their seats. No doubt it will be a useful stop to anyone contending that this election is proof that Labor has lost it’s way, which couldn’t possibly have happened (mostly because it’s not actually going anywhere in the first place).
The last word of the night must go to a newly elected LNP candidate that I cannot remember the name of because by the time he came on I was drunk, who said, “This election result is exciting because the people who got elected have different views of reality”. Different views of reality, indeed… Stay tuned for the part where it bites.
CANCER CORRESPONDANT: JAZZ TWEMLOW
Julia Gillard has made public her intentions to change the new series of policies to combat smoking in Australia. The original plan was to make cigarette packaging plain, and a “dark olive brown” colour, as this is the colour “least attractive to smokers” according to research. Dark olive brown is also the colour “children associate with sick” the government website states.
However, more up to date research has revealed intriguing statistics that has pushed policy reform, resulting in a trial period in New South Wales. “From now on,” Health Minister Tanya Plibersek informed press at a conference earlier this month, “upon opening a packet of cigarettes, smokers will be met with an image of one of our cabinet. In clinical trials, we found images of Julia Gillard to evoke a more violent shiver of revulsion and abhorrence than when we used pictures of a fetid, rotting lung.”
Further data is needed, health experts suggest, but the trial shows promise and there are even reports of text-based deterrents being planned for the front of packets too. “We’ve found that printing some of the government’s previous policy decisions on cigarette packs causes immediate retching, and the smoker goes into cold turkey for drugs they’ve never even taken.”
The trial will be rolled out across Australia in the coming months.
BY KONY CORRESPONDANT: JAZZ TWEMLOW
BY KONY CORRESPONDANT: JAZZ TWEMLOW
The US has again amazed the world with its bold foreign policy, vowing to capture and eradicate facebook and twitter star Joseph Kony. However, in order to get to him, first they must deal with his army of roughly 60,000 children. To do this, the US military complex is putting together an initiative to create its own child army for the purpose.
“It’s rudimentary military tactics,” a top US army general has said. “After the massive failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, we simply can’t risk the embarrassment of having our adult army beaten by children, even if it does have gays in it.”
Employing minors is clearly illegal, and using children as part of an invading combative force would put the US in direct conflict with the Geneva Convention. To avoid this problem, the US is utilising a “Don’t ask. Don’t tell” policy. “As part of the interview process,” the general continued, “we simply won’t ask applicants if they are, in fact, children or not, and therefore they won’t have to tell us.”
Political pundits have praised the initiative, claiming that, while raising awareness on social media sites is a key part to the process, clicking “like” a lot and deploying hashtags pales in comparison to the deployment of “an invading pre-teen force, backed up by spec-ops toddlers.”
The UN has ratified resolution 789, making legal the installation of “a US infantile junta”, which Obama intends to have installed by September 2012.
A Rational Fear’s chief Minister for Bullshitting Scott Abbott dresses down the #kony Kampaign
So you guys all know about Joseph Kony? Ugandan warlord, dropped out of school, formed the Lord’s Resistance Army, spent the last 25 years pillaging the central African countryside and now is the most hated man on the planet. The message here for the kids… stay in school.
I love facebook campaigns. I love how everyone on facebook is so progressive….. except when it comes to changing facebook. Everyone on my facebook feed is all “open borders, legalise drugs, free Uganda!” But when they make some tiny change to the facebook layout everyone goes “Death to Zuckerburg!”
Now the Kony campaign all started because this guy made a promise to a victim of Kony’s saying that he promised he would get Kony. Now as a child I was always told “Don’t make promises you can’t keep”. Another good rule to live by I think is “Don’t make promises you need the American Army to help you keep”
In the video the film maker explains the situation to his 5 year old son and and his son agrees that we should get Kony, and he uses this as evidence to support his campaign. I was thinking “Is this really a responsible model for troop deployment? - basing American military strategy on what can be understood by a 5 year old?” “Didn’t we try this under the bush administration?”
So with the Kony Campaign our job is to get in touch with 20 ‘culture makers’ and 12 policy makers. These people lean on the American Government, who keep US advisors in Uganda, who then help the Ugandan army get Kony.
One of the interesting choices for Culture Makers we are meant to contact I thought was Bono. They are actually asking us to contact Bono about this. Say what you like about Bono, but my guess is that Bono already knows. Can you imagine Bono getting all these tweets from 12 year olds all over the world? “Dear Bono, I don’t know if you realise this, but bad things are happenning in Africa” “P.S Africa is below Europe, I have attached a map.”
There are some strange choices for Policy Makers too. George W. Bush is number 1. Do you think George W. Bush is going to appreciate getting all these messages from the worlds left leaning humanitarians. “Dear President Bush, we’ve come up with this great new policy, everyone is onboard, I think you’re going to love it. We call it …. American Military Intervention! How it works is, we sent American troops into a sovereign country and get the bad guys… I dont know why someone hasn’t thought of this earlier”
The other one I thought was a interesting was someone who was omitted from the list of policy makers. Former US Secretary of State Condelleza Rice, on the list. Former US President Bill Clinton, on the list. Current US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, nowhere to be seen. “Quick, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, theres trouble in a far off land and the world needs you… to contact your predecessor and your husband.”
No no, don’t bother yourself with it Hillary. If you really want to help just share this video on facebook.
And do you have George Clooneys number?
Writer and filmmaker Lewis Hobba outlines some of the benefits of the apocalypse.
2012 was going to be biggest year yet, because it was supposed to be our last. The apocalypse was coming. Predicted by the Mayans. Directed by Michael Bay. All the signs were there: nuclear meltdowns, economic crises, the new facebook timeline. Then few months ago an asteroid ominously named ‘DA14’ turned up on satellites and looked to be heading in a very ‘us-like’ direction. You might not have heard of DA14. A lot of people played it down. We’ve had asteroid scares before. But like season 2 of Celebrity Apprentice: no matter how hard we tried to ignore it, it kept coming. Then last week scientists decided that DA14 would miss us by about 27000 kilometres. And everyone rejoiced. Except me. I realise being disappointed the world won’t be wiped out isn’t exactly what you’d call ‘glass half full’ - but I think people are ignoring some of the end of the world’s obvious upsides. First - We all work better with a deadline. If I knew it was all about to end, I’d get a lot done very quickly. Sure, some of those things would be killing and looting. But also; I’d tell my family how much I love them, I’d strip naked and run through the desert, I’d dance like nobody’s watching. Then I’d go to Adelaide, and I’d ‘dahnce’ like nobody was watching. Then I’d go on Channel 10’s breakfast show, and I’d dance, and nobody would be watching. Second – nothing unites people like a common enemy. Today Tonight viewers all hate Muslims. Bogans all hate hipsters. Hipsters all hate second albums. But these petty grudges are what’s wrong with society today - what would really bring the whole world together is something we can all hate. Like a giant asteroid heading right for us. Everything John Lennon sang about in Imagine would come true. The world would live as one. Just not for very long. For the first time I would find common ground with commenters on news.com articles. Yes, ‘whiteaustralia78’, I agree! This government should do something about the asteroid! Well no, ‘whiteaustralia78’, I’m not sure it is all that bitch Yumi Stynes’ fault. And the positives of the apocalypse don’t end there. Every TV show would be the grand finale. Every film the last in the trilogy. Every magazine a farewell issue. Who wouldn’t love to see Zoo magazine’s ‘Hottest chicks to repopulate the species with’? Or Frankie’s final article: ‘How to Top Yourself Before the Asteroid Hits by Adding Cyanide to Our Super Cute Muffin Recipe’?. I don’t even care HOW the end comes - it doesn’t have to be an asteroid. Any apocalypse’ll do. There’s a theory that a hole could rip open the fabric of space time and annihilate the entire universe in half an hour. I like the idea of complete destruction in half an hour - ‘cause it’s not long enough for people on twitter to turn the word ‘apocalypse’ into a series of puns involving song titles. Maybe one guy would get out ‘Total Apocalypse Of The Heart’ - then game over. There are almost infinite benefits to an impending apocalypse. If the world ends, we won’t have to keep waiting for the next series of Game Of Thrones. But there’ll always be some nay-sayers who try to tell you the end of the world is a bad thing. To those people I say this: if everyone in the world dies in a massive asteroid collision – we’ll definitely have stopped Kony. Or don’t you care about child soldiers?
Former Hungry Beast host and Kenyan resident Kirsten Drysdale breaks down the #KONY2012 campaign for A Rational Fear.
This comment, perhaps more than any other, explains the uneasiness I feel over #kony2012:
“Well I think they need to get rid of this Kony bastard, then deal with the African govenment, The whole nation needs a over haul of government and structure..”
Where to start? The “African government”, “the whole nation”? It’s a continent, people, featuring 50+ countries and many thousands more distinct ethnic groups separated by geography, language and arbitrary national borders. Would we refer to Europe as one homogeneous entity? If we are ignorant of this very basic starting point, why should our opinions count?
It’s the Western world to the rescue, saving Africa from itself one status update at a time. The keyboard cheer-squad lobbying for the American military to take a single “bastard” down (one most people have never heard of before), as though all the world’s ills rest on individual bad guys and eliminating them from the picture will Make Things Right. Never mind the complexity involved, never mind the history of failed attempts, never mind the second- and third-order effects that invariably follow the good intentions of first-world punters in third-world environments. Buy an action pack! Wear a bracelet! Paint the town red! Click “Like” to get rid of Kony, yeah!!
Before I continue with my hater shtick, a disclaimer: I’ve been very conflicted about #kony2012. The conversation in my head since I first saw Kony on Wednesday night has gone something like this:
I’m really not sure about this… It feels gross. But Joseph Kony IS a massive prick, no doubt about it. Yes, but we’ve known that for years. Why should it take a slick video with a Triple J soundtrack to make the world give a shit? Because not everyone knew about it. Isn’t it a good thing to raise awareness about these sorts of issues? Well, yeah, but not by oversimplifying them and distorting the facts to appeal to people’s emotions rather than their intellect and moral sense. But people are motivated by emotion. Does it really matter if some of the details aren’t 100% accurate when the cause is worthy? When we’re talking about a campaign calling for foreign military intervention in a very poorly understood place, yes. It’s nice to see social media being used to attract world attention to something that actually matters though. Yeah, it is… but why this particular issue? Where’s all the money going? Would it be better directed elsewhere? Who’s behind “Invisible Children” anyway? Why does it feel like the film is as much about making its creators as famous as it is about Kony? Why do they come across like evangelical hipsters? You’re so cynical. You’re so gullible. At least these people are doing something. “Something” isn’t necessarily better than nothing. It depends on the something. Go fly a kite. You’ll have to speak up, I’m wearing a towel.
Ultimately, though, I think it’s gross.
The video itself features too many emotionally manipulative techniques to mention (Little Blonde Boy alone will give you instant Type 2 diabetes), but one shot in particular stands out for me: The dramatic re-enactment of a sleeping child being wrenched from his bed by (presumably) Kony, with the voice over “I couldn’t explain to [my son] Gavin the details of what Joseph Kony really does”.
Do people really think that’s how this works? That Kony tiptoes around Ugandan villages at night, salivating over slumbering children before dragging them back to the Lord’s Resistance Army HQ for a spot of parental target practice and facial mutilation? That he is the sole agent responsible for these atrocities?
This is the problem I have. It’s not that simple. It’s not a case of “1+1”, despite filmmaker Jason Russell’s claims that it is just that straightforward. Joseph Kony doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The conditions which allow him to do what he does are as complex as they are unfathomable to most of us. Putting the atrocities that have taken place in Uganda over the past decades down to one man is dangerously naive. For one thing, not all of the children in the LRA have been abducted. For many of them, it’s a better option than remaining a destitute orphan, and the reasons there are so many destitute orphans in Uganda go way beyond any of Kony’s misdeeds. For another, what happens after you send in Da Troops and catch Kony? How do you deal with what you leave behind? Who’s next on the list?
As an “awareness-raiser” (or should that be “fundraiser”?) #kony2012 has been highly successful. I hope I’m right in doubting it will achieve much more than that. Foreign military intervention isn’t something that should be influenced by a social media campaign trading on sentiment. This isn’t Earth Hour.
As the YouTube view count ticks over and concerned citizens gather in town squares around the world to make a statement on breakfast TV, we should ask ourselves this question: Would the world have the audacity to embrace a campaign like this if it were centred anywhere but Africa?