More PC Madness

Monday, July 31, 2006, 4:24 PM

(From Reuters via The Australian):

A BRITISH woman has been ordered by police to take down a sign on her garden gate that said, "Our dogs are fed on Jehovah's Witnesses".

Pensioner Janet Grove, who owns a jack russell terrier puppy called Rabbit, insisted the sign was a gentle joke to discourage callers.

Her late husband put the sign up more than 30 years ago when members of the church called at their house on Christmas Day. But police were forced to act after receiving a complaint.

"We were informed by a member of the public who found the sign to be distressing, offensive and inappropriate," a police spokesman said.

It's reassuring to know that's there's someone out there looking out for the little guy, huh? Although something in the back of my mind tells me that this person won't kick up the same fuss next time someone satirizes telemarketers. Telemarketers have feelings too, you know!
File Under:

Five Reasons To Be Excited About TV This Week

Sunday, July 30, 2006, 3:07 PM

Gretel Killeen, when she first began hosting Big Brother.

1. After 4,057 days and 13,284 contestants, Ten's Big Brother finally ends. Boy, that just flew by, didn't it?

2. The premiere of First Tuesday Book Club on the ABC. Not my cup of tea, but it would have to be the first original idea on Australian TV since Fishcam.

3. Channel Nine actually scheduling a Saturday afternoon movie worth watching - Casablanca.

4. The return of Rafferty's Rules to Channel Seven. Giving the people what they want. Or something.

5. Midnight Zoo, Quizmania and Hotdog's Uplate Game Show all on the air at the same time. Goodbye insomnia, hello quiz-induced comas.
File Under:

Fat Off!

Saturday, July 29, 2006, 10:34 AM

A suicide waiting to happen. And not because of the Alf T-shirt.

The fat police are at it again.

These past few days, in case you haven’t heard the word on the ground, have been filled with the reactions in Canberra of the findings of a study that suggests junk food advertising is deliberately targeting children. Well shock horror! Won’t somebody please think of the children! Well the Gubbinment won’t, apparently.

Now, it’s very uncharacteristic of me to side with the likes of McDonald’s and company, but I don’t think they’ve done all that wrong here. We live in a capitalist society, and it’s hardly illegal for a company to candour to a specific age group. If it was, 14 year old girls would be smuggling copies of “The Steph Show” like it was crack.

Not that I believe that these companies should be completely vindicated, however. They still do dish out unhealthy serves of shit on a plate (or in a wrapper, in most cases), but at least they don’t tie down people in a medieval-style rack and force them to eat their food.

No, what annoys me out of this whole mini-saga is the ever-continuing pointing of fingers. Brace yourselves for an old man rant.

It seems to me that modern-day western society, we are increasingly moving towards the point where no-one is willing to take responsibility for anything. Why that is I’m not quite sure, I guess the main factor is that it’s a lot easier to blame someone else’s actions than to analyse your own.

I’m proud to say that I personally take responsibility for the things I put into my body. I’m not some health-conscious nutbag measuring out my niacin intake for the day, either living in fear of the possibility of putting on weight again, or fear of being objectified by society for my weight, or whatever reason someone can give for being a fitness freak.

However, I do make sure I get my necessary intake of all the good stuff it takes to run a human body. I cut the fat off my steak, I eat my greens and my lean figure thanks me. I’ll never have rock-hard abs, but I know that I’m fit and healthy. And it’s not just food. I’m happier walking to the train station instead of catching the bus, and I’ll drink tap water rather than bottled crap because I know the tap water will be better overall for my immune system. And that’s what it boils down to (sorry about the water-related pun). I’m fit and healthy because I stay informed.

Education is the key to winning over the obesity epidemic. Parents, this means you! Stop pointing fingers at McDonald’s, television, the Gubbinment and pretty much anyone who walks into the room, and take some control over what your kids are eating. They’re ultimately too young to take responsibility for themselves, so you need to.

And I’m not just talking about “99% fat free means you can eat it” style education, either. Teach them the value of good eating. Teach them how to make good food taste good. Teach your kids to respect their bodies too, and they’ll be ready to take responsibility. C’mon, the schools are holding up their end of the bargain.

So hopefully one day, we can all take responsibility for ourselves and put the obesity epidemic behind us. And maybe then I won’t be chastised by complete randoms for taking the rare liberty of cracking open a fucking bag of Skittles.
File Under:

The Theory Of Advanced Darwinism By Steve Irwin*

Thursday, July 27, 2006, 1:41 PM

Don't tell him khaki isn't his colour; he'll kick you in the head.

From The Daily Telegraph:
CROCODILE whisperer Steve Irwin has yet again proved his model father status, boasting about how he allows his 8-year-old daughter to kick his two-year-old son.

It's all part of the law of survival, says the man who infamously fed a crocodile while holding his newborn son.

In Irwin's latest tip for parents, he says he allows his daughter Bindi to "belt'' her two-year-old brother Bob - so long as she takes her shoes off first.

"When Bindi belts Bob I say, 'Bin, I realise you have to pick on your little brother, but take off your shoes before you kick him in the head','' he said.

"That way, she gets to whack him and he doesn't get hurt.

"That's a compromise. Everybody's happy,'' he said.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have finally found the answer to the eternal question: Why does Steve Irwin caper around like a brain damaged four year old?

* Now available at Wagga Wagga TAFE!
File Under:

Unsubstantiated Rumour Wednesday!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 11:10 AM

I'm still hoping that I can get a weekly feature up and running on Couch Culture sometime soon. I've tried previously, but it fell a bit flat, So I've decided to "audition" a few different ideas over the next month or so, and then run a poll at the end to help me decide. (Who would have thought that there could be an actual use for an Internet poll?)

So today, I give you Unsubstantiated Rumour Wednesday! Unsubstantiated Rumour Wednesday was created by a few of my friends and I during high school, out of our hate of the New Idea-style media. But before we launch into UR Wednesday, a public service announcement from Captain Obvious.

Captain Obvious says: "This is complete fiction, so don't sue Statler for defamation!"

This week's unsubstantiated rumours are:

Ernie Sigley has actually been dead for the last three years. The producers at 3AW have been cutting and pasting his shows together using old samples in secret.

The ABC have found the answer to their financial woes, after the Chaser debacle led thousands of rugby league fans to call Auntie to place an order for the "Rugby League Supporters Kit".

In a bold move, Channel Nine have invited Don Burke back to the station. Apparently the front garden of the Richmond studios has a bit of weeding that needs done.

In line with Karl Stefanovic's admission last week that he is a robot, it appears that Jessica Rowe is, in fact, a marionette.

In John Howard's birthday celebrations today, ASIO officers presented him with the gift he has always wanted - surveillance photos of a nude Steve Waugh.
File Under:

Woman Wins Quiz Show; Is Still An Idiot

Monday, July 24, 2006, 11:13 PM

The Moon. (Image not actual size.)
From Yahoo UK:

A housewife is planning to buy a plot of land on the moon after winning £1 million on a gameshow.

Sarah Lang, 31, from Newport, South Wales, scooped the prize in the tense finale of ITV1's Pokerface, hosted by entertainers Ant and Dec.

The mother-of-two held her nerve against opponent Julian Sperring-Toy in the finale of the game of general knowledge and bluff.

"I have always been fascinated with stars and space so I'm going to get a strong telescope in my garden. I have heard that you can buy plots of land on the moon. It might be worth something in a few years."

And the moral of the story is, kids? Being a quiz show winner doesn't mean you're smart. Or rational. Or sane.

Still, if she wants to throw away her money like that, and loves space so much, I'd be happy to sell her boxes full of space for, oh I don't know, a few thousand pounds? Get in touch soon, Sarah, I've got an absolute bargain for you.
File Under:

Blogosphere Love

Sunday, July 23, 2006, 11:42 PM

Thanks to Michael of Insanity Creek and Adam 1.0 of The Supermercado Project for adding me to their blog links. It's validating to know that two blogging veterans care enough about Couch Culture (especially in it's infancy) to not only comment on it, but link to it. Thanks again.

(You watch, they'll hunt me down for calling them veterans now.)
File Under:

War: What Is It Good For? TV Ratings

Couch Culture Presents: A beginners guide to journalism.
This will sell a lot of newspapers and air-time.

This won't sell as many newspapers or as much air-time.

Hezbollah - Israeli - Lebanese Conflict, 12-23 July, 2006. Estimated casualties on all sides: Around 472.

Java Earthquake/Tsunami, 17 July, 2006. Estimated casualties as of 23 July, 2006: At least 649.

Hezbollah - Israeli - Lebanese Conflict: Front Page of Melbourne's Sunday Herald-Sun.

Java Earthquake/Tsunami: Small blurb on Page 30.

Without commenting on the politics or possible ramifications of the Hezbollah situation, trying not to use the human body count as some sort of macabre yardstick, as well as not meaning to imply that the Hezbollah conflict doesn't deserve the attention of the world;

On behalf of the Javanese people I would like to send out a hearty "Fuck You!" to most (if not, all) Western media outlets for their woeful coverage of another humanitarian crisis that is happening right now.



And to further prove my point, there's been a storm in China that I didn't even know happened. At least 600 dead and more than 3 million relocated - What do you have to do to get a bit of media coverage?

File Under:

What A Bunch Of Wankers

Wednesday, July 19, 2006, 11:04 PM

Richard Wilkins: A trip to London next month?

Are you a wild one? Looking to meet new people? Perhaps you're a little lonely and looking for some likeminded individuals... If so, I hope you're in the Greater London area early next month for Masturbate-a-thon 2006. (Courtesy of The Guardian):
Channel 4 is to bring mass public masturbation to the small screen.

The broadcaster - once led by Michael Grade, dubbed "pornographer in chief" by the Daily Mail - has commissioned a documentary about the UK's first "Masturbate-a-thon" as part of a series of programmes dubbed "Wank Week", can reveal.

In what must surely be one of the summer's more bizarre events, hundreds of people are expected to gather in a hall in central London on August 5 to pleasure themselves in aid of charity.

The organiser of the event, the San Francisco-based Centre for Sex and Culture, has run mass masturbation events in the US for the past five years to raise money for safe sex groups and plans to replicate the formula in the UK.

The event will encourage Londoners - both male and female - to sign up sponsors and head to Clerkenwell in order to masturbate in front of hundreds of others.

Prizes will be on offer for those who clock up the most orgasms and those who can masturbate the longest - the current record, according to the organisers, is a chafing eight-and-a-half hours.

It takes the Yanks to come up with an idea like this and attempt pull it off. (Multiple puns very much intended.) Still, for me, it's a much more savoury way to meet people than MySpace. At least at Masturbate-a-thon you're a lot less likely to come in contact with perverts.
File Under:

1337 I Ain't

Tuesday, July 18, 2006, 7:57 PM

As regulars may have noticed, I've been giving Couch Culture a bit of an overhaul over the last few days. There's still work to be done, mainly in the post section and it looks as though I may have to completely redo the header, but if anyone spots something they like, or any problems with the design, I'd love it if you could leave your comments in a brown paper bag at the usual address. Thanks.

The Humour Vacuum

Saturday, July 15, 2006, 4:12 PM

Hey Dad: It wasn't funny, but at least it was ours.

A quick look through this week TV programming shows a worrying trend. Let's have a look at the prime-time hours between 6pm and 11:30pm.

On the three major commercial channels, over the course of this last week, there was exactly two hours and fourty minutes of Australian comedy shown. Just three shows - Australia's Funniest Home Video Show, The Wedge and Rove Live (Or as I call it, Hey Hey It's Tuesday). If you had just entered the country, you would be excused for thinking that these three shows are the pinnacle of Australian TV comedy. (Though I do admit, I left Big Brother's Friday Night Live and The Footy Show set out of my little survey as entertainment/sports shows.)

Add SBS and the ABC and you can have another two hours of dinky-di Aussie laughs, courtesy of Spicks And Specks, The Glasshouse, repeats of Kath And Kim, and The Chaser boys.That's 2.3 percent of that prime-time filled by Australian comedy. 2.4 percent if you include the government funded stations. Overall, all comedy shows across the commercial stations come in at a poor 6.3 percent, 6.5 pecent with all stations included.

So it's probably no wonder that the Australian public has forgotten what humour is and has lashed out at Chas from The Chaser (lifted from ninemsn):
A comedian with ABC TV's The Chaser's War on Everything has been charged with offensive conduct after what senior police describe as an "act of mindless stupidity" outside a rugby league clash.

Chas Licciardello was filming a prank at Friday night's NRL clash in Sydney between the Bulldogs and St George-Illawarra.

Crowd violence when the two teams met earlier this year sparked a crack down on anti-social behaviour at Bulldogs games, with NSW police deploying its riot squad to all their games since.

Licciardello admits to being dressed in a Bulldogs' jersey and beanie outside the ground prior to the match at OKI Jubilee Stadium in Sydney's south.

"I was filming for our show, hawking off a Bulldogs supporters kit, it was a silly thing, it had fake knuckle dusters, balaclavas, that sort of stuff," Licciardello told Southern Cross Broadcasting.

"Most of the people took it pretty light heartedly but a couple of the supporters got a bit angry and then the police stepped in."
So what is it that has stolen the public's taste for a laugh? What happened to that noble Aussie ability to have a good laugh at yourself? Is it the stress of modern day life? Too much time looking over your shoulder for the Terrorist boogeymen? Has all this hashed and rehashed CSI-style bullshit left some of us as sober as judges? Or is it something completely different? Your thoughts and comments appreciated.
File Under:

Smiling Happy People

Friday, July 14, 2006, 5:57 PM

The people of Vanuatu living life the way it should be - pants optional.

The Natalie Cole "Keep Smiling" award goes to the Pacific nation of Vanuatu, which was recently listed as the happiest place on earth. (Courtesy of our good friends at the Beeb):

People can live long, happy lives without consuming large amounts of the Earth's resources, a survey suggests.

The 178-nation "Happy Planet Index" lists the south Pacific island of Vanuatu as the happiest nation on the planet, while the UK is ranked 108th.

The index is based on consumption levels, life expectancy and happiness, rather than national economic wealth measurements such as GDP.

This is particularly a huge achievement for the tiny island chain, considering they still maintain that happiness despite being the home of Seven's Celebrity Survivor.

Still, I send a warning to the Vanuatuan Government - don't use the term "Happiest Place On Earth" if you don't want to be sued. Hell, it might just be easier to change the country's name to DisneyWorld just to be safe. Disney are in a money-hungry mood right now. Be afraid.
File Under:

We Now Resume Normal Programming (II)

Monday, July 10, 2006, 10:41 PM

Well, after an enforced and unwelcome hiatus, the second most popular muppet /pop culture / snark related blog in Central-Southern-Eastern Melbourne is back in action. What's that? You didn't miss me? Pah.

The Chez Statler computator now has an extra 60GB, so now I can now pump 50% more of my shit onto teh interwebs. Huzzah! I'm sure my attourney's mouth is watering at the prospect of a few more litigious threats to counter.

And I must say, it's good to be back. Old taped (and now illegal) episodes of Lancelot Link can only chase boredom away for so long. Like about 30 seconds.

Multiple Choice Question Time

Friday, July 07, 2006, 3:23 PM

Statler has been neglecting Couch Culture because:

A. He destroyed his computer's hard drive and has been waiting on a new one.

B. He has been called in as an emergency intruder for Ten's Big Bogan.

C. He is being held captive by a right-wing extremist militia known only as Family First.

D. He has been busy working on a script for a big-screen adaption of the hit TV series The Wedge.

E. All of the above.

The choice is yours.

(By the way, don't forget to text 'Statler' to 199 2SAVE)