Outrage! Conflict! Etc.!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 2:31 PM

I really need to stop reading news.com.au; it's making me schizophrenic:
South Park Lampoons Irwin Death

SOUTH Park's creators have made a cartoon poking fun at Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin's death as his daughter Bindi prepares to launch a fitness DVD "taking the bite out of obesity"

Statler 1: Oh, noes! How dare those evil unconscionable South Park bastards even think of trying to derail poor Bindi's burgeoning career!

Statler 2: Hang on for a moment, maybe we should read more before we start to burn effigies. It's probably just News Ltd. hyping up a giant chunk of nothing again.
South Park has revealed an episode in which Irwin attends a fancy dress party in hell with a stingray sticking out of his chest.

Irwin died on September 4 when a stingray barb pierced his chest while diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

"We have offended people in the past and probably will again,'' a South Park spokesman told a London newspaper.

The episode had been scheduled to air in the US on Wednesday (Oct 25). An SBS spokesperson said in all likelihood the episode would be broadcast in Australia but probably not until 2008.

Statler 1: Curses! How are they able to get away with such treachery? Damn you, First Amendment! Damn you, right to free speech!

Statler 2: I told you, it's no big deal. I even have the video here. Take a look for yourself.

Now what is so objectionable about that?

Statler 1: Steve Irwin is God. You wouldn't make fun of God, would you? Look, there's more...
The timing could not be worse after Mr Irwin's eight-year-old daughter today announced she would launch her first DVD Bindi Kidfitness which features her famous father.

Available from November 25, the DVD will "fight fat with fun''.

It includes nine animal-inspired songs and routines performed by Bindi and her all-singing, all-dancing sidekicks the Crocmen.

Bindi also whips up fat-free treats with her father in a segment called "Steve's Cooking School''.

Irwin features throughout the DVD as he dances, plays instruments and - in a scene that may raise questions about its suitability - swims with his daughter.

Statler 2:
Hang on, when did this become a promo piece? What does that have to do with the guys from South Park?

Statler 1: What do you mean, it has everything to do with it!!1! Everyone's against Bindi!!1!

Statler 2: Now you're just be illogical.

Statler 1: THAT'S IT!!1!eleventyone! I'm sick of you, and I'm sick of being a part of this guy's conscience. I'm getting out of here. Maybe I'll go someplace where people share my moralistic views.

Statler 2: National Party headquarters?

Statler 1: Darn tootin'!

Statler 2: Yeah, well good riddance. Fuckwit.


Sunday, October 29, 2006, 4:41 PM

I can't believe that I haven't realised this until now.

Big applause to McDonald's for finally putting the nutritional information on their packaging. On the bottom of the box. So the average diner will, first buy, and then possibly eat the burger before having the thought to glance over exactly what is going into their system.

Or maybe I'm crabby because I just ate 106.3% or my daily saturated fat intake.

Looks like I have some exercising to do. Again.

Romoin Guest Strip #2: "I Had The Same Problem With Alanis Morrisette..."

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 9:46 AM

Here it is, kids - the next strip in the guest season of Romoin.

Don't forget to visit Romoin, or John Surname will be a very sad panda.

Sanity Prevails

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 4:17 PM

Would you trust these people?

Sanity has prevailed... well, at least on one network.

It seems that Seven's revenue raiser "Midnight Zoo" has gotten the big uncle chop-chop. Cue frenzied applause and chants of "One down, two to go!"

It's really no surprise considering a fellow blogger made this observation last week (Hey, I would have made an observation too, but I have taste!) :

I happened to flick to Midnight Zoo at 1:40 this morning (while changing Golden Girls discs) & the guy that hosts answered a call with "Hi Sammy what's your answer" & the contestant's voice sounded suspiciously like the female host.

And what could possibly make this victory over the stupidity of the "let's just do what they're doing" mentality of Seven's programmers even sweeter? The fact that not one person cares. Not one tear shed, no sadness expressed, not one boo-hoo to be heard.

Add to the mix the fact that it's being replaced by Lost repeats and Power Rangers episodes, and this feels so good, I'm almost ready to have faith in the viewing public again.

"Give Me My Spread, Or I'd Rather Be Dead..."

Monday, October 23, 2006, 4:10 PM

Australian PM, John Howard.

DATELINE: CANBERRA - Shocking news today as Australian PM John Howard declared war against the United States over it's refusal to recognise Vegemite as a food.

"It's un-austrayan," the PM told the world in a press conference outside Kirribilli House today. "It's a cowardly act, and it's a threat to our way of life."

"It's not for the United States to go about and dictate the world from their moral high-horse", he continued. "The United States must be stopped!"

In a brief media release, opposition leader Kim Beasley was quoted as saying "We're fucked!" and, "This is the last time I vote for the Libs!"

Mr Howard also took the opportunity to introduce the Government's new Minister for Attack, Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read.

"Faarken scallywags!", Mr Read was heard to remark.

Howard refused to reveal how he plans on attacking the American menace, however, strangely, he did demand that all DVD copies of "Crocodile Dundee 3" and anything involving Yahoo Serious be surrendered to the Australian Army as soon as possible.

The Best Critique Ever... Or Not

Sunday, October 22, 2006, 1:11 PM

Recently on Couch Culture, we've had a bit of a influx of readers. I've put it down to plugs on other sites (Steph's Much Ado About Sumthin, The Australian Index), new blogrollers (Redcap's Half-hearted Hack, Andy B's Spatula City), and the ever-popular Mentos Minty Nipple debacle.

But, of course, I'm not writing this just to have a big blogosphere love orgy. Although I have been known to enjoy the ocassional orgy.

The reason I write this is to point out that newforestbase.org (No pictures, but still probably NSFW) have seen fit to link to me, too... under the banner of "Boys Masturbation Stories".

As if I wasn't already concerned about writing utter wank.


It's Not Every Day You Get To Destroy The Reputation Of Someone's Blog

Friday, October 20, 2006, 1:18 PM

It seems that long-time reader and lesbian icon John Surname is taking a month's hiatus from his comic/blog The Wonderful World Of Romoin & Friends as he studies up for his exams.

My hardcore personal stalkers and those with photographic memories will remember that I've posted up my own versions of sketched mediocrity before, and after a blinding binge session of butterscotch schnapps and Toilet Duck yesterday, it appears that I emailed John and asked if he would like me to throw together a few guest strips. Clearly, John must have been on a schnapps and Toilet Duck bender too, because he accepted my offer.

So here now, for your edification, is my first foray into the wonderful world of Romoin.

If you enjoyed that and want more, go visit Romoin now! I promised John that you would. You wouldn't want to make me a liar, would you?

Just Quickly...

Thursday, October 19, 2006, 1:22 AM

...has anyone seen my car keys?

Fan Mail!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006, 11:28 PM

If you came here to be entertained, turn off the computer screen and walk away now...

Regular readers may know of an article I posted a little while back about a War On Terror Boardgame forum I was getting hits from. It seems that the gent behind it finally got back to me, and I think it's worth a genuine response. (Find the original comment here, and read along at home!!1!)

Mr Wilbar/TrollGod/James Will/Whatever moniker you'd like to be known as,

Firstly, I think it's important to say that I am on your side. If anything in the world can be found to be funny, it should be laughed at. That includes satirical board games.

But in the interest of simplifying things a little, I think a point-by-point reply to your comment is required. I never was one for formalising matters.

To start off however I must congratulate you on being one of the few who takes the care or time to research their article (this also includes the main media) - as no-one else has even mooted such a theory about 'The Evil Balaclava' Forum.

Well then, thanks very much for the ego stroking, although I'm not surprised about the interests of the mainstream media - as I'm sure we both know, the only thing that the media ever take interest in theorising are the sleeping patterns of the celebrities. You did get it right, though - it was just a theory. And a playful, whimsical one at that.

But please give us a little more credit than to be naive enough to mistakenly create a publicly open nerve centre spin-doctoring control forum !

On the contrary, for all I know, my theorised "nerve centre" may have been publicly accessible by design. What better way to recruit others to help the cause? I'm sure it must be a mammoth task to (alledgedly) overturn the opinions of millions of people single-handedly.

As you say you asked for responses & you got my personal opinion - please do not debase my opinions by simply dismissing my view as me simply having an 'interest' in the game - to do such a thing is as bad as doctoring your contributors entries so that they all mirror your own opinion.

You'll notice that I never attempted to debase your opinion - in fact I readily accepted it. All I did was state fact - that you had visited and commented as a representitive of The Evil Balaclava. I used that information to openly theorise and question your motives. It's no different to a glam mag writing, "We have photos of Brad Pitt and Paris Hilton together... we wonder if they're fucking?"

You will find (regardless of what you wish to believe) is that the Evil Balaclava Forum (http://www.forumsvibe.com/thewaronterror) *is* a fan forum

Yes, I did mention that it is the unofficial game forum. Linked to, (therefore, some might say, at the very least condoned) by the official game site and the creators of the game. In fact, the original post concerning my site was even written, commented on and approved by "andrewsheerin" - co-incidently the name of one of the creators.

My interest in the game is simply that it looks to be interesting and I am keen for my copy to be shipped out (when they finally land at TerrorBull HQ)... but until the game is actually shipped and we can start playing it all we have to focus on is the recent main stream media's total mis-representation of the game & thus a threat to it's final production

Worried about the game being released? Now, would that constitute a vested interest?

would your primary reader base be impressed by a media campaign to debase your blog because it contains too much blue? (an over simplification I admit).

The majority of my current reader base are only concerned about a man with three-inch long nipples. I'm sure they won't mind.

The reason for our posting of external comments in Evil Balaclava is simply because there are too many media sources out their with their own financial agendas who have no qualms with blocking any comment that does not suit them - why should they be allowed to escape from being identified as editors of freespeach !?

You know, I had a quick surf through your comments on the "Websites of Hate" section of your forum, and there was no mention of any site, news service, blog or carrier pidgeon blocking or removing any of your pro-game opinions from their site. You'd think something like that would be worth ranting about with your conterparts, wouldn't it?

I think it may be time for me to cite one of the great digital tomes, Wiktionary...

spin doctor

1. (British slang) A person employed to gloss over a poor public image in business and politics, especially after unfavourable results have been achieved.

If you don't mind me saying, sir - the hat fits.

I short there was no conspiracy to dictate your blog, the 'brain child' of anyone who will financially gain from the game (although I'm hoping to be remembered in their wills) and if you still regard this as a huge conspiracy then feel free to have your say in our forum - Looking back at the thread that infuriated you ... yes I can see why throw away comments that point to being something a little more than they are

Trollbar, the article I wrote about your forum was designed with four purposes in mind. First, it was to make the observation that it exists. Secondly, it was to express my disgust at the idea of someone pulling strings behind my back. I simply hate the idea of being manipulated. The third reason was to hopefully get some sort of explanation out of you (mission accomplished), and finally, the article was intended to be amusingly flippant about the idea, which I'll now admit missed the mark somewhat (I would have thought the words "Thank-you and good-night!" would have been a melodramatic hint.)

You see, Couch Culture is essentially a platform for humour, a pedestal from where I have the opportunity to flex my wit, and a forum for lighthearted discussion on Aussie culture. The original article was discussing taboos in humour, using the War On Terror board game as an example only, something which you completely misinterpreted.

It's very possible that you're not one of the creators, as you say - I'm sure the creators of the game would be intelligent enough to recognise that, although there is a market for it, the war on terror remains a controversial and touchy subject, and it's going to make a few people sick to their stomachs. If they didn't consider that, then they are simply being naïve.

I would hope that the creators also recognise that people have a right to feel that way, without having opposing opinions jammed down their throat. Just as I have a right to openly theorise about "The Evil Balaclava". This is, ultimately, a discussion about free speech, isn't it?

The media were always going to take a negative slant on the issue. Since when have the majority of media outlets ever released news articles that were anything less than conservative? That's why many newspapers and news sites have opinion sections, to balance the views of the newspaper. (And have someone to blame if a point-of-view is too controversial.) But considering that the media outlets take their opinions from the percieved opinion of the general public, does it necessarily mean that the position they take on issues are any less relevant?

I honestly can't see why you would bother with this battle of yours. All this attention means the game is getting coverage across the world, and the creators should be thrilled. So why do you bother to leave your pro-game diatribe strewn across the Internet? People are smart enough to decide on their own opinions without your help - especially as satire is a much more intelligent form of humour - and the fact you feel the need to leave a calling card on every mention could be considered an insult to the intelligence of the general public.

But despite all your faults - missing the point of what I have to say, jumping at shadows, spin-doctoring, trolling etc. - I can't fault, whether you have a particular 'interest' in the game or not, your passion to fight for what you believe in.

Enjoy your boardgame, James.

J.Statler, Esq.

P.S. Everyone else: This is the last you'll hear of this. I'm washing my hands of it. Now resuming normal service.

And bonus points for anyone who can make sense of my textual effluent.

"This Krispy Kreme Tastes Like Krispy Krap!"

Monday, October 16, 2006, 1:25 PM

Krispy Kreme. It's a name that remains the scourge of English teachers everywhere.

I've taken part in the supposed "delight" of the Kreme before, and hated it. But admittedly, that was overseas, and we all know how things seem to translate differently in other countries. Like democracy, and Kylie Minogue.

So, in the interest of being objective, and for the benefit of you readers, I went down to the spankin' new Krispy Kreme in Collins St. (The Collins St. in Melbourne obviously, not the one in St. Albans East.)

"The Experience":

I walk into the store, and I'm hit with the stench of what I think a lollipop crematorium would smell like. I think for a moment how easy it would be for them to expand and become Krispy Kremetoriums. Go to the funeral and get your comfort food in one hit.

But I digress.

I seem to be surrounded by bogans, cockheads, slack-jawed yokels and pimply students. A fat family gorge on a couple of boxes in the corner. If the doughnut doesn't make me sick, these people will.

I'm served by a girl named Lovely. She tries in vain to hock me Ice Kreme. I start to wonder if I've entered the third circle of hell. I escape, marginally, but not before a laboured "Have a nice day".

The Look:
Well, at least it looks like a doughnut. Then again, I think it may be glowing slightly.

The Taste Test:

First, the fat. It feels like a mouthful of lard. My arteries swell from shock and I'm pretty sure I just gained ten pounds. Then, the sugar comes. Diabetes-inducing. I either hallucinated or went blind for a moment. Sugar overload. Back of my throat is burning. Also, I have the strange compulsion to drink coffee and read USA Today.

The stickiness of the sole of my size 9 suggests that Krispy Kreme doughnuts would make a top quality low-end adhesive.

Also, someone needs to point out to our good American friends that Kreme should never be Krispy, and that it's probably in violation of the health code when it is.

Tune in next week, when I will attempt to eat shard upon shard of broken, jagged glass. The things I do to entertain you guys.

Ho Bloody Ho

Friday, October 13, 2006, 2:54 PM

Isn't Christmas just the most magical time of the year, kids? A time when family comes together... usually to head down to the local shopping centre to look for those elusive Christmas specials. So what would I happen to see during my suburban pilgramages, but this:

Chances are, that if you're thinking of getting that special someone curtains or blinds for Christmas, you need to speed yourself off to the nearest head-doctor as soon as possible. If not for your own personal safety.

I can't speak for others, but if I were given curtains for Christmas, I would beat you senseless with that rock-hard fruit cake, the one that has been endlessly re-used as a Chrismas gift for the past twenty years.

I'm not an violent person, but somebody has to find a use for that damn fruit cake.

P.S. Yeah, that's my finger in the corner of the photo. I never said I was any good with technology.

Minty Nipples: Reprise

Wednesday, October 11, 2006, 4:37 PM

Prepare for Nipplegate Two: The Reckoning.

Proving once again that even I have my finger on the pulse of the Australian zeitgeist much more than they do, News Ltd. have finally reported the "outrage" (I use the term loosely) over the Mentos Ice nipple ad.

From The Courier-Mail:
AN advertisement which features a man with elongated nipples could be pulled from TV screens in days.

The plug stars a beachgoer whose nipples miraculously grow after he tries Mentos chewing gum.

The Advertising Standards Board said complaints from disgusted viewers started as soon as the ad was screened at the weekend.

"As soon as the advert went to air we received a number of complaints about its content, regarding inappropriate sexual references and claims that it was discriminatory to both men and women," ASB chief executive Fiona Jolly said. "The advert is being rushed on to the agenda of the next meeting of the board this week."

Of course people are put off by the explicit sexual nature of the ad. Man-nipples are so sexy. And anyway, nipples must be The Devil, because Our Dear Lord wouldn't have given man something that might allude to the theory of evolution!

Okay, so I'm blowing the whole stupid discussion out of proportion a bit. Here are my thoughts:

Stupid: Yes.

Disturbing: Mildly.

Offensive: No more offensive than this:

And at the end of the day, just like with anything on TV, you can turn it off or change the channel. No-one is making you watch it. Unless you're an armless, legless man in a closed room with no way of contacting anyone, in which case you probably have more pressing matters on your mind.

So let's hear some thoughts and opinions. Would we be having this same discussion if the man in the ad had puffy areoli? Why the hell is it left to me to defend things I don't even like? Will I get my number one Google result for "Minty Nipples"? Do I use too many tacked-on questions?

Only time (and your comments) will tell.


Monday, October 09, 2006, 1:12 AM

In case you were wondering what happens when they run out of French Fry containers...

I just watched Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me. Because it got me in the mood for food, I'm now seriously contemplating driving down to my local 24-hour McDonald's for a bite to eat.

I'm going to hell, aren't I?

National Bogan Weekend

Saturday, October 07, 2006, 2:14 PM

Well, with the Bathurst "RIP Brocky! We Miss You Brocky! BrockyBrockyBrocky!" 1000 is on again, it must be National Bogan Weekend (proudly sponsored by Winnie Blue's and the Pope.) So naturally, it's reassuring to know that someone out there is picking up Peter Brock's legacy of driving to the limit. (Via the Beeb:)
A man pulled over for driving slowly in the Australian outback has been charged with reckless driving - because police found him driving in reverse.

The man was stopped for driving at a little over 56km/h on a highway near the outback town of Kalgoorlie.

But quick police work soon established that the car was in fact heading backwards - all the way to Perth, some 550km across the desert.

The driver, 22, told police he chose to drive in reverse when his gears failed.

He had already travelled 20km before he was stopped.

Forget Steve Waugh and Fred Hollows, there's no doubt that this guy will be flung into legendary status and will be a future Australian Of The Year.

As the group of great sages known as TISM once said; "you're only five yards from a fuckwit".

Even if you're in the most isolated places on earth.

Guess Who's Been Trawling YouTube?

Thursday, October 05, 2006, 9:45 PM

Okay... One more post, and then I'll cut back on the video orgy that seems to have infested the site lately. I've been looking to post this ad up for a little while now, firstly because it's probably the worst nipple-related advertising campaign in history, and deserves to be mocked.

The other reason I post this is because I want to see if I can get the number one Google result for "Minty Nipples".

Just because.

Wish me luck with my challenge.

Channel Ten Officially Does Something Right

Shane Bourne and Tom Gleisner in a stereotypically boring promotional shot.

From The Australian:

US network NBC is the latest international programmer to pick up the rights to Working Dog's series Thank God You're Here.

The network home of ER and America's Got Talent will film a pilot of Ten's improvisational variety show in November after coming to Melbourne to watch episodes prepared here.

FremantleMedia has already sold the format in 10 territories and versions of the program created by Rob Sitch, Santo Cilauro and Tom Gleisner are screening in Denmark and the Netherlands. Denmark's program debuted extremely well on Sunday and the Dutch version improved in its second week.

Working Dog's Michael Hirsh concedes it is early days for any potential US version.

"We're realistic that we know pilots are pilots and series are series," he said. "I know that, basically, NBC wants a hit show.

"We got on to their radar like the rest. When shows are successful somewhere, people are looking to see if they can make it work for their own territory."

You know what? It's not like me to be positive, and I don't think it'll be a blockbuster, but with the depth of talent in the US, I can see this being a success. (That's assuming that Fifi Box isn't part of the package deal, of course.)

Can you believe it? Ten have actually fostered something original that has a chance of making a world-wide impact. I'm in shock.

To the internationalists who float through here, would you be interested in watching a show like this?

On Becoming The Subject Of Spin

Wednesday, October 04, 2006, 5:22 PM

There are certain milestones in a blogger's blogdom, I'm sure you'll agree... the first post... the first comment... the first death threat... but today, I became aware of a new first - I have become the subject of a media campaign.

On the subject of the War On Terror boardgame, a new commentor, Willbar, had this to say:

Why should terrorism be any more taboo than the wholesale mass destruction of nuclear weapons ?? I say good on them for going for it ...

I have no problem with the response - I asked for opinions, and I got them. It seems like that was the general consensus anyway. No, what interests me is that, last night, I was viewed with half a dozen hits from The Evil Balaclava, the unofficial game forum.

A quick visit shows a bevvy of sites, blogs and pretty much anthing else on Teh Intrawubs that have commented on the boardgame - positively or negatively - as part of their "media war". Although I can't prove it, I'm pretty sure that the forum is the brainchild of someone with an interest in the game.

But it's not even that I'm annoyed about. Sure, it's devious, but everyone has vested interests these days, why shouldn't that include people releasing controversial board games? It's not like the Interwebs have ever changed someone's opinion of anything anyway - it's basically akin to shouting in a soundproof room.

The thing that truly annoys me - trivial or not - is that this is apparently "well reined in!":

They've started to go off topic a tad so to bring them back ...

Why should terrorism be any more taboo than the wholesale mass destruction of nuclear weapons ?? I say good on them for going for it ...

Conversation that dawdles outside the realm of the topic is a staple of Couch Culture. Scratch that - it's the essence of Couch Culture. If I reined in every topic that goes off-track, we would never have known about John Surname's hairy palms, would never have read Hotcakes' explaination of leetspeak, or had found out just how many people loved/hated Hey Dad!

In summary:

1. People are always looking out for their own interests. (But if you didn't know that, chances are you're not intelligent enough to be reading this.)

2. If you're going to use a bit of spin-doctoring, don't organise it in a publicly accessible forum.

3. I will not allow people to dictate how I run my blog!

Thank-you and good-night.

Greatest Ever Child Actor Revealed

Sunday, October 01, 2006, 10:51 PM

Subtitle: Memories from when Rove was good.