I am your father.
Like derr... you told me this on Friday.
Oh... isn't this Robert Mills?
No. This is Billy.
Nevermind. Bye son.
Hi there Billy. This is Andrew Denton. Would you like to be on my show?
Sure. But I'm hardly famous. Aaron's blog doesn't exactly have that big an audience...
True, but your dad is Tony Abbott.
Oh yeah... I have a few words I'd like to say about daddy. Do you guys censor out bad language?
Nah. We're on at 9.30pm.
We need you at the Sydney studio next Tuesday at 5pm.
We can't fly you here though. Cut backs.
I'll ask dad for some money and I'll see you up there. Looking forward to it - you're a great interviewer.
Thanks Billy. See you then. Bye.
What can I help you with today?
What do you want? You rang me.
Sorry, I don't understand what you're trying to say. Which IKEA product do you want to know about?
Sorry, I don't understa...
Listen, I don't want to know about any IKEA products...
No Billy, it's me Colin Barnett.
Oh. Crappy result for you on Saturday wasn't it?
Indeed. You wanna become leader of the WA Libs?
Ugh... aren't there any sitting Libs who can become leader?
Nope. They're more incompetent than I am. We need someone with a high profile like you. You can take us out of the wilderness...
Sure. I guess. Can I make up my own policies?
They'll be happy to have you and they'll let you do anything.
Cool. Count me in. I'm free after next Tuesday.
We'll be in touch then. Bye.
This will be cool.
IKEA has a huge range of affordable products for your home and office...
Argh! Go eat shit.
Directing you to dining tables now...
This election is possibly the greatest example of an incumbent winning essentially by default due to the incompetency and sheer silliness of the only viable opposition. The next task for the Coalition is to find someone with a brain between their ears to fill the role of Leader of the Opposition (and let's face it, there isn't much Liberal Party talent left on the opposition benches). It is worth remembering that the WA National Party actually have more in common with the ALP (and the Greens) when it comes to social and environmental issues compared with their supposed coalition partner. I won't be surprised if they (again) break away from the Libs while in opposition.
Hopefully Barnett can take his foot out of his mouth long enough to sign his resignation letter and announce a suitable successor for the seat of Cottesloe - which I hope, despite being in the wealthy western suburbs, is picked up by Labor or the Greens. It is interesting to note that Richard Court's seat of Nedlands was nearly won by the Greens at the 2001 by-election.
Let's also hope that the Libs see that the policies announced at this election - including the canal from the Kimberleys idea and the rolling back gay rights - as not endorsed by the electorate and hopefully never see the light of day again.
It will be interesting to see the new make-up of the upper house. The Greens are bound to lose Agricultural and Mining & Pastoral - which means that Dee Margetts will be out of the job again (she lost her Senate seat in 1998 to Brian Greig from the Democrats - who, by the way, lost his seat to the Green's Rachel Siewert at the 2004 election) and Robin Chapple will possibly go back to working in Giz Watson's office. At this early stage it is impossible to tell for sure who will control the upper house but it is likely the Coalition will once again control the upper house. It is a shame Labor and the Greens didn't manage to get an absolute majority last time around (and could have reformed the, heavily gerrymandered, house).
There was also a referendum held about the extention of trading hours. Technically it is a 'plebiscite' since it simply asks an opinion of the electorate rather than endorses existing legislation. Looking at the figures, there is an overwhelming NO vote to both proposals (first - to extend trading to 9pm on weekdays and second - to extend trading to Sundays). The Liberals seemed to have backed a winner here, although going against their own traditional allies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (which, you will know also pointed out Barnett's huge black hole in his election promises). While technically backing a loser here, the ALP successfully played wedge politics on this issue and have come out stronger.
The Democrats (remember them?) only ran candidates for the upper house this time around. They didn't hand out how-to-vote cards either. The result, as expected, is possibly one of their worst in the party's history with less than 1% of the vote (although counting is still in progress). It's a shame that a party that once had 2 members in the WA parliament is now getting a worse vote than the Christian Democratic Party who have never held a seat in this parliament. It's also worth noting that Damian Meyer, who was at one stage the President of the WA Division of the Democrats, stood for the Greens at this election for the seat of Perth. My old division appears to be crumbling, although support for the Dems in the rest of the country isn't that great either.
Billy discovers that his real father is Tony Abbott, and not Darth Vader as he was lead to believe.
It is an attempt at sorts of reclaiming public space, dressing it up a little and reminding people that they are in an urban setting. Personally I dislike most tagging - it's obnoxious and crass, and unthoughtful - except when the artist is given a little more time and colours to create something worthwhile.
I adore stencil art though. Stencil art on the other hand is tagging's shy little sister. Hardly noticeable, except when you're up close. Stencil art is usually quite thoughtful - sometimes political, sometimes rude but always entertaining. As with tagging, if the artist is given a little more time to add more layers - they look even better - but unlike tagging it is possible to look good after one quick spray.
Unlike most public art, which requires commissions or grants - stencil art is open to everyone (well everyone who doesn't mind taking the risk of getting caught). It's possibly one of the more democratic forms of art - much like blogging is to writing and journalism.
Sometimes it is the stencil art alone that makes a laneway interesting, although most of the time these clever images actually simply add more to the character of a laneway. Side note... three more lanes have been added to my lanes blog. Lately I've taken to doing a number of lanes in the same block all at once - saving time and energy.
Anyways... back to stencil art - I'm planning on attending some of the Melbourne Stencil Festival which starts on Friday. I will no doubt be the uncoolest person there but I hope I can make up for it with my enthusiasm. See this flyer for more info.
Upon being accused of being boring and unspontaneous, Billy decides to risk it all and have his picture taken next to a sign banning photography in the area.
Side note... as with the removal of bins in the Sydney CBD, banning photography in the Melbourne underground loop is paranoia gone insane. Although it would be funny to see hundreds of Federal Police storm Parliament Station arresting a tourist for taking some happy snaps. Possibly not so funny if they spoke German and had a mental illness.
Pender Communications Ltd
5-B Wyndham Crescent
N19 5QI LONDON UK
Personally I don't know about the general intelligence of admin staff these days but I gather we're not completely stupid. The fax says:
"We want to send you our promotional faxes but only if you want to receive them... mark the NO box for instant removal of your fax number from our database... mark the YES box and add any additional fax numbers on which you wish to receive our promotions and special offers."
And here is the clincher... "Please fax back to: 1902 266 028... [small text] the cost of sending this fax is $5.45/min"
Only an idiot would tick the NO box and run up their boss's phone bill at $5.45 a minute!
These parasites are already wallowing around the bottom of the barrel of human decency by sending out unsolicited faxes like these in the first place but now they've hit a new low... they're the maggots feeding on the faeces of the parasites (no offence to maggots).
To their credit, however, is in small text down the bottom "To be removed from the fax distribution list please fax your number to 1300 558 851." Still, the cost of a local call is frankly too higher price to pay to be removed from a distribution list that I DIDN'T SIGN UP TO IN THE FIRST PLACE.
As with before, I look forward to hearing from those who have googled the company's name and come across my blog.
So in the spirit of Kyoto, I thought I'd float some eco-ideas out there in cyberspace. These are just ideas - debateable, questionable and even possibly quite silly... but float them I will...
IDEA 1: Capping Car Registrations
It seems a little silly to have an ever increasing amount of cars on the road. Surely if we set a limit to just how many can be registered, then people will most likely share cars or find alternative (and more sustainable means of travel). Obviously cars that use miniscule amounts of fuel or are completely fuel-free would be given priority or possibly be exempt from this cap. Priority for registration should also be given to those facing the most hardship too (e.g. those living far from (decent) public transport services, those who work out of normal business hours, those who are caring for others, etc.
Less cars on the road also equals less road trauma (providing driver training and safetly initiatives remain at the same level), less congestion and may actually lead to better economic outcomes. Fuel would be cheaper since demand would be down and, if eco-friendly cars are given priority or are exempt from the cap, then demand for these vehicles would obviously increase.
IDEA 2: Public Transport Tax Concessions
I've always thought it silly that businesses that give their employees cars and parking spaces as part of their employment packages actually get some sort of benefit from it. Obviously there is incentive for them far beyond enticing more talented people into their company. I may be wrong, however.
Regardless of this, why can't businesses get tax concessions for giving their employees public transport tickets as part of their employment packages? Add to this the employee's opportunity to claim public transport use (even outside of working hours) as a tax deduction if they personally had bought the tickets.
IDEA 3: Provide Better Public Transport
Simple. If all public transport modes run frequent enough, throughout the entire city up to at least midnight, then people will more likely use it. Twenty-four hour public transport is viable in large cities like Melbourne and Sydney.
IDEA 4: Free Grey Water Re-use Systems for Concession Card Holders
These machines basically make grey water (i.e. from your washing machine, kitchen sink, shower, basin, etc) back into drinkable water. While providing these free for concession card holders, it would be beneficial to increase the cost of water in order to encourage others to re-use grey water too.
IDEA 5: Tax Environmentally Harmful Goods More
We have a consumption-based tax which can be used more effectively to encourage people to buy products that are more environmentally responsible. Meat should at least have GST attached to it - plus a green tax of an additional 10% (possibly more if you buy that meat in a burger from McDonalds). I might be biased here as a vegetarian but surely there are better ways of using our remaining arable land than by using it for cattle grazing.
Billy dusts off his Wonder Woman outfit for the Midsumma Carnival... and discovers a few other people wearing the same outfit.
This post is dedicated to Kitten Kaboodle who passed away on Monday.
Interesting... it's like they're living in a democracy in which they have the freedom to elect their head of state. Frankly, the best result would see Charles take the throne and 67% of the population marching in the street calling for his abducation - or better still a Republic!
The previous one we saw was Outcast Theatre's 'Naked' production. Which was rather heavy, although humourous in parts and with a minimum amount of costuming (i.e. a towel at most).
Tonight's play, 'Salome' is apparently a production of one of Oscar Wilde's French plays set in - of all places - a BDSM club. John was centre stage, handcuffed and in a tight pair of leather (or rubber?) shorts.
Overall, the actors gave a good performance - and this is especially so considering the director is an absolute wanker.
I'm sure if you get to know him, outside of the theatre, away from anything remotely stressful or stimulating, he might be a pleasant, down-to-earth kind of guy. But give him a script, a cast and a few strobe lights and he pretty much becomes Melbourne's Number One Wanker.
This might seem a little harsh, considering I've had very little to do with the man except hear other people's anecdotal evidence and my own brief brush-in with him while attempting to get back to my seat after going to the toilet, but still, he doesn't seem all that pleasant to be around. Is it any wonder this time around he has a "whole new cast"?
So... to the rest of the cast and crew - great job! Hope to see you at another play soon.
Since no-one seems to read the side bar, I thought I'd advertise Billy's availability for photos taken with his many and adoring fans.
The exercise is simple - take a photo of yourself leaving enough room for Billy to be inserted and email it to me. You can make it look like you're hugging him, shaking his hand, whatever. However, what Billy is doing and what he is wearing will ultimately be up to me to decide. If possible, I'll try to make it humourous.
Preferably the photo should include your face and be of decent quality (i.e. no grainy webcam or camera phone shots). The photo should be of you and/or people that you know (with their permission of course). I will then post the image on my site and send you an email about it.
The first person to send in their photo will get an extra special prize from Billy.
I guess my excuse is that my new job only takes me to the next suburb and I've been on a break from uni - so I'm hardly in the CBD these days.
I hope to get back on this horse, so to speak, and upload a lane every week. I'll try anyway. I've done 20 altogether now. Only 160 left!
I've taken photos of 5 lanes today for your viewing pleasure. Click on the images to make them bigger / uncropped.
Ironically Billy is 30mins late for his first day as a Connex "Customer Service Officer" due to a late train.
Me: do you pay asian children less than $1 a day to manufacture your products?
Anna: Please have a look at the Children's Furniture and Accessories.
Me: what music do you like?
Anna: I'm sorry, but I'm not willing to talk about those kind of events. Please ask me a question about IKEA.
Me: do you think there are heaps of people out there making fun of you?
Anna: For which product would you like to know what kind of materials it is made from?
Me: do you meet lots of interesting people while working in your job?
Anna: I don't know anything about the social life in your town, but I have some ideas about meeting and socializing, yes.
Me: what makes you happy?
Anna: I was created by Artificial Solutions (http://www.artificial-solutions.com), IKEA USA (http://www.ikea-usa.com), and HUGE (http://www.hugeinc.com/2001/huge_1000.html).
Me: so they are to blame. do you think i should email them and tell them you obviously have a hearing problem?
Anna: I'm sorry to hear that. Please remember that I can only talk about IKEA related matters.
Me: what do you know about john howard?
Anna: Here you will find the Bathroom Furniture and Accessories.
I'm both amused and confused by the last answer.
Surely the number of bored American teenagers out there with some sick suggestions as to where she can install the lastest range of Ikea products, outnumber the number of genuine customers keen to learn about these products?
Try it out yourelf!
Oh... and by the way... the map below isn't exactly to scale but the shear size of the Ikea store in Richmond isn't far off reality. I'm sure you can see it from space. It's pretty much all you can see when you approach the Yarra from Victoria St.