Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adventurerering Inside My Head

I was thinking ABOUT ooh capslock: too bad, I'm not going back to change it. never look back! You can't change the past. Yes, I know that this is only typing and the backspace key was invented for a reason, but I'm going for a certain _feel_ um, immediacy. Ah, yes: vocabulary, the educated man's internet __ing and **ing. Hey, if Chekov didn't use underscore and stars to add impact to words then no one should. And let's not even get started on italics and certain aurthors called Matthew Reilly. That's funny, I thought 'cunt' was spelt.... Maybe that's an auditory joke only.
So, I was thinking about the cult I joined in Cairns and it brought to mind that most awesome of cults, Scientology. The essence is to pay ever increasing amounts of money to feel good about yourself because you are a moron who believes aliens are going to come and grant you eternal life.
Now, I know all about alien visitation: I've had acid flashbacks.
Yeah, guys? Probably not going to happen.
The main trouble with Scientology is that it's really only open to those who are overly endowed with money yet not intelligence.
And you know what that means: yes, the market is already segmented!
My target market is for people of average wealth and below average reasoning skills. And there are plenty of you peo.. I mean, those people around.
Remember: the joke is never about you.
So, to follow in the well defined foot steps of L. Ron Hubbard I am starting up a cult for a bet. With myself. The genius of this well become evident.
First step: change my name.
I am now B. Yourself Simpson.
Next step is to define the cult.
Well, it's exactly the same as every religion and cult ever invented: to make people feel good about themselves. Particularly if you happen to be a dunder-headed slave without the wits or balls to sharpen the spade a little bit and rise up in rebellion and establish a socialist paradise or similar.
The basis of my cult... No, it's not a cult: it's a religion. Religions are, apparently, worthy of respect whilst cults are irrational and exploitative.
So, the basis of my religion is to feel good about yourself by "Being Yourself".
It's in my name. B. Yourself.
Like Jesus Christ and Christianity, and Bhudda and Buddhism, and Insane and Insanity.
All you have to do is to fill in the form labelled "Credit card details" and every month I will send you a letter telling you that you are doing better and will shortly go up a level.
And then... actually, that's pretty much it.
Oh, yeah. Why it works is that no one actually wants to change themselves, they just want to be reassured that they are fine just the way they are.
So, just Be Yourself. You're doing fine.
And the only way you can feel more happy and validated is to be yourself even more/harder! This of course costs a little bit more each month, but that's how you can keep track of your progress. I lied about sending you a letter. On reflection, the important thing is for you to feel better about you, not have your Great Leader tell you so.
Remember: it's all about you. So, if you are vacillating over whether to get plastic surgery or what colour your next car should be just ask "Hmm, what would _I_ do?" (Fuck Chekov).
And then, whatever you think you would do, do that.
Look, if you aren't going to be yourself then no one else will.

More Adventurererism? I hope so!

"THE balance in the internal White House debate over Iran has shifted back in favour of military action before the US President, George Bush, leaves office in 18 months."
# Cheney: Third times a charm, right?
Rice: No, I think it's a law, not a charm.
Cheney: Oh, like the third law of Thermodynamics?
Rice: Exactly. I have a PhD, you know.
Dubbya: Thermo-what? Thermonukular?! Sounds cool.

"The move follows an internal review involving the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department over the past month. Although the Bush Administration is in deep trouble over Iraq, it remains focused on Iran. A source in Washington said: "Bush is not going to leave office with Iran still in limbo.""
# Iraq, yes. Afghanistan, yes. But Iran, No.

"The Washington source said that Mr Bush and Mr Cheney did not trust any potential successors in the White House, Republican or Democratic, to deal with Iran decisively."
# Sure, Iraq is a quagmire, but it's a decisive quagmire.

"They are also reluctant for Israel to carry out any strikes because the US would get the blame in the region anyway."
"The red line is not in Iran. The red line is in Israel. If Israel is adamant it will attack, the US will have to take decisive action," Mr Cronin said. "The choices are: tell Israel no, let Israel do the job, or do the job yourself."
# So, what they are saying is, pretty much this: (a) Iran is inevitably going to get bombed, and (b) whoever does it, the US will get blamed anyway.

I believe them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Badgers. Too good to pass up.


The British army denies it has released man eating badgers in Iraq.

"We can categorically state that we have not released man-eating badgers into the area," said British military spokesman Major Mike Shearer."

Glad they've cleared that up then.

Yank: We're bringing democracy to Iraq!

Brit: Oh. Sorry, we thought you said we were bringing man-eating badgers to Iraq!

Yank: Why the heck would we do that?

Brit: Well, it made as much sense as your reasons for invading in the first place...

Yank: God damn it! We clearly stated that our plan was "Step 1: Invade Iraq. Step 2: ? Step 3: Profit!"

Brit: Ah. It's a bit embarrassing really.

Yank: Who ever heard of "Step 1: Release Man-eating Badgers. Step 2: ? Step 3: Profit!"??!!!

Brit: You're quite right. That doesn't make any sense at all.

Flashback: Adventurerering in protesting. Lord Mattresshammer and my efforts to thwart the invasion of Iraq. Feb22 2002. You can see, from the colour of my undies, my support for UN lead options. You can also see, from the perenially positioned tear just how old those cut-off army pants of doom (TM) were. Erg.

And a bit over five years later the US Congress has put through a third vote to pull troops out by early April 2008. I think it is obvious to point out that if only they'd paid attention to our cardboard peace shaken that they wouldn't be in this horrible mess.

Suggested reading: "Generation Kill" by Evan Wright (which I see is being made into a minseries )
"One Bullet Away" by Nathaniel Fick, who was the lieutenant of the 1st Marine Recon platoon that was the subject of Generation Kill.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cairns pics two

All the traffic light switch boxes in Cairns are painted in literary themes.

The outer ribbon reef.
It looks totally different from underneath. More fish for one.

The Shaolin: the Chinese junk we took out to snorkle with the sea turtles.
Sea turtles.
It's not as easy as it looks, is it?

Youcef offered fellow passengers a ride on his Canadian junk. I'm not quite sure what he meant.

Chinese Pheonix. The Shaolin has sailed round the world twice but has spent the last eighteen years ferrying people out to the inner reef.

Cairns. Making Tracks.

Water tracks

Human tracks

Crab tracks

Mudskipper tracks

Bird tracks.

The Daintree

Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation.
Where things that were ship-shaped went pear-shaped for Captain Cook.

Where marine worms make their casts.

Where armoured sand-bubbler crabs shape their shot.

Where molluscs sign their names on the sand at low tide.

They don't know it but they are making pithy statements as to the fleeting nature of fame. Molluscs are smarter than they seem.

Cape Tribulation is also where Canadians complained there weren't enough crocodiles.
Or monkeys.
Stupid Canadians.

And also where we reached the end of the tarmac.

"Although we've come (urg) to the end of the ro-oad.."
"Shut up, Harry."
"...still I can't le-et go-o..."
"Shut up, Harry!"
"I hate you Youcef."
"I hate you too. This rainforest sucks: no monkeys."
"Stupid Canadian."
"Or Tigers."
"You're an idiot."
"I want to kick one of those brush turkeys."
"Yeah, me too."

Day's end: Sunset over the Daintree River at the town of Daintree.

Environs of Cairns

I really recommend Cairns. Hire a car and whizz around the area.
We went up to Cape Tribulation and did a whole bunch of forest walks.
Port Douglas was our launching point for a whole day outer reef snorkling/scuba cruise and a half day turtle snorkling cruise.
A bunch of the beaches on the way to Port Douglas have stinger nets so you can loll in the warm murky water.
Kuranda has a surprisingly good Birdworld and a Butterfly Farm.
Driving on the road that passes through sugar cane fields ; winds it's way up rainforest hillside and out onto the Atherton Tablelands beyond is very pretty. Mareeba has a military museum nearby.
Further south thyere are crater lakes and dozens of water falls.

If I had to sum up the whole area I'd say; peaceful.

The peaceful crater lake, Lake Barrine, ironically formed by a volcanic explosion.

A saw-edged turtle tries to peacefully eat the foot of a peaceful duck.

A tree kangaroo, very peaceful on account of being dead.

Peaceful World War I kinetic munitions Mark1. Pretty much fin stabilised lead slingshot for tossing by the handful out of your plane when you pass over enemy trenches. Beck War Museum.

One the last day Mads, Lenny and I went to the Biodome on top of the Cairns Casino. It's a bit pricey ($25) but it does have some cool stuff including the only crocodile I saw the whole time. Birds fly round the whole thing and there are a half dozen fenced off areas for specific creatures. They also have short shows of various animals. We were in time for a mammal show where a bonny English woman let us stroke a bandicoot, a koala and a bettong. She explained that most of the mammals were nocturnal and described some of their habits.
I asked about her nocturnal habits.
She smirked.
I waggled my eyebrows.
She smiled.
I made suggestive hand movements.
The security guards were called Simon and Steve.

But I bumped into her later on and we laughed about the whole thing and made love for hours.

Cairns Randomness

I've experienced a lot of 'firsts' in the last eight months. First time I've been blessed by a cripple; first time I've seen a one-armed man playing a guitar; first time I've eaten conger eel - that sort of thing.

The first thing that happened once I'd walked from the tarmac and through the door into the terminal at Cairns was a young blonde Irisher asked if I'd like to buy her car. Dinner certainly, but not a car.
Of course, if she'd been raven-haired and had lips that were all dark wine and lurid promise then I would have become a car owner again.

I stayed with a Marly mate, Lenny, and met up with two other ex-Marly foreigners; Mads (Tasmanian) and Youcef (Canadian).
Lenny is living a blissful bachelor existence where the milk has made the leap to cheese, and the bedbugs have made the leap from the previous residents to Lenny.

During the week we had the Cairns Film Festival.
They were:
Rocky 2 - shithouse.
OngBak - Impressive. But the girl wins the most annoying and penetrative voice of all film history award.
Pirates of teh Carrybean 3: Cool, but I'm not sure what Chow Yun Fat was doing plotwise. Pretty though.

Up in Cairns I met a bunch of people who have a different way of life. They offered me a place with them. And special footware. And a special one-piece zip up costume ala dodgy James Bond villian type. They initiated me into their special sign language, and then informed me that I could only leave if they paid me money.
I know what you're thinking, but it's not a cult at all!

It's legitimate and non-exploitive. They've shown me things I've never seen before.

"Welcome, brother!"

Ok. So, I joined a cult.

See how happy I am with my new friends?
I would be smiling in this photo, but we're not allowed to until after 4pm.

Cairns pics

I was going to by some presents but I didn't want to get anything brilliant, impressive or merely good.

The mudflat was created by mangroves which have since been cleared. The difference between high and low tide is not great at all. Each pebble that stands above the mud is a palm sized mudcrab. The mud is glutenous yet beckons so temptingly "Walk on me".

So I walked up one of these channels which had sand on it's bottom rather than mud which I figured would mean it was firm under foot. It was thus I am a genius. About halfway to the water I found a patch that was not so firm, sunk up to my knee and snapped a thong. I handed in my 'genius' hat back at the sand.


We walked the two blocks to the water's edge. A wide expanse of mud stood between the strip of sand and the open water.
Crabs glistened wetly in their thick coats of chocolate sediment. Come low tide they had emerged from their holes and hollows and spent the hours picking over the mud like scavengers behind a retreating army. The sun flashed off them as they moved.
We continued past the red stemmed and gold stemmed palms, and onto the boardwalk. Small waves slapped the rocks beneath.
Tinnies returned from their open ocean errands and cruisers released their tourists on the marina.

It was here she said goodbye.

The experiment was over. There were no coals to rake through nor angry words to be exchanged. Ending it was a formality devoid of histrionics and pleas for reconsideration.
I wandered to where the waves caressed the sand and with a rhythmic shushing, lulled it to sleep. I sat and stayed until she'd had enough time to pack then made my own way back to the apartment, squinting into the sun.

Pairs of small speckled doves they sell in petshops down south scuttled out of my way. A couple of tiny olive coloured honeyeaters inspected the epiphytes on the fig on the corner. I stopped to watch a gathering of green tailed ants mill undecidedly on the curb, then I went inside.
I sat down with a bottle and one of those glasses that are too small for a swig and too big for a sensible shot, alternately cursing her and mourning her til the bottle was gone.

Then I waited for high tide to take me away.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Adventurerering Indoors

When a program of Adventurerering outdoors suffers from Can't Be Arsed Syndrome.

Basement Books in the tunnel at Central + $112 = Instant classics collection plus stuff wot looks interesting.