Six Ways To Relax And Put A Terrible 2016 In The Rear-View

We’ve had a rough year, no doubt. We’ve lost so many of our cultural touchstones — David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen. There’ve been earthquakes. Fires. And politics? Well, let’s not even go there.

Let’s just not.

We’re all in need of some time out and some self-care. Is work getting you down? Maybe you’re thinking about how your parents are Trump supporters. Are you feeling that sickening churn deep in your guts again? Well, no more. Time to open yourself up to all the joy this world has to offer!

 

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Incredible beaches

Summer’s upon us! That can only mean one thing: hit the beach! Will it be a long, dusty road trip with a refreshing, icy-cold cliff-dive at the end? A traditional snags-sun-and-surf local dip? Maybe it’s cocktails and a cheeky tan with the girls!

You’ll have your pick, from the twinkling swells of Bar Beach in Newcastle to the astounding geological formations of the Tessellated Pavement at Eaglehawk Neck in Tassie.

You’ll probably avoid Cronulla. It reminds you of those race riots that happened there — which reminds you that your parents are, in fact, supporters of Donald Trump, who fanned the flames of race hatred to win the US presidency.

 

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Bluesfest

Music is all about soul, and no festival is more soulful than the venerable Bluesfest, which returns in 2017 with an almost unbelievable lineup. Each year there’s something for everyone, but the 28th Bluesfest is almost like a whole music festival especially designed for each of us!

For you, it’ll be Mary J. Blige, Mavis Staples and your secret crush — headliner Neil Young. The boy will no doubt dash off for big doses of Madness, Jethro Tull and Patti Smith (well… you’ll probably join him for Patti)!

And you might just catch a favourite “classic” act, like Santana or Rickie Lee Jones. You remember your mum playing you her Rickie Lee Jones albums when you were just a tiny kid!

A little tear wells up as you remember the beauty of Rickie’s songs… and the ugliness of Donald Trump. It was bad enough when Mum changed from a believer in abortion rights to a person who could support John Howard and George W. Bush, but knowing she can get behind a man who’s known to dud contractors, mock the disabled and encourage violence against reporters is almost too much for you to bear.

 

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Organise a crafternoon

Living rooms and cafes across Australia will be bustling with crafts this summer… and you’re invited! Why not start your own “crafternoon” with your friends and neighbours? Cross-stitch, drawing, origami, even jewellery and accessory making can be easy and fun!

Dad’s current favourite hobby is crafting his own bullets in the garage. He does a lot of target practice these days. He believes an uprising is coming amongst the Muslims of the world. He believes many things, especially when they come out of the mouth of Andrew Bolt or Cory Bernardi.

 

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Virtual reality’s coming of age

For a change of pace, strap on some goggles and try out one of the new generation of virtual reality devices! The new upgrade to HTC Vive makes it completely wireless, Oculus Rift has a shiny new port of Minecraft, and Playstation VR’s got the upcoming Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, if you’re game to step into a nightmarish horror world!

You’ll struggle, of course, to find a more horrifying world than the one you live in currently. A world where the president-elect of the most powerful country in the world has a right-hand-man devoted to mainstreaming white nationalism, and your parents — Jewish parents, mind you — are OK with this.

 

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Meditation and mindfulness

Your mother actually said the “Nazi stuff” is “the one thing about Trump she’s not thrilled about”. Because everything else about him is so wonderful.

“What about everything I was taught about the Holocaust?”, you ask. “‘Never Forget’ and all that?”

She grins. “Hillary’s no better.”

“Is Hillary getting on board with actual neo-Nazis?”, you ask?

She grins again, because you are a silly rabbit.

 

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Sizzling summer reads

There’s nothing better than losing yourself in a book. Preferably one written a long time ago. Avoid television. You don’t know which Dancing With The Stars host might come out as bigoted.

Don’t read Facebook. It lies. Don’t read think-pieces. And if you do, don’t read the comments.

Try to keep on speaking terms with your parents if you can.

But don’t read this email:

"Straight to the rifle range"

The grandfathered list

A secret list protects 1500 Australian companies from having to disclose any tax information to regulators. If you own a company on this list, you get complete tax secrecy. I read Heath Aston in the SMH on this last week; he says as a result, there’s an underground economy in buying and selling these valuable company names.

I got word of one of these deals going down and went down to Melbourne’s legal district to secretly record the trade.

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Dugong idiots

Save this silly, dickheaded creature.I wrote an e-mail to my local MP because I read this and I like dugongs. I’m not sure if native hunting of them is the prime cause of their endangered status, but I would like some action and to learn more.

I adapted Animals Australia’s campaign e-mail text and altered it to suit me. You could do the same. Feel free to attach my dugong picture too if you like.

Dear Ms Kelly O’Dwyer.

I was surprised to learn that ‘traditional hunting’ of endangered and vulnerable native Australian animals is legal. This includes beautiful and iconic animals like some species of wombat, sea turtles, dugongs, cassowaries and flying foxes.

Apparently there’s only a few hundred dugongs left around here. They are idiots. They eat shrubbery and smile all the time.

Typical conservative ideology dictates they be turned into hats or ground up to feed more responsible, murderous animals. I hope for more from you, despite, as always, the fact that you have to do little to keep our fabulously blue-ribbon Liberal seat.

I support a change to legislation that makes it illegal for anyone to hunt or kill endangered and vulnerable native animals. That includes idiot dugongs.

Please act swiftly in supporting this important change, and help protect these iconic, blubbery morons.

I want my kids to be able to see them, and more importantly, I want them to be able to have fabulous herbivore sex in places neither I nor my future children are allowed anywhere near. That’s right, I want to be restricted from doing something and/or being somewhere. I am not a libertarian. I am not part of your base. I mean nothing to your life.

Save the idiot dugongs anyway. They deserve to live, if only so we can continue to laugh at them. Do we laugh at dodos any more? No.

Thank you.

We must help the dugong, because they can’t help themselves. Look at their scientific name: Dugong dugon. They called themselves the same thing twice and can’t even spell it.

Chris Kenny’s letter to the tax office*

The guys from The Chaser put up a photoshop of some guy called Chris Kenny fucking a dog and he sued them and settled for $35,000.

Chris Kenny's not Chris Kenny's not letter to the tax not office.   * It’s not really Chris Kenny’s letter to the tax office.** ** I’m not telling you this, I’m telling the judge in my future defamation trial, Kenny v. Blumenstein (2014).*** *** Satire works best when you ruin it with disclaimers.

Happy Heavoween!

A group of us like to get together every so often and watch a film by one of our favourite ’80s straight-to-video action stars: David Heavener!

Tonight we’re having a Heavoween party — and I’m bringing the Heavener masks!

You can join in by printing out this mask onto some thick, glossy card, strapping it on and watching your favourite Heavener movie tonight!

Which will it be? Outlaw Prophet? Twisted Justice? Dawn of the Living Dead? The new one with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper in it?

Have a spooky Heavoween!