Category Archives: satire

Laughs amid the turmoil

Book Review by Bernie Dowling

Weimar Vibesis a most humorous novel on a very serious subject.

Anti-hero Rudi Flynn is a former tabloid journalist, reformed cocaine abuser and practising alcoholic.

Under normal circumstances, he would not be first choice as an operative of Her Majesty’s Secret Service but here he is enlisted to thwart a takeover in Britain by the extreme right.
No one seems to quite know what Flynn is supposed to be doing, least of all the man himself. During his service for Her Maj, he does manage to cover his neighbour’s wife and encounter women who want to have sex with him, kill him, or both.
The novel operates at many levels and to appreciate its full range, the reader would best come armed with some knowledge of European history from as far back as the first world war, at least.
That being said, great slapstick and comic word-play will engage any reader. As a bonus, you receive the elevator pitch on Plato and Socrates, in case you thought they were Greek soccer players.
At the centre of the story is a discussion on social and political reactions to questions of immigration and refugees which most countries around the world are having right now.
This novel won a gold star and was rated as a ‘most popular’ novel on HarperCollins Authonomy emerging-writer’s website.
It is a part of the Rudi Flynn series but stands alone quite steadily.
There are a few typos and a couple of formatting glitches, but I did not find them overly distracting.
The story moves briskly and it is certainly refreshing to see humour at the centre of a thriller.
Any reader who enjoys this novel will probably back up for more tales of the engaging scoundrel, Rudi Flynn.
Today’s video song is a sweet way to end the review

To sex or not to sex

THAT is the question: to sex or not to sex.
A lot of websites are saying no to sex.
On the first page of a Google search of mine, six websites had this exact same bait line: ‘American Playwright David Mamet explains why no play or movie he writes or directs include explicit sex scenes.’
Oh! Calcutta! you are so quaint

To a writer, the funniest thing  about  the websites all having the same sentence is they have it wrong. Re-read the sentence. It should not be “include” but “includes”.

It seems the only “ism’’ the www believes in is plagiarism and sometimes malapropism.  
I stole that plagiarism quip by the way.  While I am on a role, I will paraphrase another jest coined by someone else. Say no to promiscuous sex? We were brought up better than that. Say no, thank you, to promiscuous sex.
Mamet is a playwright and he was saying explicit sex on the stage distracts people.
I would have thought than in the bedroom or outdoors, it tends to focus the actors and even an audience if there is one. Apparently not so on the stage, but books might be a different fetish of fish.
An erotic novel without sex might not sell too well. I am no expert on an erotic literature but some writer in the genre must have come up with a novel without copulation. I wonder how it went.
I am likewise unfamiliar with the ups and downs, the ins and outs, of romance titles but they tell me intertwining bodies are all the go on certain pages.
I do know about detective novels. Sex and greed are pretty much all she wrote is those.
At least, in one Raymond Chandler, Marlowe, despite his fondness for hard liquor, did not bed the femme fatale until she had left her husband.
Dashiell Hammet’s  Sam Spade, on the other hand, tells his faithful secretary he can only relate to women through sex.  Note to author Dash: decline that invitation for a guestie at the Jane Austin Book Club.
In my novel, Iraqi Icicle (2ndedition due out shortly) I have added a funny sex scene. It made me laugh anyway. It’s the longest sex scene in the novel  unless my editor, who has the manuscript in his hot little hands ATM, decides we need some more hanky panky.
Iraqi Icicle has only a smattering of four-letter words, in contrast to J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.  In all other respects our novels are eerily similar and should sell about the same number of copies.
The point is it is the writer’s call on sex, violence and four-letter words. The reader is the ultimate arbiter but some of us recalcitrant writers believe there is more to writing a novel than maximising sales.
Sing-along time, me word-loving maties!

(warning: nudie bit)

Critical readers have their say about 7 Shouts

A fun read June 10, 2012
By Jane.S
Bernie Dowling has a unique voice that really brings his columns to life. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys Australian humour. Even if you don’t laugh you will be entertained and informed. My favourite is the Slanguage chapter. For the record I say ‘marown’.
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”. For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. Love, tragedy, success, and history–it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling. Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂
Read to the end
By Lorraine R. Noscov
Not often have I picked up a book to read and wanted to keep reading until I had finished the book. 
7 Shouts by Bernie Dowling is a light-hearted read of historical and some hysterical interesting snippets from the Northern Times Newspaper. It is a pleasant walk down memory lane for anyone who has lived in the Pine Rivers Shire, now Moreton Bay Shire, during 2001 and 2008.
Lorraine R. Noscov
Wonderful appreciation
R. Holt 
Author Dowling has a wonderful appreciation of the issues affecting local people and his witty use of the English and Australian languages enhance the book’s entertainment value. His ‘best of’ columns broadly range between being informative, questioning, educational, and humorous while he has a knack of subtly promoting local events and people. The cover is attractive and the book would interest readers of short stories involving real life events.
Instant classics
Easy and relaxing reading with interesting facts along the way. Some of the author’s comments, I like to declare as instant classics.
Customer Reviews
Average 4.0 out of 5 stars
Publisher’s summary
A comic journey from the edge of the city into the heartland of the metropolis passing through the mullet festival, the school fete and the rural show. 
Journalist Bernie Dowling and his readers embrace and defy physical prescriptions such as the Russell Crowe Law of Fame and the Barck Obama Version of Australian Slang.
Before their eyes leap cultural icons such as the french poodles Fi Fi and Fa Fa which enter the sheep-dog trials and the impoverished teenager trying to win a date with pop singer Delta Goodrem
OIympic athletes, a US president, a deposed Australian Prime Minister greet them along strange detours to solve historical mysteries.
Signposts along the way are unusual photos and links to crazy songs and weird facts.
7 Shouts is a classic contemporary doco of a world gone mad, but still a heap of fun.

7 Shouts available as an eBook from 

affiliated etailers
Thank you for 

flying BernieAirDepartures

Rich crazies insure their best bits

OMG what can you say
When a loopy has lots of dough
I received this media release from an insurance company today.
I have no comment.
I mean, really, what can you say?
What do alien abductions, legs, backsides, moustaches and voices all have in common?
The answer is, celebrities insure them!
Here are just some of the fascinating things that the stars are insuring²:

  • Shirley MacLaine has protection against alien abduction for $25mil
  • Model Heidi Klum’s legs were insured for $2.2mil
  • Former Test cricket player Merv Hughes’ walrus moustache for $370,000
  • Bruce Springsteen’s voice for $6mil
  • Dolly Parton’s ‘renowned assets’ for $600,000
  • One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson’s backside for $160,000

Amazing! You could even say crazy. But on the other hand, celebrities recognise what’s most valuable to them and insure against damage or loss of their signature ‘asset’. They do it for peace of mind.
95 percent of Australian families don’t have adequate insurance¹. That’s a lot of under-valued Aussie parents, partners and kids. Now that’s crazy!
For further information or to purchase Ezicover insurance*, please click here.
A reminder about what’s important in life from NRAS Australia.

10 annoying things in fiction

“I know nothing about him,” I murmur.
“…Thank you,” I murmur.
“Um. Actually –” I mutter.
“Raising the ordinary to the extraordinary,” I murmur.
“It’s shrewd business,” he murmurs.
“Very well,” she mutters, then exits.
“Oh I’ll bear that in mind,” I murmur.
– All the above quotes are from Chapter 1 of Fifty Shades of Murmuring and Muttering

10  annoying things in fiction

 10.  A sentence which starts with Then.
  9. A sentence with then in it.
  8. Sentences without verbs except those in this article.
   7. Sentences with many overblown annoying unnecessary florid adjectives.
   6 Characters who express direct speech in any of the following ways: laugh, grin, cry, smile, exclaim, explode, object, sigh, scowl, murmur.
  5. Adverbs which constantly modify how someone speaks, I say scathingly.
  4. Characters who appear for no reason
  3. Characters who disappear without explanation
  2. The word very which is a very bad word.
  1. More than one ante-climax.

Games people play

Olympic Rant #11 Games reputation on the chopping block

WHEN I heard the IOC had booted out a referee and the coppers had lumbered an Olympic tweeter, I thought it best to turn my attention to an alternative spectacular, the annual Pine Rivers Show.
No axes in the back at the Pine Rivers Show
In the noble sport of bashing, referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov of Turkmenistan was punted from the London games after he failed to stop a match despite a fighter from Azerbaijan being knocked to the canvas six times.
Amazingly, judges awarded the fight to the Azerbaijani Magomed Abdulhamidov, but that decision was soon reversed amid allegations of a $2 million bribe by Azerbaijan. Wow, who would have thought bribery and match fixing would have crept into the pristine sport of bashing?
Outside the bashing ring, police arrested a 17-year-old for tweeting “negative messages” with reference to Olympic diver Tom Daley’s dead father. Wow, who would have thought an offensive message would be posted on Twitter? Police throughout the world are now investigating 45, 762, 811 people over possible similar offences.
Some journos have taken to referring to these London Olympics as the Twitter Games. In my day job, I tweet a bit about the Olympics among posts on more pressing local matters. (I work for what used to be called a suburban newspaper but we have rebadged ourself as a community newspaper.) In these rants, I have quoted a couple of people’s tweets. I am far from an astronaut in the tweet universe but I am not a black hole, either.
On our papers Facebook pages, I posted the discussion point of whether the gun Chinese swimmer was Ye Shiwen or Shiwen Ye. The topic was bubbling nicely when my posts and its attached comments disappeared. Our IT guru assured me the posts were there on the Faceboook page but nobody could see them. This seemed like a great metaphysical conundrum along the lines of “if a tree falls in the forest…” But it curtailed one of my more promising social-media adventures.
One positive thing I will say about my Twitter universe is all the stars in it are rarely negative or insulting. I will just check my Twitter account to see how many stars there are.  I have 22 followers and I follow 30 people. I try to keep parity between followers and followees, but it seems I have slipped up a bit lately.
I read everything I can lay my screen on about social-media strategy. Bent Banana Books is a professional publisher, after all. We need to go into the marketplace and kick arse, ass in America, though I do not get the metaphor of booting a donkey, in the bum, or anyone else, for that matter. I vow to follow hundreds of people hoping some will reciprocate.  But I find it a bit contrived. Then I start getting picky about whom to follow. Those I choose do not follow me back. It’s a mess. One woman – not one of my stars – tweeted anyone with fewer than 100 followers –she actually tweeted less than 100 but I have cleaned her grammar for her – was a cyber stalker. For some reason, her tweet made me feel better.
I believe I should have 2000 followers because what I tweet is really really relevant. Others seem to disagree. They could be right.
After reading depressing reports from the London Olympics, I decided to go to the Pine Rivers Show.

Pine Rivers is a district north of Brisbane. This is its 108th show and the showground is just across the road from where I live.
Pine Rivers has a population of about 130, 000. More than 30,000 people attend the show each year. Per capita, the Pine Rivers Show is far more popular than the London Olympics. No-one watches the show on TV, but.
I tweeted and Facebooked some of my observations to our newspaper accounts. It is my day off, but what the heck, what are a few lousy tweets between friends. I will share some of the tweets and posts, but only the ones which set the scene or demonstrate how wily I am in linking the Pine Rivers Show to the London Olympics.

1. #pineriversshow This is shaping as the best Pine Rivers Show ever. If you like leisurely strolls head down in the next few hours before the burst of the late afternoon crowds.

#pineriversshow Check out 3-month-old alpaca named Short Circuit and 10-month-old miniature long-hair goat Twiggy. They are in the farmyard.

Ugandan drummer Joseph Matovu is conducting free drumming workshops. The kids from Pine Rivers Special School (for disabled students) really pounded out the beat for Old McDonald Had a Farm. “They are fantastic,” Joseph said of the kids. Joseph is fantastic, too.

The variety of food is amazing. You have the old standards of Dagwood Dogs, burgers and chips, as well as the scouts’ sausage sizzle and the Rotary sangers. But there are also wood-fired pizzas, American-style burgers, Teppanyati noodles, Turkish gozleme which is beef cheese and spinach on pita bread and yakitori, Japanese chicken skewers. From the Taste of Greece stall I bought the spanakopita (spinach and feta pie) Yum-eee! The vendor said I pronounced spanakopita so well, he gave me an extra pie free.

#pineriversshow I don’t know what school it was but props for the kids who waited patiently in a 50-metre line to get into the show. They spent the waiting time pointing out to one another all the wonders inside.
Pine Rivers was only settled by the White invaders in the mid-1880s and the district only began to become (sub)urbanised 30 or so years ago.  (In 1966 the population was fewer than 14,000). It has nowhere near the rich cultural history of the London and the local council refuses to heritage-list significant sites and buildings in Pine Rivers district. Yet Pine Rivers can host a friendly show of competitions – cooking, horticulture, beef cattle, poultry, arts & crafts, photography, wood-chopping, needlework, school work, colouring-in, show jumping, a rodeo and some I cannot recall – as well as exhibitions and entertainments, many with an international flavour.
I loved it when the Greek man gave me an extra pie for showing the respect to try to pronounce one of his national dishes as best I could.
On that positive message, let’s play the Australian National Anthem for London 2012.

Bernie Dowling, August 3, 2012

Pool brouhaha splashes at the shallow end

Olympic Rant #8 Dopey blasts dwarf win

‘YOU’RE a drug cheat.’
‘No you’re a drug cheat.’
‘You’re a druggie.’
Nah, you’re a druggie; nah, nah, nah.’
Back and forth across the Olympic the pool, the accusations fly like shuttlecocks; it is water badminton.
The latest design in shuttlecocks for water badminton
expected to be an Olympic sport in 2020 

Chinese swimmer Shiwen Ye was the catalyst for the first of a barrage of snide remarks when she won the 400m individual medley. It should have been a fairy tale result as Ye easily swam her personal best and snatched a world record. But it turned into a fairy tale directed by Tim Burton as the dark news unfolded that the Chinese schoolgirl had swum a faster final 50m than Ryan Lochte who had won the men’s equivalent and relegated super swimmer Michael Phelps to a medal-less  fourth in the process.
At first no one quite yelled out Ye was a drug cheat: that would be against the Olympic spirit of these carping back-biting Games.
Lochte served up just a hint of suspicion as he told journos the American camp discussed it over dinner. ‘She’s fast,’ he told reporters, just in case any of the scribes had not noticed.
It was wise to help out the world’s media with an indisputable piece of copy. It was not only the swim which had the world’s media declaring there were two Shiwen.  Yes. I am not sure about the exact proportion but let’s say half the world’s media believe her name is Ye Shiwen. I am with the “Shiwen Ye” half because that is all she writes in the official Games website. For those wishing to argue the toss at your own dinner party, Ye is the family name.
Australian swimming commentator and former Olympic medallist Susie O’Neill was known as Madam Butterfly in her heyday. She was more Madam Math as she gave her opinion of the swim of Mademoiselle Ye. ‘Every time we see a good Chinese swimmer….there’s just that .0001 per cent at the back of mind.’
It might have been at the back of Madam Butterfly’s mind but it butterflew to the front of her lips.
The coyness of such remarks failed to impress a former Chinese swimming official who did not confucius with maths or dinner-party banter in returning the water shuttlecock.
Shanghai Chen was the head of the Chinese Olympic medical team in Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona. ‘America’s (Michael) Phelps broke seven world records! Is he normal?’ Dr Chen asked.
Before a journo could ask the sensible question ‘what’s your definition of normal’, Chen made it clear drug cheating was abnormal.
‘I suspect Phelps, but without evidence,’ he said. This sounded like the distillation of a conversation at a tea, rather than dinner, party. ‘I have to recognise that we should be grounded in facts,’
Dr Chen said.
That is how you engage in war of drug cheating without either side making an outright accusation against the other.
‘The Americans are very bad; they do a lot of evil,’ Dr Chen said  
Swimming pools are central to geopolitics: with the medico’s unsophisticated diagnosis, all became clear.
Congratulations Azerbaijan
Valentin Hristov, 18, won Olympic bronze for Azerbaijan in the clean and jerk 56-kg weight class) event.
In another upset, North Korea’s Om Yun Chol won the gold ahead of Chinese world champion Jingbiao Wu (or Wu Jingbiao, take your pick).
Azerbaijani president, Ilham Aliyev, watched the success of Bulgarian-born Hristov.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to the south.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticised the nation’s record on human rights: especially its treatment of homosexuals and the media.
All may not be forgiven but this journalist is glad to see a nation which is not a household name in the West take home a medal. We applaud you in the traditional manner.
Bernie Dowling July 31, 2012

Shoot off the mouth for gold

Olympic Rant #5 Barkingly mad start to the games
IT was a weird start to Games e competition with American super-swimmer Michael Phelps missing a medal in the 400m men’s individual medley won by teammate Ryan Lochte.
Lochte one, Phelps nil
Phelps described it as a “crappy race’’, presumably reflecting on his own performance rather than the collective effort of the finalists. Still, Phelps missed a medal in eloquence as well as in the pool.
It was hard to know what to make of the performance of senior sports scribe Barney Ronay after the first gold medal of the Games went to China’s Siling  Yi in the sport of shooting-at-things.  The sub-category was the 10m air rifle. Thank Mao; the 10m was not the calibre of the rifle but the distance from which you shoot at things.
On behalf of the guardian, journo Ronay wrote, ‘China’s parpingly jaunty anthem was the first to be heard in triumph at London 2012.’ Parpingly? Really, Barney.
The obscure word “parping” seems to mean the sound made by a car horn.
Whether parpingly can be used successfully to modify “jaunty”, I just do not know. What I do know is the word appeared in the online guardian in Andrew Sparrow’s blog on June 16, 2012.
Boris Johnson has arrived in Cape Town to fly the flag for England’s 2018 World Cup bid (and) did give his views on the controversial vuvuzela, the horn blasted deafeningly by fans during every game of the South African World Cup.
Johnson said: ’Certainly the vuvuzela is a very very interesting device…..It’s a great way of expressing yourself in a loud, vehement, parping kind of way. … I think maybe that’s not the effect we’re going to want to see in 2012 [at the London Olympics].’
Was it coincidence that Barney Ronay revived the word parping(ly) or was it some sort of tribute to the barkingly mad Boris Johnson?  BTW, Johnson brought little to the lingual table in stating a horn had the sound of a horn and that sound is rarely jaunty.
Enough of this nonsense bring on that jaunty sound.

That anthem could have been written for a Chinese victory in the international sport of shooting at things. The lyric about China facing its greatest danger is a bit dodgy though.  This anthem is likely to be around for centuries so the message for the generations is be on a constant war footing. Grab your air rifle and be prepared.
 I am not sure tourists will flock to that new Great Wall if it is made of flesh and blood; could be a bit slippery. Perhaps I am being too literal.
It is heartening to see the Chinese lyrics pay homage to the French anthem La Marseillaise. The Chinese version has the good taste to ditch that French stuff about fearsome soldiers coming into our midst to cut the throats of your sons and consorts. It is something of a surprise France does not do better in shooting-at-things. I believe the reason is the French athletes try to sell their arms during the competition, leaving them at a distinct disadvantage during the shoot-offs for medals.
During shooting-at-things, athletes are encouraged to only fire at inert objects. Live pigeon shooting had its only appearance at the 1900 Paris Games. It did not take off.
Neither did the 21 pigeons Belgian Leon de Linden shot to win the gold. They do not call them pigeons for nothing, but even the IOC could see the ineffable killing the unflappable was a trifle off.
Crap is the word
CRAP is quick off the blocks in the competition for the golden word of the 2012 London Olympics.
Swim champ Michael Phelps missed a medal in the 400m men’s individual medley and described his performance as a crappy race. Tory MP Aidan Burley took to Twitter to describe the Opening ceremony as “leftie multicultural crap”.
You would have thought that phrase has few shades of meaning, far fewer than 50, but Burley said he was misunderstood. Unfortunately for public figures, the nature of Twitter makes it difficult to bleat the old stand-by of being taken out of context.  The MP then went on to make the bizarre claim the rappers did his head in.
‘We had all these rappers – that is what got me to the point about multiculturalism.’
Burley received little support from his Conservative colleagues. The Mad Mayor of London said it was nonsense, a subject on which Boris Johnson is an authority.
‘People say it was all leftie stuff. That is nonsense. I’m a Conservative and I had hot tears of patriotic pride from the beginning. I was blubbing like Andy Murray,’ Johnson said. Why he had to tie-in Murray’s tears after losing the Wimbledon tennis final was anybody’s guess, if anybody wants to bother interpreting thoughts from the addled Mayoral mind.
Seems my tweet has been misunderstood. I was talking about the way it was handled in the show, not multiculturalism itself
Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back red arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!
The most leftie opening ceremony I have ever seen – more than Beijing, the capital of a communist state! Welfare tribute next?
It was left up to online readers to stick up for Burley.
This is from a reader of the Independent
Burley was right.
This was not an opening ceremony but an excuse by the liberal elite to pour more of their absurd and defeatist multi-cultural propaganda into the Olympics. Why Danny Boyle, for crying out loud.
Look, next time, why not just have an opening ceremony full of addicts and ravers at a disco and cut the attempts to present the distorted history lessons. Why bother with the athletes at all? This country has lost it.
Most Independent readers took the opposite view: 
Hilarious! An opening ceremony for an event featuring athletes from more than 200 nations, hosted by one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities on the planet branded “leftie multicultural crap”! Where does the Tory party get such prize turnips from? I know they don’t like their MPs to be too clever, but he really takes the gold for ignorance and boorish stupidity. Cameron should promote him to the Cabinet immediately- at least he’s honest about his racism, xenophobia and fascistic tendencies!
Bernie Dowling July 29, 2912
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Olympics in song

Olympic rant #4  OIC bans Bond

WHAT were they thinking. giving mad Irish film maker  Danny Boyle $42 million to stage the Opening Ceremony of the London? When the Big End of London goes for the cutting edge, it ends up bleeding badly.
Danny Boy, the Pistols are calling

The Scots bung on the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, and, of course, they are going to put on a Fringe Festival for comedians to ridicule the High and Mighty. Among the English.
(Do not  go down to the comments column to tell me I am an idiot because Boyle is English. You will lose the thread of my dissertation . I have no time to explain why Boyle is Irish so just take my word for it and we will move on.)
But the English should not have fringes, even on their foreheads. Yet Boris Johnson is the Official Games Madman and Boyle is the Fringe Games Madman.
Of course Boyle was going to include the Sex-Pistols’ God Save the Queen in the ceremony. It was only a snippet but Boyle knew we would all usain-bolt to our computers to play the whole damn thing.
The Queen was a good sport in allowing Boyle to put together the great-looking hokum with Her Maj, the Royal Corgis and James Bond. I believe Boyle has offered Elizabeth II a role in the sequel to Trainspotting. I was going to show the You Tube vid but the IOC spolsports tracked it down and banned it. You know how it goes.
This video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright groundsThis video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.
.Sorry about that, says Youtube, Yair, we are too.
That vid brought out the republicans and the jingoes among the Youtubers who saw it before the IOC swooped.
good2btheking  commented ‘Thats (sic, commas and Capital Letters are optional for good2b) not fair, she had a parachute on! What a waste of my time.’
I guess the implication is, if China had Danny Boyle, Mao Tse-tung would have opened the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 
If we cannot watch the Queen/ Bondy/ corgi thing we will make do with another classic which Danny Boyle’s mob covered.
This is 4u, IOC

Paul McCartney sang Hey Jude, a song the former Beatle wrote though it was credited as being by Lennon-McCartney. I have no idea why Boyle did not have John Lennon performing beside McCartney. Hey Jude is a sweet song but not overly inspiring.

McCartney, could have chosen one of his songs which more reflected on modern Britain. You might correctly guess Lennon’s fingerprints are on some of the lyrics of the song McCartney should have sung.

Six young athletes lit the cauldron from a flame carried by five-time gold medallist, rower Steve Redgrave. In a thoughtful gesture, Redgrave’s guard of honour consisted of 500 men and women who built the Olympic Park, specifically for the London Olympics and Paralympics. After the Games are finished, it will be renamed the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will be used as a playground for her corgis.
The Arctic Monkeys covered the Beatles Come Together but the IOC says we are not allowed to watch the replay.  You know the drill:

oundsThis video contains content from International Olympic Committee, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.
.Sorry about that, says Youtube.

Yes, it is a bit of a shame as we will not see a song with the title Come Together at the fiscally responsible Ayn Rand Olympics. (Read my previous blog. Or not.) The Arctic Monkeys did a version most faithful to the original. You can catch the sound of Youtube but, what the heck, we will play a cover  from a trio who should have been invited to perform at the London Games.
You cannot finish on a more inspirational note than that.
Enjoy the Games.!
Olympic shorts
Ducking for glory
THE archive of Australia’s first ever double Olympic Medal winner Bobby Pearce was the top selling lot at Bonhams Olympic Games Sale held on July 25 in London. (See My Olympic rant #1)
The collection included the rower’s two Olympic Gold Medals, letters, photographs and posters.
It sold for £49,250 to an Australian buyer.  The winning bid was at the top end of Bonhham’s expectations
He buyer will be able to tell the story of Pearce’s heat at the 1928  Amsterdam Olympics. He stopped rowing during his heat to allow a group of ducks to cross the course. Pearce went  on to win by 20 lengths.
It would be good if the modern IOC could realise how fireworks terrorise wildlife and domestic parts. I know I am in the minority on this one but I would like to see fireworks replaced by laser light shows synchronised with popular music.
BIGGEST representation
The Cook Islands has the biggest number of national representatives.
Its eight athletes represent the nation at the rate of 40 per 100,000 inhabitants. The greedy nation the United Kingdom (England and those countries yet to win independence) has  a rate of  under 1 for every 100,000 people.
Half the nations  have fewer than 10 competitors, while six nations –  the US, UK, Russia, China, Germany and Australia. –   have  2,720 athletes or  a quarter of all the athletes in the games.

Meet you in Burkina Faso
A HUMBLING experience for Olympic spectators is the realisation that there are countries we have never heard. Be honest: how many of these countries  do you know something about: Andorra, Aruba, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Mauritania, Myanmar, Suriname, Tuvalu.
Over the next fortnight, Olympic Rants will feature some of the athletes from these countries. The Olympics is a better way for countries such as these to make the headlines for reasons other than war and famine.
Bernie Dowling June 28, 2012

Rand and rand the Olympic track

Olympic Ayn Rant # 3: The American Anthem

I AM a big fan of political and corporate leaders aligning themselves with arts and literature to the merriment of the general public.
London Louie B. Mayor Boris Johnson did a fine job of commissioning a modern version of the Olympic victory ode. In the spirit of the great producer-performers of the past, Johnson even recited the piece of doggerel himself. A world-wide audience laughed at the ode and its inevitable spoofs.
These delicious moments are far too rare, usually because of an over-educated junior, on the public or private patrol, who objects, ‘You can’t do that.’ Fortuitously, it is from one of these spoiler interventions that we are able to bring the American Games Anthem, as fresh as fresh as Daisy Duck, as thematic of the London 2012 international extravaganza.
American president-elect Ronald Reagan wanted this song performed at his 1981 inauguration. A junior fun-killer declared, ‘You can’t do that.’
Before the launch of the American National Anthem, we need to introduce the patron of the US team. It has to be Ayn Rand.
Ayn Rand in training for the Mind Games

The Russian emigrant is a sublime example, of the United States immigrant made good, which has inspired generations of achievers on and off the sporting field.
Like many a heroic role model, dripping fame and wealth, Rand had to overcome adversity hiding beneath the rungs of the ladder of success. Indeed, her first visit to the US almost robbed that nation of the privilege of hosting one of the great philosophical minds of the 20the century.
In the autumn of 1925, Rand first stepped on American soil. Overcome by the splendour of the Manhattan skyline, she burst into tears. A New Yorker, thinking she was distressed, put a gentle hand on her shoulder and asked what was the matter.
Rand was a committed pacifist but she was confused and she kneed the stranger, Al Trooism, in the groin. Police interviews with the two parties would determine the future of Rand and the intellectual life of the United States.
The budding philosopher told the authorities Trooism’s interference dismayed her. ‘I did not want him trying to help me; his attempt at help made me nauseous,’ the police notebook read. For his part, Altrooism declined to lay charges.
Today, no one knows anything about Al Trooism, while many New Yorkers greatly admire the philosophy of Ayn Rand.
On a more practical note, I believe her patronage will give America a head start at the inaugural Ayn Rand Olympic Games, set to come in after the next Global Financial Crisis.
At the fiscally responsible Rand Olympics, all team sports will be eliminated. There will be no relay events and no such things and doubles and triples in the rowing. The atavistic Opening Ceremony, with its sickening coming together of previously noble individuals, will be canned.
Of course, the glorious closing ceremony will be spared but it will be much shortened. Before the gates are open to the public, all the athletes will have gathered in the centre of the stadium. In the unforgettable ceremony, the rabble will disperse into a line of heroic individual athletes. A blonde blue-eyed javelin throw will recite explanations of Rand’s political philosophy, known as fuckupal. The banjo, moonshine jig, chainsaw, rifle and Bible-bashing Tea Party Symphony orchestra will play excerpts from Wagner’s The Ring Cycle.
It will be the best Olympics the modern world has known.
After discussion of this future opus, it seems almost prosaic to introduce the American National London Olympics 2012 Anthem. Nonetheless be ready to upload this classic every time an American athlete wins a medal.

Little known Olympic fact number 2

Philip Morris Atlas was a judge in track and field at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Injury prone British athlete Derek Redmond looked in good shape for the 400m at the Spanish Games.
He posted the fastest time of the first heats and won his quarter-final.
In the semi-final, Redmond was going well until he hit the back straight and did a hamstring.
He fell to the ground in agony but struggled to his feet when he saw stretcher bearers comingfor him.
 The finish line was 250m down the track and Redmond hobbled towards it. 
His father Jim Redmond burst from the stands to help his son. Derek Redmond leaned on his father’s shoulder and they made it the line, the cheers and applause of 65,000 spectators, ringing in their ears.
Chief judge Philip Morris Atlas turned to his junior and said, ‘That’s incredible.’ Wiping away a tear, the junior judge agreed. 
Atlas went on. ‘How dare that man try to set back the spirit and rules of the Olympic Games by helping that athlete across the line? Mark Derek Redmond down as DNF.
The junior judge could not believe it. ‘You are going to reward an inspirational act of altruism with a did not finish.’
Atlas shrugged.

Barbaric threat to modern civilisation

Bernie Dowling, July 27, 2012.

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Ms Poison Pen returns

Another guest column from Lucretia Lit this week.
She is awful; can’t wait to see what she has to reveal.


Messaging my Glitoris

with Lucretia Lit

Column 2

NAUGHTY New Hampshire author Jodi Picoult has been going around insulting all those cute self-publishing writers.
Ms P was being interviewed on something odd called the Daily Beast. (one of my ex-husbands used to always wake up with that – how tiresome for me).Her advice to aspiring authors was an emphatic “do not self-publish’’.
Jodi dear, you  published your first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale way back in 1992. Let the new kiddies play with their lit toys anyway they want. Screeeowww!
TSE, Sweetie, you were quite right to lock Viv away in that mental hospital.
It was either you or her. What havoc recitations of your poetry would have caused to the already damaged minds of other inmates. Tseekah!
NO such excuses  for you, J-J R, you Swiss scoundrel. Fancy surrendering you children to a foundling hospital.
And all that nonsense about religions being equally good. Are you mad? Oh, that’s right you are and don’t go blaming your critics for that.
There is no better religion than good old Christianity. I have offended against it many times and have always been forgiven. AROOSHKA!

OH, say it’s not you, Danny. When a book thumps the table with the title Whitney Amy Michael Elvis – Superstars are not Superhuman, it sends shivers up my spine – shivers of dread.

The author is accredited as D T Pollard. One D..T.. Pollard we know is Danny, of the clan, who wrote the successful Rooftop Diva: A Novel of Triumph After Katrina.

We know authors have to eat but do they have to do it through books which prevent readers keeping their food down. KABUSTED!

OOOH, Alex Crawford, luvie, it’s not all about you. Alex is a girl with a boy’s name . She works for Sky News, is most macho, and fits in well at Rupee’s Boys’ Club.
In February Alex in Libya sent an endearing story to Sky TV viewers about a freedom fighter who found one of Colonel Gaddafi’s hats. He may well have been among the freedom fighters who later ruthlessly butchered an unarmed Gaddafi, begging for clemency.
Geez, brave Alex, why not a book about your few days in Libya when the locals were kind enough to put on a war for you?
Let’s call it Colonel Gaddafi’s Hat to assure readers it’s your memoir without any of the big-picture guff.
And we thought all the fun and shallowness of Sky could not a book make. The cash registers go Kachinski!

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