Cheeseburger Gothic

Surrounded by sea

Posted January 15 by John Birmingham

I'm just back from a couple of weeks in Vietnam, part family holiday, part research trip. (Seriously,the backstreets of Hanoi are a perfect setting for a space habitat novel). This is my first day back at the desk and I wanted to share this vid I saw on the Twitz this morning. It's a recruitment ad for the RAN and it is brilliant because it doesnt look like a recruitment ad for the RAN.

5 Responses to ‘Surrounded by sea’

Leftarc mutters...

Posted January 15
Nice. Very Thinky.
Extra points if the voice-over said girt instead of surrounded.
Or we need to change the National Anthem.

Respond to this comment

Vovchara would have you know...

Posted January 17
nicely done.

Respond to this comment

insomniac reckons...

Posted January 17
It looks a lot less like a recruitment ad when the sound is off. The vibe is totally different.

Respond to this comment

jl reckons...

Posted January 19
Different country, wrong area of interest, and much too late in life. And it still makes me want to join up. Effective.

Respond to this comment

Dave W reckons...

Posted January 23
I'm clearly not the target audience.

It was white and right. The lifestyle scenes that need to be protected are like some halcyon b.s.- where are the kids skateboarding, for eg?

As for the shipping lanes- I get that trade (and food supply) is important, but is military support for multi-million $ (and generally foreign owned transport companies) really what it should focus on?

Finally, the dead cat should be thrown onto the table- times of peace and war: yes to aid, yes to necessary war, but silence on sovereign borders. Well, ok, understandably that ain't going to make it into a recruitment vid, but ... but. That just doesn't sit comfortably for me.

I think this was actually part party-political advertising. The key line in it was "we are investing in the navy for new equipment". Submarines and other gear, I think. Which government do you trust to spend on military stuff? The recruitment line at the end seemed like almost an add-on.

I would also have liked, right at the end of the clip, after 3-4 seconds of silence, if the dude had said:

"Girt"

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Surrounded by sea'

Shorter of breath and one year closer to death

Posted December 31 into House keeping by John Birmingham

So that's good! Another year survived here at the end of our collapsing civilisation. Not everything survived, however. I pulled the plug on Alien Side Boob last night, something I'd been intending to wind down gently over the next week or two. But Gumroad does not do gentle. As soon as I hit the button to turn off the subscriptions, it nuked the entire thing.

Oh well... I guess I got there a little quicker than I imagined.

For anyone paying attention, you can get the collection of kinder, gentler (and to be honest... funnier) Monday columns on the Beast of Bezos for free right now. But not for long.

It's here.

One of the reasons I pulled up stumps at the Boob is that after a three pretty hard years I'm starting to get the wind in my sails again. I have a bunch of projects underway, some of them not at all the sort of thing I've previously earned my quids from. (And some, like WW 3.1, exactly that sort of thing). I want to get this year right and part of that means saying no to some shit so I can bring all my guns to bear on the main targets.

I'm taking a couple of weeks to chill and reset before the year spins up again, which I'm taking to mean Jan 16 when I launch Alicia Wanstall-Burke's Blood of Heirs at Avid Reader in West End. I finished it the other day. Really fucking impressive bit of work. I find myself in the unsual position of tapping my toes impatiently waiting for the next in the series.

Don't you fucking hate it when authors do that to you?

8 Responses to ‘Shorter of breath and one year closer to death’

jl would have you know...

Posted December 31
Totally agree on the Blood of Heirs thing- awaiting Alicia's next installment. Re: ASB. It was good while it lasted, and it was pretty darn good. Happy New Year to everyone at the 'Burger!

Respond to this comment

she_jedi mutters...

Posted January 2
Ugh, authors taking their sweet time about releasing the next in a series are the WORST. Oops, did I type that out loud?

Blood of Heirs is in my To Be Read list, which is growing horrifyingly long. Looking forward to getting stuck into it after I finish the novel of Alice Isn't Dead.

Happy New Year good Burgerers!

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted January 2
i got no where near enough reading done in my break (zero) but i do have a shiny new lens for my camera to occupy me. I spent Chrissy doing that australian of all australian things - putting up a trampoline in 35 plus degree heat. Bugger that. Then i went back to work today sat down at my desk and realised i'd left the laptop at home. Not all bad as i could log in and tap at the keyboard looking at trees etc instead of working on my inner fluorescent glow.

Respond to this comment

Bangar puts forth...

Posted January 3
The waiting is part of the joy of reading the new stuff, just don't do a Martin

Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted January 4
No, it's not part of the joy at all. There no joy in waiting for the next installment. The joy is in getting it, and settling in for the read. The only joy in waiting is when I make a nice coffee, maybe a piece of Christmas fruitcake or shortbread immediately before I put the barricades up to read. If there was joy in waiting, we'd all be in raptures by now waiting for George to finish.

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted January 4
I wish I could insert a Meryl Streep applauding at the Oscars gif into this comment to illustrate how strongly I agree with your statement :)

Respond to this thread

Oldy has opinions thus...

Posted January 7
Happy New Year, JB. Can't wait to see what 2019 brings, and especially WW 3.1 (no pressure).

And moar End of the World!

Respond to this comment

Brother PorkChop mumbles...

Posted January 10
JB, thanks for the freebie!! Still reading it but getting funny looks in the lunch room with the laughs it is generating.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Shorter of breath and one year closer to death'

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

Posted December 24 by John Birmingham

It's Christmas Eve here. A quiet one. In that weird Australian way we just had pasta for dinner. We're lunching with the neighborinos tomorrow, seafood and cold meats. I went to the gym this arvo to build up a deficit but then, you know, pasta.

Hope everyone has a good day and a better new year.

9 Responses to ‘Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night’

Dave W mutters...

Posted December 25
Duck!

Roast duck, that is...

I'll report in later on the success or otherwise of this ducky adventure.

Merry Xmas burghers, one and all.

Respond to this comment

insomniac is gonna tell you...

Posted December 26
Merry Christmas everyone.
Pasta for us too, and duck, man it seems so wasteful. I had to carve two for Christmas, and once you take the legs and breast off, you basically throw the rest away. We always go to ms insomniac's (large) family for lunch and there's a bit of everything. It's a farmyard smorgasbord.

If fake bacon is called facon, what do you call fake duck?

Dave W asserts...

Posted December 26
Any experiment in new meat is worthwhile, we just didn't want chook or turkey, so decided to try duck. Good tasting meat, I must say.

I presume one calls fake duck 'dake', but I'm no scholar.

Respond to this thread

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted December 27
Belated Merry Christmas JB. I'm enjoying the 7 Stages of Drinking Martinis very much, I'd forgotten some of those columns and how funny they were. Hope you've had a lovely few days :)

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted December 27
Thx mate. I too had forgotten some of them. It's live on the Beast of Bezos now, but I'm setting it very quietly to free tomorrow for a couple of days to let anyone who wants to tweak my figures grab a copy gratis.

she_jedi asserts...

Posted December 28
Awesome! I'm mostly an iBooks reader, but have Kindle for iPhone so will collect it for the Kindle too and boost your stats :)

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted December 28
Master I have taken advantage of the Kindle freebie for 7 Stages and left a 5 star review in return

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted December 29
This is why you are my Forever Favourite.

Respond to this thread

Oldy reckons...

Posted December 28
Hope it was a good Xmas and fingers crossed it's going to be a better New Year. Cheers JB and all.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night'

Everyday spaceships

Posted November 23 by John Birmingham

This is brilliant. Dude designs spaceships based on common household thingies.

And space stations!

Check em out here. (Props to YD for the link)

4 Responses to ‘Everyday spaceships’

Bondiboy66 puts forth...

Posted November 26
Excellent! It's like he illustrated my fantasies as a kid when all manner of objects transformed into spaceships in my imagination.

Respond to this comment

pi has opinions thus...

Posted December 16
Ha. That's pretty good.

Respond to this comment

Dave W has opinions thus...

Posted December 24
Merry Xmas JB. Hope you and your loved ones have a great time and that your cup doth overflow.

Cheers, Dave

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted December 24
Thx mate. Backatcha. I should write something for everyone.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Everyday spaceships'

I think I want some turkey

Posted November 21 into Food & Drink by John Birmingham

The internet is often lke a giant tractor spreading enormous tonnages of shit all over the world. And sometimes not. One thing it does do is globalise quirky regionalalisms like poutine or kangaroo scrotum coin purses

The internationalisation of Halloween was surely accelerated by a thousand Buzzfeed listicles. And I have a feeling we're not far away from everyone deciding they want in on America's annual festival of eating too much for Thanksgiving.

Me. I've decided I want some turkey. You don't see it very often on Australian menus. Even duck and goose are more common (and way less likely to be overcooked into a dry, joyless protein cud). But I was reading a Washinton Post bit on how to carve a turkey this morning (don't judge me, I just got off deadline, also the story boasted of an augmented reality bird carving tutorial), and now I just want to eat walking bird.

When you think about it, Thanksgiving is perfectly situated on the calendar for us. It's a few weeks into the summer drinking season, which officially commences a month before summer on Melbourne Cup day, and we like to eat things. Too many things and too much of them.

I'm serious enough about this that I'm thinking about looking for a restaurant which will feed me a bif turkey dinner with all the fixin's, whatever the fuck fixin's are.

8 Responses to ‘I think I want some turkey’

jl asserts...

Posted November 21
What makes the turkey is the stuffing, you have to have righteous stuffing. Baste well and often with butter to prevent dryness. Cranberry is a must. Biscuits (the American hot fluffy ones), gravy, pumpkin pie, sweet corn- those are the fixins.

The best Thanksgiving Day turkey I ever had was cooked over a trash fire overseas. It tasted like burnt plastic. We were getting ready to leave that hellhole, so many thanks were given, and I thought that burnt turkey was great.

Respond to this comment

insomniac mutters...

Posted November 21
Thanks to ms insomniac's daughter being over from the US in December but not staying until Christmas Day, we're having pre Christmas Christmas with turkey etc etc plus Christmas with turkey etc etc.
And that is the correct way to carve a turkey, especially the breast. When it's stuffed under the skin, slices like that contain a little bit of everything that is good in the world.

Respond to this comment

Leftarc reckons...

Posted November 21
So you want to talk turkey (I learnt this from The West Wing)

https://www.butterball.com/about-us/turkey-talk-line



Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mumbles...

Posted November 22
i sent you a tweet on the back of Chuck Wendig delving into the depths of depraved frontier icecream flavours https://twitter.com/LLah_Nomis/status/1065451763258380288
it may not quite satisfy that turkey craving though

Respond to this comment

jason is gonna tell you...

Posted November 23
I am fully behind the push for Thanksgiving in Australia. No presents, much drinking, watching sport, showing some gratitude for all we have. Best idea for a holiday ever.

Respond to this comment

Spanner mutters...

Posted December 2
A turkey hindquarter. All dark meat. Insert butter under the skin. Part fill roasting pan with water and place hindquarter on rack above water. The water stops the turkey drying out and then the butter and turkey fat drips into the water. Make gravy out of water, butter and turkey fat liquid.

Contact your cardiologist immediately after consumption.

Respond to this comment

NBlob asserts...

Posted December 13
Consider The Walking Bird, as a subset of birds. It would appear Moa, Elephant & Dodo all rated well on fork based factors. Emu egg is >adequate, perhaps post adolescence Emu are just too fleet of foot to feature frequently in fine dining. (Note to self: vegetarianism, perhaps if you can out run a prey species you can feel good eating it. * thinks as chewing pork* " You should have evolved longer legs Arnold") There are Forty 'leven different penguin, none palatable, all chock full of fish oil one would assume, but they are more swimmers than walkers.

Respond to this comment

Oldy is gonna tell you...

Posted December 28
Having played American Football for 15 seasons with a revolving door of visiting Americans, I've always thought Thanksgiving is a great holiday. All the good bits of Xmas without the financial burden or stress of what to get someone.
Plus food and football. Joy.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'I think I want some turkey'

Mother of Kittens is coming... #ForTheThrone

Posted November 15 by girlclumsy

Beloved Throners,

Life is full of uncertainties, but for me right now, two things seemed obvious from the start.

1. That I would LOVE Game of Thrones. Like, REALLY LOVE Game of Thrones.

2. That eventually I would make a show about it.

And so, dear Kittens, with thanks to JB for letting me make the announcement here, I am thrilled to announce that 2019 will bring you something I've been beavering away on for months and months:




The full Perth FRINGEWORLD program going live today was another amazingly timed coincidence, coming as it does one day after HBO launched the #ForTheThrone ad campaign and confirmed the final season of our beloved show will start airing in April 2019. So clearly that means there is a limited time I can actually do this show, as most of the focus will be about getting ready for S8, and dealing with the existential crisis that will inevitably follow.

But it'll be funny, or Jon Snow doesn't have washboard abs under all those furs.

Other locations? Stay tuned...

A massive thank you once again to Whisper & Sing Photography for my Mother of Kittens image, and to Jeffries Printing for the graphic design.

For more, you can follow my Game of Thrones Facebook page, OR the Facebook page for my production company Act/React (I know, so many FB pages).

Or if you're in Perth, book now!

Valar Meowgulis, kittens. xoxo.

2 Responses to ‘Mother of Kittens is coming... #ForTheThrone’

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted November 15
Holy cow I just got the Fringe email with the full show list, and was sad that you (apparently) didn't have a show this year. I will book NOW xx

Respond to this comment

jl asserts...

Posted November 16
I have missed this. I'll keep an eye peeled for future installments.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Mother of Kittens is coming... #ForTheThrone'