Cheeseburger Gothic

Where is my gold? Where is my glory?

Posted May 1, 2013 into Writing by John Birmingham

I had planned to be on my yacht at this hour, rolling naked in the pile of gold dubloons that were a righteous certainty to pour upon me within moments of the announcement that the Burger had trounced the competition for Blog of the Year. And yet, here I sit, in my underpants, picking dried barbecue sauce from my chest hairs and scratching my nuts in wonderment.
Because. I. Did. Not. Win.
I know, I know, inconceivable. And yet, not. Not when I foolishly allowed my hopes and dreams to take flight on wings feathered by the likes of you worthless galahs. Oh, how could I have been so foolish? I should have run the lot of you off years ago. I hardly know where to begin apportioning blame. So let's start with who's not to blame, and that's me. Not when there are so many others to whom I can sheet home responsibility for this disaster.
You, Havoc, I am looking at you and the poorly executed icing on the cupcakes with which you were to bribe the judges. What made you think that overly dramatic renderings of your genitalia would lead me on the first steps up the happy staircase to success? Well? I'm waiting.

And you, bearded Greyman. Put some pants on for God's sake and cover up those tattoos. And the next time a representative of the judging committee passes by this way, should they ever do so, try so very hard not to insert a ferret into them.
Dino, did it ever occur to you that your impenetrable ramblings look like poetry, and poetry never wins anything, anywhere. Certainly not friends. I blame you along with Lord Bob for not losing those extra 10 kgs he promised, by which means to draw the interest of the lady judges. I blame Murphy, for sitting in a corner, drinking distilled spirits from a pickle jar and muttering about philosophy. I blame Lobes, because Lobes.
I blame you all.
I could've been something. I could've made something of myself. I could've been a contender. Instead, all I got was this lousy "Finalist" sticker that I wouldn't even slap on the dog's arse during a bout of explosive diarrhea.
Damn you all. Damn you all to hell. I was meant for glory and all I got was a plate full of stale cock cakes.
Oh, and congratulations to that Stephanie girl who won. Her blog is quite good.

108 Responses to ‘Where is my gold? Where is my glory?’

Abe Frellman ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

I blame Lobes.

Brian asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

Seconded! Only because I know he has clean underpants - when he chooses to wear them.

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

Yeah I blame Lobes too.

Lobes AND his Chickybabe.

I just got home from the Four Pines Brewery(second time I've been ther this week and I met a French girl called Fabienne(ChickyBabe extrordinairre) and the Muso was Tre` Bon. Any way I come home and log on and am sad.

We let the team down. Lobes in Particular.

Did I mention how good the Muso was?

HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

OH YOU are sooooo fknlucky I';ve fkn been working for a living old scribe, fkn me part..I had the bastards up against teh fkn wall and even shot one in the foot for good fkn measure...and yet.....I fear, its the engineering , the structure that fkn let us down...LOBES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013

Lobes has a Chickybabe? How odd. For reasons I now find mysterious I've always envisoned Lobes as asexual.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013

Omnisexual maybe.

Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

Oh have you guys not met my Chickybabe? Her name is.... STEPHANIE!! Mwahahaha

Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

Man, I hear Steph is a real bitch. :)

Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

I should offer an apology. It just dawned on me that Lobes was referring to the blog which actually won the competition.

My bad. I have no idea if she is a bitch or not.

Respond to this thread

Terry Frost is gonna tell you...

Posted May 1, 2013

*doubloon

Apart from that, you wuz robbed.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted May 1, 2013

"at overly dramatic renderings of your genitalia" shouldn't the ones on the cupcakes be bigger then?

Do we need to go and 'explain' to the judges their error? What if somfing were to happen to Ms Stephanie's blog, like a fire?

Respond to this comment

DrYobbo asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

Fuck this. Everybody out. Imma blow up the intergoogle

Respond to this comment

tqft is gonna tell you...

Posted May 1, 2013

1) I wasnt named so don't blame me.

2) No payments for services were delivered so the person who failed deliver said payments may bear some of the blame.

3) there is no 3

Respond to this comment

Spanner mutters...

Posted May 1, 2013

I still get my beer right?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

You'll get the back o' me 'and!

Respond to this thread

melissasavage reckons...

Posted May 1, 2013

I do feel your pain. My wee little site was up for Best Blog Under 6 Months old and I was beat out by a bloody commercial bridal blog. A rort, I say, a rort!

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

Brides? I hate brides.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted May 2, 2013

Oh, I adore brides! What is the url, Melissa?

Murphy mutters...

Posted May 2, 2013

Brides are a dish best consumed before the ceremony.

Respond to this thread

Quokka puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2013

I blame those bastards in Emu creek that sold me the ferrets.

Nobody told me they bite.

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BobGrrl puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2013

Clearly you needed more lesbians. Everybody loves lesbians.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

Fuck! Yes! Can't believe I forgot to add lesbians.

JG puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2013

And thespians. Not that I'm treading any boards.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

Or Lesbian Thespians. Anyone seen Man Clumsy?

JG mutters...

Posted May 2, 2013

Where have they all gone? A few ladies and gents have departed these shores in the last couple of years, or they post so infrequently that they turn up out of the blue like ghosts.

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BigWillieStyle has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

Yeah, but Stephanie's blog has got a link to a website where you can buy Hooded Cable Knit Cardigans. I've gone over your blog with a fine tooth comb...no sensible knitwear available anywhere! Must. Try. Harder.

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w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

Can we also blame Random House?

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

Pfft. That goes without saying.

w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

You really have been just left with a bag of dicks.

DrYobbo is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

Yes, but an expertly iced bag of dicks. So that's something.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

With cream filling.

Respond to this thread

NBlob mumbles...

Posted May 1, 2013

The day you rely on me for lady bait...

But let's explore the "it's GreyBeard's fault" theory further;

  1. It says Right there over the hearth "With pants come dignity."
  2. Cat hide moccasins, while inarguably toasty are not for Company.
  3. His 1st hand stories of and possible partial responibility for the Cretaceous-Paleogene event are felt by some to be ghoulish and macabre. In either case all agree they are just plain creepy.
  4. His "welcoming smile" reminds me of skull cave. Artificial, Lithic and no-one's home.

I put it to the members of the Membership Committee that The Time has come. The old fool has snapped. The recent arrival of GrreyBeard 3.1 has finally exhausted his meagre resources of sanity. Your compassion and pity are admirable, but think of the upside of a simple scapegoat or ????? if you prefer. None would be simpler a quick toss over the back of the troika. The snow will cushion his fall and I'm sure those doggies just want to play.

tqft ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

Nah keep him around for the humour value and to blame for further erros of our ways

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2013

Now I wonder if "erros" was errors or eros. If I'm going to be blamed I'd think Eros would be more fun.

Slight correction to NBlob's otherwise excellent rant - those weren't cat-hide moccassins, it was a live cat. They're so warm on my poor old feet.

Spanner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

It's so cute when Greybeard thinks he is people.

NBlob swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

Curiouser & curiouser said Alice.

I copied & pasted the Hebrew for Azazel. When composing the Gothic displayed it, when it did its " you just posted" thing it showed it, but now in the cold light of morning it has translated it to ?????.

Perhaps it is time to leap to an unfounded and baseless conclusion:

IT'S DAN'S FAULT. *

If he can't enable a simple right justified, ancient, largely extinct for 200 years, then rekindled, letter set, what chance did we have?

* Self evidently GreyBeard still retains some culpability.

DNABeast is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

Usually these decisions are made to avoid script injection but in this case it was to prevent anyone summoning a lesser demon. It should also auto-censor the names of the lovecraftian terrors, the ancient evils and The Doctor.

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

Horse. Gate. Bolted. GreyBeard has been here for 5+ years.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

In the 21st Century, don't we just use placeholders, stored procedures or other API mechanisms to obviate the need to be paranoid about the content of strings of text? I mean, some day everyone is gonna be called little Bobby tables and all that...

Darth Greybeard puts forth...

Posted May 3, 2013

Oh god, I love "little Bobby Tables".

Respond to this thread

pitpat asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

Hope you don't take this the wrong way in the depths of despair but I for one is glad you didn't win.

This is a super dooper blog and if you'd won then it would all change. Fame and fortune changes people and not for the better. We've all been there on the cusp of greatness only to draw back in horror as we look in the mirror to see the monster we have become. And no my name is not Clive.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

I dunno. The doubloons woulda been okay.

JG mumbles...

Posted May 1, 2013

You're a lady aren't you, pitpat? Yes, this blog is so much fun. It would be a pity for JB to spoil it with notions of grandeur and for him to go ching-chinging to the bank with the title of Australian blog god. He still is though. Yes, the man's a marvel. He writes like a demon, and he's funny, so funny, but don't tell him that.

This is the only blog I follow, so be grateful for that, JB. Whingeing bastard.

Joanna, incognito. ;)

MickH would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

Yeah I was rich and famous once but I gave it all away because i hated it

pitpat swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

Hey Joanna, Fraid I am a bit of a bit of a beardy bloke. Thanks for the compliment, though I am not sure my wife will belive it till I show her the thread. Cheers Pat(rick).

With ya Mick, I mean apart from power, possesions, and a penchant for somewhat illegal substances which are all easily obtainable with a bit of corruption and larceny what does fame and fortune really do for you. Sure the chalet on the Swiss french border was good fun and snorkelling in the Caribbean was raking in the life savings of Mum and Dad investors is a job well done. But really what about the inner Chi, at the end of the day only you can allign the Charkra to lie strsight in bed.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

I thought you were a woman, too, but a very masculine woman.

JG ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

That's strange, pitpat. I envisaged you as Patricia: a sweet, reticent on-the-elderly side woman. A woman who has a husband, a lovely flower garden, and one who enjoyed a homely existence.

So now I find out you are randy Patrick with a wife. CBG doth intrigue me.

pitpat puts forth...

Posted May 2, 2013

Well some might consider me sweet, definetley reticient around strangers, Had a quite beautiful flower garden in the glasshouse mountains and although my life revolves around continual travel am very hard to prise from home. So all in all not a bad insight Indigo:) and really what's one chromosone between burgers.

PNB a Very masculine woman indeed, made my day

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Bunyip reckons...

Posted May 1, 2013

I suppose I'll just have to get rid of these kidnapped pets and grandparents then...

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JG asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

Hahahaha. What a sight to behold. Havock, you do cake decorating too? You're a marvel. Anyway, funny, funny, funny.

Too bad, JB. You're stuck with us now.

JG :P

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted May 1, 2013

Wll Next year

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

I think I see the problem. There were 5 categories. You were in "Words and writing".

The winning blog is good and it is exclusively about certain genres of popular fiction. Great. Your blog however, doesn't neatly fit into any of the categories. In fact, unlike all the other entries, you cover all the categories.

Let's check.

The Categories
Commentary - Yep. You bitch about stuff all the time. Tick.
Parenting - Yep. Those bloody kids. Tick.
Lifestyle/Hobby - Did you not just have a blog about beer? Tick.
Business - You are always on about money. Tick.
Words and writing - Double tick. Book Club. Stuff about POV etc etc. I almost understood some of it.

There you go. It's your mindscape, man. They couldn't handle it.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

You're right. Those small minded bastards. But I still blame the penis cakes.

Respond to this thread

MickH would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

So no placings?

Second?

Fifth?

Worst?

(I wasnt named so it wasn't me)

Respond to this comment

MickH would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

ROFL

That photo of the penis cakes is going to scoll around in the header for FKN weeks!!

Brian puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2013

Bet there's a few ladies who'd really take a bite out of those CUPCAKES!

MickH ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

bring water to your eyes just thinking about ti!

Respond to this thread

damian has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013
In the universe where you won we're all completely pissed now and really no-one knows how that goat got in the pool.

Bangar swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

Damian, I don't know how the goat got in the pool but I do know who brought it. I don't think anyone else will want to eat the jello from the pool this time, the goat has rather ruined the flavour, well from the expression on the jello eaters mugs anyway.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013

I do prefer that universe. Sweet, sweet victory.

Much better than this miserable existence.

Respond to this thread

Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted May 1, 2013

This was clearly the greatest literary miscarriage of justice since Moses failed to win the Parchmenter Prize for the pentateuch. But it weren't us loyal Burgers who were to blame. Our eloquent and thought-provoking responses to every possible topic could not have failed to impress any fair and balanced panel of judges. But were they? Really? Or were their pockets lined with the escudos, cruzeiros and powdery Columbian pesos of ... Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa?

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013

<i>VARGAS LLOSAAAAA!!!</i>

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

Anyway, Cheeseburger Gothic has the bigger tick.
It has been preserved by the National Library of Australia. Since 2006!
That means, as well as JB's blogs, every comment made has been preserved as part of the cultural treasury of this nation.

That's right! Every Havock, Boylan and Indigo. The nation says thanks, we'll keep that.

Just a darned pity there isn't a buck in it.
http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/55673

JG swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

Good to know we're national treasures, by default, w. Thanks, JB. What's that expression? Riding on the back of the golden sheep.

Respond to this thread

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

I suggest you sic a lawyer onto those bastards on the voting commitee. The utter shits. There's one thing I can't stand and that is bastards who won't stay bought. Was not the offer of a ride in a fucking hovercraft enough?

Now, if only we knew a lawyer, any lawyer. Jeez, they probably don't have to be any good at their craft; just the sight of their embossed business card should be enough to have the result over turned.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

Sibeen,

I have looked at the 'winner' and have noticed an 'about us' link.

But when you clink on 'about us' ther is only a photo of 'us' and no mention on what is obviously a collaboration !

I demand a recount and two of Havocks cupcakes.

Bunyip swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

I think the cupcakes have got goat flavoured jello on them. Something transdimensional portal something Greybeard something bellyflop in pool something.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013

Sibeen - I would be happy to draft a demand lettter.

Respond to this thread

Murphy mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013

I farted.

Just sayin'.

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Jacques Stahl asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

I hope it had nothing to do with my last post being sent from Tasmania. Do the judges have a way of tracking our cyber whereabouts?

I do have some nice honey from Yolla which could go on the cupcakes.

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DrYobbo ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

Right, so can we stop pretending this is a words and writing blog now? That was a fucking weird week or so.

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HAVOCK21 is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

its fkn quite obvious, I should not have used fkn BURGERS as me models for the fkn cupcakes, to many required to fill the fkn space!

JG has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013

How did you make them, Hav? Just asking. They are most realistic. I hope nobody was hurt in the making of your penile cupcakes.

Respond to this thread

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted May 2, 2013

I, for one, am relieved. It was just too much pressure avoiding referring to others as fuckknucklers and otherwise self-censoring myself in a doomed attempt to look respectable.

Winning would have ruined you, John. By losing, you win peace of mind and freedom of thought and action.

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Mayhem's Mum puts forth...

Posted May 2, 2013

I made you two dozen new doilies AND a fresh batch of lemonade scones with hardly any rat in them. If you didn't win, Mr Birmingham, Sir, it wasn't my fault.

By the way, has anybody seen my goat? When I got up this morning, I found I had mistakenly tethered Lobes to my gatepost instead. Indeed he looks just like my goat, but is much harder to milk. I'd rather have the goat back thanks.

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013

Farming tip: a goat will not chew through a link metal chain.

JG asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

What's with the goat? What's goat got to do with it?

Respond to this thread

HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013
we seem to have a real posse of pillocks about at the mo!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

In my defense, I'm not at my best due to jet lag.

Respond to this thread

DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

I still think we should have tipped Van Over. That's comedy fucking gold and those pre-soiled wankbadgers on the committee can go root their boot if they opine otherwise

Respond to this comment

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

I just noticed (not that I was looking or anything) that the photo at the top of this post depicts a multicultural penis ensemble. Wasn't that thoughtful?

JG ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

Politically correct, Paul. It's only right to represent a cross section of the community.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted May 2, 2013

Politically correct penis cupcakes. Yep. That's about right.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013

That's it! That is why the gifting failed.
It was the hegemonic masculinity expressed by the gift that offended.
Or, as the judge remarked, "Where's the vag?"

Lulu mutters...

Posted May 2, 2013

w, no, it failed because there wasn't enough of a 'journey' or 'story' for the judges to milk TV-ready tears.

Respond to this thread

Lulu reckons...

Posted May 2, 2013

Did we cuss and drink too much? Or not enough?

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Brother PorkChop asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

JB, you have taken this the wrong way! These days, as we all know, there are no losers. Just by competing, you are a winner! It is not appropriate to have a first prize, and it should be shared amongst all those that humbly put forward their product for consideration. And in this , we all win.

Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 2, 2013

Alternatively, you was robbed and I know some people that know some people that might be able to right this wrong. And get you your gold, or maybe some ears instead?

Respond to this thread

AgingGamer has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013

Can we put a hat around and collect some money to buy JB a couple of bottles of BBQ sauce and a fresh pair of underpants.

Lobes asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

If he wants fresh undies he can get them off the floor at KMart like he usually does,

Respond to this thread

Rhino mutters...

Posted May 2, 2013

ARE YOU FKN KIDDING ME!

You are all SOFT and PITIFUL.little socialists.

Do you know what second place is? FIRST LOSER, that's what.

All of you should be ASHAMED of yourselves. FAFFING and FLOUNCING about in the comments when your LEADER has been HUMILIATED by a LITERARY WENCH. WTF kind of behaviour is that?!?! PATHETIC, that's what. PATHETIC. She doesn't even have a proper moody author photo on her page - it is a FKN CARTOON for FKS SAKE. You made JB lose to a CARTOON.

Get your shit wired tight people. I do NOT have time for cry babies and sad sacks.

Dr. Rhino's diagnosis is that all of you are too soft and the medicine is a tablespoon of cement every day until you HARDEN THE FK UP.

Oh, and with respect to the penis cakes. That biggest one near the center. I'm not braggin or anything but, you know, I was the model for that one. Just sayin.

A FKN CARTOON GIRLY.

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted May 2, 2013

AND she gives stuff away.

AND she asks for donations.

This just keeps getting worse.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted May 2, 2013

So can we now get back to behaving like vibrating butt-faced goats? Fuck the wanksocks off and get back to what we do best.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

Get back to?

Respond to this thread

TC mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013

I told you you needed a fucking intern. This all could've been avoided...

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w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

Hang on, Rhino. We have all been very supportive of JB in his sour grapes crisis. We have even been happy enablers to JB's wild finger pointing.
But, today is day 2. Time for a little honesty.

When the Australian Writers Centre tweeted to JB that his blog was a finalist, this exchange occurred:

JB - "So, what's it for?"

Australian Writers Centre - "Oh dear. You entered your blogs in the Best Australian Blogs Competition. Cheeseburger Gothic is a finalist."

JB - "hahaha. Holy shit I'm hopeless."

Australian Writers Centre - "This is excellent. I've never had a finalist forget they've entered before. "

Aaaah JB, do you think you may have made a tactical blunder there?

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yankeedog has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013

I voted twice. What the hell more do you want?

Murphy mutters...

Posted May 2, 2013

To be fair, I gave YD my proxy so he really only voted once.

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Barnesm reckons...

Posted May 2, 2013

93 comments, can we make the Ton.

I set up 43 different online identities so I could vote, admittedly 22 of them decided to vote for Stephanie's blog, but still.

TC asserts...

Posted May 2, 2013

What's the point of getting the ton if we still can't win anything? And by 'we', obviously I mean JB.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

TC makes a good point.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

"What's the point of getting the ton if we still can't win anything?"

The point? What is the point of striving even if the goal is insubstantial or pointless? A man or woman's reach should exceed his or her grasp, or what's a heaven for, you fucking philistine.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

Sorry about the "fucking philistine" characterization. It's been a difficult day.

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JG mumbles...

Posted May 2, 2013
Pushing for the tonne. Hope you found your Lindt chocolate bunny yesterday, John. Not only did JB lose the blog comp, he's got that damn Man Flu again. Not his week, but hey, tomorrow's Friday! Hang in there, JB. It's not over until the fat lady sings. Which isn't me. :)

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted May 2, 2013

When I type
"player of games" iain m banks
into Google,
Cheeseburger Gothic shows on the first page.

I think that is pretty awesome.

JG has opinions thus...

Posted May 2, 2013

Loved that book. Glad we read it for the last CBG book club meet.

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted May 2, 2013

Lolz so hard it fkn hurts. Mwahhahahahahaaarrr.

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted May 4, 2013

Two topics today.
Spicy Beef Soup and Australia's Defence White Paper.
Yes, it's all about pho and ...errrrrr...foe.

As I said before JB, judging-wise, your blog has niche issues.

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Respond to 'Where is my gold? Where is my glory?'

The theory of bad ideas first

Posted May 1, 2013 into Writing by John Birmingham

Daring Fireball linked to a short brilliant blog post by Jon Bell about how to take the first step on a journey of a thousand miles. Like a novel, or a screenplay, for example. It's simple. Don't wait for the best idea, just the first one. Even if it's utter shit.

This seems to be the same as my 'Get it writ then get it right', motto.

Bad first drafts (Sorry, Murph) done as quickly as possible. Rewritten at liesure. Bell used a lunch time analogy. When his co-workers can't think of somewhere to go for lunch he suggests McDonalds. And instantly half a dozen better ideas get shook free in the horrified push back. He calls it ''the McDonald’s Theory: people are inspired to come up with good ideas to ward off bad ones."

The theory holds for creative work, which can often be still born just because it seems like too much effort to push a little harder. All that blood, All the screaming.

Hmm. OK. I'll let that analogy go.

Bell explains it much betterer.

Projects start in different ways. Sometimes you’re handed a formal brief. Sometimes you hear a rumor that something might be coming so you start thinking about it early. Other times you’ve been playing with an idea for months or years before sharing with your team. There’s no defined process for all creative work, but I’ve come to believe that all creative endeavors share one thing: the second step is easier than the first. Always.Anne Lamott advocates “shitty first drafts”, Nike tells us to Just Do It, and I recommend McDonald’s just to get people so grossed out they come up with a better idea. It’s all the same thing. Lammott, Nike, and McDonald’s Theory are all saying that the first step isn’t as hard as we make it out to be.

18 Responses to ‘The theory of bad ideas first’

Murphy would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

I tell people, "The first draft is always crap. Write it then work on polishing the turd."

It is good advice, actually. This blog post you cited.

Of course, my advice isn't too shabby either.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm mutters...

Posted May 1, 2013

the 'polishing a turd' to which you refer Murph could be considered Dorodango which is a traditional Japanese art form in which earth and water are molded to create a delicate shiny sphere, resembling a billiard ball. Hikaru is the art of then bringing a high shine to anything, such as the dirt sphere, perhaps 'editing' in your analogy above.

One of the most memorable examples of this was performed on Tiger poo by Savage and Jamie Hyneman of mythbuster. The segment is available on youtube and easily found. The link is here

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

I have seen the episode you speak of and frequently refer to it in class, Brigadier Barnes.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

Dear Murph

Things you do in class:

  • You use 'potentate' at least once a week.
  • You use 'Walking Dead' as a touchstone for many historical themes.
  • You frequently refer to the Mythbuster polished turd experiment.

Just what sort of crazy class do you teach and can I sign up?

Murphy asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

I teach American History at the freshman college level to community college students. The concepts I frequently cover include the evolution of the original thirteen colonies into the United States of America, the concept of the Republic, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, Hamiltonian Finance, slavery, the industrial revolution, a bit of guerilla Western Civ, etc.

I also make them write essays which account for half of their score, which leads to the polished turd comment.

In any case, anytime you want to fly to Missouri for a sixteen week stay, feel free. That said, I have a feeling my days are numbered. If you want to know why, hit me up for a lecture on how I was taught about communism by my one and only Philosophy Teacher.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

w from brisbane swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

Murph
Sounds like a good course.
"Hamiltonian Finance"; that is a new one for me.

Essays, I like them. However, my daughter's do my head in. The whole anti-plagarism thing. In the old days, you could happily write something like, "Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States". Now, in my daughter's school, you can't. You have to reference that. You fail if you cite Wikipedia. Arrrgh! Sentence after bloody sentence. Fun, zero.

Missouri, for a traveller, would be great. When I think of Missouri, I think of the Civil War (horrible for your state), then I think of Big Joe Turner, Charlie Parker, Jay McShann, Ben Webster etc. A surprising number of my favourite recordings have musicians from Kansas City. However, I don't travel much for a variety of reasons so, sadly, I suspect I will never get there.

"How I was taught about communism by my one and only Philosophy Teacher". That sounds like a very interesting story.

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

A couple of good quotes:

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." (Mark Twain)

"I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning." (William Faulkner)

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pitpat is gonna tell you...

Posted May 1, 2013

My maxim for the week is " Good enough is nearly always good enough" which I overheard on a promo for an ABC program. Probably not that applicable to the final product but might be useful for first drafts.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

"Good enough for government work" is another version I haev heard

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted May 1, 2013

I started reading No Easy Day today which follows a Navy SEAL up to the point where they kill Bin Laden. He describes getting through training as akin to eating an elephant. When asked how one does it, the answer is, "One bite at a time."

Writing is like that.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 1, 2013
I listened to that book on Audible a while back. It was a great story. Was interesting watching Zero Dark Thirty a short time later.

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BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted May 1, 2013

I am encouraged by your trust-in-your-first-idea theory. I've got this idea for a book, see, wherein I write episodically about the unusual habits of my former housemates from back in my student days. My working title is "He yielded the final spark of his life while holding in his hand a traditional Arab foodstuff".

Yeah?

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TC reckons...

Posted May 1, 2013

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I like those ideas - get started with your kernel and worry about the salty, buttery pop-ness of it all later.

I don't remember when or where I heard it, but I've always thrown out the line that there's nothing more overwhelming than a blank canvas; slap some mess on it and then see where it takes you. Of course, arty types with abundantly more talent than I always reply that there's nothing more exhilarating that a blank canvas. Smartasses.

TC swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 1, 2013

Oh yeah... I forgot about the ban on pasting out of MS Word. Can anyone fix that?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted May 1, 2013

Nope, there is no facility to polish that turd away. We're working on it, but.

DrYobbo would have you know...

Posted May 1, 2013

Notepad/Textedit (depending on your side of the PC/Mac divide) is your friend

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DrYobbo asserts...

Posted May 1, 2013

Close enough for government work is one I use and enjoy. I will definitely be adopting, adapting and improving the McDonalds Approach though. Right up to the point someone says 'Yeah Maccas sounds great!' and I will have to beat them to death with their own shoe

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Surtac is gonna tell you...

Posted May 2, 2013

Yep. The good Doctor has the right of it, but Id use something harder than their shoe. Maybe a cricket bat.

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Respond to 'The theory of bad ideas first'

Question for my US readers

Posted April 27, 2013 into Writing by John Birmingham

I was reading a story this morning about a movement in the US to take control of public schools away from the local government authorities and vest it in parents. Interesting enough story, with any number of intriguing political angles, but it suddenly struck me that depsite all of my writing about and research into America over the years, I have NFI what your state governments do.

The Feds? Yep, all over them. And municipal government, yeah, them too. But that's where I suddenly had my eureka moment. A lot of the stuff that your city administrators look after, like cops and schools, are the preserve of the states here. In fact the states probably deliver the bulk of end user government services that aren't stricty related to the functioning of towns and cities. And even then they deliver a whole heap of those services too, like water and electricity. (A lot of which has been privatised, admittedly.)

Still, it left me wondering, WTF do American state governments do, besides keeping the wages of waitresses at $2.15 per hour. Strikes me as something I might need to know so as not to embarass myself in print one day.

Caption

25 Responses to ‘Question for my US readers’

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 27, 2013

Depends on the State.

More later.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Mark R. Whittington reckons...

Posted April 27, 2013

I can only speak for the state of Texas which, while a low tax, low spending state, has its fingers in a lot of pies. For example, states like Texas fund a lot of education and welfare programs as well as having their own law enforcement agenies. Texas has both a state police and the iconic Texas Rangers. States also administer the mostly federally funded Medicaid, a health care insurance program for the poor. Texas regulates its oil industry, has its own environmental agency, and does quite a few other things too that the federal government also does. Of course, since the current government in Austin is conservative and the one in Washington is leftist, this has caused conflict which is often settled in the courts.

Just in the way of transparency, my beloved wife works for the Division for Blind Services at the Texas Rehabilitive Commission helping people with visual impairments live independently with state assistance.

One thing you also might want to research is the concept we have of enumerated powers. According to the U.S. Constitution, all powers now spelled out in that document is reserved to the states or the people. However the federal government has often had a broad definition of what that means, setting up more conflict.

This is by necessity a very short version and I'm sure I've left a lot out. But this should give you an idea.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted April 27, 2013

That is a simple question that prompts a very complex and lengthy answer. The deceptively simple answer is that the States are empowered to do whatever is not pre-emptec by Federal law. In California that means regulating and taxing quite a lot, whereas in states like Montana, it means doing very little. More often than not, states act in tandem with federal authorities. For example, the feds pass a law that allows for grants to states for educational purpose, but only if they match the federal funds and comply with federal guidelines pertaining to the spending of that money. States like Texas won't take federal money with those kinds of strings attached, but states like California will. The biggest area of state spending, in partnership with the federal government, is allocations for health and welfare, such as food stamps. If a state wants to give out food stamps, and they want their spending subsidized with federal tax money, then that state must organize and administer their food stamp program so as to compy with federal law and regulation.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 27, 2013

Paul covered it better than I could.

Respects,

Murph

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 27, 2013

Public school boards here in the United States are controlled locally in political entities known as school districts. They have their own governing apparatus, usually a School Board, run by a Superintendent. Their funding comes from Federal, State, and local resources. In the case of local resources, it tends to be a property tax or in some cases, bonds.

Parents, particularly helicopter parents, have been degrading and eating away at Instructor Authority for decades now. Whereas once the Teacher/Instructor was a Prince in their own classroom, they are now so devalued in terms of power and authority that even the school janitor has more authority than the teachers do.

Don't believe me? I had an opportunity to bear witness to some of that at a local school district in the area recently. The end result is that the students suffer no consequences for their actions, their failures and everything is laid on the Instructor.

The mantra, often repeated by school administrator is this:

"Students don't fail, teachers do."

As for what a state government does, here is a list of duties:

1. Maintain the state roads and highways.

2. Provide law enforcement for the above.

3. Provide a National Guard (a state level successor to the original militias which can be Federalized out from under the nose of the Governor).

4. Provide some welfare services, though depending on the State that can be a great deal or it can be virtually nothing.

5. Provide a regulatory institution for education within the state which is often responsible for such things as school district accreditation and teacher certification. Additionally, they can be responsible for public school cirriculum and standards of assessment which can be tied to additional state funding.

6. Provide funding to a degree to state colleges, community colleges, technical schools and universities. These days that funding is tied to retention and completion rates, which will invariably lead to pressure from administrators to pass students, one way or the other.

7. Run the State Parks system, which in Missouri's case, is actually extensive.

8. Provide healthcare to the poor, which in Missouri's case means virtually nothing and it also means resistance to Obamacare.

I don't even think that begins to scratch the surface.

Respects,

Murph

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted April 27, 2013
Fascinating. There seems to be a much greater variance between the states there than there is here.

Murphy reckons...

Posted April 27, 2013

I believe there are some regional similarities. That said, state politics, state history and state government have always bored me to complete tears. I often wonder if Alexander Hamilton didn't have it right in his notion that states should be reduced to mere administrative provinces with no real power at all. He was right in that the conflict over dual sovereignty (which, among other things, led to the bloodiest war in U.S. History) would be a source of constant trouble.

When I lecture on States Rights vs Federal Power (mainly because I have to) I often use the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) as a classic example of the struggle between Federal and State Power.

That said, lest I bad mouth the States too much, it was Thomas Jefferson using the states of Kentucky and Virgnia to effectively nullify the John Adams Administration's Alien and Sedition Acts. When one party completely dominates the Federal Government, as the Federalists did in Jefferson's time, state power can be used to greater and lesser degrees to mitigate that.

You see that play out with regard to a whole host of issues today.

That said, personally, I think the public education system needs a Stalinist style purge (minus the lead) and a greater degree of uniformity than current exists today. I also think the funding model is severely dysfunctional.

Respects,

Murph

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w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted April 27, 2013

From an Australian perspective, one of the most striking political differences is the number of elected government positions in the USA. Voting for a prosecutor or judge, for example, is a very different way of thinking. In Australia, that would seem like having a vote for the town plumber. Not criticising, it is just different.
I read, and it seemed reliable, that the U.S.A has over 500,000 popularly elected state, county and town officials.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted April 27, 2013

From the U.S. 1992 Census of Governments; 513,200 elected officials.

Government Units
There were 85,006 government units in the United
States as of January 1992. In addition to the Federal
Government and the 50 State governments, there were
84,955 units of local government. Of these, 38,978 are
general-purpose local governments—3,043 county govern-
ments, and 35,935 subcounty general-purpose govern-
ments (including 19,279 municipal governments and 16,656
town or township governments). The remainder, more than
half the total number, are special-purpose local govern-
ments, including 14,422 school district governments and
31,555 special district governments.


Elected Officials
The 85,006 governments in the United States in 1992 had 513,200 elected officials.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2/gov/gc/gc92_1_2.pdf

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted April 27, 2013

513,200 that'd be, like, just over half a million elected officials. You'd have to assume that most of those elections would be contested, implying >1 nominees. Many, multiple candidates. So you may have as many as an additional million wannabes. Maybe 1.5 Million total.

Australia, maybe 50k.

I think that right there is your problem. Population has reached a point where a critical mass of half-wits think they have The Answer to what ails y'all And have the moxy, the hutzpah, the cojones to put it out there. Vote 1 Me!

Still, probably a less dysfunctional mechanism than any People's Collective.

Murphy would have you know...

Posted April 28, 2013

Do you have any idea how much it costs to run for office?

Trust me, it is the province of the wealthy and the insane.

Respects,

Murph

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Matthew asserts...

Posted April 28, 2013

NBlob, don't forget that the USA has 14 times the population of Australia.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 27, 2013

Oh, sometimes State Governments take over local institutions. One perfect example here in Missouri is the fact that the Kansas City Missouri Police Department is controlled by a State Board, not by local authorities. Locals do have representation on the Board but it is balanced out by others. This came about as a result of rampant Prohibition and Pendergast Political Machine Era corruption. It still persists to this day.

And sometimes the Federal Government imposes a solution on local institutions. Another example would be the attempted Desegregation of the Kansas City School District. Funds were siphoned/reallocated by Federal court order from every other school district in the State to solve very real infrastructure, salary and funding issues. The KCMOSD promptly used that money to engage in a massive building campaign to create Magnet Schools which would draw suburban kids to their district. It was riddled with corruption and worse, many of the projects constructed were beyond the means of the district to support without that reallocated money.

Eventually the State of Missouri managed to put an end to that sad chapter. Worse, it serves as a perfect example for Conservatives who like to point at KCMOSD and say, "We threw billions at that problem and it only got worse, not better. More money is not the answer."

Anyway.

Let's not even get started on law enforcement.

Respects,

Murph

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted April 27, 2013

I am interested in this too JB.

Jekyl Island 1913? vs Ezra Pound. cf Shutter Island (the movie)

Mini Depression 1880's.

TH Castaway and 'WILSON!'

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Dino not to be confused with is gonna tell you...

Posted April 27, 2013

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/box-seat/stop-stealing-game-of-thrones-says-us-ambassador-to-australians-20130427-2ilam.html

What was the question again?

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damian puts forth...

Posted April 27, 2013

It's an interesting one, isn't it. I find the contrast between the USA and Australia in this regard fascinating. I have no view on whether one is better than the other, I think there are strengths either way. Though in a general sense pushing more functions and taxes to local government does tend to favor the wealthier enclaves and disadvantage less well off areas, for obvious reasons. So I suppose that's an argument for our way, though I think in practice it's not really so clear.

I do wonder whether it occurs to Americans that their multiplicity of police forces and agencies is unusual. People here get confused enough by Cooloongatta and Tweed Heads being in different jurisdictions, and Canberra vs Queanbeyan even more so I suppose.

Matthew mumbles...

Posted April 28, 2013

"Though in a general sense pushing more functions and taxes to local government does tend to favor the wealthier enclaves and disadvantage less well off areas, for obvious reasons."

Not really. In Scandinavian countries (Denmark for sure, not 100% about the other ones) most things are run by local governments. I haven't seen them held up as examples of rampant inequality.

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Charles would have you know...

Posted April 27, 2013

Good discussion and details on what's I'd call a "three pint" subject. One thing I'd add is that the complexity/confusion that typifies the U.S. governmental system has been around since the very beginning. That was largely due to divisions between the need to act collectively against the British and the desire to maintain local and/or regional autonomy. This dynamic has played out time and again in everything from the Civil War to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to the Civil Rights movement to abortion rights to gay rights to the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care).

The issue of state authority is further complicated by how powers are meted out from the bottom up. For example, in California, law enforcement is divided between incorporated town/city police who conduct investigations/interventions/arrests for infractions of local and state laws from traffic violations to felonies, county sheriffs who oversee unincorporated areas and provide support when more serious crimes are committed, and Highway Patrol officers who focus their attentions on the state/interstate highways and freeways.

Toss in federal agencies (U.S. marshalls, the FBI, TSA, IRS and others) with various jurisdictions and policing/enforcement powers and you end up with a system rife with overlappiing jurisdictions, power plays and pissing contests.

If nothing else, it keeps things interesting.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 28, 2013

Local law enforcement. Yeah, about that. Why don't we just list everything in my neck of the woods.

1. KCPD (for KCMO)

2. NKCPD (for Northtown)

3. Gladstone Public Safety, a weird duck of an organization which combines police, fire and ambulance together.

4. Liberty PD.

5. Riverside PD.

6. Parkville PD.

7. Northmoor PD (literally a one cop town).

8. Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City Police, a bona fided, POST certified, no bullshit, we carry guns and have our own Paddy Wagon, police department spread out to the major campuses in the region.

9. UMKC PD, a larger population but they don't have a Paddy Wagon.

10. Clay County Sheriff's Department.

11. Platte County Sheriff's Department.

12. Smithville PD.

All of that is "local" and the bulk of it aside from UMKC and MCC are located just on the NORTH side of the Missouri River. South of the River you have:

13. Independence PD, home of Harry S. Truman, and they will chase you to the ends of hell if you want to see what a real police chase is like.

14. Blue Springs PD, not worth a fuck at all, worse than KCPD.

15. Jackson County Sheriff's Department.

16. Raytown PD.

17. Grandview PD.

Then you cross the State Line over to Kansas for another batch:

18. Wyandotte County Sheriff's Department.

19. Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

20. Overland Park.

21. Lenexa

22. Olathe

At the State Level on both sides you have a Highway Patrol for each state. Then you can start to layer in all of the Federal crap. For instance, the Department of Veteran's Affairs has police officers of their own, there is the FBI and the list goes on.

All of this local control, be it school boards, police departments (remember KCPD is controlled by the state but funded by the city) and the like are designed as a check and balance against potential tyranny. It is also a sign of democracy in action I suppose. The downside is that it is ruinously inefficient in the worst possible way.

Respects,

Murph

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 28, 2013
Holy shitballz Murph. Wow.

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 28, 2013
And I'm sure I didn't name all of them in the area either.

Respects,
Murph
On the Outer Marches

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Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 28, 2013
Here is a partial list from wiki for Missouri and Kansas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_agencies_in_Missouri

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_agencies_in_Kansas

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Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted April 28, 2013

Based on the number of questions I get from sausage buyers around the world about federal-state fiscal relations in our country, Iwould say our federal system is quite unique and closest to Germany's. On average our states derive 50%

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Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted April 28, 2013

...of their revenue from the Feds. In fact the vertical fiscal imbalance is so large here that the reallocation across the states is all you need to deal with the horizontal imbalances across the states...unless WA gets uppity now that it loses most of the GST it collects (although it used to be a net beneficiary not long ago).

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Davosdavos mumbles...

Posted April 29, 2013

State goverments run the licensing boards for professions. If you are a doctor, lawyer, you have to be licensed by the state. Heck, even hairdressers, building contractors, cosmetic consultants and a whole range do other jobs require you to have a state-issued license.

States regulate insurance companies, set premiums, regulate state chartered banks. They license businesses and regulate corporations. Want to set up a company, that's done by state governments. Some have light regulation (Nevada) while others are heavily regulated (California).

State governments do lots of regulation. There are lots of overlaps btwn the Feds and the counties. Lots of jurisdictional battles. States can make laws and require that counties implement and enforce the laws too.

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Respond to 'Question for my US readers'

Literary agents. Licensed to kill. Like a motherfucker

Posted April 26, 2013 into Writing by John Birmingham

So, you’ve written the final line on your soon to be best-selling novel, perhaps a high octane hyper-accelerated thriller, perhaps a dense and unreadably brilliant inner dialogue-driven character study of three generations of strong-willed women. ‘Whatevs’, as they say on ‘teh interwebz’. (‘Teh interwebz’ is also something they say on the internet, when they are trying for ironic distance).

The first question I’d ask as you hurried through shining black marble foyer of the international publishing house you have personally chosen to receive your heart breaking work of staggering genius, is what the hell are you doing? Where is your agent?

While it’s not unknown for publishers to pluck a diamond from the slush pile of unsolicited manuscripts, such happy occasions are exceedingly rare. So rare, that it seems their exceptional, almost singular nature is imbued with the power to blind would-be novelists to the brutal realities of the industry.

Publishers hate unsolicited manuscripts. They do sift through them, because they are no more inured to the magical fantasy of that one, special find than are the army of unpublished authors burying them under a mountain of largely unpublishable books.

I believe Mr Birmingham will reserve his position on retaining the audiobook rights in the European market, unless you have an objection?

If you really think you have something special in your bottom draw, or nowadays in your Dropbox account, do yourself the favour of running it past the jaundiced eyes of one of the industry’s foulest, most nihilistic misanthropes – an agent. With an agent in your corner, you need not even read articles such as this. You would merely concern yourself with banging out five or six hundred pages of top shelf word processing, and they would do the rest; including the all important task of making first contact with whichever publisher you plan on shaking down for an unconscionably large advance. (More on this later.)

Publishers deal with agents all the time, and although they don’t necessarily like them, they do like what do. At least insofar as agents protect them from the shower of offal which pours into the slush pile, day and night. Granted they don’t much like agents when they ratchet up the size of that unconscionably large advance, but there is a price for everything, isn’t there? One caveat. When choosing an agent, avoid any that charge you a fee for their services. The only time an agent should put a hand in your pocket is when they have made a sale and are taking a commission. Reading fees, edit fees, manuscript assessment fees, they are all recognised as the work of charlatans.

There are manuscript assessment agencies around, and some are even worth the money they charge. But they are not agents.

So, lets say you have inexplicably decided to do your own pimping and negotiating. Perhaps you don’t fancy turning over somewhere between ten and twenty per cent of your income to the misanthrope. Perhaps in your day job you eat high priced negotiators for breakfast.

There is another difficult, preliminary question you need to ask yourself. It’s difficult because you’re probably not qualified to answer it, but without an agent with whom you might chew over these things, where would you turn for advice? As you hurry through the black marble foyer, tracked by the invisible lasers and defence turrets of the Pan Macmillan in-house security system, or the slavering attack dogs of Rupert Murdoch’s Harper Collins, perhaps you should first ask yourself, ‘Do I even need this publisher’.

It’s not the sort of question publishers like to encourage, but increasingly authors and the misanthropes who represent them, are asking the very same. Lets illustrate the point with a little experiment. If you have web access handy, pop over to Amazon, the world’s largest online book retailer and festering sink of evil, and do a subject search under Kindle for, say, mystery and thrillers. There you’ll find some familiar names. Lee Child, Janet Evanovich and so on. But who are all these people you’ve never heard of? With titles that seem to cost .99 cents?

Well, they may not be the future of publishing, but they will be part of it. Self published authors who moved swiftly into the e-book space while the slow, lumbering engines of olde worlde publishing were still banking up the coal supplies for their steam engines. There are now any number of options for unsigned authors to say, ‘The hell with Random House, I’ll publish myself’.

Some of them have made a pile of money. Not because they’re good, but because they were fast to market, they were cheap, sometimes even free while they established their name as a micro-brand, and because they could often put half a dozen small electronic books into the channel while the publishing houses were still dunking their Tim Tams into the Earl Grey at acquisitions meetings.

Even established authors are beginning to examine the prospect of going it alone. Or perhaps not entirely alone, but certainly without the help of a publisher who’ll generously let you have a whole 10% royalty on your cover price, as opposed to the 70% you can earn freelance.

Of course, as a freelance, you’d have to organize editing, production, placement, marketing if you intend to do any, and so on. There are emerging into the market, a number of businesses providing these services. Some are reputable. Some are just retooled vanity publishers. You’ll need to do your own research as to whom you’ve fallen in with. Alternately, some agents are beginning to organise their clients as ‘stables’ where they produce copy for Amazon, or iBooks or Barnes and Noble, and the agency takes care of everything else, effectively cutting out the publisher but ensuring the production work is done professionally.

Publishers, as you’d imagine, are not happy with this. Some authors have seen existing contracts cancelled on the basis of entering into such arrangements.

Lets hand-wave all these modern confusions and tergiversations aside, however, and proceed on the assumption that you are an old school writer with an old school proposition. You have a saleable manuscript and you would like to sell it directly to a publisher. What do you need to know?

Firstly, what are you selling? It’s not just your beautiful prose. You are selling rights to commercially exploit that prose in any number of formats and markets. The publisher will want the right to everything, up to and including your DNA. When they rush you with a contract, fountain pen and a hypodermic syringe, just take a moment to say, “Whoa”. You may not want to assign a small Australian publisher the right to market your work in Romania or, possibly more importantly, in the US. You may want to withhold foreign rights, audio rights, video game rights, and so on.

There are many traps for young players in this area. For instance you may ‘invent’ a whole story universe, filled with compelling creatures and characters and worlds. Perhaps you write a series of successful novels within this universe but then move on, only returning to it years later. Suddenly, after announcing you intend to return to your roots, a lawyer’s letter arrives informing you that said roots are owned, root and branch by the original publisher. You didn’t just sell them the words in the manuscript. You sold them everything. The creatures, the characters, the world. The very fruits of your imagination.

This is why I say, you should either have an agent or an IP lawyer in your corner doing the talking. The power, unfortunately, is mostly with the publisher. Negotiations can be brutal. You’re an artist, you don’t do brutal. Unless you’re Tom Kratman. But your misanthropic agent or lawyer was born that way. Let them do their worst so you can be at your best.

They are the ones who will discuss the all-important filthy lucre. Just how much are you expecting to trouser for this deal? I hope it’s not too much. Advances are falling across the industry as it restructures to deal with the advent of electronic publishing (where the industry accepted advance for e-book only deals is one tenth of one per cent of fuck all; which is to say, zero). The virtual collapse of the US economy and subsequent contraction of its publishing industry is also feeding through to the rest of the world, undermining confidence.

There is no reasonable, generally agreed figure you can settle on for an advance. If you are a first time author, don’t be surprised at the insulting, piddlesome amount on offer. It’s an advance. If your work is that brilliant it will sell a million copies and you’ll be rolling in royalties with only the tax office goons to ruin your party. There are some authors who think making a publisher bet the house on a book is good business. Or rather, I should say there are some ex-authors who think making a publisher bet the house on a book is good business.

Having settled on who owns what, and how much dough is changing hands it’s time to think about the nuts and bolts of your agreement. You’ll want to know exactly what happens in the case of failure. Either you, failing to deliver, or the publisher failing to get to the book to market. Ideally, if they make a hash of everything you need to be in a position to recover your rights to everything. Alternately, if you make a cock up of things, how much are you going to have to pay them back? The full amount of the advance? With interest? Best to know. It used to be the case that in the days of gentleman’s agreements, advances were never recovered. Those days are over.

Will there be a marketing budget for your work? Will you tour? It’s a sad reality that the sales of books increase in direct proportion to the amount of effort that goes into pimping them. Be very careful that you’re not expected to organize and run your own publicity efforts. Unless marketing and publicity is your day job, you’ll fail. Get the publisher to spell out exactly what they intend to do in this area, in print.

There may be costs associated with your work. Will there be an index? Under no circumstances agree to pay for it. Professional indexing is hell expensive. So too with permissions for photography. As perverse as it might sound, even public institutions such as libraries will try to charge you for access and publishing rights to material they hold (paid for by the taxes extorted from your good self before you foolishly gave up merchant banking for the composing of epic poems). If there is a production cost involved in bringing your work to print – don’t be the one left holding the bill.

On a related matter, if you are planning to defame anybody, you might wish to secure an indemnity from your publisher. Best not to defame anyone in the first place, of course, but given the antediluvian nature of Australian libel laws, even the best of intentions can go pear-shaped. Ask Bob Ellis. Or better yet, don’t. Just learn from his example.

Once these tedious issue are settled you can get to the very heart of the author-publisher relationship; power. In the end, whose book is this? Do you have final say over its content and form or do they? Again, be wary of coming on as an overweening tool. While you may have very strong ideas about, say, the cover design of your precious tome, it might be the case that in matters of print aesthetics you don’t know your arse from a hole in the ground. So too, with editing. What makes you think that after three or four rewrites you have any capacity to objectively judge what needs to happen to your manuscript before it is released to the paying public, who, believe me, can very quickly morph into the baying public. By all means lobby for final control, but try not to exercise it.

There are two last issues you need to bear in mind. Publishers get very jealous of their authors. When they say they don’t want you releasing ‘competing’ titles they mean it. Sometimes, in the real world, delays and changes of allegiance can mean you have an older title with a previous publisher coming out at or near the same time as your new book. It is should be possible to deal with such instances like grown ups. But publishers are increasingly on the look-out for authors going maverick. Releasing, say, a self published e-book of short stories or magazine columns at the same time as the publisher’s title.

They hate this, in the general and in the particular. Contracts have been voided because of it.

Which brings us at last to final consideration. What happens at the end? Chances are you won’t be with this publisher unto the grave. When the link is sundered what happens to all those rights you gave when things were fresh and the very air itself was humming with mutual love and admiration?

Perhaps you really should get that lawyer and/or agent.

32 Responses to ‘Literary agents. Licensed to kill. Like a motherfucker’

peteb reckons...

Posted April 26, 2013

Handy advice that, got my ebook number 1 up yesterday .. no surprise who bought copy number 1, @ $2.99 .. Bennison Books did all the work, she's a her, pom, therefore erudite and discerning.

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 26, 2013

Imma stick to selling crack to schoolies. Seems more reputable and straightforward.

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beeso is gonna tell you...

Posted April 26, 2013

Interesting about reading a slush pile. I read a lot of books for a normal person and sometimes i struggle getting into a book and discard it for a time. GRR Martins was a classic example, i struggled for a few weeks to get into it and it wasn't till i sat down for an hour and hooked in that it got going. It was a great book, but if i'd been trying to judge it on first look and didn't know that it was probably worth persisting with i probably wouldn't have come back to it.

Do publishers just understand that sometimes their mood is not right to judge a slower, longer book, or that it might need a longer reading to get into it? Or can they just judge things structurally and understand that it is worth putting more time into judging later?

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pitpat ducks in to say...

Posted April 26, 2013

Thanks for that, I think I'll stick with the misanthropic nepotistic mining industry. At least we start from the premise that everyone is a greedy bastard and are therefore pleasantly suprised when most turn out ot be reasonable human being.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 26, 2013

Excellent piece, I am tempted to copy it and self-publish it as 99cent dreadful. I guess we now know how much a penny has inflated in literatry terms.

I am espcially greatful for the introduction of the word tergiversation, which is a great word but one with which I was unfamiliar. I had thought initialy it was a malapropism of yours untill I checked the dictionary.

It sounds like there is an oportunity for literary agents to take over some of the functions offerred by the publishers. You mention this in the article above. Certainly with the publishing houses trousering up to 70% then the literary agent has some room to manauver and still provide a better return to the writer. I would like to read Superagent Hughies thoughts on this development.

I am always suprised when people who think they have a talent for writing think the must also have a talent for editing, for intellectual property law, marketing and cover design. While I realise we all dream ourselves as Da Vinciesque Renaissance polymaths the cold truth is we are not and you are better off, much better off, finding someone who knows this shit better than you.

I think that is what you said, just more elquently. You know, with allusions and stuff.

DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 26, 2013

'I am always suprised when people who think they have a talent for writing think the must also have a talent for editing, for intellectual property law, marketing and cover design' - I'm equally surprised (as I expect are you Barnes) when people who have a talent for science think they also have a talent for personnel management, administration and corporate governance.... or at least are driven along that path by their developing career. But that's another argument.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 26, 2013

Oh no, Science is totally different. If you are good at science/engineering you are just an all round expert at everything. Well except maybe sports.

pitpat asserts...

Posted April 26, 2013

As someone who purports to be a scientist I reject the proposition that I am expert at everything or indeed anything including my specialist field. I am however pretty knowlegable with respect to sport.

Scientists at least in my field are a bit like literary agents. Our jobs are to reduce the probablitiy of complete failure. Or if you are an optimist to increase the chances of technical success- whether that translates into financial success is a different question.

insomniac reckons...

Posted April 26, 2013

No no no, it's only chemists who are experts at everything

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted April 26, 2013

Not too long ago, a colleague spoke to a lonely author doing a book signing at Bookworld in the Brisbane CBD.
She asked the author,
"It must be exciting to see your book on the shelves of bookshops".
"Not really" the author replied, "Do you know how much I get for each book sold?"
"No."
"$1.14."

And when you consider that 5000 books sold would make you a successful Australian author, the hourly rate is poor. There is also the long delay between the work and the payment.
A couple of years ago they did a survey of Australian authors with a 'successful' publishing history. They wanted to work out their average income. The authors generally used the 3 methods of deriving income for authors: book royalties, getting some articles in magazines and teaching creative writing.
They worked out the average reported income was about $33,000 pa.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 26, 2013

$33K is higher than I would have thought. It's why I write for a global english language audience and keep working in media.

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w from brisbane mutters...

Posted April 26, 2013

Semi-related, I worked across the road from Bookworld in the Brisbane CBD for a couple of decades and saw many a book signing as I wandered past at lunch. In that time, there were 2 authors who really had them lined up with 100's of people; Judith Durham and Pele.
Michael Connelly had about 8 people in a line. As I walked past, he heard him say, "Stuff this" and he got up from his little table and walked around into the queue and started chatting. Seemed like a nice bloke.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted April 26, 2013

I pretty much refuse to do them and have for years.

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted April 26, 2013

I only mention the Michael Connelly anecdote because his book signing behaviour was so singular.
I saw him stand up, and start to move towards the people.
'Oh no! The author has got loose!' I shouted.
It was scary there for a moment.

RobertL puts forth...

Posted April 26, 2013
I remember seeing that Pele signing. It almost blocked the road.

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tqft would have you know...

Posted April 26, 2013

Saddest thing? I have a mind mapping program open and am dumping that novel that has been running around my head into it and this article has not put me off.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted April 26, 2013

Kratzman? Do you mean Kratman? He does brutal good.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted April 26, 2013
Yeah, him. Scuse the typo.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 26, 2013

Why did I decide to try and get into this line fo work again?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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HAVOCK21 mutters...

Posted April 26, 2013

Interesting read, I received a slightly more brutal, and thats still not the right term, ..forthright and honest divulgence from the large hairy beardy at times angry, cook, cleaners, writer and general all round wrangler in Tasmania some years ago. That then was fkn awesome to read and rather fascinating to boot, like above.

I KNOW I"M FKN MARKETABLE...so long as its abbreviations, bad fkn typing and fkn swearin!...not sure what sorta fkn book that would be!

Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 26, 2013

Always room for heaps of explosions in abbreviated form.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted April 26, 2013

Sounds too much like hard work that scribbling for a living caper. I prefer being a deaf poet.

simon bedak would have you know...

Posted April 29, 2013

"I am blind. It is Spring. Deaf am I to that lawn-mowin' thing..

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MickH would have you know...

Posted April 26, 2013

Wow JB thanks for that.

I have been thinking along those lines for a while, but it was sometging I ewas going to find out more about once Q7S is closer to being finished.

For those of you that are interested, Queen of the Seven Seas is going to get a 50 shades of Grey job done to it. When I said this to my writers club ladies they got all interested, but by that I mean I'm taking it out of fan fiction by de-copyrighting it, with JBs enthuastic support.

But I was always under the assumption that scoring an agent was even harder than scoring a publisher and that it was essentually a catch 22 situation with them.

So how do you get an agent?

My strategy is to get one of my short stories published if I can, so I can approach one of these demi-gods with at least some street cred.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 27, 2013

I suggest chloroform.

MickH has opinions thus...

Posted April 27, 2013

You may well be right Barnsy but first I'd have to find one of the fuck'rs.

How do you hunt down a ligit agent who is open to new talent? Is it easier to hunt unicorns?

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Dino not to be confused with asserts...

Posted April 26, 2013

Thanks JB,

But I am confused.

One post about the literary world is all about beer and skittles and the next is all Alice in Wonderland.

Is writing worth it? Money be nice. I find writing therapeutic, honing the words a challenge but as you and others mention it is very hard to edit your own work.

In this way most books are probably a collaborative effort.

I've done four chapters now of my previously mentioned coincidental 'Magic vs Science' themed novel. Not a chance of 50 shading it like MickH, good luck MickH.

Self Publish? Maybe.

I am getting into After America too. It is starting to roll and has a 'good Rhythym'.

MickH reckons...

Posted April 27, 2013

Thanks Dino, you too.

Self publishing or ePublishing seems the way forward given the apparent collapsing of the standard publishing houses. But Its still evolving I think, The key will be getting your work noticed and I see some things happening in that direction already. I think the future will be your agent/publisher will primarly handle marketing, while the traditional editing of the work will still be there.

I will repeat though that Q7S will have no sex scenes in it :) 50 shades of grey started out as fan fiction as did Q7S. Apparently the 50SQ author approached the publishers and worked out what needed to be removed to make it legal. Thats what I meant lol

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Len has opinions thus...

Posted April 27, 2013

Of course, the key here is to actually get an agent interested in your work so they'll want to represent you. Not as easy as one thinks with all the queries they get. Got any advice there?

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Tom Kratman swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 27, 2013

Okay, that was funny.

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Simon Bedak mumbles...

Posted April 29, 2013

Hey Len, got an idea.

The big question is this: will I get Mr 10% Simon Bedak to try and not fuck up the stage adaptation or will I get one of Birmo's troup of type-writing monkeys who is not only cheaper, but more talented?

Strategy wise, saying the unpublished manuscript's been turned into an inexplicably popular stage play might be worth a crouton in the Caesar salad of sell-out in hawking yourself.

Never know. I imagine literary agents are like the rest of us and enjoy a nice drunken handjob at the theatre

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted October 3, 2014
Okay, so double plus good to this still-tasty morsel too. And I hardly evah pay attention to the twitterz

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Respond to 'Literary agents. Licensed to kill. Like a motherfucker'

Festivus interruptus

Posted April 24, 2013 into Writing by John Birmingham

I was a bit surprised to see a report from the Sydney Writers Festival the other day. I didnt even know it was on. It's one of the older, more serious festivals and I don't get invited nearly as much since I started writin' the splodey.

It's cool. I'm not bitter.

Still, that report did jog my memory about a piece I wrote for someone, somewhere, possibly The Spectator, about bad behaviour at literary festivals. I dont think it's ever been available online so for all those people who wondered what they're missing out on if, like me, they didn't score an invite to this year's SWF, enjoy:

I’ve never understood writers who complain about the festival circuit. Fuck me, what’s not to love? You get flown in like James Bond, put up in some plush hotel, fed like a fucking potentate, and over the course of a week you might have to do about fourteen minutes ‘work’, which mostly involves gobbing on about the fascinating fellow who is you to a room full of adoring groupies. Other than that, it’s all hookers and blow.

Plenty of blow, if you’re the visiting international super author who swept through Sydney a couple of years ago like a tornado through a trailer park. Plenty of blowjobs if you’re the handsome, visiting, young literary lion who cut a swathe through the ranks of doe-eyed publishing grrrls at festival after festival, leaving it to his grizzled old agent to explain that the knee trembler out the back of the wharf restaurant was just ‘festival sex’ and, really, the duly ravished editor, publicist or marketing maven shouldn’t plan on a Mills and Boon ending.

In fact, the standard of behaviour amongst overseas authors is so uniformly and despicably lower than the local scribblers, that you could only put it down to being a long way from home and surrounded by strangers, none of whom you plan on ever seeing again.

While there have been a few embarrassing incidents of Australian writers getting caught out in the wrong room, or the hotel foyer wearing only a short white bathrobe and an unsightly bulge, for world class roistering and rogering you almost always have to turn to the international talent; the hugely successful overseas crime writer who, having wowed the audience though a two hour session, then wowed one of the lovely young ladies selling his tomes at the festival bookshop, through a six hour sesh back at the hotel; the cheeky Kiwi author whose surprisingly successful pick up routine involved wandering into the ladies toilet as if lost, and chatting up whoever he found, trapped in there; the French philosopher who managed to paw, grope and fondle every single woman who crossed his path during his brief, action packed visit. And, having learned the ways of the foreign johnnies, the ex-pat Australian scribe who methodically propositioned a vast number of women over the course of a night, all to no avail. His essayed his final attempt to get laid in a taxi going home with three distinguished lady publishers. After being turned down by two he turned to the last one and said 'Surely you'll fuck me?'

Surely, she didn’t.

Not that it’s always the writers who are on the tool. A dashing young British agent – no not Bond, the literary sort of agent – ran his pork sword through a brace of local industry loverlies a couple of years back. While some of the loverlies themselves fell into a screeching cat fight over who was going to bag a visiting super poet, which ended only when the limerick legend tossed them all out of his hotel room at omigod-thirty in the morning.

There must be something about poets. Another one, a local lad this time, once took all of twenty minutes after his arrival at the festival to find himself in a shower with a sixteen year old admirer.

It’s not all about the sex though. There’s also the drunkenness. I chose my agent Annette Hughes, many years ago because she’d passed out and fallen under the tables at the casino, a vantage point from which I was certain she would understand things from my perspective. In fact, I’m somewhat proud of the fact that of all the drunken, rambling, pointless and offensive performances I’ve seen on stage at writer’s festivals, nobody can top mine and Hughesy’s after a whole day of throwing back the complimentary fizzy drink before staggering out in front of a couple of hundred strangers to disgrace ourselves on a panel with the late great Grant McLennan and actor-turned-writer William McInnes. Neither of the Macs had ever been to a festival before, and were completely blindsided by our foul mouthed, drunken hysterics, but neither of them were as unbalanced as the chair of the session, poor Andrew Stafford, who looked like all he wanted in the world was for the earth to open up and swallow him.

Preparations for the panel 'Whither the Novel' were proceeding in the green room.

Anyone who spends any time at a festival will eventually see, or trip over, some God of Letters, crawling around on the floor, covered in their own vomit, and possibly taking up skirt photos with their mobile phone cam. A Brisneyland-based author recalls stumbling across one legless Brit Lit genius, being unexpectedly and unwantedly pashed by another, before getting ‘belly-butted’ outside the dunny by a Nobel prize-winning Irish poet and novelist, all in short order.

While it’s all good fun for we 'umble scribblers, the burden of these piss poor shenanigans has to fall somewhere, and for the most part it’s the heads of our publicists and agents; again, another reason I chose the hard-bitten, two-fisted take-no-prisoners Hughesy as my personal consigliore. Ever ready with a fresh drink or a strong arm, she’s steered many a gullible newbie through the shoals of their first festival. She once had to frog march a tired and emotional author away from a group of internationals, whom he’d decided to lay into with grog-addled gusto. By the time the world famous, prize winning Indian writer had been told that he was a slimebag and a talentless lowlife, Hughesy came over all Maori bouncer and took it upon herself to muscle the provocateur off the premises.

Ironically, she herself was later ejected for delivering a fearsome rant against street performers from a wobbling table top in the hotel foyer. A bit harsh really, given that the security goons hadn’t done anything about the senior editor who decided it was just too hot for humans, staggered to her feet, and lay down, fully clothed, in the decorative pond in the foyer.

Less forceful agents and publicist however, have long memories and lots of scar tissue. There is always one monster among the visiting literati, one writer so irredeemably vile that nobody wants to wrangle them. And for some reason they often seem to be crazy American crime writing ladies. One such best selling creature, put out that nobody would carry her bags for her, spent her entire visit complaining about the wretched food, and pissy coffee and the horror of being dragged to this shit hole at the end of the world. She even alienated her fellow best selling Americans, with whom she had to share a platform, asking, in front of them, ‘What I am doing on stage with these fucking nobodies?’

Another author of massively popular pot boilers used to insist that a peeled Mars Bar be readied for him in the Green Room, before he went on stage, while a morbidly obese female novelist, now dead, simply couldn’t leave her room until some long suffering publicist had given her swollen, blue veined feet a good rub down. One poor publicist was forced to follow yet another Indian writer with a bottle of wine, ever ready to top him up should his glass drop too low. A colleague was forced by an American ‘cult’ author, to act as her valet, packing her stinky underclothes into a suitcase while the literary genius stoked the fires of her personality cult on breakfast radio. And a hugely credentialed writer once insisted a festival director bring him some bed pillows from the directors own home, because, having sampled the entire ‘pillow menu’ at the hotel, he couldn’t find anything remotely appropriate upon which to wrest his noble noggin. Perhaps he should have done as a colleague did, and stripped naked in the foyer until his demands we met.

None of this should put you attending of course, unless you fancy a career at the bottom of the food chain in the publishing industry. For you, as for us, the drunken, drug addled dilettantes, the Festival is all about the good times. And the foot rubs.

34 Responses to ‘Festivus interruptus’

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

"Potentate?" I haven't heard that word used in over 30 years, especially by a young person such as yourself.

I've attended only one literary festival - held in Edinburgh - where I met a rather well-known British author who offered to perform a sex act upon me in exchange for 20 Pounds Sterling, or its equivalent in "American cash money." I found the experience, at the time, unsettling, but now realize, after reading your post, that I shouldn't have been surprised.

sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

I refuse to judge you, Paul; you're a lawyer, and probably needed the money.

Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013

Ooh I really want to know who now.

Ever thought of going into the blackmail business PNB?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mumbles...

Posted April 25, 2013

Sibeen: She offered to pay me. She certainly didn't need the money. I have long suspected that the entire encounter was merely smoke from another fire. Just because you're rich and famous doesn't mean you're happy, and doesn't mean you aren't psychotically obsessed with that guy who rejected you in that bar in Islington before you were rich and famous.

Matthew: I never kiss and tell - unless I've kissed Scarlett Johansson; if and when that happens I intend on telling everybody.

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

Get nominated for 'words and writing' blog thing, post something to do with words and writing, ??? , profit. I see what you did there

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John is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013

God, and to think I thought the antics of the engineering students at Uni were bad...

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013
Indeed.
When does this competition end?
We can only contain ourselves for so long before we get back to the serious business of throwing cat turds at slouch bikers.

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tqft has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

Your twitter stream will be fun today JB. Hope you didn't plan on getting any work done.

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Johnny B Gone has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

‘What I am doing on stage with these fucking nobodies?’

I'm already thinking about the times and places I can drop this little doozy.

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Peter Bradley has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

I don't think literary festivals have a mortgage on bad behavior.

I have been going to scientific conferences for roughly 30 years and the behavior described fits with a majority of visiting "scientific luminaries". I remember on particular New York based guru who ran up a $10,000 phone bill at the hotel he was being hosted at and thought nothing of it.

Did Lord Acton have the right idea all those years ago? "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

<!--EndFragment-->

Quokka puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2013

PB: a professor of psychiatry at Cornell University coined the term 'acquired situational narcissism' for the self-importance that arises from being a celebrity. It does go a long way to explaining WTF goes on in hollywood.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted April 25, 2013

I'm not sure how "acquired situational narcissism' could prompt someone into confusing an overweight, short, bald, middle-aged attorney with a prostitute. Davos Seaworth, perhaps, but not a prostitute. I suspect being drunk had more to do with it. And, for the record, I have encountered some rather famous Hollywood folk and none of them have ever offered to pay me in exchange for sex. Hell, they don't want to pay me for legitimate work. Take my word for it: the more famous a person is, the more likely it is that they don't want to pay for legal work.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

well, thats a fkn cracking morning laugh if I ever had one, an in the middle of the fkn office no less. Talk about fkn muppets and the arrogant fkn unwashed at times, i've never behaved like that!

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TC is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013

Heh heh heh. Good times.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

Totally going in my chaps.

Only

My

Chaps

Paul, I use potentate at least once a week in class. It is easier to deal with than antidisestablishmentarianism.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

JG reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

Chaps? Is this a Texan term? Like cowboy chaps?

Matthew K reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

Yes we've got lots of chaps here in England. Also geezers, blokes, fellers, lads and mates.

I wonder how many Englishmen have been surprised when visiting the US at the result when asking for a pack of fags?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 25, 2013

Depends on where you ask. If you ask in Billings Montana they will point guns at you and direct you out of town. If you ask in San Fransisco California they will smile warmly direct you to the Castro District - and warn you that the term is highly offensive and that "gay" is more polite.

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Therbs mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2013

Onya Hughesy! No wonder you went to raise chooks and grow stuff. Last time I went to the SWF I ended up being bored shitless within 20 minutes, went to the Fortune of War for a few sharpies then off to see the then recently released Star Trek, Afterwards caught up with a fave barmaid. Wasn't all that literary but by fuck it was a good afternoon and evening. Don't blame you for not worrying about the SWF. One look at the crowd and speakers tells a tale of extreme ononism.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

Listen you, what happens on a festival stays on festival.

Nothing wrong with ranting at street performers, espcially mime artists. Lord Havelock Vetinari of Terry Pratchett's Discword series had the 'write' idea, has them hanging upside down in his scorpion pit while reading a sign saying "learn the words".

Might I also suggest Mortification:Writers' Stories of Their Public Shame edited by Robin Robertson if you seek more stories, though Iwas suprised to see nothing for Birmo. Like the time insisted on calling a group of ardent feminists "ladies" through out his talk. Most of us waiting in a near by coffee shop were expecting to see him fleeing up the street pursued by militant lesbians with murder in their eyes,.... again.

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pi mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2013

I wanna become a writer.

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BigWillieStyle asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

I've only been to one WF before, at Byron Bay a couple of years ago - I wanted to hear Bret Easton Ellis, John "Roy Slaven" Doyle and Tony Martin. Gotta say, the crowd, and indeed the writers, didn't strike me as your rampaging blowjob types. I'm sure Tony Martin, for example, would rather spend his down time going through the Bargain Bin outside the local Video Ezy than snorting cocaine off a groupie's tits.

Mind you, after reading this, I'm certainly seeing George RR Martin and Bill Bryson in a new light.

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Dave W would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Goddamn, the best years of my life have been wasted on not behaving badly.

Respond to this comment

Shifty Tourist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

Completely wasted my life.... should have been a writer... well, I always considered it a fall back profession... you know..... in case the white collar drudgery doesn't pan out.

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

I coulda given you my gold pass JB.

I think it's here somewhere under the local papers.

I woulda gone but I am reading 'After America'.

It's not the splody it's the dialogue, too much dialogue.

Dialogue is so GaY now.

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

It's just like a footy trip.

Dave W reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

I think you get a higher class of hookers and blow at a writers' festival.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

It depends on the footy team.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 24, 2013

and the writers festival

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damian mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2013

The thing about poets, is that it's all work for them. There is, after all, the famous and highly regarded bloke who tried to write an ode to his own arsehole, but the shaving mirror kept fogging up.

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Shell would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

LOL. Insightful, hilarious and relevant. Make it a book. Please! Title: "it's Only Words"

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JG asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

Writers are a shifty bunch.

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sibeen asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

BTW, JB, love the photos from "Black Books".

What a fucking brilliant show.

Oohh, hold on, are we still allowed to say 'fuck", or have the cleaners been through already. I do hope they've cleaned up Havok's room before the inspectors get here.

JG puts forth...

Posted April 26, 2013

I think it's too late for that, sibeen. The 'fuck' word is part of the CBG vernacular. Quakka duck, most unfortunate.

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Respond to 'Festivus interruptus'

The Burger is in the finals of the Best Australian Blogs Competition

Posted April 23, 2013 into Writing by John Birmingham

So you lot better not fuck this up for me. If I win this comp I can afford to get a better class of reader around here and finally run the lot of you off.

All the good writers will come to visit and I can afford a velvet rope to channel the riff raff into the darkened alley around the corner.

So I'm warning you lot.

((Shakes fist))

You'd better be on your best fucking behaviour or else. People are watching. Important people.

Grrr.

104 Responses to ‘The Burger is in the finals of the Best Australian Blogs Competition’

Quokka mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

Well that explains the stench of Glen 20 and why you've bothered hosing the vomit off the tiles.

Respond to this comment

pi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

I just put a pair of clean undies on. You know... just in case.

Quokka would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

You slip on the freshly hosed tiles and require a trip to the horsepiddle?

Bunyip reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

We have to wear undies now?

JG has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

Why? I don't want to wear any.

Bunyip ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

Well, it's either that or pants.

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

I'm wearing my chaps.

Only

my

chaps.

While I scratch myself. ;)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Respond to this thread

DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

You might want to tidy this fucking sty up. Look, you Karcher the worst of the effluvium off the deck and I'll hide the goat electrode porn archive. Unless Havock's still booked it out on extended loan.

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BigWillieStyle would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

Eh? A cursory glance at the finalists reveals no Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt or Piers Akerman. This little award you're up for has about as much credibility as Josh Dugan at the minute. Good luck though, I look forward to lining up to get into the VIP section up the back. Plush carpet?

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

of course it is, I am suprised it isn't on the Best in the World Blog list, if for nothing else than Havseys musings..

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BobGrrl ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

And here I am without access to my collection of ASCII pictures. Shame. A little bit of goatse would class this place right up.

BobGrrl

( . y . )

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Brian would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

So the Bluntynyou did on the CWA, and Havocks lobbying has brought you to this?

Seems a pittance for all the non hard Hakka you've put in.

Y'know you've made us all self concious now.

Fuck me.

JG would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

Don't blush, Brian. It will pass. Bare all. Be shameless. I just hope JB now runs for GG.

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Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

Will you be making like an Olympic city in a leap year, and hosing the homeless off the blog streets to impress the visitors? Let us know when we can crawl back under our cardboard box blankets again.

Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

Someone took my vino.

Quokka asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

TQFT, Morgana has a pre-pubescent boy who bullseyed Khan Greybeard right in the forehead the first time he picked up a bow and and arrow. He can be bought for a packet of sour gummy worms and a sylvanian families action figurine.

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tqft ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

How much will you pay me to nobble Greybeard before he can return?

Bunyip asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

You'll have to be quick. He's somewhere between the Warrunbungles and the QLD border. And I think he's taking the backroads, the crafty bugger...

JG puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

I think GB's off playing with hobbits.

Darth Greybeard mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

Too late, Mr so-called "tqft" or, as we now know you to be, Heinrich von Winklevoss, the third, most reclusive and twisted of the Winklevoss Bitcoin twins! The gloves are off Mr von Winklevoss, the masks are discarded. Did you imagine we wouldn't see through your efforts to enmesh the poor, pathetic, drug and alcohol addled habitues of this blog in your Bitcoin Empire? You see Mr vW, we've been bugging you!

And the Bunyip is right. I crossed the border hours ago, approaching from NSW disguised as a Bulldogs player accompanied by three 17 year old female pharmacy students. Shedding that identity I entered Goodiwindi through the back streets as an itinerant Romanian Horse-Poisoner, dragging a grey stallion behind my Lada convertible. This attracted unwanted attention so I stole the keys to a semi-trailer loaded with recreational opioids and made the Brisbane run in only three hours. Thanks to my maniacal grin, disdain for speed limits and steering with my bare feet, no one noticed me amongst all the other semi drivers.

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JG asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

Woohoo! I'll hide the evidence. Don't tell them about the Cyber Bunnies.

JG, CB. :P

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

Wow there are some really good blogs nominated.

mmmmm methinks I may be spending so time away from Cheeseburger, 'researching' these other blogs.

John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

Be sure to leave a mess

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

Yeah, who did he have to bribe to get on that list in the first place?

Still wearing my chaps.

Only

My

Chaps

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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MickH puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

You got that man trap ready for Havoc then?

Bunyip mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

Why would Hav want to trap men?

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Therbs mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

Whodja have to root for this nugget? Farken. Now I have to sweep up the broken glass. These fancy shmancy visitors of yours probably like wine out of a glass and not to see the locals munching on worms.

Its all Havsy's fkn fault.

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Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2013

Crap. There goes the neighbourhood, slummy but not at all intimidating. Alternatively, a change is as good as a holiday..

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

Who farted?

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Brother PorkChop puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

Sorry, corn dog and cabbage for lunch.

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TC reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

Excellent - awards! I've never won a prestigious award but I've been known to host the occasional low-key awards night. I don't know whether we can all behave but at least we're a fun bunch.

I hope you win, this is by far my favourite blog.

TC ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

And... voted.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

Oh so all we have to do is vote.

In that case there's no need to alert you to the carrot chunks between the sofa cushions. I thought you'd trained Hav to heave those up in the neighbour's parsley patch.

Tsk, tsk.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

Better hope theres no fatties on the selection panel JB

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

No, no, no. This won't do at all. Winning contests is the first step into the bottomless pit of politeness! Mark my words - if we win this, there will be an almost imperceptible dark energy that will coax us into saying "please" and "thank you" and "oh no, I totally misconstrued your comment about my sister as some sort of insult both towards my sister’s moral character and my family’s genetic endowment.” Stuff like that! You watch and see! Instead of the CBG time tested pejorative “fuck you and the horse you rode in on” we will say, instead, “I respectfully disagree with your stated opinion.” Havock, I’m looking at you. Right straight at you. You will be THE FIRST to succumb!! Just you watch.

I am very uneasy about talk of winning this contest.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

Please, for Frak sake.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

See? That's what I'm going on about. Frak is clearly a polite euphemism for fuck. Or it is a term used to describe a dramatic and environmentally unsafe method of extracting oil and natural gas from previously thought to be depleted oil and gas fields. But more likely it is a euphemism.

The dark energy that is the tendency towards politeness has begun to seep into this place - and all because we are now being invisibly judged for excellence.

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2013

To be honest its a pretty good chance CBG will win. Just look* at the other blog finalists

Alpha Reader by Danielle Binks - Looks shit, and boring.

Lives of the Poets by Daniel Bifeld - Fuckin gay who cares about poems

Read in a Single Sitting by Stephanie Campisi - AKA Stories for the Shitter

Book to the Future by Michelle Mclaren - Actually JB if this is a blog about Time Travel you're fucked

All in all I'd say Cheeseburger Gothic is a safer bet than Black Caviar to win this fucker. Jsut as long as you cunts remember I WAS HERE BEFORE IT WAS COOL

*Disclaimer: I did not actually look

TC mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

The Burg is cool?

Mum! I've forced my way into a cool group! Mum!!!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

"Fuckin gay who cares about poems."

I happen to care deeply about poems - and not just dirty limericks. Although I must say I do enjoy the occasional off-color limerick. For example:

Ethnologists out with the Souix

wired home for "Two punts, one canoe."

Message next day said "Girls on the way

but what the hell's a 'panoe?'"

Is my heterosexuality in question because I enjoy that bit of rhyme? Sonnets are different. I’ll give you that. Sonnets are totally gay. Iambic pentameter is ipso facto swish. But not limericks. Come to think of it, I cannot recall any of my gay acquaintances ever reciting a limerick.

Mere coincidence? I think not.

Lobes puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

lol faget

If you really want to lose this contest shut up and be homophobic

In fact its almost time for a thread defending marriage

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

I defend my marriage with money. So far it has been a winning tactic.

Therbs mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

I do quite nicely as a deaf poet so yez can all get fucked.

Respond to this thread

Spanner has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

Cool what do we win?

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

A CHANCE TO DO AS YOU'RE FUCKING TOLD AND NOT FUCK THIS UP FOR ME NOW SHUT THE FUCK UP AND DO AS YOU'RE FUCKING TOLD!!!!

Brian ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

Ifn your not careful we'll call a meeting of the Bounders Club Tribal Council and vote you off the island.

Spanner mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

Well being shouted at and doing as I'm told was less fun that I thought it would be. Still it's better than MKR.

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Dave W swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

This is a words and writing blog? That changes my whole view on shit.

Respond to this comment

BigWillieStyle reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

Today is actually the first time I've had a look at this blog. You can say shit and fuck and shitfuck? Why had nobody told me of this shit before? Fuck! So, is sweary what qualifies a blog for thinky awards these days? Motherfucking unbelievable.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

No saying Shit qualifies it at a wordy blog, to be a thinky blog you would have to say 'effluent' instead of shit and perhaps make a reference to Brechtian theatre, use the word 'epic' a lot but in an ironic sense.

BigWillieStyle puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

I envelop you with my gratitude, Barnesm. Pray tell, what is the general quality of discourse at this locale? As one knows, over at the Instrument, there is too great a quantity of bad spelling, detestable grammar and lamentable punctuation, not to mention mouth-breathing fucktards.

Bunyip puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

Epic vectored fornicating effluent.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2013

Politely said, Bunyip. Well done.

Respond to this thread

Quokka mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

Is that a possum on the rotisserie?

Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2013

No, it's the dead K-Mart rat.

JG ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

I thought the rat was eaten by Hacock. No?!

Respond to this thread

JG has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

We're a literate bunch here. So wordy some of you don't know when to stop. Shut the fuck up and stop ruining JB's chances.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

are you the boss of me? I can never remember I should write this frelling stuff down.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan mutters...

Posted April 24, 2013

I believe that, in our particular situation, the term "boss" doesn't really have any relevance. We, and those with us, can best be described as a self governing coalition.

JG would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

A bit like Lord of the Flies.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

Exactly like Lord of the Flies - and loving it.

TC asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

Shut the fuck up, Piggies. I have a rock and I'm not afraid to use it.

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

I have the conch.

Respond to this thread

Peter Bradley swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 23, 2013

OK I just voted, where do I pick up the payola?

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w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

As much as we might like to kick the ball around amongst our commenting selves, actually, looking at the history of nominations and winners, I think that comments count for pretty close to nought in this competition.

And quite right too. I hope JB does well. His blog continues to has give me considerable entertainment. Quality, intelligence, humour and so mANYNY an almost unique phenomenal dligence in producing content.

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted April 23, 2013

I didn't hit submit, really. That last sentence was supposed to be:
Quality, intelligence, humour and so many blogs.

Respond to this thread

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kellyville-ridge/other-pets/two-6-month-old-ferret-for-sale/1018317454

You wanted help with the possums in the rafters, right?

Respond to this comment

damian asserts...

Posted April 23, 2013

So what you're trying to say is that you'd rather casual wanderers-in be left un-Burgered for the time being. Or at least we have to give them lube?

Quokka would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

If the visitors require lubricants, the Vicks is in the bathroom cupboard, between the plunger and those leg irons we used to use to restrain Sweet Jane Says.

Quokka mumbles...

Posted April 24, 2013

Oh yeah.

Better keep the judges out of that closet. In fact, if they need to use the bathroom make them go on the footpath like the rest of you boys do.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

Indoor plumbing is over rated. You haven't lived until you've walked outside in sub zero weather to vacate your bowels. Take my word for it: the experience is quite transformational.

Barnesm reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

I haven't lived then.

damian puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2013

For "living" does it need to be intentional, or might one simply have encountered a bear?

Respond to this thread

Cintamani has opinions thus...

Posted April 23, 2013

ok ok, I get the picture, you will UNFOLLOW AND UNLIKE everyone who doesnt vote for you (shivers i fear).

Well, rest easy, I have braved the ENDLESS list of lesser offerings and voted for you :)

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

You're my new favorite.

Respond to this thread

Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013

So should we have party? I'm sure I can find some booze ;)

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted April 23, 2013

No! No party until the ballot boxes have been stuffed.

Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted April 23, 2013

Improved water please Mr Bangarrrrrrr!

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013

If there is a party, and Brother Banger is providing libation, I will find a way to be there.

Bangar asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

Well Somebody better be stuffing, about time we had a part the Bunnies have nearly got the pool back to perfection, it's begging for another jello treatmeant.

Respond to this thread

Therbs would have you know...

Posted April 23, 2013

Fuck it, I'm gonna vote for Pobjie.

DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

Meh, Pobjie's a precious little gobshite. I tried to downvote Dragonista but it wouldn't let me, so fuck it and Black Caviar, whether it rode in on it or not

damian is gonna tell you...

Posted April 24, 2013

Presumably one could downvote Dragonista by voting for everyone else once. But that's a lot of trouble for a relatively minor indulgence

Respond to this thread

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted April 23, 2013

are you the boss of me? I forget, I really should right this stuff down.

Frelling competions.

Respond to this comment

Therbs mutters...

Posted April 23, 2013

Once Paul Boylan gets his app on the market all of you are toast.

NBlob would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Toast, antithesis of raw foodists.

Respond to this thread

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted April 23, 2013
In case anyone might be keeping tally:
Witty rejoinder.
Bon mot.
Thought provoking analogy (x2)
Double entendre, with a PoMo reference to MASH.
Signed off with clever use of HTML

Respond to this comment

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted April 24, 2013

That's quite a collection NBlob. That'll keep me on my toes. My warm, furry toes . . .

Quokka mutters...

Posted April 24, 2013

It's the jam in between them that scares us, you know.

damian would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Which song did the Jam do on their gig on the Young Ones again?

Respond to this thread

NBlob reckons...

Posted April 24, 2013

This should get us over the line.
That and the average hookers & excellent blow JB laid on the judges.

http://t.co/NEuVcIc0zn

Respond to this comment

Jacques Stahl asserts...

Posted April 24, 2013

Geez, voting on that site was harder than voting below the line in the Senate ballot - you know, when you want to get rid of your least favourite Senator, but not let your second least favourite over the line on preferences?

Can I borrow the ferrets next please? Also the Vaseline, it's autumn and we have some burning off to do in the back paddocks.

Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted April 25, 2013

JB's possum infestation is such that he is unlikely to give up his ferrets. If you're lucky he'll loan you the lab.

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HAVOCK21 ducks in to say...

Posted April 24, 2013

I'M FKN HERE!!!!

There, no its done, stay frosty ya fkn muppets!

Respond to this comment

Dick mutters...

Posted April 24, 2013

OK, so I voted. Do I get an invite to the next Bounders Club meeting? Quite willing to volunteer for the Treasurers position. You can trust me.

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DrYobbo would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Hey if you win this JB guess what you get! "A one-hour mentoring session with Brandon Van Over, managing editor of Random House, to discuss publishing a book based on their blog and any other writing projects they wish to discuss." Totes awsm! This might finally be your big break!

I understand he's the bloke judging this segment, possibly we can get a word in the guy's ear ahead of time. Yep, that's what I'm suggesting alright: maybe we can tip Van Over.

[runs away having borked any chance of victory for JB]

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 24, 2013

Come on only one more comment for the ton.

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Bunyip puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2013
Exactly for how long do I have to continue to wear pants? I get rather nasty chaffing. Pictures can be supplied upon demand.

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Mayhem's Mum puts forth...

Posted April 24, 2013

One has crocheted some rather adorable new doilies to freshen up the place. Where would you like them, Mr Birmingham, sir? Over the vomit stains, I presume. Or would you prefer them draped over the shining pates of your less hirsute Burgers? Oh, my lord. One has just realised; that is no shining pate. Mr Bunyip, sir, put your pants back on this instant!

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 26, 2013

Crap, can you imagine how abstruse the discusions are going to get at bookclub next month to live up to the wordy, thinky blog catagory? I will need to read up on whats the hot new literary theory, (Cognitive Rhetoric is so 2005).

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Respond to 'The Burger is in the finals of the Best Australian Blogs Competition'