Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shut up about the shutdown

With the US government in some sort of blue-screen situation that nobody really understands, a lot of things they used to do both on the world stage and domestically are going un-done. Thankfully, the rest of the world is stepping up to take care of business in their absence. Several oil-producing nations have already dispatched large tankers, offering to spill crude oil across miles of pristine US coastline while local producers are unable to do so, and planeloads of firearms offenders from around the world are en route to ensure gun-related deaths are maintained at an NRA-approved level during the shutdown. At the recent gathering of the UN general assembly, several delegates made commitments to their US hosts…

INDIA has agreed to pick up the slack in Hollywood, providing a steady flow of top-shelf silver screen entertainment until America is back on its feet. With the summer blockbusters out of the way, the greater crisis was averted, but there is still a shortfall of about twenty mediocre Zooey Deschanel rom-coms, mid-1920s novel rehashes and CGI-cartoon-character movies. Bollywood has agreed to provide the extra thirty or so movies by increasing its monthly output by 2%, agreeing to throw in a hundred spares in case the first thirty don’t have enough explosions and Bruce Willis.
Viewers were immediately critical of the 'I am Robot' remake, refusing to accept a Will Smith substitute who could act.

GERMANY has stepped up to cover the United States’ considerable output of porn. There will necessarily be something of a change in the character of the output; sales are expected to drop as narrow-minded customers unused to German tastes reject porn remakes of classic Bavarian tales like Little Red Riding Hood, starring the lead actor’s real-life grandma and an actual wolf.

Nope. You don't get a picture for this one

In a surprise move, the function of bombing a randomly chosen Middle-Eastern country every few years was taken up by MONACO. The US Defence Department immediately objected to Monaco on the basis of their lack of cluster bombs, napalm, laser guided munitions or an air force. Several Middle Eastern nations voiced their support for this move, and offered to demonstrate their commitment by putting their nations’ entire GDP on 33 black.
Space restrictions made Monte Carlo's repurposed runway a challenge for fighter pilots

NIGERIA has agreed to provide video gamers with new and interesting titles of the calibre of Grand Theft Auto V and the Halo series. Their first offering, a title called “Nigerian Prince IV: the Rescue” appears to comprise a login screen which prompts users to enter their bank account number, then crashes the computer. Nigerian game companies assured their customers they are working on the problem, and would release a patch as soon as users provided their credit card details.

AUSTRALIA has entered the fray, covering the shortfall in US tourists by dispatching millions of obnoxious sightseers to popular holiday destinations around the globe. The Australian government assured Londoners they would still hear calls  of “There’s a bigger one in Texas,” “This castle thing is OLD! Why don’t they build a new one?” and “We saved your asses in the war.” Parisian officials were promised a steady stream of tanned blubbery fifty-somethings in Hawaiian shirts through the Louvre to frown and complain about how small the Mona Lisa looks, noting that most Queenslanders already do that anyway.
"Look honey, the Mona Lisa! Pass me my extra-bright flash!"

MEXICO offered to provide millions of low-paid and unpaid domestic and other workers, but US officials refused, pointing out that this program has been in effect since 1970.
"Hello, America? We're here about the job ad?"

Several nations’ offers to produce the vast array of high-tech devices manufactured by Apple, Blackberry, HP and IBM were smilingly dismissed by China.
"Make them in America? Nawww, you're cute."

Meanwhile, ITALY has offered to provide advice on how to properly run a government, pointing out that despite having more governments than Christmases since World War 2, and including porn stars and convicted felons amongst their elected officials, they were at least able to keep the parks open.
"Ooh, a cheque! Yoink!"

As UN delegates began heading home, the White House released a statement saying they were ‘disappointed’ with several leaders’ refusal to offer aid on the basis that they’d already seen the Breaking Bad finale. Nonetheless, in a statement on national TV last night, President Obama declined the flood of offers. He thanked the world’s governments, but insisted that they would have the problem licked in no time. This prompted an immediate demand from the Tea Party to institute, quote, “Whatever Obama just said no to.”

Friday, September 13, 2013

One hundred days of Tony

“The honourable the prime minister.”

“Thank you madam speaker. Fellow members of government. Visiting dignitaries. People of Australia. Disorganised Labor rabble. On this, the…alright, shut up you lot. You lost the election, now suck it up. Right, where was I? Oh yeah. On this, the occasion of my first hundred days as prime minister...let me just say that bit again in case you missed it down the back there Kevin, AS PRIME MINISTER, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on…my magnificent physique. Hah! Just kidding, the ladies are doing that for me, am I right? Where’s the honourable member for sex appeal? Budgie smugglers? Galah smugglers more like! Oh wait wait…COCKATOO SMUGGLERS! You see what I did there? I…what? Well, it’s because…oh for crying out loud…someone explain that joke to Hockey please?

“Right, on the occasion of my first hundred yadda yadda reflect on blah blah stunning achievements etc etc. Folks, I’ve kicked arse. You ready for this? Here we go.
“As promised. I have stopped the boats! Since taking office, getting sworn in, taking down those awful bloody curtains Therese put up in the lodge and scraping the blonde hair off the soap in the prime ministerial shower, I have not let a SINGLE boat land on Australian shores! Thank you, thank you. Now, it wasn't easy:  that lot can be pretty determined to get ashore when there’s nothing waiting back home but a truncheon massage and a cell with a view. Thankfully our navy’s got a bunch of boats with thumping big guns on them. I tell you what, a couple potshots with those things and nothing you’d still call a boat is left to come ashore! ‘Course, the navy can’t cover everywhere, so we had to, ah, pull a bit of a swifty on the international asylum seeker laws. By the book, we don’t have to take ‘em unless they land on a bit that’s officially ‘Australian soil’, so we've redefined ‘Australian soil’ to mean something a bit easier to defend. Specifically the contents of that big plant pot out in the foyer of Parliament house. Now if someone can drive a boat up to that thing, bugger it, I’ll give ‘em a visa myself!
"Welcome to Australia. Please form a very small queue."

“And not only have we stopped the boats. We listened to the voice of the Australian people when they stood up proud and tall at the last election, drew breath and proclaimed ‘Fuck off, we’re full!’ So in addition to our boaty-stoppy work, we’ve got rid of all those pesky engineers and doctors and nurses and teachers and other lowlifes clogging up the pristine beauty of our detention camps. That’s right, picked up the camps at the corners and shook ‘em over New Guinea until everyone fell out! Right now they’re probably wandering around the jungle looking for a dole office, amirite?
“And the carbon tax - as promised: abolished! Yup, we abolished the hell out of that baby, threw it out along with the billions spent setting it up. We didn’t stop there either. It was pretty clear what the majority of Australians were saying there: carbon is GOOD! Burning coal Is AWESOME! So me and Chris jumped in the Pynemobile and drove around the place, pushing down windmills, throwing rocks at solar panels. chopping down trees and setting fire to Peter Garrett. You better believe the beds were burning that day, hey Pete? Lookin’ good buddy, the skin grafts are coming along nicely. We also headed for Lucas heights just in case they were making any electricity there, but...yeah, Chris got a bit green-looking after he went in this door marked ‘Radiation’, so we might have to look at the nuclear question later.
“Of course my crowning achievement is in the realm of gay marriage. Or as I like to call it, ‘Not on my bloody watch!’ After Kev outed himself on this one and then got horribly punted for it in the polls, it was pretty obvious people didn’t want the sanctity of marriage polluted by extending the privilege to the LBG…the BLT…ahh, what the hell do they call themselves these days? Bish! Hey Julie! Get on the blower to my sister and find out what the poofters and lezzies call themselves willya? Anyway, whatever it is, Australians said a loud and proud ‘NO!’ to bloke-on-bloke. And to girl-on-girl, except in the context of two hot twenty-somethings getting naked and sweaty on a casting couch in front of a fifty dollar video camera.
"Welp, that rules out Australia, Marcie."

“Now, these fine policy initiatives have had some flow-on effects; sort of the eggs you have to break to make an omelette. First up, immigrants. Job’s done, they’re outta here. You’re welcome. Unfortunately, our workforce is now short about a hundred thousand taxi drivers, service station attendants, helpdesk operators, cleaners, bus drivers and a few dozen other jobs they all did while we processed the papers that would let them use their qualifications as architects and brain surgeons and what have you. Unfortunately, since not one bloody Australian’s willing to get off the dole for less than thirty bucks an hour, there’s nobody to do all these jobs. So it’s two hour taxi queues on weekdays, petrol stations are closing at 3pm, you’re on hold to Telstra for the better part of a day if your phone spits the biscuit, and you’re making your way through ankle-deep garbage at the average Westfield food court. All worth it though eh? No more detention centres taking up valuable desert space, no more funny-looking people in the queue in front of you at the supermarket, and the taxi drivers all talk about the footy instead of some long, boring tale about escaping from Bakalakadakastan with nothing but their shoes and a picture of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
"Oh, you know. Three years political prisoner, two years detention camp, thousand miles in boat made of sticks and leaves. But I am boring you; tell me about your bad office day."
Sure, you have to wait three weeks to get a doctor’s appointment now, but at least the bloke’s the same colour as you when you finally get in there! And really, what’s more important: cheap, fast medical care or not having to strain your ears a little because the doc’s got a bit of an accent?
There’s been a bit of a thing with the carbon tax too.  Some eggheads are telling me it’s getting hotter and wetter, and without a carbon tax to keep a lid on all the odourless, tasteless, invisible undetectable whatever-it-is, it’s gunna happen faster. But you know what that means? More Speedo weather! Yup, farms might fail and oceans might rise, but your prime minister will be front and centre, stripped down to the swimmers and representing you on the world stage. So it’s win-win!
Which just leaves the…what’s that Jules? LGBT, really? I think I had one of those at Subway last week. Orrite, so the whole no-poofters-marrying thing. You'll be pleased to know there's only good news on that one. A lot of, ah, musical types have left the country since we enshrined the 'No pooftas!' rule in the constitution. But at the same time, a lot of meat-and-potatoes, Liberal-voting, right-thinking, Alan Jones-listening average Australians have...well actually they're doing exactly the same thing they were doing before the rainbows-and-hot-pants set came out of the built-in robes: going to work, holidaying in Bali and complaining about the government not doing enough to stop moral decline. So it's just like the good old days of the 1950s! Or at least it will be once I pass the 'No wives in the workplace' bill next year. Haha, not you Bish; not gunna let my fave attack dog escape from the kennel that easy. Tell you what, we'll make you an honorary Bloke.

"Now if you'll all excuse me, Rupert's asked me to drop by to discuss tomorrow's headlines. Don't want to keep the big guy waiting!"

Sunday, May 26, 2013

21(ish) things I learned from Star Trek: Into Darkness

STAR TREK, in its many iterations, has taught us some invaluable lessons about the future. Captains get all the girls (especially the green ones), the Prime Directive is at best a guideline, no crew is complete without a lycra-clad babe, and if you accompany the bridge crew down to a strange planet, you're better off going naked than wearing a red shirt. But what lessons can we glean from the latest excursion? Here are 21(ish) things I learned from watching Star Trek: Into Darkness...

(And I'm sure I don't need to say it, but SPOILERS! Go see the movie first. It's cool, I'll wait.)

1) Robocop is a terrible spaceship captain*. Also he is clearly evil because dark spaceship.
"Your move, creep."

2) You need to line your ship up exactly before you blast two people out the airlock to another ship nearby. Pinpoint accuracy in this liney-uppy step is essential, even though once they’re out there, they can swoop and dive and dodge and crash into debris like deranged pinballs.
"Left a bit...right a bit...nono your other right...oh wait, never mind; this suit's got rockets on it!"

3) You can trot out the same villain three times, but fans will say things like 'homage', respecting the genre' and 'welcome reprise', rather than 'stale', 'derivative', and 'Seriously? THAT guy again?'

"KHAAwait, what?"

4) No matter how many phasers you bring to the fight, you always end up punching a Klingon

5) Leonard Nimoy is still awesome

"So I said, 'Pointy ears or not, you wait. Forty years from now they'll STILL want me in the movies, even when someone else is playing my character!'"
6) Thanks to antimatter, there are no oil refineries in the future. But their designers all got jobs making starship engine rooms.
"Follow me! Past the diesel tanks, between the gas towers and under the distillate condensers and we'll be in the car park! I mean shuttle bay!"

 7) Warp drive means flying down a tube. Made of blue fairy dust. That you can fall out of.

8) Starfleet regulations state that everyone gets a cabin where they can change their uniform. Except hot blondes, who have to get changed in a shuttle on the way to work.

'<sigh> Alright, let's get it over with. "Oh captain, what kind of space bimbo do you think I am? You MUST turn away while I put on my space costume over my space underwear"'

9) Spaceship doctors randomly inject blood samples from supervillains into dead tribbles. Nobody thinks this is weird.

9a) Spaceship doctors always have a couple of dead tribbles in a box under their desk. Just in case they capture a supervillain.
"Aaand we're done. Nurse, fetch my tribbles please?"

10) Space suit visors will develop dramatic cracks over several minutes, without letting any air out.
"Wait, have I already used this picture?"
11) Scotty figured out how to beam people onto spaceships moving at warp speed several light years away. But he can't beam someone out of a volcano half a mile off unless he makes eye contact.
He also can't beam a bomb into a volcano without someone having to go along to turn it on.

12) If you have to go into a volcano to turn a bomb on, protect yourself from lave by standing up, closing your eyes and spreading your arms really wide.

13) Need to kill 72 frozen bad guys? Contrive a plot to assassinate someone on the enemy's home planet by duping a starship captain into firing 72 mysteriously shielded experimental super-torpedoes containing the frozen bad guys. This is a much better way to get rid of 72 frozen bad guys than, say, opening their cryo-tubes and stabbing them with a pen.
"Cap'n, I cannae sign for these new torpedoes! The scanners don't penetrate...wait, can you hear snoring?"

14) New Uhura is hot. But they still can't find anything useful for her to do.
"Quick, lieutenant Uhura! Do that pose where you're looking at them, but they can see your butt!"
"That's it! Now smile and say something sexy in Klingon!"

15) Klingons now look a little bit like Predators. Which is an improvement over the Next Generation lobster hats.
"Over here..."

16) Gigantic spaceships can be prevented from crashing into San Francisco by firing little jets on their undersides. Once the ship stops falling, you can turn the little jets off without falling.
17) It's possible to blow up a deeply buried ultra-high security building using nothing more than a ring and a glass of water. But attacks on unguarded high-rise offices are best carried out by shaky gunfire from vulnerable hovering aircraft. That you can take out with a fire hose.
"I totally wish we could've used the vulnerable hovering aircraft for this job..."

18) Space suits? Dozens of 'em, at every airlock. One radiation suit? Hanging near the warp core hatch? Are you mad??
18a) Warp cores are the pinnacle of humanity's technological achievement, capable of powering enormous starships across the galaxy at unimaginable speeds. Restoring power when they break involves kicking the pointy bit in the middle until it sparkles again.
18b) But only bridge officers know where to kick it.
18c) Scotty could build a radiation-proof warp core-kicking robot out of old shuttle parts and tribble fur in about ten minutes. But nobody thought to ask because dramatic death scene.
19) Earth's gravity doesn't latch on until the supervillain is defeated.
20) Everything crashes into San Francisco.
"Quick! Fire the little jets! OR WE MIGHT MISS SAN FRANCISCO!"
21) It really doesn't matter how crap the movie is.  It doesn't matter how implausible the story might be, how much they overuse lens flare or how rapidly Star Trek is cannibalising its own history. It's still better than anything George Lucas has done since 'Empire'.
"Jarjar who?"
LLAP, baby.

*(This was going to be a Buckaroo Banzai reference. But I think I'm the only person who saw that film.)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Alan Jones Solves Boston Bomber Mystery

Today on 2UE radio, Alan Jones brought law enforcement into a new age, announcing that the Boston marathon bombings were perpetrated by 'left-wing radical students' in the university town. Director of the FBI immediately ordered forensic investigation teams at the site to return to the office for a ‘damn good talking-to.’
Listen to Alan Jones demonstrating the deductive skills that have made him the go-to guy for detective agencies around the world:
“We pay these guys all this money to find this stuff out,” bellowed FBI director Robert Mueller. “We get them cool white pyjamas, we give them heaps of those little numbered triangles to put on the ground, and we let them spray-paint all over the street. We even give them these seriously amazeballs telephoto cameras so they can photograph the after-effects of people exercising their Second Amendment rights without getting their shoes all bloody!  And Alan Jones solves the whole thing on the way to the studio in his Mercedes? That’s the last time I let them watch CSI: Miami in the lunch room, let me tell you!”

"Beats me. I'm just glad Jonesey's on the case!"

Australian police are deeply troubled by mister Jones’ announcement that similar crimes are likely as a result of the country’s willingness to attract overseas students. “It hadn’t occurred to us,” wailed Australian Federal police chief Tony Negus. “All these wide-eyed middle-class twenty-somethings coming across from Malaysia and India and Singapore and other Communist strongholds – every one of them is obviously a cold-eyed killer, just waiting for a chance to slip down the local sports park and spread a little Maoist mayhem! We’re just glad the Big Fella has opened our eyes. We’ll be watching the Bubble Tea cafes and Communication 103 lectures for ANYONE a bit foreign-looking with a Hello Kitty backpack. Thanks Jonesey!”

Authorities in several nations have contacted mister Jones, hoping to capitalise on his phenomenal deductive skills. Britain’s prime minster James Cameron is seeking Jones’ support for his theory that Margaret Thatcher was assassinated by left-wing students in 1982, who spiked her morning Earl Grey with, quote, ‘a really, REALLY slow-acting poison’. Russian authorities are hoping Jones can confirm their long-held suspicions that the 1912 Tunguska blast, widely claimed to be a ‘meteor strike’, was in fact an early attempt by pre-communist rebels to eliminate pro-government reindeer.

Mister Jones has also been approached by  several people asking whether  he is in fact just making up a bunch of inflammatory shit because he knows his listeners are too thick to actually think beyond the constraints of their narrow, bigoted world view. Mister Jones’ press secretary officially rejected this allegation, but later added that it was ‘pretty much true. Luckily most of them would believe it if Jonesey told them the prime minister was a giant lizard in a costume, so it’s not like it matters,’ before driving away in a Mercedes.