Tuesday, May 31, 2022


“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don't come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they're having a piss.”

- Banksy

Bonus: Banksy graffiti . . .



Monday, May 30, 2022


“What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.”

    ― Vincent Van Gogh


My Literary Friend

- By Henry Lawson]

Published in Verses Popular and Humorous, 1900.

Once I wrote a little poem which I thought was very fine,
And I showed the printer’s copy to a critic friend of mine,
First he praised the thing a little, then he found a little fault;
‘The ideas are good,’ he muttered, ‘but the rhythm seems to halt.’

So I straighten’d up the rhythm where he marked it with his pen,
And I copied it and showed it to my clever friend again.
‘You’ve improved the metre greatly, but the rhymes are bad,’ he said,
As he read it slowly, scratching surplus wisdom from his head.

So I worked as he suggested (I believe in taking time),
And I burnt the ‘midnight taper’ while I straightened up the rhyme.
‘It is better now,’ he muttered, ‘you go on and you’ll succeed,
‘It has got a ring about it — the ideas are what you need.’

So I worked for hours upon it (I go on when I commence),
And I kept in view the rhythm and the jingle and the sense,
And I copied it and took it to my solemn friend once more —
It reminded him of something he had somewhere read before.

Now the people say I’d never put such horrors into print
If I wasn’t too conceited to accept a friendly hint,
And my dearest friends are certain that I’d profit in the end
If I’d always show my copy to a literary friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2022




Continuing a look at the events and people in Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire.

Each two lines represent a year.

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, "Bridge on the River Kwai"
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather, homicide, children of thalidomide
Buddy Holly, "Ben Hur", space monkey, Mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U-2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, "Psycho", Belgians in the Congo



Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) published his famous novel Dr Zhivago in 1957. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature for that work in 1958 but the Russian government forced him to recant and refuse the award.

Dr Zhivago, first edition

Some comments about the novel:
  • The novel by Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) takes its name from its protagonist, Yuri Zhivago. a man torn between his love for two women while simultaneously attempting to navigate the tumultuous times between the Russian Revolution of 1905 and World War II.
  • Owing to the author's independent-minded stance on the October Revolution, Doctor Zhivago was refused publication in the USSR. At the instigation of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, the manuscript was smuggled to Milan and published in 1957.
By the way:

The Russian Revolution of 1905, also known as the First Russian Revolution, occurred on 22 January 1905, and was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. The mass unrest was directed against the Tsar alongside the nobility and ruling class.

The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, was the revolution in Russia led by the Bolshevik Party of Vladimir Lenin that was a key moment in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917–1923. It was the second revolutionary change of government in Russia in 1917 and was the precipitating event of the Russian Civil War.
  • Pasternak’s novel was banned in the USSR for more than 30 years. An archive declassified by the CIA in 2015 confirms the CIA’s involvement in publishing this anti-Soviet novel.
  • Having been forced to decline the Nobel Prize in 1958, the prize was presented to Pasternak’s son Yevgeny in 1989.
  • It took until 1988 for Doctor Zhivago to be published in the USSR – in the very same literary magazine, Novy Mir, which had refused to publish the novel when it was first written.
  • The novel was made into a film by David Lean in 1965, and since then has twice been adapted for television, most recently as a miniseries for Russian TV in 2006.
  • The novel Doctor Zhivago has been part of the Russian school curriculum since 2003, where it is read in 11th grade.

Mickey Mantle:

Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) was an American professional baseball player who played his entire Major League Baseball (MLB) career (1951–1968) with the New York Yankees as a centre fielder, right fielder, and first baseman. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.

Relevance to 1957:

In 1957 he led the league in runs and walks, batted a career-high .365, hit into a league-low five double plays and reached base more times than he made outs, whatever all of that means.


Jack Kerouac (1922 – 1969) was an American novelist and poet who, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, was a pioneer of the Beat Generation (a term coined by Kerouac).
  • The Beat Generation was a literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. 
  • The central elements of Beat culture were:
        the rejection of standard narrative values
        making a spiritual quest
        the exploration of American and Eastern religions
        the rejection of economic materialism
        explicit portrayals of the human condition
        experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and
        sexual liberation and exploration.
  • In the 1950s, a Beatnik subculture formed around the literary movement, although this was often viewed critically by major authors of the Beat movement.
  • In the 1960s, elements of the expanding Beat movement were incorporated into the hippie and larger counterculture movements.
  • He has had a lasting legacy, greatly influencing many of the cultural icons of the 1960s, including Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Doors and Tom Waits.
  • In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from an abdominal haemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Since then, his literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published.
Relevance to 1957:
  • Kerouac achieved widespread fame and notoriety with his second book, On the Road, in 1957. It made him a beat icon, and he went on to publish 12 more novels and numerous poetry volumes.
On the Road was based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States. It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat and Counterculture generations, with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use.


Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite.

  • It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957 as part of the Soviet space program and orbited for three weeks before its batteries ran out. The satellite then silently continued to orbit the planet for two months before it fell back into the atmosphere on the 4th of January 1958.
  • It was a polished metal sphere 58 cm (23 in) in diameter with four external radio antennas to broadcast radio pulses. Its radio signal was easily detectable by amateur radio operators, the orbital inclination and duration of its orbit making its flight path cover virtually the entire inhabited Earth.
On Friday, 4 October 1957, the Soviets had orbited the world's first artificial satellite. Anyone who doubted its existence could walk into the backyard just after sunset and see it.
— Mike Gray, Angle of Attack
  • The satellite's success triggered the Space Race, part of the Cold War, and was the beginning of a new era of political, military, technological and scientific developments.
  • The word “sputnik” means “satellite” and translates roughly to “fellow traveller”.

Artist's impression of Sputnik 1 in orbit

Saturday, May 28, 2022





Sent to me by friend and colleague Leo M, thanks Leo . . .

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests itself:

I decided to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the rubbish bin under the table, and notice that the rubbish bin is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the rubbish first but then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the rubbish anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table, and see that there is only one cheque left. My extra cheques are in my desk in the study, so I go to my desk where I find the can of Coke that I had been drinking.

I'm going to look for my cheques, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the Coke is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need to be watered.

I set the Coke down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, we will be looking for the remote, but nobody will remember that it's on the kitchen table.

So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I splash some water on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers aren't watered, there is still only one cheque in my cheque book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favour, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.

Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming! And if I have sent this to you before, well, now you know why you're getting it again.

Friday, May 27, 2022





Having had a Federal election last weekend that saw a change of Government and a change of Prime Minister, it seems appropriate to throw in a few jokes about politics and politicians. Most of those items seem to focus on lying and dishonesty, which illustrates the esteem in which the population holds a lot of our elected representatives.

Having said that, I believe Anthony Albanese, the new PM, to be a decent and sincere man. This has been recounted to me as well by shopkeepers whose local shops he visits and uses. Kate and I live only a few minutes from his home in Marrickville, no mcmansion for Albo . . .

Albo heads off from home on Monday morning after last Saturday’s election

Caution: risque content ahead



What do you get it you ask a politician to tell 'the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth'?

3 different answers

A politician dies and ends up standing in front of the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter looks at him for a second, flicks through his book, and finds his name.

"So, you're a politician..."

"Well, yes, is that a problem?"

"Oh no, no problem. But we've recently adopted a new system for people in your line of work, and unfortunately you will have to spend a day in Hell. After that however, you're free to choose where you want to spend eternity!"

"Wait, I have to spend a day in Hell?!" says the politician. "Those are the rules," replies St Peter, clicks his fingers, and WOOMPH, the guy disappears. He awakes, curled up with his hands over his eyes, knowing he's in Hell. Cautiously, he listens for the screams, sniffs the air for brimstone, and finds... Nothing. Just the smell of, is that fabric softener? And cut grass, this can't be right?

"Open your eyes!" says a voice. "C'mon, wakey wakey, we've only got 24 hours!" Nervously, he uncovers his eyes, looks around, and sees he's in a hotel room. A nice one too. Wait, this is a penthouse suite... And there's a smiling man in a suit, holding a martini. "Who are you??" The politician asks.

"Well, I'm Satan!" says the man, handing him the drink and helping him to his feet. "Welcome to Hell!"

"Wait, this is Hell? But... Where's all the pain and suffering?" he asks.

Satan throws him a wink. "Oh, we've been a bit misrepresented over the years, it's a long story. Anyway, this is your room! The minibar is of course free, as is the room service, there's extra towels next to the hot-tub, and if you need anything, just call reception. But enough of this! It's a beautiful day, and if you'd care to look outside..."

Slightly stunned by the opulent surroundings, the man wanders over to the floor-to-ceiling windows through which the sun is glowing, looks far down, and sees a group of people cheering and waving at him from a golf course.

"It's one of 5 pro-level courses on site, and there's another 6 just a few minutes drive out past the beach and harbour!" says Satan, answering his unasked question.

So they head down in the lift, walk out through the glittering lobby where everyone waves and welcomes the man, as Satan signs autographs and cheerily talks shop with the laughing staff. And as he walks out, he sees the group on the golf course are made up of every one of his old friends, people he's admired for years but never met or worked with, and people whose work he's admired but died long before his career started. And out of the middle of this group walks his wife, with a massive smile and the body she had when she was 20, who throws her arms around him and plants a delicate kiss on his cheek. Everyone cheers and applauds, and as they slap him on the back and trade jokes, his worst enemy arrives, as a 2 foot tall goblin-esque caddy. He spends the day in the bright sunshine on the course, having the time of his life laughing at jokes and carrying important discussions, putting the world to rights with his friends while holding his delighted wife next to him as she gazes lovingly at him.

Later, they return to the hotel for dinner and have an enormous meal, perfectly cooked. As everyone is falling about laughing and flinging bread sticks at each other, his wife whispers in his ear... And they return to their penthouse suite, and spend the rest of the night making love like they did on their honeymoon. After hours of passion, the man falls deep into the 100% Egyptian cotton pillows, and falls into a deep and happy sleep... and is woken up by St Peter.

"So, that was Hell. Wasn't what you were expecting, I bet?" "No sir!" says the man. "So then," says St Peter. "You can make your choice. It's Hell, which you saw, or Heaven, which has choral singing, talking to God, white robes, and so on."

"Well... I know this sounds strange, but on balance, I think I'd prefer Hell," says the politician. "Not a problem, we totally understand! Enjoy!" says St Peter, and clicks his fingers again.

The man wakes up in total darkness, the stench of ammonia filling the air and distant screams the only noise. As he adjusts, he can see the only light is from belches of flame far away, illuminating the ragged remains of people being tortured or burning in a sulphurous ocean. A sudden bolt of lightning reveals Satan next to him, wearing the same suit as before and grinning, holding a soldering iron in one hand and a coil of razor-wire in the other. "What's this??" He cries. "Where's the hotel?? Where's my wife??? Where's the minibar, the golf-courses, the pool, the restaurant, the free drinks and the sunshine???"

"Ah", says Satan. "You see, yesterday, we were campaigning. But today, you voted."

A busload of politicians were driving down a country road when, all of a sudden, the bus ran off the road, and crashed into a tree in an old farmer's field. The old farmer, after seeing what had happened, went over to investigate. He then proceeded to dig a hole to bury the politicians.

A few days later the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus, and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer said he had buried them.

The sheriff asked the old farmer, "Were they all dead?"

The old farmer replied, "Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them politicians lie."

NASA was interviewing professionals to be sent to Mars. Only one could go, and he couldn't return to Earth.

The first applicant, an engineer, was asked how much he wanted to be paid for going. "A million dollars," he answered, "because I want to donate it to M.I.T."

The next applicant, a doctor, was asked the same question. He asked for two million dollars. "I want to give a million to my family", he explained, "and leave the other million for the advancement of medical research."

The last applicant was a politician. When asked how much money he wanted, he whispered in the interviewer's ear, "Three million dollars."

"Why so much more than the others?" the interviewer asked.

The politician replied, "If you give me $3 million, I'll give you $1 million, I'll keep $1 million, and we'll send the engineer."


A woman is shopping in the produce department. She approaches the clerk. “Excuse me, but where is the broccoli?” she asks. He says, “Sorry, we are out of broccoli. Come back tomorrow.”

The woman continues shopping, but approaches the clerk again a few minutes later. “I need broccoli. Where is it?” “Ma’am,” the clerk says, “we are out of broccoli. Come back tomorrow.” The woman seems to understand. But ten minutes go by and she is back. “Where is the broccoli?” Once again, the clerk tells her that they are fresh out of broccoli and to come back in the morning.

The clerk continues stocking the shelves, but soon the woman is back. “ I can’t find the broccoli,” she says. The clerk asks the woman “Excuse me, but could you tell me how to spell dog, like dogmatic?” “D O G”, the woman says. “What about cat, like catastrophe?” “ You spell it C A T.” “Very good,” the clerk says. “What about fuck, like in broccoli?” “There is no fuck in broccoli,” the woman says.

“Exactly,” says the clerk.



He fought to the end, did ScoMo,
The people voted and said “No,
Enough is enough,
So pack up your stuff
It’s time to give Albo a go."





Judy entered a church.

She was wearing a seethrough blouse and no bra.

"You can't come into this church dressed like that!" exclaimed the priest.

"But I have a divine right!" replied Judy.

"You have a divine left too, but you still can't come in dressed like that!"

God had nearly finished making Adam and Eve. "Well you two, just one last thing, one of you will be able to piss standing up.....and"

"Me, me, me...please can I do that" Adam cried.

"Fine. That leaves Eve with multiple orgasms"



I can't believe I was arrested for impersonating politicians
I was literally in my office doing nothing...

What's the difference between a politician and a flying pig?
The letter "F".

A man walks into a confessional.
Father all day I hear a voice telling me what I have to do. Do you think that I am possessed by the devil?
No son, you are married!!

Don’t you just hate it when people answer their own questions?
I do. Can’t stand it

My doctor said he needed a stool sample
So I went to Ikea and bought a stool


Thursday, May 26, 2022




In Australia, we are fortunate not to have the gun problems, shootings and massacres that are becoming a recurring part of American life. How can anything be more heinous and tragic than senseless shootings of innocent children at schools. Following the Tasmanian Port Arthur mass shooting in 1996, stringent gun control and ownership measures were introduced Australia wide, a cause for both praise and criticism from various quarters in the US.

Today’s reprint is an article from The Sun about a passionate speech made by NBA coach Steve Kerr. The link is as follows:

To watch the speech, click on:

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH NBA coach Steve Kerr issues impassioned and emotional gun-plea after Texas school shooting massacre

GOLDEN State Warriors NBA coach Steve Kerr has delivered a passionate speech about gun violence following the Texas school massacre.

The horrific attack took place on Tuesday morning when the suspected shooter Salvador Ramos, 18, opened fire inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

A fourth-grade teacher and a 10-year-old student are among the first of 21 victims to be named after the massacre.

The NBA coach, who has long been an advocate for gun control, issued an emotional plea following the carnage.

His father was shot dead in a terrorist attack in Beirut in 1984.

Speaking during a news conference ahead of his team's game he said: “When are we going to do something.

“I’m tired. I am so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I am so tired of the, excuse me, I am sorry, I am tired of the moments of silence. Enough!”

Kerr has supported on several occasions a bill that would require tighter background checks on those buying firearms.

Despite the bill passing the US House of Representatives last year, it did not get to the Senate.

Addressing the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, Kerr continued: “I ask you, Mitch McConnell, I ask all of you senators who refuse to do anything about the violence and school shootings and supermarket shootings.

"I ask you: Are you going to put your own desire for power ahead of the lives of our children and our elderly and our churchgoers

"Because that’s what it looks like. It’s what we do every week.”

Shortly before leaving the press conference Kerr slammed the table and delivered his final statement:

"I'm fed up. I've had enough. We can't get numb to this.

"We can't sit here and just read about it and go, well, let's go have a moment of silence."

“It’s pathetic. I’ve had enough."