Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Bad Boy is Back!

And he has a sporty mullet.

This man has taken more money from more professional cycling teams, for fewer results, more no-shows, and more bad headlines than any other cyclist.

He is also living proof that you can ride fast whislt living a Dwight Yorke party party all night bender lifestyle.

Long live the old adage ‘any publicity is good publicity’- because if it weren’t for this he wouldn’t have a ride. And the Belgians go nuts for him because they are all as mad as hatters just like him.

Stolenwealth Fish Free to Good Homes

As I looked out my office window today I noticed that the Stolenwealth Games fish were being removed from the Yarra. I have to admit to feeling a bit sad, they were just another bizarre element of the whole games experience.

I’m also a bit bemused about what’s to be done with them. Bracksy reckons he can flog them off to local councils, provided they agree to look after the things carefully. Yet another weird games related cash grab by the state government.

But what on earth was Bracksy thinking when he said this: "The fish have had a great life over and above what we ever expected as something that represented the liveability of Melbourne."
Liveability? He obviously has a very short memory when it comes to short finned eels? There is so much shit (literally) in the Yarra the poor things can’t survive. And to add to the irony, the sculpture of the short finned eel will be presented to the City of Melbourne. But what is it exactly about fish that suggest liveability? Has he gone completely fucking mad?

We live in a strange world: Bracksy wants to make sure that the papier mache fish are well looked after by local governments, but he does bugger all to make sure the real things can swim freely in the Yarra.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006


WorkChoices is upon us as of yesterday, and is it just me, or are there in fact no positive choices offered to workers under this legislation.

An email got sent around at work highlighting how the changes would effect employees, and I couldn't identify a single choice, election, option or alternative that I could take as a worker.

A more appropriate name would have been WorkImposition.

And yet again the title for a Howard Government Bill is Unspeak gone completely mad.

Timboys Stolenwealth Games

Well, it’s taken me a fair while to get back to posting- work, cycling and other shenanigans have been keeping me far too busy. But I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a little about the Stolenwealth Games in hindsight.

The games started for me on Monday two weeks ago when I almost choked on gum leaf smoke as I took my regular run around the Tan. It was National Lampoons Aboriginal Tent Embassy Melbourne Vacation to protest the games, and good on ’em. Only the cynics amongst us would speculate upon the close geographical proximity of the tent embassy to the venue for the Earthcore dance party, the Myer Music Bowl. What a happy coincidence!

Then came the opening ceremony. The Queen refused to smile on television for two straight hours. She looked a bit constipated with all her grimacing. Couldn’t Ron Walker have fetched the old dear a warm glass of Metamucil or something? The crowd went absolutely potty for Lord Mayor John So. Delta Goodrem was almost dispatched by a flaming skyrocket during the performance of her dreary Celine Dion wannabe games song. Two or three pigeons weren’t so lucky when the giant flames went up at Crown Casino (Seriously, it was the most serene thing I saw all night- those poor pigeons gliding to their deaths across the Yarra. They were like little shooting stars, only more graceful). AFL footballers walked over fish, one old cunt walked on water. There was a boy with a duck, a flying tram and the Church singing a song about smack. And there were fireworks, lots of fireworks. We also witnessed 90,000 people collectively murmer ‘what the fuck’ when the second verse of the national anthem got a rare outing. Altogether, a tad eccentric, but nonetheless very entertaining. Let the games begin.

In the first final of the swimming Libby Lenton won a silver medal- the Channel Nine commentary team were speechless. The Herald Sun earlier in the day had predicted a clean sweep of seven gold medals for Lenton. This was not what Australians had hoped for and expected- there was a palpable sense of anticlimax. But it wasn’t to last long. The medals began to tumble in, with the Australian tally surpassing 200 medals. Lenton ended up winning five gold and two silver. Props must also going to the Age, the Sun and Nine for failing to realise that there were any other competitors at the games apart from gold medal winning Australians. At the Melbourne Games failing to win gold was unspeakable, and losing became more and more Un-Australian.

And the cycling. How could I fail to mention the cycling? Nicole Cooke was impressed by the legendary Hawthorn Cycling Club Crackadrome, and then got flogged by a Hawk at Carnegie in a pre-race hit out. Go Russ! Olivia Gollan crashed like an idiot in the women’s road race, which was easily won by a very strong Natalie Bates. I mainly watched the men’s road race from Darling Street in South Yarra. There was a real carnival atmosphere with lots of barbeques and drinky good times. Simon Gerrans was there with a bunch of mates, and I also saw comedian Glen Robbins in the hood (Just thought I’d drop a few shit celebrities). There was a guy dressed as the devil running up and down Darling Street when the race went past. All the kids were chanting ‘kill the devil, kill the devil’- it was pretty cute. For me there were a number of stars on the day. The first star was the Kenyan dude who rode strongly in the main breakaway. The second and biggest hero was Ben Day of Australia. He rode on the front of the bike race non-stop for four hours holding the entire race together, and not letting the break get too far up the road. Aaron Kemps and Peter Dawson of Australia were also great riding on the front of the race with all the other riders sucking their wheels. The most emotional moment of the race for me was witnessing Day and Kemps EXPLODE going up Darling Street to launch the Allan Davis attack. They had both given so much they could barely get over the hill. It was just awesome to see how much they put into the team effort. And last but not least, Matty Hayman. He wasn’t riding for himself on Sunday, but he just kept on going and going and found himself in the right place at the right time to take home the biscuits. It’s wonderful that a good honest workhorse of a cyclist can get some high level recognition. Again no love for Channel Nine for failing to show any of the mens race, except for a delayed telecast of the last two kilometers of the race. SHAME.

Oh, and there was a cultural festival on also. I didn’t go because I’m a philistine. I did see Roland S Howard at Cherry on Friday night though. He was awesome.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What I Love Most About Professional Cycling

Blatant cheating!

This is up there with Nico Mattan drafting the officials vehicle allegedly driven by one of his mates to win Ghent-Wevelgem last year.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Why was Nic Sanderson Released from his Contract?

Ok, so the official story is that Nic Sanderson had his contract with Davitamon-Lotto anulled because he suffers from a mild form of epilepsy.

If this is the case it would be completely illegal, because Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union expressly prohibits 'Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, DISABILITY, age or sexual orientati'on...'

Cyclingnews hints: 'De Geyter [Sanderson's agent] was keen to move on. "It's not in Nic's interests to inflame the situation," he said. The issue with Davitamon-Lotto "was not primarily a health problem".'

So why was he really sacked? And would the true reason for his dismisall stand up before a court of law in Belgium or Australia?

The story stinks, and I feel sorry for the kid. But he really should stand up for himself more in the circumstances, because failing to do so only serves to raise suspicions.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Moz Interview

Just read this not very revealing interview with Morrissey conducted by Douglas Coupland.

Probably the most obvious, but entertaining line to come out of the exercise was this one:

'... His head (this is really weird, and I hope it doesn't go outside the boundaries of taste) is enormous. It's like a huge Charlie Brown parade float head. I walked into the bar to meet him and I saw this guy across the room with this massive head and I thought to myself, 'Man, that's one massive head', and it was Morrissey.'

Oh yeah, and apparently he might have a lover in Rome.

And oh yeah, his album isn't released in the UK until April 3, so Australia will be getting it officially two days before the UK. Go figure. What this doesn’t explain is why so many people already have the damn thing.

More Sexy Man

Cipo keeps popping up everywhere at the moment.

He looks nice and wrapped up like a big cuddly teddy bear in this aviation jacket.

And he's never to far away when the silverware is being handed out.

Still a very sexy man!

Moz Turns Down $US 5 Million to Reform The Smiths

OK, so I love him most of the time, but sometimes he gets me all hot, bothered and frustrated.

I tried to get his new album on Thursday, but it won't be officialy released in Australia until 1 April.

Haven't record stores heard of Amazon, or the internet? Do they not understand that I can get my filthy hands on the album even if it hasn't been officially released in Australia yet. The album has been out in the UK for about a month.

Further proof that people in the record industry (note 'industry', not band members) are fucking stupid. They are dinosaurs from another age.

Oh well, Love hurts, but I'm still ill.

Timboy Spots Another Shit Celebrity

Right, I'm dropping the 'not very famous people' line and calling them what they are- 'shit celebrities'.

I know the breakfasters on triple R are always going on about shit siblings, and when the boot fits...

Well anyway the latest spotting was of David Koch from the that fascist channel 7 morning program. I overheard him big-noting himself to a bunch of people in exhibition street on Friday evening. Wanker.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sexy Man

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Labor Preselection Battle: Part 2

This is the guy I rely on for all my ALP news.

He never misses a beat.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Timboy Acosts a Not Very Famous Person/ Children Collide and World’s End Press at Eurotrash

Ok, so I’m sitting in China Town drinking a slurpy, waiting for a mate to go to see WEP at Eurotrash. I’m just minding my own business when Shane ‘hammer time’ Heal comes walking down the street. I’m excited at my third not very famous person spotting in the space of a week, and so yell out ‘it’s hammer time’ in close proximity to the man made famous for standing up to Charles Barkley at the Olympics. The great man is quite amused, and perhaps glad that someone still remembers him. He looked in pretty good knick, so he’s the only not very famous person who’s figure hasn’t changed drastically since being famous. He puts the shame on Robbie Slater who had obviously been grazing in a very lush paddock for far too long.

Now to the bands, WEP were great with their Talking Heads style post-punk, synth mash up style rock n’ roll. The two bands in the middle can best be described as angular indie-pop-rock Killers wannabes. Couldn’t really get me electric boogalooing- although the Buzzcocks cover was appreciated. Children Collide were great again- sort of like Nirvana, with added blood-curdling screaming chaos. There was a funny crowd on the evening, a strange mix between clubber types and indie types. Between the bands upstairs the DJ was playing euro-style electronic music, whilst downstairs there was typical indie stuff- so this may explain the situation. The night ended on a bizarre note with a mysterious miasma infiltrating the club and causing choking. Hmmm, not very cool. But momentary choking aside, a fun night.

Labor Pre-selection Battles

Reflecting on the events of the past few weeks, I think it’s safe to say the next Labor Prime-Minister is currently not a sitting member of Federal Parliament. Furthermore, a realistic view is that the next federal Labor government could be 10-15 years away if party reform isn’t seen as an urgent priority.

Although the figures behind the moves to oust sitting members from safe Labor seats claim renewal as their primary motivation, this could not be further from the truth. The people behind the moves, Union hacks, factional powerbrokers and careerists don’t represent renewal- they represent stasis at best. They are not candidates that make Labor an attractive vote winning force in the present political environment. They cannot appeal to electors in marginal seats. What the party needs are people from broader backgrounds to represent the party in parliament. We need true representatives of the people, and not just representatives of the unions and factional interests. I think this is one of the main areas where the Howard government has it over the Labor party at the moment. Labor consists almost entirely of professional political operatives, whilst the voices of ordinary Australians have been lost. And where have all the social activists gone in the ALP?

What I note about the UK party is that they have representatives from a broader range of professions and walks of life. Not just professional politicians and not just trade unionists. Party reform under Neil Kinnock in the 1980s and 90s has given Labour a broader appeal in the present, and made the party electable after a long period in the wilderness. Without similar party reforms in Australia, Labor will be unelectable, and factional warlords will be left to fight over the ever-diminishing returns of their political fiefdoms.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Timboy is acosted by a not very famous person: Pt 2

Ok so last time I was trying to get a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Fast forward to Thursday night. I'm on the Yarra Boulevard overlooking beautiful Melbourne, waiting for the tour de burbs bunch to come by. I see two figures jogging up the hill towards me, both panting and spluttering, and looking altogether out of shape. As the pair got closer, the short, fat, red headed one yells at me 'hey gimme ya bike, I'm stuffed... laugh, pant... laugh, pant... gargling choking noise, chuckle to silence'. I'm thinking that guy looks familiar- hang on a minute, that was former socceroo captain and star Robbie Slater! I nearly didn't recognise him because he had stacked on the kilos since retiring. He must be in town for the Commonwealth games or something, but it was definitely him.

Hmmm, what is it with me and bumping into not very famous people who have gone through a drastic change in body composition and appearance?

The 4000

According to the Age today there are 4000 cyclists riding into the CBD everyday via cycle trails.

4000 a day! And what's impressive about this figure is that the census is taken in early August, arguably the least cycle friendly time of the year. Obviously it also doesn't include those who ride into the city on the roads. The survey also found that more cyclists use the trails on weekdays than during the weekends, which shows that commuting by bicycle is on the rise in Victoria.

Shove that up your Arse Michael 'Duffbot' Duffy.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Come and Get it… with Peter… Russell… Clark!

Had a funny day at work on Monday. I was on my way to get a ham and cheese toasted sandwich in Collins Street, when a diminutive figure sporting a neatly trimmed beard, a stripped shirt and an artsy neck tie came staggering out the door of a bar and almost bowled me over. I was a bit taken aback, until I realised that the bloke who almost sent me flying was none other than celebrity chef and artist Peter Russell Clark. Poor old Pete looked like he’d had a few too many glasses of red with his coon cheese at lunch! He’s lost a few kilos since his television days, and could probably teach that fat cunt Huey a few tricks in the weight loss department. Which brings me to my point: How did Huey get the gig with Jenny Craig over Peter Russell Clark? I guess being typecast as the face of coon cheese wouldn't help things.

'Don't forget the cheese'

Free Gary Neiwand

Last week Gary Neiwand was sentenced to four months in jail for driving past his former partners house twice. His crime- breaching an apprehended violence order. In the same week Claire Margaret MacDonald was acquitted of murder and manslaughter. The court heard evidence that she lay in wait in a ‘snipers nest’ for 90 minutes, before shooting her husband in the chest, abdomen and head. There is no doubt that this woman was the victim of a terribly abusive relationship, and suffered from a form of ‘learned hopelessness’. My point is not that she should have been locked up, but rather that there should be some sense of proportionality. Four months in prison for such an insignificant and potentially innocent breach of an intervention order represents a grave miscarriage of justice when compared to walking free for a premeditated killing. So Cyclists of the world unite! It’s time to storm the Bastille and free our comrade Gary.

PS: Check out the size of his cannons!

The Howard Decade

Well I’ve left my Howard piece a little late, and there’s not a lot left to say that hasn’t already been said over the preceding ten years in many respects. Nonetheless, I may as well throw down my views for the sake of posterity.

From a personal perspective, ten years ago I was in year nine at high school. The political issues that captured my imagination included native title, the continuing reconciliation dialogue, a treaty with indigenous Australians, the republic and a view of a multicultural Australia becoming more involved in our region both economically and culturally. The 1993 election victory had been the ‘sweetest victory of all’, and Australia was moving forward confidently after the heartbreak of the recession in the early nineties. There were many reasons to be proud to be Australian, and confident about the future direction of the nation.

But there was growing disquiet that Keating was out of touch, and was pandering to elites, (which of course meant Blacks, immigrants, the artists, academics, internationalists etc, etc), and that it was time for a change. The appearance of Pauline Hanson on the political scene in regional Queensland was prescient of the growing backlash towards the multicultural and progressive agenda that had come to symbolize the Keating years. Howard ‘suited the times’, because his White (picket fence) Australia conservatism naturally appealed to the disaffected mob, those whose fortunes had been tossed and turned by over a decade of microeconomic reform and upheaval under Labor. Ironically, it was largely this economic revolution that has kept the Liberal party in power for the last ten years.

I reckon the Howard governments economic record is overblown, and much of what it has done is sit on the prosperity delivered by Labor’s reform efforts of the 80’s and early 90’s. Monetary policy has been left almost exclusively to the RBA, a fact you couldn’t have possibly discerned from the Liberal’s campaign at the last election- ‘who do you trust to manage Australia’s economy and keep interest rates low’- as if it were the government that were solely responsible for the recent extended period of expansion. In comparison to Labor’s grand efforts of reshaping and modernizing the Australian economy, the government’s attempts at microeconomic reform have been clumsy affairs with waterfront reform, IR and tax reform being prime examples. Howard has focused on completing outmoded Thatcherite free market reforms, and reforms that don’t score political or ideological points have been ignored.
The government has displayed a complete lack of interest in combating unemployment. Nothing reflects this more than the tendency to hide long-term unemployed persons on disability pensions. The Job Network, work for the dole, and weakening protection against unfair dismissal under the IR reforms have done and will do little to improve the employment prospects of Australia’s unemployed.
In relation to fiscal policy, the government has also proved itself to be fond of pork barreling in rural electorates rather than seriously addressing the infrastructure needs of the economy. The mining boom has exposed the government’s lack of foresight with regards to investment in infrastructure, and nation building.

Ten years ago I would have thought that it would be highly unlikely that Australia could be dragged into a foreign war on the basis of lies and deception. No single act has undermined the legitimacy of right wing thinkers than the growing quagmire in Iraq. It is a testament to John Howard’s political skill that he has been able to manage this catastrophe, up until now, in a successful manner. Again, as with the economy, you can argue that he has been incredibly fortunate in this respect. What if Australian soldiers become victims of terrorist attacks; what if there is a Madrid style attack in Australia- So long as Australia pays no obvious direct price for the conflict, the general population is prepared to carry on business as usual.

The Howard years have seen Indigenous Australians fall off the political map entirely. The ten-point plan drastically limited the rights of native title claimants in the courts. ATSIC has been destroyed as an independent voice for indigenous Australians in the political debate (although partly due to its own mismanagement and corruption). The government’s response to the stolen generation report ‘Bringing Them Home’, most notably the failure to apologise, was insensitive and heartless. Overall, the Howard government has refused to face up to Australia’s historical treatment of indigenous people, a history that the culture warriors of the right have attempted to obfuscate and deny.

Another feature of the Howard years has been the Prime Minister’s distaste towards multiculturalism (he can barely bring himself to use the word), and the harnessing of Hansonism and xenophobia to win elections. Tampa and children overboard were the wedges that delivered Howard the 2001 election. The ‘pacific solution’, vilification of refugees and adoption of One Nation’s Temporary Protection Visas represent, I think, the greatest sell out of Liberal ideals by the Howard government. There is also the tragedy, and mystery of SIEV-X and the ‘interference’ campaign to prevent people smuggling in Indonesia. For the truth in relation to these matters we will have to wait 25 years. The current expression of the Howard government’s underlying racism has been the almost constant vilification and harassment of Muslims in the wake of September 11. In recent weeks Costello, Howard and even the slightly confused Dana Vale have all rolled out to criticize ‘Muslim extremists’. Their message has been that Western values are culturally superior to Eastern values, and that newcomers should assimilate or go back to where they came from. Under the Howard government, bigotry and intolerance have been allowed to flourish, intercommunity dialogue has been stifled, and national solidarity has ultimately been weakened.

Why has Howard been so successful? He has successfully marketed the Liberals as the natural party of power and authority in Australian politics. I think that this has been achieved through a combination of successful branding, perception management and spin rather than through excellent performance. Liberal politicians are primarily drawn from the professional classes, and he has used this to portray the party as the best managers of the Australian political economy. Despite this image of professionalism and accountability, the governments record in relation to ministerial behaviour, with examples such as the travel rorts, children overboard and AWB affairs, doesn’t really point to accountability and good government.

At the moment Australians seem broadly disengaged, and cynical towards politics and politicians. I think with such a prevailing mood, the managerial/ patriarchal style of politics fostered by the likes of Howard and Bracks has been ascendant. It’s all about trust, there’s no real vision for the future, just a promise to manage what we already have. Ultimately the prevailing attitude towards government that can’t see beyond balancing budgets is unsustainable, and will be disastrous for the nation in the long term. Recently we have been fortunate economically, but not enough has been done to lay the foundations for future economic strength. In the Howard decade politics has been captured by the daily cycle, and a vision for the future strength and prosperity of Australia has been lost.