Adam Goodes chucks a pretend spear and Australia chucks a very real wobbly



Adam-Goodes-war-dance-L_0
image pilfered from
New Matilda

 

On Friday 29 May, some football happened, as it frequently does, and I ignored it, as I usually do.

However, days later, media is still buzzing with a certain incident, reading all manner of threat and offense in it.

As I understand it, after consistent heckling from Carlton fans at an AFL game being played at the SCG, Adam Goodes kicked a goal and celebrated it with a dance.

Now.

As I say, football happens frequently to my utter indifference.

Even so, I'm not totally ignorant to the joyful celebratory activity of players overtaken with the elation of having scored points. Take the elaborate jersey-over-the-head antics of goal-kickers in the World Cup, say. To be honest, I'm not adverse to recreating the same in the front room when I score a goal against the kids in foosball

Back to Adam Goodes.

Apparently, the game was an 'Indigenous Round'. I don't really understand the full ramifications of that title but I assume players are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background or ancestry, or at the very least, there is some link to those cultures that enable an otherwise broadly racist country/administration/sporting code/fanbase to feel it's doing its bit for race relations for another year.

Whatever.

It turns out, however, that Adam Goodes' little celebratory fancy-stepping is an alleged 'war-cry' dance. It was accompanied by some kind of 'hurling a spear' gesture. Although Adam later attributed it to an U16 team he's hung out with, the Flying Boomerangs, fact is, at the time, and in the days subsequent, the more Anglo aspects of Australian footy fanbase, admin, talkback radio and the population in general, appear to be losing it as a result.

There have been a range of often contradictory responses.

At half time:

“We’ve never seen that before and I don’t think we ever want to see it again to be perfectly honest, regardless of what it is.”

After the game:

"It’s quite aggressive, let’s be honest."

"Even if it made us feel a little bit uncomfortable in the first instance ... let’s not get too precious about the whole situation."

"Let’s discuss whether we want to have that type of celebration as an ongoing thing."

"I think we have to be careful on things where players are going to the crowd in any manner.”

"Personally, I don’t like to see demonstrative celebrations after a goal or anything else."

On Monday morning:

"Had we known before the game that Adam or the indigenous players were planning to do some sort of war cry, we could have been able to educate and understand the situation."

"This is a made-up dance, this is not something that has been going on for years."

And these were just some of the ones uttered by Eddie McGuire.

What? Eddie McGuire contradict himself over controversy involving Adam Goodes? Really? That's never happened before. Except with the foolish girl fan called Goodes an ape, not realising the racist overtones of the term, and Eddie stepped in to smooth things over. And then cracked a 'King Kong' joke at Goodes' expense not very long after. Still. Rugger b*ggers, eh? Does anybody really expect them to think? I mean the ones employed to make important decisions and be media personalities and all that.

There have been other responses by other people. But they all seem to revolve around the threat posed by Adam Goodes' pretend spear.

Waleed Aly intelligently pointed out that, on occasion, footballers have given opposing fans 'the finger': "they might get a fine, but they don't get boo'd for it," he said. "The fact that this was some kind of cultural expression that people found confronting is the issue."

His take on the furor?

"Australia is generally a very tolerant society, until its minorities demonstrate that they don't know their place. The minute someone in a minority position acts as though they're not a mere supplicant then we lose our minds and say, 'no, no, you need to get back in your box'. And that's why Adam Goodes ruffles feathers - it's because he says, 'I'm going to express Aboriginality, and I'm going to do it at a time and a place in which the vanilla frontier of Australian society doesn't cope with it very well'."

 

 

Now, forgetting for a moment the expression of Aboriginality ruffling the feathers of the vanilla frontier, consider this:

Football is a ritualised recreation of tribal warfare. This team, the warriors of the tribe from this village, fight that team, the warriors of the tribe from the other village - and we can tell them apart by their distinctive battle colours - over the disputed, desired object. If it were a beauteous chick instead of a ball, and one team snuck into the other team's half, secreted in a giant wooden Brownlow Medal that appeared to be a gift from the gods, we'd have the classic Trojan War scenario. Indeed, if the losing team (or the winning team - academics still argue about it) was sacrificed at the end of the game, you'd have Ōllamaliztli - the ritualistic ball-game 'played' by various Mesoamerican cultures, often as a proxy for war itself.

But all of this, though not being irrelevant necessarily, is pointless to dwell upon. Spectators, commentators, the elements of the Australian population who took issue with Goodes' dance and gesture just don't want an outspoken indigenous Australian threatening them. With his pretend spear.

And this is where the nonsense lies.

Consider sporting events involving a New Zealand team. How do they begin? With a ritualised  dance. The one known as the Haka.

A Haka is a war dance. No two ways about it. Traditionally, it was performed before battle. I've been told it's all about threatening to tear the enemy's heart out, and eat it.

Did you get that?

TEAR THE ENEMY'S HEART OUT.  AND EAT IT.

It's okay, though. It's just pretend. The New Zealand team isn't really going to tear the other team's heart out and eat it. Not literally. It's just pretend.

This is my question:

Why is Adam Goodes' war dance and pretending to chuck a spear more threatening than a whole tribe doing a war dance and pretending to threaten to rip your heart out and eat it?

Well, clearly, it's because, as Waleed Aly says, we're uncomfortable with the Aborigine ruffling our feathers. The ritual of the Haka is now part of the performance, part of the game; we know it's harmless. New Zealand's white population reconciled with and acknowledges the history of its indigenous peoples. There is some kind of actual and more real harmony - it would appear - in the New Zealand culture, compared to Australian culture.

But forget the lesson we should learn from that.

Back to pretend spearing and pretend ripping out and eating the enemy's heart.

Surely the pretend spear is just as harmless as the Haka.

No, actually, the pretend spear is even less of a threat than the Haka.

Think about it.

Which would you rather face? A pretend spear being pretend chucked at you? Or a tribe of warriors pretend threatening to pretend rip out your heart and pretend eat it?

I mean, at least with the pretend spear, there's a chance it will pretend miss.

How long do you think you'd be able to pretend elude a pretend attack of a pretend band of pretend warriors pretend intent on pretend ripping out your heart and pretend eating it? There's a whole pretend bunch of them - at least pretend one of them's likely to pretend catch you and pretend proceed with pretend rippage and eatage...

I prefer my pretend chances with the pretend spear.

If only footy and furore, and whatever the latest human rights violations they're diverting attention from (decimation or total eradication of our health services; sale of prime farmland - the food bowl of Australia - to a Chines concern, for coal mining; human rights violations in detention centres; the Trans-Pacific Partnership…) were also just pretend.

 

 


The ultimate booby trap as clickbait

 

Okay, sorry - I just couldn't resist.

Just like my mate Nick who, likewise, couldn't resist posting the story of 'Beshine', the stage name of Mayra Hills, who allegedly has the largest fake breasts in the known universe. For Nick, it demonstrates the new era of absurdy. I just love how this particular clickbait is the ultimate booby trap. And I have a nice visual punchline for it.

So here we go:

 

Booby trap

 

No. These are:

Aaathese are

 

 

Whackety schmackety doo

 

(This reminds me of an old blog post entitled Bosom Buddies - proceed if you dare.)

 

 

 


Re-dick-ulous (or: What in the Dickens?)

  Penes

 

"You've seen a woman wiv one breast; you've seen a woman wiv two breasts; but here we have the most amazing thing: a woman wiv free breasts! Count 'em: one, two, free…"

It was my English teacher, the Cracker, who also happened to be an Old Boy of my school, explaining the glorious heyday of the Brookvale Show by delivering the classic carny spruik.

The Brookvale Show was like the Royal Easter Show, but much smaller. It took place on the grounds of Brookvale Oval, in Brookvale. (Brookvale is an industrial suburb of Sydney that links Manly to Dee Why, nowadays mostly full of panel beaters and brothels, with a bunch of daytime cafés - to feed and water the workers - a McDonald's, a big shopping centre, some hardware stores, and more panel beaters and brothels). The school was across the road from Brookvale Oval.

By the time I was in high school, the Brookvale Show had diminished to almost nothing - and disappeared altogether for a couple of decades, until its very successful revival in recent years.

But back when my teacher was a kid, it was the full-on carnival with rides, games, and carni folk such as the multi-breasted maiden of which he spruiked, and the carny barkers of old, in whose style he adopted when spruiking.

 

0301_bananas_g

 

I bring it up because, even if said triple-breasted damsel did exist - perhaps she does, and she would certainly trump the mono-mammed ma'am, even though I'd never seen one - she wouldn't be appearing in a carnival near you soon. She'd be online, like the dude with two dicks.

Don't pretend you don't know who I'm talking about.

Man-born-with-two-penises

DoubleDickDude delivered an AMA (an 'I'm A…' autobiographical profile) on reddit that was all the social media rage over the weekend.

It suddenly became the thing for online news and gossip sites to find a polite image to suggest the 100% bonus in his undies - an actual front-Y in his Y-fronts. There was a dish with two bananas, two hot dogs intertwined like rattle snakes rutting and of course, two snakes, intertwined…

 

673413-6cf3f598-7476-11e3-a270-7f94192abf56

 

Anyway, the point I'll eventually get around to making isn't so much that I hope he's making a great deal of money exploiting his lucky mutation, so much as, if there's a way to make money out of it, I hope he's the one doing it.

Not like the old days where someone born with... I'm avoiding words like 'abnormality' in favour of things like 'less regular physical appearances'... would end up in a 'freak show', billed as part human, part some other species. Like people presenting with Ectrodactyly, aka 'lobster claw syndrome'.

 

Lobster
(Images via whatnot, phreeque, strangeoldepictures)

 

Suffering from psoriasis, it's the 'skin conditions' that fascinate me, none more so than Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis. The 'celebrity sufferer' is Dede Koswara, the dude who's frequently described as 'half man/half tree'. Not as sexy as two dicks though, so not as much of an 'internet sensation'.

 

Tree-Man
(Images via forgetfulprincess, oddee)

 

 

DoubleDickDude explained that he's in a relationship with a couple. It's lovely he can make the most of his hidden talent. There must have been a time when it was embarrassing and he probably felt he had no chance. Although, like every dude in that position, DoubleDick or single, surely he would have made the most of it.

George Harrison once dismissed quadrophonic sound, a 'fad' he knew wouldn't endure, because "you've only got two ears, after all". Shane Bourne once joked that the shark, a creature with two penises ('penes' is probably more correct) was most unfortunate. Two penises. No hands.

But DoubleDickDude? Two penises, two hands. More than two handfuls is a waste.

And in his case, it's a good thing, too: if he doesn't relieve the tension by 'knocking the top off it' regularly, and thus clear the lines of excess fluid, he runs the risk of infection. So maybe he would have felt some annoyance, at some stage of his adolescence, not having that third hand to operate the mouse.

Let me digress for a moment.

Among the awesome quotes of a former Australian Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, is the story of the time he was having a suit specially tailored.

If you're not aware, every man's wedding tackle hangs either to the left or the right, and tailored trousers take this into account, providing the extra material on the side it is required. There is a more polite way of asking 'how's it hanging?', however.

"To which side do you dress?" the tailor asked the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Whitlam replied, "Both!"

A great, funny line, of course. But it turns out that DoubleDickDude does dress to both the left and right at once.

Before I leave this, I should acknowledge that the Cracker's spruiking spiel, coming to mind in this context, reminds me of a bunch of comedy that if he hadn't quite introduced me to, he certainly encouraged.

There's the minor character from Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for example: Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon Six, who describes Zaphod Beeblebrox as "the best bang since the Big One".

From there it's a simple step to Monty Python's Arthur Frampton who, in the first season of Flying Circus, is the man with three buttocks.

 

 

Which ultimately reminds me of the story of the man with three assholes, who kept getting cornholed left, right and centre.

I think we're done, until the carny folk return to the Brookvale Show, spruiking "the man wiv free penises". Except they won't. Those days are gone. Nowadays, the unique people are going to turn up online rather than in a tent on sideshow alley.


C'mon Barbie, Let's Go Party

Doing the rounds right now is this clip of 'the truth behind modelling'. Why don't we just dispense with people altogether? Latest fashions will fit mannequins better than people anyway.

 

- Watch More Funny VideosPhotoshop Makes Anything Possible

 

This vintage fragment of fumetti - featuring a young John Cleese, for the magazine Help!, which Terry Gilliam worked on prior to Monty Python - seems more like reality now than every before.

 

 

Aacleesecomic


Carlton can't take the micky-taking


Carlton & Puppets
The journalist in happier times: detail, back cover, Mike Carlton's News Review (1982, Hammard)

I'll admit: a horrible summer man flu had hit and I was delirious. I did think I was in fine form, reading status updates on Twitter and Facebook and replying wittily. I stumbled upon some chatter between a Herald journo I follow and a journalist, columnist, broadcaster, author I've admired for the better part of thirty years… (apologies for the repetition below - haven't quite got the hang of embedded tweet coding)



Carlton_happy


Carlton_pompous

What? Because I won't buy SMH I'm clearly one of Murdoch's minions? Not likely. Forget for a moment the entire history of 'knowledge sharing' that went on amongst 'cafe society'; apart from the routine I follow with - that probably made it easier for my services to be dispensed with the first time I freelanced for News Magazines - there are earlier blog posts suggesting I'm no News Corporation stalwart...

 


I thought my last few comments were worthy of reply, but none was forthcoming, so I called it as I saw it, at which point an old uni mate joined in:



Carlton_crazy


The Word Was Gough
And The Word Was Gough… - Peter Luck and Mike Carlton (1975, M7)


Carlton News Review
Mike Cartlon's News Review - Mike Carlton (1982, Hammard)


Carlton Takes The Micky
Carlton Takes The Micky: 1983 in Review - Mike Carlton (1983, 2GB NewsTalk 87)


You know, cos he's old and grumpy (said the slightly less old, but probably just as grumpy, man) so perhaps he may do a Charlotte Dawson number


 

A night later, the irony is I still have not seen the front of the Sydney Morning Herald. Was it amazing? Was it so amazing that it was worth the fuss?

Meanwhile, I did send Carlton an apology. Not unreserved. I explained that I would write about this, but being a journo, he'd understand. As Joan Didion once pointed out, a writer is always selling someone out. Given his history of taking the micky, I expected a better sense of humour.

I remain unemployed by News Ltd and Fairfax. Perhaps that's why I never purchase their papers - although I'm less impressed with SMH since it became, literally, a tabloid. (Its engagement in tabloid journalism was inevitable once it ceased to be a newspaper of record.) However, I'm also not employed by Crikey or New Matilda - and I subscribe to those.

 

 

 


Two Little Girls, Apparently

Rolf harris top

 

Disappointed as I'm gonna be if it turns out there is some veracity to the charges being brought against Rolf Harris, I'm quite annoyed at news.com.au 's reporting of this story. I spotted it on Twitter on my way home from a show and all I could think was, 'there's no need'.

There's no need for the image of Rolf looking so awkward. Looking so awkward, dressed so spiffily. Can't help but feel they chose the photo that charted his greatest alleged fall from grace. It'd be different if it was a photo of Jake the Peg for this story, is all I'm saying.

No need for Rolf looking so awkward, dressed so spiffily, falling from grace having just received his Officer of the Order of Australia medal (a story News Limited reported on, prior from Rolf's alleged fall from grace); why not depict him suffing up as a Pom rather than an Aussie? He's got an MBE as well, you know!

But that's not what annoyed me most.

What annoyed me most, with the News Corp story illustrated by spiffy Rolf looking awkward, is the ad they chose to run with it.

When you consider the photo of Rolf in the context of the ad for laxative, News Corp is - ahem - clearly taking the piss.

Rolf harris news story full

 

It's as though the Murdoch press is saying, 'we don't think he's in quite enough poo as it is'.

While firmly believing in 'innocent until proven guilty', I did not write this blog post with the intention of showing disrespect for victims of assault, nor do I seek to trivialise assault.

On the other hand, people making constipation strainface in the presence of laxative ads - even knights of the realm - I declare (ahem) 'open slather' on that!

 

Constipated rolf

 

 

 


Chelsea Morning - another potential Leaky Wik

Bradley-Manning-008

Curiouser and curiouser.

If I had a radio show, right about now I'd be employing my best Joni Mitchell sound-alike to record a version of 'Chelsea Morning'. With parody lyrics. About Chelsea Manning. Who used to be Bradly Manning. A man. At the centre of a massive whistleblowing military espionage saga.

"Woke up. It was - uh - Chelsea Manning? And the first thing that I heard..."

I wouldn't spend any time at all giving the gal grief about her gender reassignment.

It'd be a ballad almost entirely addressing her whistleblowing saga.

Which, let's face it, has taken a decidedly unexpected turn.

 

 

 

Is it an elaborate CIA plot to further discredit Julian Assange? An ASIO plot to ensure Assange doesn't outpol Liberal or Labor candidates in his run for the Aussie Senate? An ASIO plot to ensure Assange DOES outpol Liberal and Labor senate candidates?

I'm not making fun at Chelsea - although it's cute that Wiki Leak stories always lead to groinal transgressions (the leaky wiks!). It's just, reality rarely hands you such an obvious circumstance like this, virtually screaming for you to re-write the words in a more topical vein.

But I can't do any of that. So instead, enjoy Joni Mitchell delivering 'Chelsea Morning' and imagine your own parody lyrics.

 


The Manly Daily

The Manly Daily, that esteemed suburban newspaper that has served me so well (I've been in it; I've delivered it - both as a kid in need of pocket money and as a deadbeat out-of-work freelancer between writing cheques in need of a reason to get out of bed of a morning with the odd bit of beer money thrown in [not that I'm implying every non-child-in-need-of-pocket-money deliverer is a dead-beat]) deserves another blog post dedicated to it.

I just had to call today's blog post 'The Manly Daily' since they decided to call yesterday's cover story 'Stand and Deliver'.

Thanks to Julia Wilson (the toughest woman in comedy; go see her live) for bringing it to my attention.

The Manly Daily

 

 

 


Lucky Obama - Female Viagra Trials are a Success!

 

ObamaFemaleViagra

“Context,” Richard Neville once informed me over the phone, “is everything.” It was back in 1994, before I even knew how email worked, let alone had an address. And I hadn’t googled him – had no idea how the internet worked – rather I’d found his number in the phone book and had been chasing him by phone and fax for an interview. “If I hadn’t returned your call, would you have continued to destroy rain forests to get in touch with me?” he’d asked when he finally phoned me back. I’ve no idea at which point during the ensuing interview he’d pointed out the necessity of context, to render a thing relevant.

But you know what? Apart from the quote itself – “context is everything” – Richard Neville has nothing to do with this blog post.Context and relevancy does, however.

Note the lovely image above. I saw the top of a page of the Daily Telegraph out the corner of my eye in the local café as I bought a coffee to take back to the office. And I couldn’t work out what the picture had to do with the headline.

Turns out to be nothing.

It’s just that, that’s exactly what Obama appears to be whispering into the woman’s ear: sweet nothings. Is she a prime examples of one of the things he’s getting ‘done’?

In the digital age, it seems we’ve forgotten how to construct a page of information so that it makes logical sense. Proximity between two elements suggests a relationship where there is none. Particularly when they are positioned next to each other – since we still read left-to-right, even if virtually every portable source of information requires that we scroll down.

Irrespective, it made me laugh.

"Sexy Pills for Women: Viagra Trials a Success". Meanwhile, in other news: page design not as simple as it seems.


Hang Our Heads

Charlotte_Dawson,_2012
The 'celebrity', in happier times. (Image by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer.)

 

 

Tell me where you can download that smartphone app that enables a clenched fist to come out of the screen and pummel the side of your head.

The reason I need one is because I keep reading about a torrent of Twitter abuse that put into hospital someone of whom I'd never before heard.

Someone called Charlotte Dawson.

Before a couple of days ago, the name 'Charlotte Dawson' might begin to stir memories of Dawson's Creek. Now, of course,  I understand she's a not-bad-looking 'celebrity' from some… reality show…? who retweets cyber-bullying messages, and in addition, blew the whistle on someone who tweeted without thinking. (Not to diminish the potential seriousness of the thoughtless tweet or the whistle-blowing.)

People who think rationally, can hold a conversation and discuss and even argue topics in a civilised manner use the internet. So do cretins. And so do people who think rationally but prefer to behave like cretins.

I know this from experience.

I fit into the 'people who think rationally' category. Some may argue I occasionally stray into the 'people who think rationally but prefer to behave like cretins' category - but they're bloody idiots who ought to hang themselves they'd be mistaken, because I don't. When I'm wrong, or I've crossed the line, I will acknowledge the fact. I will step back. I will apologise when necessary. I will even change my opinion when evidence resulting from discussion and argument renders my opinion untenable.

I will, essentially, 'take responsibility' for my words and actions. It's a pity that not everybody does. That's why society seems to require whistle-blowers to 'dob' on rational people who behave like cretins - a category that includes corrupt cops and politicians as well as crooked CEOs of multinational corporations. Few people seem to respect whistle-blowers, unfortunately. Lots more people respect rational people who prefer to behave like cretins, especially when they get away with cretinous and illegal behaviour. But that's almost by-the-by.

I try to behave responsibly, and that's perhaps why I've never received what might be considered a 'torrent of online abuse'. I'm also not a 'celebrity'. Not a real one, who's rightfully earned fame and fortune by doing something significant and noteworthy through application of talent, creativity and hard work. And not a pretend one, who's earned the same by appearing on the kind of television or radio show designed to placate and keep docile both cretins and rational people who prefer to behave like cretins.

Cretins and rational people who prefer to behave like cretins have a history of turning on both real and pretend celebrities - the talented people, and the untalented people they'd previously helped celebrate. It's sad, but it happens. Not to me, of course. Although, if it ever did, I think I'd cope.

If any online interaction took place that I was even slightly uncomfortable with, that could not be mended with an apology, a retraction, a deletion of as many tweets, emails, online contacts and friendships as required, I'd still cope.

I have the good sense to turn off my computer or phone and walk away.

Even so, I still fail to see how receiving a 'torrent of abuse' lands you in hospital. At least, not without the installation of the 'Pummel You In The Side Of Your Head'™ app, which instantly converts an abusive tweet into a punch.

There still has to be a step between the receipt of torrents of abuse, and the hospitalisation. There has to be a 'self-harm' stage, and a 'calling the ambulance' stage before the admission to hospital stage.

Except, that's the thing, isn't it: there doesn't have to be a 'calling the ambulance stage' unless there's a 'self-harm' stage. And there aren't any apps created to automate those processes, either.

So there doesn't have to be a self-harm stage.

Although, it's not clear if there was a self-harm stage in Charlotte's case. That won't be made clear until the 60 Minutes interview, if at all. But if there wasn't, why and how did the 'torrent of online abuse' lead to 'hospitalisation'? Was this an elaborate hypothetical 'see what can happen, cretins' exercise? If it wasn't, please don't think I'm making light of someone being tormented to the point of self-harm. I'm not. I'm making fun of someone clever enough to rise to the level of 'celebrity' despite not having the smarts to disengage from the blogosphere.

It particularly irks me because there is more talk of closer policing of the internet and twitter and the like. It's not that bad behaviour ought to go unpunished - just that some behaviour would be less detrimental if we engaged with it less. In the case of the torrential abuse of Charlotte, was tweeting the crime? What about retweeting? What about printing copies of the tweets and the retweets? At what point did any of it become criminal activity rather than merely bad behaviour? Or 'journalism' rather than 'sensationalism' (ie, merely bad behaviour')? If they were always criminal activity, why did it take the hospitalisation of a not-bad-looking 'celebrity' for it to become a police matter? Why do rational people have to be affected by the bad behaviour of cretins and rational people who choose to behave like cretins?

Before the age of smart phones and laptops and the internet in every home, and before the age of far too many reality television shows and wall-to-wall not-too-bad-looking 'celebrities', abuse was less torrential. It wasn't cyber-bullying, it was proper bullying, delivered firsthand. I assume we all experienced it at one time or another. I was an overweight Italian kid who read books on the bus, so clearly I was fair game as 'the fat wog'. It hurt, but it didn't result in hospitalisation.

That's because of the fundamental truth: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

It sounds corny, I know. More so, when chanted out loud at your would-be tormentor.

And even when, on the odd occasion, the verbal abuse escalated - via some shoving, no doubt - to fisticuffs, it still didn't result in hospitalisation. Is it because we were less molly-coddled back then? Was it because we knew what a punch felt like, having thrown and received them early on, that we learnt to avoid them soon after? Were we all just brought up better, by parents who automatically parented better? Maybe that's why the words hurt less than the sticks and stones, as well as why there were fewer sticks and stones. There were certainly fewer knifings and drive-by shootings, that's for sure.

Irrespective, the one place where torrents of abuse need not lead to hospitalisation is online. Because there is no 'Knife You Like A Coward While You're Trying To Talk Yourself Out Of A Fight'™ app, as surely as there is no 'Pummel You In The Side Of Your Head'™ app. Tweets don't hurt like sticks and stones, but when they become annoying, they can be avoided as surely as I can go through life avoiding reality television shows and the 'celebrities' they produce.

When it gets too much, turn the phone or the computer off, step away from the spotlight and talk to someone else about something else. (And by that, I don't mean 'sell your story to 60 Minutes'.) We all can take more responsibility for the stuff we do in life, on the television and online.

 

By all means, respond to this blog post if you must, but rest assured, I will not read your comments until after I've called the ambulance, been hospitalised, had my stomach pumped, been assured that downing a massive jar of Jelly Belly jelly beans is not fatal (hasn't been ever before, no reason for it to be now) and started to prepare for my 60 Minutes interview.

If you are truly troubled by things in life and talking to friends and family doesn't help, try health care alternatives. Start with your GP, Parish Priest, community leader or LifeLine. Meanwhile, don't send tweets like these:

615423-charlotte-dawson-tweets-screenshot