I don't know how you feel about the current pontif, Pope Benedict XVI. I know it annoys my Catholic mum a little when I refer to him as the Nazi Pope - which sounds like a cheap shot, him being German and all. Especially when I voice my admiration for his predecessor, John Paul II, the 'Jewish Pope'. An equally cheap shot, because John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) was Polish and lived in Krakow during Nazi occupation. (It also annoys my mum when I refer to my aunt-who's-a-nun as 'The Aunty Christ'.)
But I found it interesting that the Nazi Pope now has his own cologne. Don't know if it's based on frankinsence or myrrh, or if it comes in its own miniature thurible (the incense burner-on-a-chain that the priest gets to swing around). But I'm sure it'll be perfect for ridding you of that loaves-and-fishes smell after a hard day feeding multitudes. And hopefully the Vatican City gift stores will do a nice Holy Father's Day giftpack with the similarly scented Pope-on-a-Rope.
Of course he's a religious crackpot, seeking to establish a government based on the Ten Commandments. But to help do so, he's abducted some 60,000-odd children over the last 30 years that he has turned into sex slaves and murderers. (Yeah, for Commandment 6, 'Thou Shall Not Kill', read, 'Thou Shall Not Kill When I've Got These Boy Kids To Do It'; and for Commandment 7, 'Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery', there's the addendum 'But Childery's Fine, That's Why I Also Abducted These Girl Kids'.) Kony's been at it for years. Kony 2012 is the campaign to rid the world of him once and for all. This is the year.
There's a short film about it doing the rounds:
As one of my favourite political comics, Scott Abbot, suggested: "Bob Carr, this is your first mission as Foreign Ministerâ¦". Heck, it's the one that'll get him UN Secretary General, if not PM. If he handles it the right way and gets to the bottom of it.
If you feel you should do more, you can donate and buy stuff but don't do so blindly: be informed.
Even efore you attach this clip to all your social media stuff, be informed: a lot of the groundswell that has sprung up literally overnight targets Uganda as the centre of Kony's operations; he hasn't been there for some 6 years, and there is a peace process underway there. Furthermore, the LRA much smaller than it once was.
So this campaign, seeking to send US 'Military Advisers' into Africa, has the right inentions. But I can think of past conflicts in other parts of the world to which the United States provided soldiers 'Military Advisers'. Heaps of them. It didn't end so good, for those parts of the world, the locals, or a heap of the soldiers 'Military Advisers' (Psst: it was in Vietnam.) It's worth having a bit more information when contributing to viral memes, is all I'm saying. Cos there's always another side to the story, as the 'Visible Children' Tumblr points out.
I'll get back to the entertainment stories and interviews shortly.
A lot of people, it would seem, are talking what many more other people would consider absolute crap about the end of the world; scatology about eschatology, if you will. Elaborate mime enactments thereof are a special kind of hell on earth, but if you can sit through that, you can deal with my two bits. First, hereâs Elvis Costello performing âWaiting for the End of the Worldâ:
So the worldâs gonna end this evening. In a way Iâm glad: Iâm between decent-paying gigs, got taxes, bills, and â if the happy clappy fundies are anything to go by â hell to pay. But before I get my hopes up, Iâve got to confess (so to speak) that Iâve been here before: in high school, some time in the late-80s, the world was also supposed to end. I remember I had a 4-unit maths exam looming and essays due, and quite frankly, I wasnât in the mood to study or read relevant texts or do anything other than whatever I did in late adolescence. I had new guitar chords to discover; Python episodes, newly released on VHS to watch; and those Frank Zappa records werenât gonna listen to themselves! But Iâm glad I crammed some differential calculus and imaginary numbers and actually cribbed some Prude and Party Sexnotes.
Iâm assuming there wonât be some intense conflagration this evening. Which is a pity â since Iâm due to do a spot of open mic stand-up at the Oriental Hotel at Cooks Hill, Newcastle, which is a formidable bear pit of a pub at the best of times. So I suspect I shall die tonight, anyway â on stageâ¦
But if the world does end, look at the bright side: we finally get to find out what happened to the dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden â making it The Velocirapture.
Were dinosaurs destroyed in the Great Flood after all? Was the serpent in fact a larger, entirely different reptile than the snake that is commonly depicted? If so, why didnât he just eat Adam and Eve and have done with?
But if the Great Rapture doesnât take place, if whatever the current equivalent of the Hale-Bop comet doesnât bring about the end of the world, or at least the mass suicide of fervid cultists, prepare for the Great Cognitive Dissonance. And synchronise your watches for the next one.
Meanwhile, enjoy this rapture death, from the Six Feet Under episode entitled In Case of Rapture:
Now Iâm gonna leave the last word on the ratbag fringe faithful to Messrs Bennett, Cook, Miller and Moore, AKA Beyond The Fringe:
Oh, and look, the final word, as posted on Satarista Paul Provenzaâs Facebook page (added middle of the following week):
1) Not really. I mean, it may happen, but Iâm not crippled with fear, for two reasons: Iâve played the Oriental before, and I was the only comic who didnât die that night. And I may still die tonight, but Iâve already died the most horrific, shattering stage death and lived to tell the tale. But thatâs a tale to tell another time.
Sorry to disappoint the devout amongst you, but I now have conclusive proof to which friends and family will attest: as each month ends with the last pay-packet long since spent, the following month commencing with an interminable wait fo the next cheque to arrive and then clear, bills mounting and even the bus fare into the city requiring a scramble through trouser pockets for loose change, the patently clear and obvious truth of the matter is that having money quite literally makes me a lot happier than not having money. I await the Papal missive advising me of excommunication for this heresy.
I was just doing my Sunday thing, sitting behind the counter in Egg Recordsâ city store, wishing some customers would come in and buy stuff, when all of a sudden a woman strode purposefully in, parked herself directly in front of the counter, and thrust an open lecture pad in my face.
Damn, I thought, this is going to be one of those nuts who either
a) compiles lists of millions of titles of albums, and stands by while the shop assistant searches from one end of the store to the other in order to confirm, John-Cleese-in-the-Bookshop-Sketch-like, that we have nothing on the list currently in stock,
b) compiles lists of millions of titles of songs, and stands by while the shop assistant searches from one end of the store to the other in order to find out that the few albums that actually feature one, or if youâre lucky, a couple, of songs from the list, are unsuitable because the other songs contained therein already reside somewhere else within the customer's collection and must not be replicated, or just do not appeal to the customerâs taste.
Not that thereâs anything wrong with either of these things; technically, searching the store from one end to the other is what Iâm paid to do. Itâs just that if the customer searched the store from one end to the other, rather than standing back and letting the shop assistant do it, thereâd at least be a chance of the customer stumbling onto some other gem worth spending some money on.
Rather than one of the infuriating lists, the womanâs lecture pad bore a scrawled note informing that in addition to being mute and an orphan, she was bereft of a husband and had not seen her daughter for nine years, despite having searched desperately for her, but as her most immediate problem was hunger, could I possibly help her out by handing over ten dollars? When I informed her that I in fact couldnât, she stalked out in silence, making a dismissive gesture that, strictly speaking, wasnât obscene, but certainly conveyed the spirit of obscenety.
More obscene, however, was the realisation, the second after sheâd left, that I probably should have offered her a couple of bucks in exchange for letting me take a digital photo of her and her note.