2010

The year that was.

THE STARS:

If 2010 was a food, it would be some kind of pasta. Tasty, sure. Memorable, perhaps. Lots of great bits in it, tomato based, quite heavy on carbs. But quick, damn quick. Makes me think I was eating 2010 while doing something else. Putting out the washing. Washing the dog. Dogging a wash. Piloting a blimp.  And yes, a lot of things were accomplished this year, so I suppose that’s an adequate metaphor. I remember the year that I was 21. Gosh, what a tasty year that was. It was like this lime tart I had once, which while eating I hoped would never, ever end. And it never did. If you look closely, I’m still eating it now.

Next year: rice cakes.

LACK OF STARS:

Well, Skynet still hasn’t taken over. I know I shouldn’t WANT the grim, dystopic future mapped out in Terminator’s 1 and 2 to happen. (I’m ignoring 3 & 4. I imagine that those movies are a direct correlation to Arnold Swarzenegger being sent back in time to kill ALL THE TALENT IN THE WORLD.)

“I wish someone had come back in time to kill me :(

Yes, any smart person doesn’t want the world taken over by a giant sentient homicidal computer, but the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is really keeping me on edge. I just can’t relax, and relaxing is important to me. So, uh, fingers crossed for 2011.

THE SCORE:

3/5 stars

Friendship

Mine’s not a ship, it’s a catamaran! Friendamaran!

THE STARS:

For some people, friendship is like galloping down a rainbow on the back of a unicorn made out of chocolate, and when the unicorn breathes, birds fly into the air and sing love songs from the 80’s, and they know they will never ever be afraid.

Fucking cliquey though.

For other people, friendship is always having a witty sidekick, who has their backs in sword fights and provides a unique skill-set that complements their own.
PROTAGONIST JONES: “Looks like Greyskull has set up a little surprise for us, Tongueshoe!”
TONGUESHOE: “Rrrowr”
PROTAGONIST JONES: You got it buddy! I’ll sail the friendamaran into the warphole, and you can attack them with your giant canine brain!

And if you’re wondering what MY friendships are like, they’re a little closer to this:

I have terrible role models.

LACK OF STARS:

You see, in my experience, all of what i’ve written above is a lie. At least I hope it is, because that’s a lot of pressure, you know. You may go INTO a friendship thinking that you’ve found a great sidekick/unicorn/shopping buddy, but if the friendship is actually working, then it will look a lot more like this:

There’s no real downside to the concept of friendship, unless you don’t have one. So, lonely Joe, sitting in your hate-filled computer dungeon, I’m deducting half a star for you. Not that i’ll expect you to thank me, you stinking cheese scented travesty of a being.

THE STARS:

4.5/5 stars

Boxes

Cubic dream repositories
THE STARS:
Like many children, I could play for days with little more than a refrigerator box and my own bloated sense of imagination. Castles, spaceships, suits of armour, donkey’s – there is no limit on what I could pretend a simple cardboard rectangle was. Of course that same unfettered imagination went from being a pro in primary school to being a con in high school. Then it became various derivations of
 ‘Patrick’s head is in the clouds, stares into space, eye twitches incessantly and makes a high pitched keening sound when attempting mathematical problems’. 

Of course, it may be that the children of today, the so called ‘computer generation’ sneer at low tech games like boxes and imagination.
The key word with boxes is ‘potential’. Apart from their vortex of imaginary possibilities, there are often actual, real, awesome things that come in boxes. As it is Boxing Day today, traditionally the day when you throw out all the boxes and wrapping paper from the excessive capitalistic gift orgy that happened the day previously, I’ve learnt first hand about the potential of boxes. When you are given a box, there could be ANYTHING inside. That is the true meaning of hope, which Jesus died so we can realise.
LACK OF STARS:
The flip side of ANYTHING being inside a box, is that it can also teach us the true meaning of despair.
You shouldn’t have!
There are many negative connotations relating to boxes. Being put in a box these days, is seen as a limiting process. However, I say that it is us who are limited in our thinking. If the box is too small, just find a bigger one. You don’t want to be boxed as a child murderer? Find a bigger box that encompasses that AND your love for renaissance art. Embrace the box. So I refuse to deduct a star for this – I don’t want boxes to be boxed.
(Bonus star for the box if you giggled every time you saw it written and imagined a vagina.)
THE SCORE:
4/5 stars.

Jesus

Died so that I could be forgiven for vomiting all over that army base that one time.

THE STARS:

Jesus is a mighty wizard. The Bible is full of stories of him proving his magical might to crowds of stupefied onlookers, with special tricks like walking on water and turning water into wine. He may be some kind of water spirit? Anyway, he sounds cool and all, but I wonder how gobsmacked the world would have been if these guys were around. Magicians that would have totally beaten his ‘moneylenders out of the temple’ trick.
Rowr. A holy trinity I can finally get behind. Ahem.
Yeah, imagine a religion with a WHITE TIGER involved. Certainly beats the goddamn Holy Dove. Although I did hear that the Holy Dove is good friends with Super Horse.
I’m also pretty enamoured with Jesus for giving us Christmas. I like this holiday a lot, i’m currently enjoying putting copious amounts of wine and ham inside me. However, if instead of Christmas, it was actually Siegfried and Roy day, I think i’d be just as happy.
LACK OF STARS:

From all reports, Jesus was a nice guy. I’d probably be more interested in his religion if the Bible was called ‘That nice guy I met once’. However, more terrible, horrible things have been done in his name than any other poor sap. For the simple sake of the Crusades, holy wars and inequities around the world, I have to deduct millions of stars from old J.Dawg. Ironic, because wasn’t there a big old star that appeared at his birth? Whatever. When I think of stupid, close minded, bigoted people, I find that I’m usually thinking of Christians of one form or another. At the moment I can’t really think of anybody more involved with holding back social progression and evolution than fundamentalist Christians. So, thanks a lot Christians, your combined retard hat has turned Jesus into that unfashionable pariah on the theological runway.

THE STARS:

2/5 stars.

Death

Death wants YOU.

The hoary undertaker, unraveller of the mortal coil. Old frost-face. “Don’t touch me, dun dun dun dun”.

THE STARS:

Death has a terrible reputation. I heard he hired some PR people, but they died. But seriously, anyone who has lost a loved one knows that death is pretty shit. However, using my vast hypothetical resources I’ve put together  two scenarios about what would happen if death wasn’t around. These are the only options:

1. Giant skeleton dancing party.

Every day is Halloween.

 Sure, we can’t eat, drink or make love, but we eventually adapt to being a world full of skeletons, because instead of dying we just decay to a calcified state. There would have to be a segmented society between the dead skeleton portion, and the people who are yet to die. Naturally the skeletons would vastly outnumber the living. They would somehow get through an eternity of torment by dancing, until the excessive number of dead reach such a level that they are driven into the sea, to rest uneasily in ocean trenches, looking at whales and shit. Eventually the dead would kill off the living, from sheer lack of space, and humanity would stop producing any more skeletons. Great piles of bones would be heaped in enormous barrows the size of continents, and the skulls would be constantly singing ‘Eye of the tiger’.

2. Each continent is ruled by a zombie Hitler, Genghis Khan or Julius Caesar. The evil undead tyrant would institute a slave society, where most of the dead are burned into piles of greasy ash, except for the vast, unstoppable armies they use to rule the cowering living.

The Aryan ideal.

Now obviously both these options are no fun.

LACK OF STARS:

Death is not a democracy. But imagine if it was. Imagine if we could live forever, as beautiful, un-aging sparkly youth people, forever able to enjoy life and grow wise and solve problems etc etc.
 “But Patrick, that sounds like hell. There would be rampant overpopulation, and you’d have to live with jerks FOREVER.”
I know, I know. But using the wisdom of a little show called ‘Survivor’, what if we were able to vote people off the earth. That’s right, selective death. Criminals, people who use the word ‘literally’ badly, Bob Katter… all these people could be voted off from our utopian, undead society. Thus keeping the population in check, people able to have childrens, and the ability to live forever. This is clearly an awesome idea, and i’m going to deduct a bunch of point from death for not coming up with this previously. However, death, if you’re reading, you miserly bastard, those stars can easily be redeemed if you start getting your act together.

THE SCORE:

2.5/5 stars.

Margaret Pomeranz

Sassy host of ABC classic ‘At the movies’.

THE STARS:

From the guttural thrill of her cackle to her pendulous earrings, what’s not to love about Margaret Pomeranz? She’s a big influence on me in the ‘rating things out of stars’ world, despite limiting herself to films. I suppose she’s a specialist. I’ve never seen anybody so able to embody the concept of exasperation, as she champions a film that fuddy-duddy co-host David Stratton has turned his nose up on.

DAVID: I don’t know, I know that you enjoyed it, but frankly I found it a bit banal.

MARGARET: Daaaaaaviddddddd! I thought it was lovely.

DAVID: And Ben Stiller as a drunk horse? I thought that was an odd choice.

MARGARET: He was hilarious! That scene where he hunted a small boy for blood sport was hysterical, I thought.

DAVID: I thought it dragged.

MARGARET: (Cackle)

Now all this – as lovely as it is – is probably worth about three stars. But there’s an entirely awesome reason why she scoops up those extra, crucial stars.

You folks know the Laughing Cow cheese brand?

5 star cheese product

 I basically lived off it when I was in ‘Nam. And I had the most startling realisation. Just compare these two photos.

Like Clark Kent and Superman, am I right?
THE SCORE:
5/5 stars.
*****

Babies

Diabolically cute spawn of our loins that later mature into the bankers and hobos of the world.

THE STARS:

I’m going to go out on a limb and give babies a star for ensuring the survival of the human race. I’m not overly enamoured with us as a species, in a grand Star-Trek universal kinda way. I know that if we met a peace loving race that shat angels and tasted like ice-cream, we would probably beat their heads with clubs in the desperate attempt to mine crude oil from their skulls – we’re that kind of race. However as far as things go right now, I don’t want to give cockroaches the satisfaction. So go babies!
Another bunch of stars get given because of the awesome situation i’ve discovered whilst dining with my baby-bearing friends. We all know that a baby in the room is a little bit like a really cute white elephant – a real attention grabber. But at some point, they usually get bundled off to bed or to quietly roll in their own excrement in another room. Then a really, really fun game is that every time the child is mentioned, you actually pretend it’s a really drunk friend of yours. A portion of dialogue from last night:

FRIEND 1: Did you check on Sophia?
FRIEND 2: Yeah, she unwrapped herself and rolled all over the bed.
FRIEND 3: Yeah we could hear her singing to herself earlier.

Doesn’t it totally sound like that girl who, despite weighing about 40 kilos, decides to pre-game tequila shots before she goes out to dinner at a friends house? So after an inappropriate amount of messy eating, she gets put to bed in one of the upstairs rooms, and people check on her intermittently to make sure she hasn’t vomited or urinated on herself, or choked on their own tongue. Which is exactly what having a baby is about.

LACK OF STARS:

People are totally going to expect me to focus on the whole ‘holy shit, that tiny human has waste coming from ALL the holes” thing. But you know what, I don’t have a baby, so that just sucks for other people. For me, it’s that awkward moment where you meet a new person (I mean, someone I haven’t met before, because babies technically are “new” people), and you spend a few awkward minutes in conversation, before you manage to stumble upon a topic which you can both enthusiastically share, like “Yeah man, I totally love blenders, I have seven” etc etc.
With a baby, you never have that point. It’s a constant struggle, like “So… I hear you’re pretty passionate about nipples. I’m a fan, not that i’ve had the pleasure of suckling on your mother’s pair.” Yeah. Awkward every time. And they’re not big explainers, so you can’t even draw out interesting topics from them.
“So, human milk you say?”

I’m sorry, at this stage of my development
i’m little more than a mass of impulses.

That same, blank, cute-as-hell expression.

THE SCORE:

4/5 stars.

The Stairwell

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
It’s a well of stairs!
THE STARS:
One of the more evocative words in the English language, I’m giving it a whole star for such an awesome image inspiring word use. I’m giving it yet another star, because the movie ‘The Ring’ would have been a lot less creepy and a whole lot more confusing if that girl had been thrown down a stairwell. Finally, another whole two stars are awarded to the stairwell for being such a steadfast and potent enemy against my ancient enemy gravity. Curse you gravity!
LACK OF STARS:
I have to minus a single star, because every time I see the word ‘stairwell’ I imagine something called a ‘Stare-Well’ which looks something like this.
First person who blinks loses their spleen.

Which looks vaguely cute in a ‘lazy Pixar’ way. Until you think about one of those under the table that faces your bed. Until you realise it’s watching your facial expressions in the rearview mirror while you sing along excessively loud to Bowie’s ‘Lady Starlight’. Until you realise this:

(Heavy breathing)

THE SCORE:

4/5 stars
****

Gravity

An irresistible force? Not to me.

STARS:

We all know what life is like WITH gravity. Unless you are Neil Armstrong, who used to live on the moon, we are all familiar with its clammy hands constantly keeping us mired to the earth. However, despite my age old enmity with gravity, I have to award a grudging star to gravity because of how awkward dinner parties would be without it.

No one ever thanks the basic laws of existence for our fine dining experiences.

LACK OF STARS:

We are traditional creatures by nature, the human race. If it wasn’t for the aliens infiltrating our government at every level, we’d still be happily lighting mammoths on fire and calling it progress. That’s why we have to use our creative faculties to imagine exactly the potential we would have if we freed ourselves from gravity’s iron yoke.

“Hey Nick, mind if I get a lift to work?” “No problem, hop on buddy!”

That’s right. The car pooling system would become defunct. You ever need to teach some school children what the definition of the word ‘utopia’ is? Just point them at that picture. Heaven on earth. Take away the fancy head gear, and that’s almost exactly what Adam and Eve were doing in the garden of Eden.

In a gravity free society, we carry our chairs with us.

Yeah, and my final point about why gravity deserves very few stars?
WE WOULD GET TO WEAR TUXEDOES EVERY DAY.

THE SCORE:

1 star
*

Oprah

Corpulently wealthy day time television talk show host with more followers than Jesus.

STARS

1 Star: Not Hitler
If my maths is correct, and it usually isn’t, it would be impossible for Oprah to be the reincarnation of Hitler. On that note, it’s unlikely that an incredibly aged Hitler took refuge in the persona of a talk show host. Then again, it’s just so crazy it might work. But until further… or fuhrer evidence comes forth, I’m going to give Oprah one star for not being Hitler.
½ Stars: There’s something under your seat

Oprah’s patented hidden seat giveaways have imbued me with a childlike sense of wonder and optimism every time I sit down. However, I’m only going to award half a star for this, because as of yet, my under-seat explorations have revealed only gummy disappointment.
LACK OF STARS

A little tip for anybody trying to get into my good books. I’m not a fan of applause. I really hate being forced to clap, and I get teeth grindingly upset when things progress into hooting and hollering. The Oprah show seems to revolve completely around caterwauling and spectacle, which I simply cannot abide. Give me a show that greets the kind of exuberant histrionics that Oprah employs day to day with stony silence, spiced perhaps with a dignified sniff or two.

Now THAT’S a talkshow host I could get behind. “And today we consider emotions – useless fripperies or necessary evils.”