Saturday, December 20, 2008


Tonight, on Ch7 and GWN, Thunderstruck, the movie.
Above are photos taken on set.
If you are in tonight, nothing to do, watch it.
If you look closely, you will see this blogger, and some of his friends.
Not sure it's him?
Wait for the credits, therein lies proof.

Monday, December 08, 2008


The first time I saw Geoff Kelso perform I noticed something. The venue was a Melbourne comedy room called The Banana Lounge.
About a year later, I saw him in a small room in Perth. He was in a small troupe featuring a couple of tall performers, one of whom was Damien O'Doherty and another was Dave Warner.
I approached him and said: "You like Spike Milligan, don't you?"
He said: "Does it show?"
Well it did. And it still does.
It is almost over, so if you haven't seen it, do so, now.
Ying Tong, a walk with the Goons.
It's not a stack of Goon show scripts performed by wonderful comic actors, it's a play, and Geoff Kelso is Spike Milligan, in all his tortured glory.
Others alongside Geoff are the brilliant Jonathan Biggins, the excellent David James, and the finest John Hannan.
Ying Tong is sad, funny, hilarious, brilliant, emotional, uplifting, inspiring, and worth it's admission price.
It was written by a British stand-up comic and playwrite, Roy Smiles. He might have had Geoff Kelson in mind when he wrote it.
Ying Tong is a Black Swan Theatre production and is on at His Majesty's, the perfect venue.
Check it out here: Black Swan

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The time has come the walrus said

Since I have moved into the great southern corner of the vast continent called Australia, my life has changed much.
I only buy papers about three times a week. The TV has almost died completely. I have much more time on my hands.
It is time, I thought, to work a WordPress blog. And that is what I have done.
Good question.
The experts tell me it is the way to go, so I have gone.
Here it is:
Go take a look.
A lot of the crap on this blog is now crap over there, but it's also got new crap.
I like this blogspot. I will keep it.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My local IGA steps in with recycled paper tissues

Congratulations to Planet Ark and SAFE.
The other day, casual as I was, about the isles of the local IGA, I hardly believed my eyes, then quickly believed and grabbed four boxes.
SAFE have been producing recycled toilet paper and recycled paper towels for yonks and they once supplied Coles with recycled paper tissues, until that large body had a corporate responsibility cop-out and dumped them.
Because they didn't move fast enough off the shelf.
SAFE is a registered trademark of Merino Pty Ltd.
Unfortunately the tissues are only 65% recycled paper, but that's 65% more than anyone else.the Carton is 100% recycled product.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Spring is in the air. Autumn is in the heart

Dear blog,

It’s been a while.

Much has happened since my last entry.

The world has changed considerably, but not many would notice. Most go about their lives in their own personal fog, seeing just in front of them, just enough to get through the haze, so as not to bump into inanimate objects, animate objects, or fall off the edge.

That’s why the main path remains the main path.

Yes, pockets of folk find minor paths and deviate, change direction, searching for newer paths, of older, smarter paths, like the one that leads to a cleaner environment, a softer, safer, kinder, smarter living place, but the big path, the one most of us are on, the one I call the lemming-path, that one remains the same, packed, chocked, clogged with scrambling, stumbling humanity.

Just when you think it is safe to relax, to buy a new telly, to go on a short holiday to Lithuania, Georgia invades your home town in Ossetia, bombs your neighbour and you freak out, scream, wail and complain bitterly, which is right and proper.

Your screams are heard and so your Russian mates invade Georgia and bomb the hell out of anybody living in the vicinity and Georgians scream and shout and run for their lives, which is understandable in the circumstances.

On another side, in the US, the election campaign, the one that never ends, takes a new and amazing turn.

A woman, one that no-one has ever heard of, is promoted out of nowhere to become the running mate of the Republican offering, John McCain.

She shoots wild animals for fun; she runs Alaska; her husband races huskies; her kids are numerous, one of them not long born; another, an older child still in school, is pregnant.

Her photograph has never appeared in any paper outside of Alaska, ever.

She stands to speak at the Republican convention.

She uses her index finger to point, they all do, it’s a feature of American political campaigning. All candidates walk on stage and point. There are 100,000 people in the room, the candidates know all of them and point at each one in turn, as thought astounded and amazed that amongst the great throng that they, that individual, of all people, would be there supporting them, the candidate.

Suddenly the entire nation is mesmerised, Sarah Pallin, the woman, is everywhere, in all papers, on all tv channels, she is magical, wondrous, she can make American great, again, if only they would allow her to carry her gun, her moose-murdering gun, into the United Nations, then we could be safe, secure in our own homes, far from the madding crowd.

Oh, forgot, the other candidate is an African-American, the first one ever. He’s been in all the papers for years, but the gun toting woman has knocked him. As far as my memory will stretch, I think he is the only candidate I have not seen point. This might be good sign, but I really have no idea.

Someone tells me an elephant has recovered from its heroin addiction. I check the papers. It seems true.

On the under-side, where I live, the Murray Darling Basin, once Australia’s food bowl, is pronounced dead, finished, buried under the weight of over-use.

On this side of under, in West Australia, August was one of the driest months ever, right before it, July, one of the wettest months ever.

Icecaps are melting. Whales and dolphins are plundered. Flora and fauna Species are disappearing. Languages and cultures are dying. Populations and mono-cultures are exploding.

On this very day I am forced to vote, under threat of a fine, for a new government in West Australia, a state that is one third of this lucky country. Lucky because we own an entire continent and don’t have to fight anyone for land, just each other and, occasionally, the people we stole it from.

The choice in this election is gloomy. The rest of Australia couldn’t care less. We are so far away, so distant, almost foreign. We’re good for a visit, for a raid: drop in, get a big paying job with a mining company, buy a house, pay no attention to the community, work your guts out, resign, sell the house, head home, pockets full.

West Australia is an open pit.

The choices: There’s an increasingly puffy looking, intensely grey haired, almost grumpy, but nice enough bloke from the deep-south who leads a pack of dysfunctional geese; and an over-fed, edgy, almost grumpy, but nice enough bloke, from a posh suburb who leads a pack of dysfunctional geese.

As for us, the voters, we are, of course, by definition, stupid, inane, incapable of thinking for ourselves, know nothing about anything and will believe anything about anything.

We are American, Russian, Chinese, French, modern citizens of the globe, you-tubers, face-bookers, vacuums.

We are Ossetians, Georgians, Tibetans, Kurds, but we own our own homes and the only invaders are drugged out psychopaths, or power obsessed narcissists.

(I have just been for a walk. I voted. For a goose, an emerging goose, and because we have a preferential voting system, of the two dominant geese, I placed the lesser goose second last on a card of five, with the big goose last. Not much of a choice between geese.)

I am now sixty.

Personal changes are occurring.

Bones, once broken, are now beginning to tell me they remember and their time has come to make me pay.

I find myself grunting, involuntarily, in quiet exasperation.

The grunts are inevitably followed by my head, shaking, as though trying to empty itself, to set free some impediment.

There’s not long to go. My time left is nowhere near the time I’ve had.

There is no doubt in my mind, that collectively, we, humans, are insane.

There are very few among the certifiably sane who are not psychopathic, sociopathic, or narcissistic.

If you have reached this far, you are probably thinking, this bloke is an incurable pessimist, no, far from it, I am a committed optimist, but also a believer in embracing both sides, all sides and today, when I woke up, I embraced the darkness.

So what’s the point, if we are doomed, if there’s no hope?

But there is, there always is. The elephant recovered and so can we.

And, anyway, whatever happens, I wouldn’t have missed it for quids, the journey. It’s been the trip of a lifetime.

Peace, love, diversity


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When the Pell tolls, for whom does it toll? It tolls for us?

I have yet to meet Cardinal Pell. He seems like a warm, cuddly, bear of a man, the kind of man you would love to wind away a quiet evening with beside a roaring fire and, later, after coffee and port, without any fuss, you would lean over, grab his robe and drag him into the coals.

What else could you so with such an astounding man, Australia’s leading Catholic, our only Cardinal, a man with a Pope’s ear, a Prime Minister’s ear, a few million Catholic ears, but arrange for him to burn? There is too much at stake.

And what has brought about the fire in this blogger?

Well, I woke one cold morning this week to find my morning papers full of the Pell, front pages splashed and ringing with Pell. There was Pell everywhere. And the Pell paled, bloated and stank.

One headline in the West Australian, Perth's only and, thus, finest morning newspaper, screamed: Populate or Perish, warns Pell.

I read on. I should have gone back to bed.

“No Western country is producing enough babies to keep the population stable,” he said.

And he also said he was a “climate change sceptic”.

Cardinal Pell lives in a big house for big Catholic Cardinals. It is his right. He doesn’t read newspapers, listen to radio, or watch television. He has bishops do this for him and write him reports at the end of the week, the end of the month, the year, their lives, we are not sure when.

The bishops live in big houses for big Catholic bishops. They don’t read newspapers, listen to radio, or watch television. They have priests do this for them and write them reports, which they don’t read. They all need to get out more. They have not heard that the world is struggling under the weight of its human population, struggling to produce enough food to feed its hordes, to save its endangered creatures, its plants, its air, its very existence. Farmers are struggling to pay fuel costs, water costs, superphosphate costs, debt costs. Good food producing land is being sold to real estate developers everywhere from New Zealand to China, from Brazil to Durbin. Good food producing land is being given up to mining companies and forestry corporations in all Australian states.

The Church does nothing about this, because it is part of the great free-enterprise global world system, because the Church is about Rome, it is about power, and numbers, and competition with other leading global faiths. It is about winning and glory. It is not about the word of Jesus Christ, who would, I am sure, be none too pleased with the pomp, ceremony, glitter, tinsel, flag waving, the ritual, the secrecy and the stored wealth, that is the Church.

Oh, yes, there are good folk there. Even this same week I met an aging nun with a vibrant sense of humour, and reality, as she left a local coffee shop

“Did you have a coffee?” she asked.

“No,” I replied, “they don’t serve Protestants.”

She laughed. We all laughed. Then she blessed me.

Quick as a flash, she then said: “You can bless me too, but it won’t pay for the petrol.”

The coffee shop erupted. In that instant, that moment of utter realism, we all loved that nun.

Back to the men who lead her church.

And if they ever get out, the bishops should take the Pell for a walk, because Cardinal Pell has never heard of the Carteret Islands in the Western Pacific, the islands disappearing under a slow rising Pacific Ocean. He does not know the inhabitants of these islands will probably be the world’s first global warming refugees.

The Pell never listens to Bush Telegraph on ABC Radio National so he would not hear fourth and fifth generation Australian farmers, men and women who farm in the old and new ways, men and women with knowledge and wisdom. He would not know that they admit the country is in the middle of changes that are part of regular cycles but that there are other changes, deep changes, taking place and that these are about global warming.

Pell does not listen.

It is clear.

The man’s history is one of not hearing, or not reading, or misreading, or mishearing, or just missing.

And he is the spiritual leader of the dominant Christian Church in this country.


Pell Postscript

Some of the above may have been a little harsh on Cardinal Pell. He may not have actually said: "Populate or perish"
His words were reported in newspapers and we all know they are not always accurate. Your modern journo is not blessed with shorthand and often what someone seems to be saying is enough to be written as having been said. Or an editorial angle is set and all comments that approach the angle, almost hit the angle, or are on an angle three degrees from the angle, are reworked to look like just like the angle.
However, this is a blog, an excuse for a rant, and so, I take Cardinal Pell as an example, as a figurehead of his Church and then rave, because that's what bloggers do.
And this rant, sarcastic as it is, scathing as it is, has, I believe, a universal truth, which I hold to be true.
And that is that the Church is not what Jesus had in mind.
It is what Constantine The Great had in mind.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

You never know ...


In response to your query about Naturale Facial Tissues we are currently in the process of getting this line or a similar line put back into stores. Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention

Angela Stenzel
Administration Assistant
Paper Goods
Buying and Marketing
Woolworths Limited

1 Woolworths Way, Bella Vista, NSW 2153
PO Box 8000 Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153
Mail Point N4.D4



This will be a very positive move.

I have been browsing the web and there is clearly a large number of folk, like me, seeking recycled paper facial tissues.

As soon as you have them on the shelf, I will be putting an entry on my blog and in all the chat rooms I discovered where the issue is mentioned.

Thank you for keeping me informed.


Jon Doust

Friday, June 27, 2008

Aren't they nice, but will a person with clout make a difference and a stand?

Dear Mr. Jon Doust,

Thank you for contacting the Woolworths Website. Feedback such as yours plays a major role in the improvements we provide to our customers.

Please be assured that your concern has been acknowledged and referred to the respective Business Team for their attention and response to you.

Your custom and feedback is both greatly appreciated.


Bev Wright

Website Feedback Co-ordinator

Woolworths Limited

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tales of Boarding, Life and Love

Ken SpillmanKen Spillman

The Christ Church Residential Community has been abuzz with visits from two well-known authors in recent weeks.

Year 7 to 9 boarding students, who have been engrossed in Ken Spillman’s latest book Love is a UFO, took part in a workshop hosted by the award-winning author. In Love is a UFO, Dr Spillman delves into the mind of a young boy dealing with life and love in today’s online world. The story is written and presented to engage young readers and make reading a positive experience to come back to.

Dr Spillman discussed his novel and encouraged the boys to read for recreation, rather than just for school. He believes authors need to embrace the relationships between books and other media and that the key to engaging young readers is to recognise patterns of reading that are emerging in digital societies.

This week, boarders found something in common with author and comedian Jon Doust. Mr Doust, a former student and boarder at Christ Church, shared excerpts from Boy on a Wire, due to be released mid-2009. The crossover book, described as “a sort of fiction based on a kind of life Jon once knew in a private boarding school in the early 1960s”, has a resonance with boys.

Boy on a Wire is fast-paced, action-packed and full of laughs gleaned from his and others’ experiences. However, there is also a psychological side to the book, which explores bullying, father and son relationships and depression. Mr Doust’s comedy background had the students riveted as he shared stories about sleeping in dorms, communal showering and encounters with the cane.

Both authors have been regular visitors to Christ Church providing the boys with some comic relief as well as something to think about.

For more news from Jon's old school:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A reply. And so quick.

Dear Jon,

Thank you for your email. It has been forwarded to the Wesfarmers and Coles Management teams. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us. We are working hard to fix the business but it will take time. I trust however that you will start to notice a positive difference in the not too distant future.


Jane Macneall.


This email is confidential and may contain legally privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not disclose or use the information contained in it. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately by return email and delete the document.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recycled stuff - where to now?

Not sure about you, but I refuse to wipe my face, blow my nose, or wipe other dirty bits using paper that has not been used before. In other, more direct words, I insist on recycled paper for cleaning crap off bodies or objects.

But, can you get it?

Well, once upon a time, long long ago, Coles sold two recycled brands: Elite and Safe. Safe was sponsored by Planet Ark. I bought them, often four to five boxes in a shopping. They were removed from the shelves. Why? Slow movers. Coles has no corporate responsibility when it comes to recycled paper products.

I then discovered Woolworths sold Naturale, made by ABC Tissue Products. I bought them, often four to five boxes in a shop. They were removed from the shelves. Why? Slow movers. Woolworths has no corporate responsibility when it comes to recycled paper products.

Please allow me to rephrase.

Coles and Woolworths have little corporate responsibility when it comes to recycled paper products. They both still sell recycled paper toilet rolls and, if you look real hard, you can sometimes find the paper towels.

Will they continue to sell the recycled rolls? Who knows. I have emailed both corporations and received replies unrelated to my complaints. Clever.

My next step is to work on Wesfarmers. Here’s an email I sent recently.

I know you are not Coles, you are Wesfarmers, but I get no satisfaction at Coles. Time for a new tack.

Thing is, Coles seems to be reneging on corporate responsibility for sustainable practises.

In short, the chain no longer sells recycled facial tissues and they way things are looking on the shelves I think it will not be long before it moves out of recycled paper towels and recycled toilet tissues.

This is shameful.

The products were removed because they were labelled: Slow Movers.

Give me half a day and I will knock up a list of 1000 other items that remain on Coles’ shelves that move slower than recycled facial tissues ever did.

Wesfarmers, we know you have a conscience, we think you do, it’s time you changed the Coles culture.

(If I have no success here, I’m getting on to the big man, the Goyder. He’ll see what I mean, as soon as he walks into his local.)


Jon Doust

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Two Great events to put in your diary for next year!

I'm a very lucky man.
Over the last two months I have had the pleasure of MCing bits and pieces of two great music festivals: Harboursound in Albany; Festival of Voice in Denmark.
First, there was Albany's Harboursound.
The chap above is Andrew Winton, the younger brother of the other Winton and one mean slide guitar player. His mob of muscos, Five Point Turn, played a soul-filled storm and then joined forces with local hero Zave Brown to make music to live longer with.

Above is Andy Rigby of Kwela fame. Andy worked a mob of kids and old folk with tin whistles and then marched into the famous Saturday morning Farmer's Markets.
They were not alone. Mel Robertson sat elegant with her cello and worked songs that made this grown man cry and weep and long for more.
Then there were the fabulous Stiff Ginns, Nardi Simpson and Kaleena Briggs, who made us laugh, cry, laugh again, keep on laughing, a bit more crying, and then clapp wildly.

One man who attended both festivals was the irresistible Mal Webb of Mal The World Wide Webb and Totally Goudeous and almost any group of people to be found anywhere with a musical instrument or even just pursed lips.
I will write no more about this festival other than to say than Denmark knows how to do a festival. It just knows. So, get there.
Here are some pics.

Zave Brown and Sue Cunningham.

Kavisha Mazzella and daughter Kiki.

The writer of this blog, with Kiki.

The World Wide Webb with Totally Gourdeous.

Valanga Khoas, singer, writer, storyteller, from South Africa.

Two great festivals.
Makes it hard to leave town when you have such a fine time, but I did, because the big smoky place called.
On the way I stopped to pay an exhorbitant petrol price, through no fault of the owners of the service station.
Once inside to complete the transaction, I spotted a stack of foam boxes.
"What's in there?"
"You don't want to know."
"Yes I do."
"Shall we tell him?"
"I dare you."
She told me.
"Pig sperm."
She laughed. The darer laughed. I laughed. The weekend was complete.

The photos from Festival of Voice were taken by Nic Duncan, who knows how to take photos.
You can find her at
The Harboursound pics were taken by Sally Malone.