Archive | February, 2013

99 Problems but a bitch ain’t one

12 Feb

It’s a Saturday night and I was at the open air cinema for the first time at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. I was more than impressed. The screen and sound quality were amazing. The weather was balmy with a welcoming breeze and the back drop was breath-taking. The view was the winner and a close second was the performance of Hugh Jackman as Jean Vajean in Les Miserables.

Tickets were $70 (for two), champagne $9, a small cocktail $13, 2 vodkas $18 and a 2 boxes of fish & chips $32. I have become accustomed to the exorbitant prices that I have to pay in Sydney and I didn’t let it phase me.

As I was listening to the ‘Thénardiers’ singing ‘Master of the House’ ,watching them fleece everyone that walked into their Inn, I couldn’t help but glance at the city and then back to the movie. It suddenly hit me that the city of  Sydney is my Madame and Monsier Theandier. Every time we have an interaction I walk away with nothing in my pockets and wondering just how the hell that had happened.

I have learned that if you have the audacity to go anywhere in Sydney you should expect to pay for the privilege. As mentioned before, the movie was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor cinema experience. The stroll back to the car was filled with chatter about who we thought performed the best and how Sacha Barren Cohen was surprisingly good as Monsieur Thénardiers. My pocket was significantly lighter which also made the journey back to the car a little easier. But typical of this city as soon as you let your guard down you are jolted back into reality with a firm slap to face, just like a car ride with Chris Brown.

SLAP!

As I walked by one of parked cars I noticed a parking ticket on one of the windows. I knew right away that I had forgotten to get a parking ticket. A combination of being excited for the movie and absent-mindedly assuming that parking after 6pm would be ticket free, I just jumped out of the car and set off for the cinema.

My partner who is from Canada said,

 ‘We might be lucky’.

‘No chance’, I replied.

‘You never know your luck in a big city’ she said.

Even though I appreciated her optimism, I know Sydney and her vampire like ways. She will lure you in under the illusion of beauty, send out her minions to do her work and then suck the blood out of you.

Now you would think the scum bags that run Sydney City would be encouraging people to go out on a Saturday night, spend money and pump some well needed finance back into the economy. But no! As you’re shelling out for over priced food and under whelming service they are getting ready to pick your back pocket. Sydney City Council know that the open air cinema is on and you can guarantee that they specifically target the movie’s start and finish times. So they send out their vermin and go about fining all the movie goers that were remiss in paying for a parking ticket. Then the akubra wearing, neon vested Hyenas scurry away to feast on another carcass.

Now I am not that one-eyed that I won’t admit fault. There should be a penalty for not getting a ticket.  But as my partner grabbed the fine from my window she looked down in complete astonishment.

‘WHAT!  $99!

Parking fine1

If you have a look at the regulation code it is ‘SBW’. Must Karma for all the grief I have been giving Sonny Bill Williams.

I couldn’t believe it. Are you f-ing kidding me. I wasn’t in a ‘no stopping’, ‘no parking’ or on a ‘clearance way’. A speeding fine in NSW (for 10 and under) is $105 and speeding fine in Western Australia is $75. So, for what is a far less dangerous and minor offence I am paying the same, if not more for my crime. Not only is the high price offensive so is the actual figure. $99?? Am I supposed to thank god it wasn’t $100? The utter contempt! Just charge me $100 you tip rat, who do you think you are fooling?

In Vancouver the parking fine is a discounted $35 if you pay within 21 days, $70 if pay with 42 days or $105 any time after the 42 day period. At least the city of Vancouver allow for fallibility and have some respect for their inhabitants.

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This was the final straw. I have decided that even though Sydney is my birth place and I believe the most beautiful city in the world, it is just not worth it. Every time I go out I can’t relax. There seems to be a speed/red light cameras, tolls, parking costs, parking police, cover charges, over charges, hidden charges, taxes and fines. You are in a constant state of worry and you haven’t even done anything wrong. I feel like a character in a George Orwell novel.

You can’t escape the ridiculous cost of living even something as simple as going to the beach ends up hurting. Just when I thought I couldn’t get screwed over anymore, I went to Balmoral beach.

SLAP!

For two hours it costs $26 dollars to park and  that was on a Sunday! I used to love Sydney because if I wanted a cheap, fun, active day I would go to the beach and enjoy the unique blend of the urban and natural environment.

But not now.

The reason given by the Mosman council for the high parking prices was to discourage non locals from swimming at the beach. Well I live in Lane Cove and that is the closest beach for me.

But instead of enjoying the natural beauty of Sydney I will end up paying the $5 entry to The Lane Cove Aquatic Center. Here I will enjoy concrete walls and swimming around in fecal matter, urine and if I am lucky some semen. Once again my birth place has made it financially impossible to enjoy what it has to offer.

Still angry from my previous Saturday I received a call from friends that were visiting Melbourne. I wanted to show them how stunning Sydney was so we decided to go to Opera Bar. We arrive and the view is amazing, the sun in shining and I settle into a Schmiddy. I resist my urge to rant on past topics and choose to silently lament the ‘death of the Schooner’.

My round comes and I order 4 more beers.

‘That’s $38 thanks’

I pull out $40 bucks and pay. I put my hand out for the change, the waiter avoids my hand and slides it across on a plate. I look at the $2 sitting on the ‘guilt plate’. I feel like picking it up and throwing it in Sydney Harbour. Fuck you very much.

In disbelief I tell everyone it’s $9.50 for a Schmiddy. We had spent $80 on eight beers.

‘How the hell can people afford this’? I ask.

My friend Tony replies,

‘we can’t’.

Then came story after story, about how people in Sydney were living in constant credit card debt. It became apparent that if I wanted to enjoy Sydney in any capacity, even simply going to the beach, I would have to live on borrowed money. Or I could take the alternative; stay at home and live debt free.

A little broken and upset I went to get the car from the Wilson Car Park. I paid $36 for 2 hours which seemed more than fair (insert sarcastic tone) and we drove home.

It seemed like a better option to drink at home. $80 for two rounds or a case of beer for $50. Fifty dollars seems ridiculous for a case but it is all relative. But that is what you end up doing in Sydney you start to excuse the high price of some goods and services because at the end of the day, at least it’s not the highest.

But as we replaced the beautiful Sydney Harbour View for the shocking ‘peach coloured’ walls of my living room, I couldn’t help but laugh. Out of the $50 dollars it cost for the case of the beer, the government tax is $19. Over a 1/3 of the case is tax. So even in my own living room I can’t escape the band of thieves. No matter how you choose to enjoy life and create experiences in Sydney and for that matter Australia there will always be some one ready to charge you for the privilege.

But as I slid into inebriation a familiar song kept playing in my head as I thought of Sydney and my Australia.

“Master of the house, doling out the charm
Ready with a handshake and an open palm
Tells a saucy tale, makes a little stir
Customers appreciate a bon-viveur
Glad to do a friend a favor
Doesn’t cost me to be nice
But nothing gets you nothing
Everything has got a little price!”

“Master of the house, keeper of the zoo
Ready to relieve ’em of a sou or two
Watering the wine, making up the weight
Pickin’ up their knick-knacks when they can’t see straight
Everybody loves a landlord
Everybody’s bosom friend
I do whatever pleases
Jesus! Won’t I bleed ’em in the end!”

The Biggest Knob in Rugby League 2013

7 Feb

I would like to announce

 ‘ The Biggest Knob in Rugby League Competition 2013’

Due to a massive influx of complete knobs into the NRL over the past few years I have decided to create a season long competition. A ‘fantasy knob league’, if you will.

Points will be allocated for the following offenses committed by any player during the season.

1.  Wearing a flat brim baseball/NFL caps (with the official sticker still in place):
 5 points
2.  Wearing a flat brim baseball/NFL cap backwards:
  5 points
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Quade Cooper (QC) and Sonny Bill Williams (SBW)

3.  Pictured Publicly with Anthony Mundine:
20 points
quade_sonny_bill_mundine300x400_18gj2dm-18gj2dq

I see a number of offences being committed here. Pictured: Mundine, Cooper, Williams

4.  Shaving a message into one’s hair (charity reasons exempt penalty):
20 points
haircut1

A picture of a house. Pictured Carl Webb

5.  Social media offences (inappropriate twitter posts, knob posts):
25 points
Tweet

Ferguson sent this tweet after reports that he spat on people at foreshore festival in Canberra. Refer to picture below

6.  Tattoos one sleeve: (Cultural Tattoo’s Exempt)
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Blake Ferguson’s answer to the question,
‘Just how big a knob are you?’

25 points
7.  Tattoos two sleeves  (Cultural Tattoo’s Exempt)
50 points
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Way more cultured than ‘green sleeves’ . Pictured Todd Carney

8.  Tattoos (own surname):
 25 Points
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Just in case he forgets. Pictured Mitchell Pearce

9.  Tattoos (spelling mistakes):
100 points
jarrod-sammut

Justify your spelling.
Existance? Pictured Jarrod Sammut

10.  Tattoos (stupidity):
50 points
Josh Dugan

There are no words. Pictured Josh Dugan

11.  Selfies (pictures of oneself in the mirror):
50 points

Carney

Vidot

There are four knobs in these photos but you can only see two. Pictured Todd Carney and Daniel Vidot

12.   Double Selfies (double mirror photo):
100 points (amazing knob behaviour)
G-Thang

Found this photo titled ‘G-thang’. I wonder what the G stands for? Pictured Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan

13.   Threatening to swap codes during the season (AFL, RUGBY)
100 points
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Israel trying figure out how to spell, ‘AFL’. Pictured Israel Folau

14.   Speaking about one’s self in the third person during interviews:
100 points
images (2)

Jarred Hayne says:
Jarred Hayne is looking sharp

15.  Players Pictured with QC and SBW (aka the knob trifecta):
150 points
After being asked who the biggest dickhead is.They both seemed to have got it right

The reaction after being asked who the biggest dickhead is. It seems they are both right. Pictures Quade Cooper and Sonny Bill Williams

16.  Club Fines of any kind (eg. Late for training, curfew breeches, drinking breaches):
100 points
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Are those beers from Jason Taylor? If you drink them you may get ‘pissed’ but you wont get drunk. Pictured Michael Jennings

17.  Public Urination:
50 points
download

Well Terenece we ‘saw you, saw you’. The boys literally pissing their career’s up the wall. Pictured  Terence Seu Seu and Anthony Watmough

18.  Public defecation (inside premises):
250 points
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I think Nate was hard done by. Who hasn’t hung a shit in the corridor of a hotel? He who hasn’t, let him cast the first nugget. Pictured Nate Myles

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Clearly a rookie error. Pictured Sam Bunton and Anthony Gelling

19.  Public defecation (external to premises):
300 points
download (1)

Smooooth Defecator Smoooooooth Defecator.
The Original Knob

20.  Public Violence (police charge):
150 points
Jorge Tafua

I just spat to clear my throat and it landed on a police officer. Just bad luck. Pictured Jorge Taufua

21.  Accused Spousal Abuse (pregnant):
400 point
Lui

I hit two birds with one stone. Pictured Robert Lui

22.  Accused of Spousal Abuse (no pregnancy)
350 points
greginglis-420x0

I just thought she was in danger of going over the dead ball line so I slapped her back into the field of play. Pictured Greg Inglis

23.  Charged with Drink Driving:
150 points
wes naqiama

The reason I was drink driving for the fourth time was because I was on my way to Robert Lui’s place to show him how to properly use the phone book. Paulini eventually got it. Wes Naiqama

24.  Testing positive to recreational drugs:
300 points
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Ummmmmm I am ecstatic to be back. Pictured Reni Maitua

25.  Testing Positive to Performance Enhancing drugs:
500 Points
renimatua_wideweb__470x310,0

I tried to prove I wasn’t using performance enhancing drugs by showing tapes of my performances during the season.

26.  Court Appearances :
400 Points
images (1)

It was going well until I was fingered in court.
‘it was him your honour’.
The whole thing stinks . Pictured  John Hopaote

27.  Miscellaneous (previously uncategorized knob style offence):
200 points
ouchpix

This was tough to swallow. But at least Joel was responsible for the introduction of bestiality laws  to Canberra (true story). That was more political influence than Mal Meninga ever had. Pictured Joel Monaghan

The player that accumulates the most points by the end of the regular season with be appointed ‘The Biggest Knob in Rugby League’.

* A player must complete  the season to be eligible to receive the award. If a player is suspended indefinitely or fired from the club they are disqualified from the competition.

Please post on The Rant Nation Facebook page or this blog, the player you think that will take out this years title.

Based off previous offences we have some short priced favourites. I have provided a short list of the NRL’s mostly likely winners to help you make your decision.

The Contenders for the 2013 Award

Sonny Bill Williams

Josh Dugan

Blake Ferguson

Reni Matua (outsider chance)

Willy Mason (outside chance)

Mitchell Pearce

Jarred Hayne

Chris Sandow

Todd Carney

Greg Inglis

Isaac Luke

Anthony Watmough

Nate Myles

Jake Friend

Wes Naqaima

Bronx Goodwin

Daniel Vidot

Greg Bird

Robert Lui

Muhammad Mundine and the Ali Complex

1 Feb

mundine ali 2

The rubbish that flows freely from Anthony Mundine’s mouth will ensure he goes down as one the most disliked figures in Australia’s sporting history. He claims that, people just wanna hate’. Well that’s right ‘choc’, people generally will hate if you offend them and carry on like a dickhead. But for all his ramblings what really annoys me about Anthony Mundine is that he has attempted to copy the life and often the script of Mohammed Ali. Whenever Mundine is in the media he attempts to deliver an ‘Ali script’ in which he manages to bumble and fumble his words, making absolutely no sense and then finishes his awful monologue with an ‘ I am the best baby’. It is so bad to watch you almost want to scream ‘cut’, call Will Smith in and get him to deliver the lines.

I would never begrudge anyone for using Muhammad Ali as their role model but there is a difference between admiring a man’s qualities or just completely trying to rip him off. I think as soon as Mundine switched to boxing he must have watched every Ali documentary (especially ‘Thrilla in Manila’) and decided this is the man I want to play for the rest of my life. The only problem is that Ali grew up in a completely different era. Ali stood for what he believed in regardless of public opinion. He famously threw his Olympic medal in the Ohio river after he and friend were refused service at a white only establishment. He was also conscientious objector and refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. In such a turbulent era it would have taken an amazing amount of fortitude to remain true to your beliefs and stand by your convictions. Ali was stripped of his World titles, his boxing license suspended and sentenced to  three years jail for evasion.Over the years Ali’s legend has grown and the significance of his actions have inspired many generations. This combined with his boxing prowess has seen him referred to as the greatest sporting figure to have ever lived.

For all of Ali’s greatness he was not perfect. Because of his out spoken nature he occasionally made errors of judgement and said regrettable things. To Ali’s credit he redefined or retracted a lot of these statements and learned from them. Although there were some people that  never forgave Ali, namely Joe Frasier. When I heard Mundine refer to Daniel Geale and other sporting legends as Uncle Tom’s I couldn’t help but think of the documentary ‘Thrilla in Manila’. Ali would repeatedly call Joe Frasier an Uncle Tom and question the loyalty to his race because of his business dealing with white people.

* (The phrase “Uncle Tom” has also become an epithet for a person who is slavish and excessively subservient to perceived authority figures, particularly a black person who behaves in a subservient manner to white people; or any person perceived to be a participant in the oppression of their own group)

Ali publicly ridiculed another Black man to elevate his own status and in turn made a lifelong enemy of Frasier. Ali tried many times to apologise but the damage was done and Frasier would never accept any of his advances. For a black man to call another black man an Uncle Tom is deeply offensive. I would bet my life that Anthony Mundine adopted the phrase from this movie.

 

Footage: Mundine calls Geale an Uncle Tom

Anthony mustn’t have received the memo that this is not 1960’s America.

His aggressive style and racist remarks only set out to separate and distance people. His statements to Daniel Geale seem to insinuate that unless you are first generation Aboriginal then you aren’t aboriginal.

This was Anthony Mundine’s response  after Daniel Geale stated that his indigenous ties originated in Tasmania.

“I thought they wiped all the Aborigines from Tasmania out,”

He questions anybody’s Aboriginality if they aren’t as dark as him or if they don’t do as much work as he does in the community. He also questioned Geale’s Aboriginality because of the colour of his wife’s skin.

“He’s got a white woman, he’s got white kids. I keep it real, all day every day.”

This is the problem, Anthony decides whether you are aboriginal or not and determines what side of his fence that you sit on.

The issue is that Anthony Mundine is not blessed with being as articulate as Ali. Ali could make a controversial statement and in the next sentence make the target of his tirade giggle while continuing his social commentary. Mundine comes across as a babbling fool and more recently his ignorance has come to the fore. Blaming the ‘system’ for his failure to represent Australia in Rugby League. Blaming the white administrators and labeling the Aboriginal administrators as ‘Uncle Toms’. He dismisses anybody and their Aboriginal heritage if it at all threatens him or his recounting of historical events. He claims he wasn’t selected to play for Australia because he was Aboriginal, but what about Dale Shearer, Laurie Daley, Steve Renouf, Chicka Ferguson, and Gordon Tallis. These are just a couple of indigenous players that represented Australia around the time that Mundine played. According to Mundine they are either not Aboriginal enough or they are Uncle Tom’s. Basically in one statement he managed to offend people of his culture and the greater community to justify his failures.

Mundine only cares about himself.

If he cared about the plight of his people he wouldn’t set about offending them. He also wouldn’t set about trying to belittle his own people and question their Aboriginality just to sell a few more tickets

Who is the ‘Uncle Tom’ now?

The fact is the life expectancy of an indigenous male is 11.5 years lower than a non-indigenous male and for a female aboriginal is 9.5 years lower than a non-aboriginal female. Third world living conditions, substance abuse and health issues  plague the aboriginal people and should be voiced. But Anthony, I hear more about you or who you don’t consider to be aboriginal than I do about your people’s plight.

Mundine’s tactics are archaic and are from a by-gone era. These days people will listen if you come forward with educated measured statements and, more importantly,come with solutions. Of recent times he has made statements that the flag and the national anthem reflect a time of British oppression. Both of which I agree with. I don’t relate to the Union Jack and the imperialistic origins of the National Anthem and I am WHITE. My ancestors are Irish and I don’t identify with the union jack. I have as much reason to despise it as the as the aboriginal people. As a matter of fact there a lot of migrants that have come to Australia that don’t identify with the union jack. This is modern day Australia where most of us have come from somewhere else. The aggressive racially based attacks are extremely unproductive and offensive to everyone. This is everyone’s Australia.

He claims that he wants everyone to come together and be peaceful. Then why does he keep trying to identify everyone who isn’t Aboriginal as the enemy? In my family, our partners are from the Philippines, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Vietnam. If I was Aboriginal, Mundine would question our Aboriginality and our childrens’ because of the company we keep. But the fact of the matter is that this is modern day Australia. Mixed race couples are everywhere. So when Mundine addresses the ‘white’ man, who is he exactly referring to? The Greek and Italian immigrant of the 50-60’s, the Chinese immigrants of the last 30 years or is it just the people of this First Fleet?

The problem is Anthony wants to be the greatest. This is the most important thing in Mundine’s life. This is why he has become blinded with the ‘Ali Syndrome’. He has tried to desperately adopt Ali’s ethos and apply it in today’s world. He stood in front of Australia and displayed ignorance that is no longer tolerated in our society from any race of people.

In the recent fight against Daniel Geale, Mundine showed the world the kind of person he is. A self-centered man who cares more about his reputation than the greater good. Mundine was beaten fairly and could have gone out gracefully but like a spoiled child he left the ring and claimed he was robbed. Once again it was the system’s fault. Is this is the kind of example he wants to set for young aboriginal children? Is this how he wants to lead his people? Post fight he could have redeemed himself for all his past wrongs and stood proudly alongside Daniel Geale and celebrated their Aboriginal heritage in a unified gesture. But this wasn’t to be.

Instead he left the ring an ignorant loser and unfortunately this is how he will be remembered. People say that he behaves the way he does to get bums on seats or to make more money. This may well true be, but at what cost?  Anthony Mundine squandered the biggest opportunity he has ever been given. He got into a fight with 20 million people instead of turning them into believers. All in an attempt to be ‘The Greatest’.

Mundine proved there will only ever be one Ali and in proving that, he ultimately lost the battle with himself.

I will leave you with a few clips  that I found interesting. Where have we heard this before?