Category Archives: correspondences

A regicidal thank you story.

As one of the crowdfunding rewards for We Are All Ghosts, I promised contributors a personalised poem. I got fairly liberal with the term ‘poem’ after I’d written a dozen or so and just started writing obituaries, dictionary entries and this regicidal thank you story.

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It began, as these things often do, with the entrails of a goat. Betwixt that wet and slimy mass of formerly functioning organs her birth was foretold by Jill the soothsayer. Granted, the soothsayer in question had been less than reliable in the past, and what kind of name was ‘Jill’ for a soothsayer anyway? Surely Mercuria or Evangeline or Morgana would have been far more appropriate? On one occasion Jill had sworn that a particularly vital Saturday afternoon would be blue as the ocean, and the king had arranged his birthday festivities accordingly. When the heavens opened up on the vast crowd and left them scurrying for their homes covered in mud and water, he had called for Jill’s head. Fortunately the soothsayer’s guild had presciently (apropos of their trade) started a rumour that a regal order for the beheading of a fortuneteller would bring seven years of terrible famine and vastly underwhelming sex upon the monarch in question.

So she had foretold the birth of the child, many hundreds of years hence, who would be unlike any other. Who would talk to machines with as yet unknown lexicons, who would walk proudly covered in a cosmic quilt of cartoons and colour dancing upon her flesh, and regard the world with two raised fingers and an almighty roar in the key of ‘fuck you!’ And the king did not live to see her birth, for he died some years later when he slipped on the palace stairs, and cracked his head against the cobblestone floor. This may have been just as well, as his brother had been planning to poison him using the root of the deathshade tree, which induces violent diarrhoea and yellowy discharge from the eyes and is considered by most apothecaries to be the second worst possible way to die.*

So the poor king never did set eyes upon the wondrous child, but I did. And my life is much better for it.

* the first is usually listed as ‘being fucked to death by a werewolf’, in case you were wondering.

Casino Battle Royale

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Dear Brendan,

Thank you for noticing that my website is a thing that exists, something that most of the universe has sadly not yet achieved. I’m very flattered by your offer, $85 is more than the average short story anthology will pay for a piece and considering I would have to do almost nothing to get that cold hard cash I’m sure most normal people would enthusiastically accept your offer. Unfortunately for you, I’m not even remotely normal and I would much rather live decently than make a decent living.

I have gambled in a casino exactly once in my life, when I first turned 18. I have never regretted spending $5 on anything so much. Not even the time I bought and ate an entire family sized block of chocolate whilst watching Buffy reruns, because at least that afforded me a momentary burst of sugary pleasure, even if it was followed by the need to vomit. Conversely, watching the dealer scoop up my $5 chip as carelessly as if it was a piece of lint provided me nothing but confusion, sorrow and an enduring hatred of casinos. And also the need to vomit.

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I find it genuinely horrifying that an organisation that exists solely for the purpose of slowly crippling a society by preying on the uneducated and impulsive is considered a legitimate business. Recent data shows that Australians spend more per capita than ANY other country on gambling. In 2009 Australia’s total annual gambling revenue was over $19 billion. That’s BILLION. With a B. That kind of money can build a lot of schools and hospitals, instead it went into the pockets of the already rich. More specifically, the pockets of people who have become rich by exploiting and aggravating addiction rather than choosing to invent, innovate, create or cure.

I’ve taught children of problem gamblers. I’ve seen those kids show up to school with not nearly enough food, wearing threadbare jumpers and shoes with gaping holes. You can argue individualism until the bovines return to their domiciles but anyone who can look into the eyes of a kid who who hasn’t eaten a meal in days because their dad spent all their grocery money at the roulette table and then say ‘yes, this system works’ is most likely a sociopath, an idiot or a casino owner.

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                                   Writers make HOW much?

If I wanted to make money I would have chosen a career that pays a hell of a lot better than writing, like shoe-shining or being one of those street performers who dress up like statues. On the plus side, I get to spend a lot of time in my pyjamas, wake up when I want and write unnecessarily elaborate responses to spammers. So no, I will not link to your client’s casino. I will instead link to gambling help online and this very useful guide to gambling facts in Australia. And for my readers who do have some spare money to throw around, may I politely suggest that you send your discretionary income where it will be truly appreciated? Any of these are a guaranteed safe bet:

red cross                     amensty2                       Print

 

 

 

Campbell: The Shocking True Story of a ‘Man’ Who Hated The Arts So Much You’d Think An Artist Stabbed His Puppy As Part of an Abstract Performance Piece

Dear Campbell,

Having just read the news that the Queensland Theatre Company censored a joke at your expense due to concerns that it might affect their funding, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve been inspired to write a play about your life. The current working title is Campbell: The Shocking True Story of a ‘Man’ Who Hated The Arts So Much You’d Think An Artist Stabbed His Puppy As Part of an Abstract Performance Piece.

starya day

Sources say the joke was in the form of a limerick that began ‘There was a Premier who would grunt …’

QTC’s decision is a harsh reminder of the culture of fear and anti-art sentiment that your government has fostered. After all, not every arts body can have a key member married to one of your senior advisors thus securing themselves $3.3 million in funding now can they? And you certainly fired one hell of an opening salvo when your first act as Premier was to cut the Literary Awards during the National Year of Reading FOR WHICH YOU WERE AN AMBASSADOR. This was basically like PETA signing up a new spokesperson who then decides to turn up to a press conference wearing a coat made out of Snow Leopard skin whilst munching on a burger made from the flesh of the last black rhino.

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On a related note, your government appears to be aggressively anti-youth crime, as though you perceive Queensland to have a lawlessness problem roughly on par with New York in the early 90s. Your recent suggested changes to youth sentencing policy were in fact so abhorrent that they attracted a petition from Amnesty International. Try dropping our crime stats on someone from the southside of LA sometime and see how that goes down, I’d wager you’d get a fairly enlightening new perspective on things via a couple of knuckle sandwiches. If you read any literature on the subject, ever, you would know that the most effective ways to lower youth crime rates are to fund education and youth arts/recreation programs.

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The fact that your government recently placed the Phillips Group PR company on retainer for tens of thousands of dollars per month implies that you are finally getting the message that many of your government’s policies have been unpopular and that you need to find ways to gain favour with the public. HOT TIP: Taxpayers don’t usually love having their taxpayer dollars spent on overpriced spin doctors telling them that their tax dollars are being spent correctly. Especially when you are firing and cutting like some kind of pyromaniac slasher from a B-grade horror movie ostensibly in the name of reducing debt. Furthermore, if it has finally dawned on you that this is in fact a democracy and not a dictatorship, it might be wise not to anger people with highly developed communication skills and devoted audiences. Like artists, for example. Like the old saying says; Never kick a hornet’s nest while wearing a kilt.*

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I should let you know that the villain in my last novel, Zeb and the Great Ruckus, was loosely inspired by you. In that story the evil Czar outlaws art and exiles artists, thus forcing an artistic insurrection. I’d really hate for that story to become any more prescient than it is already. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to writing Campbell: The Shocking True Story of a ‘Man’ Who Hated The Arts So Much You’d Think An Artist Stabbed His Puppy As Part of an Abstract Performance Piece. I’ll send you an invite to the Premiere, Premier.

 

*I may have just made that up, but it is rather good advice.

 

 

 

 

 

XMAS BOOKS.

The good thing about buying books as Xmas gifts is that you can write in the front of them and it saves you buying a card. This means that not only do you save on money and paper wastage, but many years from now when you and the person you gave the book to are both very, extremely dead some first year literature student will stumble on the copy of the book you gifted amongst the labyrinthine shelves of a charming secondhand bookstore run by an old man with weird glasses and a funny sneeze.

The student will read the little message you wrote to your loved one and say ‘How cute!’ and think about how both the giver and recipient are both dead and how they lived in a time when Australia didn’t even have a science minister and they treated refugees like war criminals and then they will jump on their hoverboard, blast some technoblues through their soundsphere and disappear into the sunset with a smile on their face.

 

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VLAD = Very Lucky Australian Dictator

My dearest Newman

it’s your old pal JD here. As you know, I do my utmost to be a law-abiding citizen, no matter how ineffective, draconian or heavily criticised by experts the laws in question may be. After all, we all know that pesky experts just get in the way of progress, right? What with their opinions formed from actual experience and/or academic qualification, rather than the far more validating source of pure, irrational, gut-feeling. You’re a man who thinks with his gut, Mr Newman,  you don’t have time for consultation or due process, and I think that’s something that we all admire. Sure, the odd West End hippie might get questioned for drawing in chalk and police might start receiving death threats, but we all know that doing the (very far) right thing isn’t always easy. In fact, what’s confusing about doing the right thing is that it so often looks like exactly the wrong thing. On every conceivable level.

i heart bikies

Now, as much as I am doing my best to abide by these shiny new VLAD laws, much like Jarrod Bleijie I have only limited experience with the law and I am somewhat confused about the details. I’m hoping you can clarify a few things for me, thanks in advance for your assistance.

zen

1 Next week my book club is meeting to discuss Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance. We often travel on bicycle, sometimes in groups of three or more. Should I call my lawyer and give him a heads up in case we get arrested?

sons of anarchy

2 Every third Wednesday I get together with my friends at the Sons of Anarchy fan club. We usually wear our official t-shirts but recently police have been questioning fans for showing off their affection for SAMCRO. Is it okay if we continue to wear the merchandise of fictitious American TV shows? Because I’d really hate to give up my official Mad Men smoking jacket just because police thought it was the name of a irate terrorist group with a gender biased recruitment policy.

scorpionnnn     scorpion  scorpion_cosplay_by_killingraptor-d4yxgmz

“Damn it Jeremy,  that’s the wrong Scorpion! You do this every time!”

3 I’m going to a costume party this weekend and a couple of us of thought it would be fun to go dressed as popular video game character Scorpion. Unfortunately, this means we would collectively be referred to as The Scorpions. While it’s true that experts say that the Scorpions don’t actually exist in Australia, you have wisely added them to your list of banned organisations and I just want to make sure that I don’t ruffle any legal feathers. I’ve also revoked my membership to other non-existent organisations like SHIELD, Weiland-Yutani, Lexcorp, Cyberdyne and the Australian Quidditch League.

4 I play in a band called the Bandidos, we mostly perform Latin flavoured covers of Miley Cyrus songs (you haven’t heard ‘Wrecking Ball’ until you’ve heard it played on the Charango, believe me!) and we all have matching jackets with our band name on the back. Will we be alright to go ahead with our performance at the West End retirement village next week? I really don’t want to disappoint Mabel. She’s 94 years old and this might be the last concert she see before she dies. I mean, she doesn’t hear so well these days, but damn can the old girl twerk!

fuck u newman

It’s true that hundreds of people have flooded your facebook page with angry complaints over the last few days, but they don’t have the same thorough understanding of the legal system as you.  Sadly, there have been some downsides to the new laws, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs right? And sometimes those eggs include mistakenly harassing a funeral cortege on their way to mourn the death of a 70 year old cancer patient. Thanks for reminding us that the separation of powers is ‘more of an American thing,’ just like the right to freedom from persecution is ‘more of a Canadian thing’, the right to a well-financed education system is ‘more of a Scandinavian thing’ and the right to a state ruled by a democratically elected leader who creates laws that actually work is ‘more of a Queensland circa 2011’ kinda deal.

Swarm Regards,

JM Donellan

PS

Look ma! I’ve gone viral!

Remember when Australia had a Minister for Science? Ah, good times, good times. Well, back in those dizzy halcyon days in the distant past (about a month ago) I wrote an angry little letter to Teresa Gambaro. It was just before the election and I was feeling angry and confused about the state of politics in general, but particularly in regards to Gambaro, owing to the fact that she was my local member, an unabashed racist and a chronic snail mail spammer. I emailed it, tweeted it and posted it right here on my little corner of the interwebs. And then this happened:

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Over the next few days my little rant was shared, retweeted and ‘liked’ more than 10 000 times. I’d had a few posts get shared around before, like this complaint letter I wrote to QANTAS and this dating profile,  but never on this scale. Most amusingly, hundreds of people (including one of my literary heroes and chronic heartbreaker Marieke Hardy) retweeted my post directly at Gambaro. I had friends tell me they heard colleagues discussing it at work, overheard people talking about it in bars and, hilariously, it was printed and read out at the start of a local ALP volunteers meeting. The comments section quickly exploded into a rather chaotic clusterfuck of compliments and death threats, which I responded to here (scroll down to the bottom).

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Having thousands of people tell you that you are witty and insightful over the course of a couple of days does very strange things to the ego. Imagine if one day 2 000 strangers came up to you in the street and said “Can I just tell you that you are really attractive?” It would be flattering to the point of being unnerving.

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Vitriolic insults, unsurprisingly, have a profoundly converse affect. Imagine that in addition to those 2 000 compliments per day, you had around a dozen people approach you in the street, spit in your face and snarl “You make me sick and I hope you get hit by a bus and then the bus backs up over you just to be sure and then everyone on the bus gets out and shits all over your ugly, stupid carcass and then after you’re dead someone names a profoundly awful flesh eating disease after you and the disease in question immediately causes everyone you’ve ever loved to vomit blood until they die and they are all buried in a shallow grave that rabid dogs will gather round to ritually piss on!” Sure, you’ve just heard 2 000 compliments and you’re pretty buzzed about that, but damn, those dozen strangers REALLY HATE YOU.

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“Uh-oh, looks like someone’s got a case of the Donellans!”

It was something of an emotional rollercoaster, to say the very least. And while it was a rush to have something I’d made become so popular, I certainly don’t think that popularity alone is inherent proof of value or quality. Some of my favourite writers and poets have never cracked the best-seller list, meanwhile Billy Ray Cyrus sold millions of copies of Achy-Breaky Heart (and don’t even get me started on his daughter).

The strangest thing about the whole experience of living the Gen Y dream of going viral was reflecting on the fact that a 400 word rant that took me half an hour to write, edit and post has now been read by far more people than either of my novels. Those two books collectively represent five years of sweat, sleeplessness, agonising over commas and cuts, grinding my teeth over characters and subplots, stressing over cover designs and marketing approaches, dozens of meetings with publishers and editors and one vaguely related trip to the hospital.

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I’ve been working on my latest book, Killing Adonis, for 4 goddamn years now. That’s longer than I’ve ever kept a job or stayed in a relationship and longer than it took me to took get either of my degrees. I’ve written parts of it in Brisbane and Lisbon and Pnom Penh and Bogotá and Buenos Aires and New York. I’ve rewritten the ending five times. I’ve changed the title. I’ve added and removed characters and subplots. And at the end of all that, I have a roughly 85 000 word novel that will probably be read by about half as many people as my cantankerous little letter. Of course, the difference is that viral posts tend to buzz around the web like digital bees on blue meth for a couple of days and then die out, whereas books are absorbed more slowly, and are cherished and shared over a protracted period of time. So now I just have to hope and pray at least a few thousand people enjoy this collection of words that I have poured my heart, soul, brain, liver and appendix into, or at least hate it for all the right reasons.

Don’t ever contact me again for any reason including the apocalypse.

 

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Dear Teresa,

After receiving personally addressed but entirely unsolicited mail from your office for the third time, I decided I would send you a polite request to never again send me any kind of communication at all, ever. This includes, but is not limited to, letters, phone calls, text messages, morse code, Da Vinci code, TV advertisements, billboards, semaphore, smoke signals, interpretative dance, gorilla grams, messages in bottles, tiny holograms delivered via droids, messenger pigeons and rickrolls.

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Even if some bizarrely selective cataclysm destroys all human life on earth except for me and you, I still don’t want to hear from you. I’ll be quite busy enjoying my post-apocalyptic life by growing a prodigious beard and staging a production of Streetcar Named Desire with a cast of rats and possums, thank you very much. And no, you are not invited to the premiere.

You want me to vote for your party. I get it. But unfortunately, this is impossible due to the fact that I have:

a) a conscience

b) a brain and

c) access to trustworthy news services that are not owned by Rupert Overfiend Murdoch

The only kind of boats we like around here are the ones that catch our food!

STOP THE BOATS! Except for the ones trawling the ocean. We like those ones.

Also, just a quiet word of advice from a fellow epistolarian, starting your letters with ‘the last few years have not been easy, particularly for local people’ in fucking Paddington is a bit rich. Round this neck of the woods you can’t spit without inadvertently hitting an antique shop, designer clothing store or obscenely tacky and overpriced seafood restaurant.

If you’re going to make comments like “immigrants should learn to wear deodorant, queue correctly and speak English in order to deal with racism“, then you’ve got about as much chance of getting my vote as I have of winning a gold medal for dressage whilst simultaneously reading War and Peace in the original Russian, preparing crème brûlée and reformatting my hard drive.*

In conclusion:

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP SENDING ME MAIL NOTHING ON EARTH WILL EVER CONVINCE ME TO VOTE FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM OF VERMICULAR, SOULLESS CRETINS.

Swarm Regards,

JM Donellan

* Have you ever tried reformatting a hard drive? It’s really hard.

Internet dating

 

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Hello there potential lover. I hope that you are having a nice day.

Recently I broke up with the most amazing girl in the world, thus obliterating my last remaining vestiges of belief in the existence of real and eternal love. As a result, I am now resigning myself to what my generation refers to as ‘settling’ and what previous generations have referred to as ‘You will marry that man or get thee to a nunnery!’

 

My ideal relationship at this point would be with pretty much anyone who will listen to my long-winded explanations of why Freaks and Geeks is a chronically underrated show and also allow me to touch their boobs on a semi-regular basis. However, I am also open to considering acting as a beard for an attractive lesbian, or the arm candy of a very rich psychopath who is incapable of emotion and affection but requires a partner to attend fancy galas with.

fiona-apple

Preferably I would like to date someone who is extremely similar to Fiona Apple or, alternatively, is actually Fiona Apple. This could also include anyone who is some sort of semi-professional Fiona Apple look alike or anyone who is willing to wear a wig and lipsync to her seminal album ‘Tidal’ in full.

Here is a video of Zack Galifinakis lip syncing to one of her songs if you want to start practising. (Note: I would prefer if you did not physically resemble Zack Galifinakis).

Here are some reasons why you should date me:

1 I know how to use grammar correctly. This alone separates me from about 97.5% of the other guys on the internet. (I’m not kidding. Go take a look around if you don’t believe me).

2 I travel a lot, which means that if you grow tired of me you will have access to lengthy periods of respite and will be able to easily conduct the kind of steamy affairs that happen in Harlequin romance novels. I am a writer by trade, but I have never written a romance novel, despite the fact that when my accountant viewed my last tax return he seriously recommended it.

sexy cowboy

 

I’m confused, is he wearing a hat because he is concerned about sun protection? Because if so why is he not wearing a shirt and applying oil to his rippling torso? Surely a guy that dumb can’t actually be a member of Texas special ops. This whole premise seems implausible! 

 

 

3 I am very honest.

4 I am a terrible cook. I realise that this is not a particularly admirable feature but it is listed here for the purposes of demonstrating the above desirable quality. Although I did once have a friend ‘ghost-cook’ a meal for a date that I had over and then pretended that I cooked it myself so that pretty much invalidates the aforementioned.

5 I can speak Spanish. I mean, not enough to comfortably engage in a debate on the virtues of Kierkegaardian philosophy in a post-modern capitalist paradigm. But I can order beers and explain to Ecuadorian drug lords why they really shouldn’t kill me because seriously Carlos I honestly didn’t know that the girl I was dancing with was your fiancé and plus it’s a masquerade so honestly I feel like that gets me a pass for sure, right?

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If there are any skills or attributes that you desire in a partner that are not listed here I will consider acquiring them so long as the appropriate ‘Complete Idiot’s Guide’ is available and the skill or attribute in question can be mastered within a few weeks of low level practice, allowing plenty of time for napping and video games.

If you like the sounds of any or all of the above then congratulations! You are the proud owner of 1 x date with JM Donellan at a time and location of your choosing. As long as the location is the weird Chinese restaurant out the back of the Laundromat on Adelaide St and the time is Tuesday afternoons between 5 and 6 on when the manager isn’t there so my friend Zhang can sneak us free food which may or may not have someone’s hair in it.

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This is not a photo of me, it is a photo of famous actor and popular internet meme Ryan Gosling. He apparently has magical powers over women and I am hoping that by showing his picture on my profile I will create what advertisers refer to as ‘positive brand association.’

 

 

 

 

 

Dearest Ministers of Education: please buy 2 million copies of Zeb and the Great Ruckus.

Dear Mr Langbroek (State Minister for Education) and Mrs Collins (Federal Minister for School Education),
I’m sure that your political parties are very busy dismantling essential health services and implementing draconian internet security protocols respectively. I would, however like to borrow a few moments of your valuable time to talk about an important issue, which is the dire lack of fictional texts featuring clockwork birds, obscure musical references, weaponised toffee and bewilderbeasts in the national school curriculum. Currently the new QLD curriculum has Rowan of Rin by Emily Rodda as one of the required year 4 texts. Now, I’m sure Emily is a lovely person, and some of my students do genuinely enjoy her work. However, many of them, when faced with the task of reading her work, make a face like this:
Here is an actual quote from an actual student at an actual school:
“It’s boring. And when it’s boring I can’t concentrate and then I can’t do my work. Reading it makes me feel like my brain is made of grey jelly and the grey jelly is tired and grumpy. Also Jill said I smell like a sweaty bear. Can I throw my scissors at her?” Actual students may, to you, resemble strange mythical beasts, given that in your role as two of the most influential people of education in the country you are not at any time required to talk to actual students so much as read reports and analyses written by people who have met them in an academic capacity, which one can only assume is far more efficient.
“Roar! I’m a dragon! Roar! I make no more than a cameo appearance in this book! Roar!”
I’ll admit that Rodda got it right with the bit about dragons. Kids love dragons. I mean, hell, who DOESN’T love dragons? There aren’t nearly enough animals, mythical or otherwise, that can projectile vomit fire. But despite the fact that there is a dragon on the front cover we don’t get to meet the damn thing until the last 20 pages, and even then it only sticks around for a couple of dozen paragraphs before never being seen again. That’s false advertising if you ask me. If you applied the same approach to film advertising then the poster for The Dark Knight Rises would have looked like this:
Now, I understand that politics can be a messy game with few obvious solutions. Sometimes you have difficult decisions to make, like when you have to figure out how to justify extreme cost cutting measures like killing literary awards during the National Year of Reading and essential housing programs for underprivileged members of society whilst still getting away with giving yourselves a pay rise and a multi-million dollar office upgrade.
Luckily, I have an easy solution for you. Simply give the ol Rowan of Rin a rest for a little while and try out this really great new book that I wrote read recently called Zeb and the Great Ruckus. It’s got everything a kid could ever want! Explosions! Guitars! Bewilderbeasts! Action! Magic!  An allegorical warning about the dangers of an overly authoritarian government  valuable life lessons!
As you can see in the chart below, Zeb and the Great Ruckus outscores Rowan of Rin in all five essential learning categories. It also beats War and Peace and Macbeth by a phenomenal margin. Based on these criteria, Zeb’s literary prowess and educational potential is empirically clear. Plus, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and we all know that your parties could certainly stand to improve their efforts in regards to Indigenous education now don’t we? On an unrelated note, I’d never realised what a clearly terrible novel War and Peace is until reading this chart just now. Sheesh.
 
Data analysis courtesy of the Ministry of Truth
I urge you to make Zeb and the Great Ruckus one of the required texts for the national curriculum. I suggest that you put in an order for say, I don’t know, 2 million copies sometime with the next fiscal quarter, and I look forward to seeing a generation of children making this face:
PS: The official Zeb and the Great Ruckus launch party is on the 21st of September at Black Cat books. It will be loud, messy and amazing. Facebook event here, everyone in the world is invited. 

If loving you is wrong, I’d like to be partially incorrect.

This week, I'm going to give you some advice on romance. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's either A) How did I end up at this page when I was looking for videos of cats playing keyboards??? or B) Why on earth would J. M. Donellan be qualified to give relationship advice? He seems to just post about getting dumped all the time

 

I have no answer for A) but in regards to B) I'm hardly going to be the first amateur to deign to impart ill-founded advice. I mean, the Situation wrote a fucking book with advice on dating, I'm pretty goddamn sure I'm more qualified than he is. Not least because of the fact that I realise that a book should consist of more than just 133 pages of narcissistic, misogynistic ranting. And fashion tips. 

Sure, love can be a beautiful thing. But let's face it there are plenty of times when it can also be gross, stupid, frustrating, painful and sometimes, just really fucking inconvenient. Maybe they're your housemate. Perhaps you just have the wrong anatomy for their romantic preferences. Or they just said the sentence "I don't know who David Bowie is." Maybe they're dating your best friend and the three of you hang out all the time and once in a while you'll all have a little too much to drink and he/she will suggest you all head into the bedroom together and by the time you realise they were only joking you're already half undressed and then you have to pretend like you were only joking too but they both know you weren't and it gets super awkward and even worse they've seen they embarrassing tattoo that you keen meaning to get removed…

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Whatever the case. There are times when being in love in just a terrible idea, so here are my strategies to help you not love someone.

 1 IMAGINE THEM AS YOUR LEAST FAVOURITE POLITICIAN

Simple but effective. If the politician in question is ugly and/or the wrong gender for your preferences, even better. Just imagine someone who really sums up everything that's wrong with politics and modern society in general, someone like, oh I don't know…

Campbell newman

2 DEVELOP A NEGATIVE PAVLOVIAN REACTION 

Canned-chrysalis-300x94"Jenny? Oh no, I'm WAY over her. She smells like transmutational butterfly larvae."

Sounds weird, I know, but weirder than tying all your hopes, dreams and happiness to one single human being who is just going to end up decomposing in the ground some day? I think not. Keep a packet of something disgusting in your pocket, like canned chrysalises for instance. Every time you see or think about your soon-to-be-not-loved one, shove something putrid into your facehole. Once you associate the object of your desire with squirming, crunchy larvae, IT'S BYE BYE ROMANCE!

3 INTRODUCE THEM TO YOUR PARENTS

Angry-parents

I know this is often what people do when a relationship is going WELL, but this is primarily due to the fact that people are idiots. By the time dear old dad asks them for the sixth time if they got that nose ring because they were hoping to more closely resemble a swine or just to antagonise their deadbeat parents you'll know that all hopes of a happy, successful relationship are dead in the water.

4 THINK ABOUT THE LAST TIME YOU BROKE UP WITH SOMEONE

Dawson-crying"Oh god! I can't do crosswords anymore! She used to use words like, all the time! Sometimes in sentences, or paragraphs even! It was our special thing…"

Bear in mind all relationships end, the only variables are when and how badly. Just try and picture that last time, when you listened to the 3 Smith Kings of Misery (Elliott Smith, The Smiths and Robert Smith) on repeat and lived on a daily intake of three bottles of cheap red wine and a family sized block of cadbury chocolate. Actually that last bit doesn't sound too bad, but then there was the bawling over summertime photos, the dividing of possessions, the places, songs, books and movies that were forever ruined. Yeah, that's right. You've got all of THAT to look forward to. Maybe in three months time, maybe three years, maybe three decades but whatever the case we all know that breaking up with someone feels like having your heart torn out of your chest, ripped in half, spat on, then forcibly reinserted via your colon.

So there you have it. Next time you start falling in love and it's going to be the worst idea ever you can thank me for reminding you that's it's the worst idea ever. Send me a thank you email. Maybe with a photo attached. Perhaps a facebook friend request.

Are you single?