A couple of years ago I started setting myself the challenge of reading at least 100 books a year. It might seem like a lot, but to be honest it’s surprisingly easy to do once you get into the swing of it. Here’s some standouts from the first 50. They are presented in no particular order or year of release. I’ve selected poetry, novels, biography, graphic novels and everything in between.
Egan’s The Goon Squad was one of the best books I read last year, so I’m not really sure why I didn’t start making my way through the rest of her catalogue earlier. I started reading this book during a visit to the Bunya mountains, and moving my butt from the fireside couch and this hypnotic novel became a herculean task. This is a dark, transcendent novel about a small ensemble of intersecting characters who are all trying to radically reinvent themselves. The themes of identity and transformation are dealt with in a bold, captivating style that somehow manages to border on the surreal whilst also providing brilliant social critique on the concept of self in the 21st century. This is a magnificent novel in so many ways. I’m going to make sure to read everything Egan’s ever written.
You know how you felt when you watched the cops on the Wire being complete, unapologetic assholes? Take that feeling, multiply it 97 million, and then transpose it to a true account of happenings in your hometown and you’ll have a vague account of how I felt reading this book. Condon’s analysis of cops who literally got away with murder (and plenty more besides) during a golden era of corruption is both illuminating and horrifying. Required reading for anyone who grew up in Queensland. The sequel – Jacks and Jokers -was released a few months ago.
While this is certainly the least of DFW’s works, this series of essays written in collaboration with Mark Costello is nevertheless an important document. Particularly if – like me – you want to be able to say “look, hip-hop IS important. David Foster Wallace wrote about it so there now SHUT UP!” Amongst the milieu of ear-shatteringly awful modern rappers – as well as a slew of brilliant MCs that radio stations bewilderingly refuse to spin – it’s important to be reminded of the impact of hip-hop as a social movement as well as something for annoying hoons to pump from the speakers of their Skyline. Sidenote: The next time someone says ‘White people who listen to hip-hop are silly! That music was invented and should only be listened to by black people!” you should ask them about the origins of their favourite jazz/soul/rock and roll/blues/r’n’b records.
It’s almost supernatural how terrible this book is. Don’t get me wrong, Franco – arguably the modern era’s most famous polymath – is clearly something of a genius. The problem is that while the book is very clever it just isn’t very good. You know when you see a band compromised of musicians who all graduated from some highly regarded musical academy and during their set they change time signatures every 14 seconds until they all just start making this weird high-pitched drone and then end by each stepping up to the microphone and reciting their shopping lists? That’s what this book felt like, plus it was filled with ironic, self-aware narcissism that was unsurprisingly every bit as dull as ironic, unaware narcissism.
Like thousands of other True Detective fans, I was drawn to this book by the HBO series. A very strange, chthonic collection, a few of the stories here are captivatingly terrifying, but there’s a lot of dross as well. The four main stories that centre around a play called the King in Yellow that apparently sends people mad are excellent. Apparently Chambers later started making heaps of cash writing sappy romance stories and just gave up on horror so that he could wrote terrible books that made him millions of dollars. HP Lovecraft, a huge admirer of his early work, called Chambers a big fat sellout. Disgusting. Now excuse me while I delete my latest manuscript and start work on my new book Ron Sexley’s Sexy adventures in Sexington: Paradise Kisses: Book one of the Romance Hot Times collection: A Sexy Times book (with lots of sex in it).
Whenever I teach writing workshops I always point to the first sentence of Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude as one of the greatest collection of words ever put to paper: Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. Marquez was an extraordinary talent and it’s no surprise to discover that he lived an equally extraordinary life. Sidenote: having spent a fair amount of time in Colombia I find it incredibly frustrating when people joke about all Colombians being drug dealers. That’s a little like assuming all Americans are corrupt Wall St lawyers. Colombia has a rich and varied culture of which Marquez is only one wonderful exemplar.
This collection of interviews with prominent Australian musicians by prolific local journalist Andrew McMillen addresses a very important issue: the relationship between musicians and drug use. As an insight into the lives and creative processes of some of Australia’s most talented songwriters it is very entertaining. However, the book’s far more important role is to present a broad range of attitudes towards narcotics – from abstinence to addiction – and their effects. McMillen focuses more on raising questions than answering them and more on stories than statistics and this approach makes his work incredibly engaging and thought provoking. I recently interviewed Andrew about the book on Exit Stage Zed, you can listen to that interview here (starts at 28 mins into the recording).
After reading this book I have one very important thing to tell you: for the love of god don’t send naked pictures to strangers over the internet! Now I’m sure many folks would think that’s a VERY OBVIOUS piece of advice, but as many people – Anthony Weiner I’m looking at you – have shown us, sometimes we need that extra reminder. Olson’s account of one of the most enigmatic and influential social movements of the last 50 years is highly captivating reading, with all the intrigue and slow-burning suspense of a Fincher film. Bonus points for her detailed descriptions of a few neat and surprisingly easy hacking tricks.
Alan Moore is like no other writer on earth. This curious, bloody and incredibly well-researched work is by far the best of the myriad takes on the Jack the Ripper tale. Moore takes that one central mystery and weaves a tale of the birth of the modern era with thick dollops of class critique, violence, history, black magic and perhaps the single greatest page ever presented in a graphic novel. I stared at that one particular page for a solid ten minutes, if you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. I hear the movie was terrible, but then again it usually is.
Possibly the best example of a brilliant book with a terrible cover. A somewhat autistic hard sci-fi novel, its concepts and philosophies are beguiling and bewildering but it gets bogged down at times by overly technical descriptions. I don’t want to give away the twist toward the end, but I will say that – like Carl Sagan’s Contact – it’s an amazing first contact story that tackles the idea of extraterrestrial life with incredible philosophical flair. Also, once you’ve been introduced to creatures that maintain invisibility by moving in between your eyes’ saccades you may be terrified always and forever.
Worth the ticket price just for the title, in my opinion. I keep coming back to this phrase whenever I’m feeling frustrated with the government – which is around every 36 minutes. Walker’s poetry is clean and unpretentious, although there’s more than a few mediocre pieces in this collection. The standout ones, however, definitely make it worth your while. This little poem in particular has stuck with me:
My teacher was told by her teacher – who loved her: You cannot shoot guns / you cannot drop bombs / your fists are forbidden to you / as are mean and hurtful words / no matter how carefully chosen. / You have one weapon & one weapon only: Use it. / It is your ability to teach.
Look, I know Winton’s not exactly an underground secret. Everyone knows how great his work is and his multitudinous accolades are all very well deserved. Winton is the master of making the ordinary enthralling, the everyday extraordinary. All of these interweaving stories are excellent, but the titular tale is perfection itself. That story is an entire world within a few dozen pages. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it months ago. It’s like he didn’t just create characters, he birthed living humans. The film is also excellent, and didn’t receive nearly as much attention as it should have, particularly considering its luminary cast.
If you have any book recommendations feel free to throw them my way! Remember, readers are the best lovers science says so!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.*
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.
* Have you ever tried reformatting a hard drive? It’s really hard.
6.30 Tony is awakened by the sounds of the dozens of minimum wage employees that he keeps in a cage in his quarters gnashing their teeth and wailing. He throws them a few chunks of bread and a splash of water, chuckling as he tells them that if they’re good, more should ‘trickle down’ later on. He showers and sprays himself with a custom made cologne synthesised from the tears of illegally detained refugees before donning clothes manufactured by Chinese sweatshop orphan children.
6.45 Tony sits down to a breakfast of sausages made from specially selected beef that has been live exported all the way to Indonesia and then back again, just so he can truly savour the succulent flavour of its misery. This is accompanied by his favourite beverage, a warm glass of human blood blended with the sweat of overworked single mothers earning significantly less than their male counterparts.
7.00 Tony peruses his party’s digital interactions, both real and the other kind. Comments typically range from ‘you are a slimy, vermicular cretin who deserves to be beaten to death by a used dildo’ to ‘a bloody good bloke, I reckon.’ These two violently opposing views are a daily cause of confusion for Tony. Not least because, being no egghead, he finds the internet a very confusing place and often has to ask its inventor, Malcolm Turnbull, for guidance.
7.15 Tony plugs himself into a complex neurological datafeed system whereby the agendas of Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rinehart, Australian Christian Lobby Group and other vested interests of advantaged elite groups are channeled directly into his brain. The great number of commanding overlords constantly vying for control of his relentlessly sneering facial orifice creates something of a problem however, as his subjugated will often struggles to figure out which agenda to foremost represent. This, clearly, is the explanation for his famed interview habit of pausing for periods of time roughly equivalent to the life cycle of the common fruit fly.
7.45 Tony spends twenty minutes on the treadmill with a picture of Katy Perry on a screen in front of him, so that he can stay budgie smuggler body fit. His minder’s initial concerns that he would figure out that the image was a mere reproduction and not actually Katy Perry have long since faded. Tony tirelessly trots towards the vapid pop star who, despite being about as clever and interesting as a bowl of soggy Weet-bix, still appears to be able to defeat him in verbal combat on the matter of gay marriage.
8.05 Tony selects a leisure activity, either burning photos of gay couples that he continues to vehemently deny the right to be married or, if he’s feeling frisky, a good ol’ fashioned round of puppy kicking.
8.20 Finally, he completes his morning ritual by sacrificing a union leader to Cthulu. Although he is already allied to Newscorp, Big Coal, Big Oil, Weiland-Yutani, Monsanto, Wolfram & Hart, Lexcorp, Voldemort, the Devil, Cyberdyne and the Soylent Corporation, Abbott is a man who likes to hedge his bets.
8.30 It’s time for Tony Abbott to go to work! Another day of sleeping through key votes, making verbal gaffes so embarrassing that they make international news, getting thrown out of parliament and failing to kiss babies (a task that is literally easier than taking candy from said babies). Yes, it’s time for Tony to start his busy day as the leader of the Liberal Party. An actual job that he actually has in real life, surely the most ridiculous and terrifying thing on here.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.’
One question I get asked a lot is ‘What advice do you have for someone writing their first book?’ I guess the main thing would be, however long you think it’s going to take to edit your novel, add 20%. Then double it. Then multiply that by ten (million). Then triple it. Then yell out the window like some kind of lunatic, before running around the room slamming your hands against your head. Then take a nap. When you wake up, you should be comfortable in the fact that what you are doing with your life is really weird. If you can’t do this, you may be more comfortable in a more ordinary occupation (like lion taming or extreme sports calendar modelling).
My Dearest BCC,
I am writing to commend you on your extremely well thought out allocation of 13.5 million dollars to the anti-graffiti campaign. Although I must say, whilst I was overjoyed that such a vast sum is allocated to the aggressive removal of the inexplicably pandemic desire for human beings to express themselves creatively, I was confused as to how $13.5 million appeared out of nowhere when the state of QLD is reportedly broke? I am often broke, and yet can never seem to find a spare $13.5 million lying around for anything. Please advise me on how to make $13.5 million appear from betwixt my couch cushions, which normally only yield lint and Canadian pennies, (which is curious as I have never been to Canada). I also really admire the fact you are doing this in the interest of protecting and beautifying public spaces (such as parks), whilst sensibly spending only $6.2 million in total on upgrades to city parks. I intend to follow this avant garde economic example when I buy my next car. I will spend $2 000 on the car itself, and $4 000 on grey paint to repeatedly paint it with.
Now, I know that some of those whiny lefties might be claiming your fiscal prioritisation is somewhat curious, given that you’ve placed funds for graffiti removal ahead of, oh, I don’t know, schools hospitals roads counselling services housing programs rehabilitation programs disease preventation initiatives with a well proven track record indigenous advocacy services well established literary awards emergency services etc etc etc.
I, however, fully understand that a government always acts in the best interests of its people, even the people who ungratefully use spray paint can devices to graffiti-ise the Premier’s office just a few months before the graffiti budget suddenly skyrockets to unprecedented levels. Sure, conspiracy theorists might want to make a connection there, but you and I, we’re reasonable, rational people who just want to use large amounts of public funding to support the establishment of a militarised task force to ensure the systematic destruction of artistic expression, whilst simultaneously funding programs of real cultural value, such as Big Brother.
I also agree with the honorable Mr Quirk’s statement that graffiti artmakerists ‘are not welcome in this city,’ as the best way to deal with disaffected youth who wish to express themselves creatively is assuredly to banish them beyond the city walls. However, I was wondering if there were limits to this mandate? Like, if someone who regularly saves kittens from trees also does graffiti making, would they still be banished? Is there some sort of ratio? Perhaps one graffiti piece per half dozen successful diminutive feline rescues?
Or would they have to achieve a more impressive feat, such as saving someone from being stabbed in an alleyway? What if the only way that they could overpower the assailants was by obscuring their vision with their spray paint cans and they inadvertently got a small amount of paint on a wall in the process?
The other day I was walking home and saw this very tasteful and well designed ad stencilled on the footpath. I was wondering if Translink, as an official government partner, has some kind of graffiti license? Or a big shiny badge that they can flash like the cops on TV? If they forget their badge and are out graffiti-making do they get fined $1 000 (roughly the cost of a return trip to the city on a translink service)? Finally, I was wondering if you would be continuing your proud tradition of going beyond the call of duty and also removing commissioned work by illegally entering private property and painting over commissioned murals by world famous artists? And of course maintaining your admirable practice of physically subduing artists who have obtained legal permission for their work? This continues to set a world class standard in art control.
Perhaps you could even extend your forces of artistic suppression into other mediums? Sometimes I see youths listening to their ipodphone machines singing and dancing in the street for no reason at all! I find this quite disconcerting. Maybe you could find another $13.5 million for an Unlicensed New Juvenile Undulation Suppression Team. You might even be able to come up with a catchy acronym for that one, but I’ll leave that up to you!