Tag Archives: christmas

Literally the ugliest thing ever built in all of human history

My Dearest Brisbane City Council,

I hope that the first days of 2012 have treated you well and that you are recovering from your collective hangover, which I imagine a government body experiences as a sort of hive mind shared headache coupled with an inexplicable desire to eat copious quantities of Tim Tams.

Recently on Waterworks Rd, which I have lived near, next to and occasionally underneath for the last five years or so, a giant camera was installed. Now, I understand that speed cameras and the like are important, but the plethora of digital monitoring devices installed along this street over the last few years makes me concerned that I might be secretly filmed as part of a potently uninteresting reality TV show entitled 'Guy Who Gets Increasingly Irate About Vast Numbers of Cameras and Then Writes a Dumb Letter About it.'  

DSCN1950
If you don't think this looks like a giant robot penis, then you clearly haven't seen enough robot penises.  

This new camera is particularly striking because, let's be honest, it looks like the penis of a giant robot. Now, I certainly don't want to give the impression that I'm the sort of backward individual that thinks transmogrifying our streetscape into some sort of digitally omniscient panopticon is a BAD idea. 

Nor would I ever make the outrageous accusation that waging a war on street art, ostensibly in the interest of maintaining the aesthetics of this fair city, is a violently incongruent campaign to run whilst simultaneously installing thirty foot steel pillars that resemble giant robot penises. That said, although I've never been one for hyperbole I think it would be no exaggeration to say that this is literally the ugliest human structure ever erected by any human anywhere in all of history. I have never in all my days seen anything more hideous, and I once saw a picture of Nicole Ritchie without makeup.

Zombie2"OMFG Paris and I are SO not friends anymore!"

Now, I'm aware that you must receive countless letters from concerned citizens that are all complaints with no solutions. But today is your lucky day! In addition to my complaints, I am going to offer you some potential solutions to this problem and completely waive my usual consultation fee of $500 per hour and a very large piece of cheesecake.

 Clearly the camera would be costly and inefficient to take down, regardless of the number of complaints urging you to do so. But there is nothing to stop you dressing it up a little! Who knows, this monstrous symbol of constant citizen monitoring could be just like that girl with the ugly glasses in all those terrible teen movies that turns out to actually be a ridiculously hot girl who despite her remarkable intellect had never once thought to wear contacts and let her hair down. 

SUGGESTIONS

1 TURN IT INTO A GIANT MAYPOLE

Maypole

"Oh what a gay old time we are having dancing in ridiculously impractical clothing around this giant robot penis!"

No one really knows the true origin of the maypole. Some say it was a stick that was originally intended for the burning of particularly colourful witches, others claim that maypole dancing was an activity invented by a antiquarian marketing company that wanted to increase sales of poles, ribbons and maypole related accessories. Though its origins are shrouded in mystery, one thing's clear: everybody loves a maypole!

2 TRANSFORM IT INTO A HUMUNGOUS YEAR ROUND XMAS TREE 

Christmas_Tree_2
"Hey kids, you know what would make Christmas even better this year? A camera mounted at the top of the tree to constantly monitor our activity!"

Wasn't it sad when Christmas was over? After months of gleefully watching credit card debts expand, enjoying irate shoppers shoving each other out of the way and listening to weird uncle Frank's annual Christmas rant about how boat people and gay marriage are the leading cause of heart failure amongst middle aged conservatives we had to put all the decorations away and return to our dreary non-Christmassy lives. But what if we could make that magic last all YEAR LONG?! A giant xmas tree camera tower is the obvious answer.

3 MAKE IT INTO A MASSIVE TESLA COIL

               Tesla coil

The main thing that you need to know about the Tesla coil is that it is amazing. You think a giant camera is going to encourage safe driving? Just think about how great it would be if that camera could also SHOOT LIGHTNING. Plus Waterworks rd. would constantly resemble the set of a B grade science fiction movie, and who the hell wouldn't want that? IDIOTS, that's who! 

This concludes my complaint letter. I hope enjoy the rest of your day, and I look forward to seeing the completed maypole, Xmas tree or Tesla coil installed within the next 5-10 workdays. 

Yours Since Clearly,

J.M. Donellan

 

 

How To Do Your Xmas Shopping Without Losing Your Will To Live

I hate shopping. And not just because I'm an 'anti-consumerist hippie.' I hate trying stuff on, I hate waiting in queues and I hate the fact that stores play insufferable techno music with a high BPM that is specifically selected to impair your impulse control systems. 

 

"You know, I thought that $149.95 for a polo shirt was a little pricey, but now that I've had a Bleach-blonde German guy yelling at me for a few minutes over the sound of what appears to be a few dozens synths being massacred by a chainsaw, I realise it's actually a really great deal!"

Around Christmas time, shopping transmogrifies from a mild ordeal into a kafkaesque nightmare soundtracked by horrendous carols on incessant repeat and a horde of holiday shoppers who, I'm quite sure, were friendly, muffin baking, herb-garden-planting suburbanites just a few weeks ago but have now become furious, salivating bargain hunters who occasionally use capsicum spray.

I'm no scrooge though, I like giving presents and bearing witness to that heart-warming half-smile that just screams "Are you kidding me did you seriously think I would like THIS?!? Witness the wrath of my obviously feigned gratitude and appreciative hug!" This year, however, I decided to do 100% of my shopping online through ethical retailers. This means that not only do I skip the queues, irate holiday shoppers and twenty minute search for a car park, but the gifts I get give a little something back to the developing world.

Think about it, if you buy a $120 Adidas handbag for your sister, extremely effeminate dad, or horrendously anthropomorphised poodle and they don't like it, you've not only blown your hard earned cash, you've also contributed profits to a corporation that uses child and sweatshop labour and has a history of sexually harassing its workers.

Ridiculouspoodle

"OMG! Are you, like for real! ?! That TOTES does not go with this outfit!"

If you do your christmas hopping at an ethical retailer and your loved one throws their gift in the bottom of their cupboard for all eternity, at least you've given some money to working communities in the developing world who will be paid a fair wage and use environmentally sound practices. Doing it online means you can even shop in your underwear whilst listening to the Ramones. Which I suppose you could do in the store as well, but it might come across as a little weird. 

Iboxer

 

"Yeah I'll take one of those wallets, a diary, these candles…oh wait! GUITAR SOLO!!!"

Here's a list of some of the leading ethical gift stores, feel free to suggest others.

UNICEF

OXFAM

New Internationalist 

Ethical Gifts

 

AND A MERRY WHATEVER THING YOU BELIEVE IN TO ALL!!!

 

 

My Dearest Target

My Dearest Target,

How are you? I trust you are enjoying the start of the Christmas period, which I imagine major retailers look forward to with all the anticipation of a sex addict awaiting a holiday in Ibiza.

Newyork

Yesterday I was perusing your shelves in search of a toiletries bag that I had believed I would require for my planned trip to New York. As it turns out neither the toiletries bag nor the trip to New York will now be necessary as my girlfriend decided to break up with me a few days before our one year anniversary and thus reduce me to an irrational, quivering wreck engaged in peculiar behavior such as writing elaborate complaint letters to department stores, but that’s neither here nor the other place.

Whilst waiting in line to make my purchase I was subjected to your holiday promo clip. Now, aside from the fact that this insufferably saccharine commercial featured lots of sickeningly elated blonde white people and storks carrying babies (when was this thing written, the 1950s?) the ad and its ridiculously loud music were repeated and repeated over and over again and again and again. It was interrupted by only the intermittent PROCEED TO CHECKOUT FIVE announcements, making me feel as though I was alternating my time between some Kafkaesque consumer hell and some Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare (Kafka really was the king of literary misery wasn’t he?)

Kafka-drawing
If I had to listen to a Target ad on infinite loop my writing would have been even MORE despressing!

I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but incessantly repeated music is actually one of the most popular modern forms of psychological torture. During the Bush era two of the favourite bands used at Guantanamo bay were Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack. Quite ironic given the fact that both of those bands despised the Bush administration. Do you think they got paid royalties for public broadcast each time their song got repeated? 

Once in India I took a 20 hour jeep ride from Srinagar to Leh, and the MP3 player kept skipping back to the start of whatever song it was playing. We asked the driver to just turn it off but he told us that without music he would fall asleep and at this point we were on a tiny Himalayan mountain road with a steep ravine right reaching ominously out beneath us so we let him have his way. Just before we finally reached Leh, we heard the first ten seconds of the song Gimmie More featuring the delightful opening line “It’s Britney bitch!” over and over and over (and over). By the time we reached Leh we had been reduced to giggling, hysterical lunatics.

 

Try listening to THIS 500 times in a row…

So as I’m listening to this syrupy commercial on infinite repeatrepeatrepeat, I’m thinking, what effect is this having on the staff here? Surely this can’t be psychologically healthy? Finally the all-commanding screen interrupts the commercial and instructs me to move to the checkout. I always do what television tells me, so I dutifully obeyed and handed my soon to be redundant travel toiletries bag to the young man behind the counter.

“That’s a total of five cents.” Says he. I looked at price tag, which quite definitely stated $9.05, and I thought to myself, surely I must have misheard him? It can’t possibly be some sort of 99.45% Christmas discount? I passed him $20, and he handed me back $19.95. I took the money in my hand and was open to say something along the lines of “Whaaaaaaaaat?” when the all-seeing monitor demanded that I vacate the checkout so that it might be utilised by another obedient consumer.

In conclusion: perhaps you should reconsider the all-seeing monitor playing your advertisements on infinite loop, not only for the effect it has on your staff, but the effect it has on your profit margin.

Drunk_santa_train-550x379

AND A MERRY CHRISTMAS OR WHATEVER THE HELL ELSE YOU BELIEVE IN TO ALL!

Swarm regards

J.M. Donellan