QCS poetry.. not sure it’s “Gold, Jerry, gold!!”

30 08 2011

Ok so pacing up and down a room of adolescents doing purportedly one of the most important tests of their lives is not exactly front row action in all that silence, dread panic and very clear instructions not to talk. So what do you do when you’ve planned your day, counted the lefties (9) and spotted the OCD students carefully spelling out the words “help” in 13 shades of Cerise pencil.

So you look. It’s a writing task. On Gold. Walking too fast to read the stimulus on the coloured printed pages without looking like a cheat or a sicko. So, OK, a writing task. “GOLD” and twenty five minutes to go. So I did what any sane, 40 year old Chemistry teacher would do.. I wrote a poem *shiny grin*. Maybe Jason Boyce could mark it and send it to me secretly, lest I would fail the test that I swore to 109 students would be “dead easy”!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:  Au7

my QCS writing task supervision poem, an attempt to link the seven deadly sins to the stimulus: GOLD!


The golden curl, dainty loop

swinging low on ivory neck

As that gaze

Amazing pins him. Heck.

His tarnished ring alerts. Now in darkened pocket


He flirts and saunters over, rising as the man he was stoops..

His ticket bought, ritual weekly.

Life on hold for chance

Vain vapour hope of increase

He’s saved his dreams, her dance.

She clasps his hands. Yellow ping pongs fall,


His future fixed, ‘Her freedom’, she whispers, meekly.

In hidden green and red, tiny jewelry,

Fruit mince pie crumbs on the floor

The paper rip

eclipses carols…adore

the hyperactive shiny band, inscribed with someone else’s


His pallour stark, next to her fury..

Butter bright and gliding, tails melt.

Sizzling across the pan

Another dozen cookies bake

Making up for absent man.

The girth increasing. Adipose tourniquet,


Lemon lard, A broken cardium, felt.

Solar disk on wall, resplendent.

Swansong recognition, proud.

Muted hearing birthed of crashing cymbals

Symbol of a younger crowd.

Rock King, a god amongst adoring fans,


Hollow history, ego, id now codependent.

Crunching warm canary beach at noon

Another late-start nameless day.

His board at home uneaten dole check feed

needs met, his ganes strays.

Aimless leaden body worships, faithful skin


As the days pass quicker to the final tune.

Spadeful praise the sister saves neatly

Smart and wise, dutiful daughter.

Familial standard lofty, lucky, creepy.

heaps coals on ‘you know you oughta..’

Raining streams of light from butthole,


You wish her dead, or gone, discreetly. 


Do we really need an Animal Kingdom? Or Ant Queendoms.. at least?

17 08 2011

Let me start by disambiguating the title of this article, I do not mean this in the same way I might say “Do we need a Carbon Tax”. I am quite fond of animals, certainly some more than others and I like all animals if the distance between us/wind direction/probability of them eating me is contained appropriately.

I go to thinking recently about ants. Proverbs admonishes us to “go to the ant, you sluggard!”, though is less specific about what one should do once there. When I go to ants, I find myself wasting inordinate amounts of time just watching the little buggers and wasting even more time. Yes, I am happy to admit it, going to ants makes me MORE of a sluggard.

Ants have a Queen. It’s a fairly straightforward feudal system with one obese, constantly egg-laying, queen and thousands of serf-like ants whose job it is to basically get anything edible, carry away tiny ant poo-poo, feed the young ants, answer emails to the colony, provide good PR for the colony to keep up profiles for the economic outlook and some to make sure that all ants are paying the appropriate levels of tax. Ok, maybe I need a little bit more time with David Attenborough before writing articles like this.

What if ants discovered other forms of government? Would it work for them? What if some group of ants worked fast enough to spend a few spare minutes, ok, years, to learn German, get a hold of The Communist Manifesto by Komrade Karl himself (and maybe a couple of hundred ant-friends to turn the pages for him)? Could they rise up against the bourgeoise and demand smoko breaks, leave loading and sensible grey clothing?

Would it work? Could we see each ant with self-determination in a matrix of worker-friendly general groovy feeling towards each other translate into a place where all ants could feel respected rather than expoited. Well, the first problem I could foresee is that someone has to have the baby ants or the experiment is far to short-lived to ever catch on in the insect world. I really don’t mean to be sexist here.. well, actually, yes I do because the female ants have got to do it, really. In the Ant Queendom, the Queen’s job isn’t really that crash hot. Hell, she’s more Catholic than pure monarchy in the procreative sense. Never gets out in the sunlight, always coping with morning sickness, cravings for lamb chops and custard and  knows for damn sure she’s never getting into those ‘pre-pregnant’ jeans ever again.. Not with a bot-bot approximately 45 times larger than it was!!

No, the job of the boss, in this system at least, is not so much that of largesse  as ‘Large S’ (as in Sucks, with a capital s). I often say to people, the job above you always looks easier than it is!

The second problem is one of orienting goals. A decent communist society needs societal goals. Like maybe going to the moon or marching in large numbers with your feet high in the air or parading the fact that you have lots of very destructive penis-shaped objects that strike fear into other ant mounds (rather than generous amounts of material for budding ant-comedians!). What could be such a goal for ants? I guess colony-wide efforts into Ant-railways would be pretty cool. Making lots of comrade issue antboots might cut down a bit of chitin-damage on the delicate ant-footsies (they do have six, you know) but really, they need a loftier goal and it is here that ants have no chance in the sabre-rattling stakes of insect superpowers.. You see, as many humans in tropical environments are aware, you have ants and then you have white ants. A more lethal insect superpower you have never seen.

These little bastards EAT HOUSES. Human houses. Lots of them, all day every day. They are single-minded with their goal: to eat every bloody stick of wood in the entire world. Not bad. Not bad at all. No amount of black (or green or red with purple polka dot) ant propaganda painted in those deep dark tunnels is ever going to generate enthusiasm for a loftier goal for their civilisation, unless, of course, they took a shady little leaf out of the English playbook in Jardine’s era and encourage a healthy trade in addiction to flourish.

You see, early trade in the ‘orient’ as it was quirkily referred to, in the 18th Century was very much one-sided. the Chinese had cool stuff but thought that Eurotrash gear was, well, just that. Not to be dissuaded from sound principles of crude capitalism, the English did what any self-respecting supporter of capitalism of the time would do… it started drug dealing Opium. This led to the locals getting high and the Mandarins (not those small orange things, silly, the shortish, funny-collared things) to get higher and mightier. Consequently, the Mandarins lost, the English got Hong Kong (and free reign to continue drug dealing).

Now, what if those cunning ants were able to secure a product which termites could not resist, which would render them exponentially more dangerous to mankind and present a very useful bargaining tool? Well according to a reliable source (well, not so much a source as an advertising campaign from the Coca Cola company) we already have that product, a legal stimulant simply called ‘V’. Termites go WILD with it!

So our ant communities have a noble goal of V production, with a stated species-wide threat to unleash their powerful product on their Rogue-Ant cousins unless humankind can meet the demands of the more ethnically-coloured ant species. Maybe, ‘you give us food, flavoured beverages (except Budweiser.. or ANY American beer for that matter), tiny ant couches and teach us how to develop Premier League football competitions and enormous 42 millimetre televisions or we feed the white ants…..V!!!!!

This could work. Ants would no longer need to work doing much at all, once the stocks of (unused, unopened) V was plentiful enough. They could get fat and drunk and watch football and enjoy the fact that humans are working their tails off for ants while other ants are still munching on the houses they go to work to pay off.

Some amongst you might cynically suggest that this form of government is perhaps closer to the Cosa Nostra than it is to Utopia. To those same cynical people I might suggest that perhaps our ants not fiddle with their governments too much after all, since I seem to recall a country that has gone this route in a manner far too close to this allegory.

Just a thought *wink*.

Where are they now? Chile !

3 08 2011

It’s been a while since this blog has considered those forgotten nations that really deserve more of our attention. I’m pretty tired about hearing about how the US spends money like a drunken, innumerate sailor with poorly stitched pockets or how heinous the tabloid press is with our privacy. I have a sneaking suspicion that most people’s lives are pretty darn boring. Otherwise, why would we need such rampant escapism in our spare time? All they would see at our place is some guy writing meaningless drivel into a computer.. oh, that’s me…

Now we really ought to hear about Chile more often but we just don’t! Our regular readers will expect, very soon, the obligatory quiz, oh, here it is (how’s THAT for timing, huh?!):

Which of the following is REALLY the Chilean Flag?




One of the most interesting things about Chile is that it is the longest, thinnest, country in the world. Yep. If Chile was a supermodel it would be draped in the finest Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Versace instead of stripey Alpaca ponchos. It is remarkably svelte! Now this actually causes some safety issues as well, you could imagine the problem if you lived up on the Andes somewhere in Chile with a long driveway and a dubiously maintained handbrake. It would come as a shock to see your car down the driveway and sitting awkwardly in the Pacific Ocean below. Your Alpaca would not be impressed to be the second most important mode of transport either…

Of course, Chile is known for lots of things. Football? Not so much, really. Food? Meh. It’s really hard to go past a decent Mexican taco or quesadilla. Chileans do manage a peculiar dish or, more correctly, way of cooking called a Milcao du Curanto which involves digging a big hole, sticking a fire in it and chucking in heaps of mashed and ground potatoes, sausages, seafood, old boots and the odd weird uncle that you tend to get at family gatherings. I have some extremely unreliable evidence that long before the Spanish Conquistadors introduced funny hats and severed limbs to the Incas, a boatload of Maoris on holiday had a nice hangi on the beach.

So the legend goes, some particularly hungry Incas crept out of the hills after the Maoris left, drunk, singing and telling Hawaiian jokes to each other. They found only a warm mound of sand, under which the Maoris had sensibly thrown their rubbish, after the Hangi. In it, of course, were the usual sausages, too burnt for even a hungry Australian to eat, Prawn heads (George Colombaris was not present to explain how to extract Crustacean Oil) and the ubiquitous amounts of potato salad (that apparently every culture on Earth appears to make too much of at barbeques!). Well, suffice to say, the Chileans loved it. Previous to that their best dish was a cake purportedly make out of dirt, taro and Alpaca droppings. To the virgin palate, this is, remarkably, what Milcao du Curanto tastes like.

Chile has beautiful beaches, cool, spectacular mountains, truckloads of culture, ruins, classy hotels and places where you can buy souvenir wooden alpacas (or real ones, given a big enough bag and indiscriminate customs officers in your country of origin). So why don’t we hear more about it? Ah, readers, this is the part of the show where we do the fabulous country makeover.

It would be remiss of us to go any further without discussing the merits (or otherwise) of the nation’s motto which translates as “By reason or by force”, which sounds curiously like parenting advice to one with petulant toddlers. It’s just too gubernatorial. You really need to show that you have a laid back vibe when your whole country is really one bloody long beach. Don’t go getting heavy man. What are you forcing us to do? I’m not touching that Milcao crap with a barge pole buddy!!!

How about a far vibier (it’s not a word but seriously should be, man) motto? Hey, since writing articles for Belgium, Portugal and that other country, their column inches in some publications has gone up measurably, according to a vague statistic I manufactured especially for this article. A truly great motto would be: “Life’s a beach, and then you fry!”. Which not only sounds about as laid back as you can get but also explains the inordinately high rates of skin cancer and eighteen year old girls that look like unwrapped Egyptian Mummies.

Here at File 13, we generally recommend a flag makeover and Chile is no exception. The correct flag in the quiz was this:

Yawn. Sorry, this flag always has this effect on me. It honestly looks like the scraps on the cutting room floor when they designed the US flag. One star, half a white stripe and then a red one. Really? errrgh. It’s an embarrassment, man. My proposition is to kill two important birds with one important stone (actually just an ordinary stone would do, it’s only a metaphor for those into animal rights wanting to kill me with, in that case, a particularly hypocritical stone). Let’s do a flag that looks funky AND shows people how to pronounce your country!! Here are some options, mainly because I am honest enough to admit I don’t know the correct way to pronounce it:

Flag 1:

What a great flag, right?!! Chilli:Chile.. how cool (or hot) is that? Even the bloody country looks like a chilli (albeit, long, dried out Chilli but let’s not split Alpaca hairs, right?). Now, if I am not correct with the pronounciation, then this might be a more suitable flag:

How COOL is THAT, for a flag (can you believe our country makeover service is FREE here at File 13!!!!). It screams, “CHILL, EH?”.. with an Eric Estrada-like chilled out dude on a retro chair. I wish it was our Australian flag, man. I’m saying man a lot in this article. It sounds a little sexist. It might well be. If I could find a chilled out woman, I might say woman, but I haven’t met one yet. Of course, from a female point of view, ‘chilled’ from a male point of view could really just be ‘lazy’ from a female point of view.. as in “get off your chilled out arse and put those 16 day old underpants in the wash, YOURSELF!”. I reckon this guy has been SO chilled for SO long that his underwear may be attached to the chair… this could be a problem.

There we have it. New flag, new motto, thrill rides down to the sea in cars with faulty handbrakes and Alpaca rides.. what’s not to love? Well, we might have to recommend fasting whilst visiting, otherwise we really need to develop a new national food. Chilli-icy poles anyone?