Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Transports of Delight

Six reasons why taking the bus is better:

You can look at peoples faces

You can work if you want to

Someone else drives you

You share the experience with others

Its relatively better for the environment then being the only person in a car, although not quite as good as cycling wherever you’re going, but probably safer than either.

Its inconvenient (yes inconvenient...convenience is killing us, or at least ripping the meaning out of our lives)

Poems of reconciliation – two moving songs by Yehuda Amichai, of blesssed memory

The place where we are right

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.
The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

in the Old City
Laundry hanging in the late afternoon sunlight:
The white sheet of a woman who is my enemy,
The towel of a man who is my enemy,
To wipe off the sweat of his brow.

In the sky of the Old City
A kite.
At the other end of the string,
A child
I can't see
Because of the wall.

We have put up many flags,
They have put up many flags.
To make us think that they're happy.
To make them think that we're happy.

(Translated by Irena Gordon )

Broken News: Right of Reply from Consolidated Foods International

After the article from Peta detailing serious concerns about the treatment of cattle at Consolidated's Hunington, Brakforth, Kiryat Gat, Rihad, Jihad and Pendlebury plants, we contacted a spokesperson for the multinational to get their response.

"In response to the ongoing criticism from PETA and other animal rights groups, Consolidated Foods International would like to make the following statement:

Everything humanly possible is done to ensure the welfare of our cows. They are driven to the abbatoir in air conditioned buses while watching a large screen Blu Ray programme containg scenes of lush meadows. Hostesses serve various kinds of pasturage and alfalfa, and a complimentary trough of mineral water is made available to each animal. On their arrival at the abbatoir they are welcomed by our executive in charge of eradication, and ushers gently move them towards the executive lounge, where a range of sedatives, beta blockers and anti depressants are administered to our bovine clients. After some socialising in the lounge area, our relaxed cattle move towards the “mercy machine” area while piped music ensures that distressing noises will not startle the more flighty and drug immune beasts. And then they are hung on hooks and frozen, ready to be sawed into your favourite cut.”


Picture the scene: a germophobic and prissy grandma has to baby sit her two fluey grandchildren – and she does so by keeping an elaborate distance from them, and histrionically shielding her nose and mouth whenever they get anywhere near her….punch line could be her donning a gas mask after they’ve sneezed on her one two many times…and then they run screaming from her in terror, or mom and dad come back home and she opens the door for them in a gas mak, and two their anxious questions responds in a muffled gas mask voice that everything is OK, then shows them the children cowering under their beds in terror

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Shocking Truth Revealed

98 % of all conspiracy sites on the web are controlled by the same 6 or 7 powerful conspiracy theorists!

Although they have different names, and seem to accuse different folk of being behind the ills that beset the white race (for example the Jews, The jews, The JEWS, THE jEwS, the jews or jews) did you know that most of these conspiracy websites are actually owned and controlled by the same small group of powerful dirty underpanted conspiracy theorists? They don't want you to know who they are, but these conspiracy theorists use puppets, such as the Catholic Church, the National Association of Coloured People, stamp collectors, the union of nursery school teachers and the Oscars to get you to believe their lies. Here you can read many scholarly articles proving that
a) they did and
b) because and
c) in 1612

And on a similar note:

The protocols of the elders of Cellery – the Jewish plot to take over kitchen gardens and make large quantities of chicken soup.

My favourite Woody Allan Quotation

"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

You gotta love the man

Saving lives

If you're a person thinking of having another child, you might want to factor into your decision making the knowledge that, unless you are planning to raise your child on a strictly vegetarian diet, and unless they plan to continue with that vegetarian diet through their on adulthood, tens of thousands of fish, fowl and mamals will be killed in order to feed that child, and indirectly just as many will be killed by the resources diverted to sustain and comfort that child - from the plastic products that end up in the ocean instead of in landfill and choke seabirds and sea mammals, to the habitat loss incurred as wood and electricity and palm oil and coffee and oil are chanelled towards he/she (multiply by the X million human babies born each years) and with it the consequent extinction or near extinction of entire species, and the diminishing of the bauty of bio-diversity, and the creation of sterile environments where only humans, domesticated animals and the "pests" we cannot eliminate - rodents, mosquitoes, cockroaches etc. - cohabit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dear Dr Ruth No 2

Dear Dr Ruth

When I and my wife first got married, we were, like many newly weds, an intensely passionate couple, and would sometimes have sex 3 or even four times a month. After the children were born, of course, and the bills mounted, we mounted each other less often, and probably made love 8 or 9 times a year. I was happy with this frequency of copulation, but since our first born started high school, we have only had sex twice. Given that our first born is currently finishing her post doctoral studies (in reproduction theory) I feel a little frustrated. I am a very highly sexed person, and would ideally like to have coitius around 20 or so times a decade. Do you think I am unreasonable and a "sex maniac" as my wife sometime says?

Yours in confusion

John Thomas

(see Dear Dr Ruth from 2008 as well)

Useless idea #53

In winter, when the soccer and rugby fields are getting churned up by too many games and too much rain, why not equip the players with boots with extra long studs - perhaps about 4 - 7 cms long. These will aerate the soil, allowing light and air to reach the grass's roots, so that in spring all that will be needed will be a spreading of organic manure and a good watering.

Advance Australia Fair

Notes on Oz from behind the mechitza

Much of the public debate is valuable - issues get much more of an airing here than I was ever awair/awhere/ aware of them getting in South Africa - and there sems to be less dumbing down of this area of public life (even in the TV is the same crass and lowest common denominator oppiate of the masses) so that something like, for example, new health legislation, will be intelligently denated in the media with lost of sophoisticated op ed pices by both senior journalists and politicians making their case for various points of view.


My hair is cut by an Iraqui.And Turkish and Korean and Bangladeshi sales people greet me at the till with "How you going mate" and farewell me with "No worries mate" - although the beautiful and unique intonations of their mother tongues are not hidden so easily.

"bashings" "glassings" and now "grassings"

also unfamiliar to the educated South African ear is the usage of "what" as in

Australians priviledge their pooches
whip their horses
and torture their pigs
"go home then mate, fuck of back to where you bloody well caym frohme"

Wentworth courier and its plastic cover

Coles and Woolies and their plastic bages

The role of alcohol - we could hardly ignore this one - and sport

I see an Australia where every Australian has a place to live, and where every living place has solar panels and water tanks and a veg garden and a compost heap, an Australia of plenty, an Australia that ius clean and green (and when necessary, mean)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sour and Sweet - a short story from Yeoville, 1994

See also http://manofestoyomi.blogspot.com/2009/01/tisha-b-av-ninth-of-av.html

Serina was woken by a loud long fart from the dressing room. She mumbled something about ‘fart woke me ’ and turned over and went back to sleep. When she woke up again at ten ‘o clock the source of the fart had gone off to work, and she was alone in their large Yeoville flat. She felt terrible. Still feeling terrible she wrapped herself in her fluffy bathrobe and padded blindly to the kitchen. On the way she tripped over a box of literacy comics that Someone had left in the middle of the passage.
Dam him” she cursed, pushing the box violently aside.
Normally Serina began the day with coffee - strong, hot, lots of milk and two sweeteners - but since this had happened she couldn’t stand the things she normally ate and drank. Instead she made herself some orange squash, and headed back to bed, where she lay shivering and moaning. After a while she felt warm enough to sit up and swallow her anti-nausea pill, along with the squash.Then she dialled Bea, a friend who was on holiday and had given her a lot of support. Last night they had gone to the symphony together and Serina had vomited all over a fellow patron’s lap. The woman had been wonderful, not giving a reproachful glance or word to the mortified Serina.
“Hello Serenity”, said Bea, “and how are you this morning”
“Terrible”, said Serina, “ghastly, awful, worse than ever. I can’t stand it.”
“O you poor thing”, gushed Bea.
Bea (for Beatrice) was a tiny doll like woman, who always made other people feel she was extremely interested in them. Her mouth, despite Bea’s best efforts, constantly intimated it was about to burst into tinkling peals of appreciative laughter. Bea was so short that when she drove her beat up old Datsun, anyone driving behind her could not see there was a driver at the wheel. Going through a complicated anullment, she was spending the year `finding herself’. Everybody thought the intense Bea ‘cute’, an adjective which she loathed, and went out of her way to disprove. They talked for 20 minutes and then Bea excused herself. Serina put down the phone and contemplated phoning Someone at work. The desire to be comforted clashed with the knowledge that she probably wouldn’t be. He always made light of her being ill, although he had copious amounts of sympathy for stray cats and people stuck in Taiwanese jails. Someone had got his nickname from his habit of saying ‘someone left a dirty dish on the stove’, or ‘someone didn’t close the fridge door’, or ‘someone left their hairs in the bath.’
Against her better judgement she dialled his number. He answered immediately.
“Hi. Listen to this. The most practical way for an impractical person to function is impractically.”
“Aren’t you going to ask me how I am ?” barked Serina.
“I was going to, I was just excited by the aphorism. I’m adding it to my collection. What do you think of it ?”
“Not much really”
“You never do. So”, said Someone, as if the question were being forced out of him by Torquemada, “how are you feeling ?”
“Terrible” answered Serina, “you woke me up this morning.”
“Did you take your anti-nausea pills ?”
“Well what time did you take them ?”
“About ten minutes ago.”
“Give them time to work. Everythings will be all right.”
“I don’t want to hear that again”, snapped Serina, “right now everything is not all right. Stop dismissing my pain and listen for two minutes.”
“Its not easy”, began Someone, “I come home after a long day at work, I’m exhausted and frustrated. Then I have to make supper, there’s an enormous pile of dishes in the sink, and the place is a mess. You’re moaning and groaning all the time. Alright. Its understandable given your condition. But then you go for me as soon as I step in the door. How can I be sympathetic to someone who is constantly attacking me ?”
Serina listened. She knew it was all true but she was so angry with herself and sick of everything - the winter, the dirty flat, this unwanted pregnancy - that she could not bare to admit it. Normally the kind of conciliatory honesty that Someone had just employed would end the first phase of their fights, and begin the second phase. All of their fights had three phases:
a) Sulking. Here each would pointedly ignore the other. The rules were no touching, no talking, and no acceptance of any kind of favour or assistance. The more pointed and extravagant these refusals, the better. If the other person seemed to remain blissfully unaware they were in the dog-box, rude acts of non-consideration would then follow. He, for example, would not come to bed until three in the morning. The main point was to show that this time the other had really gone too far, and that you were mortally wounded.
b) Talking it through - this happened when either one of them gave up the desire to punish and instead wanted to directly communicate how they felt. Whoever ‘broke’ first would lower their defences and start talking about what was really bothering them, thus including the other in their world again. This stage could occur after hours, and sometimes even days, of sulking.
c) sex
The order of b) and c) being interchangeable.
But today Serina was in such a bad way that she could not grasp the extended olive branch, and instead launched a vicious and petty counterattack. She mentioned hairs in the bath. Doing someone’s washing for him. Burps. Woken by a fart. His disgusting smelling shoes. No support whatsoever. She felt betrayed. Someone’s pathological need to save money even in the midst of this crisis.
There was an injured silence.
“Maybe you’re with the wrong person”, said Someone coldly.
That was not what Serina wanted to hear.
She burst into tears and put the phone down, without even saying goodbye. Now this was one of their unbreakable rules. Six years ago an editor had slammed the phone down on Someone, and he had been plotting his revenge ever since. Fear at his reaction, and anger at him and herself vied for possession of her sick stomach.
She lay down on the couch and reviewed the events that had brought her to one of the lowest points in her life. It must have been five weeks ago. They had come home from a lecture on The Kabbalah and Hindu Mysticism, and made love in front of the heater.
“Are you sure it’s OK”, Someone had asked, just for the sake of good form. He disliked using condoms anyway.
“It’s fine”, she had answered, also routinely, “its safe.”
When Serina had spilled a drop of urine on the indicator paper and watched it turn bright pink she was sure it was a mistake. She had always suspected her fallopian tubes were blocked. It had never happened in the past, even when she was most fertile and no contraception was used. These do-it-yourself tests were notoriously inaccurate anyway. There had been that article in Personality about a man who tested positive with one of them. But the next day her blood test confirmed that indeed she was pregnant. Someone had been predictably unsupportive, even hostile.
“It’s going to swallow up my next two months salary”, he had said, outraged, “can’t we get your dad’s medical aid to pay for it ?”
“No we can’t ”, said Serina, “I don’t want him to know.”
Since then it had been hell. She felt weak and nauseous all the time. She couldn’t keep anything down. She even brought up the anti-nausea pills she took before ‘meals’ - which were a teaspoon of yoghurt. Someone was moody and evasive, and absolutely no help at all. Five minutes of sweetness completely exhausted his reserves, and then he reverted to being a sullen baby. They went to a counsellor:
“Do you want to have it ?”
“Do you want to have it ?”
“Well then, what are you fighting about ?”
“About the dishes”
“Go on”
“She won’t do the dishes.”
“Nor will he.”
“They make these sinks too dam low for men. I don’t see why I have to get back ache after working hard all day.”
“Maybe” said the therapist, “we should have a look at your feelings around the termination.”
“Well I hardly think that after only two sessions its going to be all that traumatic” said Serina, wanting to pre-empt any wasting of their valuable time.
“I meant the termination of pregnancy, not the termination of therapy” explained the counsellor patiently. How do you feel about it ?
“Impatient to get it over with already” said Serina, and Someone nodded his assent.
“Haven’t you had any doubts”, asked the therapist, hopefully
“None whatsoever. In fact”, said Someone, “its one of the few things we were totally agreed upon during the last six months.”
“Why ?”
“I dunno…we argue a lot….perhaps we really are incompatible.”
“I meant” explained the therapist, “why are you both so certain that an abortion is the right way to go ?”
“Because" declaimed Someone instantaneously, as if he had been waiting for the cue to launch into a prepared speech, “I want to be someone. I think we both do, neither of us wants to become people who didn’t have the courage to fully live their own lives, and then try and live vicariously through their children.”
“And what if you don’t have another opportunity to have children ?”
“What if the Eiffel tower goes into orbit and then lands in the Zoo Lake ? What if I develop cancer of the toenails in three years time ? We’re not going to make decisions based on imaginary fears of what the future may or may not bring.”
The psychologist turned to Serina. "Is that true for you as well?"
Serina had taken a long time to answer.
"I feel" she said eventually, "a baby is too important a thing to have happen by accident."
* * *
When they went to the clinic Someone was so busy checking he had the bank guaranteed cheque in his pocket - the clinic refused to take anything else - that he absent mindedly shut the door and locked all his keys in the flat.
Serina was in a state of what Someone would describe afterwards to friends as ‘a complete abdication from autonomy and responsibility’ She lay like an embryo on the floor of the lift and wept and kicked the walls of the cold metal box. The crisis was resolved by taking a taxi, and arriving at the clinic at eight, half an hour later then the time they had been told, they were informed that there was no rush because the anaesthetist had a problem waking up on Saturday mornings.
Serina got into bed because it was cold. The young Afrikaans woman in the other bed - also booked in for an abortion - played cards with her boyfriend or smooched with him. After at least an hour long wait the door opened to admit a small mousy man.
“What’s your name”, he asked, in a voice lacking all vitality and timbre.
“Karin”, said the other girl
“And yours ?”
“Who are you ?” demanded Serina in return.
“I’m Dr Kaplan’s assistant. I’m going to be helping him this morning.”
“You mean you’re the anaesthetist ?”
Someone admired Serina's pluck. Although she was soon going to be completely dependent on these men, naked, with her legs strapped up in stirrups, she was not about to relinquish her dignity without a struggle.
“Yes”, said the anaesthetist, still not divulging his name, “and who are you ?”
“Serina Moskowitz”, said Serina.
“Are you all right”, asked the nameless anaesthetist, who was no less mousy for being a respectable professional, “you look very sick.”
“Thank you” said Serina.
“She’s normally very pale” said Someone, as if discussing a cadaver.
The anaethetist asked to see her tongue. Serina stuck it out as far as she could, and with difficulty restrained herself from placing her thumbs behind her ears, waving her hands and adding nah nahna na-na.
“Her membranes are fine” said the anaethetist, after rolling back Serina’s eyelids. “Don’t worry, I’ll look after you.” he told her, clearly most comfortable with looking after people who had no choice in the matter.
“Bring me a female”, mumbled Serina under her breath, outraged that she had to rely on this creature.
When he went she got out of bed and put on the backless gown. There were also funny little pieces of cloth which looked like serviettes with cords attatched.
“Don't put the G strings on” said the nurse, “they'll just tear them off in theatre.”
They might have no clothing, but several of the women who were being ‘done’ that morning did not forget to wear makeup. You had to look good when they scraped out your womb. Serina had no makeup, but she had shaved that morning before coming to the clinic, because the gynaecologist had commented on her hirsuteness.
“Have you thought of taking Dianne, or Androcur”* he had asked
“What are you doing for that paunch” she replied, resenting the assumed right to comment on her appearance. Kaplan had had the good grace to smile. But she had still shaved in the end. Such are we, thought Serina, principles and what we end up doing, knowledge and the emotions which defy all knowledge.
* * *
When they wheeled her back into the ward, ten minutes after she had came round in post-op, they brought her lunch. She was lying in bed with a pad between her legs while Someone twittered around her like an agitated sparrow. She felt sore and swallowed the painkillers provided. When they took effect she suddenly realised how hungry she was, not having been allowed to eat since the previous night. The bland hospital fare was next to her bed, one of those delightful mass-produced meals whose ingredients bore no trace of ever having existed beyond plastic and tin-foil. Unfortunately, there was no cutlery to eat it with. She pressed the call button, was answered and told to wait. After ten minutes a nurse had still not come, and Someone went in search of cutlery and a blanket, to cover the shivering Serina. It was an expensive privately owned Northern Suburbs clinic, but you might just as well have been lying shot and bleeding in a trench in the Somme, so scant was the attention. Eventually he found the ward sister, and next to her the two doctors discussing their share options in a new clinic which had opened in Bryanston.
“The business of medicine is business”, said Someone, somehow finding the do-or-die attitude which allowed him to speak before his normal conciliatory manner muzzled him. He did not need to remind himself of the sum raked in by the doctors from their abortions for those who could afford it. Six other girls had also had their wombs scraped bare on the same day. Each D &C* took about twenty minutes, so for two hours and twenty minutes of work, the two doctors had netted some R 8 000 each.
Yes, if you were wealthy you could organise anything, could find out where to go, and you didn’t risk your health. You didn’t have to writhe in agony on some backstreet table while another woman inserted a hangar into your body. And you certainly didn’t need to end up with an unwanted child. So what was the lesson in that ? Change things ? Make sure you were wealthy ?
At four o clock Serina felt well enough to walk to the car.
“Now you’re going to feel very depressed” said the nurse reverentially, as if recalling an article of faith.
“I am ?” said Serina.
“Yes, dear, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. You’ll feel terrible for months, even years afterwards, and on the anniversary of the ninth month you’ll feel a little empty, and wonder what the child would have been like.”
“And what if I don't” dared Serina
“Oh but you will dear, you will...”
* Cyproterone acetate, inhibits body hair growth
* D&C - Dilation and Curatage
Someone drove home carefully, as if he she were still pregnant and both her and the foetus had to be protected from unnecessary stress. Serina felt a pang of nostalgia for a future that would never be. When they got back home Someone ( who had to fork out two hundred bucks to a rude and surly locksmith to get the door open) helped her up stairs. Serina got into bed and ordered the unusually attentive Someone to bring her tasty things from the kitchen. The phone rang
“How do you feel”, asked Bea.
“Wonderful”, said Serina, “it’s wonderful not to be nauseous anymore. I'm enjoying my first decent meal in yonks.”
Someone dragged their huge old TV set into the bedroom, connected the video, and then collapsed into bed beside her, completely drained. He felt strange, as if some undefinable flood was rising in him, threatening to sweep away all of the things he usually made sense of his life with….it was perfectly clear that they had made the right decision. There were so many things they still wanted to do, things that a child would prevent. Children could come later, when they had tested their dreams, followed them to the limit…yes, they had done the right thing, the only thing in the circumstances. So why then this sadness, this creeping subversive sadness ? Perhaps, he mused, it wasn't about regret for a life, the life of the foetus, but about reappraising you relationship with all life…... with your own life. For really, the decision to terminate the pregnancy had been a vote of confidence in his own life, had it not ? But it was also a challenge, because if you didn't use the opportunity you had narrowly reclaimed, then who were you fooling ?
They lay there, in their familiar bedroom, eating Maynard’s wine gums and watching a film called `Turtle Diary'. It was one of those understated, melancholy movies which gradually seduce you until it seems to contain all of existence in its closing moments. Someone had to fight back the tears as it ended. Serina had dozed off, as she generally did in films. But when he turned the set off, the silence woke her up, whimpering, confused and sleepy, unsure of where she was. They dragged themselves to the bathroom, half brushed their teeth like soldiers too exhausted to remove their boots, and turned off the light. But now neither of them could sleep.
Serina’s wrist, where they had jabbed the drip in, began to throb. The day came back to her, the rush for the taxi, her panic, the cold, horrible wait in the pre-op room. She hugged her pillow, grateful to be home. It could all have been a lot worse. On the other hand it should never have happened at all. Someone had been nice to her, but then, it was easy for him. He didn’t have to have people poking around inside his womb. She decided to phone her gynae tomorrow, go back on the pill - even though it did odd things to her body - because she could never bare to go through this again.
Someone lay next to her in the dark, thinking about the way both your greatest fears and your greatest hopes, which once lay a week or a month or twenty years ahead, are somehow always suddenly behind you, and you lie in the dark recalling things which you cannot now touch or hold.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The opposite of communication

All the hype about connectivity, convergence, new media and its supposed advantage for connecting people and creating new kinds of community contains a very high percentage of bullshit. True, in many ways new technologis are only tools, and can be used for "good" or for "bad", but in an increasingly crowded and urbanised world where we are always rubbing shoulders with many many people in often uncomfortable or unwanted proximity, the new technologies are probably usede more to escape and disconnect than the opposite. So people on the crowded bus and train listen to their mp3 players to stay in their private world, women chat on their cellphones to those who are far and away but part of their comfort zone, as opposed to connecting with people who might be physically present, men view pornography online as an easy outlet and as a refuge from the challenges of intimacy, children play online games endlessly and adictively, and so on. So I see a lot of the new technology being used to shut out, to create private fantasy spaces where people can retreat to from overwhelm - nothing wrong with that as part of a bigger rythm, but a little deadening, a little numbing, an ending of community rather than an emergence of it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Plastic or cotton/wooden tefillin for vegetarians

For those of us who are uncomfortable with induced dying (as opposed to death) and don't like the idea of an animal being slaughtered to make a holy object (although some might say this is the best death the animal could hope for) how about tefiillin made from wood, with parchment made from sisal or hemp, and straps made from some kind of non -animal material. Alternatively how about an old aged home for cows and when an animal naturally hits the bucket so to speak, then its skin is used for the tefillin.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Personality and Identity

Even as we know people as Moslem or Israeli, Australian or South African, Male or Female, with all the attendant assumptions we may have about those categories, we also know them as strong or weak, forceful or retiring, manipulable or solid, sympathetic or abrasive. Sometimes it is the latter dimensions that are foregrounded, especialy when people work together on a daily basis over a long-time period, such as in a school like Emanuel. So you might be a Scandinavian, or an Australian of Hungarian descent, or a South African, but the way you perform in your job and the degree of commitment and your pleasing or purposefulness might be much more significant in interactions.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thoughts on writing plays

As a playwright deeply immersed in Jewish culture writing for a largely non-Jewish audience how much should I "go out" to them and how much should I bring them in to me?

Often when I have attempted to write a fictional play or film script addressing issues I fell passionately about - for example animal rights, the right of Israelis to live in safety and security - my writing tends to descend into rather in-your-face polemics, where the characters are merely mouthpieces for my own views, and don't assume a life of their own.

I'm thinking it might help me to revisit plays by playwrites who had a definite agenda, such as George Bernard Shaw, or works of fiction such as Animal Farm by George Orwell, where the story has a life of its own despite its enlisted nature. Uncle Toms Cabin also comes to mind.

For those of you struggling with a similar challenge, I'd be interested to hear your responses and tips.

Tzimtzum for writers and creators - the kabbalistic idea of G?d retracting Herself so that there would be "space" for the world very much applies here - the writer must get off His/Her own agendas and concede that they are arbitrary and no less or more valid than many/any other interesting ccombination of agendas.

In order to become an effective writer, who can facilitate self-recognition via keen observation, I need to let go of the more surface desire to change, preach, imact, shift..it is sacrificing influencing on a very superficial level for "influencing" (by being, truthfully) on a much more proound level - Shelley's "unacknowledged legislators of mankind."

Much of my writing ends in masturbation, as I become overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility of the task and seek comfort and escape - truly my books were written in sperm, not blood. I had already articulated this several years ago, when I wrote: "some people's works are written in blood, but mine are written in sperm" . I wanted to include this in "Hidden and Revealed" but the publisher, Gus Ferguson, declined - he felt it was a bit gross and yukky.

More potentially comic and satiric material

See also http://manofestoyomi.blogspot.com/2009/10/comic-material-short-skits.html and

Australian Regulations/ Strangulations

Never go into the sun alone - always have a tanning buddy
don't drink and masturbate
never use your mobile phone without a SP30 sunscreen

Call centre skit #3

A man is eating a  hurried breakfast at a small breakfast table. he rises, kisses his wife on the cheek when she enters, what's on your agenda? I'm going to phone the callcentre and get the account sorted out....
she dials, gets the irritating optus music that they haven't changed for years and years, interrupted regularly by messages such as "the call centre is experiencing usually high volumes, we appreciate your patience and will be with you as soon as possible" she puts it on speaker and does the dishes, she hangs up the washing, sits down with coffee and does some stuff on her computer,
cmon she says, I need to go out
she does an exercise routine / stretches / runs on a treadmill/
mows the lawn...looks atthe clock it says noon, she has to go out.
reluctantly she hangs up, heads out to the car, sitting in the car, hesitates , then dials a no.on mobile and gets the same music through the blue tooth. She drops off a parcel, meets with a business associate, explains she's een holding for hours so would friend mind if she just leaves phone on, does some shopping, goes to the post office, picks up kids, gets home. its no 3pm. walks the dog, come s home agin it s 4pm she reluctantly ends the call. Brings in the washing , makes supper, dials the number again, supervises some homework, husband comes home, mends a button, asks her husband to be on phone duty while she showers,gets out of the shower, yawns, watches the news, they get into bed, husband falls asleep, the phone is still playing its music, she falls asleep with light still on, the phone falls from her hand to the floor.
 "hello, this is raphael, how may I be of excellent service to you today"


Public loos: a planning meeting, slippery seats and huge toilt roll dispebnsers placed at backbreakingly low heights

The Project - short story about the tenacity of resentment

Don't whine so much, sometimes you have to just have to work with things the way they are...
They work together on the project, put all thir energy into it, the school bully smashes it.

Quivering with rage the father has a meeting with the principal. "I want that monster expelled"
Its ok dad, i'm not upset about it anymore
but your p[roject, that you spent so much time and energy on...

Scenes from School Life: Sketch # 1

Parent teachers evening. A tired teacher keeps on glancing up at the clock mounted on the wall. Another teacher crossses to her:
"You still got a lot left to go..."
"Just one more. They were supposed to be here at 7:30"
(The clock shows 7:50) Pan off clock and then tilt down to a harried woman who rushes in, things spilling out o a green shopping bag she is carrying, she looks around, locates the teacher, and crossses to her
Sorry...sorry....there were these long queues, and I thought I'd left enough time but the traffic was also backed up...
Yes. Well please have a seat Mrs Camore
Liz, please, call me Liz. So...how is Jake doing.
Well, to be perfectly frank...there are a few areas of concern. Perhaps the biggest one is tha he's invariably late. I don't think he's got to class on time even once this term ....
Late, I'm suprised. he's such a punctual boy. Could you excuse me for just one minute? In the huge rush here I din't get the chance to pop into a loo.
I'll be here when you get back
where is it, the nearest one
The teacher shows her. She goes, the teacher is left angrily twiddeling her thumbs....she waits...and waits...looks up at the clock...now shows 8 pm....the parent enters, spots another pair of parents and gets into a long animated conversation with them while the teacher looks disgustedly on, viciously bounces her pen on the table, then begins shredding some paper.
Eventually - when the clock shows 8:07 - she rises and crosses to the parent.
If you don't mind...we were discussing Jake's time management issue...can't think where he gets it from but I'm needing to go home now and...
yes, yes of course

Scenes from School Life: Sketch # 2

Teacher is talking to an ADHD parent about her ADHD child, but the parent is unable to concentrate, except to ocasionally mention indigo children, understimulated etc etc

The Jewish News:

At 2:30am this morning Iran was hit by a giant salami

I'm so happy to be off anti-depressants

When I drive I scan the road repeatedly
for cyclists
people turning right from the wrong lane
large breasted women


Man on a bus. (You know exactly the sort of man.) He gets up, rings the bell on the metal upright handrail, the bell falls apart, the yellow cover falls open, the red button falls on the floor. The man looks at the cover, starts messing about with it, trying to get it back on, awkwardly unzips a bag on his shoulder and removes a screwdriver. His bag bangs a nearby passenger, who shifts away, after an angry stare. He fiddles more with the bell while passengers try to get past him to get on and off. The bus driver is driving quite agressively, with flying starts and stops, and at a certain point harsh breaking sends our man flying so that he careens into another passenger and his screwdrive rips the dress of a third. Undeterred and resolute he straightens himself out, and retuns to his work. Passengers are beginning to grumble and complain, until the bus driver can no longer ignore the growing tumult. He cranes his neck to see our man busy with pliers and insulation tape and bits of wire. Hoy, leave that and sit down.
No, its no problem, I like to fix things..... and so on.

Dialogue between transplanted Jewish kishkes and Gentile lungs. Dialogue between Gentile alcohol soaked liver and Moslem lamb and coffee saturated spleen/ gall bladder. See also "Important Questions"

How much of a person can be transplanted before they cease being what they were? The Jew who was not. The Aryan who became. Could an Aryan accept an organ from a Jew, or would it render him/ her racially impure. Explore the comic-satirical possibilities of this.

Series of Clint Eastwood poses done by stand up comic - i.e. me - as action hero aged 30, aged 40 aged 50 aged 62, aged 75, aged 80, aged 90 and aged 106...the indestructible hero...but he is getting a little bent, and instead of clutching a 12 bore shotgun or a magnum, he now clutches a walking stick... a walker...etc.

Rules for living from Guy Suttner (aged 9): "never ask a person in a bad mood if their new shoes are comfortable because obviously they will say no." (How true.)

"That's Entertainment"

A family are seated around the TV set , watching the news. The anchor anounces that the H1N1 virus has reached pandemic proportions, and smiles at the camera, all cosmetically whitened teeth and robot like imperviousness. the family chortles in merriment. Then she moves on to genocide in Darfur, (the family giggles), a jet engine whose wing fell of (laughter), rise in unemployment, (delighted guffaws), etc etc. Then a piece on the dispossession and genocide of aboriginals in Tasmania. back to the anchor person, with her idiotic and inappropriate grin "and now for your weather" - family laugh, slap knees, convulse