Saturday, October 31, 2009


Dear Artists,

Pick a title for your art. There are only three reasons for leaving your work untitled.
  1. Laziness. How hard is it to come up with a title? You've just created a work of art. However good or bad it may be, you did it. Now title it. I'm not asking for an essay, just a title. Call it anything. If you draw a bunch of colour boxes, call it, 'Coloured Boxes'. If you pained a pond, call it 'Pond'. Or just call it a random jumble of letters. You can't expect me to believe that you have the creativity to come up with the idea to draw a man with a Vicks Vapour drop for a head mourning an empty pack of Butter Menthols, yet when it comes to picking a title, you're stumped. Or too lazy to bother.
  2. Fear. You're worried I'll judge you on your title? Once again, you're not being asked to write an essay, it's just a name. I will judge you on how your art looks, but not on your title. In fact, I'm much more likely to judge you if you don't have a title. Plus, a title can be very helpful. If you don't have one, how will white people reference your work to their friends to make themselves feel more cultural?
  3. Pretentiousness. You're so arty-wanky that you refuse to title you're work? Get the fuck out of my gallery. If you're worried about a title "restricting the artistic boundaries" of your work then you've got bigger things to worry about than coming up with a title. Like how much you're going to get beaten up by people. Remember, for people to like you, and your work, people need to be able to relate to it, and you. By being so alternative that you call your 'finger painting/splatter/crushed glass' piece absolutely nothing at all, I have lost interest in it and you.
I hope we can work together on this one Artists.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cash out.

Dear Treasury Department,

I hate 5 cent coins. They are the most useless of the small change.

For starters, most machines that you use that accept coins don't actually accept the 5 cent piece. They stop at 10 cents. Plus, most of the items in said machines cost $x.x0 anyway, so 5 cents are useless. they never give them in change.

And paying all in 5 cents is frowned upon. Either you spend ages at a machine, slipping tiny coins in as everyone lines up behind you and thinks, "Geez, what's this poor bastard doing?" Or you hand over a wad of them at a counter and the person behind the counter has to count them and they are never happy, neither are the people lined up behind you. Everyone is thinking,
"Geez, what's this poor bastard doing?"

Not even the bank tellers like 5 cent coins anymore. They get all snooty when you hand them over to be exchanged for normal money, like they're too good to count it, too good to even touch it.

But the worst thing is, you can't even give 5 cent coins away. If you give it to buskers/the homeless/charity workers, they look at you like you just spat on them. And rightfully so. It's like someone asking for some food when you have a whole sandwich and you give them a crust. Giving someone a 5 cent coin does not say, "Hi, I'm charitable." It says, "Hi, I want people to think I'm charitable, but really, I'm a cheap heartless douchebag." Giving away 5 cents is almost a hand-written invitation to the 'Why did you even fucking bother?' party.

You can't even give them away in a friendly gesture. Like if you approached someone and said, "Here, have these 5 cent coins." it wouldn't matter how many you gave them, it would still be a burden. Offer just one and they'll think it's a joke. A whole bag and its just an inconvenience that they have to take to the bank and suffer the condescending glares of tellers.

I personally have two stashes of 5 cent coins. One at my desk at work, and one next to my bed at home.

Help yourselves, because I sure don't want them.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cut and colour.

Listen up fashionistas, I've got a new dose of style advice heading your way. Open your ears!

Lesson 2: Long hair

Firstly, long hair on women is fantastic. I have no problems there. Want to know why? Because it's feminine. And pretty. And smells nice. All things that women also are.

However, on men, long hair is another story. Like not a sequel. An entirely new story. Of a different genre. Written in bodily fluids.

My problem is that I don't know what men with long hair, particularly long hair in a pony tail, are trying to prove. Why do they let it grow? I have come up with I feel is a fairly comprehensive list of possible reasons, and I will now tear them apart.
  1. The "Hey everyone, look how long I can grow may hair!" excuse. I'm sorry, you're proud of that? You think we're impressed by how long you've gone without a hair cut? Do you think that your ability to grow hair, a natural bodily function we have no control over, is special? Or are you just trying to be a dick to all the bald people out there? Are you rubbing the fact that they can't grow hair, a choice made not by them but their genetic material, in with your flowing locks? No one is impressed.
  2. The "Nobody tells me how to cut my hair!" excuse. Congratulations, you're living the free and easy life. Wind blowing through your hair as you hit the open road on yet another unplanned adventure. Odd that you have to clearly illustrate how free and easy you are by growing your hair. Most people would continue to get their hair cut no matter how free and easy they are. Also, let's cover the things that would tell you how to cut your hair: A partner, a sensible job, a caring family. Fantastic, you don't have any of those thing. Yes, you're a real winner.
  3. The "I'm rugged and unkempt, just like my hair!" excuse. You're an animal. You have no interest in hair cuts. They're for women and gays. You just let your hair grow. If it wants to be short, it'll fall out, like a badass. You're a bad boy, as untameable as your wild flowing locks. Except, if you've ever spoken to any woman with long hair (not including those with dreadlocks... I'll deal with you later) they will tell you how much effort goes into maintaining long hair. They wash it every day, they brush it every hour, they get split ends, they condition with treatments. If you are a man and you have long hair you are doing this to your hair as well (if not, you've probably got dreadlocks.... again, later). This is not rugged. This is the opposite of rugged. Want to know what makes you rugged? Growing a beard is rugged. Kicking the shit out of a crocodile is rugged. Fixing a ute with a combination of dirt and your own blood is rugged. Having long hair like a girl, not rugged
  4. The "Have you seen *insert name here*? He has long hair, and it looks awesome! I'm just like him!" excuse. Oh really? Fabio looks awesome? No, Fabio looks like a joke. You think Johnny Depp has long hair and he's awesome? Well, he is a cool guy, but that has nothing to do with his hair. List any other celebrity with long hair and I can guarantee they aren't cool because they have long hair. They are cool because they are in movies and have lots of money and date hot women. Their hair has nothing to do with their success. They only reason they get away with it is because they are famous. Want to know where having long hair, no acting ability and being in Hollywood gets you? In porn.
I think that about covers it. Let me know if there are any other excuses people use and I'll make sure I cover them in a later post.

Until then, stay classy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Doing what you do.

I was flicking through the Bronco Bugle (read: Courier Mail) this morning when i came across a large article about Wayne Carey. Apparently his daughter saved his life. He was addicted to drugs, gambling and promiscuous sex, but suddenly he realised that a small child, who is he created and relies on him to live, was more important. Yes Wayne, we're all very proud of you.

The thing that struck me though was the title of the article, which I can only assume was a direct quote from Mr Carey himself. It read something like this:
I knew what I was doing was wrong but I did it anyway.
Here's my problem. People use that line as an excuse, and they think it absolves them of guilt. Firstly, it is not an excuse. Knowing you are doing something wrong does not explain why you did it. In fact, it does the exact opposite. It makes it even more confusing as to why you did it. If you know something is immoral and or illegal, and you do it any way, without a decent medical reason, then you actually end up sounding like a worse person than if you had said nothing. In fact, it may even be better off to say "I didn't know what I was dong was wrong." At least that way you'll just sound ignorant. Doing something you know is wrong just because you want to is the height of selfishness, particularly when you are a father and the things you are doing involve leaving your eight month pregnant wife for an underwear model and then later being arrested for glassing aforementioned model.

Now I have nothing against Wayne Carey per-say (that's a lie, I think he's an arrogant jock who clearly never grew up), my problem is the use of the phrase "I knew what I was doing was wrong." That may be the case Wayne, in fact, I doubt anyone is stupid enough to think that beating up your wife or assaulting a police officer is the right thing to do. However, that does not excuse what you did. Nor does it make you any less guilty.

The line has been used before. Bernie Madoff, the Wall Street investment banker who ran a massive Ponzi scheme that defrauded innocent Americans billions of dollars, said he knew what he was doing was wrong. Again, I am inclined to agree. I doubt someone can spend nearly 40 years working in economics and business and not know that fraud is bad. He's clearly not a stupid man, he started his own business, that, despite being a brilliantly executed Ponzi scheme, was very successful. He avoided being noticed for over 20 years. But, the fact that he knew he was in the wrong does not make him any less guilty. It actually makes him more guilty. The two pillars of the justice system is the act, and the intent. For example, if you kill someone, but didn't intend to, you get charged with manslaughter, not murder. So by saying, "I knew what I did was wrong" you are admitting to both the act and the intent. Not a wise move.

Josef Fritzl, Austria's Father of the Year for the years 1977 to 2008 inclusive, also said, "he knew what he was doing was wrong." Really? You knew sexually abusing your own daughter, locking her in a basement for 24 years and fathering seve children with her was wrong? Clever boy. Once again this is neither an excuse nor an absolution of guilt. It seems as if people say this because they think it will endear them to the public. Like people with hear it and go,
"Oh, he knew what he was doing was wrong? Oh, well, that makes a world of difference. I thought he was just a savage who didn't know right from wrong. But clearly he is just a man who got caught up in a bad crowd. He couldn't help it. At least he knew it was wrong."
I don't know about you, but when I hear someone did something even though they knew it was the wrong thing to do, unless they are a comic book superhero, I think, "well, you're an idiot, show some restraint." I don't want to forgive them. That's essentially rewarding stupidity. "Congratulations, you were immoral even though you knew it was a terrible idea. Gold star!"

In closing, here's an idea. If you do the wrong thing, and someone asks you about it, do not, under any circumstances, say "I knew what I was doing was wrong." Try, "I'm sorry." It may not sound like much, but at least it means something.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Spare a moment.

I got stopped by those charity spruikers in the city the other day.

You know the ones. The girls are always British and they wear the shortest skirts and tightest tops. Like they've donated all their modest clothes to Rwanda. Yet somehow they all look like hippies still. Perhaps it's the clipboards. You don't see many people using clipboards except hippies. They seem to have a lot of documentation they need to carry around that needs to be easily accessed and written on.

The guys always look like giant douche-bags. They've got their Jeans West faded dark denim on and their popped Cotton On polo collar. But they're all so handsome. Sickeningly so. They're out there telling you about dying pandas or starving children and all you can think is, "you could be in an underwear commercial, you pretty pretty man."

Anyway so I got stopped. And I am the worst person in this situation. I once bought a shit homemade rap CD off a guy in New York. I don't even like rap music. But this black guy stopped me and I could hardly say no. It was around the time of Obama's inauguration, so racism was even less cool than usual. I certainly didn't want to offend him. He was huge and would have crushed me like a bug. Twenty US dollars later I was the proud owner of the worst hip hop CD ever recorded. I'm not even sure it was original songs. This guy could just have made a mix tape of his favourite tunes and sold it to me. I wouldn't know. That's how little I know about rap music. I gave it away. I thought that would get him back for making me buy it. He may have my $20, but I'm never going to listen to that CD again. which means I'll never recommend him to any of my friends. I guess the joke is on him.

I'm terrible at saying no. I even feel bad if I don't get a dry cleaning flyer from those people that hand them out in the city. I actually apologise. Why? I don't know. They're being paid to stand on the street and hand out paper. It may not be much, but they're getting it. And I apologise for not taking it. It's not like one sheet makes any difference to them. It's a third of the size of an A4 sheet of paper. I'm sure they're not struggling under the weight. but I apologise.

So you can imagine how bad I am when it comes to actual charity. I clam up. I've tried the old "I'm talking on the phone" trick but I bail as soon as someone says something to me. So I appear to have the shortest phone conversation ever. And they think I care much more than I do about starving sharks in Africa. They think I care so much that whatever important call I was on, I instantaneously ended when I heard them ask me if I wanted to hear about the plight of one legged men in Kenya.

For a while I got away with the old "I'm not over 21" trick, but that will only last so long. I'm walking around the city in a suit for gods sake. They're going to start figuring out I'm lying. Although it would be funny to see how long you could make that work. Imagine an old guy walking past slowly with a walking stick, maybe an oxygen tube coming out of his nose. Monocle. And they stop him and ask him if he wants to donate to Elephants Without Borders and he says "I'm sorry I'm not over 21". Would they buy that? Would they call him out on it? What would the point be.
"No you're not"
"I am"
"No offence sir, but you are most definitely not under the age of 21. You look like you're about to die."
"Well I don't care about elephants. Good day."
Anyway, so I get stopped and I spend the next 10 minutes of my lunch break being lectured about God knows what. I tuned out early on in the speech, hoping that if the girl saw the glazed look in my eyes she'd go, "This guy is a lost cause" and move on. Or feel sorry for me. Maybe if at the end I said "Huh?" she'd roll her eyes like my sisters do when they tell me something and I realise I haven't been listening so I try to cover it up with a skilful, "Yeah, totally." Eventually I manned up/hunger got the better of me and I said that I wasn't interested and thanked her for her time. Her time? Who was being the burden here? I suppose she had just filled me in on the situation of wells in Indonesia. That's handy.

I wish I could be more forceful in ignoring them though.

I saw one guy once, and I shall practice until I am as fantastic as he was. He went storming past a charity guy, he was clearly going somewhere. Had a suit on, looked important. This dick-hole from NAPLAN or APEC or something said, "Do you care about the environment sir?" as he flew by. And without missing a beat this guy has said, loud enough that he didn't have to stop walking, "Not enough." And then he was gone. He was a ghost. The spruiker looked so confused. I was pissing myself laughing by that time as I waited for the bus. Then enviro-douche came up and harassed me. I sat through his dribble for nearly 10 minutes until my bus arrived.

I must learn how to say no.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My first open letter.

So here's another soon-to-be-frequent style of post on my blog. The open letter. I'm sure you've all seen one. so I won't explain how it works. If you're new to this type of thing, you will catch on fairly quickly.

Dear Lincraft Lady,

Thank you for being an unhelpful bitch.
If it was at all possible, you made me want to be even less crafty than I already am.

Love, Thomas.

Also, how do you all feel about the new blog layout? Matt did it. Snaps for him.
I feel less minimalist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The letter formerly known as...

I wonder what the world would be like if some letters never esisted? Like if they were just never thought up and, as such, never made their way into our alphabet. Would we find a replacement?

From my eperience, necessity is the mother of all invention. However, is having a certain letter a necessity? Could we live without it? I'm sure that if someone removed a letter from the alphabet right now that would cause fairly serious problems, but what if it was before our time?

I guess the entire discussion is a moot point. We have our alphabet with its twenty si letters, and it works, why question it? Because we can, that's why.

If we did get rid of one though, we could replace it with a fancy little squiggle, like Prince did. Ecept less gay.

Monday, October 19, 2009


So almost a year ago to this day (note: don't go fact-checking that, it's probably not right, it just sounds cool) Maddy and I were joking around about musicals, as the cool kids did in those days. I had written one, she had written one. It was the centre of both of our small worlds.

We came up with the concept of a haiku-sical, that is, a musical written entirely in haiku, songs and all. It was a joke, we had a laugh, and moved on.

Except I didn't.

I wrote the idea down. I re-discovered it the other day. And it has been bugging me ever since.

I'm not interested in writing a whole musical, however what I will do is convert a number of popular musicals into haiku format. For example:


Look, eight New Yorkers
Most are gay and some have AIDS
Death makes them arty

Or what about this one:

The Producers

Make a Broadway flop
World War Two is funny now
Mel Brooks irony

And finally:


Fat girl on TV
Dances away racism
Man in drag plays mum

Add your own ideas in the comments if you want. This may become a regular column.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Passion for fashion

I like to think that I have a bit of skill in the fashion department. I feel I dress well, and I think people recognise this. I'm no slave to fashion, you won't see me wearing the latest trends or paying hundreds of dollars for a brand name. However, I make sure that I buy things that are decently quality and suit my body shape. It's not hard to dress well, you don't need a stylist and millions of dollars. Just an eye for what looks good together and knowledge of a few basic rules.

Then why do so many people get it wrong!?

The following is the first of hopefully many posts in which I lay down a bit of wisdom. Not just any wisdom. Style wisdom. Now I'm not holding myself up as a fashion icon, however I do believe that I know a thing or two. This I owe mostly to having three sisters who, from when I was quite young, give me brutally honest advice on what I was wearing. Even if I didn't ask for it. They did also force me to dress in women's clothing on a number of occasions, but that hasn't had any noticeable effect.

Lesson 1: Joggers

When I say joggers I mean cross-trainers. Running shoes. I'm not picking on people that jog. Good on them for getting out an exercising. However, they should probably just harden up and run. Jogging is for sissies. But I digress. Running shoes. Never before has something so simple caused such chaos in the fashion world. Let's start with the basics. They are called joggers/runners/cross-trainers for a reason. There is only one excuse for wearing them: If you are jogging/running/training. That is what they are made for. That is the purpose they were built to serve. The name isn't a joke, they aren't trying to be ironic. In fact, few other items in this world are so obvious. They are named after the people who wear them.

So where do people go wrong? I'll tell you where... everywhere.

Joggers are not necessary if the only jogging you do is actually just walking, and that walking is only done between your house and the bus stop/train station and then between the bus stop/train station and your place of employment. This level of physical activity does not count as jogging. It does not require the assistance of joggers. I don't care how comfortable they are, they look ridiculous. I'm talking to you, the hundreds of office workers who pair their business attire with Reeboks.

No no, shh, there are other options. I refuse to believe that a pair of modest flats from, oh, anywhere, would hurt your feet so much during the 30 minutes a day you have to walk that you must resort to wearing wearing Nike cross-trainers. And to those that claim arch support I say, "buy a pair of orthotics." They slip right into your shoes and provide arch support that the Romans would be jealous of.

Did I hear someone ask me to stop picking on hard working women? Sure thing!

Men who wear jeans with joggers disgust me. This was the first fashion rule I learned. You can wear almost any type of shoe with jeans. But not joggers. Never joggers. Ever seen anyone actually jogging in jeans? No. Ever seen anyone jogging in a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors? No. Ever seen someone in exercise clothes wearing Vans? No. So why wear jeans with joggers? Once again, you aren't running anywhere. Sure, if your out and about you may be walking around a bit more, but that does not necessitate joggers. If you can't toughen up and deal with whatever minor discomfort may come from wearing shoes without proper arch support, then you don't deserve to be walking. Buy a wheelchair and donate those legs to a paraplegic who will use them appropriately.

I will call it a day there. I think I've made my point. For anyone that missed it, it was:

"Don't wear joggers with work clothes, or jeans."

I have a number of other fashion gripes, so expect to read about them in the future. I hope that I can, in some small way, help people be really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Never as tired as when I'm waking up

So I was doing my usual thing where I waste time by pottering around on the internet and finding funny/odd/interesting things and I cam across this video: It basically involves some film crew asking 50 people the same question. In this instance, the question was, "Where do you wish to wake up tomorrow?"

Most people gave the responses you'd expect, like "In my own bed", "Back home with my family", and "In bed with him/her." However, one lady, around the 2 minute mark (right after Philip Seymour Hoffman responds, "Outer space"), said the following:
"I would love to wake up in a world, like, where every closet opens in to, like, someone else's closet and then you come out of the closet and you're in a totally different place and you meet that person and get to have breakfast with them. I don't know if it's possible but that's where I'd like to wake up."
Now getting past her obvious deep-seeded sexual conflict (she wishes to wake up in a place where she can "come out of the closet" to a stranger who would accept her into their house and eat breakfast with her... I only did Introduction to Psychology but I'm pretty sure I know what this chick is trying to say... she is practically screaming it) I have some real issues with her imaginary world.

Firstly, how does she propose the world would function in this fantasy closet transport world? Assuming you had a choice as to whether you were warped across space by your closet, and not just sucked into your wardrobe when you went to grab your outfit for the day even if you didn't want to take a magical mystery tour, what happens once you've arrived? Sure, you have some breakfast, but what then? Is the closet transportation system a return-trip setup? Can you easily retrace your steps? Or do you have to just keep warping about until you arrive somewhere you recognise? And what happens if you arrive in someone's house who doesn't speak the same language as you? How do you explain who you are, what you want for breakfast, or even engage in simple meal-eating banter?

Secondly, the whole breakfast thing. Now it'd be nice to assume that if you just randomly showed up in someone's bedroom (I'm guessing that is where most people keep their closet) they'd welcome you with open arms and invite you to breakfast and want to hear your abridged life story over some crumpets. But that simply isn't the case. What if you're having a stressful morning, like you spilled coffee on your only ironed shirt and the toaster just died? The last thing you want is some person showing up unannounced for breakfast, especially if you don't know them very well, or at all. What if you had to be at work early and you've already left the house, and some person who had a bit of a sleep in thought, "I know what I'll do today, transport myself into someone else's house and have breakfast with them" and they arrived but you weren't home? Would you be okay with a complete stranger helping themselves to your Special K? What if you were engaging in some early morning hanky-panky and someone barged in demanding pancakes?

Then you have the matter of crime. Once again, it'd be nice to assume that the closet teleporter would only be used for good, but the reality of the world is that there are some real losers out there who just like to do bad things. Do we really want to provide a way for would-be thieves, murders or *gasp* rapists to gain entry directly into people's houses? I imagine you could run a fairly successful burglary ring with just the help of a few closets. What about illegal immigration, or terrorism? I can't see having a border control outpost in every single person's bedroom being a particularly easy thing to manage.

There are a number of other issue to consider, like time zones (just because it's time for breakfast in Brooklyn doesn't mean it is in Johannesburg) or what happens to the clothes in your closet (how do you stop them from transporting with you, or worse, transporting by themselves) but I think it's safe to say that this woman's idea of Star Trek closets is pretty impractical.

The lesson to learn from this is: don't say stupid stuff when you're being filmed, because it'll end up on the internet.

Oh, and no one wants to have breakfast with a lesbian.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gold medal position.

I'm going to skip the obligatory first post "OMG I got a blog you guys! I know I totes said I'd never do that but I was totally bored to DEATH and I just had to do it... so... New Moon is out soon, OMG!" because frankly, you don't want to read it and I don't want to write it.

What I will discuss, however, is the name of this blog. Pazzwizzle. Here is an interesting fact. If you Google (take that grammar, I'm using a proper noun as a verb) "pazzwizzle" it should return no results. Maybe one if this blog appears on the list. But other than that, nothing. You could say that I am the first person on the internet to use the word "pazzwizzle". It seems unlikely, considering all the weird fetish sites and kids who can't spell properly, that pazzwizzle doesn't appear in some form, somewhere. But it doesn't. Or if it does, Google (noun time!) doesn't know about it. Perhaps in Laos they are discussing pazzwizzle. Maybe it's the national drink, or it's the name of some glorified TV character. Does Google's reach extend into Laos? I guess we may never know. What we do know is that for now, this is the only website that will appear if anyone Googles (and we're back to verb usage... grammar nerds hate me right now... assuming they hadn't already left in disgust after seeing the blog title) "Pazzwizzle".

Pazzwizzle has a funny origin. I was stuck for a blog name, and after brainstorming a bunch, I was just getting sick of the whole idea. I tried song titles ('Royal in the Afternoon' was taken by both a shitty Whitlams cover band from England and some tool who had a LiveJournal), references to my career ('Statement of Loss and Damage' while kind of cool would have meant I'd turn into a blathering emo wanker), old ideas I'd had for other creative things ('stop. watch.' would have pigeon-holed me as one of those bloggers who just posts YouTube videos for the LOLs) and even random nonsense ('The Adventures of Hand Dog' was a brief favourite but fell from grace after I realised that Hand Dog might become the highlight of the blog and would have to start his own blog, leaving me to go it alone and ultimately crash and burn without his creative talents at the helm). Nothing was working.

So I went back to the drawing board. Or at least my old notebooks where I used to scribble ideas for things. I came across a list of names I had used in an audition many moons ago. At the bottom of the list, a "Carla Pazzwizzle" was written, with the last name crossed out. Don't fear, her name wasn't actually Pazzwizzle. Her parents weren't from the Lollipop Kingdom.
Her actual name was noted beside the correction. However, this recorded gaff on my part reminded me off one of my embarrassing traits. I am prone to mishearing words, names, even entire sentences. Instead of asking, "Could you repeat that?" and not sounding like a crazy old man, I regularly end up saying, "Did you just say *insert ridiculous sentence here*?". For example, at work today I was convinced someone had said, "I put everything in Veronica Small-cock so she can check it later." It didn't seem to matter to my brain that what I thought I had heard was completely ridiculous.

So that's where Pazzwizzle comes from.