Category Archives: WTF

Sydney: Terrifying? Yes. Terror? No…

Let me preface this post with the following clarifying statement:

The whole situation was abhorrent, and this post does not diminish the horror, fear and sadness inflicted on the hostages and their families, along with the brave Police .

Was the Sydney siege terrifying? Yes.

But was it a terror attack? No.

Two innocent people who were just going about their daily business are now dead, their last hours spent in torment and abject horror. The survivors will bear the scars, both physical and mental, for the rest of their lives.

All because of the actions of one unhinged, attention-seeking lunatic. To label him a Muslim is unfair on honest, peace-loving Muslims.

Man Haron Monis was a scumbag. A human scumbag. A scourge on our species. Nothing more, nothing less.

Forget his religious persuasion. This was a nutball who transcended all faith. In fact he used his faith as a guise to commit heinous sexual assaults on trusting women. He treated his faith, like he treated everything in life, to suit his own selfish, self-indulgent ends.

Yet the media networks gave him everything he wanted – 24 hour rolling coverage across every available channel – fuelled by the need to fill up dead air space or to beat out the competition in the race for taps, clicks and ratings.

The media’s handling of this event was quite frankly deplorable, and they put hostages’ lives at risk by telecasting updates on Police positions and tactics. Yet they are quite unapologetic about it.

The Daily Telegraph’s spin was arguably the most atrocious:

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While Police spokespersons continuously referred to the situation as a “Siege”, the media kept referring to it as a “Terrorist Attack”.

Tori Johnson – the man who died, reportedly executed, after grappling with the madman to give fellow hostages time to flee – was an out-and-out hero. He was also gay, although mainstream media are tip-toeing around that, and I’m not sure why.

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott labelled Kate Dawson, the other civilian casualty who selflessly died shielding a pregnant fellow hostage, and Tori as “good people”. Not good enough to marry his partner of 14 years, according to Tony, but good nonetheless. But I digress.

This was not a terror attack orchestrated by the Islamic State. Yes, an Islamic State flag was listed as one of this demands. But if he truly was representing the Islamic State, surely they could have FedExed him a flag, and a couple of bumper stickers.

No this was not about religion. It was not about culture.

This was a last stand by a man who felt (wrongly) persecuted by a society that had handed him endless second chances. At least a few too many, it would appear. Bail for being an accessory before and after the fact for the murder of his ex-wife? Heads will roll, and spin will be spun on this one in the coming weeks.

But the bottom line was, this was an isolated act undertaken by a crazed individual. He may have held extremist views, but at the helm, he was just plain unstable.

Therefore it should not have necessitated the #illridewithyou campaign. That being said, I have no objection to the sentiment, especially in light of the way the media portrayed the events. And regarding those hand-wringers who are trying to turn this into an intellectual debate by saying “Doesn’t this just potentially label, and therefore further fuel ostracism of Muslims?”, “Isn’t this just ego-driven patronising by attention-seeking hashtaggers?”

No. I don’t think so. I think the sentiment is positive. And it’s an offer, not an order. The Jews could certainly have benefited from more people standing alongside them, or speaking up in their defence. I don’t see this campaign as a bad thing, in light of recent events.

But while these tragedies bring out the best in people. It also brings out the worst.

I hate people who take selfies at the best of times, but taking a selfie of a hostage drama as your backdrop? Give yourself an uppercut.

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I hope these narcissistic twerps are named and shamed.

And while I am a massive supporter of Uber, the stories that drivers were using the drama as an opportunity to charge markedly ramped up fees to ferry people out of the city centre was a blight on humanity.

So what have we learned from this tragic event?

These things bring out the worst in human nature.

The selfies and the Uber drivers. Abhorrent.

Politicians love waxing lyrical, and milking every last self-serving minute out of the tragedy.

Mainstream media are a throng of rats, fighting over every scrap of market share they can get their nasty, gnawing teeth into.

But then these events bring out the best in people. By all reports, the Police were exceptional. Calm and courageous. Selfless and brave.

We’ve also learned time and time again that events like this also throw forth heroes, who bravely step up when life throws them in the midst of turmoil – making the ultimate sacrifice.

I know who I want to focus my attention on…

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The Right to Arm Bears

Sorry “hunters”, but I’m going to have to support the animals on this one.

Trophy hunters really get my goat. Indeed they probably would be itching to get my goat, if I was speaking literally*, and not figuratively.

Every year, trophy hunters kill thousands of magnificent, exotic wild animals, representing hundreds of different species, in a host of countries. Trophy hunters most often prefer to kill the most beautiful, the largest, and the rarest of animals.

They also call it “Sport”. Calling such a lop-sided endeavour “Sport”, is akin to playing a 5-year old at tennis. No one is buying it, and you just come off as a massive wanker.

Look, it might classify as “Sport” if you were both equally equipped. And no, you can’t tie a rifle to a zebra’s back and call it evens. Mano a mano. Or mano a los dientes, if I had my way.

“Myth of Conservation”

Proponents of trophy hunting consistently argue that the revenues raised from trophy hunting in poorer countries supports conservation. Yes, good reader. Hunters actually claim they are conservationists. The irony is as thick as their skulls.

“Killing for conservation” is akin to “fighting for peace” or “fucking for virginity”…

The reality is very little, if any, of the revenue generated from hunting goes towards preservation.

Eco-tourism on the other hand, where visitors observe and photograph animals in their natural habitat, does help conservation.

So which is better? The answer would appear obvious, but let’s do some simple math. Oh, stop groaning. I’ll do the math. You kick back and hum “The Old Grey Mare” until I’m done.

Let’s do the exercise based upon lions. On average, a lion kill brings in around $15,000 to the organisers.   That’s one visitor, one lion, and one singular injection of tourist dollars. Don’t get me wrong, this is significant income in a poor nation. But you’re left with a dead lion at the end of the deal.

In national parks, a single maned lion generates on average over $350,000 PER ANNUM through photographic tourism. And their average life expectancy in the wild is 10-15 years. That’s over $3.5M during its life span.

So although hunters pay quite large sums relative to the local economy, ordinary tourists are much more numerous, and not only do they inject much more into the economy, they provide revenues straight into the horse’s mouth. Or in this case lion’s mouth, because the proceeds go directly towards conservation parks.

Blood-hungry hunters can shoot an animal only once, but photo-hungry tourists can shoot it a thousand times and the animal is still there for the next group.

$15,000 vs $3.5M. Hmmm. Which is better… Which is better…

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Serial “Conservationist” – Melissa Bachman

“Canned Hunting”

Because the numbers of lions in the wild are dwindling at such an alarming rate (an estimated 75% decrease in population in two decades), “Game Farms” in South Africa have sprouted to meet the demand of trophy hunters determined to “bag a lion”. Sadly, this is a legal practice in South Africa, and it generates a sizeable income for farm owners. Virtually none of the money generated goes towards conservation, despite shameless promotion to the contrary.

So what is “Canned Hunting”? There’s no dressing it up. Lions are bred and kept in captivity, and tourists are encouraged to visit and pet them when they are young cubs (more income on a pay-per-pat basis). When the lions are in their prime, a “hunt” is arranged in a confined area. The unsuspecting lion is released and can then be easily shot and killed, in some cases from the safety of a vehicle.

Incidentally, the magnificent male lion in the photo above was bravely killed by Melissa Bachman by way of canned hunting. Tally ho! How sporting!

Why am I hating on Melissa Bachman so much?

After completing her canned lion hunt in South Africa, she drew attention to herself by boasting about her kills on Twitter and Facebook. She wrote: “An incredible day hunting in South Africa! Stalked inside 60 yards on this beautiful male lion… what a hunt!” The words were accompanied by the photograph of a beaming Bachman posing next to the dead animal. Her apparent joy in killing the magnificent, and ostensibly defenceless lion sparked outrage in South Africa and all over the world.

Canned hunt. Take out the “anned h”, and you’ll glean my thoughts on the likes of Melissa Bachman…!!

Admittedly, social media abhorrence did go a little too far, when there was internet furore over this photo:

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But it did spur a pretty awesome meme, so the Triceratops’s death wasn’t entirely in vain…

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Trophy hunters’ desire to kill the biggest and strongest is also affecting natural selection. Some scientists say that systematically hunting of the most mature members of an animal population can adversely affect its gene pool. This will reduce the average size of future generations and threaten the ability of the species to thrive in its habitat. It is claimed that human hunting over many years has gradually diminished the size of the Kodiak bears of Alaska. I fail to see how this is a good thing, unless you’re a dweeby, socially-awkward Kodiak Bear…

But seriously hunters, if you desire a thrill from tracking an animal through the wilderness, sneaking up on it and pressing your finger – buy a fucking camera.

If your lust for killing leaves you unsatisfied with this, then I have one last suggestion that at least offers a more level playing field. Let’s call it, I don’t know… “The Hunter Games”. 24 hunters enter an arena, and, well, you get the picture…

* Gen Y take note…

Is Facebook Listening…?

… I mean to their users feedback, and not through the microphone!?

Facebook users, and mainstream media have been in a frenzy in the last few days about the Messenger product being separated, and the ridiculous and scary terms of service that surround them. It must be a big issue, as my rant on this yesterday has had over 75,000 views until now.

I uninstalled Messenger yesterday, and since then if I got a Facebook message, I’d have to view it on PC (unless I reinstalled Messenger).

Well that was, until an hour or so ago. Now the Facbook iPhone app has the messaging built in again, without the dependency on the Messenger app! Woot woot!

Seems Facebook are rolling back the dependency (on server side)? Well they have for me and some friends I checked with. I am guessing if you remove Messenger, then messages will work inside the Facebook app again.

But what is this mysterious removal all about? Can we trust what’s going on here? No statement, or apology, or anything official to address the decisions made. Is this one just being swept under Gonzo’s rug?

I fear now that Facebook are going to to be more sneaky about permissions in apps and their terms of service agreements. I fear it will be like someone trying to cut your exceptional Cab Sauv with some Merlot. You might fool some, but not those who know better! Are Facebook assuming the world cannot taste their bullshit 2013 Merlot from Asshat Valley?

Facebook, we DEMAND to see the bottle!!

But even without a peep from Facebook, after yesterday’s rant, I am definitely happy to chalk this one up as a victory. Facebook, you get a space on my Gonzo trophy wall.

Anyone else want to fuck with us* this weekend?

*us, being me, and this weekend’s motivational coach to bring forward these injustices to the interwebs, Jodi Wieland.

51 years, wasted… so far…

An old university buddy Truls Fauske, posted this on this his Facebook page, and it got my attention, so thought would share! (and also I thought it fitting to contribute to the loss of productivity).

by TF…..

Here is a crazy statistic for you lot. 

Some of you might know i stuck this random video on YouTube a few years back. Against all odds, it attracted more than 10 views. Then more than 100, then i broke the 10,000 within a month or so, then i forgot about it for a few months and when i checked back it had broken 1 mil. Yeah. Its now at 28mil views. Which makes me somewhat of a YouTube dignitarian. I know thats not a word, but i digress.

One of the cool stats YouTube provides is how may MINUTES your video has been watched. The metric was only introduced in September 2012, but its still a great way of visualizing just how much of humanity’s TIME you have wasted.

As of today, i have documented proof of wasting 27,265,079 minutes of your collective lives. That’s roughly 18,934 days of productivity i have snatched straight out of the world economy. 51 YEARS of time, totally gone, that could, nay, should have been spent on discovering fusion, commercializing flying cars and building the space elevator.

I believe humanity would be well served if i was paid a neat sum to take down my video, so we can get on with things. We should probably outlaw catvideos too, that should save a further 2-3 bazillion years of productivity.

The YouTube video is this;

Gazzler’s List

My good friend Nolan Dalla recently wrote a blog piece titled “Ten Common Things I’ve Never Done”

http://www.nolandalla.com/ten-common-things-ive-never-done/

Nolan’s list is quite a fun and interesting read, as it does shed new light on someone I feel I know reasonably well.  But I also feel compelled to respond to Nolan’s list, and to make a list of my own.

Nolan, you know I love you.  But as friends do, I like to get the boot in, whenever I can.

I shall respond to Nolan’s list first.

1)     Nolan has never used illegal drugs.  Not once.  Period.  This from a man who was a teenager in the 1970’s.  Nolan, I assure you, you’ve at least inadvertently done illegal drugs.  And mate, not all “illegal drugs” are as scary and dangerous as you seem to believe, especially if only used recreationally. 

2)     Nolan has never bought a new car.  Nolan doesn’t know what he is missing.  New cars are awesome.  It’s not like you’re beta testing by being the first to own a new car.  All the behind the scenes safety and performance checks have been done.  There are no bugs to iron out.  Wouldn’t you rather a gorgeous, shiny kitten that purrs for you?  Rather than a tattered, shabby old tabby, with diarrhoea and half of one ear missing, that mews and spits whenever you go near it?

3)     Nolan has never been on a Cruise Ship.  Ironically, I am in the same boat.  I wholeheartedly concur.  Once you’re in the middle of the ocean, you’re stuck there.  If I’m not having a good time, I like to be able to pack my bags, check out and go someplace better.  You do not have that luxury on a cruise.  If the cruise is full of screaming children (and I hear that many are) there’s no escape.  If the cruise is full of boozy Spring Breakers, there is no escape.  That reminds me, there used to be a party Cruise Liner in Australia in the 90’s called “Fairstar the Fun Ship”.  Little did they know, it was also known by many as the HMAS Herpes.  Party cruises.  Can you imagine anything worse?   There are only so many times you can call me “dude”, or even worse “duuuuuuude”, before I will hurt you.  Oh, and lean in, and listen closely, drunken college students.  I’ve hurt people before, and not one of them has come back and asked me to please hurt them again…

4)     Nolan has never watched the Simpsons.  WTF??!!  He mentioned some other TV shows that he’s never watched, including the Sopranos, but I just can’t get past the Simpsons.  It’s been on for almost half of your life!  You do realise it is not a children’s cartoon, but an “adult” animated series?  And it is freakin’ hilarious?!   The writing is second to none.  So many memorable characters, so many catch phrases.  Indeed the character development is superb and has evolved, and honed to perfection over the course of the years.  And the voice actors are simply brilliant at bringing the characters to life.  I’d suggest you buy the boxed set (but if you watch it for 8 hours straight every day, it will take you the better part of a month to watch it since you have so many years to catch up, you schlub).  However I fear that watching it now for the first time, would not be the same as watching it from its inception.  I actually feel sorry for you Nolan.  You have truly missed out.  D’oh.  In fact, this has outraged me so much, my next blog post is going to be “My Top 10 Favourite Simpson’s Quotes”.  It actually saddens me Nolan, that you may not recognise (or chuckle at) a single one of them…

5)     Nolan has never eaten at “Subway, Carl’s Jr., Capriotti, Chick-fil-A, Quizno’s” et al.  I’m afraid your list doesn’t effectively sort the wheat from the chaff.  Subway, for example cannot be compared to other fast food chains such as Chick-fil-A that peddle mostly in deep fried fare.  Subway is ostensibly a fresh sandwich franchise (and Quiznos, to a similar extent).  Admittedly, some of Subway’s cold cuts are processed and full of preservatives, but they do also offer fresh-cooked meats, an array of healthy salad ingredients, and bread baked “same day”.  If you ate Subway every day, there’s little to no risk of becoming stricken with “Supersize Me” syndrome as evidenced by Morgan Spurlock.  I’m not saying you should eat fast food.  Your general fast food philosophy is quite sound, and indeed meritorious.  I’m simply suggesting there are some healthier chains out there that shouldn’t be tarred by the same brush.

6)     Nolan never runs the air conditioning in his car.  What is that, I don’t even?  You’re in Las Vegas for fuck’s sake.  It’s the middle of the fucking desert!  Just because cavemen were too tired after a long day of hunting and/or gathering to take the time to invent air conditioning, rest assured they’d have used it in a heartbeat if it existed.  And Nolan, your reasoning that it causes motor damage is spurious.  I bet that’s something a mechanic told you back in the 80’s and you’ve never forgotten it.  You probably also believed that no-one would tire of “HyperColor” t-shirts.  The reality is, modern cars (even second-hand ones) are designed for air conditioning to be seamlessly integrated into the engine’s operation.  Not running the air conditioning, but then turning it on for the occasional dinner car pool, is actually worse for your vehicle.  In fact, I’d hate to be the person who purchases your car second hand.  They switch on the air conditioning, the vents splutter a cloud of dust in their face, and the engine conks out.  The post-purchase “cooling off” period is quite ironic, in your case.

7)     Nolan has never owned a female pet, because they are walking “kitten factories”.  Seriously, you’re blaming female cats for bringing kittens into the world?  Nolan, come up and sit on my knee.  It’s time we had a little talk.  Now when a boy cat and a girl cat love each other very much…

Anyway, all that aside.  You should neuter your pets, regardless of whether they are male or female.  That goes for everyone, neuter your fucking pets, you irresponsible ignoramuses.  And never buy from Pet Shops.  Pet Shop puppies are mostly bred in puppy mills.  Puppy mills are evil, conveyor belts of torture and deprivation.  Don’t give these evil people your money, while millions of perfectly happy pets are being needlessly euthanised in animal shelters.  Adopt from a shelter, save a life.  <end Gaz rant>

8)     Nolan claims he has never worn white shoes in his life.  I call bullshit.  But regardless, it seems an absurd philosophy.  If we only wore clothes that camouflaged us against the most common causes of soiling, we’d all be wearing brown and yellow underwear.

9)     Nolan has never seen Van Morrison in concert.  Nolan you’re not Robinson Crusoe there, although I daresay a lot of Britney fans could learn from your philosophy.

10)  Nolan never says “Goodbye” when leaving a social gathering.  Nolan, amen brother.  Fuck convention.  This trumps all of the above in my books.  Words to live by, my friend.  I’m stealing that one.

Now it is time to throw together my list of “Ten Common Things I’ve Never Done”.  It was not as easy an exercise as I thought it would be.  I’m fortunate to have enjoyed many, many fun and interesting experiences. However, there are a handful of things (well, two handfuls, if you’re going to be pedantic) that I’ve never done before.  Here goes:

1)     I have never, ever waxed.  Anything.  And never will.  Sure, I do the odd spot of manscaping.  It is important to trim the undergrowth from around the base of the ol’ oak tree, (it makes it look taller) but I have never felt the need to do any widespread, comprehensive land clearing.  A man is supposed to have hair.  So are ladies, for that matter – how else is the plane supposed to know where to land?

2)     I have never snow-skied.  This will come as a surprise to most of you who know of my love for Whistler.  Truth be told, the idea has always terrified me.  Strangely, I am perfectly comfortable snowboarding.  I think it is the fear of each leg being independently responsible for my safety.  Don’t trust the fuckers to act in unison, so strap ‘em together, I say.

3)    I have never been arrested, or even detained.  Either I’m very straight-laced, or I’m extremely good at not getting caught.  I wonder if Nolan can say the same?  No judgement buddy, it would just appear that some are not as wholesome as some, on the whole.

Actually, that reminds me of a joke:  “Jesus loves you”.  A nice thing to hear in Church, but not so in a Mexican prison…

4)     I have never been to South America or New Zealand.  Now I am a guy who has been everywhere.   Well not literally, obviously.  But I have undertaken some heavy business travel over the past 12 years, and have had the pleasure (and sometimes displeasure, truth be told) of visiting over 60-70 countries.  I have booked New Zealand trips on several occasions, but the fates got in the way and I have had to cancel each and every one of those visits.  And for some strange reason, I have never made it anywhere in South America.  I must fix these aberrations.  I hear there’s some sort of football tournament coming up down that way.  I simply must check it out.  Sao Paulo via Queenstown, por favor.  Sweet as bro.

5)     I have never, or will ever let this kind of thing happen to me: http://www.nolandalla.com/two-russian-cunts-ruined-zucchero-concert/, which could mean my third point might still be in jeopardy.  I simply don’t suffer fools.  I would rather sort that shit out early, and have them seethe and glare at me while I enjoy the rest of the show, rather than seethe and glare at them, while not enjoying being able to enjoy the rest of the show.  There are unwritten social conventions that can sometimes only be taught by harsh lessons.

6)     I have never been to a game of baseball.  I don’t know why.  I have no excuse.  I’d actually love to go, but for some reason I’ve never made it happen.  I’m a massive cricket fan, and try to see it live when I can, so I can handle the tedium of long, drawn-out sports.  Fortunately, I like a drink, so I’m pretty sure I can remain entertained for a few hours.  And heck, I love the baby elephant walk.  It makes no sense.  I’ve been to countless NHL, NBA and NFL games in the US (including several Super Bowls) but have never experienced a live ball game.  Right, this is now on my bucket list.  My next invite, I am accepting. Except maybe if it’s the Pirates *shudders*

7)     I have never bungee jumped.  And I have never skydived (but I have zoomed in on Google Earth really, really fast).  And I never will.  Sorry, it’s unnatural and it’s just pushing your luck.  If I am in need of a head rush, I’ll simply stand up too quickly after tying my shoelaces.

8)     I have no tattoos.  My body is a temple.  I would never defile it in any way.  *hand me another gin and tonic, my good man*  Besides, any artwork I liked enough to hang on my wall 10 years ago is long gone.  I can’t say I have the confidence to settle on something I know I’ll like in a year’s time, let alone a lifetime.   Can you say the same for your Chinese symbol tramp stamp?  You do know it translates to “Goat Fucker” in Chinese?  Gaz’s Tip o’ the Day: Never haggle the price with a tattoo artist…

9)     I have never seen Schindler’s List.  I know, I know.  It’s not quite as bad as Nolan and the Simpsons, but it’s true.  I missed it during its cinematic run.  By then, most of my close acquaintances had seen it.  So whenever it came to hiring a movie, Schindler’s List was never considered, as everyone had seen it, and it’s generally not considered “light entertainment”.  As a consequence, I have simply not made the time to sit down and watch it.  I must fix this.

10)     I have never folded 7-2 under the gun.  This is because I like to live dangerously.  As for conservative, old “Blackshoes Dalla”, I cannot say the same…

Heck, why stop at 10.  Let’s make it a neat dozen.

11)     I have never broken a plate at a Greek restaurant.

12)     Although I have been heard to say otherwise, I have never beaten the following people at golf (at least fairly): Matt Savage, Ty Stewart, Shane Warne, Barry Hearn, Jim Preston and John Caldwell.  I am admitting it here, publically.  Seth Palansky however, anyone could beat.  The guy is a fish.

Right, that’s it.  As usual, I welcome some critique in the comments section.  Indeed, feel free to throw your lists in there as well, I could do with some shits and giggles.

Until then, bugger off.  I’ve got to whittle my next blog down to only 10 Favourite Simpson’s Quotes.  This may take a while.