Roadkill Goanna

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hezbollah scores own goal, says murdered Colombian footballer


HEZBOLLAH had scored an own goal by taking a baseball bat to the hornet's nest that is Israel, murdered Colombian footballer Andres Escobar said at a seance in Melbourne today.

Escobar, speaking from beyond the grave at a seance held by 14-year-old schoolgirl Portia Cumberland and friends in her parent's basement in the leafy inner-eastern suburb of Kew, said that even Blind Freddy could see what was going to happen once the Shi'ite crackpots started firing their Baba Ganousha rockets at the Israeli port city and party capital of Haifa.

"You just have to look at what's happened today in (the southern Lebanese village of) Qana," Escobar said. "There were 65 people killed, including 21 children, when one Israeli warplane dropped one American-made smart bomb.

"In one instant, the Israelis have killed more or less the number of Arabs that Hezbollah has been able to kill of Israelis in the past fortnight. You don't need to be all that smart to work out that this isn't working out for Hezbollah. Or for the people who are being killed."

Escobar, who knows a thing or two about own goals, having been famously murdered on his return to Colombia after scoring the own goal that knocked his country out of the 1994 World Cup, said that if Hezbollah really wanted to win it had to get back to basics, play a 4-4-2 formation, set out its stall early doors and look for a head inside the box.

"Better still," said Escobar, "maybe they could look at rebuilding in a lower division. They have lost many of their top players in the past week and so perhaps they would have a better chance of success in the civil strife in the Solomon Islands. For me, Hezbollah v Israel is like Cardiff City v Real Madrid. It ain't gonna happen."

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The birds! The birds!

Avian influenza my tailfeather! Seems the biggest bird-related health hazard around these parts is our feathered friends in Fawkner Park.

In a fit of public-liability anxiety, the Melbourne City Council has put up a bunch of signs on rather rough-hewn and splintery stakes warning that it cannot guarantee your safety vis-a-vis the park's allegedy divebomb-happy birds. Never mind that I haven't seen a magpie or a Willy wagtail (pictured) in the park for ages (my guess is the Indian mynahs killed them), the more bleedingly obvious issue is that these unilluminated stakes are exceedingly likely to impale any number of night-time joggers (not that that would necessarily be a bad thing).

Still, what can you expect from a council whose phone number is 9658 9658, so that when you call them you're already going backwards and around in circles before you even get to the automated menu? If feelgood mayoral type John So ("He's my bro!") & Co want to do something constructive, they could: a) ban leaf blowers; and b) shell out for a spot of Indian mynah eradication.

This whole sorry episode put me in mind of an even sorrier one. Back in the day, when I was kicking it tabloid-style, the Herald-Sun (it had a hyphen then) played an Aussie rules match against the Tele-Mirror (as it was then) and The Oz in Wagga Wagga.

Somehow I managed to find myself in a paddock, scooped up the pill and set off on a lightning-fast Justin Madden-style trundle down the wing. But just as I was taking possibly my second bounce, a magpie swooped down out of a light tower and bit me on the head. I went "WAAAAGHHH!" and lost the ball, which was promptly picked up by the other side and booted down the other end. I'd been trying to repress that memory for years. Thanks, John.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Dozens killed in Habbo Hotel bombing


AS many as 100 Habbos are feared dead after an Israeli warplane bombed the Habbo Hotel in Beirut.

An air-to-surface missile ripped through the cosmopolitan meeting place, which is popular among young, educated Lebanese with far too much time on their hands, as hundreds of Habbos were admiring each other's taste in music, trading furniture and wondering if they could ever get laid at the online venue.

The scene outside the Habbo Hotel was one of carnage, with stray Habbo dogs feeding on bloody pixels that had been scattered across the street.

British Habbo ManUnitedRulez-764 (pictured), who was in Beirut on a cheap last-minute package holiday, said he was "gutted" and "sick as a parrot".

"It's bang out of order, innit?" ManUnitedRulez-764 said. "The travel agent told me Beirut was the new Paris of Asia or summat like that. And now look at the joint. It's a bleedin' joke. They're havin' a laugh, mate."

ManUnitedRulez-764 said that losing a "dead classy" sofa he had just acquired from a local Habbo just added to the pain of seeing the rest of his five-a-side football team shredded in a firestorm of white-hot metal.

Israeli Air Force spokesman Moshe ben Moshe apologised for the carnage, saying that intelligence reports had indicated that Hezbollah leader Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan was debating the merits of house music and gamma-hydroxy-butinol in the lobby.

In Australian reaction to the tragedy, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that the government had given Australian Habbos plenty of opportunity to take a chartered ferry to Cyprus. Conservative columnists and radio hosts said that Habbos with dual Australian and Lebanese citizenship had to work out whose side they were really on.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Syrian torturer disappointed by suspension of US rendition flights


Syrian torturer Adar al-Ashur today expressed disappointment that the crisis in Lebanon has brought a temporary halt to CIA "extraordinary rendition" flights to Syria, which deliver suspected terrorists into his custody for what the US government describes as "vigorous interrogation".

"It is very sad for me to be here today," al-Ashur said, taking a GNN correspondent on a tour of his torture facilities in the basement of a building at the Baba Ghanoush detention camp outside Damascus.

"Look how lonely my meat hooks appear with nobody hanging from them by their shackles. Look at the sponge I use to wet their genitals for electrocution -- it is dried out completely!"

Al-Ashur said he had learned much from his American counterparts since a temporary thaw in relations between Damascus and Washington enabled Syria to begin playing its part in the US rendition program.

"Before, I never even heard of waterboarding," he said. "Now I can make a man feel like he is drowning for hours at a time. It is hilarious!

Al-Ashur said he enjoyed the globalised nature of the rendition program.

"Thanks to the Americans I have been able to torture a student from England, a bank manager from Canada and a man from Pakistan who I think was a carpet salesman but I could not really understand him because his teeth were broken and his tongue was swollen up for some reason. How else could I meet such people?

"The Americans have helped me to become more professional in my occupation too. Often when I am watching (Syrian soap opera) Khalf al-Qudban I would forget to keep the prisoners awake. Now I make sure to throw a bucket of cold water on them at every advertisement.

"I now have two wishes. Number one is, inshallah, that the Zionist entity be destroyed completely. If I cannot have this wish, then I wish that the Americans will come back soon so I can meet some more new people.

"Ehud Olmert is a pig. I slap his head with my shoe!"

Friday, July 21, 2006

Call for help in clearing region's ethical minefields


AUSTRALIAN ethicists have called for greater international assistance in clearing the world's ethical minefields.

Professor Porfiry Zyuganov, of the Australia-Asia University in Melbourne, said that in the Asia-Pacific region alone, the area covered by ethical minefields had increased more than 5000 per cent in the past 25 years.

"When I was a young ethicist, Australia - and the whole region, for that matter - was a very different place," Zyuganov said while sipping a Fairtrade coffee sweetened with certified slavery-free sugar.

"Today, anyone who steps even slightly off the well-trodden path of public discourse is likely to have their leg blown off, in a metaphorical sense."

Professor Zyuganov said that mainstream media coverage of minefield-related issues was generally confined to the traditional high-explosive anti-personnel landmines of the sort found by the millions in places such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angola, Somaliland, Sri Lanka and Nagorno Karabakh. Little attention, he said, was given to the ethical minefields of "so-called protected" academic enclaves such as Carlton and Parkville.

Professor Zyuganov raised the hypothetical example of whether an ethically aware university professor should allow his wife to purchase a large four-wheel-drive vehicle in order to drive their child to school.

"That scenario really opens up Pandora's floodgate of worms," Professor Zyuganov said. "For instance, a smaller car would use less fuel, causing less pollution and less depletion of natural resources. Also, the lower profile of the car would mean that the wife is less likely to kill another motorist should she T-bone them at an intersection. A better situation still would be if the child walked to school on his own, yet this puts the father at risk of life-long guilt should the child be taken by a pedophile or run over by a different woman in a four-wheel-drive. But then if the professor forbids his wife from buying a four-wheel-drive is that not perpetuating the subjugation and oppression of women as institutionalised by the notoriously misogynist Western patriarchy?

"Even the traditional high-explosive landmines open up an ethical minefield. For instance, is it now ethical to use a Motorola mobile phone because the company no longer makes components for landmines, or is it better to boycott the firm in perpetuity? And is it ethical to trick monkeys and dolphins into detonating mines and so sacrifice their own lives to save the life of a hypothetical human? It's all too much."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

New tsunami 'hardly worth getting out of bed for'


THE tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Java on Monday was "hardly worth getting out of bed for", an aid worker has complained.

"The last tsunami (on Boxing Day 2004) was huge, but this one only killed -- what is it now? About 330 people?" said Jeff Baker, of Regional Conscience International Australia, as he prepared to leave for the devastated area.

"I mean, you've seen one bloated, stinking body hanging from a tree you've seen them all."

Hurriedly throwing clothes into a battered backpack, Baker, whose job will be to oversee the distribution of emergency food supplies, said he was sick of having to go to Indonesia "every two fricking months".

"If it's not tsunamis or floods it's fires or earthquakes. These days I seem to be spending more time speaking Bahasa than I do speaking English. And I'm so sick of Indonesian food. Why can't they have a volcano erupt somewhere nice in the South Pacific for a change?

"Oh well, at least I don't have to go to Afghanistan again. That place really sucks."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Zizou gotta rattle them pots 'n' pans


Australian football supercoach Brent "Potato" Couchman has advised his former protege Zinedine Zidane to channel his aggression into cooking a week after the hotheaded Frenchman was sent off for headbutting Italian shit-stirrer Marco Materazzi in the World Cup final.

"Zizou is a dab hand in the kitchen," said Couchman, who appears little more than a sofa-bound PlayStation addict, but who was in fact Zidane's manager and mentor for 15 seasons during Cardiff City's unlikely transformation from English Third Division also-rans to overlords of European football.

"He makes a mean couscous. His secret is bulghur wheat, which has a delicious, nutty flavour. When I was running the show at Cardiff I often found that if Zidane was sent off on a Saturday, the best thing to do was go around to his place on the Sunday because the red card would focus his anger onto the stove.

"He is fantastic with pastry as well. And the things you've seen him do with a football aren't a patch on the things he can do with a bag of offal. If you ever see a sheep being gutted, hold a Tesco bag underneath it, then take it around to Zinedine's, whack it on the breakfast bar and half an hour later you won't be able to wipe the smile off your face."

Couchman said he understood Zidane's anger at Materazzi, who drew inspiration from the French wunderkind's Algerian heritage to reportedly call him "the son of a terrorist whore".

"After September 11 (2001), it was open season on the scarfies as far as those Eyetie rednecks were concerned," Couchman said. "If your dear old Mum enjoyed getting about in a hijab -- much less a burkha -- look out!

"I can understand Zizou laying a bit of a Glasgow kiss on the prick, but what I'm disappointed about is the fact that he only went for the chest. In all the drills we did at Cardiff I made sure that the players focused on the opponent's nose. If you're going to get sent off, you may as well make sure the other bloke's schnoz is spread all over his face like a half-cooked omelette and he's snorting back haemoglobin for a week.

"In any case, I've put the word about in Cardiff and Materazzi will be lucky to get a job washing dishes anywhere in Wales from here on in."

Couchman said his only regret from his time at Cardiff City - during which he took the one-time Welsh minnows to an unprecedented treble treble (scooping the English Premier League, FA Cup and European Champions' League three years running) - was the fact that he could never squeeze a fellow Australian into the side. And the fact that today's football manager video games are too complicated for him to get the hang of.

"I'd have loved to have Harry (Kewell) and Dooks (Mark Viduka) in the squad, but who was I going to drop? Didier Deschamps? Ronaldo? Ronaldinho? 'All-Night' Dwight (Yorke)? And I'd have loved to have got Mark Bosnich or Mark Schwarzer on board but we already had Peter Schmeichel and Fabien Barthez.

"Hell, I think at one stage Becks (David Beckham) only played three games for us in three years because Stefan Reuter and Steve McManaman had the right wing pinned down. But I'm glad he's kicked on at Real Madrid. Is he getting a game there?"

Friday, July 14, 2006

Call to list US Republican Party as terror group


MPs from a growing group of countries have called on the United Nations to officially list the US-based Republican Party, also known as the GOP, as a terrorist organisation.

The GOP, which has broad popular support in the American street stemming from its hardline policies on Islamic jihadists, "rogue states" and Mexicans, has seen large numbers of its members elected to both houses of the US Congress in elections that have been widely regarded as free and fair.

Yet despite the GOP's apparent electoral legitimacy, lawmakers in other states consider its members unfit for office given the organisation's history of deadly terrorist attacks on civilian targets in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Panama, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and its longstanding support for the anti-democratic regimes of Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, Pervez Musharraf, Shah Mohammed Reza Palavi, Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto, Augusto Pinochet, Anastasio Somoza and others.

"It is true that they were freely elected, just like my own party," said Gaza Strip Hamas spokesman Abdurrahman al-Ghazi, "but it is disappointing that the American people have chosen to put in place what is in effect a government of terrorists. It is sad to say but we may have to consider imposing sanctions on this rogue regime."

Al-Gazi's comments were echoed by Lebanese parliamentarian Hamed Aziz, who was comfortably elected to his country's legislature as a representative of Hezbollah or "Party of God".

"Like our movement, the Republican Party considers itself to have divine inspiration," he said. "Yet this is disproven by the example of its economic sanctions on Iraq, which doubled infant mortality, caused outbreaks of typhoid and cholera and resulted in the kind of malnutrition usually only seen during famine.

"It is difficult to have direct negotiations with the GOP -- it is like sitting down to drink tea with the man who napalmed your entire family to death. Perhaps if they unambiguously acknowledged Iran's right to exist it would be a start."

The GOP receives strong political backing from the regimes in Britain and Australia, but a majority of the international community would like to see the opposition Democrat party return to power.

However, most Americans see the Democrats as a niche party solely interested in the narrow concerns of the lower and middle classes and short on policies for high-income tax cuts.

The UN was unavailable for comment.