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SURVIVOR 36 : Trying To Survive Another Tribal Swap and Reversing The Curse Of Our Previous Winner Pick

April 5, 2018

So, WELCOME BACK to another instalment of our ‘Survivor : Ghost Island’ Edit Analysis where we deconstruct this weeks edit, try to identify the seasons winner and most definitely DON’T burst into giggles still every time we write the word “analysis”.  Tee hee.

Apologies if this feels a little dense or disjointed, but we actually wrote up a whole thing last week but then didn’t get around to posting it until after the episode already aired, so we’ve just merged it into this week, which is of no real consequence as the only person we lost is James and, well, he was very clearly never ever going to win anyway (sorry Jim!)

What WAS a loss, however, was losing our slam-dunk clear #1 Winner Pick that we’ve held on to since the premiere, so lets all take a moment to mourn Stephanie.




No, seriously – can we actually take a moment because from what we saw from the intro this week, the CBS editors sure didn’t, which actually felt a little weird for someone who was getting one of the more sizeable edits of the season.  Seriously – there wasn’t even a single word said about her once they started this week, which is interesting.  Like, we weren’t expecting them to go all Darren Aronofsky on us with ‘Episode 6 : Requiem For A Stephanie’, but it was slightly jarring after the past four weeks of ALL STEPHANIE, ALL OF THE TIME.   TBH, it is starting to make us wonder if it isn’t that the editors are trying out new editing patterns by choice, but that the season is playing out so South Pacifically that they are being forced to get creative because they have no other option.  Lets keep an eye on this people, because that might just be our first proper HOT TAKE OF THE SEASON.


For real-real though, the way they have edited Stephanie doesn’t make sense, at least not from a modern day Survivor editing standpoint.  Now, don’t get us wrong – we’re definitely not complaining, as both this level of character development AND unpredictability are two of the notes we’ve being trying to push to the team for YEARS now, so it’s an enjoyable upswing in the entertainment level of the show.

The only other alternative that we can think of (besides the season being a straight-forward Pagonging) is that S38 or S39 is going to be ‘Survivor Second Chances 2 : Electric Boogaloo’, and thus every single potential casting candidate is getting extra care taken with their edit in order to get the public invested in the next Wentworth or … *shudders* Culpepper.  It makes sense though, particularly when you combine Steph’s edit with the care they took with Brendan the week prior.  Sure, he was never a viable winner candidate (at least as far as we were concerned), but he was given a much more developed and sympathetic edit that was clearly designed to make him both stand out and have people sad that he missed out on making it further.  The fact that Brendan originally almost made Marquesas but was replaced by Hunter Ellis, while Stephanie got the single most developed pre-merge edit since the golden days of Gina Crews is not lost on us either.

Speaking of Stephanie though, that segues us nicely into the first of our two editing lessons of the week (you can read the previous rules HERE) :-

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SURVIVOR 36 : Ghost-Busting The Island Edit and Trying To Work Out Our Winner Picks

March 15, 2018

FINALLY got around to rewatching the past two weeks of   and man, how great is it to have Survivor being actually, well, GREAT again?   Like, for all the talk about #ReversingTheCurse, one can only assume that J-Pro is referring to that of Game Changers and (whelp) #HeHeHu aka The Worst Survivor Season Since The OG Fiji (which was 21 seasons ago).


As a hardcore Survivor Fan since Day One, it’s so nice to have a season that is so much that it’s worth writing about again.  And doubly so because, two weeks in, there’s not an obvious clear winner like the last few seasons have given us.  Particularly, it’s great to be getting some semblance of a well-rounded edit and some really unexpected pure-character moments to boot.


Plus, the whole Ghost Island motif is actually PRETTY FREAKING COOL.  Like, it’s a shame that it’s not full of the REAL past Survivor mistakes like The Medallion Of Power, Fiji’s “Have/Have Not” Twist, the GODAWFUL CARAMOAN REUNION STAGE SET-UP, casting various members of The Hantz Family or last season’s ill-conceived and frankly embarrassing Final 4 Fire Making Ben Bailout, but it’s a good start.  And it’s a smart, well-thought out choice to breathe some new life into a format that was getting a little too stale to be staying on air.

The Survivor : Ghost Island Legacy Advantage, which has basically become DEATH NOTE at this point.


So, what are we doing here?  As opposed to the standard recap format, which so many other writers do better/funnier/more on timelier than we could ever dream(z) of delivering, we’re going to be putting on our Sherlock Holmes-esque sleuthing hat and investigating the season from an editing point of view.  To those of you who haven’t really followed before, it’s always been a passion of ours to really follow the show and break down the story based on the edit, and try and crack out the winner like we’re reading an old-fashioned Agatha Christie novel or something.  It’s the way we’ve approached Survivor ever since Heroes vs Villains, and using that we’ve picked Fabio, Sophie, Kim, Cochran, Tyson, Mike, Jeremy and Michele right from the very get go.   Now, to be very clear, this is a SPOILER-FREE ZONE (because what fun is a mystery novel if you cheat and jump straight to the last page, right?)  But also, it’s super important to note that edit prognostication is NOT an exact science.  For every rule that is pretty much set in stone, there is another new rule that gets invented each year as different types of players win, or different approaches to the editing them take effect.  Having some real, logical, human flexibility in this is what probably sets us apart from the EDGIC Community, which will lock itself in to people like Devon or, say, Dr Mick, even though it’s blatantly obvious to anyone with a brain that they’re not winning the season, no matter how many checkboxes they tick off.

For example, before Tony Vlachos, there had never, EVER been an edit like his that had won.  So you could eliminate him for a hundred different reasons but, when it came down to it, it was just because we’d never had a winner PLAY like Tony before.  Adam Klein from Millennials vs Glenn X is another great one – the edit absolutely CRUCIFIED him at the merge, and showed him making several game-ending errors with jurors that there was no way we could see him overcoming it.  So when he comes back with a 10-0-0 vote to win, we learned that when a player plays THAT GOOD of a game, the only only to portray them is to create doubt where there is none, and basically assassinate their chances ala Tony V in order to make the rest of the season an even remotely suspenseful one.   The CBS editors have created some fake suspense with winners before, but nothing like the hack job that they did to Adam (which we had to formally apologise to him in person for after shitting on his game and his winning chances for a majority of the season).




So, what are our Golden Editing Rules for WINNING SURVIVOR?  Now, each week we’re going to walk through a specific one, because otherwise this word count is going to have more 0’s than Stephanie’s inevitable cheque.  But, this week we are going to start with one of the most important, that has held true for 34 out of 35 seasons (and, even then..)

WINNERS EDIT RULE #1 – No Matter What, The Winner Will Be Clearly Established In The Premiere.

This right here, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Survivor Edit 101 that will NEVER, EVER let you down.  You can get yourself as many New Rules as Dua Lipa allows, but season in and season out, this one always holds down the firmest.

In 35 seasons, the only Survivor Winner who hasn’t been solidly established in the premiere was Tina Wesson, and that was by design (as we elaborate on further down the line).

But basically, a winner will ALWAYS be shown in the first episode and get at least one really solid strategic confessional, and something establishing who they are as a human being.  The more forced it might seem, or the less likely the reason you can think of to be shown it, the more confident you can be in them being a season winner contender.  The latter is how we zeroed in on Michele Fitzgerald and had her as our LOCK Winner Pick right from the Kaoh Rong premiere and never deviated from her since.  No matter how INV the actuality of their gameplay might be, the premiere itself will always make sure you know their name and that their story is told right from the start.



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Ranking The Past 35 Survivor Winners From Worst To First

January 29, 2018

Having just crowned our 35th (35th!) Champ a few weeks ago, what better time to stroll down Survivor Memory Lane (N.B. Not a real place, although probably the working title for a majority of the seasons we’ve had this decade – #GhostIsland anyone?) and update our Epic countdown from last few years (see previously editions HERE and HERE).

Now, we’re the first to tell you that there is genuinely no one set way to win the game – besides getting to the end and receiving a majority of the votes (are you listening Russell?) – and that’s what makes coming up with an objective and definitive ranking a hard task indeed.  Every player comes from a different deck of cards, so we’re assessing them on how well they played with the hand they were dealt.  We’re grading them on their individual winning game so, while Parvati may overall be considered the greatest female player of all time, only her winning game in Micronesia is deemed relevant to this discussion.

Points will be awarded for various things, for example :-

  • CONTROL – How much control contestants had in getting themselves to the end and how much of that winning journey was actively planned.
  • GAME AWARENESS – How well the contestant read the game and tribal dynamics over 39 days and made deliberate and informed choices, versus stumbling ass backwards into a win.
  • DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY – How many obstacles were on their road to victory (whether it be game structure, fellow competitors or even their own personal limitations).
  • CHALLENGE WINS/IDOL PLAY – While Terry Deitz-ing your way to the Final 3 may look impressive on the surface, the elite players never need to rely on an Immunity Idol or Necklace in order to survive a vote unscathed.  Now, being able to work one or both into your overall strategy is a different story, but a truly great game isn’t defined by something as arbitrary as how good one is at glorified carnival games..
  • JURY MANAGEMENT – As stated above, the only single way to win Survivor is to convince a Jury of your previously eliminated peers to give you a majority of votes at the end.  How much of this factored into their gameplay and how many of these eventual votes were *for* them, versus just being the lucky recipient of BJS (Bitter Jury Syndrome).
  • SHEER LUCK – Whether good or bad, luck will always play a factor in the game of Survivor.  How a player maximises or minimises their own is the real testament to their overall skill.

So, without further ado, lets start from the bottom (and no, for once we DON’T mean Sash)..




And right off the bat we have Ben, our most recent winner – who played an excellent game of, well, being saved by an inexplicable (and completely dubious) Production Twist.  Not to mention a seemingly never-ending string of Hidden Immunity Idols that mysteriously being re-hidden right next to all of Ben’s favourite hangout places on the island.  Several contestants over the years have been famous for catching (or, in the case of Richard Hatch, BITING) sharks, but with the lengths production bent backwards to push Ben into that Final 3, this was the first time a season *jumped* it.   There have been other winners who have pretty dubious paths to the win, but none have been so egregiously offensive to fans of the game as this one.  Don’t know about the Heroes or the Healers, but the real hustler of Season 35 was Jeff Probst himself.

BEST MOVE : The tirelessly looking for idols was impressive, although loses some of it’s sheen for the blatantly suspicious way they kept turning up almost literally under Ben’s Feet.  Other than that, his best move was basically just his backstory, which is as nauseating a reason to win as you can get in modern Survivor.

SHOULD HAVE WON : Chrissy had one of the most phenomenal Final Tribal’s we’ve ever seen (or heard) and yet could only manage two measly votes.  If you want to talk about how fundamentally biased Survivor has become against female players these days, look no further than the way the other five jurors voted, even after hearing her powerful argument (and Ben’s pissweak one for himself).




File under :- ‘How To Win Half A Million Dollars Without Really Trying’.  No, but seriously – Kristie seems like an absolutely lovely girl, but no one in the history of Survivor has won so much money for doing so little.  Like, she literally earned $500,000 for 1.5 days worth of work, which is nice work if you can get it I guess?  Credit where credit is due, THAT Immunity Challenge performance at Final 3 was incredible, and she turned in a phenomenally confident Final Tribal Council performance (so confident in fact that no one seemed to notice she was either bullshitting or borderline delusional about her own performance in the game but, still, either or both of those things still would be better answers to those questions than HOW LEE DID).   Still, all of that pales in comparison to the fact Kristie literally was about to get voted out of Vavau 3-1 on Day 29 and was saved SOLELY by a (then unprecedented) Production Twist that saw Sue be kidnapped by the other tribe right before votes were about to be cast.  Even worse, right up to Day 55, Kristie legitimately seemed to have NO FREAKING IDEA that she was so close to being stuck on the pre-jury vacation for the rest of the duration of the game.  Is it her fault that there was a production twist?  No.  But in Season One, when such things were unheard, she was as good as gone – but, unlike Tara, Annaliese and any other future players stuck in similar situations, she can’t claim any credit for surviving it and thus nullifies any glory gained from winning.  END OF.

BEST MOVE : Well, this is certainly an easy one for a woman who condensed 55 days of gameplay into 36 hours.  You could argue her Immunity performance was epic, but really it was that extraordinarily authoritative FTC performance that converted a frankly terrible game into a pretty decisive win.  And genuine respect is deserved for that (even if most of it was spoken out of her ass).

SHOULD HAVE WON : Lee.  Heck, El, Flick & Brooke all played wayyyy better games (and don’t even get me started on Poor Phoebe.. #RIPhoebe).  So, yeah, basically anyone else but Kristie.




Hands down the most maligned Survivor winner OF ALL TIME, due to her shocking (SHOCKING) defeat of Russell Hantz a few years back.  Whilst her social game was approximately one million times more impressive than said bandy-legged troll (on account of her actually, ya know, HAVING ONE), she loses major points because going into the Final Tribal Council, not one single person from that jury was even planning on voting for White (they were split between Hantz and apparently feckless Dr Mick) – but she won them over with her thoughtful and honest answers.

Plus, she beat a rat to death with a stick.  I mean – what’s not to love? :-

BEST MOVE : Orchestrating the pivotal merge boot of (the incredibly sexy) Erik, that set the whole Galu post-merge crumble in motion.
SHOULD HAVE WON : *sigh* Russell.  Whilst his social game was just AWFUL, he did play an incredible strategic game and changed the way Survivor was played forever.




Who?  GaBob sauntered along most of season 17 half-asleep, crafting a few (admittedly impressive) fake immunity idols along the way.  Loses points for the fact that he was planning to take Matty to the end who would have kicked his ass ten ways to Sunday.  Also for the fact that Randy (who cast the pivotal vote for his eventual 4:3 victory) was planning to vote for Susie to win that night until she totally (and inexplicably) burned him on his jury question.  That’s right people – there’s an alternate timeline out there where SUSIE SMITH IS THE WINNER OF SURVIVOR : GABON.  It’s a very dark place indeed.

BEST MOVE : Playing the Granddaddy role to human waterworks Sugar, who forced the Final 4 tie that allowed him a spot in front of the Jury in the first place.
SHOULD HAVE WON : The aforementioned Tear Fountain herself.  Sugar basically controlled the entire game post-merge without once becoming a target.  If she had’ve actually decided to play for the title of Sole Survivor instead of just Fan Favourite, it all could have turned out so very, very different.




Then we have Jericho, who has the distinct honour of NOT being the worst winner in (Modern) Australian Survivor History.  And that’s about the nicest thing we’re going to say about his game, which was marginally better than Kristie’s in the sense that he DIDN’T ALMOST GET VOTED OUT PRE-MERGE WITHOUT EVEN REALISING.  But Jesus Christ, when that is the best thing you can say about someone’s winning game, you know you’ve got some problems.  Seriously, there must be something in the water in Samoa that makes people just become completely delusional to the merits of their game, because six months on and we’re pretty confidently Jeri genuinely thinks that he won this season on the strength of some stale ass cookies.  Which was cute the first couple of times but became fucking insufferable by the seven hundredth confessional about it (AND DON’T EVEN START US ON ALL THE MRS MANGLED ARMY METAPHORS).  But at least, unlike Kristie, Jericho actually made a few good moves, namely insulating himself as the least threatening member of his alliance (although they were never HIS Army, like he kept banging on about every five minutes).  And he won a few key endgame challenges – and then totally squandered them, like the time he voted Tessa of all people off the jury (even though she was probably the most rational member of the jury and literally would have voted for anyone BUT Tara, who he ended up taking to the end with him).  Plus there’s the whole part where he was good as gone at Final 4 until Tara semi-inexplicably decided she needed to beef up her resume by arbitrarily making a move for the sake of making a move.  In conclusion, a nice guy who managed to win Survivor in spite of himself.

BEST MOVE : Keeping himself nestled as the tiniest Russian nesting doll inside the Sarah/Michelle/Luke Asaga alliance and winning Final Immunity over Peter when he needed it.

SHOULD HAVE WON : Can’t believe we are saying this, but we would have voted for Tara, who played a much better game than even she seemed to realise.  Of course, this is Australian Survivor, whose 55 Day running time means all the best players start getting got circa Day 40 (aka when the U.S. version would be wrapping the game up).  Like, has there ever been a more heartbreaking string of boots than the one-two-three-four punch of Henry – Tessa – Sarah – Luke?






Also known as the only two-time winner in Survivor’s 28 season history.  Less well known for winning through sheer virtue of not being Lil or Jonny Fairplay.  Gains points for pioneering and perfecting the “As Long As It Ain’t Me” voting strategy (Rob C in Survivor : Amazon played similarly, but not to the same blatantly mercenary effect Sandra did).  Loses points for having no real control over her own fate in the game.  While she deserves props for constantly keeping herself positioned one up from the bottom, her actual win came solely down to the fact that Final Immunity winner Lil knew she couldn’t beat either of her opponents and figured that at least if she took Sandra to the end and gave her the win, the million dollars wouldn’t be as likely to be blown on blowjobs and blow (or strippers and coke, as it was put).

DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT THOUGH – Here’s an amazing clip of Sandra’s Grade A Social Skills that won her her first cool mill.  “I CAN GET LOUD TOOOOO!” :-

BEST MOVE : Openly having her vote for sale at every Tribal Council.  Warring factions kept using her to vote each other out, ensuring she was a necessary vote and never the target.
SHOULD HAVE WON : Umm, no one?  Is ‘no one’ an option?  Pearl Islands was a rollickingly entertaining season with Tie-dyed Outcasts, ACTUAL Outcasts and Dead Grandparents Galore, but no real strong strategic players post-merge to speak of.  Or, for that matter, pre-merge.  Actually, quips aside, Jonny Fairplay 100% deserved the win that season and is actually an incredibly underrated and lethal player, as he immediately proved in Micronesia (at least until the prescription med withdrawal kicked in..)

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January 2, 2018

NYE Tweet 2017


I’ve been thinking about this a lot this morning, mostly cuz I’ve never been big on waiting for NYE to take stock and make resolutions that are needed in life, but I do respect taking the time for self-reflection, and these are the three that stood out to me :-

1. Having the clearness of mind to tune out a lot of the life white noise and differentiate between those things that won’t really matter when I looked back at this period of my life (my last job, apps and lot of my more superfluous social activities) and be able to confidently prioritize the things that do (ailing family members, my close friends and the career that I’ve actually always wanted). It’s easy to lose sight of the things that matter most to you and who you want to be as a human being, and I’m glad that I’ve kept sight of that and kept working away towards it.


2. Taking the time to really focus on getting my back back in shape after spending the last five years really finding chronic pain starting to really drain away my day to day enjoyment of life. It takes a lot of discipline to for me just to get up and do ANYTHING first thing in the morning, let alone going and doing 2.5 of stretching and remedial weight training almost every single morning these past few months, but it’s made all the difference in the world to me in so many ways, even if I’m too bleary-eyed at 7am to see if I look any good or not 😂😂💃🏻


3. Having the confidence and self-respect to demand certain values and minimum standards in friends, particularly on social media. Like, between the SSM debate, Weinstein-gate and all the hateful bullshit pouring out of right-wing Australia and everything going on in America, it’s been so exhausting and demoralizing realizing how many people I (thought I) knew that are either willfully ignorant or just plain empathy-free and mean-spirited. So I’ve cut a lot of them out, because if you can’t be open and kind to someone, somewhere in the world, I’m not going to tolerate bad behavior to others just because it doesn’t personally impact me. I pride myself on being surrounded by carefully chosen smart, compassionate and passionate friends and so, if you’re reading this, I just want to say THANK YOU for being you and being someone worth being friends with in this day and age. It’s appreciated more than y’all probably know. 💝😘

OOOH! LOOK WHAT SCHOOL MADE ME DO.. (Redlands College Radio Remix)

September 30, 2017

So, my twenty year high school reunion is coming up next year, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve been REALLY looking forward to it.  Well, to clarify, I HAD been looking forward to it until the most recent statistic surveys (and the general close-minded hatred some fellow classmates’s Facebook pages have spewing lately) alerted me to how many of my own peers still see me as a second class citizen.  No matter how nice I’ve always been.  No matter how kind.  No matter how I just generally have never given them any reason to think they are superior to me (or I to them).


And yet here we are.  Something that I’ve been looking forward to for almost two decades (the ten year one was an eff-ing HOOT, and a really happy, lovely memory of mine) is now done, gone – totally dead to me.  And it’s really breaking my heart thinking about it, because I don’t understand how all these alleged Christians and People of God can treat their fellow man like that.   So after weeks and weeks of reading some really hurtful (and really stupid) stuff, I decided to send the below out to 800+ ex students of the school (in a gently tongue in cheek but affectionate Facebook group called ‘You Know You Went To Redlands College When…’) – not to start fights or hurt feelings, but to try and make them aware of the damage they are doing, both to myself and a whole community (and to their very own children, friends and families).


“You know you went to Redlands College when you realise you’re not able to go to your 20 Year High School Reunion because (statistically speaking), 55-80% of your graduating class view you as a less worthwhile and less equal human being than they are – and that even though you only got an SA+ in Bible Studies, it turns out you actually truly *understand* the New Testament better than most of them seem to, because #JesusWouldHaveVotedYES “


Before you wonder where I am getting my data from (besides the plethora of No-voting ex-students on Facebook and various other social media sites), here is a handy breakdown of how, statistically speaking, we are still smack bang in the middle of the Vote No camp (even though countless members of said camp from my very own grade have had the chance to get married and divorced more times than I – or they – can count..)



Now, please keep in mind I literally have no judgement at all about someone getting divorced.  There are few things sadder than a union at least one person believed in ending on any less than completely amicable terms.  But you’ve got to have a screw loose to be someone who has literally been through that situation and yet spend all your free time spearheading hate campaigns trying to oppress minorities and deprive them of legal, emotional and spiritual rights that you yourself seem to take for granted.

Also, in case any of you wonder why I’m even bothering to draw attention to this issue instead of just spend my time with people who truly value me, like the real decent Christians I surround myself with at home – as opposed to all the morally hollow, superficial Christians (Jordan, Simon, Amy, Bek and Audrey from the JUBILEE CHURCH in Sydney, I’M REFERRING TO YOU ❤ ❤ <3) that seem to be on a mission in my Newsfeed lately, then please feel free to take a few minutes and read this, which is a very painful and honest account of what it was like growing up surround by hypocrisy and hate :-


Anyway, I don’t expect to change too many minds.  And it’s not just because the latest studies literally link the #VoteNO camp to being of significantly lower cognitive function than those who Vote YES (you can read a really interesting article breaking it down HERE).  While it’s an easy jab to make, I refuse to believe that having a lower IQ makes you a mean-spirited or compassion-free human being.  But I guess it goes a way to explaining why trying to logically or intellectually reason with a No Voter seems to be a relatively lost cause – which is incredibly frustrating for me as I refuse to give up on them just because they’ve turned their backs on me.


Cute Photo of Me actually caring about the next generation of children, who I am hoping to spare the hatred, torment and hurt that many of us grew up with.


Thank you for reading, whatever your personal opinion may be.

All the best,

Glenn Oke, Class of 1998.


You Still Break My Heart Every Time I Look At You

September 28, 2017

I always find the way that I’ve written music to be so weird.  Like, it’s less any sort of process and more like something plucked fully formed out of the ether – like painting polaroids with my mind. I don’t really know where they come from and I don’t really put a lot of effort into it, they just appear sometimes.  One of the nice parts (heck, one of the only nice parts) of being stuck up in Brisbane these past few weeks has been the fact it’s really freed up some space in my brain that was previously the property of everyday stress and anxiety to really just be reactively creative again.  I’ve done some of the best writing I’ve done in a long time, and I’ve been writing songs again too –  which is really nice actually, as that was always my first real love as far as writing mediums go.


Anyway, I thought I’d share this with y’all, because I think it’s something really special – or as special as anything can be that I wrote start to complete finish in less than fifteen minutes one-handed on my phone whilst I was walking home from my Grandma’s the other night.  Like, the whole entire thing – words, melody and music – just poured out linearly because the title popped into my head and I thought “dang Glenn – that would be a neat title for a song”.  And here we are.     It’s a little bit Bon Jovi ballad (think ‘Always’) meets Shania Twain or old-school Melissa Etheridge – so, probably in the latter day Kelly Clarkson arena, I guess (it’s probably not urban enough for Keith)?


Anyway, ENOY!

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Why Marriage Equality Matters…

September 12, 2017

It’s been bugging me a lot lately the debate about same-sex marriage.  I don’t mean the part where it’s fundamentally humiliating in this day and age to have to beg people for the right to be treated equally.  And not the part where it’s just a ridiculous amount of public funds to be wasted on something (that essentially has no legal consequence) when there are schools, hospitals and an ever-increasing amount of elderly Australians who direly need the money more.


But the thing that really has been upsetting me the most is the passivity of a lot of the people around me.  The friends and family members who, whilst likely to vote ‘YES’ on the non-legally binding marketing survey postcards currently being mailed out to them, seem content that quietly and privately ticking a little box on a piece of cardboard is enough to show support for the loved ones around them who have spent their lives being told to be ashamed of themselves for as long as they can remember.


Still, if they’re voting ‘YES’ then why does it feel inadequate somehow?  I’ve had countless arguments with my own mother about it and it frustrates me because I know she genuinely doesn’t understand why it almost feels like a betrayal that she doesn’t care *more*.  I mean – if someone was saying my little brother couldn’t marry his girlfriend, she’d be the first person marching down the street and knocking on every single door she could until she ensured the whole suburb understood about equal rights.  Heck, if that were the case I’d be right there marching alongside her.  Most of us would fight to the death for our loved ones, so why don’t they feel compelled to stand up and fight for us?


And it occurred to me that part of the reason why is because none of them truly understand what growing up gay is like.  I mean, this huge part of who we are and what shaped us is something that a vast majority of us kept secret for many years (and some of us still do).  We never talked to them about what it was like growing up being told that we different.  We never talked about what it was like being told who we love is wrong.  We never told them what it was like going to school each day being afraid of getting the living daylights beat out of us because of the way we were born.  We never talked about how lonely adolescence was for us because we couldn’t kiss who we wanted to kiss or date who we wanted to date.  We probably never made them acknowledge how much they contributed (whether implicitly or explicitly) to that very fear that, at any time, we could be kicked out of our own homes forever for nothing more than just being who we are.  And most of us have never told them what it was like to spend every single day contemplating killing ourselves because it was easier than living in fear.  Heck, most of us have never even said that out loud to ANYONE.  Thankfully, most of us eventually find a way to outgrow that feeling when we venture out into the adult world – but some of us don’t.  Some of us never make it that far.  So while we contend with all the other battles you all face surviving the challenges of childhood – whether it be being ‘too fat’, ‘too ugly’, ‘too unpopular’ or ‘too slow’ – we also have to battle an entire decade (if we’re lucky) of that daily battle about whether or not we want to live through another day.  One that often stretches far into adulthood for an unimaginable amount of you still.  The thing is – if you look around right now, the chances are good that someone sitting in your office, or across from you on the train, or in your very own home is STILL waging that mental war in their head, even in adulthood, because they are still too afraid to come out and live their life the way they actually want to.


But mostly I wonder if people realise how lucky they are to have that person sitting across from them at all.  And I guess they probably don’t, because they’ve never really been told how many times that person almost took their own life growing up, because they grew up in a world where we say that being gay is not okay.  And I wonder if the rest of you that have a family of your own realise that there is a one in ten chance that one of your own children is probably going to silently struggle with this very same impulse every single day that we let this sad excuse for a debate wage on.  It may just be a marketing survey about marriage equality, but it’s really a referendum on whether hard-working, decent, everyday Australians should get equal rights to go along with the equal taxes they pay and the equal responsibilities they have.


Cute Pic of me and the dog writing this. He’s not gay, but I’d support him if he was..


And for those of you sitting there with someone in your life who made it through the daily torment growing up gay in Australia still is to this very day, then take a second to appreciate that they are still there, and that they decided to stay.  Because most of them had to do so on their own.  And you’ll never know how close you came to not having them in your life anymore at all.  So be grateful, and help try to build a better Australia where future generations don’t have to feel this way.  Chances are, you probably weren’t there to protect us when we needed you to back then.  So BE HERE NOW and fight for us.  BE ANGRY.  It’s not too late to make a difference…



May 4, 2017

Just a little something I wrote a few weeks ago, the day after I got out of hospital.  Most I’ve fallen in love with something I wrote myself in the longest time.  Doubly so because it was written from start to finish in less than thirty minutes, all on the one park bench.  And, for some reason, I thought to take a photo of where I was when the idea first popped into my head, and another right after I finished the last chorus.

It’s actually kinda special to me, in ways I don’t even quite understand myself yet.  Plus I just CANNOT. GET. IT. OUT. OF. MY. DAMNED. HEAD.  Which is even more hilarious because it’s total 1950’s-style Frank Sinatra/Perry Como smoothly crooned nostalgia (granted, with some good old Lorde-style Green Light-like verses).  Like, you can literally hear the chestnuts roasting over the open fire when you listen to it.  I dunno – maybe that’s why I love it so much?  It’s the so sincere and honest and warm – like a big whiskey-soaked hug.

ANYWAY, posted for posterity..


+10 Points to Twitter-dor for accidentally choosing to format this tweet better than I ever could. SCORE.

‘Always Forward, Never Back’
Leaves are meant to fall
And suns are meant to set
And chalk drawings on the sidewalk are meant to be stepped on
Salt is meant to pepper
And every day you’re better
When your heart has been broken in two
So you can start anew..

Read more…

The 22 Most Inappropriate GIFs of Spencer Bledsoe’s Survivor Second Chance Sex Faces

December 16, 2015

SO, with the Survivor Second Chance Finale only HOURS AWAY, we’ve been trying to update our annual Winner Rankings to include what has EASILY been one of the best seasons of all time.  The only problem is, every time we try to type anything, we keep getting stuck on one thing.  Spencer.  Or, rather, the amazing (and amazingly inappropriate) sex faces he’s been making ALL SEASON LONG.  And, when we say LONG, we mean it (check out #17 & #18 if you need to see how long we’re talking..)

Despite our most valiant and pure-hearted efforts, the extreme face game Everyone’s Favourite King Of #Crotchframing has been providing for the Survivor GIF Community has just been too strong to resist.  Still, on the plus side, Spot The Spencer Sex Face has been the funnest sideshow in a season FULL of them.

So, despite our heart (and PANTS) wanting a Spencer win this Wednesday, he’s probably only looking at either second place at best (losing to Mr Val Collins himself) or falling at the Final 4 once more (with Wentworth snatching the win out from under him like it was a hidden immunity idol).  Thankfully, while there’s probably no million dollars at the end of his Survivor tunnel, from the looks of these, his impending lifetime contract at Sean Cody should more than compensate for it.

Anyway, without further ado, here are our 22 Favourite Editions of Sex Face Spencer.  (a vast majority of the thanks goes to TheCrimsonKnight on reddit, who has been doing some fantastic work this season making these – check the whole library out HERE) :-


Survivor Spencer Sex Face Finger In Mouth


Survivor Spencer Sex Face Moaning In The Rain


Spencer Moaning In The Rain and Rubbing One Out Sex Face


Survivor Spencer Sex Faces Getting It In The Hole


Survivor Spencer Sex Faces Legs In The Air Immunity Challenge

Read more…

The Boy Who Thought Too Much..

February 22, 2015

Random thought I had just now.  As those of you who know me know, I’m one of those guys who is *always* thinking.  Like, non-stop thinking.  Olympic marathon thinking. And it’s fine for me because it’s something that is second nature to me – my brain works fast, it takes no effort and I’m normally at the end of a puzzle before everyone else has finished reading the instructions.  And I don’t mean this in a boastful way, but just it what it is – everyone is good at something, and that’s a thing that I got born with. The frustrating part for me is that it’s often quite alienating – both for me because I’m constantly waiting for people around me to catch up and, even more so, because it genuinely upsets me to see how exhausting I can be for people I care about.  I may be borderline Hawking-like in the brains department, but I’m lucky enough to be either hyper-empathetic or just unnaturally adept at intellectually deconstructing human psychology.  Either way, the net result is about the same.

Anyway, the point is that it just occurred to me that – I wonder whether the reason that I think so much is something I was born with, or whether it’s a direct byproduct of how I grew up?  I mean, without rehashing all the gory details, I learnt very clearly at a *very* young age EXACTLY how unpredictable adults could be, both from things I saw them do around me and things I saw them do to me.  And not even the general tedious TV Movie Of The Week shit you see on basic cable, but really unfathomable, weird stuff that most people even as adults don’t truly understand exists outside of independent cinema or Aronofsky films.  But, for me, it was just how I grew up.

And, to be perfectly honest, I’ve never even really cared.  Sure – there are things that happened to me that I don’t think any child should ever be exposed to, ever.  But I’ve never really understood the impulse to sit around and mope about things that are done.  Like – you can’t change the past, so what’s the point of making the time you have left even shittier than the time that preceded it, ya know?  Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big believer in always remembering things, and analysing situations that happen.  But only because that’s the only real way you can ever learn from something.  Or, even better, learn how to make sure it never happens again.  And, looking back, I had such a long, random, weird ass laundry list of childhood traumas and teenage tragedies that fell across my path that it’s almost comical at times.  But that’s why I have such a grounded perspective in life.  I learned so early on that real serious shit really fucking happens, so I learned not to take so many mundane things seriously.  And that sense of perspective is what opened me up to being able to experience such pure joy in so many ordinary, little things that most people around me never even notice.

But I guess the thing that I’d never thought about before was the whole nature vs nurture aspect of my MENSA-ness.  I appreciate and am truly grateful for how nimble and practical and emotionally astute my mind is every single day, but I wonder if I would even have that had things been different growing up.  My ability to so astutely psychologically profile someone within a minute of meeting them is one of my favourite things I can do, and yet I wonder if that is purely a by-product of learning the full spectrum of human behaviour by the time I was in grade school.  If I didn’t so innately understand exactly what people are truly capable of – both bad AND good – would I have ever developed the ability to be a mere birthplace away from being an FBI Profiler or something?

The problem is, once you’ve learned fully that people are literally capable of any random unpredictable action or thought as a reaction to any situation ever, it because near impossible to ever stop running numbers, crunching variables and imagining twenty seven potential outcomes to any given mundane interaction. Which is a great life skill if you were in an emergency, or playing Survivor, but it’s just exhausting sometimes in day to day life, because I basically understand the people around me incredibly well but also find them just completely baffling and illogical.  I might always end up being right, but I also end almost always being by myself, even in a room full of everyone.

I guess I’ve always been someone who truly believes in finding the good in anything, not because I’ve read too many self-help books, but because I’m an inherently practical person.  And I’m just curious I guess how much of this particular skill I owe to certain people.  And wonder if there is a way to better socially streamline it so I don’t keep hurting the handful of people I truly care about.  Because it’s wonderful to be able to know someone better than they know themselves, but it’s lonely as hell too.

Wide Open Heart

January 2, 2015

i’ve got sinead o’connor on
i’m listening to the saddest songs
i’m crying in the shower on my own

my friends are blowing up my phone
they’re making moves since you moved on
but it’s the time you mourn that lets you know it’s love

and i know it sounds stupid to believe in a cupid who fires an arrow straight away
but i’d rather be stupid than be afraid of losing something that i’ve got to give away..

and i’m gonna live – with a wide open heart
cuz i’d rather be the guy who falls apart
than the one whose too afraid to start
get hurt – fall down again and again, again
cuz someday someone will make it all seem worth it

staring blankly at my phone
nothing’s changed since you last called
i’m just being anxious because this could be love

they say don’t speak these thoughts out loud
but i’m gonna sing them anyhow
cuz it’s better losing than risk missing out

and i know it sounds foolish to believe i could do this, to go and make you feel the same
but i’d rather die trying than live life while i’m lying with every single breath i take..

so i’m gonna live – with a wide open heart
cuz i’d rather be the guy who falls apart
than the one who’s too afraid to start
get hurt – fall down again and again, again
cuz someday someone will make it all seem worth it
someday someone could make it all be worth it..

and i’m not afraid
of what people say
about the tears falling from my face
because it’s brave
it’s just mistakes
and nothing great came from someone afraid to break
and i was never afraid to break..

and i know it sounds stupid to believe in a cupid who would fire an arrow straight away
but you know what is stupid, being afraid to do this because a fire is worth the pain..

so i’m gonna live – with a wide open heart
cuz i’d rather be the guy who falls apart
than the one who’s too afraid to start
get hurt – fall down again and again, again
cuz someday someone will make it all seem worth it..
someday someone could make it all seem worth it..
maybe one day you’ll make it all be worth it .. to me

The Emergency Worker Support Group

December 15, 2014

Sometimes I wish there was, like, a Support Group for people whose friends have had shitty things happen to them.  Like, a safe space where people who are accident adjacent could go to and vent and deal and process all the second hand residual feelings that are left from when something shitty happens to someone you love.  Because you can’t talk about it like you normally would.  It’s not cool to discuss second hand pain.  But it’s a real thing.  And not like in some narcissistic Hannah Horvath way where you’re just kind of making someone else’s tragedy all about you either – but a real legit thing.  Because, honestly?  It’s draining as all fuck.  Watching crappy things happen to people you care about is horrible, but you can’t talk about it because you have to be supportive and strong because you want to help them and support them and distract them.  But it’s draining.  And it’s depressing.

Like yesterday – my flatmate, who is one of my top tier best friends for life, got hit by a car.  And not just a love tap/glove slap kind of thing, but a legit, neck fractured, bike totalled, lucky to be alive kind of deal.  And it only just hit me now – after spending two days in hospitals and doctors appointments and dealing with insurance companies and lawyers and the like – that, once I dealt with all the logistical and practical stuff, I legitimately almost lost one of the people I love most in my entire life.  The reality that he was a split second either side of being someone’s permanent hood ornament (through no fault of his own – the error was 100% the drivers fault) is just draining in a totally different way to all those other things I outlined.  It’s horrifying beyond words to think about. But you can’t talk about it in a traditional way, because it sounds selfish, or narcissistic, or just inappropriate.  But these aren’t feelings I’m consumed with at the expense of caring about my friend – they’re feelings that exist on a secondary or tertiary level, in their own little self-contained bubble.  And yet there is no forum to really talk about them because, as I know as well as anyone else, they’re not important.  Or at least not in the grand scheme of the situation.  But it’s so WEIRD.

And it leads to me to think of how many times I’ve been in this situation – trauma adjacent.  And suddenly being aware of the emotional toll it takes, constantly propping up other people in their time of need.  It’s not something you do (or should ever do) for thanks, but it *is* something that is incredibly exhausting.  But you can’t talk about it out loud – ESPECIALLY not to the friend that it involves – because that is a completely garbage thing to do.

I guess it’s just part of the deal these days, part and parcel of what goes along with choosing to truly care about someone.  And that’s fine.  If anything, it’s really nice to do – probably the only genuinely satisfying experience I can think of in life sometimes, to know that something that’s inherently easy for you to do can make someone else’s world a better place for a couple of seconds.  I’ve always thought it just makes mathematical sense, you know?  But it also creates this strange disconnect sometimes.  Because you hand over these giants chunks of your life force and your soul to someone, but you can’t even objectively mention the toll it takes on you because even just verbalising it kind of makes you sound like a c**t.  And it’s weird because, for me at least, it’s not complaining.  At all.  I just find it such an interesting concept.  I guess maybe that’s part and parcel of being a writer – these moments of dissociative observation.  But for as long as I can remember, I’ve always just kind of known that you can never be truly connected and effective with someone at the same time, and I don’t know how to always be able to deal with that, because it’s kind of lonely.

Going over the past year alone, I think back on all these second hand life traumas I’ve been present for.  And it makes me truly happy that I was able to be be around and be able to genuinely help these people, because I think anything that can makes someone else’s life better is always worth the effort. But this last year or two, there’s really been a lot.  The car accident yesterday, my best friends relationship breakdown, my grandmothers slow descent into dementia, my Mum losing her job, my 2014 list just goes on and on..  Sometimes I feel like I can’t turn around without seeing someone I care about in the most acute kind of pain, and I don’t know how to not feel every single drop of it.  And I just get exhausted.  But I don’t really know how to ‘half-care’.  I have no problem at all with openly not caring and being able to stand up and admit it, but this weird kind of ‘selective caring’ that I see so many people do in the real world just skeezes me out – because I think that, if you’re being true, you either care about something or you don’t, and anything less than 100% is just kind of disingenuous, or hollow.

But it’s also strange for me because I’ve never really been one to just throw my own pain in other peoples faces.  I’ve always found it kind of gauche.  And I don’t mean that as a slight to everyone else – because I truly don’t – but it’s just not the way I’ve ever really been.  Since I was a little kid, I’ve always just found it strange to dump your problems into someone else’s lap unless there is something specific that they can do to help with them.  In those cases, I think it’s totally fine and, if anything, a very smart and practical thing to do.  But the concept of dumping an unsolvable problem on someone else just seems kind of mean – why would you want to torment someone else if it’s something there’s no solution to?  Like – why drag two people down?  And so, with my own problems, if I know what the solution is, I just go and do it.  And if I can’t work it out, then I kind of compartmentalise it away until the universe nudges me towards the answer sheet.  And, honestly – it’s really kind of worked thus far.

Anyway, there was no real point to this I guess.  It’s just weird.  I’d never thought of it like that before.  It’s strange to think of how many people in the world are walking around with these kind of  secondary injuries, like invisible pieces of debris, just floating around the crowds.  It’s such a strange thing to be aware of suddenly.  There are so many strange Social Laws that govern what feelings we can discuss and what we can and when, and sometimes I worry that all they do is help redistribute the problem by breaking it down to more easily shareable pieces that are harder to notice.  But it’s interesting to watch I guess, to watch what makes the world turn.

The Glenny Guide To.. The 10 Best Scary Movies To See Before You Die

October 31, 2014

So, once again – Halloween is basically upon us.  And, like last year, I’m eschewing getting my ghoulishly goofy self AWN in favor of staying in and finishing any one of the six screenplays and two tv shows that I’m currently actively working on.   I’ve always said – “Halloween is for people who achieve their life goals.  And for people who like to dress like whores”.  That being said, this year is particularly tough to stay in, mostly because of the fact I’ve managed to attain a pretty wicked bod and thus have the kind of physique that lends itself to ALL SORTS of sexy costumes.  Although, if we’re perfectly honest, all I really want to do is dress up in my Tigger onesie because, well, OBVI.

So, while I stay in like a good boy and write, drink and occasionally post naked photos of myself on Twitter, I thought I would pay tribute to some of the best lesser-known modern horror movies (aka ones you probably HAVEN’T already seen) that have helped shaped me – both as a writer and as a cinema fan.  These are the kind of movies that make me not just defend the whole genre on a regular basis, but aspire to contribute to it and, one day, become it’s impossibly abdominated King.  They’re not just movies I want to equal, but ones that motivate me to want to do even better, both as a writer and a full-time scare-ntertainer.

ANYWAYS, without further ado, here are ten slices of post-1990 horror that you really MUST SEE.  Not just if you consider yourself not a fan of the genre, but of cinema itself :-

10 – THE STRANGERS (2008)

PLOT – Young couple vacationing in isolated country cabin find themselves stalked by a trio of masked intruders, for no discernible reason (TRAILER).

WHY – When people ask me to name one movie that makes me want to be a genre writer, this is IT.  In eighty-eight short minutes, this tale of two semi-estranged suburbanites holidaying in the countryside manages to encapsulate everything that is both great and poorly done in modern horror cinema.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the good FAR outweighs the weak, but we mean it when we say this movie is only a few narrative tweaks from being MUCH higher on this list.  Honestly, it’s almost frustrating to say so because The Strangers really, truly does so many things just RIGHT.  Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler (particularly the latter) give incredibly engaging and relatable performances, delivering just the right amount of nuance and gravitas (abetted by an impressively well paced and structured screenplay) that makes you honestly care about them and their plight, as you’re so fully invested both in their relationship and the situation they find themselves in.  And that’s what makes it all the more heartbreaking that the final thirty minutes is kind of undone by the two characters making increasingly stupid decisions that seem more concerned with furthering the plot than with anything someone with a triple digit IQ could conceivably do.  There is only so many “splitting up/going back into the house/not running for help” moments that a viewer can take before they inevitably just stop caring about whether a character lives or dies.  That being said, the way The Strangers not just amps up but maintains the tension throughout the picture is nothing short of phenomenal – even on a second viewing, this is a movie too scary to watch by yourself.  Believe us – we’ve tried!

The Strangers Liv Tyler Mask

BEST BIT – The Masked Intruders.  Besides the next entry on the list, we can’t think of a single movie in modern horror that has utilized an anonymous mask so effectively and terrifyingly.  Also, the Barn scene is just perfect.  For a movie built on silently escalating tension in long, deliberate takes, this scene takes the cake.  And the soundtrack is just PERFECT – scariest use of Country Music since  Gwyneth ‘Country Strong’ herself!

IF YOU LIKED THIS, THEN TRY – VACANCY (2007).  Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson take a similar ‘couple against the odds’ scenario and play it out to seat-squirmingly terrifying effect.  A brutally simple but ingenious concept played for maximum thrills, without ever feeling cheap.  The movie may have some minor flaws, but the suspense sequences pack nail bitingly visceral thrill that is on par with the greats.

09 – SCREAM 4 (2011)

PLOT – Modern scream queen survivor Sidney Prescott releases a self help book, and finds that the demons of her past aren’t quite as dead and buried as they seem (TRAILER).

WHY – Social Commentary and Cinema Critique disguised as a Self Referential Slasher Reboot., this 11 years in the making four-quel/reboot to the almighty franchise (see our countdown of the Top Ten Reasons the Scream Franchise is pretty much GOAT *HERE*) is as maligned as it is loved by serious horror fans.  Now – we’re not going to argue that Scream 4 is perfect – it’s NOT.  But take away the 10% of the movie that needs major retooling (the second ending in the Hospital should be completely cut, and the hastily reshot third part of the opening scene is SO completely trite and unengaging that you really wish they had’ve kept the more cerebral, affecting and disturbing original concept instead), and you’re left with an incredibly smart, well acted horror movie that not just works as a How To Guide for modern horror sequels, but is brimming with some of the most exciting and challenging ideas seen this decade.  Neve Campbell in particular gives a genuinely bravura performance and puts in some beautiful finishing touches on what just might be the single most three dimensional heroine in horror movie history.  All in all, Scream 4 is the rarest of horror sequels, in that it manages to not just honour all that is great about the original, but truly build on the concept, instead of just regurgitating it.

Scream 4 Scary Movie Body Ceiling Fan

BEST BIT – Honorable mentions go to the scene where Neve’s years of survivors guilt lead her to not just run directly INTO the house, but to go full blown Sigourney Weaver (because, when you think about it, the best defense is often a good surprise offence), as well as pretty much any scene Hayden Panettiere or Courteney Cox are in.  But, it’s impossible to go past THAT ending, which (Hospital malarkey notwithstanding) which is both intellectually exciting and as bursting with ideas bananas as we’ve seen in memory.  It’s just THAT GOOD.

(Bonus Points to the scrapped opening scene, which was a slight rewrite away from being the most gut-wrenching opening since Drew Barrymore’d herself – WATCH HERE).

IF YOU LIKED THIS, THEN TRY – WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994).  If the original Scream was the moment the mainstream Horror Movie became self-aware, then this little seen meta-gem is where that seed got planted.  Not just reuniting the original cast of his 1984 Elm Street opus, but ingeniously recasting them as themselves in the modern day, Craven single-handedly invents not just the self-referential horror movie, but establishes it as a go-to genre for the thinking cinema fan.  Worth seeing just for original Nightmare On Elm Street star Langenkamp’s vunerable tour de force performance alone.

Read more…

Why Joan Rivers Matters..

September 5, 2014

So, in case you’ve been living under The Rock for the past 16 hours, you’re probably aware that semi-famous, fully-infamous octogenarian Joan Rivers passed away today.  The irony that this was the result of a surgical procedure that was NON-cosmetic is not lost on anyone.  Not even on Alanis Morissette.  And most definitely not on Joan of Arc(h Comedy) herself, who is almost surely taking time out from zinging Saint Peter about the cut of his gowns to fully appreciate the gallows humor to be found in all of this.

Now, the internet is already overflowing with outpourings of think-pieces about the cultural relevance of Miss Rivers who, lets be honest, is probably torn between enjoying the attention and getting vaguely pissy about the fact 78% of those people weren’t writing about her when she still had enough of a pulse to revel it.  I mean – that’s the odd thing about celebrity deaths in the internet age – there seems to be more appreciation in passing than there is in those dark last years of living, which is both sad and as perfect a summation of the ridiculousness of the human condition as you’ll ever find.  SO, why am I spending the final hours of my Friday Night (AUSTRALIA TIME) sitting naked on a Swiss Ball, drinking Red Wine and writing about Joan Rivers instead of doing the dozens of other things available to a semi-handsome chap in a semi-big big city?  Because, my dear friends, to me – Joan Rivers matters.

There are a lot of great articles today celebrating the life and times and zings and rhymes of ol’ Joan – honouring her place as not just a trailblazer in television (as both the proud host to a vagina and as a comedienne in general) but as a feminist icon and all-round pop culture great, so I’m not going to cover any ground that others have already covered more thoughtfully, comprehensively or eloquently than I ever could (Peter Taggart’s wonderful piece on how she taught a young gay man how to use humor to not just survive but thrive is a particularly beautiful and thought-provoking tribute – read it HERE).  The one thing I do feel compelled to commemorate though, that hasn’t really been mentioned enough in life OR in death, is how important her complete and utter sense of no-bullshit total honesty was and still is.

I’ve always very much enjoyed Joan Rivers.  Growing up in buttfuck nowhere Australia in the 80’s, she was mostly that woman who had all the plastic surgery who made fun of the women who wore bad dresses, and she was pretty great.  But what always stood out to me was how, no matter what, she made fun of herself just as much as she did everyone else.  Now, anyone filled with even a moderate amount of self-loathing (let alone one who works full time in comedy, which is a field ripe with it if there ever was one), knows that all the greatest self-deprecating zings come from a darker place than most publicly care to admit.  But the thing that always stood out to me was just how HONEST hers were.  Here was a woman who spent her time making fun of herself and those poor saps who stumbled into her orbit with with equal aplomb.  It never felt mean or hypocritical, because she treated everyone the same way she treated herself, and it was always rooted in making the people laugh, not in the ugliness or ego that drags down a lot of mean-spirited comedy these days.  For as long as I’ve been aware of Joan Rivers, she’s been the easy go-to target for any joke a rag could ever make and yet, even at her commercial nadir, no one was shooting arrows at Joan that she hadn’t already slung at herself ten times earlier.  And that was always really admirable to me.  Because it wasn’t self-deprecation born out of self-defense, but one that comes from a genuine sense of revelling in the completely ridiculous nature of her own existence.  You could never make a joke about Joan Rivers that she wasn’t already well and truly in on, and that kind of genuine self-awareness and the joie de vivre that came with was something I always found so admirable and aspirational.

joan rivers eyelift eyeroll


There’s a great quote I stumbled on today, where she said :-

“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”  Joan Rivers.

There, in one sentence, she sums up the beauty of life so much better than many great philosophers ever could.  Because, you see, the beauty of Joan Rivers’s jokes wasn’t her particular sharpness as a comedian (while a trailblazer for sure, her jokes often had more in common with the workmanlike beauty of a Bob Hope-style pro than they did of any modern day Silverman-style social commentator, and I truly mean that as a compliment), but her complete and utter fearlessness to both denigrate and celebrate herself in the same sentence.  So much of the celebrity world in rooted in ego and there were a lot of days where Joan Rivers was the only man alive willing to revel in the complete and utter ridiculousness of it all.  And that, my friends, is one of the most beautiful things in life.  She mocked it not because she was above it, but because she was just as much entrenched in it as anyone else, and she took great joy in how hilarious that fact could be.  There’s nothing worse than the posthumous deifying of celebrities, and she’d be the last person to expect us to ignore she very much had as many demons and personal problems as any of her more ubiquitous targets, but there was never a day that Joan Rivers was not just aware but in awe of her own personal absurdity as anyone in her orbit.  And she was fucking A-OK with that.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the most important personal legacy she left for kids today.  That it’s not just okay to make fun of yourself, but it’s pretty fucking awesome fun to do.  And it’s okay to not be so goddamned serious all the time.  Have a crack, make a joke – and if you happen to offend The Jews or The Gays or The United League Of Former Hispanic-Lesbian Church Ministers, just be an adult, own it and move on.  Because making people laugh isn’t an exact science, and it’s better to occasionally offend than live a life hamstrung by fear, even if it isn’t always as appreciated in life as it is in death.

Joan Rivers The Simpsons Flanders Viva Las Vegas

Screw kindness. You have to tell the truth, that’s what comedy is all about..” Joan Rivers

Which brings me to my other point.  It’s easy to get sad because the world lost one of its most irreverently acerbic voices – but why not take joy in the fact that this workhorse of a woman went out at the top of her game.  I mean – I’m not glad she’s dead (we’ll save that for Annie Duke) – but I personally derive great joy from the fact that she went out at 81 one years old and at the very top of her game.  For someone so open and candid about how her work was her life, there is a real beauty in the fact that she passed away suddenly and very much appreciated by many right up until those final moments.  No one can know what was going through her head in her final minutes, but you can rest assured they weren’t clouded by all the fears and doubts of obscurity that she so beautifully and admirably laid bare in her utterly perfect and wildly successful award-winning documentary A Piece Of Work (which is basically the gold-standard of artistry as far as artist documentaries ever – read more HERE.  Or, better yet, legally rent it on iTunes because she’s fucking worth it and it’s really that damned good).  And you see, that’s the thing – death is never easy, not at any age.  But there is a real joy to be found in someone having the good fortune to go out having every single thing in life that they ever wanted, in that very moment.  And while I’m sure Joan would rather be there on the Red Carpet getting to make fun of Anne Hathaway in person next Oscar Season, she probably still has a pretty good seat from where she is.  And she’d just be happy that she’s not forgotten.  Because all Joan Rivers every really wanted was to stay relevant and to make people laugh, in whatever order that happened to be.  So, as I sit here alone and naked aloft a giant inflatable blue ball, I raise my glass and remember  her – because it’s the most ridiculous and true thing I can possibly do..



PS – If you’re looking for something to watch to remember Joan, obviously the aforementioned A Piece Of Work is the GOAT of all Joan-related media (her daughter non-withstanding, obvi).  However, a lesser known highlight is her outstandingly poignant and self-refential turn playing herself on the season two season finale of Nip/Tuck (aka the last great episode of a once great show).  In a non holds barred performance, she anchors the episode by enlisting the Doctors to reverse all the plastic surgery she’s had over the years in a last-ditch bid to stay relevant.  It’s an extraordinarily meta and thrillingly clever affecting hour of television, and she’s just great in it (read more HERE).

Joan Rivers Nip:Tuck

After you’ve watched that, feel free to join us while we finish this bottle of red and spend the rest of the evening watching her and Melissa call Annie Duke and Brande Roderick “Whore Pit Vipers” and “PO-KAH PLAYAS’, over and over again.  BECAUSE.   ❤ ❤ ❤


“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.” Joan Rivers, Queen of  Fucking EVERYTHING.  Rest In Peace, you amazing amazing Piece Of Work.

joan rivers middle fingers

The Glenny Guide To… K27, Kiss Me Once and The Top 27 Tracks of Kylie’s Career

May 31, 2014

Unless you’ve been living under a virtual rock the past few weeks, you may have noticed that Australia’s Premier Pop Export and long time Home Perm Pioneer Kylie Minogue is EVERYWHERE at the moment.  Not only is she the new female face of The Voice (in, ahem, more ways than one), but she’s managed to release her 12th studio album of her 27 (TWENTY SEVEN) year recording career.  Lets take a moment to let that sink in.  Twenty Seven Years.  Think about it – that’s as long as other music legends like Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin managed to live in their entire LIVES.  Heck, it’s older that most of her current FANS (and boyfriends).  So, how exactly does someone in this day and age, let alone one (somewhat) affectionately dubbed the “Singing Budgie” last that long, especially as commercial viable mainstream artist?

Take a moment and ask yourself what is your favorite Kylie Minogue song.  It probably takes most of you longer than you’d expect for a star of her stature (figuratively speaking, OBVI).  Like, at what point did the woman who spent all of the late 80’s and most of the 90’s as a walking (inter)national punchline become one of our most beloved cultural musical treasures?  Pretty much everyone has a point where their love of Kylie went from being some sort of guilty pleasure to a complete and utter unironic delight.  Was it when she got into INXS? Or those infamous Gold Hotpants?  Maybe it was that time Can’t Get You Out Of My Head conquered America and the rest of the free world?  Or are you a late in life fan, suckered in by her latest venture as the official Spokesvagina of the UK and Australian editions of The Voice?  Whatever it was, there is no denying that, somewhere inside, pretty much everyone these days is Team Kylie.  But what exactly has she released to earn her this place of eternal pop ubiquity?  I mean – most of us remember the 80’s and those songs were all pretty awful, right?  So, lets take a walk down Musical Memory Lane (note – not a real place) and look at Miss Minogue’s Top 27 Contributions to the Music World at Large…

kylie celebatory party



Year of Release – 1987
Album – Kylie
Australian Chart Peak – 1
UK Chart Peak – 1
US Chart Peak – 28
Type of Kylie – Poodle-Permed Pop Princess Kylie
Defining Minogue Moment – You really can’t go past the impossibly earwormy “I should be so lucky – LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY” hook of the chorus.  It just gets you, every damned time.

So here it is, the little song that started it all.  Well, yes – technically THAT was The Locomotion, but it was more of an anomaly, a freak accident, the very definition of a One Hit Wonder (where in the US, for the better of two decades, it was).  Rather it was this, a Stock Aiken Waterman tune hastily penned in 40 minutes after Minogue showed up for a meeting they’d completely forgotten about, that went and cemented Kylie as a legitimate chart force and smashed sales records (for both Vinyl Singles and Hair Scrunchie Sets) worldwide.  So, what is it about this three minute long string of leftover bubblegum that created such an enduring pop behemoth?  Sure, the vocals are kind of abysmal and the “I should be so lucky – lucky lucky lucky” hook has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but all the other hooks throughout the song (the spectacularly crafted “in my imagination, there is no..” key change springs to mind) help keep it in your head, even 27 years later.. And the video is just so damned ADORKABLE that it basically paved the way for Zooey Deschanel’s entire career.




Year of Release – 2001
Album – Fever
Australian Chart Peak – N/A
UK Chart Peak – N/A
Type of Kylie – Sultry Poppers O’Clock Kylie
Defining Minogue Moment – The “close your eyes – so you can see..” bridge is still one of the sexiest and most commanding come ons in the history of music, ever.

Then, on the other hand, we have the smash hit single that never was.  While Come Into My World will always be remembered as both one of the greatest videos of Kylie’s career (watch it HERE) as well as being her very first Grammy win, it was this dark dancefloor stormer thats lack of release is a blackest mark on her career. One of the standout tracks on career peak Fever, it was absolutely SCREAMING for a commercial single release, before everyone apparently chickened out and went with watered down Can’t Get You Out Of My Head retread Come Into My World instead.  To think there was a time in Kylie’s career when THIS wasn’t good enough to be a single is just astounding, especially when you consider that she’d pretty much sell Dannii’s firstborn for anything even remotely this commercially appealing these days..



Year of Release – 2014
Album – Kiss Me Once (Special Edition)
Australian Chart Peak – N/A
UK Chart Peak – N/A
Type of Kylie – Electroballad Kylie
Defining Minogue Moment – The whole entire chorus is spine-tinglingly heartbreaking, but the “what is it she does that I don’t do / was it not enough that I loved you?” second verse is just DEVASTATING.

Speaking of Team Kylie’s endlessly fascinating and increasingly baffling attitude towards her own material, we come to THIS little number from her latest release.  A sparkling, mid-tempo slow-burner that manages to be both haunting, emotionally affecting and blessed with a hook so catchy that even the world’s most inept angler could land with it, it somehow managed to be deemed worthy of no more than a lowly Bonus Track berth.  Much of the criticism hurled in the direction of Kylie’s career this past decade or so isn’t to do with the quality of her material per se, but with the fact much of it is so clearly unsuited for what the public at large wants to hear from a fading 46 year old former popstrel.  This doesn’t mean her time in the mainstream sun is over by any means, just that there needs to be more care taken with what material is selected.  So the fact that something this mature, catchy and creatively satisfying can’t even make it onto the official tracklisting, but tuneless and age inappropriate tripe like Sexercise can, is just mind boggling.  THIS IS WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS KYLIE!


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