Monthly Archives: May 2008

Seat-sniffing quokka-fiddler

It seems that open season has been declared on the Australian conservative leader Troy Buswell. I made a video recently celebrated the fact that he had been outed for sniffing the seat of a female staffer (which he apparently thought was hilarious and/or sexy).
This guy is actually the leader of the conservate party in Western Australia. You know you’re in trouble when someone this pathetic is the best you’ve got.
It seems he’s now been written off to such an extent that the media were willing to bait him with completely unsubstaniated rumours. For a day or so the media kept asking him about rumoured indiscretions with a quokka which is a small Australian marsupial, indigenous to an island off Western Australia.
He gave some fairly exasperated replies which would have been fairly funny to see, considering how pathetic his non-denial denials of the chair sniffing incident were, right up to the point he was forced to admit to it. My personal favourite was when he denied having done anything to cause offence to a quokka. Phew! At least hasn’t been saying mean things about the quokka’s mum!
I was a little disappointed to learn that the rumours didn’t actually involve anything sexual (if he’d go chair sniffing, I’m sure he’s not above quokka fiddling). I was even more disappointed to learn they had been made up by a blogger as a joke earlier in the year.
Still, now they’ve started having a go at him I say they should really cut loose. It’s about time politics was fun.
“Mr Buswell, any truth to the rumour about you being caught sniffing bike seats in a convent?”
“Mr Buswell, what’s this I hear about you asking schoolboys to give you wedgies?”
“So Troy… There are reports that a labrador and a 44 gallon drum of baby oil were selivered to your office. Care to explain?”

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Who needs a life when you have 600 videos?

Yes, believe it or not, I have uploaded 600 videos to YouTube.  Clearly, I should be ashamed of myself.  But I’m not.

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You can’t handle the truth

Anyone who considers themselves to be part of the YouTube “community” (usually people who make videos and/or comment regularly as opposed to the majority of YouTube users who simply watch videos) tends to have a strong opinion regarding what videos get “featured” on the front page of YouTube. The summary of the most common opinion is essentially “That featured video is shit,” and “Why don’t I get featured?”
For those not familiar with how YouTube works, being featured is the main chance for reaching a large audience. There are the occasional breakout hits that reach millions of people without ever being featured but, by and large, being featured is seen by most people as the best way to make it big on YouTube.
Since YouTube opened up all of its regional pages in the last year, the game has changed a bit. When there was only one home page everyone was clamouring to be featured on it. The featured videos were almost universally English language and it was heavily dominated by North American videos (which made sense because this was also where most site users were from.)
Now with more than a dozen regional home pages it’s considerably easier for people around the world to be featured in their region and at least raise their profile locally. But being featured on the global home page is still the golden ticket. For example, being featured on the Australian home page can deliver anywhere from a few thousand extra views to maybe a hundred thousand. Being featured globally will deliver anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of views.
I’ve found myself in the middle of a conversation with Australian YouTubers about what videos get featured on the Australian home page. Specifically, the conversation revolves around why some people don’t get featured at all while some people are featured repeatedly. And I’m in the middle of it because although I’ve never been featured globally, I’ve been featured about half a dozen times since the local page launched last year.
Which brings me to the title of this post. Very few people seem able to cope when the honest answer to their question “Why haven’t I been featured?” (or the more general “Why aren’t I famous?”) is “Because you aren’t very good.”
This is not universally true, of course. Many deserving, talented people never get the recognition they deserve and many talentless hacks get far more attention than their meagre offerings to the world warrant. But I find it surprising how many people are unable to face the fact that they simply aren’t as talented as people they’re jealous of.
As in life, the YouTube situation is not solely about jealousy. Not by a long shot. So long as YouTube persists in featuring cute fucking bunnies and kitties doing fuck-all, righteous indignation will fuel many dedicated community members. But I know from experience that it can be hard to find enough “feature-worthy” videos in a community as small as Australia.
A little while ago, I was invited to be the “guest editor” of the YouTube Australia home page which meant picking about 20 videos which the permanent editor would narrow down to 14 videos which would be featured. Fuck, that was hard! Admittedly I made it a little harder on myself than it needed to be by trying to limit the list to people that hadn’t been featured before. In the end I did nominate two people who had been featured before but they weren’t particularly well known and I really liked their videos.
But it did make it pretty clear to me why the Australian YouTube editor features some people more than once while not featuring others at all. It’s bloody hard to find decent videos that don’t contain copyrighted material, are of a decent technical standard and are unlikely to be a complete embarrassment to YouTube on a corporate level. I think the official limit on copyright material and unofficial limit on crudity are stupid but I understand why YouTube does it. I had to pass on one video I found particularly funny because the level of swearing was extreme even by my standards.
So I’m trying to gently nudge some people towards the understanding that maybe what they’re doing isn’t good enough to be featured. I’m reminded of the episode of Futurama that featured the Harlem Globetrotters. Bender was obsessed with being a Globetrotter but kept getting rejected. He pushed it to the point that the Globetrotter leader, Bubblegum Tate put him on the spot with words to the effect of:
“Look into your heart and ask yourself, are you funky enough to be a Globetrotter? Are you? No? Then deal with it.”
Some people just have to learn to deal with the fact they aren’t funky enough.

For those who are interested, here’s a video of me discussing the videos I chose to be featured:

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=LjbJCGytl70

And here are the links to each video:

Gamer Tonight – Fighter Gamer
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=cz6VG3h…

Stressed? Try This
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=IYEqUql…

Mini documentary – Behind the scenes of a cinema
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=r6CqITj…

21 accents +1 maybe?
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ObonHPh…

kungfucolin – take action
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ocSr1lE…

Falling Up
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=JgM0B_b…

The Force and You
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=tGgidD5…

Rain
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=L4uWCpF…

Insane Chris
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=ot2_v2I…

Political Correctness
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=avGLOMx…

The Super Duper Nice Campaign
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=AKK2zf8…

How to successfully do a Tim Tam Slam
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=9MQZX1n…

Dave Bushell Live at Playground @ 303
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=h-Lxv1X…

Learning To Read Music 1
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=CsUdqGh…

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I love it when politicians self-destruct

Everyone knows politics is a dirty business. But the dirtiest business is usually kept behind closed doors so politicians can continue with the public lie that they are deeply virtuous and not subject to the same failings as you and I. So I really love it when the facade collapses and politicians are shown to be as two-face, disloyal and spiteful as anyone.

We’re getting a real sideshow in Australia this week, specifically in the state of Victoria where I reside. The conservative party (known as the Liberal Party, which I know is confusing to Americans) has been in opposition for ages here and I think they’re starting to crack under the pressure. Too long in opposition makes political types crazy.

The current Liberal leader (they’ve churned through a few), Ted Baillieu, is seen as too much of a lefty by the staunchly conservative wing of his own party. He’s even derided as “Red Ted” (yes, the Red Menace is alive and well for some). So some party members started up an anonymous blog dedicated to attacking him and undermining his leadership to the point he would be replaced.

All well and good. I fully support anonymous blogging. If you don’t like your parliamentary leader, go to town white-anting him. But here’s what you don’t do. You don’t run the blog from your work PC that has a fixed IP address. Guess what these morons did?

Yes, they wrote their attacks on their boss while at work. Work, in this case, was the state headquarters for the Liberal Party. As the saying goes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. These clowns were net-savvy enough to start up an anonymous blog but too fucking stupid to know how easy it was to trace them if they ran the blog from work.

But sacking the two blamed for writing the blog was jut the start of the problems for the Liberal Party. The boil of discontent had been lanced and now the icky pus of revenge was spraying everywhere. The sacked opponents of the leader had some dirt on one of his supporters so they let fly with some payback.

One of the leader’s supporter had called another party member a “greedy f—ing jew” in an email (I’m not being coy, the email actually said “f—ing” not fucking). Of course, once they made that public she had to resign. This article covers in loving detail how fucked up the Victorian Liberal party actually is. The stuff they say about their own party is astonishing. I expect politicians to say things like that about their opponents but about their own “team”?

My guess is the bloodletting isn’t over yet. I for one can’t wait for the next round of payback and counter-payback. I’m a big fan of politics as bloodsport.

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Women don’t work hard enough

Gender issues can be difficult for men to talk about with women.  You could say it’s a minefield but only if you’re talking about a minefield that probably won’t kill you but stands a really good chance of setting off an explosion at the level of your balls that will almost certainly shred them.  As most men see some value in their balls, this is territory in which sensible men tread very carefully, if at all.
 
In Australia, studies have shown that on average, women earn about 15% less than men (which is to say, for every $1.00 a man earns, a woman will earn 85c).  There are a lot of things that contribute to this, not all of which involve an evil plot by men to steal from hard working women.  For a man to have a conversation with a woman about this is the equivalent of holding a grenade with the pin pulled.  Staying alive depends on being fast enough to get the pin back in before the inevitable explosion.
 
Of course, with some men the intention is to lob a whole bunch of hand grenades and then laugh at the carnage.  Somewhere between “You’re so right, I wish I was a woman so that I had more empathy for all that is good in the world – I am so ashamed at being part of the phallocentric patriarchy,” and “Shut up bitch and get me another beer,” there is some rational territory for discussion.  But it’s a brave man who enters there.
 
This week there was a panel discussion on the topic of gender-based pay inequity at the National Press Club in Australia.  Several prominent women including the federal Minister for the Status of Women were on the panel.  As was one man, a social researcher (whatever that is) from the University of Melbourne, Professor Mark Wooden.  I imagine the audience was heavily dominated by women as well.
 
(Side note: with a name like Wooden, do you think he’s a really boring speaker?)
 
So where would the professor sit?  Was he going to surrender his balls, focus on protecting them from shrapnel or swing them around in the breeze and see if there were any takers?  Judge for yourself.
 
The summary of Professor Wooden’s position is “women don’t work hard enough”.  He said high achievers in all walks of life put in long hours of work and many women simply weren’t willing to put in the same hours as men.  One report described the response as “gasps from the mostly female audience.”  I bet.  And there was probably the sound of sharpening knives as well.  Not to mention a bit of walnutting* from the Prof.
 
Another panellist, federal minister Tanya Plibersek, (unsurprisingly) disagreed.  She raised the extremely valid point that the notion of needing to work until all hours should be challenged.  I personally think it’s bullshit and refuse to do it.  Which probably explains the fact I’m not CEO of anything.  Along with the fact I never went to a private school.  And I refuse to suck the boss’ cock.  And the crack addiction.
 
For the record, I don’t think Professor Wooden is completely right.  But he isn’t completely wrong either.  Only a tiny minority of the overall workforce rise through the ranks of management.  If men are more prone to do stupid, life-destroying things to get there, is it any wonder they dominate the field?  I don’t think women (or any minority) are done any favours when they are given a benefit “just because they’re a woman”.  But anyone who says there aren’t situations where an equally or better qualified minority loses out to a white male whose sole advantage is being a white male is either deluding themselves or simply lying.
 
If he made his rather contentious statements just to stir up shit then he’s a bit of a dick.  But if his intention was to get people to face some unfortunate truths, then good on him.  Maybe the reason some women don’t get as far as some men is they just don’t want it enough.  I certainly know I don’t want to give up my free time just to get more money in the bank.
 
He did seem to get a bit silly in the discussion.  He was quoted as saying:
 
“The only way we can achieve this is if we have lots of role reversals, lots of men behaving like women and lots of women behaving like men.”
“I don’t think women in Australia want that, I don’t think that women anywhere in the world want that.”
 
I’ve never liked arguments that seem to be based on the idea that there’s only one way for men to act and one way for women to act.  And I’m not sure what qualifies Professor Wooden to say what women want.  Speaking from experience, if you have one woman in your life it’s hard enough to know what she’s thinking, no matter how much time you spend with her.  Speaking for all the women in the world is a little bit audacious.
 
But his “careful what you wish for” tone did remind me of my college days.  There was certainly a very strong feminist culture there, right down to a hardcore group who fit right in with the “all men are rapists” stereotype. 
 
A fellow alumnus, Sue Ann Post (self described as “Australia’s favourite six foot, lesbian, ex-Mormon, diabetic, comedian and writer”) described them in a recent performance as feminazis.  So there you go, Rush Limbaugh isn’t the only person who uses that term.
 
Mind you, at the other end of the spectrum was an appalling boofhead culture that dominated the social scene which was basically run by rugby players.  I enjoyed the company of most of the feminists but I fucking hated the rugby players.
 
Quite a few impressionable young women were cultivated into a reasonable approximation of man hating lesbians while they were there.  The trouble is, a lot of them realised after college that they actually wanted to be with a man and even have a family with a man.  And all that time spent man hating put them in a bad place.  Most men really don’t like being treated as if there’s something intrinsically wrong with them simply because they’re men.
 
And the ones who do knuckle under to this treatment are usually really bad in bed.
 
So ladies, when you look at inequality in pay rates and management positions, it’s well worth asking yourself: “Is that what I really want?”
 
*WALNUTTING: To understand this term, you need to know two things. (1) What men’s testicles look like and (2) The fact that, under certain circumstances, men’s testicles will retract and appear to shrink.  Men’s balls look a bit like walnuts.  Round and wrinkly.  When it is cold or when a man feels threatened his balls will retract.  Which makes them really look like walnuts.  Hence, I wouldn’t be surprised if Professor Wooden suffered some walnutting while making his speech to a group of women.

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Bullshit graffiti laws

Good news!  All the murderers, rapists, drug dealers, bank robbers and terrorist in Australia have been caught.  Bad news!  Now the cops have to go after someone else to justify their existence.

Or at least that where I think the insane new anti-graffiti laws in Melbourne came from.  Follow this link for the horrifying details but here’s the summary:

  • $550 fine just for carrying a spray can
  • $26,000 fine if convicted of graffiti vandalism
  • 2 year jail term if convicted of graffiti vandalism

This is plain fucking stupid.  The idea of criminalising non-violent offenders for the sake of appealing to conservative voters by appearing “tough on crime” is absolutely cretinous.  Even if you think graffiti is vandalism and a crime rather than art, the severity of these penalties is way out of scale with the offence.

Last weekend we had a bit of a mini-gathering of YouTube users in Melbourne’s Federation Square.  While hanging out we shot a few round table vox pops on a range of topics, including these new graffiti laws.  Some young lads who have a YouTube channel call TwoGuysOneChannel had a particularly good rant on the topic.

Coincidentally we were just across the road from one of Melbourne’s best graffiti lanes so I thought I’d show off just how heinous these crimes are.

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Competition time (Worst photo ever)

Way back when we had a gathering for YouTube people in Melbourne a certain photo was taken of me.  We were having a party and there may have been alcohol involved and I may have consumed some of this hypothetical alcohol.  Or a lot.  It’s hard to be sure – my memory of events is a little hazy.

I had always assumed that this photo (without a doubt the worst photo of me ever taken) could be used to blackmail me.  So to head that off, I’ve decided to release the photo myself.  And why not celebrate the horror of bad photography?  So I’m running a competition as described in the following video.  To win the one-of-a-kind Mr Angry apron see if you have a worse photo of yourself.

You have nothing to lose but your dignity.

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Mr Poop-Your-Pants

A little while ago, on of my friends on YouTube, Cory Williams (AKA Mr Safety of SMP Films) did a video where he wondered if he was doomed to be known as “the Mean Kitty guy”.  Cory has done a huge amount of work creating online videos and is deservedly one of the top 20 most subscribed people of all time on YouTube. 
 
But by far his most popular video on YouTube is a song he wrote when he acquired an unusually aggressive kitten.  Because it was always fighting with him he named it Sparta and wrote a song called “Hey Little Sparta” AKA The Mean Kitty Song. 
 
Prior to this video, Cory’s most popular video had been seen well over a million times.  The Mean Kitty Song exploded past that and had been viewed around six million times last time I looked.  I’m sure Cory was as surprised by this as anyone.  Now, whenever he makes a video featuring Sparta it’s viewed hundreds of thousands of times within days.  All good, but Cory was a little worried that this might ultimately be limiting and he would be forever doomed to be known as “Mean Kitty Guy”.
 
Count your lucky stars.
 
Judging by the traffic to this blog, I’m likely to be known as “Mr Shit Your Pants”.  Far and away the most popular thing I’ve ever written on this blog was my rant about the diet pill “alli” that has the unfortunate effect of making users lose control of their bowels and shit orange oil. 
 
I wrote it almost a year ago and at the time it was a big hit on Reddit and Digg, generating well over 100,000 hits in a matter of days.  It appears the appeal of poop humour doesn’t fade because somebody re-posted the link to Reddit last week which resulted in another 20,000+ hits.  I didn’t even know you could re-submit stuff to Reddit (note to self: mark diary for six months from now to submit it again. Muahahahahahah, more readers!)
 
As much as being known as “Funny Orange Oily Shit Guy” doesn’t sound too great, it’s better than not being known at all!  Plus, it isn’t really that bad.  Longer term readers of this blog may remember that I almost went to the USA last year to be interviewed for a current affairs show on one of the big 3 broadcast networks.  The journalist who found me actually discovered me thanks to the notoriety of that post.
 
And he didn’t want to interview me about people shitting their pants!  He was actually researching “anger” and decided because of the popularity of that post I might make a good interview subject.  So I am apparently a world-renowned expert on anger.
 
Hey, Michelle Pfeiffer’s first starring role was in “Grease 2″ and that didn’t hold her back.  Poop jokes will always make people laugh but that doesn’t mean I’m stuck telling them for the rest of my life!
 

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