June 30, 2009

Dinky DIY's Guide to Kookaburra Troubles Down Under

OR Get a Laugh Outta This

I come from a land down under

Where beer does flow and men chunder

Cant you hear, cant you hear the thunder?

You better run, you better take cover

It's quite rare in the Great Southern Land, that you hear of a music industry scandal… so let's enjoy this one thoroughly.

I remember the gratingly annoying Don Spencer (that dorkus malorkus from Playschool circa 1987) bleating out the lyrics ad nauseum of Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree and maybe you do too. Or maybe you were treated to this stupid song some other way (miserable Scouts camps come to mind) because, as everyone knows, if its got a bush animal in it, the song immediately becomes part of the Holier Than Thou Australian Songbook, to be hummed along to with reverence at church fetes, school band recitals and when played at 3am on rural radio stations by all patriots.

Don't get me wrong. Some of the tunes that belong to this canonical collection are brilliant. Kookaburra just isn't. Men At Work's classic (I Come From A Land ) Down Under on the other hand, is.

That's why it went to number 1 on the US, UK and Aussie charts in 1983, won the band a Grammy for Best New Artist and help sell 30 million albums. This is also why whenever intoxicated Australians gather it creates great excitement and merrymaking when played.

When the Australia II won the Americas Cup it was the yachts anthem. One of the godawful Crocadile Dundee sequels used it and, for crying out loud, it was played at the 2000 Closing Ceremony.

It's sacred.

Get ready to laugh.

So, Larrikin Music owns the el lamo rights to Kookaburra (first penned in 1934 for a Girl Guides Victoria jamboree) and are suing Down Under songwriters Colin Hay and Ron Strykert, and record companies EMI and Sony, for breach of copyright and unpaid royalties.

Larrikin claims the flute riff was ripped off from the original song`s refrain. Muahahahhhahahaha.

Here is a sample from the older jingle- please note the last line.

Can you imagine what primary school kids do to this song?

One noteworthy example:

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Screwing all the magpies he can see
Stop! Kookaburra,
Stop! Kookaburra,
That one
's got VD!

But I digress.

Apparently the commotion started when ABC TV cult music show Spicks And Specks raised the possibility of a connection between the songs in 2007. Immediately, Larrikin managing director Norman Lurie launched the court fight.

The original writer of Kookaburra is long dead and had signed the rights over to the Libraries Board of South Australia who sold out bigtime and flogged them to Larrikin, who is clearly clutching at straws here.

Anyway, this is so not about Intellectual Property. This is about an evil music manager tearing strips from a glorious Aussie icon. Larrikin needs to get hip to postmodernism and realise that even if Men at Work did copy 5 seconds of melody from this dumbass ditty, they did a damn fine job. He needs to chillax and have a Vegimite sandwich.

P.S. I am struggling with finding Luthie`s or Larrikin`s contact details. This is all I could get and would heartily commend prankings involving kookaburra laughings sounds, campfire singalongs of the song he so loves and barside bellowings of the song he seems to hate so much. Just an idea...

June 23, 2009

Dinky Pick-up Lines OR Come Here Often?

Is it hot in here or is it just you?

Loves a bitch, so theres no way Im attempting a difinitive guide…even though I know all the secrets. .. owing to my inpenetrable wisdom.

In time, young grasshoppers.

Instead I offer you a dinky little look into the world of pick-up lines…

El Lamo –

  • If I said you had a great body, would you hold it against me?
  • Are you lost? Because heaven is a long way from here.
  • Do you have any Italian/English/Guatamalen/Whatever in you… Do you want some?
  • Your dress would look great on the floor next to my bed.

The worst I ever heard has stayed with me from adolescence. Expressed in the exquisite bastardisation of the English language that goes on in wilderness of the western suburbs of Sydney (and no doubt elsewhere in Australia) where thinking becomes finking and it all sounds like it is coming from a mouth stuffed full of cotton wool. It was from such a furry teenage mouth that the cry "You are my darling and this is our Harbour!" was directed at my best friend as we strolled through the iconic landmark one Saturday night. Other localised attempts here including the classic "I'd love to didgeridoo you"

Call to action -
The main problem with this Casanovas effort was the lack of a "call to action" to use marketing lingo. Naturally there was some implication but its too easy to shrug lines like this off. Like the Italians catcalling to female pedestrians bellissimaaaaaa! she will just walk by nonchalently or blushing furiously, depending on the girl. (FYI to do otherwise would be taken as a huge come on and you could expect to be stalked 10 blocks by amorous male.) Nice shoes… wanna f*@k was doing the rounds when I was younger. Complement + call to action + vaguely amusing in downright bluntness. I have never known it to work, though.

Breeder Tactics - Michael Douglas pick-up line for Madame Zeta-Jones made headline news when it was revealed. He went for the controversial breeder tactic and started talkin babies. Catherine told Tarts that when she first met the old codger, "Straight away he was very direct that he wanted to be the father of my children. So that was it..." Nothing like a tug at the phantom umbilical cord to get the biological ticker going!

The Game –
The game just cracks me up. Bahahahahahahhha. Honestly, I know so many single blokes who swear by it because it gave them the strategies to bed one decent girl. If you dont know about it, best be informed. Its this book subtitled Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists an apparently true story where the author is turned from a hopeless dud with women to suave pick up master after meeting a secret society of experts. Please, read more about the dumbess here . The man who invented many of the techniques lines his eyes with kohl, does magic tricks and calls this "peacocking". I dont know about the pea part…

Think Outside the…ehem…Box - Weird Al Yankovic put some classics and some personal innovations to music in his song "Wanna B Ur Lovr"

Your eyes are even bluer
Than the water in my toilet

Your face is real symmetrical
And your nostrils are so nice
I wish that I was cross-eyed, girl
So I could see you twice

Say, has anyone ever told you
You've got Yugoslavian hands?
No, of course not, that would be stupid
Just forget I ever brought it up

I wanna be your beef burrito
Am I making this perfectly clear?
I wanna be your love torpedo
Are you picking up the subtle innuendo here?

Its all a bit cheesy and sleazy but be honest, if youve made your mind up one way or another does it really matter what they say?

June 17, 2009

Dinky DIY's Guide to Pirates

Fifteen men of the whole ship's list

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Dead and bedamned and the rest gone whist!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

The skipper lay with his nob in gore

Where the scullion's axe his cheek had shore And the scullion he was stabbed four times four

And there they lay, and the soggy skies Dripped down in up-staring eyes

In murk sunset and foul sunrise

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.

Good gracious who doesn’t get the bejeebies when they read that? Who doesn’t get a chill as their blood turns sea shanty salted? Ahh, who doesn’t wish to be a pirate?

Lurking ninjas, begone.

I met one the other day. She was grand. Shy was her name, but she was a walking comic strip of tats, so I doubt that it was an apt one... perhaps parody... piratey parody.

This be her.

There's been a lot of piratical happenings of late and I want my DIYers to be well informed land lubbers so here is Dinky DIY's Guide to Pirates;

Modern Day Buccaneers So you have the show stealing Somali pirates who terrorize the coast of west Africa these days and while probably no less terrifying than the classical pirates, I’d take a guess and say they were a bit light on the Shiver me Timbersness and heavy on the machine gunness. But apparently they still have a way with the ladies, as one modern day pirate told Time "Even now, pirates are marrying the most beautiful ladies, with nonstop dancing at weddings that go a couple of days." Good to see they be merry making with there pieces of eight. But then, wait a sec... The Huffington Post's John Hari says there's a bit more to this story .

Talk the Talk or Walk the Plank Australia doesn’t really do pirates, we are more a bushranging people (which is a whole other, and rather superior, artform) but we do participate in the official Talk Like A Pirate Day. September 19th people, pencil it in. Information is here on yaaarrr.comTo err is human, but to arrr is pirate!” That just cracks me up.

DIY Guide to Pirate Speak:

  • Only speak in the present tense. So it is "I be" "they be" as opposed to "I am" or "they are."
  • Double up your adjectives. Don't say never, say "No nay ne'er!"* (see rule 4)
  • Drop all "g's". Like "fightin'", "sailin'" smellin'".
  • Drop your "v's" for advanced Pirate Speak. "ne'er", "o'er" and ye be ha'in' people strainin' to understand ye.

More here and here .

Swashbuckling Swedes In Sweden, they actually have a political party called The Pirate Party, which only earlier this month won 7.1 per cent of votes, taking one of Sweden's 18 seats in the European parliament. Founded in 2006 it owes its popularity to controversial laws adopted in Sweden that criminalise filesharing and authorise monitoring of emails. Membership shot up notably after a Stockholm court on April 17 sentenced four Swedes to a year in jail for running one of the world's biggest filesharing sites, The Pirate Bay. Methinks there’s still a bit of Viking boiling in their blood.

Mutiny on the Bounty Our pacific neighbours don’t really have much to report on the pirate front, but they do have a damn good tale of Mutiny... which is almost just as good.

Today Pitcairn Island bears that embarrassing stench of something not-quite-right buried under piles of shit-flinging and blame shifting. Kiddy rape will do that . But before the Pitcairners dirty laundrey was aired, they did have quite a romantic air about them. The descendants of mutinous sailors on the run from the law, they have their own Creole language spoken today, a mix of Tahitian and 18th Century English which includes such gold expressions as, “We hypocrited ‘em.” Fletcher Christian, the mastermind, with his tiny band of rogues and Tahitian wives stumbled upon the island while seeking a hideout from a British Navy, who were after them for their efforts in heisting the good ship Bounty. The population exploded and many of the islanders were moved to settled on the bigger Norfolk Island nearby, bringing their cultural troubles with them. Mark Twain perhaps best summed up the root of the island people’s problems in his fiction from the 1903’s The Great Revolution in Pitcairn ,

“You speak of that young woman as your cousin; a while ago you called her your aunt.”

“Well, she is my aunt, and my cousin, too,” came the reply. “And also my step-sister, my niece, my fourth cousin, my thirty-third cousin, my forty-second cousin, my great-aunt, my grandmother, my widowed sister-in-law—and next week she will be my wife.”

Feisty Femmes You might have heard of the terrifying likes of lasses like stark mad Carribean pirate Anne Bonny but according to the good book Wikipedia, Australia has a grand dame of diabolical digressions! So, there we have Charlotte Badger originally of Worcestershire, England and sentenced to Australia for nicking a silk hanky... which was apparently to help out her hungry family. I fail to see how the hanky would have helped but anyhoo... Charlotte and her galpal Catherine Hegarty were on a ship with their boyfriends after serving their miserable sentences in Aussieland, convinced the blokes to mutiny and took off for NZ. So you see, kids, this is why you shouldn't copy Wikipedia for school assignments, use the references at the bottom of the article instead, otherwise you take the risk of announcing to the world Australia has its own female pirate when in fact, we clearly don't, the Kiwis do.

Johnny Come Lately It was widely reported that Johnny Depp was making the folks at Disney nervous on set during the his experimental redering of Jack Sparrow, who he says was based on Keith Richards. But arrrr, he surely championed the swoonmaking swashbuckler.

Ahhhh... I mean ARghhHHhhhrrrrrr!

June 11, 2009

On Stomping The Worm



Get happy.

Get up.

Get going.

Get out.

Get in.

Get with it.

Get. a. life.

There is a curling, squirming, burrowing dark worm inside every soul. You might be able to squish it for now, but it just splits in half and lays low for a while.

But then, it’s just a worm.

You’re a gigantic beast compared to a worm.

Stomp the worm and smile. For now, it’s good enough.

June 5, 2009

Dinky Diy`s Guide to Controversial Pav - Aussies vs. Kiwis

OR, In which Australia turns a twinkle toes into a cake.

Being the outstanding ambassador I am for our proud nation, I was racking my brain to think of cultural oddities and historical anecdotes that may capture the imaginations of the rather unimpressed Russians. Something that might link our two proud nationalities together as brethren, other than a mutual dislike of Hitler.

..And it was then that I remembered Anna.

Internationally celebrated Russian prima ballerina, Anna Matveyevna Pavlova (1881-1931), toured both Australia in 1926 and again in 1929, which is kind of odd because in these pre-multimedia times, Down Under was a bit of an outpost for all things cosmopolitan and culturally sophisticated back then.

Oh, we knew about the latest trends... just two years after they were hip. A bit like Kazakhstan now.

So, we can only speculate that bookings were coming a bit far and few between for ol`Anna if she was making the long haul to dance for the Perth elite.

As you can imagine, this tour made pretty big news in Oz. She also happened to stop by New Zealand during this tour and it is here that the squabble begins.

"A symphony of silence! So Pavlova has been described," began the report in the West Australian on Tuesday, July 9, 1929. "But who, seeing the famous ballerina for the first time as she stood on the deck... at Fremantle yesterday, could apply the description? It was Babel itself!" The reporter managed to share her cab into Perth... "They are funny, these Australians," she pronounced in the cab.

The sensation Anna whipped up when she soared on air across these Southern stages inspired the light, frothy meringue desert, Pavlova (pav-LOH-vuh), that both countries controversially claim as their national dish.

The chef of a hotel in Wellington, NZ was reportedly so taken by Pavola`s costume, draped in green silk cabbage roses, that he went into a creative frenzy with fruit (legend has it he was a bit of a Kiwi-fruit himself, but that`s another story.) He crafted the shape with a meringue case, the netting of her tutu was suggested by whipped cream and he turned to sliced kiwifruit, then known as Chinese gooseberries, for the roses.

In 1934 at The Esplanade Hotel in Perth, the licensee Mrs. Elizabeth Paxton was doing a roaring trade with her popular afternoon teas. She had asked her chef, Bert Sachse, to devise a special desert for these highly sought after occasions, that might titillate the gossipy tea drinkers. After a month of experimentation, Sachse presented the now familiar pavlova recipe which, according to local legend, was so named by the hotel manager after remarking, "It is as light as Pavlova".

Bert Sachse said in a magazine interview in 1973 that he was trying to improve the Meringue Cake, a prize-winning recipe from the "Women's Mirror" edition of April 2, 1935. The recipe was contributed by "Rewa"of Rongotai, NZ... hmm.

"In the "Good Food Guide" to British Isles restaurants in 1977 referred to the pavlova as the Kiwi`s but changed the entry the next year to say it was Aussie. Hilary Fawcett, who compiled the glossary, wrote about the change: "There does seem to be some controversy as to whether the wretched thing originated in NZ or Australia and I was reduced to doing a straw-vote count."

"It is possible, if ungenerous, to deride the pavlova for culinary innocence. It was adopted from New Zealand. Yet Herbert Sachse made a genuine, crystallising contribution. The pavlova served its original purpose admirably. It then caught the popular imagination. Distilling the Australian concept of sweet living, it is the single great discovery thus far of our cooking."

The Russians looked at me blankly. Maybe Anna was right, we Australians are funny ones, honouring a ballerina with a meringue cake. But then, it has secured her place in our folkloric traditions far better than her Dying Swan managed.

Then suddenly, Mrs. Russian, through laboured translations, remembered childhood summers at her grandmother`s dacha, where she would be fed homemade bizet or meringues. She rushed (Why are you Rush`n? Bahahahahahahahahahahahahha, what`s that you say? A Dad joke? Carefacter: 0) into the kitchen and started baking.

Turns out the Russians call meringue bizet after French composer Georges, the guy who wrote the opera Carmen. I wonder what he did for the Russians that made them think light and frothy?

Mini Bloody Awesome Pav`sBite Sized Deliciousness


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 300ml thickened cream, whipped
  • fresh strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas sliced for topping*
  • 2 passionfruit, pulped


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place egg whites into a clean bowl. Beat with electric beaters until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar, beating well between each addition. Beat until mixture is thick and glossy - this will take at least 5 minutes.
  2. Spoon heaped teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays. Flatten meringue into a disc. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp. Cool completely in the oven with the door ajar.
  3. Top meringue with whipped cream and a teaspoon or two of passionfruit pulp. Decorate with fruit and serve.

*Toppings in a recipe like this beg to be experimented with. I have had mocha, rum cream with forest berries and chopped pistachios, I have seen grated chocolate sprinkled over the lot, more tropical combos of mango, pineapple along with the regular strawberry/kiwi mix. Go crazy with this one, you would be hard pressed to get it really wrong.