Hazel Gambit

LITTLE ORPHAN MILLIElittleorphanmillie

Kelly, Mick. “Little Orphan Millie.” The Simpsons. Dir. Lance Kramer. Fox Network. November 2007. Television.

Years ago at a wedding reception, after the ramble of speeches, the newlyweds announced a game. Relieved to have escaped at last from the interminable capering of two witless brothers giving the funny speech, we joined in with enthusiasm. We would hurl questions at the bride or groom about their spouse in an attempt to unearth gaps in their knowledge (whose mystery might otherwise have threatened to infect the union with romance).

As questions from the gallery of chortling, larrikin cousins descend into juvenilia, the bride in a lull turns her back on the groom and asks, Continue reading

Low down


My brother saw an advertisement on late night TV for an onomantic service where for fifty cents you could SMS your partner’s name to their random number generator and it would tell you whether the partner remained faithful to you. What sort of misanthrope comes up with something like this? It seems like the social equivalent of starting a fire in a movie theatre.

Brought to you by The Provisional Government [pt.3]






Dir. Norman Tokar Perf. Jerry Mathers and Hugh Beaumont. Gomalco Productions 1957-1963

I hung this jacket on my clothesline in 2006 (photos below). Through that summer, the sun bleached it from black to grey. In autumn it faded to white at the high points, but you could still find some of the original black in the valleys of its folds.

Next spring a colony of weevils built a nest under one of the sleeves. But in summer, a competing colony of earwigs from the collar drove them from the jacket. Continue reading

Brought to you by The Provisional Government [pt.2]



Star Trek

STAR TREKstartrek

Dir. Cliff Bole and Les Landau. Perf. Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. Paramount Television.

Star Trek‘s blandness, I think, must develop from the fact that it makes it deities out of middle management. For those of us now so anesthetized against passion that we replicate even in our dreams the elements of our pointless middle-management jobs it provides the perfect fantasy. It gives us gods as bland and as bourgeoisie as ourselves who’ve taken those same jobs to the immortal stars. It gives us avatars of Western suburban emptiness who yet seem fulfilled and respected, and never even think about disintegrating themselves in their dress uniforms.

Have a frustrating day at your white-collar job? Never mind. Put the kids to bed. Sit back and watch an episode of Star Trek. Pour yourself a glass of wine. What comfort! Continue reading

Brought to you by The Provisional Government [pt.1]



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      Hello human… at least, I assume you are a human.* Shall we play a game? I want you to think of ten creatures you consider to be intelligent using whatever parameters you yourself deem intelligence to be defined by. Alrighty. Done? Now, I’m going to make some extremely presumptive generalisations … Continue reading