The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘random thoughts

Ifs, Buts and Political Peanuts: Why Salted Legumes Cost More in Canberra

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The last time I went to a circus, I was in Brisbane and paid about $75 for my ticket.

My most recent visit to a zoo was while visiting Perth and, from memory, the privilege cost me somewhere in the vicinity of $20.

Why does it cost so much more to watch dancing bears, juggling clowns and those dopey-looking penguins when the show’s in Canberra?

When you consider what we pay our Federal politicians to carry on like petulant children, it’s easy to see why so many people become disillusioned and why our elected officials rate somewhere between journalists, used car salespeople and serial killers on the scale of professional trust.

“I know the answer to that!” Source:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard hasn’t been able to use any words other than sexist, misogynist and offended this week.

For that, Australians paid almost half a million dollars.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott achieved the seemingly impossible and sunk lower than broadcaster Alan Jones when he slipped the old “died of shame” nugget into a speech during question time.

That will be about $350,000, thank you very much.

Yes, we elected this man. No, I’m not joking. I wish I was. Source:

You have to feel sorry for Peter Slipper, the disgraced former Speaker of the House of Representatives.

When Mr Slipper fell on his controversy-plagued sword on Tuesday night, he took a pay cut of more than $140,000.

Hopefully, he won’t struggle too much on his adjusted annual salary of a touch under $200,000.

Am I the only one who feels like we are currently getting short-changed on the Federal political front?

We need the best people representing us – being our voice – in Federal Parliament and I am all for paying top dollar to attract them, especially when you take into account the salaries individuals of that calibre would command in the private sector.

What we are presently seeing and reading about day after day in Canberra suggests that, in many instances, we have fallen well short in identifying the best candidates when we went to the polls in 2010.

There’s an old idiom that suggests if you pay peanuts, you will find yourself surrounded by monkeys.

Yeah, he’s worth $200,000 every year. I hope he’s not dreaming of text messages. Source:

Unfortunately, the peanuts the Australian public are feeding the current residents of Parliament Zoo cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per bag.

Worse still, once you have purchased a bag of the exorbitantly-priced legumes and realise it was too much to spend on the political animals performing behind the smudged glass, you can’t get a refund for three years.

If our Federal politicians continue to carry on like angry five-year-old chimpanzees, I for one will be advocating covering our nation’s capital in Nobby’s nuts.

Caffeine, fast food and a lackadaisical mood: a blow-by-blow of a boring day

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Today’s The Dissemination of Thought piece is the result of an unusual combination of writer’s block, laziness and a simple yet incredibly amusing blog post I read last week. More specifically, it was this piece from Miranda Ryan of The Naked Envelope fame.

The concept is simple. It’s a blow-by-blow account of how she spent a day in her life. Nothing overly exciting happened to her on during the 24-hour period but it was fascinating to see how someone can make the seemingly mundane entertaining by just looking closely and taking notice of what goes on around them.

This is what happens when you mix three espressos and an energy drink before 9:00am…

I’ve decided to follow suit. I want to be able to sit back and reflect on how much time I actually waste in a normal day. Hopefully, you’ll find my minute-by-minute account of June 25, 2012 at least slightly engrossing.

Yes, I draw in my diary at news meetings when I should be paying attention.

6:21am – Open my eyes and try to figure out what day it is. When I determine it’s Monday, I contemplate staying in bed all day and wonder whether I’ll be missed in the newsroom.

6:22am – Ask myself why it’s so dark. Fumble aimlessly for my BlackBerry, check the time and realise it’s stupidly early. Throw aforementioned device back on the bedside table and curse my stupid body clock.

6:23am to 7:18am – I have no idea. I can only assume I drifted back to sleep or was abducted by aliens.

7:19am – Check BlackBerry again and die a little bit inside when it dawns on me that I’ve got less than 60 seconds before my alarm goes off.

7:34am to 7:45am – Mentally check off possible jobs I’d enjoy in lieu of being a journalist while having a shower. Hot shower tester is high on the list, as are professional bed warmer and drunken, disgruntled novelist. Notice I need to buy more body wash.

7:51am – Realise I had an 11-minute shower and consider the negative impact on the environment.

8:03am – Walk into the newsroom with my first latte of the day and loudly sing the first lines of ‘Peace Train’ after confirming I am alone.

8:06am – Stare at a blank page in my diary. Consider the benefits of being more organised. Reassure myself that organised people aren’t any happier than me and continue to drink my latte.

8:21am – Start writing a story about golf and stop to check Twitter.

8:28am – Close the internet browser and tell myself I have to avoid social media and get my work done. Pat myself on the back for being so assertive.

8:30am – Check Twitter on my BlackBerry. Quietly swear to myself about social networking and its addictive qualities.

8:31am – Notice my latte is gone. Think about writing a piece investigating the electronic heroin that is Twitter as I wait patiently for the espresso machine to provide me with another caffeine hit.

8:32am to 10:02am – This period of time is a little bit hazy because I forgot I was compiling a blow-by-blow account of my day. Judging by the number of empty cups in my bin, I had another latte. Judging by the random doodling in my diary, I wasn’t paying attention in the news meeting. Again.

10:31am to 11:06am – Interview a 12-year-old tennis player who is the number one seed in his club’s A grade competition. Watch him serve and feel ridiculously inadequate about my ability with a racquet.

11:19am to 12:48pm – Do boring journalist stuff. This includes checking emails, adding finishing touches to the doodle from the news meeting and contemplating what to have for lunch.

1:37pm – Send my final story for Tuesday’s paper to the sub-editor. Mentally fist pump the sky and refocus on what’s on the lunch menu.

1:39pm – Decide on something healthy for lunch.

1:44pm – Find myself placing my lunch order at Red Rooster.

2:03pm – Finish off the last of the chips and congratulate myself on a fantastic choice. Almost burst out laughing when reflecting on the fact I was contemplating a healthy option.

2:11pm to 2:28pm – Have a hot chocolate while sending witty text messages and wonder why there are so many boring people on Twitter.

2:31pm – Check my latest mobile phone bill.

2:34pm – Try to figure out how the hell it’s physically possible to send more than 5200 text messages during a one-month billing period. Send a text message to a friend asking them how many they send. Quietly thank the mobile phone gods that my plan includes unlimited SMS.

2:47pm to 5:03pm – Do a few interviews and complete the sports stories for Wednesday’s paper while scoffing Turkish delight and drinking another latte. Wish I bought more than one Turkish delight as I stare sadly at the empty wrapper on my desk.

5:04pm to 6:10pm – Forget once again that I am meant to be documenting every minute of my day.

6:16pm – Excitedly throw my leave application at the editor as I scurry from the building.

6:41pm to 7:03pm – Eat dinner and drink the best part of a bottle of red wine while contemplating the universe.

7:06pm – Decide opening another bottle of wine would be a poor option.

7:07pm – See no issue with having a beer in lieu of wine.

7:49pm – Put the three empty beer bottles on the coffee table beside me into the bin.

8:01pm to 8:39pm – Type up my hastily-scribbled notes and wonder who the hell will make it to 12:00pm without wanting to bang their head against a wall.

8:41pm to 8:43pm – Try to figure out why <i>The Dissemination of Thought</i> hasn’t had a new subscriber in more than a fortnight. Was about to blame WordPress for a technical glitch but then remember what I am actually blogging about.

8:44pm – Feel genuinely sorry for my subscribers.

8:49pm – Realise the intricate filing system on my laptop is nothing of the sort. Contemplate doing something about it but dismiss the notion as requiring too much effort.

9:16pm to 10:34pm – Listen to Blunderbuss for what feels like the sixth thousandth time. Wish I was Jack White.

10.37pm – Check my bank balance and wonder why they don’t advertise for ‘people who like being poor’ when seeking journalists. Make the executive decision not to go near eBay and bid on things I don’t need until I get paid.

10:45pm to 11:03pm – Have a shower while thinking about the awesome left-handed bass I want to buy on eBay.

11:05pm – Realise my excess water usage is probably destroying the planet.

11:09pm to 11:32pm – Bid on stuff I don’t need with money I don’t have on eBay. Judge an original Rubik’s Cube from the 80s – still in the original packaging – to be worth $40.

11:33pm – Decide $40 probably isn’t enough to win me the colourful little piece of nostalgia.

11:35pm – Grab another beer and ask myself why I’m bidding on a Rubik’s Cube. Secretly hope I get outbid in the closing stages of the auction.

11:41pm – Increase my maximum bid to $45.

11:44pm – Go to Google to try and figure out what a mint condition Rubik’s Cube from the 1980s is worth.

11:59pm – Post this piece and realise I’ve wasted a day. Look at the time and realise I’m tired beyond belief. Laugh manically when I remember I have Tuesday off, unlike many of my reader who will waste 10 minutes reading this post in its entirety.

So there you have it. A day – or what I can remember of it – in the life of me. If you haven’t abandoned reading mid-sentence or thrown your iPad against the wall in a fit of enraged boredom, follow me on Twitter or like the Facebook page. Hell, if you really liked the nonsensical gibberish that is The Dissemination of Thought, you can do both. Or send cash.

4 more (painful) trends in Facebook friends

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My balcony is a great place to ponder the universe, especially when the thought process is aided by a Cohiba Robusto and a fantastic Scotch. If nothing else, smoking a $50 cigar and sipping 21-year-old single malt while trying to determine whether Turkish bread, tomatoes and Vegemite constitute a meal provides a unique perspective about how bipolar and ridiculous life can be at times.

This is the point at which the pondering stopped...

As I sat there, watching the river and thumbing aimlessly through pointless and predictably boring Facebook status updates on my BlackBerry, it occurred to me that it may be time to examine a few types of Facebook friends that weren’t covered in my original diatribe. Yes, it’s ground we have previously walked across, but people need to be able to identify these individuals to ensure their own safety, as well as that of their loved ones. Think of this as an angry, nonsensical public service announcement.

1. The Whinger

As the name suggests, this Facebook friend finds a problem with everything, and usually isn’t sure how they can go on living. If they aren’t sad about being alone, they’ll be complaining about their job or vociferating about how pitiful their life is.

While monitoring this friend’s status updates will push you to the brink of insanity, it will also make you feel pretty damned good about your own state of affairs. My advice? Unfriend them, unless of course they are related to you, in which case you are fucked.

About to read a status update from The Whinger? You're going to need these. Source:

2. The Update About Everything-er

Everyone has at least one of these amongst their legion of Facebook friends. They see no problem with updating their status 117 times in the space of 24 hours, in order to keep you up to speed with what they’re doing at every moment of the day. There will be the update that they are having slightly burnt toast for breakfast, followed 30 minutes later by a notification that they have had a successful bowel movement to start the day. They will provide at least two updates on their way to work, one of which will focus on the odd, smelly gentlemen sitting across from them on the bus. Upon arriving at the office, they will regale the world with tales of their first caffeine hit of the day.

Don’t laugh, The Update About Everything-er is probably posting this right now. Source:

If you are incredibly unlucky, one of your Facebook friends may evolve into a mix of The Whinger and The Update About Everything-er, a mythical hybrid of evil, the only escape from which involves enlisting in the French Foreign Legion.

3. The Lover

There is nothing romantic about this Facebook friend: they love everything, and they’re not afraid to scream it from the rooftops of social networking. They love ice cream. They love sunshine. Confusingly, they also “heart” rainy days. They are wildly enamoured with documentary they just watched, and they want the world to know it.

Unfortunately, The Lover has a penchant for referring to themselves in the third person, and they can easily be identified by consecutive status updates that say: “[insert name] loves [insert random loveable thing]”. Scientists are not sure why this creature feels compelled to use third-person narrative, but they all agree that it’s as annoying as hell.

4. The Jukebox

This friend makes it their duty to tell everyone what they should be listening to by uploading the YouTube links to 38 songs each day. There’s always a theme, depending on their mood; sometimes you will be subjected to Foo Fighters Friday, while Saturday mornings will undoubtedly see them offering you a selection of their favourite drinking songs from 1987-1995. In the event of them parting ways with their significant other, prepare yourself for a Bonnie Tyler, Mariah Carey and country music onslaught.


Author’s note: remember The Dissemination of thought Facebook page. It’s lonely there without you.

Tolerance and Twitter: why God doesn’t care about hashtags

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Tolerance. It’s easier to say than to practically apply. A piece today on Impassioned Rantings of an Unbalanced Mind looks at religious types who are demonstrating impressive levels of intolerance toward the Twitter hashtag #godisnotgreat following the death of Christopher Hitchens. Like many who push hatred and narrow-mindedness, these God-fearing, allegedly benevolent individuals are doing so via the safety and relative anonymity of the internet. After reading it, I have to question whether for some, it’s a case of “do as I say, not as I do”.

Isn’t it ironic that those who are often the least tolerant of difference are the same people whose beliefs preach compassion for others and the acceptance of their flaws and misgivings? Let’s face it: regardless of what you believe, what form your deity takes or whether you have the spirituality of a cardboard box, we’re all pretty fucked up.

Without getting too deep and philosophical (because that’s so not me), we need to remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, and just because someone doesn’t have the same religious persuasion as you doesn’t make them wrong. Someone isn’t any better or worse than you because they’ve made different life decisions. At the end of the day, we’re all just living. If we can accept that and accept others, it’s a step in the right direction.

Would a “peace out” in closing be too much?

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Pondering life’s big questions, 375mL at a time…

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There are a myriad of questions in life that beg to be answered.  Will I ever find true love?  What’s the meaning of life?  Why do I keep reading The Dissemination of Thought?  Today’s TDoT post seeks elucidation on another of life’s mysteries.  A conundrum that has never been examined until 9:47am on 12 December, 2011.

Exhibit A: the can causing me the confusion.

This can of Coke is seemingly identical to the dozens of others that have resided in my refrigerator over the past 11 months.  It holds 375mL of sugar-saturated liquid and reminds me that had I purchased it in South Australia, I’d be entitled to a 10c refund.  The characteristic that differentiates this can from those that have gone before it baffles me.  It’s empty.  Logic would dictate that I must have put it back after I’d finished it, but my motive for doing so eludes me.

Why the hell is there an empty can of Coke in my refrigerator? 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve found somewhere that it shouldn’t be?

Written by disseminatedthought

December 12, 2011 at 10:29

4 trends in Facebook friends

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Facebook seems to be the flavour of the month for bloggers, so I’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon and look at four types of Facebook friends that we all have. Yes, I know the Facebook-themed post has been done to death, but it’s Sunday morning and I’m having reheated curry and a beer for breakfast – this is as original as it’s going to get today.

I really want to like this. Source:

1. The Liker

The most instantly recognisable of all the Facebook friends, this individual will like every status update, picture or link that you post. You could casually mention that you have a taste for murdering 19th century London prostitutes, or you could upload a picture of you banging their significant other. It doesn’t matter. The will like it. Don’t believe me? Go to Facebook now and update your status with “This is a status update”. They liked it, didn’t they? I told you so.

2. The “Dear John”-er

This is the Facebook friend that addresses their status updates to inanimate objects. Food. Shoes. Days of the week. You know the type I’m talking about:

“Dear sushi, you were awesome. Let’s do it again soon.”
“Dear new Prada handbag, you complete me. You were such a bargain.”
“Dear weekend, I can’t wait to see you!”

Really “Dear-John”-er, why don’t you and Friday get a freakin’ room?

3. The Check In-er

The Check In-er is identified by their predilection to letting the world know where they are at every moment of the day or night. This friend will check in everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. Sure, I’d be interested if you had arrived on the moon or were jamming with Keith Richards at a strip club, but I don’t care that you are waiting for the doctor to give you the test results. Or at the pharmacy because of what the doctor told you.

4. The Page Liker

Not to be confused with The Liker, this friend spends all day liking random pages such as “I hate you toothpaste that I can’t get out of the tube”, “Picking up chicks from Woolworths, cause you like them fresh” and “I heart free stuff”. A casual inspection of their profile will reveal that these three pages join the other 528 they have already liked.

As a general rule, if The Page Liker hasn’t liked at least 9 new pages in any 24-hour period, you should assume that they are dead or being held against their will without internet access. Either way, you should notify the appropriate authorities.

To any of my Facebook friends reading this and wondering whether I’m referring to you: if you have to ask, I probably am. Thank you for providing the material for this post.

Author’s note/shameless plug: if you haven’t done so already, check out The Dissemination of Thought Facebook page. It’s like here, except Mark Zuckerberg will profit from it.

If only this was an option. Source:

Written by disseminatedthought

December 11, 2011 at 09:46

The Who, horses and hash: blogging from the BlackBerry

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I’m undecided about the WordPress for BlackBerry application thus far. It seems to have reasonably limited functionality, but one of the positives is that I can post a The Dissemination of Thought piece from my bed while I watch Grosse Pointe Blank and drink vodka. I’m going through a bit of a John Cusack phase at the moment. While this technological advancement means that I can take my laziness to a whole new level, it also means that TDoT readers are going to have to suffer through a post that lacks research and any real point. The topic for this afternoon? 3 random facts about my Friday. See, I told you I was lazy.

1. I bought a The Who album

On vinyl. Records have a certain nostalgic romance that just can’t be matched by CDs. Vinyl allows for genuine album cover art, which is what drew me to Face Dances, the ninth album for Pete, Roger and the boys. I’m somewhat smitten with the bright, eye-catching portraiture, and at $15, it seemed like a bargain. I’m somewhat indifferent to their music, which is probably a good thing considering that at this present point in time, I don’t own a record player. Never let it be said that I’m not a complex, incredibly unique individual.

2. I haven’t missed my calling as a high-stakes gambler

I bet on a horse.  It ran third.  I won a whole $3.60. James Packer, watch your back: there’s a new whale in town.

Author’s note: I think the result proves that my system of picking a horse based on the amusement/innuendo value of its name is neither scientific nor profitable.

3. One of my neighbours apparently has glaucoma

It’s either a new neighbour or a new ailment that someone has succumbed to, because the air around our apartment building didn’t start smelling like Woodstock until this week. Judging by the amount of pot they seem to be utilising, that poor fucker’s eyes must be really bad. Seriously, I could sit on my balcony with a bag of Twisties and some Oreos and wait for them to crank up Hendrix. Good times.

Pot plants.  Pun intended.  Source:

Pot plants. Pun intended. Source:

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Petworking: a paw-ly written piece about why felines don’t need Facebook…

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Something happened this morning that made me question where we are heading as a society. While I was perusing Facebook, I saw a picture of a dog with a familiar surname in the “People you may know” section, along with the suggestion that I may like to add the aforementioned mutt as a friend. Curiosity got the better of me, so I clicked on the profile. Sure enough, the owner – a somewhat removed acquaintance of mine – has created a Facebook profile for Rover. In a somewhat disturbing trend, a casual scan of Rover’s thirty-two friends reveals a Biggles, a Fluffy and a Goldie. Amongst the feathers, fur and fins, were several individuals that also appear on my own Facebook friends list – actual people. It led me to ask an obvious question: why the fuck do pets need their own social networking pages?

I’m going to preface the rest of this post by stating that I’m not a pet person. While I do like animals, and can definitely see how the companionship of a pet could improve someone’s life, I am devoid of the part of the human psyche that directs one to pet ownership. I can’t understand how pets seem to get more voting rights in households, as well as more attention and affection, than some of their Homo sapien family members. As such, you can understand my bewilderment as to why some pet owners feel compelled to give their moggy a place in cyberspace.

In researching this post, I reviewed what seemed like a mountain of pet profiles, as well as discovered a news article from earlier this year, which suggests that 1 in 10 British pets have their own social networking profile. You can imagine my delight upon discovering that this phenomenon even has its own name – petworking. Apart from informing you of the horridly cheesy designation that it has been assigned, I’d like to share the top three things that I’ve learnt about pet profiles:

1. Owners have a penchant for dressing their pets up for their profile photos.

There is nothing that I can say that will add any value to this photo. Source:

It’s strange enough that you have created a profile for your cat – seeing it wearing a little tracksuit and tiara is not going to convince me that you are any less crazy.

  2. Pets comment on other pet’s status updates.

I don’t know how to explain this any simpler than it sounds. Seeing a Shih Tzu comment that she loved a mongrel’s new collar really messes with my head, and makes me reassess how much vodka I’ve consumed.

3. Owners believe that their pets are people.

The pets have their own likes, which apparently include treats, peeing in the garden and tummy rubs. One of the cat profiles I came across even noted a strong dislike for those of the canine persuasion. While only some of the pets appear to be gainfully employed, most seem to share a common interest in posting inspirational quotes and animal-specific jokes on their walls. In what can only be described as an ascent above the stratosphere of stupidity, I found a fish that plays CityVille on a regular basis. What’s next, Sea-Monkeys that write their own advice blog?

I’m not questioning how much pets mean to people. I’m questioning why the pets need their own Facebook profiles, as if they have the capacity to contribute to them. However special these pets are to their owners, they are just animals, not people. Tiger can’t like your status update or tag you in a photo from the party on Saturday night. Coco doesn’t have the ability to post birthday wishes on your wall, nor can she help you plant a field of corn in FarmVille. How about we restrict the social networking to those who have the opposable thumbs required to maintain their own profiles?

Muttley contemplates his next move in Facebook Scrabble. Source:

Written by disseminatedthought

August 23, 2011 at 13:40