Saturday, 26 November 2011

Metlink: get out of my face

Recently on my way to work on the tram, I was
ambushed by over-zealous under-cover "authorised officers" not once, not twice, but THREE times in the space of about 20 minutes. None of these "officers" had any means of actually checking my Myki card so they all just looked at it and then passed it back to me. Great job gumby. Then they moved onto the unfortunate Metcard customers who they do not need any technology to use in order to royally fuck up their day.
Bring back the Connies!

By the third time I was considering whether it would be within my rights to apply for an intervention order against them. The tram is plastered with bold accusatory stickers such as: NO COINS: NO EXCUSE. I think about that for a while. An objective person could easily take that as a condemnation against Metlink. They don't provide a coin machine, which would have saved the need for dishing out 76,000 fines in the first seven months of this year alone. That's a lot of fines. And the fines aren't cheap either at about $180. Metlink has NO COINS and therefore they have NO EXCUSE for punishing people without change.

Despite the media reports on violent and aggressive behavior by officers in the last few years: including an incident earlier in the year in which three "officers" assaulted a female passenger who didn't have a ticket, the Victoria Government is saying that it wants inspectors to cut down on their "soft" approach. Meanwhile, The Age recently published an article entitled: "Ticket inspectors feared, loathed, secret research shows" in which previously hidden research describes the public's perception of inspectors as "a scary, intimidating and nasty means to collect revenue." How is that a secret?

When Kennett sold off Victoria's public transport system back in 1999 to three overseas companies, Victorians were told that it would create savings to them. This has not been the case. Fares have gone up. For me to get to work, which means I have to travel across two zones, it costs $11 a day - or $51 for a weekly. This effectively makes it cheaper for me to drive to work, which I don't really want to do for environmental reasons. Good to see that the government is dealing with issues such as urban sprawl, traffic increase and pollution.

The scare campaign against "fare evaders" started with offensively bad attempts at humour, such as the "bad Karma" signs, in which some Metlink advertising genius decided that it was in good taste to borrow a religious concept in order to shame people:

One of my male friends complained to me that these ads must have been made by a man-hating feminist, as the men were always subjected to far worse fare-evading karmic punishment.
Here, you can see that the man on the left has been struck by lightening for playing golf, whereas the woman on the left merely has her skirt tucked into her undies. Awkward yes, life-threatening no. Both of these fare-evading citizens are obviously fairly well-off individuals. The guy on the left is playing golf: the recreational activity of the elite, and the woman on the left is clearly a professional of some description. I suppose this suggests that all fare-evaders are all wealthy people who could buy a ticket if they wanted to, but they don't because they're parasitic bastards leeching off ordinary decent upstanding citizens. People living below the poverty line aren't really featured in these advertising masterpieces.

Speaking of Karma, I would like to take this opportunity to point out to all ticket inspectors that there is currently a skills shortage in the Community Service area. That is because there is a lot of poverty in Melbourne. Perhaps now would be a good time to change career and cross over from the dark side. If you came across a person who had fallen off a precipice, managing to clasp at the edge as they slipped down - would you grab their hand and try to pull them back up to safety? Or would you unzip the fly of your pants and piss in their face before jumping on their fingers? Anyway, I digress. When this Karma thing didn't work, they moved away from the humour and just decided to scribble people out altogether. Communications and campaigns professional Alex White believes that this latest campaign may actually encourage people to fare evade:

To summarise; I would like to propose that we, the public - create our own stickers to put up on public transport. I have some ideas of my own but please send in more and I'll get them made up!

Topic: What is a "fare-evader"?

1. A "fare-evader" may be a person who is struggling to make ends meet financially.

2. ...may be a person with complex mental-health issues.

3. may be a person who is angry about the privatisation of public transport.

4. may be someone who is tired of late and over-crowded service.

5. ....someone who feels that current fare rates are extortion.

6. ...a person who is not in possession of the correct change.

7. ...a frugal person who knows that with skill, they could save themselves thousands of

8. ...a person who is nostalgic about the days of conductors and feels that they are no longer
treated with respect.

9. ...someone who sees the metlink scare campaign as a challenge rather than allowing it to
intimidate them.

10. ...someone who knows very well that if they don't buy a ticket it in no way effects the person
sitting next to them.

11. ...someone who may be bullied, intimidated and robbed by a group of "officers" if caught.

12. ...a modern day bushranger in the vein of Ned Kelly.

13. ...a protester.

14. ...someone who resents that tax money has been used to bail metlink out for it's own poor

15. ...a lost tourist.

16. ...someone who lost their wallet, concession card or money.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Rodeo (not the sex position)

Saturday night: 7 of us pack into a maxi-taxi to travel from Mildura to Merbein. It's roughly a 20 minute drive through scrub watching the sun go down. We arrive at Kenny Park in Merbein just in time for the end of the Merbein RODEO!

Kenny Park is all lit up with blinding lights and a guy yelling into a loudspeaker. It smells like dirt and horse-shit, is dry and dusty and packed full of cowboys and cowgirls yeehah! I need a drink.

I'm not sure whether I should have a cruiser or a Melbourne Bitter.
There is no kebab stand here with a vegetarian falafel option (insert sad face here), but there are 3 chip vans to choose from. I end up having 3 greasy donuts and a cup of greasy chips for dinner. I wash it all down with my Bundy and Cola.

Did you know that Rodeo has quite a long history in Australia? I didn't. I felt a bit like I'd walked into the wild west or the deep south. But here is proof: this is Allan Wood back in 1950 tormenting a beautiful horse:

According to wiki: Rodeo's in Australia became an organised sport in the 1880's. And another thing, women have always been competitors in the field. It's quite exciting when women can be equal to men in their stupidity. When we first arrived at Kenny Park there were quite a few women cantering around the field on horses but they didn't really do anything nearly as stupid as the men so they were quite boring really. There were also small children on little bucking ponies that elicited a few "oohs" and "ahhhs" from the crowd. But then we got into the real stuff...

The reason the horses are bucking around in frantic convulsions is because they have what is referred to as a "flank strap" tied around their lower stomach area, right near the genitals. This device is about 4 inches wide and if used repeatedly, it may rub the hair off the area and chafe the skin raw. The use of electric prods or shocking devices has been banned in some areas
as have "wire tie-downs", "sharpened or fixed spurs" or "rowels". I don't know what any of that means but it sounds slightly uncomfortable. But I have no intention of getting bogged down in any pesky bleeding-heart type kill-joy hippie crap. I'm a cultural relativist - so tonight I'm here to drink, fight and fuck* FUCK YEAH**spits on ground**

As it turns out, they also like to torment bulls. Cattle rods and "hot shots" are lovingly used to ensure the bull exits the enclosure dramatically - although apparently the latter have been banned by major associations, phew.

After everyone is sufficiently exhausted from watching this bizarre spectacle unfurl over and over ad nauseum, the masses trek through the dusty grounds to the local pub en masse. It has been a truly entertaining night - Colosseum style - in which I have learned that Broke-back Mountain jokes are not always appropriate in seemingly relevant context.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

getting "raped by greek gods": trouble in the bronze age

the impetus for my writing this post came from an article which featured in "yahoo news" which was entitled "Man claims Glaxo drug made him gay sex addict." intriguing, no? here is the link:

this glorious frenchman has obviously found himself in a fair bit of hot water, after having gambled away his family's entire savings and then been unintentionally ousted from the closet (in which it sounds as though he was having a right old party).

...He became addicted to Internet gambling, losing the family's savings and stealing to feed his habit. He also became a compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing.

so how do you explain all this to your wife? well, you can't really. however, this guy has decided to try... by blaming it all on his medication. okay...plausible maybe if he's self-medicating a cocktail of pseudoephedrine and hallucinogens, but he isn't. he's taking some drug that's produced by glaxosmithklien and is used for treating parkinsons disease and restless leg syndrome. this drug is called "requip" and according to wikipedia some of the possible side-effects can include:

hypersexuality and compulsive gambling, even in patients without a prior history of these behaviours.

these seem like very neurologically specific side-effects to me, especially considering the subtle implication that being very, very gay is an abnormality (hypersexuality). i also find it quite bizarre that this drug makes everyone freak out in exactly the same way; "oh my god i just have this overwhelming urge to gamble compulsively." but according to wiki, it's true. the only thing i can think of is that they must subject patients to some form of subliminal suggestion and that people who suffer from restless leg sydrome/parkinsons are more susceptible than most. perhaps they tell them over and over that they may experience these particular side-effects and after a while it's not even an option any more to NOT cross-dress in photos on the internet while simultaneously playing online polka. anyway, this guy is asking for 450,000 euros from glaxosmithklien for compensation so hopefully - if all goes well - he can repay some of those outstanding debts.

i'm not sure how this fares for other sufferers of the disease if they are taking the same medication...has michael j fox been exercising super-human efforts of self-restraint all these years? or is he just extremely discreet? and what about mao zedong or muhammad ali?

anyway, you are probably wondering what all this has to do with the title of this post by now. basically, it occurred to me that this situation may be the modern day equivalent to the "virgin birth." i'm pretty sure the that the virgin birth was a great 'get-out-of-jail-free' card back in the day too. this was before we could blame stuff on glaxosmithklien. another example which always impressed me was those wonderful women in the bronze age complaining they got raped by "greek gods".

men: hey how did you get pregnant out of wedlock? now we must kill you on the sacrificial alter!

woman: um...a "greek god" had his way with me

men: ah huh! those cheeky greek gods again! it seems you are in favour with the greek gods
woman and therefore we shall not kill you on the sacrificial alter but we shall worship
you and your unborn god/man hybrid baby.

leda and the swan

the story of 'leda and the swan' is a great example of this. leda had already slept with her husband 'king tyndareus' that morning so if busted she probably would've been in double-trouble. the king was taking his customary stroll after lunch when he heard the unmistakable sounds of his wife when making sweet love to him.

what is this? i am not making sweet love to her!? he quickly realised.

horrified, he walked down and almost busted her cavorting naked in the palace lake with greg, the palace lake-cleaner. she lay there alone, looking disheveled and spent, while the resourceful and nimble greg was nowhere to be seen.

what have you done!? he thundered, feeling both hurt and fragile.

leda realising she had only been half sprung, in her panic pointed to a nearby swan. the swan looked up dumbly.

what? you have been defiled by a beast? for this you must suffer on the sacrificial alter!

leda realised that her hasty excuse could cost her her life so she resorted to the age-old fail-safe:

husband, this is not just an ordinary swan! this is the great god zeus in the form of a swan! do not call him simply a beast, or surely he will strike you down!

really? replied the king, looking suspiciously at the swan.

yes, of course it is! i would never mess around behind your royal back - how could you think such a thing? unless, of course, as in this instance, it was with a greek god - in which case i would have no choice but to copulate in many ways with him, in this case in his chosen swan-form.

having blurted this out, leta looked up nervously at her husband to guage his reaction. greg was in the nearby reeds, trying desperately to suppress his laughter.

well...i don't know... he looked doubtful but leda could also see a tinge of hope in his eyes

come on husband, zeus does this stuff all the time! why, remember last summer how my cousin europa got kidnapped by him in bull-form? and then just last week, poseidon raped that caeneus chick. it's just a god thing. really you shouldn't question it at all.

as she was talking leda pulled her undies back on and slowly led her husband away from the lake, winking at greg over her shoulder.

the end

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

the men who lied to children in the 1970's

i recently stumbled across the work of 'per holm knudsen'. knudsen has written and illustrated two books in his time: "how a baby is made" and "the true story of how babies are made". i've only had the pleasure of reading the former, but i can't help wondering if there is a slightly desperate undertone of insistence in the title of the latter. reading between the lines in this book, i can only guess that knudsen is either pro-life, extremely unobservant, or was in the process of sampling some of the various hallucinatory drugs that the 1970's had on offer (throughout the entire process of his child's birth. and i mean right through from conception to labour).

the picture on the left shows a couple of creepy looking, yellowy-coloured shapeless people doing lude things in the standing position. these people don't have toes, eyebrows, lips or noses. instead of noses they just have holes in their faces. they are complete anomalies. the text says:

"sometimes when the father feels especially loving, his penis becomes large."

you will observe that no mention is made of any emotional or physical changes to the woman. the autistic male author seems to view her simply as a receptacle of sorts. this is further exemplified on the following page, when the love-making commences:

"then, to show his love, the father puts his penis into the mother's vagina."

actually, this is the same in the book we all know and love, our very own bible of sexual education: WHERE DID I COME FROM. "By this time, the man wants to get as close to the woman as he can, because he's feeling very loving to her. And to get really close the best thing he can do is lie on top of her and put his penis inside her, into her vagina." upon perusing reviews of this book, (which is more of an institution than just a book), i found that a few disgruntled mothers had made the same observation as me:

"I was dissapointed by the emphasis on the male's point of view in the book. Considerably more information and pictures of penises are included than vaginas. Also, the woman's feelings, role, and consent are ignored in the discussion of sex...There is no mention of whether or not the woman wants to have sex or enjoys it. There is also talk of the physiological changes in a man when he's having sex, but none anout the women. And finally, lots of talk and pictures about sperm, but very little mention of the eggs role ("semen is how you and I and all of us started") and no pictures of an egg. Instead it shows a picture of a sperm curling up to a heart."
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing, October 6, 2005

well, WHERE DID I COME FROM was written by not just ONE man in the 1970's but THREE men in the 1970' i guess that makes it three times scarier. okay, so once the receptacle and the penis have been established and the yellow blob people have completed their love rubbing activities, things start getting even weirder.

they both stand around for 9 months while a smiling baby gets bigger and bigger inside the mother's stomach. conveniently, the mother's stomach has no skin on it during this process, allowing the viewer to see the contents of her womb. the author fails to mention that having an open stomach such as this is highly unnatural and would expose the mother and the baby to all sorts of disease and air-borne bacteria. in fact it is highly unlikely that either would survive.
perhaps this is why the man and woman are smiling at each other so nervously.

after smiling at each other nervously for 9 months, they both get into their car of love and drive to the hospital, they continue to smile nervously the whole way.

then the (male) doctor comes out. he is wearing glasses to show how intelligent he is. like mummy and daddy, the surgeon has no nose either. he joins them in smiling nervously.

then the baby effortlessly glides out of the mother's vagina. there is no blood and the baby is extremely happy. in fact, the baby has the first genuine-looking smile in the book. interestingly, the mother is positioned in such a way at this stage that her face is conveniently hidden. it looks a bit as though the smiling me are holding her face down for some reason. weird. they look more nervous than ever. the doctor has a stethoscope in case there is any confusion as to why he's in the room. considering he doesn't appear to have done anything at all i can see why he might feel he needs to hold onto a medical apparatus so defensively.

so that is the end of the creepy story. no wonder kids are so fucked up.

here is a slightly more realistic version of how humans are made:

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

worldwide hysteria as millions suffer identity crisis due to astrological changes

poor professor kunkle was simply relaying some information that's been kicking around since 130BC. After a newspaper interview in which he stated that 'the earth's orbit isn't aligned to the stars in the same way as it was when the zodiac was first conceived of' he started receiving hate mail, death threats, and phone call from an anonymous caller who simply said "please give me my sign back." poor kunkle.

one astrologer has responded to the news that her entire career has been based on a "slightly inaccurate" system by saying;

"Just as in medicine, when there are new discoveries you don't change the entire system; you just work with it to see if and where it fits into the existing system."

yes, it's just like medicine...
so, does this mean i'm a scorpio AND a libran? please tell me who i am mrs. calmness-in-the-face-of-ridicule-astrology lady.
but most distressing of all - according to the following article - is the fate of the millions who have their star signs tattooed permanently on their bodies.

OH and i nearly forgot, there's an extra (13th) sign that's being squeezed in between scorp and sag. he's pretty cool, his name is:

he kinda looks like he's got a big worm coming out of his bottom, and apparently he's the "snake messenger." i missed him by about 12 days unfortunately.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

facebook thoughts for the day

i guess the other thing about hating facebook so much yet continuing to use it is that one becomes a self-loathing facebook user. this manifests itself into a negative attitude in general, including: sarcasm, cynisism, abuse, witty yet biting remarks & competitive irony. one may want to 'like' a benevolent cause, but in doing so - you're really just feeding more of your precious consumer information to the facebook gods. is it proactive to sit in front of the computer all day clicking 'like'? maybe it is. statistics anyone?
the whole place has the same vibe as those obligitory job network courses for unemployed people that centrelink make you do; ie, i don't really want to be here, but i am just because i'm determined to defeat centrelink in this bloody game.
having said that - i've just realised there is an upside to this new trend of organising social events exclusively on facebook. if one doesn't use facebook, one is not obligated to attend said events. one does not know about said events. one is therefore left at peace for eternity to pursue a life of peaceful hermitude.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

spooky christmas card synchonisation

on the left is the card that charlotte gave me about a week before christmas. she has acquired a bird stamp and a penchant for creating cute personalised gifts in earthy colours.
on the right is the card that tim sent me, i received it the day before christmas - he seems to have also been infected with stamp fever, and is quite the little artist.
now that i have sufficiently patronized my only two friends who have attempted to keep alive the dying centuries-old tradition of christmas card sending, i will get to the point.

although charlotte and tim's lives are separated by state lines, eerily, they have created a story without any communication at all. as you can see, in charlotte's card, three birds are flying out of an opened cage into the sky. tim's card seems to continue the story by depicting the same three birds flying free into the night, soaring high above civilization, beside a bright full moon. this bizarre coincidental continuum is so jam-packed full of poetic metaphor that it just blows my mind.

Fuck You Very Much Royal Orchard Plus

to wish me a happy new year, royal orchid plus have suggested that i might like "a new me". how thoughtful of them. they also suggested that " not reply to this email offer". i was so distressed that i even used capital letters in the title of this post.

Dear Member,

Begin the New Year with a new you! Thailand is home to some of the world’s finest medical, wellness and spa facilities that offer an array of treatments by highly trained professionals, and with the latest technology.

Botox $12

Liposuction $1,167

Breast Augmentation $2,500

Eyelid Surgery $434

Fraxel $167

IPL $100

Face Lift (non surgical) $667

Facial Treatment $1,667

Hair Removal discount 50%

Thermage $1,334

Rejuvenation $167

Weight Loss $397

Dental Checkup $467

Tooth Whitening $184

Detox $75

Medical Check up $117

(Payments will be charged in Thai Baht at the time of booking or when the service is provided. Displayed USD rates are converted from Thai Baht at an exchange rate of $1.00 = 30 Baht.)

This message has been sent by Royal Orchid Plus and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). You have received this in line with your preference to receive communications from Royal Orchid Plus by email. If you do not wish to receive additional offers associated with this joint campaign between Royal Orchid Plus and TAT you may UNSUBSCRIBE at anytime.

Please do not reply to this email offer. Should you have further inquiries please contact

Copyright © 2010 Tourism Authority of Thailand. All Rights Reserved.

things of remarkable gravity presented in a list with no particular order

if i go ahead and commit facebook suicide, as i've been urging others to do for near on a month now (with little to no success), i will not get invited to any social events anymore. nor will anyone come to my social events unless i use 'ye olde telephone' or 'ye olde emaile'.

i am my only follower on my web log.

it has come to my attention that everybody is walking around with little black flat screened boxes that they look at incessantly. these thing connect the person to facebook at all times and strengthen their dependency and increase their insatiable appetite to share useless and trivial information with everyone they know via their facebook feed.

one of my good friends (who i shall not name) seems to be spending a disconcerting amount of time searching for youtube clips of people crying and blabbering over celebrity slander to share with people on facebook.

many people seem to have changed their profile pictures on facebook to pictures of themselves in the act of getting married, or completely replaced themselves altogether in favour of their newly acquired progeny. these people seem to have become so deeply involved in facebook that they have forgotten that they themselves have an identity.

many people are having babies/and/or/getting married.

many people don't seem to know how to use the words "lend" and "borrow" and use either one indiscriminately.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

BREAKING NEWS courtesy of The Age: fearsome lollie thief's doppleganger arrested

Arrested man may be forest fugitive James D'Zilva

Megan Levy
January 5, 2011 - 11:34AM
A Victoria Police image of wanted man James D'Zilva.

A Victoria Police image of wanted man James D'Zilva.

Police are trying to establish if a man arrested in inner Melbourne this morning is James D’Zilva, the wild-haired itinerant who has been on the run in Melbourne's eastern hills since the stabbing of a policeman almost a month ago.

But officers remain cautious after a false alarm yesterday, when the arrest of a dreadlocked man turned out to be a case of mistaken identity.

Superintendent Jeff Forti said detectives were trying to verify if a man arrested Richmond's Swan Street about 10am today was D’Zilva, who allegedly stabbed a police officer in Healesville on December 7.

The man was initially taken to Richmond police station but has since been transferred to another location.

"All I can say at the moment is we have a person in custody and we’re endeavouring to establish his identity,’’ Superintendent Forti said.

"Whether it’s James D’Zilva or not we haven’t confirmed yet. That’s all I can say at the moment. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.’’

D’Zilva, who suffers from schizophrenia, has evaded numerous police dragnets set up to capture him in the Dandenong Ranges since the police officer was stabbed eight times at a Healesville service station.

The 32-year-old, who has distinctive dreadlocks and is usually barefoot, has escaped each time by outsprinting his pursuers and disappearing into the bush.

Police believe he has survived by breaking into numerous homes and shops in the Dandenong Ranges, usually stealing sweet-tooth items including ice-cream and chocolate bars.

He sleeps rough in the bush and is not known to have any other belongings other than the clothes he is wearing.

He also has incredible stamina and was thought to have been covering up to 30 kilometres a night on foot.

But an arrest on Monday night cast doubt on his movements.

Police initially believed they had captured the former private school student but were stunned to discover it was another dreadlocked man.

Both men suffer from schizophrenia, are suspicious of other individuals and are living rough in the same bush area.

"I mean, he’s almost identical to Jimmy D’Zilva, but it’s not him," Superintendent Forti told The Age yesterday.

"We caught him last night and we thought 'Beauty, we’ve caught Jimmy D’Zilva’.

"This bloke, I’ve seen a photo of him, he’s got the dreadlocked hair, he’s dirty, the same height, build, everything.

"The only thing that made him different when we got him was he was wearing hiking boots. Now, we’ve never seen Jimmy wearing hiking boots so one thing led to another, we did some inquiries and we discovered it wasn’t him."

Monday, 3 January 2011

facebook blah blah

i was thinking about trying to organise a mass facebook revolt. everybody can just start their own awesome web log, with links to eachothers awesome web logs on them! so easy! you just need to stay off facebook for TWO WEEKS people.

you just have to go here, and follow the prompts:

it could be really great. instead of everyone constantly whinging about how facebook sux and facebook is stealing all our information/identity (ie, our profile pics being used - unbeknownst to us - in ads for dating agencies or ads about people with syphilis or genital herpes): about how it's taking away all diversity on the internet by creating a medium that everyone can use (email chat etc) thus creating a monopoly on the internet that may or may not be used for evil: about how zuckerberg's girlfriend who speaks chinese convinced china to authorise use of it over there so now china can do whatever they want with the information and how this information may or may not be used for evil: about how the CIA don't even need permission to go to the facebook server to find your personal information: about how facebook generates profiling based on input activity and "friend" numbers, meaning that if you look like a bit of a boring loser your status update will be published on a restricted amount of newsfeeds whereas if you look like a big facebook star everyone will get inundated with your every inane observation.

so, you've heard it all before and you may even have more to add to the above rant. despite this, i feel fairly confident that my facebook revolt won't take off, partially due to the fact that i don't even have that much confidence in my own ability to leave facebook. but i'm gonna give it a try anyway, power in numbers and all that. so, i'll make the countdown for the 1st of feb...seems an arbitrary enough date. i think thats about 30 days away. let the countdown commence! and now, just to put everyone off, here are the new year's predictions by stella starwoman:

2011 - Predictions for the Year Ahead

John Bailey from the Sunday Age 'M' Magazine recently asked me for my astrological predictions for 2011 - thought some of you might be interested in my conclusions.

Stella xxx

2011 Predictions

Ask any astrologer what’s happening this year and they’ll babble excitedly about the Uranus-Pluto cardinal square; the shift of Uranus into Aries and Neptune into Pisces, not to mention the continuing drama of Pluto in Capricorn and its effect on global financial markets. For my money, 2011 marks the real beginning of the 21st Century.

Over the past century, we have equated wealth with having a lovely home, lots of possessions and a good income. These things are no longer enough. People are now craving free time, fresh air, open space, clean water, home cooked food, meaningful activity, warm, loving relationships and a sense of belonging. Nothing mind-blowing there you might say, but in our commuter-consumer-technologically driven society, we have ignored our basic animal and tribal needs. No wonder so many of us are anxious, depressed, mentally ill or suffering from allergies and chronic health complaints!

Here are my 2011 predictions from an astrological viewpoint.

Money & Finance
My advice is to pay off debt, build up savings and avoid speculation as the collective energies this year are so unpredictable. Many will be tempted to take risks under the impulsive Arian energy, so do your sums and don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose. Downsizing will become increasingly attractive.

The Arts
The Arts will flourish as Neptune in Pisces stimulates our appetite for film, fashion, beauty and glamour. The trend is towards fantasy and escapism, coupled with adventure and excitement. Pisces is a quintessentially feminine energy, meaning more female artists and performers will get the chance to take centre stage. In fact we can expect to see more women making the news in all areas of life. With Neptune in Aquarius for the past 14 years, technology has been the driving force behind artistic creation. Neptune in Pisces, being a more romantic, soulful and nostalgic energy could herald a return to popularity of acoustic and live music, classical music, folk and traditional music, hand-drawn illustrations, romantic and old fashioned films and anything that makes the heart sing or takes us back to a ‘golden age.’

Government & Politics
With Uranus in Aries, the drive for renewal and change will be intense, abrupt and even violent. Any government that acts in an autocratic or unfair manner will be faced by massive grass roots protest fuelled by the power of the internet and social networking. Secrecy is out and transparency in unless you want a starring role on Wikileaks. 2010 was the year of hung parliaments because the two party system can no longer deliver the goods. Issue-based political organisations such as GetUp will thrive and prosper.

Fashion & Beauty
With Aries and Pisces influencing collective tastes we could see a move towards sporty, adventurous styles in vibrant colours coupled with a taste for military fashion and short cropped hair (Uranus in Aries). At the other end of the spectrum, ultra-feminine, romantic styles with pinks and pastels worn with long flowing hair (Neptune in Pisces).

With Pluto in practical Capricorn, it’s time to get real about looking after our planet instead of viewing environmental activism as some kind of left wing, green pastime. No environment = no economy. We can all make a difference. Think more farmers markets, more home cooking, healthy lifestyle choices, alternative energy sources, saying no to chemicals and hormones, water conservation, and a crackdown on ‘environmental wallies’. Given the unpredictability of Uranus and the fiery nature of Aries, we should prepare for an increase in heat waves, droughts, floods, earthquakes, cyclones and other ‘Acts of God’.

As our population grows and resources and living space become more costly and scarce and people more debt ridden and dependent on credit, the collective rage is likely to explode. We could see a backlash against immigration and a rise in public demonstrations similar to the ones recently witnessed in the UK over the massive increase in university fees. Also protests from the disabled and those who’ve been exploited economically demanding fairer treatment. Australian banks have recently been forced to drop excessive fees as a result of consumer pressure. Economic hardship forces people to think outside the box. Do we really need to own large, free standing houses when the high price of servicing a mortgage now chains us down rather than offering financial security? Do we really need an expensive university education resulting in a paper qualification and a massive student debt in order to achieve our career goals or make a living? Do we really need a new car/washing machine/TV? I think people, especially young people, will become much more creative about housing, education and consumer purchases over the coming decade.

Neptune’s imminent move into Pisces is likely to herald a mass spiritual awakening. Sound healing, colour healing, dreamwork, meditation, yoga, altered states of consciousness and the sacred feminine will all become more and more mainstream, just as Neptune’s transit of air sign Aquarius (1998-2011) made technology fashionable and widely accessible. Movies such as ‘Avatar’ and ‘Twilight’ are opening the doors of perception and paving the way forward. We could also see an increase in religious fundamentalism and cults as a reaction to a rapidly, changing world.

Each year we are witnessing an increase in mail order shopping, online purchasing and online trading via websites such as e-bay. We can compare prices with a click of a mouse. The businesses that will thrive in the current economy are those that make their customers feel special and valued and take time to build up a relationship based on trust and honesty. Most of us are time poor and internet savvy – what we’re looking for are businesses with a human face who make it easy for us and deliver excellent service and quality.

Stella Woods

Click here for January Moon Calendar or purchase your own 2011 Moon Diary or Moon Calendar from the Stella Starwoman Store.

anti-climatic first post with editting failures described

so i'm trying to revitalise my old blog and i'm already experiencing an overwhelming amount of setbacks and frustration. i tried to simplify the format but for some reason the text is too small and in my old posts it's gone bright yellow which is almost completely unreadable. after about an hour of pushing buttons to no avail, i've decided that this is a good thing and that i should look to the future: a glorious future of black text on a white background with no capital letters. why is the computer telling me that i've spelt "revitalise" wrong? bah!

Monday, 26 March 2007


wow, i only recently discovered that my kite was actually BROKEN. So while I was happily running around in joy with a flegling little kite that flapped dismally around the ground, little did i know that my kite had never even known the true meaning of flying. i fixed it up here in morocco (twas a complex mechanical-style proceedure that involved re-tying the strings so that they were even - i wont bore u with all the details as most of u probably wont understand) and then i let it go. it went out about 50 metres and sincerely looked as though it had finallybeen liberated; it sat happily in the air indefinitely and i gazed at it this is the true meaningof flying a kite. all those hours spent throwing it needlessly into the air over and over, only to watch it flap back into shrubs and puddles. I justified its previously useless performances with excuses such as; "its just TOO gusty today, thats all". how silly i was.

the culinary delights of morocco

mmmmm.....mouth watering
Morocco is renouned for being a world of taste sensation.