Why this blog exists...

The Magpie

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016   |   99 comments

Who’s A Big Fat Fibber, Then? Townsville Council’s New CEO Has Track Record For Public Porkies.

With a reputed Labor toe-cutter Adele Young joining Mayor Jenny Hill as council CEO, the Bovver Girls have taken over – be ready for blood on the carpet in Walker Street.

Who was the killjoy who tried to rain on the TEL’s 25th birthday celebrations? The Magpie has an educated guess.

And careful how you pronounce some names … get it wrong and you’re a racist – or so says someone joker named Soutphommasane.

And who remembers Gladly The Crossed Eyed Bear from your hymn-singing days? There’s a word for that sort of mishearing, and there are some hilarious examples in today’s pop culture.

But first …

It Is Time To Speak Of …. Wee-Wee’s and Front Bums?

Mel Brooks

Is there such a thing as a sane psychologist? The ‘Pie has never met one that hasn’t a kangaroo loose in the top paddock. It would seem that like missionaries who catch the very disease they are treating others for, psychologists are all susceptible to contracting Bonkeriitis.

But there has been a sign that even this bunch of mixed muesli sometimes have to pause for a moment’s sanity.

This week, we were told that some psychologists were questioning the wisdom of referring kids as young as three – yes, bloody three! – to special hospital units to start ‘transitioning’ their gender. Wisdom? Questioning? (We’ll get on to silly language shortly.)

It is a growing trend and in one Victorian hospital, there are 250 children being ‘assisted’ by the self-importantly named Gender Dysphoria Unit. It’s a similar story at Westmead in Sydney. That fancy word is a bit of a giveaway in itself … dysphoria is the opposite of ‘euphoria’, and means ‘a sense of unease or generalized dissatisfaction with life’.

At 3? Pissed off with the lack of colours available for nappies, maybe? Mum makes you eat mashed up broccoli? Not allowed to throw food? Well, bummer all round, I’d be better off if I changed sex – whatever that is.

Bentley sees a few schoolyard problems coming out of all this.

gender dysphoria fin Music gets The NIMBY Treatment

Seems not everyone was in a festive mood for the Dudley Do-Nothings’ aka TEL‘s 25th anniversary dinner on the lawn next to the Maritime Museum in Palmer Street last Saturday night.

1Rar Band1RAR band was the entertainment and had a permit to perform until midnight. A few local residents not at the function were happily tapping their feet to the (always excellent) music from the Army boys, but some were surprised when the music stopped quite abruptly at about 10.30pm and people left shortly thereafter.

The Magpie is told that one resident was not a happy chook with all that pesky noise disturbing his peace in the Solarus apartments opposite. He harrumphed fruitlessly into the phone trying to call whoever he could to get it stopped. Police and council didn’t work, since the function had a permit until midnight. The story goes that our resident sourpuss then called someone high up at 1RAR and got the band to stop. They departed forthwith.

So who was our alleged non-musical mystery man? Well, some say it was none other than former Bulletin sports editor and current PR flak for an tech innovation company operating in Ingham, the normally genial Doug Kingston. The ‘Pie is sure he’ll be told if this is wrong.

UPDATE: The Magpie, as predicted, has been told. Mr Kingston has clarified his role in this matter (see comments) and The Magpie, who has known Mr Kingston for 25 years, has no reason to doubt his version. In a nutshell, DK did not call the army, and did not seek to have the band removed, but did call the police about on-going noise after the band had departed. And he remains indignant, – and has many sympathisers – that TEL or anybody else, should be allowed to impinge on residents with such functions. As another commenter points out, why there anyway, when TEL’s much ballyhoo’d Overseas Terminal function room was just down the track. Anyway, the issue has caused a lively comment thread, and The ‘Pie is sure Mr Kingston is pleased to have the issue out there. However, his reputation as a music lover must remain intact, and The Magpie is ashamed that he sullied his reputation in this manner.)

They’re Being Called The Dracula Sisters … Because They’re After blood

That’s the name some mordant wit on the TCC staff have given to the threatening duo of new Labor-backed CEO Adele Young and (wholly independent non-Labor) Mayor Jenny Hill. (Well, this is a satirical blog).

Ms Young herself may not be a complete mystery but there are plenty of conspiracy theorists who suspect a Labor jobs-for-the-girls in her appointment.

Adele                   Younggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

Of course, those who vetted the short list – serious applications ran into double figures – will call ‘Fie on you, you varlet’ for The ‘Pie raising an eyebrow at Ms Young’s cushy appointment, but someone has to ask a few questions … like why was a self-confessed politically motivated public fibber given the top job in Townsville? And what in her high-level gopher background put her ahead of the field?

Of course, these questions have to be asked because The Daily Astonisher sure won’t. In the Bulletin last weekend, Kieran Rooney forwent his nominal title of as reporter and became a stenographer, just typing up everything Ms Young had to say in a puff piece ‘interview’ … it reads like it was a straight lift from a Facebook CV. Possibly was. Not a hint of a probing question, or inquiry of the experience that justified Ms Young landing the CEO’s chair.

Given her positions in the Northern Territory and South Australian political offices of high ranking Labor pollies over the years, one plunges into deep contemplation, not the least of which is just how lacking was her competition for the job. And who, if anyone, made some phone calls on her behalf. Judgment on this is all the more difficult because we don’t know who else applied for the position.

Ms Young isn’t shy of going public for personal, politically tinged campaigns, but on at least one occasion, she appears to be shy of proclaiming who she is. Have a look here at this transcript of a 2000 Media Watch program – scroll down to the end item. ‘Catherine’ turns out to be our new top gal in the ‘Ville, who had a lot of harsh things to say about NT coppers at the time – when she was in a back room political role for local Labor.

Now all that may just be a youthful(ish) lapse of judgment, and she got the CEO’s job fair and square, but even in the puff interview, Ms Young gave a hint of her alleged reputation as a political nuts kicker.

No wonder plenty of TCC staff are losing sleep around now. They well remember Mayor Mullet’s embarrassing back down when she accused former CEO Ray Burton of withholding a consultants report that would’ve given weight to sacking up to 300 TCC staff. Burton wasn’t having any of that, (and authorities backed him) but now Mayor Mullet has a reputed toe-cutter par excellence in her corner, you can bet that report has already been dusted off.

And How Would That Go Down?

The interesting thing to watch here is how any such move is spun – Wulguru’s spinmeister is no doubt already on the job. But spin it will have to be … if wholesale jobs are axed, it will be an argument treading a fine line between financial responsibility on the ratepayers behalf, and the loss of jobs in the current climate, which the mayor endlessly honks on about. That would mean a loss of business income in an already struggling community. What won’t be mentioned is how the savings and downgrading of services will help the budget bottom line look a little less deficit-ish and thus make Mayor Mullet look a little more – shall we say – radiant.

Which is just the sheen required for a wannabe senate candidate.

Thought Fart Of The Week – Sort Of Literally

It wouldn’t be a Magpie’s Nest without a generous bit of advice for the old bird’s loyal and loving readers down at the Astonisher. So here’s it is … folks.

Look, not every headline has to be a side-splitter, or yet another labored pun, or an undergraduate effort at humour – leave all that stuff to The ‘Pie.


Dogs out

This front page had a headline that was wrong in more ways than one.

Primarily, this was good legit yarn about how a young girl’s bite size Chihuahua was lunch for a couple of savage dogs on the loose, and said kid herself was badly bitten. Do you folk think we’re all so jaded that a factual headline encapsulating those facts wouldn’t titillate us enough, so we would want to have a giggle instead?

And was any consideration given to the fact that A) it doesn’t make sense in the context (no one let the dogs out, they escaped their yard), and B) in modern parlance, even the decrepit Magpie knows that ‘Who let the dogs out’ is sexist slang for either ugly women, or for flatulence, a jokey way of saying ‘Who farted?’

Has it got the stage that you have completely forgotten how to handle the occasional legitimately good yarn that speaks for itself?


That’s why this is becoming an embarrassingly familiar sight around town on Saturdays, you can’t even give them away … but bet you count them in the circulation.

But That Wasn’t The Week’s Biggest FFS

Tim Soutphommasane

That came from further afield, from this smug reverse-racist bigot and waste of Government money as Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner, who has lectured us that mispronouncing someone name (he means the jaw breakers from other cultures) makes you a racist – because it could hurt a kid’s feelings. And not a single word about anglo names likely to cause a problem … like Weatherup (try getting through school unscathed with ANY name that ends in ‘up’).

He even put out this video, but showing that fine disregard for the real world (he must have a psychology degree) Tim Soot-pom-ma-sarn (pronounced S-M-I-T-H) completely ignored and contradicted the wise children who said that basically, it didn’t bother them. .

What a gravy train dick, we should send him over the pommyland, where he can make what he will of name pronunciations like Cholmondely (Chumley), Featherstonehaugh, (Fanshaw) Magdalen , (Maudlin), St. John (Sinjin), Wriothesley (Roxli), the historic Pepys (Peeps) and television‘s Dalziel (Deel). Then there’s the supremely pretentious ‘Rafe’ for Ralph.

Apt here for the famous story of film star Jean Harlow meeting the snob’s snob, PM’s missus Margot Asquith, greeting her with ’Well, hello, Mar-Got,’ to which the bitch queen replied, ‘No no dear, the T is silent, as in Harlow.’

And let’s not forget the correct pronunciation of The Magpie is ‘Bloody Genius’ heh heh heh.

Tricky Hearing

Mistaken pronunciation travels well beyond the playground and into adulthood. There’s even a word for it … ‘mondegreen’.

This word was added to the language by American writer Sylvia Wright in 1954, when she wrote a funny whimsical piece about mishearing the words of a Scottish poem read to her by her mother, which began:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,

Oh, where hae ye been?

They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray,

And Lady Mondegreen.[3]

In fact, the last line was ‘And laid him on the green’, but Ms Wright mock-lamented her version was better romance, depicting lovers faithful to the death. The word caught on.

We have all had our mondegreens at some stage … vicars were particularly fond of the yukyukery of things like ‘the aforementioned ‘cross-eyed bear’ and ‘Surely good Mrs Murphy shall follow me all the days of my life’, mondegreening the line from Psalm 23 ‘Surely goodness and mercy etc ….’

But there is a darker shade of this type of ‘green’ in the modern world, especially in pop lyrics. The ‘Pie well remembers feeling oh-so-clever while squeezing pimples as he sang along with Little Richard

‘Tutti Fruitti

I want a rooty …

Little did the fledgling ‘Pie know how close to the truth he was, although ‘root’ in this context remains almost exclusively Australia. The original lyric was

Tutti Frutti, good booty,

If it’s tight, it’s all right,

And if it’s greasy, makes it easy.’

Not surprisingly the record company forced the change to

‘Tutti frutti, aw rooty’, with ‘aw rooty’ then current slang for ‘All right’.

But things haven’t changed since 1954 in this respect in the pop world, as side splitting funnyman Peter Kaye documents here … you’ll probably have to stop it a few times you’ll be laughing so hard.

Finally, The What Were They Thinking Moment Of The Week

The ‘Pie usually likes to leave you laughing, but this cartoon is anything but , and should be noted. Charlie Hebdo seems to have squandered all the good will towards it caused by the   murderous attack on their offices last year. How? By publishing this totally tasteless and very unfunny cartoon about the Italian earthquake.

Hebdo italian cartoon

Seems to Astonisher isn’t the only publication to lack good judgment.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.

Post a Comment

The Magpie encourages all to take part in the discussion and let their voice be heard.
In order to post a comment, you must provide a name. While you don't have to use your real name, it should be something unique so users can identify you in the discussion. Generic names like “Anonymous” will likely result in your comment being ignored.
Let the discussion begin!

Current ye@r *

Countdown until the next council election:

-1428Days -6 -9 -30