tel's tales

Take the Satirical Quiz

Take the following quiz and see whether you are a signed on Satirista or apolitical nonce.

16-03-2016 @ 08.38 pm


Will Shakespeare Write About ‘Micro–Moments of Love.

Romeo: “My love – where for art thou? Is it that the moon has seen your beauty and shunned the heavens out of spite?

16-03-2016 @ 08.37 pm


Instrumental Relationships.

The past week has included a series of family dinners and a wedding celebration. It has been wonderful to have the children, their wives/ partners plus grandchildren all in the same place.

16-03-2016 @ 08.37 pm


I’m Busy Curating My Life

When asked - why are you staring into space and looking thoughtful - I find it useful too gaze back at the inquisitor with what is my best inscrutable face and say ‘I’m busy curating my life’. This provides an opportunity to use, in tandem two, of the modern world’s misused words.

16-03-2016 @ 08.34 pm


Buying Privilege at the Satire Store

A man walks into the local Satire Retail Outlet. “I’d like to get some privilege please”.

16-03-2016 @ 08.31 pm


How to assemble you own column.

I am often asked how do you become a newspaper columnist and write a column every week? The following set of ten easy steps should provide the basic materials to construct your own column. Some assembly is required. No batteries included - talent provided by the author.

16-03-2016 @ 08.28 pm


Three lines down it all turns to custard

As an avid follower of the world of music, I read the music sections of a variety of international newspapers and magazines regularly and check out performers on YouTube. Many have postings from punters with comment on the band, the singer and the song. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly these go from nice, friendly enthusing about music to scalding comment, word weapon bashings and vitriol. Usually this seems to take around three comment entries.

16-03-2016 @ 08.26 pm


That's not love

The line above is from a song I wrote a while ago about the way abuse cannot wear the disguise of love despite the best attempts of those who are violent to their partners to justify their actions. The Australian media is awash with stories about men behaving badly. There has been a wave of high profile incidents, featuring men in positions of influence decided they can say derogatory and in some cases, very offensive things about women without any apparent insight involved. What drives this behaviour? It has been partially dismissed by describing the offenders as larrikins as an escape clause for saying or doing stupid stuff but is clearly shorthand for 'boys will boys' - notice the expression is not 'men will be men' - a dead giveaway that it is about juvenile rather than grownup behaviour.

16-03-2016 @ 08.25 pm


Protesting the lack of protest songs

Where have all the protest songs gone - killed by radio every single one. The revised standard version of the demise of the protest song is that profit driven corporates stifle anything that might possibly alienate consumers. Exhibit A: In 2003 the Dixie Chicks made an on stage remark about the George W Bush. Their albums become fuel for ritual burnings and record companies the world over shuddered. Music was meant to be harmless happiness in a can - not tainted by politics as this might offend consumers. Now with the plush pile profit rug pulled from under them by access to free downloading, the music industry has collapsed into a morose mess, sulking in the corner of contemporary culture.

16-03-2016 @ 08.24 pm


Good Night Irene and other songs from the deep south of Ireland

Last Saturday was St Patricks Day. My musical colleague Liz Newton, with fiddle in hand, joined me to entertain the punters in various pubs around the town. Led by Liz's knowledge and skills, we played old jigs and reels, mixed with a dash of my songs and some classic sing-a-long numbers. One of these, Goodnight Irene, was thrown into the set. The response was a surprise. Audiences knew the words. They sang along with loud enthusiasm, swaying to the lure of waltz time. The singing, smiling response from the crowd was stunning. 'Goodnight Irene' clearly reaches the parts that other songs cannot reach.
Introducing the song, I described its most famous performer, Huddie Ledbetter, as being as far from the Celtic tradition, as the southern states of America are from the shores of Ireland. Better known as Lead Belly, he was born in Louisiana in 1888. A measure of time and place can be found in the fact that between 1889 and 1918 some 2,400 African Americans died at the hands of lynch mobs. This deadly response was often prompted by such things as 'boastful remarks,' insulting a white man' or somehow 'acting above their place'. Lynching events were often public community occasions with people dressing in their best and traveling considerable distance to watch.

16-03-2016 @ 08.22 pm


Angels made redundant in cost cutting measure

The celestial realm has announced that, as part of an austerity drive, some staff will be made redundant. According to an inside source known only as Pete, unless there is a miracle of some sort, hundreds of angels may lose their jobs.

16-03-2016 @ 08.21 pm


A commuter gram from the train

The next sentence will depart on line 2, pausing at each comma. Passengers note, the first and last paragraphs are quiet carriages. If you are travelling in these carriages please refrain from using large capitals, big words, loud clichés or strident rhetoric.

16-03-2016 @ 08.15 pm


A fictional functional family

Down in the Hundred Acre Wood a small community exists within the covers of the much-loved A.A Milne books. Containing wisdom, whimsy and charm in equal measure, the Winnie the Pooh stories have been enjoyed by successive generations and remain as relevant now in the digital age as they ever were. Pooh Bear, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Roo, little Kanga and Christopher Robin share adventures. They trade songs, hums and honey and take great pleasure in small things.

16-03-2016 @ 08.12 pm