I wish I was a con-artist. Wait, that came out wrong. I have no desire to be tricking people out of their wealth with dodgy promises (well, not much desire anyway). No, what I’m talking about are those marvellously entertaining people who go to pop culture conventions, or ‘cons’ for short. If you’ve never been to a con, well, I reckon you’re missing out. All under one roof, 10000 poeple a day or more wandering around talking about and thinking about science fiction, horror, fantasy, comics, movies, television, games and just generally having a good time. Okay, when I say ‘television’ I’m not talking UNDERBELLY or BREAKING BAD so much as TRUE BLOOD & XENA, but then again there’s no reason why fans of those shows shouldn’t represent as well. Its all make believe, after all. Anyway, the really cool part of a con is the cosplay. (If you don’t know what cosplay is, stop for a second and google it. We’ll wait here for you while you catch up).
(Back now? Up to speed? Cool, lets get back to it). Some cosplayers go to massive effort to dress and act like their favourite characters. You can really see the dedication they have for something which is, for most of them, an unpaid labour of love. When its done well, cosplay is as much a perfomance art as street theatre or busking. And that’s what makes them ‘con-artists’, you see.
Last weekend I went to Supanova, one of the two bigger cons held in Sydney. I don’t know when the other one, Armageddon, is this year – if you do, let me know. And maybe we’ll dress up and go cosplaying together. I do a very believable ‘old fat nerd with a beard’ impersonation….

“Go on Darryn! Do it next year! Join us”

I alternate between cranky & cynical about politics, especially Australian politics. Its been said of the American two party system that they have a party of bad ideas and a party of no ideas; here in Australia we seem to have a party with ideas but no clue as how to communicate them, and a party of communicators who say all ideas are bad. Some folks blame the fact that we have a hung parliament, but I don’t think that’s correct. Even before the last election, the ALP under Julia Gillard was brimming with ideas it should have been able to win support for, having spruiked them for a couple of years. The Mining Resource Rent Tax was crying out to be sold as a vehicle for increasing employment and encouraging venture capitalism; the Emissions Tax/Trading scheme is going to have such a negligible impact on household and small business expense that it should have been a cinch to promote; and the National Broadband Network is the 21st century’s laydown infrastructure winner, an investment that will bear fruit for at least the next 60 or 70 years. If nothing else, they should have dug out old speeches from the late 19th century or early twentieth century about telegraphy and telephony, and used those to sell it. But all three policies have been poorly explained to, & therefore poorly accepted by, the general public. On the other hand, I can’t recall the last time I saw anyone from the Liberal Party speaking positively about any of their own ideas. Its a standing gag that the Libs live in the past … and their total emphasis on saying ‘we will undo this, we will repeal that, we will overturn the other’ reinforces that. They don’t seem to have any policies or strategies except “Let’s reboot; last save point 2006”. They claim to be the party of small business & free enterprise, but when was the last time you saw Bruce Bilson out flogging a policy? Yes, Bruce Bilson. The well-known Liberal Party spokesman for small business, consumer affairs & competition. Oh, you never heard of him either, huh?
There’s a Federal election next year, and that should be a time of energy and excitement during which we are presented with two competiting visions, equally vibrant, for Australia’s future. But it won’t be; it will be an exhaustively boring naysaying contest between a party that has wasted most of its opportunities while in power, and a party whose objective is simply to achieve power with no idea what to do when it gets there.
Bring on the Independents again.

We’d be better off with this lot.


Next week, Tara and I are going on a 5 day juice fast. We will eat nothing and limit our liquid intake to water & freshly squeezed vegetable and/or fruit juice. Apparently this is very good for getting the toxins out of the body and helping with weight loss, two things that I need to attend to. Going 5 days without a proper coffee is gonna be the hardest part for me, but I’m sure I won’t murder more than one or two random strangers before the week’s over. I’ll post updates here and on my Facebook for those who are interested. Life’s never dull unless you want it to be.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Three round meals a day.