Tag Archives: Hugh Jackman

Fair dinkum great Australian Inventions

Australia. Where women glow and men plunder or chunder, depending on the verse.

To butcher the Monty Python line, “What has Australia ever done for us?”
Glad you asked. Here are just a handful of some fair dinkum great Australian inventions.

A great Australian invention

In no particular order:

• Kylie Minogue – From spanner-wielding soap opera mechanic to global chanteuse.

• Google Maps – Okay, there were also a couple of Danish blokes in the team, but we’re claiming it.

• Spray-on skin – developed by Professor Fiona Wood in 1999 to treat second-degree burns. Incredible.

• The stump-jump plough. I’m not actually sure what this is, but as officially decreed in the Australian Constitution, it must be included in every list of Australian inventions.

• Ultrasound – so you can see baby Trevor before you meet him.

• Cathy Freeman – rather quick.

• Powered flight – In 1894, Lawrence Hargraves whacked a couple of box kites together
and strapped on a compressed air engine. He wasn’t to know about dickhead seat-recliners.

• AC/DC – I still can’t get used to that new lead singer.

• The fridge – In 1855, James Harrison was granted a patent for an ether vapour-compression refrigeration system to keep his cans of Foster’s Lager* cold. (*nobody in Australia drinks Foster’s)

• Nicole Kidman – I know she was born in Hawaii, but we’re claiming her.

• The electronic pacemaker – Mark Lidwill and Edgar Booth burst out of the shed brandishing
the world’s first artificial pacemaker in the 1920s. Heart emoji to them.

• Home and Away – introduced “flamin’” to the universe.

• Don Bradman – rather handy with a cricket bat.

• The power board – say g’day the next time you plug something in.

• Feature film – The Story of the Kelly Gang was released in 1906, and it’s all been downhill
to Fifty Shades Darker.

• The Splayd – you know, that spoon / fork / knife cutlery thing. Some heathens call it a “spork”.

• Albert Namatjira – To see the real Australia, immerse yourself in his paintings.

• Black box flight recorder – I hope you will never be featured in one.

• Barry Humphries – Thrust gladiolas on an unsuspecting world stage.

• Cask wine – aka goon, space bag or Chateau Cardboard.

• Wi-Fi – CSIRO researcher John O’Sullivan apparently stumbled across Wi-Fi in 1977 while hunting exploding black holes. As one does.

• Dual flush toilet – To differentiate your number ones from your number twos.

• Hugh Jackman – Talented bastard.


PS, There are a few Australian inventions we are not proud of – Rolf Harris and the Aussie Flu.

©Steve Williams 2018

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Robot Rugby League – No Dramas

Hugh Jackman got me thinking. Well, he is the “thinking man’s sex symbol.”

You won’t find this fullback doing a thing in Schlossy’s shoe

Remember Real SteelHugh’s futuristic movie featuring robot boxing? With the rugby league season about to kick off, I believe Australia’s National Rugby League should run with this concept immediately — simply do away with human players and replace them with robots. Think about it. No more alcohol-fuelled 4am Kings Cross incidents. It really will solve all the off-field dramas,
as there will be no off-field, you just hit the off switch.

How good will it be? No more nightclub groin-groping and flashing, no shady betting scandals,
no delightful alliteration of “I just shat in Schlossy’s shoe”, no mid-season inter-club or other code defections, and an end to on-field proctology examinations, which apparently have even spread to the netball court.

For once, the only rugby league stories on the back and front pages of the newspaper will be solely about what happened on the field — the skill, the drama, the match-winning sideline conversion as the full-time siren sounds, the edge-of-the-seat 90 metre intercept try — with no mention of steroids, peptides, sports scientists, gazelles, or moron players scrawling sexually offensive aliases in a school visitors’ book.

Okay, you may be concerned the play could become a little bit, er, robotic — I am across that — occasionally you could program a bit of rogue robot action, just like when Yul Brynner went all random in that classic film West World. It would be quite easy to ramp up the “bring back the biff” setting for State of Origin, or fire up the “traditional softening up period” program for Grand Finals.

The league and TV bosses would love it, Kings Cross police would love it, and Schlossy’s shoe would forever be empty.

Thanks Hugh.

©Steve Williams 2014

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Thanks Amanda, but no thanks

Yeah, no, seriously Amanda, (can I call you Mandy?) we really appreciate you going into bat for us — especially against the Poms — but us blokes are good.

We’ve got it, we’re across it. We’ve got it firmly in hand.

In case you missed it, the former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone is taking up the good fight for the honour of Australian manhood against those bastards of Fleet Street.

Amanda models the fair dinkum Aussie bloke (photo via news.com.au)

Vanstone suggests that the scurrilous British press have been besmirching the fine reputation of the Antipodean male, “I am furious. It really is atrocious that they are making out Australia as a colony, a hick country, a back water where men guzzle beer all day and are rude about women,” she says.

She continues, “they are going on this misogynist thing as if that was the reason why she (Julia Gillard) was ousted.”

Hang on Amanda, so you think they think we’re all Foster’s-spewing extras from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie circa 1972 and anyone sans vagina is responsible for the death of democracy and the resurrection of Kevin Rudd?

Ok, so I drew a slightly long bow, but we really don’t need your help Amanda, and speaking on behalf of all Aussie blokedom, we’re a bit embarrassed by the thought you found it necessary to jump on a plane to London to “set the record straight” for the hounds of Fleet Street “perpetuating the myth”.

Don’t you see? That’s just going to make it worse.

It’s like your mum coming down to the oval after school when some kid had challenged you to a fight ‘cause you wouldn’t give him your Tommy Raudonikis or Kevin Sheedy footy card.

With Amanda putting her nose to the vanstone to recover our sullied reputation in the UK, can you see how confusing it is to be an Aussie of the male persuasion on July 8, 2013?

Everywhere you turn, you have to decipher more mixed messages and cryptic symbols than Tom Hanks in a Dan Brown film. Is it now OK to wear a blue tie? Or will I be eviscerated by malevolent stares from the Q&A faithful? Do you hold the door open to let a woman go through first? If so, will she think you’re a chauvinist?

Now “chauvinist” – that’s a word that hasn’t had a run lately. It’s been replaced by “misogyny” which only up until this year conjured in my mind the sultry visage of the hot French student teacher I had in year 11.

You look for bloke-ish role models to steer your path — you’ve got David Beckham, the poster boy for metrosexuality, until he opens his mouth, and then there’s Warnie — but what about his WTF come-to-sex selfie the other week? I would assume this would definitely be the cold spoon antidote to anything that old Golden Balls puts on the (bedside) table.

All of this is Hugh Jackman’s fault. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he makes all us other Aussie blokes feel totally worthless and inadequate, the bastard. I stand by my comments Madam Speaker.

This being confused business is ok — as long as you don’t totally f*ck it up.

Radio 2UE in Sydney did just that on Friday with an appalling ad in the Sydney Morning Herald for their sports program. Really? “let her go shopping?” A stupid stunt.

You would have thought 2UE would have had more sense than going for a cheap shot like this, considering the dramas its mortal enemy 2GB has been embroiled in — think Alan Jones discussing chaff bags and how Julia Gillard’s father died of shame and so on. If 2UE want to continue promoting the station with lumbering dinosaur views like that, maybe it should change the frequency from “954″ to “1954″.

Even as I write this, a firestorm has erupted over the normally genteel strawberry fields of Wimbledon. Following Marion Bartoli’s win in the Women’s Singles Final, a BBC radio commentator suggested that it was always going to be tougher for her as she was “never going to be a looker”.
Again, rampant stupidity.

Though this is where that confusion rears itself like a pissed off scorpion — are the comments about Bartoli any worse than The Sun newspaper running an article about tennis player Jerzy Janowicz with the headline “Lankenstein” and photoshopping green skin and bolts on him? I don’t think The Sun is suggesting Jerzy is an avid Mary Shelley reader. Discuss.

So I’ve gone off on the occasional tangent here, but in reality as a man (and I use that only in the sense of gender) you’ve gotta be comfortable in your own skin — whether that’s regularly moisturised, plucked, and exfoliated, or merely sees a sporadic swipe of Coles Smart Buy soap every third day.

Speaking of Wimbledon and moisturiser, there was a hilarious back-and-forth exchange in the comments of Wendy Harmer’s post on The Hoopla website  Men. The New Vanity Units. It was a far more entertaining than anything we saw on Centre Court over the past two weeks.
You need to read them — Mick and Dave traded screaming crosscourt forehands, lobs and sneaky dropshots, all while inserting the delightful terms “letting fluffy off the chain”, “man cards” and “wank territory” into the vernacular.

So we get it, us blokes are works in progress, we’re doing our best, we’re across it, we fail as often as we succeed — but we stand together — even with our stupid imperfections like saying “gotta zip” and “fair suck of the sauce bottle” (though only one bloke in the universe says that).

It may, or may not surprise you that we understand, we actually listen, talk about and process all this stuff.

We live in times far removed from when Raudonikis and Sheeds were running around windswept suburban footy grounds. We know, respect and simply couldn’t give a flying whatever that the PM’s wife earns more than he does. We’re aware that Tony Abbott lives in a house awash with oestregen.

It’s all good.

The last bloody thing we want or need, is Aunty Amanda trying to help, by turning up at the front office at school brandishing our forgotten lunch, or stomping down to that oval in an attempt to defend us.

Like I say, we’ve got it all, firmly, in hand.

©Steve Williams 2013

*Originally published (with bonus amusing comments) here: thehoopla.com.au/thanks-thanks-amanda/

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An open letter to Hugh Jackman

Dear Hugh,

Ok, I get it… you’re an outrageously talented, actor, singer and dancer, Hollywood, Broadway and TV über-star.

The ugliest photo I could find (courtesy paulcush.com)





















You are an incredibly devoted husband to Deborra-Lee and loving father to Oscar and Ava. A generous philanthropist, you support and raise awareness of numerous charities and community projects. You’ve been voted the “Sexiest Man Alive”.

Your mantelpiece is groaning under the weight of awards including an Emmy and two Tony awards, as well as Theatre World, Broadway Audience, New York International Independent Film & Video Festival, Australian Film Institute, Film Critics Circle of Australia, People’s Choice, Teen Choice and Scream awards and now a Golden Globe. You might be adding to the collection with an Oscar.

You’ve hosted the Oscars and Tony Awards to critical acclaim. You’ve played (in no particular order) characters as diverse as Wolverine, Jean Valjean, The Easter Bunny, Van Helsing, The DroverCurly, Peter Allen and even a bloody penguin — and that’s just off the top of my head. You love footy, play the piano, guitar, violin and practice yoga. (UPDATE: as Geoff Thomson — another great cricket name — rightly says below, our Hugh can also “play cricket and face Warnie in the nets.”)

The perennial nice guy, your dazzling personality and laconic Australian humour shine through in every interview and appearance. Everyone loves you, there are no skeletons in your closet, you don’t try and run over paparazzi or throw phones at hotel staff.

I hope you realise just how much you make all us other Aussie blokes feel totally worthless and inadequate. Congratulations on the Golden Globe, you bastard.


Steve Williams

©Steve Williams 2012

*This piece was published in the sadly now defunct The Punch by news.com.au


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Goodbye Mr Crisps

So the other day I bought a packet of chips (or crisps depending on what hemisphere you are in). Earth-shattering news indeed, but I was quite perturbed — nay, outraged – that it was only, at best, three quarters full.

Definitely not this many spuds in my pathetic excuse for a packet

This evil act of bastardry isn’t confined to chips / crisps — extensive research (a very cursory glance around the stupid market) revealed many items — primarily in the sugar confectionary aisle, guilty as charged. Why are we paying for air? I would understand that concept if one was to sashay into one of those placebonic Oxygen Bars — which I think were so 2008 — but from memory, pathetically-not-even-attempting-to-be-full packets of sliced fried potatoes weren’t part of their raison d’être (apologies — I’ve always wanted to use that in a sentence — and also oeuvre*). I know things in general seem to shrink as age advances — words, numbers, pant, tolerance, unmentionables — but I believe this chip conspiracy is an affront to society. I also believe a class action lawsuit should be lodged immediately, preferably by one of those law firms that advertises on TV at 3.12am, between infomercials for a plethora of “fitness” products including the not dubious at all Shake Weight, the hilarious and no doubt extremely effective Hawaii Chair and other destined-to-be-landfill products, that swear blindly couch potatoes can morph into Hugh Jackman by sitting on their fat arses stuffing their corpulent faces full of said chips / crisps. You in?

*This is how you pronounce “oeuvre”.

©Steve Williams 2012

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