Because the world needs more overwrought candour.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


What a brilliant idea. Gay men in Sydney can now send anonymous text messages informing their sexual partners they may have a sexually transmitted infection.

From an article in the Sydney Star Observer:

“I thought it was a good idea because every gay man has a mobile phone,” said Dr Chris Bourne, the head of STI in Gay Men Action Group (STIGMA).

The text message reads, “Someone wants 2 encourage u 2 get a test 4 STIs – u may have been exposed.”

Email can be used to send a selection of anonymous ecards. One says, “You weren’t all I picked up last time. Get checked for an STI.” Another reads, “Hmm, how do I put this … I’ve just found out I have an STI. Perhaps you could have one too. You should get a test.”

Isn’t the organisation’s acronym wonderfully convenient? I bet there was joyous exultation when STI and GMA were successfully coupled. But you have to wonder how often it will be used to prank people. When I found out about the service, it took me all of three minutes to succumb to temptation and use it to inform a (monogamous) friend that he had both crabs, scabies and something horrible called molluscum contagium. He wasn’t very impressed at my undergraduate sense of humour. On another note, tiny genital shellfish? Scuttling penis crabs? Obviously, we haven’t entirely left the sea behind if our warm, moist genital regions can play host to such a thriving sea-ecology.


On a slightly related topic, if websites such as and can become so popular, then surely there’s scope in the market for Had a horrific experience with someone you’ve dated, an intimate partner or former boyfriend/girlfriend? Want to stop them descending on some poor unknowing person? Give them bad feedback on ratemydate, and they’ll never date again! Of course, there are obvious flaws in this idea. No. 1: Breakups are by nature unpleasant, and it’s unlikely you’ll look as favourably on your former partner afterwards. No 2: It’s going to be pretty obvious who left negative feedback. But if dating sites started carefully testing this idea of feedback scores, starting with find a sex-partner sites and moving outwards to more platonic realms, there could be a social revolution. No more would unpleasant people be able to date and subsequently reproduce! Finally, some accountability in the dating/sexual realm! War would end! Peace would reign! Remember whose idea this was when we’re all comfortable and boring.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Know anyone?

At last, a chance at the big(ish) time. I've been commissioned to write an article for a newspaper magazine liftout. But I need contacts, which is where this plea comes in. The story is on Australian expats who return from overseas, and what they think of Australia now. All I need is a nice mix of Sydneysiders and Melburnians who've gone overseas for career purposes and I can do the rest. Do any celebrities, minor or major, spring to mind? I'm terrible at knowing who's who. Or anyone you know with interesting stories to tell. I know this is shameless, but please help. Deposit spare contacts in the comment box provided. Otherwise, I'll starve. I love you all.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Quick one

No access to the net makes Doug a dull boy. But I'll be back shortly. Until then, join me in pondering at the recent report released by AMP.NATSEM entitled "May the Labour Force be With You." While on one hand I find it childishly amusing that Big Name Serious Journalists have to use the heading, it's baffling that a large wealth management company would put its name to a report headed by a bad pun and Star Wars reference. How on earth did that get through the wall of corporatespeak? Why wasn't it dubbed "Labour Force 2005" or some such?

Ok, brief personal update:

- Life crisis: Fading to black. New plan: Do my Masters in International Politics and learn Mandarin in China. Hardly a career move, but I think I've kinda given up on the career thing anyway. I've been pretending I harbour ambition, but when it comes down to it, I'd be happiest as a poor footloose boy with aspirations of fatherhood and writing ability. Careers sound dangerous anyway.
- Love life: Delightful. Nuff said. We're the irritating lovebirds in cafes.
- Financial situation: Dire. Currently living beyond my means on Her Majesty's Social Security.

All in all, I'm remarkably happy. That means I've got nothing whinging to write. I think it was Susan Sontag who suggested humans developed speech out of a deep seated need to complain. That would also explain the flexibility and adaptability of English, coming from a miserable land of complaining types.