The official Tony Abbott glossary

Originally published in Time Out Sydney 24 October 2013. At by Robert Polmear

Dear The Internet,

aps-abbottglossary

(from the upcoming children’s edition)

With the news that your immigration minister Scott Morrison has issued an edict that the term “asylum seeker” be stricken from all official departmental communications and replaced with“illegal maritime arrival”,  commentators have been making the unfair comparison between the Abbott government and the “newspeak” adopted by the dystopian ministries of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Such hyperbole is obviously ridiculous, since a) creating a standard term of reference for all staff will help streamline the dissemination of policy in a clear and accessible manner, and b) we have always been at war with Eastasia.

It’s only one of a raft of new terms and with that in mind, we contacted the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and communications minister Malcolm Turnbull graciously faxed us a copy of the government’s forthcoming official glossary.

Keep these terms in mind in all communications going forward, including your personal correspondence. Remember: ASIO and therefore the CIA will be taking notes, and you really don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of them.

Seriously. You really, really don’t.

Former Term New Official Term
Asylum seeker Illegal maritime arrival
Refugee Terrorist
Australia (in context of Federal Constitution) Australia
Australia (in context of dinkum fair-go mateship) ‘Straya
Australia (in context of human rights obligations) Papua New Guinea
Love Penis-in-vagina intercourse conducted exclusively in the marital bed
Homosexual man Bachelor
Homosexual woman Lady bachelor
Bisexual person
Child Dependent
Wife Dependent
Single mother Careless slattern
Student Mr/Mrs Fancy who thinks they’re so big with all their la-di-dah book-learnin’
International student University funding
Pensioner Post-employed scrounger
Medicare Financial sickness/injury incentive
Unemployed person Domestic terrorist
Increased Federal borrowing limit (Labor) Economic disaster
Increased Federal borrowing limit (Coalition) Prudent fiscal strategy
Climate change Positive temperature growth
Environmental scientist Pervert voodoo priestess
National park Future mine
Marine sanctuary Future mine
Lower socio-economic area Future second airport flightpath
Experts “Experts”
Press (non-Murdoch) Mewling naysayers
Press (Murdoch) Clarion call of truth
Area ravaged by bushfire Economic combustion opportunity zone
Taxes Profits
Social responsibility

Yours ever,

APS

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Please fill out our intrusive new Word on the P Street Reader Application

First published in Time Out Sydney 11 Oct 2013. Art by Robert Polmear

Dear The Internet,

I have folders like this EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME

I have folders like this EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME

If there’s one thing that we can all agree on in these social media-savvy times, it’s that everyone has the unfettered right to access our private information. And not just commercial entities like Facebook, who want to let us know about about over-40s dating and weight loss secrets, or ASIO who are enthusiastic about informing the US secret service about who you’re emailing. This whimsical curiosity also extends to our potential employers who want to get a better idea of the real you, right down to intrusive questions about your medical history.

Fairfax earlier reported on the application form for Chevron, an energy and mining company who are extremely interested in whether or not their applicants are sufficiently fertile. In fact, they’d like to know if you – or your partner – have had any stillbirths, abortions, or any offspring with birth defects – and with good reason. After all, they expect a certain level of photogeneity when sending out PR shots of company picnics, and there’s a reason there’s no date on the Chevron calendar marked “Bring Your Freakish Monster Spawn to Work Day”.

Now, you might inexplicably feel that maybe the ins and outs of your partner’s reproductive history is not, in fact, any fucking business of your employer, much less your potential employer. And while the company have responded by saying that this section of the application is voluntary, it does make clear that applicants should answer all (underlined) sections of the form to the best of their knowledge – and since this is a job application it’s fair to assume that leaving great swathes of it suspiciously unanswered might affect one’s likelihood of getting the gig.

It’s a growing problem, to the point where the likes of CareerOne are giving advice on how to deal with it  – and a second of internet research proves that it’s not just an Australian problem either.

So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to institute an application process for readers of Word on the P Street, just to make sure that my industrious and often hungover work isn’t being wasted on sub-optimal eyeballs – or, as you are now defined, my platinum word-customers.

Please be aware that I will be selling this information to high-premium advertisers to demonstrate that mine is a healthy, fertile audience they’d be mad not to market to.

NOTE: PLEASE FILL OUT THIS APPLICATION BEFORE READING ANY OF THE ABOVE

NAME

AGE

GENDER

Personal details: please answer all of the below both in writing and in a loud, ringing voice right now wherever you are.

NICKNAME (PREFERRED)

NICKNAME (ACTUAL)

MOST ACCURATE PERSONAL INSULT

GREATEST FEAR

MOST TERRIFYING RECURRING DREAM

THING YOU LEAST WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT YOU

HOW WERE YOU MOST HUMILIATED AS A CHILD? (Answer in not less than 500 words)

EMAIL ADDRESS AND PASSWORD

BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS

ANSWER TO YOUR SECURITY QUESTION

ANSWER TO YOUR INSECURITY QUESTION

Reproductive history

(Note: if any questions in this section does not directly apply to your gender, please answer on behalf of your partner, housemate, sibling, previous work colleague or fellow commuter)

AGE YOU LOST YOUR VIRGINITY: Front ______ Back ______ Side ______

NUMBER OF SPERM YOU’VE THOUGHTLESSLY SENT TO A POINTLESS DEATH (ROUND TO NEAREST DOZEN)?

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT SEX RIGHT NOW?

WHAT ARE YOU DOING LATER?

DO YOU KNOW A PLACE?

YOU KNOW THAT IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL WHEN IT MAKES THAT TEARING NOISE, RIGHT?

HOW MANY OF THE FOLLOWING HAVE YOU SIRED AND/OR GIVEN BIRTH TO:

  1. Normal human baby
  2. Abnormal human baby
  3. Normal non-human baby
  4. Normal human adult
  5. Child the size of an average thumb
  6. Terrifying David Lynch-ian worm-creature
  7. Wooden boy
  8. Goat/man hybrid
  9. Saviour and/or destroyer of humanity fulfilling an ancient prophesy
  10. A literal watermelon

Health

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SICK FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER?

WHY DON’T YOU TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF?

ARE YOU WEAK-WILLED, OR DO YOU JUST NOT CARE?

HOW MANY NAKED PICTURES HAVE YOU TAKEN (ROUND TO NEAREST DOZEN, ATTACH TO TEXT MESSAGE)?

WHICH DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR MORE ATTRACTIVE BREAST/TESTICLE, AND WHY? (Answer in not less than 500 words)

PROCESS: You application will be assessed by our team and then monetarised with advertisers, and you will be contacted by us if successful, and by ASIO and/or the CSIRO if necessary.

Yours ever,

APS

Patriot or Traitor: the Tony Abbott Quiz!

Originally published in Time Out Sydney October 3, 2013. Art by Robert Polmear

Dear the Internet,

Everybody wins!

Everybody wins!

Your Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been in Indonesia assuring president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono that he is “fair dinkum about doing what we can to help Indonesia in every way” in terms of their sovereignty, which is Abbott-speak for “protect our northern oceanic borders for us and we’ll continue to ignore your human rights atrocities in Papua New Guinea.”

And heck, you might see yourself as being a pretty dinkum sort of a cobber – but are yousufficiently dinkum to contribute in a proactively bonza manner in this brave new Abbottscape?

Fortunately, with the help of senior advisors to the Departments of Immigration and Foreign Affairs & Trade (and not Science, obviously, since we don’t have one of those anymore), we have constructed this quiz to establish quickly and definitively whether you are a patriot or a traitor.

Incidentally, this will also form the basis of our citizenship test just as soon as the new Senate takes power in 2014 (after Palmer United senators add the necessary extra questions like “Australia was specifically founded to be mined, the industry for which should therefore never be taxed or subject to environmental regulation: agree, strongly agree, violently agree, threateningly agree”).

Come let us rejoice, Australians All:

1. A neighbour’s child has run into your yard to escape a gang of bullies. Do you:

a) Tow the child into the yard of an entirely different neighbour and insist that the child is now their responsibility,

b) Forcibly hand the child back to the bullies while explaining that the child should have asked for help through more appropriate channels,

c) Lock the child in your shed, insisting all the while that the accommodation is, if anything, too luxurious and that the child should be more grateful about being trapped in there, or

d) All of the above.

2. The wall of your living room is growing increasingly warm and smoke seems to be filling the house. Your family speculate that you’ve left the oven on and now the kitchen is on fire. Do you:

a) Insist that the heat and smoke is part of the natural cycle of temperatures and airbourne particulate content within the house and that it’s premature to take action until further data has come in,

b) Point out that heat and smoke can have a number of entirely natural causes and that allocating resources exclusively toward extinguishing technologies would be both short-sighted and irresponsible,

c) Angrily accuse your family of pursuing some sort of anti-oven agenda which is typical of their attitude toward electrical goods and that you will no longer discuss whether or not the place is ablaze, or

d) All of the above.

3. Birds are occasionally landing in trees within the boundaries of your property. For no clear reason you have told your family that you will Stop the Birds, yet the number of birds landing seem entirely unaffected by your rhetoric. Do you:

a) Insist that it’s now your neighbours’ responsibility to prevent birds flying across their property and into yours,

b)  Keep insisting that there were more birds landing in the backyard during the lease of the previous tenants,

c) Make family discussions of birds punishable and insist that you will provide all necessary information about the number of bird arrivals as and when you deem it appropriate, or

d) All of the above.

4. Two men are hoping to move into a sharehouse across the street. Do you:

a) Accuse them of defiling the sanctity of leases,

b) Consider allowing them to move in, as long as they are called “non-commercial property co-inhabitants” rather than “tenants”,

c) Insist that while your own sibling has shared a house with a same-gendered friend, you feel that leases should be reserved only for people that can cause biological dependents, or

d) All of the above.

5. Respect for women means:

a) Having not killed your non-male offspring on principle,

b) Angrily accusing the previous tenant of not taking care of the place because she didn’t have a husband,

c) Permitting 5 per cent of your colleagues to be penis-free, or

d) All of the above.

6. Prior to having your application for your house accepted, you promised that you’d help one of your neighbours tidy up his yard during the first week of your lease. You’ve now been in the place for over a month and are avoiding this neighbour’s calls. Does this make you:

a) An excellent neighbour

b) A community leader

c) A man who sticks to his word, or

d) All of the above.

RESULTS: If you chose a-c for any answer, you are guilty of treason. ASIO are already making arrangements.

Yours ever,

APS