Leading The Pack: Our Youth

Chris Scrob

Because ambition outweighs experience.

Adventurous, ambitious and visionary. To some, these words are nothing more than adjectives – to me, these are the qualities which are inextricably linked to our youth. It is these qualities that advance society into its next tier, its next innovation, ready to tackle what lies beyond.

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Vision & Ambition

“This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” — Robert Kennedy.

Young people are embedded with a restless nature, or as I like to call it; a catalyst to change. It’s like an invisible hand pushing you into the depths of an urgent challenge, only to realise that you can emerge from the chasm as an agent of change. Such is the life…

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I’m publishing my first book!

Death to Fanatics

Hello!  I have been writing stories on this writing blog since I was 16 and have now compiled those stories/poetry (and more!) into an ebook that has been 3 years in the making.

Gabriel’s Horn

” A collection of short stories worth stealing.

Who’s in the Illuminati?
Was the moon landing faked?
What are they hiding in Area 51?
Why doesn’t she love me anymore?

Classic questions we all love to ponder!
In this book you won’t find any answers to them, but you might just have some fun. ”

…If you have found my blogposts, insightful or funny in the past, you should check it out.

And a huge thank you to all my followers who have supported me over the years. your motivation and feedback has been invaluable to me. And I wouldn’t have written a book without your help.

Much love,
Conor

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Cover Final

I’m publishing my first book!

Hello!  I have been writing stories on this writing blog since I was 16 and have now compiled those stories/poetry (and more!) into an ebook that has been 3 years in the making.

Gabriel’s Horn

” A collection of short stories worth stealing.

Who’s in the Illuminati?
Was the moon landing faked?
What are they hiding in Area 51?
Why doesn’t she love me anymore?

Classic questions we all love to ponder!
In this book you won’t find any answers to them, but you might just have some fun. ”

…If you have found my blogposts, insightful or funny in the past, you should check it out.

And a huge thank you to all my followers who have supported me over the years. your motivation and feedback has been invaluable to me. And I wouldn’t have written a book without your help.

Much love,
Conor

amenhotep-ii

Pharaoh Akhenaten: Eccentric, Philosopher, Artist, Living God and Prophet

The Amarna period was marked by the inauguration of Akhenaten, the prince formerly known as Amenhotep IV. Succeeding his father Amenhotep III, Akhenaten then reigned for 17 years married to the famously beautiful Nefertiti. In those 17 years he revolutionised Egyptian culture, enacting great changes in religion, art, and politics. Akhenaten also created a new capital city from which he ruled which we refer to as Amarna because of the Beni Amran tribe that lived in the area but in its time it was called Akhetaten, or Horizon of Aten by the ancient Egyptians. Amarna is located on the East Bank of the Nile, roughly 200 miles south of Cairo and 250 miles north of Luxor. The short duration of its occupancy combined with the fact the site was built on virgin soil and the large Amarna Letter collection that was discovered allow us to “reconstruct an unusually accurate picture” of life in the city (Encyclopedia Britannica 2016).

From this accurate picture of the city, we can reconstruct a comparison of life in Ancient Egypt before, during and after, Akhenaten. The most marked difference was seen in Akhenaten’s religious revolution which replaced the traditional polytheistic religion centred on Amun-Ra with a new semi-monotheistic religion that worshipped Aten above all over gods (David 1998, 125). Amun-Ra had been the customary cult of choice for the royal family and a great many temples were located in Thebes, which may have been one of the motivations for the construction of Akhetaten. Unlike the other traditional Egyptian’s Gods who took on anthropomorphic forms, Aten was seen as a solar deity above mere Gods and whose form was represented by the sun whose rays extended downwards ending in hands reaching down from the heavens.

Figure 1: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and their daughters under Aten (Kemp 1992, 282)

It was not unusual for a pharaoh to associate himself with a certain God, however, Akhenaten was the first to proclaim himself the living embodiment of a God proclaiming himself as “the dazzling Aten” (Van Dijk 2004, 276). Some scholars have even compared Akhenaten’s relationship to Aten to Jesus Christ’s relationship to God supporting their argument with Akhenaten’s self-descriptions of being “Thine only son that came forth from thy body” and “the eternal son that came forth from the Sun-Disc” (Redford 1987). I would reject these notions as leaping to conclusions, as Redford concludes “there is little or no evidence to support the notion that Akhenaten was a progenitor of the full-blown monotheism that we find in the Bible” (1996). Perhaps there is a possibility in the speculations of Sigmund Freud that Akhenaten, like Moses, was striving to for a completely monotheistic religion but ultimately the Egyptian people rejected the cult of Aten unlike Judaism (112, 1939). Despite the full measure’s Akhenaten took to distance the Egyptian people from the old religion, it was a mere four years after his death that his son Tutankhaten took the throne and moved the capital back to Thebes and took the name Tutankhamun to reinforce the restoration of the cult of Amun and rejection of Aten. And so the worship of Aten disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.

As with Akhenaten’s other sudden changes the Amarna art style was also a swift break from the established style and was revolved around the new worship of Aten. Before the Amarna period, the style of Egyptian art changed very little and at a slow rate. The way Akhenaten is depicted in illustration and sculpture differed greatly from past pharaohs, portraying himself as an almost androgynous figure with “an elongated neck, almost feminine breasts, a round protruding belly, wide hips, and fat thighs” (Van Dijk 2004, 281). Some theories have suggested that Akhenaten may have suffered from genetic abnormality due to incestuous parentage, but I would agree with Montserrat’s dissertation of that theory and that Akhenaten’s exaggerated physical portrayal “is not to be read literally” (2000, 36). Most speculation points towards Akhenaten wanting to portray male as well as female elements in his images,  posing as “the mother and father of the Egyptian state emphasising his close affinity with Aten” (McArthur 2011, 33). However, Akhenaton’s symbolic mother and father position did not extend to foreign nations.
Figure 2: Akhenaten’s androgynous figure
(http://www.ancient-egypt.co.uk/cairo%20museum/cm,%20akhenaten/ accessed 02/05/2016.)

Foreign relations deteriorated greatly as of a result of the religious reforms in which Egypt’s concerns stopped at their own borders. Even despite Egypt’s relatively wealth and prosperity, Akhenaton simply ignored requests from neighbouring nations for assistance in their various affairs choosing to remain inwardly occupied in only affairs within Egypt’s borders (Mark 2014). Even 50 letters for military assistance sent by Rib-Haddi, the king of Byblos, which was one of Egypt’s closest allies at the time were largely ignored (Watterson 112). Akhenaton’s neglect of foreign politics even took the form of annoyance demanding from Rib-Haddi “why do you alone keep writing to me?” as quoted in Amarna Letter EA 117 (Moran 193). This relationship heavily contrasts from his father and precursor Amenhotep III whose approach to foreign policy resulted in a significant peace treaty with the Mitanni leading to a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic flourishing for Egypt.

 

Akhenaten’s legacy is a difficult topic to discuss. On one hand, the heretic king’s memory was “scorned as that of a felon”, his religion and city were abandoned after his death (Freud 1939, 26). However, more than 3000 years after his death and Akhenaton still attracts fascination as well as inspiring many artists, writers, and musicians from Agatha Christie to Philip Glass. Whether his reign was an ultimately positive influence on religion and politics in Ancient Egypt could be debated endlessly with no clear answer. Though what is clear is that Akhenaten is truly deserving of the title of “the first individual in history” (Breasted 1933, 301). Although he failed as to manage proper relations with many neighbouring empires I reason that he eclipsed this small pitfall with the freedom he gave to the artists, sculptures and musicians of his era. For he was a man that challenged the ordinary and accepted norms of his time, to which he deserves only respect for having the daring to bring a dangerous dream into reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient Sources

Amenhotep IV/ Akhenaten

1350BCs – 1330BCs                                          Amarna Letter EA 117

 


Modern Sources

Breasted, J.H.

1933.                     The Dawn of Conscience (edit), p.301.

 
Encyclopedia Britannica.

2016.                     Tell el-Amarna.

Available at: http://www.britannica.com/place/Tell-el-Amarna, accessed 07 May 2016.
 

Frankfurter, D.

1998.                     Religion in Roman Egypt. 1st Edition. Princeton University Press.
 

Freud, S.

1939.                     Moses and Monotheism: Three Essays. Knopf.
 

Kemp B.

1992.                     Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. Reprint Edition. Routledge.
 

Mark, J.

2014.                     Akhenaten – Ancient History Encyclopedia.

Available at: http://www.ancient.eu/Akhenaten/, accessed 08 May 2016.

 

McArthur, R.

2011.                     Egyptian Art: The Amarna Revolution

Available at: http://www.academia.edu/5657544/Egyptian_Art_The_Amarna_Revolution, accessed 08 May 2016.
 

Montserrat, D.

2000.                     Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt. Routledge.
 

Moran, W.

2000.                     The Amarna Letters. Johns Hopkins University Press.
 

Project Amarna.

2016.                     Location – Amarna Project.

Available at: http://www.amarnaproject.com/pages/accessing_the_site/index.shtml, accessed 07 May 2016.
 

Redford, D.

1987.                     The Monotheism of the Heretic Pharaoh. Biblical Archaeology Review.

Available at: http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=13&Issue=3&ArticleID=1&UserID=0, accessed 09 May 2016.

 

Redford, D.

1996.                     Aspects of Monotheism. Biblical Archeology Review.
 

Rosalie D.

1998.                     Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt. Facts on File Inc.
 

Van Dijk, J.

2004.                     The Amarna Period And The Later New Kingdom. The Oxford History Of Ancient

Egypt. Ian Shaw. 1st ed. Oxford University Press, 2004. Pg. 272-287.
 

Watterson, B.

1997.                     The Egyptians (Peoples of Africa). 1st Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.

 

 

 

The vulture and the little girl

Photojournalism Scandal: The power of a thousand words

The visual medium has always been more striking at first glance than text. Likewise extra attention is given more to scandals compared to the daily reported stories which make up the nightly news. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that scandal and photojournalism have developed a deeply intertwined relationship. Photographs of scandals have the power to capture the attentions of thousands, which is why they have often been used as blackmail. This audience attracting power is not only used by tabloid publications but also by most forms of mainstream media. A common example is a celebrity who is held in high regard and the scandal comes as a shock (although we are often filled with glee at their downfall) because it is a massive contradiction to what we thought we knew about the individual. The subject doesn’t have to exclusively be a person however; the important point is the information is a new contradiction with a shock factor attached. Scandals spread like gossip, when you receive information that goes against the commonly held notions of the gals at the hairdressers/bros at the gym, you are prompted to inform them of their fresh ignorance (probably with considerable glee as well). This in turn spreads the story further without the media spending another cent. Brilliant.

Only it’s not so brilliant when the scandal is focused on the media itself, as seen from Adnan Hajj Controversy or “Reutersgate” in which a photo of an airstrike on Beirut during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon Conflict was found to have been digitally altered as exposed by watchdog blogger Charles Johnson (2006). Johnson pointed out the smoke billowing out of city in the photo had clearly been enlarged and manipulated to appear darker and several buildings were cloned using Photoshop “in an obvious manner” (2006). The image of the sky polluted of dark smoke bellowing out of the airstrike site is eerily reminiscent of iconic and World Press Awarded pictures taken of the 9/11 terror attacks by Robert Clark (2011).

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Whether this resemblance was intentional or not, the altered photograph paints a significantly more devastated looking scene when compared to the true original. This is not the first time a photograph has been digitally altered to present a darker version of reality. In the aftermath of O.J Simpson’s 1994 arrest TIME Magazine infamously published a doctored mug shot that had been darkened to appear more menacing and to arguably emphasis Simpson’s race (Carmody 1994).

In cases like these, it appears the desire for a ‘new contradiction’ has overcome the integrity of an opportunistic photojournalist. The advent of Photoshop and digital photographing technology has opened many doors for photography but also provided greater temptation and ease for those wanting to tamper their photos. Plenty of photographers use Photoshop to change colouring and lighting in slight ways in order to improve their photos. However here Adnan went further than just enhancing aesthetic qualities and had ventured into changing the meaning of the photograph. Consequently, an apology was made and freelance photographer Adnan Hajj’s employment at Reuters was terminated (NBC News 2006).

Following the logic of ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ the rest of Hajj’s Israel-Lebanon photos were then placed under scrutiny. It was revealed he had used Photoshop to manipulate another photograph of an Israeli fighter jet which he manipulated into appearing as if it was firing “missiles during an airstrike” when it was in fact deploying a defensive flare (Malkin 2006). Further controversy erupted surrounding Adnan’s photos of the “Green Helmet Man” posing as a rescue worker parading around dead children for the press. Once again the blogosphere cut through Reuter’s statement that “[we] have rejected all allegations that the photographs were staged” (ABC 2006) with video evidence revealing him as Salam Daher, an actor and director of gruesome Hezbollah propaganda whom had been operating since 1996 (ZT 2006).  And although it’s unclear whether Adnan or Reuters were aware of this or simply willing dupes they cannot excused for participating in the creation of pro-jihadist propaganda.

In grim irony, Adnan’s photos would be attractive to Hezbollah for the same shock factor that got them published by Reuters in the first place. And so it appears the common scaremongering which modern audiences have come to expect from the media was hiding Reuter’s darker secret; warmongering. Fanning the flames of war is immoral in any context but is especially despicable when it is done for profit. Images are powerful tools: from Che Guevara to Uncle Sam, pictures have influenced vast amounts of people to violence. Reuters are equally contemptible as the arms dealers who sell weapons to radical groups such as Hezbollah. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but a camera’s power rivals both of them and this is not a power to be meddled with. Absolute objectivity and ethical standards need to be upheld by photojournalists. Bloggers and citizen journalists can only do so much, serious action needs to be taken to extinguish this exploitation, especially when the stakes are life or death.

Over 1400 civilians were killed in the 2006 Lebanon-Israel conflict (Frisk 2006). Will the next Middle Eastern conflict be exacerbated by the media due to exploitive voyeurism and scaremongering? And if so how many more people will die as a result? Questions of exploitation have always surrounded photojournalism that focuses on war and humanitarian disasters. For some the accusations were too much, Kevin Carter who won “the Pulitzer prize for his disturbing photograph of a Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture” (Neal 2016) and then killed himself that same year. Many were angered that he didn’t help the starving child himself and questioned if the real vulture was actually behind the lens.

The vulture and the little girl

This view is far too cynical. We could say the same of doctors who make their living off the suffering of others despite them being revered in our culture. And like doctors, photojournalists have a commitment to maintaining the health, not of the body, but of society’s conscious. There is no point denying that life has its shocks and scandals, however from the overwhelming evidence it is clear that Reuters and Adnan Hajj have truly broken their own Hippocratic Oaths. Photojournalism does have the potential to inform, inspire, and influence the world in a positive manner. That is, as long as it resists the disease of sensationalism and fabrication of scandals.

References:

ABC.. 2006. Reuters drops freelance Lebanese photographer over image. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2006-08-07/reuters-drops-freelance-lebanese-photographer-over/1232104. [Accessed 20 April 2016].

Carmody, Deirdre. 1994. Time Responds to Criticism Over Simpson Cover. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/25/us/time-responds-to-criticism-over-simpson-cover.html [Accessed 22 April 2016].

Clark, Rob. 2011. From my roof on 9-11. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.burnmagazine.org/in-the-spotlight/2011/09/from-my-roof-by-rob-clarkinstitute/. [Accessed 22 April 2016].

Estrin, James. 2014. Truth and Consequences for a War Photographer . [ONLINE] Available at: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/truth-and-consequences-for-a-war-photographer/. [Accessed 18 April 2016].

Frisk, Robert.2006. Lebanon Death Toll Hits 1,300. (August 17, 2006) The Independent. [Accessed 19 April 2016].

Johnson, Charles. 2016. Reuters Doctoring Photos from Beirut? – Little Green Footballs. [ONLINE] Available at: http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/21956_Reuters_Doctoring_Photos_from_Beirut. [Accessed 21 April 2016].

Malkin, Michelle. 2006. Photographer’s Exposure: Just the tip of pro-jihadist iceberg. (August 11, 2006). The Free Lance-Star.  [Accessed 20 April 2016].

NBC News. 2006. Photographer fired over altered images. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/13165165/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/altered-images-prompt-photographers-firing/#.Vxw8MPl97IU. [Accessed 22 April 2016].

Neal, Leslie. 2016. How Photojournalism Killed Kevin Carter. [ONLINE] Available at: http://all-that-is-interesting.com/kevin-carter. [Accessed 16 April 2016].

Strauss, David. 2016. Doctored Photos – The Art of the Altered Image | TIME. [ONLINE] Available at: http://time.com/3778075/doctored-photos-the-art-of-the-altered-image/. [Accessed 15 April 2016].

  1. 2016. Reuters Photo Fraud. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.zombietime.com/reuters_photo_fraud/. [Accessed 22 April 2016].
i-took-the-internet-addiction-quiz-and-i-won-371-body-image-1421884358

Journalism: You won’t believe what happens next!

The greatest challenge facing contemporary journalism isn’t a ‘what’ but a ‘how’.  How to deliver news that will satisfy a modern audience’s hunger for informative news and entertainment. My personal introduction to the world of infotainment was in the form of list articles.

I used to hate ‘listicles.’ And not just because of the word’s resemblance to a certain male organ. The hatred was directed towards the editors and authors who had the balls to publish useless trivial list articles among real articles of significance.

While I’m trying to stay informed on the news surrounding the Brussels’ terrorist attacks I’m similarly being bombarded with “15 ways to lose weight fast” from the sidebar. Now I have both articles open and am reading each of them interchangeably for as long as my Gen-Y attention span can handle.  By the time I’ve finished skimming over each one it is as if I haven’t read either. I couldn’t confirm any facts from either article. All I have floating around in my scattered brain is the phrase “loss of limbs” and I’m not even sure which article that’s from.

i-took-the-internet-addiction-quiz-and-i-won-371-body-image-1421884358

This story is nothing new to people use the web as a news source.  It’s time we had a second look at this phenomenon analysed and what it means to journalism because it’s clear this isn’t a passing fad.

List articles are primarily known to become especially popular on the Buzzfeed website, self-described as “a cross-platform, global network for news and entertainment” [1]. However the New York Times has coloured them in a negative light as a network composed of “algorithms sift[ing] the Web in search of viral articles elsewhere” [2]. The Times has opposed many radical changes to journalism which it has seen as threatening. Even crosswords weren’t spared when first introduced in the 1920’s with the Times publishing their thoughts on the popular word game as a passing fad which they saw as “sinful waste in the utterly futile finding of words.”[3]. Although it would be easy to say The Times needs to get with the times Buzzfeed isn’t entirely brilliant either, the number of things that annoy me about the site probably couldn’t even be contained in one of their lists.

Entertainment does have an established place in journalism. The news/entertainment segment The Project (Formerly The 7pm Project) rose the average audiences “in the 7pm to 7.30pm slot… 23 per cent of almost 700,000 metro viewers after averaging 567,000” [4]. A similar style has developed with political shows heralded by Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert which are complimented on their biting satirical analysis. There is also a demographic in Australian audiences which aren’t satisfied with receiving their news in a bland fashion and would prefer Hughesy to make a gag comparing the desecration of ancient Syrian town Palmyra by ISIS to Collingwood’s devastation on the weekend. Regardless the 6 o’clock slot and 7pm Project don’t have a combined audience bigger than the digitally connected audience. When Australian’s were asked how they receive their news, digitally lead by a massive margin of 44 per cent while TV, radio and print lagged behind. [5]

A further underlining reason why there has been ill reasoned hostility towards this Gen-Y fuelled trend is a type of anti-nostalgia. I suspect a lot of more seasoned consumers of the news may wish for a modern equivalent to Brian Naylor or Eric Pierce, in other words a trustworthy anchor who gives you the news straight. If only Eric Pierce had lived to see the internet with all its flaws and wonders, he predicted the huge impact television would have as ” the most potent force for good or evil that’s ever been discovered in the communications field of entertainment”[6] Luckily death throes of print media have forcefully flung the rose tinted glasses off those longing for the good ol’ days, now is the time for the old guard to bring to an old twist to a new flavour of journalism… We are at a journalistic crossroads where both sides of the argument are dissatisfied with the current state of news. On one side we those dissatisfied with the purely entertainment type articles and other with the bland nature of nightly report. Sensationalism isn’t the answer as it leaves both sides wanting more like a cheap high. The solution is to compromise the two, and it is something Australia has had tangles with before. Satire: coming from the word Satyr, “a Greek mythological creatures with the upper half of a man and the bottom half of a goat or horse” usually involved in comedic events. [7] Contemporary journalism precisely needs a mixed creature in terms of delivery, a chimera that can meet multiple needs at once. This may seem like demanding a lot but that is what modern audiences crave. The closest thing we had to the Daily Show or Colbert Report was the infamous Chaser’s War on Everything a show so relentless that it was taken off the air for two weeks for airing the controversial Make-a-Wish sketch. [8]  It seems almost insane that we don’t have a major political satire show considering our parliament’s reputation for prolific betrayal and backstabbing could only be surpassed by a Shakespearean tragedy.

We are at a journalistic crossroads where both sides of the argument are dissatisfied with the current state of news. On one side we those dissatisfied with the purely entertainment type articles and other with the bland nature of nightly report. Sensationalism isn’t the answer as it leaves both sides wanting more like a cheap high. The solution is to compromise the two, and it is something Australia has had tangles with before. Satire: coming from the word Satyr, “a Greek mythological creatures with the upper half of a man and the bottom half of a goat or horse” usually involved in comedic events. [7] Contemporary journalism precisely needs a mixed creature in terms of delivery, a chimera that can meet multiple needs at once. This may seem like demanding a lot but that is what modern audiences crave. The closest thing we had to the Daily Show or Colbert Report was the infamous Chaser’s War on Everything a show so relentless that it was taken off the air for two weeks for airing the controversial Make-a-Wish sketch. [8].  It seems almost insane that we don’t have a major political satire show considering our parliament’s reputation for prolific betrayal and backstabbing could only be surpassed by a Shakespearean tragedy.

Posing Julie Bishop as Lady Macbeth works on a personal level because it brings events down from emotionless and endless policy/party changes into a story with tangible characters. This also brings a level of entertainment, which is still remaining objectively true to the story that Bishop betrayed Abbott during our most recent political spill. [9] Human’s naturally make sense of events with narratives.

Contemporary journalism is changing as fast as our developments in technology. Simultaneously our expectations as audiences are also increasing with this new change, which is also bringing a new risk of alienating audiences. At the same time, there’s the prospect of a new paradigm glimmering on the horizon, infotainment which has the power to inform hold attention and retain integrity, and to get a glimpse that’s a risk we’re going to have to take.

 

References:

[1] About BuzzFeed. 2016. About BuzzFeed. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.buzzfeed.com/about. [Accessed 24 March 2016].

[2] MEDIA DECODER – BuzzFeed Adds Politico Writer – NYTimes.com. 2016. MEDIA DECODER – BuzzFeed Adds Politico Writer – NYTimes.com. [ONLINE] Available at:http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A05EFD9163BF931A25751C1A9679D8B63. [Accessed 25 March 2016].

[3]  “Topics of the Times.” The New York Times, November 17, 1924, p. 18 [Accessed 25 March 2016]

[4] The Project Delivers on the Ratings Front for Ten| The Australian. 2016. Nocookies | The Australian. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/the-project-delivers-on-the-ratings-front-for-ten/story-fna045gd-1226699486979. [Accessed  25 March 2016]

[5] Australians don’t trust the news – except when it comes from their favourite sources – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 2016. Australians don’t trust the news – except when it comes from their favourite sources – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-16/australians-digital-news-trust/6548232. [Accessed 25 March 2016]

[6] 21 Aug 1954 – Mr ADELAIDE’S Diary – Trove. 2016. 21 Aug 1954 – Mr ADELAIDE’S Diary – Trove. [ONLINE] Available at: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/58103769 [Accessed 01 April 2016].

[7] history of satire, greek, roman satire, satire history and use of humor historically. 2016. history of satire, greek, roman satire, satire history and use of humor historically. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nottheonion.com/history.cfm [Accessed 01 April 2016].

[8] War is over. Chaser calls it quits. – TV Tonight. 2016. War is over. Chaser calls it quits. – TV Tonight. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2009/07/war-is-over-chaser-calls-it-quits.html [Accessed 28 March 2016].

[9] No Cookies | Daily Telegraph. 2016. No Cookies | Daily Telegraph. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/liberal-leadership-is-julie-bishop-the-lady-macbeth-of-parliament/news-story/139297f9dedbfe4cfa80f20e651cf74d [Accessed march 28 2016].

 

 

A boy sent to war

“Your son is too sensitive to go to war, ” the recruiter said solemnly. His hair-thin mustache twitched and seemed to crawl like a sickly caterpillar, it moved in its strange way half a centimeter across his face so that it was now off center. I blinked and rubbed my eyes, perhaps it had been off center from the start. My mind has funny ways of rationalizing the peculiarities I see.

“Oh okay,” I manage to squeeze out of my blushing cheeks (although you couldn’t tell my cheeks were permanently an angry red from a rare cystic acne). The greasy crust cracked as I let out a sigh, yellow ooze already pouring out the fissures.

I wasn’t filled with any sort of surprise, I expected disaster around every corner and in every roll of the perpetually jouncing dice of cruel Fortuna.

“He can fight and die like everyone else!” my mother burst out. Her words crashed with a violence against both me and the solemn recruiter. Silent tears ran down my face and began reacting with recently exposed pus, a misty gas take began taking form and started filling the room. Little did I know at the time but the chemical reaction was releasing hydrogen cyanide identical to the process used to create Zyklon B being used on jews, cripples and homosexuals as all this was happening.

However a deadlier smoke was erupting from my mother’s fiery mouth as she raged on.
“He’s as able as every other boy out in Yurope!” she spat through sulfurous flames. A bulging vein exploded on her forehead splattering hot red lava across the recruiter’s face and ruining his mustache.
“Alright, fine, yeah, okay, he can go to war.” he finally surrendered.

“Goodbye,” someone whispered without emotion.

And so I was lead into a room where they shaved my head into a square shape and proceeded to shove a square helmet on my head after which I was contorted into a rectangular cannon with which I was going to be fired off to Yurope. As I looked back a final time I saw my mother walking away meekly after her outburst and the recruiter was reapplying his mustache with a black felt pen. He sketched a small butterfly on his cheek which landed on his upper lip and laid an egg which hatched to become another equally pathetic mustache.

I sat back in the chamber– its oily walls saturated my body– and closed the hatch. The sounds echoed around; the sound of fizzling ignition and impossibly loud boom.
All of a sudden everything had turned into sky.