Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

It’s a truism that for any thing you don’t like, be it a film, a singer, a song, a political party, whatever, there will always be people who will step into the breach and like and defend it with their lives. Yes, taste is a personal thing and expecting others to like or not like something the same as you is folly. Having said that, I truly believe the following items are truly awful and you should think so too.


Murdoch, Musk, Trump, Rinehart. I could’ve added more, but I think you get the picture. These people exemplify The Problem of rich bastards with too much power and influence. We never hear of most of them, they remain safely anonymous, pulling their leavers in private. Capitalism works for them, not for us. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said every billionaire is a failure of democracy. Remember it.

Netanyahu. This guy’s a special case. He will probably be the one to preside over the expulsion/annihilation of Palestinians from Israel and he will be reviled for it. But once it’s done, people will all feel soft and fuzzy again about Israel (if they’re not already) and Netanyahu will just be the scapegoat in all this. In public they’ll reject him, but in private they’ll honour him for making ‘the hard decisions’. And if you think I’m being anti-semitic, bzzz, wrong. It’s what he does that I despise him for, not what he is – ie, a Jew.

Paris Hilton, the Kardashians. Some people get way too much undeserved attention and should be blotted from the Earth. I believe God agrees with me, and this is why he/she/they removed Princess Di from the scene. I hope they do the same to these useless pieces of mediocre trash (I’m not advocating murder – just make them go away!). Paris Hilton was a particularly egregious example of this, encouraging a generation of school girls to think they can be rich and wildly successful by doing basically nothing, and looking cheap doing it. Their idea of beauty is so wack. While I’m on the topic, I just don’t get this trend lately towards thick fake eyelashes and fake tans. WTF? Do they think that looks good? Did a Kardashian get this started?

I wrote a kind of punk song about some of this a long time ago. It was going to be about all the things I hate, but I thought I should at least leaven it with something nice. When I discovered that nice thing, namely Scarlett Johansson, fit perfectly with the lines of my chorus, that became the song. Scarlett was my standard for beauty, while Paris was basically the opposite. It’s a study in opposites.


Who magazine, New Idea, Herald/Sun. These are publications where the truth goes to die. Most are from Murdoch’s News Corp conglomerate.

Author Kingsley Amis, especially his The Alteration. An alternate history science fiction novel where the main character is a choirboy who is supposed to get ‘altered’ through castration so the Papacy can continue to enjoy his beautiful high voice. He spends the entire novel trying to avoid it, and just at the end he gets caught and is altered. Amis is one of the most misanthropic fuckers on this Earth. He clearly has nothing but contempt for his readers.

Robert Heinlein’s Number of the Beast. This is possibly the worst science fiction novel by a major writer ever. It’s notorious how bad it is. Heinlein bragged after its publication that he barely wrote a first draft for it. His editor…well, there is no editing. There should be, and I had a go at doing it, because it’s one of those obsessive things I do (see Rebuilds). Found it was nigh impossible to polish a turd.

The publishing industry’s use of name authors who are just name brands and secretly use ghost writers to keep the money and product flowing. Yes, I and my fellow library workers are looking at you James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Anh Do and David Walliams.

Books I couldn’t finish: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, a bunch of Buffy novels, The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs, Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, The Poppy War by Rebecca Kuang. Yes, I’m one of those people who bails out of a book if it’s not doing the biz. What didn’t I like about Handmaid’s Tale? I just didn’t believe in the premise, that we would allow such a stupid situation to come to pass. Maybe if it was presented as the aberration of a cult or something, yeah, but not as a country-wide religious patriarchy/oppression gone wild. Too many of those Buffy and Angel novels were written by those hacks, Christopher and Nancy Golden. Others as well have served and failed the Buffy test. I liked most of Project Hail Mary, all that stuff about Rocky the alien, etc, until Andy Weir’s precise, detailed geeky science factism fell down and he got all stupid with biology. For someone who’s all about the facts – these aren’t the facts, man. I wanted to like The Poppy War, but the China/Japan allegory was so transparent, and I think I’m just not a fan of this type of fantasy (so, my bad). I read Naked Lunch up to the part where the Steely Dan vibrator is mentioned (there’s actually at least three, and they are all destroyed by overly voracious lesbians). I’m a Dan fan, I wanted to see it for myself. Also, Burroughs’ technique and imagery is amazing, but the depravity got to me.


Films I Walked Out On: Anchorman, The Revenge of the Pink Panther, Footloose, Celebrity, Battlefield Earth, Weird Science, Towellhead. This is actually a list I made on my Letterboxd page. I won’t say the why (apart from there are some places I will not go, things I will not tolerate), but I’m sure we’ve all done it.

Reality TV shows (except Time To Twice and other Kpop reality shows, which are genuinely fun). This goes for The Voice, Survival, The Block, Farmer Wants a Wife, The Bachelor, and all them other populist pieces of trash. A definition of torture for me would be to be forced to sit down and watch one of these (which has happened). Commercial TV in general. Hate the ads, hate the nauseating show hosts, hate the whole ain’t the white bread status quo grand? bullshit.


Music is so great I find it hard to see anything wrong in it. Maybe Celine Dion baffles me. But I love Shirley Bassey, so go figure. So much of liking or disliking music can come down to image. Some songs by my favourite band The Kinks I will admit to not liking. Black Messiah and Hay Fever from Misfits, an otherwise superlative album from 1978. And I think Preservation Act 2 is a weak Kinks album. And their last studio album, Phobia, was way too long with too much padding. These things I will allow. I will critique them because I’m so familiar with them and love them, mostly. The rest, ah, it’s all good.

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