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Anatomy of a spectacularly bad decision
June 16, 2011 10:51 PM   Subscribe

"Hey guys, drinks are on me! I finally scored that interview with the Dali Llama. My journalism career is finally about to take off." 30 minutes and 3 rounds later..."Phil, you know what you should do? Tell him the Pizza joke. I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it." "Haha! You're right. That's an awesome idea. What could possibly go wrong?"
posted by jadayne (404 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
On behalf of all Australians, I apologise.

At least he didn't suggest the Dalai Lama go planking. Or the "Dali Llama", who sounds way more awesome.
posted by Neale at 10:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [14 favorites]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:58 PM on June 16, 2011


Was it a racist joke? It's not an Australian morning show if you're not telling a racist joke.

I have a 'friend' who does yellowface style 'ching chong' style Chinese parodies. He's come on a radio show I produced. I've tried to get him off it, but the presenters and everyone else I know sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. Seriously.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:58 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or the "Dali Llama", who sounds way more awesome.

Holy melting ruminants batman!
posted by pompomtom at 10:59 PM on June 16, 2011 [17 favorites]


Even Tyler the Creator things Australians are too racist.

I look forward to a whole week of being called 'a humorless seppo' when I attack this and hearing this sort of bullshit justified.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:59 PM on June 16, 2011


Crikey! That's a big dumb 'un!
posted by orthogonality at 11:02 PM on June 16, 2011


I watched 15 seconds with the sound off and got that bad feeling from the hand gestures and body language alone.

Is there a special term for feeling compassion for the Dalai Lama? I feel that there shouldn't be.
posted by Casimir at 11:03 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually:

Christ, what an arsehole.
posted by tumid dahlia at 11:04 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Or the "Dali Llama", who sounds way more awesome.

Incidentally this was always my name for QuakeWorld deathmatch.
posted by Lorin at 11:04 PM on June 16, 2011


The joke itself isn't a racist one, I've heard it in different forms for years. Up until now I've always heard it "A Zen monk goes up to a hot dog stand..."

That said, there's a certain thickheaded colonialism in starting a joke "The Dalai Lama walks into a pizza shop," when you are talking to the fucking Dalai Lama.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:05 PM on June 16, 2011 [45 favorites]


First of all Morning TV Host Guy, it's a hotdog vendor, not a pizza shop.

Secondly, shut up and never talk again.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:06 PM on June 16, 2011 [28 favorites]


I look forward to a whole week of being called 'a humorless seppo' when I attack this and hearing this sort of bullshit justified.

I think you need to reconsider the kind of people you hang out with, LiB.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


How is it a racist joke? Maybe I'm missing something but isn't it a joke about buddhism?
posted by Wantok at 11:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Next question: "Did you really tell that caddy he'd receive total consciousness on his deathbed?"
posted by First Post at 11:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


The joke wasn't racist, it was just dumb. Also dumb: wasting face time with the DALAI LAMA telling this joke.
posted by dave78981 at 11:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


The bigger question is what was the Dali Lama doing on an Australian morning show anyway?

You might as well have Stephen Hawking give an interview to a talkshow hosted by brain damaged ducks.

Seriously, who thought this would be a good idea?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:09 PM on June 16, 2011 [42 favorites]


All I know is if I ever meet the Pope I'm totally going to ask him if he shits in the woods.
posted by The World Famous at 11:10 PM on June 16, 2011 [187 favorites]


First of all Morning TV Host Guy, it's a hotdog vendor, not a pizza shop.

they don't really have hot dogs here. they kinda do, but they're these pinkish nightmare fuel things.

I look forward to a whole week of being called 'a humorless seppo' when I attack this and hearing this sort of bullshit justified.

I think you need to reconsider the kind of people you hang out with, LiB.


That's just it! Even the most progressive, forward thinking ones see no problem with stuff like this. Though if its 'just' the hot dog joke and not him doing a fake Chinese accent we should consider ourselves lucky.

Mainstream Aussie humor is that creepy 70s blokey sexist/racist stuff. Look at this picture of Bert Newton. I've never even seen his shows and I can tell he's a massive creep.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:10 PM on June 16, 2011


A thread featuring an Australian. Right on queue, Lovecraft in Brooklyn pops up to tell us we're racist.

Here's a clue: if you actually want to know if it was a racist view, click the damn link. (It's not.)

But if you want to derail yet another thread involving Australia, please just don't. We get it, you don't like us, and you're smarter than us, and whatever. BORING.
posted by robcorr at 11:11 PM on June 16, 2011 [41 favorites]


You might as well have Stephen Hawking give an interview to a talkshow hosted by brain damaged ducks.

Why not? Stephen Hawking's current TV series is aimed at brain damaged ducks, as far as I can tell.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:12 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Der, I meant "cue" not "queue".

And I quite like the joke.
posted by robcorr at 11:12 PM on June 16, 2011


I apologize. I jumped to conclusions. This specific joke was not racist. It was tasteless and tone-deaf, but unlike many similar jokes was not specifically racist. But a big part of the Australian identity is being a larrikin (asshole).
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:13 PM on June 16, 2011


I gotta say, though, today I discovered the Dalai Lama has an impeccable sense of comic timing. When he sort of just stared at the guy, I couldn't help but think he was doing it on purpose. When he cracked up at the end at what a toolbox this dude was, so did I.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [22 favorites]


a big part of the Australian identity is being a larrikin (asshole).

Seems like you're fitting in perfectly well, then.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [33 favorites]


Worth to hear the Dalai Lama's hearty laugh, though.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:16 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


terrible joke told poorly made funny by the fact that it was told to the dalai lama. i loled.
posted by mexican at 11:18 PM on June 16, 2011


I doubt the Dalai Lama would mind, she seems like a nice sort.
posted by GeckoDundee at 11:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh my god, I just finally got that joke.
posted by jess at 11:20 PM on June 16, 2011 [9 favorites]


But a big part of the Australian identity is being a larrikin (asshole).

Actually, LiB, I'd argue that a big part of the Australian identity is being a migrant. From pretty much anywhere. It largely depends on which kind of Australian identity you're talking about - or do you mostly hang out with white 'friends' who think that 'ching chong' impersonations are funny?
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 11:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's crass. Would an interviewer get away with telling Mother Teresa, or any other religious figure, a similar joke?
posted by polymodus at 11:25 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing that gets me is this: before the punchline, the Dalai Lama makes it clear he doesn't really know what pizza is. Then the joke flops, and the interviewer tries to explain it. But what does he do to try to explain it? He makes vague gestures/references to the philosophical aspect of "one with everything" instead of explaining out how it relates to pizza. Like, the part of the joke the Dalai Lama didn't get is how "one with everything" could relate to Buddhism.
posted by meese at 11:27 PM on June 16, 2011 [43 favorites]


It's crass.

This is also part of the Australian identity.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:28 PM on June 16, 2011


LiB, you're a big downer.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:31 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yes, American audiences prefer doing the joke with a "hot dog vendor" but maybe Aussies aren't into hot dogs. I do wish the guy had the cajones to do the obvious follow-up joke where the Dalai Lama gives the vendor a $20 bill, waits a moment and asks "where's my change" and is told "change must come from within."

Sadly, I'll be here all week.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [33 favorites]


This is also part of the Australian identity.

Can you please, please shut the fuck up about what you think you know of the Australian identity based on your incredibly brief time in the country and the small serve of bohemians you meet skateboarding around Newtown? I mean FFS.

It would be like me judging Americans on Larry The Cable Guy or something. It's offensive, and profoundly irritating. I don't know why you think you know so much about Australians. You don't. It's arrogant and annoying. There's over twenty million of us. We're pretty different.
posted by smoke at 11:40 PM on June 16, 2011 [96 favorites]


I think you're misunderstanding the term 'larrakin', LiB. It does not = asshole. In media, and funnily enough in many eulogies, it's frequently prefaced with 'lovable.' To be a 'lovable larrakin' certainly implies in a person an irreverant sense of humour, a tendency to be a prankster, which might perhaps border on crass to an overly sensitive person (or humourless seppo) if not for a clearly well-meaning, essentially good nature. Such people can be in equal measures exciting and tiring to be around, though rarely tiresome. It does not, to an Aussie, mean an asshole. Assholes are tiresome.

I'm sorry that your time in Australia seems to have given you such a poor impression of the Australian national character.
posted by chmmr at 11:42 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes, American audiences prefer doing the joke with a "hot dog vendor" but maybe Aussies aren't into hot dogs.

But the joke doesn't work with pizza, no one orders pizza like that! And if they do, I won't accept it and will dismiss any claims as being merely anecdotal, rather than hard evidence!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:43 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Like, the part of the joke the Dalai Lama didn't get is how "one with everything" could relate to Buddhism.

This is basically just an example of how puns don't work across linguistic barriers.

After the joke is told, it looks like the HH the Dalai Lama looks to his interpreter for an explanation, and replies something (a bit mumbled) like "I suppose it is possible"

The interpreter could easily have parsed the message as "can you make me a pizza with all the toppings on it"

The flipside of the pun is based on a common lay misunderstanding of Buddhism. There really is no concept of "being one with everything" in Buddhism, at least not in those kinds of terms. Maybe Hinayana Buddhism tends towards that kind of rhetoric, but Mahayana Buddhism - to which HHTDL belongs - is typically expressed more in terms of perfecting the combination of wisdom & compassion, where wisdom means "the wisdom of emptiness", ie understanding how the phenomenal world of Samsara, ruled by the passions, is actually devoid of ultimate reality, so the goal is to perfect this wisdom & compassion in order to become a Bodhisattva, which is an enlightened being who has made a holy vow to continue cycling through birth, death and re-birth in order to compassionately assist others to make the same realisations, until all sentient beings have passed into Nirvana before them, escaping Samsara's continuous cycles.

tl;dr: "one with everything" wouldn't mean anything much in terms of doctrine, to a Mahayanist like HHTDL.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:44 PM on June 16, 2011 [65 favorites]


It's like Lovecraft in Brooklyn lives in some sort of alternative Australia, something like that episode of the Simpsons or maybe even the continent of Fourecks from Discworld. Although not as amusing as either.

It's certainly not the Australia I live in though it has some of the same rough outlines if you squint hard enough.

Certainly there are racist elements to Australian mainstream culture (and believe me that racist jokes are just the tip of the iceberg) but there's also a massive pushback against these things when they occur.

Certainly we're dealing with the continued after-effects of 200 plus years of white colonialism but we're not exactly the only country in the world to have such a painful history of repression and intolerance, and that doesn't make us en masse a bunch of bigots any more than the United States' history of slavery makes everyone born with white skin in America a slave-owning rich southerner.
posted by jasperella at 11:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [12 favorites]


The Dalai Lama goes up to a hot dog vendor. The hot dog vendor asks him what he wants.

The Dalai Lama replies, "I want to break through the narrow confines of egohood and self-imposed limitation, to end my existence as an individual, as a living, thinking and experiencing being and attain perfect self-annihilation, perfect quietude, but also perfect immobility, passivity, emotionlessness, and insensibility with regard to all differentiation and individuality not only within, but also outside myself, i.e., with regard to all living and suffering beings. But to dwell in the absolute is as impossible for a living being as floating in a vaccuum, because life and consciousness are possible only where there are relations. Therefore, we must seek the infinite in the finite, the eternal in the temporal, the timeless in the moment, the unconditioned in the conditioned, the formless as basis of all form, the transcendental in the ephemeral."

"So... you want one with everything?"

"What? Fuck no. Just put like ten tons of jalapeños on that shit man."
posted by naju at 11:45 PM on June 16, 2011 [126 favorites]


I don't mind this sort of thing from talk show hosts, it reminds people that morning talk shows are not substantial journalism, they are in fact morning entertainment. And I have nothing against entertainment. I actually found that clip pretty funny.
posted by quosimosaur at 11:46 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The hotdog is the vajra.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:48 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mahayana Buddhism - to which HHTDL belongs - is typically expressed more in terms of perfecting the combination of wisdom & compassion, where wisdom means "the wisdom of emptiness"

So he should have asked for just cheese then.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:52 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Or he could have just stood there & not asked for anything - that's a surefire shortcut to emptiness.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:56 PM on June 16, 2011


I'm glad lib got us cringing subjects of satellite nations back onto the main subject- america.

america america america america.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:57 PM on June 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why can't the Dalai Lama vacuum under his bed? Because he doesn't have any attachments.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 12:01 AM on June 17, 2011 [92 favorites]


It's sort of interesting pattern i just picked up on where, when there is a post regarding 2 cultures and an awkward situation, there is an almost immediate "Racist!" default response from Metafilter which always lasts a few posts before being dulled and eventually countered by more moderate opinions.

In the meantime, the thread becomes focused purely on race, as though it was the only post-worthy aspect of it, and everyone piles on to claim sides in the debate.

Or is this something everyone already knows and i'm just picking up on just how frequently it really happens?
posted by jadayne at 12:01 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


I like that Karl Stefanovic has kicked off a larger discussion about Australian self-image, self-representation and transferability of humour across cultural boundaries. Shows up those lightweights Tracey Grimshaw and Phil Gould: what have they ever done to increase awareness of every individual's place in the universe? I mean, apart from opinion's about Hayne's place in the Origin side.

Enlightenment by Channel Nine koan. Coming up after this short break!
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:04 AM on June 17, 2011


"Even the most progressive, forward thinking ones see no problem with stuff like this"

This has not been my experience in my huge databank of three years in Australia. Also, some "mainstream" Australians are of non-European heritage and so don't really aspire to the larrikin thing. Maybe you are confusing jerks with Australians, or maybe the "progressive ones" are hiding from you.

I agree with whoever pointed out this is morning-show humor. And the reason that the Dalai Lama is on morning shows is that there's only a handful of major media chains in this country, so you play with what they give you. If Mark and Brian had a shot at the Dalai Lama, it'd be the same deal. (Except that the State Department would put an end to it before it happened.)
posted by gingerest at 12:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be like me judging Americans on Larry The Cable Guy or something.

What? You say that LIB making a judgement about Australians on the basis of visiting is like someone making a judgement about Americans on the basis of a character done by a comedian on television? At any rate, there are cultural differences between Americans and Australians, and visiting those countries is one way to find out what the differences are.

While I disagree with LIB's term "crass" as being overly-judgemental, my interactions with people in Australia have been marked with a certain informality that is quite different from Northern Europe, where I live now. If anyone can find video of a German doing something similar to what this guy did, I'd be very surprised...
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hung out for many years with a Tibetan monk (which the Dalai Lama is). Whenever I started to tell a joke with something like "A priest, a rabbi and a Tibetan monk walk into a bar...", my Tibetan friend would stop it dead with the exclamation 'This is not true!'.

Not only does this joke not translate, the concept of a 'joke' doesn't translate. My friend the monk would only tell 'true' stories: countless tales of magical prowess like the stopping of the sun in the sky for days, the crying of mountains, and the spontaneous production of wish fulfilling trees by accomplished lamas.

I did meet some younger (relatively priveleged) monks who travelled in the west and absolutely loved jokes. They were a novelty to those guys.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 12:06 AM on June 17, 2011 [16 favorites]


This would have been horrible except for the fact that the Dalai Lama laughed so heartily at the end. Not because he got it, or merely to make the peace --- simply because it was such a totally human moment.

Because every single one of us has been in this situation: where you're at a party and you tell a slightly off-colour joke to the host and it falls completely flat. The first few microseconds are horribly awkward, and then you begin to laugh; partly to relieve the tension, and partly because, ho boy, that joke did not work.

Very often, the host will simply make a face and it will be a horribly awkward moment where you're laughing at your own awufl joke, and that you can only hope that everybody forgets. But if you're very, very lucky --- and the host is particularly gracious and understanding and, well, in touch with the human condition --- she will begin to laugh heartily as well. Not AT you, of course, and certainly not at your horrible joke. But because she understands how badly that joke bombed and how awkward the situation is, and because she's been there and knows what it's like and, "Wow, that was a HORRIBLE joke. But man, I've been there, let me tell you. Ha ha ha, anyway, wow, what were you thinking?"

And then everybody's laughing together, at your horribly bombed joke, and you're right there with them, together. This is a very rare occurrence, and certainly not the kind of thing you can reproduce on demand, but it's happened to all of you, I guarantee it. And you know that somehow it creates a deeper connection than if you had told the funniest joke in the world and everybody busted a gut laughing at your hilarious wit. It almost never happens, but it kind of cuts through to the heart of what it means to be human in a world full of other humans.

Anyway, I think that's what's happening here. The reporter is clearly embarrassed to even be telling it --- as he should be --- and the joke falls flat, there is a weird moment, and then the Dali Lama laughs. Truly heartily. "Wow, I've heard some terrible jokes before, but man! Ha ha, come on, come on, I'm only teasing, we've all been there."

It's an awful joke to begin with, and there is absolutely no way it would translate well, and the reporter should have known better. But he comes off as a total goof who knows he should have known better, and the Dali Lama comes off as a total class-act (I feel stupid even typing that, but you know what I'm trying to say.) And none of us come off too worse for the wear, and maybe we see our weaker moments in this clip and learn to shrug it off and forgive people their weaker moments as well. So not so awful? Maybe?

Also, clearly, it is a hot dog vendor. The pizza store thing doesn't even make sense.
posted by Tiresias at 12:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [78 favorites]


Yeah but we don't have hot dog vendors in Australia. It's because we're racist.

I could totally go a doner kebab with barbecue sauce though
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:11 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's performance art. Stefanovic owes more to Norman Gunston than he does to, say, Ray Martin. He's actually very subversive.

For those playing overseas a hot dog with everything is a hot dog with mustard and onions. A pizza with everything has, among other things, a fried egg and pineapple.
posted by GeckoDundee at 12:12 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe you are confusing jerks with Australians, or maybe the "progressive ones" are hiding from you.

Xenophobic asshats often have problems when they move to another country. I think that's the root problem here. That and not clicking on the link before swinging by to shit the place up with another bigoted rant.

Anyway, it's such a try-hard moment I almost feel sorry for the reporter. Everyone tells the joke *about* the situation, he thinks, "Hey, I'll be the first to try it on the big guy himself", and he discovers the cross-cultutal limits of humour.
posted by rodgerd at 12:13 AM on June 17, 2011


Australian identity is being a larrikin (asshole).

You have a very limited understanding of Australia. The bumpkin undercurrent in Oz is certainly present, but it's going away and I kind of miss it. I'd take a society that laughs at people who put on airs over socially stratified "know your place" snobbery any day.

And speaking of racism - I endured plenty of taxi-driving curry-muncher bullshit over there over the years. But last year when the whole Indian-bashing thing was going on, what did almost every aussie I know do? Started and joined a facebook group called "Aussies <3 Indians". It was touchingly devoid of pretence, and the kind of straightforward "wearing your heart on your sleeve" attitude that fits the larrikin stereotype just as well as anything else you've brought up.
posted by vanar sena at 12:14 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah but we don't have hot dog vendors in Australia. It's because we're racist.

I was about to point that out. 'So this Buddhist goes up to Harry's Cafe de Wheels and says...'
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:14 AM on June 17, 2011


If anyone can find video of a German doing something similar to what this guy did, I'd be very surprised...

I searched "German joking with dalai lama" with Google, but all I found was this AskMe thread full of terrible awful racists.
posted by Winnemac at 12:15 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


A group of friends and I met the Dali Llama when he came to tour and bless our workplace. The thing that most struck me about him was the joy he took in every activity, the frequency with which he laughed and the fact that he teased people. He was funny!

So, I can say that I agree that the blank stare and long silence might have been, at least in part, a deliberate bit of playfulness on the part of His Holiness (yes, that's a correct form of address). That said, the guy who told the joke demonstrated a lack of sense and good taste that should, in any just society, require him to spend the rest of his life wearing a lime green, polyester leisure suit as fair warning.
posted by driley at 12:16 AM on June 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


I saw the Dali Llama a few years ago on another, longer Australian TV interview. He spent the whole time giggling like a moron. Did nothing to further the cause of his people.

THERE'S your waste of face time.

And yet somehow he couldn't giggle like a moron for Karl. Sheesh.

Here's another clip with Karl and 3 co hosts that "went viral." Lot's of unintentional[?] double entendres
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:20 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't see it as crass, tbh. It's a pretty good joke, because it juxtaposes the most abstract idea with the perfectly mundane. Anything a morning show host might talk to Dalai Lama about is going to be silly or boring or dumb or all three. It's just not the right format.

There's a kind of a zen quality in him telling this joke to Dalai Lama, that's why I think he couldn't resist it even though he knew it will likely end up with much awkwardness.

The real issue is not even language barrier but that it's a kind of joke that takes a bit of time to understand and in that setting it's particularly hard to understand because it's so unexpected. Yeah, and language barrier doesn't help either. I haven't heard that joke and I think it took me about 5 seconds to understand and if I was being interviewed it'd be even harder.

'One with everything', by the way, does not refer to buddhist practice (compassion, ethical conduct) but to the experience of Nirvana where you see barriers as part of the world illusion.
posted by rainy at 12:26 AM on June 17, 2011


I agree with whoever pointed out this is morning-show humor. And the reason that the Dalai Lama is on morning shows is that there's only a handful of major media chains in this country, so you play with what they give you.

He should come on Q & A. Twitter would break. Again.
But seriously, why not just have Tony Jones interview him? Or thaw Denton out?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:35 AM on June 17, 2011


His Holiness is coming to the next interview armed with a sheep joke.
posted by vanar sena at 12:36 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's preposterously funny. It's so ...
The awesome part is that I, given a moment to be with the Dalai Lama and ask him damn near anything or say damn near anything to him, I would never occur to me to try and tell him this particular joke. I don't even know if I would try to tell him any joke, though maybe that's because I'm not a big joke-teller (I tried for a while but it's kind of a lot of work). But then he tells a joke, well, it'd be like a (say) French-language morning-show host trying to tell this morning-show host a 'Crocodile Dundee' joke, through a translator. How is this going to turn out well? But the guy does it anyway and makes himself look pretty damn silly - totally, humanely, awesomely (slightly obnoxiously) silly.

No, the real money is at 0:31 when, just after the host asks, 'clarifying'? "Can you make me 'one' with everything?" HHTDL answers, with some measure of seriousness, "Theoretically possible" !

Dude, host got knocked out, and he didn't even notice it.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:40 AM on June 17, 2011 [9 favorites]


His Holiness is coming to the next interview armed with a sheep joke.

Why? Is the next interview in New Zealand?

NOT SHEEPIST
posted by robcorr at 12:41 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


His Holiness is coming to the next interview armed with a sheep joke
I have a baaaad feeling about that.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:51 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think the incident possibly does tell you something about Australia in that the joke seems to be told out of an ingrained desire to be mates (even, or perhaps especially, with a challenging candidate like the Dalai Lama) and its failure is followed by crushing embarrassment. In Britain the same joke would be told in order to generate embarrassment and afterwards the host would be proud of his sophisticated edgy humour.

(In New Zealand they wouldn't tell it because to them it would seem unsophisticated. In Canada they wouldn't tell it because to them it was incorrect. In the USA they'd tell it and the host would move right on without even noticing whether the Dalai Lama understood or not.)

ymmv
posted by Segundus at 1:03 AM on June 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


Did he say, "Physically impossible!" at the end? That's what I thought I heard and if so, that's hilarious.
posted by autoclavicle at 1:05 AM on June 17, 2011


But the joke doesn't work with pizza, no one orders pizza like that!
I know you're not going to believe me, but we really kinda do. At least, enough of us do to make the joke work serviceably enough, albeit weakly (no matter how horribly related, and really, you're telling that joke about and to *who*? Maybe you want to rethink that idea.)
Two points:
One of my girlfriend's mates hails from Chicago, and has mentioned on numerous occasions her amazement on moving to Australia that we really have no upper limit on the number of toppings we're prepared to put on a single pizza.
Every other time I've heard this joke in Australia it's been set at a hotdog cart outside the UN building in Manhattan. Australians know what New Yorkers talk about when they talk about hot dogs, even if we don't have them here. We get your TV, after all.

The television industry in Australia is rather small, and does breed its own incestuous and insensitive jackassery.
posted by MarchHare at 1:05 AM on June 17, 2011


I've gradually come to the conclusion that the problem with LiB is not so much LiB himself, but his friends.

Mate, get some better friends - or at least some who are more in tune with your own attitudes.

Oh, and Karl Stefanovic is a fuckwit. Always has been. We have a fine tradition of breeding fuckwit reporters in Queensland. Not that we don't produce some good ones, but they rarely go on to national prominence - the natural path for the bad ones is a couple of years in a regional station, a quick stint at Sky Asia, then back to a capital city station for a quick rest before being snapped up by 9 for a national hosting job.

Interestingly, Karl didn't quite follow the formula - he went to TVNZ, not Sky Asia. If you weren't previously aware of him, you just see someone telling a stupid joke to the Dalai Lama. Australians see a fuckwit telling a joke to the Dalai Lama, who's previous claims to fame are largely based on going on-air pissed the moring after the Logies, and giggling at his own schoolboy innuendo aimed at his co-hosts.

Mind you, I don't think the Dalai Lama is taking this particular trip terribly seriously either - he's also been interviewed by Australia's unfunniest comedian.

(I'm reminded of the time in the 80's when Rael of the Raelians came to Australia. In every capital city, he held conferences and seminars to attract new converts.

Except in Brisbane. Here, he went go-karting…)
posted by Pinback at 1:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Like Lovecraft in Brooklyn, my little trip to Australia left me deeply uncomfortable about general Australian attitudes to race. Other people I know have voiced similar sentiments. I'm know that there are Ozzies out there who are cool and not racist, but if the people who visit your country come away thinking you're all racists, then some soul seeking needs to be done.

(Although, to be frank, the thing that disturbed me the most about Oz culture was the huge shoulder chip they seem to carry about. We get that you love your country, but you can't get all pissy every time something reminds you that you're not perfect.)

On a related to the FPP note. I was pretty sure I'd invented that "change must come from within line in around 1986. Either my head's a big fat liar, I invented something that already existed or something I once said has gone viral. I suspect the first.
posted by seanyboy at 1:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


In Britain the same joke would be told in order to generate embarrassment and afterwards the host would be proud of his sophisticated edgy humour.
Unfortunately, the joke is too sophisticated for British audiences. We're more likely to ask the Dalai Lama how big his cock is.
posted by seanyboy at 1:11 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


For the record, by the way, we do have hot dogs in Australia. But they're pretty much universally referred to as "barbie bangers."
posted by chmmr at 1:14 AM on June 17, 2011


Also dumb: wasting face time with the DALAI LAMA telling this joke.

Yes, he's a very important man, and this sort of triviality cuts into the time he has to do more important things, like judging MasterChef.

LiB - love your work, mate. ;)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:16 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a pretty good joke, because it juxtaposes the most abstract idea with the perfectly mundane.

Yes. Enlightenment is, of course, nothing special. But I don't see how pizzas or hotdogs are particularly abstract.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 1:24 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


In Britain the same joke would be told in order to generate embarrassment and afterwards the host would be proud of his sophisticated edgy humour.
Unfortunately, the joke is too sophisticated for British audiences. We're more likely to ask the Dalai Lama how big his cock is.


On British morning TV the joke would not be told because the BBC would be too scared of being called out by the Daily Mail, while the presenters on ITV would be too busy asking the Dalai Lama where he bought his lovely robe (Debenhams?) before asking him to join a cooking segment while the hosts gurned to the camera and pretended to have 'chemistry'.

Australian morning TV seems like a huge improvement on that.
posted by Summer at 1:25 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


The thing is, 'theoretically possible' is a very popular in-joke told by buddhists whenever westerners ask them ridiculous 'can i achieve enlightenment through xyz' questions; never failing to get sniggers and guffaws from fellow monks in the vicinity. So, the Dalai Lama was actually able to turn the joke around and one-up his host in a most hilarious fashion.

Unfortunately, he had failed to take into account the fact that most westerners don't get existential buddhist humor.
posted by jadayne at 1:25 AM on June 17, 2011 [40 favorites]


I've posted on racism in Oz before, so I'll try to be brief. Many Aussies are traditionally extremely racist, but in a way unfamiliar to Brits or Americans. It isn't uncommon to hear comments about "Lebs" or "Chinks" or Japs", but almost without exception, even the most blood curdling racist comment will be followed up with, "except Ali at the cafe" or "Hong at the butcher", or some other exception that pretty much sums up the view that the speaker hates the stereotypical image of the race, but wouldn't dream of insulting an individual based on their race.
This kind of attitude is a bit of what Aussies talk about when they mention giving somebody a fair go. Racist as all get out on an abstract level, but genuinely accepting on an individual level.
I understand that foreigners would find it hard to fathom.
How can that guy say all boat people should be dumped in the ocean, but be good mates with Thuy who arrived on a boat himself in the 1980s?
It's not a particularly pretty aspect of the culture, but it has a bit more nuance to it that all Aussies are racists.
posted by bystander at 1:27 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Although, to be frank, the thing that disturbed me the most about Oz culture was the huge shoulder chip they seem to carry about. We get that you love your country, but you can't get all pissy every time something reminds you that you're not perfect.)

Was ready to assume you're American and make comments about pots and kettles. But I checked your profile, and...fair call. Brits are acutely aware that their country is far from perfect, already.
posted by Jimbob at 1:28 AM on June 17, 2011


Jimbob: "Brits are acutely aware that their country is far from perfect, already."

How dare you!

/falls into pothole
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:33 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


rodgerd: "Everyone tells the joke *about* the situation, he thinks, "Hey, I'll be the first to try it on the big guy himself", and he discovers the cross-cultutal limits of humour."

My first reaction was "What the hell is he thinking?!" But I realized after reading this comment that, if I had remembered that well worn joke right before I was talking to the guy in question, I would have had to restrain myself from telling it to him.

I would assume from the get go that the joke would flop, and probably think better of it, but I think I would regret not telling it.
posted by brundlefly at 1:34 AM on June 17, 2011


I was wondering when this would show up on the Blue. LanguageLog has also weighed in.

And yeah, I got to meet him and shake his hand, so basically all my sins have been washed out. That's how it works, right?
posted by vidur at 1:36 AM on June 17, 2011


Not only does this joke not translate, the concept of a 'joke' doesn't translate. My friend the monk would only tell 'true' stories: countless tales of magical prowess like the stopping of the sun in the sky for days, the crying of mountains, and the spontaneous production of wish fulfilling trees by accomplished lamas.

I would hope they understand the concept of not being taken too seriously. I like seeing the Dali Lama mocked. He's a person like any other person and no person is above being made the subject of a joke. Even if they don't get it. Especially if they don't get it.
posted by three blind mice at 1:43 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


How can he not know what pizza is? I thought he was supposed to be all wise & shit. Next you'll be telling me he's never drunk a beer or driven a Kingswood.
posted by Ritchie at 1:53 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


My feeling is, a morning TV host is hardly going to ask questions about the nature of suffering and impermanence. Nor are they going to get into controversial territory regarding China. They're going to try to have a laugh. And, as happens 99.9% of the time on morning TV, the joke is pathetic, lame and misguided.
posted by Jimbob at 1:58 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Racist as all get out on an abstract level, but genuinely accepting on an individual level. I understand that foreigners would find it hard to fathom.
You know this is a common to everyone right? That it's not just a nuanced thing that applies only to the southern hemisphere?
posted by seanyboy at 2:03 AM on June 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


So many of you take obvious pains to spellcheck your comments. Why not make the small additional effort to spell "Dalai Lama" correctly?

If it is because "Dalai" is not in your spellchecker dictionary, it's not difficult to add. In Chrome, right click the word and select "Add to dictionary" from the popup menu.
posted by vanar sena at 2:07 AM on June 17, 2011


Bystander: No, in my experience, this is how racism works. The racist in question generally seems to have an exception for a dude he works with, or the "good one" down the street. The fact that the person has a bunch of exceptions to his impressions of persons of another race, and yet persists in seeing the group as a whole in a negative light is exactly what makes the guy a racist.
posted by thebrokedown at 2:13 AM on June 17, 2011 [26 favorites]


a big part of the Australian identity is being a migrant settler colonialist

Goes with The Territory.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:22 AM on June 17, 2011


Why not make the small additional effort to spell "Dalai Lama" correctly?

Agreed - "Dali Lama" sounds a bit surreal.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:22 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


even the most blood curdling racist comment will be followed up with, "except Ali at the cafe" or "Hong at the butcher", or some other exception that pretty much sums up the view that the speaker hates the stereotypical image of the race

So it's like "I'm not racist! I have black friends!" only without the first part?
posted by NoraReed at 2:25 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Look at this picture of Bert Newton. I've never even seen his shows and I can tell he's a massive creep.

I was on Good Morning, Australia on book tour in 2004. Up close, Bert Newton is one of the strangest looking humanoids I've ever laid eyes on. His cheeks have the texture of honeydew melon skin, and while he was interviewing me there was a rivulet of tears running down the off-camera cheek the entire time, like he'd sprung a leak.

Morning TV is for freaks.

As for this wakka-wakka one-with-everything dude, not to worry, karma will deal with that. He's coming back as the rabbit in the bear-and-a-rabbit-shitting-in-the-woods joke.
posted by gompa at 2:29 AM on June 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


Firstly I am a person of colour.
Secondly I like racists jokes that do not demean the targetted stereotype group.

I hope we have reached a point now where we can all just chill out a bit more and go with stereotypes as a way of pinpointing humour.
Me and other brown folk love wobble headed indian humour especially round the area of are you saying yes when you mean no.

And I loved his Bhuddist jokes ; you're all piling in on the poor white autralian man because of his history of oppresion and knuckle dragging stereotype ; so you are the ones being prejudiced really.

You would be so offended if you have a double chin as my current joke is : You have more Chins than China.
posted by dprs75 at 2:33 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have heard these jokes in a previous incarnation. Right here on Metafilter!
posted by chavenet at 2:37 AM on June 17, 2011


On reread of thread, Winnemac got there first.
posted by chavenet at 2:39 AM on June 17, 2011


1. Australians are super nice, unless you're a native inhabitant of what is now Australia.

2. C'mon, that joke is really cute, and I can't see any interpretation that sheds a negative light on the desire to "be one with everything". It's a pun, is all.

3. I have seen His Holiness in person and he does, in fact, have a penchant for teasing people in a very subtle, this-is-all-so-cute-and-silly-because-I-live-on-a-different-spiritual-plane way. I think he must speak enough English to have gotten the joke and was using it as an opportunity to make us hyperactive Westerners pause and really think holistically for a moment. Good for him, I wish China hadn't forced him to be the last Dalai Lama ever.
posted by Mooseli at 2:40 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Should have told the interrupting cow one.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:51 AM on June 17, 2011 [12 favorites]


I look forward to a whole week of being called 'a humorless seppo' when I attack this and hearing this sort of bullshit justified.

What happened to your crusade to bring the wonders of FREE SPEECH to the benighted barbarians?
posted by atrazine at 2:53 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Props to gman for linking this first?
posted by ShutterBun at 2:53 AM on June 17, 2011


Would an interviewer get away with telling Mother Teresa, or any other religious figure, a similar joke?

I would have paid cash money to see someone tell her the joke about two nuns in the bath. Mainly because it confused me for years and I wonder if her in depth experience of nunnery would help her get it or not.
posted by mippy at 2:56 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Would an interviewer get away with telling Mother Teresa, or any other religious figure, a similar joke?

If I were in the audience, yes.

(full disclosure: I think they both suck*, and reject entirely the cult of personality that swirls around each)

* overall, not necessarily on every single issue.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:02 AM on June 17, 2011


...and then Mother Teresa said "$20, same as in town"
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:07 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


jadayne - It's sort of interesting pattern i just picked up on where, when there is a post regarding 2 cultures and an awkward situation, there is an almost immediate "Racist!" default response from Metafilter which always lasts a few posts before being dulled and eventually countered by more moderate opinions.

In the meantime, the thread becomes focused purely on race, as though it was the only post-worthy aspect of it, and everyone piles on to claim sides in the debate.


This, a thousand times this. The joke had nothing to do with race and wasn't even in poor taste, IMO. The joke isn't "all Bhuddists are $BadThing" or even "The Dalai Lama is $InnocuousThing"; it's "hey, this important phrase sounds a bit like something mundane!LOL". And yet we're having a pages-long discussion on the nature of racism in Aus.

When meeting someone famous enough that jokes involving him are well-known on three continents and well-regarded enough that none of those jokes are actually making fun of him, of course I'd wonder whether he's heard them and what he thinks of them. And I've heard enough authority figures, including Priests and Bishops, making jokes about themselves and their work that I'd feel confident that he'd have a sense of humour about it.*

The analogy here isn't telling a Pakistani guy "corner shop" jokes; it's asking Chuck Norris what he thinks about Chuck Norris Facts.

I probably wouldn't have made the joke, because I have plenty of experience falling flat on my arse when trying to make puns across language barriers. But I would definitely have at least asked him about it.

*Side rant: Making jokes about our lives is a fundamental part of being human. Everyone sometimes gets annoyed with bosses, clients, tasks or whatever. Everyone has aspects of their jobs or lives that they love but would look weird to an outsider. And everyone -- including authority figures and care givers like priests, teachers and doctors -- occasionally gets together with colleagues or like-minded friends to talk shop and make jokes about this stuff. Don't try to put them or even put people like the Dalai Lama up on a humourless, more-sincere-than-thou pedestal; he's intelligent, arguably wise and influential but, ultimately, he's just another guy who probably likes to occasionally laugh at himself and his life.
posted by metaBugs at 3:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


oneswellfoop: ""change must come from within.""

Dammit.
posted by notsnot at 3:09 AM on June 17, 2011


The Dalai Lama's response is the same one that I would have if told that joke.

Drives my wife nuts.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:12 AM on June 17, 2011


If he had told Norm Macdonald's joke about the moth and the podiatrist, His Holiness would have been laughing his ass off.
posted by brundlefly at 3:17 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Q: What do Australians use for birth control?

A: Their personalities.

joke, joke, some of my best friends are Australians, etc etc.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:28 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seriously guys, the Dalai Lama didn't come to Australia to play laughing homosexuals.
posted by atrazine at 3:40 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Agreed - "Dali Lama" sounds a bit surreal.

the dali llama singing "my humps" would be REALLY surreal
posted by pyramid termite at 3:45 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


and my guess is that the dalai lama has probably heard that joke before and pretended not to understand it
posted by pyramid termite at 3:49 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm just generally embarrassed by Australia's morning show hosts, so this does nothing more than move Karl up above that wretched aberration of nature Kochie in my personal Cringe Rankings.

But I really wish every thread (even tangentially) regarding Australia wouldn cease becoming the LiB Holds Forth On Everything That Sucks About Australia Show. I've lived in three quite different areas of Australia throughout my life - Rural NSW, Melbourne and Darwin in the Northern Territory. For non-Aussies, this would be the equivalent difference between living in, say.. Alabama, New York and Alaska.

A small but reasonable cross-section, basically.

And I still mostly goggle at LiB's anecdotes and theories about Australia and Australians because it rarely bears more than a superficial resemblance to the one that i've lived in. Please, LiB - consider that your impressions are a really, really small cross-section and that being a newcomer who hasn't lived here long, there really are armfuls of nuances you just cannot pick up on yet.

Also, that your friends may be jerks. Or at least, have some jerkish qualities. But maybe this just means that you should expand your social circle. New buddies and a greater understanding of various types of Australian people and culture for you - where's the downside?
posted by pseudonymph at 3:50 AM on June 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


LiB's negative generalisations about everything Australian are much closer to racism than Karl Stefonovic telling a joke that relies on specific cultural knowledge. Morning show hosts are always idiots, I'm pretty sure it's part of the job description.
posted by harriet vane at 3:57 AM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, that your friends may be jerks. Or at least, have some jerkish qualities. But maybe this just means that you should expand your social circle. New buddies and a greater understanding of various types of Australian people and culture for you - where's the downside

The fact that LiB's impressions come from a limited section of a particularly posh part of Sydney confirms some suspicions I've long held about about Sydney Wankers, and makes me feel better about those of us living outside that weird, insular community.
posted by Jimbob at 4:03 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


confirms some suspicions I've long held about about Sydney Wankers

Racist!
posted by Summer at 4:16 AM on June 17, 2011


I just assumed LiB was a bit homesick. In many ways Australia is very similar to the US, but the differences are jarring enough to keep an American ex-pat constantly off-balance. Someone should fix him up with a nice young woman (man? I dunno) from Coonabarabran. That'll settle him down. Cucumber sandwich, anyone?
posted by Ritchie at 4:17 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I take your cucumber sandwiche, Ritchie, and raise you a good jug of pimms cup! And some lamingtons. And my grandmother's sponge.

I maintain that nobody really knows Australia until they've experienced the city, the bush and the outback. You need to temper the urban with nanna's prize winning sponge cake, and the rather terrifying beauty of truly remote Australia. Some advice, LiB, TRAVEL MORE. It is a big country, and Sydney isn't really representative.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 4:23 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would an interviewer get away with telling Mother Teresa, or any other religious figure, a similar joke?
posted by polymodus at 7:25 AM on June 17


What difference does their being religious figures have to do with it?
posted by Decani at 4:28 AM on June 17, 2011


The implication is that since Mother Teresa was Catholic, (a.k.a. a more "western friendly" religion) instead of a Buddhist leader, we westerners would be a lot more offended.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:32 AM on June 17, 2011


Brits are acutely aware that their country is far from perfect, already.
posted by Jimbob at 9:28 AM on June 17


Yes, we're very good at that sort of unsparing self-criticism and awareness of our failings. In fact we're probably the best in the world at it.
posted by Decani at 4:39 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


The implication is that since Mother Teresa was Catholic, (a.k.a. a more "western friendly" religion) instead of a Buddhist leader, we westerners would be a lot more offended.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:32 PM on June 17


I get that. What I don't get is why people still think that being a representative of a religious belief ought to make you worthy of being shown more respect than anyone else.
posted by Decani at 4:41 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems that a small 85% minority of the world still views religion as a worthwhile institution. I can't really explain why, but I'm guessing that being promised cash & prizes after death is a major selling point. Ergo, the leaders of those institutions (or paid spokespersons) get lots of respect heaped on them, usually due to good P.R., which is essential to any long-lasting enterprise.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:47 AM on June 17, 2011


Does a larrikin have a Buddha nature?
posted by rdone at 4:58 AM on June 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


makes me feel better about those of us living outside that weird, insular community.

I suppose you'd have a pretty good understanding of weird, insular communities - living in Hobart & all.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:11 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Dalai Lama has been ALL OVER THE WORLD and he totally knows what pizza is and has probably heard that joke a million times.

He was so FUCKING with that dude!
posted by orme at 5:20 AM on June 17, 2011 [13 favorites]


I stopped taking LiB seriously when he said he hated nature because it could kill him.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:27 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hmm, I might have to reconsider my cunning plan to tell the "I can see your house from up here" joke to Pope Benedict the next time I see him.
posted by moonbiter at 5:27 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, it's true that all of Australian nature is trying to kill you. Especially the wallabies.
posted by jb at 5:35 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


So he got a little jumbled on 'pizza shop' but knew 'teleologically impossible'?
posted by arruns at 5:53 AM on June 17, 2011


It's sort of interesting pattern i just picked up on where, when there is a post regarding 2 cultures and an awkward situation, there is an almost immediate "Racist!" default response from Metafilter which always lasts a few posts before being dulled and eventually countered by more moderate opinions.

Why is it always "from Metafilter" when it's really just a few members? Are you under the impression they're ambassadors or something?
posted by odinsdream at 6:01 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Karl Stevanovic is a douche and here he is being the butt of a practical joke.

To save time, scoot to 1m 25 seconds. Karl is the dude in the yellow tie. They've got a wildlife guy on, and Karl has already accused Cameron the dude on the far right of being a practical joker.

Please, don't judge my country or my people by a talkshow host, either the one above, or the one below.

Here is another Australian talkshow host who talks to the Dalai Lama, at about 2m 27 he cracks up the Dalai Lama asking for his gallbladder. At 3 minutes 40 seconds, Dave asks if the interview has been meaningful, and the Dalia Lama laughs and tells him "your eyes are very strange". There's no way Karl could have coped with that.
posted by b33j at 6:02 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Dalai Lama has been ALL OVER THE WORLD and he totally knows what pizza is and has probably heard that joke a million times.

He was so FUCKING with that dude!


Either that, or he got confused because it wasn't about hot dogs as he expected.
posted by TedW at 6:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [18 favorites]


I take your cucumber sandwiche, Ritchie, and raise you a good jug of pimms cup! And some lamingtons. And my grandmother's sponge.

Is Pimm's widely consumed in middle Australia? Last I heard, the stereotype was that it's considered to be solely for poms and poofters.
posted by acb at 6:12 AM on June 17, 2011


It would have been awesome if the Dalai Lama just said "the joke works better with a hot dog stand, IMO".
posted by King Bee at 6:13 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Acb, no pooftah I know who's worth his salt would drink Pimms.
posted by Jimbob at 6:14 AM on June 17, 2011


Is Pimm's widely consumed in middle Australia? Last I heard, the stereotype was that it's considered to be solely for poms and poofters.

I know my yuppie Newtown friends enjoy their pimms. It's very post-post-ironic.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 6:15 AM on June 17, 2011


I know my yuppie Newtown friends enjoy their pimms. It's very post-post-ironic.

It's just tasty. Irony has no place in tasty booze.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:17 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's just tasty. Irony has no place in tasty booze.

Honest appreciation has no place in post-post-irony.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 6:19 AM on June 17, 2011


I suppose you'd have a pretty good understanding of weird, insular communities - living in Hobart & all.

Stunningly fair call. Mea culpa. I live in a town I judge to be both way too white, and way too racist. But if LiB's breathless description of those nasty "typical Aussies" in Newtown are to believed, I live in a bohemian paradise of tolerance and culture by comparison.
posted by Jimbob at 6:20 AM on June 17, 2011


Ritchie: "I just assumed LiB was a bit homesick. In many ways Australia is very similar to the US, but the differences are jarring enough to keep an American ex-pat constantly off-balance. Someone should fix him up with a nice young woman (man? I dunno) from Coonabarabran. That'll settle him down. Cucumber sandwich, anyone"

Hi, I'm an American ex-pat who's been living here for basically five years. Off and on, to be sure, but more on than off, and I'll be here for a while.

There are definitely a lot of similarities between the US and Australia, but they're broad and shallow. The peculiar and deep differences, if you're willing to let go and just live 'em and love 'em and learn to appreciate them are – for the right sort of ex-pat – just great. It's a different country; why would you want it to be like the US?

LiB's posts and comments have certainly come to my attention over the last while, but that's because I make a mental note to keep track of all the regular Australia-based folks on MeFi. I've just never really got the impression he's let go enough to really enjoy the place and appreciate it on its own merits rather than continuing to view it through the prism of "They do things different here ..."
posted by barnacles at 6:20 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Honest appreciation has no place in post-post-irony.

Accurate and cutting social commentary has no place in post-post-irony.

This is fun!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:21 AM on June 17, 2011


But if LiB's breathless description of those nasty "typical Aussies" in Newtown are to believed, I live in a bohemian paradise of tolerance and culture by comparison.

Well, no, because if LiB's breathless assertions are to be believed, you are a component of the savage, racist, politically underdeveloped Australian monolith that doesn't know and can't understand what it's missing. Because everyone is the same everywhere. Forever.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:25 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Agreed - "Dali Lama" sounds a bit surreal.

Dolly is on the list of names for future pets, against the day when I have a llama. I expect she will get on well with my basset hound, Angela, and my cockatiel, Molotov.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:32 AM on June 17, 2011 [21 favorites]


The impression I got (and this was from a gay friend) was that Pimm's is considered unfit for heterosexual male consumption in Australia. This was backed up by seeing a menu in a trendy bar in Melbourne listing their Pimm's jugs as "camped out" with fruit. I gathered it wasn't the sort of thing one would consume at a backyard barbecue alongside tinnies of ice-cold lager.
posted by acb at 6:35 AM on June 17, 2011


I don't know about the Dali Llama, but here's the Dali Anteater
posted by desjardins at 6:35 AM on June 17, 2011


The impression I got (and this was from a gay friend) was that Pimm's is considered unfit for heterosexual male consumption in Australia.

I'll admit having experimented with Pimms. Not in public, though. And I didn't inhale.
posted by Jimbob at 6:39 AM on June 17, 2011


I'll admit having experimented with Pimms. Not in public, though. And I didn't inhale.

I think this means you still have to resign from the Senate.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:42 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was hysterical. The Dalai Lama tried hard to get the joke; the interpreter may not have gotten it, but DL is so good-natured, he just smiles. The joke is a bit of a koan, telling it to the DL is awesome; if someone translates it to him accurately, he might achieve satori and vanish in a puff of light. It takes the cluelessness of a block-headed Anchorman to do this, but that just qualifies him as a Holy Fool.
posted by theora55 at 6:49 AM on June 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


I just want to be the Dalai Lama's caddy:

Carl Spackler: So I jump ship in Hong Kong and I make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas.
Angie D'Annunzio: A looper?
Carl Spackler: A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-lagunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

posted by Ber at 6:50 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find it interesting, by the way, that with all this discussion about heterosexual objection to Pimms, no-one has mentioned the cucumber sandwiches...
posted by Jimbob at 6:59 AM on June 17, 2011


When Jesse Ventura was Minnesota governor, he asked the Lama if he'd ever seen Caddyshack. The answer was no, and Minnesotans cringed.
posted by GaelFC at 7:01 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


It would be unlikely that many people would bring their own bottle of Pimms to a barbie, but if someone was making Pimms drinks to hand around I'd wager there'd be many a true-blue farkin' Aussie who'd suck it down. Seriously.

And those people who are recommending that LiB go and visit some more rural areas of Australia to get a glimpse of things from some perspective other than that provided by the depths of inner-city Sydney, are you insane? You really think he'd come away from that with a more enlightened view of 'typical Australia' than he has now?

It's true that there is a deep under-current of racism in Australia. It's also true that things are changing. And that there are many, many different people with many different ways of seeing things. Stereotyping sucks!

That, however, has nothing to do with the featured video which I thought was actually pretty hilarious. Karl Stefanovic, as sucky as he can be sometimes, knew that he was fucking up the joke. The Dalai Llama did too. They both laughed about it, in exactly the way that Tiresias described above.

And personally, I'd go for hamburger (or steakburger) over both pizza and hotdogs. A hamburger (or steakburger) with everything over here includes pineapple!

Beetroot goes without saying.
posted by h00py at 7:02 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


In the UK, it would be a kebab shop.
posted by motty at 7:03 AM on June 17, 2011


What exactly is wrong with cucumber?
posted by h00py at 7:03 AM on June 17, 2011


And those people who are recommending that LiB go and visit some more rural areas of Australia to get a glimpse of things from some perspective other than that provided by the depths of inner-city Sydney, are you insane? You really think he'd come away from that with a more enlightened view of 'typical Australia' than he has now?

Well, he might change his mind about all Aussies being tree-hugging, people-hating environazis...
posted by Jimbob at 7:06 AM on June 17, 2011


But if LiB's breathless description of those nasty "typical Aussies" in Newtown are to believed, I live in a bohemian paradise of tolerance and culture by comparison.

To translate, for context:
Newtown : Sydney : Australia = Williamsburg : NYC : America

Not particularly typical.

There's some particularly anti-racist & very longstanding & well-loved street art around. These murals are in incredibly prominent positions, and date back decades.

The "Three Proud People" mural faces the railway adjacent to Macdonaldtown railway station. Created ca. 2000 [Ubu: this is completely incorrect; I remember it at least as far back as 1983], this mural is a reproduction of the famous photo taken at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, when African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos sparked a storm of controversy by wearing black gloves and giving the "Black Power" salute during their medal award ceremony. The third person in the image was Australian athlete Peter Norman, who died in 2006. This mural became the subject of significant Australian media coverage at the time of Norman's death. For many years, the mural was a landmark for thousands of commuters who passed it daily on Sydney's western rail line. In 2007, RailCorp erected noise barriers near MacDonaldtown Station, which obscured the mural from train travellers. In 2008, Melbourne filmmaker Matt Norman led a campaign to attempt to force RailCorp to install transparent noise barriers to allow the mural to be seen by commuters.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:17 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I just wanted to say that I filed this under "morning news coverage, silly attempt at humor" and thought it was harmless and mildly amusing. I definitely didn't expect the thread that sprang from it! As for the whole Mother Teresa thing, assuming it was a joke with the same level of inoffensiveness (because really, racist? Please.), I doubt it would have sparked much controversy. And the people who would be offended? Probably prepare themselves to be offended at anything that isn't 100% rah rah supportive of whatever their religion/cause is, even if it's something neutral like this rather than actively negative.
posted by brilliantine at 7:26 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obituary article for aussie Peter Norman, who stood in solidarity with the famous "black power" American athletes in the mural above.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:27 AM on June 17, 2011


I may be missing something here, but I just assumed the DL could speak English. I've never met the guy, but he seems to travel a lot, being a political hot potato does that, and one would think that he would have learned the new language of diplomacy.
posted by Gungho at 7:28 AM on June 17, 2011


What's ironic about this is His Holiness' sense of humor is pretty well known...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 7:31 AM on June 17, 2011


I may be missing something here, but I just assumed the DL could speak English.

Oh he does, pretty well. But understanding the two alternative meanings of "one with everything" requires some fairly advanced English, not to mention familiarity with some metaphors that wouldn't directly translate.
posted by Jimbob at 7:32 AM on June 17, 2011


I may be missing something here, but I just assumed the DL could speak English.

Speaking a language is not the same thing as being able to interpret its puns. In fact, if you can understand puns, that's a good litmus test that you've achieved effectively native-speaker understanding, a few orders of magnitude beyond being able to hold a conversation or read a newspaper.

Consider that "one with everything" might be mentally translated as "a single item that has all possible additions" (or anything expressible in similar ways in Tibetan) and that's the kind of obstacle you're dealing with in getting puns to translate.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:34 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I could really do without the comments saying "only poofters drink pimms."
posted by seanyboy at 7:36 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


You are hallucinating (must be all the Pimms).
posted by h00py at 7:38 AM on June 17, 2011


Totally cringeworthy and hilarious. The Western guy reminds me of that funny dufus on Best In Show.

Classic cross cultural sillibiz and I do love that joke, even more when it's a hot dog but pizza is more global. It's even better that it was told to the DL and not understood.

Anecdote: I've had a number of silly Tibetan to English twist ups over the years, for example my Tibetan lama teacher telling me about how delicious Jim and Polly were with some strangely sordid hand gestures of Jim laying down on Polly. And only after what felt like a quizzical eternity I found out it was "jem" (jam) and "palleb" (bread). Jam on bread. Oooooh, so THAT'S what you meant. Or a Tibetan translator telling me during a meditation instruction that I should hold my mind stiff, very stiff. Ooooh, you mean still! Or the endless questioning by my Tibetan teacher, "Annie, How are you? How are you? How are you?" Ahhhh, you mean Anne from Hawaii. How are you, Ha wah yeee, was a running joke between us for years.

Later on the DL's translator will do the verbal knot detangling and there will be laughter all around.
posted by nickyskye at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This could be the stupidest set of comments on metafilter ever. Seriously? A discourse on an entire CONTINENT being racist cuz a few of you toolboxes visited it? This passes muster on metafilter now?
posted by spicynuts at 7:52 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was cute, and not at all inappropriate. I get the sense that the DL enjoys a joke, and he probably sat through 5 interviews that day alone with the standard how-can-we-all-live-in-peace-and-harmony questions.

He could have given it up a little earlier and moved on, though.
posted by CaseyB at 7:54 AM on June 17, 2011


I like how the Dali Llama is supposed to be someone worth respecting. THAT is funny. I will respect the Dali Llama when it is a woman.
posted by Brocktoon at 8:08 AM on June 17, 2011


I thought this video was cute a few days ago when I saw it. It also reminded me of a story one of my mom's friends tells. It is, as far as I know, true.

My mother has a friend who has done some construction work at a Buddhist Monastery in northern New Jersey. He's this kind of quiet, funny guy, and he told us this story once about how the Dalai Lama visited One of the monks offered to introduce him, and my mom's friend, being the acerbic, shy dude that he is, quipped, "Nah, you met one Dalai Lama, you met 'em all."

The monk laughed. And then told him that he had to tell the Dalai Lama that joke. No, no, my mom's friend demurred, I don't want to offend him. But the monk said that the Dalai Lama had a great sense of humor, that he'd love the joke. So my mom's friend was dragged in front of him. The monk introduced him--this is George, he's doing some work for our monastery, and he told me a joke I thought you'd like.

My mom's friend stutteringly repeats the joke. "He asked me if I wanted to meet you, and I said, 'You met one Dalai Lama, you met 'em all.'"

There's a long, uncomfortable silence. Finally, the Dalai Lama says, "Oh!" And there was another long, painful pause before he finally concluded, "That's funny!"
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:12 AM on June 17, 2011 [26 favorites]


I like this thread because I learned the word 'seppo'.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:14 AM on June 17, 2011


I like how the Dali Llama is supposed to be someone worth respecting. THAT is funny. I will respect the Dali Llama when it is a woman.

IIRC the choice is made by entities who should know better than ourselves.
The Dalai Lama is not chosen to become what he is, he is what he is and has been that for fourteen reincarnations. In Buddhism an enlightened person can refuse to enter Nirvana, choosing instead to return to the cycle of death and rebirth to help others become enlightened. The current Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama and ultimately the reincarnation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Avalokiteśvara.

The search for the newly reincarnated is the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa Tradition and the government of Tibet. The High Lamas conduct several rituals to increase the odds of finding the reincarnation quickly. They look for omens and seek hints in their dreams. They also devise tests for candidates they feel may be the reincarnation. Familiarity with the possessions of the previous Dalai Lama is considered the main sign of the reincarnation.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_a_new_Dalai_Lama_chosen#ixzz1PXyWSHe1
posted by Gungho at 8:22 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I admit to enjoying it when any other country besides the USA is slagged for various things here. To mitigate my schadenfreude and to show what a good sport I am about it, I'll point out a second embarrassment that Minnesotans had with the Dalai Lama and one of our politicians.
posted by norm at 8:26 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I like how the Dali Llama is supposed to be someone worth respecting. THAT is funny.

I still don't quite grok why people need to wear their humanities classes on their sleeves like this.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:28 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will respect the Dali Llama when it is a woman.

HHTDL is an incarnation of Chenrezig, also known as the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

One teardrop from him, shed after viewing the suffering of the world, fell into a lotus pond & eventually gave rise to the Bodhisattva Tara, who is considered to be a feminine emanation; a kind of essentialised principle of compassion made separate from the "emptiness" aspect. Considering that Avalokiteshvara is already the Bodhisattva of compassion, this makes her the distilled essence of meta-compassion.

So, the easy answer to your respect issue is to become a devotee of Tara. Failing that, Kwannon (in Japan) aka Kuan Yin (China) are also regarded as the feminine aspect of Avalokiteshvara, and are effectively the same thing. Can I suggest the Heart Sutra as a starting point?

Hope this helps.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:44 AM on June 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


There really is no concept of "being one with everything" in Buddhism, at least not in those kinds of terms.

Yeah, actually there is, and it's one of the core teachings of buddhism. Have you never heard the saying, "there is no difference between self and other"...?
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:45 AM on June 17, 2011


Let's totally turn this into a discussion about Buddhist theology!

I am serious.
posted by desjardins at 8:53 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Have you never heard the saying, "there is no difference between self and other"...?

You are clinging too much to the "difference". There is neither self nor other, therefore it is meaningless to speak of the difference between them.

This is not the same as "being one with everything" because the latter implies that there is an isolated subject who can "be one" with an objective "everything".

By realising that form is the same as the void, these distinctions are rendered meaningless.

On preview: it makes no sense to speak of Buddhist theology, as there is no god, either in Buddhism or elsewhere, so "theology" has nothing to do with it.

posted by UbuRoivas at 8:58 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Next time HE Paltul Rinpoche comes to visit, I'll ask for the inside scoop on this. I'm guessing there was a lot of chortling later.

My impression is that the "uncomfortable silence" is really just trying to bridge the humor-of-foreign-idiom-double-meaning gap. If you go for more concrete humor or slapstick, it goes over better.
posted by warbaby at 8:58 AM on June 17, 2011


This passes muster on metafilter now?

Yeah, spicynuts. I was shocked that not a single person has called LiB out for those comments, but apparently the usual vote was taken and a solid majority of MetaFilter members decided they passed muster.
posted by straight at 8:59 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If he had told Norm Macdonald's joke about the moth and the podiatrist, His Holiness would have been laughing his ass off.

Thank you. I have wondered, if given the chance to speak with the Dalai Lama, what I would want to talk about. I could ask a thousand questions he has heard thousands of times before, and I would kinda feel like I would be wasting his time. He gets pestered enough with that day in and day out. Somehow, I have more of a desire to give him something, instead of trying to get some kind of profound, wise quote from him that would somehow be the one thing I need to know in life.

Judging by what I have read, seen, and heard about who he is as a person, I think this is a joke that would both translate well and appeal to his sense of humor. Granted, the joke appeals a little more to the Zen school of Buddhism, with the satori moment and all, but there is something of a wise parable in the moth joke.

Here's comes some beanplating the size of a mountain:

Norm's joke has a lot of the core elements of the Four Noble Truths in it.

1. Life contains suffering: The endless story of woe of the moth, and the listener thinking he is in for an endless, pointless joke.

2. Suffering comes from attachment: The woes of the moth come form a world of attachment, and also the punchline shows the instinctual drives and needs, which could shows an interesting version of attachment and distraction. The frustration one gets while the joke gets told going on longer and longer, shows the listeners attachment for the punchline as a destination rather than enjoy the buildup to it. Also, a joke is sort of a gift that brings with it minimal attachment.

3 and 4. The path to, and possibility of, alleviating suffering: (this one's a bit thin, but there is something there) This mix is in both the joke being funny, and the demonstration of impermanence as lessons. You may laugh at the joke, but that feeling will pass. The joke may be remembered, but the that moment you heard the punchline is gone. It is both self-indulgent, as it amuses you, but its something that must be given away to someone else to get both the parable and the simple enjoyment of a joke.

Of course, I'm not taking this too seriously, just having some fun with the idea of telling HHTDL a joke, but I have been thinking about that joke as being almost a Zen koan for a couple days, and I'm just playing with ideas on why I think that.
posted by chambers at 9:00 AM on June 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


Let's totally turn this into a discussion about Buddhist theology!

Yes!
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:03 AM on June 17, 2011


(only, i've gotta go to bed now. sleep may not have ultimate reality, but it sure is nice)
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:06 AM on June 17, 2011


LiB, maybe refrain from making Olympian pronouncements about the quiddity of Australia until you've gotten over your acute culture shock. You come off like a teenager someone accidentally invited to a dinner party.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 9:13 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would be like me judging Americans on Larry The Cable Guy or something.

As an American, I see no problem with that.

If you said Homer Simpson, on the other hand, that would be giving us way too much credit.
posted by y2karl at 9:16 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Horselover Phattie: I still don't quite grok why people need to wear their humanities classes on their sleeves like this.

What does that even mean? Regardless of what Buddhists believe about the Dalai Lama, he is just a man. He is not actually the fourteenth incarnation of someone/thing from eons ago.

Now, I believe him to be worthy of respect, but not because of some Buddhist beliefs about what he is. He is a wise, compassionate, caring man, as far as I can tell. I respect people like that.
posted by King Bee at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I could ask a thousand questions he has heard thousands of times before, and I would kinda feel like I would be wasting his time. He gets pestered enough with that day in and day out. Somehow, I have more of a desire to give him something, instead of trying to get some kind of profound, wise quote from him that would somehow be the one thing I need to know in life.

That's a nice enough sentiment but it's HHDL's self-identified purpose in life to be selfless and work for the sake of others' happiness and enlightenment. It's clear when you're in his presence that he thinks of no interaction with others, no matter how trivial or silly, as a "waste of his time." And if you accept the premises of his own belief system, he's already the incarnation of a major bodhisattva who could transcend to nirvana at pretty much any time, so there's really not much of substance any of the rest of us can offer him.
posted by aught at 9:19 AM on June 17, 2011


I admit to enjoying it when any other country besides the USA is slagged for various things here.

Yup. It's not the slagging -- it's the exactly identical complaints and defenses. For good or ill, one could replace "Australian" with "American" and it would be pretty darn close to threads we've had here many, many times. We're all alike after all!
posted by Amanojaku at 9:25 AM on June 17, 2011


We're all alike after all!

Ugh. How clumsy sounding. Who writes that?
posted by Amanojaku at 9:26 AM on June 17, 2011


Now, I believe him to be worthy of respect, but not because of some Buddhist beliefs about what he is. He is a wise, compassionate, caring man, as far as I can tell.

And rich as all fuck, since he absconded with the Tibetan state treasury when he went into exile. It's easy to be non-materialist when all your material needs are taken care of. Most buddhists consider the Dalai Lama to be just another feudal ruler that held all of Tibet in serfdom.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:41 AM on June 17, 2011


What does that even mean? Regardless of what Buddhists believe about the Dalai Lama, he is just a man.

Not just a man in the sense of an average joe. Tibetan monks have some awesome skills at paying attention.

He is not actually the fourteenth incarnation of someone/thing from eons ago.

And you can prove this ? And, if not, is it not a matter of belief on both sides of the question ?
posted by y2karl at 9:48 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most buddhists consider the Dalai Lama to be just another feudal ruler that held all of Tibet in serfdom.[citation needed]
posted by Coventry at 9:50 AM on June 17, 2011


Most buddhists consider the Dalai Lama to be just another feudal ruler that held all of Tibet in serfdom.

So you can speak for most Buddhists, then, huh? Good to know.
posted by aught at 9:51 AM on June 17, 2011


And rich as all fuck, since he absconded with the Tibetan state treasury when he went into exile. It's easy to be non-materialist when all your material needs are taken care of. Most buddhists consider the Dalai Lama to be just another feudal ruler that held all of Tibet in serfdom.


The Chinese government has a heavily vested interest in portraying the Dalai Llama as a scoundrel and Tibet under his rule as some primitive, backwater feudal society. And China's got a lot of money to spend on floating and promoting its own facts and interpretations of facts, coupled with a powerful media presence and influence, so I tend to take most of the egregious charges about the Dalai Llama's hypocrisy or callousness to the needs of his people with a big grain of salt. By all accounts, his own people adored him.

There's a massive, sustained international PR war under way centering on the Dalai Llama and Tibet, whose independence China has taken by force. It takes time for the dust to settle in such cases before we can really know what's left standing of the truth.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:59 AM on June 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


since he absconded with the Tibetan state treasury when he went into exile

Imagine what Mao coud have done with that loot.
posted by clavdivs at 10:01 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.

13. The PLA entering Tibet shall abide by all the above-mentioned policies and shall also be fair in all buying and selling and shall not arbitrarily take a needle or thread from the people.
posted by clavdivs at 10:05 AM on June 17, 2011


My mother: "I would like a Denver omelet without the onion, peppers, and ham."
My dad:"So, you want a cheese omelet?"
My mother:"Well, I suppose."

My mother - not one with everything.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:09 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Didn't Christopher Hitchens write about the Dalai Lama, in much the same way as about Mother Teresa?
posted by acb at 10:14 AM on June 17, 2011


Ouch.
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM on June 17, 2011


A hamburger (or steakburger) with everything over here includes pineapple!

There is no such thing as a steakburger. The meal that would be a hamburger if it had a patty in it instead of a lump of steak is a steak sandwich.

There is also no such order as a "hamburger with everything". You may order a "hamburger with the lot". If you actually want everything, that's a "hamburger with the lot and pineapple". And you must wait until asked to specify that you also want tomato sauce.

A proper hamburger with the lot and pineapple contains (in order) a fried minced beef patty, fried bacon, fried onion rings, tomato sauce, a fried egg, a slice of tasty cheese, a slice of tinned beetroot, a slice of tinned pineapple, several slices of raw tomato, salt, pepper and shredded lettuce, all barely contained inside a lightly toasted and well-buttered white bread bun (not made of sweetened dough) with a decent crust and sesame seeds. And when you eat it, it does its level best to dribble grease down your forearms.

America may have invented something and called it a hamburger, but it bears about as much resemblance to the perfected Australian product as a flick knife does to a pig sticker.
posted by flabdablet at 10:28 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You may accompany your hamburger with the lot and pineapple (yes please, sauce) with a Minimum of Chips.

Some takeaway shops sell quite a large Minimum of Chips, which you may lack the confidence to attempt; in that case, don't get a minimum, just a bucket.
posted by flabdablet at 10:31 AM on June 17, 2011


When you say tomato sauce, do you mean the stuff that comes on pizza, or do you mean what Americans would call "catsup" or "ketchup?"
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:34 AM on June 17, 2011


What comes on pizza is generally a mix of tomato paste and tomato puree. Australian tomato sauce apparently does bear some resemblance to an American ketchup. The Heinz company actually sells something labelled "ketchup" here; it's a little thicker, a tiny bit less sweet, and a tiny bit less acid than most Australian tomato sauces.

The canonical Australian tomato sauce is White Crow.
posted by flabdablet at 10:55 AM on June 17, 2011


Heinz also sells something here labelled "tomato sauce", which is closer to White Crow than to their own ketchup.
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 AM on June 17, 2011


I think I get where you're coming from, and sort of have the feeling that both products would end up being labeled "catsup" or "ketchup" in the USA.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:05 AM on June 17, 2011


I've once witnessed the Dalai Lama swear like a sailor, and I think that story goes in this thread.

I went to see him talk when he was visiting Helsinki in the late 90's. I guess most people in the audience were probably expecting something solemn and, um, enlightening (or at least I did), but quite unexpectedly His Holiness had us in stitches half of the time. It was mostly Q & A, not scripted, with topics ranging from politics to animal rights and the meaning of life. And I had no idea before then, but HHTDL really is a very, very funny man.

And the running joke was poking fun at his interpreter, a dry, joyless, middle-aged Finnish man who HHTDL knew from a previous visit. His Holiness would tease him relentlessly, trying to get a reaction, chuckling while listening to the guy's monotonous translations, clearly finding his pompous, humorless ass absolutely hilarious.

And then in the end, after thanking the event organisers etc., His Holiness the Dalai Lama took one last mischievous glance at the poor interpreter who obviously took himself so very seriously, and added: "And just to see Mr. [Interpreter] translate this: FUCK YOU FUCKING SHIT."
posted by sively at 11:05 AM on June 17, 2011 [27 favorites]


@ naju: Late to the party one this one, but I totally wanna hear your version.... told by Norm MacDonald.
posted by word_virus at 11:09 AM on June 17, 2011


Regardless of what Buddhists believe about the Dalai Lama, he is just a man. He is not actually the fourteenth incarnation of someone/thing from eons ago.

It seems that many non-Buddhists think the Dalai Lama is supposed to be something special to Buddhists, and that he is supposed to be a literal reincarnation of a soul. A Buddhist should already know that the Dalai Lama is just who he says he is; a simple monk. As for reincarnation, a lot of meaning is lost in translation -- essentially, it's not even a Buddhist concept.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 11:25 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]




Note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.


"Please post less, Lovecraft in Brooklyn"

You're doing it wrong, please stop.

The generalizability of the Australia that LiB, as well as a number of other mefites, have experienced aside, the virulence of this pile-on reflects very poorly on you, apparently quite a few Australian mefites, and MetaFilter in general. If you are really so insecure about the place where you live that the narrow perspective of one visitor fills you with such rage that you're willing to ignore the community norms of this place, I don't see that as LiB's problem or an example of LiB not fitting in in some way.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:35 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


The flipside of the pun is based on a common lay misunderstanding of Buddhism. There really is no concept of "being one with everything" in Buddhism, at least not in those kinds of terms. Maybe Hinayana Buddhism tends towards that kind of rhetoric,

The joke doesn't make any sense in terms of Theravada theology, either. I don't think there's any form of Buddhism where it does. In Theravada the ultimate goal is to achieve the end of suffering through the Noble Eightfold Path, which when practiced eventually brings insight into the three marks of existence, which in turn brings about the end of craving and therefore of suffering. I suspect the whole "one with everything" idea came from a misunderstanding of the concept of anatta. (Now, the other well-known Buddhist joke- "Why couldn't the Buddha vacuum under the couch? Because he had no attachments"- actually does make sense in the context of Buddhist theology.)

And as a side note, (not a call-out, as I don't have the impression the word was used maliciously, but more just as information) "Hinayana" is a sectarian insult- it literally means something like "inferior vehicle" or "defective vehicle." There's no sect of Buddhism in existence that calls itself "Hinayana", nor which matches the description given in Mahayana sutras of what "Hinayana" is. Calling Theravada (the only surviving non-Mahayana sect) "Hinayana" is very rude, though it's usually done without malice, as most who use the term aren't aware of the implications of it. To be sure, Theravadins do tend to be more laid back about this sort of thing than practitioners of many other religions might be (getting too offended about it wouldn't be particularly in keeping with the teaching, after all)- but nevertheless, the term is better avoided, at least as a description of any actually existing Buddhist sect.
posted by a louis wain cat at 11:35 AM on June 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


Related to sively's anecdote, there's the famous little Tibetan Buddhist parable that I have heard half a dozen times over the years from as many teachers (one of whom was the Dalai Lama):

A monk decides to devote himself to cultivating calm and peace of mind, and sits himself down by the side of the road under a tree to meditate. After some time he feels he has made a great deal of progress and is feeling pretty good about things. Eventually another monk comes along the road and sees him and says hello, asking what he's doing. The first monk says proudly, I have been sitting under this tree cultivating patience and calm mind. The second monk looks thoughtful, then yells, "Well then, eat shit!" The first monk, startled, blurts out in reply, "No! *You* eat shit!" (The lesson here obviously being that the first monk was not as accomplished in patience as he thought he was, and neither are most of us who think so well of the supposed progress we've made studying the Dharma or in being a better person.)

The first time I heard it, it was told by a very shy, quiet, unassuming monk, speaking at an interfaith Mothers' Day (yes, really) ceremony in the chapel at the local university. The Christian ministers and laypeople in the audience were especially startled by the parable, as you might imagine, to see this small Tibetan man in red robes yelling out "No! You eat shit!" from the lectern.

Anyhow, while Tibetan Buddhists are very serious about their compassion for other beings and progress toward (in some future lifetime, most likely) enlightenment, a somewhat profane sense of humor also shows itself sometimes, even in things the ordained monks and lamas say.
posted by aught at 11:35 AM on June 17, 2011


One of my girlfriend's mates hails from Chicago, and has mentioned on numerous occasions her amazement on moving to Australia that we really have no upper limit on the number of toppings we're prepared to put on a single pizza.

The same for me in reverse. Cheese pizza. Pepperoni pizza. Cheese and pepperoni pizza. I'm all "this has GOT to be a bad joke!" I was just incredulous when I perused a menu in Hawaii - my first time in the States. The memory's getting hazy, but I think I even asked the lads behind the counter to "have a look out the back" to see what possible extra toppings they could find.

Prawns, hot salami, green capsicum [you call 'em bell peppers?] olives, mushroom, pineapple, cheese, on a thin crusty base. Now THAT'S a pizza!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:46 AM on June 17, 2011


y2karl, the burden of proof is not on me, it is on the people who make wild and insane claims about the nature of the man.

Prove to me that there is not a teapot orbiting Neptune. I believe there is a teapot there. Must you then act as though there is, to respect by absurd belief system? Of course not.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to derail the thread earlier. I was just trying to say that there are reasons other than mystical religious ones to have respect for the man (since someone above seemed to think he didn't warrant respect, or that he warranted respect only because he was a religious figurehead). Regardless, he is just a man, maybe not in the sense of "average joe" (neither is LeBron James, he is an amazing physical specimen who can do things 90 per cent of people could never do), but still; a human, a person.
posted by King Bee at 12:13 PM on June 17, 2011


by absurd belief = my absurd belief
posted by King Bee at 12:14 PM on June 17, 2011


Prove to me that there is not a teapot orbiting Neptune. I believe there is a teapot there. Must you then act as though there is, to respect by absurd belief system? Of course not.

There's a strawman here. No one's asking you to act as though HHDL is the 14th reincarnation of whatever. I doubt you could find a person in this thread who actually cares whether or not you believe it. However, you can choose NOT to believe and STILL respect those who do, because whether or not it's true has zero effect on your life.

You can believe in Neptune teapots all you like and it has no bearing on my life whatsoever. If it helps you get through the day and doesn't hurt anyone else, then great, I'm all for it.
posted by desjardins at 12:19 PM on June 17, 2011


That's exactly what I was saying above. The man should be respected, but you don't have to believe he's the 14th incarnation of anything to do it.
posted by King Bee at 12:22 PM on June 17, 2011


Why would it make sense for a mystic to think the burden of truth is on them?
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 12:24 PM on June 17, 2011


America may have invented something and called it a hamburger, but it bears about as much resemblance to the perfected Australian product as a flick knife does to a pig sticker.

I'll refrain from comment on the quality of Aussie pig stickers until I figure out what the hell they are, but having eaten hamburgers from both countries with some frequency and with loyalty to neither flag, I can tell you it would take some pretty intense and protracted operant conditioning before I'd ever choose the version served up in Brisbane or Melbourne over a medium rare burger from PJ Clarke's in Manhattan. Or, for that matter, over a burger from Fatburger or Five Guys up the highway from my place in Calgary.
posted by gompa at 12:30 PM on June 17, 2011


(There is not and never will be any call for a thick slice of beet on a burger. It's the kinder, gentler equivalent of the gag-reflex testing device that is vegemite. Sorry, Aussies, you're fooling no one but yourselves with that crap.)
posted by gompa at 12:32 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't spoil a delicious beet by shoving it in a burger and I sure as shit wouldn't spoil a burger by sticking a beet in it.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:34 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kiwi here. Love beetroot in the right burger. As for Vegemite, you're not supposed to spread it on as if it's peanut-butter!
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 12:35 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Soupisgoodfood: "As for Vegemite, you're not supposed to spread it on as if it's peanut-butter!"

Not until you get desensitised, at least. I spread my Marmite like jam.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:42 PM on June 17, 2011


Prove to me that there is not a teapot orbiting Neptune.

The question of whether there is or is not a teapot orbiting Neptune is far less important than how people decide to treat each other in spite of disagreements about religious belief.

That said, I cannot prove to you that there is not a teapot orbiting Neptune, but not for the reasons you might assume. It turns out that there is, in fact, a teapot orbiting Neptune and I know there is because I have personally conducted an extensive series of exhaustive and extremely well-documented scientific experiments over the last 100 years that have all shown conclusively that the teapot is there. My belief in the teapot is grounded in empirical evidence and the scientific method. You're free to disagree with my belief, but if you expect me to take you seriously, you're going to have to hold off on that disagreement until you have reviewed all of my calculations and data. If you dismiss my conclusions without your own personal analysis of my methodology and data, I'm afraid I have to dismiss your opinion as faith-based.
posted by The World Famous at 1:07 PM on June 17, 2011


That's exactly what I was saying above.

Dammit, King Bee, we're trying to have an argument here!
posted by desjardins at 1:15 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


a somewhat profane sense of humor also shows itself sometimes, even in things the ordained monks and lamas say.

As another data point, in my experience they are also some of the most musical people I've ever met. At this very moment there is a tiny 65 year old Rinpoche in the men's room down the hall from my office, singing happily to himself as he uses the restroom. This happens on average about 4x a day with various other Tibetan staff members.

posted by elizardbits at 1:24 PM on June 17, 2011


"You met one Dalai Llama, you've met them all."

That took me way too long to get that joke.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 1:29 PM on June 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've been going to private, Tibetan audiences with His Holiness for almost fifteen years. No media, no western converts, no English language....just His Holiness and his people.  He is capable of great and intense seriousness...something he does when the tiny, local Tibetan community comes together to listen to him. He is strong, stern, compassionate and concerned. 

Not all Tibetans are Buddhists. His Holiness acknowledges and embraces that. The indigenous religion of Tibet is not Buddhism. On Tuesday he endorsed science and skepticism as belief systems with a lot in common with Buddhism. He admires them.

As for a female rebirth...he has stated that it WILL happen. But when the Tibetans are ready for it....and I can tell you that from my perspective, they are not quite ready yet.

 I'm not a Buddhist and neither is my Tibetan husband. But we afford great respect to His Holiness as the, once political, and now religious/cultural head of his country in exile.

He laughs not because he is a moron, but rather that he does not have attachment and has perfected compassion....something I know I need to work on. And I suspect a few others do too.
posted by taff at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2011 [8 favorites]


As two wise men put it:

Fuck your mom, Fuck your mom's mamma, fuck the Beastie Boys and the Dalai Lama....
posted by jonmc at 5:18 PM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you thought I was bad here you should have heard me at the pub last night. And this was after singing American Idiot... I guess I wasn't joking.

Pineapple dosen't belong on pizza, beetroot does not belong on burgers, and Australian hot dogs are the one meat I will not eat. Vegimite is disgusting but meat pies and Tim Tams are good (not together).

I am planning on experiencing more of Australia, and by that I mean 'moving to Melbourne once the Annandale closes'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:43 PM on June 17, 2011


I cannot beleive the number of aussies in this thread spelling arse like yanks.

here, have a "cookie".
posted by wilful at 9:21 PM on June 17, 2011


And I slipped into Seppo a bit with my hamburger description, too. It's not a fried minced beef patty, it's a fried minced beef hamburger rissole. Sorry.
posted by flabdablet at 9:43 PM on June 17, 2011


The same for me in reverse. Cheese pizza. Pepperoni pizza. Cheese and pepperoni pizza. I'm all "this has GOT to be a bad joke!"

Yeah, I know that it's sacrilege to say this, but I was underwhelmed by NY pizza, and I must've tried at least half a dozen places, some randomly & some by reputation.

Part of the issue was exactly as described. There's something so very uninspiring about choosing between mushroom pizza, capsicum pizza or pepperoni; a bit like those Chinese restaurants that are all "chicken with oyster sauce, beef with oyster sauce, pork with oyster sauce" ad nauseam through every possible combination of meat + sauce.

I think the elaborate ones might've had maybe 3 ingredients, after which you start paying a few dollars apiece for "extras" like onions, olives or mushrooms, which doesn't work well if you like a good Mexicana or supreme loaded with different things.

And yeah, I get that the traditional Italian way is to only have a topping or two & ensure that the quality is top notch, but that's basically just a schism between old-school suburban vs older-school Italian, of which we have plenty of good examples as well.

"Gourmet" pizza is a fad I wish would go away, though. If I wanted to eat tandoori chicken or lamb souvlaki with tzatziki, I'd go to the local indian or yeeros place.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:53 PM on June 17, 2011


It's sort of interesting pattern i just picked up on where, when there is a post regarding 2 cultures and an awkward situation, there is an almost immediate "Racist!" default response

Yep. There's a certain type of person who finds it gleefully energizing to call things "racist," and this type of person is disproportionately likely to comment on Metafilter. It's a way to signal how deeply you feel about racism. Eventually, the word may become so watered down as to be meaningless.
posted by John Cohen at 5:27 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I know that it's sacrilege to say this, but I was underwhelmed by NY pizza, and I must've tried at least half a dozen places, some randomly & some by reputation.

I was similarly disappointed with Chicago pizza, after waiting to try it for almost twenty years. There are some problems to which more cheese is not a solution.
posted by vanar sena at 6:01 AM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


vanar sena: "There are some problems to which more cheese is not a solution."

I am shocked. Shocked!

I am the cookie monster, but with cheese.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:39 AM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Trying to figure out what beetroot could possibly be good for, if not on hamburgers. Baked potatoes? Dying shirts pink?
posted by Jimbob at 7:21 AM on June 18, 2011


Trying to figure out what beetroot could possibly be good for, if not on hamburgers.

Borscht, beet salad (with goat cheese, walnuts and citrus), pickled, just plain roasted... to name a few. Beets are delicious.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:25 AM on June 18, 2011


Juice. Pulverise it with carrot, apple & celery.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:49 PM on June 18, 2011


I just realized that my primary source for the fact now deeply-ingrained in my mind that "most Australians are racist" has been metafilter comments.
posted by tehloki at 3:31 PM on June 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


With all this talk of pizza and burgers, perhaps Dali Lama is the correct spelling.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 3:40 PM on June 18, 2011


Is there a thread even tangentially related to Australia or New Zealand that doesn't eventually settle down into an iteration of the argument about beet[root] on hamburgers?

(Delicious, by the by.)
posted by brennen at 10:31 PM on June 18, 2011


Even a McDonald's hamburger is more substantial than Channel 9's Today show.
posted by flabdablet at 1:44 AM on June 19, 2011


I've never tried a Pimm's anything, they sound amazing.
posted by tumid dahlia at 7:05 PM on June 19, 2011


Is there a thread even tangentially related to Australia or New Zealand that doesn't eventually settle down into an iteration of the argument about beet[root] on hamburgers?


Yer can't beat a root, mate.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:39 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there a thread even tangentially related to Australia or New Zealand that doesn't eventually settle down into an iteration of the argument about beet[root] on hamburgers?

Either beetroot on hamburgers or the (many) number of ways Australia has of killing you poisonous creatures.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:53 PM on June 19, 2011


What tourists don't realise is that Vegemite is first & foremost an effective deterrent against the venemous critters, and against sharks as well.

If you feel like a swim at the beach but are concerned about the box jellyfish, irukandji jellyfish, blue-ringed octopuses or many varieties of sharks, just smear your body all over with Vegemite as if you were applying sunscreen, and they won't touch you.

The only reason you won't see the locals doing this is that we've been eating it since birth, so the powerful protective compounds have been long-since absorbed into our skin.

PS - don't forget to rub zinc cream around your eyes and lips, as the Vegemite won't protect them against sunburn.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:38 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mike Carlton offers a more serious critique of the Dalai Lama:

"The starry-eyed idealists who believe the Dalai Lama to be goodness incarnate must be unaware of this puritan streak. His Holiness swans around the world on a cloud of adulation, much of it generated by an uncritical Western media.

Journalists who would not hesitate to take a stick to the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury for their failings report the Dalai Lama's giggly banalities with all the fawning solemnity of truth revealed. There is a curious notion in the West that Asian religions in general, and Tibetan Buddhism in particular, have reached an ethereal plane of spiritual perfection beyond the reach of the rest of us."
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:40 PM on June 19, 2011


Mike Carlton is a bit of a larrikin. Mistaking any of his output for "serious critique" is generally an error.
posted by flabdablet at 11:12 PM on June 19, 2011


I may just agree with him, though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:20 PM on June 19, 2011


Seems like another sad atheist with some sexual hang-ups.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 11:52 PM on June 19, 2011


I'll have you know that my sex life with Christopher Hitchens is both vigorous and mutually satisfying.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:07 AM on June 20, 2011


UbuRoivas: PS - don't forget to rub zinc cream around your eyes and lips, as the Vegemite won't protect them against sunburn.

You forgot to mention making a noise to scare off the sharks, et al. Sing something by Al Jolson perhaps. Or maybe the Jackson 5.
posted by GeckoDundee at 12:16 AM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


And remember that many shark attacks are made on surfers, because the sharks mistake them for big sea-turtles.

If that happens, blame it on the boogie board.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:30 AM on June 20, 2011


UbuRoivas clearly has no need for layers of Vegemite; a pun like that could drop a 5 meter saltie.
posted by GeckoDundee at 1:58 AM on June 20, 2011


The Dalai Lama seems like a nice enough guy, but the attention given to him always reminds me of Pratchett's Way of Mrs Cosmopolite. Wisdom seems wiser when it's coming from far away. You'd never get crowds that size if the Archbishop of Sydney toured Australia.
posted by harriet vane at 4:38 AM on June 20, 2011


The Archbishop of Sydney would have needed that joke explained as well.
posted by flabdablet at 5:20 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had a look at Pimm's in Uncle Dan's last night and it was fucking forty-four bucks a bottle! It's only 25%!
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:24 PM on June 20, 2011


Just wait until you find out what Grange Hermitage costs.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:29 PM on June 20, 2011


I already have a preferred box wine, thanks.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:34 PM on June 20, 2011


Life is suffering, suffering comes from the attachment. Buddhist theology or an engineer's description of a 4L Coolabah cask? I report, you decide.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:41 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have the same issue with Campari, and it's only $35-40 depending where you go.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 4:51 PM on June 20, 2011


Now that he's done the Today show, what do you reckon are the chances of getting His Holiness on Goon of Fortune?
posted by flabdablet at 6:08 PM on June 20, 2011


Buddhist theology or an engineer's description of a 4L Coolabah cask?

The Coolabah cask is the classic ouroboros of existential horror: I drink because I despair; I despair because I can only afford the cheapest possible wine. An alcoholic's catch-22, if you will, and worthy of investigation.
posted by tumid dahlia at 7:00 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why does every Australian thread turn into Australians taking the piss out of people who don't know about their country? It took me years to get a straight answer about drop bears.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:32 PM on June 20, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: 'It took me years to get a straight answer about drop bears.'

This is the sound of thousands of Australians simultaneously grinning.
posted by pseudonymph at 8:20 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Why does every Australian thread turn into Australians taking the piss out of people who don't know about their country?

Something to do while the "shrimp" is "barbieing".
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:49 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the wisdom stakes: Dalai Lama = Paris Hilton

Not being a troll. What the hell would he know about anything? He just regurgitates some stuff he read. Swanning around the world 1st class, bowing and giggling, shunted to the front of the line when he wants to speak to anyone, and everyone blows smoke up your ass.

Yeah, that'll keep you grounded and wise.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:51 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lovecraft In Brooklyn: 'It took me years to get a straight answer about drop bears.'

This is the sound of thousands of Australians simultaneously grinning.


Drop bears actually made it into the D20 Modern monster manual.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:59 PM on June 20, 2011


Coolabah? Bah, plebeians. I drink only the finest De Bortoli box wine (you know they're good because of the fancy Italian name)
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:30 PM on June 20, 2011


I hope that's the special reserve black box De Bortoli you're talking about there McGahan.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:33 PM on June 20, 2011


One would hope so tumid dahlia, but the old memory is a bit hazy due to too much fancy box wine to be absolutely sure.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 9:36 PM on June 20, 2011


LiB, I take it you've been properly brought up to date on hoop snakes?
posted by flabdablet at 9:45 PM on June 20, 2011


Because those are of course completely fictitious.

Unlike drop bears.
posted by flabdablet at 9:50 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yalumba 2ℓ goon casks - RESERVED selection.

Recognise.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:50 PM on June 20, 2011


I have to admit I'm more of a Banrock Station man myself.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:22 PM on June 20, 2011


Why would you drink wine out of a box? why was someone on Supernatural - someone most emphatically not Australian - doing that last night? why don't you just drink out of a bottle?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:28 PM on June 20, 2011


Why does every Australian thread turn into Australians taking the piss out of people who don't know about their country?

Because they keep begging us to.
posted by flabdablet at 10:38 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why would you drink wine out of a box?

1. Patriotism - the wine cask was an Australian invention.
2. Price - it's cheaper than buying the same wine in cleanskin bottles.
3. Practicality - ever tried playing Goon of Fortune with bottles tied to the hills hoist? It's downright dangerous!
4. Preemptiveness - empty goon bladders can be made into an impromptu liferaft in case of flash flooding.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:05 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


They're a bitch to drink out of at parties, though, and cleanskins are really cheap these days. And if you're looking to drink cheaply why not go for beer or cider? Wine is for when you have a bit of cash.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:08 PM on June 20, 2011


holy shit Goon of Fortune is a real thing with its own Wikipedia page. I've hung out with some trashbags since coming here but even I've never experianced that
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:09 PM on June 20, 2011


Wine is for when you have a bit of cash.

This is exactly wrong.
posted by pompomtom at 11:35 PM on June 20, 2011


5. Comfort - at the end of the night an empty goon sack can be used as pillow of sorts

They're a bitch to drink out of at parties

LiB, someone needs to introduce you to the drinking manoeuvre known as 'the layback'
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:41 PM on June 20, 2011


My local bottlo had 2x4L casks of Stanley for $20 the other day.

That's 8L x 14% = 1.12L of alcohol.

Compare a 6-pack of beer @ ~5%, the price of which is currently pushing almost $20:

6 x 375mL x 5% = 0.112L of alcohol.

Ergo, the goon is around 10x the bang for your buck.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:41 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


And people wonder why I bad-mouth Australian culture. The hills hoist and 'thong' costumes at the Olympics/Priscilla stage show were especially bad.

Nothing wrong with clotheslines and cheap booze, but everyone seems inordinately proud of them. You know what dries clothes? A clothes dryer.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:50 PM on June 20, 2011


And people wonder why I bad-mouth Australian culture.

No, they don't. They just have a different opinion to you about the reason.
posted by pompomtom at 11:59 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Clothesdryers are better as a handy all-in-one homebrew agitator & fermenter. As a bonus, they clean themselves once you've bottled a batch.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:02 AM on June 21, 2011


whoops, i was thinking of washing machines.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:03 AM on June 21, 2011


And if you're looking to drink cheaply why not go for beer or cider? Wine is for when you have a bit of cash.

Do you know what you're talking about?

Like the time here when I got into an argument about shop assistants having live sports on in the background. They were quite adamant and veracious... but then they let slip a few things and I had an aha moment - "this person doesn't even like sport, they just like arguing."
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:07 AM on June 21, 2011



And if you're looking to drink cheaply why not go for beer or cider? Wine is for when you have a bit of cash.

Do you know what you're talking about?


Huh? I was raised with the tiniest bit of class. Cheap beer can still taste good and get you drunk. Cheap liquor can still taste good and get you drunk. Cheap cider can still taste good and get you drunk. Cheap wine usually tastes much worse than good wine.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:12 AM on June 21, 2011


I find your American technological innovations completely baffling. I can't see how pegging bottles to a clothes dryer would work at all.
posted by flabdablet at 12:14 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was raised with the tiniest bit of class

You needn't feel bad; it doesn't show.
posted by flabdablet at 12:15 AM on June 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


6. Conservation. If you only want a glass at any one time, a cask of wine will last you weeks without oxidising into vinegar. So it's good for people who drink less as well! So people have told me.

I like the De Bortoli 2L Reserve merlot and shiraz in casks. They're better than a lot of cleanskins.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:18 AM on June 21, 2011


6. Conservation. If you only want a glass at any one time, a cask of wine will last you weeks without oxidising into vinegar.

Ah, that explains a quip on last night's Supernatural. Thanks!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:22 AM on June 21, 2011


Huh? I was raised with the tiniest bit of class. Cheap beer can still taste good and get you drunk. Cheap liquor can still taste good and get you drunk. Cheap cider can still taste good and get you drunk. Cheap wine usually tastes much worse than good wine.

I'll give you "huh?" Balarrdy hell.

Now you're bringing in a completely new factor that wasn't in your original statement: taste.

IMO cheap beer tastes bad. Some cheap wine tastes baaaaad. That's another good reason to avoid cleanskins. It's a lucky dip weather or not you get the nuclear waste.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:35 AM on June 21, 2011


Or you can save wine for special occasions. What fulfills that role? 'Champers'?

This thread started out with religion and racism and ended up with an argument over how to get drunk the fastest. Pretty much a metaphor for my experience here... started off pretentious and ended up sitting on milk crates drinking in alleyways. Such an awesome culture.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:47 AM on June 21, 2011


Such an awesome culture.

You're getting the hang of it. Good one.
posted by bystander at 1:22 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have no idea whether or not you're being sarcastic.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:23 AM on June 21, 2011


7. Goon sacks weigh a lot less than bottles, so if you go camping you can carry four adults' worth of wine a lot easier, without worrying about broken glass, as long as you're reasonably careful about pointy items. (Come to think of it, I haven't done this in Australia - just the US.)

As to price and taste - well, I'm no fancypants oenologist, but I could hook you up with a really excellent bottle of wine (or two good ones) at my bottie for that same $20 Ubu has you spending on a gallon of Stanley. Cheap wine might suck in Sydney, but out here in SA, moderately-priced bottles can be outstanding.
posted by gingerest at 1:30 AM on June 21, 2011


I have no idea whether or not you're being sarcastic

You're getting the hang of it. Good one.
posted by flabdablet at 1:32 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This brings me back to my original point. The culture is all about jokes and insincerity and winking and seemingly good humor that hides a core of mockery. Which actually works pretty well for the Internet but is inappropriate when dealing with world religious leaders, weighty issues, or blackface.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:35 AM on June 21, 2011


LiB, we're running out of polite, good-humoured ways to say 'Your way is not the One, True, Right way'.

Sincerely, please cut the constant derailing fuckery out.
posted by pseudonymph at 1:56 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Speaking of derails and blackface. Australian comedian Chris Lilley is the darling of TV critics and the public alike. He can do no wrong. He appears in blackface for at least one character that I've seen. His shows air ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RUN TV STATION.

Yet we had this shitstorm.

People are idiots [he also does the slitty-eyed thang when he plays Asian characters].
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:34 AM on June 21, 2011


Australian comedian Chris Lilley is the darling of TV critics and the public alike. He can do no wrong.

Have you even watched an episode of Angry Boys? As one reviewer wrote, "It may be good satire, but it sure as hell isn't funny"
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:50 AM on June 21, 2011


They're a bitch to drink out of at parties, though, and cleanskins are really cheap these days.

Okay, this is how dad did things. When throwing a party he would always buy a couple of bottles of decent wine and a shitload of casks. The casks never appeared; they were always hidden in the pantry. When a bottle was empty dad would enlist me or one of my siblings to 'open another one'. This meant scuttling off to the pantry and refilling the bottle from the cask.

No-one ever noticed. By the time they had a glass of wine in them they were so pleasantly buzzed that any decline in quality went totally under the radar. All anyone ever knew was that dad apparently had an endless supply of good wine.

The culture is all about jokes and insincerity and winking and seemingly good humor that hides a core of mockery.

The Australian author Frank Hardy remarked upon this from time to time. NO IRONY You might like his work. /NO IRONY.
posted by Ritchie at 3:14 AM on June 21, 2011


uncanny hengeman: "He appears in blackface for at least one character that I've seen. His shows air ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RUN TV STATION."

While I can't think of a recent show that contained blackface, the BBC have a rather unpleasant habit of putting out comedy shows full of LOLGAYS, LOLDISABLED, LOLMEXICANS, and so on. Plus there are a few comedians who seem to be able to say whatever they like, and if called on it the Beeb just babbles about "equal opportunity offensiveness". I think they've actually got worse in recent years because they have more channels to fill with shite.

I wouldn't use it to argue that the UK is racist, homophobic and anti-disabled, but rather as proof that the BBC are a bunch of inconstant wankers.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:15 AM on June 21, 2011


Hey it's almost time for that SBS reality show where we send the refugees back where they came from!
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:28 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Have you even watched an episode of Angry Boys? As one reviewer wrote, "It may be good satire, but it sure as hell isn't funny"

Good for you, sizzlechest. Not funny. Got it. But that's not the point of my comment and you know it. ArmyOfKittens nails it. Replace "BBC" with Metafilter, and put "wankers" in all caps.

;)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:30 AM on June 21, 2011


This thread started out with religion and racism and ended up with an argument over how to get drunk the fastest.

No it bloody didn't.

It started with a flat joke by a morning show host, and then had YOU come in, without even watching the bloody clip, and accuse all Australians of racism. Again.

'Christ, what an arsehole' indeed.
posted by pompomtom at 3:38 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Possibly just a case of mik crate bum.
posted by flabdablet at 4:08 AM on June 21, 2011


put "wankers" in all caps

I thought they wear fedoras...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:09 AM on June 21, 2011




*winds string*
posted by pompomtom at 4:22 AM on June 21, 2011


put "wankers" in all caps

I've got a beret. No, seriously. I wear it when I go out in Newtown. Haters, hate.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:57 AM on June 21, 2011


Is that when you're electioneering?

Newsflash: it's not working for you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:59 AM on June 21, 2011


Would pointing and laughing be good enough?
posted by pompomtom at 5:01 AM on June 21, 2011


Not being a troll. What the hell would he know about anything? He just regurgitates some stuff he read. Swanning around the world 1st class, bowing and giggling, shunted to the front of the line when he wants to speak to anyone, and everyone blows smoke up your ass.

Yeah, that'll keep you grounded and wise.


He still appears more wise than you.

Not being a troll or anything...
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 5:11 AM on June 21, 2011


Newsflash: it's not working for you

Racist.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:18 AM on June 21, 2011


Fiasco! Sshhh! There are foreigners about!
posted by flabdablet at 5:22 AM on June 21, 2011


Bugger me, I know the conversation's moved on a bit, but cheap beer tastes good? I'd drink home-distilled vodka before I'd drink another Emu Export or Swan Gold again. Or, god forbid, VB ::shudder::

And this is coming from someone who was pretty damn grateful for a XXXX once, and has drunk mystery punch out of a bin with a straw.

I'm revealing too much, aren't I?
posted by harriet vane at 5:35 AM on June 21, 2011


I'll see your mystery punch in a bin, and raise you a longneck poured into a used gumboot with floating cheezels. And if you are disrespectful to our industrial-grade Green Medicine again, I shall fight you.

On reflection: maybe goon is the classy option.
posted by flabdablet at 5:41 AM on June 21, 2011


Right. If I'm going to complete my customary Winter Solstice midnight dip in the Tambo River, I'd best be off. Be kind to each other while I'm away.
posted by flabdablet at 6:23 AM on June 21, 2011


Not being a troll. What the hell would he know about anything? He just regurgitates some stuff he read. Swanning around the world 1st class, bowing and giggling, shunted to the front of the line when he wants to speak to anyone, and everyone blows smoke up your ass.

Okay, so I understand someone declaring themselves not a troll is often a huge red flag that they are in fact a troll, but I mean, come on. Maybe go read a little bit about the history of Tibet and the Tibetan diaspora and get back to us before protesting you aren't a troll with glib comments like this?

The Dalai Lama the reluctant world leader of a region, once an independent nation, whose cities were militarily occupied by the Chinese army 60-odd years ago. He's mostly managed to advocate to other Tibetans a pacifist stance regarding that invasion that probably kept the Tibetans who didn't flee to India or elsewhere from being slaughtered wholesale, and he has lobbied for decades for other nations to recognize the plight of displaced and / or oppressed Tibetans, and for a Taiwan-like autonomy for Tibet, which advocacy has been difficult and not very successful because of the Cold War and China's immense economic influence in the West. At the same time he is constantly giving both introductory and in-depth lectures on Buddhism, ranging from general ethical discussions for non-Buddhists to detailed practical instruction in advanced and obscure meditation techniques and interpretations of ancient texts, as well as encouraging and sponsoring dialogues between Buddhist leaders and leaders both of other religions and the scientific community.
posted by aught at 7:50 AM on June 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


And this is coming from someone who was pretty damn grateful for a XXXX once, and has drunk mystery punch out of a bin with a straw.

Heh. B&S Balls.
posted by Jimbob at 8:13 AM on June 21, 2011


Operation Shrunken Parts is a no-go this year :-(

Log trucks have turned the access track to my favourite swimming hole into a bog I can't get my little car through, and the current at the other swimming hole looks way too fast for safety. Not as fast as it was in 2007 by any means, but still too fast for me.

Never mind. The point was to note the passing of the longest night of the year, and that's done. Happy getting-longer days to all.
posted by flabdablet at 8:23 AM on June 21, 2011


Longest night? You don't know what the longest night is. Here in Tassie, this morning, I left for work at 7:45 AM and I could still see stars in the sky, and I got home at 4:30 and the sun was long, long gone.

I'm gonna go have some more mulled wine.
posted by Jimbob at 8:31 AM on June 21, 2011


I think I'll have a beer.
posted by h00py at 8:39 AM on June 21, 2011


I'd drink home-distilled vodka before I'd drink another Emu Export or Swan Gold again

Those two are pretty bad, but come on, everyone. XXXX and VB aren't even towards the lower end of Australasia's worst beers. XXXX Gold should be listed with dishonours, for a start. Hahn Ice? Super Dry? Carlton Cold? Pure Blonde? Those are just boxes to tick on the way to involuntary regurgitation.

Toohey's New is worse than any of the majors by far and the enduring abomination that is West End still wakes me up shivering in the night. (I know people who list either Tooheys Red or Reschs as the worsts of all, but I spent a lot of my early adolescence drinking them by the longneck in parks so I'll recuse myself from judgement due to nostalgia bias).

Crown Lager should get a mention just by itself as worthy of particular and special deprecation. What an insipid, hateful, worthless grey liquid that garbage is. Just the fact that it's marketed as "premium" should be grounds for national shame and a Prime Ministerial apology in twenty years or so.

And that's just this side of the Tasman. The various Monteith's are mediocrities in search of an excuse, and once you get into Speight's and Tui you're entering a new dimension in shitty, shitty beer.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:05 PM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Disagree. Monteiths' Winter Ale (actually, a doppelbock) is great for the colder weather, and packs a punch at 6.5%. Shame it's so hard to find.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:09 PM on June 21, 2011


That's a beautiful set of numbers, Ubu. With a recommendation like that I might have to get past prejudice borne of drinking their Golden Lager and Original Ale which are, frankly, piss.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:15 PM on June 21, 2011


Fiasco can have some marks for not even hinting that Foster's might in some quarters be mistaken for beer.

I'm rather partial to the Grand Ridge Brewery's rather more robust numbers. How does 8.5% strike you? What about 11%?
posted by flabdablet at 6:35 PM on June 21, 2011


I've had their Hatlifter Stout, flabdablet and I did, indeed, doff my beret. Yum.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:38 PM on June 21, 2011


I don't know who described VB as cheap beer, but locally I'm paying more for it that plenty of euro lagers. Same with New. I don't mind the occasional Old, though.
posted by bystander at 6:40 PM on June 21, 2011


And I had a Mountain Goat Steam Ale the other day. Very nice it was, if you like the US style pale ales.
posted by bystander at 6:42 PM on June 21, 2011


West End is scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as I'm concerned. I did drink a can of it once when I was on acid and really, really fucking thirsty.

VB I actually find tolerable, as long as it's really, really, really cold.

Toohey's Old, however, I won't hear a word said against.
posted by Jimbob at 6:47 PM on June 21, 2011


+1 for Old, and a shoutout to Southwark Stout.

(also, I wonder how many people have removed this thread from their Recent Activity?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:52 PM on June 21, 2011


Toohey's Old, however, I won't hear a word said against

Agreed, Jimbob. I've also been enjoying White Rabbit which is a bourgeois fancy-label, Euro-bottle dark ale.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:52 PM on June 21, 2011


The Dalai Lama the reluctant world leader of a region, once an independent nation, whose cities were militarily occupied by the Chinese army 60-odd years ago. He's mostly managed to advocate to other Tibetans a pacifist stance regarding that invasion that probably kept the Tibetans who didn't flee to India or elsewhere from being slaughtered wholesale, and he has lobbied for decades for other nations to recognize the plight of displaced and / or oppressed Tibetans, and for a Taiwan-like autonomy for Tibet, which advocacy has been difficult and not very successful because of the Cold War and China's immense economic influence in the West. At the same time he is constantly giving both introductory and in-depth lectures on Buddhism, ranging from general ethical discussions for non-Buddhists to detailed practical instruction in advanced and obscure meditation techniques and interpretations of ancient texts, as well as encouraging and sponsoring dialogues between Buddhist leaders and leaders both of other religions and the scientific community.

Most of that reply has nothing to do with what I said. His country got invaded? Great. So that makes you wise? Yibbida yibbida.

He's lived a life of privilege since the day dot. Gives lectures on advanced meditation? Oooooh. How wise. Encouraging dialogue? What a champ! That takes brains.

He has lobbied for decades? Yet his country is fucked. Maybe that's because he was such a vacuous giggling robed rube that he didn't get his point across? Whatever it was, it didn't work.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:54 PM on June 21, 2011


way to derail the conversation, unco.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:50 PM on June 21, 2011


Sorry. We were talking about piss.

Tried a Wahoo beer the other day. Tasted nice [I like quaffable beers, not tasty beers]. Agreed on the Crown comments, although I wouldn't say it's disgusting. But way way waaaay overpriced.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:06 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Crown thing reeks of a price point / snob marketing move.

I coulda sworn they weren't that much more expensive than basic beers a few years ago. I was in a bottle-o the other day and I spotted them at 20 farking bucks for a six pack. What a joke.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:10 PM on June 21, 2011


Crownies are marketed and priced towards a very specific market; CUBs. I've got no problem with people drinking cheap piss. I've got no problem with people drinking boutique piss if that's what they're into. But the greatest trick Carlton & United Beverages ever pulled was making people pay premium price for Crown Lager.

Holy shit, just realized that Carlton & United Beverages's acronym is also CUB. It was meant to be.
posted by Jimbob at 9:26 PM on June 21, 2011


Oh and yeah, it's impressive that the same brewery that produces West End Draught, can also produce the subtle tipple that is Southwark Black Ale.
posted by Jimbob at 9:39 PM on June 21, 2011


I pretty much just drink bourbon and coke, Coopers Green, and cider. Had some Jim Beam Black recently, but I can't afford to consistantly drink at that level.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:55 PM on June 21, 2011


I've also been enjoying White Rabbit which is a bourgeois fancy-label, Euro-bottle dark ale.

I went to the brewery the other weekend. They also do a nice white.

(as to Montieths? I'll have a VB any day, ta....)
posted by pompomtom at 10:13 PM on June 21, 2011


He's lived a life of privilege since the day dot. Gives lectures on advanced meditation? Oooooh. How wise. Encouraging dialogue? What a champ! That takes brains.

Spoken like someone who has no clue as to what the Dalai Lama is really like. Ever read one of his books? Ever done research on meditation? Ever had 1000's of people looking to you for hope and leadership because your country was invaded by communists who think that which is most important to you and your people is delusional? Ever been through all that, and at the end of the day, can still have a good laugh and feel compassion for people? Didn't think so. But hey, it's so hip to be against religious leaders these days.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 10:39 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get a Crownie inya.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:44 AM on June 22, 2011


bourbon and coke, Coopers Green, and cider

Jesus Christ, you're complaining about the cost of decent beer and this is what you drink, LiB? Sounds like the joke about the Australian cricket team's whiskey tour of Scotland---Laphroaig and coke, Glenmorangie and coke, Talisker and coke, Oban and coke, etc.

I know a guy with a beer sugar tooth like yours who used to put lime juice or grenadine in Tooheys Old to add sweetness. Of course the grenadine made him look like his gums were bleeding but I'm told it was a popular 1960s-1970s thing. That, and Stone's Ginger Wine as a chaser, or rum in Queensland.

Man, teenagers these days. I can't understand people who buy those UDL premix cans. Just buy a litre bottle of rum and a plastic bottle of Coke, you lazy bums. Or HTFU and splurge on a decent cask.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 1:26 AM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know a guy with a beer sugar tooth like yours who used to put lime juice or grenadine in Tooheys Old to add sweetness.

I know a girl like that too. The worst was the one who mixed orange juice with white wine. Eww.

It's not liking I'm drinking expensive bourbon yet.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:41 AM on June 22, 2011


Or HTFU and splurge on a decent cask.

Personally, I'm disturbed by those (relatively) new casks of premixed vodka sweetie drinks, pretending to be Cosmopolitans in cardboard, that seem to have sprung up in response to the alcopop tax.

Government ups taxes on alcopops? Economies of scale are your answer!
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:58 AM on June 22, 2011


I remember back in the days before digital photography you could occasionally buy developing fluid and fixer in casks. It made technical sense because developer reacts with air (the other way to keep it from going off was to use special squeezy concertina bottles). On the other hand, poison in a cask. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 2:14 AM on June 22, 2011


People would discover that it tastes better than the competition?
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:22 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been getting into cocktails lately, because they've finally let Perth have some decent bartenders. Honey-Barbara knows where all the good places are.

But if any of you are ever out west, we do have the full range of casks to treat you to, and plenty of Hills Hoists.
posted by harriet vane at 5:19 AM on June 22, 2011


For a conversation about the Dalai Lama, there sure is a lot of booze talk around here.
posted by Think_Long at 6:17 AM on June 22, 2011


LOLdrunkenaussielongboat
posted by Horselover Phattie at 6:45 AM on June 22, 2011


So that makes you wise? Yibbida yibbida.

This, for the benefit of our overseas cousins, is a debating tactic is known as the Rex Hunt Ploy. It's a risky manoevre, devastatingly effective in the hands of a skilled master; when (as here) deployed with insufficient finesse, it merely leaves the perpetrator looking like a complete Rex Hunt.
posted by flabdablet at 7:00 AM on June 22, 2011


For a conversation about the Dalai Lama, there sure is a lot of booze talk around here.

You can't say it's not going a helluva lot better as a booze thread.
posted by brennen at 7:18 AM on June 22, 2011


So this engineering student walks into a bar and says make me one with everything...
posted by flabdablet at 8:06 AM on June 22, 2011


For a conversation about the Dalai Lama, there sure is a lot of booze talk around here.

For what it's worth, Tibetans call their home-brew barley beer "chang."
posted by aught at 8:23 AM on June 22, 2011


Most of that reply has nothing to do with what I said. His country got invaded? Great. So that makes you wise? Yibbida yibbida. He's lived a life of privilege since the day dot. Gives lectures on advanced meditation? Oooooh. How wise. Encouraging dialogue? What a champ! That takes brains. He has lobbied for decades? Yet his country is fucked. Maybe that's because he was such a vacuous giggling robed rube that he didn't get his point across? Whatever it was, it didn't work.

Whoa! Good luck getting that bug out of your ass.
posted by aught at 8:31 AM on June 22, 2011


For what it's worth, Tibetans call their home-brew barley beer "chang."

Just like in Tintin in Tibet, where his little Chinese friend is also called Chang, leading to some amusing mixups.

I got myself quite drunk on chang once in Gangtok, capital of the semi-autonomous Indian hill-state of Sikkim (the poor man's Bhutan), which is ethnoreligiously mainly Tibetan Buddhist - they had agreed to be tacked onto India in 1975, as they were wedged in between India & China, and the former I guess seemed like the lesser of two evils, in light of what had happened in Tibet.

The chang I had was milky & slightly frothy, a bit sour, and served in a tall bamboo mug shaped like a German stein glass. It was warm, as it's made in a just-in-time process that has it fermenting for a couple of days, then just before serving it was topped up with warm water, and then drunk through a bamboo straw.

I nursed my hangover the next day at the nearby Rumtek Monastery - spiritual home of the Karma Kagyu lineage, and seat of the Karmapa. Or rather, disputed seat of the two people claiming to be the 17th Karmapa.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:04 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bruce Chatwin? Is that you?
posted by Jimbob at 2:11 PM on June 22, 2011


My father-in-law used to make it. It's just dreadful stuff. For Losar (Tibetan New Year) they boil it up with sugar and throw sweet biscuits (kapsis) in to it. NOTHING improves chang.
posted by taff at 6:01 PM on June 22, 2011


Best Australian beer is 3 Ravens okay?

And one does not drink from a goon. Who the fuck does that? Try a cup!
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:48 PM on June 22, 2011


Also lol @ the suggestion to use a clothes dryer instead of a hills hoist. Soooo American. "THROW SOME COAL-GENERATED ENERGY AT IT INSTEAD OF USING SUNSHINE FOR FREE!" I guess people in the States don't leave their clothes on the line because of the fear it will be stolen by gunslingers.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:50 PM on June 22, 2011 [5 favorites]




Also lol @ the suggestion to use a clothes dryer instead of a hills hoist. Soooo American. "THROW SOME COAL-GENERATED ENERGY AT IT INSTEAD OF USING SUNSHINE FOR FREE!" I guess people in the States don't leave their clothes on the line because of the fear it will be stolen by gunslingers.


It rains. Birds poop on clothes. Clothes hung on lines are not warm and fresh like clothes from dryers. Hanging clothes on the line is primative - it is a thing our cave-dwelling ancestors did. Then again, a country that still uses coal instead of nuclear knows all about things like this.

Again, a discussion on religion and humor and culture ended up with all the resident Australians arguing over how to get drunk the cheapest. My point is proved.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:55 PM on June 22, 2011


A young man came to the gate of a city. He asked the old man on guard there what kind of people were inside the walls. The old man asked "What kind of people were in the village you came from?"
"Why, they were selfish and greedy and unfriendly!" said the young man.
"Well, the people in this city are much the same." replied the old guard.
"I knew it!" huffed the younger man, and stomped off back into the desert.
Another young man came up and asked "Old sir! What kind of people are in this city?"
Again the old guard asked "What kind of people were in the village you came from?"
"Why," said the young man "they were all kind and generous to me, and quick to return a smile when I smiled at them."
"You will find that the people here are much the same." said the old man.
The youth went in and found it was true.
posted by flabdablet at 7:37 PM on June 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


tumid dahlia: I guess people in the States don't leave their clothes on the line because of the fear it will be stolen by gunslingers.

I don't know what it is about this phrase that has me giggling so much, but there it is.

'Stolen by gunslingers!', hissed dramatically, might be my new go-to response for any given question at boring dinner parties.
posted by pseudonymph at 8:12 PM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


No no no. When an American says "use a clothes dryer", what they really mean is Francisco, the Guatemalan who lives on a mattress in the garage and hangs laundry out to dry on his own arms.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:16 PM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Racist.
posted by flabdablet at 8:23 PM on June 22, 2011


Again, a discussion on religion and humor and culture ended up with all the resident Australians arguing over how to get drunk the cheapest. My point is proved.

I wish I could get drunk as cheap as you talk!
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:32 PM on June 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess people in the States don't leave their clothes on the line because of the fear it will be stolen by gunslingers.

A Facebook friend posted an urgent message about some stolen horses. I shared it with some Red Dead Redemption jokes but quickly realized said FB friend lived out in the bush, and they were serious. Not my proudest moment.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:36 PM on June 22, 2011


and since we're on the booze subject, they busted the beer barons
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:37 PM on June 22, 2011


Yeah, well, since there's no longer going to be any reason to stay up late, then there's no longer any need for that third slab of Jimmy & Coke.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:42 PM on June 22, 2011


"THROW SOME COAL-GENERATED ENERGY AT IT INSTEAD OF USING SUNSHINE FOR FREE!"

Bloody banana bender... it's wind what dries clothes... cold, cold, relentless wind...
posted by pompomtom at 8:57 PM on June 22, 2011


Oh, sure, if you like the clothing you keep furthest upwind to be drenched in the blasted-off water molecules from downwind.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:11 PM on June 22, 2011


Add more wind. We have lots. You can have some if you want. Please, take it away....
posted by pompomtom at 9:34 PM on June 22, 2011


Who the fuck is antisocial enough to use clothesdryers by default, anyway, instead of allowing nature to do the job? Seriously, fuck.

I've only ever been in that situation once, in a share household. Initially we were thrilled to find that the place included a clothesdryer. "Now if there's a rainy weekend, we can still do our laundry" we naively told each other.

Then, the electricity wars began.

Our first power bill came in, and it was much more than expected. The accusations started flying, as to who was using all the power, and the dryer was quickly identified as the focal point in the battle. After all, we shared the fridge, took similar length showers, and it was summer so heaters couldn't be to blame.

Everybody became suspicious that the others were using the dryer more than them, and as the bill was always split evenly, we each started upping our individual dryer usage, for fear of being ripped off or subsidising others' laziness.

Eventually, we were using the dryer for everything, so where to go from there? Smaller loads. The one who used the dryer the most was obviously the winner in the bill battle, so it became more & more common to come home & find the dryer churning away, with just a handful of socks in it. "I needed some clean socks for work tomorrow" a housemate would say dryly, sipping at his beer & turning back to the cricket.

"OK, but I'm putting a pair of underpants in the washer now, so I'm next in line"

"Sure, whatever. Put your name on the chalkboard. Oh, but I think Bluey & Davo got in before you anyway..."

Eventually, the drier conked out, after having been run almost continuously around the clock, exhausting not only itself, but also all of our individual finances.

We were forced to revert to the clothesline, which was more effort, but at least now it took less than 3 whole weeks to get through a single basket of washing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:41 PM on June 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


It takes longer to hang clothes, though, because of rain and wind and such. And though I live with other people its not a share house - I don't know or trust the people I live with. It also seems very primitive. Besides the practicalities, I don't understand the pride Australians feel in the Hills Hoise.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:50 PM on June 22, 2011


Francisco, the Guatemalan who lives on a mattress in the garage and hangs laundry out to dry on his own arms.

True - Australia locks up & deports illegals; America relies on them for cheap domestic work; the modern-day solution against the emancipation of slaves.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:53 PM on June 22, 2011


In my defense I'm not exactly proud of the Hills Hoist, like I am of my enormous knob, but it's certainly a very handy thing. Like my enormous knob.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:15 PM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah but it must hurt to peg a bunch of socks along the length of it to leave in the sun, TD.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 10:20 PM on June 22, 2011


Especially when you get the peg right on one of the veins.
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:31 PM on June 22, 2011


the modern-day solution
posted by flabdablet at 10:38 PM on June 22, 2011


There are rails?
posted by flabdablet at 10:39 PM on June 22, 2011


I don't know or trust the people I live with.

That must...have impacts.
posted by bystander at 12:55 AM on June 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


It also seems very primitive

Primitive? What the fuck? I guess we should stop growing the wheat used to make your bread out in fields, too...after all, birds poop on it, there's all sorts of bugs and things crawling all over it, it sits in DIRT. I assume you'd suggest we grow all food hydroponically in clean rooms, with big fuck off 1000w sodium lamps hovering overhead. Much less primitive.

We don't get many dry, sunny days in Hobart this time of year, so I am often forced to use the dryer. But when it is sunny and I can hang the clothes on the line, I do so with joy that my clothes are being dried for free using the amazing evaporative power of nuclear fusion from the core of the sun, instead of by an ugly, noisy, power-hungry machine with a lint filter to clean. Primitive, I know.
posted by Jimbob at 1:23 AM on June 23, 2011


I've always secretly wanted to beat the shit out of my washing - as they do in India - against a big block of sandstone installed in my backyard for that purpose, and then lay it out flat on the ground to dry (India again).
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:39 AM on June 23, 2011


Speaking of which, this should get somebody's OMG RACIST hackles up.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:45 AM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hee! I remember that ad. Love it.
posted by tumid dahlia at 1:49 AM on June 23, 2011


I guess we should stop growing the wheat used to make your bread out in fields, too...after all, birds poop on it, there's all sorts of bugs and things crawling all over it, it sits in DIRT.

That is correct. Dirt is gross.
posted by flabdablet at 2:06 AM on June 23, 2011


Lol, clothes dryers. Clothes dried outdoors smell great without having to add some kind of fakey 'pine tree' scent to the washing. And if they get stiff, that's cos you waited too long to bring them in - do it while they're still just a tiny weeny hint damp. If you know how to hang clothes, it only takes a couple of minutes, it's hardly a difficult chore.

I dislike noisy, clunky, power-chewing clothes dryers so much I got a drying rack for the handful of days in Perth where the weather's not nice enough to hang my clothes outdoors. (It's a D-Rack, Aussie invention by a lovely chappie and his wife who sent the friendliest emails when I ordered it online). Whereas you'll pry my dishwasher from my cold, dead, entirely unchapped hands.

People like Hills Hoists because they're fun. Apart from Goon of Fortune, you can swing on them like a monkey or sit up top like it's a merry-go-round. You can make a tent or gazebo thingy by draping a sheet over the top. Check YouTube for hours of Hills-Hoist-related entertainment. I wish our yard had room for one, we've only got one of those crappy fold-out versions.

You sure you're not an agoraphobic, LiB? Not everything outdoors is evil. Some of it is fucking awesome.
posted by harriet vane at 3:57 AM on June 23, 2011


You can make a tent or gazebo thingy by draping a sheet over the top.

Mine's got a bunch of Tibetan prayer flags - partially used to stop anybody from accidentally hanging whites on a rusty line obviously put in once by a DIY-er who had no idea about the distinction between ferrous v non-rusting metal wire.

I'm still trying to work out how to string up some fairy lights while allowing the hoist to swing around in the breeze, but the breeze is nevertheless handy for the filipino (bamboo) and burmese (brass) wind chimes.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:56 AM on June 23, 2011


It also seems very primitive.

This is like saying that you prefer being made to breathe by a respirator, because unassisted breathing is 'primitive'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:46 AM on June 23, 2011


I have been seduced by the convenience of the dryer although I have a perfectly situated Hills Hoist a mere few steps up from the laundry. Primitive? Good lord, man. Think before you type! Clothes dried in the sun and wind and taken off the line at just the right time are lovely and they smell better. The dryer is seductive, I know, but seriously. Line drying is better. Just because it's time-honoured doesn't mean that the alternative is somehow a step beyond. Dryers mostly appeal (apart from people who don't have access to an outdoor line) to lazy people who are in denial about their electricity bills.
posted by h00py at 6:17 AM on June 23, 2011


I'm still trying to work out how to string up some fairy lights while allowing the hoist to swing around in the breeze

LED string and motorcycle battery?
posted by flabdablet at 9:17 AM on June 23, 2011


h00py: " Dryers mostly appeal (apart from people who don't have access to an outdoor line) to lazy people who are in denial about their electricity bills."

Also, people who appear to have personal grievances against the sun.
posted by vanar sena at 12:08 PM on June 23, 2011


I'm still trying to work out how to string up some fairy lights while allowing the hoist to swing around in the breeze

We have some with a little solar panel and battery that would work. They light up for a couple of hours after sunset. About $10 at Kmart at Xmas time.
posted by bystander at 2:46 PM on June 23, 2011


little solar panel and battery

Funny; I've actually got some of these in the garden as well. Somehow I had it stuck in my head that the Hills Hoist had to be connected up to the mains, through some kind of brush-and-commutator to connect the swiveling part with the fixed part. Clearly simultaneously overthinking & underthinking the solution.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:54 PM on June 23, 2011


It also seems very primitive.

This is like saying that you prefer being made to breathe by a respirator, because unassisted breathing is 'primitive'.


You're joking, but I'd be first in line for Cyberconversion/Borgification.


I don't know or trust the people I live with.

That must...have impacts.


Don't call DOCS just yet. Blame it on the weird Sydney rental market.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:29 PM on June 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never actually heard it called a Hills Hoist, but I remember seeing the design all over New Zealand. Clever idea in a small back yard. Less common here in the US, I think, where it seems like most of the one-pole rotary racks I see are kind of flimsy and broken. My guess is that at about the last point where novel technologies in clotheslines started to spread, people were transitioning en masse to the dryer and most of them never really got the kinks worked out.

Then again, maybe it's more complicated than that. I want someone to have written a massive, exhaustively researched Petroski-style history of the clothesline.
posted by brennen at 11:13 PM on June 23, 2011


My neighbours are of retirement age. I was helping with some gardening and asked about a water pipe with some rusted gears on top in the middle of the lawn. Apparently, there used to be hills hoist style clothes lines that were motorised via mains water power to spin round and around, assisting in drying the clothes.
"Didn't that waste a lot of water?" I asked.
"We didn't worry about things like that in those days."
posted by bystander at 1:59 AM on June 24, 2011


I had no idea about the water-assisted ones. Wow. I really would read a history of the clothesline, it seems. Or at least an FPP about them.
posted by harriet vane at 2:54 AM on June 24, 2011


My paternal grandmother had one of those water-powered hoists. It didn't use water pressure to spin itself, just to do the lifting; there was no turbine inside, just a hydraulic ram. It saved all that hard handle-cranking work, at the cost of maybe ten litres of water for each up and down cycle.
posted by flabdablet at 4:46 AM on June 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


We didn't worry about things like that in those days

What a difference another four billion people make.
posted by flabdablet at 4:57 AM on June 24, 2011 [2 favorites]


I revise my opinion of Monteith's; at Ubu's suggestion I bought half a dozen Winter Ale/Doppelbocks and I'm into my second. That's really nice beer.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:13 AM on June 29, 2011


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