Haught Take: Sponke the monkey

sponke the monkey

Yesterday, people in parts of western and south-western Sydney were exposed to a brochure telling readers “Do not vote Labor” and listing a series of reasons relating to “protecting” families, masturbation and homosexuality

The advertising became instantly notorious for this dire warning: “DO NOT VOTE FOR LABOR IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO SPONKE THEIR MONKEYS”.

No person or organisation put their name to the propaganda, but Haught can exclusively reveal exactly how the above flyer came to be:


Read the rest
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My email to the Marriage Equality Straw Man

by Haught 0 Comments

marriage equality straw man

Dear Marriage Equality Straw Man,

I have it on good authority that you are being very rude to a group of people who have done not the slightest thing to deserve your animus. 

These people – I’d call them my clients, but I’m working on their behalf without payment or even consent, so that’s probably a very small step too far – merely wish to exercise their democratic right. Their right to deny others rights. 

And dignity. 

And a sense of equality, and so feeling of belonging in society. 

How dare you roll your eyes at their beliefs. How dare you scoff at their values. How dare you spit at their feet just before they lycra up and get sweaty with their cycling chums. How dare you drown out their voices by firing rainbow Kalashnikovs into the sky whenever they begin to proffer their opinion and by sending a glitter-encrusted wrecking ball through the spires and minarets of their places of worship whenever they mention their religious convictions… … Read the rest

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The Haught guide to learning fast

The kodiak bear, native to Alaska, can smell a mound of discarded roast pork, curdled custard and overcooked carrots in the Southern Hemisphere

Newcomers to Benign to Five, a column which I occasionally transpose into blog form for your delectation, may not be aware that, for a short period in the 1990s, I worked at the all-you-can-inhale restaurant, Smorgy’s (Burwood). Patrons entered through a fibreglass volcano and every three to five months thick black smoke spewed from its roof; these two facts were entirely unrelated.

In my 35-day period of employment at this venerable house of engorgement, I learnt almost everything I’ve ever needed to know in my professional career.… Read the rest

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Pranker or wanker? (I still don’t know if I was being stooged)

practical joke zing

Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched at work? Or at least felt that the client, colleague or customer you were dealing with was such a clown that you must have been the butt of a practical joke?

More than a year ago, I completed a ‘collaborative project’. Collaborative project is the term foisted upon the debacle by others. In fact, it was an encounter with a person apparently dragged out into reality, through the fourth wall, from inside a very badly written comedy television show dealing in the most facile stereotypes. 

I appreciate little in the world more than mischief. And a really sophisticated practical joke is one of the ultimate expressions of mischievousness. So I spent many quiet moments during this futile assignment excited by the possibility that I was being stooged.… Read the rest

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Remembering (Healthy) Harold and the Life Education van

Healthy Harold

“Harold, Invictus”, by Jonathan Rivett, 2017

I’d always known him as plain old Harold. 

Apparently at the time of his death, he was going by the name Healthy Harold. In any case, I was shocked to hear of his demise at the age of just 39 yesterday. 

I was very pleased to hear of his return from the dead, just a few hours later. 

If you have no idea who I’m talking about, Harold was is a giraffe. He is, as far as I know, a minister in the Uniting Church. In 1979 he moved from Ethiopia to Potts Point in Sydney and shortly after founded a group called Life Education with fellow minister at the Wayside Chapel, Ted Noffs. 

I first came into contact with Harold in a darkened van. 

That sounds dodgy, and quite frankly it was a bit, but not in the way you might think. … Read the rest

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Haught Take: Personal Branding

In 2017, personal branding has earned a special significance in the world. It’s at least as important to humans as a healthy endocrine system and will presumably one day replace our need for a beating heart. 

It’s also a complex subject, and I’ve taken that complexity into account when fashioning my rules for improving your personal brand. This is one you might want to set aside a good 45 minutes to read:… Read the rest

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My email to you (about why I’m on Instagram)

Haught Instagram

 

Dear devotees, stalwhaughts and innocent bystanders,

I’ve called this an email in the heading, but it’s not really. It’s more like an open letter.

To be honest, I don’t like open letters; they’re all for show. Open letters are flamboyantly hurled into the ether in a show of look-at-me self-gratification. Emails, by contrast, are sent directly to a recipient and are supposed to be read by that person. My emails are genuine attempts to make contact with an individual or entity about a topic of gravity and immediate import (it’s not my fault if other people want to electronically read the beautifully written correspondence over that recipient’s shoulder). 

And here’s my problem, and the reason for my non-email. In the case of most of you, I’m unable to get into direct contact. (In fact, many of you who should, by rights, be reading this, aren’t – a jovial un-hello to you.)

In short: emails get to people – this piece of correspondence will miss a huge proportion of you. 

Let me explain it as simply and un-boringly as possible:… Read the rest

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