World-renown journalist, raconteur and social avenger Stan Clear reports on the most pressing of international issues…

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Evidence not the only thing mounting for AFL

Stan Clear  30-9-12

      Even after casting “It’s like a bunch of seagulls fighting over a chip”, “Gay F.L.” and “What’s the hardest thing about being an AFL player? Having to tell your dad you’re gay” aspersions aside – evidence continues to mount in favour of the AFL being ‘fully super-gay’.

Exhibit A: Parades


Exhibit B: Can only tackle from behind

Exhibit C: Moustaches

       Alarmed by these increasing allegations, my secretary arranges an emergency interview for me with current AFL commissioner Andrew Demetriou just before he leaves for the pre-Grand Final parade through Melbourne’s CBD.
“I refuse to have these ‘gay’ things rammed down my throat. I’ve had about as much as I can swallow,” Mr Demetriou states after I ask him his feelings on the matter. “I cannot take this on the chin,” he says, “or AFL will be brought to its knees”.

      The commissioner runs his pink feather boa through his fingers then tosses it round his neck. “I reach around,” he continues, “in my mind for a solution to this sticky problem. Yet, every time I think I can grasp it by the balls with both hands I have to pull out at the last minute”. He pauses briefly to apply some lipstick. I ask him if changing the style of jerseys might alleviate homophobic accusations. Mr Demetriou snaps shut his compact mirror. “There has been so much litigious activity involving statements against players, we don’t call it a ‘jersey’ anymore. We call it a ‘weekly defamation suit’.”

       I suggest to Mr Demetriou that the pre-Grand Final parade closely resembles the Sydney annual Mardi Gras.
      “Nonsense, Stanley. The Footy parade has been a tradition much longer than Sydney’s gay pride procession. And don’t forget Moomba.” He stands from behind his desk to secure the lower buttons on his corset.  “We love a parade down here.”
      I can’t help noticing his freshly shaven and glowingly un-tanned legs. “Are those footy-fishnets?”
      “You bet. Aren’t they just so adorable? One leg Hawks and one leg Swans.”
      “Nice.” I try pressing on. “I think the rule of ‘only being able to tackle from behind’ is possibly not helping.”
      The AFL chief adjusts his own tackle with timely precision. “A penetrating issue indeed, Stanley.” He strides in his stilettos across the room and snatches his cape from the hat stand.
      “What about the high-profile players with porn-star moustaches?” I ask.

      Mr Demetriou buttons the bright pink cape around his neck.
      “And, of course, the matter of all those – ”
      “I’m sorry, Stanley. I can’t spend another second being pumped. I must get off to our glorious climax of spectacle and pageantry. Eddie McGuire and myself are on the front float dusting off our old version of I will Survive that we used to wow them with at the Peel.” 
      The AFL commissioner pirouettes once then opens the office door. He stands in the doorway like Marlene Dietrich would if she were overweight, middle-aged and Greek. “It’ll be fun, Stanley. Why don’t you come out?”
      “Umm… ‘cause I’m not gay?”


Friday, 8 June 2012


Gillard ban on 80’s music for five years
Stan Clear  8-6-2012

In a shock announcement today, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard will enforce a nationwide ban of 80’s music for at least the next 5 years. During her declaration she expressed a profound regret that the embargo could not be indefinite.

“I really wanted to impose this ban from today and forever. I think the people of Australia have heard enough and we need to move forward,” the Prime Minister said, “but Wayne convinced me to hold off till next week because he has Karaoke tonight. He loves doing ‘Swanee’ songs.”

My secretary, with teary eyes, organizes a round table interview with major DJs from 2DAY, NOVA, WSFM and Triple-M. The motley crew sit almost as speechless as they do on air as I enter the basement kitchen of the Establishment nightclub in Sydney’s CBD. I place a sizable white box in the center of the table then ask the question on everybody's lips. “So, what are you bunch of has-beens going to do now that you can’t ride on the back of corporate-kiss-arse, annoyingly-add-soaked and overplayed one-hit-wonders anymore?”
Hair Poison

Jackie O looks at me with those doggy eyes, mascara crawling like tarantulas over her cheeks, “Don’t rub it in Stan. You know we’re not qualified to do anything else.” Matty Johns is doing sit-ups in the corner. “Fuckin’ oath. The ‘Grill Team’ was the only thing I didn’t have to do an IQ test for.” Jonesy pipes up, “How do we play our fans the best hits from the 80’s, 80’s and 80’s if we can’t play 80’s anymore?” Amanda looks away from him slowly and covers her eyes with her hands. “At least I’ve got this TV show house-building thingy goin’ on, and the odd GNW comeback. How come none of you have ever diversified?” Kyle reluctantly removes the ice-pipe from his lips, “I have.” Amanda slaps her palms on the table, “Yeah, but you’re not a horrible nasty cunt anymore. You’re actually giving people compliments and being positive. You’ve turned boring, Kyle. How long do you think that’s going to last? Did they add a pussy-clause to your contract or something?” Ever the agitator, Kyle raises an eyebrow. “Our 80’s music is better than your 80’s music.” Amanda rolls her eyes. Fitzy cannot stay seated. “It is not! Nova shits on you guys.” MG shakes his head with disbelief. “It’s the same on all our stations, ya fuck-knuckle.”

“Take it easy, children.” I lift the lid off the large cake box. The cake is the shape of an open hand with FAREWELL icing across the palm. “Dig in kids. Kyle, I think you deserve the middle finger.”

Kyle shows me his middle finger. “Make a wish, Stan.”

“I already have, Kyle. And, it has been granted.” I look to the end of the table. “So, Fitzy and Wippa, I cannot help but believe that you both should take the majority of the blame for disabling everyone’s paychecks.”

“Why!” they yell in unison.

“The deplorable pranks you perform on the unsuspecting have brought foul and rancid karma to all humanity. The listeners who have chuckled at your black-hearted attempts at humour have been forever dragged to the base of potential contemptibility. The unfortunate quarry inflicted with your vile capers reach extremes of emotion, usually anger or distress, that they may not have otherwise been capable or indeed, needed to experience at all. You guys don’t get any cake.”

I remove a pistol from my briefcase and shoot both of them in the forehead. Nobody else at the table seems to mind this. I slide the gun towards Kyle.

Amanda Keller disappears like Darth Vader after the first Death Star was destroyed. I open the valve of the gas bottle beneath the table and rise from my chair. “Good luck to you all. Enjoy the cake. I am off to speak with Julia.” I lock the door firmly behind me as I leave.

Bono suggests his least favourite
U2 album from the 80's

On the water taxi across Sydney Harbour to Kirribilli House, I marvel at the beauty and achievement surrounding me and realize negligible joy would be lost in a world without Human League, Gino Vannelli and Wa Wa Nee.

The Butler greets me in the foyer wearing a ‘CHOOSE LIFE’ T-shirt over his normally regal outfit. “Good afternoon, sir. How long before you go-go?”

“Just a quick chat with the ‘Prime’ my good man. I’ll be back in a Quaterflash. I may be a man without hats but I’m as sly as a Samantha Fox outwitting an Eddie Rabbitt and even if I Go West on a Journey to Europe with my Twisted Sister otherwise known as the Lady in Red, I’ll be back before the Final Countdown. I might Luka like I was Born to be Alive in the Summer of ’69 but I’ll be Simply Red and Simply Irresistible and out of your hair quicker than a Flock of Seagulls.”

Steam rises from his temples as it would with anyone suddenly deprived of their greatest secret pleasure. He impressively tightens the lid on his swelling indignation. “Prime Minister Gillard is in the Billiard room, sir.”

Julia is sculling a beer and giggling as I enter the mahogany games-room. She is chaperoned by a dozen empty beer bottles. She spins around when I close the door.

“Julia, darling, do you realize what you’ve done? Creating a world without John Cougar Mellencamp?”

The Prime Minister drains the stubby and tosses it on a couch worth more than Woollahra
“You bet I do, Stan.” She grins at her vulgarly obtrusive burp. “And baby, it HURT’S… SO… GOOD.”

Julia in her 80's tribute band she was sacked from last week

Monday, 21 May 2012

PURPLE IN THE GREEN ROOM: In Dread with Prince

Stan Clear 19.5.12

Prince strolls through the open greenroom door for the seventh time, but on this occasion I am waiting for him. ‘You call this a gig? Get back on stage this instant, you sexy motherFUCKER!’

He doesn’t try to hold back his famous half-smile. ‘Hello Stan, how’s your secretary?’

‘Always the chicks with you. Wouldn’t you like to know? I mean you never called, emailed. Ha, she’s good as always… so have you made it to the actual stage yet?’

He rolls his eyes and strips to the waist. A devastating woman approaches him with the next costume as another skirt-hugged bombshell with surgically implanted fishnets holds a microphone to his lips. You can hear the sparkle of Prince’s eyes as he gently caresses his briefly exposed left nipple and addresses the expectant audience, ‘Do you feel sexy… I feel sexy… mmm, yeah… I could do this all night…’ A muted roar surrounds us from the arena above. He winks at me and saunters back to center symbol.

Prince fleetingly flaunts his purple reign for two songs and returns to the greenroom for the same shtick. Before his final encore we get to chat for 15 minutes. Chantelle plies us with Yogi Mayan Cocoa Spice herbal tea and casual aerosol sprays of candlewood scented tiger hormones.

Stan- So, man formally known as symbol, what’s with the short-notice tour? No sooner is it announced and you’re here grinding those narrow hips.

Prince- You know, I had a sexy dream about Australia and, well, I just had to blow my love all over the southern lands.

S- Gross.

P- So, Stan, do you like my Too Many Hits routine?

S- Yeah, I thought you were talking about your website for a second. Fwango! It’s an admirable concept, to be sure, but slightly flawed in my opinion.

P- How so, Stanley?

S- You could play a dozen of those snippets for real if you reigned in the over-extended funk waffle, but hey, everyone knows you’re beyond accountability in the supreme court of self-indulgence.

P- You know how it is.

S- Bet I do, Ooze-Man. So how ‘bout the next release? What’s shakin’ baby?

P- I’ve written two more songs while we’ve been sittin’ here… (he stares middle distance for nearly a minute) … We’ll see.

S- Do you ever get tired of this aloof, misterioso performance? Booby. Talk to me.

P- October.

S- ‘uckin’ A. You’re slier than a greased polecat. Should we adjourn to after-party?

P- Momentarily. Now, I must discharge my most perpetual juice of love over the arched stomach of the southern regions to lubricate my functions down-under…

S- Double-gross.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Queensland Election 2012 - Frontline Coverage


 Stan Clear 25-3-12

      To assure an honest jaw-grind with the guaranteed victor of the 2012 Queensland election, Campbell Newman, my secretary organizes a private interview-room at party headquarters during tally afternoon - along with a trailer-load of the best damn cocaine I've ever had the privilege to gag on.

    I point to the thick line of devil's dandruff on the glass coffee table as the King of Queensland, Campbell Newman, enters the room.

    'Thank Christ!' Mr Newman yells then throws his full champagne glass against the wall. He snorts the rail with the enthusiasm of a starving cannibal sucking the meat off a baby's arm. He jerks his head back, eyes bulging. "You have spoken decisively and emphatically and delivered a strong government so that we can deliver for you and get this great state back on track," he says.

    I knock the heads off two beers and sit next to him. 'Save that shit, please. This is an honest interview.'

    Campbell applies pressure to his nostrils with thumb and forefinger as tears stream from his left eye. 'Yeah, I will. I was just practicing to see if I could say it with a straight face.'

    'So Mr Newman, what's to be done about this crazy fucker Katter? He's been giving me Bjelke flashbacks.'

    'Well…!' Mr Newman sculls half of his stubby. 'He's a real fly in the ointment about coal-seam gas. How'm I supposed to get us back on track without whoring us out to the highest bidder? I'd love to whack the old fuckstick, but he's got more supporters than a 100-leg-patio, and besides, he does that "fire and brimstone" shit so well he may come in handy if we can keep his booze and prostitutes out of the papers.'

    Mr Newman starts rolling a 20 dollar and grins. 'Check this shit out.' He places a hand on his chest and an over-sincere expression on his face. 'We will work with all Queenslanders regardless of their vote tonight.'

    'Nice,' I say, snatching the tightly rolled note. 'You kiss your mother with that mouth?'

    It seems word of the private interview room had spread quicker than Tony Abbott's arse-cheeks at a foreign investors meeting. Then, right on cue, ears burning, Bob Katter burst through the door, brutally twisting the stately doorknob westward.

    'What're you cunts doin'ere?' he enquires.

    'Celebrating!' Newman says, bowing for a serious NCI (Nasal Cavity Injection).

    Katter slams the door and strides to the table. 'Jesus, give me one of those fucken things willya?'

    Newman passes the coiled lobster toward the 13-gallon hat. 'Here, get that up ya guacamole?'

    No crossing the double lines? Horse-shit. Katter snorts both. Like an expert.

    'Holy sheep dip, Bob. Surprised about the extra seats?' I can see the Mexican Numbing Wave working it's way through his snarl.

    He winks. 'Can you believe that egghead son of mine actually bagged Mt Isa? The lucky little cunt.'

    'Not bad.' I spoon another lump of marching powder onto the table and begin crushing. 'Soon you'll be able to rule the galaxy as father and son.' Then I hand him a beer. 'What are your thoughts on our Anna, you cowboy junkie?'

    Katter then laughs so hard he seems in danger of losing a lung. 'Maybe she could front the Pirate Party as Captain Bligh.'

    Campbell Newman, new chancellor of Queensland, chokes down another rail before his final rehearsal. 'We will work with all Queenslanders regardless of their vote tonight.'

    Katter tips his hat. 'Nice one, cunt.'

Monday, 20 February 2012


by Stan Clear

    After a feisty wrangle, my secretary secures the only one-on-one interview afforded with ANZ CEO Mike Smith.
    We step from his sea-plane onto his 190ft super-yacht Fat Face moored at the Gold Coast in Queensland’s south-east. The thin white hairs poking from under his bulging white shorts seem to bristle as he stops on the gangway to observe the other, much smaller, boats.
    He swipes a fly off his chubby cheek and grabs the brim of his cap. ‘Paupers. Bloody vagrants, all of them,’ he says, just loud enough for me to hear.
    I try and secure my jaw, forced open from the ostentatiousness of even the smallest of these nautical pleasure-cruisers. ‘Yeah,’ I say, shaking my head, ‘damn nuisance all these pitiful dingys clogging up the harbour like this.’
    ‘Sven!’ he yells impatiently to a butler standing in front of two large golden doors. ‘Is lunch ready?’
    The butler’s eyebrows rise slightly as he nods at us. ‘All aboard, sir.’ Sven swings open the doors and leads us down a plush hallway.
    ‘Nice carpet.’ I say.
    Mike Smith is quite matter-of-fact. ‘Mink.’
    ‘Mink carpet?’ I almost yell as I look back checking for dirty footprints or the RSPCA. We end up in a gigantic circular room. The majestic mahogany table in the centre is covered to the edges with multiple types of the highest cholesterol food available – easily enough to feed 20 people for two days. I expect an army of executives, trophy-wives and Japanese whaling bosses to stream through the other three entrances. ‘I was lead to believe this was going to be a private interview.’
    Mike picks a bottle of Grange from a cluster on the table and examines the label as he reacquaints his posterior with the brass-rimmed red velvet couches that line the cabin walls. ‘We won’t be disturbed.’ He looks from the over-priced wine bottle to his servant. ‘You know I detest early 60’s wines at lunch.’
    Sven remains strangely unemotional. ‘Yes, sir. Sorry, sir.’ He bows and leaves.
    Our interview begins right after Mike finishes forcing a garish cake into his moosh with eight chubby fingers. His thumbs useless appendages. I point at an over-loaded plate next to the giant chocolate pavlova. ‘Is that KFC?’
    Mike smears icing from his mouth and grins. ‘It’s a childhood favourite. Besides, I like acronyms. That’s why I wanted to be ANZ CEO.’
    ‘No. Not really. They’ve been grooming me for this gig since the late 90’s.’ His grin grew larger, bulbous cheeks almost covering his moist, beady eyes. ‘Believe it or not I had to wait to get this boat till I started at the ANZ. My last one was only 94ft.’
    ‘Oh no,’ I say, feigning sympathy. ‘Well, finally you’re in the real world. Speaking of which; what about the ANZ’s latest advertising slogan – We live in your world – when you’ve personally been awarded $3.15m worth of shares last November?’
    Mike pokes his finger in a bowl of caviar then holds it under his nose during a long sniff. ‘Well, when it says “we” it means that most ANZ employees do just that. You know, minimum wage, struggling to get by. The tellers and all the other plebs we employ.’ He sucks fish eggs from his plump digit. ‘Well, what’s left of them anyways.’
    I lean back on a silk cushion. ‘1000 people sacked as you post your highest quarterly profits on record. Do you find that a bit rich?’
    ‘You bet I do, sunshine. The richer the better.’ Mike leans to one side and rips out an almighty bacon-fart. ‘Aahhh.’
    I then breach ANZ’s expansion overseas and if offshore jobs replacing his Australian workforce would incite a negative customer backlash.
    ‘Maybe. What do I care? Most dickhead customers are too shit-scared to move or change anything. Better the devil, ay? And besides, if we started acting nice and, god forbid, do the right thing; how could we possibly continue our traditionally secure business of being greed-gorged, low-life criminals. Crime pays, buddy boy. You better believe it.’
    I grab a profiterole from the freshly made and untouched crockenbouche and jab it on the end of a bamboo skewer. ‘Ever wonder if the poor people revolt that you’ll end up like this? You know, head on a stick?’
    Mike Smith slowly shakes his head. ‘Nuh.’
    I ask Mike what he looks forward to most in his current position.
    ‘Retirement… The payout we’re working towards would melt your testicles.’
    Having never done a hard days work in his life, he is easy to overpower. I force profiteroles into his podgy cheeks until congealed custard leaches from both nostrils. I jam the bamboo with speared French pastry into the crocodile embroided pocket of his 5XL polo shirt. I make sure he isn’t breathing, then sneak over the side and swim ashore.