Filed under consumption

Available now in the Buggery Boutique

Margaret Thatcher is not dead yet, but surely it can’t be long. While you wait, why not purchase one of these high quality commemorative garments from the Buggery Boutique on RedBubble?

Remember, 100% of the proceeds will be used to buy celebratory beers to mark the Iron Lady’s interment into her final rusting place.

Just click the links to buy.

Version 1 (‘Dead’):

Version 2 (three for the price of one!):

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New in the Buggery Emporium, a selection of fine wearable T-shaped items.


(Click the images for larger version, or click below to buy):


Where to buy books online

This is the result of an experiment I just conducted to figure out where is the best place to buy books on the web. All very scientifical and stuff.

Methodology: I have chosen a random selection of five books, including one Australian title. All these are in print and should be widely available.

  • Eucalyptus, Murray Bail
  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, Italo Calvino
  • Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
  • Gabriel’s Gift, Hanif Kureshi

Then I have searched for them on four book-selling websites:

  • (US)
  • (UK site which charges a bit more for its books but has free worldwide delivery)
  • (Australian chain bookseller)
  • (second-hand books from large international network of bookshops)


My basket of five books (based on the cheapest copy available – hardback, paperback, new or used), including shipping to my PO Box in Australia, costs:

  • USD 58.19 plus 29.94 shipping (3-5 weeks) – total USD 88.13 (AUD 105.80)
  • GBP 37.55, free shipping (1-2 weeks) – total GBP 37.55 (AUD 74.60)
  • AUD 108.75, plus 14.00 shipping (7-10 days) – total AUD 122.75
  • AUD 14.94 (two used hardcover and three new paperbacks), plus AUD 16.93 per book shipping (3-4 weeks) – total AUD 99.59

So the obvious winner is The lowest price and the shortest promised delivery time. No contest really.

The fact that the Australian option is by far the most expensive didn’t surprise me. Books are a rip-off in this country.

(Yes, this is my first post in a long time. I can’t say yet that I am coming back to blogging, but watch this space.)

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Stabucks to close 61 Australian outlets

From the Starbucks website:

Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company today announced plans to restructure its business in Australia through a geographical refocus on three core cities and surrounding areas: Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. This decision will result in the closure of 61 locations throughout the country by August 3, 2008.

This announcement comes as no great surprise, given that the company has already announced plans to close 600 US stores, and given that Starbucks never really took off here (Australian coffee drinkers know what real coffee tastes like, and they know the stuff you get for $5 a cup in Starbucks doesn’t count).

The announcement comes eight years after I posted this rant complaining about the opening of the US coffee chain’s first Australian store.

Good riddance to Starbucks. I hope their Australian staff find new, better, jobs.

Store Wars

This is why we <heart> the interwebs:

Heard on the radio

“Capitalism is another word for farming humans for money” – text message to ABC Radio’s John Faine this morning.


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How come they don’t make ads like this any more?

These days the advertising industry only seems to produce ads consisting of some guy screaming “Everything 20% off! Everything 20% off! This weekend only! Everything 20% off!” at maximum volume. Has the industry changed or have we?

Midsumma Carnival

I spent a few hours at the Midsumma Carnival yesterday – an excursion into the gay world I so rarely inhabit these days. I was there to volunteer my time for PLWHA Victoria, whose Board I now sit on. It was a pleasant couple of hours, chatting with passers-by and spruiking our organisation’s activities, despite the rain.

After I was done I took a quick stroll through the rest of the fête — very quick, as it became apparent that there was so little there which would appeal to me. I used to really look forward to events like this, but then I always found them stimulating and informative. These days it feels like almost all the stallholders are commercial operations, and given that I’m not in the market for skin cream, rainbow-flag themed accessories, motor cars or package holidays there’s not much that interests me.

I presume the wares on display at the Carnival are meant to be representative of the desires and aspirations of gay men and lesbians, yet I’m not tempted. Maybe this means I’m not as “gay” as I once was, or perhaps the meaning of gay has changed and I’ve been left behind (or maybe I’m making too much of all of this: shopping is not culture).

It’s an issue I’ve been grappling with for a while: how do you “do” gay when your life doesn’t revolve around bars, nightclubs, dance parties and so on? If you don’t drink (I don’t), take drugs (ditto), go to Mardi Gras (not this year), have sex 10 times a week (can’t be bothered) then what does it mean to say “I am a gay man”? Being gay has always (for me) been about more than a sexual identity — it’s a cultural signifier. But, as I’m finding, it can be a very narrowly-defined one.

‘The T-shirt we had to have’

This is a few weeks old now (it was published in The Age on 23 October) but worth sharing:

Theage 2007-10-23

The T-shirts (still available, sorry if you wanted one before the election) are here.

T-Shirt of the week


You know you want one. Click here to order.