Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Well this is how 'I' think you should run your network.

One of the greatest comedic talents ever was Spike Milligan, he first rose to prominence with a radio show called the Goon Show, broadcast in the fifties.
One of his great innovations was having no punchline, or completely wrong footing the audience by taking the sketch in a whole new direction.
A good example of this was when one of the shows was set in antiquity and he did the Greek urn joke.
This doesn't work so well here in writing as it is based on the homophonous words, urn and earn, but I think you'll get the point.
One character, Moriarty, comes in and says "what's a Greek urn?"
To which Grytpype-Thynn replies, "it's an earthenware pot used by ancient Greeks for containing liquids."
To which Moriarty replies, "that's not the answer I expected."
And Grytpype says, "neither were quite a few of our smart alec listeners."
I mention this banter beacause since I got involved with the campaign to clean alcohol ads from TV I've had mostly answers I fully expected, AKA, "Fuck off", but some that caught me off guard.
Actually, any answer caught me off guard, as I was expecting to be ignored.
Only a hundred people read this blog each week, but I've been able to keep that a secret from the people at the Commercial TV networks and alcohol companies that I am persecuting with my moaning.
Obviously once they find that out they will realize that you and I are small time players on the media stage and go into full-ignore mode.
However, as my friend Antony pointed out when I first mentioned I was going to start, sorry, continue complaining about things that upset me on Commercial TV, "I think you'll find that if you feel like this, you'll discover you're not the only one."
And so we've had our little victories, and even the complaining is having the minor effect of keeping it in the consciousness of the networks.
So this week I have contacted the head of Channel Ten, Russell Howcroft through his personal assistant, Josh Howard, with the email above, telling them how to run the network.
Response: ignored.

And since Channel Ten didn't respond, I thought I better get hold of Nine and see what they've got to say. Nine broadcast the cricket, which I watch during the summer, so I sent this to the unlucky Madelaine Clark in publicity, unlucky because now she has to deal with my perpetual caterwauling.
My email to her was:
"Dear Matty,
Recently there had been a survey done in which 70% of respondents
declared they didn't want alcohol ads in sport broadcasts, is Channel
9 planning to remove alcohol ads from sport broadcasts?"

Nine's response: 
"Hi Lachlan,

Unfortunately, there is no comment at this stage.


AKA: Fuck off. (I put that in, Nine didn't say anything so overt, but the meaning is clear). 
I have responded to that by asking her to keep me informed if and when there is a comment, but she hasn't responded.
If you wish to read the story about the original survey it can be found at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/sport-and-alcohol-relationship-concerns-most-australians/5034772

So moving on, I'll tackle Seven next blog, but they are kind of out of the picture for now, because all their shows are such unmitigated garbage I don't watch anything on their network, so they are spared my ant-in-the-wetsuit carrying on.
However I would like to know something from Seven, why do their sport broadcasts, the Aussie Rules Grand Final was the most recent, lag behind the radio by thirty seconds?
I believe it is so that those of us who like HG and Roy can't listen to their terminally funny sync broadcast of the game.
Roy(L) and HG: Funnier and more intelligent than the entire
Seven and Nine commentary teams by a cosmic abyss.
To compare times, Ch 9's broadcast of the rugby league has only a ten second delay, which is genuinely so the TV computer can get the images sorted for quality and so forth, and I have a special radio with a sound delay function so I can listen to HG and Roy while the action on the field goes forward in sync.  
So I sent this to Seven's publicity department:
"I was wondering if you could tell me why the your broadcast of the
Aussie rules grand final lagged thirty seconds behind the ABC radio
Channel Nine's broadcast of the rugby league has only a ten second delay.
Thank you."

Response: Ignored.

In the end though, I think the most likely outcome of all this will be that Nine do what Seven do, and put a thirty second delay on their broadcast so that everyone has to listen to the damn ads, alcohol and otherwise.

And just to add a bit of philosophy, responding again (sort of) to Clinton's comment asking "why do you watch it [the TV] if it makes you so angry?"
Well, of all people, John Farnham provided the answer.
I'm not a big fan of anyone who shot to prominence by singing "Sadie the Cleaning Lady", but one lyric he sang was this: "If you wanna break the system, you better build a better one."
Well, I'd like to think that I am part of the process of building a better TV system, in which there are no alcohol or gambling ads before 8.30pm, and HG and Roy are enjoyed, in sync with the sporting action, on all five networks.
Additionally, Sandy Roberts, Dermot Brereton, Jason Dunstall, Ray Warren, Shane Warne and Bill Lawry will have their throats closed surgically so that a) they can't commentate and b) breathe.

What a wonderful world that will be.



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Superchicken and the Utopia complex

Take a good look at this homely chicken, for it is indeed blessed with near miraculous powers.
This photo was taken three minutes after I hit it with my car at 50k an hour.
I was coming into town the other morning and came over the brow of a hill and suddenly this chicken lurched out of the undergrowth and began a wing-flapping sprint across the road in front of me.
I had no time to do anything and the next millisecond I collected it with a dull thump and feathers flew.
I pulled up further down the road and looked back in my rear vision mirror.
All I saw was a motionless brown lump on the roadway, and my first thought was to drive off as the beast was obviously dead.
But my better, vegetarian, self took over and I realized I had to go back and make sure it was dead, and if not, put it out of its misery.
I've had do this before, once with a rabbit and once with a dog, and while not pleasant, is better than leaving it to die a slow painful death.
So I reversed up and pulled into the driveway the chicken had apparently been aiming for and got out of my car.
I yelled "hello", hoping that this was the home of the chicken's owner and I could hand over this unpleasant task to them, but no one answered and there was no immediately obvious front door to knock on.
So with a sigh I turned back to the road, found a rock and went to get the chicken.
To my astonishment, it was no longer there.
The roadway was clear.
"WTF?" I said to myself, then a movement flickered in the top of my vision and I saw it walking about in the undergrowth next to the road.
I watched astonished.
My car weighs 15kg (1.5 tonne) and the chicken scaled two at best, so it was the equivalent of an adult human being hit by a five tonne truck.
So marvelling at the beast's recoverative powers I got back in my car and drove to town.
It was relevant in a serendipitous way as this week I was planning to write about the Utopia complex
The Utopia complex is the idea that some magical day will come and you will have solved all your problems. 
I refer to it as the Utopia complex, but it may have a real name in clinical psychology. 
To describe it more fully, I can think of almost innumerable examples where I would say to myself, "once I get this, problem A, out of the way, then I can relax."
Trouble is, as I've learned over 48 hard years is that once you get problem A safely dealt with, problem B, previously rated second in size, moves up and expands in size to fill the space previously occupied by problem A".
So then you deal with B and C emerges and so it goes.
Is this dysfunctional?
Probably, every damn thing else that I talk about in therapy is, but is it, the Utopia complex, the search for a life with no problems, itself, an Uber, overarching problem, problem Zero as it were.
So as ever I'll digress and refer to a few things pertinent to this.
Here are a couple of things said by people I know.
Scott: "Everyway I turn it's fucked."
Clinton: "This week is always worse than last week."
What both these men said, though it may seem that both are eternal downers, actually helped me.
Clinton's comment helped me understand, for the first time in 48 years, that the problem free Utopia I have always sought, doesn't exist.
Likewise Scott's comment showed that there is always something to deal with.
One of the best examples of this was in a book I read, "To Serve Them All My Days", by R.F Delderfield.
It is the story of a man invalided off Flander's fields in WW1, and repatriated back to England with battle fatigue.
Psycho-neurosis it would later be termed.
He gets a job as schoolmaster in an English public school and begins teaching, and comes to love it, and can move on with his life.
One day while he is teaching news come through that the war is over.
We can't really understand now, how large in the consciousness of Europe that war loomed, but it was referred to variously as "the Great War", and the "war to end all wars".
So for the populace in general, and this former soldier in particular, this was momentous, staggeringly, joyous news.
The schoolmaster himself is at first thinking that this will lead to months of celebrating and little or no work done across the British Isles, yet within an hour of the news coming through, he is already starting to think about upcoming events.
The assembly hall is being revarnished and so they will have to split the pupils into two groups, junior and senior, and hold two assemblies, in a different, smaller hall, and this means he has to get out his notes and change his speeches to be relevant to the two different groups.
The 11+ (A level exams) are coming up and so he will have to start getting the senior boys ready for that.
And these are just two of the little issues in his daily life that have to be foreseen and planned for.
And within two hours he realizes that he has already largely forgotten that the most terrible conflict ever has just officially ended and his daily round if issues has taken over once more.
An example I remember was the longest week of my life when I had my first HIV test.
I went down to my surgery in Newtown in Sydney, and my doctor, Carol Chung, took my blood and told me how it worked.
First they would give my blood a prelim, grosser Immune System Activity Level (ISAL) test.
This simply measured if your immune system was doing work.
If this came back below a certain level, it meant you had not been exposed to the HIV virus, or had any other disease at work in your system.
This test, if negative, can return your results in 48 hours.
So two days later I rang Carol and learned, and to my unholy dread, that the ISAL test had showed activity and they would go on to the higher level, more specific testing.
I was panicked in a way I can't adequately describe.
I should add, the reason for this raised activity was that I was working as gardening labourer at the time and my body was covered with small nicks and cuts from the plants I worked with, and it was this botanical onslaught that led to my immune system working hard to keep infection out of the various wounds.
But I was in my mid-thirties then and my hypochondria was still in evidence, so rationality left through the side door and panic took over.
I began immediately trying to plan for a positive test and how on Earth could I go on with my life if so?
And so the long wait began.
The blood was taken Friday, I had called back Tuesday, then had to wait for the rest of the week till Friday, at the earliest, to get the results.
On the Wednesday of that week I smoked 90 Marlboro Red cigarettes (three and a half packets). 
My standard consumption was twenty a day at the time.
I struggled through the days, Friday came, I rang the surgery, the test were back, they couldn't give me the results over the phone and so I made the earliest possible appointment to see Carol.
If the week had been long that two hours waiting for my appointment was the longest.
But even longer than that was the thirty minutes in the waiting room, heart leaping like a salmon every time the door of Carol's office opened and a patient went in or out.
This is where I sat that most relieved morning.

But even longer than that was the time it took for me to walk in when Carol called my name and to walk in and sit down. Even longer than all of the above put together was the time taken for Carol to open a manila folder.
Then she said, "you've got nothing to worry about. The test is negative."
To say I was relieved barely hints at the change that came over me.
I gave her a hug, then walked out into the brilliantly sunlit Newtown morning and sat on a bench under the sandstone wall of the nearby cemetary.
I called Leith, my friend and boss, told him the tests were negative and would it be allright if I didn't come down to work immediately, so I could just enjoy this feeling for a few hours, he said fine, and so I wandered about in a deliriously happy daze, enjoying, what I now see, was the only time in my life I achieved the Utopia complex.
But here's the thing, after just a few hours, and I remember this clearly, I even reported it to my friend Norman in a phone call later that day, I began to feel weird.
I searched around internally and discovered the reason, I had nothing to worry about.
Now that WAS weird.
But then my resting state of mind took over and I began to prepare to go to work.
Train schedule, cash for the ticket, better pack some food, damn, forgot to go shopping this week (for obvious reasons), better get some on the way, damn, haven't got enough for ticket and food.
Better go to the bank machine, damn, my bank machine is the other way from the station, maybe catch a bus to central, then train from there.
Now where's my ten-click bus voucher.
Damn, it's run out, better go to the newsagent and get another one of them.
Which is my closest newsagent? Think it's the one in Erskineville, maybe I can get the train from.... 
And so like the schoolmaster of old, the joy felt upon hearing momentous, cataclysmic good news, was within a short period of hours overtaken by immediate petty concerns to do with day-to-day living.
So I guess the message for this blog is that the Utopia complex doesn't exist in perpetuity, if you're lucky you may get it for a few hours.
P.G. Wodehouse often used to put it well with a weather simile to describe Bertie Wooster's frame of mind when snootered by other characters who moved throughout the country homes of Edwardian England with sinister intent, "The v-shaped depressions off the coast of Iceland had never been more numerous, nor more vee-er."
And: "If it's not one damn thing it's another."
Also: "Jeeves, it is possible that one day I may laugh again, though very doubtful, but if that is to occur it will be when I am as far from Totleigh Towers as it is possible to be on this Earth."
All this cataclysmic thinking on behalf of Bertie Wooster was usually having to do with having to marry a beautiful woman whom he didn't care for, or at worst, doing thirty days in the county jail for stealing a piece of silver ware.
So it's all relative.
Even the chicken that started all this must have been thinking that life was sweet.
After a near death engagement with the front of my car, followed by a couple of minutes of wondering, "What the Zark was that?!", it had returned to its resting state of consciousness and was pecking away quite happily in the undergrowth.
So there you go, if you attain the bliss of the Utopia complex, treasure it, because within a short time you'll be wondering what to make for dinner.



Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A funny man with a dirty surfboard

The title of this post was said by one of two six-year-old, or thereabouts, girls as I walked home from my surf on Friday, through the Clarke's Beach camping area.
I longed to go back ad ask why she had said "funny" man.
I'm guessing she meant funny-peculiar, not funny-ha-ha, as I hadn't stopped and told them the one about the traveling salesman and the farmer's wife.
The dirty surfboard part was accurate though, as can be seen in the pic, and so I was curious to find out about the other descriptive term.
However, we will never know because although these two kiddies were playing at their mothers' feet, even I knew that a half-naked man walking up and saying "can I have a word with your six-year-old daughter" would have gone over like a lead zeppelin.
I might add, that is where the name of the band came from, one of the Beatles, when he heard them for the first time, said "these guys will go over like a Lead Zeppelin".
So Robert and Jimmy decided to use it as an eternal finger-up to the Beatles.
What this little girl said though reminded me of something I used to hear as a teacher, and so I guess this is a tip for new teachers out there.
I would regularly here teachers say "the kids think this of me, or the kids think that of me".
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
What these teachers were really saying was "I HOPE the kids think this of of me", or "I'd LIKE it if the kids think that of me."
And sadly the only way to really know what the kids think of you is to overhear them by accident.
As I did, coming round the corner of a building at Freshwater High School to do playground duty.
Completely by chance I overheard some kids around the corner say, "Barker thinks he is so cool, but he's just a fucking dick."
Lesson learned all right.
Supremely painful though it was, it was sadly true.
I did think I was cool, and like all Gen Xers, I was in a constant rebellion against authority and so was fighting my own war against the senior staff.
I thought this made me cool in the eyes of the students, but no, no, no.
But then Art Linklater famously said at the end of his show, in which he interviewed young kids, that "kids really say the damnedest things", and this is true now as then.
I remember a story I read somewhere about a woman with a Ph.D working as a supervising academic at a uni.
Ph.Ds are known as Doctor, it stands for Doctor of Philosophy, though the accolade spans the faculties, so you could have a Ph.D in Chemistry, Maths or Geography.
Anyway, one of the academic's students came to the door of her home, it was his first visit, he knocked and the academic's six-year-old son answered the door.
The student said, "Is Dr Childers here?", to which the son replied, "Yes, but she's not the sort of doctor that's any use to anyone."
So kids are brutally honest, though they don't mean to be hurtful I'm sure.
This likewise reminded me of a cracker released by my nephew Adam, aged six or seven.
He was at school and asked his teacher for something, she said, "What's the magic word?"
To which Adam replied, "Abra Cadabra".
The teacher laughed and it even got printed in the school newsletter.
Then again this same nephew did another one that was received with less enthusiasm.
One of his dad's mates came over,this guy liked a beer or twenty, and as he stepped through the door Adam said, "are you having a baby?"
Oh dear.
  And in an "Only-in-Byron" moment, I went around to the smallest business in town, Barefoot Roasters,  to get coffees for the office and while Rosie was brewing those up, I had a learned discussion with the proprietor Rodney, about the biggest business on Earth, the American debt ceiling, so I think I'll take this opportunity to give you my inexpert view.
Essentially, if the US reps and senate agree, then they vote to increase the debt ceiling, and life goes on as usual.
The problem is that the US has a new party who can be accurately thought of as the American Taliban, the Tea Party.
The people in this party are nuts, their beliefs make the flat Earthers seem like lucid thinkers.
What they want is to remove the new health care package brought in President Obama, or at least to water it down.
So they are waving this huge financial stick over the president.
Members of the Tea Party, making sure
their wallets are safe from Obama.
Obama, to his credit, in my view at least, is standing firm.
His health care reform has already been voted upon and written into law and his point, which only nut jobs like the Tea Party can't seem to see, is that you can't have a situation where a law is declared then every time the houses of parliament change, you dig up that law and change it, or get rid of it.
What's more, as Barack has pointed out, the Tea Party can't seem to understand that, if they achieve their ends in this case, next time there is a republican president in the White House, the democrats in the lower house will use the same weapon to remove or water down something the republican president has done.
The Tea Party basically think that no one can be president unless they're further to the right of Hitler, and if, as the Tea Party would see it, by some collective death wish of the American voter, there is a democrat in the White House, they will use fair means or foul to stop democracy at work.
But then health care in America has always been a mystery to the rest of us.
I remember a terrible case of a Hispanic woman whose son had an impacted molar.
She was an illegal immigrant, but her son had been born in the US and was therefore entitled to health care, even if she wasn't.
She searched and searched and eventually found a dentist on the other side of LA, who would see her son on medicare.
But sadly, by the time she found the dentist and made plans for the three hour trip across town, he had died of infection in his throat.
This I thought terribly sad, and Obama's health care package is designed to stop appalling situations like this occurring again.
Another case, not as bad, but a real warning about travel to the States came up when I was working in Canada.
I was collecting money door to door with Greenpeace, I knocked on the door of a comfortable house in the suburbs, and a tired looking woman came to greet me.
I gave her my spiel and she replied, "Sorry, I love what you guys do, but I cannot afford to donate."
This was a common, probably our commonest reply, but she seemed genuine, and so I asked "why?"
She then told me a truly frightening story.
She had taken a trip to California with her husband and child, but picked up lung infection on the aircraft.
By the time the wheels hit LAX she was having trouble breathing and was rushed to hospital direct from the plane.
She then spent the next four weeks in ITU, then six more weeks in a sterile ward.
Sadly, they hadn't taken out travel insurance, and came home with a $250,000 debt to the hospital, which they were now paying off at $1000 a month.
If you go, go insured.

So to finish on a lighter note, but no less accurate for that, I was greatly amused by an episode of 30rock, which highlighted things nicely.
Alec Baldwin plays the president of NBC and is an arch republican.
He refers to President Clinton as the "inter-Bush" president.
He takes his pregnant partner with him on a trip to Canada and then she starts contracting and he has to rush her to hospital.
She gives birth and they are in the post-delivery ward catching their breath, when the hospital's administrator comes in and says, "It's Ok Mr Donaghy, due to the emergency nature of your visit, the birth is completely free of charge. You don't owe anything."
To which he is horrified and replies, "THAT CAN"T BE RIGHT!!!", and the episode ends with him roaming the hospital looking for someone to pay.
See you next week for more moaning and inexpert political commentary. 




Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I live in paradise, but I still love a good whinge

Lisa Simpson - "complain till you get what you want".
Among my many favourite Simpsons episodes was one where Lisa and her school band take part in a competition.
They compete with Shelbyville in the final, and though the rules carefully state 'no glowsticks', the Shelbyvillians use them and this visual aid is enough to get them over the line to win the comp.
Lisa, Spingfield's best young sax player is incensed, and sets out to change the decision.
Eventually she escalates her complaint all the way up to the Oval office and Bill Clinton himself comes to town and reverses the decision.
At the end of the ep, Marge says to Bill Clinton, "So the lesson here is complain till you get what you want? That's a pretty lousy lesson".
To which Bill replies, "well I was a pretty lousy president". 
Actually, neither of these two assertions is true.
Bill Clinton was not a lousy president.
Despite what Republicans will tell you, Bill did an Ok job, including balancing the books, something that hadn't happened for a long time.
Also, "Complain till you get what you want", isn't that bad either.
None of us like to be labelled a complainer, or worse, a whinger, but as far as television goes, the system is set up so that it's not until someone complains that something gets done.
So just a bit of a rehash.
There is indeed a loophole in the commercial TV code of practice to allow alcohol advertising during children's viewing times, if they are part of a sports broadcast, sponsorship for example.
Thus neither the tv companies, nor the alcohol companies are doing anything illegal.
So if there is change to be made, it has to be done at the federal government level, and the Minister for Communications is Malcolm Turnbull, whose email address is: malcolm.turnbull.mp@aph.gov.au
The junior minister, known as the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, is Paul Fletcher whose email address is: paul.fletcher.mp@aph.gov.au
If you email either or both of these MPs, you can add your voice to the call for change to this code of practice and have alcohol advertising removed from children's viewing times.
So on Monday night I sat down to watch my tv shows, thinking I had fought the good fight, when to me almighty consternation, the source of a new barney popped up.
Gambling ads.
This also happened last week, but Ch 10, where I saw those ads, removed them within 24 hours when contacted by me, and I suspect, many others.
So this week during the Big Bang Theory on Go!, Ch 9's repeater station, ads for the same gambling company appeared, before 8.30pm, I was downcast, thinking I had another week's electronic moaning and being ignored ahead of me, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I contacted the gambling company in question the next (Tuesday) morning, and got a response from them in under 15 minutes.
They said they had passed my whinge onto their marketing department.
Last night (Tuesday) I watched the Big Bang Theory and there were no gambling ads.
Well done Sportsbet and Ch 9.
I might add, that through this whole complaining process the TV, alcohol and gambling companies in question have been infinitely more responsive than our elected representatives.
So it is the ultimate in journalistic ironies that the only people who haven't communicated with me are the two ministers responsible for communication.


As before in this raving bloggery when my blood pressure got too high, I decided to head down to the beach to remind myself that I live in paradise and we are not put on this Earth to complain alone.
The picture (right) shows a near idyllic day.
No waves, but a picture of the bay that could have come from a tourist brochure.
In the end I decided to get my board and at least go out and paddle around and get some fitness training.
Once out there I discovered the microscopic waves actually had enough to ride, so I ranged around, stepped up my paddle stroke and caught my first wave.
For about 30 seconds.
For you see, even this is already descending into a whinge.
With surfing, what happens is, other surfers come down to the shore and watch, if they see someone get a wave, then they say, "Great, I can get some of that".
So they get their boards and come out and join you.
This day there were only about 6 surfers in the water when I entered, but within minutes of my first wave, there were twenty.
Thus, every wave I caught from then on, had someone else on it with me.
Dropping in, it's called.
I've had long discussions with my therapist about the difference between being aggressive and being assertive, and I've made some progress, so this day I decided not to yell, "Would you mind relocating to a different oceanographic locale", and just enjoy what I got.
Which was OK, I guess, but not ideal.
Then, I took off and a kid got in my way, this time I had to say something, for his safety, and mine.
So with my eyes widening to match the narrowing distance between us, I yelled, "WATCH OUT".
Thankfully he heard me, and was spared my full 90kgs full in the midship.
However, then I began thinking, 'well, if there's now thirty of us here and I'm getting dropped in on, and I'm likely to nail a kid every time I take off, then it's time to go'.
So I got out, showered and went round to the gym.
Whilst there I got (and was able to photograph) the two faces of life in paradise.
Suddenly all the TVs in the gym dropped out and an error message cropped up, "Due to electrical disturbance, transmission is temporarily interrupted".
I wasn't unhappy about this, because the MTV station to which said TVs are permanently tuned seemed to have One Direction on all the time.

So I stepped out to have a look and by cracky, the rain was coming down, it is hard to believe that these three photos were taken in the same town just an hour or so apart.
And there we have it for another week.
I've written 52 paragraphs and complained, or written about somebody else complaining, in 46 of them.
I'm getting good at this.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Even filthier advertising, but with bouquets for Channel Ten, VB and BM marketing for Jim Beam.

This week I thought I would return to actively moaning about something in real time, and those who know me well will already guess the subject, yes, commercial television.
On Saturday I was watching the Aussie rules grand final when alcohol ads popped up on the screen, the first at 4:13pm, then two more before 5.
I'd like to reiterate that I have not suddenly got a bug up my arse about booze because I am off it, but advertising alcohol during the aussie rules grand final, when a large percentage of underage sports fans, largely male, are watching, is, in my opinion, morally wrong.
Is it illegaI?
Well, no.
Although the times alcohol ads are shown on the weekend are listed as children's viewing times (see pic right), a staffer at Media Watch said in her email, "I'm pretty sure that sports programs, even in PG time, allow advertising for alcohol."
Of course.
There's always a loophole.
Anyway, I've contacted the broadcasting authority and the alcohol companies involved and will report back when I've been ignored.
I might add, when I began to do my research for this story I went to the Jim Beam, VB and Bundy Rum websites and they have a piffling security on the front to stop anyone under the age of 18 entering the site, and, on the Bundy site you can buy alcohol online.
The "security" on the Bundy site -
type a date of birth older than 18 and you're in.
This seems the height of hypocrisy to me, guarding the website, then advertising on free-to-air tv when persons under the age of 18 are watching.
Mind you, I recall hearing somewhere a good saying for those of us who take on something as almighty as the alcohol industry: "If you think you're too small to make a difference, try getting an ant in your wetsuit."
As a surfer I have had this experience and I can tell you that I knew that ant was there.
Whatever the TV stations and alcohol companies say though, (Most likely response: "Fuck off") I would like to postulate this, what if we banned alcohol ads totally?
We once had ads for tobacco and then they were banned, did that lower the sales?
People who wanted their cigarettes knew where to buy them.
Likewise with alcohol, if there were no ads surely anyone who wanted a drink would still know where to go and get some.
The bottle shop is still on the corner, the pub is still down the road.

Later Mail. 

I have to update things here and give out a few bouquets.
Jennifer Howard from VB got back to me, which as I've alluded to above, I didn't think would happen, and made this point: the marketing department at VB do at least create ads that do not have children in them, they do not use no cartoon figures, which attract children's attention, and ensure that their ads do not target children.
I made my point that I don't think that there should be any alcohol ads on before 8.30pm and to her credit, she said she would take this point on notice.
Alex Churcher from BM marketing who run the Jim Beam ads has likewise read my emails about the scheduling of alcohol ads and is likewise taking my points on notice.
Channel 10 have proved very receptive to my perpetual whining an have done two things, whether they have anything to do with me I do not know.
I asked channel 10 to remove those logos from the corner of the picture during programming time, they are not illegal, the ABC does something similar, they were just bloody annoying, and they have done that, the promos now appear for a short period on return from the ad break.
It is much less intrusive and has lowered my blood pressure considerably.
On Wednesday night the 2nd of October Channel 10 ran gambling advertising before 8.30pm.
I moaned to them on Thursday via electronic means and the next night there were no gambling ads on before 8.30pm.
Thank You Channel 10.
I then contacted the Parliamentary Secretary for Communications, the Hon Paul Fletcher, and asked him:  
"Dear Paul,
Currently there is a regulation to allow alcohol advertising within
live sports broadcasts, during children's viewing times, typically on
weekends before 8.30pm.
Is there any move to remove this loophole so no alcohol can be
advertised till after 8.30pm?"
So far I have not had a reply.
Bundy rum and BWS haven't got back to me in any form.

Anyway all of this moaning prompted Clinton, who's set top box I am currently watching, to say, "I'm gonna take that thing off you if you don't stop complaining. Anyway why do you watch commercial TV if it makes you so angry?"
His point is well taken, why do I watch commercial TV if it causes chips of enamel to fly from my grinding teeth?
Sadly, they are the only ones who can afford some of the shows I enjoy, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family and the like.
I can assure you one of my most fevered wishes is that the ABC buy The Simpsons and then my eternal happiness would be complete, The Simpsons without ads, "Oh what a wonderful world".
Elsewhere, one of my favourite shows, Housos, on SBS finished this week, I was momentarily downcast, but, seemingly as ever with SBS, they replaced it with something just as good: Legally Brown.
I've reported elsewhere that Big Brother is one of my tips for the most moronic shows in history, The Bachelor competes, but even these two abominations are put in the shade by Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore, my only acquaintance with these is seeing the promos with the mute button on, but that is certainly enough to see how bad they are.
I am not trying to say bogans can't go out and drink heavily, I am saying that I'd like a few moments alone in a room with the cosmically-sized cretin who decided to film their antics and put it on TV.  
Thus, I was mightily impressed when Legally Brown did an exquisite send up called Muslim Shore.
If interested you can find it at http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/46943811570/Legally-Brown-Muslim-Shore
So in closing I will be monitoring the rugby league grand final this weekend and recording every alcohol ad that comes on before 8.30pm.
Then with my careful documentation I will officially complain to the station I saw it on and look forward to another week of being ignored.

As stated above, things have already moved on and I haven't been ignored.
Feels weird to be not in a perpetual state of whingeing!