Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The only certainties in life are death, taxes and a crowbar

I don’t normally like to air my political views on this blog, unless politics have changed in a way that now recognises Neighbours, drinking games and dinosaurs as points of conjecture. I’ve just been informed that this isn't the case, which is a pity. I would totally vote for a stegosaurus for PM.

This week, actress Cate Blanchett has chucked her two cents into a scheme in which the Aussie Government proposes to charge dinkie di Aussie battlers a few bucks to offset some kind of carbon emissions. I’ll be honest, I probably do exceed my emissions quota following my Thursday burrito ritual, but I usually contain my “carbon” within my doona that night, so I reckon I am fairly neutral in that regard.

Cate reckons we should just pay up and shut the fuck up about it. This is quite easy for Ms Blanchett to say and do, seeing as she’s massively rich. If I earned $30 million from appearing in movies so underground that they never get released, I’d be feeling quite generous myself and would probably feel ok about telling other people to shell out some more taxes. She has defended her position by pointing out the solar panels on the roof of her mansion and declaring that carbon emissions are close to her heart and she’d do anything to get the word out there. By the way, Cate Blanchett and her rich thespian family live in a mansion that they bought for $10.2 million.

Three years later, they renovated it.

If I bought a house for $10 mill, it’d want to be the most fucking perfect house I’d ever seen, with a bat-pole connecting the lounge room to the kitchen and a room dedicated to practicing handstands. Here’s an idea, Blanchey – you pay for everyone else’s shit and carry on being a great actor. Your work in Lord of the Rings was brilliant – you shared the screen with Hollywood legends like the kid from The Goonies, the bloke from Lost and Steve Tyler’s daughter.

I am not a rich man – hell, I’m barely even a man (but I’m going into surgery again next week, so that should be rectified pronto), but I am also not living below the poverty line; I can still keep myself fed with Corn Flake sandwiches and jars of pickles. I wear cardigans that I didn’t rack from someone’s clothesline (I fucking love cardigans) and don’t have to whore myself out to pay the rent (I do it for the love of it). If I choose to spend my whole salary on beef jerky (and don't think I haven't thought about it), then that's up to me. I don’t particularly enjoy copping instructions from a motherfucking actor about paying a tax for something I'm not entirely sure I contribute a whole lot to. The Chinese produce about 22% of the world's carbon emissions (compared to Australia's 1.3%) - put your super-stardom to work in China if you're that passionate. I'm sure they care as much about your solar panels as I do.

Fuck off Cate, before I tax the shit spelling of your name. It’s hurting my spell-check.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

NRL 2011 - Round 12: I pick all home teams (spoiler warning)

Following the circus of State of Origin, we’re back into the regular NRL season again. Speaking of Origin, congratulations to the Queensland boys for their victory. It’s only fair that they won, as I’d feel bad if us southerners had teeth as well as a trophy. It’s nice to share things sometimes.

Special thanks to the Blues for trying the “pass wide from the kick off” trick I suggested last week – it would have worked if the ref didn’t ruin everyone’s fun. I am also available to coach your team so you don’t have to keep stealing my ideas. Just ask, lads.

We’re also back to full rounds of the regular season, which is always nice – it does add a bit of pressure to picking a winner though, as you’re never sure if someone is going to back up after their Origin performance, or if they’re injured, or tired or hungover or have syphilis (not to mention any names Michael Ennis) and decide at the last minute that they won’t bother playing this week because they really don’t feel like earning their salary.

The good news is that the Raiders are looking to make it three wins in a row as they take on a determined, yet ultimately unsuccessful Bye team, who are still looking for their first win in the NRL.

Sea Eagles vs Broncos
Bulldogs vs Titans
Knights vs Eels
Cowboys vs Roosters
Storm vs Sharks
Dragons vs Tigers
Panthers vs Rabbitohs

Holy shit, did they decide to make this round the one where all of the struggling teams play each other? Fuck me, what a mess.

MEB cumulative score: 43

Origin I wrap up

I almost spat my beer out when I saw that they gave Man of the Match to Cameron Smith. I’m fairly sure I saw him lining up at the bar during the game. I would have thrown the award to Petero Civenociva; the guy is about a million years old and runs around like a teenager. A giant, giant teenager.

There were some stand-out highlights during the game; Darius Boyd’s hit on Gasnier, NSW’s staunch defence on their goal line for about eighty-seven consecutive sets, Josh Dugan cutting off his Jedi-rat’s tail, the post-siren fight, the post-siren-post-fight interview with Darren Lockyer (actually, any Lockyer interview is worth its weight in lip-reading classes) and the cracking rendition of our national anthem all deserve mentions. But the Mister Evil Breakfast Special Moment Of State Of Origin I (MEBSMOSOOI) was hearing Peter Sterling use the phrase “Welcome to the X-Men: First Class half time break” as if it was the most normal sentence he’s ever uttered.

Sterlo’s mutant ability is the power to keep a straight face.

It's such a graceful game

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

State of Origin WOO

Is there a better time of year for a die-hard rugby league fan other than Origin time? Yes actually, especially if that person is from NSW, as those useless blue-jersey-wearing-nancy-boys are too busy making sure their mascara isn’t running and swapping stories about the time they thought they saw Justin Bieber at Coles to worry about turning up to tackle a QLD player. You see, in the beginning, God created dinosaurs... and that was pretty much the last time that NSW won a game of footy (it was an epic battle that ultimately saw the NSW T-rex step around the QLD Stegosaurus, whose spines proved far less effective in defence than previously thought) to score in the corner and seal the victory in the final minutes of the game. The media was all over the QLD coach following the selection of the Stego over the more highly fancied Ankylosaurus, whose form during the season had been outstanding. The Stego was dropped for the following game and cancelled his contract with the NRL that year, opting to finish his career in the UK Super League and ultimately died in a tar pit accident.

Sad story, but all of it is completely true, except the part about the dinosaurs.

2011 offers NSW their best chance to exact revenge on their maroon-coloured counterparts as they’ve finally picked a five-eighth to play in the five-eighth position, a hooker to play in the hooker position (and a back-up hooker in case he’s shit, and knowing Michael Ennis, he will be) and some big blokes in the middle to bash it out with the other big blokes. It’s a decent team, despite the inclusion of Michael Jennings.

If NSW does has an obvious weak spot, it’s the defensive capabilities of the halves combination of Jamie “About Time You Fucking Picked Me” Soward and Mitchell “Mitchell Pearce” Pearce, who are both professional bullfighters in their spare time, and pride themselves on managing to dodge anything more aggressive than a startled grasshopper that happens to run in their general direction. However, Sowie has a great kicking game, is quick off the mark, looks a treat in headgear and is a decent goal kicker, so we can forgive him his shortcomings when it comes to tackling. Fucked if I’d want to do it either (which is probably why I’ve been left out of the team AGAIN).

QLD have their usual assortment of troops lining up to have their wives and girlfriends touched up by Jonathon Thurston, Lockyer is already gargling sulphuric acid, and Jharal Yow Yeh is wondering if that is seriously his real name, or if it’s a practical joke that no-one has ever had the heart to tell him “Dude, your name is really Frank Jones.” Decent player, yes, but if I had to choose between Jharal and my vacuum cleaner as a lifeline on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, you know that busted ol’ Hoovex is getting the call.

This game will hopefully be a more closely-contested game than in previous years – it did become demoralizing watching the lead-up interviews with the Queensland players trying to keep a straight face when asked how they were going to ‘contain Kurt Gidley.’ Their response was straight from the book: “He’s a definite threat, for sure, but we have to ensure that we don’t just focus on him, as there are gamebreakers right across the park for New South Wales,” instead of the more honest and accurate: “Did they really pick him? Now I don’t feel bad at all for drinking that whole bottle of tequila on the way here.”

MEB’s prediction

Head to head, I think as far as forwards go, NSW have better ball-players than their bogan cousins from up north, and as much as I hate to admit it, Paul “I’m not entirely sure I’m not from Queensland” Gallen is about as hard a bloke as you’re going to find this side of Brick Shithouse Island.

Queensland have the upper hand in the halves with seasoned performers Thurston and Lockyer directing the gorilla army around the field, and will be at their most dangerous if Thurston can continue his form from the regular season for this game. If he can be handled early in the game by the NSW boofheads, he’ll lose his temper and start looking for desperate passes, and will rely too much on Billy “the Rat” Slater with his inside balls (heheh). For NSW, Soward will be buoyed by the fact that he is surrounded by his St George team-mates, and should avoid passing to Mitchell Pearce at all costs.

The battle of the fullbacks should go to the abovementioned Rat, as Josh “At Least I’m Not Jarryd Hayne” Dugan battles niggling injuries and ordinary form coming into the game. However, with limited preparation time, Dugan will be expected only to perform adequately, so any fullback wizardry that he can pull out of his infected armpit will stand out like Akuila Uate in the NSW line-up. As long as he does enough to keep Hayne away for Game 2, I’ll be happy. He might want to try and actually tackle in this game though; something he hasn’t really attempted since 2009.

The match up between the wingers appears to be pretty even between the outside four. Let’s be honest though, if a game is won or lost due to these blokes, it probably means it has been a fairly average game to watch. I do like Morris though, he seems like a good kid. He can definitely buy me a beer one day.

Summing up (you thought I was going to do that in the previous bit, didn’t you?)

Ummmmm. QLD by a couple, but not as many as they probably reckon.

Squinting: Not as effective as ducking

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NRL Round 11: Shmate of Shmorigin

First of all, I have no fucking idea what happened to my font and formatting for last week’s blog; when I posted it the whole thing looked fine – so fine, in fact, that I was tempted to make sweet, sweet love to it (but didn’t) (yes I did) – and when I checked it sometime over the weekend to boost my blog ranking, the whole thing looked shithouse. So I apologise if people out there were waiting for my all-knowing knowledge and feel let down. If you feel this way, I give you permission to yell abuse at me when you drive past me on the street. Sometimes my awesomeness exceeds the limits that ‘default settings’ can allow.

Onto Round Eleven!

The teams for State of Origin (part 1) were announced on the weekend, with a couple of positions raising a few eyebrows (personally, I raised three) with their choice of personnel to fill out a jumper. On the NSW front, I wouldn’t have picked Michael Jennings over Jamal Idris for starters, and in a discussion that I dreamt about, Jennings agrees.

“My form has been pretty shithouse for a few weeks now, MEB,” said Jennings. “Sometimes I’m not even sure if I have been playing, such is the low impact of my performances this year. Besides, if you had to choose between a bloke called Michael and a guy called Jamal, who would you pick?"

"An excellent point. I also think that the name Jamal would take away the power of Jharal, who is making his Origin debut."

"Jharal is a pretty special name. It's not quite a name or word AND it has an H in it that doesn't really belong."

"Michael Jennings, thanks for your time."

"No worries MEB. By the way, I play for Penrith.”

"Sure you do."

Then he turned into a peacock and flew away, and I know that peacocks can’t actually do that. That’s how I knew I was in a dream and I was getting all Inception on myself.

The State of Origin award for Most Sought After Position was given to the fullback slot, and Josh “I’ll play when I want to” Dugan accepted the award in place of Jarryd “Superfluous Y” Hayne (make that two), while the All My Team Mates Get A Game, What About Me? trophy was given to Dean Young, despite the fact there are about forty-seven better hookers in the NRL at any given time.

QLD were dealt a couple of blows (hehe) with their centre pairing of Greg “Me Get More Money Now” Inglis and Justin “Pass the ball? Never heard of it” Hodges being ruled out with wallet strains. A couple of numpties were brought in to replace them in the shape of Dane “Who?” Neilson and Willie “Oh that guy” Tonga. If NSW have any balls at all (TBC), they should throw the ball wide to Gasnier from the kick-off and let him dance around both of these guys in a 90m run, in a somewhat similar fashion to “the Girdler try” of the 2000 series.

State of Origin is a special time. It stirs up an ancient magic called Queenslander Pride, which works like Roger Ramjet’s Proton-Energy Pills, and anyone wearing a maroon-coloured shirt gains superhuman powers. I honestly think that the superpowers are more in the form of being better footy players than the opposition, but if you explain that to a Queenslander, you just get grunted at before they head off to scratch their back against the bark of a tree. God bless you, Queenslanders. You truly are an evolutionary miracle.

So with the whole shebang about Origin, there’s another split round this week as the NSW and QLD players head into camp to train, bond, rape, pillage and plunder. Some teams will feel the loss more than others, but they deserve it for hogging all the talented players.

Tigers v Panthers
Warriors v Rabbitohs
Roosters v Knights
Eels v Sharks

Canberra vs Bulldogs

Another shithouse performance by the Raiders last week saw them remain cemented on the… wait… what? They won? Well fuck me in the eye with a spanner.

This is undoubtedly the beginning of a charge to the Grand Final for the mighty Green Machine as they dig deep and find some Territory Pride in the pits of their stomach to notch up another win. The Raiders are on a bit of a roll, having won their last game and now have one victory in a row, equalling their best performance so far from this year set in round one.

Seriously, get on board the Green Wagon. It’s not going to stop.

The Wolfman was in an instant coma after 'planking' and has only just woken up

MEB cumulative score: 42

Monday, May 16, 2011

Oh Mr Sheen

Following the rapid decline of Charlie Sheen’s sanity and integrity, he was fired from the “hit television show” Two and a Half Men, in which he played one of the Men, whose name I believe was Charlie. If I was in a sitcom, I’d make the character I was playing be named Mister Evil Breakfast as well, because I have a bad memory and would forget which person I was meant to be playing. When I was in kindergarten, my class put on a Christmas play for our parents, and I was picked to play one of the Three Wise Men (obviously) who sought out the baby Jesus and gave it gold, frankincense and myrrh. I do love me some myrrh for birthdays. Anyway, in order to give all of the kids in the class a role, we used a bit of creative license with the Bible story and introduced three kings and three shepherds who were also following the Star to the manger in which Jesus (aka Cindy the Cabbage Patch Kid) lay.

During the rehearsals, my teacher said to me, “Mister Evil Breakfast, you are Wise Man Number Two. You walk out after Wise Man Number One and before Wise Man Number Three. But first you wait for the Three Kings and then the Three Shepherds.” With Mrs Kindyteacher spouting off all of those names, I got terribly confused. This is why there were four Kings (one of whom was carrying myrrh, did not have a crown and was pulled off stage by his teacher when he was halfway to the manger) who went to meet Jesus, followed by four shepherds (one of whom was carrying myrrh, did not have a shepherd’s crook and was pulled off stage by his teacher when he was halfway to the manger) and then two Wise Men who were carrying gold and frankincense, followed by a third Wise Man (and his teacher) who was quite frankly a bit apprehensive about joining any more parties on their way to the birth of the messiah, and didn’t want to give up his myrrh when he got there anyway. This is probably why I heckle the priest at church on Christmas Eve. Also, because I’m drunk on Communion wine (and tequila).

About 27 years after my sparkling performance in my kindergarten play which no doubt inspired Charlie Sheen’s acting career, Sheensie was fired from acting as himself on Two and a Half Men following mad cocaine binges with porn stars, prostitutes and according to Sheen himself, ‘a two-headed unicorn from Neptune’ and then firing up his Twitter account to hurl abuse and speak gibberish at anyone who would listen. Without its main attraction, the show has been on ‘hiatus’ as the geniuses at the studio try to work out what to do with this fucking retarded but ultimately insanely popular program.

In a recent announcement, it was decided that Two and a Half Men will be cancelled in the not-too-distant future. To ensure that this is done properly, the producers have hired a Hollywood euthanasia expert in the form of Ashton Kutcher to perform this tricky procedure. Under the watchful eye of Dr Kutcher, the high-rating sitcom will be revived from its current coma before being choked until it is dead, kicked a few times and drowned in battery acid (with a hint of paprika). Then they’ll kick it again just for shits and giggles and set it on fire.

Kutcher was quoted as saying, “Don’t worry, I can kill this show off, regardless of its success. I’ve done it a thousand times before.” He has also shown interest in joining the cast of Merlin and it is rumoured that he will appear in a handful of episodes of Winners and Losers.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

NRL Round 10: Back to bidness

After the short round last week, we’re back into the swing of the regular season for Round 10. There are still a few question marks over some of these games though, as players start resting themselves for representative honours with the State of Origin squads to be named in the next few days.

On the topic of Origin, a player I’d like to stab in the face with a ball-point pen and then kick in the throat a few times while he tries to extract said pen from his eye socket (ew) is Mark Gasnier. “Gaz” is a disgrace to Gaz’s all over the world as he has pulled out of this round’s game against the Doggies but has declared himself “right” for Origin. In fact, Mark Fuckbag Gaz Gasnier has even been picked as a front-runner for the NSW captaincy.

Oh, I’m sorry Fuckbag - if you want to win Lotto, you have to buy a ticket. You can’t just waltz into the newsagent and demand your $20 million (I’ve tried, it just doesn’t work). Gaz is a shining example of a major scourge in the NRL at the moment – too many self-appointed fucking champions of the world who think they deserve knighthoods just for turning up, lobbing a ball around and then limping off with a “niggling hamstring injury” before returning the week after to play a shithouse team where they can star. You want to play Origin, dickhead? Turn up and play well for your club. You want the captaincy, fuckbag? Try showing a bit of leadership. Sometimes it takes more than a face four-times-too-small-for-your-head to achieve things in life; you may have to actually work for this one.

Such a waste - there are starving African children who have no heads, and Gas has this monstrosity

Other news around the traps states that the Sharks “may sledge” Todd Carney in his return game for the Roosters this week. Wow Sharks, you guys are rad. In another breaking story, boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. Any team that doesn’t sledge Carney should be delisted from the NRL and sent back to the lesbian hippie commune that they came from.

This is how you sledge

Bulldogs v Dragons
Panthers v Broncos
Cowboys v Eels
Rabbitohs v Tigers
Knights v Warriors
Sharks v Roosters
Titans v Sea Eagles

Storm vs Raiders
Canberra coach Dave Furner has been watching his back every time he leaves his house this week as the Raiders fans yearn for his blood following a fairly fucking disastrous start to the season. However, he has pulled what will prove itself to be either ‘a master stroke,’ ‘another monumental fuck-up,’ ‘sheer laziness,’ or 'I don't give a fuck anymore' in naming the same side to play the Storm that lost 20-0 to Manly.

I guess there’s really not much else to try other than to keep the same idiots on the field to get some kind of continuity going. As the saying goes, “if a million monkeys typed on a million typewriters for a million years, they would write the complete works of Shakespeare.” The Raiders have a roster of seventeen monkeys and about eighty minutes to put together a decent game of footy. As much as I love them, I can’t help but think they'll need a few extra monkeys and a bit more time to notch up a win this week. And a tank.

MEB cumulative score: 38

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Say it's not true!

Leading the newsfeed on my monitor as I checked my email instead of doing work last week was the devastating news that Ryan Phillippe had announced his retirement from acting. I will let you insert your own line about whether or not he actually ever began acting in the first place; personally I can’t remember him being in a movie since he did that one where Buffy and Selma Blair make out.

I am not sure what ‘retiring from acting’ actually means; I understand all of the words in that phrase, but together it just doesn’t quite make sense. Retirement conjures up the image of an old bloke pottering around in his garden before putting on his long socks and sensible shoes and heading down to the RSL for a midi of light beer and a sneaky slap on the pokies every Tuesday afternoon. At age 36, I have a suspicion that Ryan Phillippe would look out of place having a chat with Old Barry, who tries to pack his pipe with shaking hands while telling you about the time he saw Don Bradman bat.

Let’s be honest, an actor is traditionally not an essential cog in anyone’s machine (“Oh no, Two and a Half Men isn’t on!” “Oh no, there’s no more episodes of Sea Patrol!” “The Logies are way more interesting this year,”) so I am somewhat bewildered by Phillippe’s announcement. It’s not like he’s integral to any particular field - he is not a pioneer of medical science, nor is he a forward-thinking world leader. He’s not risking his life for others, and he’s not digging wells in Pakistan. To be perfectly Francis, he’s not even much of an actor.

The impact of Phillippe’s announcement is yet to be fully appreciated. While it means that there is one less smarmy actor with dimples, good hair and nice teeth gracing our screens, I doubt even the most hardened studio executives will be crying into their cocaine for the loss. “We’ll just get that guy from The Social Network instead,” they’ll say. “Or the guy who played Darth Vader in the Star Wars prequels,” they’ll say. “Maybe we could call Jake Gyllenhall,” they’ll say. “Can we coax Phillippe out of retirement?” they will not say.

What does it really mean to retire from acting, rather than ‘couldn’t be arsed going for an audition’ anyway? I think the term he meant was 'quitting acting.' That way, he can try and land himself a regular job to keep the rent paid, the bills off the fridge and the hair gel plentiful. I would like to imagine Ryan Phillippe plonking himself down in an interview for a desk job that pays $45,000 a year and explaining the gaps in his work history.

“You don’t seem to have any office experience in your resume, Mr Phillippe.”
“I was in that movie where I hooked up with Reese Witherspoon.”
“I was also in 54.”
“Nobody saw that.”
“My mum did.”
“No she didn’t.”
“I could act like an office worker.”
“No you couldn’t.”

Sometime in the future, there’ll be a 3D superhero spin-off movie that yearns for Ryan Phillippe to come out of retirement, just once (and once more for the sequel). Good luck filling that void.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

NRL 2011 Round 9: It’s Bin a Big Week

With the events of the last seven days, it’s hard to imagine that life will ever be quite the same again. It has been an historic part of our lives, and depending on which way you look at it, it’s either the end of a chapter, or the beginning of a whole new story.

Sometimes writing about rugby league teams facing off against each other seems fairly insignificant when you think about it, especially when you consider what we have experienced in the last week. And as the USA celebrates, the rest of the world can only wonder “what’s next?”

I just cannot believe that Mariah Carey has given birth to twins.
I thought (hoped) she was dead.

Round 9 of the NRL marks the beginning of the “Representative Season” as the Kangaroos take on the Kiwis, City takes on Country, the State of Origin teams get named and the St Mary’s Under-12 round-robin tournament begins. As a result, there’s only a handful (or two handfuls if you have small hands) of regular NRL games to tip this week, many of which will be difficult pick as the exact make-up of each side will be uncertain until kick-off and will probably have more players from the Under-12s than regular first-graders in any case.

I tipped a full round last week (and a big FUCK YOU to everyone who said my tips were all shit and I’d be better off practicing my blow job technique on a loaded shotgun THANKS VERY MUCH MUM) so the pressure is on this week to continue my winning ways.

In interesting NRL news, the video referee has been stood down for this round following repeated poor performances this year. I’m pretty sure this is the first time in the history of sport that a piece of equipment has been sent to the reserve grade to hone their technique.

“Sorry Schumacher, you’re performing quite well, but your car is out for the next race. Good luck with that.”
“The Bulls and the Knicks will contest this game without a ball, who has been relegated following disciplinary action.”
“Hey Ponting, we think that your bat is in good touch, but you really aren’t up to scratch, so we’re sending you to Shield cricket for a few weeks. Also, your box has been made captain. And your left pad is vice.”

Australia vs NZ
City vs Country
Broncos vs Storm
vs Warriors
Dragons vs Cowboys

Sea Eagles vs Raiders

Dear Raiders,

Thank you for your application to be the spokespeople for Johnson & Johnson’s Cotton Wool Balls. Unfortunately, you have been deemed ‘too soft’ for this role and your application will not progress any further.


Some Cotton Wool Making Guy at Johnson & Johnson’s

Last week’s performance by the mighty mighty mighty fucking fucked-up fucking Raiders rates amongst their worst ever, and they will be keen to restore a bit of pride as they attempt to avoid equalling their all-time losing streak.

For the stoush against Manly this week, both teams have a few players backing up from rep games, so this should be a fairly evenly-contested contest that will be contested fairly evenly. However, since it’s the Raiders, they will all injure themselves in the warm-up to the City-Country extravaganza (possibly stepping off the bus and breaking a pelvis) and should carry on their excellent form from this year and come away with another resounding loss. Come on boys, you can do it. EIGHT IN A ROW WOO!

Seriously Raiders, I love you. But you’re bringing me down.

Canberra prop Dave Shillington tries out the new training gear at Raiders HQ to strengthen his index fingers.

MEB cumulative score: 35

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Now we all know what goulash is

Another year of MasterChef is upon us (WOO!). Another year where pretty people cook pretty things pretty badly. A chance for three unattractive blokes with aprons but without personalities to become, by definition, personalities themselves. MasterChef lets people get all “oooh that sounds very nice!” about some bloke’s eggplant and baby octopus flavoured biscuits, simply because he speaks with a French accent, wears a stupid hat and is selling said biccies at $8 a pop.

Despite the Channel Ten execs promoting this season of MasterChef as ‘entirely different’ to previous years, it appears that it’s going to be more of the same rubbish, with the focus on the tension and drama between the contestants who break down in tears at the first sign of their cucumber and mountain-goat soufflĂ© sticking to the baking tin, instead of concentrating on showing them cooking, learning how to cook or talking to each other about cooking. The promos released by the network show the contestants doing boot camps, living without power and climbing a fucking mountain – none of which is entirely helpful when you’re trying to win a cooking contest. Athletes trying out for the 100m sprint event at the Olympics aren’t asked to roast a pheasant before they’re allowed on the track. An accountant doesn’t have to balance an egg on its point while singing the Home and Away theme song before his firm gives him a job. Why the fuck would anyone care how useless some fucking idiot is at putting up a tent while they’re camping in the bush when the basis of the show is about putting crap in a pan and heating it up properly? If they get a job as a chef, I don’t care if they can juggle chainsaws or whittle wood – as long as they can cook my fucking steak, I’m happy.

The 2011 season of MasterChef continues its proudly annoying tradition of appealing to the 6% of Australians who are blind – not counting me on Saturday nights through to Monday mornings – by getting the contestants to recap exactly what is being shown on the screen as it happens.

Big fat Matt Preston is standing in a room holding a box. Contestants walk into the room and stand in front of big fat Matt Preston.

Contestant #1: “So we walked into, you know, this room and there was Matt holding a box. I couldn’t help but wonder what was in that box, you know?”
Contestant #2: “I just want to know what’s in that box.”
Contestant #8: “Oooh. A box.”

Close up of big fat Matt Preston as he speaks to the contestants, his jowls moving hypnotically in slow motion.

Big fat Matt Preston: “I bet you’re all wondering what’s in this box.”
Contestant #3: “And he says, ‘I bet you’re all wondering what’s in this box,’ and I was like, ‘Yes, I am wondering what’s in that box.’”
Contestant #4: “I mean, anything could have been in that box. I just wanted to know what it was.”
Contestant #9: “What’s in that box? I think we were all wondering it.”
Contestant #10: “I was definitely wondering what was in the box.”

Big fat Matt Preston opens the lid of the box, but the contents are obscured to the viewers and contestants.

Contestant #1: “Then Matt opens the box. I couldn’t see what was in it; no one really could see. I just knew that it was, you know, a mystery.”
Contestant #7: “I really want to know what’s in that box. I was really nervous not knowing the contents of the box. And then Matt tells us what’s in the box.”
Contestant #8: “So Matt tells us what’s in the box. After so much anticipation, it was a great relief to hear what was in the box.”

Fat Matt Preston talking (and sweating slightly).

Fatt Matt Preston: “Asparagus!”
Contestant #7,320: “Asparagus!”
Contestant #54: “Asparagus?”
Contestant #92: “I would not have guessed asparagus. I was thinking it might be fish. Or mangoes. But not asparagus.”
Contestant #8: “Ha, asparagus. You have to hand it to Matt Preston. I mean, no one would have expected that box to have asparagus in it. Wow. Asparagus.”

The next scene will have the contestants doing some kind of test where they have to walk through a room with saucepans on their feet while making the least amount of sound to win the opportunity to have first pick of the asparagus. No one will learn anything about cooking with asparagus, asparagus recipes or nutritional asparagus information, but a running commentary of a bunch of dickheads walking across a room with saucepans on their feet will be provided (“And I was walking across the room with saucepans on my feet and then I fell over.”)

The next thing we’ll see (and hear about) is one of the contestants making some kind of asparagus and white rhino goulash. We don’t know how they made it, what they're putting into it, why they opted for the subtle flavour of white rhino over the stronger taste of an African elephant, or even what the fuck a goulash is. We just see them goulashing away in various states of crying, while saying, “I turned the heat up to a million because I was running out of time,” while showing us a close-up of the stove and a shot of the clock, instead of hearing “a goulash is a European stew with meat and vegetables, and is usually seasoned with paprika and other spices. I think the rhino meat will add a nice consistency to the goulash but not overpower the taste of asparagus, which will make our pee smell funny tomorrow.”

While it’s nice for MasterChef producers to cater (see what I did there?) to our vision-impaired friends, I’m going out on a limb and saying that there probably aren’t a whole lot of blind people with massive ambitions to become chefs. There's something about a lack of sight combined with sharp knives, boiling pots of water and hot pans of oil that kind of turns people away. It would be mildly entertaining to watch for a while though.

This year’s series has already given us a local hero – John Hughes (sadly, not the bloke who wrote and directed The Breakfast Club, because he's dead [although that's a whole new reality show in the making: "Weekend at Bernie's MasterChef auditions"]) – has been awarded some kind of bravery medal for not serving up any food at all. I know quality is everything, but if I was in a restaurant and the waiter brought me a nice white plate with a napkin on it, I don’t think I’d be too happy. I wouldn’t run up to him and start licking his hand while dry-humping his leg while praising him for not cooking me food. If I was going to do that, I'd just stay home and go nuts on my ironing board (hello Thursday).

However, good luck to everyone involved in the show. I look forward to ordering a Big Mac from you when the contest is over, and you'd better not fuck with the sauce.

Last year’s winner Adam has gone onto great things including playing Funzo in an episode of The Simpsons