Have you ever tried to become an oncologist? It’s actually quite fucking difficult.

First, you need to finish high school with a higher-than-Lindsay-Lohan-on-a-relapse ATAR.

Then there’s the undergrad degree. And I’m not talking the usual kind of undergrad degree where you can spend about twelve hours a week off your tits listening to ukulele bands and shithouse performance poetry in the uni bar trying to hustle pool so you’ve got enough coin to buy chips and gravy. I’m talking six or seven years of actual fucking study and lectures and tutorials and clinical placements and getting elbow-deep in cadavers and only a tiny bit of being completely trolleyed and mostly only on weekends.

But you’ve only just started. You’ve still got an internship and a residency to get through, which means you’ll have been training, studying, researching, writing, talking, prodding, poking, testing and caring for about eight years and you’re still only about halfway fucking qualified. Add on another six or more years of post-post-graduate training to become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, which is precisely as fucking important and proper and scary as it sounds; get a few gazillion hours of patient contact, rural placements and being called out at stupid-o-clock to care for people under your belt; undertake the mother of all assessments; and there you are. Australia finally thinks you know enough to manage and treat cancer patients. You’re an oncologist.

I’ll tell you who’s not an oncologist. This blogger and flogger of fucking “motivational jewellery” and fucking “wellness wisdom nuggets”. She’ll tell you how to make delicious raw desserts and how to spend hours a day making juice and how to squirt coffee up your arsehole while wearing a nice frock and smiling for photos.
Will she cure cancer? Fuck no.

I’ll tell you who else isn’t an oncologist. This fucking guy. He’ll tell you that very special peptides made from very special piss will make you all better, but not before you cough up thousands of very special dollars. He’ll tell you he’s been published widely, as if that means a fucking thing if it’s not in a peer-reviewed journal that actual experts actually read. He’ll tell you he’s a fucking renegade genius, because no other quack in the history of the world before him ever claimed that, did they?
Will he cure cancer? Fuck no.

I’ll tell you who else isn’t an oncologist. Arsewipes who sell this fucking sinister slime. They’ll tell you this particular mix of poison and false hope can magically tell the difference between cancerous cells and healthy tissue, and only burn a massive gaping hole in your face in a nice way. They’ll tell you it’s only been banned by every self-respecting public health authority because they’re big fucking meanies who don’t want health crusaders to have the right to basic freedoms like promoting essential wellness or some other fucking bollocks.
Will they cure cancer? Fuck no.

There are thousands of easy ways to make money. You can sell jewellery or arse-espressos on a pretty website. You can test piss-derivatives on desperate patients for huge wads of cash. You can supply bloodroot mixed with jojoba and tell people to smear it on their sunspots until they fucking fall off.

Oncology isn’t easy. Sure, you can make money from it, but only if you spend years of time away from your own family trying to save someone else’s; using the very best knowledge that the collective history of thousands of really fucking smart people have managed to build over decades of dedication, to keep as many people as healthy as possible in the face of an indiscriminate bastard of a disease. It’s fucking hard, it’s fucking heartbreaking and it’s fucking important.

Fuck you, cancer quacks. Fuck. You.

Fuck you, internet.

May 7, 2013

Fuck you, internet.

Twenty years ago, I was blissfully unaware of how many different kinds of complete and utter fucking nutjobs wandered the Earth. But thanks to the technological free-for-all that is the internet, I’ve now got a metric shitload of bullshit pouring from my screen, with thousands of spittle-specked knobjockeys just a click away.

No longer can I go about my day, happy in the delusion that humans more or less agree about some reasonably simple concepts. That modern medicine is not inherently evil. That vaccination is not a secret plot to cull the population by knocking off innocent babbies. That the condensed exhaust trails of aircraft are not vapourised mind-controlling chemicals. That the Rothchilds are just a hardworking family trying to make ends meet in an unforgiving world.

But no. The internet brings a cavalcade of half-baked conspiracist fuckwits to my attention every single day. So fuck you, internet.

Some may, of course, argue that the internet has revolutionised the way we communicate with each other, and that it’s done wonders for bringing much-needed attention to some extremely important causes. Before the internet, I had no idea about the plight of kidnapped child soldiers, the insurmountable inequities of global finance or the very short shorts being sold in kids’ clothing stores. And now these magnificently worthy issues have been brought to the forefront of human consciousness.

But if all we’re doing when we become aware of these travesties is clicking a fucking ‘Like’ button or sitting in a town square holding a cardboard sign or putting a shitty little ribbon-shaped arrangement of pixels on a social media avatar, what’s the fucking point? Fuck you, internet.

Sure, the internet brings us news and information faster than any previously available medium, and that certainly sounds like a good thing. But unless Jeff Goldblum and Morgan Freeman are in fact dead, I remain fucking skeptical.

It’s true that the internet provides a great platform for interacting with news and events – every news article, blog post and uploaded broadcast provides an opportunity for any random fucknuckle to offer their two cents at its arse end. And where would we be without the dazzlingly constructive input of well-informed web users offering up their highbrow, hand-flapping feedback? Apparently dying from fluoride poisoning under the thumb of reptilian overlords and the strictures of Sharia Law. Well fuck you, internet.

I’m willing to concede that the internet has provided some pretty fucking nifty alternatives to outdated information sources and business models. You can now shop around for products, services, information or sexual partners without leaving the comfort of your crumb-covered comfy chair. But when those convenient services include medical advice from a fucking symptom-generator on the other side of the fucking world, convenience seems to be the poor ginger cousin of fucking commonsense. Here’s a tip: no doctor worth her title will tell you that the spots on your arse are either heat rash, Thrombocytopenia or gunshot wounds and ask you to choose your favourite. So fuck you, internet.

But why am I complaining to you? You’re quite clearly an intelligent and discerning individual who can tell the difference between bullshit and reality, and who uses the internet in a fulfilling and constructive way. Which is why you’ve spent the last five minutes reading an inane brain-dump written on a tiny blog by a fucking bear.

Turn the fucking thing off.

 

The Church of Sweary

March 9, 2012

Fuck it. I’m going to start my own religion. There are a few things I’ll need.

 

1. A frock and some giant novelty headgear.

Image

Nothing says “KNEEL DOWN BEFORE ME” like a flowing robe and a pointy hat with sparkles on it. Religious boss-men have been wearing shit like this for fucking centuries, since an era when this look was considered a little more majestic and authoritarian, and less ‘I-lost-a-bet-with-Glinda-the-Good-Witch’.

 

2. An instruction manual.

Image

Rather than sit down and have an actual fucking think about what my religion will teach people and how it will fit into the world, I’m going to grab the biggest book I can find, close my eyes and point randomly at passages, and shout them to an assembled crowd. One day it could be “THOU SHALT NOT KILL!!”, the next it could be “STONE ADULTERERS TO DEATH!!” and the next it could be “TABLE OF CONTENTS!!”

 

3. A financial plan.

Image

Fuck taxes. I’m going to adopt the age-old practice of adopting a woeful expression, pushing a basket into people’s faces and telling them they’re evil until they cough up the fucking cheddar, and I’m going to keep all of it. And the government is going to fucking let me.

 

4. Something from outer space.

Image

Scientology has Xenu the space guy. Heaven’s Gate had a rescue spaceship in a comet’s tail. Christianity has a managing director in the sky. And I will have a big angry space robot who rains shit down on people who kill, steal, read New Idea or say “O-M-G!” out loud.

 

Amen.

DEAR INTERNET: MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS BEING SUPPRESSED!

Oh, fuck off.

If you have the freedom to whine like a fucking toddler with a soiled nappy via a blog post, newspaper column, radio show or speaking tour, then your idea of freedom is fucked up.

For starters, Australians have no explicit right to freedom of speech. But we’re lucky enough to have the convention of free speech, with a shitload of other rights and privileges that prop it up. That’s why you’re allowed to sit around your house in the nude drinking imported gin and tweeting about why you think the government is running the country like a bunch of childish, self-serving pricks; or the shape-shifting reptilian royal family is plotting to inject humankind with mind-control chips, or the only way to get to heaven is to be very cross about abortion.

There are some things you’re not allowed to do, of course. And some of those things are even more important than being free to hang shit on whoever the fuck you like. It might surprise some people to learn that the actual rights of other people trump their imaginary right to spray chunks of hate-filled word-turds over an audience of mouth-breathing, russet-nosed sycophants.

Like gay people’s right to not be driven to suicide because they’re convinced by the people they look up to that they’re some kind of fucking abomination.

Like indigenous people’s right to identify themselves as Aboriginal, despite the relative light-absorbing qualities of their fucking epidermis.

Like the right of everyone to believe whatever the fuck they want, whether it’s in Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Mother Nature, the Lost Tribe of Shabazz or the Flying Fucking Spaghetti Monster without having some righteous knob-end tell you that their set of rules shits on your set of rules.

Like the right of anyone to disagree with what you say without you pissing and moaning about your rights being abused and calling in some fucking lawyerly type with a schmancy letterhead clutching the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

There. I’ve exercised my non-explicit freedom of speech. I need a fucking cup of tea.

 

The Stench of Success

February 3, 2012

Everyone‘s fucking famous these days. All you need is to get your mug on a website, sign up to one of a vast range of lame-arsed reality shows or stand in the window of a telly studio waving like a fucking moron while morning television presenters pretend they don’t want to shove a boom mike up your attention-grabbing date.

There’s only one thing that seems to differentiate the average self-important knob-in-the-street from the truly, undeniably, scumbag-papparazzi-attracting famous:

Fragrance.

That’s right. Wearing a spangly bikini on a 360-degree stage while miming into a blingy microphone won’t do it anymore. Receiving twelve million dollars for pretending to cry in front of a fucking camera won’t do it anymore. It’s not enough that people recognise your face, your clothes, your voice or your fucking backhand. In the twenty-first century, you have to have a famous odour.

Kylie has one. P.Diddy has one. Paris Hilton (remember her?) has fucking eight or something. Even Peter Andre has one, and it doesn’t smell like knob, surprisingly.

But what about those well-knowns who aren’t on stage, screen or sports field? Why does the market only support the stench of the pretty people? What about those other, less glamorous humans who, despite their lack of costumery, entourage or internationally-acquired pay-babies, nevertheless have made a big enough footprint in our lives to warrant their own overpriced bottle of stink? May I suggest the following:

Tony Abbot’s ‘No’
Tony’s manly new fragrance expertly blends ambition, a hint of the ocean unsullied by refugees and the musty family values of yesteryear. So close to the top job you can smell it, this fragrance reeks of desperation.

Julia Gillard’s ‘Soft’
At first sniff, this fragrance blend promises freshness, boldness and invincibility. Once it’s out of the bottle it softens the resolve of any hard-line policymaker, making the wearer an apologist for any constituents with the power to woo the Liberals if they don’t get their way.

Kyle Sandiland’s ‘Fat Slag’
Worn by Jackie O and a swarm of gutless, adolescent media executives, Fat Slag has a rambunctious, cheeky scent that is perfect for radio. Notes of egoism and misogyny will linger long after the bottle’s use-by date.

Melinda Tankard Reist’s ‘Feminismish’
No musky, alluring, heady olfactory treats here. Just the pure bouquet of white cotton crinoline with the suggestion of godliness and mandated full-term pregnancy.

Gina Rinehart’s ‘Mine! Mine! Mine!’
Artfully crafted from coal dust and the perspiration of the proletariat, this strictly-limited-edition rich essence is available only to non-threatening sycophants. Spray some of this on your ample assets and you’ll smell like 16.8 billion bucks.

Personally, I’d rather smell like a slightly damp, fucking cranky carnivore.

Fucking awards shows. They’re the broadcast entertainment equivalent of snapping a hot rubber band on a brand new haemorrhoid. I mean sure, if actors and writers and producers and telly-makers are doing an especially good job, by all means give them a free frock and a shiny trophy. But do I need to watch? Fuck no.

Category is read out. Nominees are listed. Close-ups of nominees putting on their best It’s-A-Privelege-Just-To-Be-Here-All-The-Other-Nominees-Are-Shit expression. Winner is announced. Gushing winner looks shocked and approaches the microphone to thank all the people they were bitching about in the make-up chair only hours ago. Roomful of stonkered hopefuls proffer polite pinkie-claps and try to remain upright. Rinse. Repeat. Gag. Retch.

Bah. Enough moaning. Voting has just opened for the 2012 Logie Awards, and I figure it’s time to offer an alternative. Allow me to present the nominations for the Inaugural Sweary Bear Telly Awards.

 

Best Program Concept by a Work Experience Kid

  • The Renovators
  • Question Time
  • Junior MasterChef
  • Anything with Eddie Maguire in it.

 

Most Ironic Placement of a ‘Celebrity’ In A Program With ‘Celebrity’ In The Title

  • Kirk Pengilly
  • Warwick Capper
  • Anthony Mundine
  • That bird who was in that show that time.

 

Most Amusing Portrayal of a Journalist

  • Helen Wellings
  • Karl Stefanovic
  • Andrew Bolt
  • Anyone in a chopper hovering over Channel Nine’s Brisbane HQ

 

Most Unnecessary News Story

  • “The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced that interest rates will remain the same”
  • “Relatives gathered at the funeral of [insert dead person’s name here]”
  • “An otherwise clean-cut celebrity tweeted something slightly off-colour today…”
  • “There’s a new and amusing series coming up on this very network so we’re spending five minutes promoting during this news broadcast because fuck all those dying soldiers. Fucking ratings killers.”

 

Most Creative Interpretation of “Comedy”

  • Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth
  • Angry Boys
  • Hey Hey It’s Saturday
  • Fat Pizza / Swift and Shift / Housos etc etc

 

Most Outstanding Performance in an Off-Screen Incident

  • Matthew Newton, for that time he fucked up.
  • Matthew Newton, for that other time he fucked up.
  • Matthew Newton, for fucking up again when he really should have known better.
  • The National Rugby League, for just about everything.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “what does a potty-mouthed arse-scratching bear know about etiquette?”

Well, I can spell etiquette without having to look it up. Other than that, fuck all. But you don’t have to be an expert to write a supercilious, authoritarian, speculative blog post (am I right, Meryl Dorey? Andrew Bolt?). So here it is – Sweary Bear’s guide to behaving yourself during Christmas lunch.

 

DO:

  • Gather as many family members and/or friends as you can stand together in a room. If, after a certain amount of time has elapsed, you cannot converse with said family members and/or friends without things turning into an almighty shit fight, utilise the numbing effect of stop-motion animated Christmas specials on the telly until the most offensive participants have fallen asleep.
  • Think about an appropriate exit strategy before you arrive at Aunty Doreen’s Mothballed House of Fragile Things. Suddenly remembering you have to go home to wash your hair just to escape the annual horror of hot brandy custard with lumps doesn’t really cut it on Christmas Day.
  • Give presents to people you love. That doesn’t mean buying them any old piece of production-line plastic shit from the Reject Shop that’s going to be tomorrow’s fucking landfill. Buy them a fucking pizza. Everyone likes pizza. As a matter of fact, buy me a pizza. Now.

 

DON’T:

  • Shout “This turkey’s STUFFED!!” and look around for approval, unless you are the only middle-aged, childless uncle in the family. In that case, people expect that kind of shit from you.
  • Assume that Christmas means the same to others as it does to you. If you’re all Goddy about it, then fucking yay for you. If not, grab an extra prawn while everyone else is saying grace. Who’s gonna know?
  •  Buy noisy, glittery toys for kids with a million little parts that fall off as soon as you breathe on them and need a fucking doctorate degree in engineering to put them back together again. Unless the kids’ parents bought you a novelty talking cookie jar last year, in which case, go fucking nuts.

 

MOST IMPORTANTLY:

If, over the so-called festive season, you get into a car with a bloodstream full of alcohol, please pass out in the driveway before you hurt anyone else, you fucking brainless moron.

Today I’m going to try to answer a simple question: What is science?

I’ve done a bit of reading* and discovered that science is, remarkably, more than just the only high school class in which you were allowed to set things on fire**.

I could go on a long, tedious fucking yawnfest about how in ancient fucking toga-land some extra-thinky philosophers started wondering what would happen if they actually started writing stuff down; and how the battle between objectivism and relativism and a bunch of pain-in-the-arse post-modernists have shaped science into the fully functioning, self-regulating, decreasingly imperfect knowledge-beast it is today. But I won’t.

I think the best way to describe science is to look at some examples of what it is, and what it most certainly fucking isn’t. Let’s do that right now.

Example 1: The Climate

A bunch of thousands of scientists from a large slab of countries around the world have been measuring temperatures, looking at environmental samples, punching all sorts of fucking numbers into complex and well-researched modelling systems for a few decades, and come up with the idea that global warming is, in all likelihood, accelerated significantly by what people do. That’s science.

A handful of other scientists, politicians, big industry knobs in suits and people with waterfront mansions decided that they didn’t really like the idea of switching off their machines and could move some of the numbers around a little bit and say “See? I can make it look like it’s all China’s fault!” and doesn’t carbon go in pencils anyway? That’s not fucking science.

Example 2: Immunisation

Once upon a time, a clever fucking bastard called Edward Jenner managed to figure out that you could force organisms to grow antibodies to a disease without actually getting the disease. The 200-and-a-bit years since have seen thousands of scientists from a large slab of countries around the world researching, developing, testing, improving and administering heaps of vaccinations, and to nobody’s fucking surprise, people don’t get some of the nastiest diseases anymore. That’s science.

A handful of hand-flapping, mouth-breathing drama queens and other people pretending to do science decided that everything bad that happens in the world is because vaccines are some dangerous and evil fucking plot to control the population, and that a few bad reactions from some statistically extremely unlucky vaccine recipients are a good reason to bring back widespread diseases that make your skin turn purple and your fucking brain swell up. That’s not fucking science.

Example 3: Homeopathy

It doesn’t even take thousands of scientists from a large slab of countries around the world five minutes to realise that you can’t treat anything with a molecule of horse shit dropped into a fucking swimming pool of vibrated water. Any halfwit knows that makes as much sense as a scrotum on a lawnmower. Not. Fucking. Science.

I’m glad we cleared all that science shit up. Now go forth and be sensible.

*I’m a bear and I can read. Don’t be shocked. Once I’d learned how to understand politics and use a laptop, it was a piece of piss.

**Within reason. Let’s not be a fucking idiot about it, kids.

Winning.

December 9, 2011

So I’ve been studying you humans for some time now. You fascinate me. You amuse me. You occasionally give me the shits. But most of all, you baffle the fuck out of me.

You spend hours agonising about hair. Styling it, cutting it, shaving it, pulling it out by the roots or killing it with a laser. Bears just fucking grow it.

You have complex systems of politics, law and ethics trying to figure out what’s right, wrong, good and bad. Bears make it simple – if you don’t want to hug it, rip its fucking head off.

You have books and TV shows dedicated to growing, storing, planning, cooking, plating, presenting and consuming food. Bears just eat the fucking stuff. And no, despite what you may have heard, we do not have fucking picnics.

But never mind all that. What has me intrigued is the faces you adorable little bastards pull when you win at sport. Especially blokes. You train for fucking years, you compete with the best of the best, you pull off a ball-bustingly incredible feat of endurance, coordination and technique, and you look like you’ve just eaten the arse out of a flatulent donkey.

I think something else is going on. Allow me to illustrate.

 

 

Image from The Examiner“I look like this when I win stuff.
And when my missus kicks me in the nuts.”
(image: examiner.com)

“My invisible puppet friend thinks I’m fucking awesome!”
(image: couriermail.com.au)

“My testicles are this big, you guys.”
(image: tvguide.com)

“I’ve got hair and Liz Hurley.
So you may take a seat right here, motherfuckers!”
(image: perthnow.com.au)

“Ouchy nipple cripple is ouchy.”
(image: smh.com.au)

It’s early December, and schools and universities around the country are spitting out graduates like so much masticated tobacco. The job market is about to be flooded with recruits so enthusiastic they make Steve Irwin look like a chronically fatigued slug*.

But how, after the post-exam weeks of getting tanked, jumping off balconies and shouting “AAWWBEGARRRNSSCUNT!” at cars, does one make a career choice? How do these spunky young upstarts put their newly-acquired skills and few remaining brain cells into action?

As always, Sweary Bear is here to help. Let’s talk jobbies.

Once upon a time, the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up, little Johnny?” would be answered with simple phrases like “A fireman!”, “A doctor!” or “A Architeck!”. Then sometime around the early nineties, job titles became more important than actual jobs and we started seeing shit like “Customer Experience Manager”, “Organisational Effectiveness Consultant” and “Media Strategist” appear in the Positions Vacant. Now how the fuck is little Johnny supposed to have any fucking ambition if he doesn’t know what the fuck people do?

If you’re one of those poor arses with a stupidly vague job title, you can do something to help the oncoming wave of starry-eyed job-seekers to navigate the baffling maze of job-title fucknuttery. If your name tag says, “Director of First Impressions”, cross it out and write “I Answer The Phone”. If the name plate on your cubicle says “Backend Developer”, cover it with a piece of masking tape that says “I Know What All Those Squiggles Mean”. And if you’re introduced on talk shows as a “Social Commentator”, look straight into the camera and shout “I’M A HOUSEWIFE AND THE PRODUCER IS MY BROTHER-IN-LAW!”

But at least answering phones, writing software and doing housework are real jobs. At least these people can climb into bed at the end of the day knowing that they actually fucking made someone’s life a little bit easier.

Not everybody with a job title can say the same. There are some dickheads prancing around offering goods and services so useless, so utterly fucking arse-born that I’m amazed people actually fall for it to the point of opening their wallet. But just because some clueless twat will pay you for what you do, doesn’t mean it’s a real job. Just because you can artfully place an adjective next to a fucking noun doesn’t mean you’re not a waste of fucking oxygen. I’m looking at you, Animal Whisperer. I’m looking at you, Energy Healer. And I don’t think I can even fucking look at you, Psychic Detective.

 

 

 

*Yes I know he’s dead. It’s a fucking simile.