The House that Jack Built

It has to be so cloak and dagger, all hidden behind drawn curtains to protect the feelings of the ones who knock at the door, or ask you to dinner.

… but inside, the floorboards are rotting, the furniture is splintered, and the fabrics are stained with the overwhelming confusion of feelings.

An angel wars with a devil, but the battle was over long ago. The wounded just aren’t healing, that’s all.

And then another bullet comes whizzing through that gap you left open for the cats to come in.

This is the House that Jack Built. And its foundations were never solid.

Want to help me change the world? Seriously.

How many times have you seen footage of starving, dying people, and wished you could do something about it, but financial circumstances don’t allow it, or you just don’t know where to start – so many people need help.

It seems that a group of Australian University students asked themselves that question in 2008, after discovering the World Water Crisis – the fact that 900 million people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.

They also discovered that Australians spend $600 million annually on bottled water, when we have unlimited access to free, high quality drinking water from every single tap in the house.

What they did next, is what many of us clicking ‘like’ on useless Human Rights Facebook posts wish we had the guts to do.

They developed a product, and a company, that exists solely to provide clean water projects across the world, to those who are dying without them.

Image courtesy of Thankyou

Image courtesy of Thankyou

They developed Thankyou Water, and through Thankyou Water, 50,000 people now have access to clean and safe drinking water, who otherwise wouldn’t.

Thankyou Water has grown into the Thankyou Movement, and very soon Australians will also be able to buy Thankyou Cereals, Muesli Bars, Body Wash, Moisturiser & Hand Sanitisers. The proceeds of these products will go towards sustainable food and hygiene programs, which, combined with the clean water programs, will reduce water-borne diseases – the real killer – significantly.

The products have been created in consultation with leading experts in those fields, and will be at competitive prices.

I came across Thankyou Water on a trip to Melbourne with Sid, both of us filled with that warm, fuzzy feeling when we read the packaging, and immediately recognised the impact this could have on humanity, an impact you can see by going to the Thankyou Movement’s website and entering the code found on your product. Even better, you can create an account, to track the cumulative impact of all your purchases.

Unfortunately, Thankyou Water isn’t stocked anywhere in this little town we call home.

That’s where the Thankyou Coles and Woolworths Campaign comes in.

The Thankyou Movement has a meeting scheduled with Australia’s largest supermarket juggernauts, in two weeks’ time. Thankyou are asking them to stock their products, in order to reach as many Australians as they can, and in turn, help as many people as they can.

Thankyou believes in their products, but more than that, Thankyou believes in us.

Thankyou believes that they aren’t the only ones who are shocked and heartbroken that in an age where we consider ourselves to be wholly enlightened as a species, we are allowing fellow humans to die when we have more than enough money to prevent it entirely.

They believe that we, the consumers, if given the opportunity, will choose to spend our money on a product that helps actual humans, instead of the traditional custodians of the consumer’s cash – the filthy, greedy corporations, who not only exist solely to get richer and richer, but who pressure government to tailor legislation to the corporation’s needs, not the country’s, nor the consumers’.

Coles and Woolworths, like Hollywood and Musicland need to wake up.

The internet is a thing now. It’s a place we come together to discuss world issues, and cats. It’s a place we live in, we shop in and we do more and more of our business in. It’s where we find our entertainment.

Microsoft learned a harsh lesson in 2013. The People are just as knowledgeable as the product’s creators now. The People know when you are being greedy.

The People are People. Corporations are not. And The People are very, very tired of that.

What’s the risk, Coles and Woolworths? You get your cut of the product sales and do an actual good thing for the world. Look at it as an offset for all the bad you do by owning all those poker machines.

I will be petitioning my employer to purchase this water, wherever possible. I will also be petitioning local cafes and restaurants to do the same.

Imagine if even one hotel chain in this country picked up the Thankyou Product Range for their hotel rooms – water, food and body care – the impact that could have across the globe.

It all begins with you, Coles and Woolworths. And us, Australia.

To make this possible, I urge everyone to watch and share the Thankyou Movement’s Coles and Woolworths Campaign video, and contact these supermarkets via their Facebook pages (as linked above) to let them know you would purchase these products if they were made available to you.

There’s a lot we can’t change in the world, don’t miss your chance to actively help make this world a safer and happier place – for everyone.

Audience Participation

There’s so much that could, and has already, been said about the place music holds within society that it feels ridiculous to even attempt it myself.

… but, you see, there’s this little, unknown band called Pearl Jam, who, for the past twenty years, have been some of the only witnesses to the person inside me. They’re the ones who get to see the ugly crying – the kind where snot drips down your red, splotchy face, and you sound like Claire Danes in Romeo & Juliet. That one. Like, a honk.

They’ve seen me at my most broken and confused, on the nights where I’ve been left alone with the bottle for far longer than is safe for me, and I spin through moments of clarity and confusion, before calling in to visit irrational anger on my way to blackout bedtime.

They’ve seen me on those depressed days, when Sid was away,  staring at walls in the same pyjamas I’ve worn for the past 2, unshowered days, avoiding mirrors or shiny surfaces just as I avoided food, and people.

But the best times they’ve seen me were when I was that long, blonde-haired 14 year old, all braces and lip gloss, hanging out on Spam’s farm, drinking passion pop, smoking cigarettes and singing, while we drove around the paddocks at a hundred mile an hour in that beat up old car.

Life was a sweet place back then. It was unmarred, sunny, the air around me felt filled with promise. I was beginning to find a place, with people who felt soft – their edges weren’t all sharp and smashy when they spoke to me. This was a new and delicious thing, for me.

These days, when I listen to Pearl Jam, it’s with the Friendship Family; those people you spend all your non-work time with. Mine happens to include my real life little brother, as it did when I was 15 and I was dressing him like a goth and painting his fingernails, and dad was like “Stop it! He’s a boy! And also, 5!”

I don’t do that to him now. My sister does still tell him what to wear, though.

The point is, Pearl Jam has been an active part of my life longer than anyone besides my blood relatives. They’ve been such a large part of my life that through forcing my family to listen to “Triple J Vol. 3 – 21” of my radio-tapes whenever we went on family road trips, I inadvertently turned my entire family into Pearl Jam fans.

That band is part of who we are, and now, all of us being adults, we take our family trips again and very little has changed. Nowadays, us kids are a little more mindful of what we force the parents to put up with. Mum’s fine – she has excellent music taste. Dad is just an angry little hobbit man who wants to listen to the races and has a terrible habit of losing his temper at whichever inanimate object he just tried to control, but failed to do so.


His eyebrows are the best thing in my world. My mother hates them with the fire of a thousand suns, but for me, they make my heart warm every time I see them. He’s like an owl. His eyebrows are majestically wizard-like, and when he’s thinking, he tends to twist them, like some men do with their fancy-moustaches.

They then resemble small, grey devil horns on his temples.

Making him scared-angry is our favourite pastime. It’s where we make a mix-cd of chilled out songs, and then, when he’s all tapping his foot out of time, smiling away like a dickhead, BAM! Death metal.

He jumps, comically, and roars his angry-koala swear-a-thon (seriously, my dad is Don Vito), whilst grappling for the controls and inadvertently turning the volume up, instead of down.

It feels nice to make mum laugh.

So, for those who wish to play along at home, if you could identify them, who is the band/artist/whatever that you have spent the most time with in your lifetime, and what are some of your favourite/funniest memories?