About me

As a former speechwriter and Labor hack, I’ve been paid good money to knee language in the groin, pull its hair and steal its lunch money. Feeding the Chooks is an apology, a modest redress, and a place for reflection on love, death and hung parliaments.

Oh, and the name of the blog? It’s how Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen described his press conferences. By the way, this appropriation isn’t an endorsement of the late Sir Joh’s patronising treatment of the media, nor does it reflect some unhealthy contempt for my readers. Simply that I liked the sound of his description. Phew. I’m glad we sorted that out.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Urban Dictionary defines feeding the chook as “to masturbate (male).” Which is as good a description of this site’s indulgence as any other.

Postscript: I am now a regular political contributor to The Age newspaper. You can follow me in the Opinion section every other Thursday. Age columns will eventually go up here, but not before they’ve been published.

I’ll still be posting thoughts on film, sport, literature and who knows what else on Feeding the Chooks, so keep checking back or, better yet, subscribe to updates via the RSS tag up the top. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @feed_the_chooks and Facebook.


Martin McKenzie-Murray

19 Responses to About me

  1. Phoebe says:

    This is not really the right forum but I just wanted to thank you for your beautiful piece in today’s The Age. I am here again in this darkest of places and your careful words stir my dead heart. Thank you and love, phoebe

    • Sir_Joh_Bjelke says:

      Thank you, Phoebe. And as I said yesterday, seeking help is the best new year’s resolution you can make. I’m not qualified to give you any real counsel here, and can only respectfully suggest you speak to a professional, if you haven’t already. I also know support can come in many forms. One reader wrote to me yesterday describing the importance of immersion–the satisfaction of small but intricate tasks (his was detailed car washing) can ameliorate depression. It was a tender and thoughtful email, as were many of the comments I’ve received, which should tell both of us this: there are a great many people suffering this (and far, far worse than myself) and that there’s also an enormous amount of good will. Thanks again for your kind words, and I wish you strength.

  2. Sian Prior says:

    Congratulations on your beautiful piece in yesterday’s Age. So great to read such lucid prose about a state of mind that robs you of lucidity. Very helpful.

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  5. Simon says:

    Just a short note to say that I really enjoyed your article in The Age this morning. The quote about the cost of anger was brilliant.

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  7. DAVID says:

    Congratulations on your brave, honest and informative article “Charting Child Abuse” in the current edition of “The Saturday Paper”. In this article you refer to the scientific ignorance and considerable complexities of this phenomenon and that society is possibly basing its attitudes,policies and general approach on a very distorted, simplistic or biased sample of child molesters, only those who have been convicted of the crime.

    Some experts have suggested that there is a possibility that the actual population of child molesters or those harboring a sexual interest in children and the child subjects of their attentions might be very much larger than those convicted or associated with prosecutions and have very different characteristics.

    For this and many other reasons I suggest that there is an urgent, even desperate need for far more rational and fact-based public discussion on this very important subject. Hopefully your article will encourage others to speak up and to do much more, truly objective research, even in the face of the highly problematic mass hysteria associated with this complex and sensitive topic.

  8. thomas says:

    your recent works at the Saturday Paper have been inspirational. I’ll be reading whatever it is your writing for as long as your writing it!


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  10. Kevin says:

    Thanks for your article on”Soccer violence” today what a load of bollocks!

    if you are a real football supporter you would not add to the AFL centric Melbourne media bias against the world game.

    I was thinking to write an article on my experiences at AFL games, I have been involved in that have been called off after all in brawls, involving the crowd and both teams and sets of supporters on the ground, but I don’t think the media in Melbourne will publish it, just brush it aside.

    Instead, I will write an article on my positive experiences in the 10 years that I have followed and attended A league games with my family who have all attended in safety and without any fear whatsoever, but I don’t think the media in Melbourne will publish it either.

    You my friend are living in fear, fear that your boring colloquial game is becoming irrelevant and the freebies to write your pro AFL articles will dry up very soon.

    Don’t bother coming again to another A League game, we don’t need people like you!

  11. Kevin says:

    PS: Appropriately named website for you

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  13. Johanna Schlosmacher says:

    Thank you, Martin, for your outstanding writing on the issues surrounding the errant Pell and the sinister, successful indoctrination ethos of his chosen employer. “Moral stasis,” indeed. This is difficult work for all of us, and the quality of your commitment – and that of Mr. David Marr – is deeply-felt and much appreciated. Not for the last time, thank you. You cannot know how much good you do. Best regards – Johanna.

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