Friday, February 29, 2008

Frapp Pack

Is it just me, or is it the case that if you turn the lights down low - how low? real low - and squint and maybe place some kind of gauze over your eyes, that Alison Goldfrapp resembles a lost Olsen twin?

Sort of?

What the internet is for

This deserves all the attention it's getting at the moment:
garfield minus garfield

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolor disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against lonliness and methamphetamine addiction in a quiet American suburb.



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No Apologies, No Explanations #4

Mount Vernon Arts Lab, "The Vauxhall Labyrinth"


Juno and the Paycock

Hard to believe anybody, even Ed Champion, could get so worked up over one movie being awarded an Oscar at the expense of another. An Oscar may boost a film's fortunes, or the fortunes of its star/director/writer/etc, but as an indicator of a movie's artistic success it's up there with box office figures and the opinion of that blog-hating guy who writes that blog for l'Age.

Anyway, if you want an Oscar injustice, how about The Godfather Pt. II winning Best Picture in 1974. It's Alive wuz robbed!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Poxy Music

Being a Brian Eno fan isn't easy. He's prolific, to say the least, and occasionally gets involved in distinctly unappealing projects:
In 2007, he appeared playing keyboards in Voila, Belinda Carlisle's solo album sung entirely in French.
Luckily, when it all gets a bit hard to digest, the man himself is available in antacid form:













And here he is - for real - as Father Brian Eno in Father Ted:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Best of the Booker

The Best of the Booker award, which was launched t'other day, "will honour the best overall novel to have won the prize since it was first awarded on 22 April 1969". So, who's up for reading all 41 winners?

Just kidding. I'd rather take a job in a Chinese coal mine that subject myself to that.

The web site claims the award is a "one-off", but seeing as they've already had the "Booker of Bookers" in 1993 it seems unlikely that this is the final super-Booker award we'll see. The bright idea with this one is that a panel of judges will select a shortlist of six novels from which the public - jebus, not them! - will select a winner. Fortunately Ayn Rand and L. Ron Hubbard are ineligible.

Reading the longlist, should anyone care to do it, might be an expensive process. Copies of the inaugural Booker winner, P.H. Newby's Something to Answer For, are selling on abebooks for upwards of sixty bleedin' pounds! However I'm sure that the panel of experts will manage to come up with a shortlist comprising six titles that are readily available - you know, for the good of the democratic process.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Probing Interview

Top marks to the Green Guide's Chris Beck for his interview with Channel Seven's Grant Denyer, best known to non-Sunrise-viewers for his "I'm feeling like I had sex with a black man" comment on the morning after last year's Logies.

I didn't quite get the joke.

It's a large … appendage reference.

Oh, so it means you felt like you had (had anal sex)?

Yeah, yeah, from someone who is well endowed. Now the last time I checked, saying that a sector of the community has a larger appendage than the rest of us is a compliment. I don't know how anyone can possibly think you are racist from a comment like that?… Look, Channel Seven came to me and said, "98% of our audience will think it's hilarious. Problem is we have to launch the show so we'll have to make an apology".

So you are unrepentant?

Yeah.

Well you are now.

At the end of the day, I had a heap of people ring me up and saying next time you actually say that someone's got a big penis, can you please use my name.

Would you like to be black?

Yeah, I'd like the rhythm. They make great musicians.

What a twit. Remind you of anyone?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

60 000 Hits

And only 58 000 of them were from people searching for "Frankston brothel".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In which I quit

My job, that is. It's a great feeling - long story short: I really, really needed to quit - but now I have a month at best to find something else. What I'd like is a job in my "chosen field" (that'd be media/journalism/publishing/etc - almost anything tangentially related to placing words in order on a page); what I'll probably end up with is another retail job. The important thing, though, is that I'm leaving this retail job. Hooray, and so on.

No Apologies, No Explanations #2

Colin Newman, "Alone On Piano"


Happy Richie Valens-tine Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sorry

A very emotional and in some ways quite bizarre day. We seem to have in Kevin Rudd a PM who realises that courage and humility are not necessarily mutually exclusive character traits. That recognising past wrongs is not a sign of a "black armband" view of history but rather an act of honesty and decency. That apologising for those wrongs is not a sign of weakness but a mark of maturity and compassion. Watching Rudd deliver the apology I felt sorrow and anger at the injustices perpetrated by previous Australian governments. I also felt joy that we had finally reached this point after years of intractable denial. To witness an Australian Prime Minister not only demonstrating empathy but actively encouraging it in his colleagues and constituents was extraordinary, and indeed unknown in my adult life. We can only hope that Rudd can transform the immense symbolism of today's proceedings into an ongoing programme of reconciliation and reform.

Others in my immediate blog-circle have more extensive and more eloquent thoughts on the apology. I particularly enjoyed reading the thoughts of Alexis, Mel, &D, Laura, Beth, and Mark. To paraphrase the unfortunate Dr Nelson, I commend these posts to all Australians.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sunday, February 10, 2008

"It's one of the little men from the village"

While we're on the subject on 1980s tv ads, remember the AIDS awareness campaign featuring the Grim Reaper? Of course you do, because it's probably the scariest freakin ad ever made!




Still gives me chills.

Friday, February 08, 2008

50 Films

For about a year now I've been harbouring this half-arsed idea of watching fifty films that I haven't seen - stuff that I want to see, stuff that I feel I ought to see - and blogging about them as I go. Not a systematic exploration of cinema or anything, just a dedicated effort to expand my movie knowledge while providing regular blog fodder. As I cast around desperately for things to write about I realise that now is the time to put this half-arsed idea into practice. Well, not right now - next week some time. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No Apologies, No Explanations #1

Chinaboise, "Girl You Got It (So Go Get It)"


Monday, February 04, 2008

Religious nutcases picket “Fag enabler” milk bar

Members of the US-based Westboro Baptist Church, famous for its “God Hates Fags” slogan and aggressive targeting of gay pride events and funerals, have spent the past week picketing the Aspinall Grove Milk Bar in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. The Church claims the milk bar’s owner, Mr Michael Portelli, is a “Fag enabler” because his store is the last remaining supplier of Fags, a popular candy cigarette that was removed from the market in the early nineties due to fears that it promoted smoking.

Mr Portelli says that he was confronted by the protesters upon opening his store last Monday morning.

“I open the door and a lady she push signs in my face that say ‘God Hates Fags’ and ‘God's Not Too Keen On Big Boss Candy Cigars Either’ and the other people they start chanting and yelling. I just tell them to either buy copy of Herald Sun or fuck off because I have use-by-dates to change in milk fridge.”

When questioned as to why Fags are still available at his store over a decade after the line was deleted, Mr Portelli explained that he is a “traditional milk bar owner”.

“I respect this country’s great milk bar heritage. I no wear gloves when handling mixed lollies, I no stock magazines other than hardcore porno, and, most importantly, I sell Fags. As soon as Fags were taken off the market I buy a lifetime’s supply. They are the cornerstone of my business. Today I sell a child a packet of Fags, tomorrow I sell that same child a packet of Winnie Blues. Maybe not even tomorrow - maybe same day! It is tradition.”

A Westboro spokeswoman says that aside from selling Fags, Mr Portelli engages in a range of "sinful" practices.

“We are particularly concerned about the proportion of Chicos in Mr Portelli’s pre-packed bags of mixed lollies. God hates Fags, sure, but Chicos really gross Him out."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bookmarks

Friday, February 01, 2008

Mouthing Off

I have now had tonsillitis for over three weeks. This time last week it seemed to be petering out but the last couple of days have seen a resurgence and once more it hurts to eat, drink, kiss (not that's there's much of that going on, what with me being diseased), talk, gurn, laugh, scream uncontrollably at Ten's fucking incessant advertising for So You Think You Got Pants, etc. I am also disinclined to: get out bed, go to work, read books, write, think, tell people I've still got tonsillitis lest they think I'm a hypochondriac, impersonate Captain Beefheart/Tom Waits/Howlin' Wolf, etc. It's a pitiful state of affairs and I think that unless there is significant improvement before Monday I'll be seeing my doctor to demand the removal of my malfunctioning balls of throat tissue. And he'll probably just tell me to continue taking it easy, recommend I ingest still more Panadeine (bastard won't give me any of the hard stuff), and send me on my way. I really should get a proper doctor - I swear the certificates displayed above this guy's desk are participation awards from medical school fun runs.