Saturday, November 29, 2003

Arguement Interruption.

I had no intention of adding another post today, but I just witnessed something that I wanted to share.

Picture this:

A four way intersection in the centre of town. Traffic lights on every corner. One of the four roads leading away from the intersection has been closed due to road works. There are big barriers blocking the entire road.

As I'm walking down to the intersection I realise that there is a young couple arguing on one of the corners of the blocked off street. The guy is trying to walk across. The girl is saying that they can't because they don't have a green light.

Him: But the road is blocked. There's not going to be any cars coming through here.

Her: That's not the point. It's against the law to walk across when you don't have a green man.

Him: Does it matter? There aren't any cars.

Her: Of course it matters. It's the law.

The arguement continued loudly as I walked pass them and across the road (with no green light). By the time I got across the road the arguement had degenerated into a shouting match audible for anyone who cares to listen.

I'm not quite sure what this incident tells us. Maybe it demonstrates the difference between male and female logic. Maybe it's an example of how social conditioning can go horribly wrong. Maybe it's an excuse for me to tell you how much I hate it when people bring their domestics into a public arena. Maybe it demonstrates how some people just need to be right, even in the face of common sense. Maybe it's a preview of an Orwellian "1984" future where everybody obeys the law simply because it's the law.

I'm not sure. Though I do wonder if they were aware of how silly the whole thing seemed to passers-by.

Ultimately I could wax lyrically for ever about the nature of this arguement (and what it means to society has a whole), but I really can't be bothered. So instead I'll just assume that there was no meaning in it and that I have just exaggerated that lack of meaning by sharing it with you.

Well that was pointless...

Ready for an adventure???

Thanks to Sara the ultra-cool Melbourne editor of In The Mix I'm going on an adventure tonight.

Armed only with a few bottles of water, a large supply of Red Bull, some bitching tunes, and an extremely vague idea about which way we're heading, myself and Chris will be setting off into the wilderness in an attempt to find Earthcore.

Thumping Bass, Hippies, Ferals, Dust, PQM, Tipper, Australian scrub land and so much more.

I'm sure that I'll have tons to report tomorrow... even if it's only that we managed to get lost somewhere in rural Victoria.

On that note, if you don't hear from us for more than a week please send a search party.

Or at the very least ask Ivan Milat if he can come give us a lift.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

The Parking Lot is Full Of Blogs!

I received an e-mail from writer Patrick Spacek (the same e-mail about 2000 others on his mailing list received) today and I thought some of his words were kind of timely. He says:

"I wonder, does anyone actually write in a diary anymore, just
for themselves, now that the Internet makes it possible for any
bastard with fingers to have an invisible, potentially large, audience?
Somehow, I doubt it."

I suspect that he's right. Barely a day goes by without another of my friends starting a blog... or website... or fan club... or e-mail group or (insert your addiction here) internet-based support group.

The way in which we are communicate is evolving at an amazing rate.

I could turn this post into an indepth musing on the nature of modern relationships and how they're being influenced by the internet, but that would be a cliche. If you're after that sort of thing go and check out any number of other blogs, websites or articles which address that issue. Mostly likely they've got much more interesting things to say on the subject than I do.

Instead I'll point out that Patrick Spacek was putting his thoughts on the web long before it was cool and so deserves a bit of recognition for not jumping on the band wagon but being on of thos that was hitching up the horses that got the whole thing rolling.

Go and check out his brillant (but now defunct and archived) on-line comic The Parking Lot is Full for a good belly laugh. And while you're there sign up for his new e-mail group The Neolithic Casserole. The surest way to get sporadic but insightful musings on the true nature of the world.

One of the hidden gems of the internet.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Reality Politics

The dust had settled.

Guy Sebastian has won Australian Idol.

Now that it's all over my brain feels kind of drained. I feel as though I have been abused, condescended, cheapened, statisticised, dumbed down, and not at all entertained. In short, I feel kind of dirty.

There's only one other event that ends with me feeling this way and unsurprisingly it and Australian Idol share a lot of qualities. They are pitched to the lowest common denominator. They are heavily scripted though attempt to look spontaneous. They are filled with half rate celebrities who have ambitions beyond their station. They are closely followed by millions of Australians who have little or no idea about what is really going on. They both have themes mostly copied from even tackier American versions.

The other event that I'm speaking about is an Australian Federal Election.

Taking this into consideration I'd like to pitch to you all an idea I have for a new reality TV show.

Next year instead of having one day in which we decide the fate of a nation I propose that we run a 12-week competition. We can call it Australian Prime Minister.

Each week we'll get a bunch of potential prime ministers to appear on TV and tackle a particular theme or issue. Whether it's health or education, immigration or taxes, each week the potentials have to show us what they are made of and how they would lead our country. And the best part? At the end of each week we get to vote one of them off.

Think of the possible parallels:
* Natasha Stott-Despoja can take the part of Kelly, the Adelaide Rock Chick trying desperately to convince everyone she's alternative. Meanwhile everyone who is truly alternative thinks that she's just ridiculously mainstream.
* Kim Beazley would make a great Paulini, and Australia could go into uproar when Dicko comments on his weight.
* Pauline Hanson could replace Cosima. Polling well she'd have to drop out at the last minute in a shroud of controversy. (Yeah I know that Cosima was really ill, but don't expect me to feel sympathy for a celebrity... at least not until I see lesions.)
* Cheryl Kernot would make a fantastic Lauren. Imagine the wobbly she could throw when voted out.

Of course John Howard would need to get more hair before he could be Guy so instead we'll just have to vote him out and see what Simon Crean looks like with an Afro.

Now there's something I'd tune into see.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Shamless Self-Promotion #2.

My new article is up on In The Mix.

Short and to the point (the article, not me. I'm rather average size and decidely long-winded) it's a quick interview with UK DJ Dave Tipper.

Go have a read if it's your type of thing.

The Low Cost Of Fame.

Special! Special! Going Cheap! Just Today!

It's Fame!

It doesn't take much to get your 15 minutes these days.

Bethany Hamilton is 13. On October 31st she lost her arm in a shark attack.

Yes I'm aware that it's a tragedy. I'm also aware that I shall be smote down for poking fun at her... but this is out of control.

You see Bethany Hamilton has, as a result, become the newest media sensation in the US. They're even talking about giving her a reality TV show so we can all watch her learn to juggle onehanded. At least that's what Yahoo News says in this article.

Is it just me, or is this all a bit much? All you need to become famous nowadays is to be wholesome and attacked by a wild animal. Then you'll even end up with a website where people can donate money to you.

That settles it - I'm off to become a born-again christian and later I'll be busy being savaged by a wild wombat.

If you need me... Call my agent.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Revising My Morose Musings.

Wow! Just re-read my last entry... I didn't quite intend for it to come out sounding like that.

In fact I've actually had quite a good day. The hunt for a house is over (more on that when I've got a bit more time), the matinee of Blithe Spirit went well and I managed to finish the book that I was reading.

Come to think of it, the book may be more than a little responsible for me feeling a little flat earlier.

Word of wisdom: Whatever you do, don't spend the morning reading Bret Easton Ellis' (of "American Psycho" fame) "The Rules of Attraction", whilst listening to Nick Cave and Lou Reed. And certainly don't follow it up with a wander through a dirty train station and then decide it's time to add something to your blog.

Of course, do go out of your way to read "The Rules of Attraction". Very funny. Very interesting... though admittedly quite depressing. I decided that it was one that had to be read after seeing the movie adaption (which has very little to do with the book) recently.

The opening scene has a girl losing her virginity, whilst drunk, to a guy she doesn't know, who promptly vomits on her head... Very gross, but that gives you an idea of what to expect. Probably not one for the faint of heart.

A Little Grey.

Walking in the tunnels under Flinders Street Station.

The sky outside is overcast. The weather is suffering from split personality disorder...

A melancholy gentleman in a charcoal suit and burgundy shirt is playing the "Donnie Darko" soundtrack on his piano accordian. Face down, he is staring at an empty hat.

It seems that every second person is on crutches. Those that aren't are wiping their noses in an attempt to exorcise hayfever.

All the fluros are flickering.

Everything is tinged with yellow... Which is not surprising - the tunnel smells of piss.

I was feeling a little down and grey today, yet somehow I feel much happier knowing that Melbourne has joined me in my mood.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Voices From The Ether.

As much as I enjoy the idea of talking at you all and you having no avenue for response, I figured that the polite thing to do was to give you the opportunity to talk back.

Hence (with a bit of help from Cyzilla) I have added the "Voices From The Ether" option to my blog.

Just click on it and tell me what you really think.

Love mail, hate mail, random nonsense, and chaotic ramblings are all encouraged.

And a big shout out to Canberra's incorrigible intellectual Hal Judge who became the first voice from the ether... even if it was to promote the new blog he's involved with.

It's great to see that Hal's movie script "Silicon Spies" (which I saw performed as a play several years ago at the Gorman House Arts Centre) is being produced.

Of course this mention is just my way of trying to scam an invitation to the premier... How about it Hal?

Told you I was shameless.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Shades Of Recommendation.

Start Recommendation:

Because we Scorpios have to stick together, I'd like to take this moment to talk about a CD that's taken my fancy of late.

Produced by fellow Scorpio (and that's probably all we have in common) Madlib, the album is entitled Shades Of Blue.

Madlib has been given an amazing honour. He's become the first hip hop producer to be given the key to the Blue Note record company vaults, with the order of "Go forth and remix."

Blue Note, for those of you not familiar with it, is probably the most successful jazz record label in the history of successful jazz record labels.... Think Louis Armstrong, Herbie Hancock, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis and more recently Norah Jones to not even scratch the surface.

Madlib must have been like a cat in an aquarium when he was digging through the master tapes of all those jazz classics, deciding what to add his hip hop flair too.

The result is simply stunning. At all times he stays true to the original tracks. All he does is funk them up and lay some MC work over the top, creating a hip hop track with a classic jazz feel.

Not one to be missed...

End Recommendation.

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

Yesterday an event occured... an event fortold in many books of prophecy... an event that many believe will signal the beginning of the end... That's right, I bought a new suit.

Those of you who know me well will be aware that the sight of me wearing a suit is something you are very unlikely to witness. On the few occassions it had occured before, the reaction from friends, aquantances, parents and the woman who sells me milk at the corner shop has been one of near panic. So, before you all dessert your computer screens to storm the local supermarket and stock up on Magi two minute noodles in prepartion for the upcoming apocalypse, I better explain why I bought the suit. (BTW, stocking up on noodles and coco pops isn't such a bad thing. I'm assured by a work mate that Pauline Hanson will be getting back into politics at the next election. So, the apocalypse may be closer than we think.)

For about a year now I've been working for Melbourne Theatre Company and last night we had the opening night for our new production of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit. Feeling the need to celebrate (and the need to prove that I can in fact dress quite nicely when the opportunity demands) I went in search of a suit.

Interestingly enough the opening night party was kind of dull as far as those things go... Barely a celebrity in site and they wanted us to pay for drinks after about ten minutes.

To tell you the truth, I tend to hate opening night parties (and no this isn't a "the grapes were sour, but that's OK because I didn't want grapes in the first place" comment). They're generally full of socialites, wannabe celebrities and only a handful of people who were actually involved with the show. I find this kinda annoying due to the fact that the people involved in the show have all slugged their guts out over a few months to get the show up and open, yet the majority of people who come to celebrate the event have had little or nothing to do with it before that night.

Maybe I'm just being bitter because I'm kind of tired.

Every cloud had a silver lining though... I did see one A-list Celeb. At the bar, trying to order, and who should push in front of me but Channel 10 technical employee (and taste tester for Australia's unrecognised monarch King Bert Newton) Bellvadere.

Ah... my life is complete. Or at the very least I've just let you all know that I watch too much mid morning TV.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Life imitates art imitating life imitating art imitating life... Oh you get the idea...

I'd never go as far as to say that I was a fan of Big Brother (the TV show not the Orwellian construct from 1984... though, come to think of it, I'm not a fan of him either) but there is something cool about the concept of interactive TV. The way that shows like Big Brother and Australian Idol (also not a fan, but feel myself inexplicably drawn to the screen when it's on) allow us to interact with our entertainment is a baby step in what could be a very interesting direction for entertainment.

So to paraphrase Paris Hilton who said "If it's good enough for Pamela it's good enough for me," we here at Fenwick Street have been inspired by the Brother and the Idol to start our own interactive entertainment- We've decided to let ourselves be voted off the house! If it's good enough for Millsie it's good enough for us.

Coming soon to a house in Fenwick Street it's an all new special event with little media coverage but massive cultural appeal- A Triple Eviction Episode.

To tell the truth though, we didn't so much make this decision as have it thrust upon us. Which leads me quite nicely to:

Funny Coincidence Number 2.

Some of you will be aware that I've been searching for a new place of residence over the last few months... Seized by the desire to swing a cat in my bedroom I decided to look for something a little larger than my current shoebox (though admittedly I can just take the lid off for fresh air. So it's not all bad... except that I think my Vans want to move back in).

Imagine my surprise when my current housemates T and S (yes that's T and S, not T.S. I don't live with a two headed hillbilly.) phoned me up yesterday to tell me that we are all being evicted. Apparently the owner wants to move back in and has found us wanting as potential housemates.

So now there's a deadline. Find a house before the 19th of January or exchange my shoebox for a newspaper and a bench.

I'll keep you informed on how the search progresses, but now it's time for melodramatics... Oh! The Stress! Evicted! It's all too much! I'll going for a lie down!

Can somebody please wake me when the interactive beach volley ball comes on?

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Funny Coincidence Number 1!

I'd already posted everything I was going to add today and thought that I'd made a pretty good start.

Imagine my surprise when I tried to go to my blog and instead ended up here.

Just goes to prove that life does have a sense of humour.

Shameless Self Promotion Part One!

Some of you will be aware that in my spare time I've been known to write articles for a series of websites and street-press magazines.

For those of you who were ignorant of the fact, here's the chance to check out my latest article.

Let's Get This Puppy Rolling! or how to mix cliches for fun and profit.

What can I say?

After trying for years to force culture and politics onto the masses that are my friends I've decided to take it a little further...
Of course this is more than slightly influenced by seeing those around me start their own blogs. Yes Hellboy and Cyzilla I'm referring to you. Surely you must have guessed that I wouldn't let you have all the fun.

Not sure what'll come out of this. Maybe I'll offer you a brand new insight into the world. Maybe I'll show the world how shallow I really am. Or maybe you'll all just keep coming to this site to witness my slow descent into madness...

Only time will tell.