Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wolf Creek

Every year in Australia thirty thousand people are reported missing, 90% of which are found alive and well within a year; the remainder are never seen again.

With this little tidbit (which, I'm sorry, I haven't quoted verbatim) begins the tale of Wolf Creek, an Australian film purported to be based on 'actual events' that took place in the outback. 'Actual events' seems to be a very elastic term in this day and age and they've certainly stretched that term to the utmost for this film - the only relationship it seems to have with reality is that several wackos have killed multiple people in Australia's remote spaces and this film focuses on a wacko hell-bent on killing people out in Australia's remote spaces; the manner of the murders, the places, and the people have no bearing on real life.

But, it wasn't WC's failure to live up to its reality based claims that irked me. I'd heard, prior to going into this film, that it was going to be violent. This I'd heard from friends and movie reviewers alike, as I've heard about many films in the past. I'd even heard tales of people leaving the theatre en-masse. I'm pretty hard to rattle when it comes to cinema and I was sure that I'd sit through this one with the same calm, unflinching stoicism that I sat through the psycho-surreal vista of A clockwork orange, Irreversible or the soul chilling horror that was Love actually (I still can't quite scrub the taint of having seen that film from my skin). I was wrong. By the mid point of this film I was blowing like a racehorse on the final straight; wriggling and squirming like a collectors insect on the end of a pin. It was too much for me: perhaps testament to the big weekend I'd had prior to watching it.

Yep, it was a damn violent film. Oh, was it violent. Normally I can distance myself from carnage on the big screen. If things get really hairy I'll picture a microphone boom or a camera stand just outside of the frame - that'll normally bring me back to reality. There was no escape from the violent realism of WC. At some stages I felt like I was inside the projected image. Part of the action. It is testament to quality film making if the director is able to achieve such a dramatic response from his audience. If a director makes your underarms sweat and your head itch, then they are doing something right.

Regardless, this was not a good film.

If the Harlem Globe trotters (insert a favored sporting team of your choice here) came to your town tomorrow, sweatbands at the ready, shuffling from side to side, ready, ready to pull some mind boggling moves with the old bball it would be disappointing if they weren't provided a basketball court . They'd stand there with their cool retro attire, their jive and their long limbs and they'd shrug their graceful shoulders in dismay. A few tumbleweeds would blow by. The neighborhood kids would cry. Now a bunch of great actors finding themselves in a movie with no real storyline is a situation not dissimilar to that of our globe trotting friends. If I'm going to see a movie with that much gore I want there to be a decent sub-plot. I want to walk away feeling enlightened, if only in some small way.

[this is a work in progress, to be continued tomorrow]

Monday, November 28, 2005

A small note on the unsolicited pop-up

I don't know where it came from, or how it managed to attach iteslf to my site. I've sent the owners of the parasitic link several angry emails.

Please bear with me until I get it sorted.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Dearest homophobes

I'm writing this post in pink so as to stir up your primal fears.

Some crappy entertainment show, Morning Sunrise, decided to cover Sydney’s first legal gay marriage this morning. Wow! Big deal! And what a big deal it was for some, decidedly intolerant, people.

Maybe it is a sign of my lack of tolerance, but I just can’t understand in this day and age how a gay coupling can ruffle some people’s sensibilities so much. One complainant wrote in stating, “I’m a traditionalist, a family man, and I think Sunrise should be ashamed for covering this event.” What could be more traditional than two people in love getting married? Does the fact that two gay people love each other mean that the heads of heterosexuals everywhere will suddenly explode? Now that he knows (as if he didn’t before!) that gay people are out there, will our traditionalist friend suddenly find himself unable to stop wearing pink, or perhaps discover that he's in the helpless thrall of topless Brad Pitt posters?

When will the world grow up?

But, hey, perhaps a little logic will help the bigots and homophobes out there. Let’s analyse where the real evil lies. Let me draw cards against the local homophobe. I’ll draw out of my deck the most evil, staunchly heterosexual men that I can think of. Okay, I’ll take out Adolph Hitler, Dick Cheney and Joseph Stalin. Now, which evil cards shall we draw from the homosexual deck? Hmmm… It seems real evil stems from heterosexual, middle class males.

‘I don’t care what they do in private, I just don’t like their ways being thrust in my face.’ Fuck off! I’d run out of fingers very quickly if I tried to count the amount of times I’ve seen a teenaged guy slobbering all over some girl at the local bus stop, however I can’t readily bring to mind the last time I saw two girls passionately going at it in the same environment. I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I saw two men holding hands. Even if the world was full of gay expressions of love, how hard would it be for the phobes to turn their heads? Every day the world turns its head away from racism, violence and the degradation of the environment, so how hard would it be to turn one’s head when confronted with the ‘horror’ of homosexuality?

Thus ends my rant for the day.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Oh what a feeling, when you're dancing on the ceiling

Okay, now I'm ready to break out the Woots and Hurrahs.

I received an early round offer to Uni!

Yippee!

"Congratulations on receiving an offer from the Bundoora Campus of La Trobe University. A detailed enrolment package will be mailed to you shortly including the specific date, time and venue you will need to attend. Please read the details carefully, in particular the course material, to assist you to choose your units. You will need to provide your Tax File Number and proof of identification at the time of enrolment. "

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

When you know you'll never be rich, make sure you have rich friends

I'm house sitting for my millionaire boss this week. His place is located in an uber rich part of Melbourne, right on the beach. In celebration of the occasion I've taken the week off work.

If you saw where I grew up you'd understand how palatial this place seems to me:


Photo 1: The lounge room area is about twice the size of my childhood home.



Photo 2: A nice little courtyard. Persian artifacts that weren't purchased at Myers... Yep, the real deal.

Photo 3: The kind of entertainment system that is bringing about the death of cinema. I almost feel guilty watching movies on it. And no, that isn't some sort of goat fetish animal porn.


Photo 4: My boss, in an act of faith far surpassing my worth, allows me to drive his cars while I'm looking after the villa. So, I'm faced with a difficult choice of a morning - do I drive the silver one? Or...


Photo 5: ... the red one?


Photo 6: This little one has become my friend in aristocratic decadence.



Ciao from me and meow from fur-face!

xoxo

Possible success

In October I sat a tertiarty admissions test in order to gain access to a University course next year. I got the results yesterday and, out of the ten thousand people that sat the text Australia wide, I got in the top 93%. Strangely, a voice at the back of my mind wonders what happened to the other 7%. I'm still not guaranteed a place in a course, however this result should put me in pretty good stead. 1st round Uni offers come out in about 3 weeks time.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The (figurative) death of a blogger

When a blogger dies it is a truly sad thing...

Originally, when I first set off on my journey of blog exploration, I typed the word ‘weblogs’ into google. One of the first sites that came to eye, listed amongst the jungle of blogging links on offer, was called ‘blogs Canada’. This site was to provide me with much of the bloggy goodness that I read today.

In the early days there were only two blogs that I read regularly, those being the grand delusions of the irrepressible Lividia Crank and the largely wordless diary of Kitty Kaboom. I read Lividia’s diary for very obvious reasons: her clear prose, her witty insights and for the keyhole glimpses I get of what it’s like in the life of a girly girl. With Kitty, things were slightly different – her writing, minimal at the best of times, was not what drew me in. It was only with the passage of time I realized it was the way she looked that kept me coming back, checking for posts, hoping for another glimpse.

She reminded me of someone.

At first I couldn’t put my finger on it. I’d sit and wonder, who the hell does she resemble? It was nagging me. Pestering me. It wasn’t until I showed the site to a friend that the truth came out. Looking at me strangely, perhaps wondering if I’d developed some kind of obsession, they told me plainly, "It looks exactly like A."

A! Damn it!! How could I not see it? From the China-doll looks to the punkish adornments, it is her through and through. And with that realization, it dawned on me that I’d not be able to prevent myself from checking the site with obsessive regularity. Could you, upon finding a site held by an ex, resist the temptation to look upon it from time to time (I realize that this is not a site held by my ex, but the likeness is, well, plain spooky)?

Right from the start Kitty posted infrequently, perhaps only once every couple of months. This didn’t stop me from checking weekly for a new post. As time’s gone by, infrequently has become rarely, and rarely has become never. There has been no post from Kitty since September 3rd. This represents the death of a blogger.

It is time to lay the ghosts of the past to rest, to put it all behind me, to move on. In short, it is time to delete a redundant link.

Farewell Kitty, I barely knew ye.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

27

I turned 27 yesterday. I forgot to mention it.

Here's to hoping that the next 27 are more productive than those prior.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ask him the why, not the how

I think that our officials, politicians and legislators, as a condition of election, should be compelled to complete a rigorous course in philosophy. Viewing decisions through the blinkered vantage of ‘left’ and ‘right’ wing politics is a recipe for a very bland meal; one likely to be consumed throughout the future of mankind.

Don’t get me wrong, the lessons of history, law and political theory are important - they provide intellectual capital, and give structure to the decision-making process – but a capacity for (some) philosophical contemplation would provide our leaders with something just as important: wisdom.

The way I see it, intelligence is the how? - how do we achieve this financial aim? how do we apply this rule? - and wisdom is the why? - why do we want to achieve this financial aim? why do we require this rule? - and a disproportianate focus on either question over the other is a truly dangerous thing.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

When poor people get fed up

I hate, hate, hate that people try to cast the current French riots as a "clash of cultures" or some other such rot. As evidenced throughout history, people will riot when they feel isolated, excluded and disenfranchised. And even 'whiteys' do it.

This stunning article sums it up nicely.

Kangaroo court

I just woke up from a dream in which I found myself yelling questions during parliament question time. It seems that I’d fallen asleep with the television on - funnily enough it was tuned into parliament question time - and in so doing I’d absorbed the background noise and formed it into a dream.

I was demanding answers!

Screaming questions!

I wasn’t going to let the bastards get away with the new industrial relations reforms!

I do this quite regularly, actually. Never before have I done it with question time, but I’ve often morphed other programming into some strange dream or another.

In the end I found myself watching question time through ‘till completion. I know, I know, I’m an insufferable nerd. My 2am dose of politics lead me to thinking about how I’ve been a little bit shrill on US politics lately. I guess I occupy myself so much with foreign intrigues because my government has chosen to so closely align itself with the fate of America: they went to war, so we followed; they tout free trade as a global savior, so we grab that baton and run with it; they embrace a fundamentalist Christian doctrine… You get the message.

I’m making a resolution from now on that I’m going to analyze Aussie (or Awstwaaalian, for those internationals in the readership attempting to imitate the accent) political issues exclusively, leaving the US to the people who know best: those in the US.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New t-shirt
















I found a new t-shirt in a thrift store (actually, that is a contradiction in terms). What do you think?

That (unfinished) Melbourne Cup post

I’ve never been a big fan of horseracing. In fact I find gambling in all its forms pretty repugnant, which is ironic given that I work for one of the biggest betting houses in the world. I’ve seen mounds of angst, despair and heartache wrought by gambling’s chimerical seductions. But it isn’t just the perils of gambling that puts me off horseracing. The whole caper seems cruel to me: digging the spurs into the horses side, whipping it, forcing it to race to the point of exhaustion. There are no second chances in a racehorse’s life; a broken leg means that it will swiftly be put to death.

For someone that isn’t into racing the Melbourne Cup, which was run on Tuesday just gone, is completely devoid of interest. It’s an annoyance because it means I have to work. The rest of Australia seems to rejoice in the day (approximately 100,000 go to the race, and another 2 - 3 million either watch it or listen to it over the airwaves), but I’d rather use a day off to go to the beach. It is such a big deal that Cup day is a public holiday. It has become known as ‘the race that stops a nation.’

The Melbourne Cup itself is a grueling ordeal for the horses. At 3200 meters it is one of the longest racing events around. Picture the Olympic hundred meter sprint, only the athletes continue to maintain that breakneck pace for another 3000 meters. Through a heavy sodden track the horses plough, puffing and blowing they gallop for greater speed in response to the cruel crack of the whip. Most horses only have one or two of these races in them, after that they’re broken, ready for retirement.

I’d heard about the horse Makybe Diva on the peripheral. It is hard not to absorb some racing law working in the industry. Whenever Makybe’s name came up amongst customers or my friends it was spoken with reverential awe. Makybe, apparently, had won the last two Melbourne Cups, a feat not replicated by many other equine competitors. There was a lot of media noise in the lead up to this year’s cup, about Makybe, about whether she would run and whether she had a chance of winning a third. Apparently she was up against it; folks were saying that she was too old, she was carrying too much weight (she went into the race carrying a handicap weight of 59kgs, 10kgs more than any other competitor), and that no horse in history had won three. They say it is physically impossible for a horse to win three cups, the toll the race takes on their frame is just too telling. All this hype was lost on me, and when people would harangue me with tales of the ‘Diva’ I’d silently be thinking ‘for chrissakes! It’s only a horse.’

I guess I decided to watch the race this year to see what all the fuss is about. At least if I watched the race once I’d be able to say ‘yep, I’ve seen it, no big deal,’ which would allow me to be comfortable in my scorn of racing fans. Besides, I had become a little curious about this horse that seemed to have gripped the imaginations of otherwise rational human beings. At lunch time I pulled myself away from my desk, whacked a buck in the coke machine, sidled up to the office television and flicked on the tube.

On a sunny Melbourne day the horses were being lead to the barrier. So far nothing had happened to arouse my interest. As I’d expected the horses did not wish to race, instead they fought against the stewards as they were lead towards the barrier. There was one horse, however, regal in bearing, which calmly walked forward, head lowered, towards the stall. With much fuss, flared nostrils, wild eyes and swishing tails, the rest of the competitors were assembled in the starting blocks. They were ready to race.


[Editor's note: is this boring you? Because it sure had begun to bore me - hence the lack of a conclusion.]

Monday, November 07, 2005

Untitled

I woke up this morning and confronted a stranger in the mirror. With lifeless eyes and sunken cheeks my reflection seemed to look back at me askance, as if not recognizing its flesh replica. A friend once told me how lucky I am, through all the shit, to be alive. Until this morning I hadn’t fully appreciated the significance of her comment.

This can’t go on any longer. Something is close to giving way. Changes are going to have to be made; some people aren’t going to like them and I’m going to lose some genuine friends. The alternative to this course is grim and not that far from where I am today.

On Saturday, while in the thrall of my weekend long bender, I watched a film called Little fish. At one stage in the film the lead character, a recovering junkie, goes out to score some heroin. In a surreal twist she finds herself in front of a children’s choir whose voices, hauntingly beautiful, provoked a single tear to stream down her face.

And they sang:

Kids out driving Saturday afternoon pass me by
I'm just savouring familiar sights
We share some history, this town and I
And I can't stop that long forgotten feeling of her
Try to book a room to stay tonight

Number one is to find some friends to say "You're doing well
After all this time you boys look just the same"
Number two is the happy hour at one of two hotels
Settle in to play "Do you remember so and so?"
Number three is never say her name

Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there's nothing else could set fire to this town
There's no change, there's no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won't be around

But Ah! Who needs that sentimental bullshit, anyway
Takes more than just a memory to make me cry
I'm happy just to sit here round a table with old friends
And see which one of us can tell the biggest lies

There's a girl falling in love near where the pianola stands
With her young local factory out-of-worker, holding hands
And I'm wondering if he'll go or if he'll stay

Do you remember, nothing stopped us on the field
In our day

Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there's nothing else could set fire to this town
There's no change, there's no pace
Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won't be around

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Fuckhead

There once was a manager at my work who was a real dick. I mean, this guy was such a dick that his legs became giant testicles and his mouth spewed forth pearly globules of creamy semen. Picture your clich├ęd, 'boys club', big shot manager. This guy settled an out of court payment of compensation in a case where he was alleged to have put out a cigarette on an employee's arm.

He would pinch female workers arses.

He vommited forth racist vitriol.

I hate suited, big-time fuckers; collectively they are my Friday fuckhead.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Poor guy

I've never seen anybody crumble under pressure quite like this.

It's official: I'm easy.

I’d marry any girl straight away if she could just recite the words to ‘Informer’ by Snow.