Sunday, February 29, 2004

Just caught a hilarious Golden Globes moment. As Nicole Kidman won for Best Actress last year, as tradition would have it she's required to present the award for Best Actor. This year, quite unfortunately, the candidates included Tom Cruise, Jude Law and Russel Crowe. Perhaps anticipating this awkwardness, Nicole wandered onstage in a somewhat drunk/drugged manner. She mumbled out the nominees like a trooper, announced the winner Sean Pean, then mumbled "am I finished now?", at which point some minder whispered something to her and she stepped aside. Sean Penn, however, wasn't able to attend, so director Clint Eastwood decided to accept instead. As he climbed to the stage, Nicole lurched towards the microphone and said "you're not Sean Penn!", while laughing hysterically, at which point she was once again ushered away from the mic. The Globes are so much more fun that than Oscars, if only cause the celebs spend the whole time getting wasted at their tables to alleviate their bordedom.

Period Romance

OK, bereft of any real inspiration, I've added a bit, finally getting Fermina outside the walls of La Denetrione. What happens next is up to you, Elanor. As I mentioned earlier, the complete transcript can be found here.

She was to leave for Espantaso de la Alumbramiento Virginal immediately. The Count Daza would not back down – this Fermina knew. She was to leave tonight, and it was with a weary resignation that she went about packing her meagre posessions, and saying goodbye to the home, the prison, that she had known all these years.

It was under the cold watch of darkness that she descended the stone steps towards the family coach that was to take her to the port. As per the Count’s wishes, Alejandro was to accompany Fermina for the first leg of the journey. This provided her with a slight relief – as her world seemed to be collapsing around her, at least this familiar noble face would shine a small ray of light into the darkness that lay ahead.

It was a face Fermina had known since her childhood. Alejandro’s family had been living within the walls of La Denetrione for centuries, in the humble servant’s quarters tucked in the corner between the stables and rookery. It was a building that could just be glimpsed from Fermina’s window, and it was with a sometimes obsessive interest that she had watched Alejandro develop from small, playful child, to roughly handsome man – a transformation that Fermina barely noticed happen until it was complete. Perhaps because of this separate yet shared history, Fermina felt she could trust him – as much as she could trust any man.

She soon reached the carriage and handed her bags to the driver. The Count was not to see her off, although she felt his watchful eyes upon her. His quarters were directly above the entrance-way, and she knew that he would be watching the proceedings below, if only to ensure that they proceeded smoothly. Before she stepped into the coach, Fermina turned round for one last time.
“Goodbye La Denetrione. Goodbye”. With this, she leaped up, and gingerly seated herself in the compartment, ignoring Alejandro’s outstretched hand.
“Drive,” she said, and within seconds, the horses had sprung to life, and she was being swept out beyond the stone walls of her former home. With Alejandro by her side, and her old life a distant memory, Fermina surged forth into the dark, dusty streets of Madrid. The city. For this brief instant – between her former prison, and the prison that awaited her – the city was hers.

The Period Romance will now be stored on a seperate, romantic site, for easy access. There's a permanent link too, so with each update, we'll be able to get some idea of how the whole thing's unfolding.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Am totally loving Britney's Toxic. Firstly because I like the song [a first for me and Britney] and secondly because at the beginning of the clip, she picks up a phone and holds it to her ear and then turns to face the camera and direct the saucy question, "Baby can't you see - I'm callin?", at us. And I'm like, "well yeah, Britney, I can see that. You're standing right there... holding a phone". I just loved how literally they matched up lyric and image. Inspired. I also like the clip because it features Martin Henderson being pushed around raunchily by Britney. I repeat, that's Martin Henderson, from Echo Point and Sweat [of which Heath Ledger is also an alum. Hmmm, am I using the word "alum" correctly?]. I mean, Echo Point and Sweat!!! And he's in a frickin Britney clip! I just think that it must be a great world if a guy can go from laughably memorable Aussie soap to Britney. It makes me happy. Maybe it says more about me, but I really think that this means he's arrived. Big time.

Friday, February 27, 2004

OK, reading an article about audience reaction to The Passion of the Christ in The Age this morning and stumbled across this:
"...Not everyone was feeling the love. Non-believers Leah..., 22 and Elanor..., 22, thought the film was silly. "It was over visual," Leah said. "I was fascinated to see how a film that was supposed to be realistic and accurate was going to portray the story, and thought it was quite programmatic and didn't work". Yay! You guys got to be the designated "young non-believers", and sounded very academic to boot...

Thursday, February 26, 2004

I saw The Passion of the Christ today. Hmmm. This might sound strange, but Leah and I found it to be a bit silly, cheesy even. It was earnest silly. Everything was just played as so damn significant, with building music, or drums, or slow motion movement, or all three at once. It seemed like no-one could look in Jesus’ eyes without being struck by the wonder and significance of his very soul. Too many shots of people looking ‘deep’ to count. Despite being told I “will need tissues”, I didn’t. And I’m not going to advise you take any because I don’t think you’ll need any either. The characters don’t behave normally with one another. There’s this distance imposed by the reverence people feel for Jesus. And conversations were restricted to lines from the Bible, and so clanged a bit when heard in a real setting. It was an odd vibe. It was like iconic imagery overload, so it seemed OTT rather than real. And OTT is not moving or profound. It was kinda funny or strange or clichéd, and didn't really work. Here are some of the things that I remember. [Just so you know, if I refer to god at all, I only mean him to be understood as a character in the movie]

When Jesus was freakin out in Gethsemane, and he’s like, having a crisis of faith and asking god to maybe like, let him not have to die for the sake of all humanity. Anyway, the devil’s next to him, and Jesus is freakin, and the clouds move over the moon and somehow that means that the devil is winning. Because now it’s dark. And then he’s like “Father…” blah blah and stuff and he’s still talking to god and the clouds pass, so now he’s praying in light, and god’s there and the devil can’t win, so there. But, I was like, “What are we saying here? That god’s the moon?” It was strange. I thought god was like, the whole sky, and everything and stuff. Even shadows.

There were some good scenes. Like when Judas is hiding under the bridge, and then a chained and beaten Jesus gets pushed over the edge and is hanging in pain before Judas’ eyes, and Judas can see what harm and pain he has put his friend in the way of, and he looks in Jesus’ eyes, etc. That was quite affecting. But then some weird ghost screamed past, and the moment was gone. Also, the scene when Jesus is getting scourged is worthy too. People seem to have had issues with this, but I don’t. I have no problem with a ‘sickening’, ‘gory’, ‘gruesome’ or ‘pornographic’ dramatisation of scourging and crucifixion. These acts are sickening and gory etc. Der. Torture, pain, excessively violent punishment, done by the ‘right’ people to show the ‘wrong’ people how bad they are. So stupid. And it needs to be shown. Killing people is wrong. But even that scene is still cheesy, and full of cliché. Like, for instance, the Roman scourge guys are all amoral drunken louts making jokes and laughing laughing laughing as they slash and tear Jesus’ skin apart. As if. That’s such a movie idea/cliché. There probably was never a punisher who ever behaved like that. I reckon they’d all be self-disgusted and on anti-depressants because of their work-related stress. No joy in their tasks. Also, I think it needs to be noted that blood does dry and crust up at some point. Or maybe Jesus is so divine that his is constantly oozy. I'm no theological scholar.

When Mary runs to Jesus after he’s fallen over [again and again and again] while carrying his god-damned cross, you expect this meaningful moment between mother and son as they look into each other’s eyes, perhaps for the last time. But then Jesus says something totally random like “Mother. I will make everything new” or something, and you’re like, “What are you talking about, dude? And why is the music rising?”

The location was great. Really nice. Made a cool backdrop to the crucifixion. But when they showed the devil in hell, it looked like a scene from Buffy. And when they visited King Herod, it looked like we had moved onto the set of Xena. Ooh, and there was this bit where the devil is carrying a creepy child, with like, an old midget face. Anyway, the aesthetic of that reminded me of City of Lost Children, by that french guy.

The funniest moment of the film was when the chick gives Jesus a towel. I was kinda softly giggling as he pressed it to his face, and then when he gave it back to the chick I was like, “Lady, don’t crumple it. You might smudge it. Don’t you know how much you could get for that thing on eBay?” Jeez. Anyway, a few moments later there she is, back in the crowd, still staring at Jesus, too distracted by his presence to notice that she has a white cloth hanging from her hand with Jesus’ face printed on it. Money shot. Hahhahahaah! Anyway, that was the only time during the movie that I almost cracked up. I would have laughed more at the preposterous solemnity of the whole thing, but there was this woman in the cinema with a lace kerchief veil on her head. I think maybe people were treating the movie as a religious experience or something. Weird. Actually, the venue was being precious about it too. There were no previews before the movie, except for one ‘public service announcement’ featuring that celibate rugby player and Paulini from Aus Idol and some other sports guy, and they were talking about how the story of Jesus “changed my life” and about how “this is a true story. If you want to find out more, go to”. Which was all a bit, um, weird. And kinda creepy.

Anyway, at the end of the movie, there’s Jesus, all nice and clean again, resurrected in his tomb. And the light’s pouring in, and he looks happy, and I’m glad about that because he’s a good sort and the poor chap’s been through a bit. Still has holes in his hands to prove it and all. Anyway, then he stands up and walks out of his tomb into the light of the world. End movie. That’s nice and all, but do you wanna know what I was thinking? I was thinking “Whoah! I just saw Jesus’ butt”. And then I was thinking, “Hey, this is a bit like Terminator”. You know, a naked guy coming from ‘another place’ and striding out naked on a naked mission to save the world? I don’t know what the music was actually like, but I’ve had the Terminator theme in my head since.

So that’s The Passion for me; preposterously epic. Go and rent Jesus of Montreal if you want to watch a Passion movie. And ooh, Leah and I were interviewed by a lady from The Age about our impressions of the film. If she can find a way to work the words “silly”, “cheesy” or "meh" into her piece, maybe our opinions will be published in the paper tomorrow?

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I just saw the funniest thing. It was a scene from Gigli. There was a piece on TV about the Razzies, you see. Anyway, the sexy exchange went thusly. J.Lo was lying on a bed playfully rocking her knee and looking at Ben who was on an opposite bed [they were in a twin bed hotel room or something]. Anyway, this was the exchange:

J.Lo: "It's turkey time".
Ben: [confused] "What?"
J.Lo: [nods at her nether regions] "Gobble gobble".

Haaahahahaha! I think they thought they were being 'witty'. And I am laughing. Now I really want to see that film.
After having the threat float out there for months, the other day Bush addressed the nation and said straight out that he would be agitating for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. It's on. The thing better not pass, [come on Congress and a 2/3 majority of the states, use your human pieces and some rational thought to reject it] because at the moment the argument can still be made that such a denial of equal rights is unconstitutional, and therefore courts can undo unjust laws etc. If a discriminatory idea makes it into the constitution, things are fucked. Also, I want to hear Kerry say "separate is not equal" and come out in favour of marriage. His current position is untenable.
Also feeling aged after visiting uni which is now swarming with baby-faced first years carrying balloons and dressed to score. You can tell I'm getting "mature" by the fact I seek the less-traveled routes (eg faculty buildings) to navigate my way round (by navigate I mean travel from entrance to library and back). Ahhh, seems so long ago that I was fresh-faced. No slow-burning worry of imminent future-related apocalypse. So many nameless crushes! Profound crushes, too. There was that guy who worked in the library for a bit, that guy with the grey bag, that guy who looked "beachy" etc. etc. Such innocence... blah blah blah. Must remind myself I'm still only 22, in a vomit-inducing successful relationship and learn to "breathe".

And in a quick pop wrap-up, have just been informed that Paris Hilton's first musical venture is to be titled "Screwed", which I think is utterly fantastic (smart girl!). Also, Kylie's "Body Language" has tanked somewhat in the US, lending more weight to alarmist "Kylie is over" rumours. After that extremely annoying Queer Eye appearance (Why? Over hyped for all of its three minutes, she did that annoying barbie routine, and she had a strange Donatella Versace look to her), I might be altering my until now loyal position. Maybe the Kylies of the world have been made redundant by more honestly pointless celebs a la Paris Hilton? Although actually I still have no doubt that Kylie will rise phoenix-like from the ashes to launch another stunning comeback 2-3 years down the track. AND one final thing: Madonna tour rumours circulating, with the likely name being the "Whore of Babylon Tour". Ace.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Well, I'm two days into my Journalism degree at RMIT and here are my thoughts. How is it possible that, before, I could drift along and two weeks could go by without me really noticing it? And yet, the last two days took aaages to get through. We've only just ticked over into Wednesday for god's sake! I don't know what it is. I have a good timetable, only three days a week, with a maximum of three classes on any given day, so it should be breezy. Well, it is. Nothing particularly taxing is going on. It's just weird that the time doesn't pass. Time hangs around. On the bus home today I was thinking, "Fuck. It's only Tuesday". I can't remember what happened on Sunday it seems so long ago. Anyway, it seems that everyone in my course just left school. I'm OLD. They're nice and friendly and inclusive and all. And I've somehow managed to become part of a posse. I don't know how that happened, but they keep saying hello and sticking around. And then we move off to a lecture in a pack. Like this morning. I was sitting in the courtyard happily reading my freshly purchased NME, when I heard "Elanor" and it's one of the girls from the posse I'm in. So she joins the table. And then two others come along. And then, as the minutes pass, there are more and more until we become a veritable 'gaggle'. And I realised that I was the beginning of it [though probably not the star attraction]. What's up with that? I think they all took some class at the end of school that taught them to always greet and smile etc, because breaking the ice is most of the battle won, or something, and once that's done, to hang on for dear life. Stupid class. I'm sure it won't last beyond the first few weeks. Except that it probably will, considering that there are only 45 people in the course and we pretty much do the same thing for three years. The thing is, even though they're real nice and all, I can't find one that I really want to spend time with. Maybe that's because it's only day two and I don't know them. I just wish that the time would pass so that it could sort itself out. I'm sure we're all just being polite. I don't enjoy it because I keep reverting to my default social persona, and I don't like my default social persona. I wish I could change it, because it's so bland. But it's default. And I keep having to provide backstory, which I hate, because then they have the right to expect that my excess age and 'life experience' has kitted me out with verbal and social whizbangery, only to be presented with the dull horror of my default social persona. But they're still around. Perhaps not for long. You see, today I became a freak. It happened like this. Just after sitting down for the introductory tute of one of my classes [otherwise known as "The First Impressions Tute"] I was struck by a sudden onset blood nose and had to leave with a hanky crumpled to my face. It was a real bleeder too. I was in the bathroom for fully twenty minutes and the thing was flowing. Anyway, when I finally had it staunched, I returned to class, calmly apologised and explained that I had had a blood nose. No big deal. But no. "Are you alright? Are you sure? Oh, we've got to do something about the heat in this room", etc. To which I replied that no, it wasn't the heat, it was just that I'd been laid up with a bad cold all weekend, and had a ferocious cough and I'd had a blood nose the night before anyway [which wasn't as bloody, but a blood nose nonetheless]. Lady, I'm just sick is all. [Wait, do I have leukaemia?] So, class moves on, but every so often lovely tutor goes "Elanor, are you alright?", reviving attention just when it might have flagged. She seems like a good tutor though. And she was trying very hard to remember people's names. She knows mine now. And so do my classmates, probably. I'm the freak that bleeds. The OLD freak that bleeds. The OLD feak that bleeds and who cannot find anything good to talk about to entertain the young set with which she now runs. That's me.

I know what I'll do. I'll buy more clothes.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Elanor tried to get me to read this a few weeks back, and even added a permanent link, but I was like "yeah, whatever" and ignored her. Can I just apologise, cause I recently gave it another read, and this latest post is hilarious. For anyone who has ever thought that, secretly, John Howard talks like a valley girl...
Paris Hilton's ex, and sextape consort, has decided to leave scruples aside and start peddling his wares on his new website,, because (according to E! News) "Everybody said I did this tape. Everybody thought I did it. I've just been getting ridiculed forever, [so] now I did it,". Although he's quick to add that "I didn't do it in the beginning". While claiming that he's been forced into releasing the tape against his will, he's at the same time promising "stunning crisp images". Also - and nothing shocks anymore - there's talk of a pay-per-view screening (although Paris has said to have rejected this "opportunity"). One should keep in mind that the original victim of the leaked-porn-tape debacle, Pamela Anderson, eventually stopped suing various net porn ventures and decided to release the tape herself, making millions in the process, and ironically ensuring some desperately needed career longevity.

Period Romance

I was looking back over our aborted Period Romance and was thinking that, perhaps, we could press forth, finally allowing Fermina to meet her pirate love? Anyway, I've dusted the thing off, and compressed my own and Elanor's installments in order to present this, our untitled romance, as it stands thus far. I'm very impressed that there even seems to be a "missing fragment", which adds a sense of authenticity to the whole thing. If anyone does actually read it, I'd appreciate suggestions as to where it should go from here (conventiently, we have a comments section!).

"Madrid, Spain, 1437

Fermina de la Saint-Amour was lost in thought. Sitting delicately beside her bedroom window, her eyes were drawn towards the hot, sultry, sticky city that snaked out before her. A soft breeze, tinged with the scent of bitter almonds, was lightly touseling her still damp hair, while sneaking through the weave of her white muslin gown to dance across her soft olive skin.

She felt empty. What did life promise her but misery and regret? The luxuries and riches that enveloped her were but a prison: a gilded cage of ennui and sadness. She wanted more. She wanted life to shake her; to throw at her all the danger and excitement that it could muster. She sought suffering. A suffering that would erase the scars of her father, the Count Daza’s cruel dominance.

Never far from her mind was the knowledge that only a few feet away, he could be found pacing the halls of his mansion, the “La Denetrione”, brooding over the wheelings and dealings of his machiavellian existence. To her, the city below promised escape. Within its rank heat and throbbing crowds she saw nothing but freedom. Freedom, and the promise of something more…

Fermina shook her head, and willed herself out of such an enchanting fancy. For she knew that today, like everyday, that prospect would be denied her. She had reached an age where it was no longer considered decent to venture unaccompanied into the city that had been her refuge as a child. She was now not even able to accompany Rosamunda, the houskeeper, on errands or to the market, as she was told that her presence in such surroundings could tarnish her, and reflect poorly on her station. If she was rarely seen, she became a rare commodity, and her father could control the kind of people who saw her so that she was made available only to those with specific intentions. She knew all this. It had been decided for her. So, with a sigh, she coiled her hair and fastened it at the nape of her neck. She then bent to gather up her embroidered house gown, and stray ebony tendrils fell across her cheek. Having fastened the eyes of her gown, she composed herself and moved languidly out of the room. She had to perform her duty, and appear before [missing fragment...]

“Father”, Fermina whispered, eyes downcast.
“How are you this morning, my sweet daughter?” The Count did not wait for an answer, for he was not used to interruptions, even from his kin, “it is a beautiful morning, is it not - the sun shines over our fair Madrid, the birds sing - it truly is a beautiful morning”. His cheery obfuscations sent a chill through her spine; the Count did not concern himself with life’s trivialities, unless… unless concealed beneath lay a grander design. “On such a day as this, it seems a shame to be trapped, as it were, behind the cold walls of La Denetrione, especially for someone of your beauty”. The last word he mouthed languidly, as his eyes met hers. She looked away. What could he possibly mean? Could he at last be offering her the glimpse of freedom she had for so long craved? As her mind drifted towards familiar thoughts of escape, the manservant Alejandro poured into her empty cup some pomegranate juice. She glanced at him, but his eyes would not meet hers. Her mental wanderings soon ended as the Count’s booming voice flared back to life.

“You have been cloistered behind these walls for too long Fermina. You are a woman now, a grown woman. There is a limit to what you can learn from Rosamunda and myself; to what you can learn from within La Denetrione…” With a burst of feeling, Fermina began to entertain the impossible thought that perhaps today, after all these empty years, the Count Daza could be about to offer her the freedom she had for so long craved; the freedom her mother had won all those years ago. Her heart began to soar, releasing within her feelings of hope, passion and desire that had slept dormant for the entirety of her empty life.
“It is for this reason that I have decided to…” Fermina was aware that her fate rested on the words that were to follow. The difference between joy and sadness, life and death – her future stood before this rhetorical precipice. She felt a burning within her as she waited for the Count’s intent to be revealed…

“It is for this reason that I have decided to send you to live with the order of Espantaso de la Alumbramiento Virginal…” With these words, Fermina’s heart sank into the familiar depths of despair and hopelessness from which it had ever so briefly been released.
“You will leave tomorrow at dawn, sailing on La Transferencia. Alejandro will accompany you…” By this point Fermina was no longer following the Count’s cruel words. She was once again resigned to her fate, her imprisonment. The possibilities and dreams that only seconds before had seemed so close, so real, were now as distant as the dark mountains that ringed Madrid – merely shadows that lurked beyond reach. With all the rage that her limp heart could muster, she looked the Count squarely in the eye and slowly whispered the words that were to seal her fate.
“I hate you, father, I hate you!”

An intense silence followed, alleviated only by Alejandro’s sharp inhalation of breath. But Fermina’s eyes remained defiantly fixed on her father, in the hope of catching some approximately human reaction in his face before it fled to make way for the steely impassivity that usually resided there. She was seeking some sign that her declaration had at least momentarily revealed a chink in the supremely indifferent façade that he had presented to her all the days of her life. With some horror, though little surprise, she was made to finally realise that it was no façade at all. He was indifferent, and quite genuinely so. He was no actor. He had been indifferent to her love when she had loved him - a childish folly, you must concede, but one to which all children are prone – and he had been indifferent to the disappearance of that love once he had killed it. So it stood to reason that her hatred - long felt but only newly performed - would be insufficient to register some acknowledgment in him. In the face of her anger, however forceful or implacable it might have been, he would feel no compulsion to alter his position. Her changes meant nothing to him. She meant nothing to him.

Flames of humiliation licked her face, and yet, his mind had moved to other matters. His attention switched back to the papers before him, as if the interlude that had scorched her with such vehemence had not even occurred. Time passed. The blood roared in her ears. Her eyes prickled. Her mind was filled with shouting, as she attacked the situation from as many angles as her rage was propelling her to find. Perhaps it was pure futility that she lamented his carelessness in regard to her. She knew his faults, and she knew them to be rabid and numerous. She even knew that, had she lived her life in the knowledge that he adored her, she would have scorned his love. Had such a love existed at all, she would have seen that it was tainted by its source. But still, she was cut to the quick by his matter-of-fact dismissal of her self in its entirety. When the value of one’s existence is rejected or denied, it is a potent slap. It wallops you, irrespective of whether it has been delivered by a wholly detestable figure. And such wounds can only inflame further when you know that all you have to offer in life is your existence, when you are a woman of mean education and without the consolations of work or a public life, and when there is no other hook on which to hang your identity besides your presence in a household. And now Fermina was to be banished even from that meagre position. She had thought it impossible that she could exist in a more pronounced state of invisibility, or that she could ever be made to feel more keenly that she was worth little in the eyes of others. But she was now to be removed even from those around her who, in a practical sense, at least had to think of her on a daily basis, even if such thoughts were tinged with irritation. So, she was consigned to further degradation.

And yet, though her reeling mind had fixed upon no source of consolation, she began to regain her composure. It was a measure of how much of it she had clawed back that, a few minutes later, she had regained enough to be darkly amused when, having emerged from his papers, her father’s face contorted into a startled gape when he found, to his astonishment, that she was still there. It was laughable that he should have been so astounded, and yet, it was characteristic of his thinking. She knew that, to his mind, she should have ceased to exist as a presence in his life after he had made final and binding arrangements to be rid of her. It would seem to him a galling miscalculation to find that she remained, and that his decision would not acquit itself in actuality until the morning. But the fault would rest with Time, not him. And it would pass. It was a pittance, but Fermina felt that that look on her father’s face, when enlivened by an instant of unpreparedness, was the only victory she would ever win. Now that she would be leaving his house, consigned to some distant hole, she had the feeling that it would be the only memory she had amassed over her lifetime with him to show that she had once had an effect on his selfish composure. Her presence had been felt. But it was a paltry memento to account for the only life she had yet known….
Just creating some pre-release buzz for The Passion of the Christ, Mel "men and women are not equal" Gibson's biblical extravaganza that's hitting cinemas soon. It's fun watching the publicity they're spinning over this. It's the same as for any other blockbuster, it just involves God. Like how there were miracles on set and how Jim Caviezel got "hit by lightening". Instead of leaks about romantic liaisons in the studio lot, we hear whispers that the movie was definitely "blessed by God" (and the Pope, although that claim was retracted I think). Just saw a little piece on US ABC news about how all the community-based Christian organisations over there (i'm inferring the more fundamentalist ones) are in over-drive trying to publicise the film, as this is seen as the biggest bit of publicity for God in "2000 years". Explicit mixing of commercialism and religion always creeps me out (naive that I am), and I'm very much looking forward to watching this while eating popcorn in a multiplex, just to feel the weirdness of the whole endeavour. In general, Mel Gibson thoroughly creeps me out, mostly because he seems kinda nuts (yet cause he's a "committed Christian" nobody seems to notice). I mean he's always seemed unhinged, but now that he's found God and stuff the whole thing's been turned up a notch. And then there's the woman hating, the homophobia blah blah blah which seems to top it all off and confirm my distaste for the man (not having met him, of course). Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to... The Passion of the Christ...

In other news, this week's episode of The Simple Life was a classic, especially when Paris and Nicole changed the fast food joint's sign so as to say "1/2 Price Anal Salty wiener Burgers". That is inspired. Although what was equally funny/scary/odd was that previously the sign read "United We Stand", suggesting that patriotism knows no bounds these days. I have to say I'm growing to like these guys. They are just such ABSOLUTE brats, and while they're the kinda kids I would have resented and hated in school, I just appreciate that people are living with such little self-awareness. It's fun to watch. And I'm still yet to be convinced that Paris Hilton is not an inspired comedic genius, although lately Nicole Richie has been out-shining her, especially when she asked two guys driving a pick-up "do you guys take baths together?". Classic.
Oh man, that Simpsons in England episode was spot on, reference-laden gold. So good.

Ergh. Skithouse. Way to ruin my mood. Damn that thing BLOWS. I mean, it's nice that otherwise funny comedians can get shameful work during the year so that they don't starve to death before appearing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival for my amusement. But holy crap! Really really blows.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Just saw an icky ad for tomorrow's Today Tonight story on Australian call centre jobs being "Diverted to Delhi", with Naomi delivering the extra nugget about "how these call centres are driving Aussies crazy". Key emphasis being that it's these specific call centres that are the ones driving us crazy. Damn foreigners, stealing jobs from the Aussies who used to drive Aussies crazy. And then using these stolen jobs to invade our homes! Aaaggh! Our very way of life is under attack! It's a Today Tonight dream story; sticking up for Aussie Battlers who are losing their jobs, while also being able to keep them out of the frame for community anger at being interrupted during dinnertime to take nuisance calls, yet still being onside with said community anger. Can blame foreigners and stick up for working people, even though we hated them last week for doing the jobs they just lost. Score!

Monday, February 16, 2004

Saw Irreversible today. Monica Belucci and Vincent Cassel are REALLY COOL. I also thought that the movie was good, except for at the beginning when the camera swirled for too long and made me impatient to get to the actual story. I would recommend the film, but it would feel like I was recommending that you all go and watch someone get raped. Also, if you're a girl and you regularly walk around at night by yourself [like on your way home from work, etc], especially near main road underpasses, you might not want to watch this movie. It's kinda hard to shake the feeling that you're never far from vulnerable to a random horrific thing. Fear kinda shoots through you and freezes your spine when you think of all the simple acts of walking home you've done [and are yet to do]. Just make up your own minds, and if you wanna see it, maybe we'll chat later.
I finally saw the infamous Jessica Simpson "Is this Chicken?" moment, when while eating some "Chicken of the Sea tuna" she pondered "Is this chicken what I'm eating? It says chicken but it tastes like tuna". Hilarious. I was CACKLING. The best bit was how her ex-98 degrees hubby just looked away in disgust eg "I can't believe she just said that... uhh". I cannot wait for Newlyweds. Also, and surprisingly, The Resort rocks. In the first ep they had one of the best reality show verbal punch-ups I've ever seen, with each party accusing the other of being a stripper and looking like a tramp. That's pretty impressive antipathy for only a few days work. Congrats to Tab for getting all the guys to squeeze her fake "titties". Classy.
I've only ever read two articles about Barry's son, Oscar Humphries. The thing is, he wrote both of them himself. Ewwww. I cringe when I think about this guy. I think I really don't like him. There's something a bit yick about him. He's really annoying, especially in his own words. And, hey, it's not that I dismiss the rationale for having his personality foisted upon us. I mean, I'm as interested in the children of celebrities as the next person. I read the first article by him because I went "Huh. Barry Humphries' son. Sweet". So, I am not a calvinist work ethic type about profiles. Also, it's not the concept of this dilettente guy being able to write articles about himself and get them published across the globe that I have a problem with either. Writing about yourself is not necessarily a bad thing. I am in no position to mock it [or maybe I am and I just don't know it]. Anyway, I think I love dilettentes [they're like bums but cooler, right?]. It's just that it's a really really really bad idea to get Oscar Humphries to write the articles about himself, himself. He's a bit of a prat, see. The first thing I read about/by him was something he wrote last year about being the young man in an older woman/young man relationship. It was excrutiating. He was all about how great older women are because they are assured and know what they want blah blah blah. And how being the younger, less assured, less powerful one in the relationship made him more understanding of how his previous girls had felt in their relationships with him. Wanker. Pretty much his main point in that article was to reveal [and then repeatedly reiterate] how great the sex was. By extension, I think we were meant to infer how great he was. It was kinda lame, painful to read, and quite put me off him. Loser. And now there's another frickin article by/about him, with this one dedicated to retelling, for our benefit, his life story. Don't people write profiles for people anymore? Why is it that he's twice been able to submit these horrid personal reflection pieces? And why does he think it's a good idea to do so? Trust me, Oscar mate, it really isn't. You're crap. I hate reading what he has to say about himself. Could someone else read it and tell me if I'm being too harsh? Maybe, without having read the first "I am a sex god" article, you won't have the foundation in dislike from which I am building. But, if you're interested, the more recent article that prompted this post appears in this week's Age Sunday Life Magazine. Oscar's the bare-chested guy on its front cover. I think he's full of crap. But, here, you be the judge. Here are some of the dickhead's thoughts, on himself:

"I'm an old 22. I feel like I've lived many lives in many different places. I've loved more than most and seen more than most but that also means I've hurt more".

"... living in Beverly Hills was, even for me, an unreal experience".

"Australia is a new country and it makes me want to be a new man... This is where I was born, this is where I want to learn how to walk".

"I'm a little bit Sydney... a little bit Melbourne... a little bit LA... a little bit New York... a little bit London. I feel all of these things - on their own, they are unremarkable. But together, in me, today and always, they give colour and light to this nomad".

Yuck. There's something very bad and wrong about this guy.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Ok, I've seen the funniest music vid in the world: Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart. I cannot believe how ridiculous it is. Part Meatloaf, part Thriller, it has Tyler running through an empty mansion (of course), with sheer white curtains blowing in the wind. Outside it's stormy, with lightening flashes (of course). Randomly, she is surrounded by interpretive dancers wearing little nappy things, who move around her, probably representing passion or something. The best bit is when this boy's choir randomly appears in the house, all with glowing white eyes, and one of the singers starts to fly about the room while Tyler looks perplexed and emotional. Other odd bits include a random shot of people fencing (love is war?), lots of sweaty men, and the fact that it eventually turns out that Tyler is a new teacher about to teach the aforementioned glowing-eyed, flying choirboys, which is kinda dodgy cause there was something very sexual going on there. I know this sounds nonsensical, but that's because it is. Other totally lame but good clips include: Pat Benatar, Love is a Battlefield and Shannon Noll, What About Me?.
My mum is the QUEEN of jaffles!

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Okay, a little bleary now. But I just have to share two pieces of information that I gleaned throughtout this past night. First piece is; Erin seriously knows how to throw a party [she does this really nifty thing where she invites a good number of my most beloved friends. Genius!]. Second piece is; I think that I have a doppelganger. Hear me out. Two events in recent weeks have made me think that I really might have one. Like, tonight, while at the Alfred emergency room, I quite reasonably inquired at the front desk about the status of a friend. I was courteous and patient and understanding as they told me to just wait while tests were done, etc. There was nothing weird about it. It was highly unremarkable. But later, Guy came out and told me that the nurses had asked him if he had a friend wearing a black outfit and big pink earrings. He did [it was me]. They then remarked that I had been in the previous night, doing much the same thing. When he told me this, I was like "Whaaaaat?". Hey! Nurses usually love me. What's going on here? First of all, I wasn't being freaky or anything so why was I the topic of discussion at all? And second of all, I'd never stepped foot inside the Alfred emergency room before in my life, so it was quite confronting to find out that, nevertheless, I already had a rep there. Like, all of a sudden I was some badass pesky hospital-bothering freak. I was like, "that's weird. I don't look like anyone. I've never been confused with someone else in my life". And then I remembered that that wasn't true. You see, a few weeks ago, I had been mistaken for someone else at the Big Day Out. Again, because this never happens to me, I was quite surprised about it at the time, but didn't think much more of it. But now I really reckon there's someone out there, fouling up my cred. Someone who breaks meeting arrangements with their friends at the Big Day Out so they come looking for me. Someone who makes an effort to pester overtaxed Alfred nurses only one night before I arrive there and make reasonable inquiries after a quite unexpected incident. I know this 'evidence' is pretty scanty, but you really need to consider it in the context of it never having happened before, and then happening twice in the space of a month. Hnnn? See where I'm coming from? Yeah. You'd be freaked. So, if you're out there, doppelganger, CUT IT OUT. I'm way too self-absorbed to be able to handle worrying about your behaviour too.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Back from Sydney (heat wave, so very sweaty) and I can't believe I missed the Grammys. What I did catch, however, was The Simple Life - could I have asked for anything more? I know it might be totally staged blah blah blah, and maybe Paris Hilton secretly is this comedic genius with massive IQ, but I don't care. It's just so funny! Most classic moments included 1. Paris checking herself out in the wardrobe mirror while doing runway moves and pouting 2. When they had to blur out Paris's arse cleavage 3. When the little kid plays with/tortures Tinkerbell 4. The surprising fact that Paris knew what Pasteurisation was, adding weight to my theory that she's a super intelligent comedic genius.
OHMYGOD!!!! Lucinda Williams is coming to town. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!
Tosser Statement of the Week was dumb-assly uttered by Michael Powell, FCC chairman and son of Colin, when he testified at a Congressional hearing concerned with Janet's breast appearance during the NFL halftime show. He said:

"Not only was it offending [sic, I think] to children, but it was also degrading to women".

Uh, like, how would he know? Tosser. Who the hell does he think he is? Really, really pissed me off. So much so that he managed to edge out the guy who described Jesus' crucifixion as "the central event in human history". Yikes. This Janet nonsense really is blinding people to stuff. I have just provided proof of my own affliction.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

And now, for a revision. Last week I said that I'd never seen Angel look as good as he did in the first ever episode of Buffy. I now realise that I was wrong, and I am duty-bound to amend my position. Having watched the new season opener of Angel the other night, I would have to say that I prefer him chunkier and actually capable of acting. Also, his more recent preference for a black suit with black dress shirt, unbuttoned, is totally smick. Way better than that whole white shirt with a 70s/early 90s lapel bizzo [think Shannon Noll] that passed for cool on the oh so 90s Buffy, even if it was paired with a black velvet suit. By the way, Angel is a totally awesome show, and it just keeps getting better. For the past few years I think it's been kicking Buffy's arse. With the addition of Spike to the cast, [Yay!] it's gonna get even awesomer.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I just got an email that makes me want to cry.

The world can be such a cruel place. You suck, world. You see, for the past few weeks I have been fretting over the disappearance of Jon Stewart's Daily Show from my television. I thought that there might have been a hiatus or maybe that it was just the result of a non-ratings season thing, and so I decided to just pine away, feigning 'patience'. But, come on, it's SBS. They don't do non-ratings seasons. They don't do ratings. I began to get a very bad feeling in my waters. What had happened to the show? Well, the answer is, something dreadful. I emailed SBS about it, and [sob] I just received their courteous reply:

Dear Viewer,
Thank you for your email regarding The Weekly Daily Show.
Unfortunately, we sought to renew the rights but they did not accept our offer.
Thanks again

[cue uncontrollable inarticulate wailing]

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Just for some background, watching the Grammys often makes me excessively angry. After last year, I decided that that is not healthy. You see, I watch the Grammys because sometimes they deliver some really cool collaborations. But I can't remember what happened last year. I think I was too consumed by rage, and all I remember is the rage. Last year's Grammys evoke for me the words "just plain heinous", and maybe that had a lot to do with the unbroken stream of crap that seemed to be getting nominated. I mean, I have this vague recollection that, in any given category, there was rarely even one deserving winner in the bunch. And the Grammys are no fun if no-one good is even in with a chance. I can recall extreme frustration, bitterness and annoyance, which all led to a pledge never to credit the terms 'Grammy-winner' or 'Grammy-nominee' with any degree of automatic respect. I was really mad. I was screaming and cursing and spitting and calling the Grammy names, and ready to dismiss the whole thing as worthless. I was livid. And that's kinda weird.

So this year, to guard against the rage, I decided to watch the show with only one small goal in mind. I told myself, "You will enjoy these Grammys as long as Train don't win anything. That will be the dealbreaker this year." Thus, with my focus and boundaries firmly negotiated, I ventured forth. Steeled now with resolve and a preset option out of the calm [I was permitted to go off like a nutcase if Train got anything] I could handle whatever else that came my way. No reckless hating here. The rage would not appear. And it didn't. [Up yours, Train! Hah!] I maintained composure throughout. They were an alright Grammys I suppose. A little flat, maybe. These are the things that I noticed:

- Richard Marx is still around. Huh. I was quite unprepared for that.

- The nominees were pretty good, considering this is the Grammys.

- Christina has great style.

- Mmmmmm. Jakob Dylan. Damn baby! Seriously, DAMN !!!

- The two best outfits of the night were both made up of the same components. This is werid, considering that these components were a sparkly yellow fabric outfit worn skin-tight and coupled with a huge fluffy wooly accessory. Anyway, the Best Outfit award is shared by the bass player from Earth, Wind & Fire [who wore a sparkly yellow skin-tight catsuit with huge fluffy wooly gumboots] and Mary J Blige [who wore a yellow sparkly skin-tight dress with an even yellower huge fluffy wooly fabulous jacket]. Nice work, people. You rule!

- Those I noticed sporting great hair were; Christina, Alicia Keys, Kelly Osbourne, and Linda Perry.

- Justin's song was one of the best performances. Nice job. Only problem with this boy is that he persists in poorly selecting his sneakers. Too bulky. Facial hair situation good at the moment, though, thank god.

- Robert Randolph and the Family Band and George Clinton and that whole onstage funk party was also really cool.

- Ellen Degeneres needs to wear her suits tighter.

- Yoko RULES! [Paul still a cunt]

- Black Eyed Peas chick gets the Super-Ace Black Leg-warmers and Heels Combo award.

- By the way, what does Justin actually do in that song?

- Norah Jones should wear her hair up more often. Nice bangs.

- Beyoncé's voice is ace, but....Haaaaaah hahaaaaaaaaaa!!!! A dove!! Haaaahaahah!

- I just really love Ozzy. Something about him makes my heart fill with tender feelings.

- Sarah McLaughlin looked like Gloria Estefan [no judgment. It's just not how I remembered her].

- And, last but not least, in Oukast's able hands, even a school marching band doing The Robot is cool.

Phew. Grammys is done. Now I think I'll be able to handle next year as long as Evanescence don't win anything. Hmmm. I let you off easy this year, Grammys.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Does anybody else enjoy that horrific Five Years From Now song by Mercury 4 purely because the way the line is sung makes it sound like they're saying "Will I be your mammary?" Just wondering.
Have just got home from work to find The Darkness doing an utterly gold job of guest-programming Rage [which, for those unfamiliar, is a music video program in Australia. Oooh, look at me. One piece of Spanish praise and I make the paradigm shift to global. Tickets much?]. The boys were seriously picking some of my Rage back-catalogue faves. I mean, check this out:
Boney M's Rasputin [you know, "Ra-ra Rasputin"]
The Carpenters' Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft [a GREAT song, and totally strange coming from Karen and bro]
Van Halen's Panama [hellooo! It features onstage use of a HAIR-DRIER!]
Kate Bush's Babooshka [an avowedly new addition to my list of back-catalogue faves. Leah, you were so right about how awesome this clip is. I particularly like her outfit during the chorus, when she's got the gold head-dress on and the gold striped high-cut bikini and the dagger strapped to her thigh, so she looks like a glam go-go pirate. Amazing!]

All that was needed to make it a perfect Rage evening was if they had played that Cameo song that I love [but whose title I can't remember], and also Rod Stewart's Hot Legs. Yeah! That would have been sweeeeet. Warrant's Cherry Pie was also a notable omission, which, however, was thankfully rectified later by the people who programmed the rest of Rage to match the theme set by the Darkness [leading to helpings of Poison, more Van Halen, Spinal Tap, etc]. Man, these things make me so damn happy. I love those Darkness boys even more now. To top off the night, they actually chose and introduced one of their own clips. Love them! The clip was Growing on Me which is a worthy peer to all the excellence that preceded it, although it's tough to decide whether it, or I Believe in a Thing Called Love, is their best clip. Hmmmm. Tough, very tough. Anyway, those boys rule.
Give me a D! Give me an ARKNESS!
Damn straight.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

I have just been watching a DVD of The Awful Truth series, and I was pleasantly surprised to find how well it still stands up. I think Michael Moore did some of his best work on this show.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Amy, you were right about this return of Buffy thing. It's gonna be so great watching them all from the beginning and being reminded of who did what to who, etc. Things I noticed from the first episode were (1) While the looks and dress sense of everyone else in the series will improve over time, I don't think I've ever seen an episode, other than this first one, where Angel and Xander looked hotter. Xander had a really good shirt on, and a lovely sweet young face, and Angel was wearing a black velvet suit. Mmmm. However, he did seem rather too suave and playful for someone consumed by irreconcilable guilt every moment of every day. Whatever, it's all downhill lookswise for those guys from here on in. (2) Buffy really looks her best the blonder she is. These early darker tresses just ain't cutting it, and I don't think her fashion is going to get good until the final two seasons. (3) As if Darla would be afraid of Buffy! Come on! As IF !!! (4) Who knew the gang started out with Willow, Xander and a guy called Jesse? I had completely forgotten about this longtime childhood friend of theirs [who will no doubt be killed off next week]. Hmmmm, it's gonna be fun watching the details emerge out of the fog of early Buffy memory. I am, however, dreading the onslaught of hairclips.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Each Wednesday night at 8.30pm on SBS there is an in-depth news/affairs program called Dateline. It RULES!

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Yeah, it always comes across as lame when TV interview people try to capture public disapproval. The worst, of course, is Naomi Robson who has a fondness for beginning stories in the following manner: "To be frank, the following paedophile/shonky builder is an absolute creep, and he deserves to be in jail". She really is quite a tough nut, which makes it even funnier when she finishes each show with "I'm Naomi Robson, DO take care, and have a GREAT evening, and I'll see you soon!". Warm and fuzzy. Then they cut away and show her legs beneath the specially-designed leg-revealing desk that appeared a few years ago. Meanwhile, Darren Hinch is a tosser. Confirmed. "All that history owes the dead is the truth" he says. I say, stop using overblown self-important carp(?) to justify your own lack of judgement.
It's not hilarious anymore. All the tut-tutting that is coming in response to Janet's boob has taken all the passing fun out and turned the thing mega-annoying and given it 'lasting consequences'. Pontificators are damn creeps. So much lame-arsing abounds. There's all this very strong language about how "stupid and obnoxious" the stunt was, and "I don't consider myself conservative but enough already" for the sake of the kids, etc. Grrrr. Calm down, people! Who cares what this might mean for society. As if it means anything at all! Jesus! What the fuck could it possibly have to do with your world-view? It's just a frickin boob. It was just a frickin moment. It doesn't have anything to do with you! What is with the unrestrained heaping of scorn!!? Ergh. The Worst Response of the Day award goes to Matt Lauer. He finished up an interview with some magazine lady about the 'implications' of the boob-reveal by shaking his head and saying, [in a disapproving, "I give up", tone],
"Just think. 40 years ago we were shocked by the Beatles' haircuts. Now this."
Pffffffff. The lost fucking innocence of yesteryear.

Monday, February 02, 2004

This whole Janet Jackson breast-exposure thing is hilarious. Mostly because of the crazy outpouring of network apologising. Never again will MTV organise the mid-show entertainment says CBS! Never again! Meanwhile, JT (trouser snake) takes the piss by blaming the incident on a "wardrobe malfunction". Although, my personal opinion is that the whole thing was deliberate. If anyone wants to look at the still (which is totally PG), her nipple isn't actually exposed. Considering that numerous celebs eg Lil'Kim have pioneered the acceptable exposure of breasts, with nipples tastefully covered up, the whole thing seems quite tame. If it wasn't intentional, I'm then very impressed that Janet managed to carry on robotically while replacing the missing costume piece. In any case, the fact that we all now remember that Janet Jackson exists, and has a new album out in weeks, means that the whole thing has been a success. Yay!
On Triple J at the moment there's a current affairs show called Hack, or something, hosted by Steve Cannane from 5.30pm til 6pm each weeknight. I've caught it a few times and it's really interesting. Tops.
Check out Paula Abdul's website, and read about her new range of jewelry called "Innergy", "which represents the "inner energy" it takes to succeed". "The front of the circle is engraved with "When you wish upon a Star..." On the reverse [it says] "You just might become one." Click at the bottom of the page for "order placement and fulfillment".