Saturday, July 31, 2004

Hey Guy, it's okay, she might not be about to die after all.

Oh, and you know how you were bemoaning the lack of a credible arbiter of celebrity plastic surgery since awfulpasticsurgery stinks so bad? Well, try goodplasticsurgery. It might be better.
In the video clip for Youth Group's song Baby Body, why has Patrick Matthews' face been blurred out?

Friday, July 30, 2004

Went to see The Impressionists exhibition at the national gallery today. It was pretty good, you know, Impressionist paintings from the Musee d'Orsay and all that. Some moments of leaping heart, some of detached consideration. You know, the usual art appreciation deal. Then I went to the symphony to see some Japanese drum power. It was cool. And strange. I've never seen funny outfits and rippling muscles on stage with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra before. Of course, if I had gone to see it when the orchestra played with Kiss or Meatloaf, I would have seen funny outfits. But I didn't go, and anyway, snigger snigger, no rippling muscles there. So this was definitely a first. Anyway, these drum dudes and ladies had what Kyan would call 'excellent core strength'. And there was a lot of intense poised banging things around and it was really cool. The encore was super fantastic, especially when the orchestra's percussion section started having a little party up the back, bopping around and clang clang clang and having a right old time. Oh, the percussion section. Love em. They're my peeps. Dunno why they're my peeps, as I am not myself a percussionist, but there you are. They're my favourite section. By the way, the main percussion dude and the new young percussion chick are sleeping together, right? I mean, not just sleeping together of course. What I meant to say is that they're together together, right? Like, he's mentoring her, but also they're an item, right? I'm only asking because having watched them all evening, that conclusion seems to stand up. I observed behaviour that I think points to their being in a relationship. For example, before the show started they were chatting on stage and she did that 'brush a bit of fluff off his jacket' thing. And then later, during the performance of the second piece - that Strauss one from 2001: A Space Odyssey - after she'd done a special bit of hitting on a special bit of equipment, he gave her a discreet thumbs up, in response to which she blushed and smiled into her chest. And then at the end of the performance he touched her shoulder in a 'well done I'm proud of you' sort of way before shaking hands with the other percussion man and applauding the timpanist. He seemed more chuffed than a simple mentor, is all I'm saying. And he has been smiling a lot more, too. Am I wrong? Whatever. A good time was had tonight by me and my orchestra percussion peeps.
Hmmm. Saw on the JB upcoming releases board that Bic Runga was due to release a new album at the beginning of August, but there's no mention of it on the net, and none at Sony's page. What gives?
Was watching Alias last night and saw an ad for Seven News  that went something like this: "the new wave of fear that's sweeping Melbourne... even sex-workers are afraid!". Hmmm. Firstly, shame on Seven for trying to cultivate an even more neurotic populace, but, um, why wouldn't sex-workers be afraid? It seems like an obviously dangerous industry, and I suspect that many sex-workers don't relish the risks their work entails. Bizarre.

On the topic of Alias, it was amusing when Ms Alias was scaling the walls of some random building (with a break-an-enter beanie on, and black camouflage) that she decided to still wear a bright crimson wig, and not to bother disturbing her hair by concealing it in the interests of, you know, camouflage. Why won't the CIA approach me so that I can juggle a student lifestyle with international intrigue?

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Doing my usual street press reading at my 3CR shift today, and hell no but The Darkness have cancelled a tour which was going to bring them here around October. Noooooooo! Now we have to wait at least a few more months to see them again in the summer. Oh, Justin, you toy with me. But I love you. Also announced was the news that the producer of their next album will be Roy Thomas Baker. That name means nothing to me, but considering he's also produced albums for Queen, The Cars and Cheap Trick, I say it bodes incredibly well. Hee hee! Excitement building. Anyway, in other bad street press news, the Livid festival has been called off for this year too, which means, sob, no Livid side-shows! Oh my, but October is looking bleak. In better news, heaps heaps better in fact, The Libertines will be here very shortly. August 9th to be exact. No Pete in tow, but still, yay! Happy happy me!... Or so I thought, until I just went and tried to buy tickets from the Corner Hotel website and couldn't as there were no Libertines tickets for sale there. Oh no no no no no, I fear they have already sold out. Damnation!

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Oh Franz Ferdinand, how I love thee. Such a fantastic gig tonight. Amazing amazing amazing. Ah, love em. So happy. So much compulsive dorko dancing and damn great tunes. Yay yay yay. So great.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Why have I not read Defamer yet, where I have stumbled across the somewhat predictable news that Lindsay Lohan has been spotted wearing the ubiquitous Kabbalah bracelet. This comes after her alleged breast augmentation, and proves once and for all that she has gone Hollywood - not that I know if she was anything else before. Can people (celebrities) please stop choosing their religion based on the fact that they want to be Madonna?

Monday, July 26, 2004

Some results from another personality test I took just now.

According to the test, my personality breaks down into these proportions...
Introverted (I) 58.33% Extroverted (E) 41.67%
Intuitive (N) 52.63% Sensing (S) 47.37%
Thinking (T) 50% Feeling (F) 50%
Perceiving (P) 55.17% Judging (J) 44.83%

My Myers Briggs Jung type is INFP, which means I'm a "Questor". High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population. Ooh er.

Some graphics to clarify matters...

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||| 33%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||||| 60%
Type 3 Image Awareness |||||||||||||||| 66%
Type 4 Sensitivity |||||||||||||| 56%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||| 66%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||||||||||| 53%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 40%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||||||||| 43%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Your Conscious-Surface type is 9w8
Your Unconscious-Overall type is 4w3
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
personality tests by

I listened to my freshly purchased Boney M Super Hits album in the car on the way home from the symphony, and it's fantastic. Now I can't get Brown Girl in the Ring out of my head either. And I like it. Also got Courtney Love's album for a steal at JB for ten bucks. Score. I mean, respect. Oh, and the symphony orchestra was good tonight too. Ravel and Rachmaninov, you dig.
Just watched Touching The Void, that mountaineering movie about that legendary disastrous climb made by Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, and like, fuuuuuuck! Anyway, the film was really good and very well captured the horrendous experience, I think. Winced many many times. Yeeesh. And I liked the guys. I liked how they told their story. I liked how Simon didn't turn to God even in such dire straits. Also, I know it tortured him, but I really liked that Boney M song, Brown Girl in the Ring, that he got stuck in his head as he was going mental. I think I might go and see if I can buy a best of album, which will hopefully have Rasputin on it too. I'm also gonna buy Courtney Love's America's Sweetheart because, listening to it in Guy's car last night, I think he might be right. It's great. And I want to do my bit for Courtney at this late stage. I've never bought anything by her and I feel it necessary now to, er, make a stand. I feel like Rhett Butler going off to join the Confederate army when the war is all but lost. Um, yeah. Anyway, the other day at the film festival I saw Fallen Angel, that biopic about Gram Parsons. It was good, but I didn't feel like he'd become any less elusive. Emmylou Harris was cool, and that bassist guy from The Byrds/Flying Burrito Brothers, and Keith Richards, but it also seemed like Keith had done some damage which he wasn't really aware of. But he's Keith, so I love him. It's weird to see the survivors of drug-crazed debauchery looking so normal and middle-aged. Not Keith, of course, but some of the others. It was pretty funny in parts, and kind of a shambles. At the screening I went to there was also this really fantastic clay-mation short at the beginning. It was called Tree Officer and it was hilarious. So great and deadpan and cool. So try and get to the festival, okay people? You'll see many leather jackets and strange, out-of-place clumps of filmheads huddling outside multiplexes discussing movies. Outside multiplexes. During the day. It's all quite weird.
Life is grand innit? I'm seeing Franz Ferdinand tomorrow night, and I've bought tickets to see The Datsuns, Supergrass, and Muse in early September. Yay Melbourne, such a great town.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Alexander Downer is so lame. Australia's been threatened with 'pools of blood' and apparently it's the Philippines' fault. Way to be a foreign affairs wiz, dude. That's not completely ridiculous at all. My favourite part of this story, however, is this classic quote from Downer, our #1 go-between with the world, about the terrorist group making threats against us and Italy;

"This group isn't a group that we're familiar with but nevertheless, it's a threat, it's on the internet, we take it seriously".

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Gold.
Oh man, how embarrassing. Are we really going to do this now? Mark Latham says he inhaled and Tony Abbot says he didn't. Seriously, I just see that stuff and I am immediately cringing in embarrassment. We are so lame. And, just so journalists know, neither admission makes either man "just like Bill Clinton" any more than it makes them "just like Snoop Dogg".
Saw Fahrenheit 9/11 and thought it was very good, and completely depressing. Cried quite a bit, actually. I totally didn't get what was so funny when the audience was laughing. It was just upsetting. Crazy-making sadness. Sigh. Whenever I get a dose of marshalled facts like that, even if I already know them, I just go "whaa? how did they? why? huh? what the hell are you doing? how could you say that?" etc. It just, like, beggars belief that people can be so shitty and still command respect, power and trust. Seriously, those guys are bad news. I just can't get my head around it. Like, why did Bush want to be President anyway? I just look at him and he just seems so random. What motivated him to seek public office? It just makes no sense. What ethic of public service is he labouring under? What improving vision does he judge his decisions against? He just doesn't fit. And to think that maybe it all might have never happened, had the basic democratic principle of counting every vote cast been adhered to. Like, what were the Senate thinking, not supporting distressed congresspeople who objected about the election result? I'm looking at you, Kerry/Edwards/Kennedy/Biden et al. Hell, even Lieberman. Come on! Were you taking crazy pills or something? And the war, it just makes no sense whatsoever. Der. It's all just ugly and darkly darkly darkly absurd. Anyway, when I left the theatre I just felt full of, like, how maddening it is. The ignorance and stuff. When that woman yelled "Blame al-Qaeda", I was just done for. So yeah, verdict on the movie is that it's good. I guess I'm supposed to mention that there were some cheap shots blah blah blah, but as they weren't the substance of the movie I really can't be fucked. It did piss me off that people were creaming themselves at the prospect of even the slightest mild dig at Bush & co, but I generally hate the audiences I see movies with anyway, so what diff?

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Just watched Dogville again, and I still don't get why you all hated it so much. I still really really like it. It's totally an excellent film.
I thought it was gonna be so shit, but I watched Along Came Polly and dudes, I laughed out loud a lot. Seriously, Philip Seymour Hoffman is hilarious! Two seconds after he first appears on screen, it's like, bam! You've cracked up big time. Comedy gold! Ah ha ha, and you gotta watch him play basketball. Prime. And Jennifer Aniston is also very good. And pretty. Seriously, her breasts are amazing. Anyway, so yeah, that movie was way better than I thought it would be. The ending still sucked BIG TIME, all forced and perfunctory with an off-puttingly smug Stiller, but that's what romantic comedies do, I guess. Curse them.

Also, The Hives on Letterman... AMAZING! People, that album is so great. You all have to get it. And they have to tour here. So goddamn great!

Friday, July 23, 2004

BTW, do NOT see The Stepford Wives. It was excruciating, and added further weight to my theory that Nicole is both cold and talentless. Glenn Close and Bette Midler, however, walked away unscathed. And what was country queen Faith Hill doing there? Did they cast her purely because she looks like a femme-bot?

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Just got back from seeing Control Room, that documentary about Al-Jazeera during the war. It was really good. I have a headache and I'm tired so I'm just gonna give a brief overview of my impressions. The Al-Jazeera people are really smart and principled and really good journalists. Bombs are really really loud and monstrous. They are very violent when they impact. And finally, what Bush and Rumsfeld were saying in their public appearances during the war has never seemed more absurd and offensive than it did during this film. Like, your bombs aim at people and kill them, and you say, "oh, it's the victims' own fault for being there." Fuck you. At one point their shit talk was hilarious though, with Rummy railing against Al-Jazeera and how it's spreading lies and how the truth always comes out and the liars lose all credibility. Ha. The audience pissed themselves, a little too self-congratulatorily perhaps, but still, it was a funny scene. Guy's right when he says all you need is their own words to reveal the horror and bring them down.
Martha Stewart got five months!
As part of my Sydney activities, I went to see Fahrenheit 911, and was predictably entertained, moved,  but overall, unimpressed. It started out great, with a long introductory section looking at the Florida vote-rigging, which seemed both accurate and moving (which was impressive considering you're talking about hanging chats or whatever). This was  followed by some prime creepy/scary footage of Bush saying various stupid things, and various other neocons lurking around seeming sinister. So far so standard. BUT THEN, Moore went off on this tangent about the Bush family's links with the Bin Ladens, suggesting that there was some financially motivated conspiracy to protect them in the wake of September 11. He then went even further off track when he started showing all this footage of random Saudis shaking hands with White House officials, questioning why the administration was talking to them so much. As he didn't specify who these Saudis actually were, the tone was quite racist.

This set up a pattern that would be followed throughout - in pursuit of his anti-Bush agenda, Moore felt free to appeal to US prejudice, or play with the facts to suit. Like when he mentioned the coalition of the willing, he mentioned Palau and Togo, but not the UK, Spain, Australia or any other prominent partner. Yeah, it was a funny gag, with some thematic truth, but he kinda shot his credibility in the foot. There were some good sections, like when he examined the relationship between military (combat) service and poverty, and I was thoroughly entertained, but in the end its so obvious that Moore's skewing facts to suit his own agenda that the power of his argument is diminished. Maybe this is justified, in an end justifies means kinda way. The thing is you don't need to skew any facts to paint a damning picture of the Bush administration. They speak for themselves. Just show footage of them talking ("the haves, and the have-mores"). For this reason, the SBS doco screened on Tuesday night, The World According to Bush (or something) was a much more effective (and balanced) attack on Bush.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Try and watch Denton's interview with Clinton which is being re-screened tonight on the ABC. He's really good. Clinton, I mean.
Hey, my uncle is in the paper today.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Blergh. Here's some feminism with 'nuance' from Janet Albrechtsen. Oh dear, "time-warped feminists" are making a racket because of the pay gap between men and women. Don't they know, like Janet does, that this is a result of "choice, not oppression"? Stupid feminists. Don't they see? It's quite simple... I mean, er, nuanced. Janet says, "for every woman who regards work as the centrepiece of her life, there are three men. In other words, men and women are not competing in equal numbers because their priorities are different." Hmmm. Or maybe their pressures are. Christ, Janet annoys me. I feel like she's anti-feminist without even understanding what feminist is. She treats it like it's some form of elitism that is removed from and deaf to the real experiences and concerns of women or something. Which is jaw-droppingly audacious coming from her, but no matter. I mean, sure, I guess some women might be doing that 'opt-out' thing like Janet says, but um, that REALLY doesn't provide any kind of rationale for doing away with feminist agitation for better working conditions, equality and all that. Why on earth is she atacking those people who are trying to change the workplace culture, raise awareness, secure equal pay, and advocate for women, and men, who want more flexible hours and childcare, so that maybe the child-rearing load need not be the main 'priority' of one parent? She is SO WEIRD! Ew, I spit on her. She is such a fucking tool.

This Age editorialfrom a few days back is quite good, about our stupid arse government and Iraq. I particularly liked that it reminds people of statements made by Howard & co prior to the war and how these statements really screw up the new position they've been taking after it. With Johnny going, before, "I couldn't justify on its own a military invasion of Iraq to change the regime. I've never advocated that." And now being a complete shit about it. Or Alexander Downer saying it's "beyond reasonable doubt... that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction". Ah, the certitude. So schmucky. My favourite point in the editorial was this bit, with the writer asking, "But why did our leaders attach so little weight to the qualifications, the uncertainties, that they now say are part and parcel of intelligence? Instead, they ridiculed sceptics." Yeah. I know this isn't a revolutionary point for The Age or any other paper to make, that the government is dodgy. I mean it's rather obvious, if quite general. I just feel much better seeing some little damning details disseminated. So people don't forget from day to day. So I can stop having arguments and feeling like I'm losing them, because people just go 'but they got rid of Saddam so it's okay' and I stand there floundering around trying to say something about Hans Blix and how unjust and dangerous pre-emptive action is and how there was no proof of an urgent threat and how the government breached public trust and have not copped to any of it and how all that's pretty not okay. Not to mention all the death and mind-fucking. The mind-fucking has been what I've experienced. Damn crazy emphatic bastards, so 'strong' in their position, pointing at mine with a big loud "explain yourself you weak fool", and I'm like "Whaaa? YOU GUYS are the ones who've got the explaining to do" and they're like "Why?" and I'm like "Because you started a war, invaded a country, killed people and talked a whole lot of insupportable shit" and they're like "Why don't you marry Saddam if you love him so much" and I'm like "I didn't even say anything about Saddam Hussein!" and then they're like "Ha! Exactly! You never even mention him. But he was a brutal dictator, okay, so deal with that!" and then I'm like "But that doesn't address any of the legitimate points I've made" and they're like "Oh yeah? Tell it to the thousands of Kurds he gassed". And then my head explodes. Somehow, they're in a more powerful position and it makes no sense. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, I don't understand how anyone could vote for the Liberal party under any circumstances, but like, come on! These guys have gotta go down. They totally suck!

Monday, July 19, 2004

OHMYGOD! The new Hives album, Tyrannosaurus Hives, is like, STUPENDOUS! Amazing! So fucking amazing! I'm grinning like a loon. My eyes are prickling. Diabolic Scheme... OH YEAH! Another 'oh yeah' fantastic purchase is Def Leppard's Hysteria, but I'm pretty sure everyone else already knew that. I had to find out from SBS. THANK YOU SBS! You rule! Also rocking greatly is Dallas Crane's album. Hell yeah. Oh my, but the world is so full of goody goody yum yums. Yes, after a week I've decided that being back at uni is pretty damn good. So many opportunities... to shop. I restocked my fragrances today too. Mmmm, Emporio Armani White. So clean. And, during my 4-hour break I went to see Safe at the Lumiere. Man, I never want to live in the San Fernando Valley, nor ever go to a therapy treament centre. I would just go nuts. Totally painful. Oh, the rage. And then I met Claire for coffee. Good times. Anyway, gotta go. The music requires me. And then Boosh. And then Media Watch. And then Clinton. And then I'm spent.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

You remember I told the story of how I went to The Vines [probably their final proper gig] and the guy behind me in the mosh went in for a bit of ass-pumping? Anyway, Blogpatrol informs me that that little vignette now makes us an eligible result for the search "girls getting banged in the ass". Nice.
Guy is in Sydney until Wednesday so I feel quite safe in declaring that last week I watched The Pianist and I thought it was good and that Adrien Brody was really good in it. Like, really good. Man, I'm gonna pay for this. Guy hates that dude so much. But I've only ever seen him in The Pianist and The Thin Red Line so I've got no beef. [Ah, remember that movie? Back in the day when it was okay to love Jim Caveizel, back when he called himself Jim Caveizel and did that whole hot army khaki no shirt dog tags thing...mmmmm]. Anyway, yeah, The Pianist was good. Granted it's not The Grey Zone, but what is? Aw hell, I always feel shitty comparing Holocaust movies like they're a genre. I fear I'll find myself going, "Hmmm, I believe that both films ably represent a sense of daily grimness in the 'trope' of mass death so necessary to this genre, however, I feel that blah blah blah and up my own ass." Which concerns me only insofar as it makes me sound like a tool, truth be told. While watching the movie I sometimes found myself working out the emotional/historical import of what was happening from information out of other films. Like, when he watches the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto from his hideout, I was like, "Hey, that's the uprising from Uprising and Leelee Sobieski and Hank Azaria and David Schwimmer are in there, really pissing off John Voight who for some reason has brought along his desk." And I don't think that's superficial. I think films deepen my understanding of history sometimes. 
Anyway, this morning I watched Malcolm X and it was really good. Highly interesting. And it held together much better than some of the other Spike Lee movies I've seen. I mean, I expect something highly interesting from Spike Lee as a matter of course, just because of the material and people he assembles, there's always some new cultural texture in the details. But his movies sometimes fall apart a bit. Like Bamboozled was highly interesting to me, giving a sense about the minstrel shows and all the 'coon' bric a brac that was around and the difficulties associated with success. And the dancing was amazing. I'm so glad I watched it. But still, the movie kinda fell apart towards the end. Anyway, all I'm saying is that in Malcolm X there wasn't that feeling of sitting through some bad times to get to the gold. It was solid. Strong black consciousness stuff makes me happy. I know this is twatty but I really get all 'yeah' and beamy whenever I read or see stuff about it. I just get happy. Like I read some Black Power stuff a few years ago and it was just great. Fine, judge me. All I'm saying is that it's interesting and engaging and smart and I dig that sort of stuff. Anyway, a really good movie. A big deal, methinks. And I loved the cameos by Al Sharpton and Nelson Mandela.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Whoah! Was just watching my tape of Letterman from Wednesday night, and ohmygod, Dave is wearing a single-breasted suit! When did this happen? HUGE.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Last night I went to Pony to see Die Die Die [I know there are supposed to be excalmation marks somewhere in there, but I can't remember where], and brought a heavy weight of expectation with me. Going there on the train thinking "this is gonna be so GREAT. It's gonna be like Whirlwind Heat all over again. I'm gonna recall this night when I'm a middle-aged loser. I am SO on the cutting edge." My own fault, really. Just before the band came on I was like, nudging my brother and Leah and grinning and rubbing my hands together, thinking "oooh, this is gonna be so good. They're gonna go spastic and I'm gonna stand here and drink in the majesty and exuberance of unformed anarchic thrashing around boy noise. Hell yeah." But it didn't really happen like that. There were moments when I was like "this is more like it" but on the whole I kept feeling like I had gone to a house party and the hostess had said, "Hey, my little brother's in a band. Wanna hear it?" and been forced to stand and watch, keeping my face from revealing any of my thoughts for fear of hurting anyone's feelings. I don't think the band were really feeling it like they reportedly were last Thursday, and now I'm even more pissed off that I had to work instead of going to that gig. Damn! Anyway, last night it was like, the shortest set ever. Maybe four songs, or five. But still, I've developed a soft spot for them. Of the three NZ acts that were playing last night, Die Die Die were the most potentially interesting. The band that followed them, Pan Am, were doing that whole retro rock thing and had some alright bits when they let loose a little, but each song was almost always ruined by a wimpster sensibility in the lyrics, and if you watched the bass player for any extended period, you found yourself getting really dark on him, but unable to look away, so annoying was his facial expression. I'm sure they'll do alright but I won't be part of it. No way. So I'm just gonna try Die Die Die on another night because I really want to feel that thing that tore everyone up at the Indie Intitative. I think I saw the drummer milling around in JB this afternoon. I wanted to stop him and say "Buy a reinforced microphone okay? Jeez, you guys are brave." But that would have just made me a suck. Anyway, am hopeful for next time.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Somebody call Mike Vitar's people because apparently there's still a demand for him. Just today Blogpatrol recorded that two searches, "mike vitar pictures" and "Whatever happened to Mike Vitar?", had brought people here to Symposiasts. So don't lose hope, former child stars and Dolly pin-ups. You need not all go the way of Jonathan Brandis [who, by the way, was excellent in Ride With the Devil before he killed himself. Okay okay, I'll stop mentioning that movie now. Fine.]
Watched Cold Mountain last night. It was alright. Pretty good. I mean, it was no Ride With The Devil but it paid respect. I don't know if people have noticed this, but Jude Law is hot. With stubble and a tan and all dirty. Mmmmm. Just Like Tobey Maguire was in Ride With the Devil. Hot. Anyway, I only mention Cold Mountain because I'm trying to figure out why so many good actors were in it in supporting roles, some of which were tiny tiny. Did they all just vacation in Romania that year or what? Philip Seymour Hoffman was in it. I had not known that. And Ray Winstone, and Donald Sutherland, and that woman who played Tom Skeritt's wife in Picket Fences, and Natalie Portman, and that chick from Boomkat, and Giovanni Ribisi, and Cillian Murphy [SO HOT! But in a tiny tiny role], and Jena Malone [even tiny tinier], and that kid who played Caleb in that TV series American Gothic. You remember that one? With Gary Cole as this badass guy in town who may or may not have been the Devil and who had snapped Caleb's big sister's neck to stop her from revealing something and so she began to haunt Caleb. And there were all these ravens... Anyway, back to Cold Mountain's cast. I think that albino killer dude was played by Charlie Hunman, who was that English brat in Young Americans who gave Ian Somerhalder such a hard time for having the hots for a boy who then turned out to be the hotter than hot Katherine Moennig with the great pants from the L Word. By the way, that albino killer dude character was so ripped off from Ride With the Devil, even though Jonathan Rhys Meyers' version wasn't albino, he was still psycho and way more cool. Or maybe the similarity of those two psycho killer characters in civil war back-country movies means that there really was just this psycho guy during the Civil War who wasn't part of the regular army and just loved killing, and so he pops up in a lot in the anecdotal histories upon which a lot of these novels-films draw. And then there was Jack White. Mmmmmmmm. Jack White. Sigh.
Ha ha. Was watching King of the Hill and Hank totally zinged this Christian rock pastor dude who was getting Bobby to 'testify' to 'JC' by doing gigs and wearing beanies that say 'WWJD'. Anyway, Hank delivered the perfect put-down to this 'down with the young folk' type of preaching. Gotta give him snaps for berating the dude with this totally spot-on bit of wisdom;

"When will you people learn? You're not making Christianity better. You're making rock and roll worse!"

He he. Go Hank.

Monday, July 12, 2004

As a supreme plastic surgery spotter, it pains me no end to admit that is full of shit. OK, let's set some things straight: Natalie Imbruglia has NOT had breast implants. Mandy Moore has NOT had a nose job. Nor has Sarah Jessica Parker. Nor has Madonna. And so it goes on. I mean they took two pics of Mandy Moore, one in which she was smiling and one in which she was not. Because her nostrils, as they do, appeared stretched from her smile, they decided this meant she'd had work done. That's just bad plastic surgery reporting! Lindsay Lohan breast implants? I'm not sure about that one. But generally, don't trust them. Yes, we NEED an auditor of celebrity plastic surgery, but alas, this is not it.

If that way inclined, check out a hilarious animated expose about Britney's fluctuating chest at Liquidgeneration.
Saw a bit of the American news on NBC's Weekend Today which was about the attempt currently underway to have a constitutional amendment which defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. Anyway, the news reporter was saying how the Democrat candidates, in order to secure both the gay and middle American votes, have needed to take the position that this amendment doesn't fly with them because, though they believe marriage is a heterosexual institution, it is the right of the states to legislate about it. The 'wisdom' of this position is that it allows them to 1) distinguish themselves from Bush's position, in that they are against a constitutional amendment, 2) demonstrate their 'family values' so as not to turn off voters who might otherwise dismiss Kerry and Edwards as homo-loving freaks, and 3) still be the lesser of two evils to gay voters, because while holding the 'personal' view that marriage is a hetero deal, they do not seek to prevent states from performing their right to preside and decide over marriage law, which in turn allows for the possibility that states may change their laws to encompass gay marriages if they so choose. Now, all I wanted to say was that I think this position isn't wise or politically astute at all. In fact, I think it's framed all wrong. States' rights is a big deal and all, in a federated system of government etc, but why not frame the debate by focussing on the discriminatory nature of such an amendment? Why not talk about equal rights? And not just talk about them but centre your position on them? Why not appeal to those values? To respond to Bush with an unshakeable committment to the anti-discrimination ethic already 'enshrined' in the Bill of Rights, etc. To my mind, making their 'on message' mantra "It's not about marriage, folks, it's about rights" would achieve the following things; 1) It would distinguish Kerry and Edwards from Bush's position, like der, but it would also put Bush in the position of having to defend himself against charges of being discriminatory, which would force him into rationalising double-speak and people don't dig that. Such double-speak would be especially bad for Bush considering he has set his cap on being 'plainspoken'. If he has to um and arr and duck and weave his way to finishing the sentence "I'm not being discriminatory because...", his 'plainspoken' thing might just come to be seen as nothing more than a euphemism for 'unbearably right-wing'. 2) Not only would such a stance demonstrate Kerry and Edwards' 'values' to middle America but it might also contribute to people actually thinking about what it means to deny a group the option of exercising a right that this nebulous thing called 'middle America' itself cherishes to such an extent as to consider it 'sacred'. In the 'making an appeal' sense, this is 'appealing' to middle American voters. It forces them to interrogate their own position. They go, "Hmmm, I like the 'marriage' thing. It's an institution that I totally dig. But the 'rights' thing is also something that I am very down with. I mean, I live in the middle of America for heck's sake. Rights are my bag. Oh dear, what will I do?" They are put in the position of having to evaluate what's more important to them and then decide. That's a good thing. 3) This anti-discriminatory position displays the candidates' committment [despite a personal belief that marriage is a hetero deal, which might actually be what they think, I dunno] to the fundamental American value of equal rights, and demonstrates how they work on principle to establish and defend this fundamental right of equality in everyday life... which might also appeal to gay voters. 4) Instead of being the lesser of two evils, which on this issue they are, Kerry and Edwards would actually be good, ie. not shitty. Debate is all about framing sometimes, and I think Kerry and Edwards really need to conduct this one using a completely different language than the one Bush is using. Right now their focus is all wrong, too much talk of marriage and its hundreds of years of history, not enough about rights. Go at it on different terms, I say. Take the power back. The thing is, this re-framing that I'm advocating doesn't actually commit them to anything more than they're already committed to. It's just the way of it that changes. They're still just against the constitutional amendment. That's it. And if someone asked them if they had plans to overhaul marriage laws on a national level to remove any discrimination, they could still go "Well, marriage laws have always been a state issue". That's not my position, but they might really think states' rights are a big deal. Even though national, constitutionally enshrined anti-discrimination measures were deemed necessary for racial equality. Anyway, my basic notes for Kerry and Edwards are to talk about this issue in terms of rights and discrimination, and to respond to every question with "Well, I can't support a discriminatory policy" and then expand as the occasion requires. 'Discriminatory' is a big, bad, defining word. And you can apply it to Bush. Make it a character issue. It'll work. I swear. I mean, it's not so weird, is it? It's sound political strategy in my opinion. And it's way more defensible than the strange distinction their current position requires, being for equal rights and for states' rights but against gay marriage because civil unions are like, the same as marriage while also being decidedly not marriage because marriage is like, special. Seriously dudes, I want you to win. You can win. And you can do it with honour.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Another piece of evidence to substantiate my case about Compass being a place to find interesting documentaries, on August 8th I will so be watching this one about abortion. Anyway, off to watch Critical Mass and my Poirot tape, which I missed earlier this evening in favour of lovely drinkies and dinner with Guy and Jedda, which out of nowhere erupted into a frank discussion that went beyond treading over our respective academic pursuits. It was interesting, no? I liked it. And then to bed, because, to my horror, interest, hope and dread, uni starts back tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Cool. It's a Kerry-Edwards ticket. I like that.
Oh yeah, forgot to record for posterity a quotable quote which cracked me up during our visit to the Heide gallery yesterday afternoon. Guy, Leah, Zoe and I were wandering around the place, occasionally glancing at the art but mostly just standing around and discussing Mary-Kate's coke problem and U.S politics and how disappointing it was to find out that Brad Pitt owns a Hummer and how much Guy hates Adrien Brody. Anyway, at one point our focus did switch to the cabinets memorialising the lives of John and Sunday Reed, with all these pictures of their cats and the actual dress worn by Sunday's doll 'Gethsemane' and some more pictures of their cats, all encased in glass for our bemused and respectful benefit. After dutiful consideration of these culturally significant artefacts, and completely without the intention of provoking hysterics, Leah came out with,

"The thing about eccentric types is that...they're weird."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Quote of the day, Leah!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Caught a bit of Rove and, um, was James Marsters on drugs or something? Just cause, like, he was talking with an american accent...
Hmmm... Mary-Kate cocaine addiction?

Monday, July 05, 2004

I didn't even know that Bree had been evicted, but anyway, something went wrong with the voting tally and she's going back into the house, and Wesley or whoever was really evicted is gonna be evicted on Thursday. Is this going to be billed as another "world first" fuck up? Will it make me watch the show? Depends what else is on.

Ooh ooh, gotta go. Mary-Kate and Ashley are on Oprah.
Hee hee. Was just reading The Onion's Patriot Edition, chock full of such patriotic articles as American People Ruled Unfit To Govern and so forth. Damn funny. However, I got totally zinged in the Good-Citizenship Tips section, in particular by this tip "for being an active, involved citizen":
"Make an effort to 'follow' politics, much the way you would follow, say, sports or the career of J-Lo."

Ouch! That burns.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

When we last left our Period Romance, all those months ago, Fermina had mysteriously ended up locked in an undisclosed location, after being overcome and passing out from the excitement of her daunting freedom after a chaotic escape - with the help of swarthy manservant Alejandro - from the clutches of daddy’s life plan. See Symposiasts Period Romance for the lowdown. Now we continue.

...It seemed to Fermina that she had been trapped in this room for an irresponsibly long time. Just sitting and waiting forlornly, experiencing no plot progression whatsoever. She had almost begun to forget who she was. Almost. But she knew she was Fermina de la Saint Amour, emotionally neglected daughter of Count Daza of Madrid, a girl of rare beauty on the sensual cusp of womanhood in the year 1437. She knew this was her identity. But she wondered whether this identity had any place anymore, anywhere. She had fled from her father’s hostile home, she had broken free. But now what? Who was she, who could she be, in this new world? She was alone, but she was used to that. What was galling to her was that she was not independent, as she had expected to be. Rather, she found herself locked in the custody of strangers, whose motives or purpose had not yet been disclosed. All she knew of her captors was that one among them was deliciously adept at making pies and tarts of the highest order and of every conceivable taste. Fermina so looked forward to seeing what each meal would bring, and was so attentive to discovering the complexities of its ingredients, that she had been forgetting to clamour at the bringer and any other strangers she caught surveilling her to “let me out let me out who are you?!” Well, not this time. She was hoping for a lemon tart for dessert today, but irrespective of anything, she would make them talk to her.

Fermina had taken to singing in her cell to pass the time. She was in the throes of a melodramatic rendition of one of her favourite childhood nursery rhymes when she heard an approaching whistle pick up on the tune. Lunch! She stood up and brushed down her skirt, determined to be disarmingly sunny and charming. She was about to unleash a cheery “Good day to you!” when from the corridor the whistler broke off his tune and said, “Mama used to sing me that tune to soothe me in my cradle. She will be pleased that you know it… Though she tended to give it less intensity and abandon.” A spasm of confusion involuntarily afflicted Fermina’s brow. Her cheeks flushed. She had been working through her plan all morning, and this simply did not fit any of the scenarios for which she had rehearsed. She attempted to hastily scroll through the collection of witticisms she had been constructing, but found they had fled her mind, and besides, none of them had taken into account that the lunch bringer might talk first! She was at a loss. She took a breath and exhaled it. Suddenly cognisant of her physical being, she realised that in the world outside her inner scrambling she had been standing dumbly in the middle of her cell, her gaze unfocussed, her mouth indecorously agape, her bare right foot swinging and brushing against the stone floor. Hoping that her captor would see some charm in this gormlessness, she collected herself as imperceptibly as she could and snuck a look at him from under her lashes. She found laughing eyes taking her in from behind the viewing slot in the door of her cell. Clearly, it was her turn to speak. Less confidently than she had first imagined it, she uttered a soft, “Good day to you”. She felt her demeanour growing arch at the imputation of his merry twinkling eyes. When next she said, “I hope you are enjoying yourself”, she found her voice had taken on an offended, defensive tone, which she had not intended at all. Seemingly out of her own control, she was mortified to find herself turning huffily to take a seat on the bench against the wall which also acted as her bed. She sat, and appeared to glare at him from her new position, when in her mind she was imploring herself to “Stop it. Stop it. What are you doing? He’s talking to you. That’s what you wanted isn’t it? That was today’s mission. So why are you behaving like this?” She had no answer. She took a breath and tried again, hoping that there would be no trace of that unwelcome haughtiness in her voice, and asked “What have you brought me today?” Damn! Why didn’t you just say “What is for lunch” or “What have you got there, good sir”? Why include the implication that he is in a position of servitude, when clearly you are the one relying on his mercy and kindness, and salivating at the aroma of what you now assume to be his mother’s excellent cooking? TRY AGAIN! But before Fermina could make another attempt at solicitude, the man laughed and said, in a voice dripping sarcasm, “Well, my darling contessa, today we offer you a hearty luncheon of meat and vegetable pie, followed by a tasty apple and cinnamon dessert. I will leave it with you now and apologise without reservation for having the audacity to…” Fermina interrupted him before he could continue. “What did you call me?” Oh dear, still haughty. He raised his eyebrows. And smirked. “Yes. We know who you are. We have simply been waiting for your father to sound the alarm about your disappearance, to then reveal our possession and negotiate a price for your safe return. Sadly, he seems not to have noticed that anything is amiss. And it has been a week.” Fermina’s eyes began to prickle with anger and humiliation. Now she really intended the glare. She really wanted to scathingly counter this man’s rudeness and the pleasure he took in relaying to Fermina her worthlessness to her father, of which she was already quite powerfully aware. But then another thought struck her. She was in an impossible situation. She did not want to be returned to her father, but her only chance of being freed from this cell lay in her captors’ determination to return her to him. How could she now argue for her release when she had nothing to offer them that would match their expectations of what her father would pay? They might become impatient and inform him of her whereabouts. She had no time. She needed a plan. What could she do?

“I have no idea what you are talking about. My father? I have no father.” Hmmm, how true that was, Fermina thought darkly. I am not a liar yet. “My name is not ‘Contessa’, or whatever it is you have been calling me.” Yep, still not a liar. “My name is Lona Francisca.” Oh well, I’m a liar. Can’t be helped. “And who, may I ask, are you?"........

Oh, what a cliffhanger ending! Tune in for the next instalment which will be brought to you by Guy, in his own sweet time.
Speaking of Evil Angels, check out this news from today. Guy, you're connected to the zeitgeist or something. Also, hee hee, the enduring power of that J.Lo & Ben South Park episode is confirmed. Someone came to Symposiasts after googling the phrases "you almost make me forget about tacos" and "OUR LOVE IS LIKE RAIN". Raaaahahaaahaaa!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Somewhat surprisingly, I totally dug Evil Angels. Meryl's accent was kinda good (in a Queensland way), there was a nice anti-media theme running through it, and EVERY actor ever to have appeared on Australian TV was in it. Let's see, there was: Frankie J. Holden, Cheryl from Neighbours, Sigrid Thornton, some other Neighbours guy, Sandy Gore, Bud Tingwell, another Neighbours guy, that guy from The Comedy Company, John Howard from Sea Change and many others who I can't recall.

The whole time I was watching it, I was imagining the moment when the costume person handed Meryl some of her wardrobe, like knee-high sports socks and 80s moo-moo type dresses, for example. What would she have thought? From LA to 80s Australia. I can just imagine her walking around the house vacuuming or something, taking the piss and putting on her Lindy Chamberlin accent.
Despite my insurmountable grief about darling Brando, sob, [see below], I managed to laugh this morning. There was this song on Video Hits about drive-thru Meatshakes, and yeah, it was good. But then a Pete Murray song came on, and the bleakness returned.
NOOOOOOOOO!!!! No no no no no no no!! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOO!!!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Watched The Sandlot Kids today for the first time in many years. And I enjoyed it far too much. Such classic lines as "He's an L...7...WEINER!" he he he. Man, that Squint kid with the giant glasses is so cool. And the chubby one is cool too. Loved that slanging match between them and the preppies, you know "You bob for apples in the toilet...and you LIKE it!" etc. Hey, do you remember when we were all in love with Mike Vitar? What ever happened to that guy? Anyway, now I'm really in the mood for The Bad News Bears. Those kids rock also, probably moreso, with their cussing and their smoking and their tough cynicism. Yeah.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Oprah was kinda weird today. It was the Spiderman 2 show, so I tuned in for some hot Tobey and some impeccably dressed Kirsten. It was all good. But then they just started rolling in wheelchairs and 'real-life superheros' who had like, jumped in front of cars or overcome disease. Which was all fine, but weird too. Like, the actors were just stranded on the couch silently listening to the stories and being empathetic, and then Oprah would realise they were just kinda background figures and that the movie hadn't been mentioned in a while, so she would make some broad segue about how the Spiderman story is like the stories we're hearing today, about ordinary people being heroic, don't you think so Tobey? "Erm, yes, I suppose. Except that Spiderman is just a movie." Mmmmm. Discomfort. It was even more funny and off because, before they rolled in the heros, Oprah had been quizzing the actors on the 'ordeal' of shooting the film, getting them to expand on all the physical travails they went through. An ad break later, sitting there next to the heroically crippled, I would be getting increasingly horrified at myself, going, "Oh my god. I am such a dick." That's the power of a massive tone shift. But in the end I think everyone just went with it. They were probably pleased to not have to talk about the movie again and again. Anyway, now I'm just waiting to see how Oprah dealt with the cast of Harry Potter this time around, considering that the kid she wheeled in last time, that Mattie kid who wrote poetry and had been corresponding with J.K Rowling, died recently.