Wednesday, March 08, 2006

We are honoured and shamed, both.

You see, we have worried the Fop with our shoddy blogging. He has sent us an “Are you okay? Are you alive? Don’t you just love Girls Aloud?” email. Admittedly, we received this email almost two weeks ago, which further adds to our shoddiness, but the shame and the honour, you see, were quite powerful and took a great deal of time to work through. The answers, by the way, are “Yes. Yes. And YES!” Also, I must address this “we” business, officially. You may have noticed the lack of Guy in this purportedly plural blog. It is because he has left us. I mean, me. He has moved out, as it were, to another place. Yes, I know, he did this a while ago. But he had done it before, you see, and had come back to me. So I assumed this more recent attempt at autonomy wasn’t permanent. I ignored all the signs. For example, the telephone call querying whether he should really be listed as a Symposiast, all things considered… To which I replied, “What do you mean? Of course you should! It’s not plural without you. It’s our blog.” To which he replied “[silence]”. Or the numerous conversations since then, over a series of months [I am quite thick], in which I referred to it as “our blog”, and he immediately countered, “No Elanor. Your blog.” It only took about fifty goes before I got the message. And now I have. It’s not a disaster. He’s only a bounder in the blog sense, because in the real world sense, nothing has changed. It’s true, we haven’t spoken for a week, but only because he is in America being a literati at the moment. And I know this because a) he told me, when we, eg. spoke, as we do quite frequently, b) he asked me to read his conference paper and give highly valuable and insightful feedback, so he sayed, and c) he messaged me a farewell as he was going to the airport, or quite possibly even as he was boarding the plane! This is how perfectly fine and cosy we are. So please don’t freak out. This is not a bust up. He just doesn’t want to share blog space with me anymore… for some reason. I have no idea what I’m going to do about the “it’s plural because there’s two of us” thing. My lawyer is looking into it. HA!

Everyone all right? Okay. Now, I’m going to do one of those ENORMOUS catch-up posts detailing every thing I have been up to. Don’t groan. You can handle it. Yes, I know this is becoming a habit of mine. And I’m actually quite concerned at how befitting it is to my actual personhood. You see, I’m sure it has been said of me many times, “She’s not consistent, but she is large.” Deal.

Tuesday 14 February

I’m going to start here, because, aside from a mini diversion into celebrating the passage of a bill on Thursday 16 February, Valentine’s Day is where we left off.

In the morning, on the Breakfast Show, these are the slightly off kilter ‘songs of love and devotion’ I played, to get into the Valentine’s spirit:

I Don’t Believe You, The Magnetic Fields
[Why? A perfect start to the morning, I believe, as it begins with the lyric: “So you quote love unquote me…” How darling!]

Girlfriend In A Coma, The Smiths
[Why? Obvious.]

Nothing Better, The Postal Service
[Why? This: “I feel I must interject here / You’re getting carried away feeling sorry for yourself / with these revisions / and gaps in history / So let me help you remember / I’ve made charts and graphs that should finally make it clear / I’ve prepared a lecture / on why I have to leave…”]

Single Again, The Fiery Furnaces
[Why? This: “He beat me he banged me / was sure he would hang me / and I wish I was single again…”]

My Imaginary Guy, Deanie Parker & The Valadors
[Why? Well, it’s fabulous, old and about the qualities of an imaginary boyfriend. And this: “When I find a man who will treat me right / I’m gonna mess up his mind and, ah, make him mine…”]

These Boots Are Made For Walking, Nancy Sinatra
[Why? Obvious.]

Where Does The Good Go, Tegan & Sara
[Why? They were in town. I like them. Be quiet.]

By Your Side, CocoRosie
[Why? It’s ironic. The WHOLE THING. Devoted housewifey wearing your black eye and baking you apple pie! HA! THAT is how you write a song of devotion! Take that Destiny’s Child…… Sorry sorry. I didn’t mean it! Please, I love you! I was just very disappointed with Cater 2 U…VERY.]

Not sure how smoothly these tunes segued with interviews about whale slaughter, West Papuan refugees and an RU486 rally, but hey, it was Valentine’s Day.

Can’t remember what I did for the rest of the day. Oh yes. I was still working at my 3CR summer job. Gosh, this was a long time ago! Anyway, in the evening, went to see Jarhead with Guy, Leah, Camille and my little brother. It was very romantic! Mmmm, spending Valentine’s with Sarsgaard. Not sick at all to characterise it like that. No, not sick at all. The film was good, I think. Yes, it was. I was to-ing and fro-ing about it a bit. I remember being mightily pissed off at the lame attempt at ‘deepness’ at the end, but my rage was quickly overtaken by a need to bob my head to Jesus Walks. What struck me most about the film was the way it showed how army people watch war movies very differently to, well, normal people. For instance, I had never even considered it possible that people would be whooping and cheering through Apocalypse Now. I mean, WHAT?! It was disturbing. And it also raised the interesting spectre that it’s quite possible that Jarhead itself may one day be co-opted in this fashion. Creepy.

Wednesday 15 February

Went to see Tegan & Sara at the Corner Hotel. Things of note were:

1. They were their own roadies, albeit in the cunning disguise of eye masks and red capes. Doing your own roady work seems to be ‘a thing’, which I will get to much later.

2. Tegan was wearing a Gogol Bordello t-shirt. That is a good thing.

3. They were just as tetchy about a loser fan as everybody else was.

4. Sara is my favourite.

5. Right before they sang Where Does The Good Go [which, if you’ll remember, I played to fit my alterna-Valentine’s Day music theme the day before], they said “This song is for any of you who had a sucky Valentine’s Day / don’t dig Valentine’s Day”, or something to that effect. I found this odd, because they could have said it about any number of their songs, and yet, they said it about exactly the same song as I chose to convey the same deal. Weird. My ideas are common. [Not so weird.]

6. There was a support act from Sydney called Sparkadia, which I realised I would very much like to play very loud while hugging myself, but only in secret. You never read this.

Thursday 16 February

At 3CR, chatted to Nicole who is on the Promotions Collective with me, [yes, we are a collective devoted to promotions. It is very cutting edge], and who does the DIY Arts Show. I was telling her how I’d seen Deerhoof the Friday before and how they were amazing, and how I had enjoyed Tegan & Sara the night before. Nicole is Canadian. And do you know what she said, quite as if it was nothing at all? “Oh yeah? That’s great. I used to do gigs in Toronto with Tegan & Sara back when they were Sara & Tegan. They had a deal you see. They agreed to switch the names after a few years. Oh, and I did a really fun tour with Deerhoof in San Francisco one time. Yep.” LIKE IT WAS NOTHING AT ALL.

Also, as I’ve mentioned, the RU486 bill passed in the House of Reps.

Friday 17 February

Edward from work burnt me The OC, season 3 episodes 1-11. I was wary, because at that point there’d been about 3 episodes on TV and they had SERIOUSLY sucked. But I hope you have stayed true despite that, because from the ‘Marissa enters public school’ episode onwards, it’s fucking BACK. Which is a relief. Keep an eye out for charming nods to 90210's "Let Donna Martin Graduate" campaign [I say 'charming nods', but they're not subtle. Unless Summer wearing a t-shirt that says "Donna Martin" is subtle]. There are also some slight political traces in jokes about 'quagmires' and such. Also, keep an eye out for articles about Love Of Diagrams, because their song No Way Out features on one of the episodes. Do not turn against them. Sure, they’ll get the treatment. But they are actually good. I really dig them, and have played that song many times on community radio that NO-ONE listens to. So they are still okay. OKAY?

Saturday 18 February

Went to the UN Youth Association’s forum on “Gender, Equality and Empowerment” to record Lyn Allison and Hana Assafiri for Women on the Line.

Monday 20 February

Got the all clear for uni, then met up randomly with Jedda at a pedestrian crossing, then went with Guy and Leah for coffee and then went with Leah to see Syriana. It’s good. It won’t blow your mind to a great extent, but it’s well-made and good. There. I am an awesome reviewer.

The rest of the week is pretty much lost to the haze of assembling Women on the Line.

Friday 24 February

Edward from work burnt me Prison Break, season one. DUDES, I LOVE IT. Here are two things you NEED TO KNOW, and which I can’t possibly stop myself from blurting:

1. OH MY GOD. HOLLY VALANCE! Holly Valance has a role in this show. This is EXCELLENT. So keep watching it. WE MUST SUPPORT HER.

2. The show is good TV for a bunch of reasons, but who cares about those. Let’s just talk about my FAVOURITE MOMENT from the entire series. It happens like so:

Michael Scofield is asking this wigga to do him a favour. And, to indicate his answer in the affirmative, [translation: “Yes.”], the wigga responds thusly:
“Does my momma got big breastesses?”
Holy crap, it was brilliant. I’m sorry if I’ve ruined this amazing moment for you by telling you of it in advance, but I just couldn’t stand it. I NEED to be substituting “Does my momma got big breastesses” for “Yes” RIGHT AWAY, and I can’t have people looking at me like I’m crazy. I need it to be ‘a thing’ that ‘makes sense’.

Saturday 25 February

Went to Guy’s going away party. He’s away for two weeks only. However, one would only snigger at and mutter about ‘the ego’ of throwing yourself a party for a mere two-week absence IF the party was bad. But the party was very good, and therefore, perfectly reasonable. During the party, I had two ‘agree to disagree’ conversations. The first involved climate change. Someone, who shall remain nameless for his own protection [Shayne], thinks it is bosh. That is just not so, sir. I conferred with my sister the meteorologist about it, and she says it is very real, and backed up the arguments I had made, and said that only cranks think it’s not real, and only SUPER-cranks think it’s a big conspiracy cooked up by ‘the environment industry’. Let’s hope you recover your senses. The second ‘agree to disagree’ was about Madonna. I said, “I hate Madonna.” And I got looks. And Simon said, tightly, “We will just have to agree to disagree on that.” And Catherine narrowed her eyes at me, and said, “But surely not Hung Up, of course?” And I said, “No of course not. I LOVE Hung Up. I just mean in general.” And then Like A Prayer came on. And they looked at me again. And I said, “Well, obviously not Like A Prayer either. I LOVE Like A Prayer. I just mean in general.” And then Express Yourself was playing, and I got looks again, and I said, “Well, obviously not Express Yourself either. I LOVE Express Yourself. I just mean in general.” And then Vogue came on, and I got looks. And I said, “Well, of course not Vogue. I LOVE Vogue. I just mean in general.” And I began to think that maybe I do love Madonna after all. Let’s hope I recover my senses. There was also an ‘agree to agree, and to agree with gusto’ conversation about taking Sophie Panopoulos DOWN!

Sunday 26 February

My sister arrived for a visit from Darwin, and we were invaded by family, and some friends of the parentals. The girl is engaged, you see. Let’s not go into it. There is family stress.

Monday 27 February

Met up with sister and distressed aunt for bout of shopping. In the evening, went to see Les Savy Fav, The Hold Steady, and Thunderbirds Are Now at the Corner Hotel. It was magnificent. And all the bands were their own roadies here as well. You see how it is ‘a thing’? For some reason I thought Thunderbirds Are Now had a girl in it, but it doesn’t. The guy on the contraption was a great spaz, though. I was most seriously impressed by The Hold Steady. Amazing. From the moment the singer worked up to yelling “We’re gonna start off with a POSITIVE JAM”, I was theirs. There was also some indecipherable and energetically gesticulated off-mic yelling throughout their set, which could have been crowd exhortation or abuse, or simply the lyrics, but who fucking cares? It was all GREAT. Really really GREAT. There was a guitarist who looked like Stephen Merchant, and the singer reminded me of, you know, Philbert the turtle who lives next door to Rocko the kangaroo in Rocko’s Modern Life? He reminded me of him, with his hunched shoulders and geek glasses, except he was not at all repressed like Philbert, and he had this awesome wicked grin. The man is cool. No need to really tell you how cool Les Savy Fav are. But they are. Very. What a great thing this gig was.

Tuesday 28 February

Had classes at uni, blah blah blah. Not important, BECAUSE, in the evening, went to see Broken Social Scene at the Corner Hotel. And it was fucking sublime. I’d been talking to Dave in the lead-up about not really knowing whether I loved these guys, but still being quite certain that seeing them live would be something special. And it so was. And now I listen to the albums again and enjoy them way way more than I used to. I also fell in love with the dude of course. He was Sarsgaard-esque, and warm and nice and lovely and talented. His voice sounded amazing, he talked about having food-poisoning. You know, swoon. Everything was great, but the stand-outs for me were Anthem For A Seventeen Year Old Girl, Bandwitch, Major Label Debut, 7/4 Shoreline, Handjobs For The Holidays with the “huh huh” breathing, Cause=Time, Lover’s Spit, and the one where New Buffalo sang, which I think was Hotel. Also, am I remembering this correctly - did the dude who used to be in Pavement play on the song named Ibi Dreams Of Pavement [A Better Day]? I think he did. Pavement, guesting on Pavement. I like that.

Wednesday 1 March

Went to the Civil Rights Defence forum, “War on terror or reign of terror?” at the Kaleide Theatre to record Julian Burnside, Rob Stary, Terry Hicks, and, via video link, Moazzem Begg. It was fucking great. My recording was a little rough but I’ve been playing it on the Breakfast Show anyway, with Jack Thomas’s gorgeous little girls making child noises beside me and all. A seriously excellent night.

Anyway, got home from the forum and happened to check the TV guide. OH. MY. GOD. THE L WORD SEASON TWO WAS ABOUT TO APPEAR ON ACTUAL TV! Yes, I’ve seen it, but that didn’t stop me from squealing and jumping and rushing to message anyone who might be interested that IT WAS HAPPENING!

Anyway, I tried to find the Cuntiest Photo Ever, that is, John Howard at that podium which said “Strong Direction, Mainstream Values”, but I couldn’t. So just picture that here. And weep. And rage.

Thursday 2 March

Had lunch with mother, sister and brother at the Flower Drum. It was my first time, and maybe I chose badly, because it sucked. The hot and sour soup was like sludge and I had to add so much chili to it, and then my Szechuan Scallops were pretty whatever. Mum had squid with salt and pepper, and that was pretty damn good. But on the whole, disappointed. There were all these business guys having long lunches, and we took to trying to figure out what sinister dealings and plots they were involved in, right under our very noses!

Anyway, had to man a stall at a pre-International Women’s Day event at the Melbourne Town Hall that afternoon. Then I recorded the speakers, who were pretty fucking twat and pointless. The only good one was a young woman from the Karen Women’s Organisation talking about her life and work in the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border. Other than that, there was a woman who had walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole, but she was more of a tourist than an adventurer, and we were treated to her holiday snaps, and then Catharine Lumby spoke about absolutely nothing, and then Evonne Goolagong Cawley boringly and exhaustively went over her whole career. I have no idea what the point of these speakers was. They were so boring and toothless. Anyway, foul mood descended.

Saturday 4 March

Went to see The Drones and My Disco at the Spanish Club. My Disco were awesome, of course. But like, really really. I was afflicted with a massive headache just before the Drones came on, so that wasn’t good, and I didn’t enjoy it properly. Rather, I sometimes found myself begging them to stop, please, stop. I like the way he throws himself around though. I swear he wasn’t that expressive when I saw them that time at the Forum when they were supporting the Black Keys.

Sunday 5 March

Watched Brazil.

Monday 6 March

Damn, I just realised I have to write my Oscars bit now. Boo. I really thought we were almost done here. Right, if you don’t want the expanded version, this is it in brief:

I was really very happy with the nominees this year but at the same time really really don’t think Crash was the thing - Michelle Williams is now totally my favourite person - ooh yay, there was a Sarsgaard-Gyllenhaal in the audience shot - er, no disrespect to a great girl but, does Dolly Parton look ‘old-lady-anorexic’ to anyone else? – Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin are super gals – I believe it’s time to say goodbye, Queen Latifah - Reese Witherspoon’s speech was overcooked – and I of course love Jon Stewart.

Now to expand, slightly. Jon Stewart, that man is a class above. Because, you see, he actually made a good joke out of Brokeback Mountain. Only the second one ever [the first being Brokeback to the Future, of course. What a display of knowledge! What an eye for detail! What a faultless application of slow-mo!]. See, I’m really quite sick of lame-arse duds simply adding “brokeback mountain” to the end of a sentence and thinking that constitutes a punchline, making what preceded it a joke. This is just not the case. Firstly, Brokeback Mountain isn’t all that funny. Secondly, you’re a dick. But anyway, Stewart’s cowboy movie montage thing was BRILLIANT. And my happiest moment of the night was when the Brokeback score won. About Crash, yeah, it had good moments, like that brutal one with Tony Danza where an astoundingly oppressive set of humiliating power relations were played out simply with the words “Do we have a problem?”, or that violation bit with Thandie Newton, or that ‘oh no, the little girl is dead, and just look at the expression on her father’s face’ bit, but Shayne’s right, the film felt a bit emotionally cheap and wasn’t perfection. And it was up against films that were, so they should have won [I haven’t seen Capote or Munich yet]. That is all.

Wednesday 8 March

Happy International Women’s Day.

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