Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thanks a Pantload... the junkie loser who broke into Keating Towers today, stole my new Acer Aspire mini-laptop (mine for but 10 summer days), took my daughter’s piggy bank, and worst of all - made me miss the one-time-only Triffids reunion gig I was just about to go to with a friend, when Ms LE rang with the news.

However, the final victory of this long, blistering summer day is mine. My four year old made it all better with this line: "daddy, tomorrow I'll get out my magnifying glass, and we'll solve this mystery...".

HAHAHA! Take that junkie loser.

Oh and cheers to the phone guy at Ticketmaster for the full and immediate refund on the Triffids tix he organised, against their own general refund policy. Really wasn’t expecting that touch of humanity on a paint-peelingly torrid 43 degree day like this.


Clueless of Cronulla spams for 'Straya

A friend of mine got this email uninvited today. Listen to this hapless drivel:

Australia- The Right to Leave

IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It! I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians.

However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia . However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand.

This idea of Australia being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom. We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, Learn the language!

'In God We Trust' is our National Motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.

If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like 'A Fair Go', then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet.We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this.

But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our National Motto, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom,'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE! If you aren't happy here then move on! We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted. Pretty easy really, when you think about it.


Where do I start with you witless chumps? 'In God we trust' is not 'our national motto', Brainstrust - its the American national motto. And Florida's, for that matter. We haven't even had one since "Advance Australia" was taken from the coat of arms in the 1920s.

So listen up here, Daniel Boone, of Bondi: if you don't like our own, non-American, fair go culture: the door's over there mate. Cop ya later!

And if you want to rampage pissed on beaches, chuck rocks and attack defenceless passers-by minding their own business - you're not welcome in our democracy.

Oh, and when we've got the maturity to have our own flag and head of state, I'll start taking you so-called "nationalists" seriously. You just look like little BNP Bovver Boys to me; waving a Union Jack around. Only with surfboards.

Multicultural Australia: if you don't like it, vote to change it. I don't like your chances, but you're welcome to exercise that right. But don't ever forget this: you weren't 'here first' either ... were you now?

Update: Ah, its all a 2nd-rate cut and paste job from US crazies. Talk about undesirable aliens! Septic Patriotism is best left where it is, Straya.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

When I get down to Hobart...

So, did you know that "the problem with human flesh is that, while rich in protein, it never really satisfies hunger because of the lack of carbohydrates, which provide energy"?

Well, read about it here in this excellent precis of the story of Tasmanian convict and cannibal-by-circumstance (later by choice): Alexander Pearce.

Of course, I've just watched the The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce tonight, and it was a stonker! Great script, great performances, and a fine dramatic soliloquy or two from Pearce's confessant. The film doesn't trouble the scorers at a neat 60 mins, and is faithful to the ripping yarn it is. From memory, Fyodor issued a heads-up on this medium-length film back at the Wreck of the Batavia: Why no film? thread. And let it be known that he was right!

Which brings me back to the theme. Come on film Australia, check out The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce. Its all feasible. And there's so many great Australian historical tales to be told. The themes are often universal - which is presumably part of the sales pitch you want to hear. I've already suggested the Batavia... and here's a few more, for nothing, just off the top of my head.

Australian historical films that must be made include:

* Pemulwoy and the Eora resistance 1789-95.
* Battle Mountain: The Kalkadoon resistance in Nth QLD
* The Castle Hill rebellion (although a mini-series partly addressed it in 1978)
* The Great Strikes of 1891. Sure, Sunday too Far Away is a classic, set during the 1956 shearers strikes. But those were tame as! In 1891 half of rural Queensland was on fire, and the QLD colonial army and assorted militia were sent in.
* The Battle of Brisbane, 1942: Can we handle an all out two-day brawl between Diggers and American GIs, which wrecked downtown Brisbane, and was hushed up by wartime authorities? Yes we can!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Lusobeats #3: Tin Tin por Tin Tin

There is only one master of Bossa Nova.
há somente um maestro de Bossa Nova.
His name is João Gilberto.
seu nome é João Gilberto

Update: I was a bit pissed when I posted this marvellous Bossa song, and I couldn't then be bothered adding this comment. Which is this: Faz favor, don't go buying those cruddy "Bachelor pad" style Bossa Nova compilations. Brazilian Bossa Nova became a real fad in the US circa '62-'65, and some truly dreadful covers and chintzy rip-offs were made.

Ok, yes, they're twee etc in that "look, I'm a hatstand" way, but its not Bossa. Não é bossa, compreende? If you really must hear the genre in English, I can recommend Antonio Jobim - who wrote his own lyrics in English. And he's great. Samba on one note is a premier example. Trust me, no tweemonger translated that for the hatstand market - Jobim rewrote the English lyrics himself.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

On Pseudonymous Blogging

Every now and again the issue of pseudonymous blogging gets thrown around. For or against! Why aren't you 'accountable' etc? I've had that a couple of times - and I've seen it laid on other noms-de-plume when things get heated in blog debates. I'm not sure its a very good line of approach with anyone in that situation. I mean, who the crap is "Harry Smith" (his own ACTUAL name etc), after all?

I certainly don't criticize anyone who chooses to blog under their real name - I admire them in fact. It shows a certain durable surety of personhood: i.e. in all weathers I will write exactly as I will be pleased to account for in the cold light of day, tomorrow morning.

Screw that! I blog pissed too often to want that sort of straitjacket, thanks. And to be honest: I work as an academic, and would certainly be a lot more restrained on some issues, if blogging under my own name.

Is that inauthentic of me? I don't think so - in fact, I rather think the opposite. I work all day in an environment that requires some methodological rigour. I might be good, bad, or indifferent at it, but as you might imagine, I don't write like this in journal articles. Nor do I rant at max velocity (of four spelling errors per line) at my students, like I sometimes will on the big blogs. Me, I come blogward to blow off steam, relax, shoot the shit, have a larf. And sure, to say what I really think - albeit in a bone lazy way.

And that's my point, against the occasional charges of inauthenticity: blogging under my own name would, I fear, ultimately make me less honest. Precisely because it would make me more 'accountable'.

And you know, I didn't come here to be brought to account. So sue me!

That said, any moniker does tend to have the effect of creating a character over time. In my case, Lefty E (formerly know as Lefty Elitist, before the forces of evil were routed in the culture wars *wink*) is probably more of mannered, idiosyncratic character than I am in person. But hey, I've grown to like him - and the Keating Towers of his mind, in which he dwells.

Incidentally, he's not so big on Portuguese Forts in Asia - the wanker! That's me. Whoever I am. Not that its that hard to find out, I imagine. But lets face it, its all more fun this way, wouldn't you say, Harry?

Friday, 9 January 2009

April March - "Chick Habit"

You know, sometimes I don't feel quite so culturally adrift in this world when groovy, kismet-style shit like this comes to my attention. A memo from emissaries in the land of popular culture landed on my desk recently, and from it I learned that Tarantino's film Death Proof (2007) has in its soundtrack none other than an English adaptation of my very fave France Gall track Laissez Tomber les Filles. Posted previously here at BmL.

Its by groovy April March, a big fan of 60s French Pop herself, and its rendered in Anglais as "Chick Habit". Not a direct translation, and not as good as the Gall original (as if!) - but still a corker!

Plus, if you've always wanted to see a bunch of hot babes beat the living crap out of Kurt Russell, this clip's for you.

Update: Cha! I just watched the DVD, and aside from one slow patch in the middle, where you meet a whole new set of characters, its a riot. The last 10 minutes ought to be sent into space on one of those intergalactic messenger craft. Wooohah! Oh, and you get April March's version of the French original too, which of course, rang my cloches.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Oh Myanmar

Um. Learn more about Burma. The van Halen way.

This will go down on your permanent record.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Frost/ Nixon

If anyone was thinking of giving this movie a miss, perhaps thinking (as I did) that it was just some rehashed historical drama with B-plus grade actors, and a ready-made script, I'd urge you to think again. Its completely riveting!

It made me want to search around for snippets of the original interview (now out on DVD, I hear). Some of the original money material is below.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Resolutions

In 2009, I promise to:
* listen to more France Gall
* watch more 70s Australian film
* visit more Portuguese forts in Asia

Hoho! No, but seriously, I resolve to:
1. Argue less, and yell less when doing so (born and bred on conflict models, you see)
2. Lose weight; though losing height might be as realistic.
3. Live to the point of tears (Camus); or at least to the point of mild chafing.

Happy 09, punters! Aos fortalezas!!