Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Rare *Good Blog* Alert

Is it really so rare to find a good blog? It sure is. In fact, these days it's even rare to find an actual blog because most of the time, when you click on the next random blog button, what do you find but a horrible sleazy adblog. How I want to KILL THEM ALL! If only my hands were big enough! Boy do they make me cranky! (By the way, it must be about time for another Survey of Some Recent Blogs, what do you think?)
Anyway, as I was saying, it's really rare and wonderful to find a good blog but Holy Smokes today I found one - Just Another Blowhard. The guy who is responsible for it has good taste in books and movies. He writes good too, fun to read. And he likes John Waters - you know that anybody who likes John Waters is a good egg.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I Saw Her

It's been so long that I had begun to wonder if I would ever see her again. Maybe once a week I think about her. It's probably more than once a week. Anyway, this morning when I reached the corner of my street and turned, BAM! there she was, right in front of me, walking along with her head jammed in a book.
Suddenly there seemed to be rainbows blasting across the sky. I felt my heart surge up in my chest, almost bursting out from its ribcage prison with pure glad joy. Gee, how long had it been since I had seen her? It was way back in March. Six months ago.
Well, never mind. There she was again and nothing else mattered.
I fell in behind her, making sure not to walk at my usual speed. She walks pretty fast for a woman (in fact, all these walking women seem to walk pretty fast for women these days) but still not as fast as me. I had to stay behind her, or sort of behind her but to the side, or even more to the side but not quite. I had to find out what that book was she was reading.
This time though I made sure to pay more attention to her. What is it with my obsession about her? It must be more than that she likes to read a book as she walks to work. And is it really an obsession? If it really was, wouldn't I do what my friend The J Man suggested and follow her all the way to work and see if there was a Position Vacant sign in the window?
Well anyway, there I was making sure not to walk too fast, I had plenty of time to make some observations. For a start, she is shorter than I remembered, but only a little. That's OK. But the thing with that is that it's hard to get a look at the cover of the book she is reading. I would have to drop down right in front of her pretending my shoelace had come undone and sneak a look up. That would be too obvious. If it was another woman I could maybe do it, but not with her. The last thing I want to do is freak her out. But I came close enough to that today anyway.
This morning she was wearing a navy blue suit. It was a bit baggy, and seemed to be at least one size too big for her. She was also wearing sneakers. Her hair was shoulder length and brown, with the sides swept round to the back and tied up so they fell joined down the middle of the back of her head, over the top of the other hair that grew naturally from the back of her head. I imagined that to a million other people she would appear to be a quite average looking woman, only distinguished by the possibly wacky way she walks fast down the street with a book jammed in her face. Yet to me she is utterly captivating and enchanting. God, how wonderful and singular she is!
We were already at Taylor's Square and I still hadn't managed to learn what her book was, so I decided to make a strategic move. Surging past her and well ahead, I reached a bus stop and went inside and sat down. The back of it was glass so I could see through as she walked past. She zoomed past and I didn't manage to catch the book title or author. Blazes! Foiled!
I scrambled out of there and quickly caught up with her again. It seemed to be vitally important that I find out what book she was reading. Was it another historical romance? Good grief but the suspense was at a high pitch!
Three blocks later and I was still in the dark, so to speak, and the point where our paths would tragically diverge was coming up fast. I knew I had to try another manoevre so once more I accelerated ahead and found a seat, some newly installed *street furniture*. I sat down and pretended to be looking through my backpack for something. For a second it occurred to me that she might see me and wonder what the hell I was about, but I quickly understood that she was far too engrossed in her book to notice much going on around her. But again she came up as I frantically tried to focus on the wobbling book cover. Again it eluded me! Cruel!
At last we got up near Hyde Park. That was it, the end of the line. She was going through it; I was going along the edge of it forty five degrees in the wrong direction. The pedestrian light was red. We all stopped. There was a desperation in me then. I realised I should just go on up and ask her. It was so simple, really. Really simple and straightforward. Anybody could it, you would think. I could pretend to be a robot. Just go and say, Excuse me but would you mind telling me what book that is you are reading? But then of course my brain started revolting, sabotaging such simple logic. Of course, it was too simple. Ha ha! Yes. She would freak out. That could really happen. What business was it of mine? And if I left my mirror sunglasses on she would think I was a fiend or some kind of creep; if I took them off she would be horrified and repulsed by my bloodshot eyes, for they were surely still so. Or it would be a Danielle Steele book and I would not be able to suppress a mad giggle or some look of horrified alarm. Either way, if I went ahead and asked her I would ruin everything, that's for sure.
The light turned green and we all walked across the road. Then I kept watching her as she disappeared among the trees.
God, how long would it be this time before I saw her again?

Monday, August 29, 2005

War on Dancing Kids

Thanks to The J Man for this - a report of a rave party in Utah busted up by what appears to be the US Army. Big soldiers carrying high-powered weapons kicking little rave girls on the ground. Wow. Really tough. You army guys sure are big and strong. But going after dancing kids? What about the War on Terror? You guys seems to be a little off track here. You've gone wacky. These are dancing kids for Pete's sake. What's the big idea? Why did you do that? What threat could dancing kids possibly pose to the security of the USA? Please tell me. This is confusing and seems highly illogical.

Do Something!

On Friday I went out for lunch as usual. Halfway there the pedestrian light was red and cars were zooming out of the street so I stopped with the other people. They were kids heading up to the accounting and law buildings. There was nothing unusual about the day at all. But then I heard a man shout something incomprehensible over to my left. There was a man over there near the trees. I didn't hear what he shouted but the next second I saw him bring something up to his mouth. He made a musical toot on it, a short up and down scale. It was a harmonica! The university kids looked at him and quickly looked away, trying to ignore him. I couldn't turn my eyes away from him, neither could I prevent a big smile growing up across my face.
Then he shouted, "Do something! Do something for your country!" then tooted again on his harmonica. He was ducking in and out of the trees. It was great. The university kids didn't think so. They continued to stubbornly focus their eyes directly ahead.
I kept looking at him, then gave him a thumbs-up. He instantly gave a thumbs-up back. It was great. I felt happy that there were such people running around with their harmonicas and bold exhortations.
The pedestrian light turned green, the cars stopped zooming in front of us, and I got a fast headstart quickly taking the lead in front of the boring university robots.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Morning Puzzle

This morning I woke up. Then I tried to figure out where the sound was coming from. There was a sound in my ears and I figured it must be coming from somewhere nearby. Yes by gum I was on the right track - it seemed to be coming from the clock radio. Looking over in that direction all I could see was some green blurry lines. That was the clock. The green lines were the time but they were blurry. A man was talking. Yes I could hear a man saying things, and he was in the radio. The clock radio with the green blurry lines. There had to be some way to silence the talking man, and at the back of my mind the idea came to me that I had done it before, successfully. It was confusing though. Really. There were buttons, I knew that. And there was some kind of sliding button that made things tricky. In my groggy state, my brain was struggling to make sense of the situation. It was a puzzle alright. Goddam. A real tricky one. The man was still talking. How could I go back to sleep with the man talking loud in my earholes like that? Well, I couldn't, no sir. There had to be some way to manipulate the buttons to make him stop. Phew! Did this happen every morning? I couldn't remember. Everything was a big blur. I blinked my eyes and rolled over. The green blur came closer and the man got louder. Ah! That seemed to trigger some spark of comprehension. Yes! There was a long button at the front of the infernal machine. If you managed to hit that button, the man stopped talking. In slow motion, like a big turtle, I reached over and aimed my hand at the button. The man stopped talking. Thank God Almighty! There was perfect silence. I went back to sleep.
I went back to sleep for nine minutes before the man started talking loudly again. My stupid dumb idiotic clock radio has a snooze function that lasts nine minutes. Why nine minutes and not ten? Why? Why is that? Why the heckity-heck?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Author

Here is a photo of me in the middle of coming up with an idea for something to write in my blog. If you had x-ray vision, you would see that my brain cells are on fire. The vigorous intellectual life. The life of the mind. Ideas surging like the sea. It's a blessing and a curse.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mysterious Skin

Had a half day today but didn't go see a movie. Why the hell not? you want to know. Good question. Tuesday is Super Bargain day at the movies and you only pay $5.00, so why the heck would I not go see a movie? Well, there is a good reason, let me tell you. It was the dental procedure this morning that put an end to my Bargain Priced Movie Fantasy. The procedure went on so long that I got to work late so had to leave later. Then I discovered that every movie started in an hour and a half. I can't wait around that long. I'm not a Zen master.
But I did see a movie yesterday. The movie was called Mysterious Skin.
In the movie, there is an 8-year-old kid called Brian and something weird happens to him. He finds himself hiding in the basement with his nose bleeding. Before that, all he can remember is that he was playing a Little League baseball game when it started raining. He can't remember what happened in the five hours between.
Then we see him grown up a bit, present day (the movie is set in the late '80s), he's around 18 years old. Still he is obsessed with what happened, and he has nightmares about it. He comes to believe that he was abducted by aliens, and he watches any TV program he can find on the subject. On one such program he sees a girl telling about her own experience of alien abduction. She doesn't live far away so he decides to go and visit her.
There's another kid the movie follows, Neil, and he was in the same Little League team. We see him when he also is 8 and his mother takes him along to the baseball field to meet the coach, who looks like the Marlboro Man. He's just called Coach in the movie. Coach takes a special liking to Neil and after games takes him back to his place where he's got all sorts of cool stuff like Atari and a big TV and beanbags. Uh oh. This doesn't look good does it? Does Neil's mother and father know where he is? Well, his father is long gone and his mother only seems to care about getting drunk and her next short-term boyfriend. Poor Neil.
In the present day we see Neil has become a male prostitute, picking up men in a local park.
Back with Brian, who is really now on a quest to find out what happened in those five hours, he finds a photograph of his Little League team and recognises Neil. All the names of the kids are on the back of the photo, so now he can track him down and ask him about what really happened after that rained-out Little League game.
I heard that when this film was given an R-rating (over-18), some *concerned individual* wrote a letter to the Office of Film and Literature Classification demanding it be re-examined, hoping the R classification would be overturned and then the movie denied a classification, banning the movie from being screened. Why did they do that? Apparently because the movie was some kind of how-to guide on how to groom children for abuse. It's not that at all, by the way. What a ridiculous idea. Anyway, the movie was reviewed again and fortunately the R-rating was upheld.
The thing is, all we usually find out about cases of child abuse is what we see on the news. Like the creepy looking guy here in Australia who flicks his tongue out, he hunches over and squirms, his eyes dart from side to side like a trapped fiend, and he lashes out crazily at the camera crews. That guy LOOKS like a monster. The guy in Mysterious Skin does not look like a monster. The movie is not some ten-second TV news spot guaranteed to make you jump around and loudly call for these monsters to be lynched, only then to forget about it seconds later and go back to your nice dinner and comment on the weather report. This movie goes deeper into it, and amongst the ugliness and despair are even moments of tenderness and humanity. It's deeper and more complex and challenging than the TV news.
The audience didn't make a peep. Everybody was eating choc tops.

Smoking Teeth

Went to the dentist before work this morning to get the cotton wool pulled out – it was soaked in some hardcore antibacterial liquid to make sure the infection was killed. So I figured he just had to open it up, take the cotton wool out then put a filling back in. It ended up taking an hour, he was doing all sorts of weird shit. At one point smoke was coming up out of my mouth, like he was using a soldering iron. But anyway, he finished at last then I went over to pay. Goddam almost fell over when the lady said “$425.” I only had a hundred and something on me, figuring it was gonna be around a hundred or something. Anyway, it was really surprising, actually more like horrifying. That's a lot of money. Stupid damn teeth. I paid $100 and said I’d come back and pay the rest later, but asked her why was it so expensive? She said it was a ‘root canal pack out'.
Oh. One of those.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Parasitic Adblog Development

Those stinking adblog parasites have introduced a new weapon into their foul abominable arsenal.
It used to be (in the good old days of a month or two ago) they would only *create* a fake blog that you would stumble across and for a split second think it was a REAL blog by a REAL human being. You would hit the NEXT BLOG button expecting to find another random blog by somebody, maybe a another personal blog, or a political blog, or even a boring student blog, or even one of those teenage Asian girl blogs that have the stupid butterflys and teddy bears floating around the screen. Instead, a *blog* would pop up that wasn't a blog at all. It looked like a blog, but really it's just a stupid advertisement, no different to those annoying pop-ups you get that make you want to drive a sledgehammer into your monitor.
Well, these adblog robots have come up with a new tactic, and that is to post their stupid ads in your comments section. It happened to me the other day. I checked my blog and my latest post had SIX comments. I got excited, I'll admit it. I'd never got six comments before. It was pretty exciting! But when I looked at those comments, three of them said something like, "Great blog! I like it a lot! Now check out my blog about about how to enlarge your penis!"
This means war. These robots have really gone too far. To make a stinking adblog that you accidentally stumble across is one thing, but to come right into your own blog and defecate into your comments field a sneaky invitation to click on their stupid adblogger link, well, that is the final straw.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

What People Want

The last thing you want to do if you feel happy (even though these moments are so wonderful and rare) is let somebody else know you feel happy, because they will resent you for it. The thing is, people don't want to see you happy. They want to see you miserable, or at the very least, whining about some small and insignificant thing. Like they do.
I'll tell you what they really want. They want to see you in pain. Only then will they be satisfied.

Space Rock

If you were trying to describe a pink, white and grey space rock, and you were being paid by the word, this is how you would probably do it:

...There were pinkish streaks among the rock, and it seemed that some of the chromatic tint from the atmosphere owed its origin to these. There were a number of white veins in the rock, which bore some kind of resemblance to marble, but the majority of it was grey. It gave an over-all impression of greyness streaked with pink and white, rather than an over-all impression of whiteness tinged with grey and pink, or an over-all impression of pink streaked with grey and white.
Greyness was the dominant background shade; neither black nor white, but something midway between the two. It was a light rather than a dark grey, yet could never have been so light that it might be mistaken for an off white.

- Pel Torre 'Galaxy 666' (1968)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Land of the Dead

After work today I went and saw George A Romero's new zombie movie Land of the Dead. It's no secret I've been looking forward to this one, so was it worth the wait? Let's find out! >>> No it wasn't.
The movie was a big disappointment. Maybe the problem was that I was sober. Usually when I watch a zombie movie, I'm drunk, or at least well on the way. What happened here? Let's find out!
The movie begins and there are zombies everywhere. Why are there zombies everywhere? It's a mystery. OK, let's accept that there are zombies everywhere. Maybe in Romero's movies there was never an explanation for the zombies. Is it a big deal? Well, people are making a big deal about how Romero makes smart zombie movies with all sorts of sociological and cultural and political references, but if it's so smart would it be too much to ask for even a half-assed reason for the zombies? No, it wouldn't.
Anyway, in the movie there is a big luxurious high-rise residential building (Fiddler's Green) that Kaufman (Dennis Hopper) has taken over and is ruling. Only rich fashion-conscious idiots live there, lower class people are only allowed to be servants there or deliver stuff and quickly take their poor asses away again at high speed.
The outsider characters the movie focuses on launch missions in a big armoured truck. The missions are to get food and other supplies to bring back to Fiddler's Green. The leader of this bunch is Riley (Simon Baker). He visits some wild and crazy nightclub where they are using zombies for entertainment. Two zombies are shackled and people can go up next to them to have their photo taken. Another zombie is chained up and people take turns shooting him with a paintball gun. Those scenes were pretty good because that's probably what people would really find to do with zombies after they got over the initial horror. But then, at this nightclub, Riley sees that a girl has been thrown into a cage with two zombies and people are betting on which zombie will get to eat her. Riley is disgusted and pulls out his gun, shoots the zombies, saving the girl, but causing a riot in the nightclub. The girl is called Slack (Asia Argento) and she then joins up with Riley's gang. There's also another outsider guy called Cholo (John Leguizamo) and he desperately wants to get into Fiddler's Green by saving up the money Kaufman owes him for his supply raids into the zombie zone.
One more character we see a lot of is Charlie who is kind of slow but a crack shot with a gun and so Riley has sort of taken him under his wing, to use a corny phrase. Actually, Charlie got stuck in a fire and it was Riley who pulled him out of it, so that's the story of why they are pals. Charlie has a pretty lame line he uses a lot, modified each time by the situation. Because his face is half burnt up he looks a bit of a mess, so he will say, "Bad dreams? Look at me. You can tell I have bad dreams" or "A drink? Look at me. You can tell I need a drink." It seems kind of funny when it's written down, but in the movie those lines were lame.
One of the jokes with zombies has always been that they move so slowly, you can easily get away by doing nothing more than walking at a normal pace. That handicap was begging to be rectified, and so it was with the 2003 movie 28 Days Later which introduced *turbo zombies*. Those bastards sprinted everywhere, never seeming to get tired, which served to make the zombies much more terrifying.
Land of the Dead doesn't use turbo zombies, but it tackles the problem of zombies being unintelligent - incapable of creative thought, simple eating machines that stagger around moaning and bumping into walls and not being able to figure out how to open a door - by having a smart *leader* zombie called Big Daddy. This zombie actually starts learning stuff, like how to use a machine gun, and he teaches the other zombies to use weapons. Is it a big deal? Maybe. I guess. But it's not handled very well in the movie, so it's not as terrifying as those turbo zombies.
Another thing I noticed was with the dialogue. Romero came up with some quotable quotes but stuck them in there clumsily, like when one of Kaufman's underlings mentions something about trouble, Kaufman says, "In a world where the dead are returning to life, the word "trouble" loses much of its meaning." That might read like a pretty good quote, but the way it's delivered in the movie is lame and awkward, and that's just one example of the awful dialogue. Oh well. It's a zombie movie. But again I point out that people seem to be making such a big deal about how smart this one is. It's really not.
Well, what about the actors? Sadly, at no point did Asia Argento take her clothes off, and I challenge ANYBODY to deny that this was Dennis Hopper's most forgettable performance.
Watch out! Here comes a *spoiler* alert! >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
At the end, Riley tells his pals not to shoot the zombie leader Big Daddy and his zombie pals because they are only trying to live their life, or some dumb reasoning like that. Hello. These are ZOMBIES that survive by eating HUMAN FLESH. If you let them live they will try to eat more human flesh, which is only possible if they attack non-zombies. Why the hell would you let them live? Can anybody explain the logic here? Am I missing something here?
Anyway. Maybe I hyped myself up too much for this one. Maybe I'll watch it again in a year's time and really enjoy it (although it seems unlikely). Maybe beer would make all the difference.
The audience in the theatre were well-behaved except for the guy and his girlfriend who came in late and, yes, sat right behind me. They loudly chattered like schoolgirls for about five minutes before coming to their senses and realising they were in a movie theatre with people who had better things to do than listen to their inane comments and observations.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Prognosis Negative

Stratu: I am going to Dymocks after work to get my next book, library does not have it. Genre: Space Opera, 1264 pages, first book in trilogy.
Anders: You're sick, space boy.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Today I finished The Power That Preserves by Stephen R Donaldson. Well, that's the end of the first Thomas Covenant trilogy, and it was awesome, even with Covenant saying "Don't touch me!" all the time. Sure Covenant is not a happy chappy, and very unlike Frodo the Hobbit, but for Pete's sake the guy is a leper! A real one! Not a metaphorical one! Nevertheless, many reviewers on Amazon complained about Covenant being a not very nice man at all and they couldn't get over the fact that he rapes the girl Lena who cared for him when he mysteriously appeared in The Land, but I believe those people missed the point, missed the humanity of the situation, only seeing THE RAPE and running off like squawking flapping chickens to complain about it on Amazon. God only knows what these fairy bread-eating crybabies would make of Greek Mythology...
Anyway, I'm hooked now and there's The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.. (another trilogy) up ahead, but I'm thinking it might be a good idea to take a break and read Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy - an epic Space Opera (3000+ pages) - that a guy from work recommended. I checked that one out on Amazon and it too has divided people, with many complaining about the horrible nasty violence and sex scenes. Cool. It sounds like an ultra mega pumped-up mutated and amplified version of Starship Troopers.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Killing Machine

Earlier this year I watched a documentary about American soldiers in Iraq and what kind of music they listened to. They said they listened to Slayer's 'Angel of Death', which of course is a very good choice. One soldier said he liked to listen to Metallica but that's OK, he probably just had to grow up a little bit before he could appreciate the superior ferocity of Slayer.
Anyway, the soldiers explained how they could hook their Discman up to the PA system of the tanks so they could blast the music to the people outside the tank. You can imagine it. An Iraqi soldier running around on foot with a gun, then having a big TANK coming at him blasting Slayer's 'Angel of Death' would be a very effective strategy to make him crap his pants and move at high speed in the opposite direction.
The soldiers also admitted that they played heavy metal because it hyped them up for action. Of course. If you were going into grim and deadly battle, you don't want chillout music, you want some fast and heavy and aggressive METAL that pounds its way into every atom of your being, causing adrenaline to surge through your bloodstream, removing any apprehension, pushing you forward and higher with ecstatic grim bloodlust, exultant, a formidable relentless killing machine, ready for anything, ready for WAR, ready to meet the enemy and destroy them utterly, blast them into oblivion, relishing every nanosecond of the carnage, the blood and the fury, the superior firepower, the glorious and terrible delivery of death and destruction, while Slayer's 'Angel of Death' roars in your ears, terrifying the hated enemy to the very depths of despair but driving you ever on and on, higher and higher, into the stratosphere of all-powerful and righteous warmongering. Supreme. Immortal. GOD of WAR.

Friday, August 12, 2005


Why are the people on TV so stupid? Why are they so annoying? Why are they so stupid and annoying? What is it with these TV people? Why do they all have the same idiotic haircuts? How is it possible that they think they're funny? Does anybody laugh at what they say? Why are they grinning like that? How do they get their eyeballs so white like that? Why do the studio audience allow themselves to be demeaned and humiliated like that? Why do they grin and laugh like idiots while they are being demeaned and humiliated like that? Why is TV so stupid? Why is is it so idiotic and grotesque? Does this reflect our human condition of this present day? Why do I feel so sick all of a sudden? Why is it all so horrible and confusing? Why?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Metal Fantasy

I went to work today then when that was all finished came home and read some more of my book (The Power That Preserves by Stephen R Donaldson) then ate some Indian food then went over to my computer, turned it on and began downloading songs by Isis, Behemoth, Enslaved, Finntroll and Naglfar...
I knew another metal phase was coming on because in the last month I found myself looking at Terroriser magazine in the newsagent. Standing there, I would see the magazine and say to myself, there is the Terroriser magazine. I'd look at the cover and see that the free CD that was supposed to be stuck to the cover was not there. Oh, it is not available outside the EU. Well that's not fair is it?
I found myself returning again and again to look at the Terroriser magazine. The CD was never there. It was not an illusion. I would then walk back out of the newsagent in a mysterious fog of dismay.
Then on Monday I was there again, in front of the rack with the music magazines. I saw a new Terroriser magazine, a new issue. Like in a dream I picked up the magazine and almost jumped when I saw that there was a CD on the front. This one had somehow amazingly made it outside the EU.
Clearly it was a sign that the Metal Gods were calling me back to the fold.
Since that time I have been scouring metal websites for clues - obsessively scrolling through Best Metal Albums of the Year pages like a gambler at the track sweating over his form guide. There was also a clue in the Terroriser magazine: Nile - 'Annihilation of the Wicked', the widely proclaimed saviours of death metal! I figured I'd better pick that one up first. Lucky Utopia Records is right below the cinema I go to, so on Tuesday after coming out from seeing The Island, I went down and asked the guy there (the guy who always tells me I have missed yet another Opeth tour) to give me that album. I went got a bus home and quickly put the Nile album on. After a long Egyptian-sounding guitar intro the death metal sounds blasted out and my skin started tingling. Yes! Another sign! For sure now I was on the right track. Throughout the night, whenever the album reached its end, I played it back from the beginning. It was like when I heard Reign In Blood for the first time, or Slowly We Rot, or Blackwater Park (or that Mayhem album). Yes, a true METAL MOMENT. Impossible to think of anything else. The QUEST for the ULTIMATE METAL surging through my bloodstream, it is ALL.
Next Isis!, Naglfar!, Finntroll!, Enslaved!, Behemoth! and yes, Grand Magus! Oh wait, Mourning Beloveth! too!
*zooms around tiny apartment screaming, WIMPS AND POSERS, LEAVE THE HALL!*

MTV Hell

I found a metal site, there's some good stuff in the Articles section, like How To Piss Off Black Metal Dorks 101. The writing reminds me of Beavis & Butthead, it's really great. MTV Hell.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Snake Vs Electric Fence

This goes into the TOTALLY BIZARRE category - a really BIG snake trapped under an electric fence. Far out.

The Island

What do you do when you get to leave work halfway through a sunny Tuesday? Go and see a movie of course! That's what I do anyway, and that's what I did today. The movie was called The Island.
The movie is set in the future - 2050 or somewhere around there - and there's a guy Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson). Yes those are funny names aren't they? You get to find out why they have such funny names later in the movie.
Lincoln and Jordan work in a big futuristic-looking place with hundreds maybe thousands of other people and they all wear the same white Star Trek-looking uniforms. It's a strange place, kind of creepy, in a space age mental institution kind of way. Everything seems to be overly controlled, for instance when Lincoln wakes up in the morning and goes for a piss, a digital messageboard above the toilet tells him his salt level is a bit too high. Then when he goes down to breakfast in the big cafeteria, the mean serving lady won't let him have any bacon and eggs.
He is friends with the girl Jordan and she sees that he is having a problem with the breakfast lady, so she goes up to him and says stand back and watch this. The mean breakfast horrorhag seems to like Jordan so Jordan gets some bacon for Lincoln. Then they have a laugh about it and touch each other on the arm or some such innocent display of affection when a big security guy in a black spacesuit comes up and says "Watch your proximity!" What the hell? What kind of wacky place is this?
The next minute, everybody is watching a big video screen and there's a lottery on. The prize is a trip to *The Island*. Everybody there wants to win a trip to this island because it must be a great place like Hawaii or something, much better anyway than being in some big robot factory where black-suited Nazis come up and tell you to watch your damn proximity.
Lincoln likes to sneak off and hang out with his friend, a guy (played by Steve Buscemi! Yay!) who works in what looks like the boiler room. Then we notice that Lincoln is not very smart. It's not exactly that he's not smart, but he doesn't seem to know things that even a not-smart person would surely know. Like he asks Steve who God is. Steve says, "You know when you close your eyes and really wish for something? Well, he's the one that ignores you."
Lincoln starts doing some weird things (weird for this place, that is) and behaving unlike a robot so he gets called in to see the doctor, or actually the director of the place I guess, a guy played by Sean Bean, who I can't see now and not think of him as Boramir in Lord of the Rings. Anyway, Sean gives him a hard time for getting too close to Jordan, then Lincoln starts asking questions like why do we have to wear these stupid white uniforms all the damn time, how about some colours?
Then he sneaks off to a different part of the building and accidentally witnesses something dodgy, so he finds out this place, well there's something fishy going on.
Anyway, it's impossible to say more about the story without giving away spoilers, although I find it almost impossible to believe that there is anybody out there who didn't know what the big mystery was even before they saw the movie.
There's a big WHEN MAN PLAYS GOD theme going on here, and aspects of other books/movies like 1984 and The Matrix, also Minority Report.
The actors do an excellent job. Ewan McGregor is a very likeable guy, and Scarlett Johansson, well I've been a *fan* ever since Ghost World.
It was cool (huh huh, is that the right word?) to see Ethan Phillips (Neelix from Star Trek: Voyager) in the movie - the second movie I've seen him in.
Anyway, the movie was pretty damn good, if a little long, although those cinema seats get uncomfortable, and I'm a twitchy nervy guy at the best of times. But how did it only get 40% on Rotten Tomatoes? That's really hard to believe. I think there's a lot of sci-fi *haters* out there.
Woops! I almost forgot my audience report!
There was plenty of space in the theatre. Only two or three people in front of me, but from experience that is no indication of numbers - most people seem to like to sit further away from the screen. Anyway, space was no issue, no Asian teen gang sat next to me cruelly keeping their girlfriends from sitting next to me, but this time the problem was kids behind me. They were eating chips and it sounded like they were moving their heads right up behind my head, so I could hear this deafening crunching sound as their jaws ferociously masticated the chippies like they had a microphone jammed in their gobs connected by a cable to small but powerful speakers that hovered in the air millimetres away from my ears. Man it was LOUD.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Find Out After the Break!

What lengths will TV news organisations go to keep their viewers watching? Let's find out!
I just saw a report on Media Watch (a media watchdog program on ABC) about a Channel 10 news report. There was some amateur footage of a hot air balloon high up in a clear blue sky and the basket was ablaze. The newsreader said something like, "A hot air balloon catches fire with two people on board! Did they escape? Find out after the break!" After the ad break the news came back on, but there was no sign of the flaming balloon story, but right before the next break the footage popped up again, the hot air balloon's basket belching great tongues of flame. The newsreader said, "Hot air balloon on fire! Two people on board! Did they get out alive? Find out after the break!" At last the ads finished and the hot air balloon inferno footage popped up once more. OK, now everybody is ready to find out about the miraculous escape from the blazing balloon. They wouldn't keep the viewers in suspense for so long if the balloon people didn't get out alive would they?
The newsreader said at last, "Both people in the balloon died in the flames. Many children were watching the tragedy and they were offered counselling."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Don't Touch Me!

I've been spending most of my *downtime* (ha ha, makes me sound like a soldier!) reading a new fantasy series. What is that series? It is called The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and I owe BIG thanks to reader Bixbloc for the recommendation.
Stephen R Donaldson wrote these books and I keep noticing blurbs that compare him to Tolkien. Somebody said that about Terry Goodkind as well and it turned out to be a bogus call if you ask me, but with Donaldson it's not hard to see why people have made such a bold comparison. This guy can write up a storm, no doubt about it. His descriptive powers are breathtaking, the characters are deep, and when he cranks up the action scenes you break out in a cold sweat. You've read a two-page battle scene? Of course you have. How about a 100-page battle scene that doesn't even get boring? Donaldson's your man.
One thing must be mentioned and that is our (anti) hero Thomas Covenant says, "Don't touch me!" all the time. I'm almost finished book two of the first trilogy and so far he has said this line at least fifty times. I've got to the point now where I can feel it coming up. He starts to get a bit upset at somebody and they try to calm him down with a reassuring hand on the shoulder or something and, HELLO! "Don't touch me!" Oh well, more and more I don't seem to mind it, just laugh. That's Covenant - that's his line, ha ha.
Another funny thing is I remember reading Stephen King's book On Writing and one part where he says that you should just write 'he said' or 'she said' after a line of dialogue, then he mentioned some guy who wrote stuff like 'he grated' and 'he ejaculated.' Stephen R Donaldson is that guy! Donaldson's characters go beyond simply 'saying' things, they 'grate' and 'ejaculate'!
"Don't touch me!" he ejaculated.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I Know

I know what you're trying to do, but it won't work. Perhaps you think I will be discouraged or dismayed? Never in a million years. It is the weekend and nothing can dampen my spirits. Do you think your actions will send me in another direction? No chance. My resolve is stronger than ever and shall not be diminished. Is it possible that your behaviour is simply a misguided protest at the absence of stories about women reading on the bus? You see I am curious. Yes, that is part of my nature. Yet it remains a mystery to me, this strategy of yours. Surely nothing can be gained by it, as you must now realise.
Has it become clear that your strategy has failed?
No, no need for apology. I have already forgiven you.
Now let us speak no more of it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


Just got home from visiting Anders and his girlfriend Shiraz in Alexandria. Davros was also there. We had fun playing word games and drinking beer. The word games we played were the ones that come from the newspaper and there is a three-by-three cell box with a letter in each one, and in the middle is a letter that you have to use in each word you make. Each word has to be at least four letters long. At the bottom it will say something like if you get 15 words your are GOOD, if you get 20 words you are VERY GOOD, if you get 30 words you are EXCELLENT. While we are playing we have racial conversations since half the room is black and the other half white. No problem we can be honest and don't have to worry about saying the WRONG THING like if we were at the WORKPLACE. Don't have to be lame and say yes yes I am OK and you are OK let's hug and say sorry for being mean a million years ago. Boomerangs and guns are not allowed, only words. Discussion gets heated then cools down and everybody laughs. Different colours but all half-mad. Good times.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Feel Good Not Bad

I'll stay up longer, not go to bed yet. Drink another beer. Tomorrow Boss has day off and that is sufficient reason. Doesn't matter if I'm hungover when Boss not there. If hungover and Boss have a fit is hell on the nerves, but if like tomorrow only me and Colleague everything smooth mellow and stress-free. Yes good reason to stay up late drinking. Ha ha. Feel good, not bad. Why not listen to another song? Yes by all means. A fine idea. Another cigarette? Why not. Feeling good and it's late. Dark outside getting darker, yet growing brighter and brighter here inside. Glowing and feeling warm. A warmth and bright glow that is ever enlarging and growing. Lean back and spin in chair. Eyes don't feel bloodshot, even though they surely are. Doesn't feel like it. God, how quiet it seems, even with music playing. Maybe not quiet outside, but rather inside. Somehow at peace. Some awesome and rare inner peace.

House of Wax

Tuesday it is, and you know what that means. Yes, movie time.
This afternoon I left work early so I could see the 4:00pm session of House of Wax. Why did I choose to see that movie? Well, Land of the Dead was not showing even though I saw a preview of it on At the Movies last week or the week before, so I couldn't see that movie, the movie I am most looking forward to, and since House of Wax is a HORROR MOVIE, that is what I chose to see. I mean, I am hardly going to go and see Monster In Law, am I? Ha ha. What a CRAZY idea. CRAZY!
There was hardly anybody in the theatre. No wait, there were but they were all behind me. Most people don't seem to mind sitting a mile away from the screen. I do.
Some of the audience were worth commenting on, like the two teenage girls who came in and I heard one say to the other, "Is this a horror movie?' What kind of a question is that? What kind of a person walks in to a movie and asks a question like that? You tell me. It is beyond my comprehension.
Anyway, after the previews of stupid upcoming movies like Dukes of Hazard and The Wedding Crashers, the FEATURE PRESENTATION got underway.
In the movie, a group of *twentysomethings* are on their way to see a big football game. Huh. Already we don't care if they all get slashed to pieces in a very spectacular and gory fashion. One guy and his girlfriend seem to be the *nice* ones of the group. That girl's brother is along for the ride but he is a mean guy, or some kind of brooding rebel type, a bad boy, and he doesn't like his sister's boyfriend. Another of the guys is a kind of *doofus* or something, with big fuzzy hair, and the nice girl feels sorry for him and dresses him to look like "Elton John, only more gay", well, that's what one of the guys says. Last of all is another couple, a girl played by Paris Hilton and her black boyfriend. Yes, black. Ooh! Race-mixing! Miscegenation! White chicks on black dicks! Hey, really I have nothing against ebony and ivory coming together and living in perfect harmony, but the way it's done in this movie is not like that. Really, it IS done in a White Chicks on Black Dicks kind of way.
Anyway, one of their cars breaks down when the fanbelt snaps, or more likely is sabotaged, and they get stuck out in the middle of nowhere. A deranged-looking guy comes and offers assistance, but he is so scary, and his job is to pick up smelly roadkill and dump it in a ditch, so both he and his truck stink so much, and he's got a big scary-looking knife, that the kids say thanks but this is far enough we will walk the rest of the way. Poor guy. He was only trying to help.
They make it to a town where they find a House of Wax. Gee, the whole place is made of wax. Everything. Pretty cool.
Have you seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Well this movie is a similar theme, where a group of fresh-faced but stupid and idiotic kids are tormented by a family of deranged middle-of-nowhere psychopaths. This movie is nowhere near as terrifying as that one was, but they still manage some quite nasty scenes, and if you are one of the hundred bazillion I've heard about looking forward to seeing the movie just so they can watch Paris Hilton get violently killed, then you will for sure get some cheap thrills.
The music in the movie was used in a stupid way. I recognised songs by Deftones and Interpol, but they were thrown in and quickly ripped back out again, meaninglessly. Oh this band is *cool*, let's throw one of their songs in for about four seconds. Cool. That way the kids will buy the stupid soundtrack. No you idiots, they either already have those songs or will simply download them. I really wonder if anybody was or will be idiotic enough to buy the soundtrack to this movie.
The movie was OK, kind of average, or maybe somewhere below average. (The final *melting* scene was really quite spectacular though.) I would have said it was pretty lame for a modern horror movie but I saw Chucky Gets Lucky or whatever it was called, and this one was nowhere near as bad.
Next week, if everything goes aright, I will see Land of the Dead. Hurrah! for zombie movies!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Made Them Laugh

I got two big laughs today. Do you want to hear about them? OK.
The first one was at work while I was doing the mail run. Parked the trolley outside the Members office and walked in, looked at the great pile of envelopes and must have got a horrified expression. There were two girls there and one of them said, 'Do you need a hand?' I said, 'No, that's OK. My balancing skills are at a high level.' That really cracked them both up. Big laughs.
The second one was after work at the mini market. I got my stuff and walked up to the checkout, the girl zapped it all through and bagged it. The woman waiting in line behind me was talking on her phone and I heard her briefly stutter, 'I..I..I..I..' and then regain control and continue her conversation. Automatically I repeated that out loud, 'I..I..I..I..' but not to be mean, only did it because it struck me (and I used to stutter a bit myself, you know.) Anyway, the girl behind the checkout bust out laughing, but trying to keep it low volume and discreet so the phone lady wouldn't hear. Got the second big laugh of the day, but without being mean, and the stuttering phone lady didn't hear anyway, she was busy talking to somebody.