Friday, May 27, 2005


Me as a Simpsons character. Gemma made my day yesterday by drawing herself as a Simpsons character. I can't tell you how many times I went "Hee-hee! Hee-hee! Heeee!" after seeing it. (The results are on Gemma's blog.) Anyway, she was asking when I was going to do my own self-portrait. So I did one (wearing today's clothes!) using Illustrator, which as you can imagine took me fucking ages as I am not an illustrator. But as you can see, I am a jaunty pussy. Anyway - enjoy!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Illustrators channel their inner Simpson. I found this brilliant thread on the Pulp Faction comics forum. Cartoonists from Australia and beyond draw themselves as Simpsons characters. What a wonderful idea. I love the way the illustrators' individual styles become much more subtly evident when they're subsumed to the Groening style, and also the different ways they choose to evoke their individuality - poses, expressions, outfits - while still maintaining "Groeningness" - the bulgy eyes, the block colours, the four-fingered, sausagey hands.

There are many more wonderful pics - the one I grabbed here was put together about halfway down the thread.

Edit: Crap! The link to the pic appears to be busted now. Trying clicking on the link for pics.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Bring back the brute! You may recall that about a week ago, I googled "making out" and found the interesting "Kiss Test", non? Well, anyway, to read it you had to give them your email address, and ever since, I have been receiving the most amusing newsletters from David DeAngelo, the guy who wrote this e-book on how to pick up women. It has some interesting advice, and I would like to share some of it with you, in the spirit of democratising knowledge. With a truly beguiling opening sentence, David begins:
Women don't CHOOSE to feel the emotion called ATTRACTION for jerks any more than YOU choose to feel the emotion called ATTRACTION for young, beautiful, hardbodied women. Nature has pre-programmed MEN with a mechanism that works like this:


Well, women have a similar mechanism. But I think that the female version is MORE COMPLEX. Yes, women do feel attraction for extremely handsome men... but they feel a MUCH STRONGER ATTRACTION for certain PERSONALITY TRAITS and BEHAVIORS than they do for physical looks alone.
According to David, attraction is "just something that 'happens' inside of a women [sic]." I don't really trust myself to analyse that phrase, so let's just move on... Here are the key traits of a jerk:
So stop being such a pussy, boyfriend! Here's how!
See if you can be a little less predictable. Don't let outside events or women control you. Be more of a challenge. Stop being submissive... and get in touch with that side of you that is more dominant (I said "dominant", not "domineering").
Of course this is all very amusing, but it also seems to tap into a strangely retro desire for masculine brutishness. As Lucy puts it, it's about women in chiffon dresses and set hair saying with petulant desire, "Oh Frankie, you are such a brute..." And then Frankie grabs her and kisses her with an almost violent passion - more like mashing her face into his - and she collapses in his arms, powerless against his brutish charms. It's no coincidence that the script for The Empire Strikes Back was written by Leigh Brackett, who'd also written the screenplay for classical Hollywood films like The Big Sleep:
Han Solo: Come on, admit it. Sometimes you think I'm all right.
Princess Leia: Occasionally, maybe... when you aren't acting like a scoundrel.
Han Solo: [laughs] Scoundrel? Scoundrel? I like the sound of that.
[Han takes her hand and starts to massage it]
Princess Leia: Stop that!
Han Solo: Why?
Princess Leia: My hands are dirty.
Han Solo: So are mine; what are you afraid of?
Han Solo: You like me
because I'm a scoundrel. There aren't enough scoundrels in your life.
Princess Leia: I happen to like nice men.
Han Solo: I'm a nice man.
Princess Leia: No you're not, you're - [they kiss]
It's a really melodramatic and, I think, essentially cinematic kind of brutishness - brutishness as scopophilic spectacle. I wrote an essay on t-shirts back in honours, in which I referred to the t-shirt doing for Marlon Brando what Laura Mulvey says the sweater did for Lana Turner: .

Can't you hear me yella, you're puttin' me through hella...

Brando's beauty aestheticises his brutality. But does it also sugar-coat the hoary misogynistic binary of the capitulating female and ravishing brute? See, that's my problem with the assumption that "women like jerks" (assholes, brutes, etc) - must women then be passive and willing to be treated like crap? Can't people assert their desires honestly without trampling on others or being trampled on? Is my naive faith in this idea behind my disappointing love life?

But just generally, I really like this word "brute" and want to bring it back into the vernacular, along with other words like "coffee lounge" and "hamlet".

Oh, and in other random musings, something occurred to me tonight as I was in Wing Loong, eating sliced pork and egglant and reading Glamorama. (Best part so far: Lauren says, "I bet you couldn't even remember what you did on Monday." Victor replies, "I modeled and then I had a sandwich.")

I overheard some youngsters at the neighbouring table. One said, "Where's [girl's name]?"
"Oh, she's going home; she wants to watch The OC."
And it struck me that getting home in time for The OC is the very sort of thing that the OC characters would do. I can just imagine Summer going to Seth, "Oh god, I almost forgot! I gotta get home for The OC."
Seth would say, dryly, "That's just typical, Summer. You're so eager to watch a show about yourself?"
"Jam it, Cohen - just drive me home," she'd answer.

Let it be said that I am not a fan of The OC and have watched a grand total of three episodes in my life. Indeed, I try to avoid shows that feature smug, self-referential cultural-studies-bait dialogue. You know the fucking show I'm talking about. Don't make me say its stupid name.

More of my intellectual labour. Just letting you know that my Bec & Lleyton article is in the Sydney Morning Herald today.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The intellectual gulf. I know this is a perennial complaint of mine, but it really struck me just then, when I was reading Shane's blog, that other people really enjoy thinking on an abstract level on which I am simply unable to engage with them. I realise that extensive theoretical reading and writing is the luxury of being (or training to be) an academic, but I am so jealous that they plunge into abstract topics while I spend my life skating across the surfaces of things.

I can draw an analogy with maths. In grade six, I used to put my head down on my desk and cry, next to the carved-in graffito of an arse with a knife up it (carved in because I used to retrace its lines with a heavily wielded pen when I got angry. I was a very angry 12-year-old), because I couldn't do long division. My teacher actually patted me on the shoulder at one point and said, "Don't worry - in high school you get calculators."

I like to call this the "calculation consolation" - the reassurance that you will never need to encounter this intellectual roadblock again in the future, so you should just suffer mindlessly through it the best you can for now. The trouble is that later on, you actually end up wanting and needing desperately to know those things, and you wish you hadn't allowed yourself the calculation consolation.

Last week, I was thinking that I wish I could read this Deleuze fucker. But the calculation consolation kicked in back when I was in the academy and had the luxury of time to read. I was proud and imperious and refused to cave to trendy theory. Oh, I've resisted them all - Deleuze, Hardt & Negri, Zizek, Agamben, Badiou. I clung to deeply daggy things: Foucault, Bourdieu. I remember last December listening to Felicity Colman speak at the CSAA conference. It was like listening to someone singing in a foreign language.

And yet, I am sure that he would offer me some insights into the things I'm interested in. But it's so hard to fit Deleuze into my life the way it is now. Because I have no university library card, I can't even borrow Deleuze's dense, ridiculous tracts to plough uncomprehendingly through. I feel ill-equipped even to make metaphors for how ill-equipped I am. I feel doomed to a bowerbird life: compelled to stare at and collect and glory in shiny things without describing or understanding their real use.

The worst part is that I am unable to engage with people I admire on their own level. I feel so frustrated that I have to drink alcohol and talk about pop culture to be a part of their world. For them, it's downtime - for me, it's uptime. How sad is that?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Worst photo of me ever! The promised Age article about Is Not Magazine has finally materialised (two weeks after it was supposed to!) . I'm pleased with it, considering the space they had available. But goddammit - how am I ever going to get laid when there are photos like this on the internet? I should make like Legs Eleven and turn my blog into a Centre of Media Hotness, except that the prospect sort of embarrasses me.

At least I was not yet a Jaunty Pussy. The manslave says he's already sick of me saying it, and he's only heard me say it twice.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My winter aesthetic - Jaunty Pussy! This is one of my vain fashion posts. Today I am wearing a pale pink puffed-sleeve blouse with a black racer-back singlet over the top, and a hot-pink floppy ribbon tied in a big bow at the collar.

This is the second time this week I've worn the pink bow. On Tuesday it completed what my mother would term a "get-up". This consisted of a hot-pink singlet, the pink bow, a black and white striped jumper, my black man-shorts, hot-pink opaque tights and white cowboy boots, with a bracelet made from three rows of very large pearls. I kept catching sight of my reflection and cringing. At first I thought I looked like a female Ronald McDonald. Then I became convinced I looked more like a Morris dancer, which inspired an amusing prancing session at work while I shook the bracelet like a tambourine and Sophie B shook with laughter. (I can never be sure whether I come across as witty or buffoonish at work. Oh well, I won't have to worry about being the office buffoon for very much longer.)

Today Penny came up with the perfect title for this look I have been 'rocking' lately: Jaunty Pussy. This was a work of unspeakable brilliance. I liked it so much that I've taken to saying it repeatedly in a plummy English accent. Basically, Jaunty Pussy is a combination of 70s career woman and 60s mod. But it's not as fiddly and peasanty as the ridiculous boho look that's everywhere right now. It's more tailored and put-together. Think slinky satin blouses with tight jeans and boots; berets and velvet jackets with striped t-shirts and boyish pants; messy hair, shitloads of mascara and glossy pink lipstick. The key colours are pink, yellow, neon red, black and white, with judicious touches of denim.

Oh, I am a jaun-ty pussy!

Damn that meme... Yes Virginia, there is a musical baton. And it has been passed to me. I feel that, as with the book meme, I'm going to fail this test spectacularly.

Total Volume of Music on My Computer

Zip, zilch, zero, I'm stingy with dinero. Or rather, there are no speakers on this computer so there would be no point.

Song Playing Right Now

No song playing out loud, but I have "SOS" by A-Studio in my head. I woke up with it in my head and it won't leave til I put on a CD, but all the ones downstairs right now belong to my housemate J and are things like So Fresh: The Hits of Summer 05, so that wouldn't necessarily ameliorate the situation.

Five Songs I’ve Been Listening To A Lot Lately, from several genres

"Signs" by Snoop Dogg & Justin Timberlake
"Run to Paradise" by the Choirboys
"Rock the Casbah" by The Clash
"1,2 Step" by Ciara featuring Missy Elliott
"Heatwave" by Martha and the Vandellas

Five People to Whom I’m Passing the Baton

My manslave - Bitch needs to blog more!
Laura - Sham on, sham on, where is your love?
Gemma - A like-minded musical soul
Christian - He asks the questions, but will he answer them?
Catherine - Time to switch off that brain of yours!

I really do apologise to all these people. I didn't meme ... um, mean, to be doing this. I'm meant to be writing a highly intellectual article about Lleyton Hewitt and Bec Cartwright.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Monday survey. Yesterday I was telling Tash about Saturday night, and we got into a discussion about the best way to refer to kissing sessions. I opined that I would like to see the term "petting" re-enter the vernacular, in both light and heavy incarnations. I added that I am a big fan of the term "making out". I like its dorky teen Americanness: "Hey, wanna go back to my place and make out?"

Tash said that she preferred "fooling around" because of its alluring non-specificity - "Hey, wanna go back to my place and fool around on the couch?" When I asked the manslave about this at our very close quarters, he said that he preferred "getting busy", Sean Paul-style. And of course, the trendy among Melbourne's blogging set like to call it "pashing". Oh, the torturous days that Kate Ceberano's song "Pash" was in my head after reading those posts.

So, I institute a Monday poll: What is the best word or phrase for low-level sexual activity?

1. Pashing (on)
2. Petting (light and heavy)
3. Making out
4. Fooling around
5. Getting busy
6. Getting with (eg "My friend Travis wants to know if you wanna get with him")
7. Other (specify)

In this spirit of public education, I also present to you The Kiss Test, which I discovered while Googling "making out".
If I've been talking to a girl, and I want to know if she's ready to be kissed, I'll reach over and touch her hair while we're talking and make a comment about it. I'll say "Your hair looks so soft" and just touch the tips of it. If she smiles and likes this, I'll reach back over and start stroking it again, but this time I also glance down at her lips and back up to her eyes a couple of times. If she lets me keep touching her hair, I know that she's ready to be kissed.

This made me think about the opposite situation - how to work out if someone is ready to kiss you. Some say it's when they come at you with their mouth open and their tongue hanging out. So I am also curious to hear from you on this vital issue. Thankyou.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

My favourite part of last night. Oh, it was such a great party, well worth the trek southside. I left around 4:30am. I am now feeling very shabby after four straight nights of binge drinking. They had huge vats of cocktails, although the Tom Collins was like being hit in the face with a sack of sugar. I hereby make an empty declaration that this will be an Alcohol Free Week.

But my favourite part of the entire evening was that at one point, I described myself as "loquacious" when drunk. How Bill & Ted is that? Whoa!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Sweet Jesus, I'm a hipster! I discovered an interesting fashion website today called FashionTribes. It's pretty New York-centric, and it begins from the extraordinarily problematic premise that:
when style-conscious people get dressed, they fall into six categories or fashion tribes. And the tribes go way beyond just getting dressed. A person's tribe will tell you about the types of restaurants they frequent, their preferred hangouts, the music they like, and even choices in transportation (eg. subway vs car & driver). The tribe you choose reveals who you are.
These categories are: Global Chic; Fancy Flirt; Downtown Doll; Rock Punk; Afro Love and Technoid Subculture.

Thank goodness for Glen. Not only has he recently been sucked into the wonderful world of online quizzes; he's just posted about the methodological (and epistemological) weaknesses of subcultural theory. I feel as though any attempt by me to explain why the FashionTribes model is deeply flawed would be greeted with a resounding "Duhhhhhh!", especially my lame protests about its lack of academic rigour; but please let me point out one or two things that blow my mink about FashionTribes. It's using the language of subcultures and the methodology of a bodgy online quiz (or perhaps more accurately, a Cosmo quiz). It has the most spastically obvious interpellations ever - a question asking whether your favourite accessory is a Vivienne Westwood skull ring and a studded leather belt is pretty transparently trying to brand you a "Rock Punk".

Also, it is tied to outdated models of brand-loyalty and presumes a familiarity with the work of couture houses. In one question, I was really struggling to work out which set of designers I "couldn't live without". There is also a pissweak demographic section at the end, but if it's trying to pin down your consumer behaviour, it's like using a jackhammer to open a bottle of champagne. This just isn't good enough, considering that Arnold Mitchell's VALS consumer behaviour model has been around since the 1970s.

But more extraordinarily, FashionTribes is using its arbitrary categories as a way of organising the content of the website. It describes the six sections as six "fashion magazines" tailored to a particular set of preferences. Cute idea in principle, but I disagree a) with the legitimacy of the categories themselves; b) with the idea that they're mutually exclusive. The site presumes that only Fancy Flirts would be into stories about pearls and Beyonce, and only Rock Punks would read articles about street stencilling. There is a splash page with a general editorial and independent links to some of the articles; but there is no interlinking between the six "magazines".

It would be far more interesting to see how these "tribes" interacted, how their purported tastes dovetailed and conflicted. I am currently investigating ways to turn my dedicated fashion blog, Footpath Zeitgeist, into a portmanteau research, publishing and consulting project, and so I have been researching existing online fashion media. But I am pretty sure I could do it better and more rigorously than FashionTribes.

It's funny; today I was having brunch with Bo and he was talking about that Coke ad that uses rock ideology.
Music should make you want to drop out of school and learn guitar. And a live show should last a lifetime. There should be blood on the frets and the audience should dance. Support bands should get a sound check. Ticket stubs should be cherished. And everyone should want the lead singer. Lip-syncing should be reserved for b-grade kung-fu movies. Televisions should take their rightful place at the bottom of hotel swimming pools. And damn right your parents should disapprove. Piercings should not be allowed in the mosh pit. Blowing a whole month's pay on front row tickets should be admired...if you can get them. And that 64 Fender should be earned not bought. Lyrics should be crafted to a point, that heard just once become burned into the memory as if they were your own. People who don't know the words, should shut up and listen. And your favourite song should be played so loud, that neighbours you didn't even know you had, ask you to turn it down. That's music... As it should be.
Bo was saying it's a genius ad, because it completely hits rock ideology on the head. He was interested to see how Dan took this; and Dan was outraged - not, said Bo, because Coke was cynically using rock to sell fizzy drink; but because Coke got it so right. Because Dan sincerely believes rock ideology. Because he is a Rock Person. And it's an outrage to him that a mega-corporation should speak to him in his language.

So perhaps that's at the heart of my rage at the Tribe I was assigned by FashionTribes. Here it is.
Welcome to the world of the Downtown Doll! Electic hipster, you are as trendy as they come (although you're too cool to think of yourself that way). You troll the sample sales of NYC with your exacting eye, and find just the right pieces to mix with your vintage stash from Reciproque in Paris. Bungalow 8 is like your home away from home. On the dance floor, your open toed heels reveal your always perfectly pedigreed [sic: does she mean "pedicured"] piggies.
Celebrity Downtown Dolls include Chloe Sevigny, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Kate Moss, Macy Gray and Milla Jovovich. Downtown Doll's favourite movie is Garden State.


Sorry, must dash now. I must squeeze my red-painted "piggies" into some high-heeled sandals to go with my vintage sparkly off-the-shoulder tiger-print top and ra-ra skirt for Elaine's 1980s disco party in St Kilda tonight. Oh, but that's after I see some burlesque at the Prince Patrick. Oh sweet Jesus, I'm not joking! I'm a hipster!

If you're happy and you know it. I have been really into clap tracks recently. I was extremely excited recently to read YGWIN's discourse on clap tracks. And idiotically, my fingers turned Japanese and did a search for "crap tracks" on her blog while trying to find the post. But perhaps that just reveals more about how much I type the word "crap". I think the concept of 'finger memory' deserves a post to itself. No, you monster; I won't be reminiscing. Although I was slightly disturbed to find that in the last couple of days, not one but two people searched for "Mel fingers herself sms". Other recent searches include "pink academics tracksuits" (do you think there's a market for those?), "girls wrap around skirts blowing in the wind" (way to justify my wardrobe malfunction paranoia!) and "good night wanking material" (welcome, welcome. Take a seat. The sorbolene's to your left).

Here I was going to list a few of my favourite clapping moments, but they are all such daggy songs that I am a little too embarrassed. One of the dorkiest clap tracks ever is "Little L" by Jamiroquai. But the hipsters still love "Hey Ya!"'s triple-clap. I think that's one of the most delicious things about clapping - it precariously straddles the line between super-cool and super-dorky. They're a little like non-verbal vocalisations that way. I guess I could write an academic paper about clap tracks using the framework I posited in my Michael Jackson article.

Off the top of my head, you could trace a vague musicological genealogy of the contemporary clap track encompassing field holler body percussion, cheerleading, flamenco, gospel choirs and disco, although I am always wary of such random teleological endeavours. I don't know where it comes from, but the "soul clap" keeps coming up in funk, disco and hip-hop - in 1969, Michael Jackson told an audience to give him a soul clap; and Grand Wizard Theodore and the Fantastic 5 released "Can I Get A Soul Clap" in 1980.

The wonderful thing about clap tracks is the way they forge an instant community of dancers. I had a wonderful moment at karaoke recently - when Leigh and I were dancing to "Blue Monday" by New Order we instinctively did the claps, and then broke into huge grins at each other. But that's just one side of it. I think the key to clapping is that it's so tightly interwoven with dancing and body signifying. Have you noticed how it's become de rigueur in medium-tempo hip-hop and R&B to have a crunchy clapping beat on every second beat (usually beats 2 and 4)? A wonderful example is "Tipsy" by J-Kwon. This gives the song a highly danceable structure - it reminds you to rock your body on the crunchy beats (my rebellious fingers just typed "crunky" - well done, fingers!) because you learned when you were a small child that clapping is a cue for your body to move.

I didn't get why Shane liked "Switch" by Will Smith so much, until I saw the video. The dancers "switch" by jumping on beat 1 to face the other direction, all the while clapping on beats 2 and 4. It's that wonderful communal dancing, combined with the actual clapping. It reminded me of the way you clap to Wilson Pickett's "Land of 1000 Dances" in the part that goes "nah, na-na na-nahhh, na-na-na nah na-na nahhh na-na nahhh". It seems much more soul-influenced.

It has nothing to do with clapping, but I would also like to mount a case for Ciara's "1,2 Step" being really "old-school". It has that swoopy percussion effect that you hear on Miami bass (eg "Whoomp, There It Is"). Dammit, words can't really describe this effect. The idea of the one-two step is also really disco, like one of those line dances, the hustle or the grapevine or something. And Missy Elliott's guest rap is really disappointing, considering the lyrical and rhythmic sophistication she's capable of, but I like the way it, too, sounds old-school. Lines like "I eat filet mignon and I'm nice and young, best believe I'm number one" sound like early hip-hop: in the nonsensical rhymes, the boasting/toasting tone (Missy's only role in the song's narrative appears to be to big-up herself) and the rhythmic pattern, which is exactly the same as in "Rapper's Delight".

It has nothing to do with "1,2 Step", but it bothers me that Ciara's name is pronounced "Sierra". It should be pronounced "Keira". But people are such tards. They hear these Celtic names being pronounced and make up the spelling. Or they give the kid the right spelling and then nobody can say it properly.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Cool o'clock. Here are some of the things that went through my head in the shower this morning. Goddammit where is that bathmat? My hair is looking so fucking good today. Tits too. I'm not as hungover as I should be. Alex is such a cunt. And his friends from the Shire. Touch me baby touch me tainted love. Touch me baby touch me tainted love. Tainted love! Tainted love! French toast for breakfast? I bet Tash will be wearing her cowboy boots so I'll have to wear some other fucking shoes. Dammit! I've gotta own my boots! It's kind of cruel having my friends stalk him by SMS. Oh but it's so much fun. Today I'll put red nail polish on. I should call Lucy, and also text Elaine to wish her luck on her hot date tonight. Now I know I've got to ba! ba! run away I've got to ba! ba! get away you don't really want any more from me. Shut up manslave! Mock my singing. Shit, maybe I am hungover. Two boozing sessions in a row is too much - no more boozing! But I kind of want to go to the Vice party tonight.

That was the point when my musings broke down. I was horrified at having identified in myself a genuine if brief desire to go to a Vice party. You know the hipsters have won when you want to go to their spastic parties at which they all stand around checking each other out, wearing customised 1980s clothing and insouciant expressions, or dancing to Joy Division and Andrew WK. I had to ask myself what made me want to go, and I could come up with any number of bullshit reasons: that my friends are working the bar; that I was curious because I've never been to a Vice party; because I'd like to check out the space; because there might be hot boys there.

But I knew them to be bullshit. The real reason was wanting to be thought of as "cool". It's a terrible catch-22: you want to be cool, but in the instant of wanting to be cool you've lost any possibility of ever being cool. But what blew my mink was the visceral and above all genuine nature of this desire for cool. It is paradoxical genius that Vice parties should inspire such raw and honest desires in people, because Vice itself strives for a kind of shockingly un-PC 'authenticity' but ends up seeming smug and contrived.

Hipsters valorise authenticity, but their defensive and ironic mode of interacting with each other and the world around them ensures that they can never acknowledge the authenticity of their own emotional desires and responses. The people who eagerly anticipate these parties won't ever say so - they'll go disinterestedly, "Oh, are you going to drop by the Vice party?" "Well, I might go later if there's nothing better to do." And as the dude from Wall was saying today, they won't show up until it's "cool o'clock" for fear of looking like they actually want to be there.

I felt as though this relevation of the paradoxical affect of cool was like the beaded curtain you push aside to get into a dimly lit room, where you squint at the human-like shapes you see, but frustratingly can't identify. I feel as though I'm just beginning to understand so many of the things I struggle to analyse - the ways that cultural production and consumption intersect with the rules of social distinction and the ways affective responses are shaped and shape these transactions. Now if only I was into that Deleuze character, I'm sure I'd get somewhere!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Okay, I really will be drinking tonight. I am not sure how much I can get away with posting, but today I found out that in a month or two, my job is getting eliminated as my work moves boldly into the online economy, leaving hard copy behind on the floor like a whore's g-string. Fuck you, new media!

So I am definitely be up for a drink. I think I am entitled to it. You should email me before about 5pm if you'd like to buy me one, as my gravy train of $311 a week after tax will soon be drying up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Very, very excited! Is Not Magazine has just got a write-up in Gawker - and I wrote the blurb they're quoting! I feel that all the cake stalls and jumble sales, all the days spent picking up empty bottles in warehouses and the nights spent rolling up enormous pieces of paper, are all worth it. Yay.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Lowbrow concept, highbrow execution. I am thinking seriously about doing a live music show in this year's Fringe Festival centring around The Incredible Melk's side project, Piss Shit & Vomit. I posted about this in January, and y'all seemed to be enthusiastic in your comments. But because I am wary of more financial haemorrhages, I won't do this show unless it looks set to go off like a firecracker. The songs are all ready; all I need is a back story and a band. Who knows a funk band that's willing to play songs about skidmarks, vomiting and urinal cakes?

Unmasked! the man who never closed his mouth. In 1999, the worst year of my life, I had no job apart from working at the crappy market research company, and I felt like my life was going nowhere. I used to fill my days making desultory plans to be a journalist, pretending to write a novel (it was a crime caper set in Melbourne's hospitality underworld - how topical, considering the Bali Nine!) and hanging about in cafes talking shit with my friends.

I kept a journal of this time, and I just searched around for it upstairs, but I can't find it anywhere. Damn, I wish I could quote what I wrote. I was living in East Brunswick and I used to catch trams and trains a lot, which left me plenty of time for journal writing. Sometimes I used to write about the people on the tram, and I was particularly preoccupied with this one guy who would always get on at Glenlyon Rd. He had an extraordinary way of holding his mouth slightly pursed, slightly open. I would stare at him, fascinated, but I never saw him with his mouth closed.

For me, the most fascinating thing was that his mouth wasn't just hanging slackly open; it was as if he'd practised the look in front of a mirror. The look was accentuated by his fleshy lips. When he was reading something, his mouth would hang open a little more. One time, I remember writing triumphantly in the journal: "He was just getting off the tram before, and his mouth was almost closed! IT'S A MIRACLE!"

I still see him around from time to time, and think to myself, "Heh! it's that guy who can't close his mouth!" But I thought nothing more of it until I was looking at the Age website, and there was a picture of him! Unmasked! And the funny thing is, he's looking in a mirror! It's like he's practising his mouth posture!!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

It's Thursday! Who wants to go drinking with me? For some reason I feel like a drink tonight. Maybe that's because I didn't actually drink at Shane's Karaoke Command Performance on Monday night, which perhaps lessened my merriment. Unfortunately the DJ had determined that we preferred 80s hits to homie hits during the dance breaks, and was playing "Maniac" by Michael Sembello. I was dancing like Molly Ringwald. There was the cutest little guy there, called Jack, who reminded me a lot of Duckie. He had the hair and the sunglasses and the dancing. I felt that he really ought to have been born 20 years ago. He missed his time.

I did "Lose My Breath" by Destiny's Child, which was perversely appropriate. As I am spastically unfit, I was all puffed when they announced my song, which was unfortunate because I just didn't realise how quick the words were coming and I found it hard to fit them all in in time. But I made up for that disgrace with a hugely satisfying performance of "I've Had the Time of My Life" (the Dirty Dancing theme) with Lumpen Leigh. Shane pronounced it "one of the best performances of that song I've seen."

You see, on Friday Tash and I wanted to do that song after our singalong session to Gold 104 in my car, but we couldn't find it anywhere in the songbook, and then the DJ ended up singing it with his girlfriend and we were outraged. So I was pleased to make up for that.

The DJ goes "Leigh and Baby? Come on up, Leigh and Baby!" And Leigh got up on stage and said, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" at which point I made my grand entrance. Well, it impressed the drunken St Jerome's staff members. Man, they were so drunk. Jerry (Gerry?), the one who looks like a hobbit, was the drunkest of all. He knocked over a lot of chairs and smashed some ashtrays. He was very close to being kicked out of Charlton's.

But I was mad because I didn't get to do "Yeah" with Shane. I was going to be Usher; he was going to be Ludacris and Lil Jon. But the DJ just played the song instead. The DJ shut things down at about 1. Everyone was very disappointed, especially Shane. I would have set that karaoke session to three - meeeeedium fun.

But anyway, I feel like I would like to have some drinks tonight. Who's with me? Saige? Saiiiiiige?? If you're reading this, someone was stalking you on the internet trying to find your phone number, Saige. But seriously, if anyone wants a civilised drink with me tonight, or even on Friday, write a comment!

It's all about moi-meme! Yes, that's right, I have succumbed to a meme, from Laura, no less. She wishes to know about my erudite reading habits. Ha! Ha!

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be saved?

A tough choice. While I am tempted to save the Mills & Boon medical romance Prescription: One Bride by Marion Lennox, I think I would save The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. It can instill such intense, indescribable wonder in the reader - it really defined my childhood, and I would hope it could do the same for future generations.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

So many! I couldn't narrow it down to one. I remember being obsessed with the Vampire Lestat as a teenager, but I never turned into a goth or anything!

The last book you bought was...?

I bought three Ian Fleming novels from Savers: Casino Royale, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Moonraker. Come to think of it, I used to have a big crush on the literary James Bond. He is a much more complex and troubled figure in the novels: brutal yet tender, reckless yet calculating. And there's a certain un-PC glamour to him: one novel mentions how "Bond lit his seventieth cigarette for the day."

The last book you read was...?

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. I bought it months ago and only just got round to reading it on Sunday. I finished it in bed on Tuesday night. It was satisfyingly trashy, but frustrating because the characters never learn from their experiences. It was like the literary equivalent of my old favourite TV show Felicity, which I loved because it was so cathartic. I would shout at the screen, "You don't want him, you want him!" Sandor used to maintain a facade of sniffing at Felicity, but come 11pm, he would mysteriously be sitting on the couch ... and stay there until the show was over.

What are you currently reading?

Well, I am halfway through Geoffrey Blainey's A Very Short History of the World, and The Victorian Underworld by Kellow Chesney, but I don't feel like finishing them right now. I am supposed to be reading Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho for my book club on Monday, but I have been putting it off because I don't want to read such a depressing novel. On my bookshelf I have some unread books: Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham, Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (which I got to see what all the fuss was about), The First Crusade by Thomas Asbridge, two of the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, and The Girl Who Married A Lion by Alexander McCall Smith.

Five books you would take to a desert island...

Damn, I am no good at this. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It's nice and thick, epic, and trashily erudite. The Beach by Alex Garland. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and The Secret History by Donna Tartt, to feel like I'm intelligent and still connected to the world of arts and letters. Oh, and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, to remind me of the futility of list-making.

Well, now that I have opened my keyboard and removed any doubt of my philistinism, I feel kind of dirty. I don't really want to pass this meme on to anyone in particular. You can write about it if you want.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Because this joke comes but once a year...

"May the 4th be with you."

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter