29 September 2004
I enjoyed reading this. Its a list of "tricks of the trade" from a whole bunch of occupations. A lot of them are quite psychological. My favourite:
When helping someone fix their computer over the phone, and you want them to see if all the cables are plugged in correctly, don’t ask, “Have you checked to see if the cable is plugged in?” because the customer will always say, “Of course I did, do you think I’m a moron?” Instead say, “Remove the cable, blow the dust out of the connector, and plug it back in.” The customer will most likely reply, “Hey, it’s working now—I guess that dust really builds up in there!”
25 September 2004
Hey team, Russ Meyer died last week. Legendary director of Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill; Beyond the Valley of the Dolls; Vixen; Mudhoney. Enduring influence of the indie rock circuit. He was 82, a recluse and suffering from dementia.
Some Meyer trivia, in memorium...
- Told NY Times that the first time he visited a whorehouse, as a soldier in France during WWII, he was taken there by Ernest Hemingway.
- In a 1996 interview with The Associated Press, Meyer described his films as "passion plays. ... Beauty against something that's totally evil."
Leonard Maltin extracts...
The acknowledged pioneer of the sexploitation film began shooting home movies as a teenager, using a camera given him by his mother. He was a combat photographer stationed in Europe during World War 2, an experience he claims molded his outlook and personality. Upon returning to the States, Meyer photographed industrial films, girlie-magazine layouts, and occasionally worked on Hollywood productions. He directed a "nudie-cutie,"The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959), which dispensed with the usual conventions of nudist films and served up a ribald storyline and amazingly endowed women. The overwhelming success of started Meyer on a prolific career in sexploitation films all characterized by a frenetic editing style, a predilection for big-breasted women, and liberal doses of rough violence.
21 September 2004
Watched the film "Daredevil" recently. I'll cut right to the chase - its worth half a star for the kind of nice 50s feel to the flashback sequences. It was a dud. But something struck me about it. See what you think. Here we have:
A vigilante character who wreaks terrible revenge on domestic crimes that far out-strip the severity of the original allegation.
- Example: our protaganist is a sympathetic lawyer whose client is an implied rape victim, and the sleazy nightclub owner rapist walks away free. So said character heads out at night, sets fire to the club, wacks about 3 guys and then kills the accused by chucking him under a train.
Protaganist is convinced he is carrying out "justice".
An Irish Catholic preist appeals to the protaganist's moral sense that he is not bringing about justice when it is motivated by vengance.
A reporter is seeking out the proteaganist vigilante to expose him as a dangerous psychopath.
The protaganist (Daredevil) goes in search of the ultimate evil, the boss who organises all the crimes and assassinations in the city. When he discovers that the ultimate evil is also the biggest business leader, he simply disables him temprorarily, effectively allowing big, embedded crime to continue to operate without controls. Daredevil sites "I'm not the bad guy" to to justify this decision.
In a confrontation with a killer hired by the crime boss, some church windows get broken and the priest's life is threatened. At this point the priest condones the vigilante, while he is rescued and allowed to go free.
After the big showdown with the crime boss, the reporter has enough evidence to expose both organised crime and the vigilante's identity. But he self-edits the last detail in his reporting, instead allowing our "hero" to carry on his petty vengences without public scrutiny.
- Example: The reporter, on seeing the shadowy Daredevil flit past of a night after some thief, kind of salutes and says "Go get 'em Matt" (or simliar).
Daredevil is a self-styled police force, inventing his own level punishment with no system of governence who is sanctioned by the church and the press, but who veers away from challenging capitalism to preserve a public opinion of good vs evil. Sound like anything from recent world politics to you? The movie has no sense of irony either. In case you were wondering.
20 September 2004
Another somewhat silly publicity stunt recently, was by a group of men in the UK (noticing a trend here?) who protest against supposedly preferential treatment towards mothers in custody cases. Its was in the Guardian and the SMH et al and I can't be bothered finding the link because is was just an excuse to publish an amusing photo.
This bloke got dressed up as batman, right, and stood on a ledge at Buckingham Palace for a while, to draw attention to the plight of these terribly descriminated-against fathers. Its made a cute photo - I'm not sure what the super hero angle was though. But, well, maybe they're having trouble getting custody because they're rather rather pre-occupied with dressing up in tights, a mask and a cape...
Just a thought.
18 September 2004
Blokes may get 28-day mood swings too! So says some researchers in the deep north of Mother England think so anyway. Hardy har. Okay so I'm obsessed with the cycle. But life is all just cycles, right? Trust me, it is.
"A study by psychologists from the University of Derby in England suggests that men may experience cyclical symptoms similar to, or even worse than, those suffered by pre-menstrual women, including moodiness, discomfort and loss of concentration. "