26 January 2007

Flag for follow up

Yr Aunty B started this post on Australia Day, being most pissed of at the the whole wave-or not-to-wave furor that swept Cangurolandia in the lead up to our national holiday. Then she stopped, being too wrought to continue with the line of argument and too tired to summon up and appropriate level of vitriol.

If I had continued, dear reader, on visiting this blog last week you would have learned that Aunty B most wholeheartedly supports the marvelous Ken West who pointed out quite politely that people who were looking to pick fights with others based on their skin colour could just fuck off, and in particular "leave the flag at home" on the day of the Big Day Out in Sydney. Well he didn't actually say fuck off, but I'm sure he would like to now. He is the man that brought Iggy Pop, the Disposable Heroes of Hiphopricy, Bjork, and NICK CAVE to my tender adolescent ears live for the first time and since them he's run about 16 years of festivals in about 7 cities - he knows what he's talking about when it comes to mob behaviour.

For Allah's sake, people.

In the press furor that was whipped up by the Murdoch lynch mob afterwards, mostly people wanted to "unite peacefully" under the banner, and "kick out the troublemakers, not the flag". To them I say screw you and the horses you rode in on. In the noble world of group facilitation, what Ken West did is called "naming the behaviour". As in: John, I think you've been dominating the group discussion a bit, and now I'm going to ask you to be quiet for the next session so we can hear what the others have to say. The idea is to acknowledge what they are doing in front of their peers. You name the behaviour to stop adults hiding behind our ingrained sense of politeness that often lets them get away with acting like selfish toddlers when they are supposed to be working a group.

The Big Day Out is full of pissed up yobbos in their tens of thousands who go expressly to get that adrenalin buzz that only comes with rubbing your sweaty torso against a mob pressed so tightly they can lift people over their heads, while music plays so loudly it will give you permanent hearing damage if you go too often. Some people go in matching sexy schoolgirl outfits, or boxers and singlets, or plastic skirts or watermelons on their heads. The buzz of the day thrives on group identity, tribal feelings, physical exertion and teenage sexuality. The trick is to encourage the fun parts and banish the violent, exclusionary and just plain mean side of those things. Generally Ken is a legend at this, just let him do his job!

And just get your hand off it. The flag, I mean.

18 January 2007

Of course you do, darling.

Overheard from change room at name brand frock shop in Bondi Junction mega-mall.

Phone: "ring ring"

Assistant: "Oh Sal, I have to take this, it's my agent"

17 January 2007

16 January 2007

Buzz Summer edition

Hello to those out there in the night time.. I'm once again wading through a big old document attempting to make it into a shorter, snappy one. To get back into the swing of it for new year, perhaps a series of wafty, not very-well-fleshed-out posts, a la the daily papers when all their real journos are on leave.

Last week I got to share a dvd with Mr B that was my Dad's favourite from his childhood, and has a special place in my heart since he taped in off the tv in the 80s.
The Thief of Bagdad (as it was spelt then) is a fantasy from 1940. It has star-crossed lovers, a cunning street urchin played by Sabu who was famous as Mowgli in the Jungle Book, awesome painted backdrops, thousands of extras, wicked special effects, jaunty tunes, a sprinkling of laborious dialogue and of course a wicked Grand Vizier.

I'm glad to say Biz was somewhat captivated too and I think we agree about how movies first and foremost tell stories, and you sometimes only need a suggestion for a special effect to understand what's going on and go along for the ride. There are a bunch of effects movies nowadays that leave the final sequence entirely up to CG characters, and they just don't work, because you just don't give a rats about what happens to them. League of extraordinary gentlemen and Van Helsing case in point.

Other movies enjoyed recently were Volver and Borat. Actually not sure if enjoyed is quite the right word for the latter. Squirmed through and questioned the bounds of good taste more like. I'm coming out of the closet though - I thought the nude-in-the-conference-centre scenario was comedy genius.

Shark alarm

There was a shark alarm at the Beach on Saturday. We could hear it from the flat, and when we thought to look out of the window *everyone* had got out of the water. Hammerhead. I went swimming this afternoon, and managed to stay in for about 5 whole minutes without getting the heebie jeebies, which I consider a pretty good effort by the way. Made sure there were plenty of punters further out than me.

12 January 2007

Camera shannanigans

Hi cats,
I did this little clip of Chrissy day. Look out for the neat freeze frame and cut in time with the song's bridge. Ho Ho ho.

4 January 2007

I'm melting

No not in the swoony romance novel way, but actually. Melting. In an immortal quote from a uni-era housemate, matt, I think there is a small patch of skin behind my left knee that is merely warm rather than unbearably hot. Hello from Adelaide! Where the standard speed limit in the suburbs is 50 kmh because in summer it is just too darned hot to drive faster. Miss Ivy, if you read this, I've tried to call yr fella but sadly I don't have your mobile or a home number. D'oh! are you able to get in touch? Oog I just thought - you might have a number in the book like real home owning grown ups.

1 January 2007

So, Fireworks

They cost a lot of money, they make your heart beat a little faster, and they can inspire around 1 million people to take to the streets to carouse in a wealthy place like Sydney. In case you missed it, this year was the "diamond" anniversary of the bridge (75 years) and the theme of the night played on the Emerald City theme from the Wizard of Oz. Oz, emeralds, geddit?

Thanks to Mr B's high standing in the international aid community we got tickets to the "VIP viewing area". This actually meant a kind of mini music festival set up at one of the points on the inner harbour, with a band, dj, 2Dayfm broadcasts, and where you could have the pleasure of buying a hamburger for $10, wine in a plastic glass for $7 and a bottle of champagne for $35. The upside was ample space and chairs for firework viewing. They come with a soundtrack, I discovered. No idea if this was simulcast or just blasted out on speakers for us Important People. Here's a sample.

Being with a posse of doctors who have served in actual combat zones, they had a slightly different emotional response to the spectacle. And believe me, watching huge brightly coloured bombs in the sky is an emotional experience, not denying that. I personally swung from generic party vibe during "Can you feel it" by the Jackson 5 to sadness and despair during the distinctly military climax, and the whoops of my millions of comrades massed on the shore. Maybe its good to get that excitement of big bangs out once a year, in a ritualistic fashion. If only we didn't have men and women serving overseas creating far more deadly versions.