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The Web blog of the Undead...
 
Ministry of Truth

The undead are people too: MOT goes zombie

I have learned one very important thing from writing this column: I thought I knew what culture was and I was wrong. Culture is not just fat ladies singing opera. Culture is everything from the movies we watch, the books we read to the advertisements on the side of buses. In terms of culture there is no one genre or medium that is more important than another. Celebrity Fat Camp tells us just as much about our society as that new arty farty Booker prize winning novel about the trials and tribulations of a blind cheese maker from Southern Tasmania in the 1860s. Every book, TV show or movie tells us something about ourselves and everything is beautiful in its own way.

However I am a little stumped by Big Brother.



If anyone can come up with a plausible explanation for Big Brother that doesn’t indicate the human race are a bunch of complete sad weirdoes who should be humanely put down immediately please write in. The only word I can use to describe the people on that show is apes. I practically expected the boys to start grunting. Although the noises they were making the other day were not very far off from that, but I think they were attempting to talk.

I don’t want to even contemplate that this is a microcosm of Australian culture. If that is Australian culture I am moving to a war zone immediately. I don’t mind the salacious and the silly, but this makes me embarrassed to share the same genetic material with these (and I use the word loosely here) people. Big Brother: The We Were So Desperate for Ratings We Just Found Some Monkeys and Shaved Them season looks more like a David Attenborough wildlife documentary. There is the one with the stupid hair and the stupid name who is the alpha male; the one who seems to think it is okay to hit women (if you are provoked enough) and the fawning females who seem to spend quite a bit of time grooming each other. I do realize that they have been dumped in a situation that has no social context, but this is like a sexed up chav version of Lord of the Flies.

File under: Do you know the official description for a Hot Dog? Emulsified High Fat Offal Tube. Pretty darn accurate if you ask me.

And I am not even going to mention that episode of the new Doctor Who coming up where the Doctor ends up in a futuristic Big Brother house where when you get evicted you get horribly and violently killed in a number of interesting ways. But it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that there might be hope for the future of mankind after all.

And speaking of watching a bunch of mindless zombies…


Shaun of the Dead




Or how I learned to stop worrying about the undead and love my inner zombie: a film

Culture feeds on itself. Shaun is an ‘omage to the horror genre and is filled with blood drenched zombies groaning ominously and lurching out of doorways. If it were American this film would never had worked. They would have taken it all far too seriously and probably cast Tom Cruise as a hard working blue collar father of two slightly dysfunctional but adorable kids who, forced by tragic circumstances, becomes a kick ass zombie killing machine. Fortunately this film was made by the British Black Books/Spaced/Little Britain crowd and they don’t take anything seriously – even zombies (sorry, the living impaired). It makes being a zombie seem fun and upbeat.

And speaking of what happens to your society when your citizens behave like mindless zombies…

Not Happy John

A book about why democracy is really really important by Margo Kingston

The other day I accidentally gave a little presentation about the importance of democracy to a bunch of people who basically vote by closing their eyes and sticking a pin into the ballot. Amazingly they had never made the connection between all those ‘government initiatives’ that make their lives a misery and who they vote for. People admitted they voted for the person with the nicest sounding name. Aided by some groovy cartoons and a white board I managed to explain the entire political system from the constitution downwards, including the concept of federalism. And they got it.

You have never seen a bunch of people collectively start to think ‘OH’ like this. There were the single mums, the scruffy bloke who you don’t want to sit next to on the bus, the chap who went to the school of hard knocks – people society writes off. What Howard forgets is that these people may not drive a BMW, but they are not stupid. They wanted to know. Light bulbs were going off left right and center. Questions were coming in thick and fast. People who had never even contemplated the concept of democracy before were suddenly realizing politics is important to them.

They realized democracy meant they had power. They didn’t have to accept everything the politicians told them without question. That the system was designed for them. And they were angry: ‘But no one ever told us’ was the cry that went up. ‘Why weren’t we taught this? Why weren’t we told?’ They may not have taken home all the particulars of my deconstruction of the various sections of the constitution, but they will think twice next time they vote.

I’d tell them to read Margo’s book, but they don’t read books and I can’t proselytize that they should. But sometimes we need to be reminded about why we have all this government crap, why it is important and how a certain overly eyebrowed little chap is doing his best to undermine it.

File under: Democracy is the non ‘let’s blow up a number of trains to make a point’ way to change society. It is slow, nasty process, but it appears to be the best one we’ve got. A bugger, but there you go.


Dead Time Lord Walking



I'm sorry, but it has to be done

I just watched the bugger die again - and I actually liked this one.

Young Chris has snuffed it as Doctor Who and I am not a happy camper. Oh stuff it. I did want to say something intelligent and witty, but I am too emotionally drained (and for some reason listening to Phil Collins), so if you will excuse me I am going to go after Russell T with an axe and a sense of self righteousness.


Peanut addled! Me!

Some little effing wanker sent in a letter calling me a peanut brained reporter.

1. I have a hideous allergy to peanuts and would die even if I caught sight of someone in a passing taxi eating an almond.

2. I am not a reporter. My er personal ranto column is theoretically devoted to culture. It ain't journalism darlink. It was just a big rant about Rupert Murdoch. Thereby ensuring that I will never ever work in the journalism industry.

3. Er - hang on... there might have been a point to this.

Ah yes. I told him to try reading the magazine next time instead of trying to shove it up his left nostril. Perfectly reasonable I thought. 

The Second Coming

A television mini series that would have the Catholic Pope John Paul II turning in his bigoted little grave: the son of god is played by the new Doctor Who and it’s written by a poof.



Here is the good news. The new Son of God is called Steve, he works in a video store in Manchester and he looks like he could trip over his own ears. Yeah – I know – it is kind of kinky to think of Manchester as the new Jerusalem. But it could have been worse. It could have been Wales… or Ulladulla – the cheese capital of Australia (although that does bring credence to that Monty Python line from the Life of Brian where he says “blessed are the cheese makers”).

What would happen if the Son of God turned up in Ipswich or on Christmas Island? Would he have to line up and fill out a form? Would he have to apply for asylum before immigration throws him out of the country, or would he just end up in a detention center until he can provide some sort of divine visa? Perhaps he is actually here now, abandoned somewhere in an uncaring government system and we just don’t know it. If so Alexander Downer, John Howard and Amanda Vanstone are heading straight for hell.

Russell ‘the poof’ T. Davies’ version of Christ is not a pious one. Christopher ‘the new Doctor Who’ Eccleston’s Son of God is a bloke who likes nothing better than a beer and nice shag with his lady friend. There could be a message in that somewhere. Sorry pious types: apparently the hit of a cigarette and the joy of finding a taxi in the rain is what it is all about. Although considering popular tastes that might be a big selling point for religion.

If you have ever seen a Bible in passing you can probably be able to guess the ending of The Second Coming. However what will surprise you will be the reason. Russell T. appears to have an unprecedented faith and trust in the human race. He reckons we can do it on our own. Which considering the current state of the world is either rather touching or completely barmy.

Although perhaps you could argue that Russell T.’s faith in a secular humanism can be justified? Secular humanism basically means a belief in you and me and everybody, rather than some divine being by the way. Think of the protester in Tianamen Square who stood out from the crowd and in front of a tank. Think of the doctors who work in third world countries. Think of that guy who picked up your wallet when you dropped it and gave it back to you without nicking the cash inside. Perhaps there is hope for us all.

If you missed it on the ABC last month, you have to either nick it off the Internet or buy it on line. I did ask the ABC if they were stock it and they mumbled something about government cut backs.

File under:

Well… So God has retired and left us to it. To what or whom do we turn?

Sorry American Guy

DIY Sheep GOES AMERICAN BASHING


name: American Guy

comment: Hi, I hope that you would invite me to a dinner party, even though I'm a UN violating American. I loved the Dr. Who movie. And don't forget, over half of my country DIDN'T vote for George the first time around.


Mmmm - sorry American Guy. Some of my best friends are Democrats.

I did get a little carried away with that review of Doctor Who The Movie. And before someone points smugly out it was made in Canada, that is not what I was narked about. What annoyed me was that it was trying to pander to the American market, which was indicative of television at that time. Wanky guys with pony tails thought that if they stayed with 'the formula' they would have a sure fire hit.

Sadly we now know that is not the truth.

And actually I recently went to a very nice dinner party with two American lawyers.


I have done a very bad thing

I didn't mean to. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. Six am on a Monday morning and for a laff (as Paul McGann would say) I whack up a freebie ezyboard forum for all the girls to talk about how sexy they find his ears. By Six pm - it is starting to turn into a thriving little community.

Well who knew.

By clicking on this link I admit that I do find Chris sexy and want to see pictures of him naked


My favourite is the thread entitled: If Christopher could flap his ears do you think he would be able to fly?

Yes... it was me!


IHATESUVS
But then again - who doesn't?


It’s not the size mate. It’s where you park it!

By DIY Sheep
Sort of like Noam Chomsky on acid


Invariably, whenever I want to turn right into oncoming traffic a bloody great 4WD decides to turn left from the incoming lane and completely blocks my view because trying to see around a 4WD is like trying to see around Russell Crowe’s ego.

I find this a travesty of all that is holy. Not the turning left thing: that, I am quite ok with. I have a great tolerance for people who like to turn left. I myself have done it on many many occasions. The question that perplexes me is this: why is every second car on the Gold Coast a 4WD Canyonero?

The (gratuitous and lengthy swearing) Gold Coast is as flat as a (more gratuitous swear words) pancake. Why in (colourful metaphor)’s sake would you need an all terrain vehicle? I do realize there is that nasty pot hole near the race course and that dodgy patch of road in Nerang, but really – is that an excuse for half of the Gold Coast to buy a Landriver Unnecessary?

I know all the excuses: They fit a lot of people in. I move a lot of stuff. Bollocks! The real reason people buy them is that they make people feel all powerful and dead sexy. Unfortunately, while said Toyota Viagra owner feels like James Bond while driving to the Southport Bi Lo, everyone else thinks they are a total tosser.

Has anyone ever informed the male section of the species that whenever a female sees a really snazzy mid life crisis killer hot car they do not think ‘now there is a stud’, but ‘now there goes a man with a bright yellow Porsche with a really stupid number plate and a penis that needs locating with a microscope’. My favourite is the gold Rolls Royce called Adrian that lives around Benowa. Judging by that hideous display I presume the poor bloke is a eunuch.

Telling the entire world you are impotent aside, what annoys me is the antisocial nature of the 4WD. They encourage people to drive like wankers. I know a man who gave up indicating all together after he bought his Landkiller Testosterone. I have learnt that 4WD drivers are special people – road rules, speed limits don’t apply to them because they ‘are special’ and big (although they will be ‘special’ after I give them brain damage with a cricket bat). Everywhere I look there is some fonking great behemoth doing something stupid and causing misery and havoc to their fellow road users. And that should be twice as much misery and havoc considering they take up twice as much space as everyone else.

The roads are full of silly rich women who need a humvee to drop little Tarquin and Jocasta off at school. I hate to say it, but their driving skills are a tad lacking. I know from long experience. Some days you couldn’t move at my St Poncy You Have To Wear A Hat All The Time school for the Canyoneros backing over the fourth graders.

And in answer to your question: I rode a bicycle. I was the only person in my school who rode a bike. Apparently it was actually against school rules, but by the time they got around to telling me I just said 'bollocks' to that. It shocked them no end that time when my father turned up one day to pick me up in a fonking great gold Rolls Royce. No comment on that one in regards to ego: but we also had a Mini Moke, so that makes up for it.

Ironically studies have shown that the average Canyonero Kiddie Crushers are far less safe than your ordinary sedan and that apparently the first thing they do when you have an accident is roll over and squash your head into your neck like Touché Turtle. This seems a little like inviting Hannibal Lecter around to cook dinner, thinking he will cook a nice meal and then wondering why you are the main course.

Personally I don’t care about the wankers – apart from when I have to endure yet another ‘I never realized 4WDs were evil until I backed over my toddler in the driveway story’ on Today Tonight.

That is what went through my brain the other day while trying to see around a 4WD, but then again I drive a very small, very sensible little car that is in no way a reflection of my ego. He may be old. He may have a rather ugly mustard yellow interior, but I do love Dennis very much.

SACK RUSSELL T DAVIES NOW!!!!!!!!!

What is it with Doctor Who fans? I couldn't help myself when I was watching The Aliens of London:

I liked it.

And I know I am not supposed to. I am a Doctor Who fan. I am meant to hate everything about it, but the last five and half minutes from episode 4, season 12 (except not the bit with Michael Sheard in it).

But I couldn't help myself. I enjoyed it.

I think whinging is an essential part of being a true Doctor Who fan - like having insulted at least one NA writer or actually owning a question mark jumper (not that I do of course - no no no).

If you have read any of my reviews you would know that I like to see the fun happy side of things (well except for some later BF audios. Just like Paul McGann I can't even approach them sober any more.)

So I suck at being a true Doctor Who fan. I stay up late at night, staring at pictures of Sylvester McCoy and repeating Battlefield to myself.

But it just doesn't work. I love the little guy. 

It is all about sex baby
Actually it is not. But if you scroll down a bit there is a fascinating article about the Michael Jackson Sex God Forum.

Well what is happening at Sheepie Central Today? Got up, ate breakfast.... sod me...

Most web blogs are the equivalent of telling people your dreams.

I DON'T GIVE A RATS ABOUT YOU - YOU SILLY BINT!

I don't care if you have arthritis, an inflamation of your splunge gland or if your 1984 Toyota Corolla broke down again because you thought oil was an optional extra.

But what is really annoying me this week is 'this chick' who for the past two editions has an article in my humble magazine. The silly bint keeps droning on about her bloody holidays in North Queensland. And what is worse: it is getting published. Oh god kill me now.

What - is she getting paid by the Queensland Tourist Board. She does everything, but put in room prices.

And she is dull as dishwater - I ooed when she 'drove due west for two and a half hours'. I ahhed when she 'took a short ferry trip'.

And I will be forever gratefull when she 'didn't see that car coming'.

Get a web blog you silly bint!

 
The New Series

Someone was chatting to one of the writers today and said that even the production team realise it is a bit shyte.

This is good new guys. It means one part of DW is still true to the old series - dashed off on the back of a napkin at the pub, the cast are pissed and the TARDIS wobbles. Perfect!




As Nick Parsons would say... that is the joy of Doctor Who: It is a load of bollocks made by a bunch of raving loonies.

 
Ten thousand lucky little Ossies will get to read this - and so should you
Getting down and dirty with your idol


Craven idols: thou shalt worship no god but me. That is all good and well, but the in terms of today’s modern world where celebrity and mobile phone ring tones are the new religion, unless God looks like Sean Connery, he hasn’t got a hope.

Everyone has his or her celebrity heroes. Movies you watch again and again because your favourite Hollywood star is in them, sport stars you admire or people you simply find phwoarr making.

Sometimes fans send letters to their favourite stars. When I was five I sent a fan letter to the satirical Canadian comedians Wayne and Shuster. Six weeks later I received a signed photograph from the bemused pair – probably wondering how they had achieved a toddler fan base in the Antipodes.

It seems the culture of celebrity, fans, as in fanatic, and fandom has hit new heights. Things have come a long way since teenagers would put pin ups of their favourite pop stars up on the walls and pine longingly in an innocent Sandra Dee sort of way over pictures of Sir Cliff Richard. Who from all accounts wouldn’t know what to do with a woman if one bit him. Nowadays you can find out what your favourite celebrity lust object is doing and with whom he is doing it with - generally with pictures if you use the google image function. Or if that isn’t enough you can buy yourself a life size cardboard cut out of your favourite star. For $29.99 plus postage you can own your very own Paris Hilton.

Since the first Startrek convention in the seventies science fiction fans have been donning their Starfleet uniforms, unsheathing their Xena Warrior Princess swords and gathering together to meet the stars of their favourite shows. Although sometimes shocked at the dedication of fans, the actors, who can be paid a hefty fee to appear, maintain that generally the fans are respectful, the whole thing is a hoot and everyone ends up getting stonkered in the bar.

While conventions have now become a much needed source of income for ‘past it’ actors, a recent website made me wonder if things hadn’t gone a little astray. For a price ‘Supper With the Stars’ will provide D list British celebrities like the one hit wonder band Go West and has been footballer Ian St John to come round to dinner and liven up your drab dinner party by telling boring stories about their claims to fame. The thing that made this website even more disturbing was the ‘do not feed nuts to the celebrities’ sign on the front page. There was a very good reason for this sign. Apparently if you feed the band ABC nuts they will all die horribly, but it did tend to remind me of the monkey house at the zoo. Just imagine if a company like that existed in Australia? You would have a choice between dinner with Bert Newton and Tony Barber.

However sometimes the cult of celebrity gets out of control when fans become too obsessed. Abba singer Agnetha was recently terrorised by an obsessed fan. He moved to be near her and plastered the walls and roof of his house with pictures of the singer. Even the band Destiny’s child were stunned when an avid teenage girl showed them she had tattooed her back with the faces of the band.

‘I wanted to be famous, but fame is such a burden,’ is the traditional cry from Hollywood stars, yet actors know fans are essential. After all it is hard to be a star if no one will give you the time of day. Kevin Costner is used to being treated as god (heck – judging by Waterworld he probably thinks he is god). However many working actors find it disconcerting when, through pure luck or a cameo in a Harry Potter movie, they are elevated to star status.

Paul McGann of Doctor Who and Withnail and I fame, was a little known and intensely private British actor. He was rather shocked when he came to worldwide prominence as the eighth Doctor Who. Women everywhere went ‘phwoarr!’.

The Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade was started in 1996. It still continues nearly ten years later, as does the dedication shown by its members. American PMEB members will regularly travel to Britain to see a play being performed in an obscure 100 seat theatre if McGann is in it. However McGann has no problems with his fan base. “Yes, they come from all over the world and try to attend every event or watch every play I'm involved in. But they're not weird, they're discerning, sensible women with their own lives and families, who happen to like and respect me a great deal!" Bollocks. You keep telling yourself that Paul. I think they just fancy you rotten.

However, while McGann doesn’t mind a whole bunch of women swooning around him, he knows the loonies are out there. ‘There are some people who can't differentiate between an actor and the characters they play, and they're just plain bonkers,’ he says. And speaking of which…

I luv u orlando marry me please Bloomatic a.k.a. Anna

I wouldn’t know Orlando Bloom if I fell over him, but apparently the Lord of the Rings star is a hottie. The Internet is littered with sites devoted to Orlando and contains every fantasy conceivable. Most of them are rather sweet prepubescent longings:

The average fan girl fantasy involving ‘Orli’ goes something like this: Katie is sitting in math class when suddenly she mysteriously ends up in Middle Earth. It turns out that Katie is not just some stupid 13 year old bint from Michigan who can’t do long division to save her life, but Gandalf’s long lost granddaughter. Her real name is not Katie, but Skylar Pethadine Romanadvoratrelundar and that she is heir to something really special and mythical – probably involving a ring I assume. Then she will meet Orlando’s character, who will immediately fall hopelessly in love with her and they will end up shagging each other senseless in a number of badly written, highly inaccurate, yet disturbingly graphic sex scenes, settle down and having little fairy children with equally hilarious and implausible names.

It is almost embarrassing to see these teenage crushes exposed. In the olden days it used to be little love hearts scattered throughout the math book. Now it is out there on the Internet for everyone to see. On one Orlando Bloom website Crazy4Orlando and IluvOrlando were having a fight to the death about who was the most obsessive fan. ‘I am so obbsest that I made a thread that alowes people to wright there own love storey of her and orly’ argues Crazy4Orlando. ‘I luv Orlando soooooooo much cos he is the HAWT!!!!! and I have TTTOR on DVD,’ counters IluvOrlando. That was about the only part of the discussion I could follow before the fight degenerated into a tirade of emoticons.

However a disturbing trend in fandom is emerging. If writing stories where Legolas has it off with Frodo doesn’t tiddle your winks, how about a real person story. One inventive person decided to write a story where Orlando Bloom and the rapper Eminem have it off: the details are just not printable.

Internet gurus call this genre real person fiction (RPF). Many sites refuse to allow RPF as they feel it impinges on the privacy of the performer. Last year Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood stated he was shocked at how fans thought about him after he was given an envelope from one of his German fans containing digitally created pictures of him having sex with other male members of the cast – and no, it was not Ian McKellan.

Sometimes devotion can run deep. Even after his arrest on pedophilia charges Michael Jackson’s fans still rally around and fantasize about their hero. The ‘Michael Jackson Sex God’ forum abounds with discussions on the size, thickness and veracity of their pop idol’s ‘manhood’. Young girls still write stories where Michael invites them to spend the night at Neverland and, regardless of his apparent tendencies, get to experience his ‘manhood’ first hand. Talk about denial!

More disturbing was a thread called ‘would u let michael rape u?’ (25 perfectly serious replies so far) or the call for help from Mystery Girl:

I'm searching for stories where Michael masturbates himself. I love the masturbation scenes and it's reaaaaallly excitttiiiiiing!!!! I want more!!!! Help me...

The words ‘help me’ do spring to mind, but just not in that context.

The only time I have ever met one of my personal heroes I turned into a gibbering wreck. Australian author Clive James walked into my store and began buying ballet books.

I have gotten pissed as a newt with Geoffrey Rush, had tea with George Bush Snr, insulted Cate Blanchette and have sneered in the face of American rock stars, but as soon as I realized he was Clive James (who looks remarkably like an mummified turtle – and this was only reinforced by the fact that he was wearing a cod awful polo neck and an op shop leather jacket) I started turned to jelly.

It felt very uncomfortable when he was standing before me. I knew too much about him. All I could think about when I looked at him was that his middle name was Vivien and he had wanted to be a fighter pilot. It was actually sort of creepy to know so much about someone I had never met. His autobiographies had been on my shelf since I was ten. Whenever I needed cheering up or something fun to read in the bathroom I would turn to Clive’s self mocking recollections of his childhood from Unreliable Memoirs or learn how he completely failed to shag uber feminist Germaine Greer in May Week Was in June.

I wanted to tell him how much he had meant to me, how much I admired his writing and his work, but all I ended up doing was gibbering a bit and giving him a huge discount. I suspect he thought I was a total moron and was very patient, considering I could barely stammer.

Afterwards, when I regained the ability to put together a coherent sentence, I decided that I liked my heroes in the traditional way – idolized from afar, not as real people. I did not want to remember Clive as some old dude in a bad leather jacket who quite obviously thought I was a total moron, but as the kid from Kogarah, forever riding his go-cart down Sydney hills and into Mrs Murtle’s rose bushes. 
 
 
Just nicking interesting stuff from my column
DIY talks television

Queer Eye For The Dancing Desperate Housewives of Renovation Rescue

Is Australian commercial television an accurate reflection of Australia and Australian culture? That sounds like a first year journalism essay topic doesn’t it? Translation = wanky. But I get this feeling that soon we will all be so ‘made over’ we won’t know ourselves. Will there be a garden left in Australia that Jamie Durie hasn’t attacked in some 24 hour rampage? Can you be sure of a nice night out in a restaurant without someone sticking a camera in your face and asking you your opinion of the toilets? And of course every Australian will have a single in the top ten.

I predict that soon you won’t be able to leave your house, lest you come back and find that the poof from Changing Backyards has painted your living room fuchsia green and some chick in a tank top has cut up your garden furniture and used it to make an art deco wall montage. Here is a tip: if anyone invites you away for a luxury weekend grab the dog before Doctor Harry gets to it, bolt the ugly sixties vinyl paneled door and don’t, whatever you do, open it when Ray Martin comes inquiring about your dodgy fridge repair business.

Astoundingly clever person and Blackadder writer, Ben Elton, argues that there is nothing wrong with superficial stupid shows like celebrity Big Brother because deep down we are all superficial stupid bastards anyway. Which, in a perverse way, makes quite a lot of sense.



The Elderly Auntie: The ABC

This darling little (something unprintable) columnist in the Australian the other day suggested we should just scrap the ABC all together, cos all the ABC does is show repeats of poncy British period dramas that no one likes anyway, and all subscribe to foxtel – which coincidentally has an entire channel devoted to showing out of date poncy British dramas that no one likes anyway. This got my goat up. Actually I was so mad it got me up a tree and Jamie Durie had to promise to renovate my backyard before I would come down. But will he get it done in time?

The fact that this particular columnist writes for a newspaper owned by the same guy who owns foxtel aside – as Rove “I’ve won over a thousand Logies” McManus would say, I replied - ‘what the?’.

The ABC is our television station. Sorry SBS, you are important too, but they were there first. They are – basically us. But what does the ABC do for us… apart from the theoretically unbiased coverage of our great sunburned land?

Think of it this way… you would not be able to ogle David Wenham in Lord of the Rings if he hadn’t got his start in that cod awful yuppie lifestyle drama Sea Change, you wouldn’t have to sit through tortuous after tortuous episode of The Panel if some drunken ABC executive hadn’t given the D Generation a go. Actually on second thoughts, that is a bad example, but work with me… The Castle was fun!

It is just too expensive you say – 9 cents a day at last count – given cut backs that must be down to about seven, but just on the safe side I will err on the side of caution and say the ABC costs you about thirty dollars a year. And with that thirty dollars you save by ditching the national broadcaster you could buy a new shiny CD which will give you 45 minutes of listening pleasure. However for that same thirty dollars invested in the ABC you could watch rage for something like 624 hours a year – plus the other 7920 other hours of entertainment that the ABC also provides.

Do the words: value for money mean anything?



Not just art house movies full of chicks with no clothes on: SBS

My sister’s boyfriend does something in the government that I am not at liberty to say. Why he pops up is that today I was picking him and my sister up from the airport and he had a missed call from the office. For most of us a missed call from the office is Bob from accounts. For my sister’s boyfriend it is the possibility of a flare up in North Korea and could he pop over and brief Alexander Downer. For him, the world is not something that happens ‘out there’.

I do not have the luxury of being briefed by Australian intelligence. Every weeknight I try and generally fail to catch up on world events by watching the American show the Jim Lehrer News Hour on SBS. Owing to my sieve like mind I generally only get to watch the last fifteen minutes, so I am really up on American finance and weather. However the show ends with a tribute to American service men and women who have been killed in Iraq. I sit, impatiently waiting for Doctor Who, watching as another half dozen faces are silently paraded in front of me – one, two, three… half a dozen young men and women who died ‘out there’.

Sometimes I watch Today Tonight on Channel Seven. I see stories about the Atkins Diet, fruit juice, a new cure for migraines and a sure fire allergy treatment. I never see stories that deal with ‘out there’. The world Today Tonight seems to revolve around headaches and cheap washing powder.

So why is ‘out there’ important to ‘me here’? Been to the petrol station recently?

We are not defeated, only delayed
One day we will conquer and you will be our slaves.

Finally a bit of gratuitous violence and some Doctor torture... oh yeah - and the odd Dalek - on the new Doctor Who.

Stuff the domestic chav land/slightly manic Doctor from the last few episodes, the cute little blue aliens and Simon Callow's 'God bless up everyone' Dickens and let's get down to some NA type fear, paranoia and violence.

Kate Orman will be happily turning in her grave (if she were dead that is. I hope she isn't cos she sent me an email two days ago and that would just be 'spooky'. 
 
 
Sorry Chris
I have just realised that I have spelled Chris's last name wrong in every single blog entry - now who looks like a bigger wanker - Chris in The Unquiet Dead grinning like Tom Baker on acid or me?

Mmmmm - let me mull that one over a bit.

Wrong in so many ways...



Right wing t shirts



I want one... if a nasty man with a big beard approaches you and wants to talk about apes - just say no!

Better than Clive's



He has appeared throughout history... where ever there is an open bar and free nibblies.

Are Doctor Who fans becoming too pc?

Now this is going to be bitchy, but well deserved.

Point 1. I love the fact that Doctor Who fandom and Doctor Who 'people who get paid to do it' manage to interact so much. It is groovy that you can go to a conference, pitch your audio idea to Gary Russell, get smashed with Sylvester, and loudly trash the latest issue of Dwim to its editor.

Point 2. There is a down side to this. Objectivity. Various fan sites out there in interland are great and funky, but are not places where one can speak ones mind as the owner is a. either 'in bed with Russell' (possibly in more ways than one), in love with Christopher Ecclestone, or hoping to get a book published.

It is like Doctor Who fandom has done a complete 360 - where before bitchyness was the norm and encouraged now we have to be nice about it. This vaguely reminds me about a story concerning an emporer and his nice new clothes...

And talk about your double standards. I have never seen a site shut down over McCoy bashing, but then again - the term 'vested personal interest' springs to mind.

Or is that me being cynical?

Even the most cynical site I know has recently become pc. I am all for playing nicely with the other kiddies, but I dislike pc censorship with an obvious agenda behind it.

And of yes - oh web site owners - it is as plain as Christopher Ecclestone's nose on his face, ie you can see it from outer space.

i like 2 reed :)
A History of Reading

A book by Alberto Manguel

Do me a favour: look up from this magazine, gaze thoughtfully to the right, sigh intelligently and have a bit of a think. What were you doing just now? You were reading. ‘Reading’: sounds boring doesn’t it, like breathing, eating kinky mushrooms and trying to down fifty tequila shots in one hour – the sort of stuff you do every day without thinking.

Reading seems a bit passé in this high tech world where we have 24 hour news coverage and the internet. Some clever buggers have predicted that reading and writing will soon become obsolete and that we will all soon Wr’TE ‘n SMS t’lk. But think about it. What does written communication require? It doesn’t need a state of the art million dollar multi jigged high speed ompalumpah ready computer just itching to show you news on line or a phone that can make dinner. All it needs is a bit of paper and a pen and away you go – and with no hire purchase contract at Harvey Norman either.

This somewhat unfashionable concept of sticking bits of paper together is called the book. Plpl rd th’m. In fact that business text book sitting innocently in your bag is the end product of all this bookie stuff. Not that I am defending people who write business textbooks of course. They should be hunted down and killed.

Yes kids… As Sammy the library lizard likes to say – ‘books can be cool’. Have you ever looked at a book and thought ‘now that could be dangerous? I doubt it, but books are dangerous. People have been killed for writing things down on a piece of paper and then sending it round to their friends. There were times when people would kill you for having the wrong book (probably not Business Law For The Modern Day Executive though), take your books away from you and burn them and let’s not forget that we might not even have the internet if some clever clogs hadn’t invented the printing press.

Books were the original emails. If you had something you desperately wanted to say you would pop it in a book and send it to all the guys, in exactly the same way we do now with emails. It may have taken a few years rather than a few microseconds but that was the way we passed on information because we didn’t have much to do back then and no one had invented text messaging. Books were the old fashioned way of communicating ideas – and communicating ideas is important isn’t it girls and boys. Just go with me on this and say yes.

Manguel’s book is important because it reminds us that reading is still important. You can toss a book to your friend and say check this out, but you can’t toss a computer to them… well unless it is a laptop and still then you will probably cause them serious brain damage and go to prison on a charge of manslaughter. So take my advice and pick up a book and hurl it as hard as you can at your best friend in the name of reading.

Unborn Baby Killing - Brit Film Style
Vera Drake


A movie about a very nice lady who helps young girls out

Let’s talk about abortion. No come back here… Oi! Stop looking at those photos from the last pub crawl and pay attention. Do you want to call it ‘the unjustified murder that contravenes everything holy’, ‘a woman’s choice’ or ‘helping girls out’? I’ll let you decide because frankly I am not in any way qualified to even begin to judge this subject, but, as I have eyes, I have noticed there seems to be a certain controversy to the whole business.

I have always considered abortion laws to fit into the ‘morality meets legislation’ category. That phrase has nothing to do with right or wrong or good or evil. That is simply the only way I can describe it when people try to legislate against something that cannot possibly be stopped. Prohibition, prostitution, drug use, being convinced that even though you have had five beers you are perfectly ok to drive – all examples of the inevitable. People are going to continue to have sex (I’d like to see you try and stop that one Mr Howard), babies will be conceived and abortions will occur.

Being about as deep as a fish bowl I had never really considered the whole ethical concept of abortion. So I did for about five minutes and it terrified me. The only thing I came away with was the idea that it must be the most terrifying decision ever for whoever has to make it. It scared me just thinking about having to think about the implications and the responsibilities either way.

I am keeping very neutral here. Although judging by the apathy of you lot I could probably announce I was sacrificing chickens behind the library and you wouldn’t send in a letter. So I am not going to talk about the whole morality aspect of abortion. Which coincidentally is exactly what the movie Vera doesn’t do either. Great minds think alike.

If you think your life is dreary, imagine living in 1950’s Britain. Their idea of a good time was eating an orange. Everyone had to wear a tie all the time and clothes came in three colours – grey, off grey and girk grey. So what did they all get up to? They shagged like rabbits because it was either that or sitting around staring at the ‘orrible wall paper and contemplating whether you really would like another cup of tea. Does anyone remember wallpaper? Ghastly sticky floral patterned paper that used to cover the walls of houses before everyone went Tuscan.

Wallpaper aside, all this rumpy pumpy led to women getting into ‘trouble’ which our heroine Vera helps them out of. Vera is a working class mum who loves her ‘usband Stan, always visits ‘er mum, cleans people’s houses by day and kills unborn babies by night/ performs abortions for women who cannot afford to get it all done by a real doctor.

Interestingly enough there was a recent push by the Minister for Heath Tony Abbott to ‘crack down’ on abortion laws in Australia and make it tougher and harder and even more nasty to get an abortion. This didn’t get very far, as even the bastion of the fifties, John Howard took Tony to one side and said: ‘shut up and sit down you stupid pratt bastard.’ Ironically the most intelligent statement was made by the former Labour leader Mark Latham who said: ‘Common sense tells you this is essentially a matter between women and their doctors’.

File under: a lose lose situation for all involved (except the film which got two Oscar nominations).