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The Idiot

26 Aug

In the unlikely event that David Attenborough dies before scientists find a way to turn him into an immortal cyborg, Karl Pilkington should narrate every documentary from now on.

Here’s some monkeys, dunno what they’re doing really. Could be anything.”

I’m not sure who came up with the concept, but somebody famous and clever said that all authors spend their lives trying to write one story, and their entire body of work is just variations on a theme (this could in theory extend to songs or paintings or bottled ships).The more I wrote the more that feels true. M John Harrison, whose work is uniformly excellent, includes the image of a horse’s skull in almost everything he writes. Stephen King famously includes the number 19 in a variety of places. Why should this be the case?

I’f I’m being honest, (and this is a novelty so I don’t know how well it’ll go) I think the sneaky and underhanded goal of a lot of fiction is to get other people to see the world their way. Via the cunning use of imagination Tolkien demonstrated to millions the brotherhood and companionship that can flourish in times of war, a power so strong that it alone can triumph over adversity. Joseph Heller explained the inherent absurdities of burecracy and authoritairanism by writing one of the most roundabout narratives ever devised, and Stephanie Meyer informed young people about why pre-marital sex is wrong, getting pregnant when you’re young will ruin your life, black people and native americans are basically demons and Roman Catholics are untrustworthy.

There is a danger, if you are aware of this, of slipping into didacticism a.k.a being a wanker. I’ve never written a story from scratch with the intention of making a political or philosophical point, but at the same time I’m aware that my own beliefs do have an influence, even if I’m not aware of it at the time.

Tl;dr,  Gifs!

Marijuana

Why is Peggy so cute goddamn

Pryce audtions for the SCDP amateur production of ‘Whoopsie My Trousers’

You should definitely play Steamshovel Harry.

100th Post Blogging Extravaganza*! (Contains talk of wine)

8 Apr

In the previous 99 posts, I’ve covered a lot of ground. I’d like to think that at least half of it was entertaining, and a tenth of it approached something you could call insightful. It’s fitting then that my 100th post be concerned with one of the most bizarre things that’s ever happened to me.

It’s no secret that from time to time I enjoy a quiet drink in polite company, and to me the best way to do that is to from a goon bag hoisted triumphantly over one’s head, as one might wield Excalibur. To celebrate this practice, I started a Facebook group called “International Goon Appreciation Day” and sent invites to 50 or people on my friends list. I feel I need to mention at this point that my original was intention was to create a joke holiday, and that nobody would actually take it seriously.

As usual, I was wrong.

In that first week I watched it go from 100 people to 500, then to 1000, then to 2000 in a little under a week. Over the weeks I watched people argue through wall posts, share pictures of their goon-related exploits, and received a few angry messages from self-appointed weed experts who were furious that I was ruining 4/20 day. And to those people I say this: for stoners you think you’d be better at sharing.

This continued more-or-less as normal until yesterday, when I got a message from someone who works for a news program. I won’t say which one to keep their bosses happy. We spoke on the phone for about half an hour today. I did a lot of probably nonsensical rambling, but  we discussed the event, why I started it, my thoughts on violence in Melbourne, and the implications of the proposed wine legislation. I’m going to repeat that because even I don’t quite believe it.

We are now all living in a universe where professional journalists want to hear about my opinions on tax law.

My suggestion is this: if you like goon, then go join the Facebook group. Then on April 20 show up, have fun, and please don’t hit anyone. It’ll make me look bad if everything gets set on fire.

*post may not meet government sanctioned requirements for an extravaganza level festivity

Are you ready for Psychodynamic Entertainment?

22 Mar

I used to think magicians were really cool. This is as good an indication as any of how much of a dork I am.

An Irish Joke for St.Patrick’s Day

17 Mar

An Irishman goes to live in America, and one day he starts talking to a local on the bus. He seems pretty excited, so he asks him why he’s so happy.

“Because it’s 4th of July weekend” The American replies.

“And what do you do on the 4th of July?” asks the Irishman.

“It’s fantastic. We invite all our friends around for a big party, there’s lots of food, everyone gets really drunk, people do crazy shit. It’s the best”

“Oh right. We’ve got that as well.”

“What do you call it in Ireland?” Asks the American.

“Friday.”

Fire.

16 Mar

Tonight I sat by my window and watched the CFA perform a controlled burn around the Dandenong Ranges, right across Bonza View road. I grew up there, and it was an odd realisation that I was sitting in my new house watching the trees around the old one burn. If this was a movie a scene where the protagonist is in his new apartment, with a glass of wine in hand, watching silently as his childhood home burned could act as  a powerful metaphor. Perhaps as transition, a nostalgia for the fading memory of the past mixed with burgeoning hope for the future.

Luckily, I’m not the sort of person who can’t differentiate between fiction and real life, so that’s not a connection I would ever make.

The Coolest Man I Know

15 Mar

Gil Askey

I’ve met a lot of people who think that they’re they coolest guy on Earth. They’re all wrong. Gil Askey is, without even trying, the coolest person I have ever met and may ever meet in my lifetime. Here’s a short list of the reasons why.

  • He was a member of the original Motown group.
  • He’s a fantastic trumpet player, and he got advice from Louis Armstrong.
  • Gil played with Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Count Basie.
  • As well as a great trumpeter, he was also in high demand as a conductor, arranger and composer for some of the greatest R&B outfits of the 1960’s.
  • He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation for his work on the Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (he lost to Cabaret)
  • Since moving to Australia in the early 80’s he’s done years worth of work for school groups and charities in teaching music.
  • He gave my family an old  Tennessee cookbook with a top-notch recipe for Gumbo, as well as many other fine dishes.
  • The man knows his shit, and he got me into the greatness that is Wynonie Harris
  • At 83 years of age, he still goes out and plays a damn good trumpet.

“My contribution to life is to make people happy….anyone can sit down in front of the TV, drink beer, smoke and die. That’s not what I wanted to do. -Gil”

(Yeah) Yeah!

9 Mar