Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Wednesday, September 22, 2004


So the ACT Brumbies, the bastion of local rugby union, are no more. Having decided that the three letters A, C and T are a shackle keeping them from achieving the the giddy heights of world fame and glamour they have cast them assunder like a pair of stonewash levis. From hence forth they will be known as The Brumbies and sports fans around the globe will tremble at their marketability.

Or will they?

The ACT Rugby Union is claiming that the region specific identity of the Super 12 team creates confusion in international markets and is a detriment to fans in southern NSW and other Super 12 deprived regions of the country. By losing the local identity they know that people will flock to the team and the dollars will role in.

The ACT Rugby Union are the most deluded set of individuals to come along since the Australian Democrats. A local identity does nothing to minimise your international fan base. Let me run a few names by you.

New York Yankees

Manchester United

San Fransisco 49ers

Real Madrid

Chicago Bulls

Five of the most internationally followed sporting teams in the world of sport and every single one of them has kept their local identity. Millions in international sales of replica uniforms and merchandise. The ACT Rugby Union itself claims that it sold $1 million in replica jerseys in the UK last year and this was while the team retained it's 'ACT' tag.

The ACT Rugby Union is pimping out it's beautiful daughter to whoever is willing to cough up the money. They seem to think that they are onto a winner. And they must be right.

After all look at the success of the Kangaroos once they disclaimed North Melbourne.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

32 Songs - Track 8

Never Ever - All Saints

Sometimes vocabulary runs through my head
The alphabet runs right from a to zed
Conversations, hesatations in my mind
You got my concience asking questions that i can't find
I'm not crazy
I'm sure I aint done nothing wrong
Now i'm just awaiting cos I heard that this feeling won't last that long


That was my credibility going out the window. The selections have been eclectic, but reasonable within respectable taste guidlines, until now.

All Saints were a four-piece girl band that, I believe, never eventuated to anything. I do know that one of them had a daughter because, in a weird twist of fate, Ingrid looked after her while in England.

The simple truth of the situation is that I love this song. It was their first single and has what I like to trumpet as the worst lyric ever written "Sometimes vocabulary runs through my head/ The alphabet runs right from A to zed". There is something almost philosophical about it and at the same time completely not. The lyric is completely out of place when you consider that the song is a lament from a just dumped girl wondering what she did wrong.

It has a certain harmony that required me to listen to it a hundred times a day and drive my poor housemate Brett insane. The single also came with a huge poster of the girls lying on top of each other and this was promptly placed on the back of Brett's bedroom door causing his girlfriend, now wife, a certain consternation because he never took it down after her regular insisting that he do so.

I've moved on since then. Though when I dig through my CD collection and come across it I have to whack it on the player and listen to it four or five times while singing along.

I might be insane.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Brittle not broken:

Where have the last three weeks gone? If anyone finds them can they hand them back to me?

I'm back in Canberra now for good. The world having beaten into me that holidays and leaving the are a bad idea.

It's time to make some thanks public too. So thankyou to

  • The Dolphins who kept me company down the coast while i tried to escape the world. And thanks to Troy for providing the esape route.

  • My housemates who brought me back into it like a 747 in a sreaming flaming death dive into a heavily poulated area.

  • Sadil Quinlan who, surprise surprise, are being fairly supportive.

  • Euan for giving me something manual to do and my humble apologies for being a right bastard on a couple of occasions.

  • Owen and Crozzels for the beers.

  • Pollyanna for being the most uderrated rock band in Australian music history.

  • Kate for the EGT and mind probes.

  • Milos and Helen for the bed, the wine, the vodka, the conversation

  • Amber for being absolutely fantastic

  • Graham, Chris, Bobby, Adam and Sharn for the Ginger martinis and a Sunday night i won't forget

  • Geelong and Essendon supporters for keeping me amused on a cold rainy night at the G. Remember people you could be there too. All it takes is dedication.

  • and, most importantly

  • Ingrid, who has always been there, always listened and forgiven me my need to be a selfish bastard on occasions

  • We now return you to your regular programming

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    32 Songs - Track 7

    Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters

    Don't want to be your Monkey Wrench.
    One more indecent accident.
    I'd rather leave than suffer this.
    I'll never be your Monkey Wrench.

    I'm glad that Dave Grohl had the opportunity to go solo when he did because The Colour and The Shape is, quite possibly, the best rock album ever released. It's seems that quite a few people may agree with me because I am currently on my fifth copy of the album. An ex-girlfriend has copy number two and my Brumbies training jersey when they were sponsored by Canberra Milk, my most prized possessions at the time, a person from the dorm has another, a copy was taken from the school i was teaching at in Adelaide and another vanished in the great CD disappearance when i moved back to Canberra. Which is kind of freaky don't you agree?

    It was this album that caused my drumming illusions to start again. I had flirted with the skins while in High School and listening to Def Leppard (He's only got one arm, how hard can it be?). My inability to keep a beat and a dragon of a teacher saw me go to the clarinet instead (which really pissed me off but more on that later). As an ex-drummer (Nirvana for the two people who don't know) Dave made sure the drums were front and center in the recording of this album. He played them on most of the album and wrote, played guitar and sung on all of it. Which is pretty fucking amazing.

    Monkey Wrench told me to say "Well that was the past, where do I go now". No, really it did. I'd not banged (in all senses of the word) anything for a long time and so I started again. It's a terrific song but the bit towards the end where he delivers all those lines in one breath is phenomenal. The bastard is all mouth and trousers though because I've never seen him do it all in one breath live.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2004

    Election 2004: Week 1

    Last week our esteemed lying bastard of a Prime Minister took a drive down to visit the Governor General and to let him know that on the following day he would notify both houses of an election on October the 9th and how nice it would be if the old boy would prorouge them. It's a nice bit of ceremony that actually has no real purpose. The journos have been acting like blow flies around a week old roo carcass down at Yarralumla for a while now and they must be glad that particular stakeout is over. However they now have a very long one ahead of them.

    Every election campaign is a bloody war of attrition and Howard is really pushing the envelope by going for a six week window. It also seems an odd strategy for the campaign to run alongside both the AFL and NRL finals, but it could be an absolute piece of genius. I'll get into that later on in the campaign though. Today I want to talk about the meeja.

    Since 1pm on Sunday afternoon last week the media outlets around the country started calling in staffers, stringers and consultants from across the country. The biggest decision of the campaign needed to be made by the media outlets. Not which party they would back and provide positive spin for. Not which journo they would feature to cover the campaign. Not which staff got which party to follow. They needed to make a decision far more important than those.

    They needed to decide what the logo graphic would be for Election 2004.

    If you watched any news broadcast, current affairs show or opened any newspaper or magazine this morning then I guarantee you would have seen coverage about the election. And above the headlines or the head of the presenter there would have been a graphic or logo proudly pronouncing that this report, or page, was about the election. Those graphics are the result of hours spent with focus groups and psychologists to come up with the best colours, fonts and diagrams all depending on the message the media outlet wants to deliver. You hmay have your doubts but these little things can make or break the opportunity to capture an audience.

    Millions have been spent.

    Rumours are that News Ltd went to Saatchi & Saatchi with a deal for all of their media outlets, the Packers tried something different and contracted Weta Digital, SBS went to the local TAFE and ABC used a preschool class with a 20 year old mac computer.

    To me SBS is currently leading the race but the retro seventies colour squares on the 7:30 report are starting to grow on me. The biggest disappointment of the campaign is our local Canberra Times. Their innovative logo for the federal election? Blue text. That’s it. Blue text with the election date. Pathetic effort Canberra Times. Guess they used up their creative talent on the ‘new-look’ paper.

    In the next six weeks I'm going to look at the options, measure up the contenders, dissect the policies, bludgeon the electorate and deliver a survival guide for polling day.

    GBU HQ does Election 2004.

    Can someone make me a graphic?

    Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    Stonefest 2004:

    Friday Night (29/10):

    Dexter, Archie, Kate Munroe, Two Square, Kid Kay Ferris, Nick Toth, Yoshii, Q45, Butterfingers, Downsyde

    Saturday Day (30/10):

    The Von Bondies, Rocket Science, Something For Kate, The Beautiful Girls

    Tix $51 from Landspeed

    Saturday, September 04, 2004

    Election 2004

    I got asked last weekend if i was going to cover the election here in the gbu. Truth be told i had no intention of it until someone asked. Now it's festering like a mutated singing dugong faced blister on my arse.

    I went and spent a week in isolation to get over it and practice my yoga (which didn't go as well as i planned)

    Then Cynan had to go and see if i wanted to carry on with the bet we ran with in the last election.

    So i'm going to bend around to my backside (the yoga remember) bite the mutated singing dugong faced blister and do a sporadic, manic and completely nonsensical coverage of the Federal Election and also the ACT Election. And it will all come to a head with a possible live coverage from the floor of the national tally room on the big day under the effect of whatever pharmaceutical products i can obtain and a lack of sleep.

    The GBU. Coming Through. For all of You.

    32 Songs - Track 6

    Into Temptation - Crowded House

    Into temptation
    Knowing full well the earth will rebel
    Into temptation
    Safe in the wide open arms of hell

    Crowded House was introduced to me by Milos. He has also given me the joy of The Clash, The B-52s, Pink Floyd, The Cure, Men at Work and more recently Buck 65. I was very young and visiting him with my family when he put Crowded House's eponymus debut album on the record player one night. I quickly became obsessed by it, furiously trying to commit to memory all the lyrics before my family had to return to Canberra. Milos kindly dubbed the album to tape for me so i could take a copy away. Now, many years later, I own the first two albums on three different media, the rest on CD and a smattering of bootlegs on worn out cassettes. It seems that most people have a band that they become obsessed with at some point in their lives. For me it was the Crowdies.

    In my humble, but always correct, opinion Neil Finn is one of the greatest writers the world will ever know. He should be up there with Shakespeare, Milton, Dylan, Melville, Hemingway, Austin, Dickens, Gaiman, Shelly, Plato, Keats, etc and lauded as one of the great master artists who uses words as a medium. However he is cruelly ignored because to the majority of the western world he just writes pop songs, which he does do, but the stories within should transcend their style of presentation to be hailed as the masterpieces of literature they obviously are. Now these could quite possibly be the demented rantings of an obsessed fan. But i am not the only person who thinks highly of the man. Let me give you an example. A couple of years ago Neil played some gigs in his home country of New Zealand and needed a backing band so he asked around. He got Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway (Radiohead), Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and Lisa Germano. 'nuff said.

    But onto the song. Into Temptation. Bloody brilliant. So good I haven't listened to more than the first five seconds in over ten years.

    "Huh?" I sense you thinking.

    Let me explain.

    Into Temptation is the partner to Where is my Mind. Where The Pixies gave me relief through a song that allowed me to release my emotions Neil wrote a song so good and so illustrative of a few months in my life that to listen to it brings it all flooding back in one unbearable mass. And I just can't do it any more. It is a song about an offer to good to ignore and the repercussions of acceptance. The words say it all.

    Into Temptation - A beautiful song that reminds me of nothing but ugliness.