Thursday, October 28, 2004


So the Red Sox win the World Series.

I wonder what the death toll is going to be?

Friday, October 22, 2004


The roster for season 2004-2007

Liberal Roster

Labor Roster

Liberal Captain/Coach John "The Rodent" Howard has named a virtually unchanged lineup.

Young upand comer McGauran has been shifted from Science to Citizenship and Multicultural affairs. The Captain when asked for comment said he considered McGauran a closing pitcher and since doing a stirling job of shutting down Australian Science he was hoping he could do the same with Multicultural Affairs.

Larry Anthony has been benched as it was declared that his portfolio of Children and Youth Affairs was no longer essential as the benefactors of such a focus were unable to vote and so impervious to scare tactics.

Howard declared a fondness for slugger Joe Hocky and sees great things from the man in his new position as Minister for Human Services. However Howard went on to admit that since his team was focussed on minimising all Human Services it would be a tough run for Joe at the start of the season but by the time the finals start he should be sitting easy.

Howard declined to comment on whether he is looking to equal his personal hero Robert "The Brow" Menzies' record run of victories but was seen to give a slight smile at the question. Howard bid all the assembled reporters well except for those from the ABC who recieved a cold stare and the retort "Your time will come."

New Labor Manager/Captain "Iron" Mark Latham declined to list in what positions his team would be playing for the season stressing that the instability of weather, interest rates and the Right and Left factions in Vic. and NSW along with the growing Indepent Centres could see many changes in the line up over the season.He is expected to bow to pressure and name positions early next week.

Latham declined to comment on the sudden renaming of Simon "What is he good for?" Crean to the team after he was reported as being relegated to the second division for the season after his failed tilt as Captain/Coach. The future of former captain and journeyman Kim "The Big Breezy" Beazley was also in doubt. But with Crean back in it is unlikely that Beazley will make the team as two many ex-captains cause for chaos on the field as the team is a known slow starter and often gets confused. This was best seen by the shocking number of errors while Crean led the team.

Latham warmly stated that he was pleased with his new starters in Bevis, Burke, Ludwig, McLucas, Pilbersek, Sercombe and Wong saying he was expecting a injection of strength that hasn't been seen since the men's cycling tem locker room at the AIS.

When pressed on the refusal of Bob "Da Man" McMullan to suit up for the season and how this might affect the cohesiveness of the team Latham told this reporter to go self impregnate himself with a copy of the Liberals Terrorism handbook and then stormed into team HQ.

With the season soon upon us it looks like a long road ahead for both teams and a fairly depressing sight for punters.


I like baseball and i've kept my ear to the ground as the American and National league title bouts have been going on between New York and Boston and St Louis and Huston.

Political pundits have been hoping for a Boston v Huston to mirror the presidential race, Kerry is from Mass. and dubbya has a stake in the Huston Astros. But this was a pie in the sky hope.

The Yankees quickly got to a 3-0 lead in the best of seven series over Boston and it looked all over as the wunderkinds of baseball strode to another World Series berth. Bostonites started gnashing their teeth and wailing about the curse of the Bambino. The Red Sox then went on to win the next four games and take the title stunning just about everyone, including themselves. No team had ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to take a postseason series. Now the Sox have. Boston should be feeling proud.

In fact they were so proud the immediately started rioting outside Fenway Park (the home ground of the Red SOx) trashing cars, setting fire to bins and destroying local shops. The rioting also resulted in the death of a student out to celebrate the landmark occasion.

This event has completly tarnished the fine achievement of the Red Sox roster but amazingly has resulted in very little press coverage or outrage from the media. It seems to be only a minor story.

Meanwhile over in the National league celebrations in St Louis have been mild and joyous after the Cardinals got up over the Huston Astros.

My Yankees may not have made the World Series but i know which team i will be backing when games start on Sunday.


Superstar comic artist Alex Ross may not be entirely happy with current political climate in US going from the cover of the latest Village Voice

Monday, October 18, 2004

32 Songs: Track 11

Public Enemy - 911 is a Joke

So get up get, get, get down
911 is a joke in yo town
Get up, get, get, get down
Late 911 wears the late crown

Holy Fuck! What the Fuck is that?

They are the seven words that came out of my mouth on a Friday afternoon during art class in late 1990 when someone placed Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet on the stereo. And you would be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't had a similar reaction on their first listen to a Public Enemy song. I know my Dad did (though his reasons may have been slightly different to mine).

Public Enemy were a revelation and completely out of this world to a teenager from middle class Canberra. Thudding bass, repeating samples and the language! The language is what really hooked me. It wasn't the prevalence of swear words, though that enthralled many of the others in the class, but rather the entirely different accent and expressions. And then there was the subject matter. A song about the inefficiency at which the New York paramedic services operated in black neighborhoods was not likely to be heard on Australian radio and especially not radio in Canberra in the early 1990s. The album also includes songs about black men going in and out of prison, the skewed view of blacks in Hollywood and, in Fight the Power, a song about standing up to da man!

While Fear of a Black Planet introduced me to PE the following Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strike Black remains my personal favourite album of theirs. Terminator X does things with records and sounds that can’t be believed, Chuck D and Flav take their lyrical execution to the next level and wear their political allegiances and social consciences front and centre on big gold chains around their necks.

As the years went by my respect for PE diminished as they seemed bent on becoming a parody of themselves and ignored their own plea of 'Don't Believe the Hype. But Public Enemy were an education in social equality, musical theory and language development and, most importantly, delivered a lesson I could never forget.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


"If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight?"
"alive or dead?"
"Doesn't matter. Who'd be tough?"
"Hemingway. You?"
"Shatner, I'd fight William Shatner."


Just because you own a big shiny 4WD does not mean that you know how to drive on snow.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by some idiot who thought otherwise and delayed us for nearly and hour one perfect day.

Monday, October 11, 2004


The Liberals return for three years and Christopher Reeve has died.

This is going to be a shit fuck of a week.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


It is rather good.

32 Songs: Tracks 9 & 10

Frontier Psychiatrist - The Avalanches & Underground - Ben Folds Five

I... I felt strangely hypnotised,
I was in another world, a world of 20,000 girls,
And milk!

I was never cool in school
I'm sure you don't remember me
And now it's been 10 years
I'm still wondering who to be
But I'd love to mix in circles, cliques, and social coteries - that's me

Only twice have I been prompted after a hearing a single song to go and pre-order an album. But Underground and Frontier Psychiatrist were both so unlike anything i had previously heard that i was quickly had an overwhealming sense that any full length album either group produced would more than live up to the stratespheric levels of the released singles. Within an hour of hearing the tracks i was on the phone or in the CD shop driving the poor shop assistant around the twist trying to find release dates.

DJs have been scratching and mixing tracks for years in the US but always in large chunks of things you recognise. The Avalanches take little pieces of stuff that you would never hear in your life and make something new and different. It is the nth degree of where things would go and they went there right at the start of the revolution. That's pretty fucking cool.

Frontier Psychiatrist made me rethink what I defined as music and I still remember the first time I heard it. Travelling towards the roundabout at the top of Commonwealth Bridge in my car. I did a complete loop around the roundabout and headed into town to track down anything by the group at Impact Records.

The same can also be said for Underground by Ben Folds Five. I was on a bus and listening to it on my walkman. All piano, all bass, all drums, all different. How can you not love a song that starts with the sound of breaking glass? I signed up immediately. The song took the piss out of alternative which was just what the world needed.

Conincidently the Ben Folds Five concert at the ANU in Canberra in the spring of 1997 seems to have been one of those strange quirky nights that was a focal point for many people that i know. Relationships started, relationships ended, one night stands were had and people who would have future relationships were there but wouldn't meet for many more years.

I felt sorry for Ben Folds Five as they were quickly typecast as the "no-guitar band" which left them very little room to move. Thank Christ Ben Folds is such a good songwriter and was able to rise above it all, though he hasn’t got the credit he deserves. He ain't Neil Finn, but he certainly is worth noting. The hype behind the track Brick on their second album has always confused me and seemingly him as well. It always seemed to be a song about dealing with drug addiction to me and I read press saying it was about an abortion. I've never heard any of the band say anything about it but it always seemed a very depressing song for it to go to the top 10 in so many countries.

I also felt sorry for myself because after securing a copy of the album on import from the US, it took four weeks from order to delivery, it got local release two weeks later. Oh well, I managed to feel better when many years later he moved into a house in Adelaide down the hill from where I was living. We used to nod as we walked past one another and I'm quiet proud of the fact that I never grabbed him around the throat and yelled at him for not releasing their first album in Australia sooner and saving me 15 bucks. I'm sure he is too.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Big Day Out 2005:

Beastie Boys

Chemical Brothers

The Music


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Election 2004:

I spent a couple of hours this morning in the company of the Australian Federal Police Bomb Squad, members of Star Security and a bloke called Dave.

No, I wasn't under arrest. I was instead in the company of these fine fellows, and a bomb-sniffing dog, while they checked the National Tally Room for explosive devices.

I was scheduled to meet the guys from the Bomb Squad at nine am but they turned up ten minutes late, a quirk that you hope doesn't occur when they actually have a real callout.

While the dog went about it's search with the handler I watched with the rest of the cops and shot the breeze. Topics of choice were the recent gas explosion in Queenbeyan, which they had all attended, the amount of work and training they had been doing recently and the bloke in Mackay who had dropped a vibrator in a rubbish bin and caused an evacuation and five hour delay at the airport. No talk on the latest primers, techonogical advancement in high explosive materials or Australian Idol. I was pleased to hear nothing about the latter but was hoping for at least some tech talk. However, i wasn't to be dissapointed as that was when Dave rocked up to see what all the commotion was about.

Dave was working for the contractors installing the National Tally Room and particularly all the electrics. 250 double power points have been installed into the empty cavern of the Budawang Building along with over 100 phonelines, several hundred meters of phone cable, way too many high speed internet connections and a new floor. The Tally Board is up and waiting for business. Most of the tables on the floor of the room are completed and all that needs to be done is the final rigging of some of the electrics. Dave was complaining that after all the effort probably only a third of the power points and half of the phonelines would be used. He proudly pointed out that they were ahead of schedule but admited later on that they were no longer as far ahead of schedule as they were on Thursday, but at least they could start 8 hour days instead of the thirteen that had been the previous norm.

The room itself is only half finished with only ABC and Nine having started their temporary studios at the back of the room (No sign yet of the private port-a-loo that Roy & HG demanded during the last election or the giant mirror in the Nine dressing room). Ten and Seven have only chalk marks on the floor to indicate their presence. Each studio runs off a private generator and the entire Tally Room has a back up generator that was being installed and tested as i left the site. A new welcome addition to the room is a proper walkway behind the Tally Board where previous there was a 40cm gap that staffers had to squeeze through to change the numbers.

Dave, flicking ash at his feet, left me with an assurance that it takes two weeks of 12 hours days to get everything in but only two days to tear it down and that he was kind of concerned that neither Ten or Seven had yet to rock up but he had other things to worry about as Workcover were coming out to check the site and the generator needed to be tested and if they were still hammering in the set at 6pm on Saturday it was their own bloody fault.

The Bomb Squad had found nothing in their search, not even a discarded sex toy, and so sat about waiting for the Fire Department to rock up to do their check. My security escort had long since left so i took the opportunity for one last wander through the construction site that will soon show the nation it's government for the next three years. Like our Government it is a facade that masks a complete shambles behind the scenes but as long as there are blokes like Dave proping it up maybe there is a little hope after all.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Election 2004:

I'm lying on my back in the living room doing my nightly stretch routine. It's peaceful in the dark. I'm enjoying the moment.

Then Ingrid starts yelling at the TV.

It seems that the ACT Liberals have kept their advertising budget in check and are now blowing a fair wad of it by buying big during the breaks for Australian Idol. Which is a smart play. Plenty of people across many socio-economic groups are watching and it is a good way to catch them and promote your message in short bites. Federal and ACT Labor have done the same thing and bought spots too. Commonsense TV advertising.

However the Liberals have maybe gone a bit far. They haven't bought one spot a commercial break though, they are buying back to back spots which means up to four Liberal spots in a row are happening.

Election TV advertising is an art and a science. Part gut instinct and part careful dissection. But there are a few common sense rules to it. And rule number one is don't annoy the swinging voter, because if you annoy them they ain't gonna vote for you.

The ACT Liberals have obviously forgotten rule number one and probably cost themselves a couple of thousand votes in the both the local and federal elections within an hour.

The ACT Liberals have also undignified themselves in another aspect of election TV advertising - The Negative Ad. Going negative in an advertising campaign, pointing out the opposition's flaws (real or imagined), and to my mind is the last wave of the hand before the head slips under the water never to surface again. Pointing out how shit the other guy is means that you have decided that you don't have better policies, don't have a better candidate and don't have a smowball's chance in hell of winning the election. But you might just convince some people that the other guy is so crap they may vote for you instead. As a strategy I hate it but it certainly worked for the Federal Liberals in 1996.

But this is the asbestos infused final wheeze of the campaign and Political operatives far more knowledgeable than me will tell you that the in the last week of the campaign the undecided many are not looking for someone to vote for, but are looking for someone to vote against.

Maybe the Liberals will piss off enough people to see Labor scrape in, but I doubt it. I'm saying the federal Liberal government will return with a loss in majority of four to five seats. But what would I know?

Maybe I should watch CSI on Wednesday night and see who has the most ads.