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Showing posts from February, 2007

The Oscars:2007 Recap

Helen Mirren and her Best Actress Oscar


Zeitgeisters,

We here at Mr Trivia’s Tract can’t resist a good awards show. However we could only catch The Oscars last night, so here’s our run down. And we do mean run-down.

The night began with Channel 9’s Richard Wilkins on the red carpet, embarrassing his nation with a string of inane questions aimed at the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio. I was cringeing at the time, so I may not have accurately recorded his interchange with Leo.
WILKO: So we’ve seen you grow from a child actor to a man.
DiCAP: I started getting offered those more quote unquote manly roles.
WILKO: How did you make that happen.?
DiCAP: My pituitary just kicked in, f***wit.Beyoncé breezed through and revealed that her stylist was her mom. Wilko wasn’t buying it; he suggested that maybe there was an army of fashionistas behind her. Beyoncé didn’t crack. She knew this guy wasn’t serious from the height of his ‘do.

But Wilkins had bigger fish to fry. He extracted from Travolta the secr…

If Called By An Anthem

At my local Chinese restaurant, The Golden Handshake, whenever you walk in, there’s an electronic door chime that rings out the first few bars of The Star-Spangled Banner. You go through the double doors, then: “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light….” plinks out. If only the estate of Francis Scott Key received a royalty payment.

That “O say can you see” is almost as hard to sing as that great old line from the British (and formerly Australian) national anthem, God Save The Queen. “Lo-ong to-ooo reign over us”. That’s the hallmark of a great national anthem. A line normal humans have to struggle to sing on key.

The hallmark of a great rock anthem is the involvement of Jon Bon Jovi. “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride. I’m wanted dead or alive,” would sound lovely as a doorbell.

If I had my preference for what I wanted to hear lovingly rendered in chime the next time I’m in the mood for dim sum, it would be: “ and if you complain once more, you'll meet an army of me.” …

Answer Rhymes With Dancer

Imagine confronting these bad-asses at your kid's Parent-Teacher night.


Zeitgeisters,

It would indeed take a churl to point out that the current incarnation of INXS, with JD Fortune as lead singer, has some of the most generic pop songs one has heard in donkeys' years.

The massively successful album SWITCH has yielded Pretty Vegas, Afterglow, Devil’s Party and Perfect Strangers (if you live in Oz). Now the plodding Never Let You Go is cluttering up polite airways everywhere with its mid-tempo shout out to Certified Practicing Accountants who have lost their PDAs.

The chorus kicks out the jams. The words speak of a heartache many of us have known, but few could express better than this:
If someday I find me the answer, move down south and marry a dancer
I could never let you go
And when he's holding you, you remember the day I met you, one cold December
I could never let you go
Oh, I could never let you goAnd we can never let you go, INXS, especially with your new found brio for pe…

The Non-Ironic Use of Groovy

Zeitgeisters,

Very occasionally this blog employs a smattering of ironic humour. You may have noticed. Or maybe you don’t think about this blog too often. Hold on. I need a moment... okay…

This idea of saying one thing but meaning its opposite can get you into trouble. I once taught writing to a class of adult students and they gave me this feedback, “We actually don’t know if you’re joking or not most of the time.” (Watto, if you’re reading this, remember Mr Trivia is not the guy you employ).

Which leads me to this.

When I was a kid we watched THE BRADY BUNCH. And by we, I mean my Demographic Peer Group – which was the name of the gang I rolled with, but more on that another time. Even at our young age, we knew that THE BRADY BUNCH was an old show and that meant all their attitudes, clothes and slang were ridiculous. Greg Brady said ‘groovy’ which made it a terrible hippy word from the ‘sixties.

Outside of entertainer Sammy Davis Jnr, the world was a Groovy-Free Zone from about 1977 onwa…

Meh See TV

NCIS - Sharin' The Laughter and Love

Zeitgeisters,

Sometimes there’s nothing for it but to watch television in a non-hip, non-ironic way. You’ve been at work all day, you don’t want to surf the ‘net, you just want to watch a straight-forward drama that is not demanding and offers no insights into the human condition.

Tonight, I watched a full episode of THE OC for the second time ever. I figure having missed the entire thing, the least I could do was to check out the final three episodes. There was an earthquake. Possibly “The Big One”. The rest of the quake will be in next week’s final 2 hour ep.

Let’s just say the portrayal of this particular natural disaster was pretty weak. Irwin Allen-weak (ask your father). Is it because they only had a few bucks to spend on a series that everyone knows is already axed?

The personal highpoint of my evening watching the box; Abby’s line on NCIS: “I hug and kiss technology.” Yet another reason why she’s a fave with us geeks.

I’m pretty sure that I …

Unpacking

Quaid unpacks the heat.

Zeitgeisters,

I was channel-flipping last night and hit upon THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW (2004) the only other feature apart from AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006) to star climate change. TDAT also has Dennis Quaid in it and I’ll usually take out a few minutes to see what Mr Quaid is doing. He is a very reliable actor. Even in quite terrible films.

Quaid was sitting in a station wagon with two other hapless actors and they were iced in, unable to travel any further in the car. Quaid’s eyes were slits, he looked out into the tundra-like landscape, then back to the guys. In a voice of pure command he said, “Unpack the snowshoes. We’re walking from here.”

It’s the word snowshoes. You can’t really put it in a sentence and expect an audience to take the rest of the line seriously. For example: “My uncle died slowly and painfully in a freak snowshoe incident.”

So a word of advice to new screenwriters and directors out there. Don’t make your actors say ‘snowshoes” even if your movi…

Decoupage is Hot

ABOVE:The floral lameness one finds on a typical decoupage sheet.
BELOW: Voila! Paris is as ornamental as ever!


So, Zeitgeisters,
you’ve never heard of decoupage? As usual, we turn to the Wikipedia:

Decoupage (or découpage) is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cut outs onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf, etc. Commonly an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers. Each layer is sealed with varnishes (often multiple coats) until the "stuck on" appearance disappears and the result looks like painting or inlay work.It’s a fantastic craft, and not at all boring. If you want to make it a little more…well, relevant to our modern world, I suggest you forgo pictures of fruit, vegetables and flowers and use pictures of celebs; the Lohans, Hiltons, Ritchies, Millers, Jolies, Pitts, Mosses and Dohertys of Planet Celebrity.

Transform an ordinary armoire, turn a sidebo…

Happy First Birthday

Zeitgeisters,

Mr Trivia’s Tract has been around for a year now. Hooray for us. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to continue blogging about bad television, Barry Bostwick, awards shows and celebrities’ hairstyles amongst other minutiae and media detritus.

Join us as we continue Elevating the Insignificant without fear, favour or remuneration.

Still waiting for those bucks to roll in.

One day, perhaps...

Mr Trivia

'Fro Back

(Clockwise from top left) Sayer, Sebastian, Stockdale & Dorset


Zeitgeisters,

Australian band WOLFMOTHER has just taken out the Grammy for best hard rock performance for their song Woman.

MR TRIVIA’s TRACT believes this award represents the last obstacle standing in the way of the full mainstreaming of the Australian trio. This in itself is of no interest to us. The collateral damage is where our focus lies.

The complete mainstreaming of WOLFMOTHER will bring about the peak and fall of the modern ‘fro. The ‘fro is of course, the Afro, which took off in the 1960s as a hairstyle for African American women and men. It was mainstreamed in the 1970s and even had a ‘Jewish’ version, sometimes called an Isro, sported by celebrities of the era including WELCOME BACK KOTTER’s Gabe Kaplan and comic actor Gene Wilder.

Other notable ‘fros from the world of 1970s entertainment included Ray Dorset’s (vocalist MUNGO JERRY) and singer Leo Sayer’s. Eventually we tired of the hairy halo and for years the…

Cage of Silence

Thaddeus and Max discuss 4'33"

Zeitgeisters, most of us don’t know who John Cage is (sure, I knew YOU would know). In fact, if, like me, he’s a ‘name-check’ to you; “ Yeah John Cage experimental musician”; then you’ll probably only know one particular, peculiar factoid.

Let’s Wikipedia!
John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer, writer and visual artist. He is most widely known for his 1952 composition 4'33", whose three movements are performed without playing a single note.Not a single note.

I was walking on the South Perth foreshore when suddenly it hit me. I had never actually heard 4’33”

Which led me, inexorably to this paraphrased gag, which you are welcome to crack out next time you are backstage at Wembley Stadium with The Pussycat Dolls.

Q: Have you heard John Cage’s 4’33”?
A: Neither has he!

Sit back in your chair quietly and bask in the laughter and joy you have perpetrated.

Elevate The Insignificant,

Mr Triv…

The Weekend Starts Here #4

"I'm going to burgle the heck out of this place," Leon said.


Zeitgeisters,

I have been listening to a burglar alarm ringing for the last two hours. I’d say it was one building across, two max. It makes a swirling howl for five minutes, stops for one minute then starts again.

Clearly its doing a bang-up job. Worth every cent the owner paid. And now, the guy in the flat, two floors up, has his stereo on loud, possibly to drown out the burglar alarm.

Right, I can hear the bassline ‘doofing’ through the ceiling. Good.

I’ll meditate through it.

* * * * *
Oh Good Grief. There is a fireworks show by the river. Doof Dooof. Screeeeeeeeeeee. Pop. Pop. Crump. Crump. Crakka-keracker-cracker. Crump. Doof. Doof. Doof.

When they prise me out of this flat, white and shivering, I will utter a wordless doof, by way of farewell.


* * * * *
Couldn’t meditate through it. So I turned up my muted telly.

The PRINCESS DIARIES directed by Gary Marshall was …

Is It Just Me? #4

GSOH? We question this.



Zeitgeisters,

Chicks dig Channel Nine's Jules Lund. He’s eye candy for women. Check it out on-line, they think he's a hottie. Ask your GF or SO, if you don't believe me.

Here at The Tract, we acknowledge carnal lust as the driving force in casting for television and movies. We are just monkeys with ambition, after all.

But is it just me or has anyone else noticed how The Lund never seems to get a punch-line right? He’s exactly like that mate of yours, or your slightly naff brother-in-law who always goes for the tagline, but only pulls off, at best, 1 in 50.

You groan inwardly as your best mate/brother-in-law attempts yet another poorly thought out quip or rejoinder. You wonder why he never gets that no-one thinks he’s funny and everyone thinks he’s a bit of a try-hard. You think maybe he should store it all up and put it on a blog (See what I did there? That's how I got my boy scout Rhetoric badge.)

The main difference is that your mate-slas…

Full Moon Fever

Zeitgeisters,
first saw this in the RSS feed on the RHS of this here blog (and no, I don’t get tired of repeating that jaded phrase); US Astronaut Charged with Trying To Kidnap ‘Love Rival’. It concerns US astronaut Lisa Nowak being charged with attacking and attempting to kidnap a woman whom she thought was her ‘love rival’ for another astronaut, William Oefelein.

You gotta read the story. It’s sordid. If you take in all the stuff that was in her car, it gets even worse. It’s a little like some parallel universe episode of COPS.

COP 1: What is your occupation, ma’am?

NOWAK: I’m an astronaut.

COP 1: I will ask you again, what is your occupation?

NOWAK: Astronaut. I flew on the space shuttle Discovery.

COP 2: It would be better for you if you fully co-operate.

COP 1: We don’t want to find out later that you’re lying.

COP 2: We can stay here all night, if necessary ma’am.
Your mind grabs the word ‘astronaut’ because we hold the notion of such a person in high esteem. It’s worlds co…

West Wing Flits

Hawkeye Pierce and Detective Bobby Simone discuss Josh and Donna - will they or wont they?

It seems my fellow Zeitgeisters, that the anglophiles who watch Australia’s largest public broadcaster, the ABC, don’t like THE WEST WING. Which is probably why it hasn’t been very well programmed by Aunty. Since November, though, they’ve run a double episode every Monday night at 8.30pm.

This has been particularly smart thinking during the current series (season 6) because the episodes have tended to alternate between two scenarios; the action back at the White House and the Democratic primaries.

Therefore, the first half of each double episode has been a more usual WEST WING story and the second half has been out on the campaign trail.

For those who thought the series would never recover from Aaron Sorkin’s departure, this season has gained a great deal of momentum by focussing on the final ‘lame duck’ days of the President and also dealing with the politicking that goes on even before a presid…