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Showing posts from October, 2007

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Zeitgeisters,

I was walking out of my cool South Perth pad recently when a fella, probably no older than myself and dressed similarly (think very, very, very casual) was walking past me. I made some room for him on the footpath and suddenly he spoke to me, “Hey mate, can I have fifty cents for the bus?” I smiled and said, no. And he kept on walking.

I get hit on for money, constantly, and occasionally for drugs. If you knew me you’d find the idea of my hooking you up with anything vaguely pharmaceutical pretty damn funny. However, if I saw me, I’d figure I was some stoner that could help me out. I get it.

Clearly I look like some universal easy mark. I’ve got some aura that that says, “Want money now? Ask me how.” Not far from my place, there’s a guy who sits in front of the old telephone exchange building* who always asks me for two dollars. I always say, no.

I don’t want to give people on the streets my money. I have a particular charity that I donate to, monthly, and another that …

ARIAs: On The Red Carpet

Zeitgeisters,

In the old days awards shows were crazed affairs where the liquor ran freely and substances were abused with impunity. Whether it was a Grammys, an Oscars, an Emmys or even a Logies, you could count on a televised awards ceremony to show you something live and embarrassing. Those days, also knows as the 1970s and 1980s, are sadly passed. The commercial imperative, always one of the reasons for an awards show, has become the sole reason they exist.

The televised part of the Australian Rock Industry Awards have become a staid, polite, split-second affair where musicians, usually the least organised of all entertainers, turn up in their finery (many scarves, ascots and cravats this year) and thank EMI should they win. Pah!

The ARIA Red Carpet Special got off to a rousingly ordinary start as ex-Idol Ricki-Lee Coulter stepped out of a limo and began belting out a song. She walked along the miles of carpet and was met with hot dancers of both sexes all oozing plenty of ‘tude. “…

Talk To The Hand

Zeitgeisters,

People are always asking me where I get the ideas for my Ventriloquist act. Usually they are torn from the headlines. Just yesterday I was rehearsing with Porter, my latest dummy. Porter, made of Oregon Pine, takes on the persona of a rebellious teen in the act. I pretend like I’m his dad and I nag him constantly about all manner things; his dress, his appearance, his addiction to Ice.

It’s funny stuff; maybe a little edgy for cruise ships, but perfect for an evening at the Karalee Tavern in Preston Street, Como. Although, they probably won’t have me back there since I cracked the front pane of their new baine marie, but who knew that spilling ice water on a heated sheet of glass could break it? What am, I? Stephen Freakin’ Hawking?

But I digress, back to the act. There are these new tax cuts that government is offering. And we were working something of this nature.

MR TRIVIA: Hey Porter, these new tax cuts look good don’t they?

PORTER: No, they like the desperate promises …

2007 Curmudgeon Awards Announced

The 2007 Curmudegeon Awards were held last night in a glittering event at the bus shelter outside Coles on Angelo Street, South Perth.

The Awards which were established in 2006, recognise the worst and most irritating of several categories arbitrarily made up by the semi-fictional so-called Mr Trivia.

"The Awards were named for a particularly charming trait of mine which is to complain, at length," Mr Trivia explained last night. The word curmudgeon means apparently means a "mean-tempered old man, given to complaint". The word was last in vogue at the court of Queen Victoria in the late 19th Century, if we are to believe the Wikipedia.

Results of the Awards are published here at Mr Trivia's somewhat superfluous site.

Lost Lambs

Zeitgeisters,

You can read something again and again and still have no real idea what it is. I probably first heard about the Whiffenpoof song somewhere in the 1970s from reading Mad magazine. It was a parody version referencing something that is long lost in the mists of my unreliable memory (President Nixon? The films of Burt Reynolds? The Equal Rights Amendment?)

According to the world’s most accurate storehouse of knowledge, the Wikipedia.

The Yale Whiffenpoofs are the oldest collegiate a cappella group in the United States, established in 1909. Best known for "The Whiffenpoof Song," the group comprises senior men who compete in the spring of their junior year for 14 spots. The business manager and musical director of the group, known in Whiff tradition respectively as the "Popocatepetl" and "Pitchpipe" are chosen by members of the previous year's group, although an alumni organization maintains close ties with the group.
Yes, unless you’re a Yali…

Out of 10

Zeitgeisters,

At my work-place, Media Dell’Arte, we like to make lists and rate things. This isn’t our actual job. The sort of work we do attracts people with say, an above average interest in popular culture. My co-worker, Big Red, takes this notion a little further, she is particularly fond of starting the morning by rating her day out of 10. Sometimes others in the immediate vicinity will also give their “Out of 10”.

I think this is a civilised notion and providing you and your co-workers play the game accurately, (no pretending to be a 6 when you’re really a 4), then it can be a handy guide to know who needs to be treated with kid gloves.

About seven weeks ago, I went to see a 9.30pm session of the New Zealand film BLACK SHEEP at the Millenium in Fremantle. I usually like to suss out the trailers before the feature starts, even though these days they do that sneaky thing of interspersing crappy commercials with the coming attractions.

I was so early the slide ads hadn’t started. So, …

House Proud

Zeitgeisters,

Here in Oz, we love a home renovation show. Although their popularity has waned a little in the last few years, there are still new ones getting up like Jamie Durie’s AUSTRALIA’s BEST BACKYARDS, and I saw BURKE’s BACKYARD has returned to Network Nine in the form of one-off specials. Awww.

Because I live in a flat, the closest I get to a water feature is when the upstairs decking leaks onto my courtyard during a heavy rain. So most of the home improvements on these shows aren’t for me. Also imagine what my landlord would say when he discovered his light cream walls were covered with purple flocked wallpaper in an Edwardian pattern. I’ve always craved flocked wallpaper.

The closest I have come to creating anything that expresses my individuality and pride in my dwelling is the way in which I arrange the loose toilet rolls in my bathroom. The photos below reveal a triangular or pyramidical structure. I feel this geometrical tribute harks back to both the Greeks and the Egypti…

We Heart Mime

Zeitgeisters,

As a tribute to the late Marcel Marceau I’ve been engaging in the art of mime at work and in my communications with family and friends. My “Walking Against The Wind” has been roundly panned and I have only received average crits for “Child Loses Balloon, Cries, is Given a Bunch of Balloons By a Kindly Balloon Seller and Floats into the Air”.

So far, ‘Trapped in Bell Jar with Oxygen Rapidly Running Out” has drawn particular acclaim combining as it does those two commedia dell’arte faves “behind a pane of glass” and “asphixiation”.

I’m working up some new material for the fan base: “Man trying to recall ATM number in a timely fashion so he doesn’t piss off those waiting in the queue behind” and one I’m particularly keen on, “I don’t want anyone to know that I just laughed at a gag on TWO AND A HALF MEN.”

Elevate the Insignificant

Mr Trivia

P.S. Apparently TWO AND A HALF MEN has been the top-rating sitcom in the U.S. for the past two seasons. Hmmm.

Knowing Me, Knowing You

Zeitgeisters,

I was watching AUSTRALIAN IDOL with Miss Raspberry Beret. We were disagreeing about IDOL judge Marcia Hines. I was saying, "Why does everyone give Marcia a hard time – look she’s got tears now that whathisname is out of the comp.” Miss RB said Marcia always gets tears. I pointed out that this is exactly the kind of emotion that she watches reality television for. In fact I could imagine Miss RB reacting in exactly that way if she was in Marcia’s place. Miss RB pronounced Marcia to be “the same” show after show and I think perhaps she said, “safe” to boot. Perhaps the neologism “same-f” will cover it.

The great thing about celebrity culture is that we feel free to make pronouncements about the people on screen despite having the most mediated, contrived, manipulated acquaintanceship with them. In RL (The Tract recognises this vintage geek speak for Real Life) we don’t presume to know people so with so little contact.

For example, I see Ravi the Console Operator do…