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Things I Learnt This Christmas

So here are some loosely assembled thoughts I have had and observations I made over this Yuletide season, my friends.

I like Christmas. I’m an Atheist, but I still enjoy the celebration. (Stay your keyboards, all those who would explain that Christmas was originally a pagan festival that Christians appropriated. Fine. And while we’re at it, English was a very different language before the Norman Conquest. And Neanderthals were once more successful than Homo Sapiens. There’s even evidence to suggest they invented line dancing to while away the cold nights of the Ice Age.)

On the evening before Christmas Eve, I went up to the very unbusy Garden City, Booragoon, to buy a few things. I ran into several people I knew through my last job. One was a friend who was employed by the City of Perth to be one of the Santa Clauses to ride The Santa Train. Whether you were on The Joondalup line, the Armadale line or out at Mandurah; if you were on the train in the fortnight before Christmas, you co…

Tumblr Fail

I've been trying to create some of those things you see on Tumblr and elsewhere on the Web where someone has gets a photograph and puts some beautiful and moving text to the image and together they say a really powerful and moving thing, that will then go viral with 16 year old hipsters. But it's harder than it looks. Here are my first three attempts. And sadly they're not even close.

PJK







Visceral and Raw

I was reading a story about the making of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 launch video (released in November 2011) last night and was struck by the article's gushing tone and high level of corporate BS. The story was in FAST COMPANY a trade site for advertising, so really, what did I expect?

This was the set up:
The launch campaign centers on a 90-second trailer based on the veteran/newbie premise, starring Sam Worthington and Jonah Hill and directed by Peter Berg. The film begins with Hill (Get Him to The Greek, Superbad, Moneyball) bumbling through a burned-out New York war zone, with Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans) as the battle-hardened foil. Inoffensive enough, but I was particularly taken by these paragraphs:
Berg, whose action credits include Hancock, The Kingdom, and the upcoming Battleship, was the immediate choice for director, and he joined the production before the actors came on board. “We selected him first and foremost for his way of telling st…

Retrophonic

Zeitgeisters,

There's something like two week's of music on this computer. I can't do anything with such an absurd profusion of choices. Unlike most of you–who seem to be more than ready to exit this corporeal plane for some kind of Johnny Mnemonic or Tron existence where you are nowt but electrons dancing amongst the light particles–I come from the 1980s.

I thought the audio cassette was the height of sound reproduction and convenience. An album was somewhere around 12 songs lasting about 40 minutes that one had to turn over after the end of side 1 in order to facilitate the listening of side 2.

Truth be told, I don't think I'm quite over the introduction of that seductive, mirrored coaster, the Compact Disc. But you're over it, aren't you, my friend? Even as we speak, you're downloading millions upon millions of MP3s a.k.a The Western World's Compleat Pop Music Back Catalogue(1900-2011)–minus Rod Stewart Destroys The Great American Songbook (Volu…

Never Go Against The Family

Every now and then I like to Google Clip Art with various subject titles in mind. This evening I Googled the word "family" and found these two gems.

Sure the Silhouette Family look a little retro. They're out for a stroll all holding hands–which people used to do before the progressives and the communists and Dr Benjamin Spock introduced doubt and perversion into the Western Mind. And don't get me started on Jung and/or Freud. So sure, some of you will see a group of peaceful folk, hands linked and you'll want to douse them with pepper spray a la Lietenant John Pike (Pepper Spray Cop), but you're just all riled up and twisted by crazy modern values. Or hopped up on goof balls. Whatevs.

The Silhouettes are decent God-Fearing folk who are happy that their money is in a savings account with a 9 per cent interest rate. Yeah - THEY HAVE SAVINGS. Sure they're freaks. But perhaps not so much as these next folk.


Meet the Traced-Overs. Flippin' 'eck. Bloody…

Great Writers Text Their Work

Looking across the street at the poor wretches at Risely Street Dome whilst we sup at C-15.  Not that there's anything wrong with Dome and their Chicken and Avocado toastie. But you get a better class of Bogan over this side of Risely. Over at Table 12 there's a nitwit wearing his cap inside at the table. He's also wearing a singlet to show off his massive gym-built arms. Faux tribal tattoo. Dude has two sets of shoulders. He's ignoring his girlfriend currently and texting or perhaps blogging like I am.

I imagine his blog is called Compassionate Fitness. He has just written the following: "Some dude in the corner who looks like the Comic Store Guy from The Simpsons, keeps looking over here and then typing on his phone. I don't think he's looking at Bec. If only he knew that beneath my awesome, ripped exterior was a poet looking for a word to finish a couplet about the beautiful soul that puppies possess. Also a word that rhymes with verisimilitude and co…

Near-Death Cowboy's Last Thought #02

Peppered

Most of  you will have seen the images of police lieutenant John Pike pepper spraying seated protestors at an Occupy demonstration at the University of California Davis last week. It has stirred up controversy and commentary because of the perceived level of disregard Pike showed towards non-violent demonstrators. Note also those sprayed were middle-class American kids who have high expectations of their nation's legal and political system. They believe in things like due process, innocent until proven guilty and The Constitution.

The image has also become the basis of a multitude of photoshopped, mashed-up gags. Yep, it's a meme now and it's gone viral. With a handful of exceptions most of the examples I see when Google-searching "Pepper Spray Cop" seem to be rely on random juxtapositional humor rather than any actual wit. Who ever mashed-up Pepper Spray Cop with Crying Dawson deserves kudos for cross-pollinating a new meme with a very old one, but most of wha…

Beverage Review (17/11/11)

Salia Cafe, at the corner of Point and Adelaide Streets, Fremantle. The Flat White  cost $3.80 and I rated it a (4/5). The chocolate biscuit thingy probably had a proper name but when I asked the guy behind the counter what the chocolate thing was, he said - "It's a biscuit".  In Western Australian pop culture parlance,"They're not fancy, but they're cheap," is a good way to describe the Salia.  My caffeine buddy rated his hot chocolate as "very good". 
That end of Freo has needed some decent coffee for some time. Huzzah!

Lem-O-Saver!

The only change I can think of that could have improved this product is a tweak in the name -  Lemon Saviour.  I think it has connotations of mystic power that the current name lacks. Anyhow, thanks for stocking this Woolworth's - you're my favourite half of the mighty food retailing duopoly that holds Australia to ransom! I find Coles even less attractive than ex-Howard-era minister Peter Reith. And that's saying something. 
Anyhow peeps, Lem-O-Saver.It's out there for 5 bucks! And you can amuse your household by announcing you've bought a strap-on for your fridge.

Near Death Cowboy #01

Experts point out how much "thinner" Perth White Pages is looking. Cause for alarm?

The new Perth White Pages telephone directory has arrived at our homes and it  appears to have been "Jenny Craig'd" by the technological gewgaw known as Tha Internet. The declaration on the cover "It's How We Connect" would appear to be far from true. Perth is a million plus city. So we're not huge, but just a few years ago it would have been difficult for a regular-sized adult to hold both volumes of the book in one hand. 
We look forward to future editions of the White Pages printed in ever so cute A6 or A7 sized editions that we can store in our cellphone covers.

Leaning Tower with 340g Mayonnaise for Scale

This was given to me by a friend who was trying to dekitsch his life as he ended one business and embarked upon another. (Thank you, Mr Axten).

What I like about it is the awkward size of the objet d'art. It takes up considerable shelf space particularly in terms of its  height. It isn't authentically modeled in detail nor in colour. It's a poor attempt in every way, but I like it.

Could I part with it? If THE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW were to inform me that it was a rare piece worth 1000 of your English quid, I'd probably say, "no, it has too much sentimental value" and then regret it immediately. Then I would attempt to assuage my feelings of sheer idiocy by securing Fiona Bruce's autograph.

I'm a well-calibrated apparatus when it comes to feeling regret about inconsequentials. I 'sweat the small stuff' constantly. It's the big ticket items that I react to with numbness and obliviousness. And no, I'm not referring to the emotional conflict …

HEARTFELT TRIBUTE TO CHOGM 2011

Wherever you go right now in the clean minitropolis of Perth, Western Australia, it's beginning to feel a lot like CHOGM. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting has rolled into town. It hasn't started officially, but like the precursors of another well-loved festival–the Yuletide tinsel and fruit mince pies already in Coles and Woolworths–there are early signs that a great event in about to explode on our West Coast Zeitgeist.

There is a literal sign on the city's Esplanade. In large letters it spells out PERTH. It is scaled to be viewable from the new Kings Park Reception Centre. This labelling will be particularly helpful for international visitors for whom Perth is but one stopover among many.

Hipsters have already derided the PERTH sign for its naffness.That it feels like a visual pinch from the famous Hollywood sign has been a common theme. The perceived try-harness of this installation; its corporate or municipal utility and lack of flair are common threads of…

Space Ziering

Why this video now? Because Ian Ziering of the original 90210 cast has simply been overlooked and ignored by popular culturalists. I am simply attempting to restore some much-needed balance. Do I see myself doing something similar–a video corrective–for Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling or Shannen Doherty? No. I leave these good works for others. Ian Ziering had something special about him in his twinkly-eyed, crinkly-haired way. There was something about him that seemed to bridge the Chaos and Cosmos. Please enjoy my humble tribute to an even humbler artist. Mr Trivia

Nosh Review: 3/10/2011

C-15 Cafe, Risely Street, Applecross.
Works Burger $22.00.
(3.5/5)

Yep, I know it's quite the super fat, carbs and protein upload. Includes pineapple AND beetroot. Had to share my chips with @objectman while he read a PC WORLD review of the new Kindle Fire on his iPad 1 (See: Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions: Solid but Limited).

I chose to wash me burger down with a green tea. Gotta say, although the nosh was good-ish, the service was 4/5 - which is an improvement for this popular Applecross cafe.

I am now ready to watch THE OSTERMAN WEEKEND (1983) over at @philjengkane"s holo deck. It was Peckinpah's last film apparently. Looking forward to seeing Craig T, Nelson's porn mo and Meg Foster's alien blue eyes.

A Dummy Dreams

Hola Guys,

Mister Trivia has invited me to write on his blog again ¬(in lieu of last week’s salary, but the less said about this, the better - cheap bastard). He said I could choose any topic that interested me, so I have chosen the Realm of Dreams.
You may ask if a Ventriloquial Facilitator (my actual job title) dreams and of course the answer is “Hells, yeah!” Nerds will recall the movie 2010 made back in 1984 which was the sequel of 2001 made back in 1968 (you’re getting this, right?). In it, the SAL 9000, the next model on from the redesigned HAL 9000 asks some science nerd (Dr Chandra) about what will happen when she (the SAL 9000) is switched off. If memory serves, some kind of compute error is preventing Chandra from exiting Internet Explorer.  It's just frozen there onscreen. He is embarrassed his colleagues will arrive and he'll have to explain why he is on Ebay bidding for a dozen “dental gags”. So the Doc is about to power down the SAL 9000 when this exchange take…

Diacritic over the 'o' Facebook - really?

Nosh Review (25/9/11)

The Merchant, Risely Street. Carrot Cake $4.50; EBT $4.50 - (2.5/5)
However 5/5 for playing Frank Sinatra's cover of "The Look of Love"  Nice.

TAFFY #02

Taffy #01

Public Domain Cartoon Characters

Just because something is in the public domain doesn't mean it is any less worthwhile than those things in private hands. Even as we speak the Internet is destroying the notion of copyright. Even as we speak the Internet is smashing the idea of intellectual property. Even as we speak the Internet is making wealth and actual property ownership an obsolete concept.

Ha! Kidding. Of course the Internet has little to no effect on the incredibly rich and powerful. But we can dream our petty envious dreams eh, sisters and brothers!

Which brings us smoothly to this seasons fantastic new Public Domain Cartoon Characters. They're nearly as good as the licensed, syndicated, trademarked and registered kind. Enjoy.


Baine Marie Moments: Cream Corn & Cheese Toasty

In the future, fake tan will mean 'Early 21st Century'

For some unknown reason, this very evenly toned brown (and sometimes orange) is still fashionable in 2011. There's some kind of mass delusion that this looks good.

Other mass delusions from the past include The Mullet, the music of LIVE and the idea that Lawrence Leung is a television personality.

I maintain that the 'noughties and the following years will be known in retrospect as The Bronzer Age.

Linked Invitation Error

Greetings All,
This morning I accidentally sent a Linked In invitation to all of my gmail contacts. My apologies. It was never my intention to spam you all. If you wish to accept that invitation please do. By the same token, please feel free to turn it down.
As a bonus (I'm calling it that) I blogged about my error on the Mr Trivia site. He also received a Linked In Invitation from me. (See Below) Thank you for your patience.
Regards,
Phil Jeng Kane

Missing Links

If you've somehow become sucked into this 'blog through a Linked In post that came through this morning, my apologies. My erstwhile frenemy, Phil Jeng Kane, hit the wrong tickbox and somehow an invitation became a post.

Modern Life, eh? Did the Cro Mags or Paleolithics have this problem? Did Neanderthals ever front at some kind of ritual gathering only to discover that the burning message tree in the valley below was not, in fact, meant for their inbox? Then lots of awkward standing around with one tribe wondering if it should offer these interlopers a haunch of their roast mastadon (pre-history fans send your haughty emails now).

During the Middle Ages, did The Pope ever receive a hastily scrawled vellum saying something like:
"Look, if you get a parchment from me and the rest of the monks at the Order of St Benedict referring to you in less than glowing terms Your Holiness, then it wasn't actually meant for you - we were having a laugh with the Heironymites of the O…

Saw this at IGA last night. WTF Benefiber?

Getting The Band Back Together

Long time readers of this 'blog and Perth Zeitgeisters in general, will recall that I used to be a member of WA's Premier Party Band - Dancing With Gorbachev a.k.a. The Gorbies a.k.a The Gorbys. We were kind of a Slim Jim and the Fatts Band but not as alternative. There's still many a Gen Xer who will recall how we used to blow the roof off Leopold with our George Thorogood covers. We disbanded back in '06, after an incredible show at St James Mitchell Park.

I didn't think I'd ever want to jam again, but lately I've been feeling that old feeling again.

But getting the Gorbys together would be a mistake. Reunions can be tricky things. The world was terribly disappointed that The Spice Girls had one at all. And many of us dream of the day The Rolling Stones get together in a rehearsal room and decide it's time to call it quits.

Anyhow, I'm thinking of starting a new band called either Collision Mesh or The Ethan Marrell Deep Impact Experience. I thin…

Dad Joke 2

> Some people need "discipline" others need the letter "c".
>

Dad Joke 1

I"d be "furious" too if they mispelled my numberplate.

McReviews

For further information by click here.

Hail Zeitgeisters, 


Google Maps–like many things online–has a social dimension. Punters are encouraged to review the businesses that are on the maps. I found the above review of Macca's Tuart Hill, intriguing. Let us ignore for a moment the strange syntax and grammar and ponder the idea that despite the cheese often having a "strange taste" the reviewer still patronises the establishment.  "I'd like a Boston Deli Bagel, but minus the strange-tasting cheese, por favor."  Is that how one would navigate the transaction? For the record, "strange cheese" gave the joint a 4/5 star rating.


The other two reviews also beg questions of the discriminating netizen. "Excellent customer service, always neat and clean, they make you feel like you are the king." It's not clear if the monarch in question is Albert II, King of the Belgians or perhaps boxing promoter Don King, but the reviewer is clearly a fan of thi…

Blades of Glory

We received this in the post in the last few weeks. It’s a piece of synthetic turf. A friend of mine wondered if it was somehow connected to the banning of Kronic, but no, it’s simply a rather nifty idea for selling fake grass. I liked the look of it so much that I stuck a golfball on it to give it further realism.

I promise, I am not related to these people or in a tryst with one of their reps. Mr Trivia is not usually in the business of plugging products, but this seemed like an unusual and clever marketing idea. Get a piece of the product, stick your details on the bottom and put it in people’s letterboxes. Kudos to the folks at All Seasons Synthetic Turf.

Mr Trivia

Forever Krystle

I discovered the existence of fragrance “user reviews” which I had no idea existed. Yes, I was that ignorant. Thank you, Internet. I read some of these at Fragrantica.com and Basenotes.net and soon realised that perfumes have a dedicated and erudite user community who are prepared to go into great detail about what they think of the product but also what memories it evokes. It was a lot more fun than reading user reviews for electronic goods.

Glitteralex found a vintage bottle FOREVER KRYSTLE, "I fear the bergamot note has lost some of its freshness," she said. And then, "After a few seconds of the 'alcohol' note, a heart of plasticky vanilla rose atop a synthetic resin comes through. The musk makes an appearance after about 15 minutes. I do not see vanilla in the notes, but I am sure it is there. The scent is fairly simple, and linear in nature. Not a complex or symphonic perf."

Sandy gave FOREVER KRYSTLE a thumbs up, despite saying, "When this was fi…

Bacon and Egos

Hail Facebookers,
If you join the Bacon and Egos Group you'll never miss excellence like the Bacon AT-AT.
At Bacon and Egos we have a mission to re-blog, rebroadcast and report on Bacon stories or Bacon and Egg related items. We've worked hard over the last two years to bring you the Baconic News and keep you informed about this wonderful, processed meat product.
Now go to tifr.us and see the half dozen Bacon AT-AT photographs. Mmm, mmm - Force flavoured BACON!

Tom Cochrane Free Zone

I heard someone using this a ringtone this week. I understand that we're all different et cetera, but if I ever hear this song on the radio I switch it off straight away. The rage takes half an hour to subside.

The Jaffle Pie is Back.

I'm calling it people. Grab a jaffle pie now while it's in that was-uncool-now-it's-retro zone.

And We're Done!

In December 2010, Mr Trivia left Australia and now travels the world as a consultant for WillowWare Storage.

Mr Trivia left behind the writer whom he described as his alter ego Phil Jeng Kane. Phil maintains the various blogs that Mr Trivia left behind. These are a tribute to a blogger who was neither before nor after his time, but rather timeless, in the sense that his wisdom and his utterances are so universal that they could have been made at any point in history and have the same relevance as they do today - which is to say none whatever.
Mr Trivia and his Documenteur Mr Jeng Kane hope you gain some insight into a unique mind who left us for the world of plastic food storage too early and without warning.
Phil Jeng Kane

Zeitgesters, 
In December 2010, Mr Trivia discontinued this blog. He is now on a mission to observe and record. You may yet see evidence of his existence. Do not despair, Mr Trivia fans, wherever the trivial and the retro thrive, can he be too far away? 
Join his Faceboo…