Friday, January 27, 2006


When Martha and the Vandellas (what the hell is a vandella? A vendetta crossed with paella? Yes, undoubtedly, yes) sang about a Heatwave you got the sneaking suspicion they thought it was quite something, in fact, since they were comparing it to their loving feelings for ‘him’, it was something positive. I am here to tell you a heatwave sucks a big turd in the mud, to quote Frank Kogan who didn’t I imagine make this phrase up but certainly impressed it into my mind with his witty outlook. I am writing this in the middle of a heatwave. I don’t know what the temperature is per se but I do know it’s hot, muggy and I feel like I’ve taken a swim wearing a dressing gown and I’m still wearing it. And even though it is raining a little outside, I can’t imagine a time when I was not suffering this turgid debility. I know, I know, who needs this whingeing. Well you’re my blog and you were put on earth to deal with this.

Right now I am in the underground, at Parliament. Once again I see the blanked-out Altona line schemata. Also, I note that above Williamstown is the blanked-out ‘Williamstown Pier’ station. I actually don’t recall this station at all, though I am sure Brad will remember it. (Later: I asked Brad about Altona only and he said that the line beyond Altona was never a railway line, always a rail reserve with nothing on, until the early 80s, and that there's a plaque at Westona saying when it and the adjoining shopping centre was built. This suggests that these blanked-out maps have been there over 25 years). There are also blanked-out stations between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, between Donnybrook and Wallan, and between Tottenham and Sunshine. What on earth? And the Sydenham line is shown as unelectrified after St Albans. Wow, what a flashback. As with London Underground maps, you could get very flippin’ confused trying to use this map to figure out where things are in relation to each other, as Werribee is on a level with Bacchus Marsh and Wandong, which it isn’t. (Don’t think this is some obscure Australianism or Melbournism. I would guesstimate 5% of the people of Melbourne would know where Werribee, Bacchus Marsh and most obscurely Wandong are. I don’t know where Wandong is. I don’t really know where Digger’s Rest is either, to throw another irrelevant element into the mix. Although I probably know Melbourne better than most people (Wandong isn’t in Melbourne anyway, it must be a kind of commuter town, it comes after Heathcote Junction on the diagram, HJ is most definitely not in Melbourne, nor is it anywhere at all near Heathcote, and in fact I don’t think it’s the slightest bit a junction either. I’ll ask Brad).

This morning I went to Screen Sound to pick up a video of 8d a Day which according to the box I ordered in the middle of last year!!! I am a bit shocked by that but it must have been the last time I didn’t have any money, unlike this time when I also have no money. I am talking about the film at this Wellington conference in a few weeks. That reminds me, I know how stupid this sounds, but I am going to have to find out if I need a visa to go to New Zealand. I mean surely Australians don’t, but you know, war on terror and other crap, for all I know you can get arrested trying to leave Australia without some kind of letter from the freakin’ Queen (sorry, that was a typo – I meant the fucken Queen). It still sounds really stupid but I guess I had better figure it all out. I have quite a few calls to make today I had better get it together. Dropped into the Veggie Bar at lunchtime and had kofta balls and a chocolate (soy) milkshake, dead good. When the youngster serving me slapped a plate down and yelled joyously ‘kofta balls’ I thought, are you meant to retort in some way, but I didn’t (if I think of something I’ll go back in a couple of weeks and yell it at her). They came with a chilli sauce and a tzatzikiish sauce, both of which were very good. I am on the train now and there is a man on the train who looks a bit like William Burroughs. Someone was talking about William Burroughs the other day who was it. Perhaps Shane. He is always Burroughs this, Burroughs that. I remember the other day I was talking about rabbit burrows, and his ears pricked up, then he was sad when he realised I was talking about a natural phenomenon. Then I had some things to say about wheelbarrows, and he was similarly perky for a second and then he relaxed into torpor. Then I had some things to say about Willy Ambrose and the same thing happened. Then I said ‘and how about that William Burroughs?’ and he punched me in the head!

There is this girl talking loudly about something or other very much in the style of the-girl-who-plays-Willow’s character in the American Pie films. Since I started that sentence she did then just start talking about a camp she went to, only it was on Kangaroo Island, not band camp. Before that she was talking about a subject she studied called ‘Advanced’. The other girl said ‘Advanced what?’ and she said ‘I don’t know, it’s just called “Advanced”.’ She is also a little like Saffy’s nerd friend in Absolutely Fabulous. ‘I vary from about 50 to 60. Even after a second on the scales I’d get back on again and I’d be a different weight.’ Talking about metabolism (or tablets?) and being hungry and being skinny and ‘when I eat chocolate I feel guilty – I don’t want to be fat!’ Why would you talk about this stuff loudly on a train unless you were making some kind of point. ‘I hope I haven’t bored you… ‘bye!’ I don’t understand why the people out of Buffy play such crapped out film roles. Sarah Michelle Geller and the-girl-who-plays-Willow are actually I guess the only ones I can think of in this regard, but I think my point stands. I mean, The Grudge for instance, give me a break.

I went to ACMI and borrowed two films, some sexy seventies cocktailsploitation (as opposed to a cocksploitation film, or for that matter a kofta ballsploitation film) and Harvey, which I wanted to see again in the light of Donnie Darko. I know, I’m not a great sophisticate in this regard, well, it’s not my area really. Oh yes be assured I am very sophisticated in other areas.

I am facing everyone in this carriage, I can see 17 heads facing my way and there is nobody in the 12 seats facing away from our destination. Burroughs guy on second viewing looks more like Dennis Hopper. Well, a Burroughs/Hopper look can probably get you a long way. Actually I remember now, Shane was saying Burroughs displayed no remorse for shooting his wife. Interestingly this week I saw that Simpsons where Homer is an inventor, and one of the things he invents is a makeup-applying gun, women have to shoot themselves in the face with this rifle to put their make-up on in a hurry. I had been thinking about this episode earlier in the week and I did quite enjoy it, though have surely seen it many times previously. It’s good because even though the whole motivation for Homer to begin inventing is ludicrous (he’s half way through the average American male’s lifespan and feels he has achieved nothing) the idea of Homer as an inventor has endless possibilities, and you feel like only a little of these are exploited in this episode. I heard an interview with one of the Simpsons writers on the radio a couple of weeks ago, I think it was on the Media Report, and the guy said two things pertinent to the above: one, that a cartoon allowed them to do all kinds of things you could never get away with in a live-action parody (he mentioned Homer strangling Bart, which I must admit does make me slightly uneasy – sorry to be so woossy) and of course Homer ‘shooting’ Marge would be an example of this. Two, that while they were not running out of ideas, they were running out of ‘first’ things for Homer to do (and in fact of course there are occasional references to repetition, etc in later episodes of the show).


Wayne said...

Much like the parade of disasters featuring the Friends cast (although they deserve it), it does seem that the Buffy cast appear in a lot of dud films. David Boreanaz (Arnaz? Lucy Arnaz?), Angel from 'Buffy' and of course Angel from er, 'Angel', was in a mess called Valentine. Seth Green was in Josie & The Pussycats and that second Austin Powers one, ew-wee, but also in Party Monster which might be a winner. He's also on The Family Guy. Nicolas Brendon was however pretty good in the fab Psycho Beach Party.

David said...

Seth Green was also in that show with the gnarly glove puppets. What was that called?