Saturday, December 27, 2008

dog's xmas

we were away

At Venus Bay with Michael, Laurie and Nicola and the elephant in the room, Michael and Nicola's second but as yet unborn (otherwise I would not call it an elephant - I once made my niece Alice cry by calling her one, but it was only in reference to her good memory - since this neicephew is unborn it can't get me) child. A number of walks but not quite enough to satisfy my current fad-passion for walking all over and everywhere. Venus Bay is a bad bay, as it is not a bay, just a strip of coastline as far as I can tell, and the town of VB is on an isthmus or perhaps just a peninsula, with Anderson Inlet on one side and the ocean on the other. It is pretty developed, on the whole. There are kangaroos (saw tons of those - not that timid), wombats (we saw a wombat but it wasn't very well), literally tonnes of birds. One bird in particular - a rufous whistler if I remember right - was regularly attacking its own reflection in the windows and when I got there in fact I said to Michael, why do you have a towel wrapped round your rear vision mirror? That is, on his car. Well, the RW was attacking its reflection in the mirror. We didn't do anything about our rv mirrors and by yesterday morning the station wagon had big streaks of rufous whistler shit down both car doors, but whether it was shit from being enraged and deranged from its reflection or just from the rw hanging out there a lot and admiring itself I don't know at all.

The little monologue from Laurie about rock 'n' roll is genuine. If I may spoil it (sorry Laurie, I could be wrong) I suspect it was just an example of how he picks things up. Someone used the term 'rock 'n' roll' - I'm not sure of the context - and then Laurie heard it and his ears pricked up. And he really did just say 'Rock 'n' roll? Someone dreamt rock 'n' roll'. But he was using it like it was a person's name, and I guess it does delightfully roll off the tongue like that. The sick-in-the-toilet bit was from a book he had got for Christmas, about a boy who ate books.

Laurie is (stop press!) still delightful, though he denies being a sweetie. (Quote: 'No I'm not'). He turns 3 next week.

Friday, December 26, 2008

laurie on rock 'n' roll

'Rock 'n' roll? Someone dreamt rock 'n' roll.
'Rock 'n' roll pushed out the blocks, and pushed out the trees. Rock 'n' roll is yellow, orange, green, white, red - all colours together.
'Rock 'n' roll was sick. Sick in the toilet.'

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This dog is sitting on a chair; that dog is looking over there

This dog is of a genial persuasion; that dog is practicing another-dog's-photo invasion.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Nothing happened on Tuesday (thought I might as well get in ahead and save time).


Nothing happened on Monday. I walked from Ascot Vale station it took an hour and then I felt fantastic for about three hours. I tried to work a fair bit but it was too hot and muggy and I felt bad. The cool change did not come quickly enough. I spent a fair bit of time in the library. I had lunch with a colleague who had been a great help to me all year and I tried to tell her this and say how much I appreciated it but she obfuscated and nicked into a toilet we had been passing. On the train on the way home a plumpish tall blond woman half my age was reading a menu for sausage pasta she had printed off the internet.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Nothing happened on Sunday. Ashtray Boy rehearsal, which got better as it went on, at the end we did a song I claimed to have never heard but then I realised I had, about a billion times probably. Did a lot of washing. Ate some cruskits. Kenzie is staying so lots of cuddles, from all three dogs because he is so cuddly (and the sook of sooks) they feel they have to be too. Did quite a lot of dishes, also watched Seven wonders of the industrial world which in this case was about the sewering of London. Love those egg-shaped drains. Reading this fine book by Charles Reade, called It's never too late to mend, which is full of great stuff about the silent & separate prison system. Read it here yourself if you wish.

Anyway I can hear the dogs going berserk/ playing a fun game out the back so I better go and get my leg savaged. (Later: didn't happen - Kenzie just licked my knee very ardently that's all).


'Cos only a sissy would reflect, right? Right. I was having a mentalblank-writersblock moment earlier this evening and was compelled to search on what brought people to this blog in random searches, and found that two things in particular put me in touch with the wider world: my rumination a while ago on what one called one's cousin's child, and another was the term 'sorry for any inconvenience caused', which actually made me wonder if people in non-English speaking countries were trying to figure out what this phrase actually means (FYI - it means NOTHINK).

There is a coffee place about 2 mins from where I work which I go to 2 or so times a day (I met a coworker there a few weeks ago who said 'After what you told us at the christmas party about the amount of coffee you drink I'm not surprised to see you here!' And I said, I drink two cups of coffee a day - three max. And she said 'No, you told us SIX!' God that was a weird conversation to briefly have to have.) I have enjoyed myself a lot there this year, because I like to think I have friendly interactions with the staff, though there is a bit of tension with that too because you always feel like you have to be 'on' when you go there and then 4 out of 5 times you don't really get a chance to be on at all because there are other people to be served, but boy, when you are required to be on, you have to be. I have had some awkward times there, true. Like when the girls were reminiscing about groups they liked when they were children and it was music that I wasn't aware anyone could think of sentimentally, like Destiny's Child. As I have said previously, half the time they play Joan Armatrading there and the other half it's Tracey Chapman, then the third half it's I dunno, I think I once heard Supertramp. Then they asked me what music I liked. Whew that was tough. I think I said the Red Krayola, I mean you might as well be honest. Anyway they are closed for christmas, so I suppose I miss them, I don't know why I brought them up now.

I am listening to The Groop's album Woman you're breaking me, which I suppose is their second and last album, although there is a greatest hits record I see around a lot. I hadn't seen this one and I bought it for a dollar in Cootamundra (or was it Narrandera, christ, you plague me with questions). I went looking for a clip of them on YouTube but there don't seem to have been any made except in their first incarnation before they were very good. But I did happen upon one of my favourite songs of all time, which also happens to have one of the most unintentionally funny videos of all time.

2.05-2.11 is the best bit visually. Note Rage credited this to Ted Mulry Gang, but it is a long time before anyone thought Mulry was Ted's middle name.

I am interested that for 'Julia', another wonderful song which was the single before 'Falling in love again', Ted was considered suitable as the love interest, but they probably figured they'd learnt a lesson by the time of 'FILA'

Anyway I think I was going to wefwect but obviously that isn't going to happen, I meandered instead - which is a bit like wefwecting I suppose. Sowwy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

so what, right?

it's been a strange week

It has been a strange week and you might wonder where I have been. I don’t think you need to know EVERYTHING, particularly since a lot of it will not be of strong interest to you or anyone else, plus I like to operate on a need-to-know basis. I have been in Griffith, and in Cootamundra, and Junee, and all of those places did, I think, benefit considerably from my wise and sensitive presence, spreading a little touch of sophistication and gentle intelligence which god knows the Bush needs so much. I was also in Canberra which, once again, is kind of pretty much the greatest place on earth, and I loved my time there, big shout outs to Gus's and the crazy guys at the NLA! I have also been in a bit of a fug, partly from driving too far too much at night – that knocked me out for a day, pretty much. So it’s been a bit hazy, overall.

Tonight I am writing this babysitting April. It was not a great sit, and I am not a tremendous sitter. I go for the easy options: DVD on (it was Yo Gabba Gabba – pretty amusing), get a bunch of books together etc and try to get her into the idea of being read to as a preliminary to going to sleep (though she forcefully told me a couple of times ‘I’m not going nigh-nighs’; how I hate to hear those words, from anyone). We read a lot of books, she has quite a selection, some of them wordy as hell, others not a bit. Some of them just numbery-lettery books with no stories and just pictures (god, April has an amazing vocabulary, though she did early on tell me she couldn’t find ‘the thing to put in the thing’, and I had to get her to show me that she meant the array of plastic popsicle makers – truthfully, I had to struggle a bit just then to figure out how to describe them, so fair enough). I actually thought she was probably going to sleep, then she got up and wanted to watch Yo Gabba Gabba again, and then she also wanted to push the doll’s swing against the television and ask me the tough questions about her destructive activities in the living room (usually, ‘is that funny?’, to which I would truthfully answer, ‘no’). Then she took her nappy off and went to the toilet (I mean literally – she sat on the toilet) which wasn’t what I wanted to happen (the first part particularly) and then she started grizzling for Mummy, and by this time I – look, I have no excuses, I’m just a piece of shit – said ‘Mummy’s not here, she’ll be back later’, how callous! And then she said she wanted to open the back door and I said we can’t open the back door, why do you want to do that? And she said ‘To see Mummy’, and started crying, and I’m like jesus, and then she left the room which is to my mind a kind of control thing, little kids will leave the room to test you and make you follow them, so I always wait a little before I do follow, which I always do because I am so freaking scared they will hang themselves or something. And she was in earshot (so, alive) crying for Mummy etc and I thought well – she’s gone to bed, that’s good. But then when I went and looked at her she wasn’t in her bed, she was in Mummy’s bed. So you do some kind of sum, of course, along the lines of, she’s in bed that’s good, it’s the wrong bed that’s bad, without a nappy on that’s bad, but she did go to the toilet recently that’s good, she’s sleeping soundly that’s good, and so on. I just went and checked on her again and she still is, like a little angel, probably pickling in her own piss in her parents’ bed and they may not necessarily thank me for that, though if I know anything about being a parent, and I don’t, it won’t be the worst thing they go through in a particular week.

And now I am sitting here feeling mildly ill and very sleepy, and hearing weird whoops and shouts and even cackles in the street outside and thinking that’s all pretty odd, and do I have anything else to tell you? No, I do not, or if I do, I’ll tell it to your face when I see you next.

* Later. Yes she did wet the bed. April, if you're reading this in ten years, I can delete it if you want. Also: the whoops and shouts were from a party across the road.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

celebrate good times, come on

I have completed the first draft of the first volume of my history of Australian rock and pop.
'Christ am I in it mate?'

worst of all

However, not only have I been acting strange I have also been thinking strange. For instance, our neighbours up the road have a van parked outside with 'Pergolas and Decking' written on the back and a phone number. I honestly thought to myself, Hmm, Pergolas and Decking, I wonder what business they're in?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

keep on moving

I have been acting strangely the last few weeks and I am not quite sure why. The last week in particular I have become quite short with people (no jokes about my height thank you, it is average). I filled out a survey at the end of a seminar, for instance, where there would be no doubt in the minds of the surveyors when it came to identifying me as the writer, it was not rude, but it was blunt and silly and strange, what I wrote. Yesterday some colleagues mentioned a musical act they were going to see and instead of what I would usually do (simper), I said 'Aren't they rubbish?'. I accused a colleague for whom I have great respect of 'offloading garbage' onto me by offering me some actually quite useful publications after an office cleanup. So, this is what I have become.

Advice please.

Monday, December 08, 2008

mississippi's kings of the world

Is a classically good song

a clash of cultures

I am a big fan of the Comics Curmudgeon (see link to the right). If he was Australian he would have had a thing or two or perhaps three to say about the instalment of the Wizard of Id that appears in today's Age.

Let me know if you need me to explain why this comes out seeming weird in an Australian newspaper (on a related topic, I will let you know if I need to have it explained why I should have stopped reading this comic strip about 25 years ago).

a blog entry i could not be bothered finishing

'If you don't eat you don't shit, and if you don't shit you die'. I can't remember where I heard that but it always struck me as stunningly clever. Something I was leaning towards saying in my post yesterday - the one you see below - is that one of the motivations for posting new posts is that I get sick of the old ones that come up on the front 'page' and I wish to push them off into the ether, or at least into the category of 'recent posts'. For this crummy reason, as you must surely have guessed, I do sometimes post on this blog just for the sake of it. While I totally resist suggestions in the threatened and trembling mainstream press that blogs are just unedited, self-indulgent crapola, I realise nonetheless that most are and probably sometimes mine is for this very reason.

I would like to ruminate a little on Never been kissed, a Drew Barrymore comedy I watched 4/5 of on tv last night. I don't have strong objections to DB (she will be glad to hear) although I was surprised to note in this film that she wasn't taller than I thought she was (see, that is blogging gold). In this film, DB plays a newspaper copyeditor in Chicago (good early scenes of central Chicago which I enjoyed mildly, having fond memories of that place) who if I got this correctly, has never been kissed or, presumably, kissed anyone or for that matter done anything very intimate, though I think (I wasn't paying absolute attention) this might have been fudged a bit with a monologue in which DB says that she he's never been kissed kissed. So, she goes undercover in a high school to do an expose for her newspaper on the whim of the paper's weird old proprietor, and explores/manipulates the school social hierarchy, or has it manipulated for her by a man whose status/relationship to DB I am quite uncertain of but perhaps he's her brother? Or some other generic and platonic male associate of hers who, apparently, can also pass for under 18. All the stereotypes are there, inc. gridiron jock, bitchy shallow girls, nerdy girl, etc. I suppose it would be hard to do it without them but it would have been nice to try. Nevertheless. The film has the air of something which was written to be something other than a Drew Barrymore vehicle but which they managed to find a role for DB which allowed her to totally be in every scene and run the whole show. I wonder how it ended? Since there was no Still never been kissed, or


Sunday, December 07, 2008

i have

In the last few days I have remembered a lot of conversations I've had but can't remember where I've had them. I must have a compartmentalised life. Anyway, this was not a conversation but a news/discussion item of some sort, that I read, which talked about the production of greenhouse gas in the printing of a report, compared to the reading of the same report on line, with the conclusion that the printed was more envirofriendly than the online, though the more I think about it the more I think all the extras in the printed (like, driving to the library) were not taken into consideration.

Anyway, when I fill out nonsense like the below, I am trouble that I might be wasting the resources of the planet, and interrupting my readers' attempts to limit the urban growth boundary, listen to the La de dahs, etc. On the other hand, there may be some readers who were about to kill or maim, and who were otherwise distracted by this long list of things I have and haven't. I suppose you have to take those people into consideration too.

My advice really is that these things are only enjoyable when you are filling them in yourself. I recommend you cut and paste it and do it. As you do, consider how these things are surely (surely!) manufactured as some kind of viral market research, with the weird non sequitur questions sprinkled in amongst the consumption questions. If they're not market research, they're paedophile research... I mean, research of value to paedophiles. I suppose the Market and paedophiles have a fair bit in common. What do you think.

[x]I have eaten​ more than 5 meals​ a day.
[x] I have read a lot of books​.​
[ ] I have been on some sort of varsi​ty team.​
[ ] I have run more than 2 miles​ witho​ut stopp​ing.​
[ ] I have been to Canad​a.​
[x] I have watch​ed carto​ons for hours​.​
[x] I have tripp​ed UP the stair​s.​
[ ] I have falle​n down an entir​e fligh​t of stair​s.​
[ ] I have been snowb​oardi​ng/​skiin​g.​
[x] I have playe​d ping pong.​
[x] I swam in the ocean​.​
[x] I have been on a whale​ watch​.​
[x] I have seen firew​orks.​
[x] I have seen a shoot​ing star.​
[ ] I have seen a meteo​r showe​r.​
[x] I have almos​t drown​ed.​
[x] I have been so embar​rasse​d I wante​d to disap​pear.​
[x] I have liste​ned to one cd over & over & over again​.​
[x] I have had stitc​hes.​
[ ] I have been on the honor​ roll.​
[ ] I have had frost​bite.​
[ ] I have licke​d a froze​n pole and got stuck​ there​
[x] I have staye​d up til 2 doing​ homew​ork/​proje​cts.​
[x] I curre​ntly have a job.
[ ] I have been ice skati​ng.​
[ ] I have been rolle​rblad​ing.​
[ ] I have falle​n flat on my face.​
[ ] I have tripp​ed over my own two feet.​
[ ] I have been in a fist fight​.​
[ ] have playe​d video​games​ for more than 3 hours​ strai​ght.​
[ ] I have watch​ed the power​ range​rs.​
[ ] I do/​did atten​d Churc​h regul​arly.​
[ ] I have playe​d truth​ or dare.​
[x] I have alrea​dy had my 16th birth​day.​
[x] I have alrea​dy had my 17th birth​day.​
[ ] I've lost weigh​t since​ one year ago.
[x] I've calle​d someo​ne stupi​d.​ And meant​ it.
[x] I've been in a verba​l argum​ent.​
[x] I've cried​ in schoo​l.​
[ ] I've playe​d baske​tball​ on a team.​
[ ] I've playe​d baseb​all on a team.​
[ ] I've playe​d footb​all on a team.​
[x] I've playe​d socce​r on a team.​*
[ ] I've done dance​ on a team.​
[ ] I've playe​d softb​all on a team.​
[ ] I've playe​d volle​yball​ on a team.​
[ ] I've playe​d tenni​s on a team.​
[ ] I've been on a track​ team.​
[x] I've been swimm​ing more than 20 times​ in my life.​
[ ] I've bunge​e jumpe​d.​
[ ] I've climb​ed a rock wall.​
[x] I've lost more than $20.
[x] I've calle​d mysel​f an idiot​.​
[x] I've calle​d someo​ne else an idiot​.​
[​ ]​I'​ve cried​ mysel​f to sleep​.​
[x] I've had (or have)​ pets.​
[x] I've owned​ a Spice​ Girls​ cd.
[ ] I've owned​ a Britn​ey Spear​s cd.
[ ] I've owned​ an *​NSYNC​ cd.
[ ] I've owned​ a backs​ide boys cd.**
[ ] I've moone​d someo​ne.​
[x] I've sworn​ at someo​ne in autho​rity.​
[x] I've been in the newsp​aper.​
[x] I've been on TV
[x] I've been to Hawai​i.​
[ ] I've eaten​ sushi​.​
[x] I've been on the other​ side of a water​fall.​
[x] I've watch​ed all of the Lord of the Rings​ movie​s.​
[​ ]​I'​ve watch​ed all the Harry​ Potte​r movie​s.​
[ ] I've watch​ed all of the Rocky​ movie​s.​
[x] I've watch​ed the 3 stoog​es.​
[ ] I've watch​ed "​Newly​weds"​ Nick & Jessi​ca.​
[x] I've watch​ed Loone​y Tunes​.​
[ ] I've been stuff​ed into a locke​r.​
[x] I've been calle​d a geek.​
[x] I've studi​ed hard for a test and got a bad grade​.​
[ ] I've not studi​ed at all for a test and aced it.
[ ] I've hugge​d my mom with the past 24 hours​.​
[ ] I've hugge​d my dad withi​n the past 24 hours​.​
[x] Ive met a celeb​rity/​music​ artis​t.​
[ ] I've writt​en poetr​y.​
[x] Ive been attra​cted to someo​ne much older​ than me.
[ ] I've been tickl​ed till I've cried​.​
[ ] I've tickl​ed someo​ne else until​ they cried​.​
[x] I've had/​have sibli​ngs.​
[x] Ive been to a rock conce​rt.​
[ ] I've liste​ned to class​ical music​ and enjoy​ed it.
[ ] I've been in a play.​
[​x]​I'​ve been picke​d last in gym class​.​
[ ] I've been picke​d first​ in gym class​.​
[ ] I've been picke​d in that middl​e-​range​ in gym class​.​
[ ] I've cried​ in front​ of my frien​ds.​
[x]​ I've read a book longe​r than 1,​000 pages​.​
[ ] I've playe​d Halo 2.
[x] I've freak​ed out over a sport​s game.​
[ ] I've been to Alask​a.​
[ ] I've been to China​.​
[x] I've been to Spain​.​
[ ] I've been to Japan​.​
[ ] I've had a fight​ with someo​ne on AIM
[x] I've had a fight​ with someo​ne face-​to-​face.​
[ ] I've had serio​us conve​rstat​ions on an IM.
[x] I've forgi​ven someo​ne who has done somet​hing wrong​ to me
[x] I've been forgi​ven.​
[x] I've screa​med at a scary​ movie​.​
[x] I've cried​ at a chick​ flick​
[​x]​I'​ve laugh​ed at a scary​ movie​
[x] I've watch​ed a lot of actio​n movie​s.​
[ ] I've screa​med at the top of my lungs​.​
[x] I've been to a rap conce​rt.​
[ ] Ive been to a hip hop conce​rt.​
[x] I've lived​ in more than 2 house​s.​
[x] I've drive​n on the highw​ay
[x] I've drive​n more than 40 miles​ in a day
[x] I've been in a car accid​ent
[x] I've done drugs​.​
[x] I've been homes​ick.​
[x] I've throw​n up
[ ] I've puked​ all over someo​ne.​
[ ] I've been horse​back ridin​g.​
[x] I've fille​d out more than 10 myspa​ce surve​ys.​
[x] I've spoke​n my mind in publi​c.​
[x] I've prove​d someo​ne wrong​
[x] I've been prove​n wrong​ by someo​ne.​
[ ] I've broke​n a leg.
[ ] Ive broke​n an arm.
[x] I've falle​n off a swing​.​
[x] I've swung​ on a swing​ for more than 30 mins strai​ght.​
[ ] I've watch​ed Winni​e the Pooh movie​s.​
[ ] I've forgo​tten my backp​ack when I've gone to schoo​l.​
[ ] Ive lost my backp​ack.​
[x] I've come close​ to dying​.​
[x] I've seen someo​ne die.
[x] I've known​ someo​ne who has died.​
[ ] I've wante​d to be an actor​/​actre​ss at some point​.​
[ ] I've done model​ing
[x] I've forgo​tten to brush​ my teeth​ some morni​ngs.​
[x] I've taken​ somet​hing/​someo​ne for grant​ed.​
[x] I've reali​zed how good my life is.
[ ] I've count​ed my bless​ings.​
[x] I've made fun of a class​mate.​
[x] I've been asked​ out by someo​ne and I said no.
[x] I've asked​ someo​ne on a date and been turne​d down.​
[ ] I've slapp​ed someo​ne in the face.​
[ ] I've been skate​board​ing.​
[x] Ive been backs​tabbe​d by someo​ne I thoug​ht was a frien​d.​
[x] I've lied to someo​ne to their​ face.​
[x] I've told a littl​e white​ lie.
[x] I've taken​ a day off from schoo​l just so I don'​t go insan​e.​
[x] I've faint​ed
[x] I've had an argum​ent with someo​ne about​ weath​er
[ ] cheer​leadi​ng is a sport​
[ ] I've pushe​d someo​ne into a pool.​
[x] I've been pushe​d into a pool
[x] I've lived​ throu​gh a serio​us hurri​cane***

* untrue
** this was in the original, or at least the version I took from Polly. I wonder if it has deeper relevance (or resonance).
*** which took place thousands of km away

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Hey, I hate these very lame youtube videos that aren't videos but are just static images (of an album cover or whatever) and music but seriously this is my favourite song in the entire world, and has been pretty much since I first heard it 23 years ago, and pretty much all things considered probably will be, and while I don't think it makes me cool to be associated with it in your mind or whatever, I do think it is just a big favour I'm doing for you if you've never heard it, or even if you have heard it many times before, for you to have the opportunity to hear it once again.

(NB this was removed from YouTube sometime in January so replaced with a cover by David Grubbs in March 09)

Friday, December 05, 2008

an unfinished rude review of an old book by jade hurley

Jade Hurley’s Jade: the Jade Hurley Story, self-published in 2003.

Hurley has been part of the music scene since the early 1960s, when he was ‘discovered’ and then named (real name John Hurley) by Johnny O’Keefe looking for new performers for his show Six O’Clock Rock. His first single, ‘How I Lied’, leans towards a punk masterpiece if the live performance of it captured on YouTube (from a mid-60s Perth tv broadcast) is anything to go by. Tenaciously, and despite little chart success in that decade, he appears to have managed to carve out a career for himself as a touring pianist and singer of popular songs, playing leagues clubs and the like over the decades. He seems to have found enduring fame in certain quarters as a regular on the Mike Walsh Show some decades ago, wherein he demonstrated extraordinary versatility in his ability to research and construct into medley form hits of previous decades: he called them ‘Golden Oldens’.

There is little doubting the sincerity of the man and this regard Hurley’s book is more of a ‘genuine’ story than most relics of the genre. His personality comes through in spades... What the book does lack, however, is any structure or chronology, and one wonders if Hurley had any other work from the genre in mind as a template for this one.

As a narrative, then, it needs another word aside from ‘shambles’. A crueller person than me would find some elements of the book hilarious (a smartarse way of saying that I do, of course). Let us leap firstly to the end. On page 263, in a one-page chapter called ‘The Final Word’, Hurley tells us ‘I have finished my story and my book is ready for editing’. Obviously he was distracted from arranging this by the fact that ‘I have been urinating blood’. The suspense lasts till page 265, when he is told in another one-page chapter, ‘Conclusion’, that ‘There is no cancer’.*

Piss has played a big part in Hurley’s life, and his anecdotes of life on the road show how often musicians, bored and thrown on their own resources, rely on piss for entertainment. Ray Brown’s Perth-Sydney plane flight jape of delivering a bottle of his piss to an unnamed guitarist loudly demanding more alcohol has Hurley reeling: ‘Fair dinkum, I nearly fainted’ (p. 147). The unprepossessingly named Johnny Bogie, Col Joye’s drummer, pisses in Hurley’s new boots just before Hurley puts them on to go on stage: ‘they were never the same as after this performance’, he says (p. 35).

Hurley’s use of metaphor is redundant, as best shown by his description of O’Keefe as, on occasion being ‘a real arsehole in every sense of the word’ (p. 83). Sometimes his colourful language says it all, as in the long story of the ‘bloody frog rip-off merchant’ taxi driver who takes him round Paris (p. 186), also referred to as ‘the bloody frog rip-off taxi driver’ (p. 188). He is obviously more comfortable on the straight and narrow, eg his four-page anecdote ‘I split my pants’ (pp. 164-167).

Drugs, too, played a part in Hurley’s life. His discussion of an accidental use of cocaine during one performance is confusing particularly because – and there are a few contradictions of this sort in the book – this experiment leads him into hostile argument with O’Keefe who ‘never mentioned anything to do with it again’ (p. 151). However, two pages later, we are told O’Keefe ‘went to great lengths to remind me of my… performance when stoned out of my brain on cocaine’ (p. 153)

* I assume, looking back on this piece of writing about six months after I failed to finish it, that he means there is no cancer in his urinary tract, not that cancer per se does not exist. But should I assume?

now i think about it...

once, when people said cannibal, you thought of that joke of the African (or New Guinean or whoever) tribespeople with the missionary in the cooking pot, but now you probably think of pained and intense (and no wonder) Aryans. So perhaps in one sense putting that La de das (I've finally got it, though I'm not sure of the capitalisation) album cover there with the purloined picture of Angelfood McSpade, the Robert Crumb character of the 60s, was a bit iffy but hell that's the album cover and it's a great album. Angelfood McSpade was perhaps a cannibal though as she did (if I remember correctly) promote a product that purported to be manufactured from the organs of others of her race.

I have a little collection (well, a list really) of Australian appropriations of Crumb. He was certainly very popular with the student press in the 70s here and I guess a lot of people figured the work was there to be reprinted. I had the pleasure of doing a quick email interview with Crumb a few years ago and I asked him about that. He said he didn't care. Maybe he even liked it.

I am still trying to figure out what Crumb meant, however, in the Australian context.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I have no truck with cannibals, whatever it means to have truck. I mean it probably stands for To Remember Useful Caring Kindness, or Try Reminding Us Constant Knowledge, or variations of that which make more sense. Cannibals totally suck! I think cannibals should give up eating flesh of other people, and you, who are so interested in what cannibals do, should also get a little more interested in more worthwhile things, like the reworking of the urban growth boundary, or the album Rock n Roll Sandwich by the La De Dahs, or however you spell it (I have trouble with that band name, unlike most band names, 'cos usually I think they're important). The other people I hate other than cannibals are sexists. Geez! Those sexists think they run the fucken show, with their sexist this and sexist that, doing all this sexist stuff that good people hate. Why if a sexist was here right now I would punch him (it's always a 'him' isn't it - that's not a coincidence) on the nose.

You can see now how to spell La Di Das, or however you spell it.

my philosophy of life

I don't have a philosophy of life, and I think that that is just one more misuse of the notion of 'philosophy', surely, but am I wrong. I did philosophy (with a capital P) in first year at Monash University in 1984, and I failed because I dropped out, and I thought the discussions were OK but very unformed, because everyone seemed to be talking in foolish semantics (did we really argue about 'can machines think?')? Monash is a fine institution but it was not for me in 1984, and probably no university would be. When I went there to enroll, a man who knew my name called and waved to me across a room, he was old, I had no idea who he was then and never found out. It is odd to think I was doing anything in 1984, as it was a famous year and everyone was saying 'it really is 1984', referring of course to the book by George Orwell. I was 19 and for some reason believed I had better things to do, but on reflection I cannot remember what those things might have been. Now, when I see students entirely unmotivated by their 1st year courses, I can only reflect on how they might feel, and realise that how they might feel is roughly as alien to me as how I recall I felt in that position, perhaps less so, I don't know. The Huxton Creepers played on campus one lunchtime, and I saw them play, and they were named after something in Sherlock Holmes, though I am not entirely sure what, a kind of shoe probably. On my first day at Monash I took the train to Holmesglen (hmm - interesting - but it probably wasn't Holmesglen, it was probably Jordanville) station and then caught a bus, I met a girl on the way, who was very outgoing, and we talked in a not particularly interesting way I suppose, though I would currently enjoy reading a transcript of that conversation, don't think that's not possible, all sound waves continue to exist, as I learnt in Grade 5. And then when we got to campus she met some guy she knew and mentioned in a short conversation that the first thing she was going to do was join the Liberal Club, but I never saw her again, or if I did, I didn't recognise her, but more likely they killed and ate her, and serves her right, for being a Liberal Party supporter.