We Are All Winners

Thursday 14 April 2005

This is a great day. Boring Like a Drill is now the Number One Google result for the terms “Austrian Flame” and “Julie Dawn Kemp.” To celebrate this momentous occasion, I have awarded myself several prestigious internet awards for web excellence.
Thanks to NetGuide, Excite and Magellan for the 4-star ratings, and especially to Point for listing me amongst the top 5% of all web sites – what an honour! Without your poorly-conceived business models sending you tits-up during the dot-com boom I would have had to make up my own meaningless awards graphics.
But most of all, I’d like to thank you. Not ‘you’ the readers; firstly because, in all frankness, without you I still would have conquered this search engine summit; and secondly because I seriously doubt I have any readers, and suspect that comments left here were actually written by me when drunk. Rather, I mean the people who set up and run the Google bots and Blogger, because otherwise I’d have to communicate this important information in the old-fashioned way: by pissing it in large, crudely-formed block letters against a wall or other similarly flat surface.
Which reminds me: BLAD is also the Number One Google result for “Peter Phelps is Fat.”

Killing him made him stronger than we could have possibly imagined

Wednesday 13 April 2005

The Daily Flute whets my appetite for something I can only crave, knowing I shall never be fulfilled: election night telly from the Vatican. But the Flute leaves out one crucial element:
MICHAEL KROGER: These are only early results, but at this stage it’s looking encouraging for…
KERRY O’BRIEN: Sorry to cut you off there, but we’re just getting in reports of white smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel.
ANTONY GREEN (pecking at laptop): That’s not what my figures are telling me.

The Interpreter: care factor?

Wednesday 13 April 2005

This movie plot sounds like something you’d find over at Query Letters I Love, except it’s actually been made. For 80 million dollars.

The Interpreter

Nicole Kidman stars as African-born U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome, who inadvertently overhears a death threat against an African head of state scheduled to address the United Nation’s General Assembly. Realizing she’s become a target of the assassins as well, Silvia’s desperate to thwart the plot… if only she can survive long enough to get someone to believe her.
Oh no! An African head of state’s life is threatened! The world has truly gone mad! No wonder no-one will believe her.
Our Nicole: Ossifer! Someone wants to kill an African head of state!
Guy in uniform: Pffft! Who’d want to do something like that? Africa is so politically stable.
Our Nicole: Exactly! Don’t you see? The killing of an African leader will have serious repercussions around the world, too horrible to contemplate!
Guy in uniform: My god, you’re right. We came so close to the brink of armageddon back when Ibrahim Bare Mainassara bought it.
Another guy: Not to mention Muhammad Boudiaf.
Guy in uniform: Or Cyprien Ntaryamira. Wall Street’s still got the jitters over that one.
Another guy: And Juvenal Habriarimana.
Guy in uniform: Then there was Melchior Ndadaye.
Another guy: Laurent Kabila.
Guy in uniform: Well, duh! How far back have we gone now?
Another guy: About ten years. Wait a minute, where’s Africa exactly?
Our Nicole: You don’t understand. This has special relevance for me, because I am also African.
Guy in uniform: You’re African?
Our Nicole: Well, African-born. I won’t confuse you by specifying a country.
Guy in uniform: So that’s why you’re talking with a weird accent that comes and goes at random.
Another guy: Now you got a cushy job in New York. Counsellor Troi is sensing White Guilt, here.
Guy in uniform: Enough with the frickin’ Counsellor Troi jokes, already.
Our Nicole: Anyway, he is African like me, and all countries on our continent are the bestest of friends. Besides, the people of his country will be devestated if their benevolent, competent, democratically-elected leader cannot serve out his full, corruption-free term in office before promptly calling a free and fairly-contested general election.
Guy in uniform: What country are we talking about?
Our Nicole: Monkeysflyoutmybuttania. Now are you gonna help me or do I have to call in Bob Geldof?
Guy in uniform: Alright, alright! We’ll help you stop this assassination plot you overheard.
Our Nicole: Well, it wasn’t so much of a plot, as such. It was more like a threat.
Gut in uniform: A threat?
Our Nicole: Yeah, this guy was all like, “I’ll kill that bastard, he’s eaten the last Tim-Tam!”
Guy in uniform: Never mind, we won’t let him get killed. Not until he’s safely on his home soil.
Another guy: Unless they just blow his plane out of the sky on his way back.
Our Nicole: Or he’s shot by his own bodyguards.
Guy in uniform: Welps, this calls for action. Who’s for donuts?
All: Mmmmmmmm, donuts…..
(Enter Monkeysflyoutmybuttanian ambassador)

!!! SPOILER ALERT !!!
Ambassador: I am authorised to say that my President has never heard of Johnny Farnham.

As the North Coburg tram crossed Brunswick Road

Wednesday 13 April 2005

HIM (slapping my shoulder): You happy?
ME: Yeah.
HIM: Do you think it’s funny doing that?
ME: What?
HIM: Making a girl disappear, just like that.
ME: Depends on the girl.
HIM: Did you have to pay someone to make her disappear?
ME: No.
HIM: But you had to build a castle first, didn’t you?
ME: Yeah.
HIM: But not here.
ME: No.
HIM: Not here. You know who you have to pay for that?
ME: No.
HIM: Ah. Someone will tell you!

Filler by Proxy XVI: I’m Enjoying the Sodomy, Though

Tuesday 12 April 2005

Random quotage to be found by the bucketload, at Overheard in New York (Note: one of these statements may in fact be something I said over the weekend):
Yo, that’s an oxymoron. That’s like saying ‘Peter picked a pail of pickles’ and he’s a vegetarian.
I want Gloria Steinem’s eyeballs in my fucking martini!
Yeah, deers aren’t that bad. You’re in trouble if you hit a cow, though. And even worse would be a moose, because if you don’t kill it it’s gonna kill you!
No, I am serious. Three is menage a trois, but after that it is just an orgy.

Unpopular for a reason

Tuesday 12 April 2005

Usually when I don’t post here for a few days I’ve either been having too much fun to be bothered writing about it, or recuperating from the after-effects of said fun. The past week has been different, HOLY CRAP BIG FUCKING SPIDER
Sorry about that. Jesus I hate it when they crawl over lightbulbs.
Anyway, I’ve been busy with complex and frustrating bureaucratic tasks which inadvertently led me to discover that the South Australian Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages keeps a list of last year’s baby names online. Amongst the one-offs are Aragorn and Boromir. Wonder if they’re twins? Or if both names were given to the one kid: less misery to share around, but no second name to fall back on, either. In any case, someone’s been sentenced to paying out playground danger money until graduation.
These are boys’ names, by the way. I was going to look up equally embarrassing girls’ names until I remembered there are no females in The Lord of the Rings. Because they’re icky.
SA has also been blessed with a little Rowdy, and baby Ja-Rule. That last one will go down well around the Noarlunga Centrelink twenty years from now.

The London Review of Books personal ad of the month, April 2005

Tuesday 5 April 2005

Box no. 04/08. I missed my period. Box no. 06/03.

Greetings to readers with spiffy new computer equipment!

Tuesday 5 April 2005

Readers in the State of California, U.S.A please note:
Reading posts on this website, or other sites linked to this website, will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash your hands after reading this site.
If you insist on reading this site without washing your hands afterwards, take it outside to a place where human life is cheap and the point of a gun is the only law (hint: MEXICO). Persons returning to California with unwashed hands may be held liable for subsequent birth defects resulting from contact with said persons. Your kink is not OK.
Do not question the State of California’s legislature’s knowledge of chemistry. After all, when was the last time you heard of something stupid coming out of California? Exactly. Please, no need to apologise.
It’s an unknown but significant amount of lead. I cannot tell you everything that we know, but what I can share with you, when combined with what all of us have learned over the years, is deeply troubling.
Residents outside the state of California who have read this without proper authorisation shall report to their local law enforcement authorities. Feel free to eat paint chips off the old shed out back.
Australian readers, please consult your fridge magnet and await further instructions. Reading your fridge magnet will expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash your hands after reading your magnet.

Atheist to Dead Pope: Get Out of My Dreams

Monday 4 April 2005

It ends with me newly rich, and a cardinal in mufti shaking my hand: “Thank you for finally convincing him not to be buried with his rosary.”
In other news (see links at right) Mallrat of Brave Our Burbs misses out on the Schiavo/Wojtyla/Ranier trifecta, adding insult to the injury of posting the creepiest picture of Peter Costello ever. Please, go back to smirking.
Meanwhile, Laura of Sorrow at Sills Bend dishes hot cultural theorist gossip by linking to paparazzi photos of Slavoj Žižek’s wedding. My initial responses: (a) Gak! (b) academics get paparazzi? (c) her name is what!?

Found Writing 2: A Cautionary Tale

Saturday 2 April 2005

In case you were wondering, Talavir is an Italian trade name for a genital herpes treatment.

“If you went to the Pixies this year, you are the enemy.” Oh, and Nick Hornby’s a cunt.

Friday 1 April 2005

Above quote from Jane Dark’s Sugarhigh discussing the latest plague of reunion tours, found while digging up her thoughtful disquisiton on Nick Horby’s oeuvre linked to in the previous post:
Okay, I think we can all agree that Mr. Hornby is rather hopeless at talking about an art form with which he couldn’t keep pace, even as it toddled ahead in a rather leisurely fashion. But Hornby’s books have also always sucked (and this is no new news. Here’s a passage from a review of his second novel: “Hornby invokes the two great streams of middle-class sentimentality: the Afterschool Special and The New Yorker story.”) Moreover, they have always sucked in exactly the same way: wan, dudely homogeneity, almost fatally low on elan vital, hybrid vigor, cultural difference, self-recognition, immediacy and intensity, but high on stunted aggression, a blindered sense of superiority and convenient, flattering identification.
The books no less than the music writing race toward the endgame of the lost, melanc- and alco-holic boor, the ugly white guy whom culture has passed by, but who still manages to feel smug and lash out at everyone who fails to replicate his values. The sentiment is awful; the prose is no better than in his music writing. I’d propose that if the Hornby-bashers recognized the stakes of fiction to be as high as those of music, they wouldn’t forgive the books quite so easily.

The Heat of the Moment is All that You Need

Thursday 31 March 2005

I have a record player in working order. As a consequence, friends unload their old, unwanted vinyl onto me – in copious quantitites – assuaging their guilt over chucking their once-beloved Bros LP on the pretence that it is now going to ‘a good home’. I’m too soft a touch to say no to them, so it all gets shelved away regardless of quality.
It is a poorly-kept secret that nerdboys like me typically regard their record collections as extensions of their (for want of a better word) personality, and just as men are conditioned to repress their emotions, so do they conceal or expunge records which they deem unflattering or embarrassing. Sorry if all this has been said before in High Fidelity or something, a book-movie tie-in from which I have been spared thus far, and to which I do not wish to expose myself on the grounds that Nick Hornby is – and I’m drifting off my intended topic here so I’ll boil things down a bit – a cunt.
Years of making myself an empty vessel into which the musical tastes of others may be poured has enabled me to disassociate from the more dubious platters on display: ex-girlfriend’s Cat Stevens albums? Mine! Somebody’s housemate’s friend’s Shelleyan Orphan debut? Welcome aboard! Dire Straits? Actually, they’re mine but my dad nicked the ‘good’ ones, which shdv’e wised me up earlier. The collection is now large enough to have reached critical mass, which means that a copy of Rumours spontaneously appears one day without explanation.
The little gem of this motley assortment of orphans is a 7-inch single my friend Kaz found in a Bendigo op-shop.

There’s no record company named on the record label, or even a copyright notice anywhere on the record or sleeve. The back cover, however, has a small notice in the corner saying it was manufactured and distrubuted by EMI. The catalogue number, JD 2602, suggests Julie Dawn put out the record herself, and that it’s not her first. It was recorded in Canberra in 1990, after CDs had begun their inexorable takeover of the pop market.
It’s a double-A side single, where you can hear your choice of Julie Dawn’s tentative, wonky voice singing her self-penned anthem in either English or poorly-enunciated German. The German translation is literal, with no attempt to rhyme or scan, and seems to be unidiomatic (does “die Welt am deine Füße” really mean the same as “the world at your feet” in German?) The sleeve notes give special thanks to the Austrian Club of Canberra, so you’d think they’d know their German.
All my efforts to find out anything at all about Julie Dawn and her record have drawn a blank. I did find something about Peter Coleman and Marcus Holden, who produced and played on this record, on a website about Canberran musicians. Here’s a pic of them on the left, playing in their band The Slick Neatos back in 1978.

I’ve become obsessed with this little record, playing it over and over. It poses so many questions to me. Who are these people? Where are they now? Why does this record exist? Was it cashing in on a large Austrian community in Canberra? Why was someone in Canberra inspired to make a record about Austria? What is an Austrian Flame? According to Google it’s either a lamp, a type of wood finish or a Warcraft clan. Is the photo of Julie Dawn on the cover superimposed on the background, or was she photographed in front of one of those wallpaper murals you used to see in dentists’ waiting rooms*?
As a special service, for one week only at the Boring Like A Drill Hit Parade, you can hear for yourself this magnificent tune in your choice of language.
(MP3 files, 2.9 MB each)
* Closer inspection suggests it’s the former, unless she’s resting her arms on thin air or she’s 800 metres tall. One step closer to enlightenment.

Good! Bad!

Tuesday 29 March 2005

Good! I quit my job.
Bad! They’re offering more money to replace me.

Found Writing: The Long Dark Bundoora of the Soul

Tuesday 29 March 2005

Found at a bus stop, written on the back of a timetable for the 566 Greensborough – Lalor route. Click the pic for the whole thing.

She’s driving me to take my life. My solution is to get out of the state by air straitaway and never ever to return here on the advise that a psycologist gave me in regards to what I would find help full

Filler by Proxy XV: PostSecret

Tuesday 22 March 2005

http://www.postsecret.blogspot.com/