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/

Bobby Fischer update: Icelanders, lock up your mattresses

Tuesday 22 March 2005

Way back when this blog started I cynically padded things out by regurgitating a story about chess master Bobby Fischer getting arrested in Japan. For the past six months he’s been parking his arse in Japanese gaol waiting for deportation to the USA to stand trial over a small matter involving an international war criminal and several million dollars, but just recently there have been several suprising developments. Firstly, I’ve updated the blog a few times. Secondly, Bobby is finally on his way home. To Iceland.
Iceland’s Parliament last night granted Mr Fischer full Icelandic citizenship, opening the way for him to leave Japan for that country.
Chieko Nono, the Japanese Justice Minister, told reporters that if Mr Fischer has been granted Icelandic citizenship, it would be “legally possible to deport him to that country”.

Can you imagine Amanda Vanstone agreeing to something like this?

Filler by Proxy XIV: Trenchant, Incisive

Monday 21 March 2005

The Spin Starts Here hunts for the most boring blogger in the world.
Their runner-up has been reading William Gibson, a writer whose books I thought had only recently been excavated by archaeologists digging through subsoil in search of a clear underlying stratum of Douglas Coupland for sampling and accurate carbon dating, undisturbed by eruptions of older deposits of Tama Janowitz and Brett Easton Ellis.
However, I am forced to consider Gibson’s oeuvre in a new light given the forceful analysis to which dno has subjected it. He encapsulates the reading experience in telling detail, while judiciously weighing up the merits and weaknesses of each book surveyed.
You may need to set aside an afternoon, but you’ll be richly rewarded.

Things overheard from a portable radio tuned to 3AW’s ‘Nightline’

Monday 21 March 2005

  • I think Guy Sebastian would be a millionaire by now.
  • Glen Campbell’s let himself go a bit.
  • But then in America I found this product called Ex-Lax which does the same thing.
  • Why can’t Channel Ten put together a weekly show of highlights of Bert Newton hosting GMA?
  • There’s a new one that Olivia Newton-John has just opened.
  • You can’t beat a good old bottle of Johnson’s Baby Oil.
  • I like a good massage. That’s about it.
  • I just can’t understand knockers of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music.
  • It’s only lousy if you don’t like the music.
Had enough? No? Destroy your brAne with the all-consuming black hole of arse that is the Nightline web site.

The BLAD artist interviews, no.3: Danius Kesminas

Sunday 20 March 2005

Another two months have passed so it’s time for another scorching exposé of the lives and work of some of Melbourne’s finest artists.
Danius Kesminas first came to the attention of law enforcement authorities when he napalmed a large section of suburban Adeliade, destroying several hundred brush fences in the process. He avoided prosecution by claiming the prank was one of the nebulously-described ‘free community events’ listed in the Adelaide Festival of Arts program and, with the help of some friends on the staff of the Adelaide Advertiser, shifted blame for the swath of destruction onto Peter Sellars.
This succés de scandale gave public exposure to the theoretical basis of his art practice, elevating him to prominence as one of Australia’s leading aestheticians. His theory being, in essence, that the function of art is to permit antisocial misanthropes to tolerate human company for long enough to get thoroughly pissed and then set them temporarily at large in the community, instead of leaving them to moulder at home, drinking alone and yelling at the TV. Of course, this thought had occurred to many people before, but Kesminas was the first with sufficient tolerance of alcohol to state it coherently in a grant application “while the thought was still fresh in his mind.”
More recently, Kesminas has exhibited the crushed remains of the car art critic Robert Hughes crashed in Western Australia, in an installation that served a double purpose of seductively goosing the sensibilities of art curators while simultaneously gulling the ABC into believing it was a comment on the “clash of cultures” (yes, both of them).
This interview was conducted at ACCA in 2000.
BLAD: How much is this CD?
KESMINAS: Get fucked!
Danius Kesminas is available to make obscure, sarcaastic in-jokes about a dwindling coterie of arts industry figures at your next gallery launch, function or patron schmoozefest. Contact Darren Knight Gallery for a schedule of fees.

“Phelps Watch” can be found elsewhere

Tuesday 15 March 2005

  • Specifically, over at Karma to Burn.
  • Leisure Town is back online!
  • Rollertrain has the best opening line for a blog entry this month, if not all year. “After watching really gross porn all morning, I started thinking about all the things I’ve put into my ass.” And it just gets better.

A fishtank full of blood

Tuesday 15 March 2005

He’s back!
Krankiboy is gifted another cinematic masterpiece from maverick auteur Erik Blevins: Cancer Pond! The powerful concluding sentence:

They symbolically eat the fish, and mom makes an ornament out of the dead bird (a new artistic endeavor = hope and possible fucking in the near future) and that’s what the credits are rolling over – the dead bird ornament and it makes the audience think.