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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.”
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!?
In case you were wondering, Talavir
is an Italian trade name for a genital herpes treatment.
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.
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*?
(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! I quit my job.
Bad! They’re offering more money to replace me.
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
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?
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.
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
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.
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.