The miserable few who doubted my powers must now bow down before my genius

Tuesday 7 December 2004

Me, 7 December 2004:

The newspapers have already reverted to publishing blatant crap for the summer… I will now predict the summer’s top ‘news’ stories… A scientist will claim to have cloned the mountain lion in the Dandenongs, which will boost the revival of the local film industry.

The Age, 8 December 2004:

Melbourne Zoo’s public relations chief yesterday declared the silly season open as senior animal keepers were called in to analyse images of yet another mystery cat seen near the Grampians.

That’s one down.

Hokey Local News and the Two Minute Hate

Tuesday 7 December 2004

I must have slept in because the newspapers have already reverted to publishing blatant crap for the summer:
A residential island could be built in Port Phillip Bay, made of silt from the proposed dredging of the bay and the Yarra River.
In a related news story, a 500-room luxury palace could be built in my back yard, made of solid gold panned and smelted by my personal harem of nubile virgins.
Melbourne 2030 reference group member Rob Pradolin said Melbourne needed visionary projects such as this.

Thanks for your support, Rob.
The article even provides this challenging vision of the future below, with a provocative question. Mouse over the picture for the secret answer.
To save you the trouble of reading hacks scratching their balls in The Age for the next two months, I will now predict the summer’s top ‘news’ stories so you can put in more quality time falling asleep on the couch in front of the cricket on telly:
• A scientist will claim to have cloned the mountain lion in the Dandenongs, which will boost the revival of the local film industry.
• A environmentally-friendly world-class luxury hotel will be built on the CUB Brewery site, which developers predict will become an international tourist attraction.
• A (feature in the Good Weekend/column by Tony Parkinson) which explains why everyone in the world, yourself included (is obsessed with/will be grateful for) the (boundless talent and charismatic mystique/noble statesmanship) of (Casey Donovan/Donald Rumsfeld).
• An article by John Elder where he wanders the streets picking up other people’s litter. At first he has some difficulty find enough litter, but soon gets the hang of it. After a while tries to interview passersby about his litter-gathering, but finds everyone is strangely reluctant to talk to him.
• An opinion essay by a staff writer who has the epiphany that she prefers some cafes over others, but explains this phenomenon by tenuously blaming it on other people’s moral failings and interpreting it as a sign of modern society’s decline. Hang on, they’ve done that one already.

Short, disgusting confession

Sunday 5 December 2004

You know how sometimes you wake up to find you’ve left a damp patch of drool on your pillow? You know how sometimes your dreams end with something that really is happening at that moment? This morning I woke up from a dream where I was brushing my teeth.

Why I am not a painter

Sunday 5 December 2004

West Space is holding its annual A4 fundraiser show this coming week. Opens Thursday 9 December, 6-9 pm, and stays open Friday Saturday Sunday. Details here. Yes, I’ve put some artwork in it which I am pleased to think might sell by appealing to the punters’ sense of chairty, if not their aesthetics. They also have good art for sale.

My last attempt to make a painting was not entirely happy. Having promised to paint something for an exhibition due the next day, I found an old box of cheap Chinese foil tubes of oil paints. Most of them had partly or completely dried out, and split open when I tried to squeeze some paint out of them. At least I got blue and yellow, two thirds of the primary colours. Also, I found a brush, which was useful. It was sufficiently frayed at both ends to make me spend a few seconds figuring out which was designed for applying paint. When I started painting I remembered that (a) oil paint needs thinner and (b) I don’t have any thinner. It was a very thickly-textured painting, and may still be drying to this day. The next revelation was that when you need to change colours, the brush has to be rinsed out (cf. points a and b, above). A solution of Sard Wonder Soap does the job nicely, but don’t expect it to improve the consistency of your paint.

Having admitted all this, it’s good to know that I’m still an artist. I have the survey letter from Macquarie University’s Economics Department that proves it.

Whack the masonite up on the pool table and get yer tits out

Saturday 4 December 2004

You people can count yourselves lucky. For a while there I had shut down the Rob Roy Hotel without even realising it. Apparently they couldn’t make enough money out of having live bands play there. I attribute this to me not going there even once all year on the pretext of hearing some music but really ending up getting blind on $2 black sambucca shots, trying to rehang the op-shop art on the walls and then groping some poor girl while she’s trying to talk to her boyfriend. So naturally their bottom line suffered when I took my talent for making my own fun elsewhere, and I was saddened but not surprised to hear of the venue’s demise.
Of course it could all be part of the continuing fallout from Lion Nathan’s plan a few years back to pay ridiculously large sums of money for inner city pubs in a vain attempt to get people to drink Tooheys.
Walking past the corner of Brunswick and Gertrude with the pub dark and quiet was like a return to an older Fitzroy that most resisdents pretend to have known and loved. The effect was set off nicely by a large-waisted, short-legged man in track pants across the street who had straddled the fence around Atherton Gardens and was complaining loudly about the effect this posture was having on his balls.
I had high hopes that we might see a return of the ‘exotic dancers’ to the back bar of the Rob Roy, but there’s been a change of heart by the management and the bands are back just as abruptly as they left, so the gentrification process of Gertrude Street has taken a decisive step sideways. In fact, City City City are playing there tonight and I totally intend going to see them, except I’ve just realised they’re probably on right now as I type this. Besides, a friend’s just given me a Target shopping bag full of Wesley Snipes videos so I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere for a while.

People or things I have been mistaken for, or allegedly physically resemble, in increasing order of ridiculousness

Wednesday 17 November 2004

The BLAD artist interviews, no.1: Stelarc

Thursday 11 November 2004

As part of my humble contributions to Australia’s cultural conversation, I am pleased to share with you some of my exclusive interviews with leading contemporary artists in Australia over the years.
Stelarc first came to public attention as a contestant on the TV talent quest Pot of Gold in 1978, performing “Jake the Peg” with a crude home-made cybernetic leg. Since then he has become renowned around the world for his art practice exploring the obsolescence of the human body as a physical subject, largely by trying to kill himself in various innovative ways. This interview was conducted at the University of Melbourne in 1997.
BLAD: Hello.
STELARC: Hi. Nice architraves!
BLAD: Huh?
STELARC: The mouldings are really huge in this place.
BLAD: Yeah. Check out the ceiling rose in this room.
STELARC: Wow. Hate to have to dust those things.
(laughs)
BLAD: OK bye.
Stelarc’s latest project, My Big Fat Greek Virtual Head, is on display in the Chadstone Shopping Centre Galleria until 11 December.

Next, counting the paperclips

Thursday 11 November 2004

Like a teenager with an essay due who suddenly takes an interest in ironing, I have added some more links on this –> side of the screen. Also, the background colour is now a slightly off shade of white. Please enjoy these new features for your enhanced interactive web experience.

Burning with procrastination

Friday 5 November 2004

“You have a down on life – it’s no good!”
“I am an artist.”
“Yes I’ve heard that before!”
-Wyndham Lewis, Tarr

Phelps Watch: a nation holds its breath

Wednesday 27 October 2004

The media’s conspiracy to suppress news of Peter Phelps’ march towards a federal senate seat must not prevail. As a matter of public interest I give you the latest results of the vote count from the national tally room:
  • Provisional Quota: 421,034 votes
  • Phelps, Peter Grant: 133 votes
I’m hopeful for a late surge in the 6 remaining unapportioned votes on his ticket, but it’s clear that we can’t celebrate Phelpsy’s victory for certain until all the below-the-line preferences have been distributed. In the meantime, we’ll all have to be patient. That includes you, Ellen de Graaf.

A sobering moment of insight

Wednesday 27 October 2004

So I was at work today googling for upskirt photos of Denise Drysdale when it suddenly struck me that I’d been at this job for seven years. Only part time, but still. Now, I’d long been conscious of having never been able to hold onto a job for more than a year until this one, but unwittingly I’ve also smashed my previous record for clocking in more or less regularly at the one establishment. Which was five years at one high school. I started to reflect on how I had become more mature at last, but quickly realised that I was self-deluded and corrected myself to reflect upon how damn old I am. Then I lost interest in self-knowledge and went back to googling for nipple slip photos of Collette Mann.

Filler by Proxy V: The Ten Greatest Albums of All Time (inspired by Rolling Stone Magazine)

Tuesday 26 October 2004

According to Useful Noise. Yes, I’m trying to build up posting momentum here. The account of the Newcastle adventure is taking a little longer than expected to write up, owing to me repeatedly breaking down and weeping openly over the keyboard, which hinders my progress.
I was going to apologise about not updating this for a while and launching into some fanciful cock-and-bull story about why I’ve been absent, but I figure you’re all mature enough to understand that when dealing with shonky amateur operations like this one you have to take what few cheap giggles you can get and be grateful for a few minutes’ distraction from your job and/or masters thesis. I forsee that this blog will perpetually be caught in a boom-bust cycle of updates.

How I went to Newcastle full of dreams and returned a broken shell of a man with nothing to show for it but some new enemies and my host’s house keys

Sunday 10 October 2004


You may have inferred, correctly, from the previous post that I’m back home. The jaunt to Newcastle was a mixture of good and bad: foremost in the latter category is this case of killer flu I picked up in the filthy weather they had up there for the first few days, and which is now lingering into its second week.
Expect a detailed description over the next day or two, but for now I’d like to thank the Electrofringe people for having me up there, and especially Aaron and his housemates for putting me up in such comfort and style during my stay, and letting me walk off with the key to their front door. God bless you all.

Australia’s Election Day Outrage

Sunday 10 October 2004

The federal election’s over and I am disgusted with the direction this country has taken. I truly fear for our children’s future, which is a big call given that I don’t have any kids and really cdn’t care if the little bastards live or die. How can we hold our heads high and say we are proud to be Australian, after Saturday’s debacle?
My compatriots know what I’m talking about but, for the sake of the thousands of overseas visitors who check in to this site every day on the off chance I might get around to updating it, I’ll spell it out. I went down to my local polling booth in the mid-morning, and there was NO SAUSAGE SIZZLE! What the hell has happened to this country? I circumnavigated the whole schoolyard twice: not a sausage. Literally. I thought charity sausage sizzles were mandated by the AEC.
If you think this all sounds superficial and apathetic, you’re clearly in the minority. I’m just going to go with the flow since no-one else round here gives a shit about this place. And anyone who drones on to me about how they’re going to leave the country better be prepared to meet my wager of $100 that they will still be here a year later.

Returning to normal

Tuesday 28 September 2004

I have just fought my way out of a room packed solid with cardboard moving boxes, having survived for the past week on the water leaking out of the disconnected hoses on the washing machine, and the surprisingly copious amount of incinerated breadcrumbs trapped in the bottom of the toaster. The new house is almost functional.
Negative: This place is about half the size of the old house, so there isn’t room to stash all the crap accumulated over the years.
Positive: The new house is fit for human habitation. To give you a brief impression of how grotty the old house was, when moving out I was faced with an ethical dilemma: whether or not to remove the large, friendly snail that had taken residence in the shower cubicle for the past year and had thrived off whatever was growing, or decaying, between the tiles.
Wierdest item found while moving: protractors. In itself, a protractor is not that unusual. But while packing my junk away, I found a total of seven protractors. Not all in the one spot, either: they turned up one by one, stuffed away in the most unlikely of places. God knows where they came from. I haven’t even seen a protractor since high school, and now I suddenly own a collection of them larger than Stephen Hawking’s.
Now, I’m heading up to Newcastle for Electrofringe, so I may or may not write about my exciting adventures up there (hint: the more exciting the adventures, the less likely I am to update this until next week).