May as well punch Jamie Oliver

Sunday 3 August 2008

(A supermarket in London. The checkout kid is concentrating on an item of produce with furrowed brow and bemused demeanour. Eventually…)

CHECKOUT KID
What’s this?

ME
That’s garlic.

CHECKOUT KID
Oh.

(Without much further struggle he locates the right price code and proceeds. Two tins of tomatoes, one packet of spaghetti and a cheap hunk of parmesan later…)

CHECKOUT KID
(brow furrowed)
What’s this?

ME
That’s also garlic.

FINIS

Kwik Komputer Klinik

Thursday 24 July 2008

Do you use a wireless mouse? Have you found lately that your mouse is inaccurate, erratic, sluggish and unresponsive? Try these three simple steps to troubleshoot the problem.

  1. Check that the mouse batteries are fully charged.
  2. Make sure you are using a clean mousepad or other work surface for your mouse.
  3. Move the wall of empty beer cans away from the edge of your mousepad to another corner of your desk.

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

I think I've spent the last hour staring blankly into space and no-one's noticed.

Frontier: Coburg

Saturday 19 July 2008

A few years ago, my girlfriend went to her first medical checkup in London and found herself explaining to the British-born doctor that Australian houses have bedrooms, thus correcting her assumption that verandahs were primarily designed for sleeping. When the only news story from Australia that has impinged upon British consciousness this year is the one about the bloke with the seatbelt on his slab, it can be hard explaining to Brits that Australia is a modern, largely urbanised society, with a complex and sophisticated culture.
Then you come back to Melbourne for a visit, sit out on the verandah of your friend’s house in leafy Coburg, and flip through the Personal Services classifieds at the back of the local paper.

“Yee-haw! There’s a passel o’ fine fillies up from South Yarra ways on that thar stagecoach, pardner!”
“Shucks, Jed, I ain’t seen me a gin-u-wine South Yarra lady up the Sydney Road in a month o’ Sundays!”
And then there’s this inspired promotional campaign that’s guaranteed to drum up trade. It’s enough to make any bargain-hunting man grab his hod and head out west. Also note the somewhat excessive zeal and efficiency that Amy brings to her job.

(Crossposted at Sarsaparilla.)

The Belated Return of the List of People Or Things I Have Been Mistaken For, Or Allegedly Physically Resemble, In Increasing Order Of Ridiculousness

Sunday 6 July 2008

Has it really been that long? For the first time in two years, the updated List of People Or Things I Have Been Mistaken For, Or Allegedly Physically Resemble, In Increasing Order Of Ridiculousness.

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Friday 27 June 2008

bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce burp bounce Destiny's Child HONK

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Wednesday 18 June 2008

And Percy Pigs. Never mind.

The tide turns: George W. Bush irritates a blogger

Tuesday 17 June 2008

This time he’s really gone too far. As part of his farewell tour of screwing up bits of the world wherever he goes, Bush decided to arrive at Heathrow at about the same time as my terrible, bumpy, putrid, disease-ridden 23-hour Qantas flight from Melbourne. Thus my journey ended with an extra hour of sitting cooped up in Economy on the tarmac about 20 metres from the arrivals gate, waiting for Air Force One to land, fanny about on the taxiway and disgorge its toxic cargo into a trio of US helicopters.
We were probably the unauthorised plebs with the clearest plain view of the whole ritual. My girlfriend took some photos of POTUS and his posse, but she was using a phone from an aisle seat so the shots all came out looking like she photographed her own armpit under a blanket. Some friendly BritsAustralians in the window seats got us the plane photo.
Another black eye for the British. It took only one American to bring Heathrow Airport to a standstill, something it usually takes thousands of British airport staff to achieve.

Australia decides that 15 year olds may look at other 15 year olds after all

Friday 6 June 2008

As was to be expected, I’ve been too preoccupied to update anything since arriving in Melbourne for the show (plug!); but now I’m sitting next to a guy looking up Lesbian Upskirt Spanking Parties on YouTube in the back of an IGA in Swanston Street which doesn’t seem to bother charging anyone using the computers.
Also to be expected, a host of pundits have crawled out of the woodwork to miss the point completely about that whole Bill Henson tizzy. Their main point of arfument: yes, we know he’s a child pornographer, but how much porn is too much? Pity they all forgot to think about whether or not Henson’s photographs were pornographic in the first place.

The Classifications Board has now declared the picture “mild” and safe for many children…. Considered one of the most confronting in the Henson exhibition, the picture came to the board for classification when it was discovered in a blog discussing pornography and the sexualisation of children. But the classifiers found the “image of breast nudity … creates a viewing impact that is mild and justified by context … and is not sexualised to any degree.”

“I don’t know what that means but I think there is a suggestion of indecency about it.”

Thursday 29 May 2008

Last weekend in London Tate Modern hosted photographer Nan Goldin’s slideshow The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. A brief writeup in The Guardian mentions, in passing:

In many ways, [singer/songwriter Patrick] Wolf’s input actually freshened up some work which has become slightly over-familiar, and gave extra emotional heft to shots that no longer seem so shocking or transgressive (though Goldin defiantly kept in the picture of two young girls that caused huge controversy last year).

Comments from readers are mostly affably jaded:

Shocking in 1983 perhaps but with the rise and rise of fetishy sex, drag queens, transexuals and Bondage/S&M fans is commonplace imagery today. Still good art though. Perhaps we do need a new Mary Whitehouse, as many Daily Mail readers are suggesting, if only to remind us how much fun decadence is one you de-commercialise it.

The “huge controversy” mentioned was when police seized a Goldin photograph from the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead on suspicion that it was child pornography.
In a few days I’ll be back in Melbourne for my upcoming show (plug!), but the climate there is a bit chilly for artists right now, and not just because of the weather. Right now, Australian Federal Police are investigating the National Gallery of Australia as part of what appears to be a self-appointed crusade against “immoral” art, after New South Wales police raided a Sydney gallery’s exhibition of photographs by Bill Henson. Henson and the gallery owners are being accused by police, politicians and various lobby groups of being child pornographers, and have been threatened with criminal prosecution.
Until last week, there had never been a complaint about Henson’s photographs during his 30-year career, despite it being shown all over Australia and the world, including the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim, and best of all, forming part of the permanent collection of the High Court of Australia.
Commentary in Britain has been pretty much as you would expect:

This isn’t the first time Australia’s cultural immaturity has been revealed in all it’s ugliness, and it won’t be the last…. Freedom of expression has a long way to go in the provinces.

To show its maturity, the British government has just announced its plan to “toughen up” its child pornogrpahy laws to include the outlawing of drawings of child abuse:

When the existing ban on photographic images was enacted, the argument in principle was that real children are exploited and harmed to make these images, which is true. That entire philosophical plank on which the legislation rested has now been kicked casually away. If you, alone in your room, put pencil to paper and draw – for your eyes only – an obscene doodle involving a child, you will invite a prison term of up to three years. There is real scope for vindictive citizens to ransack desks or bins and call the police.

(The title quote comes, of course, from one of the most influential literary critics, Detective Vogelsang of the South Australian Police Force.)

I still can’t believe it took four guys to write this

Monday 26 May 2008

For the full 2008 Eurovision wrapup, see below.
Something seems to have been lost in translation. From the Eurovision website for this year’s Latvian entry:

Wolves of the Sea is a story about the historical endeavours of our ancestors, and tells of their backbreaking lives, rebellious spirit, freedom, masculinity and tenderness while showing their patriotism and love for the planet earth, and an unquenchable thirst for adventure.


[Cue cheesy techno music]

With a hii hii hoo and a hii hii hey!
We‘re hoisting the flag to be free
We will steal the show, Jolly Rogers go
We are wolves of the sea

Don’t try to run it’s all set and done
There’s treasure in sight
We are robbing you blind I hope you don’t mind
We are taking it all tonight

Just walk away we’ll count it all
Pirates will stand and the loser will fall

With a hii hii hoo and a hii hii hey
We’re bound to be close to the sea
Our captain will stand on the bridge and sing
Pirates are all we can be

With a hii hii hoo and a hii hii hey!
We‘re hoisting the flag to be free
We will steal the show, Jolly Rogers go
We are wolves of the sea

Down to the core we’re coming for more
With a sword close at hand
We are scary and bold chest full of gold
We get sealegs when sighting land

The hook of our captain is looking at you
There’s no Peter Pan so what can you do

With a hii hii hoo and a hii hii hey!
We‘re hoisting the flag to be free
We will steal the show, Jolly Rogers go
We are wolves of the sea

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Thursday 22 May 2008

FOR CHILDREN ONLY!!!!!!  GOTT IN HIMMEL!!!!!!  J'AI BESOIN DU CHILLY-BIN!!!!!!

Filler By Proxy LXIV: Baby Hitler Found!

Monday 19 May 2008

The Irish Independent (original PDF) cleverly covers up Wee Baby Schickelgruber’s most telltale facial feature in a slightly misguided attempt to preserve his anonymity. Found at Photoshop Disasters.

Countdown to Eurovision: Could be worse, could be Des Mangan

Tuesday 13 May 2008

The Director of the Eurovision Song Contest, Bjorn Erichsen, came this close to catching a clue when he complained to the BBC this week that their choice of host is a “problem” which is undermining the contest’s reputation:

Terry Wogan is a problem because he makes it ridiculous. I know he is very popular, and maybe that is the reason why a lot of people watch… The BBC gets a very large audience but it chooses to represent the Contest in a certain way. They take it far more seriously in Sweden. They have a genuine love and respect for it.

Ah yes, it’s all Wogan’s fault that people think Eurovision is ridiculous. Apparently viewers in Sweden will be taking that singing Irish turkey puppet very seriously this year.
How dare Wogan make Eurovision a popular, high-rating show, and retain a huge viewing audience in Britain while ratings across the rest of western Europe have nosedived? What we really need is sober, introspective chin-stroking over “Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley“.

Countdown to Eurovision: Just when you thought Cliff Richard couldn’t possibly get any sadder…

Wednesday 7 May 2008

His faith may have guaranteed him an eternal reward in heaven, but that hasn’t stopped an unrealised desire from gnawing away at Cliff Richard for the past forty years. He’s still bellyaching over coming second in the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest.
But now, the hope of salvation is on the horizon*: the winning song, Spain’s imaginatively titled “La La La”, is accused of having won through vote rigging by Franco himself.

According to Montse Fernandez Vila, the director of the film called 1968: I lived the Spanish May, Franco was determined to claim Eurovision glory for his own country. The investigation, which is due to be broadcast shortly, details how El Generalísimo was so keen to improve Spain’s international image that he sent corrupt TV executives across Europe to buy goodwill in the run-up to the contest.

The two funniest moments in this report come when the 1968 Richard is referred to as a “starlet” (that can’t be right, can it?) , and that reference to “corrupt TV executives”. Apparently, duchessing is corrupt only when it is performed by TV executives, not by other businessmen, politicians, or Olympics officials.
* I know that phrase sounds meaningless, but it’s no worse than Sir Cliff saying, “I’d be quite happy to be able to say I won Eurovision ’68. It’s an impressive date in the calendar these days.” It’s a cheesy song contest Cliff, not one of your cheap, Portuguese wines.